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Tuesday, 31 August 2021

'O'Group - Too Fat Lardies

 On a whim I purchased these rules to have a look at. For WW2 battalion level wargames my go to rules have always been BKC II and I was curious to see what these have to offer.

I confess I'm still reading them through - personally I find them pretty heavy going. I suspect the author has been limited to a certain page count and this has led to a lot of editting down to the bare minimum. Whilst there are examples they are few compared to some others I've read. I think the quantity of clarification questions on the facebook group is indicative of my experiences.


None of this is helped by the printer's cock-up with the page numbering!


I'm sure I'll get through them and give them a go, but in the mean time I looked at my figure collection to see what I could re-use were I to play the game. The game is also counter heavy. These are available in mdf from TFL but also some nice ones to 3D print out are available on Thingiverse.


My 15mm WW2 figures are based in 3's on 30x30mm mdf and looked a good starting point as each base could represent a section. 


To ease movement I knocked together some 3D printed platoon bases and Command bases for the Companys. For the Battalion Commander base I created a sabot that would hold a dice and a 25x25mm based command group. The rest of my british battalion was made up of a support platoon, anti-tank platoon and tank support.


My collection runs to German opposition, US and Soviet forces so these bases can be re-used for different scenarios.

The figures are a mixture of Forged in Battle, Command Decision and Battlefront.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Portable Miniatures Painting Station

Am I alone in being bombarded with Facebook adverts for wonderful, hand-crafted portable hobby painting stations? 


The one I seem to receive the most is for The Paint Case 2.0 by Frontier Wargaming (https://frontierwargaming.com/product/paint-case/).

 This wonderful item is fully customisable and is 46 × 12 × 31 cm and weighs 3.7kg empty. As standard it comes with, 4x Paint Drawers holding up to 128 Vallejo or 72 Citadel paints, 2x Large Toolboxes for brushes and tools (with optional dividers), 2x Miniature Holders, hosting five miniatures each, Protective Cutting Mat and Adjustable Shoulder Strap.

 All this for €102.50, which I guess isn’t to bad for what you get!

Having just bought ourselves a campervan, my wife and I don’t have €102.50 to spare! However, I can see the use for such an item to allow me to keep up to date with my hobby while we are away from home. How, then, could I create something similar, but at a fraction of the cost?

 The answer to my prayers is the Ikea Moppe mini chest of drawers made from birch plywood (42x18x32 cm)! 


Taking this as my starting point (it comes ready assembled which is nice!), I realised that the outer casing was quite thin and fairly flexible. Once the drawers were filled up with paint pots, tools, miniatures etc. I feared that the top might come off if I attached a handle. 


I decided that the best thing to do was to “beef” things up by adding an overall covering of 6mm plywood. 


I managed to get all the pieces I needed from one 600x1200mm sheet and a friend cut them out accurately on a table saw. 


These were glued in place and tacked at the edges for strength and put to one side to dry. 


Once dry and sanded, the entire cabinet received two coats of water-based Oak coloured satin varnish. 


A suitcase style handle from eBay was added to the top face and some felt feet to the bottom to stop scratches.


 I don’t think I need a shoulder strap, but one could easily be added later on. 


Rather than fit a hinged painting area, I opted to make mine removeable. When fitted this holds the drawers in place so I rivetted two spring-loaded toggle latches (again from eBay), one each side to make it secure, but easily removed.


 Again, I added felt pads to the corners so when placed on a table it won’t scratch it. 


I added an A4 cutting mat, from The Works, to the inner face (using double sided tape) to protect it when using a knife etc. and really that was about it! 


I may configure the drawers with inserts but haven’t rushed into this just yet. For example, the bottom (largest) drawer easily holds two rattle cans with room to spare for a clip-on LED USB light I bought to add to the case.


So, how much did it cost me so far?

 ·       Ikea Moppe - £17
·       6mm Plywood - £10
·       Wood Glue & Tacks - £2.50
·       Varnish - £4
·       Handle - £2.50
·       Toggle catches - £2
·       Cutting Mat - £3
·       LED Light - £4.00

In total £45 so a little under half the original item. Not too bad….and I enjoyed building it!

Thursday, 17 June 2021

More Minifigs 12mm - Based for BKC II

 Languishing on the shelf of shame were my 12mm Soviet figures to finish off my Late War BKC II collection.


An unexpected surge in enthusiasm ;ast week got me moving on these and here they are now finished.

Mortar Teams

As before the figures have been based on 3D printed bases resembling those used by Battlefront for FoW.

Infantry Squads

Each has a recess for a 7mm D6 to use to indicate hits/lives/suppression points etc. for any of the main WW2 Rule sets.

Heavy MG Teams

Texturing is achieved using Vallejo White Pumice wich blends the figure bases into the base recess beautifully.

Command base with Gaz 6x6 Boxed Body command vehicle

The Minifigs figures are as good as ever and great value at less than £5 per bag of roughly 28 pieces.

HQ Base with GPA amphibious Jeep

I have here one bag of SMG armed infantry and one bag of support weapons - with a few extra figures added in from a set I bought years ago, just to make up the numbers.

FOO Base with transport

The Command and HQ bases were completed with the addition of 3D printed vehicles. One has a boxed body Gaz 6x6 truck and the other a lend-lease GPA Amphibious jeep. A spare GPA was added as a transport for the two figure FOO base.

I added self-adhesive 2mm flock tufts that I'd bought off eBay to finish off the bases after varnishing.

Lets hope that enthusiasm continues! 

Friday, 28 May 2021

28mm HotT Empire Army - Part Two

 I've just completed the last few units for my Empire army.

There are two units of Knights (mounted) I've created using some 28mm plastic figures I bought some years ago from the B&B stall at Crusade.

These sprues were going for 50p each and were originally designed for a computer moderated board game set in a medieval/fanasty world called Ex Illis. The brand name on the bases was BASTION.


All the figures I have were the same so to give a little variety I used optional shields (there are 5 per sprue including a plain one, and swapped heads and weapon arms for Perry items.

All the horses are posed rearing up, very dramatically! I originally planned to use them as cavalry with my Perry medievals but they aren't quite in the same league when it comes to detail. So this was a good way to use some up (I still have five left I think!).


The next thing I produced was a pair of frogs on 20x20mm bases to substitute for magicians when they become ensorcelled. This was a figure I found on Thingiverse and added a suitable base in 3D Builder. The magician figures from the stone circle bases can now simply be replaced with a frog when this happens.


Finally I needed a stronghold for the Empire army. This was simply a medieval styled tent printed out from Thingiverse and added to a generic stronghold base I'd created.


That's it, another HotT army completed.


To store them I'd purchased an enormous compartmented box from The Range! This box cost me the princely sum of £8 and measures 600x400x100mm.


It has 24 compartments each 95x95x90mm whixh are ideal for storing these 28mm HotT units. You can see why the Strongholds are all 95x95mm now, can't you!!

Time to get on with some other unfinished projects I think. I've rediscovered some primed 15mm Team Yankee AFVs and I've still got a shedload of 10/12mm infantry to finish off..

Friday, 7 May 2021

28mm HotT Empire Army - Part One

 Well where did April go ....😒

Not the most productive month I've ever had, by a long shot. Hopefully though, things will be looking up as we approach the summer.

To stave off insanity I have managed to tick over and produce a few bases towards an Empire army to use with HotT, in 28mm.

The main source for this project has been the figures that came with the Warhammer Sixth Edition starter set, many of which, to my shame were still on their sprues in the box.



To kick things off I created a sabot base to accomodate the great cannon and three crew figures. A beautiful model that comes with loads of extra kit to bring the gun position to life. I guess this could double up for ECW at a pinch. The figures were all painted years ago so just needed a bit of basing and they were good to go.


Next I created a Cleric/Magician base using a figure that came with an add-on set for a version of Talisman that I picked up cheap in a clearance shop years ago. I provided two bodyguards from the musketeers & spearmen taht came with the WH set.


Finally I created a General/Hero base using the mounted General figure and the two command figures from the WH set. These comprised a drummer & standard bearer.


As an add on to my Dwarf army I made a Magician/Cleric base using the 3D printed base I'd created for the Goblins Shamen and adding an old Citadel figure I found.


Let's hope I can find some time to get on with the rest. I've 5 bases of Shooters (Musketeers) and 5 bases of Spearmen on the bench as well as 2 bases of mounted Knights.

This of course, doesn't include all the other things I've started but haven't finished. Like 10mm russians etc....😂

Thursday, 18 March 2021

28mm HotT Goblin Army

I've now finished my Goblin army, using the figures that came with the Battle of Skull Pass box set (7th Edition Warhammer) together with a few additional items to create the more exotic units.

I've created all the likely options for a Goblin force and can now pick and mix to create 24 point armies to suit.

Here they are in all their glory!

The bulk of army is made up of "recycleable" Hordes of Goblins.


The Goblin General is part of a Warband unit


The Magician unit comprises a Goblin Shamen in a 3D printed stone circle

Another option is to have a Lurker unit hidden in wooded areas. Here a mounted giant spider from the box set provides just such a character.

Mounted support comes in the shape of a couple of Wolf mounted Riders units.

Heavy support could be from a Troll as a Behemoth unit?

The army's stronghold base is 85x85mm and incorporates the Goblin "wigwam" and iconography from the box set.

Another support option are the giant bats forming the Flyer units.

And the giant wolves forming a beasts unit.

I painted up the widget to make the numbers easier to read.

Fired with enthusiasm, I'm now building up an Empire army using a mix of figures I've had hanging around for years.😀

Sunday, 7 March 2021

28mm HotT Dwarf Army

 Not a lot more to say about these after my last post, but thought I'd post the finished articles for your amusement.

The finished Dwarf Army bases from which to choose 24 Points

I've produced a number of elements using the Dwarves from thr Battle of Skull Pass boxed set, from which a 24 point HotT army can be selected.

Three bases of Dwarf Miners to be used as Blades

The Blade & Shooter bases are worth 2 points each, the Hero bases are four points and the Artillery worth 3 points. 

Lovely little Artillery piece and crew figures

I managed to produce six Blade units, three Shooter units, a Hero base and a Hero (General) base and a single Artillery unit. Twelve units in total.

The Hero General base

I also took the opportunity to have a go at designing a Movement Template/Widget. I was pleasantly surprised how well this turned out.

More Blades; these were painted to complete the army using GW Contrast Paints

Every Army has to have a Stronghold. At 28mm scal this must be a minimum of 200 paces square (or 80x80mm). This is a good size for me as the intended storage box has compartments 87x87mm.

Shooter bases; slightly deeper than the Blades

The rule book suggests that a Dwarfen Stronghold should represent a grand bronze door as an entrance to a cavern. A quick search on Thingiverse and I found both a cavern entrance and a rock face.

The single Berserker figure in the set makes a good Hero Base with his entourage.

Combining these two in 3D Builder, with a 85x85x5mm base, created an excellent Stronghold!

The basic printed Stronghold with sand added and spray grey undercoat.

 All that was needed was a little sand, flock and fine gravel together with two miner's spades from the Skull Pass set.

Finished article with spades and flock added after painting.

All the base's upper surfaces were covered with PVA and fine sand, painted with a cheap "Craft" acrylic paint and had some fine gravel + Summer field flock added to finish them off.

The HotT "Widget"!

Now on with the box set's Goblin Army together with some extras to complete arounded force like a Lurker, some Wolf Riders and Bats (Flyers).

The files I've created so far can be found here; https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4786466