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 – Uparmed Options For My Biplane

With the Biplane finally painted and my efforts to up-arm the little gyrocopter from Ironclad Miniatures done, I thought I might take the time to add an up-armed option to this flyer.

Magnets this time, fitted into the HMG ammo hoppers on the sides of the nose, allow magnets to hold bombs that can be dropped by the pilot.

Four bombs are ready for use in two variants (shock bombs to incapacitate infantry and tanks, as well as your more common BOOM type).

I must take this moment too, to mention the kind gesture that John at Ironclad has made while this project has been running.  I enquired by email about buying a new pilot for my second Gyro as I had stolen the original for my biplane.  John replied and asked for my address.  In about 3 days time a package on my doormat was found to contain the required pilot free of charge.  If I haven’t said before I will say it here.  Some of the smaller manufacturers are more thoughtful and generous than any of the larger companies. John at Ironclad is a great example of this trend and I would like to thank him for this kind gesture. Please look Ironclad up if you get the chance. You wont be disappointed.

Steam Wars – Flying Corps Biplane Finished

When last seen, this was still in the undercoated and prepped stage.  Often that ‘prepped’ stage can last years in the shed…  This time the Navy Air Corps has been moving along nicely though.  With all its units coming together quite quickly.

When base coating the model I tried to spray the base colours from two directions giving me a blue colour to the underside (camouflage in the sky) and grey to the top.  It worked surprisingly well but doesn’t photograph all that well…

I have used a couple of decal sheets from a US Navy Goshawk kit for the majority of my army so far.  The sheets I bought for the job were in two scales. I have found it very useful to have decals in both 1/48 scale and 1/72 scale.  This affords me a number of matching decals, with differing sizes, for use on all my various tanks etc.  This was the first time I had used them on an airframe as they were originally intended.

Did I tell you that the blue photographs poorly?

Pilot Johnson ready for duty.

Ah, that’s better…  Its the first time I have had to use a decal fixer as well.  The wing detail and shape meant that the decals were lifting as they dried when water was used alone to apply them.

A little decal fixer and they almost dissolve into the surface of the wing.  Very effective and it’s a new tool that will be on hand in future on my paint station.  I have done a more subtle weathering of the model than my usual method (slap copious amounts of dark tone ink on it).  Wider flatter surfaces are not always easy to ink, I think I have done a better job of it this time.

Steam Wars – Flying Corps Up-armed Gyro

So much for plans.  While I was sorting parts for the other projects in the shed I came across these 1/72 scale resin bombs.  Originally these were purchased from ebay and planned for use with the Hot Air Balloon that has not been fielded in a game of Steam Wars as yet.  They reminded me of the hand dropped bombs used by pilots in WW1.

So the unarmed spotter has become…

A uparmed bomber…  In 1/72 scale they are the right size for my Gyrocopter’s pilot to drop when passing over those unsuspecting troopers or steam tanks. When the bombs are all spent, he can then go back to spotting for those indirect fire weapons…

Steam Wars – Naval Air Power

With their paddle steamer now able to fly ahead and lead the force, some reinforcements need to be drafted in.  Luckily many more fliers are sat in the painting queue.

Ironclad Miniatures make this wonderful little Gyrocopter. I had picked up two of these as pre release models a while ago. They were built and then undercoated a while back.  The original plan was for them to be the scouts for my Steam Wars naval force but, as with most items that enter the shed, they haven’t progressed too quickly along the paint queue.

The recent work on the growing Naval Air Corps means that they have now been pulled out and finished (well, one has anyway).

The reason one has been held back is the fact that the pilot appears to fix a small problem I had in finishing off the Navy’s other flying unit.  My Biplane kit originally came with a terrible blob of plastic that was never going to be able to fly this wonderful plane.  The pilot from the second Gyro appears to fit in perfectly though…

Too small for the new Oshiro flight stand, this little flier needed a stand of its own. Thankfully we found a solution in the form of a small bespoke MDF flight stand base, ordered by Coronasan a while back for his own Steam Wars fliers.  This was made by Jim from Products For Wargamers and works nicely for what I need.

Aluminium tubing with a small magnet in the top means quick and easy removal.  A larger more heavy duty magnet in the base of the resin cab was required as the rear of the model is metal and surprisingly weighty.

The same magnets were used for the Biplane but as this is a fully plastic kit (apart from its new metal pilot) it holds in place a little more easily.

I will be making a couple of these stands over the next few weeks, as the remainder of the flying units get done.  I plan on making them in a couple of differing rod lengths to allow for a bit of variation in their look.

All finished and looking fine.  As this is an unarmed Gyrocopter I suspect it will be fielded as a spotter in Steam Wars.  This will allow the 2 indirect fire artillery units that I have to stay out of sight while the gyro hovers above and directs their fire.

Finishing Touches And New Ideas 

After such a productive time I am starting to wain again.  The last batch off the painting table are great.  I am very pleased with the armoured division that now supports my naval force.  I will have to put up a page for these guys as they deserve their own place as my first completed ‘large army’ since starting this blog.

I say completed, but I still have lots of unfinished and undercoated figures to add to the force.  Completed in this case means fully playable, with extra options.

I have what could be called a sizeable force.  More than can be fielded in an average game.  I would say that that is something quite astounding by my standards.

As I briefly pause to reflect on my Steam Wars painting spree I can see what should be next up on my ‘painting’ queue.

I finished this small shop recently, but it left me thinking it needed something more before I could call it done.  That something turned out to be signage…

I have decided to try making my own decals…

The images above are test prints on plain paper. They give a good impression of the size if not the colours that will be used.  I suspect that the final items will not be far off from what is shown.  I may need to add a sign board to the hotel, but the awning and parking sign are meant to be painted on canvas or brick, so will have the details behind, left to show through…  As the Decal paper I have is A4 in size I might need to get a few more designs lined up before I finalise my images and print them out.

So, what else do I have that needs a sign or image printing on it.  Anyone know a good source of Martian tripod markings?

Wish me luck.  I will update my progress when I get the first test prints completed.

Steam Wars – Final Tank, It’s A Big One

So the slow, unorganised process I call my painting hobby proceeds at its usual stop start pace.  I have done quite well (for me anyhow) lately, and have finally come to the last of my Ironclad Steam Tanks.  This is the only tracked tank I own, but although it is the largest of my tanks, it is still small compared to some of Coronasan’s British or Prussian Steam Wars armour.   

This one again has the turret supplied with the kit, and one I have added in as an alternate weapon option. I also added a HMG to the hull as this is something that I always find helps in our games of Steam Wars.

I have to admit, this being the last of these tanks, it got a pretty basic paint job, as I am feeling in need of a change on the painting table.

As usual its grey, and with some extra metallic colours, not a challenging or award winning effort. A wash helps to dirty it up and hide my mistakes.  A few decals and its done.

The heavier 3 gun option for real fights.

A lighter 2 gun option for those less challenging opponents.

With 4 Steam Tanks (with alternate turrets) and assorted artillery in support, I feel more prepared for any of my Steam Wars opponents.

Now, what’s left to do…  Oh…  Lots…

Steam Wars – Steam Tank Upgrade

Next up and even quicker (because the tank was already painted) is the upgrade turret for one of my first Ironclad Steam Tanks.  This was painted as part of the original Navy force as it sports a Nordenfelt Gun.  A weapon that I always associate with the navy for some reason.  What may be described as an early heavy machine gun. This tank has been used in a number of games as a HMG tank.

Effective as a light fast tank but my Navy force has always struggled to bring enough anti-tank weaponry to the table.

A new, alternate, turret has helped to rectify this problem.

Same tank, but now aimed at a different target.

Always good to keep my options open…


Steam Wars – Steam Tank Finished

Next to get finished off is another Ironclad Miniatures Steam Tank.  This comes as a 3 wheeled tank with small turret and optional armoured wheel covers.  I went all out and added the wheel covers and picked up a second turret (just email Ironclad and for a couple of quid he will sell you anything, parts wise that is…)  I went for a very large turret so that I could field this as a heavy or medium weight tank.

I had a spare HMG so added one to the front of the hull as you can never have too many guns.

Some Navy decals from an old set I have put to one side to use with this army and I am calling it done.

Above is the lighter (original) version.



You get the picture…

Steam Wars – Tesla Cannon Finished

So, the Tesla Cannon is finished.  I went for a more subdued colour scheme to the one on the Ironclad Site.  Gold was never my thing.  If its going to be stored on board ship with my Navy Marines then battleship grey may be the best colour for it.  That and I am a lazy painter, so when undercoating, everything gets done in the colour I have to hand.

I am still playing about with the Citadel Technical Paints I picked up a while back.  I tried a silver base and blue gloss.  Works for me in this case but doesn’t do anything especially amazing in my opinion.  Others may have the patience to do more with it.

The Gun itself is simple and easy to paint.  I always like designs that give me easy to paint areas without too much detail.  As I had some decals to hand it got a couple to make it look more finished.

I still can’t resist painting silver on rivets though, no matter how hard I try…