Sunday, 26 December 2021

Christmas 2021

Another Christmas under lockdown which has meant a low key Christmas day with just my daughter and her boyfriend attending the festive lunch. Hopefully things will get better soon.

Presents were also low key with a haul of model making linked gifts restricted to the above presents. Two packs of DAS (what would a Christmas in the Harwood's household be without at least one pack of DAS), although you might notice that as well as the usual DAS White, I have a pack of DAS Stone which I look forward to testing.

The Fantasy Figures magazine was from Sue who also bought me the Fluid Art Watercolour set. I couldn't resist testing out the vibrant inks and proceeded to wash some Demon skin with the two red inks - I think they look fantastic and I look forward to seeing how the other colours work.

The DAS White and the drawing pens were from Holly as she knows 'you can never have too many drawing pens!'

The main present was the box set of Golden Acrylic Paints - a paint that I have wanted to test for some time. The set was a joint pressie from Holly, Mal, Gary, Beckie and of course the two grandsons, so obviously my favourite present this year was the Golden paints - thank you everyone for the presents and great day.

Finally - The Port?

This year I opened a bottle of Porto Quevedo Colheita 2000 but was disappointed with the wine, thinking it a little watery and lacking in body. So I opened a second bottle - Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 2011 and this was fantastic a real treat over the Christmas period.

Stay safe.


Friday, 24 December 2021

Foul Mouth Freddy and The Great Pencil Fraud - Orcs in the Webbe day twenty-one

Day twenty-one of this years Orcs in the Webbe Advent features this short tale which tells the story of our 'potty-mouthed anti-hero Foul Mouth Freddy'. Foul Mouth Freddy and the Great Pencil Fraud, for full details, see this link.

The Orcs in the Webbe advent is a regular feature compiled by Craig and featuring articles, short stories and gaming resources for a number of different gaming systems, for more information of this years advent (and earlier advents) see this link.

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas. Stay safe.


Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part ten

The flocked board was sprayed with a custom mix of PVA glue, matt varnish, flow improver and water to 'seal' the flock and ground foam, then once fully dry I added odd clumps of dark green ground foam and different coloured static grass tufts applied over superglue. The skirmish board was then 'hoovered' to remove any loose scatter before these images were taken.

To recap, the homemade board is 32 inches x 32 inches and designed to be used with the new Osprey Games The Silver Bayonet. My plan was to have some impromptu games over the holiday period, but like many the recent news of a new Coronavirus variant has meant that plans for Christmas have been changed and cut back. Never-the-less, I will try to have at least one solo game to test out the new rules.

It might be a little early, but Merry Christmas and stay safe.


Monday, 20 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part nine

The board was 'flocked' with a mix of fine ground foam and dyed sawdust (the same mix that I use on my scratch built terrain). It was applied over PVA glue and sprinkled on in a random manner allowing areas of the original groundwork colour to show through in places.

When this was fully dry, I used my home-made static grass applicator (a battery operated fly killer with a metal sieve) to add areas of static grass, again applied over PVA glue.


Saturday, 18 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part eight

The table edges were painted black (three coats over a grey undercoat as I wanted a long lasting finish) and then the whole table was matt varnished in preparation for the flocking.

I'm less certain we will be able to have a game over the Christmas period, not because I think it won't be finished, more because I'm uncertain as to the Covid regulations and the possibility of meeting up.

Progress has been OK, but I was never in a rush to finish.


Thursday, 16 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part seven

Following on from the earlier post, I thought the light coloured drybrushing seen in the last post was to light so I used my airbrush and added diluted wash tones from Army Painter across the surface to add some colour to the board. The washes were used to 'tint' the drybrushed areas rather than cover them completely.

This process continued until I had a more 'earth' coloured base on which to start adding detail.

I then started to paint individual stones in a grey, highlighted white colour similar to the style I use when basing my minis. I'm not sure how much of this will be seen when I later 'flock' the board - but I know it's there.


Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part six

Painting of the Silver Bayonet skirmish board continued in the traditional manner with lighter drybrushing using a large paint brush. 

The second drybrush was a little lighter in both colour and technique picking out just the highest highlights and exaggerating the texture.


Monday, 13 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part five

At last some paint.....

I've used a Dulux Matchpot to lay down the first Snakebite Leather colour. This was painted on with a large, stiff brush and further highlighted by adding some subtle variation to the basic brown colour by adding some dark brown acrylic paint to the mix.

This second image shows the texture that was added to the surface ready for some drybrushing. If you 'click' on the image, you can see a larger picture.


Saturday, 11 December 2021

Small Stone Chapel - Miniature Wargames issue 465

Miniature Wargames issue 465 from January 2022 features this scratch built chapel designed and built for the Osprey Games game Burrows & Badgers.

The model was inspired by an illustration I found on the Internet and built from corrugated cardboard, foam and DAS modelling clay.

The model was built after my Survey in which I asked what type of models you would like - the answer stated that the majority of readers preferred a lift-off roof and so this model features a removable tiled roof and detailed interior.

For more information, see the latest issue of Miniature Wargames.

Some time ago I built this model forge with light up interior. The model is known as Finley's Forge (after my eldest grandson).

This latest model has been named by my youngest grandson and will forever be known as Charlie's Chapel.


Friday, 10 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part four

With the polystyrene glued in place and all gaps filled, I painted the whole board; foam and frame with some spare DULUX ENDURANCE paint and while the paint was still wet, I sprinkled on some sieved stones and fine sand.

Even with the stones and sand added, I felt that there could be even more texture, so I used some modelling compound (a paper mache style product from Geek Gaming) which I applied over PVA glue.

Prior to taking this photo, I sanded the surface with some coarse sandpaper to remove the more prominent imperfections and waited for the modelling compound to fully dry.


Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part three

The wooden frame has had a piece of well used and secondhand white polystyrene glued in place (the polystyrene was salvaged from a skip). I used No More Nails tube adhesive to glue the polystyrene in place and tool boxes and wooden boxes as weights to hold the foam while the glue dried. I then smoothed on some builders caulk to fill any gaps around the edges and any deep gouges in the foam.

Prior to taking this photo, I have roughly sanded the edges in my first attempt to smooth out the wooden frame, I would expect to return to this once I have done some more work on the gaming module.


Monday, 6 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - part two

Stage 2 - Woodwork

The image above shows the raw material; a piece of 9mm thick MDF Laminate and some scrap strip wood. the MDF has already been cut to 32 inches x 32 inches.

The 22mm thick strip wood was first cut then glued and screwed in place. I used a tenon saw and a square to ensure a tight fit and plenty of woodwork glue/PVA. The screws were countersunk from below and spaced every 4 inches to make sure that I countered the warping, with oval nails being used to secure the ends.

Most of the time was spent ensuring square cuts, so measure twice and cut (slowly) once. You can see the strip wood off-cuts on the floor below my workbench.


Sunday, 5 December 2021

Christmas 2021 Project - a Silver Bayonet Skirmish Table

Regular readers will know that I've been working on a number Silver Bayonet projects with November 2021 being almost entirely Silver Bayonet centred. Well December 2021 will be more of the same with a modelling project I've been wanting to do for sometime, possibly years.....

I'm going to build a Silver Bayonet themed skirmish gaming table/module using materials that I have been squirrelling away in my shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden and hopefully get it all completed in time for a SB game over the Christmas holiday break.

Stage 1 - Planning

The Silver Bayonet recommends using smaller gaming areas than I've been used to; 24 inches square up to 36 inches square. In fact the published scenarios both multi-player and solo adventures state gaming areas between 24 inches x 24 inches and 30 inches x 30 inches.

This week I was given a piece of MDF Laminate 33 inches x 48 inches and I've had it trimmed to a very respectable 32 inches x 32 inches by a friendly neighbour - this will act as the basis for my gaming board. In addition I already have some strip-wood that was being thrown away and free-of-charge due to being warped, but there are at least four sections 32 inches long that can be used. Finally the polystyrene..... and a local skip supplied me with three damaged, but usable pieces, just the right depth to fit in with my warped wood strips, so overall cost so far - just a couple of pounds donation!

I've been Googling tutorials on building wargaming boards and the general theme is to use strip wood to frame the MDF base and then in-fill with a block of foam before covering with some filler and paint, similarly YouTube tutorials state the same so the plan is to use the MDF laminate as the base, screw and glue the wooden strips to the edges and then glue a piece of polystyrene into the frame before texturing the surface and applying paint.

Expect regular although not daily updates with the aim of having a finished board in time for Christmas. As an aside, I recently picked up some packs of scatter material and ground foam that was being sold off at the Evesham Crafters Companion store (£1.00 and £1.50 a pack). So once again I've been lucky in picking up another bargain to use on this project.

Stay tuned and I'll be posting my first Christmas Project 2021 update on Monday or Tuesday next week.


Saturday, 4 December 2021

Models for Wargames book now in very short supply

A recent spate of orders has left me with very few copies to sell. This really is your last chance to purchase a copy.

Should you wish to order one of the very last copies - please see this link.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this and the earlier two self published books.


Thursday, 2 December 2021

Scratch Building Walls - Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy issue 117

Issue 117 of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy (Nov/Dec 2021) has an article written by me showing how I scratch built a series of rough stone walls for use on my wargame table. The article was requested as part of a series showing how to build and paint simple linear obstacles for the gaming table and will hopefully have more articles in the future showing similar projects.

The second image shows a Flintloque Rifle Orc alongside to give an idea of the size of these wall sections.

For more information see the latest issue of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy.


Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2021 - day one

Craig Andrews of Orcs in the Webbe has once again decided to produce an Advent. The Orcs in the Webbe Advent is a free resource giving a new short story, gaming scenario or piece of fan fiction each day between now and the 24th of December. For more information about the 2020 OITW Advent and background information, see this link.

Day one Foiling the Lincolnshire Red Terror, of the OITW 2021 advent calendar can be found here.

Happy Advent and thank you to Craig and everyone who takes part.


Flintloque/Silver Bayonet cross over - part eighteen

The Black Dog stand-in has now been matt varnished with small dots of gloss varnish on the mouth, eyes and nose then had the base decorated with static grass and tufts applied over a mix of PVA and superglue.

The final image shows the finished model alongside an Alternative Armies Rifle Orc to give an idea of scale. The Black Dog stands 30mm tall (to it's haunches) and is mounted on to a 50mm metal washer.

As with the earlier French (Ferach) unit this has been a fun project and I'm now looking at what my next Silver Bayonet project can be.


Monday, 29 November 2021

Flintloque/Silver Bayonet cross over - part seventeen

The Black Dog stand-in has now had teeth and eyes painted in. Not a great deal of work, but they do add menace to the supernatural creature.

The base and groundwork has been painted in my usual (home made) GW Snakebite Leather colour with odd stones picked out in grey, highlighted white.

And don't forget the Flintloque flintlock, which I think adds to the base. The mini and base have now been gloss varnished (for strength) and once dry, I will matt varnish and add some static grass.

I am well aware that November has been a little heavy on The Silver Bayonet and I make no apologies for that, but rather promise that there is more to come.


Sunday, 28 November 2021

Flintloque/Silver Bayonet cross over - part sixteen

The Black Dog stand-in was painted black (obviously). I used various acrylic paints to which I had added some black wash to ensure an all over base coat.

I then built up the fur in stages using a grey/blue base and highlighting with more blue and a touch of grey which was concentrated on the upper edges leaving the lower edges and belly in the original black.

I then washed the whole model with a mix of black and blue washes diluted with water. The final wash had some purple added just to define the fur. Black is very rarely just black.

I'm pleased with the subtle effect of blue/purple highlights over black and I now just need to paint the features - what little they are!


Saturday, 27 November 2021

Flintloque/Silver Bayonet cross over - part fifteen

The groundwork was textured with sieved stones and sand applied over PVA glue and I've refined some of the features on the Black Dog with small bits of Green Stuff applied over superglue to give the miniature a bit more character.

The model was then primed with a grey spray can primer in preparation for the painting.

I've been watching a number of different You Tube tutorials on how to paint black fur and look forward to starting the painting of this Silver Bayonet inspired model.


Friday, 26 November 2021

Flintloque/Silver Bayonet cross over - part fourteen

The base for the Black Dog was built up with standard Yellow/Grey Milliput with a flintlock from the Alternative Armies spares/gun pack.

I felt that the base model was a little scrawny and used a mix of Milliput and Green Stuff to bulk up his shoulders and haunches. I then used a scalpel to add the fur texture before leaving it to fully set.

I still think the model and sculpting needs refining, but I'll wait until the weather is a little warmer and I can get down the shed.