Archive for September, 2010

What a Corker!

September 30, 2010

Although there’s a chronology to the order in which things appear on the web in my experience they don’t reflect the actuality, this humble blog is no exception as it’s typically the order in which I photograph things is the order in which they appear, except for when it isn’t of course.  My current endeavour with making buildings out of cork using techniques developed by the rather smart bod known as Matakishi is a good example. I’ve raved about it already showing really simple examples of buildings, but only because those buildings were around. So in a final bid to try to convince you how damned simple it is to make relatively impressive buildings I finally got around to photographing this, my first effort in building with cork tiles, and as you can see quite a complicated one.

Like any technique you learn the more you actually do it, and start developing your own knack and style to doing things. In the photo above you can see a drop in roof, which I’d very likely not model like that again for practical reasons. If it’s removed while there’s figures on it the figures would very likely move about, and without  a lip to it would fall, and bugger up your paint job. You’ll notice in later models yet to be revealed how they have lipped roffs.

Here’s a shot of the first floor, just a couple of simple rooms, and the sniper’s delight, otherwise known as a balcony. Also a staircase, well a hole above the staircase, so that a figure can be placed at the top of the stairs on the ground floor, and maintain his position when the above floor is in place. I imagine all this is rather obvious to those with a long history of playing 28mm, in 6mm units are either in or out of buildings none of this internal detail really, so it’s new to me and hence I share it because it might be new to you.

The ground floor with a not very square internal wall, and the staircase which is made out of foamboard which is sealed before painting. I’ve deliberately left the interior bare and not filled it with props, etc, simply to have more room for maneuver and to save time. Slug believes this verges on the barbaric.

So a reasonable building, done cheaply and relatively quickly. Great fun too. The one thing you will have to consider should you try similar for yourself is just how rapidly joints will seal using superglue gel, so keep your wits about you and move fast.

Gunning for Fun

September 28, 2010

Blessed with another delivery from Stan Johansen I could finally set about finishing off a couple of more technicals, although I was a little miffed to notice how the commander with binoculars is basically the same figure as the HMG gunner. The difference is the arms, the commander being supplied with three (bins, pistol, AK) , the gunner with a pair clenched together for holding the gun. Now these two are likely to end up in the same vehicle, but even if they don’t they have to have more variety especially as I’ve all ready used another one in another vehicle. So out with the green stuff. All I’ve done to the commander is add a case to his belt for his binoculars, while the gunner has a new turban, a longer scarf off that, and a row of pouches on his belt.

I had some green stuff left over, so decided the ammo carrier could have a small rucksack – which he’s neglected to close properly, so he won’t look too similar to the one of those I’ve already got too.

Put a cork in it.

September 27, 2010

Although this one is still a work-in-progress it shows what I consider a personal breakthrough in making buildings for 28mm. I was reading through a pile of Matakishi’s Tea House gaming web site, when I came across a load of old nonsense about making buildings with cork tiles. Imagine trying to make buildings from floppy tiles, it just wouldn’t work, hence I set about disproving the whole damn thing by buying some cork tiles. Lo and behold not only does it actually work, but not only that it’s very quick and delighfully simple.

The humble abode here took just a couple of hours to create from scratch to the first coats of paint you can see here. Like all techniques it takes some practice and not a little thought but it’s totally worth trying. I’ll be showing more of these buildings as I take photos, but for practical info just make your way to Matakishi’s via the link above and read his “making things” sections.

Jeep Beats

September 26, 2010

Blurred but still beautiful, one of a few “technicals” I’ve been working on and one of the best. This started off as a Chinese made budget toy from Tesco, which I’ve taken apart and modded before putting back together. One thing deffo worth remembering is to remove the “windows” and leave them out. On one of the others I’ve put the front and back windscreen back in and it’s proved to be a right pain in the arse.

This one has had the window removed and thrown away, and it simplifies the whole rebuild. I’ve been a bit flash on this one, the dents are applied greenstuff but carved to look like dents, the driver, gunner and passengers are all from Stan Johansen’s rather nifty Jihadi range and work really well. I know some folk do damn Stan’s range ever so slightly by saying they’re not the best miniatures, and fair play to them, but I prefer to think they are rather special because a lot of what he makes other folk simply don’t do. Female civilians in Burqas? Armed Civilians? Drivers? Gunners? He has them all, and not without a little humour – in the cafe/market set there’s a small table, nothing unusual about that of course, until you turn it over to reveal a hidden AK.

Dave’s Burqa Bar

September 25, 2010

This model is very simple so therefore quick and took just a couple of hours from base materials to near finished structure. This was also an exercise in capturing the spirit of a building without having to make a totally accurate model of it, this is the main difference between building for gaming and model engineering, but some folk seem to forget that. This building is a rough copy of a chum’s business and just about everyone I’ve shown it to know it’s “Dave’s Hamburger Bar” – well known fast food emporium and fresh doughnut dispenser just down the road.

I’ve only modelled the basics of course, and will rename it as Dave’s Burqa Bar just because it’s really meant for a Jihadi style game. I imagine there will be calls for a model of “Dave”, will I may or may not do, depending on just how well I can sculpt a reasonable looking turban.

Compound Interest

September 25, 2010

From my highly evolved research for playing ultra modern Afghanistan I’ve kept my eyes on a number of sources when it comes down to the architecture of the area. One surprisingly informative source has been Ross Kemp’s documentories on Afghanistan, which tend to focus on the rural areas and give a very good view of things, plus these are all available on Youtube  so anyone can watch them.

A few things seem self-evident about Afghans and their homes, they do like their privacy and so rarely seem to have exterior windows, plus they like to put high walls around everything. Also everything looks ancient, irregular and roughly finished, so that does make modelling easier and a bit more fun.

These photos show the bulk of the compounds I’ve made.  For these I decided to use MDF of 3mm and 6mm thickness. This did mean drilling and jigsawing doorways and windows, which rapidly became a chore rather than a hobby, but thankfully they’re quite crude buildings with few of both. The walls sections and bases were all pinned and glued together, although I have gone for the baseless look which I think suits them better.

The roofs are typically all drop ins and removable for playing inside the buildings. The walls have all been finished with the very wonderful Basetex from Irregular Miniatures, a fun packed endeavour verging on finger painting. The floors were coated with PVA glue, covered with sand, and then painted just before the whole thing was washed with a dirty finish.

The final result varies between the okay and the reasonably good. MDF is solid but you can’t do much with it without power tools and getting covered in dust. These models all weigh on the heavy side, and could easily be used to clobber opponents to death and very likely without damaging the paintwork. Appealing as that might be the hunt continues for a better and faster way of making things.

Figures used for scale are Eureka US Marine Scout and Stan Johansen Miniatures Jihad Civilian ranges, and very nice they are too.

Building Site for Sore Eyes

September 24, 2010

Having been relatively recently corrupted towards 28mm gaming by the boy Slug one thing was rather obviously apparent, my distinct lack of suitable scenery. Buying it doesn’t seem right especially after all the bits I’ve made for 6mm, plus the expense which is a fair bit greater for 28mm. Now for playing modern, or ultra-modern as some folk call it, means there’s plenty of popular culture to influence the eager scratch builder, particularly films. This piece was originally supposed to be a generic, but is based on more third world goodliness influenced by “Blackhawk Down”.  There’s a similar looking building site during some of the night scenes, typically packed with “skinnies”.

It’s a two floored concrete looking structure, the floors being MDF, the pillars wood and the walls foam board, which has been scored to look like breeze block brickwork. The fencing is a mix of coffee stirrer planking and corrugated paper, and atop of each exposed column is string doped with liquid super glue to look like bare rebar.

The exposed rebar look is very common in the less developed world, or at least the parts I’ve seen. In fact it’s quite common for finished buildings to have quite a bit left exposed on the roof in case the owners want to build an extension in the years to come. This is one of the first buildings I’ve made for 28mm and I’m quite happy with it.

I’ve got the scale and detail just right, and it’ll fit in most of the games I’m ever likely to play without sticking out. The working with wood was time consuming, scoring the brickwork wasn’t quick but surprisingly was fun.

All Change

September 24, 2010

My local game shop, previously known as Snipers Nest, has gone through an evolution to become a whole new beastie but still delivering it’s usual level of gaming joy. Firstly it’s had a change of name to Red Knight Games so as to have less of a Columbine style image, a trifle harsh I think but hey ho. Plus they’ve also moved from their Chatham Street premises in Ramsgate to the incredibly swish Innovation Centre in nearby Westwood.

Regular customers might remember how the shop used to be in the long lost indoor market in Harbour street, and moved to Chatham street, only for the web and google maps to take months to catch up with the move. This is very likely to happen again as the Innovation Centre is so new a structure it’s represented on Google maps as a scrap piece of land in the middle of potato fields.

They’ve changed their phone number too, and the new number is 01843 598640, which you’ll need if you want to find them in the coming weeks. Of course the old-school style hasn’t changed, and they now have much roomier conference style rooms for gaming evening which are still on Tuesday nights – see you there perhaps?

Car Trouble

September 23, 2010

A lovely little vehicle which started life off as a cheapo toy on the shelves of the local Tesco. Having been taken apart, daubed in part with paint stripper, spray painted on others and a liberal whallop of rust coloured paint and a Tamiya weathering kit and you have a very third-world looking pickup suitable for a lot of roles.

The lack of a driver is deliberate as I think it gives the model a lot more possibility in games from post apocalyptic, through zombies and back to ultra modern, and looking as if it might be a doubtful starter. Some of the rust is real, but that proved to be too complex a technique to use for the whole thing, but was quite zen as well as offering a perfect colour guide. There’s little more rust coloured than rust after all.

Knowing the naturally inquisitive nature of my readers I will share the technique though, but try not to drive yourself mad with it. Typically it involves owning something which is rusting or rusts easily, to which you then add a fair amount of water and in a way where the added water becomes tainted with said rust. Drain off rusty water and then carefully add it to your model, allow to dry and then varnish the deposited rust into place. How simple is that?