Monday 26 October 2015


So, what do you do on a grey, rainy friday with the kids off school due to a teacher's incept day? Few places are open (we had planned to go swimming, but the baths aren't open to public swims, a trip to Derbyshire's Bluejohn caves was called off, they were shut too), and anything outdoors looks a bit too cold, wet and grim. So, rather than sit in, watch DVDs (ok we watched some Thunderbirds DVDs) and play on the Xbox, I turned out all my bits boxes from the shed and we all set-to on creating some Thunderbirds-inspired sci-fi buildings.

There is method to the madness, I have a long term plan to do some sci-fi gaming again, perhaps at 6mm, but we also have just come into possession of 40+ second-hand Battletech Mechs, and I have no terrain for them to fight over. So, for years I've been throwing useful looking bits (broken or out-grown toys, spares from model sprues, plastic containers and packaging, etc) into boxes in my shed. There they have laid, until I needed them for some sci-fi builds. I could just buy some terrain, but building it is part of the fun.

So this rainy friday afternoon, my 2 'helpers' and I started a messy job...

 The bits spread out for first investigations. One man's junk is another's far-future terrain...

 The Mech is for scale... the yellow piece is from a broken Hotwheels set, in the end we decided it as too big, so saved it for a 28mm sci-fi project in the future.

 The guts from our broken dehumidier (apparently nobody fixes these, you just have to buy another!), so I gutted it for parts.
 First effort, not really what I was looking for, but my 2 helpers were warming to the task. 

 Plastic plumbing leftovers... the good stuff!

 An improvement, some kind of geo-thermal power station?

 6 year old's efforts (with some help with the control tower). First task was mastering the clippers without the need for the plasters.

 Next stab at the power station idea. The tube is from a broken Dyson attachment.

 The power station grows. 

After a few hours of cutting and gluing the novelty had worn off, but I continued that evening, Superglued fingers and all, to finish a few pieces and get them sprayed metallic grey as a base coat. Still all a WIP, but below are some of the current pieces, undercoated. Others will follow. Again the Mech is for scale. 

Shuttle landing pad, with stolen control tower idea.

 Erm, generic industrial chemical storage building.  

 And another building, built on the case of a broken smoke alarm.

 The reactor building.

 Still work to be done, but we have the start of 6-7 peices that'll be plenty to give the Mechs some cover on my desert boards.

Monday 5 October 2015


This weekend was the Derby Worlds show, which is my local show, so I was running Battlegroup Tobruk intro/participations game on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. Thanks for all those that came and either had a go or watched on as others did battle, or just came up to say hello and have a quick chin-wag.

I ran 4 games over the weekend, with 2 British wins and 2 German wins (the Italians didn't get out of their box this time). Both the Brits and Germans had 1 narrow win and 1 solid win, so honours were definiately even. In the last game of Lads vs Dads, the grown-ups scored the best German win of the weekend and gained the bragging rights for the car trip home.

There wasn't much time for wandering around and seeing the show (or shopping). I did a bit late on Sunday and took some shots of the other games I really liked the look over (no idea how they actually played). Here are a few shots of the BG Tobruk boards and those other games.

Tobruk is very much still a WIP, but it should be good for release in spring next year. First, we need to get the BG rulebook back into print and finish Wacht am Rhein.

Hessian cloth over books for undulating desert. Heavy sprinkled with sharp sand and budgie grit, followed by small bits of clump foliage and lichen, and a few larger rocks. I was tempted to play Soldiers of God over it. 

The village and irrigation ditch in the far corner. The British had possession on day 1, the Germans got it on day 2. 

 Pre-battle RAF fly-over.

The Crusader IIs arrive to duke-it-out with the Pz IIIs, a pretty even contest, but their 2pdr gun is going to struggle at range. One glanced off a 222 armored car four times!

 The move to contact begins.

25pdr and loader team deployed to keep the village under suppressing HE fire. It attracted a lot of incoming mortar fire in return, but survived every battle intact.

Some of the others...

Quatre Bras, by the 'Like a Stonewall' Club. A huge game next to mine. French cavalry on the attack.

Probably my favourite table, a Dark Ages 'fall of Rome' battle. The Barbarians are at the walls. This might be influenced by the excellent board game of 'Decline and Fall' we played on Friday night, in which my Goths migrated across the board, from Russia to Spain (mostly with the very frightening Huns not far behind). 

Ozzy light cavalry at Beersheeba. Surely nobody wanted to play the Ozzies after Saturday night!

Large and very colourful Italian reniassance battle, all painted 'old school' with enamels, which gives a lovely matt finish - hmmm!

28mm WW2 action on the Scheldt. Small, but nicely done and nice to see something a bit different. Love the Buffalos.

More Nappies... Hougoumont at 28mm, well it is the 200th year, so I guess Waterloo would be popular subject matter (like it ever isn't).