Reflections on 2017

I’m somewhat late on this one as I’ve been laid low with a rather unpleasant flu-like lurgy.
A quick catch-up on a couple of pieces from my last post.
barbarian
Here is the Barbarian from the OS Miniatures Company. This was a challenge that I undertook to have him painted before Christmas. Nobody else took up the challenge which was a pity.
santa
This was from Warmonger Miniatures, again painted up for Christmas.
There is one more figure which was supposed to be my last figure of 2017, but the lurgy stopped that. I’ll post when it is finished.
Old age seems to have telescoped the year. Blink and I’ll miss it.
The first three months were taken up with making the Rogue Stars display board. April/May I did some landscaping in the garden converting a be-shrubbed steep slope into a flat grassy terrace.
June/July/August were at Electric Love. I had a great time and it gave me enough money to buy my own small laser cutter.
The rest of the year seemed to evaporate, lttle jobs around the house and making bits with my loot from the summer.
2017
Here is a group shot of what I finished painting. There is a lot more half finished and the 2018 goal is to finish all the half started jobs from the past few years, the Heresy Dragon being the main target, get all that out of the way so I have a clean slate. Then one project at a time, start it and finish it.
Yeah right!
Product of the Year 2017
On reflection it has to be the laser cutter. It’s small and slow but it has enabled me to prototype ideas and to make stuff on the fly. Christmas cards, party invites, party bag goodies, cake icing molds and gift tags just to name a few bits and bobs.
Heroes and Zeroes
Firstly the Heroes.
At the top of the list are the Facebook friends; EvH, DW, SR, ME and CF. They have been a constant source (sauce?) of inspiration, advice and encouragement. I might actually meet some of them in RL oneday.
Then comes the figure manufacturers who have gifted me with lovely toys this last year.
Ramshackle Games
http://shop.ramshacklegames.co.uk/index.php
The OS Miniatures Company
https://www.facebook.com/OldSchoolMinis1985/
Avatars of War
http://www.avatars-of-war.com/eng/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=51
Warmonger Miniatures
https://www.warmongerminiatures.com/
Finally Revolution Events
https://www.revolutionevent.com/
For fun, education and loot.
Now to the Zeroes
Wayland Games for lengthy delays, poor communication and their unwillingness (or inability) to combine orders.
TNT for their lack of customer service and making life just that little bit harder.
Games Workshop for tantalising me with the new rules for 40K, promises of fewer books and then conveniently forgetting about all that.
The new plastics are beautiful though.

Yet more prevaricating

Earlier this week we took a trip across the border (luckily nobody mentioned the war) to visit the Hans-Peter Porsche Traumwerk. A new toy museum in Bavaria.
Link here http://www.hanspeterporsche.com/
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This was a really well laid out and beautifully curated museum, and as is typical of Porsche no expense was spared.
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An unusual camouflage scheme which I imagine would be hard to do in real life


The lighting was a bit too subdued to take proper photographs which was a pity, but you have to also understand that they are also conserving the exhibits. Upstairs was a large collection of tin toys. This description does the displays somewhat of a disservice as the exhibits covered circuses, zoos, ships, a small amount of military, fire engines and of course trains. Lots of them.
There was a gallery looking down to the main attraction, a vast train layout.
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Again this is an understatement. There were wall projections of clouds and a lighting sequence that cycled between day and night. Clouds passed over the mountains and an immersive ambient soundscape.
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I’m not really a train person, but I wouldn’t mind tapping into that market, so the trains weren’t all that exciting. But the scenery was to die for.
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Really well done, again it was attention to detail. You would look into the windows of a house and see that it was fully furnished.
Well worth a visit, but bring sandwiches as the restaurant was expensive (I’ve never had a meal that has been up to scratch in Germany) and the kids adventure playground was very well designed.
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So how is the Dragon going I hear you ask.
Well…..
I am going to stick with the colour scheme, but I have been prevaricating. Again.
Continuing the Undead theme and the Bob Olley addiction.
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So now I have a command group.
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And this chap, sculpted by Justin Coutange from the Oldhammer community.
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This was another entry to the Warhammer Salzburg “Spooky” painting contest. I finished him with a couple of days to spare, but I didn’t get into town to submit him.
Late news.
The figure that I did enter came second, so not too bad.
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And finally this figure from Grimskull Miniatures. A bit T&A but I thought she would go nicely with my Raging Heroes Not DKK army.
So there you have it. Time to tidy the desk and knuckle down with the dragon.
Honest!

Save

Save

There’s something in the air

Mostly paint particles.

I decided to strike while the iron was hot and try airbrushing the wings. The set up for airbrushing isn’t quite right yet, but a few small tweaks should get it there. More practice is required. Firstly getting the paint to the right consistancy and secondly getting the airflow/needle balance right.

And patience. Take time and build up the paint slowly otherwise it runs.

imageMost importantly wear a mask.

Winter is coming

The leaves on the trees are changing from green to orange. The mountains have had their first snow. Our winter wood has been delivered and safely stored.
image
And now I have primed the Dragon.
image So far I have only used a single action airbrush. Now it’s time to up my game and break out the double-action airbrush for the wings.

I really need to stop prevaricating around the bush

So the Dragon is glued and ready to paint. Am I doing anything about it? Am I heck as like!

The first distraction was in the form of a freebie figure from the revamped White Dwarf. I thought he would make a nice leader for my growing band of Chaos cultists.

imageThen I got distracted by an old Bob Olley sculpt that I have had for about thirty years. I was inspired by seeing pictures on the Oldhammer Facebook group.

imageAnd finally my local GeeDub store is running a spooky painting contest. So I had a rummage through my bitz box and found this figure.

imagePerhaps it’s time to get my finger out and get on with the real job?

Clear the decks! The dragon is coming!

I haven’t painted for four months.
There has been the Puppet’s War Robot sat on my desk half done for all this time and I think I have been using it as an excuse. So I have packed it away and cleaned the desk away of any other distractions.

Tidy desk

Tidy desk


So the next project is the dragon.
Image copyright Heresy and is used totally without permission.

Image copyright Heresy and is used totally without permission.


Here is the post I’d written before, for the benefit of my newer followers.
https://grumpyoldtin.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/jobs-a-good-un/
This project has also be an excuse to crack on with my workshop where I plan to airbrush and do some of the dirtier jobs.
Workbench

Workbench


I’m going to have a permanent airbrush set-up as before I had been packing it away after every use which I found that it put me off using it.
Part of my equipment is a single action airbrush which was being used for primer and for varnishing. I wanted a double action but the expense put me off. I use Facebook, probably too much, and one of the groups I subscribe to is the “Artblock Social” for people who went to Camborne Tech in the 80’s. The good old days before computers when there was Letraset, Cow-Gum, Type Scales, Grant Projectors, Magic Markers and of course Airbrushes. Anyway, earlier this year was a chat about Type Scales, how totally useless they are these days and why do we still have them lurking in the bottom of our drawers. So this got me thinking, and I posted that if any of the Technical Illustrators had an old one kicking about I’d gladly take it off their hands. I got a message back from one of the guys that he used to be a demonstrator and had a spare airbrush in his garage. He sent it to me and I was half expecting something quite well worn, not that I wouldn’t be grateful. When I opened the parcel I had quite a surprise, a brand new boxed DeVilbiss Aerograph Sprite!
On to the Dragon. I’d met Andy Foster from Heresy earlier this year at Salute and I had promised that this year I would be painting it. It appears that most of the dragons are boxed up on a shelf somewhere.
The next question was what colour? Red? Or green? These are your two classic colour schemes which most painters seem to follow. I was undecided. That was until last week when I had a trip to the zoo with my Boys.
Then I came across this and had my mind made up.
dragon1
This is a Caiman crocodile and I was very taken by the orange and grey markings.
I think another trip to the zoo may be in order.

Salute 2016

Apologies for the delay, but as you’ll read on I’m sure you’ll forgive me.
This was something I’d been planning for for ages. I have been going to Salute annually for about ten years before moving to Austria. Then I had a two year gap. I was hesitant but it was my Wife who encouraged me to go as I hadn’t been back to England since the move.
Salute, for those of you who don’t know, is one of the largest wargaming shows in Europe. Here you get a chance to see a whole load of traders and get to see their merchandise in the flesh. It is also a chance to look at a huge range of games that had been lovingly prepared over the last year. There is also the painting contest. This is drawing in some of the best painters from around Europe, so I didn’t stand much of a chance, but nothing ventured etc. I wanted to enter the Salute figure contest. Every year in your goodie bag is a free figure which can be entered into next year’s contest. Now as I hadn’t been for a couple of years I didn’t have the figure. A quick request on the Oldhammer Facebook group soon dealt with this problem. Many thanks to Mr. David Wood, more of which later.
Painting competition
Once the list of traders was announced on the Salute website I spent a fair amount of time visiting every single traders website and working out a wish-list. Then came the job of prioritising what I wanted to buy. In theory I had an unlimited budget but I was also aware that my lead mountain was vast (about 15 years worth of painting) so I tried to narrow the list down to what I actually needed and within a reasonable budget. I allowed a bit of wiggle-room as there was Kevin Adams, The Goblin Master, and no real prices or stock on the website.
Once I had drawn up my shopping list I printed out the Salute site map. Armed with my shopping list and site map I worked out a hit list in my notebook going up and down the traders in the most time efficient manner.
Plan
Notebook
As I said this was my first visit for a couple of years and my first from abroad, so no home base as I was previously used to. The cheapest ticket option was to stay for five days. So a bit of Facebook posting got me some sofas to surf on. The first two nights was to be spent at my old gaming buddy Seb’s house.
Two days before flying I was struck with severe abdominal pains which lasted almost twenty four hours. I was worried that I would have to go to hospital and miss Salute. A further worry was that if it returned whilst in England I would have to visit and English hospital. After Austrian hospitals any trip to an English hospital would be like a trip to the third world.
Thankfully the pains vanished the day before flying, much to my relief.
I managed to squeeze everything into my little holdall, just grams under my ten kilo allowance. For the return journey I had booked a suitcase which was to be donated by a friend. I had also bought a lot of bits and pieces on Fleabay and had them sent to my Daughter’s place. Also in preparation I had some business cards printed up along with a promotional t-shirt.
Business cardBusiness card back
These I had sent to Seb’s. The first delivery was left in the rain by the courier company so the printing company promptly sent another batch. Seb opened the first package and the contents were fine. I now had a couple of hundred cards to distribute in the queue to enter Salute.
The flight was uneventful but getting a connecting bus to Stratford was chaotic. The bus was grimy and I was reluctant to sit on the seats.
National Disgrace
Such a contrast to Austria.
It chucked it down when I arrived in Stratford, everything was grey and miserable and the pavements seemed clogged with fag butts. A mad dash to get some shopping done, Tea and hitting the Poundshops (I do miss them) for epoxy glue, superglue and plug adapters. Then back to Seb’s. We had a pleasant evening and I played Lords of War (http://lords-of-war.com/) for the first time. This was a Kickstarter I had backed with the bonus that the cards were illustrated by Steve Cox (http://stevecox.prosite.com/) who was two years above me when I went to college.
Saturday, Salute day! It was up early to get a good place in the queue.
I had a minor problem with my ticket, which was swiftly resolved when I showed the email correspondence I’d had with one of the event organisers.
The queue
This gave me a chance to hand out my business cards. At the time of writing there has been zero interest in my tawdry offerings. I met Mr. David Wood, my Oldhammer Facebook friend who I’d never met in real life before and we spent the hour before the doors opened chatting away.
Then at ten o’clock the doors opened and in we went.
The day was a blur, not helped by my abdominal pains returning, and my carefully planned route didn’t happen.
Here are some of the highlights, that I can remember.
Meeting Annie from Bad Squiddo Games (https://thedicebaglady.net/) and showing her one of her figures I had painted.

This photo has been shamelessly lifted from https://mugodice.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/my-salute-2016/

This photo has been shamelessly lifted from https://mugodice.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/my-salute-2016/


The Oldhammer meet-up at the Foundry stand. This was sparsely attended but it was nice to meet some of the people I know from Facebook and blogs.
I dropped off my “Souvenir” to Mantic, see previous posting.
A rather cool Mad Max game, apologies as I can’t remember who did it.
Mad Max
Picking up my copy of Open Combat, another Kickstarter I’d backed.
Carl Brown
https://www.secondthunder.com/
A bonus was that I met Gav Thorpe there, he writes for GeeDubs Black Library and I regretted I didn’t bring along one of his books that I had brought for the trip.
I met Alan and Michael Perry, Paul Thompson and Chris Cound all old White Company compatriots.
At Heresy (http://www.heresyminiatures.com/shop/) I was humbled to meet Andy Foster and showed him that the Dragon is on this years painting list. Apparently most are still in their boxes. Mine will not be, July to be precise, when my airbrush corner is set up in the workshop.
I entered a Heavier Metal speed painting contest and won that round, and a Salute goody bag, and got to keep the figure which was cool because it was on my shopping list.
In the prize goody bag was another Salute freebie figure which I gave to Mr. David Wood who then promptly gave me some of his own figures.
http://deartonyblair.blogspot.co.at/2014/03/dtb-minis-now-available.html
He made me promise that I would paint them. So I had better do that.
I left the show in a haze of discomfort and can’t really remember much else about the show. Luckily I’d scribbled some notes down otherwise it would have been quite a slim posting.
All the loot
The freebies
The next day I went to hospital. They would have sent me away with a packet of paracetamol had I not mentioned that I would not be able to see a GP for a few days as I was visiting and I was concerned that my urine was a rich teak colour.
I got admitted immediately and was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. I ended up staying four days in hospital and missed my flight.
Don’t talk to me about the food, I refused to touch it. Not even the head of catering could provide a full ingredients listing.
Anyway I’m back in Austria. I had my gallbladder removed as it was full of large gallstones. You can talk to me about the food here, beef-steak with fresh asparagus, stuffed chicken breast with pesto mini dumplings.

Job’s a good ‘un

drag2
It’s arrived at last! And it’s huge! Flippin’ huge!
I am of course talking about the Heresy Dragon. I ordered it before Number Two Son was even thought of.
Andy, the creative genius behind Heresy, has had an absolute nightmare producing this. Originally he thought it would take a couple of months to produce. Since then…
http://heresyminiatures.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=260
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Here is a scale shot with a 28mm figure just to give you an idea.
The pity is that now it has to go back into the box for a couple of months until my man-cave is set up in our new house.
Did I say, “New house”? Yes, I did. More on that to come.

Image copyright Heresy and is used totally without permission.

Image copyright Heresy and is used totally without permission.


Now go to Heresy and buy something!
http://heresyminiatures.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=7&zenid=663b39432d06ba7ae00dc76821cede6a

Heresy Kickstarter

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If you can’t beat them, join them!

I want to bring back the old classic monsters in resin as it’s so much nicer to have 3 or 4 large chunks of lovely smooth resin to assemble rather than a dozen chunks of hard to put together metal.

To raise the funds for this new project – which will be shipped post-Dragon, in February next year, so don’t panic, Dragon queue, you’re still being sorted out first! – I’ve turned to that Kickstarter that they have now and that everyone seems to love.

Here’s the link, it’s live and you can pledge RIGHT NOW.

The most exciting bit?

The NetherLord Mark 1, spined and winged versions, will be exclusively available as part of this Kickstarter campaign!

Yes, all those of you who have waited years and pestered me about it at every show and buy email, this is your chance, your one chance, to get that model you missed out on a few years back. Not only is it back, but it’s beautiful. None of the problems with assembly that the metal one had, and a lovely smooth surface to paint. Also you don’t need an arm like the Hulk to hold it up to paint! There are a few early bird special offers and one or two very limited reward levels on the campaign. Just go take a look and see what catches your interest.

I’m going to be constantly adding new Large Monsters and Minions and Fallen Ones and Merch and all sorts of wonderful, evil things over the next two weeks. The Kickstarter ends Wednesday the 3rd September.

Even if you don’t want to take part yourself, please tell your friends! This might be the chance to turn things around for Heresy (and if things go really well indeed, maybe even take some time off to concentrate on clearing the dragon queue or get some new staff to help out!). I have such sights to show you, but I need you to help me get them out there!

Go, go, go!

All the best, and good luck!

Andy Foster

Heresy Miniatures Ltd