Bolt Action: Lady and the Tank

Rubicon Panzer III Painted TCOW gaming club met last Sunday, and I was up for my first game of Bolt Action, so I painted the Rubicon Panzer III up for it in rather a hurry. As I still have cans of Tamiya paint in the garage, it got the old ‘Marmite weathering’ paint job as per other vehicles in my collection.

I really should endeavour to paint vehicles in a different fashion, but when it comes to desert armor it seems I can’t help myself. It just has to look like it’s been driven all over Egypt and Libya through terrible sand storms.
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Pulp: Painting Artizan Villains for Bolt Action

Bolt Action DAK Command I’m continuing to clear my backlog of unpainted figures. Here we have several Artizan Designs figures I’ve finished recently for my small Bolt Action DAK Force.

Major Kreipe and Herr Tohdt will form my the Command unit of the force. I can’t afford a Major in a 750pt force so he’ll just have to be the Second Lieutenant (or the German equivalent) for the Infantry squads. Herr Tohdt is his political advisor, or perhaps he’s heard there’s religious artifacts in the area of operations.

I purchased both these figures back in 2007, so it’s good to see them finally varnished, although Herr Tohdt appears to be wearing an opera cape that’s actually an overcoat like the Major’s. I couldn’t resist giving it a leather look and a red lining though.
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Pulp: Bolt Action Panzer 38(T) in Worn Desert Paint

Bolt Action Panzer 38(T) Front I bought and assembled this Bolt Action Panzer 38(T) from Warlord games back in 2013, started to paint it and then proceeded to carefully drop it on the concrete garage floor. It has sat in my gaming cupboard of shame since then with a detached main gun. As 2015 is the year of ‘finishing stuff’ I’ve patched it up by drilling out the old barrel hole, slightly shortening the existing barrel and quickly finishing off the paint job. The paint job was weathered using the old Marmite method.
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Hirst Arts Ruined Church with Belltower

Mordheim Ruined Church In the last week I spent a fair bit of time working with my Hirst Arts molds and projects. I made some major progress on this ruined Hirst Arts Church + Belltower combination, which has been sitting in my garage cupboards since March, 2004! That makes it one of the oldest terrain projects I haven’t completed, so it’s time I knocked it off. It’s built from Hirst Arts Gothic molds #40, #54, #55, and #235 for the gingerbread decoration and roof tiles.

This building was originally started for Mordheim and I had plans to embed a large chunk of wyrdstone into the floor. However since then I’ve decided to move it back towards a more vanilla build that I can use in Mordheim, Bolt Action WWII games, 40k in 40 minutes or Kill Team, and perhaps for Pulp .45 Adventure gaming in the English countryside. I’ve scattered some WHFB figures in there for scale.
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Review: Perry Miniatures Mahdists for Pulp Gaming

Perry Miniatures Mahdists A while ago on the Warhammer subreddit somebody posted this great themed 40k Space Marine army. The army is beautiful, but that second photo of the cultists caught my eye. Those figures would be superb for Pulp gaming. It turns out they’re Perry Miniatures plastic Mahdists with weapon swaps.

The Perry brothers released these figures back in 2011, and they’re still a bargain, with 40 plastic figures in a box that’ll cost you $40nzd locally. That’s a buck a figure, which is interesting to compare with the Games Workshop Empire Battle Wizards box which cost me the same amount for two plastic figures recently. Anyway I had to have some, so ordered a box a week or so ago from Wayland Games. They arrived Saturday and I’ve been playing around with them since.

Perry Miniatures Mahdist ScaleThese multipart figures are intended to be used for Arabic and African tribesmen fighting in the Victorian Mahdist War in the Sudan (which Winston Churchill experienced). However what I wanted them for was Arabic street life, thieves, thugs and possibly angry mobs. I’ve been assembling a bunch of them as ‘Nile Arabs’ in angry ‘sticks and fists’ poses which is quite easy to do with the figures. Many of their arms are carrying spears on the original sprues, so a bit of creative trimming gives you sticks pretty easily.

The second photo is a quick scale compare with some other 28mm figures. That’s an Artizan Designs DAK German to the left and a Copplestone Castings Professor on the right. I’ve put the Mahdists on GW plastic bases so the comparison is fair. As you can see the Perry Mahdists mix nicely with other 28mm Pulp ranges.

Perry Miniatures Mahdist Mob Here’s the same figures posed as a small, angry mob. The box gives you 40 figures, I suspect I can use most of them, in a mix of roles:

  • A handful could be used as hawkers, or general folks in the street, which should mix nicely with my West Wind Cairo crowd once painted.
  • Street thieves escaping a crime, possibly with a group of adventurers pursuing them.
  • Animal herders (the sticks and stances sort of suggest that on a few of the figures), who could be driving the two Ebob Miniatures camels I have through town.
  • An angry street mob pursuing somebody that needs beating with sticks and fists. Perhaps a foolish adventurer who discharged a pistol in a busy street!
  • Really enraged villagers or farmers out for blood, armed with their father’s swords and ancient 1860’s rifle/musket weapons. This is because the arm options on the sprues will force me to give at least a handful of figures swords and muskets.

At any rate this reasonably priced box of Perry Miniatures has given me a bunch of figures to use as kick off points, or as extras in a bunch of Pulp scenarios.

Pulp: Panzer 38(t) Assembled

Pulp Panzer 38(t) Assembled Here’s the Warlord Panzer 38(t) I reviewed recently assembled and detailed with some bits and pieces from EBob miniatures and my own personal collection of crates. The jerry cans are in a small box built from plasti-card and the resin crate has a crudely sculpted tarp over it. Hopefully a bit of careful painting can hide the sub-par sculpting there. I’ve also added some simple straps over the 40 gallon drum and the jerry cans.

The tank looks quite nice put together and I’m looking forward to painting it up, probably with the ‘Marmite technique’. Although I do notice the hull and coax machine gun metal parts are alarmingly flimsy and prone to bend – in fact the hull MG is bent in the photo. So you have to be a little careful when you handle the tank turret. I’ve also magnetised the turret. I only had some tiny 2 x 3mm magnets in my bits box so just drilled fore and aft holes under the turret and magnetised it there. That means the turret is really only held on when pointing directly forwards or backwards, but that’s fine for transport.

It’s a nice looking little tank and I’m glad I expended some minor effort to add a little stowage as I think it makes the model look more ‘lived in’ on the table.

Pulp: Warlord Games Panzer 38(t) Review

Warlord Games Pulp Panzer 38(t) I haven’t played Pulp .45 Adventure for a while now but still find myself sporadically buying 28mm miniatures for the system. My most recent impulse purchase was the interesting looking Panzer 38(t) from Warlord Games.

This is the first and last tank I’ll add to my pulp vehicle collection which already includes an Opel Blitz from EBob Miniatures and a Bolt Action German Sdkfz 222 Scout Car, both of which eventually got painted. The .45 system doesn’t include any rules for armored vehicles but I couldn’t resist this inter-war Czech tank with a profile familiar to any WWII buffs or war-gamers. This first photo shows the tank next to the Sdkz-222 scout car and a couple of Artizan Designs DAK 28mm soldiers for scale.

Warlord Games Pulp Panzer 38(t) Parts With the strong exchange rate against the Euro, the 18GBP price came out to a comfortable $40NZD including shipping, and despite the fact I ordered it just before Xmas (something I typically avoid), Warlord Games were able to deliver it well packaged and undamaged to New Zealand in a little over a week.

The kit is a mixture of four large resin parts and two small sprues of detail pieces cast in a very soft white metal. You can see the de-sprued but largely uncleaned pieces in this second photo (barring one small metal piece which I believe is a headlight). The white metal parts also included a tank commander torso to drop into the open turret which is a nice bonus – although I’ll probably just model mine buttoned up. There was some minor flash and a few small damaged points and bubbles on the resin parts which I may not bother patching prior to painting. Five minutes of trimming and filing cleaned the model up enough for assembly and it dry fitted together well. Overall the riveted and detailing on the tank body is nice, as are the tracks and road wheels and I’m happy with the overall package. It’ll look great once put together and painted up on the table and rolling slowly towards a bunch of hapless pulp adventurers…”I say Maude, they appear to have a TANK”.

After doing some research via google image searches I think I’ll build up some stowage on the back deck. The 38(t) had such a small interior it seemed fairly common to store tarped over personal kit and trays of jerry cans on the flat back deck, as well as the turret bustle. Fortunately I have some Ebob 28mm jerry cans and 40 gallon drums I bought years ago with the Opel Blitz. Time to finally put them to use!

Pulp: EBob Opel Blitz with Wooden Flatbed

Pulp Flatbed Pickup I painted this Ebob Opel Blitz several years ago and it has featured in a number of Pulp .45 games, as terrain or a player driven vehicle.

However I’ve never got around to painting the back deck that comes with it. The deck is historically accurate, well modeled and textured, but it is very cramped. It is hard to get more than a couple of based 28mm figures into the back of the truck. Odd criteria I admit, but more often than not players want to get figures into the truck if it is on the table.

So this weekend I put together a simple ‘woodie’ flat deck that drops on top of the Opel chassis. It’s made from some balsa off-cuts glued together with PVA. The paint job is just some Vallejo brown with a lighter colour drybrushed over it, and then varnished with my custom ‘chestnut dip’. It works well, blends nicely with the vehicle and you can get a handful of figures on there too.

Pulp: Morroccans and Pulp .45 Second Edition

Pulp Morroccans The second edition of Pulp .45 Adventure has been out for a while now, but I’ve only just picked up a $15nzd PDF copy of it. Having a quick read through the basic rules and it’s nice to see everything has been streamlined and cleaned up. The basic rules look familiar enough, but there are some obvious tweaks. In particular the ‘hero point’ system seems to be more powerful, but at the same time more random, giving your heroes extra 1D10’s to roll per hero point. Hero points in a Pulp .45 scenario can really give it a cinematic feel, and we’ve had some memorable moments under the old system, so it’ll be interesting to see how it works now.

The second edition rule book is also chock full of optional sections like Flying (with jet packs), The Occult (“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”!) and Super Science (with lots of unreliable and deadly devices and robots). Many of these great Pulp ideas were scattered through the extensions under the old system so it’s nice to see them folded into one reasonably priced package.

I was so inspired reading the rules I dusted off my old half painted Anglian Morroccans and finished them up with some dipping. Not the best paint job, but they’ll do for tabletop quality. I’ve had these figures so long that Anglian appear to have gone out of business, and their figure lines sold on. I’m not sure where you can get them now, which is a shame because they’re very nicely sculpted figures.

The grass on the crewed machine gun base is some ‘Highland Tuft’ I purchased a while ago from Slave to Painting. It is incredibly easy to use, just lift of a patch with some tweezers and glue it to a finished base – I used PVA. It adds a nice solid clump of vegetation to an otherwise bare base.

Hirst Arts Mold #320 Sci-Fi Terrain

Hirst Arts Painted Pipe Terrain I recently picked up Hirst Arts Fieldstone Mold #75 which is pretty much a mandatory purchase for anybody using Hirst Arts for Mordheim or Fantasy terrain. As shipping internationally isn’t cheap I looked around for another Hirst Arts mold to include in my order and on a whim added the #320 5/8″ Pipe mold.

My order arrived last week and I was pleasantly surprised how much fun mold #320 is to cast and build with. It’s a pretty hungry mold plaster-wise, but a single cast gets you enough bits and pieces of pipe to make an interesting 6″ linear barrier for pretty much any 28mm scale war game you can think of. The pipe sections obviously work very well for sci-fi or modern terrain, but with the right brassy paint job a few pieces could probably be added to the side of a fantasy building for some kind of brewery or mad alchemist’s laboratory.

After casting the mold a couple of times I couldn’t resist playing with the parts and dug out a pre-cut and bevelled 3mm MDF base I had kicking around. I cut and bevelled a whole bunch of random organic shapes years ago and have been working my way through the stack ever since. It’s a great time saver for just cracking into a random terrain piece when you feel like it.

Hirst Arts Painted Pipe Terrain This bit of Necromunda/40k/Pulp terrain is made from just two casts of mold #320, a piece of cut chicken wire, some corrugated cardboard and based with a mix of kitty little and model railway ballast. The chicken wire and cardboard was used to build that little shack over a vertical tap piece which is obscured in the photos, but you can see in the unpainted terrain.

The pipes were painted with grey latex house paint and then weathered with the Vegemite technique before airbrushing them red with hobby paints and then over-painting them with my home-made dipping varnish. The base is just dry brushed with a couple of layers of dirty brown latex house paint as well. Things were left pretty generic as I plan to use this terrain for Pulp gaming, and possibly Necromunda or 40k terrain if I ever get around to playing those systems again. I’ve included a couple of Games Workshop Imperial Guard Cadians just for scale indication.