Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday 30 September 2023

Bounding Fire Tournament 2023 Prizes

This year the organisers of the ASL Tournament Bounding Fire have decided to broaden the prize table and so went for smaller dioramas with the theme being Allied Minors (in ASL terms). I came up with a couple of ideas and Simon was quick to agree so a nice easy decision and overall things went as planned.

First up was the Dutch Nimbus. This version being a motorcycle sidecar with a MG rather than the more famous anti-tank gun one. I could get the model but not the crew and all previous have been action dioramas so wanted that at least a nod to that.

The model was a ten part kit and being white metal rather tricky to put together put mostly the fits were good. Fortunately lots of photo's on line so was able to use images of restored originals as well as colourised photo's.

Rather strange equipment are modelled but these stand up to checking sources. Plenty of space on the base, originally bought for some 1/35 scale models I have yet to work on but they give these 28mm figures a bit of clout.

The second mini dio depicts one of the famous Polish cavalry charges which often are depicted charging tanks in error.

I bought a five figure pack of these guys so probably will do some of the rest at a later date. I had toyed with putting three on the base but felt it would be a bit too crowded. These are single part 3D printed and the details fine for 28mm but I would not want to scale them up further. Unfortunately two figures arrived damaged, one with the broken part in the package and the other missing a horses leg.

Whilst for the most part I worked in my standard acrylics I used oil paints for the horses to get a better blend from the darker legs etc to the lighter body and the texture and shine you can get with the oils.

Hopefully these will be well received and it's given me an idea for more affordable mini paints that I can add to be sale offer when I sell to the general public. Pieces like these would typically go for £35 including a plaque or £30 without.

Thursday 24 August 2023

Queue Jumper - Memory Lane

 I have been hanging my nose over a bunch of these old Matchbox kits, memories from when I was a kid and also first getting into wargaming.

Of course this is one of the models I never bought before. All my models were for Normandy and onwards. One thing that was a bit of a shocker was the colour of the kits plastic. White and electric blue. Good job I have some good primers.

One of the best things about Matchbox kits is that they come with a little mini diorama so that I can build the kit and have something to base them on. If all goes well with this one I will buy more as time goes on and look to sell them between £25 and £30 for most based on actual cost of the kits as they can be rather expensive. I have also heard that the decals tend not to be useable so the added cost of replacements has to be taken into account. However they should be fairly easy to post out.

Queue jumping? It's possible but I do have several pieces that can not be passed over on the go at the moment. Two mini dio's for Novembers annual ASL Tournament at Blackpool, Bounding First Fire. Unlike the previous years the dio's will be scaled down. This years theme is Allied Minors so we have a Dutch and Polish base to work on. I have finished the Dutch model and just need to do the base whilst the Polish figures arrived today.

I have also built the final figure for my 1/35 scale Tiger dio and hope to start painting the last two figures soon whilst working on the Poles.

Once that is done I hope to carry on with my Ice Cold in Alex mini dio but at this point maybe a T34 might also get into the action.

Sunday 20 August 2023

SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich Bust (SOLD)

 Another bust that was picked because it would give me more practice at creating leather effects. This bust was supplied by Mitches Military Models though currently the set it belongs to is currently not showing.

I used my late WWII German tank paints applied by airbrush to the plinth. Adding a Tiger Tank decal then weathered the plinth the same way I work on my tank models to give it a worn and weathered finish.

This is a V bust, that is a bust that does not have the arms and tend to be a more basic piece to work with but a big advantage is the speed that you can work on them and get them finished. This one is typical as it is just a two piece model and clean up next to nothing.

To this point this is the only SS bust I have worked on. I tend to choose other arms of the German forces as I am uncomfortable with the attitude some have to the SS. 

Originally put up for sale on Etsy it was immediately taken down which was my fault having used his full rank. Six months later I was suspended for having a German paratrooper bust in my shop. I simply let it be and come away from that platform.

The bust has been shipped off over the pond where a good few pieces of my work reside.

2021 Bounding Fire Tournament Prize

 Another commission for the ASL tournament held in November at Blackpool. This is the year I delivered the prize and played through the weekend, though not in the tournament.

A return to using water effects as the action is a river crossing and I made use of a DUWK model as the scenario includes them so why not. 

Rather than building the base up I shaved off part of the plinth so I could then add the water effects but keep a flatter base. Just like the Japanese bridge crossing from two years before I had to use two different water effects, one for the river and another for the explosion and the running/dripping water.

I was really pleased with the water drips, really gave movement to the finished model. The kit itself was a mix of resin body and metal parts for the more detailed bits. 

I was also happy with the home made sanctions for the barbed wire but I used razor wire for the barbed wire due to finding no 28mm substitute. Not really happy with the historical fudge though it does work well as razor fire as my fingers illustrated at the time.

I often include dead on my dioramas, the idea being to remind those looking at these models that war kills and is not a good thing. I pull back on gore, and heroics. A difficult balance as the finished model is supposed to be something to enjoy.

Friday 4 August 2023

The Ranger, A Fantasy Bust £35 plus post at cost.

 Not all the subjects I paint are strictly military. This guy fits into the non-military. Like most of my age group who grew up to have an interest in history I also read fantasy and at the time nothing seemed to touch Lord of the Rings and this bust has the feel of  the story. Can you guess the character?

Even with that in mind I did not want to paint up Strider, instead just another of the many nameless rangers that protected the people of Middle Earth from orcs and worse!

The bust was a two part kit so easily one of the easiest busts to build. I mostly wanted to build my skill at leather work and this was a great bust for that. Some of the worn leather detail was worked into the straps though most is achieved through painting.

With the majority of the bust being leather I had to make the hooded cloak and scarf stand out. I mixed the sensible green of the cloak to fade into the wilds with a strong blue to give a bit of punch. Both colours are rich so as to give the bust some life and pull the eye. The plinth by contrast had to be plain and yet not sink fully out of view. A plain airbrushed resin plinth allows the figure to stand out whilst the plinth neither detracts nor is missing.

Due to the sturdy construction I am happy to post anywhere in the world confident in it's safe arrival. Post as always at cost.

Thursday 3 August 2023

Bounding Fire 2022 Trophy

 After chatting with a friend who wanted to see some of the older work that had not made it to this blog even if they had made it to the ASL blog as in the trophies for the Bounding Fire tournament. This like the others is a 28mm diorama making use of the very wide range of WWII wargaming figures and models out there. As such if anyone wants to commission something and have ideas let me know and we can discuss possibilities.

Every year the winning prize is based on a scenario from the tournament, usually the final round. I tend to playtest the scenarios so have an idea of a scene to depict. This one seemed perfect for the prize.

Unlike the others, this would only have the one figure, this being a German firing a Panzerfaust at the Churchill AVRE tank. Of course this meant the figure had to be a bit special so I was rather happy to find this figure decked out in a camo smock. Thus more details and as I removed the missile from the sculptured flame and added my own replacement flame and smoke, plenty of smoke.

The scenario was set in Bocage country, perfect to add a lot of foliage. I built a bank that bocage typically sat on top of making the dense hedges so much more difficult to cross.

I attached the cut off warhead to a piece of metal rod glued to the panzerfaust tube. This gave a dramatic miss and all the smoke and flame helps disguise the rod.

The Churchill is climbing out of a wheat field, something of a challenge in itself due to the density of the wheat to look right.

As with the larger tank models this was subjected to layers of oil paints to build up grime and paint wear then various pigments were added to give the effect of mud, dirt and dust. 

Of course the part that takes up most of the time to create is the hedge itself, the basic soil finish is my go to sand and texture paint mix with painted high and low lights. This was done over florists oasis foam that I drilled oh so many holes and fitted in lots of foliage from a dozen different pacts to get a very varied finish. 

I would guess at between 70 and 100 separate stalks of foliage ended up in the finished model. Not all of them can be seen as the tank sits on a good few. These still needed adding to allow the tank to bed into them realistically. For the grass I used three different height strands with more yellow based next to the hedge and greener healthier grass as it moved away.

I really enjoyed making this diorama, the amount of detail that can be put into this scale is really nice as the footprint is quite reasonable and as such does not take up too much space. Compared with 1/35 scale dio's which whilst making a real statement can be just too big for some tastes. 

I am toying with buying the old 1/76 scale Matchbox WWII kits that came with mini dio bases. Generally the decals are shot and need replacing but lots of nostalgia and typically easy to post.

Wednesday 19 July 2023

101st Airborne Lt Winters/Damon Lewis Bust £150

The excellent bust by Nuts Planet representing Lt Winters as played by Damon Lewis in the TV series Band of Brothers is finished.

I was really impressed with the quality of the casting and level of detail. The bust comes in quite a few pieces and it was a bit of a challenge to work where some of the parts needed to go.

Painted in acrylics, mostly Andrea colour sets. The uniform and webbing all have similar colours so I made a lot of use out of the same set but using the two different base colours to tie them in whilst setting them apart.

The uniform and webbing had in excess of six layers of colour to give good depth and highlight/shade contrasts allowing the cloth to be more interesting and realistic.

The sculptor really captured the actors face making this busts subject easily recognisable, again Andrea colour sets were used. The six o'clock shadow was tricky to do but lots of thin layers building up the effect. 

The aging of the leather is a mix of fine lines and washers of thin paint with varying mixes of technique depending on the leather or look I was after.

Metalwork was rather dull for the most part so mixed several different metallic paints to get the right finish. Then increased the silver content for some of the edges to show the burnishing that would occur when rubbed against cloth etc.

The carbine was a major change of materials as the wood grain was gained through use of oil paints over acrylic whilst the metal work used the base paints as above but then special pigment powder was added and buffed to give a more realistic finish to the gun metal.

The bust and plinth stand just under 20cm in height, the plinth is made of oak with the original resin rod connecting to the bust. The bust has been treated to multiple thin layers of matt varnish applied by my airbrush ensuring a good protective coat without any chance of fogging etc.

Unfortunately due to the number of thin or fragile parts this bust can not be posted so would be collection or hand delivery. I am happy to deliver in a s
50 mile radius for no extra charge. The cost for a greater distance would have to be agreed prior to buying.