Another basing interlude and thoughts on motivation

No More Nails

Reanimated troops for my proxy DKK ArmyJust trying out a new product for basing. No More Nails. I have no idea what the German name is. I’m using this to glue the figure to the base and to fill in between the figure base and the base.

So far the result is fairly promising, the only thing that I need to work on is smoothing it out afterwards, it’s not as easy as the ready mixed plaster I have been using.

I really should be getting on with the projects that I said I would rather than getting distracted. I have just about finished the Albion heroes and the Albionican unit. They just need varnishing and photographing. The Reaper Necromancer Babe is underway. I will need to do some interweb research on what near naked skin looks like. Surely there will be sites I can study in great depth? Other distractions have been the Goblinaid Spacer Goblin sculpted by Mark Cragg. Prepping a unit of Napoleonic English and a Raging Heroes female kommisar.

Peter from D6 Painting and Gaming wrote a good article on his blog about what keeps him motivated to paint. At the moment I have been distracted by various models rather than committing to paint. I think that everybody has some form of reward system. Mine is if I paint a unit I can paint a hero/leader. I love painting individual figures and find painting units a chore.

There are two things I use to keep me on track. The first and probably the most important is to keep my Lead Mountain out of sight. Only one project on the workbench at a time. I love opening boxes and picturing the painted model in my mind, or discovering a model that I had forgotten that I had. It is also slightly discouraging seeing how much work there is ahead of me. At the moment all bar a couple of boxes are in storage in the lager. The second thing I use is a list. One item on the list a month. It helps me stay focused.

Next month is my Roman Army. I need to finish my Scorpions and a unit of Auxiliaries. Add metal highlights to all the other units. Photograph, catalogue and put on the website.

After that:

A unit of Napoleonic infantry

The reanimated DKK Troopers and command vehicle from Ramshackle Games

GW Squig Mangler

Unit of plastic Warlord Games Celts for my Albion Army

Three Ork jets from Puppets War which will be proxy Deth Kopters

Finish a unit of Faeries and a unit of Undead for my Albion Army

Finish my Bolt Action Home Guard and a unit of British Infantry

Ultraforge Tree Woman a proxy giant in my Albion Army

So if I stay on target, this will be the next nine months work. This doesn’t allow for any distractions like taking any commissioned work (no takers yet), any Kickstarter bits arriving or the bust of Kevin Adams which I am itching to get started on.

Time rich, money poor


Time rich, money poor

My plan is to have every unit in my collection kitted out with a movement tray. This has been easy for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Black Powder and Field of glory. I spent the last few months at my last job, when I knew I was being made redundant, making stuff in the workshops. Three aluminium/brass carry cases and more movement trays than you can shake a stick at. They’re easy: a rectangle of plastic cut to the right size, a border strip made of six mil plastic and a thin sheet of mild steel cut to the unit’s size. Glue together, Dremmel sides, superglue some sand on and undercoat. Job done, ready to be painted up when the unit is ready so that the bases match the movement tray.
Now with 40K and Bolt Action there are round bases. Not so easy. 40K uses, for the main, twenty five mil circular bases. Bolt Action uses two pence coins. Foreign readers may question why so many English wargamers use money to base there figures on. Are we extravagant? No, the answer is that the two pence piece is more enough worthless. Plastic bases cost more to buy. Plus, if you get the older coins, they are attracted to magnets. Another love of mine is magnetised units, I have seen plenty of instances where an opponent has placed a unit on a hill only to see them slide away. Not me, I’ve magnetised more or less everything.
Anyway back to the circular based movement trays. 40K has twenty five mil bases and Bolt Action has twenty six mil bases. So what is one millimetre between friends? I don’t think anyone will notice a slight gap on my 40K units between base and movement tray.
OK. Time rich money poor. That’s me, plus I’m a tight bastard. I have seen some laser cut trays on Fleabay for between two and three pounds each, plus postage. I’ll probably need thirty odd. So the money mounts up. So what does one of these fancy laser cut movement trays consist of? Two sheets of MDF. The bottom one is plain and the top one has holes cut in it.
What am I not capable of doing?
I drew up some templates in Indesign, just to work out the size of the base. A ten man movement tray worked out to be ninety five mil by one hundred and thirty mil. Wouldn’t mind some five man movement trays and some twenties. Bauhaus has one square metre of three mil not-quite-MDF for four Euro something. From this I can get thirty nine movement trays. Went to Bauhaus on Monday morning armed with cake to bribe the wood cutter. Got the wood cut and purchased a twenty six mil hole cutting attachment for my drill. In all it came to twenty one euros on the nose.
All that is left is to drill the holes for the bases, stick them together and finish as appropriate for the unit.
The biggest chunk of that was the drill bit at Fourteen something Euro. But I have that now, so any time I want more movement trays it’s just the cost of the wood, which is minimal.

Black Powder Command Group


Black Powder Command Group

Next project on the workbench. A command group for my British Peninsular Napoleonic army. I have been prevaricating about starting this project as Napoleonic wargamers have a reputation of being very picky about accuracy.
If I can do my Napoleonics well and get some praise for them I reckon that I can consider myself an OK painter.

Purchasing history

The last couple of months haven’t been totally hobby free. My rather expensive cats had a box of hobby bits brought over with them. I thought I could use this interim time prepping some figures. This is the part of the hobby I like least. I managed to squeeze into the box all of my Napoleonic infantry. Five centre companies, two Highland flank companies, a unit of 95th Rifles and a Portuguese line company. As you can imagine, me being me,they are from a mix of manufacturers so the units would have some variation in height as they would in real life. I used a mix of Foundry (thanks to a Central Saint Martins redundancy retraining grant ), Victrix, Perry, Front Rank, Essex, Dixon and Offensive Miniatures. I like the Foundry and Front Rank metal figures, the heft of metal. But what I don’t like is the lack of variety in the poses. That is why I am mixing and matching manufacturers. The Perry and Victrix figures are plastic and I much prefer the Perry figures. Much crisper detailing and not so fiddly to put together. But you do get more in a box with Victrix especially if you go to a show or get a multibox deal.

I’ve been making my units twenty four men strong as recommended by Michael Perry, but Black Powder suggests units of thirty six. Well as I tend to get a bit bored painting large units the smaller number wins.
The figures are mounted on MDF bases from 4Ground which I spent a few days drilling and inserting neodymium magnets. Movement trays are made with sheet metal and plastic courtesy of Central Saint Martins. I spent the last seven months there when I knew I was being made redundant acquiring materials and getting as much laser cutting done as possible.
Unit flags are by GMB Designs, as recommended by the Perry’s.
I am itching to get my stuff from Blighty as I want to try out my Foundry paints. Part of my redundancy package was a retraining grant. Wargames Foundry very kindly did a little creative invoicing for me and I got the complete Foundry Paint System, a British Napoleonic Army and a WW2 Home Guard force. I’d tried one triad of paint and I was highly impressed. So the opportunity to get the whole range for gratis was not to be sneezed at.
Forgeworld also did a little creative invoicing, so I have a Titan which I’m going to Orkify. I’ll be writing about this project at a later date.
There are some regrets about not being greedier as I still had a thousand pounds worth of retraining left at the end of the spending deadline.
Something that I have not regretted is a years subscription to the weathering magazine published by AK Interactive. Thirty eight Euros for four issues including worldwide postage. What I do like about the magazine is that although it is published by AK Interactive who produce their own weathering products, they are more than happy to showcase other manufacturers products. Unlike other magazines out there where it is heresy to admit the existence of a wider hobby universe. I also forked out almost fifty quid for FAQ 2 a huge book of weathering techniques published by AKI. Unfortunately when it arrived a pot of dark mud pigment had burst and coated everything in the package. AKI very quickly sent replacements (excellent customer service guys!). I carefully cleaned the book and was able to sell the “soiled” copy ¬†on Fleabay which made it an affordable investment.
Continuing in the weathered tank theme I purchased “Tank Art” volumes One and Two published by Rinaldi Studio Press. Volume One is about WW2 German Armour and Volume Two is about WW2 Allied Armour. There is a forthcoming Volume Three on Modern Armour but I think I’m pretty much covered. These are lovely books full of good step by step photographs and well worth investing in.
If I can learn to paint half as good as these guys I’ll be well pleased.