Steam Wars – A Game Planned And Some Barges Decked Out

When you come to read this I will have likely already had my first game using these Assault barges in Steam Wars.  I plan to try a full on airborne assault (well, almost fully airborne as I don’t have an airborne transport for any of my steam tanks as yet – Any ideas, on a postcard to the usual address).

When I started building these Barges I guessed that I would get six or so figures onboard if I also wanted a deck gun in place.  I can actually get two units of five marines, or ratings, onboard while still having room for a deck gun (I need to get hold of a few more crewmen that can be based on little 15-20mm round bases so as to not take up too much room.

The Oxford can take a much larger complement of marines.  Here she is, loaded with two units of six heavy boarders, as well as a large deck gun and a five man command squad.  Even will this lot onboard she could take another one or two units.

The second Barge matches the original with ten men and deck gun.

The main assault force totals 37 men (7 units of 5 or 6 men) and their three deck guns.

To support them, I have also allocated my two Gyrocopters to the force. One is tasked with eliminating armoured ground targets with its bombs, the other is tasked with providing close air support, as I know Coronasan will be bringing along plenty of fighter planes.

Finally the force is completed with the inclusion of an armoured scout car.  Fast moving, and tasked with  providing a level of mobile cover for the infantry when they make their initial assaults.  It also supplies, not only a light antitank gun, but also an additional AA capable machine gun to the force.

A fairly small force, due to the cost of my airborne carriers, I am hoping that their increased flexibility might make up for my lack of armoured vehicles.

We shall see how I fare…

Steam Wars – Planning For Our Largest Game Yet

With our second weekend planned for another larger game, I had only 7 days to get ready for what would prove to be our largest Steam Wars game to date.  The US navy would be deploying from the sea for the first time. If they were to do this successfully they would need plenty of transports that would allow the troops to come ashore safely.

Steam wars uses 5-6 men as a basic unit size, as such, it doesn’t need hordes of figures to get a good sized force together.  I had planned for an army of 3000 points but found that even a force that large left a lot of my US Navy army still in the box.  A normal game of Steam Wars is about 1000-1500 points a side.

So as to not choke the table with too many figures all at one time, the Navy was to deploy in 3 waves. Each deployed from their lovely new landing craft.

The landing craft are designs drawn up by Coronasan and cut by Jim at Products For Wargamers.  The first is the finished design and the second (slightly simpler design) is the initial prototype updated to be playable in our game.  Hopefully they will be available from Jims web store at some point.

The remaining forces were to be deployed from the Navy Steamer and their newest walking (and swimming) transport.  If I was to be ready for the game I had to sweet talk my own female cohort and talk them into me getting more time in the shed.

Thankfully, she who holds the keys is a kind and benevolent ruler and agreed to my requests, as long as a shopping trip was promised in the near future…

Steam Wars – US Navy Deck Guns

So my excitable little self has grabbed the first set of deck guns and given them a very simple, quick paint job.  I will likely make up the other two sets that I have with more care and attention but for now I have some I can use in our games of Steam Wars.

The US Naval Air Corps is fully armed with new weaponry.

Electro cannon and ships mortar now mounted to the rear of their aether steamer

Deck mounted autocannon and steam truck mounted rocket launcher.

The heavy heat ray has been allocated to their new sky ship and will soften the enemy while it delivers a unit or two of assault rocketmen.

Scale shots with the Black Pyramid gun crew and their gallant officer (available separately).


Electro Gun. (I have added a small nail art gem to the end of the barrel as a beam focusing lens).

Heavy Heat Ray.


Rocket Launchers.

And now for something a little different…  In honour of Justneedsvarnish some 20mm figures included for scale shots…

In my opinion these 2 guns are most likely to get nearer to the scale.  Remember that the resin is nice to work with, so it should be easy enough to shorten the mountings to get an even closer match to 20mm scale.

Hope you like them.  If so, they are available from Black Pyramid Gaming (sadly I am not on commission I just want to see what other more gifted people can do with them).

Steam Wars – Resin Cast Deck Guns

I have not been doing much lately. That said, I have managed to get a couple of games of Warhammer 40,000 and Gaslands in over the last week or so.  The Knights are 2-0 up at the moment but I forgot to get any photos while I was playing (it was a novelty to play for once, as I haven’t gotten a game in for about 2 months).

I did have some good news and a nice surprise from the postman though.  Back in April 2016 (blimey has it been that long?) I finished a small set of Navy Deck Guns for Black Pyramid Gaming and sent them off to be cast up and put up for sale on their webstore.  Not authentic in any way, as these are Steampunk guns, they were based on my own Steam Wars Navy guns.

Scratch built from Plasticard and MDF I was unsure how (or if) they would come out ok.

The final set that the guys at Black Pyramid have had cast up is based on the weapon options available from their already popular gun carriage range.

I have to say that my initial impression is that they have come out very well.  All five sets are cast in a good flexible resin that lends itself well to filing and scraping without any brittleness.  That said the casts, shown here straight from the packaging, don’t look like they will need much work at all to get them ready for painting.

Mounted Mortar. Three part kit.


Heavy Gun/ Heat Ray. Five Part Kit.


Twin Missile/ Rocket Launcher. Four part kit.


Small Electro Gun. Four part kit.


Autocannon. Five part kit.

These are planned to be next on the paint table so you should see finished versions very soon…


Steam Wars – Navy Backlog And More

So, as I take a brief pause in Steam Wars painting, its time to look at what is left to be done.

Pretty much everything is undercoated, 2 Ironclad transports are the largest land based vehicles, a bit of artillery and some gun/ targeting drones should be quite quick to finish.  The second Gyrocopter wont be to hard either.

The Ironclad Submarine will likely be last on the list but also easy to finish.  More deck gunners are lurking at the back and a Gatling gun might be soon to be done.

HMLS Gladstone was purchased as the first item for the force and at this rate might be last painted as I just find it less appealing than a lot of other bits.  Only a couple of units of infantry are left with just a few heroes to add in as well.

Then I can get properly started on the Martians…  Six tripods await.

Along with a horde of low tech infantry and assorted cephalopod troopers and armoured suits.

Steam Wars – Navy Marine Corps

A week or so ago, these guys were supposedly the next in line for some paint.  The arrival of a flight stand and its effects on my painting focus has delayed their start.  Ten chaps in total and planned as the Navy Marine Corps arm of the force, they have been started now at least.

A newer expansion to Black Pyramids range of Navy troopers. I wanted to build a few, cheap, core units for Steam Wars and these chaps fit that place well.  The largest effective unit in Steam Wars is 6 wounds. These five, one wound, chaps leave me space for a specialist of some sort to be added in later.

A simple white paint job and some sand bases allow them to stay very like the rest of the force.  A dash of colour to their trousers makes them stand out as slightly different from their Naval Rating companions.

My current Navy Figure count stands at well over 50 figures with assorted support weapons and crew.

I feel a group shot coming on…

(Then I probably need to do a group shot of the unpainted stuff for this force to bring me right back down to earth!)

Steam Wars – Specialist Navy Fire Starters

More US Navy Steam Wars figures have been painted this week.  Only three new men have been drafted in this time but they represent reinforcements for my three existing units of Naval Ratings.

The miniatures are based on the Black Pyramid British Steam Lancer. I have made them into Naval Ratings with a simple head swap and pristine white uniform.

The steam weapon they carry could be a flame thrower or over sized gun of any sort really so I can profile them up in Steam Wars in a number of ways.  My units of Naval Ratings lack any form of close combat or assault weapons so this adds an extra element to the unit and offers me the chance to bring them up to the max 6 wounds allowed in the rules.

Next up should be a couple of units of Naval Ratings in Sennit hats. I plan to play these guys as a couple of units of Naval Marines. The units are each led by an officer and carry a selection of rifles. I get the feeling that they need a specialist of some sort to join them.  Someone with a heavier weapon, or bit of special equipment of some sort, but I need to get back on to the Black Pyramid website to find a suitable chap that will fit in with the finished unit.

Update – To Do List…

Unsurprisingly I am behind with these posts again (should that read – already…)

Last time I listed the things that I would be attempting to do to get back on track with my projects in the shed.  So, how have I done?

If I am honest, badly.  One reason for the list was a planned ‘Big Game’ that I hoped to get a few new units ready for.  With over 2 weeks to prepare over Xmas I managed to get nothing new done so fielded a Steam Wars force that was just about the same (if a little larger) than my normal army.

The game went ahead as planned and 3 forces converged on a small town controlled by a fourth smaller NPC mechanical force.

The British arrived in style on an aeronef with plenty of jump troopers and machine gunners on board.

The Germans struck hard and toppled my US marine walker before it could do too much damage.

Then went on to attack the aeronef with their own jump troopers (Please remember my own jump troopers were still lying unloved on the painting table)

The US marines reinforcements did come on to force their way towards the town in the end but too late to capture enough to bring them victory.  The Germans were Victorious and the British looked Glorious in their skyship.  The Marines only managed to save face and come in second this time around.

I however still have nothing ticked of my to do list…  Must do better!

Steam Wars – New Gun Carriage – Mortar

This little gun carriage should get me a quick win.  This was done a few months after sending the deck gun sets to Black Pyramid.  No news yet as to the progress of that project (hopefully a few deck gun casts will be ready to be made up at some point in 2017).

This was a scratch build based on the mortar kit in the Black Pyramid artillery set.  Just some levers and gauges to jazz it up.

This should be something I can get done and finished quite easily.

So, there must be something else can I get done before Xmas?

Steam Wars – Deck Guns Finished

I have finally finished the Deck Gun mounts for casting by Black Pyramid.  These have taken far longer than expected and run to a couple of more items than I planned.  Hopefully the guys will like them and will be able to get the casts done as planned.

I have enjoyed the whole learning process and cant wait to see what the final items will be like.  I just hope they come out as well as I wanted.

One thing I have learned is that I HATE plasticard.  Not only is it unforgiving and shows every mark and miss cut. It also proves I cannot cut a straight line to save my life, and that’s with a new scalpel blade and metal ruler…

These early shots of the gun shields were ok but as soon as I try to cut curves…  Air turns blue…

Mock up with sellotape instead of welding.

Its the moment you know what final look you want but cant always get that final shape cut…

The twin Missile mount is one of my favourite pieces.

Attempted to show the ignition wires and a control panel too.

View ports were requested but are a pain to cut. An embossed panel does the trick and can be should be easily painted to show its position better.

Thank heaven for nail art gems. They provided the majority of the rivets on most parts and meant that I did not have to rely on my punch tool so much.

Some gun shield parts were designed to fit more than one mount to reduce the number of moulds needed.  All in all a nice set and a good learning opportunity for me.

Now that these have been sent off I have had time to get back to my own guns as the Navy boys need to arm their boats while the casting is done…

All guns were white washed a while back…

The lazy painter in me decided a dirty water wash was enough to get the details to stand out.

Looks like he might have been right for once…

As the boats are mainly white or beige and washed in the same way these will fit in fine.

Even the small HMG looks to have benefitted from a simple white and wash treatment.

Now the naval gun mounts are all done I need to get back to some real painting.