Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Memoir Star Wars

The EWG's MayDay convention is just around the corner and I offered to run an open participation game. I chose Star Wars (because everyone likes Star Wars!) and will use the Memoir '44 game as the basis of rules (because it is teachable in about 5 minutes and plays quickly).

With my car in the shop, Bruce dropped by last night and we gave the game a couple of plays. The scenario was the rebels defending a series of ridge lines (and ultimately a quarry) against the imperials. I gave the rebels a pair of captured AT-STs and a laser cannon to supplement their troops.

The imperials had two AT-ATs, a speeder bike, an AT-ST, some bounty hunters and a buttload of storm troopers. I did some straight across conversions (infantry as infantry, bounty hunters as special forces). The AT-ST were tanks, the AT-ATs were elite tanks and I made the speeder bikes light tanks (two hits to eliminate). The laser cannon was artillery. I also added generals (they add one attack die to the unit they are with) and otherwise play as generals in CCA.

The first game was exceptionally close, with Bruce driving the imperials around my left flank. I managed to hold them off for awhile but then ran out of left and centre cards and had to start pulling  troops to the edge of the right side to prop stuff up. At this point, Bruce then launched an attack at my nearly vacant right flank!

The second game saw the rebels win with an aggressive defense of the centre of the board. A double envelopment by the imperials just took too long to get set up and this was a major bloody nose for the imperials. Overall, this is ready to go for MayDay.

Up next: I have some 28mm renaissance guys ready to paint (halberdiers) in the basement and I may get to them tonight. Between the garden and cycling, it has been a busy weekend. And kids soccer starts soon so I expect May and June will be slow on the painting front.

Monday, April 23, 2012

28mm renaissance musketeers

I finished nine 28mm renaissance figures this weekend. These are older GW empire troops I got at a swap meet a year or so ago. I did two bases of musketeers and one command stand. 

I've tended to paint the renaissance figures in a mix of colours so I chose a theme for these fellows, thinking they might make a useful troop in quasi-livery. These are on 60mm frontages for HoTT.

I also put together about another 20 renaissance fellows I found (more GW empire) and have those primed. I will putter away at those over the next few weeks, although I find the good weather, my garden and my bicycle to be highly distracting!

Up next: A game of Memoir 44 using Star Wars with Bruce on Tuesday. Then perhaps more renaissance fellows--we'll see what looks interesting. I'm getting down to the bottom of my paint pile so my selection is getting thin. I may pick up a few fellows at the MayDay silent auction, though.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Miscellaneous 6mm buildings

I play a fair number of hex-based games and picked up a bunch of cities on 4" hex bases a couple of years back on TMP. I've painted up some before and I'm now working my way to the bottom of my project box so I did a few more.

I knocked these two off in about an hour the other night while waiting for some glue to dry. Nothing fancy but good enough to give the board some life when I need to represent a built up area.

Up next: I finished some 28mm renaissance musketeers and the wash is drying now. I hope to have them based tomorrow. After that I will move on to something else--maybe more renaissance--we'll see what else is kicking around in boxes and drawer. I also keep mulling painting my Battlelore figures.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 17 EWG Club Night

We had 10 guys out for the second last club night before MayDay and two games ran.

Dave hosted an ECW game using a version of Warhammer. No idea how this turned out but they were done in two hours and I heard Dave say "I've never seen that happen before" to Terry. Looks like Dave's game is ready to roll for MayDay! I believe Chen, Will and Guy also played in this game and Kevin popped in for a visit.

I hosted Alan, Scott and Bruce in a game of 1812: The Invasion of American. We played 3 on 1 in the first game and I thought things were going well for the Americans as I pressurized Montreal. But then Napoleon gives up the ghost early and things started to go downhill.

Oddly, a small battle at Oswego cost me the game as the Canadian militia rolled south and bagged one of my deployment zones. This was a terrible, terrible drubbing!

We played a second game and, near the end, the Brits were up four objectives to none. Then suddenly Alan and Scott catch fire, grab a bunch of territory and play their last truce card. Sonofabitch, I lose again! A good time and I much appreciated the patience of the players with my rules knowledge (and poor play!)

Up next: Some 28mm renaissance have the base colours blocked in so I'm moving onto the fiddly details. I may also have a 10mm commission inbound. And I might do some terrain work on the weekend.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A few Star Wars odds and ends

As I've been prepping for my MayDay Star Wars game, I have been adding bits and pieces. I picked up three Titanium series AT-STs. These are about 15mm walkers (at a guess) and fit in with my gaming space a bit better than the proper 25/28mm AT-ST I'm looking to sell.

They are still slightly too large to go with the AT-AT (which is a 10mm or so sculpt), but are close enough (there is not a lot of options that scale well). Overall, I'm quite happy with vehicles being at a smaller scale than the infantry (element-based gaming is abstract anyhow).

Again, a bit big compared to the snow speeders (also scaled at 10mm), but I can live with this.

Up next: Some renaissance guys are built and primered. And I need to prep my Tuesday game of 1812: The Invasion of Canada for the club.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

FS 28mm Star Wars vehicles

I have for sale five 28mm Star Wars vehicles. I picked these up awhile back as part of a project and have either replaced them or decided I don't need them so I'd like to move them on. All have been washed and based on 60mm frontages. I would expect they would come off their bases with a quick soak to loosen the white glue.

First up are two speeder bikers. These are metal from the Titanium series. The riders are roughly  consistent with the new Star Wars plastics (about 32mm?) that have come out and are a bit bigger than the old WEG Star Wars figures.

There are also two AT-RTs. Again metal Titanium series figures. These fellows are slightly smaller than the guys riding the bikes and match (almost exactly) the new Wizards Star Wars figures.

Finally there is this 28mm AT-ST. This is a plastic vehicle and has nice battle damage painted on it.

I'd like $55 OBO plus shipping (about $15 in Canada or to the US) for the lot. I'm not prepared to break this lot up. Offers to

Friday, April 13, 2012


Last night, I finished off a small experiment with making some entrenchments. I need a few for a MayDay scenario I am running using Memoir 44 as the engine. I also often find myself needing camps and whatnot for other hex-based games systems.

I grabbed some Crayola air-drying modelling clay and knocked off two proto-types. The first is a gun emplacement suitable for the AWI and War of 1812. It is a bit under-scale for the 1/72 figures in the photo as I might use it with smaller models. I might make other ones with a higher berm and one or two more rows of tree-trunks for retaining walls.

I was thinking that two of these (placed on opposite sides of the same hex) would also make a useful indicator of a "camp". I thought about doing some with a wooden palisade on the top but I think that would make an already delicate structure prone to breakage. Now, if I make a hex-shaped base and dropped the structure on top, that might be better... .

I also made a few sandbag emplacements for use in my MayDay Star Wars game. These are not fancy (or even very good!) but they will do for a one-off game.

Up next: Some 28mm renaissance is the most likely project to come to fruition. Still building the fellows. Thereafter, I'm not too sure--I need to get my MayDay games together and the club meets on Tuesday for our usual evening.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Maurice on the sub-continent

Bruce rebased his Indian troops over spring break so we gave Maurice a try on the sub-continent last night. The scenario was a large group of rebels (conscripts, foreground) were usurping the local prince (mostly elite, background).

The first turn saw the rebels grab the hill in the middle with two units of foot. The prince immediately sent two units of elite foot to push them off. A short firefight revealed the prince's dice had been sabotaged and the resulting melee saw each side lose a unit.

The rebels rushed in a unit of elephants and traded them for another unit of elite foot. This consolidated the rebels' hold on the hill and the prince turned his artillery to the east in order to bring them under bombardment (oh no!).

More rebel foot flooded onto the hill, hoping to set up and push down towards the prince's baggage train. But then the rebels noticed the exposed flank of the prince's repositioned artillery and sent two units of skirmishing cavalry forward.

Both units of skirmishers died, but bagged three units of cannon (preventing the annihilation of the conscript foot holding the hill). In a fluke of die rolling, a unit of royal cavalry also got greased by the rebel artillery and it was game over for the prince. A big difference was the relative size of the rebel force--the conscripts sucked but the rebels could afford to lose a lot of them.

It is nice to see lucky dice overcoming poor strategy and lousy tactics! That said, the rules played very well. We finished the game in an hour (70 points each) and there was some drama to keep everyone's attention focused. I think, though, there is room for both of us to get better at deploying our forces and setting up attacks. At present, we tend to just charge in and he who rolls hot (and has the most troops to feed in) tends to win.

Up next: I have ten 28mm renaissance handgunners being built. And I think I have another box of them somewhere else, which will bring me close to the end of the troops I have for that project.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cars for gotham

With a few buildings under my belt, I have been looking around for some other scenery for the streets of Gotham. I ran across a period car from Hot Wheels while out with my daughter the other night.

It was hard to tell if it was the right scale in the store, but for $3, I thought what the hell. Next to the building, it is pretty close to the right scale. The building is a taxi company and the car is exactly as wide as the roll-up door. It looks a bit short, maybe but close enough. All of the scenery is a bit smaller than the figures (my preference).

The car was very clean when it came out of the box (picture above) so I dirtied it up some with a wash (picture below). I wonder, though, where I'd be happier if I sprayed it black, painted it a more somber colour (brown) and dipped it. I think it might fit in better that way with the dirty Gotham I'm going for.

Up next: Some Maurice tonight with Bruce and then onto some terrain experiments for my MayDay Star Wars game (entrenchments). Children's modeling clay is interesting: inexpensive but oddly brittle.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More sewer creatures

As I work my way through the painting pile, I came across some more plastic aliens that I got from Tim in a trade. More 28mm GW tyranids, I think.

I used the same treatment on these as I did on the previous batch so they would look like the came from the same hive when they pour out of the sewers of gotham one night.

These are nice looking figures. I'm not fan of GW's business model and I wouldn't normally buy any of their products but the figures are very nice. Not sure if I will bother texturing the bases.

Up next: Some hex-based entrenchments from children's modeling clay. And a game of Maurice with Bruce on Wednesday. I'm not sure what comes after that.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Last of the Malifaux

And these two pictures are the last of the 28mm Malifaux commission I have been working on. First up, bomb-toting pigs. Kind of like Soviet anti-tank dogs, only slower and less cuddly.

And then there is a base of mechanical spiders. I had a devil of a time getting a picture of these fellows--apologies for the blurriness.

Up next: Some more plastic tyranids are drying. And I have been working on a couple of "entrenched" markers for my MayDay Star Wars game. After that, who knows.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Malifaux Arcanists

I'm almost done a commission of Malifaux figures. Today, I have finished a box of Arcanists, featuring Colette. I have no idea what super powers she has but the olde timey hooker look was interesting to paint. Sort of a Weird Wild West theme.

These were very nice models, with minimal flash and only a few tricky joins to make. The mannequins below have fairly delicate arms that will not withstand much in the way of sheering force!

The only other names figure (at least on the box) is the centre figure below (Cassandra). The others are just "performers". I basically followed the box art for colour schemes. The nylons posed an interesting challenge! A good translucent effect is hard to achieve.

Lots of big bows on the butt (sort of a nightmare bridesmaid effect). But also an opportunity for some wet-on-wet blending.

Up next: I have the remaining pieces (a swarm of mechanic spiders and some bomb-toting piglets) drying. Then I have some more GW plastic tyranids and some guys with big guns to paint. After that I'm not sure--perhaps some more renaissance?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

How fast can you go?

Over the years, I've written a couple of articles in gaming magazines about speed painting. The point I usually try to make is that there is no reason to play with unpainted miniatures; by applying mass production techniques, even unskilled painters can field painted armies.

That premise is, predictably, lost on many "readers" who query "you could paint a tank in 10 minutes, but why would you want to?" Umm, because, as stated in the introduction, the article is meant to give new or non-painters ways to 'ghit 'er done'? And that scintillating interchange is one of the reasons I don't write for the glossies anymore.

Fast forward three or four years and one of my viewers asked me "how fast can you paint a 28mm figure?" The answer depends some (the figure, the period, how much detail) but I wondered if I could paint a figure to tabletop standard in 3 minutes. So I pulled out some GW plastics that Tim in Saskatoon traded me and went to town.

I primed them black. Then, literally as fast as I could, I did a "wet" drybrush of flesh followed by a drybrush of white, some white and red detail work to pick out the teeth and tongue and some gray to touch up the weapons, and then a magic dip. Acrylics dry quickly so I production-lined these start to finish in 30 minutes. I did then touch up the base of the figure (maybe another 15 seconds per figure).

The product is not great. But it isn't half bad and these will do as some fresh hell that spews forth from Gotham's sewers one night. Obviously you wouldn't do Napoleonics this way, but my point is that it is possible (with the right figure) to paint up an army awfully fast!

Up next: I have some olde timey prostitutes drying as part of a Malifaux commission followed by some bomb-toting pigs (tomorrow and Monday). I'm note sure thereafter--I'll need to see what is left in the paint pile. I recall have a 15mm DBA army that I might work on.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hilly-billy gremlins

I took a small commission awhile back and I've finally moved the first part of it off the painting table. These are 28mm Malifaux hill-billy gremlins (from the Outcasts faction).

These are metal figures and were very nicely cast. There was almost no flash and most pieces fit together perfectly. First up was the boss hog character. The challenge with him was getting the glass bottle of hooch to look right. I eventually opted for a wet-on-wet blend of greens to suggest light reflecting off translucent glass.

There were then a couple of meat-shields wielding some sort of revolver long-arm. The fellow below was particularly bijou, in my view.

The guy below is listed as a taxidermist. Behind his back he's holding a very nasty set of pliers and a bunch of other blades. I enjoy his monocle and tricked out hair.

Then a couple of more expendables. How often do you get to paint a banjo, in miniature gaming? This is my second in nearly 30 years--the other being a wild west extra. The guy on the right is looking through a telescope.

Finally, we have the run-away war pig with the poor fellow just trying to hold on. I love the character of this sculpt.

Up next: I have a couple more piglets with dynamite strapped to them about half done and I've just started the flesh on a series of olde timey hookers from a different faction. I hope to finish up this commission this week and then move onto some 28mm lizards with ray guns that I traded Tim for.