Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Julius Caesar at the RSC

Sue and I were treated to a very special treat yesterday, Holly had bought tickets to see a performance of Julius Caesar at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon. In addition we had a complimentary pre-performance tour and at the end of the second act we were invited to a question and answer seminar with the director and cast.

The performance was a very special and one-off integrated British Sign language performance where the signer is not off to one side (as is usual) but integrated into the cast and playing alongside the actors. As one member of the audience commented "it was like seeing the actors soul."

A very special treat and quite a different experience from the last time I saw Julius Caesar at the RSC, back in 1995 when I was invited to attend as a guest of Courvousier Cognac.


Sue and Holy are both experienced signers and currently awaiting their BSL Level 3 results.

Both Sue and Holly have passed their BSL level 3 exam - CONGRATULATION.....

Monday, 14 August 2017

Pen & Sword Commission

In 2016 I was approached by Pen & Sword to produce a book (actually two books) on building wargame terrain. The first of these books themed around the Napoleonic Wars has now been sent to the commissioning editor for checking and I am awaiting further details on editing and production.

Once I have more information and clearance, I will post further details.

In the mean time copies of two of my self-published books; Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2 - More Wargame Terrain and Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers are still available for details of how to order copies please go to this link or this link.

Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No 1 - Building Wargame Terrain is unfortunately out of stock and out of production.

Thank you.


Friday, 11 August 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the Gauge/Scale thing.....

I keep getting questioned on why I am working in the obscure scale of 1:27.7. I though I would try to explain.....

Gauge is the distance between the rails, for example 2 foot or 600mm

HO-OO track is 16.5mm and Peco offer a track called Crazy Track which is modelled to look like narrow gauge track - for details see this link.

I wanted to model an 18 inch gauge prototype so 16.5mm would equate to 11mm = 1 foot or 1:27.7

Here are some examples of other modelling Gauge/Scale combinations;

Name                       Gauge                   Scale  
G                              45mm                   15mm = 1 foot
GN15                       16.5mm                15mm = 1 foot
SM32                       32mm                  16mm = 1 foot
O-16.5                     16.5mm                7mm = 1 foot
ON9                         9mm                     7mm = 1 foot
HOm                        12mm                   3.5mm = 1 foot
HOe                          9mm                    3.5mm = 1 foot
009                           9mm                     4mm = 1 foot
N-6.5                        6.5mm                  2mm = 1 foot

27.7N16.5                16.5mm                11mm = 1 foot


Others include;
S                                16.5mm                 1/64th scale
5.5N16.5                   16.5mm                1/50th
ON30                        16.5mm                1/4 inch = 1 foot
3/8th (1:32nd)        16.5mm                3/8th = 1 foot

There are many more.....

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - test #3

The latest test, a 1:27.7 scale (or 11mm = 1) foot narrow gauge railway skip shown alongside the custom built and painted workman - see earlier posts for more details.

Image Two - The scratch built skip made from a HO-OO brake van chassis/frame and some spare plastic card.

Image Three - The second-hand Piko brake van picked up from Tennants Trains for just 50p. I bought two, so expect a second model soon.

Image Four - The red skip body is from a Gnomy toy train set that I had in my spares box. The ends have been modified to sit on the plastic card frame but otherwise it is stock. The skip has been modelled so that it remains horizontal in transit, but can tilt on the frame if needed. Yes the skip actually works.

Image Five - The painted skip on the piece of test track which has featured in earlier posts.

The rather unusual scale of 1:27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot represents an 18 inch gauge industrial track layout using 16.5mm Peco Crazy Track more often used for O-16.5 or 7mm = 1 foot narrow gauge.

I can confirm that these simple tests are satisfying my Narrow Gauge modelling itch..... Expect more updates soon.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Isle of Lewis Chessmen Statues - part three

The third Isle of Lewis Chessman, this time the Rook or as I have seen him described on some Web pages - The Beserker.

Image Two and Three - Show the bare plaster cast on an oval of 3mm thick plastic card with the groundwork built up from DAS modelling clay. The groundwork was further textured with sieved stones and sand which was applied over uPVA glue.

The two images show some of the holes and cast bubbles filled in with more DAS.

Image Four - The painting followed the same pattern as the two earlier statues.

Image Five - Showing all three Isle of Lewis Statues together with a Flintloque RifleOrc which is shown for scale.

I have mentioned on earlier posts, how much fun these simple statues were to model. I should also say that they were a very easy project to work on.


Friday, 4 August 2017

Isle of Lewis Chessmen Statues - part two

The King was next.....

I knocked off his head as the original plaster cast head was so badly cast I didn't think it was worth saving. Here you can see the King and Queen with a Flintloque RifleOrc shown for scale and how the two statues have slightly different stone colours, the King being a little lighter.

Image Three - Just like the Queen, the King was mounted on to an oval of 3mm thick plastic card and the groundwork built up with DAS modelling clay. This groundwork was further textured and detailed with sieved stones and sand over uPVA glue.

It may not be apparent in these images, but there has been a considerable amount of repairs done to the original chess piece. These were modelled with DAS over uPVA glue.

Image Four and Five - The base colours were 'slapped' on in the same way as the Queen then washed with all sorts of different coloured and strengths of washes trying to keep the darker colours to the bottom and the lighter ones to the top. The green mould was a watered-down acrylic paint applied as a wash.

Image Six - The base and groundwork were painted in the usual Snakebite Leather colours, although in this case, the Snakebite colour was made up as I have now come to the end of my GW Snakebite Leather supplies.....

Image Seven and Eight - The model was varnished with Galleria Matt Varnish before the base was decorated with dyed sawdust and ground foam.

Once again, the damaged chess pieces have come out fine and considering they were about to be thrown away, I think they look great as Flintloque scale statues.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Isle of Lewis Chessmen Statues

Earlier this year I picked up three plaster casts of the Isle of Lewis chess men. The casts were not very good, in fact they were miss-cast with lots of air bubbles and some serious damage. However I thought they were worth saving and here you see the first re-modelled statue, The Queen.

The Queen had the base sanded smooth and a was mounted on to a rough oval of 3mm thick plastic card. I used a small wooden chip and DAS modelling clay to add some interest to the plain base then sprinkled sieved sand and small stones over uPVA glue to texture the groundwork.

Image Two - Shows the lop-sided Queen alongside the poorly cast King. The very poorly cast King!

Image Three - I 'sealed' the plaster with some dilute uPVA glue.

Image Four - The basecoat of grey, drybrushed grey was slapped on.

Image Five - The stonework was tinted with various washes to give the stone colour some 'life'.

Image Six - The base was painted in my usual Snakebite Leather cocktail with odd stones picked out in grey.

Image Seven - Then the base was decorated with dyed sawdust and static grass.

I think the newly based and painted Queen looks OK and considering the fact that they were destined to be thrown away - I believe that this is a win-win.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Models For Wargamers Book is still available to order

Another quick reminder. Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers is still available to order. For details of how to get your copy, follow this link.

In addition, there are still limited quantities of Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2 - More Wargame Terrain available. for details see this link.

Thank you.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - test #2

This is an image of a heavily converted 1/24th scale plastic figure that was bought from the Internet. I was searching to see if I could find a 60mm - 66mm miniature to use with the 1/27.7 scale or 11mm = 1 foot scale test (see earlier posts), but this search proved unsuccessful.

I therefore purchased 10 plastic figures from e-bay. Two of these miniatures can be seen below, next to a couple of 1/43.5 scale or O gauge figures (7mm = 1 foot).

I chopped the mannequin into sections, cutting at the neck, waste, knee and foot, then removing about 20mm of plastic.

These pieces were then glued together with superglue.

I used Green Stuff to re-build the body.

Then more Green Stuff to cloth the figure.

Even more Green Stuff to detail his dungarees.

Following comments on The lead Adventure, I painted the new miniature with Games Workshop Green Filler - (a water based filler that comes in the standard GW pot).

Then undercoated him with brush applied grey primer.

The flesh areas were painted first. Snakebite Leather then highlighted with Snakebite/white with some more white and a little red. Finally the model was washed with GW Flesh wash.

The shirt was painted over a Stonewall Grey acrylic colour from Vallejo, highlighted with white.

And the dungarees painted in dark blue, highlighted in Regal Blue.

This final image shows the finished workman alongside the O gauge figure.

The model stands 63mm tall or about 5' 8'' in 1:27.7 (11mm = 1foot).


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Olde World into the Wild Kickstarter - final day!

I will be watching with interest as the Apocalypse Miniatures Kickstarter counts down. For more information see this link or use the Label Oldhammer on the right.

Good luck Ryan/Rob.


£2914.00 pledged from a £1000.00 goal. Congratulations to Ryan. 

Now the hard work starts.

Friday, 21 July 2017

The Witches Hovel

Here is the latest terrain piece for the Apocalypse Miniatures Kickstarter - Olde World Into The Wild. The Witches Hovel or Cottage. The master was sculpted by me as a super stretch goal, but as the Kickstarter has gone so well Ryan has agreed to include it as an 'Add On'. Here you see it beside the Two Storey House to show just how big this beauty is.

For more information please use this link.

The model is unique in this range as it has a fully modelled interior and a lift off thatched roof.

Act now as there is less than a week to go on this Kickstarter and I know that once the initial pledges have been made, Ryan is looking to remove the discounted price option.

I hope you like it.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Oldhammer Kickstarter into its last week

Image borrowed from the Kickstarter page

Ryan at Apocalypse Games has updated both the AP and Kickstarter pages to show even more of the painted resin models that make up this Kickstarter. For more information follow the AP link above or go to this link.

Most of the buildings and terrain have been mastered by me and cast in resin by Rob at Hysterical Games.

Hurry, only 7 days to go.


Saturday, 15 July 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - test #1

This is an image of a short piece of modified narrow gauge track that I have modelled to test the idea that I can make the Peco 'crazy track' look more realistic and in scale if modelling narrow gauge in 1/35th scale rather than the 1/43rd for which it is designed for.

I started with a scrap piece of wood, actually a piece of a used pallet. The ends were cut and sanded square.

I had this spare piece of Peco 'crazy track' (designed to be used as narrow gauge track when running HO-OO motors with modified O gauge engines and figures), left over from an earlier project. The gauge or distance between the track is 16.5mm (HO-OO).

I removed some sleepers and re-spaced them. This was not a detailed test, the spacing was done my 'eye' at about 16mm centres.

I have in the past used thin cork sheet to build up the track and banking. I didn't have any cork, but did find this piece of balsa wood which I cut and sanded to shape.

The balsa wood and track was glued in place with a hybrid superglue and small nails were used to secure it while the glue set.  The ends of the sleepers were cut square as my plan was to extend them using pieces of spare sleepers.

In this image you can see the extended sleepers. I used superglue and accelerator as Peco plastic is notoriously difficult to glue. The joins were hidden by applying Green Stuff to the edges.

I have used DAS White (applied over uPVA glue) to build up the banks either side of the track.

The groundwork was applied over dilute uPVA glue and then using a small dropper and some Wet Water (water with a small drop of washing-up liquid), I soaked the whole area to make sure that the small stones and sand were held in place.

Painting was done with standard acrylics and some washes. I wanted a well worn look so there was lots of green applied to the sleepers.

I will be using diesel engines on my planned layout and so I added a very dark black/brown to the centre of the track to show lots of oil and diesel deposits. I have also painted the track with various rust colours and cleaned the top of the track with some fine emery paper to get that well used look.

Finally, I added some small static grass tufts and some ground foam to show weeds and growth coming up between the sleepers. I gloss painted the oil and diesel spills to make them stand out against the matt base colours.

This is only a short test piece. The wooden base is just 180mm long by 70mm wide and the track is only 150mm long, but it did allow me to test the theory that I could use the modified Peco crazy track to model 1/35th scale (or larger) if I wanted.

I am still to decide if I will use 1/35th scale figures and scale or a larger 1/27.7 scale to model this project - stay tuned for more updates.

If you 'click' on the images, you can super-size them.