Steam Wars – Martian Cephalopod – Hidden Base Entrances

Yep, you guessed it still no change in the little green skinned fella pile.

I have been productive though! I recently bought a couple of these… (actually one of these Retro Americana bunkers and one of the original Burrows and Badgers sets).

I cant see any real difference in the way these are designed.  Only that one was planned to be more ‘buried looking’ than the other…

Scale wise they will work well with my Steam Wars 28mm Martian force. I plan to use these two on the red Martian earth terrain set as their entrances to the secret subterranean base

With a slightly buried in cracked red earth look, and overgrown with some Martian red weed, they should work fine.  I plan to add a small light or control panel over the square hole to the left of the airlock.  The hole was for a very retro American post box that just wouldn’t be found in a secret Martian Base.

But mounted on a small MDF round, and suitably based and weathered, it will fit in perfectly outside of any number of my existing houses.  Never throw anything away…

Steam Wars – Martian Craters Complete (I Think)

Painting lots of craters in red by hand gets a bit tedious in the end…  Even with a 1 inch paintbrush!  Once they are done though, what felt a bit like hard work, proves to be worth it.

The BBQ also doubles up as a great drying area for jobs that, in the end, would just clutter up my small painting space.

Once the dry brushing and washing was done they were reunited with their smaller cousins.

I also managed to get a better photo of the craters and the flesh tone highlights.

On the table they match nicely.  Giving low level, surface terrain, offering cover to small units but without blocking many lines of sight.

I now have plenty to get the full 6 feet of table sufficiently covered but without being too cluttered.

I still need to find some blocking terrain pieces (likely more derelict structures or crashed craft of some sort). I also want to get a few bunkers/ shaft tops that will go someway towards finishing the table.

I have a picture in my head of an advanced civilisation (the Martian overlords) that have retreated to a subterranean city, to avoid the harsh surface of the planet.  A planet surface strewn with crashed space craft that are stripped bare to supply plenty of off world tech that the Martians use to advance their own knowledge.

Do the Martians instigate their wars against these other planets, just to draw more craft to the inhospitable surface of their home world?

Steam Wars – Martian Scenery

With the Martian red earth craters now well under way, I have been looking at other items that might be usable as Martian scenery.  I have a few ideas lined up, including some bunkers and shaft tops, that I might get Coronasan to draw up for the laser cutter. However, before these get done, an item that has been in a drawer for a week or so has to be made up and prepped for use…

The item in question is an airship frame from an MDF kit maker/ Steampunk Art site that I discovered recently online.

The kit was more complex to construct than I had expected, as the few parts that make it up all need to be held together while the others are added. You probably need 15 fingers or a couple of rubber bands (I used rubber bands as I could not find any spare fingers…) It is worth the effort though as the resulting airship is a good size and has a nice traditional shape.

A spare yellow Space Marine is used here for scale. As per usual, I had just put all the Steam Wars figures away.  Thankfully I had just gotten out all my unpainted 40k stuff in order to either box it up or sell it on.

However nice this airship is, I had other plans for it…  A few brutal snips from my clippers and the job was done…  One crashed airship ready to be strewn across the surface of Mars. A reminder to all other earthling invaders that they will not be tolerated on the Martian home world.

The question now is, do I base it, or leave it unbased so that it can be used on normal ‘green’ wargames table?  Suitable as cover for small units (perfect for the 5-6 man Steam Wars units) but not blocking line of sight too completely that it obstructs gameplay.

What ever I decide this is now ready for the undercoating pile, which should be quite high up on the list of things to do, before the weather starts to fail me again…

Steam Wars – Martian Red Earth Craters

Well, one down side to owning a very nice red Martian earth wargames mat, is that green hills and scenery looks a tad ‘off’ when used on it…

The answer is to make my scenery red.

I have started these small craters in order to try and learn the combination that is needed (paint and wash wise) to get a similar red tone to the mat.

My final effort is a GW cracked red earth paint (thinned down to make it crack less) with a GW orange shade wash.  To take some of the shine off and to lighten the overall colour a touch, I have dry brushed some GW flesh tone on the out side of the crater only. All this was done with the biggest brush that I own, so no finesse or detail work to be found here…

I will need to varnish them and then add a coat of matte spray, as presently they are a bit too shiny.  All these photos were taken at the same time, but from 3 distinct angles.  I find it interesting that the colour they throw off is different in each shot.

I have a couple more of these to do, so should really get off the computer and back to the grind.  There is something strangely soothing about painting with an inch wide brush.

Steam Wars – Martian Planet Surface

The postman (or at least a delivery driver) has again managed to distract me from any planned work in the shed.  I took delivery of an item that I had planned to buy months ago, but had been putting off, while I waited for just the right item to pop up on Google.

With so many Martian forces at my disposal I had a mind to get a Martian red earth gaming mat.  The problem is that so many of them are not actually red…  They are either more realistic and have a brown/ red colour, or are more artistic with an overly orange/ red hue.  My Martians are on bases that are more…  Red!

This mat from who supply mats that are reasonably priced and actually have one in red Martian colour…  6×4 feet and printed on a rubber backed ‘Mousemat’ material it fits my needs perfectly.

I have a few different mats now, and one of the things I like about this mat, compared to the vinyl ones, is it lays flat instantly when you unroll it. It also has a non-reflective surface. Sometimes it is hard to see your figures when playing on shiny vinyl.

I already have a few test craters prepped and in need of some slight toning into the base colour.

Once I have the method correct I have a few more to do before finding some Martian looking buildings.  I had been looking for some ideas/ inspiration but have still not decided on what I will get quite yet…

Steam Wars – Martian Slaves Update

A lovely sunny weekend and I should be out enjoying it.  Well, I did pop out this morning in the company of the good lady of the house, and was allowed to be head chauffeur for a short shopping trip.  Once I managed to get home though I found a balmy 38 degrees of heat awaiting me in the shed. On a day that reached 24 degrees outside, in late spring, I do wonder what will be achievable in there on other more summery days.

It wouldn’t be the first sacrifice I have been forced to make to the hobby.  Other summers I have been forced to drink buckets of iced rum and coke just to get through a heatwave in the shed.  Needs must when the devil (…add your own ending, as ‘vomits into your kettle’ seems too brash for such a lovely day).

Enough of the old English phrases and on with the images…

In all that heat a simple job was about all I could manage so changing the colour on the bases on a few figures was a good choice for today (also it afforded lots of drying time, while I popped in for another cold one…)

These were purchased already painted at Salute, so only needed a base change to fit in with the existing Martian scheme.

Grouped up into units of 6, with a combat role specified by their weapon choices.  First up a unit of short ranged missile troops (a standard option for my Steam Wars Martian Slaves)

A second unit of Short range missiles (told you they were a staple – I have 5 units of these I believe).

An artillery piece with 3 crew. Likely to be seen as Medium Anti Tank or a more rapid firing Light AT gun.

A Tesla style wheeled gun.  Crewmen (x3) still waiting for some attention in the painting queue.

Short ranged missiles again but with a standard bearer type that allows me to make them a rally point for other units. That might just keep my hordes of slaves from being pinned all game long.

A close combat unit with Standard (one of 2 units of this format) again adding a rally point to the other forward thrusting units.

Languishing in the paint queue, are some more of these guys.  A few are completed and have has their units split so that their combat role is more specific.  Last game they were slowed by the presence of a couple of riflemen who wanted to fire while the majority of the unit could not do anything but wish they were closer to the enemy.

These should be done by summers end…

Steam Wars – Martian Tripods Completed

So, with a few smaller bits done, and the weather turning wetter over the course of the week again, I have moved the remaining Martian Tripods back up the paint queue.

As I know the painting process for these models now, painting can be done quicker, and with all five on the desk at the same time, they don’t take too much time.

All of the tripods together make an impressive force…

Assault Tripods with Gas Globes, Black Smoke Cannon and Heat Ray.

Scientist Tripod, Science Drones, Bombardier Tripod and smaller personal Tripod suit.

Scout Tripods with Heat Rays.

With all these done I had best get some profiles written up, and another game planned.

More Undercoating And The Next Martian Tripods

More batch painting while the weather gives me the option.

This time metallic items.  40K objectives and the next batch of Martian Tripods.  Along with a new tank for the Steam Wars Navy.

5 tripods make up the remainder of the Martian armour.  2 Assault Tripods and a Scout Triopd are similar plastic kits to the finished ones I have.

The last 2 are resin and metal kits that I picked up on eBay.  A Scientist Tripod and a Bombardier Tripod.

I have added a few extra arms to the Science Tripod, to give it more scope in the rules for Steam Wars.  The Bombardier will be played, as is, and I will be profiling it up with an artillery weapon of some sort.

With all these now undercoated, I have no excuse not to get them finished…


Undercoating While The Weather Holds

Living in the UK we have to take opportunities to undercoat when we can.  Gamers across the land can be seen, on weekend mornings, sensing the weather.  They stand on their doorsteps, with noses lifted to the sky, trying desperately to pick the few hours that undercoating can be attempted.  A wrong decision can lead to a higher risk of those cooler damp days ruining the finish on their prized miniatures…

Recently, a weekend perfect in every way, afforded me the chance to undercoat a few batches of miniatures.  I grabbed as much as I could as the window of opportunity would not last long.  Everything from a resin Ironclad Miniatures tunnelling machine, that has sat for over a year on the shelf, to a batch of newer ironclad Sanwar Infantry and Cephalopods got laid out.

It was also an opportunity to get the Venusian infantry undercoated to match their War Barge.

But I cant stop to chat as other batches need to be attended to…

Steam Wars – Martian Flyer

My Martian Flyer has been commandeered by the Venusians as a war barge, so needs to be painted in the colours of their nation (I have no clue as to what colours they will be yet).

As I have undercoated them in Bleached bone at the moment I thought it best to get this base coated in that colour too.

Its an Oshiro Models creation.  Produced by the lovely Jimbibbly, often seen on the Lead Adventure Forum, and at shows showing what wonderful oriental buildings he can create.  The item details are on The Red Planet Blog site.

The flying stand is a design of his as well, and both can be acquired from the Oshiro website.

After two years, sat on my shelf in just a grey primer, it is nice to see it on its way to completion.

So, before I go, I have started to get some paint onto the woodwork.  As I like to undercoat, in a Bleached Bone colour a GW Sepia Shade wash is enough to bring out detail and stain the paint in a light wood colour.  Sometimes I will use GW Agrax Earthshade if I want slightly older/ darker look.

Who knows what colour the hull will turn out as I often (make that always) find myself applying paint before planning.