Monday, August 10, 2009

Building HMES Hermes

One of the main features of the War of the Worlds display on our Open day was the ethergunboat HMES Hermes.

The Hermes was a last minute addition to the games day roster. After finishing the tripods and terrain I thought the display needed something extra for "wow" factor. Since Tom, my opponent had taken a massive lead in our arms race with his five steam tanks and balloon vehicles. The Brits needed some serious aerial support to bridge the gap. So the Hermes was conceived.

In retrospect it was a bit silly taking on a big project so late in the day. In fact I finished painting the crew on the morning of the open day so it was a close run thing.
The Hermes was of a similar construction to my HMLS Dauntless. It was made of foamboard, balsawood, styrene sheet and lots of pins for rivets. With VSF you can never have too many rivets. The crew and guns were from Eureka's colonial gunboat range. Ships wheel from Reviresco.
Since I didn't have much time to work on the design I largely imitated SPACE 1889/Cloudships of Mars designs. When I revisit this project to finish off those few little things I may put a floating platform above the boiler so that I can have a Hale Rocket Battery for a bit more firepower.
I am very happy with how it has turned out but it needs a couple more fittings to completely finish it like ventilation funnels and search lights. I'll get round to that in the coming weeks.
The Hermes pretty much finishes up my VSF Brit force for now. I have one unit of skywalker jump infantry to finish and a few personality figures to paint and then I am done.

My next project is English Civil War with the great Warlord games plastics, however I did buy a packet of the Wargames Factory plastic zulus, so I may get distracted! :)
Anyway here are the pictures.


I found some pictures of steam gauges on the net and shrunk them to size for the cabin display panel. On the back wall is a painting of the Cutty Sark. Later on I put up a photo of Queen Victoria (Gaud Bless ah!) and a schematic of the SPACE 1889 Aphid class gunboat.

Rivets Rivets Rivets!

More rivets!

The propeller is from a balsa wood Sopwith Camel Kit that I have had in my cupboard for years. I thought the prop could be put to better use on the Hermes.

Painting was very basic. Grey Base coat. Drybrush with grey/white mix. I used grephonne sepia wash from Games Workshop for rust stains. I liberally apply it over seams and around rivets. I drag the brush downwards for streaky rust stains from the rivets. The deck was balsa wood stained with the sepia wash.

The Hermes in action on the Mars Station.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nunawading Wargames Open Day 2009 display.

Over the last few weeks I have been flat out working on the display for my wargame clubs open day.

My fellow gamer Tom and I have been building up our VSF forces, and we decided that we would introduce the VSF genre to the public at our annual open day. The theme: The War of the Worlds on Mars!

Here is the scenario description for our display game:

War of the Worlds II
Folllowing the failed Martian invasion of Earth the great powers were able to harness some of the new technology and fearing another invasion from the Red planet set upon taking the initiative and attacking Mars itself.

The Martians were devastated by their defeat and had expended vast amounts of resources in both material and personnell in the failed attack. So depleted was their strength that when the Human forces landed on Mars they were in no shape to mount a defence and instead retreated into their underground cities to regroup.

The Great nations of Earth, finding Mars undefended set about colonising the red planet. While initially cooperating, old tensions soon resurfaced and very soon Mars was carved up as each power sought to establish their own colonies and sometimes this resulted in conflict.
The Battle of Mare Australis.

The British Martian Expeditionary forces (BMEF) that arrived on Mars, also brought along a number of scientists including,archaeologists and botanists.

The Famed Eygptologist Dr Heronimous "Digger" Pratt escorted by a detachment of the BMEF including the Landship HMLS Dauntless have discovered an abandoned Martain City near the sea of Mare Australis.

Their investigations into this city have discovered a Martian power device which luckily is intact and operational. They hope that this power device will prove useful in providing energy to the new British settlement and may also enable the British to use some of the captured Martian Heat ray weapons captured in the failed invasion.
However the British discovery has been leaked to Prussian forces and the small British Camp is attacked by overwhelming Prussian troops lead by their Charismatic leader Count Otto von Brakenstein.

While the British and Prussians fight over the power device the Martians have now chosen this moment to recommence offensive operations. Two Tripods that had not been ready in time to take part in the Earth invasion have been completed and they intend to recapture the power device and eliminate both British and Prussian forces.The Second War of the Worlds is about to begin...

And here are the photos enjoy!
The British left flank.

The British right flank

The Prussian forces:

HMLS Dauntless advances towards the enemy flanked by the Naval Brigade.

The evil Martians survey the unfolding drama waiting for their moment to strike!

The right flank consisting of HMLS Dauntless,Naval Brigade, 21st Unicycle lancers, and the 24th Regiment of foot commanded by Lt Bromhead advance.

The left flank consisted of two thunderer cannons, the Hardlove light steam charger, Gordon highlanders, sikh regiment and the impervious suits.

The first main Prussian assault was conducted by the jump infantry. The whirlegigen troops attacked the british right flank while the rocket infantry attacked the left flank.

While the Prussian attack was a surprise, their assaults were miss timed and both units were virtually wiped out with the british only taking minor casualties.

HMES Hermes provides vital aerial support.

The British camp. Queen Victoria (Gaud Bless ah!) watches the unfolding battles with her usual grim resolve. By her side is her faithful scottish bodyguard.

The Hermes attacks.

The Prussian armour advances. The Prussian Daleks cross the bridge to engage the British left flank.

The Prussian attacks were faltering. The jump infantry had been wiped out. A prussian balloon was destroyed by a thunderer cannon and the Dauntless had immobilised the Prussian spider tank and one of the steam tanks blocking the advance of the second steam tank.

The P49859081.8; __utmz=150635877.124m cover led by the Ramstein steam ram tank.

The gallant Prussian Currasiers charged the Sikh Regiment hoping to break through the british lines but the Sikhs saw them coming and the Prussian cavalry were exposed to the deadly effects of modern rifle fire.

Miraculously the Prussians charged home against the sikh but they arrived in too few numbers to strike hard and the sikh quickly despatched them with minimal losses.

The height of the battle, as the Prussian cavalry was destroyed on the Prussian right flank.

HMES Hermes was engaged by Prussian Copters powered by new galvanic cells.
The Prussian machine gun fire swept the decks killing a gunner and rocket fire damaged the Hermes propulsion systems. The two forces continued to spar but were unable to destroy each other.

It was at this point that the Martians chose to attack. One tripod engaged the British, while the other attacked the Prussians. Heat rays swept the battlefield.

The sudden appearance of the Martians threw both forces into confusion. The Prussian commander appealled to the British commander to work together against the martians.
"Why should I fight the Martians when there are Prussians to kill", the British commander was heard to say, which infuriated the Prussians, but eventually the British commander saw sense and both forces turned to engage the new enemy.

The Landship Dauntless survived a direct hit from the heat ray and its engines stalled preventing it from bringing its huge gun to bear. The Prussian Ramstein was disabled by a heat ray and then flipped by the tripod's tentacles. Two Prussian steam penny farthings madly rushed their tripod to plant sticky bombs against a tripod leg. One prussian blew himself up planting his charge but the other Prussian was successful. Unfortunately the damaged caused to the Tripod was minimal.

Lt Bromhead gallantly lead the 24th in a mad dash to plant a sticky bomb against a tripod. They succeeded in planting the charge but again the tripod survived the blast. Tentacles swept down on the 24th decimating it.

The last thing Bromhead saw was the towering mass of the tripod above him and the sound of the heat ray ringing in his ears.

With the tripods destroying the humans the game finished for the day. The display was enthusiastically received by the public and we were able to win best display on the day!

Just some quick background on the game.

We were using " Battles by Gaslight" rules.

The miniatures were all Eureka Miniatures.
except for the Prussian cavalry which were from Wargames foundry.

The Prussians tanks were conversions of GW tanks.

The Prussian balloons, HMLS Dauntless and HMES Hermes were all scratchbuilt.

The tripods are my own design and are now available from Eureka.

Thanks for dropping by.