Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Star Shipyard is open for business.

Thanks to the Josiah Trenchard novels by Jonathon Fletcher and the Privateer novel byWilliam Zellmann my Sci Fi creative juices have been flowing. My Wild Galaxy setting has been getting expanded and further detailed. More of that at a later date. I have been considering a new blog to cover the Wild Galaxy setting. 

For now my creative juices are focused on getting the 1:3000 scale star fleets I have ready for action. Looking at the fleet I built for the Star Crashers game a couple of years back they are at least two classes in larger in Full Thrust. 

The fleet for the Tengun Empire would have 1x Super Dreadnought, 1 Heavy Dreadnought, 2 Heavy cruisers, 2 destroyers and 6 Frigates (see the picture below). That is pretty much a killer fleet in FT. Too powerful for a small pirate nation. So some of them will be becoming other faction vessels. All of them will be getting extra detail as I found them a bit plain. 

These ships are all scratch build from junk & odds n ends. 

The project will see the construction of new scratch built ships, wrecks, asteroids and other space terrain. 

First up for your viewing a Frigate and Destroyer from the Rim Independents nations. These are often single independent worlds or stations which rely on each other for mutual protection from the Galactic Nations & Blocks. As such fleets are often rag tag in appearance featuring vessels from many manufacturers and in some cases converted civilian or merchant vessels. 

These are Full Thrust UNSC ships. As the Independents fleets are often rag tag in appearance they have adopted black and white stripe markings for identification purposes. These are just the start. Lots more to follow. 

Yet more Halloween goodies....

In keeping with the Seasonal theme more Halloween goodies for the table....

These are resin basing items from Ristul's Market glues onto old plastic gift cards (never throw anything out). Based, painted and some static grass. 

Old Mick, Hammer, Anvil and the Skelebots of doom!!

Time for some minis that have (finally)  rolled off the paint table....

The first up is a character for Utopia City. Introducing Old Mick. This figure could be a store keeper, someone's dad or a Private Investigator. 

The figure is by East Riding Miniatures - a Corporate Enforcer. 

I am creating a world of dangers for the folks who dare to leave the walls of their settlements to wander the wastes. One thing is some killer robots. What fits the Post Apoc genre better than some Terminator style Skelebots?? My idea is for some one to wander into a ruin and straight into these things laying dormant. Will they wake up? Will the kill ever human that they come across?? 

The Skelebots are old Grenadier sculpts supplied by EM4 miniatures. The skulls on the bases are resin items from Ristul's Market. 

I had a disaster when painting these guys. The figure on the far left legs snapped off. Bum! What to do?? I effected a repair with superglue and putty. I don't know how well it will hold. Only time will tell. The figure was leaning and kept toppling over. So I put a pile of washers on one side as ballast (you cant see it in the pictures). This was disguised with some putty to look like a cylinder with a rag over it. 

Feeling like anarchy is ruling the wastelands? Feel like no where is ever safe? Then you need some Law Bringers!! Introducing Hammer and Anvil! 

Hammer (Right) and Anvil (Left) are from EM4's Space Lords - Anvil is a Cybertech Bunkerbreaker and Hammer is a Yoyodyne Shigaru. 

Hammer and Anvil wander the wastes looking for places where the law is ignored and then help the locals enforce it. Hammer usually starts the trouble and then Avnil arrives to help. Anvils armour and heavy assault rifle often makes the job easy. 

More Sci-Fi Trash builds

A few more items from my Trash building madness. These are intended for a mix of settings. A mix of Post Apocalyptic & Sci Fi frontier world and my Sci Fi City - Utopia City. 

First up a frontier building...

This started life as a cardboard packing piece. The door was added from cereal packet card. The windows are insert bases with corrugated card added. The light was a eye from a toy robot. The door panel is a resin piece from Anvil Industries. 

The roof vent is a bottle cap. I like this piece as there is a large ring section. This will be handy for adding a comms array (currently in build) or  a weapons platform. A bit of graffiti was inspired by the Josiah Trenchard series of sci fi novels I have been reading - although Ol Trench would probably wouldn't go for graffiti but who knows what happens when he has been on the black rum?! 

The side - the ladder is wire mesh and the pipe is a drinking straw. 

The other side - Same again! 

The Rear - The pipe here was a cheap felt tip pen. The control panel was copied from a toy using instamould and putty pressed into it. Get some instamould if you love converting or building, it is cheap, remouldable and great for odd little details. 

Another Sci Fi wall - although this one is intended for my Sci Fi city terrain. Many moons ago I worked in a firm that would send out kits in tool cases. Many of the internals was thrown out. In a bit of forward thinking I salvaged one of them. I stumbled across it during a recent turf out....

I stuck this onto a couple of old gift cards. Add paint and some posters printed off my computer. Hey Presto! 

The other side - the wanted poster was knocked up on my computer. I need to do more of these. 

Okay - this next trash build started life a long time ago. I have just re-lifed it by fixing up the base to match my current stuff. 

This started out as a couple of punched bits of metal that fell out of a scrap skip at a place I worked at. I needed barricades for Combat Zone - as getting caught in the open in this game is lethal. I putted them to a scrap of plastic and puttied the plates together. A quick wash sorted the model out. 

Every frontier settlement needs a power plant....or every wasteland needs some place that glows in the dark a fearful marker of the power ancients. 

This started life a chocolate egg box. I think I may have missed some wear on the radiation symbols. I need to fix that. 

The total cost of these builds.....about £3.50 for glue, paint and the odd part. Table top gaming needn't be expensive. All it needs is imagination. You will spend the same amount of time on making them as kits and it is far more rewarding. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #14 The worst part is......

I missed last week's union post due to real life gettinga little busy. This weeks Sprue Cutters Union theme is the what we don't like about our hobby.....

I have stated before that I see this hobby in a positive way. I wouldn't say a really hate any part of it but there are time when I find things frustrating.

As I have also mentioned before I dislike rivet counters, fan boys, rules lawyers and (to quote Neil from the Young Ones) negative vibe merchants in general. This hobby is meant to be fun.These people kill it for me.

Lets start with the miniatures shall we. Firstly I don't like mould lines on figures that run over highly detailed areas. By the time you have removed them you have lost the detail. A good example of this is GW Genestealers. A mould line runs right over the ripples on the critters back. You would think the manufacturers of these figures will have found a way around this.

The other thing that amazes me is the amount of flash you get on metal figures by certain large manufacturers. They seem to have few quality controls.They are happy to charge through the nose for a inferior product. Smaller figure suppliers such as EM4, Copplestone, Heresy and Hasslefree supply figures with very little clean up. They take pride in their products. EM4 even undercoat some of their metal figures. GW and Mongoose take note.

A certain manufacturer produces very nice Sci Fi figures but they are festooned with Imperial Eagles and skulls. This limits the other game systems you can use them in, not  that is stops anyone. In the early days the figures required the emblems to be painted on or applied from decals. Now I like this companies figures but I have to spend a longtime shaving off these details. My finger tips have been shredded. Maybe dropping all the dumb details will help sell more figures to those who require figures that can be used for other systems? It would make them easier to paint too.

Lets look at kits shall we. One thing I dislike is kit parts that don't fit. Not just a fraction of a millimetre you can fill.I am talking about those kits where two parts are miles apart. Or like the Mitsubishi Zero I got for a terrain idea recently warped at the tail end. Another irritation is single track pieces for tanks. They are fiddly and take for ever to assemble. What sadist thought that up?

Now lets look at the other thing the Wargamers face....rule books. I dislike those rule books that are deliberately aimed at certain figure range. Rules for me must allow people the freedom to use what figures they have, although it will not stop the home gamers who play for fun. Why cant I use Victorian Era or WW2 figures as the armies of the dark future? Why cant the old breach loader or bolt action rifle be a laser rifle? Why cant I mix figures from other manufactures in my armies? This is annoying for me. Not all manufactures do this however. GZG's Stargrunt & Full Thrust, Neutronyork3000, EM4's Combat Zone among other rule sets state that you don't need their figures line to play.

So that's my grumbles about the hobby. I think I am becoming a grumpy old man!


Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!
Doogs' Models
Kermit's Workbench
Martin's Scale Models
Yet Another Plastic Modeller
Eternal Wargamer
The DogChuffers Scale Model Workshop
A Scale Canadian
David Knight's Weblog
Lt. Smash's Models
Build the World With Me
Migrant's Wanderings
The Combat Workshop
Miniature and Model Painting
Jay's Scale Model Adventures
Motorsport Modeller
Scale Modeling My Way
Bill Weckel
Martin's Bench Corner
Fill 'n Sand
Scale Model Soup
The Classic Kit Junkie


Sunday, 13 October 2013

The old buildings

Another set of models built from the trash building frenzy....

Out in the wastes there are old crumbling building. Who knows what the original buildings where for? Now wastelanders have repurposed these buildings.

These buildings can also be on some distant frontier world in my Sci Fi settings.

The old wall, or what is left of it. A wanted poster of some dodgy criminal.
These models started life as cardboard packaging. Some spray foam was used to fill it and to renforce it.

A set of walk boards have been installed. I have lost the photo of the otherside.

The door is made from cardboard. The lamp is a bit from a model and the door control panel was from a toy playset. The windows are recessed bases with corrugated card. The old air vent was a plastic packing peice from a washing machine.

The pipes are made from drinking straws the ladder is wire mesh.

Again the stove pipe is a drinking straw. The metal plates are made from plastic gift cards. They had to be added as the wall section was attached to the building.

Easy & cheap builds. I cant wait to get them on the table for a game. More Trash builds to follow....

Bunker 69!!

I recently had a mad fit of terrain building out of junk destined for the landfil or recycling. Here is the first of them....

Out in the wastes lies an old abandoned bunker. Bunker 69.

The bunker was a old chocolate egg box. The stove pipe is a drinks straw. The window is a old resin peice from Ramshackle Games.

Some Vaulties defend the old bunker....

Dont know where the name came from. For some reason I started singing bunker 69 when I was painting it.

The Gravestones....

In the spirit of the season I dug out some spooky bits for the grave yard.

Inspired by some rubble mounds made by one of the sprue cutter union I started work. The graves are based on old gift cards. The mounds are milliput. The grave stones where then hot glued in place. A quick lick of paint and some static grass and this is what you have.....

Quick and easy. Time to break out the Zombies!!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Sprue Cutters #12 - I like what I like.

This weeks Sprue Cutters topic is a simple one......
I like what I like.
So what do I like?? I could go on about the things I like beyond the hobby but I suspect that everyone will start to avoid me thinking I am some sort of deranged weirdo. So I will talk about the hobby. Kind of....
For me I like my subjects to be of a mainly Post Apocalyptic or Sci Fi vein. Oddly I outgrew fantasy when I was a teenager. It has never really appealed to me since. Victorian Sci Fi and Steampunk genres also appeal with some of my collection being in this genre.  
 I like the freedom to be creative in my chosen genres. Letting my imagination run wild. Beyond the figures my building tends to be as inspiration hits. That kit or toy I have in storage would make a great terrain piece or vehicle. That bit of junk destined for the land fill (or in these enlightened times - the recycling) would make a great building.
I have created all manner of models in this manner. 1:3000 scale star ships, Buildings, Ruin, battle cars, vehicles and more this way. I am sure that some people view me as a Dr Frankenstein figure cackling and ranting as I dismember a toy or kit for my latest creation! 
In the early days I found my terrain pieces followed an industrial or ruined theme. I have a love of abandoned industrial sites and ruins. This is sometimes reflected in my model building. I grew up in the recessions on the 70's and 80's in Liverpool. There was lots of abandoned buildings, factories and industrial sites back then. My home city still sports some cool looking industrial buildings around the docks. It seems that this may have inspired my models over the years. It may even help my interests in Victorian Sci-Fi & Steampunk as Liverpool mixes Georgian through to modern buildings often side by side. I wonder how many other Sprue Cutters are inspired by where they grew up or live?
But I came from a model making background originally and  before my mind was warped by Sci Fi (I was lost before I discovered 40K back in '87when I figured out how the space ships & bases where built in certain TV shows) I used to build all manner of kits and dioramas. I still like kits and I have my loves.
So if I was still kit builder where would my tastes lie?
 I like Aircraft but I have real love of WW2 aircraft. Maybe the Battle Of Britain Flights flying low over our house as a kid left a image in my brain. I still love the sound of a Merlin engine. Like other Sprue Cutters I also have a soft spot for the 1950's fighter jets. They have a certain classic style.
Armour is another favourite with me. I like mainly  WW2 stuff here. I am not sure why. Russian cold war vehicles have a certain appeal too.
I love Muscle cars too. I suspect that I would have a few 1:24 kits....that's if I managed to resist Mad Max-ing them.


Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!
The Combat Workshop
Martin's Bench Corner
Yet Another Scale Modeller
Scale Model Soup
Fill 'n Sand
Migrant's Wanderings
The Eternal Wargamer

Want to join the Sprue Cutters Union? Its simple. If you model and have a blog that is all you need to start. Just write a post in response to the weekly topic, copy the link in the comments section for that week's assignment and you're in! Check out more
detail about joining the Sprue Cutters Union.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #11 - My Hang Outs

This weeks Sprue Cutters discussion is all about our Modelling Hangouts. It has been interesting to read where other Modellers and Wargamers go to hang out. Its mainly clubs or online. 

So what about me?? 

Outside the hobby I normally hand around Rock/Metal/Biker pubs or meet friends in cafes/restaurants.

I have not (yet) done the social thing of going to Wargames shows or modelling clubs. 

Sadly the one or two wargames clubs I have attended there was little interest in my brand of war-games or models. In fact it was purely focused on GW and Warmachine. I remember some 40K fanboy berating another played because his Imperial Guard figures where customised (eagles removed, berets and LAW missile launchers added) and not a proper 40K IG army. He forced the guy to play as a planetary defence force or a chaos force. This guy was foaming at the mouth about it. Luckily for the fan boy the squaddie was there to enjoy himself and was chilled out about it. 

The incident left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I played 40K a couple of times but the lack of interest in my stuff from the other members lead me to build terrain for the club. I stopped going and I never really bothered with a club after that. Maybe a bad experience tainted it for me? 

Going into the local GW shop was also a no no. My interest in GW games stopped at 40K Rogue Trader, Necromundia and Dark Future. I had no real desire to try the current version of 40K or Fantasy Battle. I am looking for bods interested in romping around post apocalyptic wastelands. On top of that the other gamers in the store where noisy early mid teen boys. I wondered how long it would be until I wanted to strangle one of them? 

Work left me too busy to really get involved socially with the hobby. Long commute and long hours/shifts left my social life somewhat unpredictable and chaotic. I mainly game solo using adapted rules to enable solo play or with gaming with visiting friends. My good Lady Laura is showing some interest in my games and we get the occasional game in. Talking to my other friends about the hobby leaves looking at me like I am insane. There is little interest in playing a game from many of them. Football (Soccer) seems to be the main topic of interest in this city. 

Recently a model making club has started. Its a little out of my way but my Dad is a member. Sadly my work keeps getting in the way of finding time to go. They are looking for more Sci-Fi modellers so I may join when I get more free time. 

One new development in Liverpool is the Scythe and Teacup gamer cafe. I have not yet made it there to check it out but from what I have seen online that you can use tables to run your own games. Now if I can clear a regular hole in my schedule I may try to run some Post Apoc games and see who gets interested. I have enough terrain to make a real eye candy table which should attract attention. Who knows I may find a few new gamer buddies too. 

Most of my socialising hobby wise has been done online. The Babylon's Burning and Combat Zone Yahoo groups was a good starting point. Later I got into other online forums such as The Miniatures Page (TMP) and the Lead Adventures Forum. These days Twitter and Facebook are great places to chat to like minded folks and I have made a few good friends over there. 

As time wore on I was feeling a little out there as there was no generic Wargames or modelling forums catering to the Post Apocalyptic genre. So I set one up. I am proud to say I am the Owner of the Post Apocalyptic Wargames forum. Its my place out there. Its a great little forum with some amazing work on display. The members are friendly and helpful. The feedback I get is always positive. As far as Wargaming and Model building goes I would say its my favourite on line hangout. In the last few years running it I have made some great friends from all over the world, who (when I win the lottery) I will visit one day for Post Apoc gaming madness! 


Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!

The Combat Workshop
Migrant's Wanderings
Yet Another Scale Modeller
David Knight's Weblog
Martin's Bench Corner
The Eternal Wargamer
Motorsport Modeller
Scale Model Workbench


Want to join the Sprue Cutters Union? Its simple. If you model and have a blog that is all you need to start. Just write a post in response to the weekly topic, copy the link in the comments section for that week's assignment and you're in! Check out more detail about joining the Sprue Cutters Union.