Long weekend hobby

We just had a long weekend and I wanted to do something completely frivolous. Here it is, my forest base version 2. Just needs some anti shine clear coat and its done.

Video to follow (...eventually)

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With everything I have half finished makes sense to...

With everything I have half finished makes sense to... start a whole new theater of operations.

Armed with my book Painting War 3: WWII Japan & USA Armies i'm looking forward to just painting rather then spending weeks on the research phase.

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229 Hits
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The beginnings of a new early war German army

The beginnings of a new early war German army for Rex, thanks Dan for the colours you know colour research isn't my favourite thing.

Still a couple of more things to do.

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1159 Hits
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Soviet reinforcements have arrived...

Soviet reinforcements have arrived... just in time as they need to fight at the MOAB Bolt Action event 0830 tomorrow. Although its only 7 guys its nice to have painted something from beginning to end and have them complete not just "90% done and I will sort the rest out later". My painting skill is improving again, another couple of squads and I will be back up to the standard I was at a 2 years ago. Interesting how with no painting getting done I had a noticeable drop in skill!

I have revamped my Soviet paint guide as well, more detail better layout. I will upload it to the files/download section when I have time.

Edit: there is the same thing with moving pictures... https://youtu.be/H9WDeZfXO0k?si=VoGt3usmqL1zc2u8

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1129 Hits
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Soviet Cav

​Found these photos of Soviet cav... I don't think I have shown yet. Looking back i'm pretty happy with them. Pity I only purchased and painted 3(!) less than useful.

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1120 Hits
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Rex's hobby update

Final decision: Angkor Wat, 'mostly' grey plus lots of greenery

Over the last few days, I have managed to find a bit more hobby time than normal. Mainly I have been obsessing and worrying over paint, techniques and paint colours for 3D printed building terrain. Having just received 25GB of new STL files from a recent fantasy building Kickstarter I'm need to have a specific (and good) recipe to go forward with. After toying with the great looking colour scheme, that was shown in the Kickstarter I have gone back and forward but settled on grey (yep the same grey that every other wargamer uses from age 14 onward has used). In my defence I'm inspired by the temple of Angkor Wat Cambodia so hopefully I will push it slightly past my 14 year old self.

I have been having difficulty using my normal method of brick/wall painting for a couple of reasons. 

  1. The spray on primer/paint seams to have changed recipe and 
  2. the new and improved technique of using XTC 3D or resin has proven to be not such a good idea as it nets a result that wont take a wash at all and behaves like some sort of weird contrast paint. 


I had also planned on some Gondor-white buildings for something else, that DID NOT work so I abandoned it this time round. Long story short I have the technique and can now move forward.


The beginning of something, some Normandy brick walls done. Everything else is WIP

The other thing I have been obsessing over is gaming mats. Since I stored away the realistic Primosole bridge board I have been dis-satisfied with almost all of the terrain mats I own for various reasons.
After toying with the idea of making my own terrain mat for 5 years and with my dissatisfaction for existing game mats coalescing, with having a couple of evenings free with no responsibility and I have all my ducks in a row!

  • Yesterday I gathered the required materials
  • Today I washed and dried my paint sheet to preshrink it and also to get rid of the heavy folds from it being packaged.
  • I think I have thought of everything (famous last words), roll on tomorrow!
5 years in the making, tomorrow is the day
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1087 Hits
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The master plan: #1 BIG armies, BIG battles...is that the plan?

Hi Dan here, the first in a series of occasional articles mapping out what's in my mind. 

So. What to do with the armies I collect that are getting bigger and bigger?

Or...is that partly the answer and not the question? Should I ask myself what collections should I invest time in to make them bigger? Or should I be enjoying making smaller themed armies for different theatres, different types of basing to denote different environments? 

The reality is that I could go in either direction and have fun collecting, modelling, painting and playing with my forces. The idea about being able to invest time in a small bespoke force is a great one, and one I've seized upon a number of times such as my 'small Fallschirmjager force to represent a part of the battle for Primosole Bridge'...look how that turned out! 

But one of my wargaming dreams /goals has always been to play BIG games of fully painted armies on the battlefield in WW2 battles. Ever since our mother bought me the Orbis book of 'Model Soldiers' and I salivated over a picture showing what appeared to be a corner of a larger battle incorporating an amphibious landing. Of course, I had -as a young boy- vast armies of 1/72 green and grey plastic 'army men' and tried to emulate the picture and had many many happy hours doing so! But now I want to do so with beautifully sculpted metal and plastic figures and terrain and build it on a scale where i can provide everything, yet others can join in games in my version of 'Valhalla"!

So...time for a Q&A for myself;

What Scale would I choose for these big collections and big games?

Bigger games in my definition are lots of figures, possibly (probably) multiple players per side, large playing areas. My vision is 28mm miniatures so they can be seen by players flanking each other while playing on a ( or multiple) long/deep playing surface. However...I already have 28mm in Historical WW2- armies that continue to get larger- so that's a no brainer for me. in Fantasy and 40k i have nice armies, but not huge armies so if i wanted to choose a different scale I could. And the same goes for other historical periods. For instance; I have a desire to do American Civil War ( ACW). I have a great start waiting for me in the Perry Miniatures Battle in a box set...but I have been thinking is that the right size for ACW battles? should I be into 15mm/12mm/10mm for it? The Warlord Games Epic Black Powder ACW starter sets in plastic are great value ( although the individual sets start getting more expensive than metal manufacturers for some reason...) and inspiring to perhaps be worth a look. Watch this space for decisions, lol. 


What periods would I collect figures & terrain for to play in Big, Big games?

The reality is that I would need BIG forces, that would be capable of splitting into decent commands for a number of generals to control in the games. its one thing to look at a 'big' force on your shelves at home, but when it hits a table the size of those in my vision it will be eaten alive by the table that wont even notice the tiny morsel! "Figures...Fahsounds of them, Sah!" are what is required.  But what periods? 

WW2..has to be. The original, and once again, love...of course! But what else?

ACW has interested me as above. Total painted ACW miniatures at the time of writing; Zero. But i DO have that big box of figures in the pile of shame, so...that counts, right?!

 Napoleonics. Yep...I have about 22 cavalry figures 'finished' for the napoleonic period ( a box of Hinchcliffe French Empress Dragoons that I bought second hand painted in a style 'of the time' (early-mid eighties i guess, judging from the Humbrol enamel finish)  because I had the opportunity and I wanted to own a Hinchcliffe unit because the brand is hand-in-hand with classic big wargaming at places like Peter Gilder's ( and those that have followed) Wargames Holiday Centre in the UK. 

 But I ALSO have a few boxes of Perry and victrix British in the that pile...and a desire to acquire Victrix French Guard Lancers, which are some of the most beautiful miniatures I've ever seen, so- that again, is an exceptional start, right?! 

On Balance I'd say I'm well ahead of the game then... I've just turned 49, and deciding to take on three periods that normally take collectors a lifetime to do one alone ( plus I have an unnatural desire to play the Sudan, but that can wait until I've knocked off these simple, short goals!!). And I've just been prescribed glasses in order to be able to hobby at point blank range in anything smaller than 1:1 scale. Simples! ;)

  But here's the thing; I'm inspired. And motivated. And this is making me make some SANE decisions along with the insane decisions we've talked about above; 

  •  Work on these goals for long term gratification and triumphant conclusion, and not to chase the next new game system on the block. LESS BREADTH, MORE DEPTH in what I do.
  • The fact that I do this may occasionally be less sexy and appealing as I grind out the next batch of 35 figures in the same uniform, but EMBRACE THE SUCK as I see those goals get closer with every unit I finish.
  • ENJOY THE PRICE, not PAY THE PRICE of the journey to completion. I enjoy the full spectrum of the hobby; Historical research, collecting, modelling, painting, and the wargaming. I also enjoy the spectacle- just enjoying the display or photos of a beautiful game, the figures and the terrain ( or truly scenery) on the table. The journey is as important to me as the destination, as the hobby as a whole continues to entertain, inspire and allows me to decompress from stresses in life, particularly work. Even the small things such as assembling and kit bashing/converting plastics are immensely satisfying to me. So while others might avoid the time it takes and prefer to get into painting metals quicker, I enjoy including both.
  • DIRECTION OF COLLECTION...i can look at things like what types of terrain, playing surface, buildings, even the ground cover based on theatres of battles/campaigns. I can narrow down and plan effectively, It  allows me to cascade these decisions down into workflow decisions and aesthetics such as coherent but versatile basing decisions for my troops bases.
  • TIMING IS EVERYTHING...Understanding and planning short/medium term goals such as games we want to play and record for our Channel, and working them into this greater long term, over-arching goal. For instance; I can base models for a summer historical engagement that we want to film as long as Im clever with the materials used I can then overpaint, apply snow, etc. But the reverse is more difficult and is likely to involved completely new physical bases. Doing urban bases on models can in the same way be changed to rural bases, if the 'rubble' doesnt contain walls etc, and the rubble is more gritty, with small pebbles instead of square edged bricks and the effect is gained somewhat from paint to get the effect. 


All these things can be well executed with effort and practice...as well as restraint and long term goals in mind! I'm learning how to do them better and better all the time. 

With all this in mind, I am quite enjoying setting out on my journey. I hope to achieve such armies as befits a warrior king to accompany him into the afterlife, as seen when I visited Xian a few years ago. I hope you enjoyed this brief outline of my intended trip into meglomania, and join me sometime soon for another installment of my 'Master plan' !. 

I'd be interested in your thoughts and feedback below as to whether you've tread this path, why or why not and any advice you may have- or disagree with. 

Dan 

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Progress photos - WW2 Soviet Naval Infantry

Progress photos - WW2 Soviet Naval Infantry... to follow check back on this page

'Finished' Soviet Naval Infantry…

I promised myself I would have these samples finished painting before the Kickstarter ended, well I'm finished… apart from: Faces/skin, eyes, hair, hats, any highlighting whatsoever, bases and detailing. (sad face)

Proof that time, tide, and Kickstarter wait for no man, hopefully they still show off the minis themselves and inspire just a little.
Get it while you can, only a few hours left.

Flank March Miniatures
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flankmarch/black-death

PS not a paid promotion I just love this guys stuff and was inspired when Dan and I interviewed him on Valhalla Games podcast. Ill put the paint recipe up here when I'm done.

Finished photos and Dan's efforts to follow...

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921 Hits
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Rex's hobby goals 2023 Update 3

Share your progress?

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710 Hits
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Ancient olive trees, the final result

Ancient olive trees, the final result (well, enough for the event tomorrow at least) I'm pretty pleased with these I sculpted the bases on the bottom of the trees along with the rocks (the centre one is by games workshop for comparison) and made the all flock from scratch. I have also finally worked out how to glue the flock on in a way that it will stay!

Here is more on the construction process: https://youtu.be/mzXmLBeq3lA

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Trees!

I needed some pretty specific trees in a hurry and the manufacturer the we used last time has gone out of business, so... here we go!

Reference photo
Continue reading
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750 Hits
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Rex's 2023 hobby goals status update

Rex's 2023 hobby goals status update. OK 3 weeks off with an ear infection didn't help my cause but I'm back now and that March 18 deadline is fast approaching.

Dan, give us an update on yours? fiends of Valhalla Games feel free to share your own goals for 2023. Your not going to achieve goals if you don't set any!*

*So long as goal setting is fun for you and a good way to motivate yourself.

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1026 Hits
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Podcast EP25: The completionist and 90% guy

Join Dan and Rex as they go on a rambling journey that somehow turns up a whole heap of nuggets talking about:

- Italian Campaign 80th Ann. Campaign Day Sydney Australia
- Hobby Goals for 2023
- Storage space for your hobby kits and a solution to maximize it
- Display solutions for your collections
...and a heap more! 

Subscribe in your podcast by searching for Valhalla Games or click on the image below to listen in the web player.

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1042 Hits
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New year, new Bolt Action army!

New year, new Bolt Action army for Rex. A quick look at my new (slightly used) army that I got in the post a couple of days ago.

What are your new years wargame army aspirations? Let us know in the comments.  

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680 Hits
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New display cabinet

This is where I keep all my fully painted minis... :-)

Seriously though this is my new [used] display cabinet. 

Apart from the false start with another one that didn't fit and the glass door breakage carnage, and the removal of noticeboards from the wall carnage which required a fill and full wall repaint and apart from all the masking and respraying of the slightly chipped black bits, it was an easy job. Only lights and top and bottom boards to be replaced, and new doors.

All that aside I'm looking forward to getting some minis out of boxes and putting them on display after 5 plus years of... 'negotiation' for the space. Its also bigger than it looks 600mm wide and 2100 high, industrial strength for lots of lead.

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840 Hits
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SelfCAD software for editing 3D files

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I have found an interesting bit of software for modifying 3D files. Its both powerful and intuitive for your average wargamer who really just wants to get the job done so he/she can get back to rolling dice.

SelfCAD (https://www.selfcad.com/) is a Freemium product that you can use to edit your 3D print files make changes, damage things, erase parts, join things together, split things, add pins etc. There is one caveat however, and that that is the Freemium product doesn't do all of the things mentioned above, you have to get the paid version, either on a monthly subscription or a one time purchase.

In the past I have used tinker-cad (https://www.tinkercad.com/) which is great especially for creating things from scratch but as soon as there is texture in the STL files they are too big to be edited in tinker-cad.

I have only used it a couple of times so far but below is an example of one job I have completed.

Consider the following 3D building, it looks good and prints 'ok' (not well but OK). Once its printed removing from the print bed becomes a major problem. Because the portico has no floor the leverage when removing each of the print bed contact points the leverage on the areas marked with arrows means that its going to snap 95 times out of 100.

​The following modified model has had a section of floor duplicated from the centrer of the building, trimmed, and added to the portico joining the columns etc to the main floor therefore removing most of the leverage on the breakable parts and reinforcing the whole section. It prints better as well.

The whole process took less than 10 minutes.

Final note, this is a wargaming blog not a 3D printing blog, if you would rather see less of this content (or more?) let us know in the comments below.

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1179 Hits
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Print smoothing for FDM 3D prints

Come on a 'print smoothing adventure' as Rex discuss options for improving 3D printed terrain and tests a newly discovered product for smoothing FDM 3D prints.
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772 Hits
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Old hobby project notes - Italian villa

I have been accused before of other thinking and over planning things and yes that is often true. But sometimes I even surprise myself! Someone asked for plans for the Italian foam building I made for Dan and put up on YouTube back in 2020 (here), you know, the good old days before pandemics etc.

I was half way though typing out a reply to say don't be silly no one would be that... [insert your preferred word here] :-) but then I went for a look and found this... (image bellow). To be fair I did "wing it" first then measure and document afterwards so in this instance I didn't over plan, perhaps that why it got finished.

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771 Hits
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Barricades and blockhouses

[Newsflash, we are giving away these STLs for free. Get them here:

https://www.valhallagames.net/index.php/downloads/download/6-paint-guides/31-bunkers-and-barricades-v1-stl-files]

I needed some barricades and blockhouses for my Primosole Bridge board and I couldn't really find what I wanted so I created my own from scratch in Tinkercad and printed them out. I'm happy with the result, I printed one of each then printed the barricades as a mirror image so I could have plenty but if I need more... just press print. Concrete blockhouses and barricades printed on a FDM complete with 'Mold lines & striations as part of the manufacturing process" without any extra effort! (Well that what I'm telling myself.)

The blockhouses will fit a 60mm base.

P.S. Dan, great idea I will also print some 'risers'; so that the MMG and antitank gun teams mounted on a 60mm base will be able to be see (and be seen) through the firing slit, has to look good for those photos!

Images below:

Note the round ones weren't made by me (But I did resize and do a fair bit of work on them)
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1593 Hits
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Commandos! a gift from my brother Dan

Commandos! A gift from my brother Dan fresh off the painting table! Dan saw these on Trademe (That's New Zealand speak for ebay[ish]) and snapped them up for me as he knew I wanted to get serious with my 28mm commando force. Not only that, he painted them for me as well! I have a cunning plan on how to base them, should be unique if I can get it right.

I love them and can't wait to get them in the post. only problem is that the commandos I have already are my first painted army, I have improved since then and I'm not sure they will stack up against these so the old ones are up for a touch-up (at least).

I bet you wish you had a brother that would paint minis for you! 

FYI they are Wargames foundry.

Love that guy checking his watch
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1845 Hits
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Latest podcast

Podcast EP24: A chat with Jon Russell:

The latetst podcast episode is live now. This should appear in your podcast app if you have subscribed (Search for valhallagames podcast in your app) or you can listen on web player (link below).

Podcast EP24: A chat with Jon Russell.

In this bumper episode, we are joined by Jon Russell of Warlord Games fame. In addition to his dedicated work for Warlord, Jon is a multifaceted wargamer and also veteran of many years service.

In this episode we spend time learning about Jon's wargaming pedigree, before learning more about his role at Warlord, the writing of 'Bolt Action: Korea', and Jon shares with us what he can about what Bolt Action V3 might look like, and the 'Raiders Attack!' Supplement that still has much life left in it.

All this plus Warlord event support, balance in tournaments and other definitely non-controversial(!), highly entertaining and informative topics. Sit back and enjoy a chat with Jon, and us, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Subscribe in your favourite podcast app (search for valhallagames) or click here to listen in the web player.

Don't forget to check out the YouTube channel at https://valhallagames.net/youtube

...and don't forget if you would like to support us https://valhallagames.net/patron