at Home and On Campaign

at Home and On Campaign

23 December 2016

Death and Carnage at the Bulow Tank Factory (a Heartwarming Christmas Story)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and on the edge of space in Sector Six
The soldiers of Eight Ball Command were up to their old tricks

Intelligence had found a factory where Space Nazi’s were building machines
And although they had a lot of security, Eight Ball crept in unseen

“Mark the radars and other air defenses!” ordered Major Guiscard, his voice full of wrath
“The ‘Shelly’s inbound, and her strike planes will need a clear path!”

Above, the Shelly’s navigator transitioned the giant ship from warp into perfect position
She hung in geosynchronous orbit, her pilots eager to launch for the mission

The Shelly’s Captain barked, “Go for the mission, for the Shelly’s main guns, we are too high!”
The fighters and bombers screamed away from the ship and down from the sky

“Merry F’ing Christmas!” yelled a pilot as his first missile was away
Smashing the Anti Air defenses marked by Eight Ball was the opening play

Next came the bombers, unleashing apocalyptic death, destruction, and disorder
Their bombs tattooed with insults, curses, and derisive comments about your mother

as quick as they came, victorious in this bout
it was back to the Shelly, and then the Shelly warped out

On the ground, the explosions went on, the factory completely burned
“Mission Success, installation destroyed” Major Guiscard confirmed

But then… there was a miraculous change, laughter after the furious fray
All of the toppled soldiers were stood up, all polyester smoke and fire was lifted away

Mirth and good cheer was all you could hear, as the soldiers were placed back to the beginning
“It was your dice” “It was your face” the players bantered about the real reason for winning

The players went home, dreaming of victory or plotting revenge right through
Hurry back dear players, your toy soldiers stand ready
 …and they may start without you

from the Governor General and Family
(pic from Royal Archives, "Princess Sophie's 4th Annual Holiday Ball")

21 December 2016

"Wellllll..... Johnny Ace...

Spun the Chamber of His Cowboy Gun!"
- Opening line of "Johnny Ace" by Dash Rip Rock from the "Ace of Spades" album

Johnny Ace is a notorious data thief for hire in Sector Six. He's pretty handy with a gun as well. Rumor has it that there are new Imperial Officials arriving in the Sector.  Might be some opportunities there...


Just a short post today. The model is the "not FIN" from Hasslefree with a headswap with the "not Nick Fury" from Crossover.  I was originally thinking of him as just a gun for hire or a bodyguard, but the satchel on his right hip suggests a lot of gear.

Welcome to our new reader in Sector Six:

07 December 2016

Special Diplomatic Investigators

For such a completely worthless backwater, Sector Six is causing the Empire major problems. It strains credulity, but it seems that an official Imperial Survey briefly mentions this place actually exists (very briefly, in passing, and as an aside in the 114th section of the appendix to the “4,031st Analysis of the Enduring Long Term Price Stability of Low Quality Common Metal Reserves, Non-Strategic”). 

It gets worse: the mention was NOT edited out in the final draft before being forwarded all the way to Imperial Prime.

That sort of outrageous disruption of bureaucratic process is guaranteed to trigger an explosion of exception forms and new reports and the commission of a committee to investigate the need for an investigation.

Meet the Special Diplomatic Investigators

The Naval Liaison Officer is from Games Workshop, and the Contessa is one of the fantastic Colony 87 sculpts

Thanks for Looking

30 November 2016

The "KCS Mary Shelly", Backstory and Build

Office of the Governor General
Travis Point, New Cypress
Kingdom of Colores

Chief of Intelligence, Admiral Jones
(High Level Briefing)
“Approximately 1,400 years ago, the Imperial Cruiser, ‘Interrus’ (hull number 447A32CC) was placed into fleet reserve and assigned a holding orbit above Ocrade. It was then prepped for cold storage and vented to space.  The Interrus remained undisturbed for the next 374 years.   

“Fortuitously for us, things then took a turn for the ship, when a departing merchant vessel suffered a massive warp force level catastrophe.  Official Imperial reports assumed that the Interrus was consumed by the explosion, but there were rumors that she had survived and was adrift in warpspace. After an exhaustive investigation, our agents uncovered several catalogued sightings of the ship and gave the data to our navigators.

“We found the Interrus in deep space. She was in good shape, so she was recovered and secretly towed to an orbit above the Bakkun moon where we began to restore her to active service under the codename ‘Project: Iowa’

“Despite a last minute attempt by Imperial and Reich’s agents to derail the project, we have succeeded in bringing her to an operational state.

Flight Operations Compartment

Ship’s Bridge and Admiral's CIC Suite

Engineering and Main Reactor

Navigator’s Suite

6 x Portescu 3rd Generation Main Guns

1 x Teledyne, Rapid Fire 14Gw Blaster Array and
4 x Teledyne, Rapid Fire 7Gw Blaster Arrays

4 x Straalivant 737pkt Shield Projectors

“Unlike some other Imperial designs where the further back in time you look the more advanced and capable they get, our girl is truly an odd duck. Her main battery layout is awkward with asymmetrical fire arcs and to get her serviceable she’s a complete mishmash of technologies. A Frankenship if you will.

“She will be christened, the KCS Mary Shelly


The Build
So my friend Mike, owner of Goldmine Games, (and longtime Ork player… nobody’s perfect) was lamenting the fact that years and years ago, he was dumb enough to sign up for a tournament at a major convention and missed out playing in a huge Ork battle with lots of yelling an laughing. He has always regretted it.

I asked him to describe the event, and he said the only thing he knew for sure was that there was an aircraft carrier involved.

As you can see…

From the very beginning, I knew I couldn’t build a true to scale massive space battleship/carrier in 28mm.
Welllll…. honestly and more accurately, I reluctantly accepted that I wouldn’t be able to build a true to scale massive space battleship/carrier in 28mm. So the aesthetic was going to have to be a playset version of a space battleship/carrier like the old G.I. Joe USS Flagg.

I drew a bunch of sketches, and ended up with two competing ideas of design concept:
1.       Traditional Aircraft Carrier
2.       40k Imperial Cruiser / Pre-Dreadnought (I’ll use IC/PD as an abbreviation from here on)

After going back to Mike for direction, he offered up an inspiring “I don’t know”, lol…

I briefly considered a carrier lower deck with a superstructure frame suspending the IC/PD on top

This plan was just too ambitious, but it did lead me to the next idea. Flip the concept, put the carrier deck on top, and the below decks would be the guns for the IC/PD.

Next, I did some research on carriers. Did you know that there have been two carriers built with the Island superstructure on the port side?  It was an experiment by the Imperial Japanese Navy:

Kind of cool in concept, but in practice it created new problems.  There were no crashes, but there were several incidents where pilots attempted to land the “wrong way” expecting the Island to be on the opposite side. Additionally, ALL operations, like replenishment and refueling had to be executed on the mirror image as well, and after a lifetime of training one way, crewmen could never seem to operate as efficiently “wrong handed”.

In the end, only the Hiryu and Akagi were configured like this.  Both were lost in action, and no new carriers with a port side island have ever been built.

That’s your trivia lesson for the day.

Back on track:
One of the peculiar (and defining) characteristics of some Pre-Dreadnoughts was offset main gun casemates as shown below on this deckplan of the USS Maine. By placing the main guns on the lower deck, I could incorporate the asymmetrical look of those older ships.

…and, since modern Carriers have an angled recovery deck (for safety and operational speed), I married that to the placement of the main guns.

Scale wise, I had to thread the needle between playset and the look of actual planes on the model.  Planes had to fit on the elevator, below deck, and plausibly navigate around all the deck obstructions. Every step of the way, I kept planes close at hand to sanity check all of the components.
When it came time to do details, I wanted a disparate look on parts of the equipment.  The background of the “Shelly”, is that she is not a new hull.  She is a salvage operation on a 5000 year old ship with new owners who have a different culture, different priorities, and wildly varying (and borrowed) technology.

Lastly, I wish I could say that the elevator actually works, but the best I could do is build it so it can be placed in 3 different positions.

The Shelly is 6' x 2.5'

I religiously followed the “Rule of Cool” no matter where it went.
I know it’s a carrier deck in a vacuum and zero gravity. I don’t care, it looks cool.
I know no one has designed that deckplan since the 1880’s. I don’t care, it looks cool.
I know the ceilings are too high. I don’t care, it looks cool.
You are correct, it has no walls. How else are you supposed to play on it? It’s cool, it stays.

I hope you like it. It was a blast to build, and it makes me think of re-orienting the blog a little to a “Star Trek like” series of following this ship around for awhile.  I’m not sure I’ll do that yet, but it has an undeniable appeal.

Let me know if I can answer any questions or elaborate on a topic.

Thanks for looking!

A big Welcome to the newest reader to Sector Six,
AsaltoRabioso Lleida

13 November 2016

Project Iowa, Ep. 4: The Inquisition Strikes Back

Kingdom of Colores "Project: Iowa", Orbiting the Bakkun Moon

After a covert technology deal between the Kingdom of Colores and the Rex-Avis Clan, the Imperial Inquisition has begun operations to recover the prohibited tech and punitive action against the two principal factions.(See "Project Iowa", Episodes 1 through 3 for more info)

Aware that their deal is no longer a secret, the Rex-Avis Clan is saying their farewells to their Colores counterparts so that they can return home to protect their own. "Colorado" Rex-Avis, Sir Ursaline Drakemore, and Kitty Luong are scheduled to the first shuttle back to their ship, the TMS Enhance.

 Saying good-bye to Ambassador Sophie Andres on deck
Max and Cookie are below in the crew quarters, 
settling up their poker winnings from some 
of the guys in the Colores Security Squad
Jasper Dysdeimos has agreed to stay behind and he is
allready hard at work in the engine room
(wait... What does an Orbital Station need with an engine room?)
At mid-deck Professor Applebeck (of the Colores Royal Astrophyics Institute) and his Jokero assistant are preparing the last Warp Imploder and other equipment for installation on the warp engines. (..warp engines What kind of station is this?)
at that very moment Inquisitor Guimar's Strike Team is approaching in a Null Sphere.

They have been prepped to forcibly board the Colores Research Station. They believe it contains equipment to construct bombs that tap the Warp for their explosive power, potentially generating enough force to destroy whole planets. The Inquisitor and his Team intend to destroy the facilities and abscond with any bombs already constructed.

The moment of impact...

Inquisitor Guimar spins around, trying to get his bearings.
First, he sees the Warp Imploder almost right at his feet, 
then he sees the Professor staring, shocked, right back at him
and down the deck, unbelievably, stand the the architects of the conspiracy

...and then it hits Guimar and his Team, this isn't a Space Station... IT'S A SHIP

The frozen shock is broken by the blasting Assault Rifle of Blake Walker firing through the glass of the Traffic Control Cabin.

"Go Go Go!" the Inquisitor screams, and everyone starts firing at once.

One of the Space Marines lays a full volley into Colorado and her shield flares from the impacts.

The second Marine smashes the port on top of the Traffic Control room, reaches in and throws Blake to the deck. He lands with a crushing thud, taking him out of the fight
Kitty moves with blinding speed through the firefight 

The Inquisitor orders his battle psyker to target Colorado

..but the Colores Navigator zeroes in on her

...and teleports Kitty right in her face

The fighting is intense, and the Rex-Avis Clan are pushing the invaders back, but the Ship's Security Team is taking heavy casualties.

As the Inquisitorial Stormraven arrives to evacuate the Strike Team, Kitty takes on the Inquisitor himself

Unfortunately, it is not enough.
The Inquisitor and the survivors of his team escape with Professor Applebeck, the Jokero and a Warp Imploder.

The Inquisitor's ship was tracked entering Warp Space along Red Route 1, which would take it directly back to the Rex-Avis homeworld. Colorado and her cohorts are now in a race to make it back in time to stop Inquisitor Guimar from exacting his revenge. They are accompanied by Ambassador Sophie and a small team who will lend a hand and try to rescue the Professor. 


I would like to thank The Composer for agreeing to share his models and his background to bring this campaign to life.  The action now shifts to the Tartarus Rim and his blog, (Link: HERE) for the exciting conclusion of the Cross Blog Extravaganza!

From my end, it has been a blast, and working with the Composer as co-conspiriator has been very rewarding.

I would also like to thank Cheetor's Blog (Link: HERE) for the special effects inspiration.

Yes, that is a gigantic 6 foot model space battleship/carrier on the table.  ...and, yes, it has interior lighting.  The Space Battleship has been my secret project behind the storyline and hopefully I pulled off somewhat of a surprise.  Soon, I will provide a full tutorial (probably after the end of the campaign over on the Tartarus Rim) of how I built it, and lots of beauty shots. It will also be the star of a couple of local events, and I'm sure will feature in more than few blog posts going forward.

Thanks for reading!