Posts Tagged ‘6mm’

Easy Glider

September 6, 2009

DSCF1488Most 6mm gamers would agree how GHQ produce a lot of great looking models, typically they’re small bubble packs of five vehicles, however they do produce a series of Combat Commands, boxed sets for entire regiments and the like but most of these are simply collection of the bubble packs. By far the sexiest one is the British Horsa Glider Assault Team partly because it’s British but also because it’s effectively Operations Tonga or Market Garden in a box and excites me as much as when I first heard about either of those operations via films like “The Longest Day” or “A Bridge too Far”.

Nostalgia aside this is a very simple kit, it comes with 48 Para’s, a few heavy weapons, and four jeeps, although my set came with six so thanks to GHQ for that. It also comes with 3 Horsa gliders which are basically four part kits as seen above, and with a scale wingspan of around 95mm are absolute beasts. There’s little filing to do as there’s little sign of mould marks nor flash, and the parts typically fit together well.

DSCF1490The instructions suggest a number of ways of putting them together, depending on your preference be it for the Horsa in flight, on the ground, or on the ground with the nose opened to get the bigger gear out. The most fragile part to start with is the tail assembly which did need a slight bend to set everything square. To start I decided I’d go for Horsa in flight, as I’d prefer them all singing all dancing.

DSCF1494Lo and behold within minutes there’s your basic Horsa, very simple and to be frank I wish I’d just gone for this level of modelling as it got fiddly and frustrating very quickly.

DSCF1497Thankfully GHQ supply spares for the fiddly bits, some you might need because you get it wrong, others because not all the parts on all the sprues are complete.

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First on is the skid plate, which you really can do without, and the nose wheels. The nose wheels are on a long rod which looks likely to snap off pretty easily so I’ve made it shorter and therefore more stable.

DSCF1502Next are the main wheels either side which are quite fiddly too. The small indentation to the right of the skid-plate is where you need to drill your hole if you’re going to mount it on a flight stand. A bit of a must-do as I see it.

DSCF1506Once an in-flight version is completed this is what you’ll have, and the keener eyed might have noticed a problem, it sits arse heavy, mainly because of the skid-plate. Even without it the model will be arse heavy, and although there’s some space inside where you could try counter balancing don’t bother trying like I did with later attempts as I estimate the weight needed to make it sit properly or nose heavy is around the eight gram mark. Of course this won’t be noticed when it’s in flight, and for deployed after landing it’s not a great problem, although I found it frustrating and put the project in a corner for a while as if it were a sulky child.

During landing it was quite usual for a Horsa to lose it’s wheels and skid-plate, so the other two have none of the extras and sit at a more realistic angle.

DSCF1932A quick splash of paint later and it was onto putting the invasion stripes on, just to prevent the Yanks from shooting them up by mistake. I’ve gloss varnished the wings for this to make it easier, and also bought the GHQ invasion stripes decals. I wasn’t too chuffed to realise how despite the decals being the official ones none of them were big enough for the job in hand. Just why the invasion stripes aren’t, like wallpaper, long strips which can be cut to size is beyond me but hey ho…

DSCF2022On goes the first stripes, I’ve put them slightly out of place because I didn’t want to have to deal with the sloping edge of the wing.

DSCF2024When it came to put the second set on another difficulty made itself known, basically the stripes aren’t of equal width either. When I started this project I laughed when a chum suggested painting these on, preferring as I did to use decals, but it was at this stage I wish I’d listened. These decals are manically fiddly to start with, and it doesn’t help to have that multipled, especially when I believe it’s fair to assume using GHQ decals will make it easier.

DSCF2211Here’s the trio finished, the one atop is the one with wheels, etc, the others don’t have them. A lovely little set fit for anyone’s tabletop, and still the sexiest of the Battle Command series. Considering they’re really just a four piece kit GHQ would do well to address the invasion stripe problem, as for me that alone was the longest part of the entire assembly and painting. I’m still scratching my head at how I’ll fit these into the storage box supplied.

Communistic work drive

September 6, 2009

DSCF2212One of the most positive effects the web has on the wargaming community is how competitive it makes us all, and just how that increases both the effort we all put in and the quality we strive for. I’m not exempt from this feverish mix of one-upmanship and public display of the Protestant work ethic. For a couple of weeks now I’ve regularly had my gast flabbered over at the 6mm forum run by Mike Angel by a number of users who seem to be amassing armies with the speed of an out of control rocket car but without the pyrotechnic delight of a huge fireball as a finale. Admittedly they’re forming ranks and files for Napoleonics, but none the less it does look as if within mere moments of the lead landing on their doormat they’re painted it, based it and posted the photos on the web.

So it was time for 6mil mansions to convert to a Stalinesque factory and see just how much I might be able to bash out. I started with eighty blank bases, and the attaching of adhesive magnets to them, each of which had to be cut to size from a roll. Next was scoring the top of each base to give a texture to make sure anything stuck to them stays stuck. Combined this simple combination of activities took Saturday afternoon, and strangely enough reminded me of having ingrown toenails removed, the only connection being how the latter is a much more fun filled way to spend an afternoon. Sunday was spent supergluing the figures onto bases, and where time allowed putting some texture onto the bases, the output in it’s entirity can be seen above, just over forty bases almost finished.

DSCF2213Obviously it’s good to get so much done in a single sitting, but in such a large number it did become a mite tedious. One great positive is it shows how my idea for using scenics details on command stands does help them really stand out. Above is an infantry command with a haystack on the base, look how well it sticks out from the trayful in the first picture, as well as the other command stands.

DSCF2214The same is true of what will become a sweet little command base of British Para’s tucked behind a fence with a track on the other side. Mixing Adler and GHQ figures seems to be working okay, and it gives a great variety to the stands. As these get completed I’ll be posting photos, but I’m not sure I want to try another Stalin inspired mad production drive, it is quite dull and, as if further explanation were needed, it show why communism was bound to fail.

Paint it black

August 27, 2009

DSCF2017Well not just black of course, I do like our greens and greys too. Just had a few figures painted by a local painter who doesn’t do the web so you’ll find this is probably the only example of his work on the web. Paul Harrison lives in Margate and specialises in very neat custom built wargames buildings, however he paints figures too so I cornered him a while back to do a small batch for me and above you can see what he’s managed with some Adler.

I’m happy with them especially as he’s a mite cheaper than most, my only gripe being they came back in the bags they left in with no additional wrapping so some of the paint has rubbed off the bases as you can see. If you fancy getting him to do some for you the only contact is by phone and his number is 01843 227292. Tell him 6milPhil sent you.

Dicing with Death

August 27, 2009

DSCF2019Dice can be incredibly dangerous as most seasoned gamers will tell you, more so if you game in 6mm. Picture the scene as your massed tanks with infantry crouched behind them get ready to cross the fields  into the enemy held village when suddenly from above tumble half a dozen regular sized dice, as they land they twist barrels, scratch paint and mangle figures, and regardless of the numbers your attack is halted as you sob without shame and refuse to come back out from under the table.

The answer is smaller dice, and I’ve got a few however over the years I’ve slowly lost most of them so it was time to track down some more which proved more difficult than it ever should. The nearby games shop had none, the local example of the power of deodourant (Games Workshop to most) shrugged, and at one Sci-Fi emporium I spotted how a pair of suitable dice were included in a Star Wars product and asked if they could get the dice alone only to be advised by some batty woman how they couldn’t but I could always buy the packs for the dice because at £2.99 a pair it’d be about the price I should expect to pay for the dice alone…

The answer proved to be on Ebay, packs of fifty for £3.25- so I splashed out on a nifty green for Allied usage, grey for Axis and Red for everything else. The whole lot coming in for around a tenner. The seller can be found here.

Inglorious Maquisards

August 26, 2009

DSCF2011I was wandering around the 6mm forum which Mike Angel has very generously created when I saw a stand of the Irregular Miniatures figures above. I can’t recall what they actually are, something Wellingtonic* I believe, but Mike is a regular reader so hopefully he’ll share via the comments.

Anyhow on seeing these I did think they’d make good figures for armed civilians from WW2 namely brave members of the Maquis, or Free French. Rather craftily I convinced the overwise over worked Mike to paint them up for me and include them in my latest order for more haystacks, which he’s done and rather well I think.

Of course I’ve yet to seperate them and base them, and being limited to a dozen figures I’ll base them four to a base as three bases is about all I’ll need in minor supporting roles for SOE and para scenarios I’m working on.

*Wellingtonic; An alternative name for the period often called Napoleonic, but named after the British victor rather than the French loser which makes much more sense to me.

Base of brothers

August 15, 2009

DSCF1882Just a couple of bases of GHQ paras this week, one all attacking from being a row of bushes, the other frantically trying to focus a PIAT and grenade attack. Placed adjacent they make a fine wrecking crew.

DSCF1885Another development has been me finally getting to grips with the camera aided in part by having my old single bulb lamp die and me replacing it with a fluorenscent one which throws a much wider and brighter light finally revealling all the detail.

COMETh the tank

August 15, 2009

DSCF1874Okay it’s not the best known tank of WW2, seeing only really the last seven or so months of the war, but if you’re playing late war Brits it was there and so you need a few Comets and these GHQ ones fit the bill perfectly. Expect the usual sharp cut detail, but also the perfectly scaled but look at it too hard and it’ll bend barrel.

DSCF1877I’ve spent ages picking out the detail on these with various complimentary tones and not a hint of it shows up on the photos.

DSCF1881The basing has been kept simple, slight irregular surfacing to the base, two tones of brown, three types of flock and a couple of bushes.

DSCF1879Made one base decidely urban, but as it stands it looks too clean so I’ll be coming back and putting some rubble about and anything else I can think of, or that you might care to suggest. No I’m not making another piano.

Jeep into the unknown

August 15, 2009

buDSCF1865What’s that tearing through the countryside? Why it’s a tidy line of GHQ jeeps tearing into action in the style of the Para’s or the SAS.

DSCF1864Now the GHQ standard jeeps come in two basic forms, windscreen up or windscreen down and with just a driver who wears a yank style helmet. For me this is a handay variety, but not enough if you’re likely to be playing six tiles in close proximity. The first thing Ive done is filed those helmets to look like a beret, then I’ve added two or three more figures including one with a .50 cal, plus a couple of boxes here and there. The finished look is a quite threatening little convoy likely to worry just about any unit unfortunate to be set against it.

DSCF1907After Mike asked for bigger photo’s I’ve had a bash, and generally I’m not having a lot of luck with them. I’m at the limit of my camera’s ability which is far beyond my own, out of around 30 photos, two weren’t blurred but even with these ones (above & below) you can see how the rear third of the base is in focus while the rest isn’t. They did prove handy for revealing fluff and hairs though, and have been tweezered to perfection.

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Scene to be believed

August 15, 2009

DSCF1852No I’ve not gone all sci-fi this week just had a small order from good old Irregular Miniatures turn up this week and what a pile you get for your cash and what a glowing example of just one reason why 6mm is such damned good value. Left to right, top to bottom; a pair of hedgerows, six vine rows for your own vineyard, two poplar trees, a pigpen, a hay wagon, a base of pigs, some cows, a pair of gates, a cuddly toy, nine small trees and a windmill.

Most of these will feature in a scenic over the next few months, most need very little tidying up for white metal pieces, bar the windmill which like most Irreg buildings seems to come with a ton of flash and mould lines in the most peculiar places and typically quite difficult to remove if you like your buildings spotless, BUT I digress from my overall satisfaction and my point which is; Which other scale could give you all this for so little? A mere £13.20, or $21.85, or in those euro things about 15.33.

Timecasting Couch

August 8, 2009

hollywoodNo this isn’t some sordid tale of Timecast’s interview technique for sculptors. However it’s rare to be able to mention wargaming and Hollywood in the same sentence, and even rarer for it to involve wild gossiping, or goss as many like to call it, as if the suffix “ip” delayed the retelling by too much time to be practical. Some perfectly scaled little bird did mention to me that those wonderful Timecast folk have a very interesting little project underway as part of a Hollywood production which is highly secret.

For those who don’t already know Timecast has a reputation amongst gamers verging on the god like, if they were an Indian company they’d already be a Hindi god, if they were Israeli they’d likely be a Hassidic cult who only ever spoke to wargamers. So there’s no surprise in hearing how they’ve a massive commission for an anonymous film company, rather there’s an unbridled joy- part religious wargaming zeal, part nationalistic pride in the Yanks picking a British company, plus a hint of economic hand rubbing in considering just how much cash they’re likely bringing into the country.

Nosey gamers wanting to know more are going to have to go peek through their letterbox or gaze into their windows as it’s all very hush-hush, plus they’ve just twelve days left to meet their deadline. However one glorious detail does reveal how they’re still very much gents of the old school. They’re pulling out all the stops with an eye to finishing early, not in chasing some cash bonus, rather they’re hoping to get a game on the piece…

Well done Timecast!