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.