Monday, 20 October 2014

Still struggling on ...

Thought I'd better put a post up just to let peeps know I'm still here. No pictures though ... the main reason for this is I have a Windows mobile phone and to get pictures off it, I (seemingly) have to install 'Zune' on my PC - which I really don't want to do; if anyone knows of a way round this, I'd really appreciate it if they let me know!

On the hobby front, in this post back in August - new-rules - I mentioned that I was thinking of getting into 15mm sci-fi.  Well I definitely have now, and have a bunch of Armies Army figures, some Brigade Models vehicles and other stuff.

I've been looking at different rules and, of the ones that I have, Strike Legion: Platoon Leader will, I think, suit me best. (If you are interested, you can get a free 'primer' of the rules)

Anyway, tonight I have a game of 15mm SF against Keith (the megalomaniac behind Armies Army) and will get my painted stuff on the table for the first time! Pictures next time - if I remember my camera!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Dave Graffam Models 08 - Frontier Barn

This post is about my build of Dave Graffam Models' Frontier Barn, currently a 'silver best seller' on Wargames Vault and available for £2.42.  As with my more recent posts, I've again used Ironclad Miniatures' 28mm Tobias miniature  as a size indicator.

This first pic to the right shows the finished build. I've made a few changes to the supplied model in my build - specifically the first (2nd to the US) floor doorways and the grille in the centre of the roof. The model has parts for a small tower to go on the roof's centre and solid walls on the first floor. I decided to add the first floor doorways to give the building more versatility in a firefight.
The second pic on the left shows the door to the hayloft. As designed the building has only one of these (at this end of the building) which has a porch like structure, which I didn't build (couldn't be bothered with it tbh!).
This pic shows the other side of the barn. On this side I chose to have a double door - the model allows for a double door on any and/or all sides of the model, giving great versatility and many rebuilds. You can also see in this pic the small extension that is part of the model.
As usual (now) with my builds, I made the walls from 5mm foamcore and the removable roof with 2mm mounting board. Most DGM buildings don't come with interiors, but it's (relatively) easy to use exteriors as the interior as I've done here. I used the 'Gray-Green' layer of the pdf file for the exterior and the 'brown' layer for the interior, intending to give a contrast indicative of weathering. I'm quite pleased with how it's come out! As with the Finger and Toe Multi-Storey Warehouse I used 2mm mounting board to create partial floors allowing access to the entire building while mini's could be placed beside windows. I used wooden floor prints from DGM's Low Ruins Paper Models Set to cover the partial floors. For the earthen floor of the barn itself I used a plain earth print from DGM's Garden Ground Tiles

 This next pic shows the interior of the barn's extension and the edges of the foamcore used to make the walls. If I could be bothered, I'd stick some wood effect print on them, but I'm happy with colouring them in with permanent black marker.
Finally, here is a whole build shot with the roof removed. Unfortunately, Tobias seems to have escaped from this shot ...

In other news ... I placed my first non-solo wargame in at least 2 years on Monday evening. It was against Keith Armstrong - the megalomaniac behind the excellent Armies Army 15mm miniatures - at the Guildford Wargames Club. It went exceedingly well and is, I hope, the first of many such games.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Militia Miniatures Kickstarter

I promise I'll do another post on buildings soon!

However, for this post I thought I'd share a Kickstarter with you that I've backed - it's for Militia Miniatures - 28mm Modern Mercenaries!

I backed it as the figures seemed like they'd be useful for Zombie gaming and (as it is now) at £20 for 10 figures, it's pretty good value too! 

That £20 includes UK postage, it's £2 extra for non-UK shipping

Friday, 29 August 2014

Tommygun Towers & Sloped Roof Shanty

So to the next build. This actually consists of two different models, both of which are free to download from and were designed by Tommygun; they are the 'Towers' and 'Sloped Roof Shanty' kits. I call them kits as both of the pdf files have bits to enable the creation of mulitple different buildings - marvellous value I thought! ;) Again Ironclad Miniatures' 28mm Tobias miniature is providing a size reference.

You can see to the left the finished products. Also in the picture are the contents of a set of ladders from Warbases which I was going to use to create a ladder up the side of the smaller tower. However, when writing this post I saw that Warbases now do a long ladder set, so instead of having to glue 2 of these shorter ladders together, I will probably get the longer set and use them.

Anyway, the towers themselves are very simply made - glue the prints from the file around a pringles tube, stick the top cover on and that's it - job's done! Just use elastic bands to keep them in place (as in suggested in the file). The shorter tower was made with a tube of supermarket's own brand version of pringles and adds a nice touch of variety IMO. I think of them as some kind of storage tank - some liquid (fuel maybe) or gas perhaps, so made the small building as a 'control room' of sorts. My intention is create a scenic base for the towers and building with a chainlink fence of some sort surrounding it.

To the right is closer view of the building's exterior and the Warbases' ladder. Also, you can see the excellent texture of the towers.

The building itself is a hackabout of one of the buildings in the shanty file and I'm very pleased with how it's come out
Finally to the left is the interior of the control building. There are no interior details for the buildings in the shanty file, so I used the exterior prints to line the interior walls and the floor is, yet again, provided by Dave Graffam Models' Low Ruins set.

I am very pleased with these buildings; now I just have to pull my finger out and build the base for them!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Finger and Toe 01 - Multi-Storey Warehouse

This post covers my build of Finger and Toe Models' Multi-Story [sic] Warehouse which is available to download from Wargames Vault at (time of typing) for £2.40.

To begin with, to the right, you can see my finished build of the model, with an Ironclad Miniatures' 28mm Tobias miniature in front to give an idea of the building's size. Also, the pavement (US: sidewalk) surrounding the building is not part of the building; it is from Grekwood Miniatures' 28mm Residential Roads pdf (IMO the best representation of UK pavements I've got).

The building was made with 5mm foamcore for the walls and base; the roof and interior 'floors' from 2mm mounting board.

As is my (now) usual practice, I've removed all the doors and windows from the building - it does come with them! The building itself is - as the title claims - multi-storEy; it has parts for a ground level, what it calls upper story [sic] and then a top story [sic]. This enables you to have as many 'upper' storeys as you might want and they are designed in the model to be removable, but for my build I've fixed them all together and only used the one upper storey.

To the left you can see the right and rear sides of the building as seen in the first pic - the corner pointing at the camera is the one that was on the back right in the first pic. I made a change to the designed model here - the wall with no windows that is now at the back of the ground level is actually one of the upper storey walls, but I reasoned that it would be more likely that the ground floor would have no windows so swapped the 4-window ground floor wall with this 0-window upper storey wall. Making this swap also enabled me to have 4-window walls front and back for the upper and top storeys.

To the right you can see the left and front of the building. This shows the single door entrance at the back of the left side.

As the building is designed to have its interior used, it does come with interior surfaces, has a staircase model included and even has 2 pages of alternate doors and windows! There are storey 'connectors' that will disguise the join if you made a disassembling version of the building, but as I haven't, I've not used them.

And finally the last pic shows the interior. As you can see, I've not made floors for the building, instead I've rabbeted mounting board into the walls where the floor would have been. The board has then been covered with the wooden floor supplied in the model (which is quite a good one actually) and the ground floor is the concrete floor from the model. You can make out the yellow and black stripes on the ground floor - above this on each floor there is a slightly smaller similar area that represents where a lift would allow access for heavy goods to each floor.

Given its modular nature, it would be relatively easy to make a taller and/or wider version of this building. At £2.40, the versatility of this model is, IMO, good value.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Buildings and ANMA

Well, I've finally taken pictures of most (but not all!) of the buildings I've made (relatively) recently. As I said previously I'll do a post on each - hopefully quite quickly!  Before I start that series of posts, though here's a teaser/montage of the ones I've taken pictures of...

Also, I've actually managed to play a game!  Shock!! It was a board game from Wargame Vault - Astro Navis Merchant Advanced (ANM). It's a space trading game and when you get it you get a basic version as well as the advanced version. When you've printed the components off and set up to play a game, it does seem quite complicated - as the picture indicates - but it's actually really quite easy to play.

I managed to get a 'minor win' result for my first basic game which was pleasing! I got this game ages ago, and my recent interest in it has been to use as a framework and scenario generator for the Five Parsecs from Home sci-fi skirmish rules. I believe that it will be great for this, especially given the 'events' included in the advanced version of ANM, which is my planned next test.

The basic version of ANM is, IMO, too reliant on dice rolls - one bad roll can really hurt your chances of winning, but the extra rules in the advanced version will reduce this by a great deal. I am going to make one change to the rules, but I'll report on that after I've played the advanced game.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

New Rules

Well so much for a post a day ... in my defence, the lighting in my hotel room is so awful that the pictures I've taken have been absolutely rubbish and unworthy of publishing. Anyway, going home tonight, so I hope to have posts of my buildings up soon.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd let you know about 2 of the new rulesets that I've got recently:

Five Men in Normandy - skirmish rules that I picked up during Wargame Vault's recent 'summer offensive' sale. The clue being in the title, they are designed for small skirmish actions, but there is provision for up-sizing the number of combatants. I'll reserve posting any more about them at present as I've only read them, but I will say that I have a good feeling about them and am eager to give them a try. There is also a new supplement to cover zombies!!  (I'd put a link to them, but can't connect to WV right now; as WV is back up, I've added the links)

Sabre Squadron - "is the new set of rules for company-level wargaming from the Cold War to the Digital Age" as it says on the website.  Currently being developed, the free version you get is called 'Rapid Deployment' and can be got by sending an email to them (details on the page linked to above). Again this reads very well and leave me wanting to give it a try - just need to get some russkies done!

Speaking of russkies, I've been trying very hard to not buy some of Brigade Model's lovely 15mm SF neo-Soviet tanks and ArmiesArmy 15mm infantry to oppose and support them ... I don't actually NEED another project to start, but they are very, very shiny and wonderful and the world would be a much better place if I bought them and precious says I must .....  HELP ME!!!! 


Friday, 1 August 2014

Dave Graffam Models 07 - Coach House

The first detailed report on my recent building spree covers Dave Graffam Models' Coach House (curerntly a 'Copper Best Seller' and a 'pay-what-you-want' product on Wargames Vault).

In my last post on a Dave Graffam Models' (DGM) build ( dave-graffam-models-5-low-ruins ) I said that I was using 2mm board as a building material.  Since then, however, I've become disenchanted with that as it looked too thin next to 28mm models. I've now started using 5mm foamboard for the walls instead (which looks much better IMO!), although I still use 2mm board for roofs.

As you may be aware, DGM use the 'layers' functionality in Adobe Acrobat to provide the builder with many different options for the model's surface finish and placement of doors and windows. For this version of the Coach House, I decided on the 'brick' finish and not to use the 'Coach Door'.

In the first pic to the left you can see the north wall of the model. I've cut through the foamboard to create openings where the windows and doors appear on the prints of the model and coloured in the exposed white foam with a permanent black marker

To the right is a pic of the building's southern wall, again with the windows cut out, although the one at the peak of the wall was too small to bother with IMO.
The unfortunate thing about DGM buildings is that they do not come with any interior detail at all, so if you want to use the interior, you need to come up with something to use there.  This pic shows what I've done. The wooden flooring is from DGM's Low Ruins Set, while the interior walls are the Coach House's walls with no 'wall' layer selected. This gives an off-white finish to the wall with green and grey streaks that - to me anyway - looks like a neglected plaster finish. It's far superior to leaving it as bright white foamboard anyway! You can also see that I've 'framed' the openings in the walls with black marker

This second pic of the interior shows what I've done with the first (or second if you're American) floor. With previous builds, I'd made a removable floor (as you can see at the end of this post - dave-graffam-models-1-pub), but, through use, I'd found that unsatisfactory (constantly having to remove it to get to the ground floor and having it discarded on the table when not used, being 2 reasons). So now, I've decided to make a platform from 2mm board that I rabbeted into the foamboard wall where there are windows and covered it with bits of the low ruins floor piece. I hope that this solution will be more satisfactory.

This final pic shows the interior of the ground floor. You can see that I've not made any furniture for the build, nor do I intend to.  It struck me as I was beginning this series of builds that my aim is not to create detailed model buildings, but rather create terrain for wargames - hence the lack of furniture. Following this logic, I am unsure at present whether or not to put doors on the buildings ...  I might do so as they could be useful for zombie games - i.e. to indicate if the door is shut or not.

I think that I will (at some point!) build another version of this building actually as a Coach House! :)

Thursday, 31 July 2014

even more buildings and 2 bridges

For once I've managed to keep to a target for posting!  Below you can see a group shot of the more recently constructed buildings that I'll be posting on.  This time though, I'll tell you what they are!
At the back is a World Works Games' Swift Scenics range Office Block, in the centre front is a Finger and Toe Models' Multi-Story [sic] Warehouse and that is flanked by two Stoelzel’s Structures The Cottage. Unfortunately, the last three do not have (yet!) finished roofs ...  As threatened, the BTD British section is deployed to the front.

I tried to get the pictures for the first building post as well last night, but was having real problems with lighting :(  As it was only bridges that I used for the test shots, I thought I'd post them anyway, so here they are - again with the infantry included
Both bridges in the pics were constructed from Dave Graffam Models' Covered Bridge. As with all DGM products, the 'layers' included in the files allow for a wide variety of finished models.
I think that I'll be making at least one more bridge from this set - a 1" wide wooden bridge with a stepped approach (as you see in the pics, both of these have ramps) to use as a footbridge.
I made both of these with 5mm foamcore, except for the ramp surfaces and vertical sides of the brick bridge which used 2mm mounting board.

The kit includes layers for cobblestone, wooden, medieval brick, victorian brick and stone bridges, but no tarmac surface. Also the only sides included are wooden, but I reckon you could make brick or stone sides from the bridge surface.  It's set up for 2" wide bridges, but again I think you can make wider bridges without much difficulty. In fact, I think I'll have a go at that myself at some point!

Finally for this post, thanks to all of you who've made such supportive comments on these recent posts - they are both very much appreciated and very helpful - thanks guys!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

more buildings shortly ...

Just a quick scribble to let you know that I've been making more buildings - no pics yet tho - and will be putting another teaser post of them as a group up tomorrow (hopefully!)

I've been spending a lot of time away from home recently as part of my new job (hence all the building) and this time I've taken the buildings I've made along with a section of Black Tree Design WW2 British infantry to give some size relation to the photos that I'm going to take of the buildings and hope to publish this week.

I'm going to do a post per building so that might mean ... take a deep breath and make sure you're sitting down ... more than one post in a day !!!!!  I know it's a shock, but I hope you'll be able to cope!   ;)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Buildings ...

Not much of a post today ... some 'teaser' piccies of the buildings that I have most recently assembled. These are 'group' shots with multiple buildings in each and I intend to do a more detailed post on each of them. As well as the buildings below, I have put together some 'ruined' buildings, and I'll do some posts on them after the buildings.

These are all 28mm-sized and are Dave Graffam Models made with foamcore as the main building material

Apologies for the quality of the 2nd & 3rd pics - I took them this morning just before leaving for work and them seemed to be ok on the camera view-screen :( ... anyway, hop you like them!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Red Gambit series ...

I've been reading quite a bit recently, more than I have for a long time. As a fan of alternate history and military fiction, I had a search on Amazon and came across the 'Red Gambit' series, which begins with Opening Moves.

This series posits a Soviet attack upon the western allies in July '45 with nothing differing from actual historical events up to this point. The story follows the pattern established in other 3rd world war novels - such as Red Storm Rising - of following characters on both sides of the fight and moving around the war zones.

There are a few innovations in the story - such as ex-SS officers instructing the allies on how to fight the Reds and a novel use for Nazi vehicles captured by the Soviets - that have made this series, IMO, an enjoyable read.

The series continues with Breakthrough, followed by Stalemate, then Impasse and is not finished yet (the 5th volume has yet to be released).  Each paperback volume costs around £10-11 and they vary from 600-800 pages, although the kindle versions are much cheaper (£3-4).

Personally, I would recommend this series to anyone interested in Third World War stories. Apart from being a cracking good read, it certainly makes a change of pace from the usual acronym-filled, technology-heavy stories.

HOWEVER, if grammar mis-use of things like apostrophes, they're/there/their, we're/where/were, etc is something that you find excessively annoying, then perhaps these books will not be for you ...

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

still here - wherever that is!

Well, I've finally managed to secure new employment, having started my new job on 23rd June. So far, half-way through my 2nd week, things are going well and I'm enjoying it.

However, prior to now I've been coping - well trying to anyway - with the effect of the repeated rejections I've had upon my condition.  This battle has not been easy and one of the casualties has been - as you may have noticed - my blogging.

I know I've posted this previously, but I'm going to post it again even so - I hope to pick up blogging regularly soon; as regular as I've ever managed that is.

I've not been idle on the hobby front. As things began to pick up for me - between being offered the job and actually starting was a 3 week delay caused by security clearances - I began to do some more things which I hope to post on. I've also been reading a bit, so will share my experiences on the WW3 and alternate WW2 series (2 of the former and 1 of the latter) that I've read.

Until then - apologies for yet another extended absence

Saturday, 5 April 2014

6mm City

Waaay back in this post :  not-city-but-building, I posted pictures of the first of the 6mm buildings I made for ATZ: Mass Hysteria.  Well, I made quite a few and got them out to take pics today. In this first one you can see the building from the first post in the centre right of the pic, and in the centre background is one of the 6mm police bases I've done

This next photo shows the police base a lot closer and 28mm zed-me to give an idea of size

Here we have the city as it is right now; I intend to add a few more buildings

 From a different angle

And a close-up of one of the bigger buildings at the back with the police base on the roof

For those who don't have ATZ:MH, it uses 3" square city blocks, which is the standard I've used above. All the buildings above are free from here:

They are designed for 10mm games, but I printed the A3 pages on A4 which is about 60% - just right for 6mm

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

update ...

Hi All, Just letting you know that I am still here.

However, I was made redundant at the end of January and my health has suffered as a result. Consequently, I have neither been blogging or reading those blogs that I follow.

I've had 3 interviews over the last week and am waiting to hear the results, so hopefully things will pick up soon.

I have a bunch of things that I want to post on now, so hopefully the next update will appear a bit sooner that it took this one to arrive!