Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Autumn Collection - "It's PLAAAAIDulous!"

It's that faaaabulous time of year again, when Ev of Drummoyne prepares to wow you all with his Autumn Collection!

Here's Cormac, looking rugged in fetching moss green wool with an accent check in umber and bone;


And for the warrior who isn't afraid to blow his own horn, here's Fergus, wearing the latest in battle gear for the discerning man about the glen!



And here's Diarmid, sporting the latest in our outdoor range; the heavy wool cloak doubles both as a cagoule and a sleeping bag in wet weather!


And now I think I'd better check the label on the cold and flu tabs, just to check if the advisory info warns against blogging under the influence of pharmaceutical-grade antihistamines. I suspect that my judgement may be a wee bit impaired at present... what's that, Mr Lobster? Yes please, another glass of Dr Loamblithering's Purple Infuriator, if you'd be so kind...

More later!

Monday, May 27, 2013

"There Can Only Be One!" - SAGA Scots

Actually, there IS only one...

This braw laddie is the first of my SAGA Gripping Beast Scots Warriors painted to completion. I've undercoated and blocked in the skin of the other 24 figures, but I was feeling like it was getting nowhere fast. So, I decided to treat myself and focus on getting one figure finished, go to whoa.


"They can take our lives, but they canna take our seashell-pattern tea tray!"


The more perceptive among you will have noticed that this is being posted at an unconscionably early hour. A stinking cold has prevented me sleeping, although the upside is that I can use the time wisely to finish off the first of my mighty Warriors. I've inked, based, photographed and posted him in the space of 90 minutes.

Is this the secret of the great 19th century poets, painters and composers, who were driven to great creative heights by respiratory illness? It's all relative, of course; a hacking cough (now with added phlegm!) allows me to paint one 28mm figure, while TB gets you a full set of Nocturnes.

Anyway, his function is to motivate me to complete the rest of the crew, and given my track record to date, well, let's just say that I'm not overly optimistic.

Stay tuned...


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Clay warriors for pulp games

Just a quick post regards these chaps which have been lurking about 99% completed - half a dozen clay golems for pulp games...


In reality they are a couple of samurai archers I've had lying about for yonks, plus four samurai warriors I originally bought for Curt's 3rd Analogue Painting Challenge as my challenger's entrance fee. They are pretty ordinary figs and I couldn't bring myself to send them on so I found another use for them. They may well be the easiest thing I've ever painted...

Cheers,
Millsy

Dark age village project progress

I've made some pretty solid progress over the last couple of nights. The long hall, huts and wattle enclosures on the workbench have all been completed. I've also finished a small well and re-based a fair chunk of my Anglo-Danish SAGA warband to boot.

First up the long hall. I'm generally pretty happy with how it came out. The colour on the stone work is a bit flat, especially in the photos so I might do a bit more with that later on.




The thatched huts I am more than happy with. Quick, simple to make and they really look the part.



The wattle enclosures have also come out OK. Looking at them critically I could probably have added a few more posts and used a slightly thinner wire for the wattle but they'll more than do. Once there are some cattle and other things around them I won't notice their faults. As for the well, what more can you ask of a pile of rocks with a hole in the middle? ;-)


Finally, here's a shot of a large chunk of the warband - warlord, some hearthguard and two lots of warriors. The figs are a real mix of manufacturers, many of which I've had for a loooooooooooong time.


And that's it. I'm about to re-base my cattle, some clergy and members of the general public, plus make some clutter for the village as well. Thanks to all who chipped in with ideas!

Cheers,
Millsy

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dark Age terrain progress

Things have been a bit hectic outside of gaming so the village project has been in the slow lane. At least I've managed to do a bit each night to keep it ticking over. Here's a quick update on where things stand since the last workbench update...

The long hall needs another coat of white, plus the stonework, a bit of shading and the basing.


The huts need another coat of white too and some shading, plus basing. The wattle enclosures are all but done and just need some weeds, etc.


Nug, Ev and I have been discussing what else is required for the village. Mostly it is just clutter now, although a raised grain store seems to be very de rigueur, as is a lean-to or two for cattle. I've got a lovely white metal wagon which is already assembled and painted, plus the parts to make a cart as well. I'm also going to do some earth / stone ovens, a rough well, a midden (how the hell do you model one of those???) and maybe even some timber palisades. Any other suggestions?

Cheers,
Millsy

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Workbench update

I'm still plugging away at what has now apparently become the Dark Age Village Project. I'm not entirely sure when that happened but it is clear that it has. Not that I'm complaining, it's proving to be most entertaining and will be great to play some games of SAGA around when complete.

This week I've been working through a couple of small huts and the long hall, plus I couldn't resist a quick diversion into the ubiquitous wattle animal enclosures everyone seems to like so much. Construction on all of the above is pretty much complete with only thatching and a bit of sealing to do before painting can commence.





Lastly, welcome to DFlynSqrl, Herr Zinnling, TWD, Sir Tobi, InChigh74, DeadGuy and JonasM over the course of the last week or so.

Edit: I've just discovered that if you accidentally follow yourself (while trying to follow someone else, even I'm not THAT vain) it's bl00dy hard to undo (though possible thankfully). It is especially hard to unfollow yourself when you get a message saying Blogger can't load your reading list because you're following 300+ blogs. ;-)

Cheers,
Millsy

Friday, May 10, 2013

What defines a skirmish game?

I've just been reading a rather interesting post over on House of Paincakes. The author Cedric is talking about the current proliferation of new games, at least in part driven by Kickstarter. He talks about what happens when you want to try something new but nobody else does. What do you do? Abandon the idea? Do two (or more) factions yourself?

Often the cost of a single faction for any given system can be the most an individual can afford, leading to a number of commentators suggesting playing skirmish games like SAGA, as the cost of entry is lower.

And that brings me to my point. What defines a "skirmish" as opposed to a "wargame"?

Wikipedia defines skirmish games this way.

For myself, I'd suggest that the generally accepted view is that skirmish games are where:
  1. the number of figures required is substantially lower
    and
  2. (as a consequence) the cost of entry is lower
    and
  3. the figure scale is typically 1:1 - individual figures are "units"
    and
  4. (as a consequence) the level of characterisation is substantially higher
The interesting thing for me was that Cedric's opening put these types of games almost in opposition to GW's various Warhammer flavours (hereafter "Warhammers").

To me, the Warhammers ARE skirmish games and here's why:
  1. figures are based individually
    and
  2. there are lot of characters who act individually
    and
  3. the figure scale is 1:1
    and
  4. an "army" in reality consists for a couple of hundred models (at the extreme)
BUT conflictingly (at least for Warhammers):
  1. there is a high level of characterisation
    and
  2. the cost of entry is anything but low
So are Warhammers skirmish games? If not, what are they? And if they ARE skirmish games, what does that make SAGA (or anything else of that size)? They may well both BE skirmish games but it means that you're defining "skirmishes" in very broad terms...

OK, semantic rant over ;-)

Have I missed something blindingly obvious? Comments? Thoughts?

Cheers,
Millsy

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dark Age thatched church part III - complete!

Right, that's the church complete then! I've decided I'm going to hang off any further dry brushing till I've had a chance to look at it in natural daylight. The door has been painted (one day I'll learn how to paint decent wood grain but not tonight apparently) and the landscaping done.

The local clergy seem pretty happy with the situation, already soliciting donations which of course will only be RESTING in the bishop's account...

Apologies for the quality of the pics. It's late and I can't be @rsed faffing about with the camera. There is a fair bit more depth to the walls and stonework in reality but the flash has killed a lot of it here...







Many thanks to everyone who suggested options for a stone cross. I've got a couple of ideas now and will test them out over the next week or two. Coming up, a long house and a couple of crude huts.

Cheers,
Millsy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dark Age thatched church part II

The painters and decorators have just left Millsy Towers, having knocked off the church exterior in a single evening. I'll say one thing for them, they're quick!

Like most tradies they swore like sailors, woofed all the tea and biscuits and left a flipping great mess behind them. No worries, things are progressing nicely so all that can be forgiven. Not much left to do now - faff about deciding whether or not to dry brush the thatch again, get the landscapers in and paint the door then we're done I reckon...






Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. Really enjoying this project and that just ices the cake.

PS. I'm thinking I need a decent sized cross to go alongside the church. I can easily knock a timber one up from balsa but a nice stone number with plenty of carving would look great. Something like this...


Anyone know where I can get one? Maybe in resin?

Cheers,
Millsy

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dark Age thatched church

I saw a resin thatched church on another blog just recently which I really liked. I've got a bunch of ecclesiastical figures already painted and want to do some monastery raid style scenarios for SAGA so I thought I'd have a go at making my own church. It's also a great way to avoid painting... ;-)

The construction method is the same as the barn I completed recently - (mostly) foam core, card and balsa on an MDF base. I've thrown in a bunch of plastic windows and an arched door from the Company That Shall Not Be Named rather than make my own. At some effort I managed to remove all but two of the 497 ridiculous skulls that adorned the otherwise these quite nice sculpts.

Here are some in progress pics. First fix...



Second fix...


Not that happy with the arch. Too medieval but it will do...



Lock up and the painters are on the way...




Today I got the thatching and basing done and everything has a blast of black primer. Painting can begin in earnest later in the week.

Before I sign off, welcome to all who have come on board through the recent membership drive - Phil, Anne, Ubique Matt, scotty, Anibal Invictus, Monty, DeanM, 15mm25mm and tomw. If I've missed anyone sincere apologies. 83 now and counting. We'll make the magic 100 yet!

Cheers,
Millsy

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dark Age barn part IV - complete!

Things have come to a barnstorming finish here at Millsy Towers...

Last night I managed to get the supporting roof panels for my Dark Age barn in place and the thatching glued on. The thatching material is made from old terry-towelling bath mat with a double layer at the apex of the roof line. The thatching is also wrapped around the roof edges to hide the supporting panels underneath.

Here's a couple of progress shots before painting.



Once dry the barn walls were masked off and the roof was given a spray of black primer. Over that there are successively lighter coats of brown paint with the last couple being dry brushed to highlight the thatching material. Finally, some static grass, flowers and weeds were added in appropriate places to finish off.

Here's some more shots of the completed barn with a cart and 28mm miniature for scale. It's quite large but then barns are as a rule compared to houses or huts.





The thatching was a bit problematic to execute. You can see a bit of the original bath mat colour in a couple of places but at least it's greenish so I can write that off as uncured material. The back and front have also got a slightly different texture, most likely due to the direction of the weave in the fabric but you don't see both at once very often so again no big issue.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with it. It took quite a bit of time but it was an interesting exercise and will look great on the table.

Cheers,
Millsy
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