Friday 29 May 2009

The Dwarf Sauerkraut Wars - the regiments part ten

Regiment ten - The Krautian Guard

Allegiance - Krautian

One of the most characterful group of figures ever to come from Alternative Armies. A review in Orcs in the Hills, issue 9, page 55 - Krautian Guard (52502) 'Ten short and hairy weapon-wielding guys. As soon as you take a look at each dwarf you can see that every individual has his own personality, all sporting pickelhaubs and the greatest collection of mutton chop whiskers ever assembled, aiming their blunderbusses menacingly and fairly bristling with aggression. Under no circumstances would you want to mess with these guys! The standard bearer is hoisting a flag that is topped with a lovely detail - a foaming beer tankard, obviously a potent symbol in dwarf culture.'

This group of eight miniatures has a commanding officer from the Dwarf Landwehr set (52504), which I have always felt works better with this group than the capped officer with the eye patch.


Sunday 24 May 2009

Flintloque - Small Stone Warehouse finished

These photos show the finished warehouse model, the project has taken less than a week from start to finish and cost me nothing - I have used scrap Blue Foam and MDF that was already stored in my 'spares box'.

Photo One - The finished Warehouse, based, varnished and with ground-cover added.

Photo Two - As above, the green foliage is ground-up foam, mixed with PVA glue and spread-on with a piece of scrap wood. Once dry the heaped foam is very strong.

Photos Three and Four - Show the finished model with a Flintloque Ogre (56009) and a Connartist Command Figure (54034) alongside and shown for scale.

I am pleased with the model, but as stated earlier, a cream coloured stone might have looked better than the grey stone. The model is 80mm wide, 90mm deep and 115mm tall.

Total modelling time; 6 - 7 hours.


Saturday 23 May 2009

Flintloque - Small Stone Warehouse part five

These photos, show the progress made over the last 24 hours,

Photo One - the groundwork painted GW Spearshaft Brown and some dirty Black/Brown washes over the stonework.

Photo Two - A couple more washes, to add colour to the bland grey walls and roof as well as the groundwork, drybrushed and washed. The door and window shutter was first painted Cream, washed with Black and later drybrushed Grey. The rust coloured studs, are Red/Orange over Black.

Photo Three - With the exception of the two barrels, the painting is finished. I am pleased with the model and the finish, but wonder if a cream coloured stone might not have been better than the grey.


Friday 22 May 2009

New 40mm Miniatures from Spartan Games

I have just seen on TMP notification that Spartan Games are to release a range of 40mm miniatures from Greek Mythology, see;

I can see these being used in my 40mm Flash Gordon collection!


Flintloque - Small Stone Warehouse part four

Photo One - This morning I undercoated the whole model with a mixture of Acrylic White paint, PVA glue and some very fine sand. I used a stiff, cheap paint brush, to prod the paint and glue into the stonework.

Photo Two - This evening, I painted the whole model Pale Grey - a cheap 99p bottle, acrylic paint, bought from an arts and craft shop.

Photo Three - A quick 'wash' of distilled water, black wash and flow improver, brought out the detail.

Photo Four - A couple of dry brushes later and the detail (particularly the stone roof) just 'popped out'.

Photo Five - The basic painting took less than two hours and I think the technique has worked. I now look forward to the detail painting over this Bank Holiday Weekend.


Thursday 21 May 2009

Flintloque - Small Stone Warehouse part three

This evening, I was able to get another half an hour of work completed on the warehouse, the door has had more detail added and the base has been partially covered with sand and grit.

Just before I finished - I was able to give the wood-chip roof another coat of diluted PVA glue. Once fully dry/set I should be able to start painting.


New-Look Wargames Illustrated

There has been much written about the new owners of Wargames Illustrated and how WI will become a White Dwarf style advertising catalogue for Flames of War. I saw a comment on TMP earlier this week about how the articles were so well written and the illustrations taken from Osprey guides, this directly led to me searching out a copy at WH Smiths, handing over £4.00 and picking up the new-look Wargames Illustrated (and free plastic Riflemen from the Perry's).

My first impression is that the standard of production and presentation is so much better, now looking and feeling like a prestige and very up-market publication - well done.

I am yet to fully read all of the articles, but delving in to just a few is enough to wet my appetite. The Sturmtiger Diorama by Matt Parkes had me questioning the authenticity of the comments, the detail is so good, that I just couldn't believe it was 15mm scale! I would have thought at least 28mm and maybe larger. Again - well done.

I have NOT found a huge number of FOW adverts, quite the contrary, with a very wide selection of different manufacturers and beautifully painted miniatures to tempt me (and I believe others) to buy.

In summary, there is very little to criticise, I would suggest that it is going to be very hard to maintain this standard but I also look forward to reading more issues.

Do I think I will buy more editions? - YES.

Every one? - NO, I do not think so, but the last WI magazine I purchased was well over a year ago, this new look has tempted me to buy again.


Wednesday 20 May 2009

Flintloque - Small Stone Warehouse part two

Part Two has come around much quicker than I had expected. Both my Wife and Daughter are 'under the weather' and just want to be left alone! I am afraid I have been relegated to the shed at the bottom of the garden, modelling and listening to the radio. "Oh, well we all have to make sacrifices!"

Photo One - As last nights posts, but with some of the individual stones pressed in with a small section of Balsawood and the window and door areas filled with DAS.

Photo Two - Following the Baueda prototype (see earlier post), the roof is made up from slabs of stones. I had planned on modelling the stones from DAS, but in the end, I sliced some dried bark in to small slabs and added them to the roof with PVA/white glue, pinning each piece with a dressmakers pin.

Once modelled, I used DAS to fill the major holes and coated the whole roof with diluted PVA glue. I think the success (or failure) of this technique will be seen when the model is painted.

Photo Three - Mounting the warehouse model on to a kidney-shaped base and building the ground-work up with even more DAS. The three paving slabs are thin sections of Blue Foam and the barrels are resin castings (manufacturer unknown).

You can also see that the door and window have been filled in with strips of roughly cut Balsawood, detailed with some sliced plastic rod.

Photo Four - There is still a great deal of detailing work to do, but so far another one and a half, to two hours of work and the main building is complete.

Once again, I'll keep the WIP diary going, but cannot predict when more work will be done.


Tuesday 19 May 2009

Flintloque - Small Stone Warehouse

This morning there was a posting on The Miniatures Page (TMP) showing a new 15mm resin building by Baueda - a Stone Warehouse, (15SWH) part of the Urbis range, see;

This evening, I was at a loss as to what to model or paint and while the idea was fresh in my head, I sketched some simple dimensions on to a scrap piece of Blue Foam.

Photo One - The building marked out with black felt-tip pen.

Photo Two - Once the pieces were cut out, I glued them together with PVA/white glue and strengthened the joins with steel dressmakers pins. I then smoothed the joints with a quick rub-over of coarse sandpaper. The door and (one) window are just 'hacked-out' with a 'snap-off' bladed knife.

Photo Three - Using a new blade in my Swan Morton scalpel, I started to carve the stone courses, cutting small 'V' shape groves in to the foam and later deepening them with a sharp pencil. The stonework is all carved by eye, no straight edges or pencil marks.

When I was happy with the stone courses, I pressed the jagged edges of a broken roof tile in to the Blue Foam to enhance the natural stone texture I was after

Photo Four - Additional detail was added by smoothing DAS modelling clay over a coat of PVA/white glue and sculpting with a standard clay-sculpting tool.

Photo Five - At this stage, the building is still quite rough and now that I've checked the Baueda model, much to uniform. Construction time so far - about one and a half hours. In fact the glue has still to set properly - it is only the steel pins that allows me to work so fast!

This is one of those unplanned modelling projects that I enjoy so much, quick, very little planning and so easy. I'll keep a WIP diary, but am not promising that I will do part two as quickly.

The warehouse is 80mm wide, 90mm deep and 100mm tall. The Blue Foam is 25mm thick.


Monday 18 May 2009

The Ultimate Modeling Guide from CULTTVMAN

A recent advert in Finescale Modeller gave details of a book from CULTTVMAN called CultTVman's Ultimate Modelling Guide to Classic Sci-Fi Movies by Steve Iverson and Anthony Taylor.

The card-backed book does exactly what the book cover says - it guides you through the construction and painting of some of the iconic space-craft, vessels and characters of the classic Sci-Fi film generation.

To give an idea of what to expect, the first article in this 152 page book details the construction, modification and painting of the 'Bullet' space rocket from the 1902 film by George Melies called Le Voyage dans la Lune (A trip to the moon). This is based on the resin model by Herb Deek's, (check out the Flash Gordon space-rockets from the same manufacturer) but with a modified hull and a scenic base - reminiscent of the original black and white film.

Other articles (there 18 separate articles), including; Flash Gordon, Planet of the Apes, 2001 - A Space Odyssey, War of the Worlds, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea etc. Check out the cover photo below.

When I saw the cost, my first thought was that this was an expensive package, however the book was on sale and with P&P to the UK cost me $24.00. Upon delivery, my first impression was not good, a quick flick through and I was wondering if the sale price and OK shipping charges were still too high. However, once I started reading the very detailed construction notes I was smitten. This is a fantastic book for anyone interested in Sci-Fi modelling (or Sci-Fi model history) and now, as I near the end of the book, some article have already been re-read and re-read again, I feel this is a book that I can fully recommend.

The full details are;
CultTVman's Ultimate Modeling Guide to Classic Sci-Fi Movies by Steve Iverson and Anthony Taylor, published by CultTVman Media and first published in June, 2002. The ISBN No. is ISBN 0-9701455-1-9

For more details check out;

Taken from the book cover; For model builders with imagination! CultTVman presents Rockships and Robots, Spaceships and Submarines from the furthest reaches of space, the depth of the ocean, the inside of the human body, and even the distant future. This book will show you how to build, paint and detail those fantastic models from 100 years of classic science fiction movies like Flash Gordon, War of the Worlds, Forbidden Planet and 2001: A space Odyssey. But that is not all! This book has something for everyone. There are models from The Time Machine, Fantastic Voyage, Planet of the Apes and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


Sunday 17 May 2009

Flash Gordon - an update

The last month, six weeks have been very busy, on the modelling front - printed magazine and Web-based articles, sculpting and continuing with some on-going projects. I am expecting a number of modelling articles to be featured on TMP, in the Alternative Armies Compendium and within the Rattrap Productions new magazine. In addition I have 'popped my toe in the water' and started sculpting some miniatures for production - more to follow.

Putting all that aside, here are a couple of 'work-in-progress' shots of some Flash Gordon miniatures I am currently working on.

Photos One, Two and Three
Dracci miniatures from Alternative Armies, code RM 095, 096, 097. I intend painting them up as Dractyls for Flash to battle. The Dractyls of the Flash Gordon/Fantasy Channel TV serial, were a bit of a loss, these winged Lizardmen, standing over 45mm tall tend to suit the name better! The miniatures are based on 40mm round bases.

Photo Four
Another Earth Elemental, re-modelled as a Mudman, see earlier posts. The Right arm is from another model, grafted with 'green stuff' and Milliput.


Friday 15 May 2009

Toolbox - the sanding tools

Welcome to part two, this time the sanding tools.

The first photo shows some of my well-worn Sanding Sticks, pieces of scrap wood with Aluminium Oxide sandpaper stuck to one (or both) sides to produce 'sandpaper files'. I first become aware of these when I was at school - my Technical Drawing teacher used to use simple versions to keep sharp points on the pencils. Later I was reading and article in Finescale Modeller about a modeller who carved airplanes from wood and used sanding sticks that were in fact old wooden rulers with different grades of sandpaper attached with double sided sellotape!

The Aluminium Oxide paper is from Wilko's, and sold in packs of different grades for a couple of pounds. One pack should last years. The smallest one is not wood but sandpaper stuck to an eraser, perfect for small and curved parts, that's the great thing about these tools, if you have a specific modelling problem, you can custom build a sanding stick to match!

One other option is to use a layering construction technique; Wood - Double-Sided Sellotape - Polystyrene (from frozen Pizza packaging) - Double-Sided Sellotape - Sandpaper, this gives a sanding stick that has the slight 'give' of the manicuring boards.

I would recommend these simple and inexpensive tools to all modellers. The largest is 200mm long, 40mm wide and 15mm thick. The one at the bottom of the picture has a very rough grade.

Photo two, shows some of the very wide selection of Nail Files or Emery Boards I use, which you can buy from chemists, take a whole variety and see which best suits you. My favourite are from Poundland, three for one pound and on the back they have small plastic, half beads, which can be used for making turrets or look-out domes.

The bright pink one is a standard no-nonsense plain emery board, while the Flexifile (still in its packaging) is purposely designed for plastic modellers.

Finally we have the Sanding Boards, two examples of sandpaper/Aluminium Oxide paper attached with double-sided sellotape to plate glass chopping boards. MAKE SURE THE GLASS IS TOUGHENED, chopping boards or small glass shelves can be found in cheap Pound stores in the UK and will last a lifetime. The top board has 3M's Aluminium Oxide paper (medium) attached.

This one has three different grades of paper (from Wilko's), rough, medium and smooth. The scalpel gives an idea of size.

There you have it - my main sanding tools.


Halflings Hobbits

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Toolbox - the cutting tools

I was recently asked about the tools I use and how I work with plastic to create my Aeronef models. After replying to the enquiry, I thought that a simple commentary on the tools I have and where and when I use them might help modellers/gamers to reproduce their own models.

I've started with the cutting tools. Like most modellers I have a wide range of knives, but these three would cover 99% of all of my needs, with some more specialised items being kept in the toolchest for odd jobs. They are; An OLFA 9mm snap-off blade knife, an OLFA 18mm snap-off blade knife and a Swan-Morton scalpel with a N0.11 blade.

My favorite knife is the OLFA 18mm version, however if I had to choose just one, I think it would have to be the Swan Morton Scalpel.

The next photo shows my main modelling saw. I think it is called a Jewellers Saw, but I have had it so long, that I am now not sure. I regularly swap blades, the one fitted in this photo is a tile-cutting blade, which has an all-round cutting edge, great for taking the heads of metal wargaming figures. Other blades have a variety of teeth per inch, depending on the cut needed.

One point about how I use this saw; the screws for holding the saw blade were on the other side of the blade when it was new, I reversed the screw and the plate to make sawing right-handed easier.

This final photo shows my Modelling Saws or Razor Saws, the difference between the blades in the amount of teeth per inch, the more teeth - the finer the cut, however, too fine and the teeth can become blocked with plastic. My advice - buy the best blades you can afford, as they will serve you better.

I hope that this is of interest, pretty basic at the moment, but I intend adding to this section over time. You should also be able to see just how old and well-worn these tools are! Any questions relating to these tools or modelling - well, you know where I am.


Monday 11 May 2009

The Dwarf Sauerkraut Wars - the regiments part nine

Regiment nine - 3rd Nassla - Houndsormstadt

Allegiance - Finklestein

Many of the smaller states of the Confederation of Finklestein had considerable difficulty in raising standing armies, equipping them and arming them. One answer was to forge close links with allied States or Duchies and even raise combined regiments of Dwarves and Ogres, or Dwarves and Dog Soldiers. One such regiment was the 3rd Nassla - Houndsormstadt Line which combined a roughly equal mix of regular Dog Soldiers and Dwarves.

The unit fought with some success on both the Witchlands campaign and the Sauerkraut Civil War, however doubts were continually raised as to the loyalty of this particular regiment and the Ferach hierarchy were always finding reasons why this company should be found picket duty or based behind the mainlines guarding the supply wagons!

The miniatures are a group of converted Dwarves and Dog Soldiers from various blister and box sets, with helmets taken from Ferach Grenadiers of the Gardes (51016). The uniforms were painted green with yellow facings.

The Windmill model in the background is a scratch-built model which should appear as a construction/terrain tutorial in the next Flintloque Compendium/60 Bloody Rounds.

(More details can be found in the article; Ich Hatt'einen Kamaraden, Flintloque Miniature Catalogue.)

Monday 4 May 2009

The Dwarf Sauerkraut Wars - the regiments part eight

Regiment eight - The Battenburger Palace Guard

Allegiance - Krautian

With their love of fine living and particularly cake, the royal house of Battenburg had many enemies amongst the common Dwarves, after one rather unsavory incident when sour dough was thrown at the state coach, a guard regiment of loyal (and very well paid) Dwarves was raised. Later this regiment was renamed the Battenburg Palace Guard, and although the ceremonial duties, what few remain are now carried out by the junior member or support troops. The regiment, its fine history and background live on.

Amongst Dwarven Regiments, The 'Sponge-cake Guard' have indeed been the butt of many jokes, however their performance in the border wars and in particular their stalwart actions against the Ferach has won them great admiration and respect.

This group of ten Guards is made up of a mixture of dwarf miniatures from a number of different Flintloque blister packs with small conversions and detail added from 'green stuff'. The uniform colours of bottle green jackets, red facings and grey trousers is similar to Jager or Elite uniforms of the Confederation Army, however this regiment, in the main is armed with the standard mkII Dwarf musket and is classed as Average.

The battle cry is; Have a piece of (cake) this!


Sunday 3 May 2009

Aeronef - a new project part three

Following the last post, I have been thinking about using hexagonal bases for this Cross & Crescent Aeronef project. The construction and painting of the first Ottoman Nef and other models led me to build a couple of hexagonal bases from bits I had in my 'spares' box.

First we have the two new bases, which are 40mm across the flat sides.

This photo shows the clear plastic Games Workshop bases, which in my opinion were too small (unstable for such large models) and not tall enough.

Finally, here are the parts used. A 40mm Lord of the Rings CMG figure, a metal washer and a clear plastic cocktail stirrer.

The figure was removed from the hexagonal base (I have a separate project, re-painting these soft plastic figures and mounting them on to GW 40mm round bases, see earlier posts). The metal washer was super glued to the base and a hole drilled through the base to take a section of the clear plastic rod, which was cut from the cocktail stirrer. When the glue had set, DAS modelling clay was built up over the washer and sand was glued to the base. Once the painting and varnishing was complete, ground foam was glued to the base in a haphazard pattern.

My plan is to produce coloured name plates, which will be glued to plastic card and stuck to the bases, but this will have to wait until I am sure this is the style of base that I want.


I think the scratch-built, textured bases look much better than the GW clear plastic flying bases and I have now constructed an additional five, and mounted all of the Lepanto Aeronefs on to the newer style bases. In addition the larger bases are a whole lot more stable.

Saturday 2 May 2009

Aeronef - a new project part two

The Knights of St John fleet is finished (see earlier post), I have a group of Papal States Aeronefs built, but not yet painted but I thought it was time I built and painted one of the Ottoman Nefs, to test the style and colour scheme.

I wanted the Ottoman Nefs to appear completely different in style to the Knights of St John, more 'Dig like', more 'old fashioned' and with modelled features that would make them instantly recognisable. The answer was bullet-like bodies, big tails and large, flat turrets.

These three photos give an idea of what I was looking for. The style and colour scheme is very different from the Holy League ships - plainer, with less gun turrets and a simpler structure.

Construction was based around a thick 'bubble' pen and a section of NASA space rocket. The main turrets are much larger than anything I had previously modelled and are made from pen barrels filled with a section of pencil and filler - then sanded smooth.

The colour scheme is much less bright, but the dark grey 'Mickey Mouse' camouflage around the superstructure adds some variety (I may keep this idea for future Nefs) while the Green Ottoman Naval Ensign was culled from the Internet and hand painted.

More to come.......