Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Brit, The Yank, and The Hobby, The Dark Ages with Footsore Miniatures





Our latest episode is now live! This time we talk all (some), things Dark Ages with Bill Thornhill US owner and sculptor of Footsore Miniatures.

Join us at our Facebook group to join the discussion and to share hobby ideas, or listen directly from one of our feeds.





Enjoy the show, and we should have our next out in around 2-3 weeks



Saturday, 25 February 2017

Footsore Miniatures 28mm Late Roman Elite Infantry review

I've long been a fan of the figures produced by Footsore miniatures, however had never taken the plunge into painting any (I do have a pile of Saxons accrued over the years waiting for colour...).


 




 Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and one of the new UK owners is my friend Andy Hobday (along with Mark Farr in the UK, and Bill Thornhill in the US). When he asked if I'd like to review some of the Late Roman range, I couldn't say no really!








 
 Being a fan of the period in general, and anything Roman specifically and was very kindly supplied with the figures shown in this review, and a few more to come...











 

To start with, I've painted two packs, Late Roman Infantry Command, as well as late Roman Elite Infantry. Both packs contain 4 white metal figures, no spears or bases are included, however shields are included.












Casting is first rate, any flash or mould lines are minimal, and also positioned in places that will not be too noticeable one the model too. 














 
A pin vice will be needed to drill a hole in the hand for the spears, I've used Footsores own brand of shield, using the 50mm spear/javelin pack. The Draco does need to be fitted to a spear tip or length of wire too.













Detail as exceptionally crisp, and clothing and cape folds are beautifully subtle and realistic. 

 













Apart from shields and spears, all the figures are single piece castings too, so require very little work to get ready for painting. 


Painting was a pleasure, I'll probably do a write up either here or for Footsore themselves listing the colours I used, however it's too many to list in this review.



 



 Basing however, was done using Games Workshops Valhallan Blizzard, and Warlord Games Forest Ground Cover. Shield designs are decals from Little Big Man studios, and work very well with the Footsore shields. 








At £6.50 for the heavy infantry, and £9 for the command pack, with spears in packs of 20 at £2.75 prices are around average to slightly more expensive than other manufacturers, however in terms of detail and quality these are stunning figures, and I  wholeheartedly recommended these models.





You can get some Late Romans, or any other of a range of Dark Age miniatures from the Footsore Miniatures website, and shield designs can be found at Little Big Man Studios, finally, to contact me regarding any aspects of the figures, or to ask me about commissions, please check out my work facebook page, Volley Fire Painting Service.

 As an added bonus to this review, we've been joined by Bill Thornhill on The Brit The Yank and The Hobby podcast. To listen, either join us at our Facebook page, or check us out on iTunes or our RSS and Libsyn feeds.
 





 

 



















Thursday, 2 February 2017

Warlord Games 28mm 1/56 Stuart Review

Todays review is Warlord Games new M3 Stuart, kindly supplied by them for me to take a look at. 





This kit is part of their continuing partnership with plastic kit manufacturer Italeri, and follows the norm of that range of kits by being relatively complex for a war-gaming model, but also superbly detailed. 












There are some smaller and fairly fiddly parts, so this may not be to everyone's taste. Personally I like it and prefer the fidelity this approach offers, however if you're looking for a quick bash together model for the tabletop there could be some frustration. 



















Instructions are a massive leap forwards to most war-gaming kits, being clear 3D renders, with relevant parts labelled by suitable symbol, so the Soviet star for the Lend Lease variant, the Desert Rat for the Western  Desert British vehicle, and so on. 


 





Each variant possible is identified at the start of the instructions too, and the instructions suggest dry fitting before applying glue, which is nice to see. 






The kit includes parts to build a British M3, a Soviet lend lease M3, a British M3A1, an American M3A1 in Tunisia, and finally a USMC M3A1 with hull flame thrower.





 
 Also included are 3 commander figures, one British, one American and finally a Soviet one. These figures are ok, but I'll be replacing mine with a metal one at some stage. 




 


The set is rounded out with a  nice little decal sheet and quick reference cards for Bolt Action, as well as a set of smoke markers. No stowage is included, and I found quality of moulding to be excellent, with a nice slide moulded main gain.





 The  only real imperfection was a sink mark in the centre of the hatch, which I only noticed once painting was complete, hence the map... 


 






The only other addition I made to the kit was the addition of an aerial made out of jewellers wire. 









Assembly was simple, and took me around 45 minutes to put together. It pays to go through and highlight the stages relevant to you before starting building. 









Also, use a good plastic glue or solvent, such as Plastic Weld or Tamiya liquid thin, as super-glue will be an exercise in frustration. The new instructions served to make assembly relatively easy though, and fit was good.





 

I've prepared a painting guide for the model which should appear on Warlords website in the not too distant future. Overall I found the kit to be very well designed and an enjoyable project, and at £18 is pretty good value.









I look forwards to adding another 2 to my collection to make a troop.  As ever you can find more of my work at Volley Fire Painting Service, and you can get your own M3 Stuart at Warlord Games.

For more on the war in the desert, or historical gaming chat in general, come over and join us at The Brit, The Yank and the Hobby Podcast

























Monday, 30 January 2017

Sam Mustafa Rommel Interview

With the latest episode of The Brit, The Yank and The Hobby,we are joined by Sam Mustafa, who talks to us about his catalogue of games, before going on to brief us on his upcoming game, Rommel.

Join our facebook group to find all the links to previous episodes, as well as joining in the discussion and finding images and useful modelling links



You can find more of Sam's game at the Honour page





Wednesday, 11 January 2017

New battlegroup rules

A game that I've really fallen in love with this year is Ironfist Publishings Battlegroup rule set. For the sake of clarity, one of the creators is a friend and also a regular guest on the podcast I part host.  Having got several games in of this rule set in now, you can read my thoughts on how the game is played here. 








Today though. I shall be looking at the recently released new rule book. It's worth mentioning however this is not a second edition, but is simply a newer, better book with some small revisions and wording changes to the game. 






To quote from the Plastic Soldier Company website 'Whilst this remains the same Battlegroup game, there have been 3 small rules alterations. Aimed Fire with HE shells now has no -1 modifier to hit targets in cover. 









All Aimed Fire with small arms now has a -1 modifier to hit if the unit moved. There is also a -1 to observe units with the Sniper-Scout special rule. Area Fire is now called Suppressing Fire (but remains unchanged). ' All very limited in impact on the game, so what's new?





Previously the Battlegroup rules were obtainable in the now out of print Battlegroup Kursk book, and an A5 size soft back rule book. Whilst the A5 book is handy for carrying to and from games, font size was a little small and could be hard to read.




 


 The new book is standard A4 size and hard back for a start, and the first 60 or so pages are the same as the earlier soft back book The new book however contains all the generic scenarios from the previous campaign books, as well as a new campaign and some army lists.




Both the campaign and army lists focus on the Normandy campaign, and cover forces drawn from the 12th SS Panzer Division, and the Canadian 3rd infantry division. Full army lists and rules for both are included, and these can of course be used in normal games of Battlegroup outside of the campaign as well, and a few pages of pull out unit cards are included in the appendix for these too.

The campaign itself is a map based one, played over 12 turns covering the 4 days of fighting around the village of Norrey-En-Bessin, with bonus victory points awarded for playing the 4 historical battle scenarios that round out the campaign set. This looks like a superb campaign to play, and one I'd love to have a go at. It would also translate to other theatres and periods of the war without too much effort as well. 

The book itself has some beautiful production quality, with highly atmospheric miniature photography, mixed in with some fantastic drawings and period photos, and for £20 I feel is a good value addition to the library.








 Is it a must buy if you already have the existing rule book? not necessarily, however if you have an interest in the Normandy campaign especially, or simply want a bigger, easier to read rule book then absolutely. If you are totally new to battlegroup, this is an excellent introduction to the game, as you can instantly start to learn to play with the included army lists before grabbing the specific campaign books.


You can order copies of Battlegroup from the Plastic Soldier Company, and hear more about Battlegroup on the Brit, The Yank and the Hobby podcast, of which I am a co-host. Finally, you can see more of my work at Volley Fire Painting Service.