Broadsides 2016 – Preparation Part 1

Is it nearly the end of March already, what happened – actually lots but I’m not blogging about it as it is all real life.  Still the Easter holidays are here for me, whilst my eldest is still at school!  Time to start double checking the game for Broadsides 2016, this is the Sittingbourne Wargames show on Sunday 12th June.  At some point last year I had the crazy idea of arranging the game for this year and so starting thinking.  The idea is a variant of “Get to the chopper”, in this case it is a Sci-Fi setting so “Get to the lander” seems more appropriate.  The game is set in the Mantic Deadzone universe and the figures making up both sides are from that game with Enforcers trying to get to the lander and a bunch of plague trying to stop them.  This is a participation game with the players taking control of the Enforcers.  Beyond this I haven’t finished details although I intend using a cut down version of the Deadzone rules (need to see the new v2 yet though).  The terrain is the biggest issue and so I set out with this in mind when starting to play with the laser cutter, Rorke’s Drift that was shown at Cavalier last month was one of the earliest cuts.  I thought today that I better actually try laying out the terrain and check how much more I need to cut, we have a 6’x5′ table, but to leave space to organise figures etc we are planning on a 5’x4′ gaming space.  I put down the 6’x4′ green mat that I picked up at SELWEG last year and foled a foot over to give me the right size space, I then started laying out the terrain and this is where I got to:

Terrain for Broadsides
Terrain for Broadsides
From the opposite side
A view from one end.

Having put it out I need to build one more Habitat (the flat L-shape represents the last habitiat) and cut two pieces to fill the missing walkway space and I need to replace the corner piece as it doesn’t work with the straights.  Now who thought I couldn’t fill the board?


That was the year that was…

Well I tried hard to set myself a target to paint 365 28mm miniatures this year, and at one point thought I was well on target and going to get it done.  I managed 97 in the end, not even a third of my initial target I could blame all sorts of things, but the house move threw me entirely.  In the old house I had my own space and could leave my paints and  figure out to pick up the next moment of spare time, now I have to get my paint table out of the cupboard and set up on the dining room table.

On the upside I did manage to get 97 figures painted which was much more than I had managed in 2014.  I also took the opportunity to get to grips with laser cutting, I must thank the guys at work (not that they’ll read this) for letting me play.  I cut a lot of things, some you’ve seen, some that is still to be photographs.  I also purchased an Airbrush in exchange for all my Comics, most of my DVDs and a lot of my RPG books.

During the year I did manage to get in a number of games, less than I’d like.  A lot of Bolt Action was played in 2015, the Summer Campaign was fun.

Still it is now 2016 and so far I’ve managed to finish one book (okay I started it before Christmas and was given it in September!), and put together some of my most recent laser cutting pieces.  So what do I intend doing this year:

  1. Paint 150 figures of any scale.
  2. Paint a lot of the laser cut stuff.
  3. Assemble everything that I get this year (kickstarters inbound!).

Nothing major really!

Laser Cutting Part 6

No new laser cutting since the start of the summer holidays (but it is nearly term time again so there maybe some more in the next month).  Dan has finished painting one of the Rorke’s Drift buildings, the hospital in this case and I though it would be good to share his photo here for completeness.

The completed hospital building.
The completed hospital building.

Laser Cutting Part 5

It’s been a long time since I posted last but a lot has happened, we finally moved house and then I’ve been busy working for the exam board.  All that is finished so it is finally time for an update on hobby stuff.  Nothing to report in the painting challenge, I’ve not put a drop of paint on a figure for far too long.  On the laser cutting front however I have been busier, the end of term and loss of access to the laser cutter for the summer holidays made me put some time aside from unpacking to do some CAD work.  I managed to cut three things and I’ll do a post on each one over the next few days.

First up I finished the second building for Rorke’s Drift and handed them both over to Dan.  The pictures of the first building are in the last post, and the pictures of the second building are from Dan as he has rushed into assembling and detailing – hopefully I’ll be able to post some completed pictures of both buildings when he has finished:

Assembly completed.
Assembly completed.

Rorke's Drift 5Dan has been working on the detailing and had to build the stairs to the roof space himself as I couldn’t find the time to fiddle with them on the CAD software:

Assmebled and ready for painting.
Assmebled and ready for painting.

Lasercutting Part 4

So I set out to to cut a paint station for myself and have progressed through learning to work with the laser cutter at work, as well as understanding the software we use (2D Design).  The software is a bit odd so I’ve had to install other software to allow me to convert some of the online cutting plans that I have found into a format that is usable at work.  This means that I’ve been using Adobe Illustrator and DraftSight, both as free versions.  This week I’ve managed to get two sheets cut the first completed the parts for my painting stations, which is now assembled and has a brand new cutting mat installed.

My completed paint station
My completed paint station

It’s quite basic and my next task for it will be to cut a small paint rack to fit across the back to hold the paints I’m currently work on.

The second sheet I cut this week came about when on Thursday evening a friend (Dan) pointed my club to a webpage with plans to build Rorke’s Drift using 4mm thick Cork board (  Well the plans included dimensions and so after an hour or so’s work I had produced the plans in 2D Design.  10 minutes on the cutter at work and 30 minutes gluing I had this:

The hospital building at Rorke's Drift with roof.
The hospital building at Rorke’s Drift with roof.
The hospital building at Rorke's Drift without roof.
The hospital building at Rorke’s Drift without roof.

The roof maybe a little small, but once thatch has been put on I think it will cover it.  The internal wall has no locking points and is simply held by PVA glue, the same with the floor.  Next up will be Commissariat Store and then finishing and painting.

When I’m back at work I’ll export the plans in a more usable format, otherwise here is a jpeg at 50% size.

JPEG of cutting file.
JPEG of cutting file.

Laser Cutting Part 3

As I’ve been working through learning to use the laser cutter time has become a big concern.  To try and minimise the time that  I spend designing things I thought it would be good to see what is available already to download for free.  So below is a list of the various places and things that I’ve found to download, however I make no promises that they will still be available, nor that they will work for you.

Wargaming Lodz on the Infinity Forums has a post that includes a number of fun items; Antena, Crates, Containers, Escape Coffins, Vending Machines, Techwall and a Helipad.

Warcors also on the Infinity Forums has a post that has a number of buildings linked from it.  The buildings all fit inside each other – these were the original buildings I was going to cut, but gave up one working out.  I may return at somepoint now my skills and understanding have grown.

Aenimosity over on the Privateer Press forums has a post with plans for some crats and a Khador Inn.

Nixie on Dakka Dakka has some cool looking walkways that you can download the plans for, he also shows a very nice antenna in his post.  These are designed for 2mm MDF so I haven’t tried them yet as I only have 3mm.

The Fun Elements blog has a number of laser cutting plans on it from 15mm houses to tokens and templates.

Modicum of Joy has another Helipad plan available to work with as well as some templates.

Heribertovalle on Thinkiverse has a variety of plans for templates and barricades.

That’s all that I’ve found so far, if you know of one’s I’ve missed then please let me know it was hard enough digging these out.

Laser Cutting Part 2

My continuing adventures in laser cutting continue, or at least a report into how far I got earlier this week.  Whilst cutting the last sheet for the paint station (with the rest of the paint rack) I filled up some of the space on the sheet with some bases in 40mm size and also with some flight stands.  The flight stands were sparked as I had got hold of some Space Marine Landspeeders without flying stands.  These were the most complex things I have made to date as I wanted a nice curve to the upright and I wanted to use a magnet to hold the land speeder to the stand, hence the top had to have space to hold the magnet safely and provide balancing support to the model.  I posted the link to the last entry in this blog to Beasts of War and received some very helpful information from heribertovalle who pointed out something called kerfing, which is the extra bit cut off by the laser cutter.  Well I hadn’t measured or allowed for the kerf when I cut this first batch of flight stands and hence I was wary of how well they would hold together, so the base has a lot more sand on it than I would normally put on – something I suspect I can deal with as I paint the flight stand.  So below I present Jodain’s Mark I flight stand one without magnet and one with a 2mm thick, 5mm diameter Neodymium Magnet from first 4 magnets.

The Mark I flight stand assembled.
The Mark I flight stand assembled.
The Mark I flight stand holding comfortably a landspeeder.
The Mark I flight stand holding comfortably a land speeder.

The magnets are a bit stronger than the ones I normally get hold of and you should see the flight stand jump off the desk when I bring the land speeder close.

Paint Rack 1

Laser Cutting Part 1

I’m lucky enough to work in a school with a laser cutter, so I’ve been thinking for a long time that I ought to make use of this fact to make something for gaming.  I stumbled upon some free plans for some cube type terrain that was mentioned on Beasts of War, I downloaded the plans from the Infinity Forums and took them to school.  Unfortunately the software that is used at school couldn’t import the file format that I had downloaded, we did spend a while trying to get them to work but it looked to be too much effort for what was required.  By this point I’d purchase 12 sheets of 3mm laser grade MDF, so I didn’t want to waste it and DT have been very nice in storing it.

So with the house move coming up I realised that I would need a paint station and so looked at the price out there and what was available.  Having gluped at the prices and then remembered the wood sitting in DT I set out to learn the software used at school and dip my toe into laser cutting.  My first sheet was pretty simple a straight line and then some 28mm diameter holes for holding paint bottles (dropper bottles will fit nicely, others won’t).  The second sheet was much more complex and I’ll look at that in part 2 another time.  However it included the side walls and the bottom for the paint rack.  After a bit of sanding I now have my own 14 bottle paint rack, that I designed and cut myself:

Paint Rack 1
The assembled paint rack, only one paint in for now.

So what did I learn:

  1.  Never trust the website that tells you the wood is 3mm, when in fact it is 3.5mm
  2. The wood is generally not cut straight….
  3. The laser cuts about an extra 1mm off then you planned for.
  4. Double check measurements against the real think, even if you copied the plan over!

Had I realised some of the above I wouldn’t have had this: