In addition to the package of molds from Berliner Zinnfiguren, I also received a new casting pot in the mail this week. I have a 10-lb bottom-pour Lee pot, but it has been troublesome in some respects the entire time I’ve owned it. Between times when the valve won’t close and metal keeps draining out while I fiddle desperately with it, and times that the rate of fill of the molds is so slow that they don’t cast completely, I have been wanting to try something different.
So, after a couple of days of bad schedules, I finally got a chance to fire things up today.
Lower tech casting pot
The Zinnbrigade marching figures cast easily, although it looks like a vent or two might be needed for some of the more active poses. The only other mold I tried was of an infantryman running and an infantry bugler, and neither figure cast in two tries, so I set it aside for another day and/or some vent cutting.
Zinnbrigade Marching Prussians
I borrowed two vintage Schneider molds from Chris Palmer recently, and had little success with them in the previous casting session. They make a sheep a goat, a cow, a fence, a farmer, and a milkmaid, and by using the new pot to pour more quickly, I was actually able to get all of them to cast, although the sheep was the fussiest, with only one decent example. I could have a herd of goats, though… Cue Julie Andrews… These will likely end up as part of the Not Quite Seven Years War collection.
Late in the session, I finally got around to trying some Meisterzinn multi-part molds, but it wasn’t the day for that, or I was already getting tired. I suspect that these will still be easier with a faster pour rate, but it remains to be seen. I wanted a few extra horses, so that I can start work on some general figures.
Old farm molds plus a few Meisterzinn pieces
So, in the previous casting session I was playing around with a vintage mold and had another go at it today. But I have also acquired another Rapaport Brothers/Schneider mold making sailors. I got two of them to cast, but they are pretty big compared to the Zinnbrigade figures (see below), and I probably won’t end up using them for that. I cast the fox and hounds from a Prince August mold, so the hypothetical general mentioned above can be accompanied by a dog. I also cast a handful of knights from a new (though of vintage design) metal mold from Castings. I’m considering notions for a 54mm fantasy project, and this may help get it out of my system…
This one’s complicated
Vintage sailor vs. a Zinnbrigade Prussian
Last time around, I made a few of the running Meisterzinn musketeers to be head-swapped with bicornes for the French Revolution (see below). Ross had suggested that the Prince August Rossbach Prussian grenadiers would probably work as well, and I figured that I had two molds for them, so it was worth a try.
Prince August Rossbach grenadiers and Meisterzinn musketeer for head swaps
If everything is successfully converted, that’s another unit and a half worth of troops.
Meisterzinn single-piece musketeer with a bicorne head swapped
I also received a Scad mold for an 1870 Frenchman, but it unfortunately seems to be deterioriating. Once metal was poured, the mold seemed to be oozing something, and that was bubbling the surface of the casting. Apart from that, the Scad mold came with vents pre-installed, and doesn’t look difficult to cast cleanly. I don’t know if this will clear up after a few casts, or whether this one is dead.
I really don’t need a new project, so, of course, I bought one. A box with an assortment of Zinnbrigade molds for late 19th century Germans (and one SCAD mold for an 1870 French chasseur a pied) arrived yesterday. Reading up on the French Revolution led to reading about the Paris Commune of 1871, which led to the Franco-Prussian War at large. My son has been working on late 19th century imagi-nations in 1/72 plastic off and on for some time, but I have been planning for A Gentleman’s War in 40mm, so through the wonders of the Internet, an order was placed. I will have to supplement with artillery from Irregular at least, and they may end up as my main source of FPW French.
Stop the presses! Last night on their Reaper Live video show, the folks at Reaper announced their new Bones 5 Kickstarter, which will be launching on or near September 5th 2019! Stay tuned for details!
This past week I also painted the Fungal Handmaiden from the Bones 4 Darkreach Expansion set. I’m considering an “Island of the Living Mushrooms” scenario for our Ghost Archipelago campaign, and wanted to start working on the Mushroom folk from the Darkreach set. I didn’t want to jump right in with the big Queen figure until I worked out exactly how I wanted to paint these. I had seen someone on the Reaper Forum who had done their mushrooms in very pale muted colors, and I wanted to try for something a little like that as well. I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying. I then glued the figure to a black primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue. I then set the washer in my painting grip.
I was planning on doing this figure in a series of washes, so I began by painting the entire figure with Americana “Snow White”
I then gave the “clothing” a wash with very thinned Ceramcoat “Denim Blue”. After that, I did the top of the cap with a wash of very thinned Americana “True Blue”.
Next, I used the “Snow White” to touch up areas of the face, arms, hair and underside of the cap where the blues had mistakenly spread. I then gave the face and arms a wash with some Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash. When that was dry, I gave the underside of her cap and her hair a wash with the very thinned Americana “Antique White”. I then painted her eyes using Americana “ Light Cinnamon” for the socket shadows and Accent “Real Umber” for the pupil dots.
I then highlighted the face and arms with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”, and highlighted the hair and underside of the cap with Americana “Bleached Sand”. After that, I painted the specks on top of the cap with the “Snow White”. It was now time to work on the rocky outcropping the mushroom was growing from. I began by painting the outcropping and rest of the base with Americana “Zinc”. When dry, I gave the base a coat of some Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash. When the wash was dry, I gave it alght drybrush with some Folk Art “Porcelain White”. I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. Then, another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".
I’m really happy with how she came out. I like the effect of the pale washes and they were relatively easy to do..
For those of you who are modelers and or gamers, you know the feelings about your hobby work – to do a good job recreating a scene, a vehicle, terrain, or just a figure such that others enjoy it. I put this blog in the same category. I understand that for better or for worse, I am putting myself out there and my creativity to be judged up or down.
This blog post will be a bit different in that its admittedly somewhat self-indulgent. I am unsure as to how it will be received – but I hope that you enjoy it and that you can appreciate what this was for me and why I was doing this last weekend.
Last Saturday, the Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge, MA, sponsored a road trip to the American Heritage Museum in Hudson, MA. I have posted about this museum last year (you can read about it here). It’s really great. I unfortunately also signed up for a golf tournament an hour away and was disappointed in my planning. I was however able to leave the tournament (my team lost by one stroke) after I was done and drive to meet the others (about 10 of us) at the museum. And I brought two “friends”…
Followers of this blog know that I have been somewhat tank-heavy in hobby activities and gaming since last fall. I thought that it would be cool to have the real Panther at the museum meet my 15mm/1:100 scale Panther. And as my late grandfather Marcus C. Delaney drove an M24 Chaffee light tank in WWII, I wanted to hook up one of my M24’s with a real one too.
I just thought it would be a cool thing to do – and to give my models a connection to the real deal. Of course, you can be the judge.
First stop was the Panther.
Then I moved over to the M24 Chaffee.
It felt good to do this, and I’m glad I did. Now when these are in a game, I can say that they have been with the real thing, and in actual contact.
Would you do this? Let me know in the comments section, and thanks for looking!
This past week I painted the Female Efreeti figure from the Bones 4 Fan Favorites Expansion set. Since I did the Djinni, last week, I thought I should do her counterpart this week to complete the pair. I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsed and dried it. I then glued on the head on with Gorillas superglue. Then, after cutting down the base a little, I glued the figure to a black-primed 1.25" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.
I began by painting the figure’s armor with Ceramcoat “Black”. When dry, I drybrushed it with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.
Next, I painted the skin with Folk Art “Barnyard Red”, and the loincloths with Crafter’s Acrylic “Pure Pumpkin”. I then painted the sword grips with Reaper MSP HD “Umber Brown”, the metal parts of the hilt with Accent “Mustard Seed”, and the blades with Americana “Zinc”
I then painted the metal on the sword hilts with the “Bronze”, and the sword blades with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”. I decided I didn’t like the blades, and wanted to do something more unique with them, so when dry I repainted them with Folk Art Color Shift “Black Flash”. After that, I painted her fangs and the teeth on her necklace with Americanas “Fawn”. I also took this opportunity to carefully paint the areas of her hair that bordered her skin and armor with the “Black”. If I had it to do again, I should have painted the head/hair piece separately, as the hair is sculpted to really intermingle closely with her body.
Then , when everything had a chance to dry, I gave her skin and loincloths a wash with Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash. When that was dry, I gave her armor and swords a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.
When the washes were dry, I painted her eyes using Folk Art “Lemon Chiffon” for the “whites”, and then painted “Black” pupils. I then went back and painted the pupil centers with Folk Art Color Shift “Red Flash”. Next, I painted the lips, and afterwards highlighted the face and rest of the skin with a mix of the base “Barnyard Red” and varying degrees of Americana “Shading Flesh”. After that, I highlighted her teeth with Americana “Snow White”, and the teeth on the necklace with Americana “Bleached Sand”.
I then highlighted the loincloths with the base “Pure Pumpkin” with varying degrees of Americana “Tangerine” mixed in, and then mixed in a little of the “Lemon Chiffon” and did lighter highlights. I wasn’t happy with the splotchy way the “Reikland Fleshshade” had pooled in the loincloth creases, so I reapplied shadows using Crafter’s Acrylic “Orange Spice”. After that, I painted the rest of her hair with the “Black”.
Next, I painted her claws with the “Orange Spice”, and then added highlights with Ceramcoat “Raw Sienna”. I then drybrushed her hair with Apple Barrel “Apple Maroon”, and then did lighter highlights with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”. After that, I painted her horns with Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and when they had dried for a while, I gave them a wash with the “Nuln Oil”. When the wash was dry, I drybrushed them with Americana “Mississippi Mud”. I then drybrushed the sword blades with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”; and afterwards highlighted the armor and sword hilts with Ceramcoat “14K Gold”, followed with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”. Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”. I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. Then, when the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base. Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”. I thought the eyes ended up looking too flat, so I went back and reapplied some of the “Red Flash”, and added highlight dots with the “Lemon Chiffon”.
I’m really happy with how she came out. It was fun playing with a different kind of skin tone, and I think the red highlights in the hair was an experiment that ended up looking good.
Take a close look at the different units in this picture.
I have alluded a couple of times to a secret set of rules I am working on for a major figure manufacturer for a new line of figures. We are targeting Cold Wars 2020 in March. Because of the compressed development schedule, I am having to re-use bits and pieces of ideas from previous development efforts. It normally takes me there to six years to develop and write a set of rules. For these kinds of early play tests, a very small crew is best. Later, when the design is more mature, I will open up play tests to the whole club. So a couple of folks came over, and we put a lot of surrogate troops on the table to test out activation (didn’t work well) and combat (worked fine). We used an odd assortment of mismatched figures for this first play test to obfuscate the subject of the rules and figures. I will be making a LOT of adjustments to the rules before the next play test in August.
Two swell guys…
We also worked on a couple of details for Feudal Patrol ™. Feudal Patrol is the version of Combat Patrol ™ for early black powder and mediaeval periods. The big stuff is all working fine, and the design of the Action Decks are pretty much complete. In this play test, we were working on magic, confirming that the cavalry rules from the Napoleonic supplement to Combat Patrol were okay (they were), and testing a few new things. Once you include things like long pointy sticks, you have to consider fighting in two ranks, which we tested and seemed to work okay.
Cavalry versus infantry in the center of the table.
Zeb pondering an early move.
Chris wanted to try out a change in how melee is resolved. In Combat Patrol: WWII, when a figure loses melee, he drops back, and the unit takes a morale check. For a melee heavy game, like Feudal Patrol, Chris thought that the defeated figure should also be stunned. That seemed to work fine.
The tanks were all single models, while the PSC kit allowed you to build either SdKfz 231, 232, 233, or 263 8-rad scout cars. While I liked the idea of having a 232 or 263 with their iconic roof antennae, I decided not to build them as such for a couple of reasons. First, the spindly plastic antennae did not look survivable as tabletop figures. Secondly, if I built the antennae, the turrets would not work. In the end, I built three SdKfz 231 (with the same 20mm autocannon as the Panzer II) and two turretless and open-topped SdKfz 233 (with the same 75mm gun as the Panzer IVD). Two SdKfz 231’s would be for North Africa, with the remaining 231 and both 233’s being built for Normandy. These scout cars, and the other tanks and tank destroyers here all could reasonably be used on either the Western or Eastern Fronts. I will cover each type in order, and then some “eye candy “shots of the finished models. I will also share a listing of the paints and other materials I used in the projects for those interested.
SdKfz 231’s and SdKfz 233’s (8-rad scout cars)
These are all 8-wheeled scout cars, and I plan on using them to add some recon aspects to my games. They are very light, and as I was concerned that they would be knocked around very easily. I added Daisy BB-gun BB’s to the 231’s, but the 233’s were open topped and that was not an option. The 233’s did have crew that needed to be painted and mounted.
As you see above, my Iwata Micron-B was a wonderful tool to achieve the three-tone camouflage patterns. I applied decals, weathered the vehicles, and varnished them. The sun finally came out so I took a couple of shots on the deck.
For the North Africa/DAK 231 models, I just washed and dry-brushed them to achieve a weathered look. I did not give the DAK 233’s because I did not want to paint another 15mm crew! These will work just fine.
The lines on this tank destroyer are practically beautiful. Though if I was in a Sherman seeing one, my opinion would certainly be different! Only 415 of these were ever built.
The Jagdpanther model was the easiest to assemble of the three. The boxes say you don’t need glue, but I recommend using modeling cement for sure. It certainly helps to close gaps. I also weighted the tanks and tank destroyers down with BB’s in their hulls.
This monster was quite impractical – yet one tough AFV. It weighed nearly 72 tons, and had a number of mechanical challenges. However, its 128 mm gun was more than enough to dispatch any other vehicle on the planet. Between 70 and 88 were built – so they were rare.
If the Tiger was iconic, the second generation version Tiger II is a step up even higher. Only 492 of these 68-ton behemoths were ever built, but they first saw action in Normandy. This one has the Henschel turret (a few rarities had a Porsche turret). Early Tiger II versions also had reliability issues, but these improved quickly.
Of course, these are all part of my planned Normandy breakout scenario – so I will now share some eye candy of these German models on that planned tabletop battlefield.
Here is the battlefield and a first play test of the scenario that I ran at the Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge, MA. The Americans can be seen here.
I modified the previous tabletop, and my current set up is below.
So now some shots of the vehicles on the new tabletop set up!
Right side of the Jagdtiger at a Normandy crossroads.
If you want to get in on the action, here’s our announcement for our next gaming session on June 29th. Or visit our Facebook page (and join if you’d like here).
Thanks for looking! Always appreciate your feedback in the comments section!
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE VEHICLES:
Testors Plastic Cement
Daisy BB-Gun BB’s
Aleene’s poster tack
1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
Vallejo “Flow Improver”
Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
Battlefront “European Skin”
Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
Vallejo Mecha Color “Grey Green”
Vallejo “Black Grey”
Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
Battlefront “Oxide Red”
DecoArt “White Pearl”
Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
Vallejo Model Air “Dark Yellow”
Vallejo Model Air “US Olive Drab”
Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
Vallejo Model Air “Rust (71.080)”
Microscale Liquid Decal Film
Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Oil Stains”
Appropriate decals from Battlefront
Appropriate decals from Armorcast
Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
P3 “Bootstrap Leather”
Vallejo Game Air “Black”
Army Painter “Mid-Brown” (wash – desert models only)
Being in need of more Meisterzinn parts for the French Revolution, I set up the melting pot today. It was a frustrating day, reminding me of the vagaries of home casting.
I set out to make enough of the cavalry bodies in the lower left corner to match the horses I made last time, and we’ll call that a success. However, I made 10 in 11 pours, and then the remaining three took about eight tries. The advancing musketeer multi-part body wouldn’t cast at all, although I made two dozen last time.
I thought I might be able to do a head swap on the single piece musketeers with leveled bayonets, but getting 7 took me 20+ tries, so that will not be much help on production speed.
I was playing around with three vintage molds. The farm animals wouldn’t cast, but I got a few civilians. The new vintage mold I got this week, making some possible FPW figures, is typical. The least useful cavity (crouching guy) cast best, and the most useful, a figure advancing with leveled bayonet, wouldn’t cast at all. I guess I’ll have a unit stabbing down with the bayonet…