Buck Or is that Roo-men? Sometime in ancient history, Ral Partha made a single pack of figures, called Rooman War Party, which had Roomans in two poses, but all armed with pikes or spears. They are no longer available. Over the years, I collected dozens of the originals, but they have become quite rare, even […]
I completed another project that I needed for my game War Must Be. In the game, there are General Spells. Among these spells is Wall of Flame.
Luckily, I found a listing at Noble Knight Games (or possibly on their eBay site) for 6 Ziterdes Fire Walls that would serve my purposes well. They were resin (not metal). Ziterdes makes very high quality German hobby products, and Noble Knight games has many of them for sale.
I soaked them in dish soap and cleaned them with a toothbrush (something I learned from Chris Palmer – thank you Chris!). I had cut several bases out of 1/8″ plywood with my scroll saw so I used these for mounting the Walls of Flame. I also mounted two 1″ steel washers to the underside of each base for magnetic attachment in my storage boxes. I painted the bases with Americana “Jungle Green”.
Then, I used up the last of my Armory “Red” from 1996 to base coat the walls. I had wanted to use my Armory “Scarlet” as well but that had become unusable after 20 years!
After that dried, I then applied Americana “Primary Red”, followed later by a wash with Secret Weapons Washes “Ruby”. After that I highlighted the walls with Citadel “Wild Rider Red”.
I thought it appropriate to use some of my German 1986 Deka-Lak “Gelb” (Yellow) for flame highlights with a drybrushing technique (after all these are a German product). For the middle part of the flames, I used Tamiya “Orange X-6”. Then I washed them sequentially with Secret Weapons Washes “Just Red” and “Ruby”, allowing both to dry in between. I thought the bottom of the flames needed a deeper red, so I went back to using Americana “Simply Red” as a highlight at the lower end of the flames.
I second-guessed my use of green for the bases. Would not all the organic material at the base of a Wall of Flame be burned? Therefore, I went with Americana “Ebony/Lamp Black”.
For varnishing, I went with Krylon “Clear Glossy” as I wanted the walls to be as bright as possible.
I am very happy with how these came out. They really “pop”!
I will use them as walls of flame, and also potentially as fireballs for my wizards, discharges from flame weapons and even as breaths of flames for dragons. My Fire Breathing Salamanders will use them as well!
I am behind on my blogging as I have been a little under the weather and, ahem, I cannot sit down without pain! So blogging is a bit challenging! The good news (if any) is standing is fine and I have completed a few projects that I’d like to document.
I have made Spell Cards for my fantasy miniatures war game War Must Be. Among the Spell Cards is a Mundane Spell called Buzz that enables a Wizard to summon a swarm once per game. Hence, I needed some swarms!
The swarms that I found on eBay are below.
I don’t think that they were made unpainted but I am unsure.
In the front row, I have two grub swarms (Wizkids), and in the back row there are left to right a rat swarm (Wizkids), two monkey swarms (Wizkids), and a Reaper Vermin black widow spider swarm. I painted the grub swarms with Citadel’s Dryad Bark and applied a wash with Citadel’s Agrax Earthshade to each. I also applied the same wash to the others. Each swarm got an appropriately sized washer glued to its underside so as to be easily stored in my magnetically-lined storage boxes.
In the end it is irrelevant which type of swarm is summoned as they all have similar effects in the game.
While I was looking for the original picture that Buck just posted about (“The Final Act”), I found an original printout from the USMA computer lab (same paper with the green and white striped backing) of The Athelfrog’s Castle, by Buck Surdu. This was the first Tunnels & Trolls game I ever played, with Buck as the GM.
I have been reading through it and laughing a lot – wishing we could go back at this oldie but goodie campaign.
The pages are perforated but still not torn apart. I imagine Buck printed this off under the nose of the “gold coats” (the old computer lab assistants). See back then, there were only mainframes for us to use and we had to go to the computer lab!
The old printer matrix from back then is funny to see! But wait, here also is the debut of the Gurad!
Here is the interesting part from the room where they appeared – read and enjoy!!
Anyways, I also found rules Buck wrote for clerics, special equipment, weapons expertise, and more for Tunnels and Trolls. He’s still at it – now with multiple publications over the last including Combat Patrol ™ which is a pretty cool system. His creativity and imagination are truly great and personally inspiring – if only he was closer to Massachusetts! Thanks for the memories Buck!
AND please check Combat Patrol™ out at http://www.bucksurdu.com/Buck_Surdu/Combat_Patrol.html – worth a look!
Last Saturday I got the opportunity to GM a fantasy tabletop war game battle with Ellen Morin and Chris Smedile using my War Must Be set of rules. One of my goals was to play test the rules, especially the crew-served weapons and the adjusted morale rules. The other was to let Ellen and Chris play using my shortcut cards and determine if game play moved along well.
Chris had the evil attackers, consisting of several units of Orcs led by a Gnoll, two Insect Men skirmisher units, a Troll large ballista, the skeletal Nightmare Legion, and two wizards controlling large creatures respectively (a giant scorpion and a giant tarantula). The overall HQ was the Nightmare Legion’s command group. Their objective was a bridge at the rear of their enemy’s lines.
Defending against them was a collection of Dwarves, Neanderthals, and Ents. The Dwarves had excellent positioning of two primitive cannons (one large and one small bombard) on top of two escarpments – both with excellent fields of fire. These veteran crews were led by the infamous “Dwarf with No Name”, armed with two black powder pistols. These were reinforced with three Scandinavian Dwarf Skirmishers (Danes, Finns, and Swedes). The Swedes guarded the base of the escarpment with the large bombard, while the Danish and Finnish Dwarves defended chevaux de fries in front of the flank of the small bombard’s escarpment. A large mass of neolithically-armed Neanderthals held a gap between a swamp and a forest on the left flank. While they held, two Ents (Redbeard and Tanbeard) recruited small trees to augment the defenders. These two plus Waldo the Wizard were under the command of the overall force commander, Treebeard.
This set up forced Chris to move his forces up right under the guns of the Dwarves. The first salvo from the large bombard missed the forward unit of Insect Men skirmishers. However, it struck the follow on unit and killed 3/4 of them. The remaining figure, once activated, failed its morale check, and went buzzing off into cover.
Ellen continued to hold her position while her Ents recruited trees for the fight. Chris, realizing that he needed to bring pain onto at least one of the bombards, moved his Orc Death Head Longbow up, and made a miraculous set of rolls – killing one of the crew of the small bombard, and degrading its effectiveness at reloading and firing. He took his best melee Orcish troops with maces and put them into column as they moved into point-blank range of the large bombard. It looked like bowling for Orcs was about to happen. Ellen got the card activating the large bombard – aimed, and gave the order to fire…
She rolled a misfire…
She rolled for the consequences of the misfire…
The large bombard BLEW UP, killing one crew member, severely wounding the crew chief, and putting the gun out of action for the remainder of the game.
The other undamaged Insect Men fought the Swedish Dwarves, driving them back. This allowed them to swing around the hill and hit the Dwarf with No Name. The DWNN raised his pistols to fire…
One jammed, and the other blew up, wounding him severely.
Meanwhile, the Neanderthals were being attacked by Kaadastral, Bringer of Plagues (a demon), and a Giant Scorpion controlled by the evil Wizard Greencape. A large Tarantula controlled by the evil Wizard Rooney was closing in as well, but it took a fireball from the good Wizard Waldo, wounding it but not killing it.
The Neanderthals gave a good fight, damaging the attackers, but not killing them. After losing about a third of their number, with the Nightmare Legion closing in, they said “we’re outta here” and ran for shelter in the Ents woods (as peasants are wont to do).
At this point, the game was halted as my parents arrived and we had dinner. This was the day of the East Brookfield fireworks – so that took over and we celebrated Independence Day East Brookfield-style (a week later for cheaper but still fantastic fireworks show).
Both Ellen and Chris thought that the rules upgrades worked well, as did the shortcut cards. Of course, Ellen did get the bad rolls, but Chris took some maneuver chances that worked out for him. I’m not sure how it would have turned out. While the bad guys could have shot at the Dwarves with longbow and ballista with some degree of impunity, the Ents had recruited several trees and the fight was by no means certain.
What was certain, is that it was fun!
I am still working on adding some large creatures for fantasy gaming. These could be controlled by Wizards, or used as wildcard elements by themselves. Another eBay find that I made was a Ral Partha Giant Scorpion (11-452) from the early 1990’s. It had the top of the blister pack removed. I have seen many older surviving blisters in this shape – which seems rather senseless, for if it was done to save storage space it really does not. Of course, it makes it easier to buy these cheaper.
I removed it from the package, and gave it a quick scrub with a toothbrush and some dishwashing soap. After it dried, I looked at the model and tried to plan for assembly and painting.
I assembled the model using E6000 epoxy, and let that set up. Then I primed the model with Krylon “Ultra-flat Black” spray paint.
I built a 2½” hex base with 30° beveled edges for the model. I glued #8 steel washers to its bottom, and put that base aside.
This figure was simple, but frustrating. To make it realistic, I needed to portray it as an ambush predator with excellent camouflage. I went through a lot of steps and colors to achieve what I wanted.
To do this, I base-coated it with a mix of Citadel “Balor Brown” and Secret Weapons Washes “Sewer Water”. Subsequently, I applied a dry brush application of Citadel “XV-88”. Not content with the coloring, I applied a wash of Citadel “Agrax Earthshade”, and highlighted with a dry brushing of Citadel “Dryad Bark”, and a wash with P3 “Brown Ink”.
The scorpion was not in a good position for mounting flat on a base. The legs were not going to be easily affixed, and it looked unnatural. I envisioned it pouncing on prey from higher ground. I took the base that I had made and glued ¾” steel washers to the top with wood glue and let the washers dry solid. I then took my Aves Apoxie Sculpt to create a rock and mud mound from which the Giant Scorpion could attack prey and enemies. I mounted the material to the base and sculpted it while mounting the Giant Scorpion to it before it hardened. The washers really do a good job of providing a affixing surface for the sculpted Apoxie Sculpt. I let this solidify for 24 hours.
With a wet mix of Citadel “Balor Brown” and Craftsmart “Khaki” I painted the entire model and base again. After it had dried, I drybrushed the model with Citadel “Balor Brown”, and finished with a wash of Citadel “Agrax Earthshade”. I then used Deka-Lack “Braun” for the stinger. Lastly, I applied a sequential triple varnishing with Krylon “Clear Glossy”, Krylon “Clear Matte”, and Testors “Dull Coat”, allowing for complete drying between each coat.
I added a couple of painted boulders and Army Painter “Wasteland Tuft” to the base.
I think that the model is up to my standards – it looks realistic and is set up for play. Nature’s camouflage is not flashy.
I have even considered using this as a paperweight in my office, or even a ball marker on the golf course! The Apoxie Sculpt makes this a solid weighty model.
Happy Independence Day!
Lynn and I celebrated with a round of 9 holes at Bay Path Golf Course in East Brookfield, MA today. We had picked her up a nice starter set of Top-Flite Women’s clubs on Sunday at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Worcester. We hit the range, and she tried them out. She also got a “fancy” orange towel, some purple Pinnacles, and a couple of gloves.
Today, after all the other golfers were done, we played her first round with her new clubs. She did try golf at the couples league on Friday night by borrowing some clubs from Justyne Smith – but this was just her and I. I am so grateful that she is giving this a tentative “go” so far.
I did want to take a picture there at the course, but I worried she’d get upset. Golf is not easy on the beginner (or the veteran player for that matter). She was a GREAT sport, and did her best. We will be back out sometimes, but I don’t think that 18 holes in in the cards anytime soon for her. Still, I truly enjoyed spending the time playing with her on her first day with the new clubs. I love my wife!!!
Here she is afterwards barbecuing some delicious chicken breasts!