Category Archives: Builds

Unloaded Markers for Sharp Practice

Hello World. Long time, no post.

Recently my son and I played a game of Too Fat Lardies’ (TFL) Sharp Practice (SP), a set of wargaming rules for skirmishes in the black powder era. I had forgotten how much fun the game is, and it has motivated me to work on some SP projects.

Years ago, a fellow Lard American introduced me to FlashingBlinkingLights. He was using some of the earrings clipped to fiberfill for broadside markers for Kiss me Hardy, the TFL age of sail rules. Always thinking this was a great idea, I picked up some of these to try and make some unloaded markers for SP.

I had some 25mm x 100mm bases that seemed like a good place to start. The length was about right for a frontage of four figures in a formation base.

Base

I had the bases and the lights but needed a way to bring them all together. I knew that I would need some way to get to the lights to turn them on/off and replace the batteries, but also wanted something that wouldn’t come apart when picked up.

I decided to work in Tinkercad and design a “cage” to support the fiberfill and attach magnetically to the light bases. After a few draft prints and adjustments, this is what I produced:

Design
Print

After drilling out the bases and attaching magnets to both parts, I used the cages to space out the lights and then superglued them in place. Then I hot glued fiberfill to the upper parts.

Lights!
The Hottest Glue

The combination of weak magnets and some misalignment on part led to me switching to hook and loop (Velcro) strips to keep the parts together. Ended up working great and I should have done this from the start.

Velcro
Velcro

After affixing the fiberfill and correcting the magnet problem, I sprayed down the “smoke” with water followed by Scenic Cement. Once dry I trimmed any “wild hairs” and then airbrushed a bit of Vallejo Smoke in spots.

Pre-soak
Slight Tinting

Here is the final product in action:

Overall, I’m pleased with the results. If given a second chance I may have made the cages a bit sturdier, but I think they’ll work fine.

Cheers!


A Low Countries Canal Build

Ever since Too Fat Lardies released their Blitzkrieg 1940 Handbook for Chain of Command I’ve been working mostly on Early War projects. I had wanted to do something with this Sarissa canal bridge and after seeing how the owner of my FLGS built his canal for a Battle of Mons game I decided to adopt some of his techniques and build my own.

I don’t have the inclination, nor the room, to make dedicated terrain boards so like everything else the canal was going to have to be modular and easy to store. As my gaming mats are 60″ wide I decided to make 5 sections, each 12″ x 12″.

I used panels of Ampersand hardboard and airbrushed several colors of green for the water and then applied three coats of Minwax acrylic gloss varnish using a foam brush. For the canal walls I used Pine Ranch Casing that I picked up at Lowes. This was cut into 12″ lengths (except for the bridge section) and airbrushed with some brown. For the walls I used some brick texture paper that was given to me by a friend. It was cut into strips and affixed with carpenter’s glue. This was finished off with a wash of Vallejo Sepia and some Secret Weapon Algae where it met the water. The completed walls were then glued to the panels with carpenter’s glue.

Next I assembled the bridge and added some fine sand on the surface of the ramps. This was then primed and painted, and I added more brick paper on the horizontal surfaces. Before cutting the canal wall pieces I placed and marked out where the bridge would go. Then I cut the short pieces of casing and finished them the same way as the others. I didn’t get any pictures of it, but the bottom “base” of the bridge had a connecting piece to make it a one piece affair and help align the ramps when opening and closing it. I had taken a leap of faith and removed it while finishing the bridge, hoping that I could align the pieces well enough when I affixed them. I attached the bridge to the canal board using carpenter’s glue and set it aside to dry. Spoiler alert – it worked.

To finish off the bridge piece, I fashioned some connecting wall pieces using card stock and the ever versatile brick paper. These were affixed to the board, and then the remaining space was filled with air-dry clay. Once this has set, I added more fine sand and painted it to kinda-sorta blend it in with the ramps. Then I flocked the edges making foot paths on both sides. I may add some detail parts in the future, and I do have some boats to finish, but for now it’s functional.


Historicon 2017 Purchases I – Sarissa Waco Glider

As in my previous post where I’ve told myself that after every convention I’m going to write a report, I also promise myself that I’m going to finish everything I acquired before I move on to something else. This too has never happened, however I’m going to try very hard to make that happen this time. Considering my relative minimum purchases, this should be an achievable goal.

Here’s the first build/paint from my Historicon haul – the 28mm Waco Glider from Sarissa Precision. This was a pretty straight forward build, although I should have paid attention to lessons from the past and scored some of the paper parts before folding them. I added some card stock in a few locations to cover up some of the slots and tabs.

The paint job consisted of an overall color of olive drab and hand painted invasion stripes on the wings and rear fuselage. The orders for pre-Overlord invasion stripes didn’t come to troop carrying units until June 3rd, so needless to say many of these jobs were rushed. I’ve seen photographs of varying quality of these, so I marked mine out and painted them by hand to give the effect of an “average” job. Decals are from my stash.


Sarissa Precision Radar Station Build

After reading these posts on the Too Fat Lardies blog here and here, I decided to take some inspiration (steal ideas) and build my Sarissa Radar Station. Here’s what I came up with.

The Lardies mounted their station on a hexagonal base that was made of carved foam. Knowing how bad I am with foam work, I decided to design my base using Tinkercad and print it using my Printrbot Play. It’s hard to see in this picture, but this print has some very bad horizontal banding (for those that know anything about 3D printing it was caused by a sinusoidal heat fluctuation in the hot end) however it ended up being a happy accident as it kinda gives the effect of marks left by a concrete form.

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I mounted the hex to a rectangular base and covered the horizontal surfaces with sand.

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Prior to assembly, I traced the outer ring of the dish and the roof of the shack onto some card stock to use to cover the seams where some of the parts join.

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Construction of the building was straight forward. Before adding the roof, I painted the interior and added a map, propaganda poster and a calendar to the walls. In hindsight this was a waste as you really can’t see into the building.

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After the framework of the dish was built I added some mesh using some sort of nylon that probably came from a bag of mints from a wedding. I don’t know what it’s called, but the material is pretty common.

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To complete the dish I glued some styrene strips along the interior frames and capped the outside with the trimmed card stock ring.

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Before mounting the building I wanted to finish the base so I added a few things from the parts bin – a box, drum and a bicycle from Dixon.

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Here are a few shots of the finished base.

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And here’s the finished piece. The voltage warning signs are printed images from online, mounted on the scrap pieces that came out of the window panes and the railing is a bent paperclip (both ideas stolen from the Lardies). The steps are from Grandt Line.

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This was a fun little build of a unique subject and I’m really happy with the results. I’d highly recommend the Sarissa kit if you’re in the market for an interesting objective.


28mm WWII Odds and Ends

Tonight I put the finishing touches on a few lingering partial assemblies; an Artizan Pak38, a French civilian truck from Warlord and an eBob Miniatures Opel Blitz. All were straightforward builds and paint jobs. Not much else to report so following a short narrative, here’s a short gallery.


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