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.



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!

Spear of Destiny

Club member Jeremey takes us through construction of his new measure for the game Saga.

I’ve been playing Saga for a number of years now. My original cardboard measuring rulers are long since gone being old and tatty; so needed to either buy new ones or make my own. I had some 5mm thick foam card that seemed ideal for the job.

I created a simple set of measuring sticks in a similar way to the official ones. A 12″ ruler with Long and Medium distances and a second showing Short and Very Short measurements, these served me well for quite a while; but during a moment of boredom I felt I could come up with something more visually pleasing.

The new Spear blank next to my early measuring stick attempts

I still had some of the 5mm foam card so dug out a piece and cut it to the standard 12″ length. I had already decided to create a spear as a measuring stick and cut a piece wide enough for the spear blade.

The basic spear shape

I then cut out the spear shape after measuring the foam so that the blade was the same length as the normal ‘Short’ measure. I didn’t try doing any fancy curved lines for the blade spear, I kept it simple.

Thin EVA foam wrapped round the shaft

Next to provide a way of measuring the ‘Very Short’ length I decided to use a thin EVA foam sheet cut into strips. I superglued the end to the spear piece and stretched the foam round the shaft.

The strapping in place

I now had a way of measuring all of the distances required. The strapping for ‘Very Short’, the blade for ‘Short’, the remaining shaft for ‘Medium’ and the entire spear length for ‘Long’.

Painting of the blade

Next up I turned to painting the spear, the blade was painted with a standard Silver colour with a splash of black ink to give some contrast to the flat silver blade.
For the shaft I painted it dark brown and then with increasing lighter brown shades drew lines down it like wood grain. Finally I decided to paint the strapping as well, I used the darker brown paint watered down to add some shade.

The finished Spear

Here we have the finished spear next to the old rulers. As this would be handled during games I also covered the whole spear with a brush on Matt Varnish.

The Spear in action

With luck the spear went into action sooner than I expected with the re-opening of the club. It also worked as a good omen with me winning both games of Saga played on the day.

Dreadball Extreme – What do you get?

During a recent discussion over Stagrave and making scenery Marcus mentioned a cheap set of terrain available from Mantic Games for the game Dreadball. Further browsing of the Mantic Games site showed a box set called Dreadball Xtreme for £9.99.

Club member Jeremey took the plunge and bought a set for evaluation:

This all started when I saw the Dreadball set of Free Agents that I thought would be good for converting into a Stargrave crew. The Free Agents set was £9.99 but I discovered the Dreadball Xtreme set for £9.99 included the Free Agents set, it also contained some terrain in the form of crates, perfect terrain for any Sci-fi games; so I thought I might as well pick up a set.

I had to pay postage so the whole thing cost me £16.99, and this is what I got.

Contents of the complete set

I will say straight away this is not a review of the actual game. I had no interest in playing it. I bought the set for use in other games.

This is what you get in the set. First up were the 9 Free Agent miniatures that first led me to the set. The miniatures in the game are all hard plastic. The quality varied, some had sharp details others were very soft. Also the painted miniature pictures on the Mantic Games site gave me the impression that some of the miniatures were larger. For example the Treeman looked tall but is the same height as the other humanoid miniatures. Mould lines were quite pronounced on some of the miniatures, those needed to be cut off, filing on this type of plastic just roughs up the surface of the miniature.

The Free Agents

Next came the female team for the game. The miniatures are quite slight and of all the miniatures these were the softest and worst mould lines.

First team in the set, Female players

This was a shame because I wanted a number of female characters in my Stargrave crew. You get two copies of five different miniatures in this set, although two are wounded. But these could be good for rescue scenarios in games.

Here is a close up showing the size of the mould lines on the female miniatures.

Some figures are very slight compared to other sci-fi miniatures

The second team are convicts and these had better castings. You get more variety with this team (they are convicts apparently), they are nice post apocalyptic looking. there are three miniatures where you get two copies. One pose being wounded as with the  female team. There are two other miniatures and then the larger ogre/thug miniatures that come with different arms and heads so they don’t have to look the same.

Second team from the set

The Dreadball Xtreme set comes with two figures to represent team sponsors. The suited miniature would be good as a boss to be protected or assassinated in games, with the other one potentially being a gang leader.

The team Sponsors

Now we come to the terrain which is one of the reasons I wanted to get the set. These are quite good with four power unit pieces, six square crates, four lighting units and 16 hexagonal crates. These were all nice clean castings with few mould lines.

The terrain set

I should also mention the other bits from the box that I might find a use for. The rules, counters and cards for the game don’t hold much use for me. But the game mat from the set is about 24″ x 24″ and a hefty piece of rubber (mousemat?) style fabric. You could probably use it as a door mat it feels so tough. But I’m probably going to cut it up as the design will work for landing pads, storage areas or to represent the interior of a starship. There were also 24 plastic hex bases in two colours. These could be good for various terrain projects of bases for other miniatures.

So was it all worth it? I must say I was hoping for more from this set, the casting is a bit poor on some of the miniatures and the detail very soft. I will have to see how these look once I apply the spray undercoat. That often highlights the detail a bit better. But for my £16.99 I got enough miniatures to create a fairly good crew of 8 or so miniatures, some creatures and characters for scenarios, 30 terrain objects and a mat that will make several pieces for games/terrain, all that considered it was probably worth it. But I do wonder why the Dreadball Xtreme set is £9.99 when the contents if bought separately on the Mantic Games site would be over £60 just for the miniatures. Are the individual team sets at £25 each better cast? Who knows the reason behind it. But I’m happy enough with the amount of material I got from this set.

Close up of the softer details and mould lines

Work in Progress Wednesday

It’s Wednesday again and we have another selection from the club members.

This week we will start with Tony since he has been very productive, above we have Tom Bombadil to go with last weeks painting of Goldberry and below Tony has some more Rohirrim with some Helmingas.

Helmingas command figures

For the last contribution from Tony I’ll let his own words speak; “a small utility building made from an electrical pattress (the sort that fit into hollow partition walls – £1 from Wilko) dressed up with resin doors/windows/vents and other bits.”

Inventive use of other parts for a sci-fi building

Next up Mark has on his work table the last of his Pontic army, the fleshy bits done just the rest to go. Also recently purchased Judge Dredd miniatures have been started.

An eclectic mix from Mark

Any Finally this week John has made a start on Allies for Pacific war with some 10mm Peruvians from Pendraken figures.

Peruvian Foot

See you next week when Andy will be sitting in for me.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Another Wednesday and quite a little selection this week. Above and below we have Mos Arun from Tony who has declared this impressive build done.

Mos Arun ready for the battlefield

Next up Eric has continued work on converting miniatures to make more crew for Stargrave.

Early WIP shots of recruits for my crew made up of old Space Marine scouts with Imperial Guard head swaps and extra bits from the bits box

But in Eric’s own words “I suddenly had the urge to paint another Space Marine”.

Primaris Reiver, just the basing, chapter livery and squad markings to apply

Andy is making progress on the Sergeants.

And last but not least this week Marcus has painted up yet more tanks! This time conversions using different turrets from Brigade Models.

Warlock turrets on GZG Paladins on the left, Ral Partha Chevalier light tanks with Brigade laser turrets on the right

See you next week for more progress from the club.

Stargrave – Raid on Denides

A few club members managed to get together for our first game of Stargrave. It’s an interesting set of rules (I had played Frostgrave once) but a big advantage of the rules is you can have multiplayer games easily and players can pick up the basic rules fairly quickly.

Read on to find out what happened, including interjections from the players (Andy, Jeremey, Phil and Tony. Stephen was umpire for the game) …

During the wars there were many isolated and secret installations throughout the galaxy.
One of those could be found on Denides, an otherwise unremarkable desert planet in the Tuetera system. It was used as a recycling plant, where everything from military hardware, chemicals, and electronic equipment was sent to be reprocessed.
The plant was semi-automated and controlled by droids. Its secrets couldn’t remain secret for long. There’d been a buzz on the underground info net about Denides for a long time. Then some data jockey hacked into a government mainframe, found out exactly where it was, and all of a sudden there was a bidding war for the coordinates. Pirates, scavengers, and rogues from all across the galaxy knew this was a chance to acquire some sensitive information or useful tech they could sell.
Then one day it happened that several deep space vessels came out of hyperdrive in the Tuetera system, all with sub-light drives powering them to the planet of Denides…

Player Brief:
You have managed to uncover an interesting piece of information. When the wars came to an end many items were still conveyed to a recycling plant on the planet of Denides, many things that probably shouldn’t have been because the plant was decommissioned when the war ended and so they remain there, untouched.
These include useful data and information on activities conducted by governments during the war and could prove a valuable source of income for selling off. It transpires that advanced equipment was also shipped off to be recycled and this could also be lucrative.
Be warned, Denides is isolated and remote – could easily be pirates and smugglers hiding out. There’s also the droids who run the place. And who knows what wild creatures could have since moved in.

Phil’s Hallucinations: Old Ned wasn’t happy. At all. The small, green first mate of the starship Delivon put his feet up and reflected on the events of the previous few hours. “Don’t worry,” said the captain. “Easy pickings,” said the captain. “It’s a deserted facility,” she said.
Well the target of their foraging mission didn’t turn out to be easy pickings. It also wasn’t deserted – as Captain Rita discovered herself when she took a hit from a security droid early on.

Captain Rita And Her Crew

Still after being pinned down by several droids for what seemed like an age they finally managed to locate some abandoned data canisters. All good.

And then one of the hired help fired un-necessarily at a group of scavengers.
The return of fire killed one of the crew and wounded two more (including the captain for the second time). Worst still as far as Ned was concerned the ship’s robot took a bad hit. Robot was Ned’s favourite of all the crew.

Spot The Single Droid Holding Them All Up

With the captain down Ned had assumed command and got everyone back to the ship. Well nearly everyone.

Ned lay back in his bunk. ‘Captain Ned’ – I like the sound of that he thought.

Two Men and A Droid Take On ONE Dog

Tony’s Rantings: Captain Jenin Hosvarn had heard about the decommissioned recycling plant on Denides over a Sabacc game in the Blazing Shuttle cantina, and immediately realised the possibilities that it held. Of course, everyone else in the game heard about it too, so he had to move fast. He made sure that he folded early in the next hand – not too obviously, mind – and, pleading poverty, cashed up his few remaining chips and slipped out the side door into the drizzle.

Returning to docking bay 32, he was greeted enthusiastically by Lucifer, his Toskinian wolf-hound and, rather less effusively, by C6R5 the utility/pilot droid. Kicking Budfodo, the hulking Altavian first mate of the Empyrean Drifter, out of his bunk, he jumped straight on to the comms station. One call later he had secured 36 standard hours of the services of half-a-dozen former Federal troopers-turned-mercenaries for a moderately eye-watering fee, a modest share of any potential loot and a promise to defray the cost of any expended ammo. Hopefully that should be plenty of time for the short return hop to Denides, as the overtime penalties would rapidly wipe out his profits.

As soon as the hired guns were strapped into the Drifter’s jump seats, C6R5 engaged the sublight drives and lifted the shuttle through the clouds. Next stop, Denides…

One Careful Owner and It Comes With An MOT

Before we set up the game and created our crews I had already decided on the basic premise of mine. I wanted a very small core crew, just the captain and his sidekick essentially, who would add a number of hired hands as required. During the set up phase I added the idea of the Captain’s faithful hound and the ship’s utility droid, mainly because I needed a couple of cheap characters to fill out the roster. This left me with room for six Mercs, a mix of troopers and specialists.

If It Ain’t Bolted Down Nick It

Despite some disparaging comments from the rest of the Captains about leading from the rear, I figured that Jenin had paid the mercenaries enough for them to go first. It was all part of the plan! The rest of the plan involved keeping out of trouble (Jenin was paying for the Mercs’ ammo after all), and hopefully getting away with a couple of loot counters.

Mostly things went as intended; I rapidly disposed of two armed sentinel droids, and saw off some annoying wandering creatures – a sandwyrm and some bat-like beasties. I’d hired a gunner with a heavy rapid fire weapon, Budfodo had one too and after a couple of early duff rolls I was generally effective with their shooting.

I Can See You!

I had Jeremey on my right flank – we were separated by two rows of billboards and couldn’t really see each other for most of the game. Phil was on my left flank and he was having a lot more trouble getting past the droids than I did (his party trick for the day involved rolling mostly single figure numbers on his D20), which meant I was pretty much left to my own devices.

Having knocked out the sentinels, Jenin unlocked the first data-loot token and passed it onto C6R5 to take back to the Drifter. Scogill, the Merc hacker, made his way up the gantry to a second token and unlocked that as well. At this point my crew were ready to make a graceful withdrawal, I’d have been quite happy to get away with two loot counters and no casualties.

Scavengers Scavenging

But for some reason, Captain Rita (Phil) decided to take a pot shot at Jenin and caused him 9 points of damage – not enough to wound, but certainly sufficient to irritate. Budfodo and Whibert, the specialist Merc gunner, took exception to this unprovoked assault on their leader and immediately took out Rita in return. The following turn I beat Phil on the initiative roll which meant, since he no longer had his Captain in play, that I was able to activate and fire almost all of my crew using group moves before he could react, leaving two of Rita’s goons and her combat droid lying next to her in the oily sand of the recycling plant.

Jenin was most unhappy about the additional expense of the extra ammunition they’d had to use, so he sent in one of the Mercs to grab the loot token that Phil had originally been unlocking. He managed to do this first go, so in the end the Drifter hit orbit with three data-loot tokens aboard rather than two. Which made it a profitable afternoon, that alien plasma pistol could come in handy one day…

Andy’s Ravings: Captain Ash de Vere sat back in the pilot’s seat of his ship, The Troubadour, as it lifted off from the arid planet Denides. “Well”, he thought, “that was one hell of a clusterfuck!”…

A couple of weeks ago he’d heard rumours that there might be some useful tech scattered around an old recycling plant on the planet Denides, and put together a crew to search the site for anything useful. His first mate, Eric Olsen, was sceptical not trusting the source of the rumours, but went along with the plan.

In addition to the 4 regular crew of Charlie Crow (Gunner), Sam Fleet (Pathfinder) and the two Fox sisters, Bren & Jen (Troopers), Ash had recruited two more Troopers, Skel Black and Honu Mihru and a couple of Runners: the cousins Offler and Patina dZuk from the Manticore system, the only non-humans on the crew.

The crew of the Troubadour

Approaching the scrapyard Ash split the crew into three teams. He led the first team comprising Charlie (Rapid Fire MG), Skel (Carbine) and Jen (Shotgun) and took the left flank. Eric (Shotgun) took the right flank with the second team of Bren and Honu (both with Carbines). The final group was led by Sam (Carbine) with Offler and Patina (both armed with pistols).

The Troubadour crew deployed

As the crew advanced Sam’s group heard a steady flapping sound and turned to find a Ryankan approaching from behind. Patina fired at it and missed, but was able to fight it off when it attacked her. As the Ryankan prepared to attack again Bren let rip with her carbine and tore it to shreds.

Offler fights off the Ryakan

Ash’s team headed towards a landing pad with a derelict shuttle, only to encounter a security droid which opened fire on Skel. He and Jen took cover behind some quad bikes and trailers and returned fire.

Skel and Jen take positions to shoot at a droid

Ash and Charlie joined in the firefight, and the droid fell to a burst from Ash’s carbine.

Eric’s group had split up following the encounter with the Ryankan, they made their way towards a data cache while Sam’s team made use of their faster speed and approached some water extraction towers.

Eric flanks Sam, Offler and Patina as they investigate some hardware

Eric called Patina over to help with a data cache; using his deck Eric cracked the lock on the data cache and downloaded the data on to a data chip.

Eric and Patina try to unlock a data cache

As they completed the download, they spotted another crew approaching, with hostile intent. Eric and Patina fell back to some cover; Eric gave Patina the data chip and told her to get back to the Troubadour as fast as she could.

Offler had advanced to some fencing, ahead of her she saw another crew in a firefight with more security droids with more local wildlife, in the form of some Ferrox and more Ryankan attacking this new group. Discretion being the better part of valour, she hunkered down, only to be attacked by Bileworm which surfaced near her. Whether the Bileworm’s toxin is more effective against Manticorean physiology we don’t know, but she soon lost consciousness.

Ash and Jen moved to Offler’s aid, firing on the Bileworm to no effect. The Bileworm however had much better aim and spat its toxin them, injuring both of them.

Meanwhile Eric and Sam had advanced to a physical loot cache, but were unable to unlock it before they were shot down by the first hostile crew. Skel, Honu and Bren exchanged fire with other members of the first hostile crew, taking one of them out of the game at the cost of Bren who was felled by a volley.

With four of the crew down, two more injured and one now heading back to the ship with loot Ash decided to call it a day and told the crew to break off.

Beneath The Landing Pad And Loading Area

Skel and Honu made it out of the scrapyard without any further contact, but Ash and Jen had to get past the Bileworm to make their escape. Luckily for them Charlie kept up suppressive fire on the Bileworm, eventually reducing it to mincemeat.

Once back at the Troubadour Ash took stock of the mission. On the plus side, the crew retrieved a data loot cache, killed three of the local predators and took one member of another crew out of the game. The data loot turned out to be an advanced Shotgun (?) worth 120 credits. The crew gained 105 experience points.

On the debit side, both Eric and Sam succumbed to their wounds and would need to be replaced. Ash and Jen eventually recovered from the Bileworm toxin, but Bren Fox was badly wounded and would either need medical treatment before taking part in another mission of have to fight with reduced health. Offler fully recovered from her injuries, Skel and Honu were bloodied and bruised but sustained no long-term damage. Only Charlie and Patina quit the field unscathed.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Another week and more progress from the club. As expected the drop in temperature has seen a rise in club member productivity.

First up Stephen has created more loot tokens above for Stargrave. Stephen has also added to the space fighters from last week with these four.

More Star fighters take to the um… stars!

Marcus is next up with more progress on the Ground Zero Games Moongrunt unit.

Love that Moon cratered terrain

Eric has made more progress on the conversions for a Stargrave crew. I love these custom jobs and I’m in the progress of converting some Dreadball miniatures for my own crew.

Fresh meat for the crew

Tony has managed to paint up another miniature from the LOTR collection. Not a mighty warrior or wizard this time but the little known character Goldberry.

Goldberry, not sure what her abilities are in the game?

Last up is my effort, I picked up some wood/bark pieces from a walk in the woods and decided to make a fantasy Viking/Druid/Witches house in the woods.

Impressive dwelling for many settings

Join us again next week for more little snippets of inspiration from the club.