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.


  1. All your stuff looks superb. I wish that I had the patience and steadiness of hand for such detailed work!

  2. I for one look forward to the African 6mm buildings, there are a fair few of us interested!

    Also, depending on how 'bad' the failures are, they could easily be turned into destroyed terrain!

  3. Very cool! The vehicles and buildings look excellent (even if you have experienced technical difficulties with the latter). The 28MM PA outline sounds intriguing. Hopefully your muse will return at some point and get you back on track. I love a good story and if you have all of that terrain begging for it that is a terrible shame. It's an inspiration to visit and see what you have cooking.