Friday, May 22, 2015

Fury (2014 Movie)

This week I slogged through Fury, the 2014 movie staring Brad Pitt as a WWII American tank commander in the last days of the Third Reich.  Mr. Pitt commands a M4 Easy Eight called Fury, with a hardened veteran crew that needs a replacement assistant driver, naturally supplied by a brand new guy who has been in the army only a couple months, and is a clerk typist, not a tank crew man (much like the character in Saving Private Ryan).  After a few experiences, the new guy becomes part of the crew, learns to kill Nazis, and then is a hero.

First the good stuff: I did like how the tanks and equipment were real (mostly) and watching the tanks operate with infantry was pretty interesting.  Tank rounds seemed to either penetrate or be deflected, rather than be absorbed by armor, which was an interesting change over most movies. Shia the beef was also pretty good in his role as the gunner of the tank, so apparently small doses of him are not bad.

The Hollywood element was a bit much though, for example when dueling with a Tiger I, they both rush towards one another, and the Sherman manages to out turn the Tiger to shoot it in the rear (although Wikipedia says that a Tiger I could traverse the main gun 360 degrees in 19 seconds, so...).  [I was also going to say that the tank should have been a Tiger II or a Panther at this stage of the war, but apparently a few old Tigers really did fight in the last days of the war]  A character also takes two potato masher grenades inside the tank, but remains whole so that another character can weep over them later... which stands out in comparison to the unrelenting (and unneeded) gore of the rest of the film (and no one ever bails out of a knocked out tank).  There is also the obligatory "totally-consensual-and-not-at-all-rape" scene with a contemporarily attractive and dressed girl, which is in contrast to her more period appropriate cousin.

Over all the movie was just ok, and I am glad that I did not pay to see it in the theater.

If you were interested in gaming the battle between the Tiger and the tanks, Plastic Soldier Company sells a 15mm Tiger I, but not an Easy Eight to represent the titular tank, although that can be sourced from Battlefront. The supporting tanks seem to be a mix of M4A3s, which Battlefront has in plastic.  [they also seem to have plastic Pershings, which means you could easily field more on your table top than fought in the whole of the war]

Friday, May 8, 2015

Painting Preview

A few preview pictures for your review. I say preview, because I took them on my phone, and because I was not able to get the colors to come out very well, so please assume they are both sharper and more nicely colored! Sometime I will get around to taking better shots. Obviously both set of figures need further base work as well. 

 First up is an INQ28 group, consisting of four members of the Watch, a local police force.  They are built from Empire handgunner bodies, various Cadian arms, and some other bitz.  They were also an experiment in undercoating in a color closer to the final, as you can see from the light blue around their feet.  Unfortunately, the light blue was much harder to cover up than I anticipated, and I would not repeat its use even for mostly blue figures. 

The next figure is a mild conversion of a Reaper Bones figure.  I replaced the head and added a shield, both of which were very easy conversions, as a sharp knife cuts right through the vinyl.  Painted as a somewhat generic chaos champion, with no cult markings so that he can be either undivided, or Nurgle as needed (the armor being green tinted).

Monday, May 4, 2015

Rebel Blockade Runner


Ignore the contents of my counter... the light was good there. 

The "real" CR90 should be about 150 m long, so this works out to ~1/360 scale
For a fifth birthday gift, I got #1 child got the pictured Electronic Rebel Blockade Runner, which was new in box from 1996!  Bought on ebay for not very much at all, particularly considering how long it had been moldering away in a box.  The batteries were still good, and the lights and sound work as well as they did back when it was released.

This will eventually pull double duty as a X-wing piece, although I have to figure out or acquire the rules for the official piece, and make a base.  It probably could stand to be detailed a little more, and would benefit from some weathering... this is after all for Star Wars, and grubby is the goal!

At 16 inches long this works out to about ~1/360 scale, and is too small as compared to the 1/270 scale of the official X-wing miniatures, but it is still quite a bit larger than the "official" figure.  (plus it has lights and sounds!)  It will be pretty dominating on the table top, since it is about 44% of a total table length!

The important part is that the kid liked it, and was zooming it around the room after opening it, and really, that makes it worth while.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Defeat by Phillippe-Paul De Ségur

As I have mentioned before, I have been doing a lot of reading lately (and not as much hobby as a result).
Probably not a period picture...
Thanks to my local library, I have just finished reading Defeat by Philippe-Paul de Ségur, who was an Aide-de-camp during Napoleon's invasion of Russia, and thus, was there to see much of what he writes about in this book discussing the Grand Army's invasion of Russia, and its subsequent defeat by winter and poor planning. This version of his book is a abridgment of the original two volumes (Histoire de Napoléon et de la grande armée pendant l'année 1812) published in 1824.

The book is full of vivid detail, although it tends more to salacious anecdotes than to detailed history, as might be expected by the publication date (and possibly due to the abridgment as well).  The author seems to have a poor opinion of Berthier, Napoleon's chief of staff and blames him in part for some of the disaster. By contrast, de Ségur, paints Eugéne de Beauhamis in a very heroic light.  (interestingly both Berthier and Eugéne were relatives by marriage to the King of Bavaria).  As might be expected from an Aide-de-camp, the more personal stories tend to be of arguments between the marshals, and not of combat action.

The book is full of great scenes like this one:

The terrain he [Napoleon] had to cross to reach Moscow presented a strange appearance.  Enormous fires had been lit in the middle of the fields, in thick, cold mud, and were being fed with mahogany furniture and gilded windows and doors.  Around these fires, on litters of dam straw, ill-protected by a few boards, soldiers and their officers, mud-stained and smoke-blackened, were seated in splendid armchairs, or lying on silk sofas. At their feet were heaped or spread out cashmere shawls, the rarest of Siberian furs, cloth of gold from persia, and silver dishes in which they were eating coarse black bread, baked in the ashed, and half-cooked, bloody horseflesh - strange combination of abundance and famine, wealth and filth, luxury and poverty! 


So, an interesting book, and you should check it out.
Gaming: As you might expect, the Perrys have a complete range of figures that would be useful for gaming the various parts of the 1812 expedition, both in the beginning as the Grand Army, and the disastrous retreat.  It has certainly increased my interest in the retreat, and in the following 1813 campaigns.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eureka 28mm Chaos

Now that is Chaos
I am the egg man! 
Not just goat men. Coming out in the next few months from Eureka Miniatures, although they will have some stock at Salute.

Pretty good looking figures, and the one Eureka 28mm figure I have is a good size, so these should work pretty well with older GW Chaos figures.  Should also be good for inquisitors to hunt down.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Terrain

I have been thinking a lot lately about Terrain for wargames. Seeing posts like this one from Eric the Shed, and this one from Whiskey priest do not help.

I have some sort of crazy ideas to have a table absolutely packed with terrain, done up to model train layout levels...  so nearly unplayable and certainly illogical given the frequency of games around here.

On a more practical note, a couple of months ago now, I had a quiet afternoon, and while the kids were sleeping, I got out all of my various "nearly built" terrain pieces.  By nearly built, I mean that they are not really kits, and would require very little to finish up. (so not my large box of unbuilt Cities of Death buildings)

As you can see it is a pretty sizable amount, particularly considering that the board that they are sitting on is ~two foot by three foot.  Mostly various plasticville stuff, with the GW crashed Aquila lander and the old 3rd edition ruins.  I should be sensible and work on finishing some of this stuff instead of dreaming of blocks of art deco flats...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Been away

It has been two months since I have posted here on the blog.  Not for lack of interest, but rather from lack of material.  I have not finished anything lately, and indeed have been pretty short of hobby time generally. I have been reading quite a bit, but nothing that really motivated me to post.

So, yeah, still alive, and I will hopefully have something to post... soon.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Inq28 - The Sheriff of Slumpshire

A bit of a preview, as this figure is not entirely complete (and blowing it up to 400% on the monitor always reveals so so many flaws...)

but!  I do paint things from time to time, and here is the result:
Sheriff JB
Built over a long period, and spurred to completion by Asslessman's muties, Parts from five different kits, as is the only way for an Inq28 figure.

He has two fellows also painted, and also forthcoming.  If the weather behaves they are getting a dullcote spray this weekend, and hopefully a proper photography session. Bases will have to wait until I make up my mind on what to do.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

INQ28 - Homine Piscis


A classic fishman, as needed by all right thinking scifi games.

This one is converted from a Reaper bones figure, with Kroot arms, various Eldar bitz, and a gun made from a number of sources. (including a Marine autopistol from when they had such things)

I am still undecided if I should give him a breathing tank of some sort, and if he needs a technological lamp to go with his organic one.

The Bones material does not photograph very well, being stark white and slightly translucent in extremities, but it is super easy to convert, as a sharp knife will remove any unwanted details (in this case his original arms).  I have only started to paint a Bones figure, so I can not say how easy it is over all, but it seems to take paint like normal, and of course it is super light and flexible.

Any thoughts on colors?

INQ28 - Venator

Prior to the release of the Necromunda game, Games Workshop had a set of rules released through White Dwarf that trod some of the same ground, and indeed featured skirmishes between rival gangs set in the Hives of Necromunda.  However, instead of gangs based on nation sized noble houses, Confrontation had gangs based more on profession, or social status.  One of those gangs was the Venators, or professional bounty hunters, as discussed here on the Leadplague blog.

Inspired by some discussion on how to kitbash a Venator, I created the following:


I still need to sand the putty again, and these are but hasty camera phone pictures, but you get the idea.

I used empire militia legs, a Bretonnian archer torso, an old Necromunda Orlock pistol, and a space marine scroll as the "warrant". The head is made from a 6th Edition empire drummer head, and half of a Sanguineous death mask.

For Inquisitor he is equipped pretty lightly with a Stubgun and a club, but most of the time I am sure that it suffices.