Casting and counting

As well as normal orders we’re also steadily working our way through the large number of 6mm tanks needed for our part of the Polyversal Kickstarter.  We’re progressing nicely with them and the first parcel has just been dispatched.

Pictured below are the 150 Boyds needed.

boyd

The first 300 out of 750 Ratels.

ratel

And half of the 150 Curtiss heavy tanks.

curtiss

After that there are 1,000 Catroux wheeled tanks and 2,500 assorted PacFeds.

And there is also the small matter of 6,000 infantry in power armour……

 

Town planning

Since I was quite happy with the results of my test desert building I decided to take Tony up on his challenge of making a town comprising of ten bases in a similar style. I’ve not finished them yet but thought I’d offer a peek of the current progress. The first five are upto the point where they are ready for painting with a few more still at the cutting and glueing stage. Must admit that I find the cutting and glueing more fun than the painting as it feels much more creative.

village 1

I’ve stuck to my original plan of where I can only using items from our own ranges. I’m trying to work bits from each of our ranges into the models. I’m probably most happy with a fence made up of solar panels from an Iron Stars battleship. Not quite sure at the moment though how I’ll manage to work a 28mm fantasy figure into a 15mm Sci-fi town!

village 2

Since these pictures were taken the buildings have been undercoated and given a base coat so hopefully I’ll have the finished items to show off fairly soon. Obviously “fairly soon” could actually mean several months…..

It helps to have a minion….

Especially when that minion is due to go on a school trip to Ypres (lucky bugger) in early July and is prepared to work to earn some spending money.

He quite enjoys counting out things so is being put to work sorting and bagging the models required for the Imperial Skies fleet packs. Pictured here is the result of his first session – 62 Agincourt battleships for 31 fleet packs. After that there will be the 62 Exeters, 62 Cossacks and 93 Steadfasts to complete them. Followed by the Germans, the French, the Americans, the Russians and the Austrians with flying stands for everything.

Oh yes it does help to have a financially motivated minion!

agincourt

The Little House on the Prairie

Well actually “Medium house in the desert” would be more accurate but that just didn’t sound quite as good.

Its been a long time since I’ve painted any decent amount of 15mm sci-fi models. The majority of what I have done in the past was for Tony’s magnum opus “Blood, Guts ‘n’ Gore in Space” a rather scary 25 years ago. Since I fancied painting something fun and different I decided to knock up a test piece for a small desert town.

So, meet Charles the small blue alien and his house. Charles is a freelance accountant (aliens have to pay taxes as well) living on a remote part of Yenpalo 6.

House 2

My aim with the model was to utilise as many items from our ranges as possible since that made my life easier compared with scrabbling around in my spares box.

The centrepiece of the model, the house itself is the Medium House. As we don’t yet make any wall sections I carefully cast just the wall from the Villa to surround the “garden”. The canopy over the front door is the ramp from the Athena VTOL supported by bits cut from the Colony Base connector frames. On the roof of the house is a TV / broadband receiver made from the sensor on the rear of the Komodo tank turret.

To the left of the front door is a fuel cell unit made from a rocket pod from the Warlock support tank. Next to the back door is a geothermal heating and cooling system made from the front of a Grömitz class Missile Frigate.

House 1

Charles himself is one our Alien civilians. His transport is a Raeside pick-up that he aquired at a bargain price after the XP-38 came out. Helping with daily work is a utility droid (which is the only model I wasn’t able to source from our own catalogue but was just too good to leave out).

Filling in the odd gaps are items from the vehicle stowage set, a couple of fuel drums from the Soviet Bizon tank and a small cargo pod. I also added a couple of cylindrical containers from a yet to be released accessory set.

The base is a simple piece of MDF covered with sand and small stones. Paints were from Games Workshop, Wargames Foundry and Army Painter. The final touch was a few suitably un-healthy looking tufts of Army Painter grass.

And a comment from Tony – “Now if you could just replicate that 10-12 times to make an entire desert village… :-)”

Well that wasn’t supposed to happen!

Whilst casting some 15mm building stock a few days ago something rather bizarre happened. What was supposed to be a large advanced building turned into a bit of a blob.

The resin comes in two parts (resin and hardener) which is mixed together in equal quantities. Normally everything goes according to plan but on this occasion once the resin was poured into the mould it started to expand in a style similar to fill and fix foam. It was also making a noise that would make a bowl of Rice Krispies proud. Since it was around midnight at this point I left it to calm down overnight.

wtf 1

We’ve been using the same type of resin for well over a decade and I’ve never had this happen before. I can only assume that the tub of resin had been contaminated in some way or was past its use by date. Certainly using the same tin of hardener with a new batch of resin has worked fine since.

wtf 2

The end result is far too good to simply bin. Around half of the building is now hollow and the surface has a variety of decent damage marks on it. So the plan now is to carefully cut off the lump of resin from the bottom and paint it up as a destroyed building.

So I’m off to get a new blade for my hacksaw and we’ll see how it goes.

Painting Belgians part two – Carabinier cyclists

Part two of our Belgian painting guide was meant to be cavalry and it was meant to have been done a long long time ago (part one was after all back in August 2013) but apathy can be a wonderful thing. However the release of our Carabinier cyclists has finally encouraged me to pull my finger out.

As with the infantry the colours used were from Wargames Foundry  (WF) and Games Workshop (GW) with the addition of Army Painter (AP) since my supply of Devlan Mud has finally been used up.

Starting with a white undercoat the flesh was painted the same as before – a basecoat of WF Flesh (5B), a drybrush of WF Flesh  (5C) a wash of GW Seraphim Sepia and a second (lighter) drybrush of WF Flesh (5C).

Cyclist front

The cyclists wore the same basic colours as the Carabinier infantry but without the greatcoat and with a small “czapki” hat with a removable peak rather the larger “Tyloean” hat.

The tunics and czapki were given a base coat of  WF Stormgreen (27B) with a wash of GW Badab Black to tone the colour down. The trousers had a base coat of GW Skavenblight Dinge with a highlight of GW Administratum Grey.

Boots, gaiters, ammunition pouches, bayonet scabbard and the peak of the czapki had a base coat of GW Abaddon Black with a highlight of GW Stormvermin Fur.

The water bottles had a basecoat of Foundry Light Drab (12C) and the haversack Foundry Rawhide (11B). Both were given a wash of AP Strong Tone ink.

The rifles were painted in WF Rawhide (11A) and highlighted with GW Ushabti Bone. The gun barrel was GW Boltgun metal (an incredibly old pot of paint) with a wash of GW Badab Black. The hilt of the bayonet was highlighted with GW Administratum Grey.

The band and piping on the cazpki and the piping on the tunic and trousers  were GW Yriel Yellow.

Cyclist backThe bicycle frames had a base coat of GW  Deathworld Forest green with a wash of AP Strong Tone ink. The tyres were GW Abaddon Black with a highlight of GW Stormvermin Fur. Silver parts (pedals, handlebars etc) had a base coat of GW Boltgun metal with a wash of GW Badab Black. The seats were WF Rawhide (11A) and the roll on the handlebar was WF Rawhide (11B). Both finished with a wash of AP Strong Tone ink.

Bicycle, bicycle…..

We’ve had dismounted Carabinier cyclists available for quite some time but until now the poor chaps haven’t actually been able to ride into battle as intended. Well now they can!

One company in each Carabinier battalion were equipped with bicycles for reconnaissance and to provide support to the cavalry regiments. They were originally equipped with the standard Carabinier Tyrolean hat before being issued with a smaller and more practical hat with a detachable peak.

Carabineer cyclists

The basic soldiers will be available in packs of two different figures and individual officers with a choice of kepi or bonnet de police.

They’ll all be available at Salute in around three weeks time.

Somewhere in Belgium

As Tony mentioned a while ago I wasn’t able to go with him on his jolly to Stoke Rochford Hall since I was attending the Cavalier show in Tonbridge. So whilst he was tucking into venison and port I was making do with a scotch egg and a sandwich from the local Sainsburys.

Tony had kindly volunteered my services to produce the current Maidstone Wargames Society show game (something to do with it being 2014 and our Belgian range being my idea). I settled on a small encounter between German and Belgian infantry in an un-named town “Somewhere in Belgium” in August 1914. The scenery would all be scratch-built (including a rather spiffy 3D printed bandstand by Tony) with our own Belgian figures taking on Germans from Renegade Miniatures and Great War Miniatures. We used the “Through the Mud and the Blood” rules by the Two Fat Lardies.

So after a lot of late nights and a lot of painting and some very stupid ideas (indvidiual cobbles on the roads being an obvious one) the game was ready (enough) for its first outing.

SIB 1

At the end of the day both sides were claiming a victory. The Germans because they made it to the end of the table and there were only two Belgians left who were not casualties or prisoners. The Belgians because it had taken the Germans all day to get to the end of the table whilst losing around forty-five men and because there were still two of their men left to carry on the fight.

Last Belgians standing

The Germans decided to stop early on and engage in a long range rifle duel which the Belgians amazingly won. As a Belgian player on the day I feel duty bound to show a picture of the mass of German dead on the bridge.

Germans on the bridge

Despite being there all day I managed to take very few decent pictures of the game. Fortunately there are some better ones on Clint Burnett’s blog here.

The game will be getting its next outing at Salute in April (table GM19 if you want to come and have a look). Which gives me around three weeks to finish off the bits that weren’t ready in time for Cavalier (most noteably casualty figures and the Minerva armoured car) and correct the bits I’m not happy with.

Lest we forget

poppy 2

Although there are many war memorials in and around Maidstone commemorating men who died in the Great War, one in particular stands out to me. Simply because it is in the main Maidstone Post Office and I see it every time I go there to send an order.

The following local men of the General Post Office are remembered on the memorial.

Private Frank Moody – died 28th October 1914 aged 27

Sapper Henry Robert Mount – died 8th May 1915 aged 19

Private William George Maytum – died 13th July 1917

Rifleman George Meek – died 24th October 1917

Private Richard William Black – died 21st March 1918 aged 33

Sapper Ernest Edward Froud – died 14th April 1918

Private James Thomas Robinson – died 6th October 1918

Lance Corporal Sydney William James Dann – died 24th March 1919 aged 23

And about *@$%ing time too……

About a hundred years ago (well earlier this year actually but it seems like a long time) we released the first of our “advanced buildings” in 15mm. Since then people have been nagging for the third one to made available. Well I’ve finally pulled my finger out and made the mould.

buliding 3 front

building 3 back

We’ll have some at SELWG this weekend. Not sure how many as it depends on the number I can cast before Sunday morning. We’ll also have the 15mm garage for sale as well.