Thursday, 31 January 2013

Well at least someone has been reading my blog!

A old gaming chum of mine, Mike Schraner, recently sent me these photos of some 15mm Sci-Fi stuff he has been working on.

First up Mike has taken the Britains Pig huts and taken them a stage further than I did. He has done a wonderful job with these…


Next up, is the air freshener dome. Again a nice grungy military look here!


Mike also added in this photos showing some Matchbox SWAT trucks, that were apparently originally bright blue.


If anyone else has used any of the ideas I have posted on the blog, please send me some photos. I would love to see them!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Crowdfunding, Wolsung and Sedition Wars

I signed up to three or crowdfunding projects last year. So far they have all come good!

The two I am going to look at today are the ones I have most recently received the good for.

First off, we have Wolsung, a Steampunk Skirmish game produced by Micro Arts Studio (MAS) in Poland. The crowdfunding project was launched on Indiegogo and well exceeded they initial goal, although that compared to some of the bigger crowdfunding projects of recent months, it was still quite a modest project.

The project was set up to produce a hard-backed rulebook for a set of skirmish rules based on the popular Polish Wolsung RPG rules. However, along with the rulebook MAS also included most of their range of Wolsung figures and some really attractive laser cut buildings and scenics as part of the promotion.

Having access to a laser cutter I haven’t actually bought any laser cut stuff from anyone before, so I was quite intrigued to get my hands on some of this so that I could see just how someone else designs theirs…

I also took a fancy to quite a few of the figures. Now, if it comes down to it, I probably wouldn’t have signed up to this one if it had just been for the rulebook. I already have more than enough different Steampunk rules, but I still need some more interesting figures before I can consider starting to run a game. So I threw in my name and over the course of the promotion I increased my contribution several times.

Here is what I ended up receiving, in the parcel, late last year.

Wolsung 01

Firstly we have the rulebook and the laser cut building. The second photo shows the other two laser cut packs, a raised walkway (including the Wolsung ruler) and some market stalls.

Wolsung 02Wolsung 03

Next up we have a faction starter set and some resin barrels/boxes. Finally the various blister packs of figures (including a couple of packs of MAS’s very nice resin bases).

Wolsung 04Wolsung 05 

Just yesterday I finally received the first parcel from the Sedition Wars Kickstarter project. I say finally, as I subscribed to this one back at the end of June last year and they have been promising to deliver from about September onwards… However, as the project was one of the Kickstarter runaway successes it is easy to see how the scale of production forced the delivery time back.

Sedition Wars is a board game based in the world created by Studio McVey. It features a group of human troops searching their way through a building complex and fighting a selection of mutated monsters (think Aliens meets Space Hulk). Now I can’t say much about the game mechanics yet as I haven’t had a chance to read them, however the miniatures are fantastic and the artwork on the board tiles and in the rest of the game materials is of an equal level.

This is what I got:-

Wow, what a box, UPS managed to puncture the box, but fortunately there wasn’t anything missing or damaged inside!

Sedition Wars 00

Not quite so impressive once out of the huge box, but for a board game it come in another very large square box… The other items here are the “freebie rewards”.

Sedition Wars 01

Once in the box you get a better idea of all of the contents. 50 miniatures with bases plus dice, counters, game boards etc.

Sedition Wars 02

I haven’t un-bagged any of the Sedition Wars miniatures yet as I really don’t want to loose any of the bits. I am clearing the current projects and then I will be spending a bit of time getting them together.

I will be spending more time on the blog looking at both of these games, as I assemble them and prepare to play.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Retro Rocket No. 3

I have been working on this one for a long time… and there are a lot of photos in this tutorial!

After the initial Retro Rocket came out looking perfect for a Flash Gordon style game I found a shower radio that I felt had potential to become a much more “1950’s” feel rocket. This was the result!

Retro Rocket 3 - 50

What follows is an extensive photo tutorial on how I constructed the model. Firstly, I had the radio lying around for a while and I spotted the little clip-on torches in a pound store. I knew immediately that I had to get some of the torches to use as rocket engines (they couldn’t have been much more perfect).

Retro Rocket 3 - 01Retro Rocket 3 - 02

I stripped down the radio, and disposed of the internal workings. The three knobs were dumped into the bits box and I glued the case back together again. As you can see, the battery compartment makes an idea cargo hatch.

Retro Rocket 3 - 03Retro Rocket 3 - 04

I took these photos just to get an idea of how the rocket might look in flight (note the knobs had not quite been abandoned when i took these photos).

Retro Rocket 3 - 05

Next up I had to fit the rocket engines, I could have gone with just the two, but I felt a third top engine made it look a little different from my first Retro Rocket and also helped with the balance of the look of the model. I removed the clips from the torches and then sanded down the ball joint at the angle that best fit the curve of the rocket’s body. To attach them to the body I drilled and pinned them, this gave me a little play in positioning so that I could get them exactly lined up.

Retro Rocket 3 - 06Retro Rocket 3 - 07

Once the two side engines were in place (the top engine was left off while I finalised what I was doing with that part of the model) I filled and sanded the joints. I didn’t feel that the round curved rod that supported the engine look substantial enough for my liking so I decided to add a fin in behind the rod. Not an easy task, as there are four different curved surfaces that needed to fit perfectly. I started by cutting paper patterns to work from.

Retro Rocket 3 - 08Retro Rocket 3 - 10

Once I had a good fit with the pattern I traced it on to a piece of plastic sheet ( had thought it was acrylic, but when I started to cut it I realised it was clear polystyrene sheet).

Retro Rocket 3 - 11Retro Rocket 3 - 12

I cut the fins out using a scroll saw. Unfortuantely, as the polystyrene sheet cut it heated up and I got quite a lot of melted debris along the cut lines (this wouldn’t have happened with acrylic sheet). I new I would have to file the files quite a bit to get them to fit, but it turned out to be a bit more than I would have liked!

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This is the final fit, before a little filling and sanding.

Retro Rocket 3 - 15

Now I moved on to the cockpit window. I wanted a typical domed shaped cockpit and found a ball (from a vending machine in a supermarket) that was just the right size. Now as the dome was half clear I initially considered leaving it clear and building a cockpit with pilots into the model. However, on closer examination I decided that the dome was in poor condition and also had both the plastic injection nipple and a small air hole that would need to be filled. I also considered having a roof over the back half of the cockpit. But I wanted to keep it fairly simple, in keeping with the period feel.

Retro Rocket 3 - 16Retro Rocket 3 - 17

Once I had cut the dome, I filed it until it sat reasonably well onto the curved body of the rocket.

Retro Rocket 3 - 18Retro Rocket 3 - 19

At this stage I also decided to use my laser cutter to add some detail to the rear of the rocket. I cut two panels of acrylic, a round door and a back plate. Glued them together and stuck them to the back of the model… it finished that part off very nicely!

Retro Rocket 3 - 21Retro Rocket 3 - 22

Returning to the dome, with it firmly glued in place I filled around the edge, as well as the two holes on top.

Retro Rocket 3 - 23

Next I needed to fill the holes in the body. For this I used car body filler. A two part filler that sets in ten to fifteen minutes. Once set it can be machined or sanded, it is also very useful for gluing certain materials that don’t stick very well with other adhesives.

Retro Rocket 3 - 24

Retro Rocket 3 - 25Retro Rocket 3 - 26

Retro Rocket 3 - 27

Once I had done the filling and some sanding I returned to the join around the cockpit canopy. Some kind of border was needed between the ship and the canopy. I used a pre-cut strip of polystyrene (plasticard). I glued it at the back of the canopy and the worked my way around slowly bending the strip and gluing it in place. Once I had gone all the way around the dome I cut the plastic strip with a craft knife, filled the joint and then filed it down.

Retro Rocket 3 - 28Retro Rocket 3 - 29Retro Rocket 3 - 30

I was finally ready to attach the third engine to the top of the rocket.

Retro Rocket 3 - 31Retro Rocket 3 - 32

Once the engine was in place I felt the model was ready to receive a coat of primer. The paint evens up the look of the model, revealing flaws and showing what needs sanding.

Retro Rocket 3 - 33Retro Rocket 3 - 34

As the model is to be used on a wargames table it will need to sit on a runway or launch pad. I decided that the rocket needed an undercarriage. Rather than hunt around for existing wheels to use I scratch built them from some acrylic and several different diameter plastic rods.

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Once I had built the undercarriage I glued it in place.

Retro Rocket 3 - 39

As the under carriage was glued on to the surface of the rocket I needed some hatch doors. I returned to the plastic strips and cut three pairs of doors.

Retro Rocket 3 - 40

I glued the strips either side of each wheel. With a little black paint in between it would look like a recess.

Retro Rocket 3 - 41Retro Rocket 3 - 42

The final part of the model was the weapons. I wanted something that looked suitably “Sci-Fi”, I also wanted them to not look too aggressive, possibly only sensors, not necessarily weapons. I raided my bits box and found some old Epic bits, some wheels and a couple of modern shells.

Retro Rocket 3 - 43

On to the painting, I gave the model another coat of primer and then sprayed it with a coat of chrome paint. I think it was a little cold in the garage when I sprayed it as I was really not satisfied with the finish.

Retro Rocket 3 - 44Retro Rocket 3 - 45

I decided I wanted to have a flag on the the model, the intention was to create something that was reminiscent of a swastika, but was different enough that it would not have any of the associations…

To paint the flag I took out my airbrush. Now I must point out that haven’t used an airbrush in over twenty years, and back then I used it while painting on board or paper, I have never actually used one on a model before.


So this was a new experience, an something that I will be doing more of in the future. I laser cut some masks in sticky backed plastic (I didn’t have any proper masking film handy) and then applied them to the model.

Retro Rocket 3 - 46Retro Rocket 3 - 47

I masked the rest of the model off with kitchen roll and then sprayed the un-masked areas purple.

Retro Rocket 3 - 48

Once the purple had dried, I applied the next level of masks and sprayed with black paint. Unfortunately I was a little over enthusiastic, or probably should have applied the paint a little slower. It bled under the mask in places and so I ended up touching it up with a brush by hand.

Retro Rocket 3 - 49

I applied the rest of the colours with a brush and they turned out pretty well…

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