Monday, 29 July 2013

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood - the situation four weeks on

Dimitrios Boussios (Germany) has just ordered the 100th Limited Edition numbered and signed book!

I have a very limited number of unsigned books that I was keeping as spare or emergency copies. Should you wish to order one, please go to this link.

There are no plans for a second print run, just a couple of spare (un-signed) copies kept in reserve. Similarly there are plans for a PDF version, but not in the foreseeable future. When I have more information I will post details on this Blog.

Thank you to all who supported this project and a big THANKS to all who have ordered a copy. Book Two (Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No.2) is proceeding and once I have something to show, I will post details.


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Oswald Pepperkettle - part five

Oswald, the Pledge for July 2013 is finished. I've given the miniature a coat of Ronseal Gloss varnish and a couple of further coats of Galleria Matt varnish before adding some static grass to the base.

Photo One - The Grand Duck, Oswald Pepperkettle.

Photo Two - the finished figure from a different angle. (I have noticed that I missed the skull above the bugle on the Shako. It should be silver).

Photos Three and Four - I thought it would be of interest to post these two images. The first shows the original purchases, bought at a bring-and-buy table at Alumwell earlier this year. Both figures were mounted onto Balsawood bases with simple railway scatter for ground cover. I paid 50p for each model.

Here you can see the two minis. Now mounted onto my preferred 2p coins with the bases built up with Milliput. The Oswald figure has been stripped of paint by soaking in a tub of Dettol while the bugler was simply painted over.  Both figures were painted over a Black undercoat and followed the colour scheme show on the front cover of Days of Daring, a Commando war comic number 3765, for details see this link.

Just one figure/character to go and the group of eight miniatures will be finished. 'The Fighting Forty-Firsts'.


Friday, 26 July 2013

Modelling Magazines from Thailand

A quick post. Holly (my Daughter) is now back in the UK following her two years in Thailand. On her return, earlier this week I was given these two magazines;
GiGa Hobby vol. 101 from June and Hobby Japan from July 2013.

Both magazines are in Thai, but full of how-to pictures and loads of Gundam illustrations. I find that the picture led how-to articles are of a superior quality to UK magazines like Military Modeller as the step-by-step photos are so much easier to follow. The subject matter is a little insular - Gundam, but the techniques to model these very intricate models are going to be of use to modellers of other genres.

I now have quite a collection of these magazines each fully illustrated and each over 100 pages long. If only I could find a way of translating them.


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Oswald Pepperkettle - part four

The painting of Oswald Pepperkettle is complete. I've tried to copy the illustration on the front cover of Days of Daring, (Commando Comic no.3762) as close as possible. See this post for details.

The painting has been done with a selection of acrylic paints and metallic paints from Games Workshop. The base has been painted in my usual style - Snakebite Leather and Skull White with odd stones picked out in a Skull White and Chaos Black mix.

I used Citadel Red ink to highlight the crimson sash with Gryphonne Sepia and Badab Black washes on the base.

I'll be varnishing the miniature in the next couple of days and then a little touch of flocking and he's finished. As stated earlier this is one of my very favourite Alternative Armies - Flintloque figures a miniature brimmed full of character and so very easy to paint.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood - the situation three weeks on

83 copies of the initial batch of 100 Limited Edition books are either sold or reserved and while packaging and posting has slowed down, yesterday saw another five books posted. (Mainly to the UK).

I have recently had a query relating to delivery times to the USA. I would be interested in knowing what customers have thought of delivery times - particularly to the USA. Please post comments here if you have any information.

Thank you

For full details of how to order your own copy go to this link. While anyone questioning if they should order, here are some reviews of the book.....



Randy Burnett; Just wanted to let you know my copy arrived today, well, yesterday now, in good order and I am well pleased. Thanks and Cheers!

Crazy JoeReceived mine this morning and I'm more than a bit impressed. Well worth the price and packed more sensibly than the majority of mail order books I receive. 
For this genre of wargame related book it's going to take some beating.
Well done that man!

J; The book arrived today. Thorough tutorials, great illustrations and wonderful inspiration to get my terrain-making started again.
Thanks a lot for making and sharing this book!

Monkeylite; Mine arrived today, that was bloody quick. The quality looks amazing. I can tell the ideas inside are gonna be fresh, coz it came wrapped in clingfilm :)

Ubique Matt; Received my copy (lucky no. 13) that fast I think it was sent before I'd mailed the cheque! Great read, picked up some very good tips on the first few pages before the tutorials even began.

Artilleryman; I have received my own copy now. Excellent publication. Highly recommended. I note that it is 'No 1' so I hope to see more.


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Toys in the attic

A recent audit of the nation's attics (UK) has discovered that our lofts are home to a hoard of Barbie dolls, Care Bears, Action Men and Scalextrix. Currently in storage there is enough track to race around the earth, three and a half times.

Insurers Zurich surveyed 2,000 people to highlight the risk of not insuring valuables lurking in the loft.

According to Leigh Gotcha, Toy Department Head at Bonhams, the auctioneers. 'Toys from the not too distant past which are rising in value include early hand held electronic games, toys from fast-food meals and come-and-go fads like Beanie Babies.'

The Top Ten (toys in our attics) are;

  1. Barbie
  2. ActionMan
  3. Fisher Price Toys
  4. Toy Cars
  5. Scalextrix
  6. McDonald's Happy Meal Toys
  7. Electric Train Track (Hornby)
  8. Etch-a-sketch
  9. Care Bears
  10. Kerplunk

From Waitrose Weekend, 11 July 2013

If we were playing Toys in your Attic Bingo, how many of us would have a full house?


Obviously the sample attic's were not wargamers or there would have been Games Workshop lead figures by the ton.....

Friday, 19 July 2013

Oswald Pepperkettle - part three

Painting is progressing well. The uniform colour is more Pea Green rather than Dark Green and Oswald's hair is much whiter than I had planned, but I'm pleased with the result.

Photo One - I'm still having trouble getting a deep Red colour for the sash, but apart from that.....

Photo Two - I like the progress so far.

Photo Three - The brolly is painted in typical Blue/White panels.

As noted in earlier posts, my intention is to build a small section based on the Commando Comics book Days of Daring, see this post for more details.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Cold Enough.....

In weather that is hot enough to fry eggs on the pavement, I came across this.

In the heyday of sailing ships, all warships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus a supply of thirty cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.

There was only one problem..... how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with sixteen round indentations. However if this plate was made of iron, the iron cannon balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys'.

Few landlubbers realise that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron balls would come right off the monkey; Thus it was quite literally; 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey'.

Taken from youradvertiser, Worcester, issue 49, July 2013


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood - the situation two weeks on

I am well aware that posts detailing sales progress of the book and the situation so far are not the most interesting reading, however this book has been an integral part of my model making life for so long, that I want to catalogue successes (and failures).

Sales (or reserved copies) went past the 75 mark earlier this morning. Three quarters of the first batch of 100 are now sold. This morning, Sue and I were once again queuing at the Post Office counter (Kidderminster) to post off the latest batch, one to Bristol, one to Finland and the third to Australia. I've had quite a few to Australia!

The most unusual address was to a serving soldier in Afghanistan. While the bulk are being posted off to UK addresses followed by Europe and America.

For anyone thinking. "I'll get one of these soon." The numbered and signed copies are going fast - very fast. Go to this post for details of how to order and numbers remaining.

Thank you for all the support. Normal service will be resumed very soon.


Monday, 15 July 2013

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood - reviews

Here are four reviews of my book Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood

Big Lee's Miniature Adventure
The Repple Depple Club House
Steve Blease - Bleaseworld

If you are thinking of writing a review, or have already written one, please send details of your review/Blog to this post.

Details of how to order your own book can be found here. As at todays date, there are just 30 numbered and signed copies left.

Thank you.


Sunday, 14 July 2013


These two haystacks were built some time ago. Unfortunately I do not have any work-in-progress shots to illustrate this post.

Photo Two - A rough sketch to show the general layout.

Photo Three - The smaller of the two stacks.

Photo Four - The larger one.

The two models are built from DAS modelling clay over a simple white foam former. The twigs are from the garden, so are the stones which were attached with elastic thread rather than string - this gives a tauter rope effect in this scale (coat the elastic thread with uPVA glue).

Artistically, most novices paint their haystacks bright yellow, while most are in fact grey. In gaming terms a brown/grey works best. Secondly, haystacks range in size - from a few feet tall, to house size structures. Try browsing Google images of haystacks (there are a lot of famous artists who have painted haystacks, these maybe of interest). The stones and twigs were to stop the haystack being blown away.

Modellers should also note that haystacks differ quite considerably, with very distinct regional shapes and sizes.


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Oswald Pepperkettle - part two

Or how I paint flesh.....

Photo One - A black undercoat. I have used cheap spray-can Black and then touched-up any bits I have missed with Games Workshop Chaos Black. I did lightly 'wash' the whole model with Dark Brown wash prior to taking this photo.

Photo Two - Beastial Brown/Charred Brown with a touch of Snakebite Leather. Painted with a Rosemary & Co Sable mix brush, leaving some Chaos Black show through.

Photo Three - Snakebite Leather. Two light coats. This is my main basecoat.

Photo Four - Snakebite and Skull White.

Photo Five - Snakebite with more Skull White.

Photo Six - Snakebite with even more Skull White. Try not to use 100% Skull White - it is too stark.

Photo Seven - I have 'washed' the flesh areas with the old Citadel (blue topped) Flesh Wash, to which I have added some Gryphonne Sepia wash (GW).

The teeth have been built up over a Chaos Black and Skull White grey, then highlighted with more Skull White and even pure Skull White on the very tips. The eyes, sorry eye has been dotted with pure Skull White and the monocle painted over dark and then light Blue. The rim is highlighted with Silver from GW.

I have used Bloody Red mixed with Snakebite to define the lower lip.

I am aware that I can usually speed through the painting of Flesh. I hope that this step-by-step helps. I have been using a Snakebite Leather Flesh colour for years and the whole technique comes so easily to me that I sometimes take it for granted.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Working with Foam

Over the last couple of days, and since the release of Building Wargame Terrain I have been asked.
"What foam do you use for modelling?" and "Where do you get hold of it?".

Most of my modelling materials come from a reclamation centre in Worcester - it's a bit hit-and-miss as to what you pick up, but it is cheap. Some time ago I picked up some Green Foam which I find perfect for model making. 

After some research I have been able to confirm that this foam is SIKA block - Model boards M150 and is available from John Burn, Birmingham. If you ask nicely, they will send you this sample pack.

My preferred material is the M150 or light green foam (second from left) but you can make up your own mind. The actual boards are sold as 2000mm x 1000mm x100mm (which is a lifetimes supply). If enough modellers show an interest maybe we can get them to sell the boards in smaller quantities.

As a bonus, John Burn has just opened a new 3D printing studio.


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Colonel Oswald Pepperkettle "the Grand Duck"

The pledge for July 2013. After a busy week packing and posting books, I thought it was worth having a little interlude. My Pledge for July is Oswald Pepperkettle from Alternative Armies, leader of The Rifles, for details go to this link.

This is one of my all time favourite Alternative Armies sculpts, I have cleaned off all the old paint by leaving him in a bath of Dettol for a week and brushing off the remaining flakes of acrylic paint with an old toothbrush.

Photo One - All cleaned up with just a tiny bit of 'Green Stuff' modification - the cuffs and the rosette.

Photo Two and Three - Mounted on to a 2p coin. (I have included a sliver of Balsawood to raise the front of the base and give Oswald a more upright stance).

Photo Four - The base built up with Milliput fine white.

Photos Five and Six - Sieved stones and fine sand added over uPVA glue finishes off the base.

In part two of the July Pledge, I'll be basecoating the figure with some black paint.


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood - the situation one week on

Just one week after the books arrived in four large cardboard boxes both Sue and I have had a busy time packing and posting the books to the many followers who have purchased a book. At this moment 49 50 of the 100 books have been either sold or reserved and awaiting payment. I'm sorry, but this is my first venture into the minefield that is publishing, I am still not sure if this is fantastic or terrible performance!

Copies of the book have been posted to The United States, Australia, Russia and Europe as well as the UK.

The first in-depth review has been posted by Christian at cianty's Tabletop Wargames Blog and can be found here. Thank you Christian.

Should you wish to order a copy, the details are here.

The book came about after I was approached to write an article for a proposed magazine/book on building wargame terrain, which unfortunately never materialized. I started three project, two of which appear in the book (which is now being called BWT - thanks again Christian). From there I had the idea of writing my own guide, very much in the same vein as the old Airfix Modelling Guides, that I had enjoyed so much as a teenager. The book went through many re-writes and re-designs before my Daughter converted the text and images into this book format ready for publishing.

During this period I was given a great deal of advice and for this I am very grateful - thank you. There were also a few criticisms which surprising, I found very difficult to deal with.

Book 2 is a real possibility and I will keep you informed of developments. For now, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has commented, offered advice and helped in the making of the book and thank you (again) to everyone who has ordered a copy.

Normal service will be resumed very soon.


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood - "the books have arrived"

Tuesday June, 2nd 2013, a momentous occasion at the Harwood household. The books have arrived!

The first batch of 100 finished books arrived just after 10.00am this morning and after unpacking them to sign and number each book, I have now posted off 15 of the initial batch of Pre-Orders.

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood can be ordered from me via this Blog. Please go to this post for full details of costs and payment details.

This project has definitely taken longer than I had expected and needed help from a number of friends and family. A big thank you to Holly, Gary and Sue for their help, support and above all understanding.