Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Entry #6 to AHPC VIII: Wars of the Roses Archers and Casualty Stand

Ever since I was a kid I've been fascinated by the Wars of the Roses, and for the past few years I've tried to complete a handful of models relating to this colourful (and bloody) period of English history.

First up in this group are seven longbowmen wearing the livery of the Earl of Northumberland, who fought on the side of the Lancastrians (Boo! Hiss!!). 

Nothing much to say about these fellows. They are all stock 28mm plastic figures assembled from the excellent 'Wars of the Roses Infantry' box offered by the Perry twins.

Next up is the first in a new series of casualty markers I'm making for my Late Medieval / Renaissance collection.

This particular marker shows two men-at-arms who have found themselves at the rude end of a well-aimed flight of arrows. Yes, the much feared 'arrowstorm' that levelled the field between the well-armoured nobility and the lower classes. Apparently there was little place for social standing when you had a yard of goose-fletched poplar sticking in you.

These two poor chaps are also from Perry Miniatures, specifically their 'Agincourt to Orleans' range. They work reasonably well together, and since they're not wearing tabards I thought (with a squint of the eyes) they could stretch into the late medieval, or even Renaissance period.

The spent arrows were bits of brass rod with cut paper for fletching. They were a complete swine to make, but I knew I needed a few of them to dress the base properly.

These fellows have been mounted on a D-shaped base that I've come up with for these upcoming casualty markers (thanks Byron!). The reasoning behind this is that they should be able to fit snug against their associated units to help aid players in keeping track of which status-markers go with which unit.


Thanks for dropping in!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Entry #5 to AHPC VIII: Darth Vader, Kayn Somos and Stormtroopers for 'Imperial Assault'

I know, I know, there's been a bit of a boardgame theme running through my stuff to date. I have no clue whats driving it. I can assure you it's not out of any grand design on my part. As Robbie Robertson once sang, 'I don't know, the wind just sort of pushed me this way.' 

'Imperial Assault' is a newly discovered game for me, so I was pretty stoked to try painting some of the figures. I know the game is old news for many as it's been out for several years, but my interest was piqued when I heard that, like 'Mansions of Madness', an app was being released to run the game's core mechanics allowing it to become fully cooperative. 

The new Imperial Assault app.

The announcement of the app coincided with the news that one of our local game stores was shutting down. The silver lining to this sad news was that in and among all the stock they were blowing out was a heap of 'Imperial Assault' stuff. So being a big Star Wars geek, I jumped in with both feet and snapped it up.

So here are my beginning efforts of the core box.  I thought I'd start with a good big whack of bad guys as, well, you always need lots of bad guys for the heroes to ventilate and/or foil their nefarious plans. 

This is a detachment of nine Stormtroopers, their captain Kayn Somos and my favourite Sith Lord, Darth Vader. 

I thought the Stormtroopers would be an easy win being all white, but of course their armour was quite fiddly to get close to what I was wanting. I'm still not entirely happy with them, but they'll die in droves, just like unpainted ones, so they'll make do.

The plastic on these figures was not too bad to work on, but still a bit too bendy for my tastes. I removed Vader's slightly warped light saber and replaced it with brass rod, and for a bit of fun, I used some thin plastic rod to simulate him deflecting an incoming laser blast.

Photographing these guys was a bit of a challenge as Vader sort of disappears into the black background and I was too lazy to swap it out with something lighter.

Again, I replaced the stock bases with clear acrylic to allow the playing-tile surfaces to show through. Following my standard skirmish trope, I also gave Vader and Somos different shaped bases to aid in their rank identification, though this is pretty silly as it's blazingly obvious when you look at the figures! Apparently it's hard to stop a creature of habit. ;)

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Entry #4 to AHPC VIII: Viet Minh Reinforcements, French Indochina 1954

First, Happy New Year everyone!!

Here is another small addition to my French Indochina collection, eleven Viet Minh infantrymen dressed and equipped as they would have been during the titanic battles along 'The Street without Joy' in 1953, and Dien Bien Phu the following year.

A popular western misconception is that the Viet Minh were poorly armed, while in fact they were often better equipped than their French adversaries, being well supplied by both Communist China and the USSR.

These soldiers were the precursors of the Viet Cong and NVA, and so were armed with many WWII era weapons. The Mosin Nagant rifle, the DP light machine gun and the PPSh/PPS series submachine guns would've been very common fixtures within the Viet Minh ranks. The assault units would have had a very high proportion of automatic weapons, reflecting their aggressive close combat doctrine.  

The heavy machine gun on the low-slung wheeled carriage is a Soviet DSHK-38. The assistant/loader is providing supporting fire with a captured French MAT49 SMG and the flank guard has a Chinese made PPS.

I really liked this model as it brings a little sobering reality to our wee tabletop battlefields.

Finally, a shot of them with the rest of their platoon (really, a thinly veiled excuse to get the banner, with its bit of vibrant colour amongst the earth tones, in there somewhere).

Thanks for dropping in!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Entry #3 to AHPC VIII: 'Kingdom Death' Prologue Survivors and The White Lion

Last year Byron came for one of his visits and introduced our gaming group to 'Kingdom Death', an artfully composed hybrid of a horror RPG, tactical skirmish and board game.

While the gameplay is (brutally) ingenious and the figures are amazingly sculpted, the themes are very, VERY adult, and so definitely not to everyone's tastes.  Nonetheless, we loved it and became immediately hooked. So when the Kickstarter went up last year for the updated version I completely lost my wits, mortgaged the dogs and backed it to the hilt. Anyway, the first avalanche of stuff (suitably titled 'Monster 1.5') arrived at our door this autumn, so I thought I'd use the Challenge to  complete some of the core elements of the game.

These first four figures comprise the 'Prologue Survivors'. These poor souls awake in a world of darkness, with no memory of their past, little clothing and only lanterns and a few shards of masonry as weapons. 

Since I'm going to have a LOT of figures to work through, I decided to save myself the torture of determining what colours to use figure-by-figure and instead use a hybrid greyscale effect that incorporates lanterns' glow for a bit of visual interest. 

The main elements of the effect was achieved using an airbrush and then switching to thin glazes to highlight both the greyscale and lantern glow. I realize it's a little over-the-top but I think it works okay for the game's setting. 

The beginning scenario has the four survivors being immediately set upon by a huge lion. Using only their bare hands, some stone shards and lanterns they are forced to fight for their lives. 

I decided to use the same lantern-lit greyscale effect for the White Lion, with a fallen lantern providing under-lighting to the lion's face, underbelly and flanks.

The light effect of the dropped lantern.

These figures are quite large, with the humans coming in at around 40mm. The Lion, not surprisingly, is a bit of a brute in comparison. The funny thing is that he's considered to be a fairly small creature in the game - Yikes! 

I hope to get a few more of the game's monsters done this Challenge - wish me luck!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Entry #2 to AHPC VIII: Four Heroes from 'Mansions of Madness'

Just a small entry (sorry, still no Ortona yet). This time it's four investigator/heroes from 'Mansions of Madness'. 

The 2nd edition of Fantasy Flight Games' 'Mansions of Madness' has become a well-enjoyed staple within our group since it was released almost two years ago. The first edition used a One-Against-Many game mechanic, where one player played the nasties of the 'Mansion', while the rest of the players worked cooperatively to uncover the mysteries and survive. This mechanism has worked well with many other FFG games (Descent, Imperial Assault, etc.) but its implementation was flawed in MoM to the extent that whoever played the 'Mansion' could quite easily overwhelm the investigators in fairly quick order. 

The publishers, to their credit, addressed this with their 2nd edition by using an app to run the Mansion, thereby allowing the players to work together as a cohesive team. It's been an unqualified success with our group, with us being able to enjoy not only all the old expansions, but the new content as well. I've even used it at work as a team building exercise (nothing like avoiding being eaten by a Shoggoth to bring a group of people together)!

The base game comes with a load of plastic miniatures to represent both the investigators and the various eldritch horrors they encounter. The minis are roughly 28mm in scale and for the most part are rendered quite well. My main criticism is with the quality of the plastic  itself, as the early releases were a somewhat soft, making them an absolute swine to remove mold lines and clean-up flash. Thankfully, the more recent models use a harder plastic which is much easier to work with.

Anyway, until now I've been using other miniatures from my collection to represent the heroes, but thought it'd be fun I'd try to get a bunch of the stock ones done-up during the Challenge. So, here are four heroes from the core set: Mandy Thompson, Ashcan Pete  and his K9 companion 'Duke' and Gloria Goldberg. 

Fairly basic paintjobs on the whole. I tried to keep the colours punchy and as close to the game art as possible. After the hassle of preparing the figures they were actually pretty fun to paint.

I trimmed away the original plastic bases and replaced them with clear acrylic ones. I quite like the look of them, especially with tile-based games. 

I'll see if I can get a few more done over the Challenge and perhaps I'll try to do-up one or two of the beasties as well. 

Thanks for dropping in folks. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!