Monday, November 17, 2014

Wargame Terrain: Sherfy Barn

15mm Sherfy Barn

I'm continuing to knock out a host of terrain projects that I've been putting off for far too long. At Historicon I caught the "All Quiet on the Martian Front" bug and loaded up on tripods and tanks to take home. I knew I'd need some terrain for them to fight over, so snatched up the biggest 15mm American rural building I could: the Sherfy Barn from Gettysburg. I'm not an ACW wargamer, but it looked like it would serve well as a battefield objective.

The Sherfy Barn, basecoated and ready for weathering

I gave it a base of red with white trim, but rather than use my usual washes and drybrushing to weather it I tried out some Model Mates weathering dyes. I saw Model Dad link to a video demonstration a few months ago, and had to hunt down an online vendor who'd ship to the states.

Model Mates weathering dyes

I washed the barn with "oil brown", and after it dried went back and rubbed off the dye with a damp paper towel.

Adding the wash over the basecoat

Letting the barn dry

After rubbing away some of the dye and beginning touch ups and additional weathering

It was a good first experiment, but I'm not sure the shallow detail of the barn was the best opportunity for the dye. I'm pleased enough with the results to give it a go on the next building I paint up.

Rear side of the completed Sherfy Barn

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Architects of War scenic pieces: Donkey Mill, Well and Pig Poke

I try to spend October concentrating on terrain since I'm invariably distracted by modeling men, horses and vehicles during the rest of the year. This October was crazy and I had to put most of my wargaming and painting projects on the back burner.

I'm itching to paint up some medieval crossbows, giant Martian war machines, and dungeon beasties, but I'm going to focus on those lingering terrain projects throughout November.

First up are a trio of small scenic pieces by Architects of War. These were great, well sculpted, full of detail, affordable, and generic enough to be used for wargames set across the last few thousand years.

Donkey Mill

I painted up each of the Donkey Mill pieces separately, and assembled them once finished. Everything went together like a breeze, and despite the tiny connection points between donkey's hoofs and base, the addition of the mill crossbeam keeps everything secure.

Pig Poke

The Pig Poke is a simple piece, depicting a dark ages animal pen of wooden beams and a wattle gate. There are some nice touches even in such a simple piece; miniature piglet hoof prints and a furrow where some happy hog likely wallowed in the mud. It also comes with a pair of porcine residents which I'm saving for another project.


The Well is probably my favorite of the bunch. The stone well and wooden support structure are aces, but the kit also comes with a ladle, two buckets and a length of twine. Tying tiny knots in the bucket handles and draping it realistically gave me some trouble until I dribbled water and thinned white glue over the twine. After the twine dried and I applied a few more drops of white glue to secure it I added a thin coat of mustard yellow and finally a brown wash to complete the rope.

Overall a fun set of terrain projects that I'm looking forward to fighting over soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Reaper Bones Commoners

I started these Reaper Bones Commoners near the beginning of October, hoping to use them as victims in a Halloween themed skirmish. Life got in the way and I only managed to finish them up nearly a month after I started them, and a bit too late to hit the horror season.

These are pretty generic figures that could probably sub in for historic games ranging from the late medieval up to Victorian eras.

Even if I missed my window to get a horror game on the table it still feels good to be able to get back to painting and make some progress on my fantasy figure pile.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Barrage 2014

I've been to the three HMGS conventions several times, but this weekend my son and I visited our first smaller local con. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but the large number of games, vendor tables and the relaxed atmosphere at Barrage made the trip worth the drive.  Check out my pics after the jump.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Zvezda Soviet Armor

In preparation for painting my "All Quiet on the Martian Front" steam tanks, I pulled a stack of Zvezda 15mm soviet armor from my lead pile to practice on. Assembling  the tanks was a piece of cake (the trucks were a bit trickier) but it was the painting and weathering that I really struggled with.

Zvezda trucks. I'm planning on using these as "flivver" proxies for "All Quiet on the Martian Front"

I started the soviet tanks using colors from the Allied Valejo paints, but they turned out far too light. A new airbrush and set of Mig soviet paint sets laters and their shade was closer to what I imagined for soviet tanks.

Zvezda KV-1

I was quite happy with the the Mig wash for initial weathering, but the pigments took a lot of experimentation. These vehicles came out a touch muddier than I hoped, but I can live with it.

Soviet T-34 by Zvezda

I also excitedly added a number of patriotic slogans with a white ink gel pen, but after getting some input from The Wargames Website I learned that my assumption that the tank crews added the slogans themselves was incorrect. It sounds like they were added at the factory after political officer approval, and all tanks from the a unit shared the same slogan. Each of my tanks sports a unique slogan. Oops!

Even with my bumbling efforts these were fun to put together and paint up. Looking forward to expanding my Russians and perfecting my technique and getting started on my Martian hunting steam tanks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I painted some panzers

In preparation for tackling the steam tanks from the All Quiet on the Martian Front starter set I picked up at Historicon, I decided to get some practice on half a dozen Zvezda tanks from my lead pile. Only problem? I've only painted one or two tanks ever, and that was a decade ago.

Zvezda Panzer II

I can whip out a dozen Romans with one eye cocked at the TV, but working through these tanks has proved quite a challenge. During every step of the process I've had to read up on tutorials, check YouTube videos, and experiment with various paints, pigments, and powders. My initial stab at several soviet tanks ran into trouble, so I switched to a pair of Zvezda Panzer II kits with more success.

Building them was a breeze, and they received a coat of black primer, followed by some Plastic Soldier Company panzer gray. I experimented with modulation highlights using a new Iwata airbrush and some of the gray colors from the Vallejo Allied Model Air set.

I picked out details and crevices with a thinned wash of black ink and applied some decals from I-94 (I was too timid to try and apply turret numerals, as there didn't appear to be enough room). I used dark brown/black paint applied with a sponge to simulate chipped paint (I may have gone a bit overboard), and then dusted the tanks with Mig pigments.

It took quite a while, with a lot of trial and error along the way, but I certainly feel I've got a better handle on armor modeling. And look at these tiny Zvezda panzers, they're just adorable.

Friday, August 1, 2014

SAGA Rematch!

I couldn't let the shame of Earl Pusskin's defeat stand, so once more my Normans took the field reclaim their honor against my wife's Viking warband. All the bloody details and pics after the jump.

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