Saturday, 26 April 2014

Competition Winners!

So two short weeks ago I hit 100 posts and 10,000 visits at around the same time. To celebrate I decided to have a little competition. I had hoped that I might get a entry or two but I hadn't expected to get 7!

I've published all the comments at this point but I found it impossible to choose between the entries. All of them were interesting, amusing and heartfelt. To help me pick between them all I asked my wonderful assistant (aka, the better half) to have a look and help me choose. Through various esoteric means, we decided on:

1st Place: Justin Penwith

"Congrats! 1) What keeps me chipping away at the lead mountain is my sincere desire to keep gaming with my mates and to have armies ready for my sons to play with, and against, me when they come for a visit. While I am not quickly going through the mountain, I am continually at it. 2) Who do I thank most for my inspiration and motivation? Honestly, those who inspire and motivate me most are the heroes and villains of all the past wars and conflicts. Each fought for a cause, some honorable, and many not, but it is only because of their actions and the histories left behind that we can wargame those events today. More modern models of inspiration include numerous authors of either academic texts or wargame rules, but who each had an appreciation for military history and also delved into the hobby itself. Others still, bloggers who, in the midst of often chaotic and stressful lives, post about what they are working on and what inspires them. Too frequently, favorite bloggers"

2nd Place: Red Dog

"Well done notching up a century posts! Painting isn't my most favourite part of the hobby, but the need to have painted models (combined with the fact that I can't afford to get someone else to paint them!) keeps me chipping away. As for inspiration and motivation, I'd say my love of history and the encouragement of the guys I play with (and have contact with via blogs) keeps me going. Also the great feeling of satisfaction in completing a project and taking pride in my work. Cheers, Paul."

and 3rd Place: Chris Stoesen

"Congrats on the milestone. I enjoy the variety of projects that other people are working on, even periods that I have no interest in. It keeps the creativity moving. I paint in bursts. I had a fantastic burst in tnbe beginning of the year and I am prepping for the next one. Who do I thank the most? Well, the readers who post comments on my blog. They make me want to do more."

Justin will get first pick of the books, Paul the 2nd and I'm afraid Chris will get whichever is left. I'll attempt to contact the winners via their profiles, but if I can't (and you've not heard from me in the next week) please leave a comment on one of my blogs!

Thanks to all the entrants and the other members of the community that have kept me painting and blogging over the last year. 

Paint Table Saturday #25

A pretty quiet week for me painting wise due to a number of factors. I could blame being busy with visiting relatives and work, etc. But really it was the fault of this:

Really great game, which I have been enjoying a lot and loosing a good bit of time to. As such, my painting has suffered.

One thing that did happen this week is that I umpired a small game of Full Thrust using the FT lite rules for a couple of friends. One had played many many years ago, and the other never had. They both had a great time and the NAC were pretty soundly beaten by the FSE forces. The game was my suggestion as my regular Wednesday night roleplay game was cancelled and I had been meaning to catch up with one of my Thursday night Roleplay campaign players who's been ill for the last few weeks. I guess looking at other peoples pictures of Full Thrust mini's has got my interest going.

Having sparked their interests in Full Thrust (bwa ha ha...) I decided I would have a look at my old collection. And oh boy have my painting skills improved. So I started looking into ways to remove old paint, and found this:

Which, according to reviews I have read online, will take paint off of metal, plastic and resin models. Initial testing seems to prove that it does - with a darn sight less warning labels on the back of the bottle than most of the other options. I picked this up in my local Tesco for under £4.

Here's the models that I have decided to start with:

So, this Paint table Saturday has been more focused on taking paint off of mini's than putting it on!!!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

100 post Competition Reminder - closes Friday

Hi folks, just a wee reminder that my 100 post celebration competition ends on the 25th of this month.

To enter, just join my blog and leave a comment answering: What is it that keeps you chipping away at the lead mountain - and who do you thank most for your inspiration and motivation? 

Details can be found here:

A wee pic of me with a Israeli Super Sherman (M-50) from my visit to Eden camp last year.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Paint Table Saturday - three days late...

Slightly late with this week's attempt at a Paint Table Saturday post! Mainly due to the fact that on Saturday I only had Army Painter (Strong Tone) varnished vehicles staring back at me. No Salute for me, I'm afraid. One day... Trying to convince the better half that there might be a show on in London that weekend...

I managed this evening to get a dry brush with the base Russian Uniform Green (Vallejo Model Colour 70924) over them. I had tried a new type of highlighting (for me) on my Sherman Hybrids and I intend to replicate that on these models. I'll also do a lighter shade of the Russian Uniform as a quick dry brush later as well.

Since I had some Russian Uniform Green left (I seem to be really bad and putting too much paint on my palette) I also gave the Sherman mk.1 ARV a rough base coat.

This is also my 101st post - please check out my Competition in post #100!

PSC M5 Half Tracks

Loyd Carriers and 6 pdr A/T guns
De-frocked Priests and M5 Ambulance on the left
Side view of M5 Ambulance conversion and De-frocked Priest
Side view of Sherman ARV mk.1 and another shot of the A/T guns
Closeup of Sherman ARV mk.1
Just a quick comment on the Sherman Armoured Recovery Vehicle and why I wanted to convert one. The ARV's are not too much use in Flames of War. However, in Battlegroup Overlord, they have a much wider range of abilities. Some examples: They can attempt to repair destroyed vehicles (6 on a D6, max of 2 attempts) or repair immobilised vehicles (4+ on D6). Recovery vehicles can also tow destroyed vehicles from the table, allowing you to recover some of your lost morale points.

The reason I wanted to convert a mk.1 is that the model Battlefront do for FoW is just plain wrong! I understand it's not as interesting a model as the mk.2, but I think it deserves the attention!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Post #100! And a small competition.


After just under a year of this blogging m'larky I've finally reached post number 100 - and at the same time the blog is just short of 10,000 views (at least some of them other people and not me/spam bots/google!).

I've found the experience of blogging to be really useful in keeping my head 'in the game'. I check my blog stream multiple times every day, and seeing other peoples work has spurred me on more than once when my own motivation has been flagging.

I would love to think that my own poorly spelt ramblings have helped do the same for others (even with my shotgun approach to grammar!).

Since the blog has started, I've managed to improve my lighting for pictures, get a few games in and finish off a few modelling projects that have pushed my abilities and caused much swearing. One thing I've not managed to do, however, is increase my followers!

In an effort to do this, and to celebrate post #100, I decided to have a little competition. I have three prizes to give away - all of them books. To make sure there is something that might interest someone, I have gone for a mix of periods.

The first is:

Published in 1974 it contains details on the military forces of Europe during the Cold War period.


Uniforms of the Peninsular Wars, by Philip Haythornthwaite and Michael Chappell. Printed in 1995.


Scramble! A set of WW2 aerial combat rules - Edition 3.1.2

The rules for the competition are simple.

1)  To enter you have to be a follower of this blog and leave a comment on this blog entry.

2)  The comment should answer the questions: What is it that keeps you chipping away at the lead mountain - and who do you thank most for your inspiration and motivation?

3)  Single entries only, I will pick my favourite three and rate them 1st to 3rd. 1st winner gets 1st pick, 2nd the second pick and 3rd the third pick.

4)  All comments will be unposted until the end of the competition, which will be the 25th of April. Prizes will be posted out at some point after that!

So that's it - follow the blog, comment and you stand a chance of winning one of these three amazing prizes! All help in advertising the competition is welcome!

Further Experiments with Weathering...

This will be the first of two posts tonight - as this one is post #99!

Looking at the model I was experimenting with the other night and the feedback I had received I decided to go back and try again.

First, a wee pic of the Tamiya Weathering Master compacts:

The nice thing about this stuff is that a simple wipe with a damp paper towel and it comes off, allowing me to try again. At this point I am going to have to give serious consideration to either building one of my Open Fire plastic StuG's or picking up a cheap plastic 1:72 model to practice on.

This time I started with the Mud colour and built up first to Sand, then to Light Sand.

So the comparison pics. First up is the earlier version:

And the new attempt:

I think the second attempt is a lot nicer - much more subtle.

Here's the other side:

Not quite as subtle, but still better than the first try I had. Note on this one you can see the blackening around the end of the barrel as well.

I'm not too sure how to treat the turret. I've done nothing to it and it does look a little clean (and dark) in the pictures. Without the daylight bulb it doesn't look as dark, and the pigment effects are a lot less bright as well. The joys of trying to photograph models!

Anyway, again, thoughts are welcome. I may try and pick up some of the liquid pigment washes that replicate dust effects. I would also welcome any comments on how exactly the rainwater streaks can be done. I've tried google and youtube, etc, but no further forward.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Experiments with weathering

A few weeks ago, I picked up a couple of packs of the Tamiya weathering master packs. These are little packs of pigments that are in some sort of wax suspension. They can be applied via brush or sponge and theres a couple different types of pack. I got a Type A and a Type B.

Type A contains Sand, Light Sand and Mud. Type B has Snow, Soot and Rust.

So far, here's what I've got... I'm not too happy with it, but it looks better than drybrushing.

Again, thoughts on the pics would be helpful - I really could do with sitting with someone to show me how to do this. (Looking at you Paul!).

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Skytrex Purchases

As part of my 51st Highland Division force for Operation Totalise I've been putting together a 'Breaching Group' from the D-Day Flames of War book. The Breaching Group represents the support of the 79th Armoured Divisions 'Funnies'. As such I've got a couple of Sherman Crab Flail tanks, some Churchill AVsRE (still to be painted) and the final missing piece of the puzzle was a D7 Armoured Bulldozer.

The Bulldozer was an important part of this for me, as the 144RAC's history of the Operation specifically mentions the presence of one.

"Major Lovibond had gone on a good way towards the objective, accompanied only by a very gallant bulldozer who had been told to follow the tank in front and was faithfully carrying out his orders."

Unfortunately while Battlefront have included the option for taking a Bulldozer in the unit, the only model they have produced for one is in the Engineer Support Platoon (UBX37) - which is an American box set and retails for about £17.99 - the other contents of which are useless to me. 

Thankfully Skytrex produce a model of a D7 Armoured Bulldozer in British service:

This models not properly cleaned or anything - I've just put the parts in roughly the right places. It's a nice beefy model. I'm looking forward to getting it cleaned up and ready to paint... once I've caught up with everything else!

I also ordered a pack of Skytrex's Humber Scout Cars. These are vehicles that are not included in the D-day books, but I know that the armoured regiments in the Independent Armoured Brigades had 11 of these for use in their laison unit. These were used for running messages between the squadrons in the regiment and other units. Quite a few of the pictures of 144RAC include some of the Humber Scout Cars, so I figured I would pick up a couple. They would also be useful for playing Battlegroup Overlord. 

Lastly, I managed to get the decals I needed for the halftrack (British Red Cross markings) and another pack of their wooden crates for vehicle stowage. Of all the stowage options I picked up previously the crates are the ones I used the quickest. 

Now if only someone would do a bloody 15mm British dispatch rider!!!

Paint Table Saturday 2

I got a little more enthused again this week to move my painting forward. The four halftracks from my last Paint Table Saturday blog are awaiting an Army Painter Quicktone coat, but as that's pretty strong smelling I'm holding off for a nice (or at least a dry) day to do them outside.

So, here's the total of this weeks work so far:

From left to right we have two Loyds Carriers, my M5 Ambulance conversion and two De-frocked Priests (also known as Kangeroo's). At the front we have two 6 pounder Anti-Tank guns. All the models are 15mm and all but the halftrack in the middle (which is a Plastic Soldier Company model) are from battlefront.

These models are getting there, but still need a few finishing touches and then a touch up using the base Russian Uniform green color.

The reason behind this motley collection is that these models represent stragglers for units that are otherwise painted and complete. The De-frocked Priests give me the last two I need to make my whole infantry company mechanised. The guns and the Loyds Carriers make up the last two guns for my infantry anti-tank platoon.

Alongside these, I have primed my Sherman ARV mk.I:

Which is awaiting a decision from me on some more detail work - I feel certain bits of it look a tad rough. Like around the spare track on the hull sides - I keep wondering if I should try some small bits of plasticard to actually make boxes around them. Or just accept that the model is 15mm and only has to look okay at 'tabletop ranges'.

Opinions, as ever, welcome!