Friday, July 27, 2018

Modern Russian Green

Often people obsess over the proper color to paint their vehicles.   Sunlight and weather will affect paint colors.   When painting smaller scales it is best to use lighter shades of the desired color due to the smaller figures not reflecting as much light as larger ones.   I came across this photo of Russian BTRs showing the wide range of colors that could be used when painting modern Russian green.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Trading and games

A few months ago one of the club members asked about buying a board game I had.  Unfortunately, I could not sell it at a price that was cheap enough for him to purchase.  He has a 3d printer and wanted to know if he could trade printed items for the game.  I thought about it and found a file on line for printing ancient galleys.   this could be sized to fit the various classes of ancient galleys, most of which varied in length from 120 feet to 140 feet.   The file included masts with sails, oars, towers, etc.   We left off the masts and oars as masts were taken down prior to combat and the oars would show up in the top down images that I would mount the ships on.   We put two towers on the larger ships and one on the hexares.   I traded the board game to him for about 600 ships.
Pictured above from left to right 1/1200 metal ships, two 30mm printed ships without towers, a 30mm printed ship with one tower, two 35mm ships with two towers, and one 40mm ship with two towers.  30mm equals about 120 feet which is one of the more common galley sizes.  35mm is about 140 feet which is another common galley size.   40mm is about 160 feet.   There are records of larger sizes, but those are not mentioned in any of the battles and may have been built for prestige only.

Side view of the ships.   The towers have had the top part trimmed off, because they looked too tall with it.  As can be seen ships can be printed with no towers, one tower, or two towers.   The single tower can be in front or back.  Now to add some color to the towers and if I feel ambitious enough, eyes to the front of the ships.  

This left me with all the 2.5D ships that I had made.   Fortunately one of the members of South Bay Game Club was running a Spanish Armada game at the meeting this past weekend.  He was using the paper ships from the Helion publication so I game them to him and he gave me an extra copy of the Armada book in exchange.

All three of us ended up with something we wanted and saved money if we had to purchase the items we got from other sources.   The following are pictures of the various games being run at the South Bay Game Club this past weekend
 PT boat game being set up
Monthly planes on sticks game
 The Spanish fleet at anchor viewed from the edge they needed to escape by.
 Trench warfare skirmish game
 The English fleet arrives behind its fire ships
 The English manage to get amongst the Spanish ships.   The English moved twice as fast as the Spanish and were more maneuverable.   Almost all of the Spanish were able to raise their anchors before the English reached them.   Bill and I managed to sink 38 of them, but they got 50 off the table without their anchors cut for the victory.
General d'Brigade game

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Bit of Creativity and Silliness

Came across this video titled Choreography for Plastic Army Men earlier today

Many of us have encountered "tongue twisters like Peter Piper or Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers.   Years ago I made up one for a fictional American Civil War Battle "Rabid Rabbits Rapids"   There are a couple of older blog posts covering the civil war battle and a fantasy battle.   The other one had to do with the tech people I have known and gamed with over the years  "Bad Black Box".  

I have several painting projects lined up and will start working on them this week.   Next weekend will be the Miniature Wargaming Society of Sacramento meeting.   In addition to the games at the meeting I will be exchanging my spare copy of the Lost Battles board game to a friend for about 500 3d plastic 1/1200 scale ancient naval galleys.   I will save several hundred dollars over cast metal ships and he will save just over $100 if he had to buy a copy of the game.   At one point I had considered doing resin casting of the ships, but the cost saving over cast metal ships was not enough to offset the time and mess of making resin castings.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Over the past year or so I have played several games of "Form on the Admiral's Wake" at various club meetings.   The rules are not complex and provide an interesting and fun game.  There is no guarantee as to what order the various action cards will be drawn in and one person shuffles the end of turn card into the deck instead of placing it at the bottom as per the rules.  Players could handle a dozen or so ships and a battle such as Trafalgar could be played with two on the British side and four on the Franco-Spanish side.

Form on the Admiral's Wake is available from Brian DeWitt in PDF form on a CD .  The rules come with five scenario books in addition to the rules and card deck.   I used a company in China called ArtsCow to have a deck of cards printed for the rules.  If you use them you will need to select the 54 card set and  download a software program called Silverlight from Microsoft.  The cards are not expensive and they give a discount for the first order.  While Trafalgar is not one of the scenarios included with the rules, almost all of the ships on both sides can be found in the other scenarios that are included.

I recently purchased the two boxed sets of Trafalgar ships from Forged in Battle  These are a little over an inch long and fit nicely into the hex cloth I purchased from Amazon.  For most battles you would only need a couple of yards, but for Trafalgar you would probably need about four yards in order to have a wide enough battle area to allow the British fleet to approach in the formation it used..

Although the ships are small, they are well detailed and have minimal mold flash to remove.   The Franco-Spanish set comes with a special casting for the Santissima Trinidad.    Keep this one separate from the others when painting them as the difference between it and the other large ships is minimal.   The sets include all the ships of the line (3rd rate and larger) along with four of the British frigates.  None of the Franco-Spanish frigates are included.   While frigates were usually kept out of battles between ships of the line, they were used to relay orders by standing off behind the line of battle.   For those who want to add the rest of the frigates and maybe also build an American fleet, either the British or Dutch sets from the battle of Copenhagen will provide the missing ships.   The British set is probably the best one to purchase for this as it has enough large frigates for the Franco-Spanish fleet and enough gunboats to cover the remaining smaller ships in both fleets.

I used a brown spray primer and then painted the sails and sides of the ships.   After painting the side color I then used a very dry brush to paint the gun hatches and other parts black.
 Both fleets.  British on left, Franco-Spanish on right.
 British ships
Franco-Spanish.  Santissima Trinidad with red sides.
Custom made cards from ArtsCow.  You can upload almost any image you want for the back of the cards.   Text can be black or almost any other color and backgrounds can be added,