Category Archives: Modeling

I desperately need a Don Quixote figure…

I’ve been scratch building a Spanish windmill for 28mm skirmish gaming in the Peninsular War. Today I put together the wheel assembly, which was a major milestone. Now I need to figure out the nacelle, the roof peak, basing, and hopefully not completely ruin the entire model when I paint it.

The main body of the windmill is blue foam, cut at a slight taper using a Proxxion hot wire cutter, and crudely rendered with spackle. The blades, hub, doors, and window frames are all of various sorts of basswood. The roof is of plastic card, and was laboriously assembled with superglue, a paper form, and a prayer. That roof was a bear to figure out; I had to do MATH, y’all!

I figure this building will survive roughly 0.75 actual games before the blades are destroyed by hamfisted gamers (meaning myself, most likely).

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Windmill! And the blades spin, too. Unfortunately I can’t post video to WordPress. There’s still a ton of work to do to this thing, but I’m glad the blades didn’t end up all cattywhampus. Don’t worry, I’m going to sand on the plaster render a bit, before painting.

I’m also posting the current state of my British and allied force, so that this post contains more than just a single picture of a half finished windmill.

A few boys (lads?) from the 52nd, a gun (9 pounder, maybe?) with RHA crew, and their friends from the 3rd Caçadores. I have some incredibly cool guerrillas on the painting deck.

 

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A Place to Call Home

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Apples and ale

Not too much progress on the hobby front over the past couple of weeks, but I did make up this deployment point vignette for Sharp Practice II. It’s carved out of polyiso rigid insulation, which is something of a new material for me to work with. This was a practice piece. I think my texture work needs some…work, and the paint job got away from me a bit. I wanted it to look like a weathered ruin, but it’s kind of a muddy mess.

I thought about adding some stacked muskets to the vignette for extra ambience, but left them out for the moment, leaving the piece is period-neutral.

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Rubble filled stone wall.

The only figure I’ve painted since the last post is the colonel of the 1/52nd that you see in the pictures. It’s a Perry figure. He’s quite dashing, with his pelisse thrown carelessly over his shoulder, and bright orange mutton chops. I’ll call him Opie.

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You’ll never fit through that door, Opie.

 

Neat! David Neat.

David Neat’s blog is the best site on model making. Period.

David Neat is a teacher, designer, and maker for movie and theater set design. He builds incredible scale mock-ups, which range from the abstract (as seen below) to the hyper-realistic. Much of it is too fine of a level of detail for wargaming, but the methodology behind the work has broad application. The sections of materials and casting are particularly impressive. Neat also has a book, and I suspect it’s well worth the money.

Note to Self: Plastruct, Inc!

I may be the last person on Earth to know of this company, but Plastruct, Inc. has just about every kind of material you might ever want for model building. They specialize in plastic shapes and textured sheets, but carry everything from basswood to clear acrylic balls. Download the catalog. Check it out. Plan a scratchbuilding extravaganza. As a bonus (or minus, depending on your memories), the catalog is very 1980s.

Here’s the link to their website.

Here’s a direct link to the PDF catalog.

Distractions!

I’m supposed to be painting up a regiment of ACW cavalry, but then a few 20mm AB World War II figures, and an order from MMS in the UK showed up on my doorstep…

You can tell they're officers because of all the pointing. These are simply the best 20mm figures I've laid hands on. My painting is a little dark at gaming table distances-I'll probably lighten my basecoats for future figures, and do a bit more highlighting on these guys.

These are my ‘test’ figures. You can tell they’re officers because of all the pointing. To sum up AB WWII figures, these are simply the best 20mm figures I’ve laid hands on. The detail is absolutely fantastic, and at the risk of sounding like an idiot, I’ll posit that the detail makes painting the figures easier. My painting is a little dark at gaming table distances-I’ll probably lighten my basecoats for future figures, and do a bit more highlighting on these guys.

 

 

This little guy is a PZIIL recon tank. Rarer than hens teeth, but perfect for support in a platoon-level skirmish game like Chain of Command. These models are VERY nice, though they do require some cleanup and modeling skills (not much, though, as evidenced by the fact that I was able to complete the model in about 2 hours). I'll soon ruin it with paint...

This little guy is a PZIIL recon tank. Rarer than hens teeth, but perfect for support in a platoon-level skirmish game like Chain of Command. These models are VERY nice, though they do require some cleanup and modeling skills (not much, though, as evidenced by the fact that I was able to complete the model in about 2 hours). I haven’t quite figured out how to do the big triple antenna that mounts on the starboard side, yet. I’ll soon ruin this model with my painting…

Please excuse the iPhone pictures above. I have been making progress on those ACW cavalry, but it’s slow going, and I don’t have much to show for my efforts, yet.  I did make up another 30 trees, as well, but who wants to see that?! Not me.

Accessories

I’ve built a few jump off points for Chain of Command. These are made out of some stowage from Academy’s “Light Vehicles” kit. Unfortunately there weren’t enough to do the Allied side, too. I may have to pick up another kit! Note: the jerry cans are modeled totally wrong, if that sort of thing bugs you…

Those barrels are full of schnapps...

Those barrels are full of schnapps…

These jump off points serve as points to distribute forces from. They’re placed through a rather clever abstracted ‘patrol phase.’ Watch the video I’ve linked above, if you think you might be interested in the rules set.

The tree on the leftmost base is by the amusingly named “WeHonest” from China. You can find their fine day-glo trees on Ebay. Trust me, they’re bright. If I hadn’t painted and dipped the tree in flock I wouldn’t have needed any other light source. I may add signs or some more greenery to these bases. Who am I kidding, I’m way too lazy to re-visit these.

I’ve Been Busy!

Like a butterfly, I float around from project to project with no particular direction.

In this particular case, I’ve made it back to my initial 1/72 (20mm, actually) WW2 skirmish project. I started this project with Valiant plastics, which are just ridiculously huge and look like they could punch out a Sherman tank if they connected with a good solid punch. I’ve switched to 20mm metals now, and all miniatures shown are Warmodelling/Fantassin, as purchased from Scalecreep miniatures, from whom I received good service. The US jeep model is by Academy, and looks a bit weird to me. For the first time, I suffered the woes of decal silvering, so I’ve invested in some Microsol and Microset for my next effort.

A few US infantry and Jeep with .50 cal Machinegun

A few US infantry and Jeep with .50 cal Machinegun

I dig these miniatures...they have nice dynamic poses. Faces are a bit vague, and there were a few broken bits (such as the guy in the middle's Garand barrel).

I dig these miniatures…they have nice dynamic poses. That said, the faces are a bit vague, and there were a couple of broken bits (such as the guy in the middle’s Garand barrel).

Academy Jeep with a few Warmodelling US Rider figures.

Academy Jeep with a few Warmodelling US Rider figures.

Obviously I haven’t weathered the Jeep yet. You should have seen the decals before a dozen applications of MicroSol. They were really bad before. Yes, I realize they’re still really bad.

It Lives, It Lives!

Yes, I survived Peru. Peru is great. I can highly recommend Machu Picchu and eating mass quantities of ceviche; however, I suggest that one be very careful when consuming salads. I won’t mix up my various pursuits here on the ArkieGamer blog, but if you’re interested in travel photographs, I’ve posted a few of my hundreds of photographs over on my Flickr account.

On the gaming front, well, I haven’t done any, BUT I have done a small amount of modeling, since I’ve returned. The reinforcements OOB for Heroes of Omaha and Panzer Lehr (the scenario will eventually hit the table, I promise!) includes a couple of support vehicles, which I’m sourcing from this 1/72nd Academy Models kit:

I don’t need the motorcycle (although I’ll surely build it at some point), but the Kubelwagen and Jeep are certainly going to come in handy. I’m also excited about the various bric-a-brac (jerry cans, 55 gallon drums, and crates) that accompany the kit. Though the box art doesn’t show it, the Jeep can be built with a .50 caliber heavy machine gun mounted on a monopod and gimbal.

My only disappointment with the box’s contents is the complete lack of drivers, crew, and passengers. I’d love to hear about some good sources for those figures, if anyone has some. I’m dreading to see how small these vehicles are going to look next to my gargantuan Valiant infantry.

I’ve been building up sub-assemblies on the Jeep and Kubelwagen in preparation for painting, and I’ll be putting up a post about constructing the kit in short order.