Friday 31 May 2013

Wolf In Shadow: Author Copies

The complimentary author copies of my new urban fantasy Wolf In Shadow have arrived from the States.

This is the first full length Commission story with Jameson and Karla.

Karla is not a vampire, but if it helps you can think of her as one.

Titan Affixed To Base

My original plan was to affix each foot to a seperate Renadra flyer stand but I called in Shaun who pointed out that I was barmy. He mounted the Titan for me on a solid piece of rubber wood.

 He drilled up through the feet, through the ball and socket joint into the legs. He then drilled the board and added a screwed rod firmly locked in with countersunk nuts on each side. The legs go on the rods and voila. All I have to do is decorate.

Thursday 30 May 2013

Model Zone Sale

If you live in the UK and wargame with modern 1:72 models, Model Zone have a sale on for buildings including Hornby and Airfix.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Fetherington-Whitworth Walking Land Steamship II

The Walking Steam Lanship prototype constructed in the Shaun Murphy works continues to be modified. The gun mountings and armoured command bridge have been added.

Monday 27 May 2013

Battle of Alabaster Update

Forgot to put up the larger Strain models.

I came across this site by spiraling cadavar that had some WTF news.

The rules have changed quite dramatically already!!!

The troop cards are defunct.

So the troop cards and rules are obsolete only a few weeks after I bought them  at Salute??? This does not please me.

See the link above for details.

What is this, amateur night or something? I bought a product not a development project: at least I thought I had.

OK, I am not going to learn a new game system for a single game that is in a state of flux. Life is too darn short. I will keep the models but will dump the obsolete rules, defunct cards and warped boards.

Nurgle Chaos Titan

Well yere 'tiz, the Nurgle Titan only four years late for the Siege of Vraks, a bit like the British Army at Khartoum.

Now waiting for basing material wot I ordered.

Toodle Pip.

Sunday 26 May 2013

Out of the Box Review - Sedition Wars: Battle of Alabaster

At Salute I was tempted into the purchase of a game of edition wars which was on offer for fifty of your English Pounds (down from £60).

Inside the box were:
50 highly detailed 28mm miniatures
50 scenic miniature bases
5 double sided full colour expandable game boards
60 page rules and scenario book
Vanguard and Strain stat cards
100+ full colour game counters

Fifty McVey miniatures for £50, how could I go wrong even if I threw the game away? McVey miniatures are of an astonishing standard. It sounded too good to be true. And alas it sort of was.

The miniatures are made out of a sort of plastic-resin and are warped. They do not go together well and need a generous finish of filler - see photos. The resin doesn't stick easily even with superglue and it doesn't cut easily. Add that to the warped fitting lugs and you have a difficult task.

It isn't helped that there are no assembly instructions. These can be found on the web but are not downloadable so I ended up juggling bits, glue and a Nexus 7. Three hands would have helped, four would be better. I got superglue on my Nexus screen. Fortunately it didn't stick permanently. The language was pretty foul by the time this lot were together.

On the plus side they are beautifully sculpted if a little unoriginal - space marines versus aliens.

You do get a lot of bits in the box including sheets of expensive die cut counters.

Battle for Alabaster is essentially a Space Hulk type game played on beautifully printed two-sided boards. But herein lies another issue.

The boards are badly warped and I can't unwarp them. They just slide over each other unless 'taped' down in some way.

The models really are well sculpted and paint up nicely despite the filler. They are well suited to washes having lots of sharp-edged indentations

 The rule book is nicely colourful if a bit poor quality.

Now I have not yet played so I cannot comment on that but I do have a couple of observations upon reading  through the rules.
1. They are not an easy read. It took me a couple of read throughs before I grasped the basics.
2. This is more than a simple space marine alien game. It is more like a horror game. Marines and civilians get infected by nanospores from dead monsters and turn into zombies which morph through various stages into monsters. One criticism is that I was not convinced that the monsters have a convincing morphological theme linking the steps.

This product is another Made in China job and I'm afraid it shows. The component quality is unacceptably poor. On the other hand it is fairly cheap.

I guess you pays your money and you takes your choice.

Saturday 25 May 2013

Titan Build - Roof On.

The roof sections are finished. I only have to put in the ventilator ducts. Next are the cables from the hull to the plasma cannon and to the head. This is a little tricky as they have to be heat bent into place.

The final act is to base the monster. It is heavy, shatterable and horribly unstable. All the weight is in the top. I am unsure whether two 'flyer' bases, one per foot, from Renadra will suffice or whether I will have to pin it to a heavy wooden or perspex base.

We shall see.

Friday 24 May 2013

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Chaos Titan Plasma BlastGun

This is the right hand weapon of my Nurgle Titan and is the heavy vehicle destroyer.

Monday 20 May 2013

Fetherington-Whitworth Walking Land Steamship

The prototype of the Fetherington-Whitworth Walking Land Steamship Scratch-built by maverick inventor Shaun Murphy.

It was intended to name it the HMWLS Victoria but Her Majesty was not amused.

The Grays Attack!

Bunch of 15-20mm models from an unknown manufacturer painted and kitbashed by Shawn Murphy. Something for Victoria's troops to get their bayonets in.

The Gardner Gun

Vitaï Lampada
"The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,And England's far, and Honour a name,"
Henry Newbolt

Actually it was a Gardner, not a Gatling although it would be easy to confuse them. Both were American designs for a manual powered automatic rifle using a rotary crank action. Both used black powder and both jammed and were difficult to aim. The chap holding the wheel is the gunlayer. The Gardner had fixed barrels in a line, five in this case.

The crew are Royal Navy and the extra guys towed the gun with ropes.

Both were replaced in British service by the more efficient Nordenfelt, which used a crank lever but otherwise looked like a Gardner.

Thursday 16 May 2013

I Say Carruthers! - Black Powder Victorian Science Fiction

After a long search through Victorian Science Fiction Rules I gave up trying to find a battlegame set, as opposed to an RPG/Skirmish game, so I bought Warlord's  Black Powder rules which cover the end of the 19th century up to the development of industrial warfare - marked by the deployment of the Maxim gun.

I decided to use 1/72 models because they are cheap and there is a huge variety available. Also 1/72 plastic toy soldiers are a nostalgic memory of my youth. The size of the figures 20-25mm is a decent one for a battlegame being large enough for detail but small enough to get a sense of blocks of troops.

I use the 4 infantry to a 40mm square base, or two cavalry on a 50mm square base, as suggested in the rules for 28ml miniatures, because 1/72 does require a similar amount of room on the base. However, I use units with half the number of bases compared to Rick and friends. They play on massive tables with huge collections and I, well, don't.

Number of bases in unit sizes are as follows:
Large 6,  Standard 4, Small 2, Tiny 1.
Large 4, Standard 3, Small 2, Tiny 1

The one thing you have to do is to reduce ranges for movement and firing. Changing inches to cm is an easy ploy.

Four bases for a standard infantry unit works well because it is easy to indicate formations such as line, square, column and march. The equivalent cavalry reduction is to three bases. Leaders are on round bases.

Taking a break from Titan building I have painted and based a British desert brigade as might be encountered in the Sudan or on Mars. We have two units of Guard camel riders, two units of Indian infantry, a unit African scouts and a brigade commander. With Black Powder it is not that important what a 'unit' or 'brigade' actually represents. This fits colonial warfare well as units were never as listed on the muster.

Soft (polyethylene) plastic figures can be a bit challenging to model so I thought I would put up the JTS recipe.

1. Take out of box and drop sprues in a container of a strongish detergent solution. Leave there until ready to paint but at least for 24 hours.
2. Dry and cut parts of sprue with a sharp scalpel. Ignore seam marks, they can be painted out later but cut off flash with a sharp blade. Never try to file or sand the figures.
3. Assemble any bits using Loctite All Plastic Super Glue. This pack includes a stick which 'prepares' polyethylene surfaces such that they can be stuck with any superglue. Use same to stick miniatures to a base.
4. Spray with a good quality undercoat. Use two or three coats as necessary until the figure is properly sealed.
5. Block paint with lighter colours than you intend to have in the finished model. Leave to dry thoroughly, usually 24 hours.
6. Apply Army Painter Toned varnish gently with a soft brush until the figure is sealed in and stiffened.
7. If you wish, apply a light matt varnish spray to take off the shine. Personally I like 1/72 plastic toy soldiers to shine but it's not to everyone's taste.
8. Disguise the base with some sort of paste and vegetation. I used Citadel products here but that could be expensive in the long term so I may make my own.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

London Illusion

There is a current craze for 3D street art to brighten plazas.

Here is one from Canary Wharf, East London.

Saturday 11 May 2013

Dystopian Wars: Her Majesty's Hussars

I purchased a couple of boxes of British forces from Spartan Games Dystopian Wars with the vague idea of using them for 40K-ish skirmish games. They are GW sized.

Gem of the models is the Hussar light cavalry.I have painted them lifting off on their rocket packs to attack the dastardly foe, Prussians, French or somesuch.

The uniform colours are quasi-Victorian.

Very neat models and available at a good price.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Life's a Bitch

Life's a Bitch

And then you marry a wargamer and come home to find your spaghetti saucepan being used for boiling plastic camels.

Chaos Nurgle Titan: Head Cockpit Details

The reason that the Titan is such a big job is that the internal detail is fantastic. The light ain't so good in Kent at the moment being either deep shadow or bright sunlight so I

have shot the model from a few angles. Hope it looks suitably Nurgly!

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Titan Update

I really, really intend to finish it this time so it can take part in a titan bash in the back garden.

Working on the next two components, the 'head' and the right hand cannon.

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Forge World Chaos Titan

I am resolved to finish my Chaos Titan for the summer. It has been sitting in a drawer for a couple of years now. So far I have completed the legs and torso.

Sunday 5 May 2013

FLGS: No Man's Land, Maidstone

I like to highlight FLGS so this week it's the turn of No Man's Land, inside the Royal Star Arcade off Maidstone High Street.

This is a large modern shop inside a central arcade.

There is a great display in the side window of a Space Marine Strike on an urban zone. It's nice to see a bit of effort going in to marketing.

 This is the downstairs retail area. I get so used to musty wargame shops with damp problems that are in run down zones so It is so pleasant to find one that is light, airy and spacious. There are a couple of tables downstairs along with displays and goodies on sale.

Some of the toy soldiers and accessories on sale. I noticed Mantic, Spartan, Flames of War,Warlord and, of course, GW amongst others.

The main playing is upstairs and is stupendous. I have been to clubs that have less room than this.

Displays and pictures decorate the walls.

The upstairs painting area.

The player zone. There is rack after rack of terrain available for players, some of it massive.

And have a look at the rulebooks available for the use of customers.

 I bumped into three old friends that I hadn't seen in ages when I turned up to take these pics. I highly recommend this place for its friendly atmosphere.