Monday 31 March 2014

Bolt Action: Type 94 Tankette

Just finished a Warlord Games Imperial Japananese Army Type 94 Tankette for my Bolt Action Japanese army.

This is a great little model with the emphasis on little.

The Japanese vehicle was designed as part of the armour-on-the-cheap fad for tankettes in Europe in the 30s. Most military powers had abandoned them as useless by WWII. Japan lacked the industrial capacity and soldiered on  with obsolete equipment. 823 were manufactured between 1935 to 1940.

They were intended to be used as light cavalry reconnaissance vehicles, tractors and infantry support (with a single MMG).

This photo shows the Type 94 with the two most common Japanese tanks of WWII. In the centre is the Type 95 light tank (1599 produced) and the Type 97 medium tank (1465 in the original version as above and an improved version with an anti-tank gun).

The model posed with a Warlord Tommy, just to emphasise it Lilliputian qualities.

This is also a useful model for VBCW and other interwar scenarios.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Bolt Action: Samochód Pancerny wzór 29 - Ursus Heavy Armoured Car

Another wonderful vehicle from the interwar/Blitkrieg era from Warlord Games.

The Ursus was not a great success. It was decently armed with a French low velocity 37mm gun and no less than three machine guns - two in the one man turret with the cannon and one in the rear hull. The armour was okay for the time, making it heavy.

The trouble was the chassis was a standard lorry two wheel drive so it was hopeless off road. Around a dozen were made and eleven fought with the 11th armoured battalion.

Friday 28 March 2014

Quick Draw: Go for your...Sonic Screwdriver, Pardner

I rather think the Master has won this one!

Some modern Time Lords duke it out.

I think these are Heresy Miniatures.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

National Debt to GDP Ratio

Fun one for the apocalypse brigade. Who's got the biggest debt?

The UK is only at number five in the top ten. Sigh, and I remember when we were number one.

Monday 24 March 2014

VBCW: Bolt Action: Belgian Vickers MkIII Tankette

This is a Belgian T15 light tank based on the Vickers MkIII light tank but with a new turret. At four tons with a two man crew, a single MMG and 9mm of armour, the T15 was really a tankette. Tankettes were designed for scouting and infantry support. They turned out to be death traps and  and by 1940 most powers replaced them with with armoured cars and carriers.

The T15 was most used in conjunction with T13 tank destroyers (a T15 with a 47mm antitank gun).  It's most famous fight was the Belgian victory at Knesselare over a German infantry regiment. Only 42 were fielded.

This particular model is resin with some small metal components from Warlord Games 28mm Bolt Action range.

It's a very nice model and eminently suitable for VBCW and other interwar scenarios as well as Blitzkrieg scanarios. It's possible a few were still running in German hands in Normandy '44.

Monday 17 March 2014

IHMN: RN Nordenfelt Gun

I confess that didn't paint this but purchased it exactly as you see from Rochester Models. The artist was 'Paul' of Rochester. Whover you are Paul, bloody great job.

The Nordenfelt was an early manual machine gun famous for not jamming. :)

One was put back into firing condition for the film Khartoum.

Sunday 16 March 2014

General Staal, 10th Sontaran Fleet

Cloned warriorsfrom a high gravity moon, the Sontarans waged eternal war against the Rutan Host throughout Mutter's Spiral (the Milky Way).

Model from Heresy Miniatures, who currently have a 20% off sale - taps nose meaningfully.

Saturday 15 March 2014

Nautilus Steam Cannon

Originally invented for cleaning the Nautilus' hull of algae, the steam cannon gives Nemo's men a useful area weapon which operates much as a flamethrower except that it ignores cover, not armour.

Model from West Wind Productions.

Monday 10 March 2014

40K Walkers: A question Of Size

I thought it might be fun to create a line up of 40K Walkers from my collection to show the range of sizes.

From left to right:

1 Chaos Space Marine
2 Chaos Dreadnought
3 Chaos Defiler Daemon Engine
4 Imperial Knight
5 Ork Stompa
6 Chaos Warhound Titan

And that's all folks.

GW: Astra Militarum And More Legalistic Waffle

Apparently it is true that the Imperial Guard are about to change their name so that the Games Workshop legal department can trademark their new name: Imperial Guard cannot be trademarked - see Space Marine fiasco.

GW's legal department is the tail that wags the dog. If you buy an ebook from GW you are subjected to all sorts of threats that somehow every other publisher in the world fails to feel the need for.

The irony is that all this legal sabre rattling has brought the company nothing but grief. Jim Baen once memorably remarked that no company or industry can survive if it sees its customers as a threat.

Oh well.

Sunday 9 March 2014

Saturday 8 March 2014

The Black Knight

Finished my Knight model. I decided to go for a gloss black finish to give a suitably sinister appearance but it is awful to photo especially in the Spring light.  I went for a much simpler colour scheme than GW's show models as they look too finicky: great when painted by a commercial artist for close up photography but not really wargame fodder.

The base is MIG earth and permanent fixative with GW technical and textured paint.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Science Fiction: Alternative Earth

Last week I showed modern nations drawn onto the Pangaea supercontinent as an example of an alternative Earth for SF authors and game designers. In this blog I want to develop the theme and show some more alternative Earths.

About 175m yrs bp in the middle of the age of dinosaurs Pangaea started to break up. The vast bay of the Sea of Tethys in the east extended and broke Pangaea into two supercontinents, Laurasia in the northern hemisphere and Gondwana in the southern hemisphere.

This world is an interesting variant on the modern Earth if these supercontinents failed to break up. Hominids evolved in Africa so would presumably have been restricted to the southern hemisphere until the 15th C. and the invention of the trans-oceanic sailing ship. What would our bold mariners and explorers find on the northern continent?

In the next phase towards the end of the age of dinosaurs, Laurasia rifts along the line of what will be the North Atlantic and rotates clockwise. The world looked something like this.

Finally Gondwana rifts, spinning off South America, Antarctica, India and Arabia leaving Africa as the remaining rump. However the interesting thing is the split started along the line of the African Rift Valley but this spreading zone was overtaken by the ones that gave rise eventually to the South Atlantic.

But it needn't have happened that way. Suppose the African Rift had remained primary? In that case the modern world might look something like this and have a very different spread of climates.

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Steampunk Name Generator

Apparently I am Captain Victor Clanking-Field - of the Westcountry Clanking-Fields, don'tcha know.

IHMN: Hello Sailor!

London, 188-.

All is well in Kensington. The omnibus waits to pick 'the man' and take him to Clapham.

Hansome cabs wait outside the 'gentlemen's convenence' for a fare.

Nanny's walk their charges around the parks in the little central squares among the splendid buildings.

But what's this? Do my eyes deceive me or have a gaggle of rough mariners interrupted nanny's walk armed with harpoon guns, whaling harpoons and even some sort of steam cannon. 'Tis Captain Nemo and his shore party, up to no good, I'll be bound.

Across the road from the park stands the Prussian Embassy, heavily guarded by Jaegars and one of Professor Benz's armoured tricycles. Looks like they're expecting trouble, probably because they have acquired the plans to the electro-thingimijig.

The crew of the Nautilis run through the park, rifle rounds whistling past their ears. Professor Lavelle falls over and Bosun 'Peg-leg' O'Riley stops to chat up the nanny.

Professor Lavelle gets up and runs on but Peg-leg is still distracted. A firefight takes place at the embassy front gate. Showing great bravery, Ned the Whaler assaulted the tricycle with his harpoon to no avail and was shot by a Jaegar for his pains. The tricycle was eventually driven back by the steam cannon. The Professor fell down again. Captain Nemo's deadly harpoon guns, tipped as they are with lethal venom from the dreaded bloater-fish, win the fight and his mariners charge in and put the remaining Jaegars to the sword.

The Captain breaks down the embassy's front door with his trusty sabre and runs in to secure the plans.

Hey I won, a game of IHMN: that's two games I've won now - after a series of abysmal failures with the Thule Group.

The figures are all West Wind Empire of the Dead and Artizan. My opponent was Von Shaun.

Monday 3 March 2014

Primed and Polished

Finished the first draft of a novel for Baen Books at the weekend so I decided to celebrate by assembling and priming an Imperial Knight model.

It went together fairly well with only the odd bit that didn't seem to fit anywhere.

I elected for a Melta Cannon as the shooty weapon as the main weapon is a D close combat sword so fitting a long range battle cannon seemed a bit MRCA: many roles can't do any.

This version is an up close and personal monster killer.

Went for a gloss black as the primary colour using Humbrol spray. I think I will use steel and red as the contrast colours.