Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dollar Tree Tractor-Trailer

While doing some stocking-stuffer shopping in the Dollar Tree store this week, I came across this great tractor-trailer rig.
It is cheaply designed, being molded in one piece, and having all the windows represented by stickers. But it could easily be fixed up with a good paint job. It has no designated scale, but measures approximately 9 inches long, and looks okay to me next to the Wargames Factory Zombies shown below.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Old Glory Army Snowball Throwers

At Fall In, I had the good fortune of Buck Surdu giving me the free figure set he got for signing up with the Old Glory Army. The set contained 6 kids throwing snowballs and six evil looking snowmen as well as a small set of rules for fighting battles between the kids and the snowmen. The kids measure approximately 28mm in size, and the snowmen measure approximately 45mm-50mm. Buck knew I could use the figures in my Christmas Wars games, whereas he had little use for them.
I needed ten snowball throwers to make a GASLIGHT unit, and was lucky enough when fellow HAWK Don Hogge gave me four of his to complete my 10 man unit.
So, since the con I've been busy painting them and have just finished the set of six original snowball throwing kids.

The figures are well animated and paint up easily. The set comes with four boys and two girls.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dollar Tree Icicle Ornament Ice Spire Terrain

On a recent trip to the Dollar Tree Store I came across these packs of plastic icicle ornaments, and were struck by their asymmetric, uneven shape. I bought a few packs to experiment making terrain for my Christmas Wars games.

I first clipped the hanging ring off of the top end. Then I cut the icicles in half into uneven lengths using a hack saw. I cut them at an angle so they would lean out in random directions when based. I then glued the cut halves onto rough circles I had cut from foamcore. Finally I textured the bases with Woodland Scenics snow.

I'm very pleased how they came out, and I think I will also try making a few and spray painting them and then painting them up like rocky spires for more conventional Sci-Fi and Fantasy games.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dystopian Wars Federated States of America Fleet

I began work on a Dystopian Wars project last month by painting my first fleet. I picked the Federate States of America fleet as I liked the look of it the best. The boxed starter fleet comes with a battleship, 3 cruisers, 9 frigates, 2 bombers, and 10 tiny resin aeroplane counters. I also purchased the aircraft carrier separately
The models are mostly cast in resin, with the turrets being cast in metal. There was a bit of flash, especially on the frigates which needed to be cut away.
I began by spraying everything with a flat black primer and then drybrushing with GW Chainmail to bring out the details in the metal work. The details sculpted into these models are amazing, and really lend themselves to drybrushing. The decking was done with Americana Khaki Tan with a GW Devlan Mud Wash.
I am currently painting the Kingdom of Britannia Fleet, and will post pictures of it when I am done.

FSA Battleship

FSA Frigates

FSA Frigates

FSA Cruisers

FSA Cruisers

FSA Carrier

FSA Carrier

FSA Bombers

FSA Aeroplanes

Monday, November 14, 2011

HAWKs Begin 2nd Annual Armies-For-Kids Project

Last Saturday, November 12th, the HAWKs (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers)began work on their 2nd Annual Armies-For-Kids project. The purpose of the club's annual project is to give away free armies to kids, in an attempt to help grow the hobby. The initial project was launched last year, after the club received a sizable donation of unpainted 25mm American War of Independence figures from the Wally Simon estate, with the simple request that the club see the figures got into the hands of kids. The HAWKs then held several painting bees to paint the hundreds of donated figures. The results of last years project was the presentation of painted opposing armies, as well as a gift bag of terrain and playing aids, to 8 children who participated in specially designated kids games at Historicon '11.

This year, the club is working on a Seven Years War project based on the generous donation of 15mm figures from Robert Piepenbrink, as well as the donations of additional SYW figures from Erik Engling, and Ed Mohrmann. The club has been aided this year by some financial donations from folks who generously gave the club money at Historicon, and the painting support of John Spiess, who offered to paint two of the giveaway armies for us.
Last Saturday, eleven members of the HAWKs got together to begin work on painting the armies for this year's giveaway. These armies will be presented to kids at Historicon 2012.

For additional information contact me at

For details on last year's project see:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall-In Report Part II: Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning to a light rain, and by around 9:00 AM it had already started turning over to snow. Snow grew heavier as the morning progressed, and the snowflakes were huge, so it accumulated quickly even though the temperature was still above freezing.

A couple hours after it started. Folks heading over to the dealers hall.

Early afternoon, and it's starting to cover everything.

Mid afternoon and it's really piling up.

At 9:00 I started my first game of the day, 'The Lost Legion of Venus by GASLIGHT.' This scenario had a small French force being assaulted on three sides by native Parrotmen and Lizardmen. Unfortunately in my morning stupor I forgot to include some of the modifications that had been developed during playtesting, so the game turned out to be very one sided in favor of the French. I learned a valuable lesson to write stuff down, rather than trying to remember it all in my head.

A wide view of the table.

The Parrotmen's pet dinosaur moves to cross the river.

A unit of Parrotmen and one of Lizardmen try to come to grips with the French invaders.

Another one of the Saturday morning games,Buck Surdu's 'Look, Sarge, The French are Counter-attacking', using the Look,Sarge, No Chart: WWII rules.

Another view of the table.

Players moving their troops.

French tanks and infantry assault a German held wood line.

Also, running Saturday morning was Greg Priebe and Todd Harland-White's, 'Dr Who: Victoria Hawkes and the Steel Menace' game. This game turned out to be a real crowd pleaser, with lots of bad impressions and classic dialogue exchanged during the action.

Union troops and townsfolk face the Cyber menace.

Cyber troops are everywhere, but where's the Doctor?

Sam Fusion ran his 'Look, Sarge, the Americans are Landing in France' game starting at 2:00 PM. The scenario depicted action on the southern coast of France during WWII, and used 20mm figures.

A German held town.

At 3:00 PM, James 'Tank' Nickle ran his, 'Look, Sarge, It's the Largest Cavalry Battle of the Civil War' theme game. This scenario was the battle of Trevilian Station in 1864, and featured lots of beautifully painted 10mm ACW cavalry.

A close up of two Rebel cavalry brigades as they deploy to hold off a Union advance.

As evening approached, we began setting up the 'HAWKs 1000 Great Race' game. This game was to commemorate the club's 1000th convention game in the last decade. A group of 20 players rotated between four tables each featuring a different race, and accrued points for winning or placing as well as achieving certain objectives like rescuing lost explorers and finding treasure.

A great time was had by both the game masters and the players.

Buck Surdu's dogsled portion of the race.

My zeppelin race table as the zeppelins approach the finish arch.

Don Hogge's desert car race.

A close up of some of the racers battling over treasure.

Todd Harland White's boat race.

A big thanks to all the gamers who visited the HAWKs room during the con, and helped make it a big success for the club.

Fall-In Report Part I: Friday

I arrived at Fall-In Thursday night, and was up early Friday morning to help Buck Surdu set up a pick-up game of LSNC: Napoleonics. I had a great time playing in the game, and am pleased how the rules are coming along. We had several passing by gamers ask to join in for an hour or so before the games they has registered for began, and then opting to stay and play the whole game because they were having such a good time.
After the game, I had lunch and then went shopping in the dealers hall and flea market and got lots of goodies. In the afternoon, I set up my evening LSNC:WWII game, 'Look, Sarge, the Germans are Rafting on our River", but was disappointed when only two gamers showed up to play. I was able to find them a spot in Eric Schlegel's LSNC: ACW game, 'Look, Sarge, It's the Hornet's Nest', at the next table over, and I too took a command as this game was short of players s well.

Friday evening's 'Look, Sarge, It's the Hornets Nest' game. Players got to take command at the battle of Shiloh using "A Union So Tested" (Look, Sarge, No Charts: ACW) rules.

A Union Division tries to form up as Confederates launch a surprise attack.

The battlelines drawn up around Shiloh Church.

Meanwhile, Buck Surdu had a full compliment of gamers for his 'Captain America by GASLIGHT' game. In this scenario, Captain America and a group of commandos need to blow up as many secret weapons as possible in a heavily defended Hydra military base.

Buck Surdu advises a player, during the Captain America game.

Germans and Americans skirmish around two of Hydra's flying wings.

Captain America surveys the situation as his commandos sneak up on some unsuspecting Germans .

Two of the players discuss tactics during the Captain America game.

Also running Friday night was Todd Harland-White's Halloween themed 'Panic at Space Station Accipitor: The Problem with Pumpkins' game. This game features homecast 1930's era Buck Rogers figures, and a beautifully scratchbuilt space station made by Duncan Adams.

Players try to figure out who's who, as all the figures were wearing paper costumes for the Halloween party on board the station.

A close up of the action.

Next up: Snow, Snow Snow!