Thursday, 13 June 2019

Blood & Plunder - Galleon

The Treasure Ship

Galleons were large, multi-decked sailing ships first used by the Spanish as armed cargo carriers and later adopted by other European states from the 16th to 18th centuries during the age of sail and were the principal fleet units drafted for use as warships until the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the mid-1600s.  Galleons generally carried three or more masts with a lateen fore-and-aft rig on the rear masts, were carvel built with a prominent squared off raised stern, and used square-rigged sail plans on their fore-mast and main-masts.

Such ships were the mainstay of maritime commerce into the early 19th century, and were often drafted into use as auxiliary naval war vessels—indeed, were the mainstay of contending fleets through most of the 150 years of the Age of Exploration—before the Anglo-Dutch wars brought purpose-built ship-rigged warships that thereafter dominated war at sea during the remainder of the age of sail.

The Firelock Games Galleon is a truly massive model and will certainly turn a few heads when put onto the table.  Ideal for larger games or multiplayer games where the objective is to capture the treasure ship.

I painted mine up with the idea of using it to represent a Spanish Treasure Ship.  I followed the same principles I used with my other ships and rigged it in the same way.  Of course being a much bigger ship there was a lot more rigging to do.

I will do the flags for this ship at the same time as I do the flags for all my existing ships.

Pictures here show my Galleon with French crew as I still have yet to purchase and paint any Spanish figures.

A few more shots with some other ships for scale.

and finally a few more crew and characters that I've finished.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Blood & Plunder - Frigate

Light Frigate

With my new rigging done it was time to finish off my Firelock Games Frigate.

The light Frigate is a small warship designed to be able to keep up with the small and fast ships used by privateers and pirates.  Capable of carrying a decent amount of firepower and a sizable crew this ship will likely form the backbone of any Pirate hunters force.

Building - New Rigging


Some time ago I posted up pictures of the ships I had worked on but there was always something about them that didn't feel right.  Something that needed to be done better. After looking long and hard at what I had done it became apparent to me that the sails and rigging needed redoing.  Dead-eyes needed to be added to enhance the look of the rigging and the sails needed a complete overhaul.  
Thankfully Rick Casler was able to come up with a fantastic way of doing sails and Old Glory had perfect deadeyes in their shipyard range.

I also changed my rigging from elastic to metal so that I could magnetise climbing sailors to it down the line.

I used metal wire which I twisted up using a small hand drill.  First I threaded one of the Old Glory deadeyes onto the wire before putting the ends of the wire into my drill.  Carefully I held the deadeye in one hand and the drill in the other.  The turning action of the drill causes the wire to twist around itself forming a rope like pattern.

Next I put the wire through the holes in the mast pieces.

And then the other end where the deadeye is through the holes on the ship body.

I found it less time consuming to do all of these before moving onto the next stage.

Cut off the wire using snips.  I used the line around the ship as my guide.   Some damage was done to the paintwork whilst I installed the wires but this is easily touched up at the end.

Eventually you will end up with something resembling this which in my opinion is perfectly acceptable.

To go a stop further I used thin elastic to finish off the shrouds.  I spaced each piece out 1.5cm to form rectangles.   I tied one end of the elastic on then thread the other under and over the metal wires before tying it off at the other side.   Using a piece of white paper behind the rigging makes it much easier to see what you are doing.  
I also drew lines 1.5cm apart on a piece of paper to use as a measuring guide to get each cross piece evenly spaced.

Once done I put a small dot of superglue on each knot before using matt varnish to take away the shine left by the glue.

Once all the glue is dry its just a simple matter of cutting off excess pieces to tidy things up.

From there you can continue to add more rigging to suit your taste.

Hope that helps.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Blood & Plunder

Ahoy me hearties.

Which is something i'm pretty sure real Pirates never said but I guess the people to ask would be those at Firelock Games who are responsible for Blood and Plunder a 28mm scale skirmish game set in the golden age of piracy.

Now the Blood and Plunder setting is slightly different then your normal pirate adventure.  You wont find the Kraken guarding Davy Jones' locker, nor will you find long lost ships crewed by ghostly visages.  The folks at Firelock have gone with a much more historical setting for their game.  Here you will find units of Spanish Lanceros, French Boucaniers and other aptly named troops fighting it out on both land and sea.

If you are even just slightly interested in this fascinating period of history then I thoroughly recommend taking the trip to the Firelock Games website page where you will find more than enough information and videos on how the game plays.

I started my interest in Pirates way back to when Wargames Foundry started releasing their range of Pirate figures.  Of course these now seem much more like Hollywood  styled Pirates, which there is nothing wrong with, compared to the gritty look of the Firelock Games models.

I signed up on a standing order system to receive every single set of Wargames Foundry Pirates as and when they were released.  I wrote up my own rules, loosely based on the Western 'Rules with no Name' system and off I went.

Fast Forward a few years and those figures I spent so long painting have been re-homed to make room for other goodies.

Of course this was not the end of my fascination and I had been building up a large collection of books to draw inspiration from.

With the release of the Blood and Plunder range and rules set it signalled a time for me to restart my Pirate collection.

Monday, 15 April 2019

15mm Sci-Fi


Gruntz 15mm SCI-FI is a dedicated 15mm fast play wargame designed for skirmish level play using combined arms. You can use miniatures from any 15mm SCI-FI manufacturer and the rules are not restricted to a set genre or background setting.  You can pick up, learn  and play Gruntz quickly and add to the basic rules with the included optional rules with more advanced movement, turn sequence and activation. 

Gruntz 15mm has been specifically designed to support tanks, support vehicles, air support, mecha and artillery. Vehicle rules are integral to the game and not a bolt on.  It is a combined arms gaming experience with support for all manufacturers of 15mm sci-fi and modern figures. 

Gruntz 15mm has manufacturer support from Critical Mass Games,  Ground Zero Games (GZG), Khurasan, Rebel Minis, Brigade 15mm and Old Crow Models to name just a few.  The full range of figures are supported by the Gruntz rules including specialists, tanks, mecha, robotic, alien races, air support and air transport.

Of course I am not just limiting my figures to the Gruntz 15mm rules.  I also have plenty of mercenaries and alien types that would work very nicely with AE-Bounty.

Alien Encounters - Bounty is a science-fiction miniatures game set in the distant future of a galaxy shattered by greed. Players pit bounty hunters, mercenaries and pirates against one another in an effort to eke out a living among the chaos of the galaxy. The game is intended for use with the Darkson Designs line of AE-Bounty ‘true’ 28mm models but is compatible with any 1/48 scale models or miniatures.

AE-Bounty let's players build crews of Pirates, Mercenaries, and Bounty Hunters, equip them with a variety of deadly weapons and useful gear. Players use a flexible points-free crew creation system to build their forces, selecting units, heroes, aliens and gear to create a powerful force they can use against other players. Players can mix and match the various alien races and fully customise the weapons and equipment of their units, giving players countless options from which to construct their crew.

Super Heavy Tank tanks can dominate an open battlefield.

Infantry and Mecha although more vulnerable in the open can take advantage of dense terrain and can swiftly move around to make better use of any available cover.

Main Battle Tanks in company with armoured infantry transports advance.

A small armoured scout vehicle spots approaching enemy troops.

A colossal Mecha with imperialist ground troops.

Light jet-bikes can advance well ahead of the main battleline.  Their speed makes up for their lack of armour.

An alien Bounty Hunter takes up position to use his sniper rifle to pick out key targets.

A small band of mercenaries look for spoils.

 Heavy weapons teams add much needed firepower to infantry squads.

Those with bounties on their heads do their best to remain undetected.

More successful Bounty Hunters can afford decent power armoured suits. 

Native Aliens guard a hidden lair.

Imperialist Commander .

Aliens can come in all shapes and colours.

Small fire support vehicles accompany the imperialist advance.