Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dollar Tree Easter Egg 6mm/10mm Sci-Fi Buildings

This is the third, and final, terrain article from my trip to the Dollar Tree last weekend. (See previous two articles for my other terrain projects from the Dollar Tree.)  I found these jewel style faceted Easter eggs while shopping there, and thought they might make good geodesic dome style buildings for either 6mm or 10mm Sci-Fi
You get a half dozen center-split eggs for a dollar. While I used the bottom halves for my buildings there's no reason you couldn't use the more pointy top half as well.
I took the bottom half off one of the eggs and at first I tried cutting a doorway in it, but the plastic is very brittle and it shattered. I then decided to make a door and doorway out of heavy paper. There are two vent holes in the bottom half of the egg, now top of the building; so in these I glued some little plastic bits from the bitz box to make some sort of sensor arrays.
The damaged building came about where then brittle plastic shattered while trying to cut it.  Shown with a 6mm Epic figure for scale

I then spray-painted them flat black.
Again shown with a 6mm Epic figure for scale.
Afterwards I gave them a quick coat of blue-gray paint and a lighter dry-brush, then painted the plastic "sensor"  bits silver, and added a decal to the front of the building to break up all the monotone color.
The final results.
 They were very quick and easy to make, and I'm very pleased with the result.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dollar Tree 6/10/15mm Mud Huts

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made a trip to the local Dollar Tree store this past weekend, and found some neat items for making some terrain.  I had been wanting to make some primitive looking huts to represent Goblin houses for an upcoming scenario involving my 10mm Goblin forces, so I was keeping my eyes open for material I could use.
   The first thing I found was this great fibrous Easter grass, that would work great for thatch, as well as grass tufts for figure bases.

Next I found these Seed Starter pots that were made from a pressed paper pulp material and had a great natural texture.  I thought if I cut these down they would make a great 10mm mud hut.
Here are the pots, by cutting them to different sizes you could make anything from a 6mm to a 15mm hut.  They are a bit small to do one in 25mm, unless you want a very small hut.
So, I got to work. First I cut one of the Seed Starter pots down to about 3/4 of an inch high. I then went outside and got some small twigs and cut those into 3/4 inch sections. After I did that, I split each twig section lengthwise to make two half-twig pieces. I then glued four of these at approximately equal distances around the pot to form log supports.
here is one of the pots cut down, shown with a 10mm figure for scale.
Next, I took some of the Easter grass and cut it into short lengths and glued it to the top of the "hut", leaving the drain hole in the pot uncovered to represent a fire smoke vent. Then as a final step I made a small door out of flat toothpick sections.
Here is the final assembly, shown with a 10mm figure for scale.

  After all the glue had dried, I sprayed the whole thing black.
The final step was to paint the finished hut.  I dry-brushed it with a series of darker to light mud tones. Then I painted the wood in slightly grayer browns.  Finally I dry-brushed the thatch a series of darker to lighter yellows.
The final paint job. Shown with some 10mm Goblins
I'm really pleased with how these turned out, and they are quick and simple to make.

Dollar Tree Easter Grass Tufts

 I made a trip to the local Dollar Tree store this past weekend and found some neat terrain items.  One of these were bags of Easter grass made out of a natural fibrous material that makes great grass tufts for figure bases. I also used some to make thatched roofs.  It comes in four colors: green, off white, purple, and pink, and each bag offers a lifetime supply of tufts.  I picked up a bag each of the green, off white and purple.   And applied some to some figure bases and am quite pleased with the outcome.
Check out the photos below:

Here is an example of each color in use.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

GASLIGHT 10 Years Ago: Cold Wars 2003

With Cold Wars 2013 just a couple weeks away, I thought it was time to jump in the ol' time machine and take a look at some GASLIGHT scenes from Cold Wars 2003, 10 years ago.
Todd Harland-White (blue shirt, glasses) running his "Black and Decker Amidst the Dunes of Doom" game. Featuring all kind of fun Egyptian mayhem.  Who knew Dustbuster packaging made such nifty Egyptian statuary? 

A close up of the Dunes of Doom game. Here are industrialists  Black and Decker themselves, operating their new-fangled steam drilling machine.

Rob Beattie ("Battles by GASLIGHT" author) hosted "How Few Remain by GASLIGHT." Confederate States troops with Euro allies mix it up with the USA and their Prussian friends.

Rob (pointing) had all kinds of beautiful "toys" in this game.

Saturday morning I ran, "First Battle of Resurfaced Atlantis, 1891" a big Battles by GASLIGHT game featuring 15mm figures

Another view of the Resurfaced Atlantis game.  British and Prussians were battling over resources on the fabled island

Saturday night I ran, "The American Civil  War by GASLIGHT". Here a Union jump-pack trooper has landed on a Confederate airship

While on the ground, various steam vehicles and troops duke it out.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fuson-Con II: A Day of GASLIGHT and LSNC Gaming

Yesterday, Saturday 2.17, Buck Surdu, Dave Wood, Duncan Adams, and I went up to Gettysburg, PA for Fuson-Con II. Fuson-Con is a small day of gaming hosted by Sam Fuson and Kathy Toft at their farm just outside of Gettysburg. We went up to run some games, and Sam invited a bunch of his friends over to play. It was a great day of gaming and good food.  Sam and Kathy are great hosts.  Sam had two ping-pong tables set up in his downstairs, so we could run two games at the same time. There was about 16 folks there to play.
(As usual, click on any photo to see it larger)

A view of the table before the action. The Germans are at the far end, the fort is in the middle, and the expedition troops and tractor are on the closer end of the table

The first game I ran, was an old favorite GASLIGHT scenario of mine: Victoria Hawks and the Lost Roman Colony.  This game features Our Heroine, Victoria, and some of her friends, on an African expedition in the 1880's, and they have just stumbled upon a lost colony of Romans deep in the African jungles.   At the same time, a treacherous Roman Priestess from the colony has alerted a nearby German colonial garrison that there is a lot of treasure in the Romans' fort, so the Germans set out to take the treasure.
The German forces move out.  Krieghosen in the foreground, and the walkers in the distance.
The Germans have two Sea Battalion units, two Natives units, two steam walkers armed with gatlings, and four "Krieghosen" armored suits.  Victoria and friends have a unit of British expedition troops, three Roman units, a steam-tractor with gatling and a small cannon, and the Romans' secret weapon: six giant gorillas.  There's just something about a scenario with Giant Gorillas vs Germans that is a crowd pleaser. :-)
The battle rages. In the foreground, a giant gorilla, with some help from the expedition troops, takes on  a unit of natives, while another gorilla goes after one of the Krieghosen attacking the wall.

The game began with the Germans advancing along their entire front.  They need to move the Krieghosen armored suits, which are equipped with powered circular saw attachments on one of the hands, up to the Roman fort in order to cut a hole in the timber walls.  It's their only means of accessing the inside of the fort.
  On turn two, the giant gorillas arrive from the jungle along the table edge.  These are the Roman side's best chance of battling all the German vehicles.
The giant gorillas battle the steam walkers and a unit of Germans. One gorilla has fallen, and is being encircled by German troops
     The Germans did really well, on their vehicles' Sustain rolls, and it looked like they were going to be unstoppable in their advance to the walls.   The British steam tractor, however, had trouble all game rolling it's Starts and Sustains, and spent most of the game stuck behind the fort, as the tractor's commander tried to find the operators manual.
A gorilla bashes a steam walker causing an internal explosion in the engine compartment. The walker's commander, bottle in hand, climbs nonchalantly from the wreckage.
     Eventually the German vehicles began to fail their Sustains and their advance towards the wall slowed, just as the Apes reached them.  Four of the apes went after the two German steam walkers, and the other two moved to intercept the Krieghosen moving towards the wall.  Fierce battles developed as the apes tried to bash the walkers on one side of the fort, and the natives attacked one of the apes on the other side.  A couple of the apes fell down (rolling a 20 on a Scuffle roll in melee) and were quickly swarmed and dispatched. 
Circle of carnage.  By games end this gorilla, with some help from the expedition troops, had chewed through two native units. Meanwhile, in the background, the Expedition's steam tractor finally moves up into the fight.
 In the end, the apes took their toll, with both German walkers out of commission, and the Sea Battalion companies so badly battered,  and natives decimated, that even if the Krieghosen troopers were able to cut a hole (which they were just about to do), there would be no chance of fighting the fresh Roman troopers in the fort and winning.   So the game was declared a victory for Victoria and her Roman compatriots.
    While I was running my game, Dave Wood was running a game of Fate of Battle (Look, Sarge, No Charts: Napoleonics) using his collection of 25mm figures.  Sadly, I didn't get a chance to get away from my game to take any pictures.
    Both of the morning games ended around 1:00 PM, and we took a break for lunch, as the second games of the day were set up.  For the afternoon session I ran a John Carter of Mars by GASLIGHT game, and Buck Surdu did a Look, Sarge, No  Charts: WWII game with Poles vs Germans in 1939.
A view of the table at the beginning of the game.
     My John Carter game was a multi-sided scenario, where every player had a pair of objectives to achieve during the game.  Some factions were friendly to others, some were neutral, and some were enemies.  All the players were not quite sure what the objectives were of the players around them, and whether they may be friend of foe. 
Thark leader (red robes) vs Thark leader (blue robe).  Two clans of Tharks battle it out.
Everyone set about achieving their goals, and the carnage soon began to mount. Unfortunately John Carter was killed in an early round of melee, so his faction's ability to help Dejah was seriously hampered.
A view of the action in the center of the table
     The overall plot, was John Carter trying to free Dejah Thoris from a group of Hill Martians who had captured here.  The Hill Martians with Dejah were attempting to transfer her to another group of Hill martians coming from the other side of the table.  And other factions were trying to either kill rivals, or John Carter, or get Dejah for themselves.  It was a fun free for all!
The slumbering White Ape is awoken! My games seemed to have a monkey theme this time. :-)

  This was a scenario that I had put together just for this con, so I wasn't sure how the balance would work out.  For that reason, I brought along a cave for a White Ape to appear from, in case one side proved to have too heavy an advantage.  This happened, with one of the Hill Martian players easily marching towards their compatriot to get Dejah, and the other Hill Martian player, the one with Dejah, easily overcoming an attack by a group of Tharks (four-armed green Martians) and moving towards the rendevous. So, as the transfer was going down, as GM I placed the White Ape in play, to the groans of all the players.  Sadly though, he rolled lousy moves numbers, (we were using the optional 6+d6 movement rates) so barely got far from his cave before the game ended.
A big melee develops as two rival groups of Red Martians battle each other, and a unit of Hill Martians joins in the fray.
    In the end one of the Thark players and one of the Hill Martian players had each achieved both of their objectives, so were declared tied for the winner.  A great time was had by all.
A unit of Red Martians moves up in an attempt to rescue Dejah

The transfer goes down. The Hill Martian leader with Dejah Thoris prepares to hand her off to the approaching Hill Martian leader.

  Meanwhile, Buck was doing his WWII game, and since my game ended before his, I was able to go over and take some photos.  The Germans were attacking a force of Poles and trying to capture a couple towns; but with some really bad dice rolling, the German attack bogged down, and by game's end the Poles were actually counter attacking.  Nonetheless, all seemed to be having a good time.
A view of the WWII table with Poles vs Germans

Germans attempt to assault a Polish held woods.

A Polish player indicates a German force she is attempting to spot.
  It was a great day of gaming, and we are already looking forward to the next time we can get up and run some more games. A big thanks go out to Sam and Kathy and the great group of games we had.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ironclad Martians and a Ruin

This week I completed two 10-man GASLIGHT units of Ironclad Miniature's Martians, as well as a ruin constructed from some styrofoam packaging.  
The wine shipping styrofoam top, after I started applying the dark brown paint.
 The ruin was made from the top half of some packaging used to ship wine bottles in that fellow HAWK Greg Priebe gave me. I thought it had a neat industrial look to it, and since it was partially broken when I got it, I decided to break it up further and make a ruin. I also glued some pieces of bent plastic sprue in the broken areas to look like re-bar or conduits. I painted it in dark brown paint, and then added a couple coats of tan dry brushing, working from mid-tone to white.
The finished ruin shown with two 28mm figures for scale.
I also painted up some of the broken styrofoam pieces to add as the crumbled wall sections. Then, I added some blue trim to the tops of the domes to give it some visual interest. It will make a nice addition to my Martian and Sci-Fi terrain.
Twenty Ironclad Martians with their John Carter figure front and center.
Also coming off the workbench this week were the last figures remaining in my two 10-man Martian units for GASLIGHT, using Ironclad's interesting Martian figures.  I really like these figures with their kind of Pathan-inspired look and their unusual breathing apparatus and masks.  I will use them as some sort of tribal hill Martians, and their unique appearance will help differentiate them from my other Martian units from Bronze Age Miniatures
A closer look at 10 of the Martians and the John Carter figure.
I also like their John Carter figure.  It is a very unique interpretation of the character, though I probably won't be using it as John Carter himself, but rather as the Chieftain to these two 10-man groups of Martians.

A close up of three of the figures. 

I decided to paint them all in a red/orange/yellow color scheme to represent the colors of heir home planet. I added only a few details here and there in more primary colors like blue, green, or purple.
  These figures really have a lot of detail in them, like the breathing apparatus, and the folds of their clothing. It makes them very easy, and a joy to paint. All I did was basic paint jobs, then gave them a coating of Windsor Newton Peat Brown ink. 

Another group of three.
Ironclad Minaitures gan be found at: Ironclad Miniatures

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

God Made a Gamer :-)

Here's a great spoof of the Dodge ad that appeared during last weekend's Superbowl.  Enjoy!
And for those who didn't see the Superbowl, here is the original commercial: