Saturday 31 January 2015

Western Desert Matilda RTR 1941 (WIP)

All nine Matilda tanks and two Humber A/C's gathered together (see below)

Plenty of painting action to come, but still two short of the tally ;)

Friday 30 January 2015

Matilda No.9

Waltzing Matilda No.9 has been put together (see below):

As per the hysteria of pre-WWI Dreadnought building competitions "We want ten!" (Psst, actually eleven for the Western Desert if truth be told, two for Russia and another two more for the Pacific in 2015, before Airfix stops selling the kit).

Command Decision: Western Desert OoB: 
I have three companies of three, so therefore by my reckoning I need a Regimental HQ Tank plus a modified Matilda II Close Support (CS) platoon tank!

Tuesday 27 January 2015

One Man in Red the rest in er, Grey?

The WIP "group photo" (see below):

The Airfix Grey Primer has been applied to all the "tri-corn" hats (14 lads in total, excluding the casualty figure)

Sunday 25 January 2015

Almost One Month .. How 2015 is Shaping Up? (New Year's Resolutions)

New Year's Resolution#1: "To play 20 Games(*1) in 2015"
  1. Computer Game: Age of Empires Castle Siege (and enjoying it)
(*1) These include: Tabletop Wargame (multi-player or solo), PBM or Computer Moderated, Multi-Player OnLine Game(s), Board Game (multi-player or solo) 
Note: Difficulty [Predicted Hard and still looks that way] :(
New Year's Resolution#2: "To finish 12 Modelling Projects(*2) in 2015"
  1. Airfix Matilda II (Project Type [a]) Complete
  2. Airfix Matilda II (Project Type [a]) Complete
  3. AWI 28mm Painting Prototype Figure (Project Type [d])
  4. AWI 28mm Regular Infantry Unit (14 Figures) (Project Type [c]) WIP (1 of 14)
  5. Airfix Matilda II (Project Type [a]) WIP
  6. StarGruntz GZG 15mm Infantry Platoon (10 Figures) (Project Type [c]) WIP (8 of 40)
(*2) Project Types: (a) making a larger scale model from kit in box to assembled [1/76+ vehicle or plane, 1/1200+ ship], (b) painting a larger scale an assembled model [see (a)], (c) painting a tactical squad of troops or small scale wargaming OoB element [1/200 or 1/300 micro-tanks or aircraft. 1/3000 scale ships], (d) Painting Prototype(s) for (c) if in-depth.
Note: Difficulty [Medium, though it is looking easy given the unexpected backlog/supply of Airfix "tanks" I have recently found in the loft I would say more easy]
New Year's Resolution#3: "To read 5 Wargaming Related Books(*3) in 2015"
  • None! (As yet, though there is plenty of latent reading matter lying around the house, as my wife constantly reminds me) :(
(*3) This includes, new Rule Books, Historical Reference Books, Historical Novels, Campaign Histories, Books on Modelling Techniques excludes magazines
Note: Difficulty [Easy, er well I seem to have struck out in January, much to my surprise. My reading material seems to be my sons bedtime fiction, work (computing/busines books) and some general science]
New Year's Resolution#4: "To experiment with Digital Resources(*4) for my Hobbies"
  1. Wargames Soldiers and Strategy Online YouTube Painting Tutorial Guides
  2. YouTube Battleground Videos 
  3. Age of Empires Castle Siege 
(*4) This includes "Getting a Kindle" (at some point), playing On-Line Games (which probably means getting a new computer) ... this could mean goodbye to some books, or at least not so many new ones!
Note: Difficulty [Medium, still medium]
Cor, this is quite a serious looking post, 2015 mapped out!

Thursday 22 January 2015

New Great War at Sea Blog

Check this out if you are of a nautical frame of mind:

You won't be disappointed, there is a craftsman at work here!


Wednesday 21 January 2015

British "Bob" (Part 4) Wait Until You See The Whites Of Their Eyes!

Facing front (see below):

Facing rear (see below)

Done (bar the basing)!

Notes to Self: 

The musket got the traditional three brown treatment (Vallejo Game Colour: Charred Brown shade, Beasty Brown base and Leather Brown highlight). I also painted his canteen strap (something the tutorial didn't do but was on the Perry's painting description) Vallejo Game Colour: Beasty Brown and highlighted with Leather Brown. The musket strap was painted Vallejo Game Colour: Stonewall Grey and highlighted Dead White.

I then used Anita's Acrylic "Metallic Black" (a versatile oily smearing colour) paint the musket, bayonet and where the buttons were (never done buttons before!). I used Vallejo Gun Metal for the metal bits. Now for a bit of Brass. The water bottle brass bits, the musket brass bits and the bayonet sheath. A tip here was to first paint the area with a mid-brown (Vallejo Game Colour Beasty Brown) then paint the metallic on top of that. Anita's Acrylic "Classic Gold" with a dab of Anita's Acrylic "Silver" to highlight was placed on these areas (including those pesky buttons).

Returning to the face I "dotted the whites of the eyes" (he is 28mm after all), Vallejo Game Colour: Dead White, Imperial Blue (Iris) and Black (Pupil) not that you would necessarily notice! Then a few touches of Vallejo Elf Skintone to highlight and touch up any mess.

Next Step(s): 

Now I have to figure ways in which to increase the production efficiency as I need to paint another sixteen figures for my basic "Muskets and Tomahawks" force but my current three hours a figure is not going to work! The timescale for this project is the end of February and I do have a life outside wargaming ;)
I do like the instructional videos from Wargames Strategy and Soldiers, I an eyeing up their "How to paint a British Cromwell Tank" next

Tuesday 20 January 2015

British "Bob" (Part 3) Perry's AWI British Infantryman

Facing front (see below):

A look from the rear (see below):

I thought he was looking "too neat" in the trouser area so I gave him a Vallejo Brown (Umber Shade) Wash. Following the painting tutorial I gave "Bob" a "Royal Blue" set of facings (Vallejo Game Colour Imperial Blue, highlighted with Vallejo Game Colour Magic Blue) and trimmed with a bit of nice white lace (Vallejo Game Colour Dead White).

The cartridge box, water bottle, shoes, bayonet sheath and hat got a basic Vallejo Black. To this Vallejo Game Colour Stonewall Grey was mixed in and lightened with with for highlights. The bedroll on "Bob's" back started as base colour of Stonewall Grey and was lightened again with white. I put a little white lace trim on his hat to make him look the part.

Redcoat Tutorial
Currently 13:41 through the 17:13 video

That leaves the gun, buttons and small other shiny bits to contend with .. to be continued .. one more session I think. My only negative thought is that he looks to Xmas decoration Nut Cracker Suite and may need a matte varnish?    

Monday 19 January 2015

British "Bob" (Part 2) Whites and Reds

Again trying to religiously follow the YouTube tutorial instructions, but subbing in equivalent paints from my collection, (for tutorial see previous post) the 'Whites and Red' were added. Though if I am honest, I am not sure I have mastered the layering of (diluted) white paint yet (in my case Vallejo Game Colours and Anita's Acrylic White) so I may fall back on another 'brown wash and then white highlight' to try and add some more depth and tone (see below):

The 'reds' were a three layer Vallejo Game Colour classic: shade (Gory Red), base (Bloody Red) and highlight (Hot Orange). So far I think he looks a tad bright (see below):  

The only other paint used was Vallejo Game Colour Bone White to differentiate the side slung linen bag from the white trousers, adding a touch of white for a tiny highlight. So far 09:15 minutes through the 17:13 minute total.

PS: For all WW2 fans I am itching to start putting together Matilda "number nine"

Thursday 15 January 2015

"British Bob" (Part 1) the Perry British AWI Figure is Primed and Ready to Undergo the YouTube "Painting Tutorial" (WS and S)

Primed with Airfix Matt Grey Primer (see below):

Painted up to the same level as the start of the Wargames Soldiers and Strategy painting tutorial on YouTube (see below):

Painted the flesh in my classic three tone (aka GW fantasy) schene using the Vallejo Game equivalents (Dark Fleshtone, Dwarf Skin, Umber Shade Wash, Dwarf Skin, Elf Skintone) and the hair white (Bonewhite and Dead White).

Note: This is my painting scheme, I intend to revisit the Wargames Soldiers and Strategy tutorials to see how they do "flesh"

This takes me to 2:57 of the 17:13 minute long video .. to be continued

Monday 12 January 2015

AWI/FIW Painting Progress

The Perry British Infantry (AWI/FIW) are now all assembled, in a deeper project tin to accommodate the raised rifles (see below, Foxes biscuits if anybody was interested):

The final total in their "type" groupings:

Triangular Hat:
  • 12 Line Infantry
  • 1 Standard Bearer
  • 1 Officer
  • 1 Casualty
Cocked Hat:
  • 12 Line Infantry
  • 1 Standard Bearer
  • 1 Officer
  • 1 Casualty
Forage Cap:
  • 6 Light Infantry
  • 1 Sergeant
Mitre Hat:
  • 1 Drummer
The Plan: 

Thirty seven of these figures stay in the 'new' Project Tin (the 'old' Project Tin now being full of spare parts and spare colour reference sheets) and go away into the loft (out of site out of mind of my wife). "British Bob" (see below) has been selected to get the full painting treatment as per the Wargames Soldiers and Strategy You Tube video

So "British Bob" goes into the current WIP Project Tin, alongside a 1/76 WWII Airfix British Matilda II tank.

Next: Out with the Airfix Primer Paint

Friday 9 January 2015

British Perry AWI/FIW Redcoat: The First Dirty Dozen and Some (Assembled)

Tried my hand at assembling the Perry AWI British Infantry (see below, please excuse the long range shot):

Just under half-way through the packet. The idea being to base up two units of Regular Line (12 each) and one unit of Light Infantry (6), an Officer, a Drummer, Standard Bearers (2) and the two dead figures for casualty markers.

I have already "sinned" as I ignored the sage old advice of "always wash in soapy water" (which I might regret later) but intend to go straight to the Airfix #1 Grey Primer, then try to copy this excellent painting tutorial on You Tube:

You Tube AWI Video

If mine come out half as good I will be well happy!

Wednesday 7 January 2015

What Next Project Wise: French Indian Wars (FIW) ... Really(?) 28mm (Plastic)

Well another new project, there is however a certain level of perverse logic to it (honest, there is if you look hard enough).

"Somebody else started it first " (a kind of "big boy did it and ran away" excuse) at the local club. It being the French Indian Wars (FIW) using the "Tomahawks and Muskets" rules  (recommending them very, very highly as a 'must play' game in the process) AND I can also recycle or promote the recently acquired AWI troops for the (long, long) way off AWI Project, aka the (Perry) British Infantry figures I impulsively purchased. These are "good enough" (i.e. Red Coats with Triangular Hats and Forage Caps etc) so be a ready to go starter without having to do a botched conversion job. The AWI project, rightly enough is still deemed long term, requires formations, whereas FIW is individually based "skirmish warfare" so at some point of time ahead I might curse myself with a "re-basing job". However I will have some short-term fun. Ultimately I will have Indian, Militia and French troops too, but we'll start with the traditional British Redcoats.


Troop Formations:
  • Line: 8-12 Figures
  • Grenadier: 8-12 Figures
  • Light: 6-12 Figures
  • Officer: 1 Figure
There are 38 Figures in a box but this includes two casualties, a drummer and one (or possibly two) standard bearers (although with all the spare parts included these could easily be fixed up as simple troopers). This implies about 34 useful combat figures. Therefore formations of :

  • 12  (Line ) + 12 (Line) + 9 (Light) + 1 officer  = 34 combat troops!

The Drummer and Standard Bearer to somehow fit in too.

Note: No Grenadier types are includes with the basic Perry Plastic, so I have two Regular Line and one Light Infantry formations. Handily there are three types of head gear, one suitable for light, two for regular so this is a nice trick for distinguishing different units on the tabletop.

All the above is a good enough excuse to assemble these goodies into a post-Xmas "2015 Biscuit Tin Project Box" (see below, for this previously unheard of level of organisation and planning or rather the ability to do a quick clear away when the wife comes home unexpectedly with the shopping, with everything looking much more tidy than usual):

These troops will be individually based and painting "Redcoats" of any period is a step into the wild for me, a "free from fear" bit of experimentation (hopefully)! Though I am not expecting this to be a "fast project" but a January and February (perhaps even into March) diversion ;)

Monday 5 January 2015

Airfix Matilda II RTR: Count Reaches "Eight"

Progress to date: 

The "fighting elements" of a RTR (as per Command Decision 1940/41 OoB), two Humber A/C plus the Matilda II Squadrons and HQ

Still looks a tad "under strength" to me, missing a full Matilda II Squadron, three more tanks needed, or a HQ and three reduced Matilda II Squadrons, take your pick ;)

The Matilda IIs will only come alive when I put on their distinction Western Desert Camouflage Scheme on (aka the fetching Caunter Scheme).

Saturday 3 January 2015

First Models of the New Year - 20mm WWII Airfix Matilda

The Western Desert calls in 2015, so I want to expand the Matilda Squadron of three into a full (Command Decision III) Battalion/Regiment 1940/41, so the festive period saw me put together theses little old favourites from Airfix (see below):

A good start to the New Year's resolutions. This brings my Matilda II (Western Desert) count to eight. I reckon I need another three, one of which I will have to convert to a Matilda II CS (with a three inch howitzer - nicked from the spares pile from the Hasagawa Churchill I/II kits I have previously made).

Note I: Other Matilda II (Airfix) 'modelling' variants or should I say possibilities include the cool "Lease Lend" Russian Matilda (in a winter camouflage scheme), an Australian standard 2 pounder variant and finally the Australian Frog flamethrower tank (seeing as I already have a Matilda Hedgehog).

Note II: I intend to use my Esci Matilda II tank as a BEF version (to go with my two metal Skytrex Matilda I's I have), making a small plastic card "Vickers" mantle.

Note III: The Matilda Scorpion seems too advanced a project for me at the moment (too much fuss making the chain arms) , the Matilda CDL (Canal Defense Light) being too "wacky" for the wargames table (also contravening the Geneva Convention on indiscriminate optical weapons).

Thursday 1 January 2015

Happy New Year

Let the season of wargaming begin ...

New Year's Resolution#1 "To play 20 Games(*1) in 2015"

(*1) These include: Tabletop Wargame (multi-player or solo), PBM or Computer Moderated, Multi-Player OnLine Game(s), Board Game (multi-player or solo)

Note: Difficulty [Hard]

New Year's Resolution#2 "To finish 12 Modelling Projects(*2) in 2015"

(*2) This includes making a model from kit in box to assembled, painting an assembled model, painting a tactical squad (battlefield element)

Note: Difficulty [Medium]

New Year's Resolution#3 "To read 5 Wargaming Related Books(*3) in 2015"

(*3) This includes, new Rule Books, Historical Reference Books, Historical Novels, Campaign Histories, Books on Modelling Techniques excludes magazines

Note: Difficulty [Easy]

New Year's Resolution#4 "To experiment with Digital Resources(*4) for my Hobbies"

(*4) This includes Getting a Kindle (at some point), playing On-Line Games (which probably means getting a new computer) ... this could mean goodbye to some books, or at least not so many new ones!

Note: Difficulty [Medium]

Cor, this is quite a serious looking post, 2015 mapped out!