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.

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 – Airborne Assault Mission.

A first flight for the Assault Barges was always going to be on the cards.  From the point of starting to construct them, the project was destined to trigger an increased desire to play Steam Wars and get a few of my Naval Marines on the table.

The scene was set for the Navy to come up against one of Coronasan’s armies over the green hills and lush grass of an alternate Steampunk Earth.

The Mission was to get to the objective within 6 turns and what better way than to fly there, laden down with tough US Navy Crewmen and Marines.

Supported by a scout car and a pair of Gyrocopters it would be hard to slow their advance, or so I thought…

The objective was the fields behind the farmhouses at the other end of the table.

The people trying to stop me however, were actually not people at all. Coronasan took this opportunity to bring out his Mechanica Army for the first time and show off their true might.  The force was made up of all manner of robotic and mechanical marvels.  All led by a man in a flying iron suit and a mad scientist with accompanying hunched lackey.

All they had to do was hold the farm houses and stop my foot soldiers from getting boots on the ground behind the buildings.  As my forces advanced slowly into the fields in front of the houses, the Mechanica troops fanned out, ready to start taking shots at the Skyships.

It wasn’t long before their fire had caused enough damage to force me into disembarking my marines from the first Assault Barge.  She had taken almost all she could and I did not want her going down with all hands still onboard.

The second Barge was not far behind and as she unloaded her human cargo, they started the job of engaging with the strange robotic troopers.  The first casualties fell quickly and the confidence of the Naval Marines rose with such easy kills.

In a fit of overconfidence the flagship, laden with specialist assault troopers, also disembarked the majority of its forces and took out a further unit of robotic troopers.

It was at this point that the first of the assault barges, having safely delivered its charges, was finally destroyed by the Mechanica Fighter jets.

Being almost within spitting distance of the objective, confidence within the Naval force was riding high.  Then came the return fire of the robotic ground forces.  Not strong enough to destroy the well protected and dug in marines, it did however, start to have an effect.  The first line troopers in the centre became pinned and their momentum was slowed as they took cover.

In hopes of encouraging them forward the Command squad forged ahead in their skyship, planning to either draw their troopers along behind them, or take the objective themselves.

In the closing moments of the mission, as the clock was running out, a single Gyrocopter forged ahead. Unable to take the objective itself, its aim was to clear the way for the ground forces to move in.  After spending all game without a viable target, and surviving a hail of fire as it flew over the enemy forces. It unloaded its payload of bombs at the robots defending the objective…  And missed…

Needless to say, the Assault troopers were still stalled, just too far from the objective to make a difference.  Marine troopers began to fall on both flanks as the robotic forces pushed back and, in a last ditch effort, the command team rappelled down to claim the objective themselves.  The only chance the Navy had of completing their mission was to assault the robots hiding behind the last house.

And that was the moment I failed to capture on film.  Why you might ask?  To the great surprise of an exhausted audience, the robotic troopers managed not only to received their charge but managed to wipe their attackers from the face of that fair land.  Blood stained, but relatively unscathed, they had held the objective against a plucky effort to eject them.

All in all, this proved to be a great game, and a very cinematic climax to an eventful mission.  I will look forward to the next time my Barges have the opportunity to fly to war…

Steam Wars – A Game Planned And Some Barges Decked Out

When you come to read this I will have likely already had my first game using these Assault barges in Steam Wars.  I plan to try a full on airborne assault (well, almost fully airborne as I don’t have an airborne transport for any of my steam tanks as yet – Any ideas, on a postcard to the usual address).

When I started building these Barges I guessed that I would get six or so figures onboard if I also wanted a deck gun in place.  I can actually get two units of five marines, or ratings, onboard while still having room for a deck gun (I need to get hold of a few more crewmen that can be based on little 15-20mm round bases so as to not take up too much room.

The Oxford can take a much larger complement of marines.  Here she is, loaded with two units of six heavy boarders, as well as a large deck gun and a five man command squad.  Even will this lot onboard she could take another one or two units.

The second Barge matches the original with ten men and deck gun.

The main assault force totals 37 men (7 units of 5 or 6 men) and their three deck guns.

To support them, I have also allocated my two Gyrocopters to the force. One is tasked with eliminating armoured ground targets with its bombs, the other is tasked with providing close air support, as I know Coronasan will be bringing along plenty of fighter planes.

Finally the force is completed with the inclusion of an armoured scout car.  Fast moving, and tasked with  providing a level of mobile cover for the infantry when they make their initial assaults.  It also supplies, not only a light antitank gun, but also an additional AA capable machine gun to the force.

A fairly small force, due to the cost of my airborne carriers, I am hoping that their increased flexibility might make up for my lack of armoured vehicles.

We shall see how I fare…

Steam Wars – Assault Barges Completed

Once everything was dry it was time to add the 10 or so decals that would match the Oxford and proclaim the Barges as officially drafted into my Steam Wars Navy force.

Although these are MDF kits, the method of applying decals is no different to a standard plastic or die cast kit.  Once you have painted the MDF it is waterproof, and the surfaces are fairly flat. As long as the placement of your decal is not over an edge, or seam in the kit, you should never have any issues.

I would suggest a coat of spray varnish when it is all completed, to seal in the decals (I find it almost seems to dissolve the decal into the painted surface). Doing this ensures they do not lift off when handling the model during game play.

10 decals later and the finished effect is quite nice.

I had not noticed until I left them out to dry but they now cover a sizeable chunk of my gaming table.  Thats a 4 foot wide gaming surface covered when arrayed nose to tail…

I just have to profile them up for Steam Wars and then talk Coronasan into a game later this week.  They need a chance to hit the gaming table, and show me their worth.

Steam Wars – Assault Barges WIP

When last seen, these Blotz MDF Aether Launches (Assault Barges in my world) were built to the point of painting, and outside the weather was very wet and very windy.  Not ideal base coating weather if you are planning on using spray paints to speed up the process.

Painting the barges while they are still in parts allows me to cheat a little, as it allows me to leave the decks with the natural MDF finish.  As the decks are simple wooden planking by design, it will look just fine, and save me some time when finishing off these models.

This weekend I did manage to get outside to spray. I managed to find a brief moment, on Saturday, when it seemed dryer and the wind only gusted every other time I sprayed paint at the models. As all I needed to accomplish was a coat or two of white to the engine housings and the underside of each hull it was not too traumatic a time.

I then had to wait for the spray to dry so that I could get some colour on the metal edges of the engines, hull and the captains shield.  My collection of metallic marker pens again come in handy for these details.

Being an organised chap I managed to sand coat the bases while these were again drying so as to get all parts to roughly the same stage.  I also pulled out the Oxford class skyship, that I have as the flagship of the army, so that I could make sure they fitted the original paint scheme. The placement of decals on the new Assault Barges would also be dictated by this original model.