Tuesday 27 July 2010

Small fort

Here is another model which I made a while ago. The first step was to work out how big I wanted it to be and then to cut out an appropriately sized base out of chip board. I then glued polystyrene sheets to this with pva (pva doesn't chorode the styrene) and allowed a day or two for drying time. Once dry, you can easily sculpt the styrene to the desired contours.

Next thing I did was to start constructing an out building I wanted for inside the fort. I made the basic shape out of artist card and glued them together with super glue. You can use pva but the dry time is much longer. I then cut out and glued thin pieces of balsa to the outside of the construction and scored planking marks into it. After that, I added shingles and the door and window frames etc. The door handle is a shot gun pellet.

I now placed the block house in position on the board. You can build a blockhouse in the same way the out house was built but the one I used was bought from Redoubt Enterprises http://www.redoubtenterprises.com/
I then marked out where I wanted the palisade to go and then started sticking BBQ skewers along its track. I found that it made the structure stronger to tie them together near the top. That done, you can position the out house into place.

I wanted a firing step inside the fort so the next step was to work out how high it was to be and to place balsa supports for it along the inside of the palisade and other areas.

Now you can start to put the basing material down. First thing I did was to place several large rocks into the styrene and then I began painting on the basing material. I used a mixture of sand and brown emulsion paint for this.

You need to start painting now as there are parts you won't be able to get at once the firing step is glued in place. I used a leather brown colour which was then given a black was when it was dry.

That done, you can start building the platform for the firing step.

Finish painting the remaining parts and then when dry, dry brush the whole lot with a cream colour and maybe a little white. Go easy on the white though.

I also dry brush the basing material with an ochre colour and then add some rocky patches with a bit of a white dry brush. Again, go steady with this.

Next step is to flock the base whilst leaving a few bare patches. I also add a few areas of longer grass. All sorts of material for this can be bought from local hobby shops of model railway shops.

Saturday 24 July 2010

Games Room

The WD3 crowd have been trading pictures of their respective games rooms so I thought I would also share some pics here. This is my little oasis and weekly battle ground.

Redoubt Indians

Here is a selection of Redoubt Indians which are a little larger than the Perry Indians but mix in quite well as they are based individually. I really need to get the portage party. Maybe at the next show eh?


Perry Woodland Indians

These are some lovely figures from the Perry twins http://www.perry-miniatures.com/ and are part of their American War of Independence range but will, of course, cover a long period of time so I use them for Last of the Mohicans, French and Indian War and War of 1812 skirmishing.

Last of the Mohicans

Well, Last of the Mohicans is one of my favourite films, set in my favourite period so lets face it, you just have to game it don't you? It just stands to reason. I looked around for a generic set of skirmish rules for the period and stumbled across a set completely dedicated to the the film, which was nice.

I think most people are aware of the site where I downloaded the rules from but if you aren't, here is a link http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/
Its a great resource for free rules which you can try at no monetary risk. Here is a link to the Last of the Mohican rules http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/skarlet/mohicans/mohicans_rules.htm
Now, I do like this very simple set of rules but I will give you a word of warning. Hawkeye is indeed dead eye dick and Chingachgook will have you on the butchers slab before you can say pound of mince please. Knowing this, you can see that you're probably going to want a fair few baddies to take them on.
I have also taken the core rules and amended them slightly for general skirmish games in North America and they seem to work very well.
The figures pictured are painted by myself and are available from Conquest Miniatures http://www.conquestminiatures.com/ and you can also get a set from Redoubt Enterprises http://www.redoubtenterprises.com/ although, I have to say that I prefer the Conquest figures.

Friday 23 July 2010

Lexington Belfry

This is the belfry which stood at Lexington. I believe this particular one (the original) burnt down and there is now a replacement there.

I don't do AWI skirmishing but I just fancied building this with the view that it could fit in with other North American skirmish games that I do do.

The first step was to come up with the correct proportions and establish a 'footprint' so that I could make an appropriate sized base to begin construction. I just came up with something which looked right to me rather than using any sort of mathematical formula. Having done this, I drew a rectangle on the base and then glued the uprights on all four corners in their places. Next step was to cut and glue the cross pieces and then the door way. I find that super glue is best for this as it sticks straight away, unlike pva.

The clapboard can now be fitted starting from the bottom with each successive piece overlapping the one under it slightly. Make sure that the width of each piece is the same with as between each upright. You can tackle this one side at a time. When finished, you should have gaps between each side running up the corners of the building. You now cut a single piece of balsa to fit into this gap making a clean, finished corner. You can also put the door in at this time.

I then made the bell tower construction. I made the bell from a solid piece of Milliput but you might find that you can buy an actual bell to serve the same purpose. I looked but couldn't find one. Remember to paint the inside of the building and also the whole bell tower before you glue in place as you will be able to see into the building when the construction is complete.

This done, you can glue in place the roof supports coming into the bell tower from each corner of the building. Now cut strips of roofing material and apply the same way you did the clap boarding to the side of the building. The only difference is that these need to but up to each other with no gap between them so you will need to do a layer at a time all the way around the roof from the bottom up.

The final part of the roof can now be sorted. You need a roof support coming from each corner of the top part of the belfry each meeting in the middle to form a peak. You can then apply the roofing timbers much the same as you did with the main roof section.

Now add some details to the door like hinges, latches etc. I used plasticard but you can use whatever you deem best.

Last but not least, paint and base. I painted the building brown and then gave it a black ink wash which, when dry was dry brushed with an ochre colour. Metal work was picked out in black. For basing, I use brown emulsion with sand mixed in which is then dry brushed with a sand colour and flock and leaf litter added.

Et voila!

If you don't fancy building one, you can also buy one from Grand Manner.

18th century house

I was after a house for 1812 skirmishing and came upon this one which I liked very much. Decided on the clap board colour as I knew there was a 'yellow' house at Crysler's Farm so went for something in that sort of spectrum.
The building wasn't cheap but it is very nice and the lift off roof allows for figures to be placed inside which saves on record keeping.
I made the fencing from balsa.

This building, along with others is available from GrandManner. http://www.grandmanner.co.uk/home/index.asp

Thursday 22 July 2010

19th Light Dragoons

There were only two British cavalry Regiments to serve in North America during the War of 1812 and it is this unit, the 19th which saw the most action. This unit saw action at the re-capture of Fort George, Black Rock and Buffalo, Chippawa, Lundy's Lane and the siege of Fort Erie. A contingent also saw action at a skirmish at Molcolm's Mill chasing off American raiders. Another squadron which was stationed in Montreal also saw action at Plattsburgh.
As the Regiment was sent to North America in 1812 during the uniform change, I chose to portray them in the Tarleton rather than the new shako as I prefer the Tarleton.

The figures are from Front Rank http://www.frontrank.com/ and the standard is hand painted by myself.

22nd US Infantry

This Regiment saw action at Chippawa and Lundy's Lane. Their nickname, "Regulars, by God" came during the War of 1812 from the Battle of Chippewa on 5 July 1814. The uniform of the Infantry was normally blue, however, due to shortages of blue cloth the troops under the command of General Winfield Scott were issued short jackets of gray cloth which they wore into the battle. At first , the British mistook the regulars for militia. But when Scott's brigade of regiments advanced without wavering through a hail of artillery and musket fire, the British commander Major General Phineas Riall realized his mistake and cried, "Those are Regulars, By God!."

Figures are from Old Glory http://www.oldgloryminiatures.com/ and the standards are hand painted by myself.

1st Royal Scots War of 1812

These are the 1st Royal Scots who saw action at Sackett's Harbour, Buffalo and Black Rock, Fort Niagara, Longwoods, Chippewa, Lundy's Lane, the siege of Fort Erie and Cook's Mill.

The figures are from Front Rank http://www.frontrank.com/ and the standards are hand painted by myself.

Peter Pig AWI rules

Pre game set up. First of all, there is the pre game set up. Anyone familiar with their Wars of the Roses 'Bloody Barrons' rules will be familiar with this.
Each side is given a set number of dice which they divide up, as they wish, into several catagories i.e. extra ammo, scouting, etc etc. When this is done, both sides then roll the number of dice which they have assigned to the appropriate catagory and any 5's or 6's (might just be 6's) count. Who ever gets the most wins that part. So if you get the most for extra ammo, say, then you get the extra ammo. You get the idea.
The attacker and defender both pick several small pieces of terrain according to their list and the defender then deploys these. The board is divided into something like 6 sections and each section must have at least 2 pieces of terrain either wholey or entirely in the section. Once this is done, the attacker gets the chance to modify this to a certain extent.
In some games, the defender will then place objective markers on the table in places which he would like to defend. Four markers are placed and the attacker gets to remove one of these. These add to the points system at the end of the game to see who has won. The deeper an objective is into enemy territory means that it is worth more points if captured.
OK, now the armies are deployed and the game begins.
The game has a command and control system. An army commander, and his subbordinates have command values according to their ability. The C-in-C decides where he would most like to exhert his influence by picking a commander in that area. There is a dice roll which is modified by his and the subbordinate in questions command ratings. This will result in how many extra dice that subbordinate gets to spend. i.e. re-rolls.
We then get down to the activation of units. This is basically a PIPs system. A commander will roll a dice to try and activate a unit. If the commander is poor quality, he is less likely to be able to activate anything. If you fail to activate a unit, your turn is over. Once activated a unit rolls to see how many PIPs it gets. If you are using a commander who has been given extra dice by the C-in-C and you don't get a roll you liked i.e. not enough PIP's of a bad saving roll etc, you may elect to use those extra dice to dice again. You may move, shoot, charge etc according to the number of PIP's you have. If an active unit comes within close range of a non active unit, that unit is allowed opportunity fire on the active unit.
To fire, you get as many dice as you have bases and then you need a certain number to hit on each dice with modifiers. The opposition then gets a saving throw for each hit.
Thats the basics of it and in my opinion, it works quite well. The pre game bit is a bit of a distraction for me and makes it really gamey to no advantage.

Those are my thoughts any way.

I'd be glad to hear what other people think if they have tried them.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

DeLancey's Brigade

OK, I'll admit that the primary reason that I wanted to paint this unit was because of the pretty white hats. They do, however, fit into the brief I set myself to paint Loyalist forces who were active in the south so I guess that's my get out clause.

These figures are from the relatively new Peter Pig Range which I like very much and are a genuine pleasure to paint. The only thing is that they didn't have feathers in their caps so I just cut out some pieces of paper which I had painted black and stuck them onto the hats after painting. Seems to have the desired effect so I'm quite pleased.

DeLancey's Brigade served in Savannah and Charleston. I believe the engagement of most note that they took part in was Eutaw Springs which was the last major engagement in the Carolinas. After this, I believe the Brigade returned to New York and was disbanded after the war.

Monday 19 July 2010

Royal Highland Emigrants

Thought I'd have a bash at these fellas. Took a bit of a liberty by kitting them out in breechers for the southern theatre instead of full Highland dress like most sources claim they wore. Didn't seem unreasonable for them to switch to a more practical dress and Chartrand does say that they later made the kilts into trews anyhoo.

Figures are Minifigs as donated, very kindly, by Brendan. Thanks Brendan.