Regular visitors to the Buffet will have noted a distinct lack of content relating to the stalwart members of the Black Museum.
Whilst I still have tales to tell (and games to play) of their adventures, we have reached a plateau and other projects have been singing their siren songs, encouraging me down other avenues.
So rather than ‘force’ my hand and produce additional content that might not be up to the standard I’ve already set for this project, I thought it best to take a respite and move on to something a bit…different.
My simple mass combat rules – Feast of Crows – are complete and have been passed on to a third party, in order for them to be tested and (hopefully) not broken. The results of this will probably be published here, with a review and AAR done by someone other than me, with the rules available as a download, so you can try them for yourself.
And as June is fast approaching, this will see the return of spandex-clad shenanigans, as Forgotten Heroes returns for the third year running. Once again we offer you the chance to exercise your creative muscles and create a 28mm miniature of a costumed hero or villain who has yet to be produced, or has, but the figure was a bit rubbish. Details of the previous two years outputs can be found on the ‘official’ Forgotten Heroes website, set up and run by my glamorous assistant, the lovely Roger Webb. Come join us – it’s a lot of fun!
So, what other things can you expect to see on the Buffet for the remainder of the year?
Well, the main project will not only be something new, but also a new era for me, as we travel back to the 18th century, a time of horse and musket, drums and shakos and Sean Bean shouting “Bastard!”…
And for this I blame Steve Gilbert. However, he has redeemed himself regarding this, as I shall explain.
We’d been discussing various topics and Steve had expressed a desire to do some kind of joint project, where we shared a ‘world’, to which we could both contribute, adventure and play within. I’d said I was quite keen on doing something involving pirates and highwaymen, flintlocks and powdered wigs, where if your hat had less than two corners, you weren’t taken seriously. Steve like this idea, as it was an era he was interested in and had a fair few existing models which he could use.
However, I didn’t. Steve then kindly offered to send me a few sprues of suitable figures from Warlord Games‘ AWI range, so I’d have the necessary core figures to do this.
Now that obstacle was removed, ideas began to flow and the world began to take shape…
So, this joint sandbox project will have three threads. Each of us will have a dedicated personal setting or campaign, with the third part being a shared location we both utilise.
The project as a whole will fall under the umbrella title of “Age of Unreason”.
Steve will be following the exploits of a group of ‘chosen men’, as they take to the field in various conflicts and will follow their globe-trotting career. This may feature here or may end up on a new blog of Steve’s. This will be entitled “Sharpe’s Progress.”
The shared location will be the small Caribbean island of St. Gilbert, located in the Lesser Antilles. Whilst entirely fictional, it was originally colonised by the very real Order of St. Gilbert, hence the name. For more details on this unique order, follow this link. This part will be entitled “Île des Mortes.”
As for my setting, I will be concentrating on a small British Colonial township located in the deep woods of what will become the state of Maine. And this part will be named after the town itself – “Dark Haven.”
Understandably, given who’s involved, you can expect a wealth of historical detail and a big dollop of the macabre. This is an era where the major powers of the World are expanding past their borders into regions filled with unfamiliar cultures and belief systems. Whilst the majority of what they encounter can be dismissed as mere myth and superstition, not every tall tale is untrue…and some things are best left undisturbed.
Now, as with every ‘new’ project I start, the first thing I do is to work out what I’ve already got that can be used/re-purposed for the nascent project, before deciding whether I CAN do and what else I will need.
As Steve had provided me with troops and my collection of HeroScape hexes would provide the terrain I needed, it was time to decide what else I needed.
Short list consisted of; North American fauna, suitable settler’s dwellings and trees…lots and LOTS of trees.
I’d already picked up some wolves from Warbases at Salute (see my post ‘Sa-Loot 2018’ for details) and Roger very kindly offered me a toy bear he had, that he felt was the right scale. When this arrived, it was not only the right scale, but also a better sculpt than the metal figures I’d been looking at, as you can see from the picture below;
Rather cool, ain’t he? Big thanks to Roger for this (as well as the other figures, you bad man).
Due to miscalculating exactly how much of my Salute budget I had left (it was more than I thought I had), I failed to pick up the Renedhra Noeth American Farmhouse, which was on offer at Salute, so don’t yet have any buildings. However, as I do have a crapload of coffee stirrers, some wooden cabins are on the horizon.
This left the trees…
Now, gaming trees are not the cheapest item you can buy. True, they do look rather nice and usually come pre-based, but you’re looking at roughly £15.00 for three, which if you’re trying to plant a forest, is a substantial outlay.
Having dismissed this idea, I watched various online videos on how to make your own, which whilst is a cheaper option, does require a fair outlay of time to do.
And then I had a brainwave and went to eBay. I remembered that Andy had picked up some inexpensive trees for his ATZ terrain and thought I’d see if they did something similar for my needs.
After a browse, I came across a listing for “10 pieces 10cm plastic model trees”…for £1.80 including shipping! The pictures looked pretty good and 10cm tall was a good size – tall enough so they didn’t look too small, but small enougb that stiorage wouldn’t be an option. So, I took a gamble and ordered two packs.
Six days later (yes, it only took six days for them to ship them from China) they arrived, and this is what they look like;
Each tree IS actually 10cm tall and consists of an injection molded plastic tree, to which has been attached ‘blobs’ of flock to represent the foliage. The coverage is a little uneven, with a few bare branches, but this means that whilst each tree is effectively identical, there is a bit of variation. As the soft plastic of the ‘frame’ is easily cut, if you want to trim a few branches here and there, I can’t imagine this would be a problem. There was also a bit of shedding of the flock, but a quick dip in a solution of thinnned down PVA will solve this issue.
All well and good, you say, but how do they compare to a standard 28mm figure?
Not had a chance to base them properly yet, so I just used a temporary solution to get them upright.
So, twenty trees for £3.80 – which is less than a pint of beer! Bargain!
Whilst mine were £1.80 for a pack of 10, this has now gone up to £1.95 for a pack of 10…but that’s still less than 20p per tree. And they can be found here.
A fair bit of assembly and basing to be done, but soon I shall be able to send some Redcoats into the woods. What will they encounter? Native tribes? Indigenous fauna? A French raiding party? Or something far more inexplicable? Hopefully you’ll have as much fun as me finding out.
Until next time…