Friday 19 July 2013

Tarzan Board Update 2

Firstly thanks for the suggestions last time. Following the suggestions that I needed some water features, (ahhh Charlie Dimmoak) and that a pool with stepping stones and a waterfall was the way to go I leaped into action with the speed of a Sloth on "Mogadon". Every self respecting waterfall needs a cave underneath it so grabbing a 22mm spade bit and an electric drill I added one, as you can see. It looked a little two regular at this stage so I slapped a bit more plaster on.

 Slightly better I thought, but still too artificial looking. So I set at it with a chisel. Those reading ahead can start smirking now as lo and behold the inevitable happened and the plaster on the left hand side of the cave decided to detach itself and crumble. Grrrrrh! A set back, but not a disaster. And I can when in a better mood fix that in a matter of 10 minutes or so. Which means It's on the list when I finish writing this up. So when I blog board update 3 you will see it has all been taken care of.

Next came the tricky idea of a waterfall. As gamers we are always going to want to be able to move figures behind it. Running it straight down the plaster cliff would have been easier for sure, but easy was not in my vocabulary yesterday so a three D waterfall that figures could get behind sounded perfect. And so the idea is and that's the snag. Idea great reality is much harder to achieve. But I'm working on it! The idea is to take a 1.8mm thick strip of clear Perspex to act as the water flow. As you can see I have notched out a section of the cliff at the top which snuggly holds the Perspex in place at one end. I did try to notch the chip board bas at the other end but gave up very rapidly and now have a hole to fill and get smooth as it will represent water and no one like holes in their water! Obviously bare naked Perspex is not going to give the look and feel I want and while might look like a waterfall in abstract, will not do for what I want so there will need to be a lot more work on it.

To cut the perspex I simply used a "Stanley Knife" and a steel rule as I do not have any power tools that I can use that would not shatter the Perspex. Obviously that is not the ideal solution but given some time and effort it will work. Scoring and snapping works better if working on small sections but for a length of 12 inches It would in my experience be very likely to shatter. To get the bend I simply heated the Perspex with a paint stripper heat gun and bent it into shape. In order to get figures underneath along with the required hand to move them I have had to project the water out quite a long way. so I may go back and add some more rocks and cliff at the top section I will see how I feel later today or tomorrow.
And that is the problem with retro-fitting an idea. Still it is a very good idea and worth the effort I think. Despite the fact that I will probably have to remake the whole section of the cliff.

 Elsewhere I have covered the polystyrene edges where the water will go to create a rock shelf . Not very clear in the picture, but at least it gives a clue. I have also created this rocky effect on one of the other edges which is not visible on the pics today but you will notice on the final reveal.

So that should give you an idea of where I am with this board and where I intend to make some adjustments. I will continue to move the board on as well as paint a few more figures for it. Talking of Figures I would like to say a public thanks to Michael at  28mmvictorianwarfare for furnishing me with a pair of 28mm crocs! One of which is on the paint table at the moment, the other is waiting to see how it's friend turns out! Two crocs on this size board is MORE than enough I would think and will definitely put bathers off!

Despite the fact that not a lot if showing, quite a bit of progress has been maid. I hope to have the start of the Villainous cast ready for Sunday so until then Take care keep cool and try to avoid sun-stroke! All the best Clint.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Lord of the Jungle.

 Well here are my versions of "TAR&AN" Good cast. I'll sort out the stats for them all later. Not making excuses but I did find them very hard to paint. All the figures are from NorthStar  and are well cast and well proportioned, a little too well proportioned if I am honest and as such the muscle definition is not as easy to pick out as one would enjoy to paint. Then again you know what bad craftsmen say about their tools. Four figures in a pack, Tarzan, Jane, Boy and Cheetah. And very nice for the price they are too.

Starting with Tarzan armed with his typical hunting knife his hair covers half of his face which I found difficult to get too much expression on and he has ended up looking startled! With Just a loin cloth and a single feather the bulk of the figure is an exercise in blending skin tone and defining his muscles. Being honest he was the second hardest figure in the pack to paint. but given the 2 foot rule he will look very pleasing on the table top.

Jane by contrast was the most fun to paint. I did have to repaint her clothes as I did try to make a leopard skin pattern first time out and it all went horribly wrong. Again she caries a knife but no other equipment, not even a feather. The TV version of Jane is with dark curly hair, yet the films have her a blonde. So I went for a natural looking brown colour, as the blonde look would have made the figure too light in tone in my opinion. She could also be used as "Sheena Queen of the Jungle" or in a pre-history game as could Tarzan.

 Boy was by far the hardest to paint. But I am not sure I will actually be using him in the scenario so I am not worried about that. The reasons he was harder to paint is that his muscles should be less well defined as he is younger and still growing. Yet when painted that way he just looked anaemic stood next to Tarzan and Jane. It is interesting to note that Boy is usually just called "Boy" in most encounters but does have a couple of other names depending on who the script writer was. So I will just stick with the name "Boy as it is the most usual.

Lastly but not leastly "Cheetah" the staple side-kick to Tarzan in most TV productions, presumably because Chimpanzees are easier to control and take direction better than Gorillas! This was an easy paint job, especially by comparison. Having looked at several pages of Google images of chips I went for pink skin rather than black again for contrast. The big open mouth is packed with teeth, you are forgiven for looking at the picture and thinking he had been drinking milk, ready to give anyone who threatens Tarzan et al a nasty bite. You are forgiven if you thought he had been drinking milk from looking at the picture, I may have to give them a dirty brown was to dull them a little.

And Finally a group shot of what I think will be the whole of the Heroic cast for the TAR7AN game. This gives you a very good idea how large the Gorillas are in contrast to the chimp.

I shall now start the Villainous Cast and hope to have them finished by this time next week.

I shall try to do a bit more work on the board today and tomorrow and if it progresses well I'll do an update on Friday. Thanks for reading, have a good couple of days and I hope to see you again on Friday. Until then take care and enjoy whatever the weather brings you. Cheers Clint

Monday 15 July 2013

PBI Disaster

I played a game of PBI against Graham at the club yesterday. I am not going to make any excuses. I was completely outplayed. The dice gods were not kind, nor were they totally horrid. It was a combination of Graham playing very well and me playing badly.

My American Infantry company were in defence and his German Infantry company were attacking. Graham had a bit of luck with the set up and the terrain favoured him and moved 2 of the three game objectives to as close to his start line as it was possible to get. This was my first mistake. I should have anticipated and set up better. I then decided that I needed to get at least one objective back so set my troops up to counter attack one of the objectives. Then Graham unleashed his artillery and pinned all those troops. Unable to return fire he used his usual German MG rule and brought fire to bear on the defenders to the extent that I was both pinned and bearing casualty markers and my "Gifted" Platoon commander was also dead.
My turn came and I also used an artillery strike against a whole platoon of infantry moving in the open. It landed on target, so they would be pinned next turn, but despite the lack of cover only a single casualty. With all my infantry "pinned" and with casualties and without a leader they were all on one action pip so it was either try to remove casualties, try to remove the pin markers or get one shot back. The platoon did manage to remove 2 of the three pin markers which just set them up as target central on Graham next turn. I also had 2 Shermans on the board (66 points out of the 400 total force points so good value I think). The motivated badly and each was able to fire the main 75mm gun once and a Machine gun once. One tank had no effect, the other have very limited effect. I rolled for reinforcements. Each Platoon off table rolled 9 d6 and each platoon only scored 1 6 so those troops were not interested in coming to play just yet.
 On to turn 2.  Graham shoots the guys in the trenches and foxholes and that platoon drops to over half casualties, with no leader and parts of it "Pinned". So he rushes some troops forward and takes the trench, with 3 casualty markers in it so they would have to stay on the table and could not be removed unless I could retake the trench. My Pinned troops could not move so that would leave a tank to take a trench with Panserfausts and Panserschreks in it. So that was not going to happen! Given that Graham had free troops over the other side on the board he rolled high for the action pips and managed to get them adjacent to the last objective.

Ok I thought I'll see how the next turn plays out for me and take it from there. My Infantry did not break, but neither could they do anything so it was all down to the two medium tanks. on 2d6 they both managed to roll 5 each time. so I did my best, but they ended up doing "Diddly Squat!". So I thought I'd roll and see if I could get any reinforcements. As it happened 1/2 a support platoon did decide that they could arrive as did 2 pieces of artillery....... but at this time it was too little too late! I would only be able to put them on the table edge and Graham would get a free turn in effect. Then with far less troops I would need to take back all three objectives. So I conceded. I was totally out played, and I have to admit it was my fault. Nothing I can say will change that. So well done Graham, I have learnt a couple of valuable lessons so I should play better next time. (Yeah right!)

I am not going to say it was a good game for me it was a disaster! I don't even think Graham particularly enjoyed it as there was no real element of challenge in it. But sometime games play this way and we will play again as we both know the rules work really well most times. Oh well enough said, you can't win every time. And if I did wargaming only to win I would have given it up many years ago!

SO here is a quick heads up as well. These glass beads, very similar to those used by wargmers in certain games are available in TESCO's for a mere £2 a pack. The packs are considerably larger than those in wargames stores and at shows and for the price are a real bargain. The down side is that they only seem to do Black, White and Clear. However for the price it is a good set of game markers.

That's it for today, I must get painting as I want to show some TAR7AN figures on Wednesday. So until then "Keep Calm and roll the dice!" Best wishes Clint