Daily Archives: December 17, 2014

Anything But a Twenty


The "Anything But a Twenty"

The “Anything But a Twenty”

Greg Priebe, one of the guys in our gaming group, sent me a note about a toy available at Target stores from the Disney movie, Planes.  It is a good size for 28mm figures and looks like a C-119 cargo plane.  I’ve always liked the look of the C-119.  Before I could take action on his suggestion, I saw this blog posting:  http://ift.tt/1w0TUvz.

My pulp games involve Duke Morrison and his buddies, “Wrench” Web and “Boats” Morgan along with his love interest, Gianna Nannini, daughter of the great scientist Serafini Nannini.  Duke Morrison NEEDED a plane.  So within a few days, I had ordered one for me and one for Greg from Target.com.

Cabbie the cargo plane

Cabbie the cargo plane

My son took up the challenge of removing all the red stickers while we watched television one evening.  After a lot of elbow grease and a fair amount of Goo Gone, the plane was ready to paint.

The airplane after the decals had been removed and the plane sprayed silver

The airplane after the decals had been removed and the plane sprayed silver

I first sprayed the plane black and then with a silver paint.  This silver color was brighter than I wanted, so I gave it a third coat of paint, this time an aluminum color.  I then mixed silver and brown paint to make a metallic rust color, which I applied liberally with a wide brush.

A darker, less shiny paint job with rust added

A darker, less shiny paint job with rust added

In the picture (above), you can see the difference between the un-weathered engine cowlings compared to the rusty finish on the rest of the plane.

First coat of blue paint on the tail, engine cowlings, and nose

First coat of blue paint on the tail, engine cowlings, and nose

After the second coat of blue with the propellers painted

After the second coat of blue with the propellers painted

I decided to keep the centers of the propellors silver, but painted the tips of the propellers white.  I like that look.

Then came the challenge of coming up with a name for the plane and appropriate nose art.  After I had considered several names, including Duke’s Duchess and the Granville Gal, Chris suggested Anything But a Twenty.   Granville is the town in which most of my pulp games take place.  “Anything but a twenty” is a reference to the fact that in G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., rolls of twenty often cause bad — and usually dramatic — things to occur.

Below are candidate nose art I built from some Varga pin-up pictures I found on line, some image editing capabilities on my Mac, and a few other elements.

Duke’s Duchess didn’t remain in the running too long, but I like this image.

I really liked the original artwork with the girl in the soldier outfit.

I liked this artwork, but I was beginning to settle on Anything But a Twenty as the name of the plane

The final nose art and final airplane name

Below is a closeup of the nose of the airplane with our heroes posing in front of it.  I printed the nose art on clear, matte address labels.  The artwork didn’t have the vibrance of glossy paper.  At first I was a bit disappointed, but in retrospect, I like the washed-out look.  It seems closer to photos I’ve seen after the plane has had a lot of hard miles.  The faded look seems to fit better with the rusty appearance of the plane.

"Wrench" Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and "Boats" Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

“Wrench” Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and “Boats” Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

I chose a tail number of NC-61326.  Since “Granville Gal” lost out, I chose to use the zip code of the real Granville, IL, which is the town on which I loosely based my town for pulp games.

"Wrench" Webb inspects bullet holes in the starboard wing

“Wrench” Webb inspects bullet holes in the starboard wing

And here is one last look at the plane from a slightly more distant viewpoint than the previous close up.  The border around the nose art didn’t quite disappear, but it’s not too obvious either.

"Wrench" Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and "Boats" Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

“Wrench” Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and “Boats” Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

This was a fun project.  I rarely build or paint airplane models, as I don’t have much luck with them.  In this case, I think the end result was quite good.

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Warriors Brave: A Toy Soldier Christmas Tale – Part 2

Chris Palmer Last week, I presented the first part of one of my favorite Christmas books I have in my collection. It is this vintage childrens’ story about toy soldiers coming to life on Christmas Eve.  Though there is no publication date, it is inscribed on the title page, “Roger Hill 1926”. One of my blog readers researched a little further, and found the publication date to probably be closer to 1910.  It is a small volume, measuring only 5” x 4.5”.
  It is interesting to note that the artist had some knowledge of the toy soldiers he drew, as many of the poses pictured are very similar to a variety of semi-round lead soldiers that were available at the time. These were often cast by small manufacturers, or Mom & Pop dime store owners, from commercially available German molds, and sold individually or in boxed sets.
    I am running the story in three parts, with the first part last week, and the second part today.  The third, and final, part will be next Tuesday.
You can find the first part here: Warriors Brave: Part 1
So, on with the the second part of the Warriors Brave.  When we left off, the Indians had launched a brazen attack on the “Blue Coats,” only to be beaten back by heavy rifle fire, and retreated back towards their camp…
(You can click any photo to view it larger.)

Tune in next week, to see why the “Blue Coats are loading marbles into their limber…

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End of the Year Review

Rob Dean

With the Christmas season upon us, I have been busier with baking than with painting. While the Christmas cookies aren’t entirely done, here’s a sampling of this year’s types…

While I have a few quiet days between now and the end of the year, it’s probably close enough to have a look at this year’s numbers.

I have painted, according to my notes, 37 25/28mm figures (including some large fantasy monsters) for the fantasy skirmish project and for the Dux Bellorum Dark Ages project. I have also painted 62 1/72 foot figures and 4 1/72 scale mounted figures, almost all for the Portable Fantasy Game project.
Most of them have been blogged here over the course of the year.

I’ve been involved in running or playing 26 miniatures games (or sessions in the case of some days that saw multiple short games using the same rules back-to-back). The average of one game every two weeks isn’t bad, but I should note that the distribution isn’t anywhere near that even, due to the concentration of events during conventions. While that’s below my theoretical goal of 52 games, I might also note that I was in 21 sessions of roleplaying games this year, in a major revival of one of my other gaming interests, which has been dormant for a number of years. Added together, that would come a lot closer to the goal of a game per week.

I made it to four multiple-day game conventions this year, Cold Wars, Huzzah, Historicon, and Gencon, which is a comfortable level.

Behind the numbers, it turned out to be a bad year for Charge! and the Not Quite Seven Years War. I haven’t been in a Charge game last fall, and the attempts to schedule a Skype game with Ross have been disrupted by a variety of life events. It was also a bad year for blogging, with time beyond that devoted to actually painting and playing being a little hard to come by.

On the brighter side, it was a good year for old friends, with the convention visits being an opportunity to spend some time with them. It was also a good year for the Portable Fantasy Game project, as shown below, which got assembled to a solidly usable point before my Gencon goal.

My goals for next year, as I see them now, are to continue work on the Dux Bellorum project, get back to the NQSYW with both games and a few new units, and to decide on a path forward for the mass of fantasy figures which Kickstarter has kicked out at me the past two years…

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