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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Fenris Games Resin Scenics

Having spent a substantial amount of time looking for a supplier of 28mm scale sci-fi scenics, I lucked upon Fenris Games (http://www.fenrisgames.com/). The guys at Fenris supply a big range of sculptured bases and sci-fi and fantasy scenic bits to add that little extra to your gaming table.

I purchased the pieces via their ebay store, and when they arrived only a few days later, I immediatly bought more as I was so happy with the quality. The pieces are cast in urethane resin and their vacuum degassing process leaves a near perfect, bubble free, finish. The detail is exceptional and, in my humble opinion, is probably the best I have ever seen.

When it came to painting the Sci-fi modules I decided on a grimy, industrial look. For my inspiration look at the PS3 game Killzone 2 or the film Blade Runner. The paint job was
very simple. Citadel Chaos black spray paint undercoat followed by a heavy drybrushing of Citadel Boltgun Metal. Once dry the models were washed in Citadel Badham Black and when dry, Citadel Devlan wood. Finally I dipped into the depths of my paint box to use a (glass) jar of Miniature Paints Metalic Bronze to highlight the tube, cable and wire details, which I then washed in Devlan mud.

Below are some of the goodies in their final painted form:
1) Sci-fi atmosphere processor (£5.99) The figures are Kolony Militia from Pig Iron Miniatures.

2) Sci-fi engineering module (£5.99) Again the figures are Pig Iron.

3) 1/55 scale street furniture bio hazard barrels (£3.25 for 10) The figures are zombies from Coldwar miniatures range - perhaps we have now found the cause of the epidemic!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The family that slays together stays together - Hasslefree Miniatures Zombie Hunters

We've played Zombie apocalypse games at the Evesham Wargames Club for years using the 'All things Zombie' (ATZ) rule set. It's been a while since the last game, but with FX's series 'Walking Dead' hitting the screens, it was only a matter of time before we had another. I have a number of zombies from Coldwar minis (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/richard.dickens1/coldwar/welcome.html) but decided it was time to add a group of survivors.
I decided that I wanted a group of essentially British looking characters armed with makeshift weapons and was delighted to stumble across Hasslefree Miniatures website(http://www.hasslefreeminiatures.co.uk/). Having browsed their superb range, I selected a group of six figures, the conceit being that they were a family (mum, dad, older daughter and her boyfriend, son and younger daughter).

The figures arrived quickly, they are well sculptured and moulded - there was no flash to remove and each figure comes with a plastic slotted base. I textured the base with PVA glue and sharp sand and then painted the minis with a mix of Vallejo and Citadel paints. I decided to go for an urban basing scheme, painting the base grey and adding road markings. The results follow:

I was able to knock these up in only two nights (it's amazing what I can achieve when I have no marking to do!) and was chuffed with the results. Sadly though, the bloody weather has meant that our club night has been cancelled! Still I'm sure the family will get their chance crack some zombie skulls in the new year!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Pig Iron Kolony Militia

Originally I only intended to build a Heavy Infantry unit for a 'Starship Troopers' game, using Pig Iron Productions figures (www.pig-iron-productions.com) , however the quality of the figures combined with the pleasure I took in painting them (yes I can occasionally enjoy that bit!) led me to buying a few packs of Kolony Militia. Here are the results:

When I received the figures in the post I was immediately struck by two things - firstly they looked like WW2 German troops - Space Nazis! and secondly, they look like the Helghast from the PS3 game 'Killzone 2'. With these observations made, I decided to paint them as a combination of the two.

First my usual method of basing figures - glue them onto 1p coins on the Queen's head side (it must be my Republican side coming out); level the bases using poly filler and then cover with pva glue and sharp sand). Next the figures are sprayed black using Citadel Chaos Black.

The following paints were then used:
Uniform Trousers: Vallejo German Field Grey WWII
Overcoat: Vallejo Medium Sea Grey washed with Citadel Badham Black.
Overcoat Lining: Officers - Vallejo Scarlet, Other ranks - Citadel Kommando Khaki
Helmet, gloves and Body Armour: Vallejo German Field Grey WWII, washed with Badham Black.
Officer's Hat: Vallejo German Field Grey WWII; Vallejo Scarlet; Citadel Chaos Black, Citadel Boltgun Metal.
Boots, belt and pouches: Citadel Beastial Brown, washed with Citadel Devlan Mud.
Helmet optics: Citadel Boltgun Metal, Badham Black, Vallejo Scarlet and Citadel Blazing Orange.
Hood: Vallejo Luftwaffe Uniform WWII.
Gas Mask: Citadel Vermin Brown washed, washed with Citadel Devlan Mud, Boltgun metal, Vallejo Scarlet, Badham Black and a dot of Citadel Blazing Orange.
Weapons: Citadel Chaos black, Citadel boltgun metal, Vallejo Luftwaffe Uniform WWII and Vallejo Scarlet.
Base: Citadel Scorched Brown, Graveyard Earth and Bleached Bone.

I have always been disappointed with the finish of spray varnishes, so I use Vallejo Mat Varnish and use one of my good lady wife's old makeup brushes to apply it.

Below are the officer and a Militia man with a flame thrower.

Next, more troopers and some scenics...








Sunday, 21 November 2010

Pig Iron Sci-Fi Heavy Infantry (2)

It's been an age since I've found the time to post an update here, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! I managed to find time to complete my Heavy Infantry and have now posted the results here.
After base coating the models in Citadel Chaos Black , I then picked out the exposed face area with Citadel bronzed flesh. once this had dried I washed the same are with Citadel Ogryn Flesh wash.
I then painted the whole figure in Citadel Catachan Green.
Next I added the camouflage; first large patches of Citadel Graveyard earth; then smaller patches of Citadel dark flesh - ensuring all the dark flesh patches ajoined graveyard earth patches; finally I added small dots of Citadel Cammo green.
I then painted the webbing pouches in Graveyard earth and Catachan green.
Next I washed the Helmet, armour and webbing pouches in Citadel Devlan mud.
The next step was to paint the weapons and boots Citadel Chaos black. The weapons were then dry brushed with Citadel Boltgun metal. The foresights and buttons on the guns were then painted with the same Boltgun metal, as were any headsets and optical equipment.
I then added Catachan green to the weapon stocks and painted the visors with Citadel shining gold.
The red unit patches and optic lights were made using Vallejo Scarlet.
Finally a vertical stripe of Catachan green was added to the shoulder of officers and a vertical stripe added to NCOs.
The bases were painted with Scorched brown and drybrushed with graveyard earth and bleached bone.
Overall these figures were a joy to paint and I am delighted with the results!
Now to start on the Kolony Militia!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Pig Iron Sci Fi Heavy Infantry

Now that the club's Zulu all dayer is out of the way, I can at last get onto painting the 28mm Sci-Fi figures I bought from Pig Iron Productions (www.pig-iron-productions.com).

The figures are really nicely detailed, are in a good range of poses and had zero flash on them. The service from Pig Iron was superb, with the figures delivered within 2 days of ordering.

I bought the figures for use in a 'Starship Troopers' Campaign, but having got my hands on them I will now be purchasing some of their Kolony figures (the enemy of the Heavy Infantry).

So on to painting - as ever I first glued the figures onto pennies, then used 'no more nails to bring the base level up to that of the figures. I then used PVA glue and sharp sand to cover the base.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Spanish Civil War Bunkers on Menorca (2)

The next next bunker I visited is located on the southern side of the opening mouth of the bay of Santandria. It is significantly smaller than the one at Cala Blanca, however of note is that the opening of the gun position is in the face of the cliff itself about six feet down from the top.

More bunker pictures to follow...

Spanish Civil War Bunkers on Menorca (1)

Having visited the Spanish island of Menorca a number of times, I have always been facinated by the sheer number of military relics found along the coastline. This year was no different and when the family took a siesta, I grabbed my camera and went exploring. We stayed on the west coast of the island, just south of the 'old' capital Ceitadella, where I found three Civil War Bunkers and a British Napoleonic Era Fort. Below are the photographs I took of the bunkers; a map showing the locations of the bunker and a diagram of the bunker layouts.



This bunker is located just south of Cala Blanca beach and features a gun position, a machine position and rifle positions for about 12 men.

More photographs of other bunkers to follow...

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Starship Troopers M-9 Chickenhawk

Everybody has a wargames buddy that always makes the suggestion as to what game to pursue next. It always starts innocently - 'iv'e always fancied doing...' 'do you know what iv'e always wanted to try' etc etc... And before you know it you've invested in a new pile of unpainted lead, books, movies etc!
Well my buddy is Stuart, and yes mate, you've done it again!! This time it's Starship troopers - and would you believe that on the same week as Stu mentioned it, the film was on Sky. Well that was all I needed - it wasn't a case of another scale/range/era - it was fate!!

Here is my first foray into it - an M-9 Chickenhawk exo suit. A nice model to make and quite satisfying to paint:








Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Battle of Coronel (Game Report)

On the 1st November 1914, the first naval engagement of the first world war took place off the coast of Chile. A German force comprising of the armoured cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst and the light cruisers Leipzig, Dresden and Nurnberg delivered a crushing defeat on a British force comprising of two Armoured cruisers, the Monmouth and Good Hope, a modern light cruiser, the Glasgow and an old converted liner, the Otranto. Back in 1914 The Good hope and Monmouth were both sunk with complete loss of life - some 1600 men. The Germans had 3 men wounded.

On Sunday night we re fought the engagement with two 'what if' differences. Firstly we fought the battle during daylight, rather than twilight, and the pre-dreadnaught 'HMS Canopus' also joined the British force - back in 1914 it did not arrive on time.

The German force, commanded by Stu, deployed in two squadrons - the two armoured cruisers forming one, the three light cruisers the other. The British, commanded by myself, also deployed in two squadrons - again, the two armoured cruisers and the light cruiser forming one, SS Otranto and HMS Canopus forming the other.

The British Armoured Squadron, led by Good Hope steamed north, keeping the approaching German fleet on their starboard side. The Canopus, leading the Otranto, headed East bringing the Germans onto their port side.

The German squadrons headed south and as the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau came into range they pounded HMS Monmouth who took two critical hits to the engine room, significantly slowing her down and effectively removing her from the battle. Monmouth left the formation and limped west out of range.

The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau then started taking fire from the Canopus, causing the German pair to focus all their attention on the old battleship. The German light cruisers then steamed towards the British Cruiser squadron in order to shield the Scharnhorst and Gneienau.

Immediately the gunners on the Good Hope went to work and after only two rounds of fire SMS Nurnberg succumbed slid beneath the waves - first blood to the British.

The Canopus' gunfire hit both the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau causing fires on each ship, however the return fire pounded the Canopus, knocking out all her port side secondary armament. Eventually the accurate fire from the Scharnhorst hit the fore battery, the stacked cordite was ignited and the Canopus disappeared in a huge explosion. On seeing this the Captain of the Otranto steered a course south away from battle and to safety.

Meanwhile, HMS Good Hope turned it's guns on first the Dresden and then SMS Leipzig. The Dresden exploded and quickly sank and the Leipzig finally succumbed to the flames of the multiple fires burning throughout the ship. Chalk up two more ships to the Good Hope.

The remaining German ships swung around and headed straight for the Good Hope with revenge in mind. Although their gunfire was accurate, it caused little damage, however a critical hit on the main battery of the Scharnhorst caused the ship to explode and quickly sink. The Gneisenau, seeing this, took the opportunity to turn east and steam rapidly away from the battle.

A major victory for the British, with medals a-plenty for the crew of HMS Good Hope! The inclusion of HMS Canopus had quite a major effect on the German battle plan, drawing all the fire from the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, allowing the Good Hope to take on the German light cruisers at optimum range.

We used the rule set 'Naval Thunder', which both commanders agreed, played out really well.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

WW1 Sinking Ships

In an earlier post I wrote that I intended to make some sinking ship markers - after all, would you sail your ship directly over the spot that another had just sunk?

I took my dremel to a duplicate of the Scharnhorst, cutting it in half at about a 45 degree angle. After filing a flat edge I glued each half onto a square of plasticard. I then followed the same procedure, as per a normal model, as described in a previous post, for making the sea effect on the base. I also glued another model at an angle on it's side to simulate a capsizing vessel. I'm quite pleased with the results:


Thursday, 29 July 2010

World War One Naval miniatures (part 4)

The result of leaving the water effects to dry for 48 hours is a very shiney, slightly too blue, blue sea. I've never liked the effect so have to add a few more small steps...

Step three - dry brush the waves using Citadel skull white, ensuring that you only catch the top of the waves.
Even after the dry brushing the sea is still too shiney for my liking which, of course, means there is a...

Stage four - Paint the model all over (ship and base) with a coat of Vallejo Matt Varnish. I use a paint on varnish as I have found the quality of spray varnish has deteriated over the last few years - and there is nothing worse than a satisfying paint job being f**ked up by shonky spray varnish.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

World War One Naval miniatures (part 3)

And so to basing...

Step one - Using plasticard, cut a base 30mm wide and 10-20mm longer than the model to be based. I always file down the edges and round off the corners using one of my wife's emery boards (sorry dear!). Next superglue the model centrally length wise, but one ship width to the right of centre width wise. I then paint the base with Vallejo 'Dark sea blue'. Step two - I use vallejo water effects to create the look of waves. Vallejo have a different water effect for different seas. To represent the Atlantic and the North Sea I use Atlantic blue. The product is a thick acrylic gel which I apply with an old brush. The colour is a little disconcerting at first as it is a bright, most un-sea like, blue - don't panic - it changes colour as it drys. Once applied you can create waves using a tooth pick or similar tool. Now the blurb on the bottle states that you should leave it 24 hours to dry - in my experience this should be extended to at least 48 hours, depending on how thick you apply it.

So what to do in the meantime? Well there are five more ships mounted on my painting block and i'm also going to take my Dremel to a couple of duplicate ships to make some sinking ship markers - pics to follow.

Monday, 26 July 2010

World War one Naval miniatures (part 2)

The next stage brings along the biggest dilema in my painting - do I go for historical accuracy or Hollywood representation. Like most gamers I seem to spend ages choosing and testing colours before finally applying them to a model - ask my mate Stuart - he'll tell you how long I prevaricated over my Florian Geyer SS Cavalry!! Anyway I digress! The wooden decks of ships tended to vary significantly from nation to nation; from ship to ship and from theatre to theatre (weather effects etc). The wood of the Royal Navy's decks were often almost scrubbed white. I tried this on a model - it was historically accurate, but just looked wrong - as a consequence I tend to favour Hollywood representation- if it looks like the thing it's supposed to be, then it is the thing it's supposed to be (whatever that thing may be!). So on to...

Stage Four - Paint the decks using Citadel Desert yellow, being careful to avoid turrets etc. Again it's back into the oven for 15 minutes at 150 degrees. For German ships I use vallejo desert yellow - it's slightly darker than citadel and differentiates them from the British.
Stage Five (above right) - Finally pick out the lifeboats in Citadel skull white and the tops of funnels in Citadel chaos black. Return to the oven (same time and same temperature) and the painting of the ship itself is complete. Tomorrow we start the basing...

Sunday, 25 July 2010

A Very British Civil War.


We are running a VBCW campaign at the Evesham Wargames Club. I have just finished painting the first figures for my criminal gang. Next step is to apply a coat of varnish and then flock the bases.