Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dystopian Wars - Prussian Fleet

(Originally posted on the Home Page, Sept 27th, 2011)
For the Prussian Fleet I decided to stray a bit off the nautical theme and go with early-war Luftwaffe colours which I've always liked and, I dunno why, but often think of as quintessentially 'German'.

In the rules, the Prussians utilize Tesla-based weaponry which is kinda neat and you can see Tesla coils on many of their models.

Three Frigates
As you can see the silhouette of the Prussian ships are very angular and swept back - reminiscent of a King Tiger's hull. I think they look the most contemporary of all the Dystopian fleets. I'm quite looking forward to doing up the their zeppelin aircraft carrier as the model looks very cool.

The Cruisers
You can see the Tesla coils at the aft of the Cruisers.
I'm now on the hunt for some Maltese cross decals that I can use for these. 

The Prussian Battleship.
Again, Tesla coils along the amidships.
A pair of Heavy Bombers
A couple groups of Fighters with slightly different markings to differentiate the squadrons..
The last and final group will be the American Fleet.  I already have an idea of what I want to do with them but we'll see how it turns out.

In this shot the Battleship has a couple of the 'plug-in' generators.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dystopian Wars - Britannian Fleet with some 'Razzle Dazzle'

(Originally posted on the Home Page, Sept 18, 2011)
For the British fleet I thought I'd do something completely different from the Japanese I had done. I wanted the British ships to reflect England's cutting-edge industrial nature, but with a little dash of Victorian pomp and ceremony for good measure. So I went with a variation of the 'Dazzle' camouflage pattern first used by the Brits late in WWI.

HMS Argus, ca 1918.

Ok, a little background history: First developed in 1917 by British maritime artist Norman Wilkinson, 'Dazzle' painting is technically not a camouflage (a pattern designed to hide), but was instead created to disrupt the observer's perception of the silhouette, size and heading of the dazzle-painted subject. It was primarily developed to fool torpedo range-finding optics and surface rangefinders. It was really never proven how effective dazzle painting was but it was often seen to boost ships' morale, as the crews believed it gave them an edge in combat.

A squadron of frigates (3 of 10).
A trio of cruisers.
A Battleship

An Aircraft Carrier.
In typical British fashion, the Carrier is bodged from two battleship hulls.
The crap decals are Flames of War leftovers...
The Big Bad Boy: The Dreadnought.

Two Heavy Bombers.
The Fleet steaming out to enlighten the world in British glory (and the Anglo Free Market).
Next up are the Prussians, which, characteristically German, will be a little more straightforward to get on the table...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dystopian Wars - Empire of the Blazing Sun (Base Fleet)

(Originally posted on the Home Page, December 5, 2011)
I've been going pretty hard collecting and painting Napoleonics for about a solid year now and I have to say that I've gotten a little burned-out. So I thought I'd break up the routine and recharge the batteries with something completely unrelated. 

A few weeks ago Sylvain hosted a game of 'Firestorm Armada' to which I really enjoyed the simple mechanics of the rules and afterwards I thought I'd check out the Spartan Games' website to see what else they had. Well, on top of 'Firestorm Armada' they also have a Victorian era steampunk game called 'Dystopian Wars'. I've always been drawn to the funky brass-meets-Jules-Vern esthetic of steampunk and thought I'd try out some of the models as they looked quite neat.

Well, at these things go, the idea of 'a few models' promptly went out the window and I instead picked up all four fleets direct from Spartan Games through one of their promotions. The main castings are resin with white metal details. The casting quality of both the resin and metal is very good. Crisp, clean with no unsightly bubbles or excessive flash. 

So, here are the first group out of the painting gate - some ships from the Japanese Fleet, or as the game calls them The Empire of the Blazing Sun. These ships are quite stylized in their design, something along the lines of floating art-deco locomotives, which I think has a great look. For a paint scheme I decided to mimic some of the turn-of-the-century Japanese woodblock prints I've seen which depict the naval battles of the Sino-Japanes and Russo-Japanese wars. I quite like the high contrast between the light grey hulls and the black and red accents. Here are a few examples:

This stuff is really so easy to paint after doing a zillion 28mm Napoleonics. Its basically a lot of drybrushing, a mid-tone wash, pick out the details and you're done. First shown below are a couple of the smallest ships, the Frigates.

Two of the Frigates.
Then the mainstays of the Fleet, the Cruisers.

Three Cruisers. Those structures on the top and rear of the hull are rocket turrets.

Then an example of one of the Capital Class ships, a Battleship.

A Battleship with some sort of a trippy shield generator thingy on the stern.

...and a photo of the whole Fleet as it stands now.

Next up will be the British fleet which I'm still mulling over the colour scheme...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

From the Lead Archive: 28mm Foundry Ancient Greek Hoplites

Still drumming my fingers waiting for 'Hail Caesar' to make its appearance.  Thought I'd ease my impatience by unpacking some more 'sword and sandal' stuff from our move. Here are a few test models I did of some ancient Greek hoplites. I remember I had just finished reading Steven Pressfield's superb 'Gates of Fire' and was completely stoked to paint hoplites.

These are from the excellent Foundry range of models that were sculpted by Steve Saleh. I really like the animation of Saleh's work, even though the shields seem somewhat small to me. Hmm, that reminds me, I need to get some transfers on those shields...

Now that I'm looking at them again I think I'll do up a few more along with some helots for a skirmish game scenario I have knocking around in my head. More on that later if anything comes of it.

From the Lead Archive: The Harii - 28mm Ancient German Barbarians

I have to admit I'm getting a little keyed-up waiting for my copy of 'Hail Caesar' to arrive.  So , like a little kid, I decided to pull out and dust off some of what I have to start playing with (or needs to be built upon).

Here are some Germanic barbarians I painted up to represent Harii warriors. The Harii are a bit of a mysterious lot as they supposedly worshiped the night, or perhaps were a quasi death cult. There is also an interesting theory that based on their location, culture and genetics that they were precursors to the Vikings.

Tacitus writes in his work, 'Germania':

As for the Harii, quite apart from their strength, which exceeds that of the other tribes I have just listed, they pander to their innate savagery by skill and timing: with black shields and painted bodies, they choose dark nights to fight, and by means of terror and shadow of a ghostly army they cause panic, since no enemy can bear a sight so unexpected and hellish; in every battle the eyes are the first to be conquered.

Anyway, I liked how Kevin Dallimore originally painted them for Foundry and so I've shamelessly copied him here (I really liked how he did the Conan black-striped camo thing).

Um, gee, pretty much the same shot here - Ok, just imagine this is taken from a completely different angle which makes the figures look achingly beautiful. No? Well, just squint a bit then.
These are old 28mm Wargames Foundry models - Mark Copplestone sculpts I believe. I plan to do a Germanic barbarian army that will contain several tribes (Cimbri, Suebi, etc.) of which these will be the basis for one unit. I'll post up some other stuff over the next little while.

1:2400 GQH WWII Ships

I've been feeling the urge to play some 'General Quarters III' so I brought out some of my naval stuff. Here are some 1:2400 scale models from GHQ that I collected to do 'The Battle of the River Plate', the action in which the Graf Spee was hunted down, engaged and scuttled in December 1939.

These are excellent castings, with crisp lines, superb detail and very little required in cleanup. 

Tim was kind enough to do up a bushel of MDF bases for me a few years ago which have served quite well. I've placed a small magnetic strip at the back so I can 'clip on' labels for ship names in case I want to bodge around with other scenarios.

I also have some Great War vessels which I'll have to put up a sampling sometime.

Graf Spee with the Leipzig (which was not at the River Plate action but I thought I'd slip in 'cause I like the seaplane)

From the Lead Archive: Viking Beserkers 28mm Foundry

Here are some hirsute Scandinavian fellows who seem to have some axes to grind (literally).

These are older Foundry castings sculpted by Mark Sims. I've never been too crazy about the shields but I really like the animation of the figures - very characterful.