Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Soviet View of the Uwanda-Mugabia War

In the hours following Uwanda's initial advance, word of the results were conveyed to Soviet and Cuban leadership through their advisors and various other pipelines of communication.  Soviet satellites offered indisputable evidence of Mugabia's failings.  The result is that both Soviet and Cuban leadership had a much better understanding of the day's events, than did the Mugabian president.
____

"Welcome comrade General; it is good to see you again", said the Soviet Ambassador, as the General entered his office.  The General and the Ambassador were seated as the assistant poured their drinks.  The general was always a welcome guest, as the two men had long been both friends and associates, though the issue at hand was less than favorable.

"So, the fool has gotten himself into a .. situation."  said the general. 

"Yes, it seems that he has ignored our intelligence and our advice, and was unprepared for the scope of Uwanda's attack.  Though unprepared, his ground forces should be sufficient to manage the situation, but it seems that even we have underestimated the capability of Uwanda's air force.  In little time, Mugabia's army will be at the mercy of Uwandan air supremacy.  He doesn't realize it yet, but Mugabia's situation is critical." shared the Ambassador.  "His over-confidence has been compounded by the Cuban's enthusiasm."

The general frowned, took a sip of his vodka, and reflected," Once again, the dedication of our Cuban friends has dragged us into an African war.  Moscow does not favor these events at this time, but I fear that the events will dictate Moscow's actions."

The two men continued their discussion, listing the current options, and details of each relative to the current circumstances.  The most hopeful was that Moscow and the ambassador could manipulate a  political agreement to end the current conflict, but unless the situation could be tied to events elsewhere, resulting in external pressures from the other side, there was no reason for Uwanda to stop.

Other considerations were to overthrow the fool president of Mugabia, and install a different and hopefully more... cooperative leader in the democratic republic.  And/or, to simply give Mugabia what it needed to win: more tanks, more planes, and given the situation, Russian planes and pilots.

That last step would be tricky.  Moscow was concerned that even with Cuban pilots, Mugabia would not take the right steps to win, but with Russian pilots, Moscow could more forcibly direct the war.  The question was whether or not the West would counter the move directly.  Africa was not the Soviet Union's back doorstep, as was Afghanistan.  The west was heavily invested in Uwanda, and this was a strange place to risk turning the Cold War hot.

There was of course, the option to simply let the war follow its own path, let the fool be consumed, and watch Mugabia fall.  This was probably the most sensible path, but politically, was the least acceptable.  The ambassador saw no way that Uwanda could win, and a socialist Mugabia could remain.

It was agreed that the ambassador would roll his diplomatic dice, and Moscow would act as they needed.  The two friends then turned their discussion to one of grandchildren, and enjoyed the rest of their afternoon.

Friday, August 18, 2017

AAR27: The Air Battle for Objective B5, Part 2

(Note:  This is a continuation of the air battle described in AAR25, which I recently discovered has disappeared from my blog, apparently due to some sort of error on blogger .  I haven't been able to find my notes on the battle over these last few days, but will reconstitute the AAR, when I do.  From  memory, I believe the results were that Uwanda won control over objective B5 by shooting down two Mugabian Mig 15s with a pair of F5s).
_____

As the battle of Objective B5 took place on the ground, Uwanda's F5s continued to patrol the skies over the battlefield, while ground attack aircraft assisted the Uwandan advance.  Due to Mugabia's significant air combat losses, some time passed before Mugabia could get additional air assets to the area.

Though the issue on the ground at B5 was never in much dispute, Mugabia's presence in the air might at least reduce the threat to the withdrawing Mugabian ground forces.  To accomplish this, two Mig21s and a single Mig17 engaged the six F5s (four A models and two E models) that were protecting the airspace over the battlefield.

The Mig21s were coming in relatively high and fast, and the F5Es were directed to them quickly.  The Mig 17 was coming in on a different vector at mid altitude.  It was sited at 5 miles out, while it sited two of the F5s at four miles.

In addition to the six F5s closing with the enemy, two additional F5As, each still armed with a single missile and gun, continued to cover the battlefield, in case any additional Mugabian aircraft showed up.

This second air battle took place a little east and slightly north of Objective B5.  Mugabian air controllers tried to use the Mig17 to draw off as many F5s as possible, in hopes that the Mig21s would have some effect early on. 

The two F5Es closed with the Mig21s, both got good tones with their Aim9L Sidewinder missiles and fired, probably a little farther out than would be advisable.  The Mig21s continued to close with the missiles and F5Es.  Several seconds after launch, as the Sidewinders closed with the Mig21s, both maneuvered away from the inbound missiles, dropping flares the entire way.

The F5s have just fired Sidewinders in the distance.
 
Surprisingly, both missiles hit their targets, with instant catastrophic explosions killing both pilots. 

Both Migs are hit. 

The Mig17, able to see the fireballs in the distance,  instantly turned away from the closing F5As, and dove to gain more speed.  The Battle for the air at Objective B5 was over with Uwanda destroying four Mugabian aircraft, and Mugabia destroying none.
_____

That was a short game, almost two turns on the table.  Given the relatively poor performance in previous battles, the sudden kills by the Sidewinders took me quite by surprise, and was something of a letdown in all honesty.  I expected at least a few minutes furball, with maybe one Mig shot down, and with any luck an F5 injured or destroyed.

Despite somewhat inconsistent performance, the AIM9L poses a distinct problem in the hands of Uwanda's air force, putting the Mig21 at a technological disadvantage to the F5, as well as now being significantly out-numbered.   Once all of the ground battles are resolved for this strategic turn, I will have to consult the political tables.  This could cause some interesting wrinkles in the game.

Sorry for the terrible photos, I'm hoping to fix some of the problems, before the next air battle (painting the bases to reduce contrast/brightness issues, and finally getting a real table cover for starters.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

AAR26: Surprise in the North

Though word had reached Colonel Aladwa about the Uwandan attack to the south, he had been guaranteed that Uwanda was just posturing here in the north.  But his intuition had been right, and when the Uwanda's Centurions started to cross the river, he was not surprised. His force was not well equipped to deal with such heavy weapons, and he had wisely dispersed his infantry throughout the town to try to defend it like a fort. Delaying Uwanda's victory was the best that he hoped for.

Uwanda's northern and primary advance started at Objective B5 a small town just across the river from objective A37. 

 
 
A Uwandan view of the battlefield looking east...

...and the Mugabian view looking west.


Uwanda's attacking force consisted of:

Combined Arms Team 7:
2x Saracen HQ
8x Centurion III (two pltn of 4 tanks)
13x Saracen (Mech Inf Coy)
2x Wombat/Landrover (AT section)
4x M7 Priest and AOP
3x Saldin (Recce Pltn)

Close Air Support:
2x G91 w/ 500lb bombs
4x Strikemasters with Rocket pods


Mugabian Forces at B5 included:

2x GAZ Jeep (HQ)
11x BTR152 (Infantry Coy)
2x ZU23/Truck
2x85mm Gun/Truck
3x 122 mort.
3x Infantry in truck (Inf Pltn reinforcing from Objective B6 garrison)

The bridge crossing the river at objective B5.

The Uwandan commander decided to advance his armor around the town to the north, closing off any escape, while pounding on the enemy with his arty and air support.  Once the Armor was in position, his infantry would advance, pushing the Mugabians into the armored net.

One of the Uwanda's Saladins, leading the way into Mugabia.

The advance started clumsily enough with the Saldins of the recce platoon taking an early loss to an RPG just after crossing the river.  The Saladins did their job, identifying the Mugabian infantry along the north of the town, and stumbling into the second line of defense (and RPGs) well east of the town.  The Saladins died heroes of Uwanda, and all would be decorated posthumously.

First blood at objective B5, a Uwandan Saladin hit by an RPG.

As soon as the Mugabian infantry had been detected, the command post on top of the Olympic Hotel, located in Objective A37 on the Uwanda side of the river, ordered artillery to start dropping on the Mugabian infantry.  Between the wrath of the angry Priests, and the advancing Centurions, the infantry were quickly reduced and in retreat.

Centurions advance to the north of objective B5.

From the start of the Uwandan advance, Mugabian infantry had been taking shots at the Uwandan command post personnel on the rooftop of the hotel, but only succeeded in wounding one man.  Eventually mortar file began to drop on the CP and after a few rounds, found the mark killing most of the battlefield HQ and the AOP.  This resulted in the temporary loss of Uwanda's artillery support.

A surviving major did his best, collecting his nuggets, and then ordering his loitering air support into action.  Unfortunately the first G91 was hit by a ZU23 and killed before it could release any bombs, while Strikemasters searched for the Mugabian mortars and other forces east of the objective B5, also losing one of their number in the process.

The Centurions continued their eastward advance, destroying everything in sight, and brushing off harassing mortar fire. The leading (and tracked by an RPG) Centurion singlehandedly took on and forced the retreat of the Mugabian second line east of the town, while a Magister finally quieted the mortar files with rockets.

Centurions continue their advance around the north side of the town.

At the appointed time, the Uwandan infantry began their advance to the south of the town, and by this time, the Priests had rejoined the fight, pounding the center of the town.  Depsite the best efforts of Colonel Aladwa, he could not maintain the control of his overwhelmed forces, and they began to flee in a disorganized manner.

Uwandan infantry mounted in Saracens preparing to cross the
river to the south of the town.

When he felt that nothing more could be achieved, the Colonel ordered a withdrawal, that was largely unheard by his already panicking forces.

A view from the Uwandan side of the river.

The Centurions looped around the town cutting off much of the retreat, destroying or capturing most of the Mugabian forces.

Uwanda's armor closing the deal.

As the Colonel and part of his staff fled from objective B5, he considered what had been gained by the destruction of his force, and whether he might have been better off meeting the victors.
_____

The battle consisted of a terrible mismatch, and though the battle was mostly decided prior to the start, there were some interesting events that took place.  The downing of two aircraft by ZU23s was  surprise, as was losing the Uwandan HQ, which slowed progress for a few turns.  In the end, there was little that the Mugabian forces could do though.

Mugabian losses were steep:
95 troops lost (64KIA, 31 captured)
2x 85mm Guns
2x ZU23/2
6x Trucks
2x GAZ69
7x BTR 152

Uwandan losses:
1x Universal Carrier
1x Saracen
3x Saladin
5x KIA
1x Centurion tracked

Captured by Uwanda:
31 POW (15WIA)
2x BTR152
2x truck
1x GAZ 69

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Mesa (Part 2 of 2)

Well, it has been a long time coming, but I finally got the basic parts of 'The Mesa" done.  It will serve as a post apocalyptic residence in my games, with a storyline of history involving multiple occupants over time.  More on that later.


For now, I'll share some photos of the mesa with its various bits, including a roof/canopy, solar panel and power supply, crates and ammo boxes, a cook fire, and various pots/pans and other belongings, and a hoist to get all of this to the top of the mesa.  There is a retractable ladder facilitating access to the residence.  Other bits will be added as needed. Here are some in progress pics:
 
The roof was made mostly from bass wood with a few styrene panels.
Most other bits were styrene construction, and parts from the bits box.
 
Close up of resin supply and ammo boxes; solar panel,
battery, and power converter; and table and utensils.
 
A view showing the arrangement of the ladders, the lower one
 can be hoisted off of the ground to reduce access by pests.
 
View showing the complete roof, prior to paint. 
The hoist is located to the right.
 
More bits.
 
 
And with bits painted:
 
 
The ladders and hoist.
 
A couple of overhead views above and below.
 
 
 
With the roof removed.
 
 
 

 
Other stuff will be added for the various residents and scenarios, but that is the basic mesa.  I have some steel grey thread to use for the cable of the hoist, but one of the cats knocked the spool off of the table earlier, and I can't find it.  As soon as it turns up, I'll add the cable and hook.

Now I can get my table back for gaming.

panel

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Star Fleet Battles Fleets: Kzintis

As our general war campaign will start with the Lyrans and Kzintis, I figured that I should make some progress on the respective fleets.  So I placed an order with ADB for the core of a Kzinti fleet, a battle station, and a couple Lyran ships.

Adding the Kzinti BC and FF that I already had waiting for paint, and the CM and FF that I already finished, this yields a fleet of 14 vessels.  Additionally, I completed about 30 fighters, using models from GZG.  Here are a few pix:

The entire Kzinti fleet.
 
Close-up of the Tug and a strike carrier.
 
Battle cruisers, CVE, and medium cruiser.
 
Some of the GZG fighters.

The painting is done, but decals will have to wait, as I'm semi-broke for the time being.  I'll need bolster the Lyran fleet also, before getting decals, so probably going to October or there abouts, before decals get ordered.

I haven't settled completely on the bases for the ships, as those included with the ADB ships have posts that are too small to fit the holes in the bottom of most of the ship models.  Most of the bases shown above are from my 1980s castings.  I will probably use the ADB bases with appropriately sized brass posts replacing the plastic pins for the smaller ships, and use my own resin cast bases (like the white one in the foreground of the top photo) for the larger ships, as it has a slightly larger footprint, than the ADB bases.  I intend to paint all of the bases black to match the fighters.

Another unresolved issue, is how to label the bases.  I am currently hoping to use either small stickers or press apply type letters and numbers to identify the ships by class.  Currently, I am still searching for the option requiring the least work.

While I think the fighters are small enough to convey a reasonable and obvious indication of their role, the models are probably about ten to twenty times too larger for the 1/3788 scale of the ships.  These were about the smallest size (generally not more than 3/8ths of an inch in their largest dimension) models that I thought manageable as individually based fighters.  ADB does make some fighters for most of the empires, but don't have enough different models to represent the variety of fighter types that we want to use in the campaign.  GZG's models are nice, priced right, and provide the variety that we need.

In time I hope to add patrol gunboats or pseudo-fighters (PFs) as we're not supposed to call them. I noticed that ADB now offer Klingon G1s through Shapeways, and I am hoping that by the time we reach the introduction date of PFs, that ADB will offer PFs for more of the empires.  If not, I'll just scratch-build them.  I'm expecting these to be in yet another scale placing them between the ship and fighter scales, and resulting in models bigger than fighters, and smaller than frigates.

Next up are the few Lyrans that I have, and updating my old Romulans (until I can afford to order more Lyrans).

Friday, July 7, 2017

Klingon D7 Battlecruisers for Star Fleet Battles

I completed three Klingon D7 battlecruisers for use in Star Fleet Battles.  These are the Lou Zocchi models, conveniently cast in a single piece.  I used Vallejo 964 Field Blue as the base hull color and painted them according to my old Starline 2200 instruction sheets.  The Decals are from Jupiter IV, are very nice quality and easy to use, but unfortunately that dark hull color dulls them down considerably.



In addition to the D7s, I finish some F5 frigates from Amarillo Design Bureau.



This gives me eleven Klingon ships, plus I have 24 fighters in process.  My Klingon fleet is expanding, but still needs some help.

I have a CV on the paint table, but my old Klingon (and Kzinti) miniatures which I stripped the paint off of have some lead rot, and appear to be a lost cause.  It is odd, as the miniatures were purchased years apart, but only the Klingons and Kzintis suffer from the problem.  The Feds, Gorn, Orion, and Lyran ships bought over the same span do not have it. A shame as the two C8s, Tug, 3 D7s, and F5 would have gone a long way to bolster my Klingons.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

SFB - The General War: More Preparations

Well we got together over the holiday weekend, hashed out most of the details of our campaign rules, and generally got all of our ducks lined up for war.  The campaign rules are pretty simple, basically governing fleet construction, simple economics in association with construction, and whatever loose ends that we could think of.

When we did this in the mid-1980s, we didn't use a historical timeline, we just started the war full blown with all races ready to go and with technology set at about Y180.  This time we are sticking to a more historical timeline, starting with the Lyran and Kzinti empires in Y168.  Rules for fighters, PFs, evolving drone technology, etc will phase in as time passes in the game.

We rolled dice to decide who played what races, and I will be the bad guys, playing the Lyran/Klingon/Romulan/Orion Pirate fleets.  Craig will run the Hydran/Kzinit/Federation/Gorn forces.  We are old school SFB players, and decided to go with our early 1980s roots for STB, so no ISC, or other "newcomers" in this war.

I expect that we will start lighting up space in September.

Games will be played with miniatures, when we can, and counters, when we don't have the miniatures. 

Also, I will set up a Star Fleet Battles page on my blog soon, which will contain a chronological list of updates following the progress of the war. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Painting Star Trek: The Original Series Federation Starships

Even before my first experience with Star Fleet Battles, I wanted to play the game with miniatures.  Thirty-five years later, I've finally gotten serious about doing so, and one of the first questions to be answered was what color to paint the Enterprise and the Federation fleet.

My earliest memories of the original run of Star Trek are in various shades of gray.  It wasn't until the early 1970s, when we got a color television, that I discovered the colorful universe in which the Enterprise journeyed.

My impression of the enterprise was that it was a light bluish to greenish gray, not unlike the plastic used in one of the older model kits of the Enterprise. My older SFB Star Line Federation ships were cast in a light gray plastic that somehow seemed right to me also.  Maybe only from nostalgic memory of those early games. Then there was the white finish of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Perplexed, I started to research the issue.  I watched episodes of the series (both original and CGI enhanced), surprised at how dark the ship's skin appeared in some scenes and at how it morphed from grey to bluish to greenish to an off-white at times, all the time realizing that I had really come to think of Federation ships as being white or near white as depicted in the movies.

Eventually, I decided to go with the Enterprise's color in TOS, and arrived at this page in my search to identified the true color of the chameleon Enterprise.  Readily accepting the discussion presented in Mr. Newitt's article, I now had to match the Walmart Concrete color with something that I could wipe all over starship models without totally obliterating the fine detail on the plastic castings. 

Originally, my hope was to spray the models with a base hull coat, do a little high-lighting with a brush, detail paint and apply decals. I figured that this would be fast and allow for a consistent finish.  After putting forth a significant search for a spray paint, I found some options from Dick Blick art supplies, but had some concern over the thickness of the paint, and my ability to apply it evenly to such small models.

So, I regrouped and decided to go with a brush paint that I could easily get, and matched the Vallejo online color chart to the sample provided by Mr. Newitt.  I ended up settling on Vallejo Model Color 971 Green-Grey as the basic hull color.  To be honest, I felt that it was a little light, and maybe not greenish enough, but I figured that being a touch too light would be fine on such small scale models.  And, I would just have to suck up the lack of greenish.

A side consideration was that I had decided to go with Vallejo 886Grey-Green as the base for my Romulans,  had painted a couple of ships this color already, and wanted the Federation ships to contrast the Romulans, so a little less dark and less green was okay.   Vallejo  971 Green Grey it would be for the Federation.

I assembled my recent acquisitions from Origins Gamefair, sprayed them with gray primer (should have used white, and found that I could in fact spray the little beasts with a pretty even coat), and began to apply my color choice with a brush.  Due to the transparency of the paint, and the gray primer, it required three coats to get pretty solid coverage.  Here are a few of pics of the models with the base hull color applied, detail painted using the restored Enterprise model at the Smithsonian, and a combination of Game Science (DNs and Tug)  and  Jupiter IV Decals (CAs). 

 
 
 
 
Note the difference in size between the Game Science decals on the Dreadnought
in the foreground, and the Jupiter IV decals on the Heavy Cruiser behind.
 
Ironically, the hull color appears very light and white here, but is darker and more
grey in person.  I'll have to take some more natural photos a little later,
unfortunately, I'm not set up to do that right now. 

Despite the fact that they are not first class jobs by any stretch of the imagination, I am relatively happy with the effort. 

Particularly when compared with my work from 1982 below.

The old CA from 1982 to the left painted per the Starline 2200 instructions at the
time, and the new one to the right based on TOS.  Again, barely any difference
in the hull color in this photo, but they are in fact notably different.


The next group of Federation ships, frigates and an NCL from Amarillo Design Bureau are on the paint table now.


So that's how my 35 year quest to paint the Federation fleet stands at the moment.


UPDATE:  Here are a couple more photos to better show the hull color of the newly painted models using Vallejo 971 Green Grey acrylic paint:

 

Once my case of flat spray arrives, I'll give them a blast to better hide those decal edges. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Star Fleet Battles: The General War

A few times a year, I manage to get together with an old friend from my original gaming group and play a game.  During a visit a month ago, we were playing a game of Star Fleet Battles as we had been doing with more frequency in recent visits, and he suggested that we should set up a campaign, rather than just play one off scenarios. It took about a second and a half to talk me into it, and I suggested that we play The General War again.

The General War is a galactic conflict involving all of the major races from the Star Fleet Battles version of the Star Trek universe.  It lasts 18 years, starting in the game timeline of Y168 and ending in Y185 (were "Y" stands for "Year", I don't remember what the corresponding years in "AD" terms is).

We played The General War more than 30 years ago, using our own set of campaign rules and elements of the board game Federation Space.  In that iteration of the war, we had a different player for each race, with the result being that the Klingon Empire fell in the minimum number of turns. 

The fatal blow came at the hands of Kzintis, who built a huge task force with most of their fleet, and bull-rushed the Klingon capitol.  From my perspective as the Romulan player, it was a tremendous letdown, as I was having success along the Federation border, and had a monumental game against the Gorns, where I lost a starbase, but broke the Gorn fleet, which tried a similar tactic as the Kzintis.  In the case of the Gorn, the cost of the taking the starbase was about 35 ships lost. Ahhh, the good old days.

Anyway, back to the present.  So we are going to try it again, this time with only two players.  In this version of the war, we will be using elements of the 2000 version of Federation and Empire for the campaign system.  As last time, we will be using our own campaign system, which we will finish re-creating over the holiday weekend.

 

Though I've been working on miniatures for SFB over the last year, I expect that the majority of our games will be played using cardboard counters.  Last time that we played, we had a 4' x 8' table covered in hex shaped tiles, this time we will be doing away with hexes, as we realized some years ago, that we just don't really need them to play.  Movement and ranging will be done using inches, instead of the traditional hexes. 

For the battles, mostly we will be using ships and rules from the original boxed version of SFB and the three expansions, with a smattering of newer rules and ships from the Commander's edition rulebooks, Captain's Logs, etc.  To speed up games, we will not be using ECM and ECCM.  Once we have everything set up, we will roll a die to decide which side each of us plays.

I'm not sure if I will post after action reports about each battle, as I find AARs about board games to be infinitely less appealing than for miniatures games, but I will post here about the general progress of the campaign in some form.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Mesa (Part 1 of 2)

I have a number of ideas for post apocalypse scenarios involving a small mesa-like formation, and set out to build such a critter.  I spent some time searching online photos and made notes about what features I needed to incorporate in the build.  After much scribbling of ideas and rough plans, I decided to build a piece that blended with my old terrain inspired by Goblin Valley in Utah.

I loosely settled on a very upright design roughly 16"L x 10"W x 14 high and cut rectangles of foam to fill out the shape with a hobby knife and steel straight edge.

 
In keeping with the style of my Goblin Valley terrain, the foam was glued up into blocks for shaping of each type of strata.  I glued the foam pieces together with 3M Styrofoam spray adhesive.  This sprays out in a relatively thick sort of figure-eight pattern and results in almost no over spray.  It is also much faster and/or less hassle, than any other method I know of for gluing foam.


Next stage was to begin shaping the foam.  I drew a 2 inch square grid on the top layer of foam to transfer the basic design shape onto the foam, then rough cut the profile with a hack saw blade.  I decided to rough out the shape, using a surform tool and my old metal sanding sticks.

 
 
 
 
With the top layer roughed into shape, I transferred a profile of the top onto the next layer, and roughed out that shape using the same tools as above.  This was repeated for the lower two layers as well.
 
 

I now came back to the second layer and began shaping it.  This layer took some time to shape, as it involved the most detail.  Rough removal of foam was done with the surform tool, while finer removal was completed with the sanding sticks.  Additionally, crevices were cut into the layers using an older Foam Factory "pen".



As I was shaping the second layer, I started to consider if the standing height of the Mesa was too upright for the table top.  I decided for the time being to continue the detailing of the second layer, and let the piece take a little more shape, but was considering removing as much as three inches of foam layers from the second and third layers.

Shaping the third layer mostly involved using curved sanding sticks and the Foam Factory stylus/pen to add a little more texture to it's contrasting shape.


The last or bottom layer was essentially a sloped "moat" of eroded and pulverized rubble that had fallen from the mesa over the centuries.  This was mostly shaped with the hacksaw blade and surform tool.

Once the general shaping of the layers was complete, it was time to clean up and add extra details to the layers.  This was accomplished with a little bit of milling with a Dremel, and a lot of sanding with 150-180 grit paper (and small orbital sander where possible), and a coarse Squadron sanding stick.  I added a little more crevice detail with the Foam Factory tool, and cleaned it up with a little sanding.


The last stage of foam-work was to create the rocky "goblins" for the top of the formation.  These were cut from scraps of foam, and shaped with the various tools described above. 

 The top layer was conceived to be favorable for a defensible position or residence for a small group or even single individual.  So the rock formations were shaped with this in mind.  Joints in the foam, divots, and other blemishes were filled with one-step or light weight spackle.

 
 
 
All of these layers were designed with the idea that they can be separated and used independently or with the deletion of a layer if need be.  Again, this is in keeping with my older terrain pieces.

Once all of the remaining stone work was shaped, it was time to prime and paint.  Primer is more of just adding a protective layer to the foam, using a thick artists acrylic paste; it this case from Golden.  Then paint with artists acrylic colors to match my old terrain pieces.  The color ended up a touch off, but there is 14 years between the first pieces and the last, so I'm not too unhappy with the results.

 
 
 

Below you can see each of the modules separated from one another.  This allows some variation in how the terrain can be used on the tabletop, as well as, a little more ease of handling for storage.


Below you can see two of the new pieces flanking one of the original goblin valley pieces. Despite the differences in the paint, the final products are very similar.


Part 2 of the Mesa will deal with the post-apocalypse residence and adaptations to the mesa.