Friday, 31 August 2012

update ...

Apart from finishing sticking my new ships to their basese, I've not accomplished much of anything recently. Work has been a b*tch and home-life has not been great either ...

[end self-pity mode]

However, this weekend I intend to finish off my Stoelzel's Structures Food Market or, at the very least, take some photos of it to post here on Monday. So more then.

Until then, have a good weekend!

edited 3.15pm 31-Aug:  I've just put in a huge order with Grekwood to try and cheer myself up - hospital zeds'n'beds, plus some 40mm baddies to kill my greeks! pics when they arrive

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Convoy Project Progress 1

Propaganda poster from Wikipedia
Despite - since Clint (from Anything But a One) reminded me of the existence of LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online) - spending every waking hour I'm not at work playing LOTRO, I have managed to make progress on my new toy ships in my lunch hours at work (well sitting in my car actually!).

Having undercoated them all, I decided to stick them on bases before painting as, because they are soooo damn small, they are quite fiddly little buggers to hold. My first impulse was to get something from, my normal supplier of choice, but couldn't decide what size I should get.

So I decided to use the 2mm thick cardboard that I used to make my buildings, before Stoelzel's Structures converted me to the 'Way of Foam'. I still use the card for roofs, etc, so had a bunch of it to hand, but had a brainwave and I've been using up my stock of offcuts that I've bben keeping 'in case they come in handy' - a hoarding trait that I've inherited from my father ...

Anyway, I decided to measure the length of the ship and add 13mm to that for the length (with a minimum of 30mm) and to the widest part of the ship, I've added 6mm for the base's width (with a minimum of 10mm). The 13mm added to the length is so that I can put the prow of the ship 3mm back so I can paint a bow-wave and there is a 10mm gap at the back for the ship's identifying flag. The 6mm added to the width allows 3mm on each side for waves/wash.

Here is a pic of some of the undercoated ships on their bases, which I've coloured in (before gluing the ships on!) with a permanent marker. (I used a permanent marker as the ink doesn't run when it gets wet, as it will when I paint the ship (probably!) and the base (definitely!))

You can see in the pic above that there are some flags with the ships. I'm sticking these to the ends of the bases to give a quick visual clue to the ship's identity. Also, when I cut them out, I leave a this strip of white paper at the bottom of the flag which gets wrapped around the base's thickness when I fix the flag to the base (with sellotape). The pic below shows some that I've done:

I have a bunch of merchant ships - not surprising for a convoy game ... - which I want to name. I don't really want to use real ships' names and have decided to use humourous/satirical names based on national stereotypes to inject a bit of fun into the game. Anyway, here's the list I have so far:

    British Merchant Navy:  SS British Upper Lip, SS British Humour and SS British Superiority* - all from the British Tanker Company - SS Bowler Hat, SS Rolled Umbrella, SS Pinstripe Suit, SS Welsh Choir, SS Glasgow Salad, SS Insular Cornishmen, SS Scouse Pride
    French Merchant Vessels: SS Gallic Shrug, SS French Arrogance**
    Other Allied Nations: SS Norwegian Blonde, SS Belgian Chocolate, SS Polish Plumber
    British Empire Ships: SS South African Charm, SS Australian Subtlety, SS Canadian Dullness, SS Maltese Falcon
    Chartered US Ships under British flag: SS American Modesty, SS American Exuberance
    * - sank early June 1940
    ** - sank 22nd June 1940

    Please note that these names are meant to be fun and not offensive!

    The idea for the ship names came after reading about the exploits of Commodore IAM Strangely-Smoothe, RNR in one of Tony Morphet's Convoy batreps, so blame him! ;)


    Tuesday, 14 August 2012

    New Toys - 1/3000 ships #2 Navwar

    This time it's my new toys from Navwar, a miniatures company that seems to have been around for ever. Unfortunately, they seem to be stuck in the early 1980s as far as technology seems to be concerned, as to order from them you have to fax them your list - FAX!?!? - and card details (!) and they have no email address!!

    So it was with some trepidation that I faxed my list to them. Most miniature companies will let you order by email or have a web-shop and with those you'll (normally) get an acknowledgement or similar that your order has actually arrived, but with this faxed order, there was nothing - I didn't even know if my order had made it to them, as although there is a phone number on their site, it seems - to my reading anyway! - that it's only manned on a saturday afternoon!

    Anyway, just as I was about to try faxing a letter to them to find out what was going on, the figures arrived ... what a relief! To be honest, they weren't at all slow in the turn-around as I faxed on the Friday and the figures arrived on the Tuesday (IIRC).  It just seemed like forever as I'd faxed my card details into the wild blue yonder!!

    I don't think I'll be able to handle that again even though the figures are nice and the service was quick ...

    Anyway, here are the pics of the miniatures I bought:

    It was only the fact that I couldn't find any trawler models from Mick Yarrow Mini's or Skytrex that tipped me in favour of ordering from Navwar at all ...

    It is a shame, as from what I can see of their models they are pretty good! They should really update their ordering process - at least a contact email address!

    Next time the last ((and biggest!) batch, from Skytrex

    Monday, 13 August 2012

    New Toys - 1/3000 ships #1 Mick Yarrow Minis

    My new toys for my latest fad - WW2 Convoys - have started arriving. I had a bit of a quandary to begin with -  trying to decide which scale to use - 1/3000th or 1/6000th? I used 1/6000th for my modern naval (with the superb Shipwreck rules from Vandering Publications); the detail is fantastic on them, but they are soooo tiny:

    So I thought I'd go for 1/3000th this time. My first toys came from Mick Yarrow Miniatures. Although the site looks (to me anyway!) abandoned, Mick is producing the mini's and provides a very quick service - I ordered the following on a Thursday and and they arrived on the Saturday. As Mick's site is short on pics, I thought I'd post pics of the packs I got here (in the pics the label is 63mm across to give you an idea of their size):

    Compared to Navwar and Skytrex, Mick's miniatures are very cheap and very nice castings - the exception being 3238 Royal Sovereign BB class Norway 1940 which was quite a messy casting :(  However, Mick very kindly put in the SS Eridan as a freebie, so I am more than satisfied with my toys and will certainly buy from Mick again!

    Next time I'll post pics of my Navwar toys

    Wednesday, 8 August 2012

    Stoelzel's Structures' Hospital part 2

    I first posted on this build pack in this post - stoelzels-structures-hospital, and in my last post - sickness-strikes - I threatened to post the updated photos of the build and here they are.

    To begin, there are pics of the exterior before the recent changes:
    And after:

    As you can see, I've opened up all the windows (and 'glazed' them!) and have re-skinned the building so that the pairs of windows at the sides of the 1st and 2nd floors are now singles. I've done this with the windows on the ends of the hospital as well. I did this for 2 reasons - first, and the main reason, I was too lazy to cut out 4 windows for each room [ ;) ] and second, I wasn't going to have enough wallspace for what I wanted in the rooms if there were 4 windows in it.

    So, to the first of the interior shots which are of the Director's office. As a reminder, this pic is a 'before' shot, showing the director's office - the 3-walled room at the bottom right of the pic:

    And these pics show the now furnished office from 3 angles:

    These next 2 shots show what I've put in the Records office (the room at the top left of the last 'before' pic). The tape drives on the machinery is now out of date, but I like them - makes me think of James Bond films!

    Here we have one of the patients' rooms. The beds are the 120% version which fit very well, as are the cupboard/wardrobes. You can also see I've added the in-houose brain-washing/conditioning entertainment system:

    Now pics of the 'Control' rooms that are on the 1st and 2nd floors. I've covered the fire extinguisher that is printed on the wall with a folded version and added a security monitor add gun cabinet - all of which are from the Stoezel's Modular Lair 2, IIRC:

    As well as furnishing and 'opening' the windows, I've also added a room to each floor. It niggled at me that there were no toilet facilities in the building, so at the left end (as you look at the front of the building from the outside) I've added a wall across the corridor, a window to its end and tiled flooring (from Stoelzel's Modular Mansion, IIRC). I had to move the doors into the patients rooms adjacent to this new room sideways to create a room of any worthwhile size. The left pic below is to illustrate where this room is - at the right side end of the corridor - and the right pic is of the room itself:

    And finally, a pic of the furniture I've added to the reception area - namely a bank of chairs and a coffee table. These are also from Stoelzel's but I m not sure which!

    So that is the 'Clinic' as it currently stands. It's still not finished - the Personnel and Finance offices in the extension need furniture - and without conscious decision I seem to have furnished it more for an RPG or 7TV game than for a zed-based game, but I'm happy with it!

    Monday, 6 August 2012

    Sickness strikes ...

    I recently posted a long list of Stoelzel's Structures that I'm planning to build, but unfortunately a bout of sickness has struck that will prevent me from completing that list ...

    Yes, once more the wargamer's curse - "Ooh-Shiny"-itis has struck ... I found out that there is a wargame based on the battle of the Atlantic called Convoy available.

    As this is something that I've always had a hankering to play - No, I don't really know why! - I had to (of course) buy it and all the supplements for it and some figures!

    So instead of building, I've been reading the rules, ordering figures and generally getting very excited about yet another new project!

    Before this struck though, I did manage to furnish most of the clinic that featured in this post - stoelzels-structures-hospital - so I intend to photograph that tonight and post on it tomorrow, before I start posting on my latest obsession.