Nov 23, 2023

Rules Page update

I have added no less than three new rulesets to the 'Rules' page (available via the link or the header of this blog), which are free to download, use and distribute by the way, and are the results of more than ten years of gaming experimentation:

  • Gudugan Pudugan, a fun little set which is only seven pages long, of pre-historical/ancient big battles and a flexible unit/army component system

  • Victorious Eagle Warfare 2, an update on my go-to Napoleonics set, with better command options and explanations on unit behavior

  • The Brave Lieutenant, a Pike and Shot period set which spent many months in the making, only to bin it altogether in the end and just adopt the useful parts of VEW2 with Renaissance spice.

Please do browse through them.

Oct 29, 2023

All the Other Kids With Their Pumped Up 'Nids

I received, second-hand, a group of 20 Termagants and their smaller friends, the push-fit versions from the Leviathan box. It feels good, after more than ten years of hobby time, that I can buy used GW stuff in larger numbers!

However, this post is not about humble bragging, but a sort of warning against artist's block when painting larger batches of figures. Sure, some armies require elaborate paint jobs, but space bugs are not that. At least this is what I found after painting the first little fellow in a more intricate pattern, got fed up with the thing, wanted to play with them in a painted state, in the end causing myself more frustration and shelving the entire lot for two months or so.

Now two things came to my aid: one, I usually have foresight for happenstances like this, and assemble and/or prime and/or start basing models in my spare time when I do not paint, so I don't have to start from scrap when dusting off an overlooked project. This means that all twenty-odd little bugs were assembled and placed on their bases, waiting for me; and two, I'm more of a pragmatist than an artist in a lot of aspects, so I thought: why not simplify this just a bit? We've all seen very neat and elaborate paint jobs, but, again, that's not for large batches I was trying to deal with here.

Oct 24, 2023

Guardhouse and Livestock

I wanted to put some scratchbuilding advancements I learned to practice on a larger building, so I completed this 28mm scale two-storey one, the bottom tier built of stone and the top from wattle and daub. The first floor and the roof come off and figures can be housed inside. The building itself is suitable for a variety of periods, so I sincerely hope it will be of use.

The stone fence is an experiment in a more solid type of corkboard, I think it came out nicely so I'll be producing more.

There is also a Bloody Miniatures fig for scale, and some Warlord plastic animals I gave a simple paintjob to, scored during their previous sprue sale.

Oct 18, 2023

GabiOff, GabiOn

For any respectable 17th century artillery force, gabions are a must. I know there are commercially available ones, for example the injection-moulded pieces offered by Renedra, but I went the cheap way.

After experimenting some, here's the complete method to Build Your Own Gabion, also called the Gyros Method:
  1. Glue some corkboard together in layers, up to your desired height
  2. Once dry, using a scalpel shave it down to a cylindrical form (hence the name)
  3. Place it on a washer (I used wooden buttons from Pepco)
  4. Place six or so bamboo sticks around the gyros meat's circumference, evenly distributed
  5. Dunk one end of a long thread into CA glue and tug it under one of the supporting bamboo sticks
  6. Once that end of the thread is set, wind the thread around the thing, going from bottom to top
  7. When it's covered up to the desired height, cut the thread and add a few dots of CA glue for extra sturdiness
  8. Once dry, coat the thing in PVA, the thread will swell and become less pliable
  9. Add some PVA and dirt on the base and the top of the gabion
  10. Now you can paint it, I used simple brown colours and a beige drybrush (it is preferred to wait 1-2 days for the PVA to dry completely, otherwise the layers of paint over it might crackle).
First I tried making the wicker basket and filling it up, but the force of the thread wound around the supports made it look a little bit weird. By creating the core from corkboard first, you can also be assured of a regular shape and size throughout your production line. It's also a good way to dispose of corkboard scraps left over from other projects.

These are for 28mm figures, but I guess they could be replicated for any other scale as well. Also the same method could be used to produce wicker fences.

Oct 16, 2023

Fire in the Night

At midnight, a small Holy Alliance squadron creeps to the entrance of the Pirate Bay. 

A single vessel detaches and, using the stars, the wind and dead reckoning, steers the furthest away path from the batteries guarding the harbour.

Oct 5, 2023

Further Naval Thoughts

While thinking about the logical execution of my plans about upgrading my 1/500ish scale sailing warships, I came to some conclusions. This is entertaining for me in an odd way, because a real-world 17th to 18th century naval power would be scraping for resources much the same way as I do now, I believe. So, although there are projections to buy new hulls into the fleet, there is much to do to re-work and re-rig old ones.

Oct 2, 2023

Upping My Naval Game

As mentioned in the previous post, until I can purchase more ships, I'll start upgrading my current collection with more elaborate rigging and textured sea bases. The first experiments in both are on the image above.

This is actually a print I had not shown before, originally an 1/700 scale model of the 18th century Intrepid-class 74 purchased from Wargaming3D, which serves, in its up-scaled form, the Kingdom of Insolencia in my interpretation, with red hull stripes. 

Once I learned enough of running rigging to add more stuff, I followed the advice in this tutorial, mainly about coating some pieces of rigging in PVA to make them heftier and easier to shape, especially the mainsail braces and ratlines. 

I think the desired effect is achieved, especially if one compares the amount of rigging to my earlier exploits - these old ships look just a bit threadbare in comparison. This is about 3yds of thread used for a ~5" long model by the way.

This is not for the Insolencian ship but the old Worcester, which will be radically reconstructed soon (I'll shorten the hull, lengthen the prow and add more stren galleries, which in turn will necessitate re-positioning the masts as well).

I tested two methods for sea effects, this one is acrylic medium over a rougher layer of liquid putty, the other is two layers of acrylic medium. I used multiple layers of white and grey drybrushing and green and blue glazing to achieve this effect. Once it dries, I'll add the shiny varnish. I found that waiting at least a week before varnishing makes everything look better.


Sep 25, 2023

On a Second Thought...

So the prints for the 1/700 scale ships failed even after consulting with the service provider and sending them the FDM-specific file, which forced me to return to my 1/500ish scale ships, as printing those worked so far. Thus, instead of downscaling the 1/600 Turner Miniatures file, I'm going to scale my ADW ships up to 1/500 or so, just as the previous models. It's actually not that much of a price difference.

Being incontent with my current collection is mostly down to unfinished rigging and bases, which I'm going to remedy by taking out the collection again, and upgrading them a little bit. Some ships which were too large to keep in containers also need a good dusting off.

My plans involve adding more running rigging, ratlines from plastic broom bristles (at least to the lower parts), and texturing the sea bases with three-dimensional waves.  I'll also add some more details and highlights to the sails.My attempts with a sea effect were so far unsatisfactory (except for this one maybe), but a good amount of acrylic paste, PVA, tissue paper and such will hopefully see to that I succeed this time. 

Sep 8, 2023

Naval Scale Consolidation

So the sailing warships I made until recently are quite large, about 1/500 scale or so. However, my table surface is a lot smaller and the models occupy a lot of space in the hobby drawer, so I thought I should switch to a smaller scale for economic (?) reasons. Of course I've got the paper models from earlier, and they are quite fine for some action, but I just like the look of three-dimensional craft sailing on the imaginary seas.

I pondered what scale should I switch to. 1/1200 seemed too small, as I wanted nice and detailed vessels, so I settled with 1/700, the undeniable advantage of that scale being that it is supported by Warlord Games, and they can send stuff over the Channel VAT-free.

Although I prefer earlier period (17th to early 18th century) models, their standard Age of Sail ships, mostly the merchantmen (also some galleons and galleys), plus some 3D prints should suffice for the while. I have found the Turner Miniatures ADW designs, and fortunately my local on-demand 3D printing service allows me to re-scale the 1/600 models to 1/700.

For the while I do not wish to dispose of the larger ships, but it might soon come to that, once there is enough smaller models to replace them.