20 June 2019

Work in Progress - Rorke's Drift Hospital and Supply Depot

My wargaming buddy Carlos recently bought the Italeri Battle of Rorke's Drift set which comes with a very nice MDF version of the hospital and supply depot.

Image from www.italeri.com



Carlos had put the buildings together but said he wasn't in the mood to paint it, so I was more than happy to give it a go.

The walls were first given a thin coat of Vallejo "Sandy Paste" to give them more of a gritty look.



Then once the sandy paste was dry, the buildings were given an undercoat from a cheapo spray can of matt black paint bought in a local tack shop (here in Spain there are thousands of these tack shops, affectionately known as "chinos" as they are generally owned and run by people from China).

After the undercoat was dry, the walls were "whitewashed" with a few thin successive coats of acrylic paint.



The buildings were then detailed, and finished off with some dry brushing, washes and given a good dousing of pigment powders.






Enjoyed painting these, it was a nice change from tanks and figures, and I'm pleased at how well these laser-cut MDF building look once they're painted. They're also very sturdy but lightweight at the same time.

Anyhow, Carlos now has the buildings back and hopefully he'll finish the roofs soon - he's going to use some fake-fur to give them thatched roofs - we'll post some pictures when they're finished. 

12 June 2019

How-to : Removing paint from plastic figures

Removing paint from plastic figures

Ive used this technique with old models and figures, even those that have been covered in two or three coats of thick enamel paint. It works equally as well with hard and soft plastic plus its a technique that's not just limited to smallscale modelling.

You'll need the following items :

Household oven cleaner
Plastic gloves
Plastic bag
Plastic bucket
Toothbrush
Detergent (washing-up liquid)




Household oven cleaner in a spray-can form is cheap and readily available in practically any supermarket. Its used to dissolve thick carbon and burned fat deposits from off the inside ovens and off frying pans. Luckily for us modellers it also dissolves enamel paints without affecting plastic.

In this example well use a couple of old soft-plastic polythene figures. They're all in good condition, but have been painted with thick blobs of enamel paint.



A word of warning oven cleaner is caustic and may cause burns to the skin or eyes or respiratory problems if not used correctly. I would stress that it be used with caution. Minors should never use these products themselves,they should ask a responsible adult to do it for them.

Start by laying out the plastic bag on a flat surface and place the model or figures onto the bag.

Put on your gloves. Make sure you use plastic gloves to protect your hands as oven cleaner can burn the skin. Don't use latex gloves as the oven cleaner may dissolve the latex.

Hold the oven cleaner spray in one hand, and spray the model liberally. With the other hand you can turn over the model while holding it over the plastic bag so as to get into every nook and cranny.



Close the plastic bag with the model inside and tie a knot, place into the plastic bucket and leave overnight. The plastic bucket is so that if any oven cleaner leaks out it will not stain the floor.

Rinse any over cleaner off your gloves and put them away and leave over cleaner to work overnight.

24hrs later, get out your plastic gloves again and take the bucket to somewhere you have access to a cold water tap and a sink.

Put on your gloves, take the model out the plastic bag you'll find a huge gooey mess. Throw the plastic bag away and put the model into the sink.



Turn on the cold water and you'll find the paint will fall off as you rinse it. Now with the toothbrush and with a little detergent you can remove any stubborn remnants of paint stuck in little nooks and crannies.





Give them a final rinse and leave to dry. Rise your gloves and don't forget to clean out the bucket or container.



Once dry that's it, finished. Shiny new figures, ready for painting.

06 June 2019

D-Day 60 years on - 2004


Remembering D-Day today, I dug out some old photos from a game we played on this date back in 2004 on the 60th anniversary of the invasion.













Our good friend Alberto (the flaming red-haired Celtic-Iberian below) designed, built, and spent the whole week before the game putting together the boards.




And on the morning before the game we all pitched in to help him put the finishing touches.... these are pictures taken just about an hour before we started.



I remember the game was good and we had a great time - fortunately the only victims who died in this battle on that 60th anniversary were just little toy soldiers.

I also remember, to stop us feeling so smug, it was pointed out later that we made the same mistake as Spielberg in Private Ryan and put the beach obstacles the wrong way around.