Wednesday, 29 May 2013

40mm Sharpe and Harper - finished

The Pledge for May 2013 - a simple vignette of Sharpe and Harper from Graven Images sculpted by Jim Bowen who sadly passed away earlier this year.

I have commented about the sad passing of Jim here and felt that painting and mounting this small display piece was a fitting tribute to one of my favourite 40mm sculptors. He will be sadly missed.

Photo Two - Sharpe and Harper gloss varnished with Ronseal Tough Coat.

Photo Three - Now matt varnished, this time with Galleria acrylic matt varnish (two coats).

Photo Four - Varnished and decorated with some static grass tufts which were glued in place with uPVA glue.

Photos Five, Six and Seven - Additional views of the finished display vignette.

These two figures had sat forgotten in my 'too-do' box for quite a time. With the news that Jim had passed away, I felt that it was the perfect opportunity to pay homage to his memory and finally base and paint these miniatures. I have tried to produce a 'serious' display piece, spending time painting, sculpting the base and finishing off the whole project to the best of my ability. In the end I am very pleased with my efforts but know that I could have done better.

Rest in Peace Jim Bowen


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

40mm Sharpe and Harper - part six

Not much to show as all I have done since the last post is Gloss Varnish the figures and the groundwork. I still need to paint the metallic areas and there are some small areas that need added detailing or cleaning up.

I have used Ronseal Hard Coat Gloss Varnish and left it for three days to fully dry.

Today is wet and grey so I would not expect to be going out, I will try to get the last of the painting completed. I am still on-track for finishing this small group before the end of May - My Pledge for May. Then onto a group of Orc Rifles (Flintloque) that I have been promising myself for months.


Sunday, 26 May 2013

UK Games Expo 2013

On Saturday morning I drove across the Midlands from Droitwich to the NEC and the new venue for Games Expo. I have previously reported on this event, which used to be held at The Clarendon Suite on the outskirts of Birmingham. This year the organisers have decided to move the event to the Hilton on the NEC site.

I will say from the outset that I was against this move as I rather enjoyed the intimate atmosphere of The Clarendon Suite with its two main halls and loads of smaller event rooms.

Firstly, the carparking was free, although there was some discussion as to whether there would be enough for the whole day. I was pleased with my initial impressions and within minutes had passed through the main reception and registration areas. At just £8.00 entry for the one day - I thought is was reasonable.

I quickly made my way through the first hall (it was too busy) and into the second gaming area where there were loads of gaming tables and spare seating. This was a pleasant surprise as it meant that I could take stock of the rooms and enjoy a quiet browse.

I did not take many photos as the bulk of the areas were board games, however these two displays were very well done, a Gladiatorial game and my first real look at X Wing, which was being displayed on a fantastic gaming table.

There was the usual Dr Who area and the two named guests were soon mobbed by fans. Sergeant Benton - John Levene was particularly talkative and approachable. The second character Dorium Maldovar - Simon Fisher-Becker, was less identifiable without his blue face paint.

Within the first hour the event got even busier and I decided to browse some of the outer rooms where the various tournaments were being held.

There were a number of rooms  similar to this one where ardent gamers were engrossed in beating their opponents. As with last year I was ultimately very disappointed with these displays as they are not set up for display to the general public or browsers. This maybe an unfair criticism although I think it is the job of the organisers to make all sections open to all and to set up gaming tables with some WOW factor.

The Bring-and-Buy hall was the usual scrum, but with little of interest for me. I picked up just one magazine.

By 12.30pm - just three hours after arriving I was ready to go. It is difficult to pass too much negative comment on this show at it "does exactly what it says on the tin". It is a gaming exhibition to allow gamers to try out new board games. I was used to the eclectic mix of wargame, gaming and traders that I had seen at The Clarendon Suite and as such was a little disappointed.

I spent very little, buying a couple of magazines some figures and a book - total spend below £30.00.

I do not expect that I will be attending next year. However do not be put off if board games and new gaming ideas are your thing. It is just that I was expecting something a little different from what I found.

It would be interesting to read reviews from others who attended - to see if I was alone in this view.


Saturday, 25 May 2013

"The Longhorn" The Stanley Steam Tank from Black Army Productions

Black Army Productions have recently released this resin model of The Stanley Steam Tank that served for a short time with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the last days of WW1. For full details go to this link.

The master for this model was constructed by me from my own plans based on some black and white images (see below). The model is now available for sale from Black Army Productions (link).

During planning and subsequent e-mail messages, I started to call it The Longhorn. This nick-name seems to have stuck! The model was built to a scale of 1/55th - 1/56th from dimensions listed on the wiki page. To the best of my knowledge there are no detailed scale plans available for this historic tank, however I feel I have captured the 'look' of this 50 ton monster. I can see it being a winner with Pulp and Alternative History gamers.

There is some controversy about a supposed flame-thrower turret mounted on the roof. Although mentioned in some reports I was not able to find one image showing its actual use or fitting. Further details can be found on this Lead Adventure message post here. In addition some Black Army Productions Facebook photos of the finished resin casting can be found here.

Images taken from the Black Army Productions web page.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood

(Updated; Wednesday, 18.08.15) I have now sold ALL the remaining copies of the book Building Wargame Terrain

The books will be sold for £18.00 each. Payment via (old fashioned) cheque or Paypal. 


Revised Postage & Packaging will be;
UK - £4.50
Europe - £8.50
Rest of the World - £12.50
(Anyone who wants the book/package to be signed for - then please contact me at the time of ordering and I will amend the P&P costs).

Please Note; Due to UK postage size and weight restrictions. I will send two parcels if you order Book One and Book Two together. There will be NO Discount on postage if you buy either both or two of the same books.


Should anyone wish to order a copy of the book, could you please e-mail me at;  dampfpanzerwagon(at) With your full name and address and Paypal account details - so I can invoice you.

Please include the title Building Wargame Terrain in the e-mail.


For those that regularly follow this Blog, there should be no surprises, however for anyone new to Dampf's Modelling Page, a little explanation;

For some years I have been producing various model making tutorials and articles for a number of both electronic and fully-published magazines, for example - Barking Irons Online, The Ancible and most recently Miniature Wargames. In 2010 I was approached to write a couple of 'how-to' articles for a planned book on building wargame terrain and although this project never materialized, I started on three models. These three turned into many more (some of which have already been featured on this Blog). This book 'Building Wargame Terrain' is the result.

The book will feature brand new and never before seen tutorials on how I build and paint my wargame terrain. There will be a variety of modelling techniques and although mainly focusing on 28mm models, there is one 15mm building.
  • A4 size
  • Full colour throughout
  • 98 pages
  • Over 330 colour images
  • 15,000 words
  • Premium paper (170gsm) and card (300gsm) for the cover
  • Perfect bound
  • Step-by-step construction and painting tutorials


Thursday, 23 May 2013

UK Games Expo 2013

This weekend Birmingham is playing host to the UK Games Expo 2013. For full details go to this link. My plan is to attend the show on Saturday May 25th.

This is the first year that the show will be held at the NEC Hilton Metropole hotel, having been previously sited at The Clarendon Suite off Hilton Road, Birmingham. It is with some apprehension that I have decided to go as the Clarendon was only 30 minutes away from home with free parking. The Metropole being twice the distance and previous experience of the NEC, Birmingham makes me wonder just how much they are going to charge for parking?

Expect a short report very soon and if you are planning on going post a comment, maybe we can meet up.


Monday, 20 May 2013

40mm Sharpe and Harper - part five

Photos Two, Three, Four and Five - Show the progress so far. I still need to paint the metallic areas and varnish but I am very pleased with how the piece is coming along. I know that it would have been easier to have fully painted the two figures prior to properly basing them, but I am too impatient (one of the reasons that I will never be a great figure painter).

Photo Six - A close up of the groundwork and how the two miniatures have had their metal bases blended into the DAS modelling clay.

Not much more painting to do, then on to the varnishing. I am still not sure if I should add some feature to the base - a broken bottle or water container. I plan on having some dry static grass tufts but little else.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

40mm Sharpe and Harper - part four

I wanted this pair of 40mm Graven Image figures to be mounted on to a display or diorama base. I searched through my box of bits and settled on this 50mm round 28mm tall socket or plug of rough wood, (pine I think) that I picked up some time ago. I have no idea what it is or was but am glad that I kept it.

Photo One - I added a couple of layers of scrap balsa wood to the rear and some simple wood chips to the front. Once these were superglued in place, I trimmed them to shape with a large 'snap-off' bladed knife and filled any gaps with DAS modelling clay and/or Milliput over a layer of uPVA glue.

The edges of the socket/plug were very rough and rather than try to smooth them out I though I would make use of this roughness to add some interest to the base.

Photo Two - The base was sealed with a mix of uPVA glue and some white acrylic paint. I also added a 50mm round resin base to the bottom. (I am not sure where I bought the base from, as it was some time ago). I superglued the socket to the resin base and filled the slight gap with some ready mixed filler (Spackle).

Photo Three - Prior to painting, I washed the whole base with some diluted Badab Black wash from Games Workshop.

Photo Four - The stonework was simply drybrushed with some Skull White and Chaos Black while the sides of the socket were painted Black.

Photo Five - OK, I've been very impatient and mounted the two figures onto the base prior to completing the painting. What can I say - I'm a big kid and I wanted to see how the composition worked!

The miniatures bases were mounted in to the diorama base after I had cut two small holes into the balsa and wood chips. I used superglue to secure the miniatures and then built up the groundwork with DAS. In this photo you can see that I have also added some sieved stones and fine sand over the groundwork. This was applied over dilute uPVA glue.

There is still some work to do on this diorama, but I am pleased with the progress so far and think the two figure composition works well - Sharpe charging to the front and Harper covering the rear.

I am using the term 'socket' as I have recently read some tutorials by German model makers who use the same term. I am sure that 'plinth' would work just as well, however as this piece of scrap wood is so rough, I have stuck with socket.


Friday, 17 May 2013

Figure Painter Magazine - issue #1

Last night while searching through some of my favourite Blogs I came across this new on-line magazine - Figure Painter, for full details go to this link.

At just £1.00 for the download I thought it was worth a punt and with only one exception (I could not find the link to download the magazine) the purchase via Paypal and download went smoothly.

The on-line magazine follows a similar format and layout to The Ancible, and Portal, with painting, modelling and gaming articles interspersed with adverts. Edited by Shane Rozzell, and with 56 full colour pages I think it is worth while watching/supporting although I do question if there is enough new content to support anything more than a quarterly publication.

I think the single tutorial, Dark Carnival by Sean Fulton (which won Best of Show at ReaperCon 2013) was worth the £1.00 on its own! There is also an in-depth review of X-Wing, a game that I have yet to play and an interesting build review of The Forest Guardian a resin cast bear and rider by AX Faction.

As an old dinosaur, I am still not entirely comfortable with digital magazines, and prefer the feeling of gloss paper in my hand. I know that in this age of electronic pads and e-readers I am a lone voice. But this is my view.

Considering it is only issue one, I think this is an admirable attempt at producing a special interest e-magazine. I will keep an eye out for future issues and report back here.

Check out the official site here and if you do decide to buy, please mention this Blog.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

War Paint - Euro Militaire guide Vol. 1

To regular readers and followers it should be obvious that I enjoy painting model soldiers. I also like to browse both images and magazines of beautifully painted model soldiers such as Military Modeller. In fact my modelling focused bookshelf if crammed full of both 'how to' and 'eye candy' publications featuring model soldiers in all sorts of scales.

I have never believed that my model painting is anywhere near the same standard as those featured in these books and magazines, but I still enjoy both my hobby and seeing how other modellers approach their subject.

This Euro-Militaire and Verlinden's guide features winning entries from the Euro-Militaire competitions 1988 - 91 and is packed full of beautifully painted and staged figures. For me it 'ticks all the boxes', with figures from many different scales and genres - all painted to a standard I can only dream of achieving.

I picked up this copy from e-bay earlier this week. A real treat for me to enjoy.

I am aware that there are others in the series, Volume 2 and Volume 3. I will keep an eye out for them.

With just short of 30 pages, each one packed with full colour photographs of model soldiers this is a book for the true 'Lead Head'. First published in 1992 by Euro Militaire and Verlinden Publications.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

40mm Sharpe and Harper - part three

The Pledge for May 2013 continues. Sharpe and Harper from Graven Images sculpted by Jim Bowen.

Photos One and Two - Sharpe has had his flesh areas and the jacket 'blocked-in'. At this stage I am trying for a neat effect, but not too worried about defining either the details or the edges.

Photos Three and Four - Sergeant Harper at the same stage.

Photos Five and Six - I have painted the trousers (or overalls) in a bottle green colour, although this does not show up too well in these photos. The sash is Gore Red with Blood Red highlights.

Photos Seven and Eight - Not much to see on the Harper figure, the shoes are painted and the sack has been blocked-in and highlighted.

There is still lots to do but I am pleased with progress so far. To see the earlier posts go to this link and this link.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Hobbit - on audio cassette tapes

I recently had to repair my Mother-in-Laws personal cassette player (she likes to listen to audio books - the ones on old fashioned cassettes which Sue and I pick up for her from charity shops). Having repaired hers, I thought I would try to repair my own cassette player - it has not worked for ages.

I spent about 30 minutes cleaning and making sure all the rollers were in place and tested it with this 4 cassette audio book - The Hobbit. I had intended to just check if it was working properly, but ended up listening to all four cassettes and really enjoying it.

Over the years, I have listened to a number of audio books (on cassette and CD) while down my shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden making or painting models. I find them the perfect accompaniment, well that and Radio 5 Live - the sports radio station.

Not much more to add - a great little story tape, one that I really enjoyed.


Friday, 10 May 2013

Darker Horizons from Miniature Wargames

I recently picked up this magazine from e-bay. Darker Horizons was a one-off publication by Atlantic Publishers - the publishers of Miniature Wargames. The magazine is a 52 page standard format layout and published in Winter 2011 with a cover price of £4.25. Until quite recently DH was featured on the Atlantic Publishing Home page, see this link.

Until I saw this mag. on e-bay, I thought that Darker Horizons was a planned publication. I had not realised that there had actually been a printed copy! Silly me.

The first illustration shows the cover and the second the contents page. for more detail you can 'click' on the image for a larger view.

This introduction was written by Andrew Hubback (editor) and Dave Clubmember. Once again you can 'click' on the image for a larger view and a great read.

(Images taken from the Internet for review purposes only and used without permission - should there be a problem, I can and will remove them)

With the decision of Atlantic Publishing to re-launch Miniature Wargames with Battlegames under the new editor Henry Hyde, the DH title will remain in-house for possible and future Sci-Fi themed publications.

I have not yet read the magazine from cover-to-cover, but the articles I have read have been well worth the bidding cost and postage.

I regret that at this moment there is no traditionally published Sci-Fi/Fantasy focused magazine like DH, with Ragnarok (SFSFW) being published on an ad-hoc basis and others like The Ancible being downloadable only. In the current economic climate I would suggest that there are few brave enough to take a chance on launching such a publication.

For further comments see this post.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Russian Church

Continuing with my plan to highlight some of my older terrain pieces I have chosen this huge Russian Church. Which I built nearly twenty years ago.

The model is one of my largest pieces of terrain standing nearly 18inches (450mm) tall. The main structure is foam-card with plain card cladding and DAS modelling clay roof tiles. The golden dome was scratch-built by constructing a card skeleton and then wrapping masking tape around the form before cladding with newspaper scraps and uPVA glue.

The building is unusual in my collection, being built on a cardboard base rather than plastic card or MDF.

I based the building on a small 15mm Russian Church that I saw in a model shop in France. I was able to make some sketches and then built the model on my return to the UK. Just in case it is not obvious - the model is a solid construction, no lift-off roof. While the colour scheme was inspired by a small painting from the Russian artist and illustrator Ivan Bilibin.

The miniatures are Alternative Armies, Bog Orc Zombies from the 1st Moldsk Guard (LEU02). See this link.

The images are taken in shaded sunlight on my flock-covered gaming board with a large holiday brochure poster as a backdrop.