Posts Tagged ‘cork tile’

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.

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.

Barn Again

February 6, 2011

Aye it’s the other barn I’ve been working on which is now finished – Hurrah! It has around the same foot print as the earlier one but has a proper hayloft with front access, and a lean to section, so the barn is smaller. It has a similar finish but is meant to be newer so has no dry rot nor rust on the hinges.

I couldn’t resist a touch of the ivy though, this time along the foundation wall and up a post. I find the ivy a bit flat in colour, so I do give it a gentle brush of another green and then a green ink wash. This not only brings it to life but also gives you a way to cover the dried superglue which holds it all in place. I use superglue gel to place it, and when finished cover it with superglue liquid – when dried it hardens off and the whole thing becomes a solid object and gives it half a chance to survive games.

The foundation wall is made from cork strips cut to an agreeable sized brick, laid with glue and then rendered with mock-plaster which is also what I used on the roof. It gives a great finish and makes a material, which is identical to the wooden walls, look quite different. Mock-plaster is simply filler mixed with a little water to whatever consistency needed, typical just runny enough to apply with a brush.

The roof comes off, which I insist on with a 28mm building, and as you can see a car can just fit inside. I’ve used the same vehicle and figure for scale reference as I did in the other barn post so you might get an idea of scale – although I doubt anyones really paying that ridiculous level of attention.

Zombie Action

February 3, 2011

To do it justice this really should be a game report, but the last one was over 1,700 words and I’ve beer to drink. Instead I do hope you’ll be satisfied with a picture gallery and a bit of blah-blah. This game for four with me running it started as a bluff. Each player had four men from a faction involved in the fictional game nation of Jihadistan, so there was the IDF, Delta Force, PLO and the Taliban. The scenario involves collecting points in three ways; i) Get to the crashed plane in the centre of the table and discovver it’s secret (20 points), rescue folk hidden in various buildings (10 points each) and find the boxes of top-secret goodies (5 points a piece). However what the players didn’t know was how in turn three this relatively safe little scoot and shoot game turned into a zombie game.

The setting is the middle-east which was a good excuse to trot out my almost finished middle eastern bunch of buildings, not least my very nice mosque. The basis for this was the Miniature Building Authority minaret, a nice piece even if grossly painted, but MBA don’t make a mosque so it meant I had to. It’s the largest cork tile building I’ve made, well in as much as the tallest and longest single walls without supporting walls. I repainted the tower in this charming blue and applied gold leaf to the dome of the building and the minaret.  Now as gaming hobbyists we’ve all made or done things which are difficult or fiddly but believe me when I say gold leaf sets the, er, gold leaf standard of fiddly. You can’t even really breathe at some points, it’s a wafer thing nightmare. Don’t take my word for it, try it!

The game played well, helped a great deal by Akula’s Zombie Rules from Salute 2009. These are great, simple, and highly playable rules and full marks to the man himself for sharing them with us all. I’d be quite happy to play every game with these as they sit very firmly in the background of any game. I had tried the All Things Zombie rules from Two Hour Wargames but didn’t get very far with them. I know they’re popular and provide a two hour wargame but I prefer rules which take less than two hours to read and fully understand. I couldn’t manage this with ATZ but did within minutes of downloading Akula’s – but don’t let that influence you either way.

Fun was had by all, the highlight was probably when the IDF mounted up into a vehicle which actually started and then proceeded to run the PLO over, however they inflicted less damage than they received in turn when the PLO returned fire at the vehicle setting it alight. Thankfully the UN didn’t turn up to spoil anyone’s fun.

Wreck Creation

November 4, 2010

Yes it’s yet another building mainly made of cork! As a member of the sinister cult of cork modellers, all hail Matakishi, it’s my duty to try to convert the innocent to this wonderful material in yet another tired bid for world domination. Now there was a time when we used to do this via Empire but the jobs in the tropics where you’d be in charge of thousands of square miles of a foreign land with two locals and a push bike are long gone, so wittering on about Wickes cork tiles and their uses is the modern alternative. One cunning way to convert the unwary is to make simple small models for folk, like I did for chum Dan with a building similar to this one here. He liked it enough to start modelling with cork himself and a couple of weeks later had made himself a fine ruined French cafe for WW1/2 games.

In converting Dan I did make the boy Slug a trifle envious though. He’s very much into his ww2, especially the dear Parachute Regiment and, by default, all things Arnhem which this model has a hint of. Now he hasn’t got around to painting it yet, so it’s just undercoated at the moment but will feature again once fully decorated. It’s a very simple build; cork walls and rubble on an MDF base, coffee stirrers for the planking, paving textured plasticard for the front pavement, plastistrip for the lintels over the windows and foamboard for the front steps. It was made in a single sitting of around four hours.

Market Forces

October 31, 2010

Oh no it’s yet another not completely finished nor painted cork building thrown up on this humble blog as a symbolic expression for my conversion to making cork buildings – quite a few cork buildings.

This time its a bazaar, with six shops on the ground floor, rooms on the first fllor offering firing in all directions and a reasonably defendable roof. I also wanted some screened windows like above, a snipers dream.

The one feature I wanted in this one was and external staircase to the first floor. This is what I ended up with and it was pretty complex to make. I could have made it a lot easier had I not placed it in the centre, but that’s what you get for charging ahead wildly and not properly planning the thing.

Despite the accidental over complexity, it’s a sweet little building which a four or five man squad could defend easily and quite well. Why not try something similar yourself?

Confounded, Unbounded and Compounded

October 31, 2010

Heavily influenced by the rather excellent Matakishi’s Tea House, not least because he happens to be doing an Afghan project just as I am at the moment, but also because he’s rather brill at what he does plus he does a lot of it. He’s been working on a few compounds in cork tile, and I rather fancied one of them but I wanted to make mine a bit more urban as I’ve enough of the more rural looking ones.

Here’s the result, although it’s unpainted at the moment it gives an idea of the modelling involved as my aim was to have a building in which every room could be accessed but without giving away what was in the next room. This giving away of what’s on any given floor or area of a building is common to a lot of buildings which allow you to get inside. In these first few pictures you can see how this building breaks down level by level.

The idea of the seperate rooms is to make it very playable, but also a bit spooky if you’re the player tasked with trying to enter and secure the building. Imagine a hostage rescue mission, hunting for an IED factory, or taking a top Taliban prisoner etc, especially when some of the rooms are quite difficult to reach.

The whole thing is based on MDF and mainly made of cork, with foamcore for the staircases, and some rectangles cut from a cheapy placemat from the Aldi supermarket chain for the screen like windows and balcony. These stand out as they’re the only pieces with paint on them, as undercoating them in-situ might prove difficult.

The whole thing was rather a quick build once I’d decided on what I was after, which was a relatively complex building with a wealth of defensive positions and some very crafty lines of sight for shooting which wouldn’t be immediately apparent on a first or even second look at the building.

I expect painting it will be a rather drawn out affair, but once finished it will feature on here again.

Above you can see the two entrances on the ground floor, although not immediately apparent there’s a clear line of sight between them which is a deliberate part of the crafty layout of the building.

Here you can see what I see as one of the advantages of having small sections removable. Once through this entrance you can only see the room itself, and out into the courtyard beyond, along with the opposite window through which you should expect some furious Jihadist to be pointing his AK.

A good view of the other entrance, which has a wealth of defensive possibilities, namely four windows, a balcony, a doorway and two rooftops. I’m looking forward to playing this, although I think I’d prefer to defend.

What a Corker!

September 30, 2010

Although there’s a chronology to the order in which things appear on the web in my experience they don’t reflect the actuality, this humble blog is no exception as it’s typically the order in which I photograph things is the order in which they appear, except for when it isn’t of course.  My current endeavour with making buildings out of cork using techniques developed by the rather smart bod known as Matakishi is a good example. I’ve raved about it already showing really simple examples of buildings, but only because those buildings were around. So in a final bid to try to convince you how damned simple it is to make relatively impressive buildings I finally got around to photographing this, my first effort in building with cork tiles, and as you can see quite a complicated one.

Like any technique you learn the more you actually do it, and start developing your own knack and style to doing things. In the photo above you can see a drop in roof, which I’d very likely not model like that again for practical reasons. If it’s removed while there’s figures on it the figures would very likely move about, and without  a lip to it would fall, and bugger up your paint job. You’ll notice in later models yet to be revealed how they have lipped roffs.

Here’s a shot of the first floor, just a couple of simple rooms, and the sniper’s delight, otherwise known as a balcony. Also a staircase, well a hole above the staircase, so that a figure can be placed at the top of the stairs on the ground floor, and maintain his position when the above floor is in place. I imagine all this is rather obvious to those with a long history of playing 28mm, in 6mm units are either in or out of buildings none of this internal detail really, so it’s new to me and hence I share it because it might be new to you.

The ground floor with a not very square internal wall, and the staircase which is made out of foamboard which is sealed before painting. I’ve deliberately left the interior bare and not filled it with props, etc, simply to have more room for maneuver and to save time. Slug believes this verges on the barbaric.

So a reasonable building, done cheaply and relatively quickly. Great fun too. The one thing you will have to consider should you try similar for yourself is just how rapidly joints will seal using superglue gel, so keep your wits about you and move fast.

Dave’s Burqa Bar

September 25, 2010

This model is very simple so therefore quick and took just a couple of hours from base materials to near finished structure. This was also an exercise in capturing the spirit of a building without having to make a totally accurate model of it, this is the main difference between building for gaming and model engineering, but some folk seem to forget that. This building is a rough copy of a chum’s business and just about everyone I’ve shown it to know it’s “Dave’s Hamburger Bar” – well known fast food emporium and fresh doughnut dispenser just down the road.

I’ve only modelled the basics of course, and will rename it as Dave’s Burqa Bar just because it’s really meant for a Jihadi style game. I imagine there will be calls for a model of “Dave”, will I may or may not do, depending on just how well I can sculpt a reasonable looking turban.