Continuing Japanese projects

Once again I apologise for the tardiness with my posting of late, I jujst seem to be far too busy to be able to post anything :-( But at there's one now :-)

I've got several Japanese projects on the go at the moment (and other period as well) and I'll put some pictures up below of some of these. The village boards are just about done, they need a few bushes, accoutrements and veggies to go on and they'll be done. The building base with the two story shop needs a small table out the front with wares on it and then that's complete. Some of the photos are typically out of focus but I'm a modelmaker not a photographer and I'll leave it to my wife to take the proper ones :-)

I hope to have another post during the week showing other projects but we'll have to see...



Oh dear, oh dear

Well, I left this for far too long I'm afraid and I apologise for it. It always seemed that there was something else to do and the desktop is really getting slow...

Anyway, I thought I would post some select photos from my recent trip to Japan. I've got over 200 from this trip alone but I won't bore you with them all ;-)

Not much else to say really so I'll let you enjoy them. Basic info below each one or group.


The tenshu of Kumamoto-jo
Corner tower and the long wall

Another view of the tenshu
One of the only roofs in Japan with a straight profile on a corner tower
Myself and a very nice chap who was quite willing to have a chat
Underneath the 'palace'. All reconstructed but impressive none the less
One of the gate towers on the east side
One of the main gate and wall sections leading inside
A superb long wall on the western side of the castle
And finally, a rather embarrassing 'dance' group...


Meanwhile, back in Japan...

I've done a bit more on the samurai house and have made a few decisions about the roof. Also in this post there are a few other Japanese items that I've been (or still am) working on.

The shoji are done as is the woodwork, basic groundwork and wall panels. The shoji were laser cut from thin acrylic and then thin paper (from Japan) was applied to the rear with very thin superglue. This allowed the light to come through and for the whole sheet to be stuck without any lifting.

The groundwork was painted in the normal way and when the fencing is in I'll apply the 'growies'. The photo to the left looks a bit dark but you should get an idea of the wood colour and shoji together.

The panels were painted with masonery paint first and then just highlighted with pure white. This gives a pleasing subtle effect and isn't too overpowering.

The woodwork was painted with my standard brown and drybrushed with three levels, each getting progressivly lighter.

For the roof I will be reverting to normal roof tiles as I'm not comfortable with the thatch experiments I've made so far. I'll still be putting lighting into the roof space and the effect with the shoji should be quite an eyeopener.

The roof style will be quite low, hipped but with a small gable at each end. I'll make a mock up first to make sure that the angles and tile spacing works.

The stones under the veranda were painted a grey/green/brown and will get a light highlight.

The fence will be made in the same way that pretty much all the fences on my Japanese works have been done, there will also be a simple gateway.

I'm still struggling with the tate but shouldn't be too far off from getting them right, I'#m also working on a few interior details that I might cast and have on the website.

One slight annoying thing is that the base plate has warped ever so slightly on the underside (even though it's acrylic). I can sort it though.

In preperation for Salute next year I'm making more building bases to enlarge the town that I had at this years Salute. This one is using the two story shop from the catalogue (JP08) and the soon to be released small kura.

The reason why the groundwork is not done yet is because the small kura is actually the master that will be getting moulding very soon, it's not stuck down and is only there for the photo. I'm debating whether to have a small field or even a rice paddy at the back, or maybe something else...

I'm going to put a couple of small tables out the front with some produce on display but to what this might be I haven't decided yet.

I mijght add a gate to the side entrance but have it as an openwork bamboo one instead of a solid wooden one.

To finish off for today I've got two repeat models that I've made for a very nice chap recently (in fact, they'll be in the post tomorrow) who liked the originals.

It's a roadside signpost and a rural toilet. Basically the same as last time but with a slightly different profile for the toilet. Lastly I've made a planted paddy field. Quite time consuming but I think the effect is worthwhile. I'll leave you with a few final picutes.



War on Mars!

Todays post is an actual battle report! Yes, I finally got some gaming in and took some photos :-) The arrangement will be slightly different than my normal posts as it seems easier to do it this way (and I'm not very good at 'narrative').

The basic set up was a four by four table, using some of the boards from the Salute 2012 game with a small mining encampment and a docked neff. Two units of Martians (using our new figures) were dropped off by skiff and raided the camp which was defended by the miners and a small detachment of the Naval Brigade.

On to the photos...

The Martian force

The thin blue line

The Martians land on the docked Japanese neff 'Kaze' and start to decimate the crew

After killing the crew, the Martians decend to the ground and advance towards the enemy

Fierce fighting ensues but the British line holds
The Martian Warleader tackles Lt A A Milne of the Naval Brigade and takes him down
The raid was to of no avail as the Martians were soundly beaten but an overhead skiff noted the Earther ways of battle and another warclan is being prepared. They will return...

Not the best selection of photos but it conveys what happened. I'm actually pleased with some of the really red looking ones as it looks like a Martian sunrise, I didn't do anything, that's just how they came out. We'll be playing again on Wednesday and will have more troops this time. The rules used were T+T (Triumph and Tragedy) and although no real VSF contraptions were used they seemed to work very well. A few alterations for the Martians will be implemented for the next game along with some basic flying rules for neffs and skiffs. I can't wait !!!




Japanese neff

Today I'm going to show you the first proper neff I ever built (three years ago now). This has already been on LAF but I've got a better write up of the construction here.

I had seen various VSF flying contrations for sale on the net but was never very happy with the size so I decided to go for something that was practical on the tabletop but not too large.

After deciding on a basic hull size of about 390mm by 120mm it was time to start construction.

One side of the hull profile was cut out from 1.5mm mounting card and this was used as a template for the other half so the hull would be even.  

The superstructure was also cut from mounting card. The engine house was cut from a material called chemiwood to some. It's basically a machinable resin compound that is quite easy to shape with the right machine tools.

The two discs were acyrlic leftovers from another project and they were the base for machineguns.

The main turret was a short section of tube, again with leftover discs for the top and bottom.

The funnel was a narrow peice of tube with a slight angle sanded on it and the small funnels and portholes were from my bits box (they are resin cast and I made them years ago). The mast is an old Victorian lampost that was made for a project at work.

The superstructure was edged with styrene strip to neaten the edges and were then riveted.

During the main construction I made some of the smaller details like a pesudo Maxim gun (there were two of these). I also made a small gatling gun to go on the rear. All three were made from various styrene parts and the odd little bit of acrylic leftover.

The gun deck has a styrene treadplate glued on and it has fancy supports underneath.

The main deck was planked with 5mm wide balsa strips that were about 120mm long to represent the actual breaks in planking that you get on ships.

The underhull was carved out of insulation foam (blue/pink foam) with a long knife to get the basic shape, it was then smoothed down with a disc sander and then finally sandpaper keeping an eye on the eveness.

Riveting was done throughout the build if I got bored with any of the main construction. The rivets themselves are either tiny discs of acrylic or cut down styrene rod. Both types were stuck on with a steady hand and a paintbrush loaded with a version of Plastic Weld.

The prop-house was made from chemiwood the same as the engine house and was stuck in the under hull slightly protruding.

As you can see from the photos, various hatches, stowage boxes and other details were added all the way through the construction.

The propellor is from Tamiya (I think) and I got the shops entire stock :-) It's supported by a styrene tube and is removable. Rivets and such were also added along with a rear mast (styrene again).

I only decided to rail the upper deck as it makes it easier for gaming. This rather dodgy photo shows the basic idea. It's brass rod, cut to size and drilled in place on the upper deck. A chain is then strung between the posts and held in place by dressmaking pins which conveniently 'slot' inside the brass rod. Clever huh?

The wheel shaft was from an old resin ship kit and the wheel itself is actually a medieval gun wheel (until I change it for a proper one!). The figure is an old Redoubt Boxer Japanese officer.

The next thing to do was the stearing aerofoils. Most of the other neffs on the market (and that people had scratchbuilt) always seemd to have the stearing coming out of the rear. I fancied something a bit different for my Japanese neff and so therefore had them coming out the sides.

The construction was from embossed styrene sheeting with a pretend hinge inbetween and then clad round the outside with halfround rod. A basic rod support was made for the other side and that just sticks into a small block on the hull.

This might not make it the most maneuverable ship out there but I don't care because it's VSF and as long as it's not too outlandish I'm happy.

The whole thing was given a coat of primer and painted in the same way as the defense platform in the post below (but I'll go through it again).

The colour scheme is taken from Japanese fleet ships from the very early 1900's, and was painted with Foundry paints (I use these as it's easy to remember which colours were used).

The decking was Palomino with various washes and drybrushes added to give it a worn sense. The lower hull was Foundry slate grey and the upper was arctic grey. these were given a wash of GW green/brown ink (can't be bothered to remember the stupid names) and subtly drybrushed with varying degrees of light grey.

Weathering was acheived with thinned down orange ink and applied to various areas. Silver was also lightly drybrushed in areas that would see a lot of use (paint being worn away etc).

The flags are accurate to the historical period of the paint scheme and were printed from the computer after having a look for the relevent ones. You can't see them on the photos as they were a later addition. Basically there is a Commanders flag on the main mast and a normal Japanese naval ensign on the rear mast.

I'll leave you with a few more photos of various parts but just so you know the bloody thing was shot down in the first turn of it's first game and I haven't lived it down yet :-(