Sunday, 3 December 2017

First 6mm games! (FistFul Of TOWS (FFOT) 3 gameplay)

So today my mate Ben and I had our first game of Fistful of TOWS 3; we only used the basic rules for this game as it was our first foray into the field, so our ruleset was relatively simple.  Nonetheless, the game was very enjoyable and we managed to get two games in with increasing complexity.

Although I did win both battles, I would say that it was simply the luck of the dice in the end!  I believe that the first battle was a little lopsided though; the NATO tanks were surprisingly resilient against the Warsaw Pact gunfire, and up to the end still provided a considerable threat.  I feel that maybe another two or three stands would have equalled out the first battle easily.

The second battle I feel may have done with an extra stand or two; however I think that a slightly more aggressive approach would have won out, Ben was a bit cautious of the Abrams tanks on overwatch; perhaps a little moreso than needed.  Conversely I probably would have lost more units in a faster turn of events by rushing forward if I were at the helm!

All in all, we both came away from it feeling that the battles were VERY close calls either way; and we are already planning for our next battles to come!

So without further ado; here is the stories of the battles today!

GAME 1: Armoured skirmish.
Ben - Musorian tank section (using Warsaw Pact tank rules in FFOT III basic rules)
Nathan - Australian tank sectio (using NATO tank rules in FFOT III basic rules)

Turn 1:
"Command had mentioned that there were potentially up to six enemy armoured vehicles that had breached the DMZ.  The crisis along the borderline had escalated rapidly in the last few weeks, with the Musorian coup a few months back, the Musorian military had become more blase' in their aggression, so much so that it was almost as if they were actually looking for a war.
 Moving forward, the first Abrams suddenly halted, spun in position and let loose with its main gun against a threat outside of the view of the command team.  Moments later the Musorians responded in kind; and a shell struck the vehicle square in the turret ring, delivering a killing blow to the Abrams as the crew abandoned the vehicle and leapt into the relative safety of the nearby canefield.


Musorian armoured forces roll into the AO.

First blood to the Musorians!

Fighting from there on was fierce, the Musorians, led by the Brave Comrade Ben, pushed forward rapidly against the NATO tanks.  Unfortunately for them, the terrain suited the defender in this case and they funnelled directly through a small causeway into open terrain.

Firing against a foe with better skill and concealed, the outcome should have been a whitewash...

The enemy armour had chosen their position wisely, despite the fact that two of the Capitalists were now burning, there were even more of his own tanks from his unit with their own funeral pyres ablaze...

"Do not stop!  Keep moving!  Keep firing!  If we stop we will die like the others!" he yelled to his driver, the gunner, one of the better ones from the unit, quietly praised the fact that the stabiliser on this tank worked as the vehicle careened off the road and across a recently plowed field.  Lining up the capitalist tank in his sights he depressed the trigger; a loud BOOM filled his ears and acrid smoke from the shell filled his lungs, but he still managed a yelp of excitement when the round struck and seemed to disappear into the tank before them!  He'd done it!  He had destroyed another Capitalist ta-

He never felt the response from the final tank in the formation as the shot was returned in kind and detonated the ammunition store in the bottom of the tank...

Instead, it turned into a absolute last second knifefight!  Enough tanks survived the run across the field to give me a scare, but through sheer good luck, my last tank pulled through and took out both remaining enemy vehicles!

 The final tank wound down its engines and the commander of the vehicle opened his hatch.  The last two enemy vehicles had essentially been engaged within a few metres.  Their shells had missed in the flurry of the moment, and it was as much luck as it was skill that the rounds from their cannon had connected and struck true.

The scene before him was a hellscape, the ambush point; a small break in the fields with a service road, was littered with wrecked enemy tanks, as was the field before him.  Besides him he saw the remaining crew tending to the injured from their vehicles.  Medivac was on the way already; but this was a victory that was hollow in every sense.

Monday, 27 November 2017

We watch the lightning, crack over the *very cheaply made* cane fields and often think that this is Australia!

...kudos to anyone who gets the song reference in the title! ;)

Anyway, this post is a very quick one again about some area terrain I made today.  If you have seen my posts in the 6mm Facebook pages, then this info will be nothing new - but for anyone else, keep on reading!

So being an Aussie on our coastline, a lot of the area up North has Sugar Cane fields... so I was hoping to make a rendition of those as area terrain for some of my battles.  My first attempt was to paint the paint brush bristles in an old brush a deep green, cover them in PVC glue, let dry, then cut and glue to a base.

It... well... it looks better as Elephant Grass/a slosh-pit of greenery haha! Still useful but definitely not the effect I wanted - and much too much work for the result.

Left and above are my original attempt at long grass... "Kind of" works, but I feel I'd be better suited putting some water effects around the base and making it into a swamp!

So I went to my local Bunnings store and found the perfect solution... a Coir floormat on the cheap, and a tin of green paint. Five minutes of brushing on return home, and the results match the best examples I have seen online where they make each canestalk seperately!

These coir floor mats would make great cornfields (green on the bottom with a flecking of yellow over the top ends) burnt cane using a black/grey paint, or wheat with a dash of brown thrown over them...
A much, MUCH better version.  Some earth coloration to the sides of the matt and it will pretty much sort itself out!

You could even do the elephant grass through painting the whole lot a darker green hue than mine.

Eventually I will cut out segments to act as fields, maybe even dig a few patches out and place some paintbrush bristles in there with a wrecked aircraft... maybe a downed helo perhaps???

Sunday, 26 November 2017

It's been a long time coming...

M113's being painted up!

...but I am finally back!

The last year has been a bit of a wild ride for me, in the ups and downs of life there has been more "down" than "up" in this case.  However; on the bright side my new study as a Pharmacy student is very enjoyable and I hope I have sorted everything for the first year!

Miniature wise, painting took a solid back seat to getting my head back into the study space, so not as much model work has been done this year than I wanted.  Also still looking for employment here means I have to obviously prioritise the time I have with that over more enjoyable activities!  Nonetheless, I have still managed to do some work up here on the models, and got back into it today!

I have started painting more of my 'Army of Legais' forces.  Legais is another fake nation used in training by the Australian army, a lot of their kit is essentially the Australian Army in Vietnam - so older era Centurion tanks, M113s and a few basic armoured cars.

I updated these designs by incorporating some updated M113's (similar to the Danish PNMK upgrade - a turret with an autocannon on a M113 chassis), upgrading the Centurions to be South African Olifant tanks, and have also included some South African G6 artillery.

This is only a quick update, I will give a more detailed painting guide once I finish this batch! :)
An Olifant halfway through painting, and two already completed!
A more side-on view of the completed models.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Back into it, finally!

Hi everyone!

It's been a while, but I am still around.  A lot has happened in the last few months, I left my old job due to injury, had to move interstate and am now beginning a new career in the medical industry... that means going back to university to study up on the latest and greatest - however, that also means school breaks... which in turn means plenty of time for doing the hobby!

I haven't been quiet in the time in between though.  I have completed most of the original Musorian force I made, with plans to flesh out the infantry in the near future.

A lot of what I have been doing has been "conversions", a lot of test-and-adjust to make the forces I want to display in my imaginary force structures of my equally imaginary armies.  A big part of this has been my desire to keep away from having everyone look the same and have some unique forces on my table.

With that in mind, my conversions have been going through the roof!  Everything is based off reality, so the vehicles you see in the pictures below have some basis in reality... the closest I have to genuine 'imaginary' units is the US Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle that I developed, purely because I suspect that something like that will eventually be made.

So without further ado, here are some shots of what I have been up to :)

 First cab off the rank is my two Kamarian army models.  I am not 100% happy with the camo pattern, and these two may yet get a trip to the painters as I build their cousins.

Kamaria will have a hodgepodge of kit, utilising North Korean gear in the form of Cho'n Ma-Ho tanks *GHQ T-62A's, they are pretty much one in the same* and some other kit, Soviet era Czech republic designs like the OT-90, OT-64 and OT-62, some older Soviet gear like T-34's, T-55's, BMP-1's and BTR-40's and Chinese kit for the more modern equivalent.
OT-90 APC *GHQ BTR-80 turret on BMP-1 chassis
Type 86G APC *BMP-1 ATGM and chassis, VBCI turret

 Musorian Army models, in these two shots we have the mobile heavy artillery for the Musorian Republican Guard - the GCT 155mm cannon; and their supporting VCI light APCs, used as artillery ammunition vehicles.

 T-72M TURMS upgrades, these are slightly modified GHQ T-72 Indian pattern tanks. 

To the left, T-55MV tanks and EE-11 Urutu wheeled APCs.  To the right, modified GHQ T-55a tanks carrying CinC miniatures SA-2 missiles and FAN SONG E target tracking radars.  This is based off a real world conversion by the Cuban army.

Below we have some semi-realistic and the only 'fake' vehicle made - the US Airborne light tank; my version being a development of the current BAE systems Expeditionary Light Tank design.  The APC is a variant I made up, it has a Bradley turret as fitted on the GHQ "EIFV" tank - that chassis I am using for something else :)   Finally, I have another photo of the Cuban designed SA-2 missile system and TTR complex.  I think it is a real nice centrepiece for my Musorian Air Defence Corps and will double as a solid objective for SF raids!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Musorians on the Move!





 Hi everyone!
Well, I am finally getting back from being on hiatus again - although 'hiatus' is a strong word to use in this instance, as I have been quite busy with painting up my models.  Since last report I have actually completed a full Australian Special Forces troop section; a small USMC raiding force - and a majority of a Musorian strike element as shown below!  These models have even had the opportunity to be put on display and shown to the public here up North in Townsville, so with luck I will begin to stimulate some interest in the 6mm community up here.  

 For the models, I decided to base this particular force around the concept of the Musorians being more or less a "not Syrian/not Iraq pre-Gulf War" group - they are the big players in the region, but not so big that they would be willing to operate alone... there will eventually be a Russian element within the Musorian forces, much like there will eventually be a Chinese element within my Kamarians.
The left image shows the main armour used by the Musorian Republic Guard - the T-72M TURMS.  I had the idea to do some slight modification to a GHQ T-72M (India) pattern after looking at 'TACOBAT's efforts on doing the same thing *here's the link* on his Modern Warfare blog, I was suitably amped up to make my own.  However; as they are supposed to be in Australia, I wanted them to look a little different... and so I went with a Hull Red with German Camo Dark Green and Khaki 'dabbing' to give the look of a dedicated camo scheme.

On the table, they look amazing!  The ERA blocks were painted sand yellow for the purposes of 'breaking up' the model.  I like my units to have something that distinctly breaks the model into segments, be it the weapon barrel or some other distinguishing feature... it helps to make the board visually appealing to passerbys as well.

 Next to be painted were my T-55MV's and EE-11 Urutu's - they will be utilised in support of the infantry and there will eventually be a dedicated T-55 unit supporting the T-72s.  The use of Explosive Reactive Armour in Musorian use will be dedicated only to the Musorian Republican Guard units... 'normal' units will have T-55Ms, T-62s, T-72s of various build without ERA; and some T-90s.  The T-90s *the Indian GHQ variant* are the exception to the rule and are molded with the latest Russian KONTAKT ERA - in setting they are like the real-world sale of T-90 tanks to the Syrians, being used to fill a gap that existed between capabilities and necessities.

The non-Russian elements of my Musorian Republican Guard; the EE-11s, GCT Self Propelled Guns, and AMX-VCIs, will eventually be supported by EE-9 Cascavel recon vehicles and some more AMX-VCIs.  I enjoy having some mixture in the army; as the Republican Guard of Iraq also utilised such unusual combinations - a lot of Arabian armies seem to have more equipment purchased as real world examples of "rule of cool" than any actual desire to maintain logistics or maintenance commonality - so why should my forces be any different?  :)

I particuarly like how the GCT howizters and the VCI's finished up, I think they are the best examples of the painting style in the army to date!

This is the majority of the vehicles for my Musorian Republic Guard element - however I still need to finish a troop of BMP-2 IFVs, some EE-9 Cascavel heavy recon vehicles and some air defence in the form of some ZSU-23/4's which will likely be fitted without their radars so they can work as heavy fire support vehicles for the army - after all, if four 23mm cannons can't get rid of the threat, then you probably should have brought along a different tank! :)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Getting back into the groove!

G'day everyone!

Well I am not entirely back on deck yet, but close!  I will have some stuff painted and ready for presentation in a few days :)

I am now on a bit of a timeline actually, I recently moved to sunny North Queensland and am going to be involved in HEROCON 2016 in Townsville.  With luck I will be able to have some 6mm armies and terrain there, my intent is to display 6mm to hopefully convince people to get involved in the smaller scale around Queensland. 

The new painting space, now with Australians! :)

It is all part of my wicked scheme *insert maniacal laughter here, so basically insert my normal laughter!* to get more people involved so that we can have some 6mm games up and running for CANCON 2018. 

I believe 6mm has the potential to really kick off with the solid mix of scale and cost - whilst I am a GHQ aficionado, Heroic and Ros in particular is really stepping up to the ball with their sculpts, and although I am yet to see pictures of them with detail, I am told that latest VDV and British 1980's sculpts are quite amazing in the 1/300 scale.

For now though, a pretty good combination for "Team Yankee" US troops in 6mm is the GHQ Vietnam range and the US Modern range... it could be used to display the 'transition' period between M16A1/A2, Fritz helmets and what-not that I presume occurred around the 1980's... just a little bit before my time in the services!

Here's the shot, the Vietnam range has its troops standing tall, whereas the US Modern riflemen are all in a more 'tactical' running movement, hence the slightly smaller look.  The Stinger missile comes from the US Modern Heavy Weapons set, and is a good comparison to show the 'standing height' is fine for the models.

Anyhow, it has been quite a hectic time for me, and the dust still hasn't quite settled yet... so the next photos may well be after the upcoming HEROCON event.  For any Aussies or 'last minute' internationals who may be interested, here's a link to the ADF Wargaming Association page - they are the ones looking after this event.  Great guys and supporting a great cause - being both a recent ex-serving member and a wargamer with the group myself, I of course have vested interest in convincing more people to attend! :)

Anyway, hope you're all kicking goals out there!  Til next time!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Parting shots... (for a few weeks anyway!)

Hello all!

Well, the pack of the place is almost finished (he says as he looks around at a nearly fully assembled study still... ssshhhhh, don't ruin the mood with fact now! ;) ) and with the move away happening soon I thought I'd get one final sneaky bit of painting in.

Although my Aussies will have a number of imaginary elements in the future, I wanted to make sure I still had the basis of the 'true' Aussie army under the make-believe equipment I'll add to it.  Part of that includes the very nice M-777 artillery piece.  Purchased a few years back during a program that originally called for a mix of towed and self-propelled guns to replace our old M198 155mm and M119/ L118 'Hamel' 105mm artillery pieces.  Eventually the self-propelled contract fell through, so we brought more M-777s... that will be a story (and models :) ) for another day.

For now though, I have my first two M-777's to show you...

 Aussie M-777's, from what I have seen, remain mostly in the dark green colour shade that they are used with in US Service - the picture below shows them off in reality - credit to a Mr. M Barritt for the awesome shot, no idea who you are but it was a very helpful photo!

Anyway, for my models I tossed and turned between Vallejo's German Camo Dark Green and Luftwaffe Camo Green.  Eventually, I settled on the Luftwaffe Camo green - as it gave me just a tiny bit of brightness, which is inherently needed at such a small scale to help pick out differences.  There is also the rather distinct silvered/chromed element of the barrel... I used a Vallejo Gunmetal Grey colour, as it gave me just the right tinge of colour.

Camo netting:
Some of you are most likely wondering what I used for the 'camo netting' as well - all that is, is a regular piece of first-aid bandage that has been snipped to size, given a thorough thrashing through some 'camo' style paint colours (in these cases a base of Mahogany Brown and Khaki respectively) and then given random markings with Green Grey, Black Grey, Russian Uniform and Khaki to make 'camo' patterns.  The support struts are four staples that have were first bent straight, then cut in half to give me eight struts in total - four for each base.

The gunners come from GHQ's WW2 US Artillery crewmen-summer range, a few models had 'undershirts' on, whilst others were shirtless.  The shirtless blokes are painted in some 'flesh paint' mix I made a long time ago in my 40k painting days... so no idea what that is... and I used a random brown for the undershirts (we usually have brown undershirts in the Aussie services).

The pants are all camo painted, but it is a bit harder to see here.

Anyhow - that's my painting done for the next few weeks... have to obviously load everything up, get to where I am going next and then unpack and sort it all out!  :)  It will take a little bit, but give it another few weeks and you'll see another progress report soon.

My goals for next time are to figure out how to make a 'Carl Gustav' recoilless rifle using GHQ figures... I THINK I have a plan for this... but trial is needed... watch this space! seriously, watch it... because I'm adding more pictures of the artillery ;)  Til later folks!