Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Madbob's Miniatures - Prepping time with a Milliput wash

I have been slowly working on the PaK 40 Auf S307(f), and Geschutzwagen 39H(f) from Madbob's kickstarter. As I mentioned in those posts the resin he uses is a little rough and the details are not as sharp as I would like them to be. While I can't really do anything about the detail short of doing some super detail work (and these are game pieces after all) I can fix some of the roughness of the resin.

This is a trick I learned for dealing with pitted metal miniatures. I think I picked this up from either a class with Jeremie Bonamant or with Lilly Troy. The idea is to fix something like this as quickly and easily as possible, what could be simpler than a wash?

First mix up a small bit of Milliput (I prefer the regular but the super fine works for this too). Add water to some small container (I typically use the plastic from a blister pack). Add the Milliput and work it into the water. This is not quite as easy as it sounds, you kind of use a mortar and pestle type motion to breakdown the Milliput into the water. I find the end of a paint brush to be quite handy for this. I recommend wearing gloves as Milliput is slightly toxic. If you feel the tips of your fingers tingling you forgot the gloves.

You are looking for a consistency about like cream. You want it to flow off the brush yet remain thick enough to be a filler and not drip down the side of your model. I just keep adding Milliput or water till I get the consistency I want. A little Milliput goes a long way!

Once I'm happy with the mixture I use an old craft brush and just paint it on to the surfaces that are rough or pitted. For the Madbob armor one coat was enough to reduce the roughness to an acceptable level. I restricted myself to just dealing, mostly, with the armor panels. If its a very pitted surface it might take two coats. It dries pretty fast when its painted on like this. 

The Geschutzwagen had some air bubbles in the top of the shell cases. I pulled out the Squadron Green for that. Overall these are really good castings from an air bubble perspective. You also need to watch out for the bogies on anything based on the Lorraine Schlepper chassis as there is a spot that doesn't fill well right on the outside of each bogie.

The blob of Milliput that I mixed up. I used, maybe, a quarter of this. I should have had some bases sitting nearby to work on!

This is the Milliput wash. It flows but it doesn't drip.

Its hard to see here, but the whiter portions of the vehicles are the original resin. I didn't apply the wash to the tires, treads, bogies, or guns. The armor is a slightly yellower color, that's where I applied my wash. These are now ready for some primer, finally!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Team Yankee - Prepping M1s and M106s

At this point I'm trying to work on everything at once so that I can prime everything at the same time. Overall the Team Yankee plastics for the M1 and the M113/M106 are really very clean with only a couple of spots that need some work.

On the M1s there is a seam right in front between the upper and lower hull that needs a little attention. I pulled out the Squadron Green and proceeded to fill in this small seam on all five vehicles. 

A little dab is all you need but be prepared to work fast, this stuff dries out quick.
Here you can see the seam that needs to be filled. Its a bit messy right now.

After I finished the M1s I did the same with the M106s. Again the only seam really appears on the front glacis much like on the M1. This is a bit tricky to fill because of some of the detail around it. Had I been paying attention I probably would have filled this seam first before finishing the vehicle.

I also used this opportunity to try and fix the notches in the plastic from where the sprue marks where left from my clippers. The M1s benefited from the use of my x-acto, skipping the clippers.

After the green stuff had dried, which was minutes, I filed smooth the area. I prefer to use a disposable nail file for this has its gentler on the plastic (or resin for that matter). However, I didn't have any available so I worked gently with a file. Most of the file marks are going to be covered over with primer so I didn't get to stressed out about it.

You can see the scratch marks from the metal file here, its why I prefer the disposable nail files for this kind of work. The primer should fill this in.

Looking good so far. I just need some tarps and stuff to add to the vehicles and they will be ready for some primer. I might try a modulated primer style on these just to see if it makes a difference at this scale.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mapping out 2017

One way to plan is by making 3D models of what you want.
I haven't really tried this before but I'm going to at least map out what I would like to accomplish for 2017. The goals may be unrealistic but hopefully they will help me forge forward. I'm going to add an element to the page (right at the top) to help try and stay on track with these goals.

Top Priorities (subject to change without notice [SCWN]).

15mm Moderns/Team Yankee
Right now this is very much the bright shiny object although the cold war is actually one of my favorite periods to play. I'm going really try hard not to go over board on this one though.
I often regret selling off miniatures I could deploy really big forces for this period in micro armor which is just about the perfect scale for this what if conflict. I would love to do this in 10mm but the variety of equipment is just not there right now. So 15mm it is with the aid of Battle Front and a surprisingly large amount of equipment available from other manufacturers.

28mm WWII Normandy
I'm basing everything I need from the Pint sized Campaigns from Two Fat Lardies. I will, eventually be working on British Paras, British Infantry, American Paras, American Infantry and German Infantry (Wehrmacht). I will need some additional supports for all of this but I'm going to hold off on ordering anything else till I see what I can complete. One Section of British Paras is finished and a second section is close.

28mm WWI US Marines
I'll have to dig through the piles and see what is finished and what is not. The goal is to field a complete company of US Marines with supports. I think I have finished at least two of the four platoons. However, these are organized for The Great War from Warhammer Historical and the organization used there is not quite historical. Since my intent at this time is to use "Through the Mud and Blood" by Two Fat Lardies or possible a "Chain of Command" WWI variant both of which use a more historical force organization, I'll need to re-evaluate and see what I have and what I need.

28mm Wild West Game - Calamity
There is a lot to be done here. Again I'm going to have to go through what I have and what I might need. Obviously the biggest unfinished component of Calamity are the buildings and the board. I have a fair amount of both painted citizens and gunslingers at this point all I need to do is catalog the amount of unpainted metal there is to work on.

Those are the things I intend to concentrate on this year. I'm looking at a couple of different painting techniques that James Wappel uses that might help me get through some of this faster and still keep it looking good! I'm going to consider jumping in on the LOA Lead Painter's League this year, especially if it will help me get some of these projects moving along.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Clue - Star Wars Edition

I fully admit that I have not played all of the different versions of Clue that I own (and the number keeps on growing). The Star Wars edition may have just vaulted to the top of the list though, it easily has one of the coolest boards of any of the boxed editions (don't worry your Franklin Mint Clue is still the coolest around).  In this version you are playing on a 3D version of the Death Star. This particular edition is produced by Hasebro and at least at this point you can still find in the store. So don't go out and pay $60 on eBay for this one till you have checked out your local Toys R Us where it might even be on sale!

What's different? Well besides the board this is a non-murder version of the Game. Instead you are trying to determine the Death Star's target planet, the space ship you are going to escape in and which room on the Death Star the plans reside in.

Along with the regular clue cards are the corridor cards. If you end your move in a corridor then you will draw from this deck, you might be captured by Stormtroopers! To end the game you must move to the docking bay before announcing what you think the three elements are. There are two levels of the Death Star to play on with elevators on each end (which take the place of the hidden passageways in the regular game).

Looks its going to be a blast to play!

I know it looks like a piece is missing but this is the playing board. The section missing contained the piece that has the vertical supports for the second level of play.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Team Yankee M1 Abrams WIP - Mass Assembly

With two M1s down, I figured I would build all of three of the remaining at the same time just like I did with the M106s. Like the M106 the M1 is a pretty easy kit to build, with a couple of frustrating areas to watch for. I boldly cut out all of the parts so I could just start gluing things together! I did go back to my trusty x-acto knife to do this. In the end I had a lot less clean up to do than with my old clippers. 

Here are the parts to assembly the hull.

Tracks on. These go on quite nicely

The rear engine plate is a key component holding the upper and lower hulls together

The side skirts have nice pin locators but the rear portion of the skirt requires a rubber band to hold it in place while the glue sets.

The finished hulls.

The turret parts, or most of them anyway.

The big issue on the turrets is the storage racks. The locator "pin" is really a strip on the upper side of the turret. Not bad but not great. If you are using the short versions that don't wrap around the back this is fine and your done. With the wrap around version its easier to put on the side racks and attached the back rack to them. If you flip the side rack upside down you will see that the bottom set of bars has indentations that allegedly will fit the bottom plate of the back rack. It sort of works. Using the full wrap around storage is accurate. Team Yankee is set in 1987 and pictures of M1s from the '87 REFORGER exercise have the full wrap around.

Basic turret assembled.

Models Finished!