15mm Ruins

Since Rob has been hard at work on Pacific terrain I have turned my attention to adding to my collection of 15mm ruins. One of my scenario ideas has to do with wargaming fighting in urban environments. I also like the look and feel of the games too, along with their smaller scale.

The ruin are suppose to be pretty generic with a no place but any place feel. They also are from the same manufacture as my 28mm ruins so I can can scale up and down as necessary.

I have been making some effort to improve the look of my terrain by using color modulation techniques with my airbrush, various chipping methods and lacquer based washed and filters.

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BattleGroup Pacific

Good news a recent Facebook post by Warwick Kinrade confirms that Battlegroup Pacific is at the printers. Even better news is that Rob is close to done with his Pacific Beach project.

Rob’s Project , involving genuine palms trees imported from Sri Lanka and decked out with miniature leaves is based on Betio Island. You can catch him talking about some of his methods on out most recent podcast.

Our goal, is to simulate a Pacific Beach assault and we are using the Battle of Tarawa as our model. The Battle of Tarawa, fought between November 20th and 23rd of 1943 was part of Operation Galvanic, the U.S. invasion of the Gilberts. Nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans, and Americans died in the fighting, mostly on and around the small island of Betio.

This would be the first time in the Pacific that the United States had faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing. On Tarawa the defenders were well-supplied, well-prepared, fought almost to the last person and exacted a heavy toll on the United States Marine Corps.

For this project, Rob has used a combination of techniques to represent a 6 foot by 12 foot section of Red beach. Early on in the project we played around with the idea of using resin to create water effects, I even built a 2 by 2 test board. It looked nice but was a lot of work and expense; we were also considered how often we would use it, how to store it and mobility. In the end, we went with our tried and true friend, the printed gaming mat. Rob already had a nice selection of beach mats along with grass mats. The storage, cost and portability of the mats is hard to beat.

The sea wall was built on 1/8 inch plywood, foam and the palm sticks. After assembly it was covered in Vallejo Diorama effects. Bunkers and other scatter terrain was built in the same manner.

With that being said we are really looking forward to Battlegroup Pacific.

Festung Kholm

With Rob knocking out fantastic Pacific terrain I figured it was time to finish up my dug in Germans. I started these guys over a decade ago using Command Decision miniatures; these included half guys and foxhole impressions. At the time, I used sand and Games Workshop white static grass to dress the figures. I finished them using Vallejo Mud effects, GW’s Snow paste and AK Interactive snow balloons. I didn’t love the Command Decision miniatures so I used left over Battlefront Miniatures to fill in the foxholes.

My idea was that I would play a classic eastern front game where the T-34s come rolling over into the dug in Grenadiers. At the time I didn’t have the rule set I needed so the partially finished models went into a box to wait for a day when I did have rules. I think, having played a few games of Battlegroup that this rule set can handle the sized and scale I wanted.

I am going to put together three scenarios, something for early, mid and late war with the first focused on the Rzhev–Vyazma Strategic Offensive in January of 1941. To keep things in scale I wanted to focus on the Kholm Pocket, a small town encircled by the Russians for several months in 1941. It’s also an excuse to use my new T-26 too.

Battlegroup Pacific

Here at History to Wargames we are eagerly awaiting the release of Battlegroup Pacific. Rob and I have already played a few games using his lists for Marines and Japanese. We have also been using the Battle of Tarawa for our historical point of reference. The battle, fought over three days in November of 1943 was the first American offensive central Pacific region. It would also be the first time in the Pacific that the U.S. faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing.  On this tiny island, just above sea level 2,600 defenders were well-supplied and well-prepared for the 18,000 Marine on the attack. Rob based the Japanese off of historical TO&Es and French weapons from the Blitzkrieg book. Marines are based off of Overlord load outs and historical TO&E’s.  

Gaming a beach invasion is tricky work with lots to think about on both the attacker and defenders side. Most of our games have been big affairs too, with 250 BR on the Marines side at one point. We have since come down to 100 BR against 35 BR on the Japanese side. The smaller games make for faster conclusion and less stress on the players.

Rob has also been working on terrain! He has recently dropped bunkers and wrecked vehicles!

We are also looking forward to early war games too and my T-26s are ready to charge the plains of Mongolia to route the Imperialist aggressors.  

Spectre Update

Almost done! The first section of the DEVGRU are almost ready for the table top. These guys were surprisingly easy to paint; at least once I got over my fear of Multi-Cam.

Maybe I never got over my fear of multi-cam and I’m not sure I even got it to look ‘accurate’ but it’s done and I am pleased with the overall look. I never could settle on a theme, be it desert or woodland so keeping with my ‘no place but any place’ theme I just went for a dark green uniform and tan webbing.

The guy with the map.

I did some reading on how best to achieve the multi-cam look on scale miniature and there are a number of ways, tooth picks, small brushes but the idea I liked best was sponge painting. This seemed like the fastest way to get the paint on and would give me the small and random patches of color. I already use the technique for wreathing too so this wouldn’t be a completely new experience either.

The base color is Games Workshops’ series of greens; starting with a shot of Death Guard spray paint, a follow up coat of a darker green by brush and working up to lighter hues from there. GW’s paints are nice because it is easy to move to one shade lighter just by looking to the right on the paint shelf. In between coats of paint I also added Vallejo and Mig washes of green and brown to add depth and definition.  Once I was happy with the uniform I started sponge painting process. Looking at a current US uniform I picked out four colors brown, a dark green, black and buff. It appeared to my eye that brown was the largest of the blotches, green next, the black and finally a few buff places. I added the paint in that order trying to keep with that pattern. I wasn’t that successful, but there is some variation in there and I topped off the whole process with a nice dry brush and wash.

To help hide the uniform from the eye and keeping with my theme of ‘no place but any place’ I picked Vallejo Green Ochre (70.914) for the web gear and other equipment. This is one of my favorite colors, it appeals to my eye and takes washes, inks and dry brushing very well. There wasn’t much fancy here, paint, wash, dry brush and edge highlight.

The rifles and faces were the same process but I used a dark color, wash, medium highlight and light highlight and finally a thin wash to bring it all together.

With the cammo crew done the next step will be to finish the ‘civis’ crew. These guys are in their tactical gear but with civilian cloths.