How to Make Flying AT-3 Saggers

I built some Saggers some time ago, and they proved to be quite useful. However, once the ATGM was in flight it needed to be marked, and coins looked unsightly so I decided that I would build physical markers for the Saggers.

I started out by building a set of Saggers as I did previously. I then drilled into the Sagger and the 1.5 in wood base with a pin vice. Then I superglued in a piece of wire to make it look like they were flying.

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After that, I painted everything with Ceramacoat Dark Forest Green.

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I then drilled holes into the ends of the Saggers and superglued in a longer piece of wire to look like the guidewire for the ATGM.

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After that, I took some black foam and ripped it to shape. It was then heavily drybrushed with red, orange, and yellow. I affixed it to the back by pulling it over the wire to make it look like it was extending from the back of the ATGM.

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And with that, the Sagger markers were finished and ready for use against NATO forces.

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Until next time,

– MinisMuse

How to Make a Mad Max Car

I was recently inspired to create a Mad Max themed car for a game I designed. Looking around I found an old low-quality Hot Wheels car.

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The first step was to take the car apart; I used a dremel to cut the bottom of the car off, however, this could have easily have been accomplished with a knife.IMG_7959

The first thing to do was to customize the body. I added a ram to the front made out of some wood scraps I had lying around. Then I added armor to the front wheels, made with some thin plastic, and attached with super glue to look like welding. The spikes were done with more wood. I drilled and added a piece of round sprue for a tailpipe, and added on a Lego piece for part of a motor.IMG_7961

I then customized the undercarriage with the addition of wheel spikes made out of yet more wood.IMG_7962

Then I moved to the windshield. I started by fogging up the entire windshield with a fine grit sandpaper.  Then I added a piece of plastic and some paper for a more armored feel.IMG_7963

I then added bullet holes with a small drill bit and a knife.IMG_7964

Then the pieces were primed for painting.IMG_7965

The car was then test-fitted before painting.IMG_7966

I started with a Ceramcoat Grey Drizzle undercoat and then a 4:1:2 mix of Silver, Ceramcoat Black, and a brown.IMG_7967

To brighten it up I drybrushed with a bright silver.IMG_7968

Then a heavy blackwash was applied to the entire model.IMG_7969

Then a heavy coat of rust and Testors Dullcote to finish the model.IMG_7970

Final images of the car – Ready to roam the wastes at high speed!IMG_7971.JPGIMG_7972.JPG

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

How to Paint Cold War Canadians

After consuming a steady diet of Deutschland 83′ and the lovely book First Clash by Kenneth Macksey, I decided that it was time to add to my 1/32 Cold War armies with some Canadians. To start with I trawled the web for references and found out that the Canadians typically wore a US Vietnam look-alike uniform in the summer. With the goal of being able to churn out infantry I made the paint job easy. I started with some old plastic toy soldiers and primed them dark gray. Then, for the uniforms I did two coats of GHQ Modern US Helicopter Green.

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For the flesh I did an undercoat of Ceramcoat Ivory and then a layer of Ceramcoat Trail Tan.

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The for webbing I went with a combination of 1 to 1.5 to 1 mix of Ceramcoat Dark Forest Green, Ceramcoat Dark Brown, and Ceramcoat Ivory.

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Boots and M-16’s were painted with Ceramcoat Black.

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Helmets were the most distinctive part. I prized speed over accuracy with these guys so I went with something that looked somewhat accurate rather than a time consuming but super accurate look. I started with an undercoat of GHQ Modern US Helicopter Green, and then stippled GHQ Camouflage Green for tonal variation. For the camouflage I stippled the mix that I had used for the webbing, Ceramcoat Dark Brown, Ceramcoat Dark Forest Green, and GHQ Commonwealth Khaki Drab. To finish them I then painted the base Ceramcoat Dark Forest Green.

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The most identifying mark for them was the flags, so I did a little free hand with Ceramcoat White and Ceramcoat Fire Red.

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To finish them off there were a couple layers of Dullcote applied to prevent chipping.

Pictures of the finished infantry:

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Until next time,

– MinisMuse

VZ-8 Airgeep

As a present I decided to scratch build a VZ-8 Airgeep. This model is the first historical scratch build I have done, and I found it challenging, but quite fun and rewarding.

IMG_7027The Airgeep was originally designed in 1957 for the US Army by Piasecki Aircraft (later acquired by Boeing) and designated the VZ-8 Airgeep. The Airgeep was mandated by the US military to be a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) craft, with a top speed of about 70 miles per hour (it ended up with a top speed of 85 mph), able to operate a low altitude, and be able to deliver atomic weapons.IMG_7029The second iteration of the VZ-8 was called the VZ-8P (B) Airgeep II. It was bent in the middle to tilt the rotors and reduce drag, it made its first un-tethered flight in 1962. The VZ-8P (B) model added seating for 3 passengers, and ejection seats for pilot and co-pilot. In 1963 the US Army canceled the program, deciding that helicopters would be better suited to its needs.IMG_7030The VZ-8P (B) it had a ceiling near 3,000 feet (914 meters). In addition to flying its front undercarriage was powered so it could drive along the ground.IMG_7032The VZ-8P (B) used two 400-hp Turbomeca Artouste IIC turbo-shaft engines, linked together. If one were to fail, the other one could drive both rotors. Only one engine was linked to the undercarrage however. The engines drove two 8.16 feet (2.5 meter) rotors, with 300 kilowatts of power each.IMG_7033The VZ-8P (B) was rather small at 24.4 ft (6.8 m) long, 5.8 ft (1.8 m) tall, and 9.25 ft (2.8 m) wide. Its take-off weight was 3648.65 pounds (1655 kg), if empty only 2597.05 pounds (1178 kg). When flying the VZ-8P (B) had a range of 34.2 miles (55 kilometers).IMG_7036The VZ-8P (B) had the ability to mount a recoilless rifle, although 50 caliber machine gun would have probably been mounted as an alternative had it gone into production. I decided not to model a weapon as I could not find one suitable to the size of the model.IMG_7037According to US military reports, the VZ-8 was a very stable weapons platforms able to engage targets with weapons effectively. The slight bend in the VZ-8P (B) gave it visibility above cover, even while fully concealed, something helicopters cannot do.IMG_7038Tactically the Airgeep was designed to operate close to the ground, in between buildings, gullies, and other cover. This would also keep it out of radar detection. The Airgeep’s flying would have allowed it to cross all terrain, as well as avoid mines, fixed obstacles, and potentially ambushes. It would have operated much like its name, a air-capable Jeep.IMG_7039

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

After Action Report: Column

Robert Ernst looked through his binoculars down the road. His unit had been cut off by the Soviets in the beginning rush of WW3, and he had been unable to contact friendly forces due to jamming. In the distance, a dust plume heralded the arrival of  Soviet vehicles advancing on his position. It appeared that now was the time to fight.

This game was a battle between an 2nd echelon Soviet unit, and an U.S. unit that had been surrounded and cut off. The Soviet goal was to destroy as many U.S. forces as possible, and advance off the board with minimal causalities. The U.S. forces were trying to repel the Soviets, but still maintain their fighting force. I was playing the U.S. forces, and would hopefully be able to ambush the Soviets, retreat while inflicting damage, and take none in return.

Soviet Forces were: T-72 x9, BMP x9 (Infantry x9), ZSU-23-4 x2.

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U.S. Forces consisted of: Starship x3, M113 with I-TOW x3, LAW Teams x4, M-60 Teams x2, Infantry Teams x2, Artillery Strike x1.IMG_7426

The Soviets started the game by bringing on 6 of their T-72’s. Immediately a U.S. hunter-killer team attacked out of one of the buildings next to the road, however they failed to destroy a T-72.

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The Russians advance with 3 of the T-72’s, while the other 3  peel off and attack with co-axil machine guns and main guns. In the hail of fire they killed the hunter-killer team and started the house on fire. The Soviets then brought on 3 BMP’s.IMG_7407

Seeing their comrades killed, 3 Starships revealed themselves and fired on the lead T-72’s, killing two of them.IMG_7408

The Soviet commander ordered the remaining T-72’s to pull off and engage the Starships in the forest. The Soviets then brought on an additional 3 BMP’s, while the 3 currently on the board head down a side road.IMG_7409

The Starships return fire on the advancing T-72’s killing 2 more of them.IMG_7410

All Soviet forces move up and attack the Starships, a Konkurs ATGM from a BMP kills one. At the same time, the Soviets bring on 3 more BMP’s.

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The Starships break contact and retreat, removing them from play. The threat over, the Soviets start to move toward the town again, and opt not to bring on more units this turn. U.S. forces wait patiently for the Soviets to get into range.

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The Soviets bring in their last BMP unit, and then the ZSU’s. U.S. M113 I-TOW’s strike, ambushing the leading T-72’s and kill off 2 of them.

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T-72’s and BMP’s advancing along the right side of the town find my Starships unawares, and, due to the surprise, they kill a Starship. IMG_7417

On the other side of town the Soviets return fire at the M113 I-TOWS, killing two, and forcing the other one to pull back.IMG_7416

U.S. LAW teams on the right side of town fire at the BMP’s, but both miss. However, the Starships fare better and kill a lone T-72.IMG_7418

The Soviets advance up into the town, the T-72 on the left side of town kills one more of my Starships. Another  T-72 with BMP support kills one of the LAW teams, while the other team scuttles away.

The remaining Starship returns fire, but misses its shot at the T-72 on the left side of town, the LAW team is luckier, and destroys another BMP.

The tank battle on the left side of town ends with the last Starship being destroyed, and the final LAW team wiped from the manor house. As the Soviets advance, M-60 teams in several buildings ambush the BMP’s, and a LAW team ambushes the T-72’s. However, the attack is in vain as they all fail to do damage.

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The ZSU’s kill off the LAW team, and the BMP’s machine guns wipe out a M-60 team. In a last attack, fire from infantry and the M-60 team kill off 2 squads of Soviet infantry.

Combined fire from the BMP’s, infantry, and ZSU’s, wipe out the last resistance.

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In a last ditch attempt to stop the Soviets, the bridge is blown, and an artillery strike called in. The strike is lucky, and kills 3 BMP’s. In the end though, it is to little, to late, and the Soviets advance off the table.IMG_7424

The game ended in a defeat for the U.S. forces, as they had been completely shattered, with only 2 Starships and an M113 I-TOW remaining. The Soviets did take heavy losses, but were still able to call it a win at the end of the day.

Reasons for U.S. defeat: My ambushes didn’t work, at the start it seemed to be going well. However, the Starships I had planned to use for an ambush in the town, were pinned down and destroyed, leaving me with little left. Again I failed to build a concentrated group of firepower, in attacks I would fire and then be hit back harder than I had hit. At the end of the day, I had poor rolls, poor luck, poor tactics, and poor decisions.

Reasons for Soviet victory: The use of mass units operating in two teams, allowed the overwhelming of resistance when it was presented. The unorthodox flanking of the town proved to be lucky, as it prevented a counterattack by the Starships that were lying in wait. They also had a superbly executed pincer movement that identified, pinned down and destroyed resistance, while eliminating the threat of counter attacks.

Robert Ernst looked down at the town where the rest of his unit was, or had been. The town was smoldering, and you could no longer hear the sound of gunfire. The Soviets had crushed all resistance. Robert turned back to his tank, now low on fuel and ammunition. He was still cut off. At least he was alive, and could continue the fight.

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

 

 

How to Make 15MM Tables

I had an idea in my head for several weeks to create tables to use with Traveller and wargames. After much thought I decided to try making the tables. The idea turned out to be better than I thought, in just 20 minutes I was able to turn out 12 tables for gaming with.

The first step was to create the table patterns I would use. This was accomplished with about 15 minutes in a digital painting program (such as Gimp or Microsoft Paint), though if you wanted to do a solid color for the tops of your tables, it would be much quicker.IMG_7384

The next step is to take old junk coins, in my case pennies, and then proceed to cover the head side of them evenly with glue, so that they would have a flat surface.

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Then on the backside of the paper with the table tops, I marked where to place the coins.IMG_7387

I then used a spray on adhesive, (as using glue would warp the paper) and attached the coins to the back of the pattern paper, heads side down.

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After that I cut out the table tops.

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Then I glued some Lego pieces (slices of dowel would work to) to the bottom of the coins to act as legs.

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I then painted the edges of the tabletops with black of make them look uniform.IMG_7392

As you can see, the tables add a great 3-D aspect to 2-D paper.IMG_7394

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

How to Paint Traveller Powered Armor Infantry

Along with the Marines that I got from RAFM, there were also “Powered Armor Infantry”. These heavy infantry will back up the rest of my troops with some more substantial firepower.

I started by priming them with white.

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I then washed them with a 1 to 1 wash of GHQ Sea Blue and water.

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After that I painted the legs and upper arms with GHQ Charcoal Grey.

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The next step was to paint the weapons and lower arms with a 4 to 1 to 1 mix of silver, brown, and black.

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I then started to detail the backpacks and jetpacks with Ceramcoat Black.

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After that I drybrushed and highlighted the black with Ceramcoat Hippo Grey.

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I continued by painting a red stripe on the right sholder pad with Pactra Flat Insignia Red for unit designation.

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To finish off the detailing, I painted each backpack with Ceramcoat Yellow, Testors Gloss Green, and Pactra Flat Insignia Red.

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I decided that the red stripes I had painted earlier looked bad on a blue background, so I painted the shoulder pads with a 1 to 3 mix of black and silver. I then started on the bases with GHQ Camouflage Brown for the “Desert World” look.

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While painting the bases I realized that the legs were not to my liking, so I did a heavy drybrush of FolkArt Metallic Silver to brighten them up. To finish I did several heavy washes of GHQ Dark Brown on the bases to tone them down and make them more interesting.
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I ended by spraying them with several layers of Dullcote to prevent the paint from coming off.

Picture of the finished squad:

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Until next time,

– MinisMuse

How to Make Jungle Terrain

One of the very first things I ever did with miniatures was to make jungle terrain. It presented itself as fast, easy, cheap, and fun. The way I make my jungle terrain allows me to make as many as I want with little effort and time.

I start off with a 2 inch square of foam core/foam board

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I then took a hobby knife to the edges to make a base.IMG_7308

After that two coats of Creamacoat Dark Forest Green to the base.IMG_7309

To that I applied some simple green flock.

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I used some plastic plants that are supposed to be used for flower arrangements, but make amazing jungle plants.

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Then I punched holes into the base for the plants to fit into and glue them in with PVA glue.

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It works great for both 28mm and 15mm scales, just add a couple of rocks and your terrain is finished.

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Until next time,

– MinisMuse

How to Build an AT-3 Sagger

I got a sudden urge to build some anti-tank capability for the Soviets. Thus I decided to build the most recognizable infantry anti-tank weapon: the AT-3 Sagger.

I started out by cutting a 1/4 inch dowel into sections 1 inch long.

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Then I took a sanding block and beveled the ends.

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I made a cross incision on the backs of the dowels with an hobby saw.

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After that I glued in sections of post-it notes to make the fins of the Sagger.

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Then I trimmed the post-it notes down to finish the ATGM.

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For the launcher I started with blocks of balsa 1/4 x 1/2 x 3/4 inches long.

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To the blocks I added wire pieces, then super glued them down. These will serve as launch rails for the ATGM to rest on.

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I then glued the Saggers to the launch rails.

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After that I painted them with Ceramcoat’s Forest Green.

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The finished Sagger looks great, soon the Soviets will be setting up the Saggers left and right. NATO forces will need to be very careful from now on!

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Until next time,

– MinisMuse