Sunday, 16 April 2017

Some updates

Since I have been pretty sick all Easter with a horrible cough and cold I have not managed to do anything hobby wise. I have also been unable to find the flat Black undercoat that I normally use. The last Zulus I prepped were done using what I thought was the normal undercoat but it also had a top coat combined with the undercoat. I did not realise this until after I finished prepping them. I first thought that there was just a load of unpainted metal showing through rather than the shiny top coat. Anyway once I sprayed with the brown layer things turned out ok.

I have ready for paint; a Company of British Infantry, a V100 Commando Patrol Car (resin) and Zulu wound and disrupted markers. I am just waiting for four Empress wounded Zulus before I paint these last items.

Last week I dropped into my local Model-shop which has relocated into a larger premises and have started stocking more items. They now carry quite a bit more basing style items and paints. I found some large packs of miniNatur tufts, one of which matched the old Army Painter Highland Tufts.



Some of you might have been wondering whatever happened to my Resin making project? Well I am pleased to say that I have ironed out almost all of the problems that I had been having and am well on the way to the assembly stage. Except I normally find terrain is a winter project so have put it aside for the moment. I've also put away all my modern items so no hurry for these now.

The first thing I found out was that heat is vital to the hardening of the resin. So while we had a "few good warm days" during the Summer break (I kid you not, its been miserable) I found an old desk lamp which I put as close to the moulds as I could. The resin turned out really hard and took undercoat really well.





Loads of wastage
However I still had an occasional soft casting which seemed to be worse when I did some small mixes. I found that when filling the measuring jars some of them have varying degrees of convexity of the base. Meaning part A is often far less fluid that part B.  In the photo below I poured the desired amount into one container and then poured half into the other by using the divisions. You can see the quantities are very different. The water in the lefthand container does not go all the way back to the rear. I finished up using separate containers to measure out each fluid and then combined them into one. Its probably the way you are meant to do this but not so obvious to a beginner.



Saturday, 8 April 2017

How I base my Zulus.

Since I have had a number of compliments on my basing technique I thought I'd do a walkthrough. This has been a progression of earlier techniques which just happened to come to maturity in time for this project. I would have liked to use this method for my half done Peninsular and upcoming WW1 projects. In the photos I've focused the camera on the base texture rather than the figures.

I first mix up some filler with some black and brown poster paint so that if any base gets damaged I won't get white patches showing through. Once this is laid on the base I then push some small stones into the soft surface. After the filler is dry I then PVA some sand patches on.


The next day I pool some oil based stain onto the filler, rocks and sand.




The next day I wet brush some Brown Derby paint onto everything. This is a local made paint by Resene which I have used for years on my bases. At this stage its looks too heavy but once it has dried it looks fine.



The next paint I use is called Irish Coffee. I try and be a bit more conservative in applying this but mistakes can be covered up with flock or tufts.



The next step is to dry brush some Palm Sugar.




Once everything is dry I apply some Army Painter Highland Tufts and some Flock which came in a Jungle basing set from Gale Force Nine. At this stage I struck a problem, I have some Tufts left over to do some casualty bases but not enough for any more Regiments or the British. I was a little unhappy to find that Army Painter has changed the supplier of these Tufts as seen in the photo below. I think that I have tracked down some matching Tufts but will have to order some to make sure.



The finished Riflemen which have had two coats of highlights on the skin before varnishing and one after, but its really hard to see any of it. I really love the look of the Shields, which are from the Iqwa Regiment. They look very Hollywood and I intend to use this as a standard shield for any supporting units.






Saturday, 1 April 2017

Zulus, undreds of em.

Well to be precise 299 of them were used.

I've finally gotten around to putting down my drop cloth that I had spray painted sometime before Christmas. At first I thought that it was a bit too brown, but luckily the Top Gear episode where they were looking for the source of the Nile was on TV while I was setting up. The scenery was exactly like my drop cloth in parts so I was happy to not have to do more painting on it. (The photos make it looked a bit washed out).

I don't have much scenery suitable for Zululand at the moment so just put down what I had. I also don't have any British other than NNC so just used my British Napoleonic Marines and Sailors.











The above photos were taken last weekend and I have since rearranged the Zulus into their respective formations used at Isandlawana. I then had a go at learning Black Powder. I have used these rules at the Warlords Wargaming Club, and at the Waterloo refight but that was with some-one else prodding me every time I needed to do something so have not really got a grasp of them yet.





I am sure others have experienced the frustrations of the command phase. To me it seemed next to impossible to do anything as I have never thrown so many tens in my life. The right horn only succeeded in getting into the attack because of Blunders and the reserve only moved once the compound had been taken. I may have a rethink about the two units of skirmishers as they seemed to be useless and may use them as small units instead. I also could not find much use for the Commanders of each force so will have to do some research into the rules. I guess if I was playing with someone who knows the rules it would have been a good laugh so won't give up on learning them yet.

If you can see anything wrong with my organisation please point them out.

The British.

Commander

NNC,  two units plus Cannon with Officer.

Marines,  two units with officer.

Sailors, one tiny unit with cannon with leading Seaman.

Zulus

Zulu Commander

Left Horn, one skirmisher unit and one regiment with commander.

Right Horn, one skirmisher unit and one regiment with commander.

Head, three Regiments with commander.

Reserve, four regiments with commander.

I need to paint another regiment for each Horn and the Head.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Mbube and uVe Unmarried Regiments

I have just finished two units of Skirmishers and have painted them as the Mbube and uVe Regiments. These are the last of my plastic figures that I had in stock. Well there is actually one left over who may come in handy for something later on. I have based them three to a base to space them out. These two units were a bit smaller than the others that I have seen listed so I thought I'd made them skirmishers. I may make up a duplicate set of these up later to strengthen them but will try and play test first to see if they work as is.
Next on the painting desk are some Black Tree unmarried skirmishers with firearms.

I'm still having issues with my camera so these are not the greatest of photos.

I had also run out of Agrax Earthshade and used Devlan Mud instead, you can see the difference in the definition on the figures backs. Lesson learnt.

Edit, while looking at my hand written notes I see that the uVe regiment had somewhere between 2000 to 3500 members. So before I get a flood of complaints (if anyones reading this). I thought I'd better point out my own mistake. I may have to change some shields to get a better representation of some of the regiments or build a complete uVe regiment just like the others. I have not found out if the skirmishers and riflemen mentioned in some reports were taken from regiments when needed, or if they were specially raised units for this purpose. The reason I looked at my notes closely is that I am trying to decide what shield design I should use on my riflemen which are just about painted.










Saturday, 18 March 2017

Weathered trucks and finished crews.

I have weathered the trucks but have not put any markings on them yet. I have just bought a new printer and am trying to make some slogans to go on the trucks but have not found any decal sheet stock locally.

My camera decided to go on the blink and from reading on the net seems to suggest that a ribbon cable has become faulty. A $2 Dollar part requiring major surgery to repair. As I am an electronics tech I will try and repair it myself at some stage. The problem is that I cannot use all the zoom function and some of the photos were a bit out of focus. The other issue I am having is all the photos below have been edited, and are showing as being edited in iPhoto but my iMac is loading some unedited photos to my Blog.
















I also finished the dismounted crew. The MP's have heads supplied by Warlord and the figures with M14's are going to be used as dismounted Drivers. The two seated figures were meant to be riding shotgun in the Gun Trucks but I decided that is was pointless fitting them as you can hardly see the drivers.






I also weathered the Mutt but then forgot to seal it. I am in the process of doing this in between writing this.