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Gaming, Painting & Modelling Hobby Blog
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Gaming, Painting & Modelling Hobby Blog

This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.


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The Neptune Protocol: Prologue

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The Neptune Protocol

Prologue: A sleepy port on the North African coast

Opening_1

The evil industrialist Max Crossley with a headful of ideas for a new world order sails into the dawn having secured the first part of his deliciously sinister plan. Hoping he has left Bond and Hinks behind too!

Opening_2

Special Agent Amanda Hinks and her British counterpart, Bond have been on the trail of Crossley for several weeks. So far, he has stayed a step ahead. If they can sabotage the speedboats in the Marina that are fast enough to give chase and get to the Lotus Submersible before Crossley’s ship is out of range they may still be in with a chance.

Opening_3

Hinks and Bond set off towards the Marina from the north east corner of town. We are playing out this action using 7TV. Hinks is cast as an Action Hero and Bond as a Flamboyant Agent.

Opening_4

Crossley has left behind a cast of minions and lackeys dressed in rather conspicuous bright yellow boiler suits and blue safety helmets to cover his retreat

Opening_4c

Heading to protect the speedboats in the Marina we see Crossley's Faithful (but unnamed) Lackey and four minions. The speedboats that could give chase have been marked with 7TV plot point tokens.

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At the far side of the jetty we see a Minion Commander some Minions and a Technician trying to get through the protection devices added by Q branch to the Lotus.

Opening_5

Hinks and Bond split up, Hinks heads straight for the first boat in the marina.

Opening_6

Bond causes some cinematic chaos as he rushes throught the crowded early morning market.

Opening_7b

Before long Bond is placing a small but powerful timed charge on the engine compartment of the Sunseeker XS2000 under inaccurate but persistant fire from Crossleys minions.

Opening_10

Amanda Hinks places a charge on the Glastron under the eyes of the local constabulary

Opening_10b

A minion attempts to interfere but is ruthlesley dispatched with one of Amanda's martial arts moves and the 'extras' on the keyside mysteriously become involved in a health and safety accident when a stunt goes horribly wrong and they all catch fire.

Opening_11

Meanwhile Bond is holding his own. The handy 'Capture Bubble' that Q gave him to try out, proved to be effective in the field, and a second minion is dispatched before he becomes embroiled in an ongoing fight with the Faithful Lackey, Bond does take a slug to the shoulder early in the scene.

Opening_11b

The body count rises, faceless minions die dramatically, but Bond is delayed.

Opening_12

Hink's comes to the rescue. She takes a wound but dispatches the Lackey with a spinning kick and chop routine enabling Bond to sprint along the jetty, dropping a delayed charge on the Carlson on the way past.

Opening_13b

Bond dramaticly leaps from the bow of the Carlson to the bow of the Vic 34, but almost loses his footing so can not move any further forward, and at that point the Director finds that she has 'Blown her Budget'! This means that the next three countdown cards get revealed and played, which does not really help us and denies us another action to make it to the Lotus and escape.

When the scene cuts, we find that Hinks and Bond have collected three plot points from sabotaging boats but Crossley's Minions are still in control of the Lotus plot point (and one plot point is uncontended) giving Hinks and Bond a marginal victory but denying them (due to budgetary constraints) the scene of the Lotus powering up the ramp and into the water before transforning into submarine mode.... that will just have to wait for another scene!

Lotus_Sub_a

We then cut to the opening credits of 'The Neptune Protocol' and wait for next week’s when we shoot the first scene of the movie proper, which according to the script I've seen includes a high paced speed boat chase sequence.

 

Credits:

Special Agent Amanda Hinks, RN Commander Bond, The Speedboats, Jetty & Pier Terrain are all from Sally 4th Rising Tides Kickstarter.

The scene was shot using 7TV and Crossley's Minions were supplied by the Crooked Dice Casting Agency

The Colonial Police are from Sally 4th's Classic Movie Miniatures Range and the Souk or Market Place props are from Sally 4th Exotic Locations.

 

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A Klingon Renegade Crew for Stargrave

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I've been a huge fan of both Frostgrave & Stargrave ever since they were launched and always buy at least one of all the North Star plastic releases because as well as being great miniatures in their own right, they offer so much scope for customisation and conversions. I have several Stargrave crews already, but recently I have been listening to several Klingon themed Star Trek novels via Audible, so I thought that a Klingon based crew would be rather neat.

Klingon_Crew_1

The feel that I was looking for was Klingon renegades or pirates rather than Imperial Defence Force regular crews, so I decided to use Frostgrave Barbarians as the starting point for bodies and extra knife carrying left arms and the odd spare knife being carried from the belt.

Klingon_Crew_2

The arms are mainly from Stargrave Mercenaries Plastic Box set, although the sniper is using a scoped sniper rifle from the Landing Party Special Weapons Conversion Pack.

Klingon_Crew_3

The heads are metal castings fromLanding Party Ridge Faced Aliens conversion packs - both male and female versions come in the pack.

Klingon_Crew_4

This is the full 10 figure Klingon Renegade crew. I've mounted them on 25mm round clear bases from Sally 4th. This creates a little extra work, as the Frostgrave miniatures come cast on plinths, but they are easily separated using some side clippers and feet tidied up with a modelling file. I have recently started painting the edges of clear bases using Army Painter Light Grey acrylic paint. This removes the reflections that you often see from clear bases and helps them blend in even better with the terrain that the figures are standing on.

Klingon_Crew_5

I am using the female with a data pad as a codebreaker / hacker and the one with a tool box as a chiseler or casecracker.

Klingon_Crew_6

These models are being used as a Grenadier, Sniper and Gunner.

Klingon_Crew_7

The remaining five will be used for a Captain, Mate some recruits and troopers.

The miniatures were painted with GW Contrast Paint and Instar Alpha (which are also contrast paints).

I have already assembled a good selection of miniatures that can be used to represent a Federation Away Team using miniatures from the Landing Parties 'Fleet Landing Party' set, so I need to schedule a Star Trek themed Stargrave game with my good friend Mike to see how they fare in a game!

 

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Star Patrol: Six to beam down

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Last Thursday Mike and I got together for a game of Star Patrol.

I am a big fan of Star Trek, so the idea was to start working out some stats for Prime Team style missions. The Prime Team was a concept that came out of Star Fleet Battles & Prime Directive RPG as a pose to the Star Trek TV & Movie line. The idea was that it did not make any sense to send a first contact away team made up of the senior bridge officers plus whoever they ran into on the way to the transporter room. A Prime Team was like a modern Special Forces team, highly trained and motivated individuals specialising in ground combat, survival skills, languages, first aid, communications etc.

Game_1_1

This is Prime Team Charlie Two from the Confederation Cruiser, Titan in orbit around Soror a planet in the Betelgeuse system, investigating a sub space beacon detected amongst the wreckage of a jump capable vessel. Unfortunately Soror was found to be inhabited by intelligent but agresive apes. We defined Prime Team members as Guts = Elite, Aim = Elite, Melee = Regular, Endurance = 3, Reaction = 4 armed with Phasers using the Energy Beam Weapon Pistol stats from the main rule book.

On beaming down to the planet the Prime Team members moved in to cover and the Fleet Comms Officer started to work investigating the beacon.

Game_1_2

Unfortunately, the team had beamed down in to the center of an ambush. Apes armed with automatic carbines engaged the team from all directions, almost immediately they materialised.

We made Apes Guts=Green, Aim=Green, Melee=Regular, Endurance=3, Reaction=4

Game_1_3

The Prime Team members each had there own activation dice. They fired as Elite, but took the right shift for not having fire co-ordinated by a leader, however long range was 8" and the EBW Pistol could only fir one shot. The Apes on the other hand were organised into units of five figures. Although they were poor shots, the carbine had a range of 16", meaning they could put a lot of fire down, and could afford to have a leader co-ordinating the teams fire. The extra point of Endurance also meant that a single shot, even if it was a critical 3 wound shot was not going to incapacitate an ape.

Game_1_4

The Apes quickly over ran the Prime Teams position, without having any apes incapacitated. The Apes were brutal in close combat, the Prime Teams phaser not being sufficient defence against the Apes who could fight three against one. Four Prime Team Members were captured before the last two survivors beamed to safety.

Game_2_1

The four prisoners were taken to a nearby medical research facility, where the Apes were endeavoring to learn more about themselves by experimenting on humans. This time The Titan beamed down a more heavily armed Colonial Marine detachment consisting of a Squad Leader, Fleet Laison Officer, Sniper, Gun Team and Assault Team.

Game_2_2

To rescue a prisoner a Confederation figure just needed to pass a test by drawing a card with 3+ hits. Beaming down at the corridor intersection, there was not so much cover.

Game_2_4

Marines were dispatched to move into the rooms with prisoners, while the remainder attempted to dominate the corridors.

Game_2_5

Unfortunately this clueless and unlucky Fleet Liason Officer had three consecutive attempts to hand over a comms badge before they were both recaptured by the Apes!

Game_2_6

Sunray is down! The Squad leader takes a serious wound and is incapacitated, pinning all Confederation units, reducing there effectivness by 50% as they now only activate on black cards!

Game_2_7

The team sniper makes the best use of the cover from a hospital trolley, but things are not looking good for the Marines.

Game_2_8

The Apes manage to secure all the prisoners and the rescuing crew for a complete victory.

Well played by Mark and his Monkeys!

While we did not achieve the results we were looking for, development is all about trying things out and refining them.

I am going to define Star Trek weapons, in a 'Prime Team' supplement. Research into the fiction reveals that there are three types of Phaser.

Type 1 has a range of 30 Metres and is really only useful on-board ship.

Type 2 is the main Prime Team hand weapon with a range of 90 Metres

Type 3 is a Phaser Rifle with a range of 400 Metres and can be equipped with an underslung photon grenade launcher

There is no record of a phaser ever running out of power, so I'm going to try a rule that they ignore 'Out of Ammo' results

They can be set to fire a tight or a wide burst, so at short and medium range they will get multiple shots.

Phasers set to stun! Is normal Federation practise. Stun means that a figure is incapacitated so maybe we need to try and hit from a phaser incapacitates a target.

Useful Links

The Prime Team and Marines are from Sally 4th Landing Party Range

The Apes are the Ape World. This is a project 'In the Pipeline' click here if you would like to find out more

The rules used were 'Star Patrol:Genesis' by Buck Surdu. They are available as a free downlaod

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A Castle of Two Cities, building and painting the castle from Iain Lovecrafts 'A Tale of Two Cities.

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A Tale of Two Cities: The Castle

Iain had recently asked if I could do a few test print and paints of some of the models that will be featuring in his new 'A Tale of Two Cities' Kickstarter. I am a huge fan of Iain’s work, having backed many of his previous Kickstarters and printed many of the models from them.

Update 27th September - 2nd corner tower and six wall sections added.

Update 30th September - Wall with Stairs and Tower Hoarding Added

Update 11th October - Bastion, wall with arches, stables and second tower hoarding added.

A_Tale_of_Two_Cities

Castle_11

I am focussing on demonstrating what can be done with the castle walls, towers and other features. This is going to be an ongoing blog with weekly updates over the three weeks that Iain’s campaign is running as it does take quiet a time to print and paint a whole castle!

Castle_1

I am printing my model on and Ender 5 using eSun PLA+ with a layer height of 0.2mm. This is a bit of a compromise. The models would look even better if printed at high rather than medium resolution, 0.12mm layer height, for example, but I am taking the 80:20 approach in order to get enough castle printed over the 3 weeks that the campaign is running to give backers an idea of what it will all look like together. Once the campaign is over, I will drop down to printing at a higher resolution.

Castle_3

The miniatures that appear in the photos are not from the campaign. I wanted to include miniatures in the photos to give an idea of scale and setting. I’ve not received any of the STL files for Iain’s new miniatures yet, and to be honest as I am spending all my available hobby time painting castles, would not have the time to paint them at the moment, but luckily Sally 4th recently produced a small range of miniatures in metal entitled‘Guards Guards’ which fit the theme nicely! All the Guards’ Guards miniatures are mounted on 25mm round bases, so give a good idea of where miniatures can be placed.

Castle_10

The first thing that I did was to give the whole model a good base coat of Sandtex - Bitter Chocolate. This is my favourite paint, I'm on to my second 5 Litre Can. I use it to base coat all of my figure bases, terrain boards and all model buildings and other terrain models. It bonds really well and gives a great smooth surface to work on.

Sandtex_Bitter_ChocolateCastle_4

After leaving the model for at least 12 hours so that the Sandtex in the deep recesses has completely dried, I made a start with the first of the three coats of drybrushing that I typically use on stone buildings.

I use Acrylic Paint from 'Folk Paint' ranges for painting buildings, it is far more economical than model figure painting acrylic ranges. I always paint buildings (and drybrush miniatures) using Make Up brushes. Theses give fantastic results; they come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and have the perfect bristle for drybrushing. They are also a lot cheaper than model painting brushes. I brought the set that I am using now from Amazon, £10 for 16 brushes. I have been using them every day for the last 3 months and they are holding up well!

Craft_Paints_and_Make_Up_Brushes

The first drybrush coat was a 50/50 mix of Nutmeg Brown and Khaki Tan. I squeezed a little of each colour onto an empty plastic lid, mixed with brush, then wiped most of the paint off onto a kitchen towel and lightly drybrushed all over with large make up brush.

Castle_5

The acrylic drybrused paint dry's very quickly, so after 5 minutes I applied a second drybrush of 100% Khaki Tan.

Castle_6

After the second drybrush had dried, I used three different stone colours to pick out some individual stones to add interest. For these I did use model paints from Vallejo and Army Painter. The stone colours I used were Khaki Grey, Green Grey and Stone Grey.

Vallejo_Paints

I also painted any wood with 'Leather Brown' and the roof tiles with 'Dark Blue Grey'

Castle_17

To finish the model off I drybrushed and wooden areas with 'medium flesh' and then applied Army Painter Blue Tone Ink to roof and 'Strong Tone Ink to wooden areas.

All of the stone work was then given an overall light drybrush with 'Buttermilk' this is good to tone down and blend in the stones that were picked out in different colours and brings the whole model together.

Castle_14

The model was then given a couple of coats of Army Painter Matt Varnish to protect it.

The Gatehouse benefits from a lovely interior with nice stairs and ladders built in, and a portcullis that can be raised and lowered.

Castle_19

The Towers have lift off tops and plenty of room to place a couple of miniatures inside.

Castle_13

Over the next week, I will be printing and painting the doors to go in the tower and gatehouse plus lots of lengths of castle wall. The wall sections take 16 hours to print, so basically one a day. I’m hoping to get another six pieces printed and painted before next weeks update!

Update 24th September

Castle_22

Over the last week I have been busy 3D printing additional castle pieces including a mirrored copy of the corner tower and some wall sections including the wall with Bartizan that can be seen to the left of the gatehouse.. I am hoping to have these new pieces painted over the weekend.

Update 27th September

Castle_23

The Castle is beginning to take shape now. At the end of the second week of working on the project a second corner tower and six additional wall sections have been printed and painted.

Castle_24

'Carrot' spots intruders while his mate has a crafty fag. The towers look splendid, the top's lift off to reveal a first floor room.

Castle_30

This is the second corner tower. Within my slicer software I mirrored the model so that the windows would be facing forward on both towers.

Castle_31

I have already started printing the parts for the next update, which will be on Friday, before the Tale of Two Cities Kickstarter completes. I am looking to add some extra walls with staircase access from the courtyard to the ramparts and look at some optional extras for the main corner towers.

Update 30th September

Iain Lovecraft has excelled himself with an astounding variety of new castle pieces, round towers, gatehouses, keep, runined walls, walls with bastions, double crenulations.. the list goes on. This week I have been able to print and paint a couple of the wall sections with stairs and a tower hoarding and roof.

Castle_37

I love the new wall with stairs section. The stairs and wall print as a singe piece, taking around 14 hours at 0.2mm layer height. The steps are a good compromise between looking right and being able to stand a miniature on them. Figures shown are from our Guard's Guard range and are all mounted on 25mm diameter bases.

Castle_39

Here we see the standardcorner battlement tower. The indentations in the four corners sections can be clearly seen. These are to enable extra tower pieces to be addded.

Castle_40

This piece is titled 'tower struts'. It represents four corner masonry pillars supporting some heavy beams. As you can see it raises the height of the roof or hoarding well above any miniatures that are standing on top of the tower, even if they are armed with spears.

Castle_41

Here the tower roof is sitting directly on the roof struts. There is a second design of tower roof available as well.

Castle_42

This is the tower hoarding, sitting on top of the tower struts. It has a nicely detailed interior with a masonry reinforced arrow slit in the middle of each wall plus a couple of windows (which would presumably be boarded up when under attack). The room is accessed via a ladder and a trapdoor in the center of the room.

Castle_43

Here we see a corner tower with supports, hoarding and roof.

Castle_46

I have another set of hoarding printing at the moment, so next week I will include a step by step walk through of how they were painted. I will be continuing printing, painting and blogging until I have covered all off the castle pieces, so if you've found this interesting, pop back next week to see what is new, and if you are interested in printing one of these castles yourselves, Iains campaign has 48 hours left to run so click here to take a look!

Update 11th October

Castle_57

Some lovely detailed castle pieces added this week, starting with wall section with arches.

Castle_48

This is a standard width wall section with two arch ways with doors set into the wall. The arch sections are one of my favourites. We tend to think about castles based on what we can see remaining of them after a thousand years and forget that these were bustling communities and the insides of the castle were filled with outbuildings, store rooms, stabling, barracks, chapels and much more. A castle would often keep supplies so they could withstand a 6 month or a year of being under siege, so the more areas depicted for storage and living the better.

Castle_56

This is an example of Iain's Bastion design. There are lots of different options available, but I have chosen to print the one with arches and a storeroom for reasons already explained.

Castle_50

Although it looks like the Wizards are using it as a reviewing platform, the purpose of the Bastion is to mount some artillery. A small catapult or a ballista. I will try to find one to mount on the Bastion before the next photo shoot.

Castle_55

The Stables.

Castle_54

This is a beautiful model. Very versatile. If I'm going to have a 12 strong mounted unit based in the castle, I'm going to need at least three of these. I love the detailing and the combination of stone, wood and plaster. Recently we have been playing the old 'Cry Havoc' boardgame scenarios with miniatures using Feudal Patrol. We even have a Feudal Patrol Cry Havoc supplement which is why I had rider less horses to hand. They are, like 95% of my single based figures mounted on clear Perspex bases which really helps them to blend in with whatever surface they are standing on.

Castle_53

The stables print in two pieces, a main floor and walls part and a roof. The main building took about 16 hours to print and the roof 7 hours.

Castle_52

It's a shame that in my castle the stables will probably be against the walls, as the back of the stables are also very attractive.

Castle_47

One of the features of the Tale of Two Cities walls that is not so apparent is how well designed the wall joints are. On one side there is a large 'curved' hook that fits into a socket on the opposite side of a wall section. This makes a very secure join. I am holding a run of three wall sections by the centre section and the whole wall is completely stable.

Castle_58
Here we have a wide shot of the progress to date with the Tale of Two Cities Castle. As soon as the pieces become available from Iain, I will be adding three round towers, the new gatehouse with drawbridge and the Norman Keep. In the meantime, there is much to keep me busy. For next week’s update I plan to print a couple of pieces of ruined wall to swap out to show a breech ready for storming!

Castle_33

The Miniatures shown in the photograph are from Sally 4th's Guards Guard range

Fantasy_square_640

The Castle Walls, Tower & Gatehouse are part of Iain Lovecrafts 'A Tale of Two Cities'

A_Tale_of_Two_Cities

 

Related Articles:

Watchtower, A Tale of Two Cities

Barbican Tower, A Tale of Two Cities

Xebec, Pirates vs Cthulhu

Captain Nemo & Crew, Pirates vs Cthulhu

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Painting the Barbican Tower from Iain Lovecrafts 'A Tale of Two Cities' Kickstarter

A Tale of Two Cities: Barbican Tower

Barbican_Exterior_5

An overview Video of the Barbican Tower.

App

Iain had recently asked if I could do a few test print and paints of some of the models that will be featuring in his new 'A Tale of Two Cities' Kickstarter. I am a huge fan of Iains work, having backed many of his previous Kickstarters and printed many of the models from them.

The second model that I have finished is this lovely Barbican Tower. It is a compact and functional building, with plenty of room inside for miniatures and furniture. The model prints in seven sections, an upper and lower tower, tower roof, small tower, small tower roof and two doors. I printed my model on and Ender 5 using eSun PLA+ with a layer height of 0.2mm.

Sandtex_Bitter_Chocolate

The first thing that I did was to give the whole model a good base coat of Sandtex - Bitter Chocolate. This is my favourite paint, I'm on to my second 5 Litre Can. I use it to base coat all of my figure bases, terrain boards and all model buildings and other terrain models. It bonds really well and gives a great smooth surface to work on.

After leaving the model for at least 12 hours so that the Sandtex in the deep recesses has completely dried, I made a start with the first of the three coats of drybrushing that I typically use on stone buildings.

Craft_Paints_and_Make_Up_Brushes

I use Acrylic Paint from 'Folk Paint' ranges for painting buildings, it is far more economical than model figure painting acrylic ranges. I always paint buildings (and drybrush miniatures) using Make Up brushes. Theses give fantastic results, they come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and have the perfect bristle for drybrushing. They are also a lot cheaper than model painting brushes. I brought the set that I am using now from Amazon, £10 for 16 brushes. I have been using them every day for the last 3 months and they are holding up well!

The first drybrush coat was a 50/50 mix of Nutmeg Brown and Khaki Tan. I squeezed a little of each colour onto an empty plastic lid, mixed together with brush, then wiped most of the paint off onto a kitchen towel and lightly drybrushed all over with large make up brush.

The acrylic drybrused paint dry's very quickly, so after 5 minutes I applied a second drybrush of 100% Khaki Tan.

After the second drybrush had dried, I used three different stone colours to pick out some individual stones to add interest. For these I did use model paints from Vallejo and Army Painter. The stone colours I used were Khaki Grey, Green Grey and Stone Grey.

Vallejo_Paints

I also painted any wood with 'Leather Brown' and the roof tiles with 'Dark Blue Grey'

Barbican_Exterior_1

To finish the model off I drybrushed and wooden areas with 'medium flesh' and then applied Army Painter Blue Tone Ink to roof and 'Strong Tone Ink to wooden areas.

All of the stone work was then given an overall light drybrush with 'Buttermilk' this is good to tone down and blend in the stones that were picked out in different colours and brings the whole model together.

Barbican_Exterior_2

The door was added. This is hinged. You can use PLA filament, but I preferred to use a length of Brass rod. 

The model was then given a couple of coats of Army Painter Matt Varnish to protect it.

Barbican_Exterior_3

The Miniatures shown in the photograph are from Sally 4th's Guards Guard range, available on Gamefound

Fantasy_square_640

The Barbican Tower is part of Iain Lovecrafts 'A Tale of Two Cities'

A_Tale_of_Two_Cities

Barbican_Exterior_4

The Barbican Tower benefits from a lovely interior with nice stairs and ladders built in.

Barbican_Interior_1

Barbican_Interior_2

Barbican_Interior_3

The first model from 'A Tale of Two Cities' that I painted was the 'Watchtower'. Click here to take a look at my article about painting that.

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Painting Watch Tower from Iain Lovecrafts 'A Tale of Two Cities'

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Iain Lovecrafts 'A Tale of Two Cities' Painting the Watch Tower

Watch_Tower_Painting_10

Iain had recently asked if I could do a few test print and paints of some of the models that will be featuring in his new 'A Tale of Two Cities' Kickstarter.

The first model that I have finished is this handy little Watch Tower. It is a compact and functional building, just big enough for two Watch Men to survey the surrounding area. The model prints in four section, an upper and lower tower, door and roof. I printed my model on and Ender 5 using eSun PLA+ with a layer height of 0.2mm.

Watch_Tower_Painting_1Sandtex_Bitter_Chocolate

The first thing that I did was to give the whole model a good base coat of Sandtex - Bitter Chocolate. This is my favourite paint, I'm on to my second 5 Litre Can. I use it to base coat all of my figure bases, terrain boards and all model buildings and other terrain models. It bonds really well and gives a great smooth surface to work on.

Watch_Tower_Painting_3

After leaving the model for at least 12 hours so that the Sandtex in the deep recesses has completely dried, I made a start with the first of the three coats of drybrushing that I typically use on stone buildings.

Craft_Paints_and_Make_Up_Brushes

I use Acrylic Paint from 'Folk Paint' ranges for painting buildings, it is far more economical than model figure painting acrylic ranges. I always paint buildings (and drybrush miniatures) using Make Up brushes. Theses give fantastic results, they come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and have the perfect bristle for drybrushing. They are also a lot cheaper than model painting brushes. I brought the set that I am using now from Amazon, £10 for 16 brushes. I have been using them every day for the last 3 months and they are holding up well!

The first drybrush coat was a 50/50 mix of Nutmeg Brown and Khaki Tan. I squeezed a little of each colour onto an empty plastic lid, mixed together with brush, then wiped most of the paint off onto a kitchen towel and lightly drybrushed all over with large make up brush.

Watch_Tower_Painting_4

The acrylic drybrused paint dry's very quickly, so after 5 minutes I applied a second drybrush of 100% Khaki Tan.

Watch_Tower_Painting_5

After the second drybrush had dried, I used three different stone colours to pick out some individual stones to add interest. For these I did use model paints from Vallejo and Army Painter. The stone colours I used were Khaki Grey, Green Grey and Stone Grey.

Vallejo_Paints

I also painted any wood with 'Leather Brown' and the roof tiles with 'Dark Blue Grey'

Watch_Tower_Painting_6

To finish the model off I drybrushed and wooden areas with 'medium flesh' and then applied Army Painter Blue Tone Ink to roof and 'Strong Tone Ink to wooden areas.

All of the stone work was then given an overall light drybrush with 'Buttermilk' this is good to tone down and blend in the stones that were picked out in different colours and brings the whole model together.

The door was added. This is hinged. You can use PLA filament, but I preferred to use a length of Brass rod. I've added a rambling rose. This as an 'O' Gauge model railway accessory. A hole has been drilled in base to plant it and it has been glued down with superglue in a couple of places. I often like to add a plant or vines to stone models as a counterpoint to the strong straight lines.

The model was then given a couple of coats of Army Painter Matt Varnish to protect it.

Watch_Tower_Painting_8

The base of the tower, has some nice interior detail including a ladder.

Watch_Tower_Painting_9

The model roses were purchased from Model Scenery Supplies

The Miniatures shown in the photograph are from Sally 4th's Guards Guard range, available on Gamefound

Fantasy_square_640

The Watch Tower is part of Iain Lovecrafts 'A Tale of Two Cities'

Visit a Tale of Two Cities on Kickstarter

 

 

 

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Robin Hood - Scenario 1 - False Flag Operations

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Yesterday I played the first Robin Hood scenario for Feudal Patrol, written by Buck Surdu and published in Miniature Wargames with Mike Strong and his young son, John.

Robin Hood 28mm Skirmish

The evil Sheriff of Nottingham has arranged for a wagon load of food to be sent to a nearby, starving village, however it is not his intention to help the poor at all as he has also arranged for another group of his men to put green and brown robes on over there armour to make them look like Robin and his Merry Men. These Imposters are to attack the wagon and steal the food thus generating bad publicity for Robin and his men.

Robin Hood 28mm Skirmish

Here we see Sir Strong (a loyal deputy to the evil Sheriff) and some of his men crossing the river with the cart full of supplies. The horse and cart were deemed to move at 'heavily armoured rate' when pulled by a horse or at least two men. The Sheriff's men are regulars, with head, chest and abdomen protection. They are not as good at fighting and archery as the real outlaws.

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Here we see Robin (left most miniature) and one of his groups or outlaws. These forces were commanded by Little John, Mikes young son. Robin is of course a crack shot with best accuracy possible and he has an endurance of 6 rather than the normal 3 to give him a bit of 'plot armour'.

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Only the well-trained eye (or the mark on the base) can distinguish the Imposters from the real Merry Men. The Imposters were played by me.

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Sir Strong attempts to get the wagon moving towards the board edge, but it is an immediate target for some reactive shooting from Robin and his men and the first casualty of the game falls to the ground.

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Reacting to the threat to his rear, Sir Strong sends two groups of wagon guards to deal with the Imposters firing from the North East corner of the board.

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A lucky shot from a bow armed member of Sir Strong's retinue fells an Imposter 'not so merry man' before his comrade's charge into hand to hand combat.

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Meanwhile the supply wagon has rumbled forward, there has been another exchange of bow fire with the Imposter Outlaws before Sir Strong leads a charge in person.

Robin Hood 28mm Skirmish

While Sir Strong was engaging the Imposters, the real Robin Hood and his men have landed a couple of volleys of archery on the wagon and its guards. One arrow hits the horse in the chest, when the unit comes to test its morale, the horse has been spooked and in panic has turned and run back 10" towards the bridge. Robin did not have everything going his way, at this point he took a rather painful arrow to the groin, from an unnamed guard who had remarkably managed to pass a reaction test and land a successful shot on Robin before he got to complete his move! A number of Robins men also became casualties.

Robin Hood 28mm Skirmish

There is only one guard left with the wagon at this point, but he eventually manages to calm the animal and get it back facing in the right direction.

Robin Hood 28mm Skirmish

Unfortunately (for the poor horse), no sooner had he been brought back under control when another barrage of arrows landed, killing the horse and badly wounding Wulf the guard.

Robin Hood 28mm Skirmish

The victory conditions for the scenario are based on control of the wagon and the food supplies, Sir Strong had been in undisputed control until the start of turn seven, the last turn.

Robin Hood 28mm Skirmish

By a remarkable feat of luck on the last turn two Imposters and two real Merrymen had managed to sprint up to the wagon, so the game was declared a draw.

It was a very closely fought game, Mike & John had not played Combat Patrol before, but quickly got the hang of how it all worked.

Handy Links

Click here for details of the Feudal Patrol Rules

Robin Hood is from 'The Huntsmans Set' from Sally 4th The Villagers, his merry men are conversion from The Huntsmen and from Frostgrave Soldiers plastic box set. Click here for more details on converting Robin and his men.

The terrain is built on Sally 4th Terra-Former modular terrain boards.

Click here to visit the active Facebook Group for Feudal / Combat Patrol.

 

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3D printing, building and painting the Traveler Type S Scout Ship in 28mm scale

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Traveller Type S Scout Ship 28mm Build

This hobby blog is all about my project to 3D print, build, paint and game with the 28mm scale Type S Scout Ship recently released by 2nd Dynasty.

Traveller has always been special. It must have been 40 years ago that I started gaming with Airfix Napoleonics, AD&D and Traveller 1st edition, A5 black books in a black box. I still have those book, although they are on long term loan to my son Lewis, who is older than I was when I started playing Traveller, and now regularly runs a campaign using 1st edition Traveller with it's 1980's view of what the future might hold. I do find it amusing that he and his mates play as written with sci-fi technology that was dated before they were born... 1 tonne for smallest computer and navigation data brought at the Starport on a magnetic cassete tape!

Traveller Type S Scout Ship 28mm Build

Recently, our Monday night RPG group has started playing Traveller (5th edition), on-line, socially distanced using Zoom. When I started playing Traveller 40 years ago our party had a Type S Scout ship, and I can remember drawing out the deck plan using technichal drawing tools, and inking it in and know our current party flys the exact same ship. My character 'Flynn' mustered out of the Navy after four terms as an Astronavigator and Linguistics expert with enough ship credits to pick up a Scout Ship outright.

Traveller Type S Scout Ship 28mm Build

When I heard that 2nd Dynasty had negotiated the rights to design and sell an official licensed traveller Scout Ship I knew that I had to build one! The arguments about how long it would take, how much it would cost or where it would live were irrelevant... it was such an iconic link between my childhood and present day, that it just had to be done!

Traveller Type S Scout Ship 28mm Build

Week One: Stage 2 of 37 completed

The 2nd Dynasty Scout is designed as a kit of pieces that clip together with the industry standard open-lock clips. I'm printing mine on an Ender 5 FDM printer using PLA+. I like the PLA+ product from eSun because you can buy it in 3Kg reels, rather than the more normal 1Kg. This saves money as 3Kg reel costs the same as 2 x 1KG and it is less packaging, waste and reel changes. I did have to design and build a special reel holder out of MDF and plastic pipe. It works very well, I am on my 4th 3Kg reel.

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It is very important that the pieces print perfectly with zero curling at the corners. For this project I have started using 3DLAC spray adhesive to ensure perfect bed adhesion. I am printing the Scout Ship using a 0.12mm layer height. This is a lot slower than the 0.2mm height that I normally use, but the increase in detail and surface smoothness makes it worthwhile. In my next instalment, I will take some screen shots of the settings that I am using in my slicer for this project.

Traveller Type S Scout Ship 28mm Build

I am planning to run my Ender 5 pretty much day and night to print the components for this kit. My initial estimate is that it will take around six weeks to print.

I will update this hobby blog each week to share my progress until the model is complete, painted and ready for her first mission.

Week 2: Stage 21 of 37 Complete

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This is how far we have got at the end of the 2nd week. The printer (Ender 5) has been pretty much working 24 hours a day for 2 weeks to get to this point, and the ship is beginning to take shape. I have recently made models of the 5 crew members & droid who make up the crew of SS Inheritance in Vacc suits. ready for away team missions. I am starting to include them in photographs to give a sense of scale and perspective.

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Here we see my character 'Flynn' standing on the rear cargo ramp. The rear section is almost complete, engines output jets still need to be added and one more level of hull to match up with the attic deck.

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This shot shows the cargo hold area with full height walkway and half height storage areas. The cargo ramp is hinged. The grooves in the walls are for taking the cabling for the lighting kit. In the next stage the drive room will be built to sit on top of the hold.

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Here we see the crew common area with a fully equiped kitchen to the right and recreation area to the left. The tables and chairs are designed to hold flat against the walls when not in use. The joints are a little lose at the moment. I am hoping that a couple of coats of paint and varnish will tighten them up.

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This shot shows the crew in their staterooms. Beds and lockers have been added at this stage. As the Inheritance has a crew of five, I'm going to have to convert one of the beds in the larger staterooms to bunk beds as Smith & Weston share a cabin

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Between the bridge and the staterooms we have life support on the left and heads and shower to the right. It's a small ship and the design makes good use of a very small space. In many ways it reminds me of a camper van or a yacht.

slicer_1

This is the piece of software that I use to convert the 3D design files into something that can be printed. It's called a slicer because it takes the 3D object and slices it into lots of very thin 2D objects that can be printed by the 3D printer. The slicer that I use is called Simplify 3D. I like it a lot, it's very straightforward and easy to use and delivers good results.

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The Scout ship is being printed at 0.12mm layer height. These are fine layers, so it is taking a long time to print, but there is so much detail in the kit that it is worth waiting for!

If you've not done any 3D printing yet, the more layers you have, the better the detail. Here the slicer is slicing the 3D object into individual layers 0.12mm high. The 3D print is a bit like a hot glue gun attached to some motors. The software directs it to follow the outline specified for one layer, extruding hot melted plastic as it goes. When it has completed the first layer, the print bed is dropped 0.12mm and it starts again travelling around the outline extruding hot plastic on top of the last layer. After each layer the bed drops until hundreds of layers latter you have a complete object!

The model shown for scale reference is from the Sally 4th Sci-Fi range. We have a number of Sc-Fi projects 'In the Pipeline, so if you like Sci-Fi why not pop acrodd and see what we are working on?

Click here to visit 'In the Pipeline' our projects in development page.

Click here to visit 'In the Pipeline' our projects in development page.

 

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Second Game of Stargrave

This is the second game of Stargrave that Mike Strong and I played. I am using my Albedo Creationist Crew and Mike has a Star Wars Crew.

My Creationist crew have been converted using parts from the Stargrave Plastic miniatures range and anthropomorphic heads from Albedo Critter Conversion Kits.

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Our crews have landed on a desert planet and are searching for salvagable items amongst the debris of a crashed ship and a moisture farm. We decided to use the disused factory scenario.

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The Albedo crew has seperated into two groups, one led by the captain and one led by the mate. Here we see the mate (female mouse in red and pink outfit) accompanied by chiseler, grenadier and a couple of recruits heading towards a data token.

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The Star Wars crew head towards the moisture farm, which is soon going to become the centre of attention.

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My Captain makes it to  the edge of the farm, using the packing crates for cover.

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Mikes General prepares to jump down, the idea of an ice cold soda is to much to bear.

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My captain invokes Void Blade and offers some sage advice to the young recruit.

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Meanwhile, in the bunker one of Mike's characters has found a computer terminal where someone has left themselves logged in during there lunch break and proceeds to steal some data.

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Back at the moisture farm, the physical loot on the red canteen table is hotly contested. My recruit is now wishing that she used the table for cover rather than jumping up on top of it.

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This poor recruit did not stand a chance as Mikes Mate armed with what looks like four void blades cubes her neatly.

The game was a lot of fun. Mikes league did slightly better than mine, but we both came away with some loot and some experiance, and we had a great time playing.

The terrain boards that we played on are all made from Sally 4th Terra-Former kits, and included a bunker tile.

There is a lot more information on the conversions that I used to make my Albedo Creationist crew in thie earlier blog article

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Robin Hood's Merry Men

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Over the last couple of weeks I have been converting and painting some Robin Hood miniatures. Can you believe it, 40 years of gaming and I did not have anything suitable in my collection... in any scale! This first batch of ten miniatures has been assemled using Frostgrave plastic soldier bodies and some handy metal conversion pieces that are available from North Star. I particularly like the arms with the Quarterstaff that I have used to make my John Little character.

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My good friend Buck Surdu has recently written a series of three Robin Hood scenarios that form a nice narrative campaign for the Feudal Patrol rules system, which was published in Miniature Wargames 459 - July 2021. I'm curruntly putting together miniatures to play the first scenario, False Flag Operation. This scenario really appeals. The Sheriff of Nottingham is trying to erode public support for Robin. He had provided a wagon of 'food aid' which is travelling to a nearby village. He has dressed some of his men up to look like Merry Men to attack the wagon to generate bad publicity... but Robin has heard of the plan and sets of with him men to intervine! The scenario needs two sets of nine 'Merry Men' and 13 Wagon Guards.

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This is the second batch of miniatures that I finished yesterday. I have based those on the Sally 4th Hunters set, shown below, keeping the original head on one figure and removing and replacing with heads from the bits box for the others to give some variety.

Hunters

The Hunters expertly painted by Jon Atter, from the Sally 4th The Villagers range.

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The left-hand figure has retained the original hat. I really like it, it really says Merry Men to me, but I wanted all my figures to look different, so side cutters out to snip heads off, file flat and replace with spare heads from bits box.

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These three all have new heads. Left hand head is from Frostgrave Cultists, middle one is from Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors and right hand one is from North Star Robin Hood conversion kit.

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I have added something extra to the back of all of the miniatures from the Robin Hood conversion kit, from left to right: hunting horn, deda pheasant, dead rabbit, sword in scabbard.

We have scheduled a day to play these scenarios, so will let you know how they go, in due course.

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