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.