Not So Friendly – 15mm Sci-fi

My painting over the November/December period wasn’t hugely productive, but I did manage to finish a Sci-fi force. Like most of my other projects, these guys have been languishing for a good few years, and it was good to finally get them done.

They are a force for Sci-fi Rampant (which is basically Dragon Rampant with carefully allocated unit types and upgrades, as referred to in previous posts).

The inspiration comes from Gordon R. Dickson’s Dorsai novels, specifically the mercenaries hired out from the Friendlies, a pair of planets populated by an intensely religious sect. They’re mediocre troops, but well disciplined. To make them more interesting I have sort of blended this background with the attack-minded doctrine and unit types of the Soviets in WWII.

The core is therefore made up of large squads of close assault troops (12 figures per squad compared to the usual 6 for better quality units), backed up by heavy weapons, mortar/artillery spotters, snipers and a bit of assault armour. There are 60 figures, all from GZG (the tank is from Brigade Models). The one addition I’m making is a further squad of 12, using CP Models figures in turbans. These are painted but not yet based.

I’m looking forward to trying this lot on the table. They’re going to take a lot of casualties going in but with their sheer numbers, and black uniforms, they should be a daunting sight for the enemy!

Bigger Fields

Following on from my 6mm fields, I’ve upscaled and added some for 28mm. These take the standard wargamer route; chopped up doormat material. I found a helpful ebay shop that sells it by length (50cm wide), so I simply ordered 1 metre, dontated 80cms of it for a new front door mat and used the rest for these fields.

Very little of the rubber bases show, so I just painted them brown to blend in with the terrain boards. I cut the pieces into smaller sections for flexibility and for removal of part of a larger combined field when figures need to be placed inside. I only needed a small amount, so all in all, not bad for a couple of quid (the rest of the mat was about £10).

6mm Fields

There’s something nice about making wargame terrain and scenery that isn’t going to warp in the future – so working with neoprene sheet has been a revelation for me. My first efforts focused on some islands for naval games (more on that soon) but recently I decided it would be good to make some textured fields for 6mm games.

My test pieces were cut out of 1.5mm thick neoprene (a few quid for a square metre off ebay) and textured with my usual combination of Sandtex masonry paint and builders’ sand. I then reduced the production time for the second batch by texturing and painting a larger sheet (about a foot square) and then cutting it up and texturing the edges.

As long as I don’t try too hard to crack the textured surface, the end result is robust and flexible. I know some people have had great success with caulk as the coating layer, which I think provides a greater level of flex, but as I’m not intending to roll these pieces up the paint is proving sufficient.

I used a relatively limited pallet for the field colours, focusing on a wheatfield or recently-cropped look. I decided to edge the fields in green to match and blend in better with the terrain boards.

I am also making some field edges – mostly strips and corners of rough hedges and trees – to put around some of the fields. Keeping them separate makes for easier storage, as the fields can simply be stacked together.

I had been considering making some terrain boards with 6mm fields painted on, but these place-down fields have given me a more flexible (haha) solution. I aim to get these on the table for the next Rhine War battle in the coming weeks.

Seven Years War Austrians

I’ve had a short break from the War of 1855 campaign – it’s been a bit hot and I’ve been a bit busy. However, the terrain from the last game was still on the table and I thought it might look good for some pics of another army.

These are some of my Austrian SYW (and WAS of course) 6mm army. I’ve deployed 20 battalions of regulars and 4 of Grenzers, plus 3 batteries of artillery and commanders. This represents half the target size for the army, which is about 70% done. There’s also the cavalry, which I didn’t set out, of which I’ve done 20 of the intended 32 units.

It’s been a few years in the making, but it’s getting there. The Prussians have recently overtaken them in terms of completed numbers, so I’ll aim to post some pics of them sometime.

First Ever ACW

A mate and I have been talking about a 15mm ACW project for quite a while and, like you do, we finally took the plunge when Peter Pig had a sale last year.

The intention, when we finally get round to playing any games, is to have a couple of small, flexible, forces that we can use with both Sharp Practice and Osprey’s Rebels and Patriots. This means a starting point of about 50 infantry, a dozen or so cavalry and a couple of guns, plus some leaders.

Although my opponent intends to do both sides for himself in the long run (which I won’t be), we have initially chosen to do one side each. Union for me, Confederate for him. We’ve admired the 3-2-1 basing pioneered on Dalauppror’s blog but hadn’t quite brought ourselves to use it for any projects up to now. As these forces will generally be deployed in units of 6, 8 or 12, it finally seemed appropriate to give it a go. Cue the hunt for appropriate sized washers!

ACW is one of those periods where you can spend a lot of time trying to find the right paint colours (mentioning no names Andy). I got bored after a few internet searches and poring over google images of paintings, painted figures, painting guides, etc. Therefore Vallejo’s Prussian Blue and Pastel Blue will do for me. I haven’t exactly made a big start, but here is my initial sample unit:

As with every other project I have, there’s more to come…

Legion de Fleurie Grenadiers

Since starting them a mere 6 years ago, I have finally finished my Grenadier battalion for the (fictitious) Legion de Fleurie. Back in 2014 I painted the first half dozen figures and the mounted officer, but then my focus strayed to other projects. One of my goals for this year’s Ayton weekend was to get this unit, the first battalion in this scale and period I’ve painted myself in 6 years, ready for battle. Even though the event isn’t happening now, I wanted to get the unit done.

The figures are RSM Austrian Grenadiers, plus a couple of Minden/Fife & Drum standard bearers. The standards themselves were painted to order by Mark Allen (there you go Robbie!) and it’s great to finally see them on the table.

Mark Allen’s wonderful brushwork:

Very Small Scots Greys

My 6mm mid-19th century forces get expanded from time to time and I’m intending to add a British division (mixed infantry and cavalry) for variety, and to add a bit of colour. I recently made a start with a first unit.

These are the Scots Greys, in an approximation of their Crimean uniform. They’re actually Heroics & Ros Napoleonic French Imperial Guard Horse Grenadiers. About half the infantry I have planned happen to be Scots regiments, so there’ll be a bit of an unintended theme there.

Medetian Re-Basing Programme

As mentioned the other day, I have some 18th century units to re-base. Most of these are in progress at various stages, and it’s been the usual messy, time-consuming slog. It’s a good reminder that re-basing should never be undertaken lightly!

The first unit I’ve finished is the one that required the least effort, naturally. This is the Vantua Regiment, a standard musketeer unit of 30 figures plus a battalion gun. The figures are now on 45mm squares instead of 50s, and the flags have had a bit of edging bling added to brighten them up.

Within a minute of taking this picture I managed to break a bayonet. FFS.

Now onto the next one!

Some Sci-fi Basics

Always in the background, or perhaps on the back-burner, my very slowly developing 15mm Sci-fi collection gets a bit of attention from time to time. Until discovering the simple joys of using Dragon Rampant for platoon-sized skirmishes this ‘project’ was just drifting. It’s still drifting, but now with more purpose!

I’ve been meaning to make some hard-standing bases for a while and finally got around to it at the weekend. Took about an hour altogether. Easily repeatable, I intend to make some more soon. ‘Soon’ being a timeframe that’s subject to drift of course. They are made from 4mm cork sheet, painted and dry-brushed to a lightish grey. I cut out a quick card stencil and applied a simple pattern with roughly applied yellow paint.

These bases represent man-made or pre-fab surfaces laid down in normal/rural terrain as support for buildings, machinery, vehicle parking, etc. Short of making entire terrain tiles of it (which I still could I suppose) this seems to provide a decent look for military or research facilities in the types of games I play. I’m not aiming for urban settings or major structures, just low-key scenery for small missions and skirmishes.

Hard-standing pieces placed under buildings and other features. A couple of scratchbuilt card cargo pallets on the right too.
About as simple as you can get with a piece of painted cork sheet.

Not Gone Anywhere (well who can at the moment?)

It’s been a good while since I’ve posted here, but now seems as good a time as any to get going again. As the current virus situation dominates most conversations and online activity I will happily aim to steer clear of it on this blog.

So, has there been any hobby stuff going on in Medetia? Yes, quite a bit! Not lots of gaming, although there’s been some, but I’m making some steady progress with a number of projects. One priority was preparation for this year’s Ayton weekend with the LAW group, now sadly postponed. Still, I am keen to finish off what I planned, and hopefully get a bit more done too. This year was to be another outing for the 28mm 18th century armies, in my case a combined force made up of my Medetians and Fleurians.

Most of the effort has focused on re-basing infantry battalions, going from 36s with 2 command stands, to 30s with a single command stand. The 6-figure bases are being reduced from 50mm squares to 45mm squares. A small difference, but an improvement I wanted to make.

I am also taking the opportunity to add a bit of flexibility that might be useful in the future. 2 Battalions per side are going be made up of single figures mounted on magnetic group sabots/trays. This will allow them to be used as normal big-battle battalions alongside the rest of the collections, and also for skirmish games – Sharp Practice in particular. This will give me 48 musketeers per side, enough for most games. Leaders and characters can be added later, and my artillery crews, light infantry and light cavalry are all on single/sabots already.

Here’s the test base, in between the old size on the left and the new on the right:

Getting ready to dash about in a skirmish game:

Not a perfect solution but I think it’s going to be a reasonable compromise between aesthetics and practicality.