Friday, October 30, 2015

Hey, hey. Wait. What's a fellowship? It's a gay bar down on 9th. Aren't you glad we're thanking the Lord for a nautically themed gay bar?! Xyston 1/600 Greek Trireme review.

I wanted to do a review of the Xyston 1/600 Greek Trireme.  I think ancient naval combat is really interesting.  The loss of life is staggering.  I do not glorify that fact.  

Xyston mailed this and another one just like very quickly.  Each ship comes in a little cocaine bag like the one shown in this photo.

The kit comes with sails unfurled and furled (?).  You could also do the ship with the masts but no sails.  I have also seen other people model their ships with no masts or sails.  You really get a lot of options for your money.

I will warn you that this kit has no instructions.  You will have to look at reference material on the internet or elsewhere.  It took me some time to figure out where the mast spines went.  I wish Xyston would post some instructions.

Here is the finished model.  I decided to have the main sails deployed and the smaller sails tied up.  I also added some rigging to make the ship look cooler.  Xyston also sells crewmen and marines to run around on the decks of your ships.  They probably look better on the larger Hellenistic and Roman era ships.  I have added green stuff to simulate waves.  It is very similar to my Italian WW2 ships basing.  

These ships are awesome.  I was expecting them to be smaller in scale.  There are a few other companies that sell ancient era ships.  I am not on a first named basis but their product also looks good.  I plan on using these ships in games of DbMM and DbA.  

Highly recommended!!!

The Creature thus be formed... The Creature thus be formed!!

I was inspired by Jimmy Kimmel's finger of shame bit.  This beer can with a straw in it was really 
bad.  I think that a construction worker was sipping on this while he worked.  He has every right to relax while laying asphalt.
 How shameful is this?

I was thumbing through the DbMM book 1 and 2 looking at the Early and Later Greek Hoplite lists.  The DbA 3.0 list also has an option to field Greek rowers with improvised weapons.  It seemed like a chance to do some nice modeling.  A few stands of Irregular 6mm Sumerian skirmishers and a couple of Baccus Greek skirmishers was all it needed.  I had to strip them and start from scratch.  I realize that the sailors did not use their oars as weapons.  It gives them a more character GpS look (Greek Pelopponesian Sailor).

Here they are coming to shore with the rest of the Athenian army.  They are landing on my new DbA waterway terrain board.  If a Littoral force defends they have to place a WW on one side of the map.

Here is the naval landing party from the Early Greek Hoplite army from DbMM army book one.  This is what I would take in my allotted 6 triremes.  They can definitely cause some trouble on the enemy's side of the board.

I finished up some new Warfare in the Age of Madness troops.  These stands include the Dew Lords command team, the Dew Heralds recon team and a generic m113 and a pick up truck.
 The command team is a self portrait of sorts.  I am the guy with his hand up in the air.  My friend Eric is in the middle with the auto shotgun reaching for the hand set the radio man is offering him.  The bandoleer of shotgun shells is a nice touch.

These two guys are the scouts of the Dew Heralds.  They are a cautious bunch.  

This is the Dew Heralds medic.  He rides with the guys in the FaV.  I gave him a Hawaiian shirt as a nod to all the silly GI Joe characters.  This guy was originally a Flames of War Vietnam infantry lieutenant.  The back pack was sculpted by me.

These vehicles are generic and could be used by any force.  I painted them because they were loose ends on my painting table.

My ancient Greek army needed an olive grove.  This can be used for DbMM and DbA 3.0.  I tried to research the hut as much as possible.  I made a guess as to whether or not Greek farmers had thatched roofs and mud brick walls.  I could find very little evidence on this issue.  My creation came from watching "The 300 Spartans" on Netflix.  The goat herder lived in a hut that had a thatched roof.  The hut is made out of cereal box and gauze bandages and putty.  It is surprisingly sturdy.

 The olive grove also has a few farmers wandering about.  I looked up olive trees in the Mediterranean.  They average between 20 and 45 feet in height.  I think they are to scale with 1mm = 1 foot and 6mm = 6 ft.

I started making some Gods for "Of Gods and Mortals".  I have been wanting to play this in 6mm for a while.  The game is very easy to learn.  I am not really adding anything to my expenses or painting because most of the stuff used in the game is from DbMM.  The extra models are one shots or stuff I have lying around.  It is fun to figure out how to Legend model in 6mm.  It took very little time to do the conversions.  Athena was really fun to build.

I posted Zeus again. 
 Here is Athena and Ares.  Ares is a stock Greek commander from the Baccus range.  Athena is a Germanic peasant with a brass rod for a spear, a Hoplites shield and bit of green stuff for her helmet.  I based her off of a Roman marble sculpture of Athena.  Ares is surrounded by bubbling lava.

Odin is under the tree.  He has ravens on his shoulders.  Thor is still being finished.  He has sheep converted into goats.  The charioteer is a microworld games Viking command model.  Thor and Odin are also Microworld games.  The chariot is a Baccus Elf fantasy model and the goats are Baccus 6mm baa baa sheep.

This is the first stand of the spartans for DbA 3.  There will be more of this later.

I decided to do a DbA 3 army in 20mm (1/72).  This is partially for my kids when they get older.  It is also from my great love of ancient warfare in general.  I might be able to foster more interest in DbA 3.0 at a hobby store with 20mm armies and terrain.  In my experience 6mm models do not grab people's attention.  Maybe I scare people away with my seriousness...or my nudity.  This stand is of 20mm Gothian cavalry.  Plastic Soldier Review had some negative things to say about this kit.  I liked the price of the models and the detail is amazing.  It does lack the mass of 6mm but I can make several 20mm armies for the same price.  The guys are bigger for little hands to move around.  I hope my daughter and son will enjoy playing DbA with me.  The Goth cavalry will be used in a Patrician Roman II/82 force and an undecided historical enemy.  It will probably be the Huns or a Gothian force.
20mm is a nice scale for ancients.  Caesar, HaT and Italeri makes lots of good models for a low price point.  A complete Polybian Roman DbA force is dirt cheap.  I recommend because they sell those kits at a reduced price.  The detail on the 20mm models really sucked me into it.  It lacks the mass, but you can see the eyeballs on these models.  I cut the horseman's sword off and added a piece of filed down wire.  The sword is very flimsy.  The Italeri kit comes with 15 horsmen and was $16 at Hobby Town.  They were 10% off.  That means that one box will give you 5 stands of Gothic horse.  If you are considering 1/72 scale as a wargaming medium I recommend it.

This lion is a 52 cent soft rubber toy from Hobby Town.  I have my eye on the crocodile for an Egyptian "Giant Crocodile" Legend.  The lion is going to be the Naemean Lion that Hercules beat bare handed.  He is pretty big for a 6mm model.  That is fine as this lion is supposed to be pretty terrifying.  I will post finished pics soon.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Oh boy. Fiber Tablets. Yum Yum

 I kept meaning to get this entry up for several weeks.  Things kept stopping me.  I have started having more responsibilities around the house.  I am now a house husband.  My duties mainly involve watching the kids.  I have become very good at reading my six month old's moods.  Who says a man cannot do women things.  Let's hear it for the Masculinist movement.

 My other batch of M11/39s are now finished.  They came out very well.  I mixed up the dry brushing on the second set.  They look fine and probably appear to be a little more dusty.

I did the camo schemes in what I believe are historically accurate references.  One thing I did notice is that in all the m11/39 pictures I could find none of them had any platoon markings.  They were mostly naked.  It is also amusing that all the pictures are of abandoned or broken down tanks.  So I put recognition markers on the back of the turret but left the platoon symbols at home.  These tanks were fun to paint.

 Here are the completed vehicles for Warfare in the Age of Madness and Manoeuvre Group.  The Hemmt sat on my painting desk for far to long.  The Dew Raiders' vehicles are the Hemmt gun truck, the humvee and the FaV dune buggy thing.  The T54 tank in the background is a generic model.  The Hemmt and the FaV are QrF models.  The humvee is from Flytrap studios.  The owner is a really nice guy.  The T54 is a Peter Pig model. I was really impressed to get crew models with it.  The barrel came out of the bad completely straight and needed no re-positioning.  

The Hemtt is the heavy support and firepower of the Dew Lords.  Whenever the Dew Heralds get into a entanglement the gun truck is radioed in for help.  It carries several rifle teams with machine guns and Laws, a 240B machine gun team and a dismounted Mark 19 team.  Add a forward facing Mark 19, a .50 cal gunner and a rear facing M60.  This gun truck is heavily armed and poses quite a threat to anything but an armored vehicle.  

 All of the Mountain Dew boxes, ammo cans and MrE boxes are plasticard.  The fuel barrel is from Khurasan Miniatues.  The rusty plate steel is also plasticard.  I had to do ALOT of sanding to get this model functional.  All of the crew are Flames of War Vietnam M113 crew.  The same goes for the weapons.  The mark 19 crewman on the front is also Flames of War.  The mount and turret are all scratch built.  The Mark 19 was from the QrF FaV model.  I really like QRF's models.  Be prepared as they were very tricky to assemble.  It took some guess work and I had to look at lots of source photos.  The FaV had an assembly guide on Scale Creep Miniatures webpage.  I would not have gotten that together without it.

I am disappointed that my original idea for the Dew Lords was to have the Dew Heralds on dirt bikes and 4 wheel atvs.  The idea came from the novel 1632.  It is about an alien making a mistake on his course calculation and warping a small mining town in West Virginia to war torn Germany in the middle of the 30 years war.  I may have the name of the book wrong.  The two guys on foot are the scouts that dismount from the FaV.

 The FaV was originally supposed to be several guys on dirtbikes.  That idea died as there are not 15mm models of soldiers on dirtbikes.
 The humvee was originally imagined as two AtVs.  They dismounted as a rifle/Mg team.

 This is the more heavily armed support of the Dew Heralds.  The idea is that the FaV scouts ahead for a cache of Dew.  If they run into trouble they can radio the humvee to provide close support.  The humvee has a rifle/Mg team and a turret mounted .50 cal.  I had lots of fun putting all the Dew in the back of the humvee.  All of the stowage is from the original model.  It was originally intended to be a long range recon special forces vehicle.  The crewmen smoking a cigarette on the back is a Flames of War m113 crew member.  The 50 gunner is from Flytrap.  The first humvee I ordered was lost in the mail.  The owner sent a replacement and added a few random infantry men as an apology.

 The T54 may seem like an odd addition to a post apocalyptic North America.  I justified it by saying that World War III saw a gradual decrease of technology as the war drew into a stalemate.  Initially there was all the high tech weapons but attrition exhausted all of that.  Nations desperate for supplies started to pull older generation tanks out of moth balls.  In Iraq there is a dissident army that has a massive supply of older generation Soviet weapons.  Tons of BmPs and older tanks are sitting in a big field near the Iranian border.  I guess they are waiting for the right moment to invade Iran.  There is plenty of old Russian equipment laying around all over the world.  This particular tank was probably lost in the conflicts.  Some scavengers discovered it and got it working again.  The tank is pretty rusted out but it works.  I would probably limit the main gun ammo as that could be scarce.  Fuel is not an issue because there always seems to be fuel after the apocalypse.
 I have decided to set some painting goals for the end of the year.  My list included these WW2 Australians.  I am just about half way finished with them.
I decided to get into a 28mm game.  Infinity has always been cool and the rules are very enjoyable.  I got a little carried away and bought a little to much.  I have the Ariadna army box with the dismounted Maverick girl and a lot of Nomad models.
 This is a few things for Warfare in the age of madness.  These models will also be generic and useful for any army.
I did not take any pictures of the Greek 6mm stuff I need to paint.  I have decided to do a DbA Spartan force.  It needs 10 spear units, a psiloi and a cavalry.  The good news is that I have psiloi and a suitable cavalry unit.  I did a tally and I have 18 stands of Greek infantry and maybe 3 stands of Greek cavalry to paint.

I am also not buying anything else until I get more stuff painted.  I may consider buying 3 2pdr guns for a WW2 desert scenario.  The fun thing is that I could buy loose 47mm Italian AT guns and use British crew.  The Australians used captured Italian equipment.  They even had several m11/39s.  I am really excited about painting that because they painted giant kangroos all over them.  That was to avoid fratricide.

If anyone knows a good source for Italian tank camouflage in the desert please leave a comment.