About grumpyoldtin

An old git over the hill and declining disgracefully

Mistakes were made

I have made my first catalogue. You can download it here.

I do sort of like the layout but there are aspects which could change. As I had a short window in which to make it and dealing with day to day life it didn’t get as much attention as it deserved. Version Two, a job for later in the year, will be much better. When I hit Version Three I will get a properly printed copy. As with a large majority of my work it takes a couple of attempts to get it right.

Here are my two biggest concerns.

I learned a very valuable lesson there.

Painting progress

I am plugging away at the 2020 Painting Challenge on Facebook. If I manage to paint fifty two miniatures in this current year I will be eligible to get a specially commissioned “Painter” figure sculpted by John Pickford. Many thanks to Jamie Loft from Old School Miniatures for making this happen. This doesn’t seem to be hitting the Lead Mountain though, I am painting figures aquired this year. The Spirit host is an exception, it has been sat on my desk partially assembled for two years and so it is part of my New Year Resolution. The Halflings are from Wargames Atlantic, I got a free sprue when I filled out an online survey for Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy.

All three together

Now I have my little photo set up working my photographs are getting better and more consistant. I have started shooting in RAW and doing a manual white balance. I do need to take a bit more time and work out a better depth of field, at the moment it is quite shallow. One thing I have noticed is that when the camera runs out of power it doesn’t save the settings so once I have an ideal arrangement I need to record the settings. This means I can start to be consistant. I would like to photograph my collection and I would like all the photographs to look the same. If you look at my gallery at the moment the colour balances are jumping around all over the place.

Romanes eunt domus

You may remember a couple of posts back where I was getting excited about a Kickstarter from Grenzer Games. Some rather nice looking 15mm Romans. Not that I needed them. This project has been postponed. Here is why in their own words.

Never Defeated!

After a long discussion this week at Grenzer HQ we have sadly decided to cancel the project at this time, BUT, we will be back with an updated, new and shiny campaign, in 30 days. This time frame is an approximation due to the Corona virus situation in China, which has had an impact on the country’s industrial efficiency.

We have listened to what everyone has said in the comments, here and in forums and blogs, and are readdressing the campaign with your suggestions in mind. We are taking this time to address the overall production costs, which are quite honestly, killing us, and are the reason that the campaign funding goal and stretch goals were so high. So we’re gathering a new set of quotations that will help us achieve a product cost and funding goal that is a more manageable amount. 

We are also coming back with some updated box content, and providing you guys with our fully fledged rule set At Lances Point, alongside the miniatures, which is what they are designed for. These will be available in a PNP (print and play) format from the Grenzer Games website – http://www.grenzergames.co.uk and look for the ALP page for more info.

The campaign page will stay open during this redevelopment time, so that we can still talk to you all, provide you with updates on what’s happening and listen to your feedback. We will also post a link to the print and play rule set so that you can download them, give them a try and tell us what you think.

I had started preparations for the Romans by making some casualty makers and some order tokens.

I didn’t factor in how fiddly it is to paint the Roman shields

Further updates can be found at http://www.grenzergames.co.uk

Week 10 of the 2020 Painting Challenge

This is this week’s offering. A Chaos Hellbrute from G’Dub. Inperceptably the desk is starting to clear. Once I have decided on a unified basing scheme for my Dragon Rampant armies there will be three Spirit Hosts in very quick succession. The main project however, this month, is to paint up the Halflings I got for free from Wargames Atlantic. They are already glued, based and primed. I would like to paint them in a similar style to the Agincourt Salute figure I painted a while back.

Something new for the workbench

I went and treated myself to a paint agitator.

It was a relatively cheap one from China, my first impressions were not so favourable but it is growing on me. I really wanted a Lab Vortex Mixer, these really are the creme de la creme of mixers. The hundred quid plus was a big decider against. At the bottom end were the Nail Polish Shakers and although I had seen positive reviews I wasn’t sure about their ability to hold G’Dub paint pots. I went for the next rung up which was the Tattoo Pigment Shakers. As I said my first impressions were not favourable, the actual bit where the paint sits is a quite thin rubbery part and may wear out and I felt that the agitation wasn’t as powerful as I expected. I am wondering if I can craft a replacement from silicon. Let’s see how durable the original part will be before I go any further. As to the agitation, I was simply not giving it enough time. Further use has shown that it is sufficient, patience dear boy, patience.

This week has seen the Black Dog snapping on my heels. I am in the Land of Rinse and Repeat. Wake up. Help get the Boys ready for school. Tea. Email, BBC News and Facebook. Let the chickens out. Go and get the milk. Do some little chores. Prep and cook Boys lunches. Help with homework. If I am lucky a bit of painting. Cook dinner. Get them ready for bed. And repeat the next day. And the next. It isn’t helping that I am feeling drained of energy and any motivation. In previous posts I have decribed it as, “The tyranny of Bullet Journalling” but the Bullet Journal has proved invaluable in keeping me moving and not sinking into a morass of self doubt and pity.

I AM keeping up with the 2020 Painting Challenge. I AM keeping up with my resolution of Repair, Make, Strip, Sort.

Kickstarters and cake

I should have mentioned Kevin Adams’s Kickstarter a couple of days ago……. but

Anyway here it is. It is out of my range, price wise, which is a pity because it looks brilliant. I’ll leave you with the link so you can make up your own mind about this.

Next up are the 15mm Romans which I have no need for but to which I am strangely attracted to. This is live today.

Romani ite domum

This past weekend was the last day of temporary Red Shirt Klemens at Warhammer Salzburg. He’s been nice to the Boys whenever we visited the store and it’s a pity to see him go. so in honour of the occassion we baked him a cake.

KEVIN “GOBLINMASTER” ADAMS! and some finished figures

One of my two favourite figure scultors (Bob Olley being the other) has finally decided to set up his own dedicated webspace come shop. The one and only Kevin “Goblinmaster” Adams. I have been a fan of his work since the mid eighties and it was his figures and the accompanying fluff in White Dwarf that made me (until recently) Orc and Goblin to the core. If it ain’t a KA Goblin then it ain’t a Goblin. Although to be fair Brian Nelson gave it a fair old stab. Over the years I have tried on a limited buget to try and back various projects of his; 4A Miniatures, some rather nice Sea Goblins; Crooked Claw, a rock thrower; Greenskin Wars, armoured Orcs and Goblins; Ral Partha and Warmonger Miniatures.

Then there was the vicious attack upon him where he was seriously injured. This prompted various sculpters to produce figures for “Goblinaid”.

This brought Kevin back into the limelight and he has been busy, for other people. This looks set to change as he has just announced a new website.

http://www.goblinmaster.online

There are tentative plans to launch a Kickstarter on the First of February and from the photographs on the site there appears to be a new Pump Waggon. YAY!

The Facebook 2020 Painting Challenge group has spurred me on the get the unit of Skiing Dwarves finished. They had been sat for far too long on my desk and I think my sticking point was the unit standard. I am still not happy with it but once it was done the rest of the figures seemd to come on much easier.

These are available from

https://www.oldschoolminiatures.co.uk/

What have the Romans ever done for us?

I need to start collecting a new army at a new scale like I need a hole in the head. The Lead Mountain is not decreasing. I will be getting another four plus units of my beloved Gnomes from OS Miniatures later this Spring. I want to get my 40K Ork army more in a stage of completion ready for Armies on Parade in October. That Heresy Dragon ain’t gonna paint itself! So why am I drooling over this?

I do like my Romans, from Asterix (have you seen the two latest animated films?), to Cato and Macro and to The Eagle of the Ninth. I do have a 28mm Roman Army all based up for Fields of Glory, never played sadly. I must photograph it and post it up.

Recently Gripping Beast have produced their Milites Mundi rules with some 10mm Romans, but they didn’t quite do it for me. They would be perfect for Warmaster which I have a hankering for. Then popping up in my Facebook feed came these images from Grenzer Games.

They are only renders at the mement, but generally nowadays plastics match the renders pretty well. I don’t need a 15mm army! What ruleset? How to base them? Well I suppose that would be dependant on the ruleset. Anyway have a look at what is getting me all excited.

And there are more images available on their website.

https://grenzergames.co.uk/

Grenzer Games are launching a Kickstarter.

For transparancy, I am in no way afilliated with Grenzer Games, don’t know them from Adam but they have been friendly on Facebook. If you guys from Grenzer do read this and want to send some for review……… me and my two followers would be appreciative.

Busy

The last couple of weeks have seen me busy. My 3D Printer has decided it wants to start behaving again so for the last week it has been printing pretty constanty. It is slightly stringy but I don’t want to mess with the settings just yet. The strings can be dealt with pretty easily with a scalpel and file. I have managed to print an elemental cavalry unit for one of my Dragon Rampant armies, a skeletal giant for another DR army and on the print bed at the moment is an Ork Gobsmasher, a replica of an old Armourcast model. All of these are freely available from http://www.thigiverse.com. Next up is a replica of another Armourcast model, the Warhound Titan. The originals don’t come up for sale much and when they do they are quite expensive. You can see some images of the Titan here

https://rustymagos.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/armourcast-titans/dscf3252/

Tool making was next on the agenda. Number Two Son has been watching “The Mandalorian” and loves the helmet the protaganist wears. He also discovered on Youtube a cosplay video where they described in great detail, with downloadable plans, how they made one out of EVA foam. He would like us (me I expect) to make it. One of the tools they used was a rounded metal former. I had a cut off section of railway track and with a bit of work with an angle-grinder I ended up with this.

I have a rusty H Beam section which will get the same treatment.

A recent discovery (thanks Daughter!) has been the app, “Wish” where you can buy goods directly from the factories in China. I bought a 2m strip of LEDs for €3, that was including postage! I added them to my photo thing.

This is how it was originally
Now with added lights!

This has been expanded with a paper holder on the back and trays underneath if I want to do some more scenic photography. I will be getting some photographs printed up with dramatic skies. The light is a little yellow but I did a manual white balance on my camera and my first test result seems promising.

I am keeping up with my New Year Resolution, so far and also the 2020 painting Challange.

If doing basic carpentry, remember to keep your fingers BEHIND! the chisel.

Then there is my new paintrack. I had been running out of space for my paints and I had promised the Boys that they would have a paint rack in their painting desk. So they get my old one and I get a shiny new one.

Nice and tidy
Clutter added

Not a resolution as such

In an effort to keep up with the painting I have joined a new Facebook group. 2020 PAINTING CHALLENGE.

The object of the group is to paint one figure a week and post the finished results weekly. If you manage to post 52 figures in the goup album you will receive a specially commissioned figure of “The Painter” sculpted by John Pickford.

I have a few unfinished projects sitting on my desk for far too long so this might be an incentive to get them done. First up are the nine remaining figures from OS Miniatures Alpine Dwarfs. Coincidently they are also sculpted by John Pickford. They are halfway there and it wouldn’t take too much to get them done.

Here they are based and ready to go, three years ago!

Getting the desk clear of old projects would be quite motivating, nothing worse than staring at half done figures. And then, one project at a time on the desk.

Yeah right!

Tool making

One project I backed on Kickstarter last year was; Tabletop terrain from XPS foam: Buildings. This is a book detailing the construction of buildings from, yeah you guessed it, XPS foam. I’ve been looking at upping my game on terrain modelling and this book might just help. Laser cutting is good for some things, but you just can’t do curves and organic shapes. But a mixture of both should be the killer combination.

Looking at the images online pecils and pens have been used to form some of the detailing. Being the horder that I am I have loads of bits of metal lying around underemployed. A bit of cutting, a bit of cutting, some dowel rod, a bit of two part epoxy glue and a splash of paint I ended up with these.

Four different sized scribing tools. Slightly wonky (technical term) as I didn’t drill quite perpendicular to the dowel.

Here is a link to the book which will describe it far more eloquently than I could.

Tabletop terrain from XPS foam: Buildings

If this tempts you there still is the option to be a late backer.

A resolution for 2020

I have decided this year to have a resolution. Normally I don’t. They generally last for a couple of weeks and then fizzle out. Like gym attendences after January.

This Year’s Resolution is….

REPAIR, MAKE, STRIP AND SORT.

The plan is to do one of these activities a week throughout the year. I have made fifty two tick boxes in my journal.

There are odd little repair jobs that have been mounting up in my workshop for the last couple of years. Now is the time to get on and do them. Most will only take a couple of hours to do and I have been putting them off. If I do them it will make more working space and earn brownie points with the family.

I have started so many little projects and then left them when something else pops into my little head. Again more space in the workshop.

Figures sitting in jars of Methylated spirits. I have three jars on the go. Some of them haven’t seen the light of day for four years.

Boxes of random stuff from the move from England. Containers full of mixed screws. I have homes for this stuff, now.

If I do more than one of these tasks in a week then I will tick as many boxes as jobs done. The target is fity two tasks by the end of the year and if I do it sooner great!

My product of the year 2019

I have been greatly impressed by Reaper’s Bones Black range. Reaper’s figure range are sculpted by world class sculpters, really charactorful and lovely to paint. Just a pity I can’t quite afford them. Then a couple of years ago Reaper brought out their Bones range. These were white plastic versions of existing sculpts (and a lot of new, funded by various Kickstarters). I had a look but I wasn’t impressed. The details were soft and soapy (Mantic anybody?) and the plastic was bendy. Then, very recently, Reaper announced that they were bringing out a new range of plastic figures in a harder plastic, Bones Black.

I picked up three figures in October to have a look at the quality. And I have been impressed. Not quite as crisp as metal, but if you apply the “Three Foot” rule you would not be able to tell the difference on the tabletop. As all cast figures there are moldlines. I haven”t quite perfected the technique of removing them, but that is down to me not to any problem with the models themselves. Primer was applied, next time I might give them a quick scrub in warm soapy water, and it stays where it should.

Here is the first figure I have been working on. As I said in previous posts I haven’t had much painting time in the last couple of months. Something I intend to remedy next year.

I am very enthusiastic about this range which is being added to every month. December’s releases have two figures which have been on my wishlist for a while. The prices are affordable, quality sculpts what is there not to like?

I would like to take this oppurtunity to wish everyone (and you Ruth) a Happy New Year!

More distractions

My Number One Son asked me to paint his Nerf gun. He wanted it dirty and greasy like my tanks.

He is delighted by it. Now to test how resilient the paint is.

I did post it on Facebook last night and so far have had over 125 likes. This is slightly frustrating as I generally only get about 30 or 40 likes for my own work. C’est la vie.

Frohe Weihnachten

This last couple of months has seen me busy, but not, sadly, painting. First point of atta ck was my workshop. I am due to inherit some tools and workshop furniture from my departed father-in-law and I want to get everything ready so that the bits can slot into place with the minimum bother.

One view of how the workshop used to look.
And now the new look.

The cabinet in the middle, with the blue drawers, has been made to house various small bits and bobs that had been floating around without a place to live. The carcass was made from 12mm plywood generously supplied by Electric Love. I even had a couple of young lads who were at a loose end cut the timber for me.

I’ve made some more screw boxes as I have a large collection of unsorted screws. The screws were collected from Electric Love, at the end of the festival the tool cases were emptied and all the loose screws were binned.

Having to get up at a rediculously early hour to get the Boys ready for school is that there have been some quite amazing sunrises. Here are a couple, unfiltered or tampered with.

The next job which has taken the most time was making a painting area for Number Two Son. This necessitated moving book cases and vitrines around the Hobby Room.

He will be getting my old paint shelves and I shall make some expanded ones for me seeing that my paint collection has grown. I will take more photos of the Hobby Room once it has been cleared. My Daughter, Boyfriend and my Granddaughter stayed for ten days, so all the excess furniture we had been storing in the Guest Flat got decanted down into the Hobby Room.

Finally I would like to wish you all Season’s Greetings.

This Years card