Notes on Dystopian Wars

After my post Another Parcel — More Dystopian Wars the other day I asked the question about painting the resin models. Specifically, were there pitfalls and traps to be avoided, that sort of thing.

Mark, one of me old mates from the Tring Wargames Club, famous in Tring, Berko and Winkwell, sent back the following information. I will paint some test pieces soon and try our his comments. When I have painted some stuff, I’ll convert it all to a page for future reference. In the meantime, here are his notes.

Hi Ian,

I am not going to give you advice on the actual painting as you are far better than me. :lol:

The thing we have noticed at Tring is that the release agent Spartan games use on the resin is a real B*gger to get off, stopping the paint adhering properly

I did my usual wash with hot soapy water and a soft toothbrush  that I do on all resin stuff before painting and when it had dried started to undercoat with black acrylic and a brush.  It was awful , in fact it looked like I had not washed them at all. Back to the drawing  board (sink)

I put all the models into hot water to soak.

Putting a small drop of washing up liquid direct on a model I brushed the neat soap onto the model getting a good froth, made sure I had scrubbed all the model, then rinsed it in hot water. This seemed to do the trick and paint adhered ok after that.

On speaking to the guys at club, all of them confirmed having the same trouble.  Some had just painted several layers of paint on after a first wash, but with all the fine detail on the models I was reluctant to do this.

I have since found the metal planes also seem to have a bit of a problem with the release agent, but not as much as the resin.

The models have a lot of detail to pick out either by brush or by wash.

Pendraken do I-94 decals on the Minibits site that fit quite nicely for the models . I used the ones for 6mm Aircraft, but I see on the 10mm armour listing are some Japenese flags and roundels of assorted sizes, as well as American white stars and flags.  Its probably worth looking at all of the ranges to see if there are other bits you might want like numbers

http://www.minibits.net/I-94-DecalsTransfers-c23/1150-1012mm-Armour-sc75/

The “bits and Pieces” will be optional weapons/equipment for the models. The Model Assigned Rules(MARS)  will cover this.

You might also want to mention that Tumbling Dice do some 1:600 AA guns that fit in quite nicely , also some of their planes may be suitable

Mark

Another Parcel — More Dystopian Wars

The box, the sticker

The box, the sticker

Why is it that the postman with the bulky item notice always manages to put it in your letterbox about 10 minutes after you collect your mail? Yep, yesterday he put a bulky item note in the letterbox after I had checked (and collected) the mail. Today I retrieved it the notice and went for a walk to the Post Office. I was expecting a parcel from the lovely folks at Magister Militum1, a parcel with two navies for Dystopian Wars. This was the order I placed with the credit note I had there from my screwed up delivery last year (screwed up by me when I put the wrong address for delivery).

The packing

The packing

First thing I noticed was that the box, apart from being light, rattled. I also noticed the “Fragile” sticker on it. The sticker and the rattling filled me with trepidation until I got the box home and opened it.

The contents however were in four separate packages and the whole box was topped off with the little expanded polystyrene knuckles that do such a good job of filling empty space in a package.

I cooked dinner for the troops and immediately after dinner I settled down to examine the contents.

The contents

The contents

There were the two fleet packs I had ordered as well as the two carriers. One fleet and carrier is the Empire of the Rising Sun (on the right in the photo to the right).

The other fleet was the Federated States of America (FSA — on the left), The two carriers each come with 10 aircraft bases, presumably for launching air raids against opponents and for providing a Combat Air Patrol for their own fleet.

I was also struck pretty immediately by the size of the FSA carrier. It is huge compared to the Empire of the Rising Sun’s carrier.

Empire of the Rising Sun

Empire of the Rising Sun

I did not open the carrier packages at this stage as I am not sure when I am going to get around to start painting them and at the same time, I am not sure whether I will need to move country soon or not as I am chasing new work at the moment.

I unpacked the Empire of the Rising Sun box. Inside are four cards with turning templates and game markers. There is also a packet with the statistics of each of the vessel and aircraft classes enclosed in the box. There is also a battleship, three cruiser or destroyer types, 9 small boats (destroyers or torpedo boats), 10 aircraft bases and two bombers in white metal.

There are also some bits and bobs – gun turrets for the large warships, flying bases for the bombers and some other bits that I have no idea about where they belong.

Federated States of America

Federated States of America

The second box, with the FSA fleet in it contained a mirror of the Empire of the Rising Sun with one battleship, three cruiser/destroyer types, 9 destroyer/torpedo/gun boat types, 10 aircraft bases, two bombers and the bits and bobs to finish off those models as well as flying bases.

Having already received the rules and cards direct from Spartan Games, I am tempted, at the least, to start with some test painting on the small vessels first. I can also use them as a learning tool to learn the rules as I don’t know any Dystopian Wars players in Singapore and whilst I would happily trek back to Tring and learn the game from the guys at the Tring Wargames Club, and I know the lady would be more than happy to spend a few days or weeks in ‘ertfordshire (I do miss Herts) the old finances are a bit stretched at the moment.

There is the option of heading up to Kuala Lumpur on the bus again as the Broken Bayonets have a couple of guys playing Dystopian Wars and let’s face it, it is much easier to learn a set of wargames rules when you are playing with someone who knows the rules — saves you have to read them at least.

The models themselves are sweet. I have had resin models of buildings before (and have a shed-load of them to paint for the 6mm World War 2 projects) but this is the first time I have had resin models to play with. The detail is crisp on the models and I am itching to get some paint on them sooner rather than later — although common sense tells me to hit the Interwebs and do some research on painting resin, just in case there is a pitfall or two I can avoid falling into.

Tonight’s bedtime reading will be the Dystopian Wars rules.


A note at the bottom of the page

1. Magister Militum has a new website and e-commerce system and I must admit it is a darn side easier to find things on that web site now than before. Waiting until I have sorted some new employment before trying out the e-commerce part, but a fellah can dream can’t he?

A Surprise Parcel

The Box

The Box

Well, not so much of a surprise, as I was expecting it but rather a surprise with the speed it arrived here. I was sat having a quiet cup of coffee yesterday afternoon when there was a loud, confident knock on the door. “Hello” thinks I, who can this be as we were not expecting to have to repel any boarders. Opening the door revealed the DHL man with the box pictured to the right, firmly in hand.

He asked, “Thomo the Lost?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Sign here please.” After signing the electronic gizmo he handed me the box. I checked the receipt on the outside and it was the items I had ordered from Spartan Games, in the UK, 5 days previously. This is a new record for me. I ordered late in the evening, Singapore time, on the 21st. The parcel arrived mid afternoon of the 26th. Less than 5 days from order to delivery, very impressive.

So, the contents?

The contents of the box - rules and paraphernalia for Dystopian Wars

The contents of the box – rules and paraphernalia for Dystopian Wars

Spartan Games were having a sale on some of the Dystopian Wars stuff, specifically the publications. I had ordered some vessels from Magister Militum and I guess that order is being processed but needed some rules, A special price at Spartan Games was hard to resist and so I ended up with a bundled price for the rules and two scenario books. I also took the opportunity to purchase a template set (turning templates and such) as well as some Dystopian Wars cards. The cards are used to add another dimension to the rules by providing a degree of “fog of war” into a game.

Now, I know I am late coming into Dystopian Wars, I had been resisting them for some time, concentrating instead on Aeronefs and Land Ironclads for my Victoria SciFi fix, but weakened when I had the credit and the prices at both places were so good. Yes, I know, another bright shiny thing for the lead-pile.

The rules are paperback whilst the scenario books are both hardback. They are all in the glossy, colourful, full of eye candy mould of modern rules and scenario books. The rules themselves run to 128 pages and cover air, land and sea rules for the games. There are detailed descriptions of each of the major combatants 1 as in there as well as tables of data for the different vessels, vehicles and aircraft. There is also a single quick reference sheet.

The scenario books are labelled Book 2 and Book 4 (I should investigate that further I suspect) and are 137 and 183 pages long respectively. Storm of Steel (Campaign Guide 2) covers operations in the Low Countries and British Isles. This is a combined Land and Sea campaign and uses some of the minor powers.

Campaign Guide 4, Operation Sirocco, looks at the African Fronts – new Carthage and Ottoman Sudan. This also involves most of the main protagonists (only the Empire of the Blazing Sun is not included) and adds the Ottomans and French. It also includes an additional set of rules known as Armoured Clash 2.

I have been thoroughly enjoying reading the rules at night before sleep – they have even replaced my regular pre-sleep entertainment of watching old episodes of Farscape and are giving me a nice SciFi fix at the moment, especially as I have finished reading the “Black Jack” Geary Lost Stars series.

I am also arguing that this does not add to the lead-pile as the books are paper and the models are basically resin so there is, unfortunately, no increase in my lifespan!

Dystopian Wars – at this stage – recommended!


The Bit at the Bottom

1. Dystopian Wars core nations included in the rules are the Prussian Empire, Kingdom of Britannia, Federated States of America, Empire of the Blazing Sun (Japan). Also included but no vessel statistics provided in the rules is the Covenant of Antarctica. Look at the Dystopian Wars General write-up for details of the other nations included in the Dystopian Wars Universe.
2. Armoured Clash is a game within the Dystopian Wars Universe for massed armoured battles.

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

Fresh from deciding on the Dystopian Wars forces to purchase, and waiting patiently for their arrival, I was getting myself into an Aeronef; Steampunk; Victorian Science Fiction mood. Reading around and in particular about the airships of the early 20th century I came across a little aircraft I had almost forgotten.

One of USS Macon's Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

One of USS Macon’s Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk. This was an aircraft designed to operate with airships and the one shown to the left is one of the aircraft that was carried by the USS Macon and of the same type as those carried by the USS Akron, two US Airships. The plane itself was a light biplane fighter aircraft.

The Steampunkness of the Sparrowhawk is partly because it was a “parasite fighter”, a small plane which has been designed to be deployed from a larger aircraft such as an airship or bomber. It was a small aircraft and was therefore the perfect fighter to be carried by an airship – see where I am heading with this?

The historical Sparrowhawk was armed but was primarily used for reconnaissance. The US Airships carried three or four of them.

Launching and recovery was by a hook/anchor, known at the time as the “flying trapeze”. The hook was mounted on the Sparrowhawk’s top wing and attached to the cross-bar of the trapeze.

So, you can see why I like this aircraft. I also particularly like the colour scheme shown in the picture and part of the painting research for the Dystopian Wars is now, I think, complete.

General characteristics of the aircraft (for the record)
Crew: 1
Length: 21.08 ft (6.27 m)
Wingspan: 25.5 ft (7.75 m)
Height: 10.92 ft (3.34 m)
Wing area: 185 ft² (16.1 m²)
Empty weight: 2,114 lb (959 kg)
Loaded weight: 2,776 lb (1,259 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-975-E3 radial engine, 415 hp (310 kW)

Performance
Maximum speed: 176 mph (153 knots, 283 km/h)
Range: 297 mi (258 nmi, 475 km)
Service ceiling: 19,200 ft (5,853 m)
Rate of climb: 1,690 ft/min (8.6 m/s)
Wing loading: 15 lb/ft² (78 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (240 W/kg)

Armament
Guns: 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns

Yep – One More Project

So, after screwing up an order with Magister Militum last year, I ended up with a credit. Magister Militum was very understanding and helpful and helped correct my error. Richard did ask me however to use the credit quickly and as any good wargamer will do, I managed to find something to spend the credit on in double quick time.

Dystopian Wars. More Steampunk/Victorian Science Fiction.

I am so looking forward to the delivery of these items.

2mm Arab Village Buildings

The 2mm village under-coated in Army Painter spray brown

The 2mm village under-coated in Army Painter spray brown

After the stinging criticism from Doug the other day that I was spending more time planning and preparing than actually painting, I added some paint to these. The original buildings were shown in a Diversion – 2mm Middle Eastern Villages.

As I am planning on trying a brown undercoat painting method for the Khmer and Burmese I thought I would practice in the 2mm buildings – and at least I have some paint on figures :lol:

A Diversion – 2mm Middle Eastern Villages

Irregular Miniatures and Brigade Models 2mm buildings and village

Irregular Miniatures and Brigade Models 2mm buildings and village

I thought the for a change last night I would not add paint to the 1/6000 ships mentioned in On the workbench – painting in progress as I did not have much painting time available and really, I wanted to give my eyes a bit of a rest. What could be better than to prepare some 2mm buildings for the Aeronef Peshawar project? For the curious, 2mm is approximately 1/900 scale which is about right working with the nominal 1/1200th scale of the Aeronefs and looks about right with the Land Ironclads stuff produced by Brigade Models.

I had purchased a load of Brigade’s 2mm scale Middle Eastern buildings as well as some Irregular Miniatures Middle Eastern villages. I had been debating about how to handle these. The Brigade stuff was absolutely going to have to be stuck to something as they were individual buildings (see 2mm terrain for how they looked fresh from the post office).

I finally decided to try them glued to 20-thou Plasticard. I worked on 30mm, 40mm and 80mm sized bases. By basing this way I can set multiple separated bombing targets for the Aeronefs and Aerostats as small villages or larger towns. The ruled grid in the picture is a 1cm square grid.

Cute aren’t they?

Back to the ships tonight – I want to finish painting them tonight and then spend time tomorrow labelling the bases, ready to post on Monday. Then I’ll out some paint on these and see how they look painted up.

2mm Terrain

The train set with a couple of additional items - like stations and embankment

The train set with a couple of additional items – like stations and embankment

I mentioned the other day receiving a parcel from Irregular Miniatures that contained, in addition to the 15mm Khmer, some terrain for the Peshawar project. That is, 2mm scenery for my Aeronefs and eventually Land Ironclads to fight over. I have already received some terrain previously so thought I would lay it out tonight and see what I had in total.

The first item was the train set. Every boy wants one and I have a little one – size doesn’t matter after all :-P

I have been thinking that for the Victorian Science Fiction project that I’ve nicknamed Peshawar, one end of the world will be the green fields of England and Holland, the other will be the dry wastes of Central Asia and the northern part of South Asia.

The locomotives, carriages and stations

The locomotives, carriages and stations

Connecting them will be a train line. The track, stations and locomotives are shown above. The image to the right is a close up of the locomotive and carriages and some of the track.

I selected the 19th century Iron Horse set and whilst it looks a little American Western in style, the trains will work nicely for Peshawar.

I had also ordered some terrain packs of villages, woods and hills, road sections, Middle Eastern village and buildings. They are illustrated below.

In what can best be described as a typical wargamer over achievement I also ordered buildings from Brigade Models as they had just released some really nice stuff too. Brigade also make the Aeronefs. The items purchased are shown below.

I am now wondering how best to handle the terrain for the Aeronef game. Part of me says to keep it loose but that is not so easy with 2mm terrain, it is easy to knock and move around the table. In one of the photos below you can see a brown board. This is an MDF board, about 3mm think and slightly larger than a sheet of A4 paper.

I have been trying to decide between modelling little terrain vignettes on small pieces of MDF with the edges suitable tapered to sit as throw down terrain on a table top. The other option is to build terrain squares on the A4 sized MDF sheets – some Central Asian/Middle East, the others European with some connecting pieces in between. Still pondering.

In the meantime, below is the rest of the buildings and such I purchased.

The Irregular Miniatures Horse and Musket Terrain Pack

The Irregular Miniatures Horse and Musket Terrain Pack

 

Irregular Miniatures Middle Eastern village

Irregular Miniatures Middle Eastern village

 

Irregular Miniatures road pack

Irregular Miniatures road pack

 

Brigade Models European (British) buildings

Brigade Models European (British) buildings

 

Brigade Models Middle Eastern village buildings - also a couple of forts in here

Brigade Models Middle Eastern village buildings – also a couple of forts in here

 

Brigade Models industrial and agricultural buildings and some more houses on the MDF board described above

Brigade Models industrial and agricultural buildings and some more houses on the MDF board described above

 

The Postman Cometh

The package from Irregular that arrived in my mailbox today

The package from Irregular that arrived in my mailbox today

One of the nice things about the mail box in Singapore is that parcels like this fit in them. The postman open a door and he can place mail in all letterboxes even when those letters or parcels are too big to fit through the slot in the letterbox. Good design really.

I received a parcel from Irregular Miniatures today. I ordered some stuff (unlike Navwar, Irregular accepts orders by electronic means). I ordered on 12 March 2013. On 13 March 2013 Ian Kay of Irregular put my parcel in the post and it arrived in my letterbox here in Singapore today, 21 March 2013. I’m impressed and I do love the service from Irregular – they are one of the best.

I’d ordered some 2mm terrain for the Peshawar project (1/1200th scale aeronefs and Land Ironclads – Victorian Science Fiction). I also ordered some of Irregular’s 15mm ancient figures, in part because I have never painted any. I’ve painted their 2mm and 6mm figures (and I’ll be honest here, the 6mm were not my favourites – I was spoiled early on by first being exposed to Heroics and Ros too many years ago to remember).

The contents of the package from Irregular Miniatures

The contents of the package from Irregular Miniatures

The 15mm figures will make up a Khmer DBA army and I will comment on them further later.

The 2mm terrain was some villages and woods and again I’ll comment on those in a later post. The best was the 2mm train-set. I have painted some of that before in  Oz and they look fine. They will fit in well to then Colonial world that is Peshawar, my Victorian Science Fiction universe.

Now I am just waiting for my copy of Shipwreck which should arrive any day now, and my Indian and Chinese navies. Judging from the past performance of Navwar, my letter should arrive in their shop tomorrow or Monday then 7 to 10 days later a parcel should arrive here.

In the meantime, tomorrow night will be set aside for a serious planning session to work out how to handle the 2mm terrain. Until that post appears here, goodnight!

The Decision is In!

OK, after much deep consideration I have settled on the next wargaming project. It is:

All of this is in addition to finishing the American Civil War figures and pondering 20mm World War 2 ((I’m pretty sure that will be 20mm)).

The perfect wargamer’s solution.