Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Terrain Tiles III

I have been slowly assembling the tiles. There have been hick ups along the way, mostly with magnets placed the wrong way round. Always check these things before final assembly. Easy to say, almost impossible to follow.
I now have 4 tiles that fit together. The attachment is 'snug' without being anything to write home about. However I think it will suffice for gaming.

Now to put some stuff on top

Saturday, February 18, 2017

At the painting bench

With my new re-found eye sight, projects have started moving across the bench again.

First up the Russian horde required infantry.  I have had a packet around for a while, and had some SMG troops left from the Cavalry division.
I did some deep thinking about how many figures to put on a base (maybe 10 minutes). This is a balance between what looks good and what I either have lying round, or what my shallow pockets can afford. The number finally arrived at was 7. On the other hand, HMG stands (on the left) always look odd with just one gun team on them, so they have 2 plus an observer. There are also a few of engineer stands and some 82mm mortars to finish up.

 A closer look, though I tend to discourage this.

 Also in the basing stage were some H&R German SPG', in this case a PAK 40 mounted on a French chassis.

The British stuff has been sitting finished for a while and needs to go back into the boxes.

To finish I'd just like to say that I'm now "on" to Andy at H&R's cunning new sales tactic.  Orders can take up to 2 weeks to dispatch, which is quite understandable for a smaller setup with more important demands on the owners time. However this allows the chance to think "oh I forgot to order that", which is something that we have all done.Now we have the chance to add to the latest order, which I now note has doubled in size from 2 weeks ago when I first made it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Terrain Tiles Two

Now, its one thing to have a nice square terrain tile, its another level up to attach them to each other.
There have been many different methods tried over the years with varying degrees of success.
I've had a look at a few of them and for a variety of reasons they just don't suit me. Now that I've backed myself into a self imposed corner so to speak, my solution is magnets. The smaller ones are commonly used to hold models together. I purchased 100 larger 10mm ones for just under NZ$50.

The trick with magnets is that they have 2 poles (lets just call them + and - as it will make me typing this easier). The trick is to have one of each on a side, and keep this consistent throughout the whole lot. I have made a master side with the longer side to the left. and installed 2 magnets in a + - orientation. As long as the rest match this (or mirror image if you stuff it up like I did) then they will all connect together.

 From bottom to top we have the master side, 2 magnets positioned in the right orientation above them (the magnets have a sizable through space interaction to the point that one shattered returning to the stack at high velocity). The magnets are then picked up and placed in the holes. The sides are turned over, placed on a flush flat surface and the magnets forced to sit flat in the hole. Fill the hole up with liquid nails (or similar) and leave till its set.

Assemble the sides round the plastic core and then glue the carpet tiles on top. Job done.

The first 2 completed, and they attach to all edges. The magnets are strong enough for one tile to hang off another but I wouldn't bank my life on it.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Back at the bench

Confession time.

I have not done that much painting in the last 12 months. This has been down to the slow deterioration of my eyesight. Fortunately I'm going towards the longsighted end of the spectrum, so I'm fine functioning in everyday life. the problem arrives when I'm trying to look at things up close....like 6mm figures. Its not too bad painting the AFV's (unless tires are involved) but the men have been a real struggle.
Now I've been trying to avoid accepting this for a while ( I'm Peter Pan dammit!), but last weekend I finally went into the Red Shed optometrist and after a couple of minutes came away with a solution of sorts.

I've been told that they make me look smarter (maybe I should wear them at work).They can be used as bifocals if you push them to the end of your nose, providing hours of hilarity for the lady of the house.

The result is that I finished a battalion of Panzer Grenadiers with supports. For a bit of variety I've modeled the 21st panzer division in 1944. This division was equipped with conversions from captured French chassis. The Half track is the Le SPW 304(f). I've used the H&R GR08 Panzergrenadiers, cutting the standing figures off to fit in the back of the half tracks.

 Well, apart from the BHQ which is a Sd Kfz 251/3 C model. It should be the later simplified D model but this came out of 'Der Box'. The stand still needs another vehicle

The support weapons are also on French chassis. From left to right they are; a baby neblewerfer, a Pak40 on a half track and a 20 SP mm AA unit.

Models are all H&R ex Armstrong models. I still have some other models to finish for the divisional AT units.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Terrain tiles take shape.

For the base of my tiles I decided to use 1" thick extruded polystyrene. This is stiffer and more solid than the expanded version, and far lighter than MDF or plywood. it sells locally for $15 a sheet which will do 2 tiles with one knife cut.

The carpet is then glued on with No More Nails which doesn't seem to interact with the plastic an any way. The carpet tiles themselves also have residual glue from whatever held them down in their last life, which gives a bit of tack round the edges. I will add some rare earth magnets to help things hold together on the table top.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Roll on 2017

Well, 2016 was not a great year for gaming. I think I've played 4 SH and 1 MSH game, and pretty much nothing else.

Last week while on a visit to the local recycled timber yard (currently shut due to the timber stacks falling over in the Kaikoura earthquake) I came across some green carpet 1' squares cheap-ish. 

I'm not sure when this colour was popular but I manged to get a pile of it during a refurbishment in my University department a few jobs back. This did sterling service under our re-fights of Crete and Sedan.

So, with a 110 squares I figure that there's enough for 20 odd 2' square terrain tiles (including hills etc) so I'll have to start doing some thinking on what sort of terrain that I want. one of the first stops will be my collection of 1:50000 maps of West Germany

"What, doesn't everyone have some?"
I'm also doing some research on the areas of lower Austria, but mostly using Google earth. its not great but does tell you things like typical roof colours. Its a bit of a pain that Germany and Austria have opted out of Streetview.

(Oh and if anyone knows of any good maps of Prussia or Courland C1944-45 I would be interested).

Sunday, October 30, 2016

MSH encounter battle on the road to Bad Hersfeld

I hate to think how long its been since I last played MSH. I think its well over 2 years. My fellow SH player in Palmerston North had expressed an interest in playing an MSH game as it fits with his interests as well. I provided the armies and he supplied the location. I even managed to remember to take some pictures.

the US forces consisted of 4 understrength battalions from the 1st brigade of the 3rd armoured division. Lucky for Jon, he got to command a battalion of M60A2's (I'm a generous sort of guy, and its hard to find the points for 2 battalions of M60A1's). My lists was 2 full BTR 70 battalions with T64B companies and 122mm artillery support, backed up by the divisions independent tank battalion with T62's and 152mm artillery support. The table was laid out and the dice thrown to give an encounter battle with Jon having 1 battalion on table.

Jon placed his on table BHQ on the far large hill. I looked at the table and pondered attacking across a stream into the teeth of a set battalion. My generalship skills must be improving as I recognized this as a bad idea. I decided to flank march from the near table edge with one infantry battalion and the second across the hill. The T62 battalion would follow on turn 3 down the central road.

So, what was the US plan? As far as I could glean it was along these lines.

One of the infantry battalions was placed in reserve behind the M60A1 battalion on the hill. the M60A2's got the crossroads (and a meeting with the T62's) and the M113 battalion held the southern flank.  Moving the action on a couple of turns and we get to this...

The 2 Russian infantry battalions push in on the left flank while the T62's charge the M60A2 battalion. The US troops on the right flank start moving to flank the Russians but just a bit slowly.

A few turns further on and the fighting got very confused with stands all over the place.

The US infantry was having a great day in close combat with my troops taking a kicking. however direct fire and artillery slowly whittles them down in the top left. The T62's were demonstrating what a bad idea missles in a tank were, and the second largely fresh BTR battalion was positioning itself to take on the flanking M60A1 battalion. For those wondering what the hell is going on in the middle, there were hedge rows attached to one side of the cast roads which severely limited shooting ranges and firing arch's. The M150 stands were also demonstrating how poorly the MSH rules deal with ATGW armed tank destroyers.

Finally the US infantry battalion broke, and the T62's won a close combat round (the Russians 1st after 5 attempts). The T62's had outshot there opponents, and the Russian infantry was starting to make inroads into the attacking M60A1 battalion. At this point we called the game as I had another appointment. I realized that not only had I not used the Hinds I had, but the counter battery units the US had been given were in fact for the defend list I had knocked up that morning. The counted battery was far less of a problem than it could have been due to a long streak of 1's on the dice. I also didn't make clear enough the benefits of cross attachment at the start of the game which could have changed things if the M60A1's had been more spread out across the table.

Despite this it was a good hard scrap between 2 reasonably balanced forces. Hopefully this will encourage Jon to play a few more games.