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Bolt Action Part Duex

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks, but I’ve made some headway on my little test squad of American troops:


Basecoated and test washes applied.

Here they are basecoated and washed. For the washes I tried 5 different ones to see how I liked them, but I can say that I don’t think that how I did the zenithal highlighting had a lot of impact here. I’m going to end up priming another figure straight black and see how he comes out as a control, however,  it’s not like rattle canning the additional colors took a lot of time, so I’m not really out of anything either.


For the colors on these guys, I went with Army Painter Army Green for the coats and Puttees, Vallejo Model Color (VMC) English Uniform Brown for the paints, VMC Iraqui Sand for the pack, VMC Pastel Green for the webbing and Leather Brown for the boots.

Now, a few of these colors I’ve gotten from the web, and others were kind of ‘eyeball to memory” trying to figure out colors from re-enactor’s gears and the such from Google Image results. I’m not happy with packs (too light) and the pants (just not close).

With that in mind, I decided to order some books from my local  library dealing with uniforms and see if I could come up with some more accurate colors. I’m not done yet, but one book that’s just jam packed with pictures is Windrow and Hawkins’: The World War II GI, US Army Uniforms 1941-45 ( I’ll probably do a blog post on just the uniform stuff I learn from there.

After I was done basecoating, I attacked them with a variety of washes, including some I made from Les Burley’s wash recipe ( I made his Soft and Heavy Body Black along with a Sepia Wash. I also used Vallejo Sepia Wash.  For the Burley Sepia wash, I tried a couple of different ink concentrations: 40 and 50 drops of the FW ink.


L-R: Vallejo Sepia, 40 Drops Burley Sepia, Soft Body Black, 50 Drops Burley Sepia and “Mix”


The Vallejo Sepia Wash worked, and would probably be fine for this, but I felt like playing around. The 40 Drop concentration of Burley Sepia wash was really light. A couple of applications would probably work OK as well. However, my goal is speed, so I I’ll probably skip this. I really liked how the Soft Body Black flowed and acted, but it was too harsh of a color. Next was a 50 drop concentration of Burley’s Sepia and this was pretty good. This maybe the way I go. The last one was a bit of a mix that I, uh forgot to write down like an idiot. Of course, I like this one a lot. I think this was the fifty-drop Sepia concentration, with some black ink mixed in. I *think* I figured it would be the fifty-drop sepia with 5 or 10 drops of black ink.

So, I need to find a better color for the packs, the pants and nail down my wash. And then I’ll be able to start.

But I am getting there, and learning quite a bit as I do so, which I consider a win.

Till next time!


Getting There—Project: Valkdetta

Well, after more than a year, Project: Valkdetta is mostly complete. All the major sub-assemblies are done and it looks like what it’s supposed to be. I’m missing the lower vertical stabilizers (I’ll have to look if I ever got them or not) and the front sensor array. If I don’t have the parts I’ll have to see if I can buy them reasonably or if I’ll have to plastic-card them.

Getting the booms and wings on was a bit of pain, what with the original alignment pegs having been broken in the tear-down process. It’s not perfect but I did the best I could. With the wings at least, the old mounting holes were still present, so I used the center of them to drill out holes for pinning.

Hard to see, but pins for the wings to mount to.

Hard to see, but pins for the wings to mount to.

For gluing all the major assemblies, I used JB Quick 5-miniute epoxy. I wont say it’s indestructible, but if something breaks, things have gone horribly wrong.

While I was test fitting the left wing on, I noticed the wing had gotten horribly warped. I can only imagine that it happened after I broke the model down and must have set something down on it.

You can see Valkdett's wing compared to a plastic Valkyrie wing. Just a *bit* off...

You can see Valkdetta’s wing compared to a plastic Valkyrie wing. Just a *bit* off…

Not to be discouraged (I totally was…) I decided to try boiling it and bending it back to the correct angle. Once again, it’s not perfect, but the angle is correct now (even if the wing has some ripples in it) and I decided to go ahead and glue it on.

You can see the left wing isn't perfectly straight, but...

You can see the left wing isn’t perfectly straight, but…

I still need to fill in some gaps on the wing to fuselage joint and clean up some of the JB Quick that got where it shouldn’t be, but Valkdetta is now clearly a Valkyrie. I’ll fluff her rough appearance to being an old bird with a lot of battles behind her.

A *bit* of an improvement. If I say so myself.

A *bit* of an improvement. If I say so myself.

Valhallan Ice Warriors

So I have a ‘thing’ for World War Two  and Cold War Soviet equipment. Their rugged simplicity and reliance of quantity has always appealed to me. So it’s no wonder that I’ve always liked GW’s Valhallan Ice Warriors and their Soviet influenced design.


November 1941 Soviet army parades in Red Square before battle with Germany

Between the greatcoats and the Ushankas (fur hat), the Valhallan’s are dripping with Soviet imagery. It doesn’t hurt that the Imperial Guard has a bit of a resemblance to the Red Army, what with it’s Commissars and reliance on sheer numbers.

Anyways, a few months ago I saw an ebay listing for four of these, loving the BMP-1 look I put a ridiculousness small bid on them…and won them all for the princely sum of $20 (The casting is beautiful on them, by the way).


From Ratgard’s site



Since I now had a suitable transport for some Valhallans, I figured I should probably get some troops.

The good news is that they are still available on GW’s website, but they aren’t really cheap, not-quite twice the price of a squad of Cadians, so I was hopeful I could find something else.

I really liked the look of Mad Robot’s Kurgan but they we just as expensive as the GW stuff, though they are a multi-part kit, which has a lot of advantages.


So I kind of just sat on the idea for my Valhallans. I occasionally would check ebay, but that’s about it.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a couple of boxes of Wargames Factory Shock Troops (AKA Greatcoat Troopers) for dirt cheap, two boxes of 18 for $30. I figured if nothing else, I could use them somewhere and threw my money at the seller.


Doing some research, I discovered that Cadian arms are a direct swap, giving the figures a cheap and easy method of matching GW’s weapon aesthetic.

At this point, I still hadn’t thought to use the WGF Shock Troops as Valhallans, and was just figuring I’d use them as either conscripts of maybe a future Blood Pact force.

Then yesterday, while I was looking over some Soviet Bolt Action minis (because I need another army for another game…)  I discovered these:


These guys are Soviet Assault Engineers and they were equipped with with a primitive steel body armour (not unlike World War One German Storm Trooper armor). It turns out that the WGF Shock troopers have molded on body armor not dis-similar to the above. Which is what made me realize I’d found my Valhallans.

Now, the basic troopers are pretty simple, with only a couple of poses, but they are well cast and with Cadian arms, will—I think—offer a good compromise. I splurged on some Ushanka heads from Mad Robot (like the head of the above ‘Kurgan’) and I think they will be easily recognizable as Valhallans and as their weapons will be Cadian, table top usage should be fairly problem free.

Of course this solution isn’t without issues as it turns out Warlord is taking over distribution of the old Wargames Factory line. When I messaged them asking if the Shock Troops would be re-released along with the historical ranges, I was told they would not be. Which means they may get harder to find. Luckily, as I’m using different arms and heads, there are some bits dealers selling the bodies, but I have no idea what the demand is for these guy, but we’ll see.

Now all I have to do is build a T34/76-esque turret (easier to tell what it’s supposed to be evoking rather than the /85) for my Leman Russes…



Game 2!

So last Saturday my friend Austin came out to visit some family and we decided to do some gaming. We decided on a 1500 point game and I told him to bring his Knights.
Yes, plural.
I’d seen them in pictures but not up close, and I figured this would be a great opportunity to do so.

I was right, they look amazing.

Anyways, you may ask what I was thinking going up against two knights in a 1500 point game? Well, I was thinking a few things: this being only my second game, I knew I was going to loose, so I thought I’d do something interesting.  It also seems to me that this is where the meta is going: big, heavy hitting units flanked with a few supporting elements (obviously not true for all armies, but…), so I might as well get used to it up front.

I used my IG force since it’s the closest to being table ready (close in no way means done…). Austin used the aforementioned Knights (one Paladin and one FW Acheron), and his Death Korp Grenadiers and Chimeras.

7th Demaran Guards Muster

              7th Demaran Guards Muster

My ‘plan’ was to win initiative and do as much damage as I could to one of the Knights.

Guess who didn’t win Initiative?

Further complicating matters, I fouled up and placed my Primaris Psyker with the Battle Cannon Leman Russ, and not the Vanquisher. Where, you know, his prescience would have actually been useful…
I won’t make that mistake again.

I won’t bore you with the turn-by-turn, but I decided to charge up to him and start fighting when my turn came. It wasn’t really effective, but it felt better than hiding behind some ruins.

This will end well, I'm sure!

This will end well, I’m sure!

The middle objective was the most hotly contested, with Austin’s two Knights flanking it, and me trying to push some of my vets in there.

Bloody town Square

Bloody town Square

I also attempted to flank him with squad of guardsman. They were going to die anyways, sooo… (plus it made for a great picture!)

Affix Bayonets?  Affix Bayonets.

Affix Bayonets? Affix Bayonets!

The one cool ‘Forging a Narrative’ part came when the Sargent of an infantry squad defending a lascannon team was the only survivor of the Acheron Flamer Cannon, two autocannon shots from a Storm Chimera and bolter fire. He made his moral save and managed to ‘join up’ with the Leman Russ Eradicator.

Sgt. Hal, Survivor Extraordinaire.

Sgt. Hal, Survivor Extraordinaire.

I’m going to try to do something special for him, but I’m not sure how to model “luckiest grunt ever”…

The only damage I really managed to inflict was on the Paladin and that was from the Leman Russ Eradicator (my lesson learned from my first game!) and a squad of melta-vets that were dropped off by my crashing Valkyrie.

Austin’s DKK Grenadiers never even dismounted from their Storm Chimeras…

Throughout it all, Austin was apologizing for the whooping I had inflicted on myself and generally feeling terrible when he killed something of mine. I kept telling him I asked for it, but he still felt bad.

In the end I was happy. I learned a few things, saw some awesomely painted units and had a great time with a good freind.

Now I need my own knight. A Crusader perhaps… 🙂

Some other pictures from the game:

You first, Mr. Leman Russ.

You first, Mr. Leman Russ.

A look behind the lines.

A look behind the lines.

This is an important tree. We'll stay here and guard it.

This is an important tree. We’ll stay here and guard it.



Minor update.

Yikes, two weeks since the last post…

Haven’t been doing too much. Got my second game of 40K in last Saturday with my friend Austin. Had a good time even though he whooped me. I’ll post up a batrep tomorrow.

Really, really whooped.

I’ve also been working on my Eradicator conversion, had to add some weight to the back so it would set level.

Then there is the old FW Valkdetta I’ve been fighting with. The cockpit portion of the fuselage is glued on crooked and it’s driving me insane. It’s also not coming apart, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it.


I  managed to get another Basilisk from ebay for $25 (I just wont learn…) so I now have a full squadron of three for artillery support. I also picked up a Chimera for $12 that’s missing it’s rear ramp and a turret—but I have extras for those.

So as always, I don’t want for projects.

I’ll get something actually interesting up tomorrow.

All about that Bass..ilisk

Yea, yea I know.

My guard needs artillery.  And I really the looks of the Basilisk. So I once again turned to ebay and found one that I thought was a pretty good deal.


Don’t judge me….


I really need to start looking at pictures better. The missing platform I saw. What I didn’t see and didn’t know was how that platform was attached to the floor plate/gun mount.  I thought that it would be a simple matter to just glue some styrene there and be done.


It couldn’t even be a clean break…

So yea, that’s going to take some work…

The next thing I noticed was the gun assembly was all wobbly. So I had to get that all apart without wrecking stuff too badly (above picture after stripping and disassembly)…

The last thing that I didn’t realize until I managed to snag a new-on-sprue old style Basilisk—is that the end of the gun barrel  has been cut down by a good couple of inches.

Yea, it was a greeeat bargain for $25… (The new-on-sprue was $26)

So into the stripper bath she went. And, indicative of how troublesome this kit had become the paint wouldn’t come off. Tried all my usual stuff (Simple Green, Castro Purple stuff, LA’s Degreaser and Oven Cleaner) all for nothing.  Finally following a tip from my buddy Austin I bought some non-acetone nail polish remover and BAM! Paint removed. Though the stuff stinks to high heaven and I was nervous the entire time that it would melt the plastic anyways.

I was then ably to gently pry/break apart the gun assembly (and some track parts). Luckily the builder put the thing together with superglue and most everything came apart pretty easily.

I was also able to pry out the gun mount/floor plate and get a better look at it.

I decided after some trial and error to cut down the plate where the old firing platform broke off to make it look  (and mount) cleaner.

I then took the ‘new’ floor plate traced it onto some styrene. I then cut the shape out and glued it to the bottom of the broken floor plate.

New and old.

The assembly is currently drying. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to sand down everything flush and square and begin reinforcing the firing platform (the styrene is only .20, kind of flimsy).

I’m thinking that due to how different this will look from my other Basilisk, I might ‘grubbins’ this one up to look like a command version or something. I did pick up some old Rhino consoles from the bits guy…

Some (almost) Finished Work.

I really kind of suck at finishing stuff. I get like 90% there and… I peter out. Anyways, it’s helpful (I think) to post some (nearly) finished stuff to remember that I don’t (completely) suck.

A modified BattleTech Battlemaster that I made for a fellow moderator at the BattleTech Forums. The ‘Ban-hammer” was made from a set of Mantic Dwarves that I received from Adepticon a few years ago.

A better view of the Banhammer.

The first mini I painted after I got back into BattleTech in 2010.

Not horrible. but not great either.

A mostly completed Imperial Guard Sentinel. Bought this last year at Adepticon. It…had some issues which I’ve tried to camouflage with battle damage. This was my first time using chipping medium.


This is Bill, my prototype guardsman.

I have some more stuff, but I need better photos, so that’s enough for now.