Gisby's Gaming Blog

August 12, 2016

Home-Grown Askaris

Years ago, I sculpted a bunch of figures for a company that shall remain nameless. They were state of the art for 1975, but it hadn’t been 1975 for many years.

I did however sculpt an Askari miniature, and kept a mould of him: Based on a Belgian Askari, he was pretty generic, so I have painted units of them in blue, khaki, and white, and he serves in many of my armies without raising eyebrows.

mybelgyellow

I recently found a TSATF unit’s worth in a box, based and primed, so I painted them as yet another bunch of Belgians.

The command figures are random figures from my Victorian spares. I think the Officer is from (long gone) ItalWars, and the NCO from Warrior Miniatures.

mybelgyellow1

My Askari is not so bad: If I could only sculpt hands, feet, faces, and bodies, he’d be great!

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September 24, 2015

Sally 4th Russian Farmhouse – A Review

Filed under: COLONIAL WARS, Pulp Gaming, Sally 4th, Victorian Adventure Gaming, WW1 — Tags: — gisby @ 20:38

This is Sally 4th‘s kit 28WW2_001 Russian Farmhouse. I have no idea how typical this building is of Russian farmhouses. (farmhice?) I picked this kit up because it looked (to me) like it wouldn’t be out-of-place as a white farmer’s home in Africa. (NB: I am not doubting it’s accuracy…. I have seen a photo of the original building, and this is what it looks like. It’s a dam’ good representation.)

Sally 4th Russian Farmhouse

It’s laser-cut from 2mm and 3mm MDF, with a patch of ‘fun fur’ for the thatching. It also comes with extensive colour-printed instructions. The fit is good, and it is well-engineered.

The building itself is a rectangle with two interior rooms. Three walls have windows, and one wall is blank. It is surrounded by a wooden walkway and an overhanging awning/roof. There is a nice-looking chimney supplied, but apparently I forgot to add it.

russianfarm6

I primed and painted all the pieces before assembly, which makes for much easier painting. Priming isn’t essential, but without it, the MDF tends to soak up paint like crazy. However the tolerances on this kit are extremely tight, so too much paint will interfere with the fit of the pieces. Be aware of how it fits together before you start painting.

The roof has four sloped pieces that are glued together, and to a good, solid frame that helps align them. The instructions suggest that there can be difficulty getting them aligned because of all the angles, but it wasn’t really difficult.

The instructions tell you to assemble the four outer walls, let them dry, then insert the inner walls and room dividers. (The walls are double-thicknesses as are the interior walls. This makes for a more substantial kit, and allows detail on both sides of the walls..)

russianfarm4

Because the tolerances are so close, I’d suggest that you assemble the interior walls then glue the outer walls around them. (And do not paint the wall surfaces that are glued together.) When dry, I filled what seams there were on the outer walls, and used a bit of the filler to add some texture to the walls themselves.

Each window has a lintel, a sill, two sides, and a shutter (open or closed) and a frame that sits inside them. Again, be careful of painting the surfaces that glue together because they may not fit easily if you are careless. Don’t get me wrong, the resulting windows look great, and all the pieces make them easy to paint. They are engineered so that they align themselves for the most part, so in spite of the number of pieces they aren’t really difficult to assemble.

The doors can also be assembled open or closed (or left unglued.) They have a handle assembly that looks like a block with two curved antennae. The instructions showed where they go, but not how. Eventually I realized that they fit into the door with the antennae pointing down, making a very convincing set of iron door handles.

The floor and walkway are a single piece, and slot into place easily. The awning and supports also fit easily and cleanly. The roof just sits on top for easy removal.

I had pictures of each end, but they are identical, so why bother?

I had never tried the ‘fun fur’ thatching before, and it was complicated by the multiple angles of the roof, I aligned and glued one  long side. When that was dry, I did the other long side. When that was dry, I folded the fabric at each end flat and slit it at the approximate centre of the wall. This left a flap on each end that overlapped the other side. I trimmed this flap where it overlapped the other, and glued them down.

Then the fabric was dry, I brushed the fur with a toothbrush, blending over the joins. I used slightly dilute white glue and brushed it all downwards.

I painted the whole house much like they did in their instructions. (It looked good, why not?)

russianfarm1

When dry, I lightly primed the thatch, then brushed various tans and greys onto it. The fur supplied was black, and I had some doubts, but it actually worked well.

While more complex than most laser-cut kits, this was easy to assemble, and a pleasure to build. The results make the extra complexity worth it. Available from Sally 4th.

July 26, 2015

Space 1889: A German Landship

thor1

First of all, let me say that this was not an original idea: It came about as the result of a conversation with the Major General himself. He suggested that the GI Joe ‘Cobra Imp’ might make a good Steampunk tank. And so it does.

This vehicle started life as a GI Joe kid’s toy, with four rockets on it’s back and a Cobra crewman sitting in the front. I got lucky on ebay, with a seller apologetically throwing in a second vehicle because it was missing the rockets and launcher.

thor3

I covered the open compartment at the back, leaving space for a grille to show the inner workings. (They look a lot like steam turbines) I placed a tall smoke stack just in front of the grille.

thor6

I closed the front of the seating compartment and put in a floor suitable for 25mm command crew. I use 20mm bases, so it was the perfect size for two crew.

thor7 thor4

The hull front received a view slit and a limited-traverse cannon. The vehicle may be big and impressive, but it isn’t particularly effective.

thor2 thor5

There were platforms at the back with pegs to fit the feet of GI Joe soldiers. I removed the pegs so the platforms can still carry a couple of troops. I suppose carrying an MG and crew would make the beast far more effective..

For very little work I got two impressive-looking steam tanks The Imps can still be found on ebay, and without their rockets they don’t cost much….

The crew in these photos are supplied by my Hinterland Miniatures Trench Raiders: https://gisby.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/hinterland-miniatures-trench-raiders-hun-honeys/

July 19, 2015

Darkest Africa – More Germans

Filed under: COLONIAL WARS, Germany, Pulp Gaming, Victorian Adventure Gaming — Tags: — gisby @ 22:20

Askaris

gerskar5b

gerskar5a

This unit is based on a description of Early German Askaris in Foundry’s ‘Small Wars and Skirmishes.’ It’s made of Old Glory Egyptians painted as Africans, with a German flag. It has Egyptian Officers, as the troops hired only understood commands in Turkish, so non-German officers were needed.

The Egyptians and the Sailors below had a few of the ‘Hey Bob!’ poses, with heads looking around at odd angles, but they were easy enough to fix.

Matrosen

matrosen1900

A naval landing party. Old Glory again, Austrian sailors from the Boxer Rebellion. If there is a difference in the uniform, it’s lost to me in 25mm.

Schutztruppen

Renegade WW1 Germans in field cap, with a neck curtain added.The uniform might not be 100% correct, but it looks good enough to me. (The caps should have a small visor on the front, but I didn’t bother) They’ll also do for troops serving in Asia.

renasien

I also made a MG and crew.  The funny little tripod is made from wire and plastic card.

 schmg01 schmg02

May 17, 2015

Darkest Africa: Pulp Figures German Colonial Infantry.

Pulp Figures is known for great personality figures and (of course) Pulp Archetypes, but I have always particularly liked their historical troops.

I was very excited when they released their ‘German Colonial’ sets. They are perfect for Colonial warfare, WW1, and the Boxer Rebellion. This uniform could be seen in the Pacific, Africa and Asia.

PGS 15 German Colonial Rifles is  well posed for a skirmishing line, and they really look the part: Tough, experienced troops. (The girl in the first picture is from PHP 19 Dangerous Dames 2)

sh1 sh1bsud2 sud1

PGS 17 German Colonial Maxim Guns

Again, well-posed and well-sculpted, a pair of efficient weapons teams.

Note: The HMG is not the one that came with the set. I accidentally wrecked mine trying some solder work, so had to replace it with a spare.

sud3 sud4

I used a RENEGADE 77mm gun with the crews from a set of PGS 17  to give my Colonial Troops some artillery.

shgun2 shgun1

I also have a unit of Seebatallion made up from PGS01, 02, 03, and 06. These troops could also be seen in the Pacific, Africa, and Asia,

sg2b  sg2a

The officer below comes with binoculars in his hand, but I replaced them with a sword.

sg2

Needless to say, I enthusiastically recommend these figures. They are available from Pulp Figures.

For more information on German Colonial Uniforms: http://www.germancolonialuniforms.co.uk/

August 14, 2008

SPACE 1889: A German walker

I am a big fan of the SPACE 1889 rules and setting. They had role-playing rules, tabletop battle rules, plus aerial and naval rules. They combined Victorian and Barsoomian elements well, and deserved to be far more popular than they were. Even now, 20 years later they still have a following.

I’ll admit, in places the rules weren’t great, but in others they were teriffic.

Where they shone, was in background. The rules themselves were followed by a bunch of reasonably priced sourcebooks, each with background material a-plenty and a really crappy scenario. More…

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