Friday, 27 June 2014

Mogadishu Ranger and Mud Brick House

US Mogadishu Ranger

This is the first digital cut of our new Mogadishu Ranger. They can also be used for the early Afghanistan war and the war in Iraq.

This is part of the series we are getting ready for our release of Maalintii Rangers (Somali for Day of the Rangers) otherwise known as Blackhawk Down to you chaps. Think New Year probably.

This is the first digital sculpt we have done and we are using a US sculptor through our US distributor Phalanx Consortium. We are getting very excited about it.

Now obviously we have to work out a few bugs from the system as we learn how to 3D print the master but its definitely coming along in leaps and bounds. We keep you uptodate as we can.

Renedra Mud-brick house

Now I have obviously been hiding under a rock since SALUTE 2014 (Desperately trying to Sangin Despatches No.2 finished - hopefully August-September time) as I completely missed this short review Model Dads did that followed up their review of our game. The competition has finished but nevertheless its a good little review. The good news is that Renedra have made this great little model that gets cheaper the more you buy. If only everything worked like that.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Tom- NZSAS Painted!

Tom is back, this time with a whole lot more painting done. Making up for the bright and garish colours of his first painting post by using the same technique to the more drab colours of the NZSAS. Although, I do notice that Tom has snuck in a few bright colours still, perhaps using a bright blue to counter the bright red of Alex's Insurgents? Over to Tom....

I have been busy and made some progress....... eventually.

With the Sangin narrative competition coming up soon (Call to Arms. You should enter, details are here- Ed) I have been spurred on to complete my NZSAS. So backing up Willie Apiata VC we have a team of NZSAS armed with a Minimi, a couple of M4s with M203 UGLs and a sniper all from the Empress miniatures range. The Empress figures took a bit of filing back and I missed a bit and once the base coats were on I needed to go back and do a bit more filing - boo hiss!

Then it was getting the painting complete. I painted them the same way I did Willie but unfortunately none of my work in progress shots came out.

I started with a Tamiya light grey undercoat to get a nice light finish. The base coat of the model was Vallejo Green Ochre, with Canvas for the pouches, Black for the weapons and Dark Flesh for the... flesh. I picked out my officer with a blue denim shirt - the SAS are notorious for varying uniforms - and this is a small homage to that tradition as the rest of the models really are quite standard. (And a lovely denim shirt it is. Known to his mates as Cowboy?- Ed)

I shaded the uniforms with heavily watered down Agrax Earthshade (citadel ink) and the skin with Serephin Sepia (citadel ink).
From the shades I took the uniforms back up to Green Ochre and then highlighted Dark Sand (Vallejo). The Canvas was taken back to Canvas and then highlighted with a mix of Dark Sand and Canvas. The skin went back to Dark Flesh from shade to Basic Skin Tone with a final highlight for chins, nose and under the eyes of Light Skin (all Vallejo).

The Camo is Chocolate Brown with a stripe of Brown Sand down the middle (both Vallejo).

The Sniper and Spotter are lovely models and I decided to blend the rifle in as well - a joy to paint these two.

Right now all I need to do is prepare for Call To Arms - building a list - 1000 points mmmmm........

Looking good there Tom! Is that a wee NZ fern I spy on one of the baseball caps? As to the army list for CTA, this whole NZSAS patrol I would think will work out around 1000- 9 Elite soldiers is your first 900 points, leaving you just a 100 points to kit them out. You might have to leave one or two of them at home, otherwise your poor NZSAS boys might not have any cool kit!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

New Taliban coming very soon!

So soon in fact, that we have had enough time for Craig to get a set of them painted!

This is the first set of four Taliban, two armed with AKs, one with an RPG and one with a PKM. All have been sculpted by eBob.

These Taliban will soon be joined by even more Taliban (funny how that happens) which are currently being sculpted by eBob. We hope to have these available from and in the next few days.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Alex McE- Painting better Baddies- eventually!

Alex McE is back, this time with a whole lot of painted Insurgents. He has adopted a few bright colour schemes, a lovely deep red which he has used as the symbol for his band of fighters. Anyway, over to Alex....

Lesson: it takes a gentle reminder from Pooch and a quiet weekend for me to finally break radio silence. It’s not been a great few months in real world for me and a lot of things – notably my hobby time – haven’t been as productive as I would have liked.

That aside, this has taken too damn long! Without further ado – baddies!

Here’s my Warlord and his buddy with an RPG. Everyone knows RPG warheads are red right? (I have seen some in strange colours, so sure, why not red- Ed) The Warlord is rocking mirror shades, a red beret and an ANP uniform.

Next up are the support weapons. I totally dig the dude in the baseball cap with his RPG17. Football team emblem still to be done!

Then the grunts – these are the guys rocking good old fashioned assault rifles and who are just all style, all the time.

In the penultimate photo my favourites – the dudes in Type 99 Chinese Marine Camo. I’m super happy with these ones – more than any of the others and the guy in the bandana is just rocking his fashion choice. (It is just an odd looking colour palatte isn't it?- Ed)

Lastly, the one figure in this collection I really don’t like. But it’s okay, because if the nice people at Empress are going to sculpt you wearing a dorky tracksuit then I am pleased to oblige. Someone didn’t get the “best camouflage gear” memo:

In terms of the colour palettes – if anyone wants to know I’m happy to share. My crappy cellphone pics and pretend lightbox on top of the fridge don’t work that well when the ambient light in the house is as bad as it was on Sunday night

As far as the models go, they’re really nice. It’s an interesting combination of weapons and I love the little details – most are wearing webbing and they’re generally well posed. I’m not crazy on their faces but in this group of models, that’s not such an issue.

And now? I get stuck into the 17 conventional Taliban sitting on my painting table that are based and awaiting a day that isn’t freakishly cold and damp in my basement so I can prime them!

So the Insurgency is going well for you then Alex! I do love the brightness of the red, and how it contrasts with all the other more traditional dull military tones. That being said, the Chinese camo is just such an odd base colour, I can't quite get my head around it. And the tracksuit wearer, just screams Russian mafia from a Guy Ritchie film. At least you didn't give him a Pink Kappa tracksuit!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ray- Gaso-Line Vehicle Review

Ray has made all of us here very jealous by buying some of the Gasoline Vehicles. Not only that, he has been able to have enough time to assemble and paint them, and they look lovely! But I will let Ray tell you all about them....

It’s been a while since I lasted posted anything on the blog so apologies to everyone for that. Like most gamers I tend to be very easily side-tracked by anything shiny and new. This time it was my son deciding that Saga looked interesting and rushing off to buy some Anglo-Saxons. So of course Dad had to do some Vikings to take them on. Ahh well, back into the swing of things in the 21st century now so here goes with another Sangin article.

Now that I’ve painted enough infantry to do a French platoon I thought I might give a bit of a low down on the Gaso-Line vehicles.

I fell in love with these when I saw the range of vehicles these guys produce but never having bought any, and not being a huge fan of resin vehicles I was a wee bit hesitant to splash out hand earned dosh on spec. I’ve had a few bad experiences in the past with resin vehicles either not fitting together properly or being so covered in flash that you have to spend hours tidying the damn things up. I much prefer plastic kits but the modern range in 1/48th is limited to say the least.

So I bit the bullet and ordered the French VAB. The Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé (VAB) entered service with the French army in the mid 70’s and is still going strong. Admittedly it’s had more than a few upgrades over the years but its longevity really has to be admired.

I also ordered a French reconnaissance VBL. Compared with the VAB the Véhicule Blindé Léger is the baby of the army. It was developed during the late 80’s as a light, air transportable amphibious all-terrain vehicle and entered service with the French army in the early 90’s. There are lots of variants in service including some armed with Milan missile systems.

I was going intending to get the AMX10RC to provide a bit of back up I but figured that its presence at skirmish level would be a bit too overpowering. I have to say though it’s a stunning looking vehicle and I’m pretty sure I’ll succumb to temptation at some point soon and order one! (Don't worry Ray, I will write you a scenario for the AMX10RC when you buy it!- Ed)

The kits arrived quickly, much more quickly than I anticipated in fact and, as well as being impressed with the service I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the casting. There was a bit of flash on the mouldings but nothing too dramatic and half an hour tidying up the kits was time well spent.

Having been raised on a healthy diet of Airfix kits I’ve become accustomed to “Glue parts A and B to part C etc.” so one of my concerns was how easy they would be to put together. Given Gaso-Line is a French company, and with my French being non-existent, I was worried about not having any English instructions included. Luckily, this time pretty much everything was done by pictures with the only writing being a list of the parts provided. In saying that, it definitely pays to sit down for half an hour and have dry run with the kits so you are clear in your head where everything is supposed to go as some of the parts are very fiddly.

Now at this point I have to make an apology. I completely forgot to take any shots of the vehicles before completion so you’ll just have to take my word for everything!

The bulk of the kits are obviously resin however both had the smaller parts made out of brass and the VBL has rubber tyres that clip over the wheel mounts.

Everything went together remarkably easily once I had cleaned off the flash. The hull of the VAB comes in two parts (top and bottom) which fit together very well with no obvious gaps. Wheels etc. all fit snuggly onto the axles and don’t look like they are likely to fall of anytime soon.

The VAB has a couple of optional parts. The earlier versions of the vehicle have an amphibious capability so you can model it with (or without) propellers, I decided to leave them off and do the bang up to date version.

The most fiddly bits are the machine gun mountings for both kits and the other brass edged bits and pieces, particularly the wing mirror mounts. I’ve spent many frustrating hours rigging 1/1200 scale Napoleonic ships so this wasn’t too bad (masochist- Ed), but there was a reasonable amount of swearing involved.

In the next part I’ll go into a bit of detail about how I painted the kits but suffice to say I would have no hesitation about ordering more of these Gaso-Line kits. They go together excellently and the quality of the castings is first class.

In the meantime, have a look at the Gaso-Line range if you haven't already done so, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised, I certainly was!

Those are some dusty French vehicles there Ray! Now having seen these in person and in the photos, they are lovely. Gasoline make some cracking model kits, and it is taking all of my willpower to not buy any. Those who know my willpower in regard to buying model kits will know that I will be buying something from them in the next week or two, I am just that weak!

You will have to give us a picture of the whole French Platoon too, with their transports!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Craig H- Painting the Bundeswehr

Craig H has returned, this time he is looking at how he painted his Fallschirmjäger from Eureka Miniatures. While he claims to be not much of a painter, he has done a mighty fine job on these I think! Now to persuade him to come out for a game..... Over to Craig

Let me get started by saying I’m a complete novice when it comes to painting. My only real experience was painting a Skaven Blood Bowl team back in the 1990s – and they came out looking more like a retro 80s New Wave fluro boy band than a menacing Chaos-warped football team (Chaos offers gifts in many ways....-Ed). So I approached painting my Bundeswehr force with trepidation.

I took a lot of time to do some research first. German uniforms use a disruptive camouflage pattern known as flecktarn (or flecktarnmuster). This is a combination of the words Fleck and Tarnung and together simply means ‘spotted camouflage.’ As the name suggests this is a pattern of colours to create a dithering effect, to eliminate hard boundaries. The standard Western European pattern is a 5-colour scheme of greens, browns and black.

Bundeswehr Wustentarn, or desert camouflage, is the special design utilised in Afghanistan. It cuts out two colours and goes for a simple 3-colour scheme of khaki tan, with medium brown and dark green spots. And when I say spots I mean really small ones, but more on that later…

Suprisingly, Craig has decided to go without the non-regulation headgear!

Starting out, I mounted the team on some old Warhammer bases I had lying around. I then primed the team with white primer. I thought long about whether to use black instead but white worked quite well to create the lighter look I was aiming for. Shopping around, I settled on a range of paints from Vallejo and Tamiya as well as some washes from Games Workshop.

Finding the base ‘khaki tan’ colour turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. I tested a range of options and initially tried out a test figure with Tamiya Desert Yellow, and then Vallejo Iraqi Sand. However, I found these efforts resulted in a base colour that looked too brown when combined with the other camouflage colours. The tan is intended to get a lighter brown result. In the end I went with Vallejo Buff , which by itself gives the figures a butter cream look (and reminded me of a 1970s Volvo 66 my father used to own). Don’t worry though – in combination with the other two flecktarn colours it turns out quite well.

Next was painting the faces and arms in Tamiya Flat Flesh (XF-15) (with a Reikland Wash from GW), then another light layer of Flat Flesh for the cheeks, chin etc. With the weapons I sent with a black base. I intend to put highlight over the weapons , but for now that gives a good contrast colour.

So on to the tricky part, the spots. I chose Tamiya NATO Green (XF-67) and Vallejo Beige Brown. I went for a beige shade rather than a darker brown as I felt this seemed to reflect the small difference with the base colour. Looking closely at actual photos, I saw that the pattern of the dots is not uniform or random. In a lot of places, the browns and greens flow into ‘splotches’ of colour, with dots cascading from the edges. These the splotches are often seen along the pants inside leg, or on the inside of the arms, as a way of breaking up the soldier’s silhouette.

The toughest thing was to avoid adding too many spots, particularly the green ones. In reality, there are large areas that are completely clear of brown or green spots. Although it is a 3-colour scheme, the green appears a lot less than the other two colours. This makes sense in a desert environment, but getting the right distribution is tricky. A couple of times I had to repaint over areas that seemed just too predominantly green.

So, with an unsteady hand and a fine detail brush I got to work. Getting the spots as small as possible and appropriately spaced proved difficult. In the end I settled for a more general pattern. The spots may be bigger than reality, but I consider that the outcome captured the essence of the flecktarn design.

For the boots, I went with Tamiya Desert Yellow (XF-59) or Tamiya Khaki (XF-49) for the webbing and side packs etc. This served to add a little variety to the colour scheme. Finally, I used brown wash in the folds of the fatigues for shadowing and along the seams to make them stand out.

The bases I painted in Vallejo Iraqi Sand, and added some desert flocking as a layer. Finally with a fine detail brush I added a German flag in black, red and gold.

All in all I’m reasonably happy with the outcome, for what was only my second effort at painting. More practice and less caffeine would have probably ended up with smaller, closer grouped spots, and a finer level of detail but I think that these are a good representation of what a Bundeswehr combat team would look like. There are a few touch-ups required, such as buckles, and getting the combat canine right but for now I think they’re ready for combat.

While I haven’t gotten the painting bug (yet) I am already thinking about a new project. There’s an Empress Miniatures Force Recon team on my shelf that, with a couple of conversions, would look good in Polish GROM colours. Already back to hitting the websites for some research…


So there you have it, a good way to paint those desert Germans you have lying around! Now Craig, it is time to get those Germans out on patrol!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Skirmish Sangin Competition – Call to Arms 16/17 August 2014

Call to Arms, Wellington New Zealand -  16/17 August 2014

Firstly our apologies to all those who read this living in places other than New Zealand, we realise its frustrating to read about event you can't attend (Of course if you can get here, you can play, we'll make sure of that) but as other events happen globally we will put that information out  - Colin


Welcome to the first Skirmish Sangin competition. Our aim is to provide a narrative competition, the over arching scenario called “Operation Civilisation” this has ISAF trying to dislodge the Taliban out of the green zone, a contested area somewhere in the Helmand province.

The success or failure of this mission will be decided by your results as commanders on the ground with your results contributing to the success or failure of the ISAF mission. Narrative elements will come into play and we will work hard to make this competition as much fun as possible. This is the player’s pack, which will contain important information; specialist rules and any other additional information we think may be useful.


All current forces - so that's all forces listed in Skirmish Sangin and Sangin Despatches no.1 are allowed.

A short note on force building
Skirmish Sangin is a narrative based game and while the rules will allow someone to turn up with 16 Novice Taliban all armed with RPG’s (16x25 = 400pts + 16x35 = 560pts for a total of 960pts) this is not in the spirit of the game and the force will be refused.

This competition is not for players who want to win at all costs but for players who want to have fun both winning and losing, and who bring forces that accurately reflect the battlefield of modern Afghanistan.

Each player will be asked to develop two forces:
  • An ISAF force
  • A Taliban/Insurgent force
If you could indicate which of the two is your preference for the tournament we will try to accommodate your first choice as much as possible. We will have spare miniatures available for those who do not have an alternate force.

Each force can be up to 1000 points each and cannot include any off table or advanced rules elements; these will be allocated for at the beginning of each game, depending on the narrative.

All forces must be WYSIWYG, your miniatures need to accurately represent the primary weapon that the figure is using and must be painted.

ISAF players must adhere to ISAF structures for their Fire-team and the Taliban are limited to 3 RPGs per force. Please note that all character BODY rating will be rolled before the start of the competition on Saturday morning.

All forces must be submitted at least a week prior to the event for approval.

If you also have suitable Afghanistan terrain that we could use for the weekend, please let us know.

Registration and Cost

See Wellington Warlords website:

How will the competition run?

The competition is limited to 10 players and each player will play 5 games over the weekend with either their Taliban or ISAF force.

The results of your games will decide the success of Operation Civilisation. Craig and I will be updating you before each game and throughout the day on the availability of off table assets.

As each game will be scenario based, in some instances the different tables will interact with each other e.g. a mortar fired on one table may well hit on another table. Requests for a MEDEVAC chopper may be delayed if the chopper is already rescuing someone on another table. The idea is that each game forms part of the battlefront and have the issues for each commander dictated by the overarching battle.


Games are scored by the victory points earned per game, with all victory points going towards the ISAF and Taliban totals. At the end of the final game the side with the most total victory points will decide the success of Operation “Civilization”.

Players will also have an opponent score card and these will confidential and handed to the referees.

Your opponent more than occasionally displayed behaviour you would classify as borderline cheating and was not what you expected to face when playing a narrative game.  The opponent played against the narrative, e.g. moving figures towards unseen opponents, were argumentative or unpleasant to play against

Your opponent's behaviour clearly detracted from your ability to enjoy the game. They refused to resolve rules disputes amicably or displayed an unsavoury attitude throughout the game - whether too much gloating when winning or too much bitterness when things didn't go their way. PLEASE NOTE calling over an Umpire for a rules dispute is regarded as an amicable outcome and should not be punished.

Your opponent gave you a decent amicable game or better
Your opponent was essentially in line with, or exceeded your expectations of another player's behaviour. Rules queries were decided amicably. Nothing they did detracted from your ability to enjoy the game, other than maybe having beat you but you can hardly hold that against them...

We expect all of the games to be scored at a 5, people should come to the games wanting to enjoy the game with their opponent and roll some dice. At the end of the day, this is toy soldiers; we are here to have fun!

There will be a number of prizes, which will be based around the narrative aspects of the campaign, rewarding those who are really getting in to the narrative of the games.

What you need to bring

Any gaming material that you require to play, including:
  • Your army!
  • At least two copies of your Army Roster
  • Pen and paper
  • Main Rulebook and Sangin Despatches No.1 if relevant
  • Tape measure
  • Some d10 and d6
·      We also recommend you have a set of tokens, and a copy of the grenade template

Time table

Saturday 16th August

9.00am – Briefing

9:30am – 11.30am     Round 1
1.00pm – 3pm            Round 2
3.30pm – 5.30pm       Round 3

Sunday 17th August

10.00am – 12.00am   Round 4
1.00pm – 3pm            Round 5
3.30pm                       Prize giving