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Cautiously Returning…

The club has been given the go-ahead to return to the hall at Linton for the first time in almost 18 months, starting with the second weekend in August on Saturday 14th. Initially meetings will be members-only – no visitors or prospective new members just yet, please. All games will need to be pre-booked with the webmaster (see the diary page), and places arranged with each game’s organiser. This is so we can get to grips with the rules of the hall and how they affect our meetings.

Stargrave – Return to Fenris – Part 1

On another club outing with Stargrave Jeremey ran a game set on the legendary planet of Fenris, with Stephen providing a dramatic write up of the game …

The game was set up in the ruins of a city with the robots of Fenris on patrol throughout the region. The crews of four ships arrive to search for loot.

The Robots of Fenris patrolling through the ruins

Each crew was given a random mission brief providing additional bonuses to be had based on those missions. Stephen ended up with a mission that allowed the crew to pick a rival crew and gain extra credits for any kills against that crew.

The Seedy Dive Space Bar

“100 Credits!? You gotta be kidding me. I want 200.” Kersh Wilson banged his fist on the table for emphasis.
His opposite number leaned forward. Only now did Kersh get an idea of his features in the half-light of the smoke-filled room – the flattened nose, the red skin and ritual scarring. Kersh was dealing with a Creduxian.
“I’ll tell you what I’ll do, Kid,” said the Creduxian. “What I’ll do for you is make it 150 credits for a kill. Just 75 for a hit. Do we have a deal?”
Kersh leaned back, trying to recover his composure, remember the calm and measure he’d been taught as a young student by his masters.
“150 for a kill, huh? Yeah, OK – we got a deal.”
“Good. Good. I’ve made it easy for you. The hit’s name is Offler dZuk – she killed my kinsman. She’s a crew member on a ship called The Troubadour. The captain’s name is Ash de Vere. I’ve had one of my cronies slip Ash some information about some ruins on Fenris. Told him there was money to be made. So I’ve got ‘em off-planet for ya’, somewhere quiet, somewhere away from the eyes of the lawmen. Who knows, maybe you can make some extra loot out of it yourself…”

Kersh and his crew, as well as trying to collect loot tokens, had a special mission – extra money for taking an opposing player’s crew down to zero Health.
Fenris was an area of ruins and covered in undergrowth. Also present were some battle droids, so they’d have to take it careful. I had to choose which player I would have to try and shoot. It would have to be either Andy or Phil, as they were either side of me. I looked at where the loot tokens were and I reckoned that I was more likely to bump into Andy, so it would make sense to have him as my target since there was every chance we’d exchange gunfire anyway. Where I deployed there were two tokens that shouldn’t be too difficult to grab. I pretty much split my force in three – crew Captain Kersh Wilson (a mystic) led a couple of his crew after one token. Shoggoth (a biomorph), the first mate, led some crew after another. I had two raw recruits who I decided I’d send after the furthest away, but also with an eye on the possibility of taking a pop at Andy’s crew if the opportunity presented itself.

The Recruits sent out to scout the area

Oh yeah, I also had a pathfinder and used his extra speed to lead the way, draw any fire, see what droids were about etc.
I took the first token without too much difficulty. At that point Phil rolled a bad initiative roll (any roll of 4 or under meant a random droid would appear – Phil proved good at rolling low…) and a droid appeared near my crew. Kersh took out his lightsabre (sorry, ‘void blade’ *ahem*). The droid took a shot and Kersh deflected the shots with his blade. He then concentrated carefully and caused psionic flames to shoot from his hand and engulf the droid. Didn’t do too much. So he drew his blaster pistol and let off a couple of shots. Down went the droid.

Fire fight with a robot sentry

The two recruits – a robot called 2B-55 and a pale-skinned alien called Ronnock Crowder – advanced through the ruins. Not too far behind was Shoggoth and Yammet Lament, an ex-commando. TwoBee and Ronnock by-passed a loot token, leaving it for Shoggoth, and took position behind some ruins. Because on the opposite side of the road two of Andy’s crew could be seen trying to unlock a loot token.

Laying down some fire

Both TwoBee and Ronnock drew their pistols and started shooting. Down went one of Andy’s crew – Offler dZuk. She was only wounded, so on Andy’s activation he decided to pull her back. But TwoBee and Ronnock let rip again, and this time she wouldn’t get up – down to zero health. But was it a kill?
With three loot tokens, and having successfully completed their special mission, I decided discretion was the better part of valour and got my crew off with all their loot.
It had been a very successful first mission for Kersh and his crew.

Captain Kersh collects some loot

Or was it?  The story will to Return to Fenris for a different perspective …

Work in Progress Wednesday

First up this week Eric has painted two more Stargrave crew members, I could be wrong but these have the look of cannon fodder.

Next up Andy continues to wade through more of his medieval miniatures, this time with some progress on horses.

Mark has made some 6mm progress with his Spanish Napoleonic era forces.

Two cavalry units, a mixture of heavy cavalry, dragoons, hussars.

Mark also sent us progress his son Felix has made on his first Imperial guardsman.

Warhammer 40K Imperial Guardsman

And lastly this week, with the shows starting again Marcus has turned his attention back to the clubs current (Last seen at Cavalier 2020!) show game, first up some Yeti’s.

Copplestone Yeti’s

and some snow scenery made out of expanding foam.

Expanding foam terrain

That’s it for this week, catch you next Wednesday.

The Painting Of Doctor Moreau

Stephen gives us step by step guide to painting a Sci Fi villain.

For an upcoming game of Stargrave I wanted a baddie. The Big Boss. I looked at the models I had and none of them were really suitable.

So I decided I would buy something. I knew how I wanted the model to be armed, and knew my chances of finding something exactly like that was virtually zero, so it had to be something that could be modified.

Since I intended to order some bits from Ral Partha I thought I’d have a look there.

And lo and behold, I found just the thing – a Neo Soviet Handler from their Vor range (specifically, code 40-412):

The original figure

I trimmed off the knuckle-duster thing in his left hand and in its place went a blaster pistol from the spares bag. His main armament was going to be a void blade. And when I saw this model, and what he had in his right hand, I couldn’t believe my luck. This would make the perfect handle for a lightsaber (sorry, void blade). I trimmed it down a bit, but I liked the flared ending so kept that. A hole was drilled and a piece of 1.5mm styrene rod was glued in. The model was then stuck to a 25mm plastic base and the base built up with filler. And then it was given a brown undercoat:

Modified and undercoated figure

Now, in this write-up I am just going to give generic colours rather than specific names and codes for a brand. I use from more than one range of paints and I am sure everyone else does as well.

I decided his robes, gloves, and gimp mask were going to be black. So I slapped it on, letting it get into any awkward gaps in case I couldn’t get a brush in there later so it would act as a deep shade.

Basic black basecoat

Right, this is just my own personal philosophy on black. But I never highlight black with just grey. No. Black is seldom that helpful. Look at any black clothes you may have. I bet they’re all slightly different shades – it depends on age, what the material is, what dye was used. Lots of variables. So try to keep that in mind when highlighting your blacks. The black for the robes had a bit of blue added, then white added to that for successive highlights. The gloves and mask had a blob of red added, then white added to that for successive highlights. You can see the slight difference in ‘black’ here:

Shades of black highlights

Next up, I decided to do the bits that would get a dark brown (OK, OK, GW’s Agrax Earthshade) wash – the boots, pouches, bracers, and metallic bits. These received the same base brown colour. The metals had a steel base colour. Once dried, on goes the wash.

Brown and steel parts base coated and washed.

And when that’s dried the pieces are painted up. Like black (and most colours, to be honest) it helps if you vary what you use to highlight your base colours. It’s tempting to add white to lighten it. But maybe yellow might give a different shade to the base colour, or a pale grey. This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially if you have two uses of the same colour next to each other. That said, I did use white to highlight the brown. The metal bits were touched up with the base steel colour, and then highlighted with silver. I ummed and ahhed about what colour to do the lenses on the eyepieces. Blue or green were the first choices that came to mind. But then I thought, orange. So orange it was, highlighted with a dot of yellow.

More highlights and those glowing orange lenses

Next up I decided to do his weapons. There’s a good reason for this – I just couldn’t make up my mind what colour to do his armour. Normally I would have left the weapons to last because they stick out and there’s every chance they could get knocked or rubbed as I did other bits. But I just couldn’t make up my mind. I had thought about green, but I had also decided that his blade was going to be green, and if there was too much green then I may have to re-paint the armour. With that, I decided to do the weapons first, and once that was done maybe the armour colour would be obvious. The handgun had a base colour that was a mix of steel and black to make a gun metal colour, then highlighted with the steel. A red laser sight was also dotted in. I knew from the outset I was going to do a green blade. I have a nice rich green colour, so I went with that. It’s hard to paint a 3D object like it is lit from inside, so I chose to just highlight the base and tip of the blade. I used white to highlight this time.

Pistol and lightsabre, sorry void blade, painted and highlighted

I looked at it. You know what, I thought, I reckon green would look OK. So I went with green for the armour, but a different shade of green. I gave all the armour panels a thin coating (not really a wash, but not really thick paint either) of the base green mixed with a blob of dark brown (again, you don’t have to darken colours with just black). Once dry I then painted in the panels with the base colour, which was highlighted by adding yellow to the green to create a more vibrant green, but also so it didn’t have the same tonal value as the green on the blade. The edges of the armour were based in dark yellow, and then picked out with a flat yellow.

Armour panels painted green and yellow.

And that’s the end of the painting for Doctor Moreau. Once finished, I thought the 25mm base looked a little small on what was a chunky model. So I pried the model off the base (and, inevitably, had to touch up a few knocks and chips) and glued him to a 30mm wooden base. Flocking was my standard recipe – a mix of railway ballasts first, and then some spots of static grass:

The rebased and finished figure

And that’s Doctor Moreau done, ready to be pestered and set upon by a group of ne’er do wells and freeloaders.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Here we are with another selection of pictures from the club showing what we’ve up to. With the return of club meetings, projects are turning to the various games we have managed to start playing again.

First up Tony has been painting up some 15mm Brigadier characters, strangely enough from Brigade Models. He has also managed to complete another dwarf for his LOTR’s collection.

Kili the Dwarf

Next up I’ve been painting up some crates from the Mantic Dreadball range for use in various sci-fi games.

The selection of crates from the Dreadball Extreme box set

John has been painting up some 10mm Chilean and Peruvian Cavalry.

Regiments of Cavalry on the way

Lastly for this week Stephen has used up some old EM4 Colonial Marines miniatures and a bit of kit bashing to create some additional crew/gang members for use in games like Stargrave.

Effective bit of kit bashing to bring some old figure to life

See you all next week.

 

 

Club meeting 11th September

A brief picture album of the third meeting back, still operating under members only rules.

Four games in play today, in chronological order:

First up a FOG Ancients game by Colin & Paul, we only have one picture of this unfortunately.

FOG Ancients game in progress

Moving on to the 17th Century we had a FOG Renaissance game with Brett, Pete, John and Mark, the Scots involvement in the English Civil War.

FOG Renaissance Scottish (mostly) await the attack.
FOG Renaissance Cavalry on the move
FOG Renaissance ECW Scottish in action

Moving on a couple of Centuries we move to Mexico in the 1860’s, with the French Intervention played by Alan and Mike using Zouave II rules.

Republican Mexican defences
French and Imperial Mexicans advance

Finally we have a couple of games of Stargrave.

The first game was run by Stephen, with Eric, Marcus, Jeremey and Andy sending their crews to investigate Dr Moreau’s House of Pain.

First Stargrave game, run by Stephen
Dr Moreau’s bunker from Andy’s point of view
Andy’s crew fight off Audrey II
Marcus’ alien crew
Eric’s and Marcus’ crews approach each other
Marcus’ and Eric’s crews engage
Dr Moreau’s creatures take the high ground as Jeremey’s crew approach the compound
Andy’s crew try hacking the force field

We had to cut the first game short as Stephen had to leave, so we then played a second game which Jeremey had devised. As Andy’s crew had to disband after his Captain was killed in the first game he ran the second game enabling Jeremey to play.

A ship had crashed, leaving a trail of cargo and potential loot in its wake. Jeremey, Eric and Marcus’s crews came looking for loot, with indigenous interference run by Andy.

Eric’s crew, lead by Captain Greyfax
The crashed freighter, with cargo strewn in its trail. Jeremey’s crew approaching from the top of the picture, Eric’s from the bottom.
Eric’s crew approach the wreck
Eric and Jeremey’s crews fight over the loot (the corrugated fence representing a Holographic Wall)
The indigenes

You came in that piece of junk?

Jeremey takes us through the various times club members have used actual toys for games.

Recently Tony posted pictures of a toy Millennium Falcon he bought for his current 15mm Star Wars project.  This was a Hasbro Millennium Falcon toy measuring 9.5 inches x 7 inches.

Checking the toy for size

All Tony did to this toy was to give it a wash of black acrylic paint thinned with Johnson’s floor polish followed by a heavy light grey drybrush.

Picking out the details

As you can see the end results were quite impressive for such a simple technique.

When the Stargate rules came out Stephen decided to paint up a spaceship to act as scenery. Again going for a toy Stephen bought a strange looking spaceship from something called the Starlink range.

Starlink Neptune Ship

From what I can tell you can connect this toy up to a games console for added features. Stephen converted a few bits of the original toy to turn it into a craft for his bounty hunter.

This is the notorious bounty hunter, Boone Sadist, with his ship Scourge Reaper…

I also got in on the toy action a number of years ago for my Fenris Descending game. I dug out one of my old Star Wars toys, namely this PDT-8 transport toy.

The old Mini-Rig range dating back to the early 1980’s

For this I did need to cover over the compartments you put the action figures in and went for a complete paint job, but that was still just a simple primer of grey, dry brushed silver and a black ink wash applied.

The shuttle craft from Fenris Descending

Again the level of detail on the original toy made it a good choice to use for wargaming. You can often pick up such toys for a bargain price on Ebay or in the toy store clearance bin. A purpose built wargaming spaceship of the same size (although likely better detailed) would be quite expensive.

I can see my self doing this again if I spot the right toy.

Work in Progress Wednesday

We’re back for another look at progress from the club members.

Above we have Mark having painted old stoney face himself who is just about done, just the base to be completed. Also Mark has completed more of the Pontic army with some swordsmen.

Mark’s youngest has also been slapping on some paint (mainly contrast paints)  to a block gang to go up against Dredd.

Start of a brightly coloured block gang

Next up I’ve been working on a piece of old wood I found to make a giant tree terrain piece.

The giant ancient tree 21cm tall and 7cm wide

The tree currently has a glossy finish because to help preserve the wood I applied a watered down coat of PVA glue.

Next up Tony has completed another dwarf to add to his ranks of LOTR’s miniatures.

Another dwarf in the war of the ring

Eric has also completed his Inquisitor Greyfax who will act as a Captain or first mate for Eric’s Stargrave crew.

Inquisitor Greyfax

And last but not least this week Stephen has made more progress on his Saracen army, this time some light Saracen cavalry.

Light Saracen Cavalry

See you next Wednesday for more progress.

Time for a Desk Tidy

Sometimes you have to admit your hobby space needs a good tidy. Jeremey takes us through his latest tidy attempt and subsequent creation.

If I spent as much time actually painting as I did tidying up my hobby desk I would have defeated the lead pile by now.
My current hobby desk is a 1940’s bureau I got from the local charity shop. It has a number of spaces for putting your letter writing paraphernalia, but plenty of potential for hobby related equipment.
I originally bought a couple of desk tidy/pen holders for my paint brushes, files and sculpting tools. They worked but as you can see there was a lot of wasted space in the desk.

The original desk tidy units

During the latest desk tidy session I suddenly hit on the idea of getting something that made better use of the desk spaces. I tried finding other pen style holders that would fit better but couldn’t find anything suitable.

Interlocking EVA foam floor mats

It was at that point I decided to make my own. I decided to make some boxes out of foam floor mats since the contents would not be that heavy and the desk tidy pieces themselves didn’t need to be too robust, just survive being pulled out like draws.

The finished boxes loaded with paintbrushes, files, sculpting tools, knives, cutters, basically everything I need at my finger tips

I started by making simple boxes and stuck them together using the hot glue gun. I measured the space available to ensure the boxes used up all the space available. Once that was done I got out all of the items I wanted to store and cut internal foam pieces (again stuck on with the hot glue gun) to create the various spaces for my equipment. The last thing was to add a handle so I could pull out the boxes.

The first one worked so well I made a second (slightly better than the first, shown on the left), which meant I could have on the desk even more equipment I’d previously put away in other draws. I’m now wondering if I can build myself a rack for my paint pots out of the foam!

WIP Wednesday 01/09/2021

A tad late today, apologies all. This week the vast majority of work was done by Eric, with one small addition from Tony. Where’s everyone else gone?

Eric says his painting mojo has really sunk it’s teeth into him at the moment, and he’s been prolific in his output. First up is Inquisitor Greyfax from Warhammer 40k, Eric says she’s a work in progress, and will make a great “psyker” captain for Stargrave in addition to appearing in his 40K army.

Inquisitor Greyfax

Next, an old piece of scenery he finally got round to paying attention to.

Ruined Cathedral?
Some random robot that was found in the desert just before the locals decided to handball him on to their transport. Will likely serve as a data loot cache marker for Stargrave.
Stargrave R2D2 data marker
And for a complete change of direction, some Roman Legionaries.
Early Imperial Romans

Back to the Sci Fi theme, a small Adeptus Astartes Reiver squad for either 40k or Kill Team (maybe Stargrave, who knows?)

Adeptus Astartes Reiver squad
And 3 x runners/recruits for Stargrave and a robot. The runners were kitbashed from 40k spares, the robot is based on Claptrap from Borderlands. Model by Crooked Dice Games.
Stargrave Runners and Robot

And, finally from Eric, some Stargrave Loot markers.

Stargrave Loot markers

It’s not quite an Eric monopoly this week, Tony has finished a few figures. He’s decided to start on Thorin’s Company, so here are Thorin, James Nesbitt Bofur and Gandalf.

Thorin, Bofur and Gandalf.

That’s it for this week, hopefully we’ll be back on schedule next Wednesday.

Second meeting back

Last Saturday was the second meeting post lockdown. We are still operating with members only. Fewer games and members this time, perhaps because of the Bank Holiday weekend?

First up, a couple of games of Fields of Glory, Dominate Roman vs Selucid, report from Chairman John.

Mark’s Romans took to the battlefield against a very mixed force of Paul’s Seleucids.  The Romans deployed their many legions in the centre to face off the Seleucid cataphracts, pikes and elephants.

With the full deployment revealed the Romans moved aggressively to take advantage with their skirmishes on the left flank.  This resulted in successfully routing the enemy light foot off the table and capturing the enemy camp.  However the Seleucids fought back attacking the rear of the Roman horse who were still sacking the camp.  In the meantime on the other flank the Seleucid light foot seemed to be in excellent shooting form scoring hits in multiple rounds and routing the Hun cavalry.

The deciding battle should have been in the middle with the Seleucid caraphracts taking on the legions, but despite vicious fighting no overall victor emerged.  At this point the Seleucids were declared the marginal victors due to their success on the flanks.

The second game was a repeat meeting, this time the Romans sat back and let the Seleucids come to them intending to not be aggressive on the flanks and risk losing their again.  However the Hun cavalry again proved to be very vulnerable to shooting, with the cavalry and light horse on the other flank also suffering at the hands of some good dice rolling by the Seleucids.  In the centre the cataphracts managed to manoeuvre to hit the Romans at their weakest point, eventually routing several battle groups, the Roman army withdraw just before it would break, a successful day of battle for the Seleucids.

The next table saw some Border Reiver action. Report by a different John.

I brought along Osprey’s En Garde!  Ruleset, my collection of Outpost Reivers I’d purchased and painted many years ago and scratchbuilt terrain for Eric and Tony to try out the rules. We played on a 3 foot square mat. Whilst rule memory was hazy at times, we did manage to play two scenarios.

Scenario 1 – During a previous raid some of the stolen booty had to be hidden in a derelict Shepherd’s hut in Bewcastle Waste. Both gangs were desperate to recover the heavy chest containing cutlery and a wooden dinner service (yes, they would have been that desperate). We used the capture scenario from the En Garde! Rulebook. It was dark and raining, typical Reiver weather.

Both forces approached the hut with some figures dismounting so that they could enter the hut and grab the chest. Eric’s gang managed to score some hits using a Latch – a short range rapid fire crossbow as the skirmish developed around the hut.

The skirmish around the hut.

With men down, Tony attempted a ride by lance charge on Eric’s Headman but unluckily failed and with that, Tony’s chances in the game faded.

Scenario 2 – Eric’s gang have kidnapped the lady love of Tony’s Headman’s son and locked her up in their fortified farmhouse.  The scratchbuilt Bastle House is an accurate model of Gatehouse (North) Bastle in Tynedale. We used the Defence Scenario from the En Garde! Rulebook.

Bastle House modelled on Gatehouse (North) Bastle in Tynedale

For this scenario, Tony had got some hired help as He would have to break into the Bastle. He decided to use the time honoured tactic of ‘Scumfishing’ applying fire to the door in order to smoke out the occupants.

Trying to fire the door to the Bastel House

Meanwhile if Eric’s Headman’s son could rush out and light the straw pile, this would alert the Land Sergeant and the Militia who would be duty bound to come to their aid (unless handsomely paid off by Tony). The son was ruthlessly put to the sword by one of Tony’s henchmen. Tony was unable to start a fire at the door and with time running out, brute force was brought into play. A fierce melee took place in the basement with Tony’s men just avoiding a bucket of night soil thrown down the chute above the door. The Headman’s son was able to rescue his sweetheart (the only girl in the village with her own teeth) in the nick of time or by the skin of his teeth.

So honours were even over the day. We had a couple of queries on the rules and will probably bring in house rules next time where our protagonists will encounter ‘Mad Meg’s Bairns’ a merciless band of cutthroat mercenaries and I’ll start looking at the possibility of a campaign.

Last, but by no means least, Tony and Andy tried out Dragon Rampant. Report by Andy

Tony wanted to try out Dragon Rampant using his Lord of the Rings Rohirrim troops, so we agreed on a 24 point game.

For our first Game Tony’s army was made up of :

      • 1 x Elite Riders (Theoden and guard)
      • 1 x Elite Foot (Royal Guard)
      • 1 x Light Riders (Eomer and escorts)
      • 1 x Light Foot with Mixed Weapons
      • 1 x Light Foot.

I fielded a Goblin force with the following:

      • 1 x Offensive Light Foot (Durburz and guards)
      • 1 x Light Foot Wizardling (Shamen and Drummers)
      • 2 x Light Foot with Mixed Weapons
      • 2 x Scouts
Armies deployed for the first game (one unit of Goblin Scouts out of picture on the left flank)

Tony threw forward his cavalry, with the foot catching up as best they could.

Theoden leads his guard forward.

Having the leader as a unit of Elite Riders had the drawback of the unit having the wild charge rule, so once within move distance of my forces he had to test to charge.

Goblin Light Foot prepare to receive a charge
Rohan infantry enter the village

After a game of attrition, with both sides losing their leaders, the last unit of Rohan foot await the end.

The last unit of Rohan foot await the end.

For the second game we both expanded our armies, Tony added a unit of Bellicose Foot, using his Army of the Dead models, and another unit of Light Riders, lead by Eowyn. I added a couple of units of Light Riders (Orcs on Wargs). This took both armies to 32 points.

In this game my Wargs were often successful in evading Tony’s Light Rider charges, until they ran out of space.

Another game of attrition, at the end all that was left of Tony’s Rohirrim was Gamling, leader of the Royal Guard

Gamling’s last stand

For our third game we expanded the armies yet again. I added a unit of Venomous Giant Spiders (Lesser Warbeasts) at 7 points. Tony gave his Elite Riders the Level Headed upgrade, which removed the wild charge and made it easier to move. He also converted his Light Riders to Heavy Riders and added a third unit. For the last point he added a War Banner to the Elite Riders.

The expanded armies deployed
Theoden charging the Warg riders

Theoden still getting ahead of the rest of the units.

Eowyn leads the charge

Eowyn lead her unit to charge the Goblin Shamen, who surprisingly held them off.

Clash of leaders

Theoden about to fall to the Goblin King.

In all we easily got three games in at the meeting, and plan to try doing the Battle of the Pelennor Fields at a future meeting. Tony now has to work out how to portray the Mûmakil in Dragon Rampant.