El-Cheapo Terrain

I'm kind of a cheapskate when it comes to wargaming terrain. I hate to spend money on it, but at the same time, I want it to look at least half-way decent.

A long time ago, I found an archive of PDFs of papercraft buildings designed for WHFRP gaming. I don't remember now where they came from, and it's taken me years to get around to actually putting any of them together. They're very simple models, and they don't take much time to assemble, which is a good thing, and they're quite attractive when they're glued together.

They're in "Fantasy-Tudor" style, which perhaps isn't especially suitable for WWII gaming, but I like the look of them and they'd definitely be an improvement on wooden blocks.

I'm experimenting at the moment with scaling — they're intended for use with 25-28mm figures, and all my wargaming is either 6mm or 15mm. This one I printed at 50%, and it's just a fraction too small for 15mm; it's about 60mm tall to the peak of the roof — I'll bump up the next one to 60% and see how that looks.

This is an instance where a laser printer isn't as useful as an inkjet would be, for two reasons:

  1. The laser won't print on anything heavier than about 100gsm paper
  2. The fused toner is somewhat water-resistant, which makes gluing with PVA problematic.

The first issue I can get around by laminating prints to light card with spray glue, but the second is trickier. I can scrape away the toner on the glue-tabs, but that's kind of a pain. I think I may just re-composite a whole bunch of them on to A3 layouts and get them printed commercially on light card; it's not too expensive, and it would save a lot of faffing about.

One thing that's an issue with any papercraft model is that corners and edges tend to stand out like dog's bollocks, bright white against the printed textures where the paper has been cut or folded. It pays to run around these areas with a felt pen to subdue the glare — black is OK, but sepia or grey is less cartoonish.

Bolt Action 2 - QuickRef

While waiting impatiently for my copy of Bolt Action (2nd Ed.) to arrive, I've used what information I do have available to put this together:

Bolt Action 2 QuickRef (PDF, approx. 450Kb)

It's A4 landscape, two pages.

It's intended to be printed double-sided and laminated, so I don't have to keep flipping back and forth through the book to find the information I need when I'm playing the game.

New and Improved, the One-Man Armoured Steam Battle-Tricycle

Click for enlarged view
Continuing with my present steampunk jag, I've whipped up a one-man armoured steam battle-tricycle in 15-20mm scale. It comes equipped with a state-of-the-art Maxim pom-pom gun.

It's available for sale at http://shpws.me/MOXF. No self-respecting Victorian SF army should be without at least a dozen!

Other views - click to enlarge

Steampunk-Boiler-Tank

I was forcibly off-line for a while when my internet provider had some network issues, and as a result, had to be productive.

Part of the results of that productivity was this: a steampunk tank-thing.

Now that my digital crack is flowing again, I've uploaded it to Shapeways so it can be given physical form and be birthed into the real world.

It's of indeterminate scale, and could be used with 15mm, 20mm or 28mm figures, at your pleasure. The main gun is a separate component and can be installed at whatever angle you want. On a sprue inside the hull are a pair of pintle-mounted Gatling guns that can be mounted poking out through the slot in the front of the hull — realistically, there would be room for only one, along with its gunner and loader and associated clutter, but I've provided two in case you want to make it look fiercer.

The basic form is based on an uncredited photograph I found on the web of somebody's scratch-built model, but I've jazzed it up quite a lot. So thanks, mysterious anonymous modeller.

WW1 Vickers Teams (15mm)


 These are Peter Pig's early WW1 British Vickers machine-gun teams.

They're supplied three guns to the pack, but for some reason, Peter Pig only include observers/gun-captains for two of them. At first I assumed it was a packing error, but the same occurs with the German Maxims pack, so I suppose it's company policy for some reason that I can't fathom. It's not a big deal I suppose, but it's an irritation.

I think that the Vickers used by the British army in this period would have had fluted barrel jackets, not smooth, as these ones are modelled.


They're based on 30 x 30 mm 3 mm hardboard. I've come around to using thicker bases for these sorts of things because it makes the groups so much easier to pick up and move around the wargames table than the thin steel I used to use.

Very Tiny Gun

All of 13 millimetres long.

15mm German WWII Grenadier by Battlefront
Here's the 1:100 scale (15mm) Lewis Gun I had printed in FED resin by Shapeways.

The FED really does render pretty decent detail, and though it is more expensive than FUD, for this sprue of six Lewis Guns and pole-mounts, the difference was only a buck or so.

The trouble with modeling personal weapons for wargames figures is illustrated in the photo of the gun next to a WWII German Grenadier. To suit the figures it really needs to be modeled a bit bigger and a lot more chunky. In true 1:100 scale, it looks far too light and slender next to the figure; more like the proportions of a rifle.

That's something that can really only be determined by trial and error; you just have to find out what looks right with the figures you have.

I may do another sprue of guns in rather more exaggerated proportions for this very reason.

Vickers "Dutchman", 1936

I've uploaded a model of the Vickers Commercial "Dutchman" of 1936, in 1/100 scale for 15mm gaming.

It wasn't taken up by the British army (a very short-sighted decision) but it was sold extensively around the world, especially to the Dutch East Indies, hence its nickname of "Dutchman".

It's available at http://shpws.me/MMB1

I've made it available in WSF, but because of issues with the running gear and exhaust, I can't guarantee that it will print in that material. The default material is FUD resin, and it should be fine in that.

Conversion stuff: Vickers Light Mk.III running gear (1/56 scale)

In response to a request, I've uploaded a model of just the running gear for the Vickers Light Tank Mk.III in 1/56 scale.

It's at http://shpws.me/MM73

Hopefully this will help people with some conversions of various interwar vehicles. The running gear is usually the trickiest part of any scratch-building project.

Zvezda KV1 (1941)

 Here'a another 1:100 scale (15mm) KV1 from Zvezda, a slightly later model than the previous one with a slightly better 76.2mm gun. ...