Saturday, 31 December 2016

Customer service SHOUT-OUT...Thank you

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to post a quick shout-out to some customer service that I recently received that really surpassed my expectation.  In November I posted a review for Battlefronts Leopard 1 was pretty happy with the idea of getting my Canuck C1's on the road.

I was kind of bummed when the box had some issues...the treads were warped and one of the hulls had bubbles in the, I emailed the folks at Battlefront and gave them a run down of the issues.  I was really hoping for a replacement tank or 2...but instead, this showed up in the mail:

Wow! And when I opened up the box and checked...the tracks were straight as hell...outstanding!

Look Ma! No bubbles!!

So, to say the least I was very surprised, pleasantly, with the steps that the folks at Battlefront took to address the issues I had with the models.  I admit, I was hoping for a tank or two, but certainly was not expecting a fresh box.

Thank you you can see by my current figures on the painting pallet, here's to more Team Yankee in the New Year.

Last Tag of the year...

Hello all,

If you've been following my progress, you may have already seen a couple of posts already dedicated to some figs from The Assault Group, tag-various-modern-figs as well as aaaaaaaaaaaaand tag again.  I've enjoyed getting to these guys and have really used them as a testing ground for different camo patterns and paint schemes.

This last installment was no different:

For this fig, I mainly used the paint scheme I saw online of a figure depicting a Tier 1 operator from the early-ish days from Iraq or Afghanistan.  The pants were Iraqi sand, with patches of Russian uniform outlined with Tan earth.
For the gloves, I decided to go with a brighter colour...ala something you would buy at an expedition store...with a skeleton pattern...I thought it would look cool.  I was also testing the relocation of my photo station with flash and no flash shots.
Overhead shot to try to get a good view of the base work...
I have a few figures on the bench that look like they may require a tartan type of working off the success of my Herb Tarlek, I thought I would try a simple plaid pattern.
And finally, I have some Vietnam figs that I want to get to in the near future...and I want them as LRRP's so I thought it was time to try out Tiger Striping...I like how it turned out, not sure if it's the 100% capture that I'm looking for or not, but I'm still happy with the result.
Take care folks!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Northern City - flurries of painting

Good evening folks,

Well, it has been a silent December to say the least...haha, 2 puns in 2 lines, post title and first sentence...boom! While I haven't been posting as much lately, my painting progress has continued nonetheless.

I thought I'd share with you a batch of Frostgrave and Northern City themed Reaper Bones figures that I recently finished...mixed in is a couple of other figs that I got from my buddy Mike...Mike, if you can...please remind me where you got these guys from.

Not messing we go...the pics:

Reaper Bones

I picked these little guys up a while back...took my time letting them tell me how they wanted to look in this the end, I used some of my WoW DeathKnight inspiration and chose the 3 DK presences: Blood, Frost, and Unholy...and have for you the 3 plagues of the Northern City...
cute-ish little guy with one big Mike Wazcsoski eyeball...wherever he walks pools of blood rise to the surface... 
This little guy looks like he stepped out of the local gym, ripped and ready to pose-down...wherever he goes, the grounds of the Northern City become extra frozen
This pint sized bringer of plague, pestilence, and rot is a blistery, greenish yellowish oozing, disgruntled imp of hell...wherever he walks, the ground goes green and yellow with rot, sick, and illness
Their best views...
Skeletal army of the dead...
For s's and g's...I decided to pick up a 3 pack of skeleton soldiers one day...I've had them on the bench for about a year...these guys, like the plagues came up very quickly...I think it only took me 2 nights to finish these guys
Random Skeleton dudes...from Mike...thanks Mike.
A skeleton captain...or warrior, and an archer...pumped and painted to serve any evil minded Necromancer that needs them...I can't remember who the manufacturer of these two are...they were fun and quick to paint up as well. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

How do you fit 3 Leopards in a tiny box?

Howdy all...Happy Thanksgiving to my American comrades and internet folk.  Funny enough, when I think of Thanksgiving and/or Turkey day...depending on how you call it, I have a few automatic thoughts that pop into my head.

I remember one of the most appreciated meals I've had in my life...thanks to the hospitality of the folks at the American embassy in post-war Kigali allowing a few drop-ins to share their meal.  The steamed carrots were outstanding!

And...a favourite since I was a kid...I can never let a Thanksgiving go by without thinking of this scene from WKRP in Cincinnati:

So...with those thoughts in mind...Happy Thanksgiving folks.

And now, the rest of the post...since Battlefront announced that they were expanding Team Yankee to include West Germans I have been severely pumped to get my hands on some Leopard 1's for my 4CMBG Battle Group...I will have to take a look at the Panzertruppen expansion to see how BF handles 'companies' of Leopard 1's...but my ultimate objective is to have a full Troop of Leopards along with a battery of M109's and at least 2 platoons of infantry.

Anyway, since I've been pretty pumped, I thought I'd share my thoughts as I unboxed the Leopard 1 platoon box...answer that inane do you get 3 Leopards in such a tiny box...this is how...

The Box...worktable in the background...but the box looks good, nice view of the looking roads and fields in the behind them...very nice product placement.

The view...unit cards bundled together...there's a card for a Recce Company HQ element, platoon element, and a Panzer Division org card.  The Leopard 1's, unlike the Leo 2's are a resin model...not plastic...with a resin hull and turret, metal main gun barrel, hatch, and machinegun.

The bottom of the box, looking can see the resin cast tracks and side their Centurion models for Vietnam and Fate of a Nation, the bulk of the tank model is this case like all of their Team Yankee kit I've seen to date, even the vehicle commanders are non-metal sculpts.  I liked the poses for the Russian commanders so far and the West Germans do not disappoint...very nice looking commanders...they will suit nicely as Canucks.

The biggest thing to remember with this that while the 'big' releases for Team Yankee have been all-plastic (by big I mean those units that you need many multiples of, i.e. T72's, M1A1's, M113's, BMP's, Leopard 2's, Marder's, Chieftain's, etc.).  Why remember this? Well, the Leopard 1's put together okay...they can take some work to put together nicely...very reminiscent of pre-plastic Flames of War...the plastics released so far with Team Yankee have been very nice, and I have found them to be fairly straightforward and relatively easy to assemble...they take some time with all of the small parts, but they look sharp and all pieces fit very well together.

The Leopard 1 box is a resin beast in comparison and my main disappointment, contrary to my experience with the resin Centurion, is that the track/side skirt assembly requires a fair bit of sanding to make fit...this is necessary to make these pieces fit as flush as possible to the main hull without any gaps between the skirt and hull.

If there's a gap, you'll notice it...the tread pattern will poke out.  The pic above you can see two things, first the 'tread' pattern that you can see if there are any gaps...second, my main beef with this model.  When I unboxed this set, I had 2 boxes of Leopards.  The first box went together pretty good...took some sanding, but I was happy for the most part.

The second box was not as smooth...not only was sanding required...BUT there was no amount of sanding that I could do to make these tracks fit flush with the hull...if you look at the picture, you can see that the tread is warped/bowed.  This puppy ain't flushing at you can see, it takes a fair bit of sanding to make it happen.  Unfortunately, on top of the warped treads, there were also hollow weak points in the resin itself which resulted in a couple of sink holes in the you can see below for example. 

 Overall, I am happy with the models, they look good when built, I expect the painting process to mirror my experience for the past 10 years...and while I recognize that with any process there will be some issues (it's a given, it has happened before, it will again) I know that my email to the Battlefront customer service will mirror my previous experiences and these folks work hard to keep us gamers happy and get frustrated when we get frustrated.

So, how do I keep smiling...I think of the great customer service coming my way...and on this Turkey time of the season for my American friends...I remember my Kigali turkey dinner and am happy that a few years or so (ish) later...I can sit at home and have the luxury of having a first world problem.

Take care folks.

More to follow on this project as I get my Leo's done...and have my 4CMBG Battle Group take shape.

Monday, 21 November 2016


Evening gaming folk,

Just as the title says...time for some more TAG...a little smaller installment this time, but definitely a continuation of the blisters that I posted a while back, here.  The paint schemes on these guys was much more 'traditional' than the last batch, but, still a lot of fun.

I wanted enough variance so that each of these figures stood out...and at the same time...a little less dramatic than the Joker.  In the end, somewhat inspired by the movie Sicario...not the whiny FBI characters (movies biggest Con...IMHO)...but instead, the Brolin led mix of kicking ass DEA/CIA/Tier 1's/Contractors (I do like it when Josh Brolin kicks ass...).

At the same time, the figs also gave me the opportunity to try out a few paint schemes at a larger scale.  For Stetson Bill, I thought I'd try my hand at painting OCP cam to see if I could replicate my success and happiness with the paint scheme that I had at 15mm...
-Khurasan Minis, Devgru figure...pretty happy with how it turned out-
Stetson Bill - olive drab shirt, OCP camo pants, desert yellow/Iraqi sand tactical vest, and of course a kick ass Stetson...
I'm very happy with how Bill turned out...and really, I've never met a DEA type, but in my brain, this is him...
Shotgun Brolin - bush cap wearing, shotgun sporting, Rhodesian (I hope I pulled it off) bush shorts stepping laid back kicking ass Government Operative - I do have an alternate version of this figure painted a few years back that I painted up as wearing white and red polkadotted boxing shorts...made me laugh and laugh...
I had never tried my hand at Rhodesian bush cam before...looking at the results...I'm not sure I've tried it many ways reminded me of trying splinter cam on German Fallschirmjagers.  Anyway, I tried my own interpretation of it...and at a larger scale.

While I'm not sure if I nailed the Rhodesian part...I am very happy with how this figure turned out.
Leather Del Toro - this figure presented me with a bunch of challenges.  First, I didn't want to just replicate the painting schemes of the other figures...second, I had already tried a good variance of schemes amongst the previous 7 figures...third, the figure had some pretty brutal scoring and I think some flash, on the left side of his face...
So...with that I thought lets try something challenge I have is trying to match facial tones to the character I'm trying to portray.  The last thing I want is some comical oompa loompa looking halloween abomination that is horribly inaccurate (at best) or just down right f'ing ignorant (AT WORST)...
With Leather del Toro, I hope I've been able to do some justice to the skin tones...I really liked the idea of the leather coat...not sure why, but it just feels so counter-olive drab combat shirt that it looks awesome...really hard-assed without having to Brolin it... 
Team shots...

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Fallschirjager Anti-Tank team and Big Ole DAK 88's...

Hello folks,

Another week gone by, another progress shot...this time I thought I would post some pictures of some elements that I fielded for our clubs current campaign: Operation Battleaxe - turn 1 BUT was able to get completed.

If you've seen the battle report from that turn, you might remember that this is the first time I've fielded a true infantry safety nets, no vehicles.  Although they weren't DAK troops, I nonetheless fielded some of my Fallschirmjager's to give them a chance at hitting the table top.

I enjoy the look of these troops...there's a lot of detail to the fig's with personnel kit and depending on the field of battle you're trying to capture, there's certainly a lot of variance in the painting scheme for their uniforms.  I had originally started my FJ force as a Monte Cassino company, but given the breadth of theatres of well as needing to field one force for multiple theatres...AND needing a handy way of distinguishing platoons I decided to paint the platoons in various themes.

The first platoon I finished was German Fallschirmjager - Monte Cassino along with some company command elements...but since I have completed a Pioneer Platoon and a recoilless rifle platoon that I painted up with Crete in mind...

For our campaign, although using FJ troops, I was using to the company org chart for DAK I needed an early war anti-tank rifle thought Crete would be a great setting for this team
lately when I'm gaming I seem to have some horrible tendency to clutz it up and drop a mini or two...during Cangames, one of Mike's A-10 fell prey to my clutzery...the warthog has since been repaired...however, on the campaign day...I had one of my boxes of gaming goodies fall and actually crush this team...there was much sobbing...In all truthfulness, my box of goodies was in fact a toolbox full of gaming aids, dice, etc...
However, when the dust was settled the two AT riflemen were bent 90 degrees to the base and the NCO, using his experience I guess, was totally fine.

I straightened the two gunners out and had one break off into my hand and the other was balancing precariously on very weak sea I got home...cursed many the glue out and set about repairing the legs and repainting where needed.  I'm glad these vet's have bounced back and we should see them in action soon...

Thankfully, my DAK 88 platoon did not suffer any catastrophic events...during the game they did fairly well raising hell with Crusaders and grunts alike.  I enjoyed painting these guns up...the bases are from an older box than what is currently available...they're nice, but a little bit of a pain to complete with the pre-formed holes for the troops.  I must admit they did take some finesse and multiple repaints of the base to get figures and bases to blend with each other.