Monday, July 14, 2014

Mayan Temple for Pulp adventures - complete!

It's amazing the motivation posting work in progress pictures on forums give me when completing projects. A few days after deciding to make a Mayan-style temple for Pulp Alley adventures to come, I have managed to completed it (although some final painting will be completed/details will be added in time).

I'm quite pleased with the result and am grateful for the useful advice I've received on TMP and Pulp Alley Forums.
The painting was largely inspired by this thread on painting stonework on TMP.
Details to come include:
  • crafting a sacrificial alter to sit on the summit of the temple
  • some more shading on the stairs
  • a little dry brushing to knock back the colours used to highlight different tones among the stones
  • possibly one final wash to help define the shadows a little more
  • adding some moss/lichen to increase the 'lost ruin in the jungle' look
The next project is some trees for the jungle setting.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mayan temple pt 2

After some great advice on  TMP and Pulp Alley forum about possible approaches to texturing the
surface of the Mayan-style temple, I have settled on building up a clockwork texture using thin card 'stone slabs' glued on and then covered with tissue paper brushed in diluted PVA glue.

I think some of my efforts to lay the tissue paper over the 'slabs' of cardboard are a little sub standard, but in general I'm liking the texture. Of course, the immediate benefits of this approach is that it is cheap and I can get moving on it strait away.

The question will be whether to undercoat and dry-brush, or to use some sort of texture over the tissue paper. The advantage of another layer is it will make the surface more durable, but I may end up losing some of the effect I've created.

Another pice of advice I received was to seal/reinforce the edges of the corrugated cardboard with thin strips of card glued on. It's a little too late for the edges of the bottom two levels, but I will try this on the steps and possibly the upper level.

Some other products mentioned by fellow wargamers that I will be looking at for future projects such as this will be:




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Scratch built Mayan temple - of sorts!

My pulp adventures need more locations - I fancy a steamy jungle ruin.

The aim here is to produce a cheap, useful bit of terrain without it spending months on the craft table like all my other projects do.

I am loosely basing this (very loosely) on the Tikal Temple II in Northern Guatemala.
Ok, I confess I was originally planning on the standard Mayan temple with the staircase on each face but I could see the job bogging down if I had to make four staircases! So a quick web search found the temple at Tikal, and Bob's your uncle!

So, the basic structure (sans stairs) has been constructed our of heavy corrugated cardboard. I'm pondering how to manage the summit shrine - partly because I've not allowed enough space - but in the mean time am wanting to get the main exterior finish sorted.

Here's how it looks at the moment:
28mm miniature to give a sense of scale.
I've contemplated covering it with tissue paper soaked in PVA glue to give it a uniform, rough finish, then dry brush and add a bit of vegetation. However, it would be good to get a bit of a stone clockwork feel to the surface. The question is how?

The role of this bit of terrain is just to be a serviceable bit of pulp terrain - so it does not need a refined finish. The other criteria, is to continue with the 'no cost' strategy!

I'll post more pictures as it progresses.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

70 years

For twenty-two years as a war correspondent, Capa was a witness to the twentieth century's most momentous events: the Spanish Civil War, the London blitz, World War II, the birth of Israel, and the war in Indochina; he died after stepping on a mine while covering this last conflict. Capa could just as easily have perished on D-Day when he made this unforgettable photograph while wading ashore in Normandy with one of the first landings of soldiers on Omaha Beach. Capa made seventy-nine photographs of the first hours of the invasion. Tragically, a careless lab assistant ruined all but seven negatives, the only photographic record of the first wave.








http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1987.1100.501

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

With a broad sweep of the eye - 2mm wargaming

A casual review of my blog posts over the past few years will easily identify me as a wargamer who starts many projects, but finish few. I've learned over the years to accept who I am, rather than fight it! So, without apology, I introduce my new wargaming fascination - 2mm!

I recall years ago standing in Eureka Miniatures and being handed a Irregular Miniatures 2mm Tercio. At the time I was a dedicated 15mm gamer and thought, 'no... Never!' Too small, too blocky, no details ... never say 'never'!
RBG 10 Tercio, painted by James Chester from http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/
Now, after reading many TMP threads (3mm or rice, painting 2mm, who makes them etc.) on small scales miniatures in the past few weeks, lets get some stuff out of the way:
  • Yes, they are really small but you can paint them without an electron microscope;
  • Yes, I agree that 2mm is a way to field armies for large engagements without having paint for months (possibly years at my pace!);
  • No, I don't want to play with counters (although defend the right of those who wish to!);
  • No, I may not as well be painting grains of rice ... yadda, yadda.
What has drawn me to this scale is threefold:

1.  I'm attracted to the idea of recreating the look of those classic, grand scale battle scenes we see in contemporary accounts - I think the first case of this was seeing the image below of the Battle of Naseby.
Preparation for the Battle of Naseby, fought on the 14th June 1645
published in The History and Antiquities of Naseby by John Mastin, 1792
2.  I want to experiment with making terrain for this scale – it brings together elements of cartography (which I enjoy) with my interest in modelling terrain for wargaming. I'm inspired by people' using the 'terrain cloth' style and think this is the way to go for 2mm.
From https://www.flickr.com/photos/36331979@N00/ - obviously not for 2mm, but you get the idea.
There are some great resources and eye candy on the web (not always for 2mm, but relevant) at locations such as (to name but a few):
3.  They are relatively cheap – great for those times where your wargaming budget is a bit light on!

So, as you can see, many have gone before me, and much air has been expended on debating the merits of this extremity of small scale wargaming.

Now for my own humble offering. Well, it's early days ...

My first 2mm project will focus on a bridge level scenario for the First Battle of Bull Run.

I am currently working on the Confederate forces - the Irregular Miniatures Confederate Army Pack provide for 15 brigades of infantry, so that should come close to providing what I need.

Some links for OOB's online (and I'm sure there are many more):
The plan is to, where possible, customise each stand to reflect the individual brigades and hopefully add some 'colour' by representing some of the state militia uniforms present. There will be some poetic license taken, for instance I'll have all of the 1st Louisiana Battalion in the Tiger Rifles uniform - I can't resist!

Learning to paint 2mm is a new and interesting challenge. I have based my initial attempts on the method used by SteelonSand. Once I get a method sorted I'll post it here.

For now, my ham-fisted first steps - I can see this scale will take a while to get used to:

Here's the Irregular Army pack mounted, with undercoat and dry brushing of
basic uniform colour underway
Confederates (from the rear) in a light grey with some different hats/pants picked out. 

Tiger Rifles with main colours blocked in
My initial experience suggests the importance of using some crisp, vibrant colours rather than the muted tones we are often seek on larger scale figures. The importance of painting the face is not lost on me - that really gives the blocks some charter. I've read elsewhere that most of the Irregular horse and musket infantry are holding their guns at the port - initially I was thinking this was a bed roll across their chest - an opportunity for a bit of detail there.

As for those hard core types talking about painting the lace on the Zouave's jackets and the drums, I'm not there yet! Maybe a I need a stronger magnifying glass!

'What rules will I use?', I hear you ask. The jury is still out. I'm considering Polemos OTC/COE but I already have a 6mm ACW project on the back burner for that ruleset (yes, another long term project).  Although, I have been considering using Polemos with a reduced base size. I've been looking at some of the free rules discussed, but nothing jumps out at me yet. I have also been considering DBACW - but I need a rest from DBx. Yep, no idea yet. Any suggestions welcome!









Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pulp Alley character cards

'We are nostalgic for the old and the analog'

Despite the many and various joys of the digital age for this aged researcher, one cannot help but feel nostalgic for the intensely tactile experience of searching the card file catalogue in a library. The feel, the smell, the frustration of the missing card!

As my first Pulp Alley leagues are nearly off the painting table, my mind has turned to charter cards and league rosters! While searching for images that could be used for the card, I happened across this groovy Catalogue Card Generator created by John Blyberg.

With very little effort, some 'atmospheric' charter cards can be pieced together (the photo is added later by me). These are two of the League Leaders for my upcoming Pulp Alley adventure – 'On to Port Said!'



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Way too late for Christmas, but ...

Happy New Year bloggers,

I know this is sensationally late for Christmas but just happened across this video of The Royal Guardsmen performing their Snoopy/Red Baron songs on a new blog I'm following (The Woolshed Wargamer) and couldn't help posting - not high culture, but oh the nostalgia!

I recall having the single with:

  • A1: Snoopy Vs The Red Baron
  • A2: The Return Of The Red Baron
  • B1: Airplane Song (My Airplane)
  • B2: Snoopy's Christmas


  • Just back from summer hols - will extract the digit and get some wargaming posts going soon.