Sunday, July 30, 2017

Zulu War British

 For my African gaming I've previously focused on WWI era East Africa. But with the release of "Death in the Dark Continent" and it's large variety of armies, I thought it was time to move a bit father back into the Victorian era.   A few years ago I had an order from Warlord go missing, and they were kind enough to throw in a few free sprues of their Zulu War British with the replacement package. Though they wouldn't have been my first choice for a new army (I would have preferred Sudan era troops), who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth. 

Looking at online references, there seems to be a lot of variety in the red and blue shades people are using for the uniforms.  I eventually settled on the following Vallejo color triads:

Red 70926, Carmine Red 70908, Scarlet 70817
Black 70950, Dark Sea Blue 70898, Dark Sea Blue/Field Blue 70964 Mix

The sprue doesn't come with a ton of options, which is a tad disappointing considering there seems to have been enough open space to add more.  I would have liked to see a couple of more heads and arm variants, such as can be found on the new Perry set

 Warlord does not have a plastic command sprue like the Perry set, so you're forced to buy command from elsewhere.  I had read the plastic figures were designed to match the Empress Zulu War range, so got a pack of their officers. They are a bit more slight with thinner bases, but I think they'll blend in fine once painted.

While Perry's seem to be the better of the two sets, overall I am happy with the final figures.  Warlord recently had a 50% off sale on loose sprues so I went ahead and picked up another squad (plus some Natal warriors).  Northstar is also working on a VSF set of rules, so I expect these will be pressed into service there as well. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dark Age Farm Elements

I needed something besides trees for my Saga gaming terrain, so I've assembled some elements to let me build a farm settlement. 

The buildings are Saxon and Anglo-Dane dwellings from 4Ground.  They are a bit too clean looking for me right out of the bag, so I've opted to repaint them and give them a bit more of a lived in look. 

The fenced in farm plots were built using the wattle fencing kits from Renedra. I used four frames in total, giving me a large pasture (animals still to be painted), two garden plots and a small grain field.

For the gardens, I used various HO plants from Walthers SceneMaster line.  I'm not sure if the crops I found were actually present in Northern Europe at that time, but I figure your average person  isn't going to be an expert on ancient farms.

The grain field was created using 6mm pull-apart static grass from Bachmann.  I went with the Alpine grass, as it has little flecks in it that I thought might pass as ears on spring grain. 

I've probably built too much for a small table, but it will give me a some variety in my games.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Hong Kong Shop and Restaurant Signs

I was recently in Hong Kong for vacation and used the opportunity to collect some more street signs and other architectural details for terrain construction.  All images are free for personal use.  

The initial set of elements comes from the Hong Kong Museum of History, which is well worth a visit. There are reconstructions of various buildings and street scenes from the 1800's and early 1900's that can provide a lot of inspiration.  Unfortunately the lighting is very dim in most of the halls, but I've done my best to lighten up the elements.

Traveling Chinese Opera show:

Taoist Shrine:

Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank:


Pawn Shop:

Chinese Medicine Shop:

Clothing Shop:

Tea Shop:


In addition to the street scenes, the museum has some beautiful model ships and interesting diorama of the Chinese destruction of British opium that kicked off the First Opium War

Lastly, here are a few signs from the streets of Kowloon.  These are modern, but I think could still work for the early 20th century.