Thursday, December 21, 2017

An image for inspiration

Just a photo I took in Carson, Nevada, just before July 4, 2017.  I was at the museum there where many Virginia & Truckee bits of equipment are on display.  This, however, isn't a V&T engine.  But a really pretty engine for painting inspiration.  And detailing, too.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Progress, if modest, is still progress

Managed to get eight more pieces of rolling stock moving forward today - all five remaining passenger pieces and the three modified cabooses.  Tomorrow will see the two part epoxy put to use to glue the wheel sets to the bases of the resin bodies and, once dry, out comes the gray primer.

And most of the earlier gray primer-ed pieces are no longer gray.  The passenger equipment is in a two tone scheme with a third color for the undercarriage, a creme color above a palish brown.  The box cars are all painted a dark reddish brown.  And the three flat cars are a third brown color with the undercarriage matching all the others with the same color as the box cars.  And all of the locomotives and tenders are now a nice flat black.   Only the drover's caboose remains in its primer gray coat.  I figure to paint all four cabooses at the same time in the same scheme.

Doubt I'll get to the tank cars, gondolas, or stock cars tomorrow but maybe progress before the end of the year.  November is problematic because of a miniatures convention and a model railroad show and, of course, the big holiday here in the states.

Sorry, no time for photos yet but there will be photos at some point.

With the new roof done, only a couple of doors left on the bathroom remodels to go and the changing weather, I'm hoping to make some real progress over winter.

Will be painting the five new pieces of passenger in the same base two tone scheme.  The real Big Project is getting the stock cars in shape, lots of pieces to glue onto the cores to get a suitably appropriate look.

Two challenges I've dealt with in painting using Montana brand rattle cans - the colors come out more glossy on some than I'd like and a little bit too 'powdery' on others.  If you've never used Montana rattle cans here are a couple of Critical pointers: shake the heck out of the can, way more than you think is necessary, and then some more.  And NEVER spray your object first, always spray something else first because the first 'squirts' will not be as loaded with pigment.  And always keep in mind this brand of paint as a very high percentage of pigment compared to other spray can paints.  The big advantage is the range of colors you can get versus the hardware/auto store brands - far too few flats (despite my result with the too glossy chestnut color).  Montana gives more flats in a LOT more colors.

Enough for now.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Seventh And Friends

Okay, only primed - mostly - but at long last the Old West/Indian Wars figures move forward.  Foreground left is 120 American Bison (only six to finish painting - all in need of bases textured), center is the entire 7th Cavalry with Custer right up front and forty-nine stands following for 150 total mounted figures.  To the right is the Native American pony herd, 72 horses, and coming up behind them are three groups of allied scouts, 36 total.  In the background is the 7th again but this time dismounted plus casualties.
 A different view of the pony herd.
 Focusing on the bison.
 A herd of 36 pronghorn antelope - why white?, started the first twelve white so did the other 24 the same.  Those hills are in development - and idea borrowed from The Major General Tremorden Reddering site.  There will be more - if I'm going to do the Old West, I have to be able to create a credible Apache Pass (or reasonable facsimile).
 Another view of the native scouts pursuing the pony herd.
 And here is the cavalry's remuda, a herd of 36 remounts.
This image shows the dismounted HQ company (which I might convert to a Euro-heritage scout company) - unlike the cavalry which get just one standing horse to mark a company point of dismount, each of my scout units get four standing horses so that they can 'scout' the table.
And here is the dismounted native scouts seen mounted chasing the pony herd - guarding the flank of the dismounted 7th.
Speaking of which here is the dismounted regiment.  Each 12 man company gets three dead horses and two dead men for casualties, the 6 HQ figures get 2 dead horses and 2 dead men plus one standing horse to mark a point of dismount.
In the foreground of this photo is the two gun gatling battery - following the "walk-a-heaps".  (That's infantry for the greenhorns in the audience.)
Those lined up casualties go with the wagons seen to the right, at least the tail of the train.  The four dead horses are 'extras'.
Four wagons at the rear with two horses apiece and four horses, with canopies, with four horses apiece.
 And for the Little Bighorn event, six stands of pack horses for Company B to traipse about with.
 A rear view of the full regiment.
 An overall view of what, almost all, got recently primed, haven't done a detail adding how many pieces but perhaps over one thousand total figures counting animals and casualties with the men.
 Company A - twelve men mounted.
Custer's command - no, the main man isn't drunk, each center figure on all the three figure stands is only 'tacked' in place for removal for easier painting.  They'll get glued to a strip of card for painting, the tacked figures.
 The pony herd isolated - two different cans of primer, thus the color variation.
 Custer's command between two lines of his dismounted regiment.
 The canopy wagons are Peter Pig army supply wagons.
The other wagons are from Stone Mountain's ACW range - with a cool bit of supplies in the back.  These have hoops to go over the wagon boxes but I haven't decided whether I'm going to use them or not.

After all that brown - and wee bit of white - a bit of color is needed so here is a sampling of 'flavoring' terrain, I think I'm over 120 pieces now in a variety of styles.

There is still another entire "regiment" to prep but it will be three separate battalions of four companies each - 5th, 6th, and 9th(or 10th).  Then there is a group of high command - Terry or maybe Crook.  Last of all will be the figures to populate the fort including some civilians.

And that's just the US Army above (and some animals unaffiliated with any fighting force).

There's mountain of mounted warriors and a whole bunch on foot plus a plentitude of villagers.  And then there are all the civilians including the black hat guys and the white hat guys.  Yes, it is a huge collection for the era (other than being in 15 mm).  No, not insanity, just a large amount of zeal for a fun period.  Maybe someday it will all get painted.  See earliest posts here for trains!

Important to remember the point of this collection: my penultimate Extravaganza Game:


Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Seventh Adds

So, I've got the entire 7th cavalry ready for priming - all one hundred and fifty troopers and command, their mounts, dismounts, horse stands and casualties.

I've got the remount heard of thirty-six horses glued to its bases and also ready for priming, the six packers on their mounts with twelve pack horses for the pack train just needing five of the riders glued into their saddles for that to be ready for priming.  I've got all eight army supply wagons (4 from Peter Pig and 4 from Stone Mountain) cleaned and washed and ready for assembly.  I need to pull out the herd of twenty-four cattle for beeves on the hoof as part of the supply.  Need to decide on four of the wagons whether I'll leave the hoops open or include a cover - leaning towards the hoops because of the nice piles of supplies that go inside the wagons.

I still need to pull out the other ad-hoc regiment to get it cleaned and primed and ready for priming.  But first, I need to clean and prep the three dozen native scouts/allies for the cavalry to get ready to accompany the Seventh - or whichever unit needs scouts for a given scenario.  I've also got to prep the headquarters cavalry company and the commanding general group of figures.  And not to forget the gatling guns and crews - still need to get those ready.

That will leave the infantry and the fort and the various and sundry denizens of the fort - including some civilians and a signals detachment, some recruits, a bunch lounging about the fort (thank you Stone Mountain for having those figures from the ACW range).

Going to have to get an order off for some bases including some custom sizes for the wagons (all the wagons, not just the army wagons, including the stagecoaches and carts).

Then it will be time to work on the natives, 384 and more mounted, 288 and more on foot, villagers in camp and on the move with their travois.  Do need a few more teepees - probably from Blue Moon which will leave me with some extras which I'll probably create as burned out or make one an 'abandoned' teepee with a dead woman in it.

It is nice to see progress on this collection even though it means the FIW and AWI aren't getting the attention they're supposed to be.  Oh, well, it's a hobby and its supposed to be fun and right now I'm tickled to be working on this.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Seventh Cavalry

This past weekend I decided to move along preparing my 7th Cavalry regiment for the plains wars.

I have all the figures cleaned and prepped and all but two companies based prior to priming.  With a little luck, the last two companies get based tomorrow and this weekend the whole lot gets primed.

The regiment consists of all twelve companies plus a command group.  Each company is 12 figures mounted with 12 matching dismounts.  Then for each company there is a standing horse to mark a point of dismount.  Also have three dead horses and two dead men for each of those companies.  The command group consists of 6 figures mounted with 6 matching dismounts.  Again, there is standing horse but only two dead horses and two dead men - but a higher ratio than a company to allow the high command to 'survive' longer.

That adds up to 150 mounted men, 150 dismounted men, 26 dead men, 150 ridden horses, 13 standing horses, and 38 dead horses for a grand total of 527 pieces to complete the regiment.

Not prepped but awaiting their turn are the three groups of a dozen native scouts and four army supply wagons and a pack train of six mounted packers and twelve pack animals.  I also have two gatling guns on carriages pulled by two limbers.

All of that gives me what is needed, on the army side at least, to do Little Big Horn in grand style - with the option of using the gatling guns.

One thought I had was that my casualty figures won't work except for immediate post battle use - I 'd need bloated, mutilated, naked figures to recreate the historical situation when the companies that got wiped out were found later.  I think I can live without that.

For those wondering, I don't plan to use horse holders; with only twelve figures in a company that would only leave eight figures to 'fight'.  I'm sticking with the standing horse as a stylized representation and letting companies fight full strength.

Since those 150 troopers may face 384 (maybe more) mounted warriors and perhaps 288 warriors on foot, I think the above is a reasonable approach.

I do need to get back going on the trains - and finish the last six buffalo so I can start texturing the bases for my herd of 120 beasts.  Also need to work on my herd of pronghorn antelope and bunch of other wild animals for North America.  And the domestic beasts need my attention.

So much to paint, so little time.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Eighteen of Twenty-One

Not finished but worked on.

That would be the twenty-one Peter Pig Old West train cars I'm converting.  The only cars not worked on in any way yet (unless you count laying in supplies) are the three flat cars that will turn into gondolas.  And, so far, all I've done on the three flat cars into tank cars is cut the doweling for the main tanks - a while back.

The five coaches have had more work.  The parlor car has had a larger window 'installed' on either side and a little bit of repair work done post surgery courtesy of Squadron Putty (first and last time I use that stuff, has that terribly dangerous chemical toluene in it!).  The all baggage car has had eight of its ten windows filled in so that there will only be a door with a window on each long side.  And the three combination cars have had four windows filled in.  Small progress, but any progress is good.

The horse car has had its join filled in so that should be invisible when it comes time to paint it.  And, of course, the six box cars and their progress were detailed in the last post.

So, nine cars worked on today.  Progress might be a little slow but its been reasonably steady the last few weeks, if somewhat dis-focused.  Oh, well, variety keeps the interest up and the progress happening.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Reworking the rework

So, when I got to work on reworking my stock car cores by trying to shorten them on the table saw it just didn't work out right, ended up getting angled bottoms - pieces just too small to control and a bit unsafe to run through the saw.  That meant I just rebuilt the whole thing but shorter and then ran the finished master piece through on the table saw to get my seven cores - six stock, one horse car, and a shorter left over piece.

Good thing there was that left over piece because one of the stock car pieces jammed a bit and a big chunk got knocked out.  Serendipity!  I cut that piece to lose the chunk and then cut a short piece from the left over and combined the two so that the horse car will be a tad longer than the stock cars.  Means there will be more room for the two sets of doors on each side of the horse car.  A Bob Ross "happy accident."

With the shorter cores they blend better and the already cut detail pieces should work better with closer spacing.  Still much work to do but a step closer.

Those windmill possible pieces I mentioned in the prior post could also stand in for oil well frames (though metal rather than wood so perhaps out of period).

I did make some progress last evening on the old west figures - I cleaned and primed the last six buffalo and primed two more bases and popped off four already painted buffalo from four bases.  Once the new six are painted and all ten unglued to bases figures are glued (or re-glued) to bases, I'll have a herd of 120 figures.  Then just a matter of texturing the bases and seal coating.