Monday, December 15, 2014

Sherman Firefly


Bolt Action is a game I have been thirsting to play ever since Screech turned me onto it over a year ago. I love the rule set, and the models for the most part, although I feel there could be scale issues with the 28mm minis and the 1/56th scale that Warlord has chosen, but these are left best discussedquestioned and debated for the more dedicated modelers than myself.

The cutting mat's grid proves handy!
Having selected the Brits as my army of choice...OK, let's explore that for moment: I blame all the Victor, Eagle, and Battle Action Force comics I read while living there in the early '80s for that choice. But it was a close choice, as I also read G.I.Combat, The Unknown Soldier, Weird War Tales and Sgt. Rock almost as zealously. But it might be that I lived within walking distance of RAF Welford and often walked the abandoned rail line and roads that led up to the base. It fascinated me. Also anyone who lives there can tell you that there is tons of wartime construction elements left all over the English country side and it's quite easy for a young mind to be immersed in such vivid history.

So, having selected the Brits, and bought my first box of troops over a year ago, I have to say that I was intimidated by the small parts. I think I can blame GW for their "heroic scale" having spoiled me with their ease of construction. So I just never got around to building them. Recently, I decided I deserved a treat, so I bought Warlord's Sherman Firefly kit to see if I couldn't light my fire a bit and get this army (finally) started.

After cleaning it, I made my first attempt at assembly As you can see in these pics, getting the tank's barrel straight wasn't too hard, it just took a bit of focus. However something seemed off about the chassis and the tracks, as I was getting a bit of a 'wobble' from it when it was tapped.


Sure enough, something was off with the treads, and although I thought the pegs and holes were aligned properly, the track to the left in the pic below was slightly off. Notice the two bumper things that jut out from the front of the hull that act like tread guards? They are supposed to be a bit flush and look like the one on the right.

At first I thought it was a casting error, which wouldn't surprise me when it comes to resign. However looking at it from all angles, I couldn't find where I made an obvious mistake in assembly as the joins seemed to fit well.


The rear of the the tank was really telling however, as it just looked like a royal mess back there. This truly had me vexed!

I took this pic, and looked at the box photo, and it then hit me that track must not have been positioned correctly, that it wasn't that the tracks were different lengths.


Sure enough, after popping the assembly off of the hull, it occurred to me that the holes were bigger than the pegs, and that it I didn't tug the assembly toward the front of the tank  then I would get this problem.

Now it's reassembled (the first pic shows the current state of it) and it looks better than it did. Although the damn thing still wobbles...


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vindicator of Khorne (Part 2)


Work continues, albeit slowly, on this Vindicator of Khorne. Continuing where I left off in part 1, I decided to go with the taller option for the crewman that will man the twin-linked weapon on the top. I added some more bits to the tank as well in order show allegiance to Khorne and Chaos.

Now with spikes!
I primed the model with Testers spray enamel flat metallic brown and flat black. This creates a great undercoat for the Scab Red to build on as well as any Rust effects I might try to come up with. This worked very well on the World Eater Land Raider i did back in the Spring.

"What's a Rusty Venture?"
Somehow I neglected to snap a photo of the scab red coat, I guess the blood-lust overcame me and I went straight to applying the Blood Red.

The Blood Red has been added.
 The Blood Red is thinned down at this point, and once I paint the other features I will go back and add solid color on the edges to build a highlight effect.


And slowly I paint away at this thing when time allows...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Vindicator of Khorne (part 1)

Hello again,  In my last two posts I showed you the tank I was stripping the paint off of. You can see those details here in I'm a stripper part one and part-2. This post-thread continues to show the fate of the primary model of those posts, a late '90s era Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition Space Marine Vindicator.

After over a week of bathing in Superclean, the tank was all but separated, mostly due to being joined primarily with super glue. The yellow/orange color that was underneath the black paint job has been really resistant to the superclean, but most of it has come off. What is left can be easily painted over and no one will be the wiser (unless they follow this blog I guess).

 After cleaning off the super clean chemical, I got down to scrapping off the more stubborn paint and glue chunks. Particularly the glue chunks which you can see dotting the paper towel that these parts are resting on in the pic below.
Scrapped down to the bones! 

Here is a close up shot that I took right after I put the first track assembly back on. As I noted at the end of the last post, this reminds me of a photo you might see in an old talk/army surplus or other such industrial machinery graveyard. Just add weeds and graffiti!


I took this next pic to illustrate the correct way to assemble the original Rhino chassis. When the sides of the hull are put on you want to make sure the center joins touch and that both ends are left with a sort of 'bumper' that sticks out, otherwise you'll end up with gaps in the top and bottom of the model.
The propa way.

With both track assembles added back on, we have a tank looking more like a Rhino again!


Now to add the metal bitz:


This was kind of fun to put together, but man does it make this model heavy!

A reassembled Vindicator.
 This model was missing some parts when I got it, the back door and bottom hatch mostly. Luckily after 25 years of collecting these models, one tends to collect a few bitz for just such a situation:

Release the bitz!
 Now, and here's where I hope for some input: how do you like the gunner:

Do you like the gunner low?

Or do you like him high? 
I'm eager to know.

Oh, and yes, if the title wasn't a give away, this is going to be completely turned into a Vindicator for my World Eaters Chaos Space Marines! Blood for the blood god khorne! Because the idea of a support vehicle for a bunch of chain axe wielding loons seems amusing to me.

Until next time...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I'm a stripper! Part 2

The tank from part one has soaked in Superclean for a few days now, and here are the results after running them under warm water and scrubbing them with an old toothbrush.

With the black paint gone, another layer of  orange was revealed beneath. 

The metal parts were stripped clean! 
 All-in-all, I am quite pleased with these results. The metal in particular was stripped down to looking almost like new again! The Superclean did what Warfrog told me it would do to superglue: it completely eliminated it! Thus this model is mostly in pieces now. The under layer of orange-yellowish paint was revealed when the black was removed, however the superclean had a tougher time dissolving it on the plastics.


Just add some tall grass and more debris and it look like a scene from an Imperial junk yard!
 These plastic bits, and any bits that still has some paint on it, were put back into the Superclean. Also, I placed into the jar the following models that my pal Brian Hunter gave to me. I think these guys will end up joining my Celestial Lions squad at some point, but who knows for sure?  Once I have them cleaned up, I'll have them ready for whatever fate awaits them!

The next batch of strippers. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm a stripper!

A paint stripper that is!

Tonight I have begun the process of soaking a model tank in Super Clean. I'm only using a big-ass mason jar that I picked up at Walmart for like  $13.00. I put the model in first and poured the Superclean on top of it. Warfrog's Turtorial will teach you more about this stuff (and then some).


A while back, July I think, I met the legendary Necron Bob who was in town to give his old army to Da Masta Cheef. You can find out more about this event, that Da Masta Cheef titled The Demise of the Black Consuls, here and see pics of the other models as well. I ended up with one of his models, a Black Consul 2nd Edition era Vindicator.  I am probably going to turn this into a World Eater Vindicator. This model's paint scheme is thickly applied and I didn't want to paint over it for fear of losing details, so it just has to be stripped.

It is now sitting in the jar in the first pic, in fact, it's in that pic, going through the early stages of the stripping process. I will check on it again tomorrow night and see how it's going.





Thursday, October 9, 2014

Da Lead'a of da waaagh!


Work in progress of Da Boss.

This is the leader of my fantasy orcs, who is actually the Grumlok and Gazbag model that game with the Warhammer Online box many years ago. I  had a horrible time trying to get my hands on one of these models last year, even having one I bought on ebay become lost in shipping (long story, but the seller was great to work with). Hearing of my woes, Edwin kindly hooked me up with the model! I am still in awe of his kind gesture! Thanks again Edwin.


The model was tad bit damaged, the goblin shaman's sickle was missing, so I figured I would play up the witch-doctor vibe a bit more and give him a big skull rattle.

Or is it a skull Popsicle? 
The pic at the top of this post is the state that I got the model up too right before that big move I made back in the early Spring of this year. Tonight I did some more work on him. I chose to make him a black ork, and I imagined that the color he was at in that top pic was about as bright or a green as I was going to take the flesh up too, but I just wanted to see more definition, so I went ahead and added some Bilious Green highlights anyway.

Bilious Green highlights on the orc flesh. 
 And I decided to pop his axe off so I could get to more details.

Well, I wanted to darken his flesh back down, so I washed his flesh with some black ink.

Now with black ink. 
 I thought his skin now looked too much like he just finished working on a trukk in a garage or something, and decided to do another wash but with some green ink added to the mix.


And this is where I leave him for now for time reasons but also so I can brood on whether I actually like this look for his skin or not. And brainstorm on what the name for this guy is going to be! I had a name, but I just don't recall it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Attack of the snotlings!

Beware the little green tide!
Wait, no: beware the tiny green tide!


These models were painted back in the late '90s. Toward the end of 40K 2nd edition. They were originally intended to be used as ammo for the 40K 2nd edition Ork Codex as living ammo for the Shokk Attack Gun. Now, as they are no longer required for that role (nor have they been since around '98) they will see the table top as additions for my my WHFB Orc & Goblin army.

My painting techniques for gobo/ork flesh as evolved over time, mostly due to the fact that my one bottle of original Bilious Green can not paint all that Orks, Orcs and Gobos I still have to paint. However these little buggers are perfect example, perhaps the apex, of my original technique. My original base coat was an original Citadel Color called Woodland Green, which I then covered with a thinned layer of Bilious Green, then a solid coat of Bilious Green, before highlighting with a Bilious Green with a dab of Skull White mixed in. It worked very well but I found it time consuming. My newer technique produces similar results, but with a yellow a final highlight.

I see the guy with the ball & chain and wonder what the rules for Snotling fanatics would be like...

In order to maximize my models, I tried to limit them to five snotlings per base, with the paired models counting as two each. For example this model has two drunken snots passed out pissed drunk and tangled up with each other, with one face down in vomit!


They are a fine, and weird assortment of models, most of which are of different shapes and sizes. Each one full of marvelous character, and it's clear also that each one is a vile and mischievous little shit!
Can you spot pin-head?

Who forges the snotling blades? I doubt there are snotling blacksmiths...
The next two pics have a pair of snotlings brawling at the back of the base...

I like to believe that the chap with the skull on a stick is snotling shaman. 


Notice that these were done prior to my discovery and immediate embracing of static grass. This is flock. And just like any old decaying diorama on display in your local hobby store or museum, the flock has aged to a strange color. And these models have seen been sealed in a case for over a decade!

The pair of snotlings in the back are clearly drinking buddies.
This last base was clearly made for 40K, as the fallen Blood Angel shoulder pad contrasts nicely with all that green. I decided to leave it alone.



I discovered while going through some of my boxes of blister packs that I have about 2 more packs of snotlings, which ought to be more than enough to make four more bases, to give me a unit size of 10 bases. It will be interesting to see how my new ones will stand out next to these old ones. These bases may be slightly reworked by removing some of that old flock and adding static grass and repainting the base trim from Goblin Green to the Terracotta Beige that typically use.

Many of these wonderful miniatures were sculpted by Kev Adams, who during the final days of Bryan Ansel's reign at GW pretty much defined the look and character of the GW Ork and Orc & Goblin range at the time. He was brutally assaulted last year and Goblinaid was formed to help in Kev's recovery. Please check it out if you haven't before, and see how Goblinaid has helped him so far with his recovery.