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torsdag 13 augusti 2015

Palm Trees, Viet Minh and a halftrack

A mixed lot today, intended mostly for Indo-China.

First up is a Warlord M3 halftrack. As much of the equipment the French used in the Indo-China war was either WW2 surplus bought cheap or stuff donated by the US, an M3 halftrack fits nicely. Expect to see many more such vehicles this year as Rubicon release their plastic stuff.


 It was a quick paint job, but it will do.



Next, some more Viet Minh. These are actually Viet Cong from The Assault Group so more like the sons of the men who fought the French, but since the local Viet Cong were handed the older weapons in the arsenal as newer Soviet and Chinese weapons became available, they ended up with MAT-49s and PPSh-41s...the very weapons the Viet Minh used. The uniforms might be a bit off, but they are close enough, I think. 
 Also a quick paint job. It is mostly block paint and wash, with Dallimore style high-lighting on the black clothes. Coat d'Arms Asian Flesh and GW Ogryn  Flesh Wash for the skin.



Last up is a set of palm trees from Pegasus Hobbies. These will do double duty for both Indo-China and Africa. They are pretty darned big, just look at that 28mm Perry guy standing below them, but certainly not out of scale for palm trees.

Block paint and wash for ground and trunk. The leaves looked rather good as they were so I did not paint them at all.

For the benefit of Laffe, here they are as they look in the box:

onsdag 29 juli 2015

Making trees, my way


These are my trees
There are many like them, but these ones are mine.




In his column in Miniature Wargames Neil Shuck said that he had bought some Woodland Scenics tree armatures but not had any luck turning them into trees. As I have figured out a way of making trees that look, in my opinion, good enough, I thought I'd write a piece about how I do it, by way of being a small thank you to Neil for the countless hours of fun his podcast has given me.

So, first of all, the components. I bought foliage from Javis through the wonderful folks at Spirit Games, my FNSLGS (Friendly Not So Local Games Store. The Woodland trees came from my local rail road hobby store MJ Hobby. I also use coins and washers glued to the bottom of the bases, sand for texture and mixed flock on top of that.

Foliage from Javis
Tree armatures from Woodland Scenics

This is not a quick method, but it gives good results. If you want quick, just spray the armature with glue, dunk in a bucket of flock, spray with fixative and you are done. I use this slower method, mostly, to be honest, because I have no space where I can spray glue. Oh, and because it is fun.

Hold the armature in one hand and then either:
1. dab some super glue on the end of a branch, grab a piece of foliage and impale it on the branch
2. dab some super glue in a forking branch and wedge the piece in the fork
3. dab some super glue on a branch and press the piece against the branch for a few seconds.
4. dab some super glue on a piece of foliage already attached and press a new piece against it.

When doing 3 and 4, take care not to press hard enough for the glue to soak through the foliage and on to your fingers...


Continue building up the foliage until you are happy with the results. I suggest looking at trees of the type you are trying to recreate to get an idea of how much of the trunk and branches you can actually see and how much is covered by leafs. In my experience, very few trees are green blobs on a stick so why should they look that way on our table?



Next step is to harden the tree. So far, we have glued pieces of shredded sponge to plastic. This will not hold together very well at all. Take white glue, mix with water to milky consistency, add detergent or whatever you prefer to use to break surface tension, then apply all over the foliage and leave to dry for at least 24h. Once dry, this will turn into one solid clump of shredded sponge glued to plastic. This WILL hold together. 



Once the foliage is dry, glue the trunk into the base and glue the base to a suitable coin or washer. I then put glue on the base and dunk in sand to give texture, paint the sand "earthy", apply a new coat of glue and cover in my "ground cover" flock mix.

An alternative way of doing it is to glue a few tree bases to a larger base, build up some ground texture and leave the trees loose. The WS tree armatures fit snugly in the holes in the bases when in use and can be pulled out, allowing the scenic bases to be stacked for storage. Below is such a base made from an old CD.


And this is what the finished tree looks like. I did not bother to paint the trunk or branches as they look good enough, but if you want them to look better, by all means paint them. And if you want to create a certain type of tree for variation, this is an excellent way. See the birch below.


That's it. I did 11 trees of various sizes in a few evenings. The last batch I did have been used in games across half of Sweden for five years and held up fine, I am pretty sure these will too.


måndag 6 juli 2015

Fences and troops

Latest additions are one set of Renedra wattle fence and one set of US troops from Mantic Games Mars Attacks.



I am not super-happy with either. I botched the paint job on the fence and then had to try to fix it. Not great, but it will do. The troops are a true speed-paint that I had to get ready for game night. I will fix the bases once I have decided on a good look for all bases in the game and I will paint the bricks/cinder blocks that are under the sand bags the SAW gunners are using, but this will do, for now.


The set-up for games night after hours at the office. Sadly, we got so distracted by our X-Wing game that we never got around to playing Mars Attacks. Ah well, next time perhaps.

tisdag 23 juni 2015

Especially for Mr and Mrs Padre

My good friend (although I've never met him face to face) Mike The Mad Padre Petersen just had some scary news.
As I don't do prayer, I said I would keep fingers and toes crossed for a good outcome. Mike was a bit perplexed about crossing of toes. He has obviously never been as scared of flying as I have.
It is an acquired skill.

Here is proof:

With hope of a swift and good outcome for Mrs Padre.



måndag 15 juni 2015

First Sarissa house and some Paras


I actually have some finished stuff for my Indo-China project!
First, the Sarissa building that I have blogged about earlier. This is the Woven Palm Style building from Sarissas Far East range. I can't say enough good things about their stuff and I will order more soon. One thing to note:I painted the house and the platform separate to be able to reach everywhere. When the time came to glue it together, the floor did not fit on the beams due to the paint. That is how snug the fit is! I fixed this with two minutes work with a file, but next time I will note carefully where the paint should not go.

I also finished the last of the French Paras I got from my Secret Santa. They are Red Star Miniatures and I love them! I will be getting more of these too very soon.



  Just some acrylics from the craft store and some Woodland Scenics flock. Works for me.


Paratroopers with radios and a medic.

tisdag 9 juni 2015

First game of Open Combat


I played my first game of Open Combat yesterday. It was a blast! The plan was to play in my office after hours against my friend Jocke, but he could not make it so instead I played a solo game, taking time to document the whole affair.

First of all, a word from our sponsors:


Ok, so neither Belhaven nor The Dicebaglady actually gave me these things, but they have great products that are essential for a good gaming experience.

I used the excellent Opencombat Warband spreadsheet that can be found on the Second Thunder Forums to create rosters for my warbands. Thank you, Branflayk, whoever you are.


The game is about a small group of Gondorian bailiffs going out into the woods to do some enforced tax collecting. There are three bailiffs and five peasants, each group making up a 100 p warband.




 As can be seen, I have taken pictures of my minis and added to the roster, making it easy to tell who is who, an important factor in Open Combat as it is a skirmish game where each figure is a character with specific traits and abilities.

The table was set up using some stone walls, trees and patches of rough ground. The bailiffs need to collect the cattle, marked by the grey counters, and bring them back off the table. The peasants need to stop this.




At the start of the game, the bailiffs arrive far left. Beltic and Corey are guarding the cattle in the pen. Aldin, Deogol and Eamon have arrived in the nick of time!





The first Turn sees very little action but some interesting tactics. The bailiffs move straight for their target. Beltic and Corey, seeing that the bailiffs have a bow, realise that there is no point in trying to hide and instead rush out. Aldin, the leader of the peasant band, sends Deogol and Eamon on a flanking move around the Rough Ground and runs forward to back up his men.





The second turns starts with the Head bailiff Aubert rushing forward with his Sergeant Bertin while Rifleman (ok, Archerman) Colas looses two arrows at the only clear target, Aldin. Aldin is hit once, losing a point of Fortitude. The peasants move cautiously forward to position themselves for the charge. (while doing this editing, I realise that Aldin has a shield that should have saved him from losing Fortitude to a Minor Hit with a bow)






Coals fires once at Eamon, forcing him back, and then moves further away. Bertin goes straight for Beltic and whacks him a good one (boxcars!). Beltic loses 2 Fortitude and is Forced Back. Bertin decides to follow up, intent on finishing the job. Aubert goes straight for poor Corey. The difference between a trained man-at-arms and an armed peasant becomes brutally obvious. ATK 8 vs DEF 3 means three dice. 6, 6, 5! 0 Fortitude left and poor Corey goes down as if struck by lightning. He is now out of the game but I will leave him where he fell for clarity.

Deogol and Eamon run towards the action. Aldin runs straight at Aubert, achieving a Force Back, while Beltic manages an Impasse against Bertin.






Turn four and Bertin hacks away at Beltic, forcing him back. Aubert attacks Aldin, another Force Back. Colas shoots at Deogol. Two hits but the shield takes one. (this time I remembered) Lose 1 Fortitude.
Deogol and Eamon rush towards Colas but to not engage him. Aldin hits Aubert for 1 Fortitude and drives him back. His follow-up blow misses. Even poor Beltic manages to make a difference, hitting Bertin for 1 point and forcing him back but he does not follow up.






Turn 5. Colas shoots twice at Deogol at point blank an still only manages a Force Back. Beltic survives another attack but is Forced Back. Aubert strikes twice at Aldin. Two solid hits drops him to the ground with 0 Fortitude.

Eamon goes for broke with a might swing at Colas...and misses in a spectacular fashion! Our first Terrible Miss sees the peasants lose Initiative at a very, very bad time...



Turns 6. A quick calculation shows that the peasants have 12 points of Renown left and can be considered Broken. The survivors all surrender. The next scenario could well include a jail break to free Aldin...if he survives.

I have no idea if I played this right. I suddenly realised that I forgot to use Leader Re-rolls, but as no-one got to use them the game remained fair.

In conclusion, this was great fun and I am glad that I backed the Kickstarter and will be getting a nice hard-cover book after the summer.






söndag 7 juni 2015

Red Star and Perry

For the benefit of anyone intending to make conversions using the Red Star range and Perry miniatures here is a quick thing I threw together. It is a Red Star head with Bigeard Cap on a body from the Perry plastic Desert Rats box.




I leave it up to the reader to decide what works size-wise and what can be done by a bit more work on the neck joint, but this will at least show you the size Red Star with Perry.

I have done another head swap on a figure from the Perry plastics box. This is a Warlord Celt head used to make an LRDG trooper.