zaterdag 30 juli 2016

Bargain basement hill, with a side order of frog legs.

Picked up something at Marktplaats on wednesday, and it arrived today. The 2 (of 4) part hills from GW from 2004. I already have the single hill painted up for the desert, and thought this would be a nice addition for 3mm games and 28mm Pulp and God knows what if I leave the flock off. Was very surprised to see my 10 euro bid get accepted, but to be honest the pics looked shit and the flock applied to it didn't do it any favours cause it just looked...weird? And nobody else bid either, that helps.


I will never understand why people flock bare plastic, and do that with that mucky plastic kiddy thick Uhu glue. The bits on the left came off in one long strip of thick congealed glue, some of the flock on the right did the same but there the glue just broke off in chunks. After 5 minutes I was fed up with that, dunked it in a bath of hot water and soap and just left it there for 10 minutes. Then some elbowgrease was applied and 99,5 % came off cleanly. Job's a good one!

Also, I could use some opinions of Mr Frogleg here.

Cape is ok, nicely highlighted to a orangy reddish colour (and I just noticed I nicked his loincloth there), the green skin has 2 highlights but it is not working for me. I have not painted 28mm for ages, so hey, any pointers are appreciated. Nice model though, from Kolony87.

My Brigade Models order - a small review of small stuff

I made a small Brigade Models order for some sets of 3mm scale appartment buildings, 2 (more) Wizard Hoverjeeps and a spaceship on the 10th of July. A few days later I got cold feet (cause really , how hard can it be to read) and decided to cancel all of the appartment buildings except 1, just to test the water, and exchanged the ordered flats for 15mm containers. Cause you now, scenery.

Lucky me, Tony Francis emails me back on the 14th, no problem, nothing shipped yet, he just got back from holiday, and he wasn't feeling to well so things were a bit backlogged. No problem, no rush. Tony reported on the net that he really wasn't well so things could be delayed, a few days later.

With only a couple of days delay, Paypal sent me a message that my order had shipped on the 23rd and today, the 28th, my order arrived. Well packed, the whole lot nicely in the box, wrapped in bubblewrap, hoverjeeps nicely in ziplockbags and everything copiously covered in foam filler chips...we call them wokkels :)

In no particular order....

SFS-5013 The Astral Pioneer cargo spaceship at 3.50 Pounds
Here compared to a BFG cruiser hull and a custom made large BFG transport. There is a very small slit on the front of the model that I assume is the steering house, it has a big turret on top and a tiny, slighly offisde aiming chin turret. The underside has 4 big plates, which, in my imagination anyway, would make nice points for 4 landing legs if you would make a starport, or you could paint them black to give the impression of opening so it can function as a small escort carrier. Or just keep it as a cargo transport, of course :) To try something new, I glued one of my larger magnets to the hull as this is a heavy ship and I want it to stay in place. I will need to make some heavy duty flying bases as well :) Hardly a mould line to find, just many spikes from the casting vents to be removed, but nothing that you can't fix in a good 1 minute cleaning.

SF15-915 Small Cargo Container at 1.75 Pounds each
1x1 cm pattern, so you get an idea of the scale.Doors on the front, closed up on the back. Nice and simple, will be a breeze to paint up, some simple weeathering, a few decals, great table filler. Some airbubbles, but not more then a few and easly filled in or dug out to recreate damage. I must get more of these.
SF15-1507 Wizard Hover Jeep at 3.00 Pounds each

The Wizard as compared to the containers, so you can see how large the containers are and how small the hoverjeep is. You could almost park one inside those containers.....but you will void the warranty I reckon. It is in the Mercenary list, one of the newer ranges, and if you want my opinion, this vehicle is a must for any self respecting frontier world or colony or plain civillain vehicle. Tony really should show pictures on his listing showing that the back is actually a seperate metal piece that you can leave off to make a pick up truck...albeit a tiny one. Leave the weapon off the roof, put a guy with a pintle mounted support gun on the back and Bob, your uncle, has just made a Technical for your insurrection. If you dont like the top weapon or the hatch, the holes are pretty shallow and easy to fill with some plasticcard or riller. Every selfrespecting frontier Redneck should have one. Or two. Now to figure out what the little nub on the left side is.....a antenna mount or a exhaust (though the latter would not make sense for a air cushion vehicle?)
And then the reason for the order, the appartment buildings. Truth be told, it does say on the webpage these are 2mm models, as is the rest of their scenery range. They will work fine with their range, and other peoples 2mm ranges should be no problem either (not that you would be spoilt for choice).
But for some stupid reason my head didn't get the message and I had assumed they would be bigger. Only after reading the page again, but now with a clear head, I grasped the scale difference and canelled everything except one tester. Anyhow....

SSS-8067 Appartment Blocks (pack of 5) at 2.50 Pounds each
Well cast, well made, look at those details! And yet bloody tiny.
2mm Appartment Blocks compared to Fighting 15's Middle East Village. In case your head worked like mine, this is the difference. Which makes the 2mm buildings perfect for people who like their buildings to have a smaller footprint, so a 3mm or 6mm gamer could use these and the other buildings for their layout. Or you could have them on the table for airgames, as they make nice Governmental buildings (aka target). That is what they will become for me. At 2.50 Pounds per set of five this is a bargain for well made resin terrain.

There you have it, the usual small order from me. Tony is a gent to communicate with, quick replies, even for a man just back from his holiday and sick at the same time. Well packed, well made, what is not to like.

And in case you are wondering, no freebies in this one, the entire order was paid in full by me :)

Edit: I made a promise to myself not to order or trade anything new till these are finished (except the appartment buildings) so I spent this evening priming and basecoating everything with the airbrush, and gave everything a nice gloss varnishcoat as I noticed the containers have a bit of a rough texture as I assume they are cast off 3D prints? The space ship too btw, there are fine lines to be seen. When the coat has hardend it is time to add in other colours and decals, varnish them again and then weather and wash and rust them.


The 2 Wizard Hoverjeeps before being primered, holes filled in and one now has some sidewalls for his truck bed.

donderdag 28 juli 2016

Rome wasn't built in a day

I have mixed feelings about these.


Bright spots:
  • It looks really, really good, pretty fast. The time per building isn't all that bad.
  • Easy to edit the PDF's by copying them to Paint and keeping the same ratios.
  • It's a bit relaxing tbh.
  • It is super cost effective.
Dark spots:
  • Up close, it is not all picture perfect.
  • The paper tears easy when wet with glue, so apply sparingly, but that means you have to work faster and only really get one go to get it right. It also helps if the knife used to score the edges does so lightly.
  • Cardboard glued to the inside makes it really strong, but concaves the walls.
  • These really need bases to live as long as possible. 
  • My inktjet isnt up for the task other then checking if I got the dimensions right, even the merest hint of water lets the ink bleed. I'll have to ask Remco if I can borrow his laserprinter again.
A friend just told me I might get rid of the concave walls by glueing a piece of paper to the bare cardboard side to lift it, I will give it a try.

The jury ain't out on this yet.

Edit: Tbh, this is my usual problem, I want it picture perfect or not at all. I have to learn to accept that it doesn't work that way if I want some games in. It is pointless to keep dropping stuff cause it does not meet my high standards. So, I will proceed with these items, making as many samples as I can to be printed off by Remco when he gets back from his holiday. Also, I need to find a cheap source of 1-1.5mm mounting board to base the building blocks on.

dinsdag 26 juli 2016

Does my building look big in this?


Just trying out ideas that don't cost much for me to work with, in this case Dropzone Commander buildings scaled down to 30% (in the logic that 100% is 10mm, so 3mm is 30%).

As they are free, I will just need to edit the scaled down versions onto a A4 sheet and ask Remco to print them for me, build them, stiffen them with card on the inside as I just did with this one, and the idea then is to base these too in City blocks. Also to edit them in my not-photoshop so I can get lower buildings and different, like tarred, roofs.

Also light weight, and due to their block plan and little height, easy to store in trays, which is a great plus for me.

So, what do you think?

maandag 25 juli 2016

My Mininatur order - a short review

Mininatur has been my one stop tuft shop from before the tuft craze started. You could buy tufts at various other places but they tended to be his stuff with a new label stuck on it and the contents halved. I used to order there once a year to stock up on tufts, but that ground to a halt around 2012 when I ran out of money. Not that much has changed now, money wise, but hey.

I felt I had postponed a new order long enough as especially my moss pads sheet was almost empty and I had been unable to find any at last years Crisis show. So, I saved up, made the order for 4 boxes of tufts and bits, paid and waited.

And waited.

Nothing came for a month, which was unusual as they have been superfast the previous times, so I sent out an email enquiring to the status of my order. But then I got word no one could find my payment (I did a banktransfer) so I sent them all the details and waited again. After 2 more weeks I was getting a tad upset so i emailed again and I was told that they had found my payment, but the day it arrived the owner had passed away (at a mere 66 years old) and then everything became one tangled mess.....I can only imagine. I had this happen before during a emailconversation with the late owner of Britannia Miniatures who died after we had been chatting about my order and what he needed to get done before he could cast my order etc. Now I'm starting to feel like s shop owner killer or something......

Anyway, they sorted everything out, told me they would get on it, and I told them to take their time to get the shop up and running again and I'm in no rush what so ever anyway (as always really).

So, yesterday, a box is delivered, and upon opening I'm greeted by my order and then some.
I only ordered the 4 boxes, I was surprised to find rolls of tufts stuffed in the box.
Upon opening both rolls I find strip after strip after strip of various type of their product.
I was a bit gobsmacked by all of this. Some seem to be endpieces, but others are exactly what you would get in a small pack. There seems to be about 30 euros worth of product stuffed in besides my order. I'm not sure what to say.

As soon as I do, I will send them a email confirming the arrival of my order and how I feel about all the extra bits. I know it is super generous of them, but they did not have to do it, and gifts of any kind make me very uneasy (I can never just accept stuff, ever.....I think I'm just weird that way)

Anyway, the order. What I ordered is there, and the items I selected blindly are what I expected of them....his item photographs are very good and detailed.

  • 747-24 Moss pads - late fall. This is what I use for low grass on 20mm figures, and fields of small bushes in 3mm. I use this stuff all the time.
  • 002-24 Grass Flock, 2mm, 50 grams, Late Fall. A slightly lighter shade then the Moss Pads, I picked it up for dry grass in 3mm scale and from the looks of it is perfect :)
  • 737-33 1:45+ 2 Colour grass tufts, Early Fall. For the ruined city and the other post apocalyptic stuff.
  • 717-23 Short tufts, Early Fall - for imitating large bushes and shrubs in 3mm and swamp areas
As you might notice, I prefer my grass/tufts to be of a brownish tone....bright green is fun if you are playing on a Games Workshop goldcourse, but nature tends to be more muted.

Anyway, their service is still excellent, and according to the website, his son and daughter and employees will continue the store so I will be back. Next year.

zondag 24 juli 2016

More 3mm Panthers ahead

After posting my previous post lastnight, I went out and made a Bergepanther as well.

I see I need to clean up the spare roadwheels I put in the box. And yes, the box on the deck is a bit crooked, but I gave up after glueing them to my fingers twice and then just thought the hell with it. It looks ok-ish
 Then went and built a Regelbau Pantherturm for a non-city environment (Italy, Germany)

Yes, complete with backdoor!
Then based up 4 Panthers, 1 Co and 3 regular ones. One is actually a spare for a bigger game, as in Battlegroup the unit is normally 3 tanks (1Co and 2 regular ones). Now I need to get some Greenstuff and make 3 more casts for the 3 wrecks that I want to build, then get everything basecoated and paint it all in one go.

My CO's will be the ones with a turned turret.

While the regular ones will be stock standard casts.
Now, since my book is in storage *somewhere* I pcicked up the Panther pack as a test to see if things clicked for me. And yes, they do. Since Modhail likes the desert, I've decided to focus my attention to the upcoming release of Battlegroup Afrika, and guesstimate what I need based on the previous books. So I need to sort out Infantry, trucks and armour. Artillery bases, as they are usually offboard for me, can wait till next time. Sofar I have 15 euros in the pocket for my budgetted 50 euro order, so I need to get my thumb out and find more stuff to sell.

But, I'm not going to splurge or anything. I want smal to mid point lists, 4 per main battle tank, 1's of recce vehicles, enough trucks to transport troops and have supply trucks as well, 1 platoon of infantry with all options, and all of the air support choices available (but that is never more then 2-3 aircraft and maybe a bomber). The handy thing about Oddzial Osmy packs is that they (usually) have 15 of the same vehicle in the pack. So3-4 for the desert, 3-4 for early war, 3-4 for Winter war and spares for Late War oddballs (well, this applies to the Germans only of course). If I still have too many of a certain vehicle I can always trade them with others.

So, on the buy list is:
  • British Infantry
  • German Infantry
  • British Trucks
  • German Trucks
  • Italian Trucks
  • French Trucks and car
  • Russian Trucks
  • A modern car pack ....because it has a Beetle in it.
  • British Cruiser Tanks
  • German Light and Medium Tanks
  • British and German command group
  • German Armoured Cars
  • British Armoured Cars 
  • Palm trees
Anything else is for next time. I've given myself 2 months to clean, base and paint the 2 mainforces (aircraft and wrecks can come second this time). For now, I can get a head start on painting the houses and basing them up.

vrijdag 22 juli 2016

My first 3mm WW2 ground unit! (WIP) - Berlin Pantherturm

Groundbreaking work today. Well, 3mm groundbreaking anyway. In my last Fighting 15's order I picked up a pack of 3mm Panther G's, and I moulded 3 of them today, and cast 2 whole one s and 1 with half a hull to make this conversion.

20mm square base, middle of the engine bay cut out as I did in my 20mm scale model so the crew can enter, copied off a pic from Berlin or one of the other cities that I lost ages ago. Piled dirt up around it and some bigger tiles, now looking to add a single roadwheel and expended shells using my die punch and lenghts of wire. The muzzlebreak I will paint in. New hatch added with die punch as the original was too tall with a MG.

So, my first ever 3mm WW2 ground unit......

....has caused me plenty of headaches sofar. As these will be used to skirmish Battlegroup with Modhail, I've thought about adding a label to the back. This worked quite nice with my 6mm and my 1/3000th Navy, but I don't like it. You are only looking at about 20-30 units per side, give or take, so I have decided to do labels, but to put them on the underside of the base. If you are really afraid you have mixed things up, you can always pick it up and look at the underside. Same for infantry, but they will get colour coded on the thickness of the end of the base.

Should be dry in a minute or so, will basecoat it before going to bed, just need to do the roadwheel and empty shells first.

woensdag 20 juli 2016

Review of Fighting 15's 3mm Middle East scenery.

Recently, I made an order for several pieces of 3mm Middle East scenery. The order was made on the 11th of July, was shipped on the 13th and arrived on the 19th here in the Netherlands.  I ordered the following:
  • MEB01 Large and Mid-sized Middle Eastern buildings - 3 Pounds
  • MEB02 Small Middle Eastern buildings - 3 Pounds
  • MEB04 Medium Middle Eastern settlement with walled compounds - 6 Pounds
  • MEB07 Middle Eastern Mosque with minaret - 5 Pounds
  • A pack of 3mm Panther G tanks from Oddzial Osmy - 3 Pounds (not for this review)
Items are very cleanly cast, no flash, moulds look to be very new. Resin is not greasy and fleels dry and clean to the toutch, and comes in grey and cream. Undersides are sanded on most to create a flat(ter) surface. Items seem to be nicely in scale with 3mm Oddzial Osmy and Tumbling Dice.

MEB01
Well cast, no flash, the buildings are a mix of brick and stucco. The average house has a 30x30mm foorptint and all have 2 levels. Sizewise they fit nicely with the 3mm vehicles. 4 pcs out of a possible 8 for 3 Pounds. What I personally don't understand is that they don't offer the full set of 8 houses for 6 Pounds, unless they have a mould with a ton of these houses, some more then others. Still, a bigger pack would be nice. Also, one with a 1/3rd dome would have been even better.(see edit)
MEB02
Well cast, mostly stucco, single level houses, with a average footptint of 20x20mm. Again, works fine with 3mm vehicles. You get 6 houses out of possible 12 items for 3 Pounds. Again, same issue as with the Big/Medium houses.....why not release a 12 pcs pack for 6 Pounds? Missed oppurtunity in my eyes.(see edit)
MEB04
Well cast, thick base of about 1.5-2mm's, with some low walls to create the compound feel. I selected this one as a test from the possible pre built village choices, and it costs 6 Pounds. To be honest, I could have better spent the money on 2 more small houses pack (adding 12) to the rest and made at least 4 village bases for the money. Adding low walls is just cutting some slivers of (plastic) card. Yes, it looks nice, and you have a instant village, but you are paying for it and the extra resin to cast the base. I will not be buying another of these. The rest of the villages suffer from the same problem IMHO. At this scale, easier and cheaper to create with just the houses and 15 minutes of effort. Though I applaud the efforts of giving us this option, don't get me wrong, I think your money is better spent on other items.
MEB07
Well cast (I could not find a single mouldline on the minaret) but with some rough white spots on the sides of the main building (nothing that can't be sanded down, and as it turns out is just very clingy resin dust), comes in 3 parts (main building, dome and minaret). I'm actually very happy with this model, this is a geat centerpiece for any larger village/city. You are unlikely to buy more then 1 of these though, because of that reason. Gain, size wise it fits fine with 3mm miniatures, as it should.

Overall, rather happy with all of these. I will not be buying the villages in the future, but will stick to the seperate houses as that would be more cost effective. Great stuff though, from Biblical times right up to now.

It will be interesting to see how these will mix in with some of Brigade Miniatures offerings.

Edit 20-7-2016 16:30
Ian was kind enough to send me an email explaining the logic behind the 4-6 pieces pack of houses. They are cast with either left over resin from other casting jobs, or he has simply misjudged the amount needed for a full batch and comes up short. So he doesn't always get a full batch of houses. I figured something like that, but it was nice to have the producer come over and explain that.

maandag 18 juli 2016

A beautiful mind

I don't know how it works with you guys, but sometimes my brain gets an idea and then a wild rollercoaster of crazy ideas, frenzied work and noting down future orders, and the next day you think how the hell did that happen?

Recently, I had such a chat session with Modhail, in which we discussed Crimson Skies, how the game had died many years ago, how we had built several 1/72 conversions and it all fizzled out, but has never really left our heads. So, since I'm working on 3mm stuff, he pitted the idea of 3mm stuff vs his Revell Zeppelin. Start the rollercoaster boys :). What would be a good airplane to demonstrate the possibilities > Go for a fighter or a bomber or a transport plane > What would be a famous pilot > Han Solo is famous > He flies the Milennium Falcon > What would a light transport look like if it was used by a smuggler > Flying low volume expensive cargo > Must have twin engines and a turret for self defence > Be very maneuverable > What 3mm aircraft do I have that I can scrap for this?

After a short period of converting, and a few nights thinking about the scheme, and why it is what it is, I got there in the end.

FFW a couple of days later, Battlegroup is having a poll and Stalingrad as a book is on top, Stalingrad > Sad movie > One of the sadder moments is the plane leaving and the guys being left behind > The plane is a Ju-52 > I've got one built and primered > Hey, look at these barely fitting Red Cross decals > Painting time! A target is born. N for Nurse.


Sometimes it is just that easy to find inspiration.

vrijdag 15 juli 2016

3mm Blast from the past

Long before I started this Blog, I was painting 1/300 and 1/600 aircraft. Eventually, 1/600 won out. Then lost to all kinds of other stuff. Here are some things I think most of you never saw before.

I converted helicopters with rotors and torpedoes....pity the rotors all yellowed over time

I painted all of the oposition for the Bombing the Bridge over the river Bug (BBB for short)....6 Russian fighters (even though you only see 4 here)
And no, I will not be giving them prop disks! A crying shame I never noted down the colours used for these. Which I failed to do for a lot of aircraft, sadly!

I then handmade 4 targets (before switching to laminated print outs that you could actually put an aircraft on)


 I also made a headstart on the Iraqi airforce for Iran Iraq.


Stay tuned, there will be more Blast from the Past (TM) soon!

donderdag 14 juli 2016

3mm ruins; first preview of what is possible.

This morning I got the following pictures from Patrick. He had drawn a 2x2 and printed it out already.

He has already taken into account that it is now possible to make corner pieces. I'm awaiting the final drawings, they should arrive tomorrow, then it is just a matter of printing them, going over them with a red pen and approving them. And then pay up.

I've ordered 8 pieces of 6* 4x4 and 2 pieces of 12* 2x2 for starters. My intention is to make ruined blocks of 4 pieces back to back in a square, with some trim around the edges as a sidewalk, and then expand to bigger pieces like 3 or 4 in a row, back to back, or with a central courtyard. The bits will be easy to manipulate, being cardboard, and can be put together in a variety of ways.

Now to get pictures of the Stalingrad granary and plan a copy-ish of that in 3mm :)

3mm ruins planning idea (think Stalingrad and Berlin)

I like ruins. No real surprise there. I also like small scales. So, why not combine the 2? I'd like enough to cover at least 1/4 to 1/3rd of my 80x80 table and fill the rest with parks, rural landscapes, industrial areas and railway yards. My options are lasercut card and resin buildings. After some browsing, my options seem to be Gamecraft for the card option with maybe a dozen options, or Brigade Models, who sells intact stuff...so, not really an potion.

However, with a limited budget Gamecraft is not an option for me. Across the Atlantic shipping is terribly expensive, and his price per item adds up if you need loads. So I've asked a friend with a lasercutter to see what he can come up with. Not that that is perse cheaper, but support your local tradesmen if possible and buying in bulk sure won't hurt either.

So, this one is for Patrick, first the inspiration pieces:











What I want is in 2 parts. 1. Appartment complexes and 2. Factories. Both NOT as ruins!

Factories: For example, this model (I'm assuming it is a Gamecraft one but I'm not sure on that)
The basic shell is just row after row of windows, with a fancier cut piece for the side door which could be seperate so it can be added to houses as well. Beams spanning across would be ideal but perhaps too fiddly to cut. 2 sides would be needed that can be identical. A roof can be made with loose card or plasticcard. If I'm going for the tractor factories, these would be sizeable buildings. All my 3mm ground stuff is based on 20mm squares, so these can be placed easily inside a sizeable building. 8x5 cm is a nice area, larger is not a problem. They list it as being 40mm tall, so that is about the size you are looking at including the sloped roof. Feel free to look at a easier roofshape or the Zig zag ones you see. Internal walls can be made with cut off and scraps of board.

Appartment complexes/rows of houses.

You have either a square of a house,  4x 4cm's, or variants thereof, working in 2cm increments using the same template copied row after row. 4x4 base template would be the same 2cm width space with windows repated twice. A 4x4 base would have 2 blind walls and 2 walls with windows and a cental door. Gleuing them side by side would create rows of apartment blocks. A 2x2 base with 2 pieces with single windows and a door and 2 blind ones could be used to connect appartment blocks or as a stairwell, being a connector piece.

Offcuts could be used to make balconies and other structural details. Keeping the prints as basic as possible makes it easier for you to design and easier for me to manipulate.

Each cut house, be it 2x4 or 4x4 would be 5 pieces, 2 blind walls, 2 window walls and 1 roof. Only the walls need dovetails (you know, the connectors) on the side, the top does not.

It depends on the size of the sheet of cardboard how many of these you can cram into it. 1 basic 4x4 appartment house uses up 20x4 cm's of space. Going off on A4 size, that would be 9 rows so 9 houses. And 18 2x4 connector pieces. Ideally it would be 1 sheet with 7 4x4 houses and and 4 2x4 connector pieces so you could stay really generic. Edit: No it isn't, and this is why you don't do math at 2 in the morning! It is actually 6 trows, and then 5 rows with 4x4 and 1 row with 2x2

If possible, the 7th 5th row of 4x4 houses needs to be reversed connector wise, so I can use those pieces to make corner buildings

So 64 rows of normal 4x4's, 1 row of reversed 4x4's and 2 1 rowns of 2x4 connector pieces and all of the offcuts if possible.

If the size of cardboard is different let me know so I can recalculate.

14-7-206 13:05 Edited for math mistakes