Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Monday 30 July 2012

The return of the Bounty Hunter

I have added the last few Old West figures for a while. We see the return  of the Bounty Hunter - the previous one went to e-bay to help fund the project! A lovely figure of the "Man with No Name" (I love painting the design on the poncho)  by "ebob" , seen here talking to another incarnation of Al Swearengen by Artizan. I already have Al from the Blue Moon set so this one  will just be another gambler in town

Along with another couple of cowboys from the Artizan Trail Boss and Cowboys set. These two were a real pleasure to paint with great faces. Also there are 3 standing horses suitable for ones at hitching posts etc - these are by Knuckleduster. Also the fencing from Gamecraft - altogether 100 inches of it for $9.

Along with the foot figure to accompany the Pony Express mounted version.

So off to create some suitable shotgun templates and paint some more tartan. I may even have an initial game report next week for the Old West.

Saturday 28 July 2012

The "Grand" & the "Cattlemans"

I recieved my order from Gamecraft in the U.S this week - for a few more items to add to "Serenity". They are are really good pre cut MDF buildings. they are made from 3mm and go together easily enough with a bit of PVA. They were a reasonable dollar price and with a 20% of for the 4th of July week that covered the shipping too.

First up what will be the "Grandest" hotel in town. If you want to make these with more innards you can purchase an extra internal floor set - but it would also take a bit more personal modifications such as staircase etc to really finish the job. I am not intending to do much inside the buildings (he say hoping he won't regret that statement). They were given a spray of Humbrol Dark Brown and once dried a heavy brush with a Vallejo Iraqi Sand

It's a nice kit and plenty of room on the balcony and the boardwalk for figures on bases as well

In addition Morgan Earp has turned up in town , just eyeing up the posters of the local troublemakers - and perhaps in for an encounter with Eliza Johnson. The poster are a free download pdf sheet from The Rules With no name forum

Further down at the rougher end of town you will find the "Cattlemans Saloon" an establishment with a well deserved roughhouse reputation.

In addition there is some further investment in town infrastructure with the water pump

Also picked up a pile of fencing and on with the some cover in the form of barrels, boxes and bales for outside Johnson's Dried Good Emporium. The other decks of custom cards - the Money and the Shooting are on the way so should start gaming vary soon.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

The Pony Express

Another addition to the collection. Artizan Designs figure galloping to deliver the mail and dodging outlaws and ner'do wells. There is also a dismounted version kneeling firing , he will be along shortly.

And some more of the good and upgright citizens of the town of Serenity courtesy of Blue Moon Manufacturing's Tombstone Civilians set - It really is a cracking set of very individual figures

           Mrs Hilda Johnson and Eliza Johnson
 Ned Johnson and son Gabby (he's a big strong lad)  from the Dried Goods Emporium
and some that are less often upright than the others if you know what i mean - resident at the "Cattlemans Saloon" , more often than not.

Phew - back to tartan for few days next.

Monday 23 July 2012

Wagons Ho!

I decided to crack on with more Old West stuff over the last few days - I can see an end in sight for the painting and some games coming up now. So i decided to complete the work on the stagecoach

A  Dixon Miniatures piece.

Well with all the trouble brewing the towns Undertaker  - Uriah Wolstenholme - motto "they think it's all over... it is now", has taken delivery of a new hearse for the trips to Boot Hill.

The Hearse is from the Blue Moon Manufacturing 28mm "Wagons Ho" range available from Old Glory UK. There is a whole range range of wagons from the supplier so i may add a few more yet

   For the the undertaker i used a figure from West Wind Productions Empire of the Dead Gentleman's Club. Complete with top hat , cane , puffing on his pipe , and wearing a revolver.

I am going to make my own figure for the driver, so for now the foot figure can lead the team.The undertakers assistant complete with measuring tape is under conversion.

There was a lot of work to do all the various traces etc on this team. I soldered these in place made from twisty copper wire and made the reins from my usual garden twisty wire, again soldered in to place. A really enjoyable session doing all that intricate work

Copper stranded wire - as found in household appliance flex. Strip the outer insulation , and tease out 2, 3, or 4 strands - depending how thick you want your final piece. Twist it together and use it like that- it can be glued or soldered easily.

I really enjoyed doing these two projects over the last few days


Friday 20 July 2012

Pick a card ... any card...

I have been working on the game play aids for the Old West. Having read a few sets of rules I am going with a sort of amalgamation of Dusty Trails and The Rules With No Name. One key element i like about them is the "Character/Action Deck" principle. This allows for all sorts of random elements to be brought into play. So in order to improve the look I have had created a bespoke deck of cards for my game "A town called Serenity". I searched around the interweb and found a company in the US (ARTSCOW- probably one in the UK but did not find one) that were able to do bespoke front and backs using my own images for $10.99 plus $8 postage so came in about £12 and delivered in 8 days from ordering , printed and posted from Hong Kong!   The wonders of the modern communication age never cease. I will order a second deck once the last of the recent purchases are painted too.

 Each miniature in the "Old West" collection now has it 's own card. I photographed them against a white background and bit of simple photoshop later they were suitable to use. The various different gangs and alignments have been added. In addition there are other "Action" cards - the crossed "Colts" allow a character of the correct level to interrupt play etc. The train may arrive - and who knows who will be on that. The Joker when turned ends the turn , and a deck reshuffle takes place.

Next up i have made A5 character sheets - created using Photoshop and Powerpoint. Adding the "skills" looks like a fun bit for the first game

There is bound to be some tweaking of the format once playtesting goes on, but rather pleased with end results here.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Gordon Pasha

Well as I have the Mahdi for one side - I figured it was time for Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB also known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum to make an entry. I picked this guy up as part of Doug C's collection , gave him a litte more added highlights and a refresh of the varnish and basing. This is an old "Connoisseur" casting if i remember correctly, and rather fine too.

He is busy setting about organising his defences and organising his troops more of those shortly.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

3 Amigo's

A few "Banditos" have turned up from across the Rio Grande looking for trouble. These are Black Scorpion figures - the metal versions which is nice as they are all resin now. I did a very rare thing (as in last time I did it was 20+ plus years ago) and actually bought them ready painted and based from e-bay. Pleased to say they matched the description and photo well - all I added was a tuft or two of grass and another coat of varnish and changed brown on the base to match my others..  I take no credit for them - they are very nicely done. They will make a nice addition to the collection - along with a few more I have to paint myself.

ok - ok enough of the cowboy stuff....

So a few tasters of the AWI - 71st Highlanders in glorious Old School shininess's. Rather pleased with the end result - the piper don't forget is a conversion from an ordinary private soldier carrying a musket.Just a couple done of these to get my eye in on them - just another 54 to finish.. can't wait to see the whole unit en masse 

More next time.

Monday 2 July 2012

Going Loco ... part 2..

Well I could not resist getting on with weathering the train. So here it is, complete with a heist in progress by Billy the Kid  to show the scale of things.

It was given a light airbrush with a flat earth colour to just tone it all down. Then i used a a white spirit based wash with a mix of enamel (humbrol) chocolate brown and black - i used this a couple of times around seams and joins etc. and made it darker around the funnel etc. Once dry it was given a light drybrush with vallejo light earth and mix of Iraqi sand. The metals were also given a light brush with a mix of gunmetal and silver to pick them out.

I added a driver in the cab from a figure wearing dungaress from the lead pile .

Very pleased with the end result. It looks just right! - so just waiting for a cheap carriage or two and a caboose  on ebay to complete it.

right back to my tartan!