Sunday, August 25, 2013

Space Wolf Commission II: Wolf Cavalry

With the Sentry closing, and the commissioned Space Wolf force likely to go into hibernation, I figured I'd take a bunch of photos before it does, to document my creations and have some memory of it. I'll split the posts up, since they're pic-heavy.

First up, one of the more weird units the Space Wolves can field: Space Wolf cavalry.

We decided to focus the force on Canis Wolfborn, (who you can see in red) and so it was natural that we'd have wolf riders to go with them! I decided to go for a very bright, very classical look for the Space Wolves, as opposed to a darker, muddier look, in part because I like to torture myself it seems, and in part because they've always felt like the kind of force that needs to be done a bit over-the-top.

I sought to make them look as active as possible, and the wolves that are leaping/bounding are doing so over large boulders. The grass (to keep the theme of 'sample force' for the store) was from GW's grass tufts, and I have to say, I'm not entirely a fan. The base of them is a thick-ish piece of plastic, which means putting them down over sand can leave distinctive gaps.

 Here is the first of the wolves, the nominal leader. I am not necessarily a fan of NMM (Non-Metallic Metal) but I do like using metallic paint and highlighting as though it was. This way you still get the epic light-to-dark of NMM, but it still shines in the light!

The shoulderpad you can see is Canis Wolfborn's, and I didn't want to bother finding transfers, so they're done by hand.

With the space wolves especially, there's so much fur (or hair) and skin on most of them, that I really went to town experimenting with different ways to do it. Most of the wolves in this force got their initial light-to-dark by airbrush, later drybrushed to pick highlights.

The wolf itself is pinned right through the bark and into the base, so it shouldn't move. The pack shoulderpad for these guys was three diagonal slashes, to imitate the look of claws ripping across.

And now, for Canis himself. He is not plastic like the rest, and so I was much more careful pinning him in place and assembling him.

His flanks, and the armour of his wolf, received a lot of attention. (None of those are transfers, if I recall. I'd have to look again about the one on the Wolf's front armour plate, because I know that is the same design as one, and I can't recall if I just copied it or used it...)

His right-side, showing more custom details, like the pattern on his cape, and the honour markings on his legs. As I painted each squad, I fluctuated between methods of highlighting the armour. Here you can see a limited-blending technique as I learned how best to apply Space Wolf Grey, with the cape being a more standard blending.

More soon! I've got a lot of projects half-finished at the moment, so nothing too epic photo-wise of new stuff. I will soon remember to take out my Canadian Infantry and photograph 'em, I swear.. >.>

Sunday, August 18, 2013

End of a Marvelous Era

Sorry for the 2-wk hiatus on my blog, but I've been busy with a lot of things, and more specifically, been getting a lot of projects half-done, but not finished.

Today though, is a very specific post. After a run of some 15 years, The Sentry Models and Hobbies is closing.
This store quite literally is the reason I am a modeller, wargamer, painter, and probably more general art related stuff. I bought my first models here back in grade 6, have played games here, and have put enough money into product here I don't even want to begin to attempt to tally it.

After all this time, alas, Joe (the proprietor) has decided to retire. It is a bitter-sweet thing, as I'm happy he's getting to enjoy retirement, but very sad to see such a mainstay of Bayview disappear. In anticipation of losing this beacon of nerdiness, I basically purchased everything I'd told myself 'not until you finish current projects', including: A Panzerbeobachtungswagen III, 222, and Firefly in 1:35, an entire LRDG patrol and SAS force (FoW), a 25pdr battery, platoons of 17pdrs, armoured cars, nebs, and even an Avro Arrow for my father. I'd lay it all out and take a photo, but it's been carefully stored away, again, until I finish my current projects.

To that end, I will try to put up another post soon with a 'work in progress' of my Malifaux crew, especially the Oiran's kimonos.

Joe, thank you for everything, and as sad as I am to see you go, I am happy you were there to provide for so long.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Operation Overlord Finale

Our final mission was a free-for-all, and true to usual form, my opponent ended up the defender, despite having a tank company against infantry. (Any time we have to roll, no matter how bad my dice pop up, his are lower!)

Deployment was fairly standard, and again true to usual, despite my rolling a measly 3 and him having a +1 for being finished deploying first, he whiffed a 1 for first-turn.

Canadian deployment, roughly evenly spread out. The two middle infantry platoons are within 4" of obj. A
German deployment was similarly fanned out, with a lonely observer to the North.
Recon moves saw the UCs zip out of view of the StuGs across from them, and out of sight of the artillery, while the 8-rads tore along the road, attempting to shift to the South.

My first turn saw an incredible failure to dig in, with only the infantry platoon at the far North managing. To the South, the 6pdrs and infantry squared up on the hedges, hoping to get clear views of anyone moving. The UCs continued to advance into a corn field, hoping to go unnoticed while threatening the Nebs.

The Germans started by advancing StuGs 1st against the hedges, attempting to spot the South UCs. The StuGs in the middle ran up to hedges as well, carefully avoiding being able to see the Firefly. The North StuGs advance into the cornfield across from my Pioneers and Achilles. The accursed Nebs range in on the corner of hedges containing my 6pdrs and 3rd platoon, taking one 6pdr out. The StuGs lined up on the Shermans open fire and fail to successfully hit.

Shermans roll up to the hedge, while StuGs threaten the UCs.
6pdrs start to weather fire from rockets.

On my next turn, the Shermans roll up to the edge of a wheatfield, foolishly, as it would come to pass, and utterly fail to hurt any StuGs. The infantry apparently forgot they had shovels, as no one else managed to dig in this turn. The observer, apparently thinking about crepes, fails to send artillery fire accurately on StuGs, and I end my turn frustrated.

The Germans, by contrast, continue advancing, with StuGs pushing into wheatfields, Pioniers advancing through hedges, and the rocket artillery again slamming the 6pdrs (Basically a repeat of the above picture.) A second 6pdr falls to it, while the StuGs open fire on the Shermans, blowing them up and forcing the Firefly to run. The UCs dodge back out of the wheatfield, having found a bit too much to play with, and surprisingly, the StuGs peering down the road at the Achilles manage to miss with every shot!

Gee, what could possibly go wrong here?
Ahyes, that could happen...
UCs tangle with a few too many enemy things...
...and decide to pull back out of sight.

My Turn 3 finally sees most of the rest of my force digging in! The 6pdrs are now the only things that have failed to dig in (must be them rockets distracting them). A UC patrol sees an opening to the North objective, and double-times along the open ground near marshes, hoping the StuGs will be paying too much attention to the Achilles to notice. (Said Achilles relocate to find cover from their new friends.) Once again, my Sextons decide to hold a contest on who can fire blind the best...

All StuGs again push forward, with two at the north noticing the UCs ploy and turning to face them. To the south, StuGs and 8-rads push through the now-vacated field, peeking in at my Sextons. The StuGs in the middle roll just into view of the Achilles, and open fire, destroying one. Somehow, with incredible luck, the UCs that have double-timed are only hit twice, and my opponent fails both firepowers! On the other end, the StuGs cause only superficial damage to the 6pdrs and Sextons.

An Achilles suffers long-range fire from StuGs.
A bold sweeping move by the North UC patrol is almost sure to get them killed unless they can remain hidden!
Well, there goes that plan... Pioniers advance as StuGs turn to face.

Okay, maybe not so much killed, as a bit spooked... Not even the lurking German die in the bog could hurt them!
As the Germans push through the South, UCs pull North, and the anti-tank assets are thinning...
This turn saw my UCs at the north continue to push towards the objective. One remains bailed out, but the other two sweep up. If that luck continues, they could possibly even take the objective! (Yeah, and they'll take out all the StuGs single-handedly...) Sextons see the StuGs advancing, but seemingly are thrown off by the illusory effect of the wheatfield (or so they claimed), sending their shots long. At long last, the 6pdrs dig in, having already lost two to rocket fire.

StuGs again seem to hate on the UCs. In the middle of the board, the StuG CO kills one, while at the North, the entire patrol is wiped by mass fire from 5. Showing the Sextons how it's done, the StuGs fire back, blowing one up, and bailing a second.

After failing every previous roll he's had to make, the StuG CO succeeds! ...At killing a lowly UC.
I wish I could trade spotters with the Nebs!
Alas, poor UCs. I knew them well, Achilles.
The rest of this game was a further deterioration. The StuGs at the south rolled up the Sextons, before turning on the 6pdrs and attempting to eliminate them. The Pioniers continued their march, finally charging my Pioneers, trading 2 kills for 1 casualty, and pushing them out of the field. The StuGs at the North followed up their UC hunt by killing off the Achilles, and readying to charge at the infantry. We technically tied as a result of running out of time, but it's likely I would have lost had we continued to the bitter end...

I know my dice, on average, likely obeyed the rules of chance, but By God did it feel like when I really need them, they failed. I should have played more conservatively with the Shermans, and tried to lure him closer, but a combination of utter failure from my Sextons, 6pdrs, and Shermans' shooting, plus unerring accuracy (it felt like) on his part meant it felt more like a fighting withdrawal than the actual fighting withdrawal mission! I really need to get me some ground-based 17pdrs that can duke it out at range, and apparently need to court-martial my artillery spotters.

With that, our Overlord gaming comes to a close. Time to call up my desert Germans again, see if I can get better results on the open sands!

Some final pictures to enjoy of the battle:
No it's fine guys; I didn't need you to hit or anything...
The StuGs approach my infantry, while true to form, a StuG crashes on the bocage. FAMO to the rescue again!
This is why I suggest I may soon have lost...
Though my friend doesn't like drawing attention to himself, I will do it for him; His StuGs are carefully painted to imitate the 17th SS camouflage scheme: A combination of airbrushing, and using a tiny round stamp to do the dot camo!