30 Jul 2012


Undercoating is one of those annoying things at the moment. I'm not getting a lot of time for hobbying so I really don't want to waste it messing around with my airbrush to undercoat figures. This means that I'm slaved to spray undercoat until I have a whole afternoon to amke using the airbrush worth the while.

I'd wondered if there was a cheap option for undercoat sprays and this curiosity led me to find myself in the local cars spares shop looking at their massive variety of paints. Clearly most of them are unsuited for any wargaming related use but the little old tin in the picture caught my eye. Oh yes it did. ;-)

Matt White acrylic spray 400ml for £5.49.

Lets compare this to GW spray.

Matt White acrylic spray 400ml for £9.50rrp.

One little old fashion plastic gretchin got the vote to be the first victim test figure and I have to say that part of me thought it was goodbye when he was plonked outside ready to get a blast of this stuff.

The gretchin is still smiling! So was I once I had tested a few normal figure paints, washes and inks on him a couple of days later. Its fine. Perfectly fine for undercoating figures and at half the price.....well I'm sold.

It actually even smells like GW undercoat and part of me would not be surprised if it is the same manufacturer behind both brands ultimately.

Is Fimo the answer? **Picture Update**

Years ago I made up some textured bases with the intention of maybe casting them. Needless to say that I never got around to that. :-/

However....last year an old friend called Junta (who happens to follow this blog) introduced me to 'Instamold'. Now this stuff goes soft in hot water, takes impressions of surface details and is re-useable. Great! It got me to thinking that I could use it to take impressions of the tops of my textured bases and then use the instamold as press-molds. Guess what? It worked but the question came down to what should be used to press into the molds.

My first thought was Green Stuff but it turned out to be a bit to spongey for that. I then tried some Pro-Create and it turned out okay so I thought I'd probably end up using that. However, whilst mooching around in an art shop I came across some Fimo heat hardened polymer clay. I'd seen the stuff before but never used it. What caught my eye was the fact that it was in a metallic colour. So I decided to give it a try and it actually works really quite well. Easy to press into the mold and then set-off with a 30 minute blast (110 degrees) in the oven. They will need a quick trim but the Fimo isn't brittle and sands fairly well.

So these little lovelies will be going on top of my possibly, maybe soon to be addressed pile of Infinity figures. Sadly in this photo the base toppers are up side down so you can't see the deck grating textures.

25 Jul 2012

Flames of war soviets update

Well, there have been a couple of things keeping me busy lately and so this post is really rather late.  I thought I'd post an update to the Soviet challenge that I set myself a few posts ago with all that unpainted, some undercoated, miniatures.

Playing regularly for a few weeks with the Fox was great as not only did I learn more about the army and improve my terrain set up to really add to the games, it gave me the incentive to actually get some stuff painted to make the game and tabletop look great :)

So, what have I done?  most of the 1,500 point list that I evolved after a few games, so well happy with that :)  So, onto the piccies....

We shoot 3 times on the move up to a mighty 10cm!  Fear us!!!!

This is my platoon of SMGs.  Soviet "companies" (equivalent to platoons) come in multiples of 8, so up to 25 with command team... and that's before you've added the kommisars, attachments from the HQ, etc.  This unit therefore beefs up one of my existing platoons and has the command stands for my two infantry companies as I realised that I hadn't painted them yet...

Next up is the scary tank platoon! 5 T-34s clocking in at 400 points.  Really scary tanks, but Hen & Chicks (the soviet special rule for tanks which makes then borderline useless if they move and either all the platoon moves or none does, so no move and cover tactics for them) really hinders them, which is great as they play very differently to other nations armour.

1 day of basic training + the best tank of WW2 = danger for both sides.....

Dark green isn't the easiest colour to look nice at this scale, so I went with extreme highlighting with a mixed up light green which I'm pleased with. The commander uses a special character model and is ace! He has a nice bright flag to make him stand out.  the numbering on Soviet tanks was both random and sporadic as far as I can tell, so there are a selection of numbers and red stars on either side of each hull.

Next up is more infantry - I need lots for effective platoons I'm finding so another 8 was the order of the day.  These are standard rifle/MG stands.  As Nick will attest, I don't worry too much about who stands where and just check which is which when it's time to fire!

We've all been given guns!  Thank the gods it's not mid-war.....
Next up was finishing the Katyusha platoon.  I'd painted the vehicles and crew, but as they had moulded resin bases and I hadn't finished them, it was pretty obvious that they were standing proud of the holes in the resin...  So I've finished their bases and also painted up the observer and command.  Funny thing is that the command base have been better at spotting than the observer.  I shall need to ask Uncle Joe for some binoculars....

Ooooooh - fireworks!
And last but not least is the sapper platoon.  These boys get added to existing companies to beef them up and add some much needed AT in assaults, being AT4. I read an interesting story about the Soviets using dogs to deliver AT mines by training the dogs that food was available under tanks... I think that this was mostly mid war to be fair when times were tougher (and it had mixed success), but I just had to recreate this and use it as a way to differentiate the sapper bases on the tabletop.  So, an order to Peter Pig for some dogs, a little green stuff for a coat (painted red for both patriotism and ease of identification on the table) and the mines from the tops of a set of beach defences and here you have them.  Dead pleased with them :)

One man went to mow......
And a close up of a couple of the tank destruction Kompany

Oh master, I do love my new red coat!  And I love you too master! 
So, time for a group shot of where I am now (with some extra work done since this to the katyushas)

Also shown here are the finished SU-122s (just don't have them here to photo!) and the two things left to do, the SU-57s (which apparently weren't re-painted from the US colour that they were shipped in during the war) and the 4 bases of AT rifles.

So, having gone from 18 painted bases to touching distance of 1500 in a few weeks - really enjoyed being motivated to get it done and looking forward to getting them on the tabletop again as soon as children allow!

19 Jul 2012

Taking stock part 2

Continuing my rationalisation of my wargaming kit I have dug out the buildings I have for FoW with a veiw to getting these finished and all stored in an accessable and easily transportable format much like I have done with my tree collection.

However I've got a bit of work to do before that point. ;-)

The finished ones consist of mainly Fieldworks pieces with a new(ish) HDF building from Warbases. The Radar Mast is from Antenocenti and I think it is a lovely little model. Most of the Fieldworks were brought as 10mm for playing BKC but they work at 15mm as well in my opinion.
There are a couple of teeny tiny houses that are really true 10mm which I will still use. Hey! they can be outhouses and farm buildings. The pale resin pile is a farm set from, I think, the Plastic Soldier Company's stand. It is a little large for a 15mm piece but not enough to worry. There is also the Cafe du Normandie from Warbase, two more Fieldworks ruins and a set of European Western Front houses from King & Kerr. These are the first ones I've got from King & Kerr and I'm interested to see how well they paint up.

Now all I need is a dry day to spray them with undercoat and I'll be able to slap a bit of paint on them to get them finished. The dry day is the first challenge given what the weather has been like lately!

18 Jul 2012

Taking stock

Well the trees are finished and I've located a tub for them all. I am now offically done with trees as I think I probably now have enough.

5 Jul 2012

I've got wood.

I was moaning yesterday in an email to the Gogs about my inability to finish things at the moment. Once home I peered into my study and it struck me just how much it was annoying me that I had once again let some of these little projects build up. I decided to try and get a few cleared.

First up. Trees.
I had always been looking for a cheap way to make trees and had never really found a process that I liked or had time to do (Don’t mention the Broccoli trees – a moment of madness). In the end I had resolved to buy them slowly but surely, a few at a time, at gaming shows. That way I would not dent my gaming budget or shock myself out of buying more by worrying about the total spend on trees! This had worked well and I’d brought a few when I happened across three bags of trees in someone’s bargain bin. £5 per bag with ten trees in each bag. Thirty trees for £15? Sold! The only drawback was that they needed basing. Not a problem I thought. That’s a quick job. Hmmmmm. They always seem to be quick jobs at that point don’t they.

Anyway……nearly a year later and I have decided to get these sorted and out of the way. Once finished I will have 40-50 odd trees in total that I can use for 28mm or 15mm. That’ll be enough.

I’d cut the bases already so last night I forged ahead and got the bases sanded, textured and the trees stuck to them. They only need a quick paint job on the bases and they will be done. Turns out they are just a quick job after all. It’ll be nice to have them done once and for all.

2 Jul 2012

Back in the Groove

Well it has been a while, but since my step back into work I have finally found some time to get painting again.

Since I sold my Sisters of Battle Army for a nice large lump sum, I have invested it in adding to my existing forces.  My plan is quiet simple:
  • Bring the Necrons up to date with the new release.
  • Enhance my Tyranids into a force that can be deployed in a variety of ways, not just based around the Swarmlord.
  • Have enough Orks to face Nick or Nathan at a 5,000 point game...... and that is a lot of orks.
So with those plans in my mind, I have started work on multiple fronts.

After a couple of bargains, I have 60+ ork boyz to paint, plus another 30 burnas/lootas etc and another 30 grots :)  Oh and an ork flyer!

Then I landed an exceptionally painted Nid army, which means to keep a consistent these I need to repaint a number of models to keep them all the same - not much work but it will keep me busy!

You can see the light blue of a necron test figure - I need to acquire some new Blue wash to finish that and the same blue on the pilot of the barge.  I hope you can see the rust weathering on all the necron vehicles (done using the hairspray technique).

Fallschirmjager reporting in

Another decent weekend of hobby time, in amongst family fun and shopping trips.

The Fallschirmjager continue apace and platoon #1 is pretty much done now. Have to sort out the washes and basing but quite pleased so far.

Platoon 1 reporting in for duty mein Herr

After a couple of games one of the things I'm really liking about FoW is the scenarios. They are very different to what I'm used to and my set up in each game so far has been great for 40K but not FoW. For instance last week I was defending so put out my AT, Mortars and HMG teams in what seemed a cracking defensive position.

Unfortunately it became obvious very quickly that because I had nothing on one of the objectives that it would fall very quickly so my HMG teams ended up in a 100m dash... obviously they were wiped out!

With a bit more thought I should have played with combat teams and added the HMG to my 9 base platoon above and my company HQ with Panzerschreks and dug them all in around the objective. Now try shifting fearless veterans from there whilst I wait for my reinforcements to arrive.

The other thing I'm liking is the fact that mobility is key in some scenarios. AT guns are great and all but once they are flanked or the enemy closes they are stuffed. So I'm now looking to enhance my AT capabilities with some Tank Hunters. Always been partial to Hetzers but for now I'm going with some really poorly armoured Marder IIIH.

Why? Well the short answer is because I can. This is something else I'm liking about FoW: you can take the apparently weak stuff and still achieve some amazing results. Plus I just like the idea of vehicles with armour 1 that also pack a 7.5cm PaK40 gun and some serious AT12. Take that T34s...

Look at the barrels on those boys

I will probably end up with a couple more to make the full squadron. My AT guns are 240 points for 4 and these boys come in at 260 points for 4 so not a bad swap. Will have to see how they do as I fully expect them to brew up at the slightest sneeze in their direction.

Open topped for that +1 damage roll. Oh hang on...
And here are the crew of the Marders all ready and, erm, well not ready at all to be honest. Will get these Tank Hunters painted up once my German Armour spray arrives.

Now my FJ list comes from Grey Wolf. One of the things I've been doing this weekend is looking at the Earth & Steel book to see what differences are involved with fielding these boys against the Western allies.

Jumping off the page so far are the Panther A tanks of the SS. Yes I can take 3 of these for the princely sum of 600+ points. Sheesh. Still I do like a nice Panther and it would be rude not to right? Right?