Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Perils of Kickstarter - Over Promising - Under Delivering

Crowdfunding and Kickstarter has been a cornerstone of game development for several years now, and I last touched on some trends about two years ago in a blog post. Only a few days after that post, one of the miniature games I'd supported, All Quiet on the Martian Front (AQMF), abruptly shut down and its owners declared bankruptcy. While that particular property was eventually purchased and its new owners are trying to make a go of it, what looked initially to be a game with a broad player base now appears to firmly be a niche property. AQMF isn't alone in encountering difficulties in fulfilling their campaign obligations, as now the Robotech Kickstarter, which had been struggling to produce "Wave 2" for over a year, has finally thrown in the towel in a major way.

As of yesterday, Palladium announced that not only will "Wave 2" not be produced, but that the company's 30 year old license to produce Robotech games (role playing and otherwise) has expired and will not be renewed. This means that they'll effectively be having a firesale for existing product and not making any additional product. You can read the details of the announcement in the link above, but ultimately the failure of both the AQMF and Robotech Kickstarter campaigns come down to poor planning, poor management, and a "wave" strategy which can be Kickstarter speak for "Ponzi scheme" in many instances.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

T-72 Adventures in Photography

I'm still playing around with the settings and lenses I have available for my Nikon because I wanted to go for more depth of field in the photos. I think I'm making some progress here:

I'll continue to experiment and will post the final "recipe" once I get everything ironed out...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

East German T-72 Company - DONE!

My NVA (East German) T-72 company is finally painted, weathered, and the lot. I even worked out getting some decent photos taken of them, though I still need to work with the light levels a bit to get all of the details to pop. Going back over the photos, I likely have one or two details to add back in (haven't hollowed out all of my gun tubes yet), but that's minor compared to what it's taken to get here from where the started out.

Red tanks on the prowl

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Review: AK Interactive's Middle East Wars 1948-1973

In anticipation of the upcoming Fate of a Nation release for Team Yankee / Flames of War, I've been planning out my armies and looking for additional good references to get them all painted up and ready to go. AK Interactive has released a book covering the Middle East Wars from 1948 to 1973, and it is a rare gem. Packed with color photos and illustrations throughout, the book covers the major conflicts in the region in good detail, and at a price of €20,95, or about $25 U.S., it's a pretty good deal as well.

The book opens with an introduction giving a little of the history of the region and its conflicts from the Israeli War of Independence through the Yom Kippur War, and then moves on to discussing vehicles on a nation by nation, rather than a conflict by conflict, basis. The opening chapter is a bit light, but covers British and French vehicles used in the Suez Crisis of 1956. There is a very large chapter covering Egyptian vehicles in all their dizzying variety. Jordan, unfortunately, does not receive nearly the same level of attention and is lumped into a chapter with Algeria. The chapter covering Syrian vehicles is extremely detailed, and the variety of camouflage schemes used is amazing. This section closes with a chapter covering Israeli vehicles which are no fewer in number, but generally have less variety in paint schemes.

A couple of images from the Egyptian section

The book then goes on to discuss Arab vehicles captured by the IDF - largely in the 1967 War which were employed against their former owners in the 1973 War. This section is very useful because it shows many of the vehicles in their original Arab camouflage schemes. The book closes with a couple of chapters detailing surviving vehicles - many of which are at the Israeli Armored Museum at Latrun.

Overall the book is a treasure trove of images that anyone building a force for the upcoming Fate of a Nation release could use as inspiration. There are a couple of errors I've noted, most of which I think could be translation issues (referring to Sherman HVSS and VVSS suspensions as Horizontal "Volt" and Vertical "Volt" rather than Volute), but there are extremely minor and don't detract from the work as a whole. Overall I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in this period either from a modeling or wargaming perspective.