End of Month, Start Anew

Last week, I had the fun of my first consultancy moment. Just me and a client wanting to know a bit about likely trade issues in a non-EU domain. I considered it went well, but I’ll only know more if I get any feedback with the payment. But it was certainly a pleasant alternative to the way I used to do my old workstuff.

I also now have new IT in the homestead, and it’s great using new powerful kit properly set up to how I had it back in my old office. And there’s a new A3 printer/copier sitting alongside the desk, ready to use for all the gaming and mapping ideas I’ve had.

And so hopefully, with all that set-up sorted, plus some building work completed on the house, and other issues resolved, I now have the clear-path ahead to do more of what I want. The re-enactment season is closed too, after a great year with a handful of events we really enjoyed, so it will be great to pack all that stuff away until spring.

First up, I want to get back to the Martians I plan to complete for the Space 1889 project with TMWWBK rules. As I said before, there’s plenty of Elves of various designs awaiting some conversion work.  It will be good practice for getting back into figure-painting. I have a few other units I want completed, but those I intend to entrust to one of the best painters I know. And then there’s that table-cloth idea for a pseudo-Martian surface, and some various terrain items to go on it.

Once that project gets back underway, I need to finish reading some recent book acquisitions that are all about the Italian Wars, Renaissance military aspects, and other era-related material. Hopefully then I’d have re-discovered my own painting techniques and abilities in order to do a decent job on some of the Renaissance 28mm I have also amassed from various purchases.

Meantime, to satiate actual gaming fixes, I now have plenty of fantasy 28mm to be able to put on a variety of encounters using the Dragon Rampant rules. DR remains for my personal choice as the best and quickest ‘go-to‘ set in order to have a game laid out and underway with the minimum amount of fuss and time spent. It might all have a pseudo-LotR flavour to it, but that just saves me time from generating background content and context.

So a new phase to move towards. Looking forward to it too.

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More Martian Miniatures

So not only have I re-discovered nearly all the items I spent the last fifteen years squirreling away for the Space 1889 project, I’ve now obtained yet more stuff.

Last year, at one of the wargame shows in Northern England, I acquired 3 of Ainsty’s naval gun carriages. I decided then these would be perfect for Heavy Guns taken off some Canal Martian Screw Galley or War Kite for land service – just in mimicry of the Royal Naval practice to put naval ordnance on to field carriages for Bluejackets to contribute to the British land campaigns.

I’ve also picked up more Grenadier UK Wood Elves and High Elves thanks to Forlorn Hope Games. I’ve always thought these would make useful Hill Martians and Canal Martians. Next phase here is to get some practice in converting some to be armed with muskets. That’s some modelling and scratch-building work I’ve not done for a long time.

And I also took advantage of one of Black Tree Designs periodic sales and picked up some Anglo-Zulu War bits for the British but more elves from their fantasy range to also convert into armed Canal Martians.

Finally, the older stuff I had is now based up and awaits a decent coat of varnish. And I’ll brush it on – using some Winsor & Newton matt acrylic varnish. Still not quite ready to pray-and-spray just yet.

So the project gathers momentum. More info and pix soon.

 

Space 1889: Martian Forces

As I’ve been passing the last few days mainly on my laptop, as work on the house revolves around me, with the sorting out of household, pension and employment affairs, I’ve been browsing and re-visiting a few blogs that inspire me. Amongst those are fellow fans of GW’s Space 1889 – especially those who have taken that old genre into wargaming.

Many moons ago – well over a decade ago now – I hit upon the idea of using old Grenadier UK Elves (28mm) as proxies for Martians, as acquiring RAFM figures was expensive and time-consuming. I had also dabbled with another make – I forget the name now – but I always came back to the old Grenadier UK stuff. I purchased odd bits found at bring-&-buys at wargame shows, blister packs scoured from bargain boxes and buckets, and the occasional win on EBay. The intention was always to have enough to tabletop combat encounters within RPG sessions and end up with enough for battles using ‘Soldier’s Companion‘ rules.

It seems I wasn’t the only one to appreciate Grenadier UK’s work. Hence, I find myself now getting more and more inspired by others, who’ve sourced ‘alternates’ to provide additional forces for the Martians. Some orders have been placed, the existing stuff that’s been painted has been found and basing touch-ups are planned, and I even have some ideas on sorting out some conversion work – e.g., Dark Elf crossbowmen will be re-armed with muskets and muzzle-loading rifles.

The ambition is to ensure I have enough to start trialing some British/Human vs. Martian City States tabletop encounters using the ‘MWWBK‘ rules too. Don’t get me wrong, the ‘Soldier’s Companion‘ book is a great resource, but I find the rules are too slow and slightly cumbersome for what I want. The fact that I have so much finished or on the point of almost complete provides me the nudge to get this project rolled forward to a new milestone as well.

In addition to that, after the success in making a green base cloth from the fleece fabric I acquired in Carlisle Market, I intend to do the same with a brown lump of fleece I got for working up a Martian surface. This will involve spray painting with lighter ochre and yellow hues, and adding some scatter and flock, and I’m hoping I’ll create something suitable with the ideas I have. This should then be adequate to use for one-off games, simpler to set-up and easier to design a wide variety of terrain layouts.

And then there’s the attraction of adding aerial assets – gunboats and sky galleons and skiffs – something I’ve not been involved with before, but keen to explore further.

This might just get expensive.