Friday, October 9, 2015

Tutorial: Bolt Action Order/Pin Dice Holder

Frustrated with remembering pins in Bolt Action? Want an easy way to keep track of pins and order dice? Build a simple dice holder to help!


  • Scrap paper
  • Milliput/Green Stuff/Epoxy Putty
  • Bolt Action Order Dice
  • 7mm Dice
  • Scotch Tape
  • X-acto Knife
  • Basing Material
  • Paint

I suggest wearing a pair of disposable nitrile gloves for this. I know some people are against wearing gloves when mixing putty (as the putty tends to stick to the gloves) but I recommend it.

1. Tape the piece of scrap paper down to your work surface. You'll use this to assemble the dice holders on so the putty doesn't stick to the work surface.

2. Place the scotch tape around the surface of each dice. This will keep the dice from getting putty stuck in the pips/words and will help keep the dice from sticking too much (they will still stick a little).

3. Mix the epoxy putty as directed on the package. Roughly 2oz. of putty (half a standard pack of Milliput) will yield about 10-11 dice holders. Break off pieces and roll into ~3/4" balls. Place the putty balls on the paper.

4. Using your index finger, push each ball down into a disc. Then, start pushing each dice into the putty, making a large indentation for the order dice and a small indentation for the "pin marker" dice.

Form the excess putty into a slope surrounding each die, trying to remove the "smashing hamburger" cracks in the edge.

5. If you want to use basing material, it's a good time to push any sand/gravel into the sloping edges.

6. To remove each die from the putty, wiggle the die back and forth, and then slowly lever it out. It's okay if you expand the the indentation a little (it makes putting the die in easier) just try not to mess up the slopes that actually hold the die in. Once you remove both dice, you may need to smooth out the interior of each indentation with your little finger.

Allow each holder to cure.

7. Once the putty has fully cured, remove each holder from the paper and shake off any loose basing material. Paint each holder as necessary.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Graveyard Terrain

Just in time for Halloween! Really though, this started as an experiment in using chipped plaster "blocks" as fieldstones (as inspired by this post to Lead Adventure) and just to see what the effect was like. I have to say I'm impressed with the outcome but getting there was messy and time-consuming.

Unlike the original post that inspired this, I didn't intend to use these pieces as masters for casting (that may come in the future). As such, I used a 50/50 mix of dry plaster and Durham's water putty for durability. First thing I noticed as the plaster is VERY porous and doesn't take white glue well, so I'll be using wood glue in the future. Also, this stuff is messy, dusty, and can be time-consuming to work with.

Anyway, I like the final piece and time will tell how well it holds up to gaming use.

Playing around with Pixlr Express...

Friday, October 2, 2015

Display Board Carrying Case

After a long delay in posting due to work around the new house and some health issues, I'm back with preparations for Operation Sting. Over the post several years and numerous multiple tournaments, I've come to realize that I need a better option for a display board. Board made from picture frames lack stability and storage. Storage bins converted to use of display boards lack the visual appeal of a proper display board. Enter the display board carrying case.

I started with a bin the came with some of my son's wooden train sets. This was a basic plywood box with a Plexiglas top that pulled out of one side. I removed the Plexiglas and sanded the plywood to remove the poly coating, I then stained the wood with two coats of a medium brown tone wood stain. I considered sealing it with poly but a like the aged wood look, as it will be useful for both historical and sci-fi miniatures.

I then picked up two aged brass drawer handles, drilled holes on the sides and secured the handles. I also used my dremel to make a small beveled insert under the opening side of the box - this will provide an easy way to grab the board and pull it out. I then used a small piece of plywood to divide the interior of the box into two sections - one to hold minis, and one to hold dice, rulers, and tokens. I took two sheets of magnetic paper and glued them to the bottom of the mini storage area. As I base with washers, this means that minis won't rattle around too much of handles carefully. I lined the interior with 1/4" foam for protection.

The display board is simply 3mm MDF built up and textured to match my Italians at Malta army. The nice part is the display board can be swapped out with another. I'm really pleased with the end result and hope it holds up to regular gaming!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Repainted Lledo Days Gone By Vehicles

As I move further into 28mm WW2 and SCW, I've been on the lookout for suitable cars and trucks. These are all from Lledo's "Days Gone" collection that I bought as a lot for about $15 shipped. They were all unboxed and in rough shape, so I gave them a quick bath in Simple Green (just to remove the accumulated dust and grime) and removed the broken pieces. I then primed and painted them.

I added a WG Italian Para and BTD Italian Blackshirt for scale comparison. Some are a little out of scale, but great for the price!

The bus is probably my favorite. I wanted it to look like an ad hoc troop transport for use with my SCW militias and WW2 Hungarians, so I gave it tan and red livery, some new decals, and then a pin dot oil weathering and finished it with some broken windows.

The car is my favorite. It required extensive masking for the two-tone body , masking for the soft-top and luggage rack, and a new windshield. It's perfectly sized for the staff car of a higher officer and his ADCs.

The fire truck was originally bright yellow, so I repainted it olive drab and added some old US 15mm decals. Unfortunately, there was no way to shove a windshield in, unless I drilled out the chassis rivets and removed the body entirely, so I just left it without. This is the only vehicle that's slightly underscale, but would probably be perfect for undersize 28mm figures or 25mm.

Last is the "woody" station wagon. Another vehicle originally painted a garish yellow, I repainted the whole thing light green, handpainted the wood paneling, and added a Russian slogan to the sides - perfectly suited for a Communist vehicle in SCW or the Eastern Front. This is the only vehicle that is slightly overscale.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Konigstiger In Der Gotterdamerung, 1945

This will be the last of the 15mm German AFVs I work on for myself in the foreseeable future and it's quite a fitting end - this time a late production Konigstiger in Hinterhalt camouflage. It's inspired by no particular tank, though I had been reading Wolfgang Faust's excellent book The Last Panther, so was ruminating on the KTs that ran alongside his Panther in the final days of 1945. If you haven't read it, I thoroughly recommend it as it captures the utter futility of these final moments and the horror of many Germans as the Soviet tide washed over eastern Germany.

The Hinterhalt ("Ambush") camouflage scheme was surprisingly easy to do, once you figure out the "trick". Lay down initial color, mask for the hard-edged swathes of Rotbraun and Lichtgrun and paint. Once dry, use a small diameter piece of plasticard rod to dip in the paint and apply alternating colors of dots in each swath, as necessary. The "trick" is to lightly dab the rod on a spare piece of paper or cardboard to remove excessive paint. This keeps all the dots a relatively uniform size/shape and avoids the "bumps" that excess paint cause to the finish.

I enjoyed this scheme so much, I'll probably pick up a 1/56 late war German AFV to do it with. Auf Wiedersehen und danke für die Fritz!