Conversion bits for strange projects can be hard to come by, even these days when high quality plastic figures make kitbashing and bits-finding easier. One of the staples of a certain flavour of folk horror, though, is folks with antlers, either on their helms or straight up growing out of their heads, and nobody has done horns, antlers, and such… yet.
In the course of adding masts and other details to ships earlier this year, I collected some useful links on various WW2 ships, and leaned hard on the work of some of the amazingly talented ship modellers out there.
Meanwhile over on the gloriously named Last Stand on Zombie Island, a really cool article on how navies made smoke (deliberately). Lots of other cool WW1 to WW2 naval stuff over there too, well worth a look.
We played a lot of Gaslands in 2020/2021 when COVID restrictions meant we couldn’t game in person, because Gaslands is fairly simple to organize overwebcam, and we kind of burned out on it.
Then we took Gaslands to Trumpeter Salute 2023 back in April, because it’s also really easy to set up pickup games for, and our pair of great chaotic games re-ignited our interest!
I’ve cranked through a trio of new cars since Salute, and then moved onto a new set of three cars. Two of the first set had been partially converted back in 2020/2021 and then neglected (and apparently I took no photos of them…) and the ’34 Ford hotrod was a new purchase while we were in Vancouver for Trumpeter.
The second trio of cars include another sports car all spiked up, a rally car up-armoured, and a Jaguar D-type converted into a monster truck. The Jag was the most complex conversion I’ve done for Gaslands yet, and started with a set of 3d printed monster truck wheels.
The basecoats are coming along nicely. The Jag is starting as British Racing Green, the spiked sports car is a gloriously weird yellow/green that Reaper calls Dungeon Slime, and the rocket rally car seems to have gotten trans pride colours, because why the hell not? Lots of weathering to do still, of course!
These three done will give me eight or so cars, a buggy, and three bikes for Gaslands just in my own collection. I have ideas for a heavy truck conversion starting with mashing together two big American 60s/70s Yank tanks, but I think I’ll switch gears slightly after this trio is done.
Brian and I (plus friends) attended Trumpeter Salute 2023 last weekend. No, not the UK one, the smaller one in Vancouver, Canada. We all had a great deal of fun, our first major miniatures convention since 2019 – after Bottos Con, which is primarily a board game convention, in Nov of last year.
Under Alien Suns (working title) – Coop scifi rules under heavy development
Friday afternoon in the first slot I ran another public beta test of my under development coop scifi skirmish ruleset, Under Alien Suns (the working title). It was a great deal of fun, autonomous vehicles got used as weapons, and there were many laughs. Also lots of great feedback.
Players were fighting in New Antares – against a mixed enemy – zombies from the former townsfolk & Halite Confederation soldiers
Vikings vs Saxons – Aftermath of the Raid
There were a pair of linked games both using Ravensfeast (a free online ruleset)- one of a Viking raid and then a 2nd of the Vikings attempted to get their stolen booty home. I missed the first game, but caught the second one. Also a chance to try out my new camera – a Canon RP with my older 60mm macro lens!
It ended up being a minor Viking victory, as they got the major loot (the laden donkey) off the table, and took down both my lord and the local bishop with his
Gaslands pickup game – Death Race!
As we were late getting back to the main hall after dinner on Saturday, we ended up running the first of a pair of pickup Gaslands games. This death race ended up with the leaders taking each other out and the person in last place at the start claiming victory.
But the most glorious moment was the double jump – jump, slide, spin, jump again. Amazing to watch
Operation Sea Lion – Bolt Action
Sunday is one big slot, but we ended up having time to play a pair of games. First up, a four-table Operation Sea Lion, the start of a larger Bolt Action Campaign. On our table, it is a very minor German victory, as we cheeseweasled some troops off at the end.
It all started badly, however, as the Brits took out 1/3 of our force on turn 1 and we failed our prepatory bombardment roll. But our crowning glory was storming the ruined house held only by Dad’s Army types, who inflicted huge casualties, but we did more.
One last Gaslands game – Flag Tag
We had one last Gaslands game – Flag Tag. Team red vs the other colours, which also happened to be the younger players, including a friend’s son, against the older players (Brian, Martin and Tony).
All in all, twas fun but you never get enough photos. I did also have a participatory art project this year – I asked players to graffiti my buildings for my scifi terrain. Photos of those shortly and thanks to all that participated, I got some great stuff.
Til next year!
Update! Martin has uploaded his photos to flickr – he played many of the same games as Brian and I and even has shots of Brian’s boat game – something apparently Brian himself failed to get
My first gaming weekend since 2019 has come and gone and it was good. And as is often the case, I took far too few photos, including exactly none during my own game!
Friday evening Corey ran the sci-fi co-op game based on Sellswords he’s mentioned here a few times, while I played a mid-war What a Tanker game and traded my Sherman for a MkIV panzer.
Saturday morning I got a sturdy crew of Norsemen wiped out to a man by Saxons who were somewhat offended that we’d looted and burned the local monastery.
Saturday afternoon I ran a Coastal Patrol game, four German schnellboote attacking a British coastal convoy defended by a Hunt-class Destroyer Escort and a couple of plucky trawlers. The Hunt crippled one of the S-boats but then got shattered by a pair of torpedoes, and the big ocean-going freighter the Brits where shepherding down the coast also ate a pair of German torps before the S-boats roared off into the night.
Saturday evening we wound up doing a scratch game of Gaslands for eight players, a gloriously chaotic Death Race with lots of wrecks and some amazing driving – both amazingly bad and amazingly good!
Sunday morning I defended the shores of England from the German’s Operation Sealion, which was interesting (I’m not the biggest fan of Bolt Action, it’s a very cartoony rule set…), and then because we had time to kill before we headed off to the ferry, we ran another Gaslands game, this time a Flag Tag game for six players. Explosions, mayhem, and lunatic driving ensued!
I think I have a few photos on my phone, will pull them out. It’s been a weird and complicated week since then, hence the delay in this after-action post!
Sellswords & Spellslingers, like a lot of similar games, often has bad guys (foes in Sellsword parlance) appear at random locations or randomly along the board edge. This process can slow down the game, so I’ve been dreaming up ways to speed it up for a while now. Given I own a 3D printer, I decided to do some designing FreeCAD to create some board edges for Sellswords, Warcry and the upcoming scifi Sellswords variant I’m working on.
As I knew I was designing these once, I took some short cuts with my FreeCAD and just bodged it together. The base is a pair of 3″ Openlock templates, with Oxanium font and some ticks extruded onto them. Once printed and with the border corners designed and printed, I got a finished product, numbers from 1 to 35, as a Sellswords board is usually 36″x36″.
And that is how they sat for many months with little action. I had a convention (BottosCon 2022) in November, so I spent a bunch of time painting up buildings but didn’t get to the edges. So they were black for that first con. Only after the con did I get a base coat of rust on them.
The rust is mostly Liquitex Burnt Sienna Acrylic, with some Liquitex Raw Sienna and Red Oxide, all sponged on to provide texture.
Which brings us to this week, where I finally got the paint job finished. I gloss coated the edges, then put down Vallejo chipping medium with an airbrush. After that was dry, I added blues – mostly Reaper’s True Blue, but also some Sky Blue and Brilliant Blue for accents – all by airbrush
After the blues were down, I chipped them using a tooth brush, then hand painted on some a cheap craft titanium white and rechipped them. The white nicely toned down as the chipping medium + water means the paint runs a bit.
Just before I finished, I also added some 18 to 21 edges, as we also play Warcry, which has the very strange board size of 30″ by 22″.
Where can you find the files?
I haven’t uploaded them anywhere yet, but will get them on Thingiverse shortly!
In all of the coastal naval rules sets that we’ve played, spotting and situational awareness are among the most important factors. Doesn’t matter how many guns you have or how good you are at shooting them if you can’t accurately spot and ID the enemy!
With a bunch of fast-moving boats on the table and a lot going on, it can be hard to keep track of who’s got a proper target spot on who, though, especially with things like the rule in Coastal Patrol that means if you fire automatic weaponry, the tracer glare off your own guns causes you to lose all your spotted targets.
We bounced a few options around, and among the simplest is that each ship or boat has a “Spot Card” and a dry erase pen – just mark the ID of who you spot down on it, if you lose spot on them, wipe their ID off.
I already use 3×4 plastic card protectors for ship record cards, so it was easy to take the same template and whip up a Spot Card to fit a 3×4 card sleeve. With that done, saving in both Letter (for North America) and A4 (for the rest of the world) PDF was trivial.
The workbench this week… is up and running in our new condo! We had an offer accepted at the beginning of February, got the keys ten days ago in mid-March, and are largely settled, set up, and getting on with things.
Gradually getting the painting and hobby stuff sorted and functional; the new room isn’t as large as the one at our rented place but forcing me to organize and stay de-cluttered is not actually a bad thing…
Decided to work through the stash of 1/1200 WW2 aircraft I got from Last Square a few months ago, starting with a trio of Bf110s and five Bf109s for the Luftwaffe to cause trouble in.
I’ll be at Trumpeter Salute 2023 in Vancouver in about three weeks running a 1/1200 naval game of some sort, probably KM Schnellboote attacking an RN-defended British coastal convoy this time. This’ll be the first Trumpeter Salute since 2019 (a smaller event happened in 2022 but I didn’t get to it) so it’ll be fantastic to be back!
When talking about masts on tiny ships recently I mentioned that my current storage solution for my fleets was, frankly, bad. This last weekend I sat down to fix that, and came up with a solution that will should preserve paint jobs and masts on all my boats and ships (and airplanes, too).
I started with a flat cardboard box which one of my Last Square orders came in, added 25mm high dividers of mat board with strips of foam glued to them, then slit the foam to allow the ends of the acrylic bases I use for all my vessels to slip in.
The first box is full, so I built a smaller box out of more mat board to hold a few of my larger merchant ships. After we move (ten days!) I’ve got a second identical Last Square box somewhere around to create a second larger fleet holder, and two of them should comfortably hold everything I’m likely to own for the next while!
The two batches of 1/1200 airplanes I’ve currently got painted and mounted are kind of tucked into the corners around the ships, and they’ll eventually need their own storage, but given that 1/1200 aircraft weigh basically nothing, I’m not concerned for now about having them a bit tangled with each other in the lower left corner of the larger box for now.