Saturday, October 26, 2013

Locomotive and track

It's been a busy couple of weeks getting the garden ready for winter, plus I'm writing a new novel and copy-editing a previous work. I haven't had much opportunity to do modeling or gaming, but I have cast a few more sections of one meter narrow-gauge railway. I've also managed to take a mold from an old toy locomotive, a casting from which forms the beginnings of the rolling stock needed for the Ukraziland & Gwundaland Light Railway. 

In railway terms the toy represents an 0-6-0 tank engine. The casting I took from it is shown above. I'll build a cab capable of taking one or two figures, add buffers, tender/coal box, a few pipes and lanterns etc. and make it a 0-6-0 maid-of-all-work. If that goes well, I'll build another as an improvised armored locomotive for a military train. Wagons and carriages and so on will follow.

I'm not sure yet which color to make the loco. It appears most engines in colonial service tended to be utilitarian black, which I find boring. I suppose I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Hmm. Bridges! Now there's an idea... 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


My wife and I had a blast at Archon last weekend, meeting old friends and making new ones. Being on back-to-back panels through the weekend made it difficult to see much of the dealers' room and some events, but we got to see the art show and our friend, artist Paul Daley, creator of the upcoming Tempest at Hazard graphic novel. More on that at a later date.

We're back home, and I'll be busy with a couple of new novels, one of which is under contract. That means deadlines to meet, so gaming will have to be as-and-when again. I did grab the chance yesterday to play out a solo VBCW game using Went the Day Well rules and my 10mm collection. 
The blurb.

1938: Following the crisis that split the nation, the town of Great Yarmouth declared itself a free port, with a heavily Socialist influence in its governance. The BUF government promptly declared it to be in a state of rebellion against the Crown and has instituted a rather ineffective distant blockade. Ineffective or not, it has led to a shortage of food and supplies in the town, one which the town council is determined to resolved.

Intelligence has indicated farm produce has been stockpiled in various places across the Flegg area north and west of the town by the Flegg Island Fencibles, a body of local defense militia. Although they have declared neutrality in the civil war, they are conservative in outlook and not very sympathetic to their urban neighbours. They have demanded a high price for the produce, one which the town cannot afford to pay on a continuing basis. 
A platoon of newly-formed Socialist militia has therefor been directed to stage a raid on the nearest identified stockpile, located in a number of barns and sheds near the village of Mautby. They will be accompanied by two lorries to carry the captured supplies, and the town's current prized military possession, an Austin armoured car. One of the militia sections is from the Boudicca Battalion of the Socialist Women's Alliance, led by local firebrand Vera Bryant.

A view from the Socialists' line of advance. The red chips indicate potential sites of Flegg Fencible resistance. The two barns containing the produce are located top-left.

 Austin AC scouting out in front, and feeling rather nervous about it.

 The infantry advance to check out the council houses.

 With determined step the SWA arrives!

 The trucks and a dense wave of sea-mist arrive just as first contact is made. Local Defence Militia lurk behind the hedge.

 They attempt a charge, thinking the mist will hide them, but it clears at just the wrong moment. Fire from the SWA forces them to ground. The Austin fails to hit anything.
 "Enough of this nonsense!" cries Vera, and leads her women on a ferocious charge that sees the Flegg men off the premises.

Trouble hits the Socialists' left as another LDV section ambushes them. In spite of taking casualties, the men of Flegg stand their ground and send the militia into a frantic retreat. On the other road the Austin has made it to the farm entrance and comes under fire from a Vickers MG located in the dormer window. Vera leads the way across the field to the right in a move to outflank the farm.
End game. The Austin's twin turret MGs riddles the Vickers position and it falls silent. Vera has outflanked the farm and crosses the road on the blind side. The remaining LDV decide discretion is the better part of valour, and retire from the field.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Keeping track

Not much happening on the gaming front, since my commission work segued seamlessly into preparations for Archon 37 this weekend. I did get the chance to go to a local railway modeling show last Saturday where I picked up a useful pack of second-hand N-scale track to go with my 10mm VBCW. 

The track at top along with two print-off paper buildings.

The lower sections of track are destined for use in my Colonial gaming. I made them from a length of HO-scale track by cutting a short section out of the middle of the sleepers/ties, gluing the two pieces back together onto thick card stock before adding ballast and track-side terrain. I then made a silicon mold from it so I have a composite of track and terrain immediately adjacent. The pieces are cast from resin. In 25/28mm they are close enough to the 1 meter narrow gauge railway popular in some British and European colonies during that era. Rolling stock will follow, once I figure out a few details.    


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