vrijdag 31 juli 2015

The Lions of Nezele

Time for some fluff  :D

The Lions of Nezele

Mysterious pilots flying the regime’s Cavalier II’s. Some say they are CIA, some say one is a Uzbek mercenary, others claim there’s a illegitimate son of General-for-Life Emmanuel Nwude trying to find a place in the dynasty, some even claim former Third Reich Luftwaffe pilots are amongst them.  Who knows?

They are the 7th Attack Wing (Glorious Lions) and they fly Golf Alfa to Foxtrot (Fxotrot sporting Garfield nose art). They are camouflaged in the standard Nelengele fashion of 3 tone camouflage, with sharks teeth. Compared to other aircraft in the Nelengele inventory they look a bit rough, but the mechanics make sure that underneath the peeling paint and oil stains beats a strong mechanical heart.
The 7th operates from Nzele AFB which is a old single hardend  4200 feet runway dating back from before WW2 (formerly known as RAF Bloodieot), housing the small fleet of 6 Cavaliers as well as a few transports (possibly expanded with a helicopter group in the near future if rebel activity increases). The close location to the disputed border area and rebel camps makes this base vital for the government, and it is well fortified.  The Red Cross has requested use of a section of the airbase to fly in food and medical aid for the war stricken local community, but sofar this request has been denied, meaning most food is trucked in with occasional airdrops.

The rebels refer to the close support aircraft as Akapi’s (“ scorpion” in the native tongue) and rumour has it there is a bounty for capturing any pilot (dead or alive). Sofar no Cavaliers have been shot down, though 1 suffered a landing mishap recently, involving a very unlucky flock of flamingos and copious amounts of pink feathers.

The German Heer - what will I look for paint wise

I want to keep my 28mm Germans as generic as my 20mm ones. So I've been looking for tutorials how to paint these models in generic German Grey. I'm looking at this:

FOW painting Guide

I used the 1940 example when painting my 20mm's and I think it is good enough to paint my 28mm with. Fortunately, Christy Beall made this excellent tutorial with just what I need (that and I've added Crusader Miniatures to the list of mini's to buy as I like their 5cm mortars and AT rifle teams):

Cavalier Mustang, the start.

In the last few weeks I've traded some of my own kits for parts needed for this build, and retrieved the most suitable P-51 kit I had from the attic. More importantly, I managed to refind my bag of wall plugs that are vital to my aircraft stand so now I can start converting aircraft again (oh yes, there will be more).

The humble beginnings:
Academy P-51D (without the fillet in the tail...so be it), Hasegawa Aircraft Weapons Set 1 for bombs or rocket pods and the Academy A-37B Dragonfly purely for the wingtiptanks and the rocket pods/napalm bombs. I'm thinking Napalm on stations 3 and 4, and rocket pods for 2 and 5 stations, and possibly SUU-14A dispeners on the outer stations (clustermunitions) or small bombs, not sure yet. It's not supposed to be realistic anyway  :grin:

Tomorrow night I'll start the fuselage with the flight stand plug. Some Milliput will be involved to get it all to fit and stay in place. A magnet will be used for the nose  for the prop to spin freely (and come off the aircraft for transport)

FFW to today :P

Wife decided we needed some quality time and so we hit an Italian tonight. Nice to have a chat without having to worry about the kids for once. She went to bed, and I went into the hobbyroom, so had to rush things a bit as my time is very limited. Installed the plug, trimmed the wings, fitted the tanks (keeping the winglets btw), magnetised the prop, closed the wheelbays.

(yes, my hobby room has purple walls. Don't ask, this used to be the wifes hobby room before we met and she likes vibrant colours)
Hardly any gaps to fill, so next week time for some fine sanding and adding milliput to strenghten and fix the plug in place, laminate the inside of the plug and add the magnet and fill in the wheelwells cause the covers sagged a bit inward. Install the hardpoints, let her dry and then she should be ready for primer.

donderdag 30 juli 2015

A tale of ash and fire.

I've just managed to trade my second Ju-52 this week. I managed to bag 2 unused Italeri ones, 1 civil and 1 military, so now all I am hunting for is a set of military decals for the civil Ju-52. And all of this cost me a Me-110 and a Yak-40, both were unlikely to be ever built in my lifetime :D

So, why do I need 2 Ju-52's?

Well, here's a hint :)

Long term project, don't expect to see any progress on it soon. In fact, the F-117 is my testcase for making a burned wreck as it is considerably smaller and easier to manipulate then the Ju-52's. The Ju-52 wrecks will do double duty for my future Early War Germans (possibly even paratroopers) as well as a Mid to Late War airfield.

dinsdag 28 juli 2015

2nd Joker spent, or That spiralled out of control quickly!

Ok, a second hand lot of 20 riflemen from Portugal for 20 euros, a BTD order of SMG's, officers and a HMG for 35 euros and another second hand lot from the UK of 38 troops including 2 mortars for 40 euros today. Almost 90 troops in under a week, all BTD, all Early War, for just over a 100 euros. God I love the LAF.

With the new additions this is now fully complete troop wise.
  • Command Squad - 6 men
  • Infantry Squad - 7 men
  • Infantry squad - 7 men
  • Infantry squad - 7 men
  • MG team - 3 men
  • MG team - 3 men
  • MG team - 3 men
I can now choose to spread the SMG's one per squad (as per the real TOE) and save some for the HQ options. Also, I've now filled the third MG team slot. With the new additions I can also field 2 80mm mortars,  a always handy weapon in Battlegroup (and real life). JP has mentioned he can supply me with a Russian greatcoated AT rifleman that should be converted to a German one for free.  So that is another slot filled in.

The 40 euro, and the Joker, came from my Crisis budget (the show, not my real life Crisis budget!) so that has now dropped to 260 euros. Yes, Crisis is in November, but I have already started planning what I need. Additions to my 20mm Kursk forces will be mostly PSC vehicles as they are so damn good, but those are something I will fill out on the day. Sofar, the only bit planned is another 100 slot paintstand for my budding Vallejo AIR and AK paint collection for the airbrush, meaning I will have 3 of them and that should fill up my desk nicely (splitting the desks into a PC only and painting only was the best decision I ever made, even if the actual event hasn't happend yet :P ) A painstand that size is another 50 euros. The 2 that I have are from Miniaturicum, and they won't be at Crisis, but several other companies do so I will have a gander at them when the time is there (and see if they offer up discounts for pre orders). If this 28mm has progressed as much as I hope it will, I might be tempted to grab a few more extra support options like a PaK and a IG, or a small car suitable for the Luftwaffe officer (for which I have a very nice Foundry model in my collection). I don't think I will go for any of the tanks, for me a 28mm game feels like it should be a infantry game, tanks feel too overpowering for me. Having said that, I don't mind fighting one in Early War, when even a ATR had a chance of putting one out of action.

Anyway, some PSC tanks, a painstand, maybe some 28mm guns. That is the plan sofar, and any money left over from the Crisis fund will be allocated to the buying of a Xbox One for when Fallout 4 comes out. I'm a huge fan of the series, and with the demise of my PC not so long ago this office desktop that I have as a replacement won't cut it.

zondag 26 juli 2015

28mm German Starter Force for Battlegroup Barbarossa

Starting with the basics first. The backbone of each of my armies is a Infantry Platoon and I just tack the rest to it at a later date.

Battlegroup Barbarossa; German Infantry Division Battlegroup, list starts at page 65.

Infantry Platoon (page 66)

Consists of 1 Platoon Command, 3 Infantry Squads, 3 MG Teams and up to 4 Support Options
  • Command Squad - 6 men
  • Infantry Squad - 7 men
  • Infantry squad - 7 men
  • Infantry squad - 7 men
  • MG team - 3 men
  • MG team - 3 men
  • MG team - 3 men
Support options are:
  • Combat Medic - 1 man
  • Light Mortar team - 2  men and a 50mm mortar 
  • HMG team - Tripod MG-34 and 3 men
  • Anti Tank Rifle team - 2 men with AT rifle
  • Medium Mortar team - 3 men with 80mm mortar
  • Anti Tank Gun - 28mm PzB41 gun with 3 crew (upgrade to 37mm PaK36)
  • Infantry Gun - 75mm IG18 gun with 3 crew
So the basic platoon will use up 36 men. My benefactor has already paid me for the first 20 infantry that are all rifle armed, so that takes care of 15 men of the Infantry squads, 3 men of the MG teams and 2 men of the Command squad. BTD are having a 40% sale off this weekend only so I asked if I could get the following from him: 1 pack of officers, 1 HMG team, 1 medical team, 1 pack of LMG's  and 2 packs of SMG's. It turns out it is a few euros over budget,  but fills out everything but 1 LMG team.

So when it all arrives I have 34 men to paint for starters plus a HMG team and a medic as a buffer/teaser untill I need to source more second hand or cheap models for the mortar, the AT rifle, the AT gun and the IG gun options and then have a look at the command options

I am contemplating spending some of my own money on 28mm decals for the rank signs and helmet decals. Bolt Action do a nice set at 2 Pounds a sheet and I'm not going to paint details like that.

Of course, if we try Battlegroup a few times and he does not like it I'll just finish off the lot and sell it as a Battlegroup Starter army instead, cause I'm finding 28mm to be way more expensive then 20mm is. I do feel they will be fun to paint though, not at all that different then 20mm, so I'm hoping to do at least 5 figures a week and get the Infantry core done in 2 months time. On second thought, it could be a nice army to hold on to for Pulp purposes. We'll see!

Points to think about are:
  • Basing? I don't like GW bases, I want mine to be as small as possible, so 2mm preferable. I've got a bag of 25mm round plywood bases of that thickness, and plenty of plasticcard for MG teams etc. Though....2 cent euro pieces are a cheaper option. Black trim.
  • Base markers - same style as my 20mm so colour coded.
  • Paint - I should have all the vallejo I need on hand, but better check in advance to see nothing has dried up during my 2 year hiatus.
  • Background? I've selected the 44th Infanterie Division to base these guys on as they fought from Poland to France to their demise at Stalingrad. You won't see anything of it on the figs but it is nice to have some history.

Sprue Exchange

For a while now I've been on the list of the Lead Adventure Sprue Exchange, and the box has passed me by once, and should arrive again soon. The box is filled with what other wargamers put into it, you take out something you like and you replace it with something else (or more) what you think other people will like. And then send it on to the next one. Due to the fact it travels internationally, it can weigh 2 kilos max.

Last time I picked up some Skaven sprues and a 3D printed set of 28mm sized oildrums and a Az\tec idol. I put in  a stack of GW sprues and sent it on it's way again.

With the other box due to arrive, I started to wonder, why not do one locally? It is not rocket science, I fill a box with sprues, bits and whatever I can find that is useful to wargamers and send it on to the next one, and when everyone has had their fill and input I get it back again. And if everyone uses Kiala the shipping cost is max 3,95 euro per person and we can ship a max amount of 15 kilos.

So, I made a post on GW  Hobby (our local forum) to see if there would be any interest, and well, soon enough I had 8 interested, and that's a good start. The box is now 3/4 full, with anything from 28mm ACW to Skaven to a unused block or airdrying clay, Dystopian Wars miniatures and lots of other stuff. I've even added a stack of ziplock bags for people wanting to put in bits instead of half empty spures, les waste of space. This box is going out next week.

I've just started the same on the FB Dutch Miniature Wargaming page to see if I can attract some people there as well, for a seperate box.

I know it is a risk and all, I'm putting up several kilos of miniatures for no possible return, but I like the idea and spreading a bit of love through the community never harmed anyone :) And not everything in the world needs to revolve around profit!

zaterdag 25 juli 2015

Thank God it's Friday!

Ah, the end of the week, when I go to the big city and to the club to .... do stuff :) Not today, the company has a ISO audit next week so I had to work overtime to get my part of the company spik en span (as we say in Holland). Which was actually rather nice, being a one man department the rest of the people in my area left for home at 17:30 and I was left to my own devices and got so much work done with no one bothering me every 5 minutes. I had to stop though when I ran out of crates to put receiving goods in and finished all of my emails, but for a change it was easy to ask questions to our mothership in the USA cause they just started their day.

So, no club tonight. Well, there is always next week :)

I was greeted by a big A4 envelope with one of my trades, a 1/72 A-73 Dragonfly (which I traded for a old Zero). I was very pleased to see sprues still in their original packaging (always a plus) and seeing my thoughts confirmed, plenty of hardpoints, a few nice napalm canisters and plenty of other rocketpods, tubes and bombs. This means I can start work on the Cavalier very soon!

One problem though, I still had not found or had a clue where my flight stand connectors were. FFW to a chat with Chris Steadman this earlier this evening in which I mention that, and <ping> that they are probably in my box of flightstands. And lo and behold, my bag of connectors :) Much to my relief! I've had quite a few projects on hold cause I just could not find them, so they are all getting the green light now :)

On Thursday, I took a small detour after work to go to Den Bosch and check out some items I wanted for painting and modelling. I've been spending some time now looking at tutorials on cracked earth bases and I find them very interesting for future builds of difficult ground etc for Afrika, Pulp and Moderns. I was less charmed by spending 3,75 euro on a pot of 17ml precoloured GW paint though. So, down to the art supply store I went, grabbed a few packs of waxed paper palettes (10 sheets for 25ct a pack, and always handy) and lo and behold, I can't find the crackle medium anywhere :D Turns out it was in the fabric paints section....beat my logic as I don't see how that will stick to a T-shirt?. Anyway, a pot of 50mm clear, viscous liquid, 50ml, set me back 4,75 euros. So there GW!

So now I can choose any Vallejo colour I want (likely Iraqi Sand or a tone or two darker) and make it crackle....well, that is the idea anyway. I'll do a test soon and report back on the results :)

While I was in Den Bosch anyway I thought I'd better pass by Toemen hobbyshop as well. Turns out I have not been there for a long time (longer then a year, or maybe even 2 years?), and it was full of drones and RC cars. When I went to the back, (were the kits are, or so I thought) I was greeted by a wall of drone and RC car parts :( All that seemed to be left was about half a metre of balsa, brass tubing and veneer. There were quite a few staff around ( I counted the owner and 4 kids half my age) but they were all too busy listening to people with complaints about their drones. So I just selected some brass thick wire, aluminium rod sizes that fitted over each other and a stack of plasticcard. They had stuck the rods together with cellowtape and I only wanted one each, so asked the youn man behind the counter if he could remove one each. He first tried to push one of the tubes out of the collection (there were only 5 tubes per size) and wen that didn't work he cut the cellowtape on one end, and not the other, and tried to pry it from the set. bending it :(. Ï'm sorry, I bent it, is that a problem?" <facepalm> Yes, that's a problem. He then cut the other side as well and removed one unbent tube, repeating the process with the other ones. None of the tubes had prices on them, so he took an Ipad and looked at the shops inventory by going to their own shop page (they are not on it). After a while, when he could not find them, he asked a colleague about the prices. And another one. And another one. You see, there is no price list next to the rack, so you are buying blind. I know they should sell for 1.50 to 2 euros depending on which shop you buy them. But none of them managed to find it ( I bet they could talk hours and hours about drones though) so in the end they turned to the boss who just grasped the lot out of their hands, entered some numbers on the register and asked me Pinnen? (Card?). The amount was less then I had thought it would be so ok, i paid, he stuffed it in a bag with a big multipage drone advertisement and walked away. No comms what so ever. So next time......well, will there be a next time? They don't sell what I want, I can get tubing mailed to my home for less then what it cost me in fuel and....well, that is it really. Bad service. Maybe I didn't spend enough, he had a bad day, who knows.

Anyway, I have enough rods to get started on making landing gear for the various space ships I'm working on, though these will only work for the smaller ones I think. For the bigger ones I will just canabalise some 1/32 and 1/48 aircraft kits I have in my bits boxes in the attic.

Finally, my colour inks for my printer arrived. They had been good as dry for almost a year now and I plan to make quite a few colour prints soon for roadsigns and nameplates for buildings, plus I want to print another paint motivating poster :)

So, happy days are coming :)

donderdag 23 juli 2015

Attack of the 28mm!

Well, this sure has turned into surprising days!

During my lunchbreak the other day I had a chat with a friend who does really nice 28mm Early and Mid War Russians for Bolt Action, and I have been trying to get him to try Battlegroup. Problem is he has 28mm and 15mm, and I have 20mm. Forced perspective much?

So, what to do? Well, his proposal, if I choose to accept it, is that I look around for second hand lots of 28mm Germans to oppose his Russians, and he will pay for them (budget of 50 euros for this one). If I at one point want to quit because it is not me, I will pay him back the money. Sounds like a very good deal to me! (and a good motivator).

Posting around on various forums has netted a few offers of lots of suitable and less suitable miniatures and vehicles, all 2nd hand (I always prefer to buy second hand so why not now?) and suitable for Early War. I've sent out several requests for pricing or offers to the lots I'm most interested in, and rejected a few others (being all plastic or late war). I'm looking purely at non camouflaged troops now so painting should be speedy.

And in other news, I was pleasantly greeted by a package (and a non-smiling gf (because of said package)) which turned a box of North Star Bandit Buntai, donated by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous :)

I already own the Ronin rulebook but tried and didn't like the Perry Miniatures I got back then and gave them all to Modhail. I liked these figs since they came out but 28 Pounds(?) for a pack is just too pricey for me. The bandits pack was the one that appealed to me cause I liked those samurai best, and you could use various clan troops. Also, I've been following the posts about Daishō on the LAF (Supernatural Japan) and asked him to see if he has a model that fits that idea in his bits box and would be willing to trade it for some 20mm stuff. He would look into it :)

So, another expense free day with plenty of plot twists. And I even managed to sell 60 euro worth of kits as a added bonus. So my Lead Mountain is acting a bit like a sleeping volcano now, increasing and decreasing in size in regular intervals :P

woensdag 22 juli 2015

Cavalier Mustang or Piper Enforcer? A choice is made.

For the (future) Dictatorial AK-47 army I want to build a P-51 COIN aircraft. I can choose between the Cavalier Mustang or the Piper Enforcer (both more or less rebuilt P-51 Mustangs)

A stock standard P-51D or later will do (though typically, the one I have has no fin fillet), I have several donor kits in stock, it is a nice kit to get back into modelling again.

Cavalier Mustang

Add 6 hardpoints and various weaponry, add wingtiptanks and paint a snazzy camo and you are good to go. Actually combat used. Need to find a donorkit for the hardpoints but eyeing a cheap A-37 Dragonfly for that.

Piper Enforcer

Add 8-10 hardpoints and various weaponry, add wingtiptanks and paint a snazzy camo, remove the engine exhausts, remove the belly intake and add a jet engine exhaust on the port side. Only 2 made. Need to find a donorkit for the hardpoints but eyeing a cheap A-37 Dragonfly for that.

The Cavalier is a lot earlier, a lot less work and I think ties in better with the whole AK-47 idea. I'll just ignore the lack of a fin fillet :) <grumble>

My donor will be the Academy P-51D as the rest of the P-51's I found turned out to be B's with Malcolm hoods (3pcs? Really? When did I think that was a good idea?). On a more positive note It was good to rummage in my kit stash, removed a pile of them and put them up online for sale. And it turns out I really don't want to buy any Corsairs (new or old) as I have 2 of both :). I even found a Beech Expeditor that will come in great for the Afrika table or for Pulp even, together with a obscure single engine Japanese 30's transport. Also very pulp.

Now where did I leave that bag of flight stand plugs?

vrijdag 17 juli 2015

Mini Me part 1

In the end, I settled on the Pulp figures figure Professor Price as the rest was too far out of my price range and Mo wanted the Cultists leader figure, and I dropped in Einstein cause I could use another 28mm character model.

So, Professor Price......how do I turn him into me? Well, let's compare:

Ok, what needs to be done (other then losing weight on the real me, sheesh):
  • add red clipboard
  • remove moustache
  • add glasses
  • add ESD label
  • remove buttons
  • No, I will not add the additional belly area :)
No real major surgery other then making a gap for the clipboard and changing his righthand a bit so it is gripping the clipboard. As my stanleyknife is rather small (but bright yellow) I'm not sure if I should represent it somewhere. We'll see.

donderdag 16 juli 2015

Mission status: Undecided.

Depending on whether you are a half glass empty of half glass full type of guy, yesterdays clean up was a succes/failure.


Well, I wanted to start at 12.00 This became 14:00 because Kim asked me to sit with her in a meeting with her case manager at 12:15, and then then do grocery shopping, picking up medication and we had lunch together and talked about the plans for the day. So, at 14:00 I started, 15 minutes later Kim comes up to me and says she wants to take a nap, if I could be quiet. I had justed started to move stuff in the master bedroom, sorted on sell, keep and trash as to not to block the hallway. 30 minutes later I turn on the PC (and I know I should not have done that) for a little soft music. 15 minutes later the doorbell rings, someone to see Kim for her check up. So I wake up Kim, serve tea and water and listen for 15 minutes before going up again. By now it is almost 15:45 and I managed to clear 4 feet. Jay.

And like that, my concentration broke and didn't return till after dinner and dropping off Kim at the hospital around 19:00. I managed to do another metre or so, found out I have a stack of GW stuff on hand for the future. Scary stuff, a lot is still in shrinkwrap!

I then removed the trash (1 big box of papers and smaller boxes plus a carrier bag of waste plastic), and started to take the big pile of empty boxes up to the attic, and after that the big pile of kits that I want to keep, and then I did something wrong. While putting the lot down I felt a sharp pain in my back and from there on it really hurt, so I sat myself behind the pc with some painkillers to take it easy. This morning it still hurt like hell so I informed my work I was going to see the doc. I can sit up straight like normal, but as soon as I want to ift something pain shoots up my spine. And in a job that involves a lot of lifting...... Doc was kind enough to give me some stronger painkillers and a something to relax my muscles. Problem is that it comes with a big health warning not to operate heavy machinery or drive a car. So called my boss and told him I would not come in to work today (which apparently is causing all sorts of problems right now as we have a ISO check coming up). The relaxant is making me feel a bit like yello though, and the painkillers are doing a good job, so I'm thinking of going back to work tomorrow sans the relaxant and see how far I can get. I can take them again this weekend.

So, thus ended my cleaning spree, and it turned out to be a bit of a dissappointment. I wished I could have done more, I know I could have done more but I made a goof first effort. And as you can see, the area behind and beside my desk is clean now.

Heck, I've even vacuumed (after making sure no valuable bits were lying on the floor)

The area beside my desk is also cleaned, but there are stacks of GW and other stuff that need to be listed for sale.

So, lessons learned?

  • When we say you need to turn off the pc we really mean turn off the pc!
  • If you want music plug in your phone and go to youtube.
  • You can work for 2 hours max. Take a 10 min break after an hour to clear your head.
  • As much as I keep saying 1 hour a day won't get things done, I am actually wrong. Even half an hour a day each day adds up. With the main clutter sorted I should be able to make more progress and faster (if I stick to the program)
  • Man, I have a lot of stuff. And it is all so distracting. I could do this, I could do that.....
  • Putting all of my stuff into the attic isn't the answer, but for now the best solution.
  • Take down 1 box, list it, sell it, if it hasn't sold in a month (despite discounts) pack it up again and try to sell it at a later date. Repeat with new box.
Now, to take another one of those happy pills :)

dinsdag 14 juli 2015

Clean desk policy

Let us play a game of Spot the Difference

Left is work, right is home.

Can you tell the difference? Of course you can (assuming for a minute none of my readers is blind!)

Work is spotless cause I need to concentrate on my job, and I can't get distracted by nick nacks and bits of everything and nothing. I have breaks for that :) I clean every friday, and sometimes more often, a clean desk makes sure I have less thing to worry about.

Hobby room is the lovechild of a Tsunami and a Nucelar Apocalypse. It's gotten so bad I only work downstairs at the dinner table (that I must clean after each sitting) and the hobby club. I go to my hobby room almost every night with the best of intentions, but invariably end up behind the pc, surfing websites, blogs and fora to feed the monster that is my creativity. This eats up almost all of my hobby time and thus, I get nothing done. Because I get nothing done, my time feels precious, so I'm not willing to spend a few hours cleaning lest I miss something. With each passing day the pile seems to get bigger, no matter how much I trade or sell. Looking like a Herculean task, I give up most of the month, with just a token effort to control the beast here and there.

Sound/look familiar?

I've seen numerous topics of people lamenting that they have no time to get stuff done like some people do. That it takes years to paint armies while others do it in months or even weeks (here's looking at you Piers!). Cause they have no time due to kids, family business or watching cat videos.

The answer is simple. What is the biggest distraction on your hobby table? All your toys? Guess again. The biggest distraction is the glowing object you are looking at. The screen of your PC/laptop/phone is a glowing monster that devours time. More on that further down.

It's not all bad, ofcourse. Forums can help you with questions on painting, just like You Tube tutorials and Blogs that give you ideas and  meeting like minded people online if you are like me and have no real club. But most of the time you just follow the light and what do you know, it is time for bed already. Time will fly by if you are not paying attention (well, you are to somethings, just not to the clock)

Back when I had no kids or relation to speak of, I had no cleaning routine. Well, I had the shotgun approach. I did the basics (cleaning the toilet, kitchen and doing the laundry as well as the occasional vacuum) but the clutter always seemed to grow like a cancer untill a birthday or somebody special would turn up, and I would go into overdrive, spending a whole saturday or even weekend cleaning like mad into the late hours. As this is extremely draining I started to hate it, and would not do it untill I got really mad at myself and cleaned it all in a weekend again, once every 6 months, cursing at myself for being such a dumbass. I somehow managed to keep this up for a good 18 years.

Sounds bad, doesn't it? Well, in comes Kim, and in the beginning of our relationship I started to clean much more often but was still fighting a losing battle, with half my living room taken over by the hobby. So, Kim being Kim made me promise that when I moved in, there would only be clutter in the hobby room, and I would clean more often. Something died in my head that day.

I didn't plan the hobby room very well when I moved in...not at all even cause I had to make due with what was already there and worked around it. Just wall to wall cabinets and 2 working areas facing each other so we could see each other when working behind our PC's, both of us with our backs against the wall. Still, it worked for a while, I could have my time, she would have hers and on occasion we would even meet in the room. But Kim is more of a television person so she would spend most of her time downstairs, and my desk started to clutter more and more often. More clutter meant less work and more PC time. More PC time lead to more clutter and even less work time. Etc, etc. Turns out the beast wasn't dead!

The system is still there. Cabinets with labelled boxes. Surplus stuff in the attic. But let's face it, this hobby is a multi-facetted addiction, and like a fire, it is fed by 3 things. Money, ideas and creativity, and space. Take away one of the 3 and it dies.

Now hold on there, I'm not going to kill the hobby! But I am going to kill the main distraction and that is undeniably the PC.

Not literally! (though, good luck trying that with a modern flatscreen)

Have you tried turning it off? Really off? Background music doesn't count. Get a real radio for that. As most productive painters will tell you, turn the pc off. Get rid of that distraction. If you really need a reference, print it out of heaven forbid get a book or magazine to help you.

So, to help myself, I've taken a day off tomorrow from work, I will pick up Kim in the morning from the hospital and I will spend the entire afternoon in my hobby room cleaning. Yup, cleaning, starting with the floor and the boxes piled up against the cabinets, and when that is done get stuff done on the table. Then have dinner with Kim, drive her back to the hospital, and spend some more time cleaning. and call it a day no later then 22:00 hours as I will be beat.

(In case you think it is not nice of me to leave Kim alone all day, she's actually supposed to be alone in the house (the kids are at my parents place for the next 2 days) to see if she can handle it when she is alone and the kids are at daycare, and I'm at daycare work. She has friends and her mom on speeddial)

 So, to recap.
  • sleep till whenever I wake up (i've deserved that for a change)
  • greet a beautiful new day 
  • pick up Kim at the hospital
  • Operation Cleansweep commences!
  • have dinner
  • drop Kim off at the hospital
  • work till 22:00 at the latest or untill you are done (good luck with that!)
  • look back at a great day
This still leaves me with the little red devil that is maintaining a clean room, but I actually want to keep up the same strategem as I have at work. Sadly, this can't be friday as that is the club night, so it will be monday (I'm not in the hobby room most weekends anyway). When I get in the room, but before I start up the pc. Sounds fair enough?

Good luck dealing with your own mess. I know I'm not alone in this!


It seems my dropship is quite popular as I have received many comments on it. With a friend we had a minor brainstorm session and I settled on the name Grond, after the battering ram from Mordor. Seems suitable for a Inquisitorial shuttle, don't you think?

"Great engines crawled across the field; and in the midst was a huge ram, great as a forest-tree a hundred feet in length, swinging on mighty chains. Long had it been forging in the dark smithies of Mordor, and its hideous head, founded of black steel, was shaped in the likeness of a ravening wolf; on it spells of ruin lay. Grond they named it, in memory of the Hammer of the Underworld of old. Great beasts drew it, orcs surrounded it, and behind walked mountain-trolls to wield it."
—The Return of the King
Grond, also known as the Wolf's Head, was a one hundred and fifty-foot long battering ram with a head in the shape of a ravening wolf.
From: LotR Wiki page

maandag 13 juli 2015

Meanwhile, back in Yugoslavia....

I've been adding to the list of possible objectives for gaming the Civil War in Yugoslavia on and off for the last few years, and I'm happy to report 1 of these objectives got a step closer to completion today. If all goes well I'll be able to trade what I need for one objective.

What objective?

Well, here is a hint for you :)

You never know what will happen the next day

I'm running on my last reserves at the moment. I've had a long weekend with ups and downs, which in short involved the following:

- seeing the woman I love doped up to the gills and a bandaged arm and being told I can't take her home because of it, then getting a phonecall from her on saturday that she is ready to go home and at the busstation waiting for the bus home. And she doesn't have the key. I was enroute to pick up our kids at my parents place so I asked a mutual friend to pick her up. Only to get a call a hour or so later from her informing me Kim wasn't released, but actually ran away from open ward she was moved into.
- upon receiving said phonecall I told my parents, my brother and his kids that I wasn't feeling to well, explained the siyuation again and mom took me upstairs to the guestroom to get some rest cause I was looking a little pale. Then scared the bejesus out of me when she and my brothers kids stood next to the bed at around 21:00, with lots of apolagies, but the kids needed to go to bed now. I managed to sleep four hours just like that. Since all the beds were now taken I got an old field stretcher and propmptly fell asleep again, only to wake up at around 10 in the morning by sound of kids laughing and chatting at the diner table, with my kids being served by my brothers kids. Sadly, the bed hasn't done wonders for my back and it is now killing me :( That and all the extra sleep means that now, at 0:00 midnight, I'm sitting here like it's 5 o clock in the afternoon, wide awake.
-at the clubnight, Mark surprised me with his Space Wolf dropship of which later more, and I also managed to get some nice AM parts of a fellow clubmate who'se name keeps slipping from my head.
- and I got loads of hugs from both my girls and that sure brightend up my day more then anything else.

Ok, maybe not so short.

Back to the hobby. It is a great way to take my mind off things, all my worries are gone a few hours a week when I'm working on new or old stuff or just taking notes or making sketches. Since Mark had told me he would be giving me the Stormwolf, I had been going over the model in my head to see what needed to be removed to make it suitable for 20mm and 28mm. Seperate cockpit, changing the wings, landinggear, open cargodoor, stuff like that.

So, friday comes, and Mark hands me a big bag of bits from it plus a fully built kit with all the bells and whistles, built just like the one you see on the box. Some ooh's and ah's around me I hear, then I break out the knife and pliers and start removing bits, seeing some faces turn to sheer horror :D This is after all a 67euro kit I'm ripping apart! In no time I have removed the big wings, the small wings, all of the Space Wolf regalia other then the big head on the bowsides and those useless little winglets on the engines. I then started to carefully remove both gunmounts to reveal the insides, and while adding pressure on the knife, pointing away from me and most other clubmembers, the underside caves in. Ok, looks bad, but actually revealed the loading ramp to have little to no glue, so I managed to cleanly remove it, and the gunmounts (the manager asked if he could have the Melta gun mounts so I passed those along), leaving a very stripped down and much sleeker looking dropship. I then set to work on the cockpit and I might have been better off not doing that.

You see, my original idea was to remove all of the extra panelling around it, remove the glass, buy a second cockpit canopy, magnetise both and clamp on the 28mm one when I want to use it for Inquisitor, and the 20mm one when I want to use it for 20mm. The top part stripped away nicely, but the lower part was properly glued and try as I might, i just won't come off. So I changed my plan. I was going to paint the glass on both cockpits anyway, so my plan is now to armour this one up and leave a vision slit and leave it at that. Works for both scales.

What doesn't work for both scales is the size of the doors. Dear lord, a 20mm fig fits that (barely) how do they expect a 28mm fig, and then one wearing powered armour and a nuclear reactor strapped to his back, to pass through it? Headfirst? And this thing is supposed to fit 16 of them? I have a great imagination but even that has realistic limits! Delving into my bits box I found a few sets of Rhino doors, so I tried the ladder and non ladder version and decided to put on the ladderless version. I'm also liking the aft frost cannon a lot, it has a nice sci-fi feeling, or will be when I fill in those blasted runes. There are some more on the engine pods. Bit of wetted down millip[ut should do the job for those.

For the landing gear I will plunder my aircraft kit bits boxes for suitable stuff, I will give it 2 feet at the front, and 1 bigger foot at the rear to keep it balanced and in keeping with the panel plates on the underside, and the need to remove the big cross opening in the ass where the ludicrous GW flightstand goes.

Things to do nex are:
  • take some fine sandpaper to clean up where I removed bits from the hull, fill in the gaps and runes with Milliput and then sand some more.
  • replate the cockpit
  • build a undercarriage
  • put in the doors
  • find a way to magnetise the loading ramp (Google should be my friend I think)
  • Find a twin Heavy Bolter turret off a Razorback. Heck, find a complete Razorback for parts and use both turrets for the dropship.
  • Drill a hole for the new flightstand in the correct centre of gravity.
  • Fill in the ends of the engines. Christ, even the cheapest plastic kits have endcaps so you don't look inside the kit!
  • Paint the damn thing this year!
And here she is as it is now:

Much sleeker, much better, and 100% more in line with the idea I have for it.

Then again, if you turn it upside down, it becomes a even more interesting ship....but that is beyond my resources and plans so I'll pass.

vrijdag 10 juli 2015

1000 bombs and grenades!

(blatantly ripping off Captain Haddock here!)

I made a trade this week, traded a old Me-109 kit for this box.

Considering the value of a Matchbox Me-109, I think I got the better deal, but the swapper was happy with it so who am I to judge. Box is a bit worn but the contents are still shrinkwrapped. I swapped it because I want to convert a P-51 into a look-a-like Enforcer for AK-47and need (ha! need!) extra rocket tubes and bombs. The only ones I had right now in my bits box were Russian so that obviously did not work. I also looked at a A-26 (someone on the box swapping group has one for sale for 12,50 euro or the equivalent, but that bird is a big too big for me.....the Enforcer is nice and small, much more maneagable.

Btw, it is all Jim of Jim's Wargames Workbench fault, he is my main inspiration for AK-47. The Enforcer/Cavalier idea comes from him. And I don't blame him :)

And why not? I have at least 5 P-51's of various marks and manufacturers in stock and this lets me go wild in imaginary colours and markings. It's not like my future American WW2 army needs 5 Mustangs. I already have 3 Thunderbolts of various makes lined up for them :D

And it saves me from buying a new kit! Money saved!

And in other news....
  • Sales are going strong, sold 3 GW lots plus 2 more big kits. I'm eyeing some trades, mostly smaller kits like HO power lines and such, but nothing has finalised yet.
  • I found someone willing to trade me (heck, I got it for free) a 2nd SM Droppod Missile Pod, so I can arm one of the Doomwheels that way. Another chap is still looking for the elusive stash of Sentinel weapons that would be very useful!
  • I found a chap willing to trade some Mordheim Witchunter captains in echange for some GW Stormtroopers. As I have a bag full of them I think that it is a great deal. Now I can't find the bag <sigh>
  • I need to put more stuff up for sale. Seriously.
  • Finally....Kim will be released from the hospital against her, mine and several institutions wishes. I really think psychological healthcare has turned into "stuff full or tranquilisers and see who gives up first" medicine practice as there is still no agreement on when she will receive therapy. They are just returning her home where nothing has changed. If anything happens to her or my children because of this I.... I best not put to paper what I'm thinking right now. :(

donderdag 9 juli 2015

Change of heart: Doomwheel

While discussing the Doomwheel and its potential (and weaknesses) with my Inquisitor group, I kinda had a change of heart. You see, my idea of Nurgle is subtle decay added here and there, not the boil ridden and infested dregs of humanity you usually see. Rust, lack of maintenance, that is more my kind of thing.

So....what if the Doomwheels I'm making didn't start out as Chaos? In Epic it is a huge warmachine with voidshields and heavy weapons, but what if the beginnings were much more humble?

The way I see them now, mine are a creation of a Techpriest on a long forgotten Forgeworld before 30K, made in limited numbers, experimenting with the process of creating a more mobile combat servitor, explaining the subtle differences between the 4 wheels. When this Techpriest went rogue (which is not the same as crossing over to Chaos!) he took his servitors and staff with him. Some of his staff split off to Chaos, taking some of the Doomwheels with them, and creating, eventually, the large War engines we know today. Now, this Rogue Techpriest could very well end up in the retinue of a ambitious Inquisitor, or be a force by himself, forever tinkering on his children to improve them. This gives me yet another reason to purchase a set of Kastelan robots and their handler...if I had the money. It also motivates me to get cracking on the Techpriest himself using the bits and pieces that I already have. I just need to find a proper name for the Imperial Doomwheel or code them properly.

While trading bits I managed to find somebody with a set of double weapons from the Sentinel, so these will be added to my stash and processed to fit on the 4 Doomwheels with a pin and magnet combo. Even if it means purchasing new magnets, these will make life so much easier for such a machine. Plenty of weapons combos I can give them :)

The painting scheme for them hasn't changed though. Dirty white with rust. Now to find proper decals for them (that don't cost an arm and a leg).

And in other news....
  • Kim may be released in the weekend. From what I heard sofar, and to combat her depression, they have plans to send her to therapy 3-4 days a week, and support to help us put the kids in daycare as this is unaffordable on a single salary (2 kids 4 days a week is 2250 euros in daycare costs a month,,,,way more then I make) with help from our parents for 1-2 days a week. I'm still thinking about taking parental leave once a fortnight, but I would lose a days wages that way. Then again daycare for 1 day for both my girls costs more then what I make on a day! Oh well, a lot is going to change, that is for sure, fortunately Kim is cautiously optimistic atm.
  • I managed to trade half a moving box of kits for a Star Trek Kazon Fighter/Cruiser for my starport, and some other kits for my WW2 and Modern Russians. I've listed a dozen more kits plus some GW lots for sale on various podia.
  • Mark, a very talented local painter whom I always offer a ride when leaving the club, has offered me a Space Wolf Stormwolf for my trouble. It is already built, but I'm pretty certain I can remove all of the SW symbology and turn it into a standard assault boat, with magnetized weapons and a generic paintscheme, and a swappable cockpit so it works in 28mm and 20mm, and also doing Starport duty. And work for my Inquisitor warband(s)
  • I'm eyeing the Space Marine Stormtalon for conversion to Starship for the Space Port. Simply repainting the cockpitglass makes it look suitably 20mm, plus a few changes to the weapon pods and other cosmetic changes will make it look the part. Sofar no luck in finding one secondhand that isn't badly put together, my aim is to find one still in the box so it will be easier to convert for my nefarious plans. And as cheaply as possible.
  • GZG informed me my stuff has been processed and will be shipped asap.
  • I'm spending a bit of time each night cleaning out the hobby room, putting more stuff up for sale, trying to get extra income and save up more for the future (and future purchases), as well as looking for parts on various for a to complete what plans I have. No buying!!
And I'll leave you with a inspirational video of Doctor Fausts Painting Clinic; the Kastelan

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 ! :)