Archive for the ‘ modelling ’ Category

Dadi & Piombo 45

Another issue of Dadi & Piombo magazine is out. And even this time there is something written by me. Do you remember the post on this blog about scales in wargame compared to train modelling scales? Well, now it is rewritten for this magazine on a bigger scale. A translation in English language, better than my English, is present, because all the magazine is bilingual. Here can see my pages. Beautiful photos of giant robots are by Paolo (see Ronin Clan blog on the links) and his MEKA game.

The guy that make Dadi & Piombo magazine organise even convention, but due to problems with the financial support by local administration, he shift it from Crema to San Marino. Sorry chaps, now it is late to participate to it, that was last Saturday and Sunday.

More on this number and how to have it to


Railway crane

When I saw a railway crane at Happy Model (see the convention section) I thought about something for my Flyton. It was for HO scale, but I could modify it for my 28mm world. I used a reed of ribbon for gifts, a large base from a Japanese gashapoon, some cutted toothpicks, a thin copper wire, little pieces of cardboard for the door and the upper trap door. And after some work I had got this one. Simple and handmade, except the crane obviously.


Happy model feb. 2011 edition

We are here again!

Every two months there is this event in Rome for train collectors. This time we are at full force: Renato who looking around for scratched trains to rebuilt them for Japan, Paolo who wants more for his 1:144 city, me for some pieces for Flyton, and Franci to put some feminine elegance among us.

A lot of people around, and this time seems that is the best to find something. I leave a lot of pieces on the counters. Maybe another time I will pick those things.

I would like to put some lights on my scenario. However I found these tunnels and they are great, made of hard resin and very cheap!

I decided that in Flyton there is a side with a face blocked by a cliff. And this is the tunnel under the hill. Here is with bricks at the end, but that piece will be used to the sides of the tunnel door.

Here the same scene from the top. In Flyton I will put something on the upper part to hide the structure. I have this idea because in games there are always the forbidden parts of the terrain where your minis cannot go, the extremes of the world. Well, this time one extreme is really closed, but with a hole where troops can escape.

I saw this resin piece with metal rubbish so I bought it to put it in a part of Flyton, in a yard near the viaduct I think. There will be necessary a paintwork to have a more varied look of this piece.

The best of show this time was a HO junkyard all in rust colours, with a huge amount of little pieces, ruined wagons, abandoned cars, military surpluses. And among the stuff, little orange men are working to recycle this mess. Wow, I like the romantic feeling of rust!



We all have got a problem of measure…

I’m building my scenario for 28mm (Flyton) and Paolo (RoninClan) is building his 1:144 Japanese scenario per MEKA. We have got our game pieces but we want to put something around them because the world is not flat and our pieces move in a three-dimensional world. So we are looking for something compatible with them.
There are a lot of miniaturised worlds, each one with his characteristic and collectors. With our soldiers we have some scales called 10mm, 15mm, 28mm and so on. In train modelling world we have various scales, more common is the HO one, but there are others, obscure sometimes. Moreover there are other scales for plastic soldiers, airplanes, tanks and robots. Could we find a common language among all these types of modelling? I studied the question and I created this table.

ratio soldiers trains others
1:2400 naval
1:1200 naval
1:900 2mm
1:600 tanks & airs
1:300 6mm
1:285 GHQ style
1:220 Z
1:180 10mm
1:160 N
1:150 12mm N
1:148 N
1:144 mechas
1:120 15mm old TT
1:102 TT
1:100 15mm new MG mechas, airs
1:87 HO
1:80 HO
1:76 OO
1:72 20mm plastic models
1:64 S cars
1:63 25mm
1:60 PG mechas
1:56 28mm
1:50 buses
1:49 32mm
1:48 O airs
1:45 O
1:43.5 O cars
1:35 tanks
1:32 54mm G plastic soldiers
1:6 action figures

Some explanations are necessary. Airs are airplanes, and PG (perfect grade) and MG (master grade) are from Bandai’s Gundam animes. There are other train scales but they are rarer than these. There are other scale for soldiers and modelling, but I put here the most.

I divided the modelling world into three categories: soldiers, trains and others.

The first one is that you know better. The smaller “soldiers” are vessels for naval fighting (well, they aren’t soldiers, they contains soldiers, but we assume as soldiers all what is wargame), because you haven’t a swimming-pool for this, and the bigger ones are the 1:6, too big to only think about a game with lots of them (but madness is common among us).

There is a big difference between a metal 20mm and a slighter plastic 20mm. It is a factor of pressing, because metal is rougher to press than plastic, so lead soldiers are sculpted with an alteration of human proportions. Plastic soldiers instead appears too much log limbed at our eyes are used to seeing bulker ones. Exists a method to calculate the dimensions of soldiers, the Barrett one, based on build. You have the highness calculated foot to eyes (the base is out of this measurement) and there is a letter added (L=Light; M=Medium; H=Heavy). So a 28mm can be a 28M for Barrett scale, but there are 28L and 28H too. More a miniature is bulk, more it seems bigger, so there is a big difference between 28L and 28H, and 28H is not compatible with a 29L.
And year after year miniatures are higher because more mm means better details. So if we are speaking about 10mm, often we have got a 11mm or more. Today what we call 15mm is more 17mm than 15mm, or at least 16mm or also 18mm! If you think about the Barrett factor you will have other variations on what is a 15mm. The only method to understand if you can enlist different soldiers together is to put them side by side and look if there are big differences in size. And remember: what you see of enormous at strict distance is a little thing after the painting and on game tables.

1:6 bomb, 28mm doctor, 15mm romulus

Train modelling is a well established hobby but nowadays it involves mainly adults with a lot of money to spend. You can find a lot of buildings and other useful stuff in UK, German or Japanese style. There is also stuff in Italian style, but here you can easily build a Tirol scene than an Italian one. And usually we don’t like very much a place where men wear shorts even with snow! The scales you find in shops are restricted to HO with some N. The others are difficult to find, you have to search online shops or E-Bay. But the weirdest thing is that scales aren’t so fixed, like soldiers situation! You have got different scales for different countries. So N scale is generally 1:160 but in UK it is 1:148! And there are differences among tracks: a same scale have got different gauges.
A very useful thing is the possibility of buy pdf buildings to print on cardboard. If you find them in a different scale than what you want, you must print with a different percentage scale. For example, Z scale must to be printed at 122% if you want to adapt it to 10mm. So this is the table to adapt train modelling scaled sheets to print to lead soldiers.

train to 15mm to 28mm
N 160% 286%
TT 120% 214%
HO 87% 155%
OO 76% 136%
O 45% 80%

You can calculate your proportions. Remember the regional differences between the same scale. This is the formula:
(starting scale x 100)/desired scale=multiplier%

Another question is the entire world of modelling. You can find everything but with a lot of scales. And sometimes what is declared isn’t what you get. This is common for models sold through newspaper shops but also for more serious models. Attention is focused on the shape and not on dimensions, it seems more important to have a range of models in the same boxes and with the same size than real scaled sizes. However all the scales reported are fictional, they are models, representation of the reality, not the real things! And this is true for trains, airplanes, cars, soldiers,…


Japanese market

This is Christmas time, or better, it is gift time! Here in Roma there are a lot of Christmas markets without soul, always the same stuff, all is equal on every counter.
There is a traditional market in Piazza Navona too, also knew abroad, but every year I ask to myself why it is so boring. Apart from the Christmas decorations, the other things are poor toys and sad caravan games from amusement parks. And the atmosphere is tired. The only fun element is when someone sells, undisturbed under police eyes, prohibited articles as illegal firecrackers or danger toys.
Since a couple of years there is a Japanese market in Rome too.

This market runs for only a day every three months. It was started by two brothers from Japan who have opened a shop. It collects young vendors with the passion of Japan and obviously some of them are from Japan. You can find Japanese items as bento or gashapoon, but there are even things made here with a Japan feel in them. Italians love Japan and its culture, as Japanese love Italy and its culture.

There is second hand stuff or articles privately bought by mail in Japan.

You can find articles to decorate your room, and handcrafted stuff at most. Even handcrafted jewels for girls.

A joy are these items decorated like cakes, with chocolate and whipped cream. I had hungry after I saw them. Fortunately there was a stand with some Japanese food. I ate a sweet with beans cream as in Doreamon animes.

There were cosplayers too. Every occasion is good to be dressed like a manga! And there was stuff for Gothic Lolitas too. Apparently not so Japanese, but you have to remember that this culture is from Japan.

I bought some gifts for my female friends. I think I return here the next market.


Happy model

Always in Seraphicum istitute, the place where these conventions about rail transport modelling are setted. This one is Happy Model and the other one is Interscambio, but I cannot see the difference, there are the same vendors in the same places! This time I’m with Paolo, while Renato’s car is out of order so he remained at home.

I bought a railway crane and a car for a project of mine in 28mm. Paolo bought a camion in N gauge for his Meka. There were a lot of things, but train collectors are used to high prices and we are not. Even the scale is against us, you cannot find some of useful for 28 or 15mm. In the future I will write a post about scales…

For the joy of your eyes I took some pictures of a large train circuit. I let one’s eye dwell upon the diorama scenes around the tracks: camps, bridges, river. Think about this stuff on your game terrain…


A dice & a helm

After the heavy rain, now the hot and a clear sky. Here you cannot see the sky but you can taste the atmosphere. We are near the Exposition Palace, in the Umbertine (last years of ‘800) part of the city. Almost all the pics you can see in this blog are took with my new camera, a camera bounded with my new smartphone. This picture was took with free hand, I only press the button. In other times I couldn’t do these things!

In the last weeks I didn’t go for a walk because of bad weather. This afternoon (and evening) instead I met one friend of mine. She is pretty, isn’t she? We went around even in the bookstore of the palace. She gifted me two funny things: one big soft dice (I think we use it for dice fighting in a future game reunion of my mates at my home) and a pencil with a metal Traex helm (there is a griffon on the crest, so the traex has got a sica supina as sword) on the top. Thank you!


Bakerloo line, Regent Street station

This is not real. Yes, it’s not real.

regent street

regent street

Fir wood, sand, some H0 gauge tracks, ceramic tile glue, walls and floors of ceramic from self made moulds, Christmas tree lights and acrylic paint. Scale is 28mm, size is 120x25x28cm and weight is 18kg.

No, it’s not real, he couldn’t made this! It is stunning…

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