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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Father's Day

My dear daughter swallowed her pride once again and visited Firestorm Games in Cardiff, to buy my Father's Day present.

And what a nice present it was!
A Pershing for my GF9 Tanks game.
You get a Battlefront Pershing Sprue which allows you to build a standard M26 or the up gunned "Super Pershing" with external recoil dampers and add on armour.
The artwork from the clam pack has pictorial assembly instructions for both options. The pack also comes with two vehicle cards for the game and four special skill/damage cards.
The models is very nicely mounded in dark green plastic. All parts free of flash and fitting together without issues. The turret has a seperate commanders turret hatch so you could put a command figure in if required.
The hull also went together very well and you have to option to leave off or fit mudguards.
There you have it, the finished article ready for painting.

An imposing vehicle that's almost a match for Panthers and Tigers. Lovely model to build, cannot fault it. Well worth giving these models a look.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tanks - the WW2 Skirmish Game

The other vehicle that came with the starter set was Battlefront's plastic Panther kit.
Once again this was a straight forward kit to make, which offers parts for both the Panther gun tank and the 88mm armed Jagdpanther tank 

I opted to make both hulls and leave them loose so I could have to option to field either model.
I added commander figures from PSC spares as the turrets could all be modelled open.
The only criticism I have is that the set of bazooka plates on the Panther have very prominent sink marks from the moulding process. Sadly I didn't notice these until I'd painted the models.
Time to spray prime the collection. White paint forming a good neutral starting point.
The US vehicles were painted overall in Vallejo Olive Drab. Then followed with a sepia wash before a final Heavy dry brush with lightened Olive Drab.
I then deviated from my usual track painting technique and started with a base coat of orange-brown. This then had a sepia wash before a final dry brush with silver.
The German AFVs were given a coat of Vallejo Midstone followed by patches of Beasty Brown and US Camo Green. The sepia wash was followed by dry brushing lightened versions of these three paints. The painted upper hills fit the lower hull quite tightly, and don't need magnets or anything to hold them together.
Track were painted as above. There are no markings included in the set, so I used some old Dragon Balkan Crosses and QRF Allied Star transfers to improve the look of the models.

The final three steps were to paint in the tool sets, lightly dry brush Iraqui Sand to highlight the detail and then a spray of Matt varnish to protect all that hard work.

I base all my AFVs on sand coated mdf for two reasons;-
1. To avoid models sliding into one another and becoming damaged  in their storage box
2. I try to hold the base when moving the vehicles to avoid damaging the paint job!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Tanks - the WW2 Tank Skirmish Game

I treated myself to something new, that I thought I might be able to use to get my Grandson (4) into tabletop gaming.
I've seen some of the usual vitriol aimed at anything FOW online, and to be honest this draws me more towards their products! I bought Team Yankee as I'd read Harold Coyle's novel of the same name many years ago, and it's a great rule book. I'll use it in 6mm as I already have enough miniatures, but the 15mm offerings from Battlefront are excellent too.

Tanks is a steal at only £16.20 from Firestorm games. You get three models, which make up as two alternatives each (2x M4A3 75 or 76mm & a Panther or Jagdpanther) plus you get everything else to get you started - 2D terrain pieces, dice, cards, counters etc.

The games mechanism is simple but I can see it leaving you having to think before you act. Yes there's cards that give your crew members skills that owe a little to Hollywood. But it's a skirmish game after all.....you should be able to individualise your tanks!

One bonus is the deck of cards covers a dozen or more different vehicles, not just the Panther and Sherman that came in the box. This will allow anyone with a collection of 15mm tanks to get started straight away and enjoy multi-tank battles on their 3 foot square battlefield. I've got a sheet of flocked pvc left from my HoTT terrain boards that I will cut to 33" xx 33", which I think will be near enough.

I'm looking forward to playing a game.

Below are a few pictures I took while assembling the Sherman's.
These are nothing like the early attempts at plastics that came with the Open Fire box. They're easily on a par with PSC. Parts are flash free, precisely mounded and fit together faultlessly.
The hull is the late M4A3 with welded glacis plate and vertical Volute suspension.
You then have a choice of turrets, the older M4 with 75mm or 105 mm or the newer turret with the 76mm. You'll notice that I accidentally fitted the 17pdr barrel and broke the additional .30" mg barrel ..... Doh! The US commander figure came from the PSC Stuart kit.
The older turret has a choice of US or British cupolas and the earlier 75mm mount if you wish.
I built one up with appliqué armour on the sides and glacis, spare track links and an uprated mantlet that mounts a .50" mg.

Good models that I cannot fault.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Mars Attacks

Finally tried these out in a solo game.
Simple first scenario. Five Martian Grunts versus 8 Marines (2 with SAW) in the picture above the five Martians started at the top of the picture whilst the marines started at the bottom.

Each player can activate upto two figures per move . They  can move twice, shoot and move, aim and shoot etc. There are cards at can be played instead of activating figures, but I chose not to cloud things too much for this first foray.
The marines moved onto the board and as Martians appeared, used fire and manoeuvre to deal with them.
Shooting is simple. Most weapons have a range of 3-4 squares, only the SAW could fire out to 12 squares. To shoot you roll 3 D8 (+1 for aiming and another +1 for a clear shot - no cover) in most cases 5+ = 1hit. The target then rolls 3 D8 to survive, 5/6+ = survive one hit. Wearing armour automatically saves one hit.
The outcome is decided by comparing hits to survives. If the shooter wins the target is killed. If the target wins he will be rattled and takes cover.
The game moves fast and by alternately activating two figures, the player has the option to set up assaults. Firstly softening up with aimed fire.
Then moving into fight hand to hand.
Fighting is very similar to shooting, as described above.
Ultimately some pretty shoddy dice rolling by the marines improved and they managed to kill four of the five Martians. The surviving alien legging it ASAP.
Good little game. Easy to learn (there are some very good YouTube videos that show how) and a good visual feast to boot.