Sunday, 23 April 2017

Salute 2017

So, today was the annual jaunt to Salute! Early morning coaches make for manic gamers, it seems:



Westminster is always my favourite stop on the journey up, as you feel like you're in a weird hybrid of Necromunda and The Crystal Maze:


The journey up was fairly uneventful; the station we normally get off is apparently closed for the rest of the year, but it turns out the stop after actually drops you off closer to Salute, so it's swings and roundabouts really! Well, on the way there, the way out was a bit of a nightmare with huge crowds that would normally be split over two stops funnelled onto one...

We made pretty good time, and so ended up quite close to the front of the queue:


After a mad initial dash over to Troll Trader to scope their bargains and snaffle a goody bag, I made the usual rounds, picking up the preorders I had organizedly placed, and not at all pinballing willy-nilly around flailing wildly at things as they caught my eye (just in case my wife asks).

And so, I present the usual assortment of pictures that are really only the barest of fractions of the number of awesome things that were on display:


A Discworld broom racing game with a nice Unseen University


Some dungeon tiles! I forget who makes them, but I'm fairly sure I have a card of theirs in the stack of paperwork and fliers I've accrued over the course of the day


Anvil Industries had the most eye-catching demo board - they were running games on the bonnet and in the back of this vehicle!


A Mantic Walking Dead demo board. I'm not going to start another project. Even though I found out I can get the core game at massive discount through work. No more projects. None.


A nice Horus Heresy board, with about a billion points and pounds worth of miniatures on it.


My favourite part of the whole board though was a little spinning radar dish.


Crooked Dice's London and Underground demo board - having followed the build over on the LAF a while back, it was great to see it in the flesh!


Warlord were showing off the new Doctor Who game - I'm still not sure if it's a board game or a wargame at this point... (side note - no Judge Dredd minis anywhere this year, boo)


Osprey were previewing their new dwarf sculpts.


I also managed to find the nice man from Westfalia (after last year's difficulties in hunting him down) who was offering preview minis of his lovely range.


Another Doctor Who board game, whose pieces look to paint up very nicely!


This Chewbacca was pretty good - about 7 foot tall, with a recorded roar!


Saga. I've never really gotten into Saga. Maybe I should.

I managed to miss the Blogger meet-up again, as in the excitement of the day I lost track of time and before I knew it it was quarter to two! This year's Salute seemed like it went by the fastest of the ones I've attended...

And five hours later, it was time to make the journey back, and time to dig through other people's blogs to find the things that I'd managed to miss. I also wondered why there were some people missing from previous years, like Amera, Brother Vinni and EM4 - whilst Salute seemed to be pretty busy and fly past for me, is it not worth it for some companies who have stayed away? It's a shame if that's the case...

Also, I found myself in someones Instagram video, something which never normally happens! Well, I found the back of my head, but that still counts.

And so, the meat of this post - the loot!



  • A box of Frostgrave barbarians, as well as a couple of blisters from the same range
  • A pair of giant scorpions from Heresy
  • Not Rey, post apoc Raider type and a not Captain Hammer from Hasslefree
  • A handful of lovely preview minis from Westfalia
  • The Walking Dead scenery pack
  • A trio of sample Mantic Walking Dead miniatures
  • A pair of Infinity miniatures, because they were crazily reduced and also buy one get one free
  • Not Brienne and not Flashman (and the promo mini!) from Wargames Illustrated
  • Alliance Smuggler and Grand Inquisitor packs for Imperial Assault
  • Dogs, heads and crates from Crooked Dice
  • A not-tiny Lady Mormont pack from Bad Squiddo games - I was hoping to get a few more bits from them, but by the time I was able to get there when their stand wasn't thronged with people the majority of the bits I was after had sold out!
  • Freebie Wild West Exodus Legendary Captain Nimue
  • Dice, because I roll bad.
  • A copy of the last edition of the Skaven army book that I didn't own, as I regretted not buying it last year and it was still sat in the same box on the same stall a year later! I may well go to my bookshelf to file it and find that I've gotten mixed up between what editions I have though... While writing this list I've just discovered that the book's previous owner had apparently torn out the last page with the rules reference on and used it as a bookmark...
  • The Salute promo mini
  • A goody bag from Troll Trader containing a variety of bits - a couple of old edition rulebooks (Deadzone & Carnevale), a painting DVD, a hexagon stencil, a cardboard house, assorted other bits and bobs, as well as a preview mini for the new Rumbleslam game and a Goblin Shaman miniature
  • Free beer mats, which I was genuinely excited about

Tally

9 vs 40 = -31

Not the worst hole I've been in after a Salute!

So, just need to finish off a few more miniatures to tick off a couple more challenges, prep and paint something for May the Fourth, and knock out a Westfalia promo after that, before I can start any of the number of new miniatures clamouring for my attention - easy!

[note - some additional stuff has been added to this post Sunday morning that I managed to miss last night!]

Friday, 21 April 2017

Two (face) sleeps until Salute!

So, finished this guy:


A repainted Heroclix Two Face. I've always liked Two Face, whether it was as Harvey Dent in the Long Halloween, to his stint as champion of the people during No Man's Land, and even through his weird attempt to seduce Montoya back to heterosexuality by ruining her life (spoilers for 20 year old comics I guess). There may have been some dorky stories that focused on his obsession with the number two (generally Batman solves the crime by realizing that obviously Two Face is going to try and hit the museum during their display of large golden twos), but there have been a greater number of stories that delve into more interesting aspects of his character (and hey, stories where he's a psychopath deciding whether someone lives or dies with the flip of a coin are fun too!)


Things that are less fun than that though: painting pinstripes on a model where the detail is at times less than defined. Traditionally, the symbolism in Two Face's clothing is fairly heavy handed - dark side of the suit on the bad side, light on the unscarred side, but I flipped tradition, because I thought the pinstripe would look better as the lighter side! The scarred side of his face has come up a little dark in the pictures, but is a little redder in real life - I went for a red raw look, with a burnt and blackened layer over the top - kinda half Arkham City, half Dark Knight.



Tally:

9 vs -10 = +19


2017 Challenges:



  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (8/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (8/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • 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)




See you at Salute!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A wizzard and his Luggage

Progress has been slow recently, despite my desperation enthusiasm to get fifteen miniatures finished before starting anything new, before Salute and May Fourth, largely because I keep falling asleep whenever I put my daughter to bed recently...



When I've managed to stave off narcolepsy though, I've managed to squeeze in the occasional hour painting while my wife is at work and finished painting Rincewind and the Luggage, only 62 months after I built them


Ah Rincewind, hapless protagonist of the early Discworld books that we didn't really see much of in later years...


And the Luggage, animated carry case and psychopath:


I really, really like this sculpt; if I had any criticism it would be that the detail is a little soft on the feet. They've also not photographed especially well, but I can assure you time was spent highlighting each of the many many toes!


Not much else to say about these really, except to note that these are the first miniatures that I've ever painted purely for display purposes - everything else has been intended for a game (although most of those plans haven't come to fruition, but that's neither here nor there).

Finishing these brings the Tally to:

8 vs -10 = +18


2017 Challenges:
  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (7/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (7/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • 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)

So, 8 more old miniatures to paint to finish off the top of the challenge before I can get started on the rest - but with Salute imminent, who knows how far I'll get before getting distracted...


Friday, 24 March 2017

The aforementioned scum and villainy...

As was the plan, now I've finished the pieces of terrain that I had on the go I've painted some miniatures!




The generic Star Wars thugs that I converted a while back. Once I got into the swing of it, finishing them off was a breeze! I think there's something about painting a batch of non-uniformed figures that I enjoy, making colour choices on the fly, daubing paint wily-nilly as the fancy takes me...


I painted them in a spread of colours and materials - the second guy from the left is painted like he is wrapped in a scavenged tarpaulin, for example, and the armour on the second and fifth chap is painted to look like it's scavenged from Stormtroopers.


In hindsight, it seems like I've subconsciously painted the leader like Kal Jerico. Because he is awesome.

As ever, fun was had with weathering, in this case on the two guys wearing long coats. I think it came out better on the leader, it didn't seem to show up as well on the lighter coat...


The Tally has however moved in both directions this week - as well as finishing these 5 chaps, my DM was getting rid of a box of assorted Orks, so I had a pick through and grabbed some Gretchen and a couple of chunky bodies for the bitz box should I get round to converting some Scavvies for Necromunda/inq28:




Tally:

6 vs -10 = +16


2017 Challenges:
  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • 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)

So, plans for the immediate future include trying to smash through some more miniatures from the queue to knock off the second and third items on the challenge list before getting distracted and starting something new allowing myself to start something new (mmm box of Star Wars miniatures I'm looking at you). Timing might be an issue with that though, as if I don't make some headway rapidly we'll be at May 4th before I know it. I mean, I have a couple of Star Wars miniatures in the queue that I could paint for May the Fourth, but none that I want to. I mean, plus the fact that Salute is only a month away already..

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Fallout Scavenger Camp

As previously mentioned, the third bit of terrain was pretty quick to paint - in fact, writing this blog post has taken longer than finishing the painting, as apparently the Blogger app that I have up until now used for my posts is kaput, and there doesn't seem to be an equivalent available on the app store (so I'm currently borrowing the wife's laptop to type this out on an actual keyboard like some sort of caveman).

Unusual amounts of planning went into this terrain piece:


By which I mean I had a vague idea, shamelessly ripped off from a vague recollection of a similar piece I'd seen over on the LAF that did the same thing, and scribbled an outline onto my base.

Then it was just a case of scavenging suitable pieces from the various stashes, which took way longer than it really should have - I should never move anything, because it always seems that I can remember where something used to be rather than where it is...


Like these tiny chairs, for example (from Frontline wargames, irc, bought waaaaay back when, when we used to have a FLGS in Canterbury) which for the longest time were in a Star Wars shoe box, and took me an entire evening to find (as apparently I'd had a bit of a rearrange when we moved).

One metal chair, some bits of sprue, a little filler, a chunk of cork, a plaster crate (bought on eBay long, long ago, as part of a lot of 'battle damaged crates and barrels' that when they came turned out to just be someone's bubble ridden miscasts in some ridiculously soft plaster, and I've held on to ever since waiting for the right opportunity to use them) and a plastic barrel that came with a Batmobile later we have this:


The basis of one of those Scavenger camps that you often stumble across in Fallout!

I also added a holdall from a 1:48 Tamiya tank accessories sprue that looked like the ones you find in the game, before applying bird sand - this was done at around the same time as the previous terrain piece, hence still having the annoying larger flecks that I plan to sieve out before future uses:


I also added a jerry can from the same Tamiya sprue, before adding a burnt out campfire with cut down pieces of matchstick.


These were initially just glued down with PVA, but I later went back and doused them with thin superglue to set them rock hard. I painted over the campfire area with some textured paint to give a surface that would look burnt with some careful drybrushing.

And then, painting:




I showed one of the guys at work that I know is a Fallout fan the pictures of the finished piece and the first thing he said was 'shouldn't that can be red'? I know, I was thinking that as I was playing Fallout 4 between paint applications (as I found some in-game, which reminded me that they were all red in the game) but at that point I'd already basecoated them blue because I fancied painting them blue, truth be told. I can always make some scatter terrain later with some broken crates and a couple of red cans if need be!

Cue the standard posed shot:




2017 Challenges:
  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • 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)

Right, time to clear the desk off and get back to painting some miniatures I think!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Storage shack - the Challenge distraction continues...

Like most wargamers, I have a habit of finding treasure in trash, literally - I have a box of interestingly shaped packaging; rolls of corrugated cardboard; even a sack of chunks of polystyrene secreted in the loft in case of terrain building inspiration. It's gotten to the point where my wife uses it against me - I came home one day and found that my wife had eaten a pack of delicious macarons without saving me any; her response: 'I saved you the packaging they came in!' - and admittedly, that packaging is currently sat downstairs on my desk as it looks like it would make some nice free standing motor or engine type scenery once decorated with suitable gubbins so I think her distraction tactic might have worked...

Inspiration struck once more when my daughter ate a tiny sandwich, leaving me this interestingly shaped piece of plastic:


Having been playing a lot of Fallout 4 recently, it struck me that it would make a nice storage shed of some kind, suitably weathered. So, off came the lid, and I drew on a rough outline for where I'd build a door:


Having previously had issues with the structural integrity of scenery made from hollow plastic, I thought I'd give papier mache a try this time:


In the next picture you can also see the door that I made from scrap card and aparrently forgot to take any more pictures of. I cut out the marked frame, and stuck my door behind it so that it would look slightly inset, giving the illusion of depth.


I also cut a sheet of corrugated card to cover the flat area on the side of the sandwich packaging that looked a little incongruous. Then, it was just a case of gluing and clamping the piece to a prepared base:


In hindsight, I'm not sure if the papier mache was fully dry when I got to this point, but hey, it's too late to go back and fix now...
I also made a door frame out of cut down matchsticks:


Learning from previous experience, I remembered not to skip this step - blending the edges of the piece into the base with filler. I left a path to the door mostly clear, and blended in the lower corners of the door, so that it would look like an area trampled down by repeated use.


As those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen, I picked up a variety of supplies (at a pound a piece, no less) to experiment with for terrain making:


Rather than using my expensive modelling sand, I'm using bird sand from the Pets section of Wilkos. It looks great, but has some larger shell-like shards that I'm not a fan of, but unfortunately fit straight through the mesh of my kitchen sieve - May be more of a winner if I can find a finer mesh...


Then comes a large passage of time between pictures. We closed down a bookshop at work, which was a busy week but left me with this inspirational image should I ever get round to building some rubble piles:


And then apparently I was really bad at taking WIP pictures, and so here it is fully painted:


The Pound Land silver spray that I used came out much more matte than I had expected, and almost seemed to repel paint, so lots of washes and scrubbing on scrappy weathering ensued:


(despite what it looks like in the oddly-angled above image, the streak does actually look like it's following a path set by gravity in real life!)


Hmm, reviewing this image makes me think maybe I could have gone further with the rust effects, it looks a lot oranger in real life...


And of course, a posed shot with my trusty shotgun wielding Vault dweller!

And for those of you wondering about the viability of using Wilkos tester pots for painting terrain rather than expensive model paints, well it didn't go very well. The paint consistency was weird (after the first coat, it seemed to have slipped off of the top of the sand somewhat) and really didn't drybrush well. In the end, I gave it a final drybrush with Tyrant Skull, and chalked it up to a learning experience:


Which adds another tick to the Challenge list:

2017 Challenges:
  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x2 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • 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)

You might notice that I've also added a couple of challenges (about completing old miniatures) mostly because the Timehop app keeps reminding me just how long it has been since I started various miniatures that I still haven't painted!

On the Challenges front, I'm determined to finish the third piece of terrain previously alluded to (that I also realise you can see in the background of some of these pictures) so that I can clear my desk off before moving onto other Challenges - it's fairly small, so hopefully it shouldn't take too long! Then, I'm going to try and crack out the '15 miniature from the queue' challenge, but it's going to be difficult given how many ideas I've had for various projects recently!

There has also been movement on the Tally front (inevitably, it might seem, given the length of time between blog posts), but not in the direction you might assume - Uncle Johnny mentioned that he wished he had some of the old, hunch-backed Chaos Warriors, as he felt like the newer style ones wouldn't fit in with the rest of his Chaos miniatures, and, having a rummage, it turned out I had 30 of them! So, off they went to their new home, in the vain hopes that they'll see the field of battle again (although John and I have managed one solitary game of Warhammer in the last decade, and both now have more children and less free time between us than we did back then, but I live in hope...)


Tally:
1 vs -16 = +15

In other news, I decided that I was going to sit down and crack on with working on the Star Wars/LOTOW adaptation that I was working on, as I think given how great Rogue One was this might be the year that I actually finish some Star Wars miniatures; I spent an evening trying to reverse engineer how I'd come up with the points total for a Stormtrooper in my existing notes, wrote a list of things I had miniatures for that I'd need to stat up, and then it was bedtime. The next night I got distracted and seem to have sketched out the basics of a ruleset for gaming Fallout, although I currently have a couple of options for dice mechanics that will need playtesting...