The Troll Job - Episode #2

The terrifying bulette!
This is the cheap plastic toy the original bulette was based on.
http://mojobob.com/roleplay/campaign/eyeless03_theTrollJob.html#session02

Lots of travel, an unsuccessful encounter (though not as disastrous as it could have been) with an ox-stealing bulette, and far fewer grimlocks than I originally intended.

I had forgotten just how fragile AD&D-ish characters could be, after years and years of playing WotC superhero games, so I had to make some quick decisions about encounter numbers for my team to have any hope at all of surviving to get to the main job. Which, in itself, may be a larger bite than they can reasonably chew.... we shall have to see.

New Campaign(ish): Working for Eyeless

Eyeless the Wizard.
I've started up a new AD&D/OSRIC campaign. The basic information is on my website, along with game journals as and when I get around to writing them.

I don't foresee any grand overarching world-shaking plots transpiring out of this game, but you can never quite tell what will happen in a roleplaying game.

Invisible Magic Sky-Friends and You

Just another Monster Manual, really
The treatment of gods and religions in my D&D campaigns has always been based on this supposition:

The world (including all associated planes) is a created artifact, made and maintained for the pleasure and entertainment of entities who, to the created inhabitants of that universe, are, to all intents and purposes, gods.

The situation is very similar to that shown in the recent series, Westworld, though on a larger scale. Very similar indeed. Or perhaps it would be closer to the "Hells" in Iain M. Banks' Surface Detail.

Some of these entities, who for the sake of convenience I will just refer to as gods, get their jollies by physically interacting with the created universe and its inhabitants. Some restrict their interference to working from outside, operate via proxy creations, and manipulate the conditions of the world to create circumstances beneficial to their agendas.

The key thing to note about both of these groups is that they are playing a game. They are playing for points. Some play very seriously, some just dabble for a bit of fun. They get more points for actions where they are physically present, because when they are physically present, they are in physical danger. Still other of the "gods" are simply observers, watching purely for entertainment but having no stake in the game, nor any way of influencing events in it.

But regardless of the stakes of the game, it's still a game, and the created beings who scurry around the world are just playing pieces.

So basically, all the actions, purposes, plans, schemes, loves, hates and so forth of all the created inhabitants of the world are futile and meaningless, existing only to win or lose some entity a few game points or to provide an evening's passive entertainment. Bummer.

The thing is, that's irrelevant to them. Even if they know the true state of affairs (and some of the more potent characters in the farce have at least an inkling that it might be so) they still have to live their lives. They may be playthings of the gods, but that doesn't mean they don't have to eat and shit and make a living.

So, there it is.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last.....

NOTE: This is NOT the actual OSRIC cover.
Which is a pity.
Things have been slowly digesting and percolating in my tiny brain, and I've come to a realization which is long overdue.

Pretty much all my tinkering and messing around with fantasy roleplaying game systems over the years has been, essentially, an attempt to recapture the joy I had in playing AD&D, while trying to avoid the things about AD&D that irked me. Of which there were quite a few, but not so many as to be insurmountable I think. The rules are now easily available again, both as reprints of the original books (expensive) and via the OSRIC project (cheap). I have a nostalgic fondness for the old books, but I think OSRIC is a more useable and accessible resource.

This full-page illustration, in fact.
OSRIC is available as a very convenient A5 paperback for $13.50 or as a full size hardback including a full-page illustration by Your's Truly for $26.00.

So anyway, I've decided to dip my toe back into the murky waters of DMing, and return to my first love..... mostly.

These are the modifications I intend to make to the rules:

  1. I discard dual-classing; everyone can multi-class, as long as they have the minimum requirements. You can start a new class when training to go up a level, but from then on all XP (and hit-points) is split between all your classes — there'll be none of this taking one level in a class to get its benefits and then ignoring it forevermore.
  2. I am keeping the demi-human level limits, so only human characters will be unlimited in all classes.
  3. I will adopt the Character Background idea from 5e to determine the sort of basic range of knowledge the character has, along with the "Good At" skill system at the rate of one slot per 5 whole points of INT and WIS. The idea that a character can only perform a certain skill (like picking locks, or tracking) if they have a certain character class is stupid and dumb, and I'm doing away with it.
  4. All characters start with the standard range of Thief Skills at 50% of the ability of a 1st level Thief. Only Thief characters can improve from this level though (though if one or more of the character's "Good At" slots is applied to one of those skills, I guess it could be improved by level gain... we'll see).
  5. I will replace AD&D's Descending Armour Class and attack tables with the d20 model Attack Bonus and Ascending Armour Class. They're easily calculated: 20 – THAC0 = Attack Bonus, and 20 – AC = AAC.
  6. I intend to adopt the Advantage/Disadvantage system from D&D5e, because it is elegant and works very well indeed.

I've made a new dust-jacket for my A5 copy
of OSRIC so that I can give it the
cover I prefer as well as hopefully making it
a bit sturdier and durable.
There may be some other bits and pieces I've forgotten or haven't determined. For example, I haven't yet decided whether to stick with AD&D's slightly baroque saving throw system (easier to use 3rd-party stuff), or go with a much simpler single save with CHAR-based bonuses/penalties (easier to use in play). Probably the latter.... but maybe not.

The campaign will begin with the party operating as a "snatch" team, working for a Big Fucking Wizard to find and retrieve things the BFW wants or needs. I'm thinking of starting the campaign on about 10,000 XP, but if anyone desperately wants to start at first level, far be it from me to say nay.

Character creation will be by my Character Generation Wheel, using 3d6. For a change, I'm not placing any restrictions on character species.

I'm not averse to trying out Crabaugh's Custom Character Class Creator, though I have a suspicion it could be used for Evil. I'll be keeping a very, VERY close eye on anything created by that means.

Latest from Shapeways

20mm plastic figures by HaT
Another couple of models arrived on my doorstep from Shapeways today.

3d printing is just like magic to me (because it's mysterious and I don't know how to do it myself).

First up is my VSF Steampunk Battle-Tricycle, which is in an indeterminate scale. I show it here next to a couple of HäT 20mm British Zulu Wars figures; it would probably work with figures up to 28mm if you could find one to fit in the cockpit.

This one is printed in WSF nylon. It's also available in FUD resin at higher resolution.

Next is the German WW1 "K-Wagen" in 1:100 (15mm) scale, also in WSF. It never made it into battle; the war ended just before it could get into production, and the two functional prototypes were dismantled and scrapped under the watchful eyes of the Occupying Powers.

15mm PzKfw IV by PSC.
It was a real monster, with a crew of 26. Here it is alongside a WW2 PzKfw IV in the same scale.

It's also available in FUD resin, but the price is eye-watering. It's expensive enough in WSF.

AutoMitrailleuse White

The White Armoured Car (Mitrailleuse White in French service) was the French equivalent of Britain's Rolls Royce armoured car, inasmuch as it was a World War One design that was continually upgraded and in service until World War Two. It was based on an American White chassis, and mounted a Hotchkiss machine gun and a 37mm gun opposite each other in the turret.

This is my 1:100 (15mm) 3d printed model in WSF nylon, available for sale in this material or in high-resolution FUD resin at http://shpws.me/MKq1

I'm not sure exactly what tactical markings they would have worn, but I think some French roundels would probably be a reasonably safe bet.

Later...

Somebody suggested the playing-card symbols as used on interwar/WWII French tanks as platoon identifiers. I don't know if they were actually used for armoured cars, but I liked the idea so I tried it out.

The French roundel on the doors makes a nice aiming bullseye.

6pdr Mk.II (15mm)

This is Battlefront's 15mm British 6 pounder anti-tank gun, converted to the early Mk.II version by the very simple expedient of cutting off the muzzle-brake. To tell the truth, I doubt that this version of the gun would have ever been seen in these colours except for training in the UK; I'm pretty sure that the later Mk.IV version with a muzzle-brake would have been ubiquitous by the time of the Italian campaign.

Now I have most of Britain's WWII anti-tank guns in 1:100 scale, from the crappy Hotchkiss 25mm, through the 2 and 6 pounders, right up to the mighty 17 pounder. I don't have a 17pdr "Pheasant" yet, but I expect I'll pick one up one of these days if only because I like the look of it on the 25pdr carriage.

K-Wagen (1:285)

3-up sprue

Single model
I've re-scaled my model of the K-Wagen to 1:285 for use in 6mm games.

It's available as a single model or as a 3-up sprue.

This would be a real monster on the wargames table; it's about 47mm long and 25mm across the beam. That would make it even more massive than the Soviet WWII T-35.

K-Wagen (1:100)

Here's my latest model at Shapeways — the German K-Wagen super-heavy tank of 1918.

It was a real monster, thirteen metres long and carrying a crew of 26. It never made it into action, but it only just missed out when the war ended in November 1918.

It's available at http://shpws.me/MXQh. Unfortunately, being a big vehicle means that it's a big model with a big price. Alas, there's nothing much I can do about that except complain endlessly.

Vickers "Dutchman" — the Embiggening

I've re-scaled my Vickers "Dutchman" to 1/56 (28mm), which mostly involved re-doing all the rivets so that they wouldn't look quite so much like grapefruit in the larger scale.

It's available at http://shpws.me/MVy4

Toys for ME!

I got some unexpected presents today from my very generous friend Steve, who is winnowing his old FoW collections in a changeover to Bolt Action. He's passed on to me some of his 15mm BEF 1940 models:

  • a 4.5" howitzer
  • an 18/25pdr gun
  • a 2pdr anti-tank gun
  • a Hotchkiss 25mm anti-tank gun
  • a Vickers MMG team
  • a mortar team
  • a Dingo scout car

And in addition, a set of Warlord Games Bolt Action markers and templates.

The scale of your average Bolt Action game being between single reinforced platoons rather than companies or battalions, the addition of a single gun or vehicle can be a significant increase in force, so these are very welcome.

Bolt Action 2: more rules tinkering

I'm trying to think of a workable mechanism for temporarily linking two units in Bolt Action (2nd Ed.) so that they're both activated as one. The specific circumstance I'm thinking of is where you have an armoured vehicle providing moving cover for some infantry behind it, but there are others where it might also be appropriate.

It's doable by way of the officers' extra orders, but that just makes the order process slightly less piece-meal — even a Major would only be able to get two vehicle/infantry combined units moved per Turn.

It could be run as a variant of the "mounting vehicles" rules, where the infantry don't actually get into/on to the vehicle and the vehicle is then restricted to the move speed of the accompanying infantry. In that case, if the vehicle is destroyed, it wouldn't also take out the infantry (unless it's H.E.)

Unlike the regular "mounting transports" rules, the infantry in this situation would be able to "mount" a moving vehicle as long as it isn't moving any faster than the infantry. I think I'd limit that to 6" (ADVANCE speed), due to the need to coordinate between the infantry and vehicle to maintain cover.
NOTE: I noticed, while reading about mounting transports, that it explicitly states that a unit can't be split between two or more transports.
This is a STUPID RULE, which I fully intend to ignore. For a start, it would make it impossible to represent the British practice of allotting two Bren Carriers to carry one section of infantry.
Anyway, while this might work for the "tank-shield" circumstance, it still doesn't really cater to things like a combined assault. Maybe that's the sort of thing that would best be handled with the officers' extra orders.

Even then, under a strict interpretation of the rules as written, I think the assault would have to be worked through in its entirety when the first unit is ordered in, rather than counting both assaulting units as a single entity for that purpose.

Stosstruppen

Battlefront had a Halloween sale, in which all their Great War stuff was significantly marked down, so I got a few bits and pieces — some British rifles and trench mortars, and some German infantry, battalion support weapons, and these Stoßtruppen. The stormtroopers are a bit more lightly equipped than the normal infantry, and they include a bunch armed with Bergmann submachine guns, so they can also stand in for Freikorps, should the need arise.

The standard of sculpting and casting is not, to my eye, up to Battlefront's best. It's not terrible, but there's a lack of detail in places, some of the poses are a bit awkward and spindly, and I suspect the alloy is a bit lead-heavy, because what detail there is is rather soft and blobby, as if the metal has not properly filled the mould. Nevertheless, they'll do the job for which they're intended, which is to be toy soldiers.

I've painted just one stormtrooper so far, trying out paint colours and QuickShade. It's a bit crappy, really. I think that maybe rather than using Stone Grey as the base colour for the uniform I might go a bit darker, and maybe try a Citadel or Vallejo acrylic wash instead of the QuickShade.

Later...


I finished off the first batch, and pretty much finalized the colours and process I'll use for the rest. I think the weakest point about the sculpting is the faces; most of them are just formless blobs. I could bring out more of the features with paint, but frankly I can't be bothered.

Bolt Action (2nd Ed.) Index PDF/ODT

My copy of Bolt Action 2 has finally arrived, at long, long last, and to my surprise and anger I find that it STILL doesn't have an index.

This is something that really gets on my wick. Automated index creation tools have been a part of every word processing and page layout application I've used in at least two decades, and failing to include an index in any reference manual is just slackness. There's no excuse for it.

Anyway, the work has been done for Warlord Games (slackers!) by others. The Demo Gamers have put together an index, which I have nabbed and reformatted so that I can print it as an A5 folded booklet.

My booklet is available as a PDF, or if you want to be able to edit it yourself, in ODT (OpenOffice/LibreOffice) format.

It Takes A (Paper) Village

Progress on my el-cheapo paper village progresses.

The one to the left I designed myself ages ago, and just re-scaled to fit better with 15mm figures. It could do with some adjustment I think; the timber framing needs a bit more definition. I rather like the somewhat cartoonish look of the WHFRP buildings, and I'll probably emulate them a bit more.

All of the WHFRP buildings I've put together so far have been very simple, constructionally — basically just rectangular boxes of various heights. I haven't investigated the archive fully yet, and hopefully there might be one or two in there that are a bit more interesting. The simple buildings have the virtue of being very quick and easy to construct, but one or two funkier ones wouldn't go amiss to add some visual interest.

I'm mounting them all on black mounting-board, with a lump of lead hot-glued inside to give them a bit of stability. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do about decorating the basing; I'll do it all in one go when I have all the buildings I want so that they're all consistent in their groundwork.

None of these have removable roofs or accessible interiors, and I have no plans to change that. I don't think the added trouble is really justified in terms of improving game-play. It would be a different matter if I was playing Mordheim or something of that ilk, but I'm not. What I should do is make some "destroyed" versions that can be swapped out for, when occupying troops (inevitably) get mortared all to buggery.

I'm spray-gluing the laser prints to 260gsm black card, and getting them really well bonded by rollering the bejeezus out of them before the glue sets hard. That seems to be working pretty well, and 260gsm card seems to be quite adequate for strength as long as I don't go standing on any of them. The black card helps a lot with the outline issue I mentioned last time, though it doesn't cure it completely — the paper itself is still white.

El-Cheapo Terrain

I'm kind of a cheapskate when it comes to wargaming terrain. I hate to spend money on it, but at the same time, I want it to look at least half-way decent.

A long time ago, I found an archive of PDFs of papercraft buildings designed for WHFRP gaming. I don't remember now where they came from, and it's taken me years to get around to actually putting any of them together. They're very simple models, and they don't take much time to assemble, which is a good thing, and they're quite attractive when they're glued together.

They're in "Fantasy-Tudor" style, which perhaps isn't especially suitable for WWII gaming, but I like the look of them and they'd definitely be an improvement on wooden blocks.

I'm experimenting at the moment with scaling — they're intended for use with 25-28mm figures, and all my wargaming is either 6mm or 15mm. This one I printed at 50%, and it's just a fraction too small for 15mm; it's about 60mm tall to the peak of the roof — I'll bump up the next one to 60% and see how that looks.

This is an instance where a laser printer isn't as useful as an inkjet would be, for two reasons:

  1. The laser won't print on anything heavier than about 100gsm paper
  2. The fused toner is somewhat water-resistant, which makes gluing with PVA problematic.

The first issue I can get around by laminating prints to light card with spray glue, but the second is trickier. I can scrape away the toner on the glue-tabs, but that's kind of a pain. I think I may just re-composite a whole bunch of them on to A3 layouts and get them printed commercially on light card; it's not too expensive, and it would save a lot of faffing about.

One thing that's an issue with any papercraft model is that corners and edges tend to stand out like dog's bollocks, bright white against the printed textures where the paper has been cut or folded. It pays to run around these areas with a felt pen to subdue the glare — black is OK, but sepia or grey is less cartoonish.

Bolt Action 2 - QuickRef

While waiting impatiently for my copy of Bolt Action (2nd Ed.) to arrive, I've used what information I do have available to put this together:

Bolt Action 2 QuickRef (PDF, approx. 450Kb)

It's A4 landscape, two pages.

It's intended to be printed double-sided and laminated, so I don't have to keep flipping back and forth through the book to find the information I need when I'm playing the game.

New and Improved, the One-Man Armoured Steam Battle-Tricycle

Click for enlarged view
Continuing with my present steampunk jag, I've whipped up a one-man armoured steam battle-tricycle in 15-20mm scale. It comes equipped with a state-of-the-art Maxim pom-pom gun.

It's available for sale at http://shpws.me/MOXF. No self-respecting Victorian SF army should be without at least a dozen!

Other views - click to enlarge

Steampunk-Boiler-Tank

I was forcibly off-line for a while when my internet provider had some network issues, and as a result, had to be productive.

Part of the results of that productivity was this: a steampunk tank-thing.

Now that my digital crack is flowing again, I've uploaded it to Shapeways so it can be given physical form and be birthed into the real world.

It's of indeterminate scale, and could be used with 15mm, 20mm or 28mm figures, at your pleasure. The main gun is a separate component and can be installed at whatever angle you want. On a sprue inside the hull are a pair of pintle-mounted Gatling guns that can be mounted poking out through the slot in the front of the hull — realistically, there would be room for only one, along with its gunner and loader and associated clutter, but I've provided two in case you want to make it look fiercer.

The basic form is based on an uncredited photograph I found on the web of somebody's scratch-built model, but I've jazzed it up quite a lot. So thanks, mysterious anonymous modeller.

WW1 Vickers Teams (15mm)


 These are Peter Pig's early WW1 British Vickers machine-gun teams.

They're supplied three guns to the pack, but for some reason, Peter Pig only include observers/gun-captains for two of them. At first I assumed it was a packing error, but the same occurs with the German Maxims pack, so I suppose it's company policy for some reason that I can't fathom. It's not a big deal I suppose, but it's an irritation.

I think that the Vickers used by the British army in this period would have had fluted barrel jackets, not smooth, as these ones are modelled.


They're based on 30 x 30 mm 3 mm hardboard. I've come around to using thicker bases for these sorts of things because it makes the groups so much easier to pick up and move around the wargames table than the thin steel I used to use.

Very Tiny Gun

All of 13 millimetres long.

15mm German WWII Grenadier by Battlefront
Here's the 1:100 scale (15mm) Lewis Gun I had printed in FED resin by Shapeways.

The FED really does render pretty decent detail, and though it is more expensive than FUD, for this sprue of six Lewis Guns and pole-mounts, the difference was only a buck or so.

The trouble with modeling personal weapons for wargames figures is illustrated in the photo of the gun next to a WWII German Grenadier. To suit the figures it really needs to be modeled a bit bigger and a lot more chunky. In true 1:100 scale, it looks far too light and slender next to the figure; more like the proportions of a rifle.

That's something that can really only be determined by trial and error; you just have to find out what looks right with the figures you have.

I may do another sprue of guns in rather more exaggerated proportions for this very reason.

Vickers "Dutchman", 1936

I've uploaded a model of the Vickers Commercial "Dutchman" of 1936, in 1/100 scale for 15mm gaming.

It wasn't taken up by the British army (a very short-sighted decision) but it was sold extensively around the world, especially to the Dutch East Indies, hence its nickname of "Dutchman".

It's available at http://shpws.me/MMB1

I've made it available in WSF, but because of issues with the running gear and exhaust, I can't guarantee that it will print in that material. The default material is FUD resin, and it should be fine in that.

Conversion stuff: Vickers Light Mk.III running gear (1/56 scale)

In response to a request, I've uploaded a model of just the running gear for the Vickers Light Tank Mk.III in 1/56 scale.

It's at http://shpws.me/MM73

Hopefully this will help people with some conversions of various interwar vehicles. The running gear is usually the trickiest part of any scratch-building project.

White Armoured Car, 1915

After much travail, here is the White Armoured Car of 1915, in 1:100 scale (15mm).

They were built by the French on the chassis of American White trucks, and remained in service right through until the 1940s. The turret mounted both a short 37mm gun and a Hotchkiss machine-gun. In French service they were known as Automitrailleuse White.

It's available at http://shpws.me/MKq1

The travail comes not so much from actually modelling the thing as from wrestling with Shapeways' systems to actually make it available for purchase and printing.

Tančík vz. 33 (15mm)

This is my 3d-printed model of the Tančík vz. 33 in 1:100 scale (15mm), printed by Shapeways in WSF nylon. The figure, for scale, is a Battlefront 15mm German Grenadier.

It's available at http://shpws.me/MgdR

I made this model in response to a request rather than for my own interest. There's a 1:72 (20mm) version as well.

LandCrawler - WiP

I've got the basic shell of the cab sorted. I decided to go for a faceted look rather than a rounded, organic form, but that may change.

Anyway, now I have to start adding bits and pieces of Galacto-Junk to it to make it look all futury and such, and maybe an observation dome up top.

LandCrawler

Tracks, tracks galore
 I'm playing around in Blender at the moment, building a science-fictionish machine, a tracked LandCrawler.

So far I've got the chassis pretty much done, though there may be a bit of tinkering here and there still to come. I'm building this pretty much as it grows, and I don't have much of an idea yet what the superstructure is going to look like.

Whether this will ever see a 3d printer is doubtful, but you never know.
From the rear quarter

Ground level

Peerless Armoured Car

My next 3d-printed model is the Peerless armoured car, of 1919.

It's available in 1:100 (15mm) scale at http://shpws.me/MIvy
and in 1:285 scale at http://shpws.me/MIwP

A 5-up sprue of the 6mm version is imminent available now at http://shpws.me/MIGS.

1:285 version
From
1:285, 5-up
Wikipedia:

During the First World War, sixteen American Peerless trucks were modified by the British to serve as armoured cars. These were relatively primitive designs with open backs, armed with a Pom-pom gun and a machine gun, and were delivered to the British army in 1915. They were used also by the Tsarist Russian Army as self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. 
After the war, a new design was needed to replace armoured cars that had been worn out. As a result, the Peerless Armoured Car design was developed in 1919. It was based on the chassis of the Peerless three ton lorry, with an armoured body built by the Austin Motor Company. 
The Peerless lorry was a relatively slow and heavy vehicle but was reckoned to be tough, with solid rubber tyres and rear-wheel chain drive. The armour for the vehicle produced by the Austin company was based on an earlier design created for the Russian Army, which had been used in very limited numbers at the end of the war in France. The original Austin design, however, was shorter than the Peerless and the resulting combination was awkward and difficult to steer in confined spaces. In order to reduce the problem, a duplicate set of driving controls was installed at the rear of the vehicle. 
The most common variant was a twin-turret design fitted with two machine guns. However, a number of other variants were developed, including a vehicle armed with a 3-inch gun and an anti-aircraft variant armed with a 13-pounder AA gun. 
Poor off-road performance hampered the vehicle but it still saw considerable service, notably in Ireland. A few were still in service with the British at the start of the Second World War. Seven were in service with the Irish National Army during the Irish Civil War and used by the Irish Defence Forces up until 1932. The type was not popular in Irish service. One was taken to Cork City on board the SS Avronia as part of the sea-borne landing force but took a long time to unload. The car was reliable, but slow, heavy, unstable, and unsuitable for poor roads - effectively meaning that its deployment by the Irish military was almost exclusively restricted to urban areas. (See Rolls Royce Armoured Car.) In 1935, four Irish Peerless armoured hulls were mounted on modified Leyland Terrier 6x4 chassis. A year later their twin turrets were replaced by a single Landsverk L60 tank turret. This new vehicle was known as the Leyland Armoured Car and remained in Irish service until the early 1980s. The 14 old Irish Peerless turrets with their Hotchkiss machine guns were fitted in 1940 to 14 Irish-built vehicles and designated the Ford Mk V Armoured Car.

A1E1 Independent (15mm)

This is my model of the A1E1 Independent in 1:100 scale, 3d printed by Shapeways in WSF sintered nylon.

I've always wanted a model of this tank for wargaming, and now I have one. I suspect it will be more effective on the games table than it ever would have been in real life.

And I see, now that I've photographed it, that once again I've forgotten to paint in the headlights.

Frosted EXTREEEEEEEEEEME!!!!!!!!! Detail

I just got another box of goodies from Shapeways, and among them is the first thing I've ordered in their Frosted Extreme Detail material.

These are Lewis guns and pole mounts in 1:100 scale.

They're pretty tiny. It's difficult to see just how well the material has captured the detail in the file, but it looks pretty good at first glance.

The difference in price between FUD (Frosted Ultra Detail) and FED for this particular model is only a buck, so I thought I might as well give it a try.

And here's the rest of the stuff in my usual WSF.
I'm gradually building a fair interwar arsenal in 15mm.

A Battery of Bishops

Next up in the micro-scale desert war is this battery of Bishop 25 pounder SPGs, in 1:300 scale from Heroics & Ros.

I don't normally base vehicles, but these are an exception because of the limber; just having it attached to the Bishop by a glue point would be asking for it to break off and be irretrievably lost somewhere.

In fact, the Bishops are only attached to the base by a magnet which grips a little square of steel. The base itself is also magnetic, for secure storage and transport.

2 pdr portee

These 1:300 2 pounder portee models are from Heroics & Ros. The models come with only two crewmen moulded in: the driver and the gunner. I've added some more from the spares box.

Guns! Guns! Guns!

These are the first models I've designed specifically for 1:285 (6mm) scale, rather than starting out with a 1:100 scale model and down-scaling it. As a consequence, they're very much simplified in terms of their geometry, and I've had to make no real changes to accommodate Shapeways' 3d-printing material limitations. So, hoorah.

They're available from my Shapeways shop at http://shpws.me/MGqB for $17 ($22 for the super-duper detailed resin).

In the early part of WWII, British medium gun batteries were huge: twelve guns each. That didn't last all that long; though able to bring down a frightening amount of firepower in a very short space of time, the twelve-gun batteries weren't flexible enough in use, and they were split up into more manageable sizes.

However, if you want to represent an early battery, you need a lot of guns, so here they are: twelve early-model 25 pounders with their limbers. The guns are represented in firing mode, and I haven't yet made a model of a quad tractor — when I do, I'll probably make another sprue with the guns and limbers in travel mode. But that may not be for a while; it's not a big priority for me.

Yet Another Hill

 I got a cheap 30-watt foam-cutting hot wand from China a few days ago, and tried it out by carving up a foam off-cut into another hill. ...