Sunday 26 August 2012

First Bull Run

I used Battle Cry with solo rules based on posts on boardgamegeek. Roll a D6 and compare it to your command value- if it is more then draw and play one card. If it is equal or less, then draw two and play the best card. 'Probe' cards allow you to draw an additional card next turn. 'Fight back' gets played at the first opportunity. Simple!

I played the first scenario- First Bull Run, 21 Jul 1861. The Rebels got a lousy series of cards and the Union beat them to Henry Hill. JEB Stuart had a very lucky escape on the left flank. The Union took the hill, but at considerable cost. The Union won 6-3. History changed!


Game end

Battle Cry Diary Day 4.5- finished!

I just ploughed ahead last night and got them done by 11pm, so I put on the matt varnish and went to bed. This morning I took some photos and played a solo game- great fun!
All the figures

I'm really please with them- I can't believe what a difference the matt varnish makes (Testors Dullcote).
Johnny Reb

If I was really keen, I'd trim down or touch up the edge of the flags where the stickers still show white. Also, I'd bend the flags a bit.

Overall, I'm really impressed with the utility of the dip for a project like this one. I got these on Wednesday night, prepped and primed them and did up a few test figures on Wed/ Thurs, then got into them on Fri and Sat and they were done by late Saturday. I've never painted so much so well so fast.
Union Artillery


Confederate Artillery


General Officers
Edit: and it goes nicely into the box as well:

Saturday 25 August 2012

Battle Cry Diary Days 3-4

Well, I've leapt into the painting. I got a bit of feedback from my previous post, and went for a very slightly darker grey for the Rebels, and stuck with the darker blue for the Union. Then I just sat and painted. I took all the shortcuts- no buckles or buttons, few straps, no beards, horses and hair all the same colour, etc. And I've churned them out. The base painting is finished: all they need is dipping, flocking, varnishing and base touching-up. And the sticking on of flags. I intend for them to be done by lunch tomorrow.

For a purely gaming project, I've been impressed with the speed this has gone down. I'm hoping I don't muck up the dip. I'll post detailed pictures when they're done.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Battle Cry Diary Days 1-2

Another grasshopper gamer change of pace! I received my copy of Battle Cry yesterday, and am planning to smash out all the units quick-smart. I will be using my dip experience from my WotR painting.

I've already shown my preference for painted boardgame pieces here, here, and here.

I know very little about the ACW. I can name the famous battles, but who won them, and which side Jackson or Lee fought for, are a mystery to me. Battle Cry nicely scratches an itch by being a self-contained game using the first iteration of Richard Borg's Command & Colors rules, which I have really enjoyed for Naploeonics.

I'm just going for a quick and functional paintjob here. All the units will be identical; no different trousers for the Southerners from me, no fancy flags, all very vanilla! I do want it to look right to my eyes, however, and have done a quick trial of coats and trousers for both sides.

I prefer the darker blue (right) for the Union.

I think that the pale grey Confederate trousers (left) look better than the blue-grey or same-as-my coat-grey.

These will eventually get flocked and matt-varnished. The figures are a firm plastic, akin to plastic cutlery. I was expecting something softer and more rubbery, but was pleasantly surprised. I haven't done any deflashing, and didn't have to straighten any flags or rifles. Nothing was broken.
122 figures!

I prepped them by a quick wash in soapy water, then sand was PVA'd to the bases, and finally stuck to tongue depressors and sprayed Army Painter Leather Brown.

Less typing, more painting! And Ken Burns in the background.

Monday 20 August 2012

15mm Blaze Away characters

These six 15mm figures are from Blaze Away miniatures.

I've painted the figure on the far left as a Marcinko-esque PMC leader. The next two I'll be using as Ardistani National Police.
Richard Marcinko
Afghan National Police

The guy in shorts is some sort of Aussie/ Kiwi/ South African contractor, and the man in black is a ringer for the bad guy in 'Black Hawk Down'.  On the right, an officer for my Ardistani National Army.
Mo'alim (Black Hawk Down)
The figures are a good match for Peter Pig.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Situation deteriorates in Ardistan

Just some staged photos to spur me on to do more terrain for my 15mm not-Afghanistan project, Ardistan.

Buildings by Gamecraft and painted as per my previous post. HMMWV from Irishserb, lonely Marine from Peter Pig, distant Taliban from QRF.

I still need a little flock around the building bases. I was thinking of adding doors, but am too lazy. I still need to make a lot of walls and scatter terrain, as well as a few more Gamecraft building compounds and ruined buildings.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Attack these blocks!

('Attack the block', great film, btw.)

I'm very happy with the MDF wave of scenery options available to today's gamer. Here's a look at the 15mm block of flats from Gamecraft Miniatures, and how I paint them up.

Disclaimer: Gamecraft sends a lolly/ sweet/ candy with their packages, that doesn't bias my opinion of them at all... :-)

First, assemble your kit.* I use Selleys Aquadhere, any PVA would do. The MDF is laser cut and sits together squarely, they feel really solid and indestructible (they almost are- I stood on one and it sustained significant damage... still gameable, though!). The building comes with a floor (i.e. not four free-standing walls), which adds to the rigidity and squareness.

I spray the inside with Army Painter Leather Brown to give a bit of depth through the windows. And it's quicker than painting.

I glue on a piece of 1mm sheet styrene under my buildings to give it a slight lip around- this is my personal aesthetic choice to help 'blend' the terrain and the board. Then I use some Polyfilla Large Cracks to plaster over the joints- not 100% necessary as they're minimal, but it works for me.

I paint them with Dulux Design Stone textured paint in the European Stone tint. This is the same colour I've painted my desert baseboards.
2L goes a long way...

Then I glue sand around the basing lip.

The building gets a wash with Woodland Scenics C1217 Cement, and the sand gets a wash with C1221 Raw Umber. When dry, the whole thing is heavily drybrushed with Jo Sonja's Background Colour 'Cashmere'.
Top level is unwashed; bottom level is washed and drybrushed.

Flock the base to taste, and- voila!

Repeat for as many floors as necessary. I've left the roof the same colour for now, what do you think?
Highrise or two-storey- very versatile
The building is a blank canvas- you could easily spruce it up with a few key accessories (windowsills, posters, drainpipes, graffiti, AC units, antennas, balconies, landing pads, battle damage, brickwork... not to mention the interior!).

Coming soon: more Gamecraft buildings!

*Actually first: inhale the aroma of burnt wood as you open the packet... mmm...

Sunday 5 August 2012

Lord of the Ring- Dwarves

I love the concept of the war between the goblins and the dwarves- bitter generations of hatred, desperate fighting in the dark and gloom, all unheard of by the wider world as it goes on beneath their feet. I was fortunate to get one of the LotR Dwarf Battle boxes a few years ago, but only painted the figures sporadically. I’ve picked up a few extra second hand figures along the way. Because I painted these at different times there are subtle variations in colour, and not-so-subtle variations in the care given to the painting! The earlier ones are more carefully painted, the later ones reflect the frustrated rush to just get them finished.
 Here they are- I went for a not-too-rich colour scheme, with not so much gold bling and a simple blue/ cream palette to offset my goblins’ red/ green. Sand and model railway ballast was PVA’d to the base, painted black, and drybrushed.
Warriors with shield
 I was never really happy with the creator’s design for a round shield with three rivets, and went for a very plain paintjob on the shield. Maybe the dwarves use them to identify friend from foe in the dark, maybe they are meant to resemble the sun or moon…
Warriors with two-handed axes
Warriors with short bows
Rangers with long bows
Rangers with throwing axes
Rangers with two-handed axes
Iron Guard
Standard bearer
Captain with shield
I carefully split this dwarf captain’s fingers so he is looking a little Churchillian… if I was really keen I’d have added a shield to his back.
  Khazad Guard get the lion’s share of the gold in my force, but I don’t have many figures- I have several whose axes were snapped before I got my hands on them.
Khazad Guard
 Dwarf adventurers- I gave them pure white rather than cream.
Murin and Drar
 I had a spare Gimli, and I tied him into the rest of the force via his cloak.
Gimli, son of Gloin
Truth be told, I've never really got them out and had a good large game with all of them.

Still to paint, don’t know when…:

  • Dain
  • 12 Dwarf Rangers