Saturday, 9 March 2013

Painting the Sea.

As you can see I have started to paint the seascape boards. Rather than paint the sea a single blue I will and have been using 2 different blues. To this end I have used a wet on wet technique firstly by adding patches of one colour and then before the paint is dry applying a different shade, again in patches. I continued to patch paint each board and blend the blues together where they abut.

Two coats were applied in this manner. Although I suspect a third and possibly a fourth coat might be required. The board to the right has two coats, but at some places the board can still be seen beneath. This method of painting, I hope, will give the boards a more dynamic and vibrant feel to the sea. Whereas painting the boards in a single tone might give a very "flat" finish more suitable for an interior wall than a seascape. While not deliberately trying to leave brush makes nor am I trying to banish them, which is why I am using a brush in preference to a roller.. At this stage they will give the boars a very slight texture and as such I have endeavoured to keep all the movements in one direction on the main boards.

The same method of painting has also been carried out on the two coastline boards with sufficient gap for a "beach" to be added later. I have tried to keep the lightest shade of blues closest to the shoreline and with an additional coat will reinforce the light colour. Care was taken to make sure all the boards had the same shade of blue at all the edges so that all the boards will fit together without it looking "odd"! On these two boards I have for the most part tried to follow the coastline with my brush strokes except at the very edges where I have used straight brush stokes so they will fit with the main boards.

The last photo shows a single board slightly closer and at a higher angle. You can see where I have sourced the blue paint as well as the other materials. Two large tubes of blue paint, clearly seen in the photograph are from "The Works" and should be sufficient for the whole project with plenty to spare for use on other later projects Also in evidence is my palette (an old soup bowl) and the paint brush which was part of a set from the 99p store. So you can see everything is accomplished on a limited budget. As time progresses I hope to turn this board into a small fishing village with a protected harbour not sufficiently large for a frigate let alone a ship of the line. Only time will tell if this comes to pass.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading and I will blog again on Monday. All the best Clint.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

What on Earth's going on with me?

That is of course a Rhetorical question! As according to the Psychologists I am currently working with I'm "quite Normal"! Yes it was a surprise to me as well.

What I am really saying is that I have changed my plans for the Broadside game for a third time. Let me explain. The first game was going to be WW1 East Africa, but I lost interest! The second game was going to be A Very British Civil War. I am still interested in doing this but at 20mm scale I can't see any way of making this a stand out game. We all go to shows and there is ALWAYS a 20mm WW2 game, some of them very good indeed. The problem would come from my point of view in making the terrain to the right standard in the time and with both my resources and budget and still have the game look sufficiently good to look like a show game, and not just a normal club game. So last week I informed my club that I just would not have it ready in time. I hated admitting defeat, but I was not going to stress myself out over my hobby, which I should be doing for fun and enjoyment. So we will still do some VBCW but as club games.

Given that time was running out and recognising what I could and could not achieve on my own with a limited budget and resources I have had a drastic re-think. Working from the terrain up I thought about what would be simple to make, Snow, Desert, Sea and Sky sprung to mind. I plumped for sea, as it would be the most versatile and it would not depend on "flying stands".

So seascapes it would be. The top picture shows my quick roughing out of the shoreline. There will be 2 shore line boards with landfall in only one corner. They are arranged such that they might marry up together should they need or remain separate as the situation dictates. The two double length boards (2'x4') will be left blank of any land masses but may have either an indication of shoals and shallows and maybe a free standing island but that is yet to be determined. Using a very old eclectic carving knife, don't use a new one you will get it blunt and will get an ear bashing. Car boot sales (garage sales or Flea markets) will start in this region very soon, about the end of the month and for a very modest fee I shall get a belter (sharper) one. Personally I find them great for shaping polystyrene and as long as you are sensible and always cut away from yourself there is little chance of danger. But just be careful and make sure there is no small things (2 or 4 legged) which are likely to distract you.

I find it easiest to cut the outline out first. Once this was done for both quarters it is a simple matter of angling the electric carving knife at successively lower angles to create the contours. With luck you should be able to discern that in the picture to the right. This is a very quick process but you must be careful where you hold the polystyrene as you don't want your fingers near a power tool specifically designed for cutting meat! Do not expect the cuts to be perfect or to exactly match your plan drawn on the boards. I will admit that I was over eager and had to re cut one quarter but this step does only take a few moments so if you have sufficient materials is no major setback. Once you are happy with the size and shape they were attached in place on the 2 small (2'x2') boards by PVA white wood glue. Regular readers will no doubt remember my fondness for PVA as it is technically a resin (ResinW should anyone really want to get pernicaty). This is where I have left them over night drying. I have placed a firm weight on their tops to hold them in place and to "force" the two surfaces together.

Ok that's the stage I am at with the terrain, but that is of course only part of the game. The rules we shall be using will be Blood Bilge and Iron Balls (BBIB) as I really do like these rules they have an eighties vibe to them and detail each ships capabilities as individuals. A second reason for using these rules is that I have contacted the published and have been informed that they would be willing top "Sponsor" the game. The sponsorship is to take the form of some free rule sets for the club as opposed to any financial incentives. As wargamers free sets of rules are never to be sniffed at so I am happy with that. I shall discuss figures at a later date as I am waiting for some ships to arrive.

 I hasten to reinforce the fact that VBCW is not dead in the water (no pun intended, but I'll take it). It will be an active club game, just not a show game.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading and if the weather and temperature holds I should get this finished in reasonable time. I must say I am quite excited by this change in direction and am looking forward to the next few stages. I hope you are having as good a day as myself. Talk to you later, all the best Clint!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

And so it begins

Despite having a heavy cold, (NO sympathy please), I have been working up the shed. Only a couple of hours but some progress has been made. As you can see in the photo I have supplemented the 2 foot square boards with 2 double sized (2'x4') boards. (I have 2 more small boards not shown and set aside for later use on different projects).

 There is a reason for this which will become evident as work continues. This gives us a 4 foot by 6 foot playing surface. Alan (the main Broadside organiser) has agreed that we can have as large an area as we need so I might well ask for an additional 2 foot length, not for terrain, but for dice rolling, model placement and for any literature we may produce as a club, for the game. By literature I do not mean great works of storytelling prowess that would be stretching it far to far, but club leaflets and meeting dates a little about the rules and the game and the background if you have been to a few shows you'll know what I mean.

The next stage is to plan out what terrain is needed and where on the boards it will go. I have decided to keep it as simple as I can as that will give me a chance to get it finished. Additionally I will want the boards to be as versatile as possible. There was a club game at Broadside last year some 8 feet by 12 feet only capable of one configuration. I am not knocking this approach, but as a small club with very limited resources I think it's better that we at least attempt to get as much use of any built terrain as we possibly can.

Looking carefully in the background you can see the moon boards and top left corner the past table which I have started to convert into Circus Minimus! I have only mentioned those terrain projects to let you know they have not at all been forgotten about. The moon boards were twisting and warping so a few months of lying flat will probably help them straighten out.

On an unrelated note I have been invited to attend a game with "Posties Rejects" in about 10 days time (16th March). I am actually looking forward to it and have offered to bring something edible. (Yes it's a bribe! ). As yet I have not decided if Sweet or Savoury is the way to go.
 Ray has informed me I will be on his side against Mr Angry (aka Fran) and  Big Lee as a consequence I have informed Ray that we shall keep anything edible our side of the table. I just don't have enough time to make some very rough "Poitin" but I don't want anyone getting too rowdy so I won't this time!

That's it for today with luck more again on Thursday!
All the best Clint.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

One off game idea

      I mentioned a one off game idea to Karl (Crooked Dice) and he was kind enough to give me a free figure of a "fembot" as it has a robot mask head. So here is my first attempt to replicate the classic film "West World" onto the table top.  I have tried to recreate the Yul Bryner gunfighter. Unfortunately I could not get an exact copy of the figure so instead went for one I had already. It is a foundry figure from their "wild west Cowboy" range. I did not have a figure that was wearing a shirt without a waist coat. Yes I know that this one is wearing a "firemans" shirt which is different from the film. So we have to accept the figure is representational and not a definitive copy. (I did look for one at Cavalier but came up short). The thing to bear in mind is that it is the idea which makes the game and not the detail of the figure.  Despite the fact that the picture was taken in natural light it has come out very dark. I accept that the figure is painted in dark greys and dark browns but even so it has still the best of the bunch and still far to dark. Oh well!!

West World was of course written by Michael Crichton who then adapted and re-wrote the story which later became "Jurassic Park". While there are similarities there are also differences but they are both about "Theme Parks" which go horribly wrong and try to kill the people there on vacation.  I would recommend the film if you have not seen it. Yes it is dated and it shows, but it is still worth looking at.

So where does that put us with a game? In the film Yul Brynor is the only real nasty trying to kill the star. But that need not be the case in a game. The first time the star and co-star (who dies) encounter robots that have gone wrong is when a rattlesnake bites one of them. Obviously this should not happen, "Health and Safety " would freak! In a game setting however it would be better to have several robots trying to kill the players. At this stage it is only the germ of an idea but I think it has legs as a one of club game as we already have all the terrain and figures we would need, Unless of course I can scrounge more robot heads.

That's it for this week. It all starts again on Tuesday. Thanks for reading and I hope you like the idea. All the best Clint.