Oct 2, 2022

USS Arizona '36 Edition WIP #1


I might have mentioned previously that I'm on the lookout for the Takom 1/700 scale Derfflinger kit. Well it was made available in local model stores recently, so, to clear the queue and do some practice, I started working on the 1/700 scale Hobby Boss USS Arizona.

Sep 19, 2022

The Dark Gate of Trashburgh

We enjoyed a meal of Aldi puddings and I really liked the shape of their packaging. Thought followed thought, and, since I had not done anything major terrain-wise since our move to the new place, I scavenged around and came up with the idea of making a small gate for the adequately named city of Trashburgh. On the image above, you can see the beginning stages of the build.

His Grace the Duke of Rotstein decides the build is proceeding well enough for a personal inspection. The gates will mostly be used for him and his pals to run around in an urban environment, sticking rapiers into each other.

As humidity builds up inside when PVA and the secret ingredient cures on the sides of the things, I had to drill them through at a few points, but this shall not detract from the overall effect.

The base is a piece of foamcore from the stock Dad used to renovate their bathroom. You know where the pudding jugs are from; the tower tops are 2mm balsa, around which I glued some EVA foam and decorated it with 1mm balsa strips. The bulwark is made from the same type of foam, and the gate and main wall piece are corrugated cardboard. And, of course, we must not forget about the secret ingredient.

Why yes, the secret ingredient! It's an artist's acrylic medium called "heavy body gel". It can be used to fill in large gaps and dries to a hard finish. It's great for texturing as well. It can be shaped with a spatula or fingertip for the less sophisticated like myself.

Once I added a few more bits and pieces, I'll cover the walls in a stone effect plaster and paint the thing to an eggshell colour, or some similar shade. 

Jun 5, 2022

Undead Knight

This is a fantasy-ish Perry conversion. I took a foot knight of their English(?) HYW set, and modified it a little. I drilled out the eyeholes and made a dent on the helmet. I took a skeleton arm from a spare skeleton, he's not gonna miss it, and added a GB plastic round shield, making it look a bit battered by, again, carving and drilling through it. The upper part of the surcoat was modelled with green stuff, and the same was done to the joint of the left arm and the body. I also scraped the bottom of the surcoat with a scalpel to make it look torn.

May 26, 2022

Straight Outta 叫阿里快递的坑


I am a member of the 'Super Cheap Wargaming' Facebook group. Sometimes it even proves itself useful: for example, a member there directed my attention to the fact that the black hole that is The Eye of Terror AliExpress carries a pack of 1/72 soldiers, no less than two hundred pieces, for the price of about a single box of figures (for the sake of comparison, 30-50 figures) from a retailer, p&p included. This was something I could not miss.

When it arrived (suprisingly fast, about two weeks, no customs charges either) and I could closely examine the contents, it turned out that the figures are carbon copies of multiple Caesar Miniatures sets. (What do you call a Chinaman that copies another Chinaman? Rhetoric question.) The plastic is the flimsy kind one could find toy tanks in army men sets built out of. There is lots of flash, gaps and mould marks. Still worth the price in my eyes, as there is just as much, or even more, work to do on other commercial figure sets.

As the figures are from a variety of periods spanning the Middle Ages, I intend to use them for not-so-serious medieval fantasy games (dinosaurs may be included!). This ten are the Knight of Holstyn from the Kingdom of Lathugan, his two squires and a band of mercenary pollaxe-men and archers hired by them.

After removing all the casting errors I could, I went with a simple colour scheme of silver metal on the plate and mail, yellow on the hauberks and plumes, and flat brown on the weapon shafts, arrow pouches and belts. I have long since been thinking about creating armies around beer brands, so I guess more is to follow.

May 22, 2022

Public Service Announcement

I realize I hadn't posted anything since the end of April, but I had a good reason to do so, as I was preparing for my last exam ever for my master's degree at law, which, unbelievably, I passed. I'm very happy, because I was way overdue, and occupied with a full-time job, to and from which I have to commute more than three hours overall. I'm also very grateful for my wife, without whom I would have lost my sanity.

Until I find a job in the field, and preferably closer to our home, I finally have some time for painting a few figures and working on the Hobby Boss Arizona. It's really relaxing, something I did sort of forget about. This also means that most likely there will be fresh activity on this blog.

Apr 25, 2022

Research on the MNF Bretagne that might be useful for somebody

Some of my readers might have followed the adventures with the 1/1000 scale waterline model of the Bretagne during Spring 2020 on this blog. That model was broken and thrown out to the trash, but the interest remained. The Bretagne-class, just like most dreadnoughts designed before or during WW1 and continuing to serve in WW2, are an interesting topic, and they are probably one of my favourite ships despite their obvious flaws.

Apr 14, 2022

A Xebec

After a while, we return to the naval engagements around the Northern Barfrican coast. This time, a nimble Tekirdagaç vessel, a three-masted Xebec sails into view. Although frail-looking, she packs a heavy broadside, and with her large lateen sails, she can out- and overrun most of the Allied shipping.

Feb 20, 2022

Meeple Warfare! - Ambush near the Sanctuary

I've written a set of rules adequately named 'One Page Meeple Warfare'. It's bloody. It's short. All in all, a modern classic. You can reach it from the Rules page of this blog.

In this scenario, the Green Kingdom's warriors, six in number, are escorting a holy man and his two servants to a remote sanctuary. Looking for a chance to provoke an all-out war, the Red Barbarians launch a raiding party to capture or slay them. 

Green Kingdom: 2x Battle infantry, 2x Archers, 2x Light infantry, 2x Peasant/Rabble, 1x Healer
Red Barbarians: 3x Cavalry, 4x Archers, 4x Light infantry

Feb 8, 2022


You might have noticed that my hobby output has decreased over the past few months. This is due to a number of reasons: first, doing finals for my law degree, then purchasing a new home with my wife, then doing a complete re-decoration (imagine buying a used miniature with 13 layers of baked-on paint and trying to strip it, and now imagine that the figure is a bedroom and the 13 layers are wallpaper... some people you just can't do with). All in all, the hobby is kind of sidelined, but not at all forgotten, I just had to learn to manage my time better.

During the move, I got rid of almost all of my figure collection. The new flat is small and an acceptable storage facility is yet to be found. I currently own one of those large Ikea bureaus that can hold my tools and building materials, and I'll get some shelves later for my books. So it is time to gather things again, which is actually great. On the plus side, I've found my 1/72 WW1 collection that was stashed away.

Currently I'm trying to wargame on the cheap, so I kicked off my 1/1000 scale Trashy Fleets project again and built a Victorian pre-dreadnought battleship; also, the IJN Kongo had a bit of paint and post-move repairs done. Some cheap painted wooden blocks were purchased for gaming purposes, and I've tinkered some with my rules. Once published, I'll put up a notification here as well.

Thank you for keeping up in the meantime.