Tuesday 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas fellow blogonians!

From myself, Ev and all the other lads here at Canister & Grape we wish you lots of love, joy, safe travels and a wonderful 2019. Oh, and hopefully some shiny new toys under the tree...


Sunday 16 December 2018

Hard Core Challenge Prep

Entering my 7th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge I like to think of myself as something of a hardened veteran. I've reached the point where my planning and point totals spreadsheets are a thing of statistical and mathemagical beauty. Refined to the nth degree they enable me to plan my efforts to minute, leaving nothing to chance and driving me to the finish line with the unerring accuracy of an award winning marksman's championship shot*.

* Quite possibly the biggest load of b0llocks you're likely to have read all year.

All this means I take my Challenge prep every bit as seriously as the painting itself. See for yourself the lengths I will go to in order to be properly prepared!

Complete SAGA Milites Christi and Konflikt '47 German forces ready for painting:

Another 1000 points of Warhammer Fantasy Battle Empire troops, likewise to be fully prepped prior to the 21st.

And finally, some corrective surgery to my left hand, or as I prefer to call it... Painting Claw II.
This was very carefully timed to ensure it is properly healed and can't impact on my brushwork regime. Yes, really.

5 days to go people. Are YOU properly prepped?


Monday 19 November 2018

Kill Team Chaos Cultists and Harlequins

On Friday my mate Nug and I played a game of Kill Team. I think from memory it was my third.

A few of the rules still seem a bit, um... off... to me especially the charge something you can't see idea but it is fun.

I took a few pics of Nug's Harlequins (beautiful!) and my newly painted Chaos Cultists. Enjoy!


Sunday 18 November 2018

AHPC Prep - Saga Milites Christi

G'day Peeps!

Yep, it's that time again! As the days lengthen and the weather warms up my mind always turns to the upcoming Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. This will be my seventh go around and my enthusiasm and excitement is every bit as much as ever it has been.

This year I have decided to focus on a few projects in their entirety e.g. start, work through and finish and entire faction or army for a game system within the Challenge window. I've done this before and it was an extremely satisfying experience I must say.

On the card this year is a double-purpose Crusades army - a 12 point Milites Christi warband for SAGA Crescent & Cross and at the same time a decent sized start on a Later Crusader force for To the Strongest!

All the cutting, swearing and gluing is finished now. Apart from some nice command and character figs currently on their way from 1st Corps this is everything...

The vast bulk of it are the wonderful Fireforge Games Templar and Sergeants boxes. Lovely sculpts with loads of options and the price per fig is brilliant. I also pinched a bunch of bow arms from my leftover Perry Miniatures stuff tp make some archers, and also some Mordheim odds and sods for extra interest. All three vendors are pretty much exactly the same scale and mix perfectly.

In total the force will be:

  • Warlord and hangers on
  • Bishop and hangers on
  • A couple of spare commanders for To the Strongest!
  • 2 x mounted Knights (2 x 4 figs)
  • 2 x foot Knights (2 x 4 figs)
  • 2 x mounted Sergeants (2 x 8 figs)
  • 2 x foot Sergeants with hand weapons (2 x 8 figs)
  • 2 x foot Sergeants with crossbows (2 x 8 figs)
  • 1 x foot Sergeants with bows (1 x 8 figs)

This works out to around 500pts in Challenge terms so that's a really solid block of points towards my total in one go. Eventually I will add some Turcopoles, a camp and some other bits for To the Strongest! but this will do for now.

I'll use Warbases trays for both ease of movement in SAGA and as unit trays for To the Strongest!

Next up is undercoating and basing to complete the prep...


Sunday 21 October 2018

US Forces Get Some Bods

Time for a quick post to catch up on some recently completed for my Konflikt '47 US Army. It's too late on a Sunday night to go into these in depth so I'll let the pics do the talking...

50 cal HMG and crew

Mudskipper Medium Jump Walker with Bazooka upgrade

And so you can get a sense of the size of the Mudskipper, here's a comparison shot with "Junior", my Coyote Light Walker from the US Starter Set. Disconcertingly, Junior is about twice as heavy as he has metal arms and legs as opposed to his big brother who is all resin.

That's enough show and tell for one night. Back to the AHPC IX prep!


Sunday 14 October 2018

Kill Team - Heretic Astartes - Half-Dozen Second Cousins of Chaos

I've played a few games of the new Warhammer 40K Kill Team game of late, enough to convince me that it's worth me painting up a team or three.

My mate Pete kindly gave me a bunch of old plastic Chaos Marines he had scored off fleaBay a while back. They were in a pretty poor state paint-wise and a couple needed some repair and re-positioning of arms and weapons but they were certainly serviceable and most welcome. Last night and on and off today I have been speed painting five of them as Slaanesh to form the core of my team, somewhat tongue-in-cheek named the Half-Dozen Second Cousins of Chaos.

These guys were once members of other chapters but their particular perversions were simply to out there for them to be tolerated by proper wrong-thinking Slaaneshi so they were exiled, left to drift through space and time until they found each other.

From left to right we have Brother Click Bait, Brother Big Brother, Brother Dutch Oven, Brother Crocs (hence the horrid green feet) and Brother Coldplay.

I have a bunch of plastic Cultists assembled and ready for painting too. Those should go under the brush starting tomorrow night and will likely be finished next weekend. Suggestions for names are most welcome, and that means YOU Evan :-)


Monday 8 October 2018




...where's everybody gone...?

Life has a habit of steamrollering you, and with assorted family health and work issues, it's been hard to find time to scratch myself, let alone paint, game, or blog. But we're out of the woods, for the moment at least, and I am determined to find time to stop and smell the flowers (or at least base a few flower tufts).

Just to show that I have not completely abandoned the path of hobby righteousness, here's my first project since March (yep, the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, no less!) this year.

A birthday was approaching, for a family member who loves unicorns, so here was an opportunity to make something she'd enjoy, as well as getting my hobby mojo back.

Here's the dry run for the design; a Secret Weapon circular resin base, with a rocky crag made from blue extruded foam, and a 'tree' harvested from my mother-in-law's garden (the roots of a woody weed). The Unicorn is a Wizkids figure from the 'Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures' range, and is quite a nice sculpt, with a good sense of dynamic movement.

The base was given a coat of sand and pebbles as groundwork, and sealed with a PVA/water mix. The tree and foam rocks had already been glued into place using the trusty hot glue gun.

The initial blocking out of the unicorn's colour scheme had Millsy and Russ calling him 'My Little Unicorn'. It's not finished yet, guys...! I dialled back the pink with a wash of purple ink, and the golden horn and hooves were inked with brown to tone them down a bit.

I then went to work on the base. I decided to use Milliput to texture the rocks and improve their durability. I hadn't used it before, but it works a treat. Extra twigs were used to make tree roots, snaking over and between the stones.

I hollowed out the top of the crag, and glued the figure into place, filling any gaps with Milliput. Once it had dried and been painted, it was time to dress things up a bit. Reindeer moss formed the foliage of the gnarled tree, while the ever-popular Tajima1 flower and grass tufts were put to good use to suggest a forest glade.

The vignette was attached to the wooden base of a cloche I picked up on eBay (since this is intended as a display piece), et voilĂ ! 

Quite pleased with this one, and it's encouraged me to come up a few more vignette ideas for down the track.

And here is the completed piece, chilled to perfection and served under glass!

It's been good to get back into harness, and I'm glad to see that I can still work to a deadline when it comes to the crunch.

What's next? I'll be honest, I'm not completely sure, but there are some old Foundry figures which are piquing my interest in things Bronze Age, and monsters are always a good fallback when you want to go wild in the basing department. Or there's that half-finished Frostgrave warband left over from two Challenges ago...

Stay tuned!


Saturday 6 October 2018

Atteint! Fast-play Jousting Rules

Recently Kapatin Kobold a.k.a Alan Saunders posted a free set of fast-play jousting rules entitled Atteint! on his blog. Alan encouraged others gamers to give them a go and provide some feedback so that exactly what we did last night!

Four of us got together and matched off once each against all the other players. A match consists of three passes with the aim to hit or if possible unhorse your opponent. Here are our four protagonists, plucked from our Warhammer Fantasy armies:

Sir Bacon of Sandwich matched against Sir Croc of Dundee and...

... Sir Redback of Dunnyseat matched against Sir Groovy of Ghoulies.

Alan's rules have a nice elegance about them and seem very well balanced, giving a good Hollywood feel without sacrificing playability. They certainly play fast once you know what you are doing and we finished in under two hours.

As you progress towards your opponent you attempt to increase your three stats of Balance, Aim and Force, focusing on your preferred stat but trying to put enough increase into the other two to ensure that you a) strike your opponent and b) break your lance or even unhorse them when you do hit.

Sir Bacon of Sandwich (my guy) won the field on the day, unhorsing his opponent in all three matches, although we has himself unceremoniously dumped on his ass in the third match too!

Yep, that's a bacon-flavoured triple snake-eyes. Woot!

In summary Atteint! are a great little set, perfect for beer and pretzels gaming on a wet Friday night. Overall there is very little wrong with the rules that we could see. They could possibly do with a little re-work to make them a little clearer in intent in places I guess e.g. can you increase a stat multiple times in a turn?

Here's a few other suggestions for you Alan...

  • With no customisation of your knight each protagonist feels a bit samey-samey. Perhaps adding a half-dozen low-impact "characteristics" that each player can choose one of to give each knight a little variety?
  • Consider limiting the number of Favours as at one point we had 3 or 4 backed up. We did assume unused ones carried over from pass to pass (but not match to match).
  • One thing we thought would be a cool tweak is to add +1 to Force if your knight moves 2 spaces on the turn they meet.

Thanks for these Alan, we had a blast and will definitely play them again!


Monday 1 October 2018

A Mudskipper and Walk

Some more goodness arrived in the post this week for my US Konflikt '47 force. Having already completed the starter set plus extras I'm now adding some flexibility and shininess to build things out to 1500 pts. Today I finished the painting on my Mudskipper Medium Walker, armed with a pair of light autocannons, a 30cal MG and a brace of bazookas. Another lovely kit and a joy to paint.

I've also got a 50cal MG team assembled and undercoated, plus a unit of ten Firefly Jump Infantry in the same state. This week should see those most completed I hope.

Given the weather is absolutely stunning at the moment (drought notwithstanding) I managed to convince myself to go for a decent walk just after lunch. It's been some time since I have been round the Shaw's Ridge / Blue Gum Swamp loop track near home so I tackled that, going clockwise which means I climbed up Shaw's Ridge instead of the easier downhill route. It's about a 10km loop and took me roughly 90 minutes with the odd stop for photos.

Eggs and bacon in full bloom

50m+ blue gum

Sydney sandstone slowly eroding away


Sunday 16 September 2018

Konflikt '47 US Starter Set Part II

This week I have been plugging away at the twenty plastic infantry infantry that come in the US starter set plus a blister of metal command figures. Happy to say they are all done which means I have completely finished my first 1000pts!

Here are some quick snaps of the doughboys...

2nd Lt, offsider and medic

Bazooka team

Sniper team

1st Squad

2nd Squad

I have a unit of Firefly jump infantry, a .50cal MMG team and a medium walker in the post right now which will expand the force to 1500pts. Apart from an LMG, a flamethrower and a mortar that'll be it I reckon.


Saturday 8 September 2018

Paint Table Saturday

Just a quick post tonight to prove I'm making progress with the US infantry...

Fiddly as all buggery to assemble but very nice minis once that's done. Painting is a breeze and with the block painting + tinted varnish method I'm planning to use they should be done in double quick time which I'm rather pleased about.

Enjoying this stuff so much there is every chance another force is on the imminent horizon. :-)


Sunday 2 September 2018

Konflikt '47 US Starter Set Part I

Following on from my last post about starting a new Konflikt '47 project I have been beavering away at the contents of the US Starter Set (plus upgrades). I'm pleased to say I've made really significant progress and have finished about 60% of the material currently on hand.

The finished units are a Sherman-T (T for "Tesla"), Coyote Light Walker, Heavy Infantry and Heavy Bazooka team. I am super impressed by the models which are great fun to paint and very characterful. Anyway, that's enough blather... time to let the pics do the talking!

M4A9 Sherman-T, with additional historical turret option

Coyote Light Walker

Heavy Infantry platoon and Heavy Bazooka team

And finally some shots of the whole lot together

I'm currently in the midst of assembling my HQ, medic, sniper team, regular bazooka team and two historical infantry units which will round out my initial force. The starter set really is amazing value and with just two extra blisters got me to 1000pts! Hopefully I will have some progress pics of the infantry next weekend but they are VERY fiddly to assemble and are taking a load of time.

Finally, a point about the photos. These are close to the best photos I've ever managed to get of my minis. I'm not the best photographer anyway and always rush my pics. Not having a decent camera also meant things were much less than optimal. BUT I have a new Google Pixel 2 XL phone and the camera is unbelievably good. These pics were taken outside in natural light on a very grey afternoon. When my new light box arrives soon the sky is the limit.

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