More Supreme Littleness Buildings

I’ve finished off the rest of the buildings I ordered in December. This means I’ve now got 7 bases done, including a church and manor house/schloss. I think I’ll order more soon so that I can place 2-3 villages on the table. I may add a taller spire to the next church, and possibly a bigger surrounding wall, as per Leuthen.

Since painting the farm I’ve speeded the process up a bit by cutting out most of the half-timbering, which isn’t a very Silesian look anyway. I’ve basically just used a couple of dry-brushed colours, some washes for the windows, plus sand on the bases.

With some trees interspersed and some other bits and pieces, I think they’ll look the part.

They may even get used in a game this weekend!

 

Testing Downsized Buildings from Supreme Littleness Designs

Despite my intentions to make all the rustic buildings I need for my 6mm SYW setting, I have recently been tempted to drop down a scale for them. I think there’s a sliding scale for the aesthetics of matching buildings to figure size – and it relates to the size of the conflict being represented.

For skirmish games you need a good match, as the individual figures will generally interact closely with the buildings, sometimes even being placed inside them. For a big battle, the main problem with matching scale buildings is the footprint. You end up saying ‘this cottage represents the whole village’, etc, which is fine, but coupled with the towering height of the building over the supposedly substantial troop formations, this can jar a bit.

Others have taken the approach of going to the next ‘wargaming scale’ down for their buildings, and I’ve always been interested in this approach. Goat Major is putting 1/300 buildings with his 10mm DBN Napoleonics, and I’ve liked what the Baccus guys have done in the past with their miniature big battle show games, using 2mm buildings.

So, when I saw an advert for the new 3mm MDF buildings from Supreme Littleness Designs I decided they might just work with my Heroics & Ros armies, as these figures are a bit smaller than the more modern approach to ‘6mm’. I ordered a few packs from their central Europe range and they arrived very quickly via their friendly and efficient service.

I put the first one together, a partially walled farm on a 40x40mm base. Everything popped out of the pre-cut MDF sprue very easily and then I set-to with the glue. What I hadn’t realised was that the buildings come not as ‘boxes’ to be assembled, but rather as a sort of swiss roll that needs to be built up layer by (vertical) layer. This was a bit tricky, but I was probably just being inept. Adding the long side fascias helped align them better, but I didn’t manage to get them 100% right. Still, rural buildings don’t always adhere to straight lines do they?

First one assembled:

With a battalion of Prussians:

Painted (I added some timbers with the brush), with a bit of texture on the base:

 

I have more village and farm buildings to do, plus a church and a manor house. Most are about £2, which is very good value.

All in all I really like these models. They’re fun to put together and very easy to paint. Some climbers on walls, the odd tree drilled into the base, and some tactical dry-brushing, and they fit in well with my terrain and other scenery. In terms of size, I don’t think they look too small compared to the figures, although I won’t be sure until I’ve done enough to create a settlement from several bases. I also like the 40x40mm basing approach, which makes them modular and easy to place, and move when more space in a game grid square is required.

I’ll aim to get more done over the Christmas period and post again when I finish them.

Merry Christmas to everyone who’s visited this blog in 2016, your interest and encouraging comments are much appreciated. Have a good one.

Warbases Engineers’ Wagon

Another nice model kit from Warbases, this wagon was quick to put together (once I’d worked out the assembly order). Everything fitted neatly and the engineers’ equipment load can remain loose for removal when not required.

Great value and perfect for Sharp Practice, either as a general wagon, engineer option, or just as a piece of scenery.

 

A Small Big Bridge

Although I made my riverbank terrain sections some time ago, and have bridges for 15mm and 28mmm, I have only just gotten around to making a bridge to get across it for 6mm games. I do have a couple of pontoon bridges, but nothing fixed and proper, as many a good scenario demands.

So, yesterday I did a quick bit of measuring and quickly started marking out and cutting some card. I was after a useful generic stone bridge that would serve for all my 6mm gaming from the mid-17th century up to the present day (should I ever dabble again with Moderns, or even WW2). I would normally have gone for something a bit narrower, but my recent SYW efforts in this scale have generated figure bases 24mm wide, so I decided the new bridge would have to be wide enough for these.

With about 90-100mm of river to span, I decided on a flat roadbed rather than anything fancy, largely due to my modelling limitations. A few arches would add some visual appeal and, although curves are never easy with a knife and card, it went OK. I could also mask the dodgy cutting with some arch stones made from thick paper.

I made the structure first and then added the road layer (a thin piece of card) after.

 

Everything was black undercoated first and the stone got a couple of shades of grey, plus some light weathering with a pale buff shade. I textured the road with sand and painted it to match my terrain.

The finished bridge:

I may return to this model later to add a removable customs house/arch at one end, which I think would be a nice touch.

Here it is being made use of, by Austria’s finest (not my usual river board but it’ll serve):

 

Now, back to those Heroics & Ros!

Getting a Few Bits Done

A shortage of posts doesn’t mean I’ve been totally idle – I just haven’t finished much recently so have held off taking pics.

I have made short work of a recent order to Fantasy Arte in Germany though. They sent me some very nice pieces I can use in my 15mm dungeon game, and being intended for 28mm they’re nicely oversized and look impressive in my setting.

So, a portal arch, a couple of skull-clad pillars, some braziers/fire bowls (I’ve only painted 2 of one type so far, and they’ll be placed on stone plinths soon) and a free sample figure base that fits in perfectly and will be used in the game as a certain type of marker.

It’s all very high quality stuff (resin except for the plastic braziers) and a pleasure to paint.

I’ve also ordered a few Reaper Bones figures which will serve as (very) big monsters in my game. More on those when I get a couple painted.

Also, taking just a few minutes from start to finish, I assembled and painted the Warbases water cart, which is a very nice model and will get used in Sharp Practice and other 28mm games. I’ve got a couple more of their MDF carts to do and will get onto them soon.

Apart from these few bits, I’ve painted most of a new force/faction for Dragon Rampant and made more progress on the 6mm SYW Austrians that had been stalled for a while. As soon as the bases are painted I’ll get all of this lot posted here too.

Dungeon Gaming in 15mm

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on something that I’ve fancied doing for a number of years – creating a dungeon exploring game for 15mm fantasy miniatures.

I made some initial notes over Easter and got stuck in during April and May, although the Ayton painting deadline did have to take priority. Lots of discussions with a friend, who shares the same nostalgia for D&D and likes games like this, led to some early rules playtesting and the making of trial floortiles. Last weekend it all came together and we managed some 3 player games for the first time, and actually had a good time!

Which door next?

After trying card and high density blue styrofoam, in the end I took advice and went for 4mm cork tiles for the rooms and corridors. It takes paint well, doesn’t warp (if you paint the other side too), cuts easily, has a nice texture for representing stone, and is very cheap. The whole set I made (2 dozen rooms and a dozen pieces of corridor), using about 8 square feet of the stuff, cost less than £10.

Doors are deliberately oversized (bigger monsters don’t want to get stuck do they?); 28mm scale from Warbases. Pillars are cotton reels donated by Goat Major, other dungeon scenery is mostly scratchbuilt. The game is still developing, but the core is there already. I want to add things like sewers, fire pits and other stuff, and these will all be made to fit in with the basic kit.

Going to see the Boss:

Figures are from a mix of ranges, with Demonworld furnishing the majority. Characters get nice floortile-matching bases, while the monsters and other enemies are largely borrowed from other parts of the collection and are based for the outdoors – which actually helps to spot who’s who!

As with all things like this, the game started out pretty simple, but has grown in detail – though hopefully not in complexity. The core things the group and I wanted were; levelling-up between games, finding treasure/magic items, end-game Boss encounters, and generally not having it too easy. I.e. a challenging game with rewards. Level 1 characters are weak, as they should be, and completing the first game is a mission in survival more than anything. From there, capabilities increase and more skills, spells and abilities can be obtained to give the party (made up of 4 characters, which come from the usual stereotypes) scope to tackle increasingly tougher dungeons.

“No, don’t open two doors at once!… Oh dammit!”

Every game starts with the descent to a new dungeon level, with things kicking off when the first door is opened. Sensible precautions – Fighter at the front, Magic User in the middle:

Our first session was fun, but we took our time getting through 2 complete games due to some bad dice-induced protracted combats and lots of wandering monsters. Next time, though, we’ll be 3rd level and those Orcs and Gobins better watch out!

6mm Camps and Buildings

A tabletop battlefield can sometimes look better with a bit of relevant clutter on it (especially if kept conveniently out of the way of the action). To that end I’ve been working on some 6mm camp bases that I can use in a number of periods, from Renaissance to the 19th century.

I’m mixing some Baccus metal tents, including their nice command tents, with some simple scratchbuilt ones I made a while ago but am just in the process of re-painting.

Here’s the first batch, Baccus in the background, my own in front. Mine are a bit bigger, but I think they look OK together on the table. They’re just intended to give a sense of the big army camps anyway. To be honest, I think a Baccus miniature would have to remove his over-sized headgear, and possibly even his head, to actually fit inside the smaller tents! 😉

 

And here’s everything finished:

 

I have some ideas for how these camps may play a part in certain types of scenario. I’m thinking of things like the night (or even the morning) before some battles in history, like Blenheim for example, where the scouting out of the enemy’s camp formed part of the attacking general’s battle plan.

There may be some scope to have a the defending player set out his camp as a pre-game indication of his army’s dispositions, from which he will have to deploy on the day of battle. Having 2 styles of tent rows, in addition to the command tent bases, will allow for distinction between infantry and cavalry formations. One to try out sometime, perhaps with the SYW project when it hits the table.

I’ve also managed to paint (well, dry-brush really) a couple of Timecast buildings. Here are a rustic railway station and a generic wooden barn (I think it’s from their WW2 Russian range so I tried to cover the drain pipes with foliage to make it less period-specific!)

A Slow February

The dearth of posts this month hints at my lack of project and gaming progress. It’s not all been a washout, but some time away, being busy at work, and a nasty cold have all taken their toll on hobby time and energy.

I have achieved a few things;

  • A bit of a games room sort out, to create more storage space. Coupled with the loft being boarded out and a proper ladder being installed at the end of the month, this will give me a big boost in the flexibility I’ve got to store bulkier items like terrain, 28mm scenery and modelling materials. The trick will be to not overdo things and just fill up the new capacity!
  • Based and painted some old Irregular Miniatures 1/300 trees in small groups, just to get them off the lead pile.

 

  • Mostly painted a 1/300 Russian church – I’ll post a pic when it’s finished.
  • Made a couple of additional internal river corners from 12mm styrofoam (high density polystyrene) board, and I’ll make a couple more outer corners soon too. This will allow me to have a more meandering river, or a lake with a big island in it, etc. Here are the new with the old (which are made from marine ply) – no difference other than 2 of them being lighter and more fragile:

 

  • Made a 1 foot square terrain board for Frostgrave, again from styrofoam. This was a test piece, inspired by Goat Major’s excellent desert city terrain. I just used a biro to etch the paving slabs and cracks. This board, and the 3 others I’ll do to make a square area, can be used with my existing winter terrain boards to give me a decent base for setting Frostgrave (and other) games.

 

 

 

  • Done some thinking and prep for a few small campaign ideas. Some of this is around simple rules to link games for a variety of periods – I’m on at least version 3 but I’m getting there! I’ve also been doing some storyline work on my Medetian Wars setting for Sharp Practice, although I’m holding off a little until the 2nd edition of the rules come out as I’d like to check them over and incorporate any important or interesting changes they bring.
  • Re-visited my collection of 1/3000 sailing ships with a view to getting more of them painted and onto the table at some point. These are Napoleonic ships, but I think the wars of the mid-18th century appeal a bit more. No chequerboard paint jobs (impossible at that scale anyway!), less British dominance/superiority, plenty of campaigns, battles and settings, the C&C challenge of maintaining a line, etc. I’m looking for fleet battles, not frigate actions, so some simple rules will be needed too. A slow-burn project, but one I’ll come back to for sure.
Now, if I could just get some figure painting done too..

A Small Forest

I’m not exactly short of trees for my 6mm games, but the occasional foray onto a 6×4 foot table has left my thinking that a few more wouldn’t go amiss. I needed to borrow a few last time just to be sure – clearly not a long term solution.

Step forward Amphibmods and their eBay shop. 32 trees, each 50-60mm tall and coming with a nicely sculpted base, and only costing about 50p each.

Naturally I needed to give the shiny brown plastic bases the Medetian touch so that they blend into the terrain boards nicely. Not too much work, and voila! A small forest to help with those big battles.

 

 

Everything’s come out a bit pinky due to the light outside at the time of day the pics were taken!

Beef

Bought a few years ago, based and undercoated over a year ago – I’ve finally painted this very small herd of cattle. They’re 28mm (from Redoubt possibly?) and will serve as generic scenery in some games and specific loot-type objectives in others.

I took the lazy route and went with an easy colour scheme!
Not much more to say really 🙂

Cows (in skirmish order):