Bits and Pieces

Not loads, but a few items were progressed this week. I finished some 6mm FPW Bavarians that were mostly done back in August, which means the Bavarian corps is now complete. 🙂

Also, I painted the Fenris Games treasure chests that will one day be used for Frostgrave objectives:

Next, a horse and limber (Front Rank) for my 18th century Fleurian Legion artillery:

I have also painted a battalion gun for a new battalion that I’m basing, and which will be the subject of its own post soon (I hope!)

Finally, I painted a first Conquest Games plastic Norman Knight for my Lion Rampant force. It was a simple paint job and a nice easy figure to paint, which gives me some confidence that I’ll get at least a unit done for the November multi-player game.

 

I’d like to get a game in sometime soon, so will have a think about what I might manage to get set up next weekend.

Simple buildings for the islands

Now I’m back from my hols, I thought I’d follow up the last post with the other naval game scenery I finished in August:

As you can guess, they’re Monopoly buildings. I picked up a cheap set without chimneys from ebay and have decided on basic clusters of 3 houses for settlements and 2 hotels for industrial or military (ie. when placed next to an airfield or harbour) centres.

A quick paint job and I’ve got 4 town and 3 industrial bases, with enough to do the same again if I decide I need them.

I just need a handful of very simple trees now!

New Islands

I’ve been meaning to make some new islands for my scratchbuilt inter-war naval games, and finally got round to it. I like the all-beach surround look so simply used 2 layers of plasticard, one painted sand colour, the other green.

They’re bare at the moment, but the flat template allows me to place on settlements, fortifications, harbours, troops, etc. I’m thinking that the odd palm tree will make them right for the pacific and the odd deciduous or fir tree will transport them to the Med or Baltic. Buildings are on the way and I’m hoping they’ll work OK.

I think I prefer this look to my older islands (below), which are textured, but the new ones are more ‘toy soldier’ and hit the spot a bit more for me nowadays.

Airbase (why they didn’t pick a bigger island is a mystery!):

Next, a test model of the Mark 2 landing craft. This holds a single infantry base. I’d like to have double the capacity but it would mean landing craft the size of transport ships, and although the scales are all over the place by necessity already, I think that would take things a bit far! A couple of old landing ‘barges’ are in the picture too for comparison. These are smaller and more non-descript but don’t carry the troops very well. I’ll probably keep both types for variety, and now just need to knock up a couple of dozen more of the new style from thin card.

 

Then I think there’ll need to be some action, so I must think up a scenario and plan a game or two..

Insulation Foam Walls Test

I have plans to make some simple ruins for the Frostgrave fantasy game setting, and for other 28mm gaming purposes. I will mix and match between bought stuff (mainly MDF) and scratchbuilt. For the latter I’ve decided to try XPS insulation foam board, so I ordered some sheets in 6mm and 10mm thicknesses to have a go with.

So far I’ve only managed a few minutes with this material – which involved snapping off a small piece from the 6mm sheet and etching some stonework on one side with a biro. This was much easier and quicker than I expected and I slapped on some undercoat and a couple of grey drybrushes to see what it would look like painted.

I’m happy enough with the results and look forward to trying some proper pieces, L-shapes, etc, with the 10mm material.

Before:

After:

I don’t have particularly grand architectural plans, I just want some wall ruins, with some window and door openings and a few partial upstairs floors to get a bit of height on the table. I think I need a quiet Sunday to really get going on this, but that may be a while away as things stand.

The ease with which this material can be carved has given me some other project ideas, so I may see if thinner sheets are available too.

New Boats from Partizan

In the limited browsing/shopping time I had at Partizan I did manage to pick up a few bits and pieces, including some ready-based S&A hedges and treasure chests from Fenris.

I also added to my growing collection of 28mm boats, with a couple from Empress Miniatures and one from Coritani. Both types are excellent – a bit bigger than the ones I’ve got, and good value too (Empress £10 and Coritani £8). Everything is resin except for the Coritani mast, which is wooden.

I’ve now got them painted up, which was a simple job and done to match my other related stuff. The two from Empress are very suitable as ship’s boats or launches, and the Coritani one comes with a mast and some stowage.

The seats come out of the bigger boats, to allow more figures/cargo, etc, to fit in. Very handy. I’ve also left the mast and stowage loose for the other boat so that I can use them in different ways.

 

I’m very happy with them, they’re handy additions for river and coast-based skirmishes, and suitable for a wide spread of periods.

A Change of Scene(ry)

One thing I’m going to be needing in the future for my colonial Sharp Practice setting is some jungle. Fortunately I have an old, stalled, project to produce some jungle scenery so I’ve got something of a head start. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of work to do.

I’ll be making about 50 bases worth, containing a mix of plastic fish tank foliage and Games Workshop jungle trees. The former are on the bases already and the latter are assembled (although foolishly I didn’t paint them on the sprues first and it’ll take a lot longer this way!).
To get started, and provide myself with a bit of inspiration, I’ve finished a couple of samples and I think they look OK. Some will have rocks/boulders on them as well but this first pair just have the trees.
With a 28mm figure for scale:
Clumps of these bases should provide a decent jungle effect, and I can use taller normal trees behind them to add some height to the canopy. I’m a fan of multi-purpose hobby stuff, so these are nice and generic and might get some use in other scales and periods too, eg:
Only another 48 to go….

The Byzarbian Queen

Steaming (slowly, no doubt) into view below is the most recent addition to the Grand Duke of Medetia’s glorious navy, the colonial steam boat Byzarbian Queen.

This is a very nice and simple to put together MDF model from Sarissa Precision, which I ordered via ebay for a tenner; great value in my opinion. It all came laser cut on two A4 sheets of MDF. Everything went together very easily and even the thinnest parts like the awning supports seem robust enough to survive regular handling.

I gave the hull a coat of white, the boiler is in gunmetal and the awning received white and Medetian-blue stripes for a bit of colour. It was a very quick paint job as you can appreciate! I’ll add a flag at some point too.

I decided to leave the awning structure and the mast removable, for ease storage and to allow easier access to deck space for figures. It’ll hold about a dozen of my 19th century guys on their 20mm round bases, but will normally just be crewed by the three naval types you see in the pictures. These are a mix – Perry officer conning the vessel from the foredeck, Mutineer Miniatures Bosun’s mate (with shouldered monkey) at the tiller and another Mutineer figure taking the roll of flustered engineer.

I have a few more nautical coves to finish, along with the rest of my marines. Then they’ll need a mission somewhere!

 

 

Steam Tank-tastic

As a bit of an aside from my 28mm efforts of late, I recently spotted a likely addition to my 15mm fantasy collection in Black Hat Miniatures’ Martian Wars VSF range. A few years ago I built a number of 15mm armies based on the Warhammer background, which to me is a decent blend of high fantasy and fun. I don’t play Warhammer itself and I don’t use GW figures (obviously, as they’re 28mm) but the races, armies and troop types have been absorbed fairly successfully into the rules I use.

The Empire army was the first one I worked on. It was one of those wargamer’s odysseys which involved looking for the right figures from across a wide spectrum or historical and fantasy ranges, and requiring lots of conversions to get the results I was after. One thing that I couldn’t find and didn’t fancy scratchbuilding was a steam tank. When I spotted Black Hat’s model it was a no-brainer, even though I knew there’d need to be some customisation to get the right look.

Here’s the model and the potential add-ons I’d salvaged from previous projects, alongside some of my Empire Halberdiers (Old Glory) for a sense of scale:

And here it is after being festooned with an engineer (who still needs a pistol and hat feather), extra funnels, Empire iconography and other decoration:

 

 

Once I’ve finished painting it, I guess this army will have to be first subject matter for my resuscitated of Army of the Month concept!

Renedra Fences

Renedra have come up with some very effective plastic scenery kits in recent years and I’ve previously made up one of their wooden pontoon bridges and some of their barrels. This time I had 2 packs of their fencing, about 2 feet in all.

I based everything on strips of plasticard, mostly 2 fence pieces to a strip (making about 6″), with a few singles. I cut across the corners of the bases so that the fence ends could butt up as closely as possible. The usual basing materials (mostly sand and glue) were added to the bases (some time ago I have to admit) and everything got a black spray undercoat (much more recently!). Painting was super-quick; brown, grey and sand drybrush layers on the wood, and my standard green and brown bases. About an hour in all yesterday evening.

Nice and simple, but very effective I think – and a real bargain, especially when you’re bought them as a present! 🙂

 

 

More Desk Space Recovered

Another on-going project finished! The Games Workshop Fortified Manor kit has been part-done on my workbench for several months now (since my earlier May post). All that remained was finishing off the painting, which I’d been putting off due to the amount of fiddly bits it involved. So this week I decided to get back to it. A couple of hours of painting later, and it was done. I guess I shouldn’t have left it so long!

I decided to go for a yellow-with-blue-roof look, which would be toned down a bit by the use of grey stone and my usual sand coloured final dry brush. For simplicity I didn’t bother with things like rust on the metal fittings, I just gave them a brown wash to add a bit of depth. All in all I’m pleased with the result. It’s no model painting masterclass, but rough and ready as it is it should fit in well with my other buildings in this scale. I’m just glad I didn’t stick on the other 100 bits included in the box, or I’d still be painting!

All the component buildings and wall sections are still separate, for storage and on-table flexibility, although I can see the walls being a pain during games with the smaller sections easy to knock over. I may decide to stick them together if necessary but I’ll keep them as-is for now. The pics show the full complex on the one paved board I have, which I’ll generally use with this model. Now I just need to dig out some swashbucklers and have a game with it!