Saturday, 4 May 2019

May the Fourth, Revenge of the Absent blogger

So, it's been quite a while since my last post - with the impending birth of second child, I've not had much time for painting little men, but didn't want to miss out on the tradition of a Star Wars post for May the Fourth so managed to knock out this on a few tea breaks at work:


A psionic from Osprey Games' Rogue  Stars, that with the right paint job and the addition of a length of coloured acrylic rod makes a nice gender swapped Luke Skywalker type.


Apologies for the awful lighting, it's the night before and so I'm crouched over the Dining Room table trying to get something half decent.


Apologies for the awful painting, it's been a few months! As you can see in the next picture, there was a little mould line (but one of the annoying ones, an indent rather than flash) across her face that it turned out I hadn't fixed at all when prepping the miniature, which I'd hoped I'd be able to disguise with paint, but in the end had to settle for painting as a rad scar:


Originally I'd planed to paint her the same as Tatooine Luke, but as I was working on her ended up inverting the scheme of the trousers and top and quite liked it, so left it as it was!

Also pictured, an objective marker that is essentially a Stomrtrooper's bum:


Made yonks ago out of scrap parts from a WoTC bendy miniature, it can represent some intel that the Rebellion need to acquire, or maybe explosives that they need to capture in order to sabotage some Imperial project...


Whilst I may not have been getting much painting done these last few months, that doesn't mean I haven't added anything to the Lead Mountain:


Four Nurgle terminators for £7.99 was too hard to resist...


As was a Rhino! Admittedly, it's missing the turret hatches, but I'm sure that I've got at least one (and parts to kitbash another) in my bits box...


Finally got hold of a Jokaero for the Ordo Xenos warband I've had kicking around my head for a little while now...


Picked up some Poison Wind Globadiers from a friend of a friend, so now I have enough to make a legal unit of them (well, legal for a game that is no longer current), as well as a dinky Night Goblin because look at his little face.


A friend mentioned that he had some old Warhammer and D&D miniatures back in the day, and after having a clearout gifted me this little treat, an old Warhammer Fighter!


I wasn't able to make it to Salute this year for the first time in a while, as baby could potentially have come (spoilers: he didn't, and is nine days late as I sit typing this the night before it publishes), but luckily Adam (lostinthewoods79 on Instagram, look him up, he's an embarrassingly good painter) was able to grab me the show mini and this promo of some sort of space necromance that looks like it would be ideal for Starfinder.


I finally managed to pick up some of these pipe straws from Flying Tiger, which will be adorning some Necromunda / 40k terrain at some point in the future...


Jimchenko (previously lauded buddy) gifted me this old Necromunda box, filled with all sorts of lovely plastic bulkeads! Now, I need to get hold of some mould-making silicon so that I can make duplicates to fancy up some boxes...



Also, this beautiful GM Canon kit that was a Christmas present from my wife came, and was then immediately stored until the day when I will have bountiful hobby time again!


The Mantic Hellboy game that I backed on Kickstarter came too! Frustratingly, it was delayed, and so came a week before baby's due date, so I haven't been able to dig into it as much as I'd like! Just look at this though:


Very much looking forward to getting some paint on these!


So, factoring in everything, that brings the 2019 Tally to:

2 vs 12 = -10

Not honestly as bad as I thought it would be when I started going back through my photos to see what I'd acquired since the start of the year! And also, it would be a very different story if I counted the board game pieces in the Hellboy game...

Whilst I haven't gotten much painting done so far this year, that doesn't mean that there has been no hobby:




My Blackstone Fortress miniatures are now all ready for undercoating. Well, they would be if it weren't for the fact that I was determined to make the 7 man renegade guard squads into proper 10 man squads so that I can use them outside of BSF too:


Going has been slow though, and I'm still not sure what to do for their heads...

Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 End of year post

It's that time of year again...



Tally

Now you won't believe it, but for the first time in the blog's entire history, the Tally is ending up A POSITIVE!

In part, I have been very sensible this year, but really it's more to do with me having sold a load of miniatures to finance this year's treats at Salute and pledging to back the Hellboy boardgame Kickstarter... Regardles of that, I'm happy to have completed 52 miniatures this year, rather than slumping down to the 2013 levels of productivity!

52 vs 0 = +52

2018: +52 (52 painted)
2017: -14 (47 painted)
2016: -287 (56 painted)
2015: -96 (59 painted)
2014: 0 (80 painted)
2013: -416 (25 painted)
2012: -103 (68 painted)
2011: -173 (122 painted)




Posts

33 this year, including this one - one of the quieter years all told! There was the traditional lull over the summer (nothing at all in June of August) and in the run-up to Christmas, as is inevitable as life tends to get in the way of hobby time (and to be fair if it didn't then there would be something seriously wrong!). I started fairly strong, with 8 posts in January, but it was only Zomtober that pulled me back to a semi-regular posting schedule. Eh, I paint what I paint when the fancy takes me and chronicle it on the blog in the hopes someone somewhere is reading it, rather than creating content for an audience, so I'm fairly easy going about it, but Blogger is making it harder to post easily, which may also have something to do with a lack of smaller updates, so Instagram is where they get posted...


Challenge

2018 Challenge:
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something pre-blog old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  • Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  • Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish a member of the Nextwave team
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!

And again, I'm fairly laid back about my Challenge - it's more something to occasionally guide me with a set of vague objectives rather than a whip to beat myself with, as evidenced by the fact that there was almost no progress on any of the challenges for 10 out of 12 months I think! I'm a little disappointed that I didn't finish a member of the Nextwave team though - the last two have been sat on my painting tile for a couple of months, but I just haven't been drawn to them...

Projects (according to last year's end of year post)


Star Wars -

I painted Boba Fett for May the Fourth, but that's the only Star Wars project miniature finished all year... 


ASOIAF - 

Only The Mountain finished this year, in a shocking turn of events - you would not believe the number of undercoated Wildlings I have sat on my desk - so many that I think it's why they keep getting passed over in favour of other more varied (and smaller!) projects...


Zombies - 

I did Zomtober and beyond this year, which was nice - assuming that I never get my set of zombie rules to a workable state (they're pretty much already playtest ready at this stage, but who knows, it feels like I add two more rules each time I look at them and ask myself concept questions) I'd quite like to get some of the Walking Dead storyline expansions that Mantic produce and play through them whilst rereading the comics...


Necromunda -

[whistling noises] Nothing. Every time I look at the sprues, I'm struck with option paralysis - do I build them as suggested with the sample fighters that come on cards in the box, or try and write a list and then convert figures to that? Indecision reigns, I need to just crack on really...


Back Burner:
Batman - Nothing
Fallout - a wanderer (painted purely because I painted him at Mantic's paint station at Salute) and a Raider. That's it.
ROTPOTA - It turns out this year was in fact not the year I finally finish prepping the apes. 
Conan - A Lich that is only tangentially linked to the Conan project; the rest of the minis I have prepped still stare forlornly at me from the painting queue.

As ever, it was the things that I hadn't planed to paint the got painted this year - a couple of superheroes, some random fantasy miniatures, a Blood Bowl team, and Zomtober, which gave the bulk of my finished miniatures this year!


Projects for 2019:

Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress



I hope to paint up everything from this box next year. And play it. Stranger things have happened.


ASOIAF



It's always going to be on the list, even if it's just because I have so many miniatures that I can build for it! When Fireforge release their Northern Troops plastics, I may have to get some of them, and build and paint them to justify having purchased them...


Star Wars



I'll commit to doing a May the Fourth post, and maybe even get around to converting and painting some rebel troopers...


Zombies


I'll do Zomtober. There are a couple of minis left over that were prepped for this year's Zomtober, so who knows, I may end up painting them if the fancy takes me in the interim... On the other hand, I might have to wait until I get the Shane booster before I paint Rick so that I can ensure their uniform shirts match!


Hellboy



The Kickstarter that I backed is due to turn up next year, so I'll hopefully paint that too! I have some Hellboy miniatures in my painting queue that I dug out just to whet my appetite, which may get some love as palette cleansers between batch painting Traitor Guardsmen from Blackstone Fortress!


Back Burner
Necromunda - I may come back to it, but I think Black Fortress is going to occupy that niche in my attention span this year
40K - Uncle Johnny has been hearing the siren call of GW's core game recently, so who knows - I've had a hankering to add some Nerdmarines to my squad and a half that I painted a while ago, plus my Sisters of Battle could probably do with a repaint given that we're looking to see some new releases next year...
Fallout - I've got some fun Fallout miniatures tucked away in my drawers of fun, so I may end up getting wildly distracted and pulling them out...
ROTPOTA - I know I've said it before, but maybe next year is the year I finally finish prepping the apes...

Conan disappears into the abyss, which is where things seem to be most likely to end up getting done. I've been playing an Assassin's Creed ios app a lot recently which is a lot of fun, which has tempted me to go back to playing the main series games, and led to me googling 'Assassins Creed miniatures' to see what is available, only to discover a kickstarter for a beautiful game, but I just couldn't justify spending £150 on a Kickstarter just before Christmas. If it turns up at a Salute in the future though all bets are off... In other news, have you sen those new Night Goblins that GW previewed recently? They're called something else now, I know, but I've got a half-painted Night Goblin army tucked away that might just get some reinforcements...


Next year's challenge:

  • Finish something years old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Play a game of Blackstone Fortress with fully painted miniatures
  • Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish a member of the Nextwave team
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!

You might notice the list is somewhat reduced from previous years - there are a number of factors in play with this, including expecting another child next year, but also some previous challenges were now redundant - there's nothing in my stripping pot, for example, making it rather hard to paint anything from it...

Friday, 28 December 2018

The Konigsburg Kings

Longtime followers of the blog might remember that at the start of each year I tend to set myself a set of challenges, that are largely ignored for the majority of the year only to pop up again in my end of year post. This year, one of my challenges to myself was to complete 52 painted miniatures over the course of the year, averaging one a week. Mid November, I looked back at the challenges and was reminded of this, and saw that I had 15 more miniatures to complete in order to hit this challenge. 

I briefly considered chipping away at it with a selection of odds and ends from the painting queue, but then though what better for a last dash, Hail Mary finish than a Blood Bowl Team?


A Blood Bowl team alone wouldn't be enough to hit the target though, so I also dug out this classic sculpt: 


I am not a fan of painting stripes. I'm pretty happy with how he turned out though, even if I did put off finishing him until last in order to delay having to paint the stripes!


Also, a Coach model that I converted many moons back, when I'd first planned this team:


He's an old Empire Engineer that has had his repeater pistol removed and replaced with a scroll from the Mordheim accessory sprue added (to represent either some complex play plan or perhaps a players contract), as well as having a cigar added by greenstuffing over a short length of cut paperclip that was pinned between two of his fingers! I also filed off the detail on his medallion, and added a tiny greenstuff football, to make an amulet to Nuffle. I was sure I had some WIP pictures of the conversion saved somewhere, but alas they may be on another, long-dead laptop.

Here's a picture with flash to give you a better idea of there actually being some colour on the model:


And a rear view:


I thought that his satchel of scrolls worked nicely as a bag of plays. I forget how I justified leaving the hammer on him when I was doing the conversion work...

When I planned this team way back when, I think I lifted the list almost entirely from an old White Dwarf Blood Bowl tactics article, which included a roster featuring the Mighty Zug:


He's a lovely little chunk of metal, not really done justice by these poorly lit pictures... Hmm, I need to go back and add some gloss varnish to the gem on his kneepad though...


And so, on to the team itself:


The team is mostly metal figures, supplemented with a couple of the main game box set plastics to fill out the roster. Uncle Johnny gifted me the metals yonks ago, as he is something of a 2nd Edition Blood Bowl purist and finds these Gary Morley sculpted figures a little flatly posed. For me, however, this is the era of figures I nostalgically remember!


Four blitzers for maximum bashing.


The numeric markings on the players are transfers (I figured that I should mark them, just in case I ever play in a League rather than just popping these on a shelf forevermore) - I'd originally misremembered the transfers in the Blood Bowl box set being white, but upon digging them out to apply it turned out they were black, and so would have been almost invisible on the blue pads of my players...


Enter the old faithful Cadian transfer sheet, which with some careful cutting and judicious applications of Micro Sol and Micro Set furnished me with numbers 1-11, as well as a threatening looking skull for Star Player Zug.


I'd like to pretend that I did a ton of research into how Blood Bowl teams should be numbered, but in reality I had a quick google search, and then rearranged what I found to put the catchers in positions 10 and 11, purely because I didn't fancy trying to fit a large '10' transfer onto a single shoulder pad, whereas I new that I could scavenge smaller '1' and '0' transfers from the Cadian transfer sheet to make the higher numbers that would then fit onto the tiny shields that the Catchers sport. Trying to line up those tiny transfers was a pain though, believe me...


Other things I learned whilst painting this team: if you bought a pot of Stirland Mud when it first came out to try and haven't really used it since and it's dried out somewhat, you can in fact bring it back to life by mashing it up with some Acrylic Thinner (that admittedly you accidentally bought when you meant to buy enamel thinner but hey looks like it worked out after all):


Finishing this team brings the Tally to:

52 vs 0 = +52

and as well as bringing me to 52 painted miniatures, also lets me cross another thing off the challenge list, as they're a playable 'force':

2018 Challenge:
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something pre-blog old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  • Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  • Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish a member of the Nextwave team
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!

Here's another picture of the Konigsburg kings (and yes, I realise that that makes them the kingtown kings, that's the sort of redundant humour I enjoy) that I retook with slightly better lighting:


I may come back and add a little crown emblem to their helmets one day, but for now I'm calling them done!

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Frosty the snow zombie...

Throughout the year, there are a few 'occasions' that I try to post for: something Star Wars-y for May the 4th; Zombies for Zomtober; something Christmasy for Christmas. This year, however, there was nothing festive in my lead pile (as I generally don't think to check eBay for a reasonably priced Sanity Claws until too late in the year), so I took matters into my own hands and came up with this:


Frosty the snow zombie.


Did a zombie get stuck in a snowstorm? Did some gangsters hide a body inside a snowman which then reanimated? Did some cheeky survivor build it around him for a laugh?


I took a Horrorclix zombie as my base, lopped off his arms, and then built the basic shape I wanted around him using scrunched up tin foil, before giving him some shape and texture using milliput.


My milliput is unfortunately many years old, and so I spent the majority of a delightful Christmas movie where Lacey Chabert gets a magic wish that affords her the self-confidence to talk to her handsome boss frantically working my wrist to get it back to a useable state...

Once it was mixed with water and was smooth enough to work with though, it was just a case of glopping it on over the tin foil base and then working it with some rubber tipped sculpting tools until I was happy with it's shape and texture. Small chunks of cork were embedded down his front for coal buttons, and a plan to give him twig arms was rapidly abandoned after a couple of test fittings revealed that everything that I had to use looked ridiculously out of scale. Once he was dry, I started painting, and finished him off with a judicious application of snow flock!

He (along with some chums that will feature in an upcoming blog post) was finished today, on Boxing Day, hence the rather poor lighting (apologies in advance for the quality of pictures in the next post too), during a festive family craft session:


Now, as it has been a while since my last post (I mean, and it was Christmas to), the Tally has taken hits in both directions:


A while back I wandered into Games Workshop to grab a couple of paints, and ended up grabbing the 'Getting Started with 40K' mag as it has the basic rules and a Space Marine for a fiver. My subconscious wants me to play some 40K, I think...


For a while, I was kicking around the idea of converting and painting an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor's retinue (to try and stretch myself by painting something different, if nothing else) - I spitballed making a Kroot Tracker, maybe an Eldar Exodite, Ranger or Howling Banshee... Then Blackstone Fortress came out and had some of those things in, stealing my thunder somewhat, but I still picked up a Banshee from eBay just in case my fancy swings that way again...

Speaking of Blackstone Fortress...


Mother-In-Law was furnished with a list this year, and was very generous with it...

Oof, that's a lot of miniatures. Guess what my project for next year is going to be?


I'm a big fan of this robot chappie. Not surprising considering my other hobbies when I'm not flicking at little men with a hairy stick:


Totalling everything up brings the Tally to:

38 vs 0 = +38

Unbelievably, it seems that I've acquired the exact same number of miniatures over the year as I have sold...

Finally, check out this cutie pie Owlbear dice bag that I got for Christmas too: