Monday, July 16, 2012

Kampfgruppe Bäke Up Close

Here are my finished Kampfgruppe Bake Vehicles. They turned out pretty well. I still have a few tiny details that I forgot, but i'll get to them when I do the vehicle crews and finish the Bergepanther. I also have winter coat Germans to paint as well to totally finish up the Kampfgruppe Bake.

I used a blue background for these pictures because of the whitewash, so we'll see how they turn out.

Let me know what you think.

Kampfgruppe Bäke First Showing

Took my Kampfgruppe Bäke to their first tournament this weekend.  I didn't take as many pics as I thought, but later tonight I will post some beter pics of the finished vehicles.

2 great things happened at this tournament.

I met a few people that I've been chatting with on the FoW Canada Forum.  Chris and Wayne.
Chris is a funny funny guy.  Seems to have the same sarcastic humour that I have.  I suggest not letting him talk to "those" Saskatoon guys, because they will just end up hatting him.
And Wayne, who was all worried about his non-Battlefront miniatures.  Ended up he had like one little no BF guy mounted on his tanks.  Couldn't even tell.  Although he finished 2nd, so maybe I should call foul?  Na, what a good guy.  Apparently everyone else thought so because he was the only one to get FULL sportsmanship marks. 

The 2nd great thing is that the tournament app had its first successful run.  Even tested groups out.  There were 3 groups that didn't want to play each other.  The app preformed great.  Chris even mentions it in his Blog Report.  He was worried he and his buddy were going to end up playing each other.  We had one little hiccup because a player left early but didn't really affect any of the logic in the app. 

On to the tournament.

Round 1 I played Duncan.  This was the buddy that came with Chris.  I believe that Duncan is a newish player.  He showed me that I don't play enough.  I was forgetting all kinds of rules.  Not the rules nazi's greatest moment that is for sure.  I did end up beating him thanx to some bad rolling by Duncan.  He also wasn't as aggressive as a soviet player needs to be.  But he will be a good player if he keeps at it.  A joy to play for sure.  Squeaked out a 5-2 win.  

Round 2 I played Chris.  Well talk about the worst army on the worst table in the worst mission.  No Retreat  on the most open table I've ever seen.  I know lots of people hate really open tables, and even though this was the worst situation for my army ever, I still like open tables.  Armies don't always get to decide where battles happen.  The thing is when I say I like open tables,  people seem to think I only like open tables.  No, I think at tournaments there should be a mixture of terrain heavy tables and more open tables.  Needless to say, because the table was so open, and because Chris had so much AT, instead of sitting back and getting picked off little by little, I decided to be super aggressive away from the Konigstiger.  I was pretty much wiped off the map.  I think the one main key for me is true to form I failed my first Stormtrooper move and my half-tracks blocked everyone else's stormtrooper move.  But Chris was still very fun to play and I can say the only person I lost to was the Champion.<

Now my 3rd game is funny as hell.  I played the tournament organizers son a few months back in a for fun game and he absolutely spanked me.  So, I've been playing up that I need my revenge game and that the  Kampfgruppe Bäke was built specifically defeat him.  Because of that a few accusations were thrown my way when Levi and I were matched up in round 3.

We played Hasty Assault and I ended up being a defender.  How often do a bunch of tigers and panthers have to defend?  Things did not start off well for me.  I started with 4 Panthers and my 3 armoured AA guns on the table.  He came flying down with his T-34's.  At one point he had all my panthers and 1 of my AA guns bailed out.  Lucky for me my AA guns kept his Sturmovik at bay for a few turns.  I failed my first reserves roll and these were the only units I had on the table for 4 turns.

I think it was the 4th turn Levi's dice turned against him.  He had 4 side shots one of my panthers and couldn't finish him off.  I don't think he rolled higher then a 3 the rest of the game.  My tigers came on in the 5th turn and I went on the offensive.  My panthers and tigers together were just too much for the Soviet armour.  I ended up with a 6-1 win.

All in all a very fun tournament except for the heat.  The owner told us he was turning the AC on, but I think he thinks AC means turn the one fan on upstairs.  There was no AC.

Chris ended up taking first overall.  Wayne was 2nd and took home Best Sportsmanship.  2 of the "Non-Ass" Saskatoon guys (Rob and Lorne) took 2nd and 3rd overall...which doesn't really mean 2nd and 3rd overall.  since Wayne took sports and I was 3rd and took Best Historical.

Funny story that I took as a compliment, when they announced that I won best paint, Rob rolled his eyes and said "Curtis wins paint, again!".

Lance did up some cool little trophies as well, and I was lucky enough to take one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kampfgruppe Bäke Log Part IV - Test Models are for Beginners.

Don't know if everyone reads the comments, but someone had suggested that I try things on test models.  I don't really believe in that.  I'm a developer by trade, and in that world your test "environment" has to be exactly the same as your production.  I take painting tanks the same way.  If I try some new technique you never know what can affect the results.  So, I'm not going to paint an entire tank exactly how I want just so I can test using something new.  You never know what kind of chemical reaction can occur.  I may try BF's pigments on a test model where I didn't spray it with hairspray, paint it white, and try to scrub it all off.  It may look completely different.  I just can't justify painting 2 models every time I want to try something new.  especially since I almost always try something new on every model.

What I usually do is test most things on Transports that are part of the army.  For instance I tested a lot of this stuff on the kubalwagon in the armoured artillery battery.  Because most of the time transports don't matter.  I don't even have to take that piece if it turns out really crappy.  my HQ and scouts can just start unmounted.

But, everyone has their own way, and different things work for different people.  I just have too many things to paint.  I'd rather have a crappy model painted that I can fix later then more unpainted things.  If this Bake army doesn't turn out, ill leave it as is, and then some time down the road i'll put it in the Simple Green and try again.  This actually really works out for me because usually 6 months to a year down the road my painting has improved so much that I would end up wanting to paint it over again anyway, even if it was really good at the time.

Well, I've painted all the tracks muddy, and let some of the spray go up on the tank.  I really like this effect rather then using a brush.  Then I used devlin mud thinking it would make the creases darker.  It didn't.  So once again I'm still having terrible troubles with washes.  I just can't get them to do what I want.  Maybe I just have to go to a pen.

To be honest painting all the tracks like this was a total cop out.  The one thing I absolutely hate (because I suck at it) is painting the damn road wheels on tanks.  So, these tracks are full of mud and snow.  

I've started adding snow using Tamiya sticks, the same as the mud ones I used before...except snow.  I love these sticks, they work great, but they seem to get on the raised parts instead of more in the creases.  It's far more obvious with snow then it was with mud.  I'm going to try doing a bit more manual work on them today or tomorrow.  But using the 3 foot rule they definitely look like they are driving through snow.

I also tried for the first time the BF pigments.  Wow, these things are awesome.  I was really nervous about using them. (to bad I didn't have a test model.) And its really hard to find people who know how to use them.  One thing I did read is that most people use paint thinner with them.  Well that's just fine and dandy, but how much?

So, I said to hell with it and just tried it.  It turns out it doesn't really matter how much paint thinner.  Its not like mixing paint to go through an airbrush.  I brushed it on and it when on with a gritty texture.  It looked great.  I made the mistake of thinking it was going on like paint, because when it dried it turns back into a powder and still comes off on your fingers.  NOTE TO SELF: do pigments very very very last.

I put pigments on the gun barrels and tracks on the hull.  I'd have to say I really like how they look.   With the airbrushing my tracks and pigments, I'm thinking of totally revamping how I do tank tracks.  Pigments are now a MUST!  We'll just see how they look after the varnish.  Might have to do them again after.

So here is what they look like so far.  Again crappy pictures taken at workstation with phone...But I am almost done, so I will be good pictures soon.  Think I want to do a bit of pin washing, a bit more details, and I have to do the commanders.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Kampfgruppe Bäke Log Part III - Hairspray is for Chicks

Ya...the hairspray thing didn't work so well.  I'm not really sure what happened.  I thought I had pretty good coverage, but maybe not.  Maybe my airbrush paint is too good.  Maybe I let the hairspray dry to long.  I used an aerosol can, but maybe should have just bought a bottle and ran it threw my airbrush.

But, I was led to believe that hairspray dissolves with water.  I scrubbed the shit out of these vehicles.  It was a struggle to get the paint that did come off removed.  At one point I even tried using a toothpick to scrape it off.

I was about to give up and drop every single vehicle in the Simple Green.  But, I figured I can do that any time so I might as well see how they turn out.

I'm still having a hell of a time with washes.  I decided to try Devlan Mud.  Works not to bad so far.  Basically the same as the BF Shades.

I'm giving everything a coat of thinned down devlan mud. and then going back over some parts with the white.  Makes it look kinda dirty.

Because not as much white came off as I had hoped, I decided to paint the entire tracks and wheels muddy. Then i'll put some packed snow here and there.  They are actually starting to turn out.  I may not dump them in the Simple green after all.  At least I know my paint and varnish work well, because I scrubbed the piss out of those things.

Pictures are just at my work station, so they kinda suck. but I'm sure you get the "picture"