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.