Monday 29 August 2011

So Many Projects, So Little Time...

Hi, All.

The problem with detailing-work is that it's so S..L..O..W..!

I mean, you spend hours and hours doing tiny little intricate things, sit back and... it's like you've done practically nothing!

Close-up of the neck detailing on HMSW Gargantua, incorporating chain-bridge, valves and pipes.

This week, I've been thinking about necks and legs. And chains.

So, pretty much a normal week for me...

I've had a clear image in my mind throughout this project as to what I wanted the 'neck' area should look like. This was seriously fiddly work and many expletives were uttered! Thank God I found my pliers!

I'm happy with the results - but yet another weekend has gone (Monday is my Sunday) and there is still so much to do!

From the left side...

...and the right...

Anyway, judge for yourselves...

...and from above.
As for HMSW Gargantua's legs, they are starting to look rather shapely. The first is almost finished, incorporating 174 rivets! And there's gonna be four of 'em, folks... You do the maths!

Private Porter, on guard at a secret construction site...

So: with the bridge in place and ONE leg rivetted, my count is now up to 2,146!

Also this week, I have been working on my first commission from an overseas wargaming colleague: A Wild West Undertakers, based on the premises of Creepy Pete Haldezos, Main St., Leadwood...

The original...

The new building in progress...
If all goes well (i.e: the thing doesn't get crushed in the mail!) I'll be starting to take requests for custom-built Western buildings. And maybe other stuff, too. Anyone who would like to express an interest can contact me at:

I'm also working on concept sketches for a new BIG Victorian Science-Fiction set-piece, which I expect to take a year... More on that soon...

Anyway, that's all for now. I have a lot of stuff to get on with! A chap just can't spend all his time blogging away!

All the Best!

Tuesday 23 August 2011

An hour or two fiddlin' with me dangly bits...

Hi, All.

Today I have begun construction of the chain bridge that will link HMSW Gargantua's head to her body.
The bridge will hang between the head and body, surrounded by pistons, cables, tubes...

This is fiddly work.
Chain and pins bought cheap by the hundred. Such things are invaluable for adding special little details. (see also the hoist on the Hooper's Lumbermill in Leadwood)

I'm working with cheap jewelery chain, bought from Spotlight (a craft store here in NZ). It's fairly soft and therefore the links are easy to open and close (and break!) but with each link being 2mm long, and my fingers being rather large, I'm finding it something of a challenge - hence my break right now to post this blog.
Left: four chains cut to length and added to anchor pins. These will form the horizontals. Right: parts laid out as an "exploded" diagram of the bridge construction.

What you see before you is about two hours' work so far. I imagine painting the bridge, applying the walk-boards and attaching it to the walker itself will be equally frustrating! Anyway, I'll keep you posted.
Chains and pins are suspended on small knitting needles for support as I'm not wearing my spare arms today. It took an hour to get this far.

This sort of detailing has to be completed before I start attaching the legs to the model, as otherwise I would risk damaging the whole thing - picking it up and turning it upside down, for example, will be very difficult once the legs are attached.
All chains and pins finally linked together. This will need to be painted and attached to the walker before further detailing can be applied.

Oh, well. Better get back to it!

All the Best! 

Monday 22 August 2011

Call To Arms 2011

Hi, All.

This weekend saw Leadwood's first public outing, to Call to Arms at St. Patrick's College, Wellington. And what a lot of fun it was!

I hadn't been to a wargaming convention since I worked for Games Workshop, (twenty years ago!) so I had only a vague idea of what to expect. It was great to see such a turnout, although a number of people commented on the average age of the punters. There were very few youngsters present.

Leadwood was very well received and it was very nice to get the chance to answer people's questions about the model, the design process, techniques and materials I used, etc.

And of course, there were the gunfights!

A party of monks attempts to cross Main Street.

Molly Malone turns her back on Ennio, in search of a better man. A mistake?
We were kept busy all Saturday and much of Sunday with game after game. Thankfully, I had the help of Notorious Greg and Brian Smaller to run the games, so it never got dull. Loads of players joined in, resulting in the biggest games we have had so far. Many protagonists were not familiar with the rules, so it was a testament to Brian Ansell's "Rules With No Name" that everyone picked it up so quickly. (Well done, Wargames Foundry - shame your stuff's so expensive!)

The bullets flew thick and fast and our table was rarely less than crowded. The addition of lots of bystanders and stray-shot rules, Roly Hermans' Maori wars miniatures (who needs a reason? It's toy cowboys, for God's sake - if you're taking it seriously, you're doing it wrong!) a runaway wagon and a vengeful Sheriff resulted in some very silly moments and a hell of a lot of fun.

My thanks to Greg and Brian for their invaluable assistance; to my fellow Kapiti Fusiliers, Roly and Scott; to everyone who joined in and made the games such fun - too many names to remember (sorry!), and to everyone else who just came up to say hello, to chat, ask questions, and for the many compliments and encouraging remarks about the model. I had a great time and it was a pleasure and a privilige to meet you all - keep in touch!

I'll stop babbling on now and let the pictures do the talking. Sadly, I didn't get many good shots (pardon the pun) so anyone who wants to send me their pics of the convention to put up here - please do!

Rifles at dawn - Arizona Frazier steps out of the Attorney's office into Bank Street, only to be gunned down by La Nariz de la Muerte! (The nose of Death)

Adam 'Cactus' Tucker ventures onto the bridge. He was shot down moments later.

Trixie the Whore and Creepy Pete the undertaker discuss a common interest in stiffs... Meanwhile, Lantern Jack seems to be rather too interested in an open window...

Marshall McClure and La Nariz de la Muerte trade bullets, ignoring the womanly charms of Miss Charlotte, batting her eyelids over by the bank.

How The West Was Won... by Maori?

A wagon runs out of control down Main Street.

Granny teaches The Kid a thing or two about manners. He won't see his nineteenth birthday!

Katie Wainright gets Adam 'Cactus' Tucker in her sights. Meanwhile, Maori Toa guns down Wulf Bradley across the river.

Pedro, in a little trouble...

Wahine poses for the camera, while Maori Toa makes short work of Wild Bill Hicock.

Hone Heke and Arizona Frazier face off on Hooper's Lane. The legendary Maori's shotgun made mincemeat of the US Marshall.

Pedro Gordo runs out of bullets - and he still has Stonejaw Monroe to deal with!

All the Best! 

Monday 8 August 2011

Roll Out The Big Guns!

Hi, All.

Armour plating complete and cannons in place. Things are starting to look dangerous!

Here's the latest on the HMSW Gargantua. I'm a little tired of painting red outlines, so I've taken a break to take a pew pics and post this report.

As you can see, the legs are still missing, but I'm getting close...

Closeups of the gun-ports and red outlining. Discs mark where the legs will attach.
The almost-finished rear deck. I still need to add a ladder and hand-rail around the engine.
The red outlining is a slow process but I think it's worth it for that very Victorian look. I'll try to get up-to-date with it as quickly as I can, and then it's all hands on legs!

Since my last post, the rivet-count has risen by a further 176, to 1,936! And there are a great many more to come when the legs take shape...

I've also begun construction of a steering wheel. Gatling guns and other various details to follow.

So that's all for a bit. More soon!

All The Best!

Monday 1 August 2011

Rivets and bolts can drive you nuts!

Hi, All.

So here I am again, after another fortnight of tiny rivets and glue fumes...
HMSW Gargantua is really taking shape now, although maybe not as fast as I'd like. As you can see, the interior details of the vehicle are mostly complete and the outer hull is not far off.

Much of the armour plating is complete, bristling with rivets! I still have to paint the red outlining.

Left: The fo'c'sle with views through the porthole and door. Right: Closeup of the flywheel and rear deck supports.

Armaments will be added soon, I hope: Gatling guns on either side of the fo'c'sle and in the 'mouth', and at least two cannon ports on either side of the body. Also still to come are a ladder to the rear deck, navigational instruments, and anything else I can fit in! (Hmmm.... maybe a semaphore?)

Deck details: trapdoor and cargo hatch (note the rivets! Always more rivets! Ahahahahaha!) I still have to add a ladder from the iron plate by the flywheel to the rear deck.

Close-ups of the various decks. Brass handrails will eventually enclose the rear deck, too. The semi-circular cutouts are for Gatling guns.

Work has also begun on the legs. The height at which the model is supported in these pictures (balanced on a wine glass) is the actual height the final piece will be... Huge! I temporarily fixed the leg together for the sake of these photos. Aren't I a nice Colonel?!

Sergeant Tetley and Private Whitbread take bets on the shape of the feet... Lieutenant Boddington beside the beginnings of one leg.
Close-ups with redcoats for size comparison. I'll eventually crew the beast with Royal Navy and Marines.

I have yet to settle on a design for the feet, but I can tell you that I'm favouring a cloven-hoof style. There will, of course, be many pipes, pistons, cables and rivets!

Seen here next to my earlier walker (featured elsewhere on this blog).

Rivet count so far: 1,760! And a great many more still to come...

In other news: I have begun work on a box of Perry Plastics American Civil War Infantry, to be fielded for a ten-a-side skirmish in Leadwood at the upcoming Call To Arms convention in Wellington, August 20th-21st. The Union troops are almost done. Here's their Captain, done with my usual inks.
I'll post pics of all the protagonists when they are ready.

Anyway, that's all for now.

All The Best!