Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dystopian HOTT

Kingdom of Britannia Skycarrier
Spartan Games produce some really nice models for their game Dystopian Wars. This is a game set in a steampunk Victorian-esque world with giant tank, robots and flying machines. It uses the same basic mechanics as their Uncharted Seas and Firestorm Armada rules with some added tweaks for things like little fighter planes and such. Unfortunately after seeing the game played a couple of times I really didn't have any interest in it.

I have pondered for a while though, what to do with the models. Hordes of the Things was the obviously answers. Most things can be done with Hordes of the Things. It is a truth universally accepted.

Terrier Light Tanks
It was Owen of Fighting Fantasist who gave the motivation/ inspiration to get going. He had pretty much the same feeling about the Dystopian Wars rules. After much discussion we had thrashed out some ideas for HOTT. Some things were obvious. The big giant robots and huge cathedral like tanks were going to be behemoths. The helicarriers and zeppelins were airboats. The discussion came over the little flyers which come with some of the models. The depict two little places on a 20mm x 20mm base. As we were going to use a 60mm HOTT frontage we realised that you could put two of these flyer tokens on a 60 x 40 HOTT base and class them as hordes. They could then easily represent wave after wave of fighter aircraft. Bombers could then be easily classed as flyers in HOTT terms.

Owen went crazy. He has an airboat general and 21 elements of fighters to represent his Sky Pirates.
Bulldog Medium Tank

I started with the Kingdom of Britannia. The have a tank with a cathedral on the top and and flying aircraft carrier that looks like a SHIELD Helicarrier. SOLD!

Painted I currently have 36AP of elements of which two can be classed as the general.

HMLS Thunderchild
1 x Behemoth (HMLS Thunderchild)
1 x Airboat (The Skycarrier - which does need a name)
6 x Knights (Bulldog Medium Tanks)
3 x Artillery (Boudicca Artillery)
4 x Riders (Terrier Light Tanks)

On the workbench are three elements of hordes (Fighters), 3 flyers (Bombers) and the Stronghold (the Kingdom of Britannia bunker complex)

I also have a 'desert raider' style force made up of riders and scout airships, and the tanks and infantry for The People's Soviet of Philtopia. The latter are actually Brigade Models land ironclads and Peter Pig 3mm infantry.

I also want to get some of the Dystopian Wars terrain as the little buildings they do will be ideal.

There are more pictures on my Flickr photostream.

For Queen and Country!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Small, Far Away

Not A Knight.
I was performing one of my daily tasks, browsing over Tabletop Gaming News, and I saw an article which led me to this.

"Hullo", says I, "This looks familiar!"

Three Age Studios are producing a 30mm scale giant stompy robot. For those long time gamers, cast you failing memories back to 1994 and a Games Workshop product called Titan Legions.

A GW Knight
Look familiar?

I wonder how long it will be before the lawyers step in...

The GW Knight is courtesy of Kaptain Kobold and his awesome Flickr photostream.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How I Paint

I recently painted some WW2 figures as a commission for my father. Before I'd even put paint to figure I had the idea of doing a blog post about how I go about painting figures. I'm not saying my way is the right way or anything. There is no right way. I do however get asked how I go about how I achieve a particular effect. In all honesty I don't do anything special as you are about to read.

This is a step by step guide using a humble Late War British infantryman from Crusader Miniatures. Although I only show the one figure I actually painted 27 of them. One of the things I do when I have to paint a number of figures the same is to paint one comeplety to get a feel for the right colours and what order to apply them. Once I've done this and got a better 'feel' of the figures in hand, I find I can quickly paint the rest.

I paint figures now with the Vallejo range. I will list each paint used where necessary. I didn't use any mixing.

Step 1 - Undercoat

After any mould lines and flash were cleaned from the figure I stuck it onto a 20mm round plastic base. I then used milliput to smooth out the lip of the base of the figure. The whole thing was then sprayed using Flames of War War Paint German Armour. I use a variety of colours for undercoating depending on what I'm painting.

Step 2 - Basecoat

The areas on the figure were painted using the following colours.

Uniform and Webbing
Uniform and Webbing

Tunic - British Uniform
Gaiters and webbing - Khaki

Finished Basecoat
Helmet - Russian Uniform
Flesh - Dark Flash
Leaves on helmet - Intermediate Green
Boots - Black Grey
Metalwork on the rifle and bayonet - Gunmetal Grey
Woodwork on the rifle and pistols - Flat Brown
Chinstrap - Flat Earth

Step 3 - Wash

The rifle and metalwork areas were given a wash of Badab Black wash while the rest of the figure was given a wash of Devlan Mud, both from Games Workshop. They no longer make this wash as they have changed suppliers. However Army Painter appear to make washes which are exactlty the same.

Step 4 - Highlighting and Details

The uniform was drybrushed in Russian Uniform while the metal on the rifle was highlighted using Natural Steel. The the nose and cheeks were given a line of Dark Flesh just to make them stand out.

Eyes. I always try and paint figure with masks so I don't have to paint eyes. Unfortunately I couldn't do it in this case. All I do is use a small brush, 3/0, a paint a small dot of white into the eye socket and then when that is dry a small dot of black. Occasionally I have to touch up the face with bit of Dark Flash.

Step 6 - Basing

The finished figure with one of his mates.
The base was painted in Leather Brown from Miniature Paints. When that was dry I mixed a few drop of water into some PVA glue and applied some sand like basing material bought from my local railway modelling shop. I didn't cover the whole base with it as I wanted to use two types of basing. When the first part was dry I mixed some more water into PVA and went over the sand. This seals it in and stops it falling off the base. I then covered the rest of the base with some static grass, which I've had for so long I'm not sure where it came from.

Step 7 - Varnishing
When the glue on the base was dry, I left it overnight to be sure, I sprayed the figure using Army Painter matt varnish.

And that is it. Nothing complicated and yet I think you get a nice looking figure and my dad was certainly happy with the job.

This figure along with all of his chums can be seen on my Flickr photostream here.