Sunday, December 28, 2014

28mm Russian Civil War 'Tachanka' Machine-gun Wagon

Season's Greetings Everyone!

First, just a short note to let you all know that the gallery for the second theme round of the Painting Challenge is now up in all it's glory and awaiting your viewing pleasure.

This week's theme is 'Rider(s) & Mount(s)' and as such I decided to debut a little side project of mine which will concentrate on the various colourful units and personalities of the Russian Civil War.

So, what you see here is a 'Tachanka' machine-gun wagon which were heavily used in the open expanses of the Southern Russian and Ukrainian fronts. With motor vehicles being almost non-existent at the time, and in this part of the world, it seemed only sensible to make good use of the abundance of peasant wagons and horseflesh.

It is believed by some that the name 'Tachanka' derives from the Ukrainian diminutive nickname for 'wheelbarrow'.)

These small wagons would typically be drawn by two to four horses, have a crew or three or four and be armed with a heavy machine-gun positioned to fire from the rear of the vehicle. From my understanding their tactics would be to set up in ambush and then scoot to a new firing position once things got too hot or scamper out of harm's way using the machine-gun for covering fire. (I've read of Tachanka 'charges' but these seem rather harrowing considering they would have to approach the enemy positions at the gallop and then turn around to bring their guns to bear, all the while being under enemy fire.)

This is a 28mm kit from Eureka Miniatures. It provides a wonderful build, virtually flash free with no discernible imperfections to the castings. My only caveat is that the figures are quite small to really be listed as 28mm, rather I found them closer to 25mm or perhaps 22mm. Nonetheless, the completed model still looks great and fits well enough with the rest of my collection. I've painted the crew up as Cossacks but the kit comes with another variant to have them as Red crewmen with the distinctive (if somewhat dorky) pointy 'shlem' hat.

In terms of using a Tachanka in 'Chain of Command' I'm considering using these modified rules:

- a Tachanka is classed as a fast, softskin fighting vehicle;

- for game terms it may not reverse;

- unlike normal fighting vehicles a Tachanka can be deployed from a Jump Off point to reflect their tactical doctrine of being used for ambushes;

- they can be deployed in light woods;

- as a Tachanka is open topped it has the sighting capability of an infantry unit, so they have no spotting limitations; 

- when stationary, a Tachanka fires as a top-mounted HMG at full rate of fire (10 dice) but when moving it is halved (5 dice) due to the bouncing and jostling of the highly sprung carriage;

- it is completely unarmoured so is targeted as a softskin;

- as a target it is not rated as a small target or low profile BUT when moving it always receives a -1 target modifier to reflect its evasive maneuvering (if moving in a non-urban setting);

- when hit, the horses are counted as valid targets along with the crew;

- each horse killed reduces the top speed by one dice to a minimum of 1 dice;

- a dead horse dragging in the traces slows the wagon by -2 pips on the movement dice. The carcass will need to be cut away from the traces in order for the wagon to move at its proper rate. Cutting a dead horse away takes an action to perform.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Legend of Drizzt Christmas

Hello dear readers of Analogue Hobbies. I would like to start off by thanking Curt for allowing me to hijack his blog for this post so I can share the story behind this special Christmas gift to my brother. I’m JeremyM, a member of Curt’s local gaming group and a past and present painting challenge participant.

Anyway this year I decided to give an extra special gift to my brother Jonathon. Jonathon is a pretty amazing guy. He is a medic in the Royal Canadian Regiment stationed in Petawawa Ontario, and a veteran of Afghanistan. Last year he married a wonderful local girl, Jen, and became the father to her beautiful little boy Jack. Now they are expecting another little boy on January 9th, 2015. We really can’t wait to meet the new addition!

Jonathon and I were quite different growing up. I was always a book worm, and he was much more into sports. I had tried to get him into some of the sci-fi and fantasy books I was absorbed in, but none really took. That was until I introduced him to R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt character in the Dungeon and Dragon’s Forgotten Realms books. He became completely hooked and read everything he could get his hands on about Drizzt.

To my pleasant surprise, I discovered a board game “The Legend of Drizzt” I decided to purchase the game as a gift to him. However, the minis were rather drab plain plastic, so these past couple of months I decided to paint everything up for him and the results are below.

Drizzt and his panther companion Guenhwyvar

The other heroes left to right. Athrogate, Cattie-Brie, Wulfgar, Regis, and Bruenor Battlehammer
I recognized a few of the characters from some of the older Drizzt books, but I haven’t kept up with the more recent ones and had to do a bit of guesswork on how some should look. Hopefully, the colour scheme’s I chose work alright. Because Jon has a toddler and a baby on the way, I also put several coats of varnish on with an airbrush to hopefully protect the paint jobs from the playfulness of his two boys.

A troll, demon, and my alternate snow troll
The game includes a number of rather classic enemies, like goblins, demons and trolls. I decided to make one of the trolls into a snow troll to mix things up a bit.

Three drakes, the dragon Shimmergloom, and some sort of eye monster
Good ol goblins

Three other characters Jarlaxle another dark elf, a mind flayer, and Artemis Entriri

Of course with Drizzt there are also lots of his dark elf brethren for him to fight including a drider (half giant spider half dark elf).

Dark elves and spiders, including a dark elf wizard and priestess
A few of the minis (ghosts and water elementals) were in transparent blue plastic. I decided to keep the transparent look and used a few different coloured washes to shade them. I think the black washes on the mouths and eyes of the water elementals came out particularly nice. I’m not as happy with the ghosts but they look okay in person.

3 ghosts in blue, purple and green and three water elementals
One issue I wasn’t certain of was basing. I guessed that the game’s maps would be a mix of cavern style, stone tiles, and possibly snow and ice tiles (Drizzt lives in the north after all). So I kept the figures bases rather plain and painted them dark grey and just added some gravel for texture. The figures came in different coloured plastic, so I painted the lip of the base to match that original colour in case that affected some aspect of the game play.

So Jon this was for you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy trying the game out and reliving the adventures of one of your favourite characters. I also hope that in a few years these colourful figs might attract your two boys into trying the game out and that you can introduce these books and a love of reading to them. I’m so proud of all you have done and to call you a brother.

And for all the readers of Analogue Hobbies, Happy Holidays!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

28mm Early Imperial Roman Officers

Here is my third entry to the Challenge. I'm planning a special scenario for the local group that is set during the Imperial Roman period and needed a few more Roman officer-types with whacky helmets.

These are a mix of 28mm castings from Wargames Foundry and Warlord Games. I believe they come from their Centurions and Optio packs but don't quote me on that.

The uniforms and kit are fairly fanciful, largely aligning to the Kirk Douglas and Charlton Heston school of ancient history. The reason for the absence of shield insignia on most of these models can be followed through the link above (which has a few more pics of these fellas) - it's all rather silly mainly due to the fact that I'm a complete muppet when it comes to working with decals.

Right now I'm working on my entry for next week's 'Rider(s) & Mount(s)' theme plus a few special entries for the holiday break. Now, to shoo away those odious carollers from the doorstep so I can get back to the desk...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The First Theme Round for the Painting Challenge is Now UP!

This year's Painting Challenge is now merrily bubbling along over on the Challenge blog. One aspect of the event which has grown in popularity is the fortnight Theme Rounds where participants create an entry that corresponds to a pre-set theme. 

This year I've selected seven themes for the participants to explore and have a bit of fun with. They are:

  • 'Cold' (Dec 14th)
  • 'Rider(s) & Mount(s)' (Dec 28th)
  • 'Victorian' (Jan 11th)
  • 'Myth' (Jan 25th)
  • 'Hot' (Feb 8th)
  • 'Comedic' (Feb 22nd)
  • 'Antihero' (March 8th)

The first theme, 'Cold' is now up on the Theme page, and so I invite you all to get a cup of your favourite seasonal beverage, click over to the site and enjoy the gallery which is packed full of wonderful submissions. You can even vote for all your favourite entries for which the top three get will get some bonus points! (Note: Voting closes Sunday night, Dec 21st)

For my own part, I did up this trio of Napoleonic French cavalrymen who are seen here desperately trying to make their way out of Russia, yard by yard, drift by drift, one musket shot at a time.

Again, please drop in for a visit and leave a nice comment for the participants - they've earned it!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Second Entry to the Painting Challenge: Donon 'Rouquin' Carro, French Smuggler and Pulp Adventure Hero

Above is my second entry (small as it is) to the Painting Challenge. This is Donon Carro also known as 'Le Rouquin' (The Redhead), son of Bernez, fisherman, smuggler and no particular friend to men in black boots and brown shirts. You can see a couple more shots of Donon along with a little of his background over on the Challenge blog.  My plan is to do a similar montage for all of the Carro family along with their dubious associates and nefarious enemies. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

The 5th Painting Challenge Begins!

Hi All! This is just a brief infomercial to let you all know that this year's Painting Challenge has officially launched on the Challenge blog. I've kicked-off the madness by submitting one of my favourite antiheroes from The Lord of the Rings, Boromir (C'mon, Hit Me One More Time) of Gondor. 

So, I invite you all to head over to the Challenge, check out the day's entries and say hello. The next three months are going to be a very hectic, with up to twelve new entries debuting each day - so make sure a visit to the Challenge is part of your daily ritual, you won't regret it.

Click on over and enjoy the show!