This month I have mainly been despondent. A mixture of birthday blues and the weather. After an amazing autumn the winter has come, it’s all grey and bleak. This month’s workbench was all about finishing the unit of Fir Bolg for my Albion Army. I really started to hate batch painting and not really liking the colour scheme I used. So I broke off to paint one of Alex Huntley’s Arcworlde miniature. Do check out his company, Warploque Miniatures.
He is alarmingly young and alarmingly talented. His figures have a certain style, not to everyone’s taste I will say, which I like. I backed his Kickstarter because I believe that in about ten years if we keep supporting him he will be an awesome sculptor. This perked me up a bit. I do enjoy painting single figures.
Then I got on with the Bolt Action Dad’s Army squad. These were Foundry figures. Much nicer than the ones that Warlord Games released. It’s obvious when you know that the Foundry ones were sculpted by the Perrys. Some of the figures I had already painted in England. I just wanted to get the squad finished and the command. Had a little play around with the movement trays to make them a bit more interesting.
Then it was back to the slog of the Fir Bolg. I painted them in block colour and it was only a couple of days ago that I finished that. I dug out two new brushes to finally replace my old ones. The fine detail one was down to four bristles and the blocker wouldn’t hold it’s shape. My new fine brush is a Creative Models Synthetic 2/0. So far impressed. And the blocker is a Daler-Rowney Dalon D77 1. Not so sure yet. New brushes suddenly made the painting easier. I perked up a bit but the figures were just not doing it for me. Then two days ago I finished the blocking. Time for a wash, using Army Painters Strong Tone Wash. POP! Much more interesting. Shadows, grubbiness more depth. I’ve highlighted the bones. It just remains to finish the bases, paint the eyes a glowing pink (or green, haven’t quite decided) and paint the Cross of Saynte George in Tamiya Clear Red; once varnished.
So still a couple more days work before starting December’s work.
And having to go to Vienna for a Nicholaus Party.
Oh the suffering!
Some more work avoidance, the Vicar and the Verger from my Bolt Action unit. Although they are on the work list I really should be concentrating on my Fir Bolg. I just don’t fancy batch painting at the moment.
Part of my work for this month is to finish a unit of Home Guard for Bolt Action. I’m using Foundry’s Home Guard Heroes which seem to bear a strong resemblance to the characters in Dad’s Army. The main characters were prepped and ready to paint but I was missing the Vicar, the Verger and Hodges. I remembered they were in storage with the rest of our belongings from England.
In the past I had relied on my Wife to drive me there or I caught a bus. When the Wife drove me there we were always on a tight schedule. It was either the Boy’s short attention span, it is a bit boring sitting in a large warehouse surrounded by boxes, or trying to fit the visit into the couple of hours the Boys were at kindergarten. Catching the bus always seemed to involve long waits and of course paying nine euros for the journey. As I’m not earning I’m trying hard not to impact on the family finances.
So yesterday I got thinking, I wanted a cheap way to get to the lager and I wanted to have all the time I need without being dependant on anyone. The solution was obvious when I thought about it. The lager is on the banks of the River Salzach and we live close to the river. So all I have to do is cycle there!
So I mounted my rusty steed and set off this morning. The journey took about forty five minutes and it was rather beautiful; the river on one side, forest in full autumnal splendour on the other and snow capped mountains ahead.
When Digging through my stuff I found so many distractions. I can see why it is such a good idea to keep my Lead Mountain out of sight. Over half an hour was spent looking through boxes and imagining painting the figures within.
A forgotten distraction
I did uncover a box of Talisman and Judge Dredd figures that I’d forgotten about.
Then it was time to wend my weary way back home. This gave me some thinking time. I always think better when I’m out walking or cycling.
After a round trip of just over twenty two kilometres I got home with the figures I was after and time away from the flat. Salzburg is pretty, but there isn’t a whole lot I want to see or do there, so I tend to spend a lot of time in the flat. Painting and blogging are the things that keep me sane.
Well I managed to finish painting the thirty strong unit of Celts from Warlord Games. All that remains is to finish the movement tray and the shields. The shields can wait because the transfers provided by Warlord were frankly very disappointing. They looked as if they had been printed on a cheap laser printer that was running low on toner. I’ll wait until I get to Salute and get some shield transfers from Little Big Man Studios.
This month is not going to plan and this month’s work is going to probably be finished in September.
Days out at Wallersee, our local lake.
Mountain walks with Number One Son
And wanting to try out some weathering effects on the Command Vehicle from Ramshackle Games.
Here it is with the chipping waiting for a coat of hairspray.
Then sprayed white then distressed with warm water and a cotton bud. It is slightly depressing to see the hours worth of painting disappearing under a coat of paint only to reveal a small part.
Next I get to try out some AK Interactive weathering products on the plough. So far my impression that it isn’t that amazing. It’s basically an expensive jar of Humbrol paint. This may change with more use. Next to the plough you can see that I have been making a start on the Celts. It has been a bit of a slog, clipping, cleaning mold lines, basing and then painting the flesh.
This is the unit with the flesh starting to take form. I’m using Foundry paints for this. Standing on a pot is the unit champian.
I am grateful to Sigur from Battlebrush Studios http://www.battlebrushstudios.com
for giving me the tip about Vallejo Metal Medium. This gives a beautiful metallic sheen, just what my Romans needed to make them stand out more.
Originally they were painted in base colours and then dipped in Army Painter Strong Tone Dip. The end result was OK, but nothing special. The metal was rather dull and lifeless. Now with this I can put my army on the table without too much embarrasment.
I just need to learn how to win.
This year is the first time that I won’t be going to Salute. I’ve been attending for the last ten years; from when it was at Earls Court to its present incarnation at Excel in Docklands. Salute is an opportunity to see products in the flesh rather than on the web, an opportunity to see new manufacturers showcasing their new products and obviously to buy something that is just perfect to paint. One day.
There is however another Salute, in my adopted homeland of Austria. Smaller obviously, this will be it’s fourth year as opposed to the thirty four years of the English one. When I spoke to Walter Kraus, the organiser, he said the plan was to make it bigger and better each year. This Salute is being run by Silent Night Games, purportedly the biggest gaming club in Austria. http://www.silent-night-games.at
I set off today for a few blissful child-free hours and arrived at Gasthaus Zur Bahn just after ten and was warmly greeted by Walter.
There were thirteen tables covering a range of periods and rulesets, the majority in English.
Field of Glory, 15mm Battle of Bannockburn.
Flames of War, Arab Israeli War.
Freebooters Fate, this was the best looking table in my opinion.
Westwind’s Empire of the Dead.
Beneath the Lilly Banner.
Two Bolt Action tables covering modern Afghanistan and a WW2 USA v Japan.
An unknown air combat.
And a WW1 15mm Austria v Russia using the Piquet ruleset.
Traders were thin on the ground with only one almost stand of some lacklustre expensive laser cut scenery.
I had brought some painted work with me and I spent some time showing them to Georg from Battlebrush Studios. http://www.battlebrushstudios.com
He revealed his secret for the final highlight on metal armour. Vallejo Metal Medium. I have put that on my wishlist.
What I did learn, if I am brave enough, is to be bolder with my highlights and the shading. Georg’s figures have the “Pop and Wow” factor that I am after.
This version of Salute doesn’t compete with the original, yet. Some visiting traders might bring more gamers keen to look and stock up, which may in turn may bring more traders.
Onwards and upwards!
Here’s to the future success of this incarnation of Salute.
These are the ten books I would recommend for a bookshelf. Bear in mind that this is my choice and that it isn’t to everybody’s taste. I would welcome any suggestions as there is always something new to learn regarding our magnificent obsession.
So here they are in no particular order.
Editing is an arse on WordPress. I want my text aligned left and the bugger centers it!
FAQ 2 by Mig Jemenez. It was a toss up between this or the excellent Tank Art by Michael Rinaldi. This won by a gnats as it covers so many techniques. Military modelling is leading miniature figure painting and these techniques can feed into miniatures. As an aside, I am really surprised there is no brass etch after market for GW/Forgeworld vehicles. I suppose I could just look out for 1:48th scale accessories. You are going to see these techniques more and more often so it doesn’t hurt to be ahead of the curve. Don’t be surprised if GW bring out some form of chipping medium in the near future. In the also rans is Forgeworld’s Model Masterclass Volume Two
Art of War published by Battlefront. This is a bit of a cheat as it is two magazines. Sadly Battlefront haven’t followed up on these. This has proved to be inspirational showing it is possible to paint 15mm figures to the standard of 28s rather than the blobs of paint that I see so often.
These are great for seeing the uniforms of the armies I am painting “in the flesh”.
British Napoleonic Uniforms by C.E. Franklin. A bit dry but a useful reference. The only things missing were Aide des Camp (?) and artillery which is covered in another volume.
Foundry Miniatures Painting and Modelling Guide by Kevin Dallimore. The three colour paint style popularised by Kevin and supported by Foundry’s paint system is a bit cartoony, but when you apply the “Three foot rule” (ie you look at the figures on the tabletop, not in your hand) it works very well. I want to perfect this technique. My figures look quite good close up, OK not competition standard, but tend to be indistinct at a distance. I have a friend whose armies (he has quite a few) really Pop on the tabletop but are a little disappointing close up. My aim is for Pop and Wow. This book is full of examples and step by step guides. Starting with One Colour models, tournament basic standard, then Two Colour and finally Three Colour painting. Helpfully the guides use the same model so you can compare and contrast. If I had to pick one book from this list of ten, it would be this one. The techniques can be applied can be applied to any manufacturers paint system. Or a mix’n’match as I do.
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rules Third Edition and Warhammer Armies. A bit of a cheat again again having a two in one. There is a joy in these rules. A game can be fun. I do miss the humour of the Fluff from the eighties. This is what got me into gaming when I was reading my friends White Dwarfs. I think I’ll stick to these rules rather than spend another fifty odd quid on yet another humourless set of rules and army book. Rumoured for later this year. There is a growing community of gamers going back to Third Edition rules with a friendly forum to exchange ideas. Oldhammer http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk Saying that I’ll probably get some of the new Orc figures when they come out. It would be nice to see some new Orcs, Goblins, Wolfriders and Chariots.
Cool Mini Or Not Annual. Sometimes the photography is a bit iffy. But it is so inspirational to see figures from manufacturers you’ve never heard of painted to really high standards. I’ve bought figures on the basis of what I’ve seen. Reaper I name and shame you! I haven’t yet dared to enter any figures on the site, but nothing ventured etc. I’ll post when I have.
This one is a toss up depending on your tastes. Sadly Rackham are no more, so unless you have won the lottery their figures are out of reach of us mere (skint) mortals. So this is just meditation material. Gaze with amazement at the figures you’ll never be able to paint. The GW catalogue is also another dreamers book. I would love to have pictures of the individual sprues next to the models. Sadly GW no longer do parts, just imagine the kit bashing opportunities?