End of isolation?

Isolation, over here in Austria, has eased. There have been no new infections in Salzburg. For us it has been rather lovely. The only fly in the ointment has been trying to get the Boys to do school work.

I have been painting and crafting away. I did make for my Boys a hideaway.

You can just about see it, dead centre to the left of my shed. Two storeys, each level being about 2m long, 1m wide and 1m high. The Boys love it and have been sleeping in it even when it snowed!

I have been cracking on with the 2020 Painting Challenge and have managed to do this years quota. This means I can relax a little and try and tackle some bigger projects. Heresy Dragon? Here is the progress roughly in order.

The German WW2 UFO
Father Jack and the Hand of the Emperor
This was the bust produced for Goblinaid to support Kevin Adams after his assualt

This was something I cobbled together. It is an old 40K Gobsmasha. I had 3D printed the wheels and gun barrel and then my printer went all spanner on me. So everything else, apart from the exhausts (from Ramshackle Games) was laser cut.

Earth Elemental for Dragon Rampant

These last two are also for my Earth Elemental Army used in Dragon Rampant. They are from Thingiverse and designed by DutchMogul. 3D printed by me.

Here are some Saga Measuring sticks. Another game that looks interesting but I will never end up playing.

I have some more bits of crafting to post which I’ll do as soon as I photograph them.

Isolation Week Three

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.

Base coat
Hair sprayed and camoflaged
A bit of chipping
Pin washing with oil paint. Don’t!
Adding dust using fine river silt that I had collected

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.

Isolation

Unless you are living somewhere remote it can’t have escaped your attention that we are living in the times of a pandemic. Austria, like most of Europe, has told everyone to stay at home and only go out if it is strictly necessary. Schools have closed and gatherings of more than five people have been banned. England, however, has told everyone that they can, “Take it on the chin” and to be prepared to say goodbye to loved ones. After years of Tory austerity the hospitals are going to be hard pressed to cope.

Welcome to the Isle of the Damned.

It is day two of the lockdown. Luckily we have a garden to escape to and the weather has been rather pleasant. I have drawn up a list of little jobs that I have been putting off for, in some cases, years. There is no clear end date in sight so let’s see how long I last before going stir~crazy.

Two knock~on effects of the plague have been HappyLab closing and the cancellation of the Austrian Salute. The cancellation of Salute will affect me financially. I will be better off! Going always costs me money which I never recoup.

I had made a little freebie for the show. Hopefully It may get rescheduled for later in the year.

I had started making my annual freebie for this year’s BOYL event. Bring Out Your Lead, the annual gathering of the Oldhammer community.

https://www.bringoutyourlead.co.uk/

I hope it goes ahead. One year I will attend.

Painting progress, I have finished off the twelve skeletal archers for my Dragon Rampant Undead army.

As a bit of a palette clenser I am painting this figure, a Fattie from Judge Dredd.

I originally got into Toy Soldiers via Judge Dredd and 2000ad. I got the role playing game and started to get the figures that went with it. This was one figure and I had pledged to myself that I wouldn’t buy any more figures until I had painted it. After thirty five years I am making a start.

My next project is a bit of fun.

This goes with my Weird War Two ideas. I have the Doctor, Tardis and two “Ironclads”. I have Hitler and Churchill and a nazi film crew. I have managed to locate a model of the Ark of the Covenant. It should be a relatively quick job, chrome underneath and German camo on top. If anyone has a couple of Balkenkreuz going spare let me know.

After this I am prepping another unit of Gnome crossbows, kindly donated by

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

Banner ready for paint
Movement tray from MicroArts Studio
Sheet metal from Saint Martis
Scenic bases fashioned from cork
Scenic bases sanded and ready to receive the pinned Gnomes

That is the plague update.

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.

London 2019

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.

Sneaky gitz

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 started salivating.

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 year.

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.

Poundshop glue

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 him.

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.

This year I made sure I had eaten beforehand so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed like last year. Obviously me being me I wasn’t organised to take photos. So I would recommend visiting https://onelover-ray.blogspot.com/2019/10/selwg-2019.html

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.

Gifts

On my trip to London I was planning to stay with my old gaming buddy Seb. https://mugodice.wordpress.com/

Us two

I really wanted to make something really nice for him to say thankyou for putting me up and for all the wonderful birthday presents he has given me. For some reason I am never organised enough to get a present to him in time for his birthday.

We had both backed the Kickstarter for Open Combat, a skirmish wargame. https://www.secondthunder.com/ But neither of us had played it. I know that for Seb space is at a premium so I decided to make him a portable version. The rules are written for 28mm but the author also suggests that it can be played in 15mm and convert the measurements from inches to centimeters. This means the suggested playing area would be 24 centimeters.

Here I am measuring some canvas to be used for the play area. Obligatory kitten for scale.
Double checking size and trimming.
Long suffering Wife hemming the edge for me.
Spreading on a mixture of silicon and paint.
Applying sand, for the path and flock.
Excess removed and ready for play.

I had instructions about how to make the playmat from The Terrain Tutor’s Youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx_aro8CTHw7ZD5H661hC6Q

The flock instructions came from Luke’s APS Youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsmD5774MOQhjYBkXqu3Jdw

The finished box, roughly shoe box sized.
Lid removed.
Hills. I went with a stylistic approach which is easier to place figures.
Difficult terrain.
Fields.
Individual trees and standing stone.
The dice tray revealed.
Dice tray removed to reveal figure storage.
Action tokens and movement sticks.

The figures came from Alternative Armies. There were some nice ones and a couple of ropey ones. That’s what comes of buying blind I suppose. https://www.alternative-armies.com/

I hope Seb is pleased with this and gets a chance to play.

A little Renaissance fantasy

A disclaimer: this is totally ripped off from Wargames Illustrated 382 and David Bickley who built the original. You can read his blog here:

http://www.talesfromghq.blogspot.co.uk

I kept coming back to this article and mulling over it. I really don’t have time to get distracted by another project but it was sooo tempting. Late one night I pulled out a piece of paper and started doodling. The next day some graph paper was procured. Too late! Project started!

As Mr. Bickley had produced his model from individual parts I decided to follow along and make mine in modules starting with the front gate.

Me being me, there have been a few upcocks in the design, but nothing that a hammer wouldn’t sort out.

Obligatory kitten for scale

The original suppliers who inspired this build are:

http://www.charliefoxtrotmodels.com

http://www.warbases.co.uk

http://www.wargamesbuildings.co.uk

Some adventures in 3D Printing

Last year I stepped into the exciting world of 3D with an Ender 3 printer. It hasn’t been an easy ride, it is something that needs a big learning curve. It doesn’t quite work straight out of the box, requiring some tinkering. Also having an antiquated computer doesn’t allow for the installation of modern slicing software. The whole process has been a slightly frustrating hit and miss experience.

Here is my printer set up

I seem to collect rule-sets in the vain hope that my Boys might want to play with me or that someone in the area would have an interest in playing. HINT: if anyone in the Salzburg area would like to game, I have a nice gaming area and multiple rule-sets.

One set of rules that caught my eye and seemed to have a following, in the UK at least, was Dragon Rampant by Daniel Mersey. One of the rulebooks published by Osprey publishing. Osprey are producing some interesting and inexpensive rules covering a very broad church of areas. Worth checking out.

This interested me as you could play a game with nice streamlined rules and build an army with relatively few miniatures. I have enough Orcs and Goblins kicking about to make an army with zero expenditure. A friend, David Wood, scored a massive haul of Essex Miniatures Undead and sent me his spares. Some minor expenditure and voila a beautifully sculpted Bob Olley Undead army. A recent Kickstarter provided me with most of a Renaissance army.

If you are not aware of Thingiverse and are into 3D printing I would recommend that you go and visit. It is stuffed to the rafters with Arduino projects, electronics and workshop tutorials and of course 3D printer files.

http://www.thingiverse.com

Browsing through this cornucopia of stuff, this place is brilliant for gaming accessories, I came across some Mud Elementals. They looked so cute I had to print one.

And then another.

And another.

Soon an army emerged.

The Leader
I had some issues with layers so I may reprint.
Elite Foot
Magic User
Bellicose Foot
Heavy Foot
Light Foot I have another unit of these guys waiting for arms
Light Artillery
Ravening Horde Scaled down foot troops

These all came from a creator called Dutch Mogul

http://www.thingiverse.com/dutchmogul/designs

Check his designs out it is a one-stop-shop for gaming goodness. he also has a Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/IllGottenGames

Now I’m off to check on my printer and maybe do some painting. If I don’t get distracted by kittens.

Transport skiff

This model was loosely inspired by a model I saw in the Trash Bash Bits group on Facebook. The original was made from a fly-swatter. It wasn’t quite what I had imagined but it sparked an idea.

The first iteration looked like this.

Standing figure from Moonraker Miniatures and the seated figure is from a batch of “O” Guage model railway figures sourced from eBay.

There were some issues, some of which I addressed in the next iteration.

The next iteration was like this.

Correction required.

Comparison shot of the two. You can see I have added some extra detailing to the cabin roof.

Iteration two with cargo and kitten for scale.

Iteration three will elimate these issues and hopefully be the final model.

Nessus

This is the second board that I made for the Tabletop Knights gaming day. My kind Daughter gave me a copy of Destiny 2 when she gifted me her old PS4. One of the worlds you visit is Nessus.

This is not my image and it is used without permission

I fell in love with the visuals and wanted to recreate them. In the small space of a Kill Team board I wouldn’t be able to do it justice, but maybe I could give a taste.

First up was to make flocking, My local DIY store gave me a small piece of pure white foam and the poundshop provided cheap paint to colour it.

Planning out the board

Laying down 10mm of foam under the “metal” floor plates. I wanted them raised so there was some variations in the floor level.

The buildings

Adding the sides for extra strength.

Glueing parts into position

The crane

Adding colour and weathering.

More details.

Some of the columns in place with vegetation.

Set dressing.

Over all I wasn’t so happy with this board. There were a few tiny mistakes. I didn’t like the colour scheme on the buildings. I would have approached it differently next time. I have no idea where I am going to store it now. I did offer it up for sale at the event, but no interest.

Gone?

This is the first post of three regarding the Tabletop Knights show in Germany.

This will be about the first display board, Gone?

I saw this image, credit to whoever did this (if you let me know I will credit that person here) and thought, “I want this!” If you are interested I have a Pinterest page devoted to scenery. Look for Nik Green. I highly recommend Pinterest as a resource for keeping ideas from all over the interweb neat and tidy and in one place.

I got the dimensions of a Kill Team board, thirty by twenty two inches, and got two sheets of chipboard cut.

Clamping the sides

Burning the splinters off the cheap wood frame

Trimming the foam for the inserts with my Proxxon

Foam inserts fitted

Playing around with ideas

Track chopped out and starting to detail the edges with strips of cork tile

A Lego wheel being used for detailing

Gravel from Walersee and fine river silt used for detailing

Building before and after painting

Starting to build up the layers

I made a pipeline out of some scrap pipe from a skip and some laser cut supports. I magnetised the feet so it could be removed for transportation.

Everything in situ

Silt! Silt everywhere!

Paint and weathering applied

Tuft mania

And then scatter

I think the scatter needs to be more yellow to match the tufts. Added to this was some water effects. Overall I am very happy with this board. Some minor tweeks as noted are required.

Picture this

One day I will learn how to take decent photos of my painting. Maybe if I stop gadding about from project to project? One thing that I have seen has been a little photographic scenic corner made by one of the Oldhammer Community. That would be useful and wouldn”t take up too much space. So I set out to make one. This is my work in progress and I’ll post when finished.

Basic shape cut from MDF and steps from foam
Detailing of door using coffee stirrers from your favourite tax avoider
Foam detailing of arch
Lentils
A lot more lentils and some foam sils
Arial view of lentils, foam blocks and roof tiles
A coat of household emulsion
Wash to pick out a bit of detail
Miliput vine
Bit of whitewash
A wash on the stonework
Windows and woodwork. When was this taken?
Sponging of stonework
Starting work on sky and rooftiles
A notice board

February

As a reward to myself, I am not a fan of batch painting, for finishing the Gnomes I painted this fellow.

I couldn”t get the figure I was after (see previous posting) so I got this guy. Originally from Forgeworld, I got him second hand from The Troll Trader. He’s allright for a Truro Boy. https://thetrolltrader.com/ He will be the squad leader in a unit of Beastmen in my Not Imperial Guard 40K army.

Obviously I got distracted after that. So rather than finishing the Dwarf Skiers from Old School Miniatures, sorry Jamie. I found these really cute Elementals on Thingiverse. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3388214 I wasted (no) time in printing off a load and here is a test paint of one.

These are going to be based up for use in Dragon Rampant. Not that I am ever going to play it, more’s the pity. At the moment in the queue I have a: Renaissance Army from a recent Kickstarter, Undead Army mostly comprised of Bob Olley Essex Miniatures (gorgeous sculpts, I ended up buying some more to fill the gaps in my collection), Orcs and Goblins from my spares box and now an Elemental Army.

And then a couple of weeks ago I got a box of bits from Jamie. https://www.oldschoolminiatures.co.uk/ I got more distractions in the shape of more Gnomes. I’d asked for a unit of Undead Gnomes to go with my Undead Army and in the package was this guy.

I had to paint him immediately. I made a totally impracticle 20mm base for him to go on.

Now I need to crack on with two Kill Team display boards which need to be finished in about six weeks time for a show in Germany.

Maybe learning to play the game might be useful?