Saturday, January 17, 2015

More North Africa Terrain

A small addition to my earlier North African terrain, this time a small mosque and a walled courtyard. The mosque is available on Ebay from haldanecreations. It's a nice little mosque and I certainly appreciated the 3 interchangeable large roofs (pictured below is the intact dome and damaged dome, the plain flat roof is not pictured), but it's on the small side. There's only enough room inside the main building for 1 medium FOW base or 2 small FOW bases; the annex interior is too small to fit even a small FOW base. Had the building been at least 1/2" wider and deeper, there would be more than enough room.

The walled courtyard was made from MDF offcuts of the city bases I'm working on. I wanted something "different" from typical adobe house/mosque/bir town terrain in 15mm. The corner planted are plasticard tubing filled with sand and the fountain is made from a hex base, plasticard, and topped with the road wheel from a Panther tank!

It's a little plain for my liking but will breakup the monotony of the desert terrain and provide good linear obstacles for units to fight over. If I do another, I'll make a couple sunken earth sections and "plant" some palm trees and low shrubs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Western European Town WIP

Here's the Western Europe terrain I'm working on at the moment for Adepticon 2015. This is supposed to represent a typical town somewhere in France or Belgium and I've decided to utilize HO scale European model buildings to save money. 

First, many of the European HO manufacturers are slightly underscale from the normal 1:87 scale used in HO scale modeling. Nearly all of these kits are straight out of the box with the exception of the doorways, the interior floors, and (rarely) the building height. I've had to cut down the doors by about 1-1.5mm to make them look "just right" next to 15mm figures. In many cases, I simply cut the door down and then added a small transom above the doorway. The yellow house required cutting off 2mm from the total building height but that was easily accomplished with a dremel in 5 minutes.

The nicest part about plastic HO kits is the architectural details, all molded in different colors. Little painting was needed beyond adding mortar to the brickwork and shading and weathering to the roofs.

The "city hall" building below is a Faller Railway Administration Building, actually part of their take on the Bonn Train Station (this is the "wing" on the real life station, the portion in the immediate foreground in the image below). You can get this kit fairly easily on Ebay (like I did) for under $20, which is a steal for a building measuring nearly 7" long! The roof is removable (simply by not gluing it to the walls, no conversion necessary) and I made two second floor "balconies" inside the building to aid figure placement.

I still need to add propaganda posters and debris to the exterior, as this will be the most contested building in town.

The two houses are both Kibri houses designed for early modelers. This makes them easy to assemble and cheap (I bought these two for less than $25 on Ebay). Both feature removable roofs (again, just don't glue the roof down - no conversion necessary!) and removable second floors. The blue roofed house will probably represent a small inn.

I still need to add hedges and groundwork to their "backyards".

I'm now awaiting delivery for a couple townhouses. Enjoy until then!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tutorial: 15mm European City Park

Happy new year, everyone! As another year opens, another Adepticon gets nearer; so I have to step up terrain making over the coming months. Today, we'll build an ornate European city park using Kibri's HO scale Factory Fence with Gates (#9792). A box cost me a little over $12 shipped from Ebay and there are enough parts in the kit to make two of these 8"x8" parks or to use the extra around other city buildings. You can certainly use any type of fence you'd like (or even make your own) but this kit both looks great when complete and is pretty affordable compared to most 15mm resin cast walls.

Rare in the 19th century, by the 1930s, small fenced parks like this could be found in virtually every town in Europe. You could even use the whole Kibri kit to make a larger 1ft.sq. park like those found in larger cities. By the late war period, large city parks became critical features in the otherwise dense urban battlefields like Warsaw, Berlin, and Budapest (the latter was even used to land Fallschirmjager gliders while the city was entirely surrounded!)


  • Kibri HO 9792 Factory Fences
  • 2-3mm MDF/Hardboard base (8"x8", sand or bevel the outer edges)
  • Gesso 
  • Brown, black, grey, tan, and white acrylic paint
  • Black or Brushed Bronze spray paint
  • Flat spray sealant
  • Extra miniature, plasticard, or wooden pieces for a central statue, fountain, or memorial
  • X-acto knife
  • Ruler
  • Plastic Glue
  • White Glue
  • CA Glue
  • Clump foliage for bushes
  • Flocking or static grass

  1. Dry fit the fence bases together and figure out the dimensions you want your park to be. I used two long fence bases + 1 one-section piece to make the long edges, 2 two-section fence bases + one of the small gates to make the shorter edges. I've also placed the statue I'm going to use in the center to be sure I have enough room to fit infantry and tanks inside before gluing. I didn't put the fences right against the edge of the base, so it will look like a small sidewalk surrounds the property.
  2. Tint a small amount of gesso with a mixture of grey and tan acrylic paints. Gesso takes acrylic paint very easily so a little goes a long way! Cover the entire MDF base in gesso (both sides), allow to dry.
  3. While the gesso drys, spraypaint the wrought iron fence sections while on the sprue. Allow to dry.
  4. Assemble the fence bases in the configuration you want them. When complete, drybrush them with white acylic paint. 
  5. Using a ruler, draw a short line from corner to corner of the MDF base, where the lines intersect is the exact center of your base. This is where you will place your statue or memorial. Mark out a center "plaza" and connecting sidewalks (be sure to make your sidewalks intersect with the gates!).
  6. Make sure the MDF base has warped. If it has you can apply slight pressure to reshape it and/or recoat the concave side with gesso. If the base is good, glue the fence bases down with CA glue and apply downward pressure. When dry, apply a thin coat of flat spray sealant.
  7. Assemble the brick fence posts. To simulate mortar, paint all sides of the post with white paint and wait a minute or two. Then, place your dry index finger at the top of the post, apply slight pressure, and swipe your finger down the surface. This should remove the white paint from the brick surface and leave it in the crevices. If you're pulling off too much paint, less the pressure; if you're not pulling off enough, increase the pressure.
  8. Glue the fence posts to the bases, alternating gluing in the wrought iron sections. When complete, drybrush some white paint on the fence post caps and glue them to the fence posts.
  9. Assemble, paint, and glue down your statue or memorial. I used an OLD statue I'd assembled years ago and found little use for. It was made from plasticard and a Reaper Dark Heaven Priest miniature.
  10. Paint the base colors for your groundwork in black and/or brown acrylic. Allow to dry. Spread some white glue on these sections and sprinkle with flocking or static grass. Allow to dry (1hr at least, overnight is best).
  11. Pull off small portions of your clump foliage and glue down to the park to simulate bushes.

You're done! This is a quick project you can do in a day or even in several sittings during a weekend. The Kibri fences are really nice and save so much time, I really highly recommend using them. Here I used the fences as is, but shellholes and damage could easily be added with just a little more work.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tanksgiving 2014 at Chicagoland Games

My apologies for the delay in updating the blog. As per my previous post, we bought our first home last month and I've been unbelievably busy trying to keep up with closing, moving, and a myriad host of home improvement projects that have taken nearly all of my free time, outside of work and parenting. That said, this past weekend I had the good fortune to get a day off work to travel into the city to take part in Chicagoland Game's annual Tanksgiving event.

This was a homecoming of sorts for me, as the CLG Flames of War group used to be my regular when I lived in the city. It's been a couple years since we moved to the suburbs and over 2 years since I last joined in the fun of Tanksgiving 2012; so it was nice to see the old crew, meet some new faces, and shoot the shit with some of the coolest FLGS owners - Lexx and J.P. (they also run the X-Wing events at Adepticon, which are awesome and great fun, highly recommended).

This year's event saw 10,000 points of German Armour vs. 10,000 points of Allied Armour (most being US, with the odd Soviet thrown in for good measure). The board layout is pictured below. Each "section" has a white scoring zone - full platoons within the zone at the end of every turn win that side 1 VP, which worked well....until the second turn when pretty much every one forgot about bumrushing the zones and focused on clobbering the opposing sides' AFVs.

The table setup - Germans will be on the inside of the "L", Allies on the outside.

I chose to take Kampfgruppe Bake - the good Doctor himself, a platoon of 3 Panther Ausf. As, a platoon of 4 Tigers, a half-tracked Panzerspah platoon, and our trusty Bergepanther ARV. Facing me were J.P.'s US Tank Destroyer Company....inside the city. Seasoned commanders amongst you will notice the problem right now, the fact that I haven't played FOW in a year and a half may have fuzzed my strategic thinking.

On my left flank, in "Tiger Alley", was a Schwere Panzer Ko. with the ever-popular Otto Carius mounted in a Jagdtiger Platoon (Fun fact: Carius begged to be returned to his Tiger unit on the Eastern Front after he was wounded in action but ended up in the West and HATED the Jagdtiger because of its mechanical unreliability), a few Kongstiger platoons, and a Tiger platoon. Facing them would be a late Sherman Company and some US Pershings.

On my extreme left flank, we had two Panzer Kompanies (literally Pz IV tank hordes) vs. Tankovy and another US Sherman Company in the rural countryside. As much as the rest of the Heavy Panzers slugged it out with the Allies, this area would prove an AFV quagmire for both sides.

The cautious first turn didn't see much action. The close quarters of the city see the first points being awarded to both sides - my Panzerspah platoon and J.P.'s Shermans being fully in the zone. In the pic above, you'll see KG Bake supported by PzIVs of the SchwerePz Ko. to my left. The picture below shows the first kill of the game - one lonely PzIV. First blood goes to the Allies.

Turn two - the PzSpah and Shermans are still hanging out in the city zone. Not much action here......(wait for it).

Turn three - the first appearance of the dreaded US Tank Destroyers (in the tall grass at the bottom above), who KO one Panther. The Tiger platoon does better (knocking out several Shermans), but the Allies get a lucky shot in and KO a Tiger. It's loss will effect my tactics greatly in subsequent turns. (Finally!) Coming under fire from the Shermans, the PzSpahs are forced to disengage behind cover.

The extreme left flank action sees many medium tanks on both sides KO'd by this turn. The Soviet Tankovy are taking extremely heavy fire from StuGs of the Panzer Kompanie and the Jagdpanthers.

The end of KG Bake is drawing nearer. The next turn sees the TDs maneuvering behind my Panthers, forcing a double bail....almost on Bake himself! The good doctor is able to remount his ride after this and run away.

Baptism of fire. Facing a full platoon of US TDs, Shermans, and Stuarts; the PzIVs and PzSpah are totally eliminated.

The fall of Dr. Bake. There's not much left of the Kampfgruppe at this point, except from 2 lonely Tigers who will spend the next few minutes not doing much...

This is (unfortunately) the only shot I got of the late game "Tiger Alley" - the Tigers had been virtually eliminated at this point, letting the Pershings advance into the socring zone.

The Panzer Kompanies have advanced well forward at this point in the game and are starting to move forward, pushing out the Allies. However, with the developments in "Tiger Alley" and the city, their right flank will become untenable in the turns ahead.

This is the final shot, it speaks for itself. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Allies have won this sector. Unfortunately, I had a train back home to catch so this is it. I believe the Allies won....but the Germans gave them a bloody nose doing it. Happy Tanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

We're Moving And Making Room!

Well, it's been all of 5 years since I've played a game of 40K and, while I'm not ready to part with everything 40K (mostly because I could use it in Inquisimunda), I do have to par down some of my collection before we make the move to our first house. As such, the following items are for sale. Most of these are painted to a Good/Very Good Tabletop Standard (3-color minimum) and come from a pet-/smoke-free home.

Prices listed do not include postage. Also open to trades for FOW Panzer 38(t) and Armoured Trains (German or Polish), Hugarian Toldis/Turans/Nimrods OR Bolt Action 28mm ww2 stuff.

If interested, send me an email

FOW German Heavy Infantry Gun 15cm SIG33 Platoon (stripped) - $10

Solid Resin 15mm buildings (2 smaller buildings are repainted and flocked) - $10 for all 3

Eldar Guardian Squad (12 Guardians) with Dragon Forge Resin Bases (2x 60mm, 2x Flying Bases, 3x 40mm, 1x 25mm) - $20

FOW Hungarian Infantry Lot (75mm AT Platoon - NIB, HMG Platoon, 4x Officers, 2x Panzerschreks, 4x Panzerfausts, 2x Light Mortars, 8x LMGs, 45x Rifles, 7x Medium & 5x Small Bases) - SOLD

Ork Shoota Mob (17x Shoota Boyz, 2x Big Shoota Boyz, 1x Nob) - SOLD

Ork Slugga Mob & Trukk (11x Boyz & 1x Nob custom-assembled to look like hunters & trappers, custom-made Trukk built on GW Trukk chassis) - SOLD

Flames of War GE060 Panther D (new in blister) - SOLD

Horus Heresy books and Necromunda Junktion book - SOLD

Skorcha Wagon/Trukk (built from the frame of a GW Space Marine Rhino) - SOLD

Ork Trukk (scratchbuilt on GW Trukk chassis, removable gunner) - SOLD

Ork Lobbas x3 (scratchbuilt) - SOLD

Grot Mob (22x Grots, Ork Handler, Squig) -  SOLD

Ork Rokkit Buggies (custom-made from Ork bikes, bitz, and plasticard) - SOLD

Loota Mob (10x Lootas) - SOLD

MegaNobz Mob (6x OOP metal MegaNobz w/ Kombi-shootas) - SOLD