Steam Wars – Heavy Infantry

I started this post last month it would seem.  Then got busy again and I didn’t get back to the blog again until now.  I looked at my site info recently and I am definitely a burst blogger if there is such a thing.

Mad rush – 7-8 posts in one hit…

Embarrassed pause – 7-8 weeks with nothing.

Good job I don’t drink that way!

When last I posted something I had just added the Cap to the Steam Wars Naval force.  He worked well as a solo hero, better than expected even, but he gets lonely out there as a single heavy infantry/ close combat fellow.

So, time to add some options and give him some friends…

First up AT-43 UNA Tac Arms.  My plan is to repaint them in a suitably metallic colour and change one of the under arm laser cannons for something with a more grinding or cutting type edge.  Maybe even a concussive option…  As I say, still planning.

Next up, AT-43 Karmens.  These guys come with heavy armoured suits and fish bowl helmets…  Does anyone else see that they are wearing almost perfect diving suits? …Anyone?  No?  Just me then.

Again, just at the planning stages but maybe some plastic ‘O’ rings front and sides, quick repaint that will hide the faces (I’m not being apeist but I am not ready for Victorian ape-men quite yet…)

So, lots of extra things to add the painting queue.

Steam Wars – Captain Iron America

The painting queue has again had an influx of lead.  Ant at Black Pyramid has sent me my new infantrymen, which will be the allied marine forces for my Steam Wars naval army.  There are also a few stragglers from the originally undercoated collection, mainly crewmen without guns and a couple of characters with no defined purpose or rules profiles as yet.

John at Ironclad miniatures sent over some gun crew that I had ordered and a very special chap in a set of full and shiny armour.

As we needed to playtest heavy infantry I needed to get as many armoured chaps on the table as I could.  So, the newly named ‘Captain Iron America’ got promoted to the top of that oh so slow moving queue.

Very easy to paint in brass and silver. I have not quite finished with this chap yet, as I plan to find a small flag or stars and bars decal for his shoulder to keep him in line with the US Navy theme.

But even in his unfinished state he stands proudly next to his fellow ratings. How he will fare as a solitary figure in our Steam Wars games only time will tell.  I may need to find some friends for him to lead if he proves too weak as a solitary fighter.

So far, looking good.

About the only photo that came out any good from our game was this shot, that nicely shows the cluttered claustrophobic environment we wanted to test out our little men in.  It also shows the ships doctor riding to war in his ironclad bucket car…

Steam Wars – New Stuff From Black Pyramid

Black Pyramid have been the main supplier for my Steam Wars force since I started it some months back.

Their new figures are now available and fit in perfectly as the Marines attachment to my Naval Ratings force.  Having no heavy weapons in these squads will make them cheaper in points and should also supply some extra objective grabbing feet to the force.

Some new commanders are also a good addition to any force and will be used to allow me some much needed rerolls for pinning tests in our Steam Wars game…

Their new product line is also soon going to include a beautiful new steam ship and a lovely ironclad.  With that many new ships available I am going to be needing lots of my newly designed deck guns.

Using Black Pyramids own artillery set I have run up these two new prototypes for use on a variety of ships decks that might come along.

I have stated before that I am not what you would call a scratch builder…  I am more of a scrap builder…

Most of the bits these are made from are off cuts from MDF buildings and other bits of things that should have been thrown away.

I also continue to have very little planning to my builds. Most often I find that its trial and error that gets me this far.

Add in some nail art gems and plastic off cuts of tube… Then throw in the odd bit of broken washing line…

I never know how it will turn out in the end, but it usually turns out ok.

These deck gun mountings have been built without the guns attached. Then the option is available to cast them up and reproduce them in either resin or metal.

I am making more mounts in the same way for the other guns that are made by Black Pyramid. All will be constructed in the same random way but will be done so that casts can be taken as I may need multiples of each at some point.

I like the way they look at the moment but suspect I will tinker with them some more before I call them done.

Steam Wars – Work In Progress. 

While I was sorting out a lot of finishing touches to lots of the other bits in the shed, Ironclad decided they would have a sale…

With my mind firmly on deck guns at the moment I decided to pick up some from the sale. As well as a tesla style carriage gun I picked up a couple of heavier tanks in the sale.  John at Ironclad also sorted me out some heavier gun turret parts as well.  These are planned to allow me to ‘up gun’ my existing HMG tanks to proper antitank guns.

These are built, but not yet painted, and as these will be my heaviest tanks I added a couple of extra MGs for good measure (again I did this before considering how they would survive storage in a KR style case).

The first of my home made deck guns got a base white wash as all ships guns need to be painted to stop them rusting…

Not bad as a first try.

The Black Pyramid gun got a Plasticard gun shield. The first time I have tried to work this small with plasticard.

Thankfully it proved easier than I thought.  A thicker gauge card may be easier for fixing of the angle plate next time

Happy with it so far…

I also finally got round to magnetising the hover engines on the steam launch too.  It had taken me so long to do this that the blutac was a pain to remove.  A small touch of paint to mask the magnet slightly then I am good to go.

Oh, and I may need to paint the engines in the long run too…

With some of the bitty jobs done I may be able to get back to a bigger project again soon. Maybe!

Steam Wars – Finished Vehicles. 

Coronasan commented on his blog recently that the Steam Wars Navy has yet to claim its nationality…

Consider that claim made.  We are Children of the Stars and Stripes (mainly because I found some 1/72 and 1/48 American naval flyer decals recently).

As the tanks were finished and weathered recently, I had to get the decals out and slapped them on just before I varnished them and called them done…

I first liked the decals for the large NAVY lettering on the sheets along with a vast selection of small warning labels and markings. But the Stars and Bars also go well on the grey base colour.

Hull numbers are always good to apply as they make me think that this is a section of a larger national force.

The Brass Coffin has again been a problem as it has no real flat surfaces to apply larger decals to.

But plenty of space for smaller warning labels…

White infantry uniforms and Stars and Bars, why I hadn’t seen it before I don’t know.  It also opens me up for adding in some Navy flyers at some time as well.

Simple paint jobs always benefit from some detailing (something I cannot do with a paintbrush).

Even my Artillery tow got a couple (mainly to avoid friendly fire when I do get some flyers).

Something about red triangles always attracts me…

All in all they are a fine set.  Although how I am going to get them into a KR carry case without busting off the MGs, I don’t know… Especially worrying are those long fragile legs…

It didn’t really need it but the Steam launch got a couple too.

(Then I realised I had stuck them where the hover engines are meant to go…)

Steam Wars – Deck Guns. 

The Steam Wars Navy is coming along nicely and now my mind has turned to smaller jobs, think of it as me putting on some of the finishing touches.

As this is a Naval force I need to add in a few Naval icons.  Making up some deck guns is a nice way to do this. I already have a couple.  One is glued to the front deck of the large paddle steamer that I have. Two more are loose and came with some trucks via eBay.  All of these I recently tracked down on the web and am now fairly sure they are old PMC models.

My paddle steamer and steam launch were both gifts bought over eBay and for a while I thought they were scratch built but now I know better.  The launch is definitely PMC as it is still available on the Miniature Figurines website. Main Gun and HMG as above.

As I can never have enough of a good thing, I have scavenged all over the shed for parts and started building some based on the basic design of the PMC items.

My Black Pyramid towed gun came with a few other weapons options and the autocannon is almost perfect for a deck gun barrel.  Some MDF offcuts and an old tube plug from a broken clothes drier (I’m not proud I will use anything).

The anti air gun is a spare Dust Tactics weapon (again why I bought just one on eBay when the model it comes from needs two, who knows).

When I started, as with a lot of my projects I had no plan.  I found lots of bits and tried to fit them together in the best way I could. The learning opportunities this hobby gives are almost endless…

Gun shields are always good to use to make a mounted gun look the part (and hide your most glaring mistakes).  This one was from an old style GW Rhino I think.  Enlarging the viewing port slightly and turning it upside down worked well enough for me.

Scale wise they are good and not too chunky.  I will leave them loose so they can be used on boats, and on the backs of the multitude of trucks that I have.

Other finishing touches to follow soon…

Steam Wars – New Tanks And Another Good Game. 

My Ironclad order, put in before Xmas, was made after receiving a gift of these Ironclad Steam Tanks.  Veganman (a beneficiary to the shed on many occasions) donated these unpainted tanks for my growing naval force.  He now has a quite few painted ones and was unlikely to use these ones as he has never picked up a brush in the fourteen years I have known him…

The benefit of a non painting friend is the knowledge that, in time, I may benefit from other impulse purchases.  These tanks got the usual resin treatment, a wash down with soapy water and warm rinse, but dried with a slight sheen that left my undercoat cracked and crazy paved…

I don’t know what caused this but I do wonder if the water was too hot or the drying process too slow.  Whatever it was, I now know my tanks from any others by their distinctive pain job (likely caused by transporting over salty seas…)

One reason for this may be my foolishly rushing to get them ‘table ready’ for a game and not paying enough attention (or being patient enough).  Patience has never been one of my hobby talents.

It was to be Veganman’s initiation into Steam Wars as we had a very large game planned for Xmas and needed another player.

I cobbled a force together from his classic old Mordian Iron Guard and Praetorian Imperial Guard, from his vast, unplayed, 40k collection. They actually did well to look the part with their pith helmets and formal uniforms.

We both had plenty of infantry and a couple of Ironclad steam tanks and set too over a city board with plenty of cover.  The Ceri Design mats I now own managed to set the scene nicely I think.

Praetorian jump troopers took to the centre of the table early on while I advanced on both flanks (why consolidate your efforts when you can spread your force thin on 2 flanks).

Surprisingly I held the centre and the flanks. Somehow I managed to force Veganman to draw more forces away from his attack in the centre, leaving us both spread decidedly thin.

My artillery and HMG teams gave me an edge and I managed to rebuff his attacks long enough to claim a victory.

I was helped by some very lucky artillery dice rolls…

As well as some plucky lone troopers holding their ground against overwhelming odds…

All in all a good game, even if my tanks were rushed into service.  More on the tanks later as I did get to finish them off nicely in the end.

But only when I gave them the time and attention they deserved…

Steam Wars – Assault Teams

Things have been quiet on the blog with Xmas and New Years causing far too many distractions.  Add to that a plethora of work commitments and family causing even more distraction (a house full of women will do that to you) and I think I have enough excuses for anyone to forgive me my lack of attention.

Grovelling apology over…  I have, however, continued to do some work in the shed.

I gifted these lads to myself over the pre Xmas period and planned to have them done for a big game in the Xmas break.  Half have been completed but the other half remain base coated white while I struggle get back some focus and direction.

The miniatures are from the Ironclad Miniatures British range and are their naval boarding party miniatures.  Some have sword and pistol whilst others are rifle or shotgun armed.

I decided to make 2 squads for Steam Wars. One is a true assault squad mostly armed with pistol and sword. The command figures are a pair of chaps with helmets off.  I added a few pouches and a water bottle from my bits box and made the older chap into a military doctor type, this lets them benefit from some medical support while they are out and about. A slight conversion made to one of the basic troopers gave a special weapon to the team. This was done by simply adding one of Black Pyramids Aether pistols to the model.

Painted in my simple stark white uniform and grey trim they fit in well with the Black Pyramid troopers and add some much needed close combat clout.

With the first 3 done the other 3 were not far behind.  They have now been bloodied in the field but I will let you see them in action later.

The rifle armed troopers I picked up will be more of a Breaching or Storming team. They are made up of heavier weapons options and will be destined to go where everyone else would be reluctant to tread.  It would seem that they are themselves still a little reluctant as they have not managed to face even a paintbrush as yet…

Steam Wars – Command And Crew

A few more bits have managed to get passed through the paint table…


The remaining members of my command unit and the spare crew for the Black Pyramid Artillery Train got done at the same time as a pair of HMG teams.


HMG teams were based on MDF 3 part bases so crew can be removed as they get killed. These are actually the 3rd bases they have been glued to as I started square and then went round before finding the removable bases you see before you.


Good job I don’t get that picky too often…  Overall these came out well.  The figures are from Tiger Miniatures and their Bulkan Wars range. Not the best sculpts I have in my collection but they do fit in well with the other figures used for my naval ratings.


The command unit now has (from left to right) a clean and calm Medic, a surly Sergeant, a rugged Engineer, an Able seaman with SMG and a wizened old Captain with one of those new fangled Aether pistols.  These are from a range of Pulp miniatures that I need to find again.


My Black Pyramid artillery now has its correct crew. This does mean that I can field a pair of big guns when we next roll up onto foreign shores and take the battle to the enemies of our (yet unnamed) nation…

Steam Wars – Turrets, Tows And Tanks

The painting has not progressed as well as planned over the last couple of weeks.  Some parts of the overall plan have been done, but without the progress I had hoped for, being made. Work, Colds and Xmas do sometimes get in the way of important projects when you least like them to…


The Brass Coffin has been sat in the shed for over a year without any real purpose.  The Steam Wars project has finally given it a place all of its own.  When I put it together it got a spray of grey, and a dark tone wash, then I just sat it to one side. The fact it has no weapons limits its use in any game in my opinion.


A touch of brass and silver matches it into the other Steam Wars vehicles without much effort.  The addition of the spare turret (sent by accident with my West Wind landship) and a couple of Aether weapons and a naval head (from Black Pyramid) and we have a Twin linked light tank.


With another vehicle for the army done, I was pleased to see a package arrive in the shed from Veganman’s vast collection of unpainted purchases.  These were Xmas and Birthday gifts and aptly timed as I thought I would get lots of painting done in the Xmas break.


Three small tanks from Ironclad Miniatures, that I think I recall he had bought at one of the first Birmingham Games Expos.  All still in their boxes and perfect for my slowly growing Naval army.

Sadly a persistent cold and commitments at work continue to keep these unpainted and me out of the shed…