Saturday, 22 October 2016

3D Paper Miniatures

English Civil War
With Paper Soldiers & Terrain

I have wanted to play wargames set within the first (main big) English Civil War era for a long time now, half a lifetime actually; and indeed I do have a lovely box starter set of Warlord Games goodies. Pikemen, Musketeers, Forlorn Hope (light infantry) and standard Cavalier and Roundhead Cavalry... over 100 miniatures all told, so yeah, quite a sizable start. But they are all unassembled, all unpainted: and this remember, is only the bare nucleus of two armies. To make a useful collection out of this pretty lot, I would need to flesh it out with mounted and dis-mounted Dragoons, City Militia Gangs, Ordinance, Officers and various ancillaries... and this doesn’t even yet cover the Irish, the Royalist Scots, or the Jacobites, all of which I would need at some point or other, if I truly wanted to cover the war in detail.
Quite daunting huh?

Sure, I could just use what I already have and play skirmish level games, but I want to do something a bit grander than that. Something with a little more panache and style: battles like Edgehill, Marston Moor, and Nasby springs to mind; each of these being complete mini campaigns in their own right. And so I am back staring at the same problem... facing looking at collecting lots upon lots more figures and then having to paint lots and lots of figures: and all that, is something I simply don`t want to do.

And THAT is when I discovered Peter Dennis`s extraordinary three dimensional cut out stiff paper miniatures. They are gob smackingly good. Normally I wouldn’t even look twice at paper minis, but these really are something a little special, and the moment I saw them, my heart went out to the idea. I first spied them at a game show convention over in England, and stood in fascination as the guy on the stand talked to another gamer all about them. I stood eaves dropping to the conversation for a good ten minutes, and by the time they had finished, I found myself forking out for two copies of the English Civil War cut out book sets. The guy who had been talking to the man on the stand also bought one of everything I seem to recall. As indeed “Helion Press/Osprey” also sell complete army sets for Medieval (War of the Roses), Saxons and Vikings (Hastings 1066), and the two newest sets - Roman Britain (the Boudicca Campaign) and The Spanish Armada as well. But I was happy enough with my two humble copies of the English Civil War “Battle For Britain.”  

Why two copies you may ask? Well I think you are really meant to buy one book, take the staples out the spine, keep the pages neatly in a folder and just print them off on colour as and when you need more figures (and some of the paper minis are thus printed on both sides of the page within the book itself). Now, I live in Ireland. Everything in Ireland is expensive. That’s why I don’t even have my own printer, because the ink is ruinously expensive. Which leaves me having to pay a euro (about a pound) per page for a coloured sheet. Now times that by 48 pages.. and you start to see my problem! I wanted one copy to keep in prime condition, and another to cut apart for assembling my minis: although I may well bite the bullet (painful as it will be) and cut up both my books so I don’t have to pay a single penny to make five complete armies up. English Parliamentarians and Royalists, Irish, Scottish, and Jacobites. When you consider that these books sell for about £12 each (I got mine for £6 each) it’s really not a big deal and won’t break the bank, however you do it yourself. Anyway, these books really do give you a lot of figures... hundreds in fact.

So here I am with paper soldiers. Have I lost the plot!!!??? You may be asking yourselves at this stage. Well, take a look at the pictures below, and then judge.

As Wargames Illustrated points out: First off, Peter Dennis is a well known historical illustrator, and had a number of books under his belt. The images are simply superb.

Ok, I was not really sure what to expect when I opened and started to read the book. But by page two, I was obsessed... hook line and sinker.

Peter Dennis has created a collection of images featuring English Civil War infantry, cavalry, dragoons and artillery as well as a selection of buildings, walls, hedges, trees, even roads, but they’re not just illustrations, oh no. They are cleverly designed, paper soldiers!

 I know it sounds crazy but the more I looked at the illustrations and read the two sets of easy rules written by Andy Callan (also included in the book), the more I found myself wanting to give this concept a try.

Oh I know its not a new idea, paper soldiers date back to the early 18th century, and websites like The Junior General have been offering cartoon-like images suitable for printing out paper soldiers for several years, but Peter Dennis has improved on the basic idea in so many ways.

The illustrations themselves reflect the high standard of Peter’s more conventional historical illustration, and he has incorporated some very clever ideas.

The troops are designed in what may best be described as concertina strips.


These concertina strips are then glued together to create a unit in three ranks. The image is carefully trimmed around and then glued to a base.

Obviously you`re probably not meant to cut out the images in the book (unless in desperation like I am), as its basically a source book. Instead, having purchased your copy of the book, you’re free to scan in or copy the images for your own use, and then print out as many sheets at a time as you want.

The instructions for making up the paper soldiers are clear and simple, and the end results really does have a charm and realism that is infectious.

PROS: An original concept extremely well-executed. Let’s face it the idea of being able to create ready painted unlimited forces, relatively quickly for just £12 (RRP) plus the cost of some inkjet prints is an attractive one, and it actually looks great fun making them. I can`t wait to start mine, and am just waiting for the right moment to begin my own project into this fascinating hobby deviation.

CONS: I can`t find anything bad to say: except perhaps, if I absolutely had to find something, it might be that the on line forum for this company is abysmally unfriendly, unhelpful.... and you are as likely to be ignored in comments as you are having your question(s) totally removed altogether (or not even put up for anyone to see at all). Worst forum I have ever seen on line in all my life. Though, in fairness, the things discussed there ARE useful and interesting.

SCOPE: Obviously you can combine the paper soldiers with anything else why not use them as a `fill in` while you purchase and paint up your real miniatures army... allowing you to get playing games right away without having to wait a couple of years while you get` the real thing` ready for the table – games would not look shabby or too out of place using paper figures alongside your normal ones: I do it all the time with my fantasy games, and often use Pathfinder paper pawns alongside my normal miniatures... looks great, but within the philosophy and concept behind the book, the scope, in terms of creating your forces, is, literally unlimited.

Incidentally, Andy Callan’s ECW rules look like they should work great on the table. Comprising just four pages, plus a two-page playsheet... also three scenarios.; and they look ideal for the total beginner, or the gamer (like me) who likes the simple `old school` approach to wargaming. So yeah, a veritable heap of figures AND a free set of rules to boot, pretty good for the cost don`t you think. And what`s more, wow what a unique and utterly snazzy idea.

I know that paper soldiers won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I for one just found the entire concept really fun and the forces were easy and quick to build. In conclusion, I can only say… “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”.


 Article by Stephen Gilbert.


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Napoleon's Berlin Carriage & Fort Hilary

Two short articles this week. As I am still in the middle of my new campaign`s first ever table top battle, and want to wait a tiny wee bit longer before writing it up as an after action report: so bear with me a little while, and that will soon be revealed.

Meanwhile I thought I`d just do a quick review on a miniatures set I have wanted for a very long time now; then another  short `special` on the wonderful homemade model fort Hils has made for me.

Ah yes, and a small announcement from me as well. Will probably mean little if anything at all to most of you (you have to reach a certain age I think hehe): yet to me it is a flippin` great big mile stone in my hobby life. I was told it would happen by a couple of older... elderly gentlemen gamers I knew long ago in my younger days. One was G.W. Jeffreys: a wargame extraordinaire, historical author, and wargame rules writer from Edinburgh (all on the Napoleonic era). The other was the now late Donald Featherstone, who I had the pleasure to have known personally, and played a few very memorable wargames with in my time. Both of these `great men` separately told me (as neither of them knew each other in any way)  “son, the day will come, one day, when your collection is complete. You won’t plan it, you won’t even be aware of the day approaching, but it will happen, sure as cakes is cakes. You will just wake up one day and realise you don’t need anything else. Your collection is complete as it is, and you can just `get on` without any kaffuffle, and game happily with it ever more.”

You know what, they were both right! Happened to me last week. The sun rose to a brisk, breezy fresh dawn, and along with it came a blinding realisation; yep, my hobby collection was complete. Okay sure, there are last minute things... people will be bound to buy me Christmas presents, I have half a mind still to buy myself the whopping HUGE Warlord Games deluxe set of La Haye Sainte... one day. When Richard Borg brings out another expansion for his Great War series, I`m bound to buy it. And if I ever get lucky enough to see a copy of Timber Peaks, that too is coming home with me in a bag... and let us not forget I still have two paid for kickstarters (Super Dungeon Explore Legends and Rail Raiders Infinite) coming to me in the post, one day next year.. soon as they release them to us no doubt. But yeah, IN GENERAL, I can honestly say, the day the old fella`s predicted, has come. Geee, does that mean I will now become one of these old guys who will faithfully predict the same thing to some poor unsuspecting youth I meet one day at the club or at a games convention? In fact, the two old timers who told me the same thing, so many many years ago now, were they too once privy to ``the secret`` from that aged league of grumpy old men and this enduring... eternal, fated hobby knowledge?

Anyway, the point of all this is, I just bought a rather large, and very nice miniatures kit the other day. Things are tight rght now: the usual bills (which always seem to hit around October) before the onslaught of Christmas. And so, as a kind of last hurrah! And incidentally the last purchased `toy` in my collection... I bought myself a 28mm carriage. Oh how I have yearned for one over the years. How often do you watch the most memorable scenes from your favourite movies, conducted from moving carriages (with the background scenery moving incredibly fast on a wind spool, while prop extras rock the coach back and forth to create the illusion of motion). The Son of Monte Cristo has that wonderful cameo at the beginning where the Grand Duchess Zona is fleeing in a four horse carriage from the evil general Gurko Lanen. Or those wonderful scenes of highway men stopping the coach calling “Stand and deliver.” Oh and so many iconic set pieces where coaches feature strongly. Yet how many of us wargamers ever actually bother to add one to our collection? I know I never did. But, well... now I gone and did it woohooo!!! I`m soooo glad I did. It will fit in so many games I intend to play. From Fantasy and Imagi-Nation, all the way through to 18th and 19th century (Ending at Waterloo itself if I do one day get that elusive - last purchase - La Haye Saint set).

Napoleon's Berlin Carriage - Black Powder
The kit includes Old Boney himself, his Chasseurs de la Garde (personal bodyguard) as well as a fine detailed four-horse coach with coachman and two riders. Looking on from the front of the coach is Napeoleon's 'Mameluke' servant, Roustan... a perfect addition, and will double up as bodyguard to my re-vamped Bonaparte (who will play the part of ``ME” from now on in all my 28mm Imagi-Nation games).

The whole set costs £32:00 from Warlord Games.

The real life carriage was built for Napoleon's Russian campaign but was captured by the Prussians at the Battle of Waterloo while the Emperor departed on horseback. However, the style is somewhat generically reminiscent of the era, and will be used, diversely, in many of my future games. Tarot even tells me with surety; it could even be used in a certain episode of Blake 7 haha.

Fort Hilary
I wanted to buy a fort for my Liberty or Death.. forth coming Colonial Gothic Imagi-nation style adventures. And I poured over many on-line companies who make them, fine tuning plans and deciding which one I would eventually purchase. Price wise they were all much of a muchness: let’s say about £144 pounds (average) plus postage. All of them (bar one, from Warlord Games, which is sold fully finished and ready to go) came unpainted and unassembled. Hils said to me: “let me do it.” What!” I replied. “Let me make you the fort, just tell me what you need, give me some ideas of what you want it to end up looking like, and I`ll try and make it for you.”
Okay well, I was a little dubious. Like okay, I knew she was good, but hell, a fort???? Images of Lego Bricks and Camberwich Green started to fill my head, and I replied something like: “Well, ooooo----k then, if you really want to give this a go.” Sufice to say, I was not impressed, and imagined I would still have to end up BUYING my fort... and if anything I was secretly a little agitated that I would have to delay getting a `proper` fort while she dabbled away at her attempt. So I gave her some images to puddle about with, mostly of the real life colonial fort Ticondaroga, and then I left her to it.
Oh WOW, how wrong I was. Second she got back from England visiting her parents, she got to work making my fort. On and off, an hour here and an hour there, for about a week, until it was finished. I wish now, I`d done WIPS along to way, as I only have the finished version to show you. But yeah... wooohoooo!!!! I`m very happy with her efforts. Its nicer than any fort I could have bought (and she even painted it and the base for me herself).
Of course, she`s totally shot herself in the foot now, as I will be getting her to make ALL my terrain pieces from this moment on ^^
The fort will feature in the beginning portion of my latest battle report (article for it coming next week), and then you will get to see it being used in all its glory.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Ch-Ch-Changes! {a few quick words from Steve}

Dear me, these sagely musings are late coming this week. Funny how life has this annoying  habit of getting in the way of playing games and writing blogs... how totally inconsiderate of it *grins*
A few weeks ago we had a chat with Bryan, and it became clear that he was in the unenviable position of having too much on his very full plate. Hundreds of new miniatures to paint! A veritable mountain of new terrain to assemble, then he needs to find somewhere to store it all (I don’t envy him that part hehe), and then one day make sense of it all on the table top. But before all that, tomes worth of figure reviews to get through. Two articles a week to write for his Vampifan site alone, and then The Game Cupboard on top of it all....  it was simply too much for any sane man to keep on top of.
And so, Bryan made a decision. He has decided to concentrate on his own Vampifan site from now on, and has handed over the running of this site to myself... with help from the adorable Hils (the wifey) and the lovely Tarot (as time permits).
The empty game table.... see - no game in sight: but full of the spice of promise, and of things soon to come.

Now all this came about at an incredibly untimely conjunction of chance events lol. First off, I have been busy this last few weeks, and on top of it all, I have been feeling under the weather, with a combination of back ache, run down (tiredness) , and some sort of insidious virus `bug` going around locally, which has wiped me out and drained my enthusiasm to want to do anything much. The result of which has meant heeeeeelp!!!!!  I`m really late  putting together decent new material for this blog. I HAVE tons planned... some half written even. But I am afraid you must be patient a little bit longer, before I really get down to my several new magnum opus projects: ( 1 ) a brand new American Colonies including some lovely homemade terrain made by Hils, weird horror campaign, ( 2 ) a re-invigorated continuation of the DC & Marvel comics Heroclix Campaign, ( 3 ) lots of sundry gaming, from Middle Earth, Star Wars, Tannhauser Weird World War One, Brimstone, Lovecraft, Zulus, Sailing Ships, Barsoom, The Water Margin, oh and Chibis too. Actually lots more stuff as well as this but it’s all too numerous to add as a list. But includes D&D, 55 Days at Peking (in 6mm), Napoleonics, Pirates, Imagi-nations, Memoir 44, The Great War, Arkham Horror, Last Night on Earth,  Blakes 7, Time Slip, Survivors, Doctor Who, Space Ship Battles, and so so so much more. But we have years (I hope) ahead of us, and all these things can be revealed for everyone to enjoy as time passes by.
But for now, please accept these insufficient words, to assure you all is well, and `normal service has been resumed`...  shortly, haha.
Plots thicken, and plans evolve.

If anyone knows where to find this Horrorclix miniature, or has one in their collection they would be prepared to sell to me, PLEASE let me know. I`ve been trying to add this little... erm.... beauty to my games for a long time now but can`t seem to locate her (and I can`t afford eBay postage prices, which are ridiculous, and can amount to twice the value of the figure alone). I see images of X Files and this Momma, surrounded by her twisted and perverted `Hills Have Eyes`  sons, saying: "My family have lived here ever since before the great war of Northern aggression.... these are my sons, they`re all of them good boys; they take good care of their Momma."

                         Request from Hilary.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Battle Systems Urban Apocalypse Terrain part 2

I was going to show you some of the buildings and scenery from the Shanty Town set today but I'm keeping that for my next post. For now though, I want to show you the add-on sets to use with the Urban Apocalypse Cityscape sets.
This is the new city block I came up with and as before it fits on a single mat measuring about 2 feet square (60cm by 60cm).
On one side of the street I made a Fire Station and a small Police Station.
On the opposite side of the street is a large Art Deco building consisting of a casino and a mansion. In the centre of the roofs of the Fire Station and Police Station are spider vents, an alternative to the air conditioning units on the roofs of the casino and mansion.
Here is a front view of the Fire Station. My 28mm scale Copplestone Casting's figure of Vampifan appears in most of these photos to help give a sense of scale.
Here we see the front and one side of the Fire Station. The double height walls surrounding the large front doors have been glued together. The sign above the doors has also been glued in place. The fancy topping at the front of the building has also been glued together. It is unlikely I would ever want to disassemble them.
Here is a front view of the Police Station. Unlike the Fire Station, the Police Station does not come with any exterior walls. I chose these walls for no other reason than I liked the look of them.
The Police Station comes with lots of cool extras like these concrete barriers and the wooden saw-horse. The barriers are reversible with a police sign on one side and no signage on the reverse side. Both sides are shown here.
Here is Vampifan standing outside the Casino Royale. The casino utilises the exterior walls from the Art Deco set. It only contains furniture for both a casino and a restaurant.
The Art Deco set is filled with exterior walls, interior walls, gantries and staircases. It is a great add-on that adds variety to the other three types of exterior walls. I have made a large mansion as well as the casino with the sets I own.
I have included a cool-looking mailbox from my Street Items set. Yes, it is the American design. The designers have gone for an American setting for their apocalypse despite being a UK-based company. Personally speaking, I don't have a problem with that decision. I will mainly be using these sets in my ATZ-FFO and Judge Dredd campaigns, both of which are set in the USA.
Moving inside, Vampifan starts his tour with a look at the Fire Station. Against the far wall are a set of lockers. The one item I love the most from this set is the coat rack with four bulky Firemen's coats hanging from it. What a great addition!
 The metal stairs lead up to a metal walkway that overlooks the ground floor.
On the upper floor are the offices and rest room. Obviously they need more furniture adding to them. That is what I'm currently working on. I have some furniture items made but there are still a lot more to make. Here, I have included two shelf units and an office desk.
This is the ground floor of the Police Station. Once again, it should have a lot more furniture in it. I added a couple of desks to the two offices. On one I added a computer keyboard and monitor. It is these little touches that helps bring a building to life. Also, please note that all of my furniture items have been edged.
Moving up a floor, Vampifan comes to the prison cells. In addition to the bed, each cell should also contain a toilet but I haven't made them yet.
Crossing the street, Vampifan enters the casino. Here I have added a large bar. Note the beer pumps. The three gaming tables feature options for blackjack, poker or roulette. This set also contains items for use in a restaurant. The tables all come with reversible tops. The rectangular table has a snooker top on its reverse side and the two circular tables show dining table tops on their reverse sides.
The upper floor of the casino shows a large dining room, which Vampifan is checking out. A side door leads to the mansion next door.
In the mansion, Vampifan stands at the top of a set of stairs leading up to a brightly carpeted balcony that overlooks the entrance hall. A less ornate set of stairs at the far end of the balcony leads up to the top floor.
This is the ground floor room at the far side of the mansion. With the broken windows you can leave them unbroken if you wish. I have gone for a roughly 50/50 split between broken and unbroken windows.
Finally, Vampifan makes his way to the top floor, which I have left unfurnished. Doors at either side lead off to the lower roof of the mansion and the roof of the casino.
These are all great add-on sets that give you lots of extra options and variety as well as many cool items. They may well be optional extras but for me they were a necessary purchase.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Hilary`s Musings: Imagi-Nations & Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Hilary`s Musings: Imagi-Nations
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
It all began, I suppose, as a small girl, going to see “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the cinema. It can`t quite have been when it first hit the big screen, because I would only have been a couple of years old at the time. But back in those days, it was common for films to `come round` again at the local cinemas, and so it must have been at one of these later viewings that I was first introduced to the film. I think I would have been about eight when I first saw it.
The evil Baron and Baroness Bomblast
I believe I knew even then, that this was something a little different.. a little special even. Yes, we had Mary Pippins, and we had Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but these were just lovely stories, set firmly within a Victorian and Edwardian time frame. Whereas Chitty Chitty was unusual. It started in pre world war one England, and quickly moved on a pace to an undefined barony ruled by Baron and Baroness Bomblast, and then this in turn was set within the fictitious country/kingdom of Vulgaria. So straight away we can see that England is in place, with early style motor cars, and zeppelins, and steamboats, and... well we know a time frame {circa 1910`s}, because Caractacus` Father “Bungie Potts” wears a khaki Colonial uniform (could be Fuzy-Wuzzy, could be Boar War) and talks of travelling:  “off to India” when he enters his portable outdoor toilet. To this we have what can only be described as German looking spies... actually, Vulgarian in the film, of course.
But all this helps us define where Vulgaria might possibly be located in a real world (in the book, Ian Flemming never tells the reader precisely where). When we enter Vulgaria itself, it becomes even more interesting, for here we have infantry wearing Napoleonic shako type hats, but also tricorn and what looks remarkably like dragoon uniformed attire, and best of all.. mounted knights in armour, very reminiscent of Crusader knights hehe. So wow, this is amazing: we have it all – racing cars, flying balloon ships, Germanic looking pre 1914 Great War spies, French Revolution looking soldiers, Napoleonic looking soldiers,  Knights in Armour, and at one stage early in the film, Caractacus Potts is trying to make a one man rocket back pack, so the mind boggles and the gaming options become rather large.
This really is an undefined imaginary make belief world, set within the real world (hence England is in it), but undefined in the sense that Vulgaria`s where-abouts is never mentioned. However the castle used for much of the film is the real life Neuschwanstein Castle (one time owned by Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria), so again this gives us another clue as to Ian Flemming`s thinking process. Another clue is that Vulgaria has a coast line... is it an island, or is it attached to an existing continent: Perhaps it is a land fictitiously placed between Romania and Bulgaria and the coast is the water of the Black Sea? The point I think here is, Vugaria can be anywhere you want it to be.. within logical reason of course.

Even the griffin on the side of the flying ship looks remarkably like an Iron cross, don`t you think?

In any case, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang had a big effect on me; and might in all possibility, be the reason why I found myself a minority woman at a young age, a female gamer interested in `boys` things, uniforms, role playing, and warfare. Unlike most boys however, I do find myself interested in the pageants, all the little stuff normally left out of games (servants carrying silver trays, chimney sweeps with their black faces, kitchen staff sweating away in the cook houses.. lining the soldiers up on the parade ground and taking lovely photos of them all marching up and down, with backdrops of hand drawn or card built castles and sundry buildings .. all that stuff). I find all this `little stuff` helps me bring a game, and bring an era or genre to life on the table, and through some nice trick photography, can really help that suspension of disbelief which all gamers need to get the most out of their hobby.
For a long time, I have wondered how much fun it might be to work on building up a wargame, a campaign and a role playing romp, in the colourful Vulgarian imaginary lands of Ian Flemming`s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
I never really thought I would ever see this idea in my head reach fruition, but then recently, something strange happened.
Stevie started to collect his 28mm tricorn wearing  “Lace Wars” type soldiers. Not only this, but carriages.. coaches and horses, and lots of civilians (I especially like his French citizen woman from the Revolution, bearing one breast, musket in one hand, a French flag in the other hand, no doubt shouting “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”).
In other words, I spotted that he was not just collecting the soldiery, he was really going for the `every-day life` scenic’s as well. I knew he was doing this for his American Rebellion project, and so I never said a word, but inside I found all this was making my thoughts of Vulgaria spring to life all over again. A think a wistful part of me was becoming interested in this notion, especially as Stevie asked me to and set me to task creating all his terrain (both assembling 4Ground buildings, and hand crafting some projects for him, like a large wood fort, timber log cabins, snake fencing, picket fencing, roads, river sections, and so on). In bits and pieces, then later in flourishing enthusiasm, I realised the dream of making an Imagi-nation to game in, actually could happen if the decision were ever taken to do so. But I stayed quiet. This was his project and I did not want to sink that boat for him.
But then he amazed me. One day he came to me and told me how he had studied so much, dozens of hours of documentaries, viewed book after book read (plus the entire Osprey series of books on the subject and uniform guides, devoured with a keen eye), in effect he had studied the subject to death: there was little remaining for him to learn on the subject. This is, remember, not a new subject to him. This was all merely brushing up on a topic he was already fairly familiar with. But he came to me and told me that although he loved the subject, although he would be more than happy playing French, Indians, Patriot and Loyalist Americans and Red Coated British forever more: a big part of him just wanted to take all he had in his collection, and play it all out using the sum of his historical knowledge but in a fantasy/imaginary setting, free from the confines of actual history and real uniforms and such like. At this my heart leapt, and in a quiet voice I said to him: “What about setting it all in Vulgaria?”  I knew he would know what I was talking about, as we had spoken before, long ago, about the idea of playing an imaginary game set within the wonderful world of that book and film. In fact the idea of painting all those made up imaginary uniforms is what really appealed to him, as much as to me.
Even the women of Baroness Bomblast`s Pageant Ballroom Parties wear the most strikingly gorgeous themed dresses and hair styles of Pink, Mauve, and Purple hue, the whole idea is simply marvelous. A sort of lace war gothic bonanza of colour.

A Few Vulgarian Uniforms
Stevie was silent for a while, sipping his mug of tea, tucking into a piece of Battenberg cake. After a while he replied that the idea was not altogether un-appealing to him.
And so, over the course of a morning, I spoke more and more of the idea, and by the end of it all, I must have instilled quite a positive image in his head, because he started to become rather obsessively enthused by the idea of it (that sharp flash of intellect behind the eyes, and the gleam of pearly white teeth as his smile becomes more and more pronounced). “yesssssss” he would say: “And my woodland Indians would be perfect too, this land is undefined so we can add a sort of `Peter Pan` lost boy theme into the thing.. only darker, more macabre, and with a bit of zombie theme going on as well hehe”  He was in full stride by now and continued: “And I can still paint my Blue Coats and Redcoats. These Vulgarians would need a few neighboring enemies to fight against, after all.. right?”
 And so it went on. By the end of about a five hour conversation, Stevie decided he wanted to tailor his project slightly, no longer just make it all colonial American, but would devote his energies towards steering the whole thing to becoming an imaginary world, where he can put anything into it. Zombies and knights in shining armour, alongside Napoleonic Ruritanian type soldiers, and Nelson style navies and sails of silver.. flying balloons, steam ships and steam trains.  What an eclectic theme, huh?
Baron Bomblast and his ever simpering cronies.
Knights in Armour are as common place here, as Shakos, Tricorns and Cannon Balls.
Tarot even piped up and suggested some Oriental themed Yakuza, Tongs, Priesthoods and Monks. Effectively, anything we care to include can be added into the pot and allowed to mature into a fine brew.
An iconic character from the film: “The Child Catcher.” This fictitious NPC still sends shivers down my spine, just from looking at the photo. Stevie has just made and painted a one off unique miniature of this person, and it pretty much wowed me how accurately he made him.

Baroness Bomblast singing: "You`re my little Chu chi-face"
Baroness Bomblast`s personal bodyguard and assassin: Hu`sin Heisyang {invented character of myself... now just have to find an appropriate miniature and paint}.
Tarot *smilingly.. knowingly* says she has already thought of just the mini to use, and will convert and paint her for me. So yaaaay!!! I`m going to have my very own `me` model soon *beams happily*
So it looks like “Liberty or Death” will now develop into an imagi-nation project, eclectically combining all the new figures Stevie has been collecting, alongside many others we already possess in our joint collection(s). This will create a somewhat farcical, whimsical, sometimes terrifying and macabre, and fun new world to play in.. and utilizes so much of our hobby into one huge great conglomerate of miniatures. And end of the day, he still gets to collect his AWI Liberty or Death.. that’s the beauty of it all. It will pretty much double up for either game.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a game world just waiting to happen.
Tarot just pointed out something rather interesting as well. “7TV {the rules system} is designed to recreate 60`s and 70`s tv and movies of that era right? And Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was made in 1968, which is slap bang in the middle of that time.. could you not use 7TVe2 rules to play this out, once you are ready to start?”
Hmmmm she has got me wondering now. Bryan.. anyone.. any thoughts on that?
Article by Hilary