I’ve been bitten by the 30k bug since the release of the Betrayal at Calth box set. I’ve wanted to do a Horus Heresy army for years but found the FW prices & shipping to be a barrier to entry. The models provided in the set are excellent and are perfect for a conversion junky such as myself. GW did a nice job of keeping the models simple and well designed. They mesh perfectly with the FW resins as well as the GW 40k marines and have a refreshing lack of random adornment (Purity Seals… blech).
My first group of Astartes for this project is a 15 man block of Tactical marines in a mix of Mk 3 and Mk 4 armor, a similar 10 man block, and Plasma-gun and flamer wielding Tactical Support squads.
After I complete these guys I am going to hack up the Contemptor Dreadnought for some re-posing! Stay tuned.
With another Operation Sting in the bag, I’m finding myself very motivated to work on minis for that system. The Soviet Scout army is coming along well and there are more Russians on the way in the form of a Tankovy company (more on that soon). In addition to the Soviets, I’m getting into an Australian 9th Division army project.
I’m basing this project around the Perry Brothers plastic Desert Rats kit. These minis are the first plastics from the Perrys that I’ve worked with and so far it seems to be a cool kit!
This is a very detailed kit which may be a bit of a challenge for those intimidated by those who aren’t very much into the modelling aspects of this hobby. This feels like a scale model kit more than wargamining miniatures due to the vast amount of parts which come on each sprue.
Luckily I’m into this sort of thing. I did lots of models groing up befor getti g into gaming and I appreciate the Perrys for their attention to detail and craft with this kit. Loads of options in terms of gear and even some alternative heads for making LRDG or SAS figures. This headswap requires some cutting, but it shouldnt be much of a challenge for most hobbyists.
Shown above is my sprue processing system in action… not much of a system; clip thing, find where it rocketed to the floor, put in tub to be cleaned later. One interesting bit to these minis is their independant helmets & hats. That is something of a unique attribute to these minis, and one which works for me as I’m intending to slap some Aussie brimmed hats on some of these guys.
Getting these guys prepped is the bext step then its back to doing some final paintin on the Soviets as well as some sculpting. I’ll share some more pics over the weekend!
October has a lot going for it. The weather changes, apples happen, halloween, my birthday, and since last year a fantastic Bolt Action event called Operation Sting occurs! October has always been my favorite month, and this tournament simply piles more good on the good.
Have you heard the good news?
Operation Sting was truly fantastic this year. I did much better, had more fun, and really came to find an iteration of the Soviet Army which I very much enjoy playing. I’d like to share some pictures of the event as well as some stories and insights about my latest Soviet build.
The army which accompanied me to Operation Sting is based on the lead recon elements during the summer 44 offensives of Operation Bagration on the Eastern Front. The list is taken from the bog-standard Soviet selector from Armies of the Soviet Union and is built around a core of 3 Scout units, small panzerfaust tank hunting teams, and some Rota-Razvedki cruising around in their lend-lease White Scout car. This is the first Soviet Build I’ve taken to the field which didn’t include a tank, and I didn’t miss it a lot. I love tank duels in Bolt Action, but it really doesn’t fit the elite, raiding vibe of the list. That being said I did have some fairly conventional Red Army units in the list to bolster the veteran units. Here is a brief summary of what I took to the event…
Vet Junior Lt with a SMG friend
3 Scout units, 7 strong with SMGs
3 AT teams with SMGs and a single Panzerfaust
Artillery Forward Observer
Tank Riders (representing Razvedki)
White Scout Car, Recce enabled
Inexperienced Rifle Squad
45mm M-42 AT gun
The list was fun to play. I discovered that using a smoke bombardment to cover the advance of the scouts was pretty effective. The schtick of this army is that 8 of the 13 units can use forward deployment. This wasn’t some kind of overly leveraged special rule in my experience, but it did allow me to dictate where the fighting was going to happen and to have units ready to rock early in the game as opposed to being in reserve. I think that this could be a very powerful advantage once I learn how to use it. In several of my games I faced close-quarter badasses which outclassed my small vet units, SMGs or not. Ghurkas, large, tough fighting Senegalese units, and Armored Soviet Tank riders were tough to cope with and demanded more finesse to engage.
In the end I was pleased with my performance winning 2 games, drawing a game, and losing 2 – each one of these games was very fun, against great guys, and had their own challenges.
Some shots from the event…
The TO approached me about making a show figure for Operation Sting as well. I was very excited to have this opportunity to get Horrorshow Miniatures involved in such a cool event! We decided to do something of a multi purpose Forward Observer character that people could easily use in their armies. I took some creative liberties with the character’s gear to keep him from being too clearly from a certain nation. A set of independent heads gives the modeler some options in this regard. This guy was very fun to sculpt and I really hope to see some of these models which were provided to the Operation Sting attendees painted and on the boards at Adepticon next year!!
The Kickstarter for ‘Broken Contract’ is in its last two days. I was lucky enough to play test the game a little and get an opportunity to see behind the scenes of the miniature and component design. Its a fun game which has a very unique setting and style for the miniatures table top gaming scene. Here are some shots of some of the minis as well as a sense of what the setting is like…
Its a post apocalyptic skirmish game set in a bleak future where human colonies have been established, but often at the cost of the masses bound to a life of indentured servitude. I am excited to see where this game goes. Check it out!
I listen to a lot of podcasts while I’m working in the studio. Lately as a lead up to Adepticon I’ve been listening to various Bolt Action podcasts while I put the finishing touches on my Team Tournamet Germans. The Ghost Army podcast guys mentioned this blog on their show: thedemogamers
The guys who do this site do lots of demo games at events in Austrailia, and much of the content of their blog is about the process of coming up with scenarios and terrain for these events. I get a lot of inspiration from folks pages on making terrain, designing units, and other hobby topics, so this site really works for me. I especially love the comic book blurbs about various parts of the game…
I am going to slide up to the Dice Dojo today to try to get a game of Flames of War in. Its been forever since I’ve run a Panzer company, and I wanted something quick and robust after several games with US infantry and Soviet Tankovy. This list comes out to precisely 1500 points according to Easyarmy which is thrilling news considering my patience for list-building on a Saturday morning!
Panzer IV H Platoon
StuG III Platoon (if this is the anvil…)
Tiger Platoon (than this is the hammer)
Panzer II L “Luchs” Platoon
The more I ponder it, I really like this force. I usually like lists which have more of a combined arms element to them, but I think that this one will be fun to play. There are subtle variations in the units, as well as some very clear roles. The Panzer IIs will be on security and recce duty, the two combat platoons with the HQ will be on the attack, while the Tigers provide long range AT support or get up in the face of any dug in infantry I find.
I’ve been running this thing in the handful of Bolt Action games that I’ve played, and its often been a solid performer. Cheep, fast, and with a kickin’ auto-cannon, and now finally painted! This armored car has taken the field half painted for over a year now, so its great to get it done.
This is done just in time for the ‘Operation Sting’ tournament happening this weekend. I need to wrap up some basing, paint a mortar, and finish a Stuh-42 model. Its going to be tight!
Ive posted a tutorial about sculpting runes on model surfaces. Check out the hashtag on Twitter #runicdetails. Follow me at @the_xenite on twitter for more tutorials like this. The runic tutorial will eventually show up here in long form as well.