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Subject: A Poor Man’s Rorke’s Drift Diorama rss

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Gordon Stewart
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11/02/08 Upon deciding to make a diorama of the heroic battle of Rorke’s Drift (Zulu Movie) I am discovering that many others also undertake this project. It has a natural irrational attraction like: 1. Sci-fi everything, 2. All vehicles, 3. Ren fairs, 4. Thinking about defending you home from zombie attack, 5. Lord of the Rings, etc.
(I seem to be compelled to do it like the guy in “Close Encounters of a third Kind” making models of the rock formation with his mashed potatoes; if ya’ know what I mean.)

Sorry this is just a disorganized journal of my slow progress and many dead end ideas. Major update edits will be indicated with “+++++” to mark “lessons learned.” This is a living document; don’t expect perfection. My friend, Bill, recommended shooting towards 22 January for completing a playable model because that is the anniversary of the battle.

Here is how I went about it:
The Victorious Cross game is a very exciting recreation that really captures the feel of this exciting battle. The hidden strengths on the blocks both make it a great game AND make it difficult to translate it into a miniatures version. The first idea was to place square magnets under each figure with dots on the edge towards the player indicating unit strength.

Here is a player-aid where I clarified the hard-to-read map (the game’s main weak spot IMHO):


UNITS
For multiple usage, I am reusing 15mm British figures on 20mm square metal bases; and making a Zulu army (4 figures, per base) that can also be used for De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA). Issues include:
1. finding strong enough magnets (Litko’s flexmagnets are worthless, trying Gale Force 9’s//++11/04/08 Update – while nice [and heavy] the GF9 magnetic bases also are too weak to remain attached to the figures – will try Velcro or stronger magnets if cheap enough++);
2. adapting magnets to the 40x15 Zulu bases (will use two 20x20 magnets or velcro bases per unit and have them extend 5mm in the back);
3. developing an easy code scheme to mark unit strength on the edge of the magnet (1-4 dots = strength, a bar = 5, two bars [2 magnets] = 10);
4. denoting leaders (copper=troops, silver=lower leaders, gold=top leaders)

A picture is worth…(I know these are Rev War figures; remember, it is a poor man’s version)


MAP
I have translated the VC game map to graph paper using a scale of 15mm per square.
This served multiple purposes:
1. Keeping the size of the compound somewhat in scale with the figures.
2. Providing enough space for a fair number of units in each area during game play.
3. Allowing the overall felt map (about 26”x28”) to fold in quadrants to fit in the storage box (13”x14”).
4. Creating a manageable size to fit on a 30” wide table and be playable.

Preliminary layout to be traced on felt to make play area:


Though a tan color map felt might be better, I am looking for a drab-khaki-green surface that blends better with the minis that are already based for the game “Hold the Line”.
Some problems I am facing:
A. How to subtly mark area boundaries.
B. How to label areas, also subtly.

BUILDINGS/TERRAIN
Buildings – foamcore with removable “thatched” roof sections.
Low slope roof so units (and fire markers) can be placed on them.
Here are rough sketches of the two buildings:


Walls – How to make “cornmeal bag” walls (like sandbags)? Maybe some kind of clay?
Wagon – Watch movie Zulu and search for a 15mm wagon/water-cart.
Put VP value underneath.
Fire – found nice set of six (need 5) from GF9!

G2G, back to trial and error.


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Christopher Taylor
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Re: A Poor Man’s Rourke’s Drift Diorama
Very cool. I look forward to your updates.
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Karl Petterson
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Re: A Poor Man’s Rourke’s Drift Diorama
Very good work thus far, keep the sit reports comming.
I did a 54mm version of this game and it was a big hit. I managed to fit it on a 4'x6' felt mat. It was fun to replicate the compound and not as hard as I thought it would be.
For your 15mm mealy bag walls try glueing some dry beans together. Perhaps some small pintos or black-eyed peas would do the trick. The actual Mealies were quite large and they had a bunch of them to use.
I posted pictures of my set-up here on the geek check em out.
Good luck and enjoy.
Karl
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Gordon Stewart
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Re: A Poor Man’s Rourke’s Drift Diorama
Thanks!
Next time in the produce section
I will be looking at beans.
Hopefully they keep well.

Your neat photos were part of my inspiration.
Well done!
 
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Mark Chaplin
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Re: A Poor Man’s Rourke’s Drift Diorama
Quote:
My friend, Bill, recommended shooting towards 22 January for completing a playable model because that is the anniversary of the battle.


That's an excellent idea, Captain. I'm also going to use that deadline for my project. Keep up the good work.


"Mr.Bourne, there should be twelve more men working on this redoubt."




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Gordon Stewart
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Re: A Poor Man’s Rourke’s Drift Diorama
Need 12 more!
Here are some of the “raw materials” that may be used to build the diorama:

From left to right they are (these are just “where to get” notes):
“Sculpey” clay from Michael’s, $3.90; building mealie bag walls should be an easy
way to experiment with “baking” this clay. Maybe can avoid reinforcing it w/wire,
painting, getting into the Fimo vs. Sculpey debates. And using beans is a fallback.

Fire Markers from Gale Force 9, $12.00/6; neat way to track the 5 stages of hosp burning.
http://www.gf9.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=238

Zulu movie from Amazon, $4.00; A necessary and inspirational resource.

And barely visible on the DVD:
Four 15mm Zulu warriors from Irregular Miniatures (UK) – 100 fig army=22 pounds (about $30). At bottom of their site>15mm>colonials.

Of course they need to be painted (cheap Walmart Apple Barrel paints) and
based 4 to a rectangular DBA-sized base (Litko).

For a cheap Rourke's (Rorke) Drift project it begins to add up…
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Gordon Stewart
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VCdioramaTHOUGHTSweb
It is now between Christmas and New Years, and I realize that it is less than a month until my Jan 22 deadline (anniversary of the Rorke’s Drift battle) to construct a playable 15mm version of this Victoria Cross game. Time to stop planning (and optimizing) and start DOING. Rather than debating color schemes and colors, just buy an assortment of cheap Apple Barrel paints from Walmart (specially browns/tans for Zulus).

MINIATURE FIGURES
Rather than try to exactly determine the number of metal bases (the DBA set I bought had nice metal bases) and wood “unit strength” bases (that attach by Velcro underneath) just order sufficient initial quantities from Litko:
http://www.litkoaero.com/mini_bases.php
Starting to sort, file and clean (in vinegar/water to remove dust) all the 15mm Zulu figures from Irregular Miniatures:
http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/
Will probably prime them a dark brown, and the bases a tan; the work on the figures can proceed separately from the buildings and terrain.
Even have various base flock materials to try out. Seems that the figure bases I like best are more tan/brown than green. One of my architecture professors hated green (black and white and gray is better; greens go in and out of fashion).

BUILDINGS
The buildings need to be built prior to the terrain (which will be sized to the buildings). Although most of the building proportions are dictated by “playability”, I may let “aesthetics/realism” have some influence. By this I mean 1. the horizontal plan follows the game board but is sized to allow placement of 20mm square based British figures; 2. the height follows the rule of thumb that buildings should be 3/4 size of figures (8’ doors become 6’ about 15+mm); and 3. roof slopes are reduced to permit figures to stand on them. Hopefully, the contrast between the whitewashed walls and the gray “thatched” roof will overcome the squat proportions. The sheet thatch plastic was ordered from:
http://www.appliedimaginationinc.com/precision_products/plas...


Differentiating the two buildings
Why was the hospital set afire but not the storehouse? At first, I hoped for some difference that would account for this: maybe a wood/thatch hospital but a brick/metal roof storehouse. From cursory web searches (and movie and game images…) it seems that they were both of a plastered stone with thatched roofs. To make the hospital a more likely target for fire, I will make its walls shorter (easier to climb on the roof) and add some boarded up windows so it looks more fragile.

TERRAIN
Still haven’t bought or found the ideal felt game surface nor the means to mark it up.
Minis can catch on regular felt during play. A sharpie marker may have to do for marking boundaries and labeling areas.
Also need to experiment with making the compound walls with Sculpey clay or beans; but first priority is the figures (and buildings).

WORKPLACE
With desk space at a premium in our house; commandeering a “permanent” work area (where work can be left out) is most important. Boxing up old (more than a decade) school supplies has given me a tiny fold-down shelf to work on. Now to open and use two Christmas presents: a cordless glue gun and a arm-mounted magnifying light.

But now it is time to just charge ahead with fabrication and not worry if it is sloppy!


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Gordon Stewart
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Just received a very enlightening and helpful post from Barry Kendall as well as some sheet plastic supplies to build the buildings. Here are some recent highlights:
Some of Barry’s neat construction suggestions:
1. scored balsa wood stacked for the straight wall of boxes.
2. cheap fake fur combed, glued, and painted for thatch.
3. small “football-shaped” pasta built into mealie bag walls (also good for sandbags).

Also, his comments on the buildings were reinforced by looking through a book he recommended: Donald Morris' old (but good) book "The Washing of the Spears."
From P. 390-398, diagram on p. 406 (on-line) I learned:
A. End walls were stone, connecting walls brick; BOTH roofs were thatch.
B. The walls of the Storehouse (former chapel) were TALL (12 feet). There was a ladder on the courtyard side to reach the roof.
C. The Hospital’s back wall (opposite the veranda) had only 2 windows and 3 doors: all barricaded.
D. Many hospital rooms were accessible only from the outside; so (like the movie) they DID have to claw their way through interior walls to finally escape.
E. The only way to escape to the courtyard was through ONE very high window on the west side.
F. The water-cart in this courtyard was two-wheeled and, since it couldn’t be lifted over the makeshift wall, the men on the storehouse side drank from it through a hose.
G. The two wagons built into the north wall of the courtyard were upright (not tipped over as in the movie).

Though my “diorama” has to sacrifice realism for playability (for the Victoria Cross game) and storability (must come apart to fit in a 13”x14” box), might as well make otherwise “generic” details more “accurate”. Therefore, I have to ignore terrain, outbuildings, and some of the interior wall configuration (green notes are historical notes that conflict w/game). Thanks again Barry (sorry for extremely editing the info.)”
Gordon 1/8/9
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Mark Chaplin
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I'm really excited to see some pictures of your labours.

My own similar projects - one 15mm and the other 28mm - are going to miss the 22nd deadline by a wide margin. Keep up the good work.



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Gordon Stewart
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I know that all my time should be spent on DOING not DOCUMENTING.
Though these few images are also pre- not post- construction they
serve as a safe place to save thoughts that otherwise might become
lost on my desk or hard drive (and possibly help someone else, if they
stumble onto this).
ZULU SHIELDS
Anyway, first a photo of various Zulu shield colors (seems it will
be easier to superimpose dark “stripes” on light color combos than
drawing white on dark shields.) Will try washes and/or thin markers.
Probably keep similar shields for each group of four Zulus mounted
on the same base. Will mix figure poses.

CORDLESS GLUEGUN
Here is the small area I reclaimed that will allow me to leave work in
progress out (previously spent more time setting up, finding tools,
and putting away than actually crafting). Note the new magnifying
light and cordless glue gun.

SCALE MOCKUP
Since “scale” is dictated by play table size, 15mm Figs, and “storability/portability”
I quickly mocked up these study models over fear that the vertical proportions
with the low-slope roof would look too squat; and they do!
Therefore, I am using the smaller footprint but will increase the height. All this is very
subjective and I would be very interested to see other’s models.

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Gordon Stewart
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These are some of the better Rorke’s Drift plans I have stumbled across.
Sorry, I didn’t note their sources, but they took hours of web surfing.
Don’t know how accurate they are, but hopefully they will be useful to someone:
Rorke’s Drift Map

Rorke’s Drift Compound

Rorke’s Drift Hospital Plan

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Gordon Stewart
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Thanks everyone for the encouragement to create this miniature version of Victoria Cross and document it. Especially Yugblad (thanks for the generous GG tip), knowing that you are also building one (two) models of Rorke’s Drift makes it worthwhile to document my trials and tribulations. Of course your painting and craftsmanship are MUCH, much better; can’t wait to see your pictures.

My priorities are 1. playability (hiding unit strength, marking areas, removable roofs to access interiors) 2. constructability/storability (simple to build and put away) then 3. historical/Hollywood accuracy (more the look and feel). Definitely won’t meet my Jan 22 deadline (hope to have samples to photo); many distractions.

Dare you to try to watch just a few minutes of the movie “Zulu” without get drawn into more than a half hour. (Even with its historical “changes” for artistic license). Another distraction is the recent resurrection of the free way to generate a deck of cards with all the info of each game you own on each card:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/347794

Anyway, below are some “sketches” to guide the storehouse construction. I know historically the roof was hipped (not gable-ended) and the room/door/window layout was different; but see my priorities above. Want it to look like a church converted to a storehouse but be less overt than the movie.
Storehouse 15mm foldup sketch;11?x11?

Storehouse 15mm foldup sketch; plan 8.5x11

Storehouse 15mm foldup sketch; walls 8.5x11



+++SEE REDUCE SCALE NOTE BELOW++++++
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Mark Chaplin
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Here's the first picture of my efforts, Gordon:




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Gordon Stewart
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BEAUTIFUL photo of fantastic painting and building, Yugblad!
Reminds me of fine German craftsmanship, but you’re English?
Are these 28mm? How did you paint the markings on the shields?

My work is simply functional in comparison; but here is a picture
of the roofless storehouse to show some progress:

++++ Some lessons learned:
1. Foamcore DOES warp; esp. if painted only on one side (use proper color unpainted)
2. Apply thin drywall spackling (stucco) only to bottom of walls prior to assembly.
3. Use straight pins to hold corners while glue dries, then cover with stucco.
4. Underlayment of brick/stone peaking through stucco works best if painted brown.

No, it wasn’t the BGG Superbowl outage that gave me time to get something done.
I can kid myself into thinking I am half done (glass half-full) with one of two buildings done, the Brits “done” (maybe replace w/white pith helmet minis later), the water cart and flame markers ready, and most of the materials bought and ready. After all, isn’t most of the effort in building “from scratch” the planning of exactly what to do. (ha,ha) Actually, still much to do:
Paint and mount Zulus, mark map felt, experiment with roof thatch (of fake fur), also experiment with making compound mealie bag walls, etc.

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Gordon Stewart
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Making up for quality with quantity. For example, because I can’t paint
the dozens of necessary figures exquisitely (like Yugblad); I try to compensate by using MANY different colors. To digress, after roughly painting each figure with color A; make a pass with color B (accidentally intruding on A areas). After all colors are used (usually “lower” i.e. skin to “upper” i.e. weapons) this is repeated. Each pass is another futile attempt to “stay within the lines”.

Here is another progress photo (worth a thousand words?) this time showing the
setup for the “batch painting” method of painting large numbers of Zulu figures
while they are hot-glued to roofing nails stuck in strips of insulating foam.
Each 15mm x 40 mm metal base will hold 4 different figures with similar shield color scheme. For Vict Cross 28 of these 4-mini bases will be needed.

This also provides more than enough for two DBA armies (with a few
special units added). Right now I am sticking to 3 different shield color
schemes: tan-white, tan, and black-white. If I could only fabricate a tiny
rubber stamp to easily add the multiple small “stripes” in black on each
shield. (but first things first)

You can see the fake fur thatch; but again, any playing with starch, glue, paint on
the thatch can wait.
One idea for labeling areas of the map felt (with subtlety) could be by
forming letters/numbers with various debris/bushes. (may be too involved)
Any ideas?

Before I misplace them, here are a few more sources of supplies:
www.corvusbelli.com – beautifully sculpted figures.
www.keepwargaming.co.uk – Naismith, Museum, Roundhead figures, and Hovel buildings.
www.greathallgames.com - Great Hall Games in Texas has much choice.
www.toysoldiers.ca - Woodrow’s War Store has all sizes of metal bases (but tricky to navigate).
http://wargamesminis.com - bases, figures; in US.

EDIT +++++ Building Sketch Scale Correction +++++2/22/09
Though it is too late for my project; I am obligated to
convey this “lesson learned” to anyone following in my footsteps:
When I saw that the storehouse mockup was “too squat” I should have shrunk
the footprint rather than increase its height. From the photo you can see
that after all the stucco and thatch it becomes somewhat imposing next
to the 15mm figures.
SCALE DOWN MY STOREHOUSE SKETCHES 90 TO 80 PERCENT
AND USE THINNER NATURAL FUR THATCH TO ALLOW THE FIGURES
TO FEEL MORE DOMINANT.
For the hospital building, I will aim for a more appropriate scale; hoping it
fits with the first building. Anyway, I wanted the hospital to look more vulnerable,
flammable, etc. Onward and upward!
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Mark Chaplin
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Gordon, how's this project coming along?




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Gordon Stewart
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Thanks for asking Mark (Yugblad),
I delayed another progress post until there was progress worth posting.
but you’ve inspired me to do another update on my SLOW progress.
Should have bought the hovel buildings, but you know us architects…

Congrats on your 15mm diorama making the BGG Front page!
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/454042

Gotten more into minis than buildings lately; even bought enough
pith-helmeted British to replace my tri-corner hatted colonials
(but the new guys will wait to be painted FAR in the future).
More than halfway done with the minis, check my DBA “Java” army under
DBA recent photos.
Can’t wait to see your 28mm figs in action!

Good thing about this “two-front war” diorama building
(figures and terrain) is that after creating a batch of Zulus
I am going back to making buildings: this time the hospital.

Here is the Zulu army so far:
(notice some are facing wrong way; good there’s no modders)

And lined up for painting:

And the Gale Force 9 flame markers:


But the main focus now is designing the hospital now.

Here is my progress on drawing the Hospital plan:


But I am checking these for scale so they will look good with the
storehouse, the figures, and fit in my storage boxes. 5/25/09
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Gordon Stewart
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Trying to keep my posts limited to significant graphic progress, but
another January 22nd (battle’s anniversary) is coming so I felt obliged
to comment. To reiterate, my Rorke’s Drift diorama is simply a way
to play the Victoria Cross block game using 15 mm miniatures.
Construction is proceeding VERY slowly partly because my disability
(like a stroke victim) leaves me doing most things mostly one-handed, and a
very clumsy one-hand that is. Though being free of a full-time job gives me
time to think, daily tasks consume most of my time and energies.

Anyway, enough of that, back to the task at hand. My advice to anyone
thinking along these same lines is; follow Mark’s (Yugblad) example,
simply use the game’s blocks on a diorama made using pre-built buildings.
There will be still more-than-enough painting/construction to do and his
final results were fantastic (made the front page of BGG).

Then, like Mark, you could create a more detailed 28 mm
version of the battle (looks even more fantastic!) Love to see
pictorial session reports with these figures! Mark’s image bears repeating:

As to my “progress”, the second building, the hospital, is coming together.
The hardest part is relocating all the different supplies, tools, and pieces
between stints. Other projects, cleanups, and my wife tend to hide them.
+++One lesson learned is buy ALL your parts/supplies as soon as you can;
What is on the web today may be gone tomorrow. Metal bases of a
particular dimension (15x15mm) disappeared on me; so I am making do.
Also, finding an obvious place to assemble the PARTLY finished diorama
is an encouraging reminder of work to be done.

I did break down and bought enough pith-helmeted 15 mm colonial British.
Mounting 28 of them on 15 mm square metal bases will replace the British blocks.
But what color to paint their pants? Movie says black but most other sources show blue.



Maybe a “compromise” navy blue will look best; glad I didn’t use white!

Wooden square bases “vecro-ed” underneath will be used to secretly track casualties.
This is similarly being used for the Zulus, a system of dots will track block strength.

The big remaining challenge is making the mealie bag walls. Sculpey clay proved
too difficult for me (time-consuming, fragile, hard-to-use the oven w/o freaking out
my wife, didn’t harden, etc.) May try again. No luck finding acceptable pasta or beans
that look like sandbags. May try layers of some folded fabric to form the 1/2” high walls.
Any easy ideas?
May try playing “as is” using foam core as temporary walls.
Along the lines of “multi-use”; I received the solitaire game “Zulus on the Ramparts” from a friend who really “pimped” it with various craftsmanship touches. Now I
understand how the Zulu attack worked in this battle in 4 groups (the two horns, the head, and the loins), this was only drawn in the sand in the movie. Maybe besides using
what I’ve built for two games: VC and DBA; I can quickly do a felt as a surface for solo
Z on the R games. Need to look for other similar games to use this diorama for;
Like http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/7840/the-defense-of-r...

While looking for all games with “Zulu” in the title, I felt like this:

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Mark Chaplin
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Glad to see that you're still working on this project, Gordon.

Work has so consumed me these past 6 months that I have done zero work on my 28mm Rorke's Drift. All I've managed is a teeny bit on Moria's West-gate for LoTR. Bloody shame - the pursuit of coin.

Your advice on buying models when you see them is particularly sound. Some of these things are rarer than people suppose.



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Gordon Stewart
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Obvious lesson: When stuck with a desk that
slopes down towards you; either wear a smock or
“painter’s pants" for the inevitable spills, no matter how
careful.(or end up with MANY painters pants)
While snowed in by about 3 feet of snow, been working on
“Velcro-ing" the wooden bases onto the metal bases of the minis.
Like every task, it unexpectedly multiplies to many steps.
This includes wiping the "stick-um" from the Velcro that
collects on the scissors (w/alcohol). This simple task really
gums up the scissors!
By doing four Zulus per block vs. one Brit, I hoped to show
how out-numbered they were; though I really would need
twice as many Zulus. However, the groupings of 4 make
them useful as warbands (40mm x 15mm) for DBA.
Otherwise, this is way too much effort for just one game.
My other 15mm minis are able to be used for multiple
matchups: Clash/Honor - many scenarios; DBA - infinite
army matchups.
Here are the Zulus formed up on the parade ground since
there are no Brits yet ready.

But the British are Coming! Here they are mounted on their nails
awaiting another pass with a single color. Decided to make their
pants a definite blue, not navy; a colorful "Easter egg" look trumps
neutral realism.

The hospital is functional with a ledge for the rooftop units (and
flame markers). After the figures and their Velcro bases are done
then I need to figure out how to mark the boundaries/labels on the
“felt" map and make the mealie bag walls.

I may try rice glued to both sides of cardboard infilled w/spackling
compound to make a mealie bag textured walls; maybe after a test play.
Still don’t know if this is practical to use for gaming
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Pushing past “pretty” and “perfection”, …predominately pursuing
“practical” and “playable”; producing impermanent pieces perhaps
improved post play-testing.
++++++
Zulus on parade again:


Finally finished the “strength-indicating bases” for the British army.

After mounting the painted 15mm figs on flex metal
bases (w/glue gun) then flocking them (w/white glue
and model train dirt+grass) it took longer than I thought
to “Velcro” the 15mm square bases to each element’s
underside.

Self critique: Sheet magnet squares would have been
less noticeable (and much easier to make) BUT none
that I tried were strong enough to support their own
weight. Maybe you can think of a better solution to
make changeable strength indicators visible only to
one player?

Now, how many Zulu strength blocks are needed?
To replicate the 28 Brit blocks, it was simply brute force;
the full strength blocks each w/a mark for each strength point
plus a block to show each possible reduced strength (red marks).

For the Zulus, of the 28 blocks, 4 are leaders (of 1 strength, not counted
towards the 90 max.), 4 are 10/5/2/1 strength blocks, leaving 20 4/3/2/1
strength blocks. Since they are rotated in various combos to equal
no more than 90 total, I have played w/some possible combos.
VC ZULU COMBO CHART:

Don’t want to make 4 versions of the 24 Zulu blocks to
reflect ALL their possible rotations. Just enough to make
change for every combo to equal 90.

++++LESSON: Paint extra mini figures to account for breakage, mistakes, options,
changes, etc. because it is harder to go back and replicate the multiple
painting passes if needed.

Seeing how you need to CONSTANTLY
refer to the rules; I am working on a
1 page summary to post in the files section.
NOW version 1 is posted:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/53170/one-page-vc-rule...

Just doing SOMETHING, …ANYTHING each day
on this project to get it to a “playable” state.
Using chalk and sharpie, the zone boundaries are
drawn on the felt “mapboard”. (Juggled proportions)

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Mark Chaplin
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Ice-choked tower, Mondavia, Nanglangka.
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These passion projects are very time consuming. Rewarding, though, and much better use of your day than spending it watching soaps.

Looks like the end is nearly in sight.



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Gordon Stewart
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Finally, enough of the Victoria Cross diorama was completed that we could take
it for its first test drive on March 16, 2010. As the British, I got totally overrun
by the second wave of a Zulu “Mongol Horde”. I contend that I was paying
more attention to diorama issues than game strategy
(that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it).

Here is the miniature version on its maiden voyage; my poorly positioned Brits
are awaiting the huge horde of Zulus (note the “Red Cross blanket” in zone G).

Right away, I came up with many more improvements to make the game play
even better with minis. In my profession (architecture) after a new building is
occupied a great amount can be learned (and fixed) from a POE (Post Occupancy
Evaluation) so this is a PGA (Post Gaming Analysis). It is mainly in 3 parts:
1) Items to finish, 2) Bits to improve, and 3) New player-aids to make.
Most important items are first in each part.

1. Items that I knew needed finishing: more Zulu Velcro strength blocks, wagons for
integration in the wall near the storehouse, a plastic version of the thatched
roofs and texturizing the mealie-bag walls.

2. Needed “bit” improvement that was discovered: labeled Plano storage
compartments for each player’s Velcro strength blocks, easier indication of
adjacencies of zones at hospital, making zone labels more easily visible from both
sides (++++labels should be in the center of zones to not be hidden by 3D terrain),
and areas under “roof zone shelves” (blue carpets) can hide figures (need to be
blocked off).

3. Player-aids to be created should include: a “pegged” turn-marker to prevent it
it being jostled, items to more easily track Zulu losses/VPs (this turn/ previous
turn/ etc.) a simplified game turn sequence list, and a better diagram of the Zulu strength dot system.

To display some of the components, my Brits are posed in defense of the water
cart and trying to free the four patients from the burning hospital.

More self-criticism: the proportions of my courtyard zones (around water cart)
are not long enough, the buildings could be about 10 percent smaller, more d6
dice would help with the tons of rolling, and +++++ if I was starting over;
another way to mark hidden strength would be to use cribbage pegs with
dots on one side placed into a hole in the wooden bases (easier to change than
the Velcro and less obvious). Unfinished cribbage pegs are available in bulk on ebay.
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Gordon Stewart
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New Victoria Cross maps coming:


A MUST BUY!
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Gordon Stewart
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Just heard of "Magna Base" that is stronger than other
sheet magnets.
This would be MUCH better than velcro for attaching strength blocks.
Can't find Magna Base to order on the web, though....
Anyone know where you can get this stronger magnetic basing?
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