Friday, 30 December 2016

Snowy wood

December has been busy with preparation & festivities, but I finally managed to get some hobby time in during my week off, after Christmas was over - here's my last post of 2016!  I was in the mood for something suitably wintry, so I've been blitzing through a rebase of my rarely-used 28mm Russian Civil War figures (you guessed it - for Crossfire, my new favourite rule set!).  Anyway, the figure rebasing is still in progress, but today I finished this wood.

The model coniferous trees are mounted on laser-cut ply bases from Fenris Games, which each have four 1p coins under all that texturing & flock, for nice hefty balance.  I 'winterised' the trees using coarse modelling paste & flock.  For ease of figure placement, I've made the trees separate from the base, which is what defines the extent of the wood for rules purposes.  This also means that I can swap other features (such as rocks) between bases for more variety of table layouts.  The dirt & snow flock is from Gale Force Nine.  I dry-brushed a little white paint over the dirt for a more aesthetically frosty look.  Fairly happy with how my snow is turning out, though I'm still experimenting.  I also have some 4Ground Snow, which looks fluffier & less granular than the GF9 flock - but it's very fine & floats everywhere (makes me concerned for potential lung problems from inhaling :-s).

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Imperial Guard squad (15mm-scale)

I've been wanting to try this for a while & I finally got round to it - I've long thought these Rebel Minis Earth Force Home Guard would make great 15mm-scale Imperial Guard!  I have painted this squad up in the same scheme as my official Imperial Guard figures.  I'm wondering what it would be like to play in the Warhammer 40,000 setting, but using Crossfire rules - in my mind it'd be more like a Dan Abnett action sequence (with a gritty sense of the believable amidst the hyperbolic silliness) than the (IMO) lacklustre official rules.

Using the same 'Crossfire moderns' tweaks as my Middle East forces, I decided to represent an Imperial Guard squad as a Squad Leader, two rifle fireteams (one with a flamer, which could give a Close Combat bonus, or perhaps count as 'SMG'), & a weapons team with a missile launcher (which could be 3D Firepower against infantry [frag], 4D against large creatures [krak], & a 'bazooka' shot against vehicles [krak]).

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Syrian ZSU-23-4 'Shilka'

Not to be out-gunned by their IDF opponents, my 1980s Syrian Army force have gained a 'Shilka' this week.  Like the M163 VADS, the ZSU-23-4 is a lightly-armoured mobile AA unit that kicks out a hellish rate of fire.  Again, in Crossfire rules terms, I'll give this 5D firepower against infantry.  This is a very nice 15mm-scale miniature from the QRF moderns range.  The quad autocannons were slightly fiddly to assemble (& I'll have to be fairly careful when handling during games), but the rest of the model is very straightforward to assemble (only 9 pieces total).

Sunday, 16 October 2016


This week I painted-up a support vehicle for my 15mm-scale IDF force - an M163 VADS (self-propelled Vulcan Air Defence System).  In the IDF's 1982 incursion into Lebanon, it was discovered that the M168 rotary autocannon on this vehicle didn't have the range to defend against the Syrian Gazelle helicopters that attacked from long-range with cutting-edge HOT missiles.  Consequently, the IDF tended to use their M163 VADS for clearing buildings of potential or identified ambushers.  In Crossfire rules terms, the vulcan cannon will have a horrific 5D firepower against infantry - however, being mounted on an M113 chassis, this unit is still very vulnerable to ATGM & RPG fire. The model is from the excellent Peter Pig AK47 range.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Middle East militia

Here are some more units for my 15mm-scale Middle East Crossfire collection.  Today I finished painting these two mobs of militia.  These are a mix of Peter Pig & Rebel Minis figures.  I head-swapped some of the miniatures to increase the number of keffiyeh-wearing fighters, using the very handy Peter Pig spare heads sprues.  I'll mostly be using these to represent 'armed rabble' type insurgents rather than the drilled PLO regular forces, who will be mostly wearing camouflage.  They could represent poor-quality fighters from a variety of the bewildering array of factions in the Lebanon war of the early '80s - Druze, Mourabitoun, Phalangists, or any of the disparate groups grouped under the 'PLO' umbrella.  If I branch-out into wargaming the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq invasion, they could even be used as insurgents for that.

There are two mobs here, one consists of a leader & two rifle fireteams, with one containing an RPG-7.  The other mob has a leader & only one rifle fireteam, plus a 75mm recoilless rifle team. In Crossfire rules terms, these will be Green troops, using a house rule for militia - unlike regular troops, they won't cause Kills on additional Suppression rolls, which means that while they may be able to Pin professional soldiers in place with weight of fire, they won't be able to finish their enemies off easily without charging into a close combat en masse.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

PLO snipers

Today I painted up another two tiny bases for my 1980s Arab-Israeli Wars collection - two PLO snipers. These are 15mm-scale figures from Peter Pig's AK47 range. Crossfire doesn't really require miniatures for snipers, as the rules treat them as special one-off attacks rather than true units.  However, I think it's nice to have them available as reminders of force composition, & for the limited time that they are on the table to indicate line-of-sight.

I painted the sniper with the Dragunov in 'Black September' camouflage, & the one with the M21 in a Palestinian copy of a Pakistani desert scheme, similar to the one worn by the Syrian AT commandos that I painted a while back.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Syrian Army weapon teams

A couple of very small additions to my 1980s Syrian Crossfire force - two weapon teams.  Here is a 60mm mortar & a DShK HMG, all 15mm-scale Peter Pig miniatures from the AK47 range.  The bases are laser-cut ply from Fenris Games.  These additional teams are useful for points-balancing opposing forces, & should complement the main fire base of the mech infantry platoon nicely.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Juvenile dinosaurs

At the weekend I spent an inordinate amount of time browsing the local gift shop for suitably-sized toy bugs & reptiles that could be used as monsters in my Lustria-themed Warhammer Quest set.  As it happened, I did pick up 'D12' very cheap lizards (plus 2 hatching from eggs), although once I got them home next to my Lizardmen, they proved a little large even for the usual 'giant' vermin.  However, I remembered that there are 3 sizes of spiders in the WQ Bestiary - Giant, Great (ridden by Forest Goblins), & Gigantic.  So I will deem the lizards (yet to be painted) as 'Great Lizards', & knock-up some appropriate stats (something between Giant Rat & Wolf threat level).

I  also found a couple of toy dinosaurs of superior sculpting & ready-painted quality - they were a bit pricier (£2 each) than the lizards (£4 for 14), but still a lot less that wargaming miniatures!  An Ankylosaurus (Basilodon in Warhammer terms), & a Tyranosaurus (Carnosaur in Warhammer terms).  These are manufactured in Germany by Schleich, & required little preparation - I scalpeled-off the manufacturing text on their bellies, & repainted there, before mounting on Ø40mm bases. I also neatened-up the eyes, & painted inside the Basilodon's mouth (even the roof of it's mouth is fully detailed!)

So now adventurers in my Lustrian dungeons may encounter these juvenile dinosaurs... Stats-wise, I'll cook up something at about Troll difficulty level for these I think.  Not sure if I should go as far as having them herded like Squigs, disturbed whilst nesting, or just standard Monster encounter rules.

The larger Schleich-manufactured dinosaurs that were in the shop were stunning quality sculpts & really well-painted for mass-produced items.  Maybe as my Lustria collection continues to grow, I might pick 1 or 2 up as Large Monsters...

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Saurus Temple Guard

I've spent far too much time on them for only four figures, but this weekend I finally finished painting these Saurus Temple Guard for Warhammer Quest.  The miniatures are the slightly older metal Temple Guard (they have been replaced by similar but all-plastic models since).  As part of my Lizardmen ebay haul, I picked up a pack of Temple Guard fetishes from the newer plastic kit, & used these to spice-up the shields a bit, adding tusks, jawbones, a shrunken head & so on, to further-emphasize the elite status of these Saurus.

The sculpts are nicely detailed, but a bit static in pose.  I like how they are slightly beefier & a lot more decorated than standard Saurus though.

In the semi-official stats for Temple Guard at the excellent Warhammer Quest Chronicles, these creatures are pretty damn nasty - worth 500 gold each for slaying.  For comparison, a basic Saurus is 150 gold, whilst a basic Orc is 55 gold!  So the adventurers in my Lustrian dungeons may not be encountering them anytime soon (or if they do, maybe only a single one as a boss!).

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.