Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Talvisota 2016, coming soon!

So the 2016 Talvisota (Winter War) tournament is coming and will be held in Espoo on 30.-31. January. Like last year it will be a Late War themed but the points limit has been cut down drastically, this time it will be 1750 points instead of 1900 points of Talvisota 2015 tournament.

This really limits my most liked options on what to field and I have had to revisit some of my lists that I've planned before to see if they could fit in. I'd like to run (again) a company of Jagdtigers but it's quite hard to get any kind of desent list with every needed support option. Other option would be to run either fully armored list, either trained from Desperate Measures or veteran from Panzers to the Meuse. There's also a few options of infantry companies but I'm personally not that much of a friend of that.

But I'll have to test some of the lists and see if they can work in any way.

Well there it is. Not much to update right now but there will be much more once my order gets here.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Building 15mm scale HMG nests

Hi all!
I've been asked how I did my HMG nests and objectives for Flames of War. What do I use to do them and where do I pull my ideas. The ideas come from everyday life and from experience, everyday life, from the works of others and from reference pictures.
- tooth picks/coctail sticks (a lot of them)
- PVA glue
- clippers
- pincers (optional, only if you don't want to glue your fingers)
- hobby knife (a sharp one, WATCH THOSE FINGERS!)
- little scissors (for cutting the gauge)
- medium/large bases (depends on what you want to build)
- pumice (you can chose the color and thickness by yourself, I'm using Brown Earth)
- tools to spread the pumice (the smaller the better, you can fit into small gaps)
- diyed gauge (feel free to use any color or method you like for diying, I used tea)
- The Plan
First, before anything, you have to have a clear plan, a visual (drawing, reference picture, plan in your head), what you're about to do. In my case, and example here, I had a visual of an L-shaped MG nest that we used to dig in the army, although we did it open topped.

The Plan

For starters I planned the general shape of the nest and the placement of camo nets, at this point all other, more decorative, groundwork was skipped. For this I used Adobe Photoshop CS 6 but this could have been made just as easily with Paint. The only thing that was measured into correct size was the base as it greatly helps to adjust everything else into correct size. For the HMG nests I use medium bases. which are 2”/50mm wide by 1¼”/32mm deep. If I'd do an objective I'd use large base which is 2”/50mm wide by 2½”/65mm deep.

First part - The Build - Front view
Following the plan closely I started cutting all the needed pieces for the first layer. I did it this way so I could first match up one layer and then cut the rest of the pieces using the firsts as guides.

Once all the pieces were cut I used PVA glue to make up the first layer and let it settle for a while. It's easier to work after the base is stabile. I prefer PVA over super glue because it hardens slowly and you have time to adjust the "logs" into right place. I suggest using pincers to help with the placement (I didn't use and got my fingers glued - luckily only with PVA which you can get off easily).

First part - The Build - Back view
I first built the basic structure without the roof as I added some support beams inside. Then made the roof to stabily the whole built. The entryway and the firing slit outer walls were built last.

First part - The Build - Top view

Second part - The Ground - Front view
After the PVA had dried I glued some tree trunks (the fallen tree trunk was added after the pumice) and then dug out my Brown Earth pumice and started to spread it with a small tool. I tried to leave the roof and one layer of logs visible. I forgot first to put pumice to the roof but put it there later on.

Second part - The Ground - Back view
Now it was time to add the rocks to bring some more life to the bases. I did this before the pumice dried so didn't have to use any glue on them.

Sorry for missing all the pictures of part three which was painting the whole thing up.

First a wash with Nuln Oil, followed by multiple drybrush layers of VMC Beige Brown (until you are hapy with it). Then highlighted with Citadel Kommando Khaki (again until you're hapy with it).

Basecoated with VMC Chocolate Brown and then washed with Nuln Oil to deepen the reccess. I then used the Beige Brown to highlight the the woodworks and did secondary highlight with a mix of Beige Brown and White (can't remember my mix but you do it with what looks good for you). And naturally you can try with different colors to create different type of trees. Or you can leave the tree trunks as is. I actually tried to mimic birch with the fallen tree, basecoated it with Black, then made random patterns with Pale Grey Blue and highlighted with White.

MGs were painted with Light Grey, washed with Nuln Oil and highlighted with Light Grey.

Fourth part - Camoflage - Back view
Once all the painting was done it was time to add rest of the nature. I tried to randomize the placement for the bushes (suggesting PVA for this) and grass (use watered down PVA for this). Lastly it was time to add camo nets. First cutted the gauge into rectangular shapes and positioned them somewhat where I think it would help to hide the nest. I then applied watered down PVA with a brush and bend the gauge into shape.

Fourth part - Camoflage - Front view
And here you go, the end result of our build. Notice how the gauge has darkened while the PVA has dried.

Finished result - Back view

Finished result - Birds eye

Finished result - Front view
And here is a little flashback of my older I-shaped HMG nests. These are also build on medium base but as they are only I-shaped they have more room inside so I could fit a gunner with MG inside instead of just an MG like in L-shaped nest.
I-shaped, finished, HMG nests
I hope you find this usefull but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments :)

Friday, 11 September 2015

Long time no post - Please have some HMG!

Hi and sorry for not posting anything up for a long time. I've been quite busy at my work and personal life and thus it has all limited my time to finish anything.

But something has been finished, it's nothing big but I'm quite fond of them although two of them will be shipping out but I hope to still see them on the battlefield and AARs by a friend abroad. So what have I finished, well three HMG nests.

These are built in L-shape with exit routes. The idea came to me thanks to the friend who asked me to do some nests and from my time in Finnish Defence Forces and when we dug up this kind of possitions into the woods. Otherwise these are built just like the earlier HMG nests.

Thank you and enjoy!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Halkomahooli goes Flames of War in Facebook


I've created a Facebook page to show you previews of what's going on and what is on the painting table.

You can follow me @ Halkomahooli goes FoW

This is due to being more simple way to quickly share a picture or two of the current stage of an unfinished project than write a full blogtext of it.

But don't worry, I will still write here and show you what I've done and finished.

Thank you!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Last line of defence, objective

While I'm waiting for the Jagdtiger to arrive to LGS for the Nibelungen Works objective, I've started planning for the next build. I think this could be located to either front or inside Berlin itself, a last defence line. It will be an Anti-Tank bunker armed with 3,7cm PaK36 (definately outdated by the end of the war) which will be defended by two German soldiers armed to the teeth with panzerfausts, panzerschreck and an MG42.

This would be either an active bunker made out of concrete (would be build like the wall on the Nibelungen Works) or a destroyed one, I haven't desided yet.

So far there is only a sketch drawing with no thought given to troop or equipment placement. I will get to that once I'm closer to finishing the Nibelungen Works objective.

If you'd like to help with planning and have your "touch" seen in this build, drop me a comment with your suggestion.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Jagdtiger factory - Nibelungen Works, objective

Hello there!

Thanks to some other very good painters and bloggers I've opted to build and paint a red tone Jagdtiger. Difference in my work is, I'm going to use it not only in gaming but also as an objective. I thought that I should do something different on this build compared to what others have do (or what I've seen) so why not build some surroundings. And what would be more iconic than the building site of these behemoths, the Nibelungen Works.

Due to heavy weight of JT I need to do some more work for the building and planning stages as I'll need to add some magnets to hold the massive weight of the JT in place. For this I'll be using 3 or 4 5mm*1mm round rare earth magnets with one side drilled into the tracks and the other smoothed to pavement level with pumice.

The scene will be set as a JT parked next to a concrete wall while a guard watches over so no one will try to steal or sabotage this great beast.

The concrete wall is made with inner core from coctail sticks and a light layer of pumice to create the concrete itself, the coctail sticks create a nice shape, just like the one when builders use a mold build from planks to cast the concrete.

As my pumice is light brownish I first painted it black and then light grey. It was then washed to bring out the details and drybrushed with different shades of light grey. I also reasoned that my wall would need a barbed wire on top of it so I took some wire and rolled it around a paintbrush. I then painted it grey with a bit different shade than the wall itself and clued it in place.

 Thanks for reading and be sure to check out for further updates on the project.

Friday, 26 June 2015

German objectives

Hi all :)

I finally managed to finish my two objectives I have been building for almost two months now. As the summer begun so did my "daytime" job (nightshifts) which perfectly cut my painting time to zero. But I did took some time where I could and little by little finished this build.

I'm quite pleased for the end results though I think the "bunker" came out too high. What I really like is the look of the forward outpost. As an after thought I could have added some more equipments like panzerfausts and boxes but I can add those later if I want (no varnish applied).

I am already planning new objectives to be built, or pillboxes on a large base. Will post some sketch images once I get my pen and paper out.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Painting German LW infantry, Halkomahooli-style

Hi there!

After I posted some finished pictures of my LW German infantry for the two unfinished objectives I'm currently building, I've been asked on how I did that part or this. So I thought I should propably collect it all under one headline. Here I give you, fellow gamers and painters, a painting guide on how I painted my German troops, Halkomahooli-style.

Helmets are a mix of unknown portions of VMC Light Grey, VMC Black and VMC Cam. Olive Green. Likely the mix is as follows: 6:1:3. It can also be a bit lighter in which case add more Light Grey.

After applying a few coats of this mix, washed with Nuln Oil. First highlight added with the original color and top highlight with pure Light Grey.

Uniforms are a result of Basecolor VMC Black followed by VMC Luftwaffe Cam. Green. Next added VMC Cam. Olive Green and VMC Russian Unif. WWII.

Final highlight was a light mix of Cam. Olive Green and VMC Pale Grey Blue. It's quite light color that I use, the mix is something like 5:2 which is enough to get it very light.

After this I washed the uniform with watered down Cam. Olive Green (CAUTION! Use very little amount of this green wash and wipe 95% or more of it off or you'll lose the initial highlights!) and after that with Nuln Oil. Then I re-highlighted the uniform with the mix I had created before, first with a bit darker tone (add 1 or 2 drops of Cam. Olive Green) and then with original mix.

MGs, and other metallish parts were made NMM (non-metallic metal) with Light Grey as a base, washed with Nuln Oil and highlighted with Light Grey.

Bags, straps and pouches were made the same way as the MGs stocks. A coat of Chocolate Brown followed by a coat of Beige Brown. After this washed lightly with Nuln Oil and highlighted with Beige Brown.

Gasmask canister and the tent mattres were first painted with a mix of VMC Middlestone and Beige Brown, the mix was about 3:2. I then washed with them lightly with Nuln Oil. Highlights were made with the basecoat mix and extreme highlights with pure Middlestone.

Faces were painted Dwarf Flesh (GW), and highlighted with it after a Nuln Oil wash.

The boots were left Black.

So here you you have a nicely finished LW German troops. It took me 6 hours to just do these 4 guys so it might not be a way to quickly get your minis painted. Though I'm not the fastest painter around :)

See you around!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Something totally different...

...something completely bizare and it won't happend again! Promise!

But I just have to show you guys my HMS Revenge, Imperial Flagship from Lego, set number 6271. Yes you read it right, LEGO! My legos have been in the basement for over a decade now and I decided it was about time to bring them out again. I had promised to my son that he would get my old legos in time and that time has now come. I told him what kind of sets I had and could build and he chose my redcoat ship made in the 90s'. She still lacks her sails as I need to wash them but otherwise she's complete. I only had to change two pieces as I didn't find the correct color ones. My future plan for her is to buy one or two more mid section and other needed pieces so I can fit three guns on her deck and maybe extend her to two masts.

"Hoist the colors!"

"Ready the guns!"
HMS Revenge

"Full sails! To new adventures!"

Monday, 20 April 2015

HMG Nests

A quick update to show you two finished HMG Nests. I will need to do 6 sections of trenches to have minimum fortifications.

I'm also working with two German objectives, a command "bunker" and an outpost.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Tactica Jagdtiger Chapter 3 - Confident Veteran

Previously I've taken a look into reluctant veteran and reluctant trained Jagdtiger companies found in Nuts! and Bridge at Remagen. So I think it's finally time to have a look into the heart of the most experienced and motivated Jagdtiger armed force to be found, a confident veteran 1./512.sPzJgAbt from Bridge at Remagen.

This force has the peak of motivation of any Jagdtiger armed forces so it goes without saying it also is the most expensive too. With whooping 395 points per Jagdtiger it also is the most expensive unit you can dream of having. This will also be your Achilles Heel as you wont get many Jagdtigers so you'll need to look else where for more fighting force. Luckily this company has it, with maximum of 4 Panzer IV Js and/or StuG G (late)s you'll be able to give your force some assaulting teeth and some more hulls. This though has a downside as these will come your opponents primary targets to knock out.

For AA you have two slots available, one as an organic AAA with either Wirbelwinds or Ostwinds. The second option is an allied platoon from Luftwaffe with either 88', 2cm FlaK38s,  2cm Flakvierling 38s or 3.7cm FlaK43s. All of the options are good in their own  way. The AAA options is rated as confident veteran so can be relied to stay standing a bit longer than their Luftwaffe counterparts who are rated reluctant trained and are of course allies and thus follow all appropriate rules.

With infantry you are spoiled with options and it all comes down to how you like to play your force. You can either go all half-tracked with two Panzergrenadier platoons, rated reluctant veterans, and an upgrade drilling H/Ts. Or you can take very good defensive infantry with Volksgrenadiers who have the option to take a panzerschreck. These come either as reluctant veterans or reluctant traineds, depending on your style and need. And finally we have the reluctant conscript Volkssturms with their tank terror panzerfausts. These guys can be an effective speed bump for enemy tanks but don't expect them to hold a flank on their own.

Next up we have the all cheerfull German artillery. Here you have all kinds of nice options from 7.5 FK40 (7.5 PaK40) to 150 sFH18s and 15cm to 30cm Nebelwerfers. Some of us might find big guns tempting but don't underestimate the smaller guns with their cheaper points. Volks artillery also comes either with 3 or 6 guns compared to normal German artillery platoons. You will also have two options for training, trained or veteran. For everyone the motivation is the same, reluctant, at this stage of the war.

Finally we come to the air support which has the Arado 234 bomber which is a great as it can't be intercepted and has a FP 1+ bombs. You also have the option for Me 262, also can't be intercepted, or FW 190F which are both good crafts.

1900 points

As with the confident veteran Jagdtigers you'll be using minimum of 785 points into your Jagdtigers alone (2 Jagdtigers), this list suits better to higher points games.

You might want to then take a look at the Panzer IVs and StuG G (late)s as a cheap option for hulls.

Here I've made one 1900 points example list which excels both in assaulting and defending.

Compulsory HQ Jagdtiger - CiC Jagdtiger 395

As the Jagdtigers are so expensive in this list I've taken just the minimum required, one in HQ and one in the compulsory platoon. It still is enough high AT and digging power.

Compulsory Jagdtiger platoon - 1* Jagdtiger 395
Panzer platoon - 4* Panzer IV J 350

I also took four Panzer IV Js to be my bodies and possible assault force. They are still good against medium tanks like T-34 or M4 Shermans. Just keep them out of fire as much as possible, and as with any German force Stormtrooping is your friend so do it right.

Panzer Anti-Aircraft Gun platoon - 3* Ostwinds 180

For weapons platoon, I chose 3 Ostwinds due to their range, AT and FP over Wirbelwinds higher RoF. If you want you can get a fourth Ostwind by dropping 3 nebelwerfers.

Panzergrenadier platoon with drilling 220
Panzergrenadier platoon with drilling 220

For first support choices I've taken two platoons of Panzergrenadiers as I think their H/Ts are great in defence and they give me the ability to use mounted assault. Also the drilling H/T upgrade is a great thing.

Volks Rocket Launcher Battery - 6* NW41 135

Lastly I've taken a battery of 6 nebelwerfers. They will give me smoke and the ability to pin with rerolls to misses which I think is great.

So there we have it, 1895 points and 6 platoons in total of 1./512.sPzJgAbt. This list is moderately good on both on assault and on defence. It has mobility, high end firepower, smoke, AA and staying power. One thing it lacks is recon but as with almost every German heavy tank list/tank destroyer list, you can't have it.


First of, you are able to defend thanks to Defenders of the Ruhr special rule and I suggest you use it, atleast for the first part of the match. In this stage your goal should be to take out any artillery and mobile AT units. This should last 2 or 3 turns.

Second stage is your preparation for assault. Move your Panzer IVs into position with your infantry and AAA. Jagdtigers should be used to snipe out any AT guns prior to assault. Use smoke to limit your enemys line of sight. Duration of this stage, 1 or 2 turns.

Last stage. Here you mop up any survivors. Use your Panzer IVs as a spearhead into assault followed by your mounted infantry. Why this way? Because the Panzer IVs can stand up the assault way better thanks to their armor and being confident instead of reluctant. Duration, remaider of the game.

Remember to concentrate your forces on one flank. It might be good idea to first leave the second Panzergrenadier platoon to protect your nebelwerfers but once the enemy starts to move his forces to aid the other flank, rush up and use smoke to cover your advance.

Don't be affraid to lose some forces. You can't avoid it.

Good luck Commander!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Modelling Carius and Jagdtiger

Hi all!

Before we had Winter War tournament in the break of January-February, I got some time on taking a look on different lists for 2./512.sPzJgAbt. I pondered on having a company full of infantry and heavy tank killers. During the tournament my wanting for this kind of heavy hitting list grew but only with 3 Jagdtigers it wasn't going to pull through.

So I got to get myself a fourth Jagdtiger.

In the tournament I used my only JT with a commander pocking out to represent Carius but that left me with a problem, how to tell a part my 2iC and the lonely JT platoon which neither had a commander visible (I could tell which one was which by looking at the gun barrel colors). So with the fourth I set to work to make myself an individual Carius model. I bought a normal Battlefront JT model from a sale and a platoon of tank escorts to have something special to add to this model.

It was then time to go to work and follow my plan (which you can find here).

First up was the conversion work. I added AA MG and some blankets, bags and a helmet for personalization. I also removed some details for a more individual look and checked places for the tank escorts. Then it was time for the paintjob.

I used Vallejo Black as an undercoat for the whole model. This helps me to create shadowlines to the model. Next I mixed Beige Brown and White to get a light brown basecolor. I then used masking tape to create camouflage pattern I was happy with.

Camouflage was done with Pale Blue Grey painted in two or three light layers. After removing the masking tapes I corrected any errors free hand. As you can see I did add some more patterns to the left side of the hull just before highlights as i deemed the left side was too bare. I did this free hand.

I then moved on to apply highlights to the PBG areas that were higher than the main body of the hull (ventilation, hooks etc.). I used PBG mixed with White to get a lighter color and picked up details. I then used pure White as an extreme highlight.

Highlights for the rest of the tank were achieved using my mix of Beige Brown and White with more White added. This time I only picked up most highest of surfaces. The extreme highlights were done by adding even more White to the previous mix.

The bag, camonet, tools and plankets first got a coat of Chocolat Brown followed by a coat of Beige Brown. Gun, MG, spare tracks, jack and tracks were painted grey with a mix of Black and White (I was out of my usual color of grey). For the camonet I did blops with Beige Brown. Exhausts were painted with Hull Red, washed with Nuln Oil and the highlighted again with Hull Red. Measurement poles on the right side of the hull were first painted with Hull Red and the stripes were done with White.

I used various greens on camonet and Beige Brown in several layers with Nuln Oil in between. I washed every detail with Nuln Oil. Once this was done I started to highlight all the areas with appropriate colors. For the green plankets highlights I used Beide Brown mixed with Russian Uniform Green in about 1:2. Brown planket was done with Beige Brown as a mid tone tooned down with Nuln Oil and then highlighting again with Beige Brown. The tracks I left without highlights as it seemed best.

Carius was only highlighted with grey. Face and hands painted with Dwarf Flesh, washed with Nuln Oil and Highlighted again with Dwarf Flesh. Belt and headphones were done with Chocolat Brown highlighted with Beige Brown. Headphones wire was highlighted with Pale Blue Grey.

Now as the Jagdtiger was ready, it was time to start painting the tank escorts. I painted these part by part and I begun from the clothes. First I applied an even coat of Luftwaffe Cam. Green. Then I mixed in a very little amount of Pale Blue Grey and applied that leaving a tiny bit of previous color showing to the deeper parts. I repeated this twice more adding ever so little more PBG into the previous mix. Later, after some suggestions (thanks guys at Flames of War FB group), I washed the clothing with watered down Luftwaffe Cam. Green. Helmets were washed very carefully with watered down grey mix and then to more darker effect with Nuln Oil. I tried to left some green showing in the helmets to create an illusional effect, I'm not sure if this turned out ok.

Leather and wood parts were first painted with Chocolat Brown, highlighted with Beige Brown, tooned down with Nuln Oil and then highlighted again with Beige Brown. Finally I did a extreme highlight with Beige Brown mixed with a small amount of Pale Blue Grey. Metal parts and cantines were painted with grey, washed with Nuln Oil and then highlighted with grey. Extreme highlights were done with pure Pale Blue Grey. Boots were left black, highlighted with grey and tooned down with Nuln Oil.

Finishing touches

As the painting of the camonet turned out to be a total fiasko, I asked some help from Flames of War FB group. From there I got very good advices to use roll bandage as a camonet after I've coloured it. For a tutorial on how to do camouflage nets I highly suggest you take a look at this tutotial. Thanks to these advices my Carius in his Jagdtiger is now finished.

All masked and camouflage applied

This is how it looked after removing the tapes

Highlights added
Finished Jagdtiger and Carius
Clothes done and ready
Finished Begleit Tank Escorts
All done and ready, camos added and escorts are ready to protect and serve!

Well here you have it. I hope this has enlighten you on how I did this model. I liked to work with this model and with all the little conversions. Perhaps I have to do another conversion like this some day :)

I'd like to thank everyone who helped me with this project, eiher with advices or any other means. And I like to thank you dear readers for reading my blog!