Monday, December 21, 2020

Pass in Review: Some German Vessels of Cruel Seas, Part 1

(Wikipedia image:  Seibel Ferry)

So far, I’ve only completed a few Kriegsmarine craft.  

The first, are a pair of “War Fish Cutters.” 

Both are painted nearly identical, except the large life rafts are orange on the first vessel...

...and yellow on the second one:

I guess I’ve been too infatuated with the larger, Kriegsmarine ships, because I never heard of Kriegfishcutters until I started collecting Cruel Seas vessels. 

The hull and superstructures were painted “Wolf Fur” gray from my  Army Painter set, while the deck was painted “Leather Brown” from my Reaper Learn-To-Paint kit.  I splashed on some Vallejo Paint grey and rust ink-wash to give the boats a grungy, weathered look.

Since I have a large micro-armor collection, I wanted to get some of my Siebel Ferries finished and ready to go.

Two are now painted, while I have two unpainted ferries still “in dry dock.”

I wanted my ferries to be as versatile as possible, so I didn’t glue any of the guns to the vessels’ deck.

Here’s a couple of bare-deck views:

Here’s a couple of views, of a ferry in “full gunship mode:”

I don’t know if having "loose cannons on deck" will be practical during gaming sessions.

However, I want to try and utilize these vessels for transporting vehicles during a game session.

Here’s some views of a ferry carrying several vehicles:

I have a lot more ships and boats to assemble and paint.  I’m not sure which vessels I’ll start working on next.  I have a few other painting projects I want to finish first, but please stay tuned. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Pass in Review: Some Japanese Vessels of Cruel Seas, Part 1

(Wikipedia mage:  A Shin Yo suicide motorboat)

I’m still in the process of painting the smallest and easiest boats in my Cruel Seas collection.  

The following are some examples of my Imperial Japanese Navy vessels.

I finished-up the last of the Daihatsu-class landing craft.

Unlike “fully manned” set, these empty versions are taken from the deck of the No-1 class fast transport T-6, which I haven’t gotten around to assembling yet.

I painted these empty landing craft the same “Filthy Cape” color from my Army Painter set, and slathered with Vallejo paint, grey ink wash.

Next, I assembled and painted four AB-Tei gunboats

These armored boats were actually used by the Imperial Japanese Army to support their riverine operations in China.

Here I staged a couple armored boats guarding a landing site.

I found these vessels easy to assemble (super gluing 3 turrets), and paint.  I tried distinguishing the individual ships by painting the 6 midship top hatches a different color., while the main hulls are “Filthy Cape” grey, with grey ink wash.

During World War II, Japanese forces employed a number of special attack units... include kamikaze boats.

The Warlord Games set contains 6 boats, 3 armed with depth charges...

...and 3 with rockets:

These were the tiniest and easiest boats in my collection to paint, since they’re all solid pieces.

More than 400 allied vessels were struck by Japanese suicide attack weapons during the last year of the war...

...everything from landing craft to battleships and aircraft carriers.

A couple years ago, historians discovered a kamikaze boat base on Formosa

My next Cruel Seas post will feature a couple of German vessels.  Stay tuned! 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Pass in Review: Reaper Pulp Action Figures

While my siblings, friends and I grew up after the Age of  Serial Films, many of them run on the New York City network-affiliated stations.  These shows aired before the prime time hours, or late Saturday mornings after the cartoons. 

I remember watching some episodes of Buck Rogers, and Flash Gordon, and probably a few others I can’t remember; along with listening to a few episodes of  The Shadow which our hometown radio stations brought back on the air for a bit. 

The show that caught our attention the most when we were little kids was Our Gang/The Little Rascals.  One or more of our pet dogs would follow us around on our own misadventures, and we often tried building similar contraptions—go-carts, tree forts and the like—based on what the rascals did in the series. Often with the same calamitous results. 

Then as we got a bit older we got into The Bowery Boys (previously known as The Dead End Kids and East Side Kids).  We use to tussle around in our back yards and re-enact the fight scenes of the most recent episode we watched.  I guess the idea of fighting bad guys (as the “light side” Bowery Boys) in and around New York City appealed to us pre-teen Upstate New Yorkers.

But our lives didn’t just revolve around what was on the “boob tube.”  We read the comic book versions of pulp magazines, primarily Conan the Barbarian, and Solomon Kane.  

Although our moms were a bit leery of the Vampirella comics we read as teenagers, they didn’t outright forbid us from buying any issues. 

Anyway, spicy adventure stories aside, sometime between buying my last issue of Vampirella and the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, I got into wargaming and role-playing games.

While my main focus is on historical, science fiction and heroic fantasy, I have a few pulp action games in my collection.

I bought Fortune and Glory and the two boxed expansion sets shortly after they were released.

A few years ago, I stumbled across a copy of Justice Inc at Half Price Books.

After last month’s shopping therapy session, I added Rattrap Productions.45 Adventure (1st Edition).

Eventually, I’d like to get my Fortune and Glory pieces painted, but in the meantime, my friend Peter finished the handful of pulp action figures for me.

While writing this post I took the time to concoct a title using my Comic Life program:

What follows is my Gallery of Pulp Heroes from Reaper Miniatures (Modern), somewhere on the grimy streets of Midnight City (you may have to scroll down on the linked pages to see the unpainted figure):

1. Agatha Fox, female spy, front view...

...rear view:

2. Sister Maria, front view...

...rear view:

3. Sascha DuBois, time chaser, front view...

...rear view:

4. Nightslip, pulp era heroine, front view...

...confrontation view...

...rear view:

5. The Black Mist, front view...

...rear view:

6. Rex (Dark Future Hero), front view...

...rear view:

7. Meanwhile, Frank Buck, adventurer, is exploring some remote part of the world, front view...

...rear view:

Uh-oh.  Looks like Frank got more adventure than he bargained for...

The "giant" snakes are some cheap kids' gag toys I bought years ago for just such occasions.

Here's a group photo:

Well, it seems like Frank made it back from his Adventure in the Cave of the Giant Snakes, but Agatha Fox must have disappeared on one of her clandestine missions.  (Translation:  I forgot to include her).

When the chips are down, my gang of heroes aren't above to plagiarizing catch-phrases:

Monday, November 2, 2020

Pass-in-Review: Reaper Western Miniatures

Image from: DL Online--Westerns Are A Unique American Genre

I’ve had mixed feelings about the Western genre my whole life.  While I like western movies, I’ve only read one or two western novels, and a handful of comic books.

The same goes for gaming.  

During my teen years, my friend Jim hosted rousing western games, like Boot Hill...

...and Gunslinger, that my fellow “eastern city-slickers” and I still remember with great fondness.

But I never bought my own copies, nor purchased any figures or terrain.  Gunslinger was a tabletop game using cardboard counters and a map board, while we played Boothill old-school style—with papers and pencils.

So after I left my hometown, my interest in Old West skirmish games or role-playing games (RPGs) went into hiatus. 

Until now.

It’s not a question of whether or not I like the genre, I do.  It’s a problem of my limited storage space, prioritizing my meagre gaming time and finding a group interested in playing.

Maybe my interest in the Old West was rekindled when I finally got to see the remakes of  True Grit, and The Magnificent Seven, along with Hostiles.

While I still prefer the original movies over the remakes, I thought the recent reboots did a credible job.

Whatever my true motivations were, I managed to get a copy of Legends of the Old West... Half Price Books for a reasonable price, and was able to cram it into a spot on my bookshelf.

Even though I was armed with a set of rules, it took two more years to buy the few western figures from Reaper Miniatures that I stumbled across at The Game Matrix.

Thanks to my friend Peter’s painting skills, I now have the cadre of an Old West posse.

The three figures are from Reaper Miniatures’  Savage Worlds line, geared for Pinnacle Entertainment’s Deadlands, a Weird West (Wikipedia) sub-genre of the Savage Worlds RPG. 

Here’s the final results:

1.  I think this is "Stone."  If so, then Peter painted him as a normal human instead of an undead gunslinger.

The back view of “Stone:”

2. Male Texas Ranger, front view:

Male Texas Ranger, back view:

3. Female Texas Ranger, front view:

Female Texas Ranger, back view:

Here’s my Weird West (TV Tropes) posse, or not-so weird Old West gang:

Some day, my posse might look like this:

(Image from: Red Dead Redemption 2)

As with the fantasy figures I reviewed in my last post, I superglued heavier square bases to the figures’ original ones, then painted and flocked them.

The backdrop for this photoshoot is the same one I used for my Warhammer 40K collection, which is a terrarium background I bought at a local Pet Smart

The desert floor was considerably more expensive, but is the same Kill Team Sectors Fronteris gameboard I used for my Warhammer 40K photo shoots.

My last Reaper Miniatures post will feature my pulp genre figures—so stay tuned!