Sunday 25 February 2024

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I have been doing some tidying up on my ailing laptop as it has developed a rather worrying chesty wheeze and I concerned that I may need to upgrade.  That being the case, I felt it prudent to 'back up' the files and what not including a vast amount of photographs of toy soldiers in various states of readiness.  Some of the images that I came across were as a result of a wonderful little distraction back in the summer of 2021 and so I thought I would take the opportunity to share them here.
I try to catch up with a couple of blogging chums every year and at this particular visit it was suggested that we try something a bit different in the shape of a Cowboy skirmish game called Shoot N' Skedaddle from Turnstyle Games.  This is a 'rules lite' game that sees the combatants field a posse or gang of Cowboys from either Lawmen or Outlaw factions with Neutrals being available to either side.  
Having decided that I was going to field a gang of Mexican bandits the wonderful 'Artizan Designs' came to my rescue with their characterful Banditos, but with them came Ill Buono, Ill Brutto and Ill Cattivo.  Simply a joy to paint all was going well until the varnishing stage, where a distinct lack of attention on my behalf saw me overdo the matt spray and left some rather nasty pooling.  Although disappointing, it wasn't terminal and actually at arm's length barely noticeable.  To round out the gang, I re-based a With the a couple of miniatures that I already had kicking around and so phase one was complete!   

Saturday 10 February 2024

Exploding Puppies!


I am perfectly aware of my many limitations as a war gamer. The most crippling of which is a lack of focus on any given project for any length of time.   To be clear these projects are never totally discarded, but rather hang in suspended animation awaiting their time to shine once again.  So to complete the basic units required for a 1000 point Bolt Action Soviet Army was, by my standards, going to quite an achievement. I had deliberately left aside the more esoteric units as something to look forward to, but with the return to work hobby time evaporated, that’s not to say that it disappeared altogether and there would be small steps forward, often snatched over a weekend, but the momentum built up through the longer breaks was inevitably going to stall.  
Returning to the esoteric, the inclusion of the dog units was always going to be a controversial choice here at ‘Awdry Towers’.  The Saintly Mrs. Awdry will not bat an eye as the massed ranks of my toy soldiers are massacred wholesale following another tactical blunder by yours truly, but suggest that an animal might be injured, even one made of white metal, and oh my goodness me - the horror!
 So when we discussed the fate of these poor mutts, that had explosive charges strapped to their backs and then encouraged to go and lie under the advancing tanks, it was clear that I needed to present the grim reality in a more palatable way.  No longer would they be referred to as Anti Tank Teams, but instead good doggies being taken for a walk by their caring handlers!  
All of this nonsense aside, it would appear that there is some discrepancy as to the effectiveness of such tactics, not the sanitising of history to appease your wife you understand, but stories abound of dogs so terrified by the metal behemoths that they run back to their own lines, much to the chagrin of Uncle Ivan.  I am led to believe that any stray dog seen on the streets of Mother Russia was exterminated by the German invaders. Still there was something so absurd about all of this that made them a must have inclusion to my force. 
As hinted at earlier, tactics are not my strong point, so anything that throws a certain semblance of chance into the proceedings is most definitely up my street so I picked up the ‘Warlord Games’ pack and planned to paint them as they were, but give them the ‘wintery’ treatment to tie in with the rest of my force.  Unfortunately the pack only had one handler wearing a Telogreika, but as I wanted to add additional units to this team I was going to need more winter clad warriors to swell the ranks.  Fortunately I fell upon on a series of posts on the wonderful, Dramatic Katastases blog.
This was a veritable gold mine of ideas, and you can expect to see more of them shamefully plundered here in due course, but the dog unit in particular gave me food for thought - I could make my own!  A couple of snow suited veterans that had been abandoned, as I was looking to make a unit with SMGs and they had rifles, were conscripted to the cause. The bits box also yielded some scraps that I thought would work well for me and as luck would have it, a pack Warlord Games Ancient Britons Mastiffs!*
*Everyone has these lying around, right?
The build itself was relatively straightforward and I am genuinely thrilled with the results, although already thinking about the possibility of using markers to show that the dogs had been deployed.  With regards to painting, I simply followed the same steps that I used with earlier units, finished off with a dusting of ‘snow’.  For the time being this is where I am going to leave my Soviet forces.  By my reckoning, I have enough options to field a competitive 1000 point force, although there are still some pieces I could call upon, including the ubiquitous T34 waiting in the wings.  As to what pops up next here at '28mm Victorian Warfare' is anyone's guess.  A quick check revealed 54 draft posts, the earliest dating back to 2013, in various states of completion and detailing an inordinate array of periods and projects.  That said, I am enjoying getting back to writing and catching up with friends so determined to keep going for a little while longer. 

Saturday 3 February 2024

28mm BM-13 Katyusha rocket launcher

The BM-13 Katyusha rocket launcher, also known as 'Stalin's Organ', was a fearsome and iconic weapon used by the Soviet Union during World War II.  It was a truly formidable weapon that left a lasting impact on the battlefield. The sudden, overwhelming nature of its barrages, creating chaos, destruction and psychological distress among enemy forces must have been terrifying.  

This, then, is one of those units that I would consider 'uniquely' Soviet and a 'must have' for the collection.  There were several options available, but in the end, I kept with 'Warlord Games' in the thought that it would be a relatively easy build as compared to perhaps a 'Rubicon Models' kit, but when I unpacked the box, I was left with this... 

I have to confess, I was initially put off by the sheer number of parts some of which were cast in soft metal whilst the molded, resin elements had some warping that would need addressing.  Slowly and with some considerable filing and filling, the finished model emerged!
Now knowing that I could work with the dark green undercoat spray, the startling appearance of the freshly primed model didn't hold the same terrors as before.  In fact working with primarily a dry brush the initial painting took less time than the actual construction.  By far the most complicated area was trying to paint the rockets themselves given that I had glued them in place before priming.  Weathered and detailed, I am pleased with the final outcome, although I remain nervous at the fragility of certain elements like the support legs at the rear. 
The model comes with a couple of crew members, one of which received a quick head swap from the plastic sprue and angled as if following the trajectory of his screaming rockets.  Their bases given that all important 'wintery' treatment to tie them into the rest of the unit and with that another, devastating addition was added to the collection.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...