Tuesday 30 August 2016

Recent Purchases

This month, I picked up these two books, Model Airplanes of WW1 was bought from a charity shop in Stratford-on-Avon for just £1.25 and The Display Your Model guide was purchased via e-bay for less than £3.00.

Model Airplanes of World War 1 by Graham Goodchild is my type of book, full of illustrations and step-by-step tutorials with loads of useful tips for producing scratch-built model aircraft, at just £1.25, a real bargain and a book that I expect to be sitting on my workbench for some time. I reminds me of the earlier Harry Woodman book - Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card, another one of my favourite 'How-To' books.

Highly recommended.

Published in 1987 by B T Batsford Ltd
ISBN; 0-7134-489-2

The Osprey Modelling Guide - Displaying Your Model by Richard Windrow was spotted on the Internet earlier this month, at just £2.78 I thought it might be of interest, particularly when producing terrain models. However, I found it a little too simplistic or all-encompassing and with little that was new to me. As a bargain book, I believe that I have had my moneys worth, but it never quite fulfilled my expectations and this was a disappointment as I have other Osprey Modelling Guides and books written by Richard Windrow that I regularly read and refer to.

A nice book, but overall a little disappointing.

Published in 2009 by Osprey Publishing 
ISBN; 978-1-84603-416-9


Sunday 28 August 2016

Trolka Thug - part four

The model has been both gloss varnished (for strength) and matt varnished (for the look or finish) before I added a couple of static grass tufts over superglue.

As stated earlier, I think I could have done a better job on the painting, but I can see Giles being used in various gaming roles. I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley!


Saturday 27 August 2016

Trolka Thug - part three

The Trolka Thug fully painted. I just need to varnish and add some decoration to the base. I would freely admit, not one of my best, but I did enjoy both converting and painting this single figure.

I think I'll call him Giles.


Thursday 25 August 2016

RAF Cosford

Earlier this week Sue and I took our guests to RAF Cosford. It's the second time this year that I have visited but it was so much more fun with young guests who were visiting for the first time.

I took these images of 'What-If' Aircraft.

On the day we were visiting, there was a gathering of Ford Capris, I estimate there were between 40 and 50 cars on display. The Ford Capri (and particularly the Mk I) was The Iconic sports car of my teenage years.

Finally, we have me at the controls of the Jet Provost, once again I had to duck to get into the cockpit!


Wednesday 24 August 2016

Trolka Thug - part two

The converted model was undercoated with both black and dark brown spray paints and the flesh areas built up from Snakebite Leather with Snakebite/Skull White highlights. The nose was given a very ruddy glow!

I choose a bottle green uniform with white facings.

The crumpled top hat was painted dark grey.


Tuesday 23 August 2016

The Marshmallow Catapult - Evolution

For the last three days Sue's brother has been up visiting with his Grandchildren. I set up a Marshmallow Catapult Challenge that quickly developed into a major arms race. Here are just some of the models we built.....

Details of how to build your own can be found on the Internet - here is one link.

This final model was so powerful that we were squelching mini marshmallow on the Artex ceiling!

Sue banned us from using it.

I hope you enjoyed it Joe, Summer and Raffi.


Friday 19 August 2016

Flintloque Trolka Thug

Taking a break from producing magazine articles and working on various model making commissions, I thought I would start work on this Flintloque Trolka model that was originally sculpted by Rob Alderman.

I believe it is a Trolka thug but am unable to find it in the Alternative Armies catalogue - any help would be appreciated.

As is the norm for my personal Flintloque figures, the basic sculpt has been modified with a larger top hat, turnbacks and various small detail.

I have mounted the large lump of lead on to a 2p coin and built up the groundwork with Milliput before adding additional texture with sand over uPVA glue.

I am still not certain what colour uniform I will choose, but promise to keep the Blog updated with developments.


Wednesday 17 August 2016

The Tower House

The images featured here show the initial steps in the construction of a scratch-built model house. I have shown them to illustrate how I approach building a model, but also to show how the model takes on a life of it's own and can grow or develop organically, sometimes over a very long period.

In the first image you see a very simple planning sketch. The illustration was based on but not slavishly copied from a Gary Chalk illustration I found on the Internet. It was to be a 'proof of concept' sketch but became the basis of this model.

Image Two - The cardboard core constructed from waste corrugated cardboard and glued together with my hot glue gun.

Image Three - I found the first model a little to small and have bulked-out the dimensions with more corrugated cardboard cladding as well as adding the window openings. The newspaper strips have been added over uPVA glue to reinforce the structure.

Image Four - The lower walls were covered in DAS modelling clay.

Image Five - The model sat for some time on the shelf, as I was both working on other projects and I was not sure how I was going to proceeded with the stonework - here was a model that I was not sure I wanted to continue with.

The stone blocks have been engraved with the tip of a scalpel and then enlarged with a large needle. The stone texture was added with a wire brush. The model went back on to the 'To-Do' shelf.....

Image Six - The recent warm weather meant that I was back to sitting outside the shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden rather than inside and I thought it was about time I decided to do something with this model.

In a major turn-around I have added Blue Foam discs to the side and rear and built a ruined stone tower, this meant major surgery on the card core and a complete re-think on the style and use of the model house. The timber cladding is cut from strips of scrap wood (the wood from a fruit and veg packing case picked up for free at a local farmers market) and the 'daub' areas again modelled from DAS over a layer of uPVA glue.

Image Seven - The stonework has been 'painted' with watered-down DAS (DAS, uPVA glue and water) to add some stone texture to the Blue Foam.

And the model (one that was started over six months ago) has now moved back to the main workbench to become something special, special but completely different to the original design sketch.

There is still a lot to do on this model, but I would hope that regular readers and followers will find this series of images of interest.

I am currently working on a long-term commission producing a whole range of Fantasy buildings and terrain pieces which will be part of a Kickstarter campaign. Hopefully I will be able to give further details very soon.

Maybe this Tower House will be part of this Kickstarter campaign!


Tuesday 16 August 2016

Birch Tree Seed Pods

It's that time of year again.....

Birch tree seed pods are now in season, so get out there and start collecting these miniature leaf shaped seeds. For full details see this earlier post.

In addition, earlier this month, I picked up this Fiskars Leaves cutter. Used for decorating hand made cards, this cutter offers you three alternative leaf shaped cut-outs. I bought mine up from a charity shop in Bromsgrove, Worcs.

Image Two - The Leaves cutter.

Image Three - The Maple Leaf shaped cut outs and a UK 20p coin shown for scale.

Image Four - The Oak Leaf shaped cut outs.

Image Five - The Birch Leaf shaped cut outs.


Saturday 13 August 2016


I have been a member of Pinterest for almost a year and now find myself using it almost as much as Google Image Search. For those not familiar with this group, Pinterest is a site where regular contributors host image boards or 'pin boards' of associated subject matter - for example Anglo Saxon Warriors or Early Roman Soldiers or Gaming Environs.

I first became aware of this great reference source when Pinterest sites came up while doing Google image searches. There was initially quite a bit of frustration as these sites are sometimes locked to non-members and so I joined. The programme is a little hit-and-miss but overall the subject matter that you search - for example Mausoleum (for when I was researching the model Mausoleum featured in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy) will identified and suggest similar Pinterest sites.

Now, one year on, I have found that my browsing history has settled and I find less random subject matter appearing.

In the past week I have found myself relying more and more on this site to search subject matter for current or future modelling projects. I would suggest that it is well worth bearing with and sampling.

I have so far resisted the urge to publish my own Pinterest board or page, however my Daughter and Daughter-in-Law both have themed boards, which they regularly update.

Try searching Pinterest and Milliput to see what I mean.....


Friday 12 August 2016

Milliput and Green Stuff

Over the past couple of months, I have found that I am now using a Milliput and Green Stuff mix, rather than one or the other. This was not a conscious decision, but rather a natural development as I am finding the subsequent mix much easier to sculpt with.

In my earlier post I detailed how to work with Green Stuff.

The Milliput Green Stuff mix I use is about 2/3 Milliput to 1/3 Green Stuff, although I have read that other modellers have gone for a 1/2 - 1/2 mix. The Milliput/Green Stuff mix is less 'sticky', sets to a smooth finish and is extremely hard. I have tried carving the set putty and this works, but I have not yet tried to sand it.

I am well aware that mixing these and other putties is nothing new, I have seen comments in the modelling press that date from 1996, stating that mixing these epoxies and experimenting with the mix is worth trying.

I have also been trying out some different lubrication products to smooth out the putty after reading another article that stated skin lotion was better than Vaseline - unfortunately the modeller did not supply a brand name.

I still like to use 100% Green Stuff when modelling smaller items like straps, buckles and buttons - remember to add these over a small spot of superglue.


Tuesday 9 August 2016

Mortar Set - revisited

Gavin at Alternative Armies (the home of Flintloque) has recently re-posted details of the AA Mortar Set and Gin that was featured on this Blog last month.

I actually think he's done a better job than my daily updates!

For full details see this post.

You can also see some of my earlier Flintloque inspired models here.

Thanks Gavin.


Friday 5 August 2016

More Wargame Terrain Book

There are just four copies left.

If you are interested in buying a copy, the price is £15.00 plus Postage and Packaging. For full details see this post.


Wednesday 3 August 2016

The Thief Taker

My latest e-bay purchase is this Commando Comic No. 3034 - The Thief Taker.

Regular readers and followers will know that I am always on the look out for Napoleonic themes Commando Comics as I find them great inspiration for gaming scenarios or themed short stories. The Commando Comic series has quite a few , see this post for more information.


Monday 1 August 2016

Gnome Snail Farm Barn

Here is one of the Panzerfauste resin buildings that I sculpted some time ago. It was originally called the Snail Breeding Barn, but is available to buy from Hysterical Games as the Gnome Snail Farm Barn, for full details of the range of figures and scenery please go to this link.

This particular resin cast was one of the very first 'test casts' and is therefore quite a chunk of solid resin, More recent casts are hollow and have a revised base.

The image above shows an Alternative Armies Rifle Orc shown for scale.

I choose to paint my model in natural stone colours with a blue slate roof. The whole range of themed buildings was commissioned for Panzerfauste but could be used in a wide range of different gaming settings and genres, check them out.

Hysterical Games is run by my very good friend Rob, who recently had the pleasure of visiting and seeing my Shed-at-the-Bottom-of-the-Garden, climbing over boxes of bits and clambering between half finished projects - I can report that he survived the experience.....