Category Archives: Wargaming

Female Efreeti: Bones 4 Fan Favorites Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted the Female Efreeti figure from the Bones 4 Fan Favorites Expansion set.  Since I did the Djinni, last week, I thought I should do her counterpart this week to complete the pair.
      I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsed and dried it.  I then glued on the head on with Gorillas superglue.  Then, after cutting down the base a little, I glued the figure to a black-primed 1.25" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     I began by painting the figure’s armor with Ceramcoat “Black”.  When dry, I drybrushed it with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.

     Next, I painted the skin with Folk Art “Barnyard Red”, and the loincloths with Crafter’s Acrylic “Pure Pumpkin”.  I then painted the sword grips with Reaper MSP HD “Umber Brown”, the metal parts of the hilt with Accent “Mustard Seed”, and the blades with Americana “Zinc”

     I then painted the metal on the sword hilts with the “Bronze”, and the sword blades with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  I decided I didn’t like the blades, and wanted to do something more unique with them, so when dry I repainted them with Folk Art Color Shift “Black Flash”.    After that, I painted her fangs and the teeth on her necklace with Americanas “Fawn”.   I also took this opportunity to carefully paint the areas of her hair that bordered her skin and armor with the “Black”.  If I had it to do again, I should have painted the head/hair piece separately, as the hair is sculpted to really intermingle closely with her body.   
     Then , when everything had a chance to dry, I gave her skin and loincloths a wash with Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.  When that was dry, I gave her armor and swords a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash. 
     When the washes were dry, I painted her eyes using Folk Art “Lemon Chiffon” for the “whites”, and then painted “Black” pupils.  I then went back and painted the pupil centers with Folk Art Color Shift “Red Flash”.   Next, I painted the lips, and afterwards highlighted the face and rest of the skin with a mix of the base “Barnyard Red” and varying degrees of Americana “Shading Flesh”.  After that, I highlighted her teeth with Americana “Snow White”, and the teeth on the necklace with Americana “Bleached Sand”.  
     I then highlighted the loincloths with the base “Pure Pumpkin” with varying degrees of Americana “Tangerine” mixed in, and then mixed in a little of the “Lemon Chiffon” and did lighter highlights.  I wasn’t happy with the splotchy way the “Reikland Fleshshade” had pooled in the loincloth creases, so I reapplied shadows using Crafter’s Acrylic “Orange Spice”.   After that, I painted the rest of her hair with the “Black”.

     Next, I painted her claws with the “Orange Spice”, and then added highlights with Ceramcoat “Raw Sienna”.  I then drybrushed her hair with Apple Barrel “Apple Maroon”, and then did lighter highlights with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”.  After that, I painted her horns with Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and when they had dried for a while, I gave them a wash with the “Nuln Oil”.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed them with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.  I then drybrushed the sword blades with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”; and afterwards highlighted the armor and sword hilts with Ceramcoat “14K Gold”, followed with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”.   Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
       I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.  I thought the eyes ended up looking too flat, so I went back and reapplied some of the “Red Flash”,  and added highlight dots with the “Lemon Chiffon”.

     I’m really happy with how she came out.  It was fun playing with a different kind of skin tone, and I think the red highlights in the hair was an experiment that ended up looking good.

Tune in Thursday for another bonus post!

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Feudal Patrol (and a secret set of rules) play test

Buck

Take a close look at the different units in this picture.

I have alluded a couple of times to a secret set of rules I am working on for a major figure manufacturer for a new line of figures.  We are targeting Cold Wars 2020 in March.  Because of the compressed development schedule, I am having to re-use bits and pieces of ideas from previous development efforts.  It normally takes me there to six years to develop and write a set of rules.  For these kinds of early play tests, a very small crew is best.  Later, when the design is more mature, I will open up play tests to the whole club.  So a couple of folks came over, and we put a lot of surrogate troops on the table to test out activation (didn’t work well) and combat (worked fine).  We used an odd assortment of mismatched figures for this first play test to obfuscate the subject of the rules and figures.  I will be making a LOT of adjustments to the rules before the next play test in August.

Two swell guys…

We also worked on a couple of details for Feudal Patrol ™.  Feudal Patrol is the version of Combat Patrol ™ for early black powder and mediaeval periods.  The big stuff is all working fine, and the design of the Action Decks are pretty much complete.  In this play test, we were working on magic, confirming that the cavalry rules from the Napoleonic supplement to Combat Patrol were okay (they were), and testing a few new things.  Once you include things like long pointy sticks, you have to consider fighting in two ranks, which we tested and seemed to work okay.

Zeb’s Riever cavalry advances toward Greg’s pike block.

The early stages of the Feudal Patrol game.

Cavalry versus infantry in the center of the table.

Zeb pondering an early move.

Chris wanted to try out a change in how melee is resolved.  In Combat Patrol: WWII, when a figure loses melee, he drops back, and the unit takes a morale check.  For a melee heavy game, like Feudal Patrol, Chris thought that the defeated figure should also be stunned.  That seemed to work fine.

Three swell guys.

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A Preponderance of Panzers – Chapter 2 – Scout Cars and Behemoths

Mark A. Morin

I could not create a proper WWII Normandy scenario for What a Tanker© games without the German forces having both some proper reconnaissance vehicles and some of their legendary monster behemoth tanks.  I acquired four kits to remedy this deficiency – all from The Plastic Soldier Company.  One was a PSC kit of 5 SdKfz 231 armored cars, while I also ordered three Zveda models – a Jagdpanther, a Jagdtiger, and a Tiger II (aka “King Tiger” or “Königstiger”) as shown below.   This blog installment picks up from my previous posting about German tanks and tank destroyers for Normandy.

1 boxes
My plastic kits – all bought from The Plastic Soldier Company.

The tanks were all single models, while the PSC kit allowed you to build either SdKfz 231, 232, 233, or 263 8-rad scout cars.  While I liked the idea of having a 232 or 263 with their iconic roof antennae, I decided not to build them as such for a couple of reasons.  First, the spindly plastic antennae did not look survivable as tabletop figures.  Secondly, if I built the antennae, the turrets would not work.  In the end, I built three SdKfz 231 (with the same 20mm autocannon as the Panzer II) and two turretless and open-topped SdKfz 233 (with the same 75mm gun as the Panzer IVD).  Two SdKfz 231’s would be for North Africa, with the remaining 231 and both 233’s being built for Normandy.  These scout cars, and the other tanks and tank destroyers here all could reasonably be used on either the Western or Eastern Fronts.  I will cover each type in order, and then some “eye candy “shots of the finished models.  I will also share a listing of the paints and other materials I used in the projects for those interested.

SdKfz 231’s and SdKfz 233’s (8-rad scout cars)

These are all 8-wheeled scout cars, and I plan on using them to add some recon aspects to my games.  They are very light, and as I was concerned that they would be knocked around very easily.  I added Daisy BB-gun BB’s to the 231’s, but the 233’s were open topped and that was not an option.  The 233’s did have crew that needed to be painted and mounted.

1 assembly and weights
SdKfz 231 showing my use of BB’s as ballast.
2 SdKfz assembled (2)
The group of 5, assembled, less crews for the 233’s.
2 crew SdKfz 233 painted
One of the crews.  I drilled, ahem, their seat areas, with a pin vise, and mounted them on toothpicks for ease of painting.  I removed most of the toothpick tips before mounting the crewmen and painted over their posteriors.  You can’t see them, but forever these will have a stick up their asses…


As you see above, my Iwata Micron-B was a wonderful tool to achieve the three-tone camouflage patterns.  I applied decals, weathered the vehicles, and varnished them.  The sun finally came out so I took a couple of shots on the deck.

6 SdKfz 233 complete on deck
Completed SdKfz 233 shot outside.
5 SdKfz 231 and 233 complete on deck
All three for Normandy catching some rays.

For the North Africa/DAK 231 models, I just washed and dry-brushed them to achieve a weathered look.  I did not give the DAK 233’s because I did not want to paint another 15mm crew!  These will work just fine.

2 SdKfz 231's for North Africa
Das Afrika Korps now has reconnaissance.

Jagdpanther

The lines on this tank destroyer are practically beautiful.  Though if I was in a Sherman seeing one, my opinion would certainly be different!  Only 415 of these were ever built.

The Jagdpanther model was the easiest to assemble of the three.  The boxes say you don’t need glue, but I recommend using modeling cement for sure.  It certainly helps to close gaps.  I also weighted the tanks and tank destroyers down with BB’s in their hulls.

1 Jagdpanther assembled
Assembled Jagdpanther
2 Jagdpanther painted
Mid-project.
3 Jagdpanther after decal
Before final weathering and varnish was applied.

Jagdtiger

This monster was quite impractical – yet one tough AFV.  It weighed nearly 72 tons, and had a number of mechanical challenges.  However, its 128 mm gun was more than enough to dispatch any other vehicle on the planet.  Between 70 and 88 were built – so they were rare.

1 Jagdtiger assembled
Assembled Jagdtiger model.
2 Jagdtiger painted
After initial camouflage applied.

Tiger II

If the Tiger was iconic, the second generation version Tiger II is a step up even higher.  Only 492 of these 68-ton behemoths were ever built, but they first saw action in Normandy.  This one has the Henschel turret (a few rarities had a Porsche turret).  Early Tiger II versions also had reliability issues, but these improved quickly.

1 Tiger II Assembled
Assembled model of the Tiger II.
2 Tiger II painted
After initial camouflage applied.  Note the droopy bow machine gun.  I used liquid decal film to “firm” it up.

Of course, these are all part of my planned Normandy breakout scenario – so I will now share some eye candy of these German models on that planned tabletop battlefield.

Eye Candy

3 AFV's with painting models
I thought I’d first share this – this is my painting area with the images I used to guide my painting.  The vehicles are below.

Here is the battlefield and a first play test of the scenario that I ran at the Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge, MA.  The Americans can be seen here.

5 play test
First play test of the scenario.  Note the cards on the table – those represent possible German vehicle positions – which the Americans and British had to recon as they attempted their breakout through hedgerow country.  I appreciate the gamers’ feedback here – it was helpful, and the scenario was close – it went 91-89 in favor of the Germans.  You can learn about the club here.

I modified the previous tabletop, and my current set up is below.


So now some shots of the vehicles on the new tabletop set up!

1 SdKfz 231 front Normandy
An SdKfz 231 recons.
2 SdKfz 231 right side Normandy
Right side of SdKfz 231.
3 SdKfz 233's reconning, front side, Normandy
Two SdKfz 233’s recon past a destroyed building.
4 Jagdpanther moving down road, frontal view
Jagdpanther advances down a French road.

11 Jagdtiger moving down road, right side

Right side of the Jagdtiger at a Normandy crossroads.

12 Jagdtiger hiding in field, left side
Left side of the Jagdtiger as it crosses a field.
13 Jagdtiger rear side
Rear shot of the Jagdtiger.  For all of these I tried Citadel’s “Typhus Corrosion” paint on the mufflers.  It’s a bit shiny in this shot due to lighting, but I think it worked well.
10 Tiger II moving by hedgerow, right side view
Right side of my Tiger II by a hedgerow.
9 Tiger II moving down road, rear view
Not great lighting – the turret is not “shiny” – but this shot shows the Tiger II from the rear.
8 Tiger II moving down road, left side view
Moving out!  Schnell! (sustained road speed was 24 mph!)
7 Tiger II moving in field, frontal view
Nice front shot of the Tiger II in a field showing the weathering/mud.  Also, the machine gun is “up” and no longer droopy.
6 Tiger II moving around corner, right side view
The best shot I have of the Tiger II.

If you want to get in on the action, here’s our announcement for our next gaming session on June 29th.  Or visit our Facebook page (and join if you’d like here).

2 New Leader

Thanks for looking!  Always appreciate your feedback in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE VEHICLES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. Testors Plastic Cement
  3. Daisy BB-Gun BB’s
  4. E6000 epoxy
  5. Aleene’s poster tack
  6. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  7. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  8. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  9. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  10. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  11. Battlefront “European Skin”
  12. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  13. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  15. Battlefront”Black”
  16. Vallejo Mecha Color “Grey Green”
  17. Vallejo “Black Grey”
  18. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  19. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  20. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  21. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  22. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Yellow”
  23. Vallejo Model Air “US Olive Drab”
  24. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  25. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  26. Vallejo Model Air “Rust (71.080)”
  27. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  28. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  29. Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
  30. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Oil Stains”
  31. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  32. Appropriate decals from Armorcast
  33. Microscale Micro-Set
  34. Microscale Micro-Sol
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  36. P3 “Bootstrap Leather”
  37. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  38. Army Painter “Mid-Brown” (wash – desert models only)
  39. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  40. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  41. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  42. Vallejo “Brown Mud” (Thick Mud)
  43. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  44. Vallejo “Crushed Grass”

from Mark A. Morin https://markamorin.com/2019/06/23/a-preponderance-of-panzers-chapter-2-scout-cars-and-behemoths/
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Casting Session

Rob Dean

Being in need of more Meisterzinn parts for the French Revolution, I set up the melting pot today.  It was a frustrating day, reminding me of the vagaries of home casting.
I set out to make enough of the cavalry bodies in the lower left corner to match the horses I made last time, and we’ll call that a success. However, I made 10 in 11 pours, and then the remaining three took about eight tries. The advancing musketeer multi-part body wouldn’t cast at all, although I made two dozen last time. 

I thought I might be able to do a head swap on the single piece musketeers with leveled bayonets, but getting 7 took me 20+ tries, so that will not be much help on production speed. 

I was playing around with three vintage molds. The farm animals wouldn’t cast, but I got a few civilians. The new vintage mold I got this week, making some possible FPW figures, is typical. The least useful cavity (crouching guy) cast best, and the most useful, a figure advancing with leveled bayonet, wouldn’t cast at all. I guess I’ll have a unit stabbing down with the bayonet… 

Today’s Casting Results

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A Modicum of Progress

Buck

Despite being on the road for business all last week (Monday to Saturday), I managed to paint a couple of figures Saturday evening.

Some female adventurers from Bad Squiddo (left and center) and Crooked Dice (right).

Alan Quartermane

A resident of The Village from The Prisoner. This figure is from Crooked Dice.

A figure that has been on the painting table for years. I have no idea the manufacturer.

A figure that is obviously supposed to be Peggy Carter from the original (and only good) Captain America movie.

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Carnivorous Pudding and Acidic Ooze: Bones 4 “Darkreach” Translucent Figures

Chris Palmer

     This past week I also painted the Carnivorous Pudding and Acidic Ooze translucent figures from the  Bones 4 Darkreach Expansion Set. 
       I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then superglued the Carnivorous Pudding to an unprimed 1.5"x1.5" steel base, and attached the Acidic Ooze to a 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue.
 

     To begin with, I painted the entire Pudding with Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  When it was dry, I then gave the figure a coat with thin Vallejo Game Color “Black” Ink.  When the ink was dry, I drybrushed the figure with, first, Folk Art Color Shift “Black Flash”, and then, Folk Art Color Shift “Purple Flash”.   
     I was starting to find it awkward to paint the pudding just holding it in my hand, so at this point I glued it to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s glue.   When dry,  I painted the skeleton parts with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, the shield with Americana “True Blue”, and the sword with Americana Zinc.    I then painted the sword grip with Accent “Rea Umber”, and then drybrushed the skeleton parts with Americana “Antique White”.
     Then, to try and give a corroded look, I painted the parts of the shield and sword that were touching the Pudding with Reaper MSP “Aged Pewter”,  followed by Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”.   After these, I hit it with some spots of Accent “Golden Oxide”.  After that, I gave the skeleton parts, shield and sword all a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.     When the wash was dry, I highlighted the skeleton parts with some Americana “Bleached Sand”.
     I then glued the Acidic Ooze to a tongue depressor as well, with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.
    For this figure, like the Pudding, I painted the entire thing with the “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  When it was dry, I then gave it a coat with thin “Black” Ink.  When the ink was dry, I simply drybrushed it with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”.  To finish up, I painted the base with Americana “Neutral Grey”.
      I let the two figures dry overnight and the next day I gave them another coat of the “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    I decided not to spray varnish these as I have had some issues in the past with the translucent figures getting a little tacky after a while; so I’m just going to go with the brush on matte varnish. 

     I’m really happy with how these two came out.  And like the Darkreach crystals I did last week, I think the Color Shift paint really gives the translucents an interesting sheen.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/06/carnivorous-pudding-and-acidic-ooze.html
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Steve Barber Early WWII Americans, Work in Progress

Buck

A few months ago, I and a couple of others commissioned Steve Barber to make a handful of early WWII Americans in 28mm for the Philippines, Wake Island, etc.  These need the WWI helmets but early WWII kit.  Three or four figures have been commissioned, but we need one or two more people to commission a figure in order to complete a squad.  If you are interested, please contact enquiries@stevebarbermodels.com.

View of running soldier.

Another view of running soldier.

I just sponsored a second figure, the BAR gunner.  This will be figure 4.

Figure 2, a leader figure.

Another view of Figure 2.

Before we started this project, the only suitable figures were from Pulp Figures.  The Pulp Figures are excellent, but there are only two five-figure packs with tin hats in their inter-war line.  This doesn’t give enough variety for skirmish games.  I am hoping with these additional figures, that I can field a platoon that doesn’t look too cookie cutter.

Figure 3, standing and firing.

All figures come with separate heads for further customization.

A sprue of the separate heads.

Please contact Steve Barber to commission a figure, which costs about $250 dollars US.  It would be great to have 10 poses, to make a reasonably full squad.

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Female Djinni: Bones 4 “Fan Favorites” Figure

Chris Palmer

  This past week I painted the Female Djinni figure from the Bones 4 Fan Favorites Expansion Set.  I’m thinking of doing the Frostgrave rulebook’s “Genie in a Bottle” scenario for this year’s Ghost Archipelago campaign, and this figure just seemed like it would be perfect to include.

    When I got the figure, I was a little disappointed in a couple things.  First, it’s a very cartoony looking figure; sculpted more in big broad strokes than in the fine detail I expect from Reaper.  Secondly, for some reason, they made the sword so it attached to the figure in a reversed and inverted position from the initial concept art (Compare the illustration above with the production example figure photo below.) Now I have no problem with the Djinni being a lefty but the the sword now hung incorrectly with the bird’s head beak pointing up (A good way to impale your palm when reaching quickly for the sword), and the end curve pointed down.   One third and last quibble, the sword is just attached to her butt, without any sculpted straps to show where it would attach to her belt.
(Photo from Reaper Kickstarter Update)
        I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking the parts in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.      The next thing I did was cut off the lamp from the trail of smoke (It is cast as one piece as you can see in the above photo.)  I wanted to mount them separately, so I could use the lamp and or Djinni as unique pieces.    I then sliced the tab off the sword, so I could glue it to the figure in the correct position as shown in the concept illustration.  Lastly, I cut the base that comes with the figure into two pieces, and glued the figure to its part of the base, minus the part I trimmed off where the lamp mounts.  
       I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1.5" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue after trimming the base so it would fit.  I also glued the lamp to its piece of base, and then glued it to a black primed 1" fender washer. I then placed the Djinni figure in my painting grip.

     When I first saw this figure in the Kickstarter, being a child of the 60’s and 70’s, the first image that flashed in my mind was Jeannie from the classic  I Dream of Jeannie TV show.   I knew that this was the color scheme I wanted to use on my Djinni figure.

     So, to begin painting; I painted her skin with Reaper MSP “Rosy Skin”.  I then painted her smoke plume/pants, and top, with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cherry Blossom Pink”.  (I don’t think she is sculpted as necessarily wearing pants, but they way they blended into the billowing smoke cloud, I thought I could get away with it.)  After that, I painted any decorative trim that obviously wasn’t metal, with Folk Art “True Burgundy”.

     Next, I painted her teeth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”,  her hair with Accent “Golden Harvest”, and any metal decorations/jewelry/fittings/ etc., with Americana “Grey Sky”.   After that, I gave her skin a wash with Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.

     When the “Reikland Fleshshade” wash was dry, I gave her hair a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.  I followed that by giving her clothing and smoke plume a wash with heavily thinned Iron Wind Metals “Purple” ink.   When wall the washes were dry, I painted all the metal with  Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”.

   After the “Metallic Silver” had a while to dry, I went over the metal parts with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  Then when the wash was dry, I painted her eyes and lips, and highlighted her teeth with Americana “Snow White”.  I then highlighted her skin and corrected any errors with  various mixes of the base “Rosy Skin” along with Reaper MSP “Rosy Highlight” and “Rosy Shadow”.

     Next, I highlighted hair; first with the base “Golden Harvest”, then with the “Golden Harvest” mixed with some Americana “Moon Yellow”, then the just plain “Moon Yellow”, then the “Moon Yellow” mixed with some Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”, then the plain “Lemon Chiffon”,  then some of the “Lemon Chiffon” mixed with some “Snow White”, and lastly just a little plain “Snow White”.   I then painted the flowers in her hair with the “True Burgundy”, and the flower centers and leaves with the “Grey Sky”.

     I then worked on the pants/smoke cloud, highlighting them with the base “Cherry Blossom Pink”, and then with the “Cherry Blossom Pink” mixed with some “Snow White”, and lastly, a few hits with just the pure “Snow White”.  I then highlighted the dark pink “True Burgundy” areas with a mix of Americana “Burgundy Wine”, and Crafter’s Acrylic “Tutti Frutti.  After that, I painted the leaves and flower centers in the hair with the "Metallic Silver”, and wen dry, I went over them with a little of the “Nuln Oil” wash.   My next step was to highlight all the metal, using the base “Metallic Silver”, and then Metallic Silver mixed with some of the “Snow White”, and then just a little of the pure “Snow White”.   Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
       I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.  
     It was now time to work on the lamp, so I placed it in my painting grip next. 
     I began by painting it with Accent “Mustard Seed”.  

      When the “Mustard Seed” was dry, I repainted it with Folk Art Burnished Metal “Burnished Bronze”.   When that was dry, I gave it a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed it with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”.   Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
       I let the lamp dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.

And here’s the final outcome:

     I’m really proud of how this one came out.  I know it’s a large figure, but I think the face turned out pretty good.  Now if I could only do that good with standard 28mm tall figures! 🙂  In retrospect, I don’t think I used the correct shade of dark red/pink to perfectly match the original Jeannie outfit, but I think it gets the idea across well enough.   My one real regret is that I didn’t pay more attention when basing the two parts so that the tip of the smoke plume actually could touch the lamp.

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A Gentleman’s War reviewed

Rob Dean

According to my shipping records, I received my copy of A Gentleman’s War (AGW)(by Howard Whitehouse and Dan Foley) back on the 24th of April.  Having seen the pre-publication versions of the game being played at conventions, I anticipated that it was going to cover the later 19th century, and that I was just buying it out of curiosity and a love of toy soldiers.  However, while it was on order, and before it arrived, I was playing a remote game with Ross.  I mentioned that I had AGW on order, and Ross told me that the rules also covered the 18th century.  So, instead of needing to go out and buy a bunch of late 19th century toys, I knew that I would be able to play as soon as the rules arrived.
As noted in my Huzzah report, Ross and I had the opportunity to try the rules out a couple of times with the figures we had brought to the conventions for our “official” scenarios.  I tried a third game with my older son, on my relatively compact home table a couple of weeks later.
With the preamble out of the way, what about the rules?
I got the softcover version from Amazon, at $30.  There’s also a hardcover available, at $40, which suggests this is a print-on-demand product.  Personally, I haven’t had any problems with PODs, but you would have to decide whether the hardcover would be durable enough to justify the $10 price difference. 
The book weighs in at 112 pages, including hardcopies of the quick reference sheets without page numbers in the back.  The sections are an Introduction (2pp), Building Your Army (12pp), The Country (i.e. terrain, 2pp), the Rules of the Game (28pp), Engineering (2pp), Scenarios (6pp), A Guide to Armies (of the H.G. Wells era, 9pp), On Colonial Matters (rules and army guidelines, 25pp), From Flintlocks to Needle Guns (earlier period rules, 2pp), Cameo Roles (5pp), and the balance is various flavors of designer’s notes (9pp). 
The authors’ intent is to provide a pleasant relatively quick game using large scale figures (40mm or 54mm are the default) with an updated Little Wars flavor.  
In the Army Building section, we find that, while variations will not break the flavor and flow of the game,  cavalry is deployed in 6 figure units, infantry is deployed in 12 figure regular units or 6 figure specialist detachments (e.g. engineers), and artillery is deployed as individual guns with 3-6 crewmen (more for the odd siege gun).  There is a point system to use if desired, with units having a base cost modified for “distinctions” (special abilities or disabilities, like better, or worse, shooting or morale).  So far, the games I’ve played have been built around symmetrical forces, so I don’t know whether the points would hold up to a determined assault by players intending to squeeze every possible advantage from the system.  Most points systems won’t, so don’t do that.  Armies are divided into small (6-9 units), medium (10-13 units), and large (14-18 units).  The Country chapter suggests that the table width needed to accommodate those army sizes would be 3-4, 6, and 8 feet wide respectively.  For those that don’t want to use the points system or deploy symmetrical armies, there is also a random army generation table, where armies are determined to be field forces, advance guards, or garrison forces, with a few core units, and additional units are randomized, with the three types being balanced, cavalry-heavier, and infantry/artillery-heavier respectively.  Ross and I tried that with the second game we played at Huzzah, and ended up with perfectly symmetrical forces anyway. C’est la guerre… I should also mention that basing is discussed in this section.  It is anticipated that you will not wish to rebase your troops, and the default expectation is that you are using individually-based figures on approximately 1" wide bases for infantry, and perhaps a little wider for cavalry.  (That happens to fit with my existing NQSYW collection perfectly, so Bob’s my uncle, as they say.)
The rules are generally conventional, and the authors acknowledge the influence of Larry Brom’s The Sword and the Flame and various versions of Ross’s With MacDuff to the Frontier.  A card deck (with jokers) is used for activation, with each side being assigned one of the colors.  The unconventional part of the activation rules is that there are no turns, per se, and as each side finishes a cycle of activating all of its units (including dead/removed ones), it can start over.  Units activate one at a time, except that up to four units can activate at once if a face card is drawn, or if a general is attached to one of the units.  An ace will allow you to activate a unit previously activated in the current cycle.  The first joker ends restarts both players’ cycles and the second does the same and also causes the deck to be reshuffled.  There is an interesting hold card mechanic; each player is allowed a limited number of hold cards which can be used to interrupt the turn sequence, to gain extra abilities in a charge, and to allow additional charge responses.  It took me a while to really pick up on the flow of this, which is my problem rather than the rules’.  Generally speaking, it looks like you want to hang on to a good hold card for a charge response, and that cycling your units as quickly as possible should be your goal.
Movement is where the TSATF influence is strongest; moves are in dice thrown, with 2 dice for infantry line movement and and 5 dice for light cavalry charge movement being the usual extreme ends.  Doing things like changing facing, changing formation, or shooting reduce the movement by a number of dice.  Personally, I like this as a mechanic; it abstracts a lot of fussy terrain definition and command and control representation into something I can remember and use without looking at tables.  
Fire combat is done by throwing a handful of d6s, one per 2 infantry or 1 artillery crewmen, with a target number based on range.  Each hit gets a saving throw based on target type and cover status.  A full strength infantry unit in line is going to get 6 dice of fire, and would need a 5-6 at short range (half the maximum), so would have an expected value of two hits.  Against another line in the open, the saving throw would be a 5-6 as well, so 2/3s of a figure would save; leaving an expected value of 1 1/3 hits.  With numbers like that, units will typically stay around for a while.  With the default 1890s technology of the rules, long rifle range is 24", and extreme field gun range is 72", which is a significant chunk of a 5 foot wide table.
Melee combat is a bit more involved.  There is a list of circumstances providing advantages of 1-2 points.  The advantage status of the unit (+2 or more, +1, Tie or lower, tie or lower and disordered) gives the target number for the melee.  The saving throw is collected from another table in which the results (doubled, more casualties, indecisive; I’m paraphrasing) and the melee type (cavalry vs infantry, etc.) are cross referenced.  This feels a little fussy for a d6 toy soldier game, and one definitely wants to have a copy of the table in a quick reference sheet for each player, but it’s not too slow overall, and gives a wide range of possible results.
Morale is built into the melee results, but in other circumstances is checked at 1/3 and ½ casualties with a d6 roll, giving results from “run away” to “carry on”.  There are two lines to the table, “bothered” and “disconcerted”, and when I customize the quick reference sheets I’ll add something about disconcerted being disordered, routed, or below 50% and bothered being anything else, because I’m having a little trouble remembering that at three games in.  I’m sure it will stick eventually.
There’s a short summary of engineering tasks for special scenarios, weighted toward things that wouldn’t take too much time (i.e. demolition over construction).  Time is measured, when necessary in cycles for short things or jokers for longer things, without attempting to give real time correlations.  Given the level of abstraction, that seems reasonable.
There are short descriptions of nine general scenarios, with some information on force balance and objectives.  While these should work, I haven’t tried them yet, nor have I tried translating the general scenarios from the C.S. Grant books into these rules yet.
The guide to armies section has some suggestions about the translation of historical troop types into game terms, plus some suggested likely distinctions and deficiencies for the types.  Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Turkey, and the United States get write-ups.
The colonial section has the same sort of information on the great powers’ colonial armies, plus rules for additional troop types such as porters, tribal infantry, tribal cavalry, and obsolete artillery.  Tribal units are half again as large as regulars, so based around 18 foot or 9 horse.  I would have to try it to see (using my existing 25mm colonials), but it feels like the larger units would probable lead to a wish for a larger table size than for the regulars.  
The main effect of the Flintlock to Needle Gun rules is to add optional loading (I’ve tried two games with and one without; doesn’t seem to be necessary, but it’s there if you disagree) and to shorten the weapons ranges.  All three games I have played so far have been with the flintlock-period weapons tables.
Once you have the rules and the distinctions firmly in hand, the Cameo Roles rules add a touch of whimsy.  There are a number of possible roles, ranging from civilians who impede traffic to spies who affect initiative cards to the regimental mascot who can add to your melee capabilities.  The intent of these rules is to give an excuse for all the odd miniatures one might tend to collect.  As someone’s whose miniatures collections includes livestock, civilians, marching bands and what not, this looks like fun, although I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.
The book finishes up with a discussion of philosophy.  The intent is to provide something fun and not too serious, with what I might describe as a neo-Wellsian aesthetic, all goals which I support.  
My initial experiences with these rules have been very positive, with the caveat that I’d like to tweak the quick reference sheet.  They have the advantage, from my point of view, of allowing me to use them with my existing 40mm collections (including the odd stuff) immediately, and to play games that feel enough like the Charge! battles that I’m used to to be satisfying, and to do it in a significantly smaller space.  With my recent move having left me with a smaller space, that’s a plus.
Overall: Solid rules with an interesting initiative mechanic.  Highly recommended…
(And I just started expanding the French Revolution project and ordered a bunch of 40mm Franco-Prussian War molds, so you can see I was hooked.)

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Expanding the French Revolution Project, Part 4

Rob Dean

Having finished the British infantry, the next task is to try to do something with some British cavalry. The excerpt below shows a sergeant of a British light dragoon regiment in 1793, and is from Funcken’s The Lace Wars, Vol. 2.

For A Gentleman’s War, I will want a unit of 6, and the recent casting sessions have produced the necessary pieces:

I started in on one this morning, and have concluded that I want to file down even a little more of the lapels and lace originally cast in.  I also hope to suggest the helmet crest a little more closely by filling in the gap above the brim with epoxy putty.

Here’s where the first one is so far:

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