Archive for February, 2012

Hovelly Versatile

February 29, 2012

The great compound building spree starts to grind to a halt as all three near completion, spurred on by me discovering Channel 5’s “Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan” on demand via the Xbox and boring the whole family with episodes back-to-back, leaving them feeling like they’ve done a tour themselves but in a single Sunday.

My idea was to cast a building several times and in laying it out differently make a village which didn’t look like a housing estate. Having managed a trio to start with I must admit the roofs done this way is not as good as the way I did it before.  Not sure why I changed style, some half-arsed idea about doing seperate roofs for added variety I recall. It didn’t really work did it?

Roof problems aside I’m happy with how much this speeds up making compounds, as the walls are simple. Above they are made from foam board carved for irregularly,  boshed with filler and a light sanding

For this one I’ve added a dome on the roof, more of a gaming tradition than anything I’ve actually seen in photos.

The walls have been made differently on this one reflecting an observation on the different styles of Afghani walls. Many seem to have been made with large dried mud bricks, which is then rendered with a coating of mud. This often crumbles in places but the brick pattern is still slightly visible.

The effect has worked and was made easy by using Cork Expansion Gap Inserts, or strips of cork to you and me. I’ve seen these in Wickes for around six quid a packet, which as a modelling material is well priced. However my Domestic Goddess found me a pack in the PoundlandQuidKingdomNinetyNinePee shop and there’s miles of it. Hurrah for marriage!

I’ve then cut these to brick size and laid them into walls, taking care to make the walls based on the brick size to keep it simple.Then the usual rendering with filler and a light sanding.

This is the final one and I fancied something a bit different, so it’s set on a slight mound, has a smaller yard and the gate is on the corner with a few steps down. One corner of the roof is missing and there’s a small hole in the rear, ideal for snipers.

It also has the bricked walling which blends fairly well with the more regular irregularity of the building’s wall. It has a fair amount of height to it and therefore more variety.

Together this trio works well, so I’m looking forward to putting them down with the other four. I have one more casting in hand at the moment but having started a wrecked market from seeing one on  Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan”  it’ll just have to wait.

There’s some small detailling left on these but I got so excited with them I couldn’t wait to post them up. A feeling I imagine you share.

Parachute to Kill

February 29, 2012

Here’s the Boy Slug’s latest and possibly greatest an Artizan Parachute Regiment Jeep trundling through wet ground. It’s still awaiting a little bit of matt varnish, but because it has both a water effect on the Fenris base, wet tyres and little specks of mud all over the place we can’t just spray it – hence the shiny berets. The Fenris base was exactly what we needed and found by asking Ian for what we wanted and we got a thumbs up. Saves browsing his encyclopedic and rather excellent range.

The only bit he’s not too happy with are the numbers which he hand painted because we couldn’t track down any suitable decals in time. He contented himself with painting the beret badges and shoulder patches which worked really well. The water effect was some gloop which we might review later, as a warning rather than a rave it was costly and not too bright to use.

Hopefully this will feature in a game suggested by Daring Dan who has taken delivery of a scratchbuilt Hartenstein Hotel and so the Oosterbeek Perimeter beckons – let’s hope the fog doesn’t delay it.

Tome Raider

February 27, 2012

Being an avid reader of the printed word especially when it comes to most things about military history I’m surprised at myself at not really mentioning books on this blog, typically leaving any suggestion or recommendation to the forums I visit. Mentioning this one isn’t neccessarily the turning of the tide, but I notice a great increase in interest in operations in Afghanistan so thought I’d mention it. This Tankograd publication “Task Force Helmand” is the first of theirs I’ve bought mainly because they’re usually far too specialised for me. Specialised in that I’m not that interested in a single vehicle to have a book just about it, I prefer one book one whole subject which this is.

And what a book! Not only are there multiple photos of every piece of kit, but they’re all taken in theatre. This does make me marvel at the dedication of Carl Schulze the author. Sure I’ve a thousand or so photos of lots of military vehicles most taken in a field in Kent, or at places like Bovington Tank Museum. To travel all the way to Afghanistan, a very active war zone, in pursuit of photographs for this book in incredible as well as ever so mildly suggestive of some insanity. Not that it’s a bad thing – it’s the kind of insanity in which we share to a greater or lesser degree and which should be celebrated. Not least it’s created an outstanding reference book which I can’t recommend highly enough. A must-read for the modern British Army enthusiast or gamer.

In for a compound in for a penny

February 27, 2012

This humble Middle Eastern abode is very much a work-in-progress,  hopefully another Slug Industries product soon, borne from my desire to have a few more compounds from reading about the Royal Anglicans time in Afghanistan in book “Attack State Red”. The reports of inter-compound fighting reminded me of fighting in Stalingrad, which explains why Sangin has earned the nickname “Sangingrad” amongst our brave forces.

For a good skirmish game you do need to get inside the buildings, hence the lift off lid. I’m happy with the scale as the rather fine Eureka figures shows it’s a good fit. There’s three of these on the bench, which will take me up to seven compounds in total, which is just enough for the game I have in mind. The others can be seen here.

Here’s one in place for it’s fitting of walls. These are foamboard, which is very easy to work and they’ll get a coating of filler to get an irregular finish. The other two will be cork, as I’m after a certain effect on those which you might be lucky enough to read about later. Bet you can’t wait, eh?

You can see how these developed here.


Captain Stinky Rools

February 27, 2012

Here’s a couple of scenics which might put a few of you dear readers to shame. They’re old GW bits which I’ve had hanging around for years which have finally had something done to them, namely the newly honed terrain skills of Captain Stinky aged 7 and 11/12ths. Armed with the finest brushes the 99p shop could offer, a £1 sampler pot from Wilkinsons and a limited choice of bits from his Grandad’s supplies the young lad took his time but did manage a decent pair of models which most of us would be happy to have on our table. The pieces have been undercoated, then painted a very light grey and finished with Devian Mud for the wash. Then they’ve been glued to MDF which has a selection of boulders hand-picked by Stinks himself from the beach, sand on the inside and grass on the outside. His very first scenics to accompany his humble collection of W40k figures.

What des the lad himself think? “Pew-pew-pew” is all I could get out of him.

Track and Ruin

February 27, 2012

This is a unique post about a show in being a non-photo special – namely because it wasn’t until I got to Dover I noticed I’d forgotten my camera.  Regardless of this slight error we pushed on to the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone for the On Track model show. Five quid entrance fee with children going free might seem a little steep but in the modellers world it’s bargain, and this is a solid reason why gamers should go to modelling shows. The main reason is to see just how well models can actually be made especially as the wargaming standard has rocketed over the years. However, as hinted at above, the incredibly high prices modellers suffer is a solid morale booster for the dedicated gamer; a half inch thick, five inch by five inch chunk of rubberised horsehair for a fiver, a tiny zip lock bag of dead leaf  litter for four, but the most terrifying was the square foot of haberdashers insulation ever so slightly treated to be used as grass for fifteen.

Not all the traders are so harshly priced and there’s tons of interesting bits and pieces for just about all scales, solid and much liked traders like Sgts Mess, Milicast, SHQ Miniatures and a great book dealer whose card I’ve lost. Also a couple of games tables, one of a forest edging onto a village with 88’s concealed within the trees and an eager British force approaching unawares, the other being the Crush the Kaiser lads.  The KtK folk are not only proper charmers, and producers of a cracking set of WW1 rules but they also put on a quite stunning table which really travels around. Not content with making us all envious of their trenches they’ve got a new table under way. Good to see them again.

The modelling competition was packed with great entrances and not as frantically packed as Euromilitaire making it a much more comfortable view for the visitor. A distinct lack of rucksacked camera-toting fools taking up all the room under the delusion of them being more important than any other visitor too. Small, perfectly formed and well worth a visit.


Trench Afoot

February 16, 2012

Gutted as I was to realise I’d already used the pun “Last Ditch Effort” I’m happy with this new secnic which I’ve just completed. It’s not only a handy piece but it proved to me how our humble Slug Industries sandbags and planking actually knock together to make a decent model without the hours I’d have spent in the past by hand making every single piece.

It also gave me an opportunity to use modrock, a bag of which I’d bought around a decade ago but never even opened. It’s a great material, gloriously messy with a hint of mudpies making the endeavour an even deeper recession into child-like joy. To start with I glued the sandbags in place, then used scrap foamboard to make formers for the ground. I wanted the look of earth which had been dug up and piled just a couple of months before, so quite smooth, howvere if you wanted more craggy a style that would be possible too. I overcoated it with Woodland Scenics plaster, or wotsit hydrocalifornia as they insist on calling it. It was great fun and I recommend it for that reason alone, anything more is a plus eh?

Then it was a bash of colour prior to flocking. I used three types, short dark for the undercoat, longer on top with a few added sprinkles of a flowery flock. The planking was stuck in place, plus a few crates, an oil drum and some single sandbages which we’ve not released yet and the piece was complete. It comes alive with a few figures, these all Uncle Crouchie’s BEF range now available from the ever regal Warlord Games.

Finally the hour spents cutting the seams on all those sandbags and the grain on the planking has proved itself worthwhile now on with the slaughter!

Rubble and Concrete

February 15, 2012

It’s been quite a productive week here at 6mil mansions. First I bashed out these three small rubble piles, which were very quick after the ruin set which took a full week to put together. The result can be found over at the Slug site.

Also a couple of pieces I needed for an approaching 6mm game. So rather than just make the pieces for my own use I decided to make pieces I could cast from. This is also handy for my pillbox needs, as I don’t fancy building more than one of them.

The sharp-eyed amongst you might have noticed how there’s no opening on the bunker, a deliberate step as I wanted it for something a bit different, but I have build a gun port for it, which I’ll attach to a casting and make another mould from, and that’ll be a proper gun toting bunker.

This Radar station is what I wanted, so you can see my thinking. The screen for this was some of that brass etched stuff which is getting cheaper. If you do try something like this my top tip is make sure your brass is totally flat before working it. Mine wasn’t but I added the plastistrip anyway and then I had to flatten both that and the metal.

Not totally finished though, I’m tempted to come back with a simple camoflage scheme, but it’s ready for a game.  Both these pices can also be found over at the other place.

I’ve got a crusher on you

February 15, 2012

Without doubt this is one of the finest VBCW miniatures every produced and we’ve Mutton Chop to thank for it. Paul Hicks has a glowing reputation for his work and rightly so. Typically wholly impractical, packed with charactor and with facial expressions sited somewhere between gormless and mild retardation he encapsulates not only the feel of VBCW but also of a lot of it’s players.

Originally this was meant to make the “Siege of Canterbury” game at Legion, but didn’t as I wasn’t as organised as I’d have wished… not fielding the half dozen BUF cavalry still irritates me.  This piece is more than a match for any BUF unit really and I’m looking forward to seeing this speed into action.