Monday, 5 January 2015

SCU Topic:- Old Dog New Tricks

Welcome back to my Blog and I would like to say to you all Happy (belated) Year.

Once again the Sprue Cutters Union (SCU) is back. For those of you who don't know what the SCU is about, it's a group of model and wargames bloggers who write a monthly blog post on a certain topic. They put up links to other SCU members topic posts in a effort to share knowledge, ideas and blog traffic. More details can be found on the Sprue Cutters Union Page

So what is this month's SCU topic?

"SCU Topic: Old Dog, New Tricks

The market is saturated with products that modelers would not have dreamed of just decades ago. We can count on high quality kits of much desired subjects in a plethora of scales and there are countless options of paints, washes, and decals to finish them. Never the less, we get pretty comfortable in our ways, sticking to the tried and true techniques and familiar products we've handled for years. But its a new year, so.....

What New Products/Techniques Will You Purchase/Attempt This Year?"

After a great deal of thought (can you smell the burning?) I have some ideas. My forte has always been 28mm (1/56 to 1/50 ish - wargames scales tend to drift between manufactures and even product lines!) Post Apocalyptic and Science Fiction Wargaming and model making. In the recent past I have diversified into 15mm (1/100 to 1/110 ish scale) SF model making & wargaming. I learnt a great deal from the transition and I like to think that my 28mm figure painting skills have sharpened as a result. I would like to attempt the following in the coming year. 

1. Textured Basing Paint. 

A good base can make for brake a well painted miniature or model. I have always found my own basing materials. I can be quite frugal at times and I believe that making your own teaches you new skills. However in this the "Golden Age" of figure collecting and painting there are some new products out there. Special textured basing paints. I have invested in some by Games Workshop/Citadel and Vallejo. I will be trying these in the coming months and hopefully reporting my findings as I go along. 

2. 1/24 Scale Post Apocalyptic Vehicles. 

I have mastered Post Apoc vehicles in 28mm (well I think I have ha ha). However the 1/24 scale work of Barry Harker's Post Apoc vehicles left my jaw on the floor. Unlike my 28mm stuff these will be purely display models and wont see game table action. 

3. Air Brushing 

I hope to save my pennies and pick up a air brush mainly for Terrain and Vehicles. It has been a long standing wish to use a airbrush. If my skills improve to a point that I am happy I may even attempt some figure painting with it too. Of course I may be tapping other bloggers and hobbyists who use air brushes for advice on masking, cleaning and so on. 

4. Play some new rulesets. 

I have a few new rulesets but I seem to default to the same old offenders as time is usually short. The old veteran ruleset Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader for my 15mm SF games using cm instead of inches. GASLIGHT for 28mm Victorian Sci Fi, Neutron York 3000 for 28mm Post Apoc and Skank for quick games where I do not have the time for paperwork. In the last 12 months I have acquired several games I have not yet tried. Dreadball for SF sports, Scavenge Skirmish Survive and Across the Dead Earth for Post Apoc. On the SF front there is No Stars in Sight and Hammer's Slammers. There is plenty for me to try when I decide to dip my toe in. 

5. Write my own ruleset. 

One of the things you soon learn when you War Game is that some rule sets you gel with and others you don't. One universal rule is that some rulesets will not handle everything you want to do. Some will not have vehicle rules, others may not handle mutants or beasties and so on.Some rulesets may even use the wrong dice, for instance I like 10 sided dice (D10) rather than the more common 6 sided dice (D6).

In the past I have often gotten around this by writing new rules for the rulesets to bridge these gaps. I have even had add on rules published over on the Combat Zone Chronicles site for the Combat Zone game. 

In time it occurred to me that maybe I should write my own ruleset that suits my game style preferences and will cover everything I want it to. So that is a aim. 

So that's my new skills list. Lets see how 2015 goes. 

Read Some More!

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

Doogs' Models

Yet Another Plastic Modeller

The Museum Modeler

Kermit's Bench

Motorsport Modeller

Shutter Ace

The Eternal Wargamer

Scale Model Soup

A Scale Canadian


How to Join...

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. 


  1. Well, that's a whole bunch of links for me to follow up at a more civilised hour!

    I've used the GW textured paint and now mostly use Vallejo Pumice and Sandy Paste. The GW stuff is super convenient, but I'm rubbish with it and end up marring paint jobs that I need to go back over. With the Vallejo stuff, because it needs painting, I've taken to putting it on at the assembly stage and before undercoating, so I just need to paint it as normal and if I put it up the leg, scraping it off isn't wrecking a paint job...

  2. Sounds like you are going to have a splendid year, best of luck Sir.