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Monday, 6 April 2020

15mm Terrace Houses

Another terrain item in my drawer was an mdf kit for a terrace of three houses I'd bought at Colours way back in 2017!

Beginning the painting process.
Sadly, to my shame, I cannot tell you who made this, but I remember being impressed by the finished items on the stall which led me to make the purchase.

At the time, I thought their approach was novel as they included a laser etched sheet of card (pre-cut to size) to simulate the slated roof. Today this is quite a common approach, but not then.

Painted parts ready for assembly. Just need the mdf frames adding first. My little helper making an appearance once again.
The model was straight forward to build and makes into a one-piece building -  that is no removable roof to allow figures to be placed inside - although the bottom is open so you could place the whole model over figures if you wished. The model is mounted on a nice base that represents a stone slab pavement.

Held together with rubber bands while the PVA glue dries overnight.
Unusually there are separate mdf window and door frames to add to the outside of the building. These stand a little more proud than the real items might, but they do add to the three dimensional look of the item. Sadly. one round frame was missing...too late to do anything about that...should have built it earlier!

The double-sided tape applied, before removing the backing paper. Edges trimmed with very sharp scalpel.
The etched detail (brickwork, frames, doors etc.) are nicely rendered and give two alternative looks to the building - on one side the windows & doors are of a more modern design that the other.

The etched roofing card added.
The card slated roof was attached using double-sided tape. The first time I've tried this and it went extremely well. The card sticks down smoothly and evenly and is ready to be painted straight away.
Roof painted and dry-brushed and mdf chimneys added. This is what I call the more modern looking frontage.
The whole model comes un-painted and I opted to do the majority of finishing prior to assembly which I think was the best approach.

This is the other side, which I think gives a perhaps more dated look? Note missing circular frame in the centre.
Finished, the building looks great, another addition to my 15mm terrain piece box!

Next projects.....15mm Normandy Terrain - Part Two

These are now finished. The ten telegraph poles were firstly sprayed black, and then dry-brushed light grey. The supports for the wires were picked out in dark cam brown and the insulators in Iraqi sand. The base was finished off with a coat of brown craft paint and some static grass.

The sentry box and barrier were painted up as per examples I found on line.  The zig-zag pattern is eye-catching and a little challenging free-hand! The lettering on the barrier was simply hand drawn with a fine permanent marker pen, as was the eagle logo.

The sandbagged barrier and brazier were finished off largely with Skeleton Horde & Black Templar Contrast paints. Both the above had the ground work finished off with brown craft paint and static grass.

To pimp up the rather basic Warbases ruin. I firstly glued some randomly cut pieces of foam rubber (from a figure blister) into the corners to form the basis of rubble piles.

Then these were covered with an artist's textured paste I bought some years ago from Lidls. This is quite course, with fragments of texture 2mm in length which give a good impression of scale rubble.

Once dry I added a few matchstick timbers to the rubble piles and, when dry, sprayed the whole thing matt black.

Once this was thoroughly dry, I dry-brushed all surfaces with light grey acrylic craft paint.

Then this was followed with a very light dry-brushing of white acrylic paint. The timbers were dry-brushed light brown.

And that was the item finished. This still allows bases to be placed inside the building, but I now looks a little more realistic. Useful for any modern scenario WW1 to present day.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Pikeman's Lament - Pikemen!

Completed sufficient figures to complete my two PL Pike Units so should now have enough figures to try out a game!

Painted in two different liveries, Purple and Green/Red, all the figures are Warlord 28mm plastics

I replace the plastic pikes with pre-sharpened steel items purchased from North Star many years ago.

To do this in the case of those figures at push of pike, I remove the plastic item once the glue has thoroughly dried after assembly.

Then taking a steel pike (which I remove 15mm from to ensure they can stand up in my storage drawer!) and holding it in some pliers, I heat the blunt end up over a tea light flame.

Only for a few seconds - then I push this carefully through the figure's gloved hands until they are fully "holding" it.

once it has cooled, this is usually secure enough, but a small drop of superglue is sometimes a good idea.

There are one or two ornate pike heads (surrounded by feathers) in the kit items. I cut these off the plastic pikes and use the same heating method to attach them to the sharp end of a few pikes for variety.

Those marching, carrying their pikes are easily dealt with, it is just a simple case of superglueing the steel item in place of a plastic one.

The only downside with the steel pikes is that they are very sharp! I keep impaling my hands on them by accident!!

Friday, 3 April 2020

Next projects.....15mm Normandy Terrain - Part One

Some more of my stash for past Colours' visits came to light whilst rummaging in my drawers.

 These items were intended for my long planned re-fight of the Pegasus Bridge action and consisted of; -

  • Peter Pig's sentry box and road barrier
  • Peter Pig's French concrete telegraph poles
  • Original Laser Designs (O.L.D.) mdf beach defences
  • Warbases Stalingrad type mdf ruin.
The set consists of sandbagged wall and brazier together with sentry box and road barrier.  I opted to mount these on mdf bases for ease of use and painting.
I needed the sentry box and barrier for the bridge itself as many illustrations show one of these at the Eastern end of the bridge.

The bases were textured firstly with artists acrylic paste.
The French telegraph poles were irresistible as they are a constant feature when touring the battlefields and will add some real character to a wargame's table.

They come in a pack of 10. The cast bases were superglued to the poles and then to steel washers to make them more stable on the table.

Sand was the added to the bases with PVA

Given a quick coat of craft shop acrylic "Chocolate Brown"
The beach defences will double up as barbed wire pickets or anti-tank obstacles.

These are simple to assemble and look the part when completed

The ruin, is just that, a random ruin I can use anywhere on the table.

Very basic model (though cheap!) which will require some work to get it ready for the table....rubble, timbers etc.
This post shows work in progress, I will follow up with the finished articles soon.  (https://timstanks.blogspot.com/2020/04/next-projects15mm-normandy-terrain-part.html)

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Pikeman's Lament - Gallopers

One unit of six Gallopers finished today. A base of three, another of two and one single figure. All are Warlord Games 28mm Plastic figures.

The horses are quite cleverly designed. There are four different sculpts per sprue, each split into two halves which are interchangeable, so if my maths is right that's 16 options!

The figures are again four per sprue, sculpted wearing a plain coat/jacket which could be painted up either as a leather buff coat or a coloured tunic.

Their heads are hat less, but incorporate the articulated neck armour of the typical lobster pot helmet. You are given the option to add the helmet with face guard or a soft hat which incorporates additional hair to hid the neck armour. Neat!

The final choice is which weapon to carry - Sword or pistol. If you arm the figure with a sword, there is one of the torsos that need the hilt of the moulded sword to be removed. However the others have the hilts "hidden" amongst the sash material so you don't know if they are there or not.

In addition there are arms with trumpet and standard pole for your command group. There is a nice selection of pre-printed paper flags included with the figures that simply require cutting out, folding in half and gluing with PVA. I then attach them to the standard pole with superglue.

Finished articles look the part and are simple to assemble giving ample flexibility to customise them to suit your purpose.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Pikeman's Lament - Musketeers

A few more musketeer bases are now complete towards my Pikeman's Lament Collection.

These three bases (one pair and two threes) are needed to complete two units that I started months ago.

Not intended to win any awards, they are painted to a tabletop standard with primarily Contrast Paints.

All figures are 28mm Warlord ECW from their starter army boxed set.

Also in the pipeline are some Pikemen bases to complete other already started units and a unit of Gallopers.

More to follow.....

Citadel Paint Pots.....spillages!

Have you done it?

You're happily painting away, you reach across to reload the bristles of your brush and accidentally catch the upraised paint pot lid and over it goes.....

This can be a heartbreaking moment as you could be looking at £4+ worth of paint lying on your painting mat😡

Now I know I'm clumsy, but clearly I'm not the only person who does this.
  • I've seen on-line, people on "Paint all the Minis" who habitually decant GW paints into empty dropper bottles as soon as they purchase them (Extreme I know!)
  • And you know there has to be a real problem if even the great GW produce a commercial paint pot holder for the princely sum of £5!!
So I thought what can I do to mitigate this risk?        Thingiverse!!

Yes a quick Google on here revealed numerous designs of pot holders. Singles, multiples, Lid holders, badged/non-badged etc. etc.

My chosen solution was a GW None-Spill Wash/Contrast Pot Holder designed by NightFallGaming and can be found at  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3945067

Two and a half hours later I am now the proud owner of a three pot holder (very similar in looks to the GW item) that cost me all of about 15p in materials!

Touch wood, it appears to do the job. As long as it always holds three pots it seems very stable and hopefully this will be the last time I loose a pot of paint....

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Black Seas - First Frigate

When I bought myself the Black Seas boxed set late last year, I thought I'd have the models made in no time at all!

Experience with the two free models that came with WI left me under no illusion that these were rather fiddly little miniatures to finish to an acceptable standard.

My original foray into Napoleonic Naval warfare was using GWH Trafalgar Rules back in 2011 (http://timstanks.blogspot.com/search?q=trafalgar). For this I used 1/1200th metal castings from Warrior Miniatures. These were one piece hulls with masts and separate cast sails that were very easy to assemble and paint up.....and most importantly..........did NOT require any rigging!

So far from the boxed set I have only finished one model, a frigate.

I mistakenly assembled it completely...including the masts. This made painting the deck problematic and any future models will be assembled without masts for painting purposes!

Initial rigging using black thread. Note the blobs of super glue drying with a whitish bloom
I used Contrast paints as they worked well with a matt white primer on these models as there is lots of deeply engraved detail for the paint to flow into.

Once completed it was time for rigging.

I keep this simple. There are pre-moulded holes in the hull wall by each mast. I simply thread black cotton through these and form a triangle with the cotton secured at the top of the mast using a blob of super glue.  To speed up the setting of the glue I spray an accelarent...mentholated spirit!

I used to buy the Gale Force Nine Super Glue Accelarent from Firestorm (£3.60 per bottle) and it used to disappear in no time as it evaporates. A quick Google taught me that the key component in super glue accelarent was alcohol. A quick experiment with meths proved it works just as well and cost a fraction of the real thing!

Once these three bits of rigging were complete I run a length from the bow sprit via the main masts to the mizzen masts, fixing in place along the way with super glue.

When all this was done, I attached the ratlines. These are printed on acetate sheet and require cutting out with a sharp knife. Attaching them with superglue is a little awkward, and I found in practice they were 2-3mm too long. They look OK in most cases, just be careful to keep glue to a minimum as it dries with a white finish on the acetate.

Last job was the sails. These come pre-printed on thin card, and more importantly, pre-cut too. This speeds things up a bit!. Having pushed the sail from the sheet I added a bit of curl to them by rolling them around a paintbrush handle. hen I attach them to the appropriate mast or rig line using a single bead of superglue along the top edge only.

To accommodate the super glue and rigging at the top of the mast I cut a small notch out of the smaller sail first.

The last step,  was to attach a flag to the rearmost rigging. These come pre-printed on paper, but require cutting out with a knife. They then simply fold around the rigging and glue together with PVA.

I know they should strictly be facing the other way due to the perceived wind direction filling the sails. But you can't easily see them if you do, so I have them pointing the other way!

The very last job is to touch up the areas of superglue where it has the tendency to dry with a whitish bloom. This was done with contrast paint once again.

The finished article looks OK at tabletop distance and hopefully will prove to be reasonably robust.

The downside is fingertips coated in superglue😕