Assyrian army

Assyrian army

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Developing the town

Quite addictive, this...

As the town takes over more and more - cars done, ships done, quite a few (probably enough) figures done - though still plenty more - the more I keep thinking 'if only the figures and everything were available in 15mm or 20mm, how much closer I could get...'

The whole concept has changed on this - originally, it was based on a seaport, Innsmouth - perhaps if I had found the Innsmouth map first (another one here) - but I will do an Innsmouth 'clone' in the future...

 This shows the whole town as it currently stands looking towards the seaward side. Main Street runs down the centre; on the actual Arkham map the foreground is Hangman's Hill looking towards French Hill in the distance. Main Street itself is really a combination of Main Street and Church Street - one of the many, many compromises... Church Street should have far more churches than this, not really practical.

 Lots of compromise here. The paved area roughly corresponds to West Street. Boundary Street should be between the church and graveyard, the graveyard itself should be wooded, on Hangman's Hill, and extend beyond the houses opposite. The church would represent an area including about three streets of houses... The houses opposite would represent everything south of College Street and west of West Street.

Looking down the Miskatonic towards the port area. River Street is there, had intended this area to be a bit deeper than it is and include a railway plus crane. The park in the middle (to be done) does not exist on the Arkham map but I wanted one.

The current port area. Not sure what will fit in the space next to the warehouse - thinking about it.

 The foreground area is very much a work in progress. The white cutouts represent Miskatonic University - on order with a gatehouse and the main building. West street terminates at Main Street; it should continue with the University to the East of it. I probably will do that. Continuing past the University is the commercial side of town.

This commercial area still under major development - I'll probably think about it once I've done the University. The hills in the background are markers for French Hill. There is scope for more residential buildings in the foreground - might try some old world timber framed types, after all the area would include Lich Street and the Witch House, plus a burying ground.

So still a long way to go. Of course, once the buildings are sorted I'll still need to look at the detailing - street lights, bus shelters, flower beds. Might get it finished this year.

Monday, 27 June 2016

The fleet's in town

'Gentlemen, I've called this meeting because it has been brought to our attention that there is a serious weakness in our coastal defences. To  overcome this weakness a new series of coastal patrol boats has been commissioned. There will be three variants. These are an anti-submarine vessel, hull numbers assigned 21-29, a torpedo boat, numbers 31-39, and a gunboat numbers 41-49. It is proposed that, at some point in the future, more vessels will be commissioned if the threat developes.'

'Sir, if the threat includes submarines, then surely we will also need squadrons of minesweepers?'

'Ah yes, the threat. Now, as to the exact nature of the threat...'

Found a few guns so finished them off - apart from 1 which still needs the gun. At some stage I may also add a machine or two to them as well, certainly to the gunboat, but that's for the future. Meanwhile, anyone know of a UK manufacturer of 28mm  Lewis guns or similar on naval mounts?

So, the boats are:

 Number 21, US Arkham, ASW/depth charge carrier as already seen. I've tried to match the printed grey with a reasonable grey paint - Valiejo Model Colur 70.990 Light Grey.

Numbers 31 and 32, USS Innsmouth and USS Providence, Torpedo boats - Innsmouth still to receive it's gun. The torpedo tubes are far shorter than they should be, but any longer and it would look ridiculous...The mounts are simply two 5p pieces on top of each other.

Number 46, USS Pickman, gunboat.

All names based on Lovecraft, of course, and at some point I will produce the USS Miskatonic, USS  Dunwich and USS Kingsport. And possibly a USS Newhaven.

I've also painted up a few extra crew members so they aren't quite as undermanned as they were. Still need a couple more officers though. Crews have all now been finished with my usual gloss vrnish.

Arkham House Diner

I couldn't make an 'American' town without including a diner, and the cantina was the closest thing there so...

It proved to be an annoying kit - very tight joints, needed a lot of work and still not fully OK. So, decided it would make a good test bed for painting. Thinned down wash of white for the walls and orange on the brickwork. Quite happy with the results - the orange doesn't look any different to unpainted wood on the photos but the 'tinge' of colour is there on the model. Perhaps a second coat in future? The single white coat on the walls gives a nice, quick and suitably neglected effect that seems to fit the overall look I'm after.

So I'm considering the test a reasonable success, and the Arkham House Diner will find a place in Newhaven.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Map of Arkham

Not sure how useful this will be in terms of my own project, but this site has a very good map of Arkham on it:

The site is an excellent source of information on the Cthulu Mythos generally, well worth visiting.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Lledo brewery

When I was busy collecting all those Lledo cars I also picked this item up. I often see them advertised on ebay for around £50, so getting this one for a tenner seemed a good buy.

It does fit in quite well with the Sarissa buildings and will later be part of the industrial estate across the river - it's current position next to the church is temporary and purely for photographic purposes.

On the other hand, I should have checked out where I put everything else - it's not really on the roof...

Friday, 17 June 2016

Newhaven 1 - building a town

Though still a long way to go before it will be anywhere near finished.

I bought a load of A4 sized 2mm mdf boards to act as a base which meant 'losing' the board I was using for land previously. Eventually I'll get the boards painted/flocked to match the buildings etc, for now everything is in flux any so no point.

Original idea was to have a harbour and sea-scape; obviously could still have that as it's not a permanent set up, but quite simply my table is too small for what I want anyway - in fact, the end of the table currently used for clutter/storage will soon be pressed into service itself. Instead I'm going for a canal/river set up with a dock rather than jetties. By placing all the boards on top of a blue cloth, the cloth acts as the canal/river.

The first photo shows a view pointing to the South-West. The church  doesn't actually fall into the sea, it's just the terrain boards run out there... The far side of the river will be the port and commercial area. The buildings currently on the far side are liable to be replaced in the future by mdf - and shouldn't be there anyway.

This photo from the West Bank shows the canal and my current buildings. Some of the buildings themseves are liable to cross the river as they are mostly commercial buildings in a residential area.

A view looking North down the river. The grey road will, at some early stage, have a railway line and crane on or next to it. I also plan to include a bridge. Actually, suspension of belief will really come into play for the river. How do ships turn? How can they get under the bridge when it is bought?

But then, the roads aren't wide enough for cars to pass each other either. 28mm takes up too much space.

This is the church and graveyard - possibly in their final places?  In future, I can see the church and graveyard appearing in lots of different settings.

A view of the back of my current buildings. The 'Park' area is just a way of filling empty space though a Park is planned.

Finally, after taking the above photos my latest order arrived... a crane and railway lines for the dock, a bandstand for the Park. I believe that I also have a small parcel of goodies for Father's Day lying around, so...

The hope is for everything to be more or less finished by August to allow me to run a few solo games. It's getting there, but proving both more time consuming and more expensive than I had either planned or budgetted for. Still... in well over 40 years of wargaming it's really my first serious attempt to worry about terrain other than how to set out a few basic hills and woods...

USS Arkham

Getting on with the town (thinking of calling it Newhaven, mainly because I liked watching Haven), but also carrying on with my own items...

Back in the 1920s there was a bit of trouble in the town of Innsmouth leading to the USN depth charging an off shore reef. Suddenly there was a spate of shipbuilding for the Navy... lots of small coastal protection gunboats. Strangely, the early ones tending to concentrate on an anti-submarine role... later the basic designs would include a gunboat and torpedo boat, but these were anciliary to the ones fitted with depth charges...

The USS Arkham was the first in its' class.  Armament consists of a generic Armati gun and dowel and card depth charge rack. The hull is slightly smaller than my standard hull. A good, basic easy-to-make design that doesn't look too bad.

Lack of detail showing gun and cockpit/wheelhouse. I need some wheels and guns, but Cornwall Model Boats catalogue shows guns out of stock, so I'll have to wait.
 The depth charge setup is  very  loosely based on a 1938 Mk6 depth charge setup.

This comparison is between my original model using parts from the Reviresco fast patrol boat and the Arkham class.  For my purposes, my version has three advantages: quick to build, much cheaper, and as long as I have stocks of guns and wheels I can build/adapt as many as I want without waiting for deliveries from the US.

These hulls were completed in a couple of hours - once the template is sorted most of the hard work is done. I originally produced my own designs in the first place for simplicity - commercial boats I found to be fiddly and overcomplicated for my purposes. I do not want to redo the decking template! Ship's hull numbers are not related to 'real' numbers, I'm simply going 20 series depth charge, 30 series gunboat, 40 series torpedo boat.

Crews were not painted with skirmish useage in mind so I haven't attempted the same standard I'm trying to achieve with the townsfolk. Again, figures are Reviresco and came from the ship and gun kits. I need to paint up a few more...

Monday, 13 June 2016

Sarissa Graveyard 2

Well, managed to get the graveyard finished a bit quicker than expected.

The addition of grass makes a difference - I used Gaugemaster Scenic Mat GM22, Autumn Grass Mat. The large crypt has been glued to the base; the two small tombs I've left loose. Gravestones, etc, are also missing, I'll keep them loose.

The gate and fence posts have been given quite slapdash coats of black and gold. Initially the black was added thinned and I didn't bother ensuring 100% coverage. Some parts were then touched up with better mixed black to give better covering - the result does give a good representation of being partially neglected. 

I also painted some of the detail on the crypt in gold. The effect is quite good.

So, overall an effective piece, but still not happy about the card railings and gates. The gates especially don't give the impression that they are going to last long.

Sarissa Graveyard 1

Basic graveyard done but haven't done any painting, grassy areas or gravestones yet.

Main thought, don't like as much as other Sarissa products, using cardboard for the fences and gates being a big disadvantage as far as I am concerned. Buildings excellent, though perhaps the crypt over dominates things, I would have preferred it smaller. Still, will make a good addition to the project.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Waterloo Plancenoit Church

Just completed the Waterloo Plancenoit Church from Sarissa
Obviously designed to be painted, I'm still following my sepia scheme and leaving them well alone... though may at some stage do a cheaper test piece.

Still to do the churchyard and crypt then see what to get next.


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Pulp Fiction - work in progress

This project could take a while to finish, so updates in order.

At the moment I'm just looking at a rough layout - this one being some kind of possibly Americanish seaport. The final product will be a mish mash of US/European architecture dating anywhere between 1920 and 1950.

There will be far more Sarissa buildings. Most of them will not be painted - I like the Lovecraftian sepia look as it is. I've got a church and graveyard still to build.

 On the other hand, this style of building is liable to go. Again, Sarissa do 'standard' houses, so with limited staining of roof tiles these will probably take over.

A view of the Port area. The sea will not finish as big as this - the land board was an off cut I painted up but it's too narrow for the town. Lledo vehicles on the land, one card and one Reviresco-based balsa ship in the background together with a couple of balsa planes. The Lighthouse was picked up at some seaside resort - I forget where.

The freighter at the back is an 'old' one, meanwhile the patrol boat at the front is the basic structure of a new class of gunboat/AS boat/torpedo boat. Basically,  there will be a gun at front of all of them, then either a gun, depth charges or torpedo tubes at the back. Just in case there's somthing lurking on the offshore reef... The blocks forming the current breakwaters are thanks to pinching an idea from Bob Cordery at Wargames Miscellany

Quite a few figures I'm working on, and none quite finished. They're a mix of RAFMReviresco and Old Glory UK. Most of these batches are Old Glory, bought at Partizan recently and are from BMM404 Streets of Chicago set. I'll probably be getting more of these figures - like them.

These four are probably my favourites to date. Painting skills aren't what they were, especially regarding faces, and none are actually finished yet. The three on the right are Old Glory, Mr Brown Suit is a RAFM Student Investigator.

Lledo vehicles are perfect for the job. A lot of them sell individually for around £6-8 including postage: still cheaper than buying wargames kits, but far more than I like to pay - by buying collections I try to pay about £1 a model including postage! Still need the odd one at a higher price, but can still keep the price down - it's a matter of overbuying but paying less!