Friday, February 28, 2014

Harry Potter and the Beer Hall Putsch

Red Skull operates the controls to the Electronic Logistics Machine.

The assistant operator in the other dungeon watches the process lights to monitor the transfer take place.  The green screen was part of the original as a chalk board.  I kept it and have re-purposed them as television screens.

More of the controls for the Electronic Logistics Machine.

As is in keeping with the lair of an evil Super Villain there are torches on many of the walls.

The little electronic device in the lower left corner is a stack of punch outs from a paper punch on a sheet of plastic, and spaced by bits of sprue all painted up in bronze.

The green and purple domes are baby pacifiers from a wedding gifts baby shower shop.  I just cut off the rings on the bottom.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Harry Potter and the Siegfried Line

The original exterior of the castle was this same color, but the windows were purple.  I repainted them a fire engine red for several reasons.  I think the red is much more sinister, the color looks like the Nazi flag so it goes well with the flags and banners, and it is the Red Skull Castle so it seemed a natural.

I did touch up some of the brickwork, the brown color between the bricks was missing in many places.  The brite work on the various domes I repainted gold, they were originally more of a brass color.  The base was dark gray with an overspray of green for plants.  The overspray was not very good so I repainted it all flat white as a primer and then did four progressively lighter gray dry brushings.

There are two dungeon rooms that swing out on each side.  The brass colored door swings like a hidden doorway.  My thought is that it is a matter transporter that takes you to the upper level room that has a similar door in the room.

The Red Skull himself.  He is a Caesar Miniatures WWII German figure with a skull head from a Caesar Miniatures Undead skeleton figure.  They are mounted on a Battle Dice base that I have re-marked as Red Skull.

The other figure is Preiser, drafted from my box of civilian figures.

I wanted a bit of a comic book look to the figures, so they are all painted to generally match the Red Skull uniform.  It's a metallic blue from Tamiya and a light grey trousers with black shoes.  I based them on a bit of sheet styrene with a floor tile pattern stuck on top to match many of the floors in the castle.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Harry Potter and the Eastern Front

For anti-aircraft protection I added two 20mm cannons to the upper front area.  These are Roco Minitanks guns.  I took a quad gun and cut out two individual guns from the upper pair of guns.  Then I added a mount to the bottom of the gun.  Next, I drilled a hole into the corner of the castle wall.  The machine guns can be removed and remounted at will.

This castle project is actually part of my Super Heroes & Super Villains project.  This is no longer Hogwarts, but Roten Schadel Schloss.  Red Skull Castle, every WWII era movie and comic book showing a Nazi headquarters always shows lots of flags and I wanted to create that look.

The banners and flag are printed on paper and cut out.  Wiki is a good place for flags, they have a large selection and usually don't mind you downloading them for personal use for free.  I manipulate them in Paint and then save them as Microsoft Word documents.  I find Word easier to modify the sizes I like.

I flip the image to create the flag on the pole.  I leave a little white space between the two flag sides so there is space for the flagpole.  The flags are printed on regular paper, then cut out.  On real German flags the swastika is normally like the one shown in the photo above, with opening is at the lower left.  However, the other side of the flag may be reversed or identical, both are correct depending on how the real flag was made.

I went with the reversed flag design.  The once the flag is cut out, I coat the back with Scotch Restickable Glue Stick glue, cat. 6307.  It is Post-It Note glue in a stick form.  It's perfect for flags because you can reposition the sides easily and even take the flag off and replace it with another one at will and not damage the old flag.  The two vertical banners are trimmed down flags, with a little Scotch Restickable Glue on the back to hold them in place.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Harry Potter and the Atlantic Wall

 There were four small openings around the base of the castle.  I filled them in and added a gun for each one.  I only needed the barrels, I saved the chassis for other purposes.

Mostly I used PaK 75 anti-tank gun barrels, since they were hard hitting, were in service late in the war and I had some surplus ones.

I simply stacked one bit of sheet styrene on top on another with a little hole in the center to create the step back effect.  Many bunkers had metal protective guards that went right up to the gun barrels for greater protection.

Once I started work on the castle, I realized they had the big front door, but no actual way to get there.  So I put a giant door at the back of the mountain part.  My feeling is that the interior is hollow and secret weapons research happens inside.  That way large vehicles and missiles can come and go with ease.  To better protect the door, I used a 20mm gun with machine gun combination in the bunker near the door.  Higher up there was a hole, so the 75mm PaK went there.  The door is from a railway box car I got at the recent train show.  I simply cut it out of the side of the boxcar and instant doorway.

The arch is for a little drawer originally designed to hold the figures that came with the set.  I painted it to look like an observation port for the gun above it.  You can see the outline of the drawer, still opens and closes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Harry Potter and the Bent Cross

Hogwarts playset for Polly Pocket.

It's a great toy, very strong and durable, thick plastic.

This is a toy with a lot of play value.  The walls open and pieces move about.

An excellent little model of Hogwarts, all the openings and interior rooms will work very well for 1/72nd scale figures.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Harry Potter and the Man With the Little Black Mustache

I got this Harry Potter, Polly Pocket playset at the swap meet with the help of Warin15mm Richard.

It's a Hogwarts castle and I am working to upgrade the defenses.

The toy must have had 500 parts or more including moving pieces and figures.

These little openings got converted into anti-tank gun bunkers.

The playset even has two dungeon rooms.  I stripped out all the old furnishings and repainted nearly the whole thing.  I added new floor coverings and all the weapons.  It took about six weeks work.  The original playset cost me about $5, they seem to go for $50 or more on eBay.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


This is a 15mm Halo Micro Ops Falcon.

In the 1950's the US Army worked on many vertical take off aircraft.

I took off the old markings and added new ones to make this into a 1/72nd scale US Army aircraft.

Transition from vertical flight to horizontal flight was not fully solved with rotary aircraft until the Osprey.

I think this works well for one of those experimental aircraft.  I also add a loop to the top so the aircraft can fly over the table suspended from a wire.

In my future games I consider the US Army to still exist so I can use this for future flight.  In my 1958 Pentomic Army these were actually fielded and I have five I can eventually deploy. 

Rapid mobility is important because you never know where you will find Them!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Attacking the City!

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is another inspirational wargame movie.

A dinosaur is defrosted by atomic testing at the north pole and it immediately attacks New York City.  The stop motion animation is great.  The Army is mobilized but in the meantime police attempt to stop the creature.  The monster is very realistic in that gunshots hurt it and it turns away when attacked.  Great stuff to base a wargame on.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wake Island

I love watching movies, particular war movies.  This one is one of my favorites, even though it is primarily the US Marines.  As an old soldier I would rather see Army movies, generally, but William Bendix is great in any picture and the role of the Army in the real Battle of Wake Island was secret for a long time.

There was a small detachment of US Army soldiers on Wake Island, they were either operating a beacon for the B-17s to use to navigate across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines or they were conducting electronic eavesdropping on the Japanese, or both, depending on the sources.

From a wargame perspective this is a great battle because the land mass is very small, the Japanese are mostly off board, and there were so few troops on the island you might be tempted to game them one on one.  Ironically, in the real battle the Americans were actually winning and repelling the invasion but communications were so poor the commanders thought islands they had lost contact had fallen to the Japanese.  In real life many of the Marines were shipped off to terrible conditions as POWs and the civilian construction workers were beheaded by the Japanese.  The only happy ending is the Americans did win the war.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tower Levels

Just like the real Effiel Tower,  this one has several levels. 

Each level is marked off by these angles.

My long term plan is to put a floor on each level.

Even now there is enough space for a figure or two for these guys to stand on.

The figures look good on the tower.

Now I just need a couple dozen other buildings and I will have Paris!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Sometimes when making wargame terrain, it's like making a movie set.

The buildings and terrain don't have to be perfect, but they do have to suggest the item they represent strongly enough that they are immediately recognizable.

As you can see from this view, it's plenty big enough for 1/72nd scale figures.

Both the French before WWII and the Germans during the war used  the tower to broadcast television.