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Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Minor Mods

My desire for variety overcame trepidation about attempting figure conversions.  Carving up a few Wargames Factory figures turned out to be easy.  I kept it simple.

I would rather not have several "guy throwing grenade" figures, but I could not find another arm configuration that worked for this torso. To change up the pose slightly, I cut off the "finger pointing hand" on the straightest arm in the pack, replacing with a gripping hand. I used an M1 rifle with ammo pouches on the stock as the weapon. The pose looks a bit stiff, but I can live with it.

I also wanted to model a standing figure with the anti-tank grenade equipped rifle, but the arm angle would not work. Cutting off and repositioning the hand proved very easy.

Overall, I am happy with the results. I am looking forward to getting home next week with figures ready for painting. I ordered some Warlord Games units yesterday for my American force, so I should be playing pretty soon.

In closing, it has been a somber day here in Washington, DC, as I reflect on the losses on 9/11 and afterward.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jet Lag Modeling

For the second time, I brought a wargame project along on a trip back to the States. I always suffer from jet lag, waking up around 3 AM. Working on a project is better than watching infomercials.

I am assembling my Wargames Factory WWII Americans for Bolt Action. The package contains 30 soldiers, and I will be able to field three infantry squads, an officer, and a sniper.

28mm WW II Americans

This is only my second 28mm plastic model effort, the other one being our recently acquired Warmachines models. The details look good, but I was disappointed by the lack of flexibility with the poses and weapons. The box includes a sprue full of weapons, but the figure sprue lacked right arms with open hands. All the right arms have molded in weapons, binos, etc. I am not ready to try converting the figures. In any case, there are enough options to meet my needs.  The assembly went smoothly, but I learned that getting both arms positioned can require patience when gluing.

Work in Progress

I should finish the whole set on this trip. I may wait on the small packs and canteens, given my lack of tweezers. Bolt Action coming soon!

Monday, September 2, 2013

War Maintenance

I had planned on finishing two gaming projects before jumping into a new game.  Well, that didn't happen; I've jumped into two new games. I did make some progress recently on figure storage and DBA terrain. I also acquired some material that might work for Warmachine and Bolt Action terrain pieces.  We shall see.

Terrain & Storage Projects

I'm working on DBA roads and rivers, based on Jeff Franz's terrain design.  I have finally carved up the pieces from chipboard, and I've acquired wood filler for the texture and clear nail polish for the water. Will post photos when the pieces are finished some day.

I've also decided to mount sheet magnet on the bottom of figure bases for my 15mm armies.  Lacking access to a US-style Home Depot here in Seoul, I asked a Korean friend about sources for thin steel sheets and "extruded" foam.  I hit a home run on the steel, purchasing more than I will need for about $7.

I'm skeptical about finding extruded foam insulation here; I have only seen a form of beaded foam used as insulation material.  When I described what I was seeking, my Korean colleague had some scrap foam material used for gym floors or play areas.   He wasn't sure what I meant by extruded foam.

I'm going to experiment with the green pieces for creating terrain.  I'm a little concerned that it will flex too much, and any wood filler or other ground cover might crack.  The set of 2'x2' black pieces could be used to create a 4'x4' battle board for Warmachine if affixed to plywood.  I bet that other gamers have experimented with the material, so I'm going to search the web before wasting too much time.  Will post the results later.

Warmachine Test Run

We were too busy having fun to take any pictures, but Ryan and I played a test game of Warmachine, pitting a 19 point Khador force against a 16 point Convergence force.  We played for an hour, learning the rules as we go, before running out of time.  We are still in the midst of painting and basing, so it was a messy looking game.  However, the rules are relatively easy to learn, and I'm sure it will play much faster when we have the basics memorized.  

One aspect of the game that we both like is the damage system for the "Warjacks," which are steam-powered, large robots.  The model's statistics card depicts a damage grid.  When you take damage, you roll a d6 to determine what part of the model is hit.  When damage accumulates in one area, your mobility or weapons may be crippled. The Warjacks can also take a lot of punishment.  

Your "General" is a Warcaster, which commands the other units and is able to cast spells.  Ryan's Khador faction has an ice theme, and his Warcaster used an "Icy Gaze" feat (a once per game capability) to freeze my heavy Warjack.  It was getting pounded into the dust when time ran out.