Category Archives: Components

The Campaign(s) Continues

No big news, but there’s been positive movement on both the ACW and 6mm WW2 fronts. Unfortunately, I’m fighting a four or five front ‘war,’ but there’s no one to blame for that, except myself.

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First up, some terrain progress with the 6mm WWII IABSM 3 (that’s a lot of acronyms. TALOA, everyone!) project. I painted up two small houses, a barn, a cottage, and a manor house, all by GHQ. These buildings paint up so easily, and so nicely-a little paint, drybrush, a sepia ink wash, and you’re set! They look even better in person, where every little flaw isn’t exaggerated by zoomed in digital camera. By the way, I discovered that if you use future floor wax as a component of your ink wash, applying Vallejo matt varnish by brush afterwards reactivates the wash, and swirls it around in a not-unpleasing, but still alarming and unintended, manner.

Cottage and Villa

Cottage and Villa

This is the Villa de GHQ

This is the Villa de GHQ

Dilapidated barn and two small houses

Dilapidated barn and two small houses. Here’s where you see how incredibly lazy I am about cleaning up flash and mold slippage. It’s a little annoying that GHQ puts their trademark on the outside of the buildings (grey house, right side), but I’ll forgive them.

Houses and barn from above. My road is way out of scale.

Houses and barn from above. My road is way out of scale.

I have 10 Sherman tanks about 80% done, crops to plant on the terrain board, and a few British infantry to paint up, and this puppy will be ready to go. Unless I decide to base the buildings and make little vignettes out of them. Which I might.

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On the ACW front, I’m still mired in the long process of finishing up my Confederates. I completed a couple of limbers, disored/silenced markers, wrecked gun markers, and out-of-ammo markers, but still need to paint up an ammo wagon and an ambulance. It’s neverending! I also need to base up a brigade of the famous Danish volunteers of Texas. Oh, and I have a regiment of cavalry to paint. Woe is me! Our next scheduled game is the 15th.

Is it strange that these dead horses and wounded men make me feel a little uncomfortable?

Is it strange that these dead horses and wounded men make me feel a little uncomfortable?

These wounded Confederates are the first Blue Moon figures I’ve ever painted, and I have to say, I really love them. The anatomy isn’t quite as good as the best of the AB, but the poses are just fantastic. The wrecked gun markers (dead horses with caisson wheels) are all Blue Moon, as well. The wrecked gun ‘diorama’ style bases are kind of bugging me, now that I’ve done them. They don’t look particularly naturalistic. I’m sure it’s a skill that will develop with application and time, though.

A better shot of the wounded.

A better shot of the wounded.

The Blue Moon casualty pack includes a few accessory muskets, which is a really nice touch. Really, those figures made enough of an impression on me, that I plan to do quite a few Blue Moon figures when I switch over to paining Union troops. Oh, that unpainted 15mm resin house in the background is by JR Miniatures. Cheap, but it’s a real pig-bad flashing and pock marks everywhere. Maybe it will look ok painted.

Ok, that’s all for now. I’m going to try to finish up my Brits for IABSM in 6mm next week. Also, there’s some new stuff coming down the pike, that may be of interest.

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Cards for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum 3

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Just a note to say that I’ve updated this card set on 3/3/2014 to include a teabreak card, plus a few tokens for shock, pinned, suppressed, and overwatch. I think they’re actually fully functional, now.

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Wow, it’s been a while!

I recently completed a set of custom cards for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum 3 and I’m sharing them with anyone who would care to download them.  These cards will provide you with all you need for Scenario Three in the main rule book: Action at Galmanche.

This is what they look like...

This is what they look like…

Here’s a dropbox link to the cards.
The cards are meant to be printed out on 8.5″x11″ paper, although there’s enough white space surrounding the graphics that you should be able to print them full size on a4 or a5 (or whatever the near-equivalent of US letter size is). I’d suggest printing on a nice light card stock. The first page in the binder will provide you with a generic card back. The other pages contain the ‘working’ areas of the cards. There are 30 cards, in total.

If anyone uses these, I’d love to hear how they worked out for you, and what you felt they were good at and where you feel they lacked. I’m also happy to answer any questions. Enjoy!

Spring Break 2013 Wrap-up

I think I said something earlier in the week about finishing a terrain board for the Action at Galmanche scenario from the I Ain’t Been Shot Mum rulebook. Heh. Heh heh heh. Not even close. Part of this is due to the unseasonable weather we’ve had during this, the first week of spring (it’s snowing outside my window! I live in the south!), but, let’s face it, I’m slow and have the attention span of a gnat.

Anyway, here’s what I did get done.

Cards, Cards, Cards…

Progress towards building a card deck for IABSM 3-Action at Galmanche

Progress towards building a card deck for IABSM 3-Action at Galmanche

I’ve revised and added to my card deck for Action at Galmanche. I’m using actual unit insignia, where appropriate. I still have many more cards to generate, and there are some compositional issues with these things that are bugging me. I’m not sure how effective the silhouettes are when the subject is in perspective, either. The files of soldiers look pretty good, but some of the less iconic (for lack of a better word) images are harder to read.

No Huffing or Puffing Allowed…

Paper Buildings

I’ve also been making up some paper buildings to use in my scenery. I haven’t used the best of craft on these guys, and it shows. Not to mention, some of these buildings are Dutch in origin, and some appear to be invented from whole cloth. I’m gaming in Normandy. Oh well, they were free, and will serve until I can get my hands on some metal/resin/plastic/scratchbuilt models.

Forest, Trees, Etc.

I'm ok with these.

I’m ok with these.

Masking Tape Wrapped Trunk

Masking Tape Wrapped Trunk

And here are my wire armature tree making efforts so far. The blurry tree in the foreground is clad in masking tape, while the guy in the back is un-clad (though not naked!). The masking tape technique  certainly looks more like bark, but it’s a bit of a pain. I think I’ll be sticking with unadorned wire for the moment. Honestly, these things are a lot of work in bulk, and I’ll probably switch to cheap Chinese ebay trees when money is less tight. That said, they were fun to do. I need to get these guys based, and I’ll probably flock the foliage (sounds slightly dirty) as well. Expect a full tutorial when I have all that done. Probably in June.

Boaring

Poor terrain board...

Poor terrain board…

Here we see the sorry state of my terrain board. It’s primed and has a couple of major roads shaped in the rigid insulation, but that’s about it. Oh, I did learn one new thing. I used tile adhesive to fill the gaps and smooth out the edges. That stuff is a serious pain to sand by hand (and you dare not use a power sander in the vicinity of foam insulation-one slip and it’s ruined!). I’ll use drywall spackle for this purpose from here on out.

When the weather improves, and assuming I’ll be able to find the time, I’ll start adding texture, paint, and flock to this fellow.

Cards for I Ain’t Been Shot Mum

Terrain board construction has been forced to a halt by snow, rain, cold temperatures, and other unfavorable climatic conditions which prevent me from using spray paint or sanding (which for peace in the household must be done outside).

I have started developing a series of cards for the IABSM game that I’ve been doing all this work for. These things are done to standard poker playing card size (2.5″x3.5″) and are constructed of various found images from the internet which I then construct silhouettes for in Adobe Illustrator.

If you’re interested in doing these sorts of things but aren’t interested in spending the money that Illustrator costs, there is a piece of vector graphic software called Inkscape that’s free. I haven’t used it, myself, but I’d be amazed if Inkscape couldn’t repeat the sort of very basic functionality I’m using to do these cards.

A few unit cards for IABSM3

A few unit cards for IABSM3

These cards are for the “Action at Galmanche” scenario in the IABSM 3 rule book. If you’re playing that scenario and would like the graphics to print a set of cards, leave me a comment and I’ll supply you with the file. Once I’m done, of course.

0.15 The Things We Do…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve switched to Troops, Weapons, & Tactics by Too Fat Lardies for my skirmish rules set. TW&T is a card driven game, but you’re only given some shoddy card templates in the rulebook, there are no professionally produced cards available, and thus you must make your own.

My Effort

Put your cards on the table

I have to say, after all the stuff I’ve painted and modeled, I’m most proud of these cards. I think I happened upon a workable scheme that imparts all the relevant information at a glance. Graphically, I wanted something striking, but simple, and I think I’ve mostly succeeded there, as well. Don’t worry about all of this crowing about success: I’ll be back to my usual self-loathing, before too long.

I’ve customized these cards for the “Heroes of Omaha and Panzer Lehr” campaign that I plan to do. Thus, I’ve used the quasi-yin/yang symbol of the US 29th Infantry Division and the cool “L” of Panzer Lehr for my unit cards. I’ve tried to be funny (in the Too Fat Lardies tradition) and used silly names for my big men (leaders) like Private Fritz Lieber and Sergeant Slaughter. I doubt I’ll keep it up, though, as I’m just not all that funny.

Tools

All of the work on the cards was done using Adobe Creative Suite (well, Illustrator and Photoshop, anyway), but you could accomplish the same thing using the completely free G.I.M.P. and Inkscape. A word of advice: do image manipulation within Photoshop/GIMP and do your  line work and text within Illustrator/Inkscape. Illustrator and Inkscape are vector graphics based, and you’ll get very clean lines and printing compared to photo-editing software.

With my cheap Brother laser printer, I’ve printed onto 110 pound off-white paper stock. I have a color inkjet at home, too, and I may do color versions at some point. My girlfriend teaches at a local elementary school, and I’ve made her promise to laminate the cards for me. That last tip is probably pretty useless, unless you fancy school teachers.

Self-critique

There are a couple of confusing elements on these cards that I need to sort out. I’ve used American rank insignia to denote two completely separate mechanical effects, which will likely prove confusing. Another issue is that the placement and size of some of the graphics ‘wanders’ a bit much. The graphics could be tighter, which would ‘train’ the eye to use the cards more quickly. After I’ve done some play testing with my cards and made some refinements, I’ll post them to the TFL Yahoo group.