In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Painting the Expanse

Of course with a rush of enthusiasm I have pushed aside some commission work and started bashing on with my Firefly in the Expanse project.

My friend at work who has been saving me the CNC tool boxes was asking me what I was doing with them, so that spurred me last weekend to start some cutting and gluing.

The big double wide is a store/brothel/admin center/community center (maybe all 4, I'm not going to judge). The small building is a workshop surrounded by piles of junk and barrels of printer matrix or chemicals.

While the epoxy was setting I decided to start painting figures too and try out some techniques. I black spray primed the buildings on Monday after work, promptly dropping them causing some damage that needed repair! During the week was painting more figures, painting the buildings and I started the ship's launch too.

Since the buildings are converted shipping containers I printed off some corporate logos and made stencils, deliberately positioning them underneath/behind the added windows and roof thingies. Assorted old warning labels are on the ends at the big doors. I also painted anything retrofitted to the shipping container in a a light grey so it will stand out as something not original to the structure.

Blue Sun corporation

Weyland Corp

Checking around the workshop


back of workshop
The bases of the buildings haven't been painted yet. But I want the glue to have 24 hours to dry.

The RAFM figures come with nice round bases, so adding additional washers or MDF bases isn't really necessary.

I should add some more signage methinks. Perhaps in a mix of English, Hindi and Chinese or Russian. But I'll have to hand paint that as my printer is not of high enough resolution to do crisp lettering that small.

Friday, September 8, 2017

What Colour is Your Spacesuit?

RAFM ran a 40% off sale a month ago so I jumped on it and ordered the first figures for what I'm thinking of as my "Firefly meets some Dark Matter in the Expanse" project. They arrived the day after the Long Weekend, but up until today all my time has been taken up with overtime or cadet administration and bureaucracy.

I got two packs each of 7012 and 7022 who are in space suits. Plus one each of the crewmen, pirates, space vixens (!) and guerrillas to be colonists, plucky free roaming ship's crew, rebels, terrorists or gangsters. So there's a good mix of male and female unarmed, wielding knives, armed with pistols and a few with shotguns. Two packs of the planetary militia (pack #7023) will provide the local corporate security contractors. I also ordered one of these:

Spartan Grav APC

If I take the gun off it can be a nice ship's launch. Light grey with a broad red stripe around the aft end.

Looking at their 28mm SF stuff I noticed a nice drone to back up the Security guys.ASD MkII A2 (missile drone)
Although I guess it won't work in a vacuum. But the hallways in the colony will be big.

Two of RAFM's Imp APCs rounded out the order.


So now I"m pondering spacesuits. I'm thinking the space suited guys will be rebels/angry miners and security wonks rather than regular military. And because Major Matt Mason was a favourite toy as a child of the 70s, I'm thinking colours:

 Or maybe light grey with coloured insets/details.

One of the chaps on the CNC mills at work has been scrupulously saving for me the nifty plastic boxes that the cutting tools come in. I have big ones to make colonist buildings and smaller ones for containers in the planned warehouse.

Now to get cutting and painting!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Siege Lines

I'd always thought of gabions as being an 18th and 19th century thing. But really, basket weaving is an old skill so I wasn't all that surprised to learn that gabions were used at least as far back as the Middle Ages.
Image result for wicker gabion medieval
If we found a carving showing Romans using gabions during a siege I wouldn't be surprised either. They were quite familiar with using baskets to move dirt, so it'd be the next logical step to make bigger baskets and stack them up to protect you from enemy arrows.

The wooden bases I got at Michael's a few weeks ago prompted me to finish up the Renedra gabion set I got at Hotlead. So I fixed them to bases, making two gun positions and three sets of wall to set around bigger mantlets. For the gun positions I closed the gap with a rough box made from match sticks and coffee stirrers. The inside of the box got a chunk of foam to fill it and then covered with sand.

The large mantlets are from a children's toy. The  awkward onager was cut off and the dorky shield got covered in more coffee stirrer planks.

Other mantlets are from the old RAFM Siege Equipment line, some resin cast hide pavises that I got from somewhere and more scratch built from popsicle sticks.
RAFM swinging mantlets with RAFM large bombard

RAFM mantlets

Resin pavises

Popsicle stick mantlets

Now I just need a better castle to lay siege too. Nothing too big, since I don't see the siege itself as a game, but all the actions around it; sorties, foraging expeditions, relief attempts etc. which could all be played out with Lion/Dragon Rampant.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Spanking the Powder Monkey at Broadsword 4

The Hamilton Tabletop Gaming Society meets weekly at the Hamilton Legion, Light Infantry branch. The Legion lets them use the room for free, so Barnaby of the HTGS runs the Broadsword game days 3 or 4 times a year as a fundraiser for them.
Usually I can't make it but this weekend I had an opening in my calendar. So I picked up Mikey at 0700 and we made the 90 minute drive.
In the morning I got into a demo of the Cold War gone hot version of Flames of War, Team Yankee. Very pretty toys. Our squadron of Chieftains stopped the Soviet hordes at least for a few hours.

After a not bad bacon sandwich and a beer I tried the new pirate game Blood & Plunder!
Got a good taste for the rules. Lovely production values. Very detailed; your ship's crew is divided into four units  and with drawing cards and manipulating your hand you are deciding in which order to activate them for firing guns or managing the sails to control your speed. Keith and I closed the range and played our cards right to get a good broadside in leaving the enemy deck awash with blood. But then they rammed us, pushing us onto a shoal.

Mikey then spent some time with the GM (who is new to tabletop games) discussing ways to make better sails and knot tying  (Mikey has been a Scout Master for about 50 years so he knows his knots).
Of the two dealers, the one was sold out of the one thing I wanted so I didn't buy anything except food.
All in all, a fun day and worth the $10 admission.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Elven Light Troops

Wave 2 of the Army of Hollin begins to arrive.

I bought these Vendel Elves in the winter from someone on the Lead Adventures Forum and got them in April when my friend Peter could collect them during a trip to England.

During clean up I noticed a lot of problems associated with worn out moulds; heavy flash and several frightening holes in the cloaks on the archers. At first I thought to make it work for me, giving the cloaks a worn out campaign look. But the hand maidens of Naleth weave better stuff than that so I filled them in with epoxy I already had mixed for gluing on spears. Some of the flash at the face and cloak I couldn't remove and just covered in paint to make it part of their camouflage.
Can't see the holes now

16 archers and 8 light spearmen give me a second unit of light missile with sharpshooter upgrade and a unit of light foot with missiles. So now the smaller Ral Partha "Scottish archer running" who have been fleshing out my elvish firepower can return to the armies of the Northern Kingdom. Or I can field a really big, very shooty army with three units of elite bow.

For the light foot I used a grey blue and ochre to do a low visibility version of the blue and yellow shields carried by the armoured spearmen.

I finished the bases with the new excellent flower tufts from Shadow's Edge. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?

In my on going efforts to make my medieval village look more real and lived in, I wanted to make some vegetable gardens for the cottages.

From Richard Clarke on the Too Fat Lardies blog I got the idea to use miniature paper roses for cabbages. Now just try to find some. I've been looking haphazardly for a couple of years now with no luck.

The opening this weekend of a Michael's craft store helped out. So yesterday I bought a pack of roses for $8 and some thin wooden shapes.

 I covered the roses with green ink.
While waiting for ink to dry I prepped some bases.  Sand, burnt umber brown and then a lighter brown dry brush.
Then it was a quick job of gluing on cabbages, clump foliage, flower tufts and green tufts then flocking around the edges.

Here a couple of the ladies check things out:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Flash Ride for HVTs

SUVs pop up in reading about Afghanistan a lot. So I'd been keeping an eye out for one for my Taliban field commander or local Drug lord to ride in. A big Ford Escalade would be nice, and I could get a 3D print for 12.00, but I spotted this Matchbox Landrover for a dollar in the local sprawl-mart. 

Sweet ride!

I got it home, opened the package and found this very naff roof with out of scale luggage (that Jerry can is pretty huge).
What's with the see through luggage?
What to do? Cover it? Remove it? Paint it?

So it sat on the table for a month or more until I settled upon "go big or go home" and added even more luggage from my left over stowage.

There, all set to be targeted by my SF teams.