Friday 29 April 2022

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy issue 119 - Building Hedges

Issue 119 (April/May 2022) of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy has the third of a three part series on how to build linear structures for the wargame table. The first article,  Building Stone Walls, appeared in issue 117 while part two Building Wooden Fences appeared in issue 118. This time it's Hedges constructed from scouring pads. In the images below you can see and example of the stone walls, the wooden fences and the scouring pad hedges.

None of the techniques are groundbreaking, but they have been fun to put together and write about - I would hope that the simple examples would inspire others to build their own wargame terrain. For more information, see the magazine.


Monday 25 April 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - Easter update - part four

No layout updates today, but I have been busy building this rustic water tank to be used on the layout. It was constructed from a couple of rockets, the larger rocket for the main tank and a smaller one for the filler. The wooden legs were built from scrap wood - fruit packing cases and both detailed with plastic card scraps.

I used this black and white image as inspiration, but followed my own haphazard plans and using materials I had to hand. The model was painted with acrylics and enamel washes.


Friday 22 April 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - Easter 2022 update - part three

In this update I have included images of the rear of the layout and how I have included my ancient controller into the panel. I've had the H & M Clipper controller for years - in fact I think it was part of my grandfathers layout/set-up. The plywood was given to me for free and the stripwood uprights are scrap wood from the local DIY store, glued and screwed in place.

You can also see how I have constructed the turnout levers/actuators - all of which are operational from the rear.

I still have some work to do on the rock profiles and filling-in, but I'm pleased with how much work I have been able to do over this Easter break.


Wednesday 20 April 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - Easter 2022 update -part two

As the good weather continues and I'm able to get into the back garden, I have been doing more work on the narrow gauge railway layout. As well as more definition to the rock outcrops, I have added a plywood and MDF fascia to the sides and front, this fascia was both glued and screwed in place and then filled and sanded. 

I have used even more DAS modelling clay to fill any gaps and re-contour areas where the ply or MDF meets with the groundwork. I will still need to add additional texture, but this can wait for now.

The rear tunnel portal has been further detailed with balsawood and scrap wood additions. I still need to do more, but for now, I am pleased with the initial result.

This image, shows how the rear tunnel portal has been built and finished. The cliff area above the portal, will need additional rock features added.

The next big project is to build a better rear to the layout. My plan is for most of the rear of the layout to be enclosed with just a central area giving access to the engine storage and main unloading dock.

Hopefully, I can get at least one more day of modelling later this week.


Monday 18 April 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - Easter 2022 update

Both Sue and I had loads of plans for this Easter break but earlier this week we both tested positive for Covid and found all of our plans put on hold.....

However as the weather was so good, we spent most of our time in the garden, both gardening and just enjoying the sun - luckily Covid was not as bad as others have reported, although both of us are still weak and looking forward to two negative tests so we can once again go out into the world.

With all of this free time on my hands, and not being one to just sit around doing nothing, I brought the narrow gauge railway layout out of the garage and decided to spend some time modelling the groundwork and rocks. For anyone not familiar with this project - The Yellow Pelican Mining Co. is a long term project for my grandson's (that's what I'm telling Sue anyway) - an industrial mining railroad running on scale 18 inch gauge track and built to unusual scale of 11 mm = 1 foot or 1/27.7

The first three images, show the initial basing of the two main buildings and the start of the rocks. I have used both my hot glue gun and PVA glue to glue the buildings in place and DAS modelling clay (Stone and White varieties) to 'bed' everything in.

The next three images shows further work and even more DAS - in each set of images I have given three views of the compact layout - front on, from the left and from the right.

I have so far used two packs of DAS, dozens of sticks of hot glue and about a pint of PVA glue. The coarse ground cover (seen in some images) is a mix of cat litter, sieved stones and sand applied over PVA glue. The rock outcrops are modelled from a couple of pieces of insulation foam as I need to keep the weight down - it already requires two people to move it from the garden to the garage even thought I have done everything I could to keep the weight down.

Work has come to stop as I'll need to get more DAS prior to starting the painting. Hopefully I'll get some paint on to the model this Summer.

The layout is a simple 'tail chaser' with two spurs, the first to the front and a second around the back to store a second loco. My earlier OSO SALT layout was a simple shelf layout - basically just a motorised diorama, but it was obvious that both Finley and Charlie weren't interested as they just want to see engines running round and round rather than shunting back and forth.

I'll post updates when they become available.


Saturday 16 April 2022

No Time to Die - a quick review

No Spoilers

Last night, Sue and I watched the latest Bond film - No Time to Die, staring Daniel Craig. We had been looking forward to seeing the film since it's delayed release back in 2021, but ultimately we were both very disappointing and would go as far as saying it was one of the worst Bond films we have watched.

I won't go into the story or plot line, but will say that I found it confusing and badly put together with a story line that was, at best amateurish and badly written. I long for simple narrative film scripts with a plot, a beginning, a middle and an end that is well acted and has a natural flow. No Time to Die has none of these and is a mismatch of storylines that fails to both entertain or captivate. In the end, I found it a chore and would not recommend it. As an aside, I have recently watched the TV series The Ipcress File and would compare these two series/films as Chalk and Cheese.

There were some good set-pieces and obviously as it is a Bond film, chases, but even these couldn't rescue this poorly put together film.

I have read that Craig has said that this will be his last Bond appearance and feel after a good series of action packed films he has let himself down with a poor performance. If this is the LAST Bond film, I think the franchise has also let down fans and film-goers with a very poor film experience.

I look forward to comments - and views of other who have watched this film.


Wednesday 13 April 2022

White Dwarf No.2 update

It's been a while, but I have eventually got around to framing my issue of White Dwarf No.2. the magazine was bought from a charity shop in Cirencester back in 2015 and has remained in a clear protective folder, in the attic ever since. For more information, see this earlier Blog post.

I have used a George (Asda) frame and some non-sticky tape to hold the magazine in place. At this moment it has pride of place on the upstairs landing, but I don't think Sue will allow it to remain there for long.....


Tuesday 12 April 2022

Two More Wands

Following on from my earlier post I have had more fun modelling these two new wands. The first was made from an African Ebony carved spoon with lighter wood and resin inlays in the handle. This one is more Classical with a lot of Fantastic Beasts influence. There is a wooden dowel running through all of the handle and the chrome finale is a polished nut found in my tool box. the carving on the resin infill was copied from a Harry Potter wand.

The Ebony wand is 14 inches long.


The second wand is much more rustic. It was a plain stick picked up by my grandson when we visited the local park, I started trimming the bark away with my penknife, but later used my modelling tools to get a better finish. I have left the natural bark on the handle and trimmed it at a slight angle(as seen in many Harry Potter wands). The handle was finished with acrylic varnish and the shaft and handle were later polished with natural wax.

The Natural Bark wand is 14.5 inches long.

It's difficult for me to chose a favourite between these two as they are so different but I can confirm that they were great fun to make and finish.


Sunday 10 April 2022

Flintloque/Silver Bayonet cross over - part thirty seven

I have chosen eight Flintloque miniatures and after adding some additional texture to the 2p bases, I have undercoated them with a grey spray rattle-can paint.

Not much to add or show at this moment, but I'll keep the Blog updated with progress on the Flintloque/Silver Bayonet project.


Friday 8 April 2022

The Shrine, The Statue and The Monolith - Miniature Wargames issue 469

Issue 469 (May 2022) of Miniature Wargames has another terrain making article written by me - this time showing how I built and painted three free-standing pieces for the wargame table, A Stone Shrine suitable for Fantasy gaming, a Statue and a more modern Block Monolith. The inspiration came from a number of e-mails between John Treadaway (Editor of MW) and myself where John had suggested a series of smaller and free-standing models I could build for the magazine. Instead of three separate tutorials, I produced a single magazine article showing how I built and painted all three. For full details, see the magazine.

The three models are - this Stone Shrine built from a block of florist's cork bark and detailed with various bits and pieces found in my 'bits box' then painted with acrylics.

Next is this statue which uses a plastic figure from a Pirates of the Caribbean play set mounted on a scratch built plinth.

Finally, we have a plain Block Monolith modelled at a slight tilt and painted with techniques found on the internet.

All three can be found in the latest issue of Miniature Wargames - issue 469.


Wednesday 6 April 2022

A Lucky Skip Find.....

I picked up these scraps of blue foam from a local skip. The skip was outside a house that was being re-modelled and there were quite a few pieces that I could have taken - these three scraps should be enough for my immediate modelling projects.

I had not come across this brand before - DOW ROOFMATE T50 90mm, but look forward to testing it out.


Monday 4 April 2022

Flintloque/Silver Bayonet cross over - part thirty six

It's about time I started a new group of minis for my Flintloque/Silver Bayonet cross over project and I have chosen a Spanish force.

I picked up this box set many years ago - Spanish or Dark Elf Guerrillas, but upon opening the box I thought the miniatures looked too small and didn't fit in with what I was looking for. I'm sure I'll find a use for these, but for now it was back to the drawing board.....

This is a selection of metal figures from my 'spares box' and I've based them on to 2p coins with the groundwork built-up with Milliput. You can see where I have added small modifications to a couple of sculpts, but in the main they are 'standard' Alternative Armies Dark Elves or Ferach.

I'll be adding more texture to the bases soon and then it's onto painting.


Sunday 3 April 2022

Boot Jacks

No model making this weekend, but I did get around to making two Boot Jacks or Welly Boot Pullers, one for Holly and one for Gary, The boot jack in the middle (with the green welly) was made for Sue last year. I have since been asked to make a few more and this weekend, I used some scrap wood to make the plain boot jack for Gary (he wanted it as a gift for a friend) and the footprint boot jack was for Holly (I think it is for Mal).

They are fun and simple to make, the finishing (sanding and waxing) takes the time.