Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tanks, Modern Age

So, about 4 or 5 months ago I picked the Tanks Modern age game up from my local shop, loving the original Tanks game, I knew I would love this one. Also my brother really loves the fast pace of the original Tanks game so this was a no brainier.

Then about a month ago I decided to assemble the three tanks that came  with the game (2 T-64's and 1 M1 Abraham tank). Still have not played yet, but one way to get it to the table would be to paint the models up and that's what I did for Memorial day 2019.

First up was the Soviet T-64's, these two painted up very quickly, but hey, its Russian green, no camo, nothing out of the ordinary, just pretty simple really. Did some light weathering on them and they look very realistic.

M1 Abrams Tank
 next up is some American armor, M1 Abrams tank, this is the command variant and was problematic on assembly, but once assembled looks very nice. Now in the 1980's American tanks sported the MERDC color scheme of about 4 or 5 colors. Well I was not a fan, but I did find some tanks painted in the US armor green color, so I went with that, these are for Tanks, so simple was fast and easy. once again some light weathering and I called it done.

With that the base game was fully painted and ready for the battle field. After assembly I went back to my local shop to pick up a few more vehicles, at this time, nothing has come in but the next model I found, the British Chieftain

British Chieftain
This one is a two tone color that was pretty easy to paint, did some weathering and this one is complete. The only thing I would say I dislike with all the Tanks kits, is they do not give you any decals for the models. Not a major issue, but would be nice if they did.

Now after building and painting these four tanks, I am eyeing possibly starting a force for Team Yankee, rumor is that a new version is coming, so I may hold off until that hits, but I will be buying more Tanks Modern Age in the meantime.


Monday, May 20, 2019

There and Back Again

It's funny how watching a movie can bring emotions and feelings flooding back again for something! It happened this weekend, and sort of took me off guard, let me explain.

As most visitors to this little section of the inter web know, I loved the Lord of the Rings game by Games Workshop. I built many armies, built many terrain pieces and ran just a few events for the game. I was a LotR Fan boy for sure with Games Workshop and the movies that came out were visually appealing too me and GW captured that in their models.

But then, like that, I was done with the game! Games Workshop did what they usually do and made some sweeping changes to the game that broke a lot of the rules in my opinion. They also focused on the Hobbit which did not hit the same level as the LotR movies and the visual appeal was lacking. I started getting rid of armies and swore off GW products and most of the guys I played with did the same. The LotR game was lost like the One ring to time.

But then Games Workshop decided to go back and revamp their Specialist Game line, starting with Blood Bowl. I watched and waited to see what would happen. Blood Bowl as well as Necromunda went back to the versions that I had played in the past. Yes there were changes, but they returned to what was familiar to me, I bought both games and much money went back to the GW coffers!

But yet, I still waited to see what would happen to my favorite game. There were rumors and rumblings but I waited and watched. Then about six months ago, Games Workshop released the Battle of Pellnor Fields box set with a whole new set of rules which were toted as being for both LotR and Hobbit. I still watched from afar.

Then they came out with an Army list book for LotR and a separate army book for the Hobbit, I noticed and I started to wonder, what if? Then most recently they released a Battle Companies book for the game which is about developing your own hero and characters and playing smaller games. But yet I still waited.

Then this past weekend, the extended version of the Fellowship of the Rings was on cable, I stopped what I was doing and was drawn in to watching it. And as i sat there watching it, the love of the books, movies and more importantly the game came flooding back. I remembered that I still had lots of un painted models in the closet of shame and after the movie went and dug them out and started working on a few.

First up was Radaghast the Brown which GW did a sculpt for LotR but was never seen in the movies (I dislike the one in the Hobbit, he is a wizard that they make out as a buffoon!)

Radaghast the Brown GW style
 I figured painting one model would scratch the itch and I would be good, but like the pull of the ring on men, I could not stop with but one model. After working on this model, I pulled out 8 Morannon Orcs. I had just recently did a few rusted out cars for Gaslands, and I thought why not use the same paint technique on them.

8 Morannon Orcs
While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I took a look through my unpainted box and saw the Nine Nazgul on foot. I had forgotten about them and I was drawn to them as they are drawn to the one ring. So Nine kings of men landed on the paint bench!

9 Nazgul waiting for the wash to dry!
 I had forgotten the power of these models and while the washes and paints dried, I decided to look at some reviews of the new version, I also tweeted out and messaged a few friends that have the new game. Everything I was hearing was making me see that GW did go back to the core of the game that I enjoyed. I then watched a few youtube videos that confirmed what friends said and the minor changes were not that big of an issue.

So now, as I sit here writing this, I am planning on picking up the rules and LotR army book and will look to get it back to the tabletop once again. So it would seem I am coming full circle wit the game and look forward to working on more LotR models. And since hindsight can be so damm clear, I am missing the armies that I sold years ago. As it will cost more money and more importantly, more time to get those back.

So here is to looking forward to many more adventures in Middle Earth!


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Great Train Show 2019 Phoenix


This past weekend I attended with my HO modular club (AZMR) the Great Train Show at the Phoenix Fairgrounds. This show used to be called the Great America Train Show and when I lived back in Southern California I used to attend with my old club Orange County Modular Railroaders. Yes after years of being out of the hobby of Model Railroading I came back to it a few years ago.

The new club (or group of guys as we are not really a club) set up a 36'x36' layout to run trains on. Our group likes to run long trains and when I say long, I mean 80 plus cars! This layout set up had us running much smaller trains as dictated by the length of sidings.

Right side of layout

Left side of layout
As some know, I am working on (very slowly) a switching layout in my game room, it is really a point to point layout, so if I want to run trains in a larger layout I attend and operate on the groups layout. Nice thing is I am able to use locomotives that would not work on the switching layout due to size here.

Southern Pacific Railroad is my favorite and I model the time frame in the late 80's to 1996 when the Espee was merged with the Rio Grand Railroad. With that being said, one of the most iconic Espee Locomotives is the SD40T-2 Tunnel motor. When I used to do model railroading 20 years ago, no one was making this locomotive except in brass. But Athearn did finally release one and as soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to have one.

SP SD40T-2 
Also another iconic locomotive that was all the rage back in 1996 was the GE 39-8B (or as Espee designated them as GE 40-8Bs). My buddy Rick had an Atlas unit for sale so I bought it from him to add to my mainline road power.

Cotton Belt Dash 8
 Now one thing that you will notice is that both locomotives are very clean, this was not normal for the Espee as they rarely ran the locomotives thru the wash racks. now I intend to dirty up the Tunnel motor, but the GE unit will remain as it is as I am representing when it was first delivered.

The show was good, not as good as they used to be, but still not bad. It was busy on Saturday and Sunday saw a smaller crowd at the Fairgrounds. I got a lot of folks complimenting my train I ran as all but the Locomotives are weathered really well like the real things. In this day of ready to roll equipment, most model railroaders are not doing anything to their cars or locomotives to make them look weathered. It leads to a very toy like appearance as most buildings are weathered and the trains are not. So while my train looked beat up by the weather, it stood out from all other trains being run that weekend.

Here are a few more shots of trains being run on our group set up:

My locos together working the mainline.

A GP9 Rio Grande unit

ATSF Steam Locomotive

Amtrak out this weekend
So there you have it, another one of my many hobbies that compete for my pocketbook and more importantly, time.


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

WW2 German Armored Reinforcements

So about two weeks ago after a game of Bolt Action, Robert & I were talking about some of our projects that we needed to finish up for our German armies for Bolt Action.

I had 4 vehicles that needed paint, so I decided that I should finally get painting on these. So first up was a Warlord 251 with PAK 36 and a Rubicon Hetzer. For the Warlord kit I went with a very simple strip pattern over a German Yellow (Middlestone) color. The Rubicon kit was a bit more time consuming as I did an Ambush scheme.

Left side

Right Side

Ready to Ambush
Just an FYI, these are all hand painted, I did not use my new airbrush on these. The 251 painted up pretty quickly, but the Ambush scheme took me about 3 hours of paint time to do. The hardest part is doing the dots and trying to make them random. Human beings love patterns and trying to do a random pattern is very hard.

Next up was a Rubicon 250 and Stug G from Rubicon as well. The 250 got a variant of the German three color scheme that I sponged on as I wanted it to look like the crew did it in the field. The Stug G was a simple two color scheme that I copied off of a 15mm Stug I did for my FoW army years ago.

250 NEU

This kit included crewmen

Stug G

Simple scheme

15mm vs 28mm
So there you go, four new vehicles for my 28mm German Bolt Action army, these took way too long to get to the paint table, but now they are ready for action.


Monday, January 21, 2019

Shadespire Underworlds

So at the end of last year, Robert & I got to try out Shadespire Underworlds, as he picked it up and been wanting to try it out. Well we both loved it and with that I decided that I need to pick it up myself but all I could find was the second season of Underworlds. So I picked that up as well as a few expansions. And at Christmas I received the first season.

So here are a few pictures of the completed figures for the game, I just have to say I really love painting up a few figures at a time. First up are the Stormcast and Cursebreakers, I really do not like the way GW and most folks paint their Stormcast models, I do not like the Gold and blue scheme. So for mine I went old school Middenheim colors of Red, White and Steel, a very White Wolf scheme. I have played with the regular Stormcast models and they are absolutely rock hard. 

Stormcast & crew
Next up are the Chaos Reavers, these were fun and easy to paint because they half clothed. I also went with a new basing color scheme that looks nice for a blasted wasteland look. I have had a couple of opportunities to face this band and  am not too impressed by them. But then again they were going up against the Strormcast.

Chaos Reavers
I picked up the Skaven set for my son, as he really loves playing Skaven. I have not tried playing them yet and honestly have not looked at the cards yet, but I have them now.


Much like the Skaven, I bought the dwarves for my brother to play and these models were quick to paint up, the toughest part was their hair as it has two washes on them. I have played these Dwarves once and they are very different then the Stormcast. They are all about capturing objectives and looking for gold.

Half naked Dwarves
So I am excited about this faction, the Nighthaunts and used a similar paint scheme that Robert used on his AOS army. The models all have great character and I may be playing these guys in the very near future.

I have the Night Goblins on the paint table now and I am working out a trade for the Skeletal force, as they look cool to play and to paint up. So ther eyou go, my dive into Shadespire Underworlds.


Monday, January 07, 2019

2019 Fortune Cookie Goals

2019 Fortune Cookie Goals

Okay, so time to set down some goals for my hobby for this year, as always, it’s a great way for me to see what I did not do. Maybe it should be 2019 Fortune Cookie Goals. So here goes:

Fantasy – Well I plan to continue playing AoS and I have decided that I will focus on learning the rules better as well as understanding my army, the Flesh Eaters. And as of writing this, GW has announced that a new box set is coming out to feature Skaven and Flesh Eaters! Hopefully that will mean cards for units and a updated army book! The new box set looks like more of what I have already except for a new Abhorrent King model, but I am sure there will be cards included. I have already reached out to a local Skaven player about swapping out my skaven stuff for his Flesh eaters stuff.

I would still like to get Frostgrave onto the table, Robert & I really like the game, but not many of our other friends do, so I may have to come to terms that it will not hit the table, but I will still try to get it there.

Shadespire was bought and played last year and I purchased a few more expansions for it, so this will continue to be played in the new year.

Warhammer Quest will still be played this year, my goal of having almost all the models painted is almost there. And my local players are really digging playing this old school dungeon crawl game, especially when I supply it all.

I have been asked about Lord of the Rings and if I plan to get the new rules. The reality is that only Robert, my son & I still play or have stuff. The fact is I still have all my old books and a few armies left, if I do anything with it this year, it will be using the older rules in one of games here and there.

Sci Fi – Well at the end of last year I decided to get back into 40k and bought my first Space Marine army, the Blood Angels. I got as far as getting the start collecting box assembled as well as the Space Hulk terminators painted (which caused me to buy the start collecting box). So this year I want to get the game to the table, I know Robert is waiting for me to ask for a game, which may be within the next few weeks, so it looks like 40K is back.

Necromunda was another last year sleeper that took us all by storm, I see this being played more this year as well and GW announced so new models coming out as well as weapon packs for gangs. I also need to get my Death Ray Designs wall set painted, so that Robert & I can have a truly large set up for Necro and for Kill Team.

Robert for Christmas bought me the Kill Team rules, so the plan is to play that this year, I would like to use my Death Ray Designs walls for some games which fits with GWs announcement of kill Team Arena which looks like Kill team on a Necro board. So I may be buying that game when it comes out in the near future.

I also see Speed Freaks being played from time to time as Robert and I both have everything painted for it, I see this as more of a side line game or drinking game. In the same vein, I have Gaslands and would like to get this to the table this year as well. I just need to figure the rules out and start pushing it around the table.

I would also like to get more games of Space Hulk to the table, the terminators are all painted, and I need to start working on the Genestealers for the game. My problem is I need to decide on a paint scheme and stick with it, hopefully I can have a fully painted Space Hulk game by the end of 2019.

Modern – This covers stuff like Bolt Action and Flames, so with that being said there are a few things I want to get done this year. First being Bolt Action, I just finished painting my 1500 point IJA army and I want to get it to the table as well as add a few more items to the army. I also want to do some sort of campaign with Bolt Action. Robert and I just bought the Operation Market Garden book so we will be looking at doing that sometime this year.

For Flames, at the end of 2018 I purchased a Syrian force for Fate of the Nation, so I would like to get that to the table as well as get all my tanks painted for it. I also would like to include a few more items for the army as well.

I would like to get Flames of War to the table again, I really do miss pushing my tanks around my North Africa boards, so I will try to get that back to the table.

Historical – This covers just about anything not covered above. I want to get my ACW stuff back on the table for Black Powder, Robert & I both have tried BP with a brigade or two to a side and it was great fun. So, I would like to use what I have painted.

Fistful of Lead will be back on the table again this year, I will be running a few demo games at AZ Game Fair, so this should be easy to accomplish in the new year.

Cruel Seas was purchased at the end of last year, so I want to get it onto the table this year. I have the starter set, just need to assemble and paint and should be smooth sailing.

Pulp Alley is always on the list for doing, although its been missing for a few years, but I would like to get it back onto the table this year as well.

Purchasing – There are many items that I have my eye on and it looks like GW will be getting the most of it yet again, all I can say is I will try to stay focused on what I buy.  But as any gamer will tell you, its hard to stay focused with all the new shiny things coming out. But in the very near future will be items for AoS & 40K.

So there you go, my plans or Fortune Cookies for the new year, we shall see what happens…


Monday, December 24, 2018

GW Strikes Back!

So, another year has come and gone, so it’s time for the yearly look back to see what I got done. So, let’s take a look at what the goals were for 2018:

CAV – So this year I went with Talon Games to Adepticon to run CAV games, I painted up a few CAVs and the only games I got in where at Adepticon, I did get a few more CAV’s painted up, but do to work infringing on hobby time, I had to pull back on my commitment to writing for Talon, I hate when real life interferes with Hobby time. The 28mm Dictator is still awaiting to be built and painted as well as a ton of CAV’s. I will work on them when in the mood. So overall, I barely passed with CAV this year but I did have some effort completed.

Bolt Action – So I wish I could say I got a lot of games in of Bolt, but I think I only got in about four games. Now Robert & I did finish up the Bocage terrain we were working on for the Point 213 game and we did get it on the table. The game was one sided and the Brits got the major win. It was nice to see a project that we have been working for about 10 years get completed. I also started working on a new army, IJA Japanese for plans to do some Pacific gaming. I got the models assembled and for most of the year they have sat in the box until about two weeks ago when I started painting them. This past weekend I was able to get 500 points of stuff painted and Robert & I played our first 2nd Edition game! We have been apprehensive to doing the newer version, but after this past weekend, not much has really changed. So with only a few games and a very big project completed I would say that I passed for 2018.

Blood Bowl – Well I ran my first ever Blood Bowl event at the beginning of the year, the Taco Bowl! I did get a couple of teams painted and I had plans to attend the Grumble Bowl at IO but could not attend. I also have been keeping up on the Spike magazines and been picking up teams here and there. I love Blood Bowl, but I just don’t get that much time to play. So this was a passing year for Blood Bowl.

Warhammer Quest – So I continued to run games of Quest this year, painted up a ton of figures and created some cool scenarios for the players. I even got a chance to play the rerelease of the game that Robert picked up, I prefer the older version, but there were a few things I will port over to the older version from the newer one (pass through for one!). So, I have to say Quest was a huge success this year, so passed with flying colors!
 Space Hulk – Well the goal was to have a fully painted Hulk game, well I only got the Terminators painted up. I did get a few games in, but overall that was about it. Now because of Hulk though, I will be working on a brand new 40K army, Blood Angels, but that’s for another post! So I would say I failed on getting this completed this year. But I don’t feel too bad with what I did get completed.

Frostgrave – Well this is a huge fail this year. About the only thing I did was by the Spell cards that came out. I kept wanting to get it to the table, but other games took the spot. I love Frostgrave but there is only so much gaming time in a year.

Saga – Well we did get a new version, and I ordered it from my local shop back in the beginning of the year, well I just got my copy of the rules about a month ago, due to the supplier being out of stock. I also had ordered the Dark Age supplement with the new battle boards, but that has not come in. Because the lack of getting the rules, Saga fell of the table and did not get back onto it! So, this was an epic fail for this year.

Black Powder – Well this was a huge success; Robert & I played a couple of smaller WAB sized games of BP ACW and then we did our huge ACW game. While it did not hit the table much, it sure did hit the paint table, I painted up a whole brigade of Union troops this year for the big game. So once again while not played a lot, it was a huge pass on this one.

Other Games – This was not on the list, but there were a few games that hit the table this year that I had not planned for, one being Necromunda. I painted up three gangs (Van Saar, Escher & Genestealer Cult) and played in a campaign for about 6 sessions. I also purchased the Death Ray Designs hallway set for the game and picked up the core game, each Gang War and finally the two big rulebooks. For a game that was not on the radar, it got a lot of attention this year.

Age of Sigmar was also another game that was not on the radar and got a bunch of play time this year. I painted up a huge Flesh Eaters army that I game with and purchased the main rules and army book. I am still struggling with this game, I want to love it, but I am not doing well with it. I need to spend more time with the rules other than the few hours before I play a game.

Shadespire is a late entry to this year and I have gotten in a few games and will continue to move forward with it. I did the skirmish feel and small model count of this board/card game with minis.

Tanks also saw the table a bunch of times and I purchased and painted up a bunch of new vehicles for the game. It all was because I introduced my brother to the game and we played a few times. I also purchased the Modern Tanks game due to having a blast with the WW2 set.

I also got in a few games of Fistful of Lead this year which has quickly become my new favorite Old West game rules, its quick, fast and deadly. I also picked up a bunch of new old west figures for this game as well as a few other supplements.

So there you have it, what I did for 2018, overall I did very well, this was truly the Year GW Strikes back for me. Do I regret it, no, I have had a ton of fun gaming and working on new projects and playing all the games!  So, I look forward to 2019 and what that brings. Merry Christmas to you all, I will see you at the start of 2019!