Monday, November 29, 2010

Tank. Urban. Survival. Kit.

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I seem to be coming up on finishing the armor components of this project. The US armor is essentially complete at this stage, I don't think I really need anything more to play some decent sized games of FoF. Syrians will still be getting another mechanized platoon equipped with BMP-2s, but the end is near. Now I really need to focus on infantry, a sobering thought considering I need to paint nearly a hundred teeny tiny mans.

I finished an M1A1 and an M1A2SEP both with the TUSK upgrade

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and a little conversion I did a while ago, taking a QRF T-55M and bumping it all the way up to the M5 standard, complete with Kontakt-5. I wonder when the Ruskies will throw Kontakt-5 on the T-34??

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and a comparison shot between the QRF model and the Skytrex offering

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Infantry here I come

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

M1A2 SEP with TUSK

Got another Johnnie Lightning M1A1 in the mail and decided to upgrade it to a M1A2SEP with TUSK.

The main visual different between the A1 and the A2 is the gunner's thermal sight which appears as a large cylinder just forward of the loaders hatch, easily remedied with some plasticard. After that I decided to add a slightly more advanced commanders cupola, as seen on the later generation TUSKs, with complete frontal arc protection. Th .50 on the commanders hatch is also simplified over the A1, so I used a paper clip to simulate that, and added a protective shield over the top. Afterwords it was just a case of updating everything else in line with the previous M1A1 TUSK, loader's M240 with shielding, coaxial .50cal, side ERA platting and telephone unit on the rear.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a b-Radical update: how to get a proper tan, US army tan that is

It often seems some times the old US desert tan is a contest color on par with Dunkgelb. Across the Internets people argue about its true hue, which paints to use, and where it is employed.

The truth of course is not any one particular thread, but something in the middle.

Hummers painted in tan at ft Benning are a very different palor when compared with those in sand land, I can tell you from personal experience. Sun, sand and dust all come together to erode, stain and bleach army tan into an innumerable amount of shades and hues, leaving a very wide berth for us modelers to work with. So if you are stressing over just how accurate your forces are, dont! The truth is there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to shades of tan. They range everywhere from orange brown to an almost bleached bone color.

Now that thats over with I give you this weeks update, a platoon of M2A3s with the BUSK (Bradely Urban Survival Kit) upgrade). These things make T-55s look like Mini Coopers state wise! naturally they are painted tan ;)

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

AAR: Cleric Grab

Played a fine little game today with Syrian Republican Guard versus Brotherhood combatants. The idea was that in the run up to the US invasion of Syria there have been numerous Islamic uprisings across the state, and that government forces have had to crack down hard. Syrian Intel has pin pointed a particularity outspoken cleric and dispatched an understrength RG Mech infantry platoon to pick him up. Government forces must clear buildings in surrounding area and escort the cleric back to be detained.

The mission setup is as follows:

8 Turns/Variable

Republican Guard Forces:
2 Fireteams each armed with an AK, RPG and RPD mounted in a BMP-1P

2 Fireteams each armed with an AK, RPG and RPD mounted in a BMP-1P

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Points:

Per insurgent Killed - 1
successfully find and exfil cleric - 15

Extra rules: Each building must be searched, on a roll of 4 or LESS the cleric has been found. First building roll a D 20, second a D 12, third a D10, Force a D8. If all buildings are searched and cleric is not found it has been bad intell, exfiltrate area.

Firing ordnance weapons at building requires a quality check, if failed you have killed civilians - lose a point

Insurgent forces:

2 Fireteams with 2 AKs, 1 RPG, 1 RPD

Points:

Per Republican Guard Killed - 2
Per BMP Killed - 5
Per T-72 Killed - 10

extra rules: D3 fireteams arrive every turn as word spread that RG forces are searching for our beloved leader.

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Turn 1

RG armored forces occupy the center street and take up over watch while infantry moves in on the south east building, crashing through the lobby to screams of civilians the troopers find the building does not contain the mufti and head upstairs to cover the street.

Meanwhile the other fire team move south of the building, but are opened up on from the adjacent hotel, killing one trooper and seriously injuring another. the sole remaining soldier returns fire but to no effect. Suddenly there is a dull crack and the T-72 announces itself, killing three of the insurgents in the hotel and pinning the remainder. the other RG fire teams take this opportunity to pour it on and finish off the last shell shocked insurgent in the hotel.

to the to the north an RPG arcs out of the old warehouse, crashing into the lead BMP and throwing its track, lightly injuring the driver. The BMP and its compatriot return fire, killing three more insurgents and leaving a single RPG gunner in the dust.

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Turn 2:

A single group of insurgents arrives and one of the RG fireteams takes the opportunity in the lull to charge across open ground to the hotel. Quickly clearing the rooms they find nothing except some Filipino guest workers huddled in a broom closet.

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The covering fire team left out to the south of the south west building are joined by the sole survivor of b team and head inside the block.

The militants take this opportunity to storm the hotel again from the other direction. With little to gain in holding on and more buildings to check, the RG NCO orders his troops to fall back out front of the south east building already occupied by Syrian government forces, leaving the hotel to the rebels.

Turn 3

Several more militant groups arrive behind the north west warehouse and from the south, and the RG troops are feeling the pressure. Teams in the south east building open up at near point blank range on the hotel, decimating the militants inside and leaving the sole RPG gunner pinned. Out of nowhere a militant machine gun team appears, only to be gunned down by the weight of RG fire.

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The team that fell back from the hotel charge across the haze filled street for the apartment blocks in the north east, but receive fire from some of the newly arrived militants, lightly wounding one and pinning the team down right in front of the building.

The T-72 rotates its turret to deal with the remaining Insurgent in the warehouse, but a lucky RPG shot arcs out and strikes the turret ring. The HEAT warhead spikes through, splashing into the autoloader carousel and setting off a chain reaction that leavings the tank a smoking ruin. The combat pauses for a second to take in the spectacle.

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Turn 5

3 more militant groups arrive, things are getting hairy. RG forces in the South West building pour it on, killing several more militants across the sector. The BMPs do their bit too, pinning down two more militant teams with KIA.

Finally the Fireteam reach the apartment blocks, kicking in doors they find the cleric huddled behind a bed

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Turn 6

three more militant groups arrive and the situation is fast becoming untenable, with the south east building beginning to resemble Swiss cheese. More fire erupted from neighboring buildings, lightly wounding several more RG troops. Finally the Sargent in the occupied building hurls a smoke grenade. Seeing the opportune moment has arrived, the fire team with the cleric charges out into the street to disappear in the smoke. Mission accomplished!


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Final tallies:

RG
1 badly wounded
4 KIA (including tank crew)

Militia
~ 20 KIA/Badly wounded

RG Score:
Cleric Caught - 15 points
20 killed/badly wounded - 20
killed civilians - - 1

Total: 34

Militia Score:

2 killed/badly wounded - 4

T-72 killed - 10

total: 14

A great little game, and definitely not 'predestined'. The T-72 loss was a real blow and very much out of the blue for me. Fog Of War cards were a minimum and easily dealt with as they came up

Monday, November 15, 2010

Force on Force Mission: Airport Assault

In my spare time I've been looking at writing up a linear campaign based on the Task Force Lightning campaign from Combat Mission: Shock force. This represents my first attempt: the 2nd mission that some will remember had a pretty nasty objective tacked on at the end.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

hummmmmm...ers

Well, Lana is off for a couple weeks in New Orleans for a conference so I now have more spare time to focus on writing my thesis. Naturally its time to paint more mans, I am weak willed some times!

While I was working on the previous batch of Syrian armor I was also working on some of Irishserb's hummers in parallel. I've already reviewed these bad boys, and now finally get to bring them into the painting fold. While my force is going to be primarily of mechanized make, these will serve as specialist vehicles for sniper teams, EOD, CAS spotters, as well as the special forces snatch wagon.

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The SF buggy I wanted a bit more personalized, so I added an excessive amount of stowage to show a vehicle that was intended to operate independently for an extended amount of time. I also threw on a spare M-60 I had left over from some random Skytrex model just to give it a bit more personality.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

MOAR SYRIAN ARMOR

Hey hey hey, whats that? More tanks for Syria??? Why the fuck not? This week I decided to update QRF's T-62As to the BV standard. I love how awkward these guys look decked out in their reactive protection.

Usual accuracy caveats apply, I am well aware there are more reactive tiles in reality, but I think I got the overall look down :)

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Geoff also accidentally sent me a T-72MV instead of the Kontakt-5 panel mounting one I required and in his usual friendly manner dispatched a replacement. In the mean time I painted up the missend.

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I also managed to find a 1/100 MI-8 on ebay, this model was a nightmare to strip and repaint, but I got there! I wasn't completely happy with the chipping experinment I carried out on him - the idea was the chopper arrived in typical soviet green primer and has been losing its desert scheme. Grey just contrasts better. Oh well, lesson learned!

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I also repainted my Cold War SF operators to look more theater appropriate.

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Next week I'll finish up a bunch of hummers and this little beasty - a T-55m5 converted from the QRF T-55m

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Surviving the Urban Battlefield: Bradley style

A while ago I mentioned I had been working on making the 1/100 Forces of Valor Bradley toy into something gamable, well here are the results!

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All that was really required was a barrel change out and a new paint job. I'm very happy with how the scheme turned out, as I was a little worried, since painting US style desert schemes are different to our arab counterparts'.

I also finished up some more ACU fellas

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A couple more Syrians

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and probably my final foray into 28mm moderns, an Imprint T-90

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This sucker will be listed on Ebay, along with my other 28mms (T-80UK, BMP-3, BMP-2) as I have decided to focus on 15mm as my scale. linky - http://shop.ebay.com/taco_bat/m.html