Monday, October 2, 2017

New Terrain in Use! Orcs attack!

Howdy Ya'll!!

Before I had the excellent game of Donnyhammer with my local gaming group the other day I also took the opportunity to have a bit of a photo session with my newly completed houses and a couple of my Terrain boards.

For this effort I employed two of my completed Terrain boards and set them up with all the lights I have on hand and "decorated" them with all the buildings and rock walls that have been the subject of several of my last posts.

This is what the set up looked like before I populated it with figures...


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

DonnyHammer 1.0

Hi all,

Once I had my terrain boards and houses completed I started to really itch for an opportunity to get them on the table for a game.  I've also been getting pressure from my local gaming friends to host another game...and I've been wanting to give the Donnybrook rule set a try on my own.

I've played a couple of low key games with My Boy Airborne Grove in the past but hadn't tried to host one myself...and that required gaining a more complete understanding of the rules and adapting them as much as possible to the Warhammer world and "feel."


If you are not familiar with Donnybrook...well you should be!  This is a fantastic set of historical rules written by Clarence Harrison and Barry Hilton.  The rules are focused on skirmish sized battles in the late 17th and early 18th centuries...though Clarence does include some basic pointers for how to add some fantasy elements to the game as well.  The game has a number of really interesting features...the two most prominent of which are the Card based activation system...and the use of different dice to represent different quality troops.



With the Card based Activation you break the monotony of IGoUGo play...which is standard in warhammer games.  This adds a real tension to the game as it is unclear when your (or if) a particular unit will get to move again.  There is a card for each unit and character in both forces...these are shuffled between each turn so come out in a random fashion.  There is also a Turn End card in the deck which can cut any turn short unexpectedly.



The dice mechanism is equally interesting.  Most actions...shooting...combat...leadership etc. all have a target number for success (typically 5 or 6)...but as the quality of your troops increases so does the number of sides on the dice they use for that test.  Raw recruits use a D6...and therefore have a hard time achieving their goals....while elite troops use a D10 and have a much higher chance of success...heroes use a D12 etc....its very clever and works great in practice.

The challenge comes in adapting this system to Warhammer forces without losing the "warhammery" feel of the game.  I feel I had mixed success with this aspect of the game...but see plenty of area for improvement.

For my game with my local crew I pulled together a mixed bag of "Good guys" consisting of some of my Bretonnian collection and some of my dwarfs.



For the "Bad Guys" I used some of my Orcs, Chaos Dwarfs and a friends Skaven  troops (sadly I did not get a good studio shot of them).


We played a general encounter battle...with no particular mission other than driving the enemy from the field.


The game played out very smoothly without needing to reference the rules overly much.  There was a period of adjustment as we were all new to the rules and all our previous gaming had been with Rogue Trader or WFB 3rd edition.  Plus, other than my stalwart companion Bob (who supplied the Skaven), the other three players are only casual wargammers...the type that rely on me to supply figures, terrain, and rules...but bring a lot of enthusiasm, laughter...and beer to the the game.

Anyway...here are a few more pictures...


In the end I think that most people like the card activation system...though there was a bit of grumbling...particularly when units failed to move at all for a couple of turns. In particular the right flank of the Good Guys force was immobile for a couple of turns in a row.

In an effort to make the game play a bit more like Warhammer I had opted to make the range of bows and crossbows 24 inches...instead of the 12 inches suggested in the Donnybrook rules.  This may have proven to be a mistake as missile fire dominated the game to a large degree.  In particular the attack by the Goodies left flank was decimated by missile fire from the bad guys right flank...which had watched their own left flank destroyed in much the same way by the good guys archers earlier in the game.

For future games I will reduce range to 18 inches and see how that works...perhaps increasing saving throws for the victims of missile fire would be another option.  Also additional terrain would be helpful...the wide open space in the middle of the board was just a killing ground for missile troops.

One other area that I feel needs addressing is the fact that with Donnybrook being a historical set of rules the heroes are powerful...but not in the way they are in Warhammer.  Namely they have just one attack...like normal humans would.  This left many of the players feeling unsatisfied with the heroes and large models (ogres) and in the future I will adopt multiple attacks for heroes and elite troop...perhaps 2 attacks for D10 units/characters and 3 attacks for D12 characters and monsters.  This should allow them to have a more impressive influence on the battle without becoming over powered.


Overall this was a great game...and while we identified some rules that needed refinement we had a lot of fun playing...and of course that is the main goal of any game.  I highly recommend the Donnybrook rules to any interested skirmish player and feel they provide a very adaptable framework for modification to fit alternative environments like Warhammer fantasy.  Stay tuned I'm sure that further adventures in DonnyHammer will be forth coming soon.

Cheers,

Blue

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Another Terrain Diversion...Houses! Part IV

Hi all,

In today's post I will finally get to the long awaited discussion on how I painted my ever growing village of buildings for my fantasy table...

...but first I decided to build two more buildings!!! haha...this really is addictive!  I just can't seem to stop adding more structures to my build list.

With my family out of town for the several days I dove into two new structures...one simple...and one the most complex timbering operation that I have yet tackled.  Like the others these two buildings are based on the templates from the Warhammer Townscapes book...in this case they are the Hovel (29) and the Gabled House (33).

Like the others they were first printed out on a color copier and then glued down to foam core.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Another Terrain Diversion Houses! ...Part III

Well...here I am back yet again with another update to an ongoing project....

...namely the houses that I have been building to grace my newly completed Terrain boards.

When last I discussed this project I had completed builds of the Half Timber Cottage, Stone Barn, and most recently the Half Timber House...though none of them have been painted to that point.

As i really enjoyed the build process I pressed on with a couple of other builds as well before I started with the painting.

First I put together a couple of the small pieces from the Warhammer Townscape book...namely the Dog house and the out house.  You may have remembered in my previous discussions that I have been simply cutting out the panels, after mounting them on foam core, and then slapping them together with the sides over lapping.  This has changed the dimensions of the houses slightly by adding in the thickness of two pieces of foam-core to the original dimensions.  That was fine for the larger buildings and may have actually made them a bit more appealing to the eye...size-wise.

...But with the Out house and Doghouse....it was a bad process!  On these small structures the additional 1/2inch of thickness in one dimension drastically changed their over all shape.

the outhouse now appears to be way too long and the Dog house is only suitable in size for pooches of Fluffy's massive girth!!

Have a look


 The Doghouse looks more like a mini barn and the Outhouse must be a two-holer to be that big!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ewal Dvergar Boar Riders...Part II

Here I am back with with a quick post about some more Ewal Dvergar Boar riders that I have completed.  I had some time so cranked out two more of these lovelies.

Once again I opted to use a selection of different bits.  The red guy pulling the classic Jess Goodwin YMCA pose actually has a head that was supplied with the amazing "Ass Cannon" crew...also sculpted by John Pickford and sold by Oldschool Miniatures.  He is also mounted on a Marauder Boar.

The Yellow rider is made of straight Ewal Dvergar bits provided by Clam with this set of troops and he is mounted on another of the excellent Pickford boars.  Once again I can't say how much I like these boars...they are simply superb!

Here are the individual shots of the two...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Blue's Modular Table...action Shots

Hi all,

Just back with a quick one today.  Being pleased with the way the water feature turned out on my Modular tile I set about taking a few pictures with miniatures on this tile.  This was a fairly casual photo shoot...and I didn't have any big fancy background to cover up the rest of the room...so you will have to excuse some of the background clutter.

I also have selected pics that show off the water feature...at least a little.  Most of these used my Alamo figures but I also got this one with some fantasy goodness in it


Here is what the photo "set up" looked like...When in doubt add more lights!!!


And here are a few more using my Alamo figures...which really are superb and one day I'll get around to painting some more!!!




All in all it was a fun evening of photography and I'm glad that the tile and the figures work so well together.

Cheers for now!

Blue

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Blue's Modular Table Part VIII Finishing Touches

Well...Time to get back to my Modular table tiles.  I've been holding onto this one for a while waiting for some computer issues to resolve themselves...and while they haven't really I will just make do with the crap ass computer I'm still dealing with.

Anyway...if you will recall my last blog post about the modular table tiles I was pretty much done...all the rough terrain had been painted and highlighted...and then further enhanced with static grass and tufts where appropriate.  After that I really had two major tasks to complete....
  1. Repair work:  As I was finishing up work on a couple of the tiles I noticed some areas that needed additional attention for them to be considered finished.  More details on these below
  2. Water Feature:  I also needed to suck it up and tackle the two-part resin pour for my water feature.
Repair Work

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ewal Dvergar Boar Riders

Hi all,

Once again it has been a long delay since I have had a substantive blog post...but I'm trying something new today.  One of the big issues I've been having with blogging is computer related.  My laptop has been on the fritz for weeks now and that is where most of my pictures are stored...so in order to get something up I've decided to write a post on my phone with the pictures I have stored there.  So if the formatting is a bit weird...I blame the phone and blogger app...:)

Anyway...today I would like to talk to you about chaos dwarfs...or more specifically boar mounted Ewal Dvergar!!  My hook-up for all things stunty and Chaotic...Clam... sent me a batch of his newly released Boar riders a month or two ago and I've finally had a chance to get to work on them.

BTW...When you decide to get some of these...and you will...hit up Clam's Blog to order here:

http://claminiatures.blogspot.dk/

One of the fun things about these figures is that any of the chaotic dwarfy heads that John Pickford has sculpted for Clam (and others) fit perfectly on these bodies.  So this allowed me to have some fun mixing and matching bits and pieces from a variety of sets to make unique boar riders for my army.  as I started to play with the options I laid out all my bits...

Friday, June 30, 2017

Chaos Renegade #18...Plasma Hand

Hi all,

In hopes of getting my painting mojo going again I sat down and forced myself to do some painting last weekend and I actually got something completed.

As they are all such a pleasure to paint I chose to complete another classic Chaos Renegade for this task.  I also chose one of my new favorite colors to paint and went to town...

Here are the results!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Another Terrain Diversion...Houses Part II

We've just had a brief warm weather window in VT for my Pond Resin pour...and now things are curing in the warm basement...so that story will be along shortly...and in the mean time here is a follow on to my last post about my distraction by building construction.

After feeling pretty happy with the way that the Half Timbered Cottage came out I set right into making my next building...the Stone Barn.

Once again this is a building that I have the card version that I build from TownScapes back in the Day.  The assembly of this one followed the same procedures as the last and went together much quicker due to the lack of timbering.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Another Terrain Diversion...Houses

Hello faithful reader!

I am forced to pause just before finishing my modular terrain boards due to lack of appropriate working space.  For the water feature pour I need to have stable warmish temperatures for at least a day or two...I also need sufficient ventilation so I don't poison myself and/or my family.  So factoring in those concerns the best place to do that work is in my garage...but it is too cold out there right now.  We are expected to be up in the mid sixties next week...so I'll try to knock that out then.

But...While I've been waiting for the proper conditions needed to finish my boards, I've been keeping myself busy with making some buildings to use on the table when it is finished. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blue's Modular Table Part VII

So...lets wrap up the Table making for now!!!

As you may remember in the last installment I had applied the final highlights to the brown earth areas and had painted the rocks and rubble patches (including cliff faces) a medium grey and highlighted those as well.

At this point there is isn't much left to do...

...except for the water feature....but we will save that for the final blog post (cause I haven't done it yet!)

For the final texturing of the boards I went back in and added some static grass and tufts to strategic locations.  This added some variety and point contrast to to the dominant tan/green/grey areas of the boards.

Tufts were sparingly added to the rubble patches and tucked into crevasses etc. in the cliff faces.  This gives the impression of plants that found some level of protection nestled between the rocks and are growing out.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Blue's Modular Table Part VI

Once more into the Breach my Friends!!!

Painting of the tiles continues!  Lets take a look at the next steps.

Following along with the system outlined in the last post I have continued to work into progressively lighter browns for the roads, rocks and rubble on the modular tiles.  The third color to be applied is the VMC Khaki Grey.  For the application of this color I transitioned into actual Dry brushing.  I used a small cardboard box lid as my pallet...I get a little bit of paint on the bristles of a soft 2-inch bush and then work most of it off with several passes on the cardboard.  Then I apply the color to the terrain board with very soft strokes...allowing the color to adhere to raised portions of the texture on the tile while leaving the darker colors in the "recesses" of the texture.

Here is what a couple of the boards looked like after this step.  Once again note that the area of earth color continues to expand onto/into the large green swaths...further breaking up the putting green feel of portions of the tiles.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Blue's Modular Table Part V

...And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

We have reached the point where it is time to get some new colors on the modular tiles in order to further break up the "putting green" portions of the boards and to make everything a bit more realistic.

This is a s multi step process and I will probably spread the painting over at least two posts.

The first step was to apply textured paint to all the areas that I had covered with filler and the patches of rocky terrain I had created with the coarse ground coffee.  Following Clarence's suggestion I went to the local Lowes and looked at the premixed textured paint...but they only had it in ENORMOUS 5-gallon buckets...which is obviously WAY too much for my needs.  After consulting with the paint expert at the store I settled on a quart of flat latex Behr Paint (called Earth Brown) and a small container of texture material...which is basically fine grain sand.  I also bought an empty quart paint can so that I could mix a portion of the Brown paint with texture, while retaining the rest of the paint in the original can.  In the new can I added a couple of inches of paint and mixed in some texture...I stirred that with a paint paddle...and then assessed the amount of texture by brushing some of the mix on a scrap piece of foam I had nearby...I ended up adding a bit more before I was satisfied...but it was as simple as that. The textured paint is really going to pay benefits when it comes to the later phases of dry brushing.

As I mentioned this was painted over all rough texture patches (coffee grounds), cliff faces, and road ways.  I made sure to thoroughly cover all the filler and overlapped onto the surrounding grass mat a bit.  Additionally I made a few random patches of texture on some of the open terrain areas...to further break things up.  Here is how it looks on a number of the tiles.






Once all areas had received a good coating of paint they were set aside to dry overnight.

For the second phase of the painting process I chose three paint colors that would work well with the colors I use on my figure bases.  I have a consistent basing technique for all my fantasy figures...and this is where that is going to pay off...if I can match the colors used on my table and on my bases the figures will look like a part of the table...and that's a significant goal of mine.(If you are interested in my basing technique, a full breakdown can be found here).

The colors I wanted to replicate are all from the Vallejo Model Color Range:
  1. VMC 140 Flat Brown
  2. VMC 880 Khaki Grey
  3. VMC 976 Buff
To insure a decent match I painted a swatch of each of these three colors onto a 3"x5" card and brought it back to Lowes with me.  At the store they were able to scan each color with their "magic eye thingie" and custom mix colors to match.  As I didn't need a huge amount of each color I had them mix me up tester pots (8fl oz) each of which cost less than $4....quite a bargain IMO.


The colors looked pretty much spot on to me...so lets get the painting started.

First up was applying a pretty heavy coat of the Flat Brown....I didn't completely cover the textured dark brown...but it wasn't dry brushing either...lets call it wet brushing!  Basically I laid down a pretty heavy layer of paint but didn't go back to fill in any spots that were missed due to texture etc.  Like previous coatings I overlapped onto the grass mat...often transitioning to more of a stippling application in these areas.

Here are a couple of before and after pics of the boards after this layer of paint...in these you can see how much I expanded the earth colored areas around the rougher terrain.



I realize there is still much to do...but with each step it becomes more obvious to me that I'm headed in the right direction!

Next up we will apply the last two colors to the earth areas and then start recoloring the cliff faces and gravel to gray.

Cheers for now!

Blue


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reactor Raid...Chaos Fett in Action!!!

***NOTE: Most Pictures Converted back to Color from B&W...I think its better...you?***

Here is a quick break from the Terrain building marathon I've been on...

...today my son talked me into a quick RT-lite game...honestly, it didn't take much convincing.

I let him pick out five figures to be his bad-ass squad (he Chose Chaos Bobba Fett and some Ork boyz with big guns!) and I pulled together some Battle Systems Terrain and an Imperial force to attempt to halt Fett and his minions.



The following bat rep is a...will fill you in on the rest...In a Comic-fied retelling of the harrowing deeds of the day...

REACTOR RAID!!!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Blue's Modular Table PartIV

So...On with the Show!!

Now that we have the grass mat texture on all the appropriate portions of the six tiles it is time to start putting some additional texture on them.  Step one of this will be to use Spackle (wood filler) to texture the roads and seal the edges of the cliff features and pond.

I used a putty knife for this operation and started with the road beds.
I plopped a scoop of the Spackle onto the road and spread it with the knife working from the center of the road out to each side in turn.  I made sure that the filler over lapped onto the grass mat a bit and fully sealed the cut edge of the mat along the road. 

 Next I smoothed the center of the road bed by dragging the knife along the length of the road...this further smoothed the putty and added some texture that suggests wheel ruts etc.  At this point many people use some kind of device to create actual wheel tracks in the putty...but I was satisfied with the appearance of the roads after the putty work and decided to skip this step.


Putty was also used around the cliff and pond features to seal grass mat edges and ease the transition into the broken terrain.  Once the putty was applied all the tiles were set aside and allowed to dry thoroughly for a day. 

Here are a couple more the tiles with putty applied.


 

The next step was to add cork bark pieces to the cliff faces to give them some interesting texture.  Frustratingly I forgot to get pictures of this process....but here it is in a nut shell.  I purchased a large piece of cork bark from the pet supply store near by and then I broke off pieces and picked through the pile of bits to find ones that fit well on each of the cliff faces.  The bark pieces were attached to the underlying foam with a hot melt glue gun.  You can see the results in some of the following pictures.  The cork bark was not cheap ($16...I had a gift card...:) ) but it has wonderful texture that will look great when dry brushed.  That said I think that many different types of bark could be just as effective...On the Quindia blog posts Clarence used pine bark pieces and they look fantastic.  So look at the options and see which type of texture suits your design goals. 

Here is the one picture I have that shows some of the bark in place.


Once the cliff texture was in place I moved onto adding patches of rubble/gravel to a number of areas on each tile to help break up the "putting green" of the open terrain and to add more interest to the roads and cliff areas.  Clarence suggested using ground coffee for this application...at first I thought this was an odd choice...but then I remembered a bag of course ground (decaf...ewww) coffee that had lived in our camping equipment for at least two years and never been consumed...and I figured it was the perfect application for these useless beans...

To actually add the texture I applied patches of wood glue randomly in open fields...along roads...etc.



Onto each patch of wet glue I applied a pile of the coffee grounds and set aside the tile to dry.  I was very generous with the coffee...to insure that all the glue was covered....the excess coffee grounds were removed using a vacuum once I was sure the glue was dry.



Significant amounts of glue and coffee were added at the margins of the cliff features to represent small rocks and scree...again it is good if this spreads onto the grass mat to ease the transition between the two textures.



Here you see the excess coffee has been removed with the vacuum
As the tiles were finally starting to look like something I took the opportunity to lay out all six of the tiles and get a group shot.  I'm liking it...but there is still a lot to do!



It is finally time to start adding some color!  Painting is up next.

Cheers,

Blue


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blue's Modular Table Part III

Well...here we are again...

After completing the build of the tiles and adding the necessary features (hills and pond), it was now time to turn my attention to surfacing the tiles.  Continuing to follow the process outlined on the Quindia Studios Blog, I opted to surface my boards with a Grass mat.  Luckily I happened to have one that was laying around unused and unloved....so this was a perfect application for it.

I liked the reuse of unloved materials with this process, but I had one major concern.  The grass mat I had was a 6'x4'...which is exactly the size of the area that I was needing to cover...my concern being that the hills would require more cloth than a flat tile and perhaps I wouldn't have enough cloth to completely cover my tiles.  But I figured it was close enough and if I was careful about piecing out the grass mat I should have sufficient material...so I plowed boldly ahead!!!


Starting with the "Open Terrain" tile I cut a piece of Grass mat just slightly larger than the tile.  To attach the Grass mat to the foam and frames I relied, once again, on Wood Glue....this was applied to the foam and then spread around with a moist paint brush to insure good coverage.

FYI this is NOT enough Glue...Twice this amount is about right

The piece of grass mat was flipped over and moistened by spraying it with water from a hand sprayer.  We are looking to loosen up the fibers of the felt backing enough to let it stretch a bit...but not making it so damp that the flocking starts to fall off. I think that the extra moisture also facilitates a bond with the wood glue. 


This was then flipped over and laid carefully on the tile and thoroughly smoothed down with my hands...making sure to smooth the entire tile. 


It was then set aside to dry as I moved on to the next tile.

NOTE: Particular attention must be paid to the edges of the boards where you want to make sure you get a good seal.  I found, to my consternation, that some of mine were not glued properly at the edges once they dried...but it was a simple mater to go back and apply some more glue to those specific areas.

Once you are confident that the edges are sufficiently adhered to the frame and glue is dry...then it is time to trim the edges.  This is done with a very sharp knife...Clarence recommended a Exacto knife with a new blade...as pictured here.


I found this to work but I was going through blades like crazy so I switched and started using one of the many cheapo box cutters that I had in my workshop.  These worked great...and when a blade started to get a bit dull and started to catch on the fabric I simply clicked out a new blade and kept cutting.  I think I got these for $.50 a piece in the check out isle at Home Depot.  I'll be getting a few more!


Being a bit nervous about the process at first I focused on the three completely flat tiles...the Open Terrain, S-Curve Road, and Farmstead Road tiles to be specific.  For the two tiles with road sections I glued the cloth down right over the marker road I had drawn previously...it was really just there for planning and visualization purposes.  Once the Glue had had a couple of hours to set I redrew the roads onto the mat and then cut them out with a sharp knife (box cutter)...carefully removing the unneeded pieces of grass mat. 







Don't worry if you cut into the foam itself during this process (I doubt you could avoid doing so!)  ...any cut marks you made will be hidden in later steps.  This leaves the road sections nicely defined and slightly "sunken" from the areas surrounding them.  This affect will be further enhanced in future steps.



Things got slightly trickier with the hill sections.  For the Large Hill and Pond Tile the difficulty came in trying to get the cloth to lay smoothly over the contour of the hill.  This was somewhat aided by the dampened cloth which could be stretched slightly to accommodate the shape to some extent...however...I was still left with a small "bunched" area of cloth at one end of the hill. 


Luckily I plan for this area to be an exposed rocky cliff so I will be able to cut out most of this excess cloth leaving only one short seam to be disguised by later efforts.

You can see that I also removed the cloth piece that was covering the pond.


 For the castle hills the cloth "behaved" a bit better as the hills are not as steep.  My main problem with them was that I was running out of cloth.  I solved this problem on the large hill by using small pieces of cloth and not completely covering the road section.  Omitting this piece of cloth (which would have been cut out anyway) provided me with the extra couple of inches needed to insure coverage of all the panels.  It was a near run thing... but it all worked out.

Large Castle hill with Roads and cliffs cut out
 In the next step we will start adding some texture to the roads with wood filler....time to get some life back on these boards...right now they look like well manicured putting greens!  Which is not really the effect I'm looking for...:)

Cheers for now!

Blue