Wednesday, 6 June 2018


Storing and Transporting your Troops,rule book and gaming accessories to and fro from a gaming event effectively is always a issue for wargamers no matter what scale miniatures you game in .

My solution the humble plastic utility storage drawer system for offices. 
My entire Late War British Platoon together with all there supporting elements all contained In one container. 

Which fits neatly into a collapsible polyester cooler bag.

Zipper closed and ready for transport to the gaming venue.
Plastic drawer container purchase at Office works for about AUD 16 dollars.

Image showing the drawers.

First step is to remove the drawers this is done by press on the end portions of the plastic drawer while pulling each drawer out. This is done to disengage the small spurs of plastic that act as stops to prevent the drawer from being pulled out completely.
Once the all the drawers are removed you can choose to leave the spurs of plastic intact or cut them off, I chose to cut them off because I wanted to be able to remove the drawers.
Locate a large empty can of cooking oil, I found this on the side of the road near a restaurant.

Use a sharp instrument such as a chisel with the help of a hammer make a indentation in at the top of the  can this will act as a point for the insertion your tin snips.

Wearing gloves carefully cut the metal and remove the top portion of the tin.( I took off my gloves just for the photo but did use the gloves pictured in the background)

Next cut down till you reach the end of the base, as you reach the lower portion of the base start angling the cutters so that you can cut off the bottom base portion of the container.

Completed task, next step is to cut the large sheet into 2 pieces and carefully wash down the metal with soapy water to remove any oil residue.
Flatted out the pieces by applying even pressure on a flat surface.
If you are not up to the task of prepping the oil can you can just buy a notice board with a thin metal sheet and remove and use the metal sheet.

The base of all my figures are magnetic that is why I am using metal sheets.

An easier way to obtain metal sheets is to purchase cheap metal notice boards from a 2 dollar store and remove the thin metal sheeting and use that.

I you are using metal washers for the base of your miniatures you can skip these steps and purchase and use Magnetic sheet in place of the metal sheets. 

Measure the inner portion of the drawer and transfer the measurements onto the metal sheets using a sharp instrument or permanent marker.

Cut out the sheets with tin snips.

Round off the pointed edges and lightly sand the top surface of the metal sheet in preparation to receive the spray paint later. 

Clear Silicon was placed on the base of the drawer, the metal sheet placed on top and allowed to set.

Drill 6 holes into the metal and out thru the plastic drawer, use a drill bit to match the rivet size.

Using a Rivet gun with suitable rivet.

Use the rivet gun to secure the rivet in place.

Image showing the firmly in-bedded rivet.

The large bottom drawer of the container had to be leveled using 2 pieces of 3mm MDF.

MDF pieces glued in place.

All the surfaces where sprayed with Rustoleum primer paint you can also coat them with a light coat of clear Matt vanish.

Completed storage container.
You can choose different colours for different armies.

What I will be using for the next part of the project are foam core boards, I managed to pick up a few of these  for a couple of dollars from a reject/recycling store.
Since these are old advertising boards, one side is coated with a plastic which increases the strength of the foam board.
The right image shows the underside of the board.

Position your miniatures on the foam as desired.

Lift the base of the model and poke a hole using a sharp pointed instrument in the middle,   where the base was located

Use a drill with a matching drill bit just larger that the base of your figures and start cutting the holes in the foam board using the guide holes to locate the tip of the drill bit.

Completed circular holes for the troopers

Use box cutters to cut out the square and hex shapes into the foam board.
And lightly sandpaper the edges of the holes.
Foam core board glued to the metal base.
 I used red paint to help identify the different elements within the Platoon. 

1st tray: Clearly visible are the 3 different Sections , PIAT, 2" mtr and  Senior Leaders. 

Second tray: The support options include extra Section,Section of infantry in fox holes,PIAT team, 2"mtr, Vickers Machine gun, 2 Snipers, Adjutant, Medic, FO, JOP markers,Demo team, wire cutting team,Mine detecting team and Flamethrower team.

3rd Tray: More support options, 2 Bren carriers, Halftrack,Stuart tank, jeep , different Turrets for Churchill tanks and flame thrower trailter for the Churchill croc.

4th Tray: Which is the deepest drawer houses all the tanks and some gaming tools.

the tilting of the tray shows how the tanks adhere to the metal base on the tray, to achieve this I placed magnets on the base of the vehicles, this stops the vehicles crashing into each other when the container is being transported. 

Using  a hobby drill( match the drill bit size to the earth magnet that will be used) to create 4 holes on the underside of the tracks make sure to create the hole in a thick portion of the plastic.
Place super glue into each hole
Place the magnets into the prepared the holes.
Then place the vehicle onto a metal sheet and allow time to for the glue to set, this ensures that all the magnets will be at the right level so that each magnet grips on the metal.
Currently I am into  Scenario 2 of Chain of Command Operation Martlet campaign game.
The use of the tray helps greatly in keeping record of the troops that I have available for the next game.

Last of all, a big thanks  to Mark from "The Tactical Painter" who brought to my attention this type of Platoon Board.
"Its worth visiting his blog for his take on the board".
    cheers John 

Friday, 25 May 2018


Here is a tutorial for painting  German tanks in the later years of the war with brushes.
Hope its helpful.
All these tanks are 28mm.
Completed 2 Panther tanks.

German  Tanks include 2 x Panthers, Tiger, 2 x Panzer IV, 1 x Panzer III N and Luchs.

 2 x  Sd.Kfz 251 D halftrack, 1 x Sd.Kfz 250/9 Neu, 1 x 1 x Sd.Kfz 250/1 Neu, 1 x Puma  and a Schwimmwagon.

Tiger tank (Italeri 1:56 scale plastic kits,)

Rubicon  plastic model

The tank models I used were the Italeri 1:56 scale plastic kits, "nice little models".
 Image shows the Panther assembled with the lower portion of the vehicle  coated with fine pumice. follow the link for "How to simulate mud and grit.

Coated with Rustoleum Black Flat Primer.

2 thin coats of Vallejo Model colour Middlestone where applied with a brush.

Apply Agrax Earthshade wash over the whole of the vehicle.

Use a older brush , one you would normally use for dry brushing (hopefully with more bristles than  my  one in the image, I picked up the wrong brush for the photo) .
Use a old brush with short bristles  to apply the base coat (Middlestone).
Apply VMC Middlestone paint on the brush then wipe on a paper towel to remove some of the paint.
In a very light circular motion start applying the paint in the middle of the panels and work out towards the edges as desired.
I recommend practicing this Technic on the underside of the tank first.
You should be aiming for the edges of the paint work to fade into and blend with the already applied base coat that has been washed over with Agrax, Earthshade.

Red squiggles show the areas to target with the Middlestone, note that I have avoided going over the Zimmerit.

Next step is to paint in the brown camo lines using Vallejo Model Colour Chocolate Brown.

As you can see I have not made a great effort in blending the Middlestone on the Panther  as most of the vehicle is covered with  Zimmerit but I do recommend taking care to blend Middlestone on vehicles without Zimmerit ,as can be seen with the Panzer III N below.

Following these easy steps, will help with applying the camo on the tank.
1. paint a thin curvy line.
2. enlarge the curves by painting another line just on the curves.
3. fill in 
4. thin down the paint to apply a wash over the camo,
 you can vary the thickness of the wash as you please.
Note: Its up to you how thick or thin you want the camo lines to be.
and you can also chose not to go to step 4 and make the camo more define.

Once dry use VMC Reflective Green to paint in the green camo on the vehicle.

At this stage I highlight the previously painted VMC Middlestone circular areas in the middle and lightly ran my brush over the areas of Zimmerit that have Middlestone colour.
Be careful not to block out the detail of the Zimmerit.
I used a mix of VMC Middlestone and VMC Ivory ,1:1 ratio.

Using a mix of  VMC Middlestone and VMC Ivory 1:1 ratio, apply a very thin  highlight  on the edges of the tank but only over the Middlestone base colour.
(you can further highlight the middle of these already highlighted areas with a mix of 1:2 Middlestone/Ivory if desired)
I like to leave the brown and green camo areas as they are and don't go over them with the Middlestone /Ivory highlight. 
Using VMC Black Grey paint the tracks, tools, MG, tow line etc.

Paint the handles of the tools using VMC Brown Beige, highlight with 1: 1 ratio VMC Brown Beige and VMC skin base.with a further highlight by increasing the ratio of VMC skin base.

Wash the tracks and some of the lower portions of the panel where pumice was added with a thin wash of VMC Earth.
Once dry, use a brush with VMC Earth to pickout and highlight some areas over the Earth wash.
Lightly go over the tracks with VMC Black Grey to highlight them taking care not to eliminate the earth colour that is already on the tracks.
To finish off the tracks use Citadel Leadbelcher to give a hint of highlight to some of edges of the tracks.( add a bit of this colour to any metal parts)

Add a bit of rust to the Tracks or metal tow cable using VMC Calvary Brown and around any hatches,hinges and a few vertical thin streaks on the vehicles as desired.

Add the transfers.
Used to add some wear areas on the vehicle use a very thin pointed brush to place  tiny spots using VMC Black Grey , I also like to go over the insignias as well.

The last task to do, use Citadel Thraka ink wash to apply vertical thin random streaks over the vehicle.

Rear view of the Panther tanks.

Panzer III N

Cheers John