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Flexible ‘Big Men’ for TFL Games

I’ve been a big fan of Too Fat Lardies for quite some time.  I really like how their games center around ‘Big Men’ and their effect on the battle field.  That being said, I’ve never found a way to mark the Big Men models, for game plays sake, that I’ve been happy with.  Some folks use different sized or shaped bases, but for me that ruins the aesthetic of the model in every other venue except this one game.  I’ve been putting off a solution for a while, but I’ve finally got it figured.

I base my figures on 7/8in steel washers, because I like the size and the ability to use magnates for all kinds of different things.  It just so happens a 7/8in washer fits inside a 30mm round lipped base perfectly.

So you take a few rare earth magnates and super glue them to the bottom of a 30mm round lipped base.

Then you can pop the ‘Big Man’ on it at will and use him in a game.  The next game he might be a regular Joe, or part of a unit on a large square base with 5 other blokes.

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Dead of Winter Test Models

I’m getting close to wrapping up my current FIW project (well the close to finishing the beginning anyway) and that’s got me itching to try something different for me.  Something that doesn’t require historical accuracy.  I’ve also wanted to try some zombies for a while now, inspired by Akula’s Rules: Skirmish Edition.  I wanted to use the crazy cheap Mantic Zombies in the project, that was one thing I knew for certain.  While trolling for figures, I came across the fantastic Copplestone range.  So I’ve attemped to combine the two and have come up with The Dead of Winter.  I’ll set my games in the post-apocolyptic north where it’s winter for most of the time.  I haven’t quite figured out why it works, but I’ll be wargaming rather than growing crops and such.

The biggest obsticle has been how to base my units for winter.  I researched and researched winter basing and for the most part found out that there aren’t a lot of tutorials on the web.   The best one that I found was this snow basing tutorial.  I have replaced the baking soda on top of the base with Woodland Scenics snow flock, but kept to the recipe other than that.  It’s a serious pain and I’m not sure the flock will stay put, so I tried using my typical basing material, Vallejo Pumice, with a little white paint mixed in as well.  And because I’m still not certain that I want my zombies to only be able to be used in one gonre of game, I tried something close to my regular basing with more of the dead looking grass.   Here are the results.

I’m starting to really like the look of the winter bases with flock on them (1st zed), which is strange as I didn’t like them at all when I started.  While the next zed (middle one) looks ok in a picture, in actuallity, it looks a little to glossy and plasticy in person.  I also really like the “grassy” zed as it will mix with the basing on all of my other figures and will allow me to have everyone fight the Zombies as whim dictates.

So at this point I’m really just wrestling with the dilemma of whether I should actually start creating a winter table and base my zombies with snow bases.  I’m quite happy with how they will look, but do I want to make them exclusive to one table/set-up?  I want my VSF Lead Adventures chaps to fight zombies as well…I’m oogling many, many fine 28mm figs that could be zombie combatants too…there’s Hasslefree miniatures that I want to slap some paint on and many others.  Having a large group of zombies to fight small groups of figures allows me to paint small sets of figs (up to 10) on a whim and still have something to do with them.

Here are my Copplstone Neo-Sovs that are ready to be based when I decide.  If I don’t go with the winter theme, I’ll have to give them a different coat.

 I suppose I have to figure out if I want to have two sets of zombies or not?!

Any other ideas or suggestions out there?

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Wash Experiments – Part 1

In my continuing persuit of better quality for my 28mm models, I’ve taken some advice from a thread I started on TMP.  I’m going to try washing the white basecoat and then drybrushing over that.  I’ve created a grey wash with some paint and Future floor polish that I have from some previous experiments years ago.

Here is the original model, turn down your monitor brightness or the white may cause some temporary blindness.

Here is the same model with a grey wash on it.  I don’t think the photo shows just how dark the actual wash is, but I’m not very happy with just washing the white.

Here is the same model with a white drybrush over the the wash.  I’m a big fan of this actually.  I will most likely use this method, it’s all down to fine tuning it now.

More experiments to follow, I have some figures primed white and grey that I will be experimenting on with more washes.

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First 28mm Historical Figures

I’ve painted a lot of 6mm guys in the same pose, I mean A LOT of 6mm guys in the same pose. It’s time for a bit of a change. I first started painting 28mm “Heroic” sci-fi stuff for a short while before I become interested in historical gaming. I didn’t really do it well though. I suppose it’s time to try a little harder.

I ordered some Front Rank AWI figures to get started with. I have painted more AWI figures than anywhere else and I already have Sharp Practice as a rule set. I just ordered some test models. “Test Models,” doesn’t sound that evil does it? I have avoided them for years, as it always translated to “wasted time” to me. But now I’m a firm believer in trying things out and trying them a few different ways.

Working in 6mm, I’ve been able to block paint EVERYTHING and get away with it. In 6mm, you are working to make the unit look good, not the individual. Here is my first block painted British regular or hatman. Everything is in the right place and the right color, it’s just that it lacks…character.

I need to add something to make the model look more three dimensional. I only have experience with dry brushing and some with black lining. So I thought I would try black lining my other test model.

Here is my second test model. I block painted it as well, but black lined his straps with a technical pen ( Pigma Micron 0.25mm) to get the definition on the straps. I think the picture looks better than the model.

Still not happy with the results, I decided I had to try something else.

This figure has been dry brushed and black-lined. But this time, I painted the thin straps black and the edges of the thick straps black, then painted white on the tops of them. I also primed it gray, drybrushed the small clothes with white, then painted them with ivory. I was hoping this would break up the white areas. His red coat also has a lighter color drybrushed on top for depth.

I have another in the works at the moment, but I’m not really sure what combination to try on him. I’m hoping to get this figured out soon as I have my first Mohawks arriving from The Galloping Major Wargames soon!

Anyway, here is a gallery of my first efforts, with a few comparison pics thrown in. All models are Front Rank.

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6mm Steam Tanks

I have had these little guys sitting around for a while now as I’m not big on conversions. I finally finished my SYW project and have had enough of re-basing, and am waiting to get my game table put up due to a mess in the way. I don’t think I could avoid it any longer. It’s time to see what happens with one of my first conversions.

Steam Tank
I bought these little Tankettes from Tobsenn77, I had been wanting to buy something for a while from them. I still have my eye on the Bismatron! The site is beautiful, if not a little hard to order from. Take the time, it’s worth it!! The models are great and really well done. I think the tankettes are supposed tiny remote control tanks for 28mm as that is what most of the models seem to be on the site, but they work great as regular 6mm tanks as well. While very basic and with plenty of rivets, they still need a little help to enter the VSF world. I thought I would pop a few steam stacks on them and they’d be good to go.

Truely Amazing Magnates
I needed to purchase a few things first. When I received the tankettes, one of them had the turret and body equipped with rare earth magnets, so the turret would turn. I liked this idea and finally ordered some from Amazing Magnates. I found some 3.18mm across and just over 1mm wide. Fantastic little things. I used a 1/8th inch drill bit to carve a bit out of the two sides and super-glued the magnates in. Make sure you know which side is positive and negative before you apply the superglue! I’ll make sure I get it right every time from now on, it’s not a big deal if you have more than one tank your working with.

Brass Pipe
Next up is the steam stack. I went to the local toy and hobby store (mostly toy, VERY LITTLE hobby) and found some brass pipes next to the model railroad stuff. Amazingly enough the stuff I bought was 3.18mm wide, so I could use the same drill bit to put two holes in the hull of the tanks. Getting them to chop up nicely is something I’m still working on. I’m not happy with the smoothness of the cuts, but it will have to do. If anyone has any ideas on how to get nice smooth cuts, I’d love to know. One tall stack and one short stack, and I’m finished.

I think it turned out rather well, now if I can only decide how to paint them, I’ll be happy. I have three more that I will start when these are finished.

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Prussian Steam Robots?

I have been wanting to try these guys since I first saw something similar on Rot and Drivel. It has just taken me a while as I wanted to finish my SYW armies before experimenting. The time has come for experimenting.

These are a little off from my usual track as they have no basis in history. They are test models for my steam robots for my Victorian Science Fiction units. I have seen them under various names such as Klankentruppen, and Clockwork Troops (but I like Uhrwerk-Truppen better). But I’m still looking for a great name for them.

The guy front left has been dry brushed copper and the other three were just painted copper. I think I will go with the dry brushing for the future models. I thought it would be too dark, but it s ok and allows for more detail to show through.

The Toofatlardies rules allow for hits on a unit to be either shock or casualties. I figure, this unit will not take shock and therefor disregard all hits that cause shock, making them much more resilient. I figure to balance this out I can do a few things.

  • Small units(10-12 is a typical unit size, so more like 6 for these guys)
  • Make the player declare what the unit is going to do a turn before, making them inflexible and keeping in character
  • Allow them to only fire at extremely short range and make them hand-to-hand monsters

Let me know which you think is a good option or a brand new idea if you like!

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Sharp Practice 6mm Test Models

I am currently nearing a finish on a three year old Kolin project and am starting to itch for new horizons.  I have wanted to get into Napoleonics but was intimidated by the uniforms for years.  Then I overcame that and couldn’t find the models that I liked.  My favorite manufacturer isn’t coming out with an acceptable French range for an number of years, and only has Peninsular forces available for the allies.  I’m a really big fan of the continental battles and Countries though.

Enter Sharp Practice.  I downloaded these rules on a whim and thought I could give them a read.  They seem fast and fun, which is what I’m looking for, but can they be done in my preferred scale of 6mm?  Well, I’m going to find out.  I’m going to try and put 4 x 6mm models on a base so my units will be 40-50 men as opposed to 10-12.  Everything should fall into place after that.  The Sharpe novels have given me inspiration and made me much more interested in the Peninsular war than I ever was before.  I previously had absolutely no interest in any thing British Napoleonic, but things change I guess.

Anyway, here is my first test with some leftover colonial brits I had lying around and a shot of them with some finished SYW bases.

I’m just trying to see what the figures will look like.  Do I need a smaller base?  Do they look ridiculous?  Do they need to be finished to tell?