Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bolt Action and The Chicago Way

Ah, German camouflage patterns how I hate thee. I'm about half way through completing my German Bolt Action army, realizing quickly that painting camouflage isn't a whole lot of fun. And I still have Denison smocks to complete on my British Airborne, grrrrrrr. But I'm making a ton of progress and honestly couldn't be happier, despite the slow going.

I'd been powering through my entire force of metal Germans over the last several weeks, cleaning up belt straps, ammo pouches, canteens, etc. to finally start on camouflage last week. It's absolute madness the different types of camouflage and then trying to replicate that. These first 25 figures I completed I'd say the pattern is a combination of Oakleaf Splinter Palm Pea Dot with a twist of lemon pattern. Translation: I had no idea what I was doing, and was basically making stuff up as I went! What I really should have done is just plain old simple German Herr; something like from the old Combat! television series. No smocks, no camouflage, just grey with black boots!

Some of the figures I felt looked pretty good, others not so much. The whole kicker is once I put the Army Painter Quick Shade on you can barely see any pattern at all until you hold the figure up to your nose!

Big picture though, I'm actually very pleased with how the figures turned out. I do feel I need to go back and re-do some skin tones (especially on the team based units) and then use the Army Painter Soft Tone Ink wash, as I think some of the figures skin tones are much too dark. Though again, historically if you look at any of the figures I've painted in the past, I have an awful habit of making everything a little too dark and earthy in tone, even before the Quickshade hits the figures. Something I really hope to improve on in the future.

I've got both my Pak 40 and 105mm guns built, I'm just really on the fence on how I want to base both them and the crews. I really like the idea of being able to pull individual figures off for casualties, but also really like the look of the diorama base. We'll see I guess.

I've already got seven figures completed and ready for varnishing, and about 15 halfway done with a Pea Dot camouflage pattern. These figures I actually followed (well, tried at least!) a "how to" in an old Flames of War supplement book I had. So far I'm actually pretty pleased on how they look.

I  finished today by pre-ordering "The Chicago Way" from Great Escape Games. These are the guys who brought us "Dead Man's Hand", one of my favorite games - because of the ease of gameplay and I absolutely love games that have the ability for you to throw interrupts against your opponent. Well, looking at the preview pages for "The Chicago Way" it's going to play almost exactly like DMH. And that's not a bad thing at all!

I ordered the core set of rules, which comes with the deck of cards. I also ordered a set of marker tokens, the vehicle template, and three of the four gangs. The Prohibition Agents, The Gangsters, and then the Chicago Police. They have four resin vehicles available to order as well, but I've got some 1/48 scale Matchbox Cars of Yesteryear that will do the job nicely for now.

I really can not wait to get my hands on this game! And it looks like 4Ground will be releasing 8 new buildings to go along with this line. Looking at the background building in the Gangster photo, I am immediately thinking how I'm going to make a custom 'Art Huck's Garage' sign for that building! Art Huck's Garage was where there was a climatic shootout in my favorite movie of all time, "The Big Sleep", starring Humphrey Bogart. Then of course I start thinking about city buildings and making window signs that say "Philip Marlow" or even "Spade and Archer" from another of my top five favorite movies "The Maltese Falcon"! I'm super excited for this game and what I can do with both figures and terrain for it!

Next big hurdle for me is to make a decision on running a game at Historicon. I've got until April 15th to submit a game for the PEL. I think seeing 'The Chicago Way' being released here shortly may really help in making that decision, as I feel I could actually pull off both a 'DMH' game and a 'Chicago Way' game. Though, as my son just pointed out a little while ago, that'll be a ton of work in a short period of time to be ready, and I'm about the slowest damned hobbyist in the world. Not to mention getting everything down to Fredericksburg... stay tuned.

As always, thanks for looking!


  1. This close to the con, I've always found it's better to run with what you've got. Painting the night before the game isn't the funniest thing to do!
    I look forward to seeing you at HCON this year

    1. Hey Miles, thanks for looking at the post! You're absolutely right regarding Historicon, it's so much work even if you're 100% ready going down. My thought was to be able to use a few of my existing 4Ground buildings and some of my pulp figures to get a jump on 'The Chicago Way'. Again, we'll see.
      Looking forward to seeing you at Historicon as well - you've got quite an amazing looking game being prepped yourself, very much looking forward to playing in it! That ship is absolutely jaw dropping! Better make room for another "Best Game of the Convention" award for sure!

  2. Awesome, I too just emptied my bank account ordering all The Chicago Way stuff ... I qas hoping the 4Ground buildings would be up for ordering as well by now. Very excited! :-)

    1. Nice! Agreed regarding the 4Ground buildings, maybe 4ground themselves will do some sort of pre-order - fingers crossed. Looking forward to seeing what bought!