Saturday 30 May 2015

Patience Table Saturday

I'm a speed painter as anyone who follows Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge will know.
I may even be a reasonably competent one based on people's feedback on my work. I like the fact I can paint quickly at a decent level. It gets me loads of stuff on the table in short order and I don't wince when I look at things I painted six months ago. Mostly...

The downside of that is that I race through projects with little time spent on really trying to paint to the best of my ability or push my limits. That is until the last few years where I've occasionally forced myself to sloooooowww doooowwwwwnnn and see what I'm really capable of. Recently I've been spending more time on character style painting, focusing on detail, blending and trying to put personality into miniatures one at a time.

It's hard! As an artist I'm not much chop, lacking a genuine creative side and despite understanding colour theory seemingly being unable to put it into practice deliberately. I also get frustrated at the amount of time "wasted" switching between and pondering on colours, thinking what to work on next and endlessly washing my brush out.

Anyway, sometimes it works and sometime it doesn't. This week I think it has worked which I'm rather chuffed about. I've started a new project which will only ever require something like 20 miniatures total - a Mordheim Orc Warband. I'll probably finish it in June if the postman is kind to me. The miniatures I'm using are all plain old unit-level plastics from current or recent Games Workshop fantasy ranges (with a few extra bits thrown in for variety). The point being it's meant to be an exercise in technique and not modelling, army building or anything else that typically distracts me.

This morning I completed the first seven miniatures - a Chieftan, two Big 'Uns and four Henchmen.
I spent a LOT of time on their faces, on blending skin tones and I purposely avoided the obligatory "greenskin" bright green skin (which I admittedly love). I also limited my palette to a fairly drab set of greys, greens and browns with the odd highlight colour to try and evoke the setting. The metallics are shaded heavily to look polished through use as opposed to care. These are hardened fighters who get things done, usually by killing and then eating them.

Frustratingly, the camera is really giving me the living you-know-whats today making all the detail and depth I can see with my naked (snigger) eye more or less disappear. Despite my best efforts I simply cannot get a shot I'm happy with. Grrrr! Anyway, for what its worth, here are a few sample shots...

PS. Welcome to The Miniatures Man, Dartfrog and David who have joined us over the last couple of weeks...


Back to Glorantha Again, or Alarums and Conversions

Now, how often does something like this happen? Two posts in a row from Ev, and less than a week apart?

Relax, I haven't gone and done anything rash, like painting another figure or anything, but I have decided to try my hand at a spot of conversion with this plastic Orlanthi Chieftain.

Aggression on hessian!

He's very much an experiment, and an incomplete one at that; a bit more tidying up and some judicious work with the old Green Stuff and he should paint up OK. The shield is just blu-tacked into position so I can get an idea of how it looks on the figure.

I see this fellow as a fairly wealthy noble of an Orlanthi clan. Orlanth is the Storm God worshipped by the barbarians of Dragon Pass, in the southern provinces of the Lunar Empire. The Orlanthi are every bit as tempestuous as their god, and uprisings against Lunar occupation are not uncommon, at least when the clans aren't feuding with one another. 

The torso, arms and legs are from a Victrix Carthaginian veteran, the sword, shield with javelins, scabbard and head are from the Warlord Games Celtic Warriors boxed set, and the wolfskin cloak is from the Agema Miniatures Roman Velites sprue. 

Despite his decidedly varied heritage, I think we're off to a good start.

Stay tuned!


Sunday 24 May 2015

Back to Glorantha

Back to where, exactly...?

Well, around 30-odd years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I began GMing a role-playing game called RuneQuest, a skills-based fantasy system, without levels or classes. I enjoyed the mechanics of the game, especially the fact that all player characters could use magic to augment combat or heal wounds. But what really got me hooked was Glorantha, the world in which the adventures took place.

Glorantha wasn't your usual medieval fantasy world; it was defiantly Bronze Age in its inspiration, with iron a rare and magical material. This world spoke to my need for something out of the ordinary, something other than the castles, dungeons and wizards of mainstream fantasy RPGs.  Glorantha wasn't even a planet in the conventional sense, but a cube of earth floating in a cosmic ocean, topped by the dome of the sky.

Glorantha spawned many extremely high-quality supplements which have become legendary in role-playing circles for the breadth of their detail and the standard of artwork, especially those released during the 'RuneQuest Renaissance' of the early 1990's.

The rich mythology of Glorantha has been described elsewhere by better writers than I, and the world has been given a new lease of life (after a long hiatus) with the release of the encyclopedic Guide to Glorantha, a massive tome detailing almost every aspect of the world. It's heavy reading. I mean over 5 kg heavy.

And of course, I simply had to get the Atlas as well - no buyer's remorse here!

My nostalgic return to the RPG universe of my youth has led me down some odd pathways, not the least of which is a desire to come up with some figures to populate any hypothetical games down the track, but why stop with role-playing?

Seasoned followers of this blog will know of Simon Miller and his excellent new Ancients rules system, To The Strongest! Well, after having seen Simon's ruleset in action with a tabletop version of a battle in Glorantha, my blolleague Mr Mills (another old Glorantha hand) and I began wondering how we might be able to assemble a couple of armies of our own.

Well, everybody has to start somewhere, and suitably inspired by the efforts of far superior painters, I decided to paint up the handsome chap below; he's still a work in progress, but seems to be coming along quite nicely.

He's a Warlord Games plastic Greek Hoplite, painted up as a Centurion of a Lunar Regiment, and a member of the Seven Mothers cult. He bears the Runes of Death and Life inside the large Moon Rune on his shield (slightly wonky freehand work, but I'll see if I can't get that tidied up a bit). His iron kopis is an indication of the esteem in which he is held by his superiors.

Needs a bit more work, of course, especially on the base, and he's based more for skirmish games or role-playing than being ranked up as part of a bigger unit on the field of battle, but I would like to try out a few more figs for Glorantha. This is my first 'ancient' subject in quite a while, and it's good to get in some practice again.

Stay tuned!


Eddie and Wallis

One more post for today - a photo of the completed Partizan Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson figures I mentioned yesterday. Lovely characterful minis with lots of detail. I've based them up as if they are at some sort of garden party, walking outside with the flower beds in the background...

That's it for the forces of the right at least for now. Back to the Reds for the next batch.


Better photos of the Chester BUF

As promised here are some better photos of the Chester BUF which I posted a few days ago....

HQ including Political Officer

A Section

B Section

HMG and "Post Rider"

Char B1s "Valkyrie"

Transport Section

As it stands the full force looks like this:

1 x Unit Leader with Pistol
1 x Colour Bearer with Pistol
1 x Political Officer with SMG

A Section
1 x Section Leader with SMG
1 x Lewis Gunner
8 x Troopers with Rifles

B Section
1 x Section Leader with SMG
1 x Lewis Gunner
8 x Troopers with Rifles

1 x Vickers HMG and 2 x crew

Armoured Unit
1 x Char B1s

Transport Section
2 x Lightly Armoured Covered Lorries
4 x Drivers

Reconnaissance / Post Driver
1 x Unarmoured Single-seat Sports Car

They're intended for use with Bolt Action but really could be used with any skirmish level rule set.


A bit of old school D&D paint work...

We've been indulging in a bit of old school D&D retro gaming of late, both Red Box Basic and just now 1st Ed AD&D (Temple of Elemental Evil - WOOT!).

For most of us it's a trip down memory lane and it has been sufficiently long that we don't remember the specifics of the modules but do remember enough rules to enjoy ourselves without too much thinking. For my 18 year old son it's all shiny and new and I'm enjoying immensely living it all over again vicariously through his eyes. That both games are producing such a reaction from a child of the video game age (he's doing a game programming degree!) is a tribute to the writer's ability and shows you the quality of what was coming out when D&D was in it's heydey.

All this has prompted me to break out some very old miniatures and repaint a number of them. I'm not working to any plan, just picking them at random and doing one or two a night to break up the block painting. Here's the output from the last couple of weeks. Kudos for those who can name the range/manufacturer for any of these...

Thanks for looking!


Saturday 23 May 2015

Paint Table Saturday

Hello All!

Time for another instalment of Paint Table Saturday. I'm well and truly back in the painting groove at the moment, working on both my own material and the beginnings of a large 40K Space Marine commission for a mate.

First up is a batch of tactical marines for a Dark Angels force I've been commissioned to paint. These are the snap-fit models from the Dark Vengenace box set and to be fair they are pretty good models for the price. The detail is a little soft of the shoulder pads but a little careful knife work and layered painting and it comes up OK.

15 down... 15 to go...

The other half of the post this week goes to the VBCW's own Sid and Nancy comedy act, Eddie VIII and Wallis Simpson. These were giveaway figures at Partizan a few years ago and I'd wanted them since I first saw them. I asked a chap on the old GWP forums if he knew where I could buy a set and he very kindly sent me a set and refused any monetary recompense whatsoever, even for postage. I really can't say enough about the generosity of our little part of the interwebs at times...  I liked the tie so much on the link above I nicked the colour scheme for mine.

Psychedelic Fur Stole.... Isn't she pretty in pink?

That's it for now. I'll be back in a day or so with some better images of the BUF and a few other bits and bobs.


Tuesday 19 May 2015

The Chester Flying Column, British Union of Fascists 1938

Hello All,

I've been rather quiet of late but I've not been resting on my laurels. Firstly, I don't have any laurels. More importantly, I've not been resting anyway.

What I have been doing is beavering away at my BUF project for our VBCW campaign. I finished the painting and basing tonight and thought I'd throw a few quick photos up to keep things ticking over.
I'll take some better ones this weekend, but this will do as a teaser...

The force consists of a HQ, two flying squads, two transports with drivers, a HMG team and some armoured support.

Hot on the heels from painting Nug's BUF force for his 40th birthday present I'm pretty much over painting these right now as you can possibly imagine. Once I regain my composure and have a couple of games under my belt I'm considering a couple of additions - most likely some cavalry and maybe a heavy mortar.

Comments and criticisms welcome as always.


Tuesday 12 May 2015

Wargame Bloggers Quarterly Issue Four is OUT!

G'day everyone!

I'm pleased to announce that the team have finished putting together the fourth issue of Wargame Bloogers Quarterly and it is available for you to download and enjoy!

Grab your copy here...

Don't forget to share the link and tell your mates. It's 100% free and full of great content from your fellow bloggers.


Tuesday 5 May 2015

Ray has hit 500 posts!

Ray Rousell's Don't Throw a 1 blog has hit 500 posts this week which is an awesome effort. Congrats mate, it's really quite something!

If you are not familiar with Ray's work get over to his blog and check it out. He's even having a giveaway to celebrate so what's not to like?

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