Wednesday, September 21, 2022

15mm WWII Americans for 'O' Group

I purchased these figures on Ebay recently to complete my US infantry for 'O' Group.  My collection is primarily based, and was originally intended for Flames of War. In Flames of War a US platoon is the force shown: seven infantry stands and a small base bazooka team. For 'O' group this is two three-stand platoons, an extra infantry team and a bazooka support section, usually deployed in two or three section teams. 


These came fairly well painted. I did some touch-ups due to damage in shipping, added some additional details to the helmets and webbing and gave the bases a spruce up with static grass to hide some questionable basing choices. 



I'll count these only as 'purchased 15mm figures'. The touch-up work wasn't significant enough to warrant credit on my annual totals. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

First .STL Files Created - Markers for 'O' Group

There are .STL files for 'O' Group markers available for sale, but they appear to be made for resin filament 3D printers. Because of this the markings on them seem a bit 'chunky' to me for 15mm figures. Since I have a resin printer, I thought I'd take this as an opportunity to spend some time learning Fusion 360 and design some for resin 3D printers. 

This is the suppression/pinning tracking triangle that is unique to 'O' Group. I've sized it so it will not only work with large and medium bases, but also small bases (not shown). 

My printer can print twenty (20) of these at a time, directly on the build plate. I've finally dialed in the printer well enough that 'elephant foot' isn't much of an issue for things such as these. 




Order and Company Order markers are also just now finished. I'll continue on the rest of the lesser-used markers later this week. I'll count this as one 'terrain/misc' created.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

28mm Finnish Sturmi Assault Gun

I 3D printed this Finnish Sturmi assault gun from the excellent STL files sold by Night Sky Miniatures. Their files are complete and can do any version of the Finnish version of the Stug III. It comes with the gun magnetized so you can use both guns on the same hull, but also this provides for much safer transportation of the model with the gun removed. 


I started with the cement-reinforced hull with logs and the early war welded gun mantlet. I'll likely also do a pig-snouted version with extra tracks on the lower glacis. Lovely model all around.




 During the painting I dropped this on the cement floor of the shop and obliterated the MG shield and gun. I loaded the mesh up into Fusion 360 and pulled out just the geometry for these pieces and re-printed and attached and painted these replacement parts as well as repairing various other damage. You can hardly tell that I botched it!

I'll count this as another painted 28mm vehicle in my annual painting totals.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

28mm 3D Printed 'Finnish' 1936 Ford Flatbed Half-Track Truck

Another 3-D printed vehicle for my 28mm Continuation War / Lapland War Finnish army. This will be used as another un-armored, un-armed transport for my Finnish army. It can either transport troops, or tow a larger weapon such as an anti-tank gun or an artillery piece.

These were also used by the Canadians during World War II. Similar to the Finnish, they had the weather and terrain to make these a useful civilian vehicle before the war. Pressing them into military service was a fairly small step. There still exists one example in a Canadian museum.

I'm quite fond of this model as it prints in both the wheeled and half-tracked version as a single-piece print. All I have to do is clean off the support 'sprues' and start painting. It's a solid print, so it costs about $3.50 in resin to print, but that extra resin also gives it the weight of a commercial cast resin vehicle. I appreciate this as most of my collection is made up of such models. This will add one 28mm vehicle to this year's painting totals. 


Friday, September 2, 2022

28mm 3D Printed 'Finnish' 1936 Ford Flatbed Truck

Prior to the 1939 Winter War, Finland used primarily Ford trucks for civilian use having no speak-able automotive industry of their own. When the Winter War broke out, a large number of these were pressed into military service as a necessity. This model represents one such vehicle.
This was printed on my Elagoo Saturn 2 3D printer. This was a wonderful model to work with. It printed entirely in a single piece, fully assembled. I broke it off the supports, did minimal clean up with a knife and sanding stick and primed it up.
Since I used OD green colored primer, painting was relatively easy with a quick dry brush to highlight panel lines, picked out the tires, windows and metal bits, and gave it a panel wash and a European dust wash. After both washes, some of the details were a bit muddled, so I did a few touch-ups. Decals were applied prior to the final washes. All total, maybe 90 minutes total 3-D print clean-up and painting time.

This will count as one 28mm vehicle in my annual painting totals. I enjoyed this enough, and I could use a second truck for my Finnish since they didn't use APCs, so I might print a second one. The 3D printer started to earn it's cost back with this model. This cost me about $4.00 worth of resin. A similar quality commercial offering would be over $30.00


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Two 28mm Komsomolets artillery tractors for my Finnish army

These are two 28mm Komsomolets artillery tractors for my Finnish WWII army. The Finns captured a bunch of these during the Winter War and used them to the end of WWII and beyond. These are both 3D printed. The one on the left a filament print gifted to me by my friend Mark D., the one on the right printed by me in resin on my new Elagoo Saturn 2 resin 3D printer. Mark, thanks for the wonderful gift!

Both of these were weathered up with some mud in the tracks and splattered throughout. This 'mud' was made with Mig 'European Mud' pigment and some acrylic medium. A nice coating of dust was added using Valejo dust weathering wash, which I actually like a lot. I've intentionally left off the Finish markings on these. Some were pressed immediately into service, so this is not all that a historical. Also this will allow me to use them with a Russian force should I ever get around to making one. 


I'll count these as two 28mm vehicles painted in my annual painting totals.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

28mm Ruined European Church

I purchased this ruined church model over 15 years ago during a trip to Historicon. I believe it's a Hovels brand model. It didn't come with a base, so the rubble surrounding it and the base I added. This is a useful piece as it's simple, nicely sized and has sufficient area inside to house a decent number of figures, including room for a sniper up in the steeple. 

Not much more to say about it. I'll count this as one 'Terrain/Misc' in the annual painting totals. 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Two 28mm Ruined Brick Buildings

Two more ruined buildings and an extra wall section. These are more of my continued effort to reduce my un-built, un-painted scenery stash. These were primed off-white, wet-ish dry-brushed the brick walls to get the bricks red and keep the mortar white. The stucco and plaster sections were painted, then I went at them with a special 'brick mix' I made using rust and 'European Dust' pigments from Mig. These were followed with some random applications of 'Smoke' and 'Dark Mud' Mig pigments. I'll count these as two 'Terrain/Misc' in this year's painting totals.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

28mm Ruined Building


This is a 28mm ruined building I built from resin wall pieces I bought around 20 years ago at Historicon. Recently I decided it was time to start working on chipping away at my un-built terrain pile. I had always thought I'd do a ruined city game, possibly Berlin or similar. This piece is suitably generic enough that I think it's timeless. That said I'm most likely to use it in WWII skirmish games. 

Recent events in Ukraine have unfortunately given me the opportunity to see far too many destroyed buildings. The one thing that has struck me is how monochrome these scenes are, with the exception of burnt areas. I expect that's from the thick layer of dust that the collapsing buildings creates. I've attempted to recreate this with weathering effects and powdered pigments. The last of which were the black smoke/burnt pigments. Ideally I'd like to have more rubble in and around the walls, but this would make it a much less effective gaming piece, so I opted for a more cleared ruin.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

28mm Round Sand Bag Emplacement

This was a quick, simple project. I've had this resin sand bag emplacement in my 'terrain to paint' box for maybe a decade. Recently I've decided to start actually working on this backlog and this piece floated to the top. Manufacturer is unknown. I primed it white and painted it with contrast and speed paints. Finishing touches with Mig streak and grime, Mig rust streak (on the corrugated metal and barrels) and a light dusting of Mid 'Europe Dust' dry pigments.

This is sized nicely to fit a good portion of my man-packed weapons teams as shown below. Due to the modern materials and 55-gallon fuel drums, it's only really usable for World War II and later. This will count as one (1) terrain piece for my annual painting totals. Expect to see more terrain sprinkled throughout my blog posts for the foreseeable future.   

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Two Electronic Brigadier Games at Historicon 2022

I ran two sessions of my Battle of Monmouth scenario at Historicon 2022 last Saturday in Lancaster, PA. It was a marathon day but well worth it! The players seemed to have a great time and I got to show my rules to a bunch of new players. The experience has me re-energized to push forward with finishing up Napoleonics and to work more on getting the game master portion more public ready so I can start letting others use the rules.

More photographs can be seen in this gallery

This YouTube video shows the table between games. 

Also, if you're on Facebook, I've started up a group there for Electronic Brigadier. Announcements on when and how to become a play tester will likely be broadcast to that group first. It's an open public group. Feel free to join!

Monday, July 11, 2022

28mm WWII Finnish Weapon Teams & Misc. Infantry

My recent completion of my Crusader army for Saga by painting the last units of crossbows for it has motivated me to return to my Finnish WWII army project to hopefully make a big push towards completion of it as well.  This is a collection of mostly specialty weapons teams but also includes a handful of semi-random infantry figures just to help with economy of scale when painting. I find that I'm most efficient when painting WWII when I'm doing 18-24 figures. 

This tripod-mounted Maxim machine gun and crew are 3-D Printed. I purchased them on-line already printed. I'm assuming that these were sculpted to be able to be used for all three Finnish conflicts: the 1939 Winter War, the Continuation War and the Lalpand war. This assumption is due to the winter coats and mittens. I will mostly be using these as Lapland war troops, so I've based them on some spring ground, but kept my 'dead grass' tufts for a slightly more tundra feel. Finland is cold in the spring even when there isn't snow on the ground.

This 81mm mortar team and forward observer is from the Warlord Games Finnish army box. Looking at their web store, I'm not sure this box is still available. I'm sure you can still buy the team in blisters though.

This Panzershreck team is from a Warlord blister pack. I think they're great sculpts with the loader holding the next rocket and carrying the ammo in a canvas bag. I much prefer this to Warlord's German version of the same team. The Finns re-painted their shreck launchers in Finnish colors. I went for a hasty Finnish green for mine.

Two more snipers. The one on the left is 3-D printed from the same vendor as the Maxim MG, the one on the right is a Warlord figure. I'm not sure if it came in the army box or if I picked it up in a blister. Surprisingly I had previously already painted a sniper and observer using Warlord figures, so this is a second team. I like that the figure on the left has binoculars, but also a scoped rifle making him a perfect spotter for the other sniper. In a pinch I am also happy to use these as standard riflemen.

This is a group of three LMG gunners. The left-most is my favorite and is using a captured Russian Degtyarev DP-28 'record player' LMG. Even at the end of WWII this was the most plentiful LMG in the Finnish army. This resin 3-D printed model is the reason I placed the order for all of the resin figures. The sculpting is excellent and the scale of the weapon is spot on. He even has a captured Russian ammunition case with spare 'record' magazines. The middle figure is from Warlord and has the same DP-28 LMG, although it is barely recognizable as such. This might possibly be one of the worst Warlord models I own. The right figure is also a Warlord figure carrying a German-provided MG-42 and bandolier of rounds. I quite like the sculpting on this figure. 

Here's a close up of this awesome sculpt. With independent sculptors doing this quality of work, I'm very encouraged for the future of our hobby when it comes to 3-D printing. Interesting thing about this photograph. The camera in this extreme close-up can pick out the layers of the 3-D print, but I promise, you cannot see them in person, even under a visor magnifier. When I looked at this photo the first time I was confused to what I was seeing until I remembered this was a 3-D print. 

The last group is a five-man infantry 'section'. The Finns didn't really do infantry sections, but these five figures were tossed in to round the batch of figures up to an efficient number. My next batch will add additional riflemen to go with the other LMGs in this batch and also will round out this squad to the full nine men it should contain. These are all Warlord figures from either their army box or an additional infantry blister. Note the rear right figure carrying another poorly sculpted DP-28, albeit slightly less awful than the prone figure carrying the stupidly short one. He also has an excellently sculpted face and head which partially makes up for the poor sculpt of the weapon.

I'm counting this as 21 figures, counting each of the larger weapons as one figure. This helps me catch up vs. the purchased painted figures for the year. Next up on the table a large group of just Finnish infantry. It may be a while until I finish it as I prepare to travel to Historicon in a week and a half to run a couple of Electronic Brigadier games there.  For fun, the photo on the left is a group shot of my Finnish army so far. 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

28mm Crusader Crossbowmen

These are the last figures that I plan to paint for my Saga Crusader army. I didn't need two more units of crossbowmen, but I had the figures, and I'm going to start running some lager multi-player games so I thought it would be nice to be able to field multiple four-point armies for those. 

These figures are a mix from two different bags of Old Glory figures. My uncle and I split two bags to give us each some additional variance in poses, etc. His are fielded in his Templar army, mine in my Crusader army. Old Glory figure have several great qualities: they're good serviceable figures with good pose variation, they're lead which I prefer over plastic or resin, and with the Old Glory club card, these run $0.60 USD per figure. That's a deal you can't feel as an old boss of mine always used to say. 

These were painted in two groups of eight to represent 'warriors' in Saga, but they are just as likely to be fielded in a single unit of twelve as levy so I kept both units consistent with each other. The buff coats are an experiment. Some were painted using traditional methods, some were contrast paints, some were SpeedPaints, and some were a mix. To be honest, all of them came out fine and mix well. I think my techniques with the transparent contrast and SpeedPaints is slowly improving. 

This will add sixteen more figures to this year's painting totals. Each year I strive to paint as many figures as I buy pre-painted. This year I'm not likely to achieve that goal, but these will help get me a step closer.  Next up on the painting table are some terrain projects and a return to my 28mm Finnish WWII Continuation War / Lapland war force. Returning to the Finns should help boost my productivity as WWII figures are pretty quick to paint up and I'm very motivated to work on that army so that I can start running games with it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

'Approach to Monmouth' Scenario with The Electronic Brigadier

Two weeks ago I hosted a my 'Approach to Monmouth' scenario at our club's June game night. This was a 'do over' for my game that didn't go off at the April game night. This is one of my favorite scenarios. It's a twist on the historical battle under the presumption that General Lee convinced Washington's council of war in conducting a full assault on the British column as it approached Monmouth rather than the 'only volunteers' debacle that actually happened. There is no Washing marching to Lee's rescue as Lee has the force he needs to do the job. If you want more insight on my justification for this scenario, I highly recommend you read The Making of a Scapegoat by Thayer

This is a scaled-down version of the game that I will be running at Historicon in July (sessions S16:115 & S16:133). I was one player short, so Rob and Ed (shown left) having experience play testing the rules, offered to play short handed. The British were two beginners, Warren and John anchored by Electronic Brigadier veteran play tester Byron. 

The British plan was simple - overwhelm the New Jersey brigade that included the local militias. The Americans, to delay with the New Jersey brigade and attack with their other two higher-quality brigades. This was a case of the unstoppable force vs. the moveable object.....


The British assault went in on the New Jersey brigades. Initially they sent the Hunterdon militia running but the New Jersey state troops and the Monmouth militia held the line. The Monmouth militia finally broke, but not before the Hunterdon militia recovered just in time to cover the American's left flank. 

Meanwhile on the American right flank the Americans were doing a good job of getting some advantageous two-on-one firefights running. Towards the end of the battle, both the British First Guards and First Grenadiers had shaken and fallen back from the withering American musketry. 

Overall this was a solid American victory. Casualties received by the British were approximately 8.7% of their total force while the American casualties were under 6.5%. Considering the disparity in quality of troops this was a very nice win for Lee.

28mm Napoleonic Bavarians Re-Based

These are 56 Bavarian Napoleonic infantry and four mounted officers that I've recently re-based for use with either my Electronic Brigadier rules or my friend Charlie's rules, Napoleon's Rules of War. I purchased all of these on Ebay recently with the exception of two of the officers in bicornes which came with some other figures I bought and re-based years ago.  I'll count this as 32 stands re-based in my annual totals.