Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Venusian Bombards

I haven't played any Victorian Science Fiction games lately, but at the GameOnGw terrain day a weekend ago, Chuckaroobob and myself started talking about old times and it seems that the Lizards are restless on Venus again. Once again Capitan Jean Val Jean must lead his Foreign Legionaries to defend the citizens of French Venus against the Lizards.

Since the last bout of hostilities the lizardmen have a new patron who has provided an equalizer(of a sort) to the French guns. The guns are crude but they will still throw a shell and fire grapeshot.

I have had the idea to add some guns to my VSF lizardman force. To make them double duty I planned to also use them as salamander proxies in my warhammer fantasy lizardman army. The funny part is after looking through my Lizardman box I found I already have three salamanders I had forgotten about. The idea to use dowel rod finial came to me at a local craft store's 50% off 4th of July sale last year. I went with SWMBO and had picked up some odds and ends when I saw the finials and got the idea to use them as gun tubes. Later I picked up a couple clearanced bags of wood scraps at Hobby Lobby. Then the parts set in the Hobby room till last this week. After the talk with Chuckaroo I was motivated and set out to see how hard the build would be. About an hour later I had the first one done except for some detailing. The build went well so I prepped to use the remaining five finials to build five more guns.

Here is the test build gun. The barrel is a dowel rod finial with a 1/4 inch hole. The sides are some scrap piece of thin wood with some bass wood strips for the cross pieces. It is all pinned together with brass wire and the edges are cover in 1/8 inch styrene angle. I need to add a few more detail and fill some gaps but this is close to the final shape. The base is a hardboard off cut I had left over from making some Flames of War bases.

A simple tutorial. Drill a hole in the finial and glue in a piece of brass wire. Drill a hole in the base and glue the barrel to it.

I made a template from the first gun so the rest of the guns will be close to the same size.

I used the template and cut out the sides. The glue the sides to the side of the gun. I then glued a strip of basswood in the front of the gun between the cannon sides. Then another piece of scrap wood was glued behind the gun barrel and finally a crosspiece was glued between the rear of the cannon sides. Then I used some 1/8 inch styrene angle to cover the edges.

Here is a group shot of the new Lizardman battery. After looking through my Lizardman box and finding the three Salamanders in the blister I forgot I picked up at a local store's closing sale, I am still glad I built the guns. They will still work with a change of crew for several different genres. I also thought about using them as mortars for my empire army, plague mortars in my skaven army and switching worlds to use them with Martian crew for VSF gaming on Mars. The more I think about it the more uses I can come up for them.

Now I just need to detail them a bit and a quick paint job to get them table ready.


Monday, May 23, 2011

In the Depths of Kaiser Wilhelm Mountains

The shaman lowered his head spines and looked through the misting rain at the earth man's wooden fort. He adjusted his seating and contemplated the alien's village. It was many many day since the Earth man had came in a giant sky bird made of metal. Some of the younger braves had attacked it but the sky birds fearful cry had driven them away. A human came from the bird and spoke the language of the People. He had many warriors with him but they stayed at a distance. The Human leader asked to speak with the Elders and waited. The Elders sent the Shaman to hear the Humans words. The Human said he was a Great War leader, called a General, and had come here to help the People in their fight against the other humans. He continued the tale saying that he was different from the other earth men who had invaded the People's mountains. The other earth men he called "Imperialists", and they had invaded the Generals lands on earth and dominated his people. The General had made war on the Imperialists but he had been abandoned by his allies. He was forced to retreat and prepare for the day he would go back to war against the other Imperialists. The General learned of the People's struggle against the Imperialist invaders and gathered his forces, left his home to come here and help the people in their fight. He then had several of his warriors bring forward many containers. the general opened the first and held out a sword of a earth man steel. The shaman was stunned to see such wealth. Many braves would kill to possess such a weapon and looking in the container the general was offering dozens, if not hundreds of these to the People. The General Evered the bade to the Shaman and he took it. The Shaman was no fool and asked what the General wanted for these gifts. The General wanted only to see the Imperialists pay in blood for their transgression against the People. He offered to make the People other weapons, powerful weapons to kill the Imperials from afar with metal and fire. The Shaman took the gifts to the Elders and told the the Generals tale.
The Elders argued but in the end it was decided, If the General provided the new weapons the people would make the rivers run red with human blood.

The Shaman delivered the Elder's decision and the General was over joyed. The General asked if he could build a place for his men in a nearby valley and the Eldar's agreed. The valley was remote and seldom disturbed by the People, but the General's metal sky bird could enter it easily. The Elder's sent the Shaman and a band of braves to keep watch on the General and send word to them when the weapons were ready. The Shaman watched as the General's warriors cleared an area and quickly built a fort against one cliff face on the valley side. Then they started to dig into the very rock of the cliff face, night and day never stopping. The Shaman admired the General. He lead his people and followed him with a devotion the Shaman had never seen before. Then one morning a brave woke the Shaman and reported that the metal sky bird had left in the night. It was soon after that the great fires began in the General's camp. During the day great plumes of smoke rose from the fort and at night great flashes of light and flame could be seen. Many days past and the then one day the valley's peace was scattered by an explosion and then a slide of rock from the valley wall. The Shaman roused the braves and ran down the trail to the valley floor. There he found the General and a group of his men. As the Shaman approached the crowd parted and in the center was a squat heavy wood frame that held a large bronze tube. A wisp of smoke came from the top and the Shaman recognized it as a cannon. He had seen them used before against the People, were many died. The heat of battle begin to rise in his chest. With this weapon the People could force the Imperials back from the ancestral homelands. The Shaman looked up at the General and saw the hunter in his eyes. In the People's tongue the General said " Yes my Green Brother, we will take the fight to the Imperialists and make them pay for their transgressions."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Catachans versus Nurgle Daemon Bomb

I invited Big Roy over for some 40k gaming at Casa De Killgore a week or so ago. I ramped up my Catachan 40k League list to 1500 points and he brought his Nurgle Chaos marines. We rolled Pitched Battle and Seize Ground. I won the roll and chose to go first.

My list was
Company Command
Officer with a Bolter
four sniper rifles

Infantry Platoon
Platoon Command
Officer with Bolter
2 flamers 1 grenade launcher

Infantry Squad 1
Sgt bolt pistol & power weapon
Commissar Power weapon

Infantry squad 2
Sgt Bolt Pistol & Power Weapon

Heavy Weapon Squad
3 Missile launchers

Special Weapon Squad
Demo Charge, Flamer, Grenade launcher

Veteran Squad
Demo Charge, 1 shotgun, Heavy Flamer, 2 Melta guns
Vet Sgt

Scout Sentinel Squadron
2 Sentinels with auto cannons

Strormtrooper Squad
2 plasma guns

Hydra Flak Tank battery
2 Hydra Flak Tanks

Armoured Sentinel Squadron
2 Armoured sentinels with plasma cannons

Ordnance Battery
2 Griffons

Ogryn Squad with 4 models

Guardsman Marbo

Big Roys list had

A Nurgle Chaos Sorcerer

2 7 model Plague Marine squads with a plasma gun

2 Rhino mounted seven man plague marine squads with a champ and a flamer

4 seven model lesser daemon squads

I stared to deploy my Troops

On the left flank I placed the two hydras and my proxy griffons.

The rest of my deployment. The two Imperial guard land speeders in the foreground are proxies for the Armoured Sentinels with plasma cannons. Above them is the Infantry platoon blob. In front of the Blob is the ogryn squad and above them is the Vet squad. Behind the Vets are the Company commander and the missile launcher squad. Finally the special weapon squad is hiding behind the ruins the objective is in. I outflanked with the scout sentinels and prepared to deep strike the Stormtroopers. Later I noticed that i had forgot to place the Platoon command on the table so they walked on from reserve later in the game.

Big Roy Deploys. The two plague marine squad on foot are the plasma gun only squads while the Sorcerer rides with a Plague marine squad in the top rhino and the other rhino hides behind a hill for cover.

I have my master plan ready when it happens, Big Roy seizes the initiative and goes first. It appears that I didn't take picture of Big Roy's first move. He moved up one plague marine squad in the middle and moved up both Rhinos behind cover.
Then my turn I mover up the sentinels The ogryns and the Blob. Then comes the storm,I hit the rhino and the Sorcerer gets out after it is destroyed by my missile launchers.

His second turn he summons a lesser daemon squad.

Then another on my right flank,

And a third one in the center.

In his shooting phase he tries a Doom bolt from his sorcerer and succeeds but take a perils of the warp wound from his snake eyes roll.

My Second turn. The Stormtroopers arrive and plasma a couple plague marines but one Storm trooper dies to a plasma over heat.

Then Combined fire from the vets and special weapon squad wipes out the lesser daemon squad. This cleared the line of sight for the missile launcher squad and they fired at the Sorcerer led plague marine squad. The three Missile launchers fired and all three hit!

Then I rolled three ones to wound.

The lesser daemons ended up too far away to assault so the ogryns opened up with their ripper guns shooting down five of the seven.

Big Roy's Turn Three. His sorcerer summoned up some portable cover to protect him from the storm trooper's plasma.

The plague marines move up and fire bolt pistols into the blob.

The Lesser daemons kill off the stormtroopers while another squad of lesser daemons fights the special weapon squad and the heavy weapon squad.

The Catachans lose and both squads fall back.

My Turn Three. The Hydras take aim at a lesser daemon squad.

Trooper "Own Goal" Marbo arrives and throws his demo charge up in the air. He gets one plague marine and kills himself.

The Ogryns join the center melee.

The Hydras wipe out the lesser daemon squad. (Oops, I seem to have the picture out of order.)

The plague marines win the round and the Ogryns run. So much for stubborn. They would continue to run off the board.

The scout sentinels arrive fire up the lesser daemons and then charge them. This draw them off of my objective.

The Sorcerer and Company Commander duel over my objective.

The Blob loses again and the Commissar is forced to rally them his favorite way. I really missed the power weapon attacks the sergeant took with him. Despite throwing nine power weapon attack each round I could not roll a six to wound the entire combat.

I haven't really mentioned it but the Griffons really did a good job once I moved them into range. By deploying them On the far flank they were out of range of the enemy charging my objective. I ended up trying to make an end run for Big Roy's objective but he blocked it with a rhino. So I rammed it. I wasn't really up to speed on the ramming rule and it ended up doing nothing.

Endgame the blob is down to a sergeant, commissar and one trooper. after the game was over we rolled to see how long they would last and they didn't survive another round of combat.

End game the Sorcerer claims my objective. Bad day for the Catachans.

Somethings I decided after the game.

I am going to add a Regimental standard to my company command squad. The ability to re roll morale tests could have saved me the special weapon squad and the heavy weapon squad.

I will be adding two Griffons to my league army. They did well in the game and now I have a better understanding how I should deploy them next time.

The Ogryns did well but still ran off the board. They are still a maybe for adding to my League army.

The same goes for the Armoured Sentinels. Big Roy kept them stunned for most of the game so they didn't do as well as I hoped. They are still a possibility to add when the league goes up to higher points.

I had a good time and look forward to the next time Big Roy can make a game.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Hydra Tutorial Part 1: Turret Base

I have wanted a couple of the Hydra flak tanks since the new imperial guard codex came out. Instead of shelling out the money for a couple from Forge world, I decided to raid my styrene pile and bits boxes to scratch build a couple turrets. I had a basic plan of what I wanted but kind of worked through it and then went back to repeat the process and build another one. My original plan was to have a gunner in a basket between two Gatling cannons. I couldn't find a suitable basket and didn't want to have to build several cockpits so I decided to go with a pedestal mount, with a single gun and the gunner in a cradle on the other side. I have accepted that some people may have a problem with the conversion not being WYSIWYG with two separate gun mounts. In play, I mark a weapon destroyed result on the model with a dice and them remove the turret on the second weapon destroyed. Since I built the first two I am also thinking about making up a Apocalypse data sheet to use when I play in the Apoc-Eclipse games.

A parts list for the Base

Regular Bits I used
The bottom bit of the old style Chimera Turret
One door from the side of a leman russ
One box from the Mk1 Rhino sprue

Styrene Sizes
2.4mm tube
6.4mm square tube
4mm tube
4.8mm tube
2.5mm quarter round
1mm plain sheet
7.9mm angle

other recommended items
dremel tool with drill bit
20 gauge brass wire
styrene tube cutter
mitre box and razor saw
sanding films
razor knife
plastic cement
super glue
Pin vise
green stuff

Now to the tutorial

Start with the turret base and drill a hole in the center of the stud

glue a one inch piece of brass wire into the hole with super glue

Cut a one inch piece of 2.4mm tube

Insert the wire into the styrene tube and glue with super glue

Cut a one and a half inch piece of 6.4mm square tube

Drill a 4mm hole about a half inch from one end of the tube.

cut a three inch piece of 4mm tube.

Insert the 4mm tube into the drilled hole. Do not glue. This will the the main support bar for the gun and gunner's cradle.

Leaving the 4mm tube in the square tube take a piece of 4.8mm tube and insert it in the long end of the square tube. Mark the 4.8 mm and cut it flush with the bottom of the square tube.

Take the trimmed piece of 4.8mm tube and glue it into the bottom the square tube. Be careful that no glue gets onto the 4mm rod.

Test fit the pylon over the 2.4 mm rod on the chimera turret base. Depending on where the hole was drilled you may have to trim the 2.4 mm rod so it is clear of the 4mm support arm. Once everything is clear glue the 2.4mm rod into the 4.8mm tube inside the pylon. There will be a gap and you need to use either a piece of styrene or a bit of green stuff to make sure that the two pieces meld. Before everything sets up make sure that the front of the pylon is parallel with the front of the chimera turret base. This will form the center piece of the whole assembly and being parallel will keep everything square later on.

Then you will need to take the 6.4 mm square tube and measure from the front of the pylon to the front of the chimera base. Cut this piece and glue it to the pylon and the chimera base. Wait for this to set up. When the glue has set break out the mitre box. I don't have a measurement for the two angle cuts. I guess at the cut on the back so that it is about level with the rear of the chimera base. The longer angle piece, I cut so it was even with the front of the bottom piece of 6.4mm styrene tube. Glue them in place and let set up.

I dug a Leman Russ small door from the bits box. The door comes from the side of the tank where the sponsons are.

Turn the door over and trim off the back. Sand it so it will lay flat.

glue it onto the chimera base. I centered the rear hinge with the gap between the main pylon and the back support piece. The main reason for the door is to give the illusion that the turret actually is deeper into the hull, instead of just setting on top of it.

Measure the door and cut three pieces to go around it.

Glue the three pieces around the door and trim the front one level with the the two side pieces. I plan to come back and fill the gaps with a bit of green stuff.

I used some 1mm plain sheet styrene to make the floor of the turret base.

I cut a piece of 1mm sheet a half an inch wide and about five inches long.

Measure from the front and back of the quarter round and cut two strips of the 1mm sheet. glue them down and let them set up.

Measure from the front of the 1mm strip to rear most 1mm strip on the door side. Them cut a piece of the 1mm sheet for the opposite side. Glue it to the chimera base and let it set up.

Take the 7.9mm angle piece and cut a section about 10mm in length.

Dig through the bits box and get a box from the Mk1 Rhino sprue.

Glue the 7.9mm angle to the base 6.4mm square tube to act as a step for the gunner. Then glue the box behind the step to represent some of the electronics controlling the turret.

This finishes the basis of the Hydra flak turret. It still needs to be detailed some more and several other things done to it but that covers the basics of construction. Next in the series will the the construction of the gun and the pilots cradle. Then maybe a finishing touches post.

You might ask how much money did I save over Forge world after having to buy all the different sizes of styrene for the project. I actually only purchased a couple packs to use in the gun construction. The rest of the styrene was either remainders from other projects or part of a bunch I bought when a local model shop went out of business. They had lots of styrene left at the end of their going out of business sale so I picked up a supply for future use and have been digging into it for years. If I did have to go and buy the styrene I used in the build It would cost me the price of a forge world Hydra turret but I will have enough extras to build at least four turrets and maybe more.

Next, The Gun and Gunner's Cradle