Monday 31 January 2011

Battle For Skira: USMC test figure, Marine with AT-4

Basicly this 20mm Stan Johannsen modern Marine with AT-4 was painted just to test the colours for woodland MarPat once again. Sure, there is probably a better way to paint it, but to me it looks alright and from distance the camo seems to be appropriate. It's going to blend in quite nicely on a woodland gaming table. Now it only needs to get a bit warmer outside so I can use my black undercoat spray can for more miniatures.

Sunday 30 January 2011

Battle For Skira: USMC Hmmwv with TOW painted

The HMMWV is a Dragon model in 1/72 scale while the gunner is made by Matthew at Elhiem Figures. I was the one suggesting to him to produce a gunner figure for the TOW variant as until then there was no such thing to fill the gamer's need. Matthew agreed and came up with this sculpt in less than 10 days. I got the first one for free for having given the very idea for it, but it remained in a drawer for month. Until now..
A very nice shot, showing how the gunner actually is sculpted in a way that he takes the handle for the TOW controls...
...and has a look throught the sights of his weapon system.
The front shows the various optronics of the Tube-Launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided missile system.

Comments welcome as always.

Friday 28 January 2011

Tomorrow's War meets Battletech: House Davion's "Rifleman" painted

Another week of work has passed and I found enough time to paint up another Mech for Davion. This time the old action figure called "Raidar X" has been turned into a Battletech Mech, called "Rifleman". In one of my earlier posts, you could see it was modefied on its' arms and cockpit...
The huge windshield of the cockpit has been turned into one consisting of three parts rather than one. These make the "jewelling" look much better...On the leg you can now also spot a House Davion decal depicting the "Federated Suns" emblem.
This frontside picture shows the modefied arms. While the original "Rifleman" has a heavy laser and an autocannon/5 in each arm, the House Davion variant "RFL-3C" shown in my conversion has an autocannon/10 in each arm instead and lacks the heavy lasers entirely. I used WH 40k machine guns as replacement barrels.
Once again I went crazy with hazard stripes. I need to clean them a bit, as I am not satisfied with the look at the moment.
Nothing special to reveal on the backside of the Mech. But it's worth showing the detail of the miniature none-the-less :-)
Keep your comments coming, I really appreciate any input.

Thursday 27 January 2011

A word on the things to come

I thought I just give you guys a heads-up about what will be on the painting table next.
  1. I received some S&S modern German Army soldiers that will act as my dismounts for a KSK Serval - they'll get head-swops for having the look of soldiers covering their faces with a Shemagh.
  2. I have some elhiem Figures inbound to cover the missing positions of medic (US Army and one for the USMC), a point-man with Shotgun (one Army, one USMC), a sniper team for my German Bundeswehr (Shooter and Spotter), TOW Gunner (for some HMMWVs), gunners for .50cal (HMMWVs) and some other stuff that still needs to get finished for Iraq 2003+.
  3. Finally - the decals have arrived for House Davion and House Kurita. The already finished models will get those applied soon.
  4. The "Rifleman" is almost done, pictures to follow soon (weekend maybe, if I am quick).
  5. Two HMMWVs for the USMC and one for the US Army will be finished soon. Pics to follow.

Other than the above list of the very next stuff to arrive for painting, I am very happy about the increase in "hits" onto this tiny little blog. When I wrote my new year's greetings the page had 19.800 something "hits".

We are not yet in February of this year and I just broke through 24.000 !!! That's 4000 times people visiting my blog in less than a month. I am speechless and feel honoured.

Please, keep your comments coming. I share my work to receive feedback. Thanks, to all of you.

Monday 24 January 2011

Dave Howitt of Britannia Miniatures - sad news have reached us

I came home this evening from work and didn't realise I was going to be shocked to hear sad news of Dave Howitt, owner and producer of Britannia Miniatures, having passed away on Saturday morning....

It was Friday, when Jenny Howitt, his daughter signed up at TheGuild wargamers forum to tell us about her dad having suffered a serious heart attack. Dave was brought to the hospital for treatment immediately and all of us were hoping for his speedy recovery.

Today however Jenny got back to us, telling us the shocking news of her dad's heart having been unable to cope with the damage and his passing on Saturday.

Dave was known by many as a guy always good to talk to about wargaming in general and his ranges of miniatures and vehicles are part of the collections of a lot of gamers around the world. He will be missed among us, as a friend and as a supplier, totally dedicated to the hobby.

Condolences go to his family (Jenny in particular for being strong enough to even find time and pass on the sad news) and friends. Rest in peace, Dave. You'll never be forgotten.

Sunday 23 January 2011

TOMORROW'S WAR: an exclusive preview of eye-candy

Hello guys and welcome to an absolutely exclusive preview of some of the eye-candy that Osprey is going to stick into the new release of Ambush Alley Games' Tomorrow's War.

It's going to be released later this year, although you are currently still able to get yourself the .pdf version (old one) at

These pictures were given to me by Piers B., who is the in-house painter and photographer of AAG. The models shown are mostly Ground Zero Games 15mm range, while the bigger ones are from 28mm Pig Iron range of products.


Saturday 22 January 2011

Tomorrow's War meets Battletech: House Davion's "Longbow" painted

Another week has passed and I was finally able to put finishing touches to the former Macross "Spartan", now being used as House Davion's "Longbow" mech. I am pretty pleased of how it turned out, apart from the old GW decals "silvering". :-(
Front view shows what took me sooo long: hazard stripes. They are so much work to do, but they really make a huge impact on how the miniatures look like when finished. I think they work well with the dark green of House Davion. Note the almost empty missile bay.
The back view shows nothing special in particular, except the pin wash of GW Badab Black around armour panels etc.
Side view: the hazard stripe on the little "Box" on the upper thigh indicate another weapon system. Plans are to put these stripes everywhere, live ammo or weapons are mounted on the Mechs.
I still have not received any decals for House Davion and Kurita. So these I need to apply once I got them. Most other markings I took from old aircraft kits. ;-)

Sunday 16 January 2011

Tomorrow's War meets Battletech: House Kurita's "Kanazuchi" Battle Armor and "Targe"

After Davion got its first Battle Armor infantry and a medium Mech, it was about time to paint up some of the opponents: House Kurita (Draconis Combine). The above shown "Kanazuchi" Battle Armor is one of the heaviest of the Inner Sphere and a Kurita internal design. It's a rare piece of kit. I took those off their original clicky-base (wizkids), re-based them on washers, which had a small hill of green stuff on top (for height) and gave them a full re-paint in camouflage.
The 40 ton Mech "Targe" is the same design as the one I painted for House Davion, but this one received the appropriate camouflage for an urban/woodland setting. First I wanted to paint the panel behind the MRM-10 warheads flat silver, but then decided to use the hazard stripes again. I think it was a good idea as it adds a bit of a highlight to the otherwise rather dark colours.
The back of the Battle Armor and Mech show the 3-tone-camo quite well. Also to be seen again: hazard stripes of the missile launchers. It takes forever to paint these but I totally like the final appearence of the vehicle and suits. Note sure if it really sticks out on the pics but a close look of the "Kanazuchi" reveals an armour design, that looks like ancient Samurai battle-plates. I was surprized when I first noticed it.
Another nice shot of the camouflage pattern. The red "dots" on the Battle Armor's shoulder are supposed to be the emblem of the Draconis Combine. Please note that I still haven't gotten my decals - so basicly the figures shown are not yet finished totally.
I was undecided whether to paint the cockpit glass in red/orange as I did with House Davion's stuff or go with a purple/blue mix for the "jewelling". I chose to use the blue tones - I hope that looks alright.

Next units in the pipe: 4x "Ravager" (Davion's second squad) and a "Rifleman" as well as a "Longbow".

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Tomorrow's War meets Battletech: work in progress shots

Some WIP pics taken quickly in between painting and watching the news. To the right the "Targe" for House Kurita in its first layer of paint for their camo pattern. Directly in front are some "Kanazuchi" Battle Armor troopers. These already show the finished 3-tone-pattern. They aren't finished completely though (details, badges, cockpit, weapons etc.), but I had to interrupt as the Devlan Mud wash is drying at the moment. To the far left is another squad of "Ravager" Armor for House Davion's 3rd Crucis Lancers.

Well, click the picture as it's pretty much self-explanatory. I gave the missile bays some missiles and added hatches to the actual bays.

The Rifleman Mech got both arms' weapons cut off and replaced with single barrel guns. I wasn't sure what to do with the stumps of the former lasers, so I added "sensors/lenses". That will at least look better once painted.
The support struts will let the "jeweling" of the cockpit glass (a techniqué that makes the painted glass look like sunlight is reflected in it) look far better.

Monday 10 January 2011

I promised and I shall deliver: scale shots, vol. 2

"Targe", "Ravager" and 18mm Modern US Rifleman next to a "Longbow" (actually its a toy action figure from 1994 called Spartan). I already modefied it, but its not shown above yet.. :-) It will have open missile bays showing the impressive arsenal when I am done. How that will look like? Com' on - you know where to look, dont't you?
"Targe", "Ravager" and 18mm Modern US Rifleman next to a "Warhammer" (old 1994 toy figure, I think its named Excaliber).
"Targe", "Ravager" and Mr-18mm-Pewter-stand-in-due-to-lack-of-15mm-having-arrived-yet-damn-you-German-postmans! next to an already modefied "Rifleman" (that used to be called Raidar X in 1994 when it was a toy) that will go to House Davion as the "3c" variant, which replaces its dual Heavy Laser + Autocannon/5 with one Autocannon/10 on each arm. I have so many toys that will be "Rifleman" Mechs one day, that I needed to come up with variants for a good mix. XD
And one of my favourites of all times: A "Crusader", next to "Targe", "Ravager" and ... yeah - it gets old now, doesn't it?! I have not a freaking clue who made this one, as I bought it second hand. I have more Mechs of these, all can be multi-posed as they have joints that allow dynamic poses. Oh boys, it's going to look soo cool when finished. If anyone knows who made these collectibles which can be re-posed, please tell me! I am trying to find out and will post my findings, should I have any success.

Tomorrow's War meets Battletech: House Davion's "Ravager" Battle Armor and "Targe"

I was away for the weekend, but I managed to paint up the first squad of "Ravager" Assault Battle Armor and a 40 ton medium Mech "Targe" for House Davion's 3rd Crucis Lancers.
They aren't finished to be honest, as they still lack details - especially the "Federated Suns" decals, but I haven't ordered any yet so that got to wait. Once again I tossed in the 18mm Modern US Rifleman - just for scale.
The view on top of the twin missile launchers shows squad marking ("C" for the leader, all others bear a "2" as I will add another team getting a "3"). The decals I found in a drawer, I think they came from a Leman Russ kit from 40k. I am especially proud of my warning! stickers that I painted on all ammo boxes for the Rotary Recoilless Rifles and my freehand hazard stripes (even in between the exhaust-piping of the MRM-10 of the "Targe" Mech!)
A close up on the modified "Targe" Mech. Note that I removed some of its missile warheads so it looks like they were just fired. Again, hazard stripes, all painted freehand, no decals used. I tried to make the muzzles of the Medium Lasers look like they are burnt stainless steel (hot exhaust looks that way), with paint chipping off due to the enormous heat of the laser beams. The ammo warning! triangle I cut off an old decal sheet of a Revell aircraft kit (behind the cockpit).
A view that reveals more detail of the Rotary Recoilless Rifles from the Battle Armor.
Another random shot, showing the scale once again. Correctly based, the old MW Dark Age minis work quite well with 15mm (considering the pewter miniature is 18mm and therefore on the large side anyway).

Friday 7 January 2011

Pre-paintjob pictures: Mechs, Battle Armor and how they compare to pewter miniatures...

Here we have the rebased and primed Mechs "Targe" (wizkids MW Dark Age), the "Kanazuchi" Battle Armor (MW Dark Age), the "Ravager" Battle Armor (MW Dark Age, it's the bigger ones) and a pewter figure of a Modern US Rifleman that is labeled being 18mm of size (it actually is - if you don't count the height of its stand). I unfortunately don't have any real 15mm figs yet. But I guess you'll get the idea. Most of my Mechs will be at least 3" tall. More than enough to look right next to 15mm figures. The "Kanazuchi" is tad small, but I only have four of them anyway.

This shot shows all eight Battle Armored troopers and the two Mechs. The first arrivals. More to follow soon. According to packet tracking, two more packets should arrive today (fingers crossed!!). EDIT: they already have. Not looked into them yet, will post pictures of the content later.
A close up of the "Ravager" suits. What appears to be a gatling MG actually is a multi-barreled light Recoilless Rifle. Mounted on top are dual missile launcher tubes, the left arm bears a Battle Claw. The latter should quite easily defeat armor of any vehicles in close combat.

House Kurita's pride: The "Kanazuchi" heavy Battle Armor. Mounting Short Range Missile launchers (l+r of the "cockpit"), a Medium Laser on the right and a Battle Claw on the left arm. These Veteran troops will defeat most of what the enemy might throw at them, apart from the heavier Mechs of course.
Painting will start soon. Thanks for looking!

Thursday 6 January 2011

First Miniatures are in! Preparing the little ones...

Yesterday the first (of many) packets has arrived. It included the heaviest of my House Kurita Elite Infantry cadre. "Battle Armor" - types "Kanazuchi" and "Ravager". Also included were two medium 40 ton Mechs "Targe", one going to the serve my very own 8th Dieron Regulars, the other opposing as 3rd Crucis Lancer of House Davion.

I ripped apart the "Targe's" clicky-base (wizkids dial) and left the upper part on their feet. It serves as perfect 45mm disc-shaped base. Only had to fill the gap where you read the clicky-dial with some green stuff.
The "Kanazuchi" Power Armored troops have been put on 30mm steel washers. I had to add a little "hill" of green stuff, as otherwise they will be a tad on the small side compared to 15mm pewter. Seen from distance you won't really be able to tell later.
The "Ravager" is huge for a Battle Armor. I have put these little shock troops on GW flight bases (small diameter, without the actual flight stand), they'll be looking fine - even directly next to 15mm troops. Once the green stuff and model putty has dried, I'll sand the bases and show you the pictures before they will be painted.
I have added a little flavour to the mix with minor conversions. For example I cut off some of the missile warheads in their launchers and drilled a hole into same spot - just like they've just been fired. I also did some re-posing on the "Ravager" armored troops.
House Davion's 3rd Crucis Lancers will get the traditional green paintjob with yellow trim, while the 8th Dieron Regulars utilize a disruptive camo pattern, which I have borrowed from a Warhammer 40,000 Imperial Guard regiment. (I know, I know, blasphemy that is! - but I liked the colours *blushes*). Stay tuned!

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Putting together some stats for Tomorrow's War

EDIT: pictures removed as the stats are getting re-worked.
I've been playing around with some stats for the use of Battletech Mechs with Ambush Alley Games' "Tomorrow's War". These are not finished yet. Some stats are likely to change and will probably need some more balancing. I used the information of the Technical Readouts that I have to see what weight class the Mechs have, what equipment and sensors they carry and then tried to convert this into TW game mechanics.

For those of you who know TW, you might note that I have tried to "group" weapons when they are likely to be fired onto one target at the same time. I also came up with some ideas that are not included in TW (like using the LRM from Battletech as some sort of light artillery for Tomorrow's War, allowing to utilize them as indirect firing support for the grunts.)

I have split weapons into "main guns" and "secondary weapons" to restrict the Mechs in the way of how many can be fired during one activation. It also allows the player to choose from a list of weapons or to fire some in combinations, without overpowering these units. Armor values are taken by converting weight class (Battletech) into armor class (TW).

Where Mechs are weak in armor etc. I have tried to compensate by using "Common Vehicle Attributes" from TW, like "poor and absolete armor" to rate down the armor value for example. Or to increase capabilities the same way by using other rules.

These are first mock-ups. Just to show you where I am trying to go.

Saturday 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to each and everyone visiting this blog.

To all my followers, friends and colleagues - thanks for what you do. This tiny little blog has almost reached 20,000 hits. That's awesome - thank you very much, all of you.
I spent new year's morning at work so I had little time to celebrate. At least I don't have a headache from drinking and can now concentrate on the things to come. I should get my first 1/200 Mechs soon and will post pics once they have finally arrived. I also got the permission to copy the design of Jed's (Jed is a fellow Tomorrow's War playtester) awesome vehicle and unit stats cards. I only need to reinstall my program that allows me to edit such files and will then be able to play around with first stats assignments for my mecha units.
A word of thanks in particular for supporting and inspiring me throughout 2010 goes to
-Piers B. (for what you create and paint and for bringing me into Ambush Alley's playtest group)
-Shawn + Peggy C. (for being what you are - making our community a family)
-Alexander H. (for being one of the best workmates you can have and a Battletech prophet)
-Nadine J. and Thorsten H. (for being my best mates for years)
-The Guild members for a year of eye-candy to satisfy my lead-addiction.