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.

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.

Mistakes were made

I have made my first catalogue. You can download it here.

I do sort of like the layout but there are aspects which could change. As I had a short window in which to make it and dealing with day to day life it didn’t get as much attention as it deserved. Version Two, a job for later in the year, will be much better. When I hit Version Three I will get a properly printed copy. As with a large majority of my work it takes a couple of attempts to get it right.

Here are my two biggest concerns.

I learned a very valuable lesson there.

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.

Romanes eunt domus

You may remember a couple of posts back where I was getting excited about a Kickstarter from Grenzer Games. Some rather nice looking 15mm Romans. Not that I needed them. This project has been postponed. Here is why in their own words.

Never Defeated!

After a long discussion this week at Grenzer HQ we have sadly decided to cancel the project at this time, BUT, we will be back with an updated, new and shiny campaign, in 30 days. This time frame is an approximation due to the Corona virus situation in China, which has had an impact on the country’s industrial efficiency.

We have listened to what everyone has said in the comments, here and in forums and blogs, and are readdressing the campaign with your suggestions in mind. We are taking this time to address the overall production costs, which are quite honestly, killing us, and are the reason that the campaign funding goal and stretch goals were so high. So we’re gathering a new set of quotations that will help us achieve a product cost and funding goal that is a more manageable amount. 

We are also coming back with some updated box content, and providing you guys with our fully fledged rule set At Lances Point, alongside the miniatures, which is what they are designed for. These will be available in a PNP (print and play) format from the Grenzer Games website – http://www.grenzergames.co.uk and look for the ALP page for more info.

The campaign page will stay open during this redevelopment time, so that we can still talk to you all, provide you with updates on what’s happening and listen to your feedback. We will also post a link to the print and play rule set so that you can download them, give them a try and tell us what you think.

I had started preparations for the Romans by making some casualty makers and some order tokens.

I didn’t factor in how fiddly it is to paint the Roman shields

Further updates can be found at http://www.grenzergames.co.uk

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.

Kickstarters and cake

I should have mentioned Kevin Adams’s Kickstarter a couple of days ago……. but

Anyway here it is. It is out of my range, price wise, which is a pity because it looks brilliant. I’ll leave you with the link so you can make up your own mind about this.

Next up are the 15mm Romans which I have no need for but to which I am strangely attracted to. This is live today.

Romani ite domum

This past weekend was the last day of temporary Red Shirt Klemens at Warhammer Salzburg. He’s been nice to the Boys whenever we visited the store and it’s a pity to see him go. so in honour of the occassion we baked him a cake.

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/

What have the Romans ever done for us?

I need to start collecting a new army at a new scale like I need a hole in the head. The Lead Mountain is not decreasing. I will be getting another four plus units of my beloved Gnomes from OS Miniatures later this Spring. I want to get my 40K Ork army more in a stage of completion ready for Armies on Parade in October. That Heresy Dragon ain’t gonna paint itself! So why am I drooling over this?

I do like my Romans, from Asterix (have you seen the two latest animated films?), to Cato and Macro and to The Eagle of the Ninth. I do have a 28mm Roman Army all based up for Fields of Glory, never played sadly. I must photograph it and post it up.

Recently Gripping Beast have produced their Milites Mundi rules with some 10mm Romans, but they didn’t quite do it for me. They would be perfect for Warmaster which I have a hankering for. Then popping up in my Facebook feed came these images from Grenzer Games.

They are only renders at the mement, but generally nowadays plastics match the renders pretty well. I don’t need a 15mm army! What ruleset? How to base them? Well I suppose that would be dependant on the ruleset. Anyway have a look at what is getting me all excited.

And there are more images available on their website.

https://grenzergames.co.uk/

Grenzer Games are launching a Kickstarter.

For transparancy, I am in no way afilliated with Grenzer Games, don’t know them from Adam but they have been friendly on Facebook. If you guys from Grenzer do read this and want to send some for review……… me and my two followers would be appreciative.

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!