Monday, January 17, 2011

Pirates of the Spanish Main--Raid on the Flota

Here are a few pics from a game of Pirates of the Spanish Main that I played with my niece and nephew recently.  Rather than do the usual "grab the treasure" game, I put together a simple scenario--raid the Spanish treasure fleet!  Apologies for the somewhat blurry pics, these were shot in the heat of battle.

In this, I was inspired by the historical flota, the annual treasure convoy sent from the New World to Spain.  Accordingly, I put all my Spanish ships on one side, and during the game had them move fairly mechanically across the board in a group. 

I didn't make up formal rules for this, but just controlled their movements as a sort of gamemaster for the scenario.  At the same time, we each ran a small squadron of English and Pirate ships, intent on disabling and boarding the Spanish Galleons, each of which was carrying a random selection of treasure.

Here's my own squadron of English Sea Dogs moving in.  I made the islands out of styrofoam, cut with a styrofoam cutter, and covered in resin pumice for texture before painting.  I was inspired by the awesome Pirates of the Spanish Main scenery over at the Shifting Lands website.

Losses among the flota were heavy.

A pirate squadron can be seen at the top of this picture.  In the foreground, the English squadron has already disabled and pillaged a medium-sized galleon.  Unfortunately for the English, the mighty Spanish flagship Guarantor is just moving into position between the sand bars.  Next turn it started blasting the smaller English ships out of the water.

My niece won with the most gold at the end of the game.  I lost, with only one ship still seaworthy, and little gold!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

15mm Warhammer 40,000: Heavy Walker

One of my on-going projects is building Warhammer 40,000 (40K) armies in 15mm scale.  (Check out my Displaced Miniatures page in the links sidebar to see my 15mm Space Hulk figures.)

Here's my take on a heavy walker for the Imperial Guard, based on a very slightly modified Gear Krieg walker by Dream Pod 9.  The modifications consist of adding a sci fi las-cannon end to the main-gun barrel, adding a couple Imperial aquila symbols, a crude attempt at sculpting a Guard helmet on the crewman, and the sci fi base, and a few other details.  I converted and painted this for the "Iron Painter" competition run by Wyrd Miniatures about a year and a half ago.  I managed to advance to the second round, but probably only because my first opponent was the only other contestant painting 15mm miniatures.

The turret has a red-white-red identification flash on it.  A common feature on Imperial Guard vehicles, and inspired by British practice in both World Wars.  (The practice ended early in World War Two, when it was noticed that the ID flash made a convenient aiming point for Axis gunners.)

Any self-respecting AFV crew names its vehicle.

Here are a few detail closeups:

"Heroic" Commander

Note the purity seal over the engine.

Ouch!  Well, that's what he gets for being a xenos threat!

Thanks for viewing!

Friday, January 7, 2011

15mm Seleucid Light Horse

This is an element of 15mm-scale Seleucid Light Horse (LH) for DBA, my favorite game.  They are technically "Tarentine" cavalry, so-called because equipping light cavalry with a full-sized hoplon shield originated in Tarentum, Italy.  As part of the Seleucid army, these guys wouldn't be actual natives of Tarentum, just Graeco-Macedonian settlers armed in that manner.

They have anchors on their shields because that was the symbol of the Seleucid monarchy.

Figures are by Black Hat Miniatures, and are from the former Metal Magic line sculpted by Josef Ochmann.  The light brown horse is from Old Glory 15s though--I used it because the Black Hat set came with only one pose of horse.  It was cast without any saddle blanket, so I sculpted one with greenstuff.

The bases are homemade, my friend Jerry Boling helped cut them, and I used a jig that he made to go with my Dremel tool to bevel the edges.

By way of visual comparison, I used the same static grass on these as on the 10mm Civil War figures, and the base is a 40x30mm base, so the  same frontage as the Civil War units.  In other words, 15mm figures are a lot bigger than 10mm ones!

Monday, January 3, 2011

10mm ACW Union Troops

For my first real post, I present my first painted unit of 10mm American Civil War (ACW) figures.

Obviously, these are Union troops.  They don't represent any particular regiment, just a generic bunch that happens to be wearing mostly slouch hats.  Slouch hats were a precursor to the cowboy hat, and were more popular in the Western theater of the war, but weren't unknown among Eastern theater troops.  If you click the picture to view a larger version, you can just make out little red dots on their hats.  These represent their corps badges, which you can read about here.  Since they have red badges, they must be from the first division of whatever corps they are in.

The flag is a free download from Warflag.  Union regiments usually carried a second flag called a "regimental" as well as the national flag, but presumably this regiment has lost theirs.  My next units will probably include regimentals too. 

The figures are 10mm high, which is equivalent to N-scale in model railroad terms.  They are by GHQ Models.  My dad bought these figures for me almost 20 years ago, when they were first released!  Suggestions for a new base edge color gladly accepted.  I painted it an OD green that I've been using for base edges for years to good effect (as seen here on some of my older figures), but for some reason on these it looks almost black.

The base is a Games Workshop Warmaster base, intended for GW's 10mm fantasy game of that name.  I used a Warmaster base because I happen to have a bunch, and it is 40mm x 20mm, exactly the right size for the set of rules I'll be using, DBACW, which are reviewed here,  and available here.  Each base in DBACW represents 400 to 500 men, which is roughly equivalent to a single regiment, so my plan is for each base to have its own command group of flag[s] and officer. 

Thanks for viewing!
These are my first attempt at 10mm historicals, and at ACW in any scale for that matter, and I'm pleased with how they came out.  Constructive comments on any uniform details I may have gotten wrong are very welcome.

EN: [Insert lame joke about starting yet another miniatures blog here.]

I decided to start a blog.  Here I'll post pictures of and discussion about my hobbies, namely board games and miniatures.  Posts will no doubt be infrequent or nonexistent.  I make no representations or warranties that this blog will be updated regularly, so don't rely.