Saturday 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas

Just a quick Happy Christmas from all in Airhead land to you all out there on the wwweb. Have a good time and all the best for 2011.

Sunday 5 December 2010

Mission accomplished and then some

First things first, I went back to the original B&M bargains store on my way home from work and there were still some of the original packs on the shelfs, so mission accomplished. The following weekend at the Local B&M store to my home, just taking a quick look around and there in front of me was a tube of no less than 5 loach's for the mind blowing cost of £1.99, yup 38p each.

This was just to good to pass up. These models are different in construction to the original three bound for my Air cavalry in Nam. These new ones tail sections are made from plastic and are joined to the metal body work half way to the tail. The is no tail rotter modeled on this version. Also the main rotter blades are quite a bit shorter than on the original models.

The idea with these new ones will be to build an Israeli special forces team including a tank hunting team of MD-5oo. This will involve some re-building of the tail section and the addition of some TOW rocket tubes and optical tracking gear. The two with the Blue glass canopies are destined to meet a more dramatic end in combination with a SA-7.

Sunday 21 November 2010

Nam OH-6 Loach

Spending some time in my local B&M bargains store on the look out for targets of wargaming interest and came across this pack of 3 vehicles for the princely sum of £1.69p, and there it was, a Loach OH-6. To good to miss. When I got the pack back home the 2 vehicles went strait in the bin, a note of warning here, I later fished out the camper van from the bin, after the thought that the body work on the back could make a useful pre-fabricated building for my yet to be built fire base.

On closer inspection of the OH-6 the skids had been put on backwards, but I was able to pries apart the 2 half's of the body by putting a small screw driver up the engine jet pipe. This has opened up the option of not only painting the inside of the cockpit but also perhaps using the Peter Pig Hue crew, and put some additional detail in the cockpit.

In the bottom picture I've put a steel ruler in the shot for people who are interested in the exact scale of the model. For people like myself who have a more relaxed attitude to the exact scale of things I've put a Peter Pig 15mm scale 8th army figure in the picture. Looks to me just slightly over scale, but not by much. Next mission is to go and find some more, 2 should do it.

Sunday 14 November 2010

The big Green wood

I have finally started to put some foliage onto the polystyrene former that creates the body of the trees. For this I use Woodland Scenics bushes Medium green and Forest green. I start by building up the foliage around the top of the trunks and the cardboard base that the polystyrene former sits on. Then working upwards in a more random way to try and make the two types of foliage create the impression of different types of trees growing together. It seems to be working out quite well at the moment. Its quite time consuming and at the moment I'm lucky to spend more than ten minutes a day on it.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Big Wood construction

Just found this picture on my computer which helps to show the construction of my big woods, up to the point at which the polystyrene former is added to the top.

Blast from the past BIG WOOD 3

March last year was my last post on the big big woods, so with lightning speed we move on to the next stage. Large blocks of polystyrene are cut down to fit the cardboard outline shape which has been hot glued onto the top of the toilet roll tubes and twig tree trunks. Lots of PVA glue to hold it in place. Once dry I start to shape the polystyrene by hand nibbling it away to create more tree like shapes. One happy with the general outline I then under coat it with black acrylic paint, to help cover up any bits that I miss with the clump foliage.

Sunday 31 October 2010

The machine finished

The finished machine, painted and with the base terrain finished, probable part of some grandiose scheme to build a power station in the middle of the desert, but never got past the docks/railway station. Ideal cover for an infantry section. Quite pleased with how this turned out. Got the pack of 4 mini CD's from pound land so three left to use.

Still here

Things have been a bit frantic at work for a long time and no sign of things slacking of soon, also in the middle of a big DIY project at home which is eating up most of my time at the moment. So a couple of posts to keep the stats respectable, on the count front. This is an example of how I'm always on the lookout for things I come across to use for my terrain projects. This is the end off a roller blind, the bit that pushes into the end of the metal tube the blind come on. Its mounted onto a small CD base with sand and small rocks and a card and cocktail stick base, its had some additional bits added with the blue tubes coming from cotton buds (q tips). The idea was that it would represent a large pice of industrial machinery that has been left standing for some time and could be used for cover.

Sunday 19 September 2010

3mm Village

Progress on the 3mm test village using the downloaded pdfs, I painted the ground and dry brushed with a light brown, ran some PVA glue up the roads and ran a small stick up and down to create some ruts in them, it worked quite well. Trees from dried out grape stems and small clumps of foliage. I toned down some of the buildings with some ink washes. The bottom picture shows some 2mm Irregular figures for a scale comparison. The two units close together are cavalry the single units is an infantry stand. Lots of food for thought with this small diversion into 3mm scale. Next up a destroyed village.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Small is beautiful 3mm scale

While looking at using some 6mm scale buildings to up scale to use with my 10mm FPW/WW1 armies it also struck me that you could take the 1/300 - 6mm scale buildings the other way and reduce them down to 3mm scale to use with my planned German/Russian WW2 armies for the eastern front campaign for 1943. The buildings are based on a 3 inch square piece of art board with some sand PVD's to the base. These buildings were printed onto paper, but for the real thing I'll use card to make them that bit more robust. 2p coin to give some idea of the scale. A big thanks to Ian H & Gupiao & Ludger Fisher for all the great buldings from their web sites. The buildings above are from Gupiao's site but I have Ian H's and Ludgers buildings ready to use. The top picture shows the GHQ 1/300 scale building enlarged to use with 10mm scale figures. The idea for the 3mm forces would be to use the BKC rules and the terrain to be all based on a single base board

Monday 30 August 2010

ALR Station-WIP

Some WIP pictures of the ALR station and engine shed, or Asmara Light Railway engine shed number 3, the cinzano advert is from the Rapid Fire web site printed out at a seduced size for 15mm scale, ground work still needs to be painted. Also need to make up some posters and a sign to go on the station building. Also need to put some posts in position to support the station veranda roof.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Free buildings

I have been interested in 1/300 micro armour since the late 1970's and over the years have had a number of armies, my current area of interest is the 1973 Arab Israeli conflict. While looking at various micro armour website I came to the GHQ figures free down loadable 1/300 card buildings. Not suitable for my middle east based interests but printed out at the right size very useful for my 10mm projects on the Franco Prussian war and early period WW1 armies. The models are based on the Dutch village/town of Borkel en shaft as well as Eindhoven. Ok its not Belgium, but with apologise to any Dutch or Belgian readers I may have, its near enough for my purpose's.
The top picture shows a close up of one of the buildings in the process of being built, once I down loaded the PDF's I copy and pasted the various section of the buildings, so that instead of having just one building per sheet I had a number of the same building on the same sheet. They were then printed out onto A3 sheets of card. You will need to have Adobe acrobat professional to be able to do this. You need to scrol down to the bottom of the page to come to the building pdf's.

Sunday 15 August 2010

The bits box

Thought some of you might be interested in the contents of my bits box, I always keep my eyes pealed for anything which I can use for my terrain projects, and having two laddies in the house hold the is never a shortage of shoe boxes to store my raw materials in. Quite a lot of the above stuff is old bottle/coffee cup/peanut butter bottles lids. Also at least four floss holders. The silver stuff in the zip lock bag bottom left is pan scouring pads which are great for making barbed wire in a number of scales.

Thursday 12 August 2010


Just a quick update on the Asmara Light Railway (ALR) station and engine shed, showing the windows cut out of the card mounted graph paper. Above the windows is some card with a dark blue to light blue drift created using coloured pencils. The window frames will now be stuck onto the card. Thus making a much simpler job of creating the windows and no tricky painting around the frames.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Small - rock outcrop

A selection of pictures showing the construction of a small rock outcrop based on an old CD. The top picture shows the small bit of cardboard used to cover the hole in the middle of the CD, and the small bits of slate picked up from the garden glued into position. The next couple of pictures show the base being built up with poundland filler and PVA glue and sand. Next up the base is undercoated with black matt spray paint, then the final picture shows the small rock outcrop next to one of my bigger hills with its fist coat of paint from one of my trusty match pots. The next stages will be to add some small trees and shrubs and dry grass to the base.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

ALR station WIP

Some WIP pictures of the ALR (Asmara Light Railway) station and engine shed. The bottom two pictures also show an idea I had about making windows, and how to make the process less painful and more symmetrical. I down loaded a free pdf of some graph paper of the Internet and printed it out onto some light card, 160 gsm weight. Then measuring the space on the building where the door and window is to fit, its straight forward to draw them up. I then glue the graph paper onto another sheet of 160 gsm card let it dry then trim out using a new scalpel blade, then glue onto another sheet of card to give the depth to the door and window frames. Not sure if this method has been posted on the web before, I'm sure it must have been somewhere. More pictures to follow as the station and shed are painted. Trusty peter pig 8th army chap in 15mm scale to give some idea of the size of the buildings.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

The Tao of my terrain

No picture in this post! Just some general ramblings about my terrain projects and the thought behind them and some of the guiding principles that direct what I make and how I make it.

I thought it might be an idea to outline the guiding philosophy I use to organise and plan my terrain, I have started with the main constrain of space, I only have an area of 5x4 feet maximum for my terrain to be laid out on, I have a wide range of Historic interests and areas where I intend to build up forces. So the terrain has to be generic enough to be usable in as wide a range of historic and geographic locations as possible.

My first key decision was that the base terrain boards would be flat with no terrain sculpted into or onto them. All the features would have to be free standing and based as individual items. My main reason for this decision was that I could now use both sides of the main 2x2 foot boards, with one side being North European type ground (green) and the other side being Mediterranean/North African (sand) type colouring. so four boards rather than eight.

Along with the main 2x2 foot boards I will also have some 1x2 board which will be used to construct things like Rivers and Coast Lines. When an element of sculpting into the boards is essential.

Taking the basic 2x2 foot board as a starting point I divided the boards into a grid of 3x3 inch squares. So my smallest buildings are on 3x3 inches square base boards, mid size building on 6x6 inch squares and combinations of multiples of 3 inches. The buildings on the 3x3 inch squares are ones which are used in close proximity to other buildings, requiring a close fit. All other buildings or terrain features are based on old CD's, or multiples of.

The next point for me to decide on after the size of the main boards, was the colour of the base boards, both the European and Middle east board use the same basic set of colours. Lime stone with a hint of Cotswold stone. Now I know that the soil in most of south Vietnam is reddish in appearance, but I'm quite happy to go with the soft sand beige colour for my particular part of south Vietnam. This also makes things easier when basing my figures, having just the one basic colour pallet to work with.

I am aiming to produce terrain which is gaming friendly, robust and easily stored, but also attractive to look at, and as accurate as I can make it, within my own requirements. A good example of this is the different elements which are going into my WW2 Italian/British East African provincial capital in 15mm scale. Some but not all of the buildings will also be used in my British Malayan WW2 set up and also in South Vietnamese, and could be used in my colonial ventures as well.

The are some areas where I will produce be-spoke terrain, such as my Blitz Freeze project for E-front winter terrain in 10mm. I also have plans for my WW2 and Ancient naval forces to have specific shore line terrine features created to go with the dark blue clothe that I use for the sea. I have also got a rough outline of some a terrain board to use with a WW2 E-front Kursk type set up in 2mm scale.

Hope you find the above of some interest, back to normal service with some new pictures next time.

Monday 28 June 2010

ASMARA to date

Just a quick update with some pictures of the 15mm scale town as it stands at the moment, next up to finish off is the old town buildings top left and then the naval HQ building bottom right. Then perhaps moving on to the port area with some simple wear-houses. Not bad going for 6 months into the year on this project bearing in mind my diversions into other areas. Just to let you know my version of Asmara is on the coast and does have a port unlike its names sake in modern Eritrea.

Sunday 27 June 2010

ALR - The Red train

The Asmara Light Railway hits the tracks, the top picture shows a peter pig 8th army infantryman for scale comparison, tried to achieve a well used dusty look to the rolling stock, added a tin foil tarpaulin to the tender. Next on the to do list is a small station and engine shed.
Not bad for £3.49p. Would work equally well for any colonial, wild west or even WW2 set up.

Sunday 20 June 2010

ALR - Asmara light railway

A great find in a cheap shop in the new street station shopping arcade in Birmingham (gizmo or something like that), only £3.49p, just the right size to go with 15mm figures. Has a very wild west look about it to me. But should be at home as a small colonial era type local rail set up. So the Asmara Light Railway is born. Quite a lot of raised detail in the models, so should paint up quite well with some dry brushing. I'll snip of the winding handle on the right hand side of the train. I'll have to have a think about the track that came with the train and see if it can be used.

Saturday 5 June 2010

Painted Fish Smoking Factory

I have painted the factory in the same colours as the Fish market, I still need to add some flock to the base and some shrubs, I also need to come up with some sort of sign to go on the building.
Pleased with how to painting has come out. I'll do a group shot of the buildings I've done so fare for the WW2 Italian colonial town that all these buildings are destined for.