Friday, 18 March 2016

What's in the booooooooox

So, the other night, perusing Facebook when I probably should have been sleeping, I came across a chap that was looking to get rid of some Warhammer. I offered to take it off his hands if no one else wanted them, and offered to wait a week or so to see if he got any better offers. It turned out that with the advent of Age of Sigmar, his entire group of friends had dropped the game entirely, leaving him with a box of miniatures just taking up space, and as he was moving house shortly he wanted to get shot of them as soon as possible. I spent most of a day on an instant messaging service trying to persuade him to bung them on eBay or wait and see if he got a better offer, but he was keen for them to go somewhere where they'd get used. Today.

Not knowing what to expect (and considering the fact that I might be getting lured into a strangers flat so that they could murder and/or eat me) I ended up meeting the guy who was perfectly charming and walking away with a box of Warhammer. A large box.

Se7en references in the title of this post aside, it wasn't my wife's head in the box, but this:

That's a ton of stuff. Also, a phone charger!

I started pulling out models, trying to sort them by army as I went, but I kept finding interesting things that weren't Warhammer.

Like these:

Potentially the sweetest card sleeves in this world or the next (further investigation has revealed that there isn't enough to sleeve a whole deck. Curse you cruel fate!). 

I had some assistance in sorting through the box:

Although her greatest delight was mostly in taking and moving to the floor the non-Warhammer things that I'd set aside so that I could contact the guy to make sure he definitely didn't want them, and you'll see why:

Well, maybe not that holy sock. 

This, more so...

And this, I thought would probably have some sentimental value at least...

It turned out the watch and the lighter were his father's, so I'm glad I messaged him rather than just tossing them in the bin! There was also an expired bank card, which from chatting to the guy about when he last looked in the box probably wasn't expired when he put it in there...

As you can see, there was also some 3D glasses, some filters, the little tool you use for getting the SIM card out of an iPhone, at least one Magic deck (I'm tempted to just shuffle it up and play without going through the cards to see the synergies just to see what happens) as well as 5 pens, a key ring, and a whole host of old house keys:

And a paintbrush, admittedly, but my daughter had that away and I haven't seen it since.

After a brief break for dinner and a beer:

I continued pulling miniatures out of the box until I ran out of space on the chest we use as a coffee table:

(You'll notice that things start getting less organised towards the camera as I realised that I wasn't going to have enough space to lay out everything)

Even after all this, there was still another hundred or so miniatures in the bottom of the box! The original post described it as a Skaven and Chaos army with 'a few other bits that never get used', which ended up being: a small Wood Elf force, with some chaps riding stags; a Chaos army, with some warriors, wolves, chaps on juggernauts, converted chariots, two Daemon Princes and mounted Slaanesh types; and a Skaven army, that looks like the models from the Island of Blood starter set that have been added to with a Screaming Bell, two Doomwheels, a handful of Stormvermin and a smattering of metal models!

There were some other interesting bits, like this armless Warrior Priest that I don't recognise (EDIT: a day or two later, I've stared at him some more and think he's from a vignette that GW produced of a Warrior Priest blessing a chap's rifle, but don't quote me on that), a plastic Dark Elf sorceress and a handful of dwarfs!

Most excitingly, though, was the discovery of TEN Skaven Jezzails! Super exciting, as up until now I'd managed to acquire the princely total of... one, from a trader at Salute a couple of years back. Also, the hardback Warriors of Chaos army book that the Jezzails are resting on in the above picture, which I realise I haven't mentioned until now...

I also enjoyed this little gem, amongst a smattering of 40K orks, which I can only assume is a converted RPG character, holding a tiny bottle of Jack Daniels!

Piling everything back into the box to await the time I can give them a proper sort (I'm going to need some more boxes!), we then spent some time tidying out the drawers of our desk - many years ago, it was my hobby desk, and the drawers are full of old maps, bases, interestingly shaped oddments of plastic and old knife blades, but these days it's used exclusively by my wife for her crafting, so we're taking out my bits and bobs (most of which have been sat untouched for a couple of years now). Fun tip - do this FOR your wife, not WITH her, as she probably won't take too kindly to your proclamations of 'hey, remember I thought I was out of 40mm bases and spent that afternoon going through every box in the house looking for some? Turns out there were something like twenty in here'...

I came back to these miniatures an evening or two later, and tried sorting them into separate boxes by army, so that I could work out just how much there was, but the boxes I used still weren't big enough! I'll have to get some bigger receptacles an spend an afternoon costing out what I've got using Battlescribe (my army list app of choice for pretty much every game system).

And so, the Tally... Normally, painted miniatures don't add to the Tally, but what about half-painted miniatures? What about miniatures that I'll likely touch up or repaint? It looks like a lot of these figures are painted with enamels, which won't match any of my other miniatures... Plus the fact that I still haven't counted exactly how many miniatures there actually are! I think I'll skip the Tally for these, so bear in mind, if I end up ending the year on a positive score, just remember that it won't really count due to this massive box of miniatures acquired!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

'He's a veritable one-man army! Half-man army. Whatever'.

Last year at Salute, I was able to track down the guy from Westfalia miniatures and acquire a freebie miniature - I was really quite taken with his halflings, and super happy to get one. 

(side-note: have a nose around the Steampunk sections of the Westfalia miniatures website. Look at the Clocktopus, and then try and tell me you're not in love!)

However, as is my way, I decided to save building and painting it for a special treat, which has resulted in it not getting painted for almost a year! Seeing that Salute was rapidly rolling around again, I decided that I was going to get it painted up before then!

Such was my excitement and haste, I was a little incautious in removing his accessories from the sprue they came on, leaving me a little bit of fine green stuff repair work to do:

(Brief side-note: I don't know what sort of resin they use for this range, but I think honestly it's the best I've ever worked with - it cuts and cleans up like a plastic, and is super light, but holds excellent detail).

A brief clean-up later, it was time to decide which of the optional accessories to use. Helmet or no helmet? Holding a weapon or holding a measuring cup? Halberd or crossbow? I quite liked the look of the halberd, although the figure has a quiver of bolts (is that the right term for it when it's bolts rather than arrows?) sculpted on the body piece, so in the end I decided to use absolutely everything:

A little filing on the head to attach the helmet and then everything else piled on in every free space gives us one heavily armed furry footed burrower:

'He's a veritable one-man army! Half-man army. Whatever'.

I'm starting to picture him as some sort of wandering mercenary now, a survivor of countless wars selling his services to the highest bidder (or the one with the most well-equipped kitchen).

Then came basing - only a basic sand blend job, as there isn't really space for anything fancier on his tiny base!

Painting was fairly straightforward, and an absolute delight - as mentioned earlier, the resin holds detail beautifully, and it's a lovely little miniature!

I wanted to give him a little extra detail, and so decided to give the haft of his halberd some stripes - marking out the guide lines with a soft pencil as per usual:


At this point is finished painting the rest of the miniature, and just needed to decide what colours to use. I briefly considered red and yellow, so that he'd match my Lannister pikemen, but thought that as he was a one-off miniature I'd give him something a bit more interesting, and settled on pink and green (as when we were younger, my wife's official colour scheme was pink green and grey, and so I took inspiration from that for my fantastic heraldry). And lo, here he is finished:

Bringing the Tally to:

18 vs 0 = +18

But that will soon change...

Catmandu! Or don't. It's your choice.

Another miniature from the depths of the project box, this is a thing that's largely been painted a layer here, a layer there between other projects:

Originally a Mage Knight Dungeons (or perhaps Pyramid) figure, he was rebased many, many moons ago for use in D&D and the seemingly long-forgotten Conan project. 

Several layers of drybrushed have picked out some nice detail on his fur, so now he's good to go and terrorise hapless adventurers!

I gave him blue eyes, because a four second google image search suggested that that was a thing that tigers might have:

(Presumably with the assistance of Photoshop, but I liked the idea regardless)

In hindsight, maybe I should have painted him in a snowy or arctic theme, to use him for Frostgrave, but either way, finishing him takes the Tally to:

19 vs 0 = +19

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Did you see that thing move?

Last night I finished this batch of scarecrows that I've been scratching away at for a little while now:

Originally bought with the intention of using for Doctor Who games (based on The Family of Blood' episode), they will likely see more use in D&D (as the game I'm playing in was originally a Pathfinder game set in Ustalav that is currently being converted to 5th edition Ravenloft) or in Frostgrave (either as medium constructs or proxy henchmen in a necromancers warband).

Brief diversion - I saw the scarecrows at the Doctor Who Exhibition 5 years ago:

Chilling. Also very brown, but I mixed things up a little in my painting!

You might notice the final highlight on the miniatures bases are a little heavy; this is due to my tiny assistant being awake while I finished them up:

Playing her favourite games of 'how many of Daddy's paints can I hold at the same time' 'how many paints can I post into Daddy's shirt pocket' and 'wow, this cup is full of dirty water, I'm going to put a paintbrush in there too'.

The miniatures are a mix of Crooked Dice, Gripping Beast and Foundry:

The Crooked Dice scarecrows are the only multipart miniatures of the lot - the chap with the red jacket has had his right arm reattached more than once, despite my having pinned the limbs! They're a bit chunky, and there are only two sculpts, although I swapped the arms on the duplicates to give a little more variety. Looking back over old blogposts, I apparently got these in February. Of 2011.

The Gripping Beast sculpts are the closest to their on-screen look in the Doctor Who episode, with four pleasingly different sculpts. 

The Foundry sculpts are the least like the Doctor Who scarecrows, because they're not meant to be! If I recall correctly, they're part of their undead range, and very characterful with it - there are chunks of wooden framework visible through tears in their clothes, and they look lashed together before being animated and armed!

Finishing this large batch of lads brings the Tally to:

17 vs 0 = +17

which is a nice place to be, although with Salute just round the corner who knows where we'll end up. As to what's next, who knows? There are some generic fantasy miniatures clogging not up the project box that I could finish off to free up some space; maybe a member or two of Nextwave or some more Barman villains; alternatively, I should probably paint the halfling from Westfalia miniatures that I got at last Salute before a whole year has passed! My mantra is going to be: ''I do not need any more Perry Plastics. I do NOT need any more Perry plastics'...