Thursday 28 August 2008

Bugman command

Here is a 'blast from the past', a group of early Games Workshop/Citadel miniatures - Bugman Rangers, including the great brewer himself, his personal standard and a musician.

The figures were painted many years ago and originally individually based on 20mm x 20mm card bases, however some years later I saw a beautifully painted display piece at the Games Workshop store in Merry Hill, Dudley, West Midlands. A group of cossacks on a rock and snow base and after discussing the piece with the manager I wanted to try out the technique.

I cut two GW 40mm x 40mm bases and glued them back together as a single 60mm x 40mm display base. (You need to strengthen the underside of the base or it will warp). The three miniatures were first glued onto small blocks of scrap balsawood, while the groundwork was built up from actual rock and Milliput before being painted and varnished. Later when I was sure the base was fully dry I added the snow - white PVA glue and caster sugar!

When set I added some highlights with pure white acrylic paint and varnished the snow with acrylic varnish. The final step was adding static grass.

I had intended building and painting more dwarf displays using the same technique, but after painting a group of Gripping Beast Dwarves, and mounting them in the same way (painted with black and white uniforms, as featured on the GB website and a red dragon pendent) the urge subsided! The Gripping Beast Dwarves were later sold at a 'bring-and-buy' stand.

I still have very fond memories of actually gaming with these pieces nearly twenty years ago!


The black background was a test suggested to me by my son. I think it looks OK, but I'll be sticking with my pale blue backdrop in future.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Flash Gordon - chapter three

Flash Gordon chapter three

Dale had been taken prisoner by a group of Ming’s elite troops, who are now making their way to the nearest rocketship launch pad. Dale has been treated well but now notices that the soldier are uneasy and nervous, there doesn’t seem too be anything amiss, everything looks the same - but then the howling starts and in seconds the troops pick up speed and bundle Dale forward towards the West.

This particular chapter is a chase to see who can leave the western edge quicker, Ming’s troops with Dale or………

Board; Using the same 2 foot x 2 foot open terrain board as before but with trees only to the Eastern edge, the troopers and Dale emerge from the tree line and start a dash to the Western table edge, I would expect some cover (stones, shrubs etc, but no trees or heavy cover).

Four to six Ming’s troopers, one officer and Dale. Ming’s troopers are armed with either raygun rifles or raygun pistols. Dale has a hidden hat pin and her feminine charms!

Use which ever monster models you may have (Orcs, zombies, monkeys, Kroot etc) but make them fast and entering from the North and South edges. The monsters are armed as the model (WYSIWYG). Once killed have them enter again, and again, have some sort of negative morale effect on the Troopers as these monster are normally hunted by Ming and this is their opportunity to kill a few of their hated enemy.

A simple race to the table edge. One exception ‘can Dale use the attack as cover for escape?’ Dale will not be targeted by the monsters as they do not recognise her as either their enemy or food!

No encounter markers this time, although there could be a random roll to see if Flash or Dr Zarkov arrive in time to have an effect or Hawkmen arrive to help the troopers. I would envisage this particular chapter to be a perfect example of a hunt or chase to the death with the opportunity to ‘chuck on loads of mooks’. If you are still interested, keep a record of the results from all three chapters and see if they have an effect on Chapter four. Coming soon to a cinema near you.


Monday 25 August 2008

August Bank Holiday Monday

Work has been busy this month, so the Bank Holiday was a welcome retreat. I am still modelling the Flintloque Large Farm House and would expect to start painting very soon. I have just finished the Lizardman Champion from Lance & Laser and will take photos of the completed miniature soon. The Yussem was painted some time ago, but checking through my old photo album, I saw that I had not posted a picture or comment on this Blog. There are a couple of Flash Gordon figures that still need to be posted and these will need to be done soon.

I have started another 2foot x 2foot themed terrain board - the long awaited Crashed Rocket Ship board. The main reason for starting it this weekend was that I had the time to build the sub-frame, once this is built I find that I can go back and forth to the project when ever I have the time. I am terrible for starting and not finishing projects (but anyone who follows this Blog will know that!)

Next week I will have very little time for modelling or painting, but will hopefully catch up with all my partially finished projects between now an Christmas.

Ideas for future projects include - Hydra Legionnaire Robots, converted to the Flash Gordon animated series robots, more on the Crashed Rocket Ship board, A Flash Gordon Ming lackey figure with gas mask and a set of French Aeronef's.

In addition I seam to have volunteered to build a Flintloque windmill. I've not even thought about how to proceed, but with a short deadline this project may have to take priority.

I'll keep the Blog updated.


Flash Gordon - Yuzzem

This hairy ape is a Star Wars miniature, Yuzzem (45/60 Fringe 18) bought for less than £2.00 from Wayland Forge, Birmingham. It has been re-based and re-painted, but is pretty much stock. Like many Star Wars CMG figures it is very well sculpted and required little in the way of clean up. I had thought about changing the gun, but in the end left it unchanged.

The miniature is mounted on a 40mm round base and stands 55mm tall. The figure was glued and pinned to a cork 'rock', before the whole miniature (and base) was painted with dilute PVA glue. As the miniature was quite light, I mounted a couple of small coins to the underside of the base - this is something that I regularly do with less weighty models.

In the wargame rules book - 'Fantastic Worlds' by Rattrap Productions there is a race of ape-like creatures called Nazree. I believe that this is a perfect 'stand-in' miniature for the Nazree.


Friday 22 August 2008

Flash Gordon chapter two

Flash Gordon chapter two

Dale had been taken prisoner by a group of Ming’s elite troops, who are now making their way to the nearest rocketship launch pad. Dr. Zarkov and a squad of Mongo soldiers have been tracking the group through an infested marsh/wooded area.

The second scenario takes place on the outskirts of a small copse of trees, where the group led by Zarkov sees a group of Ming’s pioneer troops working on a damaged vehicle. After watching the activities from cover for a short time Zarkov has to decide how he proceeds.

The Mongo soldiers are all for attacking the pioneers and taking advantage of the element of surprise. Zarkov must maintain his authority over the group while still continuing with the search for Dale. (I would suggest some sort of random test to check the moral of the Mongo soldiers and Zarkov’s authority to see if they attack or not each turn).

Zarkov with one Mongo sergeant and four Mongo soldiers armed with either ray guns or pistols.

Six Ming’s Pioneer Troops, including Morgo, the officer, armed with either ray guns or ray pistols. But one figure is also equipped with an explosives pack to blow up the damaged vehicle. (Identify the figure in some way – a sticker to the base, possibly).

A 2 foot x 2 foot board with a crippled vehicle in the centre and trees to the East side. Additional trees, bushes or rocks can be added.

13 cards
Ace through three A major clue to the whereabouts of Dale
4 to 6 A false clue dice against BR to see if the character can identify it as a false clue.
7 to 9 The explosive charge has been set and we are now on countdown to the vehicle exploding – throw a D6 at the beginning of the turn after the pack is placed and on a 6 the vehicle will explode – this is to add some doubt to when the explosive charge will go up.
10 A group of Beastmen/Lionmen appear on the board and are hostile to all groups on the table.
Picture cards Tools or equipment needed to repair the damaged vehicle. Any one will repair part of the vehicle any two all of the vehicle.

Please note that the explosive charge is not a huge BANG, just enough to destroy the radio communications and the radar display machine, although if you wanted to have a random generated big BANG – then go ahead. Once the explosive pack is set Ming’s Pioneers will leave the board very quickly!

The scenario idea is that Zarkov can hold back the Mongo soldiers from an all out attack and find the equipment to repair the damaged vehicle (using his knowledge and skills). In addition Zarkov can disarm the explosive pack with ease provided that he is within 1 inch of the pack.

Once the vehicle is repaired – even partially, the whereabouts of Dale (and Flash) will be apparent.


Sunday 17 August 2008

Flintloque - Large Farm House part twelve

This latest batch of four photos show most of the sculpting work complete, the main structure is finished, I just have to add the doors and some textured groundwork - sand over PVA glue.

In greater detail; The base or groundwork has been built up with 'DAS' modelling clay over white PVA glue. Resin casings have been added and again built into the ground rather than standing on top of it.

Once the 'DAS' was dry I heated up the oven so it was warm, then switched off the heating element (I did not want to have a repeat of earlier mishaps) and placed the whole structure in to the oven and left it for nearly one hour - this was to ensure that the 'DAS' was fully dry before going on to the next stage.

I mixed up a tub of water and PVA glue 50-50 and painted the whole building and base - the warm 'DAS' just 'sucked' up the glue and water mixture which I hope will strengthen the sculpture prior to painting. I am not sure about this technique, but have used it on 'DAS' models before - and it seams to work.

Once this was done, I placed the house back in to the warm oven and allowed the glue and water to dry. I repeated the whole process and once I was certain the model was dry I painted the model with artists acrylic Gesso. 'White Acrylic Gesso', which is why the photos look so bright!

The base has had paving stones or flagstones added - these are 3mm thick plastic card (the softer version) which is cut to shape, sanded and once I am happy with the finished shape I hit the plastic flagstones with a real stone to give additional stone texture. 'DAS' is used to blend everything in.


Saturday 16 August 2008

Flash Gordon - chapter one

The following ‘Fantastic Worlds’ based scenarios were written as a campaign or simple group of linked scenarios. They draw heavily on the Alex Raymond Flash Gordon cartoon strip and were intended to be used as a 13 part chapter based campaign which should end with Flash Gordon being victorious and Ming overthrown. Any other outcome would have been rejected by the editor!

Flash Gordon chapter one

Dale has been taken prisoner by a group of Ming’s elite troops, who were now making their way to the nearest rocketship launch pad.

Flash, Thun the Lionman and Prince Balin were leading the pursuit, ever mindful that Hawkmen are patrolling the skies under strict orders from Ming, to find Dale.

The first scenario takes place in a small clearing with Flash, Thun and Balin entering from the East. The group take time to rest but Thun is ever watchful and just before they start off again Thun says; something big – over to the right, been tracking us for some time.
Flash; have you’ve seen it?
Thun; no.
Flash; you’ve heard it?
Thun; no,
Flash; then you’ve seen the tracks?
Thun; no.
Balin; so how do you know?
Thun; I’ve felt it.
Balin; that’s bad!

The group of three heroes now need to decide if they make a break for the West side, or continue to track the group of Ming’s troopers and Dale. If the make a dash they could miss clues/encounters, while if they linger – what is it that is tracking them?

A 2 foot x 2 foot wooded area with a clearing to the centre. Add trees to the outer edges and some rocks.

13 cards
Ace through three; A major clue to the whereabouts of Dale.
Four to six; A false clue (throw a die to see if the group can detect it as a lie – 1-3 seen as true and therefore Dale is lost for at least one additional scenario, 4-6 seen as false and the search goes on).
Seven to eight; Hawkmen attack (three armed Hawkmen swoop down on the group).
Nine; Attacked by a Tree Lizard.
Ten; Encounter a wounded Ming Trooper – who can give additional information on the whereabouts of Dale but if treated will hold up the search.
Picture cards; A major encounter with a huge creature – dinosaur, monster, wild creature, what ever you have available.

The ideal scenario is to pick up some encounter cards as quickly as possible, but hope that the major encounter (a picture card) is not one of the cards picked up.


Friday 15 August 2008

Flintloque - Large Farm House part eleven

The first photo shows the Large Farm House positioned on to a piece of scrap 9mm MDF. I have drawn around the house with a black marker to help with the cutting, which was carried out with an electric jigsaw.

Photos two and three show the MDF cut and sanded to shape. I had marked 'front' and 'back' to help with positioning, but it is not really needed as the shape of the base makes this obvious. At this stage the house has yet to be glued down.

The remaining five photos show the house glued down and the start of the building-up or sculpting of the ground work.

In greater detail; The base of the Large Farm House was coated with White PVA glue which was added quite liberally. A 'sausage' of fresh 'DAS' was then positioned around the whole of the base of the structure (and even some of the internal walls, see earler posts). Then more PVA glue and the house was forced down on to the MDF base, the pressing down squeezed some 'DAS' out from the sides, but also helped to make a better join. The large amount of PVA glue should make the join between house (foamboard) and the base (MDF) very strong.

I then used a modelling tool and more 'DAS' to build up the join between house and base, this was most noticeable around the base of the taller chimney and the base of the steps.

You will also see that I have used a 'Grendel' resin casting of barrels and various clutter which was added to the rear of the outhouse. The casting was first washed, then re-modelled to fit against the flat wall and glued down with PVA glue, any gaps were filled with 'DAS'.

There is still quite a bit of detailing work still to be done, but if you study these photos you should see some of the work I have carried out since the last post - for example the windows (white plastic card - with a diamond shape embossed on to it and balsa wood frames) and some carving to represent decay and damage. I have also added a metal ring to the front of the house (made from fuse wire) and a metal brace around the taller chimney (made from aluminium foil) and inspired by the New Games Workshop plastic buildings.


Thursday 14 August 2008

Flintloque - General

My most recently painted Flintloque miniature - a reluctant or thoughtful General, mounted on a 2p piece and painted with a mixture of acrylic paints from a wide range of manufacturers.

Of note is the fact that the figure was not mounted centrally on to the coin, but off to one side as the very large and heavy moulding of the cloak would have unbalanced him and the fact that I have not used any metalic paints. Which is unusual for me!

Please note that I have painted the heel and sole of his shoes! There was a recent post on The Miniatures Page (TMP) asking if any member painted the soles of shoes?


Wednesday 13 August 2008

Flintloque - Ghost

Some time ago I posted a couple of photos of Flintloque Undead, the first batch painted as ghosts (white over grey) and the second as an Undead Cossack standard bearer. I commented that I was impressed by the painting of 'Paths of the Dead miniatures' from Lord of the Rings (Games Workshop) and thought I would experiment.

I did not have a spare undead soldier but did have an older AA miniature of a skeleton and so, added a Russian shako and re-modelled the lower body as if rising from the earth - a spectre.

I painted the miniature as the Lord of the Rings Paths of the Dead miniatures and here is the result. The white base coat is washed with green ink and acrylic paint and then mixed with white acrylic paint to highlight. I kept the skeleton bones grey with white highlights and painted the hair a light brown, again highlighting with white.

I am not sure that I like the result and have not yet varnished the figure, in case I decide to re-paint it!

The conversion work is 'green stuff' with the lower body being built up over a thick paperclip and the plume over a standard paperclip.


Monday 11 August 2008

Perry Comet, Space Ranger

I recently came across these fantastic retro Sci Fi miniatures painted (and in some cases sculpted) by Christian Steimel (Westfalia Chris). If I had not invested so much time and effort in my own 40mm Flash Gordon collection I would be buying, painting and copying these. Thank you for the eye candy.

You can see more of this collection at;

Check it out, the 'scratch built' atomic tanks and model of Ecco Lotos which are truly inspirational. Fantastic! In addition it is also worth checking out Perry Rhodan on Google, even more inspiration.

I also appreciate the great photographs, something that I am still coming to grips with.


Friday 8 August 2008

Flintloque - Large Farm House part ten

When I started this modelling project I never thought it would go on for so long and so many photos! The main construction work is now nearly completed, I still need to base the house and add lots of small detail before painting, but I am very pleased with the work so far.

These four photos show the Large Farm House from four separate angles, which I feel give a good representation of the work so far.

I would expect to add more photos soon, but maybe not so many!


Flintloque - Large Farm House part nine

It was recently suggested to me that the technique I am using to sculpt the thatch roof could do with a more detailed description.

The project is now at an advanced stage and the final roof is now being modelled. I have therefore taken a set of photos showing the work-in-progress and have added a brief description which I hope will clear up any confusion.

Photo 1 - the DAS modelling clay is spread on over a coat of diluted PVA glue, in small biscuit sized pieces and pressed down with my finger. At this stage I am not trying to shape the DAS, just cover the whole roof.

Photo 2 - I have used a modelling tool to smooth the DAS and ensure that all sections are covered and that the DAS is pressed home.

Photo 3 - I am now adding 'sausage's' of DAS to amend the shape of the thatch and ensure that the organic shape of natural thatch is modelled as accurately as possible,

Photo 4 - the rough shape is now achieved, the roof area is fully covered with DAS and the sides and bottom of the thatch have been 'beefed-out'.

Photo 5 - shows the start of the 'combing action'. In the early stages I comb the DAS down from the apex to the base, later I prod or poke the DAS with the blade of the modelling tool.

Photo 6 - the combing complete. (I still need to model the apex section, this I will do once the DAS has fully hardened).

Photo 7 - although not a great photo, it does show how I model the over-hang of the thatch, I use a blunt cocktail stick to prod the clay in an upward motion, creating texture as well as subtly shaping the still wet DAS.

Photo 8 - shows the modelling tool I have used.


Thursday 7 August 2008

Khang Robot on TMP

The Miniatures Page (TMP) is running a workbench article by me called - the Khang Robot with legs, a retro Sci Fi robot from Wargames Supply Dump (WSD) painted with washes and inks.

For more information check out;

The 'huge lead article picture' has certainly highlighted all the painting faults! But I did enjoy the project.


Wednesday 6 August 2008

Flintloque - Large Farm House part eight

Just two photos this time - an early one showing the foamboard structure very early in the build (all crisp right angles and straight edges) and the second showing the extent of the deformation that has occurred since the building was 'cooked' in the oven.

In this case I think a photo (or two) are worth a thousand words!


Sunday 3 August 2008

Flintloque - Large Farm House part seven

In an attempt to save this modelling project I have added lots of 'DAS' to the worst deformed areas of the main house to try to cover-up or re-model the blown shape. In addition I have added the second chimney, again modelled from a 'blue foam' scrap.

In greater detail; The 'blue foam' was roughly shaped with a large 'snap-off' knife' and the over-all shape sanded smooth. Once I was happy with the shape and height I had to carve 'curves' on to the inside of the chimney to fit the deformed wall. (at this stage the chimney was just roughly shaped and touching the existing wall for less that 50% of the area!)

I then used a scalpel and new blade to carve horizontal grooves and small vertical slits in to the blue foam to represent individual stones. The whole technique is time consuming, but very satisfying. When finished the carved wall/chimney looks to artificial and needs texturing. This I do with a selection of broken stones (found in the garden). I press the sharp edges of the stone in to the 'blue foam' which leaves the structure with a much more organic look, but still not finished!

I used 'DAS' to model the broken plaster over the top of the carved stones and to fill the (quite large) gaps. I then tried to even out the deformed walls with even more 'DAS'. The finished chimney is topped off with a section of plastic pen barrel, which is in turn further topped off with a small ring cut from a separate pen barrel. Once I am satisfied with the result I give the whole structure a wash of thinned filler mixed with water and PVA glue.

One point of note - the second chimney is very susceptible to being broken off and so I 'pinned the whole chimney to the main building with cocktail sticks and dressmakers pins. I later added a bamboo skewer in to the top of the chimney - it is pushed down and in to the blue foam for about one third the length of the chimney. The small section that protrudes was used to fix the plastic chimney pot.


Flintloque - Large Farm House part six

These photos show the thatch on the wooden framed building finished. Once again it was 'White DAS' over white PVA glue and 'combed-out'. The photos give a good representation of the process and the finished result.

In more detail; The plain card sub-roof is first covered with a thin white PVA glue and water mix. I then apply the white 'DAS' in small thin sheets, about the size of a Oreo biscuit. Once the roof is covered, I use a modelling tool to smooth out the whole shape and even add 'sausages' of 'DAS' to the sides and lower portions of the thatch. Once I am satisfied with the shape (this is done by eye after studying actual thatch roof shapes on the internet or historical books) I 'comb' the 'DAS' with a modelling tool, using a dragging action at first and then a prodding action when I am detailing the roof. The over-hang (the exposed section at the bottom of the thatch) is prodded with a cocktail stick in a jabbing motion. I then leave it to dry (or cook in the oven).

Once the main shape is finished and completely dry I add the topping or apex, the bit that covers the top of the roof. The rough shape is modelled with a 'sausage' of 'DAS', pressed in to the existing thatch, then 'combed' with a modelling tool and later trimmed back to the up-turned shape you see. The small indentations are meant to represent the way that thatch is held down by weaved straw or thatch.

You can also see some of the continuing problems I have with deformation following my mistake with 'cooked DAS'.

I am pleased with the finished thatch effect, which should really become apparent once the building is painted.


Flintloque - Large Farm House part five

"There are many times when a modelling project goes awry. This is one of those." If you study the photos below you will see that I have modelled the thatch on the wooden framed house. This was done with 'White DAS' modelling clay applied over a thin base of white PVA glue and then 'combed' with a modelling tool. So far so good!

I was now getting impatient and because I wanted to model the rest of the roof, I placed the model in the oven, the family/house electric fan oven, something that I regularly do to dry-off the 'DAS' in preparation for more modelling. This time my attention was elsewhere and I am afraid that I either left it in for too long or on too high a setting and when I opened the oven door the smell of burning plastic (from the foam board) met my nostrils. If you study the pictures you will see a great deal of deformation of the structures - the chimney has tilted to one side, the main building shape has been 'blown out' like a balloon and the end wall of the wood framed building is now bowed! I do not think that there is a surviving 90' angle on the whole model.

I was very disappointed and tried to recover the project by forcing the shape back in to the model - the chimney broke off!

It will take some effort to bring this model tutorial back on track! But it at least shows anyone trying to copy the techniques used - DO NOT TO PLACE FOAM BOARD COVERED IN DAS IN THE OVEN!


Saturday 2 August 2008

The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers

I was recently discussing favourite fantasy books and authors. The book The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers is one of my all time favourite books and one of less than a dozen that I have re-read and enjoyed just as much.

The following review is by Audrey M. Clark

"Brian Duffy, an aging soldier, feels a bit down on his luck in Venice. Growing weary of the exertions of war, he agrees to take a job assignment as bouncer at the Zimmerman Inn in Austria, under the pay of the mysterious (and often absent) Aurelianus. As Duffy travels to Austria, he encounters numerous strange beings, straight out of old legends, and his dreams are haunted by a strange, yet familiar, sword and arm emerging from a shiny lake. Once Duffy reaches Austria, he discovers that his job -- to protect the famous Herzwesten brewery -- is more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. His legendary (more so than even he knows) fighting skills are called upon once more in a battle of such magnitude that its ramifications could destroy the entire Western kingdom. Yet Duffy's concerns are more selfish, as he struggles in a personal battle to simply save himself."

The backdrop of Venice during the Renaissance period is slightly askew when compared to 'classic fantasy' but the story develops well and keeps the reader enthralled. I thoroughly and wholeheartedly recommend it.


The first weekend of August

No finished miniatures this time, just an up-date as to progress so far this weekend. Work pressure in July was very bad and the short stints I have had modelling or painting have helped me to relax and un-wind.

I have completed a Workbench article for TMP, which I would hope would be up-loaded soon, once I have details I will post a link here.

On Saturday morning my long awaited order from the American company Lance & Laser Models Inc. arrived. They were very well packaged in a stout cardboard box, here is a photo;

For more information, please checkout;

My order consisted of - Baboons (x3), a Dragonewt Champion and a Walktapus. Each will be modelled and painted before adding to my Flash Gordon collection.


Friday 1 August 2008

Flash Gordon - Swamp Monster

The Swamp Troll from Privateer Press was converted, based and painted as a Swamp Monster for my Flash Gordon collection some time ago (while checking back I realised that I had not uploaded a photo or article). The miniature was bought from The Comix Shoppe in Swansea - check it out if you are visiting Swansea, the shop has a very good collection of comics, books and miniatures. (Please Note; the miniatures are displayed upstairs and this part of the store is not always open. They also have a very good discount box, so be prepared to spend time rummaging around for bargains.)

The conversion work was all based around the crest as the original miniatures has a row of spikes. The spikes are a separate casting and so, were just not added. I sculpted the 'wavy' crest from 'green stuff' and attached it with super glue. I painted the miniature a 'muddy - coffee colour' with various acrylic paints. (If you compare the original miniature with my converted piece, you should see that I have modelled the stone/rock at the monsters feet much bigger than the original, you should also see that the stance is more 'up-right' rather than lurching forward).

The miniature is over 60mm tall (head to toe) and mounted on a 40mm round base.


PS. Since starting this Blog I have added new modelling features (such as the Large Farm House build) as well as older modelling projects. I am now getting very close to having no older features to fill these pages and most of what you will see from now on will be current or on-going features.