During the Battle of France (May-June 1940), there was an amazing variety of vehicles on both the German and the French sides. At this same time last year, I began putting together a collection of period 15mm/1:100 scale vehicles for this period. These were discussed here. I have previously posted about a couple of games (December 2018 and January 2019) that I ran using the What a Tanker™ rules from the UK’s Too Fat Lardies. I have been hoping to return to this period and add more vehicles to both armies. I am starting this augmentation by adding 3 FCM 36 light tanks to my fleet.
The FCM stands for Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, a shipbuilder in Toulon who manufactured this 1936 design – and delivered about 100 to the French Army up through 1938. Cost and industrial manufacturing concerns limited further purchases. They were a little more than 12 tons, with a crew of two. The armor was fairly good – welded, and very sloped for tanks of the day. It also had a diesel engine and reasonable range unlike many other contemporary French tanks. However, like many other French tanks, it was armed with the weak Puteaux SA 18 37mm gun which definitely had challenges fighting German armor. Notably, two battalions of FCM 36’s tried to repel the bridgehead that the Heinz Guderian had established across the Meuse, but they were too little and too late. After the surrender of France, some of the FCM 36 chassis were converted to Marder I’s or self-propelled artillery. Some of these conversions were involved in the Normandy Campaign of 1944. Today, only one FCM 36 survives at Saumur.
I thought these would be a good addition to my French early-war tank collection. In What a Tanker™, these are the cheapest tanks to buy point-wise. The only source I found for these models was Old Glory. They are metal, and quite small of course.
Lastly, I thought I’d share some group and individual shots and a bit about their debut on the tabletop the day after they were completed.
I used a blue diamond, a red heart, and a red club as decals which would also help identify these as different individual tanks on the tabletop. From my research, FCM’s did not seem to have as many markings historically as other French tanks.
On the other side of the table, Mike’s teammate Tom managed to kill Christine’s Panzer 38(t) with a SOMUA S-35. Mike got another FCM 36, and that was killed by Christine’s teammate Chris’s StuG A (in the shot below on the left). Mike replaced his lost tank with an R35. Tom drove his SOMUA around the building but frustratingly could not take a point-blank shot at the Panzer IIIE (as his dice roll failed him). Mike had to leave, and my wife Lynn (no gamer just watching) took over the R35. Lynn drove the tank to the side of Christine’s Panzer IIIE, and rolled three critical hits – and Christine failed to block any. This knocked out the Panzer IIIE!
That ended the game, with the French winning a very narrow victory 32-31. If Lynn had not rolled so well in killing the Panzer IIIE, the Germans would have won. Thanks to the players for a great and fun game!
I have plans for more French and German tanks for this scenario. I hope that you enjoyed this post, and feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with me in the comments section! I have been behind on my blogging efforts and hope that I can share more with you soon! Thanks for taking a look!
This was my second time attending this small convention and my first time as a game master there. For nostalgia alone, I really looked forward to the event as I was stationed at the old Fort Devens before it was closed in the 1990’s. It has since been converted to commercial uses and some US Army Reserve functions. Running a game here was fun.
Both sides started with 150 points/chips to use during the game. The Allies started with a 40 points worth of vehicles. For the UK, they bought a Dingo scout car and a Churchill “TIM” (nicknamed for theimperfectmodeler aka TIM), along with an M5 Stuart, and an M8 Greyhound for the US. The Germans spent slightly less, choosing to buy an SdKfz 231 scout car, a StuG IIIG, and a Panzer IVH for 36 points.
The Germans took up very good ambush positions – especially the Panzer IVH, which was hull-down behind a stone wall. The M5 Stuart successfully reconned it, and the German fired point-blank at the light tank, missing it. The Stuart then prudently backed up behind the hedgerow. The Churchill “TIM” then moved up the road, to be also shot at, and again missed by the Panzer IVH. Amazingly, the Churchill immediately reversed the bad German die rolls, and miraculously hit and knocked out the Panzer IVH for its first kill ring of the day.
The Allies then successfully reconned nine possible German positions at 2 points apiece, adding to their score. They also successfully crossed the tabletop with an M8 Greyhound, gained the points, and respawned as another M8. The Germans spent some points and respawned the destroyed Panzer IVH crew into a Panther D which drove up next to the burning Panzer IVH. The Churchill “TIM” went Panther hunting.
Meanwhile, the Germans tried to put an end to the Allied reconnaissance successes. The StuG IIIG ambushed both the M5 and the Dingo gaining them crucial points, which they used to buy a Marder III. The Allies respawned both losses with similar models.
The Allies spent some chips to respawn the Dingo as a Cromwell IV nicknamed “IRO” aka imperialrebelork. The Germans dropped some obscuring smoke in front of the Cromwell.
“TIM” continued its winning ways and managed a flank shot on the Panther D. Its good dice rolling (and the German bad dice rolling) yielded a second kill ring for “TIM”.
The Germans were aghast at this expensive loss and vowed revenge. The SdKfz 231 managed to call in a rare Luftwaffe air strike on the Churchill, which destroyed “TIM” after it had been so effective.
The StuG IIIG went head-to-head with the Cromwell “IRO”, and took it out. The Jagdpanther caught the Achilles “Per” in the open and made short work of it. In the meantime, the Allies successfully crossed a Dingo and an M8 Greyhound. This resulted in denying the Germans any end of game bonus points for preventing more than two Allied vehicles crossing the table.
To make matters worse for the Germans, the respawned M5 Stuart knocked out a well-hidden Marder III with some help from a supporting infantry assault (see how I use bonus attack cards here) and well-placed 37mm rounds. As the game was winding down, and it was clear the Allies had a commanding edge in the score, The Germans bought a Tiger I and converged all vehicles on the plucky M5.
At games end, the final score was Allies 193, Germans 142. This game yet again delivered a different result. Player choices, and player luck all made this game fun and unique.
This is my 12th post about my development and running of this scenario and the models that went into making it. I started back in May 2019, so it’s been a lot of work, but one project that I really am proud of now.
I wanted to honor the history and the struggle of the Allies in the days after the D-Day landing 75 years ago. I will continue to run the game, and at this point I really only need to add a StuG IV to be really complete vehicle-wise (and I have one to build!). To read about previous games and related posts, see the following:
The wonderful Barrage wargaming convention was held back on September 27-28 in Havre de Grace, Maryland. It is run by the Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers (HAWKS), and I have attended the last few years and run a few games there as well as a GM. This year marked the 25th Anniversary of the convention.
The trip was enjoyable – and even though it’s been over a month since the event – I wanted to share some of the pics and details of the event from my perspective. It’s not an all-encompassing review – but hopefully it will give you a flavor of the event and some nice views of some worthwhile and visually interesting tabletop games.
I drove down from Massachusetts and arrived Thursday night (the night before the convention) to help the HAWKS set up. As a bonus, we got to play a few turns of Eric Schlegel’s Antietam: The Cornfield game using the A Union So Tested rules set. It was a fun start.
Eric Schlegel’s ACW game
The Schlegel brothers look at the cornfield.
The convention started in earnest on Friday – and I got a chance to check out some amazing tabletops. Bill Molyneaux had a brilliant Boxer Rebellion game that had incredible terrain. I did not get to play this game, but would have loved to try it.
I walked around Friday’s game and took some pics of a few games I loved seeing (but did not get to play) before I got into playing a Feudal Patrol™ game. Here you can see a Napoleonic game (run by Dave Wood), a Gundam game, and a really neat G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. Sherlock Holmes themed game (run by Sam Fuson). There was a Flames of War Tournament. I have not played that game despite having (as regular readers know) a TON of FoW models. The games looked a bit crowded figure-wise – and maybe that’s normal for that game. Note the US TIE fighter (the gamer said he did not have a proper US plane so he painted this model)…not sure about that particular add personally.
I really wanted to try another game of Feudal Patrol™. I had played one at HUZZAH! run by Duncan Adams earlier this year. Feudal Patrol™ is a novel skirmish game (yet unpublished) and is similar to Combat Patrol™ – except it is for pike and shot periods and earlier. I am hoping to write an Aztec supplement for it for Buck.
Chris Palmer ran a War of the Roses scenario involving securing an abandoned supply train of three wagons. It was just the two of us, but as Buck came available, he joined in on Chris’ side. I started off well, but in due course I got my ass handed to me by Buck and Chris! Still, I was glad to try it and I feel confident that this will be another great system by Buck.
After this game, I walked around and took some more shots of some cool tables. There was a 54mm scale ACW game, and a 54mm medieval mayhem game. Greg Priebe had a Poland 1940 Combat Patrol™ game for replete with an armored train. Lastly, there was an Aliens-inspired scratch built table that was impressive. These shots are below.
The last game that I played on Friday was with Dave Wood and another player. It recreated the scenario made famous by the events portrayed in the movie Black Hawk Down. The rules were Force on Force, which had an interesting set of mechanics, but very complicated for a short game. We actually ran the game twice, with Dave and I as the Americans. All agreed that the scenario was impossible to win for the US. Still, the GM Carl Olsen made the experience enjoyable.
That finished off Friday. Saturday presented an opportunity to play the massive Combat Patrol™Star Wars Battle of Hoth scenario (from The Empire Strikes Back) of the Battle of Hoth that Buck and Greg Priebe ran at Historicon. It was pure eye-candy (as you’ll see below), and a blast to play. We had a full table of 10-12 players. The Combat Patrol™Star Wars supplement was used – and was easily picked up by the players who were new. Buck and Greg did an outstanding job of running this massive game.
I played with several other players on the Imperial side with the goal of destroying the Millennium Falcon before it could fly out of the cave it was hiding in with the other rebel ships. We succeeded in eventually knocking out the shield generator with an AT-AT. Subsequently the Millennium Falcon was destroyed when our forces could get a clear shot. A strategic victory was had for the Empire!
After this, it was on to setting up and running my Normandy Breakout game. I have really gotten this game to be a great gaming experience – based on both my opinion and consistent feedback from the players. This time, I had between 9 and 11 different players as some came and went.
The Germans made some very good decisions on terrain use and vehicle selection. The Allies did not choose enough reconnaissance vehicles, and were less effective using terrain as a whole. The Allies did not do a good job at crossing the table – with only a M10 Wolverine (by Dave Wood) and an M5 Stuart (by Buck Surdu) crossing the board. To be fair, the dice abandoned the Allies at a few critical junctures.
The Germans chose expensive vehicles, such as the Panther D (Greg Priebe), Jadgpanther (Andrew) and Tiger II (run by a woman known as April or “Queen Tiger” in the game), but used them effectively to stop the Allies. This put them in a points disadvantage, that they made up with their kills. Don Hogge’s used his SdKfz 233 very well to delay and harass the Allies. The Germans lost no vehicles, and the Allies lost a total of 5: a Dingo scout car, an M3A1 Stuart, an M10 Wolverine, and two 17-pounder Achilles. The Allies vehicle choices hurt them (not enough tanks and reconnaissance versus tank destroyers). This had not happened in previous runs, and is a testament to the German players having a good plan. The final score was 160-123 in favor of the Germans. I will continue to run this game – it has never been the same twice.
After picking up, the last game I played in was a Roman Circus Chariot game with rules by DeWitt. My chariot flipped and I lost – but it was fun!
And the flea market was outstanding!
Thanks to the HAWKS for a great weekend!
And thanks to you, dear reader, for looking – feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!
When I was young boy, the local TV station would show an old monster or horror movie on Saturday afternoon. Sometimes these were the of the 1960’s Japanese Godzilla et. al. genre, other times they were the B-movie sci-fi stuff from the 1950’s. Even the British Hammer remakes would be shown. Those were all cool, but the best ones were the classic 1930’s and 1940’s films like “Dracula” (1931), “Frankenstein” (1931), “The Mummy” (1932), and “The Wolf Man” (1941).
My dad would enthusiastically watch these films with us and I have really special memories of those occasions. Now of course every movie ever made can be had immediately, but back then you had to wait and hope that they would be coming on – and that made their rare showings quite eventful. The subjects of those movies have seen numerous remakes, but the originals remain classics and have had a huge impact on popular culture.
One of those influences was in the creation of games with monsters, such as Dungeons and Dragons (and others) – and the miniatures that were used with them – such as 25mm scale figures from Ral Partha. For US folks unfamiliar with 25mm scale – this is the common Ral Partha scale in the 1970’s and 1980’s and it means that each figure is only about 1″ tall.
I first was exposed to Ral Partha miniatures in 1982 – and have loved them ever since. Sculptors such as Tom Meier, Julie Guthrie, and Dennis Mize made fantastic creations that were true scale, not “hero scale” as many of today’s miniatures are. Ral Partha figures are still made today in Cincinnati by Iron Winds Metals. When I returned to the hobby in 2014, I acquired many of the old figures in various lots of figures on eBay. Among these of which I came into possession were several of the old classic movie monsters. They often were encrusted with the types of thick enamel hobby paint that was commonly used back then. I stripped many (with some damage), and put them away for future consideration.
That future consideration arrived this month. A local hobby store, Great Stories in Uxbridge, MA, has gaming and other hobby events that you can read about here. One of these events was “The Great Pumpkin Halloween Hobby Challenge”. The store had a pumpkin patch for figures to be displayed – and the only rules were that there needed to be a pumpkin (provided for $5 as entry) as part of the figure – and that it needed to be submitted by October 28th. I decided that my filed-somewhere Ral Partha monsters would make a nice diorama for the challenge. I dug into my stash, and found that I had 5 suitable figures, two werewolves, one mummy, one Dracula, and one Frankenstein’s Monster. I wanted to push myself with the mini-diorama – as I have been admiring many of those by theimperfectmodeler for years (check one of his recent dioramas here). I am nowhere near his creative league (he is award-winning) – but his work is inspiring and I wanted to see if I could accomplish something of which I could be proud. I decided to use an old DVD and card as a base and a Woodlands Scenics rock as elevation. The edge of the pumpkin patch would be on the DVD so I could line it up on the display at the store.
The effect that I wanted was that of having these classic monsters coming from off the pumpkin patch and moving to prey upon the unwary townsfolk beyond.
Again, these are 25mm figures so they don’t stand out like larger models. This is what we had back in the day! I will share details of each of the five models, and then the completed piece. As is my custom, I will list the paints and materials I used at the end of this post for those interested. I did use many Citadel Contrast paints as base paints.
The Dracula/vampire model was #01-014, a Tom Meier sculpt from the Personalities and Things that Go Bump In The Night line. The base had “Ral Partha 1976” on it. I probably over-cleaned it – but the details on it – especially the face – were not great. Trying to get the right skin tone for Dracula was a challenge – and the lack of detail did not help. I wanted Dracula to be the highest model on the diorama – like he was sending his evil minions forth. The rock had a nice place for me to place Dracula’s base as its size and shape were considerations as well (it was not a removable base).
The Mummy model was #01-020, another Tom Meier sculpt from the Personalities and Things that Go Bump In The Night line. It was also from 1976. This was the easiest to paint and I thought it came out as desired.
The Were Wolf (crouching model)
The were two werewolf models that I used. The first werewolf was in a crouch. This model was “Were Wolf” #01-061, (two words) – yet another Tom Meier sculpt from the Personalities and Things that Go Bump In The Night line. However this one was from 1979. I wanted to have this one climbing up the back slope of the rock, giving a little more depth to the piece.
The Werewolf (standing model)
This is the second of the two werewolf models that I used. This model is standing (and this one is wearing pants). It is “Werewolf” #98-003, (one word). This could have been sculpted by Tom Meier, Julie Guthrie, or Dennis Mize, as the Lost Minis Wiki is not clear on that. The sculpt is from the The Adventurers line and has 1979 on the base. I wanted this beast standing in the front of the diorama.
Often called “Frankenstein”, this is actually Frankenstein’s Monster (created of course by Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The model is another one from The Adventurers line and has the designation #98-003. The detail on this was also fairly good for a model from 1979.
The pumpkin was a from a Reaper sprue -and had to be part of the contest submission.
Basing the models after painting them required a bit of landscaping. To fit better on the hobby challenge table, I made a field edge with Citadel “Stirland Battlefield” on the field and “Agrellan Badlands” on the rest of the ground. I added autumn leaves from 4Ground (now available from Warlord Games here) to the still-wet texture paints and some matte varnish droplets on the rock. These were placed as how I thought they would naturally collect – as well as to break up the form of the flat mini bases that were mounted on the rock. Then, I used a handheld hair dryer to dry the terrain (and crack the Agrellan Badlands a bit). I added some grasses from Shadow’s Edge Miniatures. These also helped to hide Dracula’s base a bit.
Once it all had dried, I removed the piece from the poster tack.
I then drove down to Great Stories to get it entered. There are a lot of nice pieces there, so we’ll see how it does – and of course most folks who will vote are not used to wee 25mm scale! It did mesh well with the edge of the pumpkin patch. At the least, I’ll have a Halloween decoration for many years!
Thanks for looking – and I always love getting feedback and any opinions in the comments section, so feel free to post there.
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE FIGURES:
On the base:
Gorilla Glue gel
Woodland Scenics resin rock
Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
Citadel “Stirland Battlemire” (texture)
Citadel “Agrellan Badlands” (texture)
4Ground Loose Copper Foliage
Shadow’s Edge Static Grass Tufts
Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
Commonly used on all figures for mounting, priming, and varnishing:
This blog has the subtitle Life, Golf, Miniatures, & Other Distractions. Mostly it has been focused on hobby stuff- notably miniatures and gaming – and less on the other – and often more important – aspects of Life. This post will be a bit different for some of you regular readers and I hope that you find it interesting. As of this writing I am happy to say that this blog has had nearly 25,000 visitors and over 100 followers from dozens of countries. It’s an enjoyable aspect of my blogging, and I have been able to connect with many like-minded people all over the planet. Here, I aim to give a limited view into my alma mater and a bit into my own related history. It’s a personal glimpse to a large extent, and by no means complete, but one I decided to share some thoughts and photos. Hopefully it’s not overly self-indulgent, but I wanted to write this up. If you are my classmate, or fellow USMA grad, and reading this, I hope that you get that, and of course GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY!
Last month I had the privilege of attending my 35th college reunion.
Thirty-five years – wow.
I am a proud member of the United States Military Academy Class of 1984. Our class motto is “Best of the Corps” – which we chose while just fledgling members of the USMA Corps of Cadets. That motto certainly did not endear us to the upper classmen from the classes of 1981, 1982, and 1983 at the time. Some of you may be more familiar with USMA’s more common name – West Point. We were all commissioned into the US Army in May 1984 as second lieutenants. Only a handful are still wearing the uniform on active duty.
Regrettably, I had not attended any previous class reunions – something “always came up” with family or work. Our class of 985 people has now lost 32 brothers and sisters. Four of the lost are even former roommates of mine, and many more were friends I knew well. Some of course I only knew from seeing their faces in obituaries. No matter what, I was never going to see these fallen comrades again, and that really stuck in my craw. This time, I was determined to attend, honor the fallen, and share some camaraderie with my classmates while it was still possible. I fervently hope to attend more class events in the future, and hope that we all grow old well. As for the lost – I also wanted to honor my late classmates by attending the Memorial Service for them. Below is the program booklet from that service.
The service was very classy and moving – and those who participated as lectors and speakers (noted above) all did an outstanding job. I’ll always remember how Craig Bohn sat next to me in the pew and sang “The Corps” and “The Alma Mater” like an angel (really impressive). On the list of the lost above, many I called friends. I knew most, and roomed with four – Craig Hogan, Bill Fallon, Troy Overton, and Mike Wooley. Too soon for all of them, and honoring them was a major motivation for my attendance this year. God rest their souls.
After the service, which happened on Thursday, we had several activities through the weekend which I will share some shots of as well.
The first reunion event was actually a class golf outing at the West Point Golf Course on Wednesday (the day before the Memorial Service). I did not want to start with describing it here, as the Memorial Service, in my view, was more important. I played with Glenn Goldman and Matt Johnson and we had a blast. I did not play up to my desired level, but hey, we had fun. I only wish that I had some shots of us playing. I had not played the course since the early 2000’s – and the hole markers were awesome. Each described a war/campaign/battle in a lot of detail (especially for a hole marker) and referred to the West Pointers involved. They covered the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts. I really liked them and thought I’d share them below.
The Thursday golf was a nice start to the weekend. Much catching up occurred that night back at the Park Ridge, NJ Marriott – to continue all weekend. Things started well with a few beers with Tom Eisiminger. There was certainly a lot of socializing over the weekend – ending up with a class dinner on Friday night, a parade on Saturday, revisiting West Point, and of course an Army football game against Morgan State. It was great to be among fellow classmates and graduates.
For those who are not USMA grads or classmates, some background. As a start, I was in company F-4 (company F, 4th Regiment) for my last three years. I was in C-1 during my plebe (freshman) year. My yearbook photo was fine – well sort of. Fellow F-4 Frog Bruce Bruno (from photo above) wrote my blurb underneath. Only by the time it went to press the girl I was involved with (and had at the time planned to marry) had broken it off! I also had Aviation branch listed (the wings). I started after graduation as a helicopter pilot, but decided to leave flight school. As I had failed a simulator check-ride in instruments, I was told that I’d have no chance to get into Apaches or Blackhawks as a result, only Hueys. So, I changed branches, became a combat engineer officer, and enjoyed that greatly until I left the Army in 1992.
You can see multiple pieces of equipment in some of these shots – helicopters, tanks, artillery, and more. They were there to show the First Class as they decided which branch of the Army they might want to choose to enter after graduation next May.
One of my classmates who has really served the nation well (and there are many who have) is one hell of an impressive dude. H.R. McMaster is a retired three-star general, the author of Dereliction of Duty, and formerly President Trump’s National Security Advisor. We got a chance for a photo together on the Plain after the parade. Today he’s at Stanford University.
At the parade in the reviewing stand was also the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, USMA Class of 1986. With him was the current and Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, LTG Darryl A. Williams. He is a member of the USMA Class of 1983, and was in my company F-4. He was also a very tough football player. More importantly, he was smart, decent, a true leader, and funny as hell. He has had a stellar career. My first semester Firstie (senior) year (1983), he was assigned to my platoon as he was a December grad – so I was his last platoon leader – and the late Mike Wooley (from above) was with me as roommate and platoon sergeant. It is very gratifying to see him as Superintendent developing new leaders for the US Army. He was swamped with people after the parade, but we F-4 folks snuck in for a photo and that was great!
After the parade, we hit the old officers club for a pre-game tailgate and to change into more suitable game for an Army football game. Angie Gaston and I took a stroll along the Plain to our old barracks, checked out the equipment, and watched the helicopters take off.
Angie Gaston and I then made a visit to our old home – that being the 43rd, 44th, and 45th Divisions – our old barracks, Scott Barracks, which dates from 1938. The Divisions are very different from the other barracks. Think of them as stacked milk cartons put side-by-side with no connections horizontally (except occasionally on the first floors). Divisions are thus arranged vertically – with four cadet rooms and a restroom per stacked floor (with 5 or 6 floors per Division) – if fading memory serves. Again, as opposed to long dormitory hallways there are no horizontal connections between the Divisions. It was a fun environment, though if you were on the top floor you got a workout going back and forth to class. A current G-4 cadet was nice enough to take our pictures – and now this is part of G-4 as F-4’s current barracks is located elsewhere.
Then on the way to Michie Stadium, we got some shots of LTG Williams current home!
The game was a blast – and it was a very warm and sunny day. Hung out with Pat Scanlan and Kyle Ray – and even got some Steve Kreipe and Shamus Hanlon time in!
It was a great weekend, and one that I will cherish the memories of for a long time. We are all getting older and a 35-year gap is frankly way too long between catching up. That’s on me – I will do better.
Classmates Jack Picciuto and Curt Cozart did an outstanding job in organizing the reunion – and great thanks to them. Also, a shout out to Steve Epling, Randy Lee, and Meg Gordon who keep us all connected on the world wide web. Lastly, I want to thank all of my fellow classmates who I got to catch up with and who thankfully retained a memory (mostly good) of me. I definitely was thrilled to relive memories with you.
As always, I appreciate any feedback you may have in the comments section – thanks for looking!
Back in 1978 and 1979, Archive Miniatures produced a line of figures for the board game Cosmic Encounters. According to the Lost Minis Wiki, at some point Archive Miniatures produced a line of figures for the board game. These included four catalog items: “Wrack” (#2101), “Oracle” (#2102), “The Mind and the Macron” (two figures for #2103) and “The Healer, Zombie, and Sorcerer” (three figures for #2104). I am not sure if that was a limited release as the research I could find on the 1977 version of Cosmic Encounter seemed to suggest that there were many alien races available for the game – many more than this page from the Lost Minis Wiki suggests were made. Cosmic Encounter continues to be sold and is available in its current configuration here.
In any case, I stumbled on the Macron three years ago, and managed at some point since to acquire a complete set including The Mind since then. My goal back then in acquiring the Macron figures was to have basically a squad of giant cosmonaut zombies for retro sci-fi games of Buck Surdu’s Combat Patrol™. Having The Mind as the unit leader controlling the giant zombie cosmonauts seemed to be a nice concept for a unit. I wanted a unit of ten, and I previously posted here how I made a mold and recast many more. I had since shared these with Buck and IRO as shown here and here respectively. I also wanted to complete these in September as part of Azazel’s“Scenic and Squaddie September ’19 Community Painting Challenge” that I try to share in when I can. Amazingly, it has been three+ years since I recast these figures, and I thought I’d better do something other than tanks for a bit! As an aside, this last month has been a bit crazy, as I had my 35th West Point reunion, job interviews, BARRAGE in Maryland, etc. I am hoping to catch up on reading others’ blogs and posting on the events of September soon! It’s been a while since I managed to complete a blog entry too.
Ironically, the Macron figures were sculpted by Nevile Stocken in 1979 – and the current president of France, Emmanuel Macron was born in 1977! So of any of you thought I was making that up, I have provided the links.
Back to the project – I found my recasts to be satisfactory, but I needed to do a good amount of filing and green stuff repairs to bring the recasts up to a good standard. The figures are large – about 2¼” (about 57mm for you metric types). The Mind is about half as high, but bulky. However, as these will be used as aliens, I can get away with them as giant cosmonaut zombies! I also have been looking at many posts from folks trying the new Contrast paints from Games Workshop. I thought this project would afford a nice opportunity to try them and learn about how best to employ them in the future.
I made this color palette for my Contrast Paints – and it was helpful.
So after varnishing – The Mind and The Macron – and their base colors – for your enjoyment:
The Mind (frontal view)
The Mind (rear view)
Blood Angels Red
And a couple of group shots:
My take on the contrast paints is quite similar to that of Azazel on his blog – he has a lot of experiments (he’s up to 12 at last look) and I did lean somewhat on his experiences a bit. I will use them as base coats when the figures need some pop – but I really think they are not a be all and end all line of products. Like every other paint/wash/glaze/ink etc., the user can find a niche – or a broad use – depending on the desire you have for the final product. I like what the contrast paints did here – but I don’t want to use them on a Tiger II! So, another tool in the kit bag – but I really think I’d want to continue to wash, shade, highlight, etc. on future projects.
Thanks for looking and hopefully you enjoyed reading about and seeing these. Let me know your thoughts, faves, (or least faves if you want!). I appreciate the feedback as always, and will be catching up on my blogging this week (I hope)!
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE FIGURES:
Last Saturday, September 7th, Scott Howland ran a very fun game of GASLANDS at our September gaming session. We had several new players and some young players with their dads (which was cool in and of itself). We had played this game a few times before, and Scott had some really cool new terrain for the race. His scenario was the “Johnny Cab Invitational” as a nod to the Johnny Cab in the 1990 film Total Recall. Scott plans to run this game at CARNAGE in Killington, Vermont in November.
As I got to play I got to take a few more pictures – the race was a real thrill ride (pun intended).
At this point, I closed for the kill. Nothing remained between Johnny Cab and the race course but Christine’s damaged and burning vehicle. Mike’s cab was far behind. My machine gun missed again – but my third Molotov cocktail hit and unfortunately caused a chain reaction with Christine’s own unused Molotov cocktails. The explosion damaged my Johnny Cab and destroyed it and the VW. At this point, Mike was just getting back to Gate #1 after getting off the wall. As the sole survivor, he won! Amazingly, he won our last GASLANDS game as a survivor as well – enjoy your prize Mike – a free trip to Mars! Your second trip!
The game went very quickly even with many new players. Scott’s vehicles and board were fantastically fun! I lent my new blast markers to the game and I think they worked well (and were very popular with the younger players to be sure). Thanks VERY MUCH to Scott for a well-run and fun game.
Our next session is a road trip to the Fort Devens Game Day on October 19th. Scott will be running a pulp game there, and I will be running my Normandy Breakout game. The November session for the Mass Pikemen will be on either November 2nd or November 9th from 2-7 PM, games TBD.
If you are interested in joining the Mass Pikemen, our Facebook group link is here. Join us!