Friday, September 28, 2012

King Tigers

Initially, I was not too enthused with Devil's Charge.  I had already settled on my new American force, and the German lists seemed to give me little to work with, at least without having to expand my model collection.  However, when I got the book I was intrigued at the possibility of using FT King Tigers.  I eventually realized that I still wasn't enthused with the German lists, but the pictures of the big cats thundering down the battlefield sparked my imagination.  I love Battlefront's King Tiger models, and mine don't see the table as often as I wish they would.  So I decided that they would be next on my re-painting queue (those who have read my earlier posts know that I'm re-painting all of my German armor).

I hadn't laid eyes on these King Tigers in over a year, and I had assembled them about 3 years ago! My painting/modelling skills have come a long way since then.  I started by airbrushing the basecoat (Vallejo Air Dark Yellow) over the existing paint scheme (see the earlier posts on the Panthers and Desert Tiger for an idea of what the old scheme was like).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: TD's

As an avid reader of history, I feel that one of the things I can contribute to the hobby blogosphere are reviews of what I have recently read.  For my first review I will dive into a book that really inspired me to get into American Tank Destroyers for FoW.  The book is Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer Force by Harry Yiede.  I purchased the book for my Kindle off Amazon, for the great price of $6-7 (can't remember exactly).

M10 - made it's debut in Africa and became an instant favorite

Was this the best World War Two book I have ever read? No. But God-damn was this book an action-packed and well-researched portrayal of the American Tank Destroyer units (TD's).  The book covers the creation of the controversial TD doctrine, first contact with the enemy in Africa, the slugfest of Italy, the high-water mark of the Normandy breakout, and the death-knell of the winter fighting in Germany.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Battle Report (with pics)

I was able to get a game in for the first time in about three weeks last night. For most of my FoW "career" I have played Axis, either Finns or Germans.  However, recently I read a book about the US Tank Destroyer forces in WW2, and it totally inspired me to build a TD company out of BGG.  Those guys took on Panthers while basically riding a tin can with a gun on top. Plus, I was looking to play a force that was very different from what I'm used to.  Not large blocs of infantry (Finns); not heavy armor (Germans); but something light and fast (Hellcats).

Now, while I have a blast whenever I get to roll dice and move tanks and army dudes around a table, I definitely don't play to lose. I only get to play sparingly, so anytime I get to roll dice it's to try and refine a list and to get better at the game.

So yesterday I ran my TD list against Brandon, who was running a 101st Airborne list out of TT.  Our tournaments at the store are never Red vs. Blue, so we'll assume that this was a war-game or training exercise.  I have played a couple of games with the TD's before, but definitely haven't gotten the feel for them yet.  I was also trying to use Patton for the first time.  We were playing 1780 points, and the mission was Counterattack. My list:

HQ - 2 M20 scout cars
4 Hellcats
4 Hellcats
4 Stuarts (vets)
4 Stuarts (vets)
Armored Rifles (vets)
TD Pioneers

He had his HQ (possibly with extra bazookas), two large airborne platoons, glider HMGs, glider 57mm guns, 5 Shermans (CV), a six-gun 105 battery, and priority air.  Brandon was coming off a strong 3rd-place finish at the store's most recent tournament.

My plan was to utilize Patton's spearhead rule to the fullest, make a bee-line toward the uncontested objective, and drop the hammer early in the game while the rest of his foot-slogging force struggled to keep up.  The board:

Just FYI, I use my iPhone for all pics. The open objective is visible in the bottom left quarter.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Desert Tigers

Before I really get going on this post, I just want to preface by saying that the truly historically accurate desert paint schemes for the Afrika Korps are not nearly as visually pleasing to me as what I had planned with the airbrush.  That said, I am still learning with the airbrush, and things won't be perfect.  So let's see what I've got.

I am getting into Early War and have settled on the German tank forces under Rommel's command.  I like the Panzer IV list, as it will allow me to use those the bulk of those models in Mid-War as well.  Some buddies have tried to make their case for the Panzer III's, but the way I see it: tanks are mobile 90% of the time; that ROF 3 on the Panzer III will hardly ever be as useful as the FP 3+ on the Panzer IV.

So, we open with a Tiger! Yes, I used one of my Tigers to test the paint scheme for my future Panzer IV's. Right now I haven't finished building my Panzer IV's, so this will have to do for now.  If it works out then I can use it in a Mid-War Afrika list.  Here is what the bad boy looked like beforehand:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Airbrush Intro from a Beginner

Hey guys,

Although anyone thinking about jumping into airbrushing should definitely consult more experienced users than I am, I think that my perspective can still shed some light on the process.  Since I just started, the initial trials and tribulations are still fresh in my mind.

So, do you need an airbrush? Use some of my criteria below as a guide:

First, and most importantly, figure out why you want an airbrush.  The whole kit, from the airbrush to the compressor to the special parts and paints, will definitely hit your wallet pretty hard.  For me, the selling point was speed.  Painting is not the most enjoyable part of the hobby for me, so anything that sped up my painting was something I was interested with.

Second, do your research.  I am lucky in that I have a good friend who is a Golden Demon-caliber painter, and so I went to him for advice.  He recommended that I get one.  Then I did the usual internet research: blogs, videos, etc.  Then I asked around Brother's Grim Games, my FLGS.  A good friend of mine there, who is an outstanding and meticulous painter, highly recommended the airbrush.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Panther Redux

For my first meaty post, I'd like to introduce you to my main current painting project.  Lately my gaming has been focused on playing with Americans, after a long stint of playing Finns and Germans.  Since my Americans are now getting all the gaming love, I have decided to revisit my German tanks.  First up, in honor of Devil's Charge, my panthers!

Here is what they used to look like:

That's from several years ago.  For my first LW army I needed something that would be easy on the wallet and simple to paint. At that time 5 Panthers, 2 Tigers, 3 StuGs, and 2 Armored AA vehicles was 1750 points and just 12 models...perfect!! The army grew, but the paint schemes remained this simple, juvenile scheme.

But for a recent birthday my family gifted me with an airbrush (a Badger 105), and it has been a godsend.  So, for my first real project with the new tool (I've had a little practice base-coating my American tanks) I decided to re-do my Germans.  I started by basecoating the Panthers with Vallejo Air - Dark Yellow:


Hello everyone, and welcome to my hobby blog.  Mostly this blog will be geared toward Flames of War, hopefully some Bolt Action later, and perhaps a rare pinch of 40k (a very rare pinch of that). I won't be posting daily, but I hope that every post will be worth your time.

Also, and here is the first disclaimer, I am not a good painter. I love seeing an army come together in a cohesive color scheme, and I love playing with fully-painted armies, but I am not an expert painter by any means.  So when you see posts about my painting progress, please remember that I'm not gunning for a Best Painted at Historicon; I'm just engaging in that endless struggle of the miniatures hobbyist: to complete my painting queue.