Monday, September 09, 2013

Latest WWII Output

After a couple false starts, my minor reboot of my WWII skirmish forces has been a great success. I'm quite satisfied with my work on these figures - or at least as satisfied as I can be, given that I'm trying some things for the first time - and I'm really liking using Artizan for the vast majority of my figures. They're full of character, and, of course, they all scale well with each other.

I've now got sufficient forces painted up for a game of Operation Squad. I've been focusing my efforts on finishing up a couple terrain projects - hedgerows and a farm complex, namely - and am very close to having a game-ready collection. The RPG campaign I've been running with my wife since 2010 is due to wrap up in the next couple weeks, after which I see lots more time for minis gaming. I can't wait!

In the meantime, here's what I've got painted up so far: a British rifle squad, Vickers HMG, and light mortar team (all Durham Light Infantry), and two German Aufklarungs half-squadrons (Panzer Lehr). This is actually slightly more than I need for a game of OS, but it gives the British side some nice force-building options.

I got to take my first crack at splinter camo pattern on the helmets. It ain't great, but it's a good start.

That squad leader front and center is easily one of my all-time favorite minis. So much character: the cigarette, the Mauser pistol with the rifle stock attachment, the wristwatch - he's even got an Iron Cross hanging from his throat. Plus his smock gave me more opportunity to work on my splinter camo technique.

Despite previous posts decrying fancy basing, I decided to have some fun with the support weapon bases. In the words of Doc Holliday, apparently my hypocrisy knows no bounds. 
It wouldn't be Normandy without some dead cows, so why not incorporate it into the light mortar base?

I did a little conversion work with the infantry here - Artizan Brits don't sport any netting on their helmets, and it was fairly common in Normandy, so I modeled some on a select few - another goal of mine is to get handier with sculpting putty.
I also couldn't resist taking a crack at painting up a Panther. This was my first pass with painting 1/56 scale armor, and I quite enjoyed it. For the camo I employed a mix of airbrush and drybrush. I expect that as my airbrush skills get better, I'll use that more and more until eventually that's all I'll use for the base colors. I'm also thinking about adding some foliage to the hull and turret.

The tank commander is mounted on a rare earth magnet, so he's removable and movable.

I've gone ahead and ordered some more vehicles and guns (250/1 halftracks for my German scouts, an 88, a 6-pounder, etc.) and will be adding a painted squad of Brits and some support elements to each side in order to enable games of NUTS! or perhaps Chain of Command (which I have yet to check out but looks totally awesome). Pictures of these reinforcements will follow as they're completed, of course.

The title for the British edition of NUTS!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Why I'll Always Be An Aesthetic Snob

I've posted before on the aesthetic appeal of miniatures games being one of the primary draws of the hobby for me. So you can imagine how gratified I was to read a post over at The League of Ausburg stating the very same. Best quote of the post:
If this is wargames porn then I am a pornographer without shame. Enjoy my dark secret and damn the eyes of wargaming's Mary Whitehouse Brigade. Mediocrity breeds the same.
I couldn't agree more.

Games featuring unpainted figures or, worse, proxies are the sort of affairs best conducted behind drawn curtains, with many a backwards glance over the shoulder. "I'm just testing out the new rules for this unit I haven't ordered yet, honest!" Games featuring unpainted or proxy figures run in public?

For me, the work I put into building the aesthetic appeal of miniatures games is sort of the point of the hobby itself. Otherwise I might as well be playing hex-and-chit wargames or their computer equivalents. To my mind, it's worth gaming less if it means each individual game looks better. (And, honestly, my [in]frequent gaming is due more to the fact that minis aren't my primary hobby; insistence on high-quality tabletop presentation need not be a barrier to frequent gameplay if minis are your main concern.)

We live in a world of instant gratification. I see no problem with taking my time on this one thing, and of experiencing the payoff of my hard work; of seeing my painting and terrain-building efforts get better and better over time, and of reveling in the uniquely thrilling beauty of a fully-realized tabletop layout.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...