woensdag 20 december 2017

Does this make my bucket look big?

Took me a while to find the bag with bits. A long while. But finally....

Hail the Bucket!

Might even get it basecoated this week with the help of a new friend.

zondag 17 december 2017

20mm Sci-Fi? Is that even a thing?

Well, if you have been reading my Blog for a while, you know it is for me. SUre, 15mm and 28mm Sci Fi have an immense treasure throve of available stuff, unlike 20mm which has basically squat diddley.

Or so you think.

As I have shown before, plenty of 6, 15 and 28mm stuff can be repurposed for use with 20mm. And occasionally you find a little gem like this:

From the 2015 movie, currently for sale in the Action discount store at 8 euros a piece is a very simple to assemble, without glue even, Poe's X-Wing in 1:78 scale.  Now, I don't need X-Wings, never been a fan of the rebels (heck, I have an Empire tattoo on my back to show you where my loyalty lies!) but I did like that this incarnation of the X-Wing is much closer to the original skecthes and the pre runner of the X-Wing, the Z-95 Headhunter. The what?

 Looks familiar, does it not? More of a bubble canopy, and only 2 lasercannons on single wings.

So, after spending some old coupons I landed 3 of these ships, and they are now being transformed into Vismod Z-95's. They come with optional landing gear, but I epoxied that in place as these will be static pieces only, and each will get a individual scheme using quite a bit of colour, weathering and old decals from various ranges. I stripped out the droids, removed the batteries, glued the wings shut using normal plastic glue, which it takes very well, epoxied the gear in place and snipped off the lower gun mounts.


Not sure yet if I will do the bubble canopy for the entire current cockpit area, or continue the straight body right up to the dashboard and start a bubble canopy from there. The rest of the details can stay, as the Wikipedia mentions that there were many variants and production versions of this venerable snub nose fighter, plus mods made by their various owners and I don't want to put too much effort into building these pirate/mercenary ships.

And boy, are there many schemes to choose from.....

Now, where did I stash my 1/72 A-Wing.....

zaterdag 16 december 2017

Aspergers sucks.

Yup, Aspergers sucks. Loads.

It is so effing annoying to know exactly what you need to do, see multiple solutions to problems, can see how everything works out, but when you want to put it to paper it becomes a jumbled mess no one can make sense of, or the paper stays blank. All I do, or try to do it seems, is make plans. Plans for life, plans for the hobby, plans to find work, plans for my relationship.

And the very next day it all falls apart again. Constantly blaming myself for not finishing stuff while knowing fully well I can be 120% into something one night and wondering the next day why the hell I bought/did/started that in the first place.

Maybe it's because I could not drink soft and energy drinks 2 weeks ago when I got a bad flue, and halfway into thought, I might as well quit, it should be good for me, give me more energy, saves money and my teeth and my gut. And now one week later I can feel myself yearning for the stuff when I'm not feeling quite as sparkly as always. Driving home tonight from our hobby session I paased the McD and right up to 500 metres before the turn I thought, oh yea, lovely, I need that. It took a ton of willpower to tell me that is actually the last thing I need. No need to spend money I don't have creating a gut I don't want to get a body my wife loathes even more. Still, just saying no to one temptation isn't making it any easier atm. I know it will be when I'm a couple of weeks more into it. Just the allure of just one more, what will one little drink or bite matter, it just makes you feel good. Knowing fully well it doesn't.

I'm excellent at cold hard logic like that. I suck at implementing most of it, as it feels like I'm deniying myself something. A soft drink or a bit of chocolate used to be a treat to look forward to as a kid. Now it is just something I gulp down in mere minutes because of a perceived "want" and feel shitty about it afterwards. Same with miniatures and kits. My heart has grand plans to see lovely small tables with painted miniatures and great nights with friends. My mind sees pitfalls on every step of the way and without a well defined plan or deadline it just falls apart while stuff is in the mail to my adress, and when it arrives ot just get's tossed in the to do pile.

My hobby, when I started it, was fun. I was still studying and people around me were amazed I could paint stuff that small. Sure, I could not afford much (even back then) but I really enjoyed myself. Then I went from job to job, discovered my knack for Sales and Customer Service and tried to get even better at it, only to be turned down by employers for not fitting in the mould they wanted me to fit. Apparently, getting 85-95% scores on Mistery Guests scores wasn't good enough (this from a manager who never got beyond 40% for his boorish attitude to customers and simply not knowing his basics). Also, valueing Service over Sales is a bog no-no it seems. I really, really hate the rather 100 euros now once, then 25 euros again and again  mentality. Yes, I fully understand that not making a sale can jeopardise my pay that month, and that customer loyalty is hard to earn in this day and age of comparison sites and cheap stuff from China, but I always felt, and been told so by many, many customers, that a bit of time invested into finding out what the customer really wants always pays off, not perse in a fast buck as the boss wants, but in a better perception of the company you work for and people being more keen to shop with you than the competition.

In a weird kinda way this relates to my life in general. I'm more than happy to step aside for someone in a doorway and smile, or pick up some trash off the floor in a shop and drop it in the nearest bin, and just be myself and looking for things to improve. The other day I picked up a pack of buttermilk and the cooler label said 60 cents, but when I got to the register it said 63 cents. On pointing that out the cashier apolagised and told me I could have it for free after they checked the label. I said I did not want it for free, I was just pointing something out that they are better off solving, and wished him a good day, leaving him with a bit of a stunned look on his face.  I mean, don't get me wrong, when doing groceries I (rather often now I think of it) pick up handscanners people dumped in the store and give them to the cashier, or point out a piece of veggie or fruit is rotten and they are better off to remove it (at our local supermarket they then give you a bag of groceries for free....which makes me feel very akward). Or drop off a expired product at the register when I'm paying for my own groceries. It's just me I guess. I like to help. If I could help people all day I'd be a much happier man. Sadly helping people all day doesn't pay the rent, or buy food, clothes, gas or hobby stuff.

Not sure why I'm feeling utterly sad atm. Was it the kit I started with much enthusiasm earlier this wich now just turns m off? Was it that denying myself soft drinks makes me feel like I'm denying myself everything? Is it that after visiting my ex internship for a chat I find out the guy they hired instead of me quit after a few days, and literally 30 minutes after I left they put up an ad on FB that they are looking for a new guy. And that they didn't mention any of this while I was there? Is it because my chest hurts so much, and I don't know if it's the last remnants of my flu, or just a sad heart? Or is it beacuse I feel utterly useless and a failure for being 40+ and getting turned down for jobs everywhere as they have better candidates, which fit more into their team (and really meaning younger, cheaper, more mallable that tend to leave those repetetive jobs rather quickly).

I dunno. For once my cold hard logic can't seem to settle this issue of the heart.

But there is always tomorrow.

dinsdag 12 december 2017

T30 75mm HMC - the basics and start of Number 1

For Tunisia.Scicily, I want some light artillery support. As I have the M3 75mm  AT guns, I already have the base vehicle for the T30  75mm HMC. With the purchase of the Airfix Parajeeps I also got the 75mm howitzers so that is now sorted.

The mount and the shield will be most of the scratchbuilding effort. The rest is mostly cosmetic and feeling my way around the conversion so the 2nd one will be much quicker.

As the base vehicle I'm using the M3 75mm halftracks (yes, the names are confusing)

Opend the backdoor, filled in the what I assume are hull stowage boxes, made a ammo rack underneath the future gunmount, and filled in the notch in the drivers armour plate....which is very, very bare so will need some work.

Testfitted one of the trailers...

And then cut down the base some more for a better fit.

The other one will be built tomorrow (I think) to the same level and after that I can do the gun mounts and the gun shields at the same time. After that adding all the small details etc. maybe invest/trade for some AB figures American 75mm gun crew, if I can find any.

maandag 4 december 2017

2018 - Best laid plans....

Well, 2 weeks have come and gone. Been busy with organising life, the hobby room, sales, the insurance claim for my accident, school and God kows what else. With brings me to the matter at hand.


Yup, a new year is around the corner. Time to make plans. Big and small. And we might even try something new, but I'm going to need help. Lot's of help. So be a dear and feel free to chip in and help out when you can, either by telling me off or being motivational, whatever suits you.

So, the plans....

  • Only spend time on what you are actually playing. Atm this is Gaslands, and our local group is building forces for Battlegroup, and if all goes well I might take a trip to Ireland in 2018 for the Kurstin/Berlin project, and if not, a small Iran-Iraq bash. Or Partisan actions.
  • Do not buy any kits or miniatures! No, really! Have you seen the amount of kits I have......it would be insane to spend more money on expanding that untill I have tons more built. Paints, decals, barrels, stuff like that, no problem, but no new kits or miniatures. If I really want a particular miniature or kit, try and trade it with friends or online. Do not spend money!
  • Unsusbscribe from all email notificatons from shops, magazines, Paypal, Ebay etc. (DONE)
  • Cancel Paypal....well, I can't, as I need it for receiving payments for sold stuff.
  • Cancel Creditcard....well, I can't as it is mutual.
  • Cancel my debit account (DONE)
  • Talk to friends if I have ....Miniature Buying Urges (MBU)
  • Avoid Shows, as they bringeth Temptation .....yeah, well, but I also get to to try new games, meet old friends and sell off unwanted stuff.  Yeah, let's keep this one off the record for now.
So, what does this mean in concrete steps?

  • Gaslands - don't buy them at the 2nd hand store anymore and just work with what I got.
  • Battlegroup
    • vs Eriks DAK - 8th Army British - I've made a 350 pts starterlist which is fully motirised and lacking in infantry as I don't have any. Will also sneak in the occasional DAK vehicle for the fun of it.
    • vs Ferry's Kursk Russians (with later FotR update) - Germans - I've made a 350 pts list using excisting stuff and new to build/paint stuff to keep things going, and I will slip in the occasional Russian bit as well for the fun of it.
    • vs Sjors Normandy British - Germans - I still have to make a list for these. Not sure yet. Also a nice reason to slip in some of my own British.
    • vs Piers......oh my.
      • Kurstin/Berlin - no list made yet
      • Iran-Iraq - no list made yet
      • Partisans - no list made yet
  • 20mm in General - process through the 20mm based and cleaned drawers with WIPs and partially painted stuff. Just get that done. Please. If I ever feel the need to buy stuff, look in those drawers and that should kill it. Plenty of stuff in there like:
    • Afghans - just get them done
    • BEF - 350 pts list made 
    • Spetsnaz - Troops are painted, need a suitable drop off aircraft or helo.
    • Homeguard
    • Criminals
    • Japanese
    • Etc
I really want this to work. I'm sick and tired going after ooh shiney all the time, spending loads and then having it sit there gathering dust.

Wish me luck.

zondag 19 november 2017

Saving for future reference - Taliban Colours and Black Skin Tutorial

As I'm almost done cleaning most of the Taliban I want to use (and have more on the way) getting some kind of references ready would be very handy. I found this article to be very useful:

Original article 

L to R:
1. lovely blue hues, perhaps a baby blue might come out nicely after the wash?
2. mixed dark grey tones - easily achieved with a mid grey tone before wash.
3 TOP. nice dark brown tones for the turbans.
4 BOTTOM. black/grey gun metal. this was requested by my client as opposed to "metal" metal. i shall achieve this with a flat foundation black and then a drybrush after the wash. 
1. Dark brown turbans once again - PATTERN ONE 
2. Dark brown turban again - PATTERN ONE * 
3. Deep blues, perhaps using a regal blue i could achieve this but with the wash i would rely more on a uniform blue or even ultramarine. 
4. Green Parka color, easily achieved with a Catachan Green color and wash. 
5. Beige turban, I could go for a bone color but the beige here is more brown and less like the previous Bibilical commission so i will stick with earthy tones if i attempt this. 
6. Gun detailing, the detailing here appears to be a light pine color. i will perhaps try a bestial brown or maybe a leather color. 
1. Parka Green - PATTERN TWO -  The green is used here for the bullet and ammo pouches, perhaps i will use it for both also, though i imagine on 15mm it will look both lazy and rushed. 
2. White robes and clothing, this is a lovely thing to notice as i have used a white undercoat! and white as a color takes the wash very well!
3. Dark grey  - PATTERN THREE - The dark grey appearing here once again this time in the clothing, i like this but i find it to be drab compared to the more exciting and pastel colors employed by the other fighters. 
4. Dark Brown clothing  - PATTERN ONE ** - Definitely becoming prominent here. And something i am glad of as i LOVE brown. 
5. Beige ammo pouches - These are simple and small, though they do make up quite a distinct quantity of the commission detail, therefore i should pay heed! 
6. SHOES! thank god! believe it or not the shoes of a miniature can often become something that people completely forget about. I've had orders where they get to me and suddenly i am like "oh...what kind of color leather boots do they have on" and no extent of google image searches helps me! i can clearly see here that the taliban warriors are wearing Black and cream shoes. Both helpful and integral. 
7. BEIGE AMMO POUCHES - PATTERN FOUR - great! we have four patterns! that's awesome. so now i know that i SHOULD use a beige on the ammo pouches. with that in mind i wil throw in a brown or black one here and there but mostly i will use a beige color. Fantastic. 
8. LOVELY BLUE HUES - PATTERN FIVE - what a way to round off my analysis, like a bookmark of the first few points. These blue hues are almost german grey so i will dig out my ww2 paints! 


In conclusion i can say that i have at least FIVE key pointers now. 

1. DARK BROWN - Dark brown is a lovely color and as luck would have it, my recent commission dictates, is not one to be scared of when using the wash. Simply the fact that most white metal recess' are deep enough to hold the wash, it still works. I shall use the brown on many of the turbans and most of the clothing. 
2. PARKA GREENSi am so glad to see this one come up. i knew it would and i had that gut feeling it would be important. Being a big color i shall use it on a few jackets, maybe some jeans and definitely a few head pieces. Besides that maybe an ammo pouch or two. 
3. DARK GREY - The Dark grey utilized here is exactly that, DARK! i might use this one but if i am honest it would come out so close to a black with the wash and i would have to layer it, which sadly is not something covered by the troop job. There are always ways of working around something! in this case i simply have so much color choice that it doesn't matter. 
4. BEIGE AMMO POUCHES - i am glad this one came up. when you have a repetitive but crucial detail it is important to approach it confidently, else you are more likely to end up burring it in layers of re-does!  A handful of BEIGE pouches supplemented by some brown and some black sounds lovely to me! 
5. THESE "LOVELY BLUE" HUES - I LOVE UNIFORM GREY! there i said it. since i did my ww2 order last year i have had a serious soft spot for uniform grey and its ink washed result. i am looking forward to using this grey on the miniatures clothing and other parts. 

Also, I want to start prepping my Mogadishu figures, and for that I need a black skin tutorial.

Something I’ve always wondered about miniature war-gaming, fantasy and sci-fi in particular, is why in the 21st century, we still insist on painting all humans, elves and dwarfs in “vanilla” (no pun intended) Caucasian flesh tones.  I’ll admit that in miniature painting terms it would be hard to represent certain racial types by paint work alone.  Oriental skin tones, for example, are very similar to Caucasian, it’s their eyes that are their distinguishing feature and I don’t think this can truly be represented on a 28mm figure unless it’s sculpted to look oriental.  Similarly, there’s an overlap between tanned Caucasian tones and Mediterranean/Latin.  But there’s one obvious racial demographic that stands out quite starkly against the all white backdrop of today’s miniatures – black/African skin and I don’t know why we don’t see more miniatures painted this way so I decided to give it a go.  I did a bit of research into this and found that the reason many painters shy away from it is because it is very difficult to do (although hopefully in this tutorial I will convince you otherwise).  The reason it is considered difficult is the sheer contrast in the tones you must highlight through.  In the most extreme examples, black skin has darker shadows, being naturally darker and brighter highlights, being naturally more reflective.  Consider the example below, which is taken from the film the Gladiator and pairs Maximus (Russel Crowe) with Juba (Djimon Hounsou) in their first fight and also provides me with an ideal way to visualise my point.

As you can see from the picture, the dark areas and shadows on Juba’s skin are much darker than those of Maximus’ skin, which is understandable given that Juba has very dark skin.  However, if you look at the highlights on Juba’s skin, they are almost white, whereas those on Maximus’ skin are not much lighter than the shaded areas.
However, there are as many different shades of what might be termed “black” skin as there are shades of “white” skin.  There are examples like Juba above who have very dark skin but with a slightly red/brown hint, there are other examples that are almost black with a slight blue hint, there are some with pale skin that is similar in tone to Latin skin.  Some of these are easier to paint than others.  This guide will tell you how to paint skin not dissimilar to Juba above.

Colour Palette

You will need the following colours from the Citadel Range (I need to translate this to Valejo)
  1. Rhinox Hide (Base)
  2. Aggrax Earthshade (Shade)
  3. Doombull Brown (Layer)
  4. Tuskgor Fur (Layer)
  5. Bugman’s Glow (Base)
  6. Kislev Flesh (Layer) (optional)
You will only really need the Kislev Flesh highlight on centre piece and character models such as generals and mages.
Anyone using other paint ranges should use the Colour Conversion Chart link in the menu on the left of the screen.

Step 1

Base coat all of the flesh areas with Rhinox Hide.  This is best done over a black base coat as it adds a little extra darkness to the skin.

Step 2

Wash the flesh areas generously with Aggrax Earthshade.

Step 3

Highlight using Doombull Brown

Step 4

Highlight with Tuskgor Fur

Step 5

Highlight with Bugman’s Glow.

As an optional final stage, you can add a coat of Reikland Flesh wash to help blend some of the colours, however in many cases, such as the one above, you won’t really need it.

woensdag 15 november 2017

OCD for the win!

Well, managed to balls up my last exam completely, I think. Not a good feeling about it at all, I just blacked out and about half of the questions did not ring a bell. I'm actually hoping I have a score of 5 or less so I can take the exam again. If I score 6 minus it will stick. Considering the rest is 8-9-10, that would be a bit of an eyesore for me.

Anyway, with no internship anymore, tuesday and thursday are now reserved for study, cleaning/sorting and selling/listing. With just the radio and plenty of breaks I've made quite a bit of progress.

I've sorted most of my 20mm projects in project boxes (these contain just unmade kits and resins) so when I find stuff in the atic that goes with a project, in the box it goes. This is one entire wall, so I need to put up shelving on the wall with the door as well. Just 1 plank, mind you, purely for the scenery boxes, those are pretty lightweight.

Also filled another drawer with a box of my old WIP's.
All of my Bagration T-34/85's are in there, plus some conversions that need to be scrapped and replaced with better ones, plus some stuff that needs to be finished.

The original WIP drawer. Plenty of work to do.

All the stuff ready for basecoat or just basecoated. Enough to keep me busy for a while...

Yeah, I have....issues :)

Edit: Oh, and our spammer is back so for the time being I've turned moderation back on. Sorry about that :(

vrijdag 10 november 2017

Propaganda progress

Asked last weekend which of my 5 running projects I should finish, and the most voted for item was the Propaganda car, so I got cracking. 4 days in it has been rebuilt, sanded and smoothed and now ready for primer.

woensdag 8 november 2017

50 cent challenge - the toy tractor to armoured wargaming piece conversion.

I started off with a 30 cent thriftstore tractor.

The backwheels are slightly bent, so I epoxied the axles and set the wheels straight by glueing them to a base. This will make it easier to hold it while modding it.

In comes the box with spare bits of plasticcard, the knife and the epoxy....

 There is a magnet in the roof so I can swap out turrets if I want to with my BMP-1's, BRDM-2's and BTR-60's....or add the rocketpack from my Technicals. I'll make a magnetswappable sandbagposition with a LMG gunner to go on top in the future.

 Then we hit it with a brown/orange/red paint mix.

 And a hour or 2 later we have this:

Basic weathering done....now it is enamel time. And then powders. And when done, we have this.....

And that is it. Another challenge done! The tractor is based on a mix of pictures seen from Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia and Syria. I have no particular faction or country in mind. This can just as easily be Yugoslavia, Syria or TW:2K.

zondag 29 oktober 2017

Intergalactic Space Lord

The one and only, Lord Buckethead!

What do you mean, you don't know him? Oh, do keep up, James.... >> Lord_Buckethead

 20mm Britannia Volkssturm with Panzerfaust >> snippied the head, replaced with a bit of sprue, same for the eyeslit and the speaker. Dark grey paintjonb, black wash, glowy visor, Fighting Pirhana Union Jack decal on the Panzerfasut and the job is a good un.

Will double as my own character for Zombie games. :)