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

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What's on the Table - A Blast from the Past and a New Theater for Flames of War

So my son has reached the age where he's starting to get very interested in miniatures (just turned 8). He's somewhat interested in World War II, but while he really likes the Flames of War miniatures I do, they just aren't speaking to him yet (and 15mm is a hard scale to start with as a new painter). He's painted some fantasy miniatures in the past, but really hasn't had much to do with them, so they tend to sit around a lot. So I hit upon the idea of taking him by the local Games Workshop store to see if everyone's favorite gateway dru... ummmm... heroic wargame set in a dark future would hold any interest. All I can say is - "oh wow." He was captivated immediately - and really enjoyed watching two guys in the shop play a game.

I first started playing Warhammer 40K back in the Rogue Trader days - 1989 - so I have a fairly long history with the game. A quick perusing of all of the normal online forums confirms that, as always, 40K continues to suffer from balance issues and codex creep. While that matters to someone looking for a serious tournament scene, for the dad wanting to be able to build miniatures and play a few fun games with his son, it really doesn't matter at all. As expected, my son really gravitated to the Ultramarines, so we started with a simple tactical squad.


He pretty much absorbed that one immediately and we were able to run a few quick games. Since he'd finished that, I was able to run a horse trade for a Space Marine Strike Force (sadly out of production at this point) so he could round out his force.


Now he's been very motivated to finish his homework and do well on his spelling tests so he can build miniatures with dad! He even gets to use real glue, snippers, and a hobby knife - and for a 2nd grader he's doing pretty well:


I still have a lot of old Space Marines from way back when, but the last time I painted 40K was about 2004. As always, for me building and painting is at least half (nah - probably way more than half) of the fun so I decided to get something new so he and I could build some miniatures together and paint as a team. Owing to the plethora of Norse influences in my life via the SCA Kingdom of An Tir and Vikings on the History Channel, I bit the bullet and went with some Space Wolves. The fact that they've finally released the Wulfen of the 13th Company is also fun, and they have some boss new vehicles since last time I played as well.


I'm going to be using Vallejo paints rather than GW paints for the infantry, so my Wolves will be a little different in coloration than the standard. I'm also planning on continuing to use Ammo of MIG and airbrush shading on the vehicles, which should give my force a fairly distinct appearance on the tabletop. I'm hoping to add some runic elements to the paint schemes, especially on banners and vehicles, as I've studied Norse runestones and have done runic calligraphy and illumination in the past.

Flames of War fans, fear not! I have started a new project for Flames of War. With the Pacific books coming out, and given I wrote the overwhelming majority of the flavor text for Banzai, I've been dying to get started on my Japanese. At this point I'm starting with the Hohei Chutai boxed set (JBX01):


At this point I've got the main set of infantry sorted into individual baggies and ready for clean up and dropping them onto craft sticks for priming and painting. I'm going to go ahead and add the Nikuhaku Teams (JP706) to this painting batch, but I'll likely paint the any guns and gun teams separately. I'm (somewhat) patiently waiting for my swag order to arrive which has the bulk of the Pacific releases in it. Unfortunately finding good late war Japanese armor colors is difficult at this point - you have exactly one choice, it's a Gunze enamel.


For early war, Ammo of MIG makes a set, so I'm hoping they come out with something for late war by the time I'm actually ready to paint vehicles. I've sent them an email asking if they're looking into it, but I haven't heard anything back yet (not that I really expected to - most companies won't discuss unreleased or unannounced products). If all else fails I can mix colors.

So as always, the painting and modeling queue is fairly full at this point, but now that my son has joined in on the fun, it's become more than just a personal hobby and has become a family activity!

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