Saturday, August 20, 2016

More Stone Walls

I've been spending my last two weeks messing around with making more efficient stone walls. I made a mold and used various casting media, got varying results, none of which I was completely happy with. So, I went back to the slow, tedious method of building up the walls by repeated gluing layers of model railroad ballast. I was a little happier this time around than I was with the sheep pen. Here is another small farmstead. I am not quite done with it, but you get the general idea of things.

Here is looking down on it:

Here is a more street level view:

This time, I used a super glue gel, rather than the liquid type. I got much better control even if it dries slower. One thing learned for next time is to put in the gates first before laying down the walls. What I also plan to do with this one is to get is a coat of diluted white glue. Some stone pieces are more tenuously glued than others.  That will help hold the whole thing together better. The main thing that still eludes me is how to make the top of the walls level. The super glue gel helps with this, but its still far from perfect.

This project has sort of burned me out on terrain making. I've got one more terrain piece I need to make (a truck stop), but I really just want to start gaming.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sheep Pen


I am trying to make some stone walls. They are proving to be very frustrating; it reminds me too much of making sandbags. This was made out of coarse model railroad ballast that I built up in layers. The walls did not come out even. That is OK for a sheep pen, but not if I want to make walls for a farm. Also, it is rather time consuming.

There are lots of tutorials out there for making stone walls for larger scales, but nothing I could really find for microscale.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Little Cold Wars Rules

Tim Gow has been working on this project for several years now, and I am happy to see the rules finally coming out. I have read them over and they look like a lot of fun. He and his co-author are of the philosophy that playability trumps hardcore simulation, and these rules reflect that. The mechanics are intentionally simple and easy to learn. They are also pretty well written. I quickly understood the mechanics of them.  I would say that the only downside are the scenarios. Not that they are anything wrong about them, per se, but they all come from the various playtesting games that he has posted on this blog and on his Yahoo! Groups site. If you have not been following this project, then it wouldn't be an issue....not that it's a big one for me.

I am already thinking about how to scale them down for microarmor, though I don't think I will be playing with my microarmor out in my backyard!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Mighty M103 Heavy Tank!

I finally got a day where the humidity seemed OK for spraying my GHQ M103 heavy tanks. I used Testor's Olive Drab, which was a little darker than what I wanted, so I highlighted them with Vallejo Olive Green. I tested out a black wash on one of the tanks, but it look too dark. For now I will leave them as is. Three I made into company command tanks.

The battalion
Three command tanks:
I designate my command AFVs by at least sticking on an antenna. I will also stick in a commander if I feel ambitious. I have tried different methods of antenna making with varying satisfaction. This time I used a method by the guy who makes GameCraft Miniatures. I think it has worked the best so far, BUT the brush hairs can bend very easily, and don't spring back. 

Commander 1: side view

Commander 1: turret turned

Commander 2

Commander 3
GHQ provided these tanks with a pintle-mounted 50 cal machine gun. This is great, but it made it difficult to sick in a tank commander. The commanders themselves are an example of scale creep. Yes, it even happens at the micro level. Commanders 1 and 3 are from GHQ's American WWII artillery and vehicle crew packs. They are much thinner than commander 2. Even so, I had to cut off and extend the machine gun on commander 1 to allow him to man the gun. Commander 2 is from their more recent 3rd World Regulars infantry pack. He was much beefier compared to the other two and it took more work to fit him in the commander's copula. I should have sniped off his binocular case to accommodate the gun.  As a result, the machine gun is stuck in that weird down position. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016


My daughter wanted to show off her work on my blog. Sculped from polymer clay and then painted.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SPG-9 Kopye

I received my M-103 tanks, and there will be a glorious posting on them once I paint them. The humidity has been very high the lately, so I don't want to spray anything, especially my preciouses!

Looking over my orders of battle for my fictional campaign, I realized that the Northern Chalupistan army called for a number of companies to be armed with the SPG-9 Kopye recoilless gun. It was lightweight and replaced the B-10 recoilless rifle. It is still used today by a number of former Soviet block countries, though probably not as a front line anti-tank weapon.

By Kolpag - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
GHQ used to make one back in the 70s or 80s. Recoilless rifles are few and far between in microscale. Scotia-Grendel makes some generic ones, but I thought I'd try my hand to make it look closer to the real thing. Here is the result:

SPG-9 with GHQ Soviet RPG-7 gunner for scale.
This is the first completed one. It is made out of styrene round rods of various diameters. the main barrel is a 1mm rod, which is way too big. Its diameter is larger than the barrels of my M-103's 120mm guns! Unfortunately, the next size down that I have looks too thin. If I were to remake them, I'd go with maybe a 0.8mm rod for the main part of the barrel. One thing that I can pat myself on the back is that it is pretty much to scale length-wise.

Most of the gun is glued together with liquid modelling cement, which I am liking less and less. The glue is supposed to weld the pieces together, but on a couple of them, the conical breeches fell off. I glued them back on with superglue and hopefully they will stick. I do have rangefinders to glue on, but if I use figures like the one in the above picture, there is no reason to put them on.

Getting the height of the tripod is tricky. This one makes the gun too high off the ground. In pictures, it is much lower. Pictures show the gunner crouching down even more than the GHQ figure is in the above picture.

I have four more guns. Two will get tripods and be mounted on bases as support weapons. The trick is to find figures that look like they are firing the gun. The other two will be put onto technicals where I will glue on the rangefinders.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Caribou Quick Fix

After butchering the bottom of the C-7 Caribou, I went with plan A and drilled a hole in the back to accommodate a peg. The nail I used turned out to be a little smaller than the depth of the hole, so the nose still sticks up a little. The nail is temporary. I hope to find a clear acrylic rod of the same diameter and use that.

I'll attach a rare earth magnet to the bottom of the plan before priming and painting.