The ongoing global pandemic has meant that gaming in person has been disrupted now for 2 years, which is very frustrating. For me, it remains disrupted at the moment, but I’m hoping to get back to the table sometime in 2022. I’ve continued online gaming with roleplaying via Roll20, boardgames through Boardgame Arena, and occasionally Tabletop Simulator, and wargames through Roll20. This has certainly helped, and I may well continue with this in my gaming mix from now on. But it'll be good to get back to the table.
Also, for me, the other aspects of the hobby have also undergone a hiatus as I’ve recently moved house so most of my figures and paraphernalia have been stored way in boxes. With all that now done, and my new hobby room set up I’ve started to look at reviving old projects, and inevitably, starting new ones.
I thought it might be fun to do this to motivate me to get back into the painting rhythm. My gaming friends have also pitched in so there’s a nice bit of peer pressure and friendly “group work” going on.
So with that in mind I started to dig out my Dertosa 28mm project, only to get immediately distracted by something called “Turnip 28” (T28)!
The best way I can describe it is a wargame if it was written by Terry Gilliam! Here I guess I'm thinking mainly about The Jabberwocky.
In a bit more detail, the setting appears to be a post-apocalyptic alternate history that started from the Battle of Austerlitz and involved some sort of horrific vegetable-based awakening.
1000 years later, the world is churned into a muddy field by endless war, and society has collapsed into bleak cults of root vegetable worship and mutation. The level of technology is “black powder”, and the aesthetic is “Blanchitsu”, or “grimdark”.
The hobby impetus here is also one of kit bashing, basically letting your imagination run wild to create the weirdest and most disturbing, grimy warriors you can image. As with the best fiction, grounding it in reality (in this case by wrapping the aesthetic around a Medieval/Napoleonic crossover) really adds weight to the more fanciful elements.
An afternoon of Googling and I’m hooked!
I downloaded the free rules** and sorted out a roster for the “army”. So, this is my first project for 2022: The Pastinaca 233rd Regiment of Foote.
As this is my first foray into T28, my ideas are still forming so this first crew is likely to be an expression of me finding my way into the weirdness. Anyway, the rough lore I’ve come up with is fairly simple.
The Pastinaca 233rd Regiment of Foote are cult devotees of Strangling Harry, and hail from the Pastinaca parsnip fields. They are known as "The Hangers", for their tendency to capture and hang their victims, and "The Parsnip Eaters" for...well...do I need to say it? Eating parsnips.
I’m thinking the colours will be broadly in line with the principles of Blanchitsu (muted tones, limited palette (mainly the Zorn palette) and therefore red coats, “white” (parsnip) trousers, light oak skin, all covered in mud and flith seems a likely route for the paint daubing. We shall see…
I've also set some general parameters for the project, which I shall no doubt immediately break.
- Every model must be altered, converted, kit bashed, or scratch built to some degree.
- Embrace the setting as much as possible.
- Create strongly themed forces (I may try to do one of each cult).
- Don't use Games Workshop figures/bits. They have their own strong aesthetic and are mostly out of scale with proper 28mm figures.***
Anyway, the roster I’ve started with is:
- 1 Toff
- 2 Toadies
- 1 Fodder unit (12 with muskets)
- 1 Brutes unit (6 with muskets)
- 1 Brutes unit (6 with melee weapons)
- 1 Rootlings unit (4 with melee weapons)
For the Toff I’m thinking about maybe a hanged man still on a gibbet being pushed/carried about by lackeys. This will require a solid bit of kit bashing so we'll see.
For the Toadies, I’m thinking that one would be a snivelling ghoul-type, and another heavily mutated and bloated like a root vegetable (a parsnip obviously).
The Fodder unit I’d planned to be mainly musketeers, with about 30-40% having some form of mutation.
The brutes units I’d planned to be more armoured and heavily mutated.
Finally, the Rootlings…hmm…not sure what to do with these, but I know I have a small bag of Games Workshop “gnoblars”. They may well do the job for these.
So, digging through my pile, I uncovered some Perry Wars of the Roses boxes left over from an earlier project, and some marvellous Victrix Napoleonic figures. These will be perfect to mix (and this seems to be the default sets for T28 models so far!)
I then turned to my extensive “bitz” boxes filled with all manner of weird stuff I’ve accrued over the years. Searching through this, I seem to have a lot of Games Workshop “Branchwraiths” bits, which are suitably woody and plant-like and will serve as the main source of mutations.
Stage 1 begins
Starting with the largest “Fodder” unit I set about the mixing process, looking for predominantly Napoleonic figures, with some simple head swaps and weird plant-based mutations. This early into T28, I’m really not sure what I’m doing, and it’s a trial-and-error process really.
The progress so far is relatively encouraging.
|Not sure what this chap is, some sort of mutated NCO perhaps? |
He's a combination of Victrix, Perry, and GW bits.
|The unit leader, NOC and drummer. I replaced the Victrix drummer's arms with GW ghoul(?) arms holding bones as drum sticks. the unit commander is decked out in full plate (no doubt fully rusty and covered in crud.|
|The banner bearer is badly mutated too. The banner itself sports bones, a shield and gonfalon. I shall most likely add to this, and paint a parsnip in the gonfalon.|
|The rank and file so far, with muskets and Medieval helms.|
I have a lot more to do of course, and I want to get some backpacks and equipment on these to bulk them out. After that, I think I’ll break out the greenstuff and fill gaps with some…err…not sure yet…
I think the armour needs a bit of weirding up too, maybe with some pointy face plates. Not sure.
The coin bases are temporary too. I've got some 3mm deep 25mm mdf bases on the way to replace them.
But a decent start so far, I think. Can’t wait to see where this project goes!
*Basically, you paint "1000+pts" of models in 3 months, with each model having varying numbers of points. It’s not a race or a competition - rather a method of motivation, and of doing a sort of "joint project" around painting.
**Incredibly generous of the author (Max FitzGerald) to make these rules free!
***Who am I kidding? I'll basically break this rule immediately, as GW are the main source for fantasy bits that I have. But I am going to try to minimise their use. Again...who am I kidding here. Ah well, the intention was honourable I suppose.