Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Scratch Built Sd.Kfz. 251/7

I am currently working on a German Engineer Platoon (along with about forty other projects...) from the Rapid Fire! rules book. The unit calls for two Sd.Kfz. 251s, one a Flamm version (/16) and the other the bridging version (/7). As I had two spare Plastic Soldier Company 251s I thought I'd use them and helpfully PSC also do the conversion kit with the Flamm version. Not as helpful, there isn't one for the bridging version. So, rather than buying another model and against my better judgement I thought I'd scratch build my own... What could possibly go wrong?

Phil on TMP provided me with measurements, taken from his Skytrex and Quality Castings models, which were 30mm long, by 4mm wide with a height of 3mm at the highest point.So I cut out a strip of 2mm depth plasticard and glued another smaller piece on top to give the bridges their height (not exact, but it's only 1mm...). I also cut two strips of some thin and bendy plasticard to go over the top:

The bendy pieces were glued in position, trimmed down to the right size and the gaps between top and bottom were filled with plaster and filed down smooth. Here they are by the side of the hull top of a 251:

I then added the ridges of the bridging equipment, again from slivers of platicard. This is not the neatest I could have been, but at arm's length it should look OK. I operate under the auspices of 'that'll do':

 These were then glued in place on the hull top:

Here I added the support columns that sit underneath the bridging equipment, made from small triangles of plasticard:

 And finally, using this picture as a source (a Bolt Action 251/7, I think), I glued on some tree trunks which could have been picked up by the engineers on their travels:

I did realise that the bridges are actually a little shorter than in real life, but there seems to be a difference in most of the manufacturers models anyway, so it doesn't bother me too much (that'll do...). That's it so far, I have to build the 251/16 and paint them both before I work on the figures that will complete the unit. Thanks for looking and check back as I will post more pictures when the unit is finished!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Dark Elf WIP

Mark at The Ramshackle Fort asked me if I'd do a work in progress post as we were discussing the skin tones for Dark Elves. I had asked for his input for flesh tones because I am currently working on the Darkside Cowboys team for Blood Bowl. In photos in the Star Players Handbook the Dark Elves have a bluish tinge to their skin, so this is my attempt at re-creating that. I decided on using a Blitzer figure for the tester as he had the most skin exposed.

I painted all the uniforms of the team first, leaving the skin for last, you can see the rest of the team in the background have yellow helmets, but this guy isn't wearing one. Like all my figures he has a black undercoat ready for the skin:

The next stage was to paint on the basic flesh tone, this is Humbrol acrylic, and I gave him a rough covering of the skin:

Next step was to paint a mix of white (Vallejo) and flesh (Humbrol) over the prominent areas, just to give some definition. I also painted the bandage around his head.

This bit was uncharted territory for me; a blue wash (watered down Humbrol French Blue) over the skin! What was I thinking? But it was too late to go back now...

To my pleasant surprise, it actually turned out OK after I repainted a really lightened mix of flesh and white over the prominent bits of the face:

Well, that's it, he obviously needs the base finishing off and some details adding (I'm not sure what to do with the eyes, for instance), along with damage to the armour. This being the first ever Dark Elf I have painted I'm quite happy with it! Tune in soon for the full finished team!

Friday, 25 January 2013

The Gouged Eye

Taking advantage of the recent white out across Britain, that invariably brings the entire country to a halt I managed to finish off my latest Blood Bowl team, The Gouged Eye Orcs. This is another metal team that I picked up on EBay, these took quite a while to paint, what with the amount of detail in straps and bits and pieces that Orcs appear to collect. I wanted the armour to look in pretty bad shape and rusty as I figured Orcs probably don't spend too much time making themselves look nice for a match. I do find that a lot of the paint jobs on Blood Bowl figures make them look like showroom examples rather than a bunch of fellas who have been kicking the tar out of one another for two hours, so my teams try to reflect this damage.

Anyway, enough waffle from me, here are some pictures:

I'm currently on the look out for an Ogre team and there will be a Giants versus the Eye match report coming son, so stay tuned, sports fans!!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Matilda II in Soviet Service

Zvezda keep releasing new 1/100th scale tanks and I am finding it hard to keep up with their output! However, I grabbed myself five of their Matilda II sets with the intention of painting them as Soviet lend-lease vehicles, to add further flavour to my Russian forces. That's one of the best things about wargaming the Eastern Front, pretty much everything and anything can be used! Normally with lend-lease vehicles I like to add patriotic slogans to give them the Russian feel, but this time I decided that bits and pieces of Russian stowage, like the fuel drums from T-34s, would suffice to make it apparent that they are not in British service.

With some advice from the chaps at TMP, I painted the colour scheme in the original British brown as the Russians probably had better things to bother themselves with than respraying shipments of new vehicles!

As with most of Zvezda's kits (except their trucks...) the vehicles go together really well, they have nice clean detail lines and are a pleasure to paint! The stowage is a combination of Battlefront, PSC and Command Decision. Another short post to keep you up to date with the stuff that's coming off my painting table, so thanks for looking!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Dwarf Giants

I recently re-bought Blood Bowl 2nd Edition. When I was working with Mark at The Ramshackle Fort, he would regale me with stories of his Oldhammer exploits and we talked about Games Workshop in the good ol' days ©. I used to love Blood Bowl back n the good ol' days© and it was probably one of, if not my actual, favourite GW game.

Obviously GW saw the flaws in having a game that couldn't be expanded, only 16 figures were required to play and very few supplements could be produced as it is a self contained game. It was shoved it to the back of their marketing strategy. It still limps on, but I have fond memories of playing for hours as a youth and I wanted to recreate that fondness.

I specifically wanted 2nd Edition, not just because that is what I used to play but also for the board. That polystyrene Astrogranite pitch was the best! As an adult I have disposable income which allowed me to buy all the teams that were outside the reach of my meagre teenage pocket money income. In order to right this wrong over the past few months I have bought myself an Elf team, a Orc team, a Halfling team, a Dark Elf team, a Human team, a Goblin team, a couple of Ogres and a handful of star players and cheerleaders, all in the prized metal of my youth. I also bought a Dwarf team, which I have recently finished painting, the first Blood Bowl team I have painted in over 22 years. I did them in the livery of the Dwarf Giants and here is the finished product. I have yet to field them, but expect a full report when I do!


To finish off this post, here is a bit of shameless publicity for two friend's wargaming blogs, the first is from my opponent; Nerd Lard and the second is for The Ranshackle Fort, an Oldhammer blog! Give 'em both a looksee! 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

And Yet More German Toys...

This is a short post with some German toys from my collection.

First up, are some of Peter Pig's battle hardened Tiger Is. I bought three and they come as a random assortment of tanks covered in battle damage and stowage. As ever, a great level of detail and craftsmanship from Peter Pig:

At a Triples show a few years ago I bought myself a set of Forged in Battle's 88s, with their prime movers. I painted these to be mid to late war as I already have some early war 88s.

Well that's it, short and sweet! Thanks for looking!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Sdkfz 222

Literally hot off the painting table are the latest additions to my early war German force; five Sdkfz. 222 by Zvezda. As with all of Zvezda's models these were nice and easy to put together and equally easy to paint. Mind you, the whole project was started before Christmas and what with never being one place long enough to finish they only were completed tonight! This is the first time I have used a brown wash in weathering vehicles. I wanted to replicate rust and the like and am pleased with the results:

Monday, 7 January 2013

Shattered Wood

In a previous post I showed you how I went about building a ruined village for Square Bashing. In this post I will continue this theme and show you how I built a similar terrain piece of a shattered wooded area.

To many people's mind this is one of the classic images of the First World War. The following pictures demonstrate exactly what I mean and are of Chateau Wood near Ypres. The first one is probably one of the most famous (if not over used) images of the Great War and is probably instantly recognisable to most people. The second shows the same wood, but in another area. The trees were splintered from heavy shelling and I wanted to replicate that in miniature.

Because Square Bashing is played on one foot squares, the terrain piece was built on a one foot square vinyl tile bought from any good DIY shop. These are sticky backed so they can be stuck on a similar sized polystyrene square. I used vinyl as it has a decent amount of strength and isn't prone to curling up at the edges. The first thing to do was apply a thick spread of Tetrion over the tile and push some real twigs I had picked up in the garden into the filler as the shattered tree stumps. These were also fixed in place with some PVA glue, just to be sure. Craters from shells were created by pushing my finger into the still wet Tetrion and the whole thing was left to dry:

The next step was painting the wood and this was a very simple process. A initial spray of brown was followed up with lots of heavy dry-brushing and some ink washing to build up the shades of mud. Finally I sprayed a thin line of green (which was drybrushed in yellow)  around the edge to break up the straight lines of the vinyl tile when it was on the table.

Here, British forces are advancing through the wood tile during a game.

Another simple idea that works pretty effectively and is quite evocative of the Great War.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Gotha it!

I broke out my new Gotha Wings of Glory model for my last game, I decided it was time to try out the big boys. I took the bomber and had support from a Pfalz DIII which were set against a trio of Sopwith Camels. The idea was for the Gotha to get to the end of the table, turn and return off the original table edge, all to a soundtrack of Motörhead! Sound easy enough? Well, we shall find out...