Monday, 30 January 2012

Soviet Maxim machine gun team

Soviet Maxim machine gun team

When I checked my mailbox today, I saw a package had arrived.

I opened it up and found these therein:
boxes a bit crushed, but contets fine.

I was suprised to find they are snap together,I'll glue em anyway.

I have a box of Plastic Soldier Company's Soviet Heavy Weapons, but the machine gun pose looks funny, a guy sitting behind the gun, and no loader, the Italeri(ESCI) set has a loader, but he is loading from the wrong side.

The Zvezda figs are expensive @ $3 per team, but as they will be my last Soviet Infantry purchase (except maybe some HAT Soviet Tank riders) for a long time I felt like splurging.

WIP - Pershing 1

WIP - Pershing Part 1

The reason I didn't base my Dollar Store House upgrade was I wanted do get started on this.

I could tell from just looking at it I would have to paint some sections before I built them, mainly the torsion bar suspension. It went pretty quickly except for the front 2 bars, who ever designed them should be shot, it took me 20 minutes to figure out how do do one, the other like only 20 seconds to do.
Had to glue all these together. The drive sprockets are in 4 itty bitty pieces.

The kit came with 2 gun barrels, so I probably put the wrong one on for a WW2 Pershing.

A lot of tiny pieces go on the front, so of course one the towing hooks dropped onto the grey shag carpeted floor, never to be found.

WIP - Dollar Store House 4

WIP - Dollar Store House 4

I tried to watch the NHL all-star game on TV but it was so boring. I decided to do some more work on my Dollar Store house.

I just black washed the entire thing, I'll leave off any more work on it for a while.
As an experiment it was successful, in that I made it look much better, with very little effort, than it does straight out of the bag.
Caesars' minis for scale

The doors and windows are just something I printed out, framed in thicker cardstock and glued on. It probably took me 2 hours (in about 3 or 4 sessions) to reach this stage. A lot of that was thinking about what I wanted to do and how to do it.

It was pretty easy and now that I have finished one I could probably churn them out much quicker, especially as I would do several at a time.

I might do some more, leave them unbased and take them to a Bring and Buy, I wonder if $10 a piece is too much?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

WIP - Dollar Store House 3

WIP-  Dollar Store House part 3

I promised my self that I would not build my M26 Pershing until I finished my Dollar store house.

I cover the front in back in cardstock, the cutouts for doors and windows didn't work too well for Europe. I printed some windows and doors, added some corner stones (can't recall what they're actually called) and glued paper towel over the chimney. Then I painted walls, roof, door trim and window trim.



Still a bit to do i.e base, door step, paint corner stones and weathering.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Gaming in London

Gaming scene in London

I maintain my local gaming group's website and the Ontario Wargamers Yahoo Group and am occasionally asked about places to find gamers in London.

So I thought I would post here about what I know of the scene.

There is the Hamilton Road Gaming Group meets every Saturday at Crouch Public Library, 550 Hamilton Road. An unstructured organization, they do a bit of everything, miniatures (any genre), role playing and even board gaming.

The Historical Gaming Association of London (Ontario), meets every 4th Sunday of the month in the community room in Police HQ, almost exclusively historical miniature wargaming, we have done some Science fiction. I'm not sure how much traffic it sees though in the 15+ years I've been maintaining the site, it has generated no new members.

There are are only two stores devoted to wargaming in London;

Games Workshop in White Oaks Mall a tiny store (a guess approximately 20' x50') with a few 3'x2' tables and a bulletin board. Exclusively GW games.

Imperial Hobbies 256 Dundas Street, carries GW and Flames of War, but has other wargaming miniature lines, board games and RPG materials. He has a website that used to announce what they play and when, but it was almost always blank. My direct knowledge is several years old, as I no longer frequent the store, ever since the owner said to me "If your too cheap to buy anything, why do you come in?"

Three Comic book stores that have some gaming, I've heard anyway. The only one I have actually seen gaming occurring at is Comic Book collector.

L.A.Moods: 350 Richmond Street.

The Comic Book Collector: 779 Dundas Street.

Worlds away:  666 Dundas Street, not sure in any gaming takes place on premises.

That is it for organised groups, for some reason Londoners don't seem to like finding new opponents, there a few gamers I know of, but they prefer to play at their homes.

Trumpeter Pershing

Trumpeter Pershing

There aren't many hobby stores in my hometown, which is London Ontario, Canada.

For model shops there is;
McCormick's Hobbies, where I used to buy a lot of my 1/72 scale armour and Infantry, but he hasn't gotten new stuff in a long while,
Amazing Hobbies which is an hour away and is mainly RC stuff.
AVF entertainment & Leisure which is like 50 yards from my place, but mostly RC stuff, so Imagine my shock when I went in today and saw this on the shelf.

I have been wanting to get a Pershing for a while but everywhere on line its near $20 plus shipping, I paid $9.99 + $1.30 tax, I may go back and pick up more .He also had some other Trumpeter kits for the same price, Bradleys, Abrams, German captured KV-II, STUG IIIB, even a Sturmtiger . He also had Hasegawa kits some at $13.99 (15.80 w/tax) others $18.99 ($21.50 w/tax), of course all the $21 kits are the useful ones.


more contents

even more contents

It had been so long since I bought I model kit that had these I nearly forgot what they were.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

WIP - Dollar Store House 2

WIP - Dollar Store House 2

Last night I managed to finish putting shingles the roof. I still need to add a ridge cap though.
The red lines are so I can keep the shingles relatively straight.
I did decide on shingle strips, and finished the thing in half an hour, It doesn't look quite as good as the individually placed shingles but it much faster.
This is the other side.

To make the shingle strips I grabbed a Ritz Cracker box from the blue box and marked it into 5mm grid, cut that into 1cm wide strips about 15cm long, then take each strip and with a pair of scissors cut into the strip about 7mm (at least halfway) every 5mm. the shingle strip is complete, almost. to make them appear less uniforn I go along and randomly shorten some shingles on each strip.
Here you can see how I have shortened some of the shingles.

I then glued the strips to the roof, using white glue, do 2 or 3 strips on one side than switch to the other, then switch back to the other side, until the entire roof is covered, and let dry make sure that each strip is offset from the one below it. The shingle strips are not straight they have a bit of an arc to them, the thinner the card you use the less they will arc, one way to adjust for the arcing is to cut the strips into shorter strips (3-5 shingles long), like real roofing shingles.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

New rules

New rules

This week I received 2 new sets of rules.

One I've heard many good things about, and one I have been waiting for, for a while.

The first one is Kampfgruppe Normandy from Warhammer Historical on sale for $38 CDN. I also got their German decal sheet for $3.60 CDN.Both items were on sale, the rules 1/2 off and the decals for $3.60 CDN down from $14CDN. I was annoyed that each item cost $5.00 CDN to ship so $10 total, the rulebook weighs about 5 pounds and the decal sheet less than an ounce.

A quick glance through some of the scenarios resulted in the thought damn I got to buy a bunch more vehicles mainly oddball or stuff not easy to find in 1/72nd scale like M5A1 Stuarts of which there are 2 I know of,  both diecast but they're about $26 US each, but only need no more that 6 and other vehicles M20 Armoured cars, Wespes Hummels, Marders and other things.

Aside from that they look pretty simple, the book is about 340 pages long but only 58 are rules the rest is scenario, and army lists.

The other set of rules I picked up are from Ganesha Games called Large Battle Drums and Shakos, the PDF version is only $8 US ($8.08 CDN). I have many rules sets by GG and I like them as they are easy to play and reach a conclusion in a resonable time frame, less than 6 hours.

I've only skimmed through them and they look promising, they are designed so each side runs a single Division of several brigades, but they have rules for fighting corps and army sized battles, using most of the rules.

Gallery - WW2 eastern european buildings

Gallery - WW2 Eastern European buildings

My current interest is WW2 Eastern front, so I needed some buildings, but being cheap I decided to make my own.

I found some free 1/72nd scale Eastern front buildings by a company called Paper Tiger Armaments. I downloaded them and messed around with them a bit, mounted them on cardboard and they look serviceable. Some came with printed thatch roofs, which detracted from the looks a lot.
The front right and back left are the actual building the other two are ones where I worked on them before printing. I roofed them in white glue soaked towels, the roofs look different colors but they are the same
Barn and collective hall, shingled roofs.
 I also tried my hand at scratch building out of cork tiles.
The thatched roof on the right is white glue soaked fake fur.

WIP - Dollar Store House

WIP - Dollar Store house

I was in Dollarama, a Canadian dollar store chain, and saw these hanging on a wall.

I thought for the price ($1.25 + tax) it would be worthwhile picking a few up and seeing what I could do with them. It might be easier than scratch building.

I built one, it took less than 5 minutes, it looks compatible with my 1/72nd scale as is, and should work with 28mm as a small building. My main concern though is with 1/72nd scale so that how I intend to accessorize them.
They look pretty good for 28mm too.

My first decision was to build it as a ordinary rectangular house, as opposed to the cruciform version, not many early 20th century houses look like that especially European houses.

The first thing I did was glue the walls together and add a floor, I used an old 3 ring binder cover but foamboard would work as well, then after the glue set, cut the corners flush.
it's built correctly, the wall is upside down as the door shows
Floor added to give much need Strength.
The next thing was to make the roof removable; so I cut off the roof mounting tabs and 4 pieces of foamboard and hot glued them to the underside of the roof, I then glued cardboard (actually cereal box) over the entire roof, I lose the inscribed shingles, but was the easiest way to patch the gap.

 Having covered the shingle-like pattern etched into the wood roof I have to make it look pretty again, I cut a bunch of cereal boxes into tiny 1 cm x 1.5cm rectangles and proceeded to glue them on as shingles,it takes forever, I think i'll go back to my shingle strips for this smaller scale.

This took almost an hour to do
 Here is a complete house built for post-apocalypse games.

All I did to this one was to cover the construction tabs with white glue and paper towels, added shingles and a chimney.

Monday, 23 January 2012

WIP- Build up to Hotlead

Build up to Hotlead 2012

My friend Greg has again offered to run a game at Hotlead! 2012, this year and like last year it will be Late war WW2 eastern front. We pool our stuff, Greg supplies most of the infantry, some of the vehicles and a bit of terrain, I supply some infantry, many vehicles and much of the terrain.

This year I am hoping to improve the look of my terrain, it is currently more functionality over visual appeal.

The thing I like best is my hills, they could look more realistic but they are sturdy and transportable.

My trees look OK, but I still need a more appealing way to delineate the wooded areas. Currently debating between these three methods.
Green craft foam cut outs with dark green and brown splodges painted on.
green felt cutouts
Green towels cut outs, may add some paint to break up uniformity of colour.    
I am currently leaning to the towel option, If I can find more in a similar shade.

I was preparing to make some stream sections, but I saw on TMP that HOTZ ARTWORKS has a felt airbrushed stream option, and since I was planning on making mine out of felt or craft foam, I bought $20 worth of their 3" wide option (11' should be enough) to see how it looks.

The Soviets weren't big on paved roads, so I need dirt roads, I made them out of felt, acrylic caulking, and dry brushing.
Here's a drybrushed section in use
A lot of my German vehicles need decals, the Armourfast, Plastic Soldier Company, Pegasus Hobbies and Italeri fast build model kits don't come with any, fortunately Warhammer Historical has a decal sheet specifically for 1/72 it has 1200+ (it claims) decals, which means I can finally decalize my Nazi stuff.

All I need now is a bridge that is suitable for the eastern front.
Do Russian bridges look markedly different that their western counter parts?

Fireball Forward playtest

For the last few months I rarely have been in the mood to game.

The few times I was, I couldn't be bothered as I knew it would involve a long process starting with clearing an area in which to game (holiday clutter still hanging around), then assembling my table and then another hour to ninety minutes to set up the terrain and pull the troops.

I decided it was time for a game and I was, and still am, interested in an upcoming WW2 set called "Fireball Forward" as its the same scale as Squad Leader i.e. each unit is a squad, half squad, special weapon team (Heavy machine gun, bazooka, gun crew, et al), leader, vehicle or gun. So I built some quick multi-figure bases, as my troops are singly based. There is a Infantry only play test package on their site, which includes a simple scenario, which recreates easy company's D-Day assault on a German artillery battery, as I had played the trail scenario several times I thought I would try converting the Skirmish campaign scenario Hedgerow Hell to a FBF game. I inflated the map to fill a 4'x4' table and increased the forces, and will play it a few times to balance it.

So last Friday night I did the preliminaries i.e. clear area, build table, pull terrain and troops, with the intention of spending most of Saturday play testing. Unfortunately a broken shower head saw me spend most of the day Saturday trying to find a way to fix or replace the ball joint, which I had finally done by 3 in the afternoon. I had been running around hardware stores since 10 in the morning, so I was a bit tired and only managed to get a single playing in.
The American had 1 squad and a rifle team in one platoon and a HMG and 2 rifle teams in the other platoon. The Germans had 2 platoons of 2 squads, a platoon of 1 squad and 1 rifle team , plus 2 HMG teams.

My flaky camera was acting up again so I only got a few pictures of the last turn.
Some pictures showcasing my terrain.

I couldn't play Sunday, my local miniatures group had our Pontic vs. Roman grudge match.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tutorial - Roads

Making Roads

Dirt roads to be more specific.

I am currently doing WW2 east front and the Soviets don't have many paved roads.

I have seen many tutorials about making roads. Mine have to be made out of easily obtainable materials. This is my variation on the caulking on cloth type of road.

Felt (I used dark Brown)
Brown Acrylic caulking
Caulking gun
Putty knife
Light brown paint
Paint brushes

1) First cut your felt to whatever Width you want your roads to be (I went with 2.25") and as long as you want/need.
2) Pipe the caulking on to the felt and spread with the putty knife, don't completely cover the felt.
3) Wait until it is set.
4) Dry brush light brown down the middle and each side of each section.
5) Spread some very small amounts of white glue along the long edges of the road sections (maybe down the middle) and sprinkle flock or static grass (maybe both) on the glue.

I used felt squares from a dollar store, so mine all are all about 11" long, I'll have to see if I can find some longer pieces of felt probably from a fabric store.
4 pieces of felt yielded this amount of road.
 Here is what they look like after I flocked them and in use.
They work for Zululand
And the Eastern Front
Even Sengoku era Japan