Long covid

These last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle. Covid has left me suffering with fatigue, lack of focus, demotivation and shortness of breath. I have been doing small stabs at hobby, but I haven’t had the enthusiasm to really get stuck in with the painting.

I have been making progress with Blender, 3d modelling software. And I am attempting to rig, basically putting a skeleton inside the figure, my model which will make posing a lot easier.

I have been making some tools for my workshop. I always need clamps for glueing and I have been eyeing up some right angle aids on that fabulous far eastern trader. My aim was to avoid plastic and as I had a lot of spare wood scavenged from the Happylab bins I thought I would attempt to make my own.

I am now working on a bigger version of this now.

The weather has been going from snow to sunshine and back again in a day.

I have had some nice walks when the weather has been clement. My mood improves after being out.

I have finished building the modular tiles for my 4 x 4 modular ruined city table. Now to slap some paint on them.

My neighbour, who is a bit of a perfectionist, took ten hours to deconstruct my Ender3 3D printer and rebuild it totally square. The difference is amazing and I will be posting some pictures soon.

There you have it. A brief catch up on what has been happening.

Display cases

Dagger and Brush wanted to know what my display setup was. Here is my response.

You will have to excuse the poor lighting, a project for this year. This is the current state of my hobby room. it tends to be used as an overspill while we organise the house.

This was my first display case, from Ikea about twenty five years ago. I thought that I would never fill it. Little did I know.

After moving over here i got these two from a second hand store.

I have recently just got these two. I should really have been a bit more patient because the shelves are only just bigger than A4. Holes have been drilled to add more shelves. The cabinet on the left has nine shelves from its original four and the cabinet on the right has (or will have) twelve shelves. As the bottom shelf was directly sat on the floor and I have built a plinth to raise them up. I have to admit to some pleasure in being able to go to my workshop, cut some wood on my circular saw and make it there and then. Trips to the local recycling are called for to get glass for the shelves. Again (thanks to my Post Grad in Glass) I have the tools and experience to cut the glass to size and linish the edges to make them safe. Illuminating the shelves will be another project for this year.

“Last Christmas…..”

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.

Happy bunny.

Now to frame it and hang it.

Better late than never?

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.

A chained/bound spirit host for the inquisition
One heluva princess. A civilian for my crowd
Another civilian
A Gnome with a fishing rod. Well it had to be done. Part of a set of scenics for my beloved Gnome army
A bit of a mole problem
A Gnome tending hid fields
Unit of Gnome Longbeards
Colour testing for my Chaos army
Nothing to see here. Six disguised Orks. The models were a bit chonky so I didn’t really want to show them.
A Cultist and an Axolotl. And we seem to have a large Troll problem.
A looted drone. Counts as a Bomb Squig

This is part of my modular terrain

Solar panels for set dressing

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.

Painting progress

Due to computer malfunction I kind of lost track where I have been in painting. I will try and amend this by hijacking my Son’s computer.

Lungbursta, inspired by plans from White Dwarf. Back in the day when we were encouraged by G`Dub to make our own stuff. Laser cut body and tracks from Ramshackle Games.

Gobsmasha, again from plans in White Dwarf. All laser cut parts.

Cyclops Demolition Tank. 3D printed from files gathered from a Friendface group.

Troop carrier 3D printed from The Makers Cult.

Sci Fi civilian 3d printed from files by Knucklebones Miniatures.

Sci Fi/Fantasy Librarian 3d printed from files by Knucklebones Miniatures.

Turnip 28 3d printed from files by Knucklebones Miniatures.

Victim of my growing inquisition force.

News from Elsewhere

My customer, Nick Wilker, sent me some photos of his Polystyrene Castle adorned with parts from me.

I am very pleased to see this but also sad because it reminds me to remove my digit and make a set for myself. AND paint it!

Infodump

This is a continuation of “Direction?” and as the title suggests it is an infodump.

Not everything here will be of interest to everybody, these are things that I have discovered that have interested or informed me.

Being a silver surfer I tend to use Facebook as my main social media window. Here are some of the pages I am a member of:

Oldhammer

The Inquisitorium The Beating heart of INQ28

Warmaster (GW)

Battlefleet Gothic

Heroquest

‘Eavier Metal

2021 Painting Challenge

Middlehammer

The Terrain Tutor

3D Printing for Warmaster

3D Printing for WH40K – Facist Free Zone

40.000 Reasons to 3D Print

Titan Printers Society

I Love 3D Printing Miniatures and Terrain

You might find me if you look for Brian Weninger

Next up are the Patreons

www.patreon.com

Starting with the ones I support

One Gold Piece

The Makers Cult

Knucklebones Miniatures

Soul Forge Studio

Others of note

Forest Dragon

Lord of the Print

Warploque Miniatures

ThatEvilOne

BigMrTong

onepagerules

Geargut’s Mekshop

Bestiarum Miniatures

Anvil Digital Forge

Lost Kingdom Miniatures

Other social media platforms worth exploring

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

You can find me on these last three, just search for grumpyoldtin

Discord – you will need an invite to join the various groups. Usually if you have a subscribed to a Patreon they will have a Discord channel linked to it.

Twitch – I have not explored this as yet

Websites with paid for, and sometimes free, digital files

My Mini Factory

Cults 3D

Thingiverse – for free models

Yeggi is a useful search engine to find models, paid for and free

For Heroquest resources I recommend

https://www.yeoldeinn.com/

For SpaceHulk visit

http://spacehulk.barsoom.cc/

Warmaster Revolution

https://www.wm-revolution.com/

If Grimdark is your thang then I cannot recommend enough

https://28-mag.com/

Youtube: who not to include? Here is a list of contributors who have interested me:

52 Miniatures

Tabletop Minions

Teaching Tech

Colin Furze

Angel Giraldez

Duncan Rhodes Painting Academy

Geek Gaming Scenics

The Terrain Tutor

Tabletop Workshop

Vince Venturella

All these suggestions are far from exhaustive and are a matter of personal taste.

I would love to hear from you with recommendations for things that I may have overlooked.

Direction?

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.

Battlefleet Gothic.

SpaceHulk.

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.

The cost.

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

3 Ogryn

2 Sentinels

3 Mortars

Chimera

Leman Russ

Demolisher

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.

BUT

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!

Forgeworld Titans.

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.

Is it good?

Is it an evil that must be stamped out?

I would like to hear your opinions on this.

So that was 2020

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.

Tabletop Terrain: modular sci fi vehicles.

Code2: fantasy medieval buildings.

Anyway I shall leave it at that.

Good luck for 2021

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.