Friday 12 July 2024

Modified Hump-Back Bridge from Otherword Artifacts - Miniature Wargames issue 496

The latest issue of Miniature Wargames (issue 496 - August 2024) features an article written by me showing how I modified this Otherworld Artifacts Hump-Back Bridge. The plaster cast model has been cut in half, length ways and widened by 18mm before the detailed cobblestone sculpting was re-applied with a scalpel and large pin held in a pin-vice.

The model was then painted in an aged iron-stone colour with pale keystones. For more details of the magazine, see this post.

In addition, I have included these images from the Otherworld Artifacts catalogue from 1985/86 and you can see the original dental plaster model sketch on page 10.


Monday 8 July 2024

Flash Gordon in 40mm - Ragnarok 2012

Confessions of a Serial Flasher

by Tony Harwood

This short article was originally produced for the Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers magazine - Ragnarok 60. The magazine that this article was included in was never produced in printed paper form but can be found as an electronic copy. I have reproduced it with the images as it appeared in 2012. For more information of Ragnarok issue 60, see this link.

(Birdwatchers are called Twitchers – Flashers are a much rarer breed - gamer's who collect Flash Gordon miniatures).

As I browsed ebay, looking for some large resin Dwarves to convert into statues, I came across a mint, in-blister pack of (CH001) Flash and Ming from Graven Images a pair of 40mm sculpts by Jim Bowen that I believe to be some of the very best miniatures ever cast-up.

A bid was placed and very soon I was the proud owner of yet another set of 40mm Flash Gordon and Emperor Ming figures.

A similar pair of character miniatures were the first Graven Images or 40mm Cliff Hanger figures I ever bought from Monolith Designs and the start of my 40mm Flash Gordon adventure, which today boasts over 100, 40mm scale Flash Gordon themed figures based on Alex Raymond’s comic hero.

Thun (the Lionman) a converted Werewolf from Graven Images. Dale, a stock figure from the Graven Images Cliff Hanger range. Flash, a slightly modified Flash Gordon miniature from the Graven Images Cliff Hanger range and Doctor Zarkov again from the Cliff Hanger range

The original two figures quickly grew to include Professor Zarkov, Dale and some Mongo minions. With promises of more characters to come I waited patiently for Graven Images to produce more Flash inspired miniatures. And waited, and waited…..

The classical Ming the Merciless figure from the Graven Images Cliff Hanger range. Prince Vultan, a major conversion/scratch-built figure. Princess Aura, a converted Dale miniature from Graven Images and Prince Barin, another major conversion based on the Graven Image figure of Zarkov

Mongo Minions – converted soldiers from Graven Images

It soon became obvious that the promised new releases would be either delayed or as it happened never sculpted. Not being one to be hampered by the lack of similar sized or themed figures, I started looking around for suitable proxy figures to increase and supplement my collection. One of the first was Thun (the Lionman) who was a simple conversion of a 40mm Werewolf miniatures from the same manufacturer, Green-stuff and Milliput were used in the modifications and basing the miniature on the same 40mm bevelled-edged or premium round base of the earlier figures I had produced my first Flash conversion. Price Barin, Princess Aura and even Klytus followed.

(By basing ALL of the miniatures on to the same style round bases, then building the groundwork and painting them in a similar style, I believe that I have been able to maintain a level of uniformity across the widely differing models and manufacturers). 

Dragonman, a Drako figure from Alternative Armies. Moleman, a converted Reaper Ghoul. Mudman, a Reaper Elemental miniature and the Lobsterman, a Disney Pirates of the Caribbean toy figure

Some time later another set of Mongo minions and both pairs of officers were added – all three sets modified or converted in some way to follow one of my many reference sources. The inspiration I use are numerous, firstly the Alex Raymond original comic strip, secondly the Buster Crab black and white cliff hanger series, thirdly the iconic Flash film with the fantastic Queen soundtrack and then (and this may surprise some) the Flash Gordon cartoon series. Other less well know or less well advertised reference sources for Flash Gordon include the Internet, foreign language annuals and even the film Flesh Gordon!

Green, Crystal Entity from Reaper Miniatures. Frost Giant from Ral Partha. Sharkman from Reaper and Monkeyman from the Monster-in-my-Pocket toy figure set

I knew that to increase my collection I had to be more inventive in sourcing suitable figures and started to search through current and out-of production miniature manufacturer catalogues, even resorting to bargain bin purchases from traditional toy stores and UK Pound stores. To help ‘size’ suitable minis, I converted a small plastic ruler cutting it down to credit card size so I would always have a 40mm scaling chart in my wallet (and yes I still have it!)

As well as the individual figures or miniatures, I have scratch-built a Flash Gordon Rocketship, a Sci-Fi tank (from a second-hand GW Rhino) and four large terrain boards, The Tomb, The Rock Kings Throne Room, The Amber Shrine and finally, my personal favourite – The Crashed Rocketship.

Gorillion from D&D, Beastman from Reaper Miniatures, Umber Hulk from Grim Reaper and Rockman a Stone Golem from Reaper Miniatures

So far I have the obvious character miniatures, Flash, Ming, Zarkov, Dale, then Prince Barin, Aura and even Prince Voltan. The Mongo minions and a whole host of creatures – Mudmen, Lionmen, Molemen, Beastmen, Hawkmen, etc. The collection also includes Harpy Bats, Mud Monsters, Lizard or Insectmen, Robotmen and Robots, Dinosaurs, Ice Giants and Dragons, the list is almost endless.

Spaceape, a converted Werebear from Graven Images. Lizardman, a D&D/Marvel Dragonman. Swampman, a converted Swamp Monster/Troll from Privateer Press and resin Wind Elemental from Grendel 

In addition to the original Graven Images figures, the collection includes miniatures from; Games Workshop, Mithril Miniatures, Privateer Press, D&D plastics, Superheroes, a Tescos Dinosaurs, Foundry, Hoards of the Things, Disney franchise toys, Monster-in-my-Pocket, Reaper Miniatures, Heroclix, Spartan Games, Grim Reaper, Lance & Laser, Alternative Armies, Dick Garrison, Bronze Age Miniatures, Grenadier Miniatures, Ral Partha, Flashing Blades, Dark Age, Hydra and even Star Wars. Most are converted or at least modified. The huge variation in manufacturer linked by one thing – their scale, 40mm tall or can be used alongside my 40mm tall Flash Gordon miniatures.

The Robots – Dick Grayson Robot, modified Hydra Legionnaires Robot, Tomb Guard from Privateer Press and modified Salute limited edition Robot

As well as the figures, the books, the annuals and the magazines, I have a number of ‘Golden-Age Sci-Fi or Pulp Wargame rules, however, I have still to find the perfect Flash Gordon Skirmish Rules. A challenge for the future!

You can read more about this even increasing collection by checking-up on my Blog and searching the Label Flash Gordon (link;

I hope you enjoy this blast-from-past.


Friday 5 July 2024

Flash Gordon gaming board - re-vamped

This themed gaming board was built back in 2008 and has see some action, being the favourite board of my two Grandsons. The last time they were playing with it I realised that it needed some work done on it. I have re-painted the main building with my airbrush and flocked the grass areas with some new dyed sawdust which was applied over PVA glue. I also added a couple of new trees and painted the surround black.

I would be very surprised if the next time they come around they see any difference!

But it was fun to work on.


Sunday 30 June 2024

Morgan Three Wheeler - finished

The Morgan three wheeler is now finished. The first image shows it on the scratch built display base, although I have still not glued it down - I am still not sure if I should.

The remaining two images show the completed Morgan Super Sports. The plastic construction kit was a gift for my birthday back in March and I knew at the time that there would be issues as there were parts missing from the box, but even so I think it has turned out very well and follows the Bonhams auction site images for CHP 68 as best as I could.

I'm not sure I would build another one, but might now look at plastic kits of old motor cars or similar just to see what I can achieve.


Thursday 27 June 2024

Morgan Three Wheeler - part twelve

The windscreen and exhausts have be de-chromed, painted and weathered. there was an issue with attaching the exhaust to the right hand body or engine and I have had to add some asbestos looking bandage to cover a 2mm gap. I think this is to do with the engine being attached slightly off-centre, but it is not obvious on the model. In addition the ends of the exhausts have been drilled out to make them look a little more realistic. Weathering of the exhaust followed the Bonhams auction site Moggy with various inks and washes being used to colour the heat-effected metal. The clear plastic 'glass' was glued in place with PVA glue.


Tuesday 25 June 2024

Morgan Three Wheeler - part eleven

At this stage the body has been glued to the very flimsy chassis and the engine has been detailed with leads. I have not glued the front wheel in place yet as I think it will be better to have them removable while I work on the chrome exhaust and painted mud guards.

I have been surprised at just how delicate the chassis part are and don't expect this model will take any rough handling.


Sunday 23 June 2024

Morgan Three Wheeler - part ten

The spare wheel was test fitted into the rear before I added the modified boot rack. I wanted a wooden rack rather than the chrome one in the kit. The rear number plate has been modified to fit directly on to the wheel rather than having a decorative chrome wheel cover - I think this looks better.

The dash has been painted and the steering wheel has been fitted. I needed to search my decal store for dials as none were included with my kit. Once these were fitted, I gloss varnished over the dials rather than fit the clear parts which were included.


Wednesday 19 June 2024

Morgan Three Wheeler - part nine

Following on from the earlier post I waited 24 hours for the Tamiya British Racing Green to fully dry before I airbrushed the whole model with Galleria matt varnish. I had seen that early Morgans were more likely to have a satin finish than a gloss one and the Galleria varnish gave the perfect finish I was looking for.

I used the Thayer & Chandler airbrush that I had picked up at the Malvern Flea Market - see this post for more details and it worked perfectly when applying the varnish.

The Morgan body shell was then weathered by adding subtle rust spots and some fading. I used acrylic paints for the rust and oil paint for the fading. In addition I have used watercolour pencils for the scratches seen in the Bonham's auction site images that I am using as reference.

I am well aware that some might think it sacrilege to weather such a rare model, but using the Bonham's auction site for Morgan CHP 68 has meant that I have a true representation of an original Morgan Super Sports to work from and I have enjoyed the challenge of trying to copy an original rather than a pristine model.


Monday 17 June 2024

Morgan Three Wheeler - part eight

The bright red plastic body shell was first lightly sanded and cleaned before I applied Halfords grey automotive primer from a spray can. Prior to spraying the main colour of Tamiya British Racing Green, also from a spray can, I lightly buffed the primer with a paper coffee filter (a very mild abrasive), The British Racing Green was sprayed on on light coats to make sure there were no runs.

The chrome radiator was slightly weathered with acrylic paints before being glued in place with superglue. Throughout this spray painting period the model was held with a Mole grip on one of the plastic panels under the bonnet. This meant that the body could be sprayed and allowed to dry without handling.


Sunday 16 June 2024

Father's Day Grand Prix

Or the Father's Day Scalextric Challenge.

It's all set up for the Grandchildren (and adults) to race on.

I'll update later who won.....


Saturday 15 June 2024

Miniature Wargames issue 495

Issue 495 of Miniature Wargames - July 2024 has the second part of my two-part series showing how I first built and then painted a model based on one of the old Games Workshop card buildings - The Armoury.

For more information about the magazine contents, please see this link.

The remaining images show part of the process in painting this model, from grey basecoat to early weathering and

finally, varnishing and decorating the base.


Wednesday 12 June 2024

Morgan Three Wheeler - part seven

I had said that my next post would be about the Morgan's red plastic body, but..... Instead I have spent the last couple of days building myself a base for the model. I have used a piece of clear perspex and cork to build the Tarmac road section and finished it off with real wood veneer trim. It's just big enough for the three wheel Morgan to sit upon.

The next post will be about the Morgan's body.