Sunday, February 17, 2019

'Water Feature' from AdamC: Island Battery

When I saw this bonus round I was at a loss until I remembered I had a pair of 1/2400 scale 8" turrets thus this harbour island battery was born. Its all scratch built with pieces form my bits box.

The Island rises two levels of press board above the thin plywood base.  The Turrets are from my HMS Exeter model I built over the summer the rest of the bits are left over from 15mm tanks.

I've very proud of this details the jetty, dock and the path that leads up toe the armoured door leading to the under ground facilities for the fort. One small pill box over looks the entrance and a second one over looks the dock just in case someone should try some commando raid.  Getting supplies to and from an Island Fort is a key consideration and I am glad I thought to include this detail on the model.

The Turrets are magnetised but the are a bit too firmly attached to rotate easily still it can be done if I need to.  There is a small hatch in the upper left corner as a secondary access if there should be a need to get out the underground portions of the fort in a hurry.
The the upper right is a the main observation tower its the most visible portion of the fort and will probably draw lots of fire, there is a secondary command post at ground level in the centre.  To the lower left is another small pill box to guard the beach (though the beach has some nasty surf so an assault that way is probably a bad idea anyway.)

The rear of the island is a cliff or it could be the edge of the map since I think in most cases this will appear on the edge of the table. OK terrain points

Its 6.5 x 4 x 1 inch in area that 26 Cubic inches.

So that would be 4 points on top of the bonus points.

'Water Feature' from AlanD: Water Feature on the Starboard Bow!

Your Elven grottos and  babbling brooks are all very well, but few things say 'water feature' more than a big, ugly German minesweeper. 

Cruel Seas is certainly one of the games du jour at the moment, and we have been enjoying some maritime skirmishes at our games club. To add to the mayhem, I've painted up a Kriegsmarine M-Class minesweeper and four S-Booten for this week, all from Warlord Games. The S Boats bear the livery of the 2 Schnell-Boot Flotilla, although the ace symbols I painted on are too big.

The minesweeper's wake is modelled from greenstuff, and all the boats have extra crew figures either from Warlord, or ones that were very kindly printed and sent to me by Stewart - thanks mate! All up there are 37 figures. Mac from our club has designed some great little stands to show the S-Boots at speed, and I will be making some of those in due course.

I'll leave the scoring on this to Curt (sorry!) as I know he is thinking about how to score some of the larger ship models.


'Water Feature' from Barks: WWI Hex Battlefield

I've been pottering away on making a versatile modular hex-based WW1 battlefield, mostly for use with Commands and Colors: Great War. The Hext Kickstarter saw me get a 3D printer, with all the joys and troubles that brings.

15mm figures in no mans land

Each hex is ~3" across and 1" deep, allowing proper trenches and deeper craters, as well as a muddy streamlet.

Crater recessed into the surface

Muddy streamlet

I used Aqua Magic for the water, over Vallejo MC 70879 Green Brown.

It is a work a long way from completion, but the water round gives me a chance to share my vision.

Overhead view of work so far

Trial wood- I like it, but will go for taller trees. More in background.

Trial trench- matchstick posts and greenstuff sandbags. Needs duckboards. Labour intensive...

Future bunker and ruined village.

I've done 32 hexes so far. 24 of them fill a Standard Challenge Cube, so 25 points?

'Water Feature' from BenF: 1984 Soviet Landing Craft

Being back at work this week has meant that I've spent a lot of time trying to juggle new baby Evie and full time teaching. Consequently, I've not had much time for painting.

That said, I have managed to paint up these three for this bonus round. One of mys 6mm forces completed this challenge has been a mid 1980s Naval Infantry brigade. These brigades were to operate with the Baltic, Pacific, and Black Sea fleets, attacking Denmark, Sweden, or Turkey. They also appear to have been slated to support any Soviet attack on the Nordkapp, Northern Norway and Sweden. In order to transport my Naval Infantry in any amphibious attack, I needed some landing craft.

First off, the Akula, or shark class landing craft, called the Ondatra class by NATO. Roughly comparative to the US Landing Craft, Mechanised, the Ondatra can carry one tank, BTR, or BMP, or a platoon of infantry. The Akulas had a range of 500 nautical miles at 9 knots, and they would have operated from the Ivan Rogov class landing ships. This model is from Scotia Grendel's superb 'Ship-to-Shore' range. I added the soviet naval flag using the tin wrapping from a paracetamol pack. I also added some rust weathering, to fit in with my idea of rugged soviet technology.  The BTR-60PB is one painted previously for my Naval Infantry, and is added for scale.

Next, it's on to the air cushioned vehicles, with the Kalmar class, better known by it's NATO designation, the Lebed. A precursor to the US LCAC, the Lebed was a high speed hovercraft capable of carrying a pair of armoured vehicles or a company of infantry. As with the Akula, the limited range of the Lebed meant it operated from the Ivan Rogovs. Unlike the Akula, the Lebed was fast - with a top speed of  70 kts. It was also armed with one ADM-G6, a 30mm gatling gun Close-In-Weapons-System. I was the forerunner of the US LCAC, whose design it clearly influenced. The Lebed is also from Scotia. I might get another of these from Scotia, as each Ivan Rogov carried an Ondatra and two Lebeds.

Finally, it's the beast of the three, the Dzheyran Class, better known as the Aist in NATO parlance. This giant is actually the second largest hovercraft used by the Soviets, after the gargantuan Zubr. Despite this, the Aist is huge, being the size of a cross-channel ferry. With a top speed of 70 kts, it is capable of carrying a platoon of tanks along with two companies of infantry. It's also armed with two AK-230 30mm twin anti-aircraft guns and a quadruple Strela-2 SAM launcher. This giant is also from Scotia, and as with the others I aimed for a rusty, weathered look as I imagine vessels in the cold Baltic and North sea. 

I've added aerials and painted the Soviet naval ensign on the tails of the hovercraft, as well as adding some number decals. If i'm perfectly honest, the Aist, and probably the other two as well, are somewhat ridiculous. While they are unlikely to feature in a huge number of games, they will definitely be a focus point and feature of any amphibious landing. If I can convince myself to shell out the cash, I may even eventually add a Zubr to the collection, along with a Udaloy class destroyer. 

As far as points go, I'm not really sure with these. They're technically all 6mm, but the Ondatra is the same size as a Cruel Seas US PT Boat, the Lebed around the same size as one of my 20mm tanks, and the Aist dwarfs my 28mm Matilda II tank. 

'Water Feature' from BenitoM: Higgins Landing Craft

My contribution to this week’s bonus round is indirectly related to the British Airborne project: a landing craft (the US Higgins) widely used in the Normandy beaches on June 44.

Actually and to make things more clear, this entry should have been the landing craft AND a section of the Royal Marine Commandos, which were the first troops to contact with the airborne unit defending the positions at the famous Pegasus Bridge. 

Unfortunately, despite ordering some Commando blisters from Warlord in early January, the order was lost and only recovered in the system by the end of the month, hitting my mailbox at home too late to be finished for this entry.
Focusing on the model, this is a very nice  resin casting, full historically designed and produced by Barrage Miniatures. The model is fairly large (almost 20 cm long) and as you can see in the photos below can accommodate a good number of infantry models (mine are based in 25 mm rounds, but with use 20mm bases these can be put two to a file).

The ramp is also very cleverly designed to be either close or open with a “snap” mechanism that keeps it in place in either position.

I had some trouble finding a suitable crew models until alerted by a Swedish Lard penguin about the Rubicon amphibious Buffalo crew. These actually come with the 30mm cal. MMGs and perfectly fit in the positions of the Barrage model. Note nonetheless that Rubicon models are truly 25mm scale and therefore look slightly small when compared to the Warlord 28mm size figures.

This entry credits some additional 80 points to my Challenge score:
Vehicle (landing craft): 20 points
Crew: 2 half models + 1 full size model = 10 points
Bonus round extra: 50 points

'Water Feature from BillA: I Thought It Said "Water Creature"

So yes, as the title says, I initially misread this week's Bonus round as "Water Creature" instead of "Water Feature." I quickly realized my mistake, but I was so amused by it I had to run with it.  At my local game store, a Reaper "Large Water Elemental," molded in translucent blue plastic, proved the perfect option; I had used the equivalent Earth Elemental for a "Defensive Terrain" Bonus Round two Challenges ago, so why not continue the theme, right?

The entire figure, once washed and dried, was given an extra-heavy drybrush of Reaper's "Deep Ocean," followed by washes of Citadel "Drakenhof Nightshade" and "Athonian Camoshade," blue and green ink washes respectively, followed by drybrushings of "Marine Teal" and "Surf Aqua," then a 50-50 mix of Surf Aqua and Misty Grey half-drybrushed, half-stippled over the areas that looked foamy, and then a 25-25-50 mix of Surf Aqua/Misty Gray/Pure White lightly drybrushed over the top of that.  Finally, a little more Athonian Camoshade was worked into the recesses of the figure's base to represent it moving over earth and vegetation and some of that getting washed up into the Elemental.

Finally, here he is with the banshee I painted earlier in this year's Challenge to give a sense of scale.

'Water Feature' from ByronM: Armoured Jelly Fish Warrior

I was stumped for a theme week entry this time around, not really sure what to do.  I had initially planned doing some more 1/1200 scale Napoleonic ships from Langton that I have kicking around as I need to get them done, but decided against using them as a theme week entry as small figures just do not show as well.  I got digging through my pile-o-shame for something else and happened across what I think is a perfect fit, and something that most people will have not seen before.

The figure is from the Wrath of Kings game of a Hadross Gutter Friar.  He is the leader of a type of warriors for the undersea faction that is made up of various sea creatures with semi-human form.  There are shark-men, fish-men, crab-men, and more.  The model is of a jellyfish-man, which I haven't really seen anywhere else and I find pretty cool looking.


The Gutter Friar is the squad leader and is generally a different colour than the other men in the unit, so I wanted something that would really stand out.  I went with an almost neon green look.  The body was the hardest part to paint ans I did is all with glazes through the airbrush as I wanted a seamless organic look with no paint brush marks to disturb the surface.  I tried several times to get the bubbles done without using inks or washes around them, but in the end had to use them as even my super fine 0.15mm  H&S airbrush could not keep a small enough line to manage it.  Despite having to use washes to define the bubbles, I like how the rest of the green worked with the transitions from black, dark green, neon green, to almost a ivory for the highlights.

The armour was easy by comparison, going from a black through dark blue up to a bright blue.  I wanted to keep the armour black / dark blue but the contrast was so little against the luminous green that I had to punch it up a lot or it just looked black by comparison.

I was stuck a little with the Hadross symbols as well, as I initially tried gold or silver and neither showed well, so instead I went for a bright orange, which makes them pop a lot more against the blue.  Last up was the weapons which I kept a muted bronze that goes to bright gold at the highlights and almost black in the shadows.

While the game Wrath of Kings is not really my cup of tea, I fell in love with a lot of the cool figures they were putting out and got them cheap through their kickstarter.  They have since sat in boxes for years, so I am happy I finally got this guy out and painted, now I want to do more!!!  Maybe some shark-men will see some paint before the challenge is done!