Friday, July 27, 2007

An alternative to 'casualty caps'.

I think that the 'caps' detract from the game (a bit too much if the 'caps' are really garish = like white or silver pipe cleaners!) and yes I did use them for a while.

No more, in my horse, foot & gun period games as I have the minis 'individually' based on fender washers and 'stick' them to the move bases with magnets. At first I glued on all the magnets to wood, now I have steel bases and moving troops is a snap! I have also discovered that 're-basing' for a different system will be much easier, as in the future, all I need to do is get a different shape of steel base for the 'new' game. As it was for Tricorne Wars, I was able to use the bases I have and 'add' in the flag marker on a bigger fender washer, 'snapping' the mini onto it with a couple of magnets!

Another alternative is to be mentioned for those with "attached" minis, a 'chit' or 'marker' that can be placed behind a wounded unit with the 'number' of hits marked as the number that is 'touching' the base. With a square marker, as shown here you can mark up to 8 casualties (4 on one side, then 'flip' for the other 4), making it perfect for those 9 man units!

Such as those planned by the Bishopric of Uber Gruntshuffen. All that need be done is copy & paste & paste ... into your favourite graphics program and print out on a 'sticky paper' sheet (or a regular one and glue) then stick it to an old cereal box. 1-4 on one side 5-8 on the other. Voila a set of tabletop casualty markers in Uber Gruntshuffen colours!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Star Trekkin'

While not strictly in connection with tabletop gaming, the STARFLEET role-playing game that I GM has dominated game preparation efforts of late.

Partly due to the upcoming FULL THRUST game planned, in connection with the planned email game "...of Admirals & Moffs" that is also coming up, and due to my discovery of a really neat email application program called CYBERBOARD.

CYBERBOARD was an excellent find!
I had no idea so many great old board games could now be played via the email links!

Also the CYBERBOARD has a set of design tools so that you can 'morph' the old game or make up totally new ones! I have been working on some tools to aid me in running the galactic war for the STARFLEET RPG.

Now why am I getting into this here?

Well CYBERBOARD has a 'game box' for Empires in Arms! A game that I have been seeking for some time, so that I could see if it might be 'converted' for use in eMail or the web, so that my really large Napoleonic campaigns could be 'gamed out' on the grand tableau. All the leg-work is already done! All I need do is find the players!

Also such a board can be easily re-set for 7-Years War era games or use the Fredrick the Great setup which can be found in this list of CYBERBOARD games.

Be warned there are a LOT of them and you may find your night eaten by just 'wondering' over all the titles and recalling great exploits on the tabletop!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Burtzenia observation corps complete!

I managed to squeeze in some time this morning, to start the flocking process then put all else on the back burner after dinner to complete it, since my mix of flocking glue was drying out!

I had made a note to Grimbsby Mariner about his use of floor polish product and my own use of a wood finishing product.

I wanted to hilight this here (sadly I had to cook dinner then finish off the flocking - along the way something happened to my internet connection and I have spent the past 90 minutes trouble-shooting it!) by showing off some minis I painted about a year and a half ago, before I started using the wood finishing stain & polyurethane.

Previously I was using Krylon Triple thick gloss coating spray. I was very pleased with the results and got some commercial success from the 'very shiny' miniatures in good eBay sales.

Then I was told about Minwax PolyShades, I gave it a try with some French Infantry and have not looked back since!

I use the 'Pecan' colour, but there are three other darker ones that could also do.

The process is to 'dip' the mini and then to shake or 'fling' off the excess before it has a chance to set. I use my sticks method for keeping the minis handleable (without touching the painted surface) so this was a bit of a problem. I use a 'modification' and rather than dip, I use a cotton ball pressed between two thin wood stir sticks (held in place with an old elasic band), this way I can coat the minis and then use either paper towel or toilet paper to wipe off excess. I have had very pleasant results, though occasionally I get the odd one like the senior officer in the white coat, holding his hat with a cane (he is next to the general on the horse in a diorama on the same stand). In this case I missed wiping off enough from the sides of his coat, so they look dirty, ultimately that is the only major effect of missing some part, the area tends to look like it has been 'in the field' for some time.

Even the white horses look a bit field worn, rather than the stark white they have a coffee stain sort of colour with slightly darker patches here and there and of course all the undersides and deep recesses fill in with the Pecan color.

In the comparison image I have a four man unit of Austrians in helmets that were gloss coated using Krylon Triple Thick spray and a four man unit in tricornes (for Jeff - of course!) from the current run that were done with the stain and polyurethane method.

Ultimately it is when the troops are assembled en masse that they really shine!

Any comments?

How do you finish off your minis to keep the paint from chipping with lots of handling?

Do you prefer Gloss, Matte, or Satin?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Burtzenia forces are complete and only await their gloss coatings.

At first it was looking like another very looooonnnggg hot day with the boys pushing me into daddy daycare, then a reprieve.

Another boys mom was willing to take one for a play day with their son and this made a big enough hole in my task lists to allow me to watch the younger 2 while painting.

Thus the white coats will be present on the coming battlefield.

Here are the final colors, only the gloss coating needs to be done!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More progress on the Burtzenia troops.

This time the green and yellow collars/turnbacks/cuffs/facings.

I did get a bit done during the day, but daddy daycare took over again and I was unable to get back to the brushworks again until after 8 pm.

Yellow is such a finiky color, allowing the background to show through so easily I was going over and over these minis again and again to get the right amount of pigment and still have some shading.

Hopefully the gloss coat will not overpower the yellow too much and just make it look like dirty white!

I have also included a shot of the red coated Officer (so that my son will have someone easily recognized in that sea of white coats), his pose is such that much of the detail is not captured in a regular angle photo.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More from Burtzenia forces muster:

Today I got some time to do the red turnbacks, collars & cuffs of the one regiment and the gunners are mostly finished.

If all goes well the green and saffron (or it could end up more like 'mustard') colors will all go on tomorrow...

At this rate I should be ready to seal coat them on thursday night, then flocking on saturday in time for the game sunday.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Burzenia brushworks continued...

Due mostly to Jeff checking in on the condition of the troops, here are a set of photos of the 'in progress' tricorne ones for Burtzenia.

The white highlights are done and now the coloring stages get going this week, one regiment at a time (about 45 to 90 minutes worth each day over the next week should do it). One in Red, Saffron and Green is the current plan, with one of the foot brigadiers being done in a red tunic (my son is so fond of the red soldiers!).

That's all for now, enjoy the pics!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Thurn ofth th air inthake, I'm THtUCK!"


While not strictly a tabletop gaming item, I have been preparing some Star Wars items for use in a game that my son wants to get going...

Along the way I came across a couple of funny items and I thought to share them with all of you!

The title of this entry was the 2nd place winner in this caption contest.

Another good one from YouTube is from the Cell Wars series.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More Burtzenia brushworks.

With the coming game on 15 July likely to involve my son, taking on the command of a brigade of troops as an ally (of one side or the other), the need to finish this batch of forces has become more urgent (as most likely they will take to the field the day after they are finished).

The faces and 2nd shade layer of the uniforms is done, as is the undercoat of the belts, packs, canteens etc. Another layer of white (possibly not cut at all just straight titanium white) will round out the tunics and pouchbelt. Then the unit colors get put on.

I have decided on an emerald green color for the Dragoons, gonna see how it looks with this bunch first before I try it out on any larger a collection.

I also included a more 'close-up' view of some of the infantry, the photos were shot near twilight starting so the light levels in the back were lower, but also the colors are more true as the overhead room lights are not 'yellowing' everything.