Järnringen / The Iron Ring (Mutant 1984) – Part 2 – The Attack of the Robots

This is a follow-up on a previous blog post about my miniature skirmish adaptation of the Swedish roleplaying scenario Järnringen from 1985 (see more here) for the Mutant RPG, if you intend to play this as a Player Character it is probably best that you stop right now.

The lights are dimmed and Morgan gets onto the stage, dressed in dark clothes with an enigmatic smile on his lips. He holds up a playing cared – Queen of Spades. He mumbles something and suddenly holds three cards in his had – three Queen of Spades. At the same time the triplets appears on the stage, dressed in red, blue and yellow.

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Morgan Morgonstjärna (drawing by Peter Johnsson)

“My Ladies and Gentlemen”, says Morgan, still smiling. “As we all know there are people that possess strange powers, but I will prove that no mutation, no power is stronger than MAGIC! With its help I will move a young girl from one place to another in front of your eyes!”. Janice hovers forward, dressed in red sequins, and dances around Morgan.

“Now, of course, you believe that the Lady is a PSI-mutant!”, says Morgan starting a roar of laughter from the audience. They just need to cast a glimpse on the overly dimensioned blonde to understand that she it not.

The other triplets pushes in two black boxes. Janice steps into one of the boxes and pulls a black curtain. For a moment the stage seems to glow from a blue light and then Morgan pulls away the curtain and the box is empty. The curtain in the other box is pulled away and Janice takes a step out on the stage with a great smile. The trick gets standing ovations and Morgan bows and disappears behind the stage curtain and the show goes on.

– Roughly translated from the 1985 scenario Järnringen (the Iron Ring) for the Swedish Roleplaying Game Mutant!

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In the original scenario there is a chance that Nordholmia (the town) is attacked by Robots (unless the Players Characters manages to figure out was is going on and stops it) – I am currently working on a scenario to play this with miniatures. The scenario basically is a situations where robots are appearing and the players tries to get to the source of the attack to stop more robots coming and where the supporting cast (the defenders of Nordholmia) are fighting the robots.  Guess where the robots are coming from!

As for the robots there is the following illustration in the book (by Peter Johnsson), but I always felt this was too cartoony and did not really fit into what I had in mind (it is a cool drawing though).

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There would be no more suitable type of robot to be used for this project that than the T-800 model from the movie Terminator.

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T-800 model, pictures taken from IMBD, from the Terminator (1984) movie.

Some time ago, I and the Little One had a go with the Terminator Genesys miniatures games, so we have a fair few of robot models already.

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This week I have finished a few proud defenders of Nordholmia using the LDV unit I bought at SELWG a few weeks ago, with some headswaps from Sally 4th.

 

I tried to the get feeling of some citizens using primitive guns and whatever they have handy to fight with – humans, mutants and animals fighting side by side.  I think I need a fair few similar kind of models and will browse various VBCW miniature manufacturers as these will fit the bill nicely.  Here they are.

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In other news, I did also finish this little gift I got from a friend for this Mutant 1984 project.  It is a frog caught in some carbonite, Han Solo style!

 

In addition for the latter part of the scenario I am trying to find a suitable model for Makron – no, not the French President, but the host of Hotel Imperator, with his blue hypnotic eye.

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Makron (drawing by Peter Johnsson)

Let me know if you have any ideas for a model for this chap.  I currently I am painting this one, but it arguably looks more like a confused professor than an evil master mind (that can cause fear and illusions).

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/ Hope that was of some interest, now I just need some more defenders of the town. I guess I would need another 30 or so.

 

 

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Järnringen / The Iron Ring (Mutant 1984) – Part 1 Opening Scence

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The Iron Ring – Can Nordholmia be saved from doom? 

Relaxation?, Comfort?, Breathtaking Nature? – Hotell Imperator

Nordholmia is in danger. The farmsteads of the city gets destroyed by an unknown powerful enemy and the mayor turns to the adventurers for help.  During the adventure a big conspiracy is expose that could threaten the whole of the Pyri Commonwealth.  The Player Characters are confronted with a investigative problem that leads to countless dangers, first in the city of Nordholmia and afterwards at the ancient hotel Imperator.  Big skill is required by the players in addition they should have experienced player characters.

– Backblur from the 1985 scenario Järnringen (the Iron Ring) for the Swedish Roleplaying Game Mutant!

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This was the first and perhaps the best of the adventures produced for the Swedish Mutant 1984 RPG (apart from the starter adventure in the box). The “Grey Death” adventures (I wrote about part 1 of those in here) were more epic but I think this is the one in the whole that captures what I feel was the essence – maybe because it came first?  It was also funny that the scenario took place in the county in Sweden where I was born – Dalarna.  I have written about this RPG in an earlier blog (link here).  But in summary:

Basically following a deadly and incurable epidemic caused by samples from a mission to Mars the human civilization collapses.  The survivors build enclaves and start experimentation on humans and animals, in effect creating mutants, to see how they will survive outside the enclaves.  However conflicts arises between the enclaves and it leads to a nuclear war sealing the fate of the world.

Fast forward a few hundred years and the from the ashes new civilizations start to emerge with mutated humans and animals, some “pure” humans and even some mutants with mental powers. There are remnants of the old worlds scattered all around, and some androids/robots from the old days are still around. In addition there are certain areas where the effect of radiation has left some strange effects on the flora and fauna and these areas are called “Forbidden Zones”.

The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today, and the general level of new technology is equivalent to that of the 19th Century, give or take.  There are steam engines, muskets and some emerging rifle like weapons, heliogram for communication, etc.  Some of the old technology has survived but is rare.

 

The Prologue – The Postman dies once, but slowly…

 

Although the cover of the adventure is intriguing, not so much in what is happening on stage but more about what is going on in the crowd. But there is one picture that I think stands out in the scenario and it is the one that illustrates the opening scene.

The fog is dense around you.  From a distance you can hear the howling from wild beasts prowling in the unknown. But it is not your main bother as you are fully occupied trying to figure out who really suggested that you would get out on the Moor.  It has been raining all night and your are thoroughly wet and miserable.  It is now the third day that you have been straying around the wilderness between Hardin and Torsvad.  Comments like “Shortcut to Torsvad, my arse!”, “Are you happy now, when we have no food left!”, “I was against this from the start!”, “It was you that ….”, has been flying around during the last few days.

Suddenly you hear the sound of hooves approaching.  A lonely rider seems to pass by at a distance in full gallop.  The fog starts clearing and you can see the silhouette of some crags on the left.  You realise that the rider must have passed behind them.

The silence is interrupted by a scream followed by two loud bangs of musket fire and another scream.  From the crags a saddled horse without rider storms against you. When you carefully advance you hear voices and can soon see to whom they belong.

On the ground behind a large stone a man is lying down and desperately holds a shoulder bag against his chest.  He holds his other hand against his bleeding shoulder and next to him lies a smoking pistol.  Around him stands four creatures that all are directing their weapons against him.  The leader seems to be a giant mutated moose and the other three are mutated lynx.  The Moose grins against the man and asks him to hand over the bag. When the man refuses he aims his musket towards him to end his life.

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Roughly translated from the Järnringen scenario book (page 3, this is from the introduction to the players).  The picture is drawn by Peter Johnsson.  I love this picture especially the “Bobby on the Beat” Hat!  Proper “In Medias Res” – straight into action.   It is how we liked to roll.

There is limited information in the scenario about these four creatures, apart from the information above and some mediocre game stats (they were not suppose to give our character any major problems), so in normal fashion I have fleshed out these characters a little bit in my take on them – given them some names (with my apologies to Alexander Dumas), sketched out a little bit of a background story and tried to find a suitable way of representing them on the table in miniature form.

As always these are not artistic master pieces, but I do hope a sufficient representation to give some kind of homage to an old Swedish rpg from the 1980s that I have so many fond memories of.

The Three Lynxeteers – Arameow, Purrtos and Arthiss 

These henchmen (or should that be henchlynx) are brothers and were born in the outskirts of Hardin to a very large and poor family.  From an early age they had to fend for themselves and became reasonably successful in picking pockets and locks, and other illegal means, to make ends meet.

On the day of the annual celebrations in Hardin commemorating the killing of the Hound of Tandalsåsen (Sorry Lovecraft!), the brothers decided to pay a visit to the Mayors house.  As was custom the Mayor, Signe Frihamn, held a speech and attended the celebrations with her family – the house would be empty –  they thought.

On the morning of the festivities Signe’s husband Johannes, the previous Police Chief of the county, had woken up with a very bad back pain and had decided to stay home.  The Couple had given their servants the weekend off to go and visits some relatives in Hindenburg.  When the trio entered the house Johannes heard them from upstairs and armed with a rifle he went to investigate.  She startled Arameow and Purrtos as they were rummaging through his belongings and held them at gunpoint.  Arthiss, being elsewhere in the house, sneaked up on him and drew his knife and stabbed him in the back.  The trio quickly took what they could, including Johannes trademark black helmet, and fled the house.

When Signe returned Johannes was still barely alive, but in his dying breath identified his assailants.  A manhunt ensued and the brothers took their refuge in the Moorlands outside Hardin.  Here they met a mutated Moose (Dart an Älg, see below) who realised that the three brothers could be useful for his needs – although the brothers thinks he has joined their gang.  They are now operating as highwaymen and hiding from the law.

They recently robbed a short noble man who had a travelling wardrobe with a large number of coats – seemed a shame not putting them to use (this is of course to justify the choice of models and their clothing below).

MetHelmetThe helmet worn by the constables of the representatives of law and order in Pyrisamfundet is based on a so called Custodian Helmet used by the police force of the former countries of England and Wales.  The design was based on the Prussian pickelhaube and was used by constables and sergeants. 

Signe and Johannes Frihamn were seasoned adventurers and apart from being the slayers of the Hound of Tandalsåsen in 86 they had travelled wide and far.  They had worked as troubleshooters and mercenaries for the King of the Scottish Badgers and travelled in other parts of the Islands known as Ängland (meadowland, due to the green and pleasantness of the flora and fauna).  In the forbidden zone of Batteracid (in former London) he had found his trademark black helmet, that he had worn since then.  When he later became responsible for law and order for Hardin he had some copies being made for his officers – the helmet was now standard all throughout Pyrisamfundet, and some versions has even been developed for civilian use.

[Yes, this allows me to use Victorian Bobbies to represent the law and order in my version of  Pyrisamfundet]  

Modelling the Brothers

I ordered a few cat people form Black Cat bases (link here), and did a few modifications, like adding a policemans hat (you can buy some heads with Police hats from Crooked Dice, here) and weapons (I got some flintloque pistols etc from Black Cat bases too, link here). The cat with the sabre got a police hat, the cat with the parasol got a musket and the cat with the tray got two pistols.

Overall I am happy with the look (they originally did not had a fancy clothes but I thought they would look ok in the attire they came in).

Dart an Älg (The Mooseketeer)

Dart originates from the forests around Nordholmia (where incidentally this adventure will progress to) and worked as a trapper during his youth selling furs to the Nordholmia traders and occasionally working as a scout for the Army or other daring folk who ventured in the area.  He gained some reputation as a reliable man and his fur trading grew to a healthy business.  However Swizzle, one of Pyrisamfundets biggest trading houses did not like the increased competition.  Swizzle’s operations in Nordholmia were run by the founders grandson Vizel Swissle.  Vizel instigated a campaign to damage Dart’s business, bribing officials, burning down storage facilities, threatening suppliers, etc.  However, Dart was resilient and seemed to recover stronger from every set-back.  Vizel had to escalate his efforts and framed Dart for the murder of a local school teacher by the name of Elvira Snyft.

Dart did not stand a chance against the resource of the Swissle House and ended up in a labour prison outside Hindenburg. Here he was , to put it in the words of the stern judge at the trial, “..to serve for his horrendous crimes until the day he died”.  He felt betrayed by his town and his country, but most of all he had a raging anger towards the Swissle family as he was more than sure they were behind the plot.  From the moment he put his foot in that god forsaken prison he tried to work out a plan to escape and seek revenge.  As the years progressed he became more and more bitter.  He made numerous attempts to escape but were caught and brought back and was punished severely with beatings and long times of isolation – somewhere along the way he went insane.  One day when a group of prisoners were out working on a road repair job one of guards suffered from a heart attack.  Dart told the second guard that he could save his colleague and lied that he had been a doctor as a civilian.  The guard dropped his guard for a few moments whilst Dart pretended to help the his suffering comrade.  The opportunity presented was quickly exploited by Dart who strangled one guard whilst watching the other man die.  Needless to say he sought out Vizel and took out his revenge in the most brutal of ways.  He was chased by the Nordholmia Sheriff and a Posse but managed to escape.  Since then Dart has been an outlaw and have become a terror in the area around the Hardin Moors.  One day he stumbled across on the three brothers who also were outlaws – a relationship was formed and the group operate as robbers and thieves in the area.  They have successfully avoided capture as they are careful and knows the lay of the land very well.

Modelling Dart

I got myself a Garrison Caliverman from Perry Miniatures – it is part of their fantastic Border Reivers 40mm range (here is a link).

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Picture from the Perry Miniatures Web Page

As you can see in the picture it comes with a number of heads – but none of them being a moose head.  So I had to find it elsewhere.   I got myself a Moose from Northstar (pulp miniature range, link here).

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The Moose from North Stars Webpage

Some cutting later I had my Mooseketeer!

 

As for the dying Postrider, his name is Erjan, and I think he may be from a the body of a WW2 soldier I had in my bit box?  I made the post bag from some putty (Somewhere along the way I forgot that he was bleeding from his shoulder and not his leg – my mistake).

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Anyway here is the set-up, this should not have been a life changing encounter for the group but this is untampered nostalgia on overdrive – so why not!  My 13-year old self would have been as happy as I am now!

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So just do not stand there, get on with it…. what do you do?

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Some other related stuff

I have painted a few models from the interloper miniatures range (link to their webpage), they are wonderful models.  I hope you like them they form part of my overall Mutant 1984 “collection”.

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/Hope that was some interest.

Currently I am working on another scene from the adventure – the Robot Attack in Nordholmia.  But that is for some other time.

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The Swedish Infantry for Horka 1709 and some post-Salute 2018 Stuff

“…but in summary of Salute I can say “a lot of people, met some new and old friends, the games looked great, got some gifts(!), picked up some stuff and bought some more, What a Tanker from Too Fat Lardies looked fun, a fantastic GNW battle from Michael Leck – from my perspective the Show rolled a Six.” 

From about a week ago!

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We have been busy with the Little Ones year end Rugby Tournament the last week so I have not been doing that much hobby wise lately.  We went to Isle of Wight and had a blast – it is a wonderful part of the world.

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The Little One getting ready for another day of fun!

 

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Isle of Wight is a nice part of England and with the ferry crossing it almost feels like a “proper holiday!”

I realise that it is now about 10 days ago since Salute 2018, so I think there are plenty of better places for an overview of Salute –  I suggest you try Big Lee’s most excellent blog here.   Alternatively, or as well, you could go to youtube and watch the terrain tutors very nice video of the show (press play below) – if you have not checked out his other stuff do that as well.

What follows are just a few snippets of things from my personal experience.

Twisting the Dragon’s Tail

On St George’s Day! 100 years ago the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.   The idea was to block the canal entrance by sinking obsolete ships – this to stop U-boats and light shipping from leaving port.

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Lovely model of the Vindictive (An Arrogant Class Cruiser).  Her guns were replaced with flamethrowers, howitzers and mortars for the raid.

The game presented by the Maidstone Wargames society showed the actions of the HMS Vindictive that carried a troop or royal marines that were to take out some German Gun positions.  It was a beautifully presented game and the ship was a thing of beauty and  scratch built (using a lot of tomato pure tubes as sheeting material – that is hard core in my books – “What a we having for Dinner today?”, “It is another round of Pasta with Tomato Sauce!”).

Mission Command: Normandy

Mission Command is a new set of WW2 rules that promises to capture the essence of tactical and operational combat for company level to division level.  It captures the way in which different armies (nationalities) operated in practice in terms of tactical and operational command, control and communication.  It was a pleasure to have a chat with the guys.  I found it intriguing – more information here.  It is currently at the final stages of playtesting and a relatively inexpensive beta ruleset can be obtain through the link above.  The game is Umpired and orders are given at the beginning of them game but can be modified.  However the changes to the orders have to be achieved within command structures where the fog of war, imperfect information and confusion can cause unintended outcomes.

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Mission Command: Normandy. Bocage, I think they are from the Tree Fella!  Ground scale is 1mm equals 2 meters.  Each figure represents 5 to 10 men and a vehicle model 2 to 5 vehicles.  They used flames of war based models on the day.  Further theatres and armies will be covered. I really like the players manual that can be downloaded from the their page – it has some interesting overviews of doctrine, practice and organisation for the Americans, British and Germans (here).

The Battle of Foy

Most of us remember this from the phenomenal Band of Brothers book and TV-series.  This table was a joy to watch and the group presenting it was passionate about sharing their enthusiasm.  I have a special place somewhere for snow terrain and this one was inspiring.  The miniatures used were 20mm and it was played using the Bolt Action rules.  The tall pine trees are made with the same technique as I used from my trees earlier in the year (more about how to make them here).

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Tumbling Dice and another Diversion – Bag the Finn!

Paul at Tumbling Dice (link here) have a nice range of 1/600 aircraft and I bought myself a bundle of his nice aircraft that I want to use for some aerial dogfights between Finland and Soviet.  They are very nice and they are relatively easy to paint them and it will not cost you a fortune to get started.  I have some already that I used for Battle of Britain 1940.

I also got myself a selection of books from Amazon recently about the Finnish and Sovietic air force of the period – mostly second hand from Amazon at a not too heavy cost.

 

I will be using the Too Fat Lardies rules Bag the Hun for these (link here).  The Scramble supplement have a little piece of using the Rules for the Finnish Winter War to get me started, but I think I will focus on the Continuation War period – those Brewster Buffalos looks far too cool!.

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A selection of Aircraft used by the Finnish Airforce in the Winter War and early part of the Continuation War, including the Bristol Blenheim, Gloster Gladiator, Brewster Buffalo, Curtiss Mohawk, Morane-Saulnier MS406, Fokker DXXI and VL Myrsky.  This is from the Tumbling Dice trade stand from Salute. They are between 10mm to 20mm long.

 

I was not going to but I got some of Lifecolors nice paints for this project (I got all the colours individually, from their paint set pictures below a part from the black as I thought I could get away with it!).  This is a perfect on the move project as it does not take a lot of space – a handful of paints and a handful of planes and you can take off anywhere!

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The full set from Lifecolor

The only question is what playing surface to use.  It would be really good have a aerial picture with good resolution of a winter land scape from above.  Have not seen anyone doing one and I do not know where to get a good resolution picture from – any ideas gladly taken?

 

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Like this but, taken from a higher altitude.

 

Eureka!

With some help from the Welsh Wizard, Mike Hobbs, we manage to order for a sufficient amount to get a healthy discount from Eureka (more here) – who did their annual trip from down under to Salute. They have a good selection of stuff and I got myself a lot of 15mm (some WW2 Australians with Great Coat and Russian Partisans) and some 28mm stuff (for my Mutant 1984).

 

I will show these in a later post as I have no intention of doing anything with them at the moment.  Big shout out to Nic and crew – see you next year!

 

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My favourite miniature in my Eureka Order was this Boiler Suit Monkey with a Submachine Gun M/45B – also known as Carl Gustav.  Today an obsolete weapon (being developed in the 1940s) having its last years of service with the Swedish Home Guards.  But in Mutant 1984 this is a potent and useful weapon.

 

 

What a Tanker!

Too Fat Lardies were demonstrating their What a Tanker game and it looked great.  Go and do yourself a favour and buy the book from here.  If you need a little more convincing check out the stuff below.  Had a good chat with Rich, Nick and Sidney – thanks for your time!

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The Command Dice results

For more on the game if you do not want to take my word for it.

A video by the Lardies themselves:

Also check out these links for podcast whilst you paint your tanks:

  • The Veteran Wargamer (Jay) have gone Tank Mad in a wonderful way – check out his two podcasts for more here and here.
  • ..and the Meeples and Miniatures here.

We are hopefully doing a game of What a Tanker this weekend using some 15mm German tanks vs Russian or American tanks – preparations are underway more to come.

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However 6mm may be a good option and I spotted Baccus Shermans and Panzer IVs at Salute – they look very nice and the Sherman is due out very soon.

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Baccus tanks – very nice!

 

Stäket 1719

Michael Leck and friends, as have become tradition, presented yet another stunning table with a historical battle with a Swedish denominator – this time depicting the battle of Stäket 1719 (more here). This is a small battle at the end of the Northern War with with the King having been shot in Norway in 1718 and with the Russians and Cossacks terrorising the Swedish east coast with a fleet of Galleys (this was know as the Russian Harryings (Rysshärjningarna).  The attack was repulsed but the Russians managed to escape without any damage to their fleet allowing them to continue their harrying the following year.

 

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Mr Leck himself – setting things up!
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The Pikeman’s Lamen rules that Michael co-wrote with Dan Mersey were used to run the Battle
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Jan’s homemade galleys – they were “mass produced” by making a master and a mould!
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Overview!   You can read more about this battle on the Dalauppror blog here.

 

The galleys and the terrain boards (and a few of the miniatures) were made by Jan (who is another exile Swede living in the UK). The rest of the miniatures were flown in with Michael and chums.

As I have declated before Michael, and I, used to roll dice and use our imagination in the same role-playing club many moons ago.  It is always nice to see him and his latest stuff – he actually brought me two presents, a giant stag beetle and a Swedish king.  Many thanks Michael!

 

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This Giant Stag Beetle will be bent into shape and used for my Mutant 1984 project.  It is one of the most memorable monsters from the 1980s rpg.  The miniature is 28mm.

 

 

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This is the stats from the original 1984 rulebook, not very clever but big!  A gigantic Stagbeetle is 7 meters long, 2 meters tall and 2.5 meters wide. It is very aggressive. Its colour is blue-black with blue jaws.

 

 

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The next gift came in a nice box and is a miniature depicting the Swedish King Gustav Vasa. The model is based on a painting by Carl Larsson showing his entry to Stockholm as King 1523 (more about him here).

 

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This is Michae’s painted version of the model.  Mine is on the lead mountain – maturing as Sidney would say.  Some more background on the model can be found here.

How much is your collection worth!

I also had a nice chat and a coffee with good friend Peter Riley who is running the Wargamer Collection Calculator (I have discussed them before on the blog, here) that now features a wargames directory with more than 1,000 traders, clubs and societies – is your club on it?  Their base offer is in effect a collection manager where you can log you wargames collection in words and pictures with some high level estimate of its potential worth – perhaps for the purpose of using this as a basis for a separate insurance of your collection.  Even if you do not want to insure your collection you could perhaps use it as a collection manager. Registration is free.  Check them out here.

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…I think that represents a biased but still fair sample of Salute goodies!  I forgot the Daleks, here we go.

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Horka 1708 update – Swedish Infantry and Artillery thoughts

I have been working away with the Horka project and here is the Swedish Infantry contingent. 28 bases (compared to the 64 Russian ones, presented earlier here).

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I am also working on Artillery and have come to some kind of compromise for artillery. The Russian used a lot of smaller artillery pieces – battalion guns.  In the accounts of Poltava once of the key elements is the Russian Artillery ripping away the advancing Swedes, changing to shrapnel for the last 200 meters.  Placing a few cannons on the sides, as is the typical set-up, where the cannons representing 8 to 16 pieces of something like are shown as two bases on the sides, that does not really convey the story.  So I will use thin frontage bases (15mm wide)  and put them between the Russian battalions to illustrate these pieces.  It may be overkill from a ratio vs model count – but we can deal with this and having a quick glance at the way it looks I do not think there is a way back.  More about artillery in a later post.  This was just me getting carried away!

 

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Fire!
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Looks good enough for me!

 

/ Hope that was of some interest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gaslands in 6MM – out of sight but not out of mind

GASLANDS IN 6MM

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Some time ago I was writing a few blog entries about doing Gaslands in 6mm and then it went quiet – we actually have played a fair few games and really enjoy it.

Anyway a little bit of summary of where we are at with this:

  1. Overview
  2. Games we have played on our Toxic Track
  3. Using Dropzone commander terrain
  4. Further ideas – Snowmobiles and Zombies

As I have said before I am not in a position to have a permanent set-up so prefer to do some of the games I play on smaller surfaces (say a maximum of 3 by 4 feet), so games like X-wing or Saga are great straight from the box.  Another way to achieve this is to convert a bigger scale game (e.g.28mm) from inches to centimeters (1″ becomes 1 cm) or by using half inches (1″ becomes 1/2″ or 1.27cm – not that difficult if you make special measuring sticks – a one time investment in time) – and using smaller scales for the miniatures. I did this for the Dan Mersey series of rules (e.g. here and here) and for Too Fat Lardies Sharp Practice (e.g. here) and it does work.  Yes it is a little bit more fiddly.

My original thoughts on doing Gaslands in 6mm – well actually more than thoughts – can be found summarised in a blog post I wrote earlier (Here).  After this I got myself some 50% movement templates that I bought from Bendyboards (link here, contact Lee and ask him for 50% if this is of interest) that produces the official Gaslands templates.  This in effect means that a 2 by 2 foot board equates to a 4 by 4 in full scale.

 If you want a good overview of the game, I think this review (link here) is a good summary and worth reading instead of me repeating something similar in content but less enjoyable and thorough.  I agree with the sentiment of this review.

TERRAIN FOR PLAYING THE GAME

Getting toxic

So far we have used the Toxic track I made some time ago to do our games, we played a fair few games just using a car each with front mounted machine gun, but we have now also done some games with 3 to 5 vehicles on each side.  I find that it produces different games – the single car race is about outmaneuvering and skill whilst the selection of vehicles tends to lead to a more skirmish fight situation – at least the way the Little One and I are playing.  Both version highly enjoyable.

Here is the terrain board again (2 by 2 feet) – we are ready to press the pedals very quickly with 2 minutes of so set-up time.

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It has some slimy pits that are best left alone.

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Here are a few shots from some of the games we have played.

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dropzone commander ruined city tiles

I actually came to the conclusion that the cars I ended up getting were probably closer to 10mm than 6mm scale – instead of 1/285 scale I found them being more like 1/200.  10mm normally is referred to as 1/160.   I then remembered the Dropzone commander rules and some cityscape terrain I had seen that looked decent – at least from what I was seeing.   I ordered a set of ruined city tiles and buildings for the Dropzone commander game.  It is a card board set in 10mm scale and I think this will work brilliantly as it may portray a section of a city where the level of radiation is too high for permanent inhabitation, or otherwise abandoned, and is now being used for Gaslands competitions.

You can find more information about it here.  It comes with 20 buildings and mats to cover 6 by 4 feet, so more than plenty for our needs. At £20 (reduced at the time I bought it 3rd April 2018, from £30) for the whole set (including delivery in the UK), hardly any significant outlay even if it is cardboard and we will probably end up knocking down the buildings whilst maneuvering our cars – but I will keep you posted on how this cardboard adventure will progress.

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Here is the full set as presented on the Webpage. Looks ok I would use some model trees for the park but otherwise good to go.  It is recommended that you mount the tiles on some sturdier board.

Here are some shots showing how the cars I am using compare in relation to the terrain.  I think it is a more than adequate fit and I think this terrain have some potential for a lot of different things.

 

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Really like this
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Spot on

 

In addition you can download more buildings for free on the webpage (here), but I think I will stick to these pre-printed ones as I am happy with the amount of terrain I already have in the basic set.  I suppose if you use these you could re-sixe them to fit to the scale you are using.

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Example of a printable free building for Dropzone Commander as the link above.

further gasland ideas

mutant 1984

I recently completed some Snowmobiles for my Mutant 1984 project, based on a matchbox model (“Snow Hopper”). I found these at a Poundshop for £1 each.

These are in “28mm” and I am planning on using Gaslands for a chase scene with some skiers, snowmobiles and some other snow vehicles, like the one in the picture below from Warlord Games – the Gaz 98 Aerosan (link here, picture from their webpage) and the skiers (link here, picture from their webpage). Still work in progress, so some time away from completion.  It is basically a “downhillish” race where a detachment of Pyri Commonwealth Scouts on skis are being spotted by some Borderguards of the Ulvriket Army on Patrol in the occupied Göinge during the cold Winter Year 109.

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6MM ZombieS

I also have some 6mm zombies that I need to paint to do the zombie scenario for my “6mm” cars, these are from Microworld Miniatures and I will be using Zombies and Ghouls (link to Microworlds Undead Range, here. Pictures from their Webpage).

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In summary we are having fun with these rules!, I hope you are too.

Next time is the 100th Roll a One blog entry.

/All the best, and by the way we had a guest font in this blog post it is called 28 days later and used in Gaslands – you can download it here.

 

 

Featured

Horka 1708 update – Russian Infantry Completed

In the last posting (here) I set out what this blog posting would be about:

Blogpost 98, w.c 02-Apr-18. Some completed stuff for Horka 1708, this will be pictures of the completed Russian Infantry – the 64 bases required.  I just need to complete the basing and add flags to the final ones in the next few days. 

For once I seem to have managed to live up to at least my own expectations. I spent the first day of the Easter Break finalising the basing and then added some flags the following day – boring at hell at times but I figured it would be worth the effort. Here are some pictures (there is a listing the completed unit at the end of this posting).  All models are from Baccus (link here).

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Aerial shot of the Russian Infantry element of the Horka 1708 army, 64 bases and each base represents a battalion. There are another 91 bases of cavalry to add as well as some artillery and leaders.  Note that I have tried to avoid the lines being too straight as I think this adds a better feel of “movement and maneuvering”.  The units without standards/flags are grenadiers. 

 

 

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A few dudes with flags from Baccus and Tiny Tin Troops

 

 

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The majority of the Infantry have Green Coats with Red Cuffs, but there are some more colours on offers.

 

 

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A lot of the Russian had Karpus/Kartuz it is a type of hat worn by Swedish and Russian Soliders – you can find more on headgear on a blogposting by Boris Megorsky here 

 

I am doing the final cavalry elements and hope to be able to inspect them on the parade ground shortly before I get onto to finalising the Swedes.

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Last cavalry unit drying following application of Windsor Newton Nutbrown Ink.

 

In other news I have ordered some stuff over the last few weeks for my Mutant 1984 project (1980s roleplaying in a world that most certainly was), I would like to give a little shout out for the miniatures from Space Vixens from Mars.  They regularly show up at shows and do their games and invite anyone along for a hilarious ride.   Here are a few of the models that I will be using for my Mutant 1984 project (taken from their webpage – link here).

I wanted to have a rock band with mutated Beetles but had to go with Plan B, the Mutated Beetles.  They are famous throughout the Pyri Commonwealth and I will try to find a Walrus head and do a headswap!

Here is their typical set list (length of the show tends to be dependent on the capacity of the steam powered electrical generator of the local venue).

Here comes the Burning Sun, For the Benefit of Mr. Rijn, Baby You Can Ride my Horse, Mutant on the Hill, Got to Get you into my brain, Happiness if a smoking blunderbuss, I am the Mutated Walrus, I want to hold your four hands, Mental Mystery Tour, Mean Mr. Ketchup, Roll Over Justin Beaver, September in the Acid Rain, Three cool mutated cats, Two of Me and finally (and I suppose you also grew tired of the list!) You’ve Got to Hide Your Mental Powers Away.

Anyway, hope that was of some interest.  We have also been playing some games over the Easter Break but those will be presented in some future blogs as per the plan presented last in the last blog.

 

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Saga in 6mm played over the Easter Weekend using the new Saga rules – good times were had!

 

If you are interested in following the blog you could like it on facebook (link here), become a follower on twitter (link here), or sign up here as a wordpress user or by leaving your e-mail.

/ See you

Russian Infantry units at Horka 1708

(now 100% completed)

Unit Type Ref Bases ToTSK Unit Models
Preobrazhenski Infantry R01 3 Large Unit 72
Semenovski Infantry R02 3 Large Unit 72
Ingermanlandski Infantry R03 3 Large Unit 72
Astrachanski Infantry R04 1 Small Unit 24
Moscowski Infantry R05 2 Normal Unit 48
Sibirski Infantry R06 2 Normal Unit 48
Pskovski Infantry R07 2 Normal Unit 48
Kazanski Infantry R08 2 Normal Unit 48
Vologodski Infantry R09 2 Normal Unit 48
Nizhegorodski Infantry R10 2 Normal Unit 48
Busch’s Grenadier Regiment Infantry R11 2 Normal Unit 48
Repnins Grenadier Regiment Infantry R12 2 Normal Unit 48
Kievski Infantry R13 3 Large Unit 72
Narvski Infantry R14 3 Large Unit 72
Schlüsselburgski Infantry R15 2 Normal Unit 48
Novgorodski Infantry R16 2 Normal Unit 48
Butyrski Infantry R17 2 Normal Unit 48
Rostovski Infantry R18 2 Normal Unit 48
du Bois’ Grenadier Regiment Infantry R19 2 Normal Unit 48
Rentzel’s Regiment Infantry R20 2 Normal Unit 48
Lefort’s Regiment Infantry R21 2 Normal Unit 48
Kargopolski Infantry R22 2 Normal Unit 48
Koporski Infantry R23 2 Normal Unit 48
Tobolski Infantry R24 2 Normal Unit 48
Belgorodski Infantry R25 2 Normal Unit 48
Luzhski Infantry R26 2 Normal Unit 48
Olonetzski Infantry R27 2 Normal Unit 48
Ryazanski Infantry R28 2 Normal Unit 48
Vjatski Infantry R29 2 Normal Unit 48
Chernigovski Infantry R30 2 Normal Unit 48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Painted Cabin and Snowmobiles – Mutant 1984

As stated last time I am bulk finishing stuff for Horka so not much to show with regards to progress overall.  I realised I am approaching the 100th blog posting and I thought I would make a little bit of a special going back to Saga and do something with regards to the new rules.

 

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Basing in progress, followed by drybrushing, final detailing, flags and static grass. Getting there!

 

This is the plan, for the next 4 postings.

Blogpost 98, w.c 02-Apr-18. Some completed stuff for Horka 1708, this will be pictures of the completed Russian Infantry – the 64 bases required.  I just need to complete the basing and add flags to the final ones in the next few days. 

Blogpost 99, w.c. 09-Apr-18. – Gaslands in Microscale/6mm, this will have some shots from some games we have played and my impression of doing it with 50% measures.

Blogpost 100, w.c. 16-Apr-18. – Special about Saga 2 in 6mm, this will be some reflections, changes to rules and pictures from Gameplay with the new rules over the Easter Period.

Blogpost 101, w.c. 23-Apr-18. –  My take on Salute on the 14th.  Looking forward to see Michael Leck’s Stäket 1719 and Too Fat Lardies Demo game of What a Tanker!, to mention a few things. I also have a few things to pick up (some more Mutant 1984 stuff).

A little bit of progress on the Mutant 1984 stuff

I did put some paint on the Cabin I built and added some snow, I still have to do the doors and windows and a final fix of the snow cover but I think this will give an idea on how it will look in the end.  There is a note on how I built the cabin from the Blog post two weeks ago (link here).  (More on this overall project here)

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I also finished some Snowmobiles I will use for the Mutant 1984 project for a little scenario involving a motorised chase scene.  These were bases on some matchbox models I found whilst looking for some stuff for Gaslands – they are a different scale than the normal Matchbox stuff and work reasonably well with 28mm.  I used some Warlord Plastic Americans that I cut up a little bit (e.g. legs and hands) that allowed me to create something resembling drivers for these cool vehicles.

 

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Got two of these.  They are called the “Snow Hopper”. I liked the look of them and they had some detail that could be utilised in a repaint.
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Add some Plastic Americans (later I added some filler here and there) and we were good to go.  Later I skipped the wind screen as this was in blue plastic and I liked the look without. I guess I should have got heads with googles but I did not have any. And if you ask about the thin clothing I will pretend you did not.
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“I just light my Cigar then we get going mate!”
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Simple, but I like the way they turned out and a good deal at £1 each. Yes they have to stretch a little bit to be able to Steer but I think the fit is close enough.  Yes I can also see the blue foam, but it will be dealt with!

 

Hope that was of some interest.

/ Take care

 

 

Featured

More Mutant 1984, other RPGs and all is the Dice’s Fault

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Following on from previous discussions with regards to replaying some of the Scenarios for the Mutant roleplaying game I have been doing some further thinking and practical work.  Link here for a better background (with more stuff here, here and here).

The Mutant game this relates to is the Swedish game from 1984. This is my stain and rustless first love and the game is the forefather of the current fantastic Mutant – Year One game, by Swedish company Free League published by the British company Modiphius, link here. [The Mutant 1984 version was set in year 108!] The team also publish the eminent Tales of the Loop – Roleplaying in the 1980s that never was that is one of the most beautifully looking gaming books I have ever seen. The artwork by Simon Stålenhag is amazing (if you do not know what I am talking about, check out his homepage here!).  You should check out both these excellent games!

Tales of the loop – Roleplaying in the 1980s that never was

The landscape was full of machines and scrap metal connected to the facility in one way or another. Always present on the horizon were the colossal cooling towers, with their green obstruction lights. If you put your ear to the ground, you could hear the heartbeat of the Loop – the purring of the Gravitron, the central piece of engineering magic that was the focus of the Loop’s experiments. The facility was the largest of its kind in the world, and it was said that its forces could bend space-time itself.

Scifi artist Simon Stålenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts, have won global acclaim. Now, you can step into the amazing world of the Loop.

In this roleplaying game in the vein of E.T. and Stranger Things, you’ll play teenagers solving mysteries connected to the Loop. The game rules are based on Mutant: Year Zero, which was awarded with a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gencon 2015.

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From the Modiphius webpage, here.

Mutant: Year Zero

…goes back to the origins of the Mutant franchise: role-playing after the Apocalypse. In this game, you play as one of The People – heavily mutated humans living in The Ark, a small and isolated settlement in a sea of chaos. The outside world is unknown to you, and so is your origin.

Mutant: Year Zero has two major game environments, each with its own style of play:

The Ark, your home in the dawnworld. A nest of intrigue and Lord of the Flies-style power struggles, it’s far from a safe haven. But it’s the only home you know, and just maybe the cradle of a new civilization. The game rules let you improve and develop the Ark in the areas of Warfare, Food Supply, Technology, and Culture. It is up to you, the players, to decide which projects to embark on.

The Zone, wastelands outside the Ark. You will venture into the Zone in search of food, artifacts, other mutants, and knowledge – not least about The People’s own origin. The game includes two maps of example Zones; London and New York and a plethora of tables and other tools to let the GM populate its sectors with mutants, deadly monsters and bizarre phenomena.

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From the Modiphius webpage, here.

Thinking about rules

Having debated on how I will play the scenarios, I have decided that I will use the Original 1984 rules with some inspiration from the Mutant 2 expansion (produced 1986) and also some inspiration from early Runequest as I really loved the grouping of skill categories and individual bonuses based on characteristics.

Mutant 2 had an interesting combat system with segments and a high dexterity character acted more often than a low dexterity character.  This Mutant 1984 2.0 project wants to be a simple as possible and therefore fatties (like myself) can act as often as anyone else – however we may be less efficient when we do so.

I have devised a character sheet that should be not too unfamiliar for anyone who have played Runequest or Call of Cthulhu – the characteristics range in general between 3 and 18 and all skills are percentages.  This is still work in progress and I will finalised these shortly (and the Mutant Logo is scanned from the original 1984 cover – I have not rights to this one whatsoever. However I hope this tongue-in-cheek project gets the right owners blessing as opposed to its cursing).

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First page – including personal information like name, class (this ranges from non-mutated humans to mentally mutated animals), birth environment (e.g. big town or wilderness), social status (from underclass to the more unlikely high nobility), occupation, etc.  It also states summary traits (the idea here are four traits that summarises the person, e.g. energetic, reckless, generous, rude, this was not part of the original rules), Characteristics and Bonuses, mutations and equipment and space for a portrait of the character.

 

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Second page – this is dominated by the skills, weapon information and other notes.  This in a nutshell is an early Runequest homage – 100%.  The skills are a mixture of the original ones, additional ones from Mutant 2 as well as some Runequest inspiration with skill categories with bonuses.

For the purpose of playing the set events more like “skirmish wargame scenarios” I will need to devise some simple rules – so far 7TV (from Crooked Dice, link here) looks promising and it also has a nice campaign feel for connected scenarios, or should that be shows.

Building the cabin – Part 1

From the earlier posting you may recall the cabin I need for one of the events in the first scenario (see here).

I suppose this would require the Cabin itself – and the set-up will be so that it allows action inside and outside.

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Floor plan and picture taken from Nekropolis – Den Grå Döden by Äventyrspel 1985. 

 

Based on the floor plan I sketched the cabin on a piece of paper and used some figures to make sure the would work in the setting – no point spending time on a building that does not work for the purpose of playing in it.

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With the original dimensions.  Note that the large bear (the Officer) looks like he is in a tight spot.

I made some modifications to the layout and the final layout became a square cabin with two of the small rooms being combined to a large one and a new one created.  I decided to build the cabin on a piece of Polystyrene (Blue Foam) I had laying around.  This piece was a 20mm thick piece and I will utilise this for the detailing I will do later.

Next I drew the floorplan on top of the blue foam and used some balsa wood dowels (5mm diameter) and set out the shape in one direction (glued them down, make sure they overshoot with about 1 cm at this time) and then cladded each room (glued down) with some cut out pieces of coffee stirrers (you know the ones they have in coffee shops). I varied the direction of the planks for each room.

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The base is set – note the cuts.  I also left a little hole for where the fireplace will go but more about that later.

 

knifeThe idea is that we need to make cuts where the timbers crosses to allow the characteristic look of a log cabin.  You need to make some cuts and then slightly file it down (I just used the rough part of the Exacto knife I have – as balsa wood is really soft).

Basically cut down a v shape and then rub the rough part until you have a round groove half the depth of the dowel diameter.

If you are using hard wood dowels you have my sympathies and this would take even longer than the pain I had in using the balsa wood.

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Just continue doing a layer in each direction – cut, glue and then I used dressmakers here and there to make the construction sturdier. Be careful and go slow – balsa is a very soft material indeed.  The models are Soldiers of the Pyri Commonwealth, any similarities to Napoleonic British Riflemen are just incidental.

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and more layers…  then cut out some windows (at this stage I have no idea how I will finish them).

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Then after a few sessions

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I cut out something resembling a fire place and made a roof from a 6mm thick piece of floor insulation board (polystyrene foam).  I then made a roof from the same material and cladded the sides (the roof will be mainly full of snow so most of the insulation foam will be covered with this.

Then I added a porch on the front, some chimneys (6mm foam using a pen to make a stone build effect), a few planks to make the illusion that the whole roof is made of wood (i.e. where the snow will not go), did a first layer of builders caulk on the roof.

 

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Wait a moment are those columns actually chopsticks? 

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Very happy so far with the Cabin (working title “Overkill”) I will probably detail the surroundings and paint it before I:

  • Add some LEDs to create a flickering fire effect in the fireplace (like I did in a recent trial, shown here)
  • Do the windows and doors
  • Add some further detailing like furniture but without making it to busy.
  • Do flagpole with the flag of Ulvriket – a white wolfhead on a black background.

But that is next time,

/ Hope that was of some interest, if not I blame Dirk of the Grognard Files for ongoing, constant and brilliant inspiration on gaming in a 1980s that damn surely was!  Check the Files out by clicking here and enjoy!