Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Idiot Returns

Yes, I have been away, yes I have done absolutely cock all since my last post, yes I shall make more promises, & change projects more times than the average bloke changes his pants!!!

I've not been able to summon any enthusiasm for anything I have on the go. Since I stopped going over to New Buckenham to play, I have done no painting at all. The problem is, its just too far to go! Petrol costs, and the thought of a long drive, especially after a trying day at work, just does not appeal. Add to that, the fact that I never really contribute, figure wise to games there, and have nothing of note worth taking over, does make me feel a bit out of the loop.
So, painting, ditched it, armies, yep ditched them too……..making stuff, now I've not ditched that, yet!

And I'm making one of these, well its sort of one of these!! Its a project for Ian at Fenris games, to go with his APEX investigators, god only knows what horrendous pile of poo will emerge from the rubbish littered desk of doom.
I shall attempt to keep you all posted


Sunday, 8 September 2013

My Work Here.............Is Nearly Done

Spent a few days cracking on with the Frothers Unite Charity Project
Now just have the gun mount to build, and I am finished.
Made two versions, so Jon, who has organised the whole thing, can pick which one he likes best
Very Loosely based on the Browning 30cal and 50cal guns.

Hope they are what was required!!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Cats out of the Bag and all that Jazz..............


Did'nt stay secret for too long!!!

Every year, Jon Atter, AKA Dags, organises a charity figure through the Frothers Unite Forum. 
Last year we had the rather fine model of Judge Minty, and to try and outdo that model, Jon has "gone large" with a Tank Girl Package, that has the capability of being something really rather special
Get your collective backsides over here for more info

Why am I plugging this? Well first off, its a bloody good cause, and Jon puts in a lot of work to get the thing off the ground. The projects feature some of the best figure sculptors around, and the end results are truly limited editions, usually of subjects that would not normally, see the light of day.
So, this time round Jon has assembled another crack outfit to undertake all the work, from the initial sculpting, and mastering, through the mould making and casting, right down to getting the finished results to your doorstep, and for some strange reason, HE ASKED ME TO HELP!!
Now don't get all over excited folks, like I did! My input is limited to making some "FiddlyBitz" to go on the Tank Model, but still, to be asked is something of an honour for me.

I will post as many updates to the project as I can, as and when they come along, ifyou want to keep track, then get over to the facebook page, and click on the likey likey button. In case you missed it, here is that link again :-)

Now go, yes go now, and pledge your pennies for a couple of very good causes, and to support a top bloke in his annual endeavour.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Resurrection Shuffle....

Spend the day just fart arsing about with bits of plasticard, and reacquainting myself with this old chestnut

Going to attempt to finish it off, yes seriously, a finished model!!! I know, I know grand statement and all that, but it took a bit of work to get it this far, and its moldering away in a box. 
Seems a crying shame to leave it there, as it has the capacity to be a pretty good model, if I get it finished.
So for a little while (until I fuck it up, throw it at the wall in a temper, and decide painting Napoleonics is not so bad after all) I shall be hacking up assorted bits of plasticard, and torturing bits of brass into odd shapes.
Progress pics as we go.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Anything Can Happen In the Next Half Hour.........................

Or was that 6 months!!?

Lookie lookie

No painty painty things, but lots of plasticard butchering devices.
Yours truly has been called into some modelling action, on a super secret special mission. So its away with paint pots and brushes, and welcome to the world of cutting things, and sniffing glue. Whilst I am on this mission I shall attempt to mask what I am building, with an additional side project.
It could be

The resurrection of the old APC, that never got finished, as Frank sold his figures!!

Hmmmmm, decisions, decisions

So fellow figure fondlers, and miniature molesters, what shall it be?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Breaking Strength of Wet Toilet Paper..............

I am crap at this lark, no I am not crap, In fact I am very good at this lark!!
The lark being, changing historical periods at the drop of a hat, and I have some damning evidence to prove it.
First of all, the cupboard of shame, stacked full of Oooooooooh Shiny, at least here I can shut the doors, and go "La la La La can't see you!!"
The horrors under the desk of doom however, are always there, whispering Loser Loser you can't get anything finished :-(

I am now finding this whole thing very depressing. Recently I got all over excited by Napoleonic Saxons, I duly ordered a few ( about 50 figures) and set about paiting one to see how it would go. I got the figure nearly finished, dropped it, broke off the bayonet, and then thought, these buggers will take an age to paint, and just why the bloody hell am I doing them anyway.
I had a load of SCW stuff on the desk, was getting along just fine, then decided a game as in order, so lots more stuff had to be done, along with working out some lists, and rules additions, and posting stuff on various blogs. Real life intervened and I could not make it over to the club, demoralised I duly packed away the SCW stuff, and the enthusiasm has just bled away.
Now the desk is littered with Romano-Brits, they are already painted, but not good enough for this stupid git, so they are getting a reworking, replacing the bendy metal spears, redoing the faces, redoing the metals, tidying up the clothes, putting on new LBMS sheild transfers and then rebasing them. They have some opponents, most normal people would think, hey lets do some Saxons, or maybe some Picts. Picking one or the other, and getting on with it, but not me, oh no, you have to have both, and have them littering the desk too. :-(
The current state of affairs
I also have these, look they have paint on them!!!
Guess what, go on bet you can't?
yep, don't like em, they need a repaint.

So here it is, the big box has the Romano-Brits in it, the little white box is full of Picts, and the other one contains a load of Musketeer Minis Saxons.

The reason why I am doing these now?

They are quite simply, the best things I have painted in a very long time, and god knows I need to feel that I have achieved something.

So here is where I stay for a bit, I have got to get  grip on this bloody irrational jumping about. I can do this figures quite well, I have enough to put together two Dux B armies, and there is the challenge of making some more terrain, like this.

Or, should I just chuckin this painting lark altogether and just build some bloody models instead?

Yeah I know

I am bloody useless, and a bit of a joke.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Today, I Have Been Mostly...................

Laying out Boards

Had these lurking in the garage for quite a while now, and since the summer has finally arrived, I shall get to work putting the requisite sand and other gubbins onto them. These four will just get a basic coating, with no hacking about, as I need some basic terrain boards with that Mediterranean feel to them, as the club does not have any at all.
Progress pics later.

Painting Regulares.....and Militia

Once again, the desk of doom is littered with an assortment of SCW figures. I rather rashly, volunteered to put a game on at the club, and in an effort to provide something different to the last few games, I've got the half finished figures out, and will attempt to add some different units to the next game......possibly!!!

Commiting a Cardinal Sin..............

'"Deranged individual, decapitates Perry Eyeties"
Take a pair of perfectly useable Perry Miniatures WW2 Italians

Rip off their heads with some pliers!!!
Then add two heads from my old Anglian heads pile, to make two very useful CTV types for the Spanish Civil War, one of them has the M15 Adrian helmet, worn by a lot of the Italians in the early stages. The other guy has a Spanish Gorillo cap, making him one of the Spanish infantry in the mixed unit that were deployed later on.
Lookig forwards to seeing what else the Perry boys release, more executions will follow.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Minarions Hispano-Suiza MC36....A Proper Review!!

I have seen this model making guest appearances on various gaming forums recently, and given my interest in a) All things Spanish Civil War in 28mm, and b)Scratch building vehicles, I thought well why not get one eh!
I duly ordered one of their limited edition prototypes, no shiny box, and no decal sheet, no big deal really, as the box is superflous, and the decal options can easily be handpainted on anyway.
About a week later my model arrives, which in itself is pretty good, seeing as it was sent from Spain.
The model is well packaged, and has survived its trip with no damage at all.

Now, here is my opinion of the model, and please bear in mind, it is my opinion, which can sometimes be , a tad contrary!
99% of gamers will be perfectly happy with this model, and will happily, or in some cases struggle to, put it all together and slap a layer of paint on. Sadly I belong to the 1% of anal retentives, who will carefully study all aspects of the model, identify the missing bits, and then spend ages putting them right.
Bearing that in mind, here is my review, with its honest critic, which is all in good intention, as I think it is important to point out any problems, thus giving Minarion a chance to correct them if they see fit to do so.

Minarions are a fairly new company, offering a selection of vehicle models specifically aimed at the Spanish Civil War gaming crowd, the models are unique in the fact that they are offered in three poular wargaming scales. 1/100th for the 15mm players, 1/72nd for the 20mm gang, and for the idiots like me at the big end of the scale 1/56th to go with our 28mm stuff. This in itself, is a great idea. The models themselves are uncomplicated litle kits, simplified for the wargaming market, they ain't no Tamiya models, and the majority of gamers will be more than happy with this aspect.

The MC36 is a 1/56th scale resin model, in a basic kit form.

Consisting of 17 parts, two of which are turret options, all cast in a bubble free pale grey resin.
Size wise, its just about spot on

Overall the level of detail is acceptable

With a careful paint job, the model will look quite pleasing, and has a number of uses outside of its SCW period setting. I can see Pulp gamers, and the VBCW crowd making use of this vehicle in their games.

Now here is where Mr Nasty takes over, and I don the shiny hat of the model making anal retentive, if you are of a nervous disposition, then please do not read any further.
The  model has issues, a number of them in fact, and for the sad detail freaks, they will cause problems.
So here we go, and I am sorry if I bore you here.
Take a very careful look at the top picture in this review

Now look at the above picture. Those gaps are waaaaaay to big, the panels should butt up against each other, with just a narrow scribed line to separate them. I will fill the gaps, and rescribe the panel lines, in doing so I will have to file off all the rivets, and reapply them. The door should be flush with the body work. The dints and marks are all ok, they should not be there, but they do add a bit of character.
Now onto the T26 turret

I have compared the Minarion turret, to my own scratchbulit master I made for the Anglian T-26 model, the size is just about right, my model was built in 1/55th scale. The difference in detail though is quite amazing, missing rivets, pistol ports, lifting eyes, and gun barrel section.
I think Minarion use CAD and 3D printing to make their masters, whilst I rely on good old model making skill, If I can get the detail right, then I expect a computer to be able to do the same, if not better than me.
Yes, its a basic wargames model, but so was the T-26 I made for my old range.
I'm sure most gamers would not give a hoot about the missing details, but I felt obliged to point them out

To summarise all of this, Minarions have to be congratulated, for undertaking to produce this model, its a neat little kit, that is not too taxing for gamers to build, and for those of us sad gits, who count all the rivets, if offers a challenge to correct the flaws.
Cost wise it retails at 21.95 euros, and on todays exchange rates that works out to around £20, is it worth it?  Well yes I think so, for those naysayers who will exclaim "it cost too much" I would suggest they go out, buy the required plasticard and putty, and scratchbuild their own version. In comparison the £20 sounds like a good deal to me.

Minarions are looking into expanding into the world of figures, not in my prefered size, but in 20mm, which is still a decent size to game the SCW.
They also have a good looking German Henschel truck in the pipeline, and I was looking at scratching my own version, so ths will save me a lot of hassle.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A Different Kind of Saxon Violence!!

A short while ago, I stuck in three seperate orders, for some nice new shiny figures. One of them has arrived today, and in typical idiot fashion, we have a short review.

Wesfalia Miniatures 1813 Saxon Musketeers

Having reached my dotage, I have decided to jon the common herd, and get some Napoleonic stuff. Now the lads at New Buckenham have a lot of 28mm stuff, British are well covered by our Chris, and he is adding a French force as well, there are various folks also furiously painting up Napoleon's finest, dour Prussians have their fan club, and the Russians are assembling too. So yours truly looks for something that bit different. First off the Spanish were considered, but lets be honest here, nice as they are, the army is shite, and not that useable really. Then we see the lovely new Saxons from Westfalia Miniatures, and the decision is made. I can combine Saxons with some French, add all sorts of other nonsense into the mix, in the shape of Italians, Wurzburgers to name but two!! The 1813 campaign offers a lot of scope, and I can also add a few Prussian units for opposition, they will also serve their usefulness in the 100 days stuff we do.

So, the waffle is over, now onto the review.
I ordered from Westfalia themselves, Calpe and Empress, first to arrive, the last order placed, so thanks Empress, you won the race!!
I only ordered a couple of packs, one of musketeers, and one command.
Musketeer pack, eight different poses, all in covered shakos, in march attack positions. The figures are cleanly cast (Griffin Moulds I do believe) and have the very minimum of mould lines and flash to tidy up. The sword and bayonet scabbards are cast seperately, a neat idea as this improves the way that area looks. 
They are beautifully sculpted figures, anatomically, the figures are well proportioned, not chunky lads at all, and I think they would fit in very well with the current Perry Miniatures offerings. The detail is all there, and with a careful paintjob, you will be rewarded with some fine looking units. The faces are just excellent, full of character, and all different.

Command pack

This pack contains six figures, you get two officers, one ensign, one drummer, one NCO and a sapper.
Once again the models are cleanly cast, and require very little clean up. The figures are another set of great sculpts, all full of period character, and combined with the musketeer pack, you can create some very purposeful looking units.

all the required detail is there, my favourite is the sapper, loads of character!!

I should have gone down the Napoleonic route when I ran a figure company, as Paul Hicks has created some of, if not the best, Napoleonic figures currently around, could have made a bloody fortune :-(
Kawe at Westfalia Miniatures has informed me that they intend to do a very complete range of Saxons, and I shall be ordering quite a few more packs if they do.

Go give em a look, as there are a good few other items that may also tempt you folks!!

Once my Calpe, and Perry stuff arrives, I shall post a comparison article.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Napoleonic Trap........................We've all fallen into it at sometime

I did say no new periods, but, and there is always an excuse. Pyrrhus is nearing completion, and I just can't summon any enthusiasm for my SCW stuff, sad I know.
So, I wander around the various forums I belong to, and on Steve Dean this little lot appears.

Now Mr Hicks is my favourite sculptor, I find his figures easy to paint, as the detail on them is so good, and they just suit my painting style.
Saxons, Hmmmmm no one at the New Bucks club has got Saxons, these are made for the 1813 campaign, so off to t'internet to do a bit of research. We find Reynier's Division at Grossbeeren, its a good aiming point to get started 7 battalions of foot, 3 squadrons of cavalry and three gun batteries. A sample order is duly placed with Westfalia Miniatures.
So, this little project has to be self financing, as the Higgins budget does not allow a large expenditure. I have a bit of trave expenses from work to start me off, and the loft is going to get the clear out it so badly needs, tons of usless old shite, that will find its way onto ebay.
Off to order the Andrea Miniatures white paint set, OMG what have I started!!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Oh Nooooooooooooo!!

I've been looking at Napoleonics, please shoot me now, beforeI get a chance to order some

Bugger, no one was quick enough :-(

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Its All Gone Guerra Civil Espanola Round Here!!

There were Pyhrrics on the desk and the Anarchists said shift over, shift over... so they all shifted over, and the Pyhrrics fell off!!

Yep, a seasonal shift to sunnier climes, the desk gets reshuffled, and the creaking mass that is my SCW collection lurches back onto the central stage!
The usual muddled mess, of various factions, bits n bobs and other nonsense, like Ancient Germans, who are to be converted to SCW artillery crew!!
Down to the tabletop view, much loved by us gamers, I will eventually get that bloody priest finished, and off my desk. I have a lovely shiny church to go with him, and that needs painting too.
The help with the painting tasks ahead
, I slipped over to the trusy iMac and a short visit to Ken Bromley's art supplies page, and I part with an eye-watering amount of money to purchase some W&N brushes

Yes, they cost a fair bit, but if you take good care of them, they will last a bloody long time, and they are excellent to paint with.
I've also rummaged in the depths of my store cupboard, and will be getting myself re-aquianted with this little lot
I have a shitload of vehicles to paint, and there is no better tool to paint vehicles, than an airbush

As you can see, there are one or two in my stockpile to work through, and this little stash does not include any of my trucks and buses!!
So just a few things to keep me busy busy busy, but in the famous words of of a certain wellie wearing comedian " and there's more", not content with mere painting, I have been busy looking for construction materials for making houses. I struck it lucky, and found a Chinese retailer seliing some decent looking sheets of Pantile roof
I duly ordered a few sheets, they are a little bit uniform, but will save me a lot of time, as I had been reduced to scratchbuilding my own

Painstaking work, as every tile is individually cut, filed, and stuck on!!
The end result will be very realistic, and I shall continue to finish if off, and then send it over to Ian at Fenris Games, so he can cast it up, and add it to his useful range, my pain will be your gain folks.

In a final moment of utter madness, I have agreed to write an article(s) for my mate Guy Bowers the editing head honcho at "Wargames Soldiers and Strategy" I was going down the using the new fangled Bolt Action rules for the SCW, but think a more introduction to the period, with a few ideas around what you can do to modify rules and lists to suit, may be more useful.

Lots to do, could be a very stressful time, so I think one of the things I found in my cupboard rummaging could be seeing a fair bit of use over the coming weeks!!

Until next time folks, and then I might even have a painted figure or two to show you.