Archive for April, 2011

One in the Jap’s Eye

April 24, 2011

Well above is me buying into the latest Warlord/Bolt Action delights aka Chindits in the shape of the charactor figures and a Burmese scout. Now I’ve got enough faddy gaming on my plate with VBCW, so no matter how wonderful these figures might be, and they are, I found myself something a little different to beat off the Yellow Peril. As much as I’d like to dress this up as elitism it’s actually based on two solid facts. The first is how chum Dan has a big pile of these Chindits and the second is how chum Mike was putting on a game were the only other option was playing Yanks.

So the scene was set and a jolly jungle romp in the offing. Unfortunately the Japs moved very slowly and it took an inordinate amount of time to close, but when we did it was glorious- well for the allies combined we slaughted tons of mad charging Nippon warriors and with just one, yes count them, one fatality. The pictures below cover the game in it’s entirity. It was started with units represented by pseudo-Cluedo pieces, the actual unit only being put in place once revealed. A good time was ha by most, but all extened a special thanks to Mike of Red Knight for such a stimulating scenario.

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We Salute 2011 you

April 16, 2011

Well I certainly wasn’t expecting that! Salute was it’s usual brilliant self and here’s a pile of photos to show just why. Bear in mind this isn’t an attempt to show the enitirity of the show just the bits which we either spent a lot of time at. So mainly it’s the VBCW demo game bravely managed by Red Rich, or the masterful Akula delivering a fast moving chnk of participation*. Anything else featured is just whatever really grabbed me, and it’s the mass of gamely tentacles reaching up to do exactly that which make this gigantic show a must visit, and even more so if like us you’re lucky enough to live just a couple of hours away.

*Don’t forget to download the latest version of his rules, and donate to his worthy cause if you like them.

Have a Gander – a propaganda

April 16, 2011

Here’s a small treat for all you folk who won’t be at Salute 2011, it’s my humble offering which will be on the table of the VBCW game being run by Red Rich. It’s a conversion of a Blue Moon Manufacturing resin vehicle into a BUF propaganda wagon. The biggest problem was the base vehicle, which had it been cast by Fenris would have been declared a miscast. It was full of bubbles, bent and skewed, missing a piece and had I not picked it up for a bargain from Red Knight games with this project in mind I’d have been furious at the quality, or lack of it.

The van section is just 1mm plasticard topped with a white metal replacement part for a Dinky toy from Ebay, and was just the shape I was after. The drivers side bears a large poster which I put together, and which you can help yourself to.

The rear just has a door, a couple of windows, and two posters but what’s that on the passenger side?

Why it’s the mobile BUF book shop, very popular as even the passenger is reading a book. Both he and the driver have been made with those brilliant plastic Warlord/Bolt Action Brits but with Gripping Beast heads so they have the caps which my BUF wear. There’s also a collection of informative posters, including a couple by gents of GWP.

Here a delightful young lady offers all the latest BUF literature, which is all made from actual front covers of BUF booklets cunningly shrunken down to the right size. Although not clear in the photo most have readable titles and on the newspapers you can make out the headlines.

One of the reasons the van is so boxy and large is so it can fit a small mpeg player inside. This is connected to a speaker which allows the speeches of Moseley to be played during a game, along with the occasional marching song, Now if that doesn’t convert the British to fascism nothing ever will.

Of course a picture paints a thousand words, and video paints at least seventeen more, so here’s a video of the Propaganda Wagon in action, excuse the wobbly camera as I only have three arms.

Bamboo Radley

April 14, 2011

I made the above jungle scenic having seen a post about Burmese Infantry over at GWP. I followed the link to Michael Awdry’s blog which has a handy tutorial on making such a handy scenic.  I’ve slightly adapted his idea for the bamboo, a brilliant way to get the look of the world’s maddest grass with paint rather than sculpting it. The leaves are all cut from plastic plants for aquariums, and added to the satay sticks with drilled holes and superglue. It’s a lot quicker to realise than might be apparent, and quite an impressive feel to it. A big thanks to Mike for the idea.

Roller Coaster

April 7, 2011

Whether you’re a seasoned oldie or a fresh new comer to the world of gaming one thing is very obvious. The standards of both manufacturers and gamers have rocketed in the last decade due, in part, to the gaming world being able to share globally everything they make, paint , play or even think. The negative side of this increase in brilliance is it can be daunting to many, and not just the new gamer, to have a go themselves. So I’ve thought of a simple idea which I encourage you to share and try. That’s very small projects literally based on a drinks coaster. Those and place mats make excellent ready made bases for buildings and scenics. The idea with coasters is to keep it small and therefore simple.

This one makes use of cork scraps from the pile of other buildings I’ve made in the Matakishi Temple of Cork way. The first few layers are just lumps of cork glued on top of each other, with some carving on the side to make it look like large brick work. Then I’ve cut individual bricks from strips of cork, and laid them with superglue. The floor is scraps of plasticard, irregulary cut and laid on the floor.  Then the walls had a little dollop of mock plaster in a few patches.

The whole thing was undercoated, washed with an orange yellow ink, and dry brushed to suggest sandstone. A small piece of wooden fencing was made from coffee stirrers, the sand bags were from Warlord. Originally I was going to use two and have half of this building sand-bagged, but I’m still waiting for the order to show up and I’ve grown tired of delaying projects while suppliers catch-up. A mix of plants, Ivy both usual and brass etched, four types of flock, grass tufts, brass ferns, and a few slivers of paper painted with green ink help to make the vegetation varied enough to look realistic.

Despite being quite tiny there’s plenty of room for figures, and I made sure of this from the start because as much as it’s a piece of art it does have a gaming function and there’s little to no point making something which doesn’t play well. Although this is quite a specific piece I have tried to make it generic in as much as it would work in the deepest jungle as well as the heart of Europe, the table would set this piece’s origins rather than the model itself.

Here you can see a couple of pieces from the Warlord/Bolt Action plastic Brits set forming the in-house armoury as well as a plaster box from a 1/48th supplier from many years ago.

A much underlooked element is sanitation, so this model addresses that by providing full toilet facilities en suite.

Now despite what you might think this was an easy build and being tiny didn’t take long and won’t insist on a lot of storage space. I seriously recommend you have a bash at similar, plus having another five coasters left it should encourage you to make more – it has me so expect to see more of this neatly sized features soon.

Sikhing Brilliant Figures

April 4, 2011

Having a WW2 game planned for late April set in the far east did bring up a couple of interesting developments for us faced with playing. Chum Dan was lucky enough to have his domestic Goddess purchase him a big box of the Warlord/Bolt Action Chindits. This left me with two options; one the unpalatable “play as the Japs” the other not so grim but still not a jolly game of cricket “play as the yanks”. No I couldn’t be doing either of those, so off I wandered to find something more Commonwealth than foreign. I did consider Ghurkas, but the main option for those was TAG and I’m rapidly going off them and their reluctance to respond to the simplest emailed question.

The other week at game’s club one gaming chum had some Japanese from Pulp Figures created by Bob Murch. They were very good and confirmed my suspicions of them being great figures as I’ve admired them form afar for quite a while. So I had a look at his selection and decided on both sets of Sikhs. Now I’ve had a numbers of excuses dressed up as valid reasons not to have bought from Bob before, firstly the desire to spend my quids with a Brit supplier just to keep our national gaming undustry alive, another all the fuss with ordering from aboard combined with the inevitable delay, especially as the first order I made from the US didn’t arrive nor get settled in under three months.

Well I needn’t have worried, Murch is Canadian so is effectively a distant cousin and the order came at incredible speed – I’d also ordered a few bits from British suppliers on the same day and , yes you’ve guessed it, these turned up before the others. Plus the dear man chucked in his one other Sikh figure from his army building set. And what delightfully brilliant figures these are, plenty of charactor, crisp detail and solid. I decided to paint them circa ’43 with a mix of kit which many units had to endure. I also had an eye on them being suitable for playing North Africa and Burma. Of course brill figure demand brill painting, and although theres a little bit of finishing to them, I’ve put a lot of effort into these, I’ve used a palette of around 15 colours and I hope I’ve pulled them off.

Surprisingly enough as a gamer approaching 50 these are my very first 28mm WW2 figures, I typically play in 6mm or with the Slug’s miniatures (he’s a WW2 nut). These where excellent figures to pass that milepost with, rather like losing your virginity to Helen Mirren/Elizabeth Hurley/Kiera Knightly*. Luckily I took photos!

*Delete according to age.