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!

Tool making

One project I backed on Kickstarter last year was; Tabletop terrain from XPS foam: Buildings. This is a book detailing the construction of buildings from, yeah you guessed it, XPS foam. I’ve been looking at upping my game on terrain modelling and this book might just help. Laser cutting is good for some things, but you just can’t do curves and organic shapes. But a mixture of both should be the killer combination.

Looking at the images online pecils and pens have been used to form some of the detailing. Being the horder that I am I have loads of bits of metal lying around underemployed. A bit of cutting, a bit of cutting, some dowel rod, a bit of two part epoxy glue and a splash of paint I ended up with these.

Four different sized scribing tools. Slightly wonky (technical term) as I didn’t drill quite perpendicular to the dowel.

Here is a link to the book which will describe it far more eloquently than I could.

Tabletop terrain from XPS foam: Buildings

If this tempts you there still is the option to be a late backer.

A resolution for 2020

I have decided this year to have a resolution. Normally I don’t. They generally last for a couple of weeks and then fizzle out. Like gym attendences after January.

This Year’s Resolution is….

REPAIR, MAKE, STRIP AND SORT.

The plan is to do one of these activities a week throughout the year. I have made fifty two tick boxes in my journal.

There are odd little repair jobs that have been mounting up in my workshop for the last couple of years. Now is the time to get on and do them. Most will only take a couple of hours to do and I have been putting them off. If I do them it will make more working space and earn brownie points with the family.

I have started so many little projects and then left them when something else pops into my little head. Again more space in the workshop.

Figures sitting in jars of Methylated spirits. I have three jars on the go. Some of them haven’t seen the light of day for four years.

Boxes of random stuff from the move from England. Containers full of mixed screws. I have homes for this stuff, now.

If I do more than one of these tasks in a week then I will tick as many boxes as jobs done. The target is fity two tasks by the end of the year and if I do it sooner great!

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!

More distractions

My Number One Son asked me to paint his Nerf gun. He wanted it dirty and greasy like my tanks.

He is delighted by it. Now to test how resilient the paint is.

I did post it on Facebook last night and so far have had over 125 likes. This is slightly frustrating as I generally only get about 30 or 40 likes for my own work. C’est la vie.

Frohe Weihnachten

This last couple of months has seen me busy, but not, sadly, painting. First point of atta ck was my workshop. I am due to inherit some tools and workshop furniture from my departed father-in-law and I want to get everything ready so that the bits can slot into place with the minimum bother.

One view of how the workshop used to look.
And now the new look.

The cabinet in the middle, with the blue drawers, has been made to house various small bits and bobs that had been floating around without a place to live. The carcass was made from 12mm plywood generously supplied by Electric Love. I even had a couple of young lads who were at a loose end cut the timber for me.

I’ve made some more screw boxes as I have a large collection of unsorted screws. The screws were collected from Electric Love, at the end of the festival the tool cases were emptied and all the loose screws were binned.

Having to get up at a rediculously early hour to get the Boys ready for school is that there have been some quite amazing sunrises. Here are a couple, unfiltered or tampered with.

The next job which has taken the most time was making a painting area for Number Two Son. This necessitated moving book cases and vitrines around the Hobby Room.

He will be getting my old paint shelves and I shall make some expanded ones for me seeing that my paint collection has grown. I will take more photos of the Hobby Room once it has been cleared. My Daughter, Boyfriend and my Granddaughter stayed for ten days, so all the excess furniture we had been storing in the Guest Flat got decanted down into the Hobby Room.

Finally I would like to wish you all Season’s Greetings.

This Years card

Here be Dragon

Old School Miniatures have a new project up for pre-order, The Battle of the Vale. Featuring Halflings fighting off various chaotic thugs.

The main attraction for me is the Dragon and the Thief.

https://www.oldschoolminiatures.co.uk/the-dragon–the-thief-43-c.asp

This has been sculpted by the depressingly talented Aaron Howdle.

You can visit his website and take a peek at his rather lovely illustrations.

Portfolio

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.

Ian Miller’s Grim Tarock

This is a Kickstarter that I have backed. Ian Miller has produced a lot of imagery that has influenced Warhammer and the original artists behind it.

You can see more about his work here  www.ian-miller.org and here www.instagram.com/edwindorf 

These are the Trump cards from the forthcoming set of cards.
Copyright Ian Miller and used without permission.

For a collector of Oldhammer and a fan of his work this is definitely worth jumping on board for. For more details and to back the project, go here

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brassmonkeygames/ian-millers-grim-tarock?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=ian%20miller

Going back Gnome

The most excellent OS Miniatures company has a new Kickstarter.

More Gnomes!

As you know I have a great love for these figures and can’t wait to get my hands on this new unit and extras.

Please go and support it.

A new Member?

This Blog isn’t usually used to promote politics, however on of my followers is standing for election in the upcoming UK elections.

May I present Steve Heller, prospective MP for Camborne and Redruth.

Mr Heller writes for the wonderful news site Cornish News. Highly recommended for its topic takes on news items from around Cornwall.

https://cornishnews.com/

Here is Steve’s manifesto.

Proper job

Orktober

Orktober this year has been rather busy. A trip to London and reorganising the hobby room so I can put a painting desk in for Number Two Son.

I did however manage to finish this little tankette.

The main chasis is from Ramshackle Games.

The main part of the turret, the exhausts and the Schürzen are scratch built.

The Ork is from Kromlech

https://bitsofwar.com/home/125-orc-tank-crew-.html

London Loot

Stand by for a picture heavy post on what I picked up in London on my recent visit. Some were eBay purchases delivered to my friend Seb and others were bought at SELWG.

These were eBay’d. I got them mainly for the pictures. The Fantasy Warlord for the old skool Gary Chalk Iillustration and the fluff is supposed the be interesting. The rules allegedly a bit cack. The High Elves for painting inspiration. I have fallen under the spell of High Elves since the G’Dub boxed set The Island of Blood. The new plastics are superb and lovely to paint.

Airbrush cleaning pot, gradually getting tooled up in this department.

This was and end of day purchase at SELWG and a bargain at £3.50.

It is about time I replace my current painting brush, it has about three bristles left but I can’t stop using it. There should be enough for me and Son Number Two who is interested in painting figures.

This was a gift from Seb. These are some Halflings from a recent Kickstarter run by TT Combat. I can see a use for most of them.

This is the final part of a Renaissance Army Kickstarter that I backed a couple of years ago.

This was something I picked up at Forbidden Planet. I have started collecting a Chaos Army and I quite liked this figure, Typhus Herald of Nurgle. To pick it up on it’s own was silly money. To buy it with the WH 40K Conquest magazine was a more reasonable £6.99.

I mail ordered these figures to have a peek and see if I liked the material. These are the new Bones Black from Reaper. The original Bones was a horrible bendy white plastic lacking in detail. The new Black is more like a resin and at first glance seems very good. I will report back on this, because it means figures within my budget.

This was in a bargain box for 50p and I think I have a use for them to make some alien tribesmen with some Perry plastics.

This little guy is from Warploque Miniatures and is going to be the musician in an Albionnican unit.

Some chickens, ducks and pigs from Redoubt. I am slowly building up my livestock.

A bit T&A but she’ll go nicely with the bowman that was a freebie from Salute a couple of years back.

From the bargain box at Colonel Bills. He is destined to be a statue in my Italianate castle.

I have a little diarama in mind for these guys. I have a Churchill and a Hitler to go with them.

Again a bit T&A, she is to go with my Albion Army.

I have, in a box, a couple of marching Roman units complete with carts. These will help flesh it out a bit.

Pre ordered from Essex, some more Bob Olley goodness for my slowly growing Dwarf army.

Another Essex Dwarf. This guy is destined to be chopped at the waist and nailed to the lower half of a Dwarven rider.

This is from Crooked dice. He will be part of my Beastman Unit in my Not Imperial Guard 40K army.

Crooked Dice from their recent Colony 87 Kickstarter. Adding to my sci fi civilians.

Stetch goals from the Colony 87 Kickstarter. Some are useful, others …….

There you have it! More toys that won’t get painted and just added to the Lead Mountain.

London 2019

I am off to London. Is this going to be an annual event? This year is a two pronged attack: the main reason is to see my new Granddaughter and the secondary reason to visit SELWG. Supplementary to that is to pick up some food supplies and to meet my gaming buddy Seb.

I arrived at the airport far too early and regretted not bringing a book. Ryanairs new cabin bag policy means that I cannot bring my usual rollie suitcase and had to have a much smaller bag.

Sneaky gitz

Nevermind I have a few books waiting for me curtesy of eBay.

I am still surprised how much people are hooked into their mobiles and become zombified.

A bit of a dull dull flight but on the bonus side it arrived twenty minutes early and the luggage was waiting for me once I cleared border security.

I hopped onto a bus to Liverpool Street to meet a friend for lunch. It was certainly amazing to see the sheer amount of building work going on, everywhere. Shoreditch certainly has gone up-market from the shabby trendy area it once was.

Lunch was chinese, my first in six years and thinking about it as I type my mouth has started salivating.

From there to 4D Models to pick up some bits and pieces. They can post, but the postage would cost more than the actual items.

The day ended in Upton Park at my friends Sabba and Mark.

Thursday started with a nice walk across West Ham Park to the site of Sabba and Mark’s new house. The wild parakeets have moved eastwards and have started colonising the park. Sabba and Mark have taken an old terrace house, reduced it to a shell and then added to it. I had a few nervous moments climbing rickety ladders to view the various levels.

I saw the afternoon in Central London. First port of call was Forbidden Planet. So many nice things, my Wife’s wallet and my baggage allowance wouldn’t allow it. On to Hardy’s Old Fashioned Sweetshop to buy advent gifts for the Boys.

Late lunch at C&R, a nice Kampung Style Nasi Goreng. Something that I didn’t get around to last year. Then a little mooch around town via Rymans and Muji for stationary and to WH Smiths for some magazines.

I popped down to Trafalgar Square to see what was happing. There were more police than Extinction Rebellion.

Back to Sabba and Mark’s for dinner at Chawalla’s. It was every bit as good as last year.

First thing was coffee at my old house with Simon and Andrea, the new owners. It’s nice to see how the house hasn’t changed but the garden has grown and evolved.

Next stop waaay across London to visit my Daughter and new Granddaughter.

Poundshop glue

That kept me busy until late the next day when I travelled back across London just catching the tail end of the Anti-Brexit march.

I spent the evening at my gaming buddys Seb’s place. I placated his Wife with a big pile of Austrian chocolates and I presented him with some bits I had made for him.

The morning of SELWG was beautiful, crisp and autumnal. Seb and I arrived with plenty of time for a leisurely walk across the park to the venue, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

I didn’t bother this year handing out flyers as last year I had an increase in viewing but zero sales.

This year I made sure I had eaten beforehand so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed like last year. Obviously me being me I wasn’t organised to take photos. So I would recommend visiting https://onelover-ray.blogspot.com/2019/10/selwg-2019.html

The first stop for us was the Bring & Buy to drop off some bits for selling. Ahead of me was a gentleman selling some Gripping Beast Arab Spearmen, on my wanted list, but by the time I was processed they had been snaffled up. One vendor close by was selling off his stock at 50% and I just missed some of the new GW Squigs.

The morning whizzed by and before I knew it it was time to go and have lunch with Iain Smedley. We went down to a local pub The Bridge for a delicious Sunday Roast of beef. British beef tastes much better than Austrian.

Back to the show which seemed to have quietened down and managed to get a game of, “What a Tanker!”

Quick and fun. I will be looking out for the rule-set, from Too Fat Lardies and maybe I can persuade to Boys to play it. Obviously I lost to Seb, but that is the history of our gaming.

Back to Seb’s at the end of the day for last minute packing. I managed to get my main bag to 10 Kilos but my cabin bag was much more than that. I had a bit of a sleepless night tossing and turning worrying about my cabin bag. Up at sparrow’s fart to get the 05.10 bus to Stanstead. Going through security I got pulled up because I forgot to transfer a bottle of Angustura Bitters to my hold luggage. I kept my cabin bag discretely slung over my shoulder out of sight and managed to avoid a €25 surcharge. My back hasn’t forgiven me yet. Another dull flight and back home.

So would I go again? It was nice to see friends, meet new relatives and eat great food. But the show itself? The traders are the same old same old and the thing about Salute is that you get a load of new faces with new models hoping to get your attention. From the traders at SELWG I’ve bought everything in their ranges that is useful or interesting. For me to go again there is going to have to be some pretty major players turning up and to be honest I don’t think that is going to happen. Let’s see what happens with Brexit and how I feel next year.

Gifts

On my trip to London I was planning to stay with my old gaming buddy Seb. https://mugodice.wordpress.com/

Us two

I really wanted to make something really nice for him to say thankyou for putting me up and for all the wonderful birthday presents he has given me. For some reason I am never organised enough to get a present to him in time for his birthday.

We had both backed the Kickstarter for Open Combat, a skirmish wargame. https://www.secondthunder.com/ But neither of us had played it. I know that for Seb space is at a premium so I decided to make him a portable version. The rules are written for 28mm but the author also suggests that it can be played in 15mm and convert the measurements from inches to centimeters. This means the suggested playing area would be 24 centimeters.

Here I am measuring some canvas to be used for the play area. Obligatory kitten for scale.
Double checking size and trimming.
Long suffering Wife hemming the edge for me.
Spreading on a mixture of silicon and paint.
Applying sand, for the path and flock.
Excess removed and ready for play.

I had instructions about how to make the playmat from The Terrain Tutor’s Youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx_aro8CTHw7ZD5H661hC6Q

The flock instructions came from Luke’s APS Youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsmD5774MOQhjYBkXqu3Jdw

The finished box, roughly shoe box sized.
Lid removed.
Hills. I went with a stylistic approach which is easier to place figures.
Difficult terrain.
Fields.
Individual trees and standing stone.
The dice tray revealed.
Dice tray removed to reveal figure storage.
Action tokens and movement sticks.

The figures came from Alternative Armies. There were some nice ones and a couple of ropey ones. That’s what comes of buying blind I suppose. https://www.alternative-armies.com/

I hope Seb is pleased with this and gets a chance to play.