Thursday, December 6, 2012

VSF Lunar Campaign Kicks off with the World Background Info


The year is 1881, in this timeline Garfield was assassinated by his wife when discovered in bed with some Senator’s wife by his own wife, and before he won the presidency. The president of the UUSA is Winfred Scott Hancock, a handsome and diplomatic ex-general (and Presidential candidate in our own timeline).

The USA and CSA have a tentative peace, unhappy and some border disputes, but they are at peace. The Mason Dixon line now extends from sea to shining sea. The Swiss Ambassador is serving as an intermediary because Switzerland is neutral and economically involved with both countries. President Hancock (USA) has repeatedly stated that he will only go to war if attacked first. President William Mahone of the CSA has ended slavery due to recent technological advances that made supporting slaves more expensive than just hiring them. President Mahone makes the same claim, he will not attack first.

Quebec is at war with Canada, this is very recent. The USA has not declared but is only selling weapons to British Canada, and not to Quebec. The French have declared for Quebec, the British of course support Canada, and the declaration of war between the continental powers is expected momentarily.

The CSA is trying to annex what we would call the New Mexico Territory, and reinforce their claims on the State of Southern California, including Baja. The Republic of Texas (Sam Houston III, hereditary president of Texas), Mexico (which now consists of the States about even with Mexico City on down) and Spain all object. Italy is throwing out feelers for their support.

The Duchy of Phobos is at war with Germany. Germany admits to some tensions between them. The Phobos war fleet is inbound, unknown to most everyone on Earth.

Britain, under the continued Queen Victoria and her beloved Prince Consort Albert (note, in this timeline Albert survived much longer) Britain has expelled all members of the Marxist Society. Marx and Engels are currently imprisoned in Milan for heresy and petty theft. Marx is very ill. Albert has brought a strong German cultural presence into Britain starting with the introduction of his personal guard in 1860 and adding “guard battalions” for each of their now 19 Children. The German and British Royalty are very close friends and family and there is growing talk of both a permanent alliance and a revolution against the Germans.

Prussia has been taken under Disraeli’s wing. The assassination of the Hohenzollern Royalty and their immediate heirs in 1878 left a power struggle that Britain settled with an invasion, err, peace keeping force that happened to be nearby. The German influence is growing in Prussia even as it loses territory to Germany.

Germany is also in a cold war with Russia that could flame into a full fledged hot war in an incautious moment.

The Ottoman Empire is at war with most of the Middle East and Greece. There are changing alliances between the countries at war with Greece. There are some of the world's finest sparks sponsored by the Ottomans, Persian revolutionaries are at war with the Ottomans, something the Ottomans do not even deign to notice..

The current situation in the Lunar Colonies is very fluid. The Germans have, against international treaties, imported thousands of domebusters. They have used one, in an “accidental” destruction of the Phobosians dome. This is according to Germany the cause of the tension between the two powers. Phobos sees it differently, they see it as Imperialistic murder of their people and have pledged to make Germany and anyone who aids them pay 10 score.

The Duchy of Grand Fenwick is allied with the CSA.

The Seward purchase never happened, Alaska is Russian. British Canada is moving settlers in trying to change that. Rumors of the discovery of gold in the Klondike are surfacing. No official announcement of anything yet.

Switzerland is still the international bank for all intents and purposes.

Belgium has invaded the Netherlands and is at war there. Belgium has declared war on and been ignored by every other country in Europe. Belgium has laid claim to all previously unclaimed territory (by European countries) in Black Africa (very few troops there, most of whom are happy to be as far away from their King as possible). Belgium has invented drone blimps that are piloted by programmed robots. Belgium’s monarch is thought mad by most of Europe. He is, but mostly because he is an aggressive spark of more than moderate talent. The rest of the world doesn’t know of the thousands of acres of underground storage filled with his war machines, many of which actually work.

The Kingdom of the Danemark (King Gustav Adolfus V and Queen Anna Maria) has entered an alliance with Japan, and is at war with China. At this pointing time it mostly means supplying Japan with metal and gunpowder at their Okinawa manufacturing facilities. Danemark makes regular protests that it is only helping Japan, not actively at war and that the volunteer troops of Scandinavian commandos working in China are rogue volunteers and not an official armed force of the Kingdom.

Tibet is still a closed Kingdom. Mystical warriors have lately appeared in various places in the world, assassinating the most evil Sparks and joining campaigns against Belgium. Anyone calling them ninjas does not survive the day they make that vile accusations.

Nikola Tesla, a brilliant 24 year old Spark, is cultivating patronage and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois. (written for me by a good friend Kevin F.)

This constitutes the Genre setting for this campaign, changes will be happening as the world devolves into WAR!!!

Its Gotta Move Damnit!

Berated by the Missus, "well just how does it get about?" So back to the Endless Bits Box...and tread system positioned. Have to work on some major support elements to keep them in place and balance the model so it doesn't tip one way or the other.

Maybe add some "support legs" that would be deployed in the forward corners. Also waffling over the choice of company color / markings. After this picture, I added a rear Deck next to the ladder for crew access to the cab. So many things I can add.... hmmm...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lunar Mining Facility Crane

Lunar Campaign is kicking off and so is the need for a Crane to represent the mine head facilities that form the main target of the opposing forces; seize other powers resource mines , deny them resources and gain them for their own power.

Couple hours of kit bashing and I just have to suspend the bucket to the end of the chain. ... and paint the bloody thing!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lunar Sticky Bush

Here is one of the terrain impediments of Luna:

Movement through the totally gluey "bushes" can slow or really slow a force. Stickiness is rolled for when they enter the placard. It has been given the fond name of "that damn crap"......

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Finished Lunar Pieces

Here's a few of the pieces done up with paint and stain.....though not quite completely dry yet....

Still tweaking the staining, have to have the wash almost dry before I hit it with the blackish stain so it will penetrate the surrounding almost dry wash as a smear.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lunar Landscape Advances

In a burst of effort I have roughed out most of the terrain pieces:

First up are Dust Pools. Low density caverite ore powder sometimes hovers in low spots, suspended by its gravity neutralizing properties. Some times these low areas are very shallow, sometimes quiet deep and some  times they hide nearly bottomless chasms.............

Next up is broken ground which slows movement but little else.

Lunar Ridges next. They block movement, line of sight and are otherwise only crossable by rocket pack and fliers.

Small Lunar Crater, defensive position and takes some extra movement to enter/leave.

Near 2 dozen features to start slapping paint on ..... should be couple of hours.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lunar Matt Progress

Lucked out a bit and had the time and materials to finish off the lunar game matt.

Here's a close up of the ground with a stout fellow looking for action.  Painted the surface with a grey wash, applied with a 4 inch brush. The Blackish areas was very thin black wash dribbled on from finger tips from a small glass.

Here's a look from father out.

And there he is in the wide shot. Craters and othe features soon.

Lunar Surface Project Continues

Waiting for the craters glue to dry so I can treat them roughly with tools.......... so I got to work making some surface matts from old paiting canvas sheet.

Here I have the old painting canvas drop cloth spread over a 4x6 plywood board. I used the staple gun to tug and snap the edges down. This serves the purpose of preventing the sheet from puckering up when I slathered paint over it. Once all the edges were secured I got out a large 4 inch paint brush and some left over white house paint and proceeded to put 2 coats on the canvas letting it dry between coats. When second coat was dry I trimmed off the excess material, leaving the 4x6 sheet on the board. The matt has a lot of old paint splatters that have been folded and creased, giving some basic texture to the matt to start with.

Not very clear here, but I have used the brushable caulking (kel seal) to smear here and there, dragging it around with a spatula, then sprinkled sand over it and rear smearing it to work it in.

I'll be using a large type of Wash coating on the matt.Then I will try some dark splotch staining to get a nice variation of shadings.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Onwards to Luna !

Long Break seems to be over and backto Terrain Making!

Gearing up to return to Martian Empires, Luna, the campaign. First step a series of Lunar landscape terrain. Figuring the quickest and easiest would be Craters, some for decoration but others for real impact so:

Able to provide cover to one or more units, I plan to leave their "defensibility" till they are "tested" by gun fire, in that they may be mostly dense rubble or powdery dust that offer little resistance to gun fire..........oh, and by the way, you don't need space suits for the Victorian Lunar surface, just don't forget to take your daily Air Pill !

Next up some small craters, Dust Pools and crevasse of varying depth and width. Rock out croppings and other natural geographical terrain bits.

Lastly that the moon is a source of Caverite, used to coat items to block the pull of gravity. Large chunks of ground have broken free due to Luna quakes and now they don't have enough Caverite Ore of fine enough quality to leave for space, rather then just bumble along as dense "clouds" that sometimes scrape the surface.............

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting Close to Done on the Matt

And onwards:

 Brushable caulking spread area covered about 3/4 inch deep in flocking, after sprinkling some assorted coarse cut colors here and there.

My Fixitiv Answer to make sure the flocking "sticks" and does not leave bare spots......should any bare spots occur, the previous article shows how I fix them, also how I fix any spots I think need more attention.
Here is the area with the excess flocking tapped off by lifting the matt and hitting the back lightly. The excess is scooped up and returned to the storage tray till I get the next area smeared.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Game Matt Progress

So shots of progress being made:

Working the brushable caulking into the felt after tinting the caulking green, which doesn't show up well in this light.... Smoothing with the spatula to prevent Lines or edges of caulking from remaining after the flocking procedure and rolling it.

Here is a splat patch on an area that was not fully covered the first time. A small dab spread out in all directions. Total area here is about 2 inches square. Then add some coarse chopped flock and cover with the T 49, then rolling pin smashes the flock into the caulking, allow 4 hours to dry before tapping the back to knock off the excess flocking.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New commisioned Game Matt in Progress

Using green Felt material, bit over 4 x 6 feet in size. The indomitable Kel Seal brushable caulking is being mixed with Very Dark Green craft paint that I bought on sale from Micheals Crafts.
So here is the work in progress. The fold in the center is the middle point of the board, with 3 feet to either side. I'm trying to spread just enough Kel seal to smear into the felt to make sure its worked in and then turn it the shade of colored green I have mixed it to rather than "buttering" it on as I have in the past.

Flocking, I scattered colored bits of coarse cut turf around first, then pour heaps of flocking on the entire smeared area, pull out the trust rolling pin and work it over. Let dry for a couple hours. Then Lift and let the excess pour down slope, tap the back to shake more off. Leave it alone till the entire surface is completed, then spritz heavily with diluted PVA glue, let dry over night.

Any Thin spots, just brush on some more mixed kel seal and hit with more flocking, press and PVA it.

Use the Search on this site for more articles on how I have been making matts in the past.

Friday, July 27, 2012

God Squad, EOTD new faction for me

So we had a round robin competition in Empire of the Dead, in which I ran a gentleman's club faction. In it I had the President and Secretary using exo skeleton walkers carrying Gatling gun and assorted smaller weapons as the mainstay of their power. Having selected fire power I discovered very quickly that their max 4 inch per turn movement vs the need for speed in most every scenario proved to be a great hindrance. Add to that the fact that if the opponent was a melee orientated force that used cover, I could only get off a couple of shots before being locked in melee.

On to a new faction for the next round robin.............the God Squad..... a Holy Order faction the first of which is the Sisters of Order of the Rulers..

Here are the 4 that will have the President and future VP and 2 members being worked up. Going with a Red and White color scheme with polished metal for armor bits and weapons, though 2 of them will sport hunting rifles in all likelihood.

Also in the works are the Knight Marshall who is an angelic figure with wings, as he has Flight for free and 2........minions from the kitchen to do the .... distasteful lugging and scutt work.........

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Exo Skeleton Walker Completed

So Walker is completed with pictures to boot:

So here is the back detailing shot. Expanded boiler system, some gauges, hydraulic rods and what have you. Arms were left off at this point to aide in getting the paint brushes into the tight areas.

Here's the driver in position and arms attached. Still have to come up with a nice base for it and on it spent brass cases from the Gatling gun of course!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Needs More Power Sir!

So with the expanded power plant on the back of the walker I sat and realized that the leg structure probably wouldn't support the weight, so time to upgrade the leg structure.

Additional struts and rotors at all the joints to give in more "strength" and mechanical look to the over all project. Still have the arm strut controls to work out but its moving along.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Power Up! More Power Sir!

Back to work on the Exo Skeleton steam walker when it hit me that its motive boiler looked a bit weak for what I envisioned for it so to the Bits Box!

So here we go, since the suit is self supporting and most VSF tech is "over the top" as it were I thought to just lunk on some "important stuff" and go with it. Of course my hands lack the steady state necessary for a good picture it seems after arriving aback from a 3 hour drive.......

So here we are with a bit of paint and stain to help pull it all together. I have detached the arms and leg supports to better access and fill in some of the lower parts of the engine with hot glue to provide the base area to attach the other parts.

Click on the picture to get a better view of what's going on back there.  Should he face defeat he merely has to turn and fall on his opponent to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Exo Skeleton Work Update

Shoulder piece from a 40k Marine, articulation from a Battle Tech Mech, a Mageknight Gatling gun and ammo bandoleer:

 Inside of the arm assembly, the shoulder still needs to get drilled out and ready for pin mounting. Green Putty filled in gaps and a quick first paint job applied to see how the overall effect was working out.

The second picture is of the outer side of the arm assembly. Some studs and edging were added as well as a tad of green putty to smooth out the joints.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Objective Markers Two

First coat of paint, changes its appearance, weathering, rust and stains to go.

Here's another armored exoskeleton that I have decided to start conversion on, first step:

Figure on the right is the orignal exoskelton, the figure on the left is a conversion done by Pappa Midnight found on the Lead Adventure Forums VSF board.

What I did with an exacto blade so far:

The whirly blade is going to be replaced by a gun of some sort and the combat fist replaced with a different gripping claw set.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Objective Markers

Fiddling around with my bits box the other day for something to use as the "go find X" item I put together a few Ojective markers for various games.

Mage knight robot golems provided some of the parts, other items are .... well recyled to say the least. Paint and ground cover to go, maybe some rusty stuff.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Empire of The Dead update

Empire of  Dead is a skirmish game similar to Necromunda and some others. You have a Faction with a couple heros and flunkies, as it were, that you pay points to equip and then field against other players using the Scenario generator which can mix up objectives and starting points pretty well. Character removed from the field due to being "downed" often recover at the end to return again.

Here was an encounter board that was 4x4, though I had only 6 figures it could have been 3x3 and still had a lot of extra space! My opponent had to get 6 of his 10 figures off my side of the board to win, I had to Down 75% to win, anything else was a draw.  We drew.........

Above are a couple of scratch builds to represent my exskeleton equiped Gentlemens Club President and Secratary. Both are Mageknight figures. The left one I cut and straightened up, put a head and stove pipe hat on. The other was a dwarven steam walker that I cut and stood up and filled the rather large void by giving him a beer belly by filling it in with Hot Glue and putty. Both now mount rapid firing guns and close combat weapons, though quite slow to get around which cost me in a fast move scenario.                                                                                                                  

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kubla Con game report ... of sorts

Attended the Kubla Con game convention. Bought Dice! an assortment of figures and some scenic ground litter that will make it in to some pictures later.

Here are some shots of games in progress with the usual lack of who, what and how they ended..........
Shot of the Inside area of the Hotel courtyard and yes there is a roof over the entire area! Nice buffet breakfast area down under the trees.
Gazillion Star Wars figures, Jar Jar got his delicate postierior kicked.
Fort Fisher Assault in ACW.
Union forces wedged in fast while Confederates held range hoping to slow the Union troops with their fire............Taking the casualties the Union forces stormed into the forward trenches while the ships slugged it out. Defenders had a Merrimack class, a Huntley sub and a paddle wheeler. The union naval forces were a Monitor, 3 siege barges and I believe a paddle wheeler that took a explosive result to the magazine............
 Wings of War where I lured allied planes into tail chases and into the lines of fire of my fellow airmen. Bad luck dogged the German forces as 2 aircraft were shot down with pilot dead results just as we came to grips.................oh well, my parachute worked .
Empire of the Dead game that Skrapwelder ran. I was assisting with rules question/answers till I ran out of Guinness. And I must say there were some interesting reads on rules that Always pop up at convention games because there are so many people trying to find an edge, lol.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Empire of the Dead......

Participated in a VSF Steampunk game of the Empire of the Dead last evening....
The city setting. This game being set up by Skrapwelder and is a work in progress to be played at a convention. So the peaceful evening in the city is interrupted rudely by Zombies breaking out of underground tunnels! Resisting the urge to grab a paint brush to aide in the finishing touches I instead grabbed up some of the unluckiest dice I have ever had chance to roll.....

Players order of play was determined by playing cards, with mine typically being 6 or less, almost without exception...... Murphy sat my shoulder the entire game.

A look down the main city street. Being the action was at night, vision extended to 18 inches. Though of course the players could "see" farther that just represented the ability to hear the moans and screams echoing down the street.

Scattered about the streets were civilians that were to be gathered up and escorted to 4 designated safe spots that the local police had set up. Of course the zombies decreased the number of civilians during the course of the action, adding to their own numbers....

My erstwhile couple, Mrs Carrigan and Mr Black, she was well armed and quite capable, he was duel armed with swords, neither of whom were aided much by the luck of the dice gods.  The one shot pepper box pistol was discharged with a mighty roar of flame smoke and shot..... which when directed at a rather large pack of zombies inflicted, yep, zero hits and zero damage.  I do believe I ended the night with the lowest score; 1 civilian and 3 zombies put down.............

Typical local zombie problem to be dealt with... Each turn saw more of the buggers climb out of the red gooey spots scattered about the board, though at one point an armored tour bus "smooshed" its way through a number of them .. heh.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Movie Viewed: "Nazis In the Center of The Earth

Just watched this B Grade movie, must say I rate it at 2 Beers! (views better after 2 beers) It has everything you want to groan about, Nazi's, Cyborgs, Antarctic Base, UFOs, Death Beams and on and on. It can be a bit slow but then you go "Eeewwwww" and then bust up laughing. Worth a dollar rental!

Well, its not really at the center of the earth, but pretty close ;)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Woodland forces upgraded.

Got to do some wood work as it was.

On the left are 2 units of Animated wood that will fight the same rating as Beastmen, hits relatively hard, lumbers along but is a bit low on moral. In the middle left is a unit of light cavalry, wielding minor magics in place of bows, mounted on Stags.

To the right are another unit of Archers, then Elite spearmen who are in turn flanked by a unit of handweapons with an elder in charge of the unit.

For a change I got the bases completed in good time to take the pictures with them complete rather than with my usual note about having to finish them :)