Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sectional model railway for sale

I am selling my old model railway sectional layout. Built before the earthquakes and never finished because of a change in focus. Combined length is 10.2 metres. Each module is 1800mm long except for one which is 1200mm. Widest module is 900mm across. Was built for On30 but could be used for HO/OO or Sn3.5 NZR.

Mostly constructed from sheets of goldfoam (high density polystyrene). Scenery contours made from polystyrene covered in PVA soaked paper towel. Fascias made from MDF. Module ends are constructed from two pieces of plywood laminated and sealed with polyurethane. They are joined with bolts and wingnuts (included).  I used gorrilla polyurethane glue so these are quite solid. Much lighter than traditional methods. Ready for laying foam rubber trackbed.

Scenery can be modified and added to quite easily. Original idea was for a yard and station at one end and a small yard at the other. Because they are sectional you could separate them and add in curves or fit them in a garage as needed. Would make a great start to a exhibition layout. I'm happy to help the buyer with tips and details of how i built them.

Selling so I have the room to build a more ambitious NZ48 layout of the Seddonville branch/Chasm creek.

Can deliver in Christchurch. Can be viewed in Kirwee. Call me on 0211091510

I would like these to go to a good home where they will be finished. If you are interested please contact me to discuss.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Some new photography

I'd like to introduce a new and hopefully regular series on this blog; Photography.

I love to travel around New Zealand and take photos. I'm not a professional but I know enough to get by. These were taken with a Canon 550d with 15-55mm kit lens. I'd love to get a new lens as the kit one does have limitations in terms of quality and capability.

These shots were taken at Westport and Karamea, on the West Coast of New Zealands' South Island.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Burnetts Creek NZ48 Model Railway

This is something I finished for last year’s local train show. It was a last minute rush to get the layout in a state where it could be exhibited. I didn't get all the trees done and there is lots of detailing and weathering to do but at least I got something together.

The modules were built from extruded foam and plywood plus MDF. Track is hand laid and the scenery was achieved with various static grass products and a 20 thousand volt zapper. I called it Burnetts Creek after James Burnett who proposed the idea of an incline at Denniston, on the west coast of NZ’s south island.

The location is Paradise, near Glenorchy at the top of Lake Wakatipu. There could have been a railway there but my layout is completely fictional.

I spent a long time measuring NZR wagons at the local preservation society railway. Together with original plans I drew up an etch for all the strapping and detail for two classes of wooden four-wheeled wagon and the body plus details of a steel wagon. These were very common types on New Zealand railways. I got them etched in Scotland and combined the parts with stripwood and the white metal underframes already developed by my friend.

The wagons in the photos are built by my friend from our parts. I had my Climax running which got a quick coat of flat black. It proved to be very enjoyable to run with the sound chip in it. Many here enjoy modelling in on30 but we have found many also want to model New Zealand Railways in 1:48. We are doing so by using the correct scale gauge of 22.4mm rather than HO track, which at 16.5mm represents two foot six rather than the proper NZR gauge of three foot six. We call it NZ48.

With my first wagon etches working successfully I am looking at expanding the range of rolling stock to include a guards van and other types of wagon. I also have two small locos in the pipeline with hopes for larger locos in the future. I still have the modules from my original Ferrusia Railway and hope to resurrect them next year as part of a main line NZ48 layout.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ogre Army complete

This army is the first full army I have painted to this standard. I have done many other armies, both 40k and Fantasy, but never spent so much time on each model.

It was enjoyable to paint such varied textures and explore the possibilities of each model. My eyes have been opened to the world of Fantasy and I am tempted to collect an army of my own at one point. I went with a fur trappers/hunters theme and therefore sculpted on cloaks and pelts of fur, as well as accessorising with knives, trophies and skulls.

The bases were given a treatment of slate pieces and a crushed slate/sand mix. They also feature grass tufts which I made myself and will be selling as a product of Ferrus Workshops in the very near future. The skin was an experiment combining airbrushed basecoats, layers of washes, glazes and thin highlights in order to create a windswept mountain ogre feel. The rest was standard stuff like wet-blending, washes, highlighting etc. I used some of the new GW paints and washes on this army and was pleasantly surprised. Mephiston Red covers like a dream, the new washes are just as good as the old ones and all the paints now smell rather nice.

Anyway, on to the pictures:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Krieg Painting and Weathering - Tips and Techniques


After the obligatory straightening of bent parts and washing in warm water with some citric acid based cleaner I assembled everything. Pretty straight forward. Had to use balls of putty to attach the arms and fill gaps afterwards. Wasn’t too much hassle but for the average modeller it could be a bit daunting. Forgeworld stuff definitely requires patience.

I sprayed it all with K&H etch primer for non-ferrous metals. This is an Aussie primer intended for brass but it works wonders for white metal and resin. It microscopically etches and attaches itself to the model thus it’s a perfect primer. It’s white and quite thin so I often follow up a day later with chaos black spray or equivalent.

The key to this army was the use of an airbrush. I purchased one from Chicago Airbrush Supply. Great prices and service. I got a Paasche Talon with 3 tips. My Grandad used to airbrush ceramics and I have inherited his workshop and gear so I already had a compressor and air tank. I just attached a moisture trap and was ready to go.

I had only used an airbrush on rare occasions before this army but was knowledgeable on their functions and use. There are many guides out there about that stuff. It’s a pretty big topic in itself. I am mostly working at 20 to 30 psi and used the .38mm tip. I got some Vallejo Model Air paints for this project and that was also a first. I am very impressed with them.

I airbrushed an undercoat of German Grey on the whole army except the horses. I then mixed in some white and went back over at a higher angle, leaving the recesses dark. On the tanks this wasn’t so pronounced. I always add a few drops of Vallejo Model Air dilutent to aid flow. It seemed to work, not sure if this is a requirement.

For the infantry I mixed a 70/30 German grey/white mix and focussed on the fatigues, using the double-action trigger to lay down thin coats and blend. I then did a final pure white layer in the same fashion. This made white so much easier to do than If I had brush painted it. In the end I did do a final brush layer highlight with thinned white.

The pants were Charadon granite, the guns and pouches Catachan green and the belts etc Calthan brown and Scorched brown. These were all washed with Badab black and then re highlighted back up with their original colour, mixing in either white or bleached bone for successive highlights. The gas masks were given a really thin glaze of Scorched brown after the highlights to add depth and enrich the colour. The armour and metal is a custom mix of Chaos black and Boltgun metal. It was washed with a 50/50 mix of Badab black and Gryphonne sepia followed by Chainmail/Mithril silver chips. The idea is that they stripped and blackened their armour chemically.

The mud on their trenchcoats and boots is a mix of finely sifted real dirt and a mix of craft paints that I made to match the dirt colour. I also mixed in some artist texture paste. It was then stippled and drybrushed on. I tried to be subtle rather than just slap it on. It pays to look at photos of real soldiers and look at how their fatigues get dirty. I put some of the mix on knees as they would often kneel to fire.

I used a mix of gravel/sand from the gutter on the bases. It got grey when I did the airbrushing but I did wash it with some thin black. The spaces between was painted with the mud mix and then thinly washed with some black to make it darker i.e wetter. The static grass is a 80/20 mix of Woodland Scenics Burnt grass and Harvest Gold.

The snow is Woodland scenics made into a paste with some PVA and carefully painted on and shaped to form drifts.


The Tanks.

The tanks and Hades drill started off with their German Grey undercoat. Highlighted as mentioned before with a bit of white mixed in and using the airbrush to blend.
I then gave them a coat of gloss from a spray can and then two of airbrushed Vallejo Matte. This is key as it protects the underlying paint coat. In the past I have used the hairspray technique on a basecoat that had dried for a week or more and not had to do this. Acrylic actually takes a while to fully set and the polymers fix although it dries in minutes.

I gave them a couple of days to dry just to be sure and then sprayed them with a thin coat of hairspray. The more budget/cheap types are best as they are basically just water soluble acrylic varnishes.

There are many variables to this technique including amount of hairspray, surface texture of the underlying paint coat and amount of time the following paint coat is allowed to dry. That is why some test pieces are a must. The rougher the surface the smaller the chips will be. If too much hairspray is used the paint comes off more easily. That is why I did the two coats of matte varnish; it gives a rougher surface. The ideal situation for tiny chips is using a matte primer on the model that has slight texture to it ( unlike GW chaos black), painting on a base coat, letting that dry for a couple of weeks and then doing the hairspray technique. That’s what I did on my Baneblade and I was amazed at the tiny chips possible.

After the thin spray of hairspray had dried for about an hour I airbrushed on some Vallejo Model Air white. You can also play with the opacity and shading here to create really thin coats that represent nearly completely washed off whitewashes. If you do a completely opaque (not see-through) layer the chips will be more pronounced. I let that dry for about 30 mins.

The next step is to use short stiff bristled brushes dipped in warm water to scrub the paint off. This part is completely subjective to the technique of the user; Pressure, angle and amount of water can play a part. I didn’t need much water at all; in fact the brushes were barely damp. Look at photos of real tanks to see where the paint rubs off and think about rain in terms of the winter whitewash as that would affect how it comes off compared to normal chips. It certainly pays to use scrap parts or Plasticard to practice this technique.

You can see on the Vanquisher that I put on a thicker coat of white than the Exterminator and thus the paint chips are more defined.


I frequently washed my brush to get rid of the removed paint but noticed an interesting side effect of the scrubbing that left slight ridges of white on the edges of the chips that almost looks as if I had highlighted them. Happy mistake I guess.

After they were chipped to my satisfaction I left them to dry. I went a step further to reinforce the idea that the winter white was washing off. I used an airbrush and really thin white to add thin coats over some of the chipped areas as well as creating downwards strokes to represent the action of rain. I also did some work with thin white paint and a brush to create some more depth and glaze over the chipped areas.

The rust and dirt stain marks are all done with GW washes and thinned paint. I often mix other paints into GW washes in a rather hap-hazard manner on my palette. This was all done taking care to be subtle and think about where the rain might affect the tank and run off. Just remember that there is that hairspray coat underneath and if you are too frisky with the brush it might start to allow the white to come off where you don’t want it. A coat of matte might help here but I was just careful. Military modellers often do a gloss coat and then use oil based washes and glazes but I couldn’t be bothered with all that faff. I much prefer acrylics with some flow improver or mixed pre-prepared washes for gaming tanks.

I used the same mud mixture on the track and splattered up the hull as from the infantry. Really thin black darkened some areas to make them look wetter. I also sprinkled on some finely sifted earth and applied some snow mix as a final step.

Final step for the army was a coat of Ardcoat and a couple of airbrushed layers of Matte.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. I hope this is interesting and provides you with some useful tips. I’m sorry I don’t have time for a photographic step by step tutorial.

This is where I got all the insight and info on the Hairspray Technique:


Death Korps of Krieg Army - Tanks and more

Here are the Tanks and Death Riders of the recently completed Krieg:


Leman Russ Vanquisher 02

Leman Russ Vanquisher Turret

Leman Russ Vanquisher Rear

Leman Russ Exterminator

Leman Russ Exterminator Turret

Death Riders

Death Riders 02




Tomorrow I'll post the written report on how I went about painting and weathering these models.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Death Korps of Krieg Army - Winter scheme

This is a commission I have just finished for a very patient client in Australia. I've been trying to get it done for 5 months but mother nature had something to say. A very shallow 6.6 quake, many thousands of aftershocks and a broken house later I have finally completed them.

The client wanted a winter scheme. The infantry have only been issued with white winter coats; they wear normal fatigues underneath. The tanks would be grey but have been whitewashed and seen much action. I used the hairspray technique for this.

The models required much work to assemble but are totally worth the effort. Many were repaired after a significant aftershock knocked them to the floor!

I have built a light box and experimented with daylight fluorescents. Still getting a handle on taking good photos. Let me know if they are up to standard.

I will be working on a tutorial of how to do the weathering and painting of white very soon.

Anyway, comments and critiques are highly appreciated!


Command Squad

Commander and Banner

Platoon Command Squad

Krieg Platoon Banner and Plasma Gunner

Autocannon Teams

Autocannon Teams Close-up

Autocannon Teams Close-up 02


Engineers 02

Mole Launcher Team

Quad Launcher Crew

Quad Launchers

Death Korps Infantry

Death Korps Infantry 02

Death Korps Infantry 03

Death Korps Infantry 04

I'll post the Vehicles and Rough Riders tomorrow.