Thursday, July 23, 2015

Walker, completed


The last coat of ink and varnish and - 'tis done!




Miss Calida Van Wert and Dr. Emil Koots inspect the walker at close range.

Now I have my worktable clear for the first time in months, I rather fancy the idea of a Darkest Africa game. Perhaps it'll be a strike against the Barsetshire way-station on Tylers Knoll, an attack on a slaver encampment, or even the progress of the Barsetshires to the great lake, said to be somewhere to the north. Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Walker, Mr. Lincoln, & Mr. Malkovitch


Well, almost.

More progress on the VSF walker over the weekend. While it was still in its separate components of legs and hull, I spray-undercoated it a khaki green then opted for a richer shade of green for the primary color. In this case it's Americana acrylic craft paints DA230 'Festive Green.' The feet are Americana DA070 'Shimmering Silver' which I dipped in my Pledge/Ink mix to bring out the depth.


Next up will be to add brass paint to details like the knees, hip-caps, view-ports, hatch ring, ventilators, etc. The smokestack will get a brass rim and appropriate soot-marks, and I'll drop some black paint or ink down the gun barrel. Rivets will be applied liberally with the trusty 'Scribbles' 3D paint, in this case their golden-brown, which is near as dammit brass colored. Once these are done, the legs will be glued in place. I intend to give the whole thing an overall wash of green ink mixed with Pledge to give it some depth, then the feet will be glued to two rectangles of clear plastic for stability.

While I waited for various things to dry/set, I got to work on a couple more slaver casualties...


Without any specific intention the pair came out looking like Abe Lincoln and John Malkovitch! Is my subconscious playing games with me, I wonder? This makes for a total of five casualty figures, which I can cast from resin and chop n' change for more variety if so desired.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday projects


Today was another hot, humid, stormy day, and I decided to work on a couple of projects indoors in air-conditioned comfort rather than face the horrors of a mosquito-riddled garden.

First up is some more work on the VSF Walker...


The gun is a length of aluminium tube cut to length and glued into a Hirst Arts pipe fitting cast in resin. The smokestack is another resin casting. After some thought I decided to glue the gun mounting in place rather than have it so weaponry could be swapped-out. It makes for a stronger model. I'll add a few more small details next, then it'll be ready for painting. The beastie has quite a truculent look to it!

The other project... One thing I have been lacking in my Darkest Africa gaming is slaver casualty figures. Using Sculpy I knocked out the trio below. The musket is a spare from the Wargames Factory plastic Zulu set.


Once I get some more silicon molding material I'll take a mold off them and cast a batch in resin. I may make another trio for more variety.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Minor Annoyances


It's the Ohio monsoon season still, and I can work indoors in my off-time with a clear conscience instead of wrestling with the weeds encroaching on our vegetable beds. (If you saw some of the types of weed that grow around here, you'd know 'wrestling' with them is required...) At least now I have new shelving and a new cabinet, I was able to clear my gaming table of clutter to the point where I can play on it again. Imagine that!

As you can see, my attempt to update this blog's header went askew. For some reason whenever I try to upload the right-sized image I keep getting 'Failed due to internal error.' Nothing I try seems to work. Does anyone have a tip for getting around the problem?

I'm also in the final stages of the VSF Walker build, with some details to be added to its hull and legs. The trouble is, my camera batteries died and I won't be able to take photos just yet.

Still and all, I'm continually tempted by other projects. This recently caught my eye on Pinterest.


I'm afraid I don't know the artist, but I really like his design. It puts me in mind of Colonel O'Truth's mammoth project, Lord SmudgingtonSmythely Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-TraversingVacational Domicile. I'm tempted to make something of this kind, perhaps in a smaller version. Another project for another day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

So anyway...


The painting is done, I've restored a measure of order to the man cave, and even managed to do a little more work on the VSF walker.


I'm aiming for a kind of T26 turret look to the walker's body. The extension is made of card with two small turned-wood doodads for ventilators. A smoke stack will go on the back of the extension. In front is a length of aluminium tube. Once I manage to locate my mitre box I'll cut a length of this to act as a gun barrel. Getting there...

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wargames Survey


Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy are holding their annual survey. They're offering a 10% discount off items in their online store, plus all kinds of goodies in a raffle.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PNT2PCG

It doesn't take long to do. Click on the banner or here for details.
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I've finished painting the Man Cave. Once the paint is dry I can start putting up shelves and restore some kind of order to the mess. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

National Museum of the Great Lakes


My wife and I took time off Friday to visit the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio. We can thoroughly recommend the experience! Allow plenty of time to look around both the museum and the retired Great Lakes freighter Col. James M. Schoonmaker. Built in 1911, the ship plied the waters of the Lakes up until some twenty-five years ago when she was retired and laid up. It took some time for the city of Toledo to acquire funds to buy her and begin the work of refurbishing and restoration, but today she's a wonderful example of a dying breed of ship.

The museum has plenty of exhibits, including a life-raft and other relics of the ill-fated Edmund Fitzgerald. It's quite poignant to look at these items on this anniversary year and remember just how dangerous the inland waters can be.

There are a number of great models, most in 1/8th scale on display. This one of the steamer R N Rice caught my eye.


One of these days I'll refurbish my own steamship model. I've an idea or two for her gaming use. In the meantime, I'm drawing near to finishing the painting of my gaming room. With luck and a following wind I'll be done in a couple of days.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Still here - just


Painting our bathroom and home office took longer than expected. The cooler weather helped by letting us open the windows so the paint fumes dispersed. On the flip side the cooler weather brought heavy rain and damp air, which meant the paint took longer to dry.

Still, I'm going to move on to my Gaming Room/Man Cave next. I've been looking for an excuse to clear out rubbish and generally tidy up for a while. Once that's done, it'll be back to the VSF walker.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

VSF walker - some resin additions


A little more progress on the VSF Walker this week, namely the forward view ports and the top hatch. These are cast in resin from the Hirst Arts small pipe mold.



The bottom shows the slot method of swapping-out armament. It's as quick as using magnets and a lot cheaper. Next up will be the smokestack and a few odds and ends for the top deck and turret sides. After that, it'll be on to riveting the hull followed by the paintwork. I've not decided on a finished color scheme yet, although I'm toying with a glossy black and copper look.

Speaking of painting... The build's going to be put on hold for a few days, as the weather forecast this coming week is cool enough to open the windows in my gaming room so I can paint it. What passes for normal service will resume as soon as possible...

Monday, June 22, 2015

VSF Walker - sequins of events


I haven't done much to the walker project lately. Eye-strain meant I needed new glasses, which are bifocal and take some getting used to. I did manage to set up the casemate under the hull and a weapons mounting. The photo shows the underside of the casemate. I reasoned that the walker would need some form of close-in defense should an enemy get past the other armament, so I adopted the medieval idea of murder holes. These are basically holes in the ceiling of gateways through which assorted forms of nastiness could be dropped on any attackers below. In this case seven sequins raided from my wife's sewing tin made handy murder-holes in the bottom of the casemate, enabling the crew to drop spikes, grenades, poison gas or whatever else they like upon unwanted visitors.


The hull itself got a mounting for a main weapon. I did toy with the idea of using magnetic strip to fix interchangeable weaponry here, but in the end decided a slotted mounting of some kind would work better.


In this case it's a short barreled mortar any WW2 German Brummbar would be pleased with. It drops into position and can be switched out quickly, depending on need. The hull will get rivets and seams, as well as viewing ports. These and some kind of smokestack/ boiler arrangement will come next. After that it should be ready to paint.

 

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