Sunday, 13 May 2018

Spectre Miniatures

One of my purchases at Salute was three modern figures from a company called Spectre Miniatures. One pack had two figures with automatic rifles, called Deniable Operators Alfa. Then there was a single figure called MENA (Middle East/North Africa) Commander Alfa - this guy has a big beard and is waving a rifle over his head.

I bought these because they are very nice looking figures with good animation and detail, and so it proved on painting them up. By the nature of the figures they aren't meant to have uniforms, so I painted them with a variety of colours, mostly greens browns and tans with a few other tones for contrast. As with all my 28mm figures now, I cut off their metal bases and put them on clear plastic ones.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Salute 2018

Down to London for my annual jamboree in Dockland. A good curry with my daughter the night before set me up nicely, and I stay in a hotel five minutes walk from Excel, so there is no rush in the morning.

Excel seemed quieter than usual, but this may have been because the London Marathon runners were not registering there - for once the Marathon is not running on the day after Salute. Once inside the hall, it seemed about as busy as ever.

My first visit was to the Baccus stand, where I picked up some brand new WW2 artillery for both sides - 88mm Flak, Pak 40 and 10.5 leFH 18 for the Germans, and 6pdr and 25pdr for the British. I also got to hold one of their new tanks, a Sherman, but they are still not quite readywith the moulds.

After that I made a circuit of the hall, round the perimeter first, buying various bits and pieces. Studio Miniatures had a lot of nice pulp figures, and I bought three for use as survivors. Hasslefree provided some nice skyclad witches, and I bought a single 6mm city building in MDF from a company called Blotz. I then called at Great Escape Games and picked up some more Chicago Way stuff - another car, two stills, some barrels and some more casualties. Over at Ainsty I got some more barrels of different sizes - you can usually rely on Ainsty for general "stuff".

I went back to the hotel to dump my booty, and had lunch in a local cafe. Maybe next year I'll eat in the hotel. Back to the hall, and I picked up some figures from Spectre Miniatures. They do several ranges of modern special forces and irregular fighters, and I got some because they look very nice. They may be a little large, minis are increasingly "heroic" 28mm, which is really about 32mm.

I spent quite a bit of time looking for board game vendors, because I was hoping to find the Kursk supplement for Conflict of Heroes, called Storms of Steel. I thought this would be out (in a second edition) in time for Salute), but when I eventually found a likely place, Magister Militium, there was no sign. Checking on the Academy Games website the planned date now seems to be June.

I got a book, one of the Tank Battle in Miniature series, volume 2. This was the last one I needed to complete the set of five, two of which I have had since I got them from the author (Bruce Quarrie) in the seventies. I got two more, by Donald Featherstone, at the auction at the weekend event last month, and I was pleased to spot the final missing link (by Bruce, on the Russian front) on a stand here. A few more bits and pieces - some flexible 6mm fields from Timecast, and a couple of back numbers of WSS - and I was ready to go. A pretty good day all round, the train home was quite crowded but on time and I had my loot home before 8:30.

More bootlegging

A couple more items completed from the Chicago Way stuff I got for my birthday.

First there are two vehicles. One is a police van, complete with police driver. The other is a Ford Model TT truck, and maybe I should have painted it black too, but I fancied a bit of colour so it is a rather rusty green.

As well as that there are half a dozen casualties, three each of Agents and Gangsters. Somehow these have been very well modelled, very lifelike, which is ironic since they are mostly dead. In fact the best of all is probably the one slumped against a wall.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Gambassi's Warehouse

My biggest birthday present was a 4Ground building in their Chicago Way series - the Gambassi Warehouse. This is the biggest building in the range, and the most expensive - £90-00. It is a very complicated kit, with many layers of different kinds to make up the walls. In the most extreme case there were five layers - a central core layer, then red brick layers either side, and then on top of the bricks very thin layers representing crumbling plaster. You have the option to remove some of the plaster areas, to reveal the bricks underneath - you can remove more or less, depending on how dilapidated you want the building to be.

All the windows are glazed, with clear acetate sheets and mdf grids to which you stick the acetate and then trim it before gluing it into the window spaces in the walls. There are many doors and trapdoors which all open and close, with careful construction. The upper storey and the roof can both be removed for access to the interior, and it is also possible to construct it as a single storey building by leaving the upper layer out. The stairs can be removed in this case, and replaced with a trapdoor to a dummy basement level. So there is a lot of detail and a lot of thought has gone into the design of this building. Fully recommended.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Cruising the mean streets

One of my birthday presents was a vehicle from Great Escape Games in The Chicago Way series - a Cadillac V-8 Town Sedan. This is a soft resin or hardish plastic model, with a metal driver. It went together well - the body/chassis is the majority of the model, and the rest are mostly accessories like the wheels, lights and so on. The exception is the roof/windows, which go together as a four part box and then need to be put on top of the body. In fact it sits quite well inside the top of the body, and I didn't glue it in so that the car can be shown open topped. The other thing I did was cut the windows out - I think it looks better with open spaces there than any attempt to paint it as glass. The driver is perfectly fine, not hugely characterful but does the job with or without the top on. I left him free from glue as well, so the car can be shown as empty if needed.

In the pictures the car is sitting on the Cigar Box Roaring Twenties Battle Mat, with various figures and bits of terrain - I am planning a game on there soon, but I have a bit of building to do first.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Fog from the air

At Fiasco in November I picked up a pack of Baccus Fallschirmjager Nebelwerfers, and with a bit of a gap in the Pulp figures I decided to paint these up. Pretty quick, just four weapons with four crew each, and like all the new Baccus figures these are nice models. I based them on the usual 1" square metal bases, textured with AK Terrains acrylic diorama paint - an alternative to Basetex, it is a little more runny and so easier to get into the difficult nooks on the base, though it is correspondingly more low-lying. I finished them off with drybrushed earth colour and various flocks and scatter.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

More Survivors

I painted up another six survivor miniatures, this time from Hasslefree. They are from the Modern Adventurers range, and they're not very obviously aimed at the post-apocalypse market, though they will fit in pretty well. As models they are well animated, and fairly slight in general, though I didn't feel they had quite as much detail or "personality" as the Lead Adventurers I painted up previously. Still, they are good models, and Hasslefree has a very large range.