“A tale of the sea and stars”

So the madness that is He-month has ended (for a short while at least), and so it’s time to return not only to normality but also a return to a once regular (some might say too regular!) feature. Yes it’s Dystopian Wars, Prussian Navy boats again! (Stop groaning Simon). Way back in January it was my birthday and so in February (he’s never been very prompt with this) Myles decided to get me a present Reiver Cruiser unpaint(actually I think it was just an excuse so I’d drive him to the Warstore), anyway as regular readers might (though probably wont) remember my Prussian fleet was all but completed towards the end of last year, but I had stated that I could do with some more medium sizes ships. Well guess what I got for my birthday, three “Reiver class Cruisers”.

Painting on these followed the same old tried and tested method that I’d used on the rest of my fleet. So after being cleaned up (actually the casting on the resin ships didn’t seem as clean as the other ships I’ve done before) and their guns were glued in place, out into the garage they went for a blow over with the matt black spray paint, and then they were touched up with the brush. Next a dry-brushing of chainmail was applied before the decks were painted in using chocolate brown highlighted with leather brown. The hulls and gun turrets were then Riever class cruiser paintundercoated in dark grey before I added the stripes of light grey and black with a fairly dry-brush again, and then the “dots” were added in coffee. Finally I added some details on the funnels and a few other bits and pieces in bronze. Then as always it was a dousing with a “Quickshade” soaked brush before a final spray coat of matt varnish. There that wasn’t too arduous to read again was it?

Now being the industrious chap I am, I decided while I was doing these I’d also have a go at making some proper scenery for Myles’s “X wing” games, as the cardboard counters in the box game weren’t asteroids (a)“doing it” for me. So I started picking a “beam” of polystyrene I’d liberated from out of a bin at work into small balls to make up some “asteroids”, after I was happy with the shapes and sizes I mixed up some “Tetrion”,PVA glue and some water until it was at a thick paint like consistency and after poking a cocktail stick into each one for something to hold, painted this over the top halves of the pieces, then left this to dry stuck in the rest of the polystyrene beam. Next day I turned them over and painted asteroids (b)the other half with another mix of the same. Over the next two days I added a second coat of the same, and began thinking about how I was going to mount these up. First thought was clear plastic flying stands, but on closer investigation these would be too low if I got a decent amount of the stalk into the styrene. Them I had a brainwave (this doesn’t happen often, so I have to make the most of it when it does!!), I’d recycle some of the old knackered paint brushes I have in my brushes stand (see as I keep telling my wife, you should never asteroids (c)throw anything away!!). So I began by marking out some MDF bases and then cut some 30mm MDF squares to go on top of these to add weight and thickness. Then I cut down some of the paint brushes down to about 75mm long (obviously it the end with the bristles that came off). After gluing the squares in place I drilled 4mm holes through both layers and then sanded the cut ends of the brush handles till they formed a tight fit. These were then PVA glued in place and given a couple of coats of matt black emulsion. Meanwhile the now dry asteroids were first painted black, then really heavily dry-brushed in chocolate brown, then again in a mix of butternut and chocolate brown and a final light dry-brushing of a butternut and asteroids (d)coffee mix finished them off. The smaller ones were then attached to the larger ones using cocktail sticks glued in place and painted black, before 4mm holes were drilled into the larger ones and they were glued onto the “brush” flying stands. They are not all the same height (as asteroid fields are three dimensional rather than two after all) but were adjusted by eye next to one of the ships till they looked about right to me. Now I realise that they should really have had their photo taken against a black background, but a) I thought they would be easier to see them and b) well I haven’t done Myles’s 3’x3′ board yet. Anyway at least he now has some scenery to fly around, I’m rather pleased with the final result.

Myles however was less enthusiastic with my present, stating “Oh so you did these for your blog then”. You just can’t win sometimes can you.

Till next week, cheers Roger.

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6 Responses to “A tale of the sea and stars”

  1. Carrion Crow says:

    Very nice, Roger. I have some polystyrene packaging bits lurking in my garage and keep looking at them wondering what I could use them for. Walls for Frostgrave? Or maybe the beginnings of a certain Eternian castle…
    No! Clowns first! Then we’ll see…

  2. Roger Webb says:

    Thanks Jez, I am constantly filling our house with cra.. sorry useful pieces I think might come into play during wargame builds and such. My wife is really proud of my foresight and ingenuity, and doesn’t mind me doing it at all! (I didn’t even sound convincing to myself then!!!).

    Cheers Roger.

  3. I fear you do me a great disservice Roger, as I’m full of admiration for your Prussian vessels, and am in awe of your camo. Its actually good to see some more ships as presumably at some point they’ll be a fleet shot coming, possibly with those wonderful islands you made? I also enjoy reading how you paint them… it reminds me of how I cut’n’paste my Alien postings 😉

    Great work on the asteroids too. Lovely and innovative, and they look much better than the attempts I see on Ebay. Great stuff 🙂

    • Roger Webb says:

      Just gentle teasing Simon honest, cut’n’paste why the heck haven’t I thought of that!!! I have to go back and check how I painted them each time (memory ain’t what it was you see), hopefully that should be it for Prussians for a while, though I might try and see if I can buy a couple of the aircraft movement trays, as I could do with two more but don’t want to buy a load more planes that will them also need movement trays and so on. One day I’ll do a batrep for Dystopian wars around the islands, but as it stands I’m still waiting for Myles to paint up his fleet, he’s taken some of them with him to Coventry (where he now lives), but I don’t think he’s touched them yet, still his paintjobs are a lot more complicated than mine.

      I was rather pleased with the asteroids especially as the cost me nothing, and I even had all the stuff I need here already.

      Cheers Roger.

  4. They look superb, I really must do something like this for my collection – I shall definitely been basing mine on these.

  5. Roger Webb says:

    Thanks Michael. They really are nice models, this is now an area that I ever fancied doing myself my eldest son is the one obsessed with these types of game (X wing, Full thrust, Dreadfleet etc…) and he sort of conned me into this. But I must admit the game play really well as well.

    Cheers Roger.

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