11 December 2016

Zulus, "thousands of 'em" finished at last


Finallly finished, all in all, just over 150 figures.



As mentioned in the previous post, most of the shields were homemade due to the fact that nearly all the original Esci shields had been lost over the years.



The spears were also missing and were replaced with spears made from stiff plastic broom bristles.



To make up the numbers, a handful of Esci Barbarians managed to slip in as Zulu"impostors".



Even Tarzan from the old Airfix set was press-ganged into to group as an old robust grey-haired warrior with his Airfix drum playing entourage, guards and lovely female companion.



Now it's a case of getting them on the table....., which means painting up someone to fight against, and who else but old Esci British Rorke's Drift infantry.



The partially completed figures above are waiting patiently in the painting queue, but since finishing the Zulus I've moved onto other things so it might be a little while yet, but the plan to do them is still there and the story will definitely continue.

04 December 2016

Matchbox British Infantry / British Commandos

Following on from the previous post, some more 1:76 scale British / Commonwealth figures, this time from Matchbox.

These are a mixture of figures from the British Infantry and British Commandos sets with a couple of conversions.

Three different figures based on the same charging pose. The original unaltered figure on the left.


The NCO figure with the beret wielding a Colt-45 pistol is from the British Infantry set. The running figure with the Thompson SMG is from the Commando set with a head-swap.


Two more figures from the British Infantry set- officer on the left wearing a leather jerkin, and on the right a figure that I’ve often used as a tank crewman.


A mix of figures below from the Commandos and Infantry sets.


Love this crazy guy – you can see he’s bawling in thick Glasgow accent “come on you f**kers, I’ll take you all on !”

In the Commando set you also get a German sentry who looks like he’s just been taken out by this guy. I must get around to paining up that sentry and get a picture of the two together….

This poor lad below is from the Anzac Infantry set.


Makes a good casualty marker for games.

And finally a picture of the whole family


The Matchbox sets have been around for a good number of years – and I remember painting figures from these sets with Humbrol enamels back when they first came out when I was a kid – but up until recently they were difficult to come by, but thankfully that changed very recently when Revell re-released the sets.

26 November 2016

Airfix British Commandos


Those over a certain age will recognise these figures – they’re from the Airfix 1st version 1-76 scale British Commandos set. In the picture above the two guys below have been given new heads with helmets. The radio operator has been given a beret made from epoxy.





Beautifully sculpted 2nd version 1:76 scale Airix British Commandos. The sculptor, Ron Cameron, was an artist who was able to capture the human form perfectly, decades before before computer assisted design ever existed.



The Bren gunner on the far right wearing a helmet is from the Airfix 2nd version 1:76 scale British infantry set.



I replaced the flimsy and bendy Bren that the figure was carrying for more sturdy one in a harder plastic taken from the Imex Korean War US Army set (yes, the set really does have Brens)



Below, from left to right, an Airfix 2nd version British infantry stretcher-bearer, 2nd from the left one of the new Airfix British infantry figures with a commando head, and the two figures in berets are old smallscale Hong Kong copies (quite bad copies I should add) of the Airfix 1/32 scale British paras, with their smocks painted to try and represent leather jerkins.

09 October 2016

Speedpainting Esci Zulus - some progress on the horde of figures

This is definitely a quantity over quality job, and speed is of the essence, so I'm hoping to finish them all off and be ready for basing sometime at the end of the week.

I'll also give a runthrough here on the technique I'm using to speedpaint the figures. It works (well, at least for me) on painting very dark / black skin tones.

First step is to give a heavy basecoat of tough black-gloss enamel paint.



This is followed by a very heavy drybrush to bring out detail and highlight the raised surfaces.



I then prepare a wash using water based artists acrylics. The acrylics will bring out the shadows and highlights on the black skins.



I use Van Gogh which are excellent consistent quality and work really well. I used a mixture of Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna.



Mix the two until you get a thick but creamy consistency ... and yes, it does look like something disgusting that the the dog just dropped.



Finally add a little black to dip into for some slight shading when you paint the wash onto the figures, and the next day when they are dry you should have figures that look something like this.



You can then just paint up the details.



So I'm now about halfway there, most of the figures in progress are in the picture below.



Once I've got them based I'll add a final update on the Zulus and in the near future some pictures of them in action in the upcoming game.

03 October 2016

Zulus, thousands of 'em

Not thousands, but well over a hundred and fifty of 'em.

Old Esci Zulus, from four separate sets that are at least 15 years old, maybe even older.

They were all given to me many years ago by my mate Carlos, and they've been lounging in different boxes full of mixed figures since then

Well with a game coming up organised by Carlos, I remembered I had these Zulus he gave me and promised to paint them up. When I dug them out of their box I aslo discovered that the majorty of the shields and spears have nearly all been lost over the years - victims of multiple transfers to and from different boxes, maybe lost in the bottom of another box, or perhaps even a landfil somewhere, victims of a past clearout of trash.

So with 150+ Zulus and only 20 odd shields and spears, what do you do when you've promised to have them ready for the game ? No choice but to improvise and make your own.



The shields were made from rugged card that were cut into oblong shapes. I made a shield shape similar in size to the original shield printed multiple copies onto the back of the rugged card.

A broom with some nice thick stiff plastic bristles was the spear donor.



Some flat-nosed pliers were used to squash the end of the plastic and a sharp knife to make the spear point.

And I'm quite pleased with the way the spears turned out.



So the next step, paint them all up.
Come back soon, more pics to follow.

03 July 2016

1/72 Hell's Angel Biker


Yesterday I was at a friend's house where there was a board game in progress. The game's based on the a series called "Sons of Anarchy".



What  interested me most about the game wasn't really the game itself -  it's the fact that there were actual biker figures that looked to me to be roughly about 1/72 scale !


At the time I didn't have anything to compare it with, but when I got home I took a picture of a German BMW.


Looks about right doesn't it ? The Son of Anarchy guy could be a passable 20mm biker.Superb for modern-day / post-apoc games.


There's also another standing generic "hoodlum" who might come in handy too.  I took a look on internet and rather than buying the game, apparently you can get expansion sets with just the figures, so that might just end up on my next birthday wish list :-)

26 June 2016

Matchbox Falklands British Paratroopers

These figures were part of a stash of modernish smallscale stuff recently given to me by a friend, Iván.



A plastic food container bearing the words "UK Falklnds" (missing an "a" there) held a treasure trove of painted and based 1-76 scale Matchbox Falklands British Paratroopers.





  
First produced in the UK back in the early 80s, they were originally boxed as "Matchbox Nato Paratroopers". There's a nice review of the set on www.plasticsoldierreview.com.




All nicely painted by Iván, and also two bonus vehicles, an Airfix Scorpion / Scimitar and a JB Models / Airfix Land Rover





Good stuff Iván.

19 June 2016

New additions to the stash


I've never been one to look a gift-horse in the mouth, so when my mate Iván said he was having a clear-out and that he had some modern stuff in 1/72 for me, well,.... I just couldn't say no.

A partially built Esci T-62 - very nice indeed. This MBT can be used by a variety of nations in a multitude of game scenarios.


A new unbuilt Trumpeter Zil 157 Fuel Truck -  will be a nice addition on the table for modern game scenarios we've got in preparation.


Two BTR-70 in resin. The box looks home-made and the parts look like resin copies of resin copies. God only knows where Iván got this, where it was actually made, or how it will go together. Resin kits are way down on my favourites list, but I'm game to give it a try and see how it goes.



And finally, (DRUMROLL) the icing on the cake - "UK Falklands" it says on the outside of the box !


I'll unbox these in another post, and they´re well worth waiting for - all very nicely painted up by Iván.



Cheers till the next time,

John

Airfix 1/32 Scale Spanish Civil War Nationalists


1/32 scale Airfix plastic Japanese infantry.

The conversions by a friend of mine Alberto Beneítez.






Really clever and inspirational conversions Alberto, looking forward to seeing these painted up soon.

Oh, and finally an Airfix British commando who's been transformed into a Spanish Civil War Republican.

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