Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Red Forces now include insurgents!

One would perhaps think it odd that someone like myself would be painting 15mm miniatures of enemies he faced in Iraq about 10 years ago, mostly because those same enemies still occupy parts of Iraq under a different name (but from the same root organization)...  But somehow, I'm not bothered by that as much.  I figure that gives me a slight edge in knowing how to paint and play them using various rules systems and exploiting the advantages of being an insurgent as opposed to a uniformed force.  

That, and I can paint them how I want, and justify it by personal experience...

These are the awesome Khurasan Miniatures modern middle east line (, starting with AFGHAN-WEP-COM, which are the PK and RPG armed squad.  I figure they can form the basis of what I call the CAKTs, or Chechen Armor Kill Teams (for further reading, anything by Lester A. Grau is recommend: &  I plan on following the concept of teaming RPG/PK gunner teams across an urban landscape some day in the future on the war games tables.

What can I say, I'm a student of history, and that is the biggest draw of wargaming for me.  Simulate history, and see how you react.  

Here are more detailed miniatures in Central Asian (i.e. Afghan/Pakistani/Caucus region garb) from Khurasan Modern Combat series (Item MOD-2) containing a terror cell leader hiding in the mountains (BinLaden style) and a stereotypical hostage (screaming objective marker, because capturing hostages feels better than smashing a terror cell just for a laptop the might contain real world intel worth seizing more a stupid journalist who sympathized with sociopathic murdering 13th century religious fanatics just to get a scoop for the Times...).  Sorry, can't help with the commentary sometimes...

As we have come to expect, Khurasan hires great sculptors and casting companies, and my photography attempts and poor paint job do no real justice the incredible detail of the miniatures.

I unified my red force irregulars with khaki trousers (you know, the old school Soviet Motorized Rifle Regiment type from the 70's/80's that were left lying around...) and either desert style or woodland style camo jackets (again, more eastern European style camo, left lying around after a withdraw from the region in the late 80's/early 90's).  So, early war stuff.  Digital camo is hard to capture in 15mm.  But even the dots of paint can be construed as that at this scale!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Welcomed in the Dungeon, SEAL Direct Action Team with JTAC painted

New Years was spent playing the WotC boardgame Dungeon (the 2012 version anyway) with the boys.  Instead of playing with the cardboard pieces WotC uses, I pulled in some of my Khurasan Miniatures Tom Meier Collection Fantasy Master Pack 15mm Miniatures.  Not only are they top notch sculpts, with penny bases, they worked out great on the Dungeon board as well as adding excitement for a 6, 8, and 10 year old boy.

15mm Tom Meier Sculpts from Khurasan Miniatures taking on WotC's 2012 Dungeon
To match the cardboard pieces, I've painted the penny bases with the colors of each class based on the color of the cardboard counters.  Red for Wizard, Green for Rogue, Purple for Fighter, and Blue for Cleric.

I also finally finished my SEAL (or other SOCOM) 8 member team.  I decided to keep it simple and do desert colors.  This reflects the use of camo by the Dept. of Navy, be they SEALS or MARSOC, or even Army and Air Force from tri-color DCU days.  At any rate, this eight member team includes one sniper with M-14, an M-249 SAW gunner, a JTAC with radios (and whatever might be flying in a few hundred mile radius that can drop something...) and 5 members with M-4 carbines.  Given rules for most games (for example, Osprey/Ambush Alley Force on Force), even those 8 members, properly utilized, are a force to be reckoned with!

I was very pleased with the acrylic ink wash I used instead of wood stain this go around.  For one thing, drying time is minutes, not hours!  Once again, on both sets of miniatures, I mixed used, dried, coffee grounds into the burnt umber paint for the bases.  Perfect 15mm ground texture for a rocky arid environment!  I'll have to find the link of the guy who got me into doing that... 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Wow, I haven't worked on this since 2009?!

I just picked up an interior detail kit from Black Dog studios out of the Czech Republic for the M1126 ICV kit from AFV Club for my AFV Club 1:35th Scale TACP Stryker

Obviously, some modification is necessary (if you look at the 2005 Air Force news article I linked in that earlier post) to make it work for a CV/TACP variant, but it is manageable.   Besides, there are so many ways to fix things that might not fit just right...  We had so much crap in those vehicles, it wasn't funny...  Such is mechanized warfare, why pack light when you stick ammo cans full of ammo in every crevice not filled with MRE's, AT-4 rockets, a set of cots, or someones assault pack?!

Speaking of MREs, I think Black Dog Studios is the first aftermarket kit, or mass produced kit for that matter, with a modern US forces in Iraq or Afghanistan NOT to have a set of MRE's in the kit...  Amazing! I never realized there were so many MREs just laying about...

The Workbench, picking up where I left off 7 years ago.
Test fitting the Drivers Compartment with poster putty (blue tac)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

24AUG16 Still kicking...

It has been way too long since my last update about those miniature bases I 3d printed out of black ABS plastic.  Since then, I got to priming and painting them!  Just some ultra-flat Krylon camo tan as my primer, and then the usual Delta Ceramacoat (i.e. cheap craft store paint) mixed with a secret ingredient I found over at Tiny Solitary Soldiers 15mm blog, dry used coffee grounds.  Yup, take your coffee grinds from the filter (or in my case French press) and let them dry out, mix them into your base coat paint (burnt umber in this case) and then you have a nice large aggregate for your miniature bases instead of compost!  I liked the effect.

Got some of my Khurasan Miniatures Soviets, GOTA Clan, BMP-1, and Super Heavy tank along with some Battlefront Team Yankee Soviets on the bases in this picture just to give you a sample.  My Khurasan Soviets have the usual Woodland Scenic's model railroad ballast glued to a black primed base.  I'm not liking how that falls off.  When they shed, I'll go ahead and repaint them with the mix of coffee grounds and acrylic!  I might still use a bit of the ballast for variety, they are ground walnut shell after all (perhaps another use for my walnut shell brass tumbler media in the future).

At any rate, here are the rest of the ABS printed plastic bases for penny mounted figures.  In the background you might catch the Battlefront miniatures bases I used to size mine to.  This will help me use my mix of penny based Soviets (and other miniatures) for games requiring multi-figure bases, while not requiring me to re-base all my miniatures.  Want some of your own bases to print?  Well here is my Father's Day post where you can find the Thingiverse link to my page and download them!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

19JUN16 Father's Day and a 3D Game Changer

Happy Father's Day gentlemen!

Hopefully your days featured at least one good board or wargame with the kids!  Mine was Star Wars Clone Wars edition Risk with my eldest.  A few months back, we played Star Wars FUBAR.  He's getting into games.  Obviously, he enjoys the miniatures and terrain more than the games...  But hey, he's 10.  I really have to watch out for my middle son though, he's a shark at Pente and Battleship...

Last post I mentioned making 3D printed bases for my 15mm miniatures.  I'm proud to state I carried out that decision and published my first Thing on Thingiverse.  In order to use my penny based 15mm infantry in Flames of Wars based games, I developed a quick and dirty 3mm x 50mm x 65mm Penny base tray for 15mm wargames (yup, its a long, but unique title) using Design Spark Mechanical from Allied Electronics and Space Claim.  I highly recommend this free program for aspiring mechanical designers and those experimenting with 3D printing at home.  It is an easy parametric modeler to use, especially if you have SketchUp experience.  I did not align the holes or anything, so for those who are type A about how lined up their troops on a base are, these will drive you nuts.  Fine, go download the native file format on Thingiverse and fix it.  In fact, I made these bases public domain, use and abuse.  All I ask is that you paint them up real nice and take pictures with your miniatures on them and post them were I can find them!

15mm trays for 6 miniatures.

I also indulged in building some bases for one of my favorite Games Workshop rule sets, their Lord of the Rings based War of the Ring.  Sadly, this game is no longer published by GW, but hey, I enjoyed the rules set offering and the miniatures are top notch.  Too bad GW has massive cranial rectal inversion disorder at the moment.  Anyway, for anyone who has the miniatures, or ones similar that need such bases, here you go:  WotR Infantry & Cavalry Company Bases.  With the WotR bases, I used Solidworks and lined everything up pretty square.  I also left the SLDPT files there for editing.  Use, abuse, have fun.  Just post pictures and let me know!

WotR Infantry and Cavalry Company Bases 

No, my rant about game changing technology...  3D printers are awesome for gamers.  I think miniature gamers especially should own them.  You can just about print your army these days if you have the right model files.  If you are a 3D CAD guy who can sculpt digitally, your print resolution and the sky are the only limits.  My FDM Lulzbot Taz 5 printer only lets me get down to about .1mm (100 micron) resolution, and has thus far been unsuited to small figures.  However, vehicles, bases, and other game terrain are not limited.  Hopefully I can get some more stuff out there.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

12JUN16 Team Yankee Soviet Afgantsy Weapons

I am adding to my 15mm Soviet equipped force, this time infantry heavy weapons using Battlefront Miniatures Team Yankee miniatures this time.  I picked up some Afgantsy Weapons teams for $24 (US) at my local game shop, Dragons Lair Comics.

This weapons team gets me 9 AGS-17 (30mm automatic grenade launcher, similar to the US MK. 19 40mm launcher), and 9 AT-4 anti-tank missile launchers, along with associated assistant gunners and the like.

Compared to my Khurasan Soviet motorized infantry, the details are very similar, and the figures about the same height.  I don't think there will be too much difference painted up.  I'll likely mount them on pennies like the Khurasan miniatures, and then start building bases that will allow me to mount them for Team Yankee/Flames of War play.  What, a 3D printing project?  Sure, why not.  Perfect use for that machine.  What a shame...  I have to design something cool for my miniatures.

Cons of the Battlefront miniatures largely lie in the amount cleanup required.  Mold lines and sprue exist everywhere on these, such are the requirements of casting with soft metals!  Bent barrels and other features don't bother me in the least, after all 1:100 scale AK's and antennas will bend no matter what you do to protect the models!  I'm pleased with the level of detail.

Friday, June 3, 2016

15mm T-55 project

So, as I am about to embark upon making some Battlefront Miniatures Flames of War Arab-Israeli war T-55's...  a thought occurred to me.  Why not make them upgraded T-55AMV's of my fictional Red Equipped Nation (Upper or Lower Slobobia until I come up with a better name, as the US Army already uses Krasnovia at NTC for the fictitious name of the OPFOR).  A quick Internet search for images led me to this gem in 1:35

The Modelling News: In-Boxed: Takom's 35th scale T-55 AMV Russian Medium Tank

Wow, I'm almost ready to plunk down the money and get it in 1:35 as well.  It is an awesome kit!

In the mean time, I have Stackpole Books "Cold War Armored Fighting Vehicles" handy and have reduced the 1:72nd Scale drawing of the T-55AM down 72% to create a 1:100/15mm scale drawing of the tank for my project.  Check out the scale down guide from Fine Scale Modeler for other scale options.