The Road To War : 2019 Hobby Plan Part 1

I've mentioned it before but much of my interest in history and Second World War came from reading my Grandfather's Time Life Books.  The titlecard for this blog entry is a homage to that series and one of my feature projects this year is going to be Bolt Action.  Stan approached me during Warlord's Black Friday sales in November and pitched playing some Bolt Action in 2019.   I knew it was project I could get behind because I was already interested in the period and had done some modelling and painting of WW2 figures earlier in the year with my Soviets.  I added my order to the rest and even as the models made their way to us we were already engaging in teamwork, collectively taking it in the face from the greedy bastards at customs.  I take a lot of comfort in being part of a project rather than being the whole of one.  It's much easier to work at something when everyone does their part and the end result is a collaboration.  I have more fun when other people are excited about building around me.  It's fuel for the fire and everyone feeds on, builds, and shares that energy that keeps everyone (Most importantly ME :D ) going.  As it stands I have a bit of an advantage in the battle ready models department.  I completed a healthy block of Soviet infantry last year and though I'm lacking in the armour and specialized support departments to date a healthy core of infantry is the heart of any army.  My fellow belligerents were doubtless envious (and fearful!) of the already mighty Worker's and Peasants Army and elected to fight on the Western Front with Stan commanding the German Heer,  Ian committing to the British Army and Dave choosing the Americans.  All involved expressed particular interest in Market Garden and were probably guilty of watching A Bridge Too Far more than once.
These Soviet Winter HQ figures will likely be the first fully painted BA models I complete in 2019 .

Fortunately I'm adaptable and already have a collection of models I had earmarked for a Weird War 2 project that never came to fruition.  This gave me a fair sized group of SS troops to draw upon and repaint into a force that could join Stan's Heer in the field and square off against Allied Ian and Dave.  It's serendipity that the leftovers I have complete the forces present at Market Garden.  In the Weird War 2 setting I decided my force would be SS Division Quecksilber;  A fictional late war division formed from Hitler Youth born in 1927 like Hitlerjugend which was formed in '43 and conscripted from youth born in 1926.  Alternate history and weird war storytelling have always interested me so I'm hoping participating in "realistic" WW2 gaming might open the door for some weird war scenarios as well.  In the real setting my army will be from Waffen-SS Division Hohenstaufen.  The 9th SS division was formed in '43 and has less repugnant history than most other SS divisions.  Their relatively palatable legacy and proximity/involvement in many post Overlord scenarios made them an excellent choice as an army to field.  This effectively can place me on either side of the conflict.  I don't expect the 4 player game will include my Soviets but I can still play with my Soviets and crush Stan's Heer on our own little Ostfront  :D .

I tried a new basing method for these Soviet Winter plastics.  Going for Stalingrad urban ruin vibe.

Picking up a new game involves breaking down and buying new rules as well as reading and learning them.  A tall order for someone who looks at rule sets as squandering money that could be used for paint and new minis.  I don't have them yet but already broke down and placed an order.  I had some nice Chapters gift certificates from Christmas and found the main rules and Soviet army lists at a reasonable discount.  It bit into new adds to my book collection but I still managed to pick up the Star Trek Stellar Cartography book I'd been eyeing for a while by paying the remainder out of pocket.  Once I've had a read through I'm looking forward to learning a new game and giving it a try.  It's nice to be trying a new rule set with other similarly new players where everyone is on the same page.

Hohenstaufen readies for service.  Repainted, rebased and needing a little more work on the bases.

OK, the bit about rules is out of the way so we can get back to cool things about this project :P .  Terrain!  I'm quite excited at the possibility of building some really cool stuff.  The broad selection of photographs and documentation surrounding the Second World War could melt my brain while hardly scratching the surface.  With so much to draw on finding good reference material for buildings and battlefields shouldn't be a struggle.   I've already found some wonderful photos that beg to brought to life in 28mm scale.  In a recent post I'd mentioned a TWD police station I'd been working on.  It provided me with some valuable insights into working with foamcore and textured paper that should give me a foundation to work from for this portion of the project.  The plan here is to try to get enough buildings together to suggest a town or at the least a western European village.  It will probably be a huge undertaking but let's see what happens over the course of the year and hope for the best.  

Last Weird War 2 holdouts need new bases and better paint. 

Any campaign offers an opportunity to build a narrative around it and those tied into historical narratives intrigue me especially.  By interjecting elements of history into fiction and adjusting them even slightly a new story might result or the outcome of battles on the table top might create situations where history suddenly does an about turn and an alternate history comes to be.  There is a broad line between alternate history and Weird War but I appreciate both.  Whether the twist involves intelligence that didn't make it's destination that changed the course of battle, Nazis vampires in the service of Axis Transylvania or Captain America and the Invaders I'd like to se a bit of it all in the Bolt Action games.  I'll have to have another look at Konflikt '47.  Premise for the technological leap and departure from actual supernatural units left me a little cold but it might provide a cool framework for integrating fantastic forces into the game and story.  My sweet spot for weird war is probably tech that is just beyond plausible with a mix of barely understood mysticism thrown on top.  That's all for the first installment of the 2019 plan.  I'll share some of the other areas I hope to cover this year on the blog and in hobby. 


  1. Those SS are coming along fabulously. One of the advantages you’ll find with them in Bolt Action is that by being Veterans, you don’t actually need to paint that many of them compared to your Soviets. I look forward to seeing how this develops.

    1. Thanks Kieron. Painting the SS is quite a switch from the Soviets but alternating between the two helped me get more done. They don't paint as quickly as the Soviets but being engaged in a more challenging painting task then relaxing on autopilot through another keeps the paint motor running clean.

  2. WW2 and Weird War 2 has always fascinated me too and so I wish you all the best with this fascinating project. It looks like you're off to a good start already.

    1. I'm super excited about this project Bryan. I've painted some stuff up but never actually had a prospect of being able to play if I was so inclined so this should be pretty cool. I would love to get some Weird into the WW2 games so there should be some odditys and wunder waffens along with the more vanilla fare.


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