Tuesday, February 25, 2014

15mm Australian Defence Force by Eureka and Khurasan.


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Nic over at Eureka has asked me to delve into their brand new ADF range and paint them up in modern colors. These are really amazing sculpts, and its hard to overemphasize how taken I was with the range. Given the complexity of Australian camo I decided to try and tackle it in a more stylized manner with extremely bright colors to really impress the different tones of the uniform.


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He also had me work on the new Bushmaster that will accompany the range. Once again, a really impressive kit with an immense amount of options: stowage; remote weapon systems/manned gun station options; what I assume are some sort of anti IED devices etc.

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I slightly converted the second incarnation and added a battlefront .50 cal to the weapon station

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Finally, I decided to take one of Khurasan's M1A2s and covert it to an M1A1SA. This mainly consisted of adding reactive tiling along the side, as well as removing the commander's thermal sighting system.

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I also used one of the spare stowage racks from the bushmaster to add additional gear to the bustle.

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For my purposes this constitutes all the armor and vehicles this force will likely need in my games. As such, my focus now will be on filling out the rest of the platoon.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Flytrap Factory 15mm USMC

As I have been returning to the hallowed grounds of 15mm of late, I have been excused to the bevvy of releases that have emerged in my absence. One avenue I wished to pursue was a new modern USMC force for our emerging Chain of Command Moderns game. While I have long been a disciple of Peter Pig, the range is really targeted at the late 90s/early 00s period. Finding high quality Marines is difficult. While Khurasan have recently released a fantastic range of contemporary US army, the Corps remains underrepresented in this scale.

The one company that has attempted a modern Jarhead range is Flytrap Factory, a relatively unknown producer in New Zealand with a strange combination of products that seems to be split between serious moderns and Chibi-styled steampunk fantasy...things. Their models, although photographed in relatively low res, appeared to have a great deal of character to them, and so I picked up a few packets of both their USMC and their 'generic' Middle Eastern military types. I'll take a look at the former here.




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The USMC packets contain 12 - 13 figures with a mix of M16A4s, grenade launchers and SAWs. They are all equipped with the modern-type body armor and weapons have all the usual attachments and sights endemic in conflict today.

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Pros: The figures are all possess a great deal of character and look like they will paint up very nicely. The range of poses in the individual packets means you get 13 very distinct individuals with no repeats. The sculpt quality is extremely high and on par with the best in the business. the range of equipment is also appreciated. Although it is a little difficult to tell, it appears that both the m249/mk48 and the M27 IAR are represented.

Cons: Although the sculpting quality is high, the quality control is not so great. Coming from someone who is used to Peter Pig, the level of flash on these seems very high. There is also a distinct lack of AT weapons represented, with no LAWs or M136s present in the loadouts. The basic weapon models do not appear to be consistent, and several M16s look completely different to others, a divergence that I don't think can be simply put down to alternative attachments. Finally, although in general the sculpts are great, there are two figures who appear to have very little actual torso and end up looking a bit ridiculous; case in point:

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Left to Right: Khurasan, Flytrap, Eureka, Peter Pig
 Size: Flytrap Factory's USMC fall squarely in the mid-range of the 15mm 'scale'; slightly larger than Peter Pig and Eureka offerings, while decidedly smaller than Khurasan's US infantry. While I wouldn't have an issue putting them alongside the former two, they appear far stockier and heavier than Khurasan's relatively thin US forces. As such, while I have used several kneeling Khurasan troops to plug gaps in the range, I don't think I'd want to any in the upright position right next to the Flytrap stuff.

Conclusion: Despite the flaws, Flytrap Factory's USMC are a worthy addition to the 15mm range and I feel the general character of the sculpts are pretty fantastic. The substitution of various troop-types, like ATGMs, is necessary, but as basic grunts these are very solid. Unfortunately for me two of the models in the packets are simply not up to scratch and need to be discarded, but the other 10 or so are worth the loss.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Despotic African Warlords ahoy

A lovely fellow over on the Guild contacted me a few months ago asking whether or not I accept commissions. These days I tend to be pretty reluctant to play the paint-for-cash game, as I tend to find that fiscally it doesn't really compensate that well and it also burns me out on the joy of painting pretty quickly. I've also been burned a few times, as was to happen ironically at the same time as this commission with another individual who assured me they wouldn't screw me over.

However, having had dealings with dude A a few times previously in various selloffs, I felt little concern. He also paid fully up front, so there was that.... :) Apparently, a number of 15mm tanks I have sold over the past year or so have been being consolidated in the armory of a tyrannical African dictator. There was only one problem; said dictator could not be found. Thus it was up to me to realise his corpulent vissage in 1/100 scale. I set to work:

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Here he stands with his faithful body guard and personal assistant, as well as his trust soviet-supplied GAZ jeep.



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And here he is after an unfortunate encounter with a rival militia/CIA killteam/bad batch of hoodoo drugs.

I always feel a little uncomfortable painting African militant, perhaps its my colonial heritage and the fact I really know very little about the history of post-colonial conflict in the region outside of the stereotypes.

I think perhaps Mitchell and Webb capture it best in this sketch
 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Soviet Army Showcase

Hey guys,

so my regular gaming buddy has gotten me hooked on Chain of Command; so much so that I've actually been working on something non-modern related for the past few weeks. The thing I really love about the CoC system is that it focuses on platoon-level engagements, with the assumption being you will always have the same core element, with a few additions chosen at your discretion. For me that provides a nice structure to paint/model by wherein I don't suffer 'collectors creep' and spiral off into a pile of never-ending lead.

enough waffling, on to the man dollies.

Platoon shot -

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DshK support element -

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Squad 1 -

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Squad 2 -

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Squad 3 -

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and the Big Boss, an IS-2 (which I found is a massive wrecker ingame, with germans scattering to the wind in its face) -

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so huge

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and hmm, what could this be?

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