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.
Last Saturday Lewis and I got together (over Zoom) to play Discworld themed Pulp Alley.
Deep beneath the Unseen University, the Chair of Grotesque Biologies had accidently opened up a portal to the Dungeon Dimension. Demons were now flooding through the Portal. The Faculty needed to dispatch the demons back to their own dimension and close the portal before some escaped into town.
We played the game co-operatively with two player leagues facing off against two leagues worth of greater and lesser demons. We felt that the Wizards of the Unseen University should be Leaders and Sidekicks, so this let us field more on the table. The player leagues consisted of Ridcully, Rincewind, Sybil and Err the baby dragon, controlled by Lewis. They approached the basement though and earthen secret tunnel that ended in a secret door in the Chair of Grotesque Biologies bedroom.
The second Faculty league, played by me, consisted off the Bursar, The Librarian, Farbul Wuther the Chair of Grotesque Biology and Igor. Both leagues used The Company of Heroes perk to take a second sidekick. The four basement doors had been 'wizard locked' automatically, as a precaution when the portal had been opened. The doors formed the minor plot points for the scenario. The major plot point was closing the portal to the dungeon dimension. The whole of the dungeon counted as a 'difficult area', so moving over 6" would require a peril to be overcome. Both Lewis and I rolled up a perilous area as our pre-game events. These were placed D8 inches in a random direction from the centre of the table. These were represented by the patches of crystals. Opening the portal had obviously triggered other chaos such as these icy crystal patches.
Ridcully’s team moves up to the secret door, and manage to overcome the challenge and open the door with ease.
Rincewind is sent running across the bedroom to be in position to attempt the next wizard locked door next turn. He manages to avoid the perils of running across the dungeon floor.
Meanwhile the greater demon has managed to break through the enchantments on the study door at the same time as the Bursar and his team burst into the main hall.
After some initial setbacks, Ridcully and Rincewind have the connecting door between the bedroom and the main hall opened.
Rincewind takes up position using the banquet table as cover and starts to hurl fireballs in the direction of the emerging demons. We renamed many of the standard Pulp Alley abilities to make them more in keeping with swords and sorcery gaming.. Long Burst for example became Fireblast!
'Err', the baby dragon also hid behind the table and used his fiery breath (Long burst) to hose down the demons. The combination of these two fire attacks left the first Greater Demon in a weakened state allowing 'The Librarian' to charge and rip it to pieces... 'Go Ape!'
A couple of turns later and a second greater demon enters the fray and is subject to the same treatment. We started with One Greater Demon and two Lesser Demons in play. Each turn a fortune card was turned and if the next demon reinforcement could pass the challenge based on its stats it was placed on the portal pool.
The second Greater Demon had suffered two wounds from fireball blasts and an attack from The Librarian. I only had Igor left to activate. In a scenario where the adversaries were all Greater and Lesser Demons, we did not expect that our 'Allies' such as Igor would achieve much.
I said jokingly to Lewis, “I wonder if Igor can finish off that Demon? All he needs to do is pass a Horror check, without taking an adverse effect, pass a cunning check to overcome the Demon's 'Intimidating' ability and then inflict a wound!”... and that is exactly what he did, we could not believe it. He was helped by the fact that he had previously failed a Horror Check, but the result had been 'Rage' that added a dice to his brawl ability. Brawling was already what Igor did best, his 3D6 was raised to 4D6. The demon had two wounds and had already been in combat so his 3D10 brawl had been reduced to 2D6. In the end both Igor and the Demon scored hits and both failed health checks to go down... however at the end of the turn Igor passed his recovery check to get back on his feet and the Demon failed and was banished back to the Dungeon Dimension.
Igor was rightfully awarded the 'Man of the Match' award for his efforts.
Meanwhile, Ridcully has made it into the study / workshop where another Lesser Demon was emerging from the Portal.
Back on his feet Igor to is attacked by another Lesser Demon, he inflicts a wound, but eventually goes down.
Riduclly is joined by The Bursar and the Chair of Grotesque Biology.
We were running out of time, but on the last turn Ridcully manages to overcome the last plot point challenge and seal the portal.
The University and town are safe for another day!
This was an excellent game, exciting and in the balance right down to the last few rolls of the last turn.
I'd played Pulp Alley as co-operative play once before, with Dave Phipps when we went up against 'The Thing' Lewis had not played it this way, but we both agreed that it had been a lot of fun, a different gaming experience, and that we would do it again, sometime soon.
The fantasy miniatures 'inspired by fantasy literature' are all available as part of the Guards Guard Kickstarter campaign. Click here for details.
The terrain is 3D printed using mainly files from Printable Scenery.
Click here to take a look at what is available for Pulp Alley.
On Wednesday Mike and I got together to play a couple of games of Thud & Blunder based on The Unseen University and The Watch from Guard's Guards by Terry Pratchet using the new Sally 4th miniatures inspired by the books. Our first adventure takes place in the basements below the Unseen University. The Meritous Professor of Grotesque Biology has accidently opend up a portal to the Dungeon Dimensions and some pretty grotesque Dungeon Denizens have taken the opportunity to cause chaos in the prime material plane.
Here we see them emerging and making an awful mess of the Professor of Grotesque Biology’s study.
Looks like Rincewind was 'helping out'. I wonder if he can run faster than a Dungeon Denizen Chaos Gribbly!
Looks like he's made it into the main eating chamber, but I don't think the Dungeon Denizen is far behind him, and I don't think it came alone.
Help is at hand Modo the Gnome caretaker has brought help in the form of The Chair of Grotesque Biology, The Bursar, Professor Ridculy and The Librarian.
The Chair and the Librarian attempt the subtle approach of Fireballing the door into submission.
Meanwhile Modo leads the Bursar and Ridcully right flanking along the corridor at the run.
Rincewind barely gets into the main chamber before a Lesser Denizen bursts through the study door after him.
The door proved resistant to fireballs, so the Librarian 'goes ape' and attempts to remove the door from its hinges.
Things are looking a bit bleak for Rincewind who now faces off against four Lesser Denizens.
No one is more surprised than Rincewind, when despite being cursed he manages to dispatch one of the hideous creatures.
The Librarian and the Chair of Grotesque Biology finally manage to batter down the door and sprint across the chamber to take on the demonic beings. They are nearly knocked flat on there faces by Rincewinds sudden desire to be elsewhere.
The door to the right hand passage gives way under the storm of magical attacks from Ridcully and The Bursar and the giant horror heads in there direction.
The Librarian shows off some tasty martial arts moves, and while the Denizen is distracted head butts it into oblivion. Rincewind regains his composure and assists the Chair by blessing him prior to his fire ball attack on the approaching Lesser Denizen.
After a couple of turns of going toe to tentacle with the Greater Denizen, who had squeezed into the passageway, Ridcully aided by a Blessing from the Bursar petrifies the beast. Once turned to stone all Ridcully needs to do is dispatch some first year students armed with chisels and hammers to disassemble and reassemble in his trophy room, with all those tentacles and other appendages, as a coat stand, it will be the talk of the University for years to come.
I've been a big fan of Frostgrave ever since the first edition was launched. It seemed to me that our new range of Guard's Guard fantasy miniatures, inspired by Sir Terry's Discworld would be perfect for a themed Frostgrave warband. They might not be about to win any competitions, but to me that is secondary to having good fun.
Here, we see the complete Warband, posing for the camera before heading North to the Frozen City. I do hope Captain Carrot has packed some warmer clothes! The more observant may have noted the 11th man. Ridcully has 'Animate Construct' in his spellbook and will invariably attempt to create 'Porter' on turn one.
The Warband is led by the great mage himself, Ridcully. His magic backed up by his trusty crossbow.
Wizard, apprentice and animated construct. Ridcully has taken Rincewind under his wing and is hoping to bring him on a bit. I'm not sure if Rincewind is running into trouble or away from danger, only time will tell.
I've decided that magic from Wizards of the Unseen University is either big complicated rituals carried out over time in the background or is immediate, loud and straightforward. For this reason, I've made Ridcully an Elementalist and given him Element Bolt, Element Ball and Destructive Sphere as his core spells. That should teach them... failing that, it's a double tap with the trusty crossbow.
The specialist soldiers are Err... a baby dragon (Warhound), Captain Carrot (Templar), Vimes (Knight) and The Libraian (Barbarian).
Which leads us to the PBT (poor bloody thugs). Look's like Vimes has rounded up four watchmen, skiving to make up the numbers, (Raymond, Arthur, Harold and Terry). I hope it is not to dangerous where they are going.
That's my starting Warband. There are more Guard's Guard miniatures available in the Kickstarter, so we may have some substitutions over time.
I've made the Roster sheet for theGuard's Guard Frostgrave Warband available as a download as well. Click here to download it.
Last week Elton, John and I got together over zoom to enjoy another play test game of Goblin Civil War.
The war ravaged village of "estis de orros" famous for being so poor they steal each others washing as a job, and corn. On the Right you see the Regulars of the "3rd Regimentia Du Malsos" supported by the crew of the gunboat "Vagrant" and the local police of the Gardia muncipale. on the left you see the local "Arriopos workers Miltia" AWM for short supported by the armed monks and nuns of the local the Abbey De Bartolos, named after Siant Bartolos the beligerant.
Du Malsos command and De Orros gardia advance through the cornfields to the south of the village.
The crew of the Vagrant support the flank of the Du Malsos as they advance on the ruins of the town.
On the left you can see the AWM dogpack and the Bartolene monks as they advance to meet the regimantias command group.
The bulk of the AWM commit to retaking the town, passing the gardia station as they go.
The Crew of the Vagrant managed to occupy the towns northern ruins.
The Du Malsos advance to occupy the town centre.
The AWM mount a desperate charge to clear out the crew of the Vagrant from the ruins.
... and they pull it off!
Overall a AWM victory the village has been retaken however there is a still pockets of resistance on the cornfields and houses of the south of the village.
We are getting used to playing miniatures games over Zoom, so this played very well, however it's not quiet the same as face to face gaming, however it does allow us to help Elton with his playtesting and development of the Goblin Civil War game.
The Goldfinch, an SOE agent carries top secret plans for a heavy water plant being constructed in Norway as part of the Nazi's atomic weapons research. It is vital to the allied war effort that the plans are recovered to aid there own research and to enable a commando mission to be dispatched to destroy the factory. The only thing worse than the Nazi's recovering the Goldfinch and her secrets are if the fell into the hands of Red Skull & Hydra.
Sainte-Marine is a small Breton village with a harbour
The Goldfinch has managed to keep her identity hidden. She has recruited a cell of resistance fighters in Saint-Marine, if the characters can make contact with them they may be able to identify 'The Goldfinch' so she can be approached.
Andre the cafe owner
Madame Gagnon the post mistress
Claudette the Nun
Jerome the Travelling Salesman
... as you may have noticed, the Gendarme are everywhere and they are always on the look out for agents. The area within a large template of a Gendarme counts as a perilous area. At the end of the turn they move D8" in a random direction, unless there has been combatwithin 12" in which case they move towards the character who has taken the most combat actions, i.e. has the most 'Pow' tokens on there base. There's also a couple of dogs, they are a small perilous area, they can bark and give a charcater away. They also move D8" in a random direction.
As if this was not enough trouble for the characters to deal with, there is a traitor within 'The Goldfinch's' network. One of the reward cards in the reward deck is 'It's a trap'. If this is revealed, this contact allerts the German authorities and a patrol is dispatched. The Patrol consists of a German Officer and four German Soldiers. They will enter up to 6" table on edge closest to the contact that alerted them at the end of the turn the trap was sprung. The player who did not attempt plot point that revealed the trap will place them. On turn they are deployed they can shoot at any character within 12" that has taken combat action that turn, shooting at closest. On subsequent turns, if there is a character within 12" that has taken a combat action they will move 6" towards them, otherwise they will move D8 in a random direction and shoot if there is a character within 12" that has taken a combat action.
I will be playing this scenario this afternoon with Mike Strong... his first go at Pulp Alley, so will update later in the week to let you know how Captain America and Red Skull fare in Saint-Marine!
Pulp Alley curruntly has a Kickstarter running for the new Pulp Alley Starter set, a new book of characters and a scenario book together with some lovely looking new miniatures. Click here to take a look.
Update 6th June:
Last week Mike Strong and I got together to play through this scenario. We assigned the leagues randomly, Mike got Hydra and I got Captain America. The potential contacts were placed on the table, we each took turns to place them. The scenario objective, 'The Goldfinch' was not placed at this point, we needed to wait for a tip off from a contact to identify her wherabouts.
I split my league in two to double my chances of finding a lead, one group was lead by Agent Carter, the other by Captain America. The Captains group headed to talk to Madame Gagnon the post mistress, but Hydra were also on there way and 'Bucky' Barnes was caught in the crossfire and became the first casualty of the encounter.
In a dark alley way, the Hydra Team leader waylaid Jerome the Travelling Salesman, who was suspicious of the strange outfit and jet back and landed a quick blow before making a hasty escape from the encounter.
Dr Zola, Red Skulls sidekick led his troops towards the town center, avoiding the perils of the local Gendarme and stray dogs.
Captain America attempts to convince Madame Gagnon that he can be trusted, but struggles with the Brittany accent. Madame is suspicious and moves on.
Meanwhile, on the docks, Agent Carters code phrase is recognised by Claudette the Nun, who tells Carter how she will recognise the Goldfinch. The plot point is resolved, and we get to place 'The Goldfinch' on the table.
Red Skull crosses the square and heads towards Agent Carter and her troops with the intention of forcing Carter to reveal what she knows.
We placed 'The Goldfinch' in what we thought would be a safe location, and Carter hurried towards the rendeauvous. We had underestimated the usefulness of Hydras Jet Packs, which they used to great effect for there Grenadier and Gunner to fly over the buildings to cover the approaches to 'The Goldfinchs' location.
In the firefight, Dum-Dum Duggan and the Hydra Gunner go down, and Agent Carter closes to make contact with the SOE agant.
The last thing she needs is Red Skull to contend with. Captain America tries to distract and the trip up Red Skull and 'Pinky' Pinkerton manages to catch him under the blast of his SMG.
However, the action in the back streets is hotting up, the Hydra Grenadier manages to get a grenade on target. Carter is wounded in the blast.
Meanwhile, Dr Zola manages to persuade Jerome that he can be trusted, and he to is given the location of the 'Goldfinch'. In this scenario, this information is crucial as only a character who has gained the information about 'The Goldfinch' can attempt to approach her to resolve the major plot point. At this point both Agent Carter and Dr Zola have this information.
... but unfortunately the allready wounded Agent Carter is taken down by a burst from the Hydra Gunner. This means that Captain Americas league no longer knows how to cantact the SOE agent.
Captain America had another attempt at making contact via The Postmistress, but time was against him. In the last two turns of the game, Americas early lead was reversed and the game ended with 'The Goldfinch' slipping into the Brittany night, with neither leage learning her secrets, (for now).
Links for further information:
Having been a big fan of Frostgrave right from the beginning, and also a big fan of Albedo Anthropomorphics, when Stargrave was launched it made perfect sense to combine the two and put together some Stargrave crews from the Albedo universe. After talking to my great friend and Albedo author, Mike Wilson we identified five Albedo crew backgrounds that would be perfect for Stargrave. These were:
I've decided to start with the Creationist Crew. This crew is from Arras Chanka, maybe even the crew of UH4, the first jump enabled ship, the Captain is a mystic and her mission is to discover who has created them and why? If you're not familiar with the Albedo universe, I've added Mike's description of the awakening and the search for information on creation at the bottom of the article.
I made a start yesterday, putting the first four miniatures together using a mixture of pieces from the Stargrave Crew plastic box set and parts from the Albedo ACP164 miniatures range. The pieces are very compatible as the albedo miniatures have all been designed as bodies with separate heads and arms. The two miniatures in the centre will be the Captain and Executive Officer. I wanted these to both be female characters, and as there are not female Stargrave miniatures available yet I used an Albedo female officer and female civilian body with arms from the plastic Stargrave set. I also put together a Chiseler using a crew body, arms with spanner and an Albedo rabbit head and a trooper armed with a carbine using Stargrave parts with the addition of an Albedo Husky dog head and tail.
Update 21st May
Captain & Executive Officer
Husky Trooper and Rabbit Chiseler
In the hanger bay with an Aerodyne and some cargo!
Once upon a time, on a planet that the natives called Arras Chanka, history began. The date of that event has since been set at Standard Date (SD) -54-2-8. Since Arras Chanka orbits its star in roughly the same position as the Earth orbits Sol, and has roughly the same size and mass, they also have 12 months of about 30 days each. Dates in Albedo are expressed as SD yyy-mm-dd.
Things had clearly been happening before that point, but it was the time when individual critters began to realise that nobody was really sure how their civilisation had come to be, where their technology came from or why they all looked so different from one another.
The realisation led to an intensive period of examination over a two year period which established that not only was there no historical or archaeological evidence of anything before ‘the awakening’, but there was no genetic evidence of any relationship between the 163 distinct species that inhabited the planet. Although they were all based on the same basic genetic ‘frame’ there was no blood or tissue compatibility, and no interbreeding was possible. By a process of elimination, the Arras Chankans concluded that they had all been created for an unknown reason, by an unknown agency at some point in the recent past – nobody has yet proved or disproved this theory.
Because there was no evidence of the creating agency on the planet, considerable effort was put in to adapting the existing technology to achieve interstellar space travel. Space probes were launched to explore their own system in SD-45, and the first critters left orbit in SD-39.
By SD-27, permanent space colonies had been established in the Arras Chanka system, on planetary bodies, asteroids and permanent space stations. Scientists were busily exploring further afield, using ships powered by a newly invented fusion drive. Improvements in this technology led to the discovery of a jump drive in SD-17, and a decade later, the first crewed jump-capable ship boosted from Arras Chanka to boldly go etc…
The launch of this ship - the UH4 - and the successful completion of its exploration mission was considered so significant that all future dates would be calculated from that point in time, known as SD0.
Update 15th June
I have just finished painting all 10 miniatures for my Stargrave Albedo Creationist Crew.
Apart from the Grenadier, whose body is based on long out of production Void plastic infantry, all of the rest of the crew are built using a mixture of Stargrave Crew, Frostgrave Soldier II, and Albedo ACP164 Critter Conversion Kits parts. More details to follow, later in the week.
On Thursday Lewis and I got together (over Zoom) to play one of our favourite miniatures’ games, Pulp Alley. We have played Pulp Alley in countless historical, fantasy and sci-fi genres, but Thursday's setting was the Marvellous World of Ozz. We've been thinking about this for a long time as I have been involved in the Wars of Ozz project for several years now and as well as the many units for mass fantasy battle, have a great collection of individually mounted Ozz miniatures.
We came up with a scenario based on 'The Lost Keys' scenario from the Pulp Alley Rulebook. Dorothy and Admiral JinJar are both searching for the Munchkin witch, Yellow Star as a terrible calamity has befallen the Land of Harvest and Pumpkin’s are rotting in the field rather than being transformed into Pumpkin folk. Dorothy & JinJar are friendly, so their leagues cannot take combat actions against each other until one of them has recruited Yellow Star (resolved the major plot point). The four minor plot points were Munchkin villagers who could be talked to and might share some information about Yellow Stars where abouts (if the minor plot point was resolved). A character cannot attempt to talk to Yellow Star (major plot point) unless they had a clue from a villager (resolved a minor plot point)
At the end of each turn any unresolved plot points would wander D8 inches in a random direction. The Munchkin houses were all guarded by huge ferocious hounds, a couple of rocky areas were infested with snakes and there was a large patch of sleep-inducing poppy fields. These were all perilous areas. There were also two scary forests. These creatures were very scary so had the Horror 3 trait meaning all characters apart from Dorothy needed to pass a health check when activating within 12" or draw a card from the Horror deck. There were also 2 Angry Apple Trees which on their activation threw their apples at the nearest character within 12".
Dorothy, Toto and Scarecrow enter on the Yellow Brick Road.
Admiral JinJur and her crew of female pirates from all the peoples of Ozz were represented by a League of Legends, i.e. four sidekicks: Admiral JinJur the nominal leader, Ma Might, Mombi and Jellie Jamb. Here we see Ma Might and Mombi heading in the direction of a friendly villager while trying to avoid the fierce dog.
All appears to be peaceful in the Land of Ozz.
Tinman, Lion and Joseph, a Munchkin villager head towards the crossroads and are dismayed to find their way blocked by some scary forest.
Not quite having enough time to talk to the friendly villager this turn, Dorothy tests out her pistol by firing at the scary forest.
The scary forest is assaulted from all sides, at one point it looks like it had been severely damaged, but as if by magic the felled limbs grew back in place (it passed its end of turn recovery check!)
The brave lion rushes the scary forest and engages it in fisticuffs.
Both Toto and The Lion are temporarily knocked out by blows from the Scary Forest.
At this, scarecrow loses his nerve and heads of back down the Yellow Brick Road overcome by 'Blind Panic'
Dorothy thinks that she has it cracked, engages the villager in friendly conversation, only to find that she does not actually know where Yellow Star is (the reward card drawn was a Red Herring).
The Scary Forest proves to be a tough adversary. At this point every member of Dorothy's league, apart from Dorothy herself are suffering from a horror effect, after failing a horror check.
Eventually Dorothy does find a villager who knows the whereabouts of Yellow Star.
Up until the last turn of the game, it appeared that Admiral Jinjur had a definite lead. Three of her team had successfully gathered information from villagers and where heading in the direction of Yellow Stars last known location.
Here we see Jinjur rushing as fast as her short Munchkin legs could carry her, only to find that Dorothy had got there a fraction of a moment earlier!
On the last turn, Dorothy automatically overcame the peril associated with the plot point, as one of her abilities was 'Danger Sense. The plot point challenge drawn was a mere one success with Finesse. Dorothy normally gets to roll 3D8 for Finesse checks, but has the Quick-Witted ability that allows her, once a turn to exchange 3D8 for 5D6. This is what she did and managed to roll 4 successes for a convincing conversation with Yellow Star and the major plot point reward.
I have made all of the Wizard of Ozz character cars available as a free download, click here to access them.
Dorothy’s League was based on the five miniatures (Dorothy, Toto, Tinman, Lion and Scarecrow) from the Adventures of Ozz figure pack.
Admiral Jinjurs league was made from figures from the Admiral Jinjurs Pirate Crew Pack..
Click here to take a look at the complete range of miniatures available for Wars of Ozz gaming.
The terrain is all built on Terra-Former Modular Terrain boards.
Click here to visit our Pulp Alley store.
Since my post about modelling and rigging a Xebec, I've had quiet a few emails and messages about the backdrop and activities going on around the Quay, so I've taken a few more photos focussing on the townsfolk. What ever period or genre I am gaming, I do like to include some locals going about there day to day business as part of the game board, as I find empty houses and streets to look like something is missing.
The buildings in the foreground were designed by me about 15 years ago for the Conflix range. The town base is made from 1' square modular terrain tiles from theTerra-Former range and the wooden platforms and jetties are also part of the same range. The townsfolk are all from 'The Villagers' range and include the Washday, Gone Fishing, A night at the Tavern, Tavern Brawl and Children at Play sets.
The Wash Day Set is one of my favourites, it's a scene that would have been seen around the world for many hundreds of years. As well as the four women, and the helpful young girl the set includes the washing line full of clothes and various baskets and scrubbing boards. Judging by the set of the Xebec's sails, I'd say it's going to be a good day for drying laundry!
Gone fishing! These guys are normally found on a bridge or beside a stream, but look just as much at home doing a bit of sea fishing of the jetty. My favourite bit about this set is the frog modelled onto the tree trunk that comes with the set for the fisherman to sit on.
Oh dear, looks like some trouble has spilled out from the Inn, another not uncommon sight around dockside drinking establishments around the world. The two fighters, the two fans and the guy taking side bets are all from The Tavern Brawl set, while the two happy drunks staggering home to be met by the angry wife with a rolling pin are from the 'A Night at the Tavern' set. She does not look well pleased to see them!
This pair of figures are from 'The Shepherds' set, but I thought there poses also suited some dockside workers with heaving lines at the ready.
Finally we have 'Children at Play'.... it does not look like the safest place to be playing, and no responsible adult in sight, ah well, different times!
Xebecs were ships, very similar to galleys primarily used by Barbary pirates, which have both lateen sails and oars for propulsion. Xebecs featured a distinctive hull with pronounced overhanging bow and stern, and rarely displaced more than 200 tons, making them slightly smaller and with slightly fewer guns than frigates of the period. My model Xebec was designed by the very talented Iain Lovecraft as part of his Pirates vs Cthulhu Kickstarter. The hull, masts, spars, anchor and cannon have all been 3D printed from Iain's files on and Ender 5 FDM printer using 1.75mm PLA filament, apart from the cannon that were 3D printed in resin.
Here we see her before rigging. Having looked at some pictures of real Xebecs and read about their rigging in the period 'Elements and Practice of Rigging & Seamanship' I'd identified that the masts were supported by groups of shrouds and stays running fore and aft. I drew the attachment points for the shrouds in Corel Draw and cut them out on a laser cutter, together with a guard rail to run across the upper deck as it looked like a bit of a health and safety hazard without one. These were glued in place with super glue and painted to match the rest of the ship. The unpainted wood areas had been sprayed with Army Painter Leather Brown, dry-brushed 'tanned flesh' and then stained using Army Painter Quick Tone. All paints used were from Army Painter range and included Gunmetal for cannons, grate and other metallic parts, yellow and black for hull stripe and goblin green for upper deck rail detail. The spars were spray painted Army Painter Demonic Yellow before picking out detail in black. Four holes were drilled in line going down mast from spar attachment point to take the shrouds, while another hole was drilled fore and aft to take the stays.
The standing rigging is made from 1mm diameter elastic cord to represent tarred rope. Elastic cord is an ideal material for rigging as the elasticity makes the rigging self-adjusting, so there is no danger of a line going slack when you add a subsequent, tighter line. I fashioned a threading tool out of thin brass rod to act like a big needle to allow me to thread the elastic cord through the holes in the mast and the shroud plates. The cord was cut off behind a small not at each end. This is hidden in the recess of the shroud plates.
The sails are made from a triple laminate of 80gm copier paper and Japanese tissue paper. I used the spar to draw the shape of the sail, with a pencil onto the copier paper. This was cut out, brushed over with diluted PVA glue and a sheet of tissue paper was glued to both sides. When the glue had dried, the tissue paper layer front and then back were brushed over with diluted PVA glue and left to dry. This gave a nice tough, textured sail effect. When it was completely dried, the tissue paper was cut to the shape of the inner paper. I then used a ruler and pencil to draw parallel lines to represent the joins in the sail cloth and marked dots along the luff (part of sail that's next to spar) at 1/2" intervals. Using a large darning needle, holes were made on the dots and at the clew (where sheets attach).
The sails were bent onto the spars by sewing thread through the holes. The spars were then glued to the masts. The next thing to do was to attach the sheets (ropes that control the set of the sails). I made some fairleads and cleats out of MDF to pass the lines through and secure them. A pair was glued aft of each mast, and an extra fairlead on the bow.
As this is a model for wargaming with, rather tan a display model, the rigging is vastly simplified. The only other thing that I wanted to represent was a halyard for raising and lowering the spars. This was made from 1mm brown elastic cord. Holes were drilled through the top of the mast and the ends of the spars, and a length of elastic threaded through and secured with small knots and superglue. In real life there would be a live running down the mast and cleated off to allow adjustment.
I also tied a length of cord to the anchor (using an anchor bend) and carefully coiled off the standing part of the line, applying superglue to keep the coils in position before gluing to the forward deck.
Sea-going Mediterranean peoples greatly favoured xebecs as corsairs. The corsairs built their xebecs with a narrow floor to achieve a higher speed than their victims, but with a considerable beam in order to enable them to carry an extensive sail-plan.
The lateen rig of the xebec allowed the ship to sail close hauled to the wind, something that often give it an advantage in pursuit or escape. The use of oars or sweeps allowed the xebec to approach vessels who were becalmed.
When used as corsairs, the xebecs carried a crew of 300 to 400 men and mounted perhaps 16 to 40 guns according to size. In peacetime operations, the xebec could transport merchandise, my model is obviously a baby Xebec with a mere 10 cannon in five pairs.
I'm planning to use her in Blood & Plunder as well as 'On the Seven Seas', so must find if there is a ship data card or if I need to design one. A Xebec is going to be very fast and manouverable, with good sweeps, a generous deck space and a handy five gun broadside. I would imagine it would be possible to mount a couple of swivel guns fore and aft as well.
The harbour is built using Terra-Former modular terrain boards. These are 1' square terrain modules with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them closely together. They are edged with Terra-Former harbour wall edging which has not been release yet, but will feature in our nauticaly themed 'Rising Tides' Kickstarter in a few weeks time.
I'm very excited by the iminent release of Stargrave. I'm a big fan of Frostgrave, and this new game sounds like it will be just as good, but set in Space with a Captain, Lieutenant and crew scavenging for treasure across the universe.
Stargrave is shipping early May, but in the meantime I'm inspired by some of the photos that I have seen of Frostgrave plastic Gnolls, Cultists and Ghost Archipelago Crew being converted to space mercenaries. In the figures drawer of my painting desk I had some spare Frostgrave Gnolls and Barbarians, so this morning I have made a start at converting them using some spare Albedo Critter Conversion Kit heads and weapons.
The left hand two miniatures are based on Frostgrave Barbarian bodies, the right hand three are based on Frostgrave Gnoll bodies.
All of the metal parts are from Albedo ACP164 kits and include carbines, sniper rifle, grenade launcher and combat shotgun. I'm hoping that there will be similar weapons to these available in Stargrave!!
I'm planning to get these painted over the weekend, and then get started on some more, so will update this blog with my progress.
Here's my first efforts at Stargrave conversions painted and based and ready for action. The heads that I have used for conversion are either the Sandperson / Desert Raider heads or the Helmet & Respirator conversion pack.
These four conversions have all used the Frostgrave Cultist body. The right hand figure is armed with a grenade launcher from the special weapons pack the other three with carbines from the carbines and rifles conversion pack.. The observant may note that it is a carbine with a folding stock and one figure has the same carbine but with stock folded back.
This morning I've assembled a Stargrave Crew based on Albedo Space Pirates.
The droid is from Star Saga. Everything else is onverted from Frostgrave bodies and Albedo Critter Conversion kits arms, weapons & heads.
The Captain is the rabbit with an eye patch, he is based on a Frostgrave plastic wizard body. The figures next to him are Mate armed with advanced combat shotgun and the hacker who is armed with a pistol and carrying a data pad. These and all the other bodies are from the Frostgrave Cultist box set.
Next up is a runner armed with pistol and a grenadier and sniper. The figures that count as having Heavy Armor are all wearing Combat Helmets and we assume Kevlar plates under there robes!
Finaly we have three Troopers armed with carbines and heavy armour.
Update 21st April
Last night I had a bit of a play about with some Frostgrave and Wargames Atlantic bodies plus Albedo Critter Conversion pack components. The figure back middle is a Frostgrave Wizard with a Albedo mouse head in cowled hood. She's holding a riot truncheon from our Police Weapons pack. My original idea was to paint fluorescent green as a light sabre, but someone suggested snipping off at handle and using 1.6mm light collecting rod, so have ordered some of that to try. The guy to the left is a Wargames Atlantic Einherjar body with Albedo carbine and head, while the figure to the right is an Einherjar body and a Wargames Atlantic lizardman in gas mask head.
As we have had so much interest in Albedo Critter Conversion Packs, we have but a bundled deal together where you can select a plastic sprue for bodies, a weapon sprue and a head sprue as a single product. Click here to take a look!
My May the 4th miniature - 2021
The arms holding light sabres are from the Police Weapons packs. The arms holding riot battons, have the battons cut off above the hand grip and coloured 1.6mm acrylic rod superglued on to make the light beams.
Here we see a stand off in the bar (Scottia Grendel Cyber Bar), "Benjamin, I am your Father..."
The Bunker Tile is a standard 12" square, so it fits with all the other Terra-Former modules. It is 4" deep, and is designed for making underground bunkers, command centers, space-ship interiors etc. The Interior space is designed to hold either Terra-Block, 3D printed or commercial 2" square terrain pieces. I remembered that I had a few boxes of the old Dwarven Forge Sci-Fi terrain and set that out inside the tile. The Jedi rabbits were then just shouting out for a photo opportunity!