Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another Building for the Boma

Well, another step closer to finishing this project.  This is the last of the major buildings for the boma and I am basing it on this image:
Source: Flickr
I don't have the table space to build something this large, so I opted to create a smaller building that hopefully captures the feel of this.  For the base, I started with a GameCraft adobe building.

The second floor was constructed out of art board and designed to be a sleeve that would fit over the MDF building. I've marked the board to show how far down it should go to allow the windows to sit at an appropriate level for the figures.The window slots were cut out and bits of strip styrene glued to the inside of the card to hold the second story in the proper position.

Here is the assembled second floor sleeve resting on the building. For added stability, I added a ring of card around the top.

Next came plastic windows and some basswood strips to give the upper level a half timbered appearance.

After a bit of paint had been added, it blended in well with the lower level.

For the roof, I framed the edges with more strip styrene to mimic what was seen on the actual building.  The top of the roof was built and painted according to the method I have documented in earlier builds.  I also decided that I didn't like the original door opening of the adobe building, so framed the door with additional basswood.

 And here is the final product:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tibetan /Qinghai House in 28mm

We're still a ways off from being able to start our Back of Beyond gaming, but I thought I'd take a look for some suitable buildings for western China/Tibet.  Sadly, there is very little out there in Chinese buildings for 28mm miniatures, and it all seems to be most appropriate for eastern China. Therefore, I decided to try building something myself.

For those of you not familiar with the architecture of this region, here are a few examples of what I wanted:

Qinghai Village
Tibetan Village
Tibetan Village
Luckily for me, this type of architecture is pretty easy to build.  The buildings are fairly blocky (slight slope on fancier buildings), with flat roofs covered with either clay or shingles. Rather than use MDF or foamboard, I felt this was a subject that could easily be tackled with paper and card, with a few other items added for detailing.  Here is my test building, a Tibetan house:

The house was built over an inner card core that had vertical walls and a base that extended out a 1/4 inch from the core.  The outer walls are laid at an angle and secured with glue to the base and the upper edge of the inner core.  The roof is a separate piece, edged in strip styrene, than can be removed to place figures inside.

The walls were textured with stone printouts from that have been blown up 120%. For the doors, windows, and trim, these were all taken from photographs of real architectural details I found online using Google images. Most of them required modifications in Photoshop to adjust for distortions caused by the camera angles. As I do not own the original images and they were not labeled as being free for public use, I will not be making these elements available publicly - sorry!

To try to add a bit more depth to a paper building, I have recessed the doors and windows, and built the awnings and support beams on an additional layer of card.

The roof was coated in Liquitex natural sand texture gel and the chimney built from card and toothpicks. The flag stand was built from another toothpick (luckily my wife had some that were decoratively carved) supported by jewelry wire painted tan.  The prayer flags are scaled down photos, again from Google, that have a reverse image added to the back side. They were sealed over the wire using a glue stick, and the edges painted to hide the white seams.

At the end, everything was sealed with a matte spray to hide the paper shine and help hold everything in place.

Overall I am very happy with the final product, and at a cost of around $20 USD for the supplies, I think I got a pretty good bang for my buck. I still have to finish up my African boma before I can really dive into building more of this terrain, but I'm excited to try tackling some of the more complex multistory buildings.

Note: I have now put part of my architectural details collection online.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Captive of the Wa' poo poo Cannibals

 Poor Captain Hans Schroeder.  The lone survivor of the lost outpost attack, he was captured by the cannibalistic Wa' poo poo tribe as he desperately hoped to return to his beloved Hilde.

The lands of the the Wa' poo poo were deep in the jungle where few Europeans had ever traveled.

And their village was heavily fortified and defended by fierce warriors.

But his future father in law, the German governor, was unwilling to leave Hans to his terrible fate, so a rescue force was dispersed. European officers fielded two columns of askari, along with a detachment of ruga-ruga, who advanced down the left and center tracks to the village. The askari were guided by two Masai scouts.

While on the right flank, some European hunters guided more ruga-ruga and some Masai warriors along the edge of the swamp.

The movements of the rescue force did not go unnoticed, and Wa' poo poo warriors began crossing the rivers to intercept them.

Wa' poo poo spearmen wait at the intersection of the left and center tracks, ready for whichever column arrives first.

 But before they can attack the left column, careless porters disturb an annoyed silverback, bringing everyone to a halt.

Meanwhile, a Wa' poo poo witch doctor across the river places a curse on the center column, and the European commander is unable to calm the nerves of his men.

On the right, the hunter guides his men towards the swamps.  There is movement in the distance, but so far everything is quiet.

The gorilla grabs one of the askari, while his comrades move on in pursuit of the main objective.  Luckily he is able to kill the silverback and rejoin the rest of the men.

 The center column spotted a group of Wa' poo poo warriors crossing the river and manged to shoot one down. However, the witch doctor continues his evil chanting, and the entire squad runs off into the jungle in terror, never to be seen again.  It is a significant loss for the German commander.

 The right column continues their advance through the swamp.  Though infested with crocodiles, the reptiles seem to have no taste for the men passing through.

However, the same cannot be said for the lion lurking in the bushes on their left.  He comes leaping through the brush, and drags off two members of the hunter's entourage.

 The remaining askari unit encounters a group of spearmen, while a group of warriors is not far behind.  Startled, both units fire into one another, but no one is hit.

A Wa' poo poo scout leaps out to attack the German allied witch doctor, but he is gunned down by the hunter before he can cause trouble.

The askari and spearman continue to fire at one another, this time with some success, while the two scouts work to protect the flank of the askari.

 Along the right track, the ruga-ruga spot two units of Wa' poo poo.  The men in the swamp are still being ignored by the crocodiles.

 So far, the Wa' poo poo and the animal attacks have prevented the German forces from crossing the river.  Can they get to the village in time before poor Hans becomes stew?

 On the right, one unit prepares to attack the advancing warriors, while ruga-ruga and Masai begin fording the river.  However, they must be wary of the Wa' poo poo witch doctor lurking on the other side.

The battle on the left turns into a slaughter for both sides, and the survirors of the two units both flee the field.  The battle between the warriors and the scouts continue under the trees.  The Wa' poo poo chief arrives, along with a unit of German ruga-ruga.

Ruga-ruga wipe out a unit of Wa' poo poo spearmen, while the white hunter takes aim at the enemy witchdoctor, eventually bringing him down.

The warriors break off combat with the scouts (after killing one), and charge towards the ruga-ruga, who are now threatening their chief.

 The ruga-ruga allow the Masi to ford the river first, and the scout uncovers an ambush party of warriors hiding in the trees.

The ruga-ruga have gunned down the warriors, and kill the chief's entourage. He will flee into the undergrowth until he can get back across the river.

  The Masai halt their river crossing and wait for the ruga-ruga to shoot down the Wa' poo poo.

Ignoring the chief, the ruga-ruga on the left rush across the river, while the surviving troops on the right do the same.   The German command team is following behind.

Hans' face swells with tears! "Has a rescue team arrived? Am I saved?  Or will the remaining Wa' poo poo stop them and then eat me for dinner?"

 Ambushes are sprung on both sides of the village.  The remaining Masai scout chases down the fleeing chief and engages him in hand to hand combat.

The ruga-ruga gun down the attacking spearmen after being assisted by an annoyed rhino who was drinking nearby.

 The ruga-ruga, a hunter, and the German command finish off the ambushing spearmen, while the Masai warrior slays their chief.   This inglorious death shakes many of the Wa' poo poo units in the area.

German forces get in position to assault the walls.

Ruga-ruga scale the wall, but are shot down before they can attack the natives.

The German commander and his remaining troops begin an assault from the other side.

There are few survivors, but enough to drive the archers away.

The remaining Wa' poo poo warriors go after the German command, while the musketeers try to hold off the Masai onslaught.  The Wa' poo poo standard bearer does his best to keep his warriors worked up during this final battle.

The Masai kill the musketeers and standard bearer, then rush to help the German command.   But is is too late, and they are slaughtered.

The remaining hunter and the Masai finish up the last of the warriors, and poor Hans is finally set free before he can be tossed into the pot.   He will be reunited with his beloved Hilde, but at a terrible price to the local German garrison.