Just before last Christmas I received a mystery package. I knew who it was from thanks to the wonders of return addresses. Curiosity was hold on hold until the day. We actually celebrate twice; once on the twenty fourth, the Austrian one; and on the twenty fifth, the English one.
Those of you two followers (don’t forget the dog!) who have been paying attention may have noticed that I rather like Bob Olley. Getting an original pencil drawing by the Man Himself was something special.
Welcome to 2022. Who knows what shitstorm it will throw at us. Thankfully the last two years haven’t been so bad for us. A combination of a large house and garden and good weather. Hopefully this coming year will be kinder to a lot of people.
As promised here is a round up of the painting from last year.
This is part of my modular terrain
This was a big paint project that I had been putting off for a while. I don’t know what I will use it for. But I wanted it.
I have to say thankyou to Jamie Loft, Old School Miniatures, for the Gnomes AND for the 2021 Painting Challenge on Facebook. Without it I would have not been at all motivated to paint.
This year has gone in a flash what with lockdowns and isolations. Yes Wife and Number Two Son got it. Thankfully not seriously.
I did manage my 2021 Paint Challenge, but I didn’t finish the scary dozen. Sad face emoji. BUT I got The Dragon finished. Happy face emoji.
For 2022 I have four big projects to finish up. Bloodbowl, all printed up and now to be painted. Heroquest, paint the board and finish printing parts. Spacehulk, all the parts are printed and now need painting. Finally the modular terrain table, all the tiles are assembled and need painting/detailing.
Next year I need to carefully consider what I am printing rather than the scattershot approach of the last two years. And try and finish all the half started projects on my desk.
Yeh right! Like that’s going to happen!
My two products of the year are. Army Painter Dry Rust Effect paint, just brilliant. Secondly I have a new supplier of 3D printing Filament, GST3D. I have been getting some good results and they are European.
I forgot to add to my last post a commission for Keta Minies.
Last year I had posted about the Kickstarter by this shy retiring sculptor. A whole range of props and accessories for your fantasy adventurers. Brilliantly sculpted.
Keta Minies asked me to paint a mimic sculpt and so I did. Rather nerve racking trying to live up to the quality of the sculpt. Sadly, although packed inside a tin with bubblewrap, it failed to survive the tender ministrations of the French postal system.
I have just come to the realisation that I haven’t posted any painting pictures this year. Like last year I have joined the Painting Challenge on Facebook
This year is an extra challenge, which I am trying in conjunction with the main challenge. The main challenge is to paint 52 miniatures over the year. The second challenge is to tackle 12 scary models or projects that have been intimidating and that have been put on a back burner.
I will start with the main challenge.
Now to the 12 scary things
What has been holding me up, but I am plugging along with it, is the Heresy Dragon. I have pledged to myself that I will not paint anything else until it is finished. When I have finished it, which will be another week at current progress, I am going to kick back and relax with a couple of tanks that I have been itching to paint. Plus a couple of projects that are half finished.
The evolution of 3D printing has been amazing. Four years ago I was eyeing up resin models from Forgeworld and Ramshackle Games. Three years ago I dabbled in FDM printing, with my Ender 3, but wasn’t impressed by the quality. Just over a year ago I started scratch building models using laser cut parts. Six months ago I got my SLA (I will call it resin from now on) printer and I was blown away with the quality. And now I have started studying tutorials on how to model in Blender with a view to making my own 3D models.
There is, or appears to be, an arms race going on with resin printers, bigger build plates, higher quality light sources to expose the resin and faster print times. As a hobbyist/consumer this is good news.
So if you don’t 3D model yourself where do you go to get digital print files?
There are Patreons, where for a modest monthly fee you can support a creator who will make 3D models. There are of course some artists who are good, some ok and some meh. This is of course depending on your own personal preferences and requirements.
If you have a need for just one type of model and don’t want the commitment then you can purchase them from MyMiniFactory or Cults3D.
Maybe you just want to try something for free? Then Thingiverse is for you. A place where artists put out work to gauge reaction before starting a Patreon. If you like their work there is the option to donate a small amount. Thingiverse is great for the remix community, where people will take parts from different models and combine them to create something new. Sometimes you have to be quick if you like a particular design, because some artists skate very close, or over, the IP line of a famously litigious games manufacturer and if you blink it will be 404’d.
One could venture into the wild west of Telegram. Just about everything is there. I once had an invite and put my head above the parapets. I made my excuses and left.
This burgeoning of the 3D printing movement has breathed back life into many old game systems.
A bit of Heroquest?
The best thing about Heroquest is……
….Thingiverse. All the game parts are there. Someone has meticulously scanned all the character models and even left on the mold lines for that old school feel.
Warmaster now has beautifully sculpted armies for a fraction of the price you would pay on Fleabay for the original metal models. There has been a revamped set of rules (there has been some pooh-poohing in more traditionalist corners) with Warmaster Revolutions.
Adding to the mix is social media enabling previously isolated enthusiasts to get to know others and share. I am talking with people from America to Australia and points in between. Groups on Facebook have reignited interest in classic old games. One can gather galleries of well painted armies/figures of your choice to inspire you in Pinterest. The Blogosphere. Twitter and Instagram. Instructional videos on Youtube.
What a time to be a hobbyist!
What direction is this going to take Games Workshop/Forgeworld? There will always be people who will buy from them no matter the cost. And that is the sticking point for some.
There are arguments out there for and against their pricing strategy and I will let you make up your own mind on this. What I am saying is purely my personal opinion.
Let’s give an example: 40K. I haven’t played since the Eighties but I like the look of some of the models and with inspiration from some of the Black Libraries books (Gaunt’s Ghosts and Eisenhorn) I have always wanted an Imperial Guard Army.
Taking a pretty basic army composition:
4 Squads of Infantry
2 Command Squds
Roughly, I have been led to believe, a 1,000 points. Buying direct from G’Dub is €382.
Buying a printer, resin, sundries (gloves, cleaning accessories Isopropanol) and four months of Patreon (this is for the Makers Cult who do a lovely Guard army) takes me to just over €400.
I now have the printer, which was the biggest outlay, and the files for the army. For the cost of resin I can now keep on printing. Another four or five squads or a couple of armoured vehicles? Just under €20.
You would like another army?
Just buy the files and resin. So for about a €100 ish you have another army!
Owning one was not for us mere mortals.
Now it is a different story. You can find them for free on Thingiverse or buy them from various makers. For about €40 I can have a Warhound with all the weapon options I want. Compare that to €664 with four different weapon options Mars Pattern Warhound. Plus I know that I won’t be getting iffy FW resin casts.
There is going to have to be a radical rethink because in two years time 3D printing is going to be ubiquitous in the hobby.
This is going to impact on some of the smaller manufacturers. For the moment historical figures are pretty safe from this, but it is only time when people will figure out that there is a vast audience out there.
Before the interweb crashes I will get in first and wish my one reader ma Happy New Year. 2020 was unusual and thankfully for us wasn’t too bad. here is to the hope that 21 will be an unmemorable year.
As is usual I would like to nominate my product/products of the year. My biggie is the Elegoo Mars Pro, a resin 3d printer. The quality is amazing and combined with Patreons (more of which further down) and Thingiverse I don’t think I will be buying figures in the traditional sense in the near future. My second product is Army Painter Dry Rust. Go and buy it, it will be the best two quid you will spend.
So now on with the painting since the last post.
I managed to make the 2020 challenge, one figure a week, and managed to get double bubble of 106 figures done. There may be a couple of extra.
Next year the painting challenge is to tackle twelve projects that have scared you as a painter. Maybe the Heresy Dragon? It would be nice to see it finished.
I did fall behind with the make/fix/mend resolution. I seem to have ended up with a lot of extra projects.
I received a copy of Bloodbowl for Christmas, 2021 will see me making a pitch, 3d printed from files by Kraken 3d Studios.
Finally I would like to mention Patreons. This is a scheme where you pay an artist a small monthly fee and they produce something. I have backed, in no particular order.
Westfalia: some rather nice halflings, some have been themed around a certain galactic bounty hunter.
The Makers Cult: they are making some 40K proxies with their own little twist. Victory Corp, think rebadged DKoK. Iron Hive, mechanical ‘Nids. These are the two ranges I am most interested in, but there are others, dark mechanicus, Feudal Guard (think medieval with las guns) and some SMs.
Before I write about the last few months, which to be honest not much has happened in, I must point you in the direction of two very interesting Kickstarters.
The first is this one
I came across this guy when he requested help in testing some files he had designed. He sent me a couple which I printed up and painted. I was staggered by the quality and also what the range was. I had been looking for accessories to make outdoor adventuring a little more interesting and realistic and he delivered in spades!
Seriously if you have access to a printer back this project. It’s lovely.
I still have a load more to paint so keep watching this space.
The second Kickstarter is
I have backed this project, originally just for the desert houses, but he keeps adding more and more interesting pieces as he smashes through the stretch goals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.