Master builder Stephen takes us through the construction of his latest masterpiece.
I recently ordered a few bits from Scotia Grendel and one of the things I ordered was some standing stones.
It was a nice quick delivery.
I have a soft spot for these old resin scenics – reminds me of back in the early 90s when I started getting into gaming and our local shop stocked them.
What I liked about these pieces were the Saxon style carvings. You see, I like my fantasy couched a bit in history. Problem was that the Saxon carvings only appeared on one side of the top pieces. On the other side was a more literal, typical fantasy, depiction of a dragon.
And on one side of each of the uprights was an equally typical fantasy style arrow thingy.
I didn’t like that.
So what I decided to do was make a mould of the Saxon style dragon, cast it, and use it to replace the dragon I didn’t like.
I used some Oyumaru modelling compound (Ed: other suppliers are available) to make a mould of the Saxon dragon. I then used some of Wilko’s own-brand epoxy resin with a tiny blob of brown paint to cast it.
Once this had set I sanded the reverse side down and also sanded down the fantasy dragon on the actual resin piece. I then glued it in place and used some Miliput to blend it in.
With the arrows on the uprights I simply sanded them down and then skinned the surface with Miliput and stippled it to look like the stone effect.
I then turned my head to the base. I wanted it mounted on a rocky outcrop to make it look more dramatic. To keep it light I was going to use expanded polystyrene. However, that’s not the strongest material. So I made a sandwich of it, with a wooden base and a wooden top to which I could glue the resin so it would be more firmly attached to the wood rather than expanded polystyrene.
I used PVA glue to fix it all together and then put a couple of heavy books on it to keep it flat whilst the glue set. I left it a good 24 hours, because the glue takes longer to set on polystyrene.
When that had set it was time to glue the standing stones to it. A good dollop of superglue and the basic model was done. I then broke away the surplus expanded polystyrene in the shape of how I wanted the outcrop.
To make the model stronger and more resilient to knocks I decided I would skin the model in Miliput. I used the Standard grade, because that’s what I had to hand.
To create a stone-effect I used…a stone! Yup, went out into the garden, found a small stone with a suitable texture and after the Miliput had been smeared all over I pressed and smudged the stone into the putty.
The altar stone with sacrificial goat was a piece from…well, I honestly can’t remember. It’s been sitting in the bits bag for a long time waiting for a use. And now its time had come. I also thought about adding a couple of poles with skulls on them. Had a few ideas about that, but it wasn’t the time to add that just yet, so I could keep mulling on it.
Right then, the painting.
Look, stone is rarely grey. That’s not to say there’s no grey stones, but stones have a lot more to them than just grey. Stone painted grey with a black undercoat just looks too stark and is not what stone looks like. It’s as wrong as painting tree trunks brown – have a look at them, they are not the colour of chocolate!
My usual approach with painting stone is to start with a dark brown undercoat. This was no different. I used Humbrol Model Spray dark brown. There then followed a series of dry-brushings using browns and, yes, some grey as well!
Dark brown undercoat
With the painting done all that was left were the final touches. I revisited my skull-on-stick idea, but I toned it down. Instead of several I decided to keep it simple with just the one – made from a cocktail stick and skull from GW’s Box Of Skulls.
I used static grass in patches around the base. I kept it sparse on top of the rock because there wouldn’t be so much earth for the grass to grow in. I then added some clump foliage to represent weeds and things, paying attention to add it to nooks and crannies and also the area that may not be trodden on so much.
With that done, the Temple Of The Wilds is complete.
Welcome to the last work in progress post of 2021.
We start this week with Eric’s progress on his space marines. Above we have Ahriman the Sorcerer of the Thousand Sons, Gregor Felhand of the Space Wolves, and below a whole host of Thousand Sons legionnaires.
Next up Andy has made progress on his Polish troops, the yellow is looking good.
Now we have Mark with some more Dwarves (has he got any left?).
And last but not least Phil has started making progress on a future show game for the society with some new Romans.
That’s it for 2021, we will no doubt have lots more projects for 2022, so see you then.
As it was our first foray with the rules, we decided to keep our armies small and set the armies at 500-points.
There are few limits on force composition, but your units do have to comply with the following limitations:
All members of a unit must have the same weapons, equipment and grade, with the exception that in Command units the Commander can be armed and equipped differently.
At least 10% of the points must be spent on Green troops
No more than 50% of the points may be spent on Command units.
My force comprised:
Command Unit of a Mounted Lord, with Pennant, and 3 Mounted Knights (Regular, 126 points)
Command Unit of a Veteran Mounted Sergeant and 3 Mounted Sergeants (Regular, 110 points)
Unit of 6 Spearmen (Regular, 120 points)
Unit of 5 Crossbowmen (Regular, 90 points)
Unit of 6 Bowmen (Green, 54 points)
So, my force had the requisite 10% of Green troops (54 points) and just under 50% of Command units (236 points).
Stephen’s force comprised:
Command unit of a veteran foot Lord (Sir Owain of Bangor) with 6 regular foot knights (204 points)
Unit of 6 regular spearmen (120 points)
Unit of 6 regular archers (102 points)
Unit of 6 green spearmen (72 points)
In these rules players take turns in activating a unit, with some conditions requiring that a unit takes a compulsory action before any unit takes a voluntary action. Most units can only take one action themselves, plus one action passed to them by an eligible command unit. Units which take more than one action become Weary, which affects combat. Command units can have 2 or 3 actions, one of which must be an action by the command unit itself, the others could be command actions passed to other units. We had some confusion about whether a Command Unit can command itself. But we worked it out and got it right in the end – they can’t because they use their actions on themselves as normal actions or reactions rather than commands.
The rules have 15 scenarios and a dozen deployment options, giving an extremely good variety of potential scenarios – well done Footsore!
We randomly chose the scenario and terrain for our games.
In our first game we played scenario 14 Stop the Messenger, in this scenario one player has to assign a message to a unit, and get that unit and message off the opposite table edge within 5 turns (a sixth turn is allowed if that would allow the messenger unit to escape). For this game we used deployment map 9:
On our table a road ran down the central length with a number of buildings and fields to one side of the road and wooded areas on the other. In Barons War mounted units are not allowed to enter area terrain such as woods.
I won the die roll and elected to be the side with the message.
Stephen deployed his archers as far forward as he could, supported by his Green Spearmen. His Dismounted Knights were deployed to the Archer’s left, in the village area, and his Regular Spearmen deployed on his right flank.
I deployed my Spearmen on the road as far forward as I could within my deployment zone, immediately in front of Stephen’s bowmen. I placed my green bowmen on the village side of the road, and the crossbowmen on the wooded side. The Knights were on the road behind the Spearmen and the Mounted Sergeants (with the message) were behind the crossbowmen.
Due to deployment restrictions Stephen was able to deduce that the message was with either the Knights, Mounted Sergeants or Crossbowmen, so he knew where to focus his efforts.
Stephen won initiative on the first turn and loosed arrows at my Spearmen to little effect. (Stephen: not that I’m getting the excuses in or anything, but the dice rolling was a bit one-sided)
On my first activation I charged my Spearmen into Stephen’s bowmen killing a couple of them and forcing them back. Stephen’s foot Knights advanced and my bowmen loosed at them initially with their own action, and then for a second time when ordered to do so by the Mounted Lord. Initially we forgot to perform the morale tests to determine whether the receiving unit acted on the order given (it was our first game, Stephen: – and we continued to forget to do this all day, even after we realised we’d forgotten to do this!). Despite being wearied by the two actions the archers did cause some casualties on Stephen’s Knights. Both of us advanced our other units.
On the second turn my Spearmen charged Stephen’s bowmen killing a couple more but suffering a loss in return. (Stephen: it’s worth pointing out that in the game a roll of 10 by the attacker can only be defended by a roll of 10. All day Andy rolled lots of 10s and I didn’t…)
The crossbows had line of sight to one of Stephen’s units of Spearmen and loosed bolts at them. Stephen moved his Green Spearmen to support his Regulars, expecting I would send the Knights or Sergeants forward with the message. (Stephen: for the life of me I can’t think why I positioned my regular spearmen right at the back when all my other troops had been deployed forward. They spent the game trying to advance, from a distance, against Andy’s crossbows and demon dice-rolling. The inevitable happened)
On the third turn Stephen advanced his Foot Knights over a wall and hedge advancing on my Green Archers, who responded with a flight of arrows despatching another Knight.
Following another round of archery, the Knights failed their subsequent morale test and decided caution was the better part of valour, heading for the nearest table edge. (Stephen: OK, OK, they were Broken and had to flee).
The Mounted Sergeants and the Lord followed up the crossbows, urging them on.
On the next round Stephen’s Green Spearmen charged my Regular Spearmen, only to be thrown back with casualties and also failing their Morale test.
My crossbowmen advanced, with the Sergeants and Knights following.
On the fourth round my Crossbows moved out of the path of the Sergeants, only for them to be charged by Stephen’s Regular Spearmen, a crossbowman fell, but they forced the Spearmen back with the Spearmen becoming Broken.
With their path now clear the Mounted Sergeants surged forwards with a run action, moving 16” towards the table edge.
At this point Stephen conceded the game. (Stephen: no point in being a damned fool about it when you know you’ve lost). Although I couldn’t quite get the Sergeants off the table in the fifth round, Stephen had nothing close enough to stop them and I could invoke the sixth round and escape the table.
For our second game Stephen decided to tweak his army, removing the unit of 6 Green Spearmen and adding a unit of 8 Green Bowmen (both worth 72 points). I kept the same army.
Our second game was Scenario 8, Take and Hold. We designated the three objectives, one near the centre of the table and the others roughly equal distances from our base edges. The victory conditions for this scenario are that at the end of each of the first four rounds a player controlling an objective accrues one victory point. At beginning of the fifth and final round control of an objective gains the holder 3 points.
We chose deployment option 3, using the long edges as our deployment zones, each having one objective immediately under our control. We left the table layout pretty much as for the first game.
Stephen deployed his green archers in the middle of his deployment zone, opposite the central objective, with his regular archers to their right. (Stephen: I knew my two archer units would be in a strong position, able to take up a defensive stance behind a hedge, and then pepper Andy’s troops as they tried to capture the central objective). His lord and retinue of Knights deployed on a side road to the left, with his Spearmen further to the left among some farm buildings.
I deployed my Spearmen on one of the objectives, with the Lord to their right and the Crossbowmen further to the right. The Mounted Sergeants were roughly in the middle of the table, behind a wood separating them from the central objective, with my Green Bowmen to their left.
On the first turn I advanced my Crossbowmen to a wall at the side of the road and gave them a second action from the Lord to shoot at Stephen’s Spearmen, causing a casualty. My Sergeants advanced round the wood, but could not get quite close enough to claim victory points for the central objective. Stephen advanced his forces across the board.
On the second turn my Sergeants reached the central objective but Stephen’s archery forced my Mounted Sergeants back, (Stephen: see – I told you), so no points for me next turn. The Crossbowmen continued to pelt Stephen’s Spearmen forcing them back, but on the other flank my Green Bowmen were losing the duel with Stephen’s archers (Stephen: again, I told you so). Stephen managed to advance his central archers to the hedge separating the field from the road, and placing them within control distance of the central objective (the Celtic Cross).
On each of the first two rounds both of us claimed 1 VP each, so going into round 3 the score was 2 all.
At the beginning of the third round Stephen claimed points for both the central objective and the one nearest his baseline, taking a 1-point lead as I only received one VP.
Stephen’s foot knights advanced up the side road, and came within line of sight and range of my Lord, so I sent him and his escort charging forwards, only to lose the melee (Stephen: good old Sir Owain!) and be pushed back into my Spearmen pushing them off the objective I controlled. My Crossbowmen took a short move to get in a position where some of them could shoot at Stephen’s Knights, Shaking them and forcing them back down the side road.
On my left flank my Sergeants and Archers succumbed to Stephen’s archery (Stephen: yay!), leaving the left flank undefended.
However, as my last action of the turn I managed to charge my Spearmen into Stephen’s Bowmen holding the central objective forcing them back and taking it back under control. (Stephen: I knew my control of the central objective was tentative – it was controlled by my weakest troops (the green archers) and wouldn’t stand up to a charge).
At the start of the fourth round, I got the extra VP for controlling the central objective tying the score at 5 all.
My Lord charged forwards again, taking advantage of Stephen’s Knights Shaken status and forcing them further back down the side road. My Crossbowmen moved back to the wall and finally sent Stephen’s Spearmen running from the table.
At the beginning of round 5 I controlled two objectives, netting 6 VP, while Stephen only had 1, gaining 3, the score was now 11-8 in my favour.
The last round was a bit of an anti-climax, Stephen had nothing he could use to retake the central objective, I couldn’t reach the objective he controlled and my Crossbowmen had no targets, so the turn ended with a final score of 13-9 to me.
I’ll leave the final words to Stephen:
I enjoyed playing Barons’ War a great deal. We used 500 point armies because it was a first game, but I think we’ll ramp it up to 1000 points next time, split between two players per side. That’ll give a game with more depth and ebb and flow.
During our game we frequently referred to the rules. It didn’t always need it, we were just being conscientious that we were doing things right from the start. We had a few rules queries that we couldn’t find answers to on the day, though I think we did it right in the end. Having time to go through the rulebook that evening we found the answers to our questions, so it’s all in there. I also pinged a couple of queries to Andy Hobday and he replied very promptly (well done Andy!) – he confirmed that what we’d done was right.
I can see future games moving along nice and quickly with minimal reference to the rules. A decent roster sheet with special abilities on it will help, and a re-worked QRF will also assist (the one that comes with the book is 4 pages long! But I reckon there’s a lot of things on it that will become second nature and wouldn’t be needed, so I am sure we can get it down to a more manageable 2 sides).
I enjoyed it a lot. It scratches my 13th century itch (and the 13th century is my favourite period and what my entire education history is focussed on).
Welcome to another selection of what some of the society members are working on.
First up Tony has finished painting his Rebels and a few other characters. In contrast Phil has only managed the undercoat on some Storm Troopers, although you could probably argue they are nearly finished.
Next up Mark and his son have been busy once more.
We start with some more Orcs, trackers this time.
And a better picture of some hated dwarves.
There’s also been some progress from Mark on the Judge Dredd civies.
And last but not least Andy has made progress on his 10mm Polish Napoleonic. Andy is working out the best way to paint the yellow aspects of the uniform.
That’s it for this week, see you next week for the last WIP Wednesday of 2021.
Our last meeting of the year saw three “periods” in progress:
First up, our FOG contingent (John, Paul and Mark) ran a couple of games of Early Carthaginians vs Dominate Romans.
Next up Alan ran a game of Fief, France 1429, a game of dynastic ambition. You can probably guess where and when it is set. Boardgames are not unknown at the Society, but they are not that commonly played either. Alan, Marcus, Dave, Chris, Peter and Mike were the contenders for the control of France.
Alan and Peter formed an alliance and had a narrow lead at the end of the game, so they are claiming victory. Mike, Marcus, Dave & Chris wouldn’t necessarily agree with that assessment though
Finally, Tony & Phil combined their efforts to put on a 15mm Star Wars game, using slightly adapted Stargrave rules. Jeremey and Phil each took a squad of Stormtroopers, while Stephen and Andy had a squad of Rebels. Both sides were searching the village for a pair of droids who had concealed plans to a top secret Imperial Weapon System (the Death Star). Tony ran the unaligned Jawas and was in charge of resolving the players searches and random events.
Tony F gives a further look through his garage archive.
Lager Louts in the 25th Century
This game was a sci-fi bar-room brawl based on a board game (we’re trying to find out what that was – we’re hoping someone still has it) that we’d played at the club quite a bit, especially at Christmas meetings as it was great fun. I built a bar (named The Blazing Shuttle) on a 3×2 board complete with flashing and strobing LED lighting, Phil made some furniture from plasticard and Brian provided the denizens of the bar in the shape of some toy figures – we’re not sure what they were. We even had an audio track – the Star Wars Cantina theme. Nowadays we’d probably try concealing a small bluetooth speaker in the scenery, but this was 1989, so the technology was simply a portable cassette player under the table. It began to get a little wearing by the end of the day…
Given the amount of work we put in, it’s surprising that it only had a single outing – Salute 1989. Sadly there are no photos of the day – it was pre- digital cameras, let alone smartphones. We can’t even recreate any photos now, since the bar ended up in the tip when I moved house 🙁 But it was quite a memorable event. It started with one club member changing from his jeans and T-shirt into a full dinner suit since he had designated himself as the bouncer – no dressing room was provided, so he simply dropped his trousers where he stood! Fortunately we were in one of the upstairs committee rooms at the Kensington Town Hall venue, rather than the main hall, so there weren’t too many witnesses. His wearing of a DJ and bow tie all day launched the club’s tradition of wearing shirts and ties to shows, which lasted for many years.
We shared the room with a bunch of ECW re-enactors from The Sealed Knot, dressed up in their period finery. They had a TV and video recorder which showed films of their events on a loop throughout the day to help with their recruiting. But before and after the show was open they were running Kate Bush videos, which kept everyone entertained (Babooshka was a particular favourite). At the end of the day they insisted that we ran an extra game for them after closing time, so we were late getting away.
Anyway, onto the signs. At the time I worked at GEC Marconi with a fellow programmer who also happened to be a talented cartoonist. I gave him £20 and a selection of my sci-fi art books to come up with a couple of display boards for the game. He did a fantastic job, as you can see; I’ve blown up parts of the logo so you can get a good look at some of the details.
The Price of Neutrality
My final walk down memory lane is another 20mm WW2 game, depicting a what-if scenario that had the Germans attempting to force a landing in Norway in 1940 against concerted British and Norwegian opposition (rather than the unopposed landings which really occurred).
The game ran in 1993 and ’94 at three shows. By this time technology had moved onto colour printers rather than typewriters and letraset – we had a very expensive wax thermal one at work that I used to create some display materials. I came across yet another club name banner and a couple of different ones for the game (although that Union Flag looks a bit suspect). I’m not sure why there is more than one game name, they may have been for different shows.
We also have a two page handout covering the game, and another one about the club from the same period.
Club member Jeremey takes us through building and painting his modern take on the classic earth Elemental.
While I certainly wouldn’t consider myself to be a professional sculptor, I have made a number of miniatures over the years. This miniature, the Concremental came out of an idea to create a modern version of the very familiar Earth Elemental. I was lucky enough for this miniature to be cast and so here is my attempt to paint it.
The miniature is currently being sold by Fenris Games and comes in several parts as shown. Therefore the first thing to do was to glue the parts together. The miniature is made of resin but I found superglue worked very well in sticking it together.
The miniature fit quite well on a 50mm round base and I stuck the spare bits of concrete that came with the miniature to the base.
I then added some milliput to the base to provide a texture to match the miniature.
Once the milliput was dry I sprayed the whole thing with Halfords grey primer. It was at this point that I first thought how on earth I was going to paint it. After all, concrete is grey so do I just put a black wash over the miniature and leave it at that or do something else.
I decided to try something different and painted the various concrete blocks in different shades of grey. I then dry brushed the miniature with lighter shades, before finally adding a very watered down black wash.
I then painted the traffic light pole silver and the steel reinforced bars as rusted metal. The traffic lights I did in yellow, I didn’t actually sculpt the traffic lights and they are clearly in the American style that I’ve seen in yellow.
Once all that was done I felt the miniature needed something else, so thinking the miniature would be made of modern street materials I painted road markings on the flat parts of the miniature.
The miniature started to look much better with the markings but they were too clean and bright, to remedy this I actually took a file to the whole miniature to distress the markings. This worked really well and gave the whole model a nice worn look.
Now all I need to do is find a game to put the Concremental in.
It’s Wednesday again and we have another offering from members on their current projects.
First up Tony has been putting together another unit for Hammers Slammers. These are apparently the Sincanmo, a sub-saharan Islamic inspired unit equipped with fast attack buggies, heavy armoured cars and mounted infantry on giant lizards. The miniatures and vehicles are all from Brigade Models.
Stephen has added yet more characters to his Sci-Fi collection and a drone.
And lastly this week, Mark and his son have been painting up more Lord of the Rings miniatures. First up some Mordor Orcs and a Ring Wraith.
And their hated enemy the Dwarves.
We’ll be back next Wednesday with more from the club.