Linka Dublo Brick Terraced Houses Complete

Linka Terraced Houses Front As we’re now dangerously near Christmas I’ve been spending all my modeling time finishing the Linka Dublo terraced houses for my father in law’s present. I’ve just finished varnishing and assembling them tonight, so here’s all three in a row!

For some variety I’ve painted the doors different colours and glued different ‘drapes’ into the windows. The drapes are fashioned from various bits of coloured paper, while the window panes are cut from a 1mm thick piece of transparent lamination sheet supplied by my lovely wife. I was going to sacrifice an OHP transparency for the windows, but the thicker laminating plastic turned out to be a lot easier to work with, plus the extra thickness means it does quite a convincing job of looking like plate glass.

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Review of Battlefront’s New Plastic Treads

The folks over at Wargamers@Nordalia have an interesting review up of the new plastic tread system Battlefront are using for their Flames of War tanks. The review contains a lot of very useful photos.

Personally I’m going to miss the older white metal treads. Sure they had casting issues and required a lot of clean up but at least they really weighed your vehicles down on the game table. A 15mm resin tank with plastic treads is going to weigh almost nothing which may or may not be an issue on the table, depending on how clumsy a gamer you are.

Mind you I still have an entire 1500pt German DAK Armored Company to paint, so it’ll probably be a while before I encountered the new tread system first-hand!

Via TMP.com

Flames of War 6pdr Battery

Flames of War 6pdrs I’m still working to clear outstanding bits and pieces off my paint table. Since I started playing Flames of War I’ve owned a British portee unit with four 6pdr guns. However in the first edition of Flames of War I found them very wanting as they’re basically middling anti-tank guns on the back of incredibly flimsy transports. They never excelled in a fixed AT role, and were too brittle to actually use as portees…particularly when you’re trying to hunt tanks! Consequentially they’ve gathered dust in my garage for almost exactly two years.

Flames of War 6pdr Battery However with the arrival of Flames of War 2nd Edition portees gained a valuable new ‘Tip and Run’ rule which means they behave the same way most German units do with their ‘Stormtrooper’ (aka ‘Sneaky Weasel’) move. If they pass a skill test they get an additional 4″ move in the Assault phase, typically behind some nearby terrain!

This makes them considerably more useful, and as such I’m painting them up to go with the rest of my New Zealanders. I’ve painted the last two guns and teams and I’m halfway through painting up the last two portees as well. Here’s the full battery sans transports. It’s interesting to notice how much shinier the old units are, I really should go back through my army and hit everything with a dusting of Moana matt varnish.

Planning Second 15mm Building Facade

15mm Second Facade What! It’s almost May already? I meant to have several 15mm facades mastered by now, but I’ve only just got around to planning my second over the weekend!

This one will be both shorter, with only one full upper storey and narrower, with thinner columns, than my first 15mm facade. It’s intended to represent another European building, although possibly older than 1930’s. Here’s the 1:1 sketch plan for measurement next to a cast of the earlier facade. Those black spots are spilled ink I accidently flicked across my work area.

I’ve placed the sketch next to a cast facade to get some idea of what they’ll look like together, because of course I want to line up my casts into shelled out streets at some point, hopefully before the end of 2007!

1930's Facade Inspiration In terms of trim it’ll be a little simpler than the first facade, although I do still need to master the thin vertical columns, and a couple of decorative side pieces for the portico. I plan to use these pieces for front detailing on later buildings too. I’m also using the newer curved and arched window frames. I’ve cut that arched window down ready to drop into the cast wall.

Casting the master wall will be interesting because I want to copy the building I’m using for inspiration and have quite a curved arch around the top window. I suspect I’ll be making the master wall mold inside a cut foam board frame to keep everything in place for pouring.

The original building in the backstreets of Auckland City has a very European feel, particularly with the boxy roof/attic area you can see behind the top window. I’ll be emulating that in the terrain piece I build from the first cast, going for a partially shelled Normandy town building…

Primer Madness II

Primer Madness Keeping on the painting roll, I’ve primed another batch of figures including my first Ancients DBA army: Corvus Bellis 15mm Carthaginians. I’ve also dug up enough research (thanks in part to Phil from PitYak) to paint them in some reasonable approximation of historical accuracy.

Although of course there’s a lot of leeway in interpretation, since modern descriptions of armies that existed over two millenia ago largely rely on contemporary fragments of ancient statuary, pottery and books, many of which were created hundreds of years after the fact.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) requires your 15mm figures to be based quite close together, particularly Infantry elements like Blade and Spear, which also have quite shallow bases to represent their disciplined nature (it reduces the command distance). So for the first time I’ll have to resort to painting most of the 15mm figures prior to basing them which will be an interesting exercise. Hence you can see a lot of Infantry and Cavalry horses on iceblock sticks or with lengths of garden wire up their fundaments. Now they’re primed I have to say they don’t look that daunting. DBA is twelve bases per army, which is equivalent to say two full Infantry platoons in Flames of War. Surely they won’t take that long to paint!

I’ve also primed two more Flames of War British 6pdr Portees for my NZ force. My gaming group is starting a 600pt Flames of War campaign which I think we’re all using as an excuse to get a few more figures painted. Nothing motivates one more than a few games with unpainted units! I’ll be playing my primed DAK Germans, but figure I might as well knock a few NZers on the head first. Flames of War with 600pts a side is good fun by the way as you can play quite a challenging game to completion in around an hour and a half tops, even with foot sloggers involved.

Finally to the far left the last group of figures to get primed were the Westwind Cairo civilians which I need to get painted up for the next .45 Pulp Adventure campaign.

Primer Madness

Primer Madness I have a garage full of unpainted figures and various spray cans of primer, colours, varnish etc. like most hobbyists I imagine. I tend to clean up, base and prime figures in small batches and leave them on my paint station until they’re done. That way I’ve always got something to pick up when I feel like painting, but I don’t have to expend a lot of effort to clean and base figures that aren’t going to see a brush for months or even years.

Late last year I finished up my last can of Citadel ‘Skull White’ primer and dutifully purchased a replacement from a local model store. However I didn’t get around to using it a couple of weeks ago, when I discovered to my disgust that a full can of white primer had somehow rusted itself shut around the point the nozzle attaches to the can. I’ve never had a can do this to me before so I’m at a loss to explain what caused it. It’s summer over here and the can was stored on a high shelf in a bone dry garage. Yet there was obvious rust around the can top and not a drop would spray – despite the fact the can was definitely full.

It was at this point I noticed the can I’d purchased late 2006 was the older style – namely a simple white can without the Games Workshop branding. Does anybody recall when GW changed their primer can branding? Presumably the can I’d purchased had been sitting on a store shelf long before that.

After cursing the fates, local model store owners, Games Workshop and swearing never to use their products again I eventually relented and picked up a fresh can of primer from Vagabond in Queen St. This time I made very sure it was a new blue, rebranded spray can.

Since then I’ve been in the grip of ‘Primer Madness’. Basing and priming all my outstanding Pulp figures from Copplestone, Artizan and Obelisk, including the Obelisk Baboons and Hyenas that just arrived last week. I’ve also primed the two Bolt Action Sdkfz 222 Scout Cars that arrived mid January and that 15mm Flames of War Jeep you can see to the left is the last transport vehicle I have to paint to complete my NZers.

Ominously there also appears to be something odd with my current can too: the nozzle tends to angle spray downwards, hitting the side of the can and your hand as well, which is why the can top above is slowly turning white. I just hope the damn thing lasts long enough to prime my Flames of War DAK Panzergrenadiers and Corvus Bellis Romans and Carthaginians.

Now I’ll have to spend the rest of 2007 painting this lot!

Captured British 15cwt Lorries

Captured 15cwt Lorries I’m attempting to finish up some of the odds and sods that have been cluttering up my paint station for months now. First off are these two British 15 cwt lorries I need as transport for my NZer 25pdr gun platoon.

As I also intend to use them as captured transports for my DAK Panzergrenadiers I embedded a couple of rare earth magnets in the bonnets and sculpted some simple green stuff aerial recognition flags. These flags are built around some cut down staples so stick quite firmly to the bonnets during gaming. However they can easily be removed by lifting with a fingernail to liberate the captured lorries.

British 15cwt Lorries Look closely at the left flag and you’ll see it doesn’t wrap around the bonnet that well, that’s because it was sculpted over the front of a British Quad gun tractor. I’ve a couple of Quads left to paint and thought I might as well make them ‘captureable’ as well.

Also if you look closely at the right lorries’ bonnet you’ll spot the botched job I made of patching the hole I dropped the magnet into. Ah well, it’s only really visible because of the over scale photos.

Once I’ve painted the two Quads I’ll be able to limber my NZ four gun 25pdr platoon and drive them all over the desert, as well as have mechanised transport for my DAK Panzergrenadier platoon – err when I get around to painting them!

15mm Round Window Frames

15mm Round Window Frames Last year I scratch built a set of 15mm rectangular windows that were eventually used in the master for the 1930’s building facade.

This evening I’ve just demolded the first resin casts for two varieties of rounded windows that I intend to use for other building facades. Excuse the pink, I just needed a non-white background for the quick photo.

These were surprisingly difficult to master, particularly that arched window. The curves in both windows were made entirely from multiple layers of green stuff with shaping and sanding in between. I probably would have been better off cutting a template from plasticard for the arch and building that up instead.

Now I just need to cast a handful of them and I can start building up a master for a second facade. The plan is to build several styles and heights of facade and cast up an entire suburb for a 15mm urban European table.

Tabletop Terrain Brochure

Tabletop Terrain brochure Jonathan, one of my gaming mates happens to be a graphics designer by trade. He recently put together a brochure (pdf link) for my 15mm war gaming products.

From memory this was originally inspired by ongoing discussions amoungst us about attending one of the various gaming tournaments that are happening in New Zealand in 2007.

Ahem, not that I’ve personally made it to any yet! I’m primarily a hobbyist and secondarily a gamer, and to be honest I’m pretty dreadful at most of the games I play, except possibly Mordheim.

Anyway, thanks for the snazzy brochure Jonathan! I should get some printed and actually start attending tournaments so I can take them along.

I’m also quietly wondering if you’ve ever considered creating a tabletop game and publishing a PDF rulebook since you’ve obviously got the skills required for just such an endeavor.

You can also get in touch with Jonathan if you’re interested in having some freelance graphic design done.

15mm Building Facade Released

15mm building facade 15mm building facade Tabletop Terrain is proud to announce the release of our first 15mm scale building facade for WWII, Vietnam and Modern wargaming, selling for $13.95us per copy.

This detailed, single piece facade measures 14.5cm tall x 9.5cm (5 7/10″ x 3 7/10″) and is designed to represent the frontage of a 1930’s style two story building, with a ground floor cafe or store. Each is carefully cast in Ultracal 30, a high strength gypsum cement from US Gypsum. Please click included images for larger versions.

The facade can be used to represent an intact building, or can be drilled, sanded and cracked to make a bomb blasted ruin as displayed. Doors, windows and the floor level spacing have all been created with 15mm wargaming figures in consideration.