Tuesday 30 April 2013

Telegraph Poles

As the name suggests I have spent this evening making some telegraph poles for the gaming table, they obviously have no real purpose but they do make the table look more interesting, and a bit more "real". I've whipped up 7 of these so far using some dowel, a bit of balsa and some small (very small) beads as the insulated bits you get on the real thing.

If I have time tomorrow I will get these undercoated so I can paint them up. I won't be stringing wires between them or anything like that as wires would just get in the way whilst gaming.

I'm waiting on some more printouts so I can finish of my housing blocks (might get them tomorrow all depends on whether the wife remembers to do my printing at college or not).

Sunday 28 April 2013

Housing Build: 2nd Block Roofs and Windows

Following yesterday's post I have added the roofs, windows and doors to another bock of 2 houses. So I have partially finished a "street" of four houses. Pictures of the fronts and backs above. Again the roofs are a bit rougher than I had intended them to be but all things considered they meet my wargaming "looks good from 2 feet on the table" standard.

I have another block of 2 houses and a small warehouse type building yet to do, I'm running low on foamboard so I'm not sure If I will manage to finish the warehouse any time soon.

Thanks for looking.

Friday 26 April 2013

Housing Build: First Roofs/Windows

Just finished putting the doors, windows and roofs on the first two buildings. I'm not really happy with the roof's they look much rougher than I wanted them to and despite careful measuring there both not as neat as I had expected either.

Ho hum hopefully the next ones will look better, still lots to do.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Housing Build: 3 quarters of a street

Just a quick update on my progress on the housing estate. I have now managed to get 6 houses part built and based on their wooden base boards. These can be set out back to back as shown so an alley way runs down the backs of the houses. Or they can be lined up with a narrow alley running down the backs of the houses. Most of the houses are in light red brick, but one set is in darker older looking brick as I was running out of the light colour.

I don't think its an issue. One  small problem I should have considered, storage, I will need some pretty big plastic boxes to keep these safe!

Hope to get the roof's on these by the end of the week, and then get the ground work done. Lastly I will be sticking on the doors and windows. As ever they will be print out jobs, although I either need to get cracking in paintshop myself or beg the wife to do them!

I am also working on a small red brick warehouse on a base the same size of these so it can sit on the same "street".

Sorry for the crappy pictures its late, and there is not much light.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Housing Build: First fix

Started a new terrain project today (as well as having spent the morning doing some 1:1 modelling in the Garden with my father putting up a fence).

I need to buy more MDF and print some more textures, but I'm going to do a couple of 30cm x 30cm blocks like this with two houses on them. The plan is to leave an alley way running along the back (in the foreground of the picture) and then have a pair of these back to back so there is a car width alley between the rows of houses.

I know that having the houses fixed on a base like this limits there use a bit, but I wanted to easily incorporate an alleyway and path etc between the houses so they look better on the table. My compromise is this so you can move the blocks around and use fewer or more, but you don't have a load of separate road, and path and other stuff to get bashed about and knocked during the game.

They are based on 6mm MDF which is a touch thicker than a single bit of foam board, some probably won't like the lip it leaves on the gaming table, but I like the strength the MDF gives the terrain, and solidity it gives it on the table so people leaning in to move troops cannot easily knock a house over or what ever.

I'm undecided at the moment as to whether the roofs will be removable or not, I'm thinking not at the moment.

Saturday 20 April 2013

R.E.C (Rear Echelon Chaps)

I've pretty much finished my little VBCW style Diorama thing for my forum entry. Still might add some little bits like labels to the crates, but in the main this is finished. I will probably take some more pics of it as well, as I noticed the red ball looks much shinier in the pics than it is in reality (probably light shining off it or something when I took the pictures).

Anyway for what it is I present the R.E.C (Rear Echelon Chaps). Having unloaded the supplies these two decided the next most important thing to do was to crack out the croquet set and have a quick game. The war will wait after all.

I'm pleased with how this turned out, mainly because it gave me a use for these figures who would otherwise have languished in the lead pile for ages or been painted and never made it out of the cupboard. I will be popping these down with my supply vehicles and the like at future games, and most certainly at Partizan in June (which I'm quite looking forward to now).

Thursday 18 April 2013

Zombie Reporter

And now a word from our correspondent in the field.....................oh it seems we are having technical difficulties, up next Survivor.

This is another of the Studio Miniatures plastics which I have modified. The original figure has a massively torn shirt, which i decided to cover up wit this Kevlar vest. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out, although I wish I had worked a bit longer on the vest there are some silly mistakes in sculpting it which even I could have fixed.

My writing of TV on the front and back didn't come out as crisp as I would have liked but it looks okay.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Mr Brown, another pin stripe fellow

I some how managed to paint this figure up in just 3 hours 45 minutes this evening, given the short time it took me to paint I'm pretty pleased with how it looks. He will be accompanying the figure in the black pin stripe on my VBCW diorama thingy.

I'm glad I managed to get this out of the way today as I'm pretty busy for the next couple of weeks and didn't think after today I would have much time to paint him up.

Here's both figures together.

Thanks for looking, and sorry the pictures are a bit poor I wanted to get this uploaded tonight as I'm busy tomorrow.

Monday 15 April 2013

Pin Stripe Chap

Just finished painting this figure as part of a small vignette for a friendly competition we are running over on the Very British Civil Forum. I'm quite pleased with the result of the pin stripe, although typically my pictures don't seem to do my paint job justice.

The figure is from Artizan and would usually have an umbrella in his hand, but I have cut it away so I can use him as a player in a popular (sort of) British game.

Picture of the mocked up Vigenette below,

The croque stick on the ground will be in the hand of the figure I have just painted. More about this on the Very British Civil Forum if you are interested.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Zombie Cop

Another Studio Miniatures plastic effort that I have been working on today, this is from their plastic sprue set that I mentioned yesterday. The body is the office worker shirt and tie one which I thought was ripe for conversion into a County Sheriff's uniform.

I sculpted on a hip holster (which I think turned out okay, although I should have made the pistol grip a bit bigger. and I sculpted on a radio, and handset. I know these radio's would usually be worn on the hip rather than back (for obvious reasons) but the un tucked bit of the shirt covers the belt on one side so I thought small of the back would be fine.

I used picture hanging cable for the wire going over the shoulder.

All in all it turned out pretty much just how I wanted it to, and if anything really shows how useful these studio miniatures plastics are. I've also spent this afternoon sculpting Body Armour onto another of the zombie bodies, hopefully I will get that undercoated and possibly painted tomorrow depending on how busy with work I am.

Saturday 13 April 2013

A quartet of Zombies

I've spent the last couple of evenings painting and assembling these four Studio Miniatures Zombies. They are the multi-part plastic ones which they released not so long ago. The figures come on plastic sprue as you would expect with separate arms and heads. The bodies are one piece castings, and there are only four variants of the bodies (three of which are shown above, the fourth variant will be painted in the next batch of these that I am working on)

There is a body wearing a bomber jacket, far left, figure in a v neck  2nd left ,and far right, and a body with shirt and tie. The lack of variety does mean that you have to be clever when painting these to avoid obvious repetition but I personally considered this more of a challenge than anything else.

I believe you can buy these in boxes of 30 or more but I bought them as single sprue's, at £2.50 for four zombies its pretty good I think.

Casting wise they are pretty good the detail on the arms and bodies is surprisingly good, the only area I found to be a bit weak was the heads. They suffer from mould lines (typical of plastic casting) but as the sides are kind of lacking in detail, with the hair also being a bit flat in some areas. Considering how good I found the detail to be on the bodies and arms, the soft sculpting on the sides of the heads was a bit disappointing  Although I should say they are still fine, and don't ruin the figures it just means a bit more care needs to be taken when painting to get the best from them.

I should note that these come with integral circular plastic bases about the size of a 1p coin. I decided not to remove the bases as I did on one figure and felt it was too time consuming and there was to much of a chance of cutting of a foot or damaging the figure.

Personally I found the figures painted up very nicely, and they didn't seem to take me too long. I probably spent to long on the skin which was layered before being washed with purple to give it that bruised dead look. I'm still kind of new to painting zombies so putting the gore on at the end is still a struggle for me after I have worked so hard on my shading etc!

I'm really pleased with my efforts as this is only the third time I have sat down and painted some zombies.

Shots of the individual figures are below.

 This is the V neck body with short sleeve arms, and a hair do which I though was fitting of a surgeon. I felt the V neck was very scrubs like and didn't see any reason not to paint this one up accordingly.

This is the bomber jacket body, which I think is pretty versatile, and could easily be painted up as a cop, road worker, biker, you get the idea. My free handing of the EMT didn't turn out all that great, but looks good enough to me.

This is the V neck body again but with long sleeve arms this time. I really like how the stripy top turned out although it was really tiring to paint! This figure had a slight miss cast in the middle of its back (probably an air bubble). I could have filled it easily enough with a bit of putty, or probably even some PVA glue. But I thought I would make use of the hole instead and stuck this knife into the hole. I'm pretty pleased with how it looks.

Lastly we have the tie and shirt body, with long sleeves. I just went for a basic kind of grey suit with blue tie look. Came out pretty well and the detail on the body is nice. I'm currently working on converting another version of this figure into a cop!

All in all I like these figures, they are pretty cheap and would be a good way for an existing collector to cheaply expand the collection. I will in the future be getting some studio miniature lead zombies but I can also see me buying more of the plastic ones as they are so easy to paint, and super cheap.

I should add I paint my zombies up with a US outbreak in mind, mainly because a lot of the figures out there have an american look and square buildings are easier than the UK suburban look!

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Apocalyptic Survivor

I've been busy bevering away on a couple of terrain related projects for the last little while, but I took a break and painted this figure last night. The figure is from Gripping Beasts MoFo Range, and is one of their Argentinian Commando's from the Falklands War.

As an aside you should check these figures out they are really good, and could easily be used for other things as they are reasonably generic in terms of clothing. As ably demonstrated by my version of the figure. As soon as I saw this figure I thought it screamed Apocalyptic/Zombie Survivor.

I painted up the jacket in blue as a civilian puffer jacket, the type which were popular in the 80's. As it happens I chose the colour as one of my enduring childhood memories is of my dad wearing one of these whilst doing DIY.

I wanted to make the figure look like he had scrounged up most of his kit, so old green trousers, good boots, civi watch cap. Some random belt kit and a simple rucksack. As these are designed with the 1980's in mind the figure is carrying an SLR, but I don't really see this as an issue and if anything adds to the survivor look.

I'm pretty chuffed with how this turned out all in all. Although I think the skin still needs a bit of work. And annoyingly my camera has washed out the jacket shading.

In other news I was in Hobby Craft getting some new paint brushes and stumbled across these 3inch wide, 5mm thick circular plywood basis. They come in a pack of 6 and I got them for £2.79 (if memory serves). I rekon they will make some nice bases for small tabletop dioramas and as bases for support weapons.

They appear to be from something called "Lara's Crafts", and other shapes, sizes were available. I found them amongst the dolls house stuff and presume they are for scratch building stuff. They work out at 46p a base, which is pretty good.

Thursday 4 April 2013

Painted Attack Shed! (patent pending)

I spent this evening painting up my VBCW camouflaged attack shed (the Mk II variety). I have to say I am very pleased with how this turned out. From the air this will obviously look just like granddads shed and be completely ignored by the enemy, who hopefully wont notice the bit of Rolls Royce engine at the front.

I see this as a mobile command centre for the budding VBCW commander, or a highly camouflaged top secret pill box. Obviously the fact that it has to turn sideways to open fire is a slight design flaw, but I'm sure that will be worked out in the Mk III variety. Whats that, oh funding's been pulled, oh well I guess its back to the best of British broadsides then!

More pics below

The LMG is nicely concealed by the window box shrubbery, that's tactics don't you know.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Craft time with the wife

So my sister is at uni studying for her PHD and she is going away at the weekend with some other students and some Masters students for a sort of drinking, learn what a PHD is like thing which is aimed at welcoming the Masters students. Her and the other girl who organised it needed an ice breaker game/drinking game thing.

So about 7 hours ago my my sister sweetly emailed my wife asking if she could, and I kid you not, create the art and physically build a board game for her. Well the wife is never one to pass up a challenge so armed with the student related stuff my sister wanted on the board (Monopoly style) she cracked on in Illustrator.

6 Hours later she had prepared the art for the board, and the Mystery Card things my sister wanted. 1 hour after that I had stuck the whole thing onto Foam Board for her and helped her cut up the Mystery cards.

Obviously I am biased but I am really quite impressed that the wife managed to create all of the art ,from scratch,  for this board game thing of my sisters in only 7 hours (it had to be done tonight for her to take tomorrow)

My sister is an English Literature student hence "Hemingway's"

Given the time scale I think the standard of finish is really high!

More pics below

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Attack Shed!

Those of you who follow my meandering blog will recall that some time ago, September 2011 to be precise, I created a shed like vehicle for VBCW. If you wish to refresh your memory, or didn't see that vehicle here's a handy link Shed Tank .

Got that, great.

Now my problem with the first iteration was that the only wheels I had to hand were from 1:35 scale modelling kits and I forgot to drop the shed down to compensate for that. The result is that despite the pictures my first shed is actually bloody massive, although still sort of works in 28mm.

Anyway it has always bugged the hell out of me because I like the idea, and my paint job, but the oversized look hacked me off something rotten. So I had always planned to remake the shed more to scale but had never gotten around to it. Well I was sitting around this evening and had an old battered diecast on the desk which I decided would be perfect to remake my shed with!

I have built the shed mostly out of balsa and I added a window on the side with window boxes (once painted to be filled with foliage, thus camouflaging the weapon) The bit above the drivers seat will also be filled with foliage like a big window box. But for the moment that is just blue tacked together as I want to undercoat and paint most of it before fitting the bit over the drivers seat.

Entry is at the back and will be a drawbridge style door so I will be adding some little chains or ropes to that to give it a bit more detail.

The best part, the wheels still work so I can literally push it around the table! :)

All in all I am rather happy with how this turned out and now just have to hope and pray that the undercoating and painting process does not bugger it up.