Sunday, 31 October 2010

[W.I.P] The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).

Welcome back,
                          a brief update today I'm afraid. Work has been pretty hectic lately and has eaten in to valued hobby time, a pattern that unfortunately looks like it is going to continue right up till Christmas, that doesn't mean that I haven't been productive with what little time I have had.

After copious amounts of indecision I finally decided on which Highland Infantry regiment I was going, and as you may have guessed it is The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), I've gone for a pretty simple and totally incorrect colour scheme, but one that I think will work on 6mm miniatures, which is vertical green stripes over blue to give the impression of tartan. It obviously looks nothing like tartan up close but if your at least a foot away it gives the right impression (or so I think). Unfortunately no pictures yet as the weather was awful today and I just couldn't get any taken (I'll definitely post some up on Tuesday though).

In other news, voting is due to start for the Lead Adventure Forum's "Build Something Competition", my entry "Floating Islands Of Atlantis" is located in Group B. There's some extremely good entries in there too and I urge everyone to go have a look, lots of inspiration to be had, you could also vote whilst you're there.

That's all from me for now, more pictures and an update on Tuesday.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

[Finished] British Aeronef Battleship Squadron.

Welcome back again Ladies & Gentlemen, 
                                                                                as I promised earlier I have another Aeronef laden post for you today, finally finished touching up the bits that needed doing to my scratch built battleships. These were firmly inspired by the pre-dreadnoughts and turret ships of the Victorian era, the inspiration should be fairly obvious to those with knowledge of the Victorian Navy but the first ship HMS Royal Oak is inspired by HMS Victorian & HMS Sans Pareil (1887), I just loved the idea of the main armament being located in a single turret and the overall design of the ships.
HMS Royal Oak (Victoria Class)

The second lot of ships were inspired by the layout of HMS Inflexible (1876) & HMS Colossus (1882) with the two turrets placed en echelon amidships, so that there was some degree of all round fire from the two turrets. Some compromises were made with the design as I'm still getting to grips with plasticard modeling (I would love to revisit these at a later date when I'm a little more confident about my abilities).

HMS Conqueror & HMS Colossus (Conqueror Class)

The bulk of the ships was built out of styrene from Evergreen, I'm pretty sure it was the 2mm stuff, the decks were again made from styrene, this time the really thin timber cladding stuff and the funnels were made from tubes of styrene. The turrets (VAN-7011 British Twin Gun Turrets) and masts (VAN-7001 Spare Masts) are made by Brigade Models and are available separately.

10th Battle Squadron (Reserve): HMS Conqueror (Conqueror Class), HMS Colossus (Conqueror Class) & HMS Royal Oak (Victoria Class)
I thought it might be useful to see the varying sizes of the different ships, here is an idea with examples of each ship class that I own.

From Left to Right: Conqueror Class, Victoria Class, Exeter Class, Ralwalpindi Class, Steadfast Class, Cossack Class

Hope you've enjoyed the update. 

[Finished] British Aeronef Cruiser Squadron.

Welcome back again,
                                        I did more work on the British Aeronef fleet over Sunday and Monday and got them up to a point I was fairly happy with, they're not the best painted nef's in the world but I'm pretty happy with them, they're certainly a lot better than they were. On to the pictures anyway:

13th Cruiser Squadron: HMS Minotaur (Exeter Class), HMS Centaur (Exeter Class), HMS Leopard (Ralwalpindi Class)  
The Ralwalpindi and one of the Exeter class cruisers came in one of Brigade Models starter packs along with the escorts and a French Fleet, the other Exeter I bought separately. 

13th Cruiser Squadron: HMS Minotaur (Exeter Class), HMS Centaur (Exeter Class), HMS Leopard (Ralwalpindi Class)
Once my French Fleet is painted up I'll be looking at expanding the British Fleet, at the moment I have my eye on another Ralwalpindi, a Britannia Battlecruiser, an Albion Fighter Carrier and some Arethusa Destroyers. Of course that will mean that I have to expand my French fleet too... and the ideas for a third and forth fleet...

13th Cruiser Squadron: HMS Fortune, HMS Fury, HMS Fearless (Steadfast Class), HMS Minotaur (Exeter Class), HMS Centaur (Exeter Class), HMS Leopard (Ralwalpindi Class), HMS Hunter, HMS Hornet, HMS Hotspur (Cossack Class)

I'll post another update this afternoon featuring my scratch built battleships. Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 24 October 2010

[Finished] British Aeronef Escorts.

Welcome Back,
As some of you may be aware I began painting up my British aeronef fleet for the Atlantis Campaign over on the Lead Adventure forum back at the beginning of the year, unfortunately the response to my pictures was hardly that amazing (in retrospect I can see why) and I lost all desire to paint up the French fleet. With the launch of my new blog I decided that it was about time that my British Fleet had a second outing, of course lying in harbour for an extended period of time does no favours to any fleet and so the fleet in preparation for it's review was ordered (quite literally) to dust off the cobwebs, holystone the decks and to apply a fresh coat of paint. 

From the back: HMS Fortune, HMS Fury, HMS Fearless (Steadfast Class), HMS Hunter, HMS Hornet, HMS Hotspur (Cossack Class).

The main things I wanted to fix were the decks, which had been painted pretty dark, I really wanted them to be a lot lighter than they were and I think the ships look a whole lot better for it. Other than that it was mostly a case of touching up the spots that I felt needed some work. Unfortunately it's been a lot more work than I initially thought and so I only have the escorts done, anyway thought I'd better post a few pictures to show that I have been doing something this week.

On Patrol: HMS Fortune, HMS Fury, HMS Fearless (Steadfast Class)

In addition to painting up my British aeronefs I've also been working more on my terrain piece for the Lead Adventure Forum "Build Something 2" Contest, although I was pretty happy with it I felt that it needed something else, so I've added some Z Scale trees that I bought off Ebay, they're not the greatest of trees but for the price that I paid for them they are an absolute bargain.

I also began work on a new terrain piece, the inspiration came from Christian over on the Lead Adventure Forum, of course I didn't want one in the same scale so mine will be for 6mm. Pictures of that on Tuesday probably, i'll try and get more aeronefs done for then too.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

[Finished] Naval Brigade.

Welcome back to Martians & Machine Guns,

On Sunday I posted pictures of the progress I'd made on the Naval Brigade, in my little bit of free time yesterday I painted the bases and moved them one step closer to being finished. I can however proudly report that today they are ready for action (barring a few little touch ups). I managed to get the last coat of dry brushing done early this morning leaving me most of the rest of the day to get them flocked up and waiting for a spot of decent light to take pictures in. So without further ado let me present my Naval Brigade.

Naval Brigade of HMS Atropos & HMS Panther.

The bases were flocked with Games Workshop Static Grass and Woodland Scenics Medium Green Foliage, having been a long time Epic collector, I used to just flock my miniatures with the static grass but I've found that the addition of the foliage really helps to break up the bases and add a little more colour. I also tried a little experiment with a small twig on one of the bases which I think looks pretty good, not something I'd be willing to repeat a lot but definitely something that adds a little interest.

Naval Brigade of HMS Atropos & HMS Panther.

As I've stated previously I have a pair of Nordenfelt's and a pair of Gatlings to add to the Naval Brigade (I want to end up with at least 2 Bases of Infantry and 2 Machine Guns I think) but I need to place another order with Renedra before I can get started on them. This means that  next up will be the Highland Infantry.

Naval Brigade of HMS Atropos & HMS Panther.

Obviously I couldn't take pictures without doing an army shot, so the army so far:

Pictured: Naval Brigade to the front, Durham Light Infantry on the rear.
Pictured: Naval Brigade on the left, Durham Light Infantry

Anyway in further news, I've also made progress on my entry for the Lead Adventure Forum "Build Something" Competition, after several coats of dry brushing the whole thing began to look much, much better and a lot less like the "crushed weetabix" that it resembled. Since I had the static grass and foliage out today it got a coat of that too, now it's just a question of whether I have anything else to add to it. Once again pictures once the competition has closed.


[News] Spartan Games Announces Dystopian Wars.

Spartan Games has released the first previews of it's latest creation Dystopian Wars. Due to be released in November 2010 it will initially feature four main factions; the Kingdom of Britannia, the Empire of the Blazing Sun, the Prussian Empire and the Federated States of America. Set in 1870 the game is very heavily influenced by Steampunk, and features amongst it's wilder creations Landships built to rival Cathedral's, Aerial Aircraft Carriers and Double Decker Paddle Ship Aircraft Carriers.

First indications of size put the battleships and carriers at around 5-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide, though it remains to be seen if this is a consistent scale across air, sea and land. What is almost certain is that there will be no infantry models, with suggestions that infantry will be represent by either card tokens or not at all.

It is rumored that all three elements are able to take part in the same game, rather than there being three separate game systems, this is certainly an interesting idea if it works and I look forward to future news from Spartan Games on this.

There is almost certainly going to be more factions in Dystopian Wars, a world map on the Spartan Games website shows the Covenant of Antarctica, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Coalition and the League of Italian States. Of these the secretive Covenant of Antarctica holds perhaps the most draw to this wargamer.

Looking at previous Spartan Games releases it is hard to imagine that the miniatures for Dystopian Wars will be anything less than brilliant.


Sunday, 17 October 2010

[W.I.P] Naval Brigade - Progress.

Welcome back to Martians & Machine Guns,
                                                               I've had a day off today and the girlfriend is at work so I've been able to make some progress with my Naval Brigade. During the week I finished off painting the miniatures, this was mostly just touch up work on bits that I had missed the first time around. Once that was done I began basing them up on their bases. 
Work In Progress: Naval Brigade

Work In Progress: Naval Brigade
As with my DLI Infantry stands these Naval Brigade stands were covered with Games Workshop sand and PVA. As an experiment, I took an officer from one of the Marching Infantry stands for use as a Naval Officer, I think the result is quite nice, but I can't help feeling that he should be in the firing line rather than stuck out on the edge of the base, unfortunately it's too late to change.

As you can see, not a great deal of progress made, but I've also been working on my competition entry for the Build Something Competition over on the Lead Adventure Forum. With the deadline looming nearer I decided that I couldn't afford to wait too much longer before painting and so after a quick coat of black I began applying colour. Unfortunately there are no pictures, but once the competition is over I'll post up the finished result over here.

Work In Progress: Naval Brigade
Anyway that's all for the moment, hopefully I'll be back soon with pictures of the finished Naval Brigade and news on some new idea's I've had.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

[WIP] Floating Rocks.

Welcome back to Martians & Machine Guns,
                                                                               There is a great competition over on the Lead Adventure Forum to make your own terrain that fits on to a CD, Well it's getting on towards the deadline and I finally made enough progress with my idea last night to get started on it, so without further ado, my work in progress terrain piece.

Work In Progress: Underside of the Cork Rocks.

Started off with some bits of cork tile that I lying around, stuck them together with some PVA and pushed a nail through the middle, then i added some Games Workshop sand (Yes, I know I'm a fool for buying it) to the underside to give a bit of extra texture. The rocks were then stuck to the CD using some green stuff, I kept the head facing down so that they were easier to base, unfortunately they were a little bit wobbly so I added some extra cork to the base to support the nails. I also added some bits of twig for use as bridges between the rocks.

Work In Progress: Showing cork on the base for support.

Work In Progress: Showing the twigs used as bridges.

Work In Progress: Another shot of the bridges.

I created a top piece for the largest rock, using some more cork, this time I added a ring from a bubble blower for a sort of Stargate/Ring sort of thing and an old bead from the bits box in the centre, the whole thing was stuck down to the cork using green stuff. I then textured the green stuff using a piece of cork but I think the whole thing will probably get a coating of sand and PVA anyway as i'm not all that happy with it.

Work In Progress: The Gate/Artifact.

Finally i created some roots and root pods, they will probably be added to the bottom surface of the cork rocks, they were made out of some green stuff and some knackered spring things we use at work.

Work In Progress: The Root Pods.

Hope you enjoyed the project so far, hopefully will get some more done today.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

[Review] Renedra Wargames Accessories Bases.

           Back again and with another review, this time it's plastic bases from the wargames accessory manufacturer Renedra.

I've been aware of Renedra for over a year having ordered bases from them previously for a stalled 2mm project, so when it came to my 6mm project i already had an idea of what i wanted.

The website is really user friendly and laid out in a way that allows you to immediately find the online store. Each item has a picture and a description so that there is no mistake as to what you are buying, an excellent feature for a site that primarily sells bases. My last order from the site was at the beginning of the year and already the range of products that Renedra produce has increased, for those of you interested they also do what looks like a great range of 28mm Civil War accessories for Perry Miniatures. 

Once ordered the bases came within a couple of days, they were nicely packed in a bubble wrap filled postal envelope and each pack of bases came in a separate bag. There were no breakages and everything arrived in good shape, no real surprises here but i thought it was worth mentioning. What was a surprise was the hand written note on my invoice thanking me for my custom, a wonderful gesture from the great folks at Renedra and just one more reason to keep going back to them. Anyway on to the product.

Renedra 50x25mm Base: As they came delivered.

Renedra 50x25mm Bases: On the sprue.

Having trialed various base sizes with card beforehand i knew exactly what i required for my 6mm infantry companies, a nice 50x25mm base. Each pack comes in a variety of colours (green, brown & grey) a nice option for those who don't like to paint the edges of their bases but since i prefer a nice black painted edge i plumped for grey. The underside of the bases are very slightly textured to prevent slipping on the games table whilst the topside is nice & smooth. The pack that i ordered cost £2.00 for 15 bases, that works out at less than 14p per base, a real bargain i'd say. The bases are very high quality moldings, the plastic is hard but easy enough to work with and once cut off the sprues the bases are ready to use. Having based up a few stands of miniatures now, i can say that the bases hold sand very well and once painted and flocked they look amazing. Personally i prefer to base the figures on the textured side and have the smooth side on the table, not that it makes all that much difference.

Renedra 50x25mm Bases: Off the sprue.
Renedra 50x25mm Base with Baccus 6mm Infantry.

So yes a very dull review but i got exactly what i ordered and fantastic service to boot. Renedra will definitely be receiving more of my money in the future for bases, I think I've decided on 25x25mm for artillery pieces and 50x50mm for cavalry bases. Now i just have to finish what i've started.

Ease of Ordering:  9/10

Quality of Service:  10/10

Quality of Product:   9/10
Packaging & Delivery:  9/10
Value for Money:  9/10

[W.I.P] Naval Brigade.

Welcome back to my blog
                                                       This time it's another update on my 6mm project. On Wednesday I posted up the finished bases of my Durham Light Infantry and I was deliberating as to what I should do next, after a little consideration and an evening of preparation work on both the Naval Brigade and the Highland Infantry I was no further forward, a quick look at the Sudan painting guide by Michael Perry (HERE) convinced me I wasn't quite ready for 6mm tartan and so I started work on the miniatures for my Naval Brigade.

Work In Progress: Naval Brigade.

The miniatures are once again Baccus 6mm, this time they are from the American Civil War range, an idea I picked up from "chopperboydan" over on the Baccus forums. The pack I chose was ACW8 - Infantry, Shell Jacket, Hat, Skirmish.   I had a look at the picture over on the Baccus website and it seemed to show skirmish infantry in hats, when I started painting the miniatures up I realised that unfortunately some of them were wearing Kepi's. I'm not entirely sure what to do about this. Do I leave them out and order more miniatures to fill out my stands? Or do I spread them out across the four stands and just live with them? I'm not sure.

Work In Progress: Naval Brigade.

The blue looks a bit light to me at the moment but I'd prefer that to it being too dark, they are a bit messy still and I've i
picked out quite a few bit's I've missed but on the whole I'm rather happy with where they are at, hopefully I should have them completed by the end of the week. 

The initial plan for the Naval Brigade is to have four stands of infantry, two naval Gatling gun stands and two naval Gardner guns. For full VSF potential I'm considering additional stands of Naval Brigade so I can field a full battalion of Naval Infantry.
Work In Progress: Walking Machine.

In addition to the Naval Brigade I began work on a walking machine, it's based on an Epic era Space Marine dreadnought, I've added a boiler and coal bunker using plastic card and a claw from an Epic Ork tank. I tried my hand with a little bit of green stuff sculpting but it ended up rather messily and I'm still in the process of removing it.

Anyway that's all for now.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

[Review] Baccus 6mm Colonial British Infantry.

Well I'm back already with another update, hopefully one of many. 

As I begin to build up this blog from it's foundations I thought I'd review some of the purchase's that i've made in this last year, we start off with the British Infantry from the Baccus 6mm Colonial Range. 

I have been a long time fan of all thing's small scale, the ability to field mass formations and fight battles rather than skirmishes has always appealed to me, so when i discovered that Baccus produced a range of 6mm British Colonial Infantry I just had to have some. 

Finding the Colonial Range if you don't know where to look on the Baccus website is a bit of a pain, unlike most of the 6mm product ranges that Baccus produce it is not listed on the dark green side bar, instead you have to click on products and scroll down to the page to find them. A minor inconvenience but one that could lead many people to over look this range.

Once you've found the range it is divided into five sections, the British, the Boers, the Egyptians, the Mahdists and the Zulu's, a nice touch that allows you to find the models you're looking for almost instantaneously.  The British Range consists of 24 individual packs divided between the Zulu Wars and the Sudan Campaigns of 1885/6. Each individual pack is laid out well giving a description of the contents, a price for the EU and the Rest of the World and in most cases but unfortunately not all a picture of the product. 

The packs of British Infantry that i purchased British Infantry - Marching (CBR21), British Infantry - Firing (CBR22) & Highland Infantry - Firing (CBR24) all came with a total of 24 strips of figures, 4 Command strips and 20 Line strips, each strip consists of four models to give a total of 96 figures. At £5.50 (for EU residents) for 96 miniatures this works out at just over 5p per individual, very reasonable if you ask me and one of the reasons I love 6mm.

Baccus 6mm: British Infantry - Firing (CBR22)

My order with Baccus was dealt with very quickly, and i received the goods within a week of ordering them. They arrived well packaged, each individual pack was separated into individual bags and placed into one bubble wrapped postage bag along. There were no breakages and nothing rolling around in the envelope, perhaps a minor thing but one that has constantly frustrated me about many of my e-bay purchases. Whilst the bags were labelled in marker with the website code it would have been nice to have a little sticker saying what they were.

The models themselves are very high quality castings with little or no flash present, there is an unbelievable amount of detail present on each figure, faces, webbing and weapons are all easily distinguishable and they are a joy to paint. If i was to be hyper critical about them, my two very minor criticisms would be that first of all the bases of some strips are less well cast than others and can taper off into nothing and that secondly the marching packs are very tightly packed together, this is fine if you intend to base them up as a strip but if you want them marching in a more loose order it's quite difficult to get a pair of cutters in between the bases. Like i say very minor criticisms.

Overall I'm incredibly happy with them and Baccus will certainly be receiving a lot more of my custom.

Ease of Ordering: 7/10

Quality of Service: 9/10

Quality of Product: 8/10

Packaging & Delivery: 9/10

Value for Money: 9/10

I hope this has been an informative read, please don't hesitate to ask any question, where possible i'll deal with your queries.