Friday, March 24, 2017

Even More 15mm Modern Vehicles


I completed six more modern Western vehicles.  I say Western as five are US and one is British, though I'll be mixing them together for my Cuba Libre saga, which is about to get hot on some larger fights.  The five US vehicles are one M-1 Abrams and four M-3 Bradleys, all of which are 3D prints from Bashytubits, while the British vehicle is a Challenger main battle tank, which is from Old Glory.

Here are the completed vehicles; the M-1 and two Bradleys are in MERDC, while the other two Bradleys and the Challenger are in a sort of desert camo based on this:

I thought it looked cool.

First up is the Abrams.  In my opinion this is a pretty damn good print model.  Some striations from thee printing, but overall pretty damn good, with great detail.  More pics:
Not bad, eh?  I wish I'd have drilled out the barrel though.

Next up are the two MERDC Bradleys.  Please note that these are actually different models than the two desert Bradleys.  Here the quality gets a bit rougher: striations from printing get a lot rougher, particularly on the flanks, though the camo helps cover that up quite a bit.  Detail is a bit soft; the stuff is there, it's just not as pronounced as I'd like.  Worst off is the rear of the vehicle, where the rear troop hatch just isn't there.

Having said all that, I've discussed all this with Bashy and he's working on it, AND, when looked at from gaming distance they work for me and I will be using them in some upcoming fights.

Let me apologize for some of the pics below; the sun came out and threw some nasty shadows...

And here's the Old Glory Challenger.  A good piece of gear, a big hunk of metal after all the plastic I've been dealing with lately.  Pretty good casting, some gaps I should have spent more time filling in, and I glued the damn turret in place...

And now the last two vehicles, two more Bradleys from Bashytubits.  These have some striation from the printing process, but it's much better than the MERDC model.  The vehicle is pretty good, though the rear troop hatch is still missing, and the overall detail is not as good as the Soviet T-62s, BTRs, and BMPs, or the Leopard II and M-1 Abrams.  But, again, I think it looks pretty damn good and they'll be seeing some action soon.

And that's the last pic.

So, more vehicles completed and ready for the table.  For what it's worth, I understand the level of detail on the 3D printed models is not up to everyone's standards.  But they're good enough for me, and I'll soon be proving it by posting some batreps with these vehicles being used.  They are not perfect, but I like them and they look fine (to me) on the table.  As a matter of fact, I read Bashytubits has just finished some British Warrior IFVs and some M-60s; I need to take a look, and pick some up.

Well, I've been in a real painting groove lately, but I've GOT to play some damn games this weekend!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Flashpoint Minis 15mm Vietnam-era SEAL Platoon


Man am I on a painting streak.  Not getting any games in, but painting my butt off.  Next up in the queue is some more 15mm modern troops, a US Navy SEAL platoon from Jimmi at Flashpoint Miniatures in The Land Down Under.  A cool pack, it's 24 troops in a whopping 24 poses, which is absolutely incredible, perfect for knuckleheads like me that are playing skirmish games in 15mm.

Whenever I get a new set of troops I immediately open them and spread'em out, survey the figures, see what I've got.  What I immediately picked up on with these guys is that they can be evenly divided into two groups based on gear.  While weapons and headgear vary, twelve of the guys are not wearing packs and twelve are, and most of the twelve without packs are loaded down with belted ammo.  It immediately hit me: break the platoon into two different elements: the one with packs is the Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) element, the snoopers and poopers, inserting deep into enemy territory, locating the enemy and keeping score on them.  The guys without packs make up the Direct Action (DA) element, the shooters.  When the R&S guys locate a high value target, feed the info back to HQ, and the DA guys come swooping in for the takedown.  Or the R&S guys get compromised and they're on the run, the DA guys come swooping in as the Quick Reaction Force to pull their bacon out of the fire.  Pretty cool setup; I painted the DA guys up in an eclectic and flamboyant mix of colors and camouflage items, while I painted the R&S guys up uniformly in camo, much more subdued (I actually tried to paint them with cammied up faces and hands, but it didn't really work out and I just used my normal flesh tones on them).

The guys are meant to fit in anywhere special operations types are needed, primarily looking at Vietnam-era US and Allied SF types, and fictionalized 1980s Cold War flashpoints for Western countries looking to be covert/sterile.  As it's 1970s and 80s, I went with a lot of Tiger Stripe camo; what was cooler in the 1980s than Tiger Stripe? ;)

The whole force, 24 troops in 24 unique poses.  The Direct Action shooters are the top three rows, the Recon guys the bottom three rows.  I did ya a solid and took a whopping three pics of every single pose!  Let's get to them.

First up in the DA element is Pappy, the old man of the bunch.  Rumored to have cut his teeth with the OSS during WWII, he now sports a red dew rag over his fantabulous beard and M-16A1.  He's wearing a black pajama top over US Woodland style cammie trousers.  I used US Woodland pattern on several guys, but with slightly different colors.  If you look at pics from the 70s and 80s, the colors for Woodland seemed to vary quite a bit.

Reverse.  Here you can see Pappy is wearing jungle boots (OD green on the sides).  He's clean but for a couple magazine pouches.  Traveling light to hit hard and fast, be back on the helo before anyone even knows what happened.

Look at that beard.

Next up is Wynne.  It's actually Nguyen, but he's been working with the US so long he 'Americanized' it.  Blue dew rag, M-16A1, Woodland cammie blouse over black utility bottoms.

Reverse, getting a good look at that gun belt and sideburns.

Comin' at ya.

The DA element's first radioman (sorry, I don't have names for everyone!).  He's wearing an Eastern European camo I found online dating to the 60s.  M-16A1, plain green trousers, and plain green dew rag.

Reverse, with a look at his PRC-77 VHF radio.

From the side.

Next up is Chief, hauling a Remington M-870 shotgun, sporting a red beret, woodland camo blouse, and plain green trousers with jungle boots.

Reverse.  Okay, apparently I forgot to take a third picture of Chief...

Next up is an AK-47-toting warrior.  If you're playing Vietnam, I'd say this dude is a Nung mercenary (he's pretty tall).  More woodland camo, with the Rambo red bandanna.


From the side you can see he's wearing a yellow bandanna around his neck.

Next up we've got a shooter with a Stoner light machine gun.  He's wearing brown-side out Duckhunter camo.


Coming at ya.

Next up is Cochise, wearing a blue jacket over woodland cammie trousers, sporting an M-16A1 and red bandanna.


Offset.  I really like the pose, very natural.

And here we come to Hemingway, who's humping the Pig.  The original Pig, i.e., the M-60A1.  He's wearing green-side out Duckhunter over khaki trousers, with a Tiger Stripe boonie cover.

Reverse, love the crossed gun belts.

Look at that beard!

Next up we've got Pookie, who appears to be all strung out on speed.  He's wearing a woodland camo blouse over dark brown trousers, toting an M-16A1.


I really dig the beards.

Next up is Frenchy; everyone knows he's from Eastern Europe, but he took a French name when he joined the French Foreign Legion.  Now that he's with the unit he's wearing his FFL green beret over gray trousers and a camo blouse, the pattern of which I modeled after something I found online on a 1960s African mercenary.  He sports a strong handlebar mustache to go with his shotgun.



Next up is Stalker; when I was a kid I read a GI Joe comic book that had several of the Joes back in Vietnam, one of them being Stalker, and this guy seemed to fit.  He's wearing a black pajama top over Tiger Stripes, carrying a Stoner LMG.

Crossed gun belts always make me smile.

Head on.

And here's Sailor, the other RTO for the DA element.  He's wearing a Tiger Stripe blouse over blue jeans (which he's curiously bloused) and a camo bush hat.

Here you get a better shot of the boonie cover, which is actually desert tri-color, but I gave it a heavy wash to try and make it fit better.


That's it for the DA guys, now we move to the snoopers and poopers of the R&S element.

First up is Sneaky Pete, the point man, armed with an AK-47.  Remember, all these guys are wearing Tiger Stripe tops and bottoms, and the ones wearing boonie covers are Tiger Stripe as well.

Reverse, you get a shot of his pack.

From the side you can see a shock of blond hair has slipped out from under his dew rag.

Next up is Steele, sporting a goatee with his M-16A1.


This is the one dude that I put facial hair on that didn't have it molded on.  I just couldn't help myself.

Next up is Clean, sporting a black beret.



Next up is... a dude with a piece of static grass stuck to his hand.  No name for him, but of all the poses, I think this one is my favorite.  Not sure why; nothing extra cool or unique, just a rifleman moving up with his weapon at the ready.


Facing away.

Then we come to Chino, a rifleman with lightning quick reflexes and an aversion to headgear ;)


Straight on.

Next up is Slick.  As in, 'whaddaya doin', Slick, we're headed this way.'  Slick is our Tail-End Charlie.


Got his boonie cover pulled down on each side, Aussie style.

Next up is the El-Tee, wearing a black beret.


You can tell he's a Zero: "Where'd everyone go?  They didn't leave me out here again, did they?  C'mon guys, that @#$%'s not funny anymore!"

Here's Doc McGee, ready for action.



And we've come to Johnny Bravo, carrying the R&S element's machine gun.  But notice these guys are set up for quiet, no gun belts on display as target indicators, clinking as we move down-trail.


A look of pure determination.

Next up is Seamus, AKA "Old Dirty Private," busted down more times than he can remember, but a helluva guy in the field.


Another marvellous beard.

A rifleman hauling a LAW strapped to his pack.

Reverse.  I just have to put yellow on AT weapons...

Side on.

And we've come to the last man, Nico.  C'mon, tell me that doesn't look like Steven Seagal (admittedly in better days)!?


Coming at ya.

And that's them, the whole platoon of 24 different poses.  Very cool, yes?  Next up is some more modern 15mm vehicles, most of them 3D prints from Bashytubits.  Until then...