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Readers Digest version Feb-19 – Star Wars Legion and Great Northern War

The last blog post was 28 days ago, that is the longest gap I have had since I started this blog in 2016 – my objective was to do a blog post every week or so.  I am slowly working away on a few hobby things but work and some personal issues has lead to some difficulties to find some time to write stuff down – I still do some Twitter binges as I find it a fantastic forum for miniatures and wargaming – it is friendly and inspirational.

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However here is a condensed catch-up blog of what hobby related activities I undertook during February 2019 – I hope it will suffice!

Roll a One blog 10th February – Star Wars Legion, first two Games

We Spent this week preparing and playing Star Wars what a Legion it was fantastic fun. We had a go at the learning scenario and then we did a more involved scenario with some objective in a little desert village.  I lost both of the battles… here are some pictures.

 

The Little One gave me a new nick name – Roll a Blank! However overall we had a blast and have played a few more time since. Fun game and thumbs up from the Little One.

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Roll a One blog 17th February – Some more Legion Building

A relatively calm week, we got a MDF piece for the Legion Desert terrain. Following some preparation we think it blends in nicely with the other terrain although it is made from MDF.

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Good value at about a tenner, and gives some options for fighting on the roof.

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Roll a One blog 25th February – Mapping it all Up, Bad Elephant Joke, Painting the Monastery/Cloister

I pulled the famous finger out of that infamous place and have now started with this years Joy of Six project for real – Poltava 1709. The Battlefield will be 16 by 5 feet and I did a rough map on how it will look in the end and have started planning the various key terrain elements (All miniature 6mm Baccus).

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Some of the key features on the left hand side are seen below, the Swedish Camp, Poltava with Siege lines, although I think they actually were on the left of Poltava in this picture. We can also see the Monastery, the Swedish Camp and some of the Russian Redoubts.

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Here is the Monastery made from models from Total Battle Miniatures. I think it will do the trick it will be place on a hill with trees.

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I have also got myself a whole camping worth of tents to do the Swedish Camp with a design based on how a battalion camped during the era (with the latrines to the left).

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I even found a guy in the Baccus camp pack who looked just perfect to convert to a man having a dump in the latrine area – he looks very peaceful and reflective, perhaps he was unwell on the day and could not be with the army (lucky guy!).

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Roll a One blog 3rd March – Russian Redoubts

The Russian redoubts are another of the key components of the Poltava Battlefield, here are my take on them (note due to ground scale vs figure scale these had to be relatively small).  I have just got the miniatures so only did a few for test purposes.

I first made some using clay but whilst in a Wickes (UK DIY shop) on another mission I noticed that the were selling Pine Glass Bead Moulding (basically strips of wood) that had a very interesting profile (see below, they are product code 121231 at Wickes and comes in lengths of 2.4 meters – plenty for my current needs).

 

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That was all, I think I am all up to date now, until next roll Ones!

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Painting Star Wars Legion with the Little One – Part 2 (+ Basing and Mats)

This, as indicated by the Part 2, is a follow-up of the posting last week where I discussed some painting approaches we have taken to quickly complete the necessary painting of the 2 No. Star Wars Legion Base Sets the Little One got for Christmas, so we could get it on a table and play it.  It is worth checking out that blog post here.

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Today we will cover:

  • Some Tatooine like buildings we got through Ebay
  • Approach to basing and terrain mats
  • The barricades
  • Storing the stuff in the Base Box

Tatooine Buildings

Last time I showed some Tatooine style of buildings we ordered from e-bay, they arrived last week and looked great. Being 3D printed they had some layers visible, but not too much to upset us.

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We added some Vallejo mud paste on the models here and there to add some further interest. It was then primed with black gesso.

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Then from left to right, heavy drybrush with the buffy colour (let dry), then a wash with sepia ink (diluted with water say 1/2 ink/water), then drybrush with the lighter colour.

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We then detailed some part with a drybrush of saddle brown followed by a leather red (Vallejo), whilst other parts in metallic bronze. I then washed these details with a rust wash.  The moisture collectors were painted like the barricades below.  We think it is good enough for the table.

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I have bought another two buildings from the same seller at eBay (3dwgprinted), and will paint them in the same style once they arrive (this should give us a good start with some terrain).

 

Some thoughts on Terrain for Star Wars Legion

One of the cool things with Star Wars are the different environments where the action could take place.  It could be a fight on Tatooine in a desert environment, in a forest like Endor, snow like Hoth, or in space ship (like the opening scene from a New Hope) or a base.  This, to us, is one of the many fascinating aspects of a sci-fi fantasy world.  The bases the game comes with are dark grey for the Imperials and Burgundy red for the Rebels, they are 3mm thick (see picture below).

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Here are ours by the way.

 

We could have left them like this or put some texture on them, but what? – Space based flooring, desert sand, forest, snow? Instead we decided to go for Clear Acrylic bases, and got them from here https://justlasered.co.uk/shop/star-wars-legion-clear-bases/ .

Incidentally they do some other cool stuff, worth checking out (these are in 28mm scale).

Sorry, back to the bases.

This is how the bases turned out and how they look on a gaming surface (based on a sneaky little skirmish we had over the weekend using the Little Ones “Alcoholic-Free Beers and Pretzel Rules”).  I think the bases works well.

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We have ordered a 6 by 3 desert mat after shopping around a little bit – it looks like this.

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It looks good and will also be useful for some of my Mahdist war stuff I was working on last year as well.  However the piece of fabric we used to take the pictures above I have to admit looks smashing too.

This was a piece of fabric bought from ebay. It sells in 1/2 meter lengths and is about 1 metre wide, so you would need to buy 2 No. for a 3 by 3 mat (total cost of £13) and 4 No. for a 6 by 3 mat (total cost of £26). It is shown in the screen shot below.

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The things is that there are many different colour schemes of this pattern/style which would give you the ability to get a few different options for the look of your table.

 

I have only bought the one shown in the pictures above (so not sure how the other patterns would look on the table). Also remember that these are pieces of fabric, not comparable with the quality of the wargames mats in cloth or other materials you can buy commercially, they also come in a 1 metre width (that is 3 ¼ feet so will not do your normal 4 feet width) – but perhaps worth considering to give some variety.  It is hard to beat £13 for a 3 by 3 mat.   I might have ordered one or two more varieties and will report back once they arrive.

Barricades

There are some barricades that comes with the game – we are yet to figure out how these would work in practice! I suppose they are included as a substitute for other terrain, but I always find them funny especially if both sides are using them.  It is a little bit like some kind of paintball range where the opponents meet up instead of a more believable skirmish in a more improvised location, or where only one side has set up defences.  However perhaps I am overthinking this.

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We base coated these with black gesso and then dry brushed them with a medium grey followed by a very light grey. We then used a pale grey wash over them (we used the Vallejo Pale Grey Wash).

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Storage in the Base Box

We cut a few pieces of 3mm foamboard we had lying around to allow us more efficiently utilise one of the Legion Boxes for storing the miniatures (all the other stuff fits in one of the two boxes).  This is how they were cut (all the same length as one side of the box). Making sure the walker would fit as shown.

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Then inserted in the box.

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We then cut another piece on top to be able to store more soldiers, and added a handle to be able to lift it up easily – we used an old little toy model cat.

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Perfect (not for travelling around with, but enough for us to gently put back into storage).

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Plenty of space to fit those speeder bikes when done, and further expansions.

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More or less done.

But that cat does look scared, with all those rebels around! / Hope that was of some interest!

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Painting Star Wars Legion with the Little One

The Little One got two base sets and a few extra things for Star Wars Legion this Christmas – a great idea on the surface but it leads to a lot of miniatures needing to get painted.  Friends of this blog knows me foremost as a 6mm army painter doing some ventures into 15mm with some WW2 stuff.  The only thing I do in 28mm is my Mutant 1984 project.  I have neither the patience nor (perhaps more importantly) the skill, to paint 28mm miniatures at any bigger scale.  I suppose it has to do with being restless and untalented or something like that.

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Contents of a Star Wars Legion Base Set

I also wanted the Little One to be involved and to feel ownership of the project – Star Wars Legion is his game, it is his miniatures, but I am happy to help him as much at it takes. We went to a few gaming shops before Christmas and he really wanted Star Wars Legion and for us to paint the miniatures and make some terrain together. I figured I had to find a quick and easy way to paint these miniatures – so I could get back to my historical stuff but also so we could get this to the table as soon as possible.

The things we need to paint are:

  1. Rebel Soldiers – a total of 4 squads (28 foot soldiers) and 2 AT-RT operators.
  2. Storm Troopers (28 No.), Snow Troopers (7 No.) and Scout Speeder Bike Riders (4 No.)
  3. Vehicles – AT-RTs (2 No.) and Speeder Bikes (4 No.)
  4. Commanders/Special Operatives – Dart Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Boba Fett and the General.

We will discuss 1 and 2 in this post and then in a later 3 and 4 when they are done.

Rebel Soldiers

In searching for a method/style to do the Rebels I stumble upon this YouTube video by Mini Junkie. Very quickly I realised this is what we needed and the approach we take is not identical but very much influenced by this excellent video.

It uses mainly inks to achieve a nice result, we used a desert yellow as a base for our models, then added the inks and some washes (in line with the ones stated in the video, as we did not have all of the exact matches – the inks are the most important bit). Then we dry-brushed the weapons with gun metal, the trousers with some brown and then added just a little bit of highlighting on the shirt and the faces – all stages easily done by the Little One. We did it in a assembly line fashion, colour by colour – I may have been quicker but we both did the work.

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The Little One inking away!

Here is the result – good enough for the table (on temporary bases, we will base all of them on transparent acrylic bases at the end of this project).

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We did a few head and weapon swaps to get some more variety in the 7 poses.

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He was really happy at the end!

…and the two riders (vehicles still in progress)

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Storm Troopers et al

The other big part is the Storm Troopers (and the Scouts and Snow Troopers) and the Mini Junkie offers another speed paint video on Storm Troopers (there is a part 2 to watch as well).

This is basically a spray white, ink black details, gloss varnish, apply wash and go.  We have started getting through them but they are not yet completed, need to gloss them and then wash them in the next step.

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Base coat with Black Ink Applied by the little one, next step gloss and then dark wash.

We have both enjoyed this so far and I am actually getting excited about playing a few games, we have started to look at some tutorials on YouTube on how to play the game, and it has attracted some unexpected interest.

The important thing to remember with children is the attention span for things like painting – take it slow and do not do too long sessions. I can sit for hours splashing paint whilst listening to a Podcast with no problem, but the Little One finds this boring.  I have set up the project so he gets an idea how to do each step and feels part of the final product.

I really enjoy doing this project with the Little One and his enthusiasm for the process is growing as he realised that most things can be broken down to simple steps, to produce adequate results without too much effort and difficulty.  My job is not done here but at least I can walk away from this shift with a smile on my face.

Both videos above offer some simple approaches to get tabletop standard results, I told the Little One it is like a colouring picture, just keep within the “lines”. Apply ink on the trousers, then the shirt, then the vest, etc. Any mistakes just add a little bit of the base colour again and ink over.  Do not stress – tabletop standard, his miniatures, if he likes them then they are good enough.

Next we will be doing some Vehicles and start on the terrain stuff we ordered from eBay.

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I like these – I will let you know more once we get them through the post.

/ Hope that was of some interest and thanks to the Mini Junkie for the excellent stuff he is doing with his Videos.