Monday, January 31, 2011

1/300 Patrol Boat Project: Part 1

The commander-in-chief of Northern Chalupistan, known as the General, ordered that his troops sail down the various rivers of his nation to invade Southern Chalupastan. This strategy was not what I was expecting, but that is what makes a play-by-email campaign interesting. So, I have started to build a small flotilla. My goal is to make some ships that are nothing fancy, but passable for gaming purposes.

I found some plans for a 30 m inshore patrol boat. I scaled down to 1/300 size, and then made a bunch of photocopies:

My original thought was to build up the boat's hull using a number of layers of either cardboard or styrene plastic sheets. I decided that would take way too long. Instead, I glued a copy of the top view plan of the boat down onto a piece of foam core and then cut it out. The bridge and superstructure were too complicated to build out of a single piece of anything. Again, using the plans as a template, I cut out the lower part of the bridge from apiece of corrugated cardboard. With a sharp hobby knife, I shaped the front of the bridge as best as I could. Here is the result:

The stern has a ramp for a zodiac boat. So, using my trusty hobby knife, I shaved off the stern at an angle.

So far, the boat is pretty crude, but I plan to somehow cover up the foam and the corrugated cardboard. My next step is to complete the bridge. Stay tuned...

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Rise of the REALLY Tiny Machines

Here is another installment of my build up of 15mm sci-fi minis. This time I have painted more Terminator-like robots. Several different companies make android battle robots, but I like those made by The Scene. In my opinion, their robots seem to most closely resemble those of the Terminator movies. Of course, you may not want to go that route, but that was more what I was looking for. There are two types.

One type are the human sized robots. They are armed with some sort of blaster rifles:

The other the large sized robot. These are fire support troops. Notice that the heads are different from the smaller troops. The smaller guys have skulls for heads whereas heads of the big guys remind me of the ABC robot from the movie, Judge Dredd.

There is now a third type, but I unclear what the differences are between those and these two.

I painted and based them almost the exact way I did for the 28mm version of these: sprayed them silver, then washed them with my mixture of black India ink and acrylic floor wax. I painted the guns either olive green or gray, depending on the robot. For the bases, I used various bits and pieces of things, including some 15mm skulls by Peter Pig. The only difference is that instead of using acrylic caulk for the ground work like I did on the 28s, I used Sculpy polymer clay. I embedded the pieces into the clay and then baked them.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stay Warm My Friends

This week was a mess. I came down with a horrible head cold, which still lingers as a sinus infection. The storms and unusually cold temperatures for this part of the country disrupted everyone's work and school schedules. Then for the weekend, my daughter and wife came down with the flu. Of all the weeks....I had an opportunity to have a game someone from out of town. As much as I wanted to, I didn't want to subject the poor fellow with the various diseases flying around our household.

In between times of feeling like my head was about to explode, I managed to snap a few more pictures of my growing 15mm sc-ifi collection. First up is Khurasan Miniatures Sepulvedan Resistance Fighters range. As usual, Khurasan seems to buck stylistic stereotypes. Unlike a lot of 28mm sci-fi ranges, where the humans look like they were marching through a steam bath of a jungle, these troopers look like they are dressed for cold weather.

They have nice little wool caps on their heads, and some look like they are wearing turtleneck sweaters. They also have heavy-duty flak vests on. Here are some close ups:

Command Group

The command group has a leader, a woman with a some sort of SMG, and a dude with RPG.

Rifle Team

The rank and file are armed with some sort of big rifle; sort of a Heckler & Koch G3 on steroids. There are mostly men, but there are a few women among the ranks. I painted them with various camo schemes, none of which showed up all that well in the photos. What am I going to use them for? Probably some sort of volunteer defense force of some distant human colony. Who are their opponents? Stay tuned...

Friday, January 14, 2011

The rabbits are coming, hooray, hooray...

With all the school closings due to snow, I managed to get some painting in. I had a bunch of Splintered Light Miniatures 15s that were beginning to pile up. I previously posted the rank-and-file Kobolds that I finished but had not based. I had some rabbit archers and a number of dwarves to work on. The rabbits come in two poses. One rabbit is either shooting or just shot, the other is pulling out another arrow.

I based them as skirmishers. It just seemed right.

The other Splintered Light mini that I finished was a Dwarf wizard.

When I first finished him, I felt that I over did the black wash. But the more I look at him, I really liked the way he came out. For the base, I made a faceted rock out of black sculpy. The only thing I did to it was very lightly dry brush some highlights on the edges of the facets.

Bases: as I mentioned in at least one previous post, I generally don't spend much time on bases. They are time consuming, they distract from the miniature, and it always seemed a little weird that a rock or shrub would be following along with a unit of troops! Lately, I've doing some adding of do-dads to the bases. I've been also experimenting with various media to base the base, so to speak. With the rabbits, I tried using this air drying clay by Crayola. People have been using it for various terrain projects,its relatively cheap for the amount you get, plus its found a Walmart and a lot other big-box stores. Well, it didn't really work well for the bases. I use steel bases and glue with thin cardstock or construction paper on the steel base to hold down the miniatures better. It turned out that it was a pain to apply. I think you really need to work with this stuff fresh and mine is beginning to dry up. Second, once it dried, it pulled up the paper underneath it, even though the paper was glued down with superglue. What's the alternative? Sculpy. I use Sculpy on my 6mm infantry. It works just as well on the larger minis. Sculpy goes onto the bases very easily. I texture it with a toothpick, which helps to hold down flocking better. I have found that baking the bases with the minis on there does not hurt the minis at all. The dwarf and one of the rabbit stands had their metal bases covered by Sculpy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Seasons greetings! I know, its already January 2nd, but better late than never.

Well, my planned wargame over the holidays never happened. First, in our rush to pack the car to go to Chicago, I forgot the figures that I have been furiously painting up. Once in Chicago, I realized that I have enough of my old 25mm fantasy figures stored at my parent's house that I could have a game using them. Turned out my friend Karl had some sort of really bad bug, plus we were too busy running here and there to have time for one. Hopefully, I can squeeze in a game this week with my gaming pal Will before school starts and swamps the both of us.