Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Pushing Ahead

The 6mm Soviets are finally off of my painting table (659 miniatures painted), giving way to the 6mm African buildings.  So far, only some cleaning and assembling has been completed, as I've been slowed by my back, which somehow, I've managed to injure through painting and casting.

This weekend we will be playing our next Star Fleet battles campaign game.  A Klingon attack on a Kzinti planet.  Another very unbalanced scenario, where a small Klingon fleet, consisting of about 7 F5 and E4 frigates and escorts, accompanied by their D6 fleet command ship take on a couple of police ships and the local fighter protection.

With any luck, I will have the African buildings and infantry ready for my first 6mm Africa game, during the following week.

That's about it for now.  Should have a few pics of painted African buildings in my next post.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Odds and Ends - December 2018

My frequency of posting has dropped as a result of giving time to selling miniatures again.  A couple people have asked me about the status of my campaigns and whatnot, so thought that I'd share what is happening.

6mm African Imagi-Nations
My African imagi-nations are waiting for me to finish painting 6mm infantry and to finish up the 6mm buildings.  Once these items are done, I'll be able to play the next couple of battles in the war between Uwanda and Mugabia.

Mugabian infantry are based and partially painted.  Uwanda's infantry have yet to be based.  I've been waffling between using either the H&R British or Scotia South Africans to represent the Uwandan infantry, and just haven't made a decision yet.

The African buildings are proving to be a bit of a pain to cast, though I have almost enough castings for the table top.  I'll probably fill my quota during the midweek casting run, and then move on to building them up and painting.

I expect to get in at least two of the 6mm battles during December.

28mm Post Apocalypse
This has turned into a little of a problem.  I posted the intro to "Charlie's Journal" about a long range recon mission for the crew of the goat, after creating a pretty involved mini-campaign with lots of scenario possibilities, back story, introduction of new factions, and making most of the tabletop bits to support it, only to find that my folder of notes has vanished. 

This involved quite an investment of time, and though I remember most of the key elements, I really don't want to start over and re-write it.  So, I'm hoping the folder turns up during the Holiday season, though I'm fearing that it was inadvertently thrown away, while the family was cleaning up for the Thanksgiving holiday.  If it doesn't turn up in the next couple of weeks, I'll start over, as I plan to play a couple post apoc games during the holidays in addition to the 6mm African games.

6mm Cold War Soviets
Though I haven't gamed much of this in recent years, this is actually one of my most loved and most gamed subjects.  I've been wanting to get this going again for some time, and the 6mm African stuff provided a segue into it.  While waiting for some miniatures to arrive for Africa, I started painting my other Cold War era British vehicles that hadn't been addressed in years past. Upon completing those, I moved to the French and Germans, completing about 350 miniatures in late August and September.

October was dedicated to molds, casting vehicles for sale, and to the 6mm building masters.  But once I got those moving along, and pulled out the trays of Soviets, while looking for other things, I just couldn't resist the call to paint them.  So, I've now completed around 340 of what will be about 550 vehicles needing paint. Mostly T72s and T80s remain to be painted, and I expect to be done in about 8 days.  The solid green vehicles move across the painting table rather quickly.   By that time, I should start to have African buildings starting to build up on the painting table.

Irishserb's Vehicles and Other Stuff for Sale
So yeah, a lot of time over the last couple of months has been committed to mold making and casting, and despite building up some inventory, I hadn't anticipated the popularity of the VBLs, so have constantly been behind on these after about day two of selling the little beasts.

The main issue lies in the fact that the composition of the mold material has been changed from what it was a few years ago, resulting in far shorter mold life (in the 20-35% range of the old material). 

I've experimented with other products, but for one reason or another, haven't found anything that performs as well as my original choice before the chemical change.  Anyway, the result is that I spend a lot of time making new molds, which is tedious, and ties up the same space as my casting.  So I can do one or the other.  I used to spend about 15% of the associated time mold making, now it is more like half.

15mm Peugeot P4 Master
The P4 is not currently available.  I lost some of the original parts of this model, as well as the pre-production mold and master.  I am at a total lost as to how this happened, as three distinct and different errors had to be made in rapid succession, but it did happen.  So, I will be remaking master parts, and trying to get molds for these again in the near term.

6mm Modern African Buildings
It turns out that casting these has been a real pain in the doodle.  They are similar to and less detailed than my European buildings, but resulting to 3-5 times as many reject castings. 

Additionally, the multi-building residences with walls are proving to take a very disproportionate amount of time to cast relative to their probable market value.  So I will probably end up altering my original plan to sell the buildings and cast walls as kits.  Right now I am leaning toward the kit consisting of the group of three or four buildings  and a strip of cut styrene plastic, from which the walls can be cut and built by the purchaser.  This will reduce the casting time and cycles by a factor of three.

The African buildings still may be a very short run thing, as I don't expect a large demand for them.  I expect that they will hit my site by mid-December.

6mm European and Mid-Eastern Buildings
I have had these for many years, and recently made alterations, mainly updating and adding some detail to the Arab buildings, and will make them available very soon, probably with the African buildings. 

The European buildings are primarily Belgian and French stone structures for use with WWII gaming, though can work for both earlier and later periods.  They are 1/285 scale, each based on an actual structure, and generally fit with GHQ's metal buildings in size.  They are distinctly smaller than the Timecast buildings that I have.

The Mid-Eastern buildings, also 1/285 scale,  are based on various structures from the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli conflicts, and most will be available in bombed out and undamaged versions.  These buildings are generally basic structures, designed so that they can be combined to make more complex composite structures. They were also designed such that minor detailing could be added to make them more unique,  rather than have a bunch of identical clones on the table.

Other (New) 15mm and (maybe 20mm) Vehicles
A few years back, we had a flood in our basement on Christmas.  The damage wasn't too bad, but the break occurred behind my work table, where I made miniature masters.  The flood washed away bits for various things that I had going on at the time, parts for a GAZ TIGR, a MATV, and the entire set of parts for a 20mm scale M151 Jeep (I do Vietnam in 20mm).

All of those models and a couple of others have been in limbo since the flood, as I hate making things twice.  But, it is my intention to finish all of these and make them available (well, not sure about the Jeep).  In addition, in support of my own Cold War gaming, I plan to finish my M60A1 turret after the 6mm African buildings (I've been working on it on and off in between other projects, as well as the family of M113 variants.  And, the ACMAT VLRA is back on the menu.  Beyond those, I have interest in a variety of Cold War vehicles, mostly Soviet, US, and French.  I have a list, but no idea on a timeline, so I'll stop babbling about them.

Anyway, I've been keeping busy (too much so), despite not posting as much here, and being away from some of the online forums.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Breaking Point

I've spent much of the last few weeks in a sort of hobby limbo, with some of my free time occupied with making masters, molds, and casting.  And much more of it spend waiting for glues, solvents and molds to set up or dry.

My paint table, build table/casting area, and game table (plus a few other spaces around the house) have all generally been filled with molds, masters, and castings.  And it seems that no matter how impatiently I watch these drying processes, they simply will not speed up, feeling no sense of urgency what so ever.

So this past Sunday, I had gotten to the end of mastering the buildings and boxing them for mold making, and while searching for some lost models and bits, ended up with one of my tables covered with trays of Soviet vehicles.  Somewhere between 900-1000 micro scale models, roughly half of which need painted or re-painted, just screaming for attention.

They taunted me.

About 220-240 miniatures fit in the larger wooden trays, and I can 
fill about five of them with Soviets.

I agonized.  

So much to be done, so much time wasted, watching stuff dry.  I cracked.  Needing a fix, I managed to clean off the front edge of my painting table, and started an assembly line of Soviet tanks and vehicles being prepared for battle.  

T-62s, T-55s, BTRs slowly began moving along my table, receiving successive stages of cleaning, primer, base coat, finish coat, tracks, weathering, etc.  Comrade Khrushchev would be so proud.  A couple of hours painting on Sunday, 15-20 minutes a night since, and about 120 vehicles are in various stages of paint.  The first 20 are done.

Work progresses at the tractor factory, 
with T-62s coming off of the line.

I'm going to alternate between casting for orders, and painting Soviets over the holiday weekend.

I'm feeling better now.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

More Progress on Modern 6mm African Buildings

Though slowed somewhat by an ailment and casting vehicles, I have managed some progress on the next batch of 6mm buildings for my modern African imagi-nation project.

The next batch of buildings consists of 4 house "compounds".  Each consists of three or four structures, wall sections, and a gate.  The plan is to cast them each as kits of around 10 pieces, which will then allow for mix and match variations, as well us using some buildings as free-standing structures. 

I still have a little cleaning up and detailing to do, but here are some pics:

Awnings for the buildings set in front of where they will eventually attach.  
Additionally, some wall/gate sections are laying flat.

I added the GHQ Centurion to give a sense of scale.  Each 
compound fits in roughly a two inch square footprint.

The last photo shows the compound in the lower right 
of the third photo with all of the parts separated to 
better show the individual pieces.  This one has four 
buildings, two wall sections, a gate, and two separate awnings.

It will probably be Wednesday or Thursday night, before I get a chance to finish them.  Can't wait to get them done though, so that I can cast and paint up of few of these guys.   

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Irishserb's Miniatures Update

For the last month and a half, I've mostly focused on mold making and casting, and though I'm running behind as usual, my 15mm modern vehicles will be available for sale again sometime later this week.

When I haven't been casting vehicles, I've continued making masters of  6mm African buildings.  Here is a pic of some of the progress.  A GHQ Centurion Mk III is included in the photo for scale reference.  

In the near term, I will be making some of my 6mm WWII European , Arab-Israeli War Arab, and modern African buildings available for purchase as well.  

For now, I've still got to clean and bag a lot of castings, and maybe make a few more castings of miscellaneous vehicle bits to complete a few more models.  I'll post another update, in the next few days.  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Charlies Journal - Long Range Recon: The Briefing (Post-Apoc)

We got briefed on a special mission today, a long range reconnaissance mission.  I guess we're gonna head east, further than we ever gone before. 

HQ figures that there's probably communities like ours or organized places like the Confederation out east, but we ain't never heard from any.  They want us to  see if we can make contact with any, establish relations, maybe start up trade, and hopefully expand civilization in the wastes.

We've also been told to be on the lookout for Greenies.

I guess there's been a lot of reports of 'em recently, mostly small groups showin' up, here and there, to the east and north.  Little gangs of 'em just show up out of no-where, they kill whoever they can, then just leave.  They don't take stuff, no scavenging, just kill and leave.

Supposedly, they are some kind of super soldiers; really big men, powerfully built, carrying giant guns, covered in green paint.  Thy act insane when they fight, screaming all crazy like, celebratin'  when they kill.  We've seen cults before; reported as being monsters, end up just being crazy people.

Nobody here never seen one, so who knows if they're real, but with so many reports, something is goin' on, and command wants to figure it out.  So, we're gonna head out east for I don't know how long, see what we can see, and report back.

Another thing, or maybe its related to the greenie problem, there been gangs moving south and west lately, more than there used to be, so we're gonna check that out too, I guess.  Word is that something is chasing gangs out of their homes up north, then they come this way and start trouble.  HQ wants us to talk to any of those that we find. Always love tryin' to talk to people inclined to shoot first, and shoot later too.

Anyways, they're sendin' out a bunch of recon teams like us, to fan out east and north and find out what we can.  Of course, they want us to go make contact, but not make enemies aware of the Confederation. Not sure how we do that.  When someone sees that Goat, they now something is up out there somewhere.  Ain't like we can pass though unnoticed.

Sam and I gotta load up the and prep the Goat.  Sam says that something bad is going to happin', but she always says that.  Says something bad is always going to happin', cause nothin' good ever does.  usually the Goat has a lotta room inside, but this time its gonna be crowded, we got a ton of supplies and extra equipment to take.  this mission is definitely something different.  

After the briefing, the CO talked to Panky and the rest of the section leaders for a while longer, so she has more info.  I'm pretty sure it ain't good, cause she was quieter than usual afterwards, but she ain't saying nothin' either way yet.  I'm just gonna go for the ride, see some new land, and explore.  Can't wait to leave, hope we don't die.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

My First Order from Heroics & Ros

Despite having purchased my first Heroics & Ros 6mm infantry circa 1983, I only placed my first direct order with H&R a few weeks ago.  I ordered infantry, vehicles, and aircraft for the 6mm version of my third world imagi-nations war.  Immediately after ordering , I received a message from Andy at H&R who noticed an inconsistency in my order, and asked if I meant "this or actually that?". As it turned out, he was right in his suspicion, and corrected my error.  I was quite impressed with him at that point.

My order was quickly dispatched, and arrived across the big water at my local post office in about 9 days.  My postal carrier then tried to deliver two packages, left a note saying that I had a parcel to pick up at the post office, which I picked up the next day, and all was well.

Unfortunately, I actually had two parcels to pick up, so I waited another three weeks, before e-mailing Andy at H&R.  Andy again took the initiative, and chased down the fact that the parcel was sitting at my post office for the last three weeks (my apologies to US customs, who I thought was once again having fun with me), waiting to be picked up.  The package was retrieved later in the day, and I am thoroughly delighted with everything.  Most importantly, I cannot express how impressed I am with Andy and the service provided by Heroics and Ros.

If you are not familiar with Heroics & Ros, or have possible interest in H&R products, please visit the H&R site.  Andy has set the standard by which other others should be compared for offering exemplary service.

Here are the toys:

BM75  Vickers Mk III

BM14 Ferret

BM32 1/2 Ton Landrover

SMA401 Mig 23/27

SMA204 Yak38 Forger

SMA405 Mi2 Hoplite

M26 1980s British infantry

M27 1980s British Infantry Support

M28 Soviet Motor Rifles

M29 Soviet Motor Rifle Support

Overall, I am quite happy with the castings.  The Mi2 Hoplite is just too cool, and will be a proxy for Mugabian Mi4s in my game.  The infantry are the newer castings, and the most upright standing figures measure about 6.5mm tall bottom of foot to top of helmet.

The new infantry appear a touch taller and more crisp than the older style, but I think would work fine on the table with units made of the older figs.  I know that I will have older and newer figs on the table at the same time, with no reservations.

Anyway, hats off to Heroics & Ros for the fabulous service.