Tuesday 25 April 2017

ANZAC Day 2017

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, that special day of the year when we honour the men and women who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces. It is also a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you all for your service and for putting others before yourselves that we might all live in a safer and happier community.

The Roll of Honour, courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Saturday 22 April 2017

Map of Peking Games Table

I thought it was about time I worked out some rough dimensions and locations for the various legations, canal, roads and other important features on the table.

I've decided to go with three of my folding tables in parallel giving me a total gaming area of approximately 6' x 7.5'. Anything smaller and the various buildings just seemed to small for a 28mm skirmish game. Having decided on the overall gaming area I set to working out a rough map so I've got some idea of how much ground individual items should cover.

This is by no means set in stone and individual items will undoubtedly be slightly larger or smaller as they get built, driven as much by storage requirements as anything. My storage boxes are approximately 12" x 16" meaning the British Legation would fill one entirely and fill approximately 2/3 of another.

While this was germinating away I was also "building" some ruined buildings. I've assembled the basis of a total of four of those but unfortunately experienced my first modelling accident in the process. I secure the cork walls with steel sewing pins until the glue dries and whilst pushing one of them home the head split in two, meaning all the force was transferred to the finger immediately behind. The upshot was the pin itself was driven clean through the core of my right index finger and out the other side. Not too much blood and very little to see but it's as sore as h3ll and I can't do much including use the mouse, draw or even type very well at present. Oh how we suffer for our art :-)

I also popped into the local $2 shop today and managed to find myself a statue of Bhudda for somewhere on the table. Not sure whether that will form part of the Palace of Prince Su or a temple area. Either way it's another bit of colour...


Friday 21 April 2017

Peking in a Box - Terrain Part 4 - Mongol Market

I found a few minutes here and there over the last few evenings to continue with the terrain for 55 Days at Peking.

Adjacent to the British and Russian Legations was an area known as the Mongol Market which I've not managed to find much information or imagery on unfortunately. Undeterred, I've decided to represent this as a rather rough and ready marketplace with a number of stalls of various sizes and construction methods.

Some dowel, canvas squares, bamboo matting and a pile of cork off-cuts have subsequently been turned into four quite serviceable market stalls with removable roofs.

A number of online vendors produce some quite reasonably priced and comprehensive market goods collections which combined with some crates and barrels should give me a quite convincing representation I think.

Next up? Some ruined housing destroyed by Chinese shelling...


Monday 17 April 2017

Peking in a Box - Terrain Part 3 - Small Shrine

I'm on something of a roll at the moment with the 55 Days at Peking terrain. Every time I think I've had enough for a day or three something pops into my head and I can't help finding myself back at the modelling desk cutting, gluing and pinning for my life.

With Box One nearly full I've moved onto Box Two and this time I've been building a small shrine. Unlike the houses I built earlier this week, the shrine uses a couple of cheap fleaBay finds in the form of a pine tree and a statue. I also raised SWMBO's craft cupboard for some beads.

The roof of the shrine "deliberately" (OK maybe I accidentally cut the roof too long [ahem]) projects out over the statue to keep the weather off.

There's a path running down the middle of the courtyard to the statue which I will border with gardens composed of rocks, gravel and some plants.

The pine tree is growing out of a raised bank and is removable for ease of storage.

To door or not to door? Part of me wants this kept simple...

Of all the buildings so far I've enjoyed this one the most. I didn't plan it much at all and just let it evolve as I worked on it.

I'm glad I started work with the simple building as despite the fact I've done a lot of cork scratch building over the years I am noticing a clear improvement in skills in just a few days. Things like the joins at roof peaks and mitre cuts have all neatened up significantly. This means the bigger ticket items like the legations should look the best and as they are the centrepiece of the table there will be less obvious issues to distract the eye.


Saturday 15 April 2017

Peking in a Box - Terrain Part 2

Solid progress today has seen the first four buildings 99% finished from a build perspective. All have roofs now of varying types and a few other items like remaining doors have been added.

Thanks to Dave Docherty who helped me with the clay tile sheets. Couldn't find them for love or money down here in Australia but Dave came up trumps the minute I mentioned I has struggling!
They're dead easy to cut and fix and really look the business.

I decided the larger house needed a decent sized main gate which is both more appropriate for the size of the building but also allows for miniatures to move through the structure instead of having to go around every time.

I'm going to hold off painting these I think so I can do a big batch paint at some point. Saves cleaning up all the time and means I can have a bit more of a think about colour schemes.

I'm already feeling the temptation to start work on one of the legation compounds. Must resist that until I've got another box of other buildings squared away!


Peking in a Box - Terrain Part 1

Over the last month or so I've gradually been accumulating all the necessary items to start constructing some buildings for my 55 Days at Peking project. The list includes cork tiles, bamboo, wooden dowel, wooden coffee stirrers, cardboard in various thicknesses and other sundry items for decoration. The growing pile has been slowly nagging at me, growing louder as the pile of accumulated items increased in size so I figured it was about time I started some construction.

Rather than start with the legation quarter I decided to do some of the less interesting but still important buildings, specifically the housing that constitute part of the playing area and from which a lot of the bands of Boxers will inevitably spring. It'll refine mi skills and leave the more interesting work to the end when I'm flagging a bit at the thought of cutting up yet more cork tiles...

I started out my working out rough building sizes and types and then mapped them into a storage box to ensure they would fit. Once I was happy that everything would fit neatly I was ready to start. Box One will eventually contain three medium sized houses, one large house and either one small house or a small shrine or other character type piece. As you see things fit well...

The outer shells of all but the small item were cut from cork tile and assembled last night, along with detailing like window and door timber work and some additional character on the large house.

This morning I cracked on with the first of the roofs. I don't normally do removable roofs because they require extra effort and the buildings lose some of their structural strength without the roof glued to the walls. Given this is a (large) skirmish project though it's important that miniatures can enter / exit from and hide in buildings so I've bitten the bullet.

I'm going with a variety of roofing styles to mix things up including timber (as above) and clay tile in various colours (still to come on some of the remaining buildings in this box).

All up I think it will cost something in the region of $6-12 per medium sized building and take approximately 2 hours to build each one. It won't break the bank spread over the time it will take to complete the project but it will take a number of months to get enough built for a decent sized table.

I suspect I will need another box of housing to make a convincing sized area and then I can start thinking about legations...


Sunday 9 April 2017

Warhammer Empire Flagellants

Hi All,

It's been some time since I've had any free time at all hence the deafening silence here on the blog. Yesterday was in fact my first day off work in 12. So you can imagine I was quite pleased to be able to see an exhibition of Egyptian Mummies from the BNM, have a brilliant Brazilian BBQ lunch and then get these chaps finished off. I almost feel human!

The Empire of the Warhammer world is full of all sorts of interesting fluff and the Flagellants are right up there in those terms. These jokers are the gaming equivalent of the nutter at the street corner with the "End is Nigh" placard. According to the Warhammer Fantasy Wikia...
"Flagellants are the names given to those that have lost all hope for a dying world, and now wander the lands in marauding hordes, preaching the end is nigh and fighting the darkness with a fervor that borders unto insanity."
23 of the 24 are the original "classic" models, sporting blow-dried hair. I somehow ended up with one of the second edition metal models so he got a "promotion" as the unit leader a.k.a. Prophet of Dooooommmm.... That's him front and centre face-palming and wondering how he ended up here when all he wanted to do was thump the Book of Sigmar and give himself a d@mn good thrashing in his cell after dark. Whatever floats your boat and all that.

I'm pretty pleased with the ragged, grubby look I achieved with these without them looking too mono-tonal and uninteresting. You'd never know there are 12 different coloured tunics but there you go.

And before I go a quick net-gloat about by latest fleaBay snaffle. I've been after a unit of the Order of the Knights of the Blazing Sun for absolutely yonks and they've proven to be like the proverbial chook's choppers. Yesterday, however, Sigmar turned his blessed gaze upon my efforts and the following appeared (then near instantly disappeared) from said flea market.

How good is that? A full ten of them including command and in MINT condition. And it only cost me ONE limb! :-) Added to my Reiksguard, Knights Panther and Knights of the White Wolf and that gives me a complete set of all the knightly orders that were produced in metal. Happy days...

That's it for now.


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