Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Meets Old, A first test of Pikemen's Lament

     The only person that could make it for the game on the 19th was my rules-junkie buddy Joe. Knowing this I decided that we would give Pikeman's Lament a try. Everybody else in my gaming group has pretty well made up their mind about the pike and shot era (and in a very negative way, I might add).
      These rules are derivative of the Lion Rampant system but have enough differentiation to feel rather specific to the period. In reading the rules one of the scenarios gave me the idea for our game; a redoubt has been constructed in front of the main gate of the fortress and last night the big guns have been moved into position, these guns must be destroyed before they can blow in the the gate and allow the besieging army access to the fortress. To this end a desperate force of volunteers has been assembled and will attack at first light. They must place an unwavering unit on each gun for a full turn to spike the barrels and burn the carriages, anything else is failure.

the Gallopers burst forth from the main gate and headed hell-bent toward the guns

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Capricious Imagination Time....

    Actually a couple of people have expressed interest in playing games from the Neulandia Campaign so it looks like we will be running some VSF craziness.

     First up Her Britannic Majesty's Forces will show the bandits on Vectis what proper hospitality looks like (tea and crumpets served a bayonet point, I am guessing)

     Next we have the Mexicanish Empire's initial exploration of their newly granted lands, just so The Housemartin can show off his freshly painted soldiers. (Housemartin please bring your whole force so we can do an "Up close and personal" post on your unique force, you too Joe, and you as well R.U.P.)

     Third will be the  (hopefully) final encounter between the Prussians and the rebellious Malagassian upstarts.

      And, because all of that should take less than three hours I encourage everyone to bring 36 points of their favorite VSF tank/walker/War-car etc for a free-for-all battle as a nightcap. If you don't have enough models I have lots of stuff left over from the D.O.D.O. DampfPanzerLandSchiff Korps so I can help fill in any gaps.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Let The Tedium Begin!!!!!

     Having finished the fun part of the project I am now faced with the essential but hugely tedious task of cladding the surface with card. This process involves covering the model with glue and sticking index card weight paper over the surface. I find that this greatly strengthens the model and helps the foam resist dings and damage in handling. This is neither interesting to see or easy to photograph so I will refer my gentle readers to the posting on my efforts while building Fort Matanzas. It will take some time to complete this step so I will leave you with a photo or two before I return to the workshop.

it certainly looks like I'm going to need a bigger table
that is the "small" version of the fort  with the 5" wall sections instead of the 15" versions

and storage is going to be an issue too

Of Towers and Gateways

     I had a moment to spend on the Starfort. Operationally unprepared to start cladding the fort in card I opted to build a few of the details that make it scream "Spanish!" Corner tower were a must and the spirit of the Baroque era demanded some sort of fancy gateway. While I was contemplating the off-cuts pile it occurred to me that if I made tiny sections of wall that would connect the bastions to one another it would save a lot of space on the table. There was a handy heap of blue board in 5"x5" squares. These were left over from the build phase and were exactly the  right size for wall segments. So, off I went.


first I dug out my old Nemesis, the hot glue gun, and glued the squares into three-high stacks 
(this is exactly wall height)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Of Parapets and Such....

     Having completed the rough shape of the bastions I now needed to add the all-important parapet (that bit of the wall that the soldiers were actually protected by). I cut strips of foam to correct shape and then glued them to the top edge of the bastion, mitering the corners as I went. Below you can see one of the bastions with its parapet installed.

cutting, trimming and installing the parapets took longer than building the bastions did 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Further Progress on the 28mm Starfort

    OK, for once I turned down overtime at work and had a whole glorious day with nearly nothing to do with myself. Shunning the magnificent sunshine I descended into the depths of the Anton's Wargames Workshop to address unfinished project pile. Looming (literally) over the rest of my many "in-progress" efforts was the vast blue bulk of the starfort. I grinned and set to work, below you can see the fruits of my efforts.

the rough-cut bastions,these are slightly wider than the prototype,
 apparently math DOES matter

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Magnificent Bastion!

     I decided to just push ahead and start cutting foam, instead of the complex geometry stuff. It seems to have worked out so far, what the heck? So I cut three layers of foam to the outline of the bastion and then cut it again at the draft angle of the walls I had finished earlier.  A couple of mistakes and a whole mess of hot glue and I have a bastion. All in less time than the math would have taken.


those are 28mm WSS figures from Wargames Factory

this is going to be a HUGE model when it is finished

the Mantanzas Fort looks tiny sitting inside this thing

and in relative terms the Castillo de San Marcos was small, 
Spanish forts in Puerto Rico and Cuba are MUCH larger

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You Are Such A Bastion!

     Wow, if I had any clue that I was going to be doing this sort of thing later in life I would have paid more attention in Geometry (and drafting) class! So, it turns out that there is a lot more to cutting a bastion than nice straight walls. The intricate inside corners of angled walls almost defeated me (BTW, Pythagoras, you were no help) but then it suddenly occurred to me that I didn't need to cut the object in one continuous action, all I needed to do was make a pile of parts that would reassemble into a bastion. Blunt Force has always been a specialty of mine so the world made sense again and I got to work.

       The next step was putting the lines down on my 1/120  scale test model, this is where some drafting skills would really have helped (or a CAD designer and a 3D cutter).  After much head scratching and a lot of graph paper the drawing came together and was transferred onto the blue board. There were a  few issues during the transfer process but I got it worked out producing this magnificent mess of a drawing;

the red lines indicate the footprint of the bastion, 
the lines labelled "cut" account for the inward tilt of the wall face

     As each cut passed completely through the block of foam I glued the block back together after each cut,  making sure to only glue the areas that would be part of the final piece. This way I was able to use the fence on the foam cutter to ensure that the lines were straight. Finally with all the cuts made and the spoil cut away I had this;
now all I have to do is figure out how to get something three times as large to go through Proxie 

      All in all a satisfying experiment. Now that I have figured out the way to proceed with the cutting, reassembling, more cutting sequence I just need to find a way to get the parts through the tool. Another consideration is that each bastion will have a largest dimension of over 24" with all the storage and handling issues that arise from that. 

       More thinking may be in order.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A certain madness......

     Maybe I should get checked, or talk with a professional about thus. Obsession, disorder, bad habit? I'm not sure how to classify it.

       "Hi, my name is Anton, and I'm a fortaholic", Well there was the first step, I doubt I will be taking others any time soon. This is too much fun.



     Now all I need to do is sort through the complex geometry of bastions.

This is a Test, this only a test.....

............if this were a real fortress there would be three more walls and four bastions. My faithful servant Proxie had been misbehaving so I had OldSarge take a look at it. The cutter is now back up to speed and I wanted to give it a go, then this happened

of course it lack crenelations and a firing step but this was just an exercise

one glance at the arches and you can see that I am out of practice at cutting curves...

    At fifteen inches long it is only half the length of the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos and the bombproofs would be tree times as deep and faced with a stone wall. That said, all of this took less than a half hour including waiting for the hot-glue gun to warm up.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

28mm Gripping Beast Arab Infantry Finished

     I grew tired of looking at them so I skipped a couple of hours of sleep and powered through and finished the paint jobs on the 29mm Gripping Beast Arab Infantry. The Housemartin had wanted four readily identifiable units. You have seen the musket armed conversions. The other three groups were, swordsmen, Wallachians (in nasal helmets) and Akinji spearmen. I threw in an added level of unit identification by painting most of each groups with an over arching color scheme, this is particularly obvious with the Akinji, per the Housemartin's request.

     As usual they were painted using Americana colors (available from Michael's, Hobby Lobby and other retailers) over a flat white primer coat. Colors were diluted slightly to ease the p[ainting process and then the figures were given a thin coat of Future Floor Wax. Over this was added a flesh wash of ten parts water, ten parts Future and one part Russet Brown, with just a touch of burnt umber. Once that had dried I did a fifty-fifty water /Future with a dash of black wash over the whole figure.

first we have the Wallachians, I have only the faintest clue about them but I imagined that study Balkan mountain-dwelling men would have muted colors so I went with a variety of shades of green

Further Progress in Neulandia Campaign

     A bold force march has lead to some unexpected results, and not all are good!

      Follow this link to see the after action report