Tuesday 30 December 2014

Graffam Sci-Fi #3

Third of my Graffam Sci Builds is now done. This was a complicated one. a large footprint and flat roof, with cover.

Friday 26 December 2014

Fat Dragon Modern Buildings

During my Hobby Shed tidy-up I had call to check out my box of card stock modern\near future buildings (free from Germy and still recommended ). They haven't had a lot of use recently but were looking much the worse for wear all the same (especially as these were the first card stock builds I made - a bit of a cowboy job, even for me!).So I've been casually looking around for replacements (especially since Zomtober).

Monday 22 December 2014

Scooby Gang vs The Zombie Lord

After the fun of our previous game of Faith and Fear, the Scooby gang were sent out on another mission.
The Zombie Lord was infecting the local water supply by pouring his zombie poison down an old natural well. The Scooby Gang had to destroy the barrel.

Monday 15 December 2014

SoBH Campaign 4 - Battle 9

Scenario - Heist

The scenario was simple. The First Law had hired a thief to steal something special. The Everglade Guardians were on her trail to get the loot back, so she'd gone to ground in one of six locations on the table. The Elves were to search the locations (a 12 on 2d6 found her, with extra bonus' the more locations searched), whilst avoiding the attentions of The First Law.

Friday 12 December 2014

Graffam Sci-Fi #2

The second of my Graffam lunchtime builds: Observation Tower v2.

A pretty simple build. The gun\observation ports were a bit fiddly for my big tattie howker hands. All fingers and thumbs to get them on the side. The version 1 of this model just has the flat textures of these, and despite my best\worst efforts these 3D additions look worth it. No recognisable door it has to be said, not that you'd be putting anyone inside for gameplay.

Here is a comparison shot next to the previous model.

This build was actually finished a couple of weeks ago. I'm about 75% through the Delux Bunker kit, which will hopefully be presented before Christmas.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

IHMN - Mountain Shootout

Following the successful retrieval of the Cyberman Tech data module in Obsession, The Doctor and colleagues re-located up to an abandoned mountain lodge to extract the data. Because of the residual Ion Flux the process generated the procedure could not take place inside the TARDIS. With the equipment almost set up they headed back to the TARDIS to retrieve the final cables, just as the Dooley gang show up to take back what they started out to have...

Thursday 4 December 2014

IHMN - Grenadier Guards

Finally finished the last section of my Queen Victoria Company: the Grenadier Guards. They traditionally guard Buckingham Palace, so seemed the ideal choice as the troop segment of the company. The figures are all from Ironclad Miniatures, 4 standard troops and the 2 command.

I was really struggling with these to be honest. I launched into them as a whole but found them fiddly and didn't feel like picking them back up for ages. After Zomtober I re-addressed the group and only tackled them in pairs, which really helped and I started enjoying them - which is part of the point after all. In the end they are quite striking.

I'll post up a group photo of the complete Company once I have put together the stats.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Ral Partha Gargantua Orc Comparison Picture

No real post today, more of a resource replication.

I like Ral Partha figures and have been eyeing up their Gargantua Orc range for a possible next fantasy Warband. Nice big powerful looking Orcs! One of the things holding me back from the order (aside from cashflow!) was the concern of how "gargantua" they were. RPE however granted my FB request for a quick comparison photo and details. Thought I'd replicate them here for any future folk looking for the same details. I know how useful some other bloggers "archive " material is when I'm searching around for figure details.

"The gargantua orcs measure 30mm to the eye, 33-34mm to the top of their heads, here is a quick phone camera pic of one next to a kev adams orc and a crucible 28mm cultist."

Thursday 27 November 2014

SoBH Campaign 4 - Battle 8

Scenario: Bar Brawl
The Inn was split into 3 areas; main bar, Office\cellar area and the main courtyard\beer garden. Both sides started with around 120pts worth of figures in random areas at the start of the scenario, with a figure coming into a random section at the start of each players respective turn. As this was a bar brawl there were no weapons. All combat stats remained the same (with the exception of ranged weapons), and there were to be no fatalities. All deaths rolled on the post game injury table would be re-rolled with 50\50 chance of moderate ot serious injury. 

Monday 17 November 2014

Graffam Sci-Fi

If you have been glancing at this blog for a wee while you'll know that I'm a big fan of the products of Dave Graffam. I have numerous Ruin and Fantasy card terrain kits of his (some are even built!) but I've never ventured any of his small Sci-Fi collection. Why? Well they've never really grabbed me on the website the way the other kits do. However, the pictures of that some other fans\clients have put up on his Facebook page had me re-evaluating this stance, and as he has a sale on for November I took the plunge and bought a few kits.

I have started with a partial build of the Watchstation - it is too basic a change of the original to call it a "kitbash". All I've done is built the ground floor and stick the top roof to the ground floor overhang section\first floor floor (if that makes any sense!)

So what do  I think now? Well really I like the textures and design. The colour options are distinct and varied enough for different feels (I've gone for a basic cold grey future example here). One option I would have liked would have been to have the choice of whether to have a side "blister" or not, much like Dave does with the Dormer Windows on his fantasy designs. The buttresses give some extra cover than just a usual flat fronted building with is nice.

I think my greatest hesitation is the size of the door-  it's huge. However, two counters to this opinion: Firstly the guide does recommend printing at 95% for 28mm figures (which these are) and I lazily didn't bother resizing ..And secondly, why not have a big door? You may be the most puny race using it, don't be so selfish!

Friday 14 November 2014

IHMN - Cyberman Hunt in Obsession

A long overdue trip up to MacSver's battle happened the last week to try a kickstart "In Her Majesty's Name" back onto the gaming agenda. We had given the rules a quick game back at the start of the year but hadn't managed to progress past that. For a variety of reasons though the gaming agenda has cleared for this to come in now, at last.

The scenario was a basic treasure hunt. There were rumours in the Wild West town of Obsession that  the remains of a strange automaton were located in the centre of town (the middle 4 buildings of the table). MacSver's hastily assembled Wild West Company were out to investigate, whilst a section of UNIT, led my their Scientific Advisor The Doctor were also in the area to stop the technology falling into the wrong hands.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Targe 2014

Saturday saw Arabiansquire and myself drive up to Kirriemuir, birthplace of J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan), Bon Scott (AC\DC) and the site of one of the most bawdy dances in history (if you believe the song!).
Arabiansquire looks down as his Tiger wrecks
my Sherman.
Kirriemuir Wargaming Club host a much more family friendly affair, Targe, every year. I managed to attend many years ago, and they have since moved from the Town Hall to the local High School, giving much more space. there were a good collection of traders in the main hall with quite a few handsome tables set out. Another large room down another corridor housed some more games.

It was here that we played our first game of the day, Dambusters. We'd seen this being played at the other shows this year, carefully and enthusiastically set up by the Leuchar's Veteran's club (formerly RAF Leuchars Wargaming club). A big board documenting the various runs made all day was next to a Dam. 3 crew members (pilot, bomb aimer, and front gunner) were required to climb into the Lancaster cockpit (yes, they had built a 3 seat camouflaged cockpit setup complete with dials) pull on flight helmets (yes they had rubber flight helmets for the crew to wear) and with simple guided rules try and fly a successful bombing run to take out a Dam (to the background Dambusters soundtrack).

The table centre tank scrap yard acquires stock at a rapid rate. 
A trip across the room had us at a second game, a hybrid of Flames of War and the World of Tanks video game (rules downloadable here ). As there were only 2 of us to play at that point it was a straight off battle over a single objective point. All good fun with Arabiansquire coming a slightly manipulated first (not that I'm bitter). I suspect that this could be a lot of fun with a decent number of players so will have to look into it in the future.

For the last bit of dice rolling action at the end of our visit Arabiansquire sat down to re-play a Pegasus Bridge assault game that we'd enjoyed at Claymore earlier in the year. Whether his previous experience helped more than the poor shooting from the German forces I don't know, but the young lad  ran out winner and walked away with a 6th Airborne Pegasus Bridge patch as a trophy.

And did I buy anything? Well with Crooked Dice and Studio Miniatures both in attendance I was more hard pushed to choose what not to buy! In the end Crooked Dice supplied me with some figures for Dr Who (their Rose Tyler, Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax) and the Ghostbusters. After some deliberation I plumped for Studio miniatures Tiny Terrors pack (6 child zombies) and a Walking Dead Michonne figure (complete with chastened undead pets). The Bring and Buy also threw up a bargain pack of 14 zeds from a few manufacturers for £4. So happy shiny time.

A good day out. Thanks to the club for hosting and all the clubs and traders in attendance for making the effort to be there at the end of a long show season. The only down part of the day is that I didn't have to to buy a proper Bridie (they don't stray much further away from Forfar than the 7 miles to Kirriemuir!). Next time...

Tuesday 4 November 2014

IHMN - Dr Who Unit Expeditionary Force

I've been looking to play "In Her Majesty's Name" more, but have stalled in getting my Grenadier Guards finished to accompany Her Royal Empress an House staff. However it did occur to me that with a little effort I was closer to levering in a Doctor Who themed company.

First missing component was to get a bit more Whovian flavouring. What better (and as importantly quicker) than K9, so I happly managed to get him painted on Sunday evening.

Next up were some Unit soldiers. Back in the dim and distant past (when I was Space 1889 roleplaying) I had picked up some ready painted British Soldiers (picture on the left). I have no idea if thay had come already dipped, or if it was me, but with a little of post (ie 7 years) highlighting and rebasing they are table worthy enough.

And so to the assembled company.

The Unit Soldiers have Tartan Trews as they are garrisoned in the Highlands of Scotland at Blair Castle under the guise of the Duke of Atholl's own private army The Atholl Higlanders. This is the only legal private army in Europe (and now you know why!). Now and again they set out on missions with their special consultant scientific expert, known only as "The Doctor", and his assistant.

Unit Expeditionary Force 246pts
  • The Doctor: Pluck 2+/ FV +1/ SV 0/ Speed +1/ Points 56;
    Leadership +2, Engineer, Erudite Wit, Inspirational; Magneto-static Waistcoat, Sonic Screwdriver(*)
  • Amy Pond: Pluck 4+/ FV 0/ SV 0/ Speed +1/ Points 30; Intervention, Unearthly Beauty; Brigandine, Nightstick 
  • K9: Pluck 5+/FV 0/ SV +2/ Speed 0 Points 20; Tough; Steel Armour, Arc Pistol 
  • Unit Captain Stewart: Pluck 3+/ FV +4/ SV +4/ Speed +1/ Points 40; Leadership +1; Brigandine, Pistol, Sabre  
  • Unit Rifleman x 5: Pluck 5+/ FV +2/ SV +2/ Speed 0/ Points 20;; Brigandine, Bayonet, Military Rifle
* Sonic Screwdriver: 10pts (Costed as Mystical Power) 6" range, no pluck roll. Causes weapon to jam (one shooting phase to clear)

> I was going to originally cast K9 as a Clockwork Dog from the rulebook, but on reading the description it was most un-K9-like, so I have taken the base Clockwork Dog stats and worked round that. I had similar problems trying to bring in a sonic screwdriver, but figured that effect I was looking for (temporarily jamming weapons) sounded more like a mystical power than a weapon, so I had a bash costing it as such.

Sunday 2 November 2014

Zomtober 2014 - Weekend 5 & Final Call

Zomtober for me is now over with the final rising of 5, the end of my ZombieSmith Horde. Again fun to paint these guys, as some of there detail only became apparent on applying the brush. I especially like the green shirted zombie, who is missing the right side of his head, gruesomely displaying the side of his brain and other inners. To those not familiar with UK road signs, the exclamation mark basically just means "Warning, Danger". Quite an understatement I think, although I would be lying if I didn't say that the ease of application may have made the sign message an easy choice!

And so to the final photo of all 25 zombies painted this October (ish).

Thanks to all concerned for getting the event going, and to all those bloggers who's work I have enjoyed all month as well. Great stuff all round. I was having real problems getting to the paint table before this and it's been so much fun that I've the gusto to continue. I'm looking forward to next year's painting already.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Zomtober 2014 - Weekend 4

Crawling and shuffling towards the end game, here are another 5 from my ZombiSmith Horde. One of them is duplicate of a figure painted for weekend 1, I'm not trying to bolster numbers by hoping you wouldn't notice, honest.

This bunch have some hidden detail. The bent over chap on the far left has a broken back (with spinal injury protruding). His neighbour in green is missing the top of his head (with exposed brain). The middle mechanic is suffering from having his head twisted round 180 degrees, and you can see that the Zed in the hat has a hole completely blown through him.

Now technically (I think) Week 4 is the last Zomtober entry, but I have 5 left over in my pile. This next week is very limited in painting time, but I'm not calling it over 'til I've finished...

Wednesday 22 October 2014

The Devil Finds Work

for idle hands they say, and so it seems.

I've had a few days off work during the October break, and yesterday Arabiansquire decided that heading off to spend the afternoon with a school pals was a better option than having his Dad tell him what to do round the house (imagine?).
Oh no! What have I done?
 So whilst he was gone I took it upon myself to re-arrange the Hobby Shed table layout and also tidy up & organise the shed contents which has been "organically" stored over the years (ie dumped some where vague sensible).

The ideal picture.
Funnily enough I've not finished yet....

Sunday 19 October 2014

Zomtober 2014 - Weekend 3

Weekend 3 and after a busy week I've (just) managed another 5 Zeds

A couple of these are a bit worse for ware, but I'm sure they'll spread the virus just as well.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

SoBH Campaign 4 - Battle 7

Scenario: Break The Blockade

The scenario had the elves holed up in a watchtower, awaiting supplies. The First Law were tasked to capturing the tower and also stopping a supply wagon (arriving at a random time in the first 7 turns) from delivering their cargo.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Zomtober 2014 - Weekend 2

More Undead rise.

Again all are from ZombieSmith. I thought I'd try and give the office guy in the middle a pin-strip suit. It's a bit vague on the front and a bit thick on the back (that you can't see) but with the wonders of  a brown wash looks OK. The logo on the skaters shirt is a simplified Dead Kennedys - seemed appropriate.

Sunday 5 October 2014

Zomtober 2014 - Weekend 1

First weekend and first painted Zeds.

A Thriller Undead Jacko, Two children (including brainless teddy), a well eaten\decayed example and a Rob Zombie, who will no doubt act as a Zombie Lord should the scenario arise (pun intended!)

This is the start of a ZombieSmith Zombie horde I've had sitting in a box waiting to rise for ages now - so this was the prime time to get them done. I have 25 in total, so have set myself the target of doing 5 a week. I know that there are only 4 Sundays this month, but I don't see why poor arithmetic should get in the way of a good project!

Thursday 2 October 2014

Industrial Wild West Part 6 - Extras & Final Pictures

Nearly there now.

The ramps are still outstanding. A simple bit of construction and bare wood paint job as the other pieces. I had thought about taking the foot off one of the sections to bridge a river I have (keeping the bridge surface level) but decided it was more flexible as it came. If I really want to I can snip away in the future.

The whole kit comes with various extra bits'n'bobs but the only ones that I made up were the crates. I glued one of the lids askew to remind use that they are crates not old Terrahawks Cubes.

All done, so here is a hastily arranged set (with not ground sheet!) to show coverage, etc. I embarrassingly don't have a painted cowboy yet, hence the unwelcome colonial intervention.

The entire industrial zone isn't finished yet. I still have a sawmill to construct and some workers tents to craft, but this is the Troll Trader set. I have to say it was great fun to do.

Monday 29 September 2014

Industrial Wild West Part 5 - Water Wheel System

Time to give my water works some attention (I'm not getting an younger!)

The main challenge with the water wheel is the painting. All sides are visible, but not very accessible once built, so it was a double sides paint job before construction, using the same bare wood technique as the mine entrances.

Once painted the construction could begin. Pretty straight forward as long as you notice the there are 2 different sizes of parts to form the internals of the wheel. The joining of the two halves is a bit of a fiddle with so many tabs looks to be housed, but manageable.

The finished construction.

Now the waterway that feeds the wheel has always looks a bit flat and 2-D for me so I thought I'd build up the sides to stop the water running out. Out came the lolly sticks and coffee stirrers.

Strangely the water section of the piece is laser cur all the way through with only 4 small tabs to hold it on. I don't think it is maens to come off at all (no instructions remember) so I added a couple of stirrers to the underside to cover the gap. It also adds to the constructed look to the piece which is good.

Coffee stirrers to the flat and lolly sticks to hold the water in. I didn't run the "planks" as a single piece down the length to give a more constructed feel again. The small joining board halfway down the side is really only cosmetic, but helps with the strength. The whole thing was then painted as the wheel above.

All this extra work had made the already narrow based scenery more top heavy, so I glued it to a wider piece of plastic. nice and steady now.

For the water I mixed a little blue paint with PVA and gave it a couple of coats. Before anyone starts to make a fuss, water is blue, OK. Ask any small child!;)

Friday 26 September 2014

15mm Skirmish Box - New Board

Over the summer I've been working on constructing a new custom board for the Skirmish Box. The one you see on the other articles is very nice but I was wanting to add in the future extensions (such as wilderness sections) which wouldn't match up with the existing textures.

So I've used Dave Graffam's Cobbled Streets Kit to construct a new tile set and been stitching it together with GIMP (which is a learning curve in itself at times!). This kit has mud, gravel and grass layers that can be used for wilder areas as well and with a bit of practice the tiles can be combined.

After several town layout designs and lots of pixel gazing the final design is done. It should fit better with the number of buildings I'll be putting on the map. The previous one is lovely but seems to have slightly too many roads for the building population. The gravel section at the bottom to the map is to allow a link in with a future planned forest\wilderness map.

My test print of the board had a couple of print issues (the printer I used didn't seem to like the card surface much) but I've made it up anyway to get the design in use and tested before taking it further.

Additionally I've been working on the scenery sheets to maximize the print efficiency. I now have two buildings and some walls on one sheet of A4 card. The whole thing is another testament to the flexibility of Dave Graffam's photoshop file format option. I've settled on using two distinct texture layers for each house design and I think 6 houses with the the walls is just about right.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Zomtober 2014

With numerous projects crawling along on the paint table the last thing I need is another distraction.

It's a shame then that I'm joining Brummie's call for participants in Zomtober 2014. Basically it's a painting challenge. Paint at least one Zombie or Survivor and post a picture on your blog by the end of every Sunday in October.

I've a ton of oft-glanced at unpainted undead waiting to go. Best go and look them out.

Feel free to join in (or even monitor everyone's figures) at:

Saturday 20 September 2014

Industrial Wild West Part 4 - Track and Carts

The main attraction of this set has to be the Mine Carts and Track. These are the pieces that shout "Industry" here. I didn't expect them to take quite so long however...(hence the delay in update)

There are quite a few track pieces included in the kit split up in the ground boards and separate rails to go on top. The wooden sections were painted just as the Mine Entrances. I flipped over a couple of the tight turns to make sure that all my tracks didn't have to turn to the left.

I only put the final "sandy" dry brush on the outside of the tracks to leave a darker, "well trod" section down the middle.

The rails were seperately painted black and brushed with gunbolt metal before being glued to the bases.

Once dry I gave the rails a weak wash of rust and a light drybrush of chainmail. These tracks will be in use, so not completely rusted over.

The cart pieces are over quite a few sheets, so I thought it more useful to lay the required components out as above.
The carts go together nicely, but it takes a couple of drying time breaks to allow the undercarraige and the wheels to become attached. The wheels are just flat surfaces gluing onto the assembly so its best to have the cart on its side and attach one side then, once dry, the other.

I also decided to sand down the lips the cart side.

I've read many times in painting articles how painters use salt crystals to add a chipped paint effect to their vehicles, etc. This seemed like a good opportunity to try it out for myself. The carts were undercoated brown and then gunbolt metal. They were then sprayed with hair spray, sea salt crystals stuck on, and another covering of the hair spray (i found the crystals fell off without this second spray).

The carts were then painted using the same 3 base colour technique as the office building and a weak brown wash. I used yellow as the base to match in with the building. Once all that wash dry I brushed off the salt crystals to expose the metal surface underneath.

I then mixed up some weak rust mix, dotted it under the chipped areas and smudged it down the cart side with my finger. Sometimes a couple of applications looked best. I also did this on the cart rims and gave a dry brush of chainmail for recently exposed areas.

The final touch was some white glue soaked tissue paper in the bottoms of the carts and glue over that a couple of layers of Javis Coal scatter that I had. This was given a quick dry brush of brown (we're not mining coal)

Not that I have a picture of it, but for those that are curious the cart wheels snugly straddle the rails so they won't be falling off during gaming.