Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Rack and Ruin

January 13, 2012

There’s not many console games which I ever play for very long, typically five minutes in I decide it’s not for me. Most often it’s the content, sometimes the double declutching controls and rarely, but increasingly so, it’s just too damn fast for my bones. Fallout 3 is one of a trinity of games which I adore, the subject  entertains while it’s style is outstanding and the level of detail is stunning. So to make a piece for table top gaming inspired by a game is a first for me with the ruin piece above. It was a fun build, especially in trying to replicate the 1001 grains every pile of rubble in Fallout has.

To get a castable model was slightly more long winded, as all the holes in the 1001 grains had to be filled. This actually took longer than the original build. I added to the delay by not adding quite enough hardener to the rubber so instead of an 8-12 hour set it took some four days. However I think from the casting above it was worth it.

The detail starts to stick out with a coat of paint. Excuse the glossly look but it’s still wet. I’m thinking of doing three pieces to add to this – to make a complete ruin. Then we’re offer it up for sale. Although it’s originally influenced by the Post-Apocalyptic it’s suitable for a wide range of periods.

One in the Jap’s Eye

April 24, 2011

Well above is me buying into the latest Warlord/Bolt Action delights aka Chindits in the shape of the charactor figures and a Burmese scout. Now I’ve got enough faddy gaming on my plate with VBCW, so no matter how wonderful these figures might be, and they are, I found myself something a little different to beat off the Yellow Peril. As much as I’d like to dress this up as elitism it’s actually based on two solid facts. The first is how chum Dan has a big pile of these Chindits and the second is how chum Mike was putting on a game were the only other option was playing Yanks.

So the scene was set and a jolly jungle romp in the offing. Unfortunately the Japs moved very slowly and it took an inordinate amount of time to close, but when we did it was glorious- well for the allies combined we slaughted tons of mad charging Nippon warriors and with just one, yes count them, one fatality. The pictures below cover the game in it’s entirity. It was started with units represented by pseudo-Cluedo pieces, the actual unit only being put in place once revealed. A good time was ha by most, but all extened a special thanks to Mike of Red Knight for such a stimulating scenario.

Good scale guide

May 6, 2009

scale1I’ve been enjoying a few conversations recently about scale scratch building namely concerned with how to get it right, and what to use as source references. Firstly I wouldn’t ever claim to be the master of getting anything right, even if it limits my chances of becoming a cult leader, but I do know how I do things and I’m happy enough to share. Above is a WWII photo from Northern France and it’s a great example of how easy it is to get the scale of a building, as well as the style. There’s a jeep parked right next to the house on the right and it’s a great guide to the size of the building, height of the windows etc. You can make this as easy or as complex as you want, you could just sketch out the building by eye, measure a miniature of a jeep and use that as your guide, or even print out the photo and having secured the actual height of a jeep with the canopy up, divide that down until you’ve got a foot measure relative to the building, draw it all out and divide all measurements by 285 or 300 depending on your preference. Personally I’d go by eye.

scale2Here’s a photo of some very modern looking buildings in Western Russia, and it looks as if the entire street is similar so it’s an easy one to work out how to build. For scaling I’d ignore both tank and truck in favour of the figure between the two, and which is closer to the building than either vehicle. The windows all look the same height, with only the ones on the corner being narrower. This is very common with more modern buildings. However don’t let this lull you into a common mistake, that of defining the size of a feature such as a door or a window and applying it across a range of model buildings. It’s the variety of sizes which adds realism.

scale3This photo shows the above point reasonably well. Sure the street is on a slight slope, but don’t let that distract you. To the left there’s two three-floored buildings and to the right two four-floored buildings, neither pair the same height plus the one far left is about the same height as the one far right, despite there being a storey difference. So if in real life builders ignore any solid definition of scale why not the modeller? Also consider how you could replicate this street reasonably well just by using the window and door layout, without having to put sills and fancy lintels on the whole thing.


It’s also worth remembering regional differences in style, such as the steeper pitch to the roofing in this German town as well as the mix of arched windows with square set ones on the same structure.  Again the buildings in this could be fairly copied in window and door layout and capture the feel of the real thing. All these pictures were grabbed off the web, which is easy of course. For more specific requirements you should keep an eye out for a good book on the area you’re interested in, especially if it uses the word “Pictorial” somewhere in the title. The third option is to visit one of the history forums I link to and ask the users there if they’ve got any photos they might share, not only will you be flooded with historical images but you’ll also be offered sets taken on more recent battlefield visits. This is incredibly useful as not only does it supply shots no-one thought to bother with back in the day, but also not every eager modeller is able to visit the sites they might wish to.

The brush is mightier than the machine pistol

April 6, 2009


Well it is in the hands of a decent painter. Having taken on my latest project of late western European WWII after a break from painting and making god sent hint that I’m not as young as I used to be. I honestly found I couldn’t do 6mm figures justice anymore, my eyes just weren’t playing along. So I sought a painter, and being mildly nationalistic in the nicest way possible I wanted a British one.

Sure there’s second or third world companies offering a lower price per figure, which I suspect can only be delivered by the tiny fingers of children, but the idea of sending figures half way around the globe to save pennies struck me as irresponsible in too many ways to list.

I did find one painter and sent off a small comission, sadly he ignored my request for late war so the Germans returned all in drab grey, and having missed the first offered delivery date many of them were rushed, plus they were sent back mixed so I had to sort them all out again. Minor gripes of course, but combined a distinct disincentive.

So the search was on for recommendations from fellow gamers, and thanks to the web those are just hours away and two names were repeatedly offered. One Angel Barracks who quickly apologised for having too much work on, the other being Firezone Studios. Luckily for me Phil of Firezone had a gap in his schedule and away went my figures and cash.

I say luckily but it was rather more a gift from the gods, and how very different from my first experience. Phil is first and foremost a gamer with the manners and humour of the classic old-school gamer, I imagine he’s one of those types you often find at shows who is impossible not to get on with. Fortunately he’s also a very good painter, which when merged with the first means you’re getting a service second to none and worth every penny.

He pays incredible attention to detail, which with the great figures from both GHQ and Adler really pays dividends but that keen eye extends to his service. He emailed me photos of the lot of them before he sent them, the image above being one of them, as well as showing these on his blog. A nice touch, only bettered when the figures return to show how the photos don’t really do them enough justice. I wanted to do my own basing, so Phil sents them back still mounted on the sticks, with the nationality and unit type written on the bottom, handy when you’re dealing with hundreds of figures.

However in an act of complete sefishness I don’t recommend him – yet. I’ve a pile more figures for him to do and I don’t want anyone else to discover how good he is until I’ve had him do the lot. So if you’re looking for a great figure painter kindly ignore every word you’ve just read.

p.s. Back in March Phil did suffer a personal set back which temporarily delayed his workload. Since then he’s not only bounced back back but also cleared his backlog of work. There was some mention of this on other websites, which may have negatively effected his reputation, however as one of those caught in the backlog I’d like to make it perfectly clear that it was a purely temporary delay through no fault of his own, his work remains outstanding and I’ve had no hesitation in remaining one of his very happy customers.

Hello World!

April 6, 2009


Welcome to my humble blog from which I’m going to share my obsession with wargaming in 6mm. Over the coming months I’m hoping to share with my fellow spods a fairly wide range of modelling and gaming projects, many with step by step photos, as well as the occasional related film and book review, plus photos from visits to historical shows and sites – typically in England – which is convenient as that’s where I live.

Like many Brits of my age I started wargaming with Airfix toys when someone kindly gave me a copy of the Airfix guide World War II Wargaming. This piqued my interest enough to spend precious pocket-money on a wargaming magazine where I saw my first ever advert for what was then called MicroArmour made by Heroics & Ross. Their half page advert appealled to me for reasons still relevent today.  The first was the scale which turned an average table into a battlefield of dramatic proportion, the second being how handy they were for storage and the third being their price, for each quid spent you could quite easily obtain eight to twelve vehicles. Prices have risen of course, and for the fine work of makers like GHQ or CinC one does have to pay a premium, but compared to every other scale this reasoning stands firm.

Over the coming months I hope you’ll find some of this interesting, well the parts where I’m not waffling on about myself, and if you’re a gaming in one of those over sized, over priced, and over played scales you should expect me to at least try to convert you to God’s Own Scale.