Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Review: More Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood

Title: More Wargame Terrain (Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2)
Author: Tony Harwood
Year: 2014

I've recently received a copy of Tony Harwood's More Wargame Terrain in the mail. I must say I've been a follower and fan of his work for a while now, particularly through his blog. As (hopefully) my own blog will show, building wargames terrain is a passion of mine and something I can appraise with some degree of credibility. All this aside, in order to do this publication justice I'll take a step away from my own bias as much as possible, and hopefully provide some valuable insights to you, dear reader.

Not having a copy of the first volume, it is difficult to say how closely More Wargames Terrain picks up where its predecessor left off. However, in Harwood's introduction he states that Guide No. 2 can be read in isolation, and I would have to agree. Amongst the 116 pages there are very clear instructions and ample photos and diagrams to take on one of the eight projects. And although there are some more advanced techniques, the language and photography used, and the overall direction throughout the guide, make this certainly achievable to any novice.

Anyone familiar with Dampf's Modelling Page will notice the care Harwood takes in showing his projects develop, and this is very well captured within the pages of More Wargames Terrain. However, for someone who has been building terrain for some time, there are ample techniques and effects employed to provide something new and challenging.

Is there a drawback to this book? The only thing I can suggest as an addition would be something of a "gallery" or a larger spread of a wargames table, and there is already a hint of that of the back cover. This is really just a suggestion. The book is a complete success.

The trend in wargames terrain today is, like most "things" in the modern world, geared towards economising time and money. You see this in the continual flow of laser-cut terrain and 3D-printed playing pieces which provide players with something that can literally be slapped on the table. But that isn't for everybody. What this book represents, I think, harks back to an earlier time where cardboards, paddle-pop sticks and found objects were the building blocks of the wargames table, awaiting a personal touch - whatever that looked like - and that is something worth conserving.

More Wargame Terrain can be purchased by inquiry on the Dampf's Modelling Page blog.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Dwarves 42eme Legion de Nain (L'Ostaire) - Von Trapp's Grenadiers

Hi all,

This is a post very much in the fashion of Tony Harwood's "online build" (many examples of which are on his blog) as is the result of some discussion on The Notables Yahoo group although at a relative snail's pace. So below, all my work on the famed Von Trapp's Grenadiers led by Gustav von Trapp, expert trapper and huntsman. He was quite an extensive conversion on the dwarf Sergeant from the Legion de Nain pack.

I put together a short story below on a slow day at work (months ago now) as plans for Gustav's own section started formulating:

The Hills are Alive!

Private Rorc scratched a flea out from behind his left ear, got ya he thought to himself and grinned.

It was late afternoon, and Rorc had been placed on sentry duty. He turned to see the rest of his section making camp and getting ready for a brisk evening in the green, rolling Ostarian hills. His sergeant’s warning fumbled its way through his brain, as his eyes flicked around the general area… “the ‘ills are alive.” Rorc spun around and brought his musket to bear in front of him. “Who izzit?” he asked the empty field infront of him. He swore he had heard something… and not the kind of noise a forest makes. He squinted, and in the afternoon light he could make out some figures in the distance. A series of ululating notes drifted their way down the valley to his pointed ears. Was that… singing? Not like he’d heard… definitely not during last night’s bout in town. What he wouldn’t do for some of that Dwarven ale… blimey, he’d even settle for some of that Dogmen brew that tasted like p-

“Oi, Rorc!” Sergeant Andorcson bellowed “Quit yer day-dreamin’, you’re on watch!”
“But I’ve seen sumfin’, sir!”
“You what?”
“I’ve seen sumfin’, sir, high… on the hills!”
The Sergeant grabbed a spying glass from a nearby trunk.
“Looks like a goat’erd”.
“A goat’erd?”
“Yer, on his own, too. A lonely goat’erd.”
“Ley-yodel-ley-yodel-ley…” the sound of the goatherd’s singing reached the small camp.
“’Cept for ‘is goats, that is” added Rorc.
“Good job, Rorc” said the Sergeant derisively.
Deflated, Rorc resumed his watch, and his scratching. Bloody dwarf, he thought as he squinted up at the hills again, maybe he’s got some grog?


Gustav von Trapp peered down to the campsite below, clutching his hooded cloak over his uniform, and his crook for effect. Although he had lost an eye his vision was still sharp, and his wits sharper. He and his brothers had been on the trail of these Orcs for some time now, and it posed little challenge the experienced woodsmen. He knelt down and patted his dog. The pug looked up at him expectantly “Not much of a guard dog” he said, chuckling.
“Gustav! How much longer to ve haff to stay here?”
“Be patient, Werner, and don’t move around so much. You are a goat, remember?” he chuckled. He was enjoying this, and there was little he enjoyed these days. A good draught, a good sing, and a chance to beat the Orcs back to Albion where they belonged. Or preferably back under whatever rock they came from. The simple life he lived had been taken away from him and his brothers, and he blamed the Orcs and the Grand Alliance… bah, he spat, there was nothing grand about it. Looters, pilferers, thieves, vagabonds, and worse. He had not been keen on the Elves, either. But, the enemy of my enemy…  He seethed into silence before signalling to his fur-draped brothers that it was time to move. Gustav lead his band as they scampered down the hill towards cover on all fours, their disguise was working it seemed.

Night was coming.
The trap was set.

As they moved Gustav softly hummed their marching song, his single eye glinting in the twilight.


So, following that I put some work into a few more dwarfs to join Gustav, and there is a pic below of my progress so far:

Hope you like it!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adelaide Dungeonbowl Cup 2014 - First prize custom board

Hi everyone,

I was asked by Alex over at AFOUL to put together a custom board for their tournament. This was quite flattering as Alex is quite the terrain-maker himself and has been putting together a really impressive dungeon over the years. You can read more about the Dungeonbowl crew over at their website.

Alex also runs a newsletter about fantasy football gaming called "Put the Boot In". He interviewed yours truly in anticipation of their big event, which you can read here.

I do like to support Bloodbowl tournaments, although I'm not much of a tournament player, myself. They are usually smallish community groups and tournaments really are in the spirit of the game. Their tournament rules are the result of hours of gaming and in the interest of fair-play, which is all good in my book.

Anyway, on with the board!

Here is the board's frame, with the modular elements set up, and a few more detailed shots towards the end:

Those last few shots show my scratch-built teleporters, as well as some treasure chests I prepared for the prize. The two identical, square chests are scratch-built, with the others coming from a Hirst Arts mold. The last two shots are taken on my own dungeon boards that you might see a bit more of in the future. I'll be using the Cavern Crawl rules, which I really recommend checking out for this sort of thing!

For anyone interest in custom pitches, for individual purchase or for tournaments, please feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ludwig von Barkhoven

Hi everyone,

I am very proud to announce that, for the first time, one of my sculpts has become commercially available. Ludwig von Barkhoven is now available from Alternative Armies by clicking here. He is actually part of a giveaway at the moment.

So, the miniature!

I do love Napoleonics. With Flintloque I am able to actually get some games in, and enjoy the small-scale skirmishes I've wanted to do since watching Sharpe. After reading a scenario with Beethoven as the objective of a rescue mission, I immediately turned to Flintloque and how we could do something similar. We needed Beethoven... or is that Barkhoven?

Here he is in the green:

Gavin Syme from Alternative Armies very kindly accepted the miniature and set about putting him into production.

Here is a picture of the first cast, straight out of the machine and into Gavin's hand:

As you can imagine I was quite eager to get him painted, so when the casts arrived I got right on to it:

And here is the great job that Sam Croes over at AA did for their promo work:

The beauty of this process is that, even now, the esteemed Notables - the Flintloque Yahoo Group - are pitching together to put a backstory and rules together for this furry little chap. A really great community effort, bringing this lead dogman to life.

Have you got yourself Ludwig von Barkhoven? Be sure to send in some pictures, if you do!

Hope you like him.

- Christian

Happy New (?) Year

Looks like there was a bit of a false start to my blogging since I last posted. This is symptomatic of 2013 being, well, crap... for a number of reasons most which I won't bore you with. I did go through quite a slump both with model making and gaming in general. If any of you remember the Ancient Wall Fort project that is now lost in the post, with a lucky mystery owner somewhere between Melbourne and Sydney. That, amongst other things, was quite a blow. I guess sometimes it's good to learn that some people are just not worth wasting your time on.

I also know I'm not the only one that had a rough time last year.

But... I can happily say that, for me, all that has changed!

As 2013 drew to a close I rediscovered my enjoyment of wargaming and miniatures with Flintloque and its wonderful community of gamers and supporters. There's real fun to be had with this game, which I'll go into in later posts.

Yes, posts! I want to post at least once a month, even if it is this kind of reflective garbage (hopefully not!).

I had an amazing time away in South America, particularly the Atacama region of the Andes. My interest in archaeology ignited, I have also commenced (another) post-graduate degree: a master degree in Ancient History which, down the track will hopefully signal a career change.

You will also being seeing a shift into more sculpting... and a few more surprises along the way planned for later in the year that I hope you will all enjoy.

So, here's to the year ahead!

I can't wait to tell you all more about it.