27 June 2016

Toyota Technical .50cal painted (Empress Miniatures)

Eureka Miniatures Toyota Technicals with .50cal
Eureka Miniatures Toyota Technicals with .50cal
I have ordered a couple of Toyota Technicals with a .50cal and gunner from Imaginative Miniatures a couple of weeks ago. The Empress Miniatures Toyota technical can be bought with and without a 50.cal for the same price which is odd but doesn't include a gunner so I bought that additional model as well. The gunner looks a bit middle eastern to me because of the head scarf. But my militia rebels have the eureka Masked Somalis so next to them he doesn't look out of place. And even though he doesn't show much skin the bits that are visible are painted up with a dark brown skin color to make him look African.

Eureka Miniatures Toyota Technicals with .50cal
I have painted the first one white,...well white with a lot of dust and mud and some damage. I wasn't sure about the windows, go safe and paint them black or paint them up in a blue gradient. I chose the latter and like the sky reflection.
I really wanted this to be a "Toyota" and was thinking about painting the letters on the back but that was quite daunting because I can't paint that straight. In the end I just printed the Toyota logo on paper, cut it out, soaked it in watered down PVA glue and stuck it on the back. Then with the sponge technique I weathered the back like the rest of the truck and used pigments for mud.Now you can't tell it's not painted on.

Eureka Miniatures Toyota Technicals with .50cal

And then the Gunner. I didn't want to glue it to the car but I wanted to be able to take it off whenever needed. I cut a small piece of thin plastic card to fit in the back and as you can see in the picture above both options look nice. I 'd like to add some empty shell casings around the gunners feet but I couldn't find my ultra thin plastic string. I might do that later or just with the other Toyota I still have to paint up. I think that one will be painted red, what do you think..?

22 June 2016

A nasty little surprise

IED Marker 

Now that the Zangali Army and rebels are done it's about time we have a little game. For the first mission I still miss one little model, more a marker really. Something that can go BOOOOM!!!

Some real I.E.D.'s for inspiration
I have been looking at I.E.D.'s on google for a bit so I hope the CIA will not be knocking on my door. There are a lot of different kinds of IED's hence the name Improvised Explosive Device. I had a look at some pictures of what it should look like and when I saw the very first image that came up I immediately thought of warhammer 40K orks. The shells and mines look just like those and I still have a good few of those. I quickly rummaged through my Bitzbox and found a few suitable pieces I could use.

Watch out! IED ahead!
I simply cut of a few rokkitz for the shells and used a melta bomb as a landmine. I shaved the shells down a bit so they would look a bit sunken into the ground. I then added some small electrical wiring and then added the sand. After that I painted the whole thing up and added some grass tufts.

I pretty pleased with the results and will make a few more. Now I know the whole idea behind an IED is that they are concealed and not spotted easily but for wargaming that doesn't work. Then I could just as well put sand on a 25mm base and say it's an IED marker.

19 June 2016

First Rebel Militia Finished

Eureka Miniatures 28mm Somalis
Now that the Zangali Army infantry is done it's time to start painting their adversaries, The Northern Armed Militia (NAM) a.k.a. The Banga Boys. These are the militia rebels that have joined Lebon Banga in his war against Anan's government. These are the men who want to take their guns all the way from the northern jungle to the capitol in the south, overthrow the government and end Ime Anan's reign.

Rebels with German WW2 Decals....
These are the first 11 models I painted up for the militia. They are 28mm Eureka Somalis. Because they are rebels I gave them a variety of colours. I didn't want them to have uniforms or anything, I wanted them to look like armed civilians. I even gave two men a football shirt. I got the idea when I first saw the models and I used some old decals for their shirt numbers and player name. No one will really see these are actually world war 2 German tank numbers will they.

Click to enlarge
It's fun to paint models with more freedom then you get with regular army models. I can mix and match colors whatever I like. I have about 15 more of these models and by mixing the masked and unmasked models you don't really see that there's only a small number of poses available. Soon I will also add some Spectre miniatures to them but more about that later....

17 June 2016

Checkpoint attacked

Checkpoint in Nabali attacked
Earlier this morning a Military checkpoint near the Nabali army base was attacked.

At 07:21am a small utility van was stopped at an outer checkpoint in Nabali only 800 meters from the Army base. The van was stopped on it’s way to the base in a routine control. Bystanders say that when the driver was asked for his papers he made a nervous impression. When asked to get out of the van the driver refused and tensions rose. After some shouting between the driver and soldiers at the checkpoint the van suddenly exploded killing 4 soldiers and injuring 2 more men.

It had been quiet since rebels attacked a patrol just outside the city. It was thought that the situation was under control and the army had restored peace in the region. It now seems that this attack was aimed directly at the army base. At this moment it is still unclear who is behind the attack and if this attack is related to the earlier attack.

15 June 2016

Making Jungle Terrain Tutorial

28mm jungle terrain

When you're making a Jungle themed gaming table it's nice to have some actual jungle pieces. In this topic I'll cover how I make my jungle pieces. I hope to show you how I do it so you can copy this or you can change them to fit your jungle table. I like my jungle to be modular so I can have different set-ups with every time I set up the gaming table.

Cutting the shapes from MDF
Step 1: Get a sheet of 4mm thick MDF and mark out some organic shapes with a marker. Before I drew the shapes I measured out area's of 3"x3", 6"x3", 9"x3" and 6"x6" and drew the shapes in there. You can see it on the picture below. (ignore left side of the picture, those will become mountains and hills for a later tutorial).

Step 2: Cut out the shapes from the MDF Sheet with a jigsaw and cut the sharp edges with a hobby knife. Then sand them down so you get smooth and curved edges.

Tree bark ready for the oven
Step 3: You might want to add some rocks to your jungle.You can get bags of tree bark from the garden store. They are pretty cheap and a large bag will last you a lifetime. Funnily enough the tree bark will look more realistic then using actual rocks and will keep it light in weight. The tree bark is still a bit moist when you take them out of the bag. You can leave them out of the bag for a couple of days to let them dry but I heated up the oven and then put the tree bark in the oven on a baking tray with the oven turned off. The heated oven will dry the tree bark in about half an hour.

Tree bark scrub down!
Step 4: When the tree bark is dry I take a stiff toothbrush and start scrubbing the tree bark. Lots of dust and small bits will come of and the edges will get that realistic rock like appearance. This also prevents the rocks from chipping later on when you have painted them.

Hot glue gun is...HOT!!!
Step 5: Take a hot glue gun and glue the pieces of tree bark down on the bases. Try to work as neat as possible and watch out, hot gue gun is...hot. I got some minor burns from the hot glue dripping from the gun. But if you want good looking scenery some second degree burns are a small price to pay.

Seal the tree bark
Step 6: This is a very important step which should not be skipped. Take some PVA glue and water it down with about 40% water. Now take a brush and coat all the bits of tree bark with a generous splash of the watered down PVA mix. The dry tree bark will soak up the mix and it will make it stronger, prevent it from chipping and makes it easier to paint later on because the tree bark will not soak up your paint. I water the PVA down because the tree bark will soak it up a bit easier but also because you will keep the most detail like this instead of with pure PVA glue.

 disco dip, nuts or sand sir?
Step 7: When the PVA mix on the tree bark is dry we can start to add sand to the bases. I coated the topside of the bases with pure PVA glue and then dumped them into a bucket of sand. Make sure the sand sticks to all the areas and no white parts are showing. Shake off the excess sand and leave them to dry. Also make sure no sand is glued to the underside.

Step 8: It's time to get the jungle bases painted up and plant the trees and plants. When you are making a complete jungle table I suggest using the same color for the jungle terrain pieces as you're using for the gaming table. This will make sure your scenery blends into the table seamlessly. When you do this it's a good idea to go to your local DYI shop and buy a can of cheap matte paint in the desired colour. I bought a can of a sort of light beige sandy colour. You can also do this for your rocks, hills and mountains just make sure you buy a water based paint because it will dry faster, smells less and will not melt any polystyrene you might use in your scenery pieces.

Paint the rocks first. easier that way.
Step 9: Now paint up the rocks with your desired colour. Once dry also wash the rocks and drybrush with the original colour. Now with the rocks you want to create a bit more depth and contrast so use lighter colours and drybrush at least two more times. I used a grey'ish/ brown color and drybrushed it with Vallejo Brown Sand , then Vallejo Iraqui Sand and last Vallejo Ivory. 

Washing the jungle bases
Step 10: Make a wash of a brownish colour, for scenery pieces I just pick a colour I want to use and then add a load of water to it to thin it creating a cheap and easy wash. For scenery pieces like these it's not really rocket science. When the wash is dry I drybrush the pieces with the original colour to create a bit of depth.

Starting to look like a jungle
Step 11: Now the painting is done and dry it's time to get creative with some plastic (aquarium) plants and model trees and foliage. A cheap and good place to buy these is Ebay where you can get quite a variety. Start with the larger pieces and work to smaller pieces. Just place them in a irregular pattern. I use a hot glue gun and super glue for this.

 Step 12: Some plastic plants might look a bit too much like toy trees. Ad some different colours of green and brown with an airbrush if you have one but you can also use a drybrush technique to create depth. I also removed most of the obvious moldlines and flash but this can be a bit of a tedious job... I finish this step by spraying some matte varnish over the plants and trees to take of the plastic/shiny look. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of this to show you the difference but if you compare the picture from the last step with the picture from the next step you will see I have painted the palm trees up, added some green variety to the plain green leaves and gave it a matte coat of varnish to take the shine off.

Painted and matte coated
Step 13: Now it's time to add the last bit to your jungle bases. I have added some small green flock here and there and for the fallen leaf effect I used a kitchen mix of Italian herbs. Very cheap and you can get a lot of different kinds. At first it is kind of smelly but that will go after about a week. I have also added some grass tufts. I have bought these from Gamers Grass, great service, good product and good variety of colors, shapes and sizes. I mix up the tufts and then I'm done. ready to use on your gaming table.

Jungle base done

With some figures for reference

10 June 2016

Jungle terrain preview

Preview of the jungle table
It's been a bit quiet on the blog the past two weeks. That's because I was organizing the Dutch Bolt Action Nationals on June 5th. There's always a lot of last minute work to do with these events so all of my spare time went into that. But that doesn't mean that there wasn't any progress made on the Zangali project.

I wanted to use one of my gaming tables at the tournament and I will also use that for the Zangali jungle missions. I have been working on this table for some time now and now it is finished. I will add some smaller items and scenery for Zangali but for now it will pass as a Pacific jungle table.

I was really excited to try all the different pieces I have made, most of which are DIY projects, all together on one table. I had never seen it all put together so I took some pictures with my Iphone. I will do a proper introduction on the table later and plan to do some tutorials on how I made things.

For this 6x4 table I have made three 2x1 boards that can fit together in a number of ways. I have made a modular river system with some bends and curves so I can lay it out on the table in various ways. I made 5 Line of Sight blocking mountains, 3 Sarissa precision jungle huts which I have modified quite a bit and also I sarissa precision guard tower which I changed to fit my vision. Most work went into the Jungle scenery. I have 30 pieces in all shapes and sizes.

So here's a sneak preview of the table,.. more soon..
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