Friday, February 19, 2010

The Horsemen are Coming Nearer...

Here is a shot of my newly completed 10mm Arab cavalry. The figures are by Iregular miniatures and are based for Warmaster ancients. I'm going count these as Bedouin cavalry.

These have been painted using the technique already mentioned in my previous post on this army. I broke from tradition a little by basing them three figures to a stand. Usually, cavalry are based four to a base. I did this for two reasons. First is that I am a poor student, and I need to get as many points per dollar/pound as possible. Second, I think it looks better to have my Bedouin cavalry in a more “Irregular” formation. I think this basing better reflects their fighting style, as well as adding two more units than I would not have had if I had based them four to a base.

Stay tuned for a few shots of a Warmaster game I played this Thurday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A very Geeky Valentine

You may have been wondering why I was sculpting 28mm food. It as was for the Geekiest valentines day present that I have ever given. I knew that my girlfriend was really into hobbits, so I made her a diorama of the hobbits having dinner. She really liked her present. Which was good since I wasn't sure if she would like it.

The hobbits are the excellent GW Lord of the Rings hobbits. Their swords have been removed and and replaced with eating implements and food. Te rest of the diorama was built with wood styrene, and a healthy dose of green stuff. I was pleased at how the model turned out. I'm particularly pleased with the source lighting, which is a technique that I don't often use. I need to buy a more saturated yellow to get a better fire effect in the future.

Stay tuned for more Arabs and perhaps a whole new recurring segment.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

10mm Jihad

Here's a picture of my new project, a 10mm Warmaster ancients army. These are the first five units of what hopefully will be a 200 point army. The miniatures are made by Irregular miniatures and are some of the best 10mm ancients that I have had the pleasure of painting. I was somewhat apprehensive of ordering the from irregular, since the painted pictures of tehr miniatures are all pretty bad. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the figures. The pictures on irregulars website truly don't do them justice. The details are crisp and the cats are very clean. I really appreciate that irregulars 10mm figures are so well proportioned. From my experience 10mm historicals tend to be a bit big-headed for my tastes.

These figures are a departure from my normal painting technique. I'm usually a die hard black primer guy, but this time I primed these figures white and used thinned down paints that acted as semi washes. I finished them all off with a half thinned coat of GW Devlan Mud. I'm rather pleased with the effect. I'm especially happy with how fast it was. I finished these units in a short afternoon. Next up is a large block of Arab cavalry.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

28mm Turkey With all the Trimmings

Here is a small sneak peak of my girlfriend's Valentines day present. I sculpted the individual components individually (turkey, pie rolls and basket). The table is made out of scrap wood. I glued all of the components together afterwards.

After the holiday, I'll reveal what this piece is for.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Two Countries Separated by a Common Hobby

My French line troopers just before they were gunned down.
A crusades DBM game. I wish I would have gotten more closeup pictures.
I finally remembered to bring my camera to club night. Here are a few highlights of last weeks meeting of the Durham Wargames Group. I was really pleased that Durham had such a robust gaming community. All the club members are a great bunch of guys and the clubhouse is packed to the gills with terrain.

I played (technically I'm still plaing it) a game of Sharp's Practice(SP). SP is a blackpowder skirmish game that is about the same number of figures that an average game of 40k. There were three players a side, each getting about two units of troops. Our objective was to take the fort pictured above. I was playing the French. I failed.

I'm not sure how I feel about the rules. On one hand I'm a big fan of rules that use card driven activation and random movement such as the Sword and the Flame. On the other hand, it just doesn't feel right when Sharp's Practice does it. I think the difference lies in how SP does its unit activation. TSATF uses a simple mechanic where black cards are natives, red cards are British. It doesn't matter what unit a player moves, so long a unit doesn't move twice before every other unit moves. SP assigns a specific card to each unit. The deck is shuffled and units act as they are drawn. In addition there is a 'tiffin' card that immediately ends the turn and reshuffles the deck. Units that have not acted when the tiffin is drawn can select from a limited list of actions, but may not move. I feel that this mechanic puts too much randomness in the game and makes it a bit too hard to plan for my taste. It also make multiplayer games a bit dull, since a player can go a few turns without doing any meaningful actions, particularly at the beginning of the game. The rest of the mechanics are pretty standard and really are not not worth mentioning. I was really excited to play a Two Fat Lardies game. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed.

Id like to take the time now to share some of my observation on the differences between American and British wargming. I have noticed that there are some definite cultural differences between the two countries. Not that I cannot speak for both countries as a whole. I'm mearly stating my observations, having gamed in Durham and Pennsylvania. I feel that I am reasonably qualified to comment, since I have gamed in several clubs, groups, and stores on both sides of the pond.

1. Game size: I have noticed that the British tend to like bigger multiplayer games. I credit this it the fact that the centre of British gaming culture is the private club , rather than the FLGS. The British love to have loads of lead on the table, while Americans want a smaller relatively quick game that they can set up, play and pack up in an evening because their main gaming venues have a definite closing time. Even when Americans play in a club, where they could keep something setup from week to week, they choose to play a one evening game.

2. Rulesets: It seems like Americans prefer lighter, faster rulesets that are a little less detailed, whereas the British prefer slower more detailed and accurate historical reulsets. Of course, the major, rulesets like DBM and WAB are common in both countries.

3. Genre: It seems to me that a lot more adult gamers in America play Sci-fi and Fantasy rulesets. The historical rulesets that Americans play tend to be lighter ones closer to fantasy rulesets than serious simulation. The British, on the other hand, play rulesets that are more 'granular' and by extension, slower.

Note that these are my opinions, and like a certain part of the human anatomy, everone has one. I may revise these as I game more in the UK. I just thought people might be interested in the viewpoint of someone who has lived and gamed in both countries.

Stay tuned for WIP progress pictures of my girlfriend's super secret valentines day gift.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different...

I though that I had sworn off paper modelling forever. However, I'll do just about anything if a pretty girl asks me to do it.

My girlfriend, who insists that she is too cool for gaming stuff, took a fancy to one of the new Dave Graffam paper models. She bought one of the kits and I, being a good boyfriend, offered to assemble it.

I was really impressed with this model. The details are great. The kit comes with a large amount of high-res files. One set is "single layer" which are ones which you can simply print out. The other "multi layer" have lots of options to subtly change the colours and patterns of the components, so you can print several buildings and have them look different. The model pictured is the single layer sheets printed out on thick paper.

My girlfriend managed to get the most complicated model of the range, the Westgate. It contains a lot of little components that really make the model shine. They also make the model very time consuming to build. It took me about three evenings to complete the model. I would like to note that the balconies are supported by two beams that are fully three-dimensional pieces. I have no doubt that these balconies would support any heavy metal figures.

I can see an entire table populated with these buildings. I'm sure I'll be building more for my girlfriend and myself in the near future. The whole project cost about 8 pounds, including the kit and the printing. It should only be about six pounds, but the print shop here in Durham charges a 2 pound handling fee. Paper buildings have their advantage of being much cheaper than resin or plastic terrain, but I'm not convinced that they save any time.

Overall I enjoyed this chapter in my paper modelling career. Stay tuned for a Broadsword Adventure after action report and an expose on British wargaming.