Tuesday, February 16, 2016

QRF 15mm "Old" Modern US Infantry


I knocked out another modern 15mm force, this time some US troops from the Desert Storm/Somalia era, and I did them up in a very simple rendition of the old 'chocolate chip' pattern, to include the flak jacket covers and ruck sack covers.  These guys are from QRF, and they're some pretty old models, discontinued as a matter of fact; if anyone knows a way, I'd love to get my hands on about another thirty of them in a mix of rifles, SAWs, and 203s.

If we're honest, the figures are not the best, most crisp sculpts around, but they are favorites of mine.  Why?  Because the poses have a lot of character, and they have 'The Look.'  What look?  Well, I was in the US Marines from 94-04, and later we got the MARPAT uniforms with MOLLE gear, but up until about 2001 we looked just like these guys.  I love the giant packs, the bulky gear, the bulky uniforms; every time I see these guys I can picture us coming off a -53 of out of a track, humping all out crap in some foreign land (or even some domestic training area!).  So I really love these QRF "Old" Modern US Infantry, and would love to get enough to do up a force in woodland camo.

The whole force, 27 badasses looking to rock and roll.  I only have enough of these guys to do up one force, and I was really torn whether to go desert or woodland; ultimately I went desert, figuring I'd get more use out of them with all the modern-ish stuff going on in desert climes.

Another look at the whole force.  I think I've got three M-203s, four SAWs, and the rest have M-16A2s.  Most of them are wearing packs, which I love; wish all of them were.

First up are the NCOs with M-203s, kneeling, signalling with one arm and holding binos in the other hand.  Good character, and you can see I did my now usual variations on skin tone.

Reverse, plus some side shots.  Note the big, bulky packs.  Now, for the keen-eyed amongst you, you may notice that these guys don't have the correct gear for the time period I painted them up for.  These guys actually have the Vector (vice ALICE) packs and LBVs (vice H-harnesses).  But I'll get over it; in C/1/2 we got the Vector packs and LBVs in 96 or 97; they didn't last long.  I actually went back to the ALICE pack and H-harness, taking them both with me to Afghanistan and Iraq (in 2004! Because of multiple deployments and the transition to the 'career issue' I missed the bulk issue of the MOLLE gear.

Three more NCO types, this time with M-16s.  Here you get a better look at the LBVs (sorry, Load Bearing Vests), as well as the gas mask carrier on the left hip.

Reverse, plus some side shots.  Look at the bulk, I love it!  That's what we looked like, loaded down like sherpas.  I can't put it any other way than to say the poses have 'the look.'

Two of the SAW gunners.

Looking fore and aft.  You can also see I painted these guys up as Marines; that is, they're still wearing black boots, rather than the desert jungle boots.

The other two SAW gunners.  Guess I didn't do a fore and aft pose...

Two riflemen in a good kneeling position, though the guy on the right's muzzle is a bit clipped.

Fore and aft.

Two more rifleman, this time off-hand.  Now, these guys have something under the muzzle, and I'm not sure what it is.  It doesn't go far enough back (along the upper receiver) to be an M-203, but flashlight attachments back then were very rare (I only remember seeing the Force guys with them, and even then I think those were on carbines).

Fore and aft.

Two riflemen with their weapons slung.

Reverse and side.

Two more riflemen, with weapons at the alert (sort of), and the right guy's muzzle is clipped.

Fore and aft.

Three more riflemen, with something in his left hand.  I can't really tell what it is, but with the way he's standing, my guess would be he's using a compass to shoot an azimuth (yes, we didn't have GPSs back then, and had to do land nav with maps and compasses!).

Reverse and sides; one of the few guys without a pack.

Three more riflemen; they look pretty close to a pose seen already, but they are a little different.


Another set of riflemen, guy on left's muzzle is clipped.  You can see these guys also don't have packs, though on the guy on the left you can see he's got his E-tool on his utility belt (the case on his butt).  That kinda cracked me up, as the only time I recall doing that or even seeing it was in Boot Camp.  After that it always went on the outside (right side, high) of our packs.

Fore and aft.

Well, that's the whole force, really wish I had enough for a woodland camo version.  I've got some more forces that I've finished and need to photo/post, and my son and I played two games this past weekend, so stay tuned.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Operation Jupiter Campaign Plan and Roster


I've had Ben Lacy's fantastic scenario book, "Operation Jupiter," which covers British fighting near Caen in July 1944, for several years now.  I've always wanted to play through the whole book, and have played a couple of the scenarios but got off track with other projects and then was putting it off to use with my KG Klink.  But then my Aussie buddy, Mr. Shaun Travers has been playing and posting them, and I've got a hankering for some fighting in Normandy that just won't wait, certainly not as long as it's going to take for KG Klink to get there!

So my plan is to follow a fictional British Battalion and German Battalion (the book is well researched and actually uses various British and German units/formations, but I want to follow specific units to make it more personal) through approximately thirty fights included in the scenario book.  As is often my custom, I will be be playing these in 10mm (Pendraken) using Ivan's excellent "5Core Company Command" rules.  But there is a dramatic departure from the norm: I will not be playing these solo!  I will be playing against my 6-year old son, Nik, already a veteran of half a dozen 5Core fights.  I will serve as the British battalion commander, and he the German.

The 5th Westchesterfords North Riding Rangers of the Highland Coldshire Guards (5th WNRRHCG)
Officer Commanding: Colonel "Strapping Jack" McDaniel

A Company - Major Dillon, WIA, decorated for valor, and evacuated (F6)
2iC - Lt Cooman
(F1) Victory, 20 WIA/KIA, one Sherman immobilized but recovered.
(F6) Defeat, 45 WIA/KIA, two Shermans knocked out, three Universal Carriers knocked out.

B Company - Major Travers
2iC - Lt Rownan
(F2) Defeat, 25 WIA/KIA, 10 POW, and one Sherman knocked out.
(F7) Victory, 20 WIA/KIA, one M4 Sherman knocked out, one M10 Wolverine knocked out, and one Bren Carrier knocked out.

C Company - Major Lemmuel
2iC - Lt Boggler
(F3) Victory, 10 KIA/WIA.
(F8) Defeat, 20 WIA/KIA, one M4 Sherman knocked out.

D Company - Major Phillips
2iC - Lt Canham, decorated for valor (F4)
(F4) Victory, 6 KIA/WIA.
(F5) Victory, 30 KIA/WIA, one M4 Sherman destroyed, one M4 Sherman damaged (main gun).
The tank commanders of the Firefly and T3 were decorated for valor, the crews were mentioned in dispatches.

The 457th PanzerGrenadier Abteilung
Commanding Officer: Oberst Kanicke

1st Company - Captain Sorensen, WIA, decorated for valor, and evacuated (F6)
2iC - Lt Weidthaus
(F1) Defeat, 30 WIA/KIA, two PaK-40s lost.
(F6) Victory, 20 KIA/WIA, one Sdkfz 251/22 destroyed.

2nd Company - Captain Keipers, decorated for valor (F2).
2iC - Lt Teigner, decorated for valor (F2).
(F2) Victory, 15 WIA/KIA.
(F7) Defeat, 15 WIA/KIA, 5 POW, one Panther knocked out, one Pz Mk IV knocked out.

3rd Company - Captain Rolfbertsen
2iC - Lt Eichtoriel
(F3) Defeat, 20 KIA/WIA, 5 POW.
(F4) Defeat, 3 KIA/WIA.
(F8) Victory, 30 WIA/KIA, two Stug IIIs knocked out, two Sdkfz 251s knocked out.

4th Company - Captain Eireserb
2iC - Lt Tokapiksee
(F5) Defeat, 35 KIA/WIA, 5 POW, two PaK-40 ATGs destroyed.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Test Troops for WW2 15mm USMC


I didn't get anything wargaming related done this past weekend, we were out of town for a funeral again.  And I've missed work the past couple days being sick; being out sick is usually an opportunity to get some painting done, but this crud has really had me out of it.  I've spent about 90% of my waking hours lying on the couch with the baby.  I did, however, manage to get up and paint up a trio of test troops for an upcoming campaign I have planned.

I recently ordered some 15mm Peter Pig WW2 USMC from Brookhurst Hobbies (they've been fantastic); my plan is to follow a fictional platoon or company (still need to nail that down) from a fictional battalion from the first offensive at Guadalcanal up through the end of the war.  I'm breaking it down into three phases: Gudalcanal-Tulagi-Florida, Climbing the Solomon Islands Chain to the Bismark Archipelago, and Across the Central Pacific.

Each of the three phases has its own unique uniform; I intend on essentially using the same troops for the whole campaign, just repainting them for each phase.  So this update is simply to show my test figure for each phase, and for me to sketch out a rough draft for the campaign.

Here are the three troops, all the same pose of a Peter Pig 15mm US Marine Corps rifleman.  They are in chronological order from right to left, with right being the Guadalcanal Marine, center being the Climbing the Solomons Marine, and left being the Central Pacific Marine.

All three Marines here are armed with the M-1 Garand; this is problematic for our Guadalcanal Marine as the troops of the 1st Marine Division (and attachments from the 2nd Marine Division) landed at Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942 equipped with the Springfield 03 bolt action rifle, not the Garand.  The problem is, no one does troops in 15mm with M1 helmets and Springfields.  So, my little Guadalcanal Marines will have M-1 Garands proxying as Springfields.  I won't use any M-1 Carbines until the second phase, which is causing me problems for my mortar crews (the Peter Pig mortar crews all have M-1 Carbines, so I had to place another order for the gun crews, which don't appear to have rifles, so I'll use them as mortar crews for Guadalcanal).  The Marines on Guadalcanal had two types of submachine guns: the classic Tommy Gun, as well as a major POS known as the Reising Gun.  I haven't seen any Reisings in 15mm, but I'm not sweating it as Peter Pig has some excellent Tommy Gunners.  The only problem with them is they have the 20-round box magazines (good for later war), as opposed to the early war 50-round drum magazines.  Oh well...

The Guadalcanal Marine: simple olive green dungarees, brown boondockers (leather shoes), his M-1/Springfield, M1 helmet without cover, and basic web gear in a khaki that came out a little too yellowish, but not too bad.

Reverse.  I put heavy grass on the base for Guadalcanal.

Moving on to our Solomon Islands Marine: here he's got the new duck-hunter, 'green-side out' camouflage uniform with matching helmet cover, an actual M-1 Garand, still got his brown boondockers on (though some poses will have leggings on as well), and the same khaki/yellow web gear.  M-1 Carbines will appear during this period, as well as flamethrowers.

Reverse: I also gave the Solomons Marine heavy grass on his base, to work in places like Kolombangara, Choiseul, Rendova, New Ireland, New Britain, Bougainville, etc...

And on to our final guy, the Central Pacific Marine.  Back to olive dungarees (though some stalwart veterans will probably keep the green-side out cammie blouses), khaki-yellow web gear, khaki-yellow leggings over their brown boondockers, and everyone will have their brown-side out helmet covers on.  Also sporting an actual M-1 Garand.  This crew will add the 2.36" bazooka to its stable of weapons.

Reverse: A little grass on the base, with a lot of sand showing through.  Should be good for places like Tarawa, the Marshall Islands (Kwajalein, Eniwetok), the Marianas (Guam, Saipan, Tinian), Pelelieu, and Okinawa.  I can't do Iwo Jima, not sure how to pull off a black sand island, plus the Japanese were underground the whole fight (certainly a feature of battles in the Central Pacific, but not nearly as much so as Iwo Jima).

The three guys running to and fro, just to give you a sense of their proportions.  I really like how robust they are, can't stand flat figures.

Okay, so what's the plan you ask?  Not sure, I need to map it out, but here's what I'm thinking:

Phase 1
-Start 7 Aug 1942 on Tulagi (heavy fighting there unlike Guadalcanal on D-Day).  Screw around there for a bit, secure Florida, then finally move over to The Canal, probably in September.
-Sep-Nov 1942 on Guadalcanal.  I'll play a couple defensive fights, but mostly USMC patrols and offensives.  I even have an M-3 Stuart for this!

Phase 2
-The Russells (21 Feb 1943)
-New Georgia (30 June - 24 August 1943)
-Choiseul (28 October - 3 November 1943)
-Bougainville (1 November - 15 December 1943)
-Cape Gloucester on New Britain (26 December 1943- 4 May 1944; Volupai?),

Phase 3
-I'd like to move over to Tarawa (20-23 Nov 1943), but dates conflict with Bougainville, and wouldn't make sense to go to Tarawa in Central Pacific then back to SW Pacific for New Britain...
-Hit the Marshalls (Roi-Namur 31 January 1944; Engebi 18-19 Feb 1944, Eniwetok 19-21 February 1944, Parry Island 22 February 1944)
-Hit the Marianas (Guam 21 July - 10 August 1944; Saipan 15 June - 9 July 1944; Tinian 24 July - 1 August 1944)
-Peleliu (15 September - 27 November 1944)
-Okinawa (1 April - 22 June 1945)

Yes, this would be horrific amount of fighting for one unit, but it's just wargaming, and that's why I use fictional units, so I don't have the dead time of R&R real units need/had.  So, let me know if I'm forgetting anything ;)

I'm also looking at some air gaming with 1/600 USN/USMC vs  IJA/IJN, which is all ready to go except for some later US aircraft; some torpedo boat action (I have a bunch of USN and IJN stuff that needs to be assembled and painted); and some surface action (I have a bunch of Axis and Allies War at Sea prepaints ready to go).  Coming soon.


Monday, February 1, 2016

15mm Crescent Root Town Set


My birthday presents arrived!!!  I picked up the brand new 15mm Crescent Root Town Set, and it's absolutely beautiful.  I can't wait to get them on the table; when I got home from work to find the box waiting on me I couldn't help but set them up to take a look.  My older son played with them for a good hour.

But let's get to them.

Here's how they came.  I love the fact that something so big and so beautiful can easily be put right back in here for storage.

Now for the unveiling...

Ta-daa!!!  Awesome!!!  I'm so happy I made this purchase!  Panda and Slavin look out, I'm comin' for ya.  Okay, maybe not, but this is a big step in that direction (for me, at least).  This is the whole set, which comes pre-painted AND pre-assembled.  You just pull it out of the box and BAM!  You're ready to go.

Sorry, some of the buildings (bottom left) are skewed off their base from my boy playing with them.  Still beautiful ;)

The whole set comprises the following:
-2' x 2' mat that's printed on mousepad type material.
-Five buildings with detachable roofs and floors (each story comes apart).
-A textured base for each building.
-Each building comes with at least one separate 'bombed out' story.  Ugh, I just realized I didn't take photos of any of the bombed out sections...

Some close-ups.  I can't stop looking at them.

Another closeup.  The printed mat is really vibrant looking and looks to be quite durable.

Grandma's house with a fenced in front yard (garden for you Brits).

The other side of Grandma's house.

A look down main street.

One of the buildings with the roofs removed.  Again, each story can be removed as well.  I really like the fact that the building interiors are finished as well.

That same building, all pulled apart.

I recently finished up some cool Rebel Minis government agents, haven't posted them yet, so consider this a sneak preview.  In any case, I wanted to show some 15mm guys next to the buildings to give a sense of scale.  The buildings are big enough I think you can actually get away with using them for 20mm too, and you know I'll be using them for 10mm fights.

Agent Smith searching the lot for Neo.

Joined by a buddy.

Dammit, I just can't have a post without a blurry pic in it!  Anyway, there's the missus come to water her hedges.  Please ignore the giant, chrome-plated pistol in her left hand, she's sweet as can be.

One last look.  I feel like a little kid when I'm looking at this, just marveling at it.  I almost pushed my boy out of the way and started moving the figures around, making little shooty sounds.  But a man must maintain some semblance of pride; I only make shooty sounds when I'm upstairs by myself ;)

On a side note, I also received my 15mm Eureka Minis WWII Japanese troops and some Battlefront 15mm OH-6 helos.  Quite a day!

Stay tuned, more posts of finished 15mm troops to come.