02 March, 2021

28mm Modern Buildings from 4Ground

During the Black Friday sales in early December, I was browsing Noble Knight's website looking for things I could add to an order I was making.  I happened across buildings from 4Ground that looked interesting.  I went to the 4Ground website to check if they had more pictures and learned that they had more buildings in the range and were also having a sale.  I bought the Construction Site Tower Block Bundle (all 4 buildings in the range at a discount plus a pack of extra wall panels) directly from 4Ground and soon had packages from both 4Ground and Noble Knight.

4Ground MDF kits come prepainted.  My previous experience with 4Ground buildings was limited to one building I bought at a flea market and assembled years ago.  When I assembled it I did not have a good experience, mainly due to some very fiddly parts for the windows and the plastic meant to represent window glass.  I was willing to give them another try and thought that any issues I might have during assembly would be mitigated by the fact that they were buildings still under construction.  In addition to the construction set I also bought a French butcher shop, two billboards and two vending machines.  None of them appeared to have any of the components that had caused me problems previously.

The appeal of these kits was that I could use them in both a modern cityscape and in a post-apocalypse setting.  As my storage space for buildings becomes scarcer I am having to choose new items carefully and am only trying to buy those that that can serve in multiple settings.  Also, I don't have anything else like them.

 I assembled the first of the Construction Site buildings on the evening of January 1st while watching Ohio State play (American) football and did one per evening for the next three days.  I am very happy with the results.  I think these handle stairs better than any other MDF kits I have, both for ease of assembly and the final look.  The one minor issue I had was with some of the internal walls; I had to cut some of them down a bit in order for the next floor to sit properly on top of the internal walls and outer beams.  I didn't use any of the extra wall panels in order keep more access to the interior.

The bases are all 14x14 cm or 5.5 inches.  There were several ladders included but I did not use them in the photos.  The miniatures included to show the scale are some 28mm military contractors from Eureka Minatures and a Hasslefree Miniatures 28mm Kat (HFA004, inspired by Selene from the Underworld movies).  As always, click on the photos for larger versions.

Construction Site 2-Story Tower Block

Construction Site L-Shaped Tower Block

Construction Site 3-Story Tower Block

The Construction Site Tower Block Booster can be used on its own or to give one of the other buildings additional height.

Laying out all 4 buildings in a row gives me 56 cm / 22 inches of terrain, which is a great addition to my game layouts.

A more vertical setup with the booster on the right under the L-Shaped Block. 

I also got two billboards for my cityscape: (l) Large Billboard with Platform, (r) Billboard.  The smaller one will fit nicely on top of a building.  They come with a selection of premade signs.  I made my own signs to continue my practice of using business names from my hometown of Columbus, Ohio.  Most of the time I pick places around the Ohio State University campus during the 1980s-1990s.  In this case the Newport Music Hall, where I went many times for concerts and is still around.  The Taj Mahal restaurant now exists under the name New Taj Mahal for reasons unknown to me.  Both of these were very easy to assemble.

The Butchers Shop kit was very inexpensive.  The reason is that it does not have a detailed interior or a base.  The instructions also have the roof glued on.  I like to be able to use the interiors of my buildings, so I added a base made of black styrene and gave the inside a quick coat of off-white craft paint and added a floor using scrapbook paper.  It was easy to glue some of the triangle-shaped scrap MDF pieces to the underside of the roof to give it more stability.  The kit includes a 'Boucherie' sign, but as noted above, I like to have building signs from my hometown of Columbus, Ohio.  So after some consultation with my Columbus gaming friends , I decided to make a Carfagna's sign in honor of an Italian market that I used to visit with my parents and is still open.  This kit also included a red and white awning that I did not use.

Even mercenaries get hungry!  These Grey Vending Machines come as a set of two.  Included with the kit are detailed paper covers with a variety of drinks and snacks.  Very easy to put together.

21 December, 2020

28mm Characters for 7TV

 Today's post consists of a batch of 28mm miniatures from Crooked Dice for use in their game 7TV.  I bought them during their not-Salute sale in April 2020 and I painted them during lockdown in fall 2020 when I needed a change of pace in between batches of Early Saxons for Saga.  Their miniatures are generally a pleasure to paint.  These are are all for use in the Spy-fi version of the game, which is my favorite, covering everything from James Bond to Doctor Who.  Crooked Dice is scheduled to release a 7TV:Fantasy set in 2021 if fantasy is your thing. The names in the photo notes are from the CD catalogue.

These are two of my favorite minis from Crooked Dice.  The first time I saw the Tomorrow Person (l) in his late 70s/early 80s outfit he immediately reminded me of the classic horror movie 'Scanners' (1981), in particular the early scene when the evil scanner Revok (played by Michael Ironside) makes a weaker scanner's head explode during a demonstration.  Click Scanners Head Explosion for a video clip and watch the whole movie later.  If you haven't seen it you should.  If you've seen it before, watch it again.  You know you want to!  The prototypical Action Hero (r) is seen in a myriad of 70s-80s action movies.  The only question is whether he will defeat evil with his fist or his gun?

Darius, the Man from 2000 can come with an optional resin base surrounded by floating timepieces.  I got just the miniature, mainly because I did not want to paint all the clock faces..  At first I was not sure how to attach it to a base, since he is 'floating' with little surface to attach and the brass rod I normally use for pinning was too thick..  After getting some suggestions from fellow gamers, I used a pin vise to drill into the base of one foot and also into a slottabase, then cut a sewing pin to the right length and superglued it all together.  I left his eyes blank because I thought he looked creepier that way.  Is he a fraud or are his powers real?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The Crow King (l) is from CD's range of rural horror miniatures.  Think 'The Wicker Man', which I watched again recently and thoroughly enjoyed.  I went through several methods for his all-black outfit, starting with contrast Black Templar.  I didn't like the look it gave over such a large area, so next I applied a coat of black ink.  Last was a drybrush of Army Painter Necromancer Cloak (except for the crow).  The Cultist Dog Handler (r), sans dog in this photo, will go nicely with my collection of attack dogs.  

Crime Boss Tony 'King Tut' Tuttle (l) and Detective (r).  I already have a group of criminals and every crime syndicate needs a boss.  Of course, he is in a suit and doesn't get his hands dirty; that is what his lackeys are for.

Two more police officers on the lookout for lawbreakers  I painted the one with the pistol a long time ago and think I posted him then, but pulled him out of storage to go with the other police.

The obligatory group shot.  Say fromage!

20 November, 2020

Marauders & Wanderers


Most of my time in September and October was spent painting an Early Saxon army for Saga.  I did sneak in a batch of post-apocalypse minis to take a short break from the Saxons.

The Marauders are from Battle Valor Games at http://www.battlevalorgames.com/index.aspx

They make 15mm Fantasy and 28mm Sci-fi, Pulp & Fantasy.  Most or all of the 28mm were originally made by Sgt Major Miniatures which went out of business in the mid 2010s.  I had seen their ranges at US conventions but hadn't bought any, though my friend Mike had some.  In June 2020 I found out from Mike that Battle Valor were bringing these ranges back and I ordered a few packs during their introductory sale.  I received them shortly thereafter.

The Battle Valor minis are well-sculpted with minimal flash.  On the chunky side of 28mm, with lots of gear; just how I picture they would look wandering through the wasteland.  I enjoyed painting them.  I have another pack of Waste Marauders with more significant mutations, along with some apes that I will get to someday.  They have some interesting packs including cultists and various armed religious groups.

As I was writing this post I received an email from Battle Valor about their Christmas Sale: 30% off through 16 December.

When I was prepping the marauders, I also got out 4 miniatures from the 2019 Aftermath kickstarter.  They are now on sale at https://puttymonkey.com/shop/ols/all  I never played the Aftermath RPG back in the 1980s, my group preferred Gamma World.  They have clean lines, no flash and good details.  They also make another human survivor (that I didn't get) and giant mutated rats (waiting in the lead pile).

When painting this batch, I tested out my GW contrast paints on non-zombies for the first time.  I also used my normal paints.  I wanted to try a different method for flesh using a contrast wash followed by my usual skintone.  It was faster and I have been using it since.  Overall I am happy with how they turned out and look forward to using them in a game.

Waste Boss in the middle flanked by Waste Marauders (Battle Valor).  The Waste Boss looks like he stepped  out of a Mad Max film.


Three more Waste Marauders (Battle Valor)

The Preacher on the left (Putty Monkey) and Bounty Hunter on the right (Battle Valor).  I really like The Preacher, he has an Old West vibe and his facial features remind me of Yul Brynner in the Magnificent Seven.

Female Survivor, Gauntlet Girl & Male Survivor (Putty Monkey).  The Male Survivor came with a separate visor to fit on the helmet but I left it off.  Gauntlet Girl looks innocent until you see the knife behind her back.  Always be prepared in the wasteland!

All together

19 November, 2020

Quick 28mm Zombies

 After painting my first batch of zombies in June it didn't take me long to get out the rest of my plastic Warlord (ex-Wargames Factory) zombie sprues.  I had one sprue each of the the male and female zombies, minus the 6 I already painted.  I also found 5 sprues of plastic Studio Miniatures zombies (4 per sprue) I had gotten as a bonus from their Turf War Z Kickstarter in 2018.

After some quick assembly I had 16 zombies ready to be painted.  I again used a mix of GW contrast paints and my normal paints as I thought these would be a good batch for a second experiment with the contrast paints as I wouldn't be disappointed if something went wrong.

I started on a Saturday morning and about 7 hours later (with plenty of time doing other things i between painting sessions) I was done; significantly faster than my normal painting speed.  The detail on these miniatures is fairly shallow for the most part but they accomplish their purpose of serving as cannon fodder against survivors of the zombie apocalypse.  I do still have a few of the Studio Miniatures sprues left to build but I think I am done with zombies for the foreseeable future.

My favorite of this batch reminds me of the Tall Man from the Phantasm movies (though he is missing his jacket) so I painted him accordingly.

The whole batch.  The Studio ones are on the left side and are less animated.

01 October, 2020

For Sale: 15mm & 28mm Ancients/Dark Ages/Medieval

I have the following unpainted 15mm & 28mm armies and lots for sale.  Postage at cost.  Contact me at miros AT sc DOT rr DOT com.

SOLD 1. Irish Warband from Footsore Miniatures.  26 miniatures/4 points for Saga: Warlord & Bannerman, 2 units of 4 Fianna (hearthguards), 2 units of 8 warriors.  $35  

SOLD 2. 3 packs of Picts/Scots Cavalry from Footsore Miniatures, 4 per pack, $10 each:
1x Picts/Scots Noble Cavalry
1x Picts/Scots Cavalry #1
1x Picts/Scots Cavalry #2

I do not know if the armies are all valid for DBA3, I collected them back in the 2.x days.  The Pass of the North minis are long out of production.

SOLD 1. Mongol Conquest (Pass of the North): 9 cavalry, 18 light horse, 2 archers   $40

2. Late Imperial Roman/Patrician (Pass of the North): 12 cataphracts   $15
SOLD 3. Early Imperial Romans (Corvus Belli): 6 foot command, 16 legionaries, 16 auxiliaries, 8 western archers, 3 cavalry command, 7 cavalry, 4 equites contiatorum, cheiroballista in cart, 5 baggage $50

SOLD 4. Picts (Splintered Light): 4 chariots (chieftain +3), 8 horse (chieftain, 3 cav, 4 lh), 66 foot (2 bw, 2 xbw, 57 mixed, 6 foot command from Outpost) $50.

5. Han Chinese (Essex): 1x HCH2a Mounted General and two bodyguards (3), 1x HCH4 Heavy cavalry with lance (4), 1x HCH6 Heavy cavalry, daggeraxe (4), 1x HCH7 Horse archers (4), 1x HCH9 Foot halbardiers (8), 1x HCH10 Spearmen (8), 2x HCH 11 Crossbowmen (16), 1x HCH14 Command Pack: Officers and Standard Bearers (6), 1x HCH 15 Wheelbarrowmen (3,baggage). Also 1x Viking Forge General in 4 horse chariot with driver, archer and halberdier. $40

SOLD 6. Early Franks/Germans (Baeuda): 48 infantry consisting of 1x DTS3 Germanic Foot Command (8), 3x DTS4 Early Frankish Warriors (24), 1x DTS5 Early Alamannic Warriors (8), 1x DTS7 Unshielded Adolescent Skirmishers with javelins (8)   $20

7.  Galatians (Thistle & Rose): 52 mixed infantry $20

06 July, 2020

28mm Zombies and Contrast Paint Test

I am a long-time zombie movie fan, ever since I saw Night of the Living Dead, the sequels and Return of the Living Dead on cable tv in my youth.  However I only have two painted zombies which doesn't seem right for post-apoc games.

In late April ago I ordered some gaming supplies from Recreational Conflict to take advantage of their free shipping offer.  While browsing their website I came across the zombies in their Lead Bones range.  I had bought a pack of their clerks in the past and was happy with them.  Two of the zombie packs really caught my eye and I added them to my order.  After a quick delivery I cleaned, based and primed them.  The Lead Bones zombies have a lot of character without having too many small details to paint; things such as partially-exposed skulls, bite marks, etc.  To this group I added 6 plastic zombies from Warlord (originally Wargames Factory).  I bought several sprues for $1 each during one of their sales a few years ago, had put a few together in early 2019, and neglected them since.

Part of my motivation to paint this batch was to try out the jars of Games Workshop contrast paint I had bought in February 2020.  I wanted to try them out on figures that I didn't need for a particular project in case the results weren't good.  I watched several videos to get some tips on how to use them.

I think that my experiment was a success.  I used contrast paints for all the skin, most of the hair, shoes and belts and some of the clothing and thought they shaded well.  There seems to be a little more definition than using a normal wash.  For exposed bone I found the Skeleton Horde contrast to be too dark on the raised areas so I highlighted with Army Painter Skeleton Bone.  I didn't have any problems using both contrast and normal paints on the same models.  Doing a large group allowed things to dry quickly to minimize wait time.  Best of all, I finished all 14 miniatures in 24 hours, starting them Saturday morning and finishing Sunday morning.  I'm not sure about the total time spent painting, but it was low.  They are not my best work, but I don't need that for zombies and I would be happy to use them in a game.

Lead Bones pack 1 (l-r):
Civilian: contrast paints except for the pants.
Priest impaled with cross.  The cross came as a separate piece I superglued in, you could substitute something else easily.  All contrast except the collar and cross.  Reminds me of the priest from the movie Dead Alive.
Police officer: I used normal paints on the uniform to test out a possible color scheme for the unpainted police miniatures I have.
Biker: contrast on skin, belt, shoes and hair.  I want to add a decal on the back of his jacket, but I couldn't find the leftover decals from my biker gang I painted in 2019.  I'll keep looking.

 Lead Bones pack 2 (l-r):
Surfer: I love this miniature.  Contrast except for the hair, intestines and surfboard.  There is a nice bite pattern in the surfboard, which comes as a separate piece.  The question I have is was he bitten by a shark after becoming a zombie or was he bitten by a zombie shark?
Nun: contrast except for the white and the rosary beads
Altar Boy: contrast except for the white
Punk: contrast except for the leather jacket and mohawk.  This mini reminded me of the first victim in the movie Return of the Living Dead.
The priest, nun and altar boy will go well with the church model I have.

Warlord zombies: contrast paints except for (l) jeans, red shoes, (c)dress and apron and (r) gun, shirt and tie

More Warlord Zombies: hospital worker, visitor and patient.  Contrast except for anything white, brains and the visitor's pants.

A bonus terrain piece.  While I was painting these minis, I dropped a brush which fell down the back of the armoire I use as a painting station.  It landed on one of the bottom shelves and when I was moving things around to get it out, I found this set of resin barrels.  I have no memory of ever buying it so it was a nice surprise.  The resin seemed different from Acheson which is who I get most of my resin terrain from so an unknown manufacturer.

The full zombie horde.  Run!