Sunday, April 6, 2014

    Painting the Coaching Inn

    Following up on my review of the Coaching Inn from Tabletop World I now present the finished piece and a detailed painting guide.

    As I mentioned in my review the Coaching Inn does not require assembling: other than cleaning up the piece all you need to do is glue the two chimneys to the roof and glue the fence/balustrade on the balcony.

    The Scratch-built Balustrade

    Speaking of the balustrade: I am not too keen on the fence that comes with the building. It looks too gothic/fantasy for my taste - I prefer a slightly more conservative/low-key style. Because of that I chose to build a new balustrade from wooden sticks.

    Comparison of the original balustrade and my scratch-built one

    Painting the Inn

    The painting process was pretty much the same as with my previous Gierburg buildings. And it was a long one! With all the details the building has, tending to each shingle of the roof and each stone of the walls and - the most tedious work of all - painting all the windows with their grating, I can't count the many hours that went into this building. But it makes it only all the more satisfying once you are finished with the piece, lean back and look at it...

    The finished Coaching Inn

    Finally, this is what the completed Coaching Inn looks like:

    Gangs fighting it out in the streets of Gierburg

    A firebrand speaking to a mob of Gierburg peasants
    from the balcony of the coaching inn

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    A Dockside Crane for Gierburg

    The 1:72 scale medieval crane from Green Line is the latest addition to the docks of my Gierbug gaming board.

    I bought the kit at this year's Tactica show, where I saw the assembled model in the flesh and was immediately convinced. It is available from Fredericus Rex.

    The kit comprises mainly of various sheets of laser cut balsa wood. There are also two paper sheets for the "metal" parts, rivets and the hook. Thread is included to represent rope.

    Usually I mainly work with resin buildings and I am totally spoiled by Tabletop World and Grand Manner models which come pretty much fully assembled out of the box. Because of this, I found the kit somewhat challenging - lots of pieces that need to be prepared and glued together. However, it was challenging in a very positive way: The pieces fit together perfectly and balsa is always easy to work with. It actually felt like I was assembling my own scratch-built model, with the exception that the various pieces were already provided. The model does not have any of the design flaws I usually dislike about laser cut terrain, where you can clearly tell from the finished model that it was built from simple precut kits.

    The crane assembled but yet unpainted

    After assembling the crane I removed the wheel again for undercoating and painting. I always enjoy painting wood structures: A bunch of drybrushing with browns and whites, finished off with a bit of weathering with green wash, and you're done - a very relaxed and rewarding task.

    The finished crane


    Since I was "transferring" the crane from 1:72 to 28mm scale I found it appropriate to use a thicker type of thread than the one that came with the model. So I went with the same that I currently use for rigging on my ships.

    Finally, this is how the finished model looks as a dockside crane at the Port of Gierburg:

    In conclusion, I am very happy with this model. It was refreshingly challenging to assemble without ever being too difficult. It looks like a cool scratch-built piece rather than one of those boring unrealistic laser cut buildings you see so often. I do not find the 1:72 scale to be a problem, either - it gives the impression of a nice small crane to me and works perfectly well with 28mm figures. In short: an excellent addition to the Port of Gierburg.

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    More Gierburg Citizens

    Another couple of shady characters join the ranks of Gierburg citizens. Like the last ones these were again painted by the talented Simon Bradley.

    A Gierburg merchant and his assisstant inspect a new load at the port

    A young boy running in the streets of Gierburg

    Most of the newcomers are again Highwaymen from Outpost Wargame Services.

    Highwaymen and other scoundrel taking over the Port of Gierburg

    With these highwaymen new in the city the Gang of Robbers, Bandits and other criminals is now large enough for battle:

    Monday, February 24, 2014

    Tactica 2014

    One of the yearly wargaming highlights is the Tactica convention in Hamburg. Combined with meeting friends who live there this makes for a great weekend.

    The Tables

    If you are a regular at wargaming shows it gets increasingly hard to be impressed by the various gaming tables. My favourite was the huge Zombie board:

    I was very impressed with the underground level: The idea of using the edges of the board is ingenious. It's a perfect way of adding another level to the board which is also practical, because you do not have to remove buildings or streets all the time. I am now considering this for my Port of Gierburg project.

    Here are a few other tables:

    Update Feb, 25th: For more photos visit the Tactica blog.
    Update Mar, 5th:  Even more photos at Spieltrieb Frankfurt.

    The Game

    We played a game of Bushido. The objective was to convert three shrines for victory points over the course of six rounds. I had never played Bushido before and this was a great introduction to the game.

    I like how you can have a nice game with only three figures and a comparatively small gaming board. This definately looks like a good game to play in addition to a main hobby project.

    The Purchases

    Browsing the Thomarillion booth I spotted their Streetlamps (designed by Deltadog Designz for their game Götterdaämmerung). These are really nice lantern posts so I bought a set for use at my Gierburg port.

    Street lamps from Thomarillion

    Another addition for the Gierburg port is this medieval crane from Green Line and sold through Fredericus Rex. The crane is 1/72 scale but big enough for 28mm.

    Medieval Crane from Fredericus Rex

    My greatest discovery, however, were the 28mm figures at the booth of Schilling-Figuren. The Napoleonic range by Westfalia Miniatures offers a huge range of beautiful wagons and carts:

    Westfalia Miniatures available at the Schilling-Figuren booth

    I bought three wagons right away - a British ambulance cart (without crew), a French post coach and an Officer's coach - and ordered another one: a French utility cart with chests and mobile forge.
    I also bought a surgeon set (seemingly designed by Ingo's-Figuren) consisting of a surgeon, an assistant and a victim.

    I can't wait to get cracking on these. As always the convention was a great inspiration from which I return with a lot of enthusiasm for the hobby.

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    Tabletop World Painting Competition

    Tabletop World has just announced a painting competition: Submit photos to them showcasing either single models or entire dioramas to get a chance of winning mighty prizes. In addition, they offer a guaranteed 10% discount to all participants on orders placed until June 1st. If that doesn't sound great, I don't know what does. I expect to see some very cool submissions in this contest and can't wait to see what people come up with.

    This may also give me the neccessary boost to finish their Coaching Inn.

    Painting Competition announcement from the Tabletop World website

    Update January 30th: The rules have been updated. New poster image is above.
    Update April 2nd: The gallery with all entries is available from the Tabletop World facebook page.
    Update April 4th: The winners have been announced.

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

    Small Ships from Games of War

    I recently posted about Games of War's ship's boats the Tender and Jolly Boat. The next biggest vessels are the small ships called Sea Dog. Currently there are two versions of the Sea Dog available: a "normal" version (GOW-PS002) - which I will refer to as "SD1" for the rest of this article - and an alternate version (GOW-PS007) which comes with an extended mast and sail configuration consisting of pre cut plastic parts and wood beams (and which I will call "SD2").

    Pirates on jolly boats attack the crew of a Sea Dog

    The model of the Sea Dog was completely redone a few years ago (I guess sometime in 2011). I bought the original version of the Sea Dog in 2009 and painted it for my Chinese pirates. The original model was a bit simpler than the current one. The most notable difference is the rear of the ship as the current version is highly decorated.

    The original Sea Dog (left) next to the new Sea Dog (2)

    The original Sea Dog (left) next to the new Sea Dog (2)

    I have always been very happy with the original Sea Dog model. For a very low price you get a high quality resin model.

    The small monkey sitting on the yard is from Black Scorpion's accessory sprue (currently unavailable).

    The little monkey from Black Scorpion's accessory sprue

    The new Sea Dog (SD1 & SD2) however, is even better - especially the extended variant, which comes with a big mast configuration, a bowsprit, a tiller and a highly decorated backside.

    I added further details using the anchor from the excellent Ship's Kit (GOW-SA001) and the swivel gun (GOW-SA004).

    I wrapped string around the bowsprit to represent rope welding.

    The bowsprit with additional rope wolding and
    the anchor from the Ship's Kit (GOW-SA001)

    Note the swivel gun on the deck railing

    The backside of the new model is much more interesting with its decoration. However, this is also a big challenge: The large flat space in the center has to be painted in some manner other than mere filling the area with a single colour. I took the opportunity to try my very first freehand. The result gave the ships its new name: The Mermaid.

    The highly decorated rear of the Sea Dog (2)


    The current Sea Dog is a highly detailed, high quality resin model that comes at a very fair price (free shipping worldwide!). I totally recommend going with the extended version Sea Dog (2) which has an additional tiller, bowsprit and more intersting mast - all well worth the little price increase.

    Lastly, let's hope to see some new ships from Games of War soon!