I have created this Blog to showcase my scratchbuilding efforts in 54mm scale of AFVs. Whilst there are many more talented modellers out there, I have felt there was a need for models that could be used on the wargaming table that could be picked up without fear of all those fiddly bits falling off. I make my models so that they can take such handling and yet be recognised for what they are supposed to represent. I hope this Blog will provide inspiration for like minded modellers.
The bases I used were sourced from Hasslefree Miniatures and were the 30 and 40 mm lipped.
Discs of the correct diameter were cut from 20 thou plastic sheet using a circle cutting compass.
Various textures were then applied.
I experimented with some texture paste and Glitter Snow paste to see which one would be most suitable for a snow effect. Not surprisingly, the Glitter Snow paste won the day. The Texture paste came up well as rough earth once painted and drybrushed. The little dinosaur is based on the Texture Paste whilst the two Eskimos are based on the Glitter Snow.
Fine sand and Kitty Litter was used for the desert bases and and this was applied on a coating of Elmer's Glue All and once the excess was shaken off, sealed with a dilution of Elmer's, water and a drop or two of detergent applied with a dropper. The Kitty Litter rocks and Woodland Scenics grass foam was applied with straight Elmer's and then sealed with the aforementioned dilution.
Wood planks were represented by styrene strips, suitably distressed with a razor saw and heavier wood grain inscribed with a scrawker.
The Pavement bases used styrene strip and sheet to represent the pavers and edging with fine sandpaper for the road surface.
One of the bases represents a crazy paved floor with a trapdoor set into them. The woodwork and trapdoor was applied first to the plastic disc which was then was covered with a thin layer of Spackle (jointing compound) and once dry, the stone paving was inscribed using a re-purposed dental probe.
I took the opportunity to make some moulds up of some of the bases and took a couple of castings.
These have been primed with grey primer.
The two female members of the Darkmore Gang, Mona Darkmore (L) and her Grandmother, Ayda Darkmore, prepare to leave their suburban hideout under the watchful eye of a Darkmore thug.
The two women are Preiser 1/32 Passengers. Thug is an Airfix multi pose conversion.
A Work in Progress of the head of the Darkmore gang, Tommy Darkmore. A Preiser 1/32 passenger figure with Airfix arm and Thompson MG.
Two Eskimos, tired of saving the whales (for lunch) try to catch and eat something older.
Timpo Eskimos, Schleich Mini Dinosaur.
Indy in a spot of bother again. These ne'er-do-wells have just jumped out of the burgundy 1932 Ford coupe.
Mona Darkmore. I used a wet palette for the first time to paint her face and whilst not perfect, I'm very happy with the result.
Just the photographic set up.
I have had this artificial fern frond for so many years now, I cannot remember from where it originated. Anyway, it is made from a printed fabric for the blades with a plasticised wire stalk and plastic axis to support the blades.
The blades were separated from the stalk and axis' and a small piece of florist's wire was superglued to the underside.
I also took a casting of a Preiser Palm Tree Trunk and cast a few of them.
The completed trunks with a smaller bush trunk made up from Pro Create 2 part epoxy putty.
The tops of the trunks had a number of small holes drilled in with a pin vice. Approximately 12 to 14 holes per trunk. The blades were then superglued to the trunks.
Now I just have to scour the shops for similar artificial fern fronds!
A bit of a mixed bag this post, as I will cover a number of different items.
Firstly, a set of 10 Tehnolog Orcs. These were a lot of fun to paint and I used the method described in this tutorial from the "Tale of Painters" forum, Painting Orc Skin
I converted one of the Orcs (with Mace) into a Standard Bearer.
The image was taken from a GW/Citadel book? "Heroes for Wargames".
Described these days as a vintage wargame book, it was published back in the 80s and whilst some of the photos are a bit dark,
it was a good source of inspiration.
The bases are from Black Cat Bases and are resin. These are the 25 x 50 mm ones and whilst designed for the smaller wargaming scales they are still suitable for larger figures. The ones used were the Ruined Temple base.
Decals on the shields and pauldrons were sourced from Veni Vidi Vici transfers. 3vwargames.co.uk
Next, a set of Tehnolog Pirates. Again I really enjoyed painting these scurvy dogs, even though they have the "Wild eyed boy from Freecloud"
look about them, I'm very happy with the way they turned out. Bases are from DSG.
Lastly, in the line of Tehnolog figures is this set of Gladiators.
From my limited research, they appear to be fairly accurate, with the exception of the Retiarius.
Wearing a helmet, which was something they did not do.
Of course there is probably other inaccuracies but on the whole they make up a nice set of figures.
Bases again were from Black Cat Bases, Desert Sand (complete with the odd skull!) were used.
I did replace two of the swords with scratchbuilt versions as the originals were a bit flimsy. The lions are from Britains Zoo Range.
And now for something completely different.
I have managed to pick up a few boxes of Airfix 1:600 scale warships, which are quite scarce these days.
I really wish Airfix would re-release their range of 1:600 ships again, as they were good value for money, a good size to display and easily super detailed.
Any way, first up is the Falklands Warships set.
This consists of a Leander class frigate, a County class destroyer, HMS Devonshire and a Type 21 frigate, HMS Amazon.
I was particularly pleased to get this set as it has the Leander class in it. I am hoping to do some conversion work to make at least two Royal Australian Navy River class Destroyer Escorts, specifically , HMAS Swan and HMAS Derwent.
These ships used the Leander hull with Swan (and her sister ship Torrens) being almost identical to the British ships
while Derwent (and her sister Stuart) were more like modified Rothesay class frigates.
In order to carry out these conversions, I'm going to need more Leander hulls.
I made up some simple casting moulds and below are the results.
The left hand hull is the completed version and the right hand is two hull halves ready to be cleaned up and assembled. A missing fairlead or two but otherwise very good results.
Next up is moulding and casting the weatherdeck!
HMS Suffolk. A WW2 County Class Heavy Cruiser of the Kent sub class,
I intend to convert her to HMAS Australia which was of the same class. Minor differences in stack height and armament so it should be comparatively easy. I have another Suffolk kit so she will probably be made stock.
HMS Iron Duke.
A WW1 era Dreadnought, I built her many years ago when I wore a younger man's clothes.
To me she was the epitome of a proper battleship, powerful, aggresive and good lines.
Looking forward to making her up.
Not pictured as they are still in the mail is the Airfix Naval Destroyers of WW2 set.
This set contains 4 destroyers, 3 British and one German.
The British destroyers being respectively, HMS Cossack, HMS Hotspur and HMS Campbeltown (ex USS Buchanan).
The German destroyer is a Narvik class.
Again, a fairly rare set these days I will make these ships up as stock.
I have an Aeroplast 1:600 HMS Cossack so that will be converted to either HMAS Arunta or Warramunga.
Lastly, my Good Lady Wife picked this up for me on a recent trip to Brisbane.
After alighting from her bus in the inner city, waiting in front of her in the bargain bin of a book shop was this, Trains to the Trenches.
All for the princely sum of $5.00!
Written by Andrew Roden, it consists of ten chapters of 255 pages.
It covers both standard and narrow gauge railways used by the armies of both sides, both in Europe and the Middle East.
A potted history of the war provides a background to the history of the railways, men and machines.
Rail Guns and Ambulance trains are among the many subjects covered.
A good read for anyone with even a smattering of interest in WW1.
I have been a bit slow with the blog posts of late. This post will deal with a miscellany of items I have recently acquired. I have also made a start on the pile of plastic (and metal) that I have accumulated lately.
I have been painting some of the Tehnolog sets, first off is this little band of Vikings.
The Tehnolog figures, love them or hate them, are a joy to paint. The detail, for the most part, is very well defined and flash is minimal. As is my want, I rebased them on the DSG Britains plastic bases. Not a winged Helmet to be seen either!
Next up is the Tehnolog Romans.
I used Vallejo Transparent Red as the topcoat over Flat Red for the tunics and Scuta and was very pleased with the result. Again the detail was good which made dry brushing the mail very easy. The guy on the left had his right arm re positioned as I felt the original pose was bit awkward. Now he is either about to punch someone or he is working some sort of siege machinery.
I recently purchased a number of sets of the Retro Raygun figures from Hydra Miniatures.
These are not painted yet so I won't put them up but here is a couple of photos from the website in case you don't know of them.
Valkeeri Rocket Sled - with Valkeeri warrioress onboard.
Queen Mechanika - Queen of the Robots
Zenithians - Evil Aliens from across another Dimension!
These figures are 30mm. More information from the website: Retro Raygun
I also picked up a tin toy Rocket ship to use as a scenery item, quite cheaply. These can be found on the internet quite readily, so shop around.
It's the kind that you push along the floor and when the probe hits a wall, cat or small child, it flips up and a ladder extends revealing the astronaut inside. I don't think I will be using this feature!
I have made a start on some scenery items for the Retro Raygun figures, the first of which is a Control Tower sort of thing. It is not finished yet but you can get an idea of how it will turn out.
The main part of the tower is an old water filter housing and the rest is plastic sheet, cardboard, press studs and other bits of plastic odds and ends. The decorative brackets underneath are made from die cuts made on a Big Shot Die Cutting machine. This earlier post illustrates the use of the Big Shot
There will eventually be three compartments on the ring around the top of tower.
One of the best things I bought recently was a Back2Basix Paint Rack. This particular model holds 53 paints (Vallejo) and is made from acrylic in a number of colour combinations which you can choose. I went for a black chassis and clear shelves. I liked it so much I bought two more! They are beautifully cut, assemble very easily with the screws and washers provided and make the job of selecting paint colours so much easier. Whilst this particular rack was designed for Vallejo, it quite happily accepts Reaper, Army Painter etc.
I actually bought these from the Back2Basix ebay shop. They were on sale with free postage but this may have changed by now. All in all, they are a very good product.
Lastly, two more painting projects on the bench.
Tehnolog "Lizard People" from the Citadel Fear set. They have been undercoated with Rustoleum 2X Flat Grey Primer. This works really well with plastics and adhesion is great and does not flake (even with bendy weapons etc.)
I also made up some painting blocks which have made painting a great deal easier. The actual figures have single strand copper wire inserted into pre drilled holes in their feet. The copper wire is good as you can drill into the meatiest part of the foot/leg, even if it's on an angle (as a lot of the Tehnolog figures are!) and the copper wire can then be bent easily to the vertical.
And finally, Tehnolog Orcs. These started off green already, so I undercoated them with Rustoleum 2X Flat Clear. These little guys have actually been finished (you can see them in one of the Paint Rack photos above) but I am waiting on some decals from VenVidiVici Wargames so I can apply them to the shield and shoulder armour on two of them
In this post I will cover the mounted Knights and Turks and the Turk Foot figures.
The mounted Knights were introduced in 1973. Colour variations were minimal, the main differences being the caparisons and lance colours. The lances which sometimes broke or went missing, could be replaced by resin ones from a manufacturer called Lunar Tick Miniatures, but unfortunately he is no longer in business. At a pinch, the Timpo lance can be made to fit but is slightly longer.
The front three figures are China Production, with better/more detailed paint schemes.
Again, this series was introduced in 1973, the same remarks regarding colour schemes apply here as well. The first row of figures are China Production. As an aside, the figure on the right (708) had the sword hand modified early in production so as to have the sword at right angles to the body rather than running alongside it.
As before, this series was introduced in 1973. Same remarks regarding caparisons and lances as mentioned earlier apply here as well.
Well, he came back from the Crusades, so I guess he fits in here.
The Robin Hood set was introduced in 1996 and was China Production.
They are nice figures, Friar Tuck being especially good. Robin really needs more archers and some Sheriff's Men to oppose him. Replicants do a set of Sheriff's Men, so that might be worth checking out.
Of course, every Knight needs something to call his Castle so a few years I scratchbuilt this one. It was designed to be modular, so I could make it smaller if required and for ease of storage.
The structure's modules were made from Foamcore and 3 mm MDF where strength was a requirement i.e at joining sections etc. The joining sections were simply Rawl plugs that plugged into holes on their opposite numbers. These pieces were all jig drilled to ensure uniformity.
The corners of the towers had quoins made up from card and some random stonework for a bit of texture was applied to the various walls.
The castle was then given a coat or two of Grey Stone Fleck Paint. Unfortunately, this made the applied stonework a bit hard to see! Details such as doors and arrow slits were picked out.
Finally some pictures of various bits of siege equipment that I have pieced together over the years
The Battering Ram, Mantlet, Scaling Ladders and Gabions were built over twenty years ago.
The Siege Tower needs finishing as do the Timpo Tents. The catapults actually use tensioned twine and are quite effective.
The information for the release dates etc of the Deetails series was taken from that most excellent publication "Suspended Animation" by Peter Cole.
Over the next couple of posts I hope to present my collection of Britains Knights and Turks. First off the mark are the Foot Knights.
First Series Foot Knights on the left, Second Series in the middle and Swivel Knights on the right.
In the rear are Black Knights and DSG Knights.
Front left are some miscellaneous knights.
This series was released in 1973. Colour schemes remained the same for the most part, only the shield stickers varied.
This series was introduced in 1978. Again, colour schemes remained fairly standard with the shield stickers varying.
The Knights that Swivel!
These Knights were introduced in 1984. The body could be made to swivel and if you were so inclined, could swap legs and bodies. The mounted versions used the same torsos but with a mounted lower body. Unfortunately, I do not have any of the mounted version.
Apparently, additional mounted figures with gold torsos and modified to take a large shield were were released in 1988 and called Banner Knights.
Essentially the same figures as Series 2, this set was introduced in 1985. I don't think there were mounted versions produced.
In the foreground is a set of China Production figures. A mixture of Series 1 and 2, but with more detailed paint schemes. Only 5 figures in the set though.
A selection of DSG Knights. Still available and in various colour schemes, I bought these to make up Command Units. Nicely sculpted figures and they fit in well with Britains.
Well, the two on the right are Britains but modifed/repainted and I have no idea about the two on the left.
There was another set of Knights released in 1986 and then re-introduced in 1997 as China production. The less said of these monstrosities, the better. They were, in my humble opinion, badly sculpted, and looked as if they were on a body builder's steroid regime. I have a few in my spares box awaiting re-purposing!
Next post I hope to deal with the Turk Foot and Knight and Turk Mounted.