The Fawcett-Fairchild FV1066 “Whippet” Quadrupedal Ambulatory Weapons Platform

As tensions across the world of Hyperia escalate, the Grand Alliance coalition of willing floating cities and aero-states are finding it necessary to deploy Sky Marine task forces with increasing regularity. As by necessity these task forces are small in terms of numbers, despite their high quality training and equipment they are vulnerable to near-peer competitors able to deploy overwhelming numbers. To this end, the Alliance military-industrial complex have been tasked with developing easily deployable “force multipliers”. The Fawcett-Fairchild “Whippet” class Quadrupedal Ambulatory Weapons Platform is such a device, crewed by a single Sky Marine, Vril-enabled Artificial Cognisance enabling it to track multiple targets, prioritise them and engage with twin belt-fed 1-inch canons – all the while networking with “senior” constructs such as the Dauntless-class Skycutter.”

You know that feeling when you see a piece of junk that you’re about to throw out and all of a sudden a voice in your head says “Keep me… I am destined to be more than this..”…

Yes, it’s a junk build. Missed these, haven’t you? 😉

So it was with a simple plastic cap off a bottle of guitar string cleaner – there was just something about the proportions that I thought looked right in 1/72… coupled with the fact that Dan had mentioned a new RTS called Iron Harvest that he reckoned I might get a kick out of…

OK, failed to take any pics of the build process, it seems. So – I began with the clear plastic spray top that forms the body of the mech. Next, I bored some holes in it and used cocktail sticks, snapped in half at the “knee” joints and sealed with superglue to form the legs. A mix of superglue and quick dry PVA did wonders to fix the legs in place to the body.

Next up, the cannons – two more cocktail sticks with sort of grippy bits on them (look at the pic, I don’t know how best to describe them!) – these got the superglue/ PVA treatment straight to the body. This works really well – PVA gives a flexible, sturdy bond but it takes time to dry, whereas superglue is quick drying but brittle. Mixing them seems to do wonders, and there doesn’t seem to be any side effects like Mel The Terrain Tutor describes from mixing superglue and hot glue.

The ammo belts you see feeding the cannons are cut from IDE cable (credit to Zrunelord from TMP there), chopped about 5mm by 10mm and given the magic glue mix, and the shiny thing on top is a defunct watch battery – gives the thing a nice bit of weight.

On the top you can see a chopped down superglue cap, and a couple of thin pieces of card glued to the front for armour plating, and just out of shot are a couple of drinking straws trimmed to represent exhausts:

Old brush bristle got repurposed as an aerial, and the rivets are our classic method of PVA blobs dabbed on with a cocktail stick
Finally I drew round a paint pot on a piece of corrugated card for the base. And with that, time for priming!
White, as was the style of the time..
Prewash with thinned black paint & Vallejo Smokey Ink mix

And once again, I forgot to take pics of the painting process, so here we are with some finished beauty shots:

Basecoat of Vallejo Russian Green, washed with Arm Pinter Green Tone and then thinned Vallejo Brown Ink with a pin wash of Vallejo Smokey Ink.. then drybrushed back with Russian Green, and mixed with craft tan to lighten it. Weathering was Vallejo Skin Wash streaked on to simulate rainwater and then sponge chipping with craft black and Vallejo Mithril silver for where bare metal pokes through (not too much, Sky Marines undertake regular maintenance of their armoury). The brass ammo belts were Mithril Silver washed with Skin Wash, and the base painted with chocolate brown before covered with dry soil, sand and Jarvis flock before varnish
Seen here about to kick some greenskin ass.. “They are to our right, left and centre.. they can’t get away now!”

Stay thrifty out there, and if you’re so inclined you can now follow us on Instagram! Just search “@skinflintgames” – see you in the next one

The Big One Pt.3 – Conclusion!

(NB – If you’re new here, go check out Parts 1 & Part 2, because otherwise NONE of this is going to make any sense…)

As we left matters at the end of turn 2, the central valley was awash with (now largely dead) Ratmen, but the objective – the crashed spaceship – was now in the hands of a regiment of humble Virum Nascii slaves and heading towards the Baddies’ table edge, and to make things worse the sorcerous cabal of the People’s Front Of Hazzard 237th Freedom Brigade had managed to conjure up a wall of psychic fire across the main approach route!

On the Goodies’ side, the PSLA (or Imperial Guard, depending on your viewpoint) finally showed up, adding a decent chunk of firepower, but as things stood, firepower was not the issue, we had plenty of that – getting it where it was needed was the problem!

Over on the Baddies’ table edge, Dan cackled malevolently as the Holy Soviet Army’s BIG GUNS appeared, in the form of Stompy Uncle Joe and the IS-6 Rampager (which would prove itself almost offensively useless, but there we go) and another regiment of Orcs arrived, but two more still languished on the sidelines – clearly too thick to find the batlefield.. and off we went for the next turn!

Turn 3 –

Baddies’ reinforcements – Stompy Uncle Joe turns up in the power station, the Rampager in the centre with another block of Orcs, and pay attention to the regiment of Virum Nascii Warriors top left- they’ll be important later on….
Goodies’ reinforcements hit the beach! The Guard arrive, along with the (literal) cavalry from the Ancien Regime, as well as the rest of the League Of European Nations troops
The Baddies secure the initiative and opt to move first – Virum Nascii Vrilseers conjure up a hole in reality for the Slaves carrying the spaceship to jump into, but it goes awry, scattering toward the power plant
Atlantic Alliance Silverbugs race forwards, gunning down Virum Nascii slaves and suppressing them
Just as her crew was readying to immolate the advancing Sky Marines, Inferna is riddled with Stinger TOW ADATS and Roswellium-tipped cannon rounds, exploding spectacularly!
Ancien Regime grenadiers finish off the remaining Ratmen in the valley, being reduced to just three men in the process!
Although the Virum Nascii slave regiment is now suppressed and unable to move, No. 2 Rifle squad picks up the spaceship and begins to move back towards the Baddies’ table edge!
A strong roll of Baddie activations sees the IS-6 Rampager managing to knock down a chain link fence, but despite twin 140mm cannons, two heavy and four light machineguns…. that’s all it accomplishes…. meanwhile the Orc Archer regiment picks up the crashed spaceship and hands it over to No. 3 Rifle squad who move further back toward the Baddie table edge – a very skilful hand of “Pass The Spaceship” by Dan!
Newly arrived regiment of Orc Warriors politely thank No. 3 squad and make off yet further with the crashed spaceship!
Although almost all of the Virum Nascii are dead by this point, a survivng Vrilfire rifle team manages to take down two Jagers! Such is the curse of the newly painted model…
Desperate to clear a path through to the rapidly disappearing objective, the M42 Stealth Tank decloaks and twin autocannons lay waste to Da Skooderia, leaving only the Warboss…
… who then rolls Frenzy, clearly thinking “Sod it – WAAAAAGH!!!” and charges straight up to engage Buffalo 2-7s HQ, killing Lt. Grant before Platoon Sgt. Mcauliffe finishes him off!
The surviving T-48 swings into position to block off the valley – between the wrecked vehicles and the wall of psychic fire, there is now no way through for the Goodie troops, it’s all down to the Rocketeers and Silverbugs..
… and then from out of the power plant comes Stompy Uncle Joe, the massive Soviet war mech immolating a Silverbug with his lightning launcher (taking out a Virum Nascii vrilrifle team as collateral damage, but hey)
The Goodies are throwing everything they’ve got in an attempt to force a passage – on the left the Sky Marines are advancing briskly through the hills to take on the remains of Da Skooderia, while Crimson Fists supported by a Centurion hammer at the centre, but the Baddies are getting away…
Remember the Ratmen warrior regiment from earlier? Well so did the PFH 237th’s cabal of sorcerers, successfully managing to teleport it in base to base contact with the Orcs currently carrying the spaceship..
With the dice gods smiling on him, Dan then successfully activates them (being teleported doesn’t mean they’ve had a turn yet) and they shoulder the spacecraft – then leg it straight off the board! It’s a firm victory for the Baddies!

So there you have it, a very smart Hail Mary play with a little luck on his side and my opponent snares victory! In fairness, had Dan not had the luck he would have won the next turn anyway, there was no way I was going to be able to get enough firepower into position to stop his troops running off with the objective. He damn near won at the start of turn 3 anyway, as the Virum Nascii Vrilseers created a reality tunnel for the Slaves to jump in to – had I not got lucky with it scattering, and not managed to suppress them, he would have had it in the bag right then.

Thoughts? Well, I think I did my usual trick of playing it like a straight up battle where the objective was to destroy the opponent – Dan on the other hand actually played the scenario… which was even more galling because I wrote the scenario!!! Reviewing the battle, he played very cleverly, and with all the ruthlessness that befits a Baddie general – the sacrifice of the Virum Nascii “rat bombing” me on Turn 2 and using the tough-as-nails Skooderia units to stymie me in the centre, then blocking the valley choke point with a psychic fire barrier… well played, sir, well played!

Right, after that MAMMOTH battle report I shall be handing the keys over to my colleague and going and lying on the sofa with a wet flannel over my head and quite possibly a large gin on standby…

Stay safe, healthy and thrifty out there wherever you may be in hobbyland, we’ll see you very soon!

The Big One Pt.2 – To Battle!

And thus was battle joined… We’ve decided to split this report across a couple of posts due to the sheer size of the game and therefore the length of time posts take to write… with this one, there’s every chance you wouldn’t be hearing from us again this side of Christmas! Anyway – enjoy the first two turns:

Turn 1 –

Goodies – most of the Atlantic Alliance, all the Sky Marines and the Crimson Fists arrive.

Baddies – most of the Holy Soviet Army (but no IS-6 or Stompy Uncle Joe), Da Skooderia, most of the PFH 237th arrive.

Goodies bag initiative and get the first few shots off – a Silverbug glides forward and looses off a pair of Stinger/TOW ADATS missiles at the lead T-48s
This blows the cannon off one tank and severs the fuel line of the second, which is quickly finished off by a salvo from the Avenger cannon. First blood to the Goodies!
Holy Soviet Army troops wait for the signal to move alongside the Orcs of Da Skooderia
Elements of the People’s Front Of Hazzard 237th Freedom Brigade shelter in place in the Skalk Point plasma generator station. Creighton light assault vehicle on the extreme left.
Crimson Fists deploy from their APC to secure the objective while Da Skooderia leadership deploy forward into cover
Crimson Fists lose two commandos to fire from the Holy Soviet Army No. 1 Rifle Squad…
Reaction fire downs four Soviet riflemen, but the Russians hold fast under the gaze of their Commissar
Mobile units on both sides sprint for the objective
Lethal fire slaughters Soviet riflemen caught in the open, immobilising and cutting the fuel line on the assault gun
On the Goodie’s left flank, Grand Alliance Sky Marines advance through the heights above the beach
Expert sniping from the Milibandalorian boys deployed on the roof of the command centre annihilates Bravo squad in a storm of plasma!
A superb long range Stinger/ TOW shot from combat support bot (top left) arcs and twists through the trees ,immobilising the 237th PFH’s Creighton tank!
Having been lurking out of sight in the power station, another T-48 roars out of cover and demolishes an M113 with it’s main gun, although fire from it’s machine guns patters harmlessly off the Crimson Fist’s power armour
“Comrade, was that tree always there?” – M42 Stealth Tank performs its’ party trick
The situation at the end of Turn 1 – Goodies command the objective with a single Crimson Fist squad, but have lost two of the elite troopers, plus an M113, damage to a Silverbug, as well as all of Bravo squad and the RTO. Meanwhile the baddies have lost almost all of No. 1 rifle squad, a T-48 and 3 more damaged.

Turn 2 –

Goodies – most of the rest of the Atlantic Alliance bar the two Humvees, League of European Nations – HQ, Jagers, infantry, Ancien Regime rifle regiment & Steam Tank

Baddies – More Soviet infantry, Orc Archers, and as you’ll see, the bulk of the Virum Nascii…

Allied reinforcements hit the beach, but look at the top of the photo….
ALL THE RATS!!!!!!!!! Turns out, Dan had had the plan for this ever since we wrote the rules for the Virum Nascii special weapons teams – the Vrilgrinder teams had been steadily tunnelling through reality itself and as a result they were able to deploy right on the objective, swamping the Crimson Fists lead fireteam and Pedrov Kantrov!
Silverbugs let loose their weapons and arch away from close assault range, Avenger cannons downing three plague priests..
Stinger/ Tow ADATS missiles blow the heat cannon off the Creighton
The Rocketeers throttle forward to try and help the embattled Special Forces team but the rats achieve Frenzy and tear the elite SAS troopers apart!
Said Ratmen are promptly immolated by a plasma missile from the Crimson Fists! The survivors pumped full of heavy calibre explosive rounds
“There’s too many!”
Swamped by Virum Nascii from all sides, even Pedrov Kantrov can’t hold out!
While the Goodies are distracted by the whirling melee, massacring Ratmen right left and centre – a regiment of humble Slaves pick up the objective and start to leg it back to Baddie lines
Atlantic Alliance M113 darts forwards, machine guns pouring fire into the Slave regiment with the spaceship, killing 7 slaves and suppressing them
More Virum Nascii Slaves swarm the Allied infantry on the heights, wiping out Delta squad but dying to a rat in the process..
Kimi Rorkonnen brings Red 7 into play, his gunner Felipe Masha unleashing the heat cannon onto an Allied M60A3 Centurion, blowing the turret off!
Virum Nascii special weapons teams come into play, Vrilrifles damage an M113 pursuing the Slaves carrying the spaceship – immobilising it and blowing a machinegun off it
The second team blow up an M60A3!!
Jagers Marsch!
Cobra missiles from the Jagers demolish Red 7, adding to the utter carnage in the central valley
Ze Churmans are heavily in the fight, 88mw laser destroying Da Skooderia’s battlewagon…
But the sorcerer cabal of the People’s Front Of Hazzard have managed to conjure up a psychically induced wall of fire across the entrance to the ruined town!
The view from the Goodie lines as Turn 2 ends…
Utter carnage in the centre!
Utter chaos as we try and work out who’s winning….
Charles LeclOrk in warbuggy Red 16 surveys a scene of utter bedlam and devastation…and most heartily approves!

So that’s the end of turn 2 and despite monstrous casualties the Baddies are in a good position… they’ve got the downed spacecraft and are scuttling back to their table edge with it, and the main route for the Goodies is largely inaccessible due to wrecked armour and magic fire… what adventures will turn 3 bring?!? Stay tuned, stay thrifty, and stay healthy and safe out there, we’ll be back soon!

Hyperian Wars: Escalation! A7V Steampunk conversion

Dan and I have been busily working our way through the four – FOUR – boxes of Miniknight Ratmen we wound up buying last year, and don’t y’all be fretting as there’s a big update coming on them. But in the meantime, we’re planning a sequel to the last Hyperian Wars battle report – after a taut pitched battle against the Sky Marines of the Grand Alliance, the Virum Nascii are going up against the massed armies of the Ancien Regime.. and with Dan in the hot seat for the little furry guys, I found myself flying the flag for humanity…

Enter the first ever papercraft either of us made, way back in 2015….

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Yeah, not great. But the Ancien Regime are going to need every bit of firepower they can get on Friday, because those rats are lethal. So a few nights ago I decided to attempt an upgrade:

Took the original ( a papercraft download from “Landships II” of a 1/72 A7V) – added the rubber holder from the end of a pencil for the main gun, green stuff and guitar string cut offs for the repeater rifles in the nose, drinking straws for the exhausts

Crosses from a foamboard castle kit that Dan’s kid got for Christmas, rivets are dobs of PVA glue added with a bent paperclip

Then came the repaint – grey basecoat, washed with thinned black ink, pin wash pf smokey ink , red and yellow for the detailing, silver washed with blank ink for the metallics. Spot of sponge chipping with craft black paint and drybrushed earth tones for mud, banners drawn out, painted freehand and then wrapped around a paperclip rolled straight (ish) with a rolling pin. And the result…

Oh yeah, and brass painted with craft paint and washed with brown ink, tracks added with cut up IDE cables. Pictured here in situ with some Ancien Regime troops on patrol!

 Half Term Hijinks Pt. 1 – Hyperian Wars (1/72 Fantasy Steampunk Wargaming)

It’s the half term break here in Ye Olde England, so our little group has been able to cram in a little more game time than usual (yep, the teaching profession has its upsides..).. Our regular readers may have noticed that we’ve gone for a bit of a fantasy vibe recently, turning the Apocalypse: Earth game mechanic to new pastures.

The world of Hyperia, mankind’s new home across the stars.. colonised by refugees from a dying Earth more than twenty centuries previously, mankind has learned to abandon the crude technology of its past, embracing Vril and Magick.. mankind has learned to coexist with the native Stoc’d and Ee’la races, and help them face the Terrors that inhabit the world’s core. But as is the way of mankind, we cannot remain united for long.. now across Hyperia, different realms do battle for the precious resource of Vril.

To the West, the Grand Alliance commands a network of skyways and oceanic shipping lanes across its network of islands. Mighty skyships ply their trade amidst the islands, archipelagos and vast floating cities of a thriving economy with new inventions pushing technological barriers every day. Their elite Sky Marine Corps are the envy of every power on Hyperia. But the Alliance is built on the vital resources of liftwood and Vril, and both of these are becoming rarer by the day.

On the central continent, the realm of the Ancient Regime holds sway – their ruling families tracing their roots back to the original colonists who crashed to Hyperia on the fateful day that brought our race here. Their numbers are vast and they have a firm mastery the arts of wizardry – a Grand Army of the Ancient Regime is a fearful sight to behold, their vast columns of swordsmen, cavalry, riflemen, armour and their elite wizardy cadre represent a powerful force, but their empire is stagnating. Rituals, feudalism and a distrust of technological research has stifled new thinking and innovation.

So, our first playtest battle used the Ancien Regime and Grand Alliance armies detailed last month – no points values at this stage, and the objective was control of the central rocky gulch. Great fun was had, and I’m stunned how closely matched the forces were considering list balance was largely guesswork!

Both sides faced off with objective in central gully – superheavies (the Ironclad and the Dauntless) deployed to use cover, with the Grand Alliance planning to whittle down and counterattack their far more numerous opponents, while the Ancien Regime forces detailed their two Grenadier squadrons to take objective, while the massed musketeer regiment would cover the more open left flank pinning down any opposition, whilst finally the Cuirassier cavalry and A7V light tank would sweep around right and crash into Allied lines.

The game started with largely ineffective firing on both sides as the forces closed, jockeying for position – Allied forces shot down a few infantry while Ancien Regime grenadiers and armour stripped powerfields off the Dauntless – then Ancien sorcerer conjured a lightning storm to cripple the skycutter’s control systems. Nonetheless, the Dauntless’ missiles blew weapons off the A7V, which the enterprising driver then used as cover to support scything cavalry attack into Allied lines that wiped out No. 3 squad. Sky Marine rifle fire from no. 2 quickly shot down the Cuirassiers and close assaulted the tank, losing five of their number but immobilising the beast and therefore rendering it harmless, while No. 1 squad exchanged fire with the musketeers and HQ fired into the ranks of Grenadiers

The Dauntless shook off lightning storm and recovered to hide and ambush Ironclad, washing it in Vrilfire and denuding it off its port side Maxims, eventually immobilising it and then destroying it completely at the cost of her missiles and a damaged engine. Meanwhile, rifle and mortar fire raked the Grenadiers, whose A squadron charged the Sky Marine command group and wiped them out. In their turn, these men were blown apart with grenades and B squadron fell to one survivor.

In an astonishing move, this heroic Grenadier charged the remainder of No.2 squad who promptly surrendered and became POWs! The shame! Meanwhile the Dauntless crew finally hunted down incinerated the sorcerer who had caused them such misery. As she closed on the Musketeers, No. 1 squad charged to rescue their pals, and the Musketeer colonel turned to see a listing, smoking Dauntless hovering over his men, cannon and Vrilfire thrower at point blank range. Realising there was nothing to be gained by sacrificing his men to a horrific agonising death, the colonel raised his hands in surrender, bade his men do the same and led the survivors into captivity..

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Terrain laid out – objective in the centre

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Deployment – Grand Alliance Sky Marines in the foreground, serried ranks of the Ancien Regime in the background..

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Battle is joined! The mighty Ironclad anchors the centre while the cavalry make use of cover..

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The Dauntless weighs in..

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Wonky camera angle, sorry! Cuirassiers crash into the Sky Marine lines..

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Grenadiers assault the objective – Sky Marines are struggling at this point against sheer weight of numbers..

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Grenadiers charge and wipe out Sky Marine HQ!

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Duel of the superheavies – Ironclad vs Dauntless

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“Surrender or die!”

Result – Grand Alliance victory, by a hair’s breadth!

Lists –

Grand Alliance

Command group – KIA

3 x rifle squads 1 KIA, 1 3 survivors, 1 7 survivors

Dauntless – damaged

Ancien Regime

Sorcerer in chief – KIA

Grenadier regiment divided into A & B Squadrons – KIA

Musketeer regiment lost 13 men out of 48

Cuirassier cavalry squadron – KIA

A7V – mobility & weapon kill – effectively destroyed

Ironclad – destroyed

Altogether, awesome game! A few pointers which we’ll take into the next playtest (more varied spells, pin down exactly how power fields regenerate etc) but overall a resounding success. Props to Dan for being an always challenging and sportsmanlike opponent, and stay tuned for more Hyperian Wars!

Mega Summer Update -1/72 Wackiness!

Crikey, I blinked and I almost missed August! Well, we’ve been busy down here at Skinflint HQ, with a variety of different projects – so apologies, this might not be the most focused of posts, but there’ll be plenty of 1/72 weirdness to enjoy..

First up – terrain!

This is a tele-logistics hub for the Atlantic Alliance logistics corps – in the fluff, alien tech captured at Roswell in 1947 led to the Philadelphia Experiment a few years later, which failed in its original purpose but the side effects led to Alliance scientists mastering teleportation. However, seeing as the setting is the mid-1950s, we did’t want Star Trek-style transporters as that wouldn’t fit the story.. how could the world fall into an endless apocalyptic Second Great War if all Churchill or Eisenhower had to do was beam a bomb into the centre of the Kremlin?

So there are limits. A teleporter can’t transport live organic matter as the computers of the day don’t have the power to reassemble it, so it’s strictly limited to supplies. And you can’t just beam anything anywhere, there has to be a homing beacon set up – these beacons are known as hubs, and they are an essential part of the Allied war effort, far less vulnerable than conventional naval convoys.

So this little puppy is built from a variety of household junk – beginning with a CD spindle, and adding various bits of miscellania – the hoses you see are used guitar string cut offs -given a black undercoat, drybrushed with metallic paint and then details picked out and highlighted. It made a great objective in our last game!

Next up – Steampunk Fantasy WW1!

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These are Airfix WW1 British infantry, to double as Grand Alliance Sky Marines for our steampunk/fantasy A:E adaptation, “Hyperian Wars”. They were part of an Ebay haul from a few years back.

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Sky Marine rifle squad

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CO – moustache and sabre firmly in place!

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Command section – signaller, wiring team, mortar crew

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Casualties – these chaps may well make for good objective markers for “Black Hawk SkyCutter Down” style scenarios

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More grunts!

Continue reading Mega Summer Update -1/72 Wackiness!