Category Archives: The Den

True Scale Space Hulk

Terminators Looking for Trouble

Apparently, Space Hulk is amongst the evil empire’s best-selling games. The attraction is clear; heavily armoured Terminators clunking down claustrophobic corridors, using their chainswords to cut through bulkheads. Why, it was even popular with the WHELKS* when we were all in our thirties. Terminators were smaller in those days and could fit into corridors without getting stuck in the doors.

So, one frosty morning, I thought that I would give it a go in true-scale ….

There is only one man to go to in Wellingborough for over-engineered power tools , and he is known as Sarge. Suzanne came back saying,

“Can you lift it out of the boot for me? It’s too heavy.”

This Looks Promising!

Outstanding! This sounded promising….

...Gratifyingly large quantites of Toxic Fumes and Dust

It took me ten minutes to start the two-stroke engine, and an hour to cut through the bulkhead. Gratifyingly large quantities of toxic fumes and dust billowed everywhere. It was VERY NOISY! By the time I had finished, the garden was covered in a thin layer of brick coloured space-dust, and any gribblies lurking in the hulk must have fled in terror at the noise. Best game ever!

This dude ….

Approved WH40K Pose

…should not be confused with this one below. (Note the puny arms and freakishly long torso of the sculpt above).

This Dude

Uniform afficionados will note the safety glasses and armoured boiler suit. I have swapped out my customary builder’s cowboy hat for a Teeside-pattern safety helmet.

Mission accomplished:

Mission Accomplished

As an antidote to all the fun that I had just had, Suzanne gave me a window to block the new hole. Happily, it fitted.

It Fits!

If you want to know what a Golden Demon quality true-scale Chainsword looks like, then go here.

*Wellingborough Historical and Ever-so Loosely Kultural Society


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It’s a Girl Thing

I am basking in domestic bliss this afternoon. This morning the curtain chap came to work his magic; The curtains fit, and the colours are perfect*

Roman Blinds and Contented Spouse

More Curtains

Now I can get on with painting some trucks.

*They are three closely matching shades of desert oatmeal – how hard can it be?

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Eddie Lizzard

Summer is HereSummer is here

One of the things that I have done on all my homebuild projects over the years, is to add a topping out piece. For The Den, I recycled a carving that I picked up on tour somewhere abroad. For years it has made a nuisance of itself on window ledges and cupboard tops, providing a home for spiders, and terrifying Orcses with its smile.

The Cunningly Prepared Corner

Its final resting place is a corner cunningly prepared for it in advance* There only remains to finish of the soffit boards outside and a few other bits of touching up until the electrician calls.

Eddie Lizzard

Why Eddie Lizzard? Just look at the eye makeup!

Eddie's Eye Makeup

*Though not as cunningly as the floor.

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True-scale Paint Scheme – the End of the Beginning

Racing Trim and Coving

Decisions have been reached as to the final Camouflage scheme for the inside of The Den.  We have gone for operating-theatre white (Very Bleached Bone), a pale yellow (Girly-Elf Yellow) trim line and Calico skirting boards (Bestial Brown :-)); Not quite the Kremlin, but vaguely Russian or Austro-Hungarian in appearance. Unlike a braille-scale modeller, who is accentuating detail for realism, I am trying to blend stuff in to a smooth finish.

Two-tone Winter Camouflage

My attempts at a two tone scheme were seen off; even calling it undercoating fooled no-one. Funnily enough though the thing that has made everything look finished was adding the coving strips. Normally this is a pig of a job, as is anything involving plaster, but the new generation of high density foamed plastic coving made this a doddle. The whole thing went up in half a day (and has stayed up, unlike my last professional plasterer’s coving).

The Coving Before Painting

The trouble with modern houses is that they shift around a lot, so unless the glues are flexible everything cracks. We came back from work some years ago to find that the traditional plaster coving had fallen onto our pillows making quite a dent. Ever since then, I have used lightweight replacement sections.


There was nothing lightweight about the sander that I hired (From Graham Sergeant, thanks Sarge!) as it trundled across the floor like a Soviet Front artillery barrage, flattening everything in its path.

Naked Soft Pine Floorboards

Several coats of gloss varnish later, the floor has quite a passable finish, ready for high heels, dropped forks and all the other insults that trendy flooring has to endure.

You Can See Your Face in it

The first fix electricity is in and tested, ready for the electrician, the cowboy hat came quickly off at this point. I cheated and checked the final resistance and voltage drop across both circuits, so I know they are going to pass.

Grown-up Stuff

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True-scale Winter Camouflage

With perfect timing, spring is creeping across the United Kingdom as I paint The Den in more coats of winter white! Running my idea for aero-themed Soviet camo schemes past the lovely Mrs K produced a Look.* She might accept a bit of duck egg green on the trim lines though. On reflection , the look might have been because of the unflattering military onesie. I can’t see why anyone would not like my proposed scheme.

The Look!

na Rodina

*Every happily married chap knows the one that I mean.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Off Topic, The Den

Easter Bank Holiday

Americans raised on warm sunny Spring Breaks may be confused by the rituals of the English Easter Bank Holiday: it rains and we stay indoors, or we sortie out wearing raincoats to trudge around in a muddy field, watching re-enactors wearing heavy sodden wool coats and silly hats.*

Lots of FillerTrue scale filler comes in BIG tubs!

Wargamers usually take advantage of the poor weather to paint stuff. My weekend was spent profitably filling in joint lines on the Den, and starting to apply the first basecoat.  No shading up from black for me. I slapped on a watered down coat of white emulsion and PVA, to seal the wood and brick. My detail brush is a two-and-a-half inch Harris, but most of the stuff goes on with a four inch Harris or a roller. All this is just to give a good key for the lining paper, so nobody cares how it looks; just as well really!

More FillerWhite undercoat as applied by Soviet ground crew.

*It is a mystery why a chap in a high necked wool frock-coat and a tricorn feels warmer  than someone in three hundred quid’s worth of plastic technobabble. Perhaps it is because he is having fun and the spectators aren’t?

Disclaimer: A couple of family members are lurking on the site – hence the glut of updates that have nothing to do with NQM.


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Decks, Wooden, to be Swabbed.

The floor of the den is now where it should be:

a floor, so cunningly laid that no matter where you stood it was always under your feet.

China Story. A Goon show Script. Recorded on January 16, 1955 First broadcast on January 18, 1955. Script by Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes.

... The floor was so cunningly laid ...

Eventually, several layers of Yacht Varnish will obviate the need to employ urchins to swab it every Saturday morning, but for now the lovely Mrs K agreed to test the deck, after Sunday lunch and a tolerably good bottle of Rosé from Rheinessen.

Testing the Deck

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Progress on the Den

IMG_7759 (1)

Somewhere along the line, the Lovely Mrs K. started calling my true-scale rustic lean-to “The Den“. I think it was when the floorboards were ripped up and the whole room began to resemble a deathmaze with collapsing floor panels and low wire entanglements to catch the unwary. With all the silver insulation showing, no-one would have been surprised to see a Dalek trundle through the doors, or perhaps a Cyberman asleep in a corner.

IMG_7754 (2)

The Window Chap turned up last week with the final window (the same size as the opening this time) and did a sterling job of taking out the existing frame in an undamaged state.*

IMG_7767 (1)

… So for those who care, half of the first fix wires are in, the room is weatherproof again and all the walls and the ceiling are boarded; proper job! For those who don’t, my next post will have 12cm mortars in it!

*This is important, because it is going into the garage.


Filed under Modelling, Off Topic, The Den

Merry Christmas – Festive Games!

As the Season of Goodwill closes relentlessly upon us, it is time to celebrate with Festive Games. As anyone who works in the Media knows, the preparation work has to be done early, so suspend your disbelief at the realistic snow effects* and enjoy the first two inaugural games in the Rustic Lean-to.

Indoor Chariot Racing.


Nuff said!

True Scale WH40K Baneblade Simulator.

Baneblade Imperial Guard, Super-heavy Tank

This one requires some rules:


Rule 1.

The Ork has to throw a Stikkbomm through the open commander’s hatch of the Baneblade.

Rule 2.

The Baneblade Commander retalliates by using his/her Chainsword to decapitate the Ork Stikkbommas.

How the Game Went.

The Baneblade Commander had a little trouble initially, finding a stepladder tall enough to peer out of the commander’s hatch.

Her chainsword proved too short to reach any of the attacking stikkbommas, but was useful for batting bomms back down onto the heads of the attacking boyz. Four bommas met their end in this fashion. A stikkbomm went through the hatch on the 5th attempt.

Baneblade Commander

The Commander seems unworried by her recent demise

Baneblade console

View from the Commander’s hatch – with added rivets!

Merry Christmas!


*only available in December

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Off Topic, The Den

Bergepanzer III and IV

Enough Sheddery, and trucking about; here are some proper tanks! The Bergepanzer III is a conversion of an overscale Austrian 1/87 jobbie that has been in my collection for ever, but will look fine next to some of my big trucks. The Bergepanzer IV is an old RoCo that did brief service in my AK47 collection. They bring some much-needed endurance to the Wehrmacht.

Bergepanzer III and IV WIPA simple card box on the III, a card plate on the IV, some bits, and that’s about it.

Bergepanzer II and IV undercoatTrue-scale undercoat on the unpainted bits, including the commander of the III.

Bergepanzer III and IV frontView from the front.

Bergepanzer III and IV threequarter view… and the side. Ready to roll.

Apparently, Inland Revenue has an app now, for scouring the internet to expose hidden income. For the books, here is an example of my rock-and-roll lifestyle:

Waking up after a night on the tilesThe morning after a night on the tiles!

Power Tools and BeerPower tools and beer – ideal companions!

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Logistics, Modelling, Off Topic, tank, The Den, Wehrmacht, WWII