Saturday 31 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [37]

I've started on the gold mine headframe this evening, while fending off the trick or treat hordes from my workbench in the garage. The idea was to scale up the 15mm AK47 objective marker version to 28mm, which is what I did with a few minor adaptations here and there including a sloping elevated narrow gauge track. I'll texture the base tomorrow and, with a bit of luck, might even get the whole thing painted up be the end of the holidays?

Friday 30 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [36]

A couple more of Products for Wargamers western buildings to fill in the gaps and to tone down the street frontage. I like the building under construction which was very easy to put together and came with it's own base. The wheelbarrow is from Warbases and was originally destined for the railroad station but I just couldn't find the right place for it to sit. The railroad station is now also complete having had the windows painted, grass tufts and a barrel added to help locate the building onto the platform. I could add some boxes and baggage to the platform itself or the loading bay but I can't really be bothered (not at the moment anyway)!

Thursday 29 October 2015

Two Hundred Tonne Railway Gun!

The relatives are now on their way back to France having had a jolly good time. This included a trip to Fort Nelson, the Royal Armouries museum outside Portsmouth, which I haven't been back to for ages. It has a very nice new reception shop thingy and a much refurbished series of indoor exhibits, including a very impressive 200 tonne 18'' railway howitzer c1918. This is worth a visit just in itself, especially as entry to the museum is completely free!
After a picnic lunch we hopped over to the Spinnaker Tower which sits amidst the god awful Gunwharf Quays shopping centre, the only redeeming feature of which is a branch of The Works in which I found a hardback copy of Trains to the Trenches. This is a splendid book and very well illustrated with contemporary photographs of all sorts of railway related military scenes from the First World War, including not a few railway guns in action. I think someone is trying to tell me something?

Wednesday 28 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [35]

I rushed the painting on the railroad station today and I think it shows a bit, as I cut a few corners and had a couple of disasters along the way. The end result is okay but I think I should have gone for a lighter colour scheme rather than the red primer approach. Oh well, you live and learn. I still need to finish painting the windows and add some vegetation, baggage and clutter but otherwise it's time to move onto yet more town buildings. Is my enthusiasm flagging a bit? Not really, but it would be nice to have a change of focus to something similar but different for November.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [34]

I've got up early( is the holiday after all) to finish off the cladding on the back wall of the railroad depot building, so that I had time to complete the roof and platform sub-structure when we got home this evening. As a result, the station is now ready for painting, although the base still needs texturing before I can start. I've been wondering about the colour scheme but will stick with the Halfords Ultra Matt camouflage brown for the roof and platform, with a toned down colour for the building itself, probably either a washed out grey or primer red, both weathered down with various dusty dry-brushings over the top. I've have also got some 19cm x 6cm mdf lasercut bases on the way from Tony at ERM, who is always fantastic to deal with and highly recommended, ready to use as track beds for the cut down plastic track sections that I need for the actual railroad. I'll get cracking with that when it arrives.

Monday 26 October 2015

Airman's Cross

We've only just got back from a day trip to London, which was really good but also very long, so the cladding on the railroad depot will have to wait until tomorrow. However, yesterday's trip to Stonehenge led me to discover this monument to two of the pioneers of early military powered flight, who tragically lost their lives while training over Salisbury Plain. I'd read about it before but had no idea it was so close to the Stonehenge site. A very sad story but with the opening of the new visitor centre, outside which the monument has been relocated, at least they won't be forgotten any more, which is a positive thought especially at this time of year.

Sunday 25 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [33]

We got back from Stonehenge at tea time this afternoon, so I have been making up for lost time by cladding the railroad depot platform and building with card strips. These are much quicker to use than coffee stirrers as they are easier to cut and fit, although they don't look as effective and can wrinkle up if you slap on too much PVA. They are, however, very cheap and cost effective as I got mine from the craft section of the local Poundland. I've clad the platform and half of the building so hope to get the rest done tomorrow, ready for the sub-base and sub-structure to be added.

Saturday 24 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [32]

I'm hoping to complete the railroad station for the Warfare game over the weekend but the French relatives have arrived to stay for a few days, which means I'll have to fit things in around various outings to Stonehenge and other local attractions. I have managed to get hold of another Goldlock train set for less than a fiver, however, so I will now have an extra passenger carriage and a steam locomotive which I will re-purpose for the Back of Beyond as it's not really 'American' enough. The open wagon will be converted into something else useful, perhaps an armoured bullion carriage or a second flat car, who knows?

Friday 23 October 2015

Holiday Reading

I took the boys into town this afternoon after work to get them a haircut and take them swimming, so popped into the local Oxfam charity book shop on the way home. I hadn't been in for a while so was pleased to find hardback copies of Ensign in Italy and The Ashanti Ring, both of which look like excellent inspiration for WW2 platoon level skirmish and Darkest Africa colonial gaming respectively. It's now the half term holiday as well, so I'll be downing tools and will get some time for reading, which is something that's been pushed to the margins by my midnight marking sessions of late.

Thursday 22 October 2015

Black Ops

My copy of the new Osprey espionage skirmish rules, Black Ops, arrived from Amazon yesterday and I've been skimming through it this evening. It looks pretty good and I like the core elements of the rules including the card based initiative system, which is very Toofatlardies meets Fistful of Lead in style. So far, so good.

The scenarios and campaign system also look really interesting. I'm already thinking of the mdf kit bashing potential offered by the Compound, Air Terminal and Factory for a start. The best bit is that you can get away with only half a dozen figures a side, with the Copplestone Future Wars range pretty much covering all the angles. 

This looks like it might be a potential sideline project in the run up to the end of the year?

Wednesday 21 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [31]

I've been buried under with shedloads of work recently but I have added some extensions to the railroad station building that I started to construct at the weekend. These are lean-to barn extensions from the Warbases range and very useful they are too. The half term holidays next week should give me some time to complete the railroad depot and platform, together with the rest of the gold mine structures but, for the moment at least, it's back to the marking.

Monday 19 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [30]

The work life balance ratio is well and truly scuppered again, so I'll have little time during the rest of the week to spend at the workbench inhaling mdf fumes. However, I have had a good sniff at some nice new kits from Products for Wargamers that I ordered a couple of weeks ago and which arrived today. I really like this range and will be definitely be adding some more at Warfare this year, assuming I can get away from the club participation game to do some shopping.
These are all small store buildings of various descriptions that I'll use to bulk out the street frontage and they will all be painted in the same neutral shade of weathered Halfords Ford Tuscan Beige, so that they look like unpainted wood. I tried this scheme out on the last kit that I built and I think it looks very effective, especially with a grey framework and window frames. The idea is to tone things down a bit and avoid too many colourful buildings.
They're actually very similar in size to the Sarissa Precision small buildings but I think they're better, despite not having fully detailed interiors, as you can order them in various formats and they come packaged with a variety of excellent laser cut shop signs. I also have a very nice kit of a building under construction, which I'm really looking forward to assembling as it looks very effective and shouldn't be hard to glue together.

Sunday 18 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [29]

Another small building put together today in the shape of a Warbases stable block, once again roofed in corrugated card which is my new favourite material for this sort of thing. It's a very simple kit but will be useful as an extra building for the town or for a ranch. I've also started on the railroad station using a Warbases North American farmhouse as the main structure to which I will add some more lean-to extensions. The platform is made from various mdf bases and will be clad in coffee stirrer planking, after which I'll add some sub-structure so that it doesn't look like it's floating in mid-air!

Saturday 17 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [28]

I have offered to build a gold mine for the Warfare 2015 participation game so set about it this morning, using a couple of Warbases kits and lots of corrugated card. The kits are a single storey modular building, which I raised up on some supports and made a new roof for, the one supplied with the kit being too small. This was attached to two of the lean-to shed kits glued back to back. I had intended to plank the walls but it was so easy to use the corrugated card that I just went with that. As you can see, it isn't finished yet having been painted but not fully weathered and based. When I have finished it, I'm going to scratch build a mine headgear structure to go with it, based on the 15mm version that I made as an objective marker for AK47, hopefully starting some time tomorrow.

Thursday 15 October 2015


This was on special offer over at Northstar the other day so I thought I'd take a closer look. It's based on the In Her Majesty's Name system, which I've played a couple of times, and is similar in theme to Ronin which is a set of rules I've had on the 'to do' list for a while. The rules are pretty impressive and look far more detailed than Ronin, although I don't think this will make them any more complex or time consuming to get a handle on. The production values are also pretty high, with nice glossy paper and plenty of photos to add further inspiration.
The thing that's been my stumbling block with samurai skirmish games is the figures and I've yet to find a range that ticks all my boxes, having looked at both the old Wargames Foundry figures and the Northstar buntai for Ronin. I think that the best way ahead is to abandon both of these options and go for the Perry Miniatures range, which is much more realistic in terms of sculpting style and the size of the figures. I'll see if I can pick up some packs at Warfare in a few weeks time especially the Samurai in everyday clothes, the Ninja and the Sohei warrior monks.
The great thing about this is that I can make more mdf buildings (!), having already collected together a number of the Sarissa Precision Japanese kits including houses, an inn, a temple, a bridge and several sections of wall. There's loads of potential for some imaginative modelling here and the terrain could also double up for modern espionage games using the forthcoming Osprey Black Ops rules and my Copplestone Future Wars figures, to which I've just added some Moonraker Miniatures men in suits and security guards.
Anyway, there's still plenty of Old West stuff to glue together and paint in the meantime!

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Warfare 2015 Club Participation Game

The club has managed to get a space at Warfare this year for a participation game, although it's very much at the last minute! This means we've have only got a few weeks to put it all together including the figures, terrain, rules and scenarios, together with the playtesting. 

We had several good ideas but due to the time factor we've decided to go for Fistful of Lead Reloaded, as we have the rules, figures and terrain all ready to go. I'm very grateful to Jaye for letting us showcase the rules and for the opportunity to use them as the basis of this year's club show game. 

I'll be providing all of the scenery, apart from the baseboard which we already have in the club terrain collection, so all that mdf won't be going to waste. I'll post more updates as we work towards the show itself, which is in a month's time, so the clock is definately ticking!

Tuesday 13 October 2015

A Fistful of Lead [27]

I'm adding little extras to the project at the moment, the latest being a very nice kit of a wind pump from Blotz. I originally bought a Sarissa Precision wind pump kit but it was so big it looked overscale to me and will now be re-purposed as an oil derrick for the Back of Beyond. The Blotz version is about two thirds of the height and has a much more realistic scale windmill on the top, although it was a bit of a pain to assemble due to some very tight fitting components.

I've also ordered some assorted bits and bobs from Warbases in an attempt to make my own railroad depot building rather than the expensive and large Sarissa Precision model kit. The idea is to use the Warbases North American farmhouse, together with some extensions using the barn lean to pack and the modular single storey building, to create a railroad station office and goods shed. I'll also scratch build a platform from coffee stirrers and strip wood which will act as a wrap around base for the building itself.
I don't know if it'll work but it should be fun having a go! 


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