Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Templar Brethren

It's been a busy summer this year. I took a long block of Holidays off in July and the family spent a chunk of it at a cabin in Whiteshell Provincial Park. I took some stuff to paint, but progress was slow. Work itself has been busy with little opportunity for time off and the spare time that was available was used for things other than painting. With all that being said, I still managed to complete another unit and vehicle for the Imperial Fist Legion. The Templar Brethren have been pending since I started the army. They were left as a reward for hitting the half way mark with the army.
I used the Mark IV armor as they are supposed to have the best wargear available. According to the fluff, they are the elite of the Legion and dedicated to close combat. These guys would eventually become the Black Templar during the second founding and turn into a fundamentalist cult army burning all non-believers in their wake. It's the stuff of nightmares and I could see how a chaos cultist may convince you that grandfather Nurgle has 'something' for that 3rd degree burn you're sporting. The Templar Brethren seem to just like to sword fight.


 The Land Raider was originally bought for my 40k marine army. It has parts from Chapterhouse Studios (now MIA it seems) to give it the Heresy look. The Raider, along with a Storm Raven (also with C.H. parts) were just sitting on the forgotten pile when I clued in that they could be re-purposed for the Fists. I didn't bother stripping the model and just hoped the detail wouldn't be lost. I think it turned out all right.

I still have more Imperial Fists to paint, but I plan on taking a bit of a break and work on some units for Kill Team.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Gaslands! Cars, Terrain, Battle Report!

We have to admit to having been a bit remiss lately in updating the blog. Blame summertime, work, life, or what you will... but there has been some stuff going on, honest! So what's going on in the picture above? GASLANDS, that's what!

Gaslands is a miniatures game of vehicle combat, published by Osprey, that uses Hot Wheels/Matchbox-scale cars converted with guns and other fun stuff.

Conscript Kevin H turned me on to the game a few months ago and wow- is there ever an active online community for this game. In fact, it's so popular that the package I ordered directly from the game's author (including the rulebook, templates, dice and markers) was significantly delayed in being delivered.

However, this did little to temper my enthusiasm which was still running at a high temp...

One of the things that I find really exciting about Gaslands is that the barrier to entry is so low, you can go nuts doing all the stuff that makes the visual aspect of the game so cool.

Case in point - the "arena terrain" that I've done up for the game. My vision of Gaslands really tends more towards the classic "autoduelling" I grew up with - Car Wars and the like - rather than the "Mad Max" kind of vision that the game also supports. Don't get me wrong - that's amazingly cool as well and I'll probably go that way too!

This amazing piece is from a company called Corvus Games, and while it may look like a resin piece it's actually a plastic 3D print! It painted up very quickly and looks great. There was even room for some graffiti on the concrete base, visible above.

The barriers are from a Disney/Pixar (!) CARS (!!) playset I saw used on one of the Gaslands facebook pages. It takes two sets to do a 4x4 table but the cost of those sets is only around $25 each, plus time and effort in painting of course. I used photocopies of the playset's advertising decals on the walls, just to dull down the glossy kid's toy look.

Rather than repeat the same billboards twice, I went with graffiti on two of the walls which turned out well. The "tags" are decals marketed to HO-scale train enthusiasts for their freight cars.

I tried them at first on a darker coloured background but they didn't "pop" nearly as well as on the light background. Easy fix.

Back to terrain and the cars... I wanted some LOS-blocking terrain for inside the arena and stacks of wrecked cars suited that perfectly. I smashed some cars with a hammer just to flatten them a bit, then superglued them to each other and to a card base. Sprayed the whole lot black and drybrushed up faded colours, dust and rust.

Here are some cars! One of my favourites - Lamborghini Miura with corrugated iron windows and weapon from the old Dark Future game.

Ford GT40 with gubbins from a 15mm kit of an '80s Soviet tank.

2015 Mustang with DF gun.

Pickemup truck with DF minigun and rams from the 15mm tank kit.

Late '70s-looking cruiser with DF weapon.

So with all this prep work done it was time to have a game! (Note that some of the terrain shown in this post only got finished later)

Conscripts Indo, Byron, and Kevin were over for the inaugural run at Gaslands.
The game itself was controlled chaos, which is perfect for a vehicle combat game! We found the mechanics to be very easy to pick up, and with a view small exceptions they appeared to make sense in terms of vehicle physics.

One of the fun things about the game has to do with the movement, which is all done by templates a la X-Wing and other games of bodies in motion. Players select a template for their move, based on their speed (i.e. templates for different maneuvers have restrictions as to how fast a vehicle may be going to use them). There's no pre-measuring though, and in order to speed play, there's a rule that if you touch template when it's your turn to move, you MUST use that template! and if the speed of your vehicle does not allow you to use that template, the player to your left gets to pick a maneuver for your vehicle, then move your vehicle accordingly! This simulates a momentary lapse in the heat of combat driving, and when it happened to Indo in our game it was most amusing :-)
Kevin arrived late from work but got to roll out his ancient "Team Anarchy" vehicles he painted to use with Dark Future when it had first come out (!). They did acquit themselves well!

Without going into a ton of detail on the game (which I have forgotten anyway), it was a great one and fun was had by all - so much so that I'm going to tee it up again this week for the group. I think that this would be a great "convention" game and I'm planning on running it at PrairieCon next year, if not Legio-Con as well. So if you like Gaslands, definitely stay tuned here for more!

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Dragoon Days Of Summer 2018

Prussian Dragoons from 1870 - 28mm castings from Wargames Foundry
Well, things continue to move pretty sloooooow when it comes to hobby stuff. Work continues to be a culprit, but also other 1-to-1 scale things that are not work, such as visiting the lake in Sault Ste Marie Ontario! I brought some painting with me, but the pace is quite...well, summer-like.  The weather has been hot and pleasant, and summer in Canada is oh-so-short, so I haven't been bending the brushes too often, and blogging even less!

I'd paint more know...
At the same time, I'm trying not to let the painting instincts atrophy completely, and so I'm still working away at 28mm figures for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.  I have finished a small group of Prussian Dragoons.  The castings are from the Foundry collection, sculpted by the Perry Twins many years ago. 

Dragoon officer under the painting lamp
These are not the flashiest cavalrymen you will find - while the lighter, cornflower-ish blue does offer a touch of drama - overall these Prussian Dragoons look very much like the hard working, blue-collar, low-glory arm of the cavalry.  They may join in "Death Rides", but don't get any glamour, glory or credit.  The Uhlans get the flash. The Kuirassiers get into fancy the paintings and news clippings.  The Dragoons get...ordered to ride somewhere and do something...

So far, so good, if a little dark...

These Foundry castings are sturdy and consistent, suffering only from the mono-pose syndrome.  That said, there is no alternative, and their consistency does offer a level of organized dread that suits Prussian cavalry well! All those slightly odd-looking Dreyse carbines at the ready...the French infantry will need their sturdy Chassepot rifles handy to empty the saddles in this lot!

Cornflower blue will stop those French bullets...right?
While many of the photos bulk them together in one unit, in fact the facing colours are from two different regiments.  While I intend to have 12-figure cavalry units for my "Black Powder" games in this setting, the initial scenario I have in mind will include smaller units - detachments from Regiments - which I will represent with just six castings per unit. Hence the two different colours - and I can always group them together into a single "regular" unit on the table, depending on the nature of the game/scenario. 

Spiked helmets? Check. Cartridge box with cipher? Check. Carbine? Check. Horse? Check. Off we go boys!
Strictly speaking, the unit is not completely finished - I still have to add the groundwork, which I will do when I return home. But I'm hoping to sustain a little bit of painting energy by sharing the photos, and hey, it's an excuse to post something

The officer castings do give a bit of animation to the otherwise monotonous rumble...

Go get those Frenchmen!
Up next in the painting queue is another Prussian foot unit.  In normal times I can polish that off in a couple of weeks. At the same time, if the summer weather holds up (and I hope it does), well, I'll settle for a little bit of continued progress...

Sunset on Goulais Bay, Lake Superior, near Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada
I hope everyone out there is having a great and safe summer! 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Even More Prussians! Another 28mm Unit Marches Off The Painting Table...

More 28mm Prussians from Foundry! Forward for the King!
Between the arrival of summer weather and a greatly increased pace of work at my firm, my painting production has really trailed off in the past couple of months.  My day-job work can be unpredictable, and the odd period arises where I can't get to my painting in a regular way.  Sometimes that disruption lasts a week or so...but for the last little while, yikes! In the grand scheme of things, this is very positive, as more work is a good thing! After all, I have to pay for these figures somehow...

A change in the posing for this unit - the front rankers are "charging" - gives a nice sense of momentum and menace!
But when I can't get back to the painting desk after a while, I start to stress out. Not only is painting very relaxing, but I worry that I will lose momentum on a longer term project, like the Franco-Prussian War... 

Some of the rifles were a touch "bendy", but for the most part I was able to sort them out...

Close up on the command base...a confident Prussian officer directs his fellows bad can those Chassepot rifles really be anyway?

Unit number four, ready for action on the table...
So it's a relief to have another unit finally march off the painting table! This is the fourth formed unit of 28mm Prussian infantry from Wargames Foundry.  There is a slight variance from the previous three units, in that the front rank of castings in the unit are in a different pose, but the overall effect is pretty similar.  As before there are 20 castings in the formed unit, and four separate individually-based figures to be placed out front as a representation of skirmishing elements.

Painting for the fifth unit is already starting, with the standard bearer finished on the weekend - I also painted up a Prussian gunner for the next artillery piece when the time comes...the flag is from GMB
As with the other units, the flags are from the fine folks at GMB.  I do rather hope they will do some French flags soon...

Prussian Brigade taking shape on my display shelves...
I now have four infantry units and a battery of artillery for the Prussians, and two units and a mitrailleuse for the French.  My goal remains to run some manner of "Black Powder" game set in the Franco-Prussian war.  I have the rough scenario sketched out in my head, just need to get the figures painted!  The Prussians are coming along nicely, and I hope to finish painting the elements of that side of the scenario first before turning back to painting the last French troops (which I will not need so many of for the game).  

We hope to visit our cabin soon, and I have some more Prussian infantry - and some cavalry - in the pre-packing stages to make the trip with me.  If things go well, we could be doing this game in the Fall of 2018...still a long way to go, but with a good pile of castings painted, I'm still feeling the momentum is good even if the pace has slowed drastically. 

Administrative Note:
Thank you so much to those who leave comments.  You may have noticed I have been slow to respond, or not responding at all to comments in some instances.  While work has played a part in this, so have the recent "upgrades" that Google has made to Blogger, courtesy of which I can no longer receive an email about...well, anything.  I used to get an email when a comment was posted, or when my favourite bloggers put up a new, nothing.  Not sure how this is an "improvement", but when the product is free, I guess we are stuck with it...anyway, I promise to try and look more regularly and check for comments and new posts! Thank you!