December 30, 2018
The workbench work began this week with a detour from the Boxer Rebellion project. Two weeks ago at the swap meet I picked up what appeared to be a space command center… it has the look similar to the bridge portion of an AT-AT. A week later at the swap meet I found a radar disc that looked perfect for the command center, so I began the workbench modifying the “command center” to accept the radar disc. Came out pretty well. I then returned to the Boxer Rebellion and three bridges I purchased at PetCo for use of the Imperial Cannel. These bridges began their lives as fish tank décor, but with the addition of some Milliput that I textured with a toothbrush (see painted picture) and a new paint job I think they will fit in well with my Boxer Rebellion terrain.
The day after Christmas (Boxing Day [?] but in this case Boxer Day…not really funny but I couldn’t resist it), I began painting the first of the six pairs (pre-siege [scratch-built] and siege [Blue Moon]) legation. I began with the French legation. I have no color information available to guide me. I’ve been through a couple of Osprey books, read two books on the Boxer Rebellion (paying special attention for that kind of detail), Googled every combination of words I could think of, and hunted Lead Adventure Forum for ideas. In the end I decided to go with what looks good to me. The French legation turned out to have a special problem I hadn’t seen when I looked the piece over upon its arrival. A corner brick post on the right front side had been miscast (a big bubble hole). Since the front of that build was pretty drab (grey and saddle brown with a burnt umber roof) I decide that rather than notify Old Glory 25s I would hide the error with a Milliput scrub. To balance that I added a second Milliput scrub to the blank left side of the building. I’m happy with the solution.
I brought the workbench week and the year 2018 to a close with the completion of the Japanese legation. As was the case with the French legation compound, I created a scratch-built version of the legation walls that will serve as the pre-siege legation, and as with the French legation I used the Japanese legation’s original main gate wall section for both the pre-siege and siege versions of the legation walls. I did this once again by covering the firing steps on the Japanese main gate wall section with two removable scrub covers composed of an inner skeleton of Legos covered by Milliput, scored to give the appearance of scrubs. The one unique complication with the Japanese legation is that based on historic photos of the legation’s entrance, it should be guarded by two Foo Dog statues. Interestingly, Blue Moon provided the bases for those statues as part of their main gate wall section, but they didn’t provide the Foo Dog statues. Fortunately, I was able to obtain two Foo Dog statues from two Wyrd/Malifaux Asian Zen Accessories packs (WYR0045). Worked out great.
December 23, 2018
I had a really productive workbench this week. I completed the last of the Blue Moon Chinese civilian buildings for my Boxer Rebellion collection. In addition I finished the painting of the ceramic Chinese structures (Asian… not sure they really reflect authentic Chinese architecture). I bought the ceramic pieces years ago… long before Blue Moon released its Boxer Rebellion figure range. My last workbench effort this week was basing some trees. The trees are by Grand Central Gems. I based the trees on metal washers covered by Milliput. No ground cover added to the trees’ bases as yet. I may just dry brush them. I’ll probably hold off making a decision until the very end of this project when I have done a practice layout and seen where the trees will be used on the table. With Christmas only days away, workbench efforts will slow, but I should get some work done on my legation buildings. When I began work on this project last June, I estimated that I would have it done in January 2019. That could happen.
December 16, 2018
The workbench week opened with a detour from the Boxer Rebellion. On Saturday I picked up a wooden display fishing trawler at the swap meet. It’s about 20 inches long and generally a good match for 28mm figures. It needs a new paint job and some general repair work, but it has a lot of potential. The big concern with these display vessels is cutting the hull to waterline so they can be used with my miniatures. On the positive side with this one, the hull is hollow and not just a block of wood. On the negative side, the hull has a series of curves that make cutting a straight line difficult. The cutting problem was added to by the fact that the interior ribs and center spine are hard wood and difficult to cut. A buddy came over on Sunday to help me do the cutting. It took about an hour, but it came out fine, and on Monday I set the trawler in a base of Milliput that will serve as a water surround and hide any imperfections caused by the cutting.
The rest of the time I spent at the workbench this week was devoted to painting buildings for my Boxer Rebellion collection. I completed eleven of the Blue Moon 15s Boxer Rebellion buildings… all Chinese; no legation structures. I began by spraying them flat black (Testors), and when they were dry I drybrushed them with Vallejo model paints. My plan is to keep a rather uniform color scheme throughout the city so it will blend together as a uniform whole. As of this posting and this week’s painting, my plan is to paint the tile roofs, doors, and window detail green or blue, or red or grey. The building walls will be done in saddle brown (bricks), beige (stucco), brown sand (bricks), grey (stone) and flat earth (wood)… keeping it simple. I’ve attached two pictures of each building… a front and rear view of each.
December 9, 2018
Work on the recently found Old Glory 15s’ Boxer Rebellion Great Powers figures continued. I completed the Old Glory 15s’ US Marines and Russian infantry. I’m very happy that I found these Old Glory figures though their quality was inconsistent. The Japanese infantry previously painted were difficult to paint because the casting was not good which I found odd given the fact that I probably bought them a decade ago. On the other hand the US Marines are very nice figures and evidenced no casting issues even though they were purchased at the same time as the Japanese figures mentioned above.
By mid-week I discovered and painted some additional Old Glory 15s… a few French sailors and a German Seabattalon officer. The discovery of the additional French sailors proved to be a great piece of luck because in reviewing my Osprey book on the subject of the uniforms of those sailors I discovered I had made a mistake in the original group of French sailors I painted when I painted their pants blue. As a result I went back and corrected that mistake by painting their pants white (actually pale sand)… it was a pain, but I’m glad I did it. At this point I have completed the painting of well over 900 figures for my Boxer Rebellion collection. I have one last pack of Blue Moon German Seabattalon figures on order (15 figures), and those will be the last of my figures for this collection.
I brought the workbench week to an end by modifying two Star Wars figures: a third, and I think final, Star Wars’ E-Web blaster by removing the body of the Snowtrooper and replacing it with the body of an Imperial Stormtrooper, and the AMT Jabba the Hutt. I picked up the AMT Jabba the Hutt Throne Room at the swap meet a couple years ago when I was doing my spaceport collection. I didn’t use the AMT Jabba with my spaceport collection because I like the Action Fleet Jabba more and because the AMT Jabba I got at the swap meet was missing the end of his tail. Fortunately I didn’t throw the AMT Jabba away, and decided to use a small dino tail to replace the missing Jabba tail because I have decided to include Ziro the Hutt from Clone Wars in my Star Wars collection. I still have more work to do on Ziro to get the tail right, but it’s on its way.
December 2, 2018
I didn’t have a lot of workbench time this past week… only one full day at home. Nonetheless, I did get 30 15mm figures painted for my Boxer Rebellion. Those were Old Glory 15s’ Italian and Japanese infantry. I also found some time to modify another Wizards of the Coast Star Wars’ Stormtrooper for use with an E-Web Blaster as a replacement for the Snowtrooper that came with the blaster.