Saturday 25 August 2012

Harem complete

I have now finished all the "Fembots" that I currently own. I am not expecting to purchase  more so as far as I am aware that is now it. The latest two are the one in the blue in the middle and the one in the Pink Nightie with the robot face. So that is another set of figures I purchased at BROADSIDE this year. So many more to go I feel I must have caught Shiney-bloody-itis at least for that day. Still ever figure painted is a triumph against the disease.
Thanks for the votes on the poll. I know it's for an idea FAR in the future, so nothing immediate to waffle on about. I am finding it interesting that it is coming out very equally at this stage. You button pushing is appreciated in this respect. Once again my Thanks.
The Cliff Dragon Palace has now started, nothing to show just yet. but the first board has started to take some form of shape and I should be able to share progress on this blog by next Friday if all goes as I hope. (Crosses fingers). I will need to start purchasing some figures for it in the next couple of weeks. I am scouring eBay in the hope of finding what I want cheap, but for the present I just cant see them. For the defenders I am giving myself several options and just not one of them is coming up on eBay at a sensible price, so I may have to buy direct from the manufactures. The week after I do eBay will be flooded no doubt!
Finally, three people have commented on my blog and for the comment to reach my email inbox, but then fail to appear on the blog itself. I have no idea what is causing this. So if you do comment and it fails to appear at least you know I am receiving the comment in private.
That's it for now. Short and not too sweet. Club tomorrow and I have a 15mm WW2 PBI game to loose so this afternoon I will start to work out my force. So there you have it. All the Best Clint

Thursday 23 August 2012

Update 0.2

Tigers Nest Monastery
Using this as inspiration, the Tigers Nest Monastery in Bhutan. I have started to plan the "Cliff Dragon Palace" Which is my working title for this 7TV show game. I need to be clear that the Tigers nest is inspiration, my version will not be a copy in any way. Making a realistic copy would not suit the game too much and it is the game that is more important than the terrain after all. SO I guess I am saying "Oooh nice picture, but it won't look like this!"  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Firstly let me discuss the parameters. At Broadside we can get 5 foot diameter tables free of charge. The standard 2'x6' tables cost us about £5 each to hire last year so as one of the show organisers it makes sense to make the most use of the free tables as possible. I shall therefore build the game to fit within this table boundary.
Fiddlers Green
You only live Dice
 Another consideration is that I want it to be a participation game. The current 7TV participation games fall between two stools. Yes they are all good games look great and play well, that's not the problem. The problem is that the larger games take 2-3 hours to play which most people at shows are not that willing to spend (at least in the UK) sitting at a table playing a game. They want to talk to the traders spend their money grab any bargains they can and see everything else going on. The other option is to have the much smaller games, Like "Fiddlers Green" which can be played in about 40 minutes-1 hour. These are nice taster sessions that allow players to try the rules and still get to see the show. My concept is to combine both these ideas. Therefore I propose 3 or 4 linked games all on interconnected boards. Linking the games will keep a continuity and allow some players, if they choose, to play each of the scenarios in sequence while the majority of players just play one scenario. I hope this will cover both desires.

As I want the scenarios to be very strongly themed I have decided on a "Chinese" Pulp feel. I will keep the forces very limited for each section. Ideally 8 figures each side. This is still a lot of figures over the 3-4 boards but it keeps the morale checks for figure loss simple.

sketch of 1st bard
The Concept for forces of Good (hereafter referred to as Sky Pirates) will be to use the Artisan Sky Pirate figures for the extras on all of the scenarios/boards. I may be more flexible on the Star and co stars, mostly because I don't want to have to keep painting the same figure again and again, but time will tell. While the forces of the Dragon Cult will need to change from scenario board to scenario board. This will allow me to show players different things in the game. I will keep the Pulp "Chinese" Theme throughout though as I want it to feel cohesive. One of the ways to do this is to have some of the extras from board 1 also appear on board 2, some on board 2 to appear on board 3 etc. I hope that makes sense, I am sure it will further along in the project.
So the sketch is of the first board, it consists of a gentle slope up to the main gate, a Gate house, some form of Stable (Maybe for Yaks or camels or donkeys) an open courtyard area where most of the fighting will take place and an inner gatehouse/barracks which blocks the exit up to the next board. All the buildings will be solid simply because people watn to see what is going on and having the action inside buildings just adds unnecessary complications.
I shall start building this board this afternoon. You already know I will show it step by step as each stage is completed. Anyway that is my current plan for the first board.

Observant among you will note a small poll has appeared at the top right. Please feel free to vote. It has nothing to do with this project, and is basically just for fun but with my mind looking towards future projects. And besides Polls are fun.

The question is.... If starting from scratch with no other WW2 armies in your collections which theatre of war would you most like to do?

That's it for today. Have a good couple of Days and I shall blog again on Saturday. All the best Clint

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Home made Bocage.

Continuing with my PBI project I felt I needed some Normandy Bocage. That being the case I thought I'd have a bash at making some. So I made a trial 9 pieces. I think I will need more, now that I have done them, but I thought I should try them out first before making loads, just in case it did not work.  Anyway what follows is a very basic guide should you decide you want to make some yourself.
You will need:
  1. Time, patience and a sense of humour.
  2. Stanley Knife.
  3. Steel edge.
  4. Hardboard.
  5. Polystyrene
  6. Water based paint. Emulsion or Acrylic
  7. PVA
  8. Sand
  9. Clump Foliage
  10. Somewhere you can make a mess.
That being the case I worked up the shed, I have (at present a small work bench which allows me to build things up to 4 feet long and 2 feet wide. Clutter realistically makes this 3 feet by 2 feet but on a good day I can always tidy up and get an extra foot of space.
  • Working with what I had I decided to cut the hardboard with a Stanley knife and the assistance of a steel edge (actually a roofers square bought at a market for £2). In PBI the battle board is divided into squares. With each square measuring 6 inches on a side. I therefore cut the hardboard into strips 5 inches long and 1 inch wide. This is by far the most tedious part of the whole process. There is nothing I can say to make this a joyous event, unless you want to use a power tool, which could work but I like my fingers attached to my hand, so a trusty Stanley knife will do for this task.
  • Once you have sufficient bases cut and you are happy with the size and shape, best to give then a light sanding to rough up the surface and to neaten them up.
  • The fun stage next. break small chunks of expanded polystyrene into pieces about as big as the nail of your little finger. These will become the wall that the hedge sits on. It is especially fun for me as my nephew does not like Polystyrene, and it's always fun to see him squirm.
  • Using PVA (white wood glue) Stick them in a line down the centre of the hardboard bases. You are using PVA as some glues will melt polystyrene and for this that is not the effect you are looking for. Do not worry about the line being straight, Your average medieval farm worker who needed to move large stones was more interested in getting it moved than making it perfectly straight. Close to straight is good enough.
  • Once the glue is dry "Seal" the polystyrene with a couple of coats of water based paint (emulsion or acrylic). I add some PVA glue to the mix as well. The glue dries clear but adds strength so in my book that's a winner.
  • Make sure everything is covered.
  • If you use a stone colour so much the better as you will not need a top coat them. As you can see from the pictures I used a grey.
  • Allow to dry overnight.
  • Using a paint and PVA mix paint the base, taking care not to get too much on what is now the wall of the hedge.
  • Using a sieve sprinkle sand on to the board. This will become the grass.
  • Allow to dry.
  • Once dry remove excess sand with a couple of shakes or taps. Then "seal" the sand with paint. As you can see I used BLACK acrylic for this. I would suggest a quick trip to "the WORKS" to get their big tube of acrylic paint (2 tubes for £5 currently) treat you self get a black and a green perhaps.
  • When sealed I painted the grass a selections of greens. A Basic green to begin with and then dry brushing on a lighter tome by adding yellow.

  • At this stage it starts to look like a piece of terrain. And you really are nearly there.

  • The next stage is to add the clump foliage. I find "Woodlands Scenics" to be the best clump foliage, I grant you that it is expensive, but a pack will go a long way. I would suggest I used about a handful in all to make these nine hedges. Break the clump foliage into small lumps about half the size of a sugar lump. I used 3 different colours but the lighter shade vary sparingly (mostly because I had used a lot on previous projects.) To attache the foliage I dip it in a pool of PVA, to make sure enough glue is involved. As mentioned above it dries clear so no need to be shy with it. Obviously don't overdo it because it takes longer to dry the more you use.  I picked the different colours out of a pile at random. And I did seem to get a nice mix. If you are not getting any variety then feel free to select which piece come next, it's your model terrain after all.

With luck it should come out a bit like mine. Overall if you take out drying time I would guess 3 hours was taken in total, with cutting the boards taking the longest single process, and also the dullest. But it needs to me done so what else can you do.
To Me the big question is having made these as a trial what would I do differently in order to improve them. Overall I am happy with them I do recognise that they are not perfect, but they will serve as Normandy Boacge in 15mm (or 20mm) for the present. However I would change the polystyrene wall section. Next time I will make the boulders wider so that I can better place the foliage on top. The thing about making things for the hobby is you can always improve things as you learn from your mistakes, which must mean I have learnt a LOT! I have yet to add some muddy areas near the two gaps to represent passing farm vehicles or animals, but other than that they are done.
That's today's post, I hope it was of some use to you at least in a "Ahh that's what he did, I would have done it like this...." kind o way. If so let me know I am happy to learn more.

Thanks for reading. I shall post again on Thursday. All the best Clint.

Sunday 19 August 2012

Double trouble

I have called todays post double trouble for two reasons. Firstly I have finished my second Yetti. I am sure you have already looked to the right and noticed him, if not feel free to do so now! As my second Yetti, I have no plans for more just yet, double trouble is a good enough title. The Front on Faceial shot was a bit blurry so I have left that one out, but two photos would seem to fit todays theme better so I will not retake the photo we shall all just have to imagine it! As mentioned last time it is from Newline designs nicely cast and not overly expensive, cheap if you are going purely on the metal involved. When I originally bought these two I was thinking of a 6mm King Kong game. I still have not ruled it out, but as it stands I don't want to make the 6mm scale city, far too many other "priority" projects.
The second item is the list of questions Ray ("Don't throw a one") and Fran ("The Angry Lurker") put forward from one of thier late night discussions. I know that many bloggers have already put thier 20 awnsers up so now you have to suffer mine as well!
1. Favourite Wargaming period and why?
I think I should Say whatever the guys down the club are playing. It is all well and good me saying I like this or that period but if I am doing it on my own then that's not a lot of fun.
2. Next period, money no object?
28mm Battletech! That took no time at all to think about.
3. Favourite 5 films?
In no Particular order, Terminator, Pay it Forward, The Godfather, Once apon a time in the West, and Aliens.
4. Favourite 5 TV series?
Blakes 7, Cheyenne (I was named after this programme), Spooks, Hustle and Thunderbirds.
5. Favourite book and author?
Favorite Book, "Architecture of the Italian Renaissence"
Favorite Author.... don't know so a random I like......"Larry Niven"
If book and author have to be the same publication..... "Dream Park" Lary Niven and Steven Barnes.
6. Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
Duke of Marlbourgh.... I equate my generalship to a par with Captain Mannering from Dad's Army!
7. Favourite Wargames rules?
Having thought long and Hard about this I have to go with Necromunda (1st Edition). It spawned lots of off shoots (never as good as the original) and kept me and my friends ammused for several years.
8. Favourite Sport and team?
Favorite sport to take part in White water Kayaking, favorite Team "England"
9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
Despite the fact that I would like to say something clever like Nazereth to see (or not see) a particular biblical event (or not). I think "realistically" as realistically as one can be when talking about time travel. I would have to settle for going back to win the rollover euro lottery JACKPOT. Win it the week before it reaches the top when no one else won it!
10. Last meal on Death Row?
The Still beating heart of whom so ever framed me to put me on Death row, Ketchup and a couple of slices of bread and butter! Lemon marague pie and Icecream for desert and a bottle of "berlina weiss" beer to wash it down. (Better make it a crate of beer.)
11. Fantasy relationship and why?
Phillipa Forrester. Intelligent, charismatic, witty and good looking.... "Thinking mans Crumpet!" Nuff said!
12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Ideally I would get Nick Park to do me in "Claymation" If you want a "real" Actor, Ron Pearlman.
13. Favourite Comic Superhero?
Favorite hero... My dad of course.
 Favorite Comic superhero, Boris the Bear. He kills all the fluffy animal cartoons in the first edition!
14. Favourite Military quote?
"I counted them all out, and I counted them all back." I vividly recall watching this on my black and white telly.
15. Historical destination to visit?
16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
Not finishing all the wargames projects I have bought figures for in the past.
17. Favourite Fantasy job?
Location scout for the James bond films.
18. Favourite Song, Top 5?
Annes Song By John Denver. Jane By Barenakedladies.Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, Stand by me by Ben E King, and the Earl of Oxfords March.
19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
Provbably the Necromunda campaign I ran about 25 years ago. All the players in it still talk about it and is most likely the reason I said the Necromunda rules for question 7.
20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
Cruelty, injustice and my own inadequacies.
I would also like to pose a couple more questions to Fran and Ray.
21, Top 5 Artists, (2D or 3D including Architecture, print, or design.)
22, Favorite Mythical creature.

Thanks for reading more on Tuesday! All the best Clint, hope that was not too self indulgent.

Post script I ammended a couple of awnsers when I thought about them some more.