The projects and ideas I have altered and helped by you

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

End of University Splurge (over the course of a few months)

As it came to the end of my time at university, I started to celebrate each milestone with a little and also not so little purchase. Finished the final assignment? Buy some figures. Pass all the assignments in a course? A set of kits. Finish all the coursework? Well then that had to be a large purchase. As you can imagine now that all the various things have arrived I have quite the haul. So what did I get? Well let's go over it all shall we.

It fills up my bed. Too much to go over in one caption let's break this down.
So I am going to give a run down of what I have got. Given how large this stash is I will be breaking it down by which imagination they will be used for. I will also give a brief explanation as to what they will be used for. Partially so this crazy splurge can make a little more sense but also because I would like to get your input as to what I should do with all this. This is going to be a very, very long post. Anyway let's start with the imagi-nation who perhaps more than anyone gained out of this splurge: The Pan Andean Peoples Republic (PAPR)

The S-Model kits and the Caesar Infantry. Getting two sets of Chinese and French infantry was actually an accident on my part.
The PAPR gets a lot from this splurge, I essentially have a complete force minus specialised elements such as artillery. I have a stash of 1/144 aircraft I can use for them too so not much left to get in future. Let's give a run down of what they have.
  • 6x T-55s (2 x 3 kit sets from the Plastic Soldier company.)
  • 5x BTR-60PBs (2x 1+1 S-Model kits and one in the ICM motorcade)
  • 3x Urals in various configurations (Part of the ICM motorcade)
  • 2x BMD-2s (one 1+1 S-Model kit)
  • 2x Chinese infantry (from the combined French-Chinese Caesar set)
  • 1x Vietnamese infantry (Italeri reissue of an Esci set)
  • 1x Warsaw Pact Troops (same as the Vietnamese infantry, will explain more later)
  • 1x T-72B (ModelCollect)
  • 1x T-62 (Italeri, part of the Gulf War anniversary set)
  • 1x Mi-25 Hind (same as above)
  • 1x IS-4 (Trumpeter set)
  • 1x IS-7 (same as above)

Now let's go over what these will be used for. Some of it is pretty self explanatory. The T-55s are going to form the mainstay of the PAPR armoured force, with rarer but superior tanks augmenting these forces. That's where the T-72B and T-62 come in and it is likely that others will be used in future. The BTR-60s and the Urals are similarly quite self explanitory.

The Vietnamese infantry will be used to represent the mainstay of the PAPR force, their dress being appropriate for the similar climate and mountainous jungle environment of the PAPR - Oronegro - Orotinian border region. This force will however, be largely untrained and not well equipped. Which will put them at a disadvantage. To complement this force the Warsaw Pact troops will represent different local and regional forces reflecting a coalition of people's within the overall PAPR. These forces will be highly variable with some being well trained and equipped with others being nothing more than hastily raised militia. The Chinese infantry will represent the most advanced special forces available to the PAPR. These troops will be uncommon, less common than the Spetsnaz I already painted, but will be equal to many of their rivals. Speaking of which the Spetsnaz will mostly be deployed by the Hind and the BMDs. I may get some BMPs in future however, given the terrain of the border the lighter BMD may be preferred.

Now some wild wards are the heavy tanks the IS-4 and IS-7. These will complement the IS-2T tanks I painted up before. Essentially acting as the command tank. They will likely also appear alongside the regional troops as surplus from the main tank force.

So these are the the first post WW2 kits in 1/72 made by the Plastic Soldier company. Having had a look at the spures I am impressed. Really looking forward to more from them.
Now let's go see what Oronegro gained. What did the land of black gold get in the mail?

  • 1x Challenger 2 (Trumpeter)
  • 1x Boxer Command Vehicle (Revell, Dutch variant)
  • Modern US Soldiers in Action set 2 (Caesar, mortars and machine guns)
  • American Special Forces (Italeri reissue of Esci set, Vietnam War era)

So the Challenger goes to reinforce the Oronegrean tank force, which will certainly need it given how many PAPR tanks they are likely to face. The Boxer has finally been accepted for services with the British Army which means that Oronegro, using British vehicles, can use it too. Now I don't know how strict I will be with the using British vehicles vs US infantry and that being distinct. It does give a good contrast to Gran Bolivia (see below) but I do think that overall it will be covered by the rule of cool. Talking of US infantry the Caesar miniatures complete my main force adding heavy weaponry to the collection. Meanwhile the Vietnam era US infantry can represent reservists, national guard or militia. They may even stand in for other nations, they are suitably generic

So some very exciting kits form ModelCollect. However, the one from Revell was 48% off so a real score there. Then there's the ICM motorcade another one bought while on sale.
With one Oro nation to another lets move to the very interesting country of Orotinia. Now I finally decided upon a theme for the former antagonist of the Latin Wars, it's actually to keep that the same theme. Namely a Germany analogue. Although this time with some other exciting extras such as the Swedish S-Tanks. Orotinia will be quite ecclectic although the German theme will make getting equipment for them rather easy. The previously painted Germans will be re-purposed for Orotinian infantry. So what did they get? Well quite a lot.

  • 1x Modern German Army (Caesar)
  • 1x Leopard 1A5 (Revell from the Leopard 1A5 + Biber set, got that at 48% off! A bargain.)
  • 1x Biber, bridge laying tank (Revell, from set above)
  • 0.25x Cold War German Infantry (from the Italeri reissue of the Esci NATO infantry set)

So Orotinia has some of the basics already with them getting more of the essentials from this splurge. The bridge-layer opens up some very interesting possibilities for games, with one side trying to set up a crossing under fire. The Cold War infantry can serve as reservists. Meanwhile the Modern infantry will be combined with the set I painted already to form the standard infantry. Whether the Orotinian forces will remain so consistent is another matter. But we will see.

So I am not sure what the "unicorn" horn on the boxer is for, I am guessing and aerial? More importantly these Italeri reissues of the old Esci cold war sets are something I have been really looking forwards to.
Moving onto Gran Bolivia we encounter another nation who has done quite well from the splurge:

  • 1x M1A1 Abrams (Italeri from the Gulf War set)
  • 1x AH-1W Super Cobra (same as above)
  • 1x British Paratroopers (Revell reissue of the Matchbox Falklands War set)
  • 1x British Infantry in the 1970s (A Call to Arms)
  • 0.25x British Cold War Infantry (Italeri reissue of the Esci NATO infantry set)
Gran Bolivia then does very well. They will also be receiving the old Airfix NBC/CBRN cold war British infantry which I painted ages ago. So as you may have noticed Gran Bolivia is the mirror of Oronegro. US vehicles, British infantry. On the whole the equipment they have is slightly out dated, at least the units that are on the border with Oronegro are not first in line. Many old legacy units, including some ancient half-tracks I have had for a while but not painted yet. In future I may buy more up to date British infantry for them and it is not that hard to get some M113 kits or perhaps some newer vehicles for them.

So here's the tank corner, including another combined box set. Got for a song too. Although that Armata, now that's exciting.

Over in the infantry corner we have a nice mix. Revell seems to be confused as the figures are in 1/72, at least mine are. Confusing.
Now we do have a few wild cards too. These have no clear definitive use and will likely be used for many things. I am going to go over this in two bits. First the tanks.

  • 1x Armata (Zvezda, a really fine looking kit.)
  • 2x Black Eagles T-80UM2s (Modelcollect, actually innacurate, the hull is just a standard T-80 hull when it should be longer and include another road wheel, the sets do include T-80A turrets so can be used for that too)
These tanks may see service in the PAPR but more likely only for rare special instances. I don't want the PAPR to be too high tech. More guerrilla/asymmetric warfare, with rather outdated conventional kit. The tanks can also be used in the Kievalsk/Ororussia setting. Which may be where some of the Warsaw Pact infantry are also employed. Speaking of infantry let's move onto the infantry wildcards.
  • 2x French Infantry (from the combined French-Chinese Caesar set)
  • 1x Counter Terrorist Elite Forces (Caesar Miniatures)
  • 0.5x NATO infantry (The set mentioned above but the French and Italian elements)
  • 1x Warsaw Pact Troops (Mentioned above)

The real question is what to do with the French? Specific forces for one of the nations? replacements for UN Troops? A new faction? If a new Faction what to do? It a difficult one and I am not too sure. I could always paint them us as French infantry........ but that's boring so I can't do that. The Italians for the NATO set are going to be an interesting one to use. Same goes for the Warsaw Pact troops. Some will be good for the PAPR. However, the winter troops are less usable, although perhaps there's some high snow capped mountains? Might be more usable in the other setting which is temperate. The Caesar miniatures are suitably generic so will likely find themselves quite a range of uses.

To took two photos of the infantry corner and couldn't be bothered deleting them so enjoy.
Well that covers just about everything. This post took quite some time to write. For those of you who have made it to the end, well done. I almost didn't reach here myself. I am really interested to know what people think, what themes you suggest I follow, what alternative uses might be good for different kits. That kind of thing. I have finally got my airbrush with me so perhaps these kits will be churned out a little more quickly.

That is all for the future though. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to reading your comments.

Until next time I wish you all a good day/night.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Plans and dreams 2017

Now you may be wondering why I posted a picture of the sky. Well it's because many of the projects I am going to talk about are up in the air right now with only a few concrete ones.

So let's start with what is going on now and what I will continue in 2017
1. Is the construction of a Gunboat based off a drawing I found. It's coming along well and should be done relatively soon.
2. Oronegrean Militia! Getting close to completing these figures. No command figures for them yet. But for now any well dressed and dashing character will do.
3. Comrade Pirates. Now I really try and avoid bringing up my political beliefs here. So I hope you'll let me have this one moment of exposure. I'm a member of a socialist organisation and I decided to paint up some pirate figures for the other members of our branch. This project is always behind as new members join and I need a few more female pirates. So this one won't really be completed this year.
4. Oronegrean Civilians. Again 18th century. I want to get a few painted up. Will be useful for raids by native tribes. (See below)
5. Project: Sanctuary Lanes. This is something that needs a whole lot of lore fleshed out for it. The idea is of refugees coming to Oronegro in secret. The first people for this are from Japan (figure wise not lore wise) I have some Samurai and Ninga for this. Lore will follow later for this project.
6. Other figures. Plenty of random figures in various stages of completion. Some only primed. Some based. Others with paint. Look out for some new enemies for Oronegro.

Now what about projects I am about to start or have got the ground work ready for.
1. A fluyt this will be an interesting build with multiple decks making construction a challenge.
2. Natives of Oronegro! Finally some interesting things. I dug up an old set of Hät Thracians, some partially painted but without primer (oh how I've learned). Anyway black paint and PVA base and I'll paint up some. I have a few being "test" painted right now to see if this idea will work. Instead of steel weapons they'll have copper and bronze (more fitting for the Americas)

Projects in planning. Or projects Gowan thinks he can do but probably shouldn't or can't do this year!
1. A Junk! This is related to project: sanctuary lanes. (Spanish name pending) this will be an interesting and exotic addition to my flotilla. A merchant vessel of reasonable size it will play the role of target in games with the pirates.
2. ONE SHIP TO RULE THEM ALL! After the Junk I probably will stop making large model ships. (Because at that point all the bookshelves and window sills at my parents place will be occupied and we'll have to move to attic storage.) But before I close down my large shipyard I want to have one last hurrah! A frigate with two decks, based off various designs incorporating all my experience and skills.  This is a dream project, one that's probably not even going to start this year. But in the world of planning 5 years is considered a short period of time so this is definitely a near future project!
3. Catamaran. In contrast to the big ships I also plan to build a small vessel. Catamarans did not really take off in the West until the late 19th century but in Oronegro this can be different. Because of their speed this vessel can have many uses.

So is that all? No probably not. In all reality I will let these projects be put on hold and try a few others.
Oh and as always if you have any figures you want to get rid of please let me know. I might be able to give them a good home.  ;-)

Monday, December 19, 2016

WIP - The boat my friend requested

Well now that I have completed la Estefanía the number of boats in my collection has well and truly doubled! But, why stop at doubling my collection? And as I have been making boats according to what some of my friends and family have been requesting I have one more to do. This one is.... odd. I offered to make my friend a pirate ship. In my mind I was going to make a little Fluyt. But then he turned around and asked for a Greek/Roman warship! And so it began...
This thing is very small for a rowed ship. so I'll give it some serious sail power to compensate

I'll add armour plates to the front. To protect it against cannon fire once it goes in for a ram.

The book in the background is Patrick O'Brian's HMS Surprise, an appropriate book to be reading!

I'll probably use oars (forgot the term for them) rather than a rudder on this one.
Well there you have it. My strangest boat yet. Lots to do yet but it'll be a fun one once it's done. Also if you know where I can get Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey & Maturin series cheaply I'll be very thankful. I have books 1-3 then 8. So I need to get 4-7 or else number 8 will be sitting on my shelf tempting me to skip ahead.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Boats, Ships and maybe a raft or two.

So given that I just completed El San Francisco it is time to begin on the next round of ships. I have figures on the way too but while I am at my family's house I will make the most of having access to my materials to make ships, buildings and other larger things.
One ship complete... onto the next one.
 So what to do? Well there are a couple of other ships that I was working on:
4 of the six are compete. The top left and top right are yet to be done.
These ships are a small dhow and a pirate cutter crossed with a Greco-Roman warship. But these are relatively small projects and so I can think about what to do next. And for this I will look east, Far East.
A junk. But junk it certainly is not
Turns out it is rather hard to get a good set of boat plans for East Asian ships, or at least I am not that good at finding them. Anyway I have managed to download me some plans. I have three documents that allow  me to build ships from the following countries.
  1. China: I have a plan (as part of a longer document) for a sea going junk used for trade. A larger project but certainly an interesting.
  2. Japan: I have got the plans for a Japanese Warship what were held by the French Maritime Museum. An interesting design but slightly harder to use given the fact the writing is hard to read and in French (which I can't read).
  3. Vietnam: Compiled during the Vietnam War I have a large document full of junk and sampan designs (this was to help the US identify potential smugglers - but it is very handy for me). Many of the ships and boats are quite small and so wouldn't be that diffucult a project.
Anyway I'd be keen to hear what you have to say about these potential projects. If there is one you'd like to see, any tips you have and if you know of some plans that I could use. Also don't be afraid to let me know of some completely different boats that I could do. :-)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Amassing a large force

Well the name says it all. after two years of not buying figs I went on a bit of a spree in the last few days getting all sorts of figs for the 18th century Oronegrean project. Most of these figs will arrive in the coming weeks but I thought I'd give you all a preview of what will be coming and what will eventually be painted up. 

Lets start with my latest purchases. IMEX Pioneers and Pilgrims.
These two sets will give Oronegro it's civilian population as well as a few militia figures for good measure. Mainly I got them for their civilian aspect so that I may bring Oronegro to life. (they'll also make good victims in a raid).

Next up let's look at some pirates. These guys will crew the Abigail and eventually the other pirate ships I small be building (the rude joke is planned and in construction). These guys are from Orion although I hope one day to get other pirate figures perhaps some Marz or LW ones if I feel in need of removing flash.
Arrr me hearties.
The remaining figures are from Caesar and need a bit of explanation. First we have the conquistador set. This is the most obvious as it clearly relates to Oronegro's founding. In addition these guys could be specialist troops for later periods who deal with native troops and therefore generally need armour. They could be used in other ways too. All they need is a story behind them.
A useful set and one I have wanted for a very long time.
Now things get plain odd. First up is a set of Caesar's Ninja and Samurai. Now before you leave this page going "He's lost it" bare with me. Oronegro is known to be founded by European and to a minor extent North African outcasts. As Oronegro grew in power it spread it's often clandestine influence across the globe trying to take in outcasts from elsewhere. Therefore during the Sengoku Period in Japan some Samurai outcasts and Ninja took their chances and made the Journey to Oronegro. The Ninja's skills were quickly recognised and were asked to train a new Oronegrean unit - Los Angeles Negros. I'll clear up the story later.
These guys will fit in to Oronegro or I am not as mad as I say I am
Finally a little speciality set. Caesar's Journey to the West set. My sister say me looking at this one and asked me to get it. So I obliged. This one is special set and perhaps it represents a little parade group for a festival celebration in La Ley. So perhaps there is a small group of settlers from the far east living in Oronegro.
These guys are going to be fun to paint.
Well that's all for now. I'd love your ideas for what some of these figures could be. And if you have any suggestions for what I should get next. Perhaps I need to explore what to do to expand Oronegro's armed forces.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WIP El San Francisco 2

Well here is a little update on the ship I am building as you can see I have done mast placement, rudder and the prow. The masts have not been glued in. That is so I can remove them plater so I don't poke my eyes out. Just a small update but it means only a few parts of the structure remain and I can soon move onto cladding it in planking.
Being white makes it hard to get good photographs of the ship due to the light but here she is.

The string was just to hold the prow in place as it glued. Will be removed soon

Again lighting is a pain but you get the overall shape with this one.

And the rear cabin and rudder here almost done apart from the roof.
Well that's it for this post. I'll do the next one once I have moved into planking it. By that point I'll be covered in PVA glue and regretting ever getting into this hobby.

Anway that's it for now. Have a good day/night everyone. :-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

WIP El San Francisco 1

Here are a few pics of the latest project I am working on. The first of this years model ships. This is El San Francisco. It is larger than the river boats I made but smaller than the Abigail. The aim is to make a more interesting vessel by having an accessible cabin area with a removable roof. In addition this model will have similar planking to the Abigail to increase the level of detail. So far the model is rather simple but it is just work in progress. :-)
This shot is the set up I used last night to hold the gluing parts together.

made with anything to hand, offcuts, string and a handy glue tube the set up worked quite well.

Oh and that mess in the background is my workbench. :-P

This is the result I found this morning. Not bad eh?

It's not perfectly symmetrical but good enough, It'll look good once done.

I have since added the front and rear walls of the cabin so these WIP shots are already out of date

Once again an overhead shot of a boat captures one of my feet. I really must be careful with that.
Well that's it for now guys. More to follow. And to you all have a good day/night. :-)