Thursday, 27 August 2015

Heart of Stone, Will of Iron, Knob of Butter

After many seconds of deliberation I succumbed to buying a copy of Frostgrave, because I don't have enough genres to play and I really hate magic. Copy is on its way (<£9.50 inc postage).
So a root through my collection gives me a lot of figures I can use  - Vikings, peasants, knights, etc. but I do lack thieves and magicians - see above. My ancient, dusty box of original figures from the 1980s did reveal a couple of badly painted figures I could re-paint and use, a witch and a thief. The witch is a Citadel slotta base figure with a cat and a dead frog - she will definitely have a peasant following.

Second up is a gentleman thief, from an unknown manufacturer. He looks a little like Errol Flynn. Not sure about the chain mail and may paint it black.

Luckily it's the Border Reiver  show on the 5th so I can go shopping for wizards and stuff. Oddly many of my figures that I could use are more used to hot climates - Africans, Arabs etc. and I can already see myself playing a Junglegrave spin off

Monday, 24 August 2015

I bathe once a month, whether I need it or not

Yesterday's post of pirates lead to an interesting conversation with Adam Carriere about clean vs dirty figures. generally my figures are spick and span with only a small amount of wash on faces and skin, The clothes are generally freshly cleaned with shading painted on, not washed on. Adam prefers a dirtier apearence - war is a dirty business. I don't really disagree, except on the point of rusty tanks. I can't imagine the scale of the bollocking from the sergeant major when you explain why his tank is rusty. I've never been in the armed forces but I have friends and relatives who are and I'm pretty sure that, like the Queen, squaddies think the world smells of fresh paint.
Anyway I decided to take a couple of yesterday's pirates and get them dirty - pirates are definitely unhygenic. It also gave me a chance with test out the extra lighting I bought to improve the photography. Better I think

Before pictures

Nice and clean and shiny

After pictures - several wash layers of dirt and stains, a bit of dry brushing and rusty swords and axes. Also gave the French guy a redder nose.

So what do I think. Works well on white and works well on pirates and by association irregular troops of all ages - except maybe my VBCW figures who have access to soap powder and domineering wives and mothers (socialists) and servants (Lord Percy). Still want my regulars well turned out though.
Another pirate song - well it has the word pirates and is a belter

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Suffering Seagulls!

"Suffering seagulls!" was one of the catchphrases of the immortal Captain Pugwash. Disappointingly the crew weren't called Master Bates and Seaman Stains - the joy of urban myths, although the electronics company Siemans does have an office in Staines in Middlesex and they used to answer the phone with "Hello, Siemans Staines". 
I'm continuing to do collection house keeping, in this case some Northstar pirates from a lucky bag. Lovely to paint and great figures, especially the Captain Hook figure.

This classic pirate song seems the best choice. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

To the north of Kathmandu

There's a one eyed yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu. Well if there is then the last unpainted British figures in my colonial collection will find it. My colonial collection is very much Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Rider Haggard in flavour so the uniforms are fairly generic. These are from a Northstar lucky bag and will pass for action in Africa or the NW frontier.

Of course they will need supplies and barricades to defend so i have painted my Ainsty Castings supplies and barricades - these were a joy to paint and I think  the resin comes pre-washed,either that or I better at the dishes than history would indicate.

I've also improved my photography space, still a little dark but much much better than recent efforts.
This song is not very appropriate but I do love it.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Colonel Hathi's Patrol

Finished my last two elephants today. Some terrible photography gives me only 3 photos though. Need a proper studio set up. Not sure how well the howdah's work. Oddly I'm not that precise at craft, my buildings and terrain have a ramshackle appearance, so I design them to be such. These doesn't really work when building things like howdahs

Obviously  this was the 2nd film I saw at the cinema, about 1972, with my Grandad, the 1st was the Aristocats.
So Roy Williamson did some technical wizardry with my terrible photos and turned them into this. They are fab. Cheers for this mate. I owe you a coffee (tea is better) at the Border Reiver Show on 5th Sept if you make it

Saturday, 15 August 2015

The Seven Samurai

Been a busy week. It's results week for school leavers here in the UK and I've just launched a new degree at my University- Earth Science. So I've been making and ruining kids lives all week - a weird experience. Still we've got a full compliment of students which is pretty good for a brand new degree so today I'm very hungover
I've finished painting the last of my Japanese figures. These are from a Northstar lucky bag and are really good figures. The naginata spears are made from plastic brush bristles with the ends flattened and shaped, much better than wire and less of a H&S risk to one's palms.

I also received some goodies this morning from Ainsty Castings, my 1st purchase from them and the quality is excellent. Some barricades and some crates, barrels and sacks. There are also some propane bottles from Hasslefree.

I'm generally trying to finish off some of my random unpainted figures to complete collections. It's the Border Reiver show in a few weeks and .... well you know.
This is the most appropriate song

Sunday, 9 August 2015

To Bombay a Travelling Circus Came

I went to Wilko a few weeks ago and purchased some plastic elephants, £1 each I think. A little large, 12 feet to shoulder makes them big but not impossible African elephants - they are supposed to be scary. Bit of a clean up, made a howdah from card and blankets from milliput. The chains are scrap cheap necklaces. Basic grey paint job with some dry brushing with base sand (Foundry) and finally a Numidian  mahout from my bits box. Generally pretty chuffed. Left it uncrewed as they can be used for a number of races. Couple more to paint and will try some decoration on the elephants and more interesting bases.

I also finished my 2nd Macedonian phalanx. I actually started these before the previous ones I posted but had major colour palette issues and couldn't settle on a colour scheme, therefore they are a little shoddy.

This odd comic song was cool when I was at University, for that drunken last song, Nellie - I have weird and subversive tastes

Thursday, 6 August 2015

What was the 1st metal figure you bought and still have?

I've been thinking about my history in the hobby recently and  chatting to Roy Williamson gave me an interesting thought, which has no doubt been done millions of times. What is the 1st metal figure you bought that you still have and where did you buy it from?
There may be earlier figures that I can't remember or no long have but I think mine was a box of Citadel Bugman's Dwarf Rangers that I bought from a model shop in Chester in about 1986.

No my picture
This is what the ones I still own look like now

Let me know yours.
I have also been loving the cricket today, cricket is a game where England lose to Australia but not today. Today we gave the Aussies a proper spanking

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

28mm Figures saved me - history part 2

So to continue the history I took up painting figures again about 7 years ago. it cured me of clinical depression, although I can still be a fairly grumpy sod.
I still had a few unpainted figures left, mainly vikings, and wanted something new to paint. I found the Wargames Foundry site andpurchased a huge Pirate army for about £200 - the best part of 300 figures. These were colourful and fun to paint. They have already been seen in these pages so no photo, but good to maintain chronology.
Next up a Pict army from Foundry again. Figures not really great but Oh the joys of painting tartan and the horror of gloss varnish. I have some nice wall breaker rules for these - they appear from the ranks, attack before the main charge then continue fighting through the enemy until they die or make it through to the other side which breaks the enemy, then the main force attacks - causes a bloody mess.

Another Foundry army next, Trojans. Don't know why I bought these I really hate chariots - "Quick they've got chariots build a very low wall or shallow ditch".

My last Foundry army was an jungle tribes African army. 

This is starting to read like Rimmer's Risk Diary so I'll stop there. These 2 songs should tide you over
New England and Unisex Chipshop and for some culture Pubbe Gagge

The hopefully not very boring history of my hobby

Inspired by Adam Carriere I have decided to publish some photos of examples my previous work. Like most of my generation I started with Airfix figures, but I have none of those left. When I went to University in the 1980's I was introduced to Warhammer and at that time a Ravening Hordes supplement came out. In it was a viking army called Auden's Ravens and so I bought my first army (think it was £50ish). They were proper hard and once charged an Elf army composed of almost entirely bowmen and slaughtered them to a man (Elf?). They were Citadel miniatures and are still available to buy at Wargames Foundry. I recently purchased some proper round shields for them, they came with medieval and norman plastic shields, but the army is still only 1/2 painted after 30 years. These are pre-flocking days

Next up I bought a T'ang and the 5 Dynasties army from Essex (for £15 - GW were always expensive). I tend to buy armies as they are cheaper and to be honest I'm a lazy shopper They were a bizarre purchase, no practical opponents but they are well balanced army, fight well and who cares. I finished painting these.

Next up was a 20 year gap as I put away childish things. That's it for now, only 1 more episode for you to endure. This seems a suitable song for this chapter "Swords of a Thousand Men"

Monday, 3 August 2015

So I waited for 15 minutes and I was ready to do it again

2 posts in 1 day. Got a delivery from Hasslefree this morning, I really love their stuff.
First up is Madge who will fit nicely into VBCW

Then a couple of cricketers for my VBCW team

The second one is a cricket mortar team to add range to those grenades. Just hit it and don't get fooled by the spin

Next up is Boudi, I really like this figure and think I've done her justice

Finally I finished off a Lloyd Carden carrier I bought at the Durham Wargames Show


Not bad for an evening