Sunday, 31 July 2016

Britains Knights and Turks - Part 2

In this post I will cover the mounted Knights and Turks and the Turk Foot figures.

Mounted Knights

The mounted Knights were introduced in 1973.  Colour variations were minimal, the main differences being the caparisons and lance colours.   The lances which sometimes broke or went missing, could be replaced by resin ones  from a manufacturer called Lunar Tick Miniatures, but unfortunately he is no longer in business.   At a pinch, the Timpo lance can be made to fit but is slightly longer.
The front three figures are China Production, with better/more detailed paint schemes.

Turk Foot

Again, this series was introduced in 1973, the same remarks regarding colour schemes apply here as well.   The first row of figures are China Production.   As an aside, the figure on the right (708) had the sword hand modified early in production so as to have the sword at right angles to the body rather than running alongside it. 

Mounted Turks

As before, this series was introduced in 1973.   Same remarks regarding caparisons and lances as mentioned earlier apply here as well.

Robin Hood

Well, he came back from the Crusades, so I guess he fits in here.

The Robin Hood set was introduced in 1996 and was China Production.
They are nice figures, Friar Tuck being especially good.   Robin really needs more archers and some Sheriff's Men to oppose him.   Replicants do a set of Sheriff's Men, so that might be worth checking out.

The Castle

Of course, every Knight needs something to call his Castle so a few years I scratchbuilt this one.    It was designed to be modular, so I could make it smaller if required and for ease of storage.

The structure's modules were made from Foamcore and 3 mm MDF where strength was a requirement i.e at joining sections etc.   The joining sections were simply Rawl plugs that plugged into holes on their opposite numbers.   These pieces were all jig drilled to ensure uniformity.

The corners of the towers had quoins made up from card and some random stonework for a bit of texture was applied to the various walls.

The castle was then given a coat or two of Grey Stone Fleck Paint.   Unfortunately, this made the applied stonework a bit hard to see!   Details such as doors and arrow slits were picked out.

Finally some pictures of various bits of siege equipment that I have pieced together over the years
The Battering Ram, Mantlet, Scaling Ladders and Gabions were built over twenty years ago.
The Siege Tower needs finishing as do the Timpo Tents.   The catapults actually use tensioned twine and are quite effective.

The information for the release dates etc of the Deetails series was taken from that most excellent publication "Suspended Animation" by Peter Cole. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Now...Where was I ?

Oh yes!   Time for a blog post, long overdue!

Britains Knights and Turks.

Over the next couple of posts I hope to present my collection of Britains Knights and Turks.
First off the mark are the Foot Knights.

First Series Foot Knights on the left, Second Series in the middle and Swivel Knights on the right.
In the rear are Black Knights and DSG Knights.
Front left are some miscellaneous knights.

First Series.

This series was released in 1973.   Colour schemes remained the same for the most part, only the shield stickers varied.   

Second Series.

This series was introduced in 1978.   Again, colour schemes remained fairly standard with the shield stickers varying.

The Knights that Swivel!

These Knights were introduced in 1984.   The body could be made to swivel and if you were so inclined, could swap legs and bodies.   The mounted versions used the same torsos but with a mounted lower body.    Unfortunately, I do not have any of the mounted version.
Apparently, additional mounted figures with gold torsos and modified to take a large shield were were released in 1988 and called Banner Knights.

Black Knights.

Essentially the same figures as Series 2, this set was introduced in 1985.   I don't think there were mounted versions produced.

In the foreground is a set of China Production figures.  A mixture of Series 1 and 2, but with more detailed paint schemes.   Only 5 figures in the set though.

DSG Knights

A selection of DSG Knights.   Still available and in various colour schemes, I bought these to make up Command Units.   Nicely sculpted figures and they fit in well with Britains.

Odd Knights

Well, the two on the right are Britains but modifed/repainted and I have no idea about the two on the left.

There was another set of Knights released in 1986 and then re-introduced in 1997 as China production.   The less said of these monstrosities, the better.   They were, in my humble opinion, badly sculpted, and looked as if they were on a body builder's steroid regime.   I have a few in my spares box awaiting re-purposing!

Next post I hope to deal with the Turk Foot and Knight and Turk Mounted.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Maiden Voyage of HMQS Gayundah (the model!)

Finally Finished!

The Brisbane Courier 28th of March 1885

At long last I have completed my model of the Gayundah.    Regular readers of my blog may recall that I started her back in September of 2015.   I can happily report she has turned out in excess of expectations and I am extremely happy with her.   My problem now is finding somewhere to display her!

Anyway, some photos of the completed build.

Port Side
The rigging was simplified but enough was done to remain convincing.   Black thread was used for standing rigging and light tan for running rigging.

Stbd Side

The Queensland State flag was simply printed up on the home computer and attached to the aft Gaff.



The Navigation lanterns were made from Lego Red and Green pieces and brass paint was used to simulate the brass casing.

Stbd Side Boat Deck


As I mentioned in an earlier post, the ship's boats were made up from a card whaleboat kit from Fiddler's Green, with the exception of the 12' Dory.   For this boat I used a product from an American company, Micro Glass.

I ordered two small hulls from them, the 12' Dinghy and the 13' Double ended Lifeboat.   I was presently surprised to find they had also include a Boston Whaler and a 10' Dinghy.   The postage to Australia was also very reasonable.

I guess I need to start looking for another project.   Whatever it is I don't think it will be a big a job as this last one!

Thursday, 24 December 2015


I'd like to take the opportunity to wish my readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This post will be another mash up of miscellanea, tying up loose ends and such.

First off...........

Girls, Girls, Girls!

These are the Pinup and Desert Battle offerings from Masterbox.
I have not made these up yet, but a quick look at the contents show they will be very compatible with 1/32 scale figures.   The Pinups will be part of my Pulp collection whilst the Skull Clan girls will form part my Sy Fy/Fantasy collection.   More female figures are on the way but I will leave them for a future post.

Speaking of Sy Fy, next up is a couple of bags of Starcraft 2 Terran Marines.   These are available from Blizzard, the producer of the Starcraft video game and were very good value for the money.
   I obviously have to paint them and I am currently researching colour schemes markings etc.   Just the three poses, so some conversion work may be needed.  54mm in size.

Of course Space Marines need something to grind into the dirt so Blizzard also offer Zerglings.

Again, just the three poses, but I can live with that.
The masters were apparently modelled in a 3D environment and then tweaked physically once printed out to produce the finished miniatures.   Very intricate detail for a injection moulded model.

Readers may remember I made a reference in a earlier post regarding a secret project for a friend of mine in Scotland.    Les casually mentioned to me, he was wanting to wargame the conflict in Shanghai during the 1920's.
Of course, the iconic 1920 Pattern Rolls Royces were an integral part of the British Forces during the period so I made him one using spare parts leftover from my Rolls Royce 1920 Pattern build.

The Shanghai Rolls Royces were fitted with what was known as a Top Hat Turret.  This turret gave more protection to the vehicle commander when opened.  I also made the turret hatch open so as he could fit a crew figure if required.

A couple of miscellaneous items I sourced from a $2.00 shop.   These were cake separators, 4 to a bag and very cheap.   Once a bit of weathering is applied they should come up very nicely.   Of course, that means I will have to scratchbuild some sort of pediment to go on top sometime in the future.

The little dinosaur is a Allosaurus from the Schleich miniature dinosaur range.   Just right for Pulp Fiction gaming!

I finally obtained the last of the New Ray WW1 aircraft collection.   This one is the French Spad.   This will join my other WW1 aircraft.

Lastly, a little while ago I built a number of Universal Carriers.

In addition to the Standard English model I also made two examples of the Australian built version, the LP2.
This differed mainly in the construction of the bow/front and stowage on the rear deck.
I realised that I never produced any photos.

The two models are armed with a Vickers MG and a Boys anti tank rifle.
Decals are from Archer.

So, until next year, have a good Holiday Season and I hope Santa gets you what you wanted!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

HMQS Gayundah - Pt 8

Progress has been a little slow of late, the work itself is time consuming but very enjoyable nonetheless.
Below is my method of preparing the deadeyes so that they can be attached to the chain plates and the shrouds.
A simple jig was prepared to facilitate the attachment of the brass jump ring with ordinary black cotton thread.   This was just a series of overhand knots tied until I felt it was going to be strong enough.   The round deadeyes are Artesania Latina 8506 and the triangular style, no idea.   I have had them for years!

Once all the deadeyes had been rigged a start was made on the actual shrouds and ratlines.
Again a simple jig, or Rigging Board (not my idea, I stole it!) was made up using scrap MDF and household pins.   In the photo below you can also see the various threads used in the construction of the rigging.
Plain white cotton thread, DMC #8 Perle cotton, plain black cotton thread and what appears to be about .5 to .8 mm pure cotton thread.   This was sourced from the Jewellery makings section of a $2.00 shop.   It has a plasticized feel to it and was used to make the Backstays and other parts of the rigging.
   Lastly the actual thread I used for the Shrouds (the verticals of the Ratlines) was described as leather cord, 1mm.   I don think it's leather, more like a plasticized cotton.   Its braided and made it easier to sew the actual ratlines through it.   The ratlines were made from the DMC Perle.

Sheer Poles were made up from plastic strip with suitably sized holes drilled to take the Shrouds and Backstay.

 Almost completed Fwd Shrouds and Ratlines.   I still have to tidy up the Lanyards (which tie the two deadeyes together). 

Again, almost completed Shrouds and Ratlines.

The Guardrail stanchions have all now been fitted and the FX is almost complete.
I am awaiting an order of brass wire so that I can finish the Guardrails.
Navel pipes were let into the Fwd bulkhead, these were just rubber grommets superglued over a hole and painted black.   The two lengths of cable were then secured inboard and the Boat Deck was then attached.

The after Guardrails attached and wired up.

Finally, an overall view of Gayundah as she is presently.
Yards and Rigging still to be fitted.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

HMQS Gayundah - Part 7

Reaching out and touching someone...1880's style.

The Elswick Ordinance 8" Breech Loader Mk VII.

This gun was the main armament for both Gayundah and Paluma.

Construction of the piece started with plans, which are readily available from the Australian National Archives.   Indeed, the  Book of Reference "Instructions for the 8"Rifled Breech Loading Armstrong Gun and  Naval Carriage and Slide" are also reproduced.

A half template was made up from card and used to check the proportions and contours.
A piece of old mop handle was used and in hindsight, I should have used a better quality wood.  It turned fairly well but it needed a bit of filling and sanding  afterwards.
Trunnions were added and the bore opened out.

The carriage was next up and this was constructed from plastic sheet for the cheeks, slices of knitting needle for the carriage wheels and plastic rod for the rivets.   The elevation handwheel was from a cheap toy Jeep.

The Slide was constructed from Evergreen styrene strip and shapes.
The chequer plate panels either side of the compression plates were made up from plastic banding strap (used to hold large boxes, items, etc together).

The Barrel has been undercoated and the slide completed.   Traversing gear was made up from brass wire and strip, a cut down brass bolt for the pinion gear and plastic tube and brass wire made up the Running In handwheels.   Slices of appropriately sized knitting needle were used for the slide rollers.

The piece completed.
However, this is not the gun I will be using in Gayundah.   I took a mold of the Barrel and cast it in resin.   I wasn't going to hide all that work between decks!

In the foreground is the gun destined for the ship.   An extempore mount was put together so that it sits at the right height and was then inserted and attached.

Please forgive the messy FX!   That part of ship still needs to be squared away.
The anchors are hanging from their Davits (which still have to be painted) and the Cable will be led through Naval Pipes (Spurling Pipes for our American cousins) which will be let into the For'rard bulkhead.

Ship's Boats

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Gayundah carried two Whalers, a Lifeboat and a Dory.
I found an excellent card model of a Whaler on the Fiddler's Green site by Richard Dery

This was reduced by 85% to 1/32nd scale, printed out onto 200gsm card and two Whalers were promptly made up.

The port side Whaler hanging on her davits.

The lifeboat was made up from the Whaler kit but I removed a section from the middle and raised her freeboard slightly.   It is not quite what I wanted but it is close.

I still have to source a suitable Dory.   A company in Cornwall, England makes hulls of different types of boats so I might give them a try.

Of course. the boats need something to hang from so I made up the Boat's Falls from little buttons I picked up from a local Craft Store and some plastic strip.

The tackle I was making up is known as a Two Fold Purchase and you can see the method I used to reproduce them in the photo above.   Small eye hooks were let into the middle part of the block and superglued.   The plastic strip was trimmed off after the block was made up.

The Blocks were then reeved with Embroidery Floss (Sullivans Light Tan).   I had to get out my old Seamanship Manual to get the falls reeved correctly.   It has been a few years since I did one!
A 6mm hook was used on the Boat's Falls which engages with an eye hook on the bow and stern of the boat.   Lobster clasps were used on the Anchor Davits for the anchors.

Finally, a picture of the Conning Tower/Wheelhouse.

The Compass Binnacle was scratchbuilt using plastic tube, strip, a wooden ball, 2 plastic beads and a brass Jump ring.   The staunchions are from a Victorian company who I can highly recommend,

I purchased a number of detail items from them and the service was friendly and fast.
I hope to do the rest of the staunchions around the perimeter of the upper decks by the next post.   They should be painted white but I can't bring myself to paint them as they look too tiddly as they are!