Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Magnificent Bastion!

     I decided to just push ahead and start cutting foam, instead of the complex geometry stuff. It seems to have worked out so far, what the heck? So I cut three layers of foam to the outline of the bastion and then cut it again at the draft angle of the walls I had finished earlier.  A couple of mistakes and a whole mess of hot glue and I have a bastion. All in less time than the math would have taken.


those are 28mm WSS figures from Wargames Factory

this is going to be a HUGE model when it is finished


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You Are Such A Bastion!

     Wow, if I had any clue that I was going to be doing this sort of thing later in life I would have paid more attention in Geometry (and drafting) class! So, it turns out that there is a lot more to cutting a bastion than nice straight walls. The intricate inside corners of angled walls almost defeated me (BTW, Pythagoras, you were no help) but then it suddenly occurred to me that I didn't need to cut the object in one continuous action, all I needed to do was make a pile of parts that would reassemble into a bastion. Blunt Force has always been a specialty of mine so the world made sense again and I got to work.

       The next step was putting the lines down on my 1/120  scale test model, this is where some drafting skills would really have helped (or a CAD designer and a 3D cutter).  After much head scratching and a lot of graph paper the drawing came together and was transferred onto the blue board. There were a  few issues during the transfer process but I got it worked out producing this magnificent mess of a drawing;

the red lines indicate the footprint of the bastion, 
the lines labelled "cut" account for the inward tilt of the wall face

     As each cut passed completely through the block of foam I glued the block back together after each cut,  making sure to only glue the areas that would be part of the final piece. This way I was able to use the fence on the foam cutter to ensure that the lines were straight. Finally with all the cuts made and the spoil cut away I had this;
now all I have to do is figure out how to get something three times as large to go through Proxie 

      All in all a satisfying experiment. Now that I have figured out the way to proceed with the cutting, reassembling, more cutting sequence I just need to find a way to get the parts through the tool. Another consideration is that each bastion will have a largest dimension of over 24" with all the storage and handling issues that arise from that. 

       More thinking may be in order.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A certain madness......

     Maybe I should get checked, or talk with a professional about thus. Obsession, disorder, bad habit? I'm not sure how to classify it.

       "Hi, my name is Anton, and I'm a fortaholic", Well there was the first step, I doubt I will be taking others any time soon. This is too much fun.



     Now all I need to do is sort through the complex geometry of bastions.

This is a Test, this only a test.....

............if this were a real fortress there would be three more walls and four bastions. My faithful servant Proxie had been misbehaving so I had OldSarge take a look at it. The cutter is now back up to speed and I wanted to give it a go, then this happened

of course it lack crenelations and a firing step but this was just an exercise

one glance at the arches and you can see that I am out of practice at cutting curves...

    At fifteen inches long it is only half the length of the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos and the bombproofs would be tree times as deep and faced with a stone wall. That said, all of this took less than a half hour including waiting for the hot-glue gun to warm up.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

28mm Gripping Beast Arab Infantry Finished

     I grew tired of looking at them so I skipped a couple of hours of sleep and powered through and finished the paint jobs on the 29mm Gripping Beast Arab Infantry. The Housemartin had wanted four readily identifiable units. You have seen the musket armed conversions. The other three groups were, swordsmen, Wallachians (in nasal helmets) and Akinji spearmen. I threw in an added level of unit identification by painting most of each groups with an over arching color scheme, this is particularly obvious with the Akinji, per the Housemartin's request.

     As usual they were painted using Americana colors (available from Michael's, Hobby Lobby and other retailers) over a flat white primer coat. Colors were diluted slightly to ease the p[ainting process and then the figures were given a thin coat of Future Floor Wax. Over this was added a flesh wash of ten parts water, ten parts Future and one part Russet Brown, with just a touch of burnt umber. Once that had dried I did a fifty-fifty water /Future with a dash of black wash over the whole figure.

first we have the Wallachians, I have only the faintest clue about them but I imagined that study Balkan mountain-dwelling men would have muted colors so I went with a variety of shades of green

Further Progress in Neulandia Campaign

     A bold force march has lead to some unexpected results, and not all are good!

      Follow this link to see the after action report

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Kaiser's boys move at last! and opening gambit in Prussia Orentalis

    Long troubled by the ongoing conflict in the adjoining Satrapy of Kondoo, the Prussian Governor-General, Victor von Schimmelpfennning (brother to the famous Franz von Schimmelpfenning of  Deustches Ost Daftrica fame)  decided to intervene to stop feckless bloodshed. Backing the late-departed (or as others might claim, recently murdered) Satrap Iben Dunnin's,  oldest son Muuhvin Onup the Governor-General sent his troops into the field to protect commerce and missionaries in the surrounding territories.
    Effective native intelligence helped identify the location of the main rebel army and the Prussian forces, assisted by loyal Malagassian units, took to the field. A swift march hoping to catch the rebels in their encampments was foiled by the horrid state of the local roads and instead of catching the enemy napping the Prussians were forced to fight past the enemy's advance guard and engage the rebels in an open battle. The results was a close run fight as you will see below.

the initial deployments, most of the Prussian forces were still stuck on the muddy roads 
as the cavalry and spearmen guided the artillery into position

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Humility Corner

    One of the things that stands in the way of recruiting new players to the hobby is the significant amount of up-front commitment that a novice has to make before they can even get in a game. Witness the current popularity of "out of the box" boardgames that use minis as counters. These allow interested people a way to get into gaming without having to pick up a paintbrush or organize an army.

      A good many people are intimidated by the standard of brushwork that appears in miniature wargaming magazines. To be honest even after painting minis for forty years I can still find the artistry displayed on those pages pretty darned intimidating. I point out to new players that nobody starts out at that level and almost anybody can paint figures up to an attractive standard with reasonable effort. I then show them some of my "early works"; those grizzled veterans that have served under my banners for three or more decades (and continue to serve BTW). These aren't figures with "bad paint jobs" I was doing my very best at the time with the tools that I had. They are just the product of my limited skills and circumstances.

     In honor of those ancient warriors, and to encourage newcomers, and anybody else who hesitates to pick up a brush, I am opening a new venue here on the blog; my Humility Corner. I will post from time to time pictures of some of my oldest, most battle-worn troops juxtaposed with some of my better efforts. I encourage any and all readers to send similar pictures of their efforts to my email with the details of the figures and when, and how, they were painted.

     To start things off here are my oldest, most  experienced warriors; 25mm (yes, back when such things existed- along with dinosaurs) Der Kreigspeilers ancient Greek spearmen, I painted these in the fall of 1976 using Testors oil-based enamel paints (intended for model cars and such). Four decades of service under my command finds them suffering from the fact that they are made of nearly pure lead (notice the dreaded "lead-rot" afflicting some of them) along with much mis-handling. I will keep these heroes in service as long as I wargame.

cast in butter-soft lead (I trimmed the flash with my thumbnail) 
 they are endlessly getting bent and re-straightened, 
a good many have broken off at the ankles

the patchy gray areas are lead-rot a form of oxidation that seems unstoppable short of giving the figures a "dip-n-strip" a heavy coating of Future a while back slowed it down a lot , but I'm still taking casualties from this insidious disease

   The years have passed and my skills (although still modest) have improved; these are (not) Foundry minis "Turkish Officers" I no longer remember if they are from the Great War or the Darkest Africa range but they bear the unmistakable hand of the Perry twins (Boy was I wrong, an astute reader advised me that the Turks are from Copplestone's Castings). I just liked them when I first saw the package and bought them for no purpose other than the enjoyment of painting a well sculpted figure.

primed flat white with Rustoleum 2xpigment primer
 and painted exclusively with Americana brand water-based acrylics, 
Future Floor wax protective coat dulled to matte using Armory flat spray

    Any reader who wishes to submit similar photos please email them with a description of the mini and the paints and any other pertinent info to me at daftrica89@yahoo.com  put "humble" in the title in case it goes to spam.


     One brave reader has submitted a photo of some of his earliest work. Paul from Paul's Bods   has given us a glimpse into his past with a picture of some Airfix Napoleonics that he painted a long while back.


    Normally his work is to a much higher standard (see this photo that I lifted from one of his more recent posts). Take a look at his blog and remember that he is working with 20mm figures (which are only slightly larger than most "15mm" figures are these days). Beautiful stuff!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

28mm Gripping Beast Arab Infantry, every man an individual

     I confess; I am addicted to modifying plastic figures.

     It is so easy, quick and lends such a air of ownership to my units that I simply cant resist. Thus, when confronted with the relatively narrow selection of torso poses offered in the kit I decided that no two figures would be the same, even if I had to go to Frankenstein levels of body part swapping. This was further complicated by The Housemartin's request that they fall into four readily identifiable groups, one of which was a semi-regular unit (and would thus be more alike than different). Much head-scratching and chin-rubbing ensued as I perused the available parts. I sorted the torsos into three groups (having already built the musket armed troops) and spent some time studying the selection of arms and weapons. The Housemartin added another complication by requesting that one of the units (all were of ten figures) be armed entirely with swords. I was forced to conclude that some major surgery would be in order.


after assembling one each of the "standard" poses I was unhappy with the way that the figure held the weapon, a quick fix is to cut off the hand and re-position the angle at which the weapon is held, or move it to an entirely new arm

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Gripping Beast 28mm plastic Arab Spearmen and Archers



    It has been ages since I did a figure review and I know this isn't a particularly new subject. This is mostly because I have toned down my purchases to try (emphasis on try) to lower the height of the mountain of unfinished projects in my basement. I have been pounding away at the Lace Wars Project but I was starting to feel that itch, the desire to be distracted. Enter my old buddy The Housemartin, he is working on a project himself and doesn't care for the fiddly process of assembling plastic miniatures. The Housemartin has known me since we were both teenagers and he knows my tendency to love any new and different project. A few well-placed comments later and I found that I had not only agreed to assemble his minis for him, I had agreed to modify some of them to have muskets and then paint them.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lace Wars Part XVIII artillery and crews completed

     Ignoring the lovely weather I stuck to my guns (deliberate bad pun alert) and got the crews finished. There is a surprising amount of fussy little details on the figures which slowed things considerably. In the end they were completed and will soon join the ranks of  Caribbean Sea circa 1700 forces. Eventually I will have enough to run the giant game/campaign that has been haunting my dreams since these minis were released.

     All that aside here are the guns and crews.

 an undercoat of olive gives the gold paint (which is translucent) 
just the right touch of green for the bronze  effect

Monday, April 10, 2017

Lace Wars Part XVII; Further progress on the Artillery

    I had a couple of hours so I sat myself down and worked on the guns and their attendant gunners. Having dug around in my sources it seems that blue coats with red facings was a common uniform for artillerymen of the day. I decided to paint my first batch of gunners in that livery. The white-primed figures allowed me to wash on a very dark blue and get instant highlights on the figures coats. I then went in and painted the flesh, facings and details. Looking at the sombre colors of the crews made the cannon look like Christmas ornaments so I gave the guns a dark brown wash to tone down the color and made the barrels look more like bronze than gold.


the best part is that I still have three more boxes of guns

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lace Wars Part XVI; This is my BOOMSTICK! The beginnings of the artillery

     Having gotten the Foot out of the way, and made a small dent in the Horse what could be next aside from some artillery? A long while back I reviewed the WSS artillery set from Wargames Factory, so I dug out the assembled models and  began working on them. A few hours later I had a solid base coat on them and was feeling quite happy with things. I pulled out the crews and have started on them as well. These cannon are HUGE and give a good impression of the size of the older style guns that were still in use in the 1690s-1700s.


there were two guns with crew and a mounted officer in the original Wargames Factory box,
 I haven't seen what Warlord Games has done with this set (or the price)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Lace Wars Part XV Austrian Cuirassiers

     Despite many distractions I have been plugging away at my Lace Wars Project and have gotten another unit of Horse finished. These are Austrian Cuirassiers. Solid and dull-looking compared to the last unit they would look at home on a Thirty Years War battlefield. It seems that the Austrians were one of the last nations to give up on the armored helmet. I love the look and had to incorporate at least one unit in my project.


resplendent in his gilt-edged armor the standard bearer awaits his flag

Thursday, March 23, 2017

More Completely Different things.....


     Well, actually these are very similar to the paper boats that we looked at a short while ago. But they are different all the same; scale, era and publisher are all different from our last look at tiny paper boats. Once again we rely on the nimble fingers of Joe for the assembly and review of the goods. These models come from Eric Hotz of Hotzmats (or would that be the other way around?). They are available through the Wargame Vault or direct from Hotz Mats  as PDF downloads. They come ready to print, already in color, just add some cardstock and grab your scissors and glue.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lace Wars Project Part XIV First Unit of Horse Completed.

    I feel a bit of self-congratulation in finishing my first unit of Horse. Life has been hectic of late but I managed to stick to my painting schedule and got these done in a bit over a week. The Regiment zu Pferd Markgraf Philipp von Brandenburg. I love a unit whose name is an entire sentence! Behold them in all their splendor.

the poor standard bearer lacks his flag as I have not yet printed it out

Monday, March 13, 2017

Lace Wars, First unit of Horse nears completion

     I finally got a couple of hours of free time and decided to take a crack at finishing the Horse. I didn't quite make it to done but they are coming along nicely. Just a little bit of detailing, a flag and some ground effects and they will be battle-ready.


the horses are a tad small for early 18th century Horse
 but they seem to look OK as a group

Thursday, March 9, 2017

And Now For Something Completely Different........

    My buddy, Joe, has long had a fascination with the Age of Sail. To be honest so have I. This is a sideline to my other twelve-dozen distractions so hasn't gotten very far. With the price, fragility, complexity and low frequency of games and limited amount of time I just have not been able to get things off the ground.  Then Joe showed up with these;


needless to say I was intrigued

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lace Wars, Horse, of course

     I have finally managed to get the Foot finished and have begun working on my Horse units. They are the Regiment zu Pferd Markgraf Philipp von Brandeburg . In white coats with striking bright blue cuffs I like them a lot!

just getting the base coats on was exciting

these are good looking minis, 
I can't wait until I can get to the lobsters (they are next)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Return to the Lace Wars, and a final unit of fooot

      I have been too long lost in the wilds of Neulandia and neglected my work her. To remedy this I spent a few hours finishing the final unit of Foot. They are British Fusileers. I do like they way they turned out the red coats are striking. I also have assembled and primed two units of Horse (hopefully you will soon be making their acquaintance). As always these are  painted with Americana Colors from Hobby Lobby and given a dark wash using Future Floor wax.

assebling the firing poses drained my energies,
 I ended up with pretty static poses for the officers and drummers

despite this I do like the way the unit looks

they look solid and confident




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Take That! You Martian!

     The humans have begun to make a proper response to the Martian Invasion. Having carefully examined the Martian technology Earth  scientists have determined that Martian sensors detect visible light only rather poorly and depend on electromagnetic sensors for a great deal of information. minor field testing has confirmed this thesis.
     A massive undertaking has produced two test vehicles that are equipped with new technology that blocks these sensors, leaving the Martians nearly blind in the intense Terran sunshine. These have been carefully disguised to handle the Martian's  limited sight in daylight and brought to the battlefield just in time to confront a significant Martian assault.
 
the Martian horde appears out of the dawn light

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Apologies but Not Excuses

     I have been failing in my duties as Editor here over the last couple of weeks. I trust that my cohort in crime J&R has kept you all enlightened and enthralled with his erudite postings. I have been updating the Neulandia Blog with the rules amendments to bring TMWWBK rules into a VSF  theme. That has been completed but I still have to complete the economic system. I hope to have this dome within the week and beg your forbearance until I can return to my usual duties as Editor.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

SpartaCon Picture Trove: Kadesh


Recently uncovered new photos of Spartacons, found within the ancient tomb of Ramathull III!

Okay, not so much. I left these in draft form so that Anton and Housemartin might add some quotes or captions to them. However, wonderful gamemaster Chris Maes deserves for these to be seen, so I'm just posting them. I do know that the Egyptians managed a rather solid victory against the Hittites, with a stunning flank march on the right side, stout fighting on the left, and a stunning individual combat victory by the Pharaoh himself and no one else.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Flintcon, Session Two Photo Extravaganza

Hey everyone, back with more pictures from Flintcon! Once again, I'm not giving full on reports of every picture, but a general feel of each game. Have a whole bunch of pictures, so I hope you are prepared.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Flintcon, Session One Photo Extravaganza

WARNING: THESE POSTS CONTAIN LOTS OF PICTURES. IF YOU ARE ON A METERED DATA LINE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO WAIT BEFORE CLICKING ON THIS POST.

Hello! JnR here with a bonanza of photos from Flintcon! As one of the few in the group who made it out (Old Sarge and Joe managed to make it out for a bit), I decided to focus on taking pictures of the fantastic games that were being put on. Not only were there miniatures tables, but a Pathfinder Society room, a board game room, and a painting station! It was pretty great.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Upcoming Con Dates

Three months, three cons! SpartaCon is in the books, but we have two more cons coming up before we even hit Spring proper.

Flintcon 3 (THE REVENGE!)




When: 9 A.M.-11:00 P.M., February 4th, 2017
















*EDIT*









Tuesday, January 24, 2017

SpartaCon Picture Trove: Second Session


        Another plethora of photos from J&R, I don't know how he found the time to take these as he was busy assisting me with the game that I was running. I have no clue what the games were, or who ran them, so if anybody can provide some help there I would be happy to cation them to give credit to the guys presenting the games.


SpartaCon Picture Trove: John's Dreadnought Game

        My able and energetic assistant, Justice&Rule, during the 28mm Pre Dreadnought game managed to take about three times as many photos as I did. He is half my age so that will be my excuse! They are offered here without commentary as I have already outlined the game in a different post and, frankly,  I really hate typing. J&R captured many angles that I did not so enjoy this cornucopia of photos.




Monday, January 23, 2017

Spartacon Picture Trove: First Session

Hey all! More pictures from Spartacon 2017. Not going to be much in the way of commentary, but tons of pictures.

Battle of the Big Fleets, 28mm Pre-Dreadnoughts at Spartacon

        I took my fleets to Spartacon and ran a game on the vast floorspace they were kind enough to provide. We ended up with twelve players involved using thirteen vessels over about a thousand square feet of playing surface. Now all I need is a week for my knees to recover!

        The scenario is that the French Fleet is escorting a group of troopships to add to the forces attacking a Prussian colony. They expect to encounter only the local Colonial Squadron, to their surprise the Asiatic Squadron has shown up as well. The Prussians have no intention of allowing the French reinforcements to get through and have launched an all-out attack with their more numerous, but slightly inferior, forces.

the dashing French Admirals commanding (L to R)
the Charles Martel, the Dupuy de Lome, the Bec de Corbin and the Nemesis

the phlegmatic Prussian Colonial Squadron commodores,
 commanding (front to back) the Thor, the Panther and the Beowulf

the Asiatic Squadron admirals commanding (L to R)
 the Blitz, the Donner, the Seydlitz and the Gniesenau

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Glimpse of Spartacon

          This year's Spartacon has come and gone. In the assembly hall of the Lansing Center we enjoyed the nicely carpeted floors and comfortable, well lit surroundings. I had the pleasure of playing in a re-fight of the battle of Kadesh in the early part of the day before running my 28mm Pre Dreadnought game in the afternoon session. Attendance was good with almost all of the player slots filled in both the morning and afternoon sessions.As I was playing in a game I didn't quite get the opportunity to get around and snap photos of all the games but here are a few that caught my eye.

Chris Maes and company presented the visually (and tactically) satisfying Battle of Kadesh  
using 20mm figures from Caesars

Monday, January 16, 2017

Crossfire, the Great War

Being a big fan of the Crossfire ruleset and The Great Wat I was easily convinced by Joe to give combining them a try. We made it easier for infantry to recover from pins and suppression and decided that tanks would be considered to be moving weapon systems that would have to take bogging checks.  That done I broke out my 20mm Great War terrain and figures and we gave it a go.


the notoriously daunting landscape of the trenches


Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Vessels completed and they join their fleets

     I had the chance to complete the models and pulled out the complete fleets for a quick review. Now all I have to do is stat out the new models, balance the stats of the two fleets and put together a scenario. All in two weeks.

     Take a look at the new additions and enjoy the spectacle of the entire collection of boats on display on the gaming table.

crew figures lend a sense of scale, I still need many more to fully staff my fleets

I do love rivets

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Something to Mollify Gary

     Sorry, Old Sarge. These aren't the giant flying bridges you were looking for (I tried, they made the models too top-heavy) but I hope this will keep you satisfied until I can build a full-sized battleship that can carry all that superstructure.

the Prussian went minimalist (or course)
 while the French were rather more extravagant

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Spot of Paint

I had a little free time so I threw a basic coat of paint on the models. I decided that the bigger, squarer one looked more Prussian than the elegant smaller model which, by default, became French. I am still tempted by Old Sarge's prodding to add a flying bridge to the French model. I also need names for these two. Suggestions are welcomed.

the funny part is that the hulls are exactly the same size,
 they were split longitudinally from one prefabbed hull, 
yet the black one looks much larger

Monday, January 2, 2017

Almost Ready For Paint

     I have been hammering away at the gunboats and have them almost ready for paint. This is the crunch-time. I have to finally commit to  which model gets painted into which navy. I am currently leaning toward the smaller one going to the French (it just seems to look French) and the other being Prussian.

the temptation to add a flying bridge to one  (or both) of these models is significant
I am constantly tempted to build something like this

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Further Progress on the Gunboats

     I had a quiet morning to work on the boats and have added railings to the superstructures, fabricated gun barrels and, well, essentially covered the models in rivets. The smaller one has taken on a French appearance while the larger one has a distinctly Nordic flair. Like I said before, I really don't plan these things they just evolve as I work on them. I didn't go into detail on the construction techniques, for anyone interested in such things check the page listed at the top of the blog "Adventures in Blue Board and Foam Core" (or just follow that link) for step-by-step on previous projects.

I have had problems with earlier models losing their barrels due to rough handling,
I needed a sturdier way to attach the gun to the turret, voila! 
a roofing nail hot glued into place solves the issue handily