Five Parsecs crew

I’ve started working on crew members to use while playing a solo campaign of Five Parsecs from Home.  First is the captain, Jase Wardson.  He’s part of GZG’s “Free Trader Crew” pack, a set of not-Firefly figures.

Jase Wardson, captain of the Fortune’s Fool

The rest of the crew will come along as I get them finished. I’m mixing this in with work on my 1/600 Battle of Britain planes and my stalled 15mm Tunisia game.

Bag the Hun game

I played a solo game of Bag the Hun this evening with my 1/600 scale planes from Picoarmor.  It was a simple meeting engagement, a section of four Hellcats ran into a section of four Zeros. It turned into quite the furball real quick.

End of turn 1

Things got bloody in a hurry.  By the end of turn 1, the American newbie pilot’s plane was torn to pieces, and the American section leader managed to put some shots into the cockpit of the Japanese leader, wounding him.

Turn 3

By the end of turn 3, the American leader had killed two Japanese pilots.  In turn 4, another American blew up a Japanese plane, but the Japanese leader drew a bead on the American lead, doing severe damage to his controls.

Turn 4

In turn 5 the American section leader broke for home. Unable to keep up and worried about the other two Hellcats, the Japanese leader turned for home as well. The remaining Americans, out of position for a chase, turned to follow their section leader.

I’ve put together a section record sheet so I can keep the data for four planes at once. It fits on a letter size piece of paper and makes it much easier to play.  Here are the sheets for these two planes:

US F6F-5 Hellcat SRS

IJN A6M5b Zero SRS

Test paint

Test paint scheme for some more GZG. It’s much brighter in person, I’ll have to try a different background in the light box next time.

I think I need a lighter blue-grey for the uniform under the armor to get more contrast there.

Back in the swing of things

Thu, 24 May 2018 21:05:03 +0000Uncategorized

After much too long, we've gotten Velocibaby (and myself) onto a schedule where I have 30 minutes to an hour a night where I can paint. The fruit of that labor so far has been these seven crew from GZG. Not my best work but they do well enough at tabletop distance.

I need to redo the redhead’s face, she came out much too pale, without enough room for highlighting.

Fallen jungle trees

After my last game, I realized I needed some fallen trees to serve as linear obstacles and break up the ground a bit.  I made these from balsa.

I used some 12"long pieces of 1"square balsa. I cut each into two pieces with an angled cut, and trimmed the other end to a similar angle.  I then used a small block plane to shape the tops of the pieces into a suitable log shape.  The bottoms I only rounded slightly to give the impression of a curve while making sure they would not roll around on the table.

After rounding the pieces, I scrubbed them lengthwise with a wire brush to add a bark texture to the wood. Just keep at it until you like how it looks.

Then I used an old pair of wire cutters to cut and tear out the ends of the logs as if it had rotted away.  Don't worry about breaking the edges, that adds to the effect.  If you break off too much, you can easily glue the piece back in to place later.

I painted them with a mix of dark brown and grey paint.  Once that dried I gave them a heavy dry brush of grey.

Last I dabbed on some glue and covered it with green flock.  With that dry, they are ready for play.

And last, an action shot of some Navy boys getting into trouble in the jungle.

The Escape of Dr. Lashwood

Last weekend, local gamer Marc Fluitt and I got together to play a game of FiveCore using my pulp adventure figures.

The setup of the game was pretty simple.  Soldiers of a local Chinese warlord captured Dr. Lashwood on site at his most recent archaeological dig.  They are dragging him and a crate of priceless artifacts through the jungle and back to their leader's stronghold.  Several US Marines managed to outflank the Chinese and cut off their retreat.  To win, my Chinese must carry Dr. Lashwood and the crate of artifacts off the north table edge beyond the Marines.  Marc's Marines win if they rescue Dr. Lashwood, capture the artifacts, and carry them off any other table edge.

My Chinese soldiers started at the south (bottom of the picture), ready to push forward. Marc's Marines are at the north end of the table. One is hidden behind a tree.

I moved to the west in my first activation,  hoping to flank the Marines and deal with them a few at a time.  This didn't work so well. Marc moved over to intercept me.

I took the first casualty, the soldier in charge of Dr. Lashwood was gunned down by the marine at the top center of the picture. The good doctor, now free, fled the gunfire and took cover to the south.

A convenient Scurry result let me shift everyone left into cover and chase down Dr. Lashwood again.

But this let the Marines move to cut me off, too.

I pushed forward into some of the thicker growth, but took fire and lost another soldier.

At last my men figured out how to shoot straight. They killed one of the Marines and knocked another down.  Things are starting to look up.

I continued my flanking maneuver, but it just wasn't working out.

So I reversed direction with another Scurry, going back to the east while his men were out of position.

Marc chased me down, of course.

He charged into close combat, driving my men back.  I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, and he drove me back.

He tried it again, but this time we found the good bullets. We left one dead and scared off the other.

With the Marines in disarray we tried to get moving to the far end of the table.

But Marc rallied his Marines and charged me again. This time he succeeded.

Marc collected the artifacts and Dr. Lashwood, and quickly exited the battlefield.

Failed recovery rolls left me even more out of position as he pulled out of contact.

The triumphant Marines.

We we had a lot of fun, and the advantage shifted several times. There were a few points where I was sure I was home free, only to have it go wrong again.

I am planning to run a pulp game at Bayou Wars this year. I have some terrain work to finish up and then I'll be ready to go.

Seven Years War [4]: A New Distraction

Progress on the Seven Years War project has been slow. There has been a lot of housework getting ready for our newest family member. (Who arrived Friday! And he's the best son ever!) And when I've found time to work on hobby projects, I keep going off on tangents.

For this project I finished up a single unit of Kurassiers and worked on some houses for a town. I'm happy with the basic construction process, but I can't paint fine lines to save my life. I'll have to cut out the timber framing and glue it in place to get these to look any good. Once I work out a good process I'll write up a how-to.  ANever if you're lucky, I'll make templates too.

My latest distraction is in that picture as well, but I'll save that project for another post.

Seven Years War [3]

I've finished up the two grenadier battalions, based them, and finished up the basing on everything else as well. Here are the grenadiers and four previously completed line infantry battalions.

Next up, Austrian Kurassiers.

Seven Years War [2]

I'm back to working on my Seven Years War project after far too long away from it. To keep myself honest I've joined in the 2016 army painter challenge over at the Lead Adventure Forum. My goal is to finish at least two units a month. This week I finished half of one converged grenadier battalion and two of three stands for half of another. The rest of the two units should get finished this week. These are for the as-yet unnamed Imperial-allied army.

Planting Trees

I've been looking for a easy way to make good tree clumps for my 6mm games. Individual trees don't look right to me at that scale. The tutorials I found were either too much work, fragile, or downright dangerous.  So I stole the good ideas from the last two and came up with this method. I plan to combine them with felt tree line templates. The felt shows where the treelines are, and the tree stands make them look nice.

You will need:

  • Clump Foliage in several colors of green
  • Black foam board (I used Elmers brand)
  • 1"styrofoam (I got some from the floral department at Michaels)
  • Craft paint.  A dark brown and a light grayish tan.
  • Hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks

First, cut out a bunch of irregular rounded pieces from the 1"styrofoam. These are the tree stands. Make these roughly 2-3"across and egg-shaped, but make some longer and some odd shapes. I used a hot wire to cut them out, though a knife would work too.

Once you have a large pile of them, cut the treetops from black foam board. Trace each piece of styrofoam, leaving about a 1/4"-1/2"gap around it. I numbered the tops and bottoms so I could match them up later. After they are cut out, bevel the edges to a gentle slope.

Hot-glue the stands to the tops with hot glue. Get them roughly centered, they don't have to be exact.

Paint the stand a dark grey-brown color. I used Americana Bittersweet Chocolate craft paint. I mixed it 50/50 with white glue and added some water. Probably not necessary, but it adds a bit of strength to the beaded styrofoam. There's no need to paint the treetops, leave them black. Leave these to dry for a while.

Paint in the tree trunks with a lighter grey-brown. I used Craft Smart Golden Brown. Keep them thin. Paint most of them from the tops down, but do a few shorter ones too. Keep them mostly vertical, but let a few bend, split, or fall over.

Tear off a small piece of clump foliage, no bigger than the first joint of your thumb. Put a dab of hot glue in the center of the top of a tree clump and stick the foliage down. Tear a small piece of another color, and glue it against the first. Keep going piece by piece, switching colors, until the top is completely covered with foliage.

And after a few hours work, I ended up with several dozen clumps of woods.  In hindsight, I don't think the black foam board is necessary.  You could paint the top of the styrofoam dark brown and glue the foliage clumps directly to it,  This would save several steps, but lose some of the overhang effect.  It's a question of taste and how much of a hurry you're in.