Posts Tagged ‘Terrain’

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).


My friend Skip Peterson of Legends in Time has been busy working on the terrain boards for the Ambush Alley Games demos at Historicon. I thought I’d share a couple of photos of the work in progress. We still need to do a bit of drybrushing and add trees/buildings, but here is the 4′ x 8′ board for the Afghanistan Bala Baluk scenario:

A view of the irrigation ditch and trenches.

You can see some of the fields in place at the edge of the table. The scenario is set in November.

A few USMC figs (Elheim 20mm) in place on the board for scale.

Skip has outdone himself this time! I hope everyone enjoys the terrain at Historicon.

This Ambush Sunday we will be play testing a few scenarios from the upcoming Cold War Gone Hot supplement from Ambush Alley Games. I have been writing like mad (over 30 pages on Sunday alone) since the deadline is looming for the first draft of the book. My Soviet T-80s and T-72s have been repaired and re-based (some minor hits taken during a basement reorganization), so we should be good to go. We’ll also plan on having an organizational meeting for those who’d like to help me get ready for Historicon (I am in charge of the AAG demo tables this year). I am in need of vehicle assemblers (I have 17 Syrian T-62s that need putting together!), painters and terrain makers. As always, game time is at 1 PM at Unique Gifts and Games in Grayslake, IL. Many of us have been gathering a little earlier over at Something’s Brewing next door for lunch, so you’re welcome to enjoy the sarcasm and joking, I mean conversation and constructive debate 🙂

I finally got a chance to put my brush back to work on some projects that have been sitting on my painting table.

First up is a 28mm Victorian fantasy figure from the Malfaux range; Ramos the Arcanist.

Ramos the Arcanist on a Microarts Studio base.

Close up of Ramos

Next up is a Gamecraft 15mm Middle Eastern office building.

The newest edition to our Middle Eastern layout.

In case you were wondering, I do windows 🙂

Finally, the long awaited debut of the USMC on Mars for the upcoming Ambush Mars/Tomorrow’s War setting. The figures are Rebel Miniatures Earth Force in 15mm.

The USMC advance across the Martian surface.

Another angle on the USMC

Close up of USMC trooper

I still haven’t set up my macro lighting equipment for photography. That will be this weekend. In the meantime, I continue to crank out Middle Eastern buildings and more 15mm science fiction figures. I am nearly done with the Sons of Mars (my refinery workers turned insurgents). I am using Rebel Miniatures Feyadeen figures to represent these guys. Stay tuned.

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!

The collecting, painting and modeling continues to grow our layout for Middle Eastern games. We are now capable of filling a 4 x 4′ board with 15mm buildings…and we have about 10 more to paint and add to the scenery.

The 15mm layout continues to grow in size.

Since some of you are starting to collect and play in 15mm, I’ll use this post to talk about what terrain we’re using. First of all, the roads are all 25mm roads from JR Miniatures in these pictures. The gray roads are the “Imperial Road” system, and the brown roads are the “Dirt Road” system.

Another wide view of the layout.

We really like the contrast between the gray concrete and the brown roads against the desert terrain and sandblasted Middle Eastern buildings.

For buildings, we have quite a mix. For pre-painted buildings, we have a few Miniature Building Authority Middle Eastern and Eastern Europe buildings. We also just recently purchased several buildings from Crescent Root Studios, who took a few orders back in February before closing the website again.

The building in the center of the photo and the one behind it are from Crescent Root.

We also have a few Model Power HO scale buildings that we have “Middle Easternized” with posters and slogans.

Some of the boys pose in front of an appropriate revolutionary poster. Converted Model Power building.

The rest of our layout is largely Gale Force 9 pre-paints from their Flames of War boxed set and JR Miniatures buildings that we have painted. We have not stayed exclusively with the Middle Eastern buildings.

HMMWV contests a hotspot next to a converted JR building. The original had a peaked roof and half-timbers. It now looks right at home.

Here are some model height views of the layout.

Our version of Ambush Alley.

Here come the Marines past the market building (purchased from Deimos Designs).

Another view of the back of the market.

As far as the base terrain boards, we were using flocked mats, but recently I purchased some of the EZ-Terrain from The Terrain Guy in “dryland” configuration. It is essentially made from the zig-zag floor foam floor tiles usually used in children’s play areas. Allen has managed to find a good flocking material and paint that seals everything to the material. It’s lightweight, easy to store and very durable.

You can see the terrain tiles in this close up of a building fight.

So if you’re putting together your own Ambush Alley/Force on Force terrain for the Middle East, hopefully this post gives you a few ideas and sources.

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.