Monday, 22 August 2016

Repainted hills

I've been having a busy summer, so haven't done much wargaming stuff lately - however, last week I repainted two of my older Middle East hills to make them match my more recent scenery for 15mm-scale Crossfire.  I also took the opportunity to add some new clump foliage, static grass & small flock plants.  These hills are made from foamboard sheets mounted on jigsaw-cut plywood bases. I textured them with paint thickener (ready-mixed filler) & sand.  Pictured here with a stand of my 1980s Syrian Army for scale:

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Syrian Army platoon

Over the past few weeks I've put together & painted-up this 1980s Syrian Army mechanised infantry platoon for 15mm-scale Crossfire.   The figures are all from Peter Pig's AK47 range.  It was a nice & straightforward paint scheme, no fancy camo, but I'm pleased with how these turned out.  They should complement my Syrian AT commandos nicely.  This platoon consists of three squads of two fireteams, with one squad led by the Platoon Leader.  There are two RPGs in the HQ squad, & one RPG in each of the other squads. I plan to green stuff a radio pack on the man next to the PC, & add a little wire aerial.  Next to work on are the three BTR-60PBs that will transport this platoon - these will have the jazzy blue-grey & dark green on biege camo seen on many Syrian APCs at the time.

My favourite figure in this platoon is the leader of Squad 1, wearing a field cap.  He just looks like a bit of a grizzled veteran leading his largely inexperienced (& possibly conscripted) soldiers.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Fortification Package

Back to the Middle East, with this 'Fortification Package' for 15mm-scale Crossfire In Crossfire, the Defending player has the option to take Fortification Packages, with the standard package being 1 Bunker/Hardpoint, 3 sections of Wire, & 1 section of Minefield.  The Bunker/Hardpoint is described as being able to hold 1-4 bases of infantry (I've made mine to hold 4 fireteams).  As you'd expect, the Wire slows down or even waylays infantry; whilst the Minefield can be used as a deadly obstacle between other terrain Features, or within a Feature to designate the whole Feature as mined.  The Minefield is also 'fun' as it is deployed Hidden...

I made the large bunker a few years ago, & will probably make a couple more smaller ones.  I'm considering alternate Barricades & IED options for my PLO force, who (like the Japanese in the original Crossfire rules) will get 2 Bunkers, 2 Wire, & 1 Minefield in their standard package.
I made the bases by joining two of the 50x25mm pill bases together (I am counting my smaller Ø25 bases as the 'standard base size' for rules purposes, meaning that these strips fit the rules definition of 4x1 bases area).  The 'razor wire' coils are florist wire from a craft shop, twisted around a pencil, & painted gunmetal silver.  The Wire posts are sections of cocktail stick; whilst I used sections of matchsticks for the Minefield markers.  The bases are textured using paint thickener & sand, & decorated with a few tiny bits of Gale Force 9 flock & static grass.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Saurus Warriors

The last month or so has been very busy for me, so I've hardly done any miniatures stuff.  However, I have finished these 'D6' Lizardmen Saurus Warriors for my Lustria-themed Warhammer Quest set.  They had the same painting approach as the Saurus with spears that I put together recently, including altering the necks to reposition some of the heads in more dynamic poses.  There's also a bit more variety in this unit thanks to their selection of exotic Mesoamerica-inspired hand weapons.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Skink Champion & Kroxigor

This week I put together & painted a Skink Champion & a Kroxigor for my fledgling Lustria-themed Warhammer Quest set.  The Skink Champion is a simple build using a basic plastic Skink (the most decorated one, with the big crest), with shoulder pads from the Saurus Warrior sprue, & a glyph from the Temple Guard sprue on his shield.  I painted the shoulder pads as hardwood gilded with gold, rather than solid gold, reasoning that the weight would probably be too much for a diminutive Skink.  The Kroxigor is one of the older metal models, but the overall look still matches the newer plastic Lizardmen.

I still have a large ebay haul of Lizardmen sprues & pieces to build the core of my Lustria collection, as well as some large beasties.  Need to get hold of some miniatures for the various vermin (giant spiders etc).  I'm trying to focus on these before moving onto the Empire & zombie parts that I have to build some zombie pirates & zombie conquistadors; so that I can run a Lizardmen & general nasties dungeon, without the oddity of having zombies wandering around in the same chambers.  Other expansions that fit the Lustria fluff include the Skaven of Clan Pestilens, Dark Elf raiders, & even Norse!  But I am successfully staying focused on the Lizardmen so far...  I am really enjoying the bright palette & fun jungle bases as a change from brooding grimdark Warhammer 40,000 figures & drab moderns for Crossfire.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Gigantic scorpion

Today I finished the first Large Monster for my Lustria-themed Warhammer Quest set - a gigantic scorpion.  This is a very old Games Workshop model that I picked up a few years ago in a clearance sale for £3.50 - direct from GW Online of all places!  The sculpting is a bit clunky & old-school, but it has a lot of character, & was certainly good value for money.  A scorpion body should really be elongated, & the tail much longer for effective striking, but this does the job for dungeoneering.  I based the colour scheme on a Mexican scorpion that I liked the look of - I wanted something more earthy to offset against my brightly-hued Lizardmen.

Following the size logic of giant & gigantic spiders in Warhammer Quest, I'm going to call this a gigantic scorpion, & count it as a Large Monster, because it required a Ø60mm base (2x2 dungeon squares).  It will probably need a few Wounds added to it's profile to account for being potentially open to more Warriors attacking it at once, & a slightly higher Gold value as a reward for defeating it.

Below are various photos of the finished model, including one with a Saurus Warrior for scale, & one of the base before affixing the model (click on an image for an enlarged view).

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Saurus Warriors with spears

Continuing with the creation of a Lustria-themed set of Monsters for Warhammer Quest, this week I painted 'D6' Saurus Warriors with spears.  The spears grant them the ability 'Fight in Ranks' (attack from 2 squares away).  Following-on from my first Skinks, I really enjoyed painting these Lizardmen in the same scheme - the colours are fun, (scarlet & turquoise are my favourite colours), as are all the Aztec-like details on these effectively sentient dinosaurs.

These newer GW Saurus figures are nice, with enough variety on the sprues to make each one individual, although the available poses are much more limited than for the Skinks.  This makes sense, as Skinks are intelligent & quick, wheras Saurus are slow-witted; but I decided to carve into the necks of two, to enable simple repositioning of their heads in more interesting angles.  It was a really easy change, but I think it's effective at making them a little more dynamic.  I've picked up some packs of Temple Guard bits (shrunken heads, jawbones, tusks, spikes, golden tags, & other fetishes) for personalising my Lizardmen further, but I will save these for making some Scar-Veterans out of the basic Saurus first, & a few leftover bits may get added to the lower-ranking Warriors later.

As recommended, I painted the shields separately, & noticed that the Saurus look quite good without them too.  This has given me the idea to put together six more, but with obsidian knives made from the spear tips, & no shields.  I'd slice-off the gilt spike on the back of the head-shield, & probably file-down the spine spikes too, & call them 'New-Spawns' - freshly-spawned Saurus with worse stats than the baseline Warriors.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

IDF Merkava Mk 1 MBTs

At the weekend I painted up this pair of Merkava Mk 1s for my 15mm-scale Crossfire IDF force.  Putting aside issues of politics & ethics, the Merkava (Hebrew for 'Chariot') series are my favourite tanks, mostly because of their unusual 'futuristic' look that came about from clever design intent (e.g. the low profile, & added crew survivability from having the engine block at the front).  These ones feature the stowage cages on the rear of the turrets, that in reality were fitted with short dangling chains to prematurely detonate RPGs aimed at the rear of turret ring.  They are even capable of cramming a few soldiers in the rear via a large hatch, although in reality this was mainly used for casualty evac under fire, & required removing a portion of the stored shells.  After the 1982 IDF invasion of Lebanon, Merkavas began to be developed further, with things such as their 60mm mortar being made operable internally (always a good idea!), & having a paraxial .50cal HMG mounted atop the main gun.

These 7.5cm-long models are from QRF, whilst the commander figure is from Peter Pig. They are nicely detailed, especially for 15mm-scale, & my only criticism is that they are slightly lacking in height compared with the real tanks, although this is only evident when infantry figures are placed next to them.  I have left the hatch MGs off for now as the QRF weapon scale is quite 'true-scale' compared to the chunkier, wargame-friendly Peter Pig MGs that feature in most of my collection.  I'm hoping I will be able to source some of the MAG MGs as seen on my M113s to attach in the pin-holes on the turret tops, so there's a uniform look to my IDF.