Dropzone Commander Escalation league

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Painting: Pike & Shotte - English Civil War: Musketeers (Scheme 1)

I decided it was time to paint something different to Kings of War undead, and thought I've overlooked my "For King and Country" box set for too long. Also by painting up something from that box set I have a painted unit for my Kings of War Kingdom of Men army - Double win.

As some of you may remember (or can easily reference by looking back through my blog posts) I painted my Firelock storming party first and from that I came up with two painting schemes - this was so I could split my army for intro games.

So below is a basic overview on the scheme, originally described in my Firelock storming party post. I will go into more details in this post as to how it was applied and what paints were used, most of which were from the Vallejo Game color range, unless otherwise stated.

Scheme 1
Undercoat: Camo green (Halford)
Straps: Leather
Flesh: Bronzed flesh
Metals: Gun metal
Gun stock: Bestial Brown
Boots: Bestial Brown or Black or Leather
Wash with AP strong tone

So I started with an undercoat of Camo Green Spray from Halfords, then painted the skin in Bronze Fleshtone (72.036), as you can see its rather messy but I won't worry about that at this time.

Next I painted the guns, bags, powder holders, boots, hair, belts and straps with Beasty Brown (72.043), then painted Leather Brown (72.040) on some of the boots, some hair, and all of the bags, powder holders, belts & straps. You'll also notice I found a stand of 3 more, so I quickly got them up to the same stage as the rest.

Then I used Abaddon Black (GW) on the gun barrels, belt buckles, boots, and hair (Left picture). Then Gunmetal (72.054) was applied to the gun barrels, firing locks and belt buckles (Right picture).

In this picture I'm showing the different hair colours I've painted, reflecting the different ages in a musketeer unit. I've already described the browns and blacks used above, the other colours are Cold Grey (72.050) (Darker grey of the two), Stonewall Grey (72.049) (Lighter grey of the two) and Hot Orange (72.009)

The collars and cuffs were painted Ceramite White (GW), then the models were tidied up. The coats and trousers were tidied up using Yellow Olive (72.064). Then Army painter strong tone was liberally applied

Once the strong tone was dry, I drybrushed the coat and trousers with Camouflage Green (72.031), the leathers with Plague Brown (72.039), the musket fuse with Bonewhite (72.034) and the flesh with Elf Flesh (GW). I then applied a Matt Varnish (70.520). Next was I covered the base in sand and once dry painted it Charred Brown (72.045) then covered in static grass.

There you have it 16 musketeers, all ready to fight; Be it during the English Civil War or in the fantasy world of Mantica for the Kingdom of Men (As a unit of arquebusiers). But 16 is such a horrid number for Kings of War (although perfectly legal for a regiment (1/2 unit size +1)) I prefer the whole 20 so 4 more are to be built soon.

Thanks for reading.

Regiment of arquebusiers for KoW

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Miniatures: Pike & Shotte - Ordnance battery

So back in May I bought the Pike & Shotte Ordnance Battery, which has been sitting in my cupboard gather dust until now!

Now I've decided it's time to come out, be built and taken to the fields of war!

The Packaging 
So the box has some great artwork on the front and a great picture on the back of the models built and painted, as well as a list of what's in the box..sort of, we'll come to that later.

The cardboard itself is a little flimsy for the contents as it's packed full of resin and metal.

The resin scenic bases and the barriers are wrapped in bubble wrap and the artillery & crew are split into two blisters: One contains a Saker cannon, the other a Mortar and Demi-Culverin

The Models

The scenic bases are beautiful and highly detailed. However mine came out of the box warped which annoyed me slightly until someone online pointed out that if I dropped them in warm water they would bend into the required position and as it turned out it was better than that: once removed from the hot water the bases flattened.

Saker cannon, crew, master engineer, sentinel and master gunner. The cannon lacks any real detail, other than the wood frame, but then it's a cannon, does it need any? the crew and other models a beautifully detailed.

The same can be said the Demi-Culverin, mortar and crew.

The building of the models

The cannons had the most flash, which in most cases was quickly removed, however there was some more difficult pieces on the holding bar of the wheel, which took a little while to remove (compared to the other bits). But as the models only consisted of four parts they went together quickly and easily.

The mortar fits straight into its scenic base, then two little metal straps are placed over the arms, holding the mortar in place.

The crew and other models had excess metal and flash, but again this was quickly removed. However on some models the part the flash was attached too was a little flimsy so when the flash was removed it bent the part, resulting in a wobbly, rather than straight, item.

I was torn whether to glue the cannons and crew to the scenic bases but I have decided not to for ease of storage. So the crew have been mounted on 20mmx20mm bases.

All in all it took no more than an hour to unpack, clean up and put together. It has made me realise how much I prefer plastic models over metal, as metal chippings cover my desk or ping off across the room. But now I have artillery for my Parliamentarian force or my Kingdom of Men: One box of miniatures, several uses - now that's resourcefulness.

Demi Culverin, mortar and crew on scenic bases

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Painting: Kings of War - Undead: Balefire Catapult

So this post was a little delayed by illness and various other duties. Ever onward, but first a thought that crossed my mind the other day when trying to paint this model.

Painting a miniature is, in most cases, a work of art and you need to be in the right frame of mind to be able to produce art. Occasionally when I have been lacking in motivation I pick up a brush and just start which resolves that; the same cannot be said for painting when in a bad mood. I tried to paint to alleviate the mood I was in but I just made mistakes and more I made the worse my mood got so lesson learnt (after all the years of being in the hobby I really should know better). Just thought I share that

No on with the final part of my Mhorgoth Starter: the Balefire Catapult.

As ever most of the paints used are from the Vallejo Game colour range unless otherwise stated.

I undercoated with Halfords Black primer (Other primers are available), and then lightly applied Bonewhite (72.034) to the bones of the crew and the skull in the catapult.

Next was several coats of Escorpena Green (72.032)

Then was the metals: For the spikes, armour, weapons and crank of the catapult I applied Citadel Foundation: Macharius solar orange then followed this up with drybrushing Chainmail silver (72.053) over the top. The plates, bolts and other metal items where painted with Bright Bronze (72.057) then watered down Foul Green (72.025) was applied to give it a galvanised look. This all done in a "slap-dash" kind of way, creating quite a mess.

Next was the boots, straps and that strange thing on the front of the catapult which I've never seen before on any other catapult but an internet search of the balefire showed it painted leathery so I applied Beasty Brown (72.043) followed by Leather Brown (72.040).

The I painted the rope with Plague Brown (72.039). I also pained up some areas that were missed the stage before

Next was the tidy up stage. as mention above I was a little slap dash so it was needed and took a little time, mainly using Abaddon Black (GW). After which I applied Army Painter Dark Tone all over.

For the final stage I drybrushed the bone and black areas with Dead White (72.001), the cloth/Shields with Livery Green (72.033) the rope with Bonewhite (72.034), and the leather with Plague Brown. (72.039). Finally, for the painting stage, I added a coat of Matt Varnish (70.520).

Next I painted the bases with Charred Brown (72.045), then drybrushed with Plague Brown (72.039), then Bone White (72.034) and added static grass. Followed by glueing the catapult onto two 25mmx50mm cavalry bases to make a 50mmx50mm base.

With my catapult done the Mhorgoth starter set is complete including some giant undead rats (or are they dogs). I now have an undead starter to work through as well as some other models to add to my army. So I'll either be working on them next or one of my many other projects.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Making of a Zombie Game: Alpha play test 1

So my friend "Grum" and I played two games of our homemade zombie game, unfortunately I forgot to take pictures, but here is an overview of how it went and what we found.

The table was setup as 4' x 4' with a 6"x 6" "safe zone" at each end of the table made of blast walls and the table was filled with scatter terrain: Crash/overturned cars, jersey barriers, barrels, barbed wire fencing etc

Survivor generation is random, so Grum rolled and got 6 survivors; 5 normal guys and 1 specialist.

We set the objective to get to the other designated area within 6 turns

Game 1:
This game was an absolute massacre to the survivors; they barely got out of the 6" deployment zone before zombies swarmed them and despite one or two zombies being killed the survivors couldn't stop them. Soon enough the zombies bust into the safe room where the last survivor was hiding and feasted upon him.

What did we learn:

  • Zombies were too numerous and too difficult to kill, even for the specialist.
  • Weapon allocation needed arranging

Game 2:
So from the first game we changed how zombies were deployed and reduced their stats slightly. This provided the survivors with an easier route as the zombies were fewer in number, and when attacked they died quicker. Despite this only the specialist survivor reached the other safe zone by turn 6, and 1 normal guy was alive, the rest had died at the hands of the zombies.

What did we learn:

  • Survivor generation needed changing
  • Turns were removed
  • Shooting needed some additional notes
  • Melee needed some additional notes
  • Terrain needed adjusting to impact movement
  • Weapons to be adjusted and expanded
  • Survivors stats needing adjusting
  • Scenarios needed victory conditions

So although the above looks a lot, its actually only a few little changes not a complete re-write. On a positive note the table was setup, characters generated and two games were played all in an hour, so it is a quick game as desired.

With these changes in place it's back to play-testing...

However a small quandary has come up, I want this game to be completely random: essentially turn up, roll some dice and get playing, whereas my co-writer friend Grum wants forward planning with points association and turn up with a prepared list:

I have posted the following on a Facebook group, and had some responses, which were appreciated but I'd like more, to be able to make a informed decision based of want you "the community" wants:

So I ask you the reader for your feedback, would you prefer:
A) Random character selection and weapon allocation
B) Random character selection but with pre-determined weapon allocation
C) Character and weapon allocation based on a points system.