Saturday, 21 May 2016

6mm, where we begin - Part 2: Know the terrain.

So we've now got the lands of Eulanus - the poor, downtrodden lands that, in my eye, will probably become one of the major battle grounds in the area...

In which case, we're going to need to start adding things for people to fight over, right?

So starts my terrain building for Eulanus.  In my eye, Eulanus is a mixture of African and Australian bushland - with a fair mix of more desert and savannah type terrain towards the interior, and a coast that allows for more tropical features, and is the area where a majority of actual societal development occurred.

The example in the real world I am thinking of is my home state of Queensland, where a majority of people live within a hundred kilometres of the coast, and most industry exists there.  However, the majority of the state is scrubland, with varying levels of drought throughout the inland.

So you go from these kind of areas: 

To, eventually, something like this... 

One of the key things I want is the red, iron-rich soil like you find in Australian outbacks and African regions.  That will be a distinguishing feature of most of my units conducting this fight in Africa.

As such, to get this blend, I am using the following:

Basecoat with a
balck acrylic paint - I don't have a fixed brand, just whatever artist's paint you want.  I usually go with a 'wetter' one so it doesn't dry out as fast in the tube.

Original coat, earth brown - Vallejo
Drybrush - combination blend (i.e "whatever looks good to me") of Vallejo Cavalry Brown and either a small dose of Iraqi Sand or an Earthen brown colour. 

Mix it up, then apply in layers until you have it looking "red" enough for you.  In reality, the 'red' dirt is more of an orange, but that does look kind of ridiculous in 6mm.

Nonetheless, here are some 90% completed terrain pieces!  They just need some basic flock to look a little more like the African savannah example.

As for the bases, I use 1mm plastic card as the base material, cut to shape and then with edges filed smooth.  From there, I build up around the miniature buildings with a combination paste made of builder's putty, PVA glue and a dash of model sand to provide grit.  

As this mixture seals, it WILL retract and crack in key points, likely quite considerably.  Once the initial coat dries and hardens, re-seal with the builder's putty by itself to smooth out the edges and fill cracks... just as it is meant to do job wise.

The first is going to be a regular occurrence, a dwelling that can mix it with either Afghanistan or Africa.  Eventually, this one will have a few "medicinal plants" growing within this small compound's walls :)  This compound is made from two seperate Gamecraft Miniatures 6mm Resin buildings. 

The second example is a prime example of the kind of dwellings I will have over a lot of my African-style boards... small shacks, huts and shanties that are the cramped hovels of the much, much less fortunate.  They have seen numerous horrors already, so the horror of war is probably just another day at the office for most!  This example comes from JR Minis 1:285 range.

So that is what I am up to, terrain, terrain and more terrain!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

6mm gaming - Where we begin...

One of the first things that came to my mind when making my 6mm armies was number of (what I thought were) simple questions:

A) Where did I want this occur, 
B) When was this going to occur; and,
C) Who was going to be involved?

Naturally I wanted to incorporate the modern power-players, but I felt that modern engagements just seemed too, well, constrained (that, and it can be a little tetchy for those who may not be 100% okay with the current situations in the world being played out in miniature - it is something that has to be considered for some after all).

In order to keep away from having to explain how a terror group could take over most of the Middle East and Africa by itself under modern circumstances, I decided to do the next best thing - I rewrote the history books ;)

I decided to do what the latest Skirmish: Afrika is doing (a very interesting book - one I hope to review in the future!) and take my fight into Afrika and the surrounds.  I may very well incorporate the lands of Skirmish: Afrika into my storyline in the future.  But for now, I am using the equally interesting and very fun nation-generating rules of 'Not Just a Brush War' by Nordic Weasel games.  

That - and hey, us Weasels have got to stick together!!! ;)

I have found the template by NWG to be a great and interesting way to make nations that I otherwise simply wouldn't imagine myself!

As such, I have made some very 'interesting' nations already using these templates... here is the first of the big four that will be a part of my coming world... the 'Kingdom' of Eulanus - a nation bursting at the seams... mostly because of the chaos within!

The Kingdom of Eulanus

The Kingdom of Eulanus is a Moderately sized nation with 14 million people who call it home.  
The main resource of Eulanus is an abundant supply of building materials such as timber and basic iron, critical elements in the building industries of the many nations in the region.  (I rolled a double on the score for 'Building Materials... I suspect Eulanus has a rather focused iron smelting and forestry industry, or really likes to cut down its rainforests).

A Largely rural people, the Kingdom of Eulanus is effectively 21 years behind the technology curve when compared to its first-world counterparts.  Because of this, the nation still focuses what national industry they have into supporting the creation and supply of building materials, the majority of which is shipped worldwide for consumption by said first world nations... Eulanus has Plentiful Heavy Industry because of these efforts.

However, moving into the 21st century has not been kind to Eulanus, with said 'Kingdom' now being merely a throwback to ages past as chaos grips the country.  Following the death of the absolute monarch Joseph Boto III, the nation began the process of being a Transitional Democracy, even though the transition was seen as Reasonably Legitimate, the process has since become Extremely Unpopular due to ongoing economic mismanagement and horrendous levels of endemic corruption.

Even with such corruption, there is still a manner of imperfect coherency within the nation as the ability to pay anyone to do anything does allow anything you want - for a price...

One of the greatest sticking points for ongoing social dysfunction is the attempts by the corrupt "democractic rulers" to try and enforce a form of leader worship (often considered the 'local religion' for the region).  People find it hard to worship someone they elected into office.

Although the nation is a mess, it has found an unlikely regional power supporter in the form of the nation of Surentar.  The cheap labour force that Surentar has at its disposal is often sent to work in the heavy industry of Eulanus - effectively as government-indentured servants providing Surentar with everything it needs from the lands of Eulanus.  This process is kept well-oiled through the equally-oiled hands of the Eulanus officials; after all, you can get anything done in Eulanus if your money is good.

Not surprisingly, the Kingdom of Eulanus faces a number of issues - with the widespread corruption and unpopularity of the government, many people are turning to crime to make ends meet, with most resorting to open street violence to loot, steal and protest against the conditions.  Even those simply trying to survive use the chaos to steal what precious food and medicine they can.  Eulanus is beginning to seriously look as though it may transition into even greater chaos than what it already has...

Eulanus Military
Close quarter fighters - with the endemic corruption and widespread near-chaos... it is no surprise that the 'military' of Eulanus is tokenistic.  Small arms and crew served weapons dominate the armed forces, and anything better than a technical is seen as a reason to claim armoured division status... These "troops" are not trained as light infantry (if trained at all), they are simply that poorly equipped that they literally have no heavier equipment.

The air force... for what it can be called, is focused on strategic bombing, trying to replace the lost firepower and artillery that the land forces simply do not have.  The age of the platforms, almost thirty years behind modern technology - means that the Il-28 BEAGLE and Mirage III aircraft they use are hard-pressed to fulfill this role.  A few C-119's.. somehow still flying, round out the air deployment (and ad-hoc bomber) capabilities of the force, although most of these have been onsold for their scrap value...

The fact that any of the air force is flyable at all is a feat in of itself - although many believe it is because the local air commanders see themselves as defacto warlords - and so having such power makes them even bigger "big men" than their army counterparts.

With the limited availability of any sort of true armour the tooling for machinery, as odd as the Air Force focus is strategic bombing - focused on heavy tanks.  To this end, the Kingdom of Eulania had previously acquired a large number of IS-3 heavy tanks, which were able to be supported by local heavy industry.  However, due to years of neglect and abuse, most are horribly dilapidated and have been either scrapped, abadoned in place, or are used as checkpoint guards.  The few that remain mobile and functioning - a rare combination for any Eulanian equipment, are operated in limited numbers.

The kingdom of Eulanus does claim to have some 'elite' formations, however, these paramilitary units are more or less simply hardened criminals and hooligans who have been put on the government payroll to ensure compliance and attempt to 'restore order'.  Naturally, any plan involving arming criminal elements and giving them (albeit limited and outdated) basic infantry training to ensure their loyalty didn't exactly work as planned - the paramilitaries are often seen using their power primarily to develop their own organised crime networks.

One of the few fields where the Eulanus military is actually well supplied is in the field of infantry support weapons.  A huge arms deal in the late 90's saw large stocks of surplus ex-East German equipment transferred to Eulanian control.  So, although dated, many Eulanus troops, whilst lacking pretty much everything else, do have their own organic anti-tank, anti-air and indirect fire capabilities.  

As a whole, the Eulanian Armed Forces represent the equivalent of a disfunctional, ineffective, but well equipped militia with the ability to cause some damage with their infantry - if the tactics suit them and they can somehow be in the right place to fight... The average Eulanian knows his limits, but remains willing to fight.

So what's the beef?

Eulanus' current circumstances, the widespread corruption, street violence and lack of popularity, have seen two major problems arise.  The first is a rogue general - a man calling himself "General Joker" (the story goes that he often finds it hilarious to conduct all sorts of atrocities on his captives) has taken it upon himself to establish his own area of control - essentially becoming a warlord.

The more pressing concern for the government, however, is the current talk of a Military Coup.  Colonel Samo Maguto recently returned from Sandhurst academy in the UK - and rumour has it that his men under his professional and respected leadership - are beginning to be more than just the rouse-rabble the corrupt controllers in the capital can control.  The Colonel knows this - and so do his political masters, only time will tell how this ends...

So, there you have it!  The nation of Eulanus - an absolute hodge-podge that sounds like a right-proper place to settle in... provided you have good cover and enough ammunition to last!

As before, if you found this to be a very interesting little tale, you too can build your own adventures and imagi-nations with the help of 'Not Just a Brush War' as available in the link!

First! (Of many!) The who, what and where of Down Under Gaming.

First! :)

Well g'day!

If you're here, then congrats on finding one of the newest blogs on miniature gaming!  Welcome to Down Under Wargames!

As you can imagine with a name like Down Under Wargames, I come from Australia, and like to wargame (surprise, surprise!)  I move around a lot, but always try to get involved with the local gaming community - at the moment I live in Newcastle, Australia - but have been known to frequent Adelaide and Canberra at times :)

I started out, like many, doing Warhammer 40k - came into it at the end of Third Edition, just as the Tau came out and the Tyranids were getting a major revamp. 

For me, I was sucked into the Tyranids and the Guard - I liked the whole idea of doing my own 'Aliens' reenactments, and a fair few poor guardsmen met their untimely demise this way!  However, even as I made my own small stockpile, I found that 40k was a bit too expensive for my liking and so I looked elsewhere for my fix ;)

From there, I found the world of 15mm with Flames Of War, and have been playing that on-and-off for the last seven years.  A few years later, and I found myself getting the sci-fi bug again, whereupon I discovered Khurasan Minis, GZG and Brigade Models to name but a few of the many 15mm sci-fi providers!

More recently, I spread out in 6mm... and this is where I find myself today thanks to GHQ, Heroic & Ros and Scotia Grendel minis (and others of course!) 

I find 6mm to be just the right size for my modern forces and while I still have my FOW, I feel more inclined to build more of my 6mm including a WW2 version!

Anyhow, enough about my miniatures history, time to get into the action.  Hope you enjoy the blog!  The pictures below are just a few examples of what I will hopefully have more of now that I have a reason to paint and finish!