Friday, 19 January 2018

Belated Christmas, broken miniatures and... a Gundam?!

As an adult, Christmas can last the best part of a month as you catch up with people that you weren't able to exchange gifts with over the actual festive period. This was the case with Uncle Johnny (a name that he's only actually known as on the pages of this blog), although we weren't actually able to get all of our wives and children in the same place at the same time, so ended up with more of a 'flying visit with rapid fire exchange of gifts' in the end.

Thus I received this:


A figure case along with a very lovely Wight model that I have coveted for some time (although as ever, I've seen a rather nice Inquisitor conversion using this figure as a base, so I'm conflicted as to whether I should build him straight or chop him up for bits), which brings the Tally to:

4 vs 1 = +3

You'll also notice a couple of other shinies in the case, which weren't part of the present, but a couple of broken miniatures that John brought over for me (because he's just that nice - also, some Micro Sol and Set). I'm not counting them as miniatures for the Tally, but as bits for my bits box, and got to musing - I love broken miniatures.

When I were naught but a youth, I loved broken miniatures. I mean, I still do, but moreso then. Being young and poor, I would often buy lots of broken miniatures and assorted bits on eBay, and conversions would be fuelled by being forced to make something out of these disparate broken bits. These days, there are so many excellent plastic kits, and people making some quite frankly remarkable kitbashes, but there's still something to be said for rooting around your bits box and jury-rigging a finished miniature out of parts that might otherwise have been thrown away - doubly so if it's the result of someone else's abandoned conversion! Models with hands loped off, inexpertly removed heads, those were the stuff dreams were made of. Maybe I've just gotten lazy in my old age - tempted just to copy other people's conversions by ordering the bits I need, rather than actually exercising the old creative juices? There's an inquisitor conversion half-finished in a baggie in the basement that was inspired by trying to salvage a Commander Dante body that came into my possession missing his weapons and half of one arm, maybe I should dig it out and finish it off...

In other hobby related news, I've built the No Grade 1/144 Gundam Wing that I got for Christmas:


I'm not a big fan of the stickers (except for the eyes) so I'll probably order some Gundam Markers and go back over him at some point to finish him off. I've reached something of an impasse in the ruleset I was writing, so I probably need to order some more kits and try them out to see what the obvious things that I've missed are!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Bird.....oh!

Managed to finish another half-painted miniature from the queue:


Originally a Dreamblade figure, he got lopped off of his base, rebased, undercoated, then abandoned until recently. No real plan for it, but what can I say, I see a weird bird monster with a very wormy tail wearing a cape made of flayed bloke and I'm on board:


Tee hee:


Perhaps the fact that it was destined to go into a box labelled 'generic fantasy' potentially never to see the light of day again had something to do with how long it took to get finished...

Here's a picture with some other large monstrous type from the last year to give an idea of scale:


Another line through something on the Challenge, as he was started so long ago that that's actually a GW branded base he's on, rather than the slimmer non-brand types that I prefer these days as modelled by the Bell Golem (although I have a feeling this rate of completion isn't going to be maintained):

2018 Challenge:
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something pre-blog old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish a member of the Nextwave team
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!

Hmm, posting the big old list every time something gets crossed off is a little unwieldy. Maybe next year, I'll get 24 things and make one of those bingo cards that other, more popular bloggers seem to be using...

This was the last miniature out on my desk after a mini tidy, so I decided to go whole hog and clear the decks for the next batch of hobby projects:


Mmm, all that space for doing things.

Let's see how long that lasts...

Tally:

4 vs 0 = +4

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Drums! Drums! Wait, wrong Animal...

Another deep cut from the depths of the painting queue - Animal from the Schaeffer's Last Chancers set:


I picked him up on eBay a while ago to use as an Inquisitorial henchman, because I think he is one of the most characterful miniatures that GW has ever released!


He's a little bit of a rough sculpt (I tried to paint the eyes, honestly I did), but no less charming for it. You might struggle to see it given how awful my photography is tonight, but I've tried to give a heat damaged effect to the melta gun muzzle with purple and blue washes, followed by a drybrush of black at the very tip to make it look a little sooty. The rest of his gear got some weathering too, as I figure he's pretty much just chucked in a box between missions, and rattles around something fierce, rather than sitting polishing his shackles in a sumptuous bedroom somewhere.


He has an Auspex too (which I forgot to get a picture of), which seems like an odd piece of equipment to assign to an almost feral convict.

As he's been in the painting queue for so long, I get to cross another thing from the Challenge!

2018 Challenge:
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something pre-blog old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish a member of the Nextwave team
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!

Yes, I basecoated him, and then largely kept him in a variety of boxes for 8 years or so. Done now, so to steal a phrase from the Inquisitor rulebook 'The ends justify the means'.


Tally

3 vs 0 = +3

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Raider from the stripping pot

Here's another one from the painting queue:


An em4/Grenadier Future Wars savage from the depths of my stripping pot, for use in the Fallout project as a savage Raider, which lets me strike off the first item from this years challenge list:

2018 Challenge:
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something pre-blog old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish a member of the Nextwave team
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!


Oddly, I found myself becoming less and less enthusiastic with this sculpt as I was painting it. Especially when working with oddities like sculpted bulging eyeballs:


Nuts, the splotch of spilled wash on his hand is super obvious. Ah, Raiders in Fallout are generally filthy dirty, I'm fine with leaving it there.

Tally

2 vs 0 = +2

There are two more miniatures currently half painted on my desk (as I cleared away a lot of the accumulated bits and bobs that had accrued over the year), so I think I'll see about finishing and posting them before clearing away my paints and making space for other projects. Or potentially getting around to painting the scenery that I built back in... June?

Monday, 1 January 2018

Ringing in the New Year...

So, it looks like much like the Tally, my ability to come up with punny blog post titles also resets with the changing of the year!

Thus, I present for your delectation a bell golem:


An old Dreamblade sculpt that I've had tucked away for years awaiting the right moment to hack off of his base and repaint. I fell in love with the ridiculousness of this sculpt the second I opened it - I firmly subscribe to the idea that wizards are dumb and nonsensical. Not the idea of wizards, I hastly clarify, but wizards individually - this is why they think things like 'hey, I can use magic to cross an owl with a bear and that's definitely a good idea' or 'why don't I enchant a golem that as an alarm system will smash itself in the face with a mallet to alert me to intruders. I am truly the greatest thinker of my generation'. Amazing.


The original paint job on the miniature was pretty much monocoloured, so for a little more visual interest when I repainted him I gave him a wooden haft on his hammer, and painted some of what I assume were originally intended to be rivets on his hammer as jewels. Plus, some weathering, and carefully picking out the very shallow detail on his face, and we avoid having a totally bland finished figure.


Here he is with Conan for scale. Conan is presumably jealous that this random monster got flock and static grass whilst he straddles bare rock.

Tally

1 vs 0 = +1 

Ah, it begins so strongly...

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 end of year post

It's that time of year again...

Tally

So, for the second time ever, thanks to my own continued dedication to reducing the Lead Mountain and my iron willpower I was able to end the year with the Tally in the positive hahaha not really I just bought Necromunda which sinks me back into the negative:

(daughter's plastic dinosaur making an appearance thanks to my wife)

Eh, my Mother-in-Law got me a GW voucher that covered most of it, knowing that I was hankering after it. I was tempted to hold out until the Tally resets with the New Year, but doing that would have set the 2018 Tally straight into the negative and also I wouldn't have it right now to look at. And smell.

47 vs 61 = -14

2017: -14 (47 painted)
2016: -287 (56 painted)
2015: -96 (59 painted)
2014: 0 (80 painted)
2013: -416 (25 painted)
2012: -103 (68 painted)
2011: -173 (122 painted)


Not the worst year - if not for Necromunda, it would have been the first year of actually ending up in the positive rather than just scraping to break even like 2014! Second worst for number of figures completed though, but considering I had an incident with a cleaver that left me unable to paint for a while I don't think that is too bad! Still nowhere near the levels of 2011 though - mid-20's me obviously had a lot more free time!


Posts

This is the 300th post on the blog, excitingly!

Total: 40, including this one. The exact same number as 2016, oddly. More than I thought it was, until I looked it up too!

Nothing in August or September. Probably something to do with an accident involving a meat cleaver. And The Witcher 3.

Throwing myself into getting my Spyrers ready in the last month or so produced a decent number of posts - I think for the first time in ages, there was actually content every other day for a week and a half, so hopefully I popped up in everyone's blogrolls!


Challenge

2017 Challenges:

  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (10/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (16/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old) x2
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)

One that I crossed off now as I didn't twig at the time was the 'complete skirmish force' - my Spyrers are a legal, playable Necromunda gang! Well, under the original rules. Still counts.

Other than that... a mixed bag. As I'd imagined. Rather than aiming to cross everything off by the end of the year (although if I had I'd have been exceptionally smug), I used it more as a series of optional hoops to try and channel my attention through. Building a wargames board is still something I'd like to do, but not the sort of thing I could just make a start on as the whim took me; I managed to clear a number of miniatures from the queue that would otherwise still be languishing there; and the monkey box, oh the monkey box. I've tried, I promise you, but I think the thing I like least in our hobby might have to be whacking great integral bases. I've taken them out, spent some time filing and dremeling away excess material, not had fun, and put them back to come back to later. Eventually I'll have finished removing all of the integral bases and can paint me some monkeys. I'd hoped that it would be this year. It was not.



Projects (according to last year's end of year post)


Star Wars - 

I painted 4-Lom and Zuckuss! Maybe next year I should paint my Knight Models Boba Fett to complete the set of Bounty Hunters... 
Mostly inspired by Imperial Assault, I actually finished more miniatures for the Star Wars project than I'd normally expect (including painting a Rey for May the Fourth), but still no Rebel Troopers. I started pulling together the bits for my planned Death Trooper conversions (mentioned in last year's end of year post) but lacking accessory pieces that look right (as the pieces I'd originally considered using looked much to large when I started mocking up the conversions), they're still sat on my desk awaiting inspiration to strike...


ASOIAF -

4 Lannister crossbowmen and an undead reindeer. I actually built and converted a ton of wildlings while the most recent series was on, but as my stash of 25mm round bases has run dry, momentum stalled somewhat. When I do get round to ordering some more, who knows if I'll be drawn to do them, as there's a daunting amount of bare plastic now staring at me from my desk...


Zombies - 

As seems to be the case in recent years, zombies get painted during Zomtober and rarely ever else. I'm fine with that. I have many, many zombies, so any more that I paint are really just for my own amusement rather than trying to get enough to be able to play a game...


On the back burner:

Batman - Just the one, Two-Face. I need to go back to reading old Batman comics (or maybe free up some time to watch some of the animated movies) to get my hunger for Batman back up to get momentum on building some of the Batman miniatures in my Lead Mountain.
Fallout - The Fallout project saw a few miniatures and a couple of pieces of scenery finished in the early part of the year, then my interest wandered. And then I finished Fallout 4, so who knows when that interest will fall here again...
The Last of Us - I don't think this counts as a project any more, given how long I've been saying I'm going to build something and then failed to actually finish anything...
Path to Glory -
ROTPOTA -  I've spoken of the monkey box earlier. I did finish a very handsome gorilla though, so we're still on track for finishing this project in the year 2093...

Things that weren't in the plan, but got painted anyway because the plan is best described as a loose guideline:

Conan - no one says no to Conan.
Generic Fantasy - I'm always going to paint some random fantasy here and there. 
Necromunda - rather than rush out and buy the rerelease, I showed remarkable restraint and instead painted some bits that had been sat undercoated for years. That statement was true when I was working on the draft of this post. You now know that it is no longer the case. I showed some restraint. Less than I could have.
Inquisimunda - is cool. I'm not going to make this a main project, as I like being able to add bits here and there as I fancy rather than feeling like I need to complete a quota...
Brunel - it took this long for the first VSF project miniature to get painted and featured on the blog. Don't hold your breath for the next (although that's probably tempting fate, I'll be unavoidably drawn to reread the Doctor Grordbort graphic novels and then find myself converting some more martians...)
Rincewind - just because.
Monica - we're averaging about one member of the Nextwave squad a year, at this point. I should probably add this to the Challenge...



Projects for 2018:



Star Wars


I still love Star Wars. I still have many, many Star Wars miniatures to be getting on with painting. When this post goes live, I (barring unforseen mishaps) should have seen The Last Jedi the previous day. We'll see.


ASOIAF


As mentioned, I've plenty of Wildlings to paint! Plus, I always enjoy kitbashing miniatures for this project. I think maybe I need to clear all of the paints off of my desk and set up a space to tinker with building some miniatures, and see what comes out of that.


Zombies


I'll do Zomtober again this year. Crooked Dice have recently previewed some rather lovely looking modern survivors, which may end up coming home with me from Salute...


Necromunda


I'd like to say that I'm pledging to finish enough gangs to play, but we both know that there's no point me making any guarantees like that... As I cracked and picked up the new boxed game though, I've got at least two gangs to be getting on with, plus the urge to convert some hired guns from the old ruleset...



Back Burner
Batman - as mentioned earlier, I'll aim to get something added to this project over the next year...
Fallout - not dead, merely sleeping.
ROTPOTA - maybe next year is the year I finally finish prepping the apes. 
Conan - there are a couple more accomplices in the painting queue that would make a small warband for Song of Blades and Heroes based hack and slash action...

Who knows what else will end up getting done though - I'm currently considering going back and starting to watch Doctor Who again (as we previously gave up after a couple of episodes of Capaldi) to catch up in order to watch the new series, and if that happens I'll probably end up finishing the War Doctor that's been sat undercoated in the queue for a while now...


Next year's challenge:

  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something pre-blog old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish a member of the Nextwave team
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!


Monday, 18 December 2017

Secret Santa brings Nurgle's gifts...

It was the work Christmas meal last night, which as well as free food included a secret Santa element, which furnished me with this:


Genuinely, one of the nicest sculpts that GW have produced in the last decade. Just look at this:


Mmm, that's some nice engineering.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him yet - do I build him as designed/intended, which may even spur me to paint my Nurgle Path To Glory warband that has been hanging in limbo for who knows how long, or do I convert him into an Inquisitorial Henchman for Inquisimunda, ripping off the ideas of taking inspiration from so many of my betters that I've seen posted online?

As for the identity of my 'secret' Santa, I have my suspicions. I mean, I know it's someone that follows the blog, as the label on the present had an updated Tally total:


Indeed:
47 vs 41 = +6