Some things:

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I paint small metal and plastic figures and rarely get to play with them. But that is fine with me.

28 May 2015

From Rorke's Drift he came... (Part 1 - WIP)

Here's another out of the blue rpg character painted up for my upcoming (= after the Summer) roleplay campaign. This fellow will be one of the personalities the player characters can choose from a set of 7 (So they still feel like they retain a modicum of "choice"). He'll be a dark-skinned barbarian warrior (The setting our campaigns have been played in is a Frazetta-esque barbarian world) from the plains peoples. The mini is the old old Zulu Warrior from the Citadel Miniatures Talisman range. A clumsy sculpt, truth be told, but like many in the Talisman range is contains a lot of character.

Skin, head-dress, body and "clothing" is mostly done. Right eye is rubbish so I'll be revisiting that next.
 In the pictures of Zulu warriors that I found, the fighters would carry all their spare spears, javelins and clubs in their shield hand, ready to be taken up once their primary weapon was spent. To this end I made a cheeky club out of paperclip and smoothed out green stuff that I'll be sticking in his shield-hand (Drilling a hole thru it - gulp..) as his back-up weapon. 

The shield is different to the traditional zulu style - small and round, more of a buckler. It'll still be made of animal hides though.

Tomorrow is our 11th Wedding anniversary.... Bloody hell that came around fast. 

26 May 2015

Jarl Ikea! (A very sensible, no-frills sort of Viking.)

Not much done over the long Memorial Day weekend due to health crap (again), but I did finish up the Viking Lord (From this day forth to be known as "Jarl Ikea" - thankyou Zzzzzz) and decided to spritz up my Star Wars: Armada Victory Star Destroyers a little too.

First up the Jarl himself. I looked up "Viking tunics" on Google and found some handy results to help make sure that what I painted didn't just look ridiculously incorrect. I'd already decided to make him a blondie and wanted a colour that would contrast well with his hair/beard. The green I chose was Vallejo Dark German Camo Green or something for those interested. The edging was a simplified knot/swirl taken from a far more complicated design I found, but knew my crappy free-hand skills were in no way up to the task of emulating. I think it'll do though. 

Last minute I slapped on a watered down red wash to his skin as I wanted to try to give him a "fresh-off-the-long-boat" look, with exposed skin all pink from the North Sea winds. I also painted his beard darker than his hair because really, there's not too many of us manly men who's beard matches exactly to the mop on our heads. (Assuming that one can still grow a mop.)

I also attempted to paint a simple wood grain on the shield and axe haft. I think it looks okay, though perhaps could have used a less bright tan.

In this picture you can see his scabbard is empty. I like this as it gave options as to what to do with this part of the model - add a sword to his right hand (It was sans weapon out of the box), fashion a sword grip and pommel to fit in the scabbard, etc. 

I instead left it empty and decided he had been in battle already, bending his sword over some Saxon's shield edge beyond repair and so discarded it upon the ground. 

During my googling, I read that Viking shield designs were not all that complicated in the main. This will be great going forward once I start painting up the regular rank and file. But I wanted my Lord to stand out some and so searched about for a cool design to slap on his shield. The result is a crow type icon (Originally found on a blue shield in Google images) that I think translated okay on my mini. 

This hovel is mine! 

I'm now working on the Saxon Lord with a completely different colour pallette. Updates on him to come.

Here's a quick picture of the Victory Class Star Destroyers for Armada. I picked up the 2nd one last week and added some mid-grey to random panels on one of them to help differentiate between the two. I also tried to get creative and add some depth to the engine glows for both. I think they both look far more interesting in general now. 

21 May 2015

Getting back into a groove

So my painting mojo is slowly eking back into my system. To encourage this shyest of all mojos, I sat and worked some more on stuff to help it bloom into full-on Painting-Mojo-Uber-Extreme-X!!!

*warning - severe caffeine overload*

I grabbed the Lord fig for my Vikings warband and got to work. Still loads to do, but the base colours are in with washes and somehow, not-crap eyes to boot. The Tunic will be getting some decorative stuff along the edges and his beard will be closer to very light blonde to stand out more. Also the stock picture on the Gripping Beast website has him holding a puny sword over his shoulder (As his scabbard is sculpted empty of blade), but I said to hell with that nonsense. This is my Viking Lord! He needs some sort of impressive looking weapon! So he gets the Dane-style long-hafted axe. I've a bent and broken sword to glue to his base to answer for where his actual sword got to. 

Viking Lord "No-name-as-yet", pointing to where the mead-hall may well be.

Will be researching a cool design for the shield that won't tax my rubbish freehand skills too badly. ;)
He has no name, but I'm certainly open to any naming suggestions and will reward the best name with a firm manly internet handshake.

*terms and conditions of this "competition" can and will probably be changed on a whim*

I also got my dismounted Confederate cavalry troopers painted and ready for some basing flock (Waiting for this to arrive in the post). Simple paint jobs that I'll showcase once they are done-done with better pictures, but I like them so far. Two wee conversions/fixes were the standard bearer had his horribly bent banner pole removed and ground out and a length of paperclip added instead. (He's actually an infantry figure, but will match okay seeing as his mounted version looks similar.) Secondly the Officer mini had green-stuff feathers added to his hat and it's brim bent up to match the mounted version. Think the standard bearer (Easily the nicest sculpt of the unit) is actually a Union chap by Blue Moon *hoorah for interchangeable uniforms at this scale!* and the regular troopers are Alliance (?), but the Officer's manufacturer is anyone's guess. 

Apologies for the crap picture, but you get the idea.

18 May 2015

More prep

Trying to force myself to get into the habit of posting regularly again and also to get my hobby-mojo back up and running, so forgive the mundane feel of this post.

More prep work on my Saxons and some Dark Ages terrain done over the weekend. The Saxons were all cleaned and based and eventually primed grey, ready for paint. Going with very simple basing of dirt and (eventually) grass, no rocks. Will keep the project quick as far as painting and so momentum should remain strong. Also cleaned up and put together some Woodland Scenics 4-5” trees (14 of them) and based them on washers, added basing medium and primed the bases, ready for a swift drybrush and grass-ing. Last of all in this bunch, I clipped and cleaned up, then also stuck onto washers some plastic Wattle Fencing (by Renedra) which were likewise primed, ready for a quick drybrush. Metal bases for all means that they should work nicely once I get some magnetic strips to stick inside that plastic tub for transporting to games shops, etc.

I also stuck together this 4Ground Dark Ages Hovel. A really simple and attractive build. The faux fur they use for “thatched roof” was fun to muck about with. Their instructions on how to make it more “thatch” and less “fur” were fun using a toothbrush and watered down PVA glue. A wee trim here and there and hey presto (!), not a bad finished result. I can even see me using this in my fantasy rpg sessions. 4Ground makes other designs that I’m thinking to invest in for the future.

That’s it for this lot. Next up, perhaps revisiting those Robotech minis that I never finished? 

14 May 2015

Preparation for the Challenge

As with the last 6MMRPC, I plan to use (And actually follow through updating as I go.) some handy Draxian charts to keep track of my individual projects. There may or may not be one or two more of these to follow dependent on how much stuff I get completed during these next six months.

#1. The remaining Motor Platoon and it's trucks along with the Light Mortar stand of the 1st Motor Platoon and the trucks for the HMG platoon of my Flames of War desert still need finishing.

#2. After playing a small game with them (And having a blast), I realised I would really like to play my British Cromwells fully painted perhaps at a future tourney. They will be Welsh Guards Armoured Recce.

The Cromwells are all to the right of this pic. The rest of the contents of the shelves are sundry Flames of War models, some fantasy daemons, old 40K sculpts I don't want to get rid of and a Reaper Bones dragon that I'm very excited to get started on!

#3. So yeah, Dark Ages and my primary paint focus, my Jomsvikings. These really can be used as regular vikings too. I still need to order some archers but otherwise am happy playing smaller games of Lion Rampant for now.

Gripping Beast Jomsvikings from their old "6-Point" army boxed set. All metal and no doubles of sculpts - lovely.

#4. Vikings gotta raid, right? And who better than dirty Anglo-Saxons? These are mostly the contents of the Gripping Beast plastic Dark Ages Warriors boxed set with metal Thegn sculpts by Black Tree Design.

Lighting for this pic was horrid, but as it's just to show the unpainted models, it'll do. Yes, washers for bases.
Not a bad list for starters eh? Lots more (Of course) in the pile that needs my attention, including these (That will be getting lots of mates to support later this year.) ACW cavalry and some RedBoxGames Barbarians that I Kickstarted. And of course the many many random rpg minis that are sat waiting for me to get to.

Getting ready to utter a Rebel Yell!

12 May 2015

Revenge of the 6MMRPC!!!

Last year's 6th Month Mountain Reduction and Painting Challenge (Started September, my initial post for it is HERE) got me off my hobby arse and painting a fair amount of my hobby backlog. It was a great motivator and even saw this lowly blog updated at least once a week almost consistently.

Well, the organisers have decided it would be better to start the 2nd annual challenge earlier this year so as not to fall during the Thanksgiving and Xmas holidays (Sensibly) and therefore make it a little easier for people to keep up the momentum without the distractions that a run of major holidays can provide.

Not that I am all that big on cats in general, but my cat I feel deserves far more internet time than any other. (Plus I didn't have any other clever pictures around when I wrote this post up...)

Starting June 1st, the 2nd 6MMRPC begins! This is great and well timed for me. I've been feeling badly burnt out on painting for a while now after that mad dash to try to get my Flames of War British Motor Company fully painted for March's tournament here in Sacramento, but also inspired (after a couple of demo games of Dark Ages 28mm) to start my own Viking and Saxon forces so I can play some Lion Rampant. So there's lots to be painted for that project alone.

The rules for this year's Challenge have changed a little -

a. we get 3 "Jokers" instead of 2 - so some impulse buys aren't too out of the picture and you can earn further "Jokers" by completing entire projects.

b. we are allowed to pick up "that one missing piece" to complete a project without it counting as a "Joker".

c. The lovely chaps organising the Challenge have included a small painting competition with a real prize. I might enter, though having seen some of the work people posted from last year, doubt I will have much chance at winning!

Here are the actual rules copied and pasted directly from The Spider Web of History blog:

1. No purchasing of new miniatures, EXCEPT if you use a joker.  You get three jokers to use on a figure purchase.  Could be a blister pack, an ebay bundle, or a single can't splurge. The only exception to this rule is if you need bitz or A FIGURE (Singular) to complete a unit/warband etc.

1.1 - There is an opportunity to "earn" additional jokers.  If you complete an entire project (whole unit/army/warband etc.) with pictures of starting, WIP, and completion, you earn yourself a Joker.

2.  Gifts do not count against you. Holidays, birthdays etc. Also, if you're given gift cards by your hobby illiterate family or friends, you can without penalty use them on anything you want miniatures wise.

3.  Paints, terrain (or materials), and other hobby supplies do not apply to the no purchasing rule.

4.  At least one hobby related blog post and/or Instagram update a week.  If you instagram, be sure to hashtag your pic with #6MMRPC

5.  Zombtober will be part of the 6 month challenge so, Zombie related stuff during October is ENCOURAGED. Other theme suggestions are welcomed.

6.  Anyone that wants to submit a before and after picture of a miniature that they are proud of completing during the course of the challenge to will be entered into the running for a gift certificate to a online wargaming store of their choice.  Judging will be by an un-biased person.  Amount on the gift certificate will be dictated by winners nationality but should work out to about $30 U.S. I (Spiderweb of History) will not be eligible to win.

So.... June 1st.... It's on. I'll be putting together a swift post to illustrate what projects I plan on showing my major goals with Draxian (TM) charts and so forth, so watch this space.

A picture of the Twits. Just because.

In other news - my blog recently hit some major milestones (Considering it's not updated all that often and that what I do post is allovertheplace topics-wise.)! I passed 50'000 views and also 101 followers in swift succession! BIG thanks to those who stop in and read my nonsense and comment on the work I showcase. Like many others who've written these type milestone posts, it's the community and their encouragement that keep me coming back and posting updates and of course in turn being able to view and comment upon your own hobby works and exploits. I've made some online mates and met others in person through this blog, so that I feel accounts for how much it has impacted my life. Thankyou all (Especially the bots, who are no doubt at blame for getting me to the 50K views by a fair majority.), I hope I can keep this place interesting enough to keep you coming back fro more in the future!