The Stix Brothers

I’ve managed a fair bit of painting recently, mostly working on WW2 US that I will be able to field for either Konflikt 47 (with a jump walker) or Bolt Action (with a Sherman). However, I haven’t managed to finish anything. With a goal of at least finishing something, I have done a quick job on three simple, but very nice miniatures from Warlord Games, The Stix Brothers.

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My faces are terrible, something to work on (it’s my painting, not the minis), but with the wide brim you can’t see that part while you’re playing ­čśë

They are from a new game, Strontium Dog, based on the 2000 AD characters. Warlord Games have acquired the license for the whole 2000 AD universe, so this is just the first of many titles to come that will use variations of a new game system. I have now listened to one whole podcast about Strontium Dog, so I’m in no position to comment, other than it sounds (and looks) pretty cool. While many fans will be looking forward to a new incarnation of everyone’s favourite fascist, Joseph Dredd, I’m holding out for Slain and Rouge Trooper.

The miniatures are not particularly cheap, but they are not outrageous either, especially from the world of licensed-figures. And my-oh-my Toto, the figures are very nice, a real pleasure to paint.

Now back to the paint station.

 

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Berlin Express

I’m near completion on a half-track for my US, because you can’t expect the poor bloody infantry to walk all the way to Berlin. The near term goal is to have a 1200 point list ready for a Bolt Action tournament in August, and this is a useful step towards that. Ultimately, this will be part of Konflikt 47 list that includes a jump-walker and jump-troops.

 

The model is a plastic half track from Warlord Games. I think it has turned out OK. I have gone for a little less weathering and aimed to reflect a dusty summer over more muddy months.

This baby can count as my entry to Azazel‘s Jewel in July blog challenge.

See you on the battlefield.

D.

 

Little Mehmet

Mehmet├žik- Little Mehmet was an affectionate nickname Turkish people used to refer to their soldiers during the first world war. Analogous to Digger for the Australian or New Zealand soldiers at the time. When the Soviet forces massed on the Georgian border in 1947 (at least, according to Clockwork Goblin in the world of Konflikt 47), Turkish citizens once again looked to┬áMehmet├žik to defend their homeland.

Konflikt 47 and its close cousin Bolt Action is at heart a game of infantry combat. So representing Turkish soldiers will be key to making my home brew K-47 Turkish force a success.

My view is that elite units will have been trained and armed by German liaison units. Modelling wise, using Germans as the base will be the easiest way to reflect this, which is lucky because I have a K-47 starter box in the cupboard, so I think it is time to bust it out.

37500263_2114720725442388_4834906562701033472_nAn obvious thing to do would be to add fezzes. While this might be fun, I also think it could be quite anachronistic as fezzes became to be seen as a symbol of the Ottoman empire and in 1925 were even banned! However, the ban was for the iconic red hat, which the military never really wore. Fezzes were worn, but they tended to be khaki or black. They also came in a startling array of shapes, although this might be because of the ad hoc nature of the Republican army in the early 1920s.

Anyway, all of this gives me a lot of room for artistic license for my fictional  Turkish army, which is good because I friend gave me bag full of Handschar heads (from the Warlord SS plastic set) that I will be able to use. I think officers and maybe NCO can have the more formal fezzes.

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I also have some metal world war one Turks about somewhere. I think these older uniforms will be able to be put to use as second line, garrison troops.

Turkey was involved in the lend lease program. I see no reason in K-47 to overlook this, as both sides courted Turkey,. No British or US tanks were purchased under the scheme (there will be more on Turkish armour in a future post), but they did receive among other items British style helmets. A mix of tommy-dishes might be another way to distinguish the regular and in-experienced troops.

My last thought is that cavalry should be included somehow, and I reckon this box of Perry American civil war cavalry might be just the thing (along with some Warlord second world war bits yet to be determined).

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So, just a lot of ideas today. But I wanted to share some of my thinking.

D.

The cruel weird war in Anatolia

While I have been working on a small US force for Konflikt 47 (and Bolt Action), I have simultaneously thinking about how to represent Turkey within the game. In the 1947 history created by Clockwork Goblin, Turkey joins the Axis powers and is subsequently invaded by the Soviet Union. German troops are deployed to eastern Turkey, but there is not much information about this front and nothing has been published on how to field a Turkish force.

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Here is the beginning of my home-brew list:

Turkey was not a willing entrant into the Second World War. When the threat from the Soviet Union and parsimony of the western Allies finally pushed the government of Inonu into declaring for the Axis, the Turkish military was far from prepared.

While the cadre of the army was built around a professional officer class, including some with experience from the first world war and war of liberation, much of their equipment was hopelessly out of date and inadequate. Training was also often outdated, a situation that is being rectified by the presence of German observers and training units. Consequently, the quality of Turkish forces varies widely, from unmotivated garrison troops to elite Republican Guard battalions.

Germany is only selectively willing to provide rift technology to their new ally. However, the threat posed by the Soviet Union from Georgia has seen Germany send an expeditionary force, Operation Red Hat (Unternehmen roter Hut), into eastern Anatolia to bolster the Turkish land forces. This force is currently small and so far, has been used as a mobile reserve, leaving Turkish units to defend the front line.

There are several useful pieces to build a plausible Turkish Army. The Bulgarian and Romanian army lists in Armies of Italy and Axis have lists are a good inspiration, with local troops and older hardware supplemented by German weapons and vehicles. Both nations also have cavalry. All of this feels like a Turkish army would be similar.

From the Konflikt 47 supplements, Resurgence and the new Defiance, there are Finland, and two Italian lists. More inspiration. Each shows different ways to create interesting armies from belligerent nations without direct access to rift-tech.

I have also done a little reading about the Turkish military, particularly the post-Ottoman Turkish army after the first world war. There is not much about in English, so it didn’t take very long. The achievements of the new Turkish Republic in 1919-1922 are impressive. This conflict is of particular interest as it took place in Turkey (similar to the Konflikt 47 invasion story), and covers the period of the demise of the Ottoman empire and the beginnings of the modern Turkish Republic.

There is a lot to come on Turkey in K47: list creation, list building, and perhaps the most fun of all, modelling. I figure my blog is a good as place as any to record some this.

I’d better get to work.

 

If you go into the woods today

This last Sunday saw Operation Bear, the largest Bolt Action tournament held in Melbourne so far. Thirty players assembled at Good Games┬áfor a cracking day of gaming. The hook of the day was 1,111 points using a single reinforced platoon (and no theater selectors) extended to allow one additional 0-1 choice provided nothing was repeated. So, you couldn’t take two Panzer III, but you could, for example, take a Tiger I and a Wirblewind. A silly example, of course, because that is almost 600 points, more than half of your budget.

So, of course, that’s what I did.

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There is a theme to the list. After the fall of Monte Cassino and the breakout from ANZIO, the 508 Heavy Panzer Battalion was used in penny-packets in support of 10th Army as they retreated to new defensive positions north of Rome. My force contained Heer Grenadiers, a unit of Fallschirmjager and a Tiger I accompanied by its anti-air asset, a Wirblewind.
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This is somewhat of fudge, since while Tigers were often defended by flak units, I don’t think Wirblewinds were deployed in Italy, or even available in June/July 1944. But I’ve got the model and I had never deployed it before.

It was a fun day. There were three games, two with objectives and one for kill points.
I feel this mix is pretty much optimal for three-game tournaments and encourages a more balanced approach to list building (or at least discouraging single-trick lists).
By the luck of the draw I faced two other German Players (who I beat), and a Polish Airborne list (who carried the day). Three fun opponents, three good games, a generally good buzz and lots of beautiful armies to look at on the day. It is hard to ask for much more.

If you want to hear more about Operation Bear and things Bolt Action, I’m one of the guests on the Cast Dice Podcast discussing the day in more detail.

Maybe I’ll see you at tournament sometime.

D.

Eighth edition is a thing

For those who came in late, like me, just on a year ago Games Workshop released a shiny new and significantly revised edition of Warhammer 40K, the eighth incarnation of this now venerable franchise. Well two days ago I read the rules for the second time, which didn’t take long as they’re only 6 or 7 pages, and opened my copy of Codex Chaos Space Marines for the first time. And, today, I threw some models down with my friend Oli, as he took me through my first game of the current version of 40K.

I like it.43018330461_3697ccca69_k

It reminds me a lot of the house rules that our gaming group finessed over many years of playing Apocalypse. Lots of toys, large explosions, not too much book-keeping and plenty of general dark-millennium mayhem. No doubt weird stuff will emerge, but for the moment Abaddon gives this edition 5 skull encrusted spikes.

The Mechanicus won the field today, but Chaos took it right up to them before being purged with flame.

Congratulations Oli, and thanks for coming over to show me how 8th ed works.

D.

 

They’re here!

Last post I mentioned I was working on some US infantry from Crusader Miniatures. Well, I’ve managed to complete them and in what is record time for me. The box had 24 dudes, and included several models with sub-machine guns, two officers and two with BAR. So enough for three smaller squads or two larger depending on what is needed.

I still need to get my photography fixed up. I’ve been using my phone, but I am not as happy with the results. Back to the SLR, I guess, even though it is a bit more fiddling to upload the photos. I think my main problem is lighting, but the SLR seems more forgiving of the less than perfect light and focus combination required.

The models on the other hand, I am pleased with.

An added bonus is that these 2 or 3 squads, depending on how their counted, also mean I’ve completed the June It challenge. Yay me!

Next up is back to the Germans, I’m a tank short of a list I submitted for a tournament this weekend. But after that, I think it will be onto the some support options for the US.

See you on the battlefield.

 

The Yanks Are Coming

Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming
Everywhere
So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We’ll be over, we’re coming over
And we won’t come back till it’s over
Over there

I’m not sure if it’s derogatory to refer to US citizens as yanks, but these are the lyrics from the 1942 classic Yankee Doodle Dandy, so I’m guessing it’s OK in the context.

Clearing my desk of the fallschirmjager has made room to start on some US infantry from Crusader Miniatures. I have had these in the cupboard from before Bolt Action was released, so it is high-time they got a chance to get some paint on. Still to be based but I’m pretty happy with the result. Here is a sample of the first 20 odd.

Next up will be to add a couple of 30 cal machine guns, a mortar and a bazooka team. Together with a few vehicles, including the walker I’ve nearly finished, and I will have a small force versatile enough for a reinforced or armoured platoon for both Bolt Action and Konflikt 47.

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Mudskipper, Medium Jump Walker

Huzzah! (Or whatever it is that Americans yell when they’re happy.)

D.

Fallschirmjager Fire Support

Another paint job that has been hanging around for months is finally finished, some support teams for my Fallschirmjager. it is lovely to have a somewhere to paint once again. I’m probably a squad and a sniper team short of a full FJ force, but as elite options for a German force in Bolt Action they may well do very nicely. All of the models are by Black Tree Designs.

First is a medium mortar.

A medium machine gun (which is good fun with the Hitler’s Buzz-saw rule, even if a bit fragile in play).42033066214_96b553b5a5_k

An LMG to add some firepower to one of the squads.42033065954_961c82167e_h

And a couple of random models I found in the same box.

I’m done with FJ for now. The cammo-smocks were an interesting challenge, but I’m not keen to return to 28mm camouflage patterns in the near future.

A last little observation: I know the blue helmets are anachronistic. OK, probably just plain wrong. But I like the silly touch as they remind me of my Airfix toys as a child.

D.

Big Bunny Bounces Back

Two years ago I painted a few samurai rabbits from Eureka Miniatures. Having fallen off the painting (and blogging!) horse when I moved house about six months ago, I returned to these wonderfully whimsical miniatures as a way to get moving again.

The lighting is rubbish, but some minis are painted. I’m calling that a win.

See you across a table somewhere.

D.