Friday, 30 December 2011

What to do in 2012 ??

Shelldrake, in this post on "Shelldrake's Wargaming Blog", has listed the projects that he is planning for 2012, so that he has something to compare his progress (or lack of!) against at the end of the year

I thought this such a great idea that I'm going to do the same; so (in no particular order!), here is what I hope to accomplish (gaming-related that is) in the year to come:
  • WW2 Burma 15mm - finish the figures I've got and do some scenery related stuff for it
  • Witchfinder General - got the rules for xmas and acquired a bunch of minis for this game; all need painting
  • Indian Mutiny - I got 'Season in Hell: Defence of the Lucknow Residency' for xmas, so hopefully that will get me inspired to get the minis painted for this. Thinking about buildiings though ... was thinking adobe style - anyone got sources for print your own adobe builidings?
  • 10mm Fantasy - got a bunch of this to paint up for use with Rally Round the King including a Pendraken Hussite army
  • 15mm VBCW - still got this to finish ... bought some more figures for it at Warfare as well!
  • 54mm Gladiators - most painted, still got some to do and need to create an arena of some sort
  • Wings of War - bought the game and some planes at Colours. Not done anything yet, except get some pilots for them
  • 28mm Elfball - finishing touches for one team, yet to paint the second :(
  • Outrider - I got a bunch of cars, stripped a few down and added card 'armour plates' then spray undercoated them ... however, I was disappointed with the reuslts as the card just didn't look 'right', so I gave up on this project. Recently though, I got some black plasticard to try instead, so I hope to make progress on this project
  • WW2 late war western front - painted Brits and Germans ages ago, just need to finish their bases
I think that's enough to be going on with ... for now anyway!!  I'm sure the 'oooh shiny!!' will strike and add new things to the list that might well substitute themselves ...

Anyway, whatever you have planned for the coming year, I hope it works out well as I hope does my list!

Thursday, 29 December 2011


As is fairly typical for me, have been unwell over the christmas period.  Worse than usual though, I have had a viral infection that has had me signed off work and basically unable to motivate myself to do anything other than sleep  ...

Anyway, slowly getting rid of it now, so hope to be posting again soon.

I hope that all who read this had a better yuletide than I!

Here's to a better 2012!  Happy new year to you all!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Doing Something Else ...

Well, sorry to have been away again, but I had an attack of self-pity at the weekend and bought myself Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, so I've been playing that all week - and intend to for the forseeable future! - as I'm really enjoying it!

However, to prove I'm not completely ignoring you all, I thought I'd put up some of the pics I have as my screensaver on my work laptop. These are all Ironclad Miniatures:

L 2: French Inf Command; R 2: 2 of French Infantry

L 2: Prussian Line Inf Command; R 2: 2 of Prussian Line Infantry
L Ironclad Man; C Dr Jekyll (Not Ironclad Mini); R Mr Hyde

L 'Tobias'; C Mina Harker; R 'Scotty'

L 'Professor Mandark'; R3 'Steam Automatons'

L 'Sanwar Shaman'; R3 'Sanwar Warriors' (centre 1 has Jezzail)

I really like all these minis, unfortunately the photos aren't very good quality :(  Also, I have yet to find rules to use them with, but I'm thinking one of Two-Hour Wargames' sets will be good.

Anyway, back to Skyrim! well later - at work atm :(

Monday, 28 November 2011

A Church, 2 Cars, a Pile of Crates and a Magazine ...

In my recent post "Time ... where does it go??", I was wittering on about some of the model buildings I've been constructing lately. Well, one that I've just finished (well ... nearly anyway!) is the Dave Graffam Models' Village Chapel. As with most of their models it has multiple 'layers' in the pdf file which means you can get a variety of finishes. I went for the 'medieval stone' with 'blue tiles' for the roof, with the optional annex and the foyer ... and here it is in all its glory:
with a 28mm Copplestone mini (IIRC) to give a size reference
And here it is again showing the entire steeple, which I have left removeable to aid in storage:
The same mini is to the left of the annex
What you don't get in the file though, is any interior detailing. I've used the file to come up with my own. In the pic below, you can see the interior of the church. The wall at the top has had the exterior wall with no textures, but the same windows as the exterior I've used glued to the inside. I've also used one of the floor textures from the Low Ruins set as tiling for the floor. At this, though, I gave up as I wasn't at all sure how to do the rest ...

And here is a shot of the interior of the foyer ... without opening doors I probably shouldn't have bothered with this as it's damn hard to get your hand in there!

Here's a slightly blurry pic of the models I've put together on their shelf. At the left side is the church with the steeple removed and stored inside the main building. On the right are the two Low Ruins I've put together so far:

At the end of my last post - Warfare Convention and other stuff ... - I had pics of a couple of self-assembly diecast cars I'd bought. Well, they took about a minute to put together - if that! - and they've turned out quite nicely ... here's a shot of the Hummer

And another lower-angle shot to better see the size

The second model was a land-rover and that's turned out just as well

Making these buildings has left a lot of little off-cuts from the board I am using ... I was keeping most of them as I thought "they'll come in handy" for something! Then I had a brainwave and found a pdf  file that I had downloaded a long time ago from a Spanish modeller's site with quite a few free downloads. Naturally, it is in Spanish, but the photos explain very well and the author has provided an English translation for those - like me - who are linguistically challenged. I couldn't find the page that I got the file from, but Google showed me that it is still here. Anyway, it has a bunch of crates, and I've printed it out and am working my way through a heap of the crates that I'll use to populate my Multi-Story [sic] Warehouse when I build it. So here they are:
And another view:

And finally for today, I was in my local branch of Smiths on Sunday morning when I saw this magazine:
I'd never seen or even heard of it before and intrigued, I bought it. It's written in the Netherlands and published in English and first impressions are very good. Have any of you guys seen this before?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Warfare Convention and other stuff ...

This weekend gone was the Warfare Convention hosted by the Wargames Association of Reading at the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading. As usual at that venue, there wasn't enough parking :(

Anyway, I was there for about 3-4 hours and spent far too much increasing my unpainted lead mountain with the following new toys:
Since the weekend, I've temporarily suspended making card buildings and been getting my purchases ready for undercoating by basing them:

28mm figures

15mm figures
Both the above photos have some extra figures in them - the 28s with the terracotta clay are Redoubt 3 musketeers figures that I've had for years and am now going to use as 'blinders' in Witchfinder General.

Having spent all that hard-earned cash on my own toys, I decided I should go Christmas shopping ... whilst in Morningstar Hobbies in Camberley though, I espied theses 2 kits:

And not having either vehicle for my ATZ car park, I bought them!  I'll put a post up on them when I assemble them, but I thought I'd let you know they were out there ...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Time ... where does it go??

Once again it's taken me ages to post ... sorry about that, but work - although not as hectic busy as it was - is still busy.  That said I have been hobbying in the evening, just not felt the urge to post. Here's what I've been up to ...

I took a bunch of photos of my WW2 Burma stuff to post, but they came out quite bad so I'm going to try again before I post that.

Having been alerted to its existence by Shelldrake, I ordered a copy of Witchfinder General: Days of Revelation as a christmas present along with a bunch of figures from Warlord Games for it. I'll post more details when they arrive.

Readers of my eariler blog may remeber that I tried making buildings with the various card/paper print pdfs you can get over the net and using foamcore as the structure. I found foamcore a horrid, horrid material to work with though and rapidly gave up. The other day though, while in Rymans Stationers, I found some artist's acrylic/oil board - which seems to be 2mm thick cardboard in essence and tried some of that. I've fouind it a much better building material and below are pics of 4 of the structures I have built so far:

Small Chippy



'Split Ruin'
The Chippy and Garage are free to download from whie the 'Cottage' - their name for it; it doesn't look much like a cottage to me! - and the 'Split Ruin' are from Dave Graffam Models that I got from Wargames Vault. I'm in the process of 'bashing' one of the DG models to create a pair of terraced houses and more on that and the other models I'm building soon (ish!)

edited: the board is called "the artist oil & acrylic board" and is £5.19 for 3 sheets, each 20 x 16 inches in my local Rymans, although that might be a reduced price - not sure

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ironclad Village

First of the promised bunch of posts is a 15mm village I've constructed from buildings and fences  from Ironclad Miniatures. These buildings are described as 'eastern front' which is how I'll use them - when my russkies and rumanians are painted - but I also intend to use them with my Splintered Light Minis 18mm fantasy. Accordingly in the pics I've included an 18mm fantasy figure and a 15mm Peter Pig Japanese rifleman.

So to start, a group shot of all the pieces with some 18mm figures as a size guide:
The village on my table - all the other pics will have the model's dimensions

Then close-ups of 15-H1 Small Log House. I have two of these and very nice they are too. The only quibble is that - unlike the other buildings, these have a chimney, but no fireplace ... but that is a real pedant of a moan ...
76mm x 53mm x 53mm incl roof, 27mm w/out roof

Next is 15-H3 Eastern Front Barn another nice building:
105mm x 70mm x 55mm incl roof, 30mm w/out roof

Then we have 15-H5 Small Eastern Front House which is also available as 15-H6 with a different roof. This model comes with a seperate lean-to shed - a nice add-on that can be put next to the building on any side. Another fine model
69mm x 52mm x 57mm incl roof, 30mm w/out roof

Last of the buildings is 15-H4 Eastern Front House
75mm x 82mm x 59mm incl roof, 30mm w/out roof

And last of all are the fences, comprising 15-fen1, 15-fen2, 15-fen3 and 15-fen5
long: 75x16x16mm; short 30x16x16mm; corner 35x35x16mm

These are really nice models and the interior detailing is good. I especially like the windows. When I got them, there was a thin skin of resin in the gaps between the frames which I removed without too much trouble, although some of the frames didn't quite survive this ...

Anyway, I recommend these models to anyone gaming in these scales

Monday, 31 October 2011

AWOP - Apologies ...

Well, once more I've been AWOP - Absent WithOut Posting - for a while and apologies for that ... work has once more been very, very, busy, but I have managed to get quite a bit of hobby stuff done as well, but not had any inclination to photograph and post it.

I'll hopefully be changing that tonight and eith putting a post up later or sometime tomorrow - although best laid plans and all that ....

Anyway, what I have as the subjects for my next few posts - this order is not necessarily how they'll appear though!
If anyone has a preference on something they'd like to see sooner, post a comment and I'll do my best to oblige!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tidied my ATZ Campaign posts

Reading Vampifan the Great's latest ATZ Batrep put me in the mood to play another in my own campaign. Not remembering where I'd got to though, I decided to re-read my posts and found that the pictures had gone!  OOps!!!

Well they are back now and I've tidied the posts up a little bit - you can see then through this link. Feel free to comment on them, as I lost the original comments when I moved them to this blog ...

I hope to add another installment soon - I even threatened on a comment on VtG's blog to have a Rager only game! not sure about that though ... :shudder:

Monday, 17 October 2011

Army Painter Quick Shade - aka 'Magic Dip'

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I bought some Army Painter Strong Tone Quick Shade (aka 'magic dip') from Figures in Comfort at this year's Colours convention. I paid £19.95 (IIRC) for it, but saw it cheaper from other traders :(   I decided to use it on a new project so that all the figures in that project had the same finish. I didn't want one side in a game looking completely different from the other - in terms of finish anyway!

So - somewhat appropriately - my new 18mm fantasy animal figures from Splintered Light Minis, were my guinea pigs and now that they're done, here are some before, after and 1 'during' pictures, with my conclusions on Quick Shade afterwards.

Hedgehog and Badger - before

Hedgehog and Badger - during (immed. after dipping)

Hedgehog and Badger - after

Otters - before

Otters - after

Shrews - before
Shrews - after

Squirrels - before

Squirrels - after
Note: All the 'after' pictures were taken approx 24hrs after dipping.

When pulling the minis out of the dip and then standing them on my cutting mat, they were covered in huge blobs of the dip - the Badger and Hedgehog 'during' photo shows this perfectly. There was so much dip on them that you couldn't see the gap between their legs!

Not having used the dip before, I spread the excess around with a brush and felt obliged to do that with all the dipped minis ... but that rather defeats the object of the dip doesn't it? If I have to spread it around the figure with a brush I might as well use a wash - how I normally finish my figures! Perhaps they would have been ok without spreading the dip, but to me there seemed far too much to just leave it ...

As an example of the wash finish that I normally use, the 28mm Sci-Fi figures in my last post were all finished with the mucky brown/black wash and I think the effect is just as good as Quick Shade's and is also considerably cheaper.

The only advantage I can see of using the dip is that it is a varnish as well, but seeing how glossy it is, I fell that I'm going to have to put coat of matt or satin over it.

So, my conclusion ... I like the shading of the finish, but not the gloss; Army Painter Quick Shade is not for me due to its high gloss finish and cost. I'll probably use up the tin I've got, but I won't be buying anymore.


Friday, 14 October 2011

D'oh! 28mm Sci-Fi Instead

I was going to do a post on my first use of Magic Dip, but found that I hadn't downloaded my 'after' pics from my camera - got the 'before' and even one 'during' but no 'afters'!  D'oh!!

So instead, I'm re-posting some pics from my old blog, in this case samples of my 28mm Sci-Fi minis, that I think have come out pretty damned well.  I've got Two-Hour Wargames' rules 5150: Star Army and 5150: New Beginnings and am looking forward to playing them - after I've finally got around to reading them!

So ... first of all; 2 samples of the approx platoon strength force of Alternative Armies' Muster Troops I've got (although they were called 'Levies' when I bought them IIRC)
I like these figures - the poses seem full of action and vitality. I had thought them OOP but they are not, so I might get some more at some point.

Next up, some GW Genestealers. I've got around 30 of these happy-smiley chaps to use as 'Xenoforms'/murderous-aliens. I've gradually picked them at bring-and-buys at conventions I've attended, refusing to pay inflated GW prices, even though I like the mins:

Third, a sample of Copplestone Castings FW36 Grey Aliens. I'm not sure how, but I must have lost one of the pack at some point as I'm sure I don't have the sitting alien that is shown in the pack on the linked page ... oh well ...

As you can see, I've painted then as 'greens' instead of greys. I've also got Hasslefree's Female Grey to add to the group, but she isn't painted yet :(

Now the other platoon sized group - Irregular Miniatures' Spice-Lice. These come with some varied, pretty odd-looking, IMO, antennae on them, but I removed them all. I've put squad desginating coloured flashes on their heads as well

I've also got some of Irregular's Scorpio-Bugs to use as assault troops. I'll get some pics of them up (eventually!)

Here are some samples of Copplestone Castings FW25 Hunter Aliens and FW32 Hunter Aliens with Guns. I've got both packs and it took me a while to decide how to paint them, but I eventually decided to go with a orange/purple colour scheme as it looked pretty alien IMO

I'm very pleased with how they've come out, so here are 2 close-ups:
Wonderful figures ...

Hopefully I'll get the Magic Dip post up either later today or maybe over the weekend, but as I have my daughter this weekend, it's more likely to be Monday if I don't get it done today.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Headless Chicken - continued ...

Things are just as bad as before :(

Anyway, I mentioned that I'd bought a box of the Gripping Beast plastic Saxons and one of the Vikings. I've tried to get the Saxons together, but things being as they are not had much luck ...

I have taken some photos of the sprues that are in the saxon box to share and they are below. First, though, a word about the figures ... they are IMHO brilliant and the 'extras' that come on the sprues are even better - as an example:  there are 4 sprues with 10 limbless and headless 'bodies' on each - but there are 16 heads! how about that for choice!

Anyway, you get 4 identical sprues like this (front and back shot):
As usual the crappy photos don't show the quality of the faces/weapons/bodies/etc. I am very, very pleased with these figures.

You also get two of these sprues, each of which has the bits to make standard bearers, musicians or a leader (well a guy with a cloak and arm holding a sword up!):

The Draco standards are brilliant as well.  I've not got as far with the Vikings, but from what I have seen they are just as good.

Well, I'll try and get a more substantive post up soon, but am not holding my breath ...

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Blue-arsed headless chicken-fly ...

... is how I'm feeling at the moment :(  Work is manic with a capital MAN.  With the recall we have issued, every morming I have to prepare reports and dashboards tracking this as well as my other regular work. On top of that I have 2 other projects, one to finish by Friday this week, the other by a fortnight this friday, and the 'normal' month-end rush taking up next week :(

I hope to start the next instalment of my zed-campaign one evening next week, but I was intending to do that this week - so don't hold your breath, unless you're already one of the infected, in which case that wouldn't matter!

I'm about to go to bed - it's 8.50pm! - cos I'm cream-crackered and need to start early tomorrow and will be finishing late - is that the world's tiniest violin I hear playing somewhere? and is that purple piss your hearts are bleeding for me?  ;)

Anyway, enough of my attempts to drag out some sympathy - just want to let the people crazy enough to be followers here that I will be posting again (and commenting on your blogs), just not in the next 10 days or so  (unless I can sneak some time at work - for commenting that is - won't have long enough to post here, I'm certain).

PS: been managing to read a few pages of Field-Marshal Slim's 'Defeat Into Victory' at lunchtimes - an absolutely superb read and thoroughly recommended to anyone with an interest in WW2 in Burma or what a Corps (then Army) Commander has to cope with and do. Read it - you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Oops ... sorry!

Sorry it's been a long while since I posted. I started this re-incarnation of my blogging career with the bet intentions of posting regularly and you know what they say about intentions ...

Anyway, I've been mega-busy at work. I work for a medical devices company and we've issued a voluntary recall of one of the devices we sell. As a result, the share price dropped by almost half in two days ... worrying, but I've got faith in our range and they can make life-changing differences to the people who get them. It seems that the stock market is too panicky to look past the headlines ...

Anyway, enough of that. On the hobby front, I've been painting something new. I'm not sure how I found them initially, but I stumbled across Splintered Light Miniatures and fell in love with their Splintered Land range of 18mm minis and bought The Faithful Boxed Set:
and The Rebels Boxed Set

I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I really like these sculpts. Anyway, I ordered direct from Splintered Light as they have no UK distributor. An email to them revealed that they have a single worldwide postage rate of $6 for orders up to $75, which I thought was good for me, but bad for them!

The minis arrived quite rapidly, but I was disappointed to find that although they were listed as boxed sets, they arrived in ziplock bags! It didn't really matter but I'd been hoping for some painting tips on the box - after all I'm not really familiar with the colour differences between pine martens, wolverines and weasels ...

I did get to the Colours show at Newbury last week and bought a pot of Army Painter's magic dip that I'm going to use these figures as my guinea pigs for. I'll try and get some photos of them up soon - the ones above are from Splintered Lands website.

I also got some more resin scenery from Ainsty and two plastic boxes of figures from Gripping Beast one each of the Vikings and Saxons. I had been toying with the idea of getting them, and was persuaded when the Caliver books stand was selling them for £15 each while Gripping Beast sell them for £20! So how could I refuse that?!