Friday, September 30, 2011

Dystopian Wars - Prussian Fleet

First, my apologies for cross-posting, but as I promised to keep you all updated on my 'Dystopian Wars' project (whether you like it or not) I trust I can be forgiven.

I decided to paint up my Prussians in the spirit of early war Luftwaffe colours. I've always liked the high contrast of the grey/green against the yellow and thought the scheme would transfer well to the quasi sci-fi theme of the Dystopian Wars' models.

On many of the castings you'll see these coil-type structures amidships and/or at the stern. These are tesla weapons that are used both against ship systems and can also cause hits on ship's crews. In the game the Prussian ships are very fast and carry extra boarding parties - these bonuses, combined with the tesla weapons, tend to make them very dangerous customers when they get close-in.

Three of the ten Frigates from the boxed set.
The silhouette of the Prussian ships are very long, angular and swept back.  In terms of aesthetic design I think they are probably the most 'modern' of the Dystopian fleets.

The Cruisers
You can see the Tesla coils at the aft of the Cruisers
A Prussian Battleship.
Again, Tesla coils along the Battleship's amidships.
A pair of Heavy Bombers. I like how ungainly they look.
 Two groups of Fighters with slightly different markings to help differentiate squadrons.
Next will be the American Fleet. I'm thinking that in Curt's dystopian version of the 1870's the Confederates triumphed in the Civil War (which just seems natural) so I'll paint their fleet accordingly...

Here you can see the  Battleship sporting a couple 'plug-in' generators.

Monday, September 26, 2011

2nd Sci-fi 15mm army complete

It's taken longer than it should have, but the adjustment to shift work has taken its toll on painting.
Below is my second army for 15mm. I'm going to play it as a fast, but fragile force in order to capture the spirit of a group of rebels without a cause (it seems the narrative for many of our games lacks a real focus for why everyone is fighting in the first place).

Work to begin shortly on army 3.

Monday, September 19, 2011

British 'Dystopian Wars' Fleet

As I mentioned in a previous post I decided to paint my British 'Dystopian Wars' stuff with a variant of the 'Dazzle' paint scheme first used by the British in the later part of WWI.

'Dazzle' paint was first developed in 1917 by British maritime artist Norman Wilkinson (who, not surprisingly, was an admirer of the cubist school of art).  Technically speaking 'Dazzle' is not a camouflage, that is it is not a pattern designed to hide, but instead was created to disrupt an observer's perception of the silhouette, size and heading of the 'dazzled' subject. From what I understand it was primarily developed to fool torpedo range-finding optics and surface rangefinders. It was really never proven how effective dazzle painting was but it often boosted ships' morale, as the crews believed it gave them an edge in combat. There are several military's organizations throughout the world today which still use the paint scheme for their vehicles/ships. In civilian terms dazzle paint has been quite popular for several applications (fashion, radar speed trap boxes, etc.) - I know when I worked at Ford in Detroit the vehicle designers would often paint their super-secret concept cars in a dazzle paint scheme in an attempt to foil any outside onlookers/photographers.

A squadron of Frigates (3 of 10).
A trio of Cruisers.
A Battleship.
An Aircraft Carrier.
The Dreadnought.
Check out that nasty ram!
Two Heavy Bombers.
The Fleet steaming out to kick the arse of those Foreign Johnnies. Woof! Woof!
The larger capital-class ships can swap out their turrets to slot-in shield generators which is kinda cool. The big-ass Dreadnought sports a ram on it's bow for those players who like to go in full steam and mix it up (cough, Dave, cough...).
Currently I'm working on the Prussian fleet which I hope to have done in a week or so.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

'Dystopian Wars' Japanese Bombers and Fighters

Another quick update on the progress of my 'Dystopian Wars' project. Here are a few shots of a couple 'Empire of the Blazing Sun' bombers and some fighters. The game stats for the bombers are pretty mental as on top of the loads of bombs, missiles and gun turrets, each of these bad boys also carry a contingent of jet-pack samurai for boarding actions. We just had a game where this pair rolled-in over a Brit carrier, bombed the hell out of it and then launched several 'sticks' of Kurosawa/Rocket-Robin-Hood-inspired boarders that had to survive the carrier's ack ack in order to land on the ship and conduct their raid. It was pretty insane but loads of laughs.

Like my 'Wings of War' stuff, I decided to build magnetic gimbal ball mounts for the bombers to allow more dynamic posing of the models while they are on their flight stands.

Below is an example of the fighter stands - not surprisingly called 'Tiny Fliers' in the game. These come as one-piece resin 'tokens' which are really easy to paint-up.

As promised before I do have a bunch of stuff from the British fleet done-up so I'll try to post another update on those in the next little while.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Star Wars Battle Report and Mini-Terrain Project

Last week about Tuesday, I decided it would be a good idea to make some Death Star interior terrain for Star Wars Miniature Battles.  This would come in handy for the odd pick-up SWMB game, as well as for the Death Star scenarios in the SWMB campaign book. (I'd picked up the Imperial Shuttle model on the weekend, thinking it would be useful in SWMB games as well).

I found the Death Star wall images on a great website maintained by a fellow called "niubniub"... seriously.  I copied the desired textures to a Word document and resized the images to about 60mm high.  I printed them out on glossy photo paper and glued them down to foamcore board with a glue stick.  I based the walls on strips of plasticard, with hot glue.  If you've ever read that cutting foamcore is hard on knife blades... it's all true. 

The first scenario we played involved a mad dash to find a computer terminal to download a Death Star map.  I'm not sure why this was necessary, since Artoo has a copy of the Death Star plans, but whatever...  Here we see Our Heroes leaving the hangar bay in search of the elusive terminal.

There were a few Stormtroopers around to make things interesting for the heroes.
 The second scenario required the Rebels to rescue Princess Leia, disable the tractor beam, and get back to the Millennium Falcon to escape.  This didn't go so well for the Rebels but ended cinematically with Darth Vader "striking down" old Ben... no word yet on if he subsequently became stronger than Vader could possibly imagine.

Fun games, but I have to say I haven't been overly impressed with the scenario design in the SWMB campaign book.  We played some Tatooine scenarios and they weren't all that either.  However now that I've got some walls made we can fake up some of our own scenarios.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Project: 'Dystopian Wars' Empire of the Blazing Sun

I've decided to take a wee break from the Napoleonic insanity and do something completely different.

Sylvain and I tried out Spartan Games' Firestorm Armada several weeks ago which was good fun so I thought I'd check out both Uncharted Seas and Dystopian Wars as they use many of the same rules mechanics. Once I got a good look at some of the steampunk models for Dystopian Wars I knew that is what I wanted to try, so I went for it whole hog and purchased the starter fleets for Prussia, Britain, USA and Japan. 

I decided to try the ships for The Empire of the Blazing Sun first as I had a few ideas of how I wanted to do them from seeing period Japanese woodblock prints.  

These castings are quite stylized, kinda remiding me of the art-deco locomotives of the 1920's. First up are a few of the smallest ships, the frigates.
Two of the Frigates.
Then the Meat and Potatoes of the Fleet, the hardworking cruisers.

Three cruisers. The structures on the top and rear of the hull are rocket pods.

Here's  an example of one of the Capital Class ships:

A Battleship.
The brass disc pod on the stern is a shield generator...
...and a photo of the whole Fleet as it stands now.

The colour scheme is pretty straightforward: I first primed the ships black as I was just too lazy to go out and buy grey primer. I 'lifted' the black basecoat by heavily drybrushing them with Codex Grey, then went over them again with a drybrush of Foundry Austrian White (C shade). I then washed the ships down with a coat of Delvan Mud and highlighted again with Austrian White. The red was GW Red Gore highlighted with Blood Red. The planking is Americana Sable Brown then inked with Flesh Wash and highlighted with Sable Brown again.

I have just finished a bunch of aircraft as well which are kinda crazy looking. I'll put them up on an upcoming post. On the workbench now is the British fleet which I'm going to paint-up in a striped  'Dazzle' pattern similar to what was used in the later part of WWI and in some theatres of WWII. Silly but good fun.