Thursday 19 November 2009

Inspirational Terrain Blog

I came across this a few days ago:
Take the High Ground
If you've never been there, you should definitely check it out.

This amazing flying boat station has me all fired up about terrain (although I'm sure that the burning will subside before I find time to do anything).

It looks incredible, but he makes it look so easy! I read the descriptions and it all seems so straight forward and simple. Why didn't I think of that? It's all so easy!

I'm sure that when I attempt some of this, things will not go so smoothly......

rotary tool-icious

I had been having some difficulty filing the thicker bases off the Flashpoint moderns.
My poor little, cheap files weren't up to the task vs. pewter.
On advice from Brevet on the Flashpoint forums, I tried hitting them with a dremel (actually it's a cheap knock-off Dremel).
First-off, I tried using the grinding stones in the kit, but they very quickly became clogged.
Then I tried the Carborundum tips....and they ripped through it beautifully.
A little bit of a rough finish, but then that helps with gluing to the base!
And now for the very blurry pic:
The figure on the left is intact. The figure on the right has been ground down.
The good cameras are out of town with my wife, so it's going to have to be phone camera shots again, until next week.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

TPLC Update

I've done a quick revamp on TPLC, and also debuted the new format. Hmmm.....Can it actually be a new format if it's really the first post?

Tiny Metal Men is intended to remain as a "hobby" page with figures, painting and modelling. Tin Pot Little Country will be a narrative page for AARs and other supporting material for my games (when I find time to play any!).

For the near period, TMM will certainly remain the busier site whilst I get through the current pile of figures I need to paint!

Monday 16 November 2009

Gloss Humvees - finale

I finished up the glossed Humvees on the weekend.
If it hadn't been for the gloss, I would have done these very differently.
They've ended up looking quite dirty and worn, and this is largely due to my efforts to sort out the gloss, rather than a focused approach to painting wear and tear.
Here are some pics, click them for the full size:
Now, to get back to painting infantry!

Thursday 12 November 2009

Gloss Humvees - now with pictures!

Okay, so I finally sync'd the camera and took some pics of the QRF HMMWVs.
Here are two of them with the unfortunate gloss undercoat. You can see where it's run in around to a lot of the detail. Check out the front wheel of the M2 HMMWV (left). Click on the images for the full size:

I've started trying to paint up an M998 first up. Here's a progress shot from my first Glass Humvee post where I found out that the paint would stick! I've also tried to matt-down the gloss with some paint.

And here's where I had to leave it last night:

It needs some further tidy-up and some inking and dry-brushing, it's starting to get there.
Hopefully finish up tonight, and then it's on to the Mk19 and M2 equipped models.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Gloss Humvees

I tried applying some paint to the gloss undercoated Humvees last night.
I painted one of the tires and to my joy it appears to stick!
I think I'll still need to give them a decent coat of clear coat to protect them, but I'm happy that I haven't completely destroyed them. And as it's dried, some of the detail has come back, so things are looking up!
The main cameras at home are full of baby pictures, so I haven't been able to use them. I tried to take some pictures this morning with my phone again, but these have proven to be terrible.
I'll bite the bullet and take some proper shots tonight.

Monday 9 November 2009

More Books!

I had promised myself that I wouldn't by any more books, but I came across these three at my local QBD for about $25 total.

I couldn't help myself. I'd just finished reading "Black Hawk Down", so I splashed out.

I started Horsfall's book (which I'd never heard of before) on the train in to work today, and I've been enjoying it.

QBD is definitely a great source for discounted books!

Slowly getting back on track.....

Finally had a slower weekend this week and actaully managed to get some hoby-related activity done.

I've glued down a big chunk of my Cannon Fodder militia, plus some of the Flashpoint US and insurgents. I need to trim down the bases on some of the Flashpoint figures as they're a little thick for my taste. I've purchased a rotary tool for the task, and I'm looking forward to giving it an outing.

The whole lot got an undercoat yesterday, along with some Peter Pig Vietnam snipers which I'm planning to use as snipers for AA, since no-one seems to make modern US snipers.

Here is the very blurry pic:

I also put together the 3 QRF Miniatures Humvees that I have, but I think I've ruined them with my impatience and the wrong type of paint for undercoat. I accidentally ended up using a Gloss spray, which has run in and filled all of the detail. Also I'm not sure how things are going to go with painting over the top of it. I'm letting it dry properly for a day or two, and I'll see how it holds paint.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Gaming Plans - Moderns 2009

Inspired by Dave's post over at the War Depot, I started to plot out my plans for gaming. At the time when I started this post, I hadn't gotten anything done, subsquently I've actually started moving forward again. I am going to post however, as it puts a good "stake in the ground" to come back and review projects.

Because I'm sneaking these posts in when I can, I'm going to break it down into periods that I'm working on and post them separately. Starting with.....

I'm actually working on a number of projects for the post-war/moderns period. This period is my major focus at the moment.

Somali Civil War 1992-1996
This is the period of the UN intervention in Somalia. The current focus is on the period around the events of Operation Gothic Serpent (Blackhawk Down).

Recently I've become more aware of the involvement of 1RAR during the intervention and I'm now keen to game some actions based on their involvement in the conflict. This is currently hampered by a lack of 15mm Australia figures. However Flashpoint Miniatures are promising something soon (apparently around the Christmas timeframe?).

I also have a fair bit of work ahead of my trying to research records and accounts in an attempt to create some realistic scenarios for this.

I the interim, check out the following links for some pictures and narrative of the "Big Blue One" in Somalia:

Australians in Afghanistan 2001 to current
Ambush Alley's Operation Uruzghan book as a starting point.
Stalled on this until someone offers a 15mm modern Australian range.
I have some CannonFodder Afghan figures for use as Taliban.
Also looking at Brits in Afghanistan as well. This is most likely to happen first as I already have a significant number of 15mm modern Brits from QRF and Old Glory.

Iraq War 2003
Ambush Alley is planning on publishing a "Road to Baghdad" book in 2010 (?) and this is likely to be a good source for this.

I already have US moderns, and I have some Bradley's coming for Christmas, along with some troops to use as Iraqi Republican Guard or regular army for early in the conflict. Figures for Fedayeen are available from Rebel, but I don't have any of these yet.

On the subject of Fedayeen, I'm also keen to look at gaming the insurgency as well.

Vietnam War

Ambush Alley are releasing Ambush Valley for Christmas 09, and I'm hoping to pick up a copy when I can find some cash in the new year. I already have a number of Vietnam 15mm, courtesy of the old Flashpoint range that I picked up from Drew at Dragonfire. These are packed away for Christmas, and will hopefully getting some attention in the new year.

Flashpoint are also re-doing their Vietnam rules, which are more at the company level, whereas Ambush Valley is more of a platoon sized game. Keen to keep an eye on these as they develop...

French Colonial Decline (Algeria, Indochina)

No fixed plans here, but I've always been interested in these conflicts.
Eureka also have a great range of figures to work with here.
For Indochina I can probably look to recycle some of my VC as Viet Minh.

African Republics

This is where my whole interest in the Moderns period started, with the Peter Pig AK47 Republic rules. I'm keen to look at this again. For the bigger games I'm still planning on using 6mm, but my 15mm collection is slowly growing and eventually I should be able to play somewhere between platoon and company level. As I'm reading more and learning more, I'm keen to look at some games based on Rhodesia, Mozambique and others. I'm very keen on some 15mm Rhodesian Fireforce games.


Some others where I'm interested, but haven't got anything firm in mind:

  • Arab-Israeli War and Lebanon
  • Northern Ireland and the troubles 1970s/80s
  • Malaysian Emergency, Indonesian Confrontation

And that's about it!

Thursday 8 October 2009

Flashpoint Loot

Since I'm recycling old material that I haven't posted, while Elora is settling in; here's a pic of the other stuff I ordered when I got the Flashpoint Moderns a little while back.

The moderns are the two little bags at top right.
The rest is stuff from the Vietnam range. I went a little crazy and got:
  • ANZAC Platoon (in the new packaging top left)
  • ANZAC Weapons Platoon
  • Main Force VC Platoon
  • Main Force VC Support Platoon (RCLs and mortars yay!)
  • Local Force VC Cell (essentially a platoon)
  • Local Force VC Support (as well as weapons this contains nifty things like pungee pits and tunnel entrances)
  • and a US LRRP platoon

At around 30 figures per box - I've got a lot of lead to paint!

Warthog - It's not a puma

A few months ago I bought a diecast A-10 from the Toyworld in the Queen St Mall. At $9.95 I couldn't pass it up. If only I could get Blackhawks for that price!

Monday 5 October 2009

It's a girl!

Not a lot going on (on the miniatures front) at the moment, because of the recent arrival of our first-born, "Elora May", on the 15th.

I had vast plans about trying to use a little bit of my leave to get some more painting or terrain done, but it was not to be so.
I addition, my powerbook hard disk up and died so I've lost all previous stuff completely.
New drive now though, so at least I'm up and running again.
Back at work and busy, so I'll leave you with a few delights until I can get into action again...

I've just seen two posts by an amazing 15mm painter over at the Ambush Alley forums.
Check them out!

Also while I've been "offline" Rebel minis have released more Sahadeen!

QRF have also expanded their modern British line (no pics yet, unfortunately).

And finally, the local guys at Flashpoint have pics up of stuff coming into the range:

Vietnam Civilians
The watchtower

and also pictures from the recent playtest of the new rules!

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Flashpoint Miniatures Insurgents

As promised, here are some pics of the Flashpoint Insurgent figures.
They are also great quality casts.
Just like the Rangers, they're pewter, rather than the traditional lead-heavy alloys, which makes for a very crisp result.

In the pack you get 12 figures with the following mix:
9 AK-47
1 LMG (probably an RPD?)

Here are some pics of the indivdual poses I received in my pack:

RPGs are at either end, with the RPD second from right.
I'm not sure that this picture does them justice. The light and the angle has washed out a lot of the detail.
The figure second from left that looks like he has a mess for a head is actually quite a detailed model of a man with a beard who is looking up.
The dude who looks bald in the middle is actually wearing a bandanna around his head.
Once I get some paint on them, I think it will be a lot more obvious!

And here is the size comparison pic:

Just like the one for the FP Rangers, we have Peter Pig, Cannon Fodder, and Irregular.

Sunday 30 August 2009

Flashpoint Miniatures Modern Rangers

Just last week I purchased a pack each of the Rangers and Insurgents from Flashpoint Miniatures.
These guys are actually Seige Works Studios, who have taken over the old Flashpoint Vietnam and Modern ranges and are looking to expand and improve on that base.

I'm always on the lookout for new 15mm ranges that will slot into my existing interest, an this one is a doozy; targetted directly at Mogadishu.

The figures come in a bag of 12

In my pack was
1x Squad Leader m-16
2x m-16 with LAWS on back
2x m-16
2x SAW
4x M-16/m203 (Grenade Launcher under the gun)
1x M60

I had two of each the sculpts below

Plus these 4 sculpts to make up the 12 in total.

These are good looking miniatures. The alloy is nice and hard- No bent barrels here!

Now the question you've all been waiting for; "How do they measure up?"
Here they are against Peter Pig, Cannon Fodder, and Irregular (apologies for the blurring)

You can see that they're larger that the Peter Pig approach, but on a par with Cannon Fodder. The Ireegular figures are larger again, by the look of it.

I'll have to get them up against QRF and Old Glory as well, but I can't get into that cupboard at the moment! (renovations)
More pictures will follow once I have some paint on them as well.

Sunday 9 August 2009

Monday 27 July 2009

15mm Village How-To

A nice how-to for Mid-East/North-Africa villages is up on the Mad About Gaming blog.
I found it quite informative.

I hope to try the same thing this week using cork tile instead of the foamcore.
Two reasons:
  1. I don't have any foamcore kicking around. But I do have some cork.
  2. I'm hoping that I can get a more dilapidated and "chunky" feel from the cork vs. the smooth lines of cut foamcore.
The plan is that I actually have a game this friday night with a few mates; so I need to be on top of terrain.
If all goes well, there should be some work-in-progress shots over the next few days.

Tuesday 21 July 2009

I Ain’t Been Shot Mum! – a preplay review

As always; many forces are conspiring to prevent me from gaming or blogging.  However a friend of mine asked me what I thought of IABSM, as he has a copy of Sharp Practice.  I sat down and put together some thoughts on what I think from reading the rules.  Obviously these opinions may change when I get it to the table…….
Preliminary Notes
The first conclusion I've come to is that I think these rules are going to be more for my own solo gaming enjoyment. I cannot imagine them getting used in the competitive environment of club or tournament gaming. They require the players to come to a gentlemanly agreement on a number of points, and my personal experience is that many gamers can be anything but "gentlemanly". I can see play in a club scenario with a referee, but you'll need to have a thick hide to deal with the whinging when things don't go people's way.

Those with a fixed-move, IGOUGO background may struggle to come to grips with how to manoeuvre. The thing is that with more play, people will adapt themselves to more realistic manoeuvres on the table, and end up with less requirement for a referee, but it remains to be seen whether your average IGOUGO gamer would stick with it through the learning curve. My personal belief is that IABSM appears to provide a good representation of the friction of battle and the decisions of a company commander.
How does it work?
Units start the game represented as oval card blinds on the table. These can move or spot. Players may also have a number of additional blinds that represent small recce parties. Once spotted these disappear, but until then they can be used to spot enemy units. Players get to move their blinds when their "blinds move" card (one per player) comes up. Spotted units are put down on the table in place of the blind.
The turn ends when the Tea Break card arrives.

Once on the table, the platoon cards are inserted into the deck, and the platoon can move and shoot when its card comes up. Each section of the platoon is given a number of initiative dice based on the quality of the unit (SS and Paras have more dice than Volksturm). These dice are used to move, spot or shoot. Dice can be reserved when the platoon's card comes up to be used before the Tea Break arrives as an interruption. As a result, ambushes are very well catered for (unlike a certain popular WW2 ruleset....).

Combat involves shooting dice being rolled and totalled and compared against a table. The result on the table gives a number of casualties in the target unit and also whether there is any pinned or suppressed. Casualties are separately diced for to determine whether they are dead, wounded, or a near miss.
Close combat involves what (at first glance) appears to be a complex set of modifiers. This is one area where I am not sure how exactly it will work on the table.

As well as the platoon cards, there are also Big Men on the table. These officers and NCOs (not every officer or NCO is a Big Man) have their own cards in the deck and can be used to activate nearby units or take actions when their card comes up.
Final Thoughts
Experienced IABSM players will probably throw their hands up in the air at the above descriptions, but all I’m trying to capture is what I’ve gotten out of my couple of flicks through the rules.
Friction appears to work really well via the use of blinds for movement of units until they are spotted. The card-driven mechanic and dice roll movement further enhances the uncertainty that the commander has to deal with. When pushing your troops forward, you will need to set realistic objectives. As the M&M podcast suggests, this game is no race for the bridge where the player that goes first will always win.
It should be noted that at the end of the rules, a guide is given to three rough scenarios to play through to learn the rules, introducing the infantry first, and then slowly moving to include artillery and armour.  The rules also cover sections on Aircraft and Anti-Aircraft, and a section on refereeing and solo gaming.
What am I doing with them?
I'm going to be using these rules for 6mm gaming at the moment because that's my chosen scale for anything greater than a platoon or two. In addition, with B'Maso! I think they have a really role to taking in replacing AK47 (for my 6mm) which I haven't been happy with.

For a couple of platoons or less, I'm going to be using 15mm and Ambush Alley Game's Force-on-Force or Ambush Alley (depending on the scenario and the force composition. These are a great looking set of rules that they've deliberately targeted at World War 2 and Moderns from the start.  More on them soon….
Other Gaming Directions
Napoleonics have never appealed to me previously. I think large blocks of men manoeuvring has been dead boring. Also I don't think I understand the period and its challenges well enough. However, the concept of Sharpe Practice being more of a skirmished sized game does sound interesting, particularly with the chance to recreate characters like Flashman and Sharpe. It's definitely on my list now, but I need to complete what I'm trying to do with WW2 and Moderns before I push on to anything else.

I'm also trying to resist getting into colonials (which have always held a great attraction for me).  I've always intended to use either the Sword and the Flame (which I would need to purchase) or the Space:1889 Soldier’s Companion (which I have already) for this. The benefit of Soldiers Companion is that it's a quite good set of colonial rules that also has sections to cater for Victorian sci-fi elements like martians, steam tanks and airships.  Plus the only outlay is on figures!

Monday 13 July 2009

More Books

My pile of books to be read has just gone up by another two.
Yesterday I discovered two items at my local QBD.

The first was House to House by David Bellavia, about the battles in Fallujah during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
I've had lots of recommendations regarding this book, particularly from Ambush Alley players around the world. And at the princely sum of $8.99 I couldn't walk past it!

Having already "broken the seal" on my wallet, I had a quick hunt around to see what else was available for the right price; I came across "An Ordinary Soldier" by Doug Beattie MC.

This is the story of the Royal Irish actions at Garmsir in Afghanistan, for which the author was awarded the Military Cross. Some have described the operation which was predicted to take 2 days which became two bloody weeks as a "modern day Rorke's Drift". Once again, at $8.99 it was a no-brainer.

I'm having to juggle my reading schedule at the moment to make sure that I'm also covering off a whole heap of baby-related material for the October arrival. Tizzie Hall's "Save Our Sleep" has to be completed before I can turn the first page of these two!


Well...still haven't gotten around to playing any of the TooFatLardies stuff that I received a little while back.

I have been reading and re-reading when time allows and I'm very keen to replay some of my AK-47 Republic games using I Ain't Been Shot Mum with the B'Maso! expansion.

In the interim, go and check out this article by Big Rich on the TooFatLardie Blog.
The Lardies' rules set out to do a lot of things that I want to see in a game.
The concept of friction and the uncertain nature of battle are what I want to see reflected on my table.

This is something that is also reflected in another of my favourite games; Ambush Alley. Whilst AA uses a more traditional approach to movement, the mechanism for "turns" is switched up to an interruption mechanism, and the Fog of War mechanism also injects friction and uncertainty into the game.

Gamers do a lot of reading to research what they are playing.
I'd just rather be looking at historical accounts to help guide my decisions on the table, rather than on spending hours researching the current thoughts on the "Ultimate Unbeatable Army List".

As always, your mileage may vary.......

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Still Here!

I have not had much of a chance to do any updates to the blog for quite some time.  Mrs Scannablegoose required some renovation work to be conducted at Castle Goosenstein (aka The Goose’s Nest) so that we have a nursery ready for the arrival of our first gosling (okay the goose thing is becoming a little strained!) in October.  The lounge room also required some rework, as the paint was showing its age (peeling) and we needed to do some remodelling so that the air-conditioner would be more efficient in that space.

The major refurbishment works are coming to a close, but I probably still have another couple of weekends fully booked (including a trip to the Baby Expo this weekend).

Once I’ve finished the final touches to the nursery and lounge I’m hoping to get straight into a whole heap of stuff;  Ambush Alley Force on Force, my recent acquisition of some Too Fat Lardies content, and the strange tale of cork tiles…

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Easter DPM attempt

I didn't get a lot of painting done over the Easter long weekend.
I took some figures and paint to my in-laws, but found I wasn't in the mood for painting most of the trip.
I did, however, get to try out painting some DPM uniforms on some of my insurgent leaders.
I'm still getting the hang of it, but I'm not dissatisfied with the results.  Particularly the trousers on the right.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

QRF HMMWVs - M1025

Here are the bits you get with the M1025 HMMWV from QRF.

Here are the assembled views. I'll apologise for the big blob of BluTack holding the Mk19 on, but I couldn't keep it in place any other way. It should glue on a fair bit nicer. There's a little depression on the roof (if you zoom the photo above) to place the upright on the weapon mount into.

Tuesday 7 April 2009


I wanted to get some HMMWVs for my US forces for my Day of the Ranger games.
I needed some unarmoured M998s and the M1025 weapon carriers, rather than the newer M1114 up-armoured HMMWVs. QRF has a wide range of Humvee variants, so I ordered an M998 along with M1025s with a .50 cal and the Mk19 AGL.
Here is the M998 (temporarily stuck together with BluTack):

This was the generic troop carrier variant. Here are the bits you get:

Some more shots (click for the full size):

As you can see in the pictures, the model needs a bit of a clean-up; particularly around the windows.

And finally the comparison. I think I might need to base them up to get the height right vs the figures. It would mean less wear and tear as well, I guess.

M1025 pics coming soon...

15mm Sahadeen from Rebel

Mike at Dropship Horizon has another great preview of upcoming figures from Rebel Minis.

Check them out!

These really look great and would be suitable for any post-apocalyptic scenarios you may want to play. They also would be great for gaming a certain desert planet inhabited by large worms....

Rebel are really turning out a lot of good work.
I think that a lot of my cash will be ending up in their pockets over the next few years!

Thursday 2 April 2009

QRF Land Rover Wolf

Next up is the other Land Rover I've just received; the Land Rover Defender Wolf from Quick Reaction Force.
Here it is:

And in pieces:

The only issue with this model is the fragility of the windscreen frame attached to the roof. This area will probably need some puttying up and smoothing off as it's a bit rough.
Here it is up against the OG WMIK. I think they're a pretty good match.

And finally, a comparison including the QRF Scorpion:

That's pretty much it for the british vehicles.
Next up will be Humvees from QRF.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Old Glory WMIKs

Here is one of the Command Decision WMIKs from Old Glory.  I've stuck it together with Blu Tack (although it's orange) at the moment.

I thought the model was quite nice, with plenty of moulded-on extra details like netting and ammo boxes.
Here are some more pics assembled, trying to show that detail.

And here's all the bits you get:

There were also some extra wheels, I think there is enough to mount a spare for each of the 4 vehicles. I only got 3 of the LMGs, but since the crew come with a pose including an LMG, I didn't really need any.
And finally a comparison shot with a range of figures:

Left to right : Irregular US, QRF modern British with SA80, Peter Pig militia, and Cannon Fodder militia

Tuesday 31 March 2009

British Infantry from QRF

As part of my last order from QRF I got one each of the modern british infantry packs.
Here they are:
MBI-5 Infantry with Minimi

MBI-4 Infantry with LSW

MBI-2.  The figure on the end on the right is the gunner from the WMIK crew for comparison.


Finally, here are some pics of the Old Glory/Command Decision WMIK crew