Friday, 22 May 2015

Battlecars - 28mm Post Apocalyptic Road Test

What with the latest release of Mad Max to the cinemas I thought it best that Shed should get in on the action. One of my friendly gamers and I have plans to develop our own post apoc road rules BUT the absence of time has meant returning to that GW gameset released in 1983 - Battlecars.

I recall vividly when this came out - I was 18 just left school and was working in the demanding world of Sainsbury's as a trainee manager on the princely sum of £4k per annum.

Upgrading the box set into 28mm was extremely simple.

My gridded board would be the same one I use for my predator games with the diagonals drawn on. Terrain pieces are then laid over the top. In this case I used my post apoc ruins, crashed and burnt out cars and other sundry stuff.

Diagonals still to be drawn on

The cars themselves were built years ago...

links here

As to the play sheets I just photocopied some of the original car sheets and players will use felt tip pens to mark off damage and ammo. A bulldog clip sliding across the top helps to mark speed.

For passive weapons drop offs like smoke, mines, oil and spikes I made up some bigger cards to place on the board. These were printed and laminated.

In time, and if this proves popular I'll create some bespoke pieces.

With four of us playing we managed to squeeze in three 'fast and furious' games.

The first two were simple classic affairs - hurtle around the board and try to be the last man standing. All good fun.

The third game was very different and has certainly lead to some thoughts as to how this might progress. We set up a track around the board. The Winner being determined by the first person to complete three laps or go the furthest distance.

We diced for pole positions and with Mark taking the lead he soon shot off in the distance only after dropping mines on the starting line. My car soon followed with two tyres blown out by the mines.

As each car left the grid they deposited their grisly loads. It soon became a game of cat and mouse with the track being covered in spikes oil and mines. Navigating these treacherous areas soon became impossible and the cars were forced to run these channels of destruction.

Flame, Rockets and Machinegun fire echoed across the track as the cars steadily traversed the oval circuit. By the end of Mark's first lap he was soon close to lapping those in the rear. This of course brought into play some new behaviours with the rear running cars (mainly driving on near flat tyres) to try and take out the leaders. All good fun.

In the end Legatus managed to take out our lead runner with a combination of mines and flame into the rear of the leading car - Kaboom as the fuel tank exploded. With his tyres shredded Legatus managed to limp around the track and take the crown.

It soon became apparent that this game had begun to look a bit like Deathrace (the movie set in a future prison starring Jason Statham). I the film the convicts race on a specially designed track in custom cars with the potential of parole for the winner of the race. The cars are equipped much as ours were but weapons were only activated when the cars hit certain hotspots.

With this in mind I am going to re-watch the movie and try to recreate the track and these hot spots.

Until next time

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Rocky Outcrops - from Aquarium Ornaments

Hi Folks

Just a short posting today about Rocks. I am sure most of you who are interested in terrain have seen various wargame pieces sourced from materials used to furnish aquariums. If you have not then you are missing a great source of ready made pieces.

The problem with many of these pieces is that they come in a multitude of colours and don't always work together on the table top. Never fear a quick coat of paint can create stunning effects and help to tie in all your terrain pieces.

Whilst building my desert landscapes I cam across a couple of these rocky pieces cheap on ebay and since then I have scoured the web for other items. They are all resin and fluctuate wildly on price - don't just buy the first one you see and be sure to check out the auctions.

Two of the best pieces I have found look like these. They typically retail for around £11 but I have found them cheaper. They are about 25 cm long and c15cm tall. Their shapes are brilliant for 28mm figures.

You don't have to paint them but as I said earlier a paint job does help them to blend in.

In the following series of photos you can see the process I adopted

Step 1: Paint using a cheap emulsion the base colour. Mine is a specially matched paint of the GW Steel Legion Drab...I have a big 5 litre tin of the stuff.

Step 2: Dry brush on a yellow ochre - for comparison you can see the front set has this first coat

Step 3: Dry brush a Titanium cream

Painting these two pieces excluding drying time took less than ten minutes

The following pictures show these and my other acquired rocks on one of the desert baseboards. They have all been given the same paint treatment.

I hope you agree the uniformity of the painting really helps to bring them all together

Until next time

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Railway Cutting & some more Hills

Following on from my last hill build (see link below) I decided that these were definitely the way to go to give my battle field some undulations and reduce the 'flatness' of my displays.

So in this thread I'll talk about the build of my latest addition the railway cutting, which can also be cunningly used as a gorge and also a rod cutting. Nothing beats multi-purpose

I started off with another 9mm thick 50 x 50 board and laid out two hills pieces with a gap running down the middle. This needed to be wide enough for both my railway track pieces and my road sections and the cork escarpments running alongside.

The polystyrene was then shaped to create the slopes

Cork pieces were then glued alongside the flat cliffs using really strong interior adhesive .

A quick check that the railway still fits...

The polystyrene was then covered in filler. Quick tip - by the powder stuff its mucjh much cheaper and you can builf it up to the consistency you want.

Since I had made up a lot of filler I quickly rushed out a couple more hills. Note only make the amount of filler you need.

The cliffs are then given a good coat of black paint. They are going to be grey eventually so they blend in with all the other stone features of my temperate battleground stuff.

Then I painted the whole thing brown umber for the base.

Finally add the static grass. By luck I discovered most of my boards appear to match up with a spring mix green.

Once the grass was dry I could drybrush the cliffs in the cutting

The finished result can either have a road

or a railway line

Oh...and that hill - fortunately I had enough static grass to finish off that as well.

Until next time

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Building the Saracen Army part 5

With the new found enthusiasm to finish off projects I managed to get round to basing all of my Saracen Army. In addition I bought a shed load of Little Big Man Studio shield transfers to get the shields onto the troops.

The first post on this subject can be found here

Almost finished...but hopefully worthy of at least one set of photos...


Just need to touch up a few figures, fix the pennants and the job done !

Until next time


Saturday, 16 May 2015

28mm Daleks - The Army takes Shape - part 2

Hi Folks

Well I am delighted to report that the Dalek Army is now starting to take shape. Since I reported on this last month a few more of the metal pepper pots arrived and have been painted.

For sources of these and the start of this project head here

I decided that rather than paint all of them in the same colour scheme I would have some variety - this not only allows ease of identifying units on the table it also makes them slightly more interesting to paint.

Up first four greys -

Then we have six bronze/gold versions

and a dozen red Drones

And here is the Army in its full glory - including a white supreme version at the front

In total there are 86 Daleks - that's a lot of domes to paint.

A quick review of my eBay expenditure revealed that I paid around £52 (inc postage for this lot) across 7 lots. That works out about 60p per figure. The ones from Blacktree would have cost me in the region of £3 each so this proved a good option.

And the whole lot all fit into one of my boxes that I use to store minis

There is still space to fit in Dr Who and Davros - currently on order from Black Tree

Until next time