Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dystopian Wars - Prussian Fleet

For the Prussian Fleet I decided to stray a bit off the nautical theme and go with early-war Luftwaffe colours which I've always liked and, I dunno why, but often think of as quintessentially 'German'.

In the rules, the Prussians utilize Tesla-based weaponry which is kinda neat and you can see Tesla coils on many of their models.

Three Frigates
As you can see the silhouette of the Prussian ships are very angular and swept back - reminiscent of a King Tiger's hull. I think they look the most contemporary of all the Dystopian fleets. I'm quite looking forward to doing up the their zeppelin aircraft carrier as the model looks very cool.

The Cruisers
You can see the Tesla coils at the aft of the Cruisers.
I'm now on the hunt for some Maltese cross decals that I can use for these. 

The Prussian Battleship.
Again, Tesla coils along the amidships.
A pair of Heavy Bombers
A couple groups of Fighters with slightly different markings to differentiate the squadrons..
The last and final group will be the American Fleet.  I already have an idea of what I want to do with them but we'll see how it turns out.

In this shot the Battleship has a couple of the 'plug-in' generators.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dystopian Wars - Britannian Fleet with some 'Razzle Dazzle'

For the British fleet I thought I'd do something completely different from the Japanese I had done. I wanted the British ships to reflect England's cutting-edge industrial nature, but with a little dash of Victorian pomp and ceremony for good measure. So I went with a variation of the 'Dazzle' camouflage pattern first used by the Brits late in WWI.

HMS Argus, ca 1918.

Ok, a little background history: First developed in 1917 by British maritime artist Norman Wilkinson, 'Dazzle' painting is technically not a camouflage (a pattern designed to hide), but was instead created to disrupt the observer's perception of the silhouette, size and heading of the dazzle-painted subject. It was primarily developed to fool torpedo range-finding optics and surface rangefinders. It was really never proven how effective dazzle painting was but it was often seen to boost ships' morale, as the crews believed it gave them an edge in combat.

A squadron of frigates (3 of 10).
A trio of cruisers.
A Battleship

An Aircraft Carrier.
In typical British fashion, the Carrier is bodged from two battleship hulls.
The crap decals are Flames of War leftovers...
The Big Bad Boy: The Dreadnought.

Two Heavy Bombers.
The Fleet steaming out to enlighten the world in British glory (and the Anglo Free Market).
Next up are the Prussians, which, characteristically German, will be a little more straightforward to get on the table...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dystopian Wars 'Empire of the Blazing Sun' Bombers and Tiny Fliers

Here are a few shots of some of the Japanese bombers and fighters that are available for 'Dystopian Wars'. In the game these are super-huge aircraft, with loads of turrets, weapon mounts, bomb bays and enough room to carry a contingent of jet-pack (steam-pack?) marines to conduct boarding actions. Yes, lots of silly fun.

I decided to build magnetic gimbal ball mounts for the bombers to allow more dynamic posing of the models while they are on their flight stands. I have another post where I go through the process of assembling these mounts - pretty straightforward stuff really.

And below is an example of the fighter stands, suitably called 'Tiny Fliers' in the game. These are cast as one-piece resin 'tokens' which are really easy to paint-up.

I have some examples of the British fleet done and will try to get a few photos of them posted in the next few days.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A New Diversion: 'Dystopian Wars' Empire of the Blazing Sun Fleet

I've been going pretty hard collecting and painting Napoleonics for about a solid year now and I have to say that I've gotten a little burned-out. So I thought I'd break up the routine and recharge the batteries with something completely unrelated. 

A few weeks ago Sylvain hosted a game of 'Firestorm Armada' to which I really enjoyed the simple mechanics of the rules and afterwards I thought I'd check out the Spartan Games' website to see what else they had. Well, on top of 'Firestorm Armada' they also have a Victorian era steampunk game called 'Dystopian Wars'. I've always been drawn to the funky brass-meets-Jules-Vern esthetic of steampunk and thought I'd try out some of the models as they looked quite neat.

Well, at these things go, the idea of 'a few models' promptly went out the window and I instead picked up all four fleets direct from Spartan Games through one of their promotions. The main castings are resin with white metal details. The casting quality of both the resin and metal is very good. Crisp, clean with no unsightly bubbles or excessive flash. 

So, here are the first group out of the painting gate - some ships from the Japanese Fleet, or as the game calls them The Empire of the Blazing Sun. These ships are quite stylized in their design, something along the lines of floating art-deco locomotives, which I think has a great look. For a paint scheme I decided to mimic some of the turn-of-the-century Japanese woodblock prints I've seen which depict the naval battles of the Sino-Japanes and Russo-Japanese wars. I quite like the high contrast between the light grey hulls and the black and red accents. Here are a few examples:

This stuff is really so easy to paint after doing a zillion 28mm Napoleonics. Its basically a lot of drybrushing, a mid-tone wash, pick out the details and you're done. First shown below are a couple of the smallest ships, the Frigates.

Two of the Frigates.
Then the mainstays of the Fleet, the Cruisers.

Three Cruisers. Those structures on the top and rear of the hull are rocket turrets.

Then an example of one of the Capital Class ships, a Battleship.

A Battleship with some sort of a trippy shield generator thingy on the stern.

...and a photo of the whole Fleet as it stands now.

Next up will be the British fleet which I'm still mulling over the colour scheme...