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

Forests

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).

Friday 16 February 2024

Birthday Thunderbird


A model of Thunderbird 2 set against the palm trees I've been working on; apropos to celebrating the passage of years, which I thought to share as an amusement, because birthdays are worth celebrating.

And Susan ran my picture through Photoshop to add a proper background.


Wednesday 14 February 2024

Ma.K Acquisitions

Look what arrived from Slave 2 Gaming in Australia, 15mm Ma.K miniatures. Arrived super quick. Totally Bonzer service.

What arrived in the packaget is six of each of their SDR Schwarzer Hund and Kradenvogel.

I plan to convert the Schwarzer Hund into power armor for my Subatduku.,The Kradenvogel were acquired for parts when I start building some Chinese Fatties.

I acquired two walking and four flying poses of the Hunds, which are multiple part models that require assembly.

These are not generally available for purchase from the website, but Drew Edney very kindly let me have these on the understanding that they're likely to be revised to make assembly easier before general release.

I may have some thoughts on what could be done to make them less fiddly.

However, given he's a pattern maker, and has a professional mould maker working for him to produce this range, my input, thoughts, idle musings etc. are probably unwanted.

That's all for now. Catch you on the bounce.

Monday 12 February 2024

Palm Trees


This is where I'm up to on getting these palm trees, though actually it's a mix of coconut and palm, and other stuff tree bases.

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Desert Oasis


While this stage of the project has pretty good contrast, it still feels like the miniatures appear a bit flat. It might as well be monochrome, despite all the different shades of brown, tan, and sand used.

And while painting the desert ruins I assembled the Charlie Foxtrot Oasis bases I acquired in 2021. Amazing how times flies?

So currently the project looks like this. More work to do.

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Newten Town Trees

  

An just like that, after a long drought, eight posts in one month, here are some glamour shots of the finished town boards with added trees.

Close up overhead above, full pan below to show the whole of both boards.

And below, a close-up, side on shot of the buildings showing how it looks as a setting for taking  pictures of my work.

And panoramic shot showing the full glory of the completed town boards. Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Catch you all on the bounce.

Thursday 25 January 2024

Desert Terrain

I bought this set of terrain so long ago I can't remember when I bought it. Probably pre-covid. The box got put somewhere safe, and then it kept slipping out of 'what I intend to paint next' list, or more truthfully, I forgot about it.

Something about getting older and being forgetful.

So, Gale Force 9 market this as pre-painted, ready to plop down on your table and go, but it all looked a bit flat to me. Hence this repaint.


So first off, paint a brown-black enamel wash (my own recipe: just a mix of left over Mig Ammo brown and black wash into one pot).

While people rave about enamel washes, and they do have their uses, on the whole I'd rather mix my own enamel washes using old pots of left over Humbrol paint when I feel the need for them.


Got to let these dry, which is my main complaint as they seem to take forever to do so properly.

Then I painted black on the edges and in the cracks to increase the contrast.

 And finally I add more texture to the bases.

Still more to do, but now I have to let the texture paint dry. It's a sad life, but it's my life. And I love my life.

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Insurgents Technicals

Three insurgent Technicals surge forth. Again, I painted these a while back, but hadn't gotten around to doing a glamour shot.

I still have the white one I converted into a command crew cab to finish, delayed because it made its bitch while I was painting it white.

Still, not all is lost as I can say, check out these civilian commercial robots.

And a final glamour shot of MAPCOMs Alpha Echo Romeo Tango Two team portrait. This is the team that walked in circles and went back through the pillars and were lost.


 
They may of course return to haunt MAPCOM in a later story. Who knows? Not I. I just write down what the voices tell me.

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Gunstriders & Attack Robot

After losing track of taking some glamour shots of previously finished models. All can I say is I'm easily distracted, but I finally got around to taking some pictures.

And the insurgent improvised attack robot too.


 Here are a couple of pictures of the Gunstriders next to a Peter Pig Technical for size comparison.

And with a different Technical.

Sunday 14 January 2024

What is a Wargamer? A comedy sketch

 

What is a wargamer? And is it different for everyone? A tongue in cheek response.

Setting: A club room where the Grognard, an old wargamer is listening to classical music, sat with a brush painting lace and facings on some Napoleonic figures, with an open reference book at hand. 

[Sound effect: a knock on the door]

The Grognard says, "Enter!"

A portly wargamer enters, wearing thick rimmed glasses and asks, "Is this the old Grognard wargaming club meeting room?"

"Yes it is. I am the Grognard. As you can see, I am the wargamer who always has a reference book open, while painting lace and facings on Napoleonic figures. 

"I see."

Grognard continues. "I am also the wargamer who says, playing with toy soldiers doesn't mean we're childish warmongers."

The Portly wargamer replies, "I am the wargamer with a mean streak to my character. You will find that I am always rolling my dice, [rolls two D6 on the table] like so. I disapprove of other wargamers who paint lace and facings on their figures. And I am always the one who checks the rule book [as he opens a rulebook] and shouting, that's not what the rules say!"

[Sound effect: a knock on the door]

The Grognard says, "Enter!"

A young wargamer, dressed in a black leather jacket that has the name of a heavy metal band on the back enters, sneers, and says, "Old Grognard wargamers, allow me to introduce myself. I'm the young unconventional wargamer who unsettles everyone in the club by playing science fiction and fantasy wargames. As you can see I sneer at wargamers who obsess over historical details."

[Sound effect: a knock on the door]

The Grognard says, "Enter!"

A slightly effete, well dressed wargamer enters the club room. "Good evening gentlemen. I am the wargamer who cares not for tradition and silly superstitions about lucky dice.

Everybody says, "Welcome!"

"However, you will notice I wear a cravat, and well fitted clothes. I have bathed before coming and therefore lack any unpleasant body odours. I have spent many happy hours painting terrain, and discussing Clausewitz's the science and art of war."

All: [sentimentally] Aaah.

"The reason for wearing a stylish cravat and my effete manner is never explained."

[Sound effect: a knock on the door]

The Grognard says, "Enter!"

Paint it Pink enters. "Forgive my late arrival, I bathed before coming and took time to dress well..." 

The stylishly dressed wargamer, clearing his throat, says, "No, I am afraid that role is already taken, I'm sorry."

"... But of course." Changing tack she says, "I wear a black leather jacket and play science fiction and fantasy wargames."

The young wargamer interrupts, "I think you will find that is me, old woman."

Then Paint it Pink says, "I'm the wargamer who picks up the rule book and..."

The portly wargamer shouts out, "That's not what the rules means!"

Desperate to find her role she says, "I am the wargamer who always uses reference book, while painting my figures..." But stops speaking as she sees the Grognard reading a book with a paintbrush in his other hand. And asks, "...while listening to classical music?"

The Grognard, apologetically says, "I'm afraid so."

"You leave me no other choice! I am the wargamer who is outwardly calm but, subject to sudden [slams fist on table] and inexplicable 'fits of temper'!"

All: Aaaaah!

THE END.

With apologies to  Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones, and any wargamers who might feel seen.

Friday 12 January 2024

Refurbishing Terrain 2


I have finished the refurbishment of the Chopper terrain, and decided that I needed to make the ruined factory match, so I've made a start as can be seen above. Still a fair way to go, but I'm pleased, and more importantly, enjoying doing this project.


Not seen here are the trees, which I'll shoot pictures of when I finish.

I'm noodling what to do next? Do I re-base and refinish some old 6mm building, or start on my new 15mm buildings that were lost, but now found?

Start on that jungle I've been wanting to make, but got distracted from starting.