Thursday, April 29, 2010

a change of colors (quite literally)

When I started painting my US troops I was unsure of how to do camo at the 15mm scale, as such I ended up settling on a darker base green than I think is appropriate to convey 1980s era woodland BDUs, here are a bunch painted in this style


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Since then I decided to go for a lighter green that I think captures it, here is a comparison shot of the new generation (left) and the old generation (right).

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I also layered the skin more and left the weapons overall darker, heres a TOW team and a Sniper I did in the same scheme

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Apart from that I've gotten more air power mobile

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Gotten the soviets some more groovy toys for the VDV

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And finally grew some more panthers

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the miniature challenges of cold wargaming in 15mm

One of the most frustrating things of striking out into an area that isn't really covered by an official system is getting the appropriate miniatures for it. In the case of late Cold War I probably shouldn't complain: there are numerous manufacturers out there whom fill most of this period quite well, but the problem at the end of the day is quality, scaling and depth of ranges provided.

Scale

As many of you are undoubtably aware scale in any particular medium can vary greatly. Even GW and Forgeworld suffer from this, with the proportions and height of a typical 28mm Cadian guardsmen being noticably different to their Death Korp contemporaries.

In 15mm moderns there are much the same issues. While companies like Skytrex/Old Glory and Peter Pig produce at roughly the same scales, others like Quality Castings seem positively miniscule in comparison. This was showcased to me most clearly when comparing the Skytrex T-72 with the QC offering.

While the Skytrex model was chunky, well detailed and just 'felt right' the QC model had tracks that were 3 times too thin, lacked any sort of lower hull (it quite literally looked as if it was standing on tip-toes from the front on) and seemed as if it was more on the scale of 1/120 rather than the 1/100 that 15mm supposedly represents.

To many wargamers this type of issue is of no consequence, having pieces set on the table to represent their character suffices, but to the modelfags amongst us it is something that grates upon your sensibilities.

Quality

As somone who was raised on GW I will willingly admit my standards are probably too high in this department. My childhood swung between the space marines of second edition and various Dragon and Tamiya kits, all with their wonderful hyperdetailing.

Such as it was I entered the world of indie miniature producers with a skewed view on what to expect, and that stays with me to this day. While there are many good producers of 15mm moderns out there, there are also some abysmally shoddy ones. Perhaps the worst type is the mixed ranges, whereby some are up to standard, while others in the range are visually repugnant.

Here it is QRF that most worries me. While some of their range appears quite pleasing (I have recently, although with some consternation, ordered a batch of their Bradleys, models that appear quite superior to their only competitor over at Quality castings. While I hope that they turn out as they seem, my historical experience with QRF have shown them to have extremely mixed quality. I am certainly aware that they recieve large amounts of praise around the net, but until this moment I seem to be missing something.


Depth Of Range

Perhaps my biggest gripe lies here. While companies like PP and OG make great products, their gear is often extremely limited. While OG makes three great staples of the Soviet armory - the T-55, T-72 and BMP-1, that is essentially where it ends. Whats more distressing is the news I picked up that there were actual moulds made for an OG BMP-2 and T-80, but because the range never recieved the desired attention nothing was done about standardizing them.
These ranges also have a severe lack of modern US equipment, and one is forced to buy toys like the Johnny Lightning M1a1 to get a decent looking version of it.

If the OG or PP boys could get their shit together and release and release some T-80Us and M1a1s in their stylistic chunkiness they would have at least one eager customer :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Panthers and airpower to come

Well, I take back what I said about Panthers earlier, I am quite fond of the new ones I picked up from battlefront, even if they are the early problem ridden D models. I think what really put me off up until this point was Zimmerit, which can look pretty sketchy in 15mm and really detracts from the model. In total there will be 7 split between command and a full platoon. I decided to go for a sortve octopus minus suckers camo, which is a split between Dunkgelb and Olivgrun, although weirdly enough the green looks grey when you contrast it next to the yellow. I also minimalized the track weathering for a chance, I'm quite fond of this look so I may carry it over to future models.


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coming up I need to base a bunch of airpower as you can see

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

First MI-26 takes off

Little update - finished the first of 2 MI-26s - this kit is HUGE even in 1/144, pictured next to it is a 1/100 BMP!

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For those that arent aware this was basically the Russians deciding to make a helo version of the AC-130, capable of carrying 100 troops in full battle rattle or two BMDs