Monday, December 11, 2017

28mm Abandoned Gas Station part 2

I finally got the gas station more of less completed (well, at least the building).  Here are some pics:

It looks a bit cruddier in person.  The pictures kept coming out pretty dark, so when I adjusted, much of the dust and dirt got "brightened" away. The fig is 28mm, I think Copplestone, for a bit of scale reference.

Anyway, mix of enamels and acrylics, evening used a base coat of spry paint, after nearly ruining it with my first brush coat.

Wish I had a photo showing the roof of the actual place, as I have no idea what they looked like from topside.  The sea of white looks a little bland. 

Next stop is to get to work on the base for it, and the road sections.  I'm hoping to start cutting foam this evening.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

28mm Abandoned Gas Station

This model is based on a number of an abandoned gas station.  I think it might have been a Texaco station originally, but not sure.  The original structure was all white with a dull almost patina green trim.

Photo of actual building

I started out by estimating some dimensions on the photos and then sketching out a roughly scale plan of the building and lot.  Then adapted the footprint of the lot to mate with my modular terrain. 

The model is constructed from styrene plastic sheet, using .06 inch thick for the base (concrete pad and sidewalks), and .08 inch for the walls. Evergreen and Plastruct strips and shapes were used for the detailing.  The plastic was solvent-welded together, using a disposable syringe as an applicator.

Here is the day by day progress so far:

Day 1: Scale drawing and layout of the concrete pad and
sidewalk around the building.
Day 2: Start of wall construction.  Only had a about 25
 minutes to work on it, so not much progress. 
Day3: Completion of the outer walls.
Day 4:  Added the roof. 

The completed building measures 12.75"x 6"x 5.5", and will mate to a base made of extruded polystyrene insulation foam, measuring 12"x24".  I'll add some detail and debris tomorrow, and hopefully paint it through next week.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Britannia (Grubby Tanks) 20mm Vietnam Figs Painted

Just a brief post to show some pics of the Britannia 20mm Vietnam figs from a couple of posts back with paint.  All but two of the wounded VC figs are finished.  I'm debating reworking the poses to make them more useful in my games.  Anyway, here are the figs, with quick paint jobs.

US arty crew.
 Medic and M79 gunner (front and back)

US casualties.
VC with rifles.
VC with SMGs.

Wounded VC.
VC casualties.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Federation Carriers and More

Here are a few pics of some rides for my Federation fighters and a few vessels to escort the CVs. 

The Old Federation CVA
This an old TFG casting from around 1985, don't know if the current
ADB one is identical or not.

Federation CVS
From ADB, this uses a similar, but different saucer from the CAs that I have, and the
secondary haul has shuttle bay doors at the front and back of the secondary hull

An  ADB casting.

Also from ADB. I think both he NCL and FF would have benefitted
aesthetically from have the engines mounted on pylons similar to the Tug.

Scout and Larson Class Destroyer
The Scout (left), is from Lou Zocchi, the Larson Class destroyer from
FASA (right), fits in nicely with the TFG and ADB models.

And a shot of the group

Eventually, I intend to get decals on these models, but probably not until after Christmas.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Federation Fighters for Star Fleet Battles

I completed three squadrons of fighters for use in Star Fleet Battles games.  The models were produced by GZG, and I've painted them for use as Federation F-14s, F-18s and A-10s.  I painted up 12 fighters for each squadron, which should permit me to tailor them as needed for the various CV complements, giving me options for early and later fighter types.

Here are some pix:





And on their handy-dandy transport tray:

The tray is made from two pieces of .08 inch styrene sheet with two pieces of magnetic rubber sheet attached.  The tray will hold 24 fighters mounted on 1/4 inch washers.  Six of these will fit into the storage boxes that I am using for my SFB miniatures.

The fighter bases are 1/4 inch steel flat washers glued to 15mm plastic bases with a 1 inch piece of brass wire mounted in the plastic.  A hole is drilled in the underside of the fighter, and it is glued in place with a drop of super glue.

Friday, October 27, 2017

First Order From Grubby Tanks

A couple of weekends back, I placed my first order with Grubby Tanks for some Britannia 20mm Vietnam figs to round out my units.  My other Britannia figs had been purchased some years ago, prior to Grubby Tanks acquiring the Britannia line. 

The package arrived 10 days (including the weekend) after ordering, with everything in good order and a couple of extras thrown in.  All things considered, service was exceptional, and I will definitely order again.

Mostly, I picked up casualty markers, and some crew figures and odds and ends to fill out some squads, which gives me a platoon each of US, PAVN and VC.  The figures are in the typical Britannia style (which I love), and since there doesn't seem to be a lot of pics of these out there, they are pictured below with their item numbers/descriptions:

US - NAM20  Five Man Arty Crew

US - NAM07 Private Standing Firing M79 Grenade Launcher
(figure shown from both sides)

US - NAM10 Medic Advancing with M16
US - Two figures carrying wounded comrade

US - NAM19  3*x Dead Figures
(Website states 2x, but you get 3 figs)

VCG05 VC Advancing Firing Various Sub machine guns
VCG04  VC Advancing with rifles

VCG17  3 Wounded VC

VCG18  3 Dead VC
VIL01  Water Buffalo      and     VIL02 Pot Bellied Pigs
I'll post pics of them painted as soon as I can.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Reflecting on the Relationship Between the Internet and the Hobbyshop

I think I first connected to the internet (at home) around 1997-98, and found that it was a terrific aid to my hobby, opening a wealth of information and yielding access to endless material resources that I was previously unaware of, or that were otherwise inaccessible.  The internet was wonderful, possibly the single most important component of the hobby.
Twenty years later, I've come to realize that one of the worst things to happen to "my hobby" was the internet.  Access to other gamers through the web has replaced much of the "in person" contact that I and those that I used to game with had with each other.  It has also changed the face of the market place, such that the local hobby shop is little more useful to me, than a women's cosmetics store.  And yet, I still dearly embrace the web.

In considering some recent discussions with other gamers, which inspired my recent  "Big Battle Skirmishes" post on The Wargames Website, I offer the following thoughts, and wonder about the experiences of others.

One view shared with me in my recent game related conversations, was the opinion that packaged skirmish games featuring 28mm figs have come to overshadow classic big battle games, and smaller scales.  While I disagreed at least somewhat with the skirmish side of the discussion (addressed on TWW), I find that there is some truth in how these games have impacted my relationship with hobby shops. 
In the 1980s, 1990s, and even into the early 2000s, I would frequent a number of area hobby shops in north eastern and central Ohio.  In years past, I could get monsters, starships, tanks, ships, soldiers, and airplane miniatures/models in 1/3788, 1/2400, 1/700, 1/300, 1/285, 1/100, 15mm, 1/72, 20mm, and 28mm scales.  I could buy figs for at least 24 periods/genres that I played.  Currently, at those same shops, I can get a very limited number of figs for two of those 24 interests.  Additionally, I could get multiple independent rules for most of those periods through those shops, as well as a variety of board wargames and role-playing games, none of which are available today.

As time went on, the range of miniatures products narrowed, and around 15 years ago, the products almost completely ceased to be offered.  They were slowly replaced in the store by a narrow range of complete game systems, offering everything that was needed for the game from a single company in high quality, full color packaging. 

It wasn't until after these conversations over the last couple of months that I realized that even the most common 15mm entry into the packaged games, Flames of War, had largely been dropped, and generally replaced with a 28mm counterpart from Warlord games.

Now, I recognize the simplicity for the store manager to order a complete product line from one source, and the appeal to the new game customer to get the entire product line from a single source, as opposed to matching imprecisely scaled miniatures from different sources, with rules, paints, guides, TO&Es, etc all from multiple independent sources.

The effect on me has been that over the last twenty years, I have gone from spending 95 percent of my hobby dollars at the hobby shop, to around 3 percent today.   Twenty years ago, when I found that I had some free time, I could go tot he shop, often with a friend, buy some figs, and work on them that afternoon or evening.  Today, I have to order them, wait 10 days to 13 weeks, and hope that the stars again align, such that I have opportunity to work on them, before they get misplaced, or the inspiration disperses into the ether.

Curiously, since the hobby shops "abandoned" us, roughly 60 percent of the guys that I used to game with have left the hobby.  Most of them were guys that had gamed with, had gamed for at least 20 years, at the time that this started to manifest.  Even though we never played much at any of the shops (most didn't offer in store gaming at the time), going to the shop and buying figs was often still a social component of the hobby. As that social component went away, seemingly, so did they.

I do occasionally go to the local shops, to buy some paint, or the odd item, and always hoping to find that much needed miniature, but with little success.  And while at the shop,  I do find a wealth of games.  Games that somehow fail to capture my interest, along with a generation of new, younger gamers that I, unfortunately, just fail to connect with.  They see me, the old man, browsing the games, but not buying, and draw their own conclusions.  I see them, "the kids", playing the newest 40K, Warlord's flavor of the day, or Star Wars X-Wing, often with what appears to be dispassionately bare tables with unpainted figs, and realize that we each participate in two different hobbies that, confusingly, look somewhat similar.

I guess that I should be happy that the hobby shops (at least some of them) have found a way to survive in the shadow of the internet, but I regret that in their mutual effort to instantaneously gratify me, neither has done so with the success that the hobby shop once did.

At times like this moment, I lament what was, and fail to appreciate what is.  I suspect that 20 years from present, I will do as I am doing now. Probably always remembering the past as better than it was at the time.  Still, despite all that is available today, I can't help but feel that my "golden age of the hobby" rests somewhere in the past.