Gisby's Gaming Blog

September 24, 2015

Sally 4th Russian Farmhouse – A Review

Filed under: COLONIAL WARS, Pulp Gaming, Sally 4th, Victorian Adventure Gaming, WW1 — Tags: — gisby @ 20:38

This is Sally 4th‘s kit 28WW2_001 Russian Farmhouse. I have no idea how typical this building is of Russian farmhouses. (farmhice?) I picked this kit up because it looked (to me) like it wouldn’t be out-of-place as a white farmer’s home in Africa. (NB: I am not doubting it’s accuracy…. I have seen a photo of the original building, and this is what it looks like. It’s a dam’ good representation.)

Sally 4th Russian Farmhouse

It’s laser-cut from 2mm and 3mm MDF, with a patch of ‘fun fur’ for the thatching. It also comes with extensive colour-printed instructions. The fit is good, and it is well-engineered.

The building itself is a rectangle with two interior rooms. Three walls have windows, and one wall is blank. It is surrounded by a wooden walkway and an overhanging awning/roof. There is a nice-looking chimney supplied, but apparently I forgot to add it.

russianfarm6

I primed and painted all the pieces before assembly, which makes for much easier painting. Priming isn’t essential, but without it, the MDF tends to soak up paint like crazy. However the tolerances on this kit are extremely tight, so too much paint will interfere with the fit of the pieces. Be aware of how it fits together before you start painting.

The roof has four sloped pieces that are glued together, and to a good, solid frame that helps align them. The instructions suggest that there can be difficulty getting them aligned because of all the angles, but it wasn’t really difficult.

The instructions tell you to assemble the four outer walls, let them dry, then insert the inner walls and room dividers. (The walls are double-thicknesses as are the interior walls. This makes for a more substantial kit, and allows detail on both sides of the walls..)

russianfarm4

Because the tolerances are so close, I’d suggest that you assemble the interior walls then glue the outer walls around them. (And do not paint the wall surfaces that are glued together.) When dry, I filled what seams there were on the outer walls, and used a bit of the filler to add some texture to the walls themselves.

Each window has a lintel, a sill, two sides, and a shutter (open or closed) and a frame that sits inside them. Again, be careful of painting the surfaces that glue together because they may not fit easily if you are careless. Don’t get me wrong, the resulting windows look great, and all the pieces make them easy to paint. They are engineered so that they align themselves for the most part, so in spite of the number of pieces they aren’t really difficult to assemble.

The doors can also be assembled open or closed (or left unglued.) They have a handle assembly that looks like a block with two curved antennae. The instructions showed where they go, but not how. Eventually I realized that they fit into the door with the antennae pointing down, making a very convincing set of iron door handles.

The floor and walkway are a single piece, and slot into place easily. The awning and supports also fit easily and cleanly. The roof just sits on top for easy removal.

I had pictures of each end, but they are identical, so why bother?

I had never tried the ‘fun fur’ thatching before, and it was complicated by the multiple angles of the roof, I aligned and glued one  long side. When that was dry, I did the other long side. When that was dry, I folded the fabric at each end flat and slit it at the approximate centre of the wall. This left a flap on each end that overlapped the other side. I trimmed this flap where it overlapped the other, and glued them down.

Then the fabric was dry, I brushed the fur with a toothbrush, blending over the joins. I used slightly dilute white glue and brushed it all downwards.

I painted the whole house much like they did in their instructions. (It looked good, why not?)

russianfarm1

When dry, I lightly primed the thatch, then brushed various tans and greys onto it. The fur supplied was black, and I had some doubts, but it actually worked well.

While more complex than most laser-cut kits, this was easy to assemble, and a pleasure to build. The results make the extra complexity worth it. Available from Sally 4th.

Advertisements

August 20, 2015

Flint & Feather Huron Warriors – A review and a WIP

Filed under: Crucible Crush, Native Americans — Tags: — gisby @ 21:27

I have finished my first batch of Huron/Iroquois warriors, and I want to show them off. (They are not of course my FIRST Huron/Iroquois, I had plenty of the old RAFM ‘Flint & Feather’ range.) These are the first from Bob Murch’s NEW ‘Flint & Feather range, released recently at Historicon. They are available through ‘Crucible Crush.’

Bob was inspired by reading Joseph Boyden’s ‘Orenda,’  a novel about warfare between the Huron and Iroquois peoples. Bob really was inspired, they are just cracking miniatures. I have hardly done them justice at all. (Although I have labelled them as Hurons, they are suitable for either Nation.)

They are from the earliest period of European contact, so there are no guns or steel weapons to be seen. As always, the anatomy is spot on, and poses are natural and interesting.

huro1huro3huro2

My painting ‘style’ is to base coat various areas, then highlight them, then do various coloured washes to bring out details. These figures are very well designed for this style: The detail is crisp and well defined. I was daunted at first (especially after seeing Bob’s paint) but I found them a joy to paint and I am quite pleased with the resulthuro7 huro4

I am a bit disappointed with the how the shield looks in the picture above: I gave it a subtle wash that just hasn’t shown well. I am pleased with the effect, I am not pleased with the photo.

huro5 huro6

My skin tones are darker than a lot of Native American figures I see on the internet. Most seem just too light for people that spend their lives outdoors. (I tan darker than most of the native figures I see. I may well be wrong.)

Howard Whitehouse and Roderick Robertson are writing a set of rules (‘Flint & Feather‘) to accompany the range, designed for forces of about 12 figures a side. The link goes to a description of the rules, they seem quite interesting.

Overall, I recommend this range. I like the figures, I like the style, and I like the sculpting. Buy them. Then they will make more.

July 13, 2015

Wargames Factory Romans

Filed under: Ancients, Review — Tags: , , , , — gisby @ 00:01

The Wargames Factory Romans were designed for a set of rules that uses 16-man units. The box comes with 48 figures, giving you 2 distinct units. Each unit is made up of 12 identical infantry and 4 Command figures. You can of course mix things up if you so choose. I chose instead to use two boxes to make 3 24-man units.

Each figure has a body, 2 arms, a head, and a shield. There are 3 different bodies, 4 different weapon arms, 2 different heads, and only one style of shield arm and shield. Since the shield arms are all the same, and made for the same pose, they could have come attached to the figure, it would have made it all easier!

The three bodies are: Standing, standing with legs a bit farther apart, and standing a bit hunched over.

The first unit is made from the standing figure. I used the ‘sword held upright’ arm, and removed the sword, drilling it for a wire pilum. The Officer and Standard Bearer are in this same pose, so I used them in this unit.

plasleg2a plasleg2

plasleg2b

The second unit is made from the crouching guy. I used the ‘throwing pilum’ arm: I cut off the shoulder and glued it to hold an upright wire pilum. I then rebuilt the shoulder with putty. The musician is in the same pose as this figure, so I used him as the Standard Bearer in this unit.

plasleg1a plaseg1c

plasleg1

I painted them in appropriate colours and used a brown Magic Wash over the whole. I am happy with the results.

When the set came out, it was criticized for having soft detail, but they paint up well, and the shields are amazing. Built the way these have been, they rank up well, even on the 15mm wide bases I use.

The third unit isn’t done yet! To make it up to you, here’s a shot of a Peltast unit made from their Numidians box set. Enjoy!

plapeltast

These figures are available through Wargames Factory.

July 6, 2015

Hinterland Miniatures Trench Raiders – Hun Honeys

Filed under: Hinterland Miniatures, WW1 — Tags: — gisby @ 01:01

A while ago Hinterland Miniatures released a set of ‘Trench Raiders’ – A set of female soldiers in an approximation of 1914 German uniforms. They were lovely, delicate figures, but were equipped with gas masks and with late war automatic weapons that (I felt) did not ‘go with’ the early war look. (Despite the fact that nowhere was any claim made that these were ‘fantasy 1914 Germans’ or anything of the sort)

hunies1

Being a gamer on the internet, I could not let my shrill complaints go without being voiced. I wrote to the manufacturer, who answered me quite civilly that they were fantasy figures, not 1914 Germans. I tried to explain that my wants and opinions far outweighed any logic in the matter, and generously offered to shriek loudly until my concerns were met.

hunies2 hunies2a

Several months later, Hinterland released a 6-figure set ‘Trench Raider Unit Builder’ containing 2 each of 3 poses, without gas masks and armed with rifles, exactly what I had asked for. They also added a ‘Trench Raider HMG’ with a MG08, 2 crew, and a third figure with a bare head and a Bergmann SMG.

Having made such a stink over the first releases, I felt I should put my money where my mouth was, so I ordered 3 sets and a HMG pack.

They arrived in about a week (I’m in Canada) well packed and complete.

hunies4

(The figures above are: Princess Cecilie on foot, the NCO from the HMG pack, and a converted Trench Raider officer: None are from the Trench Raiders pack)

The figures are beautifully-detailed, flash-free, and the bottoms of the bases came pre-sanded so they were flat.

They are a small 28mm – They are small and slender women, in a smaller 28mm scale. They do NOT mix well with my RENEGADE 1914 Germans. The picture below shows in order, a RENEGADE German, a Hinterland Trench Raider, and a Ral Partha 25mm Zulu War Briton.

hunies3

The uniforms are an approximation of early war German uniforms: They wear y-strap suspenders, puttees, and jodphurs. One of the poses has a grenade at her belt, and two carry bags of them. I can live with this.

hunies5c hunies5a

The machine gunner is the only figure wearing a pack: It’s sort of low-relief, and the mess kit is a flat indication rather than a solid piece. The loader  seems tinier than most, but that’s mostly her pose. She lacks her MG drag straps. The HMG was a nice little model, but I replaced it with one from the spares box just for uniformity’s sake.

hunies5b hunies5

The figures were a delight to paint. As I said, they are delicate, crisp, and well-detailed. I happily recommend them to anyone wanting female sort-of-German soldiers.

April 13, 2009

Wargames Factory – Plastic Zulu War British – A Review

Filed under: Review, Victorian Adventure Gaming — Tags: , , , — gisby @ 16:56

When Wargames Factory announced their intention to release a set of 1879 British, I was very excited.

Although they were not the first set announced by WF, they were the first set actually released.

They aren’t bad as a first release.

More

April 8, 2009

Pulp Gaming: Radon Zombies of the Ionosphere Juggernaut

Filed under: Pulp Gaming, Review — Tags: , , — gisby @ 04:29

I recently got a bunch of the ‘Radon Zombies of the Ionosphere’ from Pulp Figures

The figures themselves represent the rubber-suited minions of an evil mastermind in the spirit of the old movie serials.

They portray these well, evoking the genre perfectly: So much so that I had to build a juggernaut to accompany them.

More…

December 6, 2008

Review: Arnica Montana Buildings

Arnica MontanaAlthough I usually like to make my own Old West buildings, I recently picked up a few
from Arnica Montana.

When they arrived, I was sad: They were far nicer than I had expected, and I had not ordered anywhere near enough of them!

I was hard-pressed to choose where to start. More…

Blog at WordPress.com.