Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stern Rake Studio's 19th Movie

I uploaded my 20th You Tube movie this morning.  This one is a photo montage of the NHMGS (Northwest Historical Gaming Society) Enfilade 2010 wargame convention.  The above photo was used in the movie's closing credits.

Due to my work schedule, the only portions of the convention I was able to attend was Saturday night and Sunday morning.  So none of the games played on Friday or early Saturday are shown in the video.  What's also missing is Adrian & Dean's WAB (Warhammer Ancient Battles) game of Heraclea.  But their game will be getting its very own movie.

In the meantime, here's Enfilade 2010:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Micro-Terraforming: 1/3rd Complete

Above is the "before picture."  (Click on the images throughout this post to enlarge).

This is the micro-scale (1/285th, 6mm, 1/300th) terrain board I bought from my friend Adrian several months ago (see "Shipyard," 31 Dec 09 post).  It's a river valley set during an early/late winter, depicting a landscape speckled with snow and mud. 

In order to make the board more versatile, I made several changes.  Starting with the two end panels (seen at the bottom of the above photo), I uprooted all the individual, frosted pine trees on the valley floor and applied two coats of spray paint to the hill (flat white) and the valley floor (flat dark green).  I decided to give the river a glistening look, so I repainted it using gloss blue with some dashes of glossy dark green. 

Then I slathered on Elmer's Glue and doused the hill with Soft Flake Snow from Woodland Scenics, and did the same for the valley floor, using Woodland Scenics's Burnt Grass/Fine Turf.  Since I have modern road sections, I decided to keep the board's road network unpaved.  After I repainted the roads flat brown, I applied fine basing grit from Gale Force Nine.

The end result, for my initial two panels, is the entrance of an "alpine valley:"

I kept the valley floor bare of other features so I could add, remove, or change the type and location of the terrain, depending on what gaming scenario was being played:

While I couldn't change the course of the river, I felt I could still modify it to suit different scenarios.  Strips of tan felt, purchased at Jo-Ann's Fabric, are used in the photo below to create a dry river bed:

While strips of white felt are used to create a frozen river:

(But is it safe for troops to cross? Order the penal troops to advance!)

And if I don't need a river at all, then some strips from an old army blanket does the trick at filling in all that deep blue.  (I must admit, I need more practice at cutting and trimming lengths of cloth).  The gap in the road is filled-in using a piece of latex dirt road I purchased from Monday Knight Productions:

Oh, and the black curtain is part of a studio lighting and back drop kit my wife gave me for Christmas, that I finally got around to using!

Okay, that's two panels done, four more to go...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Convention Report: Enfilade! 2010

This past weekend NHMGS (Northwest Historical Gaming Society) held its flagship convention Enfilade! 2010. Unlike previous years, where I attended the entire convention, I was only able to participate in one game.  I got off of work on Saturday and did a "fly-by."  That is, I stopped in, obtained my attendance card, wandered the gaming tables taking pictures, checked out what was for sale and chatted with friends.

The convention coordinators tried something new this year.  Those who pre-registered could sign up for one game during any period of the convention.  This cut down the length of the sign-up line that would form and snake around the playing areas prior to each period.  The convention planners intend to do the same next year.

Since I missed the first two days, I used my guaranteed slot to sign up for the  Sunday morning Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) refight of Heraclea, hosted by my friends Dean and Adrian.  Dean provided the Greek figures, while Adrian provided the Romans. 

My gaming partner, James and I, chose to play the Roman commanders, while Lawrence and his partner, (I didn't get his name), played the Greek generals.  Heraclea, fought in 280 BC, was the first confrontation between the Roman legion and the Greek phalanx:

Despite our attempts to avoid a head-to-head clash with the phalanxes, the outcome of our battle mirrored the historical result.  That is, the Romans were pushed back across the Siris River.  We also tried securing our own flanks with our cavalry.  My Roman cavalry on our left flank charged the Greek Companion Cavalry, resulting in both units being locked in melee for nearly the entire game.  Meanwhile on our right flank, the Roman allied cavalry had the devil's own time coming to grips with the Greek allied light cavalry.  The Greek horsemen dispersed and peppered the Roman horsemen with arrows for most of the game.

As if the Greek horsemen weren't bad enough, the Greeks had another critter, the Romans never saw before--an elephant.  Pachyderms were terrifying, yet temperamental and unpredictable beasts.  We tried wounding it, hoping the beast would go on a rampage against its own troops.  Unfortunately our plan backfired.  The elephant did go on a rampage, but cut a swath of terror and destruction through our own units.  This, along with mounting losses from Greek pikes, caused one Roman maniple after another to loose heart, and in a cascading effect, retreat across the river.

The game was a lot of fun and both sides had their tense moments.  Adrian, Dean and Dan (who was out of town during the convention) are part of the Puyallup Wargamers and can always be counted on to paint museum-quality figures and host highly enjoyable games.

Despite my short attendence, I took over 90 photos of various gaming events during my Saturday evening "walkabout."  For the Heraclea refight, I snapped over 220 pictures!  I just uploaded all the photos on to my laptop this morning and am going through the initial editing process.  Which is, using the computer to lighten each image, because with my current camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01, it's best not to use a flash.

I'm currently working on an Age of Conan game report.  Once that's finished, I'll start work on movies for both Enfilade! 2010 and our WAB battle.  In the meantime, I'll post some sample pictures on the Puyallup Wargamers Yahoo Page as soon as I can.