Thursday, 21 June 2018

Storage Boxes and Trays

In an earlier post I talked about Really useful Boxes and Commission Figurines' trays.
Having finished off a lot of my 6mm ancients I needed to maximise the number I can get in one box, Why carry two boxes when one will do, well it's lighter came to mind when I'd done, but I'd rather pump-lead that walk the distance twice!.

Anyway one 9 ltr really useful box can take 4 20mm trays and 2 30mm trays 6 trays in total for a total height of 140mm. As the MDF is 2mm wide then a 20mm tray gives you 18mm of model space, a 30m tray gives you 28mm

When I fill the RU box I put the Kontos carrying tray in the top s it has at least another 2mm of space because the lid has a raised centre.

In the picture the top two trays are the 30mm ones with cavalry in.
The white tape is masking tape I've passed through the handles and then stuck to itself, these surprisingly robust handle allow me to gently lower the trays into the box.

The tray contain 2 Roman armies, a Dacian Army and a Sarmation Army and yes there is space for a few more units.

The 9 Litre box, yes I can still lift it up.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Alien Trees 2 6mm-15mm or 28mm Scrub

In my continuing push to make scenery for my Mechanoid game, I was considering the plastic aquarium plant selections, but they all seemed to big and didn't do it for me. I wanted small leaves.

I also wanted an alien feel to them so green was a no go.

In a previous article I talked about making Alien trees these were for 28mm 40K games. These were wire and string efforts. I pushed the idea on with variants for Saga/Frostgrave producing a very tall Cedar of Lebanon. In 40K you also need some Jungle Terrain and you can make that with plastic aquarium plants, the problem being with them that they are too low. However by threading them through a kebab stick fixed in a drilled mdf board, you can have almost as much height as you want.

Mind open to ideas I waited, I find if I go looking for stuff I wont find it, it has to be a light-bulb moment and is often better because of it. I also find that if I don't feel like moving forwards with the plan then there is something, some point I've missed. So I wait for fruition, of course some times it's instant but I wasn't happy with my plans.

It grew on me:
1) the red flock
2) getting a mat with red patches on it.

Then I found a plant option I pulled a few bit out in the store to check it out and the leaves were perfect, I pushed the small spray back on and bought it, in fact I've been back to buy a second and 'Oh there is a large green ball too!'

But... it was mauve, I tried to think of it as purple as that would fit better but it is most definitely the blue side of purple, mauve trees on an alien planet? Why not, but yet...

I played around with the idea and used cocktail sticks as the holes were smaller than aquarium plants. I threaded 2-5 pieces on each stick to increase height and thickness of the 'plant'.

You get the idea. And there I stopped, dithered.

The the light-bulb moment was more a memory as I went through stuff from way back in the 1990's the precursors to the jungle terrain I'd made for my 9 year old son (who am I kidding? and me!).

The foliage had come from a supplier of artificial planets to florists. This is way back in time before plastic aquarium plants! The items were gold in colour so I'd spray painted them green, in time the green had peeled off.

But now I had proper plastic foliage and proper acrylic spray paint, in fact I had Blood angel Red or Dragon red depending on your supplier and voila, now we are motoring!

N.B. don't be too accurate with your red paint, green and mauve showing through adds belief.

My usual wood filler as basing material on to small MDF bases and some larger ones, can't use CDs as I want to drill trough them and glue my cocktail sticks in. Black spray the bases, dry brush grey and then almost white, as described earlier, flock then drill hole from top through base onto old wood, not wife's favourite table top, as if (cough). For variety do a large base and clump it with 4 sticks.I use the small plants as scatter on my wood defined areas, moving them to one side as unts pass through, the larger bases I place as individual clumps of impenetrable, LOS blocking, dense terrain.

Cocktail stick pushed in from below point first, then last bit  glued before final push through base. At this point my youngest kitten jumped on to the table I had 20 of these bases out and at that moment they looked like a field of caltrops I had visions of a stabbed paw and a large vet's bill. (Never mind the flack from CiC/SWMBO.)

However after threading the plants on I stuck a small bead on the top, it looks like the budding growth point of the plant - need is the mother of invention and inspiration.

I've made these for 6mm, they'd work for 10-15, just lengthen the cocktail stick my max length was 2/3rds. OFC they would also make good scrub for 28mm, and that's what I like versatility.

Hope you approve.

Mechanoids Revisited

The great plan is to use the Mechanoids, their domes, tree scenery and cloth at the next Joy of 6  which a must visit for UK 6mm gamers.

So a few practise games to get our hand in so to speak and a realisation that green cloth and trees doesn't do it.

Hence the push for Alien terrain, cloth, etc etc.

Rather than rebase my existing mechanoids and being one of those that never does anything by halves, when I can do 5 times more than I will ever field at the same time. I cracked on with some new models.

Having learnt from my previous efforts, I now base my models (whisper it, beads) and then undercoat, especially as I want black basing. I then add the panel pins and for the new large battle Mechanoids because the hole in the top is too large I thread the panel pin through a black sequin first.

Mechanoid are then dry brushed with chain mail and then the visual unit is painted on Jade green with another lighter french green on top. I wasn't getting the results I wanted with the vision panel and accidentally ended up with a horizontal bar, which I prefer so redid those already done and pressed on.
One of the issues I have is with a black spray paint I'm using as undercoat that refuses to be painted. applying paint is like adding oil to water it probably isn't an undercoat per se, you live and learn.

Bases are then dry brushed a medium grey which seems to have a brownish tinge to it, that fits well with the cloth and then I add white to the grey and a lighter dry brush. Then it's add a little PVA and red flock, I'm using a mix of reds with a little green, original packets all bought from e-bay.

Those who read the previous Mechanoid construction Blog will note that there is now a much larger bead doing service as a Battle Mechanoid the previous versions have been re worked as Mechannons.

4,000 point army list, an adapted HOF Droid list for fun I've renamed the droids. Those keener eyed amongst you will spot the version number is based on shooting attacks and range, well why not?

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Mechanoid Domes - construction

Having made your Mechanoid army you want suitable scenery.

A lot of the games we have been playing on are on a Tinywar games Terminator mat with the 28mm iconography (tyres/skeletons/roads) removed and lately with red grass printed on it. See link

I now wanted a Mechanoid base or settlement but what to use. I was thinking of the Eden Garden Project for this.

With this in mind I went about normal life with what you know is a 'Wargamers eye', a request came in from my CiC to go to IKEA, and I was happy enough to go along with the idea even if it was only for the Swedish Meatballs. As ever we went to the left over bin, with old or damaged or ex-display stock and there it was my Mechanoid settlement. The CiC saw me looking at the redundant Xmas tree decorations, saw the look in my eye and said, buy it. She knew there would be no peace until I had. For less than £1 I bought two packets.

Once home and other duties complete I got out the old hacksaw and cut the very top off one and I cut the second in two about a third of the way down from the top. With that moment of instant creativity that sometimes catches you I  placed the small top of the first cut on top of the smaller top end of the second which gave me a small dome with satellite dish
In the image below you can see the just cut examples, the decoration to the right awaiting its turn.

I didn't expect to get three domes from two ornaments or indeed as I repeated the sequence six domes from four; it seems I bought too many ornaments, guess they can go on thee tree next year.

I based these up on old CD's first putting on a layer of wood filla I applied 'Copydex' (a latex glue) to the bottom of the ornaments and pushed them home. This basing system requires an overnight rest to bond well, but has the advantage of being very strong until you add a lot of water whereupon you can easily separate them with out damage to the models or scenery. However ready or not I could photograph them and here they are with newly painted Mechanoids, these have matching black bases.

Dry brushed and flocked they await the first game. The red flock/static grass is a home made mix of various reds and browns purchased from e-bay. The red bushes are pulled from the centre of a floor cleaner/polisher, the bit that is discarded to fit onto the head. 

I was going to paint or ink the domes, but thought hell no, let the alien sun shine brightly on the domes.

The green dials/observation nodes have since changed shape, and have been repainted as oblong like slits.

Mechanoids establish their grip on their new world

Every Mechanoid planet needs a name and this one they called; 01010000 01101100 01100001 01101110 01100101 01110100 00100000 00110101 00110111 00110110

As they move from the highlands where they landed and move down to the lowlands they encouter areas of 'fertile' scrubland, this they ignore, aware only of the possibility of hidden predators they push on seeking out the metals they need to create new Mechanoid life, the circuitry and metal carapaces.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Mechanoids settle a new world.

I have been playing Future War Commander and wanted a new cloth.

I wanted an alien planet look.

A friend had already purchased a cloth from Tiny Wargames that gave me part of the look I wanted and as a previous purchaser I knew the product was of high quality and that they were prepared to supply the customer with what they wanted.

My request was straightforwards.

I wanted the Terminator cloth they supply but without the 28 mm elements, i.e. no skeleton, no tyres no road.
To further confuse I wanted red grass on it, if you see their arid cloth and then look at the arid cloth with grass you will understand what I wanted.
An exchange of emails, including photos to check his understanding of what I want and it was delivered today.

I was delighted and threw the cloth over the table and as it happens over some 'Really Useful Boxes'.
The effect was dramatic, so I hung an old star speckled cloth behind it and placed some of my Mechanoid force upon it.

If you want a cloth relevant to your game I can only recommend Tiny Wargames they are brilliant.

More on the Mechanoid models and scenery later.

N.B. I order a 7' x 5' cloth so I can throw it over hills and still have a 6' x 4' table to play on.
I think it looks better than placing hills on the cloth as they never quite match.

Establishing control

Hail Caesar 400 pts AAR - May 29th 2018

Have been busy painting up my Romans, Dacians and Samations. Have also been busy losing way too many battles, the former is why I haven't posted, rather than the later.

Last night I played another game and lost yet again, now a run of 8 I believe.
Still win or lose, it's all 'Blood for the Blood God!'

My army list

I have avoided archers as these have been the soft underbelly that has allowed my opponent easy melee victories that then allow him to flank superior units.
Skirmishers are more meat shields and if they survive long enough then they add support to the melee. My horse archers are to make up the points.

My opponent's

Over time he has dropped his archers and bolt throwers concentrating on warriors. The medium cavalry is a tactical choice and the skirmishers are to make up the points.

We play to the rules except for two house rules:

  1. Infantry are allowed to counter attack if charged and turn to face if charged to the flank, in effect they follow the cavalry rules, but only against infantry.
  2. To represent the inflexibility of  command the Dacians are limited to two commands, in effect minimum command of 6 units rather than 4.
Rome set up three core of 4 units each comprising 2 Legion and 2 Auxila, core 'A' also had a unit of medium cavalry, core 'C' the skirmishers, they were positioned as per the image below at the quarter and half way points of the board.

Dacian command was one large block of two halves, each consisting of 2 Falxmen, 4 warband and 4 skirmishers, the CiC core 'D' had a units of light horse archers.

The Roman General's plan was to move out to both flanks sending his horse sweeping around the bottom woods on to the hill to threaten the Dacian flank.
The Dacian General, me hoped to move forward in bulk accept some flank damage wipe out the Romans in front and then take out which ever of the flanking units was then closest.

Starting postions indicated with letters, final positon where seen or absent at the end of the drawn line.

Roman CiC is 'A'
Dacian CiC is 'D'

Rome began and in two turns quickly moved his Cavalry in core 'A' to the hill and his infantry to the bend in the red line.
Despite a blunder core 'B' took the hill and core 'C' were to get to the flank, again at the bend in the line.

Dacia had moved the troops forwards but on their turn two those in core 'E
1'  had to turn to face the threatening cavalry the rest of the army plodded forwards.

In turn three Rome took advantage of the elements facing off the cavalry and charged them, one legion and two supports destroying the single falxmen and supporting skirmishers. The Dacian in 'E2' joined the fray but for the rest of the game the Roman line held. Core 'D' attempted to assault cores 'B' and 'C'  but failed.

Turn four and they succeeded, the CiC joined in the fray fighting with the 2 warbands against core 'C' who lost only one unit whilst detroying all of the 2 units in 'D1' and wounding the genera
The other 4 Dacian units in 'D' cored charged the Romans on the central hill and after two rounds of fighting they had also gone.

With one wing destroyed the battlefield belonged to Rome and the surviving Dacians legged it to fight again.

NB, my opponent complained about the overwhelming advantage 4 units of falxmen gave me and stated quite forecfully that there was  no point in playing such an unfair unbalanced game. Hmmmmm apology received at end of game

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

FWC Marine Corp aka Epic Space Marines

Missed the Epic boat years ago and have been slowly accumulating some models.

I play FWC and don't play Epic so I've based some models on the FWC bases I use  and painted up some Iron Warriors and World Eaters as you will see they are 30K colour schemes.

Iron Warriors painted and based

World Eaters

Bases flocked and ready to fight for the Emporer


Some of you may be old enough (like me) to remember these from their first airing on Dr Who a reminder of the Mechanoids  and a clip from The Chase.

I've been playing Future War Commander and as my teleporting Terminators were winning every battle for me, my opponent was not  impressed. I play a Marine Corp army, essential 'Epic Space Marines' whilst I believe he plays an [FWC] Cybernetic Species X31 Army, using Dalek models.
He feels the Terminators with their teleport ability are under rated, a game changer and winner and he's probably right so I was considering another army

My wife is a quilter, this hobby takes up as much time and maybe more cash than wargaming, her stash may be larger than mine and I've lost a number of really useful boxes over the year but there are benefits there is rarely criticism of spending.

This year I was in Hobbycraft, whilst my wife was looking at buying a Sizzix machine, there was nothing currently that I wanted there for me but the Sizzix demo was still ongoing.

Mind empty waiting for release I waited for the pitch to end as I walked through the store then I passed by the bead counter, loose beads all sizes and types. Enter Wargaming Mode, the hexagon beads looked just like Mechanoids.

The Pitch over my wife didn't actually buy the Sizzix at that time but found me poring over and selecting beads. £7 ish for a large pot of mixed beads which she kindly offerred to buy for me as I'd waited so patiently.

We went back the following week when she bought it and I got in some more beads.

Once home I threaded them on to wire then sprayed them black.

Then I lined them up to see what I had whilst consulting FWC for the right army list, I decided it had to be Droids.

The Mechanoids of yore had a small black disc sticking out from the top, I figured a panel pin would do that trick

I decided the largest bead would be Battle Robots and also field as Psycoborgs be the Tanks/guns. You will note I attached small canons to them ssing the gold beads above.

The medium sized ones could be the polymorph assault droids.

The the smaller size would be the standard Mechanoid being both Cyborgs and Korbach, the difference in the two was the range so I painted the pins in the Korbach red and also the guns for the Pyscoborg (Mark 1) as they both had 60 CM range, would make it easier on the battle field.

I'd given the Psycoborg (Mark 2) a Cryonic device, and whilst that was only effective at 60 cm I painted the guns ice blue. Tru they also have a primary weapon with a 80 cm range, but it made the unit stand out.

So painted up, unusually I based them before painting, figured it would be easier.

I'd been painting the bases a Burnt Umber (see below left) but it was way too dark, so I added white to get a milk to dark chocolate colour as opposed to the very Dark chocolate/black colour it had been.

Added more white and dry brushed added even more white and dry brushed a second time.

Then flocked using a bright flock rather than my usual scorched grass

I did this as I had discovered my standard 28 mm basing was making my 6 mm models too dark they became just board pieces.

I think the lighter colour work and bring out the best.

No idea what the command pole/trees are meant to represent, I just like the beads, sad ...

Hope you like it. 

Army list at the bottom.

Monday, 27 November 2017

'Epic' buildings from Blotz.

Warfare was on this weekend and followed the usual pattern:
  First check out the ‘bring and buy’ for 6 mm or 10 mm figures.
2  Collect Pre-orders at Baccus, Commission Figurines and get bases from Minibits
 Walk around the show seeing what is new, and looking at demo and participation games for scenery/terrain ideas and new games.

This time I came across a trader I hadn’t seen before, Blotz, they had some beautiful well detailed buildings in 28 mm, 20 mm, 15 mm and 10 mm and did my eyes deceive me 6 mm!

I was impressed by their ‘Epic style’ 1920’s Mid-West collection, they certainly looked the part. I was encouraged to pick them up and discovered they were designed in stacks; base unit, middle block and top and they also sell all the items individually so you can add more middle units to vary the heights of the same building type or indeed swop the top to the damaged unit. You could even remove floors in game as the building received more hits changing the LOS.
So I bought 6 buildings and the 10 mm satellite dish which can be an objective and will look great on a 6 mm table.
There are also assembly instructions on the website and I certainly needed it for the satellite dish and the first building, subsequent buildings were newer and don’t yet have instruction, but having done one I understood the format.
I must say as I constructed them I was amazed at the level of detail both in design and in construction with facias that needed adding and recessed lobbies; I was constantly saying, Wow and ‘that’s clever’.
I will certainly be ordering some more buildings and extra floors; I suspect an order of £50 is in the making.

The sheets are cleanly lasered with facias to add depth and lobbied areas. In the disassembled picture, note the 'tangs' that allow the levels to lock together.

Not sure if the Cinema is 'right' for my war zones, but I bought it with the intention of converting to some kind of HQ/bunker.
PS, Gareth Beamish  commented on Facebook:
Got one of these buildings at Warfare too. They're excellent for making ruins photo here.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Hands Up! 2010 MAD game

Some time at the beginning of the year (2010) at our regular painting evenings one of the group announced a change of plan to our 'annual game, rather than the ACW scenario we were thinking of playing he informed us that we would be doing a Rapid Fire scenario he had found, we would do it in 20 mm.

I was informed, that we would need my conservatory so we could build the scenery there and it was suggested to Tallyho that he do some research on the subject.

I don't think he was prepared for our response to what he had delegated, our interest was piqued by this little known operation and we soon discovered there was far more to it than as suggested in the original scenario he had discovered. Unfortunately our desire to properly represent the thoughts and planning that had gone into 'Operation Chastity' and 'Operation Hands Up!' resulted in a parting of the ways as our good friend felt we had taken over his project.

As a result I found myself tasked with building a 10' x 5' gaming table. Previous to this I had only done small pieces of 28 mm terrain, Jungle scenery  and Industrial scenery, so I was a little disconcerted.

Tallyho spent a lot of time researching the island 'Belle Isle Sur mer, 'Le Palais 'and the projected landing areas. As a result he had printed off a 10'x6' tabletop map.
The image below is of the first trial practice game, you can see how the map alone began to shape the projected terrain.

After the trial game it became apparent that some changes needed to be made to the map and my argument to reduce it's width from 6' to 5' was accepted as we hadn't used the inland 12" strip, now as I had hoped it would fit in most hatchbacks. 

When we had first discussed the possibility of the game I had wanted 'the team' to consider some alternatives to the usual polystyrene boards

In part encouraged by Alcal's [of SoGGs] beautiful creations I had also wanted to incorporate some of the textured finishes I'd seen

For example, this from WW2 built for RAF pilots and navigators to recognise what terrain looks like from a great height.

Stunning work and so realistic, look at the shadows for example.

So I had to start thinking about materials not only to finish off the terrain, but also to build the boards.

Doing a little research I came across examples of people using felt, corduroy, towelling and carpet.

Previously we had used chipboard with a layer or two of polystyrene on top, with 'Artex' rendered on top to protect it.
From the site Terragenius

(How many times had I created a depression when gaming as an elbow or fist rested on those boards while measuring or moving a piece?)

Although I wanted something harder I also needed a serious 3rd look, I had cliffs to build, I considered both blue Foam and Kingspan.

I decided on Kingspan as it was the cheapest.

I discovered

1) It has two layers of glass fibre sheet reinforcement through it so gloves should be used, the good news is that this also creates two stratum lines in cliffs, Issues in other areas can be 'filled', it also makes a fantastic break line for you to create a new level area.

2) it is very resistant to vertical pressure but gives easily if you push sideways into it. This allows you to shape the material with your gloved fingers and use your gloved hand to 'sand/polish' the finish.

3) It also gives off an odour that probably shouldn't be breathed in, as well as a fine dust, non static and easily hoovered up, [warning clogs hoover quickly and probably also lungs so use a mask].

The following pictures show the sculpted board before I added the 'surface' features.

Next stage was to 'paint' this 3D canvass to look like these.

I wanted to ensure that the terrain was level with no attached buildings/projections so that it would be easier to pack/transport.

This would be made easier as the island is essentially a plateau with deep scrub and wood filled vallies.

I achieved texture by using cheap [ASDA] toweling, felt and corduroy, wall paper was used for cobbled streets and sea waves, oh and sand for the beach 😁 .

Some part finished and finished views, sorry about the 'yellow' picture, poor lighting.
 White areas still need painting or application of printed card, the fort still needs to be built.
Close up of the 'dock/port', town & fort bases are removable mdf inserts that hide the joins.
Finished lots more trees need to be pushed into place.

Thanks for reading this.

Credit to various suppliers for the buildings although Russ (aka Rusty Bullet) built the windmill and a number of other items whilst I built the Napoleonic fort. 

It is my intention to do a how I built it threads with pictures.

Building the board Not yet live
- Cautions beginnings
- Getting serious

Original post thread  -may be visible.

Storage Boxes and Trays

In an earlier post I talked about  Really useful Boxes and Commission Figurines' trays . Having finished off a lot of my 6mm ancients I...