Enough for a ship’s peanut?

I posted earlier in the week about the start of the scenery building project for our new games room chez Luff.

IMG00367-20141113-2014Last night, we finished phase 1, which was making trees – or more accurately, basing trees that I already had.

We started with a box of unbased K&R trees, in 3 sizes and various colours. I’d also found some resin tree bases that I had bought around the same time (though I cannot for the life of me remember where – I think it was somewhere on eBay).

In session 1, we’d prepared and base-coated the bases, and during session 2, we gave them a thin black wash (which was all we could do as we were then waiting for them to dry)
IMG00372-20141113-2322Last night, during session 3, we got to do the ‘fun’ stuff, which consisted of drybrushing, flocking and attaching the trees.IMG-20141120-00353 I’d found several packets of flock, which I though we could use. After a bit of experimentation, we actually found that a mix of flock and static grass gave a result that was most pleasing to the eye, so we then got a production line of gluing and flocking in place, and quickly finished all the bases.

The final job was to cut the wire of the trees down to size, and attached then to the bases (we’d previously ensured that all the trunks had been drilled out with a Dremel). The result was our finished forest, which contains trees suitable for both 15mm and 28m gaming.
Although the bulk of tree does hide the base somewhat, they give a very pleasing overall effect. I think we have enough trees to be going on with!

Next up are hedges and bocage. To start, we are concentrating on 15mm scale, and creating a wild hedgerow. The picture below is our half-finished prototype (apologies for the abysmal quality, I only had my blackberry on me, which has a rubbish camera)

It’s been created by taking three different colours of woodland scenics clump foliage (dark, medium and light green) and mixing them all up in a tub. This is then applied in a random fashion, via a line of thick PVA glue, to a 2cm wide wooden sticks (we were using plant labels, bought from Homebase) that had been textured with sand and painted / drybrushed. We’ve still got to add some flock/static grass around the edges, but it gives the impression of what we are going for (with thanks to Ade Deacon for giving me the idea in the first place)

IMG-20141120-00363We are currently looking at producing something like 10 – 12 feet of this stuff, in 6″ strips. Once this is done, we’ll be moving on to making bocage, which will be made in a similar fashion: we just have to place it on some banking, and add the odd integrated tree – more of that in a couple of weeks I think.

Terrain building underway…

Following the news I posted a couple of weeks ago about our new purpose-built gaming table, courtesy of Mr. Luff, we are now going through the process of ensuring we have enough terrain for our various games (In three scales, 6mm, 15mm & 28mm).

It helps that in the course of my sorting out, I’ve come across the odd tree…
- just a note to scale this collection, that’s an 18L ‘Really Useful Box’ that they are in. We have about 50…

I found some resin trunks that I bought along with the trees. These aren’t finished yet (need drybrushing and finishing with static grass), but this starts to give an idea of what these will look like when done
In the mean time, we started work on the the basing for the hedges, which we are hoping get somewhere near done this week…

The fastest brush in the west?
The fastest brush in the west?

Fallen Frontiers Reboot launches on Kickstarter

ARES REBOOT CARTELScale models have launched their Kickstarter for a new sci-fi skirmish game: Fallen Frontiers.

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From Scale Games:

Fallen Frontiers is a 35mm sci-fi wargame that focuses on heroes and resources.  Our goal is to make a game where instead of having to constantly buy a ton of miniatures, you instead assemble a small core force (10-20 miniatures) and then deploy heroes which change the dynamics of your units and army. By simply swapping out who is leading your forces you can then customize the way the game plays. The game also has a focus on resource collection, where you capture specific points on the map to collect Krithium (a previous mineral) which you can then spend on playing cards from your deck which change the gameplay.



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The models are somewhat larger than 28mm (or even 32mm ‘heroic scale’ figures) being 35mm tall, or 1/48th scale. They will be produced in resin. The figures that they have produced for the promo pictures and initial KS video look very nice indeed.


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Having only just launched, the KS project is already funded, so it’s stretch goals from here on in.

The KS funds an initial box set, with extra factions and units coming as the campaign progresses. Add-ons already include several units for each faction, plus a vehicle.

There are a growing number of faction-based sci-fi skirmish games on the market these days, so competition is tough. Some may suggest that this game, with slightly larger miniatures than ‘standard’ 28-32mm, is taking a risk.

That said, it looks like it’s got some interesting ideas, and I will be keen to see how it progresses over the course of the campaign.

Oh, and an alpha version of the rules is available for download from the KS page.



The show that never was…


Well, it’s only happened to me once before in my podcasting career.

I came to start editing the next podcast (we recorded the show last week) only to discover that the file did not exist.

My recording software claims it exists…


…however, when I try to access it, nothing.

It looks as if it attempted to save a file with a ‘:’ in the name, which is, of course, invalid. As a result, it looks like the save didn’t work – it just didn’t bother telling me about it at the time.

…which is a shame, because, though I say it myself, it was a really good show. Mark was a great guest, and we had my regular gaming opponent; Dave Luff, back on the show for the first time in about 4 years – we had a round table discussion which was interesting and insightful (well, I enjoyed it)

To say that I’m gutted is a bit on an understatement.

So, what now?

Well, we’ll obviously have to find another date to record with Mark. In the mean time, I’ll look at putting out some alternative material in the next few days

Sorry chaps…


If you build it, he will game…

My long-suffering regular gaming opponent; Dave Luff (soon to be heard on episode 136 of the podcast…) has recently been redesigning his house, and what was the lounge has now become a gaming room.

Now, what every gaming room needs is a wargames table, so Dave decided to build one…

20141103_114721The results is a 6′ x 4′ custom-built table in three sections. Above is the base boards, with sand applied and painted (and a stand of 6mm Infantry, just for scale!). Below is the finished article, once the static grass had been applied


It’s a thing of beauty, and enough to inspire anyone: even me.

So, last Thursday I decided to leave my dice at home and instead take my, not insubstantial, array of scenic material around to Dave’s to start building scenery to go on top of our new playing surface.

Watch this space…


Mikes Blake’s 7 project – part VI, distractions and decisions

wpid-ByNZm2YIcAA0iRN.jpgPodcast co-host Mike Hobbs continues his Blake’s 7 project…or does he?

It had to happen sooner than later didn’t it? I knew when I started this project that after a few weeks I would end up getting distracted by something and sure enough last week I did.

The thing that caused this distraction was a post on a forum that simply said “Playtesters wanted” however it was on the newly created Sword and Spear fantasy forum and I was immediately hooked.

You see dear reader, at heart I am a huge fan of fantasy wargaming; I started off playing role playing games like Runequest and D&D in my teens and I never grew out of it. When I in my 20’s and I got back into gaming it was Games Workshop that inspired me, oddly I’ve never been a fan of Warhammer Fantasy which some people might think strange, but I was into Warmaster or at least the idea of Warmaster (i.e. large fantasy mass battles). I did collect some armies but I couldn’t get on with the rules so I boxed up the figures and forgot about them. Then a few years ago I tried out a fantasy version of Impetus, which appealed to me and I went about rebasing all my Warmaster armies on 80mm wide impetus bases, which was very pleasing to the eye. But all my friends were playing a lot of historical Impetus and I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to try out the fantasy version so the armies went back into a box.

Now I have a proper chance to play with my armies and also contribute to testing out a game system I really do like, so I signed up for the Sword & Spear fantasy playtest. My rebased armies are all perfect for S&S so I was able to hit the ground running and its all going really well, Mark Lewis (the designer of S&S) has posted some ideas for fantasy mods to the core game, I’ve created some draft army lists and I’ve actually played some games.

This does mean I haven’t been able to spend as much time on the Blakes 7 project as I would have hoped, but this last few weeks haven’t been a complete loss as I have managed to play the 3 test games and I also got some paint on a few more figures.

Now at this point I would have loved to show you some pictures of the test games (I took loads) but my memory card in my camera managed to corrupt itself and I haven’t been able to read from it so you’ll just have to take my word that the games did happen. In hindsight it’s not a bad thing as the scenario I came up with worked really well and I think I’ll use it in the campaign so keeping it under wraps is not a bad idea…
But it does mean that after 6 weeks I have finally worked out which game system I’m going to use for the B7 Campaign, and the winner is :-
*waits for 5 mins*
I’ll tell you after this advert


“29, Let’s Go! First Pint-Sized campaign for Chain of Command Released. All for the price of a pint!”

Yes Ladies and Gentlemen after much deliberation, the judge has decided to use 7TV for the Blakes 7 campaign *waits for applause*

The reason for going with 7TV is out of the 3 games I played it was the one that really captured the whole feel of a Blakes 7 episode, the mechanics of the game just worked and the mods they did for B7 make the whole thing come alive.

Pulp Ally was a close second, but the thing that let it down was the other 3 characters in the game were not as good as Blake (the leader of the group), so Blake opened the locked doors, Blake disabled the computer, Blake shot all the guards etc, where as in 7TV each character had a skill that no one else had so it was up to the player to try and activate them in the right order and get them working as a team with each one having a role.

Judge Dredd nearly did this as well, but it just didn’t flow as well as 7TV and in the end I was just copying the ideas that were already in the winning game.

So that’s it folks, I’m going to use 7TV for my games, now all I have to do is work out how the campaign is going to work and I’ll talk about that next time.

Oh before I go, here’s a pic of my finished federation troopers on their lovely clear bases


A Podcast & Blog about Miniature Wargames & Strategy Boardgames


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