Friday, 30 September 2011

Undefined Advances

Having knocked up a few fighting compartments for the Basilisks, I ended up with several very bare sides for the fighting compartments. What do real SPGs have? Stowage and boxes for stowage on the sides, of course. So I took a couple of bits of Lego (pics 1 & 2), and boxed them up with plasticard (pic 3). On the Wild West front, I cut up a spot of balsa, and then glued and nailed it together (pics 4 and 5). What am I about? Well, what does a cowboy need that ain't a cow? A horse, of course. Enjoy, people!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

200th Post Extravaganza: Emperor's Wrath Artillery Company!

Yes, that's one Chimera command vehicle and 3 batteries of 3 Basilisks: nine of the beggars! Three have had their basic coat of paint, and the remaining vehicles will do soon enough. Imagine the destruction you can wreak on a table with that sort of firepower. Imagine the weight of firepower that can bring down pretty much any target that these guns represent. The Apoc formation of the title allows you to land every successive shot atop its predecessor without variation. Want to pulverise Marines at range? Want to overwhelm a superheavy with S9 Ordnance? We've got you covered. With high explosive, no less! Yet why stop there? Who wants a measly one company of artillery when you could have two of them?

Yes, the second company of these beasties is on the chopping board as I type. Keep your Berzerkers, Orks and Eldar. I'll take the Guard, and blast you to smithereens at ranges nobody would believe. These monsters have a twenty foot range, remember, so they really can reach out and touch the opposition - and don't just think about blasting the enemy in front of you. Your guys are a bit close, say, and you don't fancy the scatter. Fear not. Blast the snot out of the enemy attacking on the other flank of the battlefield, twenty feet up-table. If you hit a couple of your allies, well, it's the fun kind of friendly fire!

I could cheer myself a bit more, but I shall just let you guys gawp at the guns. ;-) The first pic is actually of parts for the next six Basilisks, but all the others are for this first completed company of Bassies. In the Emperor's Name, chaps, enjoy the firepower!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Basilisk batteries and Lego

Yes, batteries of Basilisks: six of the fellas in various stages of completion are on the bench at the minute. Come to think of it, there are 3 outside, so I could sell the lot as a complete Apocalypse formation at the end of all this work. The look is somewhat inspired by the German WWII Elefant (see below, sourced hence). I have previously espoused the benefits of Lego, and today is yet another opportunity to use my oratorical, rhetorical and declamatory skills in favour of it: it's great! Ages ago I knocked up parts for loads of Bassies, but got distracted by other things, and depressed, so the parts remained just that. Lately I've been getting back into the groove, and Lego has proved a godsend. Do I want an angled front? Lego can provide it (see pic 1). Is 0.5mm plasticard great for cutting to the right size but not quite strong enough on its own? Lego can help (pic 2). Do I want some additional internal structures to strengthen my build? Lego can help (pic 3)! Then I boxed in the rest of that vehicle, added a spare Baneblade exhaust (pic 4), and added a spare Baneblade Heavy Bolter to the front (pic 5).

But Lego isn't just handy for that sort of thing. I had three roofs and sides for Basilisk fighting compartments, cut long ago. I wanted a regular look to their angled side, and structural stability. Yet again, Lego helped out (pics 6&7). There was a slight case of overhanging fighting compartments, but when you consider that I accidentally made the hull widths 5 Lego blocks across and not 6, and that the roofs and sides predated any intention to use Lego, it isn't so bad. In fact, I rather like how it turned out. The guns (Russ muzzles, plasticard tube, some plumbing thingy as the base) were superglued to 0.5mm plasticard which was superglued to Lego blocks. Two of these were glued to the turret roof, and the third was glued to the floor and uses an angled block to suggest that the gun is inclined to fire at range (pic 8). Lego is more adaptable than this. Anyone experienced with it will realise that you could use the stuff to have guns aiming up or down. Pics 9 and 99 show the battery together, prior to the backs being closed in.

Sorry again for the delay in getting these things up. I was working on 'em the whole time I was watching stuff. I don't know about you, but having something distracting on really helps the work fly by! I'm going to head upstairs now and see whether I can find the Basilisk bits I made for the second company of them. I don't know that I made so many of the extra pieces, but the guns exist! Enjoy these pics, dear reader.

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Way back here are some Laser Destroyers, Exterminators, Thunderers, Chimeras and Griffons on Ebay. These are lots of wee toys to play with, fellow wargamerinos! On a different scale of return, I see that I now have 20 followers, although I don't know who you are because my machine is utterly primitive. My 200th post approaches, so I might soon employ said post as an excuse to do all sorts of things. Perhaps I will hire an acrobat, but I might as readily acquire for myself a gun-toting halibut. Er, less readily, since I'll assume that taught halibuts are being exploited by their masters.

I will be putting up a lot of pictures later. Two things have combined to prevent me from so doing as yet. First, I'm watching Dexter. Second, he's on an External HDD which commands the same socket that the camera does. Ergo, I have the one socket either to watch stuff or upload it. I would like to say I have another socket, but while I agree that another computer exists, I can't use it. I don't know whether Mum's using it to access genealogical records or Dad's updating Church records or my brother's looking into his finances. Any one of these three is really inconvenient, but that's just how things are!

Anyway, good luck to you Ebayers!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Shack and Sheriff's Office: preliminary painting

Well, less painting, more staining. I hit both of these buildings with my usual grey Halford's primer, but balsa gets a bit fluffy when you do this. So I then started diluting paints and using inks and washes to help flatten out the surface texture a bit. It's working quite well, but I've missed a few places, and been a bit sloppy here and there. It's just struck me that I'll need a Wanted  Poster or two for the Sheriff's Office. In other news, I have several squadrons of things up on Ebay. There's a pair of squadrons of Thunderers, here and here. Then there's a trio of Griffons, one of Exterminators, kitbashed Laser Destroyers (two on Chimera chassis, one on a Russ) here, and a trio of Chimeras, including one with a funky, repurposed Russ turret. Anyway, here are the pics of the buildings so far. Enjoy, folks!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

"Hittites: I don't know that word"

Sorry, photos later, history first. There was an article in the 'paper the other day about how pupils taking History at GCSE had gone down drastically under the last government. It's hard, apparently, and schools try to discourage people from taking it because it drags down their other exam results. Funnily enough, History was my worst GCSE, too. I won't say what I got, because you'll reach through the net and punch me. The problem I had was with the nature of the course, needless to say, not history itself. Heck, the prime part of my History GCSE was WWI, which GCSE History rendered as tedious an experience as it depicted trench warfare to be. Less bloody, though. But back in the '90s we didn't get a run-through of historical events, just snap-shots. The Franco-Prussian War got mentioned as it led to WWI, but I was the only one not to be called an idiot by one of our blood-crazy Art teachers, as I read wargaming magazines, and had thus heard of the Crimean War, even though my knowledge amounted to: insufficient protection against the cold, French with us, Florence Nightingale, some dates, Charge of the Light Brigade (Errol Flynn ;-) ), Balaclava, and Inkerman. General Studies Art also taught me that it was the first war to feature war photographers. Vital subject, General Studies Art. Vital.

"Pete, get back on track!" Er, yeah, so schooling. I was just watching a show called Eggheads with my parents. It contains two teams: quiz-winning champions on one, the titular eggheads, and on the other are the challengers. Today's instalment had a team of young fellas (about eighteen) from King David's School in Manchester. If you have a think, you'll not be surprised if I tell you that it's a school with strong Jewish connections. Whether you're religious or not, you've probably heard something about King David. Anyway, one of the questions on History went to one of their players.

Questioner: Aurelian and Quintillus were rulers of which empire? Hittite, Roman or Babylonian?
Contestant: Well, it doesn't sound Roman. I don't get a Babylonian vibe from it. I don't know the word Hittite. I don't think I've seen it before. I'm going to say Hittite.

Whoops-a-daisy! :-D

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Oy, oy, oy

There's a potential downside to staying up until gone 4am reading. It's pretty close to this. You get woken at twenty past seven by your brother closing a door in the corridor. You try to go back to sleep. At twenty to eight you get a text from a friend who needs to find another friend's address. Not having it, you suggest some other people, as the friend's incommunicado (he's visiting a monastery abroad, incidentally, which is pretty cool). There then follows a series of text messages which presumably involve him checking out the various suggestions. I'm too tired to remember. You drop off again before twenty to nine (because that's when the last one's time-stamp is). Then at quarter to eleven a different friend rings you to see how you are. You can sometimes subconsciously feel the electrical disturbance caused by phonecalls before they happen, so you actually woke up about slightly earlier. He apologises, and lets you go back to sleep. Then at half eleven there's noise outside, and you get woken up again. You drift off, and then wake up again at about one, because Dad's headed out somewhere in the car.

If you'd gone to sleep at four and woken at one, you'd have had a lovely nine hour sleep and been fresh as a daisy. Unless you were repeatedly woken up. Let's switch person now: I barely feel human. I guess the answer is don't stay up reading until 4am, officer. I don't think I'll be able to tonight.

In unrelated news, it looks as though Yahoo are going to kill off (from my perspective of technological obsolescence) their Chat portal, but miraculously, it turns out that Gmail's one is happy to tolerate my Stone Age machine, so I still get to talk to my mate in Korea. Farewell, Yahoo! No more feeding me celebrity irrelevancies under the guise of news! Aha! Ugh, those exclamation marks are too loud when you've had such broken sleep as I. Anyway, folks, I have done a spot of work on painting the Sheriff's Office and the Shack, and I'll get some photos up later or tomorrow, depending how revivifying a shower is and whether I can get anywhere near Dad's PC to do some other stuff I absolutely have to do. Bye-bye for now.

Friday, 16 September 2011

If you see a painted sign at the side of the road that says 15 miles to the Love Shack...

Are you looking for the Love Getaway? You may, if I am honest, have reached the wrong destination. Best check your GPS. This is a wargaming (well, ok, I've played nowt in years - terrain? Yeah, terrain) site, and I made a little old place where some of my cowboys can get together. It strikes me that trying to fit my terrain-making into the lyrics has inadvertently suggested that my tight-lipped cowboys are, ah, simultaneously less tight-lipped under certain circumstances. Ooh! Pardon me! Ooh, titter ye not!

"Pete, can the gayuendo and say what you've been doing." Well, get you! Pfft!
I have been a-working my fingers to the bone on a shack. I fancy a Wild West town does need a few places for the inhabitants to lay their weary heads. It struck me as I took this fella off to be undercoated that I should design these buildings with one thing in mind: firefights! They are wargaming buildings, and will never be wholly accurate period replicas, no matter what I do. Don't fault my endeavour, though, as I watched Two Mules for Sister Sara, Blazing Saddles and Big Deal at Dodge City yesterday.

"PETE! What have you been doing?!" Oh, I made a shack. I undercoated it earlier. The Sheriff's Office is indoors now and will probably get painted tonight. They are fairly close in conception: I wanted a small building capable of holding 3+ figures and with a few spots for shooting out of. Oh, a preposition ending my sentence? You can tell we're in the Wild West, pardner! Right, so I got some balsa and superglued it together. I am running low on pins, so only superglue featured here. I cut a window and door, and did use some pins for the window. The door is, like the last one, the unholy mixture of a wooden toothpick, some 3.2mm plasticard tube and a few dabs of liquid superglue. The hinge rotates nicely outward but not fully inward. I'm doing summat wrong, but quite what has yet to appear on my radar. "Pete, no radar in the Wild West." Oh. On my horizon? "Better." OK.

Righto, well enjoy these pics, folks. Beds, cupboards, wash-basins et al will follow later on . . . once I have worked out their particulars!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

I'm the law around here

The office of the Sheriff is well under way. Heck, I might even get it finished today. I got some thick balsa, cut a few small holes for windows and a big one for the door. I superglued the bits together and supported the joints with pins as before, using a few more pins to give bars to the windows. Then I got some pieces of plasticard tube (round and rectangular). I cut two lengths of the rectangular tube to the width of the Sheriff's Office, one for the bottom of the bars and one for the top. I cut a load of 5mm long bits of 4mm tube to serve as mounting points, then cut lots of 2.4mm tube to provide the bars themselves. I glued every bar in place save the end one, which I left loose. It provided the hinge for the door, you see. The details of the door's construction speak for themselves, I fancy. I cut small bits and bit bits for this and that, and cut a couple of bits of rectangular tube to fill the large gaps above and below the door proper. There's a gap for food to be passed through, but no lock.

Really, there's very little left to do. I need a desk, chair and rack of rifles for the Sheriff, and a door, roof and sign for the whole structure. Then I can stick some paint on it. It's been very easy to assemble, this wee thingy. Enjoy the pics, folks!

Return of the Bombard

Following its unsuccessful tour of Germany, my Bombard has returned. While there's still no clear explanation how the postal service can have attempted to deliver it without my buyer noticing, two small puzzles have been clarified. First, it was Deutsche Post who tried to deliver it. Second, the reason my buyer couldn't track it through Deutsche Post is because they didn't use the Royal Mail's tracking code. I won't stick the full code out in public out of some confused feelings about online security, but the English code begins RJ and ends GB, while DP's code begins RL and ends DE, with a nine-digit number between. There's some overlap of numerals, and the national codes in GB/DE are clear enough. However, I have no idea how a sender or recipient could track this. My buyer tried the Royal Mail code on DP, who said they had no record of such a package. Well, no, not if they've given it a new code unknown to sender or recipient!

Opening it up, the ammo-loading crane's been broken, but that is the weakest part of the kit, and even coating it in bubble-wrap and those little foam thingies, bad things will happen. I think it should be easily fixed with an application of super glue. The buyer and I agreed last night to give up on this. It's really been difficult, not having a job, to find the money to pay for postage for the other things I've been posting. Hopefully, now this is over, I can turn the clock back to the way it was before! Anyway, here are some pics to breathe life into my dry and dusty words. See ye anon, dear reader!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Adding up AFVs

You know, I thought I had sold a lot of my tanks, but it seems that only a small proportion has gone into the ether. I decided I'd grab hold of them all and tote up what I have left. It's a humbling number. This is AFVs of all types, not just tanks. I've packed 72 of them onto my shelves, and another 22 mostly complete ones are scattered around the place. It looks like the mess of that item that didn't reach Germany is about to clear up. The Royal Mail say they (or rather their German partner, probably Deutsche Post) tried to deliver it on Saturday, so it's apparently wending its way back to me. My buyer was in, met the postie, and received some other post, but neither the package nor a note to say it had failed to appear. Nor does DP have any record of it. So at this point I'm giving up. I sent one item. It vanished. I sent a replacement. The postal services are at best colossally incompetent. So I'm hoping he'll just take a refund and all will be well again.

Then I mean to start getting rid of vehicles in squadrons. It'll let me decrease the numbers a bit more quickly. I did a bit of work last night on a super (Banehammer? Banesword?) to finish off a squadron of the beasties, which I'll then pop on Ebay. Although not until the next time they have a free listing weekend. I haven't paid enough attention to that, and I'm paying for it financially now. Had to renew my car insurance the other day, and it's ridiculously expensive. A friend tried to explain to me why insurance companies charge more to the unemployed (who are most likely to have no cash) than to students or the employed (who are more likely to have cash), but I still don't understand it. Still no response to these job thingies I keep sending out. Bah.

On a lighter note, I made brownies yesterday, and they're very nice indeed. I forgot to put macadamia nuts in, so earlier on I pulverised a few and had them with a brownie and some ice cream. Heavenly! I've been doing a lot of tidying and organising today, so no progress as yet on anything wargamery, but there's a while yet afore bedtime, so there's a chance yet. It's a good thing it's a few hours before sleep, as the models boxed and shelved have displaced books, which have now occupied my bed in serried ranks. Before I away, here's a teaser of the super I'm working on. Whatever their name, they're the long-range artillery variant. There's a third in the attic, with the regular allocation of sponsons, so you've guess correctly that this third beastie will have double-side sponsons. Twin-linked Heavy Flamers, of course - not because she is the sort of vehicle to charge into the action, but because she is the sort of vehicle that enemy deep-striking troops will go for. Until next time, mes amis, goodbye!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Water towers and a bridge

Want to know how to make a water-tower, kids? Well, gather round! First, grab yourself some large round thing. I've used a bit of plastic drainpipe. I cut two to a height of 3". Then you need something to coat it in. So I got a spot of balsa wood, and cut it into 3" long planks that are 10mm across. Talk about a confusion of measurements! Then I glued them carefully in place with liquid superglue. I seem to have got better result with this stuff than with gel superglue. There's probably an excellent reason. Anyway, see pictures 1 and 2 below for the aftermath.

One of these water-towers will sit on my hotel, and the other will be one for the town. I'm going to watch Tremors again soon, as there's a good looking water-tower in that film. I have a pretty fair notion of how I want this thing to go together, though, so I've done the basic work. Knowing me, I'll find out I need to tear a hole in it to fit in some essential part! :-D Anyway, I got a piece of balsa about 4" by 4", and scribed it on either side so it looked like it had 10mm wide planks. Then I measured 15mm in along each side and marked a point to put a pin through. I made a schoolboy error here. The thing to do with pins is to glue first, then put them in later. I did it the wrong way round, and paid the price in blood, as picture 3 shows! Also in that picture, you can see the kind of pins I used, a short poster pin. I removed the plastic ball by cutting a line with a knife, then gently rocking it back and forth with a pair of pliers. Don't be rough or you'll twist it.

But just the legs on their own are a bit rickety, so if you take a look at real water towers, you'll see the legs linked together for strength. So I set out to do this, first gluing lengths of balsa between the legs, then gently hammering in these pins. See pictures 4 and 5. There's no point having a water tower unless you can get up to the thing and snipe from it - or get shot off it. In the real world, there may even be folks who want to repair it or somesuch, but a vantage point is as good a reason for a ladder as any. So after securing the legs, with Z-frames on two sides, I added a ladder. See pictures 5, 6 and 7. There are a few more details to add to this beasty, but she's well on her way to completion.

As well as this, I started a bit of work on a bridge. I have the idea sketched out, and you can get an idea of her size from pictures 8 and 9. I went a bit overboard on this one, and hammered a pin through every fake plank at four different points. The end bits, which are now sticking out, will be cut back, and a ramp added at either end. She might sit on a specially made river base, and then again, she might stand apart. I haven't made any river terrain yet, but I've long intended to! This might be just the impetus I need. Until next time, dear reader!

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