Thursday 26 December 2019

Still here (kind of)...

G'day All,

A number of people have reached out to check on me knowing we have awful bushfires here at the moment. The scale defies explanation and what the media reports is just the tip of the iceberg. I've been out fighting them with the RFS almost non-stop since mid-November now which accounts for the silence and my absence from the AHPC this year. Gutted as I am to be missing out it was better someone else take my spot as I have no time to paint whatsoever.

So to those who have reached out a MASSIVE thank you for checking in on me. I have been trying to reply where possible but if I have missed you I apologise and want you to know I really appreciate your thoughts. With everything we are dealing with, knowing people worry about us is really special. My world has shrunk to other firies and a few immediate family so any contact beyond that is absolutely wonderful.

Thankfully, despite everything going on with the fires we are still finding a little time for real life. Here's a pic of me after I returned from spending Christmas Day on the fireground. The pup is one of a pair of Husky x Staffies we rescued recently. Beautiful little guys with lovely temperaments and loads of energy.

All the best and I hope to be back properly some time in the future.


Merry Christmas from C&G!

Well folks, it's that time of year again, time for carol singers, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, maddening heat, etc.

All the gang here at C&G would like to wish all our friends and followers a happy and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year (pay no attention to the Ogre of Corsica and his grumpy dismissals of the season. He's just ticked off because he didn't get Russia for Christmas)!

Stay safe, wherever you are; may your brushes remain sharp, and your jar of Goblin Green never run dry (because that stuff is impossible to get nowadays - by crikey, it's hard being an Oldhammer enthusiast)!

Ev and Millsy

Saturday 30 November 2019

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge X

Tomorrow is December 1st and that means just one thing... the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is just around the corner once again. OK actually two things, that AND fruit mince pies are also back on the menu! This is edition TEN if you can believe it and my eighth participation. Evan is also on board for I think his third or maybe fourth.

Looking back I can only thank Curt yet again for all the amazing friendships that have come from my involvement (of which his is right at the top of the pile!), never mind the huge pile of painted minis that have come about as a consequence.

Last year saw me sneak over the 10,000 point mark total in painted minis from the last 7 editions of the Challenge. To put that into perspective that equates to 2,000 x 28mm miniatures painted in a period of roughly 21 months, or around 95 per month. Not bad given that spans Christmas, New Year, my birthday and Australia Day all of which distract from the painting focus. I hope you enjoyed that little statistical diversion Miles, I know I did...

More lead (OK mistakes were made, a LOT more lead) is on the way and the prep has already begun on material at hand. Bring it on!


Monday 21 October 2019

Portable Wargame Fantasy rules

I mentioned in my last blog post that I've been formulating plans for a solo fantasy campaign using Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame rules to fight the tabletop battles. There is no current "official" fantasy version of the rules but a few people have drafted some tentative rules of their own.

I've also had a go, especially given I intend to use these as mentioned above. I've created a new Portable Wargame Fantasy blog page to capture my thinking on troop types, special abilities and spells.

Painting is going very well with the Orcs & Goblins and Empire of Man forces complete. More on that soon once I have had time to take some decent pics.


Friday 27 September 2019

Have You Tried Turning it Off and Back On Again?

And..... I'm back! I could give you all sorts of quite lengthy, detailed and for the most part genuine excuses for where I have been for the last few months but that just seems like a lot of effort.

Instead I'm going to pretend the blog was misbehaving technically somehow and we can all go back to doing whatever seems fun and pretend that never happened. Sound good? Excellent! In the words of Mel Bose the Terrain Tutor... Lets crack on!

So anyway, I actually have been doing quite a bit, it just hasn't made it as far as the computer and consequently not onto the blog. Of late I have become quite frustrated by the lack of face-to-face gaming time.

Consequently I've embarked on a pretty in-depth solo project using 15mm fantasy armies and Bob Cordery's excellent Portable Wargame rules which I have now read several times over, plus the accompanying volumes.

There is currently no PW fantasy variant documented by Bob, although a few fellow enthusiasts have done some bits and bobs (no pun intended). To fill the gap I've pinched bits from theirs and then had a stab for myself which I will share in due course.

Along with the rules I've also developed some troop type definitions by extending Bob's ancient period ones. I've also put together some army selectors along the lines of the old Warmaster Armies ones which fit the idea of the various armies I intend to paint and play with e.g. Warhammer Fantasy-esqe.

From a campaign perspective I've been really enjoying the ECW campaign material of Peter from Grid based wargaming - but not always and have shamelessy appropriated his campaign style including maps, terrain generation and much more. It's wonderfully compact, well thought out system and looks like a load of fun so I can't wait to start using it.

That's enough from me for now. Its good to be back in the saddle and there's more to come over the weekend including a bunch of painted 15mm orcs from the superb Ral Partha Demonworld stable.


Saturday 6 April 2019

Ev's Challenge - The One That Got Away

Greetings, paint fans! Here's what I was working on when time ran out and the 9th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge came to an end. 

Reaper Bones again (keeping my hobby expenditure within reasonable bounds); it's a Blue Dragon, a stalwart of Old Skool AD&D monsterdom.

He stands 100mm from the base of his feet to the top of his head, and measures 160mm from wingtip to wingtip, so he really is a monster! Wish I'd gotten started on this one earlier, since he's a pretty impressive model, and would undoubtedly have put me over the line for the 500 point target I'd set myself.

The beast was base coated in GW Caledor Blue, and highlighted with increasing amounts of Vallejo Sky Blue. Blue ink was applied to the shaded recesses. The armour plates on the limbs and belly were worked up from a base of Vallejo Sombre Grey up to Wolf Grey, and inked in GW Asurmen Blue.

The wings were painted with the same set of greys as the armour plates, but without the blue ink.

He's been stuck to a 100mm Warbases MDF round, built up with white pumice paste to disguise the original moulded plastic base of the model. A bit of trimming was needed for it to fit on the MDF base.

The ancient scrolls (OK, the 1st Edition AD&D Monster Manual, but it's from 1977, so it counts) tell us that Blue Dragons live in arid or desert environments. With this in mind, I went for an appropriate basing combo.

The usual mix of slate chips, sand, and a couple of larger pebbles was painted with a basecoat of Vallejo Game Colour Leather Brown, and inked with GW Agrax Earthshade. Once this had dried, the base was worked up through Khaki and Desert Yellow, with a final drybrush of Citadel Bleached Bone to pick out the detail. Tajima Tufts Desert Diorama Elements put the icing on the desolate cake.

And just think, if I'd been better organised, this bad boy would have seen the light of day a couple of weeks ago!

I may not put my paints away just yet - there are other also-rans left over on the painting table, and it would be a shame to let them lie fallow for another year.

What's next then? Stay tuned...


Friday 22 March 2019

Ev's Challenge - The Final Chapter

So the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has come to an end for another year. And what a ride it's been! I've minioned for the first time (big shout-out to the Wednesday Warriors!), and I've produced a varied assembly of fantasy figures.

So what have I learned?

  • Preparation, above all. While I could get away with doing things on the fly in previous years, work commitments plus the weekly minioning meant that I really should have gone in with a proper plan. I'm severely ADHD and a worrier by nature, so lack of preparation really is the enemy.
  • Try and vary the subject matter. I have so many historical, 40K and horror figs still in the lead mountain, yet this time round it was almost all fantasy, and I think this got me in a bit of a rut. 
  • Realistic targets. After last year, when I actually cracked 500 points, I thought I could do the same again. Not so, topped out at 479, worse luck! Time and resources are limited, and I have to take this into account next time.
Anyway, enough of the self-reproach, here's the last of my submissions for Challenge IX!

 An Oldhammer-ish Witch Hunter, a figure from the old Warhammer Quest boardgame. I have a lot of affection for these old sculpts.

A command section for a unit of Sun Dome Templars, the elite pikemen of RuneQuest's cult of Yelmalio. Aventine Miniatures Tarentine Phalanx, repurposed for Glorantha.

A terrain entry, a ruined Gloranthan temple to the River God Zola Fel. Despite its desolate and desert appearance, it was entered in the 'Water Feature' bonus round on the basis of its frescoes.

The remainder of the Sun Dome unit. I do like how they turned out!

A Reaper Bones Griffin - Reaper has given price-conscious gamers a cheap and easy way to get big flashy monsters onto the tabletop, and I am very happy with this big guy.

Here's the last of my Dwarven Blood Bowl team, the Durinhold Tectonics. Finally, they can compete in the big leagues! 1990s sculpts from Citadel's Gary Morley, loads of character.

Reaper Bones Brain-In-A-Jar™, aka Mr Akeley. This one, and the Mi-Go, were the only non-fantasy entries in my Challenge. Really have to mix things up a bit more next time...

Following up from the unfortunate Mr Akeley, my Curtgeld submission, Gazzzz, the Fungi From Gorgoroth. A cosplaying cosmic horror mashup from the pages of Lovecraft and Tolkien. In keeping with the Challenge's theme, 'Fellowship', he's a Tolkien villain as well as a constant trial to his long-suffering co-worker Bazzzz. Reaper Bones again, with some GW Black Orc and Gripping Beast add-ons!

And that's it from me for this year's Challenge. Will I still be painting and modelling outside Challenge times? I only produced one figure between Challenges VIII and IX; I think I should try and increase my output a bit and see if I can maintain some momentum. It's just wasteful having so many unpainted figs lying around!

So stay tuned...


Friday 8 February 2019

Ev's Challenge - The Saga Continues

Day 49 of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, and we're past the halfway point.

I'm just past the halfway mark on my own 500 point target as well, so all going according to plan, I might just squeak through...

So what have I done since the last update? Let's take a look!

The brutish Manticore, a staple of the medieval bestiary - a Reaper Bones figure which will give any band of adventurers pause.

A Reaper Bones 'Avatar of Resilience', a humanoid rhino, now repurposed as a Broo with the addition of goat horns and weeping sores. Broos are the chaotic bringers of disease in Greg Stafford's world of Glorantha, the setting of the wonderful RPG RuneQuest.

The Durinhold Tectonics, a Blood Bowl Sevens team yet to make it to the top-flight leagues. But they're a plucky lot and will undoubtedly get some reinforcements soon! These were old Blood Bowl figs from the 1990's, so the basing scheme was an homage to the Oldhammer Era. A moment of silence, please, as we remember Citadel Goblin Green, the most popular basing colour of the good old days... (sniff)

Next up is a Deep Cuts Medium Fire Elemental from WizKids, a transparent plastic cast which was finished in yellow and red inks to preserve its translucent quality. I drybrushed the tips of the flames with black to suggest a smoky fire, and picked out a few areas in opaque yellows to keep it interesting. Quite pleased with the final effect, but don't ask about the water elemental I've been working on - that's proving to be a tricky one!

Three Bugbears, more Reaper Bones sculpts, and a lot of fun to paint. Lots of textures to keep the painter busy, and a unified colour palette really tied the group together, man.

Lastly, an entry for the 'Mercenary' bonus theme round. A Citadel Miniatures Ogre Maneater from the 2000's, he's been languishing on the north face of my Lead Mountain (which is situated in the Garage of Shame) for a good many years now.

He's actually made of metal - fancy that! Old metal Ogres appear to be undergoing a bit of a renaissance this round, with my blolleague, the estimable Mr Mills, submitting a corker of an entry. Call me old-fashioned, but you can't beat the satisfying heft of a large chunk of metal on the tabletop!

That's all for now, more updates to come!

Stay tuned...


Monday 14 January 2019

Ev's Challenge - The Story So Far

It's Day 24 of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge IX (well, day 24 or thereabouts, depending where you are in relation to the International Date Line), and I thought it's about time for an update on my own output so far.

First up was a Viking take on Santa Claus, the Jarl of Yule.

A Wargames Foundry figure, he looks superbly unimpressed at the next selection, an Ice Troll from Reaper Miniatures. He's one of their Bones range, and repays the effort taken to pick out the details.

The next submission was for the Bonus Theme Round 'Reconnaissance'. I picked a couple of H.P. Lovecraft's Mi-Go, the alien fungi from Yuggoth (aka Pluto). They are spying on the humans in preparation for a mission of conquest, and one has purchased a telescope to help in the task. Unfortunately, he's completely failed to take into account his species' complete lack of eyes.

The latest submission is this little fellow;

A toy scorpion re-purposed as a tabletop gaming piece and given a shiny new coat of paint, Mr Stabby is just the thing to keep any party of desert adventurers on their toes!

That's all for now - stay tuned!


Friday 11 January 2019

AHPC Bonus Round Entry - Nasty Hobbitses!

The first Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge IX Bonus Round is up and contains some amazing stuff. My entry is the iconic Warhammer Fantasy Dogs of War unit Lumpin Croop's Halfling Cocks.

Make sure you check out all the fabulous work and vote for your favourites!


Saturday 5 January 2019

Holiday Project: Dice Rolling Tray

While I was in Queensland last week I took the opportunity to spend some time in the shed with my father-in-law. To give us something to do while we yacked away we knocked up a dice rolling tray for my games table from off-cuts of timber from his past projects.

The sides are 20mm thick hardwood and the base is 5mm plywood. The internal dimensions are
10.5" x 9.5" x 2" deep - yeah I know, I love mixing decimals and imperials ;-).

I've given it a few coats of a lightly tinted semi-gloss varnish which hasn't changed the timber colour much but has brought out the lovely grain. I lined the inside with a black felt and glued a layer of some to the underside to prevent scratching.

Initial test are very positive. Nothing has escaped a decent throw and there's a very satisfying thunk as dice bounce around inside. Overall I'm really pleased with something that cost absolutely nothing but time and that very well spent in great company.

PS. Miles, happy to be critiqued :-)


Friday 4 January 2019

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

G'day All,

I'm a little late with my annual looking back / looking forward post this year because I've been on hols. It's something I enjoy though as I always find it motivating and it helps kick me into gear for the year ahead. Here we go...

This year has seen the Distractability Index at close to an all-time high and whilst that has got loads of stuff done, it means a LOT of it wasn't from Glorious Plan Millsy 2018 (or maybe it was?).

Focus! Focus damn you!!

The plan for 2018 consisted of three main goals...

1. Continuation of the 55 Days at Peking Project

This one stalled big time. Too much of a good thing proved to be a bit of a killer for the enthusiasm but I did still manage to knock out a unit of Japanese Infantry.

I also managed to get a couple of games in which was great fun.

On the plus side I jumped on the Warbases Boxer Rebellion Kickstarter and will be shortly receiving another 8 beautiful building kits in the post. Add those to the table plus a few unfinished items and it will really look the duck's nuts! Enthusiasm restored.

2. More Warhammer Fantasy Empire

Great progress with the Empire in 2018, largely thanks to the first Old World Army Challenge spurring me on. It's back again this year and I'll be continuing my Empire so there will be a lot more stuff completed in 2019.

3. Other Stuff Yet to be Decided

I hinted that SAGA Crusaders might make an appearance and they did. Well, the start of them anyway... The rest are prepped and will be appearing over the next few months in AHPC IX. I'm also tray basing as you can see for use in To the Strongest!

Now I mentioned earlier that the Distractability Index played a bit part in 2018 and here's proof...

Konflikt '47 United States Army

Unplanned and not even on the lead pile. One beer, a chat and suddenly I have a large (but painted!) US Army for Konflikt '47 and Bolt Action.

Kill Team

Another "where the hell did that come from" effort means I also have a Heretic Astartes Kill Team, the Half Dozen Second Cousins of Chaos...

Fantasy Skirmish Warband for Frostgrave

If Evan gets his finger out we might actually play a game one day...

And quite a few randoms as well...

For King and Parliament

Finally, Simon Miller's For King and Parliament got designed and laid out. It's proved a huge success and I'm absolutely stoked for him!

Glorious Plan Millsy 2019

Finish the SAGA Crusaders
Already started, fully prepped and I'm keen as mustard to get these done.

Konflikt '47 Germans
Yep, I bought another army. Double face palm.

To the Strongest Later Medieval
TWO armies for this, of which I already have approximately 60% of the material in the Cupboard of Shame - Burgundian Ordonnance and Italian Condottieri.

Warhammer Fantasy Empire
There's another 1000 points to be painted for OWAC II.

More Commission Design Work
I currently have another two projects on the go, both well advanced. One is for an existing client and the other a new one.

Plus goodness knows what else!

Happy New Year people. Looking forward to seeing all your stuff and welcoming you here in 2019.


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