Rust In Peace

October 16, 2012

Back in May there was a fine two-part documentary on the BBC featuring Rory Stewart called ” Afghanistan: The Great Game.” which not only brought forth an educated perspective on the country but also offered some stunning imagery. One instance was a couple of Soviet vehicles in the spot they were destroyed during the 80’s rusted into a memorial of bad times past. I thought a similar model would suit my gaming table.

Of course my first concern was the idea of paying for a model and effectively turning it to a non-playable piece of junk.  Then I remembered how Bob over at Imprint Models not only did stunning models, but he also has a number of miscasts available at a lower price.  I wanted an APC rather than a tank so emailed the man himself and yes, he had some BMP-3’s available. Ура!The condition of the model was impressive for a miscast and wouldn’t take too much work to make a fine model for playing with. With a solid lump of resin as it is there’s no opportunity to make great holes or hollows in it, so the first thing to do was to hack off most of the track from one side. Some of this I reattached to have some hanging track on the front., some went onto the base and some I simply lost.

Having this sitting flat wasn’t going to work so I make a base with a slope so one side would sit higher than the other, and also have some of the remaining track buried under pebbles.  The vehicle and the base had to be done seperately, then joined and some additional work done to finish it.

I did add some small damage, namely several bullet holes on one side, and a larger RPG one on the other side. Some folk might think it looks too small but I remember watching a Mujahadeen video many years ago of an attack on Russian armoured vehicles and a succesful RPG hit which appeared to my naive eyes to be lttle more than a loud DONK! The small hole it produced did bring the vehicle to a halt and as the cameraman approached still filming it became obvius how the entire crew had died instantly…

For the rust effect I wasn’t sure what to use so I asked over at Frothers and Freakinacage recommended Modelmates Rust Effect, and once he explained it was a single application effect whereas a lot of rust effect kits are lots of stages with a pot for each.  It’s not cheap but it does a stunning job. My key point would be to use it as thinly as possible, but there’s a tutorial via the link above. I really recommend it, great effect with the added joy of being a bit like finger-painting which is always fun given how tightly figures have to be painted.

For additonal rust an old favourite was used, artists pastels. These are messy but are worth it, if you decide to use them consider going for really light tones. Once varnished they go darker so a bit of experimenting is called for. Once it had all been matt varnished I gloss varnished the oil leak at the rear, then dry brushed some of the stones with the base colour and then drybrushed again with matt varnish. I used two tones of grass as a finishing touch, a greener one for most but a browner one for around the oil leak. It took much longer than I’d have liked, an entire Sunday afternoon, but it was probably worth it even if I can’t explain why to my domestic Goddess.

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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.

Hee Hawfully Good Models

October 3, 2012

This sublime Donkey Mill is another one of those timeless pieces which would fit a wide period of games, ancient to modern and be a great addition to them all. I’d seen the Architects of War Middle East range some time ago and always wanted to see it up close before parting with any shekels. I found this piece at Red Knight when they still had a shop and jumped on it immediately. With my upcoming Jihadistan game at a soon to happen show I finally pulled this out of the to-do pile.

The pack contains four pieces, the mill and ground as a single pre-coloured in brown resin piece, the millstone, the wood and the donkey all in pewter. As with most simple kits it’s also a little tricky. The millstone and the wooden upright have to be straight on the vertical while the horizontal beam has to meet the donkey’s harness properly. A tiny bit of tweaking was needed on the beam to get this right and i found the easiest way to assemble once painted was to hold it all in place and with my third hand glue the donkey into place first.

Corn was what I wanted being ground. So I gingerly picked out two shades of yellow from mixed flock packs with the agility of a diamond buyer with a date with Kiera Knightly. This was glued onto the mill and into the sacks before assembly. To harden it up I doped it with superglue, as it dried the two-tone yellows went dull brown, well two-tone brown. So had to be dry brushed with yellow to brings it back to life.

It was fun to paint, I imagine some might think the donkey is too small but foreign ones typically aren’t as healthy no9r as big as the seaside donkeys we see most offen. Can’t wait to get another piece from these folk.

Versa Tile

October 3, 2012

A big thanks to my Dad-in-law Bob for spotting these and many other Wilko own-brand floor tiles. There’s a fair few which are suitable for the wargames table, follow the Wilko link to see them, including various flagstones in both grey and sandstone. The pack I got will be used for roads, and just in time because I need plenty of them  for an upcoming game, one pack cut in half will give me over twelve foot of roads, even more if I was using a s cale smaller than 28mm. Just £5 a pack.

I’ve gone and taken photos of all of the ones which I thought were useful. The lightings not very good but you’ll get an idea. The texture is more printed than actual but there is a slight texture to them. Each photo is approximately six inches wide.

A rugged stone effect.

Mixed flagstone or crazy paving.

Sandstone flagstones.

Granite flagstones.

A sandy texture, roads perhaps?

Akula Kon

October 1, 2012

Being lucky is always a good thing, no more so than when I was lucky enough to find a golden ticket to the world’s smallest gaming show: Akula Kon. Held in a secret high-security facility hidden deep within the Yorlshire Moors I gathered with a number of Frothers; project maniac Akula, renaissance man Bungle, paint maestro Duff and Hasslefree’s master sculptor Kev White. There were no traders and only one table, but what a table. Visitors to Salute 2011 should remember Akula’s Battlefield inspired Arica Bay table, and that was what we played on except with a couple of hundred zombies. What follows is a number of photo’s in no particular order taken while I strained to keep up with the conversation. It’s dificult to talk with a beer on the go…

A good time was had by all, and on behalf of all his guests a big thank you to Akula for his hospitality and the sport. The only perturbing part was the vaguely homoerotic ceremony some of them seemed to enjoy. I can’t bring myself to describe it, but you will find photographic evidence of the depravity below.

 

Euro Miltaire 2012

September 24, 2012

It was the yearly pilgrimage to Folkestone for the talent showcase which is Euro-Militaire on Saturday and the Boy Slug, Captain Stinky and myself dutifully made our way down there bathed in sunshine. Although the quality gap between modellers and gamers work is shrinking year on year there is one glaring difference between the two, namely the price of everything. Model kits and accessories are hair-whiteningly expensive in comparison but the modellers don’t seem to mind. Big thanks to the ladies on the door for their friendly welcome, although I do think many visitors don’t bring themselves to say “Good Morning” to them. Why I couldn’t say.

Bumped into Jason Salkey, who is well-known to Salute visitors, otherwise known as Rifleman Harris from the TV series Sharpe’s Rifles, also chums Daring Dan, Fascist Child Killer Tony and a few lads from the local gaming club. The most intriguing stall was the Airfix one showing their much anticipated 1/48th modern British models, which were very nice but they just had a display and not a single one for sale.

Despite the great organisation and obvious efforts by all involved a couple of gripes remain. One is the number of visitors who insist on wearing large rucksacks in a well attended and therefore crowded show. Typically they move as if they weren’t wearing them, sending the uninitiated flying. Regulars have in turn developed their own techniques for dealing with them from braced standing to returning shoves and it doesn’t help the atmosphere.  The second is the lighting in the display and competition rooms, which is only a problem if you’re taking photographs – and there’s a lot of folk snapping away. Gripes aside it’s a cracking show and as the European wide attendance shows it’s worth making the effort to pay it a visit.

Here’s just over a hundred photos from the weekend, mainly stuff which took my eye, had reasonable light and wasn’t too crowded to get near.

Should anyone know the story behind the photo of Ken’s Cup, featured above, I’d love to hear it.

Not a Tankless Task

September 6, 2012

A great weight has been lifted off the shoulders of the workers at Slug Industries seeing as we’ve finally got our latest, and hopefully greatest, model finished. Not a simple one this, with around forty hours on the build alone, seperate moulds for components, and the hot weather mucking up the paintjob on the first cast, but only after full highlighting. In other words a bit of a pain.

Here’s the first paintjob shortly before a lot of the surfaces simply started to crack. A few attempts at repair later and other cracks and flakes appeared. Casting another and painting that proved to be quicker.

The rear door which shows the riveting quite well.

The armoured radiator, which looks flat although it’s made of semi circular tubing, and the Dambuster style headlights. The idea being that they’re adjustable, so you could set a rang to them and when the merged lights lit up a target it’s at the predeterminde range. Probably worth a +1 on any dice roll – if it’s at night.

The first wheel layout. Ending up putting two extra pairs in after Orkdung over at VBCF quite rightly pointed out how it looked under powered. Figure gives a sense of scale.

 

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…

Even more Bazaar

September 2, 2012

Filling out the Jihadistan project gave me the chance to paint these rather brilliant Eureka miniatures‘ middle eastern civilians. There’s also a couple of stalls but I haven’t quiet figured out the best way to base those so they can wait.  It’s easy to assume how simple figures are simple to sculpt, and the burqa clad ladies might ecourage that train of thought.

However I already have a couple of burqa wearers and they’re simple figures simply done whereas these have been much better made. Each figure has a distinct attitude in it’s carving making them look more like a moment frozen in time.

They’re also rather timeless, with the exception of the woman with carrier bags, so could fit in an ancient scenario right up to the modern day. Although I wouldn’t buy anything from the traders I’ll be knocking on Eurekas door again.