Sunday, November 6, 2016

Vasilly Half-Track

I finally completed the recovery vehicle for my early war German panzerkompanie.  This Sd Kfz 9 has been in the works for nearly 6 years.  I bought it shortly after Blitzkrieg was released in 2010!

Broken left front fender shipped that way.  Didn't know any better back in 2010.  Nowadays, I'd definitely be asking for a replacement model.

I've had it mostly painted for years but I never put the driver in and I always thought it was too plain and generic.  After years of collecting various models I finally felt I had enough baggage to finish it off properly.

The barrels are Battlefront, but I forget what kit, perhaps the Famo itself, driver came with the vehicle, a passenger from a Battlefront motorcycle crew, stolen bicycle and tire pile from Peter Pig, barbed wire from Gale Force 9 (Battlefront), and box and fuel can from Baueda.

I'm glad I waited to finish it because the extra crewman and the stowage makes it worth looking at.

I put little effort into faces at this scale (15mm).  They get a flesh wash and that's about it.  The driver didn't really pick up any depth, oh well.  Perhaps I'll go back and fix his face a bit, then again, nah...

It seems my days of finishing complete units and entire companies is behind me for the present time.  I'll need to take satisfaction in filling a few holes in the collection.

So there you have it, as I like to refer to him as: Vasilly Half-Track.  Why Vasilly?  Well, its silly big!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Jump off Points

Supplies from Baueda based up as Jump off Points for Chain of Command, objectives, or battlefield accessories.  More messing around with the Foldio360 and EZGif.

Monday, October 3, 2016

T-64 Battalion

I finished up my Cold War era Soviet Tank Battalion consisting of 32 Tanks.  I painted up 5 of them as a test a while back and decided to go ahead and complete the force.  They are from GHQ and they are 1:285 scale (6mm).

I'm not excited about the photography.  I think they look better in person.  I used my new Foldio2 to shoot some of these shots.  It definitely helped with the lighting issue I've had.  I'll probably need to tone it down a bit because I think I over exposed them.  Where it did help a ton is there is little to no color correcting required when you have adequate white light.  I've also picked up a second light for the light box.  With that I should be able to provide more back lighting.  Perhaps they are not as bad as I think because they are after all TINY.  My lens is also the cheapest piece of glass that came with the Canon and not suited for up close at all.  Santa Macro maybe?

1st Company (Typical)
2nd Company (Typical)
There should be a picture of 3rd company in here next but it seems I got interrupted and failed to finish shooting the last one.  No matter its like the other 2.

Here is the Battalion commander and another higher command long range radio equipped tank.  I used the thinnest wire I had to make the antennae supports.  It should be obvious its a game piece and not a scale model of that.

Here is the whole force.  All the turrets are magnetized and they are based on 1 inch washers.  I'm using different tufts to delineate the officers.

I'm planning on picking up a company of Abrams and a bunch of US and Soviet aircraft on Black Friday.  From there I will develop a simple set of shoot em up rules and a couple scenarios.  I may even just call them T-72's and use them for Team Yankee.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Foldio360 Preview

Messing around with my new Foldio360.  Refinements are necessary, but here is a sneak peak at what is possible.

A comprehensive review to follow.  The miniature is not painted by me.

I'm Back!

Thursday, April 28, 2016


The following figures where painted as gifts for my daughter's teachers.

Our family is very blessed to have secured a spot in the local public charter school that also happens to be right in our neighborhood.  The charter school is very academically focused teaching a classic liberal education.  Don't be fooled by "liberal", there is nothing political about it.

Thomas Jefferson said in 1779 "Those persons, whom nature has endowed with genius and virtue, should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens; and . . . they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth or other accidental condition or circumstance."

The liberal education is delivered through the teaching of "Core Knowledge" as described by E.D. Hirsch, his book "Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know",  and the Core Knowledge Foundation.

Her school has adopted the Hoplite as their mascot so I'm back this year with another batch of Hoplites.  I think I did a much better job on these citizen soldiers than last years batch.  I realize now that I was so rushed to get them done last year I didn't even bother to post them.  One photo made it to the full site and i'll at some time put them in the Miniature Machinations Ancients Gallery along with these new ones.

I think we are only giving three figures to the teachers so we'll have a few to add to our collection.  These are the gifts.

These are the extra figures i'll be adding to my collection.

I've taken artistic liberty on the colors.  Mainly to create a palette that goes with the shield transfers from Little Big Man Studios.  The transfer are cool but I do have one problem with them.  They are really too nice for my painting.  In some ways I think they take away from what I have done.

The photos turn into a showcase of the transfers and no so much the figures.  That's pretty common when people post up figures using them.  Lot's of compliments on the shields with little mention of the figures.  I may go back to the waterslides that came with the figures or try to paint my own next time.

Here are a couple of spares that I had leftover from last year.

 You should be able to see that my painting has improved.  I had more time this year to pick out the details.  I used more highlights and didn't use washes very much this time.  I'm not going back on them as they will display or fight all the same and they look fine together with the others.

I may have to bust out some Reaper pre-painted skeletons I have and make up a quick opponent so we can try a couple skirmishes.

Thanks for looking I hope you liked them.  Please leave a comment and add me to your RSS Feeds.  I'll be back over the next 2 months with a few posts.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tiny Cold War Soviet Armor

Ever since the announcement that Battlefront was going to publish a Cold War Gone Hot game, Team Yankee, I have been intrigued.

After release it was clear to me that it was not exactly what I was hoping for.  I wanted a game that would touch more heavily upon NATO's reliance on airpower to counter the Warsaw Pact's numerical superiority in tanks.  It seems to be essentially Flames of War with streamlined rules.  No problem, that's fine with me but at that I would just prefer to stick with WWII.

To play Team Yankee you need a shed load of tanks and I just don't want to invest that much money and time to paint them.  I am also in the camp that the 15mm size figures are too large for a game that can have so many.  I could scale down the numbers but if I am going to explore this fanciful period of gaming I WANT to have tons of tanks.  So I subscribed to the 6mm cold war gaming group think.

I still want to play some Cold War Gone Hot scenarios but I'm not planning on Team Yankee at this point.  I may take a crack at developing a homebrew rule set which incorporates lots of on and off table aircraft interaction.  Cobra's, A-10's, MiG's, yes!

So I figured I'd just bid my time and pick up some 6mm figures whenever the bug hit me.  Well the bug hit me when GHQ put their T-64 model on sale recently.  I went to the GHQ website and looked at the free stuff and found an appropriate TO&E for my envisioned 1986 WWIII Soviet force.  A regiment of tanks it turned out, 31 tanks.  I ordered up 7 packs and they arrived lighting fast (6 days).

They come nicely packaged and they have almost no flash.

Reading the back of the package is a complete affirmation of my manufacturer of choice.  Made in Minnesota and unconditionally guaranteed.  That's refreshing.

I put one package together as a test. (I'll get to the rest after I wrap up a couple other things).  The quality is outstanding and the detail is amazing for something so small.

Some people glue the turrets down and put them on bigger bases to protect them.  I wanted the option to turn the turret.  I am not too worried about damage as they will most likely only ever be played with in my carpeted game room.  So I magnetized the turrets with tiny magnets.

I removed the tiny bit of flash beneath the hull at the turret hole and glued a magnet in.  Next I removed the turret pin and glued on a tiny magnet.  Everything is tiny about these.  Once dried I carefully cleaned up any excess glue with a fresh blade and reamed out the hole topside ever so slightly.

Resulting in this fine specimen of Soviet steel.  They are small!  Shown here based on a 1 inch washer.  I didn't glue them on the bases until later.

I got to the business of painting.  Using my new Osprey book about the T-64 I selected a paint scheme that suited me and was plausible.  Basically the scheme on the cover.

I wasn't about to get into buying some fancy paint set to do this project so I used what I have.  It's more than ample.  Seriously at this scale it's not necessary to buy some super accurate paint set such as the Mig Ammo stuff.  That stuff is for serious scale modelers working on dioramas.

Using what I had I quickly got these done.  They only take about 20% the effort as a 15mm tank.  There is only so much you can do on them.  Sure, you could do more highlighting, weathering, and whatever but it would only really show up in hi-res photography.  I definitely spent more time assembling, priming, and doing all the base work than painting the tanks.

The final result.

Did I mention they are small?  Shown with a 15mm Sherman howitzer.

My camera setup sure has me stumped.  Above are shot in RAW and edited.  Here below is an unedited .jpg from the iPhone.  Not bad, but a bit blue.

Here is one from the Canon shot on automatic.  Unedited, only cropped and saved as .jpg from RAW.

I've lost depth of focus by going off aperture priority, but other than that I think it is as good as the first shot.

Aw, heck here is one super close-up, this photography is driving me batty!

Anyways, thanks for looking and tolerating my ramblings on photography.  Be sure to leave a comment if to liked them, hated them, or are apathetic.  If anyone wants I can post the painting details.  The colors used and such.

Until next time happy tank busting!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Final Mouse

I finished the last figure, Lilly, for the Mice and Mystics project.

Here are all the heroes together.  Watch out minions these mice look like they mean business!

The first game hasn't materialized yet but I am sure fun will be had when it does.  I am already starting to think about the next expansion assuming this turns out to be fun and interesting for the mini-me's.  It's nice to have a project fully completed.

I'll be sure to post a final review once we play the first game, meanwhile I will be working on collating, editing, re-shooting, and posting all the pictures together in the gallery on the full website.

I'm going to take it easy over the next few weeks.  I'm looking to clear a couple smaller projects out of the work zone.  Thanks for tuning in.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

More Mice

I finished Maginas and Tilda for the Mice and Mystics Project.  Both rather challenging when it came to painting the cloth.  My normal process is to base coat with my middle color, drybrush a highlight, followed by a Vallejo black wash mixed with the base color.  After that I go back in and drybrush/re-layer in the highlight color and one brighter.

The brown wash turned out super dark and obliterated the highlights.  I had to layer back the whole thing.  I think I lost a lot of depth but I called it good enough.  3 Layers just really does not do it.  If you want a nice layer effect with good depth and shadow I think you need to have 5 or so layers for it to work nicely.

After the brown experience I knew that using any kind of dark wash on Tilda's white palette would be ruinous.  I decided to forgo the wash altogether and layered the whole thing up ultimately using 4 to 5 layers on the cloth and 6 layers on the fur.  I wanted the fir lighter than the cloth so I used the last 2 whites for that.  I wish I had achieved better depth (3 layers used) on the purple hood but its not too bad.  Its not nearly as important as getting the white (the dominant color) to look decent.  Here is the palette used.

The first three and last are Reaper Master Series Paints and I thought they were excellent.  I had way less issues with the pigment separating when thinned as compared to Vallejo.  Sometimes when building up layers using thinned paints I get a hard edge on the layer when it dries.  Its especially prevalent the lighter the color I am layering with. I must be thinning too much.  Either I am getting better or the Reaper paints don't separate as much.  I think the paints had a lot to do with it, I like them. I will use more of them and if my suspicion is true will be collecting more.

Though I continue to have issues with photography here they are:

I could never figure out what Maginas is holding with his tail.  I decided it was an hourglass in keeping with some of the game material so I tried to paint it as such.  Perhaps it will be revealed whilst playing.

Be sure to drop a comment if you like or hate them and please add me to your blogs followed.  I'll be checking in next week with Lily.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

3 down, 3 to go

I'm getting down to the wire.  I need to finish 3 more by Friday afternoon.

Collin, Nez, and Filch.

Stay tuned!

Friday, February 5, 2016


I finished the Mice and Mystics minions!  The spider is complete.

I really knocked this creep out.  I used some google images of tarantulas and went for high contrast.  I finished him in one sitting of about 1 1/2 hours using this scheme from my palette as I described in a past post.  I just layered it up using drybrushing on the fur and thin layers on the legs.

I lost some of the detail in the leg joints and just roughed it in.  I don't know why I didn't bother to sort it out other than I still thought it looked pretty good and my eyes were having trouble finding it.  I also figured it was some thing organic and the fur coloration would not necessarily be perfect or uniform.  Some of it may have been the pressure to wrap this project up by next Friday and some of it was undoubtedly that I really don't like spiders and wanted to move on.  I have a rule: they are fine outside, inside they get swashed,

Here's the whole gang of minions.

Next up are the heroes.  I'll probably paint them all together or at least 2 at a time.

Please leave a comment if you can give me any pointers otherwise be sure to add me you to your followed blogs or your reader subscriptions.

Go Broncos!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I finished up the next monster for Mice and Mystics.  It's the Centipede and he's very large compared to the mice heroes I'll be getting to next week (cross my fingers).  I found this picture on a Google search and liked it as the model for my painting.

I ended up with this.

You might notice the base is slightly warped.  There are definitely some limitations to plastic miniatures and that's one example.  I did clean up a few mold lines but they are present and I didn't feel compelled to fix everything on them.

The bug is pretty big.  I've pictured it here with a Reaper 28mm figure along with the other baddies.  Certainly a large foe in 28mm and gigantic in smaller scales.  I think the ratman would be oddly proportioned as a 28mm monster.  Perhaps a were-rat Champion?

Next up is the spider, I hope to have it done by the weekend.  The deadline is next Friday, argh!  I hate rushing myself, it takes the enjoyment out of it.  Hopefully the kid's reaction will make up for all the late nights I expect next week with the mice.