0.14 Progress Update

I haven’t managed to finish anything, lately, but I have been a busy fellow, I promise.

First up, everything I’ve got going on.

What have I got going on?

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
You’ll notice a veritable wilderness of Woodland Scenics trees. I’ll go ahead and say it: WS trees are a complete waste of money for gaming, and I’ll never buy them again. I’ve used the official $8 hob-e-tac glue, I’ve used superglue, I’ve used copious amounts of matte varnish, and I’ve used a fine mist of PVA. NOTHING will convince the damned foilage and bushes to stick to the tree armature on a regular and predictable basis. Not to mention that the armatures are completely out of scale for 20mm figures. Bah. These will get me through the first game, though. Once I finish up the bases, that is.

There’s Rules, then there are RULES
The astute observer will see that I have a home-printed copy of the groan-inducingly named “Troops, Weapons, & Tactics” by Too Fat Lardies. As an aside, I also ordered Sharp Action from the Lardies, which is a dangerous thing for any number of reasons. Anyway, to the task at hand.

I’ll be using TW&T over NUTS! simply because TW&T is so much more engaging of a read. Organizationally, the two rule sets are about equal, that is to say slightly shoddy. However, TW&T is chock full of designer notes and explanations, not only of the how, but also of the why. I really dig that. Another advantage is that TW&T includes a lot of discussion of historical tactics for the Brits, Germans, USA, and Russian armies. As a newbie, that is much appreciated, as well. I’ll eventually get around to running NUTS!, but for now the Lardies have me much more enthused, and I think that’s quite important.

Something to Aim For
Directly underneath TW&T is the Skirmish Campaigns scenario book “Heroes of Omaha and Panzer Lehr.”

You can’t miss it, for its cover is an eye-searing shade of day-glo green. This book contains three campaigns for skirmish level games, and the one that I will be concentrating on covers the initial period after D-day. The campaign follows the progress of a platoon from the 29th Infantry Division as it works its way inland from the beach head. I briefly considered picking up the D-day scenario book, but I don’t think I’d ever get the terrain finished for something covering the beach, landing craft, massive bunkers, dragon’s teeth, and such.

In any case, I’m slowly working my way to building up the forces for the first scenario of the campaign, which is why I have the following company and battalion support elements primed and based.

The Irresistible Lure of Tanks

The fun stuff...

You’ll also notice a pair of Tigers and Stug IIIs. No, I don’t need them, but I figured I should get the inevitable Tiger model building out-of-the-way and the Stug was so historically ubiquitous that I’m sure they’ll come in handy some time soon.

The Tigers are Italeri fast build and the Stugs are Armourfast. Both models were pretty much a breeze to put together, but a word of warning about the Armourfast kit: It’s very hard to locate the treads on the tank model, for there are no guides, tabs, ledges, or any other firm indicators as to where the things go. The proportions of the boxtop illustration and the model don’t exactly match up, either, so the illustration is not a lot of help.

Still, German armor. What’s not to love?

Last, but not Least

An Italeri Pak 40 with a MUCH too large base

And here’s a Pak-40 that I’ve been working on. I don’t know why, but I’ve based this thing on an incredibly over-sized sheet of polystyrene. I suspect this will cause problems in play. This AT gun will come in handy, as it’s a possible attached unit for Panzer Lehr in the Skirmish Campaigns book.

I’ve got the crew block painted and dipped. Some of the ‘servants,’ as Italeri calls them, were wearing camo smocks, so I got to try my hand at splinter pattern camouflage. We’ll see how it turns out as a final product. I was feeling pretty good about my effort, until I applied the dip, which really subdued the camo pattern.

Not pictured are a couple of segments of wall that I’ve sculpted out of Fimo. They didn’t get photographed because they’re still wet with primer. I think they’ll turn out well, but the modeling clay is not going to be a long-term solution. It just takes too much time to sculpt brick and stone patterns by hand. I’ll probably look into making or buying plaster molds for that sort of thing.

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Comments

  • Eastern Funker  On 12/11/2011 at 4:04 pm

    Ah, I’m glad to know that those trees really are bothersome, that it wasn’t just me doing things incorrectly.
    Even for model railroads, where you make them and then stick them on the diaroma and never use them again, I can’t beleive the trees are easy to make or get to look good. I buy Heki and also Busch (German model railroad companies) pre-made trees, they are sturdy and look great.

  • arkiegamer  On 12/11/2011 at 4:10 pm

    Oh, they’re HORRIBLE. I’ll have to check into the other brands you mentioned, but I’ll definitely never buy the WS trees, again.

    The foilage falls off when the tress are just sitting there, never mind moving them around to place units or (God forbid) transporting terrain to a game shop.

    I’ve read up on making tress out of wire and drywall spackle, but it seems like a lot of work. Maybe I’ll just start gaming in North Africa or the steppes of Russia.

  • Anibal Invictus  On 12/12/2011 at 2:51 pm

    Hey! Excellent cards in the othert post, they are really good. I also own the Skirmish Campaign book of Omaha and also the Normandy 44, the’re really great to play TWT. For 20mm minis take a look at Caesar and Valiant ranges; recent Italeri models are also very good. Do ypu know this page?: http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/

  • arkiegamer  On 12/12/2011 at 2:56 pm

    Hey, man.

    Yes, I’m familiar with Plastic Soldier Review-I did quite a bit of research there before diving into historical minis. I’m using Valiant miniatures, so far, but they’re a bit over-sized. In fact, my classic German infantry set is in danger of crushing my Armourfast StugIIIs beneath their boots!

    I’m looking forward to getting started on the Omaha campaign.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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