Monday, 30 January 2012

What's on the painting table then?

It's gone a bit quiet on the gaming front recently. Despite finishing my book on FX trading (all that's left are the funky charts to do), work has inevitably picked up in the mad rush towards Easter and my departure to Argentina. Just as the weather is starting to get colder here in Sussex, I can begin swotting up on my Spanish and dreaming of hotter weather. The regular RPG sessions have also become disrupted by diary clashes, but I'm hoping that will resume before I disappear!

In the meantime I've been busy painting miniatures in an effort to get some war games in before I go to South America. I've got a fair bit on the painting table at the moment.

First up, a big batch of Germans is nearing completion. I've been experimenting with camouflage this time around (my first couple of German squads were less successful, as my efforts to recreate feldgrau tunics were an abject failure - abject and embarrassing). Again, WW2 era Wehrmacht camo smocks are not easily attempted, and I fear my new squad is looking more like it is clad in 1980s era British Army of the Rhine standard fatigues than anything that was issued pre-1945.

I've been perusing Mongoose Publishing's Battlefield Evolution: World At War rules with a view to giving these a run through, and totting up the points value of my Soviet platoon, the idea being that I get my Germans up to the same value. In our last WW2 game, where we used Disposable Heroes, I felt the Soviets really trashed the Germans, although they failed to come up with a good way to stop the Panther tank. Right now, with a little bit of artillery support and the addition of two M3 half tracks on lend-lease, the Soviets are close to 1250 points in Mongoose parlance, which seems like a respectable size. There's scope there for adding another squad (I like the idea of some Russian pioneers with a flame thrower) and a T-26 light tank, but this seems like a decent sized force to begin with.

In the blue corner, so to speak, we have the Heer. I'm not sure yet what their points value is, but it looks like they will get three full squads plus one or two sniper teams and a Panther tank in support. Hopefully we'll get them into battle in the next couple of weeks. I will try and publish my full army list for both sides on the blog once I've finalised it.

Also on the table are my Zulus. It has been taking me a long, long time to get these guys finished. I've set myself the goal of painting up all the Zulus currently on my desk which are primed and based. I've got some generals and a nice unit of 12 elite married Zulus with white shields who really do look amazing, albeit wearing ceremonial garb which they apparently never took the field in. I've also painted up 10 Wargames Factory plastic Zulus. I have to say I'm less than bowled over by the quality of the WF sculpts, but painted up they are beginning to look reasonable.

Added to this we've got about 10 Foundry and Black Tree Zulus, a unit of 10 musket-armed Zulus to give them a bit of extra firepower, 18 Natal Native Contingent for the British (Foundry), and 12 Boers (Black Tree). It all amounts to a fairly solid expansion to both sides' capabilities, and I'm keen to get them onto the table as soon as I can. I'm look to try out both Triumph & Tragedy and Colonial Adventures if I can get the time in before I head off to the southern hemisphere. With these regiments added to my existing colonial forces, they will start to look a bit respectable!

Finally, I've got some Uruk Hai Scouts for Lord of the Rings, and a collection of assorted figures for my upcoming Linden Way battle scenario (the next episode in my Bloodbath At Orc's Drift epic). In the main, the latter are peasants, with the odd character figure thrown in, part of the human settlement at Linden Way. They're coming along nicely. I always like to have some figures on the side to act as a break in pace from painting Zulus (!) and to let me experiment with. You can also use them to try out new colours and combinations. The downside is that it can take AGES to get them finished, as I have the bad habit of tinkering with paint schemes well beyond the point at which the miniature really should have been completed. However, in this case it will really delay the presentation of Linden Way, which would be a pity...

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