The iconic Battle of Arsuf almost did not happen this year at Adepticon. I had a bit of an incident moving the armies into the hall.
Imagine this times four! Took every minute I had before the game started to just get the figures back on their trays.
Despite the setback, we had a wonderful game with 7 players. Bucking the trend from prior games, the Arab players pulled out a victory this year by taking the action to the Norman players. King Richard was kept busy while the Saracens sent the Hospitallers packing.
We had very grand plans for Kursk in Bolt Action: 8 players, 8000 points per team, a 12×6 table with custom terrain. Then 3 players and most of the German figures failed to show up. We soldiered on with 5 players and 4000 points per team. The game lasted five turns until a misplaced artillery barrage mangled much of the German assault on the Russian hill top. Over all, the 8000 points and 70 some units was too much for the Bolt Action rule set, even with a team based dice draw system. I think will try it again next year, after all – what else will we do with 2 dozen T-34s
Like a number of gamers, I’ve bought into a number of kickstarters. My most current pledge is a set of 3D files for a medieval village from Real 3D Fantasy Printable Scenery. During the campaign, they provided a number of test files which include an outhouse and a dog house. The prints came out well and should paint up nicely. The Brave Bricklayer will give me enough files to create a small village good for Saga or even WW2. One of the advantages of a 3D file is that the kickstarter will be able to deliver in a reasonable time frame.
Speaking of unreasonable delivery times, 18 months after pledging, I will finally be getting my paints from the Reaper Miniatures Cav kickstarter this month. The Bones kickstarter was a phenomenon, sadly the follow up kickstarters from Reaper all fall short. I have a handful of figures in Bones 3 that will be my last kickstarter with Reaper.
Plastic Soviets from The Plastic Soldier Company. This inexpensive kit contains parts for 2 guns, I chose a 45mm M1942 anti tank gun and a 76mm M1943 infantry gun. The plastic is lighter and more flexible than most 28mm manufactures and the gun barrels do not compare well with other 76mm barrels found on Warlord kits.
Working on new terrain for the Kursk game at Adepticon. Most Bolt Action games are in built up urban areas with short lines of sight. The Kursk battles included fights on the open steppes of Russia. We played a game using the old trick of foam under cloth and stuffing for smoke. The rolling terrain provided excellent cover for the game. The smoke clouds will be paired with wrecked tanks for the big game.
Farm patch – a brown table mat with lines of flock glued on. Makes for a quick piece of eye candy on the table. The glue warps the cloth and pulls up the corners. Fortunately, the cloth stuck to the felt mat and laid flat for the game.
A Soviet WW2 army would not be complete without tanks. Five T34 mounting the 76mm cannon are appropriate for 1943, one features an earlier turret (a lucky survivor). The tank with the exposed crewman will count as the commander of the unit.
- Body – spray paint Krylon Hunter Green, black wash, color panels with Military Green (V), dry brush highlights with 50/50 Military Green and Terran Khaki
- Tracks – spray paint Krylon Black. Highlight with 40/60 Oily Steel (V) and Walnut (R).
- Tow Cable – Cold Gray (V) with Black Wash
- Splash a bit of Dark Sepia (SW) and Black Wash on for effect.
Summer project to create a Soviet army for Bolt Action is mostly done – at least the infantry segment of the army. Figures are a mix of Warlord Plastics and Black Tree Design metals.
Paint plan for WW2 Soviet Soldiers
- Base coat with Krylon brown spray.
- Body – US Field Drab (V). Mix with Heavy Goldbrown (V) for a yellow shade. Mix with Brown Violet for a green shade.
- Legs – Terran Khaki (R)
- Straps – Flat Earth (V)
- Gun Barrels – black under coat, Oily Steel (V) with black ink wash
- Gun Stocks – Umber Brown (V) wash
- Skin – Medium Flesh (V) with Gyphonne Sepia (GW) wash
- Boots – Muddy Brown (R) with black wash, or Walnut Brown(R) with Leather Brown (V)
- Great Coat (slung) – Terran Khaki (R)
- Great Coat worn – Heavy Brown (V)
- Helmets, Metal Equipment – Brown Violet (V)
Working with expanding foam is a project I started on a few years back – it seemed to be the perfect hobby terrain solution, light and cheap. A few months ago, I was approached by Mike from Dragon-Fall asking for help in creating large terrain items for the 40K tournament. It was the perfect motivation to restart work on the project.
Masters were printed at the local library using files from Thingiverse. Three file sets were used in the project:
Files used under Creative Commons non commercial license.
Masters were gap filled with putty to prevent the mold rubber from encapsulating the cargo container.
Tried out a new Mold Max product – NV14. This rubber is super stretchy and is also super smooth. It was able to penetrate the Lego mold box at nearly every point.
First cast with Foam It 8. Its always a bit of a trial to find the right mix amount. Here the foaming resin is lifting about 30 lb of paint and rubber.
Eventually the magic number of 72g/36g was found. The final product takes detail well. You can see a few air bubbles along the back ridge. Because the rubber mold was so flexible, I was able to open the mold wide and treat with talc to fix the bubble problem.
After a fall with a stack of paint cans, it was time to get serious with the mechanical restraint. The mold is enclosed in mdf boards on all sides. Duck tape holds the sides in position. The top board is inside a plastic bag to keep the resin from sticking. Once the resin is mixed, there is about a minute of working time to get the clamps in place before the mix spills out of the box.
War on the Eastern Front by James Lucas. This book is an aggregation of various interviews and first hand accounts from German soldiers fighting against the Soviets during WW2. Rather than focus on history or battle narratives, the text describes the effects of cold, snow, mud and Partisans. Several chapters detail the use of self propelled guns, Nebelwerfer and the tactics of encirclement. While written mostly from a German point of view and with western sources (published in 1980), the book is an engaging read with a focus on the hardships of the common soldier.
Russia at War 1941-45 by Vladimir Karpov. A photo journal written from a Russian perspective, the black and white pictures provide an insight into daily life of Soviet soldiers and civilians during WW2.