Slow progress

Its been a couple weeks since i regaled you with tales of modeling progress. Since then, I have been quite active, and haven’t stopped to even take many pictures. Which was really dumb, since two of the projects would have made a nice blog article…

What I have been up you ask? Loads. The day after posting my last article, a package from Badger Games in Wisconsin, USA arrived. In it were my first two pre-painted buildings from 4Ground. Both were from the American Legends/Dead Man’s Hand collection. The first was a starter model, the Dry Goods and a second, much larger model, First National Bank. Plus some civilians. Every town needs a store keep to blast a bad guy trying to hide, or an innocent to serve as a hostage.


With new shiny in front of me, every other project (and there are many) fell by the wayside. I jumped in and built most of the Dry Goods that evening. And then looked at that many pieces and four pages  of the instructions for the bank in despair. Fiddly is best how I can describe many portions of the bank assembly. A couple issues (exterior doors, window trim) were my over-eagerness and not paying close attention to the instructions. A couple were tiny parts and tight tolerances (interior and exterior doors). I ended up having to fabricate a couple replacement parts from the carrier sheets since i, er, broke some parts.

I would prefer if there were word instructions to go along with the pictorial instructions. In a couple places its a bit unclear which piece is used or where a piece is supposed to go. A few details on tricky spots would be welcome. Despite the bazillion pieces, including dozens and dozens of tiny cardboard cutouts to serve as wainscoting, it was a fun project. A couple times I said “I’ll work on this for an hour” only to have three hours or more pass by in a feverish spree of trimming, gluing and fitting.

Here are a couple pics. The bank is so detailed. It was the interior detail that sold me on it. The teller windows, vault, doors and woodwork are so cool. There was no way I could replicate all that detail in any reasonable amount of time. The dry goods is just a cool little store.

Bank and Dry Goods pics

I had to pull myself away though. The painting challenge continues over at, and I still had the Desperadoes to paint. Once the two 4Ground buildings were done, I sat down and knocked out nine more western gunfighters. Seven are from the Great Escape Games Desperadoes.


On the left are the Ortega Brothers. Commonly referred to as the Mexicans, Ernesto and Franciso fled Los Federales, but haven’t reformed at all. The right pair are a couple Southerners convinced The War is still on.


No caption necessary for The Preacher.

Two are from an unknown manufacturer. I have little recollection of ordering them, though the first is a non-brainer. Once I saw it, I had to have it. The Man-With-No-Name movies are among my favorite westerns, so getting the pancho-clad Clint was probably an intsta-buy. If any of you recognize the models, let me know so i can properly credit them.

And yes, I saw the missed spots and base paint errors. Fixed after I took pics and wrote this.

The windmill has not been forgotten. I built the upper portion twice, because the first one sucked so bad I had to do another. And then I made tiny balsa wood shingles by copying Mel the Terrain Tutor’s* video here. Another three or four trips to hobby stores for supplies followed. The blades had to turn, see, so I needed brass tubing. And lots of basswood. The X of the blades was easy. The vanes proper, not so much.


My first attempt was basically a “this might work” with dowels and hot glue. Before I even had the second set of supports in place I noticed a resemblance to a certain symbol used by a deranged corporal. I finished that part to make sure, but yep, it did look like a twisted cross. The proof was when my son and his girlfriend walked by and casually said “did you want that to look like Hitler designed it?” And then proceeded to point how adding red and white to the windmill painting would complete the look…

At that point I looked up pictures of Dutch and Spanish windmills. It was easy to see where I had gone of the rails and how to fix it. Which led to another trip to the hobby shop for more basswood strips. The sail frames are in progress. I don’t have enough spring clamps so i can only add one piece at a time. After those are done I need to build the bracing arms to support the main axle, cut out the fabric sails, then finish painting the whole thing.

Quick question for my readers. What do you think about this GW Fen Beast? Its not as dark as typically painted, but I am not sure about how light it is either. Anything I can do to make it pop? Let me know in the comments.


That’s it for July. Squeaked in, too.


*Mel is one of my all time favorite terrain makers. His videos are entertaining, full of tips and how-tos, and keep me pumped to build terrain.

The Wild West begins

At two different conventions I’ve been able to play in Wild West games. Both were cinematic masterpieces of death and carnage at 28mm. The model count was low, the dice were hot, and I was hooked. after the second experience I headed to a dealer table and bought Great Escape Games’  Dead Man’s Hand rules. The basic rules, The Legend of Dead Man’s Hand (campaign and new gangs) plus The Curse of Dead Man’s Hand (horror west, plus more gangs). At the next convention I picked up a couple of gangs. They only lasted 18  months in the paint pile, which might be a record. Well, the first gang did.

I’ve scratch built a couple of western USA buildings in preparation for gaming. all of them languish in an unpainted state. Last week I built two more buildings. I used two different materials for sheathing the buildings. One was a sheet of plastic molded to look like rubble stone construction. I bought that last year at Fall In! but i can’t remember who from. The other was basswood sheet milled to represent clapboard siding. That was from Northeastern Scale Lumber Co., and I love it. I’ll be ordering more. The 1/8 and 3/16 look great. The 1/8 is much too big for my taste, though I might use in on the sides of buildings designed to go side by side, just to use it up.

The results:

This last pair of pics is one of the first batch of buildings using balsa scribed with a board pattern.

Building #1 will be some office or store with an apartment upstairs. #2 will be a bank/assay office for the over-eager bad guy. The last will be a small shop/store.

I also painted the Law gang. Led by U.S. Marshall Matt Buford, the law has shown up in Davis County to put a stop to the open war between the mining tyrant, the powerful ranchers, and the desperadoes willing to trade shots with anyone.

The desperadoes are cleaned and waiting for bases and primer before getting the same treatment. Hats all in black of course.

Once this project gets a little further along I will do another, longer article with them all together. DMH is a fun, cinematic game where anything goes. Want to jump from roof to roof? Or crash through a window to surprise the bad guy? Go ahead and do it. Draw a steely-eyed bead and pull the trigger. And hope for the best.

Along with the Law, I finally finished another 8 empire spears for WFB.


16 to go… this unit seems never ending.

And i have.t forgotten about Dave’s terrain challenge here. This is a first look at the paint so far on the windmill.

I have black washed it, and added some green ink in spots. Next up is to drybrush the stone again, then paint the main body. And build the mill head and vanes. And paint those. Lots to do and more than two weeks gone.


That’s it for now. Back to the grind of brush and scalpel. Hobbying without end!


BG out

Corky lives!

As June rapidly passes into history, I managed to finish my sole entry into the Forgotten Heroes Challenge run by Jez over at Carrion Crow’s Buffet.  My two previous posts here and here give more details.

After a couple of sessions subtracting and adding details off the host model, I was ready to paint. I prime with a medium grey usually, and did this time as well. I based the coverall with dead flesh. A 50/50 mix of ivory and dead flesh was highlighted with pure ivory. In the pics i have, Corky is disheveled and dirty. So, a heavy wash of strong tone was further dirtied up with a watered down brown ink. I spot dirtied the front, something I’m not entirely happy with yet. I might revisit the coverall.

A couple browns were used for his shoes and rifle. Oily steel was used for the metal parts of the rifle and the wrench. All metal was black washed and then a slight highlight of oily steel was applied. The rag was painted with gory red and then washed with strong tone and black wash.

His beard was painted black, then washed with a watery basic skin tone. The flesh was basic skin tone washed with diluted brown ink, then highlighted with the base color.

The cap was painted the same as the coverall, with a black brim. I went much lighter on washes here, leaving it brighter.

And here he is:


Seeing this pic up close, the base needs touched up before i flock it.

Here he is with his two buddies”


I must have changed a setting on my phone, because all the pics i have taken lately look like crap when i crop them. Still hunting an inexpensive digital camera with a good macro.

Just under the deadline, i managed to finish another model with some modeling changes. It really is a challenge for me, as I have mentioned, since I don’t feel comfortable with green stuff. Corky turned out well, I think. And is a good addition to my Pulp figs.

I also finished another 6 militia models for my WFB Empire army. Here are a couple pics, one of the new six, the other is a group shot of the entire mob so far.

And June ends up short. I had planned to paint another 8 spears for the Empire as well, but those languish with only two colors applied, and I think I’m going to hold off versus rushing to complete them in the hour or two I will be able to spare before July gets here.

Most everyone in the FH Challenge pulled off some really cool conversions and sculpts. You need to check them out.

Jez’s Fourth Doctor at Carrion Crow’s Buffet here

Roger’s Battle Cat and Panthor at Rantings from Under a Wargames Table here

Dave at Wargames Terrain Workshop is creating a whole team of cool minis here

Wampley at Wampley’s Castle is doing Vanguard here

Alan has an A to Z of Forgotten Heroes here

July brings a whole new challenge. Dave at Wargames Terrain Workshop has thrown down the gauntlet for terrain building. This challenge lasts July and August and seems like a good chance to finish the windmill I started this month. If summer and the Big C has you down, join up and get busy with foam core, XPS and balsa! Check out the challenge here.

That’s it for this update. Thanks for stopping by!