Saturday, January 11, 2014

Terran Alliance: Aegis Shield Cruiser

Remember how I said I was hooked on Firestorm Armada after only one game? Well, now I've gone and ordered some ships. 

Most of them have arrived, and this was the first to be completed: an Aegis Shield Cruiser. It's a Terran Alliance vessel, which means that its crew is human. I don't know why, but I always tend to go with the humans in space games. Not to mention their fighting to maintain order in the galaxy. So they're like the Galactic Empire in Star Wars. How could I not?

The Aegis is essentially a moving shield generator and can provide protection to other vessels in the fleet. Its sole purpose is defense. I figured it can't be a bad thing to have once I start playing games, especially with the tactics I intend to use. ::evil laugh::

The colors were inspired by the Nelson-era British Royal Navy. This particular ship's livery was based off of HMS Bounty, which you can see below:

Since Bounty wasn't a purpose-built warship, I thought it would translate well for an Aegis Shield Cruiser. So that's what I went with.

Being the test model, it took quite a bit of time to figure out what I wanted to do. I actually started work on the other ship in the blister pack first, but wasn't happy with how the color scheme was working out. I'm much happier with how the second ship turned out.

EDIT: Upon reflection, I've decided not to go with the red on the bow. I ultimately thought it too distracting...I'm much happier now without it on the model.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Messerchmitt Me 262 Schwalbe

I present to you my newest Flames of War model, the Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe. Developed by the Nazis, it was the world's first operational jet aircraft. Although it saw limited service in the waning days of World War II, the Schwalbe changed the face of aviation forever.

Since the Me 262 is the only German aircraft option in Devil's Charge, I decided to take it. Even unreliable air cover, I've found while playing, is better than no air cover at all.

This was my first attempt at two things: painting an aircraft and using decals. I think the model came out decent at best. I had the most issues with keeping the decals from bunching up once they were applied to the model. To hide these screw ups I applied battle damage in the form of black paint; smoke or oil perhaps?

But I am happy with how the canopy turned out. If you look, you can make out the reflection of clouds and the sky in the "glass."

If nothing else, this model was a learning experience. I'm moderately happy with it but realize I can do better. Practice makes perfect!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Civil War Medical Diorama: Part IX

Woah! An update on the Civil War medical diorama?! Could it be?!?

Firstly, I must sincerely apologize for the recent lack of progress on this project. After I posted the last update, it came time for mid-terms. Then I got sick, which was followed by a small breakdown (but I'm better now). Then there were finals, which was followed by a trip to visit my family over the holidays. But I'm not trying to make excuses about this. I do intend to finish this diorama for once and for all, though.  

I spent a part of this afternoon assembling the hospital car, which proved to be greater pain than I anticipated. Gluing things together have always been the bane of my existence in this hobby....I absolutely detest it. No matter how much pressure you apply or how long you let it set, the model is inevitably going to fall apart. This happened about three or four times with the train car before I finally got it to hold together.  

Fifth time's the charm!

Gluing aside, I'm rather happy with how this has turned out. The sliding doors open and close, and the roof is removable. This latter fact will make it easier to put figures inside for the final display. Not shown are the wheels, which won't be added to the finished product until later.

Just how happy am I to finally get this train car done? Pretty darn happy!

I also took time this evening to assemble one of the ambulances. This also proved troublesome to glue together, but managed to stick after only two tries. 

Another thing I noticed is that the driver's seat has mysteriously vanished (probably the plaything of one our cats). Fortunately it shouldn't be too complicated to reconstruct, so I'll whip one up out of plasticard in the morning.

Lastly, here's a shot of the caboose being primed! I plan to work on it more tomorrow when the weather (and my primer) is more cooperative.

Firestorm Armada

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope everyone's holiday was a great one!

While visiting my family and friends in California, I went to a New Years party hosted by my dear friends Ben and Loni. Set up in their garage was something truly spectacular: a makeshift game room with two fully set tables of terrain. It was glorious!

Much of the evening was spent playing Firestorm Armada, which I had never heard of before. It's a sci-fi game where the players control fleets of spacecraft and do battle with their enemies. I was hooked after only one game!

Ben and his cousin, also named Ben, joined together to play as a race of reptiles known as the Sorylian Collective. Mike and I played as the Rense System Navy (RSN), which is a part of the Zenian League. What all of that means is beyond me at the moment...I'm sure I'll understand more as I start to learn the ins and outs of the game. 

Sub Commander Ben measures distance before the game starts.

The Sorylian Collective (in green) and the RSN (in red) sit on the board, waiting to be deployed.

The game got underway with the RSN striking the first blows. A massed torpedo attack very nearly destroyed a major Sorylian ship, and other RSN vessels made similarly sweet shots on the enemy.

But the Sorylians kept coming.

Despite initial successes (and a few more blasted Sorylian hulks), the RSN began taking heavy casualties. The Bens essentially split our forces in two and went to work annihilating our ships. 

Admiral Ben moves the Sorylian ships into position.

A Sorylian battleship coming in to take command of the situation.

RSN ships racing to the attack.

"The Sorylian Collective expects that every lizard will do his duty."

The tide of battle started changing again and we began to make a slight comeback. But while the RSN began scoring a few more hits, the Sorylians also took out a few more of our vessels as well.

Two RSN ships about to finish off a crippled Sorylian ship.

In the heat of battle.

Mike, Ben, and I surveying the battle.

The ships' final positions as 2014 dawned.

The battle came to a halt at 11:45 pm.

All of us went to watch the ball drop and left things unfinished on the tabletop. Afterwards, it was agreed that this fight was a draw. It could still have gone either way. 

This was my first introduction to Firestorm Armada, and what a great time it was! 

I've just ordered a few ships of my own, so expect to see them posted here at some point in the future. Stay tuned!

Now...back to the medical diorama...