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…


Steam Wars – Flying Boats. 

I have planned to do something to allow my boats to play a part in my Naval force when they are gaming on land.

The only way I could get this to work was to play them with wheels.

Or to make them fly…

As this is a Steam Punk game I guess that flying would be the more fantastical option…

So the hunt began for a way to get them to fly…

The answer is hover craft engines.  Resin cast and surprisingly larger than I expected (thankfully, as any smaller and they would have not been obvious enough on the larger boat), they are going to be easy to attach with a few magnets and the addition of a flight stand.

I will be painting these up soon and getting the magnets hidden under the hull of each boat as soon as I can.  The flight stands will be something Coronasan may be able to help with when he perfects his design for his Prussian airships.

I wonder what else I can sort out for other naval themed vehicles…?

Any suggestions, please let me know…

Steam Wars – Game On, A Win And The New Scenery. 

So with the Navy almost finished we decided to get our next Steam Wars playtest done.  After a number of stalled attempts to get together we managed to meet up in the shed for a game and a catch up.  Coronasan was all setup with an army list for each of us (written when I had only one unit painted up so supplemented with his new redcoated marines).  It was the first time he fielded his own Prussian Scrunts so we were both trying new things.

I had just picked up some new scenery from a talented terrain builder on eBay, who was selling off his old games collections and down sizing.  I managed to fill the back of my car with about 8 boxes of scenery and other bits for a very modest sum (I suspect he just wanted them to go to a good home). More on the scenery later though…

I set up on the left of the cliff sides and took the high ground for my large cannon (no tractor was needed or likely to be any use in such tight terrain…) My mixed ratings and marines arrayed ready to provide a firing line against any opposing troopers.

The Scrunt elites – flying assault troopers (I think they should be called FAT boys) were set to rush me from just outside my firing range. This they achieved, killing all but one man, before moving on to their next target.  My men on the lower levels went on overwatch to get a few shots in on them as they sped by.

As one flank weakened my other flank pushed forward.  Roller bots teetered on the cliff edges as they moved to fire on the Prussian heavy troopers and armoured walker.  My Marines prepared to advance as well as they would have to cross 2 rivers to move towards the plain in the centre of the battlefield.

As the advance continued the Prussian FAT boys moved to neutralise my cannon as it had had a run of very effective fire and whittled down 2 of the Prussian units.

Whilst all this was happening the Prussian command unit was stealthily creeping along the blind cliffs to later appear on my flank.

Once they appeared they set about shooting from their elevated position down on my ratings and marines.

Thankfully though, my marines held their nerve and prepared to fire a number of volleys back at them finally finishing them off as the remaining troopers were being dealt with on the other flank.

All in all the fire power of the navy troopers list worked better than the more close combat oriented Prussian list on this table.

A good game and a great chance to iron out a few wrinkles in the rules.  These rules are now a four page, simple, fast play set that allows a lot of flexibility in army choice and game style.

We trialled a simple, card based, mission deck during this game. It is designed to generate multiple objectives to be achieved throughout the game and those objectives change as others are completed.  As I develop this mission deck it will be enlarged from its current 26 cards to a more varied 40 or so cards.  These are designed to be fairly universal and should be usable with any game with only minor deck changes. More on that later…


Steam Wars – A Flexible Little Force

So with the first of the infantry finished, and a couple of guns and robots also done, I have a quite versatile force now ready for small games.


I need to finish a few more crew members so that the guns have enough men to haul them about. In the sort term though, I can field the guns with the sergeant or officer to sit in as spare crewmen if I need to add a few more bodies.

Although I have no vehicles as such, a couple of the boats, that were kindly donated to the force by Veganman, will do nicely if we play on a beach head or plan to play a river fight. If I do want to take my naval force onto the land, I will need to work some more vehicles into the force (somewhat difficult for a naval force).  I do, however, have some cunning plans to make my boats more usable in land based fights. So watch this space…

The one true vehicle in the force is my artillery tractor and its tows.  Currently it remains uncrewed, but it should be fully manned within the next few days…

Steam Wars – Infantry Is Almost All Done 

Only one of the Black Pyramid infantry units is left to paint, and to add a bit of interest I am painting up some random character types too.

The last unit are getting normal rifles and an aether weapon support. The characters are what looks like a stern naval sergeant by the hard set jaw and stance. The officer type is an old chap with lots of experience and confidence visible in that upright posture.

All done, and arrayed in their dress uniforms, they look very clean.  Not my usual painting style, but it is a nice change for me to paint something without then washing everything in ink.

Next up some more from Black Pyramid.  This time their large artillery gun and tractor.  This should get some paint on it (battleship Grey) next time I find time to hide in the shed.  I suspect that this will get a heavy ink wash to make up for all the clean lines I’ve had to put up with:-)

Steam Wars – Testing Is Over And The Painting Starts In Ernest.

With the test model now supported by his 4 friends it is time to roll out the same paint job to some other units.  For my first batch of figures I have a second infantry unit (this time with normal rifles) a small carriage gun, with more crew than it probably needs, and 2 rollerball robots.

I have decided, as a naval force, they would be likely to have plenty of Battleship Grey paint to hand. Therefore, all their vehicles will be painted in this colour, to contrast nicely with the white of the infantry.

The tall mechanical roller robots are Lead Adventure Predator Steam Robots.

The field gun and crew are from Tiger Miniatures Balkan Wars range.

The Infantry are all Black Pyramid Tea Wars miniatures.

Its a small force to start with but we hope to get a game in very soon to try them out.  I think Coronasan’s Navy Marines may be deployed in support to add some more man power to the first force.

The basing helps to blend the robots and gun in with the rest of the force but I may need to get some beach scenery done too or they will look like they still have sand on their boots while walking in green fields…

Steam Wars – First Unit.

First unit now done and the basing has grown on me.  Not only because it is so quick and easy but also because the colour matches the deck of a couple of boats I have sitting ready for use in our Steam Wars games.

I am using 5 man units in Steam Wars as it is a small unit game not needing huge units.  One specialist and four rifles (automatic rifles in this case).

Black pyramid sells Aether weapons packs for a couple of quid that serve as any number of rayguns or high calibre launchers.

These proved quite quick to paint up as the undercoat is the base colour…  Only 3 more units to go in this batch then on to the new range when it arrives.

Naval Steam Wars Test Model.

I have started a test piece for the new Steam Wars force I have been planning. White uniforms are my plan, with simple contrasting details. I have used simple sand (think golden beaches) for the base.  This will be used across the army to allow the basing to help bring the force together, and look more like a planned collection.

I used a light grey wash to get some texture on the white uniform.  I almost always paint in dark colours as this is more forgiving than lighter, brighter tones.  I don’t think it is needed though as the wash is almost invisible when finished.

The contrast of battleship grey, and a couple of tans and browns, helps to add interest without being too much.  A dash of light blue is also a nice addition.

The basing is very plain, so when I get a couple done I will review the overall look and decide what else I need to do.

All in all, I am happy so far…  Next up a completed unit.

Steam Wars And The Start Of A New Force

The Derby Game show afforded me the opportunity to pick out some new figures for a larger project that I had been thinking about for a few months now.  Coronasan has written a rather good set of rules (simple and very quick) for his steam wars figures to be used with.  He and I have tried these rules a couple of times now in the shed, and they have done very well.  I have used his Prussian Scrunts and played against his Meridian Empire forces.

It was about time I set myself the task of gathering my own steam wars force.  As the British and German (Prussian) forces have been taken, and as I wanted something a little different to play, I decided to take on a naval theme.


Derby was my first opportunity to look, first hand, at some of the miniatures that would do the job.  Lots of manufacturers are out there, but not many have naval figures in a late 19th/ early 20th century period.

Therefore easy head swaps, and a very loose approach to the theme, would be best to stop myself from getting too frustrated with lack of little naval men.

The main force comes from the lovely people at Black Pyramid Games (along with plenty of spare heads for any swaps I would need to make).  Their Tea wars range supplied most of what I needed as troops and big guns.

Tiger Miniatures helped to increase the number of support weapons with their recoilless gun and machinegunners.


Black Pyramid’s resin range has a lovely towed gun set that fits in well, and when painted, will be a nice big piece on the table.


Some varied ‘Pulp’ style seamen are useful for crewmen and command figures.


The Lead Adventure range supplied a steam robot or two which are armed with what looks like old ships cannons.


West Wind brought this out just days after Derby.  Its from their empire of the dead range and with Naval heads where the westwind ones should have gone looks like it will fit in well.

I wanted a naval force because I wanted to get away from steam tanks and have some land ships and boat like vehicles on the board when we play.  I have yet to find many that do the job but that’s half the fun of a project like this.


The west wind ship was £25 but was smaller than I expected…  At this size a squad of them would look good but at that price I am unlikely to get more than the one.


One happy accident was that the guys at west wind miss picked the contents of my ship.  A rogue turret appeared in my pack instead of a set of wheels.  Quickly and easily remedied, with a new set of wheels being sent out by West Wind, it did leave me with an extra turret (designed for the ships next release later this year).


Said turret, with some of the Black Pyramid Ether Weapons stuck on, looks like it was made for my old Brass Coffin by Ramshackle Games.  This rather large vehicle has been sat in the shed for over a year with no clear purpose. It is a large, unarmed, vehicle that doesn’t serve as a tank or a transport so has no clear place in a game.  Now it will be a heavy support vehicle for my new naval force.

I wonder how long it will take me to get these on to the painting table…