SITREP – Weekend

That’s me on the right of the image, hiding my face behind the face mask

Had a busy weekend – a few friends visiting and a Sunday airsofting up at Dirty Dog close to Darlington. Fun running around, need to improve my fitness/strength to be able to carry the gear I want to. As with all weekends, good for actually seeing people, bad for getting hobby done. Tonight’s work has mostly been cleaning up after playing host (and recovering some sleep) so our weekly hangout didn’t happen.

But I have some stuff planned for this week:

  • Finish off the pair of VBLs.
  • Finish the figures I need for next week’s fantasy game (at the moment two mages and a magical crystal.
  • Basing pass on all the stuff on my desk.
  • Starting thinking about a new moderns scenario – a friend of mine asked if I’d be interested in hosting some wargames for him when he’s in the area and honestly an extra game once in a while sounds like a good idea.

SITREP – One More Cultist

I spent most of my afternoon cleaning up my 3d printing room so someone can sleep in it on the weekend but managed to squeeze in painting up one final cultist for group of five. I’m still really big fans of the Northstar cultist figures. They are a great set of parts for building a force, and part of me is tempted to pick up a few more to assemble a collection of dirty, horrible adventurers.

As for my own setting, these are supposed to be matching to the Rangers of the Shadow Deep cultists I’ve painted. Hence the splash of gold and the bare (and blooded) feet.

SITREP – Fission Mailed

Alas, I ran out of time to get my stuff ready to game with tonight. Long day at work, not enough time to finish the models I wanted to and so I pushed it back. Instead had an evening of TV watching and hanging out with The Sister, while also writing up a little more of my battle reports from the fantasy games.

However, I also had some time to play with the UK para STLs I bought from Kickstarter. I have to admit, the 1 hour turnaround from payment being taken to files on my hard drive that occured yesterday will be hard to beat. Spent last night with them and finally got some prints off this morning and… I’ve got mixed feelings about them. The files are massive compared to the regular files I get from most other STL sources (over 100mb for a 28mm sized figure). There also seems to be lots of voids in the models (such as gaps between vests and torsos) which is usually recommended. Lychee gave me several warnings about them so I let it repair, send it to print and waited the result.

Well that’s not good. Lychee and 3dBuilder’s repairs turned small voids into big ones, tearing off back packs and arms of models.

Deciding to try the raw files gave a much better result. To be positive for a moment – I really like the posing and details on these models. The heads might look massive on the STLs but once printed they seem like reasonable gaming pieces. It’s also cool to get two versions of each (helmet and headset) with the headset one including a helmet elsewhere on the figure. There is also a nice mix of weapons and gear, so they look like a team of ally looking soldiers.

However, it’s not all perfect. There are some issues with the sunglasses (they seem to collapse in on themselves) and the rail system is actually hollow, rather than a solid block. This might be good for detail, but this tore away through some movements as I trimmed off the supports.

I’ve mentioned these issues on the Kickstarter page, not sure I’ll receive much assistance. Even with the issues, these models are definitely worth playing around with, especially as I need some L85 armed figures that look different from my Empress and White Dragon ones.

SITREP – The WIPs Before Game Day

T’was the night before game day and all through the house, not a creature was stiring… except me getting stuff painted up for the game.

I have the rough idea planned out – layout sketched, special rules in place, the arc of the story telling that the game will map to. I just have to get the dungeon tiles out and finish painting the last few elements.

Decided to take a different approach with my mages (not going to spoil the twist here), but going with red robes rather than black should make them more distinctive and useful in the future. I’ll get these finished off tomorrow, but I am excited for what may occur with them.

SITREP – Cultists!

After taking a few days off for the weekend (busy in the garden and watching films), decided to restart the hobby streak by frantically getting things together for Wednesday’s game against The Sister.

For that game, I need some more cultists for my Swordmasters to fight. I’ve got 5 from the Rangers of the Shadow Deep range (two warriors, a champion and a pair of archers) but a few more will be needed for a proper scrap. Tonight I managed to paint up four of them, built from a Frostgrave Cultist sprue. I tried to match the scheme of my older cultists in the black robes and golden mask, but there is some differences due to models. I wanted to keep them as horrible as the others, so I added touches like the bloodied footwraps from walking around in bare feet.

I’ve got another to paint tomorrow, as well as a pair of mages that might play a certain role in the story…

SITREP – VBL Painting Begins

Started painting up the pair of VBLs. These will be vehicles from the Emirate of Bazistan, a sub nation of the larger Bazi Empire and one currently getting the cast offs. For this reason, I’ll stick with something similar to the two T62s I painted up – that’s about the tech level the Emir’s forces will end up being. Expect to see a lot of these vehicles as alternatives to the Humvee I’ve used in the past, providing some bulletproof armour in small engagements.

This is all based around the world building I’m doing for the ChargeReal. To help you understand the Bazi Empire’s nations, let’s take a quick look at the tanks:

The Emirate is the nation that was given to the King’s cousin and is the poor man of the region – translated, expect a lot of hand me down kit from the rest of the Empire and it’s neighbours but with a touch of extra modification to it, similar to real-world Iran. Hence why they have the T62 in their arsenal, although it might be augmented with a few early pattern M1s with some local upgrades (such as a DSHK on the pintle mount or a locally made thermal optical system).

The central area of the Empire, the actual Kingdom itself, will be using a mix of Tsarist tech (the T14 is waiting) but keeping an eye on extending their home grown projects (I’m eyeing up the Altay that Guaro has) just in case the Tsarina decides to stop selling to them and take the main highway through Shyluz to expand her holdings. These tanks will be in better condition than their Emirate cousins although a little less veteran as they aren’t in an ongoing war footing (unless you’re one of the soldiers sent north to assist).

Meanwhile the technically advanced (and richer) nation of Alhuriya will be using vehicles developed in partnership with their neighbour Rettung (so it will probably be a very late pattern Leopard 2 variant or maybe the Merkava). This is where we get the fun bleeding edge tech, so I might even wheel out some concept vehicles for these guys, like the Polish “stealth” tank.

Naturally all these vehicles will get their own names at some point but they are handy as guides

SITREP – Tiny Flags and Tiny Vehicles

I finished off the first set of Turnbase Hight Intensity Operators. I’m going for more of a mix with these guys, trying to use the wide selection of heads to make them fit as a larger PMC faction. Fun to paint, nice details. Really happy with the guy at the front’s head – the ginger beard + scottish flag. Of course, it was ruined slightly when I remembered Scotland doesn’t exist in ChargeReal. Ah well, I’m sure I can make it mean something.

The results of last night’s print job – a VBL with .50cal turret! Really impressed with how well it turned out. Dropping down to medium supports had only a few small loose pieces of resin but there was much less work to remove it from the supports and much less resin wasted in those supports. Downside, I need to work on the drainage for the hollowing. I left it propped up for an hour after cleaning and came back to a pool of liquid resin over my workbench (luckily on the silicone mat).

Today was definitely a busy 3d printing day as I also quick printed off the latest Turnbase releases. Some very familiar Task Force members (ready to do a quick hop across the border) were printed out, and I’m pretty excited to get them painted up. I also printed out three more High Intensity bodies to use the separate heads for Alejando, Matt and Steve.

And alas, I had some print failures (hence why not everyone is in the picture above. Matt’s arm and foot has a nasty case of flat (I guess some support failures) while the High Intensity breacher sadly had a suppressor snap off while cleaning the supports. These two are going into a box, maybe I can use some of these parts.

SITREP – Operators and Experiments

First up, some more tweaks/fixes to the website. Most of my hobby time (which was limited) was spent fixing all the images and reuploading some missing files. Everything should now be working and I’m feeling a little more stable on the site (while not duplicating every image).

After work and FTP messing around, I only had a little time for painting. I brought the final Turnbase High Intensity operator up to the same standard as the rest of team, as well as neatening up elements, painting things tan (not a real operator if it isn’t tan) and progressing slightly on.

I also spat out another 3d printing tweak – trying out the VBL RECO (complete with .50cal turret). Seeing as the vehicle is small, I’m able to fit them on the plate at a very slight angle, reducing the supports needed. I’m also trying it with less heavy supports. All in all, this basically reduces costs by about £0.50 and should mean less clean up required at the end.