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.
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
That is the plague update.
Going off topic. Again. I thought I would post this little nugget while I think about what to post next.
Living a little higher (read what you like into this) means that you are in the sunshine whilst everyone else is in the mirk.
This model was loosely inspired by a model I saw in the Trash Bash Bits group on Facebook. The original was made from a fly-swatter. It wasn’t quite what I had imagined but it sparked an idea.
The first iteration looked like this.
There were some issues, some of which I addressed in the next iteration.
The next iteration was like this.
Comparison shot of the two. You can see I have added some extra detailing to the cabin roof.
Iteration two with cargo and kitten for scale.
Iteration three will elimate these issues and hopefully be the final model.
Now I have successfully trashed my following I can get back on track.
Confession time, I love painting books.
From 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. This 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.In 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.
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.
If 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. Underneath 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.
“Hello” to my new followers, or rather I should say “Hello” to my new random followers. I’ve visited your blogs. We have nothing in common.
I am a curmudgeonly old git with no social skills or graces. There are no pearls of wisdom to scatter before you. If you think that using someone elses quotes and random unattributed stock photos is going to set the blogosphere alight. well ….
Somehow I don’t see myself ever being an “influencer”. Already that word is starting to have negative connotations.
If you take the trouble to examine my site stats you can see that I barely have a handful of followers and lurkers, hello Ruth. I am certain that there are a couple of bots and one is a dog. Добро пожаловать мои верные товарищи-роботы! И собачий приятель.
I blog to keep sane.
I blog, badly, about a very dull niche topic.
I blog about nothing that would help you raise your blog profiles. In fact linking to my blog would probably kill your traffic.
Feel free to unfollow.
Images are Copyright their respective owners. Used without permission.
Finally we are a four cat family again. One cat for each of us. May I introduce Queenie.
She is my replacement for Brian who sadly died a couple of years ago. Very much a cuddle cat, except when play hunting, But as yet she hasn’t learned to curl up on my lap when I’m working.
Every summer my Wife and the Boys drive down to Croatia for a holiday. Well somebody has to stay and tend to the chickens and cats. My chance to have a bit of time to myself and spread out and finish any projects that have been on hold for a while. I was a bit ill with a virus that made me very tired and demotivated so I didn’t do as much as I wanted.
Way back in 2011 I was approaching my redundancy at St. Martins and I used the time wisely. I made a whole load of these.
A plastic base, wire looped and glued into position, sand and PVA applied and primed in black. I didn’t do anything with them until now. This was the base build for some hedges. Following Mel’s videos on his YouTube channel I made a load of foam clump foliage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN16RxVNrvc Then following Luke’s videos on his YouTube channel I hade some flock. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsmD5774MOQhjYBkXqu3Jdw Using Luke’s videos I purchased some Tacky Glue, I must find somewhere here in Austria that stocks it because the postage was a killer. At my local DIY store I purchased some spray adhesive.
Stage One: paint base brown. Stage Two: drybrush base. Stage Three: apply Tacky Glue to wire and press on clump foliage. Stage Four: spray on adhesive and sprinkle with flock. I didn’t bother photographing these stages as you will get a better idea from the videos.
I must mention that Mel has been hard at work and recently had a Kickstarter to promote a book all about making wargaming terrain. If you missed it, or like me don’t have a form of money that Kickstarter recognises…. you can get on board herehttps://terrain-essentials.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
This was my fourth Summer working here and I think my last. I greatly enjoyed the production side of the job, the actual making and preparing for the festival. But working at the festival under the supervision of “Team Leaders” who liked to show off their status and avoid actual work was not so much fun.
So let’s crack on with the pictures. Look away if you are at all squeemish. It was my Summer job, but on the first day it snowed.
I had a little mishap. The “official” story is that I was in a container and dropped a big box of screws on my toe. The end result was that I ended up in hospital with a broken toe. I’m waiting on what is happening with sick pay. HR have been nice to me so far, and I had two weeks working in the storage/supplies, in theory with my foot up as recommended by the hospital, in practise errr… no.
On the first day of the festival Red Bull put on an amazing display, which my old camera was far too slow to capture. Four aircraft, two WW2 Planes and an acrobatic plane and jet. The whole display was wasted on the crowd who were seriously indifferent.
Sound systems from around the campsite. Some people didn’t even bother going to the festival and spent their time partying there.
And Paris Hilton came to visit. She didn’t say, “Hi!” though.
So that’s the Summer done and dusted. I have been a little slow on the progress reports. A combination of laziness and the Black Dog.
Look forwards to a flurry of updates, well maybe one or two. Let’s start with the painting done before Electric Love.
These two are from the Old School Miniatures range. “The Circus of Corruption” Jamie sent them to me and it seemed rude not to paint them up.
More updates on the painting coming soon. KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES!
I really should have written this much sooner, as always laziness overtook me.
For a far more eloquent account of this event I will direct you to
I decided to forgo Walter’s Austrian Salute this year. Walter has no intention of expanding and with last years event with a lack of sales and culinary disaster I wasn’t keen to attend.
Christoph’s event, Tabletop Knights, was a bigger event and he is keen to expand.
Preparing for this event has taken a couple of months making two display boards, Nessus and Gone?
Two days beforehand i was struck down with the lurgy, cold, tired runny nose. Great!
First day of the school holidays, which would normally be spent sleeping in, we got up extra early so we could drive to Germany and set up for nine.
There were a couple of traders there.
Obviously Christoph with his lasercut Roostermodels products. Which reminds me to get a banner made up.
Roll The Dice. I had made some little give-aways for them and Martin appreciated them. I had hoped that he would bring some paint along as I have a few gaps with need filling. Sadly no.
Spiele Cafe had a tombola, which my Son’s happily indulged in, and some demo games.
Spellebrette (can’t read my writing) had discount GW.
The day was started by and address by Korbi.
So on to the tables and games.
Roll the Dice had two demo games. Wild West Exodus and the Warlord Games ripoff of Wings of War.
Trade was very slow. Until lunchtime my biggest sellers were some coffee mats that I’d made with scraps of wood from the Happylab recycle bin. I managed to sell my entire box of scrap off-cuts from laser cutting. I had a couple of enquiries about making some custom token trays. Sadly nothing has come of this. Martin from Roll the Dice bought some of my static grass to test out the waters.
I did enter the painting competion, and got a third place in the single figure catagory with my Earth Warden.
There was no culinary disasters and the food was hot, plentiful and reasonably priced.
Overall the day was a bit of a disapointment. Low sales, a supposed gaming opponent didn’t show and a long wait due to the 40K tournament for the awards ceremony. If I do attend next year I will not be putting such an effort into a display board.
One day I will learn how to take decent photos of my painting. Maybe if I stop gadding about from project to project? One thing that I have seen has been a little photographic scenic corner made by one of the Oldhammer Community. That would be useful and wouldn”t take up too much space. So I set out to make one. This is my work in progress and I’ll post when finished.
Here are a couple of bits that I painted last year that I think I didn’t post up.
To everyone out there…..
I have been a bit brow beaten and full of self doubt over the last few months which is why I haven’t been posting much.
Unwards and upwards (hopefully) for 2019.
The memories are now hazy, blurred by a trip to Legoland and a week in Vienna setting up an eSports event.
Laughingly called a sport, in my opinion, as most of the contestants would have problems touching their toes let alone running for the bus. I did leave the event feeling slim and socially capable. So that was a nice plus.
Anyway I digress.
Again it was a beautiful autumnal morning and I arrived in time to hand out some of my business cards to the queue. It did result in a spike of viewings but not a lot else. After that I got a little overwhelmed by everything.
I looked at all my indicated places of interest and said, “Hello” to a friend from my reenacting days. He now runs Early War Miniatures, specialising in 20mm World War One.
Luckily I was rescued from my bewilderment by two Oldhammerers. There was a loose plan to meet at the Foundry stand at midday. Mark Stevenson of Asgard Collectors.
And Ian Smedley. They took me to a nearby hostelry and regaled me with tales from the early history of miniature gaming over a nice pint.
I wandered back, slightly more relaxed, and made a few purchases. Not as many as planned though. Some of the figures were a little disappointing to view in the flesh and some bits I should have preordered as traders don’t always bring their full stock. Then I got into a fluster about what I should or shouldn’t buy. Probably the best plan is to make a plan and buy as I go.
I did manage to get in a game of Gaslands. Another interesting set of rules from Osprey. This one is car combat set in an apocalyptic background.
This game was a Zombie Bash presented by Essex Warriors
As I was overwhelmed by everything I didn’t manage to take photos of the event. However this blog did.
Afterwrds back to my gaming buddy’s place and up at sparrow’s fart to get the early plane back home.