Tuesday, 17 December 2013

An Exciting Engagement.

I know this is a little outside the norm for this blog, but I have excellent news, and thought you may find it vaguely of interest. I got engaged tonight and am absolutely buzzing.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Operation: Build a Village part 2.

Progress. Following the advice of Thomas, I ordered 1000 coffee stirrers to use for the window frames and doors. I must say, I am happy with the door lintel. The window frames aren't amazing. I tried inserting them actually into the holes I cut, but wasn't too happy with how that turned out. I will investigate other options. 

I am a complete convert to bird sand though. I love the texture it has given. I applied PVA quite thickly on the front facade of the building, making it rougher than I intended. But the other sides of the house look just fine. I can't wait to decide upon a roof, then find a cork board to base it on.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Last of the Volkssturm

Previously I posted half of the Volksturm I had painted. These men had been bought and roughly painted with enamel paints, before I made the switch. As such I had left them alone while I painted other soldiers completely in acrylic. Having returned from Czech with a bag of small change, I decided to base the remaining men, and bring them up to finish, what with the fantastic looking Battlegroup Fall of the Reich coming out. I painted the Panzerfausts a better colour and then shaded them.

I decided, however, with this group, to base them with grass, instead of rubble. I like them. Luckily I have enough that I hopefully won't have to mix the two groups. Unfortunately, I do not know the suggested unit sizes for Volkssturm in Fall of the Reich...

I am excited to get my hands on those rules.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Operation: Build a Village.

So I have completed my German platoon. I have a serviceable British force, although I may be re-basing them with static grass. All I need now is a butt-tonne (an old imperial measurement somewhere between a butt-load and a heckovalot) of scenery so I can run my own games. 

Part one of this project is to make some buildings. I am experimenting with 5mm foam board for this farm house. Cutting out the doors and windows was a little messy, but I can neaten them up, I imagine. I suppose now I need sand or something for the walls, so a trip to the beach must be planned. I also need to decide on materials for the roof too. 

I have five A4 sheets of 5mm foam board. One has been used for this farmhouse. The others will be used for various other buildings. This should tide me over in terms of having a village to attack/defend.

The next stage will be to figure out how to make good looking bocage in enough quantities to completely cover a table.

If I never have to paint another German, I will die happy.

I have decided I do not like Germans. Why did they have to have such an array of multicoloured equipment? To paint these 24 infantry, forming my generic German platoon, it feels like it has taken an eternity. I was faced with other delays too: experimenting with static grass, trying to remember which colours I used on the first batch of infantry, and so forth. But in the end, I have finished them. They are wargame ready. I may well re-base the first group of infantry, you can see a couple mixed in here.

Static grass! I am now a convert. Never again will I need to mix up a tub of various model railway flock to come up with something acceptable. They just look so much better.

Next up is to secure myself a photography tent. Lighting is dreadful at this time of year.

The platoon, in all its glory. I have enough men for three platoons of 12, the maximum in Bold Action. Of course I doubt I will ever field such strength. I am looking to secure myself some of the Battlegroup rules too.

I am very pleased with them. They look great.

Radio team. I don't really have any officer to put in charge. Sad face.

I am loving their bases. I have attached the men to Czech 1 Crown coins.

Next up: Hopefully some Valiant US Infantry, although I am missing a couple of colours, so they are on pause until I can find them. My local Modelzone has closed/is closing. I haven't had a chance to swing by and check if they are open still. They were my primary source for Vallejo.

I also have an Armourfast Firefly half painted, some German armour in need of a spray job, and various other repaints to get on with.

Monday, 25 November 2013

I'm Back!!!

So after four months away, experimenting with a new career path, I have returned to the UK. I learnt a lot about myself out in the Czech Republic, and gained some excellent training and experience. The most important thing I learnt though, was that I really need to be trying to become a teacher. So I have returned, and am doing all I can to make that happen.

One benefit of this, is that I have more direction in life, AND that I am back, and can get to work on all those unfinished projects I dropped when I moved country. I have had great fun constructing my PSC Panzer IVs, basing my remaining Volksturm, and beginning to paint my US Infantry. I have, however, discovered that I don't have the right paint with which to paint my panzers! As soon as I acquire a vehicle, I will be straight down to...in fact, I don't know where I will go. I don't know if Model Zone is still open in Southampton. That was my source of Vallejo paints. 

Anyway, it is good to be back.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Reaper Miniatures are taking more of my money...

Reaper Miniatures want my money again...

Last summer, after attending Gencon in Indianapolis, being introduced to the world of the Pathfinder RPG, and deciding that was a hobby I wanted to get into, I stumbled onto the first Reaper Miniatures Bones kickstarter. 

Three days before the end of the kickstarter I decided to go whole hog and pledge for the $100 Vampire package. For the following three days I lounged in the basement of my brother's house reading the constant stream of emails coming in, watching my number of miniatures rise. In this space of time those $100 went from paying for 100 miniatures to over 250.

Thus, as soon as I saw Bones II, I knew I would be pledging. I can only recommend this. Yes, it will take a year for them to be made. My miniatures from last year only arrived about a month ago. They are sat on my desk in England while I sit here in the Czech Republic with no modelling equipment. But they are of excellent quality, excellent price, and will give you endless hours of fun.

Next on the list: find a way to have my paints, brushes, cutting board, knives make their way over to the Czech Republic.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Birthday Prize Draw!

I haven't been modelling. I barely have time to do anything other than work, gym, eat and sleep. Hopefully things will calm down soon and I will feel confident enough to bring some of my equipment over.

But this blog entry caught my attention and I felt the need to share it! Good luck to you all.


Thursday, 11 July 2013


A few things have changed since my last entry. One thing which hasn't changed is my finished projects. I haven't done much on the modelling scene in a couple of weeks.My working situation for the past few months has been stable, but with crazy shifts. I was working in an industry that required me to mostly work weekends and evenings. I also have other commitments on the other evenings. So basically I found myself with my days mostly free, and my evenings taken up with work and other important things. 

Grateful as I was to have a job, I was looking for a better opportunity, and something that could enable me to work 9-5 and lead a semi normal social life. As such, I have been applying to a lot of jobs, hoping to advance my career. Consequently I have been finding it increasingly more difficult to justify modelling (also playing computer games) during the daytime. 

I got a break, in that I have been offered a role in a company that will enable me to work more traditional hours. The role, however, is based in the Czech Republic...

I only plan on taking one item of hold luggage, a carry on, and a Ukelele with me. I doubt I will be able to find space in my bags for any modelling parafernalia. Alas, this means my blog will slow down quite significantly over the coming months while my future remains a bit uncertain. Will I move permanently? Will I end up in Germany? Will I end up back in the London office? I don't know. But until it is more clear, I will not be doing much by way of model making. 

This may all change though, if I find people to play with in Czech. I may do some AARs. That may lead me to collect some of my armies from the UK and take them over. Who knows?

But while it is still all in the air, I will say "see you later."

I won't be gone forever though. 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Boys and Old Men

Almost a year ago I mistakenly bought some Volksturm thinking they were Volksgrenadiere. I decided I would paint them up and just keep them in a box just in case I ever needed them. On a whim I took a dozen to see what would happen if I based them and shaded them without bothering to touch them up at all. It seems to have worked well. I am not sure of the make of the men. There are definitely two brands here, and I would guess at SHQ and Skytrex. But I can't be certain.

My infantry painting is only held up by my lack of pennies on which to base them. I use any cheap brand of wall crack filler to attach the figure, I then sprinkled cat litter on these bases to look like the rubble of Berlin.

My first Russians.

I finally managed to decide on a colour scheme for my Russians. I was then able to quickly paint some up and prepare them for spraying. I put together just one sprue of the PSC infantry pack, and the support weapons pack. Here are the results:

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Pak 40 from Italeri

I bought the two-pack a while ago. The guns clipped together really nicely. I dabbed a little super glue on some places to strengthen. Unfortunately I wasn't paying attention and I put the limbs on incorrectly on one of the guns. I don't really know which, though. The guns and crews languished for months, unpainted, while I decided whether to switch to acrylics or not. I made the switch, and they were the first things I used a spray to undercoat.

I only took pictures of one gun...because they look the same. I chose not to base the crew and gun together. I am not sure why.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Anti-Shine purchased. Troops finished.

I have been adding to this mass of infantry for a couple of months now. I ran out of matt varnish spray a while ago, and have not had time to replenish my supplies. So I would complete soldiers, quick-shade them, and put them in my "to be sprayed" box. I picked some spray up this morning, and can finally post what I have been working on.

It is infantry galore. Germans, all of the PSC variety. Support weapons too! Support weapons were where I was woefully lacking.

Here is my first MG42 team. I have two more to make, as I only put together one sprue of support weapons. It is a monstrous looking weapon.

Here is my 120mm mortar. What a beast.

An 80mm mortar team. This is more likely to actually find itself onto the table.

A tank hunter team. It isn't my favourite pose, although I like the loader.

I love the pose of the Panzerschreck carrier.

Some infantry advancing cautiously past a field.

A squad of infantry.

Some Panzerfausts.

Looking forward to putting together the rest of my Germans. Heaven knows I need more.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Dear Diary...

...JACKPOT! I won a few auctions on eBay this weekend. Three were from the same seller, and arrived yesterday while I was out. Upon arriving home at 2am after work, it was a welcome surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed refurbishing the old Panther, so decided to get some more of those projects.

Here we have a Tiger II in need of a repaint, and the removal of some interesting protrudements (chrome says this isn't a word...) but otherwise in good condition.

Elefant needs gun repair, wheel repair and a repaint.

Crusaders, Stuart, Panzer III, Wespe, Humber, T 34, and possibly Matilda need repaints, and some need their guns stiffened up.

The Lee needs work done on its wheels. 

The Sdkfz 251s (I think) need repaintsand a little work done on the front wheels, as does the Krupp Protze and the other transport vehicles. 

The Sdkfz 231 needs a new radio system attached, along with wheel repair and a repaint (although it will just be into grey again.

I saved a lot of money, had I bought them as kits, and all I need to do is a small amount of repair, which I enjoy doing. Hunting down some Elefant wheels may prove problematic, but I will give it a go. I am sorry if I outbid you for these. I just really, really wanted them.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

100k Giveaway broadcast!!

You probably already know, but I am plugging this 100K giveaway shamelessly nonetheless! The first prizes look great, and I am definitely trying for some others as I broaden my model-making horizons.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Finished Achilles

Oh hi, guys! Long time, no blog. I have been just busy with other things, and my most recent projects have been somewhat neglected. After a few weeks of inaction, I made some progress yesterday, which included finally finishing my Achilles, a Sherman 76, and almost completing some German infantry.

The Sherman is from PSC. I lost the tank commander figure, so decided to make this one with a closed hatch, and pretty much no frills. I am still pleased with it. The decals are from a set of Skytrex allied stars that I picked up at Salute.

Now I look at it, I think I need to something more with the gun barrel on the Achilles. Maybe some kill stripes, or the camo pattern that hides its length. The decals are from the Airfix Cromwell model. One of these days I will put more markings on my vehicles, but at the moment I want them to be fairly generic.

I am very pleased with how the additional stowage turned out. I am happy with my drybrushing, and find it much more convincing than my previous, un-blogged efforts. One day I may post them, for a laugh.

The shells are the ends of cocktail sticks, super-glued in. As far as I am concerned, they will do. I have neither the patience, nor skill to try and make anything more intricate. Eventually I will find some figures that make a suitable crew. But until then, I am not phased by having an empty open turret.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

1000 views and some buildings.

I wasn't sure what I was expecting when making this blog. I am surprised I even have this many views. I guess it is here to try and gauge how much I improve at building things. I think I am going to start posting more WIPs with the intention of getting help and tips. I also hope to post more after action reports, but that will require my schedule to become more stable so I can become a regular at a gaming group.

As a celebration of my views, I present two buildings I consider finished enough to post. It was actually while painting these that I decided to try out acrylics. The black base coat is watered down Vallejo black. I then dry-brushed the other colours on. The first building is a Wills barn. I think it is generic enough to fit onto any battlefield. The roof lifts off, and is strengthened by plasticard supports.

This is the famous Dapol church. I am pretty sure I got this for Christmas on the same year my Dad built us a model railway. I'm not sure if I ever made it properly. At some point I cut the roof and back wall up to make it a ruin for wargames. Since then it has sat in a box, unpainted for over ten years. I finally got my act together and painted it up. I am pretty happy with the result. It will serve well in my village.