Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Tale of Two Kitties


Last week Robert over at Drunken Samurai Painting Blog, pitched me an idea for a big game that he would like to do sometime next year. It is sort of a top secret game but what I can tell you, it will require a few tanks in 28mm and use the Bolt Action Rules (I'm not going to spill the beans just yet). So with that said, I needed to start picking up a few vehicles. About two months ago, I started selling off all my 1/48th scale armor kits and started to switch over to 1/56th vehicles to be more in line with 28mm figures.

One of the kits I picked up was the Rubicon Models Tiger I Ausf. E tank to replace my Tamyia Tiger. I love the Rubicon kits and have a few now, so it was a no brainer that I would have this kit. In fact I was so excited that once I got home, I built up the kit! Now with this secret project, I knew I was going to need another Tiger, but after talking to Robert, I decided to pick up the plastic Tiger from Warlord Games this past weekend.

So last night I had some free time, so decided to build up the second Tiger to see how it matches up to the Rubicon kit. Now I have to say, if your in the market for a Tiger model, either one of these great kits will work and you will be satisfied with the results. I will be reviewing each kit below, but hear me on this, both kits are very well done and I really can't say which one is better than the other.

So first up is the cost of each kit:

Warlord Games Tiger = $32.00
Rubicon Models Tiger = $37.00

Now you can get both of these kits cheaper if you go online, but these are the suggested prices for both.

Next up is assembly, the Warlord kit gives you two plastic frames, while the Rubicon comes with three plastic frames. Each kit took about 45min to put together. Now the Rubicon kit allows you to build three different versions (early, mid or late variants), while the Warlord only allows you to build a late version. The instructions for both kits are easy to follow and pretty straight forward if you have ever built any sort of model kits in the past.

Now it is worth noting that the Warlord kit comes with zimmerit paste already sculpted on, which the Rubicon has none.

Another thing you get with the Warlord kit is a commander figure, while the Rubicon kit dose not come with a commander. Now this is not a big deal, but it is always nice to have a figure to add to the tank. On the Rubicon kit, the tracks have no real detail to them but the Warlord kit has actual track detail (you can see the track links and such). Once again its a minor issue, but not it was something I noticed when I assembled the kits.

Overall size of the kits is pretty good, but the Rubicon kit is just a hair larger than the Warlord kit. I noticed it with the gun barrel sizes, the Warlord kit is shorter than the Rubicon kit (and we all know barrel length is important, sorry!). But overall you could easily run both of these kits together on the tabletop in the same platoon without seeing an issue.

One other thing I would mention is that the detail on the Rubicon kit seems much crisper than on the Warlord kit. I am talking about the molded on detail like the tow cables and track equipment rear deck detail. Its minor and once the model is painted it will not be an issue. Both kits do come with decals, although the Rubicon decals are the same ones you get with the Panzer III & Panzer IV kits, would have liked to seen a different set of decals. The Warlord model has a generic set of German numbers and cross' which is nice.

So which one is better? Well I don't know, both kits have their strong points and low points, but as I said at the beginning of the post, these are very small issues. With saying that, I like the Rubicon kit much better since I have the option to build three variants as opposed to one version. But I think I will be buying another Warlord kit for our super secret project since the Tigers would have zimmerit on them and I do not want to green stuff up the Rubicon kit. I hope this little review helps you with deciding on a Tiger to purchase. Stay tuned for painting these big kitties.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Operating on the DB&AJ Railroad.


This past weekend we took a trip out to CA for a Dierks Bentley concert at the Irvine Meadows amphitheater on Saturday night. Well I got an email from a friend  Bill Meyer inviting me to play trains on his HO DB&AJ RR, which is a freelance layout depicting the Santa Fe railroad in the Fullerton area mid 1980's. I have been helping and operating on Bills layout since the mid 1990's.

A few U boats that I got to run this weekend.

If I remember correctly, he is now on his 115 operating session and he can host at least 6 operators with one playing as Dispatcher and the rest being either Road Crews or Local Switcher crews. There are about 25+ jobs to run during the session and takes about 3.5 hours for each session. Now I have operated many times in the early days and at that time we did self dispatching, meaning we just ran trains in order on his Job list.

Extra 6378 West bound.
 But now Bill is using a true Dispatcher (who sits in another room all together separate from the layout) and track warrants issued by the dispatcher. Meaning you must use a radio to call the dispatcher to get a track warrant to operate on certain sections of the layout. I will confess, I was rather flustered by operating like this but it does make it feel more like the real thing. With saying that, their is a lot of paperwork to fill out and waiting around to actually operate. At one point I got to sit and wait for a local crew to clear the main for about 15minutes. Like I said, it felt very much like the real thing.

Extra 2866 Sweeper train
 The nice thing about the layout is that Bill is always adding new things for his operators to challenge them. Bill uses a Waybill system that tells you where everything needs to go, this session he has added Blue Flagged cards that say Do not move Unloading, which is something that real railroads use when cars are not meant to be moved, the really railroad would fire you if you moved a blue flagged car, Bill just would make you buy him a Pint afterwards!

He has also added Re Spot cards, which means you can move the car, but have to put it back where it was at. These little things make the layout much more realistic and fun to operate. Most operating layouts do this, it was just new for Bill's layout.

The Colton CA ATSF station I made for Bill years ago, I am the Station Agent!
All in all I had a great time operating on this layout and I am lucky that Bill still invites me whenever I am in the area. For all of my non Model Railroading friends, picture operating a layout like a game, except that the playing pieces are HO cars and locomotives. If you ever get a chance to operate, take the chance and do it.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Band of Painters Sept Installment completed!


My first installment of the Band of Painters challenge is completed and below you will see the efforts.

248 Points, 1 Spinne Walker and 6 Veterans

Spinne Mechpanzer

6 Veterans, 5 with Assault Rifles!
The hardest part was trying to figure out where to put the decals on the Spinne Walker, I had a tough time trying to figure out placement of the markings, in fact it took me over an hour to decide what insignias to use and where to put them.

So I started assembly on September 1, paint followed on the next few days and they were completed on Sept 5. I like how they turned out and look forward to filling in the ranks in the following months.


Thursday, September 01, 2016

Band of Painters Challenge - Month One


Today we start our four-month paint challenge called the Band of Painters which will focus on four of us building new Bolt Action/Konflikt 47 armies. As I mentioned I am building a Late War forces and will be focusing more on the Konflikt 47 army first.

248 points for Konflikt 47

So here is my first batch of 248 points of models:

 1 NCO with Assault Rifle (Veteran)

4 Infantry with Assault Rifles (Veteran)

1 Infantry with Rifle (Veteran)

1 Spinne Light Panzermech  (Veteran) 

That's it, 248 points which will be pretty easy to paint up.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Big Time Painting


A few months ago, my friend Jeff up at my local game store had a few larger (54mm) scale model on his paint desk. I asked where did these come from and he said Andrea Miniatures, which is a company that does larger scale figures for display. Jeff showed me their website and I was totally blown away by what I found.

Now a little back story, when I was much younger, I used to go to my local shopping center/mall and visit a store called The Military Shop in Lakewood CA. I remember that they had tons of models on display and a ton of Historical miniatures on display (as well as a few nude miniature models too). I would spend hours looking at all the models and dreaming of being able to paint just like those.

So when I saw these Andrea Miniatures, I was transported back to my younger days of youth. So I told Jeff that I would order a model to try my hand at painting one of them. Jeff told me, that painting these models helped him immensely with his painting and that I should give it a go.

Well after looking through the online catalog, I settled on a very iconic figure, another from my youth, their 1930 Adventurer, which has a strange resemblance to a certain Doctor Jones from a certain set of movies. (Okay lets just admit it, its Indiana Jones!) 

Doctor Jones I presume?
So after plunking down just this side of $30.00, I awaited my figure. It arrived the following week and I took it home to inspect my new purchase. The figure is 54mm and was rather nice with very little flash on the figure. The only issue was his whip, it was a cast piece of metal and was nearly broken already, so I knew I would have to replace that.

All laid out for inspection.
As you see from the above picture, it would need some assembly but it all went together perfectly. The nice thing is they give you a little instruction booklet for assembly and painting if you have never worked with metal figures before. Only reason I mention this, is that a few of my none gamer friends wanted this same model, so the instruction booklet would be perfect for them.

I think there is something in my foot?

Red mark is mounting for original figure, pin hole I added.
I was not happy with the way the model mounted to the provided base, the red mark on the above picture was were one foot attached to the base. I added a pin to his other foot and drilled a hole to mount him there as well.

All mounted up

Size comparison, on left, 28mm Pulp Figure, on right Infinity 28mm figure.
You can see in the first above picture the model all mounted up on the base, minus his whip. I forgot to take pictures of how I made the whip, but basically it is two pieces of floral wire wrapped together and then bent to desired curves. In the second picture above you can see the size of the model next to a few 28mm models (the scale I usually work with). He is a much larger figure that's for sure.

Base color for the base

Base all finished up after a few hours of work.
I primed everything in a flat white and then decided to start working on the base, I wanted to start with something easy first! One thing I kept telling myself was to take it slow, I am a pretty fast painter, but I really wanted to take my time on this whole kit, the base alone took me well over two hours to do! Why you may ask, well you cant see it, but there are 6 different colors on the base and I use a couple of washes, I waited until each one was completely dried before starting the next color.

Hey I got some sun on my face!

Another size comparison
So once I was done with the base, I tackled the man himself. After priming white, I mounted him onto a piece of balsa wood to make it easier to handle while painting. I started on the face since that would be the real focal point of the model and that this was a very recognizable figure. I will admit, I painted the face about 5 times until I liked what I was doing. The first couple of times it looked like crap and I started over, but once I got a nice smooth base coat down, I started in with washes and lighter tones of flesh colors. The face really drove me crazy doing because I wanted to get it right. Also Jeff came over one night, and said, "You know, its not going to paint itself" and that comment spurred me onto getting the model finished.

Getting closer to being done

Are we ready yet?
 Once I got over the hurtle of the face, the rest of the model painted up rather easily. One thing that I really like about this model was the highlighting on his jacket, the detail really pop and for some reason I just dug painting it!

So after about two and a half months, here is the completed model!

I have to say, this was a real challenge for me and I think my painting has gotten much better, at least my brush control has. I am now looking forward to my next model from Andrea Miniatures and I am leaning towards a certain Hollywood Pirate form a certain set of movies, but we will see. I would highly recommend these figures for any level of painter and if you are not interested in painting, you can even order the models all assembled and painted up for you, so take a look at Andrea Miniatures.

That's a wrap!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Band of Painters Challenge


Coming in September, Myself and three other folks are going to be participating in a little paint challenge that we are calling Band of Painters. It will take place for four months and we will each be building and painting new Bolt Action Armies as well as Konflikt 47 armies (which we will add the new units to the armies we are working on).

Each month we will be building and painting up 250 points of models, with the goal after four months being 1000 point armies. Now realistically we will be doing more than 1000 points if you add in the new units for Konflikt 47, but the main goal is to get a new army for Bolt Action first.

We are doing this with our local shop, Imperial Outpost Games here in Phoenix to help promote Bolt Action as well as Konflikt 47. As we finish each 250 point allotment, they will be on display at the shop in one of their glass display cases for the world to see.

So, what will I be building you ask? Well it looks like I will be doing a brand new German army (surprise surprise!). This army will be built as a late war army and will be a perfect fit for the Konflikt 47 army. I really wanted to do a different army, because I have a huge Crusader/Black Tree German army already, but once I saw that the Germans in Konflikt 47 get Zombies, Werewolfs and some other cool stuff, I was done, it would be a new German army for me!

So with that being decided, I picked up the new Konflikt 47 German Starter box set you see below. 

So for $112.00 here is what you get in the box set:

An A5 sized Rulebook
1 Spinne light panzermech
1 Pz IV-X medium tank
24 Grenadiers
8 Totenkorp (Zombies!)
6 Pin Markers
6 D6 dice
6 Order Dice

Not a bad little set and it comes up to around 650 points give or take. Nice thing is you can add your regular Bolt Action army to this and easily get you well over 1000 points. That's the one thing I am excited about, I can now get two uses out of one army!

So there you have it, what I will be doing for the next few months, the hardest part will be to not start painting it up now! So keep checking back here for updates and if you are in the Phoenix area, stop by Imperial Outpost games to see the figures in person. We will also love to show you how to play Bolt Action and Konflikt 47.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Blood Bowl Returns!


It seems that Games Workshop is going to re-release Blood Bowl in the fall and I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning to arrive! I am totally stoked about this, Blood Bowl was one of the first GW games I picked up and I have a love for the game that I can't really describe. I love the game, I hate the game and whenever I find people selling teams or models I pick them up!

The rumor's have been floating around for years that GW would re-do the game, but word is getting out that the rules are pretty much going to be the same that folks are currently playing now. (Yes there are still people playing Blood Bowl at big events).

So here are a few pictures I grabbed off of Twitter this morning showing all the cool models coming out!



The new models look amazing and the fact that they have announced that they will be in plastic is great news! One source from Twitter mentioned that Humans, Orcs, Elves, Dwarves and Skaven will be the first releases in plastic. Star Players will be in resin more than likely released through Forge World. And if sales go well, there will be a second season release with even more models. The future looks bright for BB fans.
So I know I will be giving more money to GW in the fall, time to start saving my pennies for all the cool new BB stuff that will be coming out. Hmm now I need to make a Buccaneer team for Blood Bowl, hmmm...