Monday, 29 June 2009

Toolbox - Epoxy Putties and Fillers

In part three I have listed the epoxy putties that I use and why. To begin with, my favourite two putties are Milliput (yellow-grey) and Green Stuff Kneadatite. I prefer the yellow-grey Milliput as it is cheaper and slightly easier to get hold of. The Green Stuff can be bought from Games Workshop (or on E-bay, but be careful, I have had at least one batch from E-bay that was very poor).

Milliput - can be used for filling gaps, adding detail, producing very strong bases and adding texture. As stated I prefer the yellow-grey for cost, but also have a box of white for special occasions. Milliput was the first epoxy putty that I used and I feel this is why I am so comfortable with it. It is also very widely available.

Over the last year or so I have begun to mix Milliput with Green Stuff (the ratio varies depending on the model or the use, but a 3 part Milluput to 1 part Green Stuff, produces a mix that has some plasticity when soft for sculpting detail as well as setting rock hard. I would suggest that other modellers experiment with the ratios for their own needs, I do not think there is a right or a wrong mix).

Milliput wins hands-down when it comes to 'sandability' and being able to carve detail. Green Stuff tends to 'pull' and maintains some flexibility even when fully set.

Green Stuff or Kneadatite - the sculpting medium of most of the 'great miniature sculptors' and not by chance, the product is just fantastic to work with. I have two little hang-ups with the product that I think maybe unique to me! I always cut the centre section out (where the yellow meets the blue ribbon). I am not sure if this is really needed, but as stated, it is something that I always do. Secondly I try to get a 50/50 mix of the yellow and blue, not always easy as the ribbon proportions tend to be more yellow and less blue.

You will see that I have also included DAS modelling clay. I have been working with DAS for many, many years and feel it is the best terrain modelling material readily available and again very widely available. I tend to mix some PVA glue with the clay and usually model on to PVA glue to make sure it remains in place. I use DAS in two very different ways - firstly over PVA and to build up terrain, for example on to MDF bases and using broken pieces of cork to add texture. Then secondly (once again over PVA glue) to add a skin which when fully dry can be carved, ideal for adding stonework to foamboard structures. I always seal DAS with a thin wash of PVA glue and water.

This second photo shows some of the other putties and fillers I use. From left to right they are; Humbrol Filler, OK as a filler provided that you do not have it too thick. Power Grip or any tube filler (Polyfiller for example), mainly used diluted with water and PVA glue to paint on texture. White Putty (or in some countries Green Putty), a perfect fine filler for modelling with plastic kits. The last is quick setting epoxy putty (there are very many different makes) - I use it when I need a quick setting putty rather than have to wait for it to harden or if it would be difficult to heat up and cure in the oven.

I also have a new pack of ProCreate Sculpting and Modelling Putty, which I recently picked up from E-bay. It is too new for me to comment on, but I look forward to practicing with it.


Saturday, 27 June 2009

My Hobby - as included on a job CV

Due to a change in personal circumstances, I have been actively seeking a new job. While producing CV's and attending interviews I am aware that I have in the past only touched upon my hobbies and interests, concentrating more on my work or employment experiences all this changed when I stumbled upon a couple of articles recommending that hobby or outside interests should be featured more highly on your CV.

For example;
I am a keen modeller and wargamer producing 'scratch-built' models, painted figures and enjoying the research that goes with this hobby. My 'master CV' includes the following.....

Model making
I enjoy making models and painting model soldiers, based on historical information and uniform guides as well as Science Fiction and Fantasy subjects. I am also a keen wargamer, using model soldiers to re-enact historical or imagined scenarios over miniature battlefields.

I have over the last fifteen years had a number of articles printed in model making publications. In addition with the development of Web based magazines I have been published on the Internet in web based magazines and Fanzines. I also maintain my own model making Blog.

In the many interviews I have attended, I can count on the fingers of one hand the times that this inclusion has produced comments, however a couple of recent articles on the Internet have made me think about this part of my life, for example;

Model making, miniature painting and wargaming offer many unique skills for a potential employer.....

They show an ability to follow precise instructions and to translate technical information into practical application.

They also demonstrate the ability to plan, organise, project manage, overcome problems and deliver solutions, they show that you are numerate, logical and have attention to detail.

The detailed research and reading, both reference books and rule books, are educational and beneficial, they also help to introduce some very thought provoking views - we are talking about war, the reasons why wars were fought and the lessons learn. (I have heard comments from those outside of the hobby that model makers and wargamers 'glorify war'. This cannot be further from the truth as it becomes very clear to most wargamers that war is in fact completely futile).

The artistic side of painting and sculpting miniatures which exercise different parts of your brain - the recognised Left/Right cross-over that is so important to creative thought.

In many areas, practical mathematical skills are involved, for example converting scale and measurements in to a 3D model.

Table top wargaming demonstrates strategic, operational and tactical planning, proof that you are able to manage risk, evaluate and manage conflict, make decisions and solve problems.

Most wargaming involves others, a group of individuals - social networking which develop core competencies such as clear communication skills, influencing skills, team building, respect and leadership skills.

These are powerful skills in any work scenario. In fact I am amazed that model making and wargaming are not included in the school curriculum, given the 'core skills' they could help to develop.

I hope that these comments (which have been taken from various Blog or Internet sites) help others tho make more of their skills when producing a CV or attending interviews.


Sunday, 21 June 2009

Dwarf Sauerkraut Wars - the regiments part twelve

Regiment twelve - Krautian Landwehr

Allegiance - Krautian

My second group of Landwehr, this time with yellow facings.

The bulk of the miniatures are from the Dwarf Landwehr box set (52504) with a couple of modified Ogres (56004) and a modified Verner von Raucher miniature (LE009).

The scratch-built Russian Church model in the background is one of my largest Flintloque terrain pieces, being based on the 15mm Hovel's Russian Orthodox Church model that I first saw when visiting a small model shop in le Touqueet, France some years ago. I made some quick sketches and upon returning home I built the model from foamboard, cardboard and DAS modelling clay. The colour scheme came from an illustration in an Ivan Bilibin art book, see;


Monday, 15 June 2009

World of Warcraft - Pharticus

For the last couple of weeks I have been working on a couple of 'secret projects', the first is a very special model for my Brother-in-Law's 60th birthday, a miniature representing Rob's World of Warcraft character - Pharticus (see below).

The base miniature was a 54mm dwarf from Jenash which I picked up on E-bay. The miniature has been extensively modified with Milliput and 'green stuff', then mounted on a custom base..

Here you can see three images of the finished Pharticus.

It was great fun to produce, particularly the skull axe head and painting the model as illustrated 'in-game'.


The reason that I have had to keep this project secret - is that Rob regularly reads my Blog!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Please give me a job!

I am looking for a part-time or full-time position within the Model Making/Wargaming industry. Anyone wanting a writer, sculptor or terrain maker can see example of my work, here on my Blog or through links on the Blog.

I can be contacted via;

Or via this Blog.


Tony Harwood

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Scratch Built Terrain

Here are a couple of scratch-built terrain pieces that have not yet appeared on the Blog. I recently picked up the fountain model from a friend who had borrowed it and the tomb, was tucked away in the back of the attic..

Photo One - The Fountain
A scratch-built ornamental fountain, based on a porcelain model I saw on a visit to Barcelona some time ago. The model was on display in the window of a light fitting shop. I sketched the model on to a scrap of paper and on my return, I modelled it with a foamboard base and DAS.

Photo Two - The Tomb
Inspired by an altar/tomb at Worcester Cathedral, the model is built from card and thick paper on a plastic card base. The shield is a metal shield from my 'spares box'.

Both models are now back in circulation with a fresh coat of green sawdust flock. I look forward to using them again.


Monday, 8 June 2009

GAME FORCE - a quick review

Over the last couple of months I have been thinking of subscribing to this new Spanish based miniature magazine, GAME FORCE. On Sunday this week I picked up issue 01 (the English translation version) at Games Expo, Birmingham. For more details see;

The Magazine cost £6.00 from Artimis Black who had other editions of the magazine for sale. See;

The first thing that strikes you about the magazine it the sheer quality of the materials and the fantastic illustrations, they really are beautiful. The magazine is unusual in that it is 'landscape' format rather than 'portrait', which I found worked well. All 44 pages are crammed full of colour photos, showing finished miniatures and work-in-progress shots with text. It is the text that really lets this publication down - or more specifically the English translation, which is just terrible, mistakes from the very first line of the first article, which repeats throughout the magazine. This will either infuriate reader's or you will just ignore it. I found it annoying and it affected my enjoyment of an otherwise superb magazine.

I believe that future issues (English translation) will be done by Artimis Black and I have been assured that the translations will be better.

Given the above, I can still recommend this new publication to anyone interested in painting or collecting miniatures. The bulk of the painting is done by Spanish artists, who have their own 'muted' or realistic style of colour choice and blending, which is quite different from the stark tricolour or bright 'Dallimore/Foundry' style found in British publications.

This is a sculpting and painting focused magazine, rather than dealing with game mechanics, rules and terrain.

Each of the painting tutorials were very well laid out and the step-by-step photos were real 'eye candy'. Well done to all who contributed.

I would expect to pick up future issues of this publication, but am not sure I would subscribe. I look forward to seeing the first newly translated edition which is due soon. Overall an 8 out of 10 (mainly let down by the translation).


Sunday, 7 June 2009

Games Expo - Birmingham, a review

This is the third year that I have visited Games Expo (Birmingham) at the Clarendon Suites, Hagley Road and once again I have nothing but praise for the organisation, the venue and the exhibitors. Very well done.

I arrived just after 10.00 and once again had no problems with parking. After paying my entrance fee and picking up the show programme and a selection of information leaflets, my first area of interest was the main hall. I spent a considerable time walking around and 'getting a feel' for the show and exhibitors before re-visiting the main areas and spending my money.

My main figure purchases were the new 40mm Argonauts from Heroes of Myth and Legends, I picked up an individual officer (see below) and the 5 multi-part figure pack (HML005). A show offer meant that the £20.00 pack was on offer for just £16.00, a bargain!

My intention was to use these miniatures for my 40mm Flash Gordon collection, but as you can see from the photo, I have mounted the first figure on to a 3mm thick, 32mm x 32mm square plastic card base with the figures metal base built up with a mixture of Milliput and 'green stuff'. If this works, I'll mount the remaining figures in the same way and I can see a new project coming!

I also picked up a 50mm tall miniature From Artimis Black, The Dark Age figure Yovanka - Air Arbiter (DAG2016) and a Welsh Cake, thank you.

I bought issue 24 of No Quarter (the one with the working Mechanika Drawbridge - a fantastic piece of terrain) and issue 1 (the English version) of Game Force again from Artimis Black, who tells me that he has been employed to work on the English translations of this Spanish magazine. I look forward to reading it and following issues.

Minor purchases included some round bases, dice and paint brushes. Of special interest to me was the new game Starblazer Adventures, a beautifully illustrated, hardback rulebook that is inspired by the old comic book series Starblazer, see; at £35.00 I felt this was a little to expensive for me at this show, not having had time to read any reviews, but this is a rule book that I can see myself buying at some time.

I spent some considerable time checking out the book, Duty and Honour, see; This maybe of interest to Flintloque/Slaughterloo gamers and I will be checking out reviews, before being tempted to purchase.

I was still back home in time to see the start of the Turkish Grand Prix, another great show and for anyone thinking of attending next year - I would fully recommend the show, a great family day out.


Friday, 5 June 2009

Games Expo - Birmingham

This weekend is Games Expo 2009, Birmingham. In my opinion one of the very best organised shows in the area. My plan is to visit on Sunday as I have other plans for Saturday afternoon. I would hope to pick up some new models, and meet up with friends.

The show details can be found at;


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Eldar Ghosts

These five miniatures were converted and painted many years ago, when my son wanted a group of adversaries for his Space Marines to battle with. I recently found them in a box of bits while tidying up the garage and thought they were worth posting.

The base figures are both metal and plastic, with heads from Wood Elves, pinned and glued, before hair was added to hide the joins. They are painted as Ghosts, or a group of Eldar mercenaries and were an experiment in painting white space armour. The two figures with space gas masks, (half Eldar helmet and half bare face) were fun to produce and I think they work well.

In addition to this group I also produced an Eldar Grav Tank, the first design, that was never modelled by GW in 28mm scale but can be found in the Epic range. I am afraid that this model is long gone.

It is interesting for me to re-visit early models, painted miniatures and assess how my painting skill has developed, of note here is the fact that they were painted over a white base-coat and not as is more usual with me, a black one.


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Dwarf Sauerkraut Wars - the regiments part eleven

Regiment eleven - Dwarf Landwehr

Allegiance - Krautian or Finklestein

Landwehr or militia units make up the vast majority of troops on any battlefield, regarded as inferior infantry and 'cannon fodder', always being pushed in to battle at the head of any attack, poorly armed and ill equipped.

Within the Dwarf empire, a race that is born and bred to fight, the Landwehr have a slightly higher status than others and in many respects the dour Dwarves actually enjoy the hardships of fighting against the odds. It is a very brave (or stupid) enemy who mocks the Dwarf Landwehr!

This particular group of eight infantry and one mounted Dwarf Landwehr wear white facing colours and can be fielded on either side in the Sauerkraut War. In the main, Krautian Landwehr wear yellow and The Confederation of Finklestein wear red facing colours.

Of special note is the mounted officer Verner Von Raucher (LE 009). The rest of the miniatures are either from the Dwarf Landwehr boxed set (52504) with the officer (with eye patch) from the Krautian Guard box set (52502). The colour scheme is taken from various Napoleonic reference books.


The word Landwehr means 'Defence of the Country'.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Japanese Patrol Aeronef MONI

Bill at The Miniatures Page (TMP) has my Japanese Aeronef model, MONI featured as the latest Workbench Article, see;

These photos show two images that are not shown on the Workbench Article, my first rough sketch and the construction completed, but not yet painted. Part Two will detail the painting and finishing.


Monday, 1 June 2009

THE CRUNCH - Sci-Fi comics

These four comics were a lucky charity shop find. I am not familiar with the comic title, but at just 59p each I felt they were worth picking up and checking out. All four are from 1979 (thirty years old) and originally cost just 10p

No. 38, from October, 6th 1979.

No. 40, from October, 20th 1979.

No. 45, from November, 24th 1979.

And No. 50, from December, 29th 1979. The Christmas Special.

I've browsed through the Oct. 6th edition and can see some very good illustrations, that should result in modelling inspiration. The art work and style is similar to the action comics Commando, although The Crunch are Beano size comics rather than the smaller Commando size comics. One other point- that I found funny, the lady shop assistant did not know what I was talking about when I asked "how much are the comics?" It was not until she saw them - "Oh the Graphic Novels", that she was able to give a price!