donderdag 30 juni 2016

Me-262 A1/U4 with 50mm

One of the old conversions, finished off. Pity about the silvering on the wing decals but I'll note that down as "battle damage".

Star and Pyramid: 6 Day War: Operation Moked progress

Tonight, I've removed all of the old 1mm width magnets from the aircraft (with no magnet surviving the process and a gash in my thumb from a slipped knife <sigh>) and added 3mm width magnets to all of the aircraft and nails to the helicopters.

Sofar I have painted:

2 Mirage IIICJ with droptanks
1 Piper Cub
1 IL-14

And I'm still enjoying myself. Currently in either a primed or half painted and new magnets/nails installed state are:

2 Mirage IIICJ
4 Super Mystere
4 Ouragan

2 S-58 Helicopters
And oddly enough 2 Cobra Attack helicopters....I think these came from my Iranian batch and somehow got mixed up with this lot as they are not in the campaign lists (or I have misread that and I'm going blind....also an option!)

That bed of nails was the best thing I ever did for my 3mm much easier to store them all in a drawer this way, other then small bead boxes. If one aircraft is a big bigger you just slap a few extra magnets underneath and raise it a bit. Brilliant. Must make more.

Now, the opposition....

4 MiG-19
6 MiG-17
2 MiG-21 PFM and 4 MiG-21 F-13 - only 1 model is sold but I think I can make some small modifications

3 IL-28
4 Su-7b

....a bit of a problem. I know I ordered all of these back then,. and they are in the big box of aircraft. Problem is, I can't find the little fokkers (and you have seen the sheer amount of boxes in my attic) !

So, I have 2 options. Re order what I need and spend another 14 pounds on aircraft for the first part of the book. Or wait untill I find the several kilograms of aircraft in a box. I've chosen the sensible option......yes, I don't know when I will find them, but it saves money and I have plenty to keep me busy, as during my search I did find a box with part of my Vietnam stuff, a ton of WIP's and some assorted finished aircraft that may or may not need some retooling.

Since I have no opponent anyway that I have to play against (I will try play by email for this with some friends and see how that works) there is no rush, and all of the conversions that I need to finish will keep me occupied for a while anyway.

That will be all, stay tuned for more 3mm beauties soon :)

dinsdag 28 juni 2016

L5 Stinson Sentinel painted as Israeli Piper Super Cub

The "Head to Head"sceanrio calls for a Piper Super Cub. Nobody makes that, but the L-5 Sentinel does come close and with some additional painted windows (all the way underneath the wing) it looks quite ok. This is the last test, this time to see how I handled something really small, and I passed that too. Not too many left now on the block, and I want to get as many done as I can before Doms shipment comes in for the Falcon and the Duce scenarios.

2 Israeli Mirage IIIs in Six Day War scheme

Also in my scrapbox, as were 2 others, but they had the wrong magnets inserted....the ones I painted have 1x3mm round, the ones I did not paint have 3x1mm round bar, and they just keep falling off the flightstand whereas the 3mm round stick on like glue. I have a box of flat head nails that I will use for the smaller WW2 aircraft as a big 3mm magnet might be a bit much on those....I will experiment with that on a Israeli spotter plane next.

zondag 26 juni 2016

1/600th - finishing a job started a long time ago!

A job started in December 2011 to be precise! (never throw anything out)

Remember this one? Il-14

 Well, I didn't want to drown myself in thinner again tonight so grabbed the Il-14 from the scrapbox and had a go at it. And I'm quite happy with the result to be honest. A tad rough, windows could be a shade whiter but other then that, pretty happy. But, you be the judge (and jury).

I even did the presentation in my old way from back in 2009 when I was painting lots of aircraft. I think it suits them. The base coin is a 1 euro cent, the squares are 1 cm.

Original C-47 by Tumbling Dice, Roundels by Doms Decals, flag by I-94 and numerals by QRF

vrijdag 24 juni 2016

Munitorum Armoured Containers

....or a fancy schmancy way of saying 40K containers.

On my way back from my shrink intake on wednesday I decided to make a a large detour on the way back to excercise my knee a bit more as I don't get to the city centre of Den Bosch very often. I picked up some more 5cm foam balls at the craftstore to make moons from, some vallejo paints at Toemen or, as I shall call it from now on, "that drone place". Wall to wall of drones and parts.  And then I passed by the hobby store. It was deserted except for 2 staff. At first I thought all of the GW stuff had gone untill I found some way in the back, and there it was, 1 box of armoured containers. 40 euros. Lot of money. Well, let's call it therapeutic and I will paint them asap, I promise.

Medium sized box, 3 sprues inside, I'm guessing you have seen all that by now.
 I've been reading some complaints about recent GW mouldings, being soft in the details department, mostly aimed at the bases and basing parts kits. None of that here. Typical GW detail though, almost shrine like and skulls everywhere. 1 container each has 10 skulls on it. You can easily remove 8 of them with a sharp knife with a chisel head. So I built 1 container to see how it went together, primered it. Then realised I had been looking at it as a normal container, so I missed the 4 eagles that go on the corners and the skull keypad. Glued those in place and reprimered. When done it is quite a nice box, pretty solid other then the doors. They are a bit thin so they bend when you push them. Also, those are only glued in 4 small spots. You don't see the internal details when closed but it is actually pretty nice. The Stormbolters. I guess someone had some kind of seizure and thought it would be a good idea to upgun a container (which actually ain't a bad idea, as in modern days there have plenty of ideas for that, from CIWS to Anti Ship missiles) so can put them on and take them off, if you magnetise it you can do it without damage, but I don't see the point as it looks very daft. So, the spares bin will take them gladly. Then I built the other 2 and set the box aside.

Leftovers....for now.
The boxes and fuel drums are a bit heavy built and left overs for now, but I'll do those when the containers are done. They look nice but the 3 drums I put together, 1 had a bad fit and the other 2 fit ok. Bit thick.

Anyway, the containers. They stack nice. I will make sure to double hardcoat the connection points so they live longer but other then that I just started with 2 in grey primer and 1 in English Armour and I'm picking up a Cadian decal sheet from Erik tonight to spice it up a bit. See, that is what I'm missing. You are paying 40 euros for a few sheets of plastic, but they do not give you any decals. No problem, I have tons of Space Marine decals and those have numbers, right? Yes, they do, but.....all the numbers are in different sizes....ffs. At least the Cadian sheet has nice same size numbers.

Yup, they stack. Basic colours on for the greys, the green one will get a white band across the middle but while I have no problem decalling and painting over my grey primer within 30 minutes, I prefer to let my green primer harden out properly which means I can tape off the container after I finish my Blog post.
Decals and basic weathering done on the 2 greys. Bad photo.
This is what I call basic weathering. If there is any interest in it, I will do a advanced rust tutorial (as an addition to the previous rust tutorial). Next thing to do is enamel rust and washes.

No other major news to report other then that in order to try and have any money left over every month we traded in our Renault Megane Stationwagon for a compact Daihatsu Atos Prime (which sounds very Autobot actually), meaning our insurance goes down from 70 to 28 euros a month, roadtax goes from 55 to 24 a month and economy....well, it is a C class car and the economy given is 5 litres and a bit for every 100 km. The Megane drank almost double that. And yes, it looks like a tin can, slamming the door makes it wobble from side to side, no more AC, it still has a tapedeck!! (we really need to change that) but she's 9 years old and has only run 57.000 km in that period (it was registered in Amsterdam and it never left that area, litereally) and is very economical. Kim even managed to get 1500 for the Megane (the best I got at other locations looking at other cars was 650/1000 euros) and I'm so proud of her :) Best thing yet, our we only spent 2100 of  our 4000 euro budget so we put the remaining 1900 in the future repairs fund. It had a major overhaul recently so I don't expect any troubles soon, but to test it I will take her out to Erik tonight (70km round trip) and to my parents on tuesday 130km round trip) and if there will be any issues I'll find out soon enough. Oh, and it fits both kids and their stroller (easily might I add, most small cars can't even fit a double sized stroller and we might not need it very often but having room for it is a must.

Enough yapping, back to the containers, now to rust them up.

dinsdag 21 juni 2016

The Guild D-Day Speedbuild: C-47 with a twist - finished? and other ramblings

With little time to spare, I completely burned out and posted the following 4 pictures for the competition.

I posted it on a few forums too to finish my running topics, but I have not had the nerve yet to read the replies. On the one hand I just have bitten off too much then I can chew, but to be fair, with better focus that might have not been the case.

But to spill the beans a bit, last week I was diagnosed with Depression, and seeing this is my third time in 7 years I kinda know how it goes, and it ain't pretty. I truly don't care about anything right now, hopbby, wife, kids, myself, nothing. I spend 2/3's of the day in bed. When I do have bursts of energy it pisses off my wife and confuses the heck out of the kids, so I just go to my hobby room and paint there for 3-4 hours straight while watching Youtube tutorial (and Fallout 4) videos. Since this is my third time, and my docter is super worried I've been labelled Priority and have my intake tomorrow. There is a bit of discussion whether to admit me for a short period so I'm away from everything or have me over 1-2 days a week for therapy and meetings. To be honest I don't care what they choose for me, I just want to get rid of this black hole that is inside me and swallows everything, from energy to feelings. I mean, I don't even care about painting right now, and I love painting. I've been on a downhill slope ever since losing my job and it is spiralling out of control ever since the news that my knee damage is permanent, and I just don't see the light at the tunnel anymore.

It sucks, but that is the way it is. Having said that, I've managed to snap out of it 2 times before. I have every intention to do the same thing again this time. But I want to ask them to treat it differently this time. Dark moods are a part of me ever since I was a kid (but I never was a Goth or anything) but I never discussed that with my family cause I knew very well what they thought about people that don't fit in their little world. I did find out pretty quickly that being by myself and/or with others and doing hobby related stuff meant it got pushed back. For quite some time I didn't have issued with it anymore and I kind of forgot about it. I have the hobby (gaming, painting) to thank for that.

So what changed? I'm not sure. When I got older I started to run into more and more people who don't accept my hobby as being something a adult should do. That it is a waste of money. I stayed friends with people who either like or have the same hobby, and tried to get rid of the ones who disapproved of it. Problem is, the disapprovers in my inner circle are my next of kin. My dad in particular has expressed more then once that he would come over, dump everything in a trash container and that would solve the problem once and for all. They see my hobby as a problem, as a disease, a money pit. I've long since given up the fight to change their views. I hardly ever show off painted stuff on my own FB page and keep it mostly to closed FB groups, a few forums and my Blog.

So why am I telling you all this? Well, I've never been the best in expressing myself verbally. I can talk long stories but sometimes it is hard to tell where they start and where they end. It's hard to explain the problem when I myself can't understand my own problem most of the time. Does this mean I have no more love for the hobby right now. No, it does not. That I don't care about it right now does not mean I do not love it. It is just that 99% of it gets blocked and only 1% actually manages to get out.

Like what I painted in between painting burst of the C-47. A local friend of mine commented that he would like and try to revive the cancelled 2012 Afrika game and see if we might get 3-5 players and have a small campaign with them. Even in my blocked off state, this triggered something as I had spent a lot of time on the background of my faction, the mercenaries called Zwartwater, and gathered quite a bit of kit for them. Also, this happend just at the moment I was watching a documentary on Netflix called "Only the Dead"

During the chat I saw this on my screen:
A press SUV in Iraq, 2003
.....and I wanted to paint that. What I normally do these days, is that I see something I think of interesting to buy, paint and have, I just copy-paste the picture, print it, and stick it on my whiteboard.
This months "Things I wanna have" list
But I did not want to paint another SUV, as I already have a Press SUV/Armoured Car (see ZNN
I gave it away to Bryan of the Hobby Den, then painted another one which I still have not finished (just needs varnish) for my own collection). I did however see, while cleaning in the attic.....
The attic. Welcome to hell/heaven and my Nemesis!
...a built, based and washed Lada Riva from SandS

And then magic happend, as I got through my numbess and painted my little heart out. I even cut apart white bar decals to represent the tape used to mark the vehicle with TV. I kept the clourscheme the same. And this is what I got:
Just so passing gunships know what you are.

Plenty banged up

Oops, missed that bit of gloss paint next to the window, will remidy that

As much as I love them, SandS casts are rough and usually have plenty of air bubbles to clean up. Since I paint up most of my stuf as bangers, not always a problem, but sometimes it is just bloody annoying. But for the price he charges I really can't complain. He asks 6.50 Pounds for these and I get my Guild discount on top of that, and then some when I order up a bit more. Thinking about ordering up 4 or 5 more to paint up as Iraqi/Afghani taxi's. Also thinmking about planting a money tree. Hah!
And while I was at it, I even made rules for it in Battlegroup (Moderns).

Press chit. This replaces a 1. When pulled, play on enemy unit and put a Press vehicle/3 man team on the table.
1-2 Unit too busy to fight cause they are recording messages for Mom and Dad. - no action next turn
3-4 Unit goes all out and puts up a show for the Press - Free action next turn
5 Unit is portrayed badly in the eyes of the Free World and loses D6 BR
6 Press is unwelcome. Place chit on enemy unit instead

Optional: If you have a translator team you may add or subtract 1 from your roll.

Right, tomorrow after the meeting I will come back home, clear my hobby desk, give it a good cleaning and the decide what to do next. Taking a week or so off doesn't sound so bad right now.

zaterdag 18 juni 2016

Dropping the F-Bomb

Literally in this case.

A few months back I made a request for 1/48 or 1/32 scale dumb bombs and a gentleman was kind enough to send me a few 1/32 sprues free of charge.....sadly the mailmen stepped on them or something so I was only able to salvage 4 of them sofar.

Scatter scenery for This is not a Test, or the ruined city, or as objectives in 40K/Inquisitor, or....anything really. Bombs are numbered 1 to 4 on the tailfins just in case. They are 1/32 American WW2 500 Pounders, in case you want to look for your own.

Bombs away!

Bomb 1 - The F Bomb

Bomb 2 - 10 Tons of Fun

Bomb 3 - Yellow Stripe

Bomb 4 - Serial

Based on 40mm round MDF bases

50 cent thriftstore find

Picked up a wrecked container truck (it was missing the entire cab) for 50 cents at the thriftstore today (and got home to find a 10 cents sticker underneath, cheeky buggers!). Decided to prime it so I'd have something to do in between drying times of the C-47 so picked up a Army Painter can of Skeleton Bone. BAD mistake! Even after rigorosu shaking it came out spluttering and drying very dusty. Binned the can immediately, rubbed it with my fingers to smooth it a bit and presto, the letters come showing through. Hmm, idea.

So we start out with this:
Shiney green plastic, I glued the doors shut with epoxy. I'll salvage the truck wheels at a later date.
 I'll spare you the pic of the orange peel skeleton primer coat. I've said it before and I'm saying it again, Army Painter rattle cans are utter shite. Don't buy that crap.

So, coat on, a couple of washes of dust, rust and brown later (speeded up by the use of a hair drier), some beige paint to bring out parts of the lettering again, a good brown sponging and highlighting and 3 coats of gloss varnish later, we get something looking like this:
I was aiming for faded paint in the lettering.
And then we added the rust with enamel washes, and another 2 coats of varnish and we finished in just under 2 hours working time. Not bad for a in-betweener.

20mm Panhard for scale. Container works nicely for 20mm. Now back to the C-47.

donderdag 16 juni 2016

The Guild D-Day Speedbuild: C-47 with a twist - primed and based!

In between rainshowers I managed to get the kit basecoated in the morning, masked in the afternoon and sprayed Olive Drab just before dinner. I will now focus my attention elsewhere as I want to let the paint have plenty of time to dry and harden.

Also: Masking is fun! Not that difficult, just pay an eye out for details and press firmly. So I will be doing that more often. Tomorrow do the white, do the basic weathering, and paint a few panels in different tones. Anything else is a bonus.

Now to work on a more patriotic piece of scenery, Russian style :)

The Guild D-Day Speedbuild: C-47 with a twist - build part done!

Dead on my feet right now, but 99% of it is done with 1 day to spare. Only thing left to build so to speak is to soften the props in boiling water tomorrow to bend them all back. Landing lights I'll put in when everything is built and painted. I'm really happy how this turned out sofar, I hope my paintjob can do it justice.

That is a big piece of scenery.....

woensdag 15 juni 2016

The Guild D-Day Speedbuild: C-47 with a twist - midway

Progress is slow. Antibiotics have left me drained and tired so I'm sleeping most of the day. Have today to get the build part finished, tonight to do the debris for the remaining wing parts after I give the engines a good smack down, so everything is dry thursday afternoon for the grey primer, taping it up, and then olive drab (or the English one to take the tone up) for the rest. Plenty of work.

Do remember this will be a wargames wreck so it won't be 100% accurate and I'm doing the best job possible given the deadline and what little time I have during the day. Having said that, I'm quite happy with the progress sofar and I'm looking forward to finishing the wings tonight.

zondag 12 juni 2016

Hashima Island

I'm a bit of a Urban Explorer by heart. I can just stare at a moss coverd wall with a rusty, graffiti coated door and enjoy that immensely. It all harks back to the day they were tearing down half of my primary school (not enough kids left in the village), I was 10 back then and the demolition site wasn't fenced off. Or not very well anyway. The building as a whole was 2 identical 2 story buildings and they would only demolish the left wing. Walking in the one wing, with glass shattered everywhere, destroyed furniture and ripped pipes, something sparked and my interest for desctruction and decay had been born.

Just for old times sake, the Tijl Uilenspiegel school back in my days (when I was there it was still called School of the Holy Spirit - but the building I took my classes in was already called Tijl Uilenspiegel). In case you are wondering, he is a character from Dutch-German folklore around the 1500's, and is dressed as a fool in full costume, or a Nar as we call it.

The left building that they tore down, the one in the back was my part of the school. Quite modern when built but a prime example of a building built before the oil crisis....loads of glass and a energy bill that was huge. Meh, nobody cared about that back then.
I never thought I had a lot of memories of these days, but seeing this pic and the hallway and the pegs for the bags and coats, and even the tiling of the floor, a lot is coming back to me. Not neccesarely good times (having very thick glasses made me a prime target to get picked on, untill I was 12, could not take it anymore and aggressively attack a bunch of 14 year olds that were picking on me after school and I think that left a lasting impression as I was never bothered again. Funny as that happend right in front of the local church :D
Same chairs, same chalkboard, big open windows with lots of light and 2 years of agony before they realised the reason that I was getting low grades was because I sat in the back but could no longer read the board! In come jam bottle sized glasses. I'll spare you a picture of me then :D.
Try as I might, I could not find pics of the demolition. Thus ends the little detour to the day that shaped me 30 years ago.

In comes Urban Exploring. I never had the nerve to enter deserted old buildings (law abiding an all that, stickler for rules) but I always enjoyed photographing them. Sadly, that collection was lost in a flooding and since I no longer actively go out looking for pics I just  snap a few whenever the opportunity arises. Or look at other peoples work. And that is how I learned of Hashima Island, also knows as Battleship Island. Home of a underwater coalmine and a prime example of early concrete highrises. Abandoned and deserted since the 70's. Pictures of it are really nice for copying for scenery. So I was quite chuffed the other day when I find they had a Google Streetview of the place since a few years!

Hashima Island Google Streetview

I will spend a bit of time walking around the place and getting some new ideas for the ruined city :)

Hotz Mats fields and thinking too much.

2 Years ago I bought 3 packs of Hotz fields after getting a test batch off him for free. Today I was wondering 3 things. 1. These antibiotics are making me really sleepy. 2. I wonder if I have enough Hotz Mats fields? and 3. In what condition would they be now after I got quite a bit of use out of them but not so much more lately.

Well, after having a good solid sleep-in I decided to get the box down from the attic and answer question 2 and 3.

The box is a slighly oversized then A4 shipping box meant for motherboards, which I picked up a big stack of from my previous job. As you see, my collection fits nicely, with the bigger fields folded double.

First part of the box with mostly bigger fields
Second part of the box with mid to small fields, some overlap.
Last 3 bits.
So, in total I have enough mats to cover a area of 80x160 cm and have some left over. I had just sold my 28mm German collection so had the money and since I'm about investing 80% into scenery and 20% into (new or 2nd hand) miniatures I did a quick bit of math. 1 set of mats covers 55 x 36cm (making me realise I have 6 sets of mats, and I think I picked up) 2 sets second hand along the way somewhere), costs 13 dollars plus 8 dollars in shipping (or so it says on the site, when you click Paypal directly the charge is 6 dollars shipping). Another full table (with spares left over) would set me back 67 dollars including shipping....roughly 60 euros then. For the amount of space covered not a bad deal really.

But let's loook at the practicality of things. My table ranges from 4x4 to 4x6 (or 122x122cm to 122x183cm in Euromath) With what I have now I can cover almost an entire 4x4 table or half the 4x6 table in fields. Granted, it is a mix of 6-15mm version and 20-28mm version, but in all practicality they work fine side by side...not all fields are alike anyway. That is a lot of fields. And enough for me now.

So, what is lacking scenery wise? Well, using the 80x80 table as a rule of thumb, and looking purely at 20mm (as weird as it sounds to you cause my focus has been away from that for a while now), I want to completely fill it with trees, fill 1/4 of it with hedges, fences and other boundary markers, have enough houses for various locations to fill at least a full table, and enough defences to fill a complete table as well (bunkers, minefields, wire sections, AT ditches.

As it stands now, I have 100 proper pinetrees that are single based and I want to rebase in groups of tree with removable bases, plus a box of mixed trees that need to be reflocked and hardened, so I'm pretty sure I can cover a 80x80 area. Hedges and fences, i'm 25% there and this is another focus point. 20mm houses....I have a ton of Wikkywokk stuff and I really should sell some more stuff and order off of him as soon as I know what items I would like to add to my board. Right now I have enough for a nice French village with factory, houses and community centre. Thx to the cobblestone mat I can put them on proper flooring too. Defences I'm halfway in terms of stuff ready to paint thanks to a great set of AT ditches I have and lot's of log MG bunkers that I have. As soon as I pick up a few boxes of PSC Marders I will add AT log bunkers to that as well thx to the spare barrels, plus some tank turret defences and lot's or wire defences.

And just to hit myself in the back of the head, 99% of that is stuff I can do right now without spending any money for it cause I have the stuff for it already. I just made a nice A4 sheet, printed a to-do list on it and stuck it up to the board just because.

What I should put money into is another box of tufts and greeneries cause the last time I checked, things were running low and with lots of scenery planned I'm going to need it. But that is for another night.

If the Hotz Mats fields interest you, you can find them right here: Hotz Mats Fields