Monday, 22 August 2016

Newten Town Grafitti 3

You can't actually see this graffiti as clearly as the pictures allows because I removed the facing building to take the shot.

Chopper and Attention in Russian graffiti.  Chopper, for those who don't read the 2000AD comic, was a character in the Judge Dredd strip who was renowned for putting his tag on the Justice Building in Mega City One.  Apparently, in my far future wargames setting, the 2000AD comic has inspired a new generation of street artists.

I got the inspiration for the Cyrillic from a picture of a warning sign for one of the forbidden Russian cities.  BTW Newten Town translates as Novyy gorod desyat'.

A picture with the blocking building in place. And the final shot showing where the Chopper graffiti resides.

The Scorpion is from my old BattleTech campaign and was Susan's mech ride, with the all important coffee maker custom addition to her machine's cockpit.  From working on revamping the graffiti on these building I've been motivated to take down the other six town boards that I started and plan to start working on them again.  I'll take a picture of them to show the work in progress soon.

Colour me excited with the impending arrival of my Heavy Gear Kickstarter package.

Monday, 15 August 2016


I've been a bit busy entering archery competitions and winning a medal for my efforts.  Hurrah me!  However, here's a sneak look at the custom decals I received for my Heavy Gear miniatures that I showed here and here.

With these I will be able to finish my FAT-Cs.

Just in case it isn't obvious these are very tiny.  Now all I have to do is find some free time to spend applying said decals to my models.  Oh the laughter never stops in our household.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Bad Dog Rules

The above picture is a teaser of the Table of Contents for the Bad Dog draft rule-set that I'm working on.  Of course there's the small matter of all the text.  Whether or not I will complete writing the rules is dependent on a large number of variables, which when you boil them down are based on time and money considerations.

But, at least now I have resolved the scale of the game's actions, up to a platoon, the ground scale as 12 inches equals 100 yards, and the model size as 10/12mm or 1/144th scale.  The latter being quite easy as I've been a big fan of of this scale for a number of years.  But the rules will also be able to use 6 and 15mm miniatures without any major concerns, and larger figures if one is prepared to do some scale conversions, and have a big enough playing area.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Object 295 WIP


I was shocked to find that I started work on this model in June last year.  As readers may have noticed I've been putting up work in progress reports as I seem to have found my model making mojo again, which is a good thing.

Above is the current state of my Pokhodnaya Boyevaya Platforma or Object 295, which is less of a mouthful for my non-Russian speaking readers.  The picture shows how untidy and rough looking my models are as I work the paint to get the battle-worn finish I'm trying to achieve.

For those who are interested in techniques, what I do is paint solid colours on first then I apply Army Painter dark wash tone.  Then I paint what are effectively highlights with the original colours and apply Army Painter light wash tone.  To finish, I reapply a lightened version of each of the colours as a highlight.

Then it's a matter of picking out details, drybrushing silver on any metallic parts, and finally a coat of gloss varnish.  After that it's time for decals and then matt varnish to seal.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Archery Progress


I haven't talked about archery practice for a while, not wanting to bore people with my latest passion, but today was a day worth talking about.

Last Saturday I bagged some second hand Easton ACC 750 arrows, which are a better match for my poundage than my Easton Navigators 660s.  However the nocks were too big for my string and the fletchings were pretty ropey, so I spent time over the course of the week refurbishing them, with a little help from Susan.

These are Norway Industries 1.5 inch Fusion vanes on a 3 degree helix using a Bohning Tower Fletching Jig.  The red vanes looked a litttle pink to me, so as it's useful to have two sets of arrows with different colours, I used a permanent red marker on six of them.

Anyway, with new nocks fitted, which arrived in the post on Thursday, I was all set for Saturday.

Last week with the old arrows I shot 81, shooting at 60 & 50 metres, which is called a Long Metric 2 where one shoots three dozen arrows at each distance.  This week we changed to 60 & 50 yards, which is called a Western shooting four dozen arrows at each distance, to practice for the club handicap that's being held next month.

I scored 328, which is enough to get my archer first class badge, if I can repeat the success again on two more occasions.  Doing so well is stuffing my handicap score, but it looks like I'm in the running for most improved handicap of the year award.

NB: Me shooting a longbow for the first time here.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Newten Town Grafitti 2

As I said, I have two of these rather impressive 12mm scale building that were bought from Fieldworks, but are no longer made: they seem to have stopped doing 10/12mm building altogether.  Click here to compare the blue walls versus the grey from the other building

The reverse of the two building that in my imagination is some sort of hospital, which was why I used blue for the trim because it's the colour an NHS Trust I worked for in the past used.

With the aforesaid Bewlay brothers, in their awesome Urban mechs, striking terror into the powers that be of the planet Mummerset, which was the setting of my Operation Sandbox BattleTech campaign.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Newten Town Grafitti 1


I wanted to update the graffiti on a couple of buildings and add some contrasting colours to the exteriors of a couple of buildings I have had sitting around waiting for me to get my fingers out.

I have two identical buildings like the one above, and I managed to paint the exterior walls blue on the wrong set of walls on one set of floors.  Unfortunately, while the buildings are the same the floors from one will not fit the base of the other.  I had even painted the interior walls with different colours to indicate this, but managed to forget this salient fact in my flurry of enthusiasm to get the buildings off the workbench.

So I ended up having to repaint the end walls grey, and I took the opportunity to run a drawing pen around the grafitti to make it look sharper.  The slogan is from the Japanese show Fang of the Sun Dougram, Taiyō no Kiba Daguramu.  The lead hero mech, Daguramu, became the basis for BattleTech's Shadowhawk mech, and for those who are in trivia, this was Natasha Kerensky's original ride.

Look at the detail looking through the gap and across the building to the other side.

The close-up shows the depth of field that I can get using the auto focus bracketing feature on my camera, and it opens up whole swathes of ideas for interesting pictures that would be otherwise impossible to take.

This is the front of the building, and yes my Shadowhawk's shoulder mounted autocannon swivels.  When I finish the grafitti on the other building I will post a picture on the blog and link back so you can compare the difference a small change of colour to the exterior can make to the feel of a building.

This and my other buildings are part of my Newten Town project, which I started here and last commented on here.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Newten Town Hi-Res versus Focus Stack

This is taken from a Hi-res image (6775 x 4192 crop from a 9519 x 7314 original) with the camera set to ISO 200, lens aperture F8 at 0.6 seconds, resized to 1400 x 866 pixels (click on image to see full size).

For the past few months my hobby focus has largely been on taking pictures with my new Olympus OMD EM5 Mark 2 micro four thirds camera.  One of the reasons I chose the camera was because it features a 40 megapixel Hi-Res mode, which I thought was super awesome.  It is, but after months of practice I've come to the conclusion that the really super awesome feature of my camera is the automatic focus bracketing feature, which was a firmware upgrade that the reviews I read didn't mention.

That's serendipity for you.

I've been sorting out some terrain and changing the graffiti I wrote on one of the building from FA*M Will Set You Free to Death Will Set you Free – driven by a friend who was playing in my old campaign who read FA*M as Football Association, rather than Freedom Army, which rather spoiled the effect that the graffiti was suppose to have for me.

And this is a crop from a focus stack made from 25 images (3232 x 2129 crop from a 4668 x 3356 original), again the camera was set to ISO 200 (best quality), lens aperture was F4 and each image was taken at 1/4 of a second, resized to 1200 x 790 pixels (click on image to see full size).

The re-write involved sanding down the original letters to, to remove them, and then repainting the wall.  As I didn't want to go to all of the effort it would require to repaint the wall to the original colour I took a short-cut and repainted it red.

I've been trying to do a real comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of using the Hi-Res mode of my camera, and the pictures in this post have been re-shot several times to get results I was happy with, and proving that I'm not as good as photographer as I like to think I am.

This is a 1027 x 1210 pixel crop from the 40 megapixel Hi-Res image.

In some ways the results of this comparison are a little disappointing because the depth of field at F8 is insufficient to meet my needs, even thought the out of focus background is quite nice the lack of sharpness across the model is telling.

This is a 777 x 831 pixel crop from a 16 megapixel focus stack.

Looking at the pixels, by taking a full size crop from each image, I think it's quite clear that the focus stack has produced the sharper looking image, and if I wanted to blur the background it would be possible to remove images from the stack to achieve the effect.  So for now, until Olympus offer a firmware upgrade that allows automatic focus bracketing in Hi-Res mode, focus stacking 16 megapixel pictures is the way to go.

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