Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bongiorno: Flower Power

Fun fact: Dr. Seuss illustrated tons of political cartoons during world war two. 

That brings us to the conclusion of Africa Orientale Italiana! While meandering through the desert our hero,

 Armed with such weapons as the Beretta model 38 machine gun and traditional sabers. One of they're forgotten conflicts was when they charged the British 4/11th Sikhs Regiment of the 5th Indian Division.
 With the surrender of Italian forces in East Africa in 1941, our intrepid commander refused to surrender and retreated into the desert; to wage a 'Lawrence of Arabia' guerrilla war. Known to locals and British garrisons as, Comandante Diavolo.

 Now that I have these models all finished up and I see the cavalry squads arrayed, I may have gone a bit overboard on this conversion project. It started with some beautiful Perry French dragoons and a hack saw and ended with 20 more 40mm models... 2 full squads of cavalry in a WWII game...

 Decals are from Company B, a little large but in the end you wouldn't be able to really see them if they were smaller and would not want to really put them on a model either...

Having originally wanted to showcase the eastern front Italian cavalry regiments when they successfully charged against Siberian Infantry. The Africa Campaign had a more romantic nature to it, as much as war could relate to that.
 Here is 1st squad in the force. Having established some strong defenses, the Lt. surveys the scene.

 The mortar team takes aim, or maybe just picks some meadow flowers.
 In the rules, the Italians get the chance to place defensive works on the table.
 The Africa Orientale Italiana only supports the most modern and elite armored support. The Fiat 3000 (right) is based on the WWI French FT-17. The smoke screens these burning vehicles gave they're infantry was invaluable... The FT-17 kit is made by Trench Worx. Top quality stuff, some of the best.
 While the tanks maybe outdated, Italian artillery was quite renowned for bravery and accuracy. These truck mounted 90/53 AA guns were the siblings to the German 88. Often more deadly in anti-tank roles than anti-air.
 It could still melt the rivets off an American Stuart. (Looking at you Plastic Legions, it also works on armored cars...)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Avanti IT!

 Rounding out the remainder of my Malifaux crew at these little fellows. They sure do like to clown around! Pun pun pun pun pun pun.... They are all little minions controlled by the puppet master in my last post. More of a swarm tactic.Continuing the basing theme of a Victorian Venice.

Also continuing my inspiration of "things that scared me". They were painted in the likeness of Tom Curry's representation of the clown IT. Besides him and that little leprechaun horror movie, they round out the top 3 of childhood fears. 
Avanti! While the very last of my Malifaux crew, Teddy, got side lined; these fellows took his place.

 A couple squads of Italians have formed up in the square. While originally purchased for a Eastern front force from the Perry Brothers, I doubled down and went with a neutral paint scheme to be able to use them for both North Africa and the eastern front.

 If you see some horses in the background, that is because they are. The entire inspiration of building this army was 2 units. The heroic and often fatal charges of Italian cavalry on the eastern front, or the guerrilla warfare from horse back in East Africa. 

Here are two of the internets best articles on the subject that inspired my interest.

Unrelated, but I highly, highly recommend reading the book, "An Army at Dawn", Rick Atkinson's 1/3 series on America in World War 2 and the invasions and operations that led to the end of the war. Army at Dawn is the North Africa campaign, Torch through Tunisia.
 Much can be said and debated about the scale of Perrys to other companies models. But they're metal lines are almost perfectly in scale with warlords and should not be a concern when considering buying these models. I really wanted to capture the posses of the "action" models and mounted up some fortifications for them to be defending.
 The second unit that inspired this army, is NOT the tank below, but an anti aircraft gun that was truck mounted. It will appear later, once painted of course!

The L6/40 light tank is made by Company B, and like most Italian armor, it did not fair well.... Outdated from the onset it turned into a recon tank due to its low profile and quickness.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Crimson Doom

“The thrill of a thousand worlds dying at once, but my ultimate goal lies beyond the downfall... Bow before the Crimson King! Bow… or die!”

Continuing down the rabbit hole, we have Malifaux's master of puppets, Collodi. First off this guy comes off as a character from the streets of Venice; but going deeper he inspires the arch villain from Stephen King's The Dark Tower saga. 

 The overall basing was very ad-lib and the whole crew has got an orange dusted, white stone ruin. Part of the desert terrain found in the pages on the aforementioned book series.
 The Crimson King is intent on reaping the benefits of a decaying world.
 Part of the King's henchmen are his green "doombots". Not to give away too much of the story, but the fantasy world crosses over into modern reality. In which, the henchmen were designed on what were thought as powerful creatures from the other world's culture.

 In the book, the robot warriors were wolves in green hoods armed with golden snitch hand grenades and laser swords. One of the crazy cross overs involved in the decaying world of the The Dark Tower.
 While still reading the rules, painting progress continues!
I really like how the green turned out, got some new colors in the works to move away from my comfort zone of the red spectrum.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Turn Down the Rabbit's Hole...

... Leads to dark places.

With my adventures into Malifaux and the Neverborn faction; maybe dark modeling has been occurring...

The models that caught my eye were a lot of the nightmarish creatures and evil dreams. Part of that draw was taking models or concepts that I was frightened of myself as a child.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas. As a child I could never watch this movie and really questioned the people that enjoyed this movie. The villain, Oogie Booige, has thrived down down the rabbit hole...

 Santa had an unfortunate fate in this version of the tale....

  His pals that are up next, draw inspiration from Stephen King's The Dark Tower, and winnie the pooh.... all with a twist...

One last call out, the NOVA Open Charity Foundation has set up a blog to track the last 6 weeks leading up to the event. Check it out and buy some tickets if the fantastic armies interest you!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Silent Auction Premiere

The Silent Auction page has gone live. (Link to the right) Thanks for following this project and check back for updates about the event. 

Big thanks to my sponsor/patron, Eric Fontaine, without whom this opportunity to help support the Wounded Warriors Project would not be possible.

There are a lot of great looking projects from artists all over the country. If you are planning on attending the NOVA Open please stop by and check out all the auction items; bidding can only be done in person.

Also check out the fantastic armies being worked on by some of the top artists in the hobby on the Charity Army page.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Horse, Paper, Bear, Lizard, Spock

Man has it been a while. Since starting a new job a; finishing new projects has not been high on the check list, but I assure you gears have been put in motion.

With summer time goals a plenty I can at least share that with you!

Pulling the trigger on my new Bolt Action army, (bad pun) will see the Eastern Front Italians. Built around the Savoia Cavalry division that had a couple historic charges in the age of machine guns. While protecting the retreat of the Italian 8th army, they were ordered to defend a hill near the river Don. In the night, while on patrol, they discovered the 812th siberian Russian infantry had gotten to the hill first. With little time to prepare a defense, a saber charge was ordered. Supported by dismounted machine gun teams the cavalry used a gorge to shield the charge and broke the siberian infantry with sabers, pistols, and hand grenades.

The force will consist of a couple cavalry squads, a light tank, and some infantry. All part of the unsuccessful reorganizing of the Italian Army into fast attack divisions at the onset of the war.

Having spent ages looking for 28mm italian cavalry, I simply decided to make my own. The army will be mostly Perry Brothers miniatures and the cavalry will be made using they're French Napoleonic dragoons as the horse and lower half; while using warlords US infantry upper bodies. I have seen russian cavalry conversions but the US uniform matches the collars and shirts of the Italians better.

Company B has got some amazing vehicles and kits for much of the 1900s and onward. I encourage checking them out. They offer a lot of odd and ends kits that the main stream Warlord do not make. How can you say no to this....

Picked up my first Malifaux figure as well today. The first of a some nightmarish creatures I look forward to painting up. Completely different line of figures than I am used to and some cool chances to embrace some darker conversions.... Also only takes a couple of models to get down and play a game. Something sometimes lacking with a sorts of big projects planned long term.

While looking into new terrain that is fast to build, I came across David Graffam's PDF terrain. I have seen some photos of Bolt Action models next to them and they look great. Not mixing 2d and 3d is key for the desired effect. Anyone have experience with building PDF printed buildings? Or paper terrain? Eying the sloped street tile set. Mt Cassino still town could be the concept.

The Daily Puppy