Friday, 17 February 2017

Galleons and Galleasses

My current area of interest and rule development from a naval wargaming perspective is the Renaissance, where I've been building up some nice generic squadrons of galleys and other oared fighting ships. However, a rummage through the "lead pile" the other day uncovered a box of old Valiant Miniatures 1/1200 Armada period ships, some new in their packaging (from when "The Keep" sold off all their stock), some bought painted from Ebay but very heavily damaged. So my Renaissance project has expanded slightly to bring these in and over the last week or so I've started to renovate the battered ships I got from Ebay.

So the first ships I've had a go at doing up are a couple of galleasses, a small galleon and a couple of carracks. Due to their origins they retain a rather war-worn look but I'm pleased at how these have scrubbed up and I'll be adding to their numbers slowly over the coming weeks.





Unfortunately they seem to have been stuck onto their rather thick bases with some incredibly resilient glue and I'm fearful of damaging the models if I try to hack them off, so they are likely to stay on these rather than the thin card that the rest of my ships are based upon, but I can live with that.

Monday, 30 January 2017

You, Ze American Army

Over the weekend I've been finishing off the bulk of my winter skirmish collection. The terrain was just about sorted a few days back, and yesterday I did the bulk of the winterisation and painting of my American AFVs and vehicles. Some final dry brushing and varnishing tonight and now they are all done. A set of worthy opponents for my battle hardened Germans, perhaps somewhere around Bastogne...






Saturday, 28 January 2017

In The Deep Midwinter

It was about a year ago that I started my 15mm Eastern Front skirmish plan, which began in earnest in March. After about 10 months I have finally managed to get figures, vehicles and terrain sorted and so I celebrated by staging a setup on the wargames table to see what it ll looked like. I must say I'm quite pleased with the results







At the time of writing my more recent US force is nearing completion (infantry finished today, whitewashed all the vehicles today as well, so tracks/wheels and detailing starts tomorrow), and I still need to sort out some roads and frozen river sections. I guess no project is ever complete :)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Mad Max and the Thunder Boats From Hell

After thinking about this idea for a few months I decided today to crack on with my "Mad Max-esque variant on Dave Schueler's "ThunderBoats" hydroplane racing game. I've played the original for a while now and its a lovely game, but some of the locals at the BV club wanted something with more "risk" in it - by which of course they mean shooting.


So I'm working on an overlaying set of rules for various weapons such as rockets, mines, mortars and personal weapons with which boat drivers can do combat as they navigate around a course (I'm thinking "Death Race on Water" here), with a view to running this at the Naval Wargames Weekend in July, and maybe at Thornbury in August. And this morning saw me in the man cave knocking up the first batch of prototype boats. Still some way to go but I think thy are shaping up nicely....


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Something Different for X Wing

Tonight's painting drive has concluded with a bevy of new fighters for X Wing, but not what you'd call "regular" types. I had a small splurge on Shapeways just before New Year, the models arrived on Friday and painting has just completed. This time I thought I'd recreate some happy memories of sci fi TV series gone by, and some of my favourite SF starfigher types.

First up, a pair of Thunderbolt heavy fighters from "Babylon 5".






I'm not sure, but I think the Thunderbolt is just about my favourite SF starfighter.

Next, and coming close behind the Thunderbolt in terms of personal favourites, a flight of Earth Directorate Thunder Fighters from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century". Two of these are basic types, one is the 4 seater variant often seen in the series, the other two are additional variants that made occasional appearances.


Of course the ED fighters would be rather out of it without some opposition so I also have a flight of four Draconian Hatchet heavy fighters, also from "Buck Rogers"


All I need to do to finish these off is to raft some flight stands. All of them are fitted with rare earth magnets (in the photos they are sitting magnetised on top of 4" nails stuck into champagne bottle corks which makes them easier to paint). I suspect that nail based flight stands will be the order of the day.


Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Red Lion

About 25 years ago Liz and I went to a model railway show where my brother was exhibiting one of his wonderful layouts with his model railway club friends. Liz liked some of the buildings he'd made, especially brick building made using thin card "bricks" from punched computer cards, and half timbered walls mad by gluing the "timber" over a card wall and then infilling with plaster to get an authentic plastered wall effect. She liked them so much that she decided we would have a go at making something like that ourselves, and so she set about building a model of an old English country pub, half timbered, half brick (obviously extended sometime in the 1700s). We'd work in 15mm so that I could use it for wargaming when it was finished. We used clear plastic from easter egg packaging and coarse brass mesh to give the windows a leaded window look. 

After a cracking start the project languished once we'd finished and assembled the walls. It sat like a half finished Greek house for ages, and successive house moves saw it put away in a box and then forgotten about. Occasionally it would be found again, I'd thin about finishing it, and then it would be back in its box as other "priority" jobs came a long. 

As 2016 ended I found it again, and this time decided that 2017 would be the year that I would finally complete the project. A liberal application of Das modelling clay over a card roof saw the structure completed, and a new base was made from mounting board, painted, sanded and flocked, and hen a low fence and pub sign post made from cut down match sticks. The pub was christened "The Red Lion" with a sign made from a scaled down photograph. After 25 years the project was complete! I may do some more work on the base sometime, but for now the pub is ready to form the centrepiece of my 15mm ECW terrain collection. 

I think it was worth the wait.




Sunday, 1 January 2017

First Models of 2017

As the daylight wanes here at Cambridge HQ the first models of 2017 have been completed. To be fair these should have been the last models of 2016 but I ran out of time :)

The biggest is a renovation of the Skytrex Felixstowe that I completed some years ago. Alas time hd taken its toll on this model, several of the struts were dropping out and it was obvious that a rebuild was necessary. But I also had a spare Shapeways Felixstowe from when I was sent a damaged print a couple of years back, so I decided to cut out the central section of the Shapeways model and graft the wings and upper fuselage on to the Skytrex model in place of its original wings. All went well and the result was, I think, a success.




Of course now I had the nose and tail of a Felixstowe going spare, so I decided to make a vignette of a crashed aircraft, with thoughts to use this as the "objective" in a Wings of Glory rescue scenario. I may put some more work into this piece to add further details later but for now I'm happy with the result



The other four models left to finish were a pair of Spad XIVs and a pair of FBA Type Hs, all seaplanes to add to my burgeoning seaplane/flying boat collection. Lovely models, especially the FBAs, and I hope I did them justice. Still a bit of work to do on the Spads as I have mislaid my stock of aircrew figures.



So, 2017 off to a flying (ha!) start