Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Small sculpting update

Not much to report over the last few days. I´ve reverted to sculpting again and had a try on some alternative & composite materials (Greenstuff and a mixture of greenstuff + apoxie sculpt) while working on the Designated Marksmen / Marine Sniper.

Here are two small work in progress-shots in the early stages:

The dark green is pure greenstuff, the light green part is the composite material ;)

The Weapon is supposed to resemble a FAL-type weapon with scope, but I´ve sculpted it without any closer look on pictures. This is why the stock is looking a little modern ;)   And the magazine is still excessively big, might have to chop parts of it off again.
 Note that the barrel will be formed by part of the wire, ending roughly where I´ve bended it downwards, so it does not end where theres no more putty.

All in all, I like the properties of the Greenstuff-Apoxie mix. It doesn´t crumble as easily as pure Apoxie Sculpt does in its early working stage (Apoxie needs more time to set before developing the right consistency to work with it for finer details), all the while being more flexible then pure greenstuff (which I found extremely tough to knead). Thanks again to Warren for his hint on this interesting mix!

By the way - I still haven´t heard much from my friend, he somehow has gone silent again. We´ve only had sparse contact during the last few weeks, seems like he doesn´t have much time to spare for the campaign right now. Lets hope this situation improves in the near future...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

US Marine Corps - WIP

Hey guys,

Its time again for a brief update. After the weekend passed by rather quickly due to our gaming day on saturday and a birthday party, I´m back to painting again. Originally, I´d planned to post a report here about our game on saturday, but unfortunately I´ve not been able to take any pictures. Though I packed the camera (and even checked if the batteries where charged), I forgot my SD-card - and my cameras internal drive is not even remotely large enough to store enough pics to give you a detailed report.

That´s a little unfortunate, especially because I´ve set up a historical scenario based on  real events in Daulatabad, Farah Province from June 2008 [Vignette 6, starting at page 38]  (This document is excellent by the way - indispensible for anyone interested in the Afghanistan conflict!). And it played out pretty well. The Americans fared significantly better than in reality (originally, they where lured into the fields and ambushed from both sides with minimum cover, suffering numerous casualties), managing to retreat from the ambush with only one serious casualty. However, the Taliban did not utilize their full potential, ambushing only with half their potential strength - otherwise, things might have turned out even worse for the Americans.

On monday, I tried to paint some of my Insurgents, but I´m not really happy with the results and stopped after the basic layer of color. Some of the colors are badly combined and don´t look good. Though I´ve taken numerous looks at Iraqi insurgent pics, I´m not able to replicate their fashion style on the minis just yet. Once I get back to them, I´ll take my laptop, place it next to the painting station and open google image search on iraqi insurgents, replicating specific insurgents instead of trying to wildly combine the appropriate colors... Maybe that works better.
Frustrated with that futile effort, I´ve turned onto the Marines:

Marine Fireteam - Work in Progress
They´re not yet 100% finished, but the uniform is complete. Maybe I´ll add some more coyote brown splotches to imitate the camo pattern, but I think they already look okay (the photo didn´t turn out very well, under real conditions the uniform doesn´t look that evenly colored). They  just need some more detailwork on things like faces, gear and weapons and they´re done. I´ll post more pics when they´re finished!

Another sidenote on a small change I´ve made:
I´ve turned off moderation on comments for all recent posts. You can now freely comment on the articles without waiting for me to authorize the comment (for entries not older then 2 weeks). Maybe that increases your willingness to leave some comments :D

Friday, January 18, 2013

Finished Sculpts

Hey hey,

After a brief period of silence, I´m back. I´ve been finalizing the sculpts this week, took a few days break from painting & sculpting due to exhaustion (I was barely able to do anything else then playing some ARMA) and due to other plans yesterday, but finally got around to paint them today.

I proudly present:
"Ugly one alpha, this is Tango 3-1, come in"

"You! Grab your RPG and head east to flank the Americans!"

The whole bunch at once
"If I shoot him, I´ll become the leader of this group... hehehe"


My next potential sculpting projects are:
-Finishing the Casualties
-Marine Sniper Team / Designated Marksmen

Apart from that, I´ve plenty of new minis to paint. Remaining Taliban & Civies, US Marines, Urban Insurgents... I don´t even know where to start :D
Buildings have to be built as well. I guess I´ll be occupied for a while.

Tomorrow is gaming day btw. If I find at least one unsuspecting victim, I´ll share a report with you soon. I´ve prepared a small historical scenario (something that happened roughly that way) - we´ll see how well it works!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sculpting - Part IV: The ANGLICO again!

I´ve continued sculting a bit over the weekend, mostly on the Anglico and the Weaponry. The Insurgent Leader is almost completed, only his second hand holding the AK is still missing.

Meanwhile, I´ve continued working on the lone marine calling in fire support missions. He got his knee protectors today, as well as the Binoculars / Laser Designator:

Remember the sketch? We´re moving towards that goal:

He needs some finetuning and his helmet, but is moving ever closer towards completion.
Maybe I shouldn´t have added the knee protectors, but I felt like doing it... 

As you can see, I´ve also obtained some railroad trees to enhance my terrain further. Wasn´t intended, but I couldn´t resist while walking through the store and I´m happy with the purchase. Mounted them on cardboard to have a better base. Those will get sanded & grassed later.

And another smallish project I started today with some surplus clay:

Casualty dollies!

Stay tuned for the next results, the Leader and the Anglico will soon be completed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sculpting Part 3 - ANGLICO progress

Another, smaller session of sculpting today. This time, I focused a little on the Marine ANGLICO and tried to build a better AK for my Insurgent leader (the pointing guy) with the new method I applied to the M16 from last post. Both weapons (my M16 and the newly crafted AK) might still be a bit too long.

In ~1/72 scale, the M16 should be 1,38cm long (a little more than 1/2"), while the AK should be approx. 1,2-3 cm long (depends on the variant). Both model-weapons are around 1,7cm long. Unfortunately, they look quite good as they are and I don´t know if I can shorten them without the risk of destroying them. If everything fails, I´ll have to make a new one with correct length.  ;)

Anyway, enough talking. The Anglico:

Added some pouches, the backpack and the bit of protection kit between is legs. I´m still not 100% satisfied with the look of the groin protection. I´ll probably adjust it somewhat later, but I want to do the rest of the mini first, maybe it doesn´t look that bad when the rest of the fleshing-out is done.

The next step is to complete the legs & arms before moving on to the helmet and the binoculars.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sculpting Experiments - First Results

The first detail stage was quicker then expected. Now it payed off to start with some Insurgents, where the most details are folds in the clothes, the headwear and the hands. I´ll add the last few details tomorrow, but you can get a good impression on how the figures are going to look like even now:

This one only needs some more very fine details on his weapon. Apart from that, I think he´s fine as he is.
Our leader still lacks hands, feet and his weapon, but has received some pouches on a belt rig:

As you can see, the surfaces aren´t 100% smooth yet. I have to work on that for future sculpts, I guess.
Haven´t worked much on the Marine today, but fixed his leg:

And another relic from yesterdays session:  My first selfmade M16!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sculpting Experiments

Hey guys,

I´m taking a short break from crafting after having spent the last two evenings almost exlusively on working on my minis. The original plan was to convert the Caesar Urban resisters with the help of some sculpting clay. However, the presence of the putty tempted me to try some sculpting of my own in addition to converting and diversifying the terrorists (which took most of mondays free time).

I started with a simple wire armature in a pose that I had sketched earlier:

Thats the rough sketch (I changed the stance though)

As the putty took a long time to dry, I started a second figure (without much of a sketch this time):
An Insurgent firing his weapon while standing.
I didn´t take any fotos of the intermediate steps, this is the result at the end of day 2 (tuesday evening)

As I had not much to do at work yesterday, I also made another sketch of a Marine ANGLICO and decided to add him to the sculpting list, to use the time while the other minis putty hardens.
This is the sketch:

Bad Angle and light for the pic, but you get the idea

This guy has caused some headaches, as I cut the armature too early before the putty was set and hard, which caused the legs to twist...
But in the end, I managed to get the stance right. Doesn´t look like a marine yet, though ;)
His right leg is a bit too long and needs to be shortened, but this should be doable without much damage to the rest of the mini.

The final status on the sculpts after todays work session:

Not bad for a first time sculpt, I think. The interesting part will be the final details. I´ll keep you updated ;)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

More ISAF Germans

As I´ve promised, the Germans were next in line and are now painted.
I´ve tried a slight variation in color for the green & brown, as I thought the color of the first version was too intense (probably not visible on the pictures)

Meanwhile, I was surprised with the speed of delivery of my Urban Terrorists. They came from England and arrived on the third day after being posted - which is really quick compared to the week it usually took to my old living place. Seems like living closer to Germanys biggest airport makes a significant difference in delivery time from the UK. So, the Resisters arrived earlier then planned and I´ve started to do some conversions and additions. As most of them aren´t complete yet, I´ll hold back some of the footage until I´m able to present the final result together with the WIP-pics. Furthermore, I´ve started to experiment with some sculpting, now that I´ve got some putty available. Still only the basic dollies, but if they turn out good enough, I´ll probably share the result with you as well. If not, I´ll cover that failure up with something else :D

Now, some Germans for you, while I´m off to play some solo-scenario. I´m going to try the Bala Baluk-Ambush from the Enduring Freedom-Supplement. Maybe I´ll post a small report in the next few days.

German Soldiers engaging Taliban in the distance

Somehow the pics haven´t turned out ideally. Probably due to bad light conditions.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

JTAC, Officers and Magic!

I´ve had another painting session today and finished the next few minis on my list. This HQ platoon has been waiting to get done since Summer last year (2012). I´ve been focusing on the more immediate needs (regular US soldiers, Taliban, Civilians...) and so they sat on the bench for a while.
If you haven´t done already, also check out my Taliban from yesterdays session.

Now I´ve finally come around to paint them. They still use the same Camo-pattern I´ve used for the rest of my US troops (my first version of simplified Multicam). I´m going to experiment with a new version with a light-green appearance soon. However, I´m still amazed of how well this camo pattern blends into different backgrounds. I´ve posted a rough tutorial here a while back, if you are interested in replicating this pattern.

Here is the result in some crop fields:

And another picture with a demonstration of how my transportation problem (up to now, it´s been a pain to transport the minis safely to games, with a lot of packaging involved...) is now solved - almost magically ;)

Magnetism FTW!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Taliban Surge - First Wave

I´ve spent the last few days on getting some minis painted, after they´ve been lying around for a while. I´m planning to extend my collection soon and will need some space on the desk ;)

Here are the new & finalized minis and the story of a small compound in the greenzone...

8:12 am - The Civilians hurry to safer places...
8:52 am - Taliban are moving out to attack the Coalition troops
Closeup for better view on the camo - unfortunately blurred :(
10:23 am - Taliban Leader bolsters Taliban morale as they are pushed into the defense by a coalition counterattack
11:37 - Compound finally cleared by German troops

Some of you may recognize that German soldier - its the same that was features in the christmas calendar some time ago. But he was still waiting for his base and left the Workbench just now. His buddys are still waiting, together with more Enemy troops, the last few half-finished Army grunts, some ANP, my Civilian Interaction Team and several civilians.
I´ll finish of the Army guys next, I think. Then I´ll try another take of a more greenish Multicam on some of the CIVINT-Team, mixing in some Talibs & Civies here and there while the new supplies arrive...

On the campaign-front, I´m tinkering with some ideas on how to improve scenario generation... but nothing solid yet. My friend has been off the grid again, hopefully he will resurface soon so we can continue playing.