For me this hasn’t been too difficult. I miss my weekly trips into Salzburg to do my laser cutting. Apart from that I haven’t had any significant changes to my routine. The Boys miss their friends and I think it is hard for them. The Playstation and Amzon Prime have helped. Doom Patrol and The Grand Tour have been liked.
Games Workshop have brought out these cute little Chibi figures. I really fancied a Skitarii (top left) and a Space Marine (centre). And didn’t mind the Sister of Battle (top right). I bought a couple at my local WARHAMMER! They are sold in blind bags so you don’t know what you are going to get. I ended up with the Assassin (bottom left) and the Sister of Battle.
As a side note I feel really sorry for the new store manager. The store is in a bad location so there is very little passing foot traffic. A site in the Old Town would have been perfect, rent skyhigh though. I was told, “off the record” by a n other previous manager that he had whole days where no one entered the store. If you have an area sales manager pushing for results….. well not an easy job.
Anyway, here is my repaint of the Sister.
I don’t quite know what to do with the Assassin, I don’t like the figure.
Next up I treated myself, I shouldn’t as I have so many amazing figures that I want to paint, but I did. I played “What a Tanker!” at last year’s SELWG and it seemed quite fun. I love tanks and I was debating whether to get some of the Rubicon models. They are not high detail like Dragon/Tamiya, but they are more designed for wargaming and are a more reasonable price. However I came across some tanks by Meng Models from their World War Toon range. Fun Tanks for a fun game. A couple of clicks on eBay and one was winging it’s merry way to me.
That was a fun model to paint. It did push me and I want to look at another technique apart from oil paints to weather the model. I definitely want to do some more. Something of note, Army Painter “Dry Rust”. Try it! It’s brilliant!
During this time I also finished my nazi UFO (pictures to follow), based and primed a unit of Gnomes, basic airbrush colours on another unit of ghostly undead, started Father Jack, made a tile set for “Four Against Darkness”, sorted through the Lead Mountain for my next project and made some high~beds for the garden.
It has been a busy week what with getting ready for; Austrian Salute (more details soon), redecorating Number Two Son’s room and keeping up with my New Year’s resolution/2020 Painting Challenge.
This week Jamie from Old School Miniatures posted that he was struggling and he proposed a quick challenge to motivate everyone. This was on Wednesday and those who wished to take part had to post a picture of a miniature that had not been started and it had to be finished tomorrow, Sunday.
This is my finished figure. A Halfling drummer from Warploque Miniatures sculpted by the talented Alex Huntley. I will be using him in my “not” Empire army.
For the regular 2020 Painting Challenge I managed to paint the command group of my Skeleton archers. These are from Scotia Grendel. Not my first choice of sculpts, these were in exchange for some laser cutting, I really wanted something to match my Bob Olley Essex Skeletons. So far I have not found anything that comes close.
As you can see my photography hasn’t improved much, but I will keep fiddling.
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.
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
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
I am off to London. Is
this going to be an annual event? This year is a two pronged attack:
the main reason is to see my new Granddaughter and the secondary
reason to visit SELWG. Supplementary to that is to pick up some food
supplies and to meet my gaming buddy Seb.
I arrived at the airport far too early and regretted not bringing a book. Ryanairs new cabin bag policy means that I cannot bring my usual rollie suitcase and had to have a much smaller bag.
Nevermind I have a few books waiting for me curtesy of eBay.
I am still surprised
how much people are hooked into their mobiles and become zombified.
A bit of a dull dull
flight but on the bonus side it arrived twenty minutes early and the
luggage was waiting for me once I cleared border security.
I hopped onto a bus to
Liverpool Street to meet a friend for lunch. It was certainly amazing
to see the sheer amount of building work going on, everywhere.
Shoreditch certainly has gone up-market from the shabby trendy area
it once was.
Lunch was chinese, my
first in six years and thinking about it as I type my mouth has
From there to 4D Models to pick up some bits and pieces. They can post, but the postage would cost more than the actual items.
The day ended in Upton
Park at my friends Sabba and Mark.
Thursday started with a
nice walk across West Ham Park to the site of Sabba and Mark’s new
house. The wild parakeets have moved eastwards and have started
colonising the park. Sabba and Mark have taken an old terrace house,
reduced it to a shell and then added to it. I had a few nervous
moments climbing rickety ladders to view the various levels.
I saw the afternoon in Central London. First port of call was Forbidden Planet. So many nice things, my Wife’s wallet and my baggage allowance wouldn’t allow it. On to Hardy’s Old Fashioned Sweetshop to buy advent gifts for the Boys.
Late lunch at C&R, a nice Kampung Style Nasi Goreng. Something that I didn’t get around to last year. Then a little mooch around town via Rymans and Muji for stationary and to WH Smiths for some magazines.
I popped down to Trafalgar Square to see what was happing. There were more police than Extinction Rebellion.
Back to Sabba and
Mark’s for dinner at Chawalla’s. It was every bit as good as last
First thing was coffee at my old house with Simon and Andrea, the new owners. It’s nice to see how the house hasn’t changed but the garden has grown and evolved.
Next stop waaay across London to visit my Daughter and new Granddaughter.
That kept me busy until late the next day when I travelled back across London just catching the tail end of the Anti-Brexit march.
I spent the evening at
my gaming buddys Seb’s place. I placated his Wife with a big pile of
Austrian chocolates and I presented him with some bits I had made for
The morning of SELWG was beautiful, crisp and autumnal. Seb and I arrived with plenty of time for a leisurely walk across the park to the venue, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
I didn’t bother this year handing out flyers as last year I had an increase in viewing but zero sales.
The first stop for us was the Bring & Buy to drop off some bits for selling. Ahead of me was a gentleman selling some Gripping Beast Arab Spearmen, on my wanted list, but by the time I was processed they had been snaffled up. One vendor close by was selling off his stock at 50% and I just missed some of the new GW Squigs.
The morning whizzed by and before I knew it it was time to go and have lunch with Iain Smedley. We went down to a local pub The Bridge for a delicious Sunday Roast of beef. British beef tastes much better than Austrian.
Back to the show which seemed to have quietened down and managed to get a game of, “What a Tanker!”
Quick and fun. I will be looking out for the rule-set, from Too Fat Lardies and maybe I can persuade to Boys to play it. Obviously I lost to Seb, but that is the history of our gaming.
Back to Seb’s at the end of the day for last minute packing. I managed to get my main bag to 10 Kilos but my cabin bag was much more than that. I had a bit of a sleepless night tossing and turning worrying about my cabin bag. Up at sparrow’s fart to get the 05.10 bus to Stanstead. Going through security I got pulled up because I forgot to transfer a bottle of Angustura Bitters to my hold luggage. I kept my cabin bag discretely slung over my shoulder out of sight and managed to avoid a €25 surcharge. My back hasn’t forgiven me yet. Another dull flight and back home.
So would I go again? It was nice to see friends, meet new relatives and eat great food. But the show itself? The traders are the same old same old and the thing about Salute is that you get a load of new faces with new models hoping to get your attention. From the traders at SELWG I’ve bought everything in their ranges that is useful or interesting. For me to go again there is going to have to be some pretty major players turning up and to be honest I don’t think that is going to happen. Let’s see what happens with Brexit and how I feel next year.
“Hello” to my new followers, or rather I should say “Hello” to my new random followers. I’ve visited your blogs. We have nothing in common.
I am a curmudgeonly old git with no social skills or graces. There are no pearls of wisdom to scatter before you. If you think that using someone elses quotes and random unattributed stock photos is going to set the blogosphere alight. well ….
Somehow I don’t see myself ever being an “influencer”. Already that word is starting to have negative connotations.
If you take the trouble to examine my site stats you can see that I barely have a handful of followers and lurkers, hello Ruth. I am certain that there are a couple of bots and one is a dog. Добро пожаловать мои верные товарищи-роботы! И собачий приятель.
I blog to keep sane.
I blog, badly, about a very dull niche topic.
I blog about nothing that would help you raise your blog profiles. In fact linking to my blog would probably kill your traffic.
Feel free to unfollow.
Images are Copyright their respective owners. Used without permission.
Every summer my Wife and the Boys drive down to Croatia for a holiday. Well somebody has to stay and tend to the chickens and cats. My chance to have a bit of time to myself and spread out and finish any projects that have been on hold for a while. I was a bit ill with a virus that made me very tired and demotivated so I didn’t do as much as I wanted.
Way back in 2011 I was approaching my redundancy at St. Martins and I used the time wisely. I made a whole load of these.
A plastic base, wire looped and glued into position, sand and PVA applied and primed in black. I didn’t do anything with them until now. This was the base build for some hedges. Following Mel’s videos on his YouTube channel I made a load of foam clump foliage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN16RxVNrvcThen following Luke’s videos on his YouTube channel I hade some flock. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsmD5774MOQhjYBkXqu3JdwUsing Luke’s videos I purchased some Tacky Glue, I must find somewhere here in Austria that stocks it because the postage was a killer. At my local DIY store I purchased some spray adhesive.
Stage One: paint base brown. Stage Two: drybrush base. Stage Three: apply Tacky Glue to wire and press on clump foliage. Stage Four: spray on adhesive and sprinkle with flock. I didn’t bother photographing these stages as you will get a better idea from the videos.
What I managed to do. There are some still to do but I had run out of clump foliage and the blender used for making it was awaiting a part from the UK.
Figure for scale, available from Heresy Miniatures
I must mention that Mel has been hard at work and recently had a Kickstarter to promote a book all about making wargaming terrain. If you missed it, or like me don’t have a form of money that Kickstarter recognises…. you can get on board herehttps://terrain-essentials.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
This year hasn’t been terribly productive for me. May comes along terribly quickly and then for three months I’m tied down with Electric Love which takes all my energies then the end of the year seems to arrive before I know it.
My Mighty Fortress addons have been popular, but not enough to retire on. But apart from that I haven’t made anything of note. This has been partly a lack of confidence/laziness and intimidation from seeing other company’s work. And partly due to depression.
I got myself a new toy.
It is the Ender 3 from Creality, It seems to be taking the 3D printing world by storm, a combination of price and quality. It is still not good enough for miniatures, for that I’ll need a resin printer, but for scenery and vehicles it’ll do. If you apply the “Three foot rule”. I’ll post results next year. I’ve made some modifications, fan covers, LEDs, stepper motor dampers and bed handle. Next up will be TL Smoothers. I’ve been hitting Thingiverse, there’s a lot of interesting bits there for free. I’ve been printing some APCs for my Not Imperial Guard Army.
I have just been given a Laptop and I am getting to grips with it (PC 😦 ) because I’d like to get back into 3D modelling, something I used to do twenty years ago. I think the future is 3D modelling and digital distribution. For me a combination of laser cut, 3D and vac forming will make some very interesting models.
I don’t have a product of the year this year. I have invested in Kill Team and Blackstone Fortress (gorgeous models) from GeeDub. But painting or playing them hasn’t happened. I do plan to make a Kill Team demo game for Austrian Salute. I have played a couple of games of Tanks with Number One Son and they have been fun. My big time sponge has been a Playstation 4 gifted to me by my Daughter. I have been playing Destiny 2 but have been getting frustrated as there seems to be no story to it and you have to be online to play. The downloads for it are huge and I can’t play them unless I pay. The Nessus world is gorgeous and I’ll be copying the style for my Kill Team Board.
I have been resisting buying figures (ok ignoring Kill Team and Blackstone Fortress) because I am so behind on my painting. The Dragon didn’t get touched and I have Alpine Dwarfs and a Gnome army to finish. I have been sooo tempted by an Athurian army from Footsore miniatures but I don’t have anyone to play against and I’ll never paint it.
Best wishes for the New Year to my regular readers, my lurkers (Hello Ruth!), my randoms (WTF do you have in common with me?), anyone else who stumbled across this and the one follower who I am sure is a dog.
Spoiler alert, this doesn’t contain much about SELWG.
It is a beautiful sunny morning here in Austria and it is hard to take in while I do my walk to the farm to get milk and gazing at hazy mountains that in less than five hours I’ll be in London.
The main purpose of this visit was to attend SELWG. The South East Wargames Group annual show held at Crystal Palace. The show is far smaller than the London Salute but much bigger than the Austrian Salute. I’d looked at the list of traders and there were a few of interest. I then went to each trader’s website and made a note of anything that interested me. Then I downloaded a plan of the venue and highlighted anything of interest.
As the show is so small I plan to walk around first and then decide what I want to spend my money on. I did a couple of jobs recently where cash was “in hand” and this was to be my spending money. So I have a plan and a budget.
I’d packed a few bits and pieces as gifts for people I was seeing. One, a jar of mustard, was not allowed. I had mistakenly misunderstood that Ryanair would take my hand luggage at check-in, not after security. Luckily my Wife was on the other side of the barriers and was able to retrieve it from security. While I was waiting for boarding I spotted a bag with an Electric Love lanyard. I got chatting with the owner, Chris, and found out that he worked in the media side of the festival. He was going to London to see Chelsea play. The first thing he had planned to do when he hit London was have a pint.
The plane was late and we arrived after an unevenful flight forty five minutes behind schedule. I met Chris again as we waited almost an hour for our luggage. The coach into London was clean, such a relief after my last trip. There was a beautiful autumnal light shining through golden leafed trees and it made me quite homesick. Of course being behind schedule I didn’t have the time to eat at C&R Cafe which I had been looking forwards to.
I managed to get issue 2 of Warhammer Conquest magazine at Warhammer. Sadly no copies of issue 1. They evaporated the minute they hit the shelves, mostly to scalpers. No wonder, for £1.99 you got three space marines, three full pots of paint, a brush and a magazine. I had hoped to pick up a couple of copies for the Boys. Warhammer was pleasant, no hard sell and a chatty Red Shirt. A nice change from a couple of years back when it was sell, sell, sell.
I swung by 4D Models to pick up a few things that I couldn’t get cheaply in Austria. Then I hit Poundland for superglue and epoxy glue. Something I found was a halloween bird skeleton which might come in handy for scenery.
Then on to my old house where I spent a pleasant hour or so chatting to Simon, the new owner.
My friends good news was that she had got Arts Council funding so she could work on her graphic novel.
Saturday was a bit of a panic as the cashpoint ate my card. Aaaargh! Another full day of running about and meeting my Daughter. Forbidden Planet for the final book (no it isn’t!) of the Expanse series and a look around. The London Graphic Centre, a traditional sweet shop and something I had been looking forwards to for a very long time, traditional fish and chips.