Saturday, 25 February 2017

Vietnam Gun Trucks and Low Loaders.

Christmas is a time I usually expect to get loads of extra painting done but find that with the extra social events I actually achieve less. Work has also been quite a lot busier as we have been hit with redundancies, but still keep landing big contracts bringing in extra work. Some evenings I just fall asleep on the couch after dinner and don't feel much like painting.

I'm posting the following photos as I've gotten to a point where I am undecided as to how to finish them off. All the painting has been done and I have put a clear coat on them. When I finished off my M113's I did all the weathering before I clear coated them, but had some of the Tamiya spray paint lift. Hopefully the clear coat should stop this happening this time around.

The Trucks were based on 5 ton Solido Kaiser trucks. They turned out to be 2 1/2 ton trucks made to look like 5 tonner's. I had a Desert and Olive Drab Truck which had different wheels and slight differences in the Cargo body. To make them look the same I converted the wheels from a six wheel configuration to ten wheels using some cheap toy trucks as a basis. I also converted them to Gun-trucks of the earlier patterns based on 2 1/2 tonner's. One is a Convoy lead vehicle and the other a rear vehicle. The weapons and crew came from various sources.

The Low loading trucks are Corgi Mack trucks. I've found some references to them only being used by one US unit in Vietnam which I have bookmarked somewhere. The trailers seem to be a 1950/60's trailer that Corgi made for some earlier truck sets. I intend to paint up a more suitable cargo body for one of the trucks as my Bull Dozer will go on the other. Like the other trucks I found some differences in the two sets I bought. One has hollow backed plastic wheels, while the other has hard plastic solid versions. The rear bogey units (dismountable) have some differences in the metal casting.

One of the truck units had a missing wheel hub which I copied out of plastic card and melted sprue. One also had a missing air stack and both had broken off exhaust pipes. All were replaced with brass rod and plastic card.

The Mutt is by Hobby Master to which I added an M60 and crew. I also repainted the seats.
I have painted more MP's and dismounted Truck crew which just need the bases finishing off.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

9th Zulu Regiment finished

I have named these as the Umkhulushane. I hope that is the correct spelling as this seems to change depending on what resource you refer to. I may end up throwing out all the names at some stage if I find a complete record of the Zulu History. I recently downloaded Ian Knights Zulu rising but have not had a chance to read it yet. Which may have all the answers I need. I also tried to join his Facebook Historical group but seem to be being ignored for the moment.

I could go on about all the issues I had making this regiment but, dropping a box of them on the floor and dropping a lightbulb which I was changing above my desk on the finished figures should suffice. (I also ran out of filler on a long weekend). However they are finished now and fit in with the rest of the Army. The light was a bit dull today but have adjusted the photos as much as possible.

I had a rethink about my storage solution for my models. I decided that I don't really need display shelves in my room as I don't get that many visitors these days, and that would also be a waste of space. I found some plastic trays which were cheap enough and fit three regiment a tray, and are three trays tall. They fit perfectly into my shelving and will probably buy more. So far I have put all my Zulu and excess Vietnam figures and vehicles into these. I am looking into buying some magnetic sheets as most of my single figures are mounted on steel washers. The Zulu Regiments just need an anti-slip sheet under them.

Saturday, 31 December 2016


I have not touched my finished models or spent much time in my games room for about a month. I seem to lack the desire for them at the moment. However as the weather has been a bit unpredictable over the Summer break, I spend one day working outside and the next sat at my desk finishing some items off while watching repeats on TV.  I have finished off the Drum Set which may be a little too small. I guess you have to use anything in a Zombie outbreak, even a child's Drum Set. I also made some speakers out of spare blocks of Lego and some Air-con units also made out of Lego. The guy who made the Spector scenery gave me the inspiration for these.

Getting a bit tired of the repeats I ventured outside to my games room with no intention of doing anything other than looking around. I then decided that I should try and finish off the game I had been playing so I could go on to do something else. I then spent about three very enjoyable hours throwing dice around and trying to work out situations using Bolt Action that I would think that have never come up before.

This young Lady fought off the Tracker Dog twice in Hand to Hand combat, and then shot it twice causing a pin. The bikers in the Bar behind then further pinned it until it was inoperable and it was then captured.

I had to work out how these Cyber Females were to assault the Leopard Tank which was then pinned and unable to move. They were not able to damage it due to bad rolling but were very close to doing so. Meanwhile three heavy Walkers with Twin Flame throwers (out of shot) wanted to flame the Cyber Females but were worried about damaging the Tank. As it was the end of the game I just went and did it. Six shots were taken on the Females and six on the tank. Six Females were killed and the Tank was severely pinned. I guess it will need a new crew and a paint job before the next game.

In the above and below pictures I am trying out locations for the Air-con Units before I glue them down.

The next game I have set up features a Concert for the Survivors of the Invasion of the Terminators. Which I have named WADESTOCK. It has a heavy Police presence in case of over excitement or other trouble. Meanwhile the people responsible for the Rise of the Machines (am I allowed to say that?) are being punished interrogated but I forgot to take a photo of it. It involves being tied up on a rooftop with a spa pool.

Just in shot are the containers that are holding the Zombies in Cold Storage. I wonder if anyone has remembered to check the levels of Diesel in the Tanks for the Generators in all the excitment? I have printed out Akulas AR:SE rules to try out as they look like fun.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Resin and other disasters

I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry but I've had a good go at producing some resin goodies, and may have learnt a few things along the way. I read a few posts on resin casting and watched some videos on Youtube.
I found the official video and cannot see that I'd done anything wrong.

However my hunch that the problems were to do with heat was backed up by a few things that I had read. One suggestion that I found suggested that post heating might help to cure the resin. So Saturday a week ago I thought that as my partner was working it would be a good time to test out post heating in the oven. I was being careful and found an oven tray which I turned upside down and then covered with tin foil. The idea being to avoid any contamination.  I preheated the oven and started to do some vacuuming which was the days chore. After about ten minutes I put the resin on the tray and intended to come back in 10 minutes to check on progress. Well it was almost like 20 minutes when I looked up from vacuuming and noticed black smoke coming from the oven. Panic time!!! first I turned off the oven then opened the oven door. I rushed to the conservatory to open the large sliding door to let some air in and then went to see what had happened to the resin. Much to my surprise nothing really except it looked a bit curled. I grabbed the whole lot and then put it on the back step and spent about half an hour trying to get rid of the smell while trying not to breath anything in. I also finished off the vacuuming. After that it was still a bit smelly so had to open the front door and put a large fan in the hallway to move some air around. Of course by the time I'd finished this the wind had changed and it had started to rain so I went outside and picked the now wet resin off the grass which was where it had blown. I then stuck it on the top of a cupboard and ignored it till Sunday. When my darling came home everything was back to normal with no smell. Presumably if my brother reads this he will drop me in it over Christmas.

Sunday I checked the resin and found that it was really hard but curled. The primer was still sticky on most of the items. I thought I'd have a go with bending the resin with hot water. First few attempts were good as I had selected the best pieces but found that the water went cold too quickly. I then thought up a way of keeping the water hotter for longer by filling a stainless mug with hot water and then sitting it in a bowl of hot water like this.

This worked really well which meant I could go on and reform all the pieces in one go. A bonus was that the primer had also stopped being sticky. I had a couple of spares that obviously were never going to work as they had resin oozing out so these were dumped. I set everything aside and went and did some gardening. Later on I came and checked the pieces out but to my disappointment found that they had all curled again and the primer was sticky again. I muttered to myself that this was not worth it and put everything in here. (quite calmly)

My thoughts on this that too much time had passed which meant that air and moisture had gotten into the resin. I thought that the time taken to do this was longer than doing it in plastic. However I still had some decent moulds and plenty of resin. I had a test run with thicker depth on the window and used the left over resin to make some ammo boxes. I also had to use the lego boxes to give greater depth and preheated everything with a lamp and then used the lamp to heat the setting resin.

Look at the colour, this looks like professional moulded resin and the details are so crisp and square. I am going to start over and remould everything over the Christmas break while the weather is warm. I still have to work out the correct amount of resin to pour as the window is way too thick and wide so I need to shim the mould. 

At this point I am very happy and am planning on doing some other casting, but first I have to finish these houses.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Steel Panther

No not the Tank Game, the Band.

I suppose like most people I had not heard of a Band called Steel Panther as they are not the type of group likely to be in the Top 40. I spend quite a bit of time on Youtube and kept getting recommendations for videos of Steel Panther. I ignored them for awhile but one day checked them out as I got curious. What I found was not really to my taste as they were on stage at one of the British festivals acting like Rock Gods. I thought WTF? they can not be serious and went and looked at something else. However some time later a Video of them doing "She's Tight" popped at on my recommendations, which is an old Cheap Trick song and one of my old favourite groups from way back. This video was well done but it was obvious by now that they were not serious. I did a bit of googling and found out that they were a Parody Glam Rock Group who started as a Van Halen tribute group with the Singer fronting LA Guns previously to that. 

The thumbnail of 'She's tight" is a bit rude to post here but worth looking at.

The Burden of being Wonderful is quite good and shows off their sense of Humour quite well.

You may wonder why I am telling you so much about this group? I have had the EM4 Musicians in my Lead Pile with only a vague idea of what I was going to use them for. This video has inspired me to paint the figures as close as them as possible but with the clothing etc being different in some cases. Lexxi for instance is tall and thin but this model has an oversize bass and he is wearing a teeshirt. The other figures were fairly easy to mimic. I had an extra Guitar player who I decided to call Angus. I later thought that I should have made him Eddie (Van Halen). I did not paint Tattoos on their arms as I was quite pleased with the skin tones already.

Lexxi, Stix,Mike, Satchel, Angus

I have started to make a set of drums for Stix.

So now I have a miniature Parody Glam Rock Band fashioned after a real Parody Glam Rock Band. If you doubt their abilities as Musicians have a listen to the excellent cover of "Don't stop believing". The rest of their songs are too full of four letter words for me to recommend here. I have downloaded quite a few of them plus some other songs from the groups that inspire them.

Of course every Band needs its fans and other hanger's on. I had bought a group of Hippies from Casting Room Miniatures which I was going to use for Vietnam but later thought it could be in bad taste, and they were dressed in a later Fashion that the Mid to Late sixties I was trying to portray.

I think they turned out real well as the sculpting is to the Foundry standard rather than Casting Rooms. I had to repaint the placard as I first copied one of Satchels Tee shirts which said, "Say Perhaps to Drugs" which I found funny for about five minutes. It looked all wrong with black writing on white so I repainted in black and then applied the new slogan which looks much better. It suits the Hippy type and should be relevant for a few years.

The next four figures are all from EM4. Three are Hangers on doubling as security while that last one is the new Leader for my Red Gang which I refer to as the Deviants. He was inspired from watching Fury Road and is meant to be an earlier version of Immortan Joe.
I think I will call him "Immoral Joe".

I have some news about my efforts with casting which I will leave for next time. 
(Some of it is actually good.)