What lay beneath – part 1

I seem to be playing catchup with long abandoned 15mm building projects at the moment. So here is another one!

Several years ago I had a bit of an accident whilst casting one of our advanced buildings. It certainly didn’t turn out as planned. After discovering the house in a box this week I finally got around to having a look at what was beneath the surface of the model.

It came apart quite easily (much of the surface of the building was very thin) revealing – well this. A picture is better than me trying to describe it.

The texture within was far better than I could have hoped for and is certainly very useable.

So what caused it – a lab experiment gone badly wrong, an alien invasion or simply a badly blocked toilet…..?

Mixing things up

Against all the odds there has actually been a bit more progress on my little 15mm township. Based on past performance this post is several years ahead of schedule.

The majority of the buildings that I’m planning to use will come from either our Desert Dwellings or Desert Domes ranges. However I thought that it would be interesting to see how easily buildings from our other ranges could be made to fit into the town as well.

The first one that I chose is the Large Garage from our Advanced Buildings – because I like it the best.

As the surface of the garage is quite smooth with rounded corners I wasn’t sure that my approach of using a variety of washes to paint it would work that well. So before anything else it got a spray of textured paint to add a bit more detail to the surface. The paint in question was just something that I found in a local shop. It’s from the Stone range from makeityours.co.uk.

Apparently it gives the “natural look and feel of stone”. I’m not too sure about that but it does give a nice splattered look to the model rather the normal gritty finish of similar sprays.

The rest of the model was mostly bits and bobs from different ranges. The walls are from the 6mm Desert Buildings with part of a JumpGate used as the arch. The two storage containers are tanker wagons from the 6mm monorail sets.

So all in all I’m happy with the results – it fits in nicely with the other buildings. And it didn’t actually take very long – a little over a day from start to finish (again very unusual for me).

Apathy, apathy, apathy…

Quite a while ago I painted a house and I was very happy with the results. Buoyed by the success I started on some more.

And then.

Well nothing really. Now obviously in wargaming terms four years between glue and paint is nothing of which to be ashamed. In my defence I did do some painting but struggled to replicate the original test piece. Therefore as often happens the project was pushed to one side and ignored.

And so enter 2020. I’ve actually pulled my finger out and done something with them.

I still wasn’t able to match the look of the first one. Despite using the same technique of using the three pot sets of Foundry paints (base coat of the lightest colour and then subsequent washes of the two darker tones) I seem to have been more heavy handed with the application. This resulted with buildings that had a darker and more grimy feel.

Still as this is the sort of place where you might be able to hire a spaceship with “no questions asked” the darker look is ok.

I’m aiming for slightly less than four years for the next update.

 

 

 

A cracking good time…

As models go our very first 15mm building (B15-1001 – bunker) is particularly awkward to paint. It has a smooth and rounded surface. You can’t really dry brush it as it doesn’t have any edges to highlight. There are no nooks and crannies so a wash won’t work. It just has nowhere to settle. So what to do with it?

Well I decided to cover one in mud. Sort of anyway.

The mud in question came from Games Workshop’s Technical paint range. I’d never really looked at their various different basing paints until recently. I’d always just assumed that they were just little pots of paint with sand mixed in. Whilst this is the case for some, others are designed to give the effect of dried and cracked mud. After watching a couple of videos demonstrating the paints I thought that they might look good smeared over a bunker (as you do).

They come in a variety of colours and I settled on Agrellan Earth. Although the actual colour didn’t really matter as it was going to be painted over anyway.

Because of the size of the area to be covered the paint has to be applied in a very thick layer. My first effort simply ended up as a layer of brown paint with no cracking. It really needs to be slapped on – I ended up using around two thirds of the pot.

A few areas didn’t give a very good result at first and needed a second coat.

Initially the surface was a little bit delicate but once painted everything seemed robust.

The bunker was simply painted with Games Workshop shades and contrast paints over a white undercoat.

After a bit of trial and error I settled on two coats of the Skeleton Hoard contrast paint and one coat of the Seraphim Sepia wash. Then finished off with a dry brush of Terminatus Stone.

 

I’m rather pleased with the results. It certainly gives a different look to the bunker and makes it a lot less dull and boring compared to my earlier efforts.

And to finish – an overhead view. Hopefully it does blend in a little bit with the surrounding terrain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incommunicado

My colleague Mr Francis is temporarily finding himself back in the dark ages with no broadband access and limited ability to reply to emails!! He is expecting that normality will be resumed by the end of the week.

In the meantime our Christmas sale is still ongoing and he will be keeping his nose firmly pressed against the grindstone casting and posting out orders as they come in.

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.