Posts Tagged ‘GHQ’

Flocking bases

September 7, 2009

DSCF2218Following a comment from fellow blogger Ssendam asking about my basing technique I thought it would make much more sense to show it rather than explain it, and it’s one of those things a lot of us seasoned gamers do without thinking and it’s not obvious to newcomers to the wonderful hobby of wargaming. Above is a GHQ German Horsedrawn Wagon painted and washed superglued onto a plastic base after it has been roughly textured with green putty or milliput – green putty drys much quicker but pongs and can remove paint, milliput takes much longer to dry but can be sculpted and can be painted before fully dried. Once dried the base has been painted with  Vallejo Flat Earth, and then roughly drybrushed with any other darker brown. A small stone has been superglued on for added detail.

DSCF2224If you want to add a little more depth to the brown, like you might on a very muddy base, add a dark wash. You might have noticed how I’m using brown before adding the grass, whereas a lot of folk use green. This is a personal preference borne of knowing how after a few years flock can fall off and this way it reveals the mud below, combined with liking quite rough looking bases with a lot of soil showing.

DSCF2219For flock I typically use three different types based on the palette I want to use across an entire project. Given that this project is Europe ’44-’45 I decided to go for a high summer look. Above is a blurred image of my dark green flock, but it still functions to give an idea of the colour, which I mixed from three bags of rather posh flock from EMA. It’s meant to represent the best kept lawns you might find.

DSCF2220Here’s my light mix, a combination of several bags of Javis flock which is typically spongier, mixed with a little of the EMA dark stuff. This is meant to represent sun-bleached grass.

DSCF2222Here’s my mid-range tone everyone’s favourite static grass. It comes as this wide spectrum of colours ready mixed.

DSCF2225Back to the wagon and here’s the first coat of PVA glue sparingly dotted around. Now I’m after a patchy effect, so I add each layer in patches. For thicker or more regular grass you use thicker or more regular coats of glue.

DSCF2226Then as speedily as you can pile on the first layer of flock, here it’s the darkest one. I’ve gently tapped it down, and then tapped off the bulk of the excess. Now at this stage, before the glue dries, if you leave it as shown the glue will spread and when dried most of this flock will stay on the base. It’s totally acceptable as it is, but I want a bit more soil showing.

DSCF2228So I wait less than a minute and then blow off the whole of the excess flock. This is much more what I’m looking for.

DSCF2229Having let the first layer dry completely, I now add the second coat of PVA glue. Again this is patchy, some on bare soil some on the flock already there.

DSCF2230On goes the light mix, follow the same procedure as previously to get the look you’re after.

DSCF2236I decided on a bush, which I added before the static grass, using Javis bush material. Again this is a mix of two tones from seperate bags, chopped roughly together. To attach to the base I use superglue gel, into which I press a large pinch of the Javis hedge mix. When dried you can, should you choose, pluck and form a good looking bush which you can then set with a little liquid superglue gently poured onto the top branches. This, like the PVA glue will produce some shine, all of which will vanish once you matt varnish the base in it’s entirity.After the bush I put a few blobs of PVA around for the final layer, the static grass.

DSCF2238Here’s the near finished base, it just needs a matt varnish, which I’ve not done as I spray my bases en-masse. Obviously using three types of flock triples the time it takes to finish each base but I think the finished look is worth it. It is worth experimenting as you go along, to get the kind of finish you’re after, one thing worth considering is mixing near identical shades of flock, for 6mm scale it produces the kind of detail you need for realism on such a delicate scale.

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.

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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Gun but not forgotten

August 1, 2009

DSCF1704A pair of German anti-tank guns, using GHQ guns and Adler crew. Despite the larger size of the Adler figures I really like the poses they come in, plus their famous larger heads really help you identify units from a distance, solving a problem many suggest 6mm suffers. DSCF1705It’s only now I notice I haven’t painted the end of the barrels, but then I was concentrating on the spent shells and the boxed ammo, a pair of nice details included in Adler packs.

DSCF1710Likewise with this pair of British anti-tank guns.Luckily I keep a paintbrush with me at all times, so they’ll be finished by the time you read this.

DSCF1711Quite a good side shot of them, showing how you can enjoy different layouts of crew, whereas the GHQ ones are a single identical cast piece.

Commanding View

August 1, 2009

DSCF1688A couple of command bases for the excellent Blitz Krieg Commander now, above a Panther of unknown make, a GHQ Steyer-Daimler, with a mix of GHQ and Adler figures. The tank commander has been adapted, his helmet filed to look like a beret.

DSCF1702Here a GHQ Churchill and jeep, GHQ and Adler figures, and a tiny map laid out on the bonnet of the jeep. The map is a nice touch I think, and easy to do so long as you don’t start with a piece of paper that small. Instead use a larger piece, and paint the map in one corner, this makes it easy to handle, when you’re happy with it cut it to size and glue into place.

Tracks a plenty

May 30, 2009

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First are some GHQ Cromwells, really good fun to work on and the usual razor sharp detail.

DSCF1171 Attaching the crop rows was done after the tank had been fixed to the base, this made it more difficult than it should have been, so if I try this again I’ll do the crops first.

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Shermans of unknown manufacture, easy enough to paint but slightly lacking in the detail I’m rather decadently getting used to with GHQ and CinC.

DSCF1156A trio of GHQ Humber MKII armoured cars. One of the problems with adopting a single standard base size across a microscale army is how smaller pieces like this can look lonely on the base. I may well go back to this one and add some bushes.

DSCF1158A Hummel of unknown brand, with Adler crew added. It’s quite odd to see pictures of these so much larger than the model itself.

DSCF1159Another Hummel, again with Adler crew. I particularly like the way the chap has his hands over his ears, it really brings the piece to life.

DSCF1161A very mixed base here. Another piece from an ebay purchase of unknown parentage in the shape of an 88mm gun, but with a crew of Adler & GHQ, and the nice extra of a box of ammo – a number of which are included in Adler crew sets. This one’s not quite finished so expect me to recycle it in a later post.