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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

A little Renaissance fantasy

A disclaimer: this is totally ripped off from Wargames Illustrated 382 and David Bickley who built the original. You can read his blog here:

http://www.talesfromghq.blogspot.co.uk

I kept coming back to this article and mulling over it. I really don’t have time to get distracted by another project but it was sooo tempting. Late one night I pulled out a piece of paper and started doodling. The next day some graph paper was procured. Too late! Project started!

As Mr. Bickley had produced his model from individual parts I decided to follow along and make mine in modules starting with the front gate.

Me being me, there have been a few upcocks in the design, but nothing that a hammer wouldn’t sort out.

Obligatory kitten for scale

The original suppliers who inspired this build are:

http://www.charliefoxtrotmodels.com

http://www.warbases.co.uk

http://www.wargamesbuildings.co.uk

Some adventures in 3D Printing

Last year I stepped into the exciting world of 3D with an Ender 3 printer. It hasn’t been an easy ride, it is something that needs a big learning curve. It doesn’t quite work straight out of the box, requiring some tinkering. Also having an antiquated computer doesn’t allow for the installation of modern slicing software. The whole process has been a slightly frustrating hit and miss experience.

Here is my printer set up

I seem to collect rule-sets in the vain hope that my Boys might want to play with me or that someone in the area would have an interest in playing. HINT: if anyone in the Salzburg area would like to game, I have a nice gaming area and multiple rule-sets.

One set of rules that caught my eye and seemed to have a following, in the UK at least, was Dragon Rampant by Daniel Mersey. One of the rulebooks published by Osprey publishing. Osprey are producing some interesting and inexpensive rules covering a very broad church of areas. Worth checking out.

This interested me as you could play a game with nice streamlined rules and build an army with relatively few miniatures. I have enough Orcs and Goblins kicking about to make an army with zero expenditure. A friend, David Wood, scored a massive haul of Essex Miniatures Undead and sent me his spares. Some minor expenditure and voila a beautifully sculpted Bob Olley Undead army. A recent Kickstarter provided me with most of a Renaissance army.

If you are not aware of Thingiverse and are into 3D printing I would recommend that you go and visit. It is stuffed to the rafters with Arduino projects, electronics and workshop tutorials and of course 3D printer files.

http://www.thingiverse.com

Browsing through this cornucopia of stuff, this place is brilliant for gaming accessories, I came across some Mud Elementals. They looked so cute I had to print one.

And then another.

And another.

Soon an army emerged.

The Leader
I had some issues with layers so I may reprint.
Elite Foot
Magic User
Bellicose Foot
Heavy Foot
Light Foot I have another unit of these guys waiting for arms
Light Artillery
Ravening Horde Scaled down foot troops

These all came from a creator called Dutch Mogul

http://www.thingiverse.com/dutchmogul/designs

Check his designs out it is a one-stop-shop for gaming goodness. he also has a Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/IllGottenGames

Now I’m off to check on my printer and maybe do some painting. If I don’t get distracted by kittens.

Arsie’s Painting Toolbox

Now I have successfully trashed my following I can get back on track.

ars2Confession time, I love painting books.

ars3From 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. ars1This 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.ars8In 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.ars6

ars7

Text aligned left and less leading. Much easier to read.

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.

ars5ars4If 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. ars9Underneath 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.

 

Tabletop Knights Gaming Day 2019


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
https://www.battlebrushstudios.com/2019/04/show-report-tabletop-knights-games-day.html
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.

My table set up


The day was started by and address by Korbi.

View of the hall


There was a 40K tournament running downstairs


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.

GW Night Vault.
Unpainted figures.


Summoners
Interesting models.
But not another rule set?


A Song of Ice and Fire


Gates of Antares
Interesting cardboard scenery


Last Days
Yet another zombie apocalypse!


Test of Honour


Frostgrave
With Christoph’s scenery


Dead Man’s Hand
Something that potentially of interest to me.
Christoph’s scenery


Freebooter’s Fate
Nice scenery from 4Ground


Guildball
Bloodbowl anybody?


Age of Sigmar
‘Nuff said


WH30K
Nice scenery from Deathray


WH40K
With added Tyrannids, a lot of them!


Walter playing Saga


The usual Star Wars
Legion and Armada


Painting competition


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.

February

As a reward to myself, I am not a fan of batch painting, for finishing the Gnomes I painted this fellow.

I couldn”t get the figure I was after (see previous posting) so I got this guy. Originally from Forgeworld, I got him second hand from The Troll Trader. He’s allright for a Truro Boy. https://thetrolltrader.com/ He will be the squad leader in a unit of Beastmen in my Not Imperial Guard 40K army.

Obviously I got distracted after that. So rather than finishing the Dwarf Skiers from Old School Miniatures, sorry Jamie. I found these really cute Elementals on Thingiverse. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3388214 I wasted (no) time in printing off a load and here is a test paint of one.

These are going to be based up for use in Dragon Rampant. Not that I am ever going to play it, more’s the pity. At the moment in the queue I have a: Renaissance Army from a recent Kickstarter, Undead Army mostly comprised of Bob Olley Essex Miniatures (gorgeous sculpts, I ended up buying some more to fill the gaps in my collection), Orcs and Goblins from my spares box and now an Elemental Army.

And then a couple of weeks ago I got a box of bits from Jamie. https://www.oldschoolminiatures.co.uk/ I got more distractions in the shape of more Gnomes. I’d asked for a unit of Undead Gnomes to go with my Undead Army and in the package was this guy.

I had to paint him immediately. I made a totally impracticle 20mm base for him to go on.

Now I need to crack on with two Kill Team display boards which need to be finished in about six weeks time for a show in Germany.

Maybe learning to play the game might be useful?

Some bits and bobs from 2018

Here are a couple of bits that I painted last year that I think I didn’t post up.

One of Citadel’s Giants

Quite tiny compared to todays giants
Battle Standard Bearer for my Albion army

This is from Hasslefree’s Kickstarter
Some quick and dirty Genestealers from Lost Patrol
Lost Patrol (not my image)

Got it for a bargain price, but sadly missing a few figures
Plague Demon sculpted by Kevin “Goblinmaster” Adams

The Reever’s Arms

2018 is the year of extracting digit. My old gaming buddy, mugodice.wordpress.com, had wanted an inn for his games a couple of years ago and I had been putting it off.
The brief was that it had to occupy an eight inch square footprint.
So spoiling his birthday suprise here it is.