Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Fistful of Centaurs

Having been thinking and working on Aristeia again I have had the compulsion to work on a few Greek figures. To this end I have added to the three original Centaurs I made last year. These additions include a Centaur hero and two archers. This gives a total of six Centaurs, one hero and five regular.

The full herd of Centaurs

Like the other examples these Centaurs are a conversion of Victrix plastic hoplites and Perry medieval horses. the hero is simple enough but the archers require a little explanation. The arms are from the plastic hoplites with the hands taken from some Perry plastic archers. The use of such 'long' bows, not being the type of bow found in the Aegean and its environs, is purposeful. First of all it helps to create the idea of the 'other' for the centaurs and highlights their barbaric and non civilised nature. Secondly, they were all I had available as I have no recurve/eastern style bows.

Archer Centaurs
Rear of archer Centaurs
Hero Centaur

 I think this is the full amount of Centaurs that I shall make, at least for the foreseeable future. My hopes are to cobble together a few Satyrs using Citadel Ungors. However, the kit seems to require a great deal of detail removal to be suitable so some experimentation may have to take place. There seems to be limited alternative to this experimentation as most metal examples of Satyrs lack a certain je ne sais quoi.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

M18 Hellcat and White Scout Car

The amount of painting I have been able to accomplish this month has been rather limited due to one thing or another. I have, however, been able to finish off two vehicles that I started well over a year ago now. These are a M18 Hellcat (early version) and a M3 White Scout Car. These are designed as support options for my Normandy US Paratroopers. There is not specific engagement in mind for this force organisation it is merely a collection of units that were available in Normandy. 

The M18 was used throughout Normandy but the White Scout Car is another matter. It was generally replaced from mid 1943 onwards with M8 or M20s. However some were still used in Normandy although in rather limited numbers. I remember reading very briefly about an Airborne reconnaissance unit that had one or a number of Scout Cars which inspired me, as I find the vehicle rather appealing. As such the crew are painted in the khaki/yellow paratrooper uniforms and represent a recce element of the Parachute Infantry Regiment of which my platoon belongs. 

M18 Hellcat

M3(A1?) White Scout Car

Interior of the Scout Car, note the Airborne uniforms.
This miniatures were also my first experimentation with weathering powders. It is a technique/material I have wanted to try for quite a long time. What I attempted here was quite simple, merely muddying the tracks/wheels but it looks alright and breaks up some of the shapes.

The other problem was I have no transfers/decals for the large allied stars, so I freehanded them. While not as good as a transfer, they certainly came out reasonable. Due to the positioning they may look a little off but this is partly done by the slope and some hinges on the engine of the scout car.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Aristeia Activation Methods

Work on Aristeia still continues, even if the blog is not updated with much. This work however, is relatively slow. A lot of it is me second guessing my methods or reasons for having something do a specific way, which does not help. In the example used we are going to look at the activation methods.

The original activation that was to be used for Aristeia was something quite simple; IG/UG or just alternating units. I have scrapped these methods for a number of reason
  • It limits the way in which units and players can interact
  • IG/UGs not 'responsive' enough while alternating does not give enough variability
  • Alternating focusing too much on many small units?
In light of some of these complaints I have decided upon a card based activation system. These have been quite popular over the past few years with many games (Sharp Practice, Muskets and Tomahawks etc) using this method. I feel that such a method allows for a relatively responsive system where the choices are important and the for the ability to add cards throughout the deck during the game. These may be random events, Hero or Deity abilities and the like. It also gives some greater weight to NPC interaction and 'decisions' as it is unsure when they will take a turn.

I am unsure whether a hand system (where you draw the cards but add them to your hand to be played during the turn rather than instantaneously) would limit some of the randomness and allow for a more 'tactical' approach while still keeping a level of uncertainties, especially with cards added during a turn.

Hopefully I shall get a quick set of mechanics written down to test out in the near future.