Workbench


FFI (Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur) Char B1 for Bolt Action

After thinking about Bolt Action for a while and reflecting on the rules I finally decided on which force I was going to build. My regular opponent Simon was going Italian, so I actually had quite a wide choice of potential foes, from Early War French, British Desert Rats, Anzio which would mean regular British Infantry and US forces, Russians and even Germans towards the end of the war. I did initially think about Greek, they used regular British equipment so would be quite easy to model. I did consider Late War Germans, so I could get a JagdTiger in 28mm…. but in the end I decided that I would go totally irregular and go with Partisans, so just infantry, or maybe a car or truck or two. I have a few civilian vehicles, a Citroen Civilian 1000kg Dropside Truck. Citroen Civilian 1000kg Dropside Truck And the slightly bigger truck, the Citroen Civilian 4,500kg Truck with Canopy. Bolt Action Citroen Civilian 4,500kg Truck with Canopy I have been slowly painting the models, and was quite clear to myself that I

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HCON Prep: CRUNCH Time

 Yikes - Less than two days until HCON!  Now it's it's just down to packing up and getting all the player aids doneThe first picture is the initial British order of battle 8 total divisions and associated support units.Initial? you ask - yes both sides may or may not have unexpected reinfoircements.  Its really all up to the dice gods.....Ahh - the real glamour behind putting on a convention game.  Laminating player aids!  As we all know, only the finest games use laminated materials.  I'm pretty much just a poser and hoping the lamination hides the rather poor aspects of my game design.  Its worked in the past!These are the ship management card for my new Age of Sail ruleset.  The working title is Bucentaure!We'll see if these ever see the light of day post HCONTime until Historicon:2 Days: 9 Hours: 8 minutesHOLY CRAP!

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Historicon Prep: A Mini Burnsides Bridge

 Because I don't have enough to do getting ready for Historicon, I decided to add to the list but building a "kinda" replica of Burnsides Bridge from the Battle of Antietam fame.  I just knocked it together with some scrap EPS foam.  The picture is just after the priming of a 50/50 mix of Black Paint and Matte Modge Podge.  This really hardens the EPS foam. There are two reasons I decided to build a new bridge.  The first is practical (if any miniature gaming need can be described as practical).  I've got a simple wooden bridge that looks good for 28mm but just doesn't cut it for 15's - especially for a big event like Historicon. The second reason is more sentimental.  My computer randomly puts pictures up as a screen saver and yesterday it went through a trip my son and I took to Antietam in 2005 - here's a picture of the real Burnside's Bridge from that trip.and a picture of Sean at age 10 from the same visit.  I got a little teary eyed and decided I needed

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Another Project: Rebasing SOL's for Saturday

In addition to frantic preparations for Historical, there is a large club game being held this Saturday.  I'm contributing some ships to the effort and they all needed to be rebased and relabeled. The rebasing is done and the labels have been printed out and need to be attached.I also need to figure out a better transport systems as these Langtons are a little on the delicate side.I'm going to need a vacation after all this intense hobby stuff!

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HCON Prep: Hills are done!

 The sloped Hill panel is done!  Another tick off the to-do list for Historicon.A close up of some of the rock areasThe cliff face.  That looks like a great spot to place an artillery battery - what do you think?A side glance.  The slope isn't all that steep - 3 inches over 18 inches.  That was done on purpose to reduce the chance of minis falling over.  We'll see how that works in a few weeks.Countdown to Historicon:15 days, 8 hours, 13 minutes

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HCON Prep: Total Battle Village Tiles

 The three village tiles and associated buildings from Total Battle Miniatures are just about done.  These gems are from their 15mm "big battalions" range.  All that's left to do is some clean up, detailed scenicing and then sealing.  I really like how these came out. First up is the "the Hamlet" tile, which has 3 buildings on a flexible base.The barn is a little dark and shiny on the roof so I'll need to tone that down and hit it with matte spray.Next up is the 4 building "Village" tile.  This tile had hedges along with walls cast in and was a lot of fun to paint up.  The Village tile has three road connection points, whereas the Hamlet had just two.  You get one guess on how many the next larger one has...All of the buildings are removable and fit into 1/16 inch deep sabots.  The sabots and building fit one of two sizes so it's easy to mix and match.Lastly, the "town" tile, which is a booming metropolis consisting of 7 buildings and four road connections.  This m

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HCON Prep: The Objective Marker

There is still one "unit" that needs to be painted up for "To Catch a King" - the objective marker.  In this case, it's King George and his Royal coach.  The miniatures are from Old Glory's Blue Moon line and are superb - here's a link.  I'm looking forward to painting this up and will try to do a decent job - not my normal slap-dash efforts.As a reminder, the objective of the game is for the British to convey the King across the battlefield, onto a ship and then off the far end of the board.  The table is shaping up to be 12 ft of land and 6 ft of water.  Of course there will be some grumpy frenchman attempting to impede the progress of his royal highness.Just to cause headaches for the British player (which is always a fun thing to do), I'm figuring out some rules that have a bit of randomness in them.  It needs to be simple like a die roll.  Perhaps the following:D6:6 Lightening Fast - full movement of 18 inches and +1 on next turns movement roll4-5 Coach moves its full m

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"Big" Hill Sectional Terrain Panels 2: Ground Texturing

 With the frames and base foam installation complete the next step is carving the foam to look less "wedding cakey" (yes, that is a real term) and apply the ground texture.  Being pretty much an idiot, I forgot to take pictures of carving the foam but I just used a very sharp knife to smooth out the slopes and as you can see in the first pictures added some exposed rock face with some pink foam.  Once that was down a layer of sculptamold was applied to fill in any big seems and smooth out any transitions.I do focus of figure stability so there are still layers but they're just not as a prevalent as some of my earlier hill attempts.Once the scultpamold has set, it's time to cover the whole thing with my "secret" terrain tool - pre-mixed tile grout (and pre-colored!).I do mix in a little PVA glue which really helps with hardness and makes the surface very durable.  Application is dead simple - put on a pair of surgical gloves, grab a handful out of the can and plop it down.  Now hears t

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HCON Prep: Big Hill Sectional Terrain Panels

 I really like the 2x2 terrain panels I built a few months ago but they do suffer form one issue - their umm flatish-ness.  I wanted to add some height variations and decided to build some modular hill sections.  The height of the hills will be four inches (3 inches from the top of the terrain as standard height of each panel is 1 inch). The first step in construction was to make the sloped panels, since I'm making three sections, I cut 3, 5 inch x 24 inch pieces of plywood and traced out the dimensions of the slope which is 4 inches flat in from each end and a diagonal line connecting the two points over the remaining  linear 16 inches (4+4+16=24).  The three panels were then taped together and I ran them through my band saw. And just like that I've now got 6 perfectly matched side panels.  Well perfectly matched after bit of sanding as band saws are never really precise.  At least the way I use them.....I then cut the rest of the side pieces out.  Here's the full

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Historicon Prep: Post 1,

The official countdown timer for Historicon now reads 42 days and 11 hours so It's time to "get it in gear".  First on the task list is painting the village sets I picked up from Total Battle Miniatures.  I've primed all the buildings with grey auto primer (my go-to primer) and laid out the flexible base for the "Hamlet".After about 90 minutes of work, I've gotten the Hamlet about 80% done and started another building.  The manufacture suggests not priming the flexible bases and just painting them with acrylic paints, which what I've done.  There is an amazing amount of detail in the building casts which just cry out to be painted.The buildings look a bit shiny now as the paint is wet and I haven't applied any washes or the matte sealer.I have three sets to paint:- A Hamlet which has three buildings (to the right) and is mostly painted- A Village which has four buildings (the buildings are on the left of the tray)- A Town which has 7 buildings (grouped on the right of the tray).  The

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Wizard's Tower: Part Two - Painting

The painting of Steve's Tower was very simple.  The first step (which I have no pictures of) was to cover the entire piece in a primer made of 50% cheap craft paint and 50% Modge Podge matte finish.  This provides both a nice black primer to cover up the pink and white EPS and also hardens the foam a bit to make the piece a bit more durable.  I got this idea form the Jeremy's Black Magic Craft Youtube channel and am using it for almost all of my terrain related projects.Because the surface is so uneven, I do the priming in two steps - a thinned down version is first applied and allowed to dry and then a full strength one is applied over the top.  The definition of thinned down is a dip my brush in the 50/50 mixture and then dip it again in some water before painting it on.  I used a 1" brush as priming terrain isn't exactly precision work.Once the primer has been given 24 hours to dry, the next step is to paint the whole thing a medium grey, dry brush a light grey and black wash.This

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Wizards Tower, Part One "Lets make foam bricks, a lot of foam bricks"

 A few months ago, I made a custom 3 level Wizards Tower for my friend Steve Mac to use on his D&D Streaming Channel "Castlemac".  He wanted to surprise his players so I've held off until now posting about the build.  It's a pretty simple design and was a lot of fun to build. This post will cover the construction. I cheated a bit and purchased some styrofoam 12" diameter circles, that were 1" think.  I've always struggled cutting precise circles in EPS and wanted the base of each level to be as uniform as possible.  Steve's uses a 1" grid so one was added using a dull pencil. Once the grid was drawn in, I marked off 4 points in 90 degree increments which was very helpful later on in the project.  Then the somewhat tedious part of the project started - brick work.  The first course of bricks are 2"x1"x1" rectangles.  I went with larger "base bricks as the matches the floor level and broke up the monotony of the exterior a bit.  These were attached with

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Workbench is Disarray

 My Painting workbench is in a higher level of disarray than usual.  Perhaps it's due to mixing the painting of 15mm Napoleonics with Star Wars Legion mini's.  That's likely a phrase not heard too often.The initial paint for Boba Fett is done - now need to do the details and a wash.  I am pleased with the progress so far.

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Finished 15mm Forrests

 OK, we're up to the final two stages of this miniature forestry adventure - making the tree canopies and scenicing the bases.  A word of warning - both these processes are extremely messy and YOU WILL burn yourself on the glue gun.  Sometimes sacrifices must be made the the Miniature Wargaming gods. The first step is to cut out the underbase for the tree canopies.  I like to use black foam core as its cheap, durable and the black hides any gaps from the attached foam material.  Just trace the shape of each tree base onto the foam core and the cut it out with a new facto knife blade.  For some added elevation I attached another layer of foam core.  In actual practice this didn't really do anything so I would skip that step.With the canopy bases cut out the next step is the attache the foam.  I strongly serge you get a cheap cake pan as pictured for any flocking exercises.  The pan really controls the mess and helps me reused the flock that shakes off.  I ended

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Life Goes On

My mother-in-law, Rosemary, died suddenly a week and a half ago due to complications with the surgery she decided in the end to have. Either way, she was faced with a terrible choice; a slow deterioration which could rob her of a meaningful life, or a risky operation which offered her a chance of total recovery or catastrophic failure. After a week in which her symptoms only got worse, she opted to take the surgery with the proviso that if anything went wrong, she would be allowed to die without intervention. The surgeries themselves went without a hitch; it was just her body's reaction to them that was the risk factor, and unfortunately the worst happened. She died after a very rapid deterioration in her condition a week and a half ago. We said goodbye to her yesterday in a moving ceremony where my stepfather-in-law read out not only his own eulogy, but a letter Rosemary had written to her grandchildren. Each of the four grandkids was presented with a little enamel box and instructed to fill it with thi

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