Thursday 28 April 2011

Force On Force: new website, new forum design, new Quickstart rules and free stuff


just posting to let you guys know about the new website of Ambush Alley Games being online now as well as the forum being re-designed and back up. If you haven't joined yet, now's the perfect time!

Furthermore there are new, free download Quick Start Rules that explain the basic game mechanics, so if you are interested in the game, why don't have a first glimpse at the core rules first? You can find them for free in the right column of this blog or at the new website of AAG.

Shawn and Peggy also have put out a free set of Fog Of War cards, so you can download them and don't have to damage your books. You can find them under "downloads" at the website or you can use my blog (right column).


Tuesday 26 April 2011

Grubby Tanks and Britannia Miniatures - April 2011 update

On the behalf of Piers, I post this in my blog to let you know about Andy Grubb working hard on getting Britannia Miniatures back into action!

written by Piers Brand » 26 Apr 2011, 12:11

Just spoke to Andy today and he asked me to post a quick update on things as he is very busy!
He has moved alot of the Britannia stuff over to his premises, and moving the 'Monster' that Dave created is taking time. He has a number of ranges that aint seen the light of day for years, let alone even getting things properly sorted. But he hopes to have a few metal ranges back in production over the next couple of weeks, quickly followed by the resin vehicles. Andy really is working full tilt on this, so fair play to him. He is also trying to get the website updated with pictures as well. On top of this, he also has some new releases... Not to mention starting on yet another new range of WW2 figures for Kellys Heroes... Sadly I cant what it is yet, but it will be good!
So, if you are after Britannia stuff, I would suggest dropping him a line and seeing if he either has it in stock or when its liable to get produced. I think he is conscious of the desire for the modern ranges, so they may well get his attention first. But as always, the best option is to drop him a line. Im going to keep The Guild updated as often as Andy feeds me news, (...)
I for one will give him all the support I can over the next few months as I imagine it will be hard work getting everything sorted and running right. He does have some new things coming soon, so hopefully next week I may have some new bits to show off for him!


Sunday 24 April 2011

The Dragon Rises: PLA Type 99 (ZTZ99B) battle tank adds its firepower to the Battle For Skira

The Type 99, also known as ZTZ99 (...), is a third generation main battle tank (MBT) fielded by the Chinese People's Liberation Army. It is made to compete with other modern tanks. Although not expected to be acquired in large numbers due to its high cost compared to the more economical Type 96, it is currently the most advanced MBT fielded by China. The ZTZ99 MBT is considered one of the 12 best tanks in the world, and is a successor to the Type 98 G tank manufactured for the People's Liberation Army (PLA). (taken from )

This resin and metal kit is made by S&S models. I had it sitting on my shelf for nearly 1 1/2 years now and it was about time to finally paint it. If you click the label "PLA" you will even find the post were you can see it raw, without paint (and how long ago that was, too *doh!*)

This shot gives you an idea of the impressive size of China's latest battle tank in ~1/72 scale, the infantry NCO is shown for scale.

Of course the turret spins. :-D
I cannibalised a Revell T-72 for drums, towing cables and the obligatory trunk of a tree. Note the texture on the log.

Front view revealing the additional armour plates of hull and turret frontside.

The small device with the laser warning label is part of an active protection system (APS). The laser-dazzler confuses enemy sights, optics and incoming warheads of ATGMs. The PLA badges and numbers are part of decal sheets I got off Chinese ebay for bargain.

The side view shows the subtle weathering. I was trying to add some mud and dust effects to the trackguards. Some chipping here and there gives it a well-used look.

Rear view. Towing cable and drums and better view of the trunk of a tree that is used to pull the tank out of mud if it got bogged down.

Other side with the commander's hatch and the QJC-88 heavy machine gun (pretty much the same like the Russian DShK).

The top of the tank shows the engine's grilles and the camo nets in the turret stowage bins.

Detailed shot of the turret. Note the optics and laser-dazzler device (APS). Some minor rust marks were painted on various armour panels.

Mud and dirt stains on the trackguards were painted on using a variety of brown colour tones. Paint chipping was done using saddle brown from Vallejo.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

The Dragon Rises: PLA anti air teams with QW-2 SAM launchers

These shoulder launched QW-2 SAMs are the equivalent of the Russian IGLA or the US Stinger missiles. They are heat-seeking and a real threat to any aircraft or helicopter in low altitudes.

I used the appropriate miniatures from S&S and Elhiem West-Germans to resemble three such teams.

Bases are made from steel washers (30mm), some stones added and little bit of flock and foliage...
The Elhiem minis were converted. The Stinger missile had to be re-designed to bring it closer to the look of the S&S launcher the other miniatures are bearing. I like the fact that both miniatures are having different heights - like real humans, miniatures come in various sizes, too.
One holds a spare missile while his mate scans the sky for any incoming USMC helibourne invasion force to Skira.

The Dragon Rises: PLA spotter team with QBU-88 Marksman Rifle

These S&S models of the PLA range are my forward artillery observer team or could act like a scout team for other purposes. The standing rifleman has a long-ranged QBU-88 rifle with a strong scope. The fuel drum and ammo boxes they hide behind are battlefield accessoires made by Italeri.
I used Tamiya weathering powder to add the rust to the fuel drum and dust to the ammo crates.

The Dragon Rises: PLA weapon team with HJ-8 "Red Arrow" anti-tank guided missile

The HJ-8 "Red Arrow" is a SACLOS (semi-automatic command to line of sight) guided missile in use with the Chinese PLA. I used a modern French MILAN team from RH Liberation to build this little diorama of a tank-hunter team waiting in ambush position.
I wasn't sure about markings used on the launcher tubes, so I went with those that could be seen on vehicle based ATGMs of the PLA during the 2009 Parade in Beijing.
Note the shoulder straps made from Green Stuff.
Both team members received QBZ-95 Assault Rifles made by S&S, which I added to the shoulder straps I made from Green Stuff. Basicly I only did this to make the obvious French-looking miniatures (they are based upon such) look more Chinese army like.

The Dragon Rises: PLA weapon team with QJC-88 HMG

QJC-88 heavy machine gun emplacement. Figures by RH Liberation, based upon an Iraqi DShK team. Sandbags are from Italeri's 1/72 battlefield accessoires.
The loader has received a shoulder strap made from Green Stuff putty and a S&S rifle (QBZ-95)

The team wears Type-87 woodland camo. I tried to paint little red rectangulars, they shall resemble small Chinese flags worn on the shoulders...

Note the assault rifle I added to the loaders' back.

Sunday 17 April 2011

The Dragon Rises: PLA squad for the Battle For Skira

After months of doing nothing to them, I finally painted up one of three Mechnized Infantry squads for the PLA (=people's liberation army) made by S&S models. These will face the USMC in the "Battle For Skira" campaign, which is based upon the pc game Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising made by Codemasters. With only a limited number of miniatures available, I'll have to represent the PLA forces with some older equipment compared to the soldiers within the pc game. A squad's loadout: A= leader, QBZ-95 Assault Rifle B= rifleman, QBZ-95 Assault Rifle C= rifleman AT, QBZ-95 Assault Rifle and PF-89 launcher D= rifleman, QBZ-95 Assault Rifle E= fire team 2 leader, QBZ-95 Assault Rifle F= rifleman MG, QBB-95 Sqaud Automatic Weapon G= rifleman, QBZ-95 Assault Rifle H= rifleman, QBZ-95 Assault Rifle
Fire Team 2, second guy from left carrying the Chinese QBB-95 SAW light machine gun. Fire Team 1, second guy from left carrying a PF-89 AT rocket launcher.
Full squad in Type 87 general woodland camo.
Back view with webbing, pouches etc. Note the flag on their shoulder.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Generic Iraqi Force: ZPU-4 anti air gun

The ZPU-4 is a towed, quadruple-barreled anti-aircraft gun based on the Soviet KPV 14.5 mm machine gun.

Apart from the gunner who I didn't even start to paint yet, the ZPU-4 gun for my Iraqi army is done.

20mm metal kit by RH Liberation. Painted in Russian Green (Vallejo), washed with thinned down oil paint Viridian (Norma oil paints), chipped with Dark Angels Green (GW) and Scorched Brown (GW) as well as Saddle Brown (Vallejo). Tires are NATO black (Tamiya).

The whole model was dusted using MIG pigments and Tamiya weathering powder. Not the best kit made by Rolf, but painted I really like it.

Friday 8 April 2011

HUMINT, April 2011, Vol. 1: new releases for gaming "moderns"

HUMINT = human intelligence. A new series of posts on my blog about news of various tabletop miniature producing companies concerning "moderns". The pictures were taken off the producers' catalogues with their prior permission. Cheers for that guys! Links to their webshops can be found within the right column of my blog (see sources for 20mm....). Najewitz Modellbaushop releases for April 2011: Jens at Najewitz Modellbaushop has a new series of 20mm generic middle eastern buildings that can be used for Africa, Iraq and other settings.
Government Building or Palace

TheHobbyDen releases for April 2011:

20mm resin gaming models. Painted by Piers Brand.

Mercedes 220S M715 M151
Isuzu Flatbed lorry

Thursday 7 April 2011

Ambush Valley Vietnam sneak peeks

The Force On Force supplement Ambush Valley Vietnam (by Piers Brand and Joe Trevithick) is going to be released in October, so Piers has been busy taking a lot of pictures of "on table action" for the book. He is not only an excellent painter, he also knows how to create some really impressive photos of miniatures. Some of them he released as a little preview of things to come. Enjoy (and thanks to Piers!)

Monday 4 April 2011

Modern US Army: Abrams tanks WIP - turrets finished

Thank you, real life - for letting me have off from work for once. Oh happy day, I was able to put finishing touches to the Abrams turrets. Due to a lot of feedback that my vehicles appear to be too "clean" for frontline armour, I had a go on those turrets with Tamiya's superb weathering sets. These sets come with three boxes of pigmet powder in various tones and a dual applicator (one side a brush, the other a pen-type Weathering Stick). Please note that no matt varnish was applied when I took these pics. It is absolutely necessary to apply a coat, otherwise the pigmets will stick to your fingers everytime you grab your toys!!! See the frontside of the armoured turret hull - the vertical weathering was done with the applicator stick.
A close up of the weathering in various tones of pigment.
Another shot of the frontside. I used "Sand", "Light Sand" and "Dust" to apply those faded lines.
See the dust and pigments on the turret top? These were applied with the brush side of the applicator tool.
I mixed all pigments that came in the sets from Tamiya and used the applicator tool's brush to "drybrush" (the technique is the same as with a acryl or enamel paint) dust and sand into all recesses. Note the duffel bags in the lower part of the pic - it shows traces of multiple tones of pigment.
With the pen-side of the applicator I brushed carefully over all weld seams. I also applied dust to where the crew would most likely have went over on the top of the turrets.
The barrel of "Columbia 2", 2nd platoon, Charly Company, Task Force 1-64
The barrel of "Carnitore", 2nd platoon, Charly Company, Task Force 1-64
Multiple pigments were mixed and applied heavily over the complete stowage, just as it would have been in a sand storm.
The strong amounts of powder in-between the items in the stowage bins creates a very realistic look.