Wednesday 29 October 2008


The following models are in response to a feature on another Blog, see;

I thought that the idea was fantastic and decided I needed to model a couple of Aerofauna of my own for my Space 1889/Aeronef games. The first photo shows the Sky Floaters - passive bags of gas with a small body and long tendrils, although they look harmless and can be easily avoided, the Sky Floaters do pack a nasty punch and can easily disable a crew with their stinging tendrils. The stings, although very painful are not fatal. These creatures float on the wind in packs and are not known to be aggressive.

The second model, a Canal Crab Apple is a totally different animal, being very dangerous and a true predator. The tendrils and tentacles can kill a man with ease and the creature has a tendency to hunt its prey, sneaking up on any living being through detecting sound and movement. Once stung the injuries are nearly always fatal. Luckily these Canal Apples are very rare.

The remaining photos show work-in-progress shots, The Floaters being made from the plastic balls found in roll-on under-arm deodorant and florists wire with torn strips of green scouring pad.

The Crab Apple was made from a wooden air-freshener in the shape of an apple, with broom bristle tendrils and tentacles made from paper-covered wire

They have been great fun to build and paint. I would expect to build a couple more. To give an idea of scale, both designs are about 32mm round and the bases are 40mm round Games Workshop bases.


In greater detail;

The Crab Apple was based on an in-car wooden air freshener which was turned up-side-down, the top (which used to be the bottom) has some DAS modelling clay added to modify the shape and the stalk was drilled to accept the broom bristles which were first cut from the broom, bound with fuse wire and glued in the hole. The tentacles are more fuse wire, first covered with silver foil and then newspaper, the thick end has a small piece of the fuse wire still showing and attached in to the base via a pre-drilled hole. I added seven tentacles (although I modelled eight) - I wanted the model to be more alien! I coated the tentacles with white glue and some superglue. On the top of the Crab Apple I added five paper discs, punched from a self-adhesive label.

I then added small smooth stones (picked up on a beach in Spain some time ago and sieved) to the base with PVA glue and even a couple individually added with superglue, once set they were 'fixed' with watered-down PVA glue.

Once I was satisfied with the shape I painted the model with a mixture of acrylic paints and GW washes. The base is a piece of radio-controlled rod, attached to a GW 40mm round base to which a metal washer has been glued to the underneath, the groundwork is sand over PVA glue.

'Double click' on the photo above for a better photo.

Saturday 25 October 2008

Lord of the Rings in 36mm scale

These are examples of my 36mm Lord of the Rings miniatures, re-modelled, re-based and re-painted LOTR figures from the Collectible Miniature Game (CMG) manufactured by Sabertooth Games and which use the CombatHex game mechanic.

I have painted them in the GW style and mounted them on 40mm round bases, which have been textured with cork, DAS modelling clay and fine sand. It was my intention to re-paint a couple of forces and wargame with the GW LOTR rules. I might get around to it one day. I find that the slightly larger 36mm figures have so much more impact on the table.


Inquisitor scale Necton Immortal

This particular model is a 'scratch built' Necron Immortal built to Inquisitor Scale. The model stands over 175mm tall and is based on a 60mm round base. The miniature is built from plastic card, balsa wood, part of a broom handle, plastic rod and Milliput.

The inspiration is a 28mm Necron miniature from Games Workshop - the Warhammer 40K range - Necron Immortal.

It is painted with a acrylic silver paints from a wide variety of manufacturers and varnished with a satin varnish.


Friday 24 October 2008

Warhammer 40K Space Marines

Over the last couple of years I have based and painted a number of Games Workshop Space Marines as display pieces, rather than gaming pieces. Each of these miniatures is mounted on a plastic discs and then a small wooden plinths which I pick up from charity stores in the UK.

Each miniature is painted with acrylic paints from a selection of manufacturers over a black undercoat and mounted on to groundwork constructed from cork, small stones and plastic pieces from my spares box. The banners are scratchbuilt and hand painted.


Wednesday 22 October 2008

Make a Jetbike by November 30th part two

To give a clearer idea as to the image I am trying to create, here are a couple of early work-in-progress shots of my Flash Gordon Jetbike.

The model is 80mm long, 40mm wide and 55mm tall (to the top of Flash's head). In these photos the Flash miniature is not fully attached, but just held on with a couple of blobs of Bluetack.


Tuesday 21 October 2008

Make a Jetbike by November 30th

With all the part finished modelling projects currently on my workbench, it would be stupid to start a new one. Well here it is - a 40mm Flash Gordon rocket scooter or jetbike!

Over on the Rattrap Productions Forum 'the Speakeasy' there is a competition running - to produce a jetbike by November 30th.

The above cinema shot shows the inspiration for my particular scooter, Flash Gordon leading a troop of Voltan's Hawkmen against Ming the Merciless from the 'Queen' soundtrack Flash Gordon Film.

I have tried to copy the lines of the film version scooter, but in the end have settled on a Testors Salt Flats Racer model, which is in the process of being 'cut-and-shut' to produce a base on which to build the body of the scooter. The Flash figure is a modified 40mm Graven Images figure.

So far progress is painfully slow, but it still looks on-track for the finish date at the end of November. For more details go to;


Sunday 19 October 2008

Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume One

This week I received my copy of the new Forge World hardback book - Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume One.

I was first made aware of this book, by an article on The Miniatures Page (TMP), which recently featured the book. The article and write-up, plus a sample of the pages was enough for me to order it straight away.

My expectations were very high and I have to confirm that I have not been disappointed, this is a fantastic modelling book, just full of advanced modelling techniques and 'how to' articles and photos, Highly recommended, and this from a modeller that does not own one piece of Games Workshop 40K metal, plastic or resin armoured equipment!

Firstly, I feel I must compliment Games Workshop and Forge World on the very high standards of production of this book, from the beautiful, photos, the high quality paper and cover to the near- perfect presentation and text. Well Done, I look forward to more in the future.

The format is very similar to Masterclass books produced by Windrow & Greene and Histoire & Collections and follows a structure and layout that will be familiar to any reader of Finescale Modeller, with copious amounts of step-by-step photos accompanied by detailed and precise text.

Upon opening the book, we have the usual tools and equipment sections, but even this had a couple of surprises (even for me - a hardened modeller of over fourty years). The first modelling article - A Renegade or Chaos Medusa tank/Assault tank, was a fantastic read, and like many of the articles will be of great use to Military Modellers and terrain builders of any era or genre. This was one of those articles that you will want to read slowly, savouring each technique and wanting to re-read and study again-and-again.

Articles skip between detailed start-to-finish, detailing and painting articles, to beautiful photo essays of finished and in most cases award wining dioramas, even the end papers are full of highly detailed and beautifully drawn blue prints.

I am well aware that words like, beautiful, detailed, in-depth and inspirational will be repeated within any conversation or review I will give of this book, I hope that anyone thinking of purchasing this book will be inspired to go ahead after reading this review, and as stated earlier this is a book that will appeal to military modellers who have never picked up a Games Workshop model or would ordinarily never think that a Sci-Fi modelling guide would be of any use to them, believe me this is an inspirational advanced modelling book that would grace the bookshelf of any serious modeller. Well Done again.

For me the only question would be price - at nearly £30.00 (including P&P) this is an expensive book, but one that I think is worth every penny. This is not a book for the 'starter', more it is a masterclass of more advanced techniques and hints that will appeal to modellers who want to improve their skills and produce more realistic models.


Tuesday 14 October 2008

Flash Gordon - Princess Aura

I am very proud of this - the latest addition to my Flash Gordon collection of 40mm figures, Princess Aura.

This second photo shows the completed miniature alongside Flash Gordon (from the Graven Images 40mm Cliffhanger figure range).

The base miniature is from the SuperFigs range manufactured by West Winds (and now very hard to find). The miniature was picked up from the 'bargain bin' at Waylands Forge, Birmingham. Ref; SuperFigs SF - BR2 Brick 2 (Giantess).

The unaltered figure is very difficult to describe - being 28mm scale but standing well over 55mm tall with a standard or slightly larger upper body and very, very long legs. The conversion started by cutting the miniature in half at the waist (around the belly-button) and removing at least 2mm. Then another couple of cuts and 10mm was removed from the knee area on both of the legs. I added a metal pin to all three joints and built up the body with 'green stuff'.

Once I was satisfied with the proportions, I started to clothe the miniature with a mixture of Milliput and 'Green Stuff'. The dress design is one that is copied from an Alex Raymond Flash Gordon comic strip. Princess Aura begging for Flash's life in front of Ming.

The miniature was based with a piece of broken cork, small stones, DAS modelling clay and sand. Painting was built up from a black undercoat, with more subtle flesh tones than normal. "Well normal for me and my painting style!"

The miniature is 45mm tall and mounted on a 40mm round base. At long last and after many false starts I believe I now have my perfect heroine, Princess Aura, daughter of Ming the Merciless. I can also use her as a more attractive Dale Arden figure when needed.


Monday 13 October 2008

Flash Gordon - Fire Warrior

The latest addition to my Flash Gordon figure collection - The Fire Warrior of Kronos

Standing over 9 feet tall this giant flaming entity, was once thought to be a God by the inhabitants of the volcanic Kronos. We now know it can be defeated by water and cold based weapons, which instead of killing the creature can shrink it down to a tiny spark!

The miniature is a ZZAX figure from WizKids, the Marvel series (ZZAX 126 #25) and was picked up at Waylands Forge, Birmingham for a couple of pounds earlier this year. I would like to tell you that I have completely re-painted it, adding washes and highlights to achieve the finish you now see. The truth is that I cut it from the HeroClix base and glued it on to a painted 50mm round base with nothing more than a touch of paint to the eyes and mouth!

The miniature is cast in orange-tinted clear resin and stands 60mm tall, it is mounted on a 50mm round base - one of the simplest Flash Gordon conversions I have even done.


Friday 10 October 2008

Foundry Miniatures Compendium

When I first read that Foundry were to produce this compendium I was really looking forward to obtaining a copy. Within a day of reading about the release on TMP and The Lead Adventure, I had ordered a copy.

The book arrived just a couple of days later and after work I eagerly opened the package settled down on the sofa and quickly glanced through the pages. I was not impressed, the construction articles promised in the preview were far to few for my liking and I can remember passing comment to my wife and daughter that there was little of interest to me.

Since then I have read most of the articles and feel that my initial impression was a little harsh, in fact I would now reconsider the book to be good, not great and still below my (very high) expectations but a good read.

I must now justify the comments I have made. The initial previews led me to believe that there would be more constructional articles, more Gary Chalk articles. In fact there are two, both of which I already have as they were initially printed in Wargames Illustrated and I have them filed in a clear-pocket scrapbook. The previews also suggested a 'rounded selection of Foundry articles or features', they are there but of such a varied selection that I would suggest the book reads more like a large magazine. I do not think that the reviews were misleading, just that I had hoped there would have been more.

I have, as stated above now read all but a very few of the articles from start to finish and must admit that I have enjoyed them and found them informative and easy to read. I still think that Foundry could do better and a compendium of Roman, or Inca, or Gladiator articles in a single book might be a better way forward, rather than this miss-mash of different magazine pieces, brought together with little or no cohesion.

I still look forward to a compilation of constructional articles, which I feel would be a good project and sell well. In conclusion, I would say a good read, but could have been so much better. Plus the £15.00 price ticket (no P&P was charged on this order) could be seen as just a little 'over-the-top'.

I hope that this review helps others who are looking to purchase the book decide if it is right for them, maybe the best piece of advice is to check it out at a show, before buying.


Thursday 9 October 2008

HMS Dauntless 1/180th scale

Anyone familiar with this Blog will know of my scratch built 1/300th scale Space 1889/Aeronef models and the 1/600th scale Luther Arkwright Aeronefs. This particular model was an experiment to test a third Aeronef scale - 1/180th or 10mm.

I choose one of my favourite British Airships - HMS Dauntless (not the prettiest - but to me it just sums up the whole VSF Space 1889 ethos) as the first model and built it from plans found on the Internet.

The first photo shows the 'naked' model built from white plastic card, a pen barrel, a cocktail stick and scrap plastic. The second photos shows the completed model alongside the 1/300th scale HMS Dauntless (see the Space 1889/Aeronef section). The third and fourth photos show the completed and painted model (still to have a name plaque added).

There is no doubt that the slightly larger scale allows additional detail and was great fun to build, however the extra work and rather 'flimsy' detail, makes this more of a model than a gaming piece.

The model is 175mm long, 50mm wide and 70mm tall, from the bottom of the compass house to the top of the mast.

I like the finished model and am currently using it as a desk ornament, but I feel much more comfortable with the 1/300th (or 6mm) scale models and I would not envisage building any more. Well maybe just one Martian Hullcutter!


PS. I forgot to add the cotton wool smoke!

Sunday 5 October 2008

The Rock Kings Throne Room

The following series of photos show my skirmish terrain board - The Rock Kings Throne Room, that was completed earlier this year. Photos and comments have appeared on a number of sites, but so far not here!

The first photo shows the finished board, populated by some of my 40mm Flash Gordon miniatures, while the remaining photos show a simple chronological 'how I built it and how I painted it'. I have a great deal more photos of work-in-progress, but these give a pretty good impression of how it was built.

For anyone wanting better pictures - just double click the photo you want and the image should be 'super sized'.

For reference the board is 2 foot x 2 foot and about 18 inches tall.

It's been great fun to build and given me the opportunity to try-out new techniques, I would say that I am looking forward to my next project - but I've already started and finished it.

Comic inspiration

Over the last couple of years I have been searching-out old sci-fi comics and books, particularly 'retro sci-fi' and illustrated comic books.

Here are just a couple of appetisers;

Adam Strange - an earth man who regularly travels the 25 trillion miles between Earth and the planet Rann, via the Zeta-Beam.

Captain Comet and the Synthetic Men, man-made, indestructible creations that threaten the survival of humanity.

Tommy Tomorrow - a time travelling hero from 2060 who visits 1960 America and is arrested by the police.

In Trackless Space, a real 'boys own story of adventure', very un-PC, but great inspiration for either a Victorian Science Fiction (VSF) adventure or a Retro sci-fi romp.

I hope these can inspire some new adventure scenarios.


Saturday 4 October 2008

Flintloque - Artillery

This most recent batch of photos show some of my Flintloque artillery pieces and how they have been built or modified, plus how I have based them.

A Ferach field gun (slightly modified Flintloque miniature) with scratch built faggots, broom bristles tied with wire.

A resin casting from Grendel, highly modified, engraved and cleaned-up, with a modified Flintloque crew.

Scratch built gun carriage with Flintloque barrel - the cannon balls are the heads of round headed pins.

A completely scratch built mortar, using plastic pieces from my 'bits box. The terrain pieces came from AA and the cannon balls were mapping pins.

Finally a large resin mortar with scratch built field works and pieces from AA. The sand bags are DAS modelling clay.