Old hobby project notes - Italian villa

I have been accused before of other thinking and over planning things and yes that is often true. But sometimes I even surprise myself! Someone asked for plans for the Italian foam building I made for Dan and put up on YouTube back in 2020 (here), you know, the good old days before pandemics etc.

I was half way though typing out a reply to say don't be silly no one would be that... [insert your preferred word here] :-) but then I went for a look and found this... (image bellow). To be fair I did "wing it" first then measure and document afterwards so in this instance I didn't over plan, perhaps that why it got finished.

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Barricades and blockhouses

[Newsflash, we are giving away these STLs for free. Get them here:

https://www.valhallagames.net/index.php/downloads/download/6-paint-guides/31-bunkers-and-barricades-v1-stl-files]

I needed some barricades and blockhouses for my Primosole Bridge board and I couldn't really find what I wanted so I created my own from scratch in Tinkercad and printed them out. I'm happy with the result, I printed one of each then printed the barricades as a mirror image so I could have plenty but if I need more... just press print. Concrete blockhouses and barricades printed on a FDM complete with 'Mold lines & striations as part of the manufacturing process" without any extra effort! (Well that what I'm telling myself.)

The blockhouses will fit a 60mm base.

P.S. Dan, great idea I will also print some 'risers'; so that the MMG and antitank gun teams mounted on a 60mm base will be able to be see (and be seen) through the firing slit, has to look good for those photos!

Images below:

Note the round ones weren't made by me (But I did resize and do a fair bit of work on them)
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698 Hits
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Commandos! a gift from my brother Dan

Commandos! A gift from my brother Dan fresh off the painting table! Dan saw these on Trademe (That's New Zealand speak for ebay[ish]) and snapped them up for me as he knew I wanted to get serious with my 28mm commando force. Not only that, he painted them for me as well! I have a cunning plan on how to base them, should be unique if I can get it right.

I love them and can't wait to get them in the post. only problem is that the commandos I have already are my first painted army, I have improved since then and I'm not sure they will stack up against these so the old ones are up for a touch-up (at least).

I bet you wish you had a brother that would paint minis for you! 

FYI they are Wargames foundry.

Love that guy checking his watch
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1043 Hits
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Help, 3D sculpting software required

 Sometimes when 3D printing you get an under extruded print. That's where not enough plastic comes out and the model isn't fully bonded together or is 'squeezy' to the touch. This happened to me due to a blockage, and thinking that this was a good opportunity to take advantage of an 'easy' to cut up model I thought I would make this into a ruin. Armed with Dremel with mini circular saw for cutting I hacked into this one. An hour later covered in plastic and with plastic in my eye (even though I was wearing protective goggles and mask) I vow never to do that again. That plastic is hard, hard, HARD!

The result is passable, or will be once I glue things back together and fill some places.

Moving forward, however, does anyone have some suggestions of easy to use software to erase parts of the building STL and smooth/close the shell back up. I tried Meshmixer but that was a pain, I don't want to have to spend a day learning how to use it if possible.

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Podcast EP22: Campaign book INCOMING

Podcast EP22: Campaign book Kickstarter - INCOMING.

Although other podcasts have done (and will do!!) a fantastic job of asking us the hard questions about the new The Battle for Primosole Bridge Campaign book (the Kickstarter is just days away now). Dan and I thought we had better say something ourselves on the subject :-).

Come with us as we discuss the book, the reason why we did it in the first place and a deep dive into the content.

Listen here https://pca.st/vdibfi9e in the web player (or click on the image below). Or search for us and subscribe to Valhallagames in your podcast app.
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Mediterranean Madness; completed X Arditi and More!

Dan shares his latest completed Italians; X Arditi sahariana patrol vehicles, and a weapons team, Sicilian campaign Durham Light Infantry and some more completed British paratroopers and German Fallschirmjager.

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DLI Infantry in Sicily. A new army for CoC & Bolt Action

So here's the first squad (plus) of a new army. In this case; men of the Durham Light Infantry in Sicily '1943.

It has to be said though, that they will have a dual purpose as representing New Zealanders in summer dress in the Italian mainland campaign.

The figures are Warlord games plastics; British and Canadian infantry 43-45. But i have kitbashed parts from their 8th army box set, mainly the weapon arms in shirtsleeves. After doing so, the sword bayonets needed to be exchanged for 'pig sticker' bayonets to be correct.

There are also some other parts from various Warlord Games' kits in there...can you spot them?!? Answers on a stamped, self-addressed envelope...;)

Now...where are those British airborne I need to finish...? (there's always British airborne to be finished!!)

Stay safe and keep your brushes moving. Regards, Dan.
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Dan's hobby workbench update August '21

Dan's been busy buying, building, painting and more buying. Proving that you can never be bored or run out of things to do when you have miniature wargaming as your hobby! This is Dan's latest hobby update for August '21. Hope this inspires you.

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Hairspray chipping - first attempt

Hairspray chipping - first attempt work in progress. Pretty happy so far, progress update to follow plus a bit of a how-to guide if someone would like it. Let me know if you do want something?

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French town square project

 I'm building a French town square for my French village for 28mm Bolt action. So far I have a blank space with a nice cobbled base courtesy of a texture roller from OTP terrain. Its a good first step I have also 3D printed some tables and chairs and a fountain as a start of the scatter terrain. Looking forward to painting.

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932 Hits
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Dans Hobby Update, April '21

Dans Back! And he shows us what he's been up to. Featuring Warlord Games' Battlefield Debris set, Luftwaffe Field Div and more finished stuff..(Incl. British Airborne of course!). Plus he shows off some loot he received from May '40 Miniatures Fallshirmjager kickstarter. Thanks for watching! 

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Scale... (what? again you say?...)

New issues with scale. Lets say "a guy" already has scale phobia. Then "that guy" buys a 3D printer and has unlimited flexibility on how big he print things. Imagine how that will mess with "that guys" head... lucky I'm not like "that guy".

However, for this project at least, looks OK?

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Rex's workbench update, Christmas break '20/'20

Its time for an update on everything that I got done over the Christmas break. Hopefully this motivates you to do more wargame hobby. There are a few tips and tricks here where I reveal my secret methods of doing things.

Let us know in the comments what you think and if you learned anything new or were motivated to start a new project.

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A box arrived...

In the latest episode of "what the heck has Rex bought now?!", a box came in the mail today that looks a bit like this. (Or should I say a whole new new hobby came in the mail!!)

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Rex's winter Germans

Finlay finished the first half of my winter German's. I really love these models from Warlord Games they are dynamic and characterful. I will add some more photos soon but honesty I couldn't wait to share this. Not only is this the best army I have ever painted it could be the best mini photo I have ever taken. That coalesces perfectly with our recent podcast on miniature photography here. If anyone is interested I will put up the paint recipe soon, subscribe to the blog or comment on this post to be notified.

Click on the image below to open the *huge* full sized image and then click or pinch to zoom in on that image to see the detail.

Hope this inspires you to paint and hobby more.

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1030 Hits
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Clearcoat, clear as mud

Having completed an entire podcast on clear-coat (here), I thought I would take Dan's advice an purchase a can of Tamiya TS-80 flat clear-coat. I gave it a try and it went well, having taken that medication (or placebo) I felt all better and have been enjoying the TS-80 flat and "not-so-much-colour-knockback" effect. Recently though I painted up 3 of the exact same mini and I thought it would be worth while doing a more objective test. Below are three soviet squad leaders looking out across the broken cityscape for danger in the form of enemy in grey. Click on the image for the supersized version. The minis are clear-coated as follows:

  • One is sprayed with Testers Dullcoat
  • One is sprayed with Tamiya TS-80
  • One has not had any clear top coat at all

What do you think, can you notice the difference? Can you pick which is which? Do you have a preference?

A couple of things to say; Sure its not very scientific, its only in one light source. The light source is defused from a "softbox". Although I painted them all at the same time I seam to have used a different technique for the center one with the brushstrokes (sorry about that) but let me know your thoughts and I will let you know the answer.
And here is the result. Check the belt buckles for any difference.
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1533 Hits
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Good Progress made..SS Reinforcements.

Needing To build upon the Waffen SS army that ive been working on so they can provide suitable enemy forces to my allies, I have been forging ahead, using the outside chance that I might get to Sydney for MOAB this year ( should it be run in the current COVID 19 circumstances!-Kids of the future ask your parents ;) as a deadline/ impetus to get the job done while in lockdown.


  Latest additions are some SS tank riders from the always-fantastic Offensive miniatures, and a pair of Rubicon models. I added the sdkfz 250/9 upgrade kit (also from Rubicon) as id always admired the build, and then having played against one in my chain of command game at Lard Island vs Richard Clark it looked so fantastic on the table i had to get one myself! 



The deliveries arrived the same day...

Once armed it was full steam ahead to get the models put together. This was honestly the ONLY time ive ever had an issue using my plastic glue on the Rubicon models. I DID get the plastic magic glue as a back up purely due to the fact i couldnt get any trusty citadel glue. But my issue was the application of said plastic magic..Honestly; the bushes provided coupled with the fact the level of the glue is so low they barely make contact, then the glue dries barren so fast i just gave up! and later i did regret it; various parts didnt glue as well as previously.

I really cant complain as they quite clearly state this may be the case. Its just that IVE never had this issue before with citadel glue. never mind, got there in the end.

BTW- the pick in the pioneer tools on the opposite side to the photo shown below?..dont bother. it sits awkward on the stowage box on that side &  the hole guides they tell you to drill out are too big. MEH...leave it off and consider it stowed elsewhere from sight.

Incidentally; if you are wondering or had missed it ; YES! the 250/251 autocannon upgrade kits let you make  2 turrets each with cannon; 1x 250 alte , PLUS either a 250 Neu OR 251/23. good value. so ive kept the remainder so i can make a 250 NEU, as i believe the 251/23 wasnt actually produced except prototype. 


The schwimmwagon was lovely to put together also. Another fine model from Rubicon. One  suggestion i would have is leave the double-pioneer tools (on the side facing us in this pic) off until you apply paint and then the load /weight decal and then superglue the tools on. I didnt do this- my vehicle like many doesnt have the painted details intact. no issues. but if you want to apply the decal then try my suggestion perhaps.

I grabbed another vehicle i needed to spray up and got out my long-suffering airbrush and whipped up some;

Dunkelgelb ( VMA Dark yellow), zenithal  highlights adding a tiny bit of ivory to the 'gelb.

Green camo; Tamiya NATO green

Brown Camo; VMC Flat Brown / Chocolate brown in a 66/33- ish!  ratio .

i used some blisterpack sponge and chipped with;  

firstly; the dunkelgelb mixed with a little VMC Ivory...just enough to stand out slightly against both the dunkelgelb base and the areas of the zenithal highlight also.

then when dry; VMC Black grey was  sponged on.

 A Burnt umber oil wash was used in a 'standard' way that scale modellers use to define detail and plates of armour etc. 

When everything was done, then all the details painted in to satisfaction, i used Tamiya TS80 flat clear spray ( as i always do!) to seal and knock back the sheen from the  thinner from the wash and the paints themselves. I love this varnish. it doesnt kill the vibrancy of the colours but makes the model lovely and Matt- try it! 

( The Borgward Wanze only got the green cam for a last levy cam pattern)


Its a shame that this schimmwagon kit didnt come with any plastic sheet to create a windscreen. I dont know if Rubicon provide that with other light vehicles. I did have some spare from warlord opel blitz kits but of course- id just used it elsewhere! never mind; at the moment mines kicked out following damage, and ill add one later if i wish.

Heres some staged pics;

The subtle mud effect on the vehicles like all the ones i have done on this army are the "Vallejo Environment" product 73.826 "Mud and Grass", and a dusting from tamiya weathering makeup kit of dark sand and sand just to pick out tyre treads etc. 

Ive left the pair of optional pintle MGs of the swimmwagon at the moment, i can add them if i choose they just slip in and out of the pintle.

The tank riders work is underway and i aim to finish them off in the next few days.


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1446 Hits
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"Operation: Upgrade! " Pt 1

Dan introduces a new painting challenge; how to upgrade a second hand Waffen SS force hes purchased and incorporate it into his current armies.

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Marston tonight - game on this evening

 I got these magnificent trees as a Christmas present in 2018 now I'm rushing to get them ready for the game in about 6 hours. Don't call me a procrastinator I started 6 hours before I needed them!

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Miniature XPS Foam building first time build!

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 Miniature XPS foam building first time build! Rex has lots of fun and ends up with a great result. Check out the finished product in this reveal video. A classic Mediterranean building for Bolt Action, Chain Of Command or any other 28mm wargame set in the Med. Hope the customer is happy! :-)

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Latest podcast

Podcast EP22: Campaign book INCOMING:

The latetst podcast episode 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

Podcast EP22: Campaign book Kickstarter - INCOMING.

Although other podcasts have done (and will do!!) a fantastic job of asking us the hard questions about the new The Battle for Primosole Bridge Campaign book (the Kickstarter is just days away now). Dan and I thought we had better say something ourselves on the subject :-).

Subscribe in your favourite podcast app (search for valhallagames) or click on the image below to listen in the web player.

Don't forget to check out the YouTube channel at https://valhallagames.net/youtube

...and don't forget if you would like to support us https://valhallagames.net/patron