Friday, April 27, 2012

Needlepoint Plastic Mesh (Granny Grate) how to

Making needlepoint plastic mesh (Granny Grate) armies. Buy a sheet of either #10 (smallest) or #7 (bottom 3 strips above) needlepoint plastic mesh. Using an exacto knife make the appropriate cuts in the plastic mesh. Horses are done with the Van Pelt cut which can be found here. I use a modified Van Pelt cut, leaving the horses connected to speed painting.

Infantry are simple vertical cuts. Top half of infantry painted with coat colors or flesh and bottom half are pants color or flesh. Yes, your Picts and Gauls can be their naked selves without offending anyone.  Top of plastic infantry peg is painted an appropriate helmet/hat color. Part of the fun is figuring out a simple paint scheme, and painting is fast. I use craft paint, prefer Ceramcoat (if I can find) or Apple Barrel or you could try No Paint Armies with Granny Grate.

Round shields are made with 1/8" paper punch for #7 mesh and 1/16" paper punch for #10 mesh. These paper punches are available at Michaels, use your discount coupons to reduce cost further.
Making rectangular shields. Tiny scissors and marking off card stock piece at between 1/8" & 1/16" (for #7) then cutting strips length-wise, guesstimate the cross cut. Some shields are closer to square, but work. Dot of glue on plastic & dot of glue on small pot sticker, pick up card stock, flip and attach. By the last couple it's an easy routine. The cutting is easier because you can make so many, fast. Discard or trim the excess cardstock.

I mount my completed strips on balsa (I use DBA and DBA-HX standards for 15mms, but minimum stand size is 20mm, 15mm stands are just too full ) with Aleene's Quick drying Tacky Glue and balancing them for a minute with a small pot sticker.

I use 4" X 6" photo storage boxes (also found at Michaels) to store armies. Since they are so light, you can double stack them inside boxes.

Please look at previous entries. Clicking on photos enlarges them, so you can determine the patterns I used for mounting them on bases. Any questions, just ask.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

NKE & Hittites from #7 Needlepoint plastic mesh

               Overall view with Hittites on left and New Kingdom Egyptians on right (above).

Hittite spears with shields and Psiloi and Horde.

                                         Hittite chariots.
New Kingdom Egyptians with archers in rear.

                                          New Kingdom Egyptian chariots, psiloi & warband.

Doing it right

Upgraded the Late Eastern Romans to rectangular shields.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Comparing the size of Needlecraft Plastic Mesh armies

On the left with the red shields are the Late Eastern Romans done with #10 Needlecraft Plastic Mesh. On the right are the Early Hoplite Spartans with the black shields, using #7 Needlecraft Plastic Mesh.. The red shields were done with a 1/16 paper punch & card stock. The black shields were done with a 1/8 paper punch.  Placing of shields is accomplished with the smallest pot stickers I had. An interesting technique to pick up, flip and place.

I know the Romans should have rectangular shields, but I was unable to cut out that shape, that small and opted for the round paper punch approach. Though, I'm experimenting with excess strips from the plastic mesh.

Time to clean up the armies with spot painting, shields, flags and dullcote-ing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Early Hoplites 2 different scales & techniques

left to right. Spartan Hair roller army, Plastic mesh #7 Spartan army, Athenian Plastic Mesh #7 army, Hair roller Athenians.

1/8 inch paper punch and card stock provides shields for the #7 Plastic mesh Athenians on the left. Original hair roller Athenians on right.

Psiloi to the front. #7 Plastic mesh on left, hair roller Athenians on right.
Spartan Hordes to the forefront. Hair roller Spartans on left, #7 Plastic mesh on right.

Scale comparison. Left original hair roller army (2 or 3mm ?), middle is #7 Needlecraft plastic mesh with cardstock shields (6mm ?), 15mm Marian Romans on the right.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

3 Plastic Needlecraft Mesh armies

Used up the remaining spare horses to make a Mongol army (above, right). On left is Late Eastern Romans. In middle is Attila's army. Other photos follow.
                                                                    Attila's Huns (above)
                                                          Late Eastern Romans
                                                                        Mongol Cav
The most fun of all is the storage of 3 DBA armies in 4" X 6" photo boxes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Attila's army & Eastern Romans from spare Plastic Needlepoint Mesh

Using the spare horses from my failed initial hair roller army effort (the scale was wrong), I decided to use additional scraps of #10 plastic needlepoint mesh and make the DBA armies for Attila and the Eastern Romans.  These armies are my first made completely with Plastic Needlepoint Mesh sheets. Now all we need is a name for these type armies. Hair roller armies no longer apply.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

5 Armies in a tray

Hopefully, enough space left for the Austrian & Prussian line troops (the Landwehrs are finished) after I find 6 more of the rubber hair rollers (I hope).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hair Roller Update

Royal Scots Greys & British Cavalry 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Progress ?

Still learning about this technique. This scale (3mm) also makes it harder to suitably photograph these armies. The cavalry and infantry are painted and mounted for the 3 Armies (Russian, British, and French). I have spent several hours trying to figure out an easy way to make artillery with little succes so far.

What started as an effort to make armies quickly and easily has ended up being a bigger challenge than I anticipated. My eyes, hands and fingers just don't work well enough any more to tackle this type of project. But, I will push on to make 6 artillery stands and finish up the 3 Napoleonic Armies. And anticipate finding 10 suitable rollers to do the Austrian and Prussians.

Trying to figure out this Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue has been an experience. Not as easy to glue one's fingers together as "crazy glue", but has caused bowed bases and trying to balance the PMS (Plastic Mesh Sheets) horses is a real patience tester.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Size is everything

Discovered that my hair roller armies are actually 3mm. Which has resulted in another version of horses to be cut from the #10 needlepoint plastic mesh. This time 1 1/2 rows. (Photo above)

Took another trip to Sally's Beauty Supply (the places my hobby has taken me over the decades) and found some Nitecurl rollers (above, right). However, it looks like the roller design has changed from the type recommended by  Kenneth Van Pelt at The Penny Whistle. A lot of sprue on the bottom and the bodies appear to be not as tall.  On the left, above is my orignial hair rollers.

So this is going to take a lot more thought than I intended as I try to figure out how to proceed. I don't have enough of the 3mm hair rollers to build the Austrians & Prussians armies to give me the the 5 Napoleonic armies I was originally after.

 However, along the way I have a lot of 4 to 5mm horses, which I can salvage into a Late Eastern Roman army and Attila's Hun army made entirely from the #10 plastic mesh for needlecraft.

   Now how the heck did that happen ? Did I mention that I have a #7 size plastic mesh sheet which allows for cutting out 6 mm armies ?

Thanks to Kenneth Van Pelt for all his info, advice, suggestions and photos. If you're not following his blog The Penny Whistle, I highly recommend it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

3 mm Cavalry

Lost 2 days while experimenting with different ways to make cavalry for my hair roller armies. I was looking for a quick way to assemble large number of mounted troops. No luck. So I Returned to using a modified Van Pelt cut. I am using #10 plastic mesh used for Needlepoint. As my hair roller infantry is only 3mm high I opted to use the smallest mesh I could find. I choose to leave them as strips to make them quicker and easier to paint. Will cut them 5 deep on a 30mm deep base.  Still not sure how many units on a base for the different cavalry types, as I prefer a more massed looked.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The making of the 3 Armies

In the lower right are the cavalries, which are a bit tricky to construct.

2 mm Hair Roller Armies

My new fascination... Hair Roller Armies. They are made with the old knobby & pink rubber hair rollers. This is a setup of Early Hoplites, Athens versus Sparta mounted for DBA. The scale is interesting at 2 mm. Makes the battlefield scale look like a general would view it. One Day to figure out the technique and build and paint 2 armies. I am working on 3 Napoleonic Armies (British, French, and Russians) while learning how to make horses and artillery. Now all I need is to find more hair rollers. A quick way to assemble large armies for any set of rules.