Saturday 24 December 2011


Happy Christmas to all of you out there in Blog land, and all the best for the new year. Not sure what or who the robbo-santa picture is but I thought it was quite cool and seasonal at the same time. The 1/35th scale model of the "BEEP" a heavier version of the Jeep, is a Christmas present for my Dad, who fought in the Malayan emergency in the early 1950's and learnt to drive on a Beep while in Malaya.

Next year my aim is to up my posting rate on this year, and try for at least 3 posts per month. Lots of plans in my head, its just getting the work bench time to actually produce the stuff that is the issue at the moment. Big ideas/plans for next year are based around 10mm WW1 terrain, early on 1914 style, so no sea of mud and endless trench line. Also going into the micro world of 2-3mm stuff and hoping to produce the battle in a box idea.

All the best from me and the Airhead family, have a good Christmas and all the best for 2012.



Monday 12 December 2011

R.I.P Glue Gun

My old glue gun has finally given up the ghost, after over 3 years of dedicated service, during which it contributed to the vast majority of the projects on this Blog. So I'm of to find a new one. Its my number one priority at the moment. If you have never used one, go and get one its my number one terrain making tool.

On other fronts very little progress at the moment, thanks to daughters university application on going /uni visits/Job/life in general. But still planning in the spare moments I get. The above sketches of 15mm scale helicopters were done on a Cross Country Train from Southampton central to Birmingham new street, running 50 minutes late last week (train in front of ours ran into a tree). The sketches show me working out how to mount my Israeli gun ships on wire, which is hidden within the terrain on the base. Click on the pictures for bigger versions

Wednesday 16 November 2011

WW2 Terrain making in action

Found this great picture on the web today, brilliantly realistic looking terrain making from the past. The caption with the photo below.

"Photo by Marjory Collins. A “camouflage class” at New York University, where men and women are preparing for jobs in the Army or in industry by making models from aerial photographs and work out camouflage schemes, 1943."

Still looking into making micro terrain for a 2mm set up based around Bob Corderys great Portable Wargaming rules. I'm hoping to make a completer wargame in a box, with all terrain, soldiers and rules contained within the box. Not sure what sort of box yet, I'm still looking for inspiration in the box area. I have some Irregular miniatures samples of their 2mm range which look ideal for the project. The above photograph perfectly illustrates the type of effect I want to aim for. Great inspiration/reference.

Sunday 30 October 2011

15mm Helicopters 3

More progress on the helicopter front, the middle picture shows the start of the Vietnam Loaches with the craft broken down into their component parts, I have rubbed down the fuselages on the right hand side with wet and dry paper ready to undercoat them with grey primer spray. I have also cut out the back doors ready to take a peter pig door gunner with an M60 machine gun. I drilled the door with a power drill and then used the rat tail files in the top picture to finish of the doors.

The bottom picture shows progress on the Israeli gun ships, the painting of the window supports was made a lot easier by using masking tape to mask of the strut areas. It worked quite well. They will deed a bit of tidying up with a brush, but on the hole it worked well.

I'm currently reading "Low level hell" the biography of an Aero scout pilot flying loaches in Vietnam. A great book, packed with incidents and events. Giving lots of inspiration for scenarios for gaming. TTFN Airhead.

Sunday 9 October 2011

15mm Helicopters 2

Good progress on the Israeli 500MD TOW armed gun ships, They are shown with new tail assemblies made from plastic card replacing the original ones. Also plastic card was used for the small radio aerials along the tail booms. The small stub exhausts are made from cut down sections of cotton bud sticks. Also shown in the top picture is a test Tow pod shown along side the Helos made from two cotton bud tubes with green stuff used to create the casing.

The bottom picture shows one of the main rotter blades in position, with dry brushed on yellow high visibility rotter tips. Quite pleased with how this has turned out so far.

Things I have found out so far from this project, Its very difficult to get the paint I'm using to give a good covering of the body work. Im using a Humbrol enamel paint and it has taken at least 3 coats so far to get a good flat coverage. It would also be much easier to paint the body work If I had taken the models apart first. So for my Vietnam Helicopters I have got some matt Grey enamel spray paint to give them a base coat first. And as they will be having internal detail and crews added they will be taken apart first.

Friday 30 September 2011

15mm Helicopters

Final getting around to doing something with my 15mm Helicopter mountain, I spent some time looking for reference pictures on the web and found some nice plastic kit box art for inspiration. Also found a great line drawing of the 500MD/TOW Defender version which I intend to make for my Israelis. Looking at the line drawing you can see that the rotter blades that come with the model are hugely under scale, and the tail construction is different.

The next issue was to find some clear plastic to use for the rotter disc's which will replace the blades that come with the model. Cake was the answer, in the shape of a discount box of meringues from Morris's supermarket. The top of the box looked fine, but when cut out I thought it looked to flimsy. But one the discs were cut out. They were fine. I treated them in the same way as the propeller on the Zero project I produced. Using discs of sand paper to scuff the plastic. Next on the list is to make the pods for the TOW missiles and look at creating the new tail structures.

Sorry for the lack of posts around here, but real life is a tad frantic at the moment and hobby time is on the tight side. OMG I bought the Helicopters last December, how time flys.

Saturday 10 September 2011

A 10mm Roman addition

A quick and simple addition to my Roman 10mm selection of terrain items, a roughly 10mm scale model of the leaning tower of pisa. Saved from the rubbish bin as the daughter re-decorated her bedroom. I now the towers construction started in 1170, so its not really Roman by any stretch of the imagination, but hay it works for, it looks Roman to me. So that's fine by me. A quick black undercoat and paint job with a round base built up with filler and then flocked.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Back from the med

So back from sunny Kefalonia to rainy Shropshire, had a great two weeks staying in the west of the island. very relaxing. The only bits of military history related stuff that I spotted was the above gun and monument out side the cost guard post in Argostoli the capital of the island. Not sure who the chap was or what the gun is. Looks WW1 vintage to me, but thats just a blind guess. Also sore another monument on the way into the town which has two small mountain gun/howitzer type things either side of a white marble statue. No picture of that one I'm afraid.

During my relaxing time by the pool/beach I managed to read 5 paper backs, 1 Simon Scarrow "Eagles prophecy", 2 Voices from the battle of Britain/blitz, 3 "Zero History" William Gibson, 4 Conn Iggulden "Lords of the bow" 5 Christian Cameron "Killer of Men"

1) 8 out of 10 good story with some nice action. Ripping yarn. 4 more to go in the series.
2) 5 out of 10 Nothing new £1.75 from a charity shop so no complaints.
3) 9 out of 10 Been waiting for this one for a long time, well worth the wait. He invented the modern world
4) 8 out of 10 £1 from a charity shop, shows the dangers of buying historical fiction on a whim, I loved it, yes I now its historical accuracy is questionable, but I have always had a soft spot for the mongols. Must get the rest.
5) 8 out of 10 Ancient Greece and the Persians, what's not to love, a very few strange modern terms used. Will get the next one set during the battle of Marathon.

One thing that does bug me with Historical fiction is when the publisher changes the cover design of the books half way through the series, it just spoils the look of the book shelf.

I'm planning to finnish of some outstanding terrain projects before Christmas, will also be making a start on the Great Helicopter building project. TTFN

Friday 29 July 2011

1/100 scale Zero in action

Taking the idea from the in-flight DFS glider, I adapted it for the Zero by super gluing the underside of the wing to the leaves in 2 positions, and securing it with a bulldog clip and leaving over night, to get a good strong bond. The key to the set up of the base is the two stones used on it to act as counter weights to the aircraft.

Off on summer campaign for a few weeks, so it will be quiet around here for a while, but as sum American chap said once "I shall return" All the best Airhead

Friday 22 July 2011

Zero 1/100 scale

An Airfix minikit Zero in 1/100 (15mm) scale for just £2.99 from Model Zone in Birmingham to provide air support for my Japanese forces, its a great little kit which went together very easily. It comes pre painted, but I've added some weathering to the panel lines and gun smoke to the wings.

It comes with a choice of two propellers. I decided to have a go at replacing the blades of the propeller with a disc of clear plastic to give a better impression of the plane in flight. The clear plastic came from my bits box, I cut the blades from the propeller and got my circle cutter out, a great tool well worth investing in. Now this next bit might be common knowledge among aircraft modelers, but I did come up with this just off the top of my head. After cutting out a test disc of plastic. I thought how do I get that comic book effect of the turning propeller, and the idea occurred to use sand paper to scuff the plastic to give the blurred effect. So next I cut a disc of sand paper the same size as the clear plastic disc. Then a disc of masking tap which I used to mask of the parts of the clear plastic to protect it from the sandpaper. Hopefully the pictures above give most of the information you will need to have a go at doing this.

Turn the disc of sandpaper to create the scuffing, one tip would be to make the sandpaper disc bigger than the propeller disc so it's easier to get hold of and turn by hand. I painted the inside of the clear plastic canopy light blue, to get that old school wargames Illustrated Rapid Fire rules articles from the late 80's - 90's look.

A useful exercise for me as I have a lot of helicopters waiting in the wings for this kind of treatment. Next up the zero mounted on its free standing flight base. TTFN

Thursday 21 July 2011

Coastal Battery Finished

The coastal battery is finished, shown from a number of angles, lots of dry brushing and some static grass to finish it of. The pictures of the back of the bunker show the steal reinforcing rods made from paper clip wire sticking out of the roof of the bunker. With streaks of rust painted on to complete the look. I was tempted to put a propaganda poster on the big flat wall at the back of the bunker, but decided it was better to keep it generic, so I can use it for my British in Malaya or the Italians in the middle east.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Coastal Battery stage 4

Progress on the coastal battery, the bottom picture shows the first of the three types of paint I use on my ground work (cheep match pots from home base), the top picture shows the fortifications with camouflage applied to the concrete superstructure of the bunker. Just needs some more dry brushing and some flock on the ground and it will be ready to throw back the enemy from the shores of the motherland. Next on the list will be some smaller supporting HMG bunkers and mortar pits to support the big guns. TTFN

Saturday 16 July 2011

Ship shape

First I must apologies for the rubbish pictures, taken in a rush on Friday morning before work. Found this ship in Poundland for yes just £1. I have plans for building a 15mm scale landing force with landing craft, storm boats and supporting motor torpedo type boats, with some sort of tramp steamer type civilian transport ship. The idea is that the ships will be generic and will be usable for Allied or Axis forces by just changing flags and funnels on the ships. Top picture shows the graphics on the pack, the are several different types of ships, the next one shows all the items striped from the ship. The bottom picture shows the ship hull next to an Airfix pontoon from their Bailey bridge set which will be used to create a landing barge. The is also a 15mm Peter Pig figure on the hull to show scale. So for just one pound I have got a ready to go hull.

Sunday 3 July 2011

Coastal Battery stage 3

Steady progress on the coastal gun battery, pictures showing the battery with the roof on and also the application of the filler to build up the ground level. I've used a water bottle cap for the observation post on the roof of the battery. Got lots of these in my stock pile of bits and bobs and have been planing to use them for this type of project for ages. So nice to final get one into a live project. Other shots show the pva and sand after application. TTFN

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Coastal Battery stage 2

I've started to fit the bits together for the coastal battery. The pictures show the construction of the gun turret and how the guns can be traversed from left to right, and also illustrates how the two cardboard tubes work inside each other. Two stones from the back garden are used on both side of the bunker and in filled with filler. More updates to follow.

Sunday 12 June 2011

3mm fall of shot markers

A post on my experimentation in the smaller end of the scale world, I'm looking at creating some fall of shot markers for my intended forces in 3/2mm scale. In a £1.99 packet of pipe cleaners, you get about 75 per pack, I found them in a traditional old tobacconist shop in Birmingham, I have seen some in Hobby craft but they did not look to me like the old traditional pip cleaners I remember my Grandfather using. More like mini toilet brushes. the ones I found have the nice uneven texture, they do come in a number of colours, some off white other more pure white. The top picture has a selection of some of my reference picture grouped together, the bottom 2 show a test explosion, no base work or painting just the bare pipe cleaners, using about 4-5 to create this effect, will experiment further with painting and glue combinations. double click on the pictures for bigger versions.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Coastal gun battery

So here we have all the bits of the gun battery put together, nothing stuck together yet, so things may change a bit in the final version. The top two pictures show the bunker with the roof of, exposing the workings of the turret, the key thing is to find 2 cardboard tubes that slip into each other, quite close fitting is the best. This will allow the guns to traverse left to right once the roof is glued into position securing the outer tube and leaving the inner one with the guns glued in position free to rotate.