Folder Bot 3000

I decided that I needed a short break from building and painting Aztecs – for at least long enough to paint one miniature anyways. This one is called “Folder Bot 3000” from Armorcast Terraform Terrain Ltd.’sRobot Townies” collection. There are a number of unusual robots and Futurama-inspired lookalikes there. I bought this Folder Bot 3000 on a lark when I got some other terrain stuff from Armorcast a few years back. I do like robots and I do like Futurama and Bender, so I got this one.

(Oh hell, its really supposed to be Bender Bending Rodriguez – aka Bender – so let’s call him that !).

The figure stayed on my painting desk in its baggie as I worked on many other projects. This is definitely not my usual practice as I really had no place to properly categorize and put him away for a future game. It was finally Bender’s time…

The figure differs from Bender a bit – his chest “door” hinges are on the right, while the cartoon version’s are on the left, but otherwise it’s similar enough.

The Folder Bot 3000 figure as received. The casting quality was a bit off of what I had expected. For example the figure’s legs and arms did not line up perfectly during the casting process – leading to misalignments of the limbs’ rings. There was some flash and some pitting on the head, necessitating some filing and filling on top of the needed drilling and pinning of the arms, legs, and head.
The figure as assembled. I used E6000 epoxy as I wanted a strong bond on the components, but this proved to be a bit of a mess. I have a love/hate relationship with E6000 as it needs a day to cure properly and sometimes it goes where you don’t want it to go. Here, it needed to be removed from other robot surfaces that needed to be smooth. It does clean up with an Exacto blade and tweezers, but its a pain, and because its clear, you don’t always see it all.

I used a 1″ steel washer to mount the figure in lieu of the plastic base. After I assembled the figure, I saw that there were gaps under the arms and they were not fully affixed. There were also some pitting on the figure’s head and back, necessitating my using green stuff as a remedy. In retrospect, I should have just used green stuff to assemble him.

I also saw that the figure just had an empty slit for the “eyes”, and a tiny flat space for the “mouth”. Anyone familiar with Bender knows that he has very expressive “eyes” and a wavy three-lined electronic “mouth”. One of my goals in painting him was to make him as “cartoony” and 2-D as possible. There was no way that I was going to be able to paint the eyes in the slit effectively or to freehand paint the wavy mouth as the figure was then.

I decided to try to sculpt the eyes and the mouth with green stuff. I admire people like Roger at Rantings From Under the Wargame Table who are much better at sculpting with green stuff than I am (as shown by his efforts here). Undaunted, and inspired by Roger (but a little worried), I used green stuff to fill the slit, make eye holes, and to try to sculpt the “waves” on the mouth. The result I achieved is shown below.

Here is Bender after I had filled in the gaps on the limbs and head, smoothed/filled pits, and sculpted the eye holes and the mouth “waves”.

I was not happy with the “eye holes” and did not think that I could paint them as “expressive” like in the cartoon. I also did not think that the handle on his chest was big enough – so I used a pin vise to drill out all three. I then carefully cut and filed pieces of paper clip and glued them into the eye holes. This seemed better to me visually – and would be far easier to paint.

Bender after drilling out his chest and fixing his eyes.

As I mentioned, I wanted a cartoon-like miniature. This meant that I would by necessity be limiting any highlighting or excessive shading. Therefore, I also decided that this would be a good opportunity to try to use the Vallejo “Metal Medium” that I had bought to try over two years ago to mix with paints to create a metallic finish that would be in line with the cartoon. This would hopefully prevent me from needing to use any actual metal paints. he would have some shiny aspects, but hopefully not excessive.

I was now ready to prime and paint old Bender.

Bender after priming.

In line with my painting approach, I decided to wash the primed figure with “Nuln Oil” to give myself a better idea of where to apply the paint/metal medium mixtures. The wash really showed the casting misalignments on the legs and arms, and where some of the errant E6000 had gone. No worries, as I knew that I could both remove the more egregious excess epoxy and hide the casting errors as I painted. I used three different shades of gray, adding the Vallejo “Metal Medium” in a 50/50 mix (all the paints used are listed at the end of the post for those interested).

Bender after the wash – you can see the misalignments and excess epoxy issues that I described.

The painting was fairly straightforward. I used the darker colors on the limbs to hide the misalignments. The mouth was just OK, given how I had to sculpt it. I used some “Nuln Oil GLOSS” on the limbs to accentuate their ring-like construction.

Bender painted but before final base work and varnish. At this point I found a bristle or hair embedded in the paint on the back of his head that required fixing (ugh).
Bender with the image I took from the internet as a general guide.

To finish him up, I used a Citadel texture paint (“Astrogranite debris”) on the base and the added a a few colors by dry brushing similar to what I did with my Retrovian platoon. Lastly, I added a satin varnish as I wanted his paint job protected but not too matte.

Bender completed.
If there were no colors but grey, he’d look like this in an old movie serial!

This guy is not my best work, but not my worst. At tabletop distance he looks fine, and hopefully will put a smile on some gamer’s face. I just needed a change for a bit and the work on this little guy provided that for sure. I’ll probably use him in a retro sci-fi game of Combat PatrolTM at some point. I could have sculpted a cigar or a beer battle or two for old Bender, but I decided that was a bit too much for me.

And if Bender does not like that…

Thanks for looking – I am entering this small project into Azazel’s extended July/August community painting challenge in the “hero” category – cartoon robot division (I just made that last part up). Please feel free to comment below – always appreciated.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THE “FOLDER BOT 3000”:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1″ Everbilt Steel Fender Washers
  3. Paper clips
  4. E6000 Epoxy
  5. Poster tack
  6. Kneadatite (“green stuff”)
  7. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  8. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  9. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  10. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  11. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  12. Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
  13. Vallejo “Metal Medium”
  14. Citadel “The Fang”
  15. Vallejo Model Color “Neutral Grey”
  16. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy White”
  17. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  18. Citadel “Nuln Oil Gloss” (wash)
  19. Vallejo Model Color “Mahogany”
  20. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  21. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  22. Citadel “Astrogranite Debris”
  23. Citadel “Druchi Violet” (wash)
  24. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  25. Citadel “Warpfiend Grey”
  26. Citadel “Slaneesh Grey”
  27. Vallejo Model Color Varnish “Satin Varnish”

Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!

Last Saturday morning I had the chance to GM and play…(wait for it)…a real tabletop wargame!!!  We were able to play a game of Feudal Patrol™ via Zoom.  This game is a member of the Combat Patrol™ WWII family of games, and will be available soon from On Military Matters in the US and Sally 4th in the UK.  The players were all alone at home and included myself (in Massachusetts), Buck Surdu (in Florida), Dave Wood (in Maryland), Greg Priebe (also in Maryland), and Chris Abbey (in the UK).  Buck hosted the Zoom meeting, and I ran the game with some of my Aztec figures in my cellar that followers of this blog have seen completed such as my last one here.

The scenario is called “Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli”.  Huitzilopochtli was a major deity in the Aztec religion, and was particularly noted as a god of war and sacrifice.  The scenario uses the supplement I wrote for Feudal Patrol™ called Civilizations Collide.  It takes 60 points of attackers against 26 points of defense.  However, this being an Aztec attack on another Mexica town, the focus is on capturing incapacitated warriors and dragging them back for sacrifice on the altar of Huitzilopochtli.   Of course, the defenders would be trying to take captives to satisfy their particular deity as well. My rules focus on this, and other aspects of Mesoamerican warfare – to try to create an authentic feel – and a different wargaming experience.  Even the difficult-to-pronounce names of the weapons (macuahuitl, tepoztopilli, cuauhololli, atlatl, sling (well not that one)) add to the feel. I aimed to create a scenario that is similar to a “Flower War” – where both sides deployed for a ritualized pre-arranged showdown. 

The attackers would split their forces equally between Zones #1 and #2, which would also be where they would need to drag their captives.

The defenders would get more victory points for the same achievements – such as taking captives or incapacitating an enemy figure.  One interesting aspect of the Aztec supplement rules is that as you take out an enemy you must take troops away from the battle to drag the incapacitated figure back to a prearranged spot for your side.  Which means that as you achieve success on the battlefield, you lose troops for “captive duty” as it were.

The score sheet and possible points available for success for each side.

 Dave, Buck and I were on the attack – and Buck and Chris defended.   At first, the defenders were a bit concerned with the seemingly overwhelming odds facing them. But they had the advantage of choosing to deploy after the attackers, as well as the chance to use the defensive terrain around the fields.

Logistically, I had two cameras logged in for the game – one from my iPad and one from my iPhone.  I had acquired a nice inexpensive tripod from Xenvo via Amazon called a “Lobsterpod” that worked really well.  I moved the figures based on the gamers commands and the game moved along fairly well on the Zoom platform, though not as fast as if the players were all in the same room.  Of course, the option to actually see my figures in all their “glory” was compromised (I’m pretty proud of them) – but hey – they are on my previous blog posts for all my readers to see so no problem, right? I only used Aztec figures, but later I will be able to augment the defenders with Tlaxcalans (when I get them painted). I planned here and for the future to allow the gamers to pick their figures beforehand from a menu of available ones, and organize their forces prior to a game.

I set up the tabletop as shown below – some of my 15mm Normandy hedgerows served well as protection around the fields. The walled section of the village is pretty basic here as it does not come into the game except as a collection point for captives.

This view is from the defenders’ side. The defenders’ walled village is in the middle on the right and served as the point for their captives to be collected for sacrifice/slavery.

The attackers tried to flank the enemy on both sides of the board while simultaneously making a frontal assaults to tie the defenders down at the wall. The attackers got a bit unlucky (to say the least) as a veteran/novice “twinned” unit (Dave) moved slowly (even at a sprint). Buck took a unit of Jaguar Warriors straight at Chris’ Arrow Warriors (yes I know they may not have been historical – think of them as elite atlatl troops with limited ammunition), and got mauled – losing two Jaguars Warriors to the defenders as potential sacrifices. On the other flank, I faced off against Greg, and despite his having a terrible early morale result that dispersed his troops, he was able to inflict good damage on my greater numbers. In the end, the defenders were able to do enough damage and take enough prisoners on the attackers for a pretty convincing victory. All agreed that the scenario was well-balanced, and all seemed to have a good time.

Buck took some screen shots that I will share below (click on them for a better view) – and he also wrote a blog post on the battle that you can read here.

At this point, the defenders have triumphed by great play.

I used color-coded and numbered magnets to try to keep the forces straight, and it worked. But magnets in melee do attract…so next time I will use poster tack and small hole punched card of different colors. A gaming challenge is to make sure that the Aztecs and other forces are identifiable for the player, either in remote mode or live. The card solution should be an easy fix.

Here are some shots that I took after the game:

Lastly, here are the gamers:

Great fun group!

My thanks to all who participated. It was a nice test of my scenario and the special rules I wrote for Civilizations Collide, which will be a free download from the game’s website when it goes live in September. I must say it was a gratifying experience, and one that I hope to repeat.

I intend to buy Zoom if there is enough interest and host some more games – at least until we are clear of the COVID-19 virus. I could see my running more Feudal Patrol™ games, and even What a Tanker games. If you would be up to a remote game, let me know in the comments section – maybe we can make it happen!

Check out the links for Feudal Patrol™ – its a great and easy card-based system that is really a great step forward.

Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer

An army needs a leader!  My Aztecs troops will be used in skirmish warfare games of Feudal Patrol™ (check out these two links on the game here and here).

Feudal Patrol™ will launch very soon (very exciting!).

In the game, the basic unit is an Element of 5 figures, including a front-line leader. Up to four Elements will constitute a Warband, and up to four Warbands will make up a Battle Group. Similarly, up to four Battle Groups will constitute an Army. Most games will never be composed of an Army as the system is designed for skirmish level war gaming. Still, it could be used for big battles effectively.

At the highest level of course was the “huey tlatoani” or “Great Speaker” – the emperor of the Aztecs. Under him as the head of the War Council and the supreme field commander was the Cihuacoatl, also called the Snake Woman”. This was not a woman – but always a man – despite the name. Cihuacoatl was also a goddess of fertility and childbirth in Aztec mythology. Yes, it’s a bit confusing, and I’ll leave that right there.

As I previously posted, Badger Games was kind enough to offer me an Outpost Wargames Services baggie of OWS AZG001 – General as Snake Woman priestess w/drummer. It consisted of an Aztec/Mexica General replete with back ornament and a standard of Quetzalteopamitl (serpent of precious feathers). Back in the day, both were adorned with lots of gold and quetzal feathers. A wonderful image is found on plate A of Pohl’s Aztec, Mixtec, and Zapotec Armies. It was a nice chance to work on two figures at a time instead of 21!

Golden-headed quetzal (By Flickr user chdwckvnstrsslhm . Photo uploaded to commons by user ltshears – Flickr here, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1833937)

The model was fairly straightforward, though I needed to make a rig of clothespins, poster tack, and specimen bottles (seen below) to paint the back ornament and the banner. Mold lines were easy to deal with on these, and the details were nice.

Here you can see the set-up I used to paint the set. The old clothes pins worked well as shown.

The challenges here necessitated using slightly larger washers as bases – and 1.25″ washers along with some smaller ones and some plastic card were needed (a list of materials is at the end of this post for those who are interested). As far as painting, care had to be taken with the components so as to not damage them during the build as well as to protect their paint jobs. A little varnish along the way helped here. The other major challenge was on the generals face painting. The details (such as the white markings on the lower blackened part of the face) here were the smallest I have ever attempted on 28mm figures.

The figures complete and ready for some eye-candy shots.
Frontal shot
Back shot – you can see the back ornament mounting here.
Right side – I really enjoyed painting the drum for some reason!
Left side shot. The shield design is from the Osprey plate, which in turn had its basis in the Codices. The back ornament and the banner helped with command and control of troops, as did the drum of course.

I hope that you found this interesting. I am moving on to working on other troops – and A GAME (remotely run) next week with players in 3 US states and the UK – more to follow soon!

Until next time – take care and stay safe all!

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested:

Posts on Units for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest Supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”

  1. Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer (this post) – 1 Aztec General and 1 drummer
  2. A June and July Jaguar Warrior Frenzy (plus some Aztec Veterans and a Warrior Priest to Boot) – 3 Aztec Veteran Warriors, 17 Jaguar Warriors, 1 Aztec Warrior Priest
  3. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  4. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  5. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  6. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

Total figures to date for this project:  71 Aztecs

16 All aztecs so far
71 Aztecs so far!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THE AZTEC SNAKEWOMAN AND DRUMMER:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1.25″ Everbilt ABJ Fender Washers
  3. ½” stainless steel fender washers
  4. #8 Everbilt Fender Washers
  5. Plastic card
  6. E6000 Epoxy
  7. Poster tack, plastic plates, and clothes pins
  8. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  9. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  10. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  11. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  12. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  13. Vallejo Model Color “Mahogany”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  15. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  16. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  17. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  18. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  19. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  20. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  21. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  22. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  23. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  24. Vallejo Model Air Color “Gold”
  25. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  26. Citadel “Balor Brown”
  27. Vallejo Model Air Color “Silver”
  28. Vallejo Model Color “Basic Skin Tone”
  29. Vallejo Model Color “Light Flesh”
  30. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
  31. Battlefront “Wool Brown”
  32. Citadel “Auric Armour Gold”
  33. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink”
  34. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Darkoath Flesh”
  35. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  36. Citadel “Praxeti White”
  37. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  38. Battlefront “Panther Yellow”
  39. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Basilicanum Grey”
  40. Battlefront “Chocolate Brown”
  41. Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
  42. Americana “Desert Sand”
  43. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  44. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  45. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  46. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  47. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  48. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

Thanks for looking – I am entering this project into Azazel’s extended July/August community painting challenge in the “hero” category. Please feel free to comment below – always appreciated.