Monday, August 27, 2012

28mm gatehouse

Keeping up the terrain frenzy, I painted a 28mm GW gatehouse this weekend. This was another find at the swap-meet. It is quite a nice piece and accepted the drybrushing and washing I did without really any problems.

I imagine this as more of a "fight outside the gates" or "sally forth from" piece rather than something one would have to scale or breach. That said, the top has a number of nice levels to it. Overall, a good addition to my Songs of Arthur and Merlin collection.

Up next: Some trees. I went out to Hobby Alley on 170th Street and they have added to their stock. There was a fair bit of GW stuff but I went for some more trees. I'm also working on detailing the Saxon warband. I'm using brighter colours than I usually do and that is slowing me down some.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

28mm stone fences

The glue has finally dried on the stone fences I picked up at last weekend's swap meet. These are again a GW product (part of a fantasy village boxed set). There are three of each item in the set.

The small fence and tree on the left is probably my favourite. The tree was a stump that I added foliage to. Not sure why it looks so flat-topped on this picture--I will go back and add some more leaves!

I quite like the gate. I think this would do for dark ages and perhaps also more modern (a run-down cemetery or park maybe). The short section below has a tomb stone with (of course) a skull on it thrust up against the well. I decided to cover it with a large shrub.

Up next: I have a couple of trees based and I'm working on some Saxons (almost have all of the basic colours blocked in). After that perhaps I'll build and detail some larger wall pieces and couple of the houses. I was a bit reluctant to part with $100 but having all of my fence, wall and building needs taken care of at once is exciting and worth the expenditure.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wooden 28mm fences

I've been looking for some terrain for my Songs of Arthur and Merlin games and happened upon a GW box set at a swap meet last week. There are a bunch of buildings and other bits. But there was also about 13 feet of plastic fence.

There are two main types of fence: wooden and stone. I finished the wooden last night and the stone is still drying today. There are three of each piece which allows quite a bit of flexibility in positioning and look.

The trees were sculpted as dead trunks but I decided to flock them to add some life. Sure it was the dark ages, but Britain is verdant! I quite like the wooden picket fences. There are also segments of this woven style (the name of which eludes despite one of my neighbours having one).

There are also a couple of short pieces of the woven fence. The fence with the wagon wheel had a typical GW banner on a pike that I nipped off. The stump on the right was too short to add foliage to. I ran short on static grass and ended up using some flocking. It looks okay.

Up next: Tomorrow I'll have the stone fences done. Then a couple of trees. I need to drop some coin on a few more trees. Perhaps there is a cheap local option (gentle readers?). I also have a large gatehouse that I've painted and I'm working on some Saxons. Then onto some buildings and, perhaps, even a game.

Friday, August 24, 2012

15mm Cossacks

I finished off a second unit of 15mm 17th-century cavalry for my friend Mark. These are some Cossacks he picked up while in Poland.

These castings were not as crisp as the first batch I did but they painted up just fine. There was quite a lot less detail to worry about.

Mark claims several more boxes are sitting in customs awaiting release so I'll drop these by his house Saturday and see what turns up in the next month of so.

Up next: I have spent much f this week painting up a bunch of GW fences I got at last weekend's swap meet. Except for the endless skulls I keep running across (like some sort of freaking Pol Pot admirers club), they are lovely fences and will work for both dark ages and a run down modern cemetery. I have turned back to my Saxon warband for Songs of Arthur and Merlin and am blocking in colours. And then I'll start on the buildings. I'll also need to lay my hands on some model railway trees.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 21 Club Night

We had 11 guys out last night with four games running. Kevin hosted terry, Will and I on a new game: Spartacus. Basically a gladiator game, each player runs a house and tries to accrue influence and fame.

This was a hoot and we played two short games. Lots of interaction between the players, punctuated by a surprisingly engaging round of combat each turn. I would absolutely play this again--nice, clean mechanics and lots to think about.

For some reason my picture of Dave and Mark playing Songs of Blades and Heroes did not turn out (weird lighting) but they seemed to have a good time.

Stu hosted Chen and Scott in a game of Space Hulk that was still going on when I left. And Casper and Elliot were Warmachining.

Up next: I'm basing some 15mm horsemen today. I'm also painting some 28mm fences and working on a Saxon warband. A few days of rain would really help out my painting productivity!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Last of the 28mm Romano-Brits

Gardening burnout drove me back to the painting table for a few hours this week and I finished off my Roman-Brit warband for Songs of Arthur and Merlin. These were part of a job to I picked up at the MayDay auction.

Merlin is a metal GW figure (Gandalf the White?). Great pose. The separate hand and staff has been a real bitch to keep attached during painting. I've super-glued it (three times!) and then triple sealed it with Future--hopefully that and a bit of care will keep the figure intact.

I did four spearmen. Shields are hand painted based on quasi-historical designs. Spears are a mix of copper and pins (so mind your fingers). I decided to go with muted, mono-colour clothes with just a bit of fringe decoration. I'll save the wild colours and patterns for the Saxons.

Here you can see them from the side. They look a bit like they are sneaking up on someone in a line, a la Scooby-Doo.

I did three bow. Not sure if bows were common weapons in the 5th century but, since my warband has Merlin in it, I suppose I ought not get too excited about historicity.

And then there are three guys with swords. The swords are plastics from various Wargames Factory sets I've built. The guy on the left looks really surprised to be in a fight.

Up next: I have painted 18 15mm cossack horses and will be starting on their riders this weekend. I expect these will go faster than the last batch. And there is a swap-meet Sunday where I hope to pick up some 28mm dark ages and modern terrain items.

1812 in 1/72 plastics article on has posted an article I've written about my efforts to build War of 1812 armies using 1/72 plastics. You can view it here. The images have been posted on my blog before but the text is new and brings together all of the guess-work I did to get decent proxies.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Last of the 28mm Romano-Brit mounted

This fellow is the last of the mounted Romano-British I'm doing for Songs of Arthur and Merlin.

The rest of the warband will be foot troops (underway). This fellow is the musician in the group.

Not sure on the manufacturer. Old Glory maybe?

Up next: A bit of a break, then some 28mm foot and 15mm cavalry.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

More 28mm Romano-Brits

A few more 28mm Romano-Brits are now dry. This fellow will be my "Arthur" for Songs of Arthur and Merlin.

I think he turned out alright. The mounted version is not quite a perfect match, but is close enough.

Must run down three more of those circular GW horse bases so the mounted portion of the Saxon warband he'll be fighting will be based similarly.

Up next: I have one more Romano-Brit finished and about 10 more underway. I also have some 15mm cavalry that is getting some paint.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Club Night: Panzer Lehr in Normandy

There were 11 guys out the club last night and three games ran. Scott and Chris played a GMT game about the dissolution of the USSR in eastern Europe in 1989. No idea about the name and they were still going at 9, when I left.

Will, Terry, Bruce and newcomer Dan played a game of Legends of the Old West. No idea how that turned out but there much rueing about not having enough rifle totting characters.

Kevin reprised an older MayDay game using some home-brewed WW2 rules. Panzer Lehr was striking back at some Americans in Normandy. Dave and I planned to run our vehicles off the far side of the board, using the road on the right while blocking on the left and perhaps occupying some town buildings for extra victory points.

Things went well during the first half of the game, with both of the American flanks folding up and our troops clearing a path for the vehicle run. But then we failed three or four activations for our column in a row, thus blocking the road (plus failing multiple other activations)! Much swearing and making of lemon-aide ensued, as American reinforcements started to arrive. Fortunately, they were drawn into a fight with our infantry on the other side of the board.

We eventually managed to get some asses in gear and rushed some half tracks off the end of the board for a modest (if unsatisfying) win. I think, with a few more turns, we could have cleaned things up nicely but a closely run game is pretty fun. As always, Kevin's terrain was amazing to fight over and Mark fought to the last die roll.

Up next: Some more Romano Brits are drying. More Romano Brits and some Cossacks are underway.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

28mm Romano Brits

I picked up some late Roman troops in the MayDay auction that seemed to fit the bill for Romano-British. So I'm slowly painting up two warbands for Songs of Arthur and Merlin. First up are mounted and foot versions of a standard bearer.

I'm not sure of the manufacturer. I'd guess West Wind? Much of the rest of the warband is Old Glory, but the core characters seem to be a different manufacturer.

Not sure I did the armour any justice on this foot fellow. I was going for a washed out look but the result kind of blows. I will likely touch this up with a warmer, leather colour.

Up next: There is club tonight, then some more Romano-Brits are drying and I have built a primed a second set of 17th century Polish cavalry (cossacks).

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Few Acres of Snow

Bruce dropped by last night and brought out A Few Acres of Snow. We've played before and the British have never won (which runs contrary to lots of chatter on BGG) so I gave them a whirl.

My thought was to build as fast as possible to bring the game to conclusion before the French could expand into the Great Lakes too much. I also wanted as few cards in my hand so bought only enough infantry to take Port Royal (and deter my very imperialist minded opponent!).

This strategy worked, to a point. His Indian raids made the game quite a lot closer than I thought it would be when we eventually counted points. Obviously some military work in Nova Scotia will be required.

We then played again and I did some attacking in the east to grab Halifax and Port Royal. The cards meant it took longer for me to build to the right point and the french won on points. A very interested set of games. I wonder if some military adventurers might be necessary. I also wonder if the governor card might be moire useful than I thought.

Up next: I have some 28mm Romano-Brits being based. I am also building some more 15mm Polish cavalry and the rest of the Romano-Brit warband has been primed.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

15mm Polish Cavalry

I took on a small commission this summer (36 mounted 17th-century Polish cavalry) and have finished the first half of it. These 15mm figures are a set of Pancerni Cavalry with spears for the game Fire & Sword.

Overall, nice models. A bit thinner sculpting than other brands but I think they would fit in with most manufacturers. A fair bit of detail that I'm not sure I really did justice.

Mark asked me to paint these 18 figures as two distinct units: one in uniform colours (red spears) and one in a mix of colours suggesting a force cobbled together from various places. The units have lovely self-adhesive flags but I have left these off so Mark and his son could choose which they wanted with each unit.

I think I learned a lot about these figures painting the first batch and I look forward to the Cossacks I have to do next. The manufacturer appears to be going the route of Battefront and others with fully contained units in each blister (or box, in this case).

Up next: I have two games arranged for the next few days and I have some 28mm Arthurians underway. Then back to more 15mm Polish cavalry.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mission Fun and Games' new digs

I swung out to St Albert today to check out the new retail location of Mission Fun and Games. Mission has relocated to north end of St Albert, on the west side of St Albert Trail.

The new building is a former restaurant and is highly visible from the road. There is lots of free parking (both in the lot and on the road in behind it). They are just finishing the external painting and it looks great.

Inside, the public space is laid out in an L shape, with the long arm of the L running north-south and the  short arm running east-west. At the east end of the short arm is an octagonal (I think) space where gaming will occur. This is still under construction, but John said stuff is already being played there. Lots of windows here so good lighting.

The long arm of the L is the retail space and it is wonderfully open and roomy. It is also well lit with lots of displace space. In behind (to the right of the photo above) is the warehouse and shipping space. They are still unpacking some stuff but are open and basically ready to go. The remainder of the interior work will take about another 6 months or so.

Overall, a big improvement and a good move for Mission. Much more visibility, a better space and a big boost for gaming in the Edmonton area.