Sunday 30 March 2008

Flash Gordon - Rocketship

Here you see my scratch built model of a Flash Gordon Rocketship with Flash, a 40mm Graven Images miniature shown for scale.

Photo 2 shows the Rocketship before painting. The nose is a plastic wine glass, the main body a thermos flask and the tail section a plastic Barbie cup. The fins are from plastic cards and the panel sections are sticky-back-plastic with sliced plastic rod rivets.

Photos three and four are the completed Rocketship taken against a black background.

The painted Rocketship shows signs of damage and wear as it has always been my intention to model the Rocketship as crash-landed on a themed terrain boards.

The model is 300mm long, 190mm wide and 130mm tall and was painted using acrylic paints, the red was airbrushed.


The Golden Hind

My modelling interests are wide and varied which I believe comes from my father and grandfather, both of whom made models. This particular scratch built model of the Golden Hind was built with techniques that I saw my father use many years ago when he would make model ships in bottles.

The initial drawings were taken from an enlarged picture from the internet and sketched to scale (the exact details of the size of The Golden Hind are not fully known and the model is a rough estimation of a number of articles and drawings).

The hull is carved from soft wood and clad in card, the masts are either cocktail sticks or bamboo skewers sanded to a taper. The grating on the decks is cross stitch material cut to size, the sails and flags are paper.

The ship is painted following the fantastic illustration by Roy Cross on page 113 of the Airfix book - 'Airfix, celebrating 50 years of the greatest plastic kits in the world' by Arthur Ward.

The base is an MDF base stained and then painted with acrylics before being varnished, the sea texture is acrylic medium.

The model is just over 150mm in length and the rigging is purposely very simple as I had intended using the original for wargaming!


Saturday 29 March 2008

Perils on Planet X

I recently came across this fantastic Blog and just felt that it linked in perfectly with my Flash Gordon project.

The illustrations offer loads of Space Opera inspiration.


Wednesday 26 March 2008

Flash Gordon - why 40mm?

I have been collecting Flash Gordon 40mm miniatures from Graven Images for over three years. I would like to tell you that this was a planned purchase and one that I had been thinking about for some time. But it was in fact a small display piece or vignette of Flash and Ming that I saw at a local modelling show that started this obsession. I picked up the two main characters and painted them as the illustrations on the Graven Images/Monolith Designs web site;

From there I ordered the Dr Zarkoff and Dale figures, the Mongo/Ming troopers and officers. Then where next? The Cliffhanger range is limited and with the exception of the Mole-men I had collected, painted and based the whole Flash Gordon range!

For many months I waited patiently for new releases, which never came and so in a moment of inspiration I purchased the Graven Images Werewolves and converted them in to Lion Men, from there on the ‘flood gates’ opened and I have supplemented my Cliffhanger Flash Gordon figures with miniatures from a huge range of toy and model manufacturers, for example, Grim Reaper Castings, Privateer Press, Games Workshop, Foundry, Star Wars CMG, D&D CMG, Monster in my pocket toys and Pirates of the Caribbean figures from Disney. In fact I cannot enter a toy or model shop without thinking – how can I use or convert that figure to increase my Flash collection?

Photos can be found at the Disturbia Yahoo Group - Photos - Flash Gordon, Flash Gordon 2 or Flash Gordon work-in-progress;

In addition I have built themed skirmish or display boards, tanks and a rocket, all of which I will include in this Blog at some time.

I hope you like the pictures I have posted so far.


Monday 24 March 2008

Flash Gordon - Ming's Officer

Here is another conversion to add to my 40mm Flash Gordon collection.

The figure uses the head and body from a Flashing Blades Spartan miniature, the legs from a Graven Images Nazi, the arms from the Sky Elf manufactured by Foundry and a 'scratch built' raygun and sword scabbard, plus a lot of 'green stuff'

Here you see the same figure with another conversion - Prince Barin, which uses the legs and right arm from Dr. Zarkov, the head from another Graven Images figure the left arm and body from a Grim Reaper Lizard Man and once again lots of 'green stuff'!

Both figures are mounted on 40mm round bases.


Flash Gordon - Hawkmen part two

With the completion of the Hawkmen, one of the major character groups from Flash Gordon have been added to my collection.

The Hawkmen are based on the Hawkmen from the Flash Gordon animated series, rather than the comic strip, 1930's cinema series or the 'Queen' Flash Gordon film. In the animated series the Hawkmen were always accompanied by warhawks and the Games Workshop hawk was added because of this.

Each of the miniatures are based on a 40mm round base and painted with acrylics from a variety of manufacturers. The bases (as are all of my Flash figures) are modelled on cork rocks which are first painted light grey then washed with black ink, water and Klear (Future in the US) before being highlighted with pure white and flocked.

Between part one and part two - one of the figures has had one of the wings replaced - the flat wing, by a modified curved wing, this is not very apparent in the photos, but does add to the variety in the figure poses. It also means that I have a spare set for one more conversion - Prince Vultan, maybe?

The inspiration for the conversion came from a pair of Nazi angels converted by Steve Mussared of Graven Images and Monolith Designs, thank you Steve, for the help.


Flash Gordon - Hawkmen part one

I have been collecting 40mm Flash Gordon miniatures for over three years, mainly inspired by the Flash Gordon figures from Graven Images, however the range is limited and I have either converted or used suitable 40mm miniatures from other manufacturers.

The photos that follow show the construction of a group of Hawkmen, the chest and wings taken from a Sky Elf by Foundry and the heads and legs from the prehistoric range by Graven Images.

Sky Elf from Foundry. Note the miss-match in wing sculpts!
Warrior from Graven Images

The chest and arms from the Sky Elf and the legs and head from Graven Images

The next two photo's show the finished miniature

In every example the wings have needed to be pinned.

I have modelled three Hawkmen using the same technique, here are the first and second miniatures.

The first Hawkman undercoated

And here we have the first and second undercoated

Finally we have all three constructed and two undercoated. You can see how I have had to use 'green stuff' to blend the joins and the detail of the spear - which is from another Foundry Elves set. The figures are mounted on 40mm bases.

In part two I will include pictures of the painted miniatures and a Games Workshop WarHawk miniature.


Shipyard - Zeppelin LZ43

This particular model is about 150mm long and the main envelope is made from card. If you can imagine the envelope being constructed in five sections; the nose, forward section, the main body, rear section and tail;

The nose is a block of balsa, the three central sections, forward section, main body and rear section are folded up from card (slightly thinner than cereal box card) and the tail is balsa.

The whole envelope was then covered with sections of plastic card glued on with super glue and then lightly sanded. The gondola is thick plastic sheeting (the plastic that is used by builders for window sills or cladding, which I picked up from my mother-in-laws when she had work done on the house).

The model was painted with acrylics and I have tried to show the variaion in material used in Zeppelins, where lighter material was used in the top of the envelope to allow the gas to escape. The LZ43 was hand painted.


Sunday 23 March 2008

Shipyard - Irish Folly

For anyone familiar with my Space 1889/Aeronef models, you might have seen this particular model labelled as the Fenian Ram.

When I was first researching this particular project the only image I could find was a side profile, I drew a rough plan and constructed the model as detailed below, later, much later I was lucky enough to find a better photo that showed the Fenian Ram to have an arrow head bow. I therefore re-named her the Irish Folly and later constructed a model of the Fenian Ram mk II.

The model is constructed to a scale of 1/300th (or 1mm = 1foot).

These two 'work-in-progress' shots show a main hull built from balsa with the rear deck made from a plastic button. The central hull and bow are also balsa with cardboard 'cladding', paper and plastic card detail while the main gun is made from a plastic knitting needle.

The tower is made from the bottom of a plastic barrel attached to a section of knitting needle and a mast from a sanded cocktail stick. Most of the additional detail is plastic card with some 'green stuff'.

The model is painted with acrylic paints and mounted on to a Games Workshop 40mm round base. The flag was hand painted.


Shipyard - Glory Sled

Here are photos and a brief description of one of my 1/300th scale Space 1889/Aeronef models. Glory Sled from the Space 1889 game Sky Galleons of Mars.

The model is 'scratch built' from photos of the 1/1200th scale miniature from the original game. The first thing I did was to produce a set of rough drawings, the scale is arrived at by taking a guess at the hieght of the main bridge and all other dimensions are taken from this.

The photo above shows the main hull made from balsa wood and 'clad' in cardboard. The bridge area is a coin, wrapped with cardboard and the detail is either more cardboard or plastic card. The main gun is made from a plastic knitting needle.

This photo shows how the guessed at plan was converted in to a 3D miniature. I used acrylic paints from a wide variety of manufacturers and since the main photo was taken I have mounted the model on a 40mm Games Workshop base and added a flag.

I will try to add more 'how-I-did-it' articles later.


Tuesday 18 March 2008

Flash Gordon - an appetiser

So far on this Blog I have given details of my collection of Flintloque miniatures and terrain, my Luther Arkwright Aeronefs and the Space 1889/Aeronef models I have built. One of my major projects over the last three years has been my Flash Gordon miniatures and terrain.

Built to a scale of 1/48th or 4omm, (Graven Images - Cliffhanger), plus conversions and anything I can get my hands on, here is a link to some of my Flash Gordon miniatures and terrain.

It is my intention to include a great deal more photos and examples of my themed terrain, for now here are a few appetisers.


Monday 17 March 2008

Yours in white wine sauce Blog competition

German steam powered land-ironclad squad – Chapter Three
In chapter three I thought I would update readers on the progress to date of the models. My plan was to produce a squad of Landships, or ‘Land Ironclads’, two assault tanks, one command tank and an assault walker.

(Please note that as one of the competition rules is not to post photos, I will hold back posting images of the models until the end of the 80 days).

So far the models are nearing completion the main fighting compartment is made from an oval shaped, plastic pencil sharpener bought from Wilkinsons for less than 50 pence each. The command tank uses two pencil sharpeners stacked on top of each other. The tracks on the two assault tanks and the command tank were constructed by me with wheels from a toy train and tracks from plastic card. Once the master was made I cast six sets in resin. The steam walker uses the same pencil sharpener – fighting compartment and the legs from a Wild, Wild, West Dr. Loveless steam walker, additional detail is from plastic card and plastic sprue.

The models are built to a scale of 1/180th, simply because I had some 10mm ACW artillery crew and I will be using them as crew.

In addition I was able to pick up some German WW1 crosses at the WMMS show earlier this month. My plan is to paint at least one of the models in a Flying Circus colour scheme as seen on German WW1 aircraft Jastas – for example the Red Baron!

The Fenian Airship (Toucan) – Chapter Three
As with the German Landships, I will be talking about the construction to date of the model airship ‘Toucan’. The envelope has been carved and sanded to shape from ‘blue foam’ then layers of paint, glue and filler are added and sanded, the process is then repeated until the shape is correct and the surface is smooth. The gondola area and control housing has been greatly reduced in size from my initial plan, with windows, detail and two gun ports already modelled.

The shape is very similar to a Goodyear Blimp!

I have also added the tail assembly, which follows the practice of early Zeppelins where the horizontal control surfaces are built as bi-plane assemblies rather than single surfaces. My immediate reaction is that the tail surfaces are a little too large but as I ‘Googled’ early airships I see that if anything they are too small!

Late in to the construction phase I saw pictures of an early airship that had noticeable fabric patches on the centre envelope section and I have tried to copy this texture by adding small sections sticky-back-plastic and paper labels across the main envelope. Having under-coated this section I believe the effect has been achieved.

I intent painting the centre section black (or at least very dark grey) and the nose and tail cream with a golden harp motif in the black section. I would expect the gondola to be painted brown to represent varnished wood with brass detail.

Sunday 16 March 2008

Flintloque Orcs

Here are examples of my painted Flintloque Orcs, mainly from the Original Flintloque box set.

Each of the figures are painted with acrylic paints and mounted on 2 pence coins.

Wednesday 12 March 2008

WMD 1889

Here are photos taken some time ago of a display piece entitled Weapons of Mass Destruction 1889 or WMD 1889.

The model does use the drill from a Disney Atlantis toy as part of the main weapon but the carraige and other detail is scratch built and was inpired by a Steam Punk illustration. The model is painted with acrylics and the figure is a 40mm model from Graven Images, converted and painted as an artillery officer.

The base is a plain picture frame, with added detail from scrap plastic and my spares box, the terrain is simple filler, grass matting and flock. One point of interest is the chalk board and gunnery range book - well the Babbage computer was still in its infancy!

The Airships of Luther Arkwright part four

The previous three posts have shown illustrations of all but one of the models I have produced for my Luther Arkwight based Aeronef game.

For more information on Luther Arkwright and Bryan Talbot please check out;

This is one of my favourite photos - showing RAS Albert about to be rammed by 541 Deliverance, posed on the cover of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright book 2. I think it gives a real 'feel' for what it was I was trying to achieve with these models.

This illustration show the huge Prussian Aeronefs that feature in book 2, one day I might get around to modelling one.

I use the rules system Aeronef by Steve Blease and available from Wessex Games, see;


Tuesday 11 March 2008

The Airships of Luther Arkwright part three

To accompany the Royalist and Cromwellian fleets, I have three additional groups of Luther Arkwright inspired Aeronefs. They are a pair of transport Digs -

Heavy Transport Imperator or code name S

Heavy Transport Imperius or code name DM
I also have a Papal fleet of three ships, they are -
The Papal Flagship VC1, and

A Papal Galias

Plus a Venetian Galley in the colours of the Duke of Treviso.

Finally I have the independent Aeronef The Fenian Ram.
The models add a bit of interest to the RAS and Cromwell Fleets and with the Heavy Transports, open up interesting scenarios.
The models are made from pens, marker pens and a pencil sharpener. Markings are from a wide variety of sources, but mainly GW.