Search This Blog

Thursday, 31 March 2011

US figures- latest

The first few US 1990's figures painted and based. I've gone for a bit of a generic look with mixed camo:

Saturday, 26 March 2011

28mm MoFo Miniatures US Ranger test figure completed

I bought the US forces deal from Gripping Beast and am very pleased with the figures. Some of the delicate gun barrels needed reinforcing with a tiny bit of Araldite, but the miniatures are in a good variety of engaging poses and certainly look 'ready for action'!

I want to field a fairly generic force, so am doing most of my US Rangers in tri- colour desert BDU's with some choc chip helmet covers and fatigues just to add a bit of variety and interest. I also wanted a bit of a battle worn 'dusty' feel to them.

The tufts are Army Painter Highland Tufts from Arcane Scenery on ebay, and the US flag decal is from Company B and sold in the UK by theWargames Command Post. Both suppliers had the goods to me virtually the next day, so credit where it's due!


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Contractor SUV

I found a cheap diecast Police car in a Pound shop and thought it would work well as an SUV for CIA agents or private contractors. I stripped it down, resprayed it black, repainted the front and rear lights and it was good to go.

Humvees finished

I've finished the Poundland Humvees with some Tamiya stowage, .50 cal and M60 from The Assault Group, and some home made bits.

The SUV in the middle started off life as a white Police car, 99p from a pound store. I stripped it down, resprayed it black and detailed the front and rear lights. I thought it would work well as a CIA or contractors' vehicle.

Comparison shot of one of the Hummers as it was bought, and the finished Humvee

Rear view showing the completely remodelled Humvee rear

Closer view of one of the finished models. It's not a perfect representation, but for £1 it's close enough!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Generic Middle Eastern buildings

I needed some simple generic buildings for 'Ambush Alley'. There were some pre-painted ones on eBay from PMC games and I've got a few very nice WW2 bunkers from them so know that they are excellent value, but I thought I'd do a few myself anyway.

I've tried to research 'actual' buildings from photographs rather than copy other peoples' terrain. Sometimes terrain and scenery can end up looking like what wargamers think it should look like, not what it actually looks like.

Matakishi's site has lots on making buildings using cork tiles:

I like to use an MDF base because it's cheap and very sturdy. I prefer cork tile to foam board because it's easy to cut and paint, relatively cheap and easliy available, and has the texture I want for this project.

Here are some photos that I researched. The top two are from Afghanistan and the bottom one from Tunisia (copyright may exist on the above images)

I've cut the basic shapes from 4mm unlacquered cork tile. You can get 10 of these 30cm square for about £12 delivered on eBay. You need the plain ones, not lacquered or with self- adhesive on one side. One pack of tiles is enough for lots of buildings. A biro for marking out, a steel ruler and a sharp Stanley type knife were used.

I've used Evostick contact adhesive to stick the cork tile pieces together and to an MDF base 10cm by 20cm. This glue is perfect for use on cork tiles and forms a strong bond. I've glued in balsa props to each corner to help get a 90 degree angle. Note that I've cut them all to the same length and slightly shorter than the walls. This is so that they support the roof and leave a small wall above the roof level.

I've also sprinkled sand on PVA around the base. Games Workshop sell sand in a tiny tub for £5 but I got a pillow sized bag from B&Q for half that. I filled an old aluminium take away carton with the damp sand and put it in the switched off oven after cooking. This dried the sand out and after sieving it to remove the large stones (keep these for basing) I got a large jam jar full ready to use on figure basing and terrain.

To ensure domestic harmony it's best to get your own model making utensils and not use the kitchen ones!

Here is the building with the roof sitting on the posts and an unpainted 28mm Empress SAS figure to show the scale.

I sealed the joins with PVA to fill any gaps and to add strength. I then primed the building with cheap B&Q all purpose white primer from a tin and used Sandtex exterior masonry paint as a base coat with a lighter coat drybrushed over the top. Homebase do some really cheap testers for less than £3- one pot would do an entire village so save your expensive miniature paints!

When this had dried overnight I used a very thin wash of dark brown to bring out the detail. I think the rough cork tile texture looks like a natural mud or brick surface without adding any additional texturing.

NEXT: As can be seen from the research photographs, these type of buildings are very basic, but I want to add a bit of character. I'm going to add some metal roller blinds using plasticard, and some dark brown tufts. I might have to wait until Salute in April to pick these up.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Converting a £1 Hummer to a Humvee

Here is the diecast toy Hummer, bought from Poundland for- a pound!

Here is the toy out of its packaging- the toy road signs were donated to a friend's young son.

The Humvee diecast shell has been removed from the chassis by removing a single small screw and has been stripped outdoors using caustic soda and boiling water in an old plastic ice cream tub (be VERY careful if using this method and always use protective gear and work outdoors- it's nasty stuff) You must remove all plastic parts or they will be destroyed.

The rear of the Humvee is a civilian version and needs modifying to represent the military 'turtleback' version. Fortunately it is a separate piece from the metal shell and is made of plastic, so easy to remove and to cut with a sharp knife or small saw.

Here is the detached chassis and interior. I have removed the pull back and go motor from this one because I intend to use it for an open backed Humvee. If you are doing an enclosed body you can just leave the motor as it is. I used Araldite to glue the now detached rear axle to the chassis. The motor just pops out so it's easy to remove.

The rear half of the roof was cut off, the sides and rear removed and Miliput used to fill the gaps. It's a bit rough at this stage.

The Humvee has been primed with Halford's grey spray primer, rubbed down on the filled areas and has had a thin coat of Humbrol model filler applied to the filled sections so that they are slightly proud of the surrounding body. I've never done any model filling or sanding down before so it's not perfect.

The rear of the now smoothed turtleback, after a basecoat of dark yellow.

I noticed from some photos that there should be a hatch on the rear, so scored one in with a modelling knife. I'd do this before sanding and painting next time.

A bit of weathering and drybrushing to bring out the detail.

Mud and dust added to the now reassembled vehicle, standing next to an as- yet unpainted 28mm Empress SAS figure.

The two Humvees for £2 are Oscar Mike!

I'm no expert on the modern period or vehicles, having only just got interested in this area in the last fortnight. Ambush Alley appealed to me as a 'fast play' game that I could enjoy with a small number of figures and vehicles and hopefully on a limited defence budget. If I spent hours agonising over every detail or had to save up for the best on the market I'd never get a game going, so I'm quite pleased with these first attempts.

I intend to add some aerials and stowage to the Humvees and the wheels don't look right, so I'll probably replace them with some resin cast ones when I can get round to teaching myself more on mould making and casting. I picked up another half dozen of these so hope to do some with roof gunners and other options.

NEXT UP: Generic Middle Eastern buildings.