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.

Early March

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.

http://www.warploqueminiatures.com/

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.

Painting progress

I am plugging away at the 2020 Painting Challenge on Facebook. If I manage to paint fifty two miniatures in this current year I will be eligible to get a specially commissioned “Painter” figure sculpted by John Pickford. Many thanks to Jamie Loft from Old School Miniatures for making this happen. This doesn’t seem to be hitting the Lead Mountain though, I am painting figures aquired this year. The Spirit host is an exception, it has been sat on my desk partially assembled for two years and so it is part of my New Year Resolution. The Halflings are from Wargames Atlantic, I got a free sprue when I filled out an online survey for Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy.

All three together

Now I have my little photo set up working my photographs are getting better and more consistant. I have started shooting in RAW and doing a manual white balance. I do need to take a bit more time and work out a better depth of field, at the moment it is quite shallow. One thing I have noticed is that when the camera runs out of power it doesn’t save the settings so once I have an ideal arrangement I need to record the settings. This means I can start to be consistant. I would like to photograph my collection and I would like all the photographs to look the same. If you look at my gallery at the moment the colour balances are jumping around all over the place.

Week 10 of the 2020 Painting Challenge

This is this week’s offering. A Chaos Hellbrute from G’Dub. Inperceptably the desk is starting to clear. Once I have decided on a unified basing scheme for my Dragon Rampant armies there will be three Spirit Hosts in very quick succession. The main project however, this month, is to paint up the Halflings I got for free from Wargames Atlantic. They are already glued, based and primed. I would like to paint them in a similar style to the Agincourt Salute figure I painted a while back.

Something new for the workbench

I went and treated myself to a paint agitator.

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.

KEVIN “GOBLINMASTER” ADAMS! and some finished figures

One of my two favourite figure scultors (Bob Olley being the other) has finally decided to set up his own dedicated webspace come shop. The one and only Kevin “Goblinmaster” Adams. I have been a fan of his work since the mid eighties and it was his figures and the accompanying fluff in White Dwarf that made me (until recently) Orc and Goblin to the core. If it ain’t a KA Goblin then it ain’t a Goblin. Although to be fair Brian Nelson gave it a fair old stab. Over the years I have tried on a limited buget to try and back various projects of his; 4A Miniatures, some rather nice Sea Goblins; Crooked Claw, a rock thrower; Greenskin Wars, armoured Orcs and Goblins; Ral Partha and Warmonger Miniatures.

Then there was the vicious attack upon him where he was seriously injured. This prompted various sculpters to produce figures for “Goblinaid”.

This brought Kevin back into the limelight and he has been busy, for other people. This looks set to change as he has just announced a new website.

http://www.goblinmaster.online

There are tentative plans to launch a Kickstarter on the First of February and from the photographs on the site there appears to be a new Pump Waggon. YAY!

The Facebook 2020 Painting Challenge group has spurred me on the get the unit of Skiing Dwarves finished. They had been sat for far too long on my desk and I think my sticking point was the unit standard. I am still not happy with it but once it was done the rest of the figures seemd to come on much easier.

These are available from

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

Busy

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

https://rustymagos.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/armourcast-titans/dscf3252/

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 is how it was originally
Now with added lights!

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.

Nice and tidy
Clutter added

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!

My product of the year 2019

I have been greatly impressed by Reaper’s Bones Black range. Reaper’s figure range are sculpted by world class sculpters, really charactorful and lovely to paint. Just a pity I can’t quite afford them. Then a couple of years ago Reaper brought out their Bones range. These were white plastic versions of existing sculpts (and a lot of new, funded by various Kickstarters). I had a look but I wasn’t impressed. The details were soft and soapy (Mantic anybody?) and the plastic was bendy. Then, very recently, Reaper announced that they were bringing out a new range of plastic figures in a harder plastic, Bones Black.

I picked up three figures in October to have a look at the quality. And I have been impressed. Not quite as crisp as metal, but if you apply the “Three Foot” rule you would not be able to tell the difference on the tabletop. As all cast figures there are moldlines. I haven”t quite perfected the technique of removing them, but that is down to me not to any problem with the models themselves. Primer was applied, next time I might give them a quick scrub in warm soapy water, and it stays where it should.

Here is the first figure I have been working on. As I said in previous posts I haven’t had much painting time in the last couple of months. Something I intend to remedy next year.

I am very enthusiastic about this range which is being added to every month. December’s releases have two figures which have been on my wishlist for a while. The prices are affordable, quality sculpts what is there not to like?

I would like to take this oppurtunity to wish everyone (and you Ruth) a Happy New Year!

The brush is dead! Long live the brush!

I have been meaning to replace my brush for the last year as hairs got less and less. But it was always I’ll do one more figure. I did briefly toy with another brush, but it split so I went back to my old faithful.

I bit the bullet about a week ago. i was sorting stuff out to make a painting area for Number Two Son when I came across a box of brushes carefully stored. Read hidden. In it was another of the same brush. Foundry Sable Mix General Detail.

If this new brush paints as well and lasts as long as the old brush I will be buying a few more.

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.

Paint a Bob

Another favourite thing. The Oldhammer Community Facebook page is running a “Paint a Bob” competition. During the month of September paint a figure sculpted by Bob Olley. To prevent any duplicity entrants had to post a photograph of their chosen model with this image as a backdrop.

I was undecided which model to pick, these wer my selections.

Sat at my desk this morning I decided on the Dwarves. Then I realised that they were a set of four, I dug the last one out.

#paintabob

Arsie’s Painting Toolbox

Now I have successfully trashed my following I can get back on track.

ars2Confession time, I love painting books.

ars3From G’Dub to Kevin Dallimore to CMoN via Angel Giraldez and Picca and Lappat. They are on a shelf above my painting area and frequently beside my bed for late night perusal. ars1This book was recommended on the ‘Eavier Metal painting group on Facebook. I ordered it, it wasn’t cheap, a bit out of my current financial comfort zone.

The book arrived fairly promptly and I sat down to study it. People say that first impressions count. I was hugely dissapointed and I have had great difficulty picking it up again to look at. I’ve had several attempts and each time is the same.

In his defence Javier Gonzales is a hugely talented painter as several Golden Demons and Slayer Swords attest.

So what is putting me off this book?

It is a combination of small things, the sum is greater than the whole.

The paper it is printed on feels cheap, slightly rough. All my other books, with the exception of the early G’Dub painting guides, are printed on coated stock. They have either a satin or glossy finish. They feel pleasant to handle. One factor in the perceived value of the book.

The next item is a design oversight which should have been picked up in the proof stage.ars8In the corner of each page is a little black paint splash which is intended (I think) to have the page number in. What really annoys me is that this is the second edition of this book and this should have been picked up. Numbers have been added at the top of the page but they feel just like an afterthought.

The type has been set Justified and leaves too many widows which makes for hard reading.ars6

ars7

Text aligned left and less leading. Much easier to read.

Visually there is too much leading, the space between the lines, dropping down a couple of points would have helped.

It definitely would help with the next problem, the layout of the step-by-steps. Less line spacing would have freed up more space to enable better layout.

ars5ars4If you look at the other layouts you can see that every picture clearly references a corresponding block of descriptive text.

ON THE SAME PAGE!

No flipping back and forth between pages to read about the techniques applied in the image. This really disrupts the flow of the tutorials. The Author references other instructional painting books yet fails to apply what makes them so good to his own work.

In chapter two, “Preparing the Figure” the Author has a picture of the various tools he uses. ars9Underneath is a numbered list of tools. But the numbers don’t refer to the picture which is unnumbered and some tools are missing. A couple of page later he refers to using a brass disc with a hand-drill to polish the surface of the model. What does this brass disc look like? How does he hold the model?

I wish I could read Spanish. Miniature painting is a subject the Author knows well and he has a passion for it. I think the translator has done him a disservice as at times the text is stilted and at times hard to make sense of.

Some of the images are out of focus and some diagrams are pixelated.

Is this book worth buying: No.

Would I recommend this book to other people: No

BUT with some work, noted above, the third edition may be worth considering.

 

I made a thing

Tired of taping bits of paper to books in order to photograph figures I made a thing.

It is big enough to hold a piece of A4 paper and the paper is held in place with magnets. There is not much more I can say about this. Once I’ve painted more things you will be able to see how useful it is.