Archive for the ‘Terrain’ Category

I haven’t posted in a few weeks…the reason is that I broke my arm on February 3. And yes, that was my birthday. Long story, but in essence for my 50th I decided to take a nose dive directly into a sidewalk. I fractured the upper end of my radius in my left arm, right where it joins the elbow. As with all medical situations, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that I don’t need a cast and should recover in 4-5 weeks total. A cast does not help with healing this kind of injury and would simply mean that the arm would atrophy. The bad news is that I am not in a cast, meaning I am less comfortable and that any slight arm rotation or jar sets off a string of curses. As the orthopedic surgeon said, “if you can man up, you’ll heal quicker.”

One week after the fall and the swelling has gone down enough for me to be able to wear my wedding ring again. Last night I actually was able to hold and file some 28mm miniatures without too much discomfort, so hopefully I’ll get back to painting soon. One thing I can’t do is lift anything with my left arm more than a coffee cup in weight, so it will be some time before I’m running demos or setting up games. In the meantime, here’s a picture of a Tomorrow’s War game we ran at Games Plus as a test of the new points system.

Defenders of the Crystal Processing Factory



First up, one of my subscribers asked for a photo of the Khurasan Dictator model next to a GW 40K figure. I think he plans to use this 15mm beauty as a smaller 28mm vehicle. Here you go:

Khurasan 15mm Dictator with 28mm Space Marines

Next up are a few shots of my Neo-Soviet VDV troops for Tomorrow’s War that I finished tonight. The photos are with my iPad; I’ll try to set up my good camera next week and take some better shots. I modeled the uniform after the present day Russian VDV summer camo pattern. As I mentioned in my last post, I elected to paint the beret in the distinctively non-camo aqua color of the Russian VDV.

Neo Soviet VDV based on Micropanzer SAS models

A little closer view of "my boys"

I will be painting up some APCs and armor to support these guys over the next couple of weeks.

Finally, here are a few shots of the Aliens vs. Aliens game we ran two weeks ago during our Ambush Sunday event. Mark Gipson posted up a good summary of the game on his blog already.

A view of the layout. I've added some new Old Crow and Critical Mass buildings recently.

The new buildings are a combination of Old Crow and Critical Mass Games structures. The new roads are from Hotz Arts and boy are they nice!

Another shot showing some of the Crustie positions.

Looking toward the attacker's side of the board.


My son Will has been working on a portable set up for post-apocalyptic miniatures in 15mm. It needs to be portable and pack up easily into a small space (he is heading off to college this weekend), so he chose to build everything on 6 inch by 6 inch tiles or multiples thereof. His game uses Tomorrow’s War as its core rules as he is viewing more organized conflict after the holocaust than some settings. He liked some of the Fallout style and artwork…below are some of his results. Everyone who has seen the buildings and layout in person are blown away. I’m still having a proud dad moment 🙂

Will’s background assumes a catastrophe in 1964 shortly after the election of Barry Goldwater as president. Barry’s promise of using tactical nukes in Vietnam escalated into a nuclear exchange with China, bringing about a post-nuclear apocalypse. It’s now 100 or so years later. Will wanted to set his game in a time period that allowed for the use of Vietnam era vehicles and equipment for some of the combatants, but still make use of the huge number of 50s era HO scale kits.

I love his sidewalks…the broken windows…the dingy coloration of the buildings and streets. What’s nice about the layout is that it could be used for zombie games or even Cold War urban street combat. He has plans to continue expanding the board and the figure ranges, so more to come (assuming studies and girls at Indiana University don’t get to him first).

We’ve been busy the past week; Little Wars convention in Chicago, a few pick up games of Ambush Alley and some serious painting for Ambush Mars (my background that will also be part of the Tomorrow’s War timeline).

First of all, let’s talk Little Wars. It was good to see some of my friends and my favorite vendors. Otherwise, I thought this year’s offering was ho-hum. Nothing stood out in the way of the games being run; the vendor area shrank yet again. I applaud the efforts of the current leaders of HMGS Midwest for their time and energy, but for many of you who know me, I am not a fan of the “HMGS” part of the equation. There are a lot of great things that Midwest could do (and if you talk to them, want to do), but they are saddled with crazy by-laws and fetters put on them by their affiliation. I am going to continue to go to Little Wars as a non-member, as the local people deserve my support, but I am done with HMGS membership of any kind.

As for Ambush Alley, we ran a pick up game last Friday at UGG in Grayslake using our full layout. The scenario was a contractor with a captive POI holed up in a complex with two fire teams of US troops in support. The US players needed to send a relief column up to the compound and escort them off a friendly board edge. I played the insurgents and probably had the worst die-rolling I have ever experienced LOL. If my insurgents could fire, they missed. If they checked morale, they broke. If they were a specialty figure (leader or RPG or SAW), they faded away. The best I did all night was to ping a Marine LAV-25 and force a morale check that resulted in a bail out. Otherwise the US players mopped the floor with me. The great thing about Ambush Alley is that I had a great time losing. We continue to test the new rules for vehicles and are finding the improvements to be just what the doctor ordered.

Ambush Mars continues to progress. My hanger (replete with working landing lights) is nearly finished, and I painted up my first USMC squad. I also got the basecoats done on 50+ Martian insurgents as their opponents. We’re probably about 3-4 weeks from me having everything finished and ready to take photos.

I also took a break from 15mm and painted a few Malifaux figures (Arcanist faction) just to keep my hand in the 28mm action.

Finally, take a look at While this new bridge is for WW2 Arnhem, if you leave the two arches off, it is highly suitable as a starting point for the bridge at Al Nasiriyah. I placed an order this week with that in mind. If nothing else, it will save me some scratchbuilding time.

This week we are running our regular Ambush Friday night at UGG in Grayslake, IL (see link to the right). As always, we start at 7 PM. We’re planning on a big Iraq game again, this time featuring insurgents and some Iraqi army regulars. See you then!

Took a break from Nasiriyah this week and started working on some items for my Ambush Mars game. Besides filing, basing and sanding about 50 figures for the game, I also began scratchbuilding some Martian structures using household items and GZG fittings.

Storage drawer converted to Martian building.

Tissue box with Platformer pieces, plastic card and GZG fittings.

Old packaging, a toner cartridge, a dowel and a bendy straw.

This last piece was being built for another game, but I am appropriating it for Mars and will repaint parts of it to fit the “NASA-esque” theme. I am also using Armorcast pipes, refinery pieces and building toppers, in addition to the GZG fittings. I think the board will have quite a bit of visual impact when finished.

Well, I got my order of GZG 15mm science fiction stuff over the weekend. The majority of the order were habitat buildings and some utility vehicles for the mining/refining complex. Here are a couple of pics from the GZG site of the assembled metal buildings:

GZG Basic Hut

GZG Comm Hut

GZG Hut Set

Here are some of the vehicles I ordered for the complex:

GZG Exploration Vehicle

GZG Mule and Trailer

My intent is to paint most of this stuff “NASA-style” with lots of white panels, black solar panels and red/blue lettering. I’m still working up the name of my fictitious future mining corporation. Other buildings are being assembled from Bed, Bath and Beyond plastic containers and Plasticard 🙂

For the actual mining/refining complex, I am starting to assemble some test structures using the IMEX/Pegasus Platformer stuff, especially from their chemical plant and electrical plant sets. Storage tanks, pipes, processing bins are what I am trying to achieve.

As for the terrain, we went to Home Depot over the weekend and purchased a few 2 x 2 plywood boards. We also attempted to color match NASA photos with the Behr paint color match system. We ended up with what is called Maple Glaze in the Behr flat primer + paint line. I plan to primer the boards with this color first, then add small rocks and sand to a second coat of paint. Once I have these finished I will post photos. I think the white/black buildings will make a nice contrast with the orange/brown terrain.

I get a lot of questions about where I get my figures, buildings, terrain, etc. I have now updated the blog to include a Resources page where I will post lists of manufacturers or sources by game. I figure it’s better to have this stuff on a permanent series of pages than buried in the blog posts. I am starting with 15mm Ambush Alley. Enjoy!