December 30, 2015

Another Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for December 30, 2015

Is Now Available for Download. Easily my favorite magazine right now this issue features a whopping 124 pages for less then two bucks!

from the publisher..
Season’s greetings to all our readers. In this, our biggest issue ever, 144 pages dedicated to our wonderful industry/hobby, we have something pretty special. A huge tutorial by Fernando Ruiz of FeR Miniatures where he paints his company’s very popular bust ‘Rogue Pirate’. This is so big we had to split it into two. However, as a Christmas gift to you all, instead of putting it into two issues, you can read it all here in this issue! That certainly beats sprouts, dry turkey and those hand knitted socks…

That’s not all. We have reviews from Tartar Miniatures, Big Child Creatives, BrokenToad and Mproyec. Plus we shine the spotlight on Infamy Miniatures and Tartar Miniatures. We also have a superb Best of British interview with Andrew Argent and starting us off is a great Insight interview from one of my favourite artists, Javier Gonzalez Lozano, aka Arsies.

Can you tell I saw the new Star Wars???
Coming Soon in 1/35th scale 

Another teaser from Dragon...Is a AT-ST also in the works?

December 29, 2015

FIGURE OF THE WEEK #102: Happy New Years 2016

This 1/32nd scale guy who was made by Aeroart some years back started the party early!  That, in itself makes him a worthy FOTW! Happy 2016!

MTSC Product Spotlight Update: Gaming World War I with Flames of War

Gaming World War I with Flames of War 
Great War, World War One Battles of 1918. This 72-page book expands on the Great War booklet that was released last year through Wargames Illustrated, And brings the French and American forces into play including trench mortars and machine-gun platoons and rifle companies. Three new French tanks join the armor ranks along with a British Mark V in two variants. All in all this looks to be a great expansion to this popular FOW Great War game.

FW904 Gread War, World War One Battles of 1918, is a 72-page book that includes:
• Great War History.
• History of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, Battle of Soissons, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
• Flames Of War Great War rules for fighting the battles of 1918.
• Options to field German Infanterie and Stoss companies with supporting A7V panzers in the offensives of 1918.
• Field a British Rifle Company and stop the German offensives, or go on the attack supported by the • Army’s great new war machines: Mark IV, Mark V and Whippet tanks.
• Field a French Colonial or Metropolitan Companie de Fusiliers as they drive the Germans from France with the aid of their Schnieder CA.1 and Char Saint Chamond heavy tanks, as well as the nimble FT-17 light tank.
• Field an American Rifle Company with French tanks, British tanks, or your own American FT-17 tanks in support.
• History of how tanks were developed.
• Six Great War missions and mission rules.
• Painting guides and color photos.

The Flames of War Great War Range

GFBX01 Schneider CA.1 Tank (x2)
GFBX02 Char Saint Chamond Tank
GFBX03 Renault FT-17
GFR570 75mm mle 1897 gun
GFR701 Companie de Fusiliers HQ
GFR702 Fusiliers Platoon
GFR704 Fusiliers Machine-gun Platoon
GFR705 Trench Mortar Platoon

GBBX01 Mark IV Tank
GBBX02 Mk V Tank
GBBX03 Mk V* Tank
GBR080 Mark A Whippet Tank
GBR571 OQF 18 pdr
GBR702 Rifle Platoon
GBR704 Machine-gun Platoon
GBR705 Trench Mortar Platoon

GGE560 7.62cm Krupp IG
GGE570 7.7cm FK96 n.A  gun
GGE701 Infanteriekompanie HQ
GGE702 Infanterie Platoon
GGE704 Infanterie Machine-gun Platoon
GGE705 Regimental Support Platoons
GGE706 Stoss Platoon

United States
GUS570 75mm mle 1897 gun
GUS701 Rifle Company HQ
GUS702 Rifle Platoon
GUS704 Machine-gun Platoon
GUS705 Trench Mortar Platoon

Box Sets
GBRAB1 British Infantry Company
GGEAB1 Biltz's Battlegroup
GFRAB01 Clavery's Chargers (Army Deal)
GUSAB01 Brett's Brawlers (Army Deal)

Battlefield in a Box
BB132 Barbed Wire
BB182 Trenchline System
BB183 Shattered Battlefield
BB184 Large Craters and Ruined House
View to Order HERE

The FOW Great War was originally introduced as a supplement in issue 322 of War-games Illustrated. Now sold out this worth tracking down for anybody interested in gaming the FOW Great War
More Resources

December 28, 2015

Matt Koltonow's Game On!: You say you want a Revolution? A look at Warlord Games AWI sets.

Matt Koltonow takes a look at the new The American Revolution sets from Warlord Games

If I had to pick my two favorite periods, I think it would be World War I and the American Revolution (American War of Independence or AWI). My first jump into AWI gaming was with the initial release of the Perry plastic figures. Up until that point it was metal or nothing so the release of plastic figures made me take a look at the subject. Not too long after Wargames Factory began releasing their AWI line and thats mostly what I want to talk about today.

In August 2015 Warlord Games announced a partnership with Wargames Factory. At the time Wargames Factory was in the middle of releasing new sets for their AWI range. When it was first announced, the range was going to be six boxes. Warlord partnered after the release of the 4th box in the series. They had released British Infantry, Continental Line, Continental Militia, and Native Americans.

Now available is the Liberty or Death set, British Starter Army, and Continental Starter Army. These are a mix of old and new product with some new stuff not currently available individually. 

British Starter Army: Contains 120 British Line, 30 Hessian Militia, 8 Woodland Indians, 1 Cannon and limber (including Molly Pitcher), 1 Mounted Commander, 1 Casualty, and flags.The British Line and Woodland indians are the previously available Wargames Factory figures. The Hessians, Artillery, Commander, and casualty are all brand new. The artillery is on a shared sprue with options for both British and Continental Crew. The Hessians are a new addition to this range.


The Continental Starter Army: Contains 120 Continental Line, 40 Colonial Militia, 1 Cannon and Limber, 1 Mounted Commander, 1 Casualty, and flags. The line infantry and militia are the previously released Wargames Factory sets and the artillery sprue is brand new.


The Liberty or Death! set is a one stop shop for diving into the period. It has 90 British Line, 120 Continental Infantry, 30 Hessians, 3 Artillery, Molly Pitcher, 30 Militia, 8 Indians, 3 Casualties, Flags, Fencing, Laser-cut Block house, and resin gabions. 

Looking at these boxes from a gaming perspective, all three boxes are a good value. Liberty or Death in particular is all you would need to get started in the period. Using a ruleset like Muskets and Tomahawks, this box would give you everything you needed to build a decent force for both sides. In a ruleset like Black Powder you could get a full division for each side, or with some tweaking to unit numbers, two divisions on each side. The individual army boxes are also a great start. Each box would have enough stuff in it for a good sized game, if you wanted to split the workload. They also make a good addition to an existing army. The Wargames Factory figures mix well on the same table as the Perry figures and as I said previously, could be used as a division in Black Powder.

More 28mm AWI...
Studio Tomahawk
BP1349 Muskets & Tomahawks Rulebook
Wargames Factory
WGF-HM04 American War of Independence British Infantry
WGF-HM05 American War of Independence Continental Infantry
WGF-HM06 American War of Independence Colonial Militia
WGF-HM07 Woodland Indians
Perry Miniatures
PRM-AW100 American War of Independence Continental Line 1776-1783
PRM-AW200 American War of Independence British Infantry 1775-1783

The Weathering Magazine Aircraft no.1 - Panels

The Weathering Aircraft no.1 - Panels
This new magazine follow the same concept as "The Weathering Magazine" but it is 100% focused on aircraft. Throughout 68 pages, you will discover all aspects of Panels: how to scribe panels and rivet lines, highlighting panels, and apply washes to panel lines. This first issue explains with detailed “step by step” articles how to perform every technique from some of the best modelers in the world and covers in depth the different products, techniques, and results available to today's aircraft modeler. View to Order HERE


December 26, 2015

Imperial Issue: Painting Strelets Mini-Roman Imperial Legion Ranks by Max McDougall

Hello one and all. My name is Max McDougall. By now the fine guys at MichToy have probably put up my Bio, but suffice to say I am a 13 year veteran of the hobby and an enthusiastic painter.  I run my own side business painting on commission, but I love to teach as well. Outside the hobby I am a historian and work in the educational field.

In this article I will demonstrate, step by step, how to paint Imperial Romans in ranks using a 1/72nd scale plastic set from Strelets STL-M100 Strelets Mini-Roman Imperial Legion Ranks and Vallejo Game Color paints. I will be painting these soldiers to a level 2 quality on my commission scale, which is what I call good tabletop quality. These are standard infantry, and even for the Roman Empire there will be a lot of them, so it makes sense to paint them efficiently. In further articles I will cover other Strelets sets, as well as the wider industry of 1/72nd miniatures beyond. To maintain absolute ease for the average gamer to pick up this set and paint it as described, all products used are available from the MichToy online store. Furthermore I have taken it upon myself to add small anecdotes of historical context where I have felt it necessary.

The set
To begin, here is a rundown of the set STL-M100 Roman Imperial Legion Ranks. In it, you get 40 Imperial Roman infantry in standing/ranked up poses. The set consists of multiples of two sprues, one with the infantry itself, the other with extra shields for those soldiers without them. Pictures of the box and the sprues are below:

All in all, a fairly compact boxed set, with a good amount of posing, enough to make a reasonably varied unit.

Step 1
After cleaning the figures of flash and washing them to remove any mold release agents I mounted them to temporary painting stands with blu-tack, I primed the models flat black.

Step 2
After allowing the primer to set, I began painting by applying two thinned coats of Game Color Off White (72101) to the fabric portions of the miniature, namely the tunic. The mixture was 3 parts paint to one part water. The decision to go with off white rather than the more "traditional" crimson is one I based on historical evidence. There has been a debate for several years on wether the roman army wore red or off white tunics while on campaign duty, and I am on the off white side of the fence. Several natural fabric blends are off white to begin with, but when you take that together with ease of acess and factor in wear and tear, I think the legions would have opted for it over continually having to source crimson dyed fabric.

Step 3 was the Calligae, or military sandals. These I painted with Game Color Beasty Brown. (72043). For these, I simply wet my brush and added some paint from my pallete, no mixing required.

Step 4
In this step I painted the legionary armor. All of these miniatures are clad in the Lorica Segmentata, or segmented curiass. This form of armor is a boon to painters, as it is simple to achieve a worthwile look. To do so, mix two parts Game Color Gunmetal (72054) to one part water, making sure not to make it too thin. Then, apply the paint to your brush, and brush a majority of the paint away onto your excess rag. Then, drybrush the gunmetal onto all the armored sections of the miniature. This includes going over the helmet/face completely. You should end up with something like the below photo:

Step 5
This step focuses upon the red areas of the miniature, namely the shield, or scutum. To accomplish a solid red with some depth, I used a two stage technique that includes elements of glazing. First, you will need to layer 2 coats of a 3/1 mix of Game Color Bloody Red (72010) with water. Once the shields are evenly coated and covered, apply a light glaze of Game Color Wash Red Shade to provide depth. Don't worry about covering the embelms on the shield face, as these will be dealt with next.

Step 6
Once the wash is completely dry, take a detail brush and pick up some Game Color Brassy Brass (72058). Once again, use a drybrushing method to take most of the paint off of your brush, then go over the details on the shield. It won't be 100% perfect, but from the average 3 feet away on a table (not to mention in ranks) it is decent quality. I also painted the shield edging in this color.

At this point you can also go over the hilts of the legionaries Gladius, as well as the apron/skirt/sporran that protected the groin region.

Step 7 and 8
In step 7, you will paint the flesh of the legionary, including the facial features you covered over with gunmetal earlier. In step 8, the haft of the pilum and back of the shield. To achieve an even skin tone, apply a layer of Game Color Rosy flesh with a wet detail brush. One coat should be all thats necessary, barring touch ups.

For the haft of the pilum and other wooden or leather parts, use Beastly brown at a 3/1 mix of paint/water. The main reason for using Beastly brown is a variation on shade from the earlier Leather brown, thus providing differentiation between parts.

Step 9
The final step to these roman legionaries (barring touch ups) is to provide depth to the cloth and skin, To do this, place one drop each of Game color Wash flesh wash and sepia shade in two seperate pallete wells. Then, taking a clean wet brush and dipping it in the shade of choice (flesh wash for the skin, sepia for the cloth of the tunic) apply a liberal wash to the specified portions of the miniatures. After an hour, your models should be dry and ready to pop off their painting stands.

There you have it, 4 Roman Legionaires waiting to be inspected by the Emperor or one of his Legatus Legions! 

For more painting advice, images, and to find commission information, please see my blog at:

December 22, 2015

Justin Skrakowski takes a look at Panzer : The German Tanks Encyclopedia by Laurent Tirone

Oh, Friends! Let us rejoice! It is a wonderful time of year where we can gather with family, see old acquaintances, and give them—OH WHO CARES! I’m just SO stoked that there is finally (FINALLY!!!) a PERFECT Encyclopedia of German WWII Tanks! PANZER The German Tanks Encyclopedia is one book that covers every German tank from 35(t) to the Tiger II, and every Ausführung in between!

This is my first book I’ve gotten from Caraktère Presse & Éditions and I am just—I am all abuzz ever since I got this thing in the mail! Serious. It is that great! All I’m missing now is that time machine (which is really taking forever to be invented, don’t you think?) so I can go back to the first month I started building models, so I can have this book at my side every second since then to use as the perfect reference, and as a catalogue to look ahead to see which model tank I want to build next…

Of course, there are plenty of books dealing with German tanks, and all sorts of books that focus on weapons of WWII, and, if you’re not somebody like me (a bibliotaph is the word, it means “book hoarder”) who thinks, “Why not just have all the books?!?” then this is probably your best bet if you are one of those guys who likes to keep their collections trim and just to the essentials, because that’s exactly what author Laurent Tirone has given us: An essential book.

That’s right, this book belongs on every WWII modeler’s bookshelf. It has all the information you ever wanted to know about every German tank you ever loved, and just the tanks! Not that I have anything (not one single thing!) against self-propelled guns, or tracked infantry carriers, but it’s great to see a book that is stripped down to just the tanks, and just the tanks that were in the War. And not that I have anything (not one single thing!) against paper Panzers either (unless you consider the Neubaufahrzeug a paper Panzer, but I’ll let you guys argue amongst yourselves about that one), but this book cuts it down to what machines did the fighting, and that is very, very cool to finally see.

And it seems so simple now that I have this book in front of me, but so many other books have so complicated the history of the Panzer by putting them in order of what tanks participated in what battles, instead of this superbly easy to follow history that just goes right down the line from the first Panzer to the last. AND having EVERY Ausführung (means “model” or “variant” in German) of every Panzer is quite a feat. So many of the so-called encyclopedias of German WWII vehicles omit SO MANY of the different Ausführungs that you feel that many of these books are far from encyclopedic in their scope.

And of course AWESOME CAMO SCHEMES!!! Man, what modeling book is worth its salt if it doesn’t have some great new camouflage schemes to add to your repertoire?
And ya know, now that I’ve just called this a “modeling book” in that last sentence, it made me think of why I am so quick to call this an essential book, and that’s probably because it’s not just a modeling book. This is a great book for so many people, whether you build models or are just an armchair historian… or a real historian! It’s just a great book that especially everyone who comes to this site needs to have.

Now, for the first time, I feel that I will soon be able to identify any variant of any Panzer without having to refer to the box artwork on the unbuilt models in my closet (all over my room).

And, as this book is listed as “WWII ARSENAL №1” in Caraktères publishing guide, hopefully that means we are going to see some more books of this caliber, and in the same series. Because this is how books on WWII machinery should be made! From the four-view drawings of each tank to the very layout, I might have to order a second copy because I am surely going to wear this one down quick!

It is without a doubt, the most definitive guide to the Panzer that has ever been published.

Congrats and thanks to Laurent Tirone and Caraktère for such a wonderful achievement.

All the best,

From the publishers
Have you ever dreamt of being able to instantly identify any German tank? The number and diversity of models and versions make that task harder than it may at first sound! Well Caraktere Publishing is doing something about this and is pleased to announce the publication of Panzer : The German Tanks Encyclopaedia, the first volume in the new World War 2 Arsenal Encyclopaedia series, written by Laurent Tirone. Extensively illustrated with more than 200 unpublished or rarely seen photographs, over 100 color profiles and 4-view drawings throughout its 196 pages, this book presents you with an exceptional review of the German battle tanks and mechanical warfare, from 1933 to 1945.
- Imported from France
- 192 pages, Format 21.6 x 27.9 cm - Paperback
- Printed on semi-mat coated paper
- Full text in English

Panzer: The German Tank Encyclopaedia now allows you, due to accurate technical and historical descriptions highlighting the key features and main differences between various versions, complete technical datasheets and 4-view colour drawings, to name the changes introduced by the German engineers during World War II. The Neubaufahrzeug, Panzer 35(t), Panzer 38(t), Panzer I, Panzer II, Panzer III, Panzer IV, Panther, Tiger I and II will no longer hold any secrets from you!

FIGURE OF THE WEEK #101 Krippe (Manger) Series, composition figures c.1930s

Hausser Elastolin Krippe c.1930s
from the MTSC Collection
Krippe (Manger) Series,
composition figures c.1930s
This offering highlights the true meaning of the season, at least for Christians around the world. Heavy commercialization of Christmas took off in WWII when people had to buy early to get gifts to troops, but the early shopping season didn’t end with the war. These days the buying season is not only longer, but more central both to Christmas and the economy. We thought it would be nice to go back to the true meaning Christmas with these vintage figures from the German toy soldier maker Hausser/Elastolin.

'Fight for the Works'
These three 1/30th scale pewter sets were produced as exclusive Michigan Toy Soldier sets several years back. Sculpted by Ken Osen and manufactured by W Britains.

World War I Diorama displayed in the Museo de Miniatures MilitaresJaca, Spain
The division of Europe and colonial tensions between the great powers in 1914 triggered the start of the First World War. For four years they fought armies of millions of men, and the fighting reached the ends of the earth, with dimensions never known. Automatic weapons such as machine guns, were able to stop the advance of the infantry, however large it was, and the troops were forced to seek refuge in the trenches defended by barbed wire. The movements were paralyzed and a war of attrition, supported by massive artillery bombardments and the fledgling military aviation was developed. Besides new weapons emerged as poisonous gases and combat motorized carts, which would replace the troops on horseback.