Tuesday, 21 November 2017


Nah not the crisps....

Hi all

Refuse Skips
A little while back I bought some TT Combat mdf kits for my Urban Project.  These included the Bus Stops, Play Park and Refuse Skips.  I finally got around to putting a couple of the bits together and I thought I'd start with a quick win - the skips.  These are a really nice kit and for £4 I think a real bargain.  I have two gripes only, firstly and this is only a minor thing - they have branded the side of the skips with company names, this is fine but it means I was unable to use the name of local companies to me which would have been more meaningful for my very local campaign.  Secondly and most importantly - the scale, these kits are big! billed as suitable for 28mm - 32mm they are definitely on the top end of that scale! clearly aimed at the Knights Models games Batman the Miniatures Game and the like.  Come on TT Combat, there are a lot of other games out there other than BMTMG! It goes to show the scale creep that is really prevalent in modern miniatures gaming at the moment. Anyway the negatives to one side, I actually really like the models and they are dead simple to put together and to paint.  They also gave me a chance to practice some new (for me) weathering techniques.  So this is how I did it, don't forget that this was the first time I did these techniques so be gentle....

First of all I primed the model with a grey car primer

I then mixed up a metallic rust brown paint, made up from Vallejo "Saddle Brown", "Orange Brown" and some GW "Runefang Silver".  Once I got the colour I liked, I added it to the areas I would be most likely to weather.

I then gave the whole model two coats of hairspray (which I had to buy, much to the amusement of the cashier at ASDA).  Once each coat was dry, I covered the model in the colour I wanted the skip to be, in this case a mix of cheap acrylic paint and GW "Tallarn Yellow".

While it was drying a used the flat edge of a wooden coffee stirrer to gently rub away the yellow to reveal the layers underneath.  Now I rubbed a bit to hard in places and went down to the grey primer but that worked for me too as it looked like it went down to the base metal of the skip, but it is a warning and I might prime other models with brown primer if I don't want the grey to show (or just be more careful).

the model on the right is a pinkish orange, yes I have seen skips this colour!
Of course with this stage completed I moved onto the next part and that was to fill the skips, I wanted both to be filled as an empty one just doesn't exist - does it!  Easily achieved by adding blue foam bricks and mdf castoffs and filling the rest with fine sand. I then poured watered down PVA glue into the skip about 5 times, allowing it to dry thoroughly in between.

Finally I painted the mdf scraps and bluefoam to represent wood beams and bricks and covered the whole lot in a black/brown wash to "dirty it up", I then dry brushed some bright rust to the very edges of the skips and voila!

and on the boards with some acrylic resin traffic cones that I also got from TT.

See what I mean by big! The nasty trio of mercenaries hunting Anna are head height to them, still they are very nice and a welcome detail to my emerging boards.

hope you enjoy

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The force is strong in this one...

Hi all

Image result for x wing miniaturesnot a very original title for this post, but I had my first games of X-Wing last night.  I know, I know where have i been for the last couple of years? In my defence I've been attempting to limit the number of new games I take on in recent times - boxes and boxes of unused games and miniatures, some still in their cellophane wrappings line the shelves of da Grotto.  That said, both Rich and Chris took an interest in X-Wing at Salute! this year and bought into the game.

So Rich hosted a gaming night last night, the first we've had in months, it was just me and him as the other members of the Herd were busy, so we took down his sadly under-used fleets and took them for a spin.

I lost... 

a lot....

but I really loved the game, so did I lose?

.....erm yes.....yes I did....all of them...

but I did really love the game.  Nice simple mechanic, not too many tokens on the board (unlike my beloved Bushido) and beautiful, cinematic miniatures.  Rich put on some Star Wars music and the room was filled with the sounds of us trying to impersonate the whine of a Tie Fighter engine (bet you're all doing it right now!).  Yes I even piloted the "Millenium Falcon" resulting in it's destruction - twice!  A sad, sad day for the rebellion...

So better late than never, I 'm loving a bit of X-Wing and it's going on the shopping list.

hope you enjoy

Monday, 13 November 2017

Urban Project - Nash Road (WiP)

Hi all

As part of my grand plan to design and build a 3 foot by 3 foot playable participation game of Zombie goodness at PAW 2018, I have constructed "Nash Road".  This is of course a vanity and it could have been called anything else but in fact there is actually a Nash Road in Thanet so its has uses for my ATZ campaign based in Thanet.

To start the road then, I took a large piece (18"x17") of 6mm blue foam and designed the layout of one side of the road.  As I wanted my buildings to be of a good size and totally playable, I only put three buildings on and because a lot of houses and roads in the UK have been added to towns haphazardly over many decades, sometimes centuries, I have placed them in a curve.  Each side of the building is 6" long and they consist of an open plan ground floor with a patio entrance to a tiny back/side yard.

On the foam I also carved paving slabs for a pavement, with some tarmac filling in for missing slabs as well as some drains and manhole covers.

I also, on this set of buildings wanted to experiment with proper windows as opposed to the painted on versions I did for the "Winchester".  This is a new thing for me and I was quite worried about how they would come out.  As it turns out they're a bit wonky! but do you know what? I really like how they've come out.  I used coffee stirrers cut to length, split down the middle and painted white to form the frames.  I then glued these to a clear plastic blister pack to form the glass.  I then added another frame on to the other side of the plastic to give it some thickness/strength.

Added to my blue foam walls, they look like this - yes they are wonky aren't they!

I then made up some coffee stirrer front doors and blue foam stairs as well as decorating the inner surface of the walls with scrapbook paper.

One back yard I "crazy-paved", another had a path going to a shed (which I built out of coffee stirrers) and the last one will be an unkempt lawn.

For the boundary walls I decided they would be a bit more decorative and made the middle of each wall section a flint type wall, quite common in these parts, as is the grafitti.... That was painted using Neon Acrylics that I got from HobbyCraft for 89p each!

I used a poundshop version of "no-nails" to stick the walls to the base.  When I'm building these projects I tend to work on different aspects of it at any given time, so a lot of these WiPs won't form any particularly logical progression....sorry :-)

Anyway, I went on line and printed off loads of random portraits and wedding photos as well as mingling in a couple of my own, including my fave pic of the Nerd Herd!  Once shrunk down and printed off, I used a gold Sharpie and drew a simple frame on each pic.

When added to my "wallpapered" walls, represent the various framed photos that families have in their homes and add another quick win/small detail layer for these buildings.  I also added some paper curtains to the windows to hide some bad joins and add another detail.

One purchase that I made for this project is some plastic street lamps from China, these are really good value at £3.42 for 20pcs (I bought two packs).  They can be hooked up to a power source and made to work but I'm not that technical and not having any real need for the lights to work cut the wires off...

starting to come together!
Having got quite a bit of the work done on the structures, I turned my little rat brain back to the small details and with that in mind I started building some electronics...

Stacking music centre - showing my age!

And so I've managed to get some of the stuff painted up and finish the downstairs on all three properties...
Nash Road - evens side

number 2 with its "crazy paving" garden

open plan ground floor - lounge area

kitchen nook
 the kitchen units are from blu stuff molds and are made of Das with Das plates and food and a blue foam microwave.

number 4 is a bit more smashed up!

i'm a bit proud of the garden shed in the back yard

broken down front door at number 4

number 6

you can see through the window, April Nillson is hiding!

blurry shot through the patio doors

the smashed patio doors of number 4

So thats the ground floors and most of the work done for Nash Road.  Extra detail will flow when I start getting street furniture and signs onto the pieces and of course the upper floors of the properties.

hope you enjoy