Sunday, September 13, 2020

28mm Post-Apoc Diner and Billboard Update

During this past week, I finished my abandoned diner, and I also finally painted a roadside billboard that has been setting on my painting table for quite some time.

I still need to make a base with a parking lot for the diner, but I'm going to wait a couple of weeks, and work on several different terrain panels all at once, including a couple more road sections with driveways, some town/road sections, and maybe a little park.  

Here are the some pics of the diner:

I went back and forth about boarding up the windows, 
but figure the wood probably would have been scavenged early on, 
so left it off. 

I was concerned with how to do the roof, I ended up using 
320 grit sandpaper, and am pretty happy with how it turned out.

These utility shelves were a pain to make, 
but the room needed something.  I think they did the trick.

I made a number of tourist posters, advertising signs, a calendar, 
and some menus, but ended up not using most of them; it all just 
seemed like too much, and I figure most paper products would 
have vanished with time.

I'll probably eventually add more detail to the diner (nothing is ever really finished, is it?), but for now, the building is done.  As I mentioned above, I still need to make a base, and am working on the roadside sign.  I might add a couple of light poles for the parking lot as well.

This billboard is something that I made maybe a year or two back.  it has been waiting for paint ever since, and today was the day.

It is kind of an unwieldy piece, but I wanted some clutter that stood very upright off of the table, and this does that.  I'll going to add a couple smaller billboards of differing design with some signage still visible.  The figure is a Foundry 28mm Street Violence fig for scale.

Not a huge amount of work done this weekend, but I got a couple things off of my table, and got some paint on a dozen and a half figs also, so that isn't too bad.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Returning to the Abandoned Diner

Sometime back around Christmas, I think it was, I was working on a 28mm post-apocalypse diner, making good progress, when in between my work sessions, 
one of my cats knocked over my paint water, walked across my palette, and then through the diner and across the various bits, spreading paw shaped splats across the diner and bits.

I tried cleaning off the various "splattings" with partial success, but frustrated, decided to put the project aside for awhile, and come back to it later.

Well, it is later, and I starting "re-abandoning" the diner last weekend.  Originally, I had intended to work on Mama's farm, but about ten minutes into that, I found myself in a conundrum over whether to build it as a stand alone piece on a single base, or series of modular pieces that could have multiple uses.

Anyway, while mulling that debate, I made some progress on the diner, and here are a couple of pics.

As I work on the diner, or any of these pieces, I don't just build broken stuff, splat dirt, grime, and dust, etc, I try to imagine the story of the piece, of the abuse and decay.  I try to envision how the story of the place affected the decay and helped make it look like it does in the After.

I start out imagining it shiny and newly built in the early 1960's, how it passed through owners and remodelings,  the state of wear and disrepair at the time of closing, and how vandals, squatters and mother nature shaped it over the years since.

In any event, the diner is coming along, and will will give way to Mama's farm over the next few days with any luck.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Armaments in Miniature 15mm O-2, A-37, and OV-10

My latest order from Armaments in Miniature arrived a couple of days ago, and I received my 15mm, 1/100 scale 0-2 Skymasters, A-37 Dragonflies, and OV-10 Broncos.  Quite simply, they are perfect.  Absolutely beautiful resin castings with detailed panel lines, and each coming with various options for weapons and/or tanks.

Here are a few quick photos:

The Cessna O-2 Skymaster.

The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly

The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco

My photos don't do them justice, as my table was cluttered to permit setting up better pics at the moment, and I just wanted to get some photos out there.  

These are three beautiful models of a particularly unique group pf aircraft.  All either having curious histories and or features, and all designed for, or specified for service in Vietnam.

The O-2 also served in Europe, helping to keep watch over the Warsaw Pact, and remained in US reserve and ANG units until the late 1980s.  It has served the militaries of many other nations as well, and is ideal for third world air-forces and that of imagi-nations as well.

The A-37 served well in Vietnam and remained in US service with ANG units into the 1990s as FAC aircraft.  It also saw service in Panama, during operation Just Cause, and served with a number of South American air forces.  Aircraft captured during the fall of South Vietnam served the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's AF into the late 1970s, and a few examples were transferred to various nations of the Warsaw Pact.

The OV-10 Bronco is famous for its role in Vietnam, where it demonstrated its amazing flexibility, in addition to observation/FAC/ and light attack, convoy and helicopter escort, light transport, and could function in a variety of other rolls as well.  It had an internal cargo bay in the rear capable of mounting a trainable 20mm rotary cannon, 5 paratrooper, 6 soldiers, or two casualty litters and a medic.  On top of that, it just looks cool.

After Vietnam, the aircraft served in Europe with US forces in NATO, and  a small number of  OV-10s were outfitted with new electronics serving with the US Navy and Air Force in Iraq and Syria as recently as 2015.  Consideration was even given to opening a new line to build new aircraft.

Anyway, if you play Vietnam in 15mm, you need some of these models.  These aren't on his website yet, so you'll need to e-mail Dave to order them, but they are available at $15.00 each from Armaments in Miniature, fantastic models, fantastic service, and all at a great price.  Highly recommended.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Ramblings of August

I haven't posted much lately as I haven't been accomplishing much, despite my best effort.  My 6mm Cold War infantry have been painted for for a couple weeks, and most of my time since has gone to labeling and flocking 1200 or so stands of the little fellas  

Troops representing six nations over a span of 40 years.  
Yes, I need to add more.

Heroics & Ros new French Infantry for the war in 1982

To be honest, I haven't been able to get in a good rhythm with this, it is just so repetitive and doesn't feed my creative hunger.  But, they are all labeled and about 45 percent of the flocking is done.  I expect that I'll finish them this weekend, as I should will have a little more free time than usual.

GHQ 1980s US Infantry, curiously, 
they look a little smaller than GHQ's Vietnam era US troops.

As my 6mm Cold War project has hit a period of relative un-excitement, I've also been tinkering with my 28mm Post-Apoc game.  Last month I finally got three new factions organized, painted one, and ordered figs to wrap up two others.  In an effort to feed my creative hunger, I also designed some terrain associated with the factions, and expanded the back story to accompany them.   Unfortunately, my work table is occupied with thousands of 6mm Cold War infantry, so I have nowhere to build the terrain.

A battalion of Soviets from H&R, again newer sculpts, 
will serve in the 1978 to 1982 time-frame, in two different world wars.

As it turns out, the manufacturer for the post-apoc figs is MIA; they took my money and sent no figs, won't reply to e-mail, nothing.  My second order (different company) for bits associated with the newly designed terrain has gone the same route.  I guess given the world situation, these things are bound to happen.  I hope that the people on the other end of my orders are doing okay and staying well.

Luckily, I found a source on E-bay for a replacement for the most critical fig for one of my new factions, and the seller seems to be a stand-up guy, great comms and item arriving early and all, unfortunately my purchase, and someone else's got reversed, so I received some stuff I didn't order, and the fig that I ordered is lost somewhere out in the wastes,  poor little guy, even if he is destined to be a maniacal overlord.

One seriously bright spot in recent weeks was a reply to a e-mail that i had sent to Armaments in Miniature inquiring about some Vietnam era aircraft that Dave (you can e-mail him at has been working on.  As it turns out AIM has three new 15mm (1/100) scale models available; the OV-10, the A-37, and the O-2.  As the OV-10 is maybe my all-time favorite military aircraft, and the Dragonfly isn't far behind, I was quite excited.  Still am.   I immediately ordered two each of the OV-10 Broncos and the A-37s, and a single O-2 "Mixmaster" at $15.00 each.  You will need to e-mail about these models, as he simply hasn't had time to update his website.

If you haven't seen any of Dave's work, his models are among the most finely detailed and cast models, that I've ever seen.  Simply beautiful work, and perfect quality.  Dave mentioned that he has decals for the models  (Black Ponies for the OV-10), though I didn't order them, as my Broncos and Mixmaster will serve in Europe in the 1970s , and I still haven't chased down the markings that I'll need for the 601 Tactical Observation Wing (or whichever variant of the name it was using during the years of service of these aircraft).

My A-37s are intended to serve in my fictional African campaign, so I've already made up decals for those.  Though I guess they could arrive as part of an intervention force, its not written in stone yet.

Anyway, my AIM order will be shipped next week, and I'll post some pics of the models as soon as I received them.  it will be good to have a little boost for my 15mm Col War project.  It has been lingering a bit, as the infantry that I was depending on have become unavailable.

Enough rambling for now, I'm off to the dungeon; its time to flock. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

Only Five More To Go

I had another productive weekend with 151 stands of French, West german, and British troops completed, and now have only 5 of 47 6mm infantry companies left to paint.  I'm wrapping it up with the British, as I struggled for quite some time, trying to decide how to paint the DPM uniforms, and have saved them for last.  

I ended up giving up on 6mm camouflage uniforms, opting instead to try to decide on the color they generally assume at such a distance that you cannot distinguish the camo pattern.  This has resulted in rather bland infantry, but then again, the goal is to get these on the table before I'm not around anymore.

Anyway, here is a pic of some of the British on my painting table, a busy place of late.  The bigger figs on the right are 28mm post-apoc factions waiting for a few stragglers to arrive in the mail.

Hoping to be done with infantry this weekend, then moving on to a few buildings.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Vallejo (and Other Paint) Observations (and Frustrations)

A hobby rant follows:

So I guess this all stems back to 1983, when I started using ModelMaster enamel paints on micro-armor.  Somewhere around 1994 I noticed that my Soviet tanks, all painted Medium Green, were nearly as many shades of green as I had Russian tanks.   The colors were everywhere, some colder, some warmer, some darker, some lighter, again, all painted the "same" color, ModelMaster Medium Green.  I was quite surprised at ModelMasters quality control, or lack there of.

Not too long after that, Vallejo paints made their way onto my paint bench, and I switched over to 894 Russian Green.  It was reasonably close to some of my earliest MM medium green tanks, and I just went with it, without much concern for the overall accuracy of the color.  What I wanted was consistency, with the expectation that I could match the color from the same manufacturer 5, 10, or 20 years down the road.

Now this was naive of me, as I had already seen the disappearance of the Polly-S, Humbrol, and Pactra's Military lines of paints, but I was still young enough (and hopeful enough), that I expected some stability in the product lines.

I never used many of the old Humbrol's, and only a selection of the Pactra Military's, more of a loss was the transition of Polly-S to Polly Scale.  At least there, colors were still available in some cases (I just used up the last of my Polly-S Light Yellow about two weeks ago).  There was more frustration over the Polly-S change, but the ModelMaster inconsistency really caught me by surprise, so I went heavy into Vallejo after giving it the initial try, and reading a lot of good stuff about it.  

Flash twenty some odd years later, and I find myself in a similar situation with Vallejo.  It started a couple of years (or so) back, when I discovered that my 894 Russian Green, had become 894 Cam. Olive Green with a slight change in color.  More recently, I've noticed a bunch of changes if names and/or colors, which I'm guessing has been all over the model forum for some time, but I don't frequent any of those, so I'm whining about it here.

Earlier this year, I had trouble finding a new bottle of Vallejo 887 Brown Violet, after some time, my local shop finally got in some new bottles of 887 US Olive Drab.  The color seemed to match pretty well when dry, just the name was particularly different.

More recently, I changed over to newer bottles of 890 Reflective Green and  892 Yellow Olive, neither of which changed names, but the colors are noticeably different.  One bottle of Reflective Green is much yellower than the other, and the same is true of the Yellow Olive.  The last of the recent bunch is 889 Olive Drab, which is now 889 Olive Brown and is much darker and less green.

I remember years ago on TMP, when during a discussion about how many paints we had (many were in the 100s of bottles), member Scurvy Bartella made a comment that he had relatively few paints, and basically that we all needed to learn to mix colors.  At that time, I often added figures 5, 10, 15 years after painting the original figs for an army, sometimes many hundreds of figs (multiple times even), and preferred being able to save time and match from a bottle, whenever possible.  It is faster and more convenient.  To me, this didn't seem like an outrageous request or expectation. 

ModelMaster's pseudo demise with the sale to Rustoleum (who I have been in touch with, and who doesn't seem to know what it is doing), has been frustrating as I depended on the enamels for specific applications, where acrylics were less favorable, or not well suited.  This has also increased my dependence on Vallejo, which now seems to be in the same boat as the other hobby paints before them.

I know that there are other brands out there, but my needs are such that the internet isn't fast enough, particularly with respect to work projects, where something comes to me in the morning, and has to leave that afternoon.  It is equally frustrating with respect to hobby projects, as I usually find that I have hobby time, at the moment that I find myself with hobby time.

Not sure what I'm going to do at the moment.  The local shop invested in a Vallejo rack, but has had trouble getting new stock  almost since the day they bought the rack.  I hate to drop the line from use, and turn my back on the local guy, but not being able to depend on consistency and availability is a problem for me, both personally and professionally.

I'm considering switching to a line that I have to order over the net in hopes of relieving the consistency problem, but that will increase the availability problem.    I find it funny in the age of technology and instantaneous gratification that I have a much harder time finding paint, glues, brushes, plastics and virtually all sorts of hobby supplies, than at any time since the late 1970s.

Anyway, here are a few pics of the bottles, showing the differences. 

887 Uesd to be Brown Violet

Differences in Yellow Olive
 and Reflective Green

The Change to Olive Brown and
difference in 894, formerly
Russian Green

Rant over.

And on a side note, I did mange to paint 119 stands of 6mm US Cold War infantry this weekend.  Cold War progress continues.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Busy Weekend for a Change (6mm Soviets)

It's funny how it comes and goes; for weeks I get almost nothing done, then this past weekend,  I painted 272 stands of 6mm infantry.   Soviets, spanning the 1958-1982 time frame.  Not much to look at, but amounts to about a third of the Cold War infantry that I yet needed to paint.

They still need flocked, but the paint is done on them.  Next will be East Germans, then US forces, the next largest group of figs.