01 October 2016

Painting table, October 2016

One quick pic is all there is time for today:

Spanish Civil War infantry on the left, with assorted fantasy figures next to them.  Huaxtec figures throughout the middle and front of the table, and my little FT-17 is still waiting for some proper paint for its tracks...

The Huaxtec have seen some work - the shiny ones have had some flesh washes and just need a bit of dry-brushing and detail work.  And shields!


21 September 2016

SCW Republicans, part 6

With a little bit of work, the crew of the MMG was changed around a bit.

First off, this pic shows the pieces of the 1/72 WW2 Russian gun crews from Plastic Soldier:

There are 8 figures per frame (two figures per frame are split into two pieces each), and a variety of heads and weapons are included.  One or both arms on a select few figures are also separate pieces.  The gun crew pack from Plastic Soldier has 4 of these frames in it, which gives a lot of pieces for potential conversions!

(I want to thank Arjun again for his generosity in sending me these figures  - see this post.)

Here is what I started with for the MMG stand:

The original crew from Minairons is pewter, with the plastic gunner replacement in plastic.  I chose to use a Czech-style helmet for the new gunner.  The base is a 1¼" diameter steel fender washer, with a sticky dot to cover up the hole.

At this point, I decided that the original leader would be better off with my Nationalist forces, so a replacement is needed.  The old gunner would be perfect with a slight change - replace the right hand with a plastic one that is pointing out a target in the distance:

And, a couple of cuts later:

Add a bit of glue (super glue for the plastic-to-metal connection):


The new gunner needed a bit of attention as well:

In the pic above, one can just see the entrenching tool attached to his belt.  I trimmed off the handle, and will paint the rest to look like a normal belt pouch.

I used a small drill bit to make a hole for the new head - plastic is so easy to drill!

And, some test-fitting of the crew:

It will be a tight squeeze to get all of the crew on the base - the loader is positioned at an angle to the weapon, which takes up more room.  I am fairly certain that the new gunner is not firing the MMG in the textbook manner, but it should be OK.  One note - the Plastic Soldier figures seem to be a bit more broad in the shoulders than the figures from Minairons, but it should blend in seamlessly once the crew is painted and based.

The dark spot in the above pic is also part of the base - While trying to get the original gunner to fit more closely to the weapon, I trimmed the base to a point where the figure will not stand upright on its own.  Hence, a nice rock for the new leader to rest his knee upon...


17 September 2016

SCW Republicans, part 5

As the first section of Republican infantry nears completion, I am looking at starting up some of their supports:

There are several support groups in the pic above, so lets break it down somewhat:

#1  -  These two troopers are going to be converted into Medical Orderlies.  The rifle is a separate piece, and it will be replaced with a satchel of some sort.

#2  -  Headquarters types.  One of the pistol-armed chaps will become the platoon leader, and the other will be a Commissar.  The flag bearer will be put aside for now, as specific Flag supports (in Chain of Command España) only show up in Militia platoons.

#3  -  Maxim medium MG.  This support is getting a make-over, as the original gunner does not fit in well with the weapon in my opinion, and the leader of the group looks more like a Nationalist!  The new gunner is a plastic WW2 Russian AT crewmember from Plastic Soldier, and the original gunner will become the leader.  3 crew is the minimum for a MMG for the Republicans, so I will need to recruit some others to fill it out.  More on this in another post.

#4  -  5cm mortar with 2 crew.  Also needs 3 more crew to complete the support.  I intend to keep some of the extra crew members, for the MMG and mortar, for example, mounted separately so I can mix and match them somewhat.

#5  -  Two light MG supports.  These will be mounted separately to keep the figures flexible.

#6 and #7  -  Minairons offers separate head kits, and I have received two of them.  #6 uses the Czech helmet, while #7 has the Adrian helmet.  It will take some careful cutting to use these on the Minairons figures, but if you look carefully at the Plastic Soldier figure - he was molded with the head separate (and the right arm), which will make customization very easy.


14 September 2016

SCW tanks, part 1

The first of my Republican FT-17 tanks is slowly coming together:

Does not look so good, does it?  I am using Vallejo Grey Surface primer on this vehicle.  I have found in the past that gesso does not cover plastic figures very well, so I was hoping that this primer would be better.  By brush, it looks a mess.  But, I did try it on a piece of sprue first, and coverage of the paint after priming works just fine.

The decision to not fully assemble the FT-17 was deliberate, as the tracks have some details on the other side, and painting the hull sides would have tough if the tracks were mounted first.  Also, the issue of the turret was still undecided at the time of this pic.  It might have been possible to leave the turret unglued to the hull, but test-fitting of the turret showed that it does not always go on in a level fashion.  After the base coats and basic weathering steps are done, I will glue the turret onto the hull.

Here is a pic of the FT-17 after the beginning of base-coating: 

The base coat went on surprisingly smoothly, after the awkward primer coat.  I need to experiment with a color for the tracks, as I do not have anything that looks like rust right out of the bottle.

Also included in the above pic - infantry!  The first section of Republicans is almost done, just need to finish off the weapons.  And the first section of Nationalists is coming along...


10 September 2016

A couple of newish books

Just a few more additions to the reading stack:

Osprey's New Vanguard series, # 170.  It is a good overview of the tanks - and just tanks - used in the Spanish Civil War.  It is a slim volume at 48 pages, but it has some good photos and color plates.

And, another one:

Also by Osprey, this is Aircraft of the Aces # 106.  96 pages, with more photos, many more color plates, and more information than their more slim cousins.  The historical information about the aces covered by each volume gives a lot of potential scenario fodder...


03 September 2016


Despite the lack of painting progress, I have been getting some stuff done.  Or, just getting some stuff.  Fortunately, the new stuff is for a project that is already well-founded...

First up is one of my favorites:

This is a pack of 3 FT-17 tanks from Minairons.  Spain had possession of dozens of these WW1 veterans at the beginning of the war, and received more (from Poland) early in 1937.

The back of the box has the assembly instructions and a brief painting guide.

And, here are the contents - three tanks with a choice of either round or polygonal turrets, weapon choices - machine gun or short 37mm cannon - and a multitude of decals.  The black plastic makes it difficult to see, but these models are well-detailed, but not loaded with many delicate parts.

Something for my Nationalist forces:

The Germans sent many Panzer 1 light tanks to Spain.  This kit, once again, contains enough parts to build three tanks, with a choice of turrets.  The grey plastic makes it a bit easier to see the details, but it is similar to the FT-17 with a lack of delicate details, perfect for gaming.

Now, it remains to be seen if I can get this done...


13 August 2016

Painting table, August 2016

How about a pic!

Many of the usual suspects are still here, but the Huaxtec warriors have their skin base color complete.  Nothing else really, as it is too warm here to paint, except early in the morning, but it is OK as my lovely wife prefers it to be warm.


17 July 2016

Huaxtec, part 9

A little bit more progress with the Mesoamerican project:

Another 21 Huaxtec warriors awaiting primer, with another 17 awaiting their turn under the knife and file.

One issue that is bothering me at the moment is the final look of the base.  I have some ideas bouncing around at the moment - here is one:

This is just flock and rocks.  I am considering tufts, but have not really made a decision yet.


09 July 2016

Trees, part 3

And, now for some experimentation with the trees.  I found an old plastic sign that looked perfect for a base:

The sign is approximately 8" x 11".  It is fairly thick, but can still be cut be scissors.

These are the trees that I am playing with first:

Little did I know that there would be a secret in the selection of these trees...

Here are a few pics taken as I tried to arrange the stumps to be eye-pleasing yet game-worthy:

I settled on the last pic as I thought the others were too dense for easy game-play.

I rounded off the corners and glued the stumps down to the pre-painted side:

Just needs some filler to smooth the stumps into the base and flocking.

And, here is what the nearly finished clump of trees looks like with a Crann Tara musketeer and a Minden mounted officer shown for scale:

I think that it looks about right, and the spacing should allow the troops to move around without too much trouble.

The surprise that I found in the package of trees was not expected - the trees and their stumps are not all the same size.  There are two different sizes of mounting pins on the trunks and their associated stumps in the package.  It is not a major problem, but a bit of a surprise.  I wonder if the newest package of trees - smaller than these - has the same feature.


02 July 2016

Painting table, July 2016

A brief update and pic:

Quite the variety pack again  -  (from the left)  Slingers for Tékumel, 15mm pikemen, SCW Nationalists newly based and awaiting primer, Huaxtec waiting patiently for a final basing decision, and some of my newest figures in the center front, with Crann Tara Savoia musketeers posing for different basing styles, and a handful of Russian artillery and crew from Fife & Drum, among other figures on my table...


25 June 2016

New and not so new arrivals

Typically, I post pics of my new stuff to the blog, but sometimes I am lax.  However, this just arrived:

This is a great item, and I desperately need terrain pieces.  Hopefully, I can get these set up in an eye-pleasing way (to the eternal critic - me!) in short order.

Also new:

My first new brushes in ages.  These are from Rosemary & Co., a great little brushmaker in the UK.  The company was recommended by several painters across different forums, so I jumped in also.  The ones with black handles are Kolinsky sable, in sizes ranging from 2/0 to 2, while the fifth one (natural-colored handle) is a sable blend.  These brushes are not very expensive, with the average price of the group above - including shipping to the USA - being about $7.50.  It is hoped that these new brushes will help with my figure-painting output; they are much nicer than my other brushes!

And now, the not-so-new:

1/72 Nationalist infantry for the Spanish Civil War.  My Republicans now have some opposition!  One more infantry section, and some heavy weapons, will give me plenty of fodder for some games.

Last, but not least:

(Apologies for the poor pics)  

These are the most controversial group of all...  1/56 Savoia musketeers from Crann Tara.

Why are these controversial?  They represent the nucleus of yet another project.  I appear to be doing some retail therapy on myself, which I usually do not mind but typically it is pointed towards existing projects.  Life seems to be a bit outside of my comfort zone at the moment, and that has always led me to think in different directions for my hobbies.  Will this new project stick this time?  Perhaps, as my lovely wife likes tricornes and the period is more appealing than some others.  Right now I am trying to decide on single or element basing for what could be a major set-up.

To add some more controversy - I am intending to use these fine figures for Seven Years' War Russians...


22 June 2016

SCW Republicans, part 4

Just a few dabs of paint here and there on my first section of Republican infantry, but progress nonetheless:

Helmets are almost done, just need chin straps.  Also need to do haversacks and weapons of course.  I have tried to give a mix of helmet styles and colors.  The chap with the slightly bluish helmet is the assistant section leader, with my attempt at portraying an old WW1 French Adrian-style helmet.  Sticks out like a sore thumb, but one will always know which one he is.  With the section leader in a soft cap, the leaders should be reasonably easy to pick out on the battlefield during a game.


18 June 2016

Boschenburg musketeers, part 5

A little bit of work on these figures, as the rebasing project moves forward once again:

New 25mm MDF bases, and a new filler for the top.  I am using a method very similar to the one used at this post on Dots of Paint.  Different, of course, but with the same basic premise:  using a pre-colored compound for the base.  I am using this for my bases:

This material has a grainy texture, and dries solid.  I will put my usual basing materials on top of this layer.

This should speed up the basing process a bit, but time will tell...

30 Years War, part 2

Small slivers of progress:

The above pic is a handful of pikemen for my 30 Years War project, Khurasan originals are the three groups from the right, and the two on the left are from Khurasan's Testudo range.

I am not certain, but these figures might be the first of my French troops.


12 June 2016

Shén, part 7

Finally, the first element of Shén for my Tsolyáni army is done:

These troops are part of the Legion of The City of Chrí, 7th Imperial Shén Auxiliary Heavy Infantry.

The copper trim is a bit of artistic license on my part - it does not look too out of place I believe!

The base might be a bit more green than the others, but it will work out just fine.

Two more elements for this unit - one more of pikes similar to this one, and a command element.


21 May 2016

SCW Republicans, part 3

The Spanish Civil War is occupying some time here on my painting table:

More slow progress on my Republicans - working on skin and webbing.  Next will be weapons and helmets.

I am surprised at how easy these 1/72 figures are to paint, although the hands are a bit of a problem so far.


19 May 2016

SCW Republicans, part 2

Another quick pic from the table:

This is most of the first section of riflemen for my Republican forces.  The wash that I used is making it difficult to snap a good pic of them, as it is glossy.  Typically, I paint the skin first, for almost all of my figures, but here I went with the uniform first as I gave the entire figure a coat of the wash.  Skin will be painted later and given a different wash.

At first, I thought that the fellows closest to the camera were too dark, but I think that a good matte coating will change that.  The fellows in the background are all wearing monos (overalls) and look about right to my eyes.


16 May 2016

Shén, part 6

Just a quick pic from the painting table:

The figures for the first element of the Legion of the City of Chrí are mounted, and the base is painted awaiting decoration.


11 May 2016

15mm pikes

As the Testudo 30YW pikemen did not come with pikes, I had to find a supply of weapons for the figures.  So, I turned to an old method of mine, by using plastic rod for the pikes.

Way back on this post on my blog, one can see how I used the same technique to make the spears for my Tékumel figures (and some of those pics are better!)

First off, some raw material:

This package dates back to sometime in 1999...

And, some processing:

The rod is cut into 50mm lengths by just rolling the edge of the knife blade on it, then snapping the rod at the cut.

After a few minutes of cutting:

Next, the business end of the pike takes shape.  I place one end of the rod into some pliers with a flat tip, and give it a good squeeze, and then trim the flattened part to make a point.

This poor pic shows the three stages:

The point is approximately 2mm in length.  Very simple, very easy.

With a bit of super-glue, the troops have a new weapon:

The 1mm diameter rod fits in very well.  Now, to prime and paint...