Sunday, 15 October 2017

Oh if I only had some braaaaaaaaaainsss...

Playing catch-up a little this week, we have two finished miniatures for my week 2 and 3 Zomtober entries!

First is the next of the Studio Miniatures Wizard of Oz themed Survivors box, a pitchfork wielding vagrant with overtones of Scarecrow:


Good fun to paint, even if the detail on his face was a little squiff (although it might just be that I've been spoilt by having painted Hasslefree miniatures, that even my modest level of skill can make look quite nice), but judicious application of a five-o-clock shadow came out looking pretty good I think and distracts from that! His eyes are a mote wonky, mostly because my daughter chose the exact moment to grab my chair and yell boo that the micron pen was making contact with miniature...


He got straw blond hair to suit the Scarecrow theme, and his clothes were painted dirty and worn partly for theme, partly because there's just something satisfying about scrubbing on some weathering with a ragged old brush!

The other miniature offered up this week is this militaristic zombie:


Back when I got back into the hobby in my early twenties, I was inspired to start a zombie project after seeing all of the great stuff happening over on the Lead Adventure Forum (which I'd joined to ask a member a question about where they'd gotten some miniatures that I'd stumbled on while googling for AEWWII miniatures). To get started, I bought a bunch of Horrorclix zombies from a nice guy in Spain (username PredatorPT iirc), and this chap is one of the last pair of that bunch to get painted (the other of which is currently sat half finished on my desk). The Horrorclix zombies are a mixed bunch - variable sizes, wildly variable sculpting quality, but they got me started and over a hundred zombies later I still like them (I think the Zombie Ventriloquist is still one of my favourite members of the horde).


This particular zombie is one of the better sculpts though - fairly crisp detail, characterful, but straightforward enough that he looks great with three or four colours and some weathering! Painting was fairly straightforward: I basecoated everything, weathered the lot, and then washed and highlighted anything that wasn't black before coming back to do a pass to pick out a couple of small details like the handle of his holstered pistol, the buttons on his pouches, and his teeth! I was tempted to apply some blood effects (as it's been a while since I got to play with my pot of TCR) but figured that given how dark overall the model is, you wouldn't really notice the blood on him...


Here are the two miniatures squaring off - you'll see what I mean when I say that the Horrorclix zombies are a little big! Mixed into the crowd though the scale difference isn't quite as noticeable...

Tally 

32 vs 40 = -8

Coming next week:more of the same, hopefully!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Zomtober - you have my axe...

Zomtober is here again!

Doubly exciting this year, as my daughter has learned what Halloween is, so our house currently rings to repeated viewings of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hallowen songs like these, so painting zombies feels festively apt!

So here for my first offering (a day later than originally planned) is the Tin Woodman themed survivor from Studio Miniatures' Wizard of Oz themed set:


Selected for my first week's submission mostly because time really got away with me and he was the one that I was able to get finished in the least number of steps on Saturday and Sunday night!


Ugh, my photography is doing me no favours with him is it? I used a variety of washes and shades (as well as various bits of weathering) to visually differentiate between the different parts of his makeshift armour; with his hair I was going for a 'hints of chestnut' rather than my usual 'bright ginger' that I seem to end up with when I get carried away from a Vermin Brown undercoat; the sculpt of the face is a little odd, but I did what I could.

Which brings the Tally to:

30 vs 40 = -10

In theory I might still hit the 1 miniature a week average by the end of the year, but who knows?

...

What do you mean where have I been?

[checks date on last post] wow, it has been three months hasn't it.

A number of factors contributed to this.

Shortly after my last post, I managed to slice through the end of my thumb with a meat cleaver, which made holding miniatures to model or paint very difficult:


I have also sunk a number of hours into the videogame The Witcher 3, which it turns out is super good, although I seem to be approaching the end of the game already, unlike Fallout 4 which took me actual years. This may have more to do with my daughter's bedtime being slightly earlier these days than the relative complexities of the two games though... I even got round to reading the advance copy of the first novel that I was sent nearly a decade ago, which is also very good. The multi million selling series of novels and videogames that came out in the interim are probably more of a testament to that than my much belated approval though...

I've not been completely out of the hobby though; I've built some scatter terrain (as was briefly alluded to in my last post) that is now sat undercoated in the basement:

(pre-undercoat sneak preview that those of you that follow me on Instagram will have seen months back)

as well as having half-painted several things that I won't name on the off chance that I manage to finish them once we're out of Zomtober, and having built about a billion (well, twenty odd, but it felt like a billion) wildlings whilst the latest series of Game of Thrones was on, until I realised that I was almost out of non-GW 25mm round bases for them (I'm oddly obsessive about what bases get used for what) and now they're sat forlornly on my desk waiting for their turn back in the spotlight. I also had a hankering to build some Gundam models (having been watching Gundam Build Fighters with my daughter of a weekend when we're up before Mummy), but rather than the logical response to that of ordering some Gundam models to build, I started writing the basis of a set of 1/144 scale giant robot combat rules, as you do. Maybe with a polish and a playtest I'll publish it, eventually. 

So, hopefully see you in a week rather than three months!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

In the Emperor's name get back here so that I can show you the business end of this Eviscerator heretic!

So, there's a bit of a long-winded explanation for why this guy got painted. And why it took... 8 years maybe?

One of the guys at work has recently discovered Warhammer (40K to be precise), and knowing I am a big nerd wants to play some sort of game. Me being me, I've already bounced from the idea of playing Kill Team (which I'm assuming is what used to be 40k in 40 minutes), to Shadow War Armageddon (new! Also unavailable) to Inquisimunda (because it's basically Necromunda with waaay more options). I figure I probably know a couple of adults that I could probably also rope in to some skirmish scale wargaming...

Which brings me to this figure. Fired up with my current enthusiasm for Inq28/Inquisimunda, I thought I'd finish painting a conversion that was originally built for the Witch Hunters army that was last briefly mentioned on the blog 6 years ago:


A zealot with an Eviscerator - he was built so long ago that he was the last model in a blister of Empire Flagellants that I bought along with a Mordheim Witch Hunters boxed set. Off of the shelf in a Games Workshop. That long ago.

It's a fairly straightforward weapon swap - off came his flail, and on went the blade from a space marine chainsword (as it's big enough to look like an oversized Eviscerator on a normal human, and the handle of the flail is long enough to look like a two-handed grip). I figure his awkward stance is him swinging his chainsaw like Leatherface at the end of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in his enthusiastic religious fervor.


I mostly basecoated him, then many years passed until the events of the first paragraph of this post.

Fun painting facts:

  • his ragged robe was my perhaps first experiment in painting using washes over a light basecoat. I haven't really used the technique since. Maybe I should give it another shot?
  • I added some blood effects on his feet (as I'm assuming that the battlefields of the forty-first millennium are mostly broken glass) using Blood for the Blood God. I do love some glossy blood effect.
  • I went with orange for his shoulderpad to try and make him look less fantasy - I'd originally planned to have it in the colour of the inquisitor he'd accompany, but as I haven't decided who that's going to be I went for an industrial orange and went to town on the weathering!



It's a fairly interesting little sculpt - I love the string of bells hanging from his waist, but I'm not sure where I stand on the book on his chest and parchment on his side - rather than being blank for you to add your own squiggles for writing, they come with sculpted indentation detail - with careful use of dark washes I was able to pick them out so that they looked passable, but it's fairly unusual (as if you look closely you can see the indents...)


Lastly, the blade. Oh hazard stripes, thou art a pain to do evenly. Thank goodness for a soft pencil and carefully marking out where you want the stripes to start and end rather than trying to freehand it!


Also, a goodly amount of weathering helps add to the whole effect. I briefly considered going hog wild with blood splatter, but I'm glad I held back as I think it would have been easy to go too far and ruin it...

He was actually painted about two and a half weeks ago, but a number of factors have combined to mean it's taken me this long to get him posted - I miss the Blogger app, it's a pain having to drag out my wife's laptop to edit posts; also I've been playing a lot of Fallout 4, as I ordered the Witcher 3 and want to finish Fallout of before starting another game that will take me multiple years to complete (and yes, I'm the sort of OCD nerd that is also reading the Witcher novels before playing the game); also, I've been working on a bunch of scatter terrain pieces in the hopes of being able to play some games at some point...

Tally:

29 vs 40 = -11

So what's next? Some more Inquisimunda models, hopefully - I've a few stock models built that I'll try and get based up when I'm basing the scenery (which you may have already seen progress pics of over on Instagram), and then hopefully I can then move onto finishing some conversions that I've had in various states of half-completion for the best part of a decade - weirdly, despite my prediliction for the more Radical aspects of the Inquisition, a number of figures that I have would probably suit a more Puritan band (this Zealot, for example...)

Friday, 16 June 2017

What do you get if you cross an owl with a bear? Banned from the zoo...

Ah, owlbears. Half owl, half bear, all twisted hate. Created just because they could be. The perfect pinnacle of 'a wizard did it'. I'm weirdly amused by them.


This delectable beast was originally a playing piece from an old Dungeons & Dragons board game that I rebased, and is a surprisingly nice sculpt for something that was originally monocoloured shiny plastic.


I think I basecoated him at least five years ago... but he ended up geting brought along for the ride when I took some miniatures to paint at work, with the finishing touches being added at home over the last couple of evenings. The feathers didn't come out quite as I'd envisioned, but I think other than that overall I'm fairly happy with him! You'll notice a lot more flock on the base than usual - this is due to my extensive research into the lush flora of the owlbear's natural habitat, and not to cover up some slightly dodgy basing with weird gaps left by past me, not at all.


And here he is terrorizing a hapless cleric - you can just about see his orange eyes from this angle. He'd have been completed and posted a day earlier if I hadn't decided that I needed to go back and add the tiny reflection spot of white on each eye...

Tally:

28 vs 40 = -12

Next - who knows? I'm tempted to build some more scenery, or maybe did out the bag of bits for Inq28 conversions (as I've been poring over the Inquisimunda pdfs recently)... But then again, minus twelve on the Tally is tantalisingly close to being back in the black isn't it

Monday, 12 June 2017

4-Lom & Zuckuss


We got the bug eyes / it doesn't bug us:



Yes, that is why I painted these bounty hunters as a pair!
 
 
For the longest time, Zuckuss was the only bounty hunter of those seen in Empire that I was missing a miniature of, but after umming and ahhing all this time, I got one for Valentine's Day this year!

 
Both are originally prepainted bendies from the Wizards of the Coast range - weirdly, unlike the rest, Zuckuss wasn't included in the original release (which is probably why I didn't already have one - I bought a lot of boosters when the game first came out, but ended up buying less and less as time went on...). They're fairly nice sculpts considering where they're from - detail was generally clear and pleasant to paint, with exceptions like an annoying mould line over 4-Lom's eye (which are always a pain to fix on models like this, as you can't just scrape them off and have to try to creatively cut them) and slightly soft detail on Zuckuss head, but with careful paint application I think they've both come up looking alright!

 
 
4-Lom was especially interesting to paint, given how scruffy and worn he looks - another difficulty with trying to paint Star Wars miniatures is that you'll often find contradictory information when you're trying to check colour choices! Handily, I have a copy of the old Action Figure archive (so that I can look at both stills from the films and the colours chosen for the action figure releases) and try and make an educated guess from there (with the occasional bout of Google Image searching trying to find a reference image that I like!).
In the end, I washed him with a highly diluted orangey-flesh colour, to try and recreate the tarnished finish on his shell (before giving him a once-over with some sponge weathering), which I'm fairly happy with! Zuckuss' robes were also quite nice to layer...

And for those of you wondering, that thing under 4-Lom's foot is a Rebel Pilot helmet, with an orange band with gold chevrons along it!

Finishing these two brings the Tally to:

27 vs 40 = -13

Who knows where we'll go next...

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Hammer is my Penis

Totally worth the expense and effort just to have a blog post with that title.

You've all watched Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, right?

If not, go do it now.

I'll wait.

Seriously, it's three parts, will take forty minutes of your life, and is highly recommended if you like things that are good.

Done? Good. Pow, that ending!

But on a more cheery note, having re-watched it this year (as it turned out that my wife had somehow never seen it) I had a hankering to pick up the 'Sergeant Spanner' figure from Hasslefree that bears a passable resemblance to a certain Hammertastic hero, and so picked one up at Salute (even better, he was one of the freebie figures on offer for pre-ordering, so double score!).



He was painted mostly on lunchtimes at work, under terrible lighting conditions. The shirt was one of those cases of painting until I decided I couldn't tinker with it any more, and so took the plunge to freehand on the tiny hammer logo - I started by carefully painting on a black circle to outline the whole thing, then a couple of gentle layers of yellow, breath held and fingers crossed! A dash of brown and a curve of silver later and voila, we have a tiny hammer!

The thing that took the longest to paint was probably his right eye - I don't think that micron pen that I use for dotting in pupils travels particularly well, and seemed to splurt ink out somewhat, so his right eye was probably repainted three or four times in the end until I managed to get a satisfactory result!



I have no idea what project he is for - I could probably shoehorn him into the Zombies project as a random event, and he's probably underpowered to go toe-to-toe with any Marvel superheroes... Ah well, sometimes you need to paint something just because you want to!

Tally:

25 vs 40 = -15

Sunday, 21 May 2017

It's a good bet the Empire knows we're here...


Painted up the pack of Probe Droids from Star Wars Imperial Assault. They were painted vaguely following the tutorial Sorastro put up on Youtube - vaguely in that I watched it a couple of months before starting painting, and then watched it again once I was too far into the painting process to change anything.


I went for a fairly dark scheme, with some bright nicks of weathering. The bases took some more doing than usual, as since the models are so flimsy there was a lot of careful glueing involved to get them to bond to their new bases, which seemed to disagree with the sand staying where I wanted it. Two were glued using tiny contact points, whereas the third I managed to trim down the base without the legs all snapping off and so smoothed the edges down with filler before applying grit and sand.


To make the Elite figure stand out, I decided to give it red lenses and some markings - cue some frantic digging through every Star Wars reference book in my house looking for a reference chart of Aurebesh (the Star Wars alphabet) only to discover that it's in the Star Wars Miniature Battles rulebook, which is Uncle Johnny's, so I googled it:



If you peer at it, you can just about make out AB172 on the side of the Elite probe droid (chosen for the same reason my Fallout survivor is from Vault 172), as well as very carefully painting an Aurek on top of the droid. I then looked at it at arm's length and figured that the small red symbol wasn't obvious enough to differentiate between the different droids, so I repainted the entire panel red and repainted the Aurek in white. Then, as per the Sorastro video, I gave all of the lenses a coat of GW 'Ardcoat to give them a glossy, reflective finish.

Tally:

24 vs 40 = -16

In other news, I spent part of my afternoon sieving bits of shell out of Wilkos £1 bird sand. After explaining to our local Labour MP that that was what one of the two tea strainers my daughter was holding was for when she asked. As you do.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Updated adventures in my stripping pot

For the first time in several years, I've completely emptied out my stripping pot!


Well, it really was an odd mix of bits and bobs - some metal Skaven Gutter Runners; some broken plastic marines that I think I had vague plans to try and refurbish into Heresy era marines; a couple of em4 post apocalyptic savages dug out of the miniature drawers to use as Fallout Raiders; an em4 figure that I'd earmarked as a potential basis for a Dirty Frank conversion but may have to abandon until I can find a more hunched figure; and a batch of em4 'not-terminators' that I'm torn between modelling as Fallout Synths or Hutt Battle droids for Star Wars (like the ones that appeared in the now defunct mobile game Star Wars Uprising), although I think with some careful colour choices I think I might be able to get away with using them for both...

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)

I'm not intentionally working through them in order, I swear! Note to future Olly - watch some Planet of the Apes and get cracking on the monkey box!

In other news, I also reread pretty much the entirety of Sinister Dexter, so have a hankering to place a little order with East Riding Miniatures for a set of miniatures that look somewhat uncannily like the eponymous hitmen from the series. I have absolutely no use for them, realistically, though, so I might be able to resist.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Imperial Assault Goals

As one of the challenges featured in the Challenge involved replacing all of the tokens in the Star Wars Imperial Assault core set with miniatures, and another involved painting all the miniatures from said set, I thought I'd come up with a list of what I needed to complete (and links to what I have already previously completed proxies of):

Core set:

Elite stormtrooper x3
Imperial Officer x2
Probe Droid x2
Elite Probe Droid
E-web Engineer
Elite E-web Engineer
Trandoshan Hunters x2
Elite Trandoshan hunters x2
aT-ST
Royal Guard x2
Elite Royal Guard x2
Nexu
Elite nexu


Tokens:

General Weiss
Luke
Royal Guard Champion
Rebel Trooper x3
Rebel Saboteur x2

Optional extras:

General Weiss on foot

Wookiee Warriors
Hired Guns
Grand Inquisitor
Alliance Smuggler
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Greedo

Monday, 15 May 2017

You have failed me for the last time!

Painted up a couple of Imperial Officers, because Darth Vader needs someone to show off his ability to choke people using the Force on:


The chap on the left (who holds the rank of Admiral, according to the rank bar on his chest) was painted up as a member of the Imperial Security Bureau, because I figured that if I ever got round to running a Star Wars RPG he'd make a handy mid level villain, or even do nicely for an Elite Imperial Officer in Star Wars Imperial Assault. The chap on the right however was painted as a generic deck officer, and so got a more subdued greeny-grey uniform. If I do any more officers, they will probably get a light grey uniform, which fits how they appear in my memory if not in any of my research!

As the figures were originally bendy prepaints, the detail is a little soft (especially on the face of the figure on the right), but I think they've come out alright overall. Fun fact: these two figures were originally based and prepped on 30mm DS bases, as I'd planned to use the as Alliance Officers for the Firefly/Serenity project that has been on the back burner for a while now, and so were recently plucked from limbo and rebased to rejoin the Star Wars project!

Tally:

21 vs 40 = -19

Monday, 8 May 2017

Making the wastes secure from what exactly?

The next miniature to make it's way out of the painting queue is this, a Fallout Securitron:


Well, officially it's a monobot from Black Cat Bases iirc, but we're among friends here so we'll just acknowledge what it is heavily influenced by!

While I was a big Fallout 3 fan, and was excited enough by New Vegas to preorder the expensive Collectors Edition, something about it just didn't click with me, and I barely played it. I think I imagined that I'd go back to it one day (as often tends to be the case - if something doesn't grab me the first or second try, chances are I'm going to fall pretty hard for it the third time!) but in this case that just never happened, and is unlikely to now as we're a whole console generation ahead... The Securitrons from New Vegas are a nice robot design though, so I was happy to add one to the Lead Mountain when I saw this!

His goofy face is heavily influenced by Yes Man, and was added with careful use of the micron pen that I usually use for dotting in pupils.


Mmm, weathering. Modelling anything Fallout related offers a lot of opportunities for a young man to enjoy himself with a sponge! Ignore the slightly waffy wheel though, that was a bit of dodgy casting...


I think when I get around to finalising rules for the Fallout project, he'll be an encounter card where he is a hostile enemy unless you can pass an Intelligence test to reprogram him, in which case he will join your character as a companion.


Tally

19 vs 40 = -21

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Rey the Force be with you

Ah, puns and Star Wars, my two loves.

As is my incredibly inconsistent tradition, I painted up something thematic for May the Fourth:


Hasslefree's Kami Riko, which with some minor conversion work makes a very satisfying Rey.

A Rey that's very difficult to photograph, due to her dynamic pose, but satisfying nevertheless.


As is the case with all Hasslefree Miniatures, she was an absolute pleasure to paint - enough detail to enjoy painting, but not so much fussy detail that you spend ages painting gems and pouches only to feel like you're making zero progress. The face is especially nice. Also, highlighting all or the rags was surprisingly therepeutic, whereas normally I'd just give them a drybrush and move onto the next piece!

I also added a piece to her base from a Maelstrom's Edge sprue that came in my Salute goody-bag last year so that it looks like she's fighting to defend a piece of salvage from other scavengers.


Tally

18 vs 40 = -22

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

An elegant weapon for a more civilized age...

...no wait that's something else...

When I originally put together my initial Lannister warband, I built the ranged warriors with bows, figuring that it was an appropriate weapon, and vaguely considering perhaps including some crossbows when I got around to making the more heavily armoured Lannister House Guard, thinking that that would add to the look of them as an elite unit. However, when reading a post by Captain Blood over on the LAF about his Robin Hood project, he made the point that the longbow is traditionally the weapon of the plucky underdog, the the common man champion of right and justice, whereas the crossbow is the weapon of the snooty oppressor, and I knew I had to make some for my Lannisters!

And thus, we have four crosbowmen in lovely red and yellow:


As per usual, they're a mix of bits from various Perry WOTR kits - probably about 90% from the Mercenaries sprues, although truth be told I don't pay a lot of attention to where the bits come from while I'm kitbashing!

These were as ever a pleasure to paint, although at times I ended up scrolling through google images trying to work out what material each part of the crossbow should be (the winder thing especially) and ended up winging it a lot of the time! I also painted these to match the previous miniatures completed, so no eyes, fairly scruffy, a maximum of 3 layers (not including washes) used for most colours - thanks past me for setting the bar low!

This takes my Lannister forces up to a respectable 24 models:


Although I'd like to add some more pikemen, and maybe some cavalry, and should probably finish painting the Mountain... And then finish working out stats and point values for everything so that I can work out what else I'd need to paint to make them a workable gaming force...

Tally

17 vs 40 = -23

Plus, I get to knock off another Challenge! There were a number of times when I was sorely tempted to start something new and just reset the counter (one of which I'll hopefully be able to speedily sort and paint and post this week!), but I'm glad that I managed to stick with it!

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)

Writing this post, it turns out that it's been two years to the day since I last added anything to my Lannisters - how did that happen?! 

Next on the ASOIAF / Game of Thrones front will probably be some wildlings to go with the Others that I painted last year though, which will then need some Night's Watch to go with them - I don't suppose anyone has any LotR rangers that they want to trade?

Sunday, 30 April 2017

My laser like focus endures...


So, I had my immediate progress all mapped out - I was working on a limited selection of miniatures that would take me to 15 finished from the queue, allowing me to check off the next item on the Challenge list, and hopefully allowing me enough time to finish something thematic in time for May the Fourth. 

And then I was rooting around in the queue when I found this Games Workshop Banshee sat undercoated and the next thing I knew I just couldn't wait any longer to get her painted:


Lord only knows where she came from - I have a feeling it was either in a blind box at a Games Day many years ago (when GW were liquidating their stock of metals), random cheapie from the LAF, or an eBay random back when I was nabbing bits with the vague intention of building a Kemmler and Krell led warband to bash some Dwarf Slayers like in the novel Zombieslayer.

It's a lovely little sculpt - enough detail to be fun to paint, but simple enough (with only five real sections - clothing, gold, sword, flesh and hair) that it was a satisfyingly quick paintjob, being completed in only a single evening whilst also working on other miniatures whilst various layers and washes dried.


I quite like how the flesh came out (although it's a little washed out in the pictures - the perils of taking your pictures late at night in a basement with a lamp with a daylight bulb in it balanced over your shoulder) - I still have the old pot of the old GW zombie flesh tone that I forget the name of at this exact moment in time that I still haven't given back to Uncle Johnny, and after a wash with Soft Tone wash was mixed with increasing amounts of white for the highlights.


Dark Reaper (firmly cementing itself as my favourite paint ever) for the material parts, because it's fun to highlight up to a pasty grey. The red hair came about when I was googling to check if a particular part of the miniature was flesh or material, and stumbled across some painted examples that featured vibrant red hair paired with cool blues - so, I stole that idea and being me ended up dialling it waaaaaay back. Maybe in next year's set of challenges I should include 'be more bold in my colour choices'?


Tally

13 vs 40 = -27


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 (12/15)
  • 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)

Friday, 28 April 2017

Big Brother

You know what a skirmish scale Apes comma Planet Of The (and or the rise thereof) warband would need to really be it's best? That's right, a whacking great gorilla: 


This chunky monkey is from GCT Studios Bushido game, and is a suitably battle scarred, huge and imposing miniature - much more so than the original miniature sourced to be the muscle of the group:


That's more like it.

I see him as the 'big brother' of the group - the Orangutan is the wise elder, the gorilla the muscle, the smart ape is the leader, and the rest are a horde of chattering simians, poop flinging canon fodder being chaperoned by advanced, more evolved apes.


I made the mistake at looking at the studio painted version at Salute. It is much nicer than mine. It's nipples are better highlighted.


I love the scars on the miniature - he looks properly grizzled! I think I'll retire the original gorilla to the role of a young male, tagging along behind this alpha male...


Tally

12 vs 40 = -28


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 (11/15)
  • 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)

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Pow, finishing things continues:


Isambard Kickass Brunel from Ramshackle Games, because sometimes you need an engineer, according to a mug of mine:


I always seem to misspell his name Isembard though - I blame Tolkien for having Isengard be a word that is in my brain. I was inspired to finish this particular miniature after having a pint in a pub named after him with my wife and her Nan in February, of all things. 


Also interesting to note, is that it's the first miniature from the occasionally mentioned but mostly abandoned in a drawer VSF project to make an appearance on the blog. Part of the reason that that particular project stalled was my dissatisfaction with the Wargames Factory figures that I was using to convert aether marines, but as the Perry twins have released a nice set of plastic chaps that would be suitable who knows what the future might hold...


The more eagle-eyed of you might have noticed that IKB was not alone in the first picture - I also finished painting this tunneling machine (also from Ramshackle):


It's an absolute beauty, and a hefty chunk of resin; it's just a shame that it's taken me the best part of a decade to get it painted!



Tally

11 vs 40 = -29


Painting these also lets me knock off a couple of challenges, as they both pre-date the blog, and are the 9th and 10th miniature I've finished from the queue without starting anything new:


  • 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 (10/15)
  • 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)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Salute 2017

So, today was the annual jaunt to Salute! Early morning coaches make for manic gamers, it seems:



Westminster is always my favourite stop on the journey up, as you feel like you're in a weird hybrid of Necromunda and The Crystal Maze:


The journey up was fairly uneventful; the station we normally get off is apparently closed for the rest of the year, but it turns out the stop after actually drops you off closer to Salute, so it's swings and roundabouts really! Well, on the way there, the way out was a bit of a nightmare with huge crowds that would normally be split over two stops funnelled onto one...

We made pretty good time, and so ended up quite close to the front of the queue:


After a mad initial dash over to Troll Trader to scope their bargains and snaffle a goody bag, I made the usual rounds, picking up the preorders I had organizedly placed, and not at all pinballing willy-nilly around flailing wildly at things as they caught my eye (just in case my wife asks).

And so, I present the usual assortment of pictures that are really only the barest of fractions of the number of awesome things that were on display:


A Discworld broom racing game with a nice Unseen University


Some dungeon tiles! I forget who makes them, but I'm fairly sure I have a card of theirs in the stack of paperwork and fliers I've accrued over the course of the day


Anvil Industries had the most eye-catching demo board - they were running games on the bonnet and in the back of this vehicle!


A Mantic Walking Dead demo board. I'm not going to start another project. Even though I found out I can get the core game at massive discount through work. No more projects. None.


A nice Horus Heresy board, with about a billion points and pounds worth of miniatures on it.


My favourite part of the whole board though was a little spinning radar dish.


Crooked Dice's London and Underground demo board - having followed the build over on the LAF a while back, it was great to see it in the flesh!


Warlord were showing off the new Doctor Who game - I'm still not sure if it's a board game or a wargame at this point... (side note - no Judge Dredd minis anywhere this year, boo)


Osprey were previewing their new dwarf sculpts.


I also managed to find the nice man from Westfalia (after last year's difficulties in hunting him down) who was offering preview minis of his lovely range.


Another Doctor Who board game, whose pieces look to paint up very nicely!


This Chewbacca was pretty good - about 7 foot tall, with a recorded roar!


Saga. I've never really gotten into Saga. Maybe I should.

I managed to miss the Blogger meet-up again, as in the excitement of the day I lost track of time and before I knew it it was quarter to two! This year's Salute seemed like it went by the fastest of the ones I've attended...

And five hours later, it was time to make the journey back, and time to dig through other people's blogs to find the things that I'd managed to miss. I also wondered why there were some people missing from previous years, like Amera, Brother Vinni and EM4 - whilst Salute seemed to be pretty busy and fly past for me, is it not worth it for some companies who have stayed away? It's a shame if that's the case...

Also, I found myself in someones Instagram video, something which never normally happens! Well, I found the back of my head, but that still counts.

And so, the meat of this post - the loot!



  • A box of Frostgrave barbarians, as well as a couple of blisters from the same range
  • A pair of giant scorpions from Heresy
  • Not Rey, post apoc Raider type and a not Captain Hammer from Hasslefree
  • A handful of lovely preview minis from Westfalia
  • The Walking Dead scenery pack
  • A trio of sample Mantic Walking Dead miniatures
  • A pair of Infinity miniatures, because they were crazily reduced and also buy one get one free
  • Not Brienne and not Flashman (and the promo mini!) from Wargames Illustrated
  • Alliance Smuggler and Grand Inquisitor packs for Imperial Assault
  • Dogs, heads and crates from Crooked Dice
  • A not-tiny Lady Mormont pack from Bad Squiddo games - I was hoping to get a few more bits from them, but by the time I was able to get there when their stand wasn't thronged with people the majority of the bits I was after had sold out!
  • Freebie Wild West Exodus Legendary Captain Nimue
  • Dice, because I roll bad.
  • A copy of the last edition of the Skaven army book that I didn't own, as I regretted not buying it last year and it was still sat in the same box on the same stall a year later! I may well go to my bookshelf to file it and find that I've gotten mixed up between what editions I have though... While writing this list I've just discovered that the book's previous owner had apparently torn out the last page with the rules reference on and used it as a bookmark...
  • The Salute promo mini
  • A goody bag from Troll Trader containing a variety of bits - a couple of old edition rulebooks (Deadzone & Carnevale), a painting DVD, a hexagon stencil, a cardboard house, assorted other bits and bobs, as well as a preview mini for the new Rumbleslam game and a Goblin Shaman miniature
  • Free beer mats, which I was genuinely excited about

Tally

9 vs 40 = -31

Not the worst hole I've been in after a Salute!

So, just need to finish off a few more miniatures to tick off a couple more challenges, prep and paint something for May the Fourth, and knock out a Westfalia promo after that, before I can start any of the number of new miniatures clamouring for my attention - easy!

[note - some additional stuff has been added to this post Sunday morning that I managed to miss last night!]