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, December 20, 2018

Sledgehammer Project; Preparation Pt XVI - The Renault UE Build

Finally had a little time to get back to this. I finished the body and now I'm contemplating the tracks. Of course they don't fit as shown, so its going to take a little fudging to get them in place I think.

A little surgery. Instructions for this variant could have been a bit more helpful here. Of course if I had though about it more I would have realized the armored plate I glued on here would be in the way of the armored MG housing that would go in this spot.

From the front left, notice the tracks I'm already messing with.

And from the back right.

And now I have to figure out the jigsaw puzzle of the tracks that appears to not quite fit the way it should.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

N-Trak Style Modular Gaming Boards

This discussion came up on TMP. One person actually said that it had failed for N Scale why would it work for table top miniatures. They obviously did no research and knew nothing of model railroading since N-Trak is probably one of the most successful concepts out there for modular railroads coming together at conventions. 

Anyway I thought about it and came up with some ideas, its not likely to get off the ground but since I spent some time actually writing it I figured I would post it. I actually used some of these concepts when working on the felt tournament boards for LEG.

Standards for modular terrain boards
The thought is to begin a discussion to create a set of standards that would allow a gamer to build one or more miniature boards, bring them to a convention and link it with other boards to form the terrain for big games or tournament boards.

There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration; size of the board, entry/exit points for roads, entry exit points for streams/rivers and how the boards are framed to ensure the primary surface is the same level across all the boards.

Board size – While 3’ sounds like a good width, 2’ widths are easier to move and you can purchase precut ½”x2’x4’ panels at most lumberyards or home builder centers . These are easy to transport, and provides a good base for framing. This gives maximum flexibility for board configurations. For example if creating a 4’x6’ board you can place 3 boards side by side or place 2 boards side by side and the third board across the end. Measurements must be precise, a board not exactly 2’x4’ will mess up the configuration possibilities. The reality of this is a single 4’x8’ sheet of plywood will only yield two perfect 2’x4’ boards because of the saw kerfs. The compromise would be boards that measure say 23 ¾”x 47 ¾”.

Road Entry/Exit locations – easiest is usually the best. Roads enter/exit every 6” on the 2’ side and at 1’ intervals on the 4’ side. That gives you 12 potential entry/exit points. All some or none could be used on any given board. Decisions on road width really can be left up to the builder. Obviously, boards built for 15mm boards, and smaller, will need smaller widths than for 28mm. But there is no point in trying to regulate it. Roads in real life vary in widths in odd places all the time. If using a different size board then roads exit/enter through the three equidistance points along the edge.

Stream/River, Entry/Exit locations. – These are always tougher. Either use the same entry/exit points as the roads and be willing to except some odd situations or pick the spaces in between the roads at 9” and 18” in from either end of the 4’ edge and 9” in from either end of the 2’ edge. If using a different size board then stream exit enter points should be have two entry/exit points along each board edge at equidistant intervals.

Scenery - Beyond the specific entry/exit points for roads and streams the builder is free to do whatever they like on their board.

For building a board frame the bottom with 2”x2”s (with one center brace) and put the ½” plywood over that. I would not use MDF as its heavy and somewhat fragile for something that is going to be moved around a lot. On top of the plywood glue either 2” thick blue or pink foam so that rivers and some other features can be cut in below the surface.

Really, that’s all it would take.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The One Left Behind

I try not to bring family stuff up in the blog very often, but every now and then something comes up. The November - December period in 2017 and we were hoping we would not repeat it in 2018, but circumstances change as they often do. I had a death in the family, an uncle, while not unexpected still struck a little closer to home than expected. I got to spend the weekend in a colder place than Colorado!

This is where we start. Beautiful church.

This is where we end. Talk about adding gloom to a not so cheery place. Yes, it is as cold as it looks.

And the one who is left behind. Probably a toss up on who was going to go first.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sledgehammer Project; Preparation Pt XV - 1/35th is it!

I started building the Renault UE from Mirage. I think this 1/35th scale version is just about right. While it is not the greatest plastic kit I have built, its not bad either. Its going to take a little corrective work in a couple of spots but I'm basically going to get it to the point of gluing on the tracks and then try to correct. The only thing missing is this version does not have the trailer. I think I have another kit on the way though that should have one. If it comes down to it I could probably use the 1/48th Gaso.Line trailer.

Here is the build so far along with a couple of scale shots at the bottom with one of the Sledgehammer crew.

The MadBob 1/56th scale Renault with the Sledgehammer crewman

The Mirage Hobby 1/35th scale Renault with the same crewman. I think this one hits the mark.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Early Christmas - USS Arizona

A very large packaged arrived this week containing my Christmas present from my wife. This is quite the departure for me and I imagine its going to be a very long build, but after visiting Hawaii this year this seemed quite appropriate.

I'll try and build it as it was the day of the attack, I'm sure there is plenty of reference photos out there. There is another whole kit of photo etched parts coming too, that will be a new experience. I know for sure that I won't be using the crew as supplied, they are not much more than blobs of plastic.

1/200th scale plastic goodness

The hull is about 36" long and 8" wide.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sledgehammer Project; Preparation Pt XIV - More Parts!

With a diorama this large, its helpful to break it up into a series of vignettes that lead towards the primary focus. In this case I'm envisioning the viewer taking in the whole piece, then focusing on different little scenes all of which will lead the eye back to the Sledgehammer. I found some resin rats and ravens on line through Tabletop-art out of Germany. Those arrived this week and I took a quick look and I'm very pleased with them. The rats I really could have gotten anywhere but the crows or ravens were the tough part. I'm quite pleased with these. I feel like I'm moving closer to realizing some of the ideas that are in my head.

Can't have trenches without rats!

A few crows/ravens should add some nice touches different areas.

A thank you card and another base that I doubt I will ever use!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sledgehammer Project; Preparation Pt XIII - Mirage Hobby Renault UE

I have moved up in scale one last time. I aquired a Mirage Hobby Renault for $8 on eBay this past week and it arrived on Saturday. I opened it up and it still looks to small for my intended purpose, and this version doesn't have the trailer but it does have the MG upgrade. So I'm going to go ahead and build this one up and then decide what to do from there. The Schneider CA1 is starting to look better and better at this point.

Here is a quick look at the kit. The box was definitely battered and bruised but I figured that was fine as long as the plastic sprues weren't damaged.