Projects from the Summer

Flame marker to show a really bad day playing Wings of War/Wings of Glory. Tutorial to follow...

Group shot form the header photo shoot

Okay, not really this summer. Green Fury Van from Monsterpocalypse, in 1/50 scale.

For any post zombie apocalypse city or park; what better way to illustrate the end of the world than a bench with litter around it.

Another shot of figs from the header

Photo Gallery of the Trench


Way back in Wargames Illustrated 235 (May 2007), Dave Andrews printed rules for a WW1 trench raid.  I read it, I enjoyed it, I obsessed about it and wanted to create my own.  The rules were easy; all you really needed were a deck of cards, some dice, a few figs and photocopies of the trench template provided.  Of course I couldn’t just do that, I had to create my own 3D trench and create a custom deck of cards!  Here is a gallery of several of the 6 inch by 6 inch modular boards I created.

Two trench raiders from the Great War Miniatures line

Trench warning sign is a photo, shrunk down to size and printed on sticker paper.

A side branch to reserve trenches

Water created with Envirotex Lite and a couple of washes of cheap acrylic paint

All in all, there are eight 6 by 6 boards with openings that are roughly the same spot on each of them so that I can create a different 4 foot trench for each game.

Sorry, I’m still here!

As a substitute teacher, I find September to be an incredibly hard month to deal with.  I try to put my best foot forward and be the cutest quietest and most useful version of myself in a variety of schools, in the hopes that someone falls down some stairs or ends up with some horrid disease so that I may jump in and replace them.  Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my career is based on the pain and suffering of others.  No luck this year so far… 

After dealing with the self-doubt and a hurt ego, I find myself feeling guilty for not blogging.  Despite the lack of typing and posting, there are a lot of projects going on: I’m painting cowboys for a wild west campaign as well as gangsters who are building up supplies of hootch (thank you very much Boardwalk Empire!); Modern US Marines and civilians for a zombie apocalypse; and a nagging desire to paint up some pulp heroes and nasty nazis to duke it out in a progressive campaign.

In reviewing my previous posts I decided I probably need a little help in the camera department (and the grammar department too, according to some).  So I’ve decided I will wrangle the brother-in-law’s camera and get some shots posted of my modular trench pieces for the trench raid game I tried out a few summers ago.  There, I’ve put it online, now I have to follow through with it–just like a compromising photo on Facebook–its out there forever.

Wings of War battlemat

A few years ago I was introduced to Wings of War at a games club.  I enjoyed it and thought it would be cool if there were miniatures involved, and of course soon thereafter miniatures were released and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I’ve played this game with anyone who would sit down with me for more than ten minutes.  For me, one of my best games was an all out brawl with 16 players at a games club I started at the school I was at.  It was great seeing the kids get involved and ask questions about the First World War (there was a First World War?).

Soon enough I wanted to have some sort of playing surface to get shot down on (apparently my luck with dice carries over to cards too).  My initial plan was to get an aerial recon photo and enlarged onto a sheet of foam core.  The price quickly changed that idea.  Next I was going to get a large sheet of foam-core and paint a french landscape across it in a style similar to the cards.  I quickly realized I was not talented enough to pull that off and given the scale I would be painting farms and fields forever.  FFG then released their game mats, which were disappointing as they had the art, but they just enlarged a card or two instead of shrinking it down.  Then I found out it was two separate mats, which made me like them even less…

The New Idea

Looking on the WoW Aerodrome site (  ).  I came across a hand painted map that I could do!  I rushed off to my old employer the Hobby Centre, and purchased a Woodland Scenics mat (RG5132) and this is what I did:

I used a black sharpie marker and marked out farmsteads and roads.

Using a sponge/dry-brushing technique, I varied shades of green/beige/yellow fields with cheap dollar store paint. I filled in roads with some beige paint.

Used a variety of different colours to flesh out my fields. The vinyl mat was scuffed several times, these will dealt with later.
Sprayed paint trench in. I used a light beige textured paint first and I aimed for areas I did not like. Second layer was Tamiya’s dark earth–no real reason I used that colour other than I had it. Drew in trench lines with black sharpie.

Any major area that had the turf scuffed away I tried to colour it in to look like an errant shell landed there.  My final steps will include getting my wife to draw in craters for me.  I hope to play test it out in the next week or so to see how it holds up in combat.  Unfortunately with my experience so far I fear it may be scuffed quite easily, so I will try a dullcoat spray over it to hold it in place…

Speed Rally: Celebrity Invitational Race

A few weeks ago the Monday Night Gamers got together and I ran Speed Rally for  the first time.  The racers were drawn from a plethora of TV shows and movies from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and the new century!  I created each of the cars and racers within a 2000 point range and tried to base the abilities and skills of the cars and their drivers from what I could remember from the shows and wikipedia…

  The boys had a dice off and selected cars by the highest roll.  To even out the playing field, those who got first pick got last positions on the starting grid.
The order was: Magnum PI’s Ferrari 305 GTS (Seth), Walt Kowalski’s Gran Torino (Gord), The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile (Phil), Ghost Buster’s Ecto 1 (Mark), The 1965 Batmobile (Sean), The Delorean Time Machine (Rob). 

The first lap: a little bunched up in the beginning, the Torino took an early lead but was soon to spinout!

As this was my first time running the game I did run into a few speed bumps (pun intended) with the rules, and I had overpowered a few cars, but overall we had a good time!

The Final Act

The race had a suitable number of spin outs, a few nasty weapons (the Wienermobile was armed with 3 catapults, one ketchup, one mustard, and one relish).  Unfortunately, the final lap is where my inexperience with the rules shone through.  On the final stretch the Batmobile and Wienermobile decided to team up and block/bash/ram anyone who tried to make a dash for the finish line. With the ambush strategically set up just after an oilslick, both Ecto 1 and Magnum’s Ferrari fell victim. I was unsure how to handle multiple rams in a five car pile up.  Inexplicably, the Gran Torino (from the movie of the same name) made it through and claimed second place.

The Time Machine wins by a landslide

Final thoughts:

For a first time playing, I think everyone had a good time.  As usual, I got a little jumpy when I am not completely versed in the rules and made quick and sometimes not necessarily good decisions on the fly glossing over some rules, forgetting others.  My track was printed on to sticker paper and then attached to foam-core, I probably need a way to secure the track to the table to prevent shifts and some better way to line the pieces up so they aren’t so jagged…

I would love to play this game again and have been brewing an idea for the next Cangames in Ottawa:  THE PISTON CUP!   


Random thought for the Week

Just finished the Game of Thrones TV series.  Currently reading the Game Of Thrones (okay, okay, listening to it on cd while I drive), and the Monday Night Game Guys are discussing doing a Game of Thrones RPG and I was thinking about characters.

Spoiler Alert for Game of Thrones

It seems like 3/4 of the main characters die in the first book alone, butcher boys, advisors, captain of the guard, knights, wet nurses, Lord Stark.  Wait a minute, Lord Stark?!?  Isn’t he the main character?  So in an RPG setting what chance would a regular character have to survive?  It seems like every type of fighter died (soldiers, knights, rangers, Lords of Kingdoms, horse-lords); advisors dropped like flies; even a dire wolf bites it.  So what kind of character should I play?  I figured it out: a cook!  Everybody eats a lot in the first book (lots of stews it seems) but it does not seem that any cook meets an unfortunate end.  I can only assume that everybody eats in the preceding books (that is, all the new characters that G. Martin creates since he killed most of the originals) so a cook should have a fairly good chance of surviving…

Hello World!

This blog thing seems to be sticking around, unlike HD DVD or Beta cassettes, so I guess I’ll finally jump on the bandwagon.  I’m pretty sure people don’t care what I’m thinking (or trending) right now; and my son is really cute, but I don’t think people will want to read about me droning on and on about it; so I think I’ll focus on gaming and painting and sharing my twisted views and ideas with the rest of the world (insert maniacal laughter here).

Be warned.  I have figured out how to post text.  Next will be photos.  After that I can’t be responsible for what happens.  

I know from personal experience looking at other people’s blogs has led me to ruminate about what I saw and liked, leading me to try it myself causing loss of sleep, finances, time and sanity.  I hope to inspire/torture others with this. Be warned, and enjoy.