Thursday, July 19, 2018

Let There be Light!

While I was in Chicago for two weeks, my daughter dragged me to JoAnn's Fabrics. Ott Lights were a whopping 50% off! Not only couldn't I resist, but I bought one for my daughter, too. This one is a big step from my old one because it has a larger light. The goose neck will mean I have more flexibility lighting positions and hopefully will hold up longer. My last one's arm became all droopy early on and I had to prop up the arm with a bottle of craft paint.

Also, I got a hold of Bob Cordrey's latest rules. This time on naval wargames:

This is a printed and expanded compilation of some of his rules that he has up on his website. I mentioned them in a old post. I've played his pre-dreadnought rules solo a couple of times and really like them. Of the three rule books of his that I now own, I think I like this one the best.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Still Without Good Lighting

Its USTA Juniors tennis finals season, so my days have been on the road. My daughter did pretty well at the Tennessee state finals. Because of that, she was seeded for the upcoming regional games. What does that mean for gaming? Not much other than we leave Saturday rather than tomorrow. This lowered my blood pressure somewhat. I was rushing all day today trying to get ready, and then I got the news. So I managed to sneak in a little painting between packing and all the other crap I have to do to get ready to go. Packing and be completed tomorrow.

I think I solved my problem with O8 3mm infantry. They are cast in some very hard metal and the infantry come in strips.  It has been next to impossible to separate the tiny dudes without either sending one into orbit or snapping them off at the knees. So, I powered up my old Dremel tool and bought some thin cut-off disks. That did the trick! I ground down the bases between each infantry man enough to easily cut them off with a metal cutter, and they don't go flying off into the unknown!

I am still without good lighting. I borrowed a goose neck lamp from my daughter. Its a small one so it doesn't cover much area in terms of light. Also, it uses an old daylight bulb so its a sickly yellow glow. My local craft store USED to carry lights for craft purposes, but not any longer. I guess all that frew-frew junk is more important. I guess I need to order one, but I am too crazy about shipping charges. Well, with all the upcoming trips this June, I will not be really needing it until maybe July.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

RIP Ott Lamp

Last Thursday night, as I was in the process of finishing up some Cobblestone Castings 15mm Picts, my Ott desk lamb blew up! It didn't really blow up, more like a big belch and then death. The previous two nights it was doing odd power surge things. The light would brighten then dim, then go back to normal. Thursday it continued, then there was a big BURP! sound that came from the power switch box, then nothing. I don't think it was the bulb. That looked fine. I had to finish up the Picts in rather dim light.

I've always had problems painting large areas of exposed skin. I am never really happy with the results. This time, I used a sort of Dallimore method of painting, which I am not too crazy about. To me, they always look like a color-by-numbers painting where the shadows and highlights do not blend much. My guess it that at a certain distance, the eye is tricked into blending the shades together.  Here is the results of my experiment:

The Fury of the Picts!
What I used:

Base coat: 1 part Army Painter Barbarian Flesh : 1 part Michaels Craftsmart Brown
Middle coat: Army Painter Barbarian Flesh
Highlights: 2 parts AP Barbarian Flesh : 1 part Vallejo Basic Skin tone

Black, highlighted gray
Very light gray with a black wash

Wooden shafts and handles: Burnt Umber
Leather straps: various leather paints that I have
Chert spear points and axe heads: various colors of turquoise, red, and gray. Then either a dry brush highlight and/or black wash, depending on the size and amount of relief on the stone.

Fur Loincloth
Orange-brown craft paint and then black wash

Some of them were carrying a skull at their sides. Maybe a bonus for excellence in savagery? Parchment White craft paint and then black wash

Unlike other figures, I was deliberately skimpy on the black wash. I restricted it to the above. I thought about washing them with a final coat of skin tone shade or a mixture of burnt sienna and clear floor wax to make them more tanned. But I decided against it.

Its too bad that Cobblestone didn't do more of his line of Barbarica 15mm figures. I wish he had put out a command pack for these Picts. It would have been nice to have some chieftains and shamans to spur the tribes on.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bovatopian Mig-21 Fighters

I painted these Tumbling Dice MIG-21 fighters awhile ago and used them to test some air combat rules. Yesterday, I inducted them into the Bovatopian Air Force.

There was no way I was going to manage making the roundels the way I do for my 1/300 scale aircraft, so I took a very fine point drawing marker, made the best circle I could and then filled it in with paint. Its a hit-or-miss method, but it works for me.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Remote-Controlled Air Defense Artillery, Part 2

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

If your remember from last time, I built an MANPADS that was a behemoth and way out of proportion. I decided to give it another go. I used the ASRAD short-ranged missile launcher that is on the German Weisel 2 as a basis:

This time I very consciously tried to make the weapon system as small as possible to have size exaggeration.

Here is the result:

I made the missile tubes by cutting the styrene rods and then heating up a metal base with a candle. I then lightly pushed the ends against the hot plate. It widen them to look like the ends flare out. I made about eight of them and then picked the best four.

It is still a little bigger than I wanted, but not too bad. My main beef is that the launcher tubes are too far apart from each other on either side. I think that is what makes it look large. I also built a radar vehicle. Here are some shots of them painted.

It was a nice day, so after I had sprayed them a flat clear, I thought I'd take the pictures outside. Pictures show the radar dish as gray.

The missiles are deliberately generic. They can be pretty much any MANPAD.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Lavonian Fire Support Vehicles

I ordered some really nice but very fragile FSV version of the Polish RTO Rosomak infantry fighting vehicles in 1/600 scale from Shapeways. They weren't cheap, but I thought I'd take a chance and see what they were like.

Sorry for the bad picture, but here is how they come. You get 10 mounted on sprues:

The plastic used really shows the details, BUT its very brittle. While painting on the primer, a wheel broke off of one. I am very weary about the guns holding up especially when gaming.

Here is what they look like painted up:

The top picture is a comparison with Pico Armor's Rosomak IFV (on left). The Shapeways model is a litttle bigger and the side skirt armor is more extensive.

I messed up a little on the color mixture. I didn't want to spray them Army Green as I was worried the paint would melt the models, even with the acrylic primer.

Nice models, I just hope they don't break.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Lavonian Flag and Roundel

Because I have nothing better to do 15 minutes before I teach class: