zaterdag 4 juli 2015

Doomwheel, part 4

With my wife in and out of the hospital for the last few months I focussed purely on the simple things I can do in front of the tv, like my 20mm Middle East village, leaving the rest in my hobbyroom as I had no real interest or time for it. I decided to take one of the boxes to the club tonight, though at 27 degrees inside, my 5 minute epoxy became 1 minute epoxy! I did make some progress on the Doomwheels, 2 are now ready to mount guns, but 2 of them are still without lids as I left one of my bitz bags at home by accident.

Bought some biker bases online in May that suit them very well I think. It is good to make some progress on them, I can now start to figure out how I want to do the various gunmounts. I've decided to drop the idea for a CC version, and won't do magnetised swappable guns, I'll stick to what I have and make that work. KISS all the way.

donderdag 2 juli 2015

Future Hotz Mats release: dirt roads

A friend of mine who is doing Saga pointed me towards Hotz as their news page is showing the up and coming new release of felt roads.

June 15th, 2015: Felt Backed Dirt Roads

Hotz Mats Felt Backed Dirt Roads will soon be released in the near future. Dirt Road widths will be: 0.5-Inch, 0.75-Inch, 1-Inch and 2-Inch. Our Dirt Road Sets are pre-colored (no painting required; just purchase, receive and play), designed to always lay flat on any gaming surface, available with or without verges, and will be available in Dirt and Desert colors, as well as other colors. Other Dirt Road widths are in the works. Our Dirt Roads are felt backed to help the product from slipping once placed on your gaming surface. More news will be posted once we are closer to our release date.

Pricing is undetermined at this point, but a ballpark price of: 1-Inch Dirt Road Width Base Set (includes straights, curves, intersections and a pullout) will give a customer 13-feet of roadway for $20.00 USD. A set of four 1-Inch width, 12-Inch length straight roadways sections is priced at $5.00 USD per set ($1.25 USD per foot). At this point we have over 50 Base Sets (without verges) of the half-inch and 1-Inch Dirt Road sets produced and almost ready to ship.

Dirt Road sections with verges will be priced slightly higher -- most customers noted on the poll we ran at our website between 2010 and 2013, that they preferred to add their own verges so they could better match the flocking colors to their gaming surface.

Dirt Roads (1-Inch Width) Retail Packaging 
The Felt Backed Dirt Road project has been a huge undertaking that has been in the works for over 4 years. Due to me having to deal with an aging mother with medical issues and an extremely toxic (ex-)business partner, life over the last five years had a way of going south in a bad way, which caused all sorts of production problems and delays. However, starting in 2015, after moving our studio in late 2014 (which caused major production delays -- this was publicly noted on our website) most of that is behind us now, as we are getting caught up quickly and nicely once again.            
I am very happy that these are being released, I've had many a competitor in my hands but they all needed work or were made out of stiff materials that needed to be painted.

Just 2 issues.
  • Comms with Hotz are ....varied, according to the web. I've never had real problems, usually got a reply in a few days time or sometimes within the hour!..... So I will email him first about these and get the latest update. Erik has always been quite friendly and quite chatty so I'm looking forward to that.
  •  Dollar to Euro ratio. Blimey it is high. The Paypal conversion isn't helping either
Having said that this set will complete my setup even more, in that I now have a mat, scenery, tarmac roads, and to be added dirt roads and trees. another step closer to a nice looking gaming table.

I am however on a money stop (for good reasons) and not in any major hurry, but I will drag out more kit and tat to sell and get more money in the Paypal coffer for when I finally can buy them. Plus some more fields....I love his fields.

Edit: Eric contacted me an hour after I sent my email, and all is well. I guess it is time to save up ! :)

zondag 28 juni 2015

Ground Zero Games 30th Birthday and Burning a Joker

Ah, GZG. Been a fan ever since starting my on and off 15mm sci-fi love affair and painting my first not-Wall-E. Remember him? >> Wall-E!

Well, turns out they turn 30 this year. And they decided to give gifts :)

As some of you may have realised (I know that a few of you have been with us since the start!), GZG is officially 30 YEARS OLD this year!
The very first products I made and sold under the GZG name were produced in 1985, when people had to find out about my products from small ads in the back of White Dwarf (still an independant gaming mag in those days!) and Military Modelling, and then had to send orders by post with cheques or postal orders - yes, kids, there really WAS gaming around before the Internet….

I can't recall exactly what date in 1985 I actually began selling stuff - so July, being the middle of the year, seems as good a time as any - plus my own birthday is also in July, making it a good month to celebrate this milestone (sadly my own is considerably more than GZG's 30 years….).

I was planning to run an offer just for the month of July - but as the Armed Forces Day falls just at the end of June, I decided that I may as well start the Birthday Offer today, a few days early, so that those of you who wish to order this weekend can take advantage of the offer as well as contributing towards my AFD charity donation as detailed above.

So, even though it is GZG's and my birthday, I'm giving YOU the gifts! As it's GZG's 30th, every order totalling £30 or more* which I receive between now and midnight on Friday 31st July will have a generous GZG 30th BIRTHDAY GIFT PACKET of free extras included with the ordered goods! This will be along the same lines as my regular pre-Christmas special promotion - a "goodie bag" of free minis picked by me, that are relevant to the sort of items you have actually ordered - so if you order FT ships, you'll get extra free ship minis, if you order 15mm then you'll get 15mm freebies, and of course mixed orders will get mixed freebie bags! Just like the Christmas offer of course, the bigger your order the more freebies you'll get.....  ;-)

Please don't be cheeky and ask for specific items - it's a gift, after all - but those of you who have received our Christmas goodie bags will know that I do my best to supply interesting things that are actually useful in your games - those of you who have had the Christmas offers will also know that you will get much more value in your freebies bag than you would if I simply offered a % discount - plus you'll have the fun of the surprise!
* I'm keeping the qualifying value extra-simple for this time - if the final total of your order, the amount you actually pay INCLUDING postage and VAT where applicable, is £30 or over - then it qualifies for the 30th Birthday Freebies offer!  :-)

There you go - help to celebrate 30 YEARS of GZG products, and get some great FREE stuff - what could be better?

Thanks for reading,

Jon (GZG), 26/6/15.
On top of that, for this weekend only, they donate 20% off the order value to charity

This weekend (27th/28th June) GZG are once again supporting the UK ARMED FORCES DAY ( - as I have done for the last two years, I will be donating 20% of the value of all orders received through the webstore during this weekend (from midnight on Friday 26th to midnight on Sunday 28th) to be divided between a selection of UK military charities - last year I split the donation between Help For Heroes (, the Combat Stress Appeal ( and a much smaller charity but a particular favourite of mine, Hounds For Heroes ( which trains and provides assistance dogs for injured personnel in both the Armed Forces and the Emergency Services.
So, if you've been thinking about ordering something - do it THIS WEEKEND and help to contribute to some really worthwhile charities!
Though not our Armed Forces, we are allies in NATO and I commend anyone who donates to charity supporting soldiers as I feel they are not appreciated enough by most for the difficult task they do.

So....I burned a Joker. Decided this was a good a time as any to get more droids for my 20mm table while doing the right thing, and having spent nothing for the last 2 months (and being proud of that might I add) but with all of the stress lately i kinda feel like I deserve something. Maybe not the right attitude, but I did it anyway.

What I ordered:

GMM-CYB4 x2 (Germy's 2mm range - the land train front. This will be turned into a large single tracked droid with hoses coming out the back....though it depends a bit on how big (or small!) it actually is! Like a portable AC system, on tracks.
GMM-34 x1 (Another from Germy, Quad Transport Walkers, which I turned into walking power generators before here .... which I will do again but now with hoses attached)
RB-01 x1 (25mm robots - ordered them blind, knowing old style 25mm blends in with 20mm usually without any problems....really curious what these look like!)
MEC-02B x1 (15mm large cargo lifter, as a companion for my smaller lifter from Kurhasan)
 SG15-V13 x3 (GZG's 3 robot pack with a not-Walle-E, a not-R2-D2 and another robot containing doubles of each.....meaning I just expanded my collection with 6 more of each...I'm looking forward to making a few derelict Wall-E's :) )

"Knock, knock!"

After receiving depressing news today that Kim won't be released till the 10th of July, there is no treatment plan finished even when she is released and re-sorting out babysitters for the next 2 weeks I decided to watch telly and call it a night.

My God, they do let anyone with a vague idea of tv make shows these days, do they? No wonder I hardly ever watch anymore. So I switched it off after an hour or so, grabbed my toolbox and plasticcard and went to town.

Nothing major, more KISS using fixed size thin plasticcard overlaid on a base, with details drilled and or raised (or both). Simple things really. From left to right.

  1. Door with a spyhole for me to pop something out a la C-3PO and R2-D2 at the door to Jabba's palace (thx Rob for putting that idea in my head!)
  2. Reinforced metal door
  3. Sorta Kinda metal vault door, with the round bit inside for fitting a wheel to open the door like they have on a Zinge Industries ones will work for that.
  4. Normal door
  5. Piece of a old HO scale house that looked door-ish
  6. First door (and a lot of work it was)
  7. Door with thinner strips to colour in
While delving through my plasticcard scrap box I also found another abandoned HO-sprue that will make excellent shutters for sci-fi.

Both lots will be turned into press moulds later this week so I can full out with more greenstuff and get plenty of casts done when I start my sci-fi buildings.

And in other news.....I managed to trade one of my surplus Black Hawks for a Star Trek Kazon Fighter that I will be converting a bit. I already have the Kazon Torpedo built up, flight stand ready, I just need to make a flight base for it when it is parked somewhere. Bargain deal really.

Also, while saying goodbye to the guys at the club (due to Kim's illness it's pretty uncertain if I can (or am willing to) find babysitters for me to go to a hobby night, with all of the added expenses that that brings) a few chaps were kind enough to give me some great GW bits....some Ogre bear-traps, the spare head of the new 27 euro single model Techpriest and quite a few Adeptus Mechanicus symbols of the Imperial Knight....all of which will come in handy for my Inquisitor adventure.

vrijdag 26 juni 2015

Licence to crenellate

Thx to a Pulp Alley topic on the LAF > Pulp Alley AAR; Almost Stolen Goods I've been inspired to have a look at city walls and a Arab fort. Well, a Sahara fort anyway. Plenty of those to find online, useful for Pulp, WW2 and modern era if you keep it modular. Lots of gamers have built them so plenty of ideas now. Well chuffed.

From the looks of it, 4 towers, 6 - 8 sections of wall and 1- 4 gates should suffice for a basic fort or a castle wall lining the table, with stuff like a tower and court yard buildings taking it up to 20 pcs.

That's a fine project there, Sir!

Here are 2 of the most useful setups that I found on the net.

Both consist of towers, straights and gates, are completely KISS and simple enough to build. Just those damned battlements worry me, I think it will be safer to do those in a double row of 2 x 3mm thick blue foam for safety....even if it means cutting out the double amount :P

donderdag 25 juni 2015

A small key opens big doors

...except that for sci-fi, there are no keyholes!

Looked around, and other then Scotia Grendels doors nothing really struck me as suitable for 20mm (either too big or too small). And thx to the usual mantra of "Got plastic and no money" i've made some sketches of some Tatooine-esque doors and I am translating these into plasticcard so I can cast them in greenstuff.

First test:
Needs something in the middle, probably will add a 0.5mm raised strip there for looks. I'm making the doors universal, no definate right or left side. I'll do a few more and see how it goes. Simple things really.

I have plenty of time in the evenings now, my parents picked up the kids till Saturday and Kim is in the hospital for another week, maybe more. It's just me and the cat and the turtle now, and neither is good in conversation.....

zondag 21 juni 2015

Buildings 13, 14 and 15

3 more buildings this week.

Gatehouse (or gate with house on top) and 2 sets of garages/shops.

Nr. 13
The gatehouse. Decided to make the gate wider then the previous one (this one fits a tank) plus a pedestrian tunnel and a covered stairway to a small flat on top.

Not finished, needs sanding plus sand on the base reinforcement plus some sanding on the inside of the arches, plus a door needs to be inserted. You might notice that the base is no longer 4mm wider then the building. I noticed that these box shapes are really tough and don't need that. Also, it lets me put the buildings right up against each other, so that is the way I will go with the rest of my buildings and I might even rework some of the older ones. Since they are not painted yet that is no problem.

Nr. 14
Garage/shops number 3.
Simple box, shutters on the front, closed on all other sides.

Nr. 15
Garage/shops number 4.
Same as 14, but left 1 garage/shop open. Not full depth, but (just not) deep enough for the Beetle.

The shops will get seperate awnings, goods and stalls that I can put in front or seperate at a later date. I got them planned in my head :) 5 more to go!

And in other news:
  • 100.000 views! Wow, took me a couple of years to get there but still impressed so many people have dropped in to see my work and ramblings :) Thx guys!
  • After conversing with a few mates, I've decided to focus the soon to start painting on 20mm Taliban as I have a big bag of them ready to go. (so I don't need to go out and buy/trade stuff)
  • Kim might not be released from the hospital on Monday
  • I've gotten a bit lax and not sold any stuff for a couple of weeks now, but don't hold it against me as due to all of this business with Kim I've been more preoccupied with R&R in the evenings.