Thursday 27 November 2014

Star Gruntz .. "Move Out!"

First packet of Ground Zero Games 15mm Science Fiction Star Gruntz figures have been painted. Perhaps a little bit more attention to pay to the basing but I am keeping it all basic (no vegitation, maybe a light white dry brush). A heavy shadow, dirty, grimy 'used to be white' feel to the troopers, kind of like the Star Wars clones without any frills (see below):

There is another pack of basic infantry still to do before I move on to the more 'specialist' figures (heavy infantry weapons, missile launchers, snipers and bossy command/medic types). These figures are from the GZG New Israeli range, but I have named them as part of my Yaeter (nation/race/clan/tribe/affiliation delete as applicable) "Terra Legion".

The Yaeter descend from a not too distant colonist/exploration past but have lost contact with their "roots" (logistical and infrastructure-base, i.e. their replenishable economy). The Yaeter are having to make do with salvaged, washed-out equipment, trying to keep it in a running state. Their high-tech is often of a very "breakable form" and they are ultimately in a race against time to regain contact with their 'home' Terra before "the batteries run out" on their most sophisticated equipment. Their battlefield heavy equipment is becoming less and less sophisticated over time and they now have but just a few off-planet craft capable of a limited deep space travel, beyond the local Sol system. It looks like any time soon they will either have to make a desperate (blind) "deep space jump" gamble or become fixed on a 'home castle' planet.

Sci-Fi don't you just love it, you just make it up :)

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Battleship Row (Part Two) One down, three to go

The first Tudor battleship has now sailed away in the basic starter set colour scheme, festooned with "ever so colourful but tricky decals" and has now taken its rightful place in my daughters classroom. She did a pretty competent paint job all things considered and I only had to step in towards the end with the decals (see below):

I was keeping pace with my daughters ship and intend to "keep working away" on mine to put in a little extra detail, including trying out some experimental (well for me) Vallejo "inks and washes" (see below):

My son's project has a later hand in date and his kit stands painted in the basic scheme but pre-decal stage, which again I will have to step-in and help (see below):

Meanwhile the main mast went up on HMS Victory and the 'basic' paint coverage was completed. Still have to apply the rear decal yet (see below):

Still unsure how much use HMS Victory would be as a wargame "element". I cannot envisage forming a fleet of "Victory" clones. The closest I can think to a use is a naval gunfire marker in the Siege of Toulon, any better ideas out there?

Thursday 20 November 2014

Battleship Row (Part One) School Project WIP

HMS Victory sporting some colour and sails bar the main mast (see below):

Mary Rose Number #1 for my daughter (see below):

Mary Rose Number #2 for me, primed grey, Airfix Acrylic 1, playing catch-up to the kids after getting distracted with HMS Victory (see below):

Mary Rose Number #3, for my eldest son (see below):

The deadline is approaching so I will have to put on a painting spurt ;)

Monday 17 November 2014

Tudor Battleship Production Line

A "Spot the difference competition", or rather a challenge as there are no prizes to award. The topic is my overflowing Painting Table (see below, photograph I circa 1980):

And again. What's the difference? (see below, photograph II circa 2014):

The answer is .. none, other than the sepia setting (hit by accident by me on the camera). The Mary Rose and HMS Victory kits are selected from the maritime Airfix "Starter Kits" range and could have been made in either era.

The reason for this annexation of the dining table was a looming Tudor School Project deadline. If you look carefully there should be three Mary Roses WIP (well one is still technically in the box) as well confusingly a HMS Victory chucked in for good measure (that one was a project of mine that I had lingering around in a cupboard for a while).

Looking forward to Xmas already: "Dear Santa I am a big kid and want to pretend I am eleven again and play 'make a model' on Xmas day!"

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Friday 7 November 2014

1/144 Revell Ju 87's

I could not decide what to do with a bit of extra time hobby on my hands. I could not get into the painting mood so I decided to finish off the assembly of some 1/144 Mini-Kits, two more Stukas to make a flight of three (see below):

These are old but nevertheless good kits. These are destined to be part of a 1940 Battle of France German air contingent for a 10mm demonstration game scheduled for 2015.

Thursday 6 November 2014

First look at me 15mm Science Fiction painting attempt

Black washed (see below):

Vallejo Game Colour Stone Grey, highlighted with Vallejo Game Colour Wolf Grey, Vallejo Game Colour Bone White and Humbrol Acrylic (170) Satin White (see below):

Same colour combination from a different angle (see below):

Application of a burnt umber "dipping wash" after full immersion (IMHO too heavy) and left to dry (see below):

Retouch with Humbrol Acrylic (170) Satin White (see below):

Hmm, it was an experiment and the attraction of the Sci-Fi is that there are not hundreds of figures to paint, but methinks perhaps I spent too much time on this one and I could be a lot cruder.

Your thoughts appreciated ;)

Wednesday 5 November 2014

New (for me) Airfix/Humbrol Acrylic Paints and a "Man" foiled at the first step, but saved by the Wife!

As part of the recent Saturn 1B project I had to acquire some "Satin White" paint. As a local shop stocked the latest range of Humbrol/Airfix acrylics and the Saturn 1B  instructions handily told me which specific tin I needed (aka 170) I opened up an account at yet another manufacturers range of paints (something familiar about this story perhaps? Humbrol Enamel, Tamiya Acrylic, Games Workshop Citadel Acrylic, Revell Acrylic, Airfix Acrylic, Vallejo Acrylic, Anita's Acrylic).

I was actually relieved to see the paint was was acrylic rather than the dreaded smelly enamel I was expecting from my childhood! (See below for a look at my first tin of new paint, is it time to pop the lid off?):

Hang on, this is harder than it should be. Screwdriver and sharp modelling knife were used, but to no avail!

Note: OK I lied (170) was not the first tin I used, in fact the first one was (1) "grey primer" (which I am very impressed with), but take a look what a mess I was making of the tin lid! (See below):

Luckily my wife was at hand (my head was literally in my hands) to point out that like most wines these days it was actually a screw top, ahem. Surely not, foolish woman! A flush of embarrassment later and yes, she was right (see below):

It came off so easily in the end. My excuse? I'm a 'Bitter, Best  or Lager man", rather than a wine drinker ;)

PS: That "grey primer" (1) is the business for preparing the ground for further paintwork. Out goes my old technique of using Tamiya matte black (XF1) on planes, ships and tanks!

Monday 3 November 2014

Third Rock from the Sun (Solar System Science Project)

Needs must and my eldest sons science project calls for my 40K (and some) "Space Wars" planets to be scrutinized for stand in Solar System duty. I had to knock up Mercury from a small polystyrene ball destined to become an asteroid or minor moon [first rock from the sun], repaint a green planet with some earth-like oceans for you guessed it Earth [third rock from the son] and then repaint another green planet to blue for Neptune [last rock/gas planet]. Work in progress, the planets get an identity parade line-up (see below):

The backdrop was the reverse side of a game board I luckily (or was that great 'male' foresight at work?) had painted black, The family, three children armed with defunct tooth brushes dipped in white paint  "splattered" stars and the like onto the backdrop. Great fun until we looked at our shoes the next day and saw lots of "white spots" of them. Pity the kids wore their best shoes (ahem), I was not popular!

Another view of Sol's planetary system without the dangling strings on Sol ;)

Saturday 1 November 2014

The Space Race continues Saturn 1B

Half-term comes and school projects seem to fill up the calendar! If you can't beat them join them and it's as good as excuse as any to build that Nasa rocket [Saturn 1B Apollo 7] that has been lurking in the loft for several years (see below, assembly in progress):

The final beast is quite impressive (see below). It was the first manned Apollo space mission in 1968. The hardest part about the build was putting the long decals on the sides. I had a nightmare with one of the USA decals that go on halfway up the rocket. I thought I would be asking Airfix for another set as the darn thing tangled around itself (the worst decal nightmare I have been in bar those situations when the decals just disintegrate) but long served modelling patience and micro surgery in a bowl of water recovered the situation. Standing tall she it hoping to have a walk on part in my eldest sons "Solar System" video (see below):    

I did not fuss too much with the modelling aspects of the project as it is basically a tube to be viewed from a distance, so no real "sanding" the joints etc. for a perfect finish. I was slightly taken aback by the amount of white paint she needed. The final white is a satin, but the undercoat was matte. She pretty much took up two thirds of a tube of Vallejo Game Colour White and a third/half tin of Airfix Acrylic Satin.

She was my training day before I go for her bigger sister the Saturn V, but first I will go to Russia with love and try my hands on a Vostok ;)