Friday, March 25, 2016

AHPC VI: The Final Tally

A group shot of what I painted over the past 12 weeks during the 6th incantation of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  The total points came in at 3,306 which just managed to squeeze me into to first place over Martin C.  To be honest that was more due to Martin being away the last weekend than my skills.

More importantly, all of the figures I need to put on the Historicon War of 1812 game are done.

 The right side of the group - some artillery, 1 British and 2 Portuguese infantry battalions and some Native Americans.  Plus a horde of WW2 Russians in the back.

 The left side has some French Artillery and a fort plus a whole bunch of 15mm odds and ends for Flames of War.  In the back is a WW2 German Pioneer force.
 Along the banks of the river are some Napoleonic naval crew figures, a British landing party and two gun boats.
on the hills are all the figures I completed for Forstgrave and the 28mm scale USS Wasp, which is the pride and joy of this year'c competition.

In terms of painting tallies the following was painted up

Infantry:       390 figures
Cav/Guns     17
Vehicles        16
Boats             3

Infantry:      102
Cav/Guns     12
Vehicles        23

1/1200 Ships  2

I am really ready to start on a few terrain projects!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

ANPC VI: The last submissions

 This past weekend (Mar 19/20) saw the 6th version of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge come to an end.  For me it also saw a burst of painting over the last week or so with the following submissions - a platoon of Stug 105's from Plastic Soldier Company in 15mm scale.

 Next up a 36 figure Canadian infantry unit from the War of 1812 in 28mm Scale.  The figures are from Front Rank and I highly recommend them.

 A 1/1200 scale Xebec from  GHQ
 A US Naval officer in 28mm scale
 A whole passel of Frostgrave stuff - these were all purchased on Friday March 18th at Cold Wars and completed by Sunday March 20th!

Lastly, the first and only ACW submission a confederate artillery pieces and crew in Perry plastics.

Not bad for a weeks worth of painting.

I really enjoyed this year's challenge and am very grateful to both Curt and all the participants for making it such a great experience.

As for my final standing, I was very happy with the outcome.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FOW Cold Wars Doubles Tournament 2016

 Last Friday (March 18th), I drove up to Lancaster to play in the Flames of War Doubles tournament.  My partner was Luke from WWPD.

We played a US Infantry / Mech Infantry list that had two artillery batteries ,2 leg and 2 armored infantry platoon.  For AT assets we had a platoon of 3 57mm AT gun and 4 Lee's - Lees are a hoot to play.
We were on the defensive for all three games and to cut to the chase we won the tournament! going 6-1, 4-3 and 5-2
 Our first opponent was a Tiger  heavy list with mech infantry and a pair of Stug 105's - Once we had dispatched the Stugs and a tiger the game was over.  Great game and opponetns

 The second game was against Jesse and his Tiger, Italian light tank list - this was one of the funnest games of FOW I've played in a long time.

 Check out the Tiger ace skills!
 and all the light tanks
 Our strategy was to ignore the tigers and force a company morale test by taking out the light tanks
 Luke's son Alex was with us and brought his awesome dice rolling skills to bear.

 The game game down to a desperate assault by the remaining light tanks and a tiger....
 Which the armored infantry was able to beat back - gotta love all those bazookas!
The last game was against a father son team that had 10 Lees in the force.  We also managed a win here

While at Cold wars I did pop into the vendor hall and picked up some Battlefront Japanese infantry and tanks and finally succumbed to the Frostgrave virus and picked up a bunch of stuff for that game

All-in-all not a bad day and a nice break before the final crazy painting days of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Workbench Readied for the last push of the AHPC

My painting efficiency has declined and one of the main culprits was my very messy workbench.  So I spent a good bit of last Sunday cleaning up the area (2 full plastic garbage bags of "stuff").  I also took the time to recondition the bench top and sanded off paint spillage and the remnants of the "Great super glue spill of 2014".  Once done a quick coat of sealant and she's cleared for action as we enter the last week of the challenge!

Friday, March 11, 2016

AHPC VI: A ship and a Greyhound

 Not a lot of painting was done this week - as ingle 1/1200 scale Langton third rate and a 28mm M8 Greyhound armored car.
 I present to you the USS Columbus a 74 gun third rate that was launched in 1819 and joins my small but powerful US fleet for some "what-if" gaming

 The rigging is minimal as it just doesn't hold up that well on the table top.

 A M8 Greyhound for Warlord games.  Some of the metal detail parts were horribly cast so I couldn't use them.  Instead I made some sand bags to cover up where the mangled headlights should have gone.

Not a huge submission but at least it was something...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

AHPC VI: Progress Update - the end stage

11 weeks of the 13 week AHPC VI are in the books.  I'm currently in second place and have amassed a total of 2,728 points - not to shabby and pretty much on track with last year's program.

I've got a pretty brutal work schedule and I'm not sure how much more I will get done but it's been a really fun challenge so far.  I've also enjoyed helping out win the background by building a spreadsheet for the team to track results and providing rather silly statistical updates (you try making painting stats interesting!)

2 more weeks to go - lets see what we can get done!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Building the USS Wasp

 The USS Wasp is a Laser cut kit from a company aptly named Laser Dreamworks.  I highly recommend their stuff.  I made some modifications to the kit which I'll try to point out along the way.  The first change involves the hull.  The kits for larger ships use 1" think extruded polystyrene (pink insulation foam) for the hull.  It's light weight and easy to shape.  For normal tabletop duty it's fine.  I replaced it with 2 1/2 inch cut-outs of birch plywood as I was concerned about durability as I was planning to take the Wasp "out-to-sea: to put on convention games.  I used the hull piece to trace out the form and cut it out on my band saw.  Then there was a lot of hand planing to shape the hull and finally some carving to add in planking.

 With the hull shaped I attached the deck piece and started to put in the ribs which the upper hull sections are built around.
 The kit comes with two sheets of laser cut parts.  Each sheet is covered by a layer of plastic on each side.  Only remove the top layer and not the back one or most of your parts will fall out and you've got both a puzzle and a ship model.  There are approximately 10 million parts with the kit.
 Take your time laying out and attaching the deck sides...
And the decking is done.  I use a waterproof wood glue 'cause I've got lots of it.  Once everything is glued and in place, I weighted the top with some granite counter samples we had left over from a kitchen remodel.  These granite samples have become an invaluable tool on my workbench as the have a perfectly flat surface to build on (think alining right angle glue ups) and are of a size to act as a good weight.

I may do a post on unconventional modeling tools and these will be at the top of the list.

 The decking is complete and there a test fit of the main mast.  Once the deck was firmly glued to the plywood base, I used a drill press to drill out the 3/8 inch mast holes.

 A close up of the bow - I needed to file out a wedge for the anchor stays
 The kit comes with a very useful parts list for the mast and spar parts.  Use it or go crazy.  My only suggestion to Laser Dream works would be to reorganize the parts by mast type rather than just diameter.

 With the hull done it's off to build the masts - there are still approximately 9 million parts to go.  The masts appears complicated but are very easy to do after your first one
 Despite leaving the tacky plastic on the back of the parts frames on, some parts fall out - stop what you're doing and label them our you'll never know what they are.

 First coats of paint - given the size of the ship (37 inches long) I used simple craft paints.  One caution - don't water the paints down a lot as this is an all wood project and the masts can warp.  I could have primed the masts but just didn't have time to do so.

 The masts are completed!  By the way you can see the original pink foam hull cut out on the right side of the picture.

 The wasp in now armed - the kit comes with 16 24 pounder carronades (shot guns of the sea) and 2 12 pounder long guns.  The cannons are metal castings and are very nicely done.  The only step left is rigging and details
Rigging took a good bit a time - but heres the finished model.  It took me 6 weeks to finish her up but I think she was worth the effort.