Sunday 27 December 2015

The Challenge (Day 6); The Importance of Planning (and the Stochastic Effects of External Factors)

Well, it's a almost week into the 6th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, (brainchild of Saskatchewan's foremost hobby impresario, the estimable Curt Campbell) and everything is going about as well as one would expect at the workbench of the Myopic Procrastinator;

No, really, it's not like this all the time...
However, this state of chaos is purely temporary; it's just that a Hughes family Christmas tradition has been observed (two years in a row now, that's enough to make it a tradition), and another grandchild has arrived on the scene, bringing with him all manner of happy disruption. And I don't mind a bit!

So here he is, Joel Stanley Hughes, born at 9.21am on 21 December 2015. 4.235kg, that's 9lbs 5oz in old money, so he's a big lad!

And in case you think I'm resting on my laurels and simply making goo-goo eyes at the little fellow rather than pulling my weight, here's how I spent yesterday afternoon;

Dad Time with my eldest son (and now second-time dad) Jules, and my adorable granddaughter Caroline (last seen on this blog around a year ago). She is simply delightful, though her technique of dealing with noodles could use a little work...

Still, it got us out from under the feet of my daughter-in-law Kelly and my long-suffering Good Lady Wife, and hopefully exhausted Caroline enough so that she slept through the night!

OK Ev, no more excuses, no more delays! Get that work area in order and get painting! There's a Challenge to be won turn up for! 

Stay tuned...!


Thursday 24 December 2015

SAGA Norman Knights and Crossbowmen

Just time it seems to get one last post onto the blog before Christmas kicks off at Millsy Towers.

This time I've got twenty-one Norman Knights and eight crossbowmen for SAGA to show off. Remember to click for larger versions of the images...

These serious looking chaps are all Perry Miniatures early Crusaders but to be honest there's nothing to tell between them and "proper" late Norman cavalry. The main thing from my perspective was they were significantly cheaper per head than any other metal cavalry available, besides the historical accuracy aspect of course.

Warlord and Hearthguard

Warriors unit one

Warriors unit two
The shields are all hand painted. There's loads of perfectly serviceable shield transfers available and some of them are simply wonderful but I always prefer to paint my own. It takes more time obviously but there's a sense of originality and personalisation this way.

Backing up the knights are a unit of armoured crossbowmen. Crusader Miniatures in this case and very nice sculpts they are too. One of the benefits of Crusader is they come in packs of eight, a perfect unit size for SAGA with no wastage or figs left over.

When added to the unit of Flemish Mercenaries and Levy Bowmen already completed that gives me a nice rounded six point warband.


Saturday 19 December 2015

Happy Holidays, etc. etc. etc...

Plenty going on here at Millsy Towers at present...

I finished work yesterday for three weeks (woohoo!) and it's already heating up good and proper for an Aussie Christmas. The aircon is blasting and the undercoat is drying nice and quick...

VBCW, Frostgrave and 40K all in prep. SAGA Normans being finished up...

Dad popped past this morning on his way out somwhere, having already been to some garage sales (or simply "sailing" as we call it) and deposited 6 inches of second hand books. Looks like my Christmas break history reading is sorted!

Not a bad haul for three Aussie shekels...

I'll possibly squeeze one more post in before the 25th, but just in case I don't all the best from Evan, myself and the rest of the lads here at Canister and Grape. Here's hoping you have a safe, enjoyable holiday and that you find something new and hobby related under the tree. Thanks for you company, comments and banter over the last 12 months...


Sunday 13 December 2015

Finishing Off the Catachans - Ogryn Bonehead and Sentinels

I'm so close to finishing my 2,500 point Warhammer 40K Catachans army I can almost smell the final coat of varnish!  The models below leave me with just two Imperial Sentry Guns plus crew and I'm done. Given I started painting the army almost exactly a year ago that's pretty pleasing all round.
2 x tracked AFVs, 3 x walker AFVs and 114 infantry models. Not bad for a large 12 month project in amongst all the others.

First up in this batch is an Ogryn Bonehead - theoretically the smartest and most likely to make corporal. It's not much of an achievement to be honest but in abhuman terms he's Mensa material.

The other half of this batch is a squadron of Catachan Sentinels. The OIC is a true Catachan pattern with Heavy Flamer and the other two are armed with Lascannons for some extra punch. Nice kits and quite fun to paint. The only real sticking point is the old style Catachan upgrade kits don't fit the new style cockpits so I was forced to improvise the vegetation on the roll cages on two of the three.

As of now til the 20th I'll mostly be prepping for this year's 6th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge so don't expect to see much from me for the next week or so...


Tuesday 8 December 2015

Aussie Bloggers Meet-Up: CanCon 2016

Are you an Aussie*? Are you a wargame blogger? If you just answered YES to both questions then have we got an offer for you...

That's right, if it's good enough for those pesky northern folk then it's good enough for us. Let's meet up at 1:00pm at the Board Games section in the Northern Hall at CANCON 2016 and chew the fat. Depending on interest we might get together for a steak and a beer in the evening as well.

If you're an Aussie blogger feel free to pinch this and spread the word folks.

See you there!

* OK, Kiwis too cause we should play nice and be neighbourly.... :-)

Sunday 6 December 2015

No, no, no! You're doing it all wrong!!!

As the 6th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge approaches a smarter man than me would be prepping miniatures to paint during the challenge itself. Haha! Not me though, I'm painting like a nutter trying to get projects finished before the challenge starts.

The sharper ones amongst our readership will have spotted the flaw in my plan. Most likely I am steering myself directly into a large tree with "painting fatigue" carved at forehead height. What the hell though, it gets stuff done and seeing as I need these new toys for our big holiday bash I've not got many options.

My dubious project management methodologies aside, here's what's on the workbench at the moment... the almost very last, possibly even penultimate miniatures for my 40K Catachan army.

Three Catachan sentinels, two with Lascannons and one with Heavy Flamer

Ogryn bonehead

The only thing I've got left I think is a pair of old skool Imperial Sentry Guns plus a couple of crew. Having said that I'm sure fleaBay's siren song will call me once again. :-)


Tuesday 1 December 2015

Just In From The Tundra...

I've been panicking over planning the painting queue for my first foray into Curt's Analogue Painting Challenge, wondering which minis to paint and in what order, thinking on themes for submissions, and racking my brain over what form my Curtgeld will take (OK, I get it, it's called a Challenge for a reason).

So, my spirits were lifted somewhat by the arrival of this stout-hearted fellow;

"Righty-ho, chaps, last one into the temple is an Oxford man!"
This is the doughty Captain Krustache of Kashgar, courtesy of Bob Murch's Pulp Figures. He's this year's Movember fundraiser fig, and arrived from the Frozen North (well, British Columbia) this very afternoon. A wonderfully characterful figure, and going to support an excellent cause.

So that's one decision made - the good Captain is DEFINITELY on the Challenge queue!

Stay tuned!


Saturday 28 November 2015

Paint(ed) Table Saturday - 40K Catachan Armour

Not so much Paint Table Saturday as PAINTED Table Saturday and that can't be a bad thing right?
A finished project is a thing of beauty no matter how small and these two powerhouses of the jungle were finished up this morning.

Hellhound Chimera APC variant and Leman Russ Demolisher variant

I posted about these a little while back, when I talked about what needed to happen before the painting could start. I'm pleased to say the prep work was well worth it and I'm more than happy with the finished items.

A dark green base coat has been overlaid with several lighter coats and then a sponged black/gray camo pattern applied over the top. Despite Evan's cajoling I decided to stick with a two-colour camo as I don't really like three-colour on 40K vehicles.

Exfoliatus is a Leman Russ Demolisher, just the ticket for clearing a path through the jungle and taking on weapon pits, strong points and other nastiness including enemy armour. She was the worse off of the two when she arrived and required serious surgery in the war forges before being fit for battle once more...

Ole Smokey is a Hellhound Chimera APC variant, just the ticket for flushing infantry and creepy-crawlies out of the undergrowth. Or perhaps better still, simply BBQing the whole lot at once and being done with it once and for all!

Both still need another coat or two of Dullcote to hide the last of the decal shine but as I've run out of the damn stuff yet again that will have to wait.

Next up, three Sentinels and an odd Ogryn Bonehead and I'm all done for 2500 points, just in time to start the Painting Challenge once again.


Saturday 21 November 2015

It's ON again! The 6th AHPC has been announced!

The real Lord Snow is at it once again! Curt from Analogue Hobbies has announced this year's Painting Challenge so get your brushes out folks and sign up.

I'm on board again this year (how could I not be?!?) but Evan is dithering. Leave a comment below folks and help me ramp up the peer pressure. C'mon Ev, how about a couple of hundred points over three months? Surely that's not too much to ask...


Saturday 14 November 2015

There, I fixed it...

With the infantry component of my 40K Catachans 99% complete I've been umming and ahhhing about whether to add a little steel in the form on some AFVs. The canon dictates that a pure Deathworld force is foot sloggers only with a few Sentinels for support. But I'm not doing a pure Deathworld force so in the end I compromised and bought a couple of vehicles. I will at least however restrict myself to weapons and upgrades that make sense in a jungle environment...

Unfortunately despite my best efforts I couldn't see a few issues with the Leman Russ Demolisher before I purchased it on eBay. The right-hand track assembly was very mis-alinged and the two plasma cannon sponsons were both out of position and in one instance so badly assembled as to have big gaps all over. I could quite easily have filled the gaps, ignored the rest and just painted it but I just *know* that down the track I'd have been annoyed with it every time I looked at it.

Before I could do anything about said issues I was forced to deal with this...

You don't have any plans to work here tonight right?

Once Olivia Jigger has been removed I was able to do this...

Getting that track assembly off was a bit of a nightmare and the balance between not doing damage to the model *or* myself was a fine one. The sponsons were even harder. Based on how it was assembled and the glue used I can only assume the previous owner was a juvenile chimpanzee with learning difficulties and motor control issues. Or maybe just someone who didn't care that much at all. Honestly, I don't really mean any of that but I am terminal cynic and love to overstate things :-). The way it was assembled mystifies me a bit as it would be harder to bugger it up than to get it right given the grooves and lugs that align things (or should)?!?

Three hours of work later and we have this now...

Straight tracks, correctly aligned sponsons and no more gaps. Even better all my fingers are still in place and most of the extraneous super glue has now peeled off (me that is). Winner! Next stop is the paint station.

Before I go a couple of quick things...

I woke this morning to the horror of what is going on in Paris. My thoughts are with all the emergency services workers there and especially the victims and families of these terrible acts. If there is any justice in this world the individuals responsible will be found and made accountable for their cowardice and cruelty.

Secondly, if you can spare a [insert your currency here] or two I'm doing Movember again this year. You can sponsor the hideous creation adorning my head here...

Til next time...

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