This is from Buck Surdu’s blog – nice addition to the Combat Patrol rules!
Announcing the Release of the South Pacific Supplement for Combat Patrol™: World War II. Like all the previous supplements for Combat Patrol™, this supplement is FREE to download as a .pdf. Why a South Pacific Supplement? Fighting in the South Pacific during World War II was unique compared to other theaters, even other parts of…
Back in March of 2017, I read that WSD (Wargames Supply Dump) in the U.K. was shutting down its website and its figures from the Dirk Garrison line would no longer be available. Very bad news! I had not yet had the chance to buy any of these, and their retro sci-fi look lured me in to try to get a few before it was too late.
I was able to get a few different sets, which I will be painting up and using in my retro sci-fi games using the card-based Combat Patrol™ system.
The first ones I started were MIS06 “Robo Sentry Guns“. These came in a two-pieces per kit. As you can see below, the models were not greatly detailed, but very nice for what I wanted – unmanned and immovable guns for attacking infantry (or vehicles) to deal with during a skirmish. They were sculpted by Jason Miller. I wanted to buy 10, but only 5 were left by the time I tried to buy them. I grabbed them as they were heavily discounted!
I affixed the bases to a 1¼” steel washer using Loctite glue. This tactic allows me to use magnetic sheets to easily store them in plastic boxes. I then primed them with Krylon “Ultra Flat” matte spray paint. I also made sure that I painted the bottoms white as well, as I find that leaves me the option to place information on the bottom that I’d like to have once the models are done, such as the model’s name, the date it was finished, and any unit identification, etc. I just use a fine-tipped Sharpie.
I decided to paint the two parts separately, base coat both, and then assemble the kit after that. I also made a change in my process in that I used 3M white poster tack from Michael’s to affix the bases to popsicle sticks for painting instead of white glue. This worked MUCH better – and the tack is reusable – so I was happy to discover this would work and so well. The models stayed affixed very well.
I started brushwork with a wash of Citadel “Nuln Oil” over both pieces. I followed this with a heavy dry brushing with Citadel “Mechanicus Standard Gray”. Then, I switched to Vallejo Model Air “Medium Gunship Gray” for the tripod legs (with a brush – no airbrushing was done on these models). For the tripod feet, and the center mount, I used Vallejo Model Air “Steel”. The gun itself was mounted on a rock-like structure on a washer disk. I thought the rock made little sense for a robo sentry gun, so I decided to obscure it with Armory “Gloss Black” (still good from 1996!). I then shaded the tripod base with “Nuln Oil”. I subsequently used Secret Weapons Washes “Heavy Body Black” on the base, followed by lightly dry brushing and stippling it with “Mechanicus Standard Gray”.
At this point, I glued the two pieces together with wood glue, and let the assembly dry overnight. To further obscure the rock, I used Vallejo Model Air “Gold” on the washer – with an eye towards mimicking the coloration of the lunar modules from the Apollo missions. I thought it worked well, though it took three coats to get it properly covered.
On the gun, I used Vallejo Model Air “Gun Metal”, with Vallejo “Aluminum” on the optics. On the optics I then painted the ends with “Gold” and Citadel “Spiritstone Red”. I finished the gun with Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash”, with some light highlighting with “Gun Metal”. Once dry, I applied two coats of Testors “Dullcoat”, allowing for adequate drying between coats.
I think these will be a nice addition to my Combat Patrol™ games, as I can use these in multiple situations as a GM. I like the retro sci-fi look, and as I move into building a Robot army, these will fit in nicely (more to come on those in future blog posts). I also added a photo to the Lost Minis Wiki on the model, as there was none there. Still, sad to see that WSD will no longer produce these cool minis.
I have long been searching for the Archive Miniatures Frinx on Glyptodon (#2042) from the Star Rovers line. This three-figure kit was made in 1978, and was composed of two power-armored Frinx riding a glyptodon. So what is a glyptodon? A glyptodon is basically a prehistoric armadillo – and the size of a small car. Its a quirky kit, reminiscent of a Tusken Raider riding a Bantha in Star Wars.
At long last, my good friend Buck Surdu acquired one kit at exorbitant price on eBay. The plan was to create some Frinx recon sections for use in retro-sci-fi games using the Combat Patrol™ gaming system by recasting.
The kit itself held two glyptodon halves, two rear feet, two bridle bits, one metal reins set, one forward facing Frinx, and one Frinx facing right. Clearly, I needed to consolidate in order to effectively cast this set via gravity casting. My first decision was to abandon any idea of casting the metal reins. I wanted to use the bridle bits, and use some string or similar material for reins when I paint the kit.
The bridle bits were very small as you see below. I used a small pin vise and drilled out a place for the bits on the glyptodon. I secured the bits with super glue, then filled in around them with green stuff. I also opened the bridle bits up, for if I left them closed they would not been locked in by the Quick-Sil and would not have cast well.
The other challenge was that the original glyptodon figure was not well formed or cast. There were large seam lines and gaps on each side. My concern was that this gap would wreak havoc with molding as the Quick-Sil RTV that I use would easily expand into every crevice. It also would look lousy.
As you can see, because the glyptodon was in two pieces with a hollowed out middle, I needed to address this and the seam issue. Therefore, I decided to fill the middle and the gaps with green stuff. I then affixed the rear feet with super glue, followed by adding green stuff around the gaps there as well.
While I smoothed out the seam lines, I still had unsightly lines that would show up on every cast. I decided to use more green stuff to add a band of tiny armor plates around the base to smooth out the seams – and it worked. I thought that I should keep the figure as original as possible, so the additional plates were left as a lower band, and not over the whole figure.
I then moved on to the riders, and was surprised to see the beginnings of lead rot under their saddles. This discovery made me very happy that I was going to preserve this kit through cleaning and ultimately recasting. I did my best to clean off the oxidation with soap, water, a toothbrush, and an aqueous pewter cleaner.
I made two new mold designs – one for the glyptodon and one basic type for the two riders as shown below. The major concerns that I had with the glyptodon mold were easy flow of alloy, adequate venting, and adequate cooling with so much molten metal. With the smaller molds, I had the same, but I really just wanted great details.
All three molds worked well, with small modifications to ensure good casting. I was able to successfully cast 14 sets (42 total figures).
You can see below a comparison of the recasts and the master figure.
They are officially now in my painting queue (which has grown a bit long so I will wait to cast more figures until I have painted some). Overall, I am pleased with how they came out – please let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
It’s been a bit busier on the gaming front. Jared Burns (USAFA ’04) and I (USMA ’84) got together last Sunday afternoon in preparation for the launch of the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club . We play-tested Combat Patrol™ with Star Rovers figures that I have previously posted about in this blog, as well as an X-Wing game.
The scenario was one where the Frinx and some Aphids were protecting RT22 in a bunker behind an old factory. The Star Ducks, led by Duck Vader, were attacking to seize RT22, using their jet packs to quickly assault through the open ground which the Frinx had covered with anti-tank weapons. I gave the Star Ducks 3 chances in the game to use their jet packs at 3 movement cards per try – and that worked well rules-wise.
Highlights of the battle! There was a grenade-throwing fest in the center (one of my grenades scattered back into me adding to my losses) between one Star Duck team and a green Aphid team. This resulted in multiple casualties, especially when one of my Aphid’s grenade attacks rebounded from a rock, but the Star Ducks had the better of that fight.
I gave Duck Vader the ability to deflect incoming direct fire, but I got lucky. Duck Vader was in the open at short range and got lit up by two Frinx bazookas and the Frinx platoon sergeant with an automatic grenade launcher. End even though I gave him a 5 endurance, his goose (or rather duck) was cooked with about 7 wounds. His demise then caused the entire Star Duck force to lose heart, effectively ending the game.
We then played X-Wing, and it was time for the USAF guy to beat (really thrash) the Army guy…ironic…he was the Empire so the day evened out. It was a good playtest for our first game night on July 27th. Jared did a nice job in teaching me the game – and then avenging the previous game. He was the Empire, and I was the Rebels with two ships each.
I really liked the game and the ease at which I learned the basics. Thanks to Jared for a great day!
I found a small robot miniature on eBay, listed as “Hardy Toot Toot” from the Archive Miniatures Star Rovers line of miniatures and game. Using The Lost Mini’s Wiki , I was able to see it listed as “Hardy Toot Toot/RV86”. This did not make sense to me as When I looked at the Archive Miniatures catalog from 1981, there was no such listing. I reached out to my fellow miniature collectors on Facebook, notably David Wood (the British version) and Nevile Stocken (who was Archive and probably sculpted this figure) but still I had no luck at identifying it. All I knew was it was between 36 and 40 years old.
While I continued to research which figure this actually was, I filed down any unneeded edges, cleaned it in soap and water and let it dry. I then glued it to a 1″ steel washer with wood glue. Then I lightly glued the washer base to a popsicle sick for ease of painting. Next, I brush primed it twice with Citadel “Imperium Primer” thinned with Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”. I then gave it a heavy dry-brush application of Tamiya “Chrome Silver”. The figure then waited for a few weeks…
Luckily and surprisingly, I heard back from Nevile Stocken that he thought the figure was on the box cover of the Star Rovers game – which I have! By the way, RV86 is the Robot Cook (2203).
I took a picture of it with my iPhone, cut and pasted it into a PowerPoint file, and printed it. When blown up to 8½” x 11″, I could clearly see on the robot “RT22”! Mystery solved! I verified this by cross-referencing with the catalog as shown below. It was listed as 2205, “Servodroid, RT22, Short Robot”, and retailed for $1.25 back in the day. Many of the old Archive Star Rovers figures were named with a clever nod to Star Wars characters, and this RT22 certainly can claim to be one as a somewhat satirical R2D2.
I decided that it would be a neat idea to honor the colors on the robot’s depiction on game box and try to replicate them on the RT22. To achieve the metallic light blue shown on the box, I used a 50/50 blend of Tamiya “Chrome Silver” and Craftsmart Ultra-Bright Metallic “Sapphire”. That seemed to do the trick, and I gave the entire figure a heavy dry brushing with the combination.
I then looked at the drawing of RT22, and there were some subtle differences between it and the figure. To give depth to the figure, I used a couple washes with Citadel “Nuln Oil”. Then, I wanted to replicate the drawing as much as possible, so I used Americana “Kelly Green” and Vallejo “Vermilion” on the body’s lower parts in squares thinly outlined with Vallejo Model Air “Black”. On what looks like an anchor (with Mickey Mouse ears) on the front, I used Vallejo Model Air “Gold” on the background, and Citadel “Yriel Yellow” on the raised portion. The robot had two traffic signals on it – yes really – forward and aft. I used “Kelly Green”, “Yriel Yellow”, and Vallejo Model Air “Signal Red” on the stoplight signals. I then used the Vallejo Model Air “Black” metallic to outline the gold and on the brackets under its arms. I outlined the arch-like structure in front and various wires on the top, back, and sides with Vallejo Model Air “Aluminum”. On the top, I painted the raised structure ridges and its springs with Vallejo “Arctic Blue” – with “Yriel Yellow” highlights as an eye and on the top of the robot. On the top “ring” part of the robot (which was more akin to a hex nut), I used first a light coat of Vallejo Model Air “Fluorescent Red” (which was more orange than red). I then outlined on the angled edges with a thin line of “Aluminum”. I then used two more layers of “Fluorescent Red” on the ring. The rear battery packs got an application of Vallejo Model Air “Copper” and “Arctic Blue”. I then selectively used “Nuln Oil” where I needed more depth on the figure.
For highlights, I used Craftsmart “Bright Yellow” on all the “Yriel Yellow” surfaces. On the arms and chassis, I employed a lighter mix (more “Chrome Silver”, less “Sapphire”) of the original combination with which I started the light blue dry brushing. I also used a little of both yellows on the tips of the robot’s feet to match the box.
Perhaps the most difficult part of the project was writing the “RT22” on the miniature as shown on the drawing. That was indeed a delicate task that took a steady hand!
I then moved on to the base – and used Citadel “Lustrian Undergrowth” to conceal the washer and make the ground on which figure stood to be more realistic. I really like this paint as it has a rough consistency and takes both dry brushing and application of washes really well.
Once that had dried, I applied Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” to the base, and let it dry. I then dry brushed the base sequentially with Armory “Musket Brown” and Citadel “Niblet Green”.
I then moved on to the varnishing of the figure. As it was a robot, with a very metallic surface, I thought best to use a coat of Krylon clear “Glossy”, followed by two coats of Testors “Dullcoat”, allowing for adequate drying between applications. This worked well, but the base was still too shiny. To fix that, I used a combination of Citadel “Athonian Camoshade” and Army Painter “Anti-shine” brush varnish. It seemed to do the trick.
The research for this project took a lot longer than the actual painting did. I have submitted corrections to The Lost Minis Wiki, so future collectors may be helped. As for this figure, I plan to use it as part of an objective in a sci-fi version of Combat Patrol™.
Just like R2D2 perhaps?
In any case, I am pretty happy with the miniature, and I am especially glad I used the color scheme from the box. I think it is quirky, and still fun! Feel free to let me know your thoughts!
Normally I have more detail (how-to), but I lost most of the details of these terrain projects, as I had a few that I had to rework. I think the pictures below are hopefully sufficient. I was really happy to try new techniques with rust applications using a “pointillism” technique with a combination of Polly-S (“Rust”) and Vallejo (“Rust” 71.069 and 71.080) paints. I mounted all of the terrain pieces on flat steel basing pieces.
The mostly Armorcast “set” I got on eBay were various refinery or industrial pieces that were airbrushed silver and gold, and that did not work for me. I wanted the industrial ones to be more dirty and rusty. I ended up painting some of them with various colors, and then using Army Painter Quickshade “Soft Tone” to shade. I was not happy with most of these results, especially the Quickshade effects. I repainted them, some with bright colors for the newer pieces of terrain, and with rust for the grittier ones, and then used spray varnish to seal. Luckily, the Testors “Dullcoat” actually had a “crackling” chemical effect on one of the industrial tanks which worked well – (note – this was not an Armorcast piece and was likely homemade with some type of Styrofoam). I was surprised as there was already a lot of paint and varnish on it at that point – but it was minimal and I liked it anyways.
The WorldWorks Games set consisted of a bunker, and three barricades. They are for 28mm for sure. The bunker was used, and difficult to assemble well with super glue. I ended up using steel base material, popsicle sticks, wood glue, and cardboard to assist in the construction. Here, I really liked my use of the rust pattern that I discussed earlier.
Lastly, I had three slag mounds that I mounted on two old CD’s. The slag was a byproduct of my casting projects. For these, I had a “Red Planet” plan, and used Citadel “Martian Ironcrust” and “Martian Ironearth” to good effect, as well as different washes.
It’s a good start and I’m sure I could use some buildings and other things, but that I will get to in due time!
May was a slow hobby month as I spent some time recovering from the surgeon’s blade!
One of the projects that I started in April and completed in May was another RAFM game set for the Settlers of Catan game. It was a gift from my daughter and son-in-law, and I had it in the painting queue for a while. The set is made of white metal (likely britannia). I had completed most of the painting in April, and finished and varnished the project in May. Each set consists of figures that represent 15 roads, 5 settlements, 4 cities, and one robber. This one is Chinese-themed, and joins my Viking and Egyptian sets. I opened the set, cleaned up and filed some loose casting remnants, and washed everything with mild soap and a toothbrush. After a good rinse and a thorough drying, they were ready to paint. I decided to go with a red and gray theme, which are my Fitchburg High school colors!
As you can see above, the details of the figures are variable. The robber really was not well-detailed, and I attempted to rectify this with the brush. On the previous two sets, I mounted all of the figures to popsicle sticks for ease of painting. I elected not to do that this time as I did not want to have to deal with painting the undersides with affixed glue. I did mount the robber on a 1″ steel washer. This was fine.
I made a change again and used a brush primer as April was very cold and I did not want to wait until New England cooperated with 50°F – and that was a good call. I used Citadel “Imperial Primer” slightly diluted with Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner” in two coats for priming. I then drybrushed all the figures with Americana “Santa Red”. My next step was to use Secret Weapons Washes “Red Black” ink and apply a thorough wash all over the figures. Then I painted the trees and bushes on the road sections with Armory “Chestnut Brown”.
On the roads (which resembled sections of the Great Wall), I painted the boulders with Americana “Zinc”. I then applied another wash with “Red Black” ink. To create the effect of the greenery, trees, and shrubs, I highlighted successively with Citadel “Niblet Green” and “Nurgling Green”.
On the settlements, I painted the paved spaces between the buildings and the river and the bridge with “Zinc”, followed by a coat of “Red Black” ink on the pavement. The river got a treatment of Americana “Sky Blue” followed by Reaper MSP “Blue Liner” as a wash. The river edges and buildings were highlighted and lined with Vallejo “Red”.
For the cities, I used “Zinc” on the stairways, and more “Red Black” ink as a wash. I then highlighted the walls and framework of the large temple with the Vallejo “Red”.
I did not go crazy with the robber as I really was unimpressed with the figure. He looked like a Japanese Ninja in a Chinese set! So I used the same patterns with the same reds as the other figures. I painted his bedroll with “Zinc”, his bandana and gloves with Americana “Ebony”, and his hair and boots with Americana “Onyx”. P3 “Midland Flesh” was my choice for his face, with Vallejo “White” and “Ebony” for the eyes. I highlighted his headband and his robes with Vallejo “Red”. On his dagger I used FolkArt “Gunmetal Gray” highlighted with Tamiya “Titanium Silver”. For the handle of his dagger, I gave him a splash of Citadel “Gehenna’s Gold”. On his base, I used Citadel “Martian Ironcrust” and a blow dryer to create the crackling effect. And again, I added more “Red Black”.
I also want to note here that the bottoms of all of these figures were painted with the same red combinations. Lastly, as these are game pieces, I wanted to give them a good protective coat of varnish from bottom to top. They all got three successive applications of varnish with sufficient drying time in between. Of course, I needed a warm day (above 70°F) for this. I used Krylon “Glossy”, followed by Krylon “Clear Matte”, followed by Testors “Dullcoat”.
I am satisfied with the project – and now I only need one more (the Bavarian set) to have all of them. Certainly a worthy gaming project!