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.

What Is On The Workbench. 

So, the desk has been a bit untidy lately. With so many small jobs to do it was time for a tidy up and to inventory my on-going projects.  Small warband, skirmish style, games have been popular lately and provide quick and easy projects that can be completed quickly.  With most of these now finished it is time to move on to larger jobs.

My Steam Wars army is ready for undercoating and in need of a bit of my time or I will never get started on it.  I want to keep it simple as a paint job so dress uniforms in white should be effective and quick to complete.

I have decided to try basing them after painting, as I normally base before undercoating.  We will see how well that comes out later I guess. Most of the infantry is Black Pyramid Naval ratings.  They have some new naval ranges out soon so I will pick some up to bulk out the force with other differing poses later.

The guns and vehicles will break up the painting process a little as I plan to do an infantry unit and then either a vehicle or gun at each sitting to vary things a bit.  Just in case I get a bit negative about painting so many little men in all the same colours.

The last of the Frostgrave bits to get finished, before the navy marathon starts, were these dinosaurs.  All I did was base them as their paint job was already better than anything I could ever hope to achieve…

Yes Coronasan, your gentle prompting to get the navy stuff on the table has worked well…

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…