All Quiet on the Martian Front – U.S. Army

Posted in Minis, WIP with tags , , , , , on August 10, 2014 by stingersix

Once I got going on the U.S. Army units in the AQoMF starter box, I knew they wouldn’t take too long. Minis at this scale (18mm) go much faster than 28s. Also, I had promised myself that when I finished them, I would paint the Martian Tripods. I’ve painted I don’t know how many G.I.s and Doughboys over the years – a lot. But I have never painted a Martian Tripod, and I am now really looking forward to it. That and getting some games in when I finish!

Here are the Rough Riders I finished today. These guys are like a suicide squad – they race into contact with the Tripods, fire those grappling hook guns and then ride around the ‘pods playing out a cable to tangle up their legs and bring the alien war machines down! Awesome!

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And here’s the painted U.S. Army force that comes in the starter set.

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Now, on to the Martian menace!

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Feeling Productive

Posted in 40K, Blather, Games, WIP with tags , , , , , , , on August 9, 2014 by stingersix

Somehow, I have three projects going on at the moment – All Quiet on the Martian Front, some 40K and something for Chain of Command. Working on multiple projects at the same time is not too unusual for me, though I had sort of thought when I finished my Daemons I’d throttle back some. Obviously not!

First up, a Warlord Games M8 Greyhound armored car, which I am painting for use in Chain of Command. Chain of Command is a very good game and one that delivers a very satisfying experience. If 40K is the blunt baseball bat of rules systems, Chain of Command is like a rapier, capable of reproducing real-world battlefield tactics on the tabletop. I don’t have the time to play all that often, but when I do, I hope to get this M8 in the game. It’s a decent model with a resin body and metal parts. Not much cleanup but the smaller fittings are fiddly and a bit difficult to attach, but I got them on. The kit has no instructions, but it’s not too hard to figure out. The only trouble I had was how to place the ring on top of the turret. But google image search turned up several good shots of this part of the vehicle, so I got it on there right.

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Next, Heavy Machine-gun teams for All Quiet. These need a bit of flock and some grass on the base but they are done.

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Finally, this is the first squad of what will become my Tallarn Imperial Guard army for 40K. I don’t have a lot to say just yet. After I get this squad done and see how the colors shake out I will comment more. This is basically my big 40K army project for the next year or so. I’m trying to make a fast recon force, with lots of Sentinels and Rough Riders!

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Infantry, forward!

Posted in Minis, WIP with tags , , , , on August 8, 2014 by stingersix

Finished my basic infantry for All Quiet on the Martian Front. I like the way these guys came out, and I like that for the most part, they are charging forward (probably to certain death) to fight the Martian invaders! Decent sculpts overall for this scale. The rifles are a bit blocky but at tabletop viewing range, it’s fine. They do look good alongside the Steamer tanks. I have the machinegun teams done except the bases, then I do the Rough Riders on the Harleys and then it’s on to the Tripods!10524351_793725540658455_6677832047888474732_n 10547447_793725520658457_169886508090005380_n

Trenches

Posted in Games with tags , on August 3, 2014 by stingersix

Just some quick pics of a quick job. The square bunker and trench line are from Alien Dungeon for All Quiet on the Martian Front. The round one and the shellholes I dunno where they came from. Spray primer, wash, drybrush, boom, done!image image image

Chain of Command

Posted in Games, Historical, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 28, 2014 by stingersix

Played my first game of Chain of Command today. Finally got to use those G.I.s I painted a few months ago. Bit of a learning curve but a fun and interesting game. My Yanks vs. Chris’ Krauts. The pre-game positioning and movement to contact is very unique and cool. I like the way this game does deployment.

Started off with a couple squads in the woods there. Another squad is in the back out of the frame. This was a basic patrol clash. I had three rifle squads and a 60mm mortar. Chris had the same plus a halftrack.

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These Germans here shot the hell out of me the first few phases, but  I gradually wore them down with mortar and rifle fire til they broke at the end of the game.

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A lot of the game was a medium range shootout between these squads here in the woods and the Germans. The Jerries and their MG42s put out ungodly amounts of fire. This was really hammering my squads here until my Lieutenant showed up to bolster their morale and keep them shooting. Think of the scene in Band of Brothers where Winters and his men are at Carentan and have to hold off the German assault, and Winters was yelling at his men to keep firing. Like that.

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This halftrack rolled up and started spraying my G.I.s with bullets.

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My mortar team is in the ruins back there. It did good work, and I kept it focused on the central German squad. The rifle squad there made it into that house, exhorted on by Sgt. Savales.image

The filthy Nazi commander shows up with his briefcase full of god knows what and keeps his men fighting. The mortars managed to knock him down wounded for a few phases.image

 

I eventually got these guys into a full firing line and began trading shots with the Krauts in the roadhouse.

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The halftrack passes the roadhouse. The other German MG squad I was tradinf fire with the whole game is in that building.

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The guy in the knit cap there with the grease gun is Sgt. Telly Savales. He had to boot these grunts in the ass to get them going, and they got going!image

Cinematic moment here. The bazooka team took three shots at the advancing halftrack, narrowly escaped a bunch of fire thrown at them, and then had to rummage around looking for more bazooka rounds. Finally knocked out the halftrack on their fourth shot!

 

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The Jerries that were here finally had enough and bugged out!image

It was good to finally get a game in of this. The historicals crew has been playing for a while and their games always look pretty good. It was the first WW2 minis game I’ve played at 28mm scale and I did enjoy it.

 

 

Steam Tanks Roll Out

Posted in Minis, WIP with tags , , , on July 26, 2014 by stingersix

More progress on the All Quiet on the Martian Front starter set. Got all the tanks done. I need three more MkII’s to make a company. Also finished my test stand of infantry. Now to get those done and then paint the Tripods!2014-07-26 00.45.53 2014-07-26 00.47.45 2014-07-26 00.45.01 2014-07-26 00.45.34 2014-07-26 00.47.03 2014-07-26 00.44.08

1st Tank Off the Production Line!

Posted in Minis, WIP with tags , , , on July 19, 2014 by stingersix

Finished the first of my All Quiet on the Martian Front MkII steam tanks. A pretty simple color scheme – Vallejo Russian Green for the hull and Hull Red for the tracks. You can see what they look like ‘clean’ if you look at the models in the back there. The rest was achieved with drybrushing earth tones, dabbing on some Oily Steel and Rhinox Hide with a bit of sponge, and some Secret Weapon weathering powders. The coal hopper was simply dusted with Secret Weapon Exhaust Black. I wanted this tank to look like it had been fighting hard in the fields outside St. Louis somewhere and I think it does.

I’m pretty pleased with how this came out and I’m ready to go full steam ahead on the others.

After that, I’ll do the human infantry, and then the Martian Tripods.

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Finished my Daemon army

Posted in 40K, Minis with tags , , , on July 17, 2014 by stingersix

This Soul Grinder was the last model I needed to do for me to consider my Daemons “done” for the time being. Moving on to new projects!

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Stencil and airbrush

Posted in Minis, WIP with tags , , , on July 16, 2014 by stingersix

I’m working on my All Quiet on the Martian Front minis now. For the tanks I wanted to use playing card suits to denote the company number. I looked around and there are plenty of makers of 15mm decals, mostly for WW2 French armor. But, they all cost a few bucks plus shipping and blah blah blah. I considered free-handing them but I really wanted a uniform look. Then I remembered I have a package of artist airbrush frisket (thin stencil paper with an adhesive backing), a detail airbrush and a very sharp x-acto knife.

So I cut out some stencils, stuck them on my tanks and went to work with the airbrush. I’m quite pleased at how these came out.

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I’m gaining more confidence with the airbrush all the time.

Driving on!

When Mars attacks!

Posted in Games, WIP with tags , , on July 13, 2014 by stingersix

Lately, I have become enamored of this game, All Quiet on the Martian Front. I’ve actually gone quite mad for the minis, although I haven’t played the game yet. I do have the hardcover rulebook and it really does look fun. It’s designed by Rick Priestly and Allessio Cavatore, contracted to Alien Dungeon, so it does have a solid design pedigree. The idea is that 10 years after the Martians from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds destroyed London, they have returned in force for a full-scale invasion of Earth.

Set in the period from 1906 – 1914, the creators have expanded greatly on the idea, positing that this time, the Martians landed in the remote areas of the world, built up their armies, and then attacked. They’ve conquered most of the planet, and humanity is now just holding on. In the U.S. the Martians have advanced to the Mississippi River, where the U.S. Army finally managed to hold them. Undergoing a massive emergency mobilization, the U.S. is devoting every resource to fighting the invasion. Tanks, infantry and artillery are the primary weapons used. Because of the great urgency of this desperate situation, tanks are powered by steam engines, a proven technology that is easy to implement and mass produce quickly. Internal combustion engines exist in this period, but are not yet advanced enough to drive these big tanks (and they are BIG), and are mostly used in trucks and lighter vehicles.

The British have dispatched the BEF to the U.S. to help, and due to their being the first nation to fight the Martians, they have reverse-engineered some of the Martian tech and put it into use. Thus, the British equipment is more advanced than everyone else.

Bwah! This game has got me fired up! I love the idea, and the aesthetic. There are a lot of cool things going on in the background of the setting – President Teddy Roosevelt leads the nation in its darkest hour, Major George Patton is a hero character you can use, Nikolai Tesla and Thomas Edison are building mobile lightning cannons, all kinds of stuff.

Where did this game come from? It was a Kickstarter that funded last year and has finally made it into distribution this year. I usually don’t bother with Kickstarters but this is one that I wish I had! There are so many cool things coming for this, particularly the huge Land Ironclads! They’re also apparently working on other human armies, including the French, German and Japanese (I can’t wait to see those!) and some more alien armies, including the Venusians (!), Selenites (Moon Men) and the Underdwellers (the Morlocks, of course!). I really dig this blend of alternate history and science fiction (by H.G. Wells no less)!

So, I got myself the starter set and I’m working on the models now. The kits are easy to assemble and they have a lot of character. I don’t know what it is about them that has me so involved. A friend suggested they have a sort of whimsical Hayao Miyazaki feel to them and maybe that’s it. I’ve assembled them all and got a basecoat down on the tanks. It won’t be long before I have this game on the table! I can’t wait!

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This is the MkII Steamer Tank. The mainstay fighting vehicle of the U.S. Army.

 

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And the next step up, the MkIII tank.

 

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Doughboy infantry. The motorcyclists are called Rough Riders. They use tow cables to entangle the legs of the Martian tripods to bring them down! Awesome!

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There are also heavy machinegun teams. These are the human forces you get in the starter set.

 

 

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These are the Martian Assault Tripods in the starter set. Armed with the deadly Heat Ray, they are nearly unstoppable!

 

 

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The kits come with some weapon variants for the Tripods. In the middle is the Green Gas Grenades and on the right is the Black Dust Launcher.

Ah, sooo cool!