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!

SITREP:

1930Z MUSORIAN FORCE ELEMENT DETECTED CROSSING MUS/AUS BORDER.

CONTACT LOST WITH FORWARD RECON ELEMENTS FOLLOWING DISPATCH OF FOLLOWING IMAGES.



LIKELY ELEMENTS OF MUSORIAN 4TH REPUBLIC GUARD.  

SF ELEMENTS MOBILISED TO CONDUCT INITIAL ASSESSMENTS AND SPOILING RAIDS.  MORE TO FOLLOW.
 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! :)

http://www.adfwga.com/

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.

Gunners:
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!


...no seriously, watch it... because I'm adding more pictures of the artillery ;)  Til later folks!








Friday, 30 September 2016

Modelling hiatus, but the nations keep building!

Hey all!

Just a quick post.  My chance to do any model painting for the next couple of months is going to be a little limited - I am actually having to pack up and move interstate very soon, so that will keep the hands busy for a little while but fear not!  Painting will occur once I know exactly WHERE it is I'm going! :)

As for thoughts, I have been thinking (as usual, a terrible idea and highly overrated ;) ) about the WHERE exactly I want my imagi-nations to be based.  I was having a bit of a struggle with my initial setup - the names just didn't seem to click with what I wanted to represent and I really didn't see a place that could 'correllate' without having to do something like dredge up the continent of Zealandia (yes, it's a real thing, New Zealand is actually made up of the mountain tops of said submerged continental plate!) and go from there.

Then I remembered - I have the perfect solution to this all along! 

I served with our military here in Australia for quite a few years, and throughout that time, we did exercises and training against imaginary armies from imaginary nations.  So instead, using some of these as a background, I decided to remake Australia.

So now, I have a whole bunch of different ideas for my nations.

As none of these are real, they pretty much used a random mish-mash of whatever the instructor needed them to use to get training outcomes... and as they do not use real world land regions, I can pretty much make up whatever I want with them.  Winner!

In the end I've decided to keep it mostly to Australia.  The reason being is quite simple.  It's my country, so I'll break it if I want to :P but more importantly Australia is actually MASSIVE.  You can literally fit all of the European nations into our landmass with room for probably another whole copy of all of those nations for good measure.

Our nation is roughly similar in size to the US, but with a population size that is about the same as Taiwan if that puts things into perspective - so let's just say there is plenty of room to spare! ;)

 
A (badly modified by myself! :) ) map of Queensland.
Tropicana and Legais are both on this map.
The country of Legais is basically the real world territory of the "Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday" region in Queensland - the backstory being that French from New Caledonia and Vanuatu 'brought out' the region from the local populace and under the feet of the British before the Crimean War.

Legais will be a nation in absolute turmoil - most of it being stirred up by the Kamarians and their Musorian 'masters'.

Tropicana (also called Tropikana, more to follow) has a Germanic background based around the German colonial empire expanding through New Guinea and into the top end.  Following World War One, rather than become an Australian holding, Tropicana instead opted to become its own nation.



It will be on cool terms with Legais due to WW2 history, with conflict only limited by the fact that Australian territory is between them.  Tropikana will be the equivalent of real world Poland post-communism, never entirely enthralled with being in 'the wrong camp' after WW2, but now starting to find its way.




The Arnhem Land, in my Australia it is its own country.





In the next case, I found the real world name and location of a region actually fitted in quite nicely with what I wanted - and so we now have the indigenous people's lands known as 'Arnhem Land' in the Northern Territory becoming a nation of its own accord.  In this case, I have made some modifications to the southern end where the 'border' will follow one of the real world highways up until a certain point.  They aren't shown in the map I have, but it gives you an idea of the kind of size I'll be looking at.

This land will be a place that is currently undergoing its own equivalent of the Rhodesian Bush Wars/ anti-apartheid conflict.



Kamaria actually takes a fair bite out of both Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and is part of the 'top cover' that makes up the original 'Capricornian Republic' bloc that used to exist in this timeline - more on that another time! :)


Kamaria will be the part of the Musorian-Kamarian alliance actively trying to rebuild the old 'Capricornian Bloc' - I tend to think of it kind of like Cuba back in the 60's, 70's and 80's and how it got stuck into Africa and the Carribean trying to ignite the spark for revolution to make a Carribean power bloc.


Finally there is Musoria, which calls it's part of Australia "New Holland" and wants to 'retake' the lands 'stolen' from their New Holland heritage - essentially the 'big bad' for my forces.  Musorian territory will consist of the Kimberley and Pilbara regions in Western Australia.


Musoria will take on a role of 'major regional player, international small fish in a pond of big fish' - kind of like East Germany back in the day - enough clout to forge its own path, but still working to other's drums as well.

I'll expand more into these different areas as I collect the models and fill their back stories.  I already have most of Legais' backstory and army ideas thought out - so I'll be sure to post that soon! 






Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Aussie Digger

"If I had to take hell, I would use the Australians to take it and the New Zealanders to hold it." -Erwin Rommel.
 
Well thankfully we're not going to have to take hell (I haven't yet found a DOOM-esque demon in 6mm) or hold it because I haven't got any Kiwi minis just yet... emphasis on "yet" ;)

However, if we have to take hell, we're halfway there - why?  Because I have some Aussie troops painted up and ready to get stuck in!

Here's my latest build for infantry - these guys were actually completed before the USMC troops, however that is only because I started these after putting the USMC on hiatus with the personal stuff that had to be resolved first.











I found the camo on these to be quite a challenge - AUSCAM is a very difficult camo to paint at this scale and like the Aussie armour you can make it either dark as a 'fresh' uniform, or use lighter colours to show a more 'used' set of cams.  The two examples here give an idea of just how much difference you can have between any sets!  I should also know as I have my own gear as part of my issue.

We also have some more 'American' style cams for our more specialised troops - such as in the image with the USMC guys, where I assume that 'Old Mate' in the middle of the image is probably an operator of some type.

In the end, I decided to 'honour' the look after a few test models using "German Camo Beige" as the basis... instead, I went with "Khaki" from Vallejo as my base paint - to give the idea of the multiple green blots (often called "Bunnies and Hearts" because of the way the camo dots are shaped) and did some light dotting of Mahogany Brown and Black-Grey in a few select areas of the miniatures.

Some of the minis also have 'Russian Uniform' green helmets - our helmets themselves are a dark green similar in tone, so I did a few troops with that for mixture.
















The second group shown below includes the very first test mini I did... he's the poor sod who looks like he fell over in mud - that... well, story behind that.  You see, when I was testing the cam design, I accidentally smeared a whole brush of Mahogany Brown over him when I finished... once I had got over my initial 'have a small hissy fit about crapping on the work I just did', I looked at the brighter side and decided to have it tell said story.

They are meant to be fighting in a muddy area, so it would not surprise me if one or two of them had a tumble!

So, I let my inner Bob Ross out, and came out with a reasonable recovery ;)

Thank you Bob Ross - you are one of my many Spirit animals.
Others include Chuck Norris, Honey Badgers as an entire species; and the entire "Death-continent" that is Australia.













This is what they look like at 'Gaming Height'
The models I used come from the following two packs produced by GHQ:
GHQ French modern infantry - http://www.ghqmodels.com/store/n562.html
and
GHQ US Modern Infantry 2001-2014 - http://www.ghqmodels.com/store/n570.html

I have only one real gripe with both of these packs - so GHQ, if you're listening... "Why do you have to add so many machine guns and sniper rifles to your basic riflemen packs?"

Seriously, my French have more sharpshooters than there probably are in a whole French Divison and my US soldiers are using LMGs and Laser Designators as their standard issue weapons haha!  (Seriously though, an extra rifleman pose in each would be a blessing even if it meant a reduction in number of Laser Designators/ Snipers) 

Anyway, I did the best with what I had, and managed to get about six sets of troops, plus spares for weapons teams, so I'm not complaining too much - although an extra pose of rifleman or two would be a nice addition.


Finally, some people have been asking what I use to make my models - as my painting has been deemed "Not bad out of ten" by the community.

So folks, I present to you what I use! Oddly enough, while I think GW's models are okay - but wildly overpriced for what you get... there CITADEL gear, back in the day, was worth every overpriced cent!

The Citadel pliers are beasts, and I have never had any issue with them.  The Citadel brushes are also, hands down, my absolute favourite for painting as they are just so flexible with what I can do with them (and I treat them pretty roughly, so they can take a beating!)

The Army Painter masterclass fine tip brush you see is a replacement for my GW one, as when it died it's replacement was a stupidly high priced amount... I kind of need my other kidney still, so I couldn't afford to pawn it off, but the Army Painter brush is working brilliantly as well.

I also use Jeweller's files of different head types, and good old toothpicks for mixing paints/ testing colours.

Finally, I do not use anything fancy to hold my models, just my good old fingers... which have seen more than their fair share of superglue, paint and assorted scrap metal pieces.  I find the ability to be so close to the brush helps me to judge just how hard I am pressing a brush into the model, allowing me to better judge what kind of force I need.

Hope you find it useful!