Sunday 28 February 2016

TIE Fighter

Following on from seeing "The Force Awakens" my Sci-Fi hankerings were ignited and I resumed the "paused" Revell TIE fighter kit (see below):

It needed a complete Airfix acrylic (01) undercoat to cover the shinier than usual plastic (in my haste or rather excitement I forgot to wash in warm soapy water). I then decided to give it a deep space black wash (see above).

Saturday 27 February 2016

The World of Tanks

Hmmm, now that I (or rather the family) am in the PS4 club I can indulge myself unrepentantly and unashamedly in the online gaming sensation that is ... "World of Tanks"!

I am just having TOO much fun :)

Thursday 18 February 2016

Sci-Fi Robots (Part 2 : Painting Metal Bits)

Phase II: Let the Painting Commence

In hindsight I found this useful link in putting the robots all together:
Assembly (Pantheon of the Geeks)
Assembly (GMP)

Day 8: Airfix Acrylic Undercoat:

Still my favoured undercoat as (a) I have it to hand and (b) it is less dark than black and I will "wash" over the end result to highlight detail. I even conscripted a young helper to assist in the work (see below):

Day 9: Vallejo Black Wash:

Vallejo Black Wash to darken the figure and pick out the details. Plenty of liquid on the brush and make it "sloshy and sloppy" is my motto (see below)

Day 10: "Dry-Brush" Gun Metal Base Colour:

I usually fall into the trap of being more "wet-brushing" rather than "dry-brushing" but this time I chose a suitably old (knackered) brush and dutifully wiped 90% of the paint off by brushing it against the absorbent side of a cereal box (God bless Blue Peter they were spot on with the usefulness of cereal boxes). I also noticed I had forgotten to attach the "Infiltrator Leader's" antenna (see below):

Note: Inspiration was sought and came from online tutorials
Painting Tutorial (a) (TWG)
Painting Tutorial (b) (GMP)

Day 11: Vallejo "Brown Wash"

The thing that I am 'trying' to get used to with washes is that it is often "two steps forward one step back" as the wash seems to strip out some of the earlier "good" from the previous stage/layer of paint. I come from the 'old school' of three layers (shade, base, highlight), inking and a wash followed by a "ultra highlight". However Games Workshop seem to have promoted a Kaizen approach to factory painting efficiency .. which if truth be told gets results but takes a bit of the 'fun' out of things. Anyway having got my models shiny I proceed to dull them back down again with a "Brown Vallejo Wash" (see below):

Day 12: Highlighting Metal

Back to another dry-brush with Vallejo Gun Metal (see below, spot the difference or just re-work for the sake of rework?):

Close up of Droid Commander (see below):

Next I was going to put on some "brassy colours" ... but ...

Day 13: Confession

"Then I got distracted!" Press PAUSE but I will show you what I got distracted with next!


Tuesday 9 February 2016

Balsa Tank II

Little pairs of eyes "watch and copy" what "big people" do, something that I continually forget, so it was with no small amount of surprise and pride that I witnessed the 'Balsa Tank' move onto a higher form courtesy of my youngest son and daughter (see below):

A "Two-Tone Brown and smudge of black Black" Tank that could be NATO's secret weapon in Tim Gow's Garden Wars!


Monday 8 February 2016

Getting them started early: Labyrinth

I picked this up in a "Charity Shop" and thought 'this looks good' one for all the family (see below, note even the balsa tank in the background [that my youngest son had weathered up for me with a black crayon] did not help me win):

We got the family round the table and gave it a go. Early introduction to a bit of role playing (RPG) methinks and true to form the kids wiped the floor with me and my good wife. Something about agile little minds (plastic intelligence?) and old 'world-wise' minds crystallised in set patterns. I didn't stand a chance really.

"No dice" involved with threw me a critical blow as I could not just blame the dice or "get lucky"!

Sunday 7 February 2016

Sci-Fi Robots (Part 1: Assembly)

Dramatic drum roll ... 30 Day Project announced ... Sci-Fi Robots

[Note: As some of my blog readers are also players in my "Space Crusade" campaign I pondered on keeping progress on this project a secret in a vain attempt to retain the surprise "Oooh shiny" factor come the next game but decided to publish instead.]

Not so 'Secret' Confession: I cannot resist popping into Games Workshop outlets (gasp, shock, horror ... historical wargaming community can ostracize me) just to see the painted figures on display (honest guv, no dice rolling, don't understand the rules anyway), so it takes something "good" [aka sexy] before I make a purchase, despite all the protestations and pleadings of the oppressed Sale Staff. I generally buy "one offs"  rather than commit (sorry should that be addicted?) to a particular honour bound "range" [Xmas present list as per the Codex or you are an unbeliever], but I have to report  ...  I succumbed (again) ... to these strange Martian Robot figures, top marks to Games Workshop design department (see below):

Shiny, shiny, shiny alert! Called" Sicarian Infiltators" (looking very post-apocalyptic circa 1980's apocalypse moveis) and/or "Sicarian Ruststalkers" (aka Star Wars Commando Droids) from the Adeptus Mechanicus Scitarii range (and I have absolutely" no idea what that means). Games Workshop have cunningly slipped two model types into one box just to induce you to buy it twice and it might just work to the weak-willed [unlike me?]. However to foil their cunning marketing plan I decided to do two of each basic type and then make a judgement call as to whether I make the Commander figure or go back to another grunt (50:50 call at the moment).

Note: Not cheap either at £28 a box and £5.60 a figure! I was also expecting the figures to be larger than they actually were, yet intriguingly the purchase still retains its silky allure and they grew in height as I assembled them, very fragile looking though. Lots of fiddly interchangeable parts and spares to play with on five set "body poses". Definitely a "modelling" project than a 'slap-and-snip together' affair! Seemingly as many parts left of the sprues after they had been assembled. If only I was any good with "Green Stuff" I reckon I could make another five figures easily. 

Standard rules of engagement for the Thirty Day Project, one small thing per day (no matter how small) to ensure forward progress is maintained throughout the period.

Day 1:
Open the box. Washed parts in hot water and washing-up liquid and dutifully read the assembly instructions (which were more complicated than I expected, again "fiddly parts").

The unboxed set of 'many parts' (see below): 

The intimidating 'Byzantine' instruction sheet that even if I carefully follow "I get wrong" (see below):

Day 2:
Managed to assemble three out of the four "base figures" [torsos, legs and back pack on base] (see below):

Day 3:
And now there is four, two destined to be Infiltrators with "Dome Heads" and two destined to be Ruststalkers with the "Clone Wars" Commando Droid heads (see below).:

Day 4:
The "Infiltrator pair" definitely post-apocalyptic 1970's/80's Sci-Fi IMHO which I like (see below, both "gunned up" but one with hand-to-hand pointy sword, the other with a long pointy "tazer" thing):

Day 5:
Ooops, I got one wrong! A head swap is required (see below, can you spot the difference? Pipes were supposed to go into the chest not hanging loose like I had them originally [see Day 4]):

Day 6:
The "Ruststalker pair" they seem to hand-to-hand specialists, one wielding double "long sword/katana, the other a ripping claw and short power sword - though I could see these carrying simple guns too. I seem to be coming down on the Ruststalker preference as they have more of an "army trooper" feel to them - even contemplating ripping out their left arms and gunning them up from the Inflitrator kit (see below):

[Note: Despite trying to meticulously follow the instructions I had to try multiple heads before I got it right "in my eyes". The "fiddle-factor" is high with this construction but it produces a 'finely-lined' end figure.]

Day 7:
The Commander figure. I went for the "Infiltrator" option in the end as I was not taken with the hooded head, does a robot need a hood? The "Commander Figure" is typical of Games Workshop nonsense in making distinct model types instead of just painting them slightly different (see below):

Basic built complete, painting next.

To be continued ...

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Looking for an 'interesting' 30 Day Project to start in February

I have veritable melting pot of disparate interests at the moment (bad sign, need to focus), so am I am looking for a suitable "30 Day" feel good project to 'focus' (focus, good idea) on. Something 'doable' that I can look back on with earnest satisfaction and think I have accomplished something thatwas quite useful and could be used almost immediately.

Inspirational Sources

Reading (1):
  • Napoleonic, 'The Peninsular Campaign' in particular
  • WWI early naval battles (Audio: The Battle of The Falklands)
Active Game Playing (2):
  • PS4 Pacific War Carrier Battles, like the graphics, silly game play as I have it on 'easy' settings, but strangely satisfying
  • Space Hulk, eyeing up another evening with friends and there are some unfinished 'odds and sods' to paint and (ahem) an issue of an "impulse" purchase I might admit to later that could be painted up in time 
Modelling (3) or rather "stalled modelling projects from 2015":
  • Balsa Tank (Scale 54mm)? Stop laughing, it's as viable as anything Sci-Fi I've done so why not?
  • Star Wars 'First Order' TIE Fighter (Scale bigger than 20mm but smaller than 28mm)
  • Really need that RAF (Battle of France) 1940 Fairey Battle (1:72 scale) to be finished 
  • A Revell Spanish Galleon (1:450 scale)
  • 28mm Saxons/Vikings
  • A Revell (1/144 scale) French Rafale modern jet fighter
  • 28mm Napoleonic Victrix
  • 2mm Napoleonic Irregular Miniatures
  • 15 mm Prussian or French (I think that would see me off)
  • Chasing eBob for those Bannockburn 28mm Scottish Spear :(    
Board Games and Rules (4):
  • Napoleon's Battles (First Edition) although there is a YahooGroup exposing their Fourth Edition via Cavalier Press
  • Wars of the Roses (A Coat of Steel)
  • Impetus
Other things calling from the attic (5): 
  • 20mm T-28 WW2 Russian Tank
  • PSC 1/250 Small German Half-Tracks (20mm)
  • PSC Marders (20mm)
  • 25/28mm Renaissance Italian Wars
  • 1/3000 Pacific War ships  
Whimsy, whimsy, whimsy! Where to go ... roll a dice?

Monday 1 February 2016

A Balsa Tank?

One of the "fun" things I was given at Xmas. My wife's predictions were, a usual, true to form. In the sense that although I was a little dismissive of it at first (understatement, "What's this for?"), once my tiny little hands started working on it I really 'enjoyed it' in an "Art Attack" way. Crude, rough and ready but FUN! The finished product IMHO is as good as many (any?) a GW 40K vehicle product [dig dig, I like their figures but don't see the point of the majority of their vehicles, aka "The Basilisk" come on that thing fires "off planet" for gawd's sake!] at a knock down SALE price of a couple of quid (see below, end result being a modern 2000+ supertank?) :

It needed a bit of UHU glue in places, although it has a Red (Chinese or Russia) Star I think it has a American "Super Patton" feel to it. All balsa and 95% old old fashioned "Workwood Slot Joins". I think it could even fit into one of Tim Gows - 54mm Garden Wars!