Archive for the ‘War Production Report’ Category

Carden Me?

December 19, 2012

DSC03718-001Having a sort through the lead mountain is always a joy, forgotten pieces are revealled with all the excitement from buying them in the first place. This Carden Loyd universal carrier is made by Reiver Miniatures and I picked it up at Salute 2011 while having a natter with Red Rich who’d put on that year’s VBCW game.

DSC03720-001It’s a crisp solid metal casting and surprisingly solid for such a small model.  It’s few pieces, the chassis, the lid, two tracks and a Vickers HMG. The chassis has a couple of notches so you physically can’t put the tracks on the wrong way around, a smart touch. The Vickers doesn’t have an ammo box, but it’s simple enough to add one and yes it really does go on at that jaunty angle. Not so with the tripod which usually goes on the driver’s side of the “bonnet”.  It would be a folded one and I don’t have any of those in my scraps box so I left it off.

DSC03715-001I’d rather not base vehicles like this but I did think it’d get whalloped in game so a base was a must.  I used the ever wonderful milliput for the ground so I could press the models tracks into it and have trackmarks, if you’re doing this it’s best to do it with the bare metal piece, but if you only think of it after painting you need to get both pieces damp to avoid problems.

DSC03717-001I wanted to put a few pieces in the stowage bins, so I used various pieces from the Warlord Games plastic British sprues plus a white metal petrol can.  I’m pleased with it, should I do another one I’d do it with the lid propped up and a full crew.

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Leaf it out

December 18, 2012

DSC03711-001The fourth 28mm horse I’ve painted is this British officer from Great War Miniatures who only on being based revealed himself to be crookedly mounted. This makes his nationally questionable and suggests he might be a fifth-columnist. It’s a one piece cast so the poor saddle skills aren’t of my making. Aside from from that it’s a pleasant figure which I wanted to make more of so I added a couple of hounds. I don’t remember whose dogs those are, but they suit well.

DSC03708-001I also wanted to try the leaf scatter on the base rather than flock. I’ve rarely seen it used by gamers but it’s all the rage with military modellers. It’s quite difficult to use, the tub has plenty of woody surplus which has to be picked out before application, and being irregular is awkward to lay in any thickness.

DSC03709-001Although suitable for both World Wars I’ll also be using this charactor in VBCW as Hercules Grytpype-Thynne  a caddish officer with an eye on villainy disguised by high rank and aided by a pocket full of gorillas.

Driller Killer

December 18, 2012

DSC03628-001This beast of a machine was bought over a year ago as a secret weapon for VBCW, so wishing to keep it a well guarded secret I undercoated it and tucked it behind something on a shelf so no one would know about it until it appeared on the gaming table. During a inreasingly rare fit of tidying I recently found it and set about doing it justice, half from shamefully having forgotten about it and three-quarters from it being an impressive model.

DSC03627-001This is a Ramshackle Games piece, who on their website rather unenthusiastically call this a Boring Machine. It has a distinctive VSF feel to it, rather than looking practical it suggests it would drill into the earth up to the hull and then briefly halt before the sharp ends locks solid and the body spins furiously around shaking the passengers to death. This makes it perfect for Very British Civil War.

DSC03629-001

I’m reasonably happy with the paintjob, although I do think it now needs a red band around it with a large “DANGER” decal. The secret is out now of course, so the idea of the ground trembling during a game is likely to bring forth realistic expectations, but at least it means it’s about to hit the table and no longer sit on a shelf.

 

In a Battlefield of their own

November 29, 2012

Happy coincidences are always welcome, especially when they produce figures which fit into somewhere the manufacturer didn’t intend.  These modern figures from Hasslefree fit quite neatly into the world of the popular game “Battlefield 3”. For a player of that game, like me, it does make them irresistable.  The figures are very similar but have a choice of two main weapons and seperate heads.  Giving them different paintjobs makes them look less similar so that’s the course I took.

These come on slotta bases, and like a lot of the smaller producers it’s a restriction which the sculptors strive to escape from. Kevin White is no different in this aspect and the miniatures feet are barely in contact with the slotta bar. As I base on tuppences having such a small area of contact between figure and base can be a problem.

Not wanting to repeat problems I’ve had before when totally removing the slotta bar I decided on a new angle and this was to cut away the bulk of it leaving just a thin strip. This gives a lot more contact area but also allows the lightness sculpted in to the piece. Worth a try and a lot quicker than pinning.

In the computer game the troops have a very loose dress code, so rather than try to replicate a scheme I decided to just go for the gneral Battlefield Casual look which they all seem to have. I’m happy with the finish althoug, yet again, the photos have me sucking my teeth at the touches of dust, the odd wrong dab, etc, which only becomes apprent at this size. Good news is it distracts me from any blurry photos.

Hasslefree are about to release another pair in this series, and I suspect they’ll be as animated, well detailed and generally brilliantly sculpted as we’ve come to expect. A must-paint.

In the Navy

November 29, 2012

Recently I traded with the cosmopolitan  Akula for the remnants of his naval forces from his VBCW project. Some of you might recall how he built an eight foot long aircraft carrier, thankfully that wasn’t part of the deal. I originally thought it was just a few figures, but it turned out to be an entire navy plus a couple of Torpedo Boats by PMC games.

A few pieces have been added, namely a splash of brown paint to bring the decking to the fore, a ships wheel, decal numbers, a lifebelt, a cleat on the bow, and to gun them up a little with a rack of three depth charges. I did look into getting a couple more PMC nautical pieces but it proved fruitless.

Of course two boats do not a navy make, so I’ve started on a midget two man submarine, which can be seen in it’s current state below. I’m still sourcing torpedos for it but expect to see a post about it once finished. The base structure is a toy submarine, Micro Machines perhaps, with the main conning tower hacked off. The fore structure had enough room to cut a window in so expect a face to be peering out of it.

I’m also going to scratchbuild a Clyde Puffer having finally tracked down some basic plans which were free. All will be kept clean of flags and nation marks so they can be used in a variety of game not least both VBCW and WW2. Full steam ahead!

Tim waits for no-one

November 29, 2012

It’s always surprising to see a paintjob you’re perfectly happy with once you’ve taken a photo of it and see it four times large and no more so than with this great figure of Tim Collins from the freebie range from The Assault Group. Enlarged it doesn’t look so good although in part that is down to the narcissistic nature of painting figures combined with the paranoid self-criticism which drives it onward. If you’re ever totally satisfied with your efforts there’s a good chance you’ll just give up there and then having reached the perfection you seek, so I’m not complaining.  It’s a simple figure to paint and I enjoyed it, right up to seeing it so large. Northwards!

He ain’t heavy, he’s my loader…

October 17, 2012

Here’s a couple more Afghan support weapons by Eureka which I picked up at Salute 2012.   They’re the usual joy to paint, even if my photos aren’t very good. The recoiless rifle is on a very big base, and there’s a big space near the loader because the ammo box wasn’t in the bag.

Thankfully Nic at Eureka was happy to send me one all the way from Australia, not that I’ve had time to paint and add it. The weapon was a little tricky to get together right but plenty of testing was the way to do it, with gentle tweaks to get the legs of the two-part tripod the right height.

Here’s the Eureka Afghan mortar, which has one figure sculpted so you can set him up with his hand in the ammo box. Well I was impressed. A much tighter fit on the base which I prefer.

Again a slightly tricky assembly of the weapon with three pieces which have to be glued simultaneously as I see it. Should you glue the tube into the base plate seperately it might not fit onto the bipod without being too splayed. Tricky but not impossible.

Again a fine example of the brilliance of digital photography is the small hair on the base plate while making everything else slightly blurred. The hair has since been removed, imprisoned and under going severe interrogation.

Command & Conquer

October 3, 2012

I wrapped up my British modern forces with this British Infantry Platoon Command from the Assault Group and it’s a fitting end.  This pack contains two officers waving their arm around, a field radio man and a soldier with a 2 inch mortar.

When I started painting the new British MTP camo I was quite hesitant but happy with the eventual results. As I’ve done more it’s become a speedy freehanded joy although it has evolved into getting larger in pattern and lighter in overall shade. Hopefully these will mix well and produce the variations you see across a number of troops in the field.

A small hole was drilled into the top of the radio pack for a small aerial to be added using a thin pin with the head snipped off. It might not be that accurate as I’ve seen some radios which have some folding type of antenna and others which seem to thicken towards the top, almost like a silencer on a gun barrel. It suits my needs of course, and for added realism it’s likely to stop working at the most inconvenient time.

It’s very likely for these pieces to become primary targets for snipers based on the old idea that anyone waving their arms around must be an officer and should be shot first.

The 2 inch mortar is an unusual piece of kit as it’s been used by the British Army in one form or another for almost one hundred years. It started life as the 2 inch Medium Mortar in 1915, only to be dropped two years later.  By 1937 the over-titled Ordnance SBML 2 inch mortar was developed and saw service for decades until the late 1980s, being replaced by the metric L9A1 51mm Light Mortar or 2.02 inch.  Which is what is used today and this chap has. Watch out Terry Taliban.

Have I Got News for You

September 2, 2012

I was seeking a camera man for a FUBAR scenario involving Ross Kemp having already modded a figure suitable. Also I thought I could do with a a more American reporter for those rare occassions when I allow Freddy Forrin on the table.  In the end I went for the Assault Group reporter and an Em4 camera bloke. They work well, even if my photography doesn’t do them any favours.  Both were great fun to paint – the reporter has a flak jacket on while the camera man doesn’t, but I feel that reflects the very different worlds they inhabit… another nugget of wisdom born from the meditation you enjoy while painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the photo of the finished Ross Kemp aside the camera. Well it would be but I’ve mislaid him!

Die Nacht der Toten

September 2, 2012

The boy Slug has a slowly evolving nazi zombie project inspired, in part, by the Call of Duty game which features the opportunity to shoot Nazi zombies. These figures are part of West Wind Productions Secrets of the Third Reich which we picked up a couple of Salutes ago. Rather uphappily I didn’t enjoy painting these at all. The detail seems a little limited, even confused. I have a sneaking suspicion this might be why these were the ones I was asked to paints.

The bases are the 30mm DS Ruined Flagstone set from Fenris Games, and those I enjoyed working on more than the figures. Slug set the figures on the bases and rather well I think, I really liked the one with a stream trickling through it, and the boy set the figure firmly standing in it.

All-in-all an odd experience. usually I strive to paint up to the sculpt but on these the piece which demanded justice was the base…