Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tarawa

I have been living in South Tarawa for the past 9 days or so. I've had a week long orientation and started my volunteer job this week. I must say I am absolutely loving it so far. The country of Kiribati is very different to what I was expecting, hell I didn't really know what I was expecting, and am looking forward to the year ahead.

I've been pretty busy so haven't really had a chance to explore the WWII sites yet, but travel past many on my way to work in the morning. I am hoping to get some time to explore this weekend or next.

As part of my orientation on Monday we went past this WWII Japanese bunker in the Marine Training Centre where I am working. The duty officer's watch house is sited on top of it! It has been painted a nice dark green. There are still bullet hole pock marks on the surface.
Japanese Bunker in my place of work!
 Today at lunchtime I went for a walk along the road that passes Red 3 beach.
 Another view of Red 3, looking east. I'm not sure what that is in the water, possibly the remnants of some US equipment? The lagoon is pretty badly polluted by human waste and not recommended for swimming it, at least for foreigners. The locals don't seem to mind though.

The Japanese command bunker, about 200m from where I work! It is now surrounded by a Mormon school.

 The front of the command post, showing evidence of some pretty significant hits! Would love to get a look inside it.Today it is the backdrop to a basketball court.

I will hopefully have plenty more pictures to come.

Craig

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Barbed wire entanglements

Another wee terrain project today, making a few barbed wire entanglements.

These were made out of a bit of 3mm MDF, some wall tile spacers, permafilla and some Warlord Games Barbed Wire coils that I'd had lying around for a couple of years.

Bases completed and ready to be painted.

 The finished product.

 And on the table.

Craig

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Twenty Minute Terain

It's been a long time since I was motivated to make any terrain but yesterday got inspired, after watching one the Beast of War videos- one of those Ah, why didn't I think of that moments. So I quickly got to work and created some quick and easy hedges using the ubiquitous door mat.

1. Cut doormat into 1.5cm strips (first effort I used 2.5cm but it looked to wide).
2. Spray paint with a dark green spray paint
3. While the paint is still wet, dip the hedge into some Woodlands Scenics course turf- the paint dries on turf holding it in place.

My first effort I waited till the paint was dry then coated in a PVA/Water mix before dipping in the course turf but dropping this step and simply letting the turf adhere to the spray paint works just as well and saves waiting round for the paint to dry.

And there you have it a tables worth of hedges in about 20 minutes!

The first few in my test run. Before and after being spray painted and dipped.






Craig

Monday, January 15, 2018

Warlord Games US Infantry (Winter)

My Warlord Games US infantry (winter) squad  arrived in the post today so I quickly set about getting them ready to paint.

I've added Gripping Beast WWI French Adrian helmeted heads to the figures- so does that make them Gripping Games, Warbeast , Warlord Beast or some other hybrid? Anyhow the conversions were dead easy and Frenchofied the figures.






 This afternoon I set about painting up 4 test figures. They are  tad smaller and less bulky than the Artizans but have good details. The two ranges will mix up in the same unit without any issues. I still prefer, as I've mentioned in the past painting the Artizan figures, the details are really well defined with Artizan but these guys painted up dead easy, were well proportioned, have good level of detail that is easy to pick out, and a range of interesting poses.
 

And the two ranges mixed together. a nice rag-tag bunch of Juin's French veterans for the Italian theatre combining some British, US and French helmets and equipment from both US and British sources. The ranges are Warlords US Infantry (winter), Artizan Goumiers and Artizan US winter infantry.

Craig

BA- More Free French

the last couple of days I've been working on my Warlod games M3A1 scout car. I've added Gripping beast heads to the figures and used one of the crew from a jeep as the .50 cal gunner. Photos don't really do it justice but I am really happy with how it turned out.



I also added some decals to my M8 and did a bit of weathering to highlight the details a bit more

\

I did the same to my M16.

 And added another objective marker to my collection.
Craig

Saturday, January 13, 2018

BA Free French

I've been doing a wee bit of work on my late war Free French for Bolt Action. They are destined for my ItalianFront themed battles so wanted a mix of equipment so have used a variety of figures.

All the figures so far are Artizan from their US Infantry in greatcoats and Goumiers ranges. I wanted a ragtag band of veterans, utilising a mix of British, French and US equipment. To that end I ordered some Gripping Beast WWI French heads and also the Warlord Game US Infantry (winter) section- which will be added to the squads for even more variety.  The thing I like about the Warlord US Infantry (winter) set is that like some of their other ranges the heads are separate from the figures, so it will be simply a matter of gluing the Gripping Beast heads on and I'll have US equipped infantry wearing the French Adrian helmet

Some examples of Free French infantry- using a mix of US equipment and Adrian helmets.

Morroccan infantry with US uniforms and a mix of helmets.

 French infantry wearing US uniforms and Adrian helmets.

My first conversion- Artizan infantry with Gripping Beast head.
 

First Squad- I've added national flag shoulder patches to their shoulders and US helmets to make them a stand out from my regular US infantry.

Command team.

Second Squad.

Craig

Thursday, January 11, 2018

BA: Kiwis vs Panzers

This afternoon Kent popped over for a game of Bolt Action. It's now only a couple of weeks till I go to Kiribati so we wanted to get game or two in before I leave. I grabbed a couple of army lists and we ran a simple "meeting engagement" mission.

Kiwi Armour (1200 points)- Craig

  • 3x Shermans
  • 1x Staghond
  • 2x Veteran rifle sections
  • 1x MMG
  • 1x 3" mortar
  • 1x Sniper
  • free observer team
Panzers (1200 points)- Kent
  • 3x Panzer IVs
  • 1x 233 armoured car
  • 1x Veteran rifle squad (LMG, 3x sMGs)
  • 1x flame thrower
  • 1x panzershrek
  • 1x hanomag
turn 1: A panzer IV takes a shot at the staghound but misses.

The 233 is on the left flank, a panzer IV and hanomag on the right. Infantry are infiltrating into the woods.

A view from the kiwi lines, the infantry and sniper advance on the hedge lined field.

End of turn 1, I manage to knock out a Panzer IV.

Turn 2: the turn starts with the Germans returning the favour and knocking out a sherman. 1-1.

Not long after that a second Sherman is brewed up. 2-1.

I try to smoke the panzer IV but the smoke misses- by a long margin.

The Panzer IV and 233 dominating the German left flank.

The staghound manages to hit the Panzer IV for 3 tursn in a row but fails to penetrate the front armour at long range. My last Sherman advances up the road to support the centre.

The sniper and one of my infantry section in the field. The Germans are advancing on the Sherman with a flamethrower and panzershrek.

My second infantry section cover the Sherman's left flank.

 The flamethrower and panzershrek, after missing a couple of times, finally hit and brew up my last Sherman.

Meanwhile several brutal assaults occurred around the field. I managed to kill the veteran panzer grenadiers and also the panzershrek. Time to take on the hanomag...

On the German left my artillery had pinned both the panzer (5 pins) and 233 (4 pins) so Kent spent a couple of turns removing the pins from both vehicles.

On the top left corner my assault vs the hanomag failed and only 3 men survived.

Next turn they tried again and this time succeeded in grenading and brewing up the half track.

Final turn- the 233 advanced on the staghound but missed it and the staghound too failed to hit with its shot.

Result
A quick and brutal game, I ended up knocking out 6 of the 8 German units, Kent managed to kill 5 of mine so a very minor victory to the kiwis. 

An enjoyable game, tanks battles are nice and fast but we both had enough infantry to keep things interesting. Not sure if we'll get another game in before I head off overseas but we will see. 

Thanks for the game Kent. 

Craig