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Monday, 27 August 2012

Herd of Flunks?

Hi, All!

Bull Flunk. A rare and unusual sight...

This week, I 'ave been mostly meddlin' with evolution...

Mutilated plastic heffalumps. Well, a man's got to have a hobby...

Some years ago, I had the tremendously brilliant idea of cutting off an elephant's head, turning it upside down and sticking it back on again... The results were questionable.

HOWEVER...

I remained convinced that my theory was sound...

Heffalump head, plus sketch. The Flunk starts to evolve...

Well, let's face it folks. We all love war elephants, but since Peter Jackson brought Tolkein's Oliphaunts to our screens in such brilliant glory, any attempts at amazing pachydermic weapons of mass stampedation are doomed to look a little bit puny. Innit?

Brass wire is added to the neck to form the basis of the 'fan'.

So, I figure it's a good idea to mutilate the buggers. Or something like that...

The head (or most of it) is reattached...

My heffalumps have been heavily remodelled with the use of a hacksaw, some brass rod and a lot of Miliput. They will eventually become the mighty war beasts of the Wutha F'Kahwi tribe, complete with howdahs, mahmuts, etc... I have ordered the miniatures I intend to use for the tribesmen, so keep watching...

The Flunk starts to take shape. A redcoat is shown for size comparison.

I ran out of greenstuff some time ago, so I had to make do with white Miliput for this project. It's not bad, but I think I prefer greenstuff. I'm keeping an open mind for now.

Cow and calf flunks in the early stages of construction. Even the calf is big enough to carry a fair amount of baggage.

I'm actually quite fond of these creatures. I admit that right now, they look a little thrown together, but I have high hopes. A little paint... A bit of furniture...

A new piece of old wall... Off-cuts from previous pieces, put to good use...

Meanwhile, The Lost City of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps continues to grow. This week, a small piece of city wall has been added, making good use of some godawful dvd...

The walls of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps...

"My Goodness!" I hear you cry, "Whatever next, Colonel? You have been a busy bunny, haven't you?"

Well... yes. Thank you for noticing...

I was in the local crap shop yesterday (you may remember that my last foray into said establishment resulted in the Bazalgette Light Armoured Perambulatory Contrivance) when I spotted some of those pull-a-string-and-watch-them-go helicopter thingies. "Hmmm..." thunk I, "I bet they'd put the fear of God into the Hun..."

Cheap toys with devastating potential...

So I bought two.

One of the 'copters, ripped apart. And wouldn't you know it, it has cogs and stuff inside! Fantastic!

The stripped 'copters, ready for conversion...

It didn't take long to gut them and I now have some pretty good ideas for turning these into steam-powered gyrocopters (Or should that be hydrothermicopters?) to give Her Majesty's troops air superiority. More soon...

Hmmm... Let me think... I have Navy, Army, Artillery, Airforce... What's missing? Oh, yes! Cavalry!

British lancers... Looking a little pale right now...

Last week I received from Empress Miniatures their British Lancers, and I've made a start on colouring these with inks. These are truly lovely miniatures and I have resisted the temptation to modify them in any way. I had various thoughts, but they were so nice, well...

Lord Blandford-Fly, almost dressed for battle...

I have coloured all of the horses with a basic chestnut colour and will vary their manes, tails, socks, etc. with shades of brown, black and white. Inks are ideal for horses, I find. It's easy to get a really nice, smooth colour with highlights and shades in all the right places.

Lord Blandford-Fly's horse is almost finished. Just a bit of brass here and there on the tack... I must say, I'm very pleased with this one.

It won't be long before these splendid fellows are charging across the battlefield, driving the enemies of Empire before them...

And, speaking of enemies of Empire...

Professor Shandy Tanglefoot... Big ideas, despite his shortcomings...

I also received a few rather nice characters form Reaper Miniatures. The first of these to be completed is the nefarious, insane and ridiculously short Professor Shandy Tanglefoot, creator of hideous abominations and joke of the academic world...

The keen-eyed amongst you will note that he is still wearing the prank 'undies' apron given to him by the lads in chemistry class. Poor boy must have thought they meant it as a sign of affection...

Tanglefoot and trooper - size comparison. Napoleon complex, perhaps..?

Professor Tanglefoot was also coloured with inks. I like this technique because it is a quick way to get really nice results.

So: a lot still to finish, but not a bad few days. I hope to be able to show you the finished lancers very soon, as well as continuing with Flunks and Hydrothermicopters... And of course, I have a REALLY BIG PROJECT to begin... Watch this Space!

Professor Shandy Tanglefoot with one of his hideous creations...

All the Best!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Another Brick In The Wall...

Hi, All!

Red Coats mount a determined defence of the ruins.

Well, I'm a day later than intended with this one... which, I suppose, could be considered ahead of schedule, given my recent track record for keeping up with all this blogging malarky...

Firstly, I'd like to give a nod to those with whom I shared a very pleasant (and slightly inebriated) evening on Saturday... Namely: Alan and Michael Perry; Aly Morrison; Lieutenant General Rhys Jones (sorry, Rhys! Just had to get the rank in there...); Notorious Greg (inevitably!) and Very Large Chris From Christchurch (dunno the surname but it's an apt description, I feel.) The Perrys and Aly are (as you will know, I'm sure) pretty much wargaming royalty. It was a great evening and a pleasure to meet the Perrys again and Aly for the first time. I hope there will be more such occasions...

Sunday morning saw a very tired Colonel O'Truth and Notorious Greg dropping in on Call To Arms - Wellington's annual wargaming bash. It was nice to see that there was a pretty good turnout and when we were there, our good friend and enemy (?!) Scott Bowman was happily unleashing the forces of the Wehrmacht upon whomever he could in the Flames of War Tournament. More about that on Scott's own blog... here.

I would also like very much to acknowedge the brilliant Afghanistan table brought along by fellow Wellingtonian wargamer Craig I-Don't-Know-Your-Surname-But-You-Know-Who-You-Are... This was a fairly small set-piece village with removable roofs and drop-in doors which was absolutely expert in its conception and execution. A skirmish was going on as we arrived. There was nothing else we saw this year that was anywhere close to this standard. Well done, Sir! (Sadly, I did not have my camera on me...)

So: anyway. On with the blog.

It's our wall! You can't have it!

As you can see, I have finished the latest piece for the Lost City of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps - a piece of the city wall, complete with staircase and a piece of street.

The basic pieces are glued together: four pieces of wall; the carved, shaped and sanded staircase; and the hand-drawn street, complete with gutter...
 As with the other pieces, this is mainly green foam insribed with a pencil. There is only so much of this a man can take in a single sitting, but if you keep your eye on the end result, somehow the monotony is almost bearable.

The join in the wall is filled with gap-filler and bricks are redrawn with a pencil.

One problem this piece threw at me, which happens with all such pieces but is more apparent with such a big wall, was the clean break between the overlapping wall pieces. This had to be filled and redrawn, in order to hide as much of the join as possible.

I'm not really happy with the result - I should have taken more time over this bit. But at least it's not too bad.

The completed structure before adding clay, grit, etc. to the base.

I also cut quite a few blocks out of the corner of the wall, giving it a look of having gradually crumbled away. The ramparts are broken at this point, too. This has the added gaming advantage of preventing this piece of terrain becoming too easy to defend.

The collapsed corner. At this stage, two boulders have been carved and sanded. Clay and grit complete the landscape.

As I mentioned before, I intend to add a couple more pieces of wall to my table, but this will be by far the biggest such piece. I've almost got enough of the ruined city to keep me happy for many a game and I have other projects lurking in my troubled mind...

The first coat of paint...

I had to paint this piece twice before I was happy with it. ...Sigh... These things take time...

Big Mike pulls the Faraday Galvanic Field Gun through the Lost City.

HMSW Gargantua dwarfs the ancient ruins...

Still to come: Lancers, Scientists and Master Criminals!

And a new REALLY BIG project...Shhh! It's a secret!

The Lost City of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps.

All the Best!


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

All Along The Watchtower...

Hi, All!

Lieutenant Boddington leads redcoats further into the ruins of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps

It's been a few weeks since my last post. Sorry!

The unpainted tower, constructed from foam, DAS and a 7" 45rpm single...

As promised, I've put Rolf Harris' Two Little Boys to good use. So here it is, buried beneath a ruined watchtower...

The first coat of paint...


This piece was constructed using the same techniques as in my previous posts. The walls are foam, inscribed with pencil. DAS and chunks of foam were used to land-fill the ground floor.

The walls are highlighted and grit is applied to the ground.

After the walls were highlighted, the ground was covered with PVA and grit, painted and flocked with static grass.

Wooden floors and moss are added.

I added broken wooden floors to the tower. Although wood wouldn't survive the centuries in a ruined city, I wanted to add a little colour and make the tower a bit more interesting. Forunately, I had a few left over bits and pieces of balsa planks and boards already prepared from my Leadwood project.

A trooper guards the latest find...

I've also begun work on the remains of the city walls. I plan to have three or four pieces of these. These will be topped with ramparts and stone walkways when they're done.

A long piece of foam was inscribed on both sides.

In order to save time, I started this part of the project by preparing a big piece of foam as stonework. This can be cut into pieces as I require them. Needless to say, this was rather boring...

The first pieces are cut and shaped.
The pieces of wall were cut to shape, details of damage were added, then they were glued and pinned together. For the music lovers amongst you, the 12" record in this case is "Now is the Hour... For Me To Sing To My Friends In New Zealand" by Hank Snow... I know... I know... I hadn't heard of him either. Aren't charity shops a treasure trove of discovery...

A stairway is cut, sanded, inscribed and added to the wall.
I've added a stairway to this piece. There will also be pieces of street and broken walls when this piece is done...

So there you go. The Lost City of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps continues to grow.

In other news, I've received some rather splendid British Lancers from Empress Miniatures and some excellent new characters from Reaper Miniatures. Watch this space...

More of all this soon!

"So who do you think they were keeping out with all these walls, Professor?"

All the Best!