Project WW2 – Infantry Section, 10th (Teesside) Regiment of Rifles

Corporal Joshua Smith kept low as he made his way through the blasted tree stumps and muddy ditches he’d been calling home for the past few weeks, his Sten gun held in his left hand as the other worked to steady him. The mud underfoot was trying it’s best to throw him on the face, bringing back memories of helping his father on the farm in the hills above Middlesbrough, pulling sheep out of the sucking mess.

He wasn’t sure what part of the European Winter he hated more; when the ground was too cold to dig into properly, when the snow was coming down hard enough you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, or days like this when the sun heated the ground up just enough to turn walking to and from the Platoon HQ into an adventure all of itself. What was worse, he could feel the icy chill of the mud sneaking in, finding a gap in the leather of his boots. He cursed the RQMS again, and made a mental note to go try talking to the lads in the next trench line over, see if some trades could be made.

Eventually, after a few more slips and slides, he made his into the dugout. Huddled in the corner, Private Williams was trying to snatch an attempt at sleep, huddled under his rain cape for that extra layer. Above him, Private Campbell stood facing out across the valley at the woods beyond, keeping an eye open for Germans attempting to probe the lines and a hand on the grip of the Bren gun. He seemed unblinking, ever watchful – quite different from the loud brawler personality that came out in the thick of it. Before Smith could even open his mouth to check on the dark-skinned soldier, a mug of warm tea was thrust into his own gloved hand, a shadow following after it.

“So, Corporal,” his 2IC asked, his tall, gaunt frame wrapped in greatcoat and looming out of the darkness like Boris Karloff in a picture show. The only light on him seemed to be the cigarette between his lips, the orange glow revealing a face creased with dirt and camo paint, the balaclava around his face shrouding it. “Anything interesting from the Mother’s Union meeting?”

Smith smiled, wrapping his hands around the metal cup. “Well, Lance Corporal Caines, we’re not part of any big push, at least as far as beloved Rupert knows.” He sat down upon an upturned wooden crate they had borrowed from the Logistics boys, looking around at the assembled men. “Looks like we’ll be in reserve for it instead. The Yorks and Scots will be having a first go at those new positions, the poor bastards.”

“Thank Jesus for that,” Campbell’s deep voice boomed in response, before leaning forward on the Bren gun to keep watch into the darkness beyond.


Ironically, the first section finished for Project WW2 is not from my main platoon. The bulk of my force is pulled from the Empress range by Paul Hicks, and features troops in the latest gear for combat at the end of the war in Europe – waterproof smocks and leather jerkins, helmets covered in scrim netting all while laden down with entrenching tools. They look like the guys geared up for the task of pushing across the Rhine and into Germany.

The Winter British from Warlord do not look they have properly equipped for the advance. They look like the guys who have been fighting since June, have been on the line for most of it, and are now stuck in a trenchline somewhere near Germany, sitting in frozen mud during the awful winter of 1945, wondering why the Germans haven’t just given up so everyone can just go home. They are wrapped up in scarves and greatcoats (replaced by the smock to improve their mobility in combat) with only their faces exposed to the cold. For this reason, I decided that they will probably end up being a support section, one pulled from the support list when more bodies are needed. This is why they are from the (fictional) 10th (Teesside) Regiment of Rifles, rather than the (fictional) 25th (Scots and Yorks) Regiment of Rifles.

There are 10 figures in the box, giving you two figures with Sten guns (a classic of Bolt Action squad setups), a Bren gunner and the rest with Lee Enfield rifles. There is some variation between the figures – some are in greatcoats, others in battle dress in leather jerkins while one has a rain cape over his gear, including covering up the backpack. Helmets also have some variety, with some using them uncovered while other have added helmet covers or scrim netting.

In terms of painting overall, I cover the basics in my first sitrep on them. Having now done the whole section, the scheme I’ve worked out is very easy to paint and I’m very happy with the final effect. Using the textured mud on both the base and the bottom edge of the clothing really helps to make them look suitably gritty. I’m not 100% finished when them yet though – I’m going to add a little bit of fake snow to them, just a tiny bit of white to offset the brown.

With these guys as a test bed, I’m very happy with the process and can now begin working on the bulk of the platoon. Of course, there will be some differences so the first Empress squad will also be a little bit of a testbed.

SITREP – Project WW2 Begins

Its only taken me two years but I have finally painted my first batch of WW2 British Infantry. Two years of planning, talking about it, getting distracted etc. But now, the first test models are done and I’m ready to begin working on the rest of the platoon, creating a force ready for the very final days of WW2.

Although the main platoon will be from Empress, these starting models are from Warlord’s metal Winter British Infantry. I’m not always a fan of the Warlord sculpting style (some of them are quite exaggerated) but I really like the look of these figures, wrapped up in cold weather gear, greatcoats and wearing the later gillet. They have that look of tiredness that really match up to the feel I wanted for my force.

Of course, the main thing with these guys was picking out a scheme that would work for them. As inspiration, I took the British Airborne paint set, picking out the Vallejo pots from it that I already owned and adding a few other ones. Here are my colours:

  • Dark Green (Vallejo 893): Helmet and neckscarf
  • English Uniform Brown (Vallejo 921): Trousers and canteen
  • Russian Uniform Green (Vallejo 924): Helmet camo strips, PIAT, mortars, guns, Respirator Bag
  • Khaki (Vallejo 988): Helmet camo strips, gaiters, webbing and backpack
  • Mahogany Brown (70.846): Jerkin
  • GW Leadbelcher: Metal pieces – Base colours for gun metal
  • GW Rhinox Hide: Rifle Wood (although I will vary this to have a mix of looks)

After the base colours, I also dry-brushed some Rhinox Hide around the bottom of the coat/trousers to show the splashes of mud. For the next set, I’m going to try and add some more on the knees and ankles, just to help make them muddy. Finally, the ever-useful Agrax Earthshade toned the colours down and helped them to mix.

For the base, I started with the Stirland Mud texture paint, ladling it on heavy. I also added a touch to the bottom of the clothing, to add a little texture to the mud splashes. For some colour, I added some Forest Ground Cover, touches of leaves and twigs perfect for the Reichswald. The downside to these base mixes if that they can be a little dusty, lightening the mud already in place. As a final touch to done this down, a light wash of Agrax Earthshade helped to darken it down.


Next step – four more Infantrymen, including the team Bren gun. And then after that, I’ll finish the Warlord guy off with the pair of Sten guns in the squad, as well as the two Ghille suited sniper I purchased from them at the same time.

SITREP – Project Enforcers Complete

They are… complete.

The forces of ‘McNespy, Daughter and Sons’ for the upcoming campaign into the Mercy Longshore Docks have been gathered. With Elizabeth McNespy and her cyber mastiff at the head, this team of 10 Enforcers, 6 Subjugators and one lho-stick addicted Eldar in her power suit as their untrustworthy ally (aka the bounty hunter).

Having now reached the end of this project, I’ve got to say I’m really happy with the final result. This is the first project I’ve actually finished on this blog since the C130 board back in 2018 and there is that real sense of satisfaction from it. I’m very excited to actually play some games with it soon.


As for the boss lady herself, I decided to roll hard with the Sarah Connor look the sunglasses PMC head evokes. The white hair and black leather trenchcoat definitely helps her to standout from the rest of models in the force, while still being tired to them by the green armour, tan clothing and brown boots.

For the dog, I decided to match her colours as well, going for white armoured plates over the lead belcher painted body. The blue eyes and yellow safety handle help to finish him off.

The black leather coat was actually painted up using Burnt Umber as the base but then painting the black contrast paint over the top. I think this helped to give it a warm colour at the base, making it look a little more like leather. I then finished it off with a highlight of white along the edges, making it pop a little more.

SITREP – Enforcers – Subjugators Complete

The Subjugators are complete! The last two of the lads in heavy armour, the pair of stock baton and shield to provide backup for the Subjugator Sgt. I really enjoyed getting these two to look similar to their boss, colouring the shield decorations and berets to all match up. Also, with the project coming to a close, I am finally at the stage where I can actually work through this paint scheme at a relatively good speed – just in time to finish painting them.


And this is how my Subjugators stand. I really like how they look as a group and they are incredibly chunky they are. The touch of colour from the beret and shield symbols stop them feeling too one-note, as well as decorative enough to fit the 40k setting a little more. The main thing is that they are visual obvious as Subjugators but you’re unlikely to find a group that looks similar if I turned up at a Necromunda weekend.

I’m also really liking the look of the Enforcers for non-GW game. With the arrival of Stargrave later this year, I think I’m going to have a pretty good starting set for a heavily armoured crew or the pirates they will need to deal with.


Well, we’re into the final two figures for Project Enforcer – The Captain and her Cyber Pooch ally. I actually have some other Necromunda themed figures that would suit the group, so I’m still debating if I should get them painted up now, or take a little break. But we’ll see!

News: Games Workshop – “The Dead and the Divine”

Look.

It’s very hard to get away from Games Workshop as a hobbyist. For all of their flaws (and by god there are many of them), they have continued to make some of the best-designed models in the industry as well as useful hobby items (if you find them for the right price). It’s also definitely the main entry point for most wargamers, with the shops on the high street providing a one-stop point of corruption for many.

This weekend saw the latest of their major previews and the first for 2021. Taking place on Twitch and the Warhammer Community websites, these replace similar preview events at conventions such as Adepticon or Warhammer Grand Tournaments that haven’t been taking place due to the current situation. These previews usually cover a wide range of products that will come out over the next six months and oh man, did we get some cool stuff.


First up, Sisters of Battle… sorry Adepta Sororitas are getting themselves a war suit. Similar to the Dreadknight the Grey Knights got (which look incredibly dumb), these warsuits will provide an alternative to Penitent Engines that are a bit more Cool Battlesuit and a bit less “horrifying punishment machine”. Its definitely not for everyone but I think the idea is really cool – the sisters are portrayed as Knights in a way, so seeing them armour up to take the fight to the monsters is suitably gothic.

The model however, I’d personally have added some more intricate detail on the armour panels – it looks very much like the Primaris releases, with large panels with no detail. They mentioned this in the preview as a way to allow people to add their down free-hand painted artwork (as Sisters fans often do) but for the less skilled amongst us, having the extra texture helps.

On the other hand, I have had several people plan on removing the armoured plate, swapping the Sister out for a guardsman, mounting a lascannon on them and using them as a Sentinal alternative. I think this sounds great but frankly, it just needs a big knife to finish the touch.


Now, this bit is one of Games Workshop’s little sneaky tricks. Last year, they showed off the Heavy Intercessors back in September as part of the preview for the 9th Edition Space Marine codex. As someone who likes heavily armoured chaps with guns (and especially guns held like a chain saw), I’ve been looking forward to adding them to my Deathwatch collection. Except, despite being included in that preview, the kit is yet to appear. Despite the statlines being in the Space Marine codex, no sign of their release. Fast forward to Saturday and what should be part of this kit? The Heavy Intercessors (and their Captain) have arrived!

The good news is that this box is pretty exciting – Heavy Intercessors and Flayed Ones, cool characters, new Necron terrain and a complete set of stuff for getting into Killteam (including rules for figures from last year’s 9th Edition starter set). The guys at Goonhammer have made some comments on how unsuitable it is for getting into the game (based on points of the two forces included) but I’m more interested in knowing how many people will be buying this box purely to strip it for parts and sell off on eBay. I’m sure GW likes getting the number of sales that this tactic works, but I would love to know

No release date yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye open for the armoured boys on eBay when this box is released.


There is a new titan coming for Titanicus! This isn’t really on my radar as a game but based on the reaction of the Titan fans in the chat, people are quite hype to add a new Titan.


Age of Sigmar continues to release models that makes me sit there going “how the hell did you design this?”. I’m not the biggest fan of the Lumineth Realm-Lords line of figures but I can definitely appreciate the work and technical care used to make them come to life. They are also making models that fit their fantastical world, rather than simply rehashing Warhammer Fantasy design in new armour. Some of the shadows in the video below are very interesting, including what looks like some new Elven Swordmasters.


Despite being someone who just picked up some Witch Elves from GW, I’m not that fussed about the new battletome that the Daughters of Khaine are getting. However, I do very much like the Endless Spells. While designed in the game to be the effect of a mage at work, I think that giant blood snake is a really good looking model. I might end up picking this stuff up as my legion of villains for fantasy skirmish expands.


And speaking of fantasy villians, god damn am I picking up these figures. Warhammer Underworlds as a game is yet to get it’s snares into me but I think it continues to be one of Games Workshop’s best ranges. By only needing a very small number of figures per group, they can go all out making some cool and dynamic ranges. These vampires do a fantastic job of both harking back to the day of Warhammer Fantasy, while also feeling like the Age of Sigmar times. I also like how each vampire feels like a unique hero but all the group fit together thanks to a few similar features. Sadly, I think this set has already booked out some space on my shelf (and in my figure database).


Speaking of ranges that let Games Workshop show off (and has found a slot in my wallet), the secret reveal in the preview was the announcement of a brand new Warhammer Quest game, Cursed City. Warhammer Quest is a board game with a pile of miniatures, letting players (between 1 and 4) take their heroes on missions against the insidious enemy (be that the game or the person controlling the villains). There have already been three other Warhammer Quest games (two in the Age of Sigmar setting and one in 40k) and each brought with it a set of exciting and unique hero miniatures (apart from Shadow over Hammerhal that bundled existing models together), often that stepped away from the existing release to bring you other elements of the setting.

And oh boy, the first hero shown off is definitely new, yet also familar. This is a Vampire Hunter and the “pop-off” in the voice chat I was in when he was shown was immense. I really like this the design of him – sure it’s over the top, but he has that real Van Helsing look to him, covered in his tools of the trade including the long rifle with underslung stake launcher.

Key Art

We also have some guesses from looking at the Social Media artwork at the top. The website lists 8 heroes and the previews have shown us 6 so far:

  • Jelsen Darrock – the Witch Hunter (previewed model + appears in the title art and the key art above)
  • A human captain in plate armour with sword and wolf pelt over their shoulder (appears in the title art)
  • One of the Dwarfs of AoS armed with a giant harpoon (appears in the title art and the key art)
  • Some form of mage/priest (as shown on the left in the title image)
  • What appears to be some kind of Elf with Antlers (centre frame in the key art)
  • A bulky Ogre looking brute with a carved face on his shoulder (right side of the key art)

Of course, heroes need villains. The setting of Cursed City is a location in the Realm of Death so we’re going to be fighting a lot of undead – including this rather fantastic looking model. He is one of five Overlords the heroes will need to fight, as well as presumably a pile of horde figures you’ll need to fight past before they overwhelm you. Gorslav is perfectly gribbly, looking like something out of Pan’s Labyrinth. I’m looking forward to seeing who else we’ll be going up against.

With just these first two figures, and as well as the trailer that announced it, Games Workshop is going for very Gothic Horror feel to the game. It is also VERY heavily reminiscent of the game Darkest Dungeon, with the stark colours and ominous tone. Perhaps our heroes might have more to contend with in the Cured City than simply survival of body?

Also yes, I am already signing myself up for this. These figures would probably match up with more grounded fantasy and would be ideal for setting up some Frostgrave gangs.


Overall, a pretty good preview. A nice mix of models and ranges, giving most players something interesting to look at. Even if you weren’t excited for anything in particular, there is still some really nicely designed kits coming and a new Warhammer Quest is definitely a high point among them.

And then on Sunday, GW announced next week’s pre-orders. As well as Dark Angels and the required Primaris releases, the new warband for Underworlds is coming. I have a soft spot for the Chaos Warriors in their plate armour and frankly, it’s a good set if you just want a few heavily armoured figures to pick up.

SITREP – Enforcers – Subjugators Batch 2

Two more Subjugators finished! These two are the first with shields, finally adding some armoured fists to the group. On the left, we have the Sgt for this group – I think he looks incredible 40, from the skull on his shield to the club to the pose and red flowing cape. The right figure is ready to clear some rooms with revolver and pistol.

Originally I wasn’t sure how to paint the shields – do I go bright with colour or go grime? I decided to go grime, painting them in Leadbelcher. I then painted on a layer of black contrast before wiping the top layer away to leave it settled in the lower areas of the shield. To prevent them being a simplistic metal colour, the blue visor at the top and the bone/colour/gold detail on the front helping to make them pop.

The end of project is almost in sight!

SITREP – Enforcers – Batch 2 and Subjugators

Last week I managed to finish off my last batch of Palatine Enforcers and begin the process of working on my more heavily armoured Subjugators.

While my other sets of Enforcers were more standards, these guys are definitely much more of the Special guys. A marksman, two leader characters and then my gunslinger/massive mistake.

Painting wise these were mostly the same as my other Enforcers with a few tweaks. The Marksman was drybrush and painted a slight shade of grey, her armour covered in dust to help her hide among the rubble. Meanwhile, the gunslinger and commander also had a touch of gold added to their paint scheme, making them look special among the other troops. In contrast, the Concussion carbine user has a bit of Typhus Corrosion on his guns, giving them a slightly more worn look.

Having spent a chunk of assembling these guys, I’m quite happy with how the paint job worked on these “special” characters. They match the basic colours, while still looking unique with a few colour touches.

This is how the gang currently looks with the regular enforcers. They have a nice uniform feel with the green and tan which is appropriate for a merc group, but each character then has enough extra elements to make them stand out at a distance. I’m also still a fan of how my bounty hunter matches the green rule but still is distinct, mostly by towering over the other characters.


Now, lets take a look at the BIG boys. Subjugators are the guys in super heavy armour that covers most of them, giving them the real riot control guys. For the first two figures, I decided to paint the ones not carrying shields, giving me a chance to actually paint all their armour.

The other tweak these guys have is the cloth handing off the armour. It does help to make these guys look a little more 40k, especially with the purity seals and winged skulls on them. I did scribble on some writing using a detail brush and black contrast paint and I’m really happy how it looks with the guy on the left.

One thing I’ve been trying with these guys is edge highlighting, something I haven’t really done with my moderns before. The Subjugators require a lot more of it (as there are more edges to detail) and by god, it makes me not want to make an army of Space Marines if all those panels need detailing. It does, however, look really good – I’m tempted to go back and add the highlighting to my vehicles, just to make them pop a little more.


Next week’s hobby time will be finishing off the last four Subjugators before moving onto the special character and her doggo. I keep thinking of stepping away to do some individual figures as a break (such as the Spectre Tier 1 MG gunner) but honestly, I’m so close I think I’ll just push on and get the project done. I can have some time between this and WW2 time to try painting different things.

News: Sarissa Precision Compound Releases

Way back in March of 2020 (you know, back when I made Wargaming Weekly and we could meet people for wargames shows) I mentioned that Sarissa Precision was releasing a version of the Alamo (snore)… and then they showed us this.

And I suddenly realised just how useful a board full of small corridors and huts just waiting to be fought through, especially in small scale skirmish games. I haven’t yet managed to paint mine (although it is now assembled) but honestly, the main thing I thought while assembling is that “man this is great for the Alamo but I need more bits to make a proper compound setup”.

Well in good news, Sarissa is now releasing the Alamo and (even better) it has produced several packs designed for Modern Wargamers. There are currently three packs available. However, before we take a look at them, there is one thing to mention. All these buildings rely on Sarissa’s terrain tile system – the buildings actually clip directly into them. I was pleasantly surprised to find the tiles fit together rather well, snug enough to hold together without being impossible to remove and tidy away. However, the tiles do make it harder to assemble on boards that don’t use them… or have things such as “elevation changes”. Just a warning, your mileage may vary.

Skirmish Compound Alpha gives you two l-shaped buildings that can be fit together in several ways. These buildings are the core of the full Alamo kit and make for some really cool setup. For example, take a look at the image above – that dog leg between the buildings just screams for an ambush or a squirter making a break for it from an assault elsewhere.

Skirmish Compound Bravo comes with two buildings and a wall section, with an example layout above. The wall is taller than most characters and, I noticed, is not one of the destructible walls included in the main set. I can definitely see it being useful when assembling a compound by offering a larger area to play around in.

Finally, if you want both packs together, Skirmish Compound Charlie packs both in giving you the ability to set up a nice dense urban area to fight through. In fact, with a few of these, you could really make a great 4′ x 4′ urban maze, filled with chokepoints, ambush sites, small buildings to hide bad guys in and everything else required to make your players take one look at the board and curse the lines in the scenario saying “Rules of Engagement” and “No Fire Support Available”.


As well as the Modern themed sets, you can also pick up the rest of the Alamo sets if you want to be more historical. There are three options – the two compound packs I picked up (giving you most of the important buildings) or go the fully monty and also get the various gun positions and defences needed to build the actual fort (for the low cost of £235).

I’m already looking at the skirmish compounds as a way of extending my existing set, getting it ready to make an impressive CQB maze. The kits are the usual high Sarissa standards, well worth the asking price. I would definitely recommend giving them a look.