Tuesday, 29 December 2015

IDF platoon

I still need to finish painting their M113 APCs, but here is my IDF platoon for 15mm-scale CrossfireThis force represents a typical mechanised infantry platoon with three squads being led by an HQ section.  Each squad consists of a Squad Leader, with two rifle stands, one of which has an RPG shot each Initiative Phasing.  The HQ section consists of a Platoon Commander (2nd lieutenant [segen-mishne]), a 60mm mortar team, a sniper team, plus a rifle stand with RPG (which represents the sergeant [samal], medic, & remaining HQ soldiers).  Once the four M113s are painted-up, this platoon will be ready to face-off against my Syrian commandos in Crossfire games set during the 1982 Lebanon War.  These figures are all IDF from the Peter Pig AK47 range.  They are mounted on laser-cut ply bases from Fenris Games.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Street preacher

It's been tricky to find time for painting & miniature-making around the festive period, but I painted-up this street preacher for 15mm-scale zombie gaming a couple days ago.  The figure is from the Rebel Minis Modern Rioters pack (by-the-way, Rebel Minis have their 20% off everything Christmas Sale running until December 31st - use the code 'Rebel2015' when checking out).

Inspired by the graffiti inside the church at the beginning of 28 Days Later, I decided to paint this bloke up as a raving street preacher.  This is perhaps more of a character for pre-apocalypse or when everything kicks-off - I'm not sure he'd last long post-apocalypse if he doesn't stop ranting & start surviving.

A few months ago I bought some super-fine brushes, which made the free-hand writing on his placard easier.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Smoke markers

I've been busy with music festivals & festive preparations, so haven't done much miniatures-wise lately - but I did knock-up these simple cotton-wool smoke markers for 15mm-scale Crossfire:

With my Crossfire stands, I am using Ø25mm bases as the basic stand size, so these clouds of smoke are mounted on 25mm radius pill-shaped bases (the same as my fireteams), which are 2 stands wide for area affect purposes.  This size of smoke marker is for use with ~60mm mortars in the Crossfire rules.  Shown above is an IDF squad leader stand for scale.

Friday, 23 October 2015


More vehicles for my rural English zombocalypse - two tractors!  They are about the right size for my 15mm-scale figures, & should do nicely as static scenery, or even as drivable vehicles in games of Ambush Z.  Here is a John Deere 7530, & a Claas Ares - both types that are commonly seen on the roads & farmland around where I live. They are made by Siku, & are Models 1009 & 1008 respectively.  They cost me £2 each from a garden centre toy department.  These will definitely need painting with plenty of mud.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Civilian vehicles

It's not really modelling, but here are some civilian vehicles for my zombie apocalypse survivors.  I've bought a few £2 toy vehicles for my 15mm-scale 'rural England' themed collection.  They are approximately the right scale - good enough for tabletop gaming.  Here are a Range Rover & a DHL delivery van, perfect for out-running (or running-down!) the infected/undead.  The Range Rover is made by Corgi (In The City #21), & the delivery van is by Siku (model 1085).  I found both for sale in the toy section of a local garden centre.  I'll probably add some weathering & splashed mud to these vehicles once I finish painting all these bloody zombies...  The figures shown are a mix of Rebel Minis & Khurasan Miniatures.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Syrian commando platoon

I've finally finished my 15mm-scale 1980s Syrian commando platoon... (well, apart from one of the ATGMs needing a scratch-sculpt targeting scope, & the radioman needing an aerial!) . This is a rarity for me - a completed force.  It helps that the figures are only 15mm tall, but the variety of camouflage & kit detailing added to the time they took.  I had purchased some modern German infantry with Milan ATGMs from QRF, hoping to convert them, but as with most QRF infantry IMO the sculpting wasn't great (legs far too short compared to body, low detail level), & the Milans themselves looked about half the size they should be.  So I spent a bit of time converting the 75mm recoilless rifles from Peter Pig into Milans, shortening the barrels, filing off other details, & cutting the targetting scopes from the QRF ATGMs to stick onto my scratch-builds.  Unfortunately I only had 3 QRF Milans in the pack, so I that's why I need to Green Stuff a fourth scope.  Also, I did head-swaps for berets with several figures* (mainly the kneeling ATGM crew).  The figures are a mix of Peter Pig 'Soviet', & converted PLO figures, & a converted African gunman, all from the AK47 range; plus a Rebel Minis militia figure (kneeling, wearing a plain khaki coat & kepi).

This armour-hunting force (for Crossfire in a Lebanon '82 setting) consists of a a Platoon Commander stand, & 4 'hunter-killer' commando teams, each consisting of a Squad Leader stand, an infantry stand, & an ATGM stand.  I've kept markings low-key - each stand has 1 - 4 vertical stripes on it's rear side, denoting which squad that it is part of.  The main infantry stands are heavily armed, each carrying 2 RPGs, an RPD, & an SA-7 Grail anti-aircraft launcher.  In Crossfire terms, these will benefit from a better-than-average 'bazooka' shot once per Initiative phase, & some sort of abstract AA effect.  The smaller ATGM teams will probably be played as only 2D regular firepower, but have a much more effective anti-armour attack.

I am partway through assembling an Mil Mi-8 'Hip' transport helicopter, which will be capable of carrying this whole platoon!  15mm-scale helos are very fiddly through...  I am considering replacing the fragile, bendy metal rotors with discs of semi-transparent plastic or similar.

* = The Peter Pig head-swap system is very straightforward, & well-worth the effort of conversion.  Peter Pig sells a very wide variety of spare heads, which come on sprues, each with a long pin that can be snipped to the required length.  To remove the existing head, simply grip it using a pair of needle-nose pliers, & twist firmly one way, they the other, until it pops off.  Smooth the resulting break if necessary with a brief bit of filing, & then drill a hole where the neck would be, down into the body.  I find the GW hand drill to be the perfect size for the spare head pins. After testing the replacement head's pin length against the drilled hole, put a dab of glue in the hole, & slot the head carefully into place.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Syrian commando Pinned & Suppressed markers

I've been busy this summer & not worked on many miniatures, but my 1980s Syrian commando force for 15mm-scale Crossfire is nearing completion.  Here are the Pinned / Suppressed markers that I have painted.  I will use 1 marker next to an infantry stand for Pinned, & 2 markers for Suppressed.  They are a mix of casualty figures from the Peter Pig AK47 Republic range, mounted on 1p coins - smaller than the bases of the actual infantry stands that I am using.

I have painted these up like the rest of my commandos, in a mix of 'vertical lizard' pattern, the Syrian copy of the Pakistani pattern, & plain khaki fatigues.  I want my force to have a slightly rag-tag, but still professional look, suggesting that they are an ad-hoc collection of surviving commandos, hell-bent on giving the IDF armour real trouble.  Some of them have helmet covers, some plain Russian helmets, whilst another wears the characteristic bright orange Syrian 'elite' beret, & another a b/w keffiyeh.  The blood has been coated in gloss varnish.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Syrian commando leaders

Last night I finished painting these leaders for my 1980s Syrian 'hunter-killer' commando teams, for 15mm Crossfire.  By the accounts that I have read, these helo-borne commandos were very effective in their attacks on IDF armour in Lebanon - much more so than the outclassed Syrian tanks were.  The commandos used ambushes with ATGMs, RPGs, & even AT grenades, as well as calling-in Gazelle helicopter strikes on the advancing Israeli columns, to deadly effect.  The base with 2 figures is the Platoon Commander (I'm planning to add a wire aerial to the radio man).

 The other 4 single figures are Squad Leaders for each of the teams.  I have painted them in a mixture of  'vertical lizard pattern', patchy camo, & Syrian Army fatigues, because as is common with elite units, they were allowed a great deal of flexibility with dress.  Most of the figures are wearing the orange berets popular among Syrian elite & 'political' troops at the time.

The figures are from the excellent Peter Pig AK47 range.  They are based on Ø25mm laser-cut ply bases from Fenris Games, to match the width of the 25 x 50mm pill-shaped fireteam bases that I am using.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Small ruin

I knocked-up this small ruin to add to my 15mm-scale Middle East/Somalia collection.  As usual, it's made of 5mm & 3mm thick foamboard, textured with modelling paste, & gritted with sand in places, before painting & drybrushing.  A straightforward build, & nice change from making the usual intact adobe block buildings (especially fiddly ones with removable floors!). Shown here with a fireteam of IDF, based-up for Crossfire.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


It took much longer than it should have, but I finally finished this vineyard for my 15mm-scale moderns.  I based it on photos of Lebanese vineyards, & am intending it for use in a 'Lebanon 1982' setting, but it's generic enough to be multi-use.  It's based on a hand-sawn & sanded plywood offcut, with regular lolly sticks for the basis of grassy strips.  I textured the top with paint thickener (ready-mix filler), before flocking it with sand.  After painting the reddish 'Bekaa Valley' earth, I added the strips of grass using Gale Force Nine Summer Flock, along with tufts of static grass & GF9 Meadow Blend.  The grape trees (sections of cocktail stick covered in filler) & stakes (sections of hobby 'matchsticks') are glued into holes in large lolly sticks, using wood glue.  The foliage itself is trusty old hobby lichen. These strips can be removed from the base.

At least that's how it should have gone first time round.  I actually made the mistake of beginning by hand-drilling the holes for the grape trees & stakes in the base board, before realising that having the strips removable for vehicle & troops placement would be more practical.  Then I used a dark brown colour with GF9 Foundation Dirt for the base, which turned out looking nothing like the photos of fertile Middle Eastern ground that I had seen.  So the sand went over the top, & then the whole thing was repainted.  I also treated myself to a £20 rotary multi-tool, which sped up the drilling by a considerable amount, compared to my GW hand drill!  Hopefully I can use the rotary tool for the sanding in future too (a very boring & time-consuming element of scenery-making).

The finished vineyard is shown here with a fireteam base of IDF infantry (I'm experimenting with basing up my 'Lebanon 1982' figures for Crossfire, having been introduced to these unique rules by my friend Dom).  I'm in the process of making another similar vineyard, which can tessellate with this one at various angles to create a track passing through the area, & I also plan to do a citrus orchard.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Next up for my 15mm scale zombie apocalypse collection... 5 dogs!  These miniatures are from Peter Pig's Scenery range, & are only 6-7mm tall, but nevertheless very nicely detailed.  There are 3 unique sculpts in each 8-figure pack - I've painted them up as a golden retriever (or yellow labrador), border collie, labrador retriever, terrier cross-breed, & a German shepherd.  They are all mounted on 1p coins, which are flocked using Gale Force Nine dead/winter grass & dirt.  I really enjoyed painting these, & will probably pick up some farm animals to enhance my rural setting.

In Ambush Z rules terms some of these could be used as police or Military Working Dogs to sniff-out the zombies/Infected, but I'd like to add some house rules for encountering stray dogs as areas are searched - dogs which may be friendly, or alert the Infected with their barking...  Also, I think a scenario with guard dogs acting as alarms for survivors in a safe house could make for a good game.

I did consider painting one to represent my own dog (a cheeky Alaskan malamute), but it was too sad to think of her in an apocalyptic setting!  In the future I will paint another labrador & a German shepherd, but on desert bases, as MWDs for my Force on Force collection.  If I ever branch-out into Crufts miniature gaming, then I have a decent starting point!  :-D

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Armed Response Unit

More UK police painted for 15mm scale zombie apocalypse this week.  Here is an Armed Response Unit - 12 specially-trained coppers, 6 with SMGs & 6 with assault rifles.  The figures are US SWAT from Rebel Minis.  They are true 15mm scale, & realistically proportioned, which means they look slightly diminutive next to the Khurasan British Police that I painted (particularly the stooping advancing figures with SMGs).  This pack has 20 miniatures, in 4 unique variants - For both the SMG & AR figures, there is a version with & without backpack & lots of pouches.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A couple more survivors

Sticking with 15mm scale, here are a couple more armed civilians for my growing band of zombie apocalypse survivors.  One is a hard-as-nails ex-military survivalist who is in his element, & has managed to get hold of some serious firepower in the form of a SAW (he may look familiar to fans of The Walking Dead...) This figure is from the Khurasan Miniatures 'The Living Set 2'.

The other is a university professor... with a lump hammer!  The original model had a small tool in his hand, but I Green-Stuffed that into a more formidable weapon for dealing with the Infected.  This miniature is from the Rebel Minis 'Civilian Hunters Pack 2'.

As with all my 15mm figures, they are mounted on 1p coins.

Sunday, 5 July 2015


I was back on my 15mm-scale zombie apocalypse project this weekend - I painted a group of police.  Being set in the UK where the police are not routinely armed, & regardless of emergency measures, even in a hypothetical zombie outbreak they would be short on firearms.  So I have painted 2 of these as armed with X26 Taser pistols, & 1 with an X12 Taser shotgun.  The others have been issued with/rustled-up/salvaged/stolen a selection of SMGs, pistols & a shotgun.  I think some scenarios set during the initial hours of the outbreak, with police armed only with tasers & truncheons could be entertaining.  These miniatures are a pack of British Police from Khurasan Miniatures (8 unique sculpts in each pack).  They are very nice minis, but a little chunky & tall (average 17mm high).   The Land Rover is a £2 Corgi die-cast toy, which is roughly the right scale - good enough for small-scale tabletop wargaming at least.

 I was in a quandary over how to paint the uniforms for a while - I'm aiming for an 'ultra-modern' setting, & as of 2008 UK police forces have been phasing-in dark blue/black shirts to replace the traditional white button-ups, which were apparently uncomfortable & less utilitarian.  Even the rural police where I live wear the new dark blue shirts.  However, already some forces are considering introducing a white version of the new shirt, due to officers & the public (myself included) preferring the traditional 'less militaristic' smart white shirt.  This, combined with making it easier to distinguish between riot police, Armed Response Units, & common patrol coppers on the tabletop, led me to opt for the iconic white.

The figures are mounted on 1p coins, flocked with Gale Force Nine dead/winter static grass & earth.