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Thursday, December 29, 2011

He Who Rules The Waves

No, no, no...not him.  Davey has an entirely different job in the game - and woebetide if you get on His bad side!

We're talking here about Joe B., our esteemed rules writer who is slaving away over his word processor pounding out witticisms and arcane numerical formulas that somehow result in that mysterious phenomenon.  Shh!  It's called Fun.

Just figured what with showing off all the painted figures and buildings I needed to throw a little "love" his way.  Without Joe and his inimical, pardon, extraordinary rules we'd all be stuck in the mud at low tide.  So, here's to Joe - tilt a jug back and have a slug in his honor.

...if you've the stomach for a broadside...

wait, wait - furious waving of semaphore flags on the horizon - this just in:

That's a link kindly provided by the other Joe showing off the Spanish figures he's been working on.  Saves me having to photo them and get them up.  But I do have others to get in the camera and posted here.  Anybody got a spare time stretcher they aren't using - just in case January 28th sneaks up on me all of a sudden?

Monday, December 26, 2011

And A River Runs Through It?

WHAT?  A river?  I thought this was all about Pirates in the Carob Bean Sea!

Calm yourself, young GrassChopper, it is as you say it is.  But, if you will reflect back on earlier posts, it was mentioned that the terrain will be built for versatility beyond the two planned games plus the play test - and maybe a fourth outing locally if it can be arranged.  The photos you are about to see will show some of the "curvaceous" pieces that are on their way to becoming the islands for the game (well, the larger ones, some of the smaller ones have yet to be photographed) and a bit of the diverse ways of arranging them - but not yet shown as they will be arranged for the game.  Need to keep something in reserve to lure you back for more, yes?
Well, okay, there are no curves yet in the pieces above but this is just to show a starting point.  These pieces were pre-cut at the hardware store to 2' x 3' and will be cut up into corners and short extenders.  Most of the precut pieces were 2' x 4' and a few were 1' x 4' with at least one pair of the latter cut into 1' x 3' to make Saltwater Springs Island - which will also be the back side of the volcano when it appears as a whole.
This photo shows a 5' wide by 19' setup with a 1' (approximately) river running between the pieces - or maybe it is a long valley through the Northwest Frontier, or maybe with some cliff pieces on top it could be Apache Pass.  How about the Nile?  Or a fjord with Narvik deep inside?  Versatility!  On the right is a four foot ruler.

If you study the above image with some care, and one of the lower ones, you will see the four "national" islands that will be used in the game.  They are the four end pieces, two on either side.
This is a reverse view of the previous image.  Did you note the peninsula way down on the left of this view is removable?  There is an alternate set to be used that just makes this a little bit of a "jut" rather than a peninsula.
 How sharp are your eyes?  Did you see them at first glance of this view?  See what?...
See these two 15 mm resin boats just past the peninsula?
Maybe you can see them better here.  This is just to help give a sense of scale.  Remember, the game will be on two 6' wide by 24' long tables and this is only 5' by 19' as laid out.
This is a view of six of the islands that will be used in the game but not as they will be used but in their "matching" configuration.  On the far right of this view is the volcano island, Gilderakatoa, and abutted up to it is Saltwater Springs Island.  Ever wonder how long you could live on just salt water?

The middle pair of islands are the north and south native islands or - in this arrangement - Turtle Island.

And the set on the left is the pirate island, the bigger one of course, and the mangrove swamp island - and, yes, the mangroves will "leak" onto the pirate island.
 Here is a reverse view of the same - note the four foot ruler again to give you a sense of the size of what's is being assembled here.
This is a view of an alternative arrangement using one of the two corner pieces and a three foot extender.  Each "side" of the layout has two 4' extenders and one 3' extender.  None of the extender pieces or corners are for the game.  But that island by the "bay" extender is.
Just a reverse shot showing the other end.  This set up is also approximately 5' by 19'.  Since our normal table gaming width is 5' rather the Pirate game's special 6', I built these ends - the matching corner and 3' extender - to be 5' wide.  And while mentioning extenders the last two of the eight needed are now built.

What game scenario can you imagine using this setup with those two sharp corners at either end and the narrowing of the river/canyon by the "peninsula"?
A sample shot of one of the towns with some figures in it - but not in its final arrangement yet.  This is the Spanish village and some troops being led by the towns mounted military commander...
 with a closer shot of some figures being commanded.
Last, but not least, is a seagull's eye view of the Spanish town - all ten buildings (the one to the upper left counts as three) and the barrel pile.

What you see in the photos above are two pieces of underlayment cut to match each other, a bottom piece and a smaller top piece.  These will be separated by furring strips I've ripped into 1"x1" pieces which will be glued and screwed together.  Then there will be insulation foam stuffed into the open areas - on the gaming faces only, not the ends or back.  Once that is done, a layer of wood glue goes down and will be covered with fine sand and once that is dry it will be time to paint - four browns below four greens.

And one last thought for you to consider - if it hasn't occurred to you already: go back up to the first photo and imagine the two sides being moved so that they are back to back.  A four foot wide by nineteen foot long island?  Or is it the same size plateau?   I haven't tried to tally up all the possible arrangements of the game pieces and the extra extenders and corners but I can sure imagine a lot of uses for them however they are arranged.  Hey, how about a pirate game?!

More Buildings from Mike

Here are the rest of the British buildings and the beginnings of the Dutch.  By the way, we've added three new painters to the project - Robert is painting the Pirate town, Chris the French town, and Nils will be doing the field works.  Also, we have a definite date for the play test - Saturday, January 28, 2012.

So, for your perusing pleasure, here are a bunch more buildings:

 The front and...
and the back.
And another back...
then yet a different back...
 and here is the front from two above...
 and the same (as in front from two above).
 And a top view of both.
 And here we see the first of the Dutch buildings from one side...
 and from the top...
 and from the other side...
and with the roofs on...
 and the destroyed variation of the roofs.
 A crafty buildings in the Dutch scheme.
 And another.
 A dollar store find.
 And a Hovels in progress for the Dutch
 And the last of the lot for now.

Not counting the native villages, there will be at least 50 buildings in the game (some of them are a single casting representing three or four buildings)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday insanity

I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to January 2nd.  The whole holiday craziness should be over by then.  Meanwhile, I'm astounded that this blog has received over 2500 visits already.  When I started I would have been happy to get to 500 by the time of the game.  Now I'm wondering if we'll make it to 5000 by then.

So, until next week (or maybe even the new year) Happy Holidays and a safe and Hobby-eriffic New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Surprise the Prize

So, here is the prize list (times two, once for each convention) as of this moment:

Grand prize is a plaque plus an Army Card for Blue Moon, a resin pirate ship, and a crew for the ship!
(this prize is reserved for the best pirate costume)

There is another Army Card by itself, a resin ship by itself, and a crew by itself as prizes.

There are also a number of "just for fun" prizes.  Hoping to add to the swag as time goes on.

As to who is providing the prizes?  Well, sometimes donors prefer to remain anonymous - or semi so -  and I will respect that wish, at least until the conventions when I have permission to reveal more.

For those unfamiliar with the Old Glory army card, it is worth 40% off all purchases for a year from Old Glory, including the Blue Moon ranges (less any restrictions - see their site for more information).  That means that can be a very valuable prize indeed.  If you plan to make $1000 worth of purchases over the year then that card is worth $400.  Pretty nice prize, hey, me hearties?

What with the holidays hard upon us I am limited on time for posting here but I will still try and do at least one post a week until I get more time.

Hard a starboard, you lubbers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Checking In

Just a quick word to advise that I've been very busy - including on this project - but short on time to post here.  Have received most of the items for prizes and will post more on that soon as well as more photos soon.  Meanwhile, enjoy what is here and the anticipation of more good stuff to come.  Now, back to that busy stuff that happens this time of year...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Terrain "In The Rough"

Well, since I had to spend a fair amount of time over the holiday weekend working on "Lettysburg" rather than on the Pirate Project, I don't have some of the terrain photos I'd hoped to have by now - but they will come.  However, I do have a few shots of the gathered items for terrain and some more photos from Mike of finished (or one in process) buildings, the rest of the Spanish and a couple of the British.  So, here goes:
The above photo shows the raw materials, not already seen, for the terrain.  Those tall items leaning up at the back are the spacers to increase the size of the tables to 6' widths.  The rest shows the wood that will be cut up to make the islands and the paint for the Great Canvas - which can be seen standing and rolled in the background on the left, inside the garage.   Those long bundled sticks are 1x2 furring strips that I've since ripped into 1x1 strips to use to give height to the islands.  There are 11 gallons of house paint in various colors.  There are some craft paints that will be used to transform plastic plants into something more "natural" looking.  There is a jig saw that will (actually was already) be very busy.  And there are the various bits of 4' x 8' boards I had cut down into 1' x 4', 2' x 3', and 2' x 4' sections that will get trimmed into "curvacious" islands.
The above three photos are of the craft paints, the browns and greens should have obvious uses to most of you.  But what of the blues and purple?  Well, the tropics can be a colorful place.  Here is a sample of their use:
The two fronds on the right are as purchased, the two on the left have been "striped" with all of the colors seen above - a bit muddied from overspray but I think you can see how they "tone down" the out of store plants.  Well, I can see it and prefer it, though certainly in practice it won't be so muddied by mixing so many colors so close together.
This shot shows all the newly purchased cans of paint to match the colors previously selected - and to the far right are the two newly added blue-greens to be used when painting the sea.  On the left are 5 cans of the Montana paint that are no longer part of the "grand plan" but will still find some use, especially the tans and green.  Now, would you like to see the beginning of the sea?
Here is the first coat of paint on the first of the two main canvasses.  Take note of the line of paint on the blue plastic tarp - that shows how much the canvas shrank while drying!
And this just gives a little perspective as to size, the little island is not part of the game but the building on it is, one of the smaller Spanish buildings.  Of course, the little island could be used for some other game.
And one last shot of the raw materials, a nice view on the left of the stack of material that will get attacked with the jigsaw to become the islands - an island top with a larger matching island bottom (the curves matched) to be glued and screwed to the 1x1 to create a "sandwhich" with the odd spaces to be filled in with insulating foam (not shown), the dull yellowish stuff that comes with silver backing on one side.  This should create both durable terrain and hopefully prevent much warping.

Now, some of you may be wondering at the expense lavished on so much raw materials and it has been substantial - but all of this terrain will be available after the game (as will the extra pieces that will be created along with the game pieces that will give it so much more versatility) and for years to come.  So, while its been a lot of money up front, it will be well used.  And with a little luck there will be enough materials left to create an actual "mountain range" as inspired by a tutorial on the Major General's page.

Now, for the buildings.  Mike has been busy - and should be busy today working on even more - getting the Spanish finished, the British underway, and he has the Dutch ready to hand to start working on those.  Pretty soon it will be the turn of the French and then, finally, the Pirate town itself.
Spanish building number five...
and six...
and seven...
and eight, nine, and ten...
from two sides...
and with damaged roofs...
and from above...
and finally a reverse shot.

One thought, or reconsideration - and no reflection on Mike's painting but on my building selection: some of the smaller crafty sorts of buildings are looking a bit too small and will require some use of forced perspective to be effective in the game.  But, hey, sometimes we have to compromise and this was how I got to ten buildings for each town.  Perhaps one day this will be resolved by adding better buildings but time was too short to hunt up more buildings and get them painted to a matching theme.  Speaking of which, Mike has been doing a great job on giving the buildings individuality while maintaining a theme for each town.

Here is a beginning of the British, just one small wood roofed building.
And above and below are two shots of another building for the British.

Hope to see more of the British buildings soon.

That's all for now, hope to have more terrain photos soon but be patient, "Lettysburg" is not complete and it is important to work on that in order to keep time available for this project.  All you married folk out there know what I mean.

(oh, the reason for a note between photos is because it prevents so many photos becoming a slide show where the pictures cannot be enlarged by you, the viewer)