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.
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?
2018 is the year of extracting digit. My old gaming buddy, mugodice.wordpress.com, had wanted an inn for his games a couple of years ago and I had been putting it off.
The brief was that it had to occupy an eight inch square footprint.
So spoiling his birthday suprise here it is.
A really quick and dirty job. These are from Dreamforge Games and I’ll be using them as Storm Troopers in my Not-Imperial Guard Army. It was a quick hose with the airbrush and a few little brush additions. Not my best work, but I just wanted to knock one out and have something on the table in a couple of days.
These figures actually deserve a bit more time and attention as they have some lovely detail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The OS Miniatures Company
Avatars of War
Finally Revolution Events
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.
I have just stumbled across this YouTube channel.
By a guy called Vince Venturella.
Full of interesting little nuggets of information. I’ve just watched one on oil washes which makes me want to ditch my Army Painter Quickshade which has been my goto solution for just about everything.
Now to find time to watch the other hundred or so videos.
Warning: Picture heavy!
This is a collection of photos of bits and bobs I made over the summer. I “operate in the autism spectrum” to give it it’s official designation, diagnosis seven years ago. So it has been comparatively recently that I have found out why I act or behave the way I do. It has been a revelation because I can see why I approach things in a certain way or why I just don’t really “get” people. One of the things that I have discovered about myself is that I like things to be tidy and organised. The state of my environment reflects my mental state and vice versa. I am more likely to be happy in an organised environment.
This collection of images shows my growing obsession with tidy/organised, and it helps bring stuff together that I had spread over several boxes in different locations.
This is a spray booth I have made from plastic mounting board (from Electric Love, a running theme throughout this post), LED strips from a flohmarkt and a bathroom extractor fan. At the moment the extractor hose doesn’t connect to anything as yet. In all this cost me just under fifteen Euros.
A box to store my various Dremel bits in. Made from an old Sacher Torte box where I engraved the lid.
A set of drawers, from the recycle centre, which had cracked plastic drawer fronts. I replaced them with some lasercut wood. I’m using them to store my glass working tools and my spare Dremel.
I have another Dremel with a flexible drive which I’ve mounted on a curtain rail above my workdesk.
My work chair has been acquired by Number 2 Son for his desk in his bedroom, so I needed something to sit on. This came from recycling and I added a bit of timber (Electric Love) for height and some wheels from Hofer. I works well and I’m using it to store electrical cabling which once filled a box on my workshop shelves.
More bits from Electric Love. I have been storing my lasercut stock in shoe boxes, but it didn’t look very professional when I went to shows. The grey boxes were thrown out because they had had holes drilled in the bottom and were deemed unfit for further use. They were ideal for me. I cleaned them up, they had been used as storage boxes on the site quads, so very quite dusty. I used more of the plastic mounting board to make dividers. Next job is to work through my computer files and organise properly. This links to my next post. Watch this space. I also got an empty champagne box with no lid. Quick trip to Bauhaus and Happylab and voila! a new lid.
These shelves, again chucked out from Electric Love, are ideal for storing my basing supplies.
While working on site we would lug around big tool crates filled with everything we would need. Clearing up at the end of the festival each tool crate had handfulls of loose screws. Logistics got some under-employed jungs to sort them out by size into empty beer glasses. Once all the shelves had been restocked there was a crate of sorted screws left over. They were going to be binned so I grabbed them and took them home. I made these screw boxes with some leftover MDF.
Hot glue-gun holder, instructions from
A box for my hot-wire foam cutter. An eBay purchase. Sadly the vendor failed to supply the correct plug. However, my super talented neighbour wired in the correct cable.
This is my self-made clump maker. You can see my first attempts at making clumps. Not too bad, but not perfect.
I have now taken advice from this site
and ordered better materials.
Progress report to follow.
This links in to my clump maker. Flower tufts. I’m using sawdust from work which has been dyed with cheap acryllic paints from my local pound store. More details to follow.
Boys hard at work in the workshop and the finished blasters.
Some of my longterm readers may remember a post from early 2015
Well I never heard a word of thanks or received a t-shirt. I was a little disheartened by this.
Anyway, earlier this year somebody posted on the Oldhammer Facebook Community page that a group from Exeter was planning to attend BOYL.
BOYL, Bring Out Your Lead, is sort of THE event to attend for Oldhammerers. Hosted at Wargames Foundry it is a chance for people to meet up and play games with old figures and game systems.
I posted asking if anybody knew Joe Bloggs, the guy who’d asked for the illustration. I got a response asking why and I replied that I was the illustrator and I was still waiting for my t-shirt.
I did get an apology from Joe and the promise that the t-shirt would be sent.
But I did get another message. Would I be intersted in letting my illustation be used for a new miniatures company? There would be some lead and a t-shirt in exchange.
This company had just run a Kickstarter for a very Oldhammer Gnome army which I had fallen for big-time but didn’t have the funds to back.
My response was immediate and in the affirmative.
Just after this Joe sent the t-shirt. It was a less than positive experience. The shirt had been worn and then washed, for which I was grateful. I don’t know why, because most of my clothes these days come from flohmarkts (I’m not very cash rich at the moment),I just didn’t want to touch it. But more dissapointing was the fact that the design had been printed in white on a black t-shirt. Had I have known I would have produced reversed artwork. The t-shirt looked awful.
A couple of weeks ago I got a parcel from OS Miniatures.
In it was;
And some minis from a new Kickstarter
And a gnome which I couldn’t resist painting
I’ve had further good news.
My illustration is the basis of a miniature sculpted by John Pickford.
AND would I be interested in producing some more illustrations, potentially to be used for future miniatures.
A nice little project for those long winter nights.
I would have written this a lot closer to the event, but I was a bit put off by events and didn’t really feel like communicating.
This was to be my fourth visit to the Austrian Salute, my third as a trader.
Plans had been made since Christmas to make and paint a display board. The aim was to win the prize for the best game. i may be crap at sports and generally poor at life but I really wanted to be good at something for once in my life. My wife thought I was bonkers and said that if I applied that much energy into other areas of my life who knows what i might achieve. I have proposed that she teaches me guitar for the next two and half months. It is something I have always wanted to do for a very long time. I actually bought a guitar thirty years ago. So maybe the time is now.
Note: this tuition hasn’t happened.
Two and a half months of feverish building and prevarication and one afternoon of actually playing the game. This seemed to throw up more questions than answers.
I had a t-shirt printed up for Number One Son and made sure the Gameboy had plenty of juice.
We arrived slightly later than planned which didn’t seem to be a problem as the venue hadn’t quite got it together to open up. Omens of later.
Setting up was slightly difficult as I had both Boys trying to “help” but it did get done.
I managed to persuade my Son to play, but he only lasted half an hour as the Gameboy was more exciting.
After a very disappointing lunch (sent back for being unappetising after an hour wait and rude and abusive staff) it was back for the afternoon.
In fact the lunch experience spoilt the whole show for me and I wasn’t really in the mood for anything.
On the plus side, I did win best gaming table.
My overall impression was that it was a lot sparser than last year.
A more eloquent view of the show can be found here
I learnt quite a few things actually and most, in hindsight, are pretty bleedin’ obvious. I’m not out of the woods yet, by a long way but I thought I might share these nuggets of wisdom with you.
* Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve?
* Make a plan
* Do you have an idea of the budget? Does the project realistically fit this budget?
* Screw the plan up, throw it in the bin and start again
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Does your Wife/SO have any idea about what time, money, mess and swearing the project involves?
* Do you?
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Do you have enough materials at hand to complete the project?
* Go and buy what you need
* Revisit plan
* Check plan
* Set yourself a reasonable timescale breaking down jobs into manageable chunks/milestones
* Start building
* Check plans
* Start swearing
* The razor saw/scalpel/hammer is your friend
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Tidy as you go
* It is better to paint any fiddly or hard to reach parts BEFORE assembly
* Photograph as you go. Somebody may learn from your stupid mistakes.
* As you build you’ll get flashes of inspiration for your next project. Write them down. Do not, repeat, do not start this next amazing project until this one is done and dusted.
* Don’t be afraid to ask for people’s advice on dedicated forums.
It’s what the interweb is for.
Actually it’s for porn (Avenue Q)
Or pictures of kittens
* Speaking of which, if the kitten wants to play either put it out or play with it. You cannot work with kitten.
* When doing closeup touching-up don’t keep the paintbrush in your mouth
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Take your time don’t rush. If that extra detail takes five minutes, take those five minutes. The end result is worth it
* Finished! Now collapse in a heap for five minutes
* Where the photon are you going to store it now?
My regular readers will know that I set myself the goal of making a gameboard to run a demo game of Rogue Stars at the Austrian Salute this year. I’ve yet to play it. Here is a progress report.
First off a plan. I wanted to have raised walkways and a twisty-turney town part. My initial plan was a little too ambitious and too large. It was based on a metre by metre board, it was only when I got the rule book that I learnt that the play area was three foot by three foot play area. The idea is that the board can be used for a variety of games so it needs the maximum amount of empty space and the minimum of fixed scenery. I still wanted my twisty-turney streets. So a back wall is used and the scenery only projects about seven centimetres into the play area.
Something else the game uses is tokens. So I knocked out a couple of examples. The wound marker was something I already had and thought I would use.
Here was the first building, the Gatehouse. I would have liked it higher and more imposing, but using steps at one centimetre intervals didn’t allow it. Next time I will make the steps at two centimetres. Maybe.
In all there are three different types of Desert House that I have made for the board. This is one type, the others have either a glass dome on top or stairs up the side. One problem is that they make the wall buildings rather insignificant.
The beginnings of the wall, trying bits out for size.
A view of the wall buildings in situ. There is an edging to the gameboard which I have added extra shapes to suggest some depth.
You can see everything painted up and glued down and work started on the cliffs.
This is an overview where I am working on the positioning of the landing pad and the goods yard.
Work started on the cliffs using my new EBay purchase, a hot wire foam cutter.
Filling in any gaps with “No More Nails” a most excellent product which I haven’t yet sourced over here. If anyone knows what it is called in Austria/Germany I would be most grateful.
I plan to have three different groups of adventurers for the game. This is the first group, the “Star Cops” lead by the redoubtable Captain Robert Smythe. Figures by Pig Iron Productions
Nice figures and I will certainly be revisiting their ranges.
Cutting the foam to insert a small bridge.
Glueing the roadway together.
One unfortunate effect of painting the roadway was that the card warped. It did straighten a bit when it dried. I shall say that it warped in the hot desert suns.
Here we are at today’s state of play. There are four more stepped houses to make, but as they are loose they are a lower priority. The next job is to glue the roadway down and then apply sand.
More pictures will follow when this project draws closer to completion.
This was started on New Year’s Day and then it got put down and buried under stuff.
I am sat here feeling slightly obfuscated, mostly due to schnapps, brandy and presecco seeing out the old year.
2016 was a year that a lot of interesting and clever people shuffled of this mortal coil. The way East/West politics are moving 2017 could be the year that everyone dies.
I didn’t paint much, far less than I wanted to. The Dragon was prevaricated on. It seemed that every time I picked it up I was asked for help with something else so there was no “Zone” achieved.
But there shouldn’t be too much beating myself up. My workshop is set up and I can airbrush to my hearts content. One project for this year is to make a spray booth with PC cooling fans (from the recycling center) to extract spray. The hobby room is done, bar one small speaker shelf. So I have my space for painting and gaming. And I have been working on the garden making a path and building a wall. This involves going to the farm with a wheelbarrow and taking a rock and wheeling it back, so quite time consuming.
Financially the laser cutting has not been a success this year. Etsy resulted in zero sales. Handing out my business card at Salute resulted in a huge spike in blog views the following day, but zero sales.
What I find frustrating in my target audience is that they will happily fork out thirty or forty quid for one figure they owned as a teenager but will balk at paying twenty for scenery to grace their collection. There was a thread I was following where collectors were boasting about the prices they had paid for a metal Thunderhawk Gunship. It was jaw dropping.
I am going to continue with making laser cut scenery, if only for myself. But getting some money for it would be nice. The last year has seen a readjustment in family finances. I have gone from having a huge disposable income a couple of years ago to having none. My Wife stopped working at the beginning of last year and despite having no income we’ve lived comfortably. Having no rent or mortgage helps tremendously and visiting fleamarkets for clothes and entertainment makes what we do have go along way.
I have backed a few Kickstarters this year, not as many as I would have liked. Ten Minute Heist and Dwarves in Trouble are two board games that look like fun to play with the Boys. Then came the addiction, miniatures. Space Raiders, scifi orcs sculpted by Kevin Adams. Greenskin Wars, goblins sculpted by Kevin Adams. Goblins and Sea Demons, sea goblins sculpted by Kevin Adams. Return to Colony 87, scifi civilians. Kev White does Matt Dixon, female fantasy miniatures. And finally Ramshackle Games’s Jetbikes.
The product of the year for me has been Foundrys Sable Mix General Detail Brush. I was going to replace it at the beginning of the year but it kept on going for “one more paint job”. In fact it is still going strong, so I might not replace it just yet.
Although I’m not very good with my predictions I’m going to say that 2017 will be the year of NMMs. Non Metallic Metallics, where you paint something to look shiny and metallic without using any metallic paint. For those of you who don’t quite get what I’m on about, think about a photograph of a shiny teapot. You don’t have metallic inks when you print a photograph. What you see are whites, greys and whatever background colours are being reflected. So the object is to try and replicate this without metallic paint. G’Dub is already putting painting guides out with this technique with some of their new products.
Talking about G’Dub, I have liked watching their Warhammer TV on Youtube. It has been very instructive and has kept my Boys entertained. Just remember kids, always thin your paints.
Something I got as a Christmas present was a copy of Osprey’s Rogue Stars ruleset. It is a bit dry, mostly tables of equipment, physical traits and very little fluff. From reading of reviews apparently one gets the hang of it very easily. The advantage, as I see it, of having very little fluff is that you can create your own universe in the flavour you want. Magrathea anyone?
I’d like to make a go of this and try and run a demo game at the Austrian Salute this year.
The game is figure light, four to six figures a side and the playspace is three foot by three foot.
So I have approximately ten weeks to learn the rules. I’ve taken the step of joining the Austrian gaming forum, diefestung, to find opponents. Then painting the figures and making a terrain board which will showcase my laser cut work.
Oh, and make sure I have enough stock to sell.
Speaking of stock I must really extract my digit and design more big objects. The ideal solution would be one big thing a month.
This year I must be more focused on my painting. First jobs are to finish off any jobs that haven’t been completed. Then I need to decide which army to concentrate on and finish it. A prime candidate would be my Roman army, just a fortified camp and two commanders.
The last couple of weeks have seen me quite busy producing stuff for our local school’s Christmas market.
So I have been making snowflakes, and getting glitter everywhere. Tealight holders, tree decorations, advent countdowns etc.
Just to have a quick break from all this seasonal work I knocked up the artwork for these and cut them this morning.
May I present the Corpse Containment Units. Useful for when dearly departed grandma has a little more life in her than expected.
And yes I’m still prevaricating.
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.
Most importantly wear a mask.