Monday 15 April 2024

Salute 2024

Sidney Roundwood and Richard Clarke of TooFatLardies

I haven't been to a Salute since before Covid, so it was great to go this year. Especially so since the new Elizabeth Line makes the journey really easy.

Schmoozed (which will be the word that best describes my day at Salute) with Big Rich, Nick, and Sidney of TooFat Lardies. The lads are the biggest inspiration to my wargaming hobby.

With Nick Skinner of TooFatLardies

And then I bumped into GZG Jon; long time friend, former SFSFW original committee member, and purveyor of wargame goodness.

With Jon Tuffley

Touched base with Mel Bose, The Terrain Tutor too. He has a book that's worth checking out.

Susan and me with Mel Bose, The Terrain Tutor

And, I met Annie from Bad Squiddo, who has asked me to make her some trees for her, as she loved the ones I posted on Twitter.

With Annie Norman of Bad Squiddo Games

And my new, bestist fan ever, Gab of OrkAngel. He's asked whether or not I would like to run a model making workshop? We shall talk and try and work out something.

With Gab of OrkAngel blog

And my acquisitions, because no post about going to Salute can be without a picture of what was purchased (though I went with no intention of purchasing anything, which is a forlorn hope at Salute).


A God Hand sprue clipper, a Deep Cut Studio six foot long strip neoprene river, a 15mm resin Taurus APC from Void Scar Miniatures, and of course the free Pirate Annie figure.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Seafoam Branches

The box of seafoam arrived, and I made up two bases with five trees. I used E6000 Plus to glue the seafoam pieces to the branches. The trees didn't turn out as well as I wanted, because I had to cut the seafoam into very small branches to get them to not drop off while the glue set.

Starting again, I did another two bases with eight trees.

This time I used spray impact adhesive. This was much better for attaching the seafoam to the branches, but was both smelly and messy. So, while this batch were better, after flocking the trees still weren't working for me.

So I stripped the trees bare, managing to salvage four trees (three seen here), and started again.

I used a hot glue gun this time round, and while the glue doesn't grab as well as the impact adhesive, and can create strings, it is the least worst option for me in a small flat that I don't want to stink out.

So, after a lot of faffing finding the best method to glue the seafoam to the trunks.

Here is as far as I've got. Next I will flock and spray the foliage green. This project has totally kicked my ass.

Friday 29 March 2024

New Dremel

My beloved decided she would buy me a new Dremel to replace the old one I broke one, which had delivered sterling service for nearly 25 years, before I busted it.

The old one was 125 watts, my new one is 175 watts. So it has a lot more oomph.

We also got a new hot glue gun because working on the trees has led me to the conclusion that sticking seafoam to Woodland Scenics armatures is tricky.

I tried E6000 plus, but it takes too long to set and the seafoam sags. I also got some spray contact adhesive to try, but it's way too messy for the confined area I have to work in.

So, hot glue it is.

Again, I'm doing fiddly small stuff so need to be able to control the flow, and my old glue gun was anything but easily controllable.

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Forest Full of Trees

I've assembled some of the large deciduous trees from Woodland Scenics. These trunks still need texturing, which is just brushing on texture paint/gloop.

Super easy to do, barely an inconvenience.

And these are some pine tree armatures, along with a deciduous trunk I've butchered, and three underbush saplings that I'm making as an experiment.

And below is  is my forest, all the trunks painted and based ready to apply the seafoam branches.

Great Birnam wood is one step closer to arriving and delivering the prophecy.

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Dremel Embuggerance

Those who follow me on Facebook will know that I broke my Dremel. Too much force when using it caused a stall, and it stopped working.

The saga of trying to find a spare rivals one of the greatest tales ever told (only a slight exaggeration). This armature is no longer made, but we have the internet, and I found samples for sale around the world.

Huzzah! All good, right?

Nope. The Australian dealer won't ship internationally, and the Italian dealer can't ship to the UK either, Which sucks.

So I moved to Plan B.

Plan B was to try a physical repair of the damaged commutator, which Susan did, as it required soldering the delicate broken wires together. Afterwards I did the less delicate gluing, and bodging to secure the broken piece so that it won't come apart at 33,000 rpm.

That repaired failed, so now I moving to Plan C and buy a new Dremel.

Monday 18 March 2024

Old School Sculpting

I came across this video, Miniature Figurines in the Old Days, quite by accident while perusing YouTube, as one does. I'd heard of the technique, but never seen it demonstrated.

I'm glad my experience back in the day was with wax for making jewelry lost wax masters, because soldering and carving metal is a bitch.

Consider this a public information broadcast.

Saturday 16 March 2024

Types of Forests

Click to embiggen: a perfectly cromulent word.

I always wondered what was the difference between a wood and a forest, or a jungle. So now I'm making a forest I thought it might be good to go and find out for myself.

I now know far more than I ever thought I needed to know about woods and forests.

1. Temperate Coniferous Forest 

Found where warm summers and cool winters and enough rainfall to sustain the trees. Species found including cedar, cypress, Douglas fir, fir, juniper, pine, podocarpus, spruce, redwood and yew. The understory also contains a wide variety of herbaceous and shrub species.

2. Sub-Alpine Coniferous Forest 

Conifer forests are typically found on steep, rocky, north-facing slopes.

3. Freshwater Swamp Forest 

Either permanently or seasonally flooded by freshwater, they can be found in a range of climate zones: boreal; temperate; sub-tropical; and tropical. Normally found along the lower reaches of rivers, and around freshwater lakes.

4. Lowland Equatorial Evergreen Rainforest 

These forests occur in a belt around the equator, which receive with more than 2000mm or 80 inches  rainfall annually.

5. Secondary Forest (Second growth)

This is where there has been re-growth after a large event: fire; insect infestation; timber harvest; or wind throw, after a long enough period has passed and the effects are no longer evident. One sign of this is that the trees are spaced closer together and they have less undergrowth.

6. Mangrove Forest 

These consist of salt tolerant trees and shrubs that grow in coastal saline or brackish water that thrive in low oxygen (anoxic) waterlogged mud.

7. Boreal or Taiga Forest

Mostly coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces and larches, and aside from the oceans these make up the world's largest biome.

8. Peat Swamp Forest

These are forest wetlands in tropical and subtropical areas with poor drainage and waterlogged soil, which prevents dead leaves and wood from fully decomposing. 

And below an illustration of the typical profiles of temperate versus tropical forests.

Also, click to embiggen.

I, of course, want a generic enough forest that I can use it for tropical and temperate set wargames. So my plan is to swap out specific trees using the bases in my previous post. I'm currently waiting on some E6000 Plus glue so that I can start applying seafoam to the trunks I've prepared.

It's a cunning plan, and we shall have to see if it works.

Wednesday 13 March 2024


Oh no, what have I done? I looked at my old work on these trees with clump foliage and decided they weren't up to snuff. Do many hours later after dipping them in hot water and peeling off the clumps I'm back to square one, bare armatures.

But, the trunks are all based, textured up with gloop, and ready for the next stage.

So what is the next stage?

I've ordered some dried seafoam, and started saving tea leaves for foliage. I've also ordered some Woodland Scenics TR1125 large deciduous tree armatures, some coconut palms (because why not), bamboo shoots (because I didn't have any).

All good. And for shits and giggle I ordered a large plastic tree.

I plan to model an emergent tree (a tree that stands above the primary canopy) using the model in the photo.

Yeah that foliage is going to need replacing, which will need a lot of work to make it look good.  But, it has the big advantage of being cheap.

The alternatives I looked at were triple the price. So, cheap is good.

This is definitely a case of "I may be some time."

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Desert Oasis and Ruins

Ta da... three oasis bases completed. Look at the reflections on the acrylic liquid water. Pretty pleased with how these bits of terrain turned out.

Below the fallen pillar.

The ruined head of some ancient god. Could pass as a very stylized Anubis or Khnum I guess. Let me know what you think?

And, the next project. The bases for my forest/jungle. 

The one in the center/bottom has had its edges beveled, which I should've done before painting. However, it was only after assembling them and priming did I realize that I needed to do so.

As they say, things are obvious in hindsight.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

An Interlude: Trees

Here's where I am so far with painting the palm trees and the oasis bases from Charlie Foxtrot. This small little project that was just meant to be a quickie has turned into a monster made of trees.

As I said I have a whole bunch of trees, so many trees to finish working on. First up, evergreen pine trees.

Followed by deciduous trees of various sizes. All built from Woodland Scenics sprues I assembled many years ago that have sat in a box languishing ever since.

So many trees that need finishing. Above small and medium trees. Below large trees.

Hear the lament of the tree maker for she has bitten off more than she thought.

Catch you all on the bounce (probably while crashing into some trees on landing).