Thursday 29 December 2011

Shanty Town Watch Tower

I have been adding some more bits to my African Shanty town slum scenery. This time I built a watch tower on top of a small hill.

The shanty is set into the hill, and topped with a watch tower, giving the militia a commanding view of the whole town. A fence stretches across the hill, restricting access to the town. Luckily enough for the attackers, there is a storm drain that runs right under the watch tower, allowing stealthy access to the shanty town.

I built the hill form foam card and covered it with Modrock and then I sanded it and added bits of corrugated card, match sticks and balsa continue the junk feel. The fence is built form balsa and aluminium mesh, and is designed to link up with the other bits I have already built.

Like the other bits of scenery for the shanty town I have built this with function in mind. The shanty roof comes off, so I can put figures inside, and the storm drain means that attackers will have a choice about taking out the defenders or sneaking past- Very Call of Duty!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Wrecked Car for my African Shanty

I thought my African Shanty town needed a few beat-up old cars hanging around to 'modern' it up a bit. I looked around for a source of suitable models, and came up with a surprising find.

Modern 28mm civilian vehicles are a bit of a rarity. You can find Hummers and Toyota pick ups in some ranges, but they are expensive. for this project I wanted something a bit different. I have had plenty of experience converting die-cast cars into wargaming pieces, having done it for my VBCW and Battle Cars collections in the past. The trouble is that most die-casts are not in '28mm scale', which is about 1:56. It was by chance I stumbled on the fact that Disney's Cars die casts are something close to 1:56 scale, although there is some variation across the range with some of the small cars being undersized for comic effect.

I thought I would start with Tow Mater, the tow truck. I bought him on eBay for about £5. I drilled out the bolts underneath so I could take it apart. I took the mouth piece off the front, and removed the tow hook thing on the back. I used a bit of card to build up a new front, and built a scenic base to fit in with the rest of the shanty town scenery. I also cut down one of the tires to make a flat tire out of green stuff.

A quick bit of paint, a bit of rust effect stippled over the top and plenty if GW washed to add a lot of weathering, and hey-presto! A suitably wrecked piece of war gaming scenery.

Here's a shot with a 28mm Russian (I haven't got any Africans yet) for comparison. Bear in mind, this isn't a Toyota type pick up typically used as 'Technicals', but rather an older 1950's Chevy type, which was a bigger beast. Scale wise, I think it's about right. I have also got a nice small salon car (I think it might be an old Skoda) and a VW camper to do next.

Sunday 18 December 2011

More Shanty Town Scenery

Ho ho ho! Amongst all the festive foolishness and Christmas tree construction I have managed to get a few more bits of my African slum scenery finished. It's building up into quite a collection now, but I would like to add a few more buildings, and may be a big centerpiece too.

First off, a couple more shanty shacks, being built in the same way as the previous ones. This one has a balsa wood ladder up the side. Gaming access to the flat roof increased the gaming potential.

This pool of contaminated water was made from card and DAS modeling clay. I made the office chair myself, from some left over Fimo. The toxic waste barrels some heartless multi-national company has dumped near the slum are made by Fenris Games (I am not implying Fenris Games are a heartless multi-national company by the way).

The barricade/rubbish tip is made from bits and bobs of things I made or found. I made the settee and the green foot locker from Fimo. There is also a telly and a bin bag, but you can't see them so well in this picture. The rest of the stuff is by various manufactures, or just junk and off cuts left over from other projects, or from building the shacks.

Here's a close up om my settee. I am rather pleased with it.

Friday 16 December 2011

Christmas Madness 2011- Return of Bad Santa!

Never let it be said that Bad Santa is not persistent. Despite his defeat at the hands of Good Santa and the Pulp City Superheroes last Christmas, he has returned once more to cause some festive mischief.
This time Bad Santa was trying to steel the Christmas Spirit to wreck Christmas for the citizens of Pulp City. Luckily, Good Santa and his Superhero allies have banded together to try to stop him.

Leon's excellent and quirky battle report can be found over on the Pulp Citizen blog. Put down your mince pies and mistletoe and go and check it out. While your there take time to admire the bespoke Christmas Spirit markers I made for the battle report.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Christmas Madness 2010 Redux

Pulp Citizen has posted a jazzed up version of the Christmas Madness battle report form last Christmas over on his excellent blog. Here's a link.

It's well worth a read if you never saw the original battle report. The Christmas Madness 2011 report will be on it's way soon, so 'be good, for goodness sake'!

Captain Max Strong and the Rocket Rangers

Ready to right wrongs and defend the free world from the forces of tyranny and fascism, the Rocket Rangers! Captain Max Strong, their fearless commander, might lack subtlety, but no one can say he gets results.
I found these lovely models, made by Pulp Figures in a bag of hand-me-downs from my old mate Leon, who decided he wasn't going to use them (Cheers Leon!). You can't beat them for pulpy nonsense.
Work is still progressing on my slum shanty town. I haven't been distracted yet, but I thought you might like to see a bit of heroic pulp stuff- Not four colour, but damn heroic anyway.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Sierra Leone Slum

If you have followed my blog for any length of time you will know that I have a habit of getting totally distracted from my current project and stating a new one completely on a whim. I am sure I am not the only wargamer who has this problem.

OK, that said by way of an explanation, it's time to announce my latest distraction/project. Having played COD:MW3 far too much of late, I have been particularly taken by the level fighting in the slums of Sierra Leone, and thought "I would love to do a wargame in a slum". Without more thought as to exactly what wargame I would play, and totally lacking suitable armies to fight over it, I broke out the foam card, balsa wood and corrugated card. This is what I have made so far. ..

This is the first shanty I made. Basically I made a box with foam card and stuck bits and bobs to it. All the buildings have lift off roofs, so I can get my (currently non-existent) miniatures inside. The shanties are bigger that they would be in real life- some might say palatial in fact- but that was so I can get my big clumsy fingers in. I haven't bothered painting the interiors.

I had a lot of fun experimenting with painting the rust- I used various techniques from stippling to inks, and I am generally pleased with the results.

I made this mattress myself from Fimo- great fun and easier than you might think. The rest of the stuff is bits of balsa wood, match sticks, tooth picks, resin barrels by Fenris Games, gravel out of the garden and other similar bits of junk. The fences are made with aluminium mash used to repair car body work- available from Halfords in the UK for £1.99 an A4 sheet.

Coming soon- More shanties, more fences, a hill of rubbish and a polluted stream. I might do a little market place too, and may be a Church or some ruined colonial buildings too.

As to what I am going to do with this terrain, who knows: Force on Force seems an obvious choice, given its origins in COD:MW3, but equally it would be useful for Necromunda, AE Bounty, and 40K. I am open to other suggestions too.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Doctor Dust - Pulp Villain

Just to have a change of scene, I decided to finish off a Pulp Era villain I based ages ago but never got around to painting...

Introducing Doctor Dust, Mad Scientist and Evil Villain. The dastardly Doctor's plans have, so far, consisted of trying to use giant mutant dinosaurs to hold Manhattan to hostage, and the invention of a doomsday device capable to reversing evolution.
Luckily for us, the two-fisted rugged hero Ray Gunn, Soldier of the Future, has been on hand to thwart Doctor Dust's dire plans, but for now the dreadful Dust is still at large. Maybe his next plan will prove to be our undoing!!!

This is a Black Cat Bases figure I picked up a while back at Salute 2010. Its a cool figure that just screams 'pulp' to me. He's a bit on the small side compared to the Pulp Figures and Artizan Designs 'Trilling Tales' but not so much it looks silly.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Creatures in the Sewers!

There are many dangers to the brave heroes who venture into the depth of the sewers and catacombs...

I am not sure where I got this figure from. It's resin, and on a 50mm base, but other than that I am not sure. It's going to be a useful piece, in My supers campaign it can be a lurker in the sewers, but it could just as easily be a Conan demon, or a native beast in my SciFi or Pulp campaigns. I love stuff I can paint for lots of setting.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

15mm Zombie Town USA

Following my impulsive purchase of a big bag of 15mm Zombies from US company Rebel Miniatures a few months ago, I decided I needed some suitable 15mm scale scenery to go with them. The main problem with that is that 15mm scenery available on the net tend to be SciFi or WW2, and as Rebel Miniatures figures are distinctly American looking and modern, I needed to make my own buildings.
The theme for my zombie town was a run down inner city neighbourhood. I used some photos I found on the net to inspire my, and used ModelBuilder to create the buildings. It's not finished yet, I think I need some bits of 'street furniture', like trash cans, fire hydrants etc, and may be some burnt out cars, but it's finished enough to show it off.
I am thinking of using Ambush Z or All Things Zombie as a rules set, but I haven't decided yet.

An overview of Zombie Town on a quiet night.

Burt gets trapped on the upper floor of a drug store.


The shambling horde!

Gun Bunny and The Bride try to shoot their way out!

Friday 18 November 2011

The Slime Thing!

The sewers beneath the city are really not a safe place to be. All manner of strange things have been reported there, but perhaps nothing stranger that the creature many have come to call 'The Slime Thing'.
Quite what the Slime Thing is, if it exists at all, no one can say. Some maintain that it is a hideous mutant, or the result of one of Dr Otto's failed super-soldier experiments, While others insist that it was a petty thug or homeless man who fell into a pool of mutagenic pollution. Some believe that it is an urban spirit, a supernatural manifestation of the pollutants and toxins pored into the cities sewers over the years.
Whatever the truth of it's origins, one thing is certain. Anyone venturing into the sewers, or into the deeper catacombs, had best beware, for the Slime Thing can move silently, and attacks without mercy, often dragging it's victims into the depths of the sewage, where they are never seen again!

This miniature is a demon by Heresy. It is a very large multi-part miniature, being on a 40mm base. I painted it and highlighted it, then gave it a heavy gloss varnish to make it look suitably slimy.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Deacon, Champion of the Order of Anubis.

I am sorry I have not posted anything for a little while. There are a combination of reasons why not, but mostly it is because I bought COD:MW3. I am sure I am not the only one who has found that there are very short of time over the last couple of weeks.

Anyhow, now that I have clocked the games campaign mode I find myself free to post on the blog once more.

Deacon is a champion of the Order of Anubis, the secret sept of vampire knights dedicated to the protection of vampire kind form the multitude of threats that they must face. His own origins are lost in time, but he claims to have been a Nubian slave who, in life, served the Ancient One known only as 'The Egyptian'. Although powerful and very old himself, Deacon has always shunned the Machiavellian world of vampire politics, and instead has traveled the world, studying the ways of war. Unlike many elders, he has always embraced new technology and tactics, so long as it enhances his abilities as a warrior.

I am not sure who made this figure: I think it was West Wind. Obviously it was based on Blade, and so I painted it accordingly (although I gave it a bleached blond 'fro, inspired by Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man as I thought it would stand out better in 28mm). It's not the greatest ever sculpt, but I could hardly do a cabal of modern vampire knights without at least paying tribute to the films that inspired them.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Trachanka Armoured Car Company (VBCW)

When King Edward refused to abdicate in 1936 the resulting constitutional crisis in Britain tore the country apart, and allowed Mr Oswald Moseley to seize power. Moseley's ultra right wing fascist government did not sit well in many of the industrial cities of the north and midlands, and when the dockers in Liverpool refused to unload supplies destined for the fascist forces, the resulting 'mutiny' lead to the formation of the Liverpool Free State. Although the LFS claims to be none-partisan, they are in truth dominated by socialists and communists.
The Wirral, a peninsular of land just south of Liverpool, is likewise dominated by Socialists, this time by the Wirral Socialist Workers Council. The WSW is predominately based in Birkenhead, Ellesmere Port and Helsby, and their control over the more rural parts of the peninsular is less absolute. The WSW claim to be allies to the LFS, but in reality they are nothing but a subservient partner in the relationship. The WSW supply Liverpool with food, steel, the shipyards in Birkenhead, concrete, chemicals, munitions, and in return receive aid in the form of manpower and weapons, including a trickle of Soviet made weapons imported from Russia.
The LFS are aware of just how critical the Wirral is to their continued existence- Without the supplies shipped through the Mersey tunnels the city would have fallen long ago- but with Liverpool besieged on all sides by the forces of king and government, they are hard pressed to free up much resources to help the Wirral Socialist Workers. Therefore, improvisation is often the key. One such examples is the "Trachanka Armoured Car Companies" that have recently been seen in battle. The idea was the brainchild of Spanish war veteran and Communist warrior-poet Juan Caballero. The concept is based on the Russian Civil War era trachanka, a cavalry carriage with a heavy machine gun mounted on the back. Caballero got the ship builders in Birkenhead to add armoured plates to a modified truck, then had them weld a soviet made Maxim HMG to the deck. The results were surprising effective, providing the WSW with some much needed mobile armour, and since then the shipyards have been converting as many trucks as they can find to this role.

The trucks are Lledo die-casts, with plasticard armoured plates added. The crew are by various manufactures- Eureka, Black Tree Designs, Musketeer Miniatures, Wargames Foundry and West Wind. The guns are by Black Tree Designs and Eureka. The Stowage is by Games Workshop.

Monday 31 October 2011

Halloween Madness Battle Report (Pulp City)

My old gaming buddy and Pulp City obsessive Leon (AKA Pulp Citizen) and I recently staged a Halloween inspired game of Pulp City. We used the invasion scenario from the main Pulp City rules, and a huge horde of shambling zombies.

I played the villains, and Leon was the heroes. We held a truce (of sorts) while we dealt with a horde of zombies unwittingly unleashed on Pulp City.

Using the marvels of computers Leon managed to turn my photos into this fantastic battle report...

Battle of Causton

This weekend saw my Very British Civil War army batting in Evesham for the BG4 (which stands for Big Game 4). Many thanks to VBCW co-creator Mort for organising it.
The battle was raging around the fictional Midsommer town of Causton, and saw an alliance of Socialist and Anglican League defending the town against the armies of the Fascist government and the Royalist army. I fought for the upstanding Socialist Brigades.

There is a full battle report on the Gentleman's Wargame Parlor. Here's a link.

Monday 24 October 2011

Jade Avenger Sighted in City

The mysterious hero known only as the Jade Avenger has been sighted in the China Town district, where he was believed to have been battling the forces of the nefarious Dr Fu and his Triads. One eye witness states that Jade Avenger protected a local herbalist from Dr Fu's gang, defeating seventeen of his hoodlums before the local law enforcement arrived.

Jade Avenger is believed to be a master of the esoteric martial arts forms, and may have studied at a legendary school in the Himalayas.

This miniature is by Hasslefree, and like all of their stuff, it was a joy to paint. The base is, as always, by Fenris Games.

Friday 21 October 2011

Rapid- The Most Dashing Hero In Town!

Rapid is one of the new generation of superheroes. He is young, dynamic and enthusiastic, but often acts before thinking things through, a trait which, coupled with his smart mouth, often gets him into trouble.

The tabloid press tends to have a love-hate relationship with Rapid: They praise his heroism and good looks, while at the same time are suitably outraged by his wild partying and risk taking.

Rapid remains nonplussed by the frenzy of media attention his activities often stimulate. Rapid claims that, to date, his greatest achievement was winning Spandex-Rear of the Year.

I am not sure the make of this figure. I know it was a Sandra Garity sculpt, and I got it of a guy in the USA, and that it is now out of production.

Thursday 13 October 2011

The Order of Anubis Operatives: McLeod and Amelia

The Vampire community has many enemies, and their masters- the Old Bloods, although venerable and powerful, still fear the human hunters, the witches and of course, their most ancient foes, the Werewolves. Many centuries ago the Old Bloods formed an order of knights, The Order of Anubis, to watch over them, and protect them from their enemies.

The Order of Anubis still carry out their duty. Their methods and weapons might have changed, but their steely determination, relentless vigilance and deadly skills have not. Some of the order are mortals, who watch over the daytime world, when the vampires sleep, but most of the orders operatives are vampires, many of whom have centuries of experience at fighting their master's foes.

Amelia is relatively new to the Order of Anubis, having only served since the sixties. She has quickly earned a reputation as being both reliable and lethal.

McLeod is a consummate professions- a cold-hearted killer who will wait patiently for days for the right time to strike. When he does attack he is as fast and as deadly as a snake.

Amelia is by Copplestone Castings, from their Future War range. The fangs were just painted on, not sculpted. McLeod is by Heresy- He's not actually meant to be a vampire either, but I was particularly please that he had a bat on his belt buckle- a nice little detail I wasn't expecting.

These guys will from the bases of my modern vampire range, inspired by the movies Blade and Underworld (and their sequels) and by White Wolfs Gothic-punk game Vampire, the Masquerade. I am on the look out for more miniature that have the right feel for them, and will add to the range as and when I get them. They will be used in my supers RPG campaign, but if I paint up another one I could used them as Hired Guns for my necroplain team in Pulp City too.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Saxon War Band Grows

Gripping Beast, who are hosting the VBCW game in Evesham, are perhaps better known for their range of Dark Ages miniatures. They have just brought out an exciting new skirmish level game for this period called Saga.

In preparation for my forthcoming purchase of the Saga rules when I down to Beast Towers, I have been adding to my nucleus of a Saxon war band, with the addition of these stalwart defenders of England.

Here's a picture of my completed-to-date shieldwall. I recon I am about half way there, and then I have got to start on their foes- the dreadful Vikings (to be commanded by my old chum Leon- he has no taste for this Dark Ages nonsense but has agreed to play if I paint the figures).

The figures are Gripping Beasts excellent plastic 28mm Saxons. The guy without a helmet has a head off a Warlord Games British Tommy.

Monday 10 October 2011

Crimson Dragon Back From The Grave

In certain circles, the name Crimson Blade is whispered in hushed tones- for many believe that even to speak his name is to risk invoking the terror of the undead samurai.
No one knows the origins of the terrible night-creature, but what is certain is that he is one of the most deadly fighters in existence; the fearful combination of the relentless martial arts training of the samurai, combined with the unnatural vigour and agility of a vampire make him a lethal opponent- one who can easily stand toe to toe with a pure blood alpha werewolf.

I am not sure who manufactures this figure: It might be Reaper. I got this one of Leon in a grab bag of old hand-me-downs he no longer wanted because they have integral bases (which I removed).

I painted it up, naturally as a super villain for my supers campaign, or as a Necroplane villain for Pulp City, but also, somewhere in the back of my mind I can see him in a game of Vampire the Masquerade. My plan is to paint some more vampires in the style of the movies like Blade, Underworld etc.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Old School Citadel Miniature Adventure

Many years ago, when I was a small boy of 10 or 11, a misguided but well meaning chum introduced me to Citadel Miniatures. I am, of course, going back somewhere around about 1983, so the very earliest days of the hobby. I have, since then, been irrevocably hooked on little pieces of lead.

Some of the earliest Citadel Miniatures I can remember owning were part of a box set of adventures which I had got as my 'main' Christmas present one year, entitled 'Dungeon Adventurers Starter Set'. I have no idea what happened to those figures- I can remember painting a few of them, and no doubt they got used in various games of Warhammer and Dungeons and Dragons.

A few months ago I was browsing on Miniature Heroes website- looking for old Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper miniatures for my SciFi collection, when I spotted the same box set that I had received for Christmas all those years ago. Talk about a trip down memory lane!

I bought them at a very good price, and when they arrived in the post I was delighted to find that they were in fantastic condition, and that the box was intact too!

Given the age of the miniatures the sculpting and the casting was of a very high standard- much better than I was expecting. My plan is to paint them, as a occasional range, as well as I can manage- after that, who knows? I guess I could use some of them for Conan or Lord of The Rings, but given their venerable age and sentimental value, I will probably just sit them on a special spot in my display cabinet and revere them.

This Elven mage is, according to the box, called Andriel. The pit marks are, unfortunately, on the figure, and not because I mixed my paint to thick- in real life it doesn't look half as bad as when it is blown up to this size. You have to remember that this figure is at least 25 years old.

Miniature Heroes is a great website, and they sell a wide rand of miniatures, both old and new- including Reapers Chronoscope range, and a cracking collection of vintage Citadel stuff. You can find them by following this link. Just don't mix them up with the chocolates.

Thursday 6 October 2011

New Officers for Chester Royalists (VBCW)

I have continued to add figures to my VBCW armies ahead of Octobers Big Game. This time it is the part of the Royalists, in the form of commanders for my Chester Local Defence Force.

Brigadier Lord Gerald Grover,

of the Chester Local Defence Force.

It's 1938, during the Very British Civil War, and the Duke of Farnham, the most powerful landowner in Cheshire, has been entrusted by King Edward with the defence of Chester, and with continuing to maintain the Chester Line against the dastardly Socialist rebels in Liverpool and the Wirral.

At the outbreak of the civil war, Lord Gerald Grover, the Duke's nephew, was serving as a Captain with the 9th Lancers, one of the old cavalry that in 1936 had been converted to a tank regiment. At The Duke's request Lord Grover immediately resigned his commission in the army, and took on the role as Brigadier in the Duke's private army, the Chester Local Defence Force.

Like the Duke, Brigadier Lord Grover is a keen exponent of mechanized warfare, and is hoping to turn the CLDF into a truck mounted infantry brigade. So far a lack of fuel and suitable vehicles has thwarted the Brigadiers attempts, and only a modest portion of his force is mechanized. He also intends to train a portion of his force as light horse cavalry, to fight as mounted infantry, as he has more ready access to horses than vehicles.

The Brigadier's striking and stylish uniform was designed for him by the Duke of Farnham's mistress, as well known Parisian fashion designer, and it is based on the Brigadier's own hunting coat and jodhpurs.

Captain Archibold Warren; Adjunct to the brigadier.

The captain served with distinction in the trenches of the Great War.

Captain Dmitri Asadov, a White Russian poet and emigre, now CO of the Duke of Farnham's much feared 'Black Russian' assault company.