Friday 6 January 2017

MDF Buildings from Hoka Hey

I was unfamiliar with Hoka Hey Wargaming, but thought I would provide a thumbnail review, as I purchased some MDF buildings from them this week. Firstly I was looking for 'generic' buildings that were re-usable, so I figured I would give their 'Animal Pen/Outbuilding' and 'Ruined Farm Building/House' a try.

  • Speed - Ordered 3 January, arrived today, so top marks for order fulfilment.
  • Cost -  £8.50 for the Animal Pen, and £6.00 for the ruined house. Top marks for cost as well. Note that the ruined building also had a 'debris' MDF sheet with some 'rubble' and rafters.
  • Overall package.. included instructions for the 'Timeline Miniatures' models, with image and build sequence,not really necessary, as I probably could have figured it all out, but handy.
  • Build quality - excellent...  everything went together well, though I found the points where the mdf was attached to the sheet were thicker than I was used to, and needed freeing with a knife if I didn't want to damage delicate parts.
  • Detail..  some nice little touches, so for example the ruined farmhouse included separate window-sills so the window frames were recessed properly.
  • Features - each of the buildings had a MDF base. Very much more convenient, some other companies could take note. The build surface is smooth other than a couple of locations with engraved detail showing bricks or blocks underneath a render, and engraved planking detail on doors and the 'pigsty' and pen building roof.
  • Criticisms? Hmm...  being very picky, the roof detail on the animal pen shows boards that are wider than you might expect. The gate on the animal pen appears to attach directly to the wall, not to wooden uprights, which would be unusual.
Overall, I am delighted with these, and as the ruined farmhouse contained separate window frames, I used some of the left over MDF frames to create 'wrecked frames to make some replacements, and liberated a couple of the window frames. I then used the 'double doors' from the animal/pen to create two end doors on the building, scrap MDF to fill in where the doors would be, attached the frames, and now it is a small dwelling with yard and animal pen. 


So for a grand total of £14.50, two usable buildings..   that could be pretty much 1740s on. I am now wondering how to finish these, and whether I could make them generic enough to do double duty from AWI to Northern Europe. The main issue would seem to be the construction methods and roofing. As I intend to update the roofing with cardboard shingles/tiles, it's just the underlying wood vs brick that creates issues.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Happy 2017

So here it is, 2017. One can only hope it is an improvement on 2016. Not to say that there were't some good things about 2016, but on the whole, best left behind. I got a bit of painting done, but interrupted by moving continents, it would have been nice to achieve more. My final tally, according to Vis Lardica

6mm & smaller - 456 foot, 85 mounted, 4 vehicles/artillery, 7 'ships'
15mm - 128 foot, 72 mounted, 9 vehicles/artillery
28mm - 30 foot

So I thought I would post some ideas about plans for painting in 2017. There's a lot of toys already lurking around, so here's where they are at:

  1. 28mm Chain of Command - Germans and British. I have a couple of squads painted for each side, plus some support options like vehicles close to being finished. I need to purchase one more British squad, plus some bits and pieces like engineers,medics, and so on.This will probably be the fastest project to finish. I estimate 1 week. Which probably means 3 months.
  2. 28mm American War of Independence for Sharp Practice 2. I have all the figures I need, including Hessians, Indians, and artillery. Most are reasonably close to completion apart from the last three named. Probably a months worth of work in this project.
  3. Normans in 15mm for DBMM - at least 2 months required to finish this lot, but I am also waiting for crossbowmen to be released by the manufacturer. So pushed down the list for that reason.
  4. Picts in 15mm for DBMM, loads of work required for these guys. Plaids, checks and tartans take a long time to paint. 3 month minimum I reckon, plus I am still waiting for some allies to arrive.. they're 'in the mail'.
  5. 6mm Napoleonic French and British - there's thousands of these guys. Plus the complexity of Napoleonic uniforms means a long time. 2 months each.
  6. 6mm War of Spanish Succession French & Imperials. I got the system down for these guys, so much faster than their later brethren. 1 month each.
  7. 6mm Sasanians. I have no real use for these to be honest, but I like them. I know that some of the 28mm DBMM gamers do hybrid games using 6mm and 28mm, so maybe that will be the go for these guys. 6 weeks. Low priority though. They will probably also have to have sabot bases to conform to the DBMM 28mm basing standards.
  8. 6mm Franco-Prussian War for HFG or Polemos. Both sides. A month each.
You will notice no mention of terrain. Well, to be honest, I have no room to play in this place, so I will be expecting my playing to all be at club venues, or other people's houses.  And the final tally? 

Estimated about 16 months worth of work. And let's go...    1, then 2, then see where fancy takes me.