Tuesday, 30 November 2010

flotsam and jetsom

Months have passed since my last post but I haven't been entirely bone idle and to prove it here are some new bits and bobs for my Fifth Frontier War project.

A second Z-55 Grav tank for the Sworld Worlders.

And the rest of the Sword Worlder Infantry

Plus a couple of light gun sleds to provide additional fire support.

Lastly some provincial government troops to bolster the Imperial forces.

I've also redone a lot of the basing on my troops so that they all match better and added the greenery as the bases looked a bit dull without anything. I'll post some shots of the Zhodani and Vargr with their new basing when I get around to it. Consider it the start of a terraforming project on the world.

This last pic is here because someone on the Guild asked for a scale pic with a 20mm figure in it. I thought I would include it here in case that's of use to anyone else.

To close our new club website is now up and running. Please come to www.sswg.co.uk to check it out. There's not much on the front page yet but we've already added a lot of our old stuff, and some new stuff, to the gallery, and more will follow soon.

Monday, 30 August 2010

To live by the sword

Getting somewhat back on track, here is the latest progress on my Fifth Frontier War project. I meant to get these done ages ago but real life annoyingly intervened.

For a colour scheme I've gone with a simple and traditional military style for the Sword Worlders, in order to make them seem less advanced than the higher tech Imperials and Zhodani.

In this first picture we see two XTR-60 G-Carriers, an obsolescent Zhodani design widely used by second line Zhodani units and many of the Sword World member states.
Note the obsolete external grav plates.

All these models are part of the same army deal from Ground Zero Games. There is another tank, a couple more mobile weapons platforms and some more infantry to complete the force.

These Sworld Worlder Grenadiers are equipped with an older version of the standard Zhodani combat armour. Notice however that the face plate is a single piece version, rather than the characteristic Zhodani 'clam shell' style.

Although the canon typically has the Sword Worlders producing their own equipment that doesn't seem likely to me, at least not for the majority of the confederation's worlds. In the real world, military development is expensive and most minor powers import surplus or export equipment from major powers rather than develop their own kit.

As such I imagine that the Sword Worlds would buy second line equipment from friendly or just capitalist suppliers. The Zhodanis are probably the main source for most equipment but Imperial corporations might provide substantial quantities too. Our own developing nations are probably a good model to see the variation, yet also the similarity between their forces. Similarity in supplier would also make the policy of allowing member states to choose their own equipment far less of a logistical nightmare than it might otherwise be if each state manufactured their own.

Here we see a lone Z-55 Grav Tank. The Ubiqitous Z-55 has been widely exported by the Consulate and can be found equipping the armoured units of states throughout the Spinward regions of known space.

An added bonus of assuming that the Sworld Worlders use second line Zhodani equipment is that the same troops can double as second echelon Zhodani units too.

Two XRM-1 light recon vehicles skim across an arid landscape.

A heavier variant of the XRM-1 the XRM-2 can effectively engage lightly armoured grav vehicles as well as infantry.

Finally, a shot of a Sword Worlder Lift Grenadier platoon on the move.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

I didn't know we had so many ships left!

Here are some more shots of the Royal Navy vessels in Portsmouth harbour.

First the other Type 45 Destroyer currently in service, the lead ship, HMS Daring.

Next the Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster.

And the last of the Type 42 Destroyers HMS Edinburgh.

There were a lot of other older ships too under refit or awaiting a worse fate. HMS Illustrious can be seen in the background.

Lastly a sad relic of the cancelled CVA-01 aircraft carrier project. HMS Bristol was the only one of four proposed Type 82 Destroyers that was ever built.

She is now serving as a training ship and these cadets seem quite happy to be onboard.

The new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers do seem to be on their way though.

I am the monarch of the sea

I was away on holiday last week. Just a little family self catering trip to Sussex. We did the usual farm parks and beach trip but the highlight of the week was a trip to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. If you've not been, it is well worth a visit. We spent all day there Wednesday and didn't get to see everything so the kids insisted (I obviously needed a lot of persuasion) we went back Friday.

The mighty HMS Warrior. One of those ships that makes every other warship in the world obsolete, she was so feared she never had to fire a shot in anger. The epitome of splendid isolation in wrought iron.

The previous state of the art, HMS Victory is equally impressive.

The kids loved the Action Stations exhibit. All sort of activities and buttons to push.

We sadly missed the Navy Days, so couldn't go aboard the new Type 45 Destroyers but I had to take this shot of the HMS Dauntless from the deck of the Victory.

If you wish for peace, prepare for war.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Dog Soldiers

Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated but my feebleness on the blogging front is pretty self evident. Unfortunately a series of work related issues, culminating in my needing a new job, have had to take priority. Short of things going horribly wrong in the next couple of weeks though, this little problem is now sorted and I can start thinking about toy soldiers again. Hooray!

The following rather poor photos of the Vargr I painted for stage three of my 2010 Group Build project are not exactly a dramatic improvement on nothing but it's a start.

Friday, 30 April 2010

The Empire Strikes Back

Finally, here are the first of the Imperials forces for my Fifth Frontier War project. It's a rather feeble force to take on the might of the Outworld Coalition so far but I'll be adding more later.

So far I've only got a single squad of marines done.

I intended to use these RAFM (ex-Citadel) Hi Tech troopers as my Imperial Army. I still might but...

... I've recently been dithering on whether to use them as Aslan in power/combat armour like these from the cover of this FASA supplement. They are a pretty close match but maybe need some conversion on the helmets.

Anyway, back to the Marines. I first painted them red, as in the classic Traveller canon but they looked too 40k, so I redid them white, as in Megatraveller canon. That looked quite good but I based them on MDF that warped, so stripped and repainted them again. I was going to use the colour they are now as a base for the white but when I'd washed them I liked the look, so I left it. I'll do some more experimentation later, maybe try a darker red.

Here's the heavy support, in the shape of Trepida grav tanks.

The inspiration came from these 3D models by Andrew Boulton.

See Andrew's website at http://www.traveller3d.com/ for more 3D Traveller goodness.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Not just a flash in the pan

Over the last few weeks we have been trying out Warlord Games new Black Powder rules for the Horse and Musket period. We've played three ACW, one AWI and one Jacobite game to date.

For those who are not wargamers, or have been asleep for several months, these rules are the latest outpouring from Rick Priestly and his Nottingham wargames 'clique'. They are intended for playing big multi-player games, preferably with 28mm figures en mass. Further, unlike many previous sets, these rules encourage a gentlemanly and friendly gaming ethos, eschewing points systems and competitive play, in favour of scenarios and making sure everyone has 'fun'. This is very much how we like to play and so to have the rules actively encourage it is a very refreshing and welcome addition.

The games we've played so far have all been rather good close run affairs. The rules seem to cope okay with the armies we've used with just a few tweaks to special rules and terrain rules. Although, they are definitely at the game end of the spectrum and I also suspect that we play them as they are intended, with a fairly live-and-let-live attitude. The holes could no doubt be exploited by more competitive players.

The combat mechanics are very simple, which leads to fast play and makes it possible to play big games in a typical evening game, especially if you plan the scenario beforehand. The order rules get a bit of getting use to but have worked well, allowing the better commanded side to rapidly deploy whilst their dullard opponents move like snails. This certainly gives a big advantage to the well lead professionals and setting command ratings is a powerful tool for giving the underdog a fighting chance. There are some rather arbitrary bits that niggle me, not being able to split fire being the major one but they are easily house-ruled away

Pictures are courtesy of my clubmate Simon. See his blog here for write ups and pictures of some of our games.