Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Trees for the gaming table on the cheap

I was walking through a local craft store after Christmas and happened onto their clearence area with all the Christmas leftovers.  I happened onto a fake evergreen garland.
It was a $1.50 and it occurred I could use the sprigs for making trees for 3/6mm or small trees and brush for 15mm.   You will need a few things, wire cutters to remove the sprigs from the garland. Something to base them on, I used fender washers and something to make the foliage  adhere to the washer.
I used Milliput for the adhesive and it made a little contour on the washer.  I also paint my washer black.  I think when they are plain steel, the washers stand out too much  Just put a small amount of Milliput on each washer and start sticking those sprigs.  I then applied glue and dipped the base in flocking.
The following photo is the result of less then an hours work.  Also the photo that I took of the garland had all of the trees that I made and then some.  I ran out of Milliput.  I think I can get two to three hundred trees out of the garland.
That is a lot of trees for not much money. 

Thank you for reading.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Some of my haul from GZG, part Deux

The following photos are of two vehicles, the first is the  6-Wheel Light Scout MICV with manned turret.  Both vehicles are painted Khaki by Vallejo.  A gloss lacquer applied and after that a dark brown wash by Vallejo.  I then applied  a matte coat.
The second vehicle is the Bobcat 4-wheel HMLCV (High Mobility Light Combat Vehicle) with auto-cannon turret.
The last photo show the comparative size to each other and to a Vallejo bottle.

Thank you for reading.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Some of my haul from Ground Zero Games year end special.

As everyone can attest, GZG gives outstanding service and with the end of the year special it is a great value too.  I am sure he works like a dog when the special runs.  I got the package in about five days from when he stated that it was being shipped and I live in the USA.

The first miniature is the  MRAP-C light armored patrol vehicle.  One has to have something to haul ones troops about.  It is of metal construction and I used ten parts, I did not use the large brush guard that was included.  I primed with Vallejo white primer and the overall paint is Iraqi Sand by Vallejo.  The windows, and lamps were painted with silver.  I let that dry and I used Blue, Red and Yellow clear paint by Vallejo.  I coated the miniature with a coat of gloss lacquer, I think I was using Rustoleum.  I use the brand that is on sale when I walk into the store.  I then put a black was of Future floor wax and DiDi's Magic  Ink.  I left them quite dirty from the wash.  I wanted them to look grimy from hard use.  I then put a coat of Testers Matte Spray.
The other vehicle was from the free grab bag that was sent to me with the year end sale.  It is unreleased MRAP "Shorty".  I painted it the same way as the previous miniature. The first photo shows the size of this miniature comparative to a Vallejo bottle.
The last photo shows the comparative size between the two miniatures.
A word of warning, there is a lot of filing to be done on these miniatures to make them fit together.  There is a lot of gaps in the miniatures too.  I used quite a bit of filler to hide the gaps and seams.  It took a bit of work, but it is worth it.  These miniatures are great and I know in the future, I will be awaiting the postman knowing that more of these great miniatures will be in the post.

Thank You for reading.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hesco Barriers and Jersey Barriers from Gamecraft Miniatures

I recently purchased two packages of Hesco Barriers and one package of Jersey barriers in 15mm from GameCraft Miniatures .  The website is well laid out and the transaction was very easy.  The product came fairly quickly.  Quite quickly in fact, as I am sure this is a side business.  GameCraft Miniatures have a wide variety of products available from 3mm to 28mm.

I purchased the twenty four pack of concrete barriers. They are a white resin with a little bit of flash along some of the bottom edges.  A finger nail took it right off.

They paint up pretty well, the only disappointing part of this package is that two were a bit bent.

I did not contact them about the bent pieces, but I expect they would have mailed replacements.
I also bought two packages of Hesco barriers that contain six each. 

There a few that are smooth on one side as opposed to having two sides etched.

These I presume are when one wants to have it two deep.

 I have my eye on quite a bit of there products and I am sure that there are more transactions with GameCraft Miniatures in my future.

Thank you for reading.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Quick Review of a Cold War Gone Hot, The War That Never Was by Michael Palmer

When writing a review for a book about the cold war going hot, I have a couple of criteria.  The first, is it a good read as Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy and The Third World War by Sir John Hackett.  The second, can  I get scenarios out of it for games I may want to run.  The War That Never Was does both in spades.

The style of writing is some where in between Clancy's and Hackett's style.  In some instances one knows the thoughts of the characters as in Red Storm Rising, but not through the whole book and Palmer explains the geopolitics as Hackett does in his book.

There is one stark difference though tn this book as opposed to the a fore mentioned books.  This book emphasis non Central European aspects of the conflict.  Do not get me wrong, he does address the conflict in Germany, but the periphery conflicts is the emphasis of this book.
Some of the maps are as follows:
  • The Northern Flank
  • Libya and the Central Mediterranean
  • Greece Turkey and the Aegean
  • The Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf 
  • The Western Pacific
  • Korea and the DMZ
It is interesting reading, not much writing about the Fulda Gap in this book.

The second criteria that I stated before.  The War That Never Was has endless amounts of scenario ideas.  I can get a lot of ideas for land warfare.  Again not your normal West German vs. Soviet MRDs.  One right of the top of my head is Turkey vs. Bulgarian & Soviet Marines.  It also has a lot of land warfare ideas concerning Norway vs. USSR vs. Finland.  Yep, the Soviets thought it would be a good idea to cut through Finland without permission. Did not they learn that lesson before?

There are too many ideas for air combat scenarios to mention them all.  Though the real scenario gems are concerning modern naval scenario ideas.  If you play modern naval games, do yourself a favor and pick this book up.  It would take playing a lot of games to exhaust all the naval engagements that are dealt with in this book.

This book is available through Alibris and Amazon, both in hardcover and soft cover

I highly recommend this book.  I know at sometime in the future I will read this book again and probably more then once

Thank you for reading.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

My 15mm miniatures now have bases.

 I wanted to use washers for the bases of my 15mm troops.  I did some research and it was suggested  fender washers are the best, the hole in the center is smaller.  And the size that wash was suggested was 3/4 inch.  I went to our local building supply big box store(Lowes).  I priced the washers and I said to myself, "self there has to be a cheaper source on line".  I posted on The Miniatures Page, a query on a online washer resources.  Rodrick Campbell sculptor and owner of Highlander Studios, Inc.  

Rodrick suggested that I use Bolt depot .  He was right.  I got 1,000 for $32, including shipping.   I ordered them on the evening of the 19th and they arrived on my doorstop on the 22nd.

So I have a butt ton of washers now,  I got them cheap though. 

Thank you for reading,


Monday, November 17, 2014

Khurasan Miniatures finished, or two out of three ain't bad

 In an earlier post I stated that I was going to show you all the finished miniatures I am done with two of the the three vehicles.  The Nova Respublik BTR3000 wheeled APC camo scheme that I painted, Idid not like.  I stripped the paint off of it.  The stripping  and painting process will be on a later post.  In regards to the stripping of the paint.  I will be doing a comparison between Simple Green and Purple Power in an upcoming post.  So a few photos of the BTR will show up and a little commentary too.

Assembly was quite easy, the first photo is of the    15mm Grifon-T Advanced Tracked APC, mostly assembled.

The weapon assembly was straight forward too. You can see the Drakon's secondary gun is in the background. 

Here are several photos of the Drakon assembly.  A couple of things to note and I did not notice it at once.  There was an air bubble on the right side track housing and it left quite a hole.  I am sure that I could have gotten it replaced, because Khurasan Miniatures would just do that.  It then occurred to me, I will use it as battle damage.  I just had to build up the track on the inside.  Also the fit was not perfect, it had a little gap.   But a little plastic putty filled it right in. This took me all of two minutes.

I then went on the prime all three vehicles and I pre-shaded them too.

I have to get better with my airbrush, there is a bit of splatter on the pre-shade.  I just got the airbrush and I have to work on the thickness of the paint that I am spraying and the consistency of the paint coverage. A word of warning.  Do not glue the wheels on the BTR until the vehicle is painted and the wheels are painted too.  I did not do this and it is going to be a pain to paint the wheels.  The wheels are very close to the hull of the vehicle.

 The following photos reflect one coat of US Field drab.  It is a little hard to see the preshading.  This is both due to the photograph in general and I hard trouble with paint coverage i.e. too thick of coat.    Again this will come with practice.  You can see it best on the gun barrel.
I then put lines using Vallejo Russian Green Model Air.  As a wash I used Vallejo Model Wash Dark Brown. I also used a Vallejo Pigment, Dark Yellow Ocre to make the vehicle feel a little dirty. And this will take a lot of practice to use.  I did not think I used them properly.  One side on the Drakon-T turned out ok with the pigment and I will note that photo.  For the number decals I used decals from I-94 Enterprises.

I think this was my best attempt at pigment use and it was the last side that I did.
You can see the area of battle damage in this photo.
These are the first 15mm vehicles that I have ever painted and I think they turned out OK,especially as table top standards go.  There are things that I will try on the next go.  In closing, I really like these miniatures and I will be buying more Khurasan Miniatures.  I will put up a separate post on the finished BTR-3000.

As always, thank you for reading.



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fall Pro or Con Convention

Fall Pro or Con Convention at the Lutheran High School in Westland.  As we were leaving the convention, one of our group made the observation that it was a good thing it was not a Quaker High School.    It is always a top notch convention with great games.  The food is also great and good venders.

In the 1st session I had the pleasure of playing a Modern 20mm game run by Mike Erisman.  It was based on the Rapid Fire rule system.  We had mixed command of Ukrainian and US units vs. a rogue Russian General.   I can say an American Calvary unit acquitted itself quite well.

I had a bad week and I was really tired, so I just Kibitzed in the second session.  We did not stay for the third session.  We stopped at the Model Cave in Ypsilanti MI on the way home to get some paint.

Here are a few photo's and a link to a bunch more.

A link to my other photos of the convention

Thank You for reading.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

15mm Khurasan Miniature Vehicles and a thank you

As from a lot of previous posts, I mainly collect and paint 6mm/1/285/1/300 miniatures, both aircraft and vehicles.  I am now going to be delving into the world of 15mm miniatures, mainly Sci-Fi.  I am going to be using Tomorrows War by Ambush Alley Games.

 I bought a new airbrush, an Aztek.  I had a Paasche airbrush and hated it,  I had heard good things about the Aztek from my local Hobby Store, the Model Cave in Ypsilanti MI and I bought an Aztek.
Well I digress, I bought some Khurasan Miniature vehicles so I could use my new Aztek airbrush.

I bought three vehicles a  Drakon-T Advanced Tracked Tank, Grifon-T Advanced Tracked APC and a  Nova Respublik BTR3000 wheeled APC. They were shipped with care and promptly.

They are beautiful miniatures.  The Drakon-T, as you can see in the photos, has two small flash/sprue  on each track section.  To be honest, it took me about three minutes with a hobby knife and a file to take care of it. You get a bunch of bits and bobs.   You also get your choice of two different turret weapons too.

The Grifon-T had absolutely no flash and the BTR had a little bit at the end of the tires.

I had heard that Khurasan vehicles were great and they are.  I will start assembling them and painting them soon.  I will keep you updated.

As a side note.  I went over 20K hits on my blog this weekend and I want to thank you all who have read my posts.

Thank you for reading,