Friday, February 10, 2017

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge VII - Day 49 (or is it 52?), or The Hot Zone

Day 49 (OK Tamsin, Day 52, thank you so very much) of the Challenge, and I'm sorry to say that I'm not exactly setting the world on fire. But that's OK, because the weather is doing a splendid job of that on its own here in Sydney. We've had a succession of heatwaves, and we're gearing up for another one this weekend.

So painting has been a slow grind. Productivity hasn't been all it might be, but I have managed to put a couple of pieces together to gradually build my points total.

First up was this chappie;

A Scibor Miniatures Orc Chieftain, a superb sculpt which repays the effort to paint it. I wanted to go for a colder colour scheme than the usual Goblin Green, as the figure is so imposing and really calls for a darker, less warm tone. Wet palette work came in handy for the blending of the skin hues up from the dark blue-green base through to the turquoise final highlights.

Next up was another figure for Frostgrave, a repurposed Plague Apothecary from Foundry's Casting Room Miniatures.

He's been given the sickly shades of an old bruise, with a mask the colour of bone. He strikes me as a creepy and morally ambiguous medical practitioner, as ready to kill as to cure.

Last of all was my entry in the terrain Bonus Round, 'Home', a scratch-built mausoleum for Frostgrave. And yes, it's 'Home' for assorted zombies and ghouls, so it counts!

I was very happy with how this one turned out, especially as I was trying out some marbled paint effects for the first time, and the decaying stucco exposing the brickwork beneath turned out pretty well too. It's colourful for a mausoleum, but if you've ever seen the exuberantly-painted Etruscan tombs, you'll understand the effect I was going for.

That's all for now - probably going to be a quiet weekend for the paint bench, since the weather is a great demotivator, but there's always more prep and assembly to do.

Stay tuned!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Boxes for Boxers... and some prep

Motivation is at a premium at the moment unfortunately. Work is taking it's toll as is the seemingly relentless heat and humidity which makes any kind of painting a chore. On top of that I'm nearing completion of my latest commission design work. So, loads of excuses not to paint!

I'm still waiting for pretty much everything I've ordered for the 55 Days at Peking project to arrive in the post which isn't helping. One thing I have managed to do is score some boxes for storage of the various terrain items as and when they get built. Each is roughly 18" x 12" x 6" which is a great size to allow for up to two-story buildings and more than capable of accommodating various taller items like gates and trees.

In Challenge-related news a number of projects have been sitting stalled on the workbench for some time now so today I cleaned up, put unfinished stuff away and looked for something I was genuinely interested in working on to try and recapture my elusive mojo. It turns out starting my long planned Warhammer Empire project might be just what I'm looking for.

Today I've cleaned, prepped and based up a 24 man unit of halberdiers and a pair of artillery pieces and crew. I might even get a little paint on them tonight.

So... back on track. Hopefully.


Sunday, January 29, 2017


Just got back from the annual road trip to the nation's capital Canberra for a weekend of gaming related shenanigans. The weekend followed a well established pattern of drive, shop, natter, eat, natter, sleep, eat, shop, drive and was in general a most satisfactory outing.

Highlights of the weekend included the second instalment of the CANCON wargame blogger's meet-up. Unfortunately this year with the public holiday falling on the Thursday there was a noticeable drop off in people able to make it. Still, I was able to say g'day to a number of fellow bloggers. Cheers to Reilly and Paul O'G for the pic.

I managed to pick up a few bargains at the second hand stall including 8 assorted Warhammer army books for $37 total, a unit of High Elf cavalry for $15 and approximately $85 worth of Firestorm Armada ships for $34. Very happy with that haul! I won't be venturing into the Firestorm Armada space, buying the ships for use with more generic small scale rules like A Sky Full of Ships.

I also picked up a couple of new games to play with the family:

Dinner was entertaining with Kaptain Kobold, Barks and the War and Peace boys as well as a healthy showing from our mob. The Duck's Nuts pub is a pretty good venue and the food was up to scratch too. Conversation ranged over a number of topics including the general loathing of a certain well-known wargames forum. I never cease to be amazed by the number of people who have been offended by the content and/or a proportion of the community on there, myself included.

The only real disappointment of the weekend was the lack of variety amongst the traders. Everyone seemed to be selling the same thing and I wasn't able to pick up any of the terrain items I had hoped for the 55 Days at Peking project. I guess that's a missed opportunity for the traders and the money will go to online vendors instead now. Unfortunately that means postage will have to be paid but I can't help that.

That's pretty much it. Only 364 days till the next one!


Saturday, January 21, 2017

55 Days at Peking... The Boxers are ordered

Loads of reading has continued to keep me enthused and a couple of days ago I sorted out the first order from Redoubt Enterprises. This comprises the majority of the troops for the Boxer forces. Given this is the larger block of painting I wanted it out of the way first.

Screwing up my eyes and clicking Complete Order before I fainted at the postage (45GBP!!!) I purchased the sum of 113 Boxers in various incarnations. When organised into units they will give me the following:

6 x 12 man units with melee weapons
2 x 6 man units with firearms
2 x 6 man units of Kansu Braves
2 x 6 man units of Tigermen
1 x cannon and crew
1 x "demolition rickshaw" i.e. portable bomb

12 units plus a couple of artillery isn't really a lot given the nature of how things pan out on the table but that's fine. Units will "recycle" as they break (a lot!) or (less often) are destroyed.

I've also put in a big order for 25mm round bases and some assorted carts from the wonderful Martin and Diane at Warbases.

Off and running!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge VII - Day 27, or Doomed to Repeat the Mistakes of the Past

Yes, it's that time of year again, when painters from the four corners of the circular globe gather together to honour their shadowy master, the Snowlord, who resides in his icy fastness in the Frozen North, awaiting the tribute of his followers. 

Translation; proud Canadian and all-round top bloke Curt Campbell of the Analogue Hobbies blog is once more running the annual Painting Challenge, and both Millsy and myself have thrown our hats into the ring. And naturally, my own output is languishing in the doldrums.

Well, no excuses; I'm on 28 points while others have already passed the 1K mark, so I'll just have to pick up the pace!

First out of his box was this handsome fellow;

This is Scibor Miniatures' Santa Snowman Slayer, a dwarven maniac in festive guise. He will fill the Barbarian slot in my Frostgrave warband led by Vaino the Enchanter (as seen here) and his well-meaning Apprentice Ilmar. So he also counts as a useful start in my Frostgrave Duel with Millsy, though I think I can expect a swift counterattack, since young Michael has never been one to let the grass grow under his feet...

Next up was this little vignette, Delenda Est...

My meditation on the human condition in the form of the ghosts of the past confronting the warriors of the modern age; the spirit of a departed Carthaginian soldier awoken by the tumult of war in 1943.

This was to have been my entry for the first Bonus Round, 'Armour', but exactly as happened last year, the best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley. Oh well, live and learn (hopefully).

I've had a lot of encouraging comments on the piece, and as this is the first WWII tank I've painted in over three decades, I'm gratified at the response. I might have to rustle up some more down the track!

So that's the story so far - I've cleared the decks to try and remedy the options paralysis I've been experiencing, and hope that this will enable me to focus properly on the task at hand.

Stay tuned...

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