Saturday, April 28, 2012

Country Life for the City Dweller

 My girlfriend is a great sheep enthusiast, but apartments in Brooklyn New York often don't have enough room to house humans and a flock comfortably. Nevertheless, I wanted her to have some livestock of her own, so for her birthday I made some pasturage and some sheep to graze in it. They were a hit.

Now, it turns out that there are a number of options for people looking for sheep in 25mm scale, and they vary in quality. The only ones I could get in time were from Old Glory, and I confess they look a little goofy. Their faces remind me of sock monkeys. I've promised to upgrade at a later date, probably to Foundry ones, though she is already a little attached to these guys.

The base is MDF, the groundwork is Sculpt-a-mold, and the water is simply hand painted and coated in gloss finish to give it a watery shine. Various sources for the plant life.

Last of the Relic Carthaginians

 I've done up a few more Carthaginian veterans from Relic, to finish out the set of eight, and thought I would put up some pictures of the group.

As long as you angle up the arms of folks in the rear rank, everyone fits together nicely.

Once again I've done the shields freehand, starting with some Roman designs on two of them and adding ornamentation over them. The Carthaginians took over captured Roman equipment, so I wanted to make them look explicitly like they had had previous owners. 

Next up for me is a large bunch of Gauls, so stay tuned!

Monday, April 23, 2012

1:1200 Langton Ship - English 5th Rate, Anglo-Dutch Wars

Here is another Langton 1:1200 naval miniature, this time an English 5th rate from the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century. Actually, this is not a subject I had ever intended to take on - it was a mistaken click I made on an online order form while aiming for a 5th rate ship of the Napoleonic period, a little over a century later. A centimeter on a computer screen, and a hundred years in history. But I figured that since I had the piece I might as well do it up as best I could.

I have realized since completing the model that not only have I made a few errors in the rigging, which is not quite accurate for the period, I have positioned the triangular lateen sail on the mizzen mast in the wrong orientation. I have the short side at the bottom of the sail, when actually it should be the rear-most side. I guess I'm just not as familiar with the ships of this period!

Besides those mistakes, I'm pretty happy with the piece, and with Langton's crisp details. Now, back to the 19th century future.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

1:1200 Langton Sloop

Inspired by the beautiful work over at Mike's Leadpile, I have tried my hand for the first time at a 1:1200 naval piece, a Langton Miniatures English sloop of the Napoleonic Wars period. I have been a big fan of Langton models for a long time now, but previously had only attempted their 1:300 kits. This was a rather different experience, but still a lot of fun.

The kits are nicely detailed, considering their size, and the concessions to the scale are few. The masts and bowsprit are maybe a little clunkier than they should be, but that's a limitation of casting white metal so small. The sails and ratlines are photo-etched brass, and give a nice effect.

Building and painting were very quick and straightforward. By far the biggest challenge on a ship this small is in rigging the model. I've used 'invisible thread', a synthetic mono-filament that I think is made for quilters who don't want certain stitches to be visible. It is pretty easy to work with, very strong for its size, and holds its tension well. After gluing in place (avoiding having to tie knots, which put too much tension on the metal masts) I painted it with a slightly thinned-down concrete color. I then went back and touched up any glossy glue points with some matte finish so they wouldn't catch the light. The black lines, representing tarred 'standing' rigging, are a thicker thread. Synthetic fibers work best for rigging, as they don't have the fuzz that natural materials have.

Anchors are spare pieces from a GHQ kit in the same scale. No anchors are included in the Langton kit. Flag and pennant are Langton.

Here is a comparison shot to show the actual size of the model......

...and one with reference to another common measurement: