Sunday, January 14, 2018

Turkish VSF behemoth

From the beginning of my planning of the Turkish VSF army, I had a behemoth in mind. I was inspired by some of the images of vehicles produced for the Dystopian Wars range by Spartan Games. For 20+ years I've had several turned wooden ends from some old curtain rails that were in our previous house when we first moved in, and in my mind's eye they always looked a little like Minaret towers. Inspired by Spartan Games, I could see one of the curtain rail ends becoming a minaret tower on wheels or tracks. With that idea in mind I took to the spares box, and began playing around with some of the pieces I'd accumulated over 40 years. Initially I thought of using the cab from an old Airfix Scammell Tank Transporter. However it was going to be too large, so the cab was discarded relatively quickly. That left me with the curtain knob, a napoleonic cannon, and also the tracks from an Airfix M3 Lee/Grant tank.

A hull was first constructed from heavy card, with the tracks fitted to either side.

I built the hull with a weapons platform, and the minaret tower at the rear representing a crew/fighting compartment.

The wheels from the napoleonic cannon made a good base for secondary weapons, with the crew from the HaT British Gardner and Gatling gun set. Short sections cut from an old biro tube created the stands for the weapons.

The cannon was used to create the main armament, mounted on half a fuel tank from an Airfix T34 tank kit. The elevating mechanism is again a biro tube with a spring on the outside.

Checking the overall fit again.
A lego gear wheel was added to the side of the gun, and then light card, marked to give a rivet like look, was added across the hull top.

The secondary guns are multi barrel pistols from the GW Empire Pistollier set, modified to sit on their stands.


Base red coat

The 'minaret' needed some adornment, so I created a 'dormer' front window from card.

The window was then painted in (a fairly poor and vague) imitation of an Ottoman stained glass window.

Finally side skirts were added to make the M3 look of the tracks a little less obvious (although they are what they are, so there's no way I was going to hide that look completely).

And so the finished product - a Turkish Victorian Science Fiction behemoth.

That just leaves the Stronghold to be built .. I think more Minaret towers are in order...

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Turkish Paladin

I thought the Turkish army could do with a Paladin. This is not a troop type I have in any other HotT army, but it seemed to fit with the idea of the hero, and the cleric. Not so much magic, but certainly devout. The figure can be used as a hero if I opt for that alternative, as the base sizes are the same.

The mounted paladin comes from the Strelets 1877 Turkish Cavalry box set, while the standard bearer is a simple conversion from a marching figure in their 1877 Turkish Infantry set.

The rules describe a Paladin as being pure of heart, dressed in shining silver armour. Sorry there's  no armour, this is after all Victorian Science Fiction. However I have no doubt he will be of pure heart.

Just a behemoth left to scratch build.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Turkish dragon sighted ...

The Turkish army of the fanciful Victorian Science Fiction era is a rapidly modernising force, with generals prepared to try new technologies if these offer them an edge over their sworn enemies. So now this new flying machine.

Based (rather obviously) on the Airfix Eindecker EII kit, I gave some thought to how to make it look a little steampunk, and came up with this. The kit is pretty standard. I scalloped the leading edges of the wings, added a vertical rotor using the alternative propellor offered in the kit, this mounted on a barrel taken from the GW Dwarf box. Fuel tanks were added to the sides of the fuselage made from the drop tanks supplied with the Airfix DH Vampire kit. A swinging bomb was fashioned and attached to a stray piece of gold chain, and attached to the top of the fuselage immediately behind the pilot for ready access.

I kept to the now standard Turkish deep red colour scheme (well, standard in my Turkish VSF army anyway), with a lighter orange/red geometric disruptive pattern camouflage scheme painted over the top (thanks Andy for a great idea).

The gold chain and 'bomb' are visible behind the pilot

When I first bought the kit I was going to use it to represent an aerial hero under the HotT rules. However the more I thought, the more I pondered if this would be better represented as a dragon: unreliable in its appearance on the battlefield, fragile when it comes to taking damage in combat and therefore likely to leave the battlefield rather than be shot down, able to inflict a reasonable amount of damage while on the battlefield, although perhaps that damage as much to the enemy's composure and dignity as anything else as they flee in fear from this previously unknown foe.

So, there it is. Just two more four point elements to complete for the full 72 point Big Battle HotT army.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A minor setback for Sommerville

There was a renewed sense of confidence in the camp. The wine had flowed freely in the mess as the officers of the Eastern Task Force relived the glorious moments of the day's battle.

"Winstanley, old chap. Glorious, glorious, glorious" and Lord Chelting pumped his hand repeatedly. "So disappointed I wasn't there to be a part of the whole thing. Technical hitches, you know."

"Yes, my boy, truly splendiferous" from Sommerville. "The General will be overjoyed with the news, and so proud" and he raised his glass again. "To our hero of the day"

"To our hero of the day" voices chanted in unison.

"Smithers, a refill, quickly, man" and Corporal Smithers leant over the Brigadier's left shoulder as he poured more claret into the Brigadier's glass. "And the others, man, keep up, for goodness sake."
"As you please, sir. It's hard to keep up with such appetites fuelled by victory" and he turned away to refill other glasses, muttering between his breath "goodness knows such appetites are rarely found in this 'ere camp."

"Yes indeed, and well done again, everyone. Dumnorix, you say? By goodness, what a great day this is. And what say you to his actions tomorrow?"

"Ah, he'll not be seen again Sir, mark my words, he'll not be seen again. A damned fine thrashing."

But return he did, and in force once again. Such was Sommerville's concern, he ordered the mechanical dragon to be mobilised to support the battle.

The commander managed to get the dragon fired up and ready for battle, able to make an early appearance on the battlefield.

The dragon commander made a quick attack across the barbarian lines, looking to strike early.

Smarting from the previous day's defeat, Dumnorix opted to try to attack the mechanical daemon before it could attack the remainder of his troops.

Action was joined

Gah, the commander of the dragon opted to withdraw.. defeated in combat
 Dumnorix pushed forward, knowing that he had little choice but to take the battle to the enemy.

The British left was however a tougher nut to tackle, shooters using the bad terrain to good effect.

Action was joined in the centre

And Winstanley and the Doctor recoiled under the shock of the impact of the barbarian war band, but the line held
But Sommerville rushed forward with his valiant riflemen, bayonets fixed, to support the line.

The centre looks secure, supported by shooters in the woods

The Doctor tried his magic on Dumnorix, while shooters on the British left forced the mammoth behemoth back

There's a tussle on the British left

Sommerville works hard to defeat Dumnorix' centre

The Barbarian behemoth mammoth is destroyed in the centre

The tussle on the British left continues, but a unit of lancers succumbs to the mammoth

They battle it out in the centre ...

And half of the assaulting war band are destroyed as Sommerville makes cunning use of his shooters to support him in his own attack

With nothing left to lose, the last Barbarian war band push forward against the Doctor.

A last combat, and the Doctor is forced from the field

The classic 1:6 die result meant the loss of the magician


"Forces of the Eastern Task Force today engaged the barbarian horde in a battle most vicious. We destroyed much of the barbarian force in an action that cost us dearly in life and machine.
We were forced to yield the field for the day, knowing that we will be in a better position on the morrow to secure the eastern boundaries of our conquered lands, and so the ultimate security and prosperity of the empire.

"God Save The Queen
"I remain your humble servant
"Brigadier Sommerville"

So the game ended. It had hung in the balance for several turns, both sides having lost 10 AP. The outcome was bad luck for Nick, in command of the British; any other result and it would still have been game on. Overall his position was much stronger than the Barbarians. The war band in the centre were exposed, and I pushed them forward aggressively, knowing that it was all or nothing.

The armies were:
4 x warband
2 x riders
1 x hero general
2 x behemoth mammoth

For the British:
1 x hero
1 x dragon
1 x magician
2 x knights
2 x blade
2 x shooters