Wednesday, 30 December 2015

540 - A Model Family

Morning All! 

Just a quickie: I wanted to share this pic from our Christmas visit to my dad's house and draw a pleasing generational link:

In the foreground, held by me, is the wooden biplane which I helped No.1 Daughter to make and glue together. In the background is one of the embroideries my dad used to work on during his countless months at sea with the Royal Navy. He made models when HE was a boy in the forties and fifties, and he always encouraged me in my Airfix building in the nineties.

Like noses, the hobby seems to run in the family...!

- D.

Friday, 25 December 2015

539 - Merry Christmas To All from Drax

The title says it all, really, and to bring the message home, let's imagine that it's being yelled to you by a corporal of 4KSLI in the late summer of 1944...

Teaser pics - more soon...
I hope you've been able to enjoy some good family time. Here's to more of the same, eh?

Takes care,

- D x

Monday, 21 December 2015

538 - Uh-Oh. Shizzle Just Got Real.

Plastic Soldier Company are finally making good on their 'in the pipeline' promises of yore:

This means that my proposed 15mm Desert Rats Light Tank Company will now - officially - be happening - probably my next new project once February's Bolt Action tourney is out of the way.

On that note, by the way (and recent festive business notwithstanding) I've now pretty much finished the painting of my final 15 infantry from my army for that... it'll just be basing left after tonight. Update later this week.

- Drax.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

537 - Back to Bolt Action Painting

Hullo, All.

Well, the week after 6MMRPC finished, I have been able to get a significant amount of painting done on my own models.

The mild irony is not lost on me.
 What we have here are the remaining infantry of my (historical) platoon:

3 Section,
OC's runner, 
2" mortar team, 
And two extra guys with SMGs: one each for 1 and 2 Section.

Hooray! These models continue to be an absolute joy to paint.

- D.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

536 - 6MMRPC 2015 is finished! Aaaaaand...

...I think we'll call it a very modest success. Let's summate:
General Aims:

1) Paint stuff wot needs to be painted;
2) Don't buy more stuff wot needs to be painted.

1) In SIX MONTHS, I painted (and finished) the following:
  • five Flames of War Comet tanks...for someone else (a charity auction) - link here: [link]
  • nine 40k Orks...ditto for Da Masta Cheef (a blog prize!) - see 'previous' post (#535)
  • twenty-five 2nd Ed 40k 'beret-style' stormtroopers/militarum tempestus for the 'Last Hurrah' of my 40k hobby time (pic below), and
  • half an aegis defence line.
That's literally all I've finished painting in six whole months (with some base coat slapped on my AEC MkIII en passant too)... but at least...

...2) I bought NOTHING that needs to be painted. Woo-hoo!

To qualify this, things I have actually bought over the timespan of the challenge include the following:
  • the excellent 'Chain of Command' rules, by Too Fat Lardies,
  • Bolt Action's 'Battleground Europe' supplement,
  • For my beloved X-Wing, the original starter set, the 'Most Wanted' set, a B-Wing and a Hwk-290 (none of which - as someone helpfully pointed out, increase my painting mountain),
  • Some more Bolt Action order dice and small gaming dice.
NB: I also won a rather spiffing box of Bolt Action Soviet Naval Infantry, but - being neither a purchase nor intended for my usage - they don't count.

So yes: that's where we are. I've saved a crapload of money and painted some stuff. 


"What's next then, Chris?" I hear you cry.

Well, I've uncharacteristically entered a friendly* Bolt Action tournament for February...and bafflingly I also volunteered to put together a themed 6x4 table (something I've NEVER done before at 24 years of the hobby!) so I have a to-do list for February:
  • Paint 3 Section (already underway)
  • Paint 2" Mortar Team (already underway)
  • Paint OC's runner and acouple of extra Toms with SMGs (already underway)
  • Finish painting my AEC MkIII
  • Maybe repaint the markings on my Cromwell (this is so not a priority!)
  • And...
  • Execute and paint my submitted designs for a themed 6x4 playing table.
  • Bugger.
It'd also be nice to get a couple more practice games in.

After that it's my usual pipe-dreams: (1) build and paint a Desert Rats light tank company for Flames of War, (2) make a 15mm version of my Bolt Action Army and (3) take over the world.

But now?

- Bed time. 

Thanks, everyone 

   for swinging by and supporting me in my efforts, and I'm sorry I haven't been keeping abreast of your efforts quite as well as I might have. Often I did actually read your posts, but on my mobile, and commenting on that infernal device is a bit of an arcane art...

- Drax.

* Favourite rule from the tourney pack? - "Don't be a cock".

Monday, 30 November 2015

535 - 6MMRPC 16 - Orks are FINISHED!

No internet at home again, so a very quick update via my phone, at work: as the title says, I finally finished Da Masta Cheef's Orks - hooray!

Yup - last week saw the last licks of vaguely-desert-y colours applied to the wee green blighters, and with luck they'll be wining their way westward as soon as I can get them packaged up and posted.

Late night mobile phone pics only, again, but with luck, Da Masta Cheef will be able to take advantage of that lovely American light to take some better pics.

Until next time then - forgive my lack of visits to your corners of the web, but online time is a rare bloody commodity for Drax at the moment, damnit.

- D.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

534 - Another Bolt Action Game! (Bat Rep)

Last Friday I got the chance to roll out my fledgling 1250pts 28mm Bolt Action list to see how they would fare on the actual tabletop against some Germans. It was also a chance for a sneaky wee back-door entry into Cameron's brilliant Firestorm Caen campaign! [see here: link]
A not unpleasant corner of Normandy in which to scrap. That's my lot on the right, with my 6pdr in the foreground.
I had an absolute blast, and I'm pleased to say that the Toms did rather well in fact, that my opponent (whom many of you might just know) has asked to be masked in anonymity. Let's just call him G-----.

Mission and Forces:
My centre at deployment. The MMG team is the objective.
In a nutshell, we rolled for the mission and got 'Demolition' (essentially 'Capture the Flag'), so we had to set up half f our forces each with the rest in reserve. My 'Reinforced Platoon' was outlined in my last post (here: link), but G----- had the following - roughly speaking - all veteran: an officer, an air observer, two 8-man squads, a sniper, a flamethrower, an MMG team, a grenadier squad mounted in a half-track, and a panther tank - not by any means 'tournament-ready'! Objectives were his turretless command tank and my rear-facing MMG team.
At the jump-off.
Sneaky Germans sneaking up, sneakily.
My sneaky sniper...being useful for once!

The Game:

This bit's quite easy. The opening turn saw the Germans do very little of note beyond the sniper pinning my 6pdr. In return, my sniper killed his Flammerwerfer - yes! The troops moved up into or towards the buildings. Airstrikes and barrages were placed.
My Arty observer spent much of the game lurking on the right flank. Watching. Waiting.
In turn 2, the troops moved up a bit, my vehicles failed to arrive, and both the airstrike and the artillery barrage were delayed. His panther arrived and only had 3 Section to fire at, but didn't kill anyone. In an exchange of musketry, the Germans came off worse, with his two 8-man squads both losing three for only one of mine. Credit here goes to 3 Section, hunkering down in the wheat on the right flank for their staunch stance and withering fire.
The very stoic and surprisingly well-camouflaged 3 Section at deployment.
In turn 3, G------'s luck really took a hammering. Firstly his airstrike backfired, and sadly for him der Luftwaffe mistook his own Panther tank for my infantry. Obviously. Easy mistake, right? This hit him hard, but my artillery strike followed imminently, and extremely close by, hitting him even harder. Both his nasty MMG and his assault-rifle-wielding grenadier squad took the full whack of damage, and were wiped out; everything else nearby was, of course, heavily pinned - *sad face* . Then my vehicles roared on, adding some mobility but failing to hurt anyone. 
To add...well...injury to injury, my sniper, having moved position last turn, popped-off his sniper.
Sniper's gonna snipe.
Turn 4 seemed a bit like rubbing salt into the wound, with G----- down to 5 dice against my almost undented 12, but we struck on. More of the same happened, with the indomitable 3 Section finally pinning one of G-----'s two remaining inf squads to death and scaring the half-track off the table. In a cheekily desperate last move, G----- sent his last five infantrymen sprinting forward into the heart of my lines. We figured we'd give them a chance of fighting through if G----- got the first die in turn 5.

With 2 Section inside the house, the Arty officer sprints to cover against the wall.
Really, of course, 2 Section should have been heading towards the objective...
Turn 5: I got first die, and we called it. All the Germans had left was an air observer, five very endangered infantrymen, and a pinned and isolated panther. I had lost only four men, and realistically there wasn't much stopping me from dashing to the objective... although, frankly, I am terrible at remembering to do this.
In grey, the Germans try to sneak right into our lines past the AEC III. They fail.
The Result:

Yeah...a thrashing. The Toms gave old Fritzy a jolly good six-of-the-best, trousers-down, and I was very happy with them. Some thoughts:

  • G----- really was very unlucky with his dice, especially when it came to actually killing my men. He played well though, and was - of course - a tremendously Good Sport.
  • I was quite lucky with my rolling for the most part.
  • I was happy with most of my decisions (except forgetting to storm the objective sooner) and I feel I played my troops to their advantage.
  • The 6pdr - despite not firing - served as a great deterrent all game, and channeled his vehicles away from both objectives, which was the idea.
  • The mortar had some fun and ranged-in, which was encouraging!
  • Veteran troops are sweet!
  • Flamethrowers are very scary.
  • Very pleased with my sniper. Two shots; two dice taken.
  • The AEC III looks absolutely great roaring along a road!
  • 4-Ground buildings really are astonishingly brilliant.
My 6pdr. Fearless. And on a looooong 'Ambush' order.
With thanks to G----- for hosting me, and with thanks to you for getting this far,

I remain, Sirs, your most humbl. and obt. servt.,

- Drax.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

533 - 6MMRPC 15 - Progress!


Despite my stupid, stupid workload and the fact that we've had absolutely no internet access for a week, I've not only managed to paint more of those okses (almost there!), I've also been planning for a friendly Bolt Action tournament in February. With luck, I'll actually get to play a game this week!

Yes, watch this space: I think good ol' Colonel Gravis will be kind enough to host me for a game on Friday, and (although it's not all finished yet) this is the force I intend to take. It's been a while, but yup - here is a brand new Draxian Painting Chart (TM):
[above] Painting Chart, and [below] who's there.

Note that I'm going for a pretty damned fluffy list: a full platoon with a very typical support element. I like fluffy, characterful lists: that way, if I don't win, I don't mind - I'm just telling a story!
And with that,

I'm off.

Take care, All, and thanks for swinging by!

- Drax.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

532 - An Amazing Community of Wargamers

Hi, all.

This post is respectfully dedicated to ex-service personnel and veterans.

You may just enjoy this, which I was privileged to be involved with this week:

...and yes, you're right: that IS a film that someone is making about our hobby...with some top lobbying names in it, too!

Why not check out their kickstarter (linked from the blog entry linked above)?

Oh, and lest we forget...:

- Drax.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

531 - 6MMRPC 14 - Five Down; Four To Go!

Yup. More glacial progress on Da Masta Cheef's Orkses. Never let it be said that I am a speed-painter.

Obviously the mobile phone pic doesn't really do them justice, but if you look closely, they do have a kind of desert-y colour palette, and I promise you some of the details really are more subtle than they appear here!  

Hope all's well, folks...

- Drax.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

530 - "...The Fewer Men, the Greater Share of Honour"

Each Sunday evening, I speak to my salty old sea-dog of a dad, and this evening he pointed out to me that it was the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt - one of the battles I'm most interested in, thanks in no small part to Shakespeare's 'Henry V' being my all-time favourite play (no small deal for an English teacher, that!).
 "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; 
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me 
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, 
    This day shall gentle his condition"
My dad was reminded of this fact by the Saturday Torygraph, which ran an article on the Perry Twins' Agincourt installation at the Royal Armouries in London. It looks stonkingly good in the photos, and overhead is a representation of the thousands of deadly longbow arrows arcing towards the flower of French chivalry :
"You may take our lives, but you will never take our--" - Oops. Sorry.
...and here's a link for you: here. [Both of these photos are used without permission from the blog linked.]

It's on until January, I think.

- Drax.

     Enter the KINGWESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
        But one ten thousand of those men in England
        That do no work to-day!
    KING. What's he that wishes so?
        My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
        If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
        To do our country loss; and if to live,
        The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
        God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
        By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
        Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
        It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
        Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
        But if it be a sin to covet honour,
        I am the most offending soul alive.
        No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
        God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
        As one man more methinks would share from me
        For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
        Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
        That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
        Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
        And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
        We would not die in that man's company
        That fears his fellowship to die with us.
        This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
        He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
        Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
        And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
        He that shall live this day, and see old age,
        Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
        And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
        Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
        And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
        Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
        But he'll remember, with advantages,
        What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
        Familiar in his mouth as household words-
        Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
        Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
        Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
        This story shall the good man teach his son;
        And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
        From this day to the ending of the world,
        But we in it shall be remembered-
        We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
        For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
        Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
        This day shall gentle his condition;
        And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
        Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
        And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
        That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

529 - Struggling a Bit. Sorry.


Real Life (TM) and all that jazz. Y'know...

Please forgive me if I haven't commented on your blogs for a while - I've been rather out of the hobby loop for a while. Normal service will resume, I promise, but do please bear with me. Thank you.


- Drax.
No.1 daughter indicates the general direction of the enemy; today, on Dartmoor.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

528 - 6MMRPC 14 - Baby Orky Steps

First attempt at posting from my mobile. Hmmm...

After hurrying to finish those Comets, and with Real Life (TM) biting again, I got nothing done last week *sad face* but last night I got my act together again and nailed another of Da Masta Cheef's orkses (pending finishing touches, of course!).

Now let's see if I can post one of the 1am mobile pics with this...

- Drax

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

527 - The Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 3

First Battalion, 24th Cadian Regiment of Foot (Mechanised).

Lieutenant Danvers signed off the last chit. It honestly was “with regret” that he wrote, and he didn’t doubt that the four of them really had made “the supreme sacrifice”, but it still felt somehow hollow. 

Getting out had been hellish. Higher command were still calling it an extraction, but it was dangerously close to a rout, and if it hadn’t been for his troopers’ training and experience, they could well have gone under. Luckily the orkish attack had blown itself out, and those beasts still lurching around the battlefield were too concerned with looting or petty squabbling to give chase. He’d never seen a fight so utterly over.

But ‘over’ it really was. Time had seemed to slow down, but Danvers had seen it with his own eyes: the Colours of the second battalion had fallen, and with them the famous Admiral Drax.


He’d met the man once – some seven years ago when The Hon. Admiral Horatio Catweazle Drax had undertaken his first review as Regimental Colonel. As the then most junior officer of the senior platoon in his battalion, it’d inevitably fallen upon Danvers to escort the Admiral through his review. 

Like everyone else he was mildly baffled and professionally scornful of a naval officer taking command, but – like everyone else – he’d swiftly changed his mind. Rumour had it that Drax’s appointment had been just the latest in a spate of increasingly substantial administrative errors, but when Colonels Anson, Melville and Pulleine had retained their posts at the head of their respective battalions, it became clear that there was more to it. Danvers had no idea what Drax’s mission might have been, but the Admiral had quite obviously had a Very Good Reason for moving his flag to the Cadian 24th.
Drax, Deddog and some of the other Key Personalities on the start line.
Now, after too many engagements, a great deal of hard-won victories and too little respite, the men would follow him anywhere. The name ‘Drax’ had in itself become synonymous with the Cadian 24th, and glory after glory had followed.


- had.


The Admiral had gone down fighting; of that there could be no question. By the time Danvers’ platoon had clawed their way through to the front line, B Company of the Second had been practically eradicated, but he knew what he had seen away in the centre, even as Guardsmen Denney and Hether had been ripped apart by shoota fire within arm’s reach, right in front of him. Time had slowed and hardened into clarity.

He’d seen the orgryn, Deddog, heaving up the shattered remains of a huge ork walker and unceremoniously dragging the Admiral out from beneath it, whereupon he rallied those troopers who’d rushed to his aid, shouted orders to Melville and his command squad and immediately strode forward toward the brave guardsman slumped over the comms array.
Drax and his enlarged command group lead by example and fly out across into no-man's land to rescue the stranded guardsman. This is just after the near-fatal encounter with the ork walker.
Their objective.
As the first of the orkish infantry had broken through past the shattered skullhammer wagon they had made to assault the command group, but the right-hand elements of the Death Korps and the last reserves of B Company’s riflemen and veterans had surged forwards and eradicated them in an unholy amount of flame and lasfire, enabling Drax, Melville and the others to reach the comms array.
They reach the skullhammer
Barely a minute later though, the air itself was rent apart by a vast explosion: the command leviathan of the brave Praetorians on their left flank, beyond the Krieg, had been breached. Danvers’ eyes briefly focussed through the acrid smoke on its fighting top and saw the green bodies clambering up the side – using power claws just like ice axes to reach the parapet. In that instant, the tide turned.

As the concussion of the explosion swept past him, Danvers had seen the boss’s command group get defiantly back to its feet. What a sight that had been – the Emperor Himself would have wept to see them:

Drax – of course – resplendent in his now grubby and scorched pelisse and medals over a once-white cvercoat; Col. Melville, more muted in his field dress; the Lord Commissar of the Second (whose name Danvers had never known); another commissar; the vast bulk of Nork Deddog; some veteran troopers of B Coy HQ and also, Danvers had noticed, Lt. Harmer of second platoon – a fine officer and a man with whom he’d shared both foxhole and mess. It appeared that Harmer had been the one to lead the counter-charge to protect Drax’s run forward, and now he’d thrown his own command squad into the looming melee. Power sword drawn and faithful corgi ever at his heels, Harmer was there, right at Drax’s side when the green tide hit them.

With a bloodcurdling scream, Warboss Pike-Ee’s mob descended upon Drax’s command group – literally – jumping down with from the wreck of the skullhammer. Sgt Lindley of the Veterans and one of Melville’s aides rushed to intercede, but carving a bloody arc through the air, the warboss’s power claw scythed them both in two as he swept them out of his path. He wanted Drax.

 The fight was brutally one-sided, and although the bravest of defences was offered, it took less than a minute for the end to come. Still in slow motion, and even as he issued orders to his own troopers, Danvers had seen flashes of those heroic final moments: the Lord Commissar’s power fist closed – crackling – around a Nob’s throat and crushing it to nothing even as his own head had been unceremoniously stove in by an unceremonious swat of an enormous green backhand swipe; an elderly veteran plasma gunner quite literally shoving Melville out of the way and taking for himself the fatal swipe of a jagged ork choppa before the merciless backswing of the same weapon cut down deep into the colonel himself, burying itself in colonel, veteran and ground alike so that the green monster had to let go of the blade.

He saw Deddog – furious in rage at seeing the colonel prone but torn in his loyalties between the dying Melville and the Admiral – deciding that violent recrimination would be the best form of emotional outlet and picking up the offending Nob by the shoulders and slamming the hapless ork’s body and legs left and right into the rest of the green mass, the brutal impact of which laid low at least another two of Pike-Ee’s Nobs. This would doubtless have continued had Deddog not overbalanced himself and been buried – apparently dazed – under not only the body he’d been wielding but also a press of other orks.

He saw Harmer. Harmer was one of the last to fall – somehow parrying blows aimed at both him and Drax, and hacking away with his clumsy old power sword in one hand and the torn colours grasped in the other. Danvers missed the detail of what happened next to Harmer’s in the melee, but very soon thereafter he saw the man lifted up and punched clear up into the air, and to his relief Danvers had realised from the rag-doll movement as he arced down that Harmer was killed by the fell blow of whatever it was had sent him flying. Danvers had noted with a morbid satisfaction that, still grasped in Harmer’s left hand but now torn from the shaft and in part wrapped round the lieutenant’s own shoulders, had been the colours. Protected even unto death.

And then there was Drax. Never had Danvers seen such calm, unflappable dignity in death. Now pattered with gore and grease and viscera, Drax had stood with the apparent poise of one on the parade ground and yet had somehow still moved with astonishing grace and precision. He was not a big man, nor was he prone to flashy great weapons, but Drax deftly parried, countered and riposted blow after blow after blow from Nobs and Pike-Ee alike…until – with the eventual death of Harmer – a low-life grot had snuck in behind the Admiral and shivved him with some crude, ugly coarse blade – up, under the rear-plate of his cuirass and into what must have been his spinal column.

It was over.
It was over.
Danvers couldn’t see his face, but he saw the great man go rigid. The thug Pike-Ee barely seemed to register the change, but the half-second pause was enough. Pike-Ee’s next blow felled Drax, and then it was butchery. They fell upon him like carrion beasts and within seconds the Admiral’s body and anything of his which could possibly be considered a ‘trophy’ was ripped apart, ripped off and gone.
Pict from Imperial Navy P-R drone: the last moves of Admiral Drax.

Danvers had done very well. His small armoured fist platoon had, on its arrival, secured for the Emperor the remains and machine spirits of two great engines of war, and he knew he’d done the Emperor great service, but he could take no satisfaction in his own small victory having seen the wholesale destruction of the second battalion and its brave men and commanders.

Within minutes of seeing off the last of the weakening ork attacks in his section, Danvers and his men had been recalled. Their line of withdrawal didn’t take them any closer to the scene of Drax’s last stand, and besides, there was such a press of corpses and debris that by that time that looking would have been pointless, but Danvers was gratified by one particular detail he noticed as his driver painstakingly reversed:

Nork Deddog – apparently having dragged himself out of the detritus was slowly, sullenly, trudging back through the lines. Held with his right hand in front of him, and transfixing him almost like some cheap talisman might transfix a child, was Drax’s broad, star-shaped Honorifica Imperialis – miraculously unscathed and unlooted. Cradled tenderly in the crook of Nork’s left elbow was the one other survivor: battered and bloodied, masterless and grieving but with all four legs still working and a new-found ally in the gigantic ogryn, was After The War.


Danvers slid the three faceless chits across to his weary adjutant and allowed himself the briefest of moments. Then, with a sigh, he stood up, picked up his cap, squared his shoulders and started off. Orders Group was starting in precisely three minutes, and he would have a job to do. For the Emperor.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

526 - 6MMRPC 13: Comets Finished

This is last week's post.

I finished 'em! Hooray!
...and now they're up for auction via, to raise funds for veterans' charties.
Usual Draxian outdoor photography. You may remember that one of them was supplied without the turret bits, so - as you'll see below - I've made that one into a casualty with a smoke plume and even an optional base, for it to be used as an objective.
Point to note: this is not only my first attempt with a proper smoke plume; it's also my first attempt at adding antennae to 15mm vehicles.
Hope you're well,

- Drax.