The Last Chance Saloon

I’m looking at creating a campaign to try out Legends of the Old West.  I’m not really going with he historical approach with this, I’m thinking Hollywood and Spaghetti all the way.  All good westerns have a saloon in them and invariably a bar-fight breaks out, so what better way to set up tension between two opposing sides and the beginning of hostilities.  This is a great stepping stone; should the outlaws loose, the sheriff hauls one of the gang members off to jail and the next scenario is a breakout, if the outlaws get the drop on the sheriff and his deputies, a posse is formed, and they try to chase the outlaws out of town…

Reaper mini for scale. The piano is from MBA, although seems to be completely out of scale.

I wanted to create the bar as the scenery, so I have focused on the interior and left the exterior blank for now.  I purposely only built up the two sides, and will have a “cut-away” section for the other two sides.  A second floor is in the works, but I think the main action will take place on the barroom floor.  I am contemplating either building tables and chairs, or going the dollhouse furniture route.

The walls were decorated with some scribed lumber and the wall paper was from searching through scrap booking pages (dollhouse paper would have been nice, but I think we lost every single dollhouse store in the area).

Good detail of wall and chair rails.

The floorboards were fun, but messy to create.  A trip to the dollar store and a healthy dose of glue debonder and voila!  The coffee stirrers were cut and laid in a semi-random pattern, painted with acrylic paint and then sanded with 100 grit sandpaper.  I have been using movies for ideas and I’ve come to realize, they very rarely show the floors.  Using artistic licence, I assumed this owner slapped the boards down, splashed some paint on and opened for business.  Years of boots, beer, brawls and blood has worn the floors down to this:

Floor constructed with cheap coffee stirrers, painted with cheap acrylic paint and then attacked with 100 grit sandpaper. Spills and dirt to be added.

Comparison of treated and untreated floorboards. Left room is still undecided, I was thinking either storage or kitchen.

Pegasus Hobbies barrels, stored in the "wood room"

I like that one of the floorboards have popped up...

The bar will be created along the back wall. I'm thinking large mirror, with lots of bottles, and "risqué" paintings on the wall.

There will be a second level with 2 rooms and an office. The rooms will be for extra curricular activities. To follow: bar, tables, chairs and ambiance.


Buying vs. Painting Totals 2012

Resolution #1:  Already begun before the new year!  How about that for success.  People have just suggested that I do this as a blog posting.  Easy enough and after staring at the admin site for a moment and wondering what the hell a widget was, you will now notice my totals on the right hand side. Now the extent of my addiction is there for all the world to see!
Basic Rules:
  1. I am counting my entire collection, not just starting with things I’ll buy this year.  Knowing me, I tend to jump around;  just because I bought it, doesn’t mean I’m running home to paint it.
  2.   Plastic parts are hard to count.  I have bits and pieces of all sorts of figures (mostly GW) lying around which I cannibalize for other things.  Should I count these things? No.
  3.  Multi-part plastic figures will be added as they are assembled.  Some unassembled figures may give up their lives for bigger and better projects.
  4.   This is only a record of  28mm stuff because that is what I’m doing these days.  So for those of you keeping score at home: No, the Epic Armageddon, Warmaster and Battlefleet Gothic sitting in the garage doesn’t count.  Neither does the shed full of 1/35 scale models. Or the collection of GHQ WWI ships…
  5. How to count terrain pieces?  I dunno.  I’ll deal with that when and if it happens.
Over the coming week I shall delve into the collection and figure out exactly how many figures I have floating around.  Expect big numbers.

Season’s Beatings!

the Christmas Spirit is alive and well at our house!

It’s that time of the year again when we all gather around with friends and family and wonder where the hell did these people  come from and am I really related to them.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

It is also the time for NEW YEAR”s RESOLUTIONS.  Hooray, a bunch of promises I make that I don’t keep.  Well this year is going to be different (same thing I said last year)!  Am I going to try to eat healthier?  Probably not.  Am I going to exercise more?  Who am I kidding.  So this year I decided to come up with hobby resolutions, ones that will be fun and easy to keep!

1.  Get a counter in the corner of the blog that shows the number of models I have vs. the models I’ve painted.  Expect negative numbers (models>finished work)!

2.  Run a game at Cangames this year.  I’m thinking Speed Rally Piston Cup.

3. Try at least 3 new painting techniques this year.  First one I’m thinking of  is the chipped paint technique with salt and hairspray.

4.  Continue to post on this blog with some regularity.  The whole idea of this blog was to share things, so I need to start sharing more!

5.  Run at least one campaign I have in mind.  Either Legends of the Old West or .45 Adventure…

6.  Cast a few things in either resin or Instant Mold.

7.  Photograph the trench.  Photograph figures.  Photograph games.

8.  Teach my son how to play board-games and practice taking turns.  Stealing the dice and knocking over the pieces is only cute for so long.

9.  Try to eat better and get more exercise.

There you go.  My year in neatly summarized in 8 easy steps.  Should be fun.  Happy New Year to all!

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…