Thursday, December 29, 2022

Snobs for Turnip28

I'm thought I'd officially kick-off my Turnip28 project with this post. I imagine this flight of fancy will consume a good portion of my time this season as I wish to get two playable forces completed by spring, if possible.

Turnip28 is a very, very odd dystopian setting; a war-torn world gone mad through the infestation of symbiotic, sentient root vegetables. It's all about turnips, really. Aesthetically, it's a mashup of several historical periods; medieval, Renaissance, Napoleonic, and just a smattering of the Great War to keep it grim and dirty. In Turnip28, opposing forces battle each other over long forgotten grievances, contesting useless objectives, and simply knocking the stuffing out of each other. It's a new player in the GrimDark oeuvre of games.

The rules are pretty hilarious, filled with loads of character, horror and humour.  In terms of figure-overhead, it can be defined as a large skirmish game, probably similar to 'Pikeman's Lament' in scale. In its base form its figure count runs around 30+ models per side. Written by the folks behind 'One Page Rules', Turnip28 is easy to understand, simple to play, while still having enough nuance to keep things interesting..

Over the next few months I'm going to try to complete as many of the game's troop types as I can manage. 

Okay, first up: the commanders! In Turnip28, forces are led by 'Snobs', an overarching term for the game's officer class. Think of the many vacuous, dim-witted, upper-echelon idiots that have controlled European armies over the past millennia and you have a good idea of what we're looking at here.

In the game, 'Snobs' are of two types. First, there are the 'Toffs', the upper-crust half-wits who run the whole show. Players will typically have one Toff as the overall commander of their force. 

I've based my Toffs on hexagonal bases and their Toadies are on square ones for easy identification on the tabletop. I'm thinking I will have one side with red facings (The Rutabaga Brigade), while the other will be yellow (The Fighting Fennel Fusiliers). 

Secondly, we have the 'Toadies'the Toffs' boot-licking underlings, who obsequiously do their better's bidding. The Toadies are the game's subcommanders, tasked with chivying along their reluctant, nervous troops, trying to ensure that they follow the orders given to them and trying to mitigate the disasters that will inevitably come. 

For these Snobs I've relied heavily on 3d models from Knucklebones Miniatures. Such characterful figures and brilliant digital design. I've  embellished them a bit, mostly with head swaps, along with adding some of the ubiquitous flora that infests the world of Turnip28.

Though I really like how other hobbyists have used a desaturated palette and a heavy use of weathering of their Turnip troops, I've decided to keep my figures 'merely' dirty, with a punchy colour palette. Heretical I know, but we'll see how it goes as the project clips along.

Finally, for a cavalry officer, I found a wonderful digital sculpt by 'Romychbrush' in Cults of a Snob on a run-down, wheeled hobby horse. 

I decided it would be fun to have the officer and his brave steed being pulled along by his long-suffering batman. Really, this is the stuff that glory is made of.

A final group shot of the Snobs.

Next up for this project will be the rank and file, but right now I have a hankering to do something for my Great Siege of Malta collection. More on that soon, I hope. 

Thanks for popping in for a look, folks!

- Curt

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

A Tribekka for 'Maximillian 1934'


Vrooom! Vroom! Dakka... Dakka... Dakka.... 

Happy Holidays everyone! 

It's another Painting Challenge, so in Curt's world that means that another new project (or two) has to be undertaken. 

This time, it's 'Maximillian 1934', a car racing game set in a post apocalyptic 1930s, and I thought a perfect candidate for the 'High Adventure Studio' location. 

I have to admit that 'Car Wars' and 'Gaslands' have not always scratched that itch, but I do love the vehicle designs of 1930s period, with their swooping, long-nosed cowlings, narrow spoked wheels and the whacky bauhaus aesthetic, so Maximillian 1934 really appealed to my lizard brain.

I have four cars and a few motorcycles from the range that I'm wanting to get done the Challenge. I figure they should be enough for a spirited race, with several varied vehicle designs for players to choose from. 

So, for my first effort, I present to you this sporty three-wheeled Tribekka. 

I gave it a forward facing water-cooled machine gun and a brace of linked Lewis guns on a rear-facing pintle mount. You know, 'cause these are obviously things you need on a vehicle. 

I built out a mahoosive engine for it and gave it big single, side-mounted exhaust pipe. As the game uses a template to move, and is a bit fiddly with arcs, I decided to base-up this guy and the others that will follow.

As I want the cars to be quite visible on the track, I sprayed it a bright yellow, reminding me of the 'Fun in the Sun' yellow we had on our sporty Ford Focus in our salad years.  

I hope to have a roadster up in a week or two. Wish me luck and thanks for dropping in for a look!

- Curt

Film Crew from the Golden Age of Cinema

Years ago I came up with a simple set of rules to (ahem) set the stage for madcap stunts and the off-the-cuff storytelling found behind the scenes of a movie set during the Golden Age of Cinema.

The rules challenge players to attain ‘Top Billing’ status by either having the most Fame Points by the end of shooting, or by simply being the last character to still be left standing on the movie set. The actors with the top Fame scores at the end of the shoot will have Top Billing on the movie playbill, and be able to bask in cinematic glory - perhaps having a shot at an Academy Award for their unscrupulous efforts.

A 'scene' from our Sword & Sandals game (note the 1.0 version of the film crew)

Previous victims, er, players of a 'Top Billing' game

...and their hard-earned Academy Awards!

The rub is that the actors are often forced to spend their Fame to gain the Director's attention, and so foil the plans of competing actors. With this, the actors have to strike a balance between protecting their accrued Fame while also spending it wisely it to seize the moment in order to burnish their reputations. 

For example, any player/actor can interrupt the action of another by demanding a 'screen re-write'. These re-writes can range from (but are not limited to) choreographing a complex stunt, constructing a scene where another actor looks the fool, or perhaps seizing the camera crew to get a closeup as they give a pithy line of dialogue. 

These 're-writes' are entirely up to the imaginations of the players and always create a huge amount of good-natured fun. In addition each screen re-write can be challenged by another star sparking 'Ego Trips' where the contesting stars bid-up their Fame points to try to convince the Director (GM) why their approach to the scene should be favoured. It's all good, silly fun.

Anyway, back to the task at hand. This film crew is offered by the talented folks over at Eureka Miniatures.  They are a wonderful set of minis, and a real joy to work with. Now I just need to get Byron to make me an acrylic 'field of view' template to fit the round base and I'll be set... 

Happy holidays everybody and thanks for dropping in for a peek!

- Curt 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Thirteenth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge


Hi All!

It is November 20th, and with the coming of winter it is also time to plan for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge!   

For this season, our 13th, we'll be making our way through the film lot of 'AHPC Studios, GmbH', a loose cluster of stages, workshops, offices and film sets. It is here that we will offer participants to partake various Silver Screen themes. More on the Challenge here

Monday, July 4, 2022

2mm Romans and Barbarians for 'Strength & Honour' and 'To the Stongest'

Hi All!

Earlier this spring I picked up Mark Blackhouse's 'Strength & Honour' which has been recently released through the Too Fat Lardies' Reisswitz Press imprint. A few years ago I participated in a very early playtest session with Mark and really enjoyed many of the concepts he had developed for his rules. Well, I can say that the finished product is absolutely terrific, and a real credit to all his hard work.  

'Strength & Honour' is similar is scale to Simon Miller's excellent 'To the Strongest', but has a completely different approach to combat resolution and army morale - not necessarily better or worse, just different and innovative. While the rules are simple to learn, they provide a lot of depth, giving players a lot of nail-biting decisions and easily resolved combats. I think it's a great game, and a wonderful addition to the Ancients stable of rules. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to play those large iconic battles of the period within a manageable space and a reasonable amount of time.


Being a fan of the smaller scales, I was keen to try my hand at creating some 2mm units for use both Strength and Honour and To the Strongest, so with no further ado here are some of my recent efforts.

Barbarian Warbands

The basis for all these units is built around 3d models from the talented fella over at Project Wargaming. I played around with the designs in the slicer to create more irregular mobs/formations - it worked okay for the most part, especially when they are viewed at an arms length away.

Two Roman Legions in triple and double acies formation.

The majority of the units are based on 130mm x 60mm MDF provided by my good pal Byron over at Northern Lights Terrain. Due to the figures' tiny size, I kept the groundwork fairly minimalistic to help mitigate the figures being lost in the muddle. 

A couple units of formed cavalry.

Light Cavalry

I pretty much exclusively used Citadel Contrast Paints for this project as I find they provide an interesting tonal depth to the colours, which I kind of like. The other benefit was that they allowed me to bang-out most of these units (essentially two armies of 12 bases each) in around a month. 


A base of British light chariots.

A Barbarian Camp

A Roman Camp

For the labels, I cut thin strips of magnetic paper along the back of the bases. This allows me to swap-in whatever I need for the scenario at hand. After a few years of hosting games, I find that if one can provide as much information on the units themselves then it saves both time and confusion for players when the game is underway.

Anyway, there you go, a neat little project that helped me while away my spring. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a terrific day.

- Curt

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Dryads and a Tree Spirit


For the past few months I've been running a Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing campaign for our local group. This week one of the character's story arcs came to its conclusion, which involved a group of feral dryads and a vengeful tree spirit. Knowing the encounter was coming up soon, I took a look on MyMiniFactory for some suitable figures to use, and found these excellent models designed by 'The Dragon Trappers Lodge'. 

These are all finely detailed figures and quite delicate, but I reasoned that they only had to survive one play so gave it a go. :)  The Tree Spirit turned out to be a bit of a contentious print, with the head and arms refusing to resolve properly (probably more my fault than the figure's design). 

With time ticking down to our game session, I decided to try my hand with some light sculpting using green stuff and wire armatures. Due to the gnarled design of the model, and some bits I could repurpose, the sins of my 'sculpting' managed to bodge it all into something that I could work with.

With a few midnight oil painting sessions they were made ready for the game. Tabletop mayhem ensued, fun was had, so all-in-all a very happy outcome. Win!

Thanks for dropping in for a look!

- Curt

Monday, March 21, 2022

Final Post of Challenge XII: A Bookcase Vignette

Well here we are, three months, 885 posts, 86,634 points and gosh knows how many painted miniatures later, sitting at the close of another edition of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Wow. It's been another terrific season, with friends reacquainted, new ones made, and a general delight in all things wee, fun and somehow essential to our spirits.

Speaking of good friends, for my last post, I've traveled to Noel's Comet where the location asked that we provide something related to 'friendship'. 

I admit that, of all the thematic locations within the Challenge XII Sector, I've been looking forward to visiting this one most of all. 

I really miss Noel. He had a wonderful wit and a tremendously generous spirit. I always enjoyed a 'Noel post' as I knew his stories were always good for a BIG coffee and a good laugh. Just before he passed, Noel wrote a wonderful article about the Challenge for Wargames Illustrated. It was a 'typical' Noel piece, funny, engaging and ebullient about its subject. He loved the Challenge, most of all the people that make it, and it clearly shows in his writing.  I'm including a copy of it here for you to enjoy (and begging forgiveness from the publishers for 'spreading the Word of Noel' - thank you Sander for the PDF).

Rest easy Noel - You are missed.


As to my entry for Noel's Comet, I wanted to illustrate the 'friendship' theme by doing something regarding my best friend, Gary.

Gary and I have been friends since our teenage years. We both come from the same small northern community, his family farmed, while mine worked in town. We met through a mutual friend who told me about this new game called 'Dungeons and Dragons'. I was intrigued, and the next weekend I cycled out to my friend's farmhouse (not having a car I cycled EVERYWHERE) to see what it was all about. 

I found the four of them, all sitting around a small card table, oddly shaped dice and paper strewn about, madly scribbling, talking furtively, while penciling-out a map on graph paper. I was absolutely entranced (remember, this is 1980, when it was all so new). Gary introduced himself and he asked if I would like to roll up a character and play. And there it was. My first tentative steps into gaming, and the beginning of a friendship that has spanned decades.

Over the following years Gary and I were nigh inseparable. We hung out all the time. Gaming, movies, listening to music, concerts, holidays, you name it - we basically lived in each other's pocket. As we were both fairly quiet and bookish, and our community being, um, quite rough-and-tumble, we became each other's refuge. I cringe to think of what my teenage years would have been like without him.

Gary is a few years older than I am, and so when he left for university, I would often skip school on Fridays in order to catch the bus to hang out with him in the city over the weekend. Later, when I left home, Gary joined me in Winnipeg, where we started a game store together. I met Sarah through him, and he was my Best Man at our wedding. Due to my career, I've had to move around the country, but our friendship, over the years and miles, has never dimmed. We always make time to see each other a few times a year, and when it happens it always seems like putting on an old comfortable sweater.

So, what is the thing that I've made to illustrate our friendship? Well, after the first few months of playing D&D (and gosh, we played it every possible moment we could), we decided to plunk down for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books. This was a substantial expenditure for young teens of limited means. But we saved and scraped our funds together, and placed a group order to TSR in Wisconsin. A few weeks later Gary received a big parcel in the mail containing all our books, some dice and a bunch of figures. It was absolutely magical. I still have my original books from that order, as does Gary. Really, it's amazing the pages haven't fallen out of those books for the amount of time we poured over spells, creatures, magical items, etc. They really were a gateway to another world. 

Anyway, fast forward a few decades, where I'd come across Otherworld Miniatures, who offered a brilliant set of models depicting the scene on the cover of The Players Handbook. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to get it.  Well, it's been sitting on my worktable for the past few years, you know, seasoning, while I ruminated on how I wanted to build it... and here we are.

I've been quite taken with these bookcase inserts I've seen featured on various design websites. Basically it's where an alley, or street scene, is rendered in miniature within a roughly hardback-sized dimension. I've wanted to try my hand at one, and thought that perhaps I could come up with something using the Players Handbook cover as inspiration.

I sketched up a design and sent it to Byron, who then cut it into 3mm MDF for me. He was also kind enough to pass along a few sheets of 3mm depron foam so I could make the stone walls. Thanks Byron! 

I cut the Depron to shape, traced out the pattern for the stonework, and then textured the surface using a couple of rocks. 

After that, I used a blunt pencil to score the edges of the stone blocks to give them better definition for the dry brushing to come later.

If I had used the depron on the floor, I would have raised it too high for the statue to fit nicely within the archway (bad design on my part), so I tried an old trick I've used in the past. I simply cut out 'flagstones' from old business cards, glued them straight onto the MDF floor, and then dry brushed them to match the existing stonework. Not perfect, but it does the trick.

I considered rigging the scene with LED mini lights, but I knew that sooner or later they would degrade and fail, so I decided to go full analog instead. With my airbrush having packed it in recently, I did up the flame and lighting effects using a wet pallete and a good old brush. Very analog indeed!

After painting the enclosure and pinning the miniatures into place, I then glued in the remaining side wall. I then gave the exterior a coat of satin spray to help in future dusting... and it was done.

This upcoming week, Sarah and I will be travelling to Winnipeg to stay with Gary and his partner Mike for a little vacation. Gary's birthday was earlier this month, so this will be a belated gift to him. I look forward to seeing it, along with his collection of RPG books, nestled in the bookshelf.

- Curt