Steam Wars Venusians finished

Venusians completed today, and just before any static grass was applied, I took a few photos.  Just to see how they looked in their ‘ride’.

They came up ok in the end.  Softer plastic miniatures like these, with less defined details, always feel to me more difficult to get that good finished look.  I still think it’s my ‘I need lines to colour in up to’ level of painting skill.

In their unfinished Assault Barge. (Ignore the base in this one its all I had at hand.)

As I haven’t managed to match the infantry to the barge all that well. It does leave me thinking: What colour should the barge become so as to match the Infantry?

And lets not speak about how basing to match the table always looks like a fail on other surfaces…

When you don’t see those bases though… Not bad…

Ah, thats more like it…

Next time these hit the table it will be for a game of Rogue Stars.

Steam Wars Venusians

Yeah, I got side tracked again.  It happens.  But if I get something painted that’s not too bad an outcome.  Coronasan suggested we get a game of Rogue Stars played so I decided to paint up a few new figures to help make up a different crew.

As I didn’t have too many new figures in a Sci fi theme at the front of the painting queue, I went looking for some that would fit the need. I delved to the other end of the painting queue, where the figures that once were at the front of the queue get pushed back to, and found these.

I call them Venusian mercenaries. Specialist warrior types that my Steam Wars Martians often employ for the more dangerous missions that they might not want to execute themselves.  Warcradle Studios call them Greys in their Wild West Exodus game.

With the heads done in contrast white (to get a very light grey skin tone) the body suits looked too washed out in such a light colour.  My plan was to match their armour to their attack barge colour but that was never going to work… Contrast black for the guns and contrast grey for the armour.

Contrast paints do make painting units faster. Especially if what you want is a set of solid base colours with a slight highlight/shade effect.  I found myself still adding a quick dry brush of silver over the black of the guns and feel something is still missing from these guys.

As always, using a strong colour when basing generally drab coloured figures helps them stand out more.

For Steam Wars this batch of ten figures gives me two units of 5 figures.  In Rogue Stars I will likely pick just 2-3 of these to go with some other miniatures when I build that crew.

Warhammer 40,000 – Table Prep, An Old Friend Returns Home And Some Newly Finished Scenery

Last time on the blog I had mentioned I was out in the shed, setting up a playing surface for an up-coming game.  I also said it took me an hour or two to do all this.  In reality the table setup was just a half hour of rummaging in boxes and laying out a mat.

The remainder of the time was spent finishing off some neglected items that could then be used without too much personal embarrassment that they were still only half finished.

One feature of this table setup will be a landing pad (using my new plaza street blocks and stairs) with a flyer upon it.  Said flyer is a Forgeworld Vulture that I originally owned about 8 years ago…  Said flyer has just returned home as the lovely Veganman has been having a clearcut, and offered to sell it back to me. I suspect I may have mentioned to him, more than once, that I should never have sold in the first instance.  It’s nice to have it back in the collection.

The majority of the setup time was spent on the addition of a little flock and paint to these Martian Base Entrances. They have been sat in their silver base colour for longer than I would like to admit, so it is nice that I can actually use them now.

A couple of control panels cover a hole that was for a post box that I chose to use elsewhere.

These are from Antenocitis Workshop and come with little printed screens that can be added to the resin casting.  Nice easy touches that can be added to any wall, or entranceway, in this case…

Steam Wars – Martians Taking To The Field (Or Our Night Out On The Town)

All good things come to those who wait (especially after a bit of hard work).  Our larger Steam Wars game came round soon enough and I was able to get quite a lot of my Martian force on the table for this game.

Mostly mechanical infantry, commanded by their Martian cephalopod overlords and supported by their Tripods.  I also wanted to try some Martian death worms, that would be burrowing away in front of the main army and hopefully pop up to munch on any Prussian Scrunts that they could get their grasping flesh hooks into.

The Prussian Scrunts had a slightly smaller force but consisted of a good mix of infantry and support units.  Oh, and let us not mention the Prussian Airships, as I only realised on the day that I had no weapons to combat them.  So be it, I would have to ignore them and focus on the remaining troops, and hope they would not be too disruptive.

After the first turn we had deployed onto the table and set up some lines of fire and placed some troops in hopes of some early charges.

My right flank appears overloaded as only the Prussian cavalry seem to want to venture over here.

My centre is also well stocked as the Prussians take to the buildings to gain some cover (or to plan an aerial assault).

My left was evenly balanced with the Prussians who fielded two infantry units here along with their heavily armoured HMG bike.

A bike that would pick away at me for most of the game and run off when ever I ventured forwards.

The Scrunt Jet Boys have always had my respect as they pack a fearsome punch when they get a clear charge to my vehicles.  I would go on to lose two or three tripods to their ministrations in this game.

My Exo-Suits proved their worth early on by ripping apart their first prey fairly easily.  For a small unit they pack a good punch (and are pretty good shooters too).

All in all a great game and some really nice scenery for such an eventful scrap to be played on.  My thanks to Coronasan for a great days gaming and a welcome break from repacking the new kitchen.

Steam Wars – Martian Elites Ready To Go

An impressive little lot if I say so myself.  Well, slightly less impressive when I say that, this time round, I only painted eleven figures of the seventeen pictured here.

The remainder are ones painted over the last year or so but without any clear position to play in the Martian Army.  Now though, they are all profiled up and ready to go.

Command unit one – Two Elite Crypto Cephalopods with heat rays and their officer, an Archo-magus, that can project his powers across the battlefield (if I manage to roll high enough that is).

Command unit two – Science Officer, a drone controller, and his marvellous mechanical gundogs.

A unit of Heavy Mechanical Assault infantry

Science team – An Elite Crypto Cephalopod in his personal exo-suit with a pair of Science drones as assistants.  Played as fast infantry, he also fulfils the role of a backup drone controller.

My first unit of Fast Cavalry for the martians.  The heat rays and grasping tentacles on these personal Eco-Suits should make them to be hard hitting, versatile, troops in the upcoming game.

All I have to do now is find a bigger box for this army as they are slowly outgrowing their original case…

Steam Wars – Martian Elites Incoming

As the shed has been out of action for so long, I have been unable to host any games at my place.  Coronasan has been kind enough to take up some of my slack and have me over for a game or two.

One of those games coincided with my regaining access to the shed.  As I had just gotten comfortable in the painting chair, I thought that I may as well bash out a few new pieces for the game.  It was planned to be another, larger sized, game of Steam Wars.  As such, I thought it was about time I added a few units to the Martian forces, as the Navy had seen some attention last time round.  I pulled a few painted units out of the case as inspiration, and to remember what colours I had used, and took a look at the painting queue to see what we had waiting.

My Martians are a small elite cadre of ancient Cephalopods that manage to retain their hold on the red planet by enslaving other races to do their bidding (and all the dirty jobs).  Their allied forces also contain a large number of mechanical constructs that can be fielded as specialists troops or good old fashioned foot slogging infantry.

This time round I have added a number of Cephalopod leader types, in their natural form.  These can be played as either drone controllers (to ensure the mechanical forces are doing what they need to) or as Archo-magi (to add a slightly fantasy/ hsteamtech magic element to our games).

Last, but by no means least, I have started on some heavy infantry. I fell out of love with these figures some time ago but, with a fast and dirty paint job, they will serve their purpose well on the game table.

Steam Wars – Mechanical Army – More Robots

My Steam Wars Mechanical force started out as a simple allied infantry option for the Martians to use.  It seems to have grown somewhat, and if I ever manage to gather the figures altogether in one place I may well enter them in Azazel’s April challenge as an army in their own right.

The latest additions to the army are these two medium sized robots from Shadow Miniatures. They were an Ebay purchase from a small gaming store and the pair were on clearance.

They are just my kind of thing but can I find a link to the original manufacturer? Sadly no…

The best I can do is find a seller online with what looks like the remainder of the line (along with 3 fantasy figures there are two other robot styles…)

If anyone knows of this company and if they do any other ranges please let me know.

I like their almost ape like gait and it also doesn’t hurt that they have a shoulder mounted cannon…

Lets see if I find more first or get some paint on these originals…

Steam Wars – More Maddening Martian Mechanical Men

Remember the 60 part unit that made up the last 5 mechanical men?  Well I just completed another, smaller scale, 10 man unit from Privateer Press.

I thought 60 tiny pieces was a pain.  Each of the figures in the next unit consists of 9 parts (the leader is 11 parts as it has different shoulders from the remainder of the unit), and there are 10 of them…

Thats a finger tip stripping, eye straining, back aching, 101 parts (not counting their bases).  All trimmed, cleaned and glued in one sitting in the shed…  I don’t know if I am proud to have managed it or worried that I tried…

To top it all off they are not even made of standard plastic, so its a case of: Super Glue, try to hold the buggers together with one hand, spray the Activator with the other hand and hope they don’t move while you do it…  Done?  Good, repeat that another 100 times…

Joy unbound…

Steam Wars – More Martian Mechanical Marvels

Privateer Press have an ever increasing range of interesting and very individual models.  The Warmachine game held our interests for a week or so but didn’t quite hit the mark.  That said, I have found their model range to be one I return to quite frequently, as the figures are very often ones that are well suited to some of the more obscure games that we play.

Steam Wars is one game that often opens its doors to these varied and interesting steam punk ranges.  The only down side I find to the Privateer Press range of miniatures, is that they do insist on making a simple humanoid miniature out of about 10 pieces of plastic.

These five miniatures are constructed from a frankly obscene 60 parts…

The amount of effort expended in prepping these figures, and cleaning up mould lines on so many tiny pieces, is infuriating compared to the majority of other companies that I know.

The finished miniatures are very effective though, and are likely to look good even with my basic painting skills.  I have a number of completed figures from this range now, and have to admit that I have foolishly purchased another 10 of their multipart figures, which are likely to be next up on the painting and building table..

Steam Wars – Martian Underground Base Entrances

The builds on these kits were finished, to this stage anyway, back at the start of December.  Due to me having a bad month, along with the usual family commitments that Xmas and the New Year bring along, they haven’t progressed any further so far. I do have all the needed plans and parts ready for when I get a good day to spray a base coat on them. After that they should be quite quick to complete.

These two smaller entrances will suffice as the access points for cephalopods and their slaves.  They are, however, really not a realistic size for allowing access by any Tripods or other vehicles. I therefore need to find, or design something, to represent these entrances in any narrative games we play.

Currently I am open to all ideas but I have played with the idea of a sloped hangar style opening with a set of sliding doors, or a pop up style lift tube (to keep things in line with the ’round’ look of the other scenery items, like my craters).  I need to get a few sketched ideas on to paper and then see what Coronasan can design and cut in MDF…