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)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

World War II Project - Brigade Games German Infantry

There was a little time to get some work done last night, after we cleared up the back porch from all the debris of fall. We were fortunate in that the one plant that Phoebe likes to chew on is the one plant that we have to cut down in the fall. She has taken care of most of that work for us!

I gave my wife some airbrush lessons and while she was busy painting things black and getting used to the dual action controls I pulled out the WWII miniatures that I received from the Brigade Games Kickstarter. I haven't really had a chance to look at these since I got them. Since my wife is learning how to use the airbrush what better excuse to prep some minis so that she has something to practice on. I pulled out the platoon bag of Germans and managed to prep G003, G004 (x2) and G005. From the website that would be the MG42 teams (three teams of two), Riflemen advancing (two packs of six in this case) and Riflemen Firing. A total of 24 figures, I still have the bag of NCOs and Platoon HQ to go.

Overall I am please with these minis. The sculpting has a rougher style than I'm used to seeing but I think they will look really good when they are painted up. For bagginess of the clothing combined with the rough sculpting style remind of the old Willie & Joe cartoons by Bill Mauldin. Ostensibly these are 1/56th scale minis, so at some point I'll do a comparison with the plastic ones from Warlord Games.

I'm going to try something completely different from my normal style on these. James Wappel uses a technique he refers to as the shaded basecoat and then finishes off the minis with a series of washes and glazes. James uses Badger's Stynlrez primers to create the shaded basecoat and I'm eager to give it a try. I would like to get these ready for the table as quickly as I can.

So here we have a first look at the Brigade Games WWII German miniatures:
G004 Riflemen advancing.
The heads are separate so you can change the look. I think the faces could have been better sculpted and I'm less than thrilled with a vent coming right out the chin.

And with the heads attached. I had eight heads in the bag so I will be accumulating a few extra as I go through the process. You should definitely test fit the head to the torso before you glue. I trimmed most of the "necks" shorter to get a good fit, the depth of the hole in the torso is not the same across the board so how much you have to trim off varies a lot. There are also a couple of heads with very wide "necks" and there are only a couple of minis those fit with.

The second set of G004

G005 Riflemen Firing
I feel that some of the firing poses are a little awkward. They do look better with the heads attached though.

And now with heads! Again there were spare heads which allows you to change the look a bit.

G006 MG42 Teams
I'm not thrilled with the look of the MG42 itself but I really like the poses of the standing minis. The ammunition carrier is really weighed down with equipment and spare ammunition. You three variations here, deployed and firing, walking and running.

And now complete with heads

I had the Warlord Games PzKfw IV sitting nearby so I grabbed that for a quick comparison shot. I think the BG minis look pretty good against it.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The C&NW RR Project - Motive Power - Bachmann Shay

This one was a surprise, I was digging through the workroom and uncovered this Bachmann Shay. I don't even remember picking it up, I imagine it must have been a pretty good deal for me to have forgotten it.

It looks complete, I have no idea if it runs though so I should set up a little test track someplace to break in all these locomotives that keep finding their way into the house. I will continue on with the conversion of the MDC kit which represents a Class B Shay though. I  like the beefier boiler that it will have and the C&N Shay was a Class B. I might not even have to try and switch out the domes, but the stack will definitely have to go on the MDC kit.

One thing this does bring up though is that the wheels on the MDC kit are definitely to small. I'm wondering if I could purchase the Bachmann wheel sets and mate them to the MDC kit. Will  have to mull that one over a bit.

This is a class A Shay, two cylinders with two trucks

A view of the offset boiler. Things appear to be a bit crooked on the frame, so it will have to be taken apart to fix this I imagine.

Some of the loose parts and optional parts that were in the box.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The C&NW RR Project - Acquisitions Motive Power - MDC Shay

One of the eccentricities of the C&NW was that it was also running a Shay (#25, 2 truck class B) as well because of the large amount of ore that shipped out over the line. There are not a lot of options available in On30 for this so I'm going to try my hand at taking the old MDC Shay kit and converting it to On30. The MDC Kit represents a Class B Shay, two trucks and three cylinders.

I found a kit for a reasonable price and it arrived over the weekend. For now I just inventoried the parts and I'll be trying to acquire some of the Northwest gear sets that were made for this kit and are out of production. The upgraded gears will probably end up costing as much as the kit cost me!

The obvious changes that must be made are replacing the cab and the coal bunker. I'll probably need to switch out the domes as well. The running boards will also need to be widened. Should be an interesting project.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The C&NW RR Project - Building Acquisitions

My 1/56th scale buildings are just not going to cut it for the C&NW layout, so I took the time to start hunting down some of the 1/48th scale kits that I have admired over the years. First up was to see if I could find some Stoney Creek Design buildings at a reasonable price (reasonable being very subjective at this point). I actually managed to succeed and I  acquired the Gunsmith building from the Crossroads series, a three building kit released in 2006 at the Narrow Gauge Convention and one of the Drugstores from this years releases. These are not cheap kits and they are hard to find for sure. There are a few others that I would like to get but the collectors prices that these kits demand are probably going to put them well out of my reach. Its likely that smaller versions of all of these are going to show up on the Calamity board as well!

The bonus building for buying all three

You just have to love bags full of stripwood. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The C&NW RR Project - Acquisitions Motive Power - Bachmann Porters

All the locomotives I have purchased for Calamity will run on the C&NW. The 2-6-0 made by Bachmann is almost a dead ringer for the 2-6-0 than was owned by the C&NW. I'm still going to be in search of the Bachmann 2-8-0 or some HO mechanism that is big enough to convert. Ultimately I need 3 of those.

In the meantime and because I wasn't quite sure what we could pull off in the house I managed to acquire a couple of small porters since I wasn't sure what kind of space might be available. These might still find a home on the larger layout shuttle cars between mines or something similar. These are neat little engines and if we don't get around to doing something bigger then I can always do something smaller and store it away as long as it fits that 45"x 23" footprint.

The 0-4-2 Porter. Both of these feature a saddle tank for the water, it certainly bulks them up a little bit.

The 0-4-0 Porter, very similar to the 0-4-2. Again this one comes with a saddletank but I'm not sure where the coal or wood is going to reside!

Monday, October 16, 2017

The C&NW RR Project - Thoughts

C&NW #30 in her final configuration when she was #74 on the RGS.

Like I don't have enough projects but this one is a little different in that my wife is interested in working on it with me. While she does not enjoy painting miniatures she is intrigued by working on buildings and scenery. Over the last couple of months I have been scouting the house for a place to install some kind of layout and was just about willing to admit defeat when it occurred to me that I might be able to do something modular that could be taken apart and stored. That opened up some possibilities and we have settled on the formal living room as a place that a layout could reside in when its assembled.

There are two unused closets that could be used for storage. That allows for a module 45" long and 23" deep and I can adjust the shelves to fit the height of the module without a problem. I have been sketching out some designs although nothing has really blown me away at this point so that will need some work. I'll still be working with On30 and this layout will be O scale, unlike Calamity which will still be 1/56th scale. And yes I still plan on using the equipment for Calamity as well.

Right now I'm working with an around the walls concept, running from a fiddle yard, then through one small town, then a section of mountain scenery and bridges and ending in a mining town. Continuing with the idea of it representing the Colorado and North Western (or later and it would be the Denver, Boulder and Western) I'm thinking that the fiddle yard would represent Boulder, the first town would be Salina and the end would represent Ward and its mining district (I'm thinking the Big 5 area at the point). Anyway that's what has been distracting me as of late.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Shay in Action

I just found this animation created by Google from the series of pictures I took of the Shay on the Georgetown Loop RR. Just something cool for all those steam fans out there.

Monday, October 2, 2017

AWI Project - The first four

I  have ever so slowly been working my way through four continental infantrymen. I started with the Perry plastics just to get a feel for how they will paint up and how they will look on the table. I like the initial scheme that I went with; standard blue uniform coat, with red facings, white waistcoat and buckskin breeches. These will be the first four of a much larger unit of 28 or 32, not quite sure how many will make up a regiment yet.

Before I proceed with the rest though I want to paint some samples from Fife and Drum. I'm thinking those are going to paint up quite a bit faster. I'm not terribly happy with my brush work or technique on these four but I haven't really been in full blown paint mode for a while either. I hope everything will really speed up once I dig in for the long hall.

There are a couple of things to distract me though. I need to finish the Lt Winters miniature for ReaperCon, try and get the M4A1 76 finished as well. I would still like to get a diorama together but I'm just not sure I can pull that off on top of everything else. Also I have all those Americans and Germans from the Brigade Games kickstarter to get done. I'm going to work the Germans first and try out some airbrush techniques to achieve a faster tabletop paint job.

So here are the results of my first AWI miniatures:

I was well into the painting and they were looking pretty rough before I remembered to snap a few pictures.

The Blues

For the Breeches!

A slightly different take on the flesh

A bit farther along

And finished, still need to be based but good enough for a mug shot

I think they will rank up pretty good. I also think the blue needs to be quite a bit darker.