Monday 21 March 2016

On Cottages & Lighthouse Keepers

Regular readers of my irregular offerings may remember the cottages I wrote about late last year. They were plain ornaments for burning or some mysterious other function. I, however, spotted their potential and the other day they came to the top of the to-do list. 

I pondered on how to paint them: black Plastikote and then paint up from there? I decided to use the following scheme.
  1. I decided the walls looked absolutely fine as they were. The seated figures at the front of each cottage were chiselled gently away.
  2. The thatch was done with emulsion paints from tester pots: dark brown base and a lighter brown/yellow dry-brushed over it. 
  3. The chimney pots: Vallejo black base coat, dry brush grey then white. Once dry they were given an Army Painter wash. 
  4. The windows: Vallejo dark blue with a Vallejo pale blue highlight. I picked out the frames in a light grey.
  5. The front doors were constructed from coffee stirrers and matchsticks. Painted with a wash of watered down Vallejo grey. Then a watered down Army Painter wash.
 A Cottage

Cottages Rear View

Loading Contraband Or Unloading Supplies?

Lighthouse Len & Salty Sam

Len Close-up

The figures and vehicle are from several manufacturers. Lighthouse Len is descended from a long line of lighthouse keepers. His belief in the power of light is so strong he carries a permanently lit lamp at all times. Sam isn't a sailor, he does like plenty of sodium chloride on his grub though. Len and Sam work here of course.

All the best!

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Brown & Black Shirts In The Desert


I've been working on this gang of state-sponsored n'er-do-wells for a while and finally, finally, finished them. Joy! So, what have we got then, Mr Tin? Well, what we have here is a group of Pulp German N*zis and one Italian F*scist. Four male figures and one female: Helga, She-Wolf of the EssEss.

Oberfuehrer Fritz von Toppgitz
The leader of the group. A tough street fighter and true believer. Nasty.

Hauptsturmfuehrer Hermann Kartofelnkopf
Assassin. Likes to point at his victims before doing them in. Brutal.

The gang's all here. 
LtoR: Kartofelnkopf, Untersturmfuehrer Helga Fuchs, von Toppgitz, 
Sturmbannfuehrer Horst Wurst (2i/c), Centurione Luigi Bartoletti of the MVSN

Somewhere in the desert searching, possibly in the wrong place, 
for powerful artefacts which may be lost or hidden.

 Can we get these crated up?

 Kartofelnkopf points; Helga & Bartoletti take aim. 
The senior officers sneer.

Aerial view. 
Note the truck and blue-fezzed chap behind the mini sphinx.

The figures are all Bob Murch Pulp figures. There was one head swap: the Italian head from the Empress Miniatures drivers set onto Bartoletti. All painted with Vallejo colours and varnished with Vallejo matt which is my new favourite thing. The Egyptian statues are resin jobs picked up in charity shops.


Monday 11 January 2016

David Bowie

I'm not going to batter on about how great DB was and his influence on popular music, style, and culture. Many others will do that both today and in the coming weeks. No, all I want to do is thank publicly DB for the effect he had on my life: that it is more than okay to be, according to 'normal' society, different, odd, unusual, weird. To not follow the crowd but to be true to yourself and do what makes you happy and not to do what is necessarily expected of you by 'normal' society.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

The Hat Squad

This gang has been bimbling along for awhile now so I for one am glad they're finished. I have gone for the double figure idea once again: one in town clothes and one in adventuresome gear. They're a bit of an odd bunch and not all of them wear a hat. The figures are a mix of Copplestone, Bob Murch & Empress. Here they are:

Outside Ottomanelli's in downtown Pulpville
LtoR Brad Sterling, Boats Bailey, Ripcord O'Reilly, Jim Trueman, Smoot Schmid

Up on the roof

Dr Jim Trueman
Archaeologist &  Adventurer

Ripcord O'Reilly
Can fly anything.

Boats Bailey
It is, he likes to be clean shaven and sharply suited when not afloat 

Brad Sterling
Note how pale he is in town and how easily he tans when adventuring!

Smoot Schmid
Enjoys the finer things. A lot.

Field trip

 Ripcord & Jim outside The Darkroom camera shop

 Smoot & Brad outside a greengrocery

Boats passes by the bakery


Thursday 31 December 2015

2015 - A Review

The year started off promisingly enough, kinda tailed off a lot and then re-ignited at the end. Which was nice.

Ten posts. Two about a Mexican Revolution game and the rest were Pulps: figures and buildings.

Five posts. One post about my birthday the balance about Pulps.

Five posts. A book review; a trip to a wargames show; three Pulps including an actual game!

Nine posts. A trip to Salute; Pulps including The Lighthouse of Horror & new blog members.

May - November
Pretty much this:

To be fair I did do some painting, modelling and wargaming during this period but the CBA was strong in me.

The return of The Mojo!

Six posts (including this one). Two about Iraqi forces in 1941; a book 'review' and two Pulps.

I'm glad I came back, the welcome has been 100% positive. Also flattered that my 81 followers stayed loyal during the hiatus plus views of the blog continued to go up despite lack of new content.


Wednesday 30 December 2015

Sisters Before Misters (The Old Instonians) #3

Bit of a Pulp offering today. I'm really pleased I got these toys finished at all given the complete loss of wargamey mojo for most of 2015. Anyways they're done!

What we have here is The Old Instonians (St. Wilfreda's Institute For Girls) or, their preferred moniker, Sisters Before Misters. A sort of Pulp-era incarnation of Charlie's Angels without Charlie and much, much harder. Nails in fact. They don't hate men, they rather like them, they just don't need them to get things done.

I covered two of the SBM in an earlier post but now we see the whole gang assembled. Twice! I've gone down the route of producing two figures for each character. One is in normalish clothing that could be used about town. The second is in outdoors-adventuring kit.

The SBM comprises:
1. Blaze O'Halloran - Archaeologist & Adventurer
2. Phyl Martindel - Geologist & Adventurer
3. 'Red' Mary Quintile - Doctor & Adventurer
4. Wanda 'Wheels-Up' Williams - Pilot & Adventurer
5. 'Dead-Eye-Des' Desdemona Desmond - Scientist & Adventurer

The photos might make this a bit clearer.

 SBM assembled in the Oriental-style town house of 'Wheels-Up'
Shanghai, New York, London? Who knows? ;-)
LtoR: Dead-Eye-Des, Red Mary, Wheels-Up, Blaze, Phyl

 SBM doing the adventure thing in Oasis el-Khazi
LtoR: Wheels-Up, Blaze, Phyl, Red Mary, Dead Eye Des.
 Wheels Up in flight mode & sophisti-chic

Red Mary about town & about adventuring

Dead Eye Des deadly in town or in the field

Happy New Year!

Saturday 26 December 2015

A New Book At Christmas Time

I received this book as part of of my Christmas box this year. It's the only wargaming/history based item I ws given as well. I'm not ungrateful, in fact the other stuff is fab it's just not wargamey.

This isn't a review, I got it only yesterday, merely my first impressions. It's hardback with dust jacket, 1st edition and 393 pages not including the bibliography and index. It's also very heavy. The book is divided into seven chapters starting in 1894 with the Sino-Japanese War and ending in 1949 with the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War. Maybe there's Volume 2 on the way? The book appears to be full of illustrations: colour and BW. A quick flick through shows dozens of photographs I have never seen before. I have one other book by the author: Osprey's 'The Mexican Revolution 1910-1920' in which he makes a pretty good fist of explaining that kaleidoscopic war. I am very much looking forward to reading 'China's Wars 1894-1949' by Philip Jowett.

Front Cover

Contents Page

Back Cover

All the best!

Thursday 17 December 2015

Charity Shops Are Goldmines #2

As should be obvious by now if you aren't checking your local charity/thrift/£/$ stores for loot you really should be. Yesterday I found this pair of resin buildings and at £3.99 each it would have been rude to say no. They are pretty heavy lumps and, I think, are some form of incense burner. Or something.

Anyway they are very well detailed: nice thatch, good door detail and leaded windows.They also scale perfectly with 28mm figures. I'm going to repaint them, well paint them, and add a door to the opening you can see in picture 1. Sadly there's no way to access the interiors but they are a valuable addition to my Pulp Universe. They will go well with The Lighthouse Of Horror should a suitable adventure ignite!

 RH Cottage showing smoke hole, windows and thatch
LH cottage showing back door and window detail

 LH Cottage side elevation window detail


Monday 7 December 2015

Iraq 1941 - Iraqi 1st Infantry Division

Yesterday we had what could be described as the army's elite, remembering everything is relative. Today the noble footsloggers. They very much are leg infantry because despite being trained by the British the equipping only went so far. Thus they have no integral transport for the infantry, unlike their erstwhile trainers.

The typical Iraqi infantry division was modelled upon the British infantry of that period. So it has 3 brigades of infantry each of 3 battalions. 3 regiments of artillery with horse-drawn limbers. 1 squadron or regiment of cavalry which also fulfills a recce function. 1 horse-drawn LOG column and a motorised combined HQ, staff & signals unit.

The sources mentioned yesterday proved valuable again. Especially the Morval Earth site. The artillery is a ix of HAT WW1 German and Airfix RHA. HQ & LOG are diecasts. The cavalry is Zvezda Soviet cavalry with new heads. The infantry is HAT WW1 Turks straight from the box.

 Arty, HQ, LOG, Cav, Inf

 Aerial shot

PS The matt varnish I used was Humbrol Acrylic. I followed the directions given on the can and I got the super-dusty-been-in-the-desert-forever look you can see in the photos. Any help, tips or advice to avoid this is welcome! 

All the best!

Sunday 6 December 2015

Iraq 1941 - Iraqi Mechanized Troops

Hello all,
As you will remember I'm keen on the campaigns of the early part of WW2 and the one in Iraq fits the job description nicely. At first I was bereft of ideas on how to proceed. I knew it was going to be a Megablitz battle and that was it until I remembered my Grandfather has given me a copy of 'The Road Past Mandalay' by John Masters. In the book Masters details his involvement in the Iraq 1941 campaign. This was a good start.

I then purchased the Osprey campaign book 'Iraq 1941' by Robert Lyman. A good reference book; well illustrated with copious photographs, colour plates and maps. Spoilt in parts by Mr Lyman's rather confusing writing style and his anti-Iraqi bias. I feel a more even-handed editor could have eliminated some of the more glaring errors. I like the book a lot.

Finally I stumbled across this web page Morval Earth which is a fantastic resource for all manner of the esoteric including this huge section o Iraq 1941. Lots of fun, chock full of good gen. A real diamond of a web page.

I thought the siege of RAF Habbaniya was ideally suited to a small game: relief columns battling the desert and Iraqi defenders; RAF aircraft of various types defending and attacking; besieging Iraqi mechanized troops; aerial support from Fliegerfuhrer Irak. It's got it all. I already have sufficient figures and vehicles in the WDF boxes but had no Iraqis. I decided to created Iraqi 1st Mechanized Brigade and Iraqi 1st Infantry Division. The Iraqis had been trained and equipped by the British so their organisation follows that of their instructors.

So, for 1st Mech Bde I used HAT WW1 Turkish Infantry with some head swaps onto Revell 8th Army for the infantry. Trucks are all diecasts. The artillery is supposed to be 18lbrs but I used what I had which is HAT WW1 German Artillery. The Iraqi kit is described as olive green which I tried to recreate the colour on the vehicles and equipment followed by a heavy dry brushing with buff. The matt varnish added an unasked for further heavy dusting. Oh well, it is the desert after all. The photos aren't the best either!

Iraqi 1st Mechanized Brigade for Megablitz

 Left to right: POL & LOG Columns, Tankette & A/C Battalions, 
HQ/Staff & Signals, Mechanised Artillery Regiment, Motor MG Company, Motor Infantry
Note the Capacity Markers in the back of the MG & Infantry transports

 Close-up of the armoured units and the POL & LOG columns

 Close-up of the HQ, Artillery and Infantry units

All the best!