Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Britannian Starter Fleet

After a couple of weeks of painting trauma I have painted my Britannian starter fleet for Dystopian Wars:

Dystopian Wars is an epic scale Steampunk wargame from Spartan Games. Standard late Victorian setting with standard factions for the period and a combined ruleset for Land, Air and Naval forces (Naval games seem to be the standard though). Sounds simple enough? Well it aint!

The rules are actually rather simple at the base level, but the rulebook is so badly written that the only way to learn is to play someone who already knows them, or find an unofficial play guide PDF to explain the rulebook!

That aside it is a fun game with some very pretty models.

The Ruler class battleship is the centre piece of the starter set. It is a rather nice model, but the original steam reactor section was pretty ugly, leaving large gaps in the super structure, so I replaced it with one from the Dreadnought model that I bought as extra to the started set.

The Tribal class cruisers are a trifle too short and squat for my tastes, but they have impressed me on the battle field; a single torpedo salvo from these guys wiped out my opponents battleship, and the next turn they mortally wounded a couple of cruisers.

The little frigate are proving difficult to master. Unlike the larger ships all their torpedoes are mounted on the broadsides. This means you have to tack and jibe constantly to get them on target, whereas the larger ship simply steam straight towards the enemy, following their torps and finishing them off with the main guns. The Box is supposed to come with nine frigates, but mine contained ten for no apparent reason.

These Doncaster Bombers were the only survivors from a bad can of spray paint, the rest have been stripped. I know Vallejo do excellent paints, but their Primer is thin, watery and all round rubbish. It did not help that I tried to paint the belly with a gloss white spray that came out far too gloopy and finished the models off with a five year old brown Ink wash that had separated into orange and black.

This Fleet came around due to the club I attend having several players of the game, and one of the committee members happens to be a Spartan Distributor.

There soon will be a rival club that I am helping to found, and there seems to be a fair deal of interest in Flames of War, so hopefully that project will get back on track. Although there is also some interest in Bolt Action, so I may get drawn back into that game as well.

~ Bob

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Kurganova Sisters

I ordered these beauties last year before they even came out, I was that impressed by the sculpts. Raging Heroes has some very pretty models on their website, a limited range, but excellent none the less. I opted for the Limited edition full set (which I believe is still available), on the reasoning that I would want to get them all at some point anyway, and it arrived in a nice little box;

Now I was terrified of the models, scared that I could never do the models justice... And it seems I was not the only one as I have found less than a dozen images of painted models, and none look much good.

To start with I ruined them. I wanted halberds to fit with my 'Space Russian' theme; as a 17th century nerd/historian a Russian Soldier needs a Bardiche (Pole axe used as a musket rest), and the officers need fancier version of the same basic weapon type. The weapons actually included in the set are Sabres and Chainswords for the most part, and I have not shown the rather cool Teutonic wardog that comes with the Limited edition.

3D modelling is all well and good, a nice technique, but it is not the be-all-and-end-all of sculpting, like soem companies seem to think.

To start with there are issues with translation into physical form. Sure you can digitally sculpt a hello kitty badge two millimetres across (No its seriously on one of the models), you might even be able to cast it successfully for your master resin model...

But white metal cannot cope with that level of detail, nor can many painters water there paints to a level were it is not obscured instantly.

Showing your CAD sculpts on your website is not very helpful as it does show a customer what the model Really looks like, it also confuses people as to what material you are using (the website shows Resin levels of detail, in a resin grey colour).

Otherwise excellent models with only a little flash and mould line removal required.

The following is work in progress;

I figured that part of the reason other peoples models looked rather poor was because they all went for the 'Commissar in Black' look. It fits the design of the models, but black is a hard colour to get right. Models like these need colour to show off their curves.My commissars wear officers regimental uniform, similar to WW2 Soviets, but worn under a snowy white greatcoat with red lining

Admiral Olga Kurganova

Olga (Agnes to me) looks good from the front, but the scroll-work on the greatcoat just is not working.

Kaptain Ivanka Kurganova

Ivanka (Rebecca) is the one I am most happy with, the non-metallic metals work rather well, but not as well as I had hoped
In truth the Eagle looks rather rubbish in person and in good light, maybe I am just a really good cameraman?

Kommander Malinka Kurganova

Malinka (Michelle) has caused me the most trouble, the pose seems flat from many angles, the stuck out tongue is a nuisance to paint right, and the halberd keeps falling off. I have re-pinned her now, so next I'll have to tidy up the paintwork.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Soviet Starting Forces (Painted!)

This is a rather basic force I put together from the late war Forces book. Just Infantry, nothing special that might create confusion whilst learning the basics.

Strelkovy Battalion 500pts


Strelkovy Battalion HQ

Left to Right: Company Command Rifle team, 2iC Command Rifle team, Battalion Komissar team
Strelkovy Company with two MG/Rifle Platoons and Komissar team

Strelkovy Company with one SMG Platoon

Strelkovy Machine-Gun Company with one Machine-Gun platoon

Total 495pts

I painted a few other models that didn't make it into the list:

Anti-Tank Gun Company with four ZIS-3

Anti-Tank Rifle Platoon 

There are also a couple of spare infantry teams for when this force expands. I have a lot of spare 'odds and sods' that will form some more command teams, but I will need another box of PSC's soviet infantry to make a true hoard.

~ Bob