28 Feb 2014

Insurgency rising - part 3

Hello guys,

I know I've promised you the zombies (and I do have them painted and photos prepared!), but I've also painted three insurgents and I figured I should show you those, first.

I have decided to paint three at a time, so it doesn't get too overwhelming. I found out with zombies, that painting 4 already makes me much more sloppy. And I also blame it on the brushes, I think it's time to buy some new ones :P.

Anyways, I've picked three from the first batch of converted 5. I didn't want to start with support weapons, but as two of 5 figures were further converted (I've been adding pockets to their pants, so I can legitimately paint them in camouflage :D), I've just picked the remaining three.

Here they are:
From left to right, we got a rifleman, LSW guy (I've decided the weapon is M72, so I hate calling it RPK :P), and an AT guy (same thing as with RPK...yes, I can be picky when I chose to be :D).

Rifleman is your ordinary militia guy. He wears civilian clothes, but he has managed to get a decent vest for his magazines. He is one of those that you see on the news and you think for yourself....why the hell would anyone be dressed like that in combat? Well, he might not wear sandals, but trainers aren't much better. All the dirt on his clothes does prove that he is a dedicated fighter, nonetheless.

Chubby LSW guy probably has either former military experience or has been an insurgent for long enough to be trusted this high class weapon. He carries his ammo in a rucksack and I should seriously sculpt some magazines in the pockets I've sculpted to fit mags in. In combat, he probably puts rucksack down for stabilisation (even if the weapon has bi-pod legs, too) and he can easily take magazines out of the rucksack then. He wears a lot of green and camouflage pants.
I went for a camouflage pattern that is on my uniform (Yugoslav tiger stripe). I bought the uniform 6-7 years back (and it still doesn't quite fit me :( ) as I was doing Airsofting back then. It is (was?) used here by the police special forces (not the Army) and it's quite sexy looking. The photo on the link is a bit dark, but the point is light green base and brown and green strokes. I think it came out decent enough.

I have a bit of a love- hate (okay, like-dislike) relationship with the last guy. I am really happy with how the RB M57 (:P) came out, given it was sculpted in two goes. I have painted it too dark, but I think it's still very recognisable. I have to say that the guy is not aiming with it, but more like scanning. When I'll do "aiming guy", I'll make sure his hands are closer to the body, as this one would get burnt by the back blast. Also, what I dislike is the civilian suit, but I got a personal justification to make me feel better. He used to be a bodyguard, before he joined the "cause". His ample experience in body guarding and previous military experience were apparently good enough to trust him with group's heaviest weapon. This makes Kevin Costner here both stylish and deadly. But mostly deadly.

I had quite a lot of fun painting those and overall, I'm happy with how they turned out. I have decided for same bases as I use for Strange Aeons (instead of Zombie's concrete grey), but I will go wild with the foliage. I bought a lot of stuff at Salute (3+1 deal :P) and I bought some more even before that, and it should get used now. I can't wait to put purple and yellow flowers all over their bases! But I've decided to do that on groups of 10 or more.

Thanks for looking,


25 Feb 2014

Insurgency rising - part 2

 Hello guys,

I got another five insurgents done (as in converted and probably not really completely just yet!).

This time I got a leader, 3 guys with small arms and another LSW guy, so nothing really new.

I also took some comments into account from previous batch and I've done some changes to the first group of five.

Below is the first batch shown again. I've found peak hat too goofy, so I've swapped it for a baseball hat on the leader. The AT guy seemed too blank, so I've added a sort of a metal canister for two rockets on his back. Canister's dimensions are made completely by the eye and it just roughly resembles the real thing. I've also just remembered it needs clips to hold the lid closed!
The LSW guy got a scarf to help him hide his identity when needed, but it came out way "metro". Those heads really don't seem too "evil".
I have decided to sculpt some ski masks on some (more on that later in the post) and I've decided to give one to the awkward posed molotov guy. He wears his as a hat and he has not covered his face. If you look really closely you will notice an indicated mouth hole on the rim of the hat.
Last guy hasn't been modified any further.

Below is the next batch. We got a leader, a LSW guy and three small arms guys. They all have different weapons, which is more due to how the sprues are made than anything else, really.

Leader of this group had more work done than the rest. He is made from the "baseball bat" guys and it took me days to notice on of his hands was long and other short sleeved. His arms were cut at different angle to try and indicate he is giving his unit a sign to stop or double-time it. Probably the latter, as he is in the movement. He holds his rifle with one hand and it could probably benefit from a sculpted strap for his gun...but then again, so could everyone else so I've decided to leave it out. As his rifle is of western design, so is his vest. He carries a lot of equipment and he might just be one of the international fighters that have came to Evergreen to fight for the "cause".
LSW guy has the same weapon as the guy in the first batch. He was given the chest ring vest as most of others and a ski mask. I've decided to make some of the insurgents look as veteran warriors, in case I'd want to distinguish hardened fighters from local militia.
Third guy, and first of the "ordinary riflemen" is armed with an SA80 rifle. He is just reloading his rifle. His chest ring will probably get more work to make it a bit more complex than the standard "AK" one, but that's a minor thing.
Next guy is armed with M16 and uses the same body as the AT guy in previous batch. I can "only" use 9 of 10 models from the sprue as kid would seem out of the place among the insurgents. This guy came out really wrong. Instead of giving an impression of insurgents, he seems like a hipster. He's got a scarf and, god forbid me, a single bag. I figured some wouldn't be able to get the proper military vests so they'd have to work with what they got and it came out wrong. I think I need to at least sculpt some pockets on his pants to make them look more military.
Last from this batch is one of my favorites. He has his equipment stored on a belt (and would really need some straps or his back would break carrying all that) and wears a ski mask. I will most probably cut a mag from an extra AK. He doesn't wear vest with extra mags, so he'd have to stick two mags together for a faster reload. I tried sculpting it but it turned out to be way too much effort. I will still be able to use the AK I will take the mag from as a bit of a scenery in a safe house or weapons cache.

 Below, you can see the backs. Straps on the LSW guy had to be fixed as they broke. Overall, they have very rough finish, as the first batch, but it should be fine for what they are.
 Below are two close up shots. It's a beautiful day outside and I can't really find a position to shoot photos where a light would be only behind me, so they came out a bit bad. Still, the general idea of what I'm trying to show can be seen.

That's it for today,

I'll show you some zombies again next time and in the mean time, I have to decide what to do with the insurgent's bases and if I'd want to build more or just paint some next.

Thanks for looking,

20 Feb 2014

Insurgency rising - part 1

 Hello guys,

as soon as I got the box of WGF Survivors: the men (for newcomers, yes, I'm slow on the new toys :D), I had to crack it open and have a go immediately. I have decided to work on 4 figures at a time, but I've decided on 5 as I progressed. And then I made 10 in two days...

Anyways, for first batch of five, I just went down the list from FOF Quick start rules. I made a leader, who is a normal rifleman that has to stand out a bit, two riflemen and one each of RPG gunner and a SAW gunner. They have been done in two sessions so, they're kinda crude, but I think it's good enough. Only thing missing is perhaps a scarf or two around some heads. They are meant to represent westernish insurgents, so the traditional arabic scarf is really not what I want every miniature to have.

Below is a bad photo of all 5 of them (leader, RPK, RPG, AR, AR), but I was never much of a photographer.

 On a close up of the three rifles armed guys, you can see a leader with an M16 and two riflemen with AKs, one of them having a molotov cocktail.

I would prefer them all having AKs if that would be possible, but given the arms combinations and all, I've decided I'll also keep in some M16s and even SA80s (so US and UK rifles). They are all the same as far as rules go and not that I feel the need to justify my hobby, they could've bought the M16s on the black market and have gotten SA80s from the same source.

Miniature on the left is a leader. He has a vest under his long coat and a radio showing. Radio will be a defining feature of all my leaders to help with identification..but I think radios won't be the most noticeable things once the miniatures are painted. I've given him the peaked hat for the laughs, making him a bit more "easternish" and I'm not yet decided if I really like it - what do you think?
He was given an M16 because it suited the body out of the box. It made sense for a leader to be equipped with a "better" rifle (where better means more exotic so we can avoid the argument :D).

First rifleman, the ordinary Joe, is a young man reloading his AK. As most (but not all) of other insurgents, he has a chest webbing for 5 magazines. I'm not sure if the number is correct for any vest in the existance, but that's how many I could make and thats what I went with. Again, I'm not particularly bothered as long as it looks correct. All the pouches are way too thin, but I wouldn't want to make them so thick that it would ruin the positioning of the arms.

Second rifleman was a bit tricky. It's a guy in the overalls and he has a machete and a beer can/molotov in his other hand. I've cut the machete and put an AK on it's place (the arm is still holding a knife's grip, so it looks a bit too large up close). I've turned the arm around a bit to make him look like he is sprinting in cover/position to throw his molotov or something. I figured it looked kinda cool but it actually came out kinda silly. I don't like miniatures with too much movement in them. Also the bottle needs fixing as I've cut too deep. I didn't want to have it, but I had no better idea for it, either.

Moving to support weapons, now that was fun! I needed an RPG and an RPK (or something similar).
RPG stands for a rocket propelled grenade if we're talking about TYPE of weapons, but RPG-7, the weapon would stand for hand-held  anti-tank grenade launcher. Grenade not being an actual grenade as in 40mm grenades, but a mine. Complicated much? Not nearly! I've opted for sculpting my own, to see how hard it can be. I've decided to make a RB M-57. It's about as old as RPG-2, but it's said to be one of the best from it's generation. I'm a bit emotionally attached to it as my dad used it when he was serving YPA in 1980, when this weapon was already obsolete. It was also used in Balkan wars with quite some success. I figured my insurgents could get their hands on some of those, where they'd be used against infantry just as successfully as any other RPG, while being less effective against tanks. To complicate things more, this isn't strictly an RPG. With RPG-7, grenade has it's own rocket (hence rocket-propelled) that gives it extra speed. With M-57, the mine files only as fast as the launcher "throws" it. The launcher was recoilless as the blast was counter-forced with some sand that came out from back of the tube. So, every time it was fired, a huge puff of smoke was seen. Life expectancy of a man firing that during cold war was 15 minutes or so, before snipers would pick them off.

On photo below, the assistant gunner is armed with PAP M59/66 nicknamed "papovka", PAP stands for semi-automatic rifle. It's a  Yugoslav version of SKS and has nothing to do with my miniatures :P.

RPK is what you'd call a light support weapon. Basically an AK with longer barrel and a bipod. Not even a fully functional light machine gun as the barrel is not quick-changeable. Those are dead easy to convert, as I just have to cut the barrel and replace it. At first, I tried to be fancy and I wanted to trill through aiming point and under upper barrel part. It didn't work as they're too fiddly. I've just cut it all off then and replaced with some wire, measured by the eye.
I know you all love fun facts, so here's one! My RPKs are actually M72 light machine guns - you've guessed it, a Yugoslav made RPK. Difference is in the stock (and a barrel, but that's not noticable in 28mm :P) - for a "real" RPK, I'd have to work on the stock, as well! Isn't that cool?



I better get my coat now...

Thanks for looking,

17 Feb 2014

Modern combat: The plan!

Hello guys,

my hobby mojo has been returning this month and while I got a minor lead pile yet to paint, I've decided to get a bit more active in my moderns project.

The plan is to game 28mm Force on Force campaign, set in a made up place called Evergreen Island, who's capital city, Evergreen Fields is also a setting for my Zombie Campaign that then never happened.

I haven't quite figured out the exact background for the campaign, but for some reason, Slovenian army would engage in firefights with local insurgents. It would be mostly infantry firefights, as two humvees and a T-90 are all the armoured vehicles I got at the moment, but if I'll ever find a great deal, that could easily change. T-90 will have to be my proxy for any other tank needed, but I'm not too picky.
For the "good guys" I have decided to give it a shot and sculpt Slovenian soldiers. I am at the rifles at the moment (been there for months), but I have already bought two Empress pilots to help me with the size and proportions. At this point, I have to thank Bryan the Savior for letting me have the order sent to him and he has sent it to me, which came out a lot cheaper in the end. I've decided to only buy the two pilots that I'd like to convert into an APC crew...roughly. I didn't want to buy any of the actual fireteam packs, as I would prefer to buy the 4 pack deal some time in the future.

Given I'm sculpting the Slovenes, they probably won't get ever cast (unless they'd happen to be very interesting to someone :D). My immediate goal is to make the weapons and then sculpt two 4 man fire teams. Then I would add the Eureka or Empress UK/US/GER/FRA or whichever, packs, to compliment them with heavier weapons and to boost the numbers where needed. In real life, Slovenes are often attached to bigger nation, so makes all the sense. The primary nation would be Brits, as US are simply too represented and UK range is large enough. Judging only by the looks I like French the most.

Below are some WIP photos. Troops, weapons and heads are all based on Ebob's work. If you are reading this, thanks again!
Hasslefree, EBob based "Slovenian", Empress, Artizan

Hasslefree, EBob based "Slovenian", Empress, Artizan

All four dollies (one in a very bad shape) compared to a ruler and Empress pilot

With their planned heads - bodies need much, much more bulk!

Weapons: RGW90, Minimi para, F2000S GL and 2x F2000S (for red dot and 4x optics)

They look like shit on photos, but I think they aren't THAT bad in RL. Barrel will be 2/3 shorter.

Minimi by Ebob, I've added optics, cloth ammo pouch and "para" stock

RGW 90 or MATADOR, needs some cleaning up

Weapons compared to WGF survivors box. Mind that RGW and M16 are both 100cm long IRL. By lenght RGW is closer to 1/56

As for the "baddies", the insurgent militia, I got a great idea for this one! As my campaign would be set in western-ish word (most closely related to Kosovo and Bosnia I guess), the Wargames Factory Survivor - the men seemed like the best option. The box doesn't have enough AKs for everyone, but I'll just substitute them for some M4s and SA80. Support weapons are a bit problematic. I'd need RPKs, which are just long barreled AKs. I assume I could convert them. RPGs are more problematic, as they are only available in female set. I've got one from Carl, owner of Grekwood miniatures. He has added two panzerfaust from some sci-fi troopers, but they're largely overscale - perhaps they could be a vehicle borne home made anti-tank weapons for technicals? I will try and sculpt the missing weapons myself, but if anyone has any extra RPGs or MG42 (yes, the WW2 german machine gun) laying around, I'd gladly accept them :P.
Insurgets-to-become all stacked up. Some extra weapons Carl has put in a pack for me. Thanks!

 According to the Force on Force quick start rules, I'd need 4 leaders, 17 guys with assault rifles, 3 guys with RPK and 4 guys with RPG. This seems like a good starting force so I'll stick to that plan. I might also make one sniper and eventually, I'll add some heavier machine guns and anti tank weapons to the force.

Forces on modern battlefield also encounter civilians regularly. Force on Force has them in mobs. I've decided to convert some zombies to be more "alive" looking and giving them some banners. They will act as the front row civilians. The mob will be filled with actual zombies I've painted so far to add the masses and to get some dust off them. I'd love a dedicated civilian mob, but that is far down my to-do list.

It has been a bit of a long post, but hopefully photos helped. If all goes as planned, I should have some wips to show twice a week!


15 Feb 2014

Some conversions


to move on with a hobby, I got some photos of what I've been doing lately. I am sculpting guns for my moderns project (more on that in next post) and as each stage takes only a little, little putty, I tend to use the excess on conversions and other, "lesser" projects.

Below are some zombie conversions. One is a Mantic Zombie turned Fat batman. He is supposed to be a cosplay nerd from a convention that turned bad. Apocalyptic bad! Hue hue hue!

Other one is a Studio miniatures sexy shirt-torn guy. You really don't need more than one of those (and even in that case, that is one too many). I have decided to make him a riot policeman or a soldier, but while I was working on his body armour, decided to make a war correspondent. He must have been late to the show, but his puny protection couldn't save him from ending the same way as his "headline news".

Last one is another mantic zombie. It's one of my first conversions, a Tongue zombie from NMRiH book. I have just added some rags to him, nothing overly complicated, really.

 I've also added a small bag to one of my TAG survivors. Nothing special here, but it helps adding character to the miniature.

Below are five bodies I've sculpted over the past few months. They are nothing special, mostly a "putty dump". As I plan on sculpting more now, I've also started working on another five. I have five done and painted, that have proven to be great scenery.

Lastly, here are 4 of Ebob's dollies for my modern project. They break a lot, but then again, that's what makes them easy to pose. The kneeling is broken, as I've managed to throw a book on them during the black out. It sucks, but it's nothing I can't fix with some putty and perhaps some glue.

Thanks for looking,

12 Feb 2014

Necroleadicon turns two!


yesterday was my blog's second birthday! The time really flies by - I made a quick pass through my posts around last year's february and I couldn't believe most of my youngest terrain is a year old already! I am a bit reluctant to build anything larger until I find a job, but I have painted and sculpted quite a lot last year.

While 2013 was more than obviously a Strange Aeons year, I am slowly restarting  a new project for 2014 - modern infantry combat. The project was started months ago (remember humvees?) and I've been doing some sculpting (remember the rifles?). Now I've ordered some miniatures and I am full of confidence and enthusiasm that I hope will stick with me. But more on that in my next post (as usual)!

I actually wanted to post on 1st february and I had (I've managed to delete it somehow) post all written. I took some photos of my WIP sculpts and before I could put them on my computer, it has happened - the black out. Not counting few hours of blackout on friday, we were without electricity from 1st feb until yesterday. Even now electricity is provided by larger portable generators, so the bigger machines aren't working too well. All this included, I might as well dedicate a post to what people here like to call "the worst catastrophe in history of an independent Slovenia". Emphasis on "independent", to make things sound a bit less horrible :D. I might add I had this post written yesterday morning, but our power was cut just before I could publish it!

So, what has happened was frost. Lots of it. We were expecting rain on that first february weekend and I for one was looking forward to it. As any sane man living under the Alps, I dislike snow. But the thing was, the freezing rain proved problematic. Long story short, the electrical lines are mostly damaged, I've heard 40-50% of forests are also damaged (around half of the country is covered by forests) and there has been incalculable damage - estimated three years will be needed to clean it all up, passenger train on a line Ljubljana - coastline won't go anywhere until May, orchards are damage. Just imagine how many companies were out of business etc etc.
As for us, there is no large property damage. My parents had to work from family friend's house as their work can't wait. I am home most of the time either way, so I was reading a lot. And sleeping...but mostly reading, there was enough . We had running water, provided by generator, but it was freezing cold as our heating needs electricity. As do lights (doh), stove, refrigerators, aquariums etc etc. Luckily, we have a fire place that was a nice source of heating for the ground floor - my room is pretty much uninhabitable due to cold. We got a gas stove from somewhere, so food wasn't much of the problem, either. After some days, we borrowed small generator from an extended family so we afforded to watch a film or two every night . I haven't been to bed that early in a while now! So it really wasn't too bad all in all. Just annoying.

I managed to do some limited sculpting and painting, too. I'll show what I've done in future posts, and I'll just post some photos I took to let you know how it all looked like (it all melted in a day or two, oddly enough):

This was our driveway on the first day or so. In retrospective, I'd prefer shoveling snow than breaking ice with a hoe, shovel and a pick.
Add caption
This roof is pierced and it's about all damage we had, not counting the trees

generator providing us with running water

That's an "emergency" pole. I case of another freezing rain, those will all break I suppose

That's how most of the forests look like. Not many pine trees have kept their tops

That's from a town close by. Another town in other direction mostly kept its electricity

That's a generator that provides energy for my sister's apartment block. I heard it uses 300 liters of diesel every hour.
Not much else to add really. I'd just like to compliment the emergency services that were and are working outside in cold rain and snow...from electrical engineers to firemen, policemen, soldiers and all the foreigners that came here. I wasn't too informed as walking outside was literally lethal, but I haven't heard any complains regarding the work of people working 24/7 to make sure people got electricity as fast as possible.

Back to hobby in few days,