Tuesday, 19 February 2019

6mm French Line Infantry - First Bases Complete

I just finished the first 4 brigades of line infantry for my French force for Blücher.

I've based these up to each represent a battalion in three lines with 6 models to represent each of the 6 companies in the battalion, voltigeurs skirmishing at the front. The flags are decals made from images from warflags.

I'm so pleased to finally get these done. I have a lot more to do yet! Behind them you can see the models primed for the next 4 brigades.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Resin Water Test Piece

Previously when doing water features I've been using Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. Despite being a nice air-drying acrylic medium this is a pain to use. There is always a lot of shrinkage and it takes an age to dry. It would be better to use an epoxy resin, but it's always scared me a bit.

As you know, I've been watching the Lukes Aps Youtube channel and Luke recommends a Multi-Purpose Water Clear Epoxy resin from CFS. In his videos made it look very, easy to use with amazing results so I thought it was worth a try. Luke also has a 10% discount code on his videos...

Anyway, before using it straight on my new skirmish boards I thought I better do a test piece. This is a small pond using the same techniques as the skirmish boards and trying a few things out.

The water itself has come out brilliantly. I added a few drops of Woodland Scenics Murky Water Tint to the resin and poured in the same way Luke does in his videos. Initially it went in with a fair amount of bubbles. This I had expected as Luke had the same issue. He solved it with a blowtorch, but I didn't fancy that so just used my heat gun. Well that was a wonderful move the bubbles vanished almost immediately and the resin settled brilliantly. Within a few hours it had solidified quite a bit and in the morning it's now nice and solid, with a smooth glassy finish. Far more resilient than the old Realistic Water.

Being a test piece I also tried a few other things out with varying results.

  • Static grass on top of the foam - it didn't work as well I liked. I won't be doing this on my boards, but probably will add static grass on any terrain pieces that will sit on the boards, like walls, hedges, etc. It also didn't blend well with the water...
  • Tall grass in the water - again I won't be doing this, it made a mess, which it did with the realistic water as well. 
  • Twigs in the water - a definite success, I'll be doing this for sure
  • Leaves on the water - another success, but it's something I've done before. However doing this has left me unable to add water effects, which means I need to have a re-think there.
  • Bird grit as a base for the water - this already is in place on the terrain boards with a dark brown wash. It looks amazing on the test piece which is great!
So, I plan to do the first pour into one of the terrain boards tonight...

Finally my very small Frenchmen arrived from Heroics and Ros, so I can get on with my 6mm Grande Armée! 

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Something completely different... Angry Hippo!

In a couple of weeks I'll be attending the "Another Four Foot Snake Thing" Kings of War Tournament.

One of the special things about the FFS tournaments is the special characters that you get to include in your army for free. There's a choice of 4 possible and you need to find a suitable model to suit. I decided to go for the "Juggernaut Jon - Taekwon-DOH! Master" character and that meant I needed a large monster on a 50mm square base that looked like it was punching.

I had a hunt through the Reaper Bones models available on ebay and found the "Avatar of Rage (Hippo)" model. This seemed to tick all the boxes so I went ahead and ordered it. It's a great model and just fits on the required base (after a bit of trimming).

This model was my first attempt at properly airbrushing a miniature beyond just priming. The skin tones of a hippo are a perfect subject as they flow smoothly between grey and more a pink flesh shade. I think I pulled this off well, though a final spray with white paint appears to have splattered a bit. Anyway it's got loads of character and I'm really happy with it.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

French Napoleonic Cavalry

I decided to extend my 28mm French force for Songs of Drums and Shakos with a bit of cavalry. I've always had a soft spot for Hussars (I think it's the idea of slinging your coat over your shoulder all the time and hardly ever wearing it) so I decided that's what I wanted. I spotted the Perry plastics, but didn't want  a whole box. Luckily there are sellers on ebay just selling 3 models at a time for a reasonable price so I plumped for those.

I finished the first model earlier in the week just before starting on some 6mm French Cavalry... I decided to do the first unit of those as the same unit, 9th Hussars. It's quite helpful to have to do the investigation once for both scales.

I've also completed some Polish Lancers and Chasseurs-à-Cheval in 6mm. That's all the 6mm French I can get on to for the moment until my order arrives from Heroics and Ros, hopefully next week.

Terra-Formers Skirmish Board - Update 3

I've got loads going on at the moment. 6mm and 28mm Napoleonics, special model for the upcoming Four Foot Snake Kings of War Tournament and of course the Terra-Formers boards I'm making. The latter is what I'll concentrate on with this update.

All nine boards are now at the same stage, or they were when I took photos this morning. Basically all the scatter is now in place and dried. This has taken a lot longer than I hoped for basically because it's been January for most of the time I've been doing it. Drying times for PVA are so much, much longer during the winter. Thank goodness it's starting to warm up a bit now we're into February.

The stream bed is made from bird grit from Wilkos. It gives a nice texture, but is a bit starkly white. It's made from broken up sea shells and I've added a dark brown wash to it to tone it down. See further down

The bridge was not glued in place when I took this photo, it now is and I've removed some of the middle planks to help with when I'll pour the resin for the water later in the week.

The tents have been based in a similar manner to the rest of the boards. I've also tried out some static grass on them. I'll be using a similar effect on the boards, though not all over, just in some specific locations.

Since the photos above the river has had it's brown wash and the bridge is glued in place. I've used putty to blend it in with the road. I'll have to reapply scatter to that later.

Friday, 1 February 2019

6mm Villages and roads for Blucher

I've been busy making more terrain for use with Blucher. This time my collection has been extended with the addition of roads, villages and river crossings.

The roads are creations of my own, from acrylic sealant and the crossings are a combination of Baggage Train resin river sections and Leven bridges.

The village bases are my own creation made from textured 2mm MDF and the buildings, from Leven and Heroics and Ros are just rested on top so they can be moved around allowing units to move across them and be garrisoned within them.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Terra-Formers Skirmish Board - Update 2

It's been over a week since I posted the initial photos of my Terra-formers based skirmish boards so I thought it about time I posted an update.

Things have progressed well, with one board just about complete. This definitely needs the sides painting black, but maybe also I'll add some static grass, though I'm not sure about that yet. I certainly will be adding static grass to the edges of the roads and the rivers.

Of the other boards, most now have their ground covering on them. I've been watching the videos on the Lukes APS YouTube channel which is full of helpful hints and the ground covering I've used is one straight from there: "Cheap And Easy Realistic Ground Covers That Dont Need Painting" It is very cheap and in fact cost me nothing at all since the grout was a gift.  I'm very happy with it and it lives up to Luke's recommendations.

I've been using techniques I already knew for some parts, but the flocking is very much again taken from Luke. Though rather than using his range of flocks I've had to resort to using Woodland Scenics flock since he appeared to be out-of-stock on his website whenever I looked.

The one white tile is where I have a bridge crossing the river. This will be the most complex tile so I've left it until last. I may get around to working on it next week, maybe...

My recipe for flocking has been:

  1. Base covering of slightly thinned PVA. Concentrating on the edges as Luke recommends.
  2. Add some clumpy bits of Medium Green Coarse Turf.
  3. Shake on Green Blended Turf, making sure to cover the edges well in particular.
  4. Spray 50/50 isopropyl alcohol/water all over
  5. Spray watered-down PVA all over
  6. Add some clumpy bits of Dark Green Coarse Turf, lower areas
  7. Spray watered-down PVA all over
  8. Shake a fine coating of Burnt Grass Fine Turf, high areas
  9. Scatter a bit of my earth mixture on top.
  10. Spray watered-down PVA all over
A couple of notes:
  1. I think I may have overdone it with the watered-down PVA a bit. It's taken 2 days to dry out properly. I might perhaps drop step 7.
  2. I talk about lower and higher areas above, but really on this board it's pretty flat. It'll be more important on the other boards.
Edit: After posting this blog entry I went on and did some more. A bit more work on the ground covering on the two river boards and the flocking on the other three plain boards including the hill pieces. 

The PVA is still rather wet and white! I'm sure after I come back from my weekend away it'll have dried.