Friday 29 January 2021

Models For Wargamers - is still available for you to purchase

Since January 1st, I've had two orders for copies of Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models for Wargamers, the first went to Scotland and the second to Australia. I thought it was therefore worth mentioning that there are still copies available - admitedly not many, but you can still order a copy by following the instruction via this link.

I should also mention that I am working on the Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 4 and should have details very soon.

Thank you for the support for ALL of my self published guides - it is very much apreciated.


Wednesday 27 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part eleven

Todays update shows the knapsacks and water bottles painted. The knapsacks were built-up over a light cream base then highlighted with white while the waterbottles were painted blue with a small highlight of lighter blue in one corner.

There is still a bit to do on thee Orcs, but as stated earlier I'm not rushing this project as firstly; the weather is still very cold (with snow) and access to the shed is a little muddy, secondly; I'm viewing this painting project as a bit of relaxation and escapism from the most recent lockdown.

Stay safe.


Monday 25 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part ten

It may look like I've not done any painting, but I have and quite a bit.....

The black areas have been painted in a craft paint colour called Liquorice, which in turn has been tinted with dark blue and then detailed with a pale flesh colour added to the highlights and applied in layers. The Shakos, backpacks and cartridge boxes have all been painted in this colour mix.

The full effect shows up in certain light and adds much needed 'warmth' to these otherise plain black areas.

Stay Safe (and enjoy the snow)


Friday 22 January 2021

Scoutcrafter Challenge 2021 - Build a Tool Tote

This is something of a change from my usual Blog posts. Over the last year and particularly during lockdown, I have enjoyed searching You Tube and watching various tutorials about restoring old tools. One of my favourite sites has been a channel called Scout Crafter and this month, he has offered up a challenge; To build a Tool Tote, a simple wooden tool box.

As regular readers will know, I spent some time last year building a whole range of different totes, trugs and crates which were later given away as Christmas presents, this link and the image below shows some of the many examples I built. I estimate that during the later part of 2020, I built over a dozen different examples.

I chose some ex pallet wood as the starting point for my tote. The wood has been stored in my shed for a number of months and so should be dried out. As you can see the quality of the planks was not great, but I wanted to use wood I had to hand rather than go out and purchase new product for this challenge. Each plank was 70mm wide x 20mm thick.

I don't work from plans, prefering to build product to fit with what wood I have to hand and this tote was no exception. The basic box is 450mm long x 280mm wide and 70mm deep. In the image below I have laid out the seven seperate parts ready for finishing with my sander.

After sanding the individual pieces, I have both nailed and glued the bits together, checking that they are 'square' by building the tote on a paving slab base and using a set square. I used standard woodworking glue and the nails that were removed from the pallets which I had kept when dismantling them. Each nail was straightened and had the round head removed with a set of heavy-duty pliers. The nails were then enserted into pre-drilled holes as previous experience had shown me that this poor quality wood has a tendancy to split if nailed together too close to the edges. I then punched the nail heads below the surface of the wood.

I chose to build the tote with a curved handle, which tenons into two uprights. The curve was drawn and cut by eye and then sanded to shape before being fitted. The two uprights were both screwed and glued in place and another cut-down nail was inserted through the upright and into the handle to secure it. 

Any gaps or screw heads plus the nail holes were filled with Milliput two part epoxy putty.

I then spent an afternoon hand sanding the tote to both improve the look and remove any hard edges. I applied the TOOLS logo by hand painting each letter in a dark grey colour and then used some clear wood wax/polish to finish the Tool Tote.

For full details of the Scout Crafter Tote Challenge, see this You Tube video.

The tote was built over a perior of two days, working in the garden and taking advantage of a break in the cold weather. The tote was built from scrap material and cost nothing but time to make, time I was more than happy to spend outdoors.

I have used a number of electrical tools during the build;
A Chop Saw (on loan from my son)
An Electric Drill - my 'old faithful' - a Black & Decker Hammer Drill
An Electric Sander - now on it's last legs, but still able to smooth out this ex pallet wood
A Bosch Jigsaw

Why don't you try out this challenge?


Thursday 21 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part nine

Painting the green. I choose Apple Green as the facing colour for my group of eight Flintloque Orcs. The colour was built-up over a Forest Green base which was then highlighted with yellow, once again I highlighted with a lighter colour rather than white. The final highlight was the same Forest Green with even more yellow added to the mix which was painted onto the collars, cuffs and turnbacks.

Stay safe.


Wednesday 20 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part eight

Painting the red uniforms. The red was built-up over a Red Gore base, then Blood Red and finally a Blood Red and Hot Orange highlight. I don't like highlighting red with white as it gives a washed-out pink colour which I think looks wrong.

Prior to taking these photos, I have given the red areas a very light wash of acrylic medium mixed with Blood Red and 'tidied up' the black/dark brown areas with a fine tipped sable brush.

Stay safe.


Sunday 17 January 2021

A Japanese Bunker - additional content

Following on from yesterdays Blog post, I have included these images showing how I modelled the palm tree fronds from artificial rose leaves.....

Using this plastic and linen rose.

I removed the leaves from the stem.

And re-modelled them by triming with a pair of nail scissors. I had tried using a knife, but the scissors were so much easier.

Another image of the finished Japanese Bunker with the palm tree fronds glued in place. 

I would hope that in the future I could offer more 'additional content' for articles I have written, content that should add to the initial magazine article by showing how I have modelled a certain feature or detail.


Saturday 16 January 2021

A Japanese Bunker - A feature article/tutorial in Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy issue 112

Issue 112 of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy (Jan/Feb 2021) features an article/tutorial written by me showing how I built a 28mm or 1/56th scale Japanese, log-built Bunker or Gun Emplacement for use on your wargame table.

For full details of the magazine see this link.

The model was scratch-built from plastic card, balsawood, garden stakes/wooden skewers and DAS modelling clay with foliage modelled from ground foam, static grass and some artificial rose leaves.

It is unusual for me to model a piece of terrain with a lift-off lid, but in this instance I thought it would be useful. The model is just over 300mm long x 220mm wide.

It is my intention to post a second Blog post showing how I modelled the rose leaves/palm fronds. Expect this to be uploaded soon.


Friday 15 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part seven

The flesh areas have been further detailed with selected Flesh/white dot highlights. The lips were painted in a Pale Flesh/Leather/Bright Red mix and I gave the face and hands a very light, home-made wash of acrylic medium and red paint to give the face a reddy glow and make them a little warmer.

The teeth were first painted light grey and then detailed with almost pure white with a No. 2 sable brush.

The trousers have been painted pale grey - a mix of differents greys and highlighted by adding white to the mix. The 'warmer' flesh colour has helped to bring the miniatures to life and I'll be spending time on the red uniforms next.

Stay safe.


Wednesday 13 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part six

It is rare for me to paint any miniature without starting with the face or flesh areas first and these eight Flintloque Orcs are no exception. I built up the flesh areas over a Leather Brown base and highlighted with Pale Flesh and then a Pale Flesh/White mix before washing the areas with a diluted Flesh wash. I used the blue-topped Flesh wash from Games Workshop (these are now very old and difficult to get hold of, but I still think they are some of the best Flesh washes you can get).

Prior to taking these photographs, I have 'tidied-up' the dark brown/black areas with a fine sable brush. Notice how I have allowed the dark brown areas to show through in the recesses and shadows.

Stay safe.


Tuesday 12 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part five

The eight Flintloque metal miniatures were first spray painted with Tamiya grey primer then sprayed with Anthracite - an acrylic craft spray paint bought from Hobbycraft. Over the last few years I have found that I prefer painting my Orc skin tones over dark brown rather than pure black (or anthracite which is a very dark grey). I brush painted dark brown (mixed from Chocolate Brown and Black) onto the 'flesh' areas with an old brush. In the image below, you can clearly see the effect.

Hopefully I can get some actual colour onto the eight Orcs soon.

Stay safe.


Monday 11 January 2021

Practical and Simple Wargame Terrain - part eight

This Blog post shows my latest scratch-built model to appear in Miniature Wargames (issue 454 February 2021) A Prussian Barn which is based on a decorative oil burner I first saw at a Christmas market back in 2011 (remember those?).

This is the eighth tutorial/article in the series showing how I build simple wargame buildings from everyday and easily obtainable materials. This particular model was built on a corrugated cardboard core with egg box detailing, card tiles and DAS modelling clay. for full details see the MW site here.

The earlier articles are;

A Stone Cottage

A Timber Framed House

A Round Dovecot

A Thatched Cottage

European Barn

A Wooden Shack

A Simple Thatched Hovel

I have at least one more tutorial/article in the pipeline and am thinking of another, but would welcome suggestions and comments on how to proceed with this series.


Sunday 10 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part four

My initial plan was to start undercoating the eight Orc minis, but.....

I actually spent most of the day tidying up the metal mouldings. I used a knife and some needle files to remove casting defects or misaligned mould join lines. Then.....

Played with some Green Stuff and a pointed dental tool to add some customisation to the figures. I added new and more defined strapping or rough rope to the backpacks and a small round clasp to the ammunition pouches. The Green Stuff was added over superglue and any detailing was done with the dental tool or the point of a scalpel.

I can now get on with priming or undercoating the minis - that is if the weather doesn't deteriorate too much.


Friday 8 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part three

I used Yellow/Grey or standard Milliput epoxy putty to build up the 2p bases. The Milliput was applied with a dental tool and 'cooked' at low temperature for 10 minutes in the oven to speed-up hardening. The cold weather is playing havoc with my modelling time down the shed and the oven cooking was a great help.

Further texturing was done with some sieved stones and sand applied over PVA glue. I then brought the minis into the house so that the PVA would dry or set properly.

I am often asked 'why I base and texture my bases before painting?'

I find it is a much more logical progression as I can prime, basecoat and paint the mini and base in one go which in my opinion gives a much more unified effect and reduces the chance of damaging the miniature when apply basing material after the figure has been painted.

Stay safe.


Wednesday 6 January 2021

Flintloque Line Infantry - part two

Prior to basing the miniatures, I had to do some remedial work on the castings, particularly the rifles. I used my fingers and some slight pressure to straighten the barrels before repairing the broken bayonets.

I had four Orcs where the bayonets were OK and just strengthen the end of the barrel and the start of the bayonet with some superglue. The remaining four, where the bayonets had been broken off were repaired by cutting the bayonet away from the end of the gun barrel and supergluing the small barrel end back in place. Once again I used superglue and accelerator to seal the delicate join.

All eight figures had their bases smoothed out by sanding back the bottom of the metal base with some sanding sticks (wooden sticks with sandpaper/abrasive paper stuck in place with double-sided sellotape).

The figures were glued to 2p coins with more superglue and accelerator. I use a brand of superglue called Mitrefast from Everbuild which can be purchased via the internet.

I am well aware that there are a wide variety of different basing techniques/materials used by Flintloque gamers. I have persisted in the use of 2p coins since my first Flintloque Orcs were modelled over twenty years ago. By the way, my first Flintloque minis were purchased from a now long-gone ironmongers/model shop in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Bases I have seen used on Flintloque miniatures;

1 - Coins (as already stated, I use UK 2p coins or 1p coins on some of the smaller figures)

2 - Metal washes

3 - Square metal bases (as supplied by Alternative Armies). These were the bases included with this box set of Flintloque Line Infantry

4 - Square plastic bases (similar to the Games Workshop bases, but without the 'Slotta-base')

5 - Round plastic bases, either simple or with a curved lip

6 - Card or balsawood square bases

7 - Resin 'cartouche' bases, either round, square or rectangular as supplied by AA 

So which bases do you employ?


Tuesday 5 January 2021

Flintloque Orc Line Infantry 54503

I was recently made aware of a new Facebook group named Retroloque - a group of like-minded modellers who collect paint and game the earlier rule sets for Flintloque. For more information see this link. Since the time that I joined the group it has been my intention to paint up a couple of miniatures from my collection of bare lead. Yesterday I watched the government announcement that England was once again entering lockdown and to keep my spirits up I thought it was time I started a new painting project.

I chose this box of Orc Line Infantry (54503) a box of metal soldiers that I have had for possibly twenty years! In fact the box had a reduced sticker from Beaties and was so old that the discounted price had been 'bleached' white.

The box contains eight Orc red-coats in the earlier 'tinnier' style metal that as you can see is in very good condition although all of the bayonets had been bent, distorted or broken.

My plan is to repair, base and paint this group over the next couple of weeks and as usual, I'll keep you updated as to the progress on this Blog.

During the first lockdown, back in March 2020, I found that my hobby of painting minis or building wargame terrain kept me from being too down-hearted and gave me something to keep my spirits up. I'm hoping that these comical, little lead figures will do the same this time around.

I am well aware that I am a very lucky guy, having a Man-Shed at the bottom of the garden where I can indulge my hobby and retire to when the world around us goes crazy. In fact I see my simple hobby of 'painting toy soldiers' as one of the main medicines in the fight against mental health issues and would recommend to every reader the simple pastime of painting toy soldiers.

Stay safe.


Sunday 3 January 2021

Another Foot Stool

This second wooden stool was also built out of scrap or ex-pallet wood and painted off-white. It is 13 inches long x 9 inches wide x 8 inches high.

Since Christmas I can report that it has seen extensive use as a coffee table a seat and as a stool.


Friday 1 January 2021

Happy New Year

Happy New Year. I hope your 2021 is better than 2020.