Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of miniatures wargaming with an emphasis on 15mm World War II and Flames of War.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Fate of a Nation Book on Its Way!

The chaps over at the Reluctant Conscripts blog have posted a teaser page from the upcoming issue of Wargames Illustrated. On sale in November is a softcover book covering the Arab-Israeli Six Day War of 1967. Given this book is coming out only a month after Barbarossa, looks like my bookshelf is going to get a bit more crowded. The release of the softcover seems to follow the trend started with the Viet Nam books.

Listed in the ad as a 62 page book, Chris at Battlefront has clarified that it will actually be a 72 page book in a thread over on the Flames of War Forum. The available lists appear have been expanded from those available in the original WI supplement.

The Israelis get a tank company, a patrol company, a motorized infantry company, and a paratrooper company.  The Egyptians and Jordanians both get tank and infantry companies.  The Egyptian infantry company appears to benefit from fortifications.  Apparently no Syrians at this point - maybe there will be a PDF?

Regardless I'm looking forward to the supplement when it comes out!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

502 Schwere Panzer Abteilung Progress

I'm finally getting back to (and hopefully finishing up) my 502. Schwere Panzer Abtiluing army that I detailed in a couple of previous blog entries (here and here).  I'd originally got this one going for a 1675 point tournament last year that I wasn't able to attend because of work and other life issues, so they've been sitting around collecting dust begging for a paint job ever since.  Next month there's a 1500 point Eastern Front tournament, so I decided to pull out the army and give it another go.

The 1500 point version of the list is very modest.  Three Tiger I E, one Sd Kfz 9 recovery half track, a grenadier platoon (command panzerknacker SMG plus eight rifle MG teams), and three 15cm NW41.  Not a lot to put on the table, but hey, it should be entertaining.  I'm ultimately going with a winter whitewash scheme on the vehicles, and I'm waiting on some modulation pants for the whitewash.  While I'm waiting, I went ahead and started putting down the gray base coat as that will be visible as the winter paint was done in sections for this unit.

I'm going ahead and hitting the support equipment with the same modulation scheme as the main units.  First up are the nebelwerfers:


The Sd Kfz 9 is still a huge beast:


Finally various half-tracks and staff cars:


I'm running this as a 1942 Schwere Panzerkompanie.  The unit represented is actually painted up in early 1943 schemes, but the organization of the unit seemed to still follow the 1942 pattern based on my research until they were fully re-equipped later in the year.  While I can't use it with my current point values, I'm going ahead and working up a couple of Panzer III Ausf N.  The first photo is the base coat.


I'm using Ammo of MIG modulation paints on this starting with a base, highlight and shine.  These will be toned down with a filter - likely before the whitewash is applied.  So far the Panzer III is coming out pretty good:


Of course, the centerpiece of this army is the Tigers.  I've done a lot of modification on at least two of them.  As mentioned in previous blogs, this unit still had some initial production vehicles, and they required quite a bit of modification.  Even the normal miniature required deletion of some stowage. Below is the base coat for the Tigers.  The Ammo of MIG base coat went on without any issues.


I then went through and modulated the Tigers (everything is modulated, but some of the photos didn't come out - look for the results in a future blog).  Both the highlight and shine coats were a little thicker than I'd grown accustomed to, and required both thinning and more frequent tip cleaning on the airbrush.  The end result is looking pretty good so far, though:


Again, the filter will tame down the highlights a bit and then I can go into the whitewash.  The tracks are modulated as well:


I already have the infantry and gun crews painted and partially based.  I need to order some Battlefoam to get this army moving.  Hopefully it'll arrive in time for the tournament or I'll have to improvise.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Barbarossa Sneak Peek!

Battlefront has added a new sneak peek of the upcoming Barbarossa book on the main website.  The preview includes a fair amount of information, including some of the new releases as well as the force diagrams.  While some of the Soviet lists from Rising Sun are certainly reasonably valid to run in 1941, these new lists bring in some of the vehicles that EW Soviet players have been clamoring for including the T-34 and KV-1 and 2.

Looking at the codes available, there is a lot of Greatcoat infantry for the Germans.  This will be a nice addition to the range as the greatcoat clad figures include machine gun, mortar, anti-tank crews and artillery crews.  Also coming out for the Germans are a host of the upgraded tanks in the Panzer III and Panzer IV lines - as well as an uparmored Panzer 38(t).

Looking at the German force organization, the heavy tank hunter platoon may be no brainer - or at least a unit of 8.8cm guns as the Soviets are going to be bringing the big boys out to play.  The Germans have both a Leichte and Mittlere Panzerkompanie available, with the Light version now being based on the Panzer III - though a platoon of Panzer II's is available.  The Czech Panzerkompanie is also still available, as are the Panzerschutzenkompanie and regular Schutzenkompanie.

The Soviets have a Tankovy Battalion, a Lend Lease Tank Battalion, and a Motostrelkovy Battalion available (at least).  As expected, the cost for a T-34 obr 1941 is high with a CC command vehicle coming in at 300 points with the FC Guards version coming in at a whopping 335 points.  The moral of the story is DON'T expect to see hordes of T-34's or KV's in early war.  The thick armor and strong guns of both vehicles should make them fairly deadly on the battlefield, though.  The Soviets also have access to a "Captured Polish Armoured Train" which proves to be interesting.

I'm really looking forward to Barbarossa.  It may be enough to make me bite the bullet and finally start a Soviet army.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Martian Front Reinforcements Arriving

Several new items are beginning to pop up over on Alien Dungeon's All Quiet on the Martian Front site. These all seem to be tied to the recently announced "Wave 2" of shipments for the Kickstarter campaign. It has taken them a bit more time than originally advertised to get some of these out of the door, but at first glance a lot of the releases look pretty good.

The Americans are getting a whole variety of new troops to bolster the infantry, rough riders, and steam tanks provided in the original batch. New infantry includes a command squad, the forlorn hope teams, and armored infantry. New tanks include the artillery steamers, the clamp tank, and a Mark II command tank variant.  Artillery has also finally arrived with the anti-tripod gun and heavy field gun battery finally being available.

The Martians also have several new miniatures available as well.  The Drones are now available and the slaver tripod is available for pre-order.  The British are still "coming soon" at this point.

I've been working on paint schemes for my Martians and picked up some nice metallic paint for them.  Look for an update in a future blog.  I've also decided to go a bit further on the painting of my tanks as I've picked up some modulation paints for US armor - look for that in a future blog as well!