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Jungle terrain

Jungle terrain

Something I always wanted to do was jungle terrain. It is very versatile, since it can be used for so many settings. WW Il in the Pacifik, Vietnam, Ultra Modern in Africa or Asia and SciFi. For some time I had bought various plastic fish tank plants and last summer came the time to add them all together. Everything was mounted on HDF boards. I sanded the edges of the boards to make them blend in better, painted them with structured paint and painted them in browns and greens. The plants were glued to the boards using hot glue. I did them in various shapes and sizes to make the terrain as flexible as possible.

 

The majority were done with green plants, to make them useable for historic games. In addition to aquarium plants there is also some model bamboo, a few palm trees and two Buddas. I wanted to do a small temple with a Budda statue and ended up with two spare Buddas. But more on said temple later on.

As I wanted to use this jungle for SciFi as well, I also bought some more colourful plants. I went for psychedelic colours, since I wanted a look like in James Cameron’s Avatar. But when it was all done, I had to find, that the green plants alone were enough to fill a table. So these were sold off a couple of weeks ago.

Up last is the temple. I wanted a nice centrepiece for the table. My inspiration came from the temple scene in Full Metal Jacket. This one is just a simple one “room” walled in compound. The walls were done from high density foam. The roof tiles are a clerical box that I cut up and painted. As I said above, I wanted a Budda statue. Which proofed harder to find in an appropriate scale or at an appropriate price than I thought. After a couple of months I found a set of three on eBay. The seller had wanted to experiment with mould making and plaster casting and the three Buddas were the result. I also added some temple lions from Ainsty Castings. Yes, I am well aware, that these should not be at the gate to a Buddist temple, but I simply wanted them for the looks.

Btw, if anyone wonders where that mat is from, I did that last summer. It is a piece of painters masking fleece that was painted using a wet blending technique. I wanted to try this method out for a larger desert mat I will do some time later and this 4′ x 4′ mat for Infinity was the result.

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Posted by on June 9, 2018 in Terrain building

 

Infinity: Red Veil

Infinity: Red Veil

Like all wargamers, I am drawn to nice minis and will use any excuse to buy new ones.

For a long time I always wanted to give Infinity a try, what always kept me from doing so was, that I could not find an army / a faction where I liked all the minis. Or at least the vast majority. The. A couple of years ago they started redesigning their minis and I ended up liking virtually everything they did. So with Warzone taking a direction I did not like and me still wanting to play a more complex SciFi game, I took the plunge and started with Infinity and chose Combined Army (as you know). But could I let things end there? No!

So when the Red Veil box was released, I felt drawn to it. But could I justify another two armies? Not really. But since my mate Martin wanted to try the game as well and did not feel inspired by the minis, I had my excuse. Martin would get the Haquislam, I would keep the Yu Jing.

 

With the Yu Jing I went mostly with the colours of the studio miniatures, since I liked the Orange a lot. With the clothing I leaned more towards blues than greens, but this is about it. I know this is a bit boring, but I simply liked the orange. Plus it looks a little more accentuated in real life.

 

Now with the Haquislam I took a different route. I felt, they should look more basic, like nomadic people living in the desert. They should look like their clothing had to blend in with their surrounds, but also like it might at times take them a couple months until they could give their equipment a proper maintenance. I wanted their armour to be the main aspect of their looks. It was painted in an Israeli Defence Force Grey, which was then given some heavy weathering to make it look like the sand had started to blast paint off. Once that was done, the majority of their clothing was done in sand, brown and green colours.

I  have already painted a further 4 minis to give Martin a 300 points army with the ability to exchange a unit here an there. But unfortunately I forgot to take photos, so you will only see those later, when I harass Martin with my camera.

Infinity HVT Free Lance Stringer

Infinity HVT Free Lance Stringer

And to round things off, there is also the High Value Target, that comes with the Dire Foes box that features these two factions. I have to say, that the mini did not really inspire me, so I simply painted her up to look like some high functionary. I did her hair in bright colours as seems to be preferred in the Infinity universe.

All of these minis were paint during the spring of last year.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2018 in Haquislam, Infinity, Sci-Fi, Yu Jing

 

A tale of three Jagdpanther (Part one)

Some time ago I wanted to try some new weathering techniques. Namely special washes, filters and oil paints. I had three Jadgpanther models at home. Two from Tamiya, one unpainted build as an early model and one build as a late model. I had started painting the later in a 1945 pattern, but never was too happy with that, since my airbrush had acted up that day. So it needed a repaint anyway. The last was a Bandai model, but in a late version. I had bought that one used 15+ years ago with a very sloppy brush paint job. Repainted it back then, but I had gotten the colours wrong. Tried to salvage it by doing a winter camo, but that came out badly as well. So another repaint was required.

I had initially planned to form these three into one unit. That is until I realised, that under the Battlegroup rules a Jagdpanther is too rare and expensive to actually form a unit. So I decided to paint them up one each for three different settings… Normandy to Market Garden, winter 1944-45 and spring 1945.

Jagdpanther (1944)

Jagdpanther (1944)

Jagdpanther (1944)

Jagdpanther (1944)

The one above is the Tamiya early version and meant for Normandy to Market Garden.. The paint job resembles those often seen in 1944 that tries to simulate the sunlight hitting tank through a leaf cover. Not sure why there is fogging with the decals, since there is none in real life.

Jagdpanther (winter)

Jagdpanther (winter)

Jagdpanther (winter)

Jagdpanther (winter)

This is the Bandai one meant for the winter of 1944-45. It sports a very similar camo to the one above. But this time with a winter whitewash applied over the tank. I used  AK washable white for this. Which was great to achieve a look of the whitewash already starting to wear off. Since the previous owner had messed up the tracks, I had applied a mix of sand, white glue and brown paint back when I repainted it. Airbrushing the model anew had messed that look up. SomI applied two different mud pastes from Vallejo and Mig over that that. This created a nice effect like the tank had driven through wet fields at the end of winter during the thawing season.

And the third Jagdpanther.. Well that still is not finished, but it will be in a few weeks. So stay tuned.

 

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Forward Base Habitats 1, 3, 7 & 9

Forward Base Habitats 1, 3, 7 & 9

I continued work on the Forward Base Habitats last year. I started off with Habitat 7 early in 2017, the control tower.

It is an extremely nice kit. It can act as a LOS blocker, the lower walls offer nice partial cover and the control room and landing pad provide nice high vantage points. Again a lot of the different colours were done using the protective sheeting as  an airbrush mask. The only let down was that there were no screens provided. Most of the consoles come with screens printed out on gloss paper that you can glue on the consoles. In this case I painted the screens using greens to make them look like old fashioned monitors. More than a year later, I am still unsure if I like it. Maybe one day I will design my own screens and glue them on.

Up next was Habitat 9, the Armoury. All the wall panels and the table with the weapons add a lot of character to the building. It only has a small logical error. The storage area and counter are separated from the public area of the building by a heavy armoured door and steel bars. But the kits comes with wall racks full of weapons for the entry area. I do not think, that weapons would be placed in a public, unsecured area. So I simply replaced them with warning signs.

Last are Habitats 1 and 3, twice each. These were done last summer. Nothing extraordinary about these. What I did differently from the living quarters I had done before was, that I filled the tabletops for the tables with clear water. This created a much nicer finish than the high gloss varnish I used back then.

 
 

Additions to my Combined Army

Additions to my Combined Army

I am still in the process of learning how to play Infinity. The game has a tough learning curve and not getting to play that often does not help either, but I am getting better. Lately games have been getting closer and I even managed a win. What I found most helpful was concentrating on playing with the units I knew well and than adding a new one every now and then to see how it works for me. I found changing many units at once overtaxed me, since I had to keep too many new units in mind.

Anyway, since I only play with painted minis, this has resulted in a constant influx of painted minis.

 

 

(I am trying out some new settings here, so please feel free to click on any of the tiles for larger versions here.)

As previously shown, I went with a Havana Brown base and sandy yellow markings. But the more minis I painted that way, the more I felt something was lacking. So I added red markings from here on. And I liked that. So I went back to the old minis and added red markings to those as well (no worries… not going to bore you with photos of those).

As far as I understood the Infinity background for the Combined Army, especially the Morats, they go with a base colour for the environment they are fighting in. In this case brown for the muddy ground of the jungles on Paradiso. Over this they often apply the colours of the fighting unit, in this case red and yellow.

For the Morat units not completely covered in armoured suits (like Rodoks or Suryats) I also added camouflage clothing. With all the bright colours on the minis, camouflage does not completely make sense, but I felt it added some extra character.

 

 

Now for the Shasvastii based units I went a slightly different route. The infantry has brown armour, to tie them in with the others. But I felt they were more interested in not standing out. So no brightly coloured markings and rather camouflage clothing or capes.

And I went the same route with the Sphinx TAG.

 

The only units to which this colouring idea does not apply are the TAGs and drones. Those are done in a dark grey. Why… I always liked that look on the official minis.

I had always been a bit annoyed at the fact, that this meant they did not really match the rest of the army. When they released the Pneumarch of the Ur Negemony as the HVT for the Combined Army, I decided to use that mini to tie them all together. He has the dark grey armour of the TAGs and drones and combined them with the unit colours.

All these minis were painted over the course of the last 1 1/2 years.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2018 in Combined Army, Infinity, Uncategorized

 

Battlegroup objective markers

Battlegroup objective markers

Ok, so let’s get the party started. For those of you playing Battlegroup, you will know that many scenarios require objective markers. Usually something between one and four. So far I did three for Berlin or other late war urban settings. Obviously that is too few even for that setting. So one more was needed. And while I was on it, I did a few more.

Battlegroup objektive marker

Battlegroup objektive marker (Fall of the Reich)

Battlegroup objektive marker (image edited to comply with German law)

Battlegroup objektive marker (Fall of the Reich) (image edited to comply with German law)

Up first is another one for Fall of the Reich. When Germany went about conquering virtually all of Europe as well as large parts of Russia and North Africa, they looted whatever they could, including many acheological artefacts.  When the Allies entered Germany, the Nazi high ups wanted to move many of these items out of the way, preferably into their own private collections. And I wanted one of these items, that could not be moved fast enough.

In this case I simply took an Egyptian artefact from Crocodile Games Wargods of Ægyptus range and placed it inside a wooden crate (build from plasticard) and added a helmet and G-43 from a Tamiya 1:48 scale infantry set.

Battlegroup objektive markers

Battlegroup objektive markers

From left to right these are a wayside cross (1:48th scale scenery item), an Western Allies fuel dump (barrels and jerry can from a 1:48th scale Tamiya accessory set with the Tommy Gun being from Warlord Games) and a simple tattered scare crow (matchsticks and tissue paper soaked in white glue).

Battlegroup objektive markers

Battlegroup objektive marker (Spring to fall)

And another three ammo or fuel dumps. Again, weapons are from Warlord Games and the rest is Tamiya 1:48th scale.

I tried to keep everything on the two photos as generic a possible. Only the two German fuel dumps are painted for an early and mid to late war period. But all in all, there are two markers (cross and scarecrow) that could be used virtually everywhere in Europe or Russia for any period of the war. With the those two and a mix of a German objective and an allied one (depending on the opposition) I will always have at least four options.

Battlegroup objective markers

Battlegroup objective markers (Winter)

And last a few for winter settings. Left to right these are a snowman (sculpted from Greenstuff with snow flock added after painting), a “V” that someone peed into the snow, a stack of barrels and a jerry can covered by a tarpaulin and snow (again Tamiya items and white glue soaked tissue paper) and a simply scare crow (done like the one above). Now I have to admit, that these are kind of a reserve, for right now these are my only winter scenery items.

All of these were done last winter.

 

Getting started again

Well, one need not be a rocket scientist to see that this blog had ceased to be active in any way ages ago. Well what can I say the new job kept me extremely busy. I have worked longer hours in the past, but for some reason I could no longer find as much time, or even motivation, to spend as much time on my hobbies as I would have liked. And what little time I found… Well I rather spend that painting or playing than blogging. Some time last year I even asked myself, if I should even keep up blogging.

But before I made up my mind, I decided that I should first try to re-arrange my private time management. At last years German SAGA Grand Melee I talked to Andy Lyon about box many armies he and his wife had for SAGA. I was surprised by the numbers. He told me that he tried to paint a SAGA point worth of minis per week. For those of you not playing SAGA, that is between four and twelve men, either mounted or on foot. He also said that some weeks he did fine (usually either Hearthguards or Warriors in foot), others not so much (usually mounted Warriors or Levies). But on average it worked out for him.

So last winter I decided to adapt his system for my own use. My target would be either eight minis (either men or horses or a mix), a piece of terrain of substantial size like a building or a vehicle. In spring I also decided to take part in a motivational painting challenge run by a store where I play from time to time. For said challenge you have to paint a mini every two weeks, that may at most be primed at the beginning of said two week period. I usuall manage to achieve my own goal and as a result surpass the one for the challenge. But the combination of the two has kept me both motivated and focused. As a result I have managed to make better use of my hobby time, get more done and even have more time for the rest of my non-work life.

SoonRacoon

Now at ths point I have decided that I should have the time to blog and to revive this blog. But be warned… right now it will most likely be about as many pictures as before, but less text. I feel this might be necessary to keep it up. So the last thing to decide was if I should try to make a cut and start where I am now or try to recap on what yo did the last about two years. I decided to recap and as a result had to do a couple of photo sessions in recent weeks. So over the next two weeks or so I will try to post on a virtually daily basis to catch up. So expect a barrage of posts over the coming weeks. Please stay tuned! …

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2018 in General

 

Painting Tartan

I know Inhave been extremely quiet for about 3 months (ouch!). I have not been idle, but frankly except for a hiking trip to Scotland I have been stuck in Germany. And the weather has been appalling. Either very wet or very cold, but never good enough to spry on some varnish. So there is a backlog that I need to show to you now that things have gone better. It has actually been like early summer for a week now. So what is up first?


Some Wolfbane Commandos for Warzone. I wanted each an every one of them to be an idividual, so I chose to paint part of their attire in a tartan pattern. I will later paint squads to go with them, so far these have been my test pieces.


Why test pieces? Well as we all know, painting tartan patterns can be a huge pain in the behind. But late last year I stumbled over a new range of paints from Humbrol. They are Emanel paints, which I have not used in well over a decade due to the fumes, I decided to give them a try anyway. They need some getting used to. First of all you need to let the pots rest for at least a week and not shake or stirr them before use (apparently the nano-particles need that time to settle into pattern). And you need to apply it all in one broad stroke. That needs a couple of attempts to get used to. But once you do, the results are great. I found it works best with a. Road dry brushing brush with long bristles (so you can really load the brush). So far they only have 4 patterns, but Imguess once this makes the rounds they are sure going to expand!


Anyway this is it for today. More to come over the next few days. Until then, I wish you a very happy start into this month! 😚

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Happy New Year

Usually I know well in advance what I want to write for this message, but this year I am writing this last-minute. It has been a very strange year. On a personal front it has been good. My self employment had not been going well last year, so I was happy to find a new job in March, even though it meant less time for my hobbies and this blog. But on the other hand this year felt like it was constantly kicking us in the private parts. No matter what kind of music, movies or art you like, each of us will have lost at least one artist that we liked if not a dozen. There was the Brexit vote, there was the US election. And there has been a huge rise in fascism around the western world. So should I really look back at 2016 as something positive? And then I came across this meme on Facebook yesterday and for me it put things into perspective.

 

So in this sense… 2016 might not have been great, but lets just hope, that things do not get worse. Most of us can still call ourselves lucky!

In this sense, I wish you and your families all a very safe and healthy 2017 and lets hope it all gets better!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Pegasus Bridge, a Horsa Glider and other things

Pegasus Bridge, a Horsa Glider and other things

As you may know, we wanted to host Pegasus Bridge at Crisis in Antwerp this year (and eventually we did so). Between the three of us we already had a lot of buildings, hedges and so on. But this still required some more terrain.

Not many buildings for the vicinity of the bridge were required, but I wanted some more variation. Since I still had the château from Sarissa Precission around, so that seemed like the natural option. It had been a nice kit to assemble and was a nice kit to paint. If I was to do it again though, I would probably leave the first floor windows and shutters off for easier painting.

French Chateau

French Château

French Chateau

French Château

But we also needed a Horsa Glider for the game. Martin had a model by Grand Manner around. Martin was unsure if he could give it due credit, so I painted it up. I Ieft the landing gear off to me the model fit the scenario since the Gliders used for the attack on Pegasus Bridge all had rough landings and ripped their landing gears off. It was nice enough to airbrush up, but I think the dimensions are somewhat off. The lower hull and underside of the wings were painted in a dark green, the top in camouflage. So I started by doing the camo and then taped the edge off. Which is when I realised that something was amiss. For example I used the forward doors and tail wings as a guide, but under the main wings the lines ended up too low. But I felt this was acceptable, since people could hardly see this spot. So the lower half of the glider was painted in dark green and filters and washes applied. Now I taped off the invasion stripes and again, I noticed that something was not quite right, for there was too little space on tail. In the end the RAF roundels on the tail ended up overlapping the invasion stripes for that reason. To finish things off, I placed chalk markings on the flank saying “Lady Irene” to make it match the glider Major Howard landed in.

Horsa Glider

Horsa Glider

Horsa Glider

Horsa Glider

Horsa Glider

Horsa Glider

Horsa Glider

Horsa Glider

And up last, the most importer building for the game… the bridge itself. Again this was a Sarissa kit. I had been too lazy to assemble the model, so I bought a model that had already been build and sold my kit on. In retrospect, this did not make things that much easier, since it had not been assembled as clean as I would have done, so I had to do a lot of sanding and so on.

I wanted to keep it in the very light grey of the original, but in the end, this seemed a little bleak to me. So I added rust marks to the model, which gave it a lot more character.

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge

If you want to see some more detail shots of the bridge, those can be found in my post about the British Paras.

In the, it turned out to be quite a nice game. We used the Battlegroup Overlord rules and they worked very well even at this small size. It was especially interesting to see how different tactics played out. If the British went for a defense in depth, it usually went well for the Germans, since they could usually wipe out the British first line of defense (after stumbling into it) and then using the superior range of their SP gun(s) (,depending on how many survived the PIAT,) to destroy the rest. If the British went for a strong first line of defense, the Germans were too weak to protect their SP guns sufficiently and took too many loses to take the bridge. It will be interesting to see how future games play out.

So I am leaving you with a (very) few pictures from the game at Crisis.

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge table

Pegasus Bridge game

Pegasus Bridge game

Pegasus Bridge game

Pegasus Bridge game

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge table