Work is taking more than its fair share of my time at the moment, but it happens to most of us. However, I have had some time to get some things done over the last week or so, this is just a summary of that. As always, I do hope it is of some interest.
Chain of Command – dice, casualty markers and suppression markers
Gaslands – finally a game
Finnish and Sovietic dice
I am currently working on some terrain and markers for winter war Chain of Command. I wanted to have some dedicated Finnish and Sovietic dice so looked around and found a fair few Sovietic options but only one Finnish (very nice ones, sold by Dice of War in Australia, see here). These are not specific ones needed for the game, just the type where the 6 is replaced by a unit or a country symbol and could therefore be used for any game that uses D6s. I wanted to have blue ones for the Finns and Red ones for the Soviets, and thought I could perhaps do some myself. I found some 16mm blank dice on ebay and got myself a few different colours (these are from China so will take a week or two to arrive!, at least if you live in the UK).
I then ordered some labels/stickers from Amazon (13mm).
From Label Planets website (link here) you can get a word template for this label set and buy bigger quantities as well. From this you can design your own labels.
I wanted to have 1 to 5 in the same font as used for the Chain of Command rules. This font is called Vulgar Display of Power (download it here). In addition I wanted the hammer and sickle for the Soviets and the hat emblem that the normal enlisted men had for the Finns, replacing number 6.
Here is are the files with the sheet I made for the Soviets (Russian Dice) and sheet for the Finns (Finnish Dice), these are word files. You can change these to add your own colours and symbols.
I have to admit that I had some problem with the laser printer I was using in aligning the sheet so that it printed out correctly (I wasted three sheets but luckily managed to get two done, which was all I needed)- the final result is not perfect and if you have trouble I can only say I am sorry.
This is how they turned out.
One of the striking things with the Winter War are all the pictures of dead Sovietic soldiers especially in the fighting North of Lake Ladoga. Behind my romanticised view of the war and Finnish bias, I am not immune to the hell those Sovietic soldiers had to go through trapped on those wintery stretches of roads, with inadequate supplies of just about everything. Go to the Wikipedia page and read about the Battle of Suomussalmi (link here) and check the losses on both sides – 50% losses for the Soviets and less than 10% for the Finns.
To create a reminder of this I did a few terrain features with dead Sovietic soldiers (I keep on using this term as the soldiers in the Red army were not only of Russian nationality). They were based on Peter Pig casualty markers (based on anything with a great coat and headswaps to pointy Russian hats and early war helmets).
…and here with some painting, winterization and blood (sorry!).
These are based on the concept of snow flying around as bullets hit the area. I used something called Universal Cooker Hood Filter to do the effect. It is like cotton but much stronger, I attached a part of it with superglue and when dry I dragged it out and trimmed it. I also added a little bit of snow flock carefully on the cloud. I think they do the job well enough.
I have seen explosions markers made out of clump foliage and wanted to make some for the winter war table as it will contrasts nicely with the snowy background, and also have some practical game purpose. So I searched around the net for some ideas and found a few different options.
I made my set of explosion markers by following the recipe by the Terrain Tutor (link here). Always excellent, this time he blew me away again!
I also had a game of Gaslands with my micro cars! (using 50% templates), and it was great, but more on that another time.
/ All the best (yes I know I should be doing GNW!)
This is a follow-on from the post two weeks show some more Chain of Command markers I need to play the game. These are the ones I have done (for other markers go here):
Patrol Markers – done, see below.
Suppression fire – done, see below.
John Bond has a good guide on doing patrol markers and I was going to do them in this fashion using poker chips and then put stickers on – elegant and what you need (link here).
Having read the guide I got myself some Poker chips and found some Finnish and Sovietic symbols on the net to make the stickers from. I then thought that it would be cool to add some skiers on the finish ones and then it all went in another direction, adding stumps, trees and bushes. Overkill – perhaps, but why not? Difficult to turn these around to indicate that they are locked down! Had great fun doing them.
I made these from 10mm wide strips of some wood I had lying around – I suppose I could have used lollipop sticks as well. I added some twigs, green foam, stones and winterises and added some fluffy stuffing mixed with pva glue and some white paint. The last part to stimulate snow flying as shots are being fired.
I am going to make the suppression markers the same, but smaller.
Romans for Command & Colors
I also had my order in from Marching in Colours (link here) of some various miniatures – excellent as always. I spent the weekend basing and a very limited amount of detailing a large lot of Roman (and allied) infantry that I will be using for my Command and Colors game (see more here although I have changed some of the proposed basing conventions). I will do a write up of progress so far next week and also discuss the amount of bases and hexagons needed for this project. I am also working on the forces that will serve under the Barca family, but that will take some time to complete as I will need to focus on the Great Northern War stuff for the next few months.
If you recall episode 6 of the Band of Brothers TV series about the Battle of the Bulge, you may remember the wintery forest fighting scenes (well that was most of it anyway). I really like the cinema photography of that episode (as well as many of the others) and the relatively clear line of sight with regards to obstacles – the dominant thing at forest floor level being the tree trunks. Of course the Ardennes is not only tall pine trees but it is the tall pine trees that, in my view, helps to set the scene. What breaks the line of site is not necessary the trees but the white fog that sweeps the forest and the uncertainty is what is lurking out there.
Mature Scandinavian pine forests look very much the same.
Most winter wargames tables have traditional looking Christmas Trees with some snow – it is the ticket to add some winter feel to your terrain. The pine tree is an evergreen and the Christmas tree shape is easy to deal with and to pimp up to look wintery. They are also relatively cheap, and easy to manage on the wargames table. I have use these to, in my opinion, great effect for my Fraustadt 1706 and Gadebush 1712 tables that was laid out at Joy of Six in the past.
However, in adhering to my new year resolution of doing some Chain of Command Winter war (that is the war fought between Finland and Soviet Union 1939 to 1940) I wanted to try to get some tall pine trees on the table. I looked around the net for some commercial ones but did not find anything that I particularly liked.
I then stumbled upon an excellent video (link here) from the world of railway modelling and followed it to the letter, with the following exceptions:
Basing – I based mine on 40mm washers
Skipped the step on the highlighting with the turf (as, in my case, I will highlight with snow)
I did not add the additional branches on the tree trunk (but perhaps will do that later).
I added some snow (step 1 a mix of snowflock, white paint and glue added on the edges of the branches, dry, step 2 apply hairspray to the tree and let snowflock drop over the tree standing from above).
Have a look at the video (link here) by Luke Towan.
That thing of using the steel brush on the balsa to create something that looks like a tree trunk is just amazingly efficient.
This is how mine turned out – a compromise if we compare to the picture of the forest above – but spot on for what I was looking for!
I did a total of 19 in the first batch (as I can not count to 20 yet! – it seems). I have made enough to do another 70 or so, but not sure how many I need.
Took them for a test drive and I like the way they add to the overall look.
Now I need to figure out a practical way of basing them so they do not fall that easily – I suppose a bigger base with magnets or something like that.
The video show what material you will need to make the trees, it should be all straightforward, but if not let me know. I speculate that the total outlay for doing the 95 trees would be in range of £70 to £100, which is less than £1 per tree. I will let you know when I have finished my batch as I do not know how much spray paint and glue I will be using yet. It is not a difficult project to do, but I trust that you are careful when you use any sharp tools and read the recommendations on any packaging on the materials that you use. I am not saying this as a general statement to absolve myself of any responsibility when you are sent on a violent trip to God-only-knows-where from spray glue fumes or sent to hospital to put your cut off finger back – I am saying this because I still tend to rush into things without considering the safety of myself or more importantly others around me before the production of a piece of shitty wargames terrain.
They are relatively sturdy (the spray glue and in my case the additional hairspray to apply the snow creates some rigidity) and will probably last for a while. I suppose a few more coatings of hairspray would make it even stronger (use poundshop hairspray).
I am using mine to do Winter War using Chain of Command, but I suppose the trees could serve equally well in many other conflicts using other rules. 😉
I intend to do some for Summer actions during the Continuation war at some point, but without the snow of course.
I spent most of this weekend in Hospital as the Little Ones appendix needed to come out – he is the bravest of boys. He was disappointed as we missed the Rugby tournament on Sunday and our little family derby of Gaslands on Saturday. Anyway he is recovering at home at the moment and there will be no rugby or karate for a month, but the Doctor said nothing about wargaming!.
I used to tell the kids, when they were younger that I fought in the Finnish winter war, and that my appendix removal scar was from a bayonet. This was in hand-to-hand combat against a never ending onslaught of Russian infantry. But they soon realised it was a very economical truth and the closest I have ever been to the Winter War, was when I was playing the board game Artic Storm (link here) a few years ago. I suppose the Little One now has all the props he needs to replicate this “legendary” dad joke himself one of these days.
On the subject of the Winter War, one of the resolutions from the last (excluding the bonus one) blog (link here) was to get some Winter War Chain of command on the gaming table. I have all the miniatures I need but I am still lacking in terrain and markers. This blog entry is about some of the markers I have been doing in the early days of what I hope will be a fantastic new year.
With regards to markers I would need the following:
Patrol markers – not done. I got some Poker Chips from and will labelled these with Sovietic and Finnish symbols, that I will print on some adhesive labels. As you may be aware these are used in the little pregame to establish the location of the Jump-off points. I am not too worried about the fact that they are not blending in on the table and since they do not stay on the table. Maybe it would be cooler to use some Ski troops for the Finns and Scouts for the Soviets?
Shock makers – done, see below.
Jump-off Points – done, see below.
Pinned Markers – I will try to make these to simulate snow that flies in the air as a consequence of heavy firing on the ground. I will be trying this out this weekend as I have a little idea.
Broken – I will break a twig and put it on a base, simulating a broken piece of timber! Simple and a little bit of funny.
Tactical markers – done, see below.
Overwatch markers – done, see below.
These are done in the same way as the “Dead Parrot Markers” I wrote about earlier (First part and the second part) but I used 20mm washers instead of 15mm ones. The dead soldiers are from various Peter Pig packs (WW1 and WW2) and a few models just clipped from the base and laid down. I also played around with some heads and helmets – it would not be funny otherwise.
Jump off points
These were fun to do and as they stay on the table during the game I wanted these to blend in the overall terrain, as opposed to the Patrol Markers that are only used during the Patrol Phase.
I have to admit that I found it difficult to find anything pre-made that would fit the Finnish Forests. I have some Jerry Cans and Barrels but would find it unlikely that it would be lying around the forest in the type of situations we mostly find ourselves in a Winter Scenario.
First I added some stones and twigs to the bases (the twigs was actually from some metal model tree I have had in my bit box for ages, but I suppose you can get any twigs from a bush or something). Most Finnish units were equipped with Skis so I made a set of skis and poles for each base. I made the skis from plasticard (get a health lottery card and you enough for plenty of skis) cut thin, with one end sharpened and slightly bent, I also added a very small piece of Bluetac to give the illusion of bindings on the skis (i.e. where the soldier would attach the boot). I also had some pieces of Stowage and small boxes that I had lying around that I bought from the Scene ages ago (link here), I also added some helmets as I had some left over heads from my head swapping exercises (I got these from Peter Pig, link here). Finally added some snow flock mixed with PVA glue and some white paint, then flocked them again.
Similar to the finnish ones but no skis (some units had Skis but this was rare, especially in the beginning of the war) again boxes and stowage from the Scene stuff. The first one is with a dead horse (again from Peter Pig – Odds and Animals – link here) – there are also some dead cows if you prefer, I also flattened a piece of bluetac and cut out a flag sized square and used a piece of paper clip for the pole (unrealistic spread of the flag perhaps, but I just wanted to make it clear that it was a flag), third one a dead Russian and for the last one I added two rifles made from “rifle parts” from sacrificed models.
Tactical move marker
These are just small triangles made from plasticard with some snow effect on top that I will place in front of the unit.
as for the tactical move marker but a different shape.
I also completed some defensive positions, the Russians did not have sections and the smallest unit is the squad at 15 man strong that gives the need for some very big ones.
In other news
Got some pictures from Marching in Colour painting services (link here) that I am using for some of my projects. Another load of about 60 Polemos bases worth of 6mm stuff that he has base painted for me. If you are able to, do your lead mountain a favour and ask him for a quote!
I gave special thanks to Henry Hyde in a recent blog (at the end of this one) and he has recently started a Patreon campaign to raise funds to allow him to produce wargaming related material. I urge you to read his own words here as they are better than any I would be able to produce, and if it is your kind of thing, give him a few bucks.
I have known Henry for a few years now and remember him coming to Joy of Six a few years back when he was the Editor of the Miniature Wargames magazine (with Battlegames). He had travelled up from South of England in the morning, set up his tripod, took a few pictures of our Klissow game, had a short and insightful discussion with me on 18th century warfare in general and the Great Northern War in particular and then he moved on to the next table. Two months later I got my issue of Miniatures Warfare and on the cover was a picture from our Klissow 1702 game.
Having read Battlegames (in the day) and Miniature Wargames (and still doing so), the Wargames Compendium and listened to Henry on numerous Podcasts and followed his work, and interest, with regards to the physical and mental health of others, it is fair to say that he has had and will have an important role to play in our hobby (here is another link to the page where you can pledge your support).
/ All the best, hope I will have the rest of the markers done by the end of next week.
I have been away on holiday in Sweden over Christmas with the family and the only miniatures related stuff I have been physically close to have been my copy of the Gaslands Rules. I have read them and they seem to be a lot of fun, but more about that later.
This is the second year end for the blog and I have yet again had a joyful hobby year. My original idea was to do a blog about my preparations for my Saga Game(s) at Joy of Six in 2016, but then I never stopped. I found that it gave me some kind of efficiency in a strange way and I seem to have been more productive and organised than I used to be as a direct consequence. That original post on Saga in 6mm (link here) still gets some hits, but the most popular one from 2016 is the first blog on Sharp Practice in 6mm.
With the Saga game in 6mm I wanted to show that it is possible to take a “28mm game” and change the individual 28mm miniature on a 25mm circular base and replace this with a 25mm square base with 4 to 10 No. 6mm miniatures, keeping all measurement as they were and still have a good time. The game was still played on a 3 by 4 table, just as recommended by the rules.
Saga, as a game, worked anyway and playing it with 6mm miniatures gives a different feeling using individually based miniatures – I have tried both and I prefer the multiple based version.
The other approach I have taken with regards to 6mm is that you can take a game where 28mm miniatures (to take an example scale) are normally being used and half the measurement or use centimeters instead of inches. In this case each 28mm miniature is replaced with an individually based 6mm miniature. I have done this and played Sharp Practice, Pikeman’s Lament, the Men Who Would be Kings and Dragons Rampant. It works but it is more fiddly than 28mm, but this aspect can be mitigated somewhat if you use the (1-2-3) basing as suggested in the Pikeman’s Lament rules, if your game is about figure removal from units with non-individual figures – like the games mentioned above. This method is best described by Michael Leck who came up with the idea on his blog page (see here). A blog entry shows how I based my Colonial 6mm British (see here) using this approach (kind of!), pictures below.
Here is an example of a game we played this year on a 2 by 2 board (Pictures below, link to the write up and lots of pictures here) – you could carry the board under your arm and the terrain and the miniatures in a small little box. We had a jolly good time playing it. Did I mention that it took me two short evenings to paint up each force used in the game!
Here is another one (with the write-up here), this time Ottomans vs Swedes.
As for the most popular post in 2017 it is more difficult to say and perhaps unfair to compare as some of the posts, by the nature of weekly postings, have been on longer than others. However, the first blog on Colonial 6mm using The Men Who Would be Kings rules (link above) seem to have got some wider interest and so have the other postings covering Dan Mersey’s rules (Dragon’s Rampant and the Pikeman’s Lament rules he did with my friend Michael Leck) – they are all very similar with some notable variations in the Colonial set where there are commanders for each section as opposed to the overall force for the others and the damage is based on actual figure count – not a fixed full damage until half units are left going then down to half until wiped off the table, to mention a few of the more notable differences. I refer to these as the “Mersey Skirmish Engine” (MSE).
On the whole we have really enjoyed these games and they fit us really well as the rules are simple but not simplistic – i.e. there is sufficient depth to make the decision making challenging and there is a high level of friction built-in the activation system. I mainly game with the Little One who is celebrating his first double digit birthday next year so this simple but not simplistic factor is important to us. The best children movies are the ones that contain some sneaky adult jokes – watch any Shreck movie and you get what I mean. I find that the more complicated games looses the little ones interest quicker and in some cases never really captures him to start with.
The best games was when we were using my 6mm French Indian war models with the Pikeman’s Lament set, on that horrible “wargames mat” I bought in Rhodes on the family holiday. We played a fully functioning skirmish wargaming on what in fact was a doormat (some pictures here) and had some great fun in the sun.
We also played some other games including the Terminator Game, Sharp Practice, Dreadball (a great late start!), X-wing, The Twilight of the Sun King, Road Wolf, Maurice, to mention a few. I also read and tested the new Basic Impetus rules and Sword and Spear and would like to try these a little bit more. I also did two forces for 6mm sci-fi but I am yet to find a ruleset that inspires me.
I wanted to play Chain of Command with my Finns and Russian, but I failed miserably.
Anyway here are my key painting, modelling and gaming ambitions for this coming year.
Great Northern War – Twilight of the Sun King Rules (6mm)
Painting/Modelling 90%, Gaming 10%.
The 18th century in general and the Great Northern war in particular is one of my favourite historical settings and I am currently working on the Horka 1708 battle for Joy of Six in July 2018 (here is a link to some background to this). This will be the biggest battle I have done to date and I am very excited about it and this is the kind of battle and set-up that really works with the 6mm scale and gives the look and the feeling of a real battle.
I would also like to do a smaller table to give the Düna crossing in 1701 a fair go with the Twilight of the Sun king Rules (see some discussion on the rules here). I think the “did I hit?, did I damage?, did you have armour protection?, did you manage to save? – rolling sequence” is funny and engaging for a skirmish level rule-set but I am warming to the abstraction of the Twilight rules for BIG battles more and more for every time I play them (here is a note about the rules and where to find them). I have plenty of nice modelling and painting ahead of me for these projects.
Winter War and Continuation War – Chain of Command Rules (15mm)
Painting/Modelling 50%, Gaming 50%.
I re-read Hjalmar Siilasvuo’s account of the battle of Soumussalmi (Wikipedia link here) over the Christmas break. It is an inspirational account of how, in essence, three Finnish regiments defeated two Russian divisions and one tank brigade. Siilasvuo was one of the most successful Finnish Commanders during the war years.
The Battle at Raate had ended with a total defeat of the enemies 44th Divison, The objective given to my soldiers were completed. My men had, with commendable resilience fought for over a month in the harsh winter conditions at Soumussalmi. In defiance of death they had attacked the superior enemy. Their only guiding star was the precious, common fatherland, that fought for its existence. The cost of the great victories was paid with the heroic deaths of many brave warriors. With sincerity they had given their life for the fatherland, their homes and their faith. The white crosses on the graveyards where the signs of their sacrifice. They showed the people the path to honour, a hard path, but the only path.
Translated, hastily, from H.J. Siilasvous book “Striderna I Suomussalmi”
I also went to the Cinema in my Hometown in Sweden and watched the new film based on Väinö Linna’s book the Unknown Soldier about a Machine Gun Company during the Continuation war from the mobilisation in 1941 and the early successes to withdrawal and retreat leading up to the armistice in 1944 , I have read the book and seen previous iterations of the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is fictional but based on Linna’s experiences serving in the Infantry Regiment 8 during the war – it would make an interesting wargames campaign.
I have all I need for some Winter war action as I did a platoon of Finns and Russians last year. Here are some links to those Platoons (see here and here) as well as some background you may find interesting. I will not fail these platoons this year. I hope the Little One is up for it too! Link to the eminent Chain of Command rules here. I would also like to have a go at doing a winter wargames mat, as I have not yet found anything on offer that I especially like (I have an old mat but it could be better). I also have some Russian Scouts and more than enough Finns in Summer Uniforms to do some continuation war stuff.
Punic Wars – Command and Colours Boardgame (6mm)
Painting/Modelling 70%, Gaming 30%.
I am going to do a modular board and the necessary miniatures using mdf hexagons and 6mm units based on 50 by 20mm bases. I laid out the plans in a blog entry earlier in the year – here. I am looking forward to doing this as I am a fan of the game and I have wanted to do this since I read about Dan Becker’s project many years ago (see here) and got inspired from the game presented at Joy of Six this year.
Mutant 1984 – Mutants and Deathray Guns (28mm)
Painting/Modelling 50%, Gaming 50%.
I was going to do this project using (see more here) using the Scrappers rules but I have recently decided to try out the Ganesha games set called Mutants and Deathray Guns (link here). I am keen that Rifleman Croc Lacoste gets some battle-hardening sooner rather than later, he has been waiting more than a while.
I actually did some mean looking power armoured warriors (from Ion Age, IB52 Muster Female Squad, link here) when I got home yesterday evening as well as a gang of rats (conversions from the following miniatures – 3 of the bodies from Crooked dice here, 2 of the bodies from Moonraker miniatures – 0046 Scavenger. Handgun. Shotgun here, and 0074 SMG. Rasta here, the last body on the far left I do not remember, the heads and tails are from Giants rats, also from Moonraker, here).
Painting/Modelling 30%, Gaming 70%.
This is the best thing that I have come across in 2017 and I read the rules over Christmas (link to the Gaslands page, here. Where you can get the rules and accessories). This will be fun and I have more or less everything I need to get on with it (some notes here, here and here). Being true to form I decided to do this in 6mm as I was aware of some nice looking models out there. However there are some considerations to make and I advice that you read my blog entries above, if you are considering doing this.
You need smaller templates (I went for 50%) if you do Gaslands in 6mm – this does not, in any sense of the word, mean you need to do it in less style!
Contact Lee at http://www.bendyboards.co.uk and he may do you a set or 4! Lee is the one who makes the official ones and is where I was sent when I asked Mike at Gaslands if he planned to do any smaller templates than the official ones.
In addition I may do the occasional game of Colonial skirmish, Dreadball, some Saga battles with the dark age stuff, French Indian war with SP2 or T&M, Maurice or Pikeman’s Lament with Swedes and Saxons, and I may even progress the Rommel stuff I started, but we will see. I am pretty sure it will be totally different at the end of the day/year but as long as I have fun it does not really matter.
I would also like to do some WW2 units to use for a Norwegian Campaign. I did a fair few a few years back but in a moment of stupidity let them go.
Some thanks and then I will let you go
I have done a fair number of hours at my painting and modelling desk this year, when I do this I tend to listen to podcasts and audiobooks – the following are the hobby related ones I have found especially inspirational this year and I am grateful they are doing what they do. Get some paint and click on the titles and go and listen, you may have a painted army standing before you after you finish! Thank you to all involved in the production of these.
If I had one wish it would be that the Historical Wargames Podcast got on air again – I really enjoyed that show. If I had another wish it would be great if there was a wargames podcast similar to the Grognard Files (a nostalgic throwback show to the RPGs of yesterdays) that reflected on some of the “dead” games out there. The Veteran Wargamer, for example, had a show about games from beyond the grave (link here) and I think that one was a good start – look out for Jay’s comment on the game Chess.
Special thanks this year to the Little One who possibly prefers solo computerised quests as opposed to games with Dad using painted miniatures, but never fails to get stuck in and getting on with it. At Joy of Six he ably, more or less on his own, ran the Dragon Rampant table we put up. Also a big thank you to the Other Ones who may not be interested at all in this hobby of mine but who lets me get away with spending far too much time on it.
I would also say thank you to Chris of Marching in Colour (here is a link to his excellent painting service) who has been painting a fair few of my GNW units for this and next year’s TMT project – giving me more time to do some fantastic diversions and maximising the fun in the limited hobby time I have available.
Nick Dorrell, and his chums from the Wyre Forester Wargames club (link here), we ran Kalisz 1706 at Salute this year (see here) and Lesnaya 1708 at Joy of Six (see here). Nick and I have been doing 6mm Great Northern War Battles for the last six years as mentioned above we are doing Horka 1708 this year – if I get all of it done! Also to Rob and Laurent that helped us at Salute and Peter and Igor of Baccus who always makes Joy of Six an easy gig!
Finally (almost), a big thank you for all you people out there who likes the blog on Facebook, follows it on Twitter (yes I have recently got myself wired up on this too), directly here on WordPress, or just comes by occasionally or even incidentally. I really like the messages that comes through the blog and discussions I have had face-to-face with readers of the blog at the Joy of Six and Salute this year.
Now go and enjoy the end of this year. Hope you have a great 2108 and hey! – why not give something back to the hobby! Having just eaten half of the world and drunk the other part over Christmas it tends to be at these times when we reflect on our health and promise to deal with it next year. Henry Hyde, of Wargames compendium and Battlegames fame, just released a video that may not result in your lead mountain being painted any quicker but may help you being around long enough to have time to deal with it. The video is called “Exercise Ideas For Writers and Gamers” – that is giving back big time so a my final thanks goes to you Henry! Here is a link to the video on YouTube.
If you have followed this blog you know that I have been doing some Terminator stuff to get the Little One a little bit more involved in the non-electronic side of the gaming hobby. Initially I wanted to get the box, paint a set and get a few games of it before going on to more things. Last week I finished painting another starter set worth of miniatures as well as 7 specialized machines and a handful of resistance specials (this includes the ones with the headswaps from Badsquiddo Games (link here) I showed in the blog last time, see link here). Basic quick paintjobs based on the little ones preferred uniform colours and ready for the table!
I also converted an old German Paratrooper set to a resistance mortar (as these are no longer for sale) and did a headswap from a celtic dog handler to avoid the German look, I then used the three dogs in the set to do some sniffer dogs for the game (Again, these are also sold out. These are dogs that can identify a robot infiltrator and consequently the model can be attacked – in game terms the model can sneak around freely until (1) a dog handler challenges it or (2) it attacks). I felt the game needed some sniffer dogs as well as some mortar support for the resistance.
This was based on the following two packs from Warlord Games (link here).
Obviously the ones originally produced for the game look much better (but this solution works for us!). If they are offered again the resistance of course will be futile, but until then here we are.
The game comes with some cardboard terrain, including some flat ruins as shown in the picture below. On inspection and reflection the little one looked at me and said “These ruins do not look very good Papa, do they?”. I agreed that they didn’t but instead said, “They are ok, we just use our imagination!”, thinking that I had other things to do, like this years installment of the Towards Moscow Project that needs to be ready for the Joy of Six or, even closer, the Kalisz Battle for Salute. I seemed to have wiggled myself of the hook!
Later that evening when the Little One was visiting Neverland I packed up the stuff from the game we had played and looked at those ruined tiles again – Nice artwork aside, they did not look that good. I went on ebay and ordered some mdf ruins (yes I could have used 6mm floor insulation foam and cut my own shapes) but I this stage I thought I just get some mdf ruins and paint them black and drybrush them in grey – job done!
After a few days they arrived but when I had assembled them I got second thoughts about how to finish them and instead of just painting them after assembly I pimped them up a little bit before priming. I cut out some bases from some vinyl floor tiling material I had lying around (left over from the Saga table I did last year) and glued the ruins on top (I used hard as nails adhesive). I then applied some PVA glue on the ground and added sand. For the walls I applied a thin, but rough coat of modelling paste on the walls. I took some stones from the garden, cut some cocktail sticks and matches into small pieces, cut up some pieces of plastic into small squares and mixed it all with PVA glue and applied it here and there. I also added some small stones on the edges of collapsed flooring and wall sections. In addition I added thin sand on top of each wall (using PVA) that was not broken (to take away the evenness of the laser cut). I also had a few crates etc I added here and there. I ended up with this!
Once it was properly dry (With PVA it takes a while) I primed it in Black Gesso, painted the ground brown, then drybrushed it with a light brown. For the walls and rubble I just dry brushed it with a dark grey followed by a light grey. I added a few dry tufts.
I got thumbs up from the Little One and they have already been put to use in a skirmish today. I am just waiting for him to tell me “This game mat does not look very good, does it!” (It is made of paper and from the basic box!)..
Here are some shots from the opening of that game.
So until I get the mat request, I will now fully dedicate my modelling hours to the Towards Moscow Project. Here is the current progress, mostly thanks to Chris at Marching in Colours! A few more models to be inked, detailed, flagged-up and based.
I also got some table flags that I will use when I do Winter War gaming. I thought it added a nice touch, although I did surprise a friend of mine when he came over and noticed the Soviet flag. However, the explanation about using it when I played with toy soldiers seemed to make him think I was more weird than what the flag itself implied. I have also ordered a King’s Colours flag (or Great Union flag, that was used by England and Scotland up to 1801) and a Nouvelle France flag for my French Indian War Battles, and a Swedish and Tsarist Russian Flag for the Towards Moscow Battles.
/ All the best, and although “I will be back!”, there will be no terminators next time, I promise.
Neil Shuck doing Sharp Practice in 6mm at Joy of Six
There are some very good news indeed with regards to Joy of Six this year, from my and I believe many others perspective, as Neil Shuck will be running some Sharp Practice in 6mm using my French Indian War stuff I did last year. You may recall that I and Neil did the Saga in 6mm last year. Neil will be developing a scenario so we are not yet fully sure what will happen on the day, but we will let you know as and when the mystery unfolds.
Most of you, I suppose, know that Neil Shuck is the man behind the, in my opinion, best wargames podcast available called “Meeples and Miniatures”. If you have not listened to Neil and his co-host give it a go, it is more than worth it (there is a link below). I have been listening to it for years and it has given my joy, inspiration as well as sound investment advice.
There are of course other podcasts out there, including the new, and equally, addictive Veteran Wargamer as well as the long running Wargames Recon show that are also very good. As I have said before listening to podcasts and audiobooks is my way of keeping my hands free to do painting and modelling.
Joy of Six is a show that from one perspective could be seen as an exclusive 6mm event but that would be a very (did I say very) narrow view, instead I, and perhaps you should too, see it as a fantastic event that bring something to all wargamers. To get an idea what it is all about you should check out the link to the show report from 2016 below. Personally it is another chance to see Dan Hodgson’s amazing Star Wars stuff that I totally missed out on last time due to the demand around the Saga tables.
Thanks Neil! Looking forward to seeing you again.
I will be running the Great Northern War Battle of Lesnaya 1708, if I ever get there!
Here are a few useful links with regards to the above:
Bare Winter Trees for my Chain of Command Winter War Project
I am finishing of the stuff I need for running some Winter War battles with regards to terrain and markers (see more background here and here). Trees are very important to get the right feeling and my current focus are on these. I already have a fair few pine type of trees (Christmas trees) and these are just the same Summer and Winter apart from some snow flock on top, but also wanted some bare (leaf less) winter trees. To get the right look I have considered Sea foam (but it seems to brittle for my requirements), making it with wires (but it seems too time consuming to do large quantities) or to go out looking for twiglets (but this gives limited amount of branches, unless you look very hard!). What follows is how I intend to do my bare forest.
I went to eBay and found these trees (see below) and thought I give it a try. As they come from China it could have taken a while to get them in the post – but I was pleasantly surprised to get them delivered in a week.
The look pretty much like the picture and if you were in severe rush you could probably base them and field them like this. I took a few more steps and I have written a narrative of what I did in the text for each picture on what I did. I thought this could have some general interest.
What you need:
The trees shown above (go to ebay and search for them, you can by other quantities, the one above is for 50 trees 5X 10X).
Something to cut with (whatever you have clippers, nail scissors, etc. The plastic is very soft)
Washers (for bases) mine were 25cm in diameter.
Putty or green stuff
Primer (I used Black Gesso)
Paints for the trunk and branches (see below for the ones I used)
Modge Podge (Matte), but perhaps PVA is as good
Modelling Snow Flock
Some sealer (have not done that yet) – maybe a matte spray varnish would be best?
I went to see Tiger Lillies perform at the Camden Roundhouse in London this Friday. The concert was in celebration of their latest album released last week called ‘Cold Night in Soho’. It was their only gig in London as was advertised and promised as a night to remember. As I may have uttered before, the first time I heard them I was not sure whether it was absolute rubbish or bloody brilliant – I settled for the latter and this concert yet again proved that decision was the right one, being a mixture of old and new and I really enjoyed every minute.
This is one of those very fine British cultural treasures and to quote the roundhouse webpage, “The music they produce is a mixture of pre-war Berlin cabaret, anarchic opera an gypsy music, echoing the voices of Bertholt Brecht and Jacques Brel”. Check them out here.
Could not resist chopping some heads
With regards to the Genisys project I did say I did not need any more miniatures, but I got a good deal on the John Connor and a Lieutenant set the other day so I could not resist getting these. What would the resistance be without John Connor?. Also I thought I would convert some of the resistance soldiers by using heads from Badsquiddo games (link here., I recommend a visit) to bring some gender balance in the resistance to the machines. Just as a note, one of the miniatures on each sprue in the box is a woman, but I wanted some more variety. I had also waited for an opportunity to use these heads since became aware of what Annie at Badsquiddo is doing.
Here are the shots of the resistance miniatures with the headswaps done (have not yet started painting them).
You may think the heads are a bit too big, and perhaps they are? They are good enough for my purposes. However, and this is great, they are sold in three different sizes fine, pulp and heroic. I bought the heroic ones and perhaps a size or two down would work better.
I also got my order of “wave whatever” ships for the X-wing miniature games, I have lost count of what wave it is (I think it is Wave 10!). However, they are very nice indeed and I suppose we have to test fly them soon.
The Quadjumper and Upsilon-class Shuttle from the Force Awakens movie as well as Sabine’s TIE fighter from the Rebels series.
I also got some plastic toy cars that I intend to use for the Winter War project, but more on that another time.
Thanks for not asking about progress on the TMT project!