Saturday 30 April 2016

Paint Table Saturday: ECW Scots Foote

These last 16 miniatures for my ECW project have been lurking in a cupboard for a good long while now. Without any command figures I just couldn't see much point in painting them, however I found a reason early this week...

Tomorrow Paul (of The Man Cave fame) and Alan (of Dux Homunculorum fame) are visiting Chez Millsy along with one or two local lads for a big ECW battle. I spent a couple of hours last weekend lovingly crafting a scenario which I duly fired off to the crew.

Mid-week I set to working out which units I'd need and realised I'd goofed - I was one unit of commanded shotte short. Never one to admit I can't count (is this an admission?) I had to paint another unit sharpish. They're done now and I'm sure will embarrass Paul by running for their lives at the first enemy volley. Oh well...


Tuesday 26 April 2016

Scratch built 1930s English petrol station & workshop Part III

Things have progressed nicely over the last week or so and I've now just about completed everything I wanted to do. The last few days have seen me both build and paint both the office/shop to go with the matching workshop.

I've also added a pair of scratch built petrol pumps, a couple of barrels and some gas bottles to scatter about and add character. In time I'm going to some other paraphenalia like signage, a pile of old tires and an oil tank but that'll have to wait.

Here's how the new items look. I'm especially happy with the pumps. They were deceptively easy to knock up from MDF offcuts, some wire and a couple of shell-shaped beads.

We tried them out on the table yesterday and they worked a treat. Very happy with them indeed.


Monday 25 April 2016

ANZAC Day 2016

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, a day to honour the men and women who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces and especially a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you to each and every one of you from the crew here at C&G.

The Roll of Honour, courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Saturday 23 April 2016

Design commission project:
Blood Eagle - Skirmish Warfare in the legendary Dark Ages

I've wanted to blog about being commissioned to do the layout and design Blood Eagle for some some time. Leading up to and during the design work obviously I couldn't say anything and then my new job came along and Real Life took over. Now I'm catching up on my blogging so I can do a little shameless self-promotion... Blood Eagle is my second major commission and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

Blood Eagle - Skirmish gaming in the legendary Dark Ages is yet another wonderful offering from the talented lads Craig and Charles from The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare (of both Daishō and In Her Majesty's Name fame).

Blood Eagle is the second self-published venture by the lads and I was lucky enough to be the chap commissioned to help them bring their material into the real world, thanks largely to Simon Miller whom I worked with on To The Strongest! and who apparently gave me a rather decent reference. Thanks Simon!

I have to say working with Charles and Craig was both a privilege and a pleasure. They are clearly both heavily invested in their games and possess a serious wealth of knowledge on game design. Coupled with a love of the Dark Ages period and particularly the legendary aspect of it and the end product was always going to be something special.

The rules themselves run to 100 full colour pages and there's loads of glorious eye candy from a number of gamers. One of my pics even found it's way in there - see if you can work out which one if you pick up a copy.

There's an extensive table of contents and the rules are heavily cross-referenced throughout as well. Detailed examples of play make learning the game easy to do and the numerous quotes add real flavour and get you in the right mind set.

Finally, there's a huge section on on warbands which includes both fictional and historical personalities and hanger's on.
All in all it's a corker of a publication!

Since the rules have become available I've been curious too see what the gaming community in general thought of the design aspect. You want to know all the thought and effort you put in has achieved what you set out to do and made people happy right?

Design is especially important in games because it supports your learning of the rules and then should fade into the background and not detract from enjoyment of the book.

Thankfully from what I've seen the reviews are very positive. Here's just a few quotes I've snaffled from about the interwebs...

"Nice production values" More...
"Superb production values as expected" More...
"superb layout and publication" More...
"High class product" More...
"The book is a lovely composition with great examples and pictures to inspire" More...

Phew! Seems I can sleep at night once again...

You can pick up your own copy from North Star Military Figures for a measly GBP14.95.

If you'd like help with your project small or large have a look at what I can offer.


Tuesday 19 April 2016

Workbench update

Apart from the terrain building I've been indulging in of late I've also regained enough of my after-work mojo to get back on the brushes. This might in part be due to purchasing a metric sh1t-tonne of minis I shouldn't have but whatever gets you motivated right?

This week I've been back into the seemingly never ending Savage Orc project and made some inroads on the second batch of boar riders. They're coming along nicely and will soon be ready to embarrass themselves on the table top.

At the same time I've been indulging myself in a little Oldhammer goodness. I've been picking up 80s Chaos Warriors on and off for a while now but have held off painting them til post Challenge as they take a lot of effort given I'm painting them one at a time. I've let myself go a bit with the palette as you can see both as a bit of personal challenge to try new stuff but also in an attempt to get that real Realm of Chaos crazy vibe going.

These are a joy to paint. Every one has a personality all his (or her, or it's) own. Their names from the catalogues are pure gold too. This lot includes left-to-rigth: Chengis Crump, Arack, Krayos Dleth, Xarytus Deathflail, Sir Gilgal de Appliance (candidate for BEST. NAME. EVER!!!), I can't remember (not his name!) and Gladstone the Large . There's another eight still to go so I've still got plenty of scope for brown, purple, pink, orange and whatever else I can dream up. :-)


Sunday 17 April 2016

Scratch built 1930s English petrol station & workshop Part II

I've managed to get the paintwork and detailing finished on the workshop part of the project now.

In the end I opted for blue timber details and a dirty red roof. I also Googled up some period posters and stuck a few to the walls and doors to add a little character. All up I'm pretty pleased with how it's turned out.

Next up I'm going to build a smaller office / shop building and a couple of petrol pumps plus some general clutter to go round the outside. Stay tuned for that...

As I was setting up to do this post I realised this is our 400th(!) post since kicking off the blog.
It seems appropriate at this point to thank everyone for their comments and visits over the years.

Evan and I very much enjoy the interaction with our global blogging friends and it makes our hobby time so much more meaningful when people drop by and share in our craziness. Thanks all!


Tuesday 12 April 2016

Scratch built 1930s English petrol station & workshop

With the finish of the 6th Annual AHPC and a new job piled on top I've had precious little time for modelling and what time I've had has been rather distracted and unfocused. Although I've done a little work with the brush on some Oldhammer chaos warriors I've been more interested in terrain work of late.

One of the things I've wanted for some time is better terrain for our VBCW games. The last few days I've been working in a 1930's era petrol station and I've now completed building work on the workshop part of the project.

The main structure is cork tile with decoration and additions in card, mdf off-cuts and foamcore board. It's now been given a blast of black undercoat and I've started painting the walls a very light grey / white colour to simulate a rendered concrete finish.

I'm not sure what the main highlight colour will be at this point although it will likely be a blue or green roof and matching timber work. I'll also add decoration in the form of some period posters and old paraphernalia.

Stay tuned for a progress update...


Sunday 10 April 2016

The Challenge; A Quick Round Up (and then it's back to Frostgrave!)

The 6th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, where bloggers and painters from the four corners of the circular globe line up to show off their figlimning and modelling skills, has at last come to an end for another year.

While my blolleague Millsy is an old hand at this event, it was my first entry into the lists (thanks to the encouragement of painting blog luminaries such as Anne, Michael, Paul, and Dave, as well as Millsy), so I set myself a modest target of 200 points.

Well, I wasn't going to set the world on fire on my first outing, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I ended up with 241 points. The key here seems to be the bonus rounds, and my word, didn't the Challengers pull out all the stops for those!

C&G's own Millsy was one of the leaders in this field, with a podium finish in each of the bonus rounds, and a well-deserved win in the 'Defensive Terrain' category for his insanely detailed motte-and-bailey castle.

Trust me, anyone bloody-minded enough to sharpen nearly two hundred individual twigs gathered from the backyard to make a palisade is not a person to be trifled with.

My own showing in the bonus rounds was modest, as befits a debutant. I did score an honourable mention in the 'Nautical' category, which was more than I had dared expect - old Thadrak Krakenbane is possibly the silliest figure I've ever painted, but he generated a backstory which went from silly to sad in a most unexpected manner.

Towards the end of the Challenge, it was as though Millsy and I remembered that we had a bunch of unpainted figs for something called Frostgrave (as did a good many other Challengers - it was almost uncanny!), and there was a bit of a (snow) flurry as we all swung into action. I rustled up a couple of beasties and two soldiers, while Millsy went for some superbly-rendered Wights and Constructs.

I'm glad we're getting some traction on Frostgrave again (after all, we did buy the ruleset for a reason), and I've been inspired to carry on in the wake of the Challenge. Better late than never for the painting mojo to kick in - though three months ago would have been nice!

So here's the latest from the Drummoyne workbench; two golems (or constructs, in Frostgrave parlance), one Stone, one Flesh. They're impulse buys from my FLGS, Reaper Bones figs, and I'm surprised at how easily they painted up (though I'll leave it to you to make your own judgement on the final effect).

Here's the Stone Golem, based on a Renedra 40mm round with some rocks, some resin basing bits from an old GW basing set, and lots of white pumice to build up the area around the moulded base of the fig. It was finished with the 50/50 bicarb/PVA glue snow mix, given a wash in the recesses with the OOP GW Ice Blue.

I decided to go with something other than the bog standard GWSWGG colour scheme, working up instead from a base of the now-discontinued GW Foundation colour Orkhide Shade, a very dark green at the blue end of the spectrum. Successive layers of drybrushing went up from the old Dark Angels Green to the lighter grey-greens of the final edge highlights.

I was going for a greenstone/dark jade effect, and I think staying away from the warmer, yellower greens was the way to go. The fine cracks evident in the sculpt called for a lighter touch, and I think that lining in the lower edges of the flaws with the paler tones has helped me here. 

The next one is almost a diametric opposite; the sharp edges of the first sculpt have no counterpart in the Reaper Bones Flesh Golem. I started with a purple basecoat, thinking to work it up to a pale mauve-grey, for a dead and sallow look. As I added paler layers, striping in the direction of the muscle, I found myself moving back towards the red end of the purple spectrum. As you can see, one thing led to another, with a pretty disturbing end result.

He's made of flesh, alright, but it's as though some careless magician neglected to give him skin. He looks like he's just stepped off the set of one of the Hellraiser films. I'm not entirely sure what happened there...

The bulging muscles of his back and shoulders really lent themselves to the 'anatomical model' style of painting, with the striation of the tissue picked out in purple, red and bone with a dark red wash. His base is the usual snow mix, with a rusty helmet from the Frostgrave Soldiers sprue thrown in for good measure. 

His bloody chest and hands have been given a splash of GW's 'Blood for the Blood God', from their technical paint range, with a few drops and bloody footprints in the snow as well. Ordinarily, I avoid such overly gory effects, but something about this sculpt brought out my inner B-movie horror impresario. All a bit Grand Guignol, really - I'd better not make too much of a habit of it...

That's all for now - stay tuned!

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