Wednesday, January 23, 2013

10mm Guardian Statues Terrain Project

Inspired by the giant statues guarding the river in the Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring movie, I decided I wanted to make something similar for myself to guard the entrance to the elvish kingdom  in my 10mm 'Look, Sarge, No Charts: Fantasy, Ancients and Medieval" (aka "Bear Yourselves Valiantly") game I'm putting together for Cold Wars.
(You can click any photo to see it larger)
The finished Guardians standing watch on a river.
To begin with, I would need suitable figures for the statues.  So, I permanently 'borrowed' two High Elf Spearmen figures from my wife's collection of the old Combat Hex Lord of the Rings Collectible game. (Yes, I had her permission. :-) )  These figures stand approximately 35mm to the eyes, and I figured they would be perfect for large statues in 10mm.

The assembly: plaster rocks, plastic figures and sand all glued to a cut down CD.
First I removed the figures from their plastic bases.  Then, I cut up an old scrap CD to make the bases for these terrain pieces.  Next I glued some old plaster cavern rock outcroppings I had to the CD's.  (Any suitable "rock" substitute could be used here: pink or blue insulation foam cut to shape, or actual real rocks.)  Next I trimmed down the back of the elves' robes and elbows to make them fit snugly to the rock and give the appearance that they were carved from the larger piece.  My final step was to smear some glue on the base, and scatter some sand and pebbles around the rocky outcroppings and statues.
A close up of the Milliput used to help close the gaps between the figure and the rock.
When these assemblies had dried, I used some Milliput to fill in gaps in the areas where the plastic figures met the plaster rocks, and attempted to give them a better appearance of being sculpted from a single piece of stone.
A view with a base of 10mm troops to give a sense of scale.
My next step was to prime the pieces with flat black Krylon Fusion spray paint. I then let this dry overnight.
Primed black, and ready for dry-brushing.
Next, I began the process of drybrushing the pieces.  I began with a dark gray-green, and then used a mid gray. I then did a lighter drybrush with a light gray, then did some light touch up with an almost white gray. Then when this had dried, I flocked the bases using a white glue and brown paint mixture and Woodland Scenics flock, then I added some Woodland Scenics bushes here and there.  The final step, when everything was dry, was to give them a spray with Testor's Dullcoat.
The finished products, again shown with some 10mm figures for scale.
   I'm very pleased with how these turned out, and all in all they did not take long to do.  Most of the time was in waiting for steps to dry.  They are now ready to stand guard over my Elven Kingdom.
Another view of the finished pieces from the reverse side.

Monday, January 21, 2013

GASLIGHT "Quick Start Guide" Now Available

When Buck Surdu and I  published the GASLIGHT Compendium, and combined all the previous GASLIGHT books (and added new stuff), we organized the book in a construction-set, Chinese menu format. This was to facilitate players customizing their GASLIGHT experiences. We found that players were picking and choosing activation, shooting, morale, etc. from the various supplements, so we built The Compendium to facilitate this. A number of GASLIGHT players commented, however, that The Compendium was difficult for newcomers to pick up the game. So we set about developing a free "Quick Start Guide" to help Newbies and Veterans alike.

It is available on our website in the "Free Stuff" Section:

Download it.  Pass it along.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Painted Target Pulp Rocket Sippy-Cup

I was able to paint up one of the Target sippy-cup Pulp Rockets over the weekend, and thought I'd show how it turned out..  These cups are currently on clearance at a number of Target stores across the country.
   Overall, I'm pleased with the results.   Deciding to prime black was a mistake, as it took several coats of the light colors I chose for the color scheme to cover the black undercoat.

Here is the final result.  I took the color scheme from an old Buck Rogers tin toy.
The original cup.
First, I pulled out the plastic straw. Then I primed with Krylon Fusion Flat Black
I cut a small piece of card to fit in the window where the hole for the cup's straw was located.
And I added a washer to the bottom to create an exhaust port. In retrospect these modifications should have been done before priming, but I was so excited to get it prepped for painting that I primed it before I thought about what modifications I wanted to make.
A view of the reverse side.
Another view at a slightly higher angle.  I used some old Space Marine vehicle decals to add some detail. 
A view looking down from the top.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pulp Rocket Sippy-Cup at Target

Fellow HAWK, Greg Priebe, alerted me to these great Pulp style rocket sippy-cups that are currently on clearance at Target stores. Below are three views, shown with 28mm figures. Oddly, at the store where Greg found them they were on clearance for $1.49, and at my local store they were on clearance for $2.08. They will make either great Pulp style rocket ships, or regular sci-fi dropships.  Hopefully in the next couple days I will be able to post some photos of a repainted one.
The famed aviatrix, Red Eagle, and her mechanic, Max, pose with their trusty dog, Spike, in front of their new planet-hopper class rocket ship.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

HAWKs Kickoff 2013 Historicon Armies for Kids Project

This month the HAWKs have kicked off their 2013 Armies for Kids project. This year, the club is painting up several hundred 54mm Plastic ACW figures that were donated to the project by gamer Randy Seybert. The club plans to organize these figures  into skirmish armies that will be distributed to kids who take part in a specially designated four player game at Historicon 2013 wargame convention in Fredericksburg, VA.  The plan now is for each of the four kids who participates in the game to get two 20-man units, a cannon, and a mounted officer for both the Union and Confederates. 
The HAWKS began by having club member Buck Surdu  spray prime all the figures with Krylon Fusion spray paint, half in blue, half in black. Then each club member took home a couple units to paint on their own time.  The club then plans to have a couple painting-bees after the Cold Wars convention to wrap up the painting for this project.
Each figure will receive a simple drybrush and block style paint job, before being mounted on an individual base.
    This is the third year for the HAWKs to participate in their annual Armies for Kids project.  In the past two years they have given away a couple dozen 28mm AWI and 15mm SYW armies, representing over 1000 painted figures, to kids attending Historicon and playing in the club's Armies for Kids games.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Look, Sarge, No Charts: Fantasy, Ancients & Medievals Cold Wars Playtest

This past Friday, at the HAWKs club meeting, I had the opportunity to playtest my "Look, Sarge, No Charts: Fantasy, Ancients, and Medievals" (LSNC:FAM) game that I plan to run at Cold Wars. It also provided the opportunity to give the rules another playtest as well. The figures are 10mm, and are mainly a mix of GW and Eureka.
  The scenario had two High Elf forces defending their homeland from an invading Evil army consisting of two Skeleton forces, and one Goblin force.   The High Elves get reinforcements in the form of an allied Wood Elf force, which enters one of the short table edges, onto the flank of the invaders.  While the game is set up to be played on a standard 6' x 10' convention table, I only had use of a 6' x 7.5' table at the the meeting.  Therefore instead of having the Wood Elves enter on turn one, I delayed their entry until turn 3, to make up for the shorter distance they would have to move.
  Click any photo to see it larger.
A force of High Elves stands ready to defend their homes.
 The victory conditions of the battle were the control of two bridges which crossed a river leading into the Elvish Kingdom. Whoever controlled both bridges at the end was the victor. If each side held one bridge, the battle would be a draw.
The Goblins surge forward.
The game began slowly with all the forces advancing towards the enemy. The Goblin Wargs and Elven Cavalry on the left quickly came into contact. While on the Elven right, the infantry advanced in hopes of occupying a nearby hill.
Overview of the battlefield. In the center foreground is one High Elf force, while in front of the far bridge is the second High Elf force.  Along the far table edge can be seen the Wood Elves, awaiting their turn to enter.
For a few turns, the battle was closely fought, but the overwhelming numbers of the enemy began wearing down the better trained Elves. The delay in the Wood Elves entry began to be felt.
On the High Elves' left wing, they traded blows with the Wargs and Goblins, and with some really bad dice rolling, first their knights retreated, then just a couple turns later their infantry gave way and fled.
Meanwhile, the Elves on the right charge forward into the Skeleton lines, as the Elf Archers cover their flank.
 On the Elves' right wing the infantry charged forth and at first seemed to be giving better than they got, but they were facing two player's worth of Skeleton units, and the overwhelming numbers began to take their toll. The Elven knight, however, performed much better on this wing, and actually began cutting a swath into the Skeleton's flank. Unfortunately, the appearance of Skeleton Cavalry, and Giants in the Elves' rear areas, forced the Elven Knights to pull back and face this new threat.
A view of the field around turn 2.

So, slowly the High Elves forces began to weaken and they set their hopes on the arrival of their Wood Elf allies as their only hope of victory.
The rout of the Elven Knights.  In a spectacular display of bad dice rolling, the Elven Knights rout after only a couple activations of combat with the Wargs.  the lower-moraled Wargs, however, stay on the field.  Meanwhile the lead elements of the Wood Elves can be seen moving in from the left.
 Unfortunately, the arrival of the Wood Elves was too late to make much difference. The left wing of the High Elves, had all fled back over the river, and their Wizard was dead. While on the right, the Elves were slowly being encircled and eliminated .
On the right, he Elves are faring just as badly.  The commander of that wing and his retinue throw themselves into the path of the onrushing Skeleton Cavalry in hopes of slowing down their advance, long enough for the Elven Knights to turn and counter this new threat.
    In the end, the forces of Evil were able to capture both the bridges, and were declared the victors.  The Elves experienced some amazingly bad dice rolling, and it was agreed by the players that the battle should have been a bit closer than it turned out to be.
The Wood Elves finally make it into combat.
   As GM, I think next time I will start the Wood Elves closer.  They just took too long to affect the battle how I envisioned, allowing the Evil side to too easily overwhelm the High Elf defenders. 
In  a last ditch effort the Elven Army Commander attacks the Skeleton left wing commander, but having already been weakened by an attack from the giants, is killed by the Skeleton leader.
In the end, all the players had fun which is what counts.  And we had the opportunity to test out some new aspects of the rules, as well as developing some more rules questions that we will need to consider.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Eve Gaming with the HAWKs

As has become the yearly tradition with the HAWKs, Buck Surdu and his wife, Candy, hosted a New Years Eve gaming party at their house on Monday 12/31/12.
   First on the gaming line-up, Buck ran two simultaneous GASLIGHT games.  He had planned to run two games at once because both were playtests for games he will be running at Cold Wars, and were designed for only 8 people each, and there were nearly 20 guests (including spouses) at the party.   
Buck, in khaki pants, gets ready to start GM-ing his two GASLIGHT games

Both games involved Buck's perennial Pulp hero, Duke Morrison, along with his friends 'Boats' Morgan, and Wrench.  The game I played in pitted Duke and his friends, aided by Sgt Preston and his dog Yukon King along with some RCMP Mounties, against a group of trappers, gangsters, and their Venusian employers.  The Venusians had kidnapped the daughter of Professor Nanini and had her tied to a saw in an old mill (in 12 turns she would hit the blade and be sawn in half), near where they had set up a laboratory in a nearby cave.  Duke and his mates, needed to free the professor's daughter, and find the hidden laboratory and blow it up.
Sgt Preston (mounted), and his Mounties head for the old mill, as Yukon King leads the way..
The action was fast and furious and the firepower of the heroes and their Mountie allies, soon took it's toll on the bad guys.  First Duke was able to free the girl from certain death and then he and his pals headed for the lab.  By then the resistance against them had crumbled, and Duke made his way past a couple leftover gangsters, dispatching them along the way, and into the lab.
    Meanwhile on the other table, Duke and his friends were tasked with freeing the professor's daughter from a group of evil Thugees deep in the jungles of India.

The ancient Indian temple where the professor's daughter is being held prisoner for future sacrifice

Everyone seemed to have a great time in these two games. In the Mountie game, the Good guys won, and in the Indian Temple game, the Bad Guys won.
   Afterwards we took a break for a great lasagna dinner, while the next GM, Noah, set up his popular dungeon crawl game.  Unfortunately, I had to leave after we ate, so couldn't take part in the second game session of the night. 
The action in the mill.  Duke Morrison (in white sweater) bursts into the room where the Venusians and a gangster are guarding the professor daughter (in pink dress), as she moves slowly towards the spinning saw blade.

It was a great way to end the year with good friends and good food. Many thanks go to the Surdu's for hosting this annual event.
Here's to a great 2013!
Happy New Year, to all my readers!

As the action moves towards the hidden laboratory entrance, Yukon King makes a heroic leap onto a Venusian, killing him, but unfortunately falls to a shot from another nearby Venusian.

As the action winds down in the Indian game, the heroes, now dragging an unconscious Duke Morrison, make their way into the lower temple to free the professor's daughter.  They did, but were unable to escape back out of the temple.