While I'd wait for laser printer access before again trying to print large texture sheets, I think the end result still came out decent, and the kit itself is one I can recommend.
Monday, May 24, 2021
I'm continuing with my Chinese terrain build; this time it's a building from Warbases' 55th Day-China line. The Zhu house kit seemed most similar to a wooden Chinese house, so I opted to forgo my usual brick texture and find some wood paneling online.
I didn't have any large wood panel images in my collection so had to perform an online search. Textures.com proved a good source, and I found some wood planks that I thought would fit the bill. Normally I would print these textures out using a good laser printer, but with the Covid restrictions, I only had access to my home inkjet printer. Sadly the images weren't as crisp and the colors not as vibrant, but I think it still gave a reasonable result.
The kit was built as standard, expect for the addition of the paper textures (including window frames on the lower portion) and the plastic roof tiles from Plastruct (part 91666). The fit tolerances were very tight on this building, and just the thickness of the paper was enough to cause some gaps on the MDF wood framing. I also had issues with the roof fit being too tight, and ended up having to shave the end caps to keep it from scraping the paint off the building. The trickiest aspect was trying to fit the plastic tiles to the curved roof. I bent the tile strip at three places using a steel ruler edge to try and pre-shape it, but it still required several clamps and a generous helping of superglue to hold it down.
To hid the tile gaps and provide a more finished look, bit of plastic tubing was added to the top of the roof lines.
The kit does break apart so you can put figures on both floors, but again, the fit was really tight and the floors don't separate easily.
As with my other Warbases build, the doors were a bit on the low side for Copplestone figures on thick bases, but it was nothing egregious.
Monday, May 17, 2021
The push to keep assembling buildings for my Chinese hutong project continues. This is another 28mm MDF kit from Dragonfrog Games. Its a combination of the shop 4 and 5 kits, with my usual upgrades of printed textures, card, and bits of plastic detailing from Plastruct and Evergreen Scale Models.
The height of the upper story window frames caused some spacing issues when applying the plastic trim, so my attempt to hide the seams between floors wasn't as successful as on my other shops. However, I don't think it will be too noticeable when looking down at the gaming table.
As with the other shops, the building can be opened up by floor (though the attic level is too short for standing figures).
I also made another error with the shopfront tiles, forgetting to take into consideration the lower portion of the window frames when measuring. I trimmed the bottoms off to compensate, and just have to hope the design looks intentional.
Below is the actual storefront in Penang, Malaysia that inspired mine. Though I will primarily will use this for China, I also plan to start playing the Malaysian campaign now that I have a South Asian British force for WW2.
If you would like the architectural details for your own projects, feel free to use the files below.
Monday, April 26, 2021
So my tropical British force for Bolt Action is finally complete with the addition of the last of the command, weapon teams, and vehicles.
The command section is made of metal 8th army figures from Warlord (plus one plastic) that have either been given a generic look or marked as members of the Royal Norfork Regiment out of Singapore.
The heavy mortar team are painted as members of the 81st (West African) Division, while the machine gun team is another group of Norfolk soldiers. These are again Warlord metal figures.
Finally, I have a few more vehicles for the army. For this part, I cannot emphasize enough how useful Jemima Fawr's blog was in figuring out the paint colors and markings. It is a treasure trove of information.
The first piece is a Universal Carrier Mk. II, produced from the plastic Warlord kit. I've painted it as part of the 81st's Recce Regiment. The kit comes with the decals for the unit number, but the Anansi insignia decal had to be created from scratch. As it seems a lot of African troops did not know how to drive, I wasn't sure if the white NCO would sit in the forward gunner seat as in Europe, or need to drive the carrier. I opted to go to with the driver's seat; worst case if I'm wrong, the African driver could have been killed and he is stepping in.
For the M3 Stuart, I've opted to paint it as part of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, under the 7th Armoured Brigade. Jemima's research showed that for some reason the 7th Brigade did not follow standard marking patterns and reversed the position of the unit ID and unit icon on the fenders; as such, I've done that on my tank. The kit decals did not include the appropriate markings for Burma, so I took the number from the above UC kit, and made the green version of the jerboa icon.
With that, my army's storage box is full and I'm considering this Bolt Action force complete. I'm very happy with the final composition and I think this should give me a good modular skirmish force that I can adapt various timeframes and battle locations.
Monday, April 5, 2021
This block of terrain is a set of ruins built from some of the 4Ground Stalingrad modular ruins range. While the kits can be built without any further painting, I opted to make a fair amount of modifications to up the visual appeal and have the finished product better blend in with my other Chinese buildings.
To give the flooring a more damaged look, I opted to cover it with sections of distressed balsa wood. These were painted a medium brown to mimic stained wood and further emphasize the damaged portions. The flooring and interior walls were also hit with some drybrushing and washes to further add to the worn look of the ruins. At this time the modular sections were also glued together, as I wanted a unified exterior to the building and planned to fill the interior with rubble.
This kits come with an outer layer of grey card that I assume is to mimic the look of concrete, but I opted to cover these with my standard Scalescenes OO model railroad brick scaled to 120%. I left a fair amount of overhang on the paper so it could be wrapped the edges of the completed walls (already underpainted with an appropriate brick color).
For ease of play, I opted to have standing walls on only 2 of the 4 sides, and to fill the rest with rubble. I thought a nest in the rubble to use as a base or artillery position would be fun, so built a loop of sandbags out of the Renedra kit. They weren't as easy to use as I had hoped, with some poor fits that needed to be trimmed or filled with putty, and repetitive bag patterns. I did my best to hide most of the sins on the outside as I new that would be covered by the rubble.
With the building and sandbags glued to an appropriate base, I started to build the rubble piles out of carved sheets of foam.
These were given a coat of appropriately colored paint, and pieces of brick paper were glued in irregular orientations. While not critical to have the paper covering every part, I find it particularly useful on steep sides where the debris may not stick as densely. The debris itself is a mix of various rock sizes and colors, along with some 1:48 bricks from Juweela, glued down with a thick coat of white school glue.
Here is the wall side of the kit. Various dirty washes have been run over the brick paper (previously sealed with matte enamel varnish to help prevent warping) and the billboard for insect spray. To add further wear to the billboard, I rubbed a wet finger over some sections to rub off the image and expose the white underneath. The door that leads to the sandbag emplacement has been fortified with additional sandbags.
And here is the collapsed side with the built in sandbag nest. It's large enough that it can house a complete squad, medium tank, or artillery emplacement. The perimeter has been edged with two layers of weathered GaleForce Nine barbed wire for additional security. Lastly, I've also created some independent rubble elements to allow the destruction to spill off the base and into the street.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Work on my British force for Burma is in the home stretch with the addition of some Long Range Penetration Groups, better known as Chindits.
The bulk of these figures come from Warlord's Chindit Section box, with additions of the character and close quarter fighter blisters, some converted Warlord plastics, and a few TAG Chindit NCOs.
To enhance the units ragtag look, I've gone with a mix of faded green-gray and newer green-blue uniform colors, along with a few brown angora shirts and and one old faded khaki shirt. Webbing is predominately khaki, but with some jungle green kit as well.
The Warlord metal figures are well sculpted, but run on the thinner side when compared to TAG and Warlord plastics. In the below photo, the center figure is from TAG, while the rest are Warlord metal. The height can vary a bit between figures when you look at them side by side, but that disappears when you have them en mass. The one bit I found somewhat challenging when painting the metal Warlord figures was the eyes, as the sockets are deeply set on many figures. Perhaps they expect most painters to use a wash rather than actually paint in the eyes.
In this last photo, you can see two Warlord metal figures, a TAG, then two converted Warlord plastics figures to again show you a bit of the size difference.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the final results. Still pending are command, a couple of heavy weapons, and a few vehicles, but it's a good feeling to be within reach of a completed force.