Copyright © 2016, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2016, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Fall Blau Painting Update - 25th September 2016


No blog update last week as Victoria and I were road-tripping to South Dakota and had a great time, I'll be updating the Mr & Mrs Scrivs On Tour blog later today with the travelogue.

However, getting back from South Dakota on Friday I was able to finish the highlights and bases on the last handful of  Crusader Miniatures Germans for the Fall Blau project.


They were painted using my standard method and again using a mix of tunic and trouser colours to represent a unit on campaign. I have based a few figures in pairs as I think these also make great Patrol Markers when playing Chain of Command, much better than a disc of card.

I likely need to add another in the near future to make a fourth, I have placed a small order on Northstar in anticipation.


I have also added another 5cm Mortar, although it's unlikely I shall need a second but a shame to let figures go to waste.


Likewise a second anti-tank rifle using a spare figure (his team-mate was used on the tripod MG-34 base)


A second Leutnant joins the force, again another brilliant, dynamic figure from the Crusader range.


I really like this chap with the MP-40, I reckon that it's likely I may use him as the Feldwebel leading the platoon.


A couple more riflemen from the unit. I quite like the idea of adding a length of brass rod to this one to use him as a sniper.



Here is a shot of the full platoon, deployed around those hovels I built at the start of the project while waiting for the figures to arrive..





That's the last 15 Germans done for the Fall Blau project and I have made a start on the Soviets, a good few of them were base-coated while we were on our travels and I hope to post some of the finished ones next week.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Fall Blau Painting Update - 11th September 2016


This week has seen another 14 Germans added to the new WWII eastern front project, bringing the total to 44 now. Just another 15 figures left to paint, three of which just need basing, six are having the highlights done and six are still at the base-coat stage. I hope to have the Bosche finished before we leave for our vacation (see sounding like a local) on Friday.

Included in the figures finished this time is a tripod mounted MG-34 to add some support to the platoon in our Chain of Command games.


 The figures are all painted in the same scheme as the last lot, with a mix of colours used for the tunics and trousers to give an 'on campaign' look


I've also added a veteran Leutnant to lead the platoon in action. A lovely characterful figure from Crusader Miniatures, as are the rest of his unit.


Here are some more close-ups of the recent additions:







And plenty more shots of that machine-gun, I do think that they look much better with a decent sized crew!




I plan to take the Soviets to South Dakota with us, hopefully I may get the chance to block in some base-coats. I hope to have these opposing forces playable by November!

Monday, 5 September 2016

A good excuse to get all the toys out.


Well, it's Labour Day* here in the USA and I don't have to go to work. I've been steadily adding to the El Cid collection in the four months or so since we arrived. On Friday I picked up a couple of 6ft banqueting tables that I had been planning to purchase for a good few weeks now and I decided today would be a great opportunity to get everything out to get a good idea what I could field for an upcoming game I have planned.

As it turns out I do have rather a lot of stuff painted. The Christian Spanish are mainly Perry Miniatures and the Almoravids are mostly Gripping Beast with a couple of units of Miniature Design Studios archers.


A few areas of broken ground were scattered around, the armies deployed and I set to bashing them together. Most of the photos are from behind the Christians line as that is where the window is, I need to work on the lighting in the games room as everything from the other side came out far too dark.

The Christians had a solid core of infantry a command of two units of Heavy Infantry, two units of Peones with additional bows, another unit of levy Peones and a unit of crossbow. The left hand cavalry command was a unit of Caballeros Hildagos, two units of Caballeros and two units of Jinetes. The right hand cavalry command was a unit of Caballeros Hildagos, two units of Caballeros and a unit of Jinetes.


The Almorhavids had a central command of a unit of Black Guard, three units of Berber spears and bows and one unit of Berber bows. To their left was a unit of Mercenary spearmen (same stats as Black Guard), two units of Berber spears and bows and one unit of Berber bows. On their right was a unit of Hasham Guard cavalry and five units of Jinetes (I worked out the points later and both sides were at about 400pts.

The Almoravids had five units of skirmishers, the Christians a single unit.


This was the first time some of these figures would be seeing battle so I was quite looking forwards to setting-to.

I randomly determined which side should go first and the Christians would be kicking off. The initial turns were rather desultory and neither side could get a run of manouver together and nobody wanted to go off half cocked.


As both sides closed it was surprising that the Christians seemed to be getting the better of the missile duel, the Almoravid should have been much more capable in this area, the first casualties of the game being a unit of African tribal skirmishers.

Then things got better for the Africans, a concerted volley of fire saw a unit of Caballeros on the Spanish right being broken and forced to retire and rally.


It was time to commit the Caballeros before they succumbed to the arrows and javelins, on the Spanish left they piled into the Jinetes who were unable to evade away far enough and forced them back, following up for the kill.

The Jinetes must have planned this move as the Caballeros piled on for a second round of combat the Jinetes dodged all the blows and shattered the Caballeros with their return hail of javelins, a poor day for Spain!


On the right the Caballeros Hildagos and the Caballeros crashed into the line of Moors who resolutely held and neither side could exploit and advantage.

The following round of combat saw the Christians fall back to regroup under a steady barrage of missiles although their resolve held firm.


In the centre the lines clashed and again neither side could forge an advantage, both forces retreated to regroup. A duel of ranged attacks continued for the next few rounds and this time the Almoravids found their mark and got the better of the exchange.

Christian units were starting to flee the field.


On the left the Moors committed the Hasham Guard, supported by the Jinetes. In a one-sided melee the Caballeros were shattered fleeing from the table (they took seven casualties and only inflicted a single in return.

The Christian left was looking very shake, a single unit of Caballeros supported by two units of Jinetes were all that remained to stem the flow of Moorish horsemen.


 Receiving the worse of the exchange of fire in the centre the Spanish forces closed on the Berbers, their numbers steadily thinned by the hail of arrows.

The horse to their left were also suffering from the missile fire and were unable to withdraw to regroup else they would expose the flank of their infantry, things were going down hill fast.


 Led by the Black Guard, the lines of infantry clashed in the centre, the Spanish collapsed and it was all over for them. Both cavalry flanks were in no state to assist and the Moors were pouring through the gaps in the line.

All in all a very enjoyable days gaming. I need to mark my cloth with a 8" grid so I can do the same again with To The Strongest!


Here are a load more photos from the game for you to enjoy.













* For some reason the locals call it Labor Day :)


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Fall Blau Painting Update - 4th September 2016




A couple of months ago I got that itch that a lot of gamers get. I know I have mountains of figures in the mountain of unpainted lead, but you must just start something new. 

Well, I've always had a soft spot for the earlier battles on the Eastern Front and decided that I wanted to paint some early-mid WWII Soviets and Germans, orders were duly places on Northstar and The Assault Group. In preparation for the figures winging their way over the Atlantic to me I made a start on some peasant hovels and awaited the postman.

The first package to arrive was the Northstar order on 22nd August:


Mainly Germans with a Soviet MMG from the Crusader Miniature range I could not get from The Assault Group.

A session of cleaning up the figures and sticking them onto bases ensued then they were given a coat of Rustoleum Flat Grey primer, I then set about painting them in small groups of six figures at a time.All paints are Vallejo Model Colour unless otherwise noted. I wanted a slightly less than uniform look, so although most of the jackets and trousers were painted Field Grey I added a few other colours into the mix.
  • Jackets: German Field Grey WWII, or German Uniform, or Luftwaffe Uniform WWII.
  • Trousers: German Field Grey WWII, or German Uniform, or Luftwaffe Uniform WWII, or Neutral Grey.
  • Helmets: Gas mask canisters, Cooking pots, Mugs, Ammo boxes: German Grey.
  • Bread bag: Khaki, or Stone Grey, or Neutral Grey.
  • SMG magazine Pouches, Shelter-half: US Tan Earth.
  • Rifle butt, Entrenching tool handle, Knife handle: Beige Brown.
  • Flesh: Medium Fleshtone.
  • Straps, Equipment, Exposed metal: Black.

Once base-coated everything was washed with Sepia Wash and allowed to dry. I then went over and highlighted with thin washes as follows:
  • German Field Grey WWII: Go over with German Field Grey WWII add a little Dark Sand then a final highlight with more Dark Sand added.
  • German Uniform: Go over with German Uniform add a little Dark Sand then a final highlight with more Dark Sand added.
  • Luftwaffe Uniform WWII: Go over with Luftwaffe Uniform WWII add a little Pale Grey then a final highlight with more Pale Grey added.
  • Neutral Grey: Go over with Neutral Grey add a little Pale Grey then a final highlight with more Pale Grey added.
  • German Grey: Go over with German Grey add a little Neutral Grey then a final highlight with more Neutral Grey added.
  • Khaki: Go over with Khaki then a final highlight with Pale Sand added.
  • Stone Grey: Go over with Stone Grey then a final highlight with Pale Sand added. Camoflage was painted on the shelter half using splodges of German Uniform
  • US Tan Earth: Go over with US Tan Earth then a final highlight with Dark Sand added.
  • Beige Brown: Go over with Beige Brown add a little Dark Sand then a final highlight with more Dark Sand added.
  • Medium Fleshtone: Go over with Medium Fleshtone then a final highlight with Ivory added.
  • Black leather: Touch up where required with Black then a highlight of Black Grey.
  • Black metallic equipment: First a wash with Gunmetal Grey mixed with Black and finished off with a glaze of Gunmetal Grey.

The epaulettes were painted German Uniform then a thin band of Ivory added each side, for the officers and NCOs the rang insignia was also painted on the collars in Ivory.

Detail was picked out by 'brown lining' with Windsor & Newton Nut Brown ink.

You'll see that I added quite a variety of uniform colours and I think that they have turned out quite well for that variety.


The figures were based using my usual method, although this is the first time I used the tufts from Tagima Miniatures and I quite like them. Hopefully, I shall have enough to see out this project.....

These 30 figures done in the past two weeks mean that I'm now about half-way through the Germans I have and can then make a start on the Soviets. Here are some close-ups.

Helmet-less rifleman all in Field Grey

Helmeted riflemen again all Field Grey

NCO with SMG, all Field Grey

NCO with SMG, German Uniform trousers

5cm Mortar

MG-34 team, one set of trousers in Luftwaffe Uniform

Rifleman, Field Grey jacket, Luftwaffe Uniform trousers.

Rifleman, Field Grey jacket, Neutral Grey trousers

Anti-tank rifle team
Rifleman, German Uniform jacket, Field Grey trousers.