Saturday 28 December 2019

Knights of the Round Table (Pt5)

The Arthurian bods haven´t been forgotten

Sir Brunor le Noir. Argent Lion rampant gules
His C-o-A is also describes as having White Background but the Lion is chequered in black and red. Not only is this very difficult to paint (as my attempt Shows) but the colours won´t show in this scale

Sir Gawain Purpure two headed eagle or

Bods and Gawain´s nag from Tumbling Dice, Brunor´s nag from Italeri.

That makes ten Round Table knights..boss and another yet to come to complete the main 12 but more are planned.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

British Infantry in Advance 1701-1714 (Strelets)

I had to get them and they were to be drafted into  Colonel Jerimiah Coleman´s Fusiliers but they are a wee bit smaller than the bods already used , ie; From Zvezda or Italeri.
Still, they are lovely sculpts and as  Bodstonia could do with some sort of foe to keep them on thier toes,  they have been re-assigned as troops from Zvezdonia, a principality on the mainland of Plastasia.

The 1st Regiment of the Zvezdonian Imperial Army
44 bods, 4 sprues of 10 inf per sprue and one command sprue with 4 bods.
Pictured are Just the marching poses. The rest will get used up on another Regiment as and when the other sets appear. 

The molded Flags I removed. Easy enough in this case with minimal Damage to the bods but, I´ve said it before, why do manufacturers even bother to add them? At least this lot don´t have a molded pattern on them but still, painting them, even flat ones without a molded pattern,  is a complete pain. Even simple patterns are difficult, as shown on the painted versions over at PSR (HERE)
Easy rules;
1. Just label the bod as a Standard bearer and give him the flag pole without any flag or just a ring Hand so a flagpole can be added.
2. Don´t drape the flag over the bod making it difficult to remove or paint.
3. Have the flag, wether flat, draped, with or without a molded design,  seperate from the bod so the flag can be easily removed by cutting the flag pole.

The designs. I went for something  with a bit of an  "Imperial" and mildly menacing look and  Fitting  to the mid 18th Cent. IMHO, two headed eagles fit the bill.
The yellow version will be the Zvezdonian Imperial flag. The green one is the regimental one  to match the Cuffs.
I know. The flags are actual ones but now they are Zvezdonian
The Cords were made with the  thread that is used to hang up the  X-Mas tree chocolate decoration Things.

The officer sprue,which includes the two Standard bearers,  had a lot of Flash and removing it was not that easy, leaving the bods with a "bitty" appearance
The Colour scheme I picked is a bit X-masy which fits to the time of year. The basing won´t stay like it is. 

Oh!..and happy X-mas :-)

Sunday 22 December 2019

Jeanne d’Arc la pucelle

I knew I´d painted her but pics of her are hidden in the depths of the blog (or gone with the demise of TinyPic.*)  and only recently did I find her again in the depths of one of the storage boxes.
She deserves her own post so here it is.

Of Course she gets added to the Medieval Lords and Ladies list, and she brings the females represented up to a total of 4 from 124 personalities.
Shamefull state of affairs really, considering how many (in thier own right) successfull, influencial and powerfull females there were in the medieval period.

She was, even taking some of the stories with a pinch of salt, an amazing Person.
The site  Jeanne d’Arc la pucelle from which I´ve borrowed the titel for this post,  is an exceptional Collection of stuff about her. Well worth a look if not a read.

*A Problem I am slowly but surely rectifying by replacing the downed links from back up files..a laborious  Task. Some Posts will eventually be deleted due to minimal or irrelevant content, 10 or more have already gone.
Oddly, the pics still Show up on searches, just Nothing to see when linking to the blog.

Thursday 19 December 2019

More mixed Kniggits

This lot came more or less painted but I´ve  repainted bits and pieces and based them.
A mix of C-o-A´s, some based on reality, some, as far as my Research has led me,  made up.
The ones with a base in reality.
The three black bars on yellow? Used by quite a few places and People. The town arms of Inchy-en-Artois, Puygouzon, Beutal or the Family arms of Corbel Corbeau de Vaulserre or Kielmansegg among others but the Dates aren´t certain and some appear  after  the medieval period  or later.

The black Lion on Yellow. One of the Counts of this case a son due to the cadency mark, I´ll go for Robert III  Count of Flanders as he was of Fighting age during the life of his Father Guy of Dampiere . Orginally he was Holding a lance but I swopped his arm.
I found one or two Patterns which could fit the C-o-A of the bod in the middle, ie; John Lovel, whose C-o-A appears in the Falkirk Roll.  Barry wavy, or and gules but his has eight "waves", not six as shown and starts with yellow at the top, not red. 
The one on the left of the pic is Valdemar (resin) The other 2 are metal and unknown make(s)

Sunday 15 December 2019

Airfix Medieval Seige - Bod Conversions

Bod conversions for a Castle seige dio.
Pictured are 29 conversions, which mainly use the bods from the Airfix Robin Hood set as the base to which Scratchmade shields, weapons or Body parts from other bods in the Airfix range have been added.
Another 12, the Crews from the Catapult and Battering Ram are not included

The Bod Source material
The mixed pile of Airfix Robin Hood and Sherrif of Nottingham bods and Nags with a couple of other Airfix bods mixed in.
The  5 archer poses from both sets. My usual method of holding bods while adding paint, bottle tops with a lump of wax covering from the Babybell cheeses. Black acrylic basing brushed on.
After adding paint (they have been put in the Colours of Stephen´s younger brother, Henry of Blois) they get stuck onto 2cm diameter plastic Discs. Nags or small groups of bods generally get put onto 3.5cm Diameter ones.
From left ot Right
1. A mix of sharp sand and PVA gets added. Any blank spaces on the bods actual base gets  thinned out PVA dabbed on and then a sprinkle of sand gets added. This is then left to  dry.
2. Base painted with dark brown, left to dry.
3. Highlights with mid brown and static grass applied...again using PVA.
4. After a drying period of about 24 Hours, the new base is prised off the plastic disc. A thin blade such as a stanley knife is good for this. The new base gets stuck onto some thin card using..again, PVA.
5. Excess card trimmed off and the visible edge of the card gets painted .

Why not just leave them on the plastic Discs? I did start to do this but producing Discs for the ever expanding armies proved more time consuming than the above method.
Bowstrings are from  3" Paintbrush bristles. The "How to" is HERE.
Interesting (maybe) is that I didn´t use (european) flesh colour to paint thier skin but experimented with  a mix of Brown/Yellow/White.
Tools, Pins, sharp blade and some second glue or PVA. I´ve done a post on conversion Methods..HERE.
Using bits and pieces from other Airfix Bod sets and swopping body parts among both sets I managed to create 31 new poses. Some are simple, others required Major surgeory.
An ongoing seige needs more Missile troop poses than Hand to Hand Combat poses. As there´s only 5 Archer poses in both sets   some  conversions were needed to avoid having too many repeats. The first ten conversions. Head swops, top half/bottom half swops, arms swopped etc. The one with the red top/yellow Bottom is a conversion I made some 40 years ago.
The bottom row will end up as defenders.
The defenders are in the Colours of Geoffrey de Mandeville II, 1st Earl of Essex. I´ve already painted this particular Coat of Arms with his succesor, Geoffrey FitzGeoffrey de Mandeville, 2nd Earl of Essex.  
The arrows are made using thin steel wire and for the flights I added blobs of PVA. When dry it gets painted to represent flights

 All together, conversions and OOB, they create a decent force of Bowmen.
More ranged weapons bod conversions.
Archers, slingers and crossbowmen.
The archer drawing his bow has had an arm added from the archer bod in the  Airfix Romans set and two others have been converted to Staff slingers and armed with Fistabuli. I´ve made them before using Zvezda´s Medieval Peasant Army bods and can be seen HERE.
At the time, a common a weapon as bows but seeing as they are very fiddly and time consuming to create I´ve only made a representative 2. I could have used some from my spares box but that would be cheating.
Bits of shaved down toothpick for the tiller, Tiny Strip of Card for the staves, thin pieces of copperwire for the stirrups, thread/copperwire for the string.
The bags for the crossbowbolts (which are not visible in the pic) were made from bits of coffee stirrer, trimmed/filed to size and shape and glued on.
Bit of thin Card, make a stencil in the shape and size. This saves recreating each Shield individually.
Shield Patterns get drawn onto another bit of thin Card, ceral packet is fine for this.
Paint on the pattern and add blobs of PVA to create the bosses. Paint the back  brown. When all dry, cut out, shape by bending the Shield over a pen/pencil and attach to bod with some second glue. Paint the rim - finished.  Easy eh?

The commander (far left) and the spearman (second from Right) have had head swops using heads from the Airfix Romans set..neckand cheek guards removedThe one on the far Right has had the polearm cut down and it´s had a spear head added. Unfortunately not visible in the pic

Even More Bod Conversions
One more for the catapult.  Pole with a bit of sprue added to create a hammer to aid with releasing the trigger on the catapult.
The one running is attempting to put out a fire.  Bucket added from the Airfix Waterloo British Artillery set, bow stave removed. Hood cut down.
Bod from the Ancient britons set with a head swop
Two assault troops who are in support of the Battering ram.
The one with Sword has had it donated from the bald headed bod in the Robin Hood set arm Holding bowstave bent up
The other had his left arm repositioned, arm carrying the axe from the Bod in the Sherrif of Nottingham set who was Swinging it above his head.
Gate defenders
From left to right
Spearman created by twisting his head to the left, shortening the staff, adding a point
Swordsman. Bow removed, Right Hand removed and another Hand with Sword added from the pose 2nd from Right.
Spearman and swordman - poses unchanged.
The bod lobbing the rock was an easy conversion. Staff removed, Hands pressed between the jaws of a pair of fine toothed pliers which slightly flattened them and gave finger like indentations, then "hot water Treatment" and the arms bent upwards. I freed his left foot so as to give the Impression he´s puttting some swing into chucking the rock.
More Blois Boys and Mandevillians.
Friar tuck OOB.
Archer conversion (Top row, far left in the unpainted conversions above) Torso and leg swop, Head Twisted to the Right, Hood cut down.
Captain created by swopping Bottom half with that of one of the archers, headswop from running pose, Hood cut down
Another spearman. Head swop and staff given a point
Total number of Bods
35 Blois Boys and 17 Mandevillians, 52 in total  of which only 11 are unconverted in any shape or form.

Saturday 7 December 2019


My part of this years Whif GB over at the Airfix Tribute Forum

"It´s early 1944, the Invasion planning is well underway when, P.King, Special Agent of the S.O.E, sends back photos of the Normandy countryside. His attached report on the French Bocage gives particular Detail of one part of the Terrain, the Hedrows, a Detail that until this Moment,  the allied Command has overlooked. Furtunately P.King´s report contains a Suggestion which will turn the hedrows into an Advantage. With only months to go a Team of engineers is put together and Operation SH.A.G was Born".

The build.
The kit. The boxart is classic. A spray of bullets bouncing of the hull, the hull MG firing into the sky, explosions, fires..great stuff.

Hull cleared of all the bits and Bobs. At this Point I realised that I needn´t have bothered with removing the turret ring
Hull Remake with plastic Card.
Lifting rings made from florist wire, hatch from the kit, Drivers viewing slit from an old Esci Panther and gun from an old Esci Stug
I couldn´t properly fill the line between the new hull and the lower hull so to hide it I added a track rack on each side.
Painting..Basic dark olive green with a couple of lighter dry brushes.

Thing is..was a SH.A.G ever used at Normandy? Answer no. There are a couple of reasons for this. 
It was, with the gun mounted as it was, too Long for the available Landing craft. 
Also the hull ended up only a couple of Inches lower than the turret Version which more or less took away the Advantage. 
Lowering the hull any further went against H&S considerations. The Driver would have to be sat at a slightly uncomfortable "forced" Position which, after a long drivetime,  may have led to back and neck ache. The MGU, (Machine Gunners Union) rightly put in a discrimination Claim which, even though they were reasigned as principle tea maker, was upheld. 

Saturday 30 November 2019

Medieval Battering Ram - Scratchbuilt

As with the Catapult, Do I need another battering ram? No,  but as with the Catapult, this is for the same  upcoming Project,  so ..yes, I do need another one :-)
Stuff used. 
Wheels from the chariots in the Airfix Ancient Britons set,  coffee stirrers, toothpicks, and copperwire.
Crew -  Airfix Robin Hood .
Basing on a piece of an old CD case which had one Surface roughed up with sandpaper and scoring with a sharp blade. Base material,  sand mixed with PVA.
Make a Frame,  drill holes for the axles. The Frame alone could be laid on a flat Surface to check wether it´s Level but the holes for the axles could be slightly out of line so the axles are glued in place, the wheels added and then it´s placed on a flat Surface.  If the Frame isn´t sitting flat it can still be twisted gently to level it out.
Roof spars added. This is a bit of a balancing act but second glue (I used Pattex gel) helps. The upright spars get added first, the supporting beam after they are fixed in place. It´s a bit longer on one end (the back) so any troops waiting for the break through or have aided in pushing the ram into place have some cover.
Paint. Add the ram using copperwire as Suspension ropes.
The ram was made by slicing up a bit of vegbox Wood.
Removable roofing  also made with coffee stirrers.
Like the Catapult, It´s a Rough and Ready looking device but I reckon, unless the army using it had a decent road and Transport System, they would  make one more or less as needed. I mean, how complicated would it be to source the timbers needed? Kick some poor serf out of his house and requisition the roofing timbers.

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Bod Converting - Body swops

Basically what´s shown here is a Torso and legs swop.
Obviously, swopping arms are bit more complicated but it also(in the majority of cases)  involves pinning and the method is similar to here.
Tools/Things needed
A sharp Hobby knife,
A razor blade (cut to a Point. This allows removing Flash etc from Corners)
Some normal Dress Pins (the pin in the pic has been used already for a conversion and cut but then resharpend..waste not want not
A pair of side cutters (to cut the Pins)
A toothpick (or use one of the Pins) for applying glue
A pair of thin nosed pliers (for pushing the Pins)
Glue. I use Pattex 100 gel
Two figures that will be converted.
Cut the figs in half, remembering to leave a bit of excess plastic on the parts wanted for the conversion.
Hold the two parts  together. The legs have a bit of  excess plastic left from the first cut and  Using the razorblade, thin slices are removed, matching the two parts each time until a decent looking fit is achieved.
The pin pushed through with the tip coming out roughly in the centre of the waist area. From the pic it can be seen where the pin was first pushed in , just behind the neck. This works well with all the figs from this set but sometimes it´s necessary to start the pin from the top of the head, which means more care in applying pressure to push the pin in,  as the neck can suddenly bend to one side and you might get a sore finger with a pin hole in it...happens to me often. Holding the pin with Thin nosed pliers helps or using those type of Pins with a coloured bobble type head. 
It´s sticking out a bit too far in the pic below so will now be withdrawn a bit and cut off so when it´s pushed back flush with the head (hat) or in this case, top of the pack, no part of the pin will be showing.
Position the Torso over the legs in the required Position and Holding both parts firmly in place between finger and thumb, press the pin through (Holding the pin with the pliers)
Cut off the pin as Close to the Point of entry (in this case just behing the neck)  and press flush (here using a flat edge on the sidecutters) The remains of the pin is now too short to resharpen but the head is usefull for rivets or such,  so it goes in a bits box.again..waste not want not
The two halves may have gone out of line a bit (swivelled) during the process so they can now be realigned. The plastic left over from where the elbow rested on the leg is  removed with the razorblade, then fill any gaps with glue and leave to dry. In the pic it appears that there´s a bit of overhang from the Torso to the legs but that´s because the glue is clear.
Cutting so that you end up with excess plastic on the halves wanted means, unfortunately, that the other halves can end up as useless for using in creating whole Body conversions, but they don´t get thrown away..there´s always bits and pieces that can be re-used...again, waste not, want not.

I´ve covered "headswops" in a previous post HERE

Saturday 23 November 2019

Medieval Catapult - Scratchbuilt

Do I need another Catapult? No I don´t  but this is for an upcoming Project so ..yes, I do need another one :-)

Stuff used. Coffee stirrers, Copper wire, Cotton thread and florist wire.

Side Frame. Coffee stirrers cut to length etc. The main support and the uprights are made by laminating 3 coffee stirrers on top of each other, the angle supports with two layers. It means a bit of lining up to create Mirror Image frames, getting the uprights in the same place and at a Right angle but by starting with a "T" ,  one upright glued to a main support, then laminating other lengths of coffee stirrers on top it goes easy enough. 
The connecting beams added.
Buffer for the throwing arm made from tissue paper rolled up and painted. Rolling gear added. The round pole was a Kebab stick with 4 holes drilled in it to take the winding Levers.
"Rope" added. 
I came up on a Problem. It seems most catapults had a cogwheel added to one side of the rolling bar which had a drop latch, which as the Tension built up,   stopped any  loss of tension but I hadn´t any small enough cogwheels to create one so an alternative locking method had to be developed.
Basically, the winding gear  would be wound far enough that the two holes on the bar would be in line with the two hoops and then a pair of Levers would be pushed in to lock it. Seems reasonable if not a bit unlikely. 
The two rings (sorry pic is a bit blurry) between the top hoops are for the trigger release. 
Throwing arm.
Carved and filed form a piece of Wood from an old fruit box  
Throwing arm added.
Tension ropes made using copperwire. The top ring on the arm would, when the arm is pulled right back, locate between the two rings on the frame. A pin (with an eye on one end) would then be located along all three eyes to lock the arm allowing the hook, which is attached to the winding gear rope and the second ring on the throwing arm,  to be released. Pulling the pin out releases the arm.
I´ve also moved the two rings on the rear of the Frame as they didn´t line up with the ring on the arm.

At this point I realised...the "clever" solution to a lack of cogwheels to lock the rolling bar was a bit unecessary. Why? As there are 4 holes in the rolling bar it would mean two men could pull their Levers to the fullest extent, hold and then two more could add thier poles and take up the Tension allowing the first two to remove them and so on. When the locking pin was engaged the arm would stay in Position with or without a cogwheel.
Anyway, on the advice of the H&S officer, the "clever" locking idea was left as it was.
The Crew.

The Boss has had a head swop using the Archer´s head from the Airfix Romans set, cheek guards and neck guard removed. Left arm removed, Sword removed and arm turned around and re-attached.
Standard bearer from the Airfix Ancient Britons set.  Head swop from one of Robin´s bods and he´s become a Lever Operator along with his mate next to him who got a head swop and his Sword replaced with a Lever.
Then a generic "crew member number 6" (see the film Galaxy Quest)
The one holding the brand was holding a staff across his waist but after removing it, repositioning his head and giving him an arm from an archer,  he´s looking where the Munition will fall.

I might add another holding a hammer to help with the release pin.