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.