Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Toe in the water... Part 1

I have mixed feeling about the holidays. They're great for catching up on things because of the relative free time that's available. On the other hand I get lethargic as well for a variety of reasons. As this year closes, I wanted a new project to get my teeth into. 

Gingerly getting my toe in the water again.
I craved some inspiration so I can start blogging about my latest creative push. I also needed a muse to get my juices flowing again. Eye candy is what gets me going. So I either watch some movies from my collection... 

Opening sequence from 'Enemy at the Gates".
The ill fated Strelkovy charge also from  'Enemy at the Gates" 

or go on the web where it'll link me to awesome imagery.  

The ubiquitous SU-76.

The ubiquitous SdKfz 251 HT with 37mm gun.
Getting inspired yet? I surely did. 

And if you'd read my earlier posts you'll note that I'm quite a fan of Stalingrad and the Eastern Theater. My later projects involved lots of 28mm. Bigger scale and better detail for these aging eyes...  

A Stalingrad table we set up at Justo's house while he was still in Houston for a game day.
NKVD Maxim mg crew from BTD.

Assorted Strelkovy from BTD.
Fallshcirmjagers from BTD staging for a mission.

Stealthy Fallshcirmjagers on their way avoiding the T34 beyond.
"Take out those Stalin's Organs!!"

However, I did start out in 15mm when I was consumed with FoW. This smaller scale has its advantages. 

The infamous 88 from Battlefront for FoW.
A pair of Sd Kfz 7/2 with the 37mm AA gun.
My all time favorite German tank: the Panther!!

Looking through my collection I realized the wealth of material that I already have in hand. But like most gamers I'm a pack rat/collector/accumulator and I always want more!

Then recently, Chris Trevino from our group (who's NOT my muse) ran a few Crossfire games. That got me intrigued because I've been itching to use my already completed Flames of War (FoW) Eastern Front Germans and Russians for something else. Since I was burnt out of playing FoW I sadly put them in mothballs. 

Kubelwagens and Sd Kfz 7/1 (Quad 20mm AA)
Assorted Sd Kfz 251 HT and Opel Blitz
KV8 (flame tanks)
Panthers and Maultiers 
BA10M Armored Cars, Stuarts and Honeys
Mid War T34-76 
All of a sudden I got excited thinking about using them again with another rules set. I had to get them out of storage and back on the table! And what better way to do so than to start another terrain table.

'So why not another Stalingrad-ish, urban ruins with a rail yard to boot in 15mm?" I thought to myself. And this time, I'll do it better than my previous half-hearted attempts.

My recently sold generic and unweathered box cars on equally uninspired flocked Kato tracks.  
This was taken in February of this year where I staged them with some
of my FoW Soviet Scouts with a KV1 in support. 
After a little ruminating and eye candy research to get me primed I immediately set out for my local train store and Eureka! I found all kinds of cool stuff. Here's my latest acquisitions. 

Compare these beautifully weathered boxcars from the ones above.
Just a small part of my Stalingrad and rail yard table. The Kato tracks will
definitely be weathered and flocked just in case you're wondering.
Scav Alert! Make sure that you do check out the consignment shelves of these stores b/c they're chock full of pre-assembled HO scale buildings, water tanks, towers, gantries, weathered boxcars, etc. that's perfect for 15mm.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seasons Greetings!

Happy Holidays from the entire gang (collection)! 
Alas, my camera doesn't have a wide enough lens to fit everybody!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Refurbishing 'Old' Models Part 1

If you're anything like me, you're a collector. And with the infinite variety of the cool toys we now have available at our finger tips thru the web it's a real challenge not going overboard. Oops! Too late.
A smattering sample of my collection posted on my Christmas 2010 blog. 
A great example is AT-43. They've been discontinued for some time now but there's stores out there that carry stock and would gladly sell them for the right price (usually reduced). I love these pre-painted minis. I've been lusting after them for a few years since they were released and have finally acquired a few. There really is a great reason for restraint b/c waiting for the price to go down really helps my budget. I've kept my collection to just the human factions (U.N.A. and Red Blok). 

I gravited initially to the Red Blok whose reminiscent Soviet theme had me hooked.
Actually to be honest, I also have a weakness for Mechs. Growing up watching all kinds of giant robots in anime will have that effect on you. And AT-43 has some good ones. Check out this beauty from my Red Blok collection. All I did was to dip all the minis in Army Painter to give it better shading and 'presto!'
Red Blok Molot
Inevitably, I'll be collecting the Dust minis but I can wait. I'm just a sucker for the ever increasing Weird War II genre that's creating a great variety for collecting and gaming. For now they're cost prohibitive but I'm confident that their prices will go down eventually. 
FCC Housemaster
Same goes for those MERCS figures. Have you seen em? Beautiful, drool-worthy stuff and a must have for any sci-fi mini collector but hard to justify the cost since you're paying almost *GASP* $10 per UNPAINTED lead (I've checked alternate sites and they've gone done considerably since, i.e. $7.50)! For now they're confined to my ever growing wish list. Sigh...
Size comparison of MERCS and AT-43 Steel Trooper straight from the MERCS site.
I digress because I want to feature my latest project of repainting a recently acquired mech from the Operation Damocles Initiation Set (now discontinued). I got this idea and was inspired by a link on a TMP blog post:
Fire Toad in its original paint scheme straight outta the box. The 'Before' picture.
At any rate, I liked what this guy did so much that I decided to do the same. At first, I vaguely recognized the mech by its shape though was different. Then it struck me that he repainted it a monochrome color to match his infantry. Brilliant! It look so good that I had to give it a try. Making it monochrome got rid of the visual noise that made it a less believable mech (an oxymoron). For my version I gave it a different twist and made it more compatible for using on my WWW2 universe and Incursion board.

I snuck in the unfinished and repainted mech in an earlier post that you guys might remember.
Here's the 'After' picture. A few decals and what do you get? A new model!
I know I'm mixing German crosses, Mr. Grognard (Willy aka LTL Dad!). Who cares! It looks fine to me. Not to mention that this is sci-fi and WWW2 all rolled into one.

Performing support role with some of my Waffen SS (Black Tree Design).
Then picked these up at my local Toys R Us for about $2 a package. That's roughly $1 a model. My sole purpose for acquiring and repainting them and is using them as terrain for our game groups Sci-fi games.

Here are the 'soon to be' Maintenance Bots next to some AT-43 minis.

Coming up, the 'after' shots...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finally Crawling Out From a Mountain of Paperwork

Hi everyone! My sincere apologies for not posting anything these past few months. I know that I’ve been awfully remiss but ever since getting back from the Caribbean I've been consumed with the current work contract. Thankfully that's been completed and I will resume posting again.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Farm Animals

Animals are a necessary accoutrement to breath life to any wargame table. Mike had a whole bunch he acquired eons ago so I offered to paint 'em and use them to populate our soon-to-happen Viking campaign.

I need more sheep!
The black and white calf is a metal figure that came in a bag of animals I acquired at a train show.
The same goes for the black pig and white bull dog.
A nice village ripe for plundering!


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