Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brettonians for hire

Two groups of Brettonians which will be posted to ebay at the end of the week if I can't move them first.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mystery German Navy Boat

Ok, you boat bodies out there, does anyone have any idea what this might be. The miniature dates to at least the 50's. There is a K number on the bow but its just too indistinct to make out.
It could be a copy of this toy

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Mystery 15mm figure

I bought this 15mm? figure in Melbourne in about 1986. I think from a shop called Tin Soldier which was upstairs in an office building. Does anyone have an idea of the manufacturer? The slotta base is a later addition, its on a rectangular base.

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Monday, November 24, 2008


Man in the Moon has been asking for some sizes for a miniature cabinet for his son's efforts.

So here are two, one which I made and one which I picked up from a Salvo's store.

B1's cupboard, which I made, sits in our spare room. The door came into my posession some years ago and was actually waiting for a cupboard to be built around it. B2 was on his way so the cupboard was duly built for his room. It originally had a hanging rail in the top, the two shelves were added and the rail removed when his clothes got too big for the space and the cabinet was handed over to B1. As you can see an eight year old can accumulate a fair bit of gear. The cupboard at the bottom has one shelf.

My miniatures cabinet sits on the other side of the room and was something I looked for for a long time.

It's an ex police piece and still has the police id number on the side. I picked it up for $50 which is cheaper than i could have bought the glass doors and tracking for. It originally had three timber shelves but it now has four shelves with the addition of a glass shelf I picked up from the side of the road (in the middle of a thunderstorm mind you). I had to have a centimeter taken off the front and one side by a glass shop :(

This bigger cabinet is almost ideal for me although my wife has commented that its butt ugly which is fair enough. The bottom locks and the two halves , top and bottom, come apart for transport. I'll post some measurements later.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Painting Pledge 2009

Well its almost time to either ignore again or take the plunge and attempt a version of the Pledge for the new year. The Pledge came about after discussions on TMP a few years ago and I've been watching curiously from my ever growing pile of miniatures ever since. The first mention may have been by Hundvig on 2 feb 2005 and its been barrelling along every year with varying success. I have so far remained very behind in my ratio of painted to unpainted miniatures.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not a Solo Wargamer?

Does this mean I'm no longer a solo wargamer? After finally meeting a fellow miniature painter and wargamer in our new city a couple of weeks ago we had him and his son around for a game.
Warhammer Quest was the game of choice, as we've both got young son's who would get the gist of the game and we both happened to have sets. Although my meager effort pales in comparison to the organisation going on here. We're talking three cases worth of game components and figures for the game.

Towards the end of the second game where the wizard came into his own dropping a cave in on four skeletons and putting the finger to a brace of chaos knights. Just before this photo was taken we had a total of about 16 opponents appearing on the board sections.

Two enjoyable games were played over about 4 hours with the last one being unfinished and packed up for another day. I was really pleased with the way it went with our gamesmaster being very capable with the rules and keeping everything moving pretty quickly. Although at times I'll admit I was getting a bit lost with what was actually happening with dice rolls.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Birthday Surprise

Well after a bit of secrecy and some accidental hints in the form of reference photos left on our computer my wife has received her birthday present ( or one of at least). This fine English holding cell? and call box made famous in a long running British science fiction program although this one is modelled on those used in Glasgow.

The model is cast in Resin by Fenris and was purchased from Hasslefree in the UK. The model looks awesome, there were some very fine bubbles at each bottom corner and one on the top of the light on the roof otherwise a perfect and very detailed casting. Painting it has been harder than i had expected due to the fineness of the police lettering on the four sides and the beading on the windows. It's not quite finished yet, as it needs to be based properly and varnished and I may yet repaint the windows.

One thing I have been surprised at is the number of people who don't know what the Tardis is... where have they been for the last 40 years?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Anaconda Lorne Surfcoast preparations

On Sunday there was an outing to Lorne in Victoria for the second preparation day for the Rapid Ascent race to be held on the 7th December. So I wandered along and took some photos of my father and brother in law who are competing. Four legs including swim, kayak, run and mtb ride. The swim goes from the pier to the beach at Lorne, here are the assorted bodies getting in for their test swim. It looks sunny but it was bloody cold in the water.

Even though the organisers refer to the next leg as the ocean paddle and people use kayak a bit when talking about the paddle most people seemed to be using what I would call a wave ski, I would think they are a bit quicker than an enclosed kayak in these conditions. What was interesting was that no two boats seemed to have the same design. A briefing was held on the beach with some pretty handy pointers given out for the novices.

The next leg started and ended fairly quickly for our entrepid team. Here you can see the ill fated vessel being carried in. There are two wires that run internally from the feet pedals to the rudder. The left hand wire came loose in the breakers, we fixed that then on the second attempt and still in the breakers the right hand wire came off and dissapeared inside the hull. The paddler was not happy.

The run and mtb legs apparently went well, but we'd already taken off for the trip home so i didn't get any photos unfortunately.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Maw continued...

Well the creature is together, it proved a bit fiddlly to get the legs attached so the feet all sit on the ground. The right forearm has a v shaped cut you can see in the photo below so was easier to position and glue than the others.

I would suggest get this one on first then its right rear leg then the front left leg. The rear left leg goes on last as it doesn't seem to quite touch the ground.

If you have a look at the resin versions on the Hasslefree website they don't either so its not a fault of the mould maker or yours truly and superglue fingers. It won't be a problem as the basing material will come up to the paw anyway so no drama. Allow some time and be patient, you'll be rewarded as its a truly imposing model.

After a bit of thought and some posing of the model I've gone with a smaller base than anticipated. Less space but should be more use in dungeons.

There are some slight gaps in the joins and i'll be making some small sausages with green stuff and smoothing them in over the next few days hopefully.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Heroics and Ros Dark age Norman and Viking

highlandbevan asked on TMP if you could see the chainmail on these figures, I don't think so :) . This batch of figures were purchased in the UK in the mid eighties but I don't believe the figures have been modified since. Something to remember is they are really small, about 6mm tall (1/300) so an impression of the figure when you are looking at them on the tabletop from a metre or two away is more important than the jewels on the kings crown.
The figures from one metre, imagine a thousand of these properly arrayed on a nice scenic table.
above - Viking archers and axemen
Vikings with sword and shield
Vikings with spear and axe

Norman crossbows
Norman archers

Norman spearmen
These figures were bought originally for WRG Ancients but I based them out of frustration just to get them ready for painting. The very basic paint jobs you can see are in Enamel paint which i haven't used for ... some time. They are so old they would have lead in the alloy mix which makes them a little less hard wearing than modern alloys as you can see in the Norman spears.

The Maw

This lovely creature arrived in the mail with the Hasslefree parcel. It's part of their White Metal range and was sculpted by Matt Lord, originally released in resin and now available in alloy. You can see the resin version here . I've been putting him together today.

It is really well balanced and will stand on its front legs. It sort of looks a bit like something out of Doom/Quake maybe, it's got that fleshy horror look. I can imagine the faces on players meeting a pack of these in a dungeon crawl.

But should he go on a square base or a round one?
I may actually put him on a smaller square base to get him into the dungeon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hasslefree Parcel arrives

Well after dithering for years, and missing the good exchange rate, I've finally got around to ordering from Hasslefree a small UK miniature manufacturer. Prompted by a recent resin Fenris addition to the lines they carry I ordered it and a small handful of goodies. The particular box shaped object which you can see in the photo will be painted for SWMBO's desk at work. I won't say anything else in case she happens to surf in before the date of her birthday.

Anyway everything arrived in good shape, well packed and with a lolly!

And a new hat modelled by b2.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tara's Killer Chocolate Cookies

Let's try something else. A little baking, ably assisted by b2. This recipe was originally published in an article on ex model Tara Moss in an Australian magazine called Australian Taste in 2002.

1. Wash hands, make sure you have a clear and clean workspace, assemble ingredients, light oven (ours is gas) and allow to preheat to about 180 c. Importantly butter and egg should be at room temperature. Grease and line your trays as preferred.

2. Weigh out sugars, making sure the brown sugar is smooth with no little hard water affected lumps. Cut your butter into cubes then add to sugars. Mix together with electric beaters, don't be shy let it have it.

Keep going until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar "melts", you should almost not be able to feel it between your fingers when you rub them together. This photo shows at about the half way stage.

3. Add egg and vanilla. Beat together.

4. At this point you are ready to add the dry ingredients.

NB While the recipe calls for self raising flour in our house we make our own by adding baking powder. The habit developed a long time ago after walking into unfamiliar commercial kitchens where I couldn't be sure just what was in the flour bins. People have a habit of mislabelling things and when you are using kilos of flour at a time the results can be interesting. About two teaspoons to 200 gm flour gives a reasonable result.

Sift the flour and salt together then add the choc bits and sultanas. Mix into butter with a spoon.

Sorry, forgot a step...lick beaters

As you mix the ingredients be mindful of not crushing the mixture, you want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Towards the end as it amalgamates scrape the sides down. When there are no floury pockets present you're there.

5. Pull a piece of dough from the bowl. For what I was after about the size of a large marble (or die 20 for the gamers out there). Flatten it slightly then roll between the palms of your hand until it the ball has no large cracks. Pop it onto your tray staggering the biscuits so they don't touch when they expand during cooking.
Put the trays in the oven, it should make about 38 biscuits. time will be about 15 minutes.
The oven we have is a rotisserie oven which has a lot of bottom heat and no fan so things tend to burn on the bottom before they are cooked inside. So the biscuits get flipped over for a couple of minutes towards the end of cooking to give them that little extra.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Refurbished mtb

Well, we finally got the new mtb running after a few years hanging in the garage. I had been riding a bitzer singlespeed with b2 on the back but it had always been the plan to get this bike running.

My normal mtb is a 40 cm frame which is a little big while this one is a 35 cm which is a little small.

Wheels came from my first real mtb which were built by Hendry Cycles, frame came from Full Cycle in Albury, seat and seat post, shifters, brakes and handlebars came from the original reason for the bike which was a friends mtb partially destroyed in a theft attempt and the beast was put together by my brother who works at Ivanhoe Cycles in Melbourne. The final part was an eight speed cluster and chain provided by Gary at Oppy's Cycles and Spares in Warrnambool.

The bike will eventually need an eight speed shifter pod as the current one is a seven speed and the gears skip a little in spots. For the amount i paid for the frame its come up reasonably the only drawback being the fixed rather than replaceable derailleur hanger.

B2 sitting pretty at a recent community ride in Warrnambool.

B2 ready