Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yep, that time of year again.

The car is frozen solid and, after battling penguins to get inside, I find out that it won't start.

Very, very annoying!

Time to think about a new car methinks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Several completed builds

It's been a while since I posted anything and I have now completed three different builds that have been ongoing for a while!

First up is the 1/20 Maschinen Krieger Krupp Kröte:

Although the Kröte itself is finished, I still have to get around to completing the base and a figure to go with it.

Next off the conveyor belt was the 1/35 Dinomania Group Build entry, Dinodistopia:

Finally, I finished the 1/20 Maschinen Krieger Luna Pawn modification, the Meteor:

More photos can be found on Flickr.

Monday, August 25, 2008

1-hour Ma.K build!

Given my usual glacial building pace, this was an extreme challenge!

The idea, devised by Homo Ferratus, had only three rules:
  1. You must use 1 Ping Pong ball!
  2. You must build it within 1 hour!
  3. Don't cheat, watch the time! ;)
So, I ploughed through my sprues and bits and gathered a few things that might come in useful ...

After a manic 45 minutes cutting holes and randomly gluing on parts, then shooting some white primer on, I had this:

The final 15 minutes were spent waiting for the primer to dry and quickly brushing on a Games Workshop wash (Gryphonne Sepia). Once my time was up, this is what I had:

Not too bad for an hour I thought!

Later on, I went back and adding some more decals and ID stripes and here is the final thing:

I also came up with some background for it:
Wächter Orbital Surveillance Drone

Deployed in NEO and Lunar orbit, the Wächter is an AI surveillance drone utlised by the SDR to watch for Mercenary troops and vessels. The Mercs spent a lot of time hunting these drones down, first in modified AFS patrols and later with Fireball and Fireball SG hunting teams.

The Merc success rate in disabling the Wächters was very high, and the assembly and deployment of replacement drones was too much of a drain on SDR resources to enable them to be replaced quickly enough to be an effective deterrant to Merc plans on the Moon and surrounding space.
More images can be found on Flickr. Forum threads discussing this build can be found at SFM:uk and the Maschinen Krueger forums.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

[WIP] Dinomania build slight progress

As you can see, there has been quite some progress over the last two weeks. To summarise:
  • Triceratops is done
  • Panzerhoudah (for want of a better word) is in progress, with a new floor and sculpted padding. Need to add seats, boxes and cargo.
  • Panzerhoudah driver and riders built (using a kit from Miniart), need to clean up and then paint.
  • Two of the machine gun walking figures are built, I have started painting one, but not too happy with how the face is looking (I HATE painting faces, just can't get it right!).
  • The diorama base is nearly done. I have sculpted additional cobblestones and need to lightly sand and add some of the details before painting.
So, it's slowly getting there - good job there's still a couple of months left before it needs to be completed!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Not the song by B. Bumble and the Stingers mind you, but an AI hovertank employed by the SDR to hunt and destroy Mercenary SAFS troops.

This is a 1/76-scale kit (the only official Ma.K kit at that scale sadly - there are some garage kits but they are very hard to get hold of) which consists of the Nutrocker itself (with photoetch wide-band antenna) and an in-scale SAFS (teeny tiny!).

I managed to pick this one up for a fiver on eBay and figured, as I was getting peed off with lots of sanding and filling, I would quickly knock it together to get me out of the modelling blues.

The paint scheme is simple. I first assembled everything (using stretched sprue for the thin antenna) although didn't glue the turret to the main body. Everything else is out of the box.

I then primed using Halford's Matt Black (it's all I had to hand at the time) and then did a light base coat using Vallejo Light Blue Grey. I then masked out the camo pattern using Winsor & Newton Artist's Latex Masking Fluid and applied the mid colour, GW's Codex Grey. Once that was dry, I masked off some more patterns with the latex and applied the dark colour, one of GW's foundation paints (the name escapes me at the moment, I think it's "something" Granite).

I then peeled off all the latex (which was very therapeutic) and rubbed any flaking edges with a cut-down old toothbrush.

Gloss coated with GW 'Ardcoat and applied decals. The numbers and elephant are from a 1/35 Tiger kit and the SDR Sun Wheel is a homebrew decal using Roggenwolf's insignia design (I want to tie all my SDR stuff together and this is a good thing to use - thanks to Roggenwolf for letting me use it).

Once the decals were dry, I put some satin gloss on (GW again) and then used the Promodeller dark wash on it. Worked like a dream, as long as you follow the instructions on their web site. Once this was rubbed in and off, I put on some of their dark mud round the bottom.

I then gave it a flat coat (Dullcote) and used a Tamiya weathering stick and some MIG pigments to simulate the dust and dirt that gets thrown up around the skirt as it hovers.

This will eventually be part of a large diorama, but I haven't thought that far ahead yet - I just wanted to finish something!

More pics on Flickr

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bit of a time slip by the BBC

At the end of last night's epsiode of Dr Who, fans were left with a series of cliffhangers which had them on the edge of their seats (not least in my house!).

However, we were all excited to be told that at 1pm today there would be a special trailer for the series finale - so I expect that there were a lot of fans like me waiting patiently for the end of the Politics Show to get a glimpse of what is coming.

Nothing. Not even a faint sound of drums. Nada.

Seems like the folks at the Beeb had a little senior moment and the trailer never aired.

Clever marketing tool to boost viewing figures for Sunday afternoons or just a bit of a cock-up? You decide.

Created quite a few unhappy fans I would guess ...

*UPDATE* Looks like the BBC are revisionist, as they've taken down the apology for not showing the trailer and just say "if you missed it"! Anyway, the trailer is now online, enjoy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

1/20 Heavy Use Worker Suit

I put this together during the Bay 37 build so took the odd ten minute slot to finish it off.

This is a prototype of the AFS used by the Mercenary Forces in the Maschinen Kreiger universe, it existed only as a sketch in one of the books until Jason Eaton created the kit master for the IHYC and sold a limited number during the Japanese Wonderfestival earlier this year.

Anyway, I choose to finish it off in the civilian colours, as it reminded me of the powerloader from Aliens, so I used a mix of yellow and ochre acrylics for the base colour and simply weathered and washed it.

Need to do more work on my face painting, but I reckon it's done ... for now ...

It's not up to Jason's standards, but here's my HUWS:

More pics can be found here:


Need more practice on my face painting methinks ...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Long Walk - Vintage Polaroid

Playing around with Photoshop tonight using directions from

A very nice effect that I think I'll use again on some of my other model photos when they're done.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Supermarkets, do you have a choice?

Okay, so I've just been to Sainsburys' supermarket to quickly get something to eat. Whilst I was there I thought I would just get some new deodorant - it's quite warm at the moment and my current one is running out.

So I trundle up to the meager men's toiletries section (not even a full aisle) and all they have are body sprays.

That's it. Two brands at the most, but all body sprays.

So I enquire as to the whereabouts of the roll-ons (my preferred method of deodorising) only to receive the response "I guess they've taken them off the shelves because it's summer".

Hmm ... for my money I would trust a roll-on in the heat. So I wander up to the women's section and strangely all they have on offer are roll-ons! There are a few small sprays, but not deodorants.

So, as I meander around the other aisles looking for the kid's favourite cereal (nowhere to be seen) I notice that the aisles, although well stocked, actually offer very little choice in the way of brands. Usually the own brands and the higher priced main named brands.

I wonder if this is deliberate marketing on the part of the supermarket (well, dur!) and whether this is the case across the country?

So, to my work colleagues and friends, I apologise for being a bit smelly at the moment ... I'm purely a victim of circumstance.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bay 37 Wins Online Competition!

Well, it didn't get first place in the SFM:uk Group Build, but imagine my surprise when my Bay 37 diorama nabbed the top slot in the Mecha Model Comp Maschinen Kreuger online competition.

The results table can be found here, but to summarise, the diorama received 24.67 points overall with the following comments:

"I love the display base on this one, it's got a satisfying level of grime to it, looks worked-in but not excessively cluttered.

The maintenance guy looks maybe a little bit too clean and/or flat in terms of color variation - but otherwise the model and display look great, the modifications are well done, etc."

"The only complaint I can offer is the pics are too small to see detail really well."

I shall be enjoying a drink or two to celebrate my first ever competition win!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

[WIP] Hundespinne: Here's some leg for you!

Some progress on the news legs for the Hundespinne. Essentially using parts from the Scopedog arm, with other parts from the Uchikoma legs and a 1/72 Tiger (plus some styrene tube).

Now I just need to assemble three more ...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Web 2.0 Logos

An oldie but a goodie, this post is from 2006 and looks at the trends associated with logos for the Web 2.0 apps and sites.

Although it could be considered dated now, I feel it is still relevant and worth a look at:

[WIP] Hundespinne (Dog Spider)

Yet another ongoing build, this started off with the cockpit from a 1/20-scale Scopedog and will eventually become an experiemental walker for the SDR. I see it as a prototype for the Sturmkafer (which is a design I love, but is almost impossible to obtain).

The pilot's head is a resin one and the canopy is from a Hughes helicopter. The last picture shows the start of the engine block, taken from a 1/35 Flakpanzer kit.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Space:1999 Homebrew Emblems

Here is a link to the PDF of some homebrew Space:1999 emblems that I created back in 2006. Feel free to use them as you will, just as long as you credit me at some point.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

[WIP] Dinomania build sideways progress

Some sideways progress indeed. Chopped up the Flakpanzer and just tacked it onto the dinosaur just to see what I need to do to make it look a bit more realistic(!). Some sort of padding and strapping is in order methinks.

You'll notice a different diorama base, a better one from Miniart. Think I need to get hold of a square wooden base to put it on or something.

I am Iron Man!

Went to see Iron man last night.

What can I say? Excellent film, no complaints whatsoever.

No spoilers from me - just go and see it, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The start of 2000AD

Mangamax shares his feelings about the start of the iconic British comic 2000AD. I for one agree with him that it was the start of something wonderful, not only in the storytelling, but with the fantastic artwork that the comic promoted week after week.

Truly a legend that is still going strong!

View Original Article

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Wogan 'may quit Eurovision role'

From the BBC's Entertainment section: UK Eurovision entrant Andy Abraham finishes last as Sir Terry Wogan says he may quit as contest commentator.

I agree that the voting system has to be reviewed as even I was able to predict where the scoring was going and I know nothing about geography! Are we even certain that these countries actually hold a public vote?

What a farce.

View Original Article

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

[WIP] Dinomania build starts to come together

So, I started putting together the build for the SFM:uk Dinomania Group Build.

The Triceratops went together very quickly, but it is not the best fitting kit in the world and will need a lot of clean up. But I wanted to get an idea of how it would look with the other stuff, so I put together a 1/35 German Infantry figure and the house corner (a very disappointing kit, but salvageable). And this is what it looks like. It's a start.

[WIP] Meteor and Fireball pics

Here are some pics of the Meteor in situ with a Fireball SG.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

AFSSA E3C/E3CM Meteor: WIP Update

Managed to get some time today to progress this build. Basically added some more cabling to the back pack, assembled the arms and legs and shot some white primer on to have a look.

Lots of seams to fill and the pose to finalise before I start painting!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Betting Site Lays Odds on Final 'Battlestar Galactica' Cylon

Think you know who the secret skinjob is? A Costa Rica-based gambling site lets you back your best theory with a wager.

The secret identity of Battlestar Galactica's final Cylon is one of sci-fi's biggest mysteries, fueling endless debates and theories on blogs and web forums. Now a gambling website is letting BSG fans place bets on which character will be revealed as the last skinjob.

View Original Article
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Steven Moffat Takes Charge of Who

BBC Wales and BBC Drama has announced that Bafta and Hugo Award winning writer Steven Moffat will succeed Russell T Davies as Lead Writer and Executive Producer of the fifth series of Doctor Who, which will broadcast on BBC One in 2010.

View Original Article

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dino Flakpanzer - oh my!

Just kicked off the second of this year's Group Builds over at SFM:uk, called "Dinomania".

Essentially several of us are taking a 1/35 Tamiya Triceratops (or two) and doing anything we like with it. Currently there are four participants, but there may be some more in the future.

My plan is to somehow turn mine into an alternate universe Dino Flakpanzer (anyone with a better name, let me know). I have some spare 1/35 WWII figures and accessories in the bits box, so will try and do something with them.

It's a pick-up build, so quite a long deadline (near the end of the year) so don't expect too many updates, it's something that will be worked on in parallel with the other planned builds this year.

Just for interest (and so you can see how I'm doing), here is my self-imposed build list for 2008:
  • MaK Fireball SG and AFSSA E3C/E3CM Meteor asteroid diorama
  • MaK Forum Group Build: Feuerspritze
  • SFM:uk 2008 Competition Build (secret!)
  • MaK Krote diorama
  • SFM:uk Dinomania Group Build
  • Anything else that tickles my fancy!
Let's see how I get on with that lot!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chicago, my kind of town!

Well, it's not the first time I've been to Chicago and the city certainly lived up to my memory of it.

The hotel was elegant (although the room was a tad pokey compared to the others I've stayed in over the past few days) and the deep pan pizza I had at Gino's was fantastic (although I couldn't eat a whole medium one - I only managed two slices!), just watch out for the buffalo wings - they are hot!

I have also discovered that business travel can be good for you! In the weeks preceding this long batch of travel and meetings I was suffering from high blood pressure (I even had spots before my eyes - not a good sign). Now, with the exception of being extremely tired and looking forward to the long flight home, my blood pressure s done and my vision clear. I suppose focusing on one thing at a time is a factor, but I'm not a doctor ...

Anyway, really looking forward to actually getting home. Just one more day now - hooray!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Toronto, shiny happy people?

On the face of it, Toronto is a clean, vibrant city with lots of nice shiny buildings, a scenic waterfront and bags of culture.

However, this seems to come with a price.

You can't seem to walk 100 metres without being approached by a homeless person wanting money. The problem is worse at night. On the steps of the hotel I'm staying in, not more than five minutes ago there was a drunk homeless person just outside the doors hassling the other people and I was approached by another wanting money.

I have no idea what the city's policies are to tackle this problem, but I have a fleeing that whatever plans they have in place, it doesn't look like it's enough.

Anyway, on to the next city ... how I love business travel ...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sitting in a hotel room, staring at my laptop

Yep, here I am in a very sunny Toronto and I'm cooped up in my room tippety-tapping on the keyboard (albeit a nice shiny keyboard now that I've cleaned it).

The main problem with business travel is not the meetings and the endless taxi rides to and from airports and hotels. For me, it's the bits in between. The hours that seem to stretch on and on when you've done all your prep work for the next day and the post-meeting notes and all you have to look forward to is the mind-numbing banality of the hotel television channels and the overwhelming feeling of loneliness.

So, munching on the free turn-down service chocolates and the coffee from the in-room machine, I sit here effectively talking to myself in an attempt to keep sane until the next fleeting human contact.

Anyone know any good restaurants?
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Quebec, a city of the new old

Having conducted my business in Quebec, I took some time out to walk around the city and soak in the sights.

My impression of Quebec is that it is deeply proud of its history and heritage (2008 is the city's 400th anniversary) and much of the architecture reflects this. However, because it is such a clean city (in the old area at least, which is the area I'm concentrating on) it looks to be a strange mix of the true old and new old.

Beautiful nonetheless.

The best thing about this hotel in Quebec

is that it has free WiFi, so I can access the Internet whenever I like!

I don't know if this is the norm with hotels in Canada (I've only stayed in a few), but it is a real selling point for me, especially if I'm looking for a hotel to stage a business event in. It makes such a difference if there are no access rates (which seem to be standard in the UK and in Europe as far as I can tell).

Perhaps if more hotels stopped seeing WiFi or even normal wired Net connection as a source of income and simply an essential customer service (imagine if hotels were to charge you for putting the lights on or having a shower!), I think they would encourage more business.

Just my two pence ...

Two-handed Polar Bear done

This is my second Polar Bear, "Long Walk".

Essentially a stock build, with modifications to the left hand (to make it grip) and a new right hand (built from another left hand). The rocket carrying tubes are scratchbuilt from the filters from a 1/35 Tiger tank kit, with styrene tubes and channel.

The snow is a product from Games Workshop, which worked quite well. I brushed some Future on the suit to make the snow stick to parts of it. I also attempted a winter whitewash, although I'm not convinced it worked too well.

Still, you live and learn!

Bay 37 Finished

Well, the Group Build is over and the group have cast their votes and the winner is ... not me! :D

There were three of us that all got 4 points, so the admin's vote was given to CFX for his creativity. All the entries can be found here.

Anyway, here's some pictures of my finished diorama, "Bay 37".

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Nearing completion on the Split Suit

Well, my Polar Bear split suit diorama is coming along nicely. Been working on the engineer and some of the equipment, and things are slowly nearing completion.

Here's some pics:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gallery Links Added

I have added links to my model galleries. Bear with me on this one, as they are linked through to my old web site and need to be reorganised.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Split Polar Bear Quick Update

Just a quick update, I've finished the new camo and have gone over with a fine grade sandpaper to simulated scuffing and wear.

Removed all the cabling, as I plan to replace these with some better ones I recently picked up and given everything a gloss coat ready for decals.

No pics yet, it looks really weird with the gloss coat, so I'll wait until I dullcote it.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

SFM:uk Group Build 2008

The 2008 SFM:uk Group Build is currently going strong.

Several of us are using the WAVE 1/20 kit of the AFS-CD Type Polar Bear from the Ma.K. universe as the base of the build.

The rules are simple: do anything you like with the kit!

I chose to create a "split suit" - basically modifying the kit to represent a suit in maintenance mode, opened up to show the inner workings and pilot. This will eventually be shown in a diorama of a maintenance bay of some kind.

Anyway, enough of the talk, this is where I am currently up to with the split suit:

Still lots to do and not much time left to do it in! Wish me luck!

More information and a build diary for this can be found over at SFM:uk.