Sunday, July 29, 2012


Papermau is a site that host downloads and links to public domain and copyright expired paper models. The selection is varied and includes everything from video game characters to paper military helmets (yes pith helmets too). Some are straightforward but others like the Leopard 2 are quite complex.

Of interest to me are the military models including an 1899 armoured steam tractor, a monster WWI Russian wheeled tank, and the British WWII tracked patrol machine.  Many pieces like tread units and guns can be repurposed for VSF gaming and there is even some terrain like the Martello Tower. Don't miss the dirigible.

Finally, I think I will make up some 1:1 Congreve rocket models to go in the games room.  


Friday, July 27, 2012

The Portable War Game - ugly edition

Bob Cordery  has developed a series of rules called the Portable War Game. They are straightforward yet seem to give a good game. The playing surface is a grid of squares or hexagons depending on the version. This has not prevented some people like Ian Drury from turning out visually stunning boards and pieces to play with.

Two days from now we will be off camping for a week in our tiny trailer Tilley. There isn't enough room to swing a kitten let alone a cat so space is at a premium. I usually bring up DBA or HotT to play with a friend and a Go board as well.  This month, I had great hopes to produce a simple but still nicely put together version of the Portable War Game to try out as well but it didn't work out. I just about gave up on it until I flipped the go board over to its blank side. Some paint and permanent marker produced this:

Ugly as sin but workable.  Now to pieces. I needed something flat and robust for easy storage. I had some 20x20mm MDF bases left from another project. I thought about painting them up in nice colours but went instead for the fast fix. My full can of grey primer has packed it in leaving me with oh so disco gold and silver for the two sides:

Each set is getting a couple of coats of acrylic floor polish (dip painting base). I hope this will let me use an erasable marker to add the unit symbols allowing me to try out different force mixes. So there you have it - the ugliest implementation of The Portable War Game yet.  I'll let you know how it plays.

And as a bonus - a trooping of the colours of sorts. I was rearranging my storage cabinet and had all my VSF troops out so I took a picture:

As you can see the redcoats are outnumbered as they should be except for the two light tanks....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Look away for a second and....

Over July, I have been trying to make up for a very busy June and clear out some of the lead pile. I have been plugging away at my last RAFM order. No real work plan just an hour or so when I could grab it. I did basic clean up on the figures, undercoat, block paint, dip and varnish. It seemed like a bit of a slog then last night I was laying down a coat of matte spray varnish and thought "Now I have to get on with the flocking."  Wait a second - all that is left is the flocking?  Without realizing it in under three weeks I had produced this:

Not a large output by some standards but a record for me especially on top of the monorail work I did in the same period.

Next step - a storable games table.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Monorail Update

June was a modelling write off with many other pleasant activities taking precedence. I wanted to get a surge going over the last few weeks and here are some of the results.

Let's start with some track work:

All MDF with dirt for the road and tea leaves for the ground cover along the edges. More can be done but I could happily put this on the table now. Be sure to prime both sides to prevent warping.

Moving on to the draisine.  This is the same RAFM kit seen in my earlier post; Irr Wb (F): Cyclopean delights with a few modifications.

I plated over the rear wheel well, removed the left drive wheel and added a rail bogie unit.  My first attempt was with a modified diesel loco bogie but it proved too high to sit right with the Cyclops drive wheel. I may use it for a rail Dreadnought later   For my second attempt I hacked apart a couple of Bettendorf trucks  and shimmed them out with styrene to produce the above. A big part of both attempts was remembering that  I was making a wargame piece and not working rolling stock so epoxying wheels solid was a proper solution to the problem.

I went with a World War II inspired camouflage pattern. I am not happy with my painting but that can always be redone later.

I dry brushed the "steam dome" and boiler reinforcing bands which gives it more of a Steampunk than VSF look, again, that can always be changed.

What was important for me was to put aside perfection and just get the project moving again. Background aside, this picture captures the image I have had in my head all along:

On Patrol!
I am very pleased with the results.

Addendum: for a certain aquatic avian, some of my toys.

Friday, July 13, 2012

RAFM is looking for a sculptor

My favourite VSF/Steampunk/Space 1889 Canadian miniatures manufacturer is looking for a sculptor:

"Silver Fox/RAFM Miniatures is currently looking for sculptors to fill requirements for 2 new 28/30mm projects. These projects are in the Steam punk genera and require multiple sculpts to complete. Ability to work to a deadline and enthusiasm for the genera are an asset.

Interested parties should send rates and portfolio to for review and consideration."