XPS foam buildings and terrain (Part 1, it could be catching...)

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XPS foam buildings and terrain, its like finding an unlimited box of free Lego under your bed! 

My first attempt is below which I did while watching TV last night. However seeing as overnight I literally I dreamed about building an entire city this way, there is no holding back now. (excuse the mini painting, I got him on ebay as part of a bulk lot)

Left, commercial resin wall. Right my most excellent(?) first attempt.
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Soviet artillery clone wars

Continuing with my preparation for Moab 2019 I now have my 3d printed soviet medium howitzer painted up and ready to go, what it is missing is anyone to actually fire it. Being a 3D printed model of course it didn't come with any miniatures so off I went to the wargaming store to purchase Zis-2 anti-tank miniature (that I didn't really want) and team in order to get the crew miniatures because you can't buy the crew by themselves. 

Once I get them home, scraped off and ready to start painting I wondered if in fact being such a large gun it was only supposed to have 3 crew like the Zis 2 so I went to the rule book and had a look in fact it needed 4. Oh, there's a problem, in fact needed 5 because one of the main reasons that I took this unit over another Zis 3 was that it can have a spotter*. While I was on the job I had a quick look at my Zis-3 and to my surprise this unit actually has 4 crew as well even though only 3 come with the model!
Looking over the rest of the build I notice that my medium mortars have the required three guys but again no spotters soooo… in fact for my entire army including the Zis 2, Zis 3, medium artillery and 2 medium mortars (not that I would realistically use all of that at once) I am actually missing a total of 8 crew and spotter models so what's a man to do? Bear in mind at this point it's a week till the event and I still have to assemble paint and base all of these!

Solution; clone wars.
Obviously, I wouldn't do this to sell and honestly if I could just purchase the guys I would but I can't so out with mould making silicone and resin and "a while" later I have my 8 extra. I don't have a casting pressure pot and degas chamber so there are some small holes, and a few miscasts for the bin but at least now I'm ready to paint. 50 minute demold allows for a pretty quick turnaround.

The saga continues, now I only have 3 days to paint all of this and finish the rest of the army and "a fun challenge" is starting to wear a bit thin, more to follow.

Images below:

50% of the mould made
Completed mini, just needs a few holes filled and ready to paint
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DIY medium artillery piece - 3D printing

I have always wanted a 3D printer just the same as I have loved the idea of making a mold and casing things. That concept of "Xeroxing" something in 3D really gets me going, perhaps it's the wargamers "more, more, more miniatures" thing where your army is never big enough and certainly one army is never enough. Sadly, I don't have a 3D printer, its not that I couldn't afford to get one I guess, its more like a recovering alcoholic shouldn't have "just one drink". I already have enough in my personal life plus wargaming plus photography plus wargaming-photography, now plus blogging and podcasting and videography as well I really don't need another hobby…. do I…?

However, the 3D printing came in handy in preparation for the Sydney MOAB 2019 wargaming event in which I decided to take an artillery heavy soviet WWII force to play bolt action.

I went to purchase a medium artillery piece from Warlord games, hmm nothing there... OK what about Rubicon, hmm nothing there either. Finally, a general web search for 1/56 scale soviet medium artillery models revealed exactly …. Zero.

With time running out what is a man to do? One thing that my web search did uncover was a free 3D print model of a Soviet A-19 122mm gun.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2774391/

Now, even though I don't have a 3d printer I have a good mate Nathan who has one at his work, and being a fellow soviet player I though an offer of a free gun for him might entice him to print one for each of us, he took the bait and in a day or so I got a message to say the first one was done (sort of).

Now this is Nathans first try with the 3D printer and I don't know how good the free model was as well so I wasn't expecting too much but when I received the model, I was really pleased even though I could see there was a bit or work to be done and that plastic is HARD.

I got stuck in with scraper and sandpaper and a small grinder and some plastic putty and a few hours later I had something was passable. (See the progression of images below.)

So how did I go with my first impression of 3d Printing. On the plus side, in 4 hours I had a completed model exactly what I wanted, for exactly zero dollars. No postage no purchase and no waiting. Looking at the quality well its hard to just because this was a first effort, in the end the quality is passable, but it took a fair amount of work. Nathan says the second one looks a lot better and I assume different printers would give a better (or worse) result. 

I'm looking foreword to the future, if I could have purchased one (with crew) I would have done that instead, but if I need 2 or 3 (or 10!)... rock on 3D printing.

So now I have the gun the next thing I don't have is any crew, the story continues… 

THANKS Nathan!

More images below...

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Trucks, lots of trucks

Trucks, lots of trucks, multi use USA and soviet lend lease. Finally finished except the pintle-mounted MMG's (and perhaps some paint). These are from https://rubiconmodels.com/. Just one hint if you are planing to purchase the Studebaker truck make sure you get the Katyusha kit instead as it comes with the truck deck anyway.

Three trucks. The Katyusha is magnetized so it can be swapped out with the truck deck.
The truck chassis showing magnet.
The full set, all the truck chassis are more or less the same so I can swap in the Katyusha, open decks which will have the MMG permanently mounted. Also eventually the covered decks representing trucks without a gun.
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British 8th army, Rex's side project

I have realized that I don't have a picture of my 8th army here. This is a side project, I have only completed one squad plus a few guys but here you go. or click here to see the image full sized

Note also that my paint guide is located here

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Review & Build; Mediterranean Village Town Hall

 Join Dan as he assembles and reviews the Med. Town Hall from Things From the Basement. available here;

https://www.thingsfromthebasement.com

This vid contains a tutorial of applying stucco texture to buildings and painting to a high standard for your tabletop- all suitable for a range of periods, scales and games.
We hope you enjoy this; if you do please "Like" , Subscribe and share this with others. Dan & Rex.

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Rex's winter Soviets; Hobby update #3

 Rex's winter Soviets; Hobby update #3 Deep snow plus bonus indirect fire... still not there yet but close. Click on the image for the full sized version.

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Urban test model finished

Urban test model finished, first time I have ever done a test model only 1 or 2 steps ahead of the rest of the army. OK, no time for talking I have to paint!
 

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Rex's winter Soviets; Hobby update #2 (are we there yet?)

Are we there yet?... i'm finding this both exhausting and rewarding. This test model is my all time best miniature so far (still work in progress).

The scary thing that I realized when I recommended what paints to buy for a mate who is new to the hobby is that this it's AU$100 worth of paint for this one guy! EXCLUDING the face and base!
 

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Rex's winter Soviets; Hobby update #1

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 Here is a quick video showing my current project, winter Soviets. I point out a couple of things related to how I model up my guys. 3 weeks now till I go on my Fortress Budapest campaign day. For details on that check out the podcast EP7

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Bolt Action D Day 75th Battle Prep; The Finished British Airborne.

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So Here are my British Airborne after the additional models I added as my "Reasonable Hobby Challenge" goal...and YES ! They were ready ( two days before the 6 June deadline!) and descended from the skies by parachute and glider in our D Day 75th club game 8-9 June 2019. Hope you enjoy getting a good look at them, and look forward to the video being published of the D Day anniversary weekend event. Thanks for watching!

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Bolt Action D Day 75th Battle Prep; Update 3- Almost there!

 Bolt Action D Day 75th Battle Prep; Update 3- Almost there!

The latest update, including the finished work so far! Join me as i talk you through some more tips & how i finish off my British Airborne in 28mm or 1/56 scale. Thanks for watching! As usual please Like, share and subscribe and leave your feedback. Thanks! Dan

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Rex's May "reasonable hobby goal" challenge... done

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Rex's May "reasonable hobby goal" challenge... done. See the images below and click on the image for the full sized version.

Special edition www.offensiveminiatures.com Fallschirmjäger with drop canister. A Christmas gift to me from Dan, thanks Dan.

This is my best work so far I think and I'm very happy with how they turned out. My eyes must be a bit blurry from the challenge, I have just spotted some chips on the rim of the base. Don't worry I will fix that before I meet you on the table top!

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Dan's Hobby update; Bolt Action D Day 75th Battle Prep! #2

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Hi all , a quick vid update on where the British Airborne additions are at! I hope you find this useful if youre painting them yourself and looking for some tips for colours. The Base color of the green and Brown in the camo of the Dennison smocks are; Luftwaffe Cam Green by Vallejo and Dryad Bark by Citadel respectively. Dan.
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Dan's Hobby update; Bolt Action D Day 75th Battle Prep! #1

Hi, this is an update of Dans current (May '19) "Reasonable Hobby Challenge"! as heard on our latest podcast!

Excuse the voice on the commentary as I've had the proper flu for 4 weeks at this stage...! as with the poor motor skills on the camera half way through!!

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New Army for Rex... Winter Soviets

I just purchased the beginnings of a new army. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and "some assembly plus painting is required" :-)

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Downton Abbey vs. Saving Private Ryan mode...

I have a new hobby/painting table which I purchased from Aldi Australia today and assembled this evening.

It starts the evening in Downton abbey/Sense and Sensibility mode but later in the evening after everyone has gone to bed it transforms into Saving Private Ryan/WWII in colour mode.

I'll be looking forward to give it a run tomorrow night. Could be the best $99 I ever spent, will have to wait and see?

Downton abbey/Sense and Sensibility
Above: Saving Private Ryan/WWII in colour
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Rex's May hobby challenge progress

Finally something to see. Beautiful minis, paint not so good so far...

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Big Tiger Build; FINISHED!!

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 Finally had time to finish off a few details on a couple of the other Tiger 1's this weekend..and here they are in all their glory!! 

  For those of you playing along at home ( !) , I have just added the final reveal vid to our Youtube channel! The vid includes the promised painting recipes etc. as well, so pop over there and watch it if youre interested in these cats.

   Hope youve enjoyed following along, and you enjoy the final products. 

   Im very happy, as I have vehicles here for Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, eastern front ( Including Kursk!) and western front including Normandy...and the Battle for Berlin right until the final days.

   I think my year to dates painted model list looks very healthy now, and im intending to keep score until December 15th to make it a full years list.

DANS PAINTING SCORECARD 2019

  • 2 x King Tigers
  • 3 x Tiger 1's
  • 1 x German Opel Blitz canvas canopy/sideboards (interchangeable with existing passenger open back one)
  • 24 Italian Coastal Defense Division infantry ( Based by Rex- thank you!)
  • 2 x Italian heavy weapons teams
  • 1 x Italian Artillery piece incl. 3 crew and spotter
  • 15 x German FJ in smocks
  • 9 x German FJ Tropical fatigues

Terrain;

  • 1x Italian Church
  • 1x Stone Bridge
  • 1.5 m2 of teddy bear fur hay and grass fields
  • Painted ONLY; 1x medium (!) Hill ( Made by Rex)
  • Painted ONLY; 1x small (!) Hill ( Made by Rex)
  • 1 x table worth of textured flexible rural roads
  • 1 x street barricade ( ponys, mattress, crate & sandbags)
  • 2 x concrete pillboxes
  • 1 x box Girder 'Primosole' Bridge ( Yes- I made and painted another one! Lol)
  • 30 x 'infantry dug in' entrenchments terrain pieces


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Spicy Spice-rack/shot-glass holder

Spicy Spice-rack/shot-glass holder (also useful for painting miniatures)

A few people have asked after the last Valhallagames podcast on miniature painting workflow about my home made Spicy-Spice-rack/shot-glass holder (AKA miniatures painting holder). Here are couple of quick photos.
Note the rare earth magnets glued into the 25mm dowel. I glue my minis on steel washers, (now you know why). But the other end of the dowel has a 25mm Velcro "dot" so if I do have minis on plastic [only] bases I can still work with those by adding another valcro dot to the bottom of the mini.

Listen to the podcast for the full detail if you are interested. Hope that's useful.

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Latest podcast

Podcast EP8: "A new hope":

The latetst podcast persode is live now. This should appear in your podcast app if you have subscribed (Search for valhallagames podcast in your app) or you can listen on the web player here

Episode 8:

Join both Dan and Rex as we look back on the D Day 75th and Fortress Budapest Events respectively. We also do a hobby round up and our usual segments.

We hope you enjoy this and remind you to check out both our blog and Youtube channel.

Subscribe to us in your favorite podcast app by searching for valhallagames.