Wednesday 30 January 2019

Wargames, Terrain & Buildings - a further update

Wargames Terrain & Buildings - The Napoleonic Wars is with the printers and should be available in weeks. For more details see this post.

Book Two Wargames Terrain & Buildings - North Africa has also been completed and is awaiting formatting. I would expect more information soon.

I will update the Blog once I have firm dates.


Sunday 27 January 2019

More Board Games

This weekend we got around to playing some of the board games we had  missed out on over the Christmas period.

First we have Ex Libris which Sue and I bought for Holly as a Christmas present. This weekend was the first time we had opened the game and we were all surprised at just how addictive it is. Well worth checking out and nothing like we had expected.

Next we have 5 Minute Dungeon which Gary had brought back from his business trip to Seattle. We had four rounds of this inter-active board game and moved up through the levels. A great game and one that I can see us playing again - be aware that there are lots of levels and each one gets harder.

Where do I start. This simple format game really gets the grey matter going, it's more like a Mensa puzzle than a card game - maybe we need to play it more, however playing games one-after-the other just confuses you! We just need more practice an Hanabi the firework making card game.


Friday 25 January 2019

Charity Shop find

I picked up this model boat kit yesterday. I was still in it's sealed packaging and only cost me £2.99. I've no doubt that I'll find a use for all those bits.


Tuesday 22 January 2019

Four Cyprus Trees from 2012

Four Cyprus Trees
A simple Modelling Masterclass by Tony Harwood

This is another 'lost' tutorial that originally featured on Barking Irons On-Line from 2012 for details see this earlier post. I have reproduced it here as originally written.

My most recent Modelling Masterclass articles have concentrated on larger or more detailed pieces of terrain. I thought it would be helpful to have a more simplistic terrain building article – something that we all use in or gaming. This post shows how I turned some cheap, second-hand ‘toy’ trees into these pieces of Flintloque themed terrain. Four Cyprus Trees.

Some actual Cyprus trees - the illustration was found in a children's book.

The four ‘toy’ trees were bought at a Toy and Train Fair for just £1.50 (for all four). They are simple bottle-brush trees with plastic or maybe even rubber trunks and were in a very sorry state with most of the foliage flocking missing.

I removed the rubber trunks and clipped the twisted wire before inserting the trunks into small sections of balsawood dowel and securing with superglue. Once fully dry, I trimmed the trunks and then wrapped them with strips of ordinary masking tape.

While waiting for the glue to dry I cut three simple ovals of 3mm thick plastic card, chamfered the edges and smoothed out any rough edges with some sandpaper.

I added a small stone to each of the bases - taken from the garden. The stones serve two purposes; one to add some interest to the otherwise bare bases and secondly the stones add weight to the simple and light weight plastic bases.

The trunks were cut at different heights and even had some of the foliage removed with a sharp knife which once again added variety to the otherwise uniform trees. The base of the tree trunks were cut off and simply superglued to the plastic ovals.

The bases were further detailed with DAS modelling clay which I built up over some PVA glue. This helped to blend in both the tree trunks and the stones.

I further texture the bases by adding some sieved stones and sand.

The large stand of two trees was further detailed with some larger stones or gravel, once again glued down over PVA glue.

I further detailed the plain trunks with some Milliput and DAS sculpting.

As stated earlier the toy trees were in a very sorry state and had lost most of their scatter material. I sprayed each of the trees with spray fixative and after placing some fine scatter material into a plastic bag shook the bag with the tree inside (holding on to the plastic base). Once I was happy with the effect, I sprayed the trees with some more spray fixative and set them aside to dry.

Prior to painting I mixed up a simple water/washing-up liquid/glue mix and painted it over the bases. This helps to hold the sand and small stones in place prior to the rigours of dry-brushing.

Painting commenced with a basecoat of Snakebite Leather from GW. Which was highlighted with Snakebite Leather and Skull White drybrushing.

Next to be painted were the rocks and stones. I used a mix of Chaos Black and Skull White to which I added a little Snakebite Leather or Charred Brown. The added colour helps to relieve an otherwise stark grey stone colour.

The trunks were painted in a dirty grey/brown colour. I tend not to worry too much about the exact colour, but did try to blend it from dark at the top to an almost Snakebite Leather at the base of the roots.

A couple of washes of black and dark brown and sepia and the painting was finished. Well almost. Did you notice that I have picked out some features on the trunks with lighter browns and creams?

The painted bases were ‘flocked’ with standard railway modelling flock (dyed sawdust), static grass and some green shredded foam. I used a mixture of PVA glue and superglue to hold them in place.

The two single tree stands have been photographed against a plain  background which shows the painting and modelling to better effect.

Bombardier Bedford pointing out some interesting feature or other, here you see the larger two tree stand. The trees stand between 180mm and 220mm tall.

A close-up image showing the bases in greater detail.

I find that the slightly large tree terrain bases I use are more stable than usual smaller bases. In gaming terms I use the following rule;

If a figure is in base-to-base contact with the base of trees he (or she) is not in cover. If the same miniature is either partially or fully situated on the piece of terrain then he is in cover. The cover can be further defined as hard cover or soft cover.

The cost for all four trees was £1.50. The modelling and painting took place over a single weekend and I now have three small terrain pieces to add to my growing collection. I would be interested to hear comments.


Monday 21 January 2019

Headless Zombies another 'lost' article this time from 2011

Headless Zombies – (how I built and painted them)

By Tony Harwood

Halloween 2011 saw the publication on Barking Irons Online of a short story and gaming scenario written by me called Headless Zombies however Barking Irons Online has been closed-down and although some of the stories can be found on Orcs in the Webbe not everything has been moved-over.

For full details of all three parts go to this link, this link and this link.

The story was initially intended for the Tales from the White Liar short story series, but as the idea grew I decided that I would expand it to a longer story and three linked gaming scenarios for Flintloque/Deadloque.

I suggested that Craig edited the story and gaming scenarios and then publish them for Halloween 2011 on Orcs in the Webbe which he agreed to do. In addition I decided that I would model a couple of Headless Zombies – both for my own amusement and to illustrate the Halloween Special.

The operation was simple – just ‘Off with their Heads!’  Not quite.  I removed the heads from three Alternative Armies miniatures with a rasorsaw, then drilled out the necks with a Dremel and tidied up the collars with some Milliput.

I have mounted my headless zombies on to 2p coins and built up the bases with more Milliput.  The groundwork was further textured with sieved sand over PVA glue.

The initial three ‘test’ pieces soon increased to five and later eight. (I was on a roll). To include a Bog Orc, a Vampire and a Dwarf.

All eight have been modelled in exactly the same way, removing the existing heads, drilling out the necks and rebuilding the uniform collars.

In keeping with my existing Undead figures all of these miniatures were painted over a black undercoat, first spray painted with cheap (£1.00 a can) spray paint and later touched-up with standard acrylic black paint and a large brush.

To add some variety – I have not painted the figures in the same uniform colours, preferring to paint most in dark blue coats, some in green uniforms and one in a ragged brown overcoat.  In addition you should also be able to see that I have varied the skin colours and tones to show different states of decay.

I have used acrylic paints from a number of different manufacturers in my usual painting style – a base colour and two or three lighter highlights.

Finally the groundwork was painted and the figures varnished, first with Ronseal Gloss varnish and then with a couple of coats of Galleria Matt acrylic varnish before having the bases flocked.

For full details you really should read the background story and scenarios, after all who has ever heard of Headless Zombies!

"Don't loose your head".


Friday 18 January 2019

Published Magazine Articles

Last year I was asked to list the published articles I had authored. I gave a vague list (taken from the back of Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No 1 - Building Wargame Terrain). Earlier today, I was tidying up the attic and was surprised to find the following magazines, stored in a box labelled Published Articles. These are in addition to the three Dampfpanzerwagon Guides and the two books currently being published/edited by Pen & Sword. I also have all the e-magazine and Web based articles, maybe one day I will get around to listing ALL of them but for now, here is a start.


W, S & S Issue 76                                          
Breaking The Ice - Building USS Tigerfish
W, S & S Issue 77                                          
Up and Away - A French Balloon Lorry
W, S & S Issue 79                                          
Tilting at Windmills - Vendee Moulin
W, S & S Issue 81                                          
The Dragon Tank From James Bond Dr. No
W, S & S Issue 83                                          
Making MDF Look Real
W, S & S Issue 84                                          
Saxon Church, St Laurence, Bradford-on Avon
W, S & S Issue 85 Aug/Sep 2016                  
Decorative Mausoleum - Scratch-built Mausoleum
W, S & S Issue 86 Oct/Nov 2016                  
Napoleonic Redoubt - Scratch-built Redoubt
W, S & S Issue 87 Dec/Jan 2017                  
A Labour of Love - Terrain Article
W, S & S Issue 87 Dec/Jan 2017                  
The Dove House - Scratch- built Dovecot
W, S & S Issue 89 Apr/May 2017                
Godmanchester - A Scratch-built Roman Temple
W, S & S Issue 90 Jun/Jul 2017                   
Review - Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No 3
W, S & S Issue 91 Aug/Sep 2017                 
Resplendent Resin - A Modified Ornament
W, S & S Issue 95 Apr/Jun 2018                 
Newcomen Steam Engine - The Airfix Beam Engine
W, S & S Issue 98 Oct/Nov 2018                
Casey Jones - Scratch-built Steam Engine for ACW
W, S & S Issue 99 Dec/Jan 2019                  
Building Newgrange - A Neolithic Mound

Miniature Wargames 355  nov. 2012            
Building Rofenburg - Part one
Miniature Wargames 356 Dec. 2012            
Painting Rofenburg - Part two
Miniature Wargames 360 Apr. 2013            
Bish, Bash, Boche - A Boche Roundhouses
Miniature Wargames 361 May 2013            
A Saladin for Unit - Modifying a Saladin Armoured Car
Miniature Wargames 381 Jan. 2015             
Review - Blast-Tastic
Miniature Wargames 382 Feb. 2015            
Review - Dampfpanzerwagon Guides 1 and 2
Miniature Wargames 390 Oct. 2015            
The Mausoleum - For Frostgrave
Miniature Wargames 392 Dec. 2015            
Making Hay - Three Haystacks
Miniature Wargames 398 Jun. 2016             
Eindecker part three - The Focker EIII
Miniature Wargames 401 Sep. 2016            
More Making Hay - Covered Haystack


Thursday 17 January 2019

2019 update

New posts on the Blog have been a little slow of late, but this does not mean that I have not been busy. I have been updating the second Pen & Sword book which has needed some tweaks prior to going to the editor. In addition there have been a number of new commissions that dropped into my 'in-box' over Christmas and obviously these have been taking up a considerable amount of my hobby time.

I can confirm that there are a number of magazine articles in the pipeline and as these are confirmed and published, I will post details on the Blog.

I can also confirm that I will once again be exhibiting at The West Midlands Military Show, Alumwell in March, but the major change has been that I was made redundant in December and obviously I have had to move my focus slightly to finding another job.

I will try to keep posting old and lost articles on the Blog and hopefully I can even get around to painting some of my 'lead mountain'.


Monday 14 January 2019

A Christmas Carol at the RSC part two

Yesterday, Sue took Flo (my Mother-in-Law) to see A Christmas Carol at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Sue and I had seen a similar performance last year, for further information see this post.

For details of the performance, cast and times, see this link.


Sunday 13 January 2019

Models For Wargamers Book - another update

With all the recent talk on the Internet about the new Pen & Sword book Wargame Terrain & Buildings - The Napoleonic Wars being due soon. I though that this was an ideal time to remind readers that there are still copies of Models For Wargamers available and at the reduced price of just £12.50 plus postage.

For full details of how to order this limited edition book please see this link.

Thank you.


Thursday 10 January 2019

Apocalypse Miniatures Olde-World Resin now available on e-bay

I recently came across these resin buildings for sale on the Apocalypse Miniatures e-bay site. The masters for all of the main buildings were modelled by me and cast in resin by Hysterical Games for a Kickstarter Campaign back in 2016. For anyone interested in purchasing the models from Ryan, see this link.

I have one or two examples of raw resin in my own 'to-be-painted' stash and hopefully I'll get around to painting my own pieces soon.

This link gives more information of the Olde World Kickstarter.


Tuesday 8 January 2019

The Gingerbread House from 2012

The Gingerbread House
A most unusual Modelling Masterclass by Tony Harwood

This article was originally published on Barking Irons Online as part of a series of Flintloque inspired terrain pieces back in 2012. With the demise of BIO, this was another one of the 'lost' articles/tutorials and I have reproduced it here in full. The overwhelming response following a demonstration game at Salute 2012 in which the finished model had pride of place in the aptly titled Sharkes Gingerbread scenario led to this article being written in the first place.

This has got to be the strangest, the silliest terrain building article I have ever undertaken.  Possibly the quirkiest ever written, by anyone! And even those who are familiar with the nuances and comic humour of Flintloque may require a little explanation.

Every year Craig Andrews publishes a series of Flintloque themed articles as an Advent Calendar on the Web pages Orcs in the Webbe. In previous years I have written articles, short stories and gaming scenarios all of which can be found here

In 2011 on Tuesday the twentieth of December a story and gaming scenario called “And he has Raisins for Eyes!” Written by Matthew Hartley had a deep effect on me. Rather than try to explain the story here, I suggest that anyone who has not read this tale stop. Pick up a Digestive Biscuit and a warm Cup of Tea (Ginger Biscuits and Hot Cocoa are also allowed for – Uncle Rogipoos) and proceed to read the back story and gaming scenario which can be found here.

My immediate reaction after reading the short story was to look around for a suitable Gingerbread man model that I could use to play the gaming scenario (more on this later). My second idea was to look at producing a themed piece of terrain – hence The Gingerbread House.  Hours spent searching the internet for suitable images were fruitless, not even a crumb of inspiration, that I thought could use to build my model and it was left to my imagination to come up with a suitable plan.  However in the January Sales, while acting as chauffeur and bag-carrier for my Wife, my Daughter, my Mother and my Mother-in-Law I saw the perfect Gingerbread House for sale in TK Max, the UK discount store.  I took a number of images on my mobile phone, very conscious of some strange looks from fellow shoppers – “What on earth was a grown-man doing taking photos of Gingerbread Houses during the mad rush of the January sales?”

You will be glad to hear that I wasn’t carted away in a straight-jacket “Don’t worry – he’s a wargamer!” But allowed to proceed.  Back home I sketched up a small plan of the house and started to mull-over how I was going to model it.

Now for the cookery lesson; gingerbread houses are usually constructed from slabs of cooked gingerbread sponge and ‘glued’ together with icing.  The buildings details are iced or ‘piped’ on to the cake walls in a very naive style and should include; A - a Door, B – Windows and C – (a prerequisite for Gingerbread Houses) Snow on the roof!

I wanted to model my Dwarf Gingerbread House in the traditional style.


The core was built undersized from packing-case cardboard which was glued with a hot-glue gun.

I then built two sides, a front and a back wall from 10mm thick blue foam. The foam was textured by pressing a rough garden stones into the surface, rubbing with sandpaper and then brushing or scrubbing the surface with a small wire brush. I even ‘pin-pricked’ the surface with the point from a drawing compass to add texture.

The two roof sections were cut over-sized, detailed with ‘scalloped’ eaves (as featured on the original Gingerbread House from TK Maxx) and textured in a similar manner to the walls.

The construction preceded by gluing the pieces together with my hot-glue gun. First the two side walls were attached to the cardboard core.

Then the front and back panels were glued in place.

I then used a tube of NO MORE NAILS to replicate the icing. Piping it as if it was royal icing from a spare caulk applicator (think long piping nozzle) that I had in the shed.

The two roof sections were hot-glued on to the cardboard roof and once again gaps were filled with NO MORE NAILS.

At this stage I had no idea how the glue/icing would set and so left it for some hours for it to go off.  On returning to the model I found that the NO MORE NAILS had developed a skin and had set enough for me to proceed.

The detailed icing was done by transferring the NO MORE NAILS to a plastic bag and cutting a small hole in one corner.  I then iced the decoration as if I was decorating a cake! For full instructions – read a book of cake decorating.

The windows and door are small pieces of cardboard, cut to shape, glued to the surface with the hot-glue gun and ‘iced’ with NO MORE NAILS from the same plastic bag piping bag.

The next day I mounted the model on to a piece of 3mm thick plastic card and built up the groundwork with DAS modelling clay. Further ground texture was added by gluing sieved sand and small stones to the DAS with watered-down PVA glue.

For completeness the Gingerbread House is 80mm wide, 80mm deep and 90mm tall. About half the size or dimensions of the Gingerbread House cake that was used as the inspiration for this piece.


I started by undercoating the whole model with some watered-down craft paint. I used black and dark brown paint and added a little washing up liquid to the water to reduce the surface tension. Even so it took three coats to get an even base coat.

The first real colour to be applied was some Charred Brown from Vallejo which I applied with a large hogs-hair brush in a scrubbing action. I was not too worried with the coverage of this first application of colour as I knew that subsequent coats would hide any irregularities. Once dry, I washed the whole model with some GW Badab Black wash in an attempt to hide any blue foam showing through.

The main colour coats were Charred Brown, Bestial Brown and some Snakebite Leather which I built up in layers concentrating on the roof and tops of the walls, leaving the base or lower walls dark brown. Once again I used a cheap hogs-hair brush, starting with a scrubbing action and finishing off with a light drybrush.

I have seen Gingerbread cake which is very dark brown and others that are orange-ginger. I am attempting a compromise with a very dark brown base highlighted up to Snakebite Leather on the extreme highlights.

Prior to starting the detailed painting I gave the whole building a final light drybrush of lightened Snakebite Leather which was mixed with a touch of Skull White.

The next image shows the main painting finished. I have highlighted the white areas with pure Skull White from GW and the red areas with pure Bloody Red from Vallejo. By only highlighting once the icing appears more intense and even artificial however in my quest to paint the NO MORE NAILS as if it was piped icing, I think I have succeeded.

The groundwork was painted in my usual style – Snakebite Leather, lightened with Skull White and with some of the larger stones picked out with a Chaos Black and Skull White mix. At the same time I touched-up some of the pure white areas with a standard GW brush and Skull White.

I showed the painted Gingerbread House to my Wife who commented that apart from being a little too dark - it looked good enough to eat! While anyone who has used GW Washes will know it smells awful.

Once the base was fully dry, I flocked the edges with some dyed sawdust flock which was applied over dilute PVA glue.

The Gingerbread House finished and all ready for Matthew Hartley to write a themed scenario. I am pleased with the end result and although of limited use as a Flintloque terrain piece, I feel it captures the philosophy and ethos behind Flintloque better than any of my earlier Masterclasses. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I have enjoyed building the model. And thanks to both Gavin and Craig for allowing me this little bit of indulgence.

All we need now is for Alternative Armies to release a Very Limited Edition set of some Dwarf Patisserie Chefs and a Giant Gingerbread Men…………….

…………Oh, wait what have we here?