Monday, 27 October 2014

A trip out to Aberdeen Model Railway Club Exhibition 2014 and a few purchases...

I went along to the Aberdeen Model Railway Club exhibition yesterday afternoon. I didn't expect to buy anything, although there are usually a couple of good tool companies there that are always worth a look. Also due to a mix up, I had forgotten to put the memory card back in my camera, so no photos... To see some photos of the exhibition, check out my gaming pal Jeff's blog.

However, while wandering around, I found a couple of traders who had some interesting second-hand bargain items. Nothing amazing, but thing that just happened to fit in with plans I have brewing at the moment.

Firstly, I have been slowly putting together some winter terrain boards. I have the basic boards together, but haven't made any scenery to go on them yet. Top of my want list was a selection of trees. I had planned on looking around over the festive season to see if I could pick up some cheap snow covered trees (I probably will still see if I can get some bargains), however I managed to get these three bags of trees for £9.

All the trees have a decidedly coniferous look about them, the large bag on the left has around 10 to 15 trees in it (plus, at least one hedge) the two smaller bags on the right have 4 trees in each. I will need to add my own snow to most of them, but this is a great start...

Now moving on, the main project on my plans at the moment is to build up some scenery for some post apocalyptic games. I have a few ruins that will be suitable, but I want to get some vehicles and I would like to put together some industrial looking pieces as well.

These two bags will be perfect for adding some interest to the table.The bag on the left contains 3 OO scale pylons. Whoever had put them together had used a rubber solution glue, so basically they have just pulled apart. There is some slight damage, but I reckon I can get two whole pylons and one damaged one out of the set... Now obviously they are not full size for a 28mm game (they'll stand around 21cm high once fully assembled), but who really wants a metre high pylon dominating their gaming table... These will make great smaller local pylons, possibly connected to a local relay station...

The bag on the right contains all the telegraph poles (and the railway water column) as seen in the photo below. Once again they are 00 scale, but they will look fine on my gaming table. There is plenty of variety here, meaning I will be able to add odd ones to specific terrain pieces and also make up random strings of poles to go across the table. Even the water column will be of use in one of the planned industrial pieces...

All in all I got a real bargain, and in fact, the pylons were free as I managed to haggle down the price of three of the bags.

Monday, 20 October 2014

SKELP! 2014 Wargames Show Report

My gaming pal Jeff, my son and myself headed off to SKELP! in Forfar on Saturday. It is a very small wargames show and I have a bit of a cold at the moment, so I wasn't particularly expecting to have a great day. However, it turned out it be great fun and we all had a good time!

Both Jeff and myself had taken a few things to put into the Bring and Buy sale. Jeff sold all his stuff, and I sold enough that I felt it had been worth taking it with me.  Generally though the Bring and Buy was quite disappointing as there wasn't really that much in the sale this year. I did pick up a bag (about a dozen figures) of 28mm modern British troops for £5. It struck me that they would be useful for our planned foray into the Post Apocalyptic world early next year. We will probably be using Across The Dead Earth, and these figures will easily make up a force for that...

The show itself seemed well attended and most of the attendees seemed to hang around for most of the day, so there wasn't much of a lull. There were two or three participation tables, although we only got to have a go at one of them, the RAF Leuchars (Veterans) Dambusters game. We ended up doing this one three times, as my son found it great fun...

Time for the photo dump!

First up, we have a Warzone participation game. If I see these guys again at another show I will probably try to get a game, as my son and I have tried their games over the past couple of years and we enjoyed them both!

 This was a lovely Hadrian's Wall game. Unfortunately I didn't get any time to chat with them, but I did get these photos.


The Guys from The Geek Room, in Aberdeen (our recently founded new club) put on an X-Wing demo and participation sessions.

 Kirriemuir Wargames Club put on a large ancients game... I didn't get a chance to look closely enough (and it's not really my period) so I can't be more precise than that!

 This was the RAF Leuchars (Veterans) Dambusters game. The photos weren't from our sessions as we didn't manage to get a total success and take out the dam in a single hit...

I entered a couple of pieces into the painting competition, something I don't normally do as I don't usually rate my painting skills to high (I usually concentrate on the scratch building and putting together and then rush through the paint job...). However to my surprise I won the Best Single Figure category with my Smart Max Lord Holmes figure.

 Then, I managed a second place with the Alliance Model Works Steampunk Submarine for the Best Vehicle or Monster...

 On top of all that I walked away with three raffle prizes. A copy of A Fistful of Kung Fu, very handy as we are planning on playing it soon and the 1st and 2nd Raffle Prizes (£60 in vouchers for Figures in Comfort, and £45 in Vouchers for Dave Thomas, respectively).

So all in all it turned out to be a very good show for me. I hadn't planned on spending very much, just picking up half a dozen figures from Crooked Dice. I did pick up some Vallejo paints from Minibits, as there is nowhere local to get them any more. I had been considering getting some of Fireforge Games Templar figures to use with  Lion Rampant. Anyway, once I had spent all my winnings, I ended up going home with quite a lot...

The Netrunner Card game from Fantasy Flight Games (courtesy of my 1st place in the painting competition - voucher from Highlander Games in Dundee). 4Ground Japanese house (courtesy of my 2nd place in the painting competition - voucher from Colonel Bill's), for the planned sessions of Ronin. Three cases with foam inserts from Figures in Comfort, and yes I did get the Fireforge boxes thanks to the Dave Thomas voucher...

In conclusion, it is probably going to be quite difficult for me to give an unbiased review of the show, as I ended up doing so well out of it. However, I must say that the three of us all had a pretty good time even before we got to the prize giving part of the day...

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A Little Project: Necron Guns

After picking up a large group of Necron miniatures at a car boot sale a couple of weeks ago. I discovered that the Necron Warriors were missing the green light gathering rods from their guns.

My first thought was that this reduced the usefulness of the purchase, but it then immediately struck me that this was a good opportunity to add some variety to the figures. There are enough figures to make up three squads, so I decided to define them by giving them different coloured rods.

I ordered up some light gathering rods from 4D Modelshop and then started to sort out how to cut them. I had one of the existing rods from the miniatures, so I measured it's length, 15.25mm. Now I didn't really want to hand cut 36 pieces, mainly due to the issues with getting them all accurate and also it would be nice not to have to clean up the end to the rods, so that the light gathering properties of the rods can really show through.

I resorted to using the laser cutter. I made up a quick jig and it worked out really well.

This, rather poor, photo shows the jig in position.

You can see what happens in this short video.


So, I was soon turning out rods cut to the perfect length. When laser cut, acrylic gives a nice polished finish so there was no clean up afterwards either.

I also decided to drill a small hole in the end of the Necrons guns to allow the light gathered in the rods to shine through, which you can just about see in the rather badly focused photo.

I have only placed the rods in position here, as I still plan to do quite a bit of work to the paint job. Unfortunately the Green rods from 4D Modelshop were quite pale, and in some light they are difficult to tell apart from the Yellow rods. They are certainly paler that the original GW ones. I may need to try to source some more green ones from a different supplier.

So, that's another little project successfully completed.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Car Boot Haul!

I took my sons for a quick wander around the regular local boot sale this morning. I wasn't really looking for anything, except possibly a couple of DVDs, however, as we were just about done wandering around I noticed a copy of the original "How To Paint Citadel Miniatures". So I couldn't resist having a closer look.
Under the painting guide was a copy of Battlefleet Gothic and Chapter Approved 2003. I have already got the painting guide and Chapter Approved, and I have never really had much interest in Battlefleet Gothic. So at this point I started to turn away, I then noticed another box on the floor with several GW books in. I enquired how much they were, and was told £3 per book, and £5 for each bag of figures. Intrigued I dove in!
Now I don't play much 40K nowadays, I still have all my Tau and Kroot, and Dark Eldar, but I don't have any plans to play 40K for a good while. Still, at £3 each for hard-backed books I had to have a look. First up, was a copy Apocalypse, I was very tempted by this as all the books were in excellent condition. I decided against it, as the chances of my ever play Apocalypse are virtually none. Next up was Imperial Armour Apocalypse Update. Even though I had passed on the first book this interested me, as it had a few Tau units in it... but no. Finally was a copy of Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume One. I like reading modelling guides, and this is a gorgeous book so that was that, I had to have it.

As well as the books there were three plastic bags. Now I am trying to avoid impulse purchases of miniatures at the moment, but I could see that a couple had Necrons in and I have always fancied getting a few, I also knew that my two gaming pals, Del and Jeff, both have Necron forces, so one way or the other they would find a good home. The first bag had a lot of basic Necron Warriors in it and the second bag had several Necron Destroyers. They all looked neatly painted, even though the colour scheme was a little loud. The third bag had a few Chaos Space Marines in it. I dumped the CSMarines, but decided to take the two bags of Necrons.

I've had a closer look at them now and there are 33 Necron Warriors and a couple of extra pairs of legs, several need some TLC, but otherwise they are in good condition. They are painted in a metallic purple and white scheme, which is a bit loud, but is neatly done. A little bit of work and they will be ready to field. Also in the bag, was a Necron Lord, again in good condition. The only problem with all these miniatures is that the Light Gathering Rods are missing from their guns. I can soon replace those, and will pick up some Light Gathering Rods this week...

The Destroyers are in a similar condition, slightly damaged, but nothing I can't fix in about 20 minutes. There are six in all, one includes the Destroyer Lord Upgrade kit. Again, neatly painted, and with a little finishing I can get them to a usable condition.

My gaming group has been planning to do some Post Apocalyptic gaming and I think these Necrons, would make a great little skirmish force of Terminator style robots. Alternatively, with the purple colour scheme, they would possibly even be useful for my Retro Sci-Fi plans.

 I have just totted it up and I reckon I got around £150 worth of GW stuff for £12 (I even talked the seller down by £1). Not a bad trip to the car boot sale, if I do say so myself.

My only regret is that I didn't pick up the two Apocalypse books. Even just for the read, they would have been worth the extra £6...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Landmines, an unusual commission!

A couple of years ago I was asked to produce some dummy landmines, to be used in training mine detection. I produced the first two of a planned half dozen, but unfortunately the client never came back for them...

So I was left with the two I had made lying around the workshop. I recently donated them to the local regimental museum (The Gordon Highlanders Museum).

As you can see from my photos, they are small anti-personnel mines. I was given rough plans of the mines, and estimates of the dimensions. 100% accuracy was not necessary, as these things were going to be buried and dug up, over and over again... One requirement was that they had some metal in them so that metal detectors could be used on them.

I found these photos online, and I feel that my dummy mine looks fairly close to the actual one...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

East of Scotland Model Show

On Saturday I took a trip down to Dundee to visit the East of Scotland Model Show. This was a gathering of various model building clubs. Although I don't build plastic kits very often now, I used to build a lot when I was young and I like to support any model making shows I can...

There were a great selection of models on display, and all well put together and painted. My sons particularly enjoyed the RC boats on display, as well as getting a shot of an airbrush...

There were three or four trade stalls there, mainly selling model kits, but I did manage to pick up a set of sanding needles, something have been meaning to try for some time, and three MIG pigments in various rust shades, which I want to try after watching the video I posted the other day!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Scale Model Medic Chipping Effects

This is an excellent introductory video from the Scale Model Medic.

I must admit I have not spent much time developing my ageing effects for vehicles and scenics, but after watching this video I think I will have to give it a go...
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