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.

morgan2
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!

jarnringenomslag

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).

jc3a4rnringen1

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.

MV5BMTQ1ZWI0YjctYTEzOS00Yjg3LWFkZTAtMGZkZmY5OWRkNTU2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzc5NjM0NA@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,971_AL_
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.

car2terminators1

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.

IMG_9101IMG_9102IMG_9103

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.

makron
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).

IMG_9079

/ 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.

 

 

Zulus and taking the rusty cars for a spin

zulu5

I think I promised to show off the Kalisz stuff for Salute this week, but the weekend just disappeared and I have to get on with it next week instead.  However I did finish off some Zulus for my little diversion into doing some Colonial 6mm skirmish (see last blog entry here).  I also ordered some Boers from Baccus (these ones) as I fancied doing a few units of these as well.  I have also rummaged through my old boxes and found some Gatling guns and some other stuff to do when I have time.

zulu.jpg

I organized these on bases with different number of figures to simplify the management of moving many figures and still being able to remove casualties. Each unit of tribal infantry is 16 figures strong – so I based them in on bases with 4-4-3-2-2-1 figures.  I intend to make another 8 units to get enough Zulus to get the balance right vs the British.

zulu2.jpg

zulu3

zulu4.jpg

Next week I hope to have a go trying out the rules (The Men who Would be Kings) and using these figures – they (the rules) seem pretty straightforward and fun having read them through twice.

I did finish of the car wrecks we prepared last week for the Terminator games we play and gave them a rather tired and rusty look to blend into the ruins we already have.

car.jpg

The Little One set them up with some of the Terminator miniatures and we felt they passed the test!

car2.jpg

Having taken out the stuff we thought we might as well have a game.  We did not plan the Scenario too much, instead we had a “high level” situation where a platoon sized resistance force (Lt, 2 NCOs, 20 fighters) , supported by a Mortar team and two rocket launched equipped fighters, encountered a unit of 15 Endo Skeletons (1 Lvl 2 leader, 12 Normal ones, 1 with two Plasma Rifle and the star of the evening a skeleton with a flamer). Basically a “Beat the crap out of each other situation”. We used a few of the ruined building we had prepared earlier as well as the car wrecks.

It was a tight game and initially the resistance side managed to take out a fair few of the terminators before they fighting got close and the machines started dominating.  Below are a few of the before and after the flamer attack pictures.

And this was after I (yes I was the resistance and yes I lost yet again!) had almost knocked out the flamer unit with a single shot but did not manage to finish it off.

termgame11
Temporary harmless flamer unit but the resistance failed to take full advantage of the situation. Instead it was allowed to continue the carnage until a sticky bomb took it (and the user) down.

 

We both enjoy playing this game, I find it challenging for the resistance to be successful and things can turn nasty very quickly.  I still remember almost shitting myself in the cinema when I watched the beginning of Terminator 2 when the machine crushes the human skull with its feet (see the clip here if you do not remember – 42 seconds in).  As for the rules they really capture the feeling for the setting and work ok as they are.  I may tweak the activation slightly so that it is not certain that all units are activated in turn to add to the level of friction. Currently you activate between 0 to 2 figures (but can be modified with leaders) per pulse (part of a turn) but everyone activates.

Here are a few more pictures, have a good week.

 

“A prayer’s as good as a bayonet on a day like this” – Colonial 6mm, Welsh Wizardry, Car wrecks and Focus in Combat

col2A few things to write about this week, so I better get on with it…

The Men who would be Kings in 6mm

I have to admit that I like the format of the little blue Osprey Wargame booklets (link here).  Not all of them have suited my palate in terms of period or type of rules. However, I have bought a fair few of them to date and found most of them interesting and worth a go. One of the earliest I really liked was the Dux Bellorum rules (Arthurian stuff) by Daniel Mersey.  I fondly remember trying to figure out the rules one evening after sunset on the Island of Rhodes using some  flats I had printed out before the trip.  I have since used it to play some games using my Dark Age stuff I did for Saga, which in technically terms in not from the Arthurian period – but none involved seemed to suffer!.

However, this posting is not about Dux Bellorum, but instead relates to another of Daniel’s sets (also published by Osprey) that I want to give a try, namely the Men Who Would be Kings rules. This is a large skirmish rule set derived from his very successful Lion Rampant rules. As implied by the title it is a colonial period rule set.

the-men-who-would-be-kings-cover

I have to admit to some, well actually a lot of, 6mm Baccus colonial stuff (link here) on my lead pile that I “will get to one day!”.  I have also promised to have a go at trying out “A Steady and Deliberate Rate of Fire” (yet to be published) that seem to be another great set of rules, by Peter Riley who did the Polemos Franco-Prussian war (link here) and the American Civil War rules (link here) . I seem to be a lead mountain away from testing the rules, unless I use some flats but that is more a last resort issue. Sorry Peter, I will get there one day!

What my experience with Sharp Practice has taught me is that it is possible to do skirmish in 6mm that works (see more on this here).  With some emphasis on the terrain and playing the game seated instead of standing the immersion is on par with other bigger scales. Further it only requires 40% of the foot print (doing it in centimeters instead of inches) of your normal table.  If you pick a range that is well served and have models that are possible to single base easily (like those of Baccus, Rapier and Adler) you can do a good job of it.

I thought I would do a simple set of two forces to try the rules out – I wanted to do some British and Zulus to start with.  I find this conflict being one of the most interesting in combination of not needing to buy any new miniatures.  Miniatures I have been using are Baccus 6mm form their colonials range and I have been using the 1,2,3 basing method as described by Michael Leck, on his eminent Dalauppror blog, here. By using a combination of 9mm (for leaders),12mm (for singles), 15mm and 20mm bases for infantry and 15mm,  and 20mm for cavalry (I did actually a 1,2 basing for these). This is, I think, a very clever way of basing miniatures for large skirmish rules that removes individual miniatures (e.g. Sharp Practice), especially for 6mm that can be a little bit fiddly with small bases.  I suppose you just have to make sure you base each unit so that all combinations of models left can be done.

So far I have finished the little British force consisting of 4 units of regular infantry (12 in each unit) and 2 units of regular cavalry (Lanciers, with 8 in each unit).  I am very pleased with the way they look and the little space this force takes. I will add a few more unit and some artillery later, but this is enough to get started.

col1col3

col5col6

col8.jpg

The Zulus are quick to paint and I have to brush up (sorry for the pun) on my Zulu shield knowledge before I can complete them. There is some variation based on marital status and experience (age) if I recall things correctly.  I am nearly there though.

col7.jpg

A Welsh Wizard’s tome

I bought the War of 1812 supplement for Sharp Practice penned by Mike Hobbs last week. You might be familiar with Mike if you listen to the Meeples and Miniatures podcast.  I am not that familiar with the period but having read it on a train last week I am now resisting getting some miniatures to have a go.  There is a thread on what miniatures to use for this in 6mm if you are interested here.  I really enjoyed reading it and if you are interested in the period than this is a very good things to get started with even if you do not play Sharp Practice. I actually may end up using the scenarios for my French Indian War battles with a few modifications.  The fact that Mike is very enthusiastic about both the Sharp Practice rules  in general but more importantly about the period itself shines through and puts that sparkle of magic on top of it all.

1812-Cover-Web.jpg

The book contain a listing of the opposing forces and a very good campaign write up  for the 41st foot regiment, and seven scenarios.  Most of the scenarios are based on the memoirs of Private Shadrach Byfield [A Narrative of a Light Company Soldier’s Service in the Forty-First Regiment of Foot (1807-1814)] and, in my view, offer a wide range of challenges.

Further it introduces a few specific unit characteristics for the War. My favourite is the War Cry that allow an Native Indian unit to instill fear (technically Shock) in another unit.  The army lists for both sides covers standard infantry forces, royal marines, militia, scouting forces and native forces (and some cavalry for the Americans).  It looks comprehensive enough to me. There is also an overview of the war and two Appendices cover the two armies of the war.

You buy and download the PDF from Too Fat Lardies here.

Terminator Car Wrecks

We needed some more terrain to provide some additional cover for the Terminator games so.  This give some additional cover to give the resistance a better chance of winning against the machines.

I and the Little One got some close enough to 28mm scale cars from a charity shop for 20 pence each and stuck them on bases and added some debris on the side (cut up matches, toothpicks, some plastic from a DVD cover and added some various sized stones and mixed it with PVA glue) and, after they were dried, spray painted them grey. Painting left to do, but will do a very good job in breaking up the field of battle.

Focus in Battle

On a funnier note (and repeated from the Roll a One Facebook page) I came home from work one day finding some particular modifications having been done to the Little Ones Nerf gun glasses.

“Why have you stuck pieces of paper on your glasses?”, I asked the Little One.

“They are tactical information screens, it gives me the ability to focus in battle. Got that Private?”

littleone.jpg

A sleeping hero

The title of this posting – “A prayer’s as good as a bayonet on a day like this” is said by Colour Sergeant Bourne in the movie Zulu (link here). Colour Sergeant (Frank Edward) Bourne was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (CDM) after the Battle at Rourke’s Drift and was, at the time, the youngest soldier in the British Army who had achieved the rank of Colour Sergeant.  He ended his career as a Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded an OBE. As I read up about him I found out that he was buried not far from where I live.  I think I will take the Little One and have a look for it after Rugby next Sunday.  Although he was only 5’6″ tall he was certainly, in every sense of the word, a big man.

/ All the very best, next time I will go through the forces who will be fighting the Kalisz battle at Salute in April this year.

These ruins do not look very good Papa, do they?

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!

 

basic tiles.jpg
Nothing wrong with these but I find mixing 3D (like minatures) with 2D is, let us be honest, far from appealing in any sense.

 

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!

capture
This is what I got! I used about half of the stuff I got in doing the four ruins presented later. I, as always unless I mention it, have no affiliation with this seller and can really recommend these. It is very good value for money!

 

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.

img_1704

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.

finnsovflags

/ All the best, and although “I will be back!”, there will be no terminators next time, I promise.

 

Double Joy at Six, Tiger Lillies, bare winter trees and headswaps

tree8

A little bit longer blog this time…

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.

cropped-mm-banner-10-years-copy.jpg

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:

  1. Joy of Six to be held in Sheffield on the 16th July 2017
  2. Sharp Practice in 6mm (many more associated posts on the blog)
  3. Saga in 6mm that I did with Neil last year.
  4. Joy of Six show report from 2016, Part 1 and Part 2.
  5. Meeples and Miniatures webpage, the best wargames show.
  6. Veteran Wargamers webpage, the best new wargames show.
  7. Wargames Recon webpage, the longest running wargames show on the planet.

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.

a_423.jpg
A picture of a river with some bare trees in the foreground during the Winter War, the objective of this little note.  Picture taken from SA-kuva (Finnish Armed Forces Photographs) and you can find their webpage here.

 

 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.

tree0

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:

  1. 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).
  2. Something to cut with (whatever you have clippers, nail scissors, etc. The plastic is very soft)
  3. Washers (for bases) mine were 25cm in diameter.
  4. Super glue
  5. Putty or green stuff
  6. Primer (I used Black Gesso)
  7. Paints for the trunk and branches (see below for the ones I used)
  8. Modge Podge (Matte), but perhaps PVA is as good
  9. Modelling Snow Flock
  10. Some sealer (have not done that yet) – maybe a matte spray varnish would be best?

 

tree1
As they come, a plastic brownish feel and those arrow heads at the end.  I suppose they are there to help keeping it together if you apply clump foliage. There is some nice structure on the trunk making it look like a tree.
tree2
I cut away all the arrow heads (and also the bottom part that is still present on the picture).
tree3
I superglued it on a washer (yes I did forget a few of the arrowheads but sorted that out later) and put some putty to support it at the bottom.
tree4
I prime it black using Black Gesso. I find Gesso very good for priming plastic stuff.
tree5
I used Vallejo model colour and did a heavy drybrush over the whole tree and then a 50/50 mix with whire of light drybrushing. I feel this is a better generic tree colour than the brown before!  I may do a few to look like birch trees when I do full production later.
tree6
I applied Modge Podge (Matte) on the branches where I wanted snow to stick. Do not cover everywhere as it more effectful to see some of the branches too. Put some on the base as well. Try to put on generously wihout too much drip (if that makes sense!).
tree7
Let it snow, I use spoon to apply the snow modelling flock from above.  Shake off and apply more Modge Podge until you are happy with the result.

 

 

tree8
The finalized tree next to a little Cabin (I do not remember who produced these and it broke my heart covering the nicely modelled roof with Modge Podge and Snowflock!, but now I think it was worth it) and a Finnish Submachine gunner in 15mm (from Resistant Rooster I believe with a Peter Pig headswap). Maybe the trees would work in 28mm too?  I will try to make the bases less bulky in the future and will not put on any sand and keep them as they are after applying the putty as they will be covered with snow anyway. All I need to do is to put the production machine on and do another 119 of these!

 

 

Tiger Lillies

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.

tigerlillies.jpg

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.

fine-pulp-and-heroic-scale-female-heads-bald

Incoming ships

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!

/ May the force be with you

All relatively quiet on the hobby front and Black Sabbath

img_1486

Black Sabbath

Today my uncle would have been 65 years old as he passed away far too early. I thought about him yesterday as I went to see Black Sabbath at the O2 and how much he would have enjoyed watching the show. He played the album Paranoid for my cousin and I when we were very young and it blew my mind away.  I have been listening to Black Sabbath ever since.  This tour that is very near its end is suitably called “The End” and it is nice to see them a last time especially when they were playing songs from the first four albums of which none felt surplus to the requirement of providing a damn good show.  When I first heard about this tour I had hoped to see Bill Ward (the original drummer) in the line-up but that was not to happen. However, Tommy Clufetos, always plays drums like there is no tomorrow.  It was the best show I have been to for a long time. A lady in her seventies, who was sitting next to us, had come with her daughter and they both sang along word by word with every song played – that could have made my day in its own right.  Thank you Black Sabbath for all these fantastic years and for being one of the most influential bands in shaping what we today call (and some of us love) Heavy Metal – Hats off!

img_1523
Black Sabbath playing my favourite song Children of the Grave

Children of tomorrow live in the tears that fall today
Will the sun rise up tomorrow bringing peace in any way?
Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear?
Can they win the fight for peace or will they disappear?

From Children of the Grave, by Black Sabbath

img_1499
The legendary Ozzy Osbourne!

All relatively quiet on the hobby front (code for “Done f**k all!”)

On the hobby front I have continued doing some snow basing for the Chain of Command Finnish and Soviets, but nothing substantial. Let us see how the next week goes.  I did rectify that house I discussed in last week’s entry and added some snow to make it look a little bit more wintery.  I am currently waiting for some stuff I have ordered that I need to finalise the terrain.  I hope to write a blog entry about the terrain and the markers I will be using in a not too distant future, maybe in about two weeks time if it goes as planned.

I found myself buying a platoon worth of Soviet Scouts (see here) in 15mm from Peter Pig that I thought I would use to fight my Continuation War Finns. They have recently expanded the range significantly and I found what I needed.  No idea when I will do these but when I make a decision I do not want availability to hinder progress! Pictures from the Peter Pig website. Wonderful stuff.

I also found a pack of the 1984 set for the Terminator: Genisys game I have been on about in the last few postings.  This set includes the main characters from the first two movies, the “Arnold Machine”, Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese, T-1000 (Police Officer version) and three police officers (I got these from Wayland Games). Not sure what I will do with these but I could not resist.   I also got two more starter sets! I bought these from Buysend.com for £10.49 each (as at 31/01/17, see here). The set is similar to the one you can buy from the Warlords website (as at 31/01/17) for a reduced cost of £35 as discussed last time. The key difference between the set is that the main rulebook and the bonus metal model (Kyle Reese in resistance outfit) is not included in the cheaper set  Since I already have the rulebook and metal figure I thought it was good value to get another 10 machines and 16 resistance soldiers for a tenner. I think that would be all I need for now for this game.

tt

/ And I am feeling good!

Terminators, Winter War Progress and Chevaux de Fries

BW 1.jpg

More Terminators

Following on from the last blog about terminators, the Little One and I have been doing a few more games of Terminator Genisys and we are still enjoying it.  I actually ended up buying two more miniature sets, the T1000 (the liquid metal one from the second movie or to be correct mimetic polyalloy) & Infiltrator as well as the Special Endoskeletons set. I have also dusted off the old movies and although the first one (here) feels a little bit dated, with regards to the CGI, it is still a damn good movie. The second movie (here) I think is brilliant and the Little One is looking forward seeing the rest.

rh-tg-114-infiltrator-and-t1000-a_grande

I have realized that if I want the Little One to get into this hobby it is not by trying to force feed him with 18th century linear tactics battles where we abstract the unit with a few models representing many or elegant mechanisms with built-in firing, damage, moral etc. Instead I think I need to, as well, offer him simple skirmish type of rules where each model represents a man, or a woman or in this case a machine, in a setting that excites him and he understands (the key here is ..as well!).  It is fantastic when he gets it and we have not had so much fun since we first played X-wing or Saga together.

Finnishing (and Sovietic) touches

However, science fiction aside, I did feel obliged to continue my Chain of Command Finns and Russians so I could get some games of Chain of Command under my belt – I added some snow flock to the bases and made an entrenchment with some floor insulation blue polystyrene and a plastic base from a DVD cover (Terminator 2 – who needs covers anyway!) – I think I will make more like this. I covered it with glue and added sand, painted it chocolate brown and dry brushed it white and then added some snow around it (actually a mix of snow flock, matte modge podge and a few drops of off-white paint). Here it is.

bw4.jpg
The entrenchment in its full glory! The surface under is a trimmed part of a Snow Mat from Terrain Mat (link here) I bought many years ago to do some GNW winter battles on. I will use this mat for my Chain of Command battles as I think it looks very good.
bw3
As above with some Soviets enjoying its protection!

Here is the first picture in Colour (I need to add some snow to that roof, to make it look authentic).

bw2.jpg
A section of Soviets advancing through a Finnish Village.
Ruokojärvellä JSP/Er P S.
House during the Winter War, the picture is from SA-kuva (Finnish Armed Forces Photographs) and their webpage is here.

Chevaux de Frise

I got a question through to the blog last week that I thought potentially had some general interest. The question was about how I did the Chevaux de Frise (link to Wikipedia here) shown in some of the pictures in the Polemos Great Northern War rulebook (link here).  These were shots based on the armies I did for the Fraustadt 1706 battle where the whole Saxon/Russian front line was standing behind these mobile defensive structures.

Peter Berry kindly included some pictures taken by my daughter of Swedes battling Saxons and Russians in wintery conditions as well as some Polish Panzerni and Winged Hussars in a more summery setting.

cdf1.jpg
A page from the Rules

This is a high level, but I hope sufficient discussion, on how I made them (but first a few notes):

  • They are based on 60mm by 10mm bases, these are 2mm thick (the same thickness I use for all my bases)
  • They are not to scale, i.e. these are in fact large compared to the models. However, in my opinion, it does work visually.
  • Be careful when if you embark on trying to make these. Plan your work to avoid drilling or cutting your fingers.  Also when you cut brass rod pieces make sure you are careful as small pieces may fly all over the place and cause direct damage whilst in flight or indirectly when they plant themselves into your foot at a later date.  I speak from hard earned experience on (all!) these matters.
cdf1b.jpg
The finished product with a base of Saxon Infantry

They are basically done by using model making matchsticks (That are about 5cm x 2mm x 2mm) – you can buy about 1000 of them at ebay for about £4. You need one matchstick for each base. You also need round brass rod (0.5mm) or equivalent. You will need a more than you think – normally they are sold in lengths of about 30cm and each will give you 25 pikes/spears at 12mm. Each chevaux de Frise base will need 28 pikes. 10 No. 30cm rods will give you enough to do 8 to 9 bases.

cdf6
0.5mm round brass rod

Mark up the matchstick in the middle and make seven lines with the same distance from each other and make a mark on the line in the middle.

cdf3
Green marking

Flip the matchstick 90 degrees and extend the original lines and make a mark in the middle between the original lines (I used a red pen to do this).

cdf4.jpg
Red Marking

Cut it in half (do the same mark-up for the other side, or do both at the same time) – use a razor saw and cut it gently to avoid damage – do not use clippers.

Drill the holes using a 0.6mm drill bit with a model drill. It is tempting to use a sharp object and pierce through a hole but it more than often damages the matchstick, so go for the drill approach.

cdf7.jpg
Drilled matchstick piece and a brass rod piece

Cut small pieces from the brass rod. I made mine about 12mm long and stick them in your holes.

cdf9.jpg
Nearly there… (you could stop here and use it as an improvised hand weapon for your larger scale miniatures!)

Then do the rest and slab on some PVA/White glue to make it sturdy and avoid the rod pieces to slide off, then paint it and base it up and you are done.

cdf2.jpg
Fast forward and …. There!

/ Hope that was of some use