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)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

World War II Project - Brigade Games American Infantry II

Another day of meetings allowed me so find some time to continue prepping the American infantry from the Brigade Games WWII Disposable Heroes Miniatures Kickstarter. So today I was able to prep US002 (a second bag of 6), 004, 005, 006, 007 and 008. I have two each of US004 and 008 to make sure I had enough miniatures for possible unit variations and a little extra MG support. I'm finding some of the sculpting a bit uneven on these. Some are really good especially US005 and some are kind of just average. I'm still of the opinion that with the advances in digital sculpting, which Brigade Games has used that he would have been better served in going that direction with these miniatures. Although the real test will be getting some paint on these guys and seeing how they turn out in the end.

Again, I'm not doing any assembly at this point so the heads will remain loose for now. Here are the pictures from today (minus the US002 NCOs which is already pictured in the first American Infantry post):

US004 US Infantry Rifles A - Advancing 

US005 US Infantry Rifles B - Advancing

US006 US Infantry Rifles C - Firing

US007 US Infantry Rifles D - Firing

US008 US Infantry .30 cal MMG with 3 crew.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Baltimore MD Trip

This week I'm in Baltimore MD while my wife attends a conference for her work. Unfortunately, once again, all the things we would like to see close at 4:30 before she is even out of the conference. We took a walk last night to at least see what was in walking distance. Here is a few pictures, not particularly good ones, but pictures none the less.

The Constellation at dock in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. This was the last fully rigged sailing ship built by the US Navy in 1854. The first time I visited this ship back 1991 they had just discovered that this was not the original Constellation which was built in 1797. This discovery occurred during a renovation when ship they were working on did not match the plans they had for the vessel. That's when a search of the US Navy records revealed that the original Constellation had been broken up the year before the second Constellation was built, so there was no significant gap in the records for the two ships. 

There is a World Trade Center on the Baltimore Harbor (something I did not know) and they have a memorial out front to the NY World Trade Center. That's a piece of steel from NY on a marble base that shows a timeline and the list of people, that I assume, were from MD.

Blocks from the Pentagon

And the memorial to flight 93 that went down before it could strike its target due to the actions of its passengers and crew.

USS Torsk (SS-423), the last US Submarine to launch torpedoes and sink a warship in WWII for the US Navy. She is a Tench Class submarine and served in the fleet till 1968. She was decommissioned in 1972.

A statue to Babe Ruth at Camden Yards. He never played for the Orioles but he grow up in Baltimore apparently.

The retired number for one of my favorite players, Cal Ripkin

An overview of Camden yards, just around the corner from the hotel we are staying in.

A cool building next to Camden Yards, I have no idea what it is or what its for.

The Bromo Seltzer clock tower, they are doing a little restoration on the top.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

World War II Project - Brigade Games American Infantry I

I am in Baltimore this week and I remembered to at least throw something in the bag to work on. That happened to be the bag of American Infantry from the Brigade Games Disposable Heroes Miniatures Kickstarter. I managed to clean up US001 US infantry platoon command, US002 US infantry NCOs and US003 US infantry BAR teams.

Here is the results. note that I won't glue heads on till I get home.
US 001 Infantry Platoon Command

US 002 US Infantry NCOs

US 003 US Infantry BAR teams

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Kickstarter: Gunfighter's Ball Wild West Miniatures Game

I would be remiss if I did not point out this wild west Kickstarter from Knuckleduster Miniatures.
I do wish there was a level somewhere between $35 and $135 dollars though. If I participate I would join in at the lower level and just pick out stuff from the add ons. I really want the bar though, but just the bar not the whole building that goes along with it. I will attest to the quality of the miniatures though. I have the Faro set and the Poker Table set and they are fabulous. I now feel the need to pull these out and get some paint on them.

Check it out here:
Gunfighter's Ball Wild West Miniatures Game

Some seriously fabulous miniatures and painting

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

C&N Railroad Project - Pen to Paper and an Unexpected Event

Yes, I have been missing in action for a good bit of November, although its unlikely that anyone has really noticed. Starting off the first part of the month has been quite busy and while I have some draft postings waiting in the wings I have been unable to finish those quite yet. The biggest distraction was a trip to the emergency room which was diagnosed as gallstones and a "go see your doctor" directive to schedule surgery (although honestly they were willing to put me on the schedule Sunday night but he said I would probably just end up watching TV). Well I dutifully did that and saw the Doctor Tuesday morning who promptly told me that she had already asked the nurse to setup a room for me at the surgery, the gallbladder was coming out, that day if possible. The evening surgery got bumped and Wednesday morning saw me go in for routine surgery. Four small incisions, absorbable internal stitches and super glue on the outside and I was out of there. I have been in recovery mode since then. Today is the first day I have really felt pretty good, although the pain I felt through the whole thing has been pretty minimal thanks to modern day laparoscopic surgery!

I'm still reluctant to just sit down with the paints though as its easier and more comfortable to stand. So I broke out the big graph paper and settled down to make some initial sketches for the C&N. As I stated before each module can be no larger than 45"x 23". That really gives me a long and somewhat narrow mainline and of course even shorter since we will be building in O scale now. I skipped the fiddle yard section and moved to the first "real" portion of the railroad what I tentatively naming Salina. Adding industry in this area is kind of iffy, its not really that far up the canyon from Boulder and the grade on the real C&N at Salina was 7% pretty stiff for any railroad. I'm not hell bent on reality here so I'll be keeping things pretty level for the most part and a little bit of extra industry there and no one will likely no the difference.

I find a layout in the Model Railroad Planning 2011 magazine that looked like a good fit and sort of based Salina on this layout. In the meantime I also pulled out a couple of other references to sort through; Layout Design by Iain Rice (2010) and the old Building Your Next Model Railroad by Robert Schleicher (1989). I really like the Rice book because it brings all of his typical concepts together in one book with a lot more detail on how to go about things. I have been an avid follower of MRP since its inception even though I haven't had a focus on design in a long time. The Schleicher book brings together all the articles written in Model Railroading (Not Model Railroader) magazine, and there are a lot of concepts that were a bit ahead of their time back in 1989. 

So armed with that I started out on the initial sketch. Not to much to see at this point but its at least something down on paper. I started out with 24" radius curves and I would like to keep that going if I can and I'll try not to go down below 22" curves. The modules have been drawn in and a couple of track centers added for the initial curves from the fiddle yard to Salina and from Salina to the Bridges section. It looks a bit old school at this point with a steel ruler and old style compass for the circles. It would be quicker if I made some templates up especially for the turnouts to make sure that what I draw will actually fit.

If you click on the picture for a bigger version you can make out some of my initial penciled in notes and the two large circles that represent 24" radius curves. The compass was my Dad's during his college days and is older than me!

Everything you wanted to know from Iain Rice in one place. Despite his ability to squeeze in track that actually can't be replicated I like his style and his concepts.

There is always an idea or two I can take away from MRP. I always seem to have one or two laying around for quick reading. I subscribe to the Layout Design Journal as well but they aren't always as readable as MRP.

This is my second copy of the this book as I wore the first one out. Some great ideas and concepts were definitely ahead of their time back in 1989. I think the series of articles on  building this layout were sometime between 1984-1986 in Model Railroading.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Clue Collection - 2015 Clue

I"m guessing I missed a release as this one has a copyright date of 2015. The 2013 edition featured a double board, so there were two places that the murder takes place in, much like the Game of Thrones edition. This edition goes back to the single board but we see a character dropped, Mrs White, and a character added, Dr Orchid. Nothing particularly special there since there are no special character cards in this edition of the game. We do get some very nice dynamic artwork on the cards though which is always nice to see. We all see the return of the clue cards, nine cards that are drawn whenever you roll the magnifying glass symbol on the dice. You select the card immediately and read it out loud and take the appropriate action. So new artwork on the cards, a new set of dice, but there are no changes in the weapon tokens. A nice addition to the collection and a good looking game.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture here

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

World War II Project - Basing the Germans

With the expectation of the Badger primers arriving this week I went ahead and started preparing the Germans for painting. I have been going back and forth on what bases to use for this. My British Airborne are already mounted on 25mm rounds which settles that part of the equation. I don't like the look of tall bases on the table so I want something that's a lower profile. I have some 1.5mm plywood bases from Litko that were going to be my first choice, but I would need a lot of filler to hide the base of the figure and I had no intention of cutting all those troops off their bases. I started rummaging through my base box and I found a bag of 25mm round bases from Proxie Models. These are low profile with a slight lip which I think are ideal for this. I kept digging and found two unopened bags and about half of another. These are the bases I use for Calamity but I haven't worked on any minis for that for a while and I forgot I had them.

That takes care of the regular standing troops, but I need larger bases for the teams. I pulled out some 60mm Litko bases to get an idea and arrange the teams on them to see how they look. 60mm is good for the deployed two man LMG teams and the sniper team. I need something a bit bigger for the HMG  and mortar teams. Fortunately Proxie Models is still in business so I ordered 25mm, 60mm, 75mm and 90mm rounds. Hopefully those will arrive shortly, they have been pretty quick in the past.

In the mean time I have based and added the fill to the regular German troops.

Standing troops mounted on the Proxie Models 25mm bases.

Here is the 60mm Litko base (1.5mm plywood) for a two man team. I suppose I might be able to fit this on a 40mm round

The deployed LMG on the 60mm base looks pretty good though with room for some scenery

The mortar team looks a little tight, especially if I want to include some scenic elements on the base.

The HMG team looks really tight though.

I have two jars of stuff from Liquitex, Resin Sand and Natural Sand and I can never remember which one I like the best.
This gunner's base is filled with the Resin Sand

The ammo carrier's base is filled with the Natural Sand

The first batch of Germans with the Resin Sand, which has a nice rougher texture

The whole group sans the team