Friday, 25 August 2017

Rocks and buildings.

I finished some more terrain today. Mainly I just tried to seal the flock with a matt spray, which seems to have only half worked.

These buildings are punted up Sky TV connectors or something. Looks like you plug a normal Ethernet cable into these then into the wall? Not sure, don't care. I stuck a door in and am proud of what they have become.

New Starport Scum Characters

Meet Flint Church and friends. We may remember Flint from his time working bounties with Rhoro Tharik. Having been raised on a smuggling vessel, Flint spent much of his youth involved with that business, broke away to become an independent smuggler at 18, met Rhoro a few years after that and joined his crew. Then, having gone through that adventure, and having lost good friends along the way, he decided to settle down and start a family, using skills picked up from living on a ship to become a mechanic at a Sunspoke Mining colony. 

He is the NOT Malcolm Reynolds figure, second from the left.

The other figures are people he will meet along the way, some working at Sunspoke, others from other avenues.

Above we see a pair of hunters who make a living exploring new worlds for various corporations and governments. Skilled at survival, they have seen things and have some stories to tell.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Castle of Burgundy

Today my brother in law came over to play games. We have painted miniatures together on occasion, really got into Marvel Dice Masters together, and are now occasional boardgame buddies. He is 15. 

He got Castles of Burgundy for Christmas back in 2015 and never played it. My board gaming time has been replaced mostly by either work, playing with my daughters, spending time with my wife or painting/terrain building, then the occasional dabble of PC gaming (I am updating Starcraft 2 with about 4 years worth of patches right now).

Now I am not exactly well versed in the board game jargon these days, but I believe it is a "Euro-game". The idea is you earn victory points by building the best estate (I assume in Burgundy). You can add fields, buildings, river trade, and "knowledge" upgrades. The theme is quite cool, and different from my normal Sci Fi tipple, but I absolutely love the aspect of building an estate. I genuinely think that is my favourite type of board game. Build an estate/empire/space station/nation.

It took about 2 hours to play, but we were learning as we went. Next time we will get the game done in under an hour. I won't do a review as such, but playing today has rekindled my desire to game more with real people. I need to put more feelers out there to try and get a monthly get together organised, even if it has to be at my house. I am sick of playing solo, even though it allows me to play some pretty cool narrative based stuff.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

I ran a youth camp from Wednesday to Friday. There were only a handful of lads on camp so when thinking of what we could get up to in addition to compass, map, knot tying skills. I decided I would bring some model making stuff, and my 6mm Horizon Wars forces. It turned out to be a great hit!

However, disaster struck on the first night when it was discovered that the marquee was not as water proof as I thought. My dice tray, after a couple of years service now needs to be replaced due to water damage.

I brought some yogurt pots, dunker tubs and bark. They all decided to build those tower/gun turret bases, for which I was too lazy to make rules.

Having sprayed them, I decided to just throw them down on the table and have a game. Each team had 3 infantry elements, two cavalry elements and a mech. I made the stats up as I forgot the rule book and they had a blast. First blood came quite quickly, but in the end after about 90 minutes we had to pack away our tents and the momentum was lost. The blue team won with 5VP against the green/orange team's 2VP.

I reckon I have come converts though.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

NCU Force for Horizon Wars

"Join us in Paradise or we'll send you to Hell"

With a strap line like that, it is no wonder the Neo Christian Union took their followers and retreated to fringe space. Whether to avoid persecution or because their extreme views are unwelcome to many civilised people across known space, it was decided to colonise a system of planets out of the way. God willed it.

That was a long time ago. The Paradise system became something of a Bermuda triangle and was to be avoided. In recent decades, however, NCU Missionary Forces have been spotted pushing further out of the Paradise system. Missionary outposts have been found on a number of planets nearby including New Charon. 

New Charon had, however, already been settled by the Freehold, a commune of quasi religious folk who felt by escaping the central systems they could keep themselves clean of the evils of cybernetic human "enhancement". 

Below we have a typical Missionary force, bringing the light of Truth to the heathens.

Mechs are Iron Wind Metals, infantry are Brigade, light cavalry are GZG.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Bark Rock formations

I have had these pieces of bark for nigh on a year now, liberated from a play area. They have sat in a sandwich bag, annoying my wife for ages. With the summer here I finally got around to experimenting with them. In fact, a bigger factor in me finally doing this is my basing material: floor tiles from Poundland. Now I have these and see them working, I will probably be putting together a lot more terrain.

I have seen some amazing rock formations in my time, but wanted to try myself. Any comments are welcome. How could I improve them?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Crimson Skulls and new terrain.

Here we see the Crimson Skulls on a fairly innocuous job, looking for a research team that went missing while determining the potential worth of these crystal deposits.

The crystals were liberated from a local venue that had purple, shiny gravel. The bases are floor tiles from Poundland (pack of four), textured with Vallejo texture paste. Just a few more things to throw down on a planet surface.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

First WWII infantry in 6mm.

Having set aside my 20mm WWII miniatures back towards the autumn of 2015, I had the itch again to play  WWII still. My aversion to basing multiple troops on one base has been overcome thanks to Horizon Wars, so I was looking around for rules to play WWII in.

I own Bolt Action, a couple of the Battlegroup books and Crossfire, have had some of these for a very long time. Crossfire and Battlegroup have never seen the table. Bolt Action has had two outings, once at my only appearance at the Winchester Wessex Gaming group (I think that is the name), where I used someone's 28mm figures. The other was against myself on my parents' dining room table, in 20mm. I enjoyed them, but have not played since. The only other WWII games I have had were Flying Lead, which have the benefit of being playable on a small table with only a handful of figures, which I enjoyed.

However, looking for other rules, I came across A Sergeant's War, looked at some AARs (played in 6mm) and decided to go for it. I then bought some Heroics and Ros miniatures at Colours in 2016, which have sat mostly unpainted in a box since. Being able to say I have two squads-ish of US infantry and two squads-ish of German infantry makes me extremely happy, and has fired my resolve to get back into WWII. 

I have based them in a 3,2,1 format to help keep casualties counted without the need for tokens. I may paint the squad leaders' base rims a different colour to help them stand out more. The normal infantry will have black rims. 

US Infantry squad with a BAR team.

Panzergrenadier squad.

Up next to be based: a bunch of US infantry as I painted loads on the "sprue" (the term escapes me right now) and a few more Germans (mostly MG teams).

To be painted: more German infantry, my PaK 40s, 57mm guns and crews, and the armour.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Mecha Madness!

These Iron Wind Metals mecha (10mm battle armour) have been sitting around on my painting mat almost finished but not quite for a few months now. Tonight I finally gave them a few highlights flocked the bases. 

 The Crimson Skulls. These are the support mecha of one of the better known mercenary groups in the Fringes of human space. The infantry are well trained, usually former military, or trained by former military drill sergeants. They tend to accept contracts that fall on the side of legal, but occasionally may get involved in some more questionable ventures.

The Twins. Little is known about the operators of this armour. They have been on the payroll of HySys for a while now, but their contract is coming to an end...

 Soldiers equipped with this battle armour are trained to jump from low orbit, land in the rear and cause trouble before making a quick getaway. These three suits were scavenged from the remains of the Great Freedom War.

If your settlement can afford it, you get at least one mech. These are multipurpose combat platforms. The shoulder mounted weapon can be used for anti aircraft, vehicle, infantry, mecha purposes. Fairly easy to maintain and versatile, this type of mech is popular on fringe colonies that can afford one.

Friday, 28 July 2017

They're minerals Marie!

You can never have enough terrain. The main thing holding me back has been the question, what do I base my features on?! Well inspiration struck when I found a floor tile from Poundland that I had chopped into four. I have been cutting it up and sticking bits on.

Above you see the bark that I liberated from a children's play area. I have more, but wanted to experiment first before committing to a method. I like it so far. needs a spray and then painting.

These purple shineys were somewhere and I pocketed a few. I now have six mineral deposits. The random bead things were from In Excess and cost me like 20p for the packet. I wanted them to be alien artifacts and so have made them into ruins. They will require some burying I think.

This poor picture shows the first of my 6mm US and Wehrmacht infantry. I have a couple of squads here but need more. More are already painted, but were awaiting bases. I have bases so will work on these over the next weeks.

To do list:

Make 6mm hedgerows/bocage.
Finish the rocks and minerals.
Get some games in.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

50 bases for £1

I find these bases add real weight to my miniatures. Most of them are also magnetic.

In other news, I have begun the process of basing up my 6mm WW2 forces. I currently have two squads of German and two squads of US infantry who need to have their bases painted and flocked. Pictures will come in another post.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sunspoke Security and Rebasing

I have some updates.

The Sunspoke Mining Company has a system where it transplants an entire semi self-sustaining colony onto a planet in order to save costs with having to deliver as many supplies across the vast expanse. Sometimes, however, the venture can prove unsuccessful and the company pulls out, taking with it as many people as want to go. 

These people are members of Sunspoke security, or were until the company pulled off this rock. They decided to remain to help provide law enforcement to the other settlers who decided to remain. Many of those settlers were farmers, who provided the nourishment element of the self sustaining colony. 

Below are other miniatures who I have spent the weekend re-basing. I used a cheap craft paint from The Works, I guess it is beige. I then used Agrax Earth wash quite heavily and as it stands I am very pleased with them. They are generic enough that they will fit in many settings, and don't just look like I couldn't be bothered to finish painting after texturing the base.

I have re-based every single individually based 6mm Sci Fi miniature that I own, and have also begun painting a lot of civilians, some "jedi" type figures, and some individually based New Vesta Security.

Pleased to be getting back on track.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

UCS Marines and NVD Forces flocked and loaded.

What a difference some static grass makes. I love these now and cannot wait to get them to table. Then next challenge will be to base up and paint some individual infantry for use with Starport Scum.

Seven infantry elements of the UCS Marine corps. These guys are the highest trained infantry in the Commonwealth, and possibly in known space.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

To 15mm or not to 15mm.

That is the question. I find myself being drawn to putting together some forces for 15mm sci fi games. I love the miniatures available, and love the size.

I see toy vehicles that I could buy in the pound shop and begin fantasising. I see amazing terrain and get inspired. I go on websites and look at prices and find them reasonable enough.

And yet I can't do it. I do not want to store 15mm terrain. It isn't huge, but space is a premium as is. I mean my generic yoghurt pots and other vacuum formed terrain would work in 15mm, but  only because they have no doors or anything that gives its scale away. I just can't.

I also think of the time I have invested in 6mm. Can I band on that? Do I have enough hobby time to have two scales going on?

This is on my mind over the next few weeks as I look at putting some money aside to pay for some new miniatures to paint over the summer holidays.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Colonial Defence Force.

There exist some solar systems where colonization has taken a firm hold. If you are lucky enough to have the financial backing and find a system with a couple of planets in the Goldilocks zone, you stood a chance at finding your colonies booming due to resource trade, tourism, or even wealthy expats wanting to live in luxury and being willing to pay for it.

Here are some photographs of squads of the New Vesta Defence Force. I will be flocking the bases this week and will post pictures when done. New Vesta is a small group of moderately wealthy independent colonies who have found that they can support themselves very well and have no need for outside trade. This trade still happens, but if necessary they can cut themselves off from the surrounding systems.

The populations range from the mega-rich to the agrarian workers. Defence forces are necessary to keep peace and show that these colonies are not to be messed with. 

I have also finally finished the command stand for my UCS Marine detachment. Still needs to be flocked though.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Other Activities

In other news:

I finally finished Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt. It was a good read, the present tense was less jarring and the sentences were more complete. I cannot wait to read Empire's End, but don't want to fork out for a hardback, nor do I want to pay £9.99 for a kindle book. I shall wait until September for the paperback to be released.

While waiting I picked up The Expanse: Leviathan Wakes for £1.99 on my kindle. Having watched the Sy Fy series, I decided I would read the books and see what they are like. Not disappointed at all. I mean I know what is coming, but it still feels tense.

My X-Com gaming has slowed down because of being busy. I thought I would play it loads over Easter but did not load a game at all. Nor did I play Northgard, which is a fun game in Alpha.

Painting with the wife.

During the Easter break I managed to put brush to miniature one evening while my wife was scrapbooking. It was nice to be sitting at the table together, talking and doing something creative which we love.

Below are my Horizon Wars elements of the UCS Marines. I have six stands of infantry and one command element. I figures including a command element would be useful for other rule sets too.

Primed and fleshed, here are some planetary militia. I think they will be blue.

Assorted mecha. These are 10mm Battlearmour suits from Iron Wind Miniatures. They need some work, but are getting there.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

The ides of March

With March coming to an end I wanted to update on things going on here. There is very little movement on the hobby front. It turns out having two children and a full on job really cuts out any hobby time. I find myself looking forward to relaxing in front of the TV for half an hour a day or so.

I have, on weekends, been managing to play X-Com, Enemy Unknown in the evenings. This has been a huge amount of fun, and is a game I will strongly recommend. It has elements of role playing in that the soldiers grow and I become connected to them. It also has a very strong squad skirmish game, which is amazing. There are also mods that allow for even more customization.

I hope all is well with you out there.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

It happened again!

Went into hospital expecting a C-Section, came out with a natural, and quite speedy might I add birth. Dad of two now. Hobby time...dwindling. Wouldn't change it for anything.

Side note: I have a Horizon Wars scenario that I hope to play out over the next week.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Skyrim and the absence of wargaming.

In the final weekend of the Christmas holiday, over the New Years weekend, I finally managed to get my gaming computer up and running again. It was not that I didn't know, there was just no time to play around and find out which parts needed replacing. My friend had been looking after it for almost 18 months and eventually we tested it and found out that the processor was shot.

I found a reasonable processor, more powerful than the original and plugged in. Of course, I had no internet though, as on the 30th December, when I thought it would get connected, I realised there had been a miscommunication and I was going to be waiting until the 16th Jan. New years plans were done for as my wife tends to go to bed early on New years and I play games online (sad? Maybe, but actually enjoyable). On 1st Jan, I asked my new neighbour if I could borrow his internet and he gloriously accepted my proposal. I began making 2.5 years worth of updates to Windows and various games.

This weekend just gone I deleted all of my Skyrim mods and began fresh. I have turned it into a more realistic RPG where I have to take care of other basic needs, stay out of the cold for long periods, and avoid dying. I have made a new character who is a bow and dagger carrying huntsman. Over this weekend I managed to amass enough money to buy a house in Whiterun (the first city you get into on the main quest line) and am now pausing to decide what to do. I have a fixed abode now, which is great, but I want to spend most of my time in the wild, hunting animals and killing bandits.

As such, my model making has suffered. I had originally had plans to paint. I guess starting at a new school and getting to know the system, students and writing reports already has taken a lot of my spare time. Such is life.

Here is an old character killing a dragon.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2016 in review.

6mm Sci Fi
I am pleased with the progress of my 6mm Sci Fi project. I love the scale. I love the miniatures. I love the rules I have. The space and cost saving elements of this scale have dramatically increased my desire and ability to continue my hobby in a certain direction this year. If I were still trying to force out some buildings for 20mm WW2 gaming, I would be struggling. This year I have created many different miniatures for differing factions.

Worldbuilding is also something I have been doing more actively as I want something for my miniatures to fight over. I also want them to be people to care about and connect with. I have a couple of note books with sketches and ideas for different campaigns and story arcs for certain characters (Rhoro et al.).

6mm WW2
This began in September. I have so far only painted a few German soldiers who remain unbased. I haven't really touched them since then, but I do hope to get them off the bench before Easter this year.

20mm WW2
I have done nothing this year, save not putting them away in the attic with the house move. My intention is to take them to my new school and use them to help begin a wargaming club.

PC Gaming.
This used to be a large part of my life, but my gaming rig has not been switched on for 2.5 years. I just got it fixed and connected to the internet. As I type this I am upgrading to Windows 10 with the hope to get it working to game a little. For the past three Christmases I have loaded up various old games on my 8 year old laptop and played a little. It became a tradition almost. This year is the final year of that, because now I have space and a working gaming rig, I intend to play a few more "dad" games in the evenings when I don't have time to paint. "Dad" games are games I can dip in an out of. Games I can load up, shoot things for 20 minutes, then turn off. As such I will be making an appearance over on Planetside 2 and probably World of Tanks after a 3 or 4 year hiatus.

I had a large resurgence of this hobby over last Christmas. This year has been on the disappointing side. I intend to play more, but who knows if I will. I will be taking certain games (Pirates of the Spanish Main, Star Wars Miniatures, Star Wars Pocketmodels) to school to use for my wargaming club. Who knows when I will actually teach?

Overall I am happy with the time I have managed to devote to my hobbies this year. I just look forward to next year and will see where things go. I will make another post tomorrow about my plans for the coming year.