Sunday, 31 August 2014

Speed Painting so you can play sooner

The best way to start - at the beginning

The first squad finished.
My 7 year old son was very excited to be given a box of US Marines and a Sherman tank for his birthday. Our first task was building the men.  The figures all start on a sprue with 6 bodies and lots of options for arms, heads and equipment.  With a clipper, knife, plastic glue and some imagination it isn't too hard to create a wide variety of figures.  The liquid plastic glue is better than super glue as it actually melts the parts together and you have time to move the bits into position.  Also, your fingers won't glue together!
An important part of building your first box of men is work out the forces you wish to assemble.
We wanted a 600 point army which had enough units and used the Sherman.  Because tanks are cool according to my son.
HQ - 2nd Lieutenant with 2 henchman/assistants (70 pts)
3 x Regular Marines - NCO with SMG, BAR and 6 Riflemen (88 pts each)
1 x Regular Medic (23 pts)
1 x Regular Sniper team (52 pts)
1 x Sherman M4A1 (195 pts)
Total 604 pts (7 order dice)

But - making the models is one thing.  We can't fight properly until they are painted.

The 15 year old brother is painting like an artist, but we wanted to get the army on the table quicker than that. We didn't want to do the multi layers and tons of colours.  That is too much work and I wanted to be able to paint the whole lot in one day. Here are all the colours we used.  And the red and white were only used for the medic's cross.
You don't need many colours
Step 1 was to spray the lot using an appropriate base coat.  This is the easiest way to start the whole army off.  We used Plastic Soldier Russian Uniform. The colour looked about right and once they are finished you will see it worked out fine.
Painting the tank tracks black.
We then started painting the colour on every man.  The first colour was black for the boots.
Then brown for the things that cover the top of the boots.
Then skin colour for each fellow.
Coming together.
Then we painted all the smooth helmets a lighter brown and painted dots of dark brown.  A simple camouflage style job.
The helmets are looking good.
Next is brown and gun metal on the guns.  A darker green for the straps and a variety of browns and greens for the equipment, back packs and so on. So far the result wasn't too bad. Then a quick round of touching up painting mistakes and ensuring everyone has all the bits covered and we're on the homeward road.
Not bad for a few hours work.
The last couple of steps are really easy but make a huge difference.  We applied Quick Wash Strong Tone.  That is basically a dark brown paint thinned out so much that it darkens the model and leaves highlights in all the cracks.
There. Dirty.  Happy now?
The last step which finishes off the guys is to put something on the base.  For the marines we wanted a beach base so stole from sand from the kids sand pit.
PVA glue applied.
Some PVA glue painted on the base and then dipped in the sand does the trick.  The sand covers up any missed painting on the base.  Then run your finger around the edge to keep the base edges smooth.  It looks better that way.
Get me out of this sand trap!
There you go.  We painted 32 figures and a tank in around 5 hours.  This is about the same time my 15 year old son paints 5 figures. (But his figures do look amazing!)
Right. When do we fight?
This is a great way to get your army up and running.  Painted figures fight better - even if your dice don't co-operate at least you care about them more. And they make the game look cool, which is a very important part of any wargame.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Winter Bolt Action Boot Camp

It's Winter and we're still fighting for you

Adam and his boys were first in
We have just returned from another fun day running our Bolt Action Boot Camp at The Combat Company's Sydney warehouse. It was another very enjoyable day.
We set up two boards.

A Summer board using the buildings from the 4Ground Rorke's Drift set on either side of a railway crossing. We were ready to go at 10am and in walked a familiar fellow.  We had met Adam and his boys at Cancon and they took the opportunity to play with us again today.
After a hectic to and fro, especially in the last 2 turns, the result was a draw with lots of casualties and Bolt Action moments.
Alejandro and his boys were next

Anything but a 1 will hit!
Shortly afterwards, Alejandro and his boys arrived with their own 600 point armies to play on our Winter board. This board had the players needing to capture the two 4Ground Eastern front buildings and the railway culvert cutting the hill.  The hill made an interesting challenge.  At first glance the board looked very open, but players quickly realised when they dropped down to the model's eye level they couldn't see through the hill.
Once more this game ended being very close.  My son was playing and even though all his forces ending up being destroyed, he made enough of a difference to force the game to a draw as well.

We then had a little lunch break - and browse through the wide collection of hobby temptations - and played our last game.
Beckster introduced herself and when I saw her painting I immediately recognised the incredible work from the photos she had shared on the forums. It was great to meet fellow gamers we have conversed with online in person.

This game was played with Joe - a fellow that played at our last Boot Camp, Beckster, Spiro of the Combat Company and my son.
It was a game of what we call "Tank Tink".  All game the tanks fired at each other missing or just pinning each other. In turn 5 Spiro had enough of firing at the Panzer III behind the wall and applied a very direct solution.  A Run order demolishing the wall! All the Panzer III needed to hit was anything but a 1.  So Beckster rolled a 1!
Then it all depended on who pulled the first order die.  The Germans did, merely achieved an immobilisation, but the Cromwell failed morale.  That pretty much ended the game.

Thanks once again to The Combat Company for their support, War and Peace Games for their sponsorship and all the players.
Our next Bolt Action Boot Camp will be at MOAB in October 4th and 5th.


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