Sunday, 16 January 2022

Thieves!

 First completed miniatures of the year! 

Two thieves, as I continue my plan to play some solo Frostgrave:


Both from Northstar, one is from the plastic female soldiers kit and the other is a metal figure, both feature a red scarf (as I suspect will crop up on the majority of the figures in the warband at this rate) and coincidentally both have purple as a secondary colour, which was chance rather than choice.


The metal thief also features some micron pen designs on her capelet, which I’m not entirely sold on but as they say perfect is the enemy of done!

Finishing this pair brings the Tally to:

2 vs 0 = +2


What’s next? The rest of the gang, hopefully!

Monday, 3 January 2022

2021 in review

As is tradition, now is the time to reflect on the year that we just left, and look forward to the next one. Last year was a burning trash pile for a lot of people, so any happiness we managed to achieve can only be a good thing and should be celebrated.


Tally:

Thanks to a last minute Hail Mary at the end of the year, I managed to up my numbers at the last moment to get a final total of:

52 vs 36 = +16

Which will also knock a couple of things off of the Challenge, ending up in the positive as well despite my family gifting me miniatures for Christmas, as we’ll see later!

Adding to last year’s decade worth of stats, we have this updated graph:

(I know, I couldn’t for the life of me remember where I’d managed to make the graph last year so that’s why this one looks so different).

I feel like I’ve hit my rhythm in recent years, generally wheezing and flailing over the finish line with around 50 minis finished. Alas, this isn’t my only hobby, so I’m not as productive as some of the amazing painters out there (many of whom have commented in their end of year roundups how unproductive they were last year, only finishing 300+ miniatures), but in 30 years or so I might have a finished mass battle army…


Posts:

40 posts last year, so one of my more prolific posting years! Breaking the Rangers of Shadow Deep project into little chunks might have had something to do with that, as does Zomtober participation.


Last Year's Challenge:

  • Finish something old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Finish some scatter terrain (3/3)
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Play a game 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 Frostgrave)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish the last member of the Nextwave team
  • Complete the classes project (and when I do that, start a project to have painted miniatures to represent all of the Races in the Players Handbook)
  • Add at least 3 entries to the Monstrous Alphabet Project (3/3)
  • 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!

Again, one of my more successful years! Even though the Challenge isn’t something I beat myself up over not completing, it’s still nice to tick some things off every now and again. There were a couple of other things that I was planning on knocking off too, but life got in the way - I stripped an old mini to repaint, and managed to put a single layer of paint on the last member of Nextwave…

Projects (according to the last end of year post):

Rangers of Shadow Deep

I played an actual game, for the first time in ages! This was the project that while it took about a year longer than originally planned, I stuck with, presumably due to my love of a checklist. 


Frostgrave

I’ve made a start on my warband, and painted the horrible monster needed for the first solo scenario I plan to play.


Stargrave

I painted a robot! Not much else though, this project is a bit further down the priority list than Frostgrave and Rangers.


Blackstone Fortress

I painted a Jokaero that is technically for this, since I wanted to paint it rather than for this project, if that makes sense. Dead project for the foreseeable I think…


Mordheim

Nothing this year. Which is odd, as I find myself thinking about it a bunch, yet that never seems to translate into actual painting…


A Song of Ice and Fire

Nothing this year. There are various bits under coated, but they never seemed to find their way to the front of the queue.


Japanese Fantasy

Again, multiple things undercoated. The first three figures for this project have been sat on my painting tile for the majority of the year, but I think I’m a bit paralysed by not wanting to mess them up! 


The Witcher

As is becoming a recurring theme, some miniatures got prepped and undercoated, but didn’t get any further.


Zombies

I did Zomtober, as I had pledged, and will hopefully continue to do so forever


Star Wars

May the Fourth got an outing, but nothing since…


Dungeons & Dragons

I suddenly realised while writing this post, my eleventh hour painting of some Wraiths actually completes another entry on the Monstrous Alphabet!

A is for
B is for
C is for Carrion Crawler
D is for
E is for Elemental (More than one)
F is for Flameskull
G is for Goblin
H is for
I is for
J is for
K is for
L is for Lich
M is for Mind FlayerMyconidMummy
N is for
O is for Owlbear
P is for Purple Worm
Q is for
R is for
S is for Shambling MoundScarecrowSkeleton
T is for
U is for
V is for
W is for Wraith
X is for
Y is for
Z is for Zombie

This is the project that I’m constantly pulling minis out of the basement for, at the risk of collapsing my painting tile under the weight of things joining the queue!


Back burner:

40k - the aforementioned Jokaero. One day I’ll have an Inquisitorial warband, one day…

Cyberpunk - nope

Zona Alfa - nada

Mass Effect - I didn’t get the remastered video game (and who am I kidding, it’s not that I’d have had time to play it anyway) so my 

Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Despite this largely being a long-running joke at this point, I did actually do some more prep on the contents of the monkey box…


2022 Projects:

Someone pointed out that my list of projects was somewhat unwieldy, which is not untrue. On the other hand, I like having a bunch of different options to suit whatever mood I’m in when the urge to paint hits, rather than trying to force myself to focus on just one thing regardless of how my motivation lands. Bearing that in mind, I’m going to set out a somewhat reduced suite of projects for 2022, with the disclaimer that I may well still just paint whatever I fancy.


Rangers of Shadow Deep


I need to make some nest trees (the parts for which are currently scrubbed and waiting to be assembled) and some webbed victims, then I’m good to go to play the second scenario!


Frostgrave


Just the rest of the warband to paint, and maybe some more generic fantasy ruins to make and I’m good to go for some solo play. I probably don’t even need to paint the whole warband, as you only take a couple of members in Dark Alchemy, but I’d probably want to have them all finished so that I can have my pick of the whole warband. I’ve also got a mini picked out for my Captain, that I kind of want to paint now despite not actually needing her yet…


Silver Bayonet


So, a new project that I have no minis or terrain for? Well, some generic terrain will cross over, as will some monsters. My wife got me some Perry Rifle Command, and I’ve got some odds and ends that I should be able to wrestle into a usable unit. In other news, I’m now having to resist the urge to buy an entire Napoleonic army, knowing full well that I’d never finish painting it, but they just look so good…


Japanese Fantasy


Not at the top of the priority pile this year, but I would like to paint something for it… I’ve also been very good and not just treated myself to a bunch of new models for this project, despite how many cool minis exist (looking at you Yuurei from Rising Sun), just in case my wife is reading this.


Star Wars



I’ll do May the Fourth, at the very least. 


Zombies


Zombies, the one time a year where I am able to maintain a consistent posting schedule, long may it reign!


Warhammer



I know, I know, I’m sworn off GW currently, but I’d also like to work on my Skaven army having challenged some chums to a painting challenge in preparation for the release of Warhammer The Old World. The challenge is to paint 500 points of square based Warhammer, and currently I am winning, having painted 2 points worth of Skaven.


Next Year’s Challenge:

  • Finish something years old
  • Finish some terrain (0/3)
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box (I mean it wouldn’t be a Challenge without this eternal listing)
  • Play a game 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 Frostgrave)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish the last member of the Nextwave team
  • Complete the project to have painted miniatures to represent all of the Races in the 5e D&D Players Handbook
  • Add at least 3 entries to the Monstrous Alphabet Project
  • 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 we’ll see how well I did in a year’s time!


Thursday, 30 December 2021

Spooky scary…

So, a couple of weeks back I looked at a calendar and saw just how little time there was left, so headed down to the basement to have a rummage through the boxes of miniatures to find some bits and bobs that I could paint to get my numbers up, and found some Dungeons and Dragons Wraiths… and then some more Wraiths, so onto the painting tile they went, as there are dozens of games that can benefit from some spooky types:


I like that each set of sculpts are based on different eras of D&D art; the ones from the old board game (that despite being all monopose sculpts have actually furnished me with a variety of things to paint) being based on this art:


Spooky! Mostly painted with a lot of drybrushing while watching Black Widow!


They don’t look as high contrast as this in real life, alas due to it being night time these pictures were taken using the garishly bright dining room light…


While digging through the boxes, I also found these other figures (originally from the Attack Wing game I think, gifted to me by my DM years ago) based on more modern Wraith art:

The details are a little soft, especially around their odd metal masks, but I think they turned out alright. Don’t look too closely at those masks though.


Being that they’re from Attack Wing, they were mounted on clear tubes. The first one I set out an elaborate system of bent pins to attach it to the base, but for the other three I went with the old faithful boatload of superglue, which worked just as well for one tenth of the effort. A couple of them got their tube adjusted at the tip, so that they would sit on the base at a funky angle and make them look a little more varied. 


And with these painted, the Tally stands at:

52 vs 36 = +16

I don’t know that I’ll be able to finish anything else before the weekend, so I’ll wish you all a Happy New Year now!

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

You there boy!

What day is this?


Well, it’s a couple of days after Christmas, so not quite on time, but here is this year’s festive painting:




Ebeneezer Scrooge and the ghost of Marley, from Artizan Designs.


I’d originally wined to have these ready to post on Christmas Day, but the week running up to it was just too busy to get any painting done! In the end they were finished nine minutes into Boxing Day, but I haven’t had a chance to take pictures and write a post until now.


While Scrooge might not see much actual game time, the ghostly Marley will probably get a run out when I get to playing some Silver Bayonet…


As Christmas happened though, this isn’t the only change to the Tally:



I got some Skaven and some Perry Chosen Men from my wife and children, and a pair of Game of Thrones Giants from my Mother in Law that will see use in both Frostgrave and the ASOIAF Wildling project.

All told, the Tally now stands at:

45 vs 36 = +9

So, 3 more days, how much do you think I can get painted?

Saturday, 11 December 2021

Who is the most important Avenger?

 Probably Hawkguy:


He’s been sat half painted for years, but watching the current Hawkeye show prompted me to get him finished. Also fun was attempting to persuade my wife that he’s called Hawkguy rather than Hawkeye…


It’s a fairly tricky sculpt to get a picture of, given how hunched over he is. On the plus side, that means you can’t really see the lack of detail on his facial features, and my attempts to make him look more human. Part of me thinks I should have replaced the bow, but I think the original lump has a charm of its own (it’s an oooold Heroclix sculpt, so he’s good and chunky)


I went old school for his colour scheme, using the 1969 Marvel Comic Annual for reference, which was my first introduction to the character:


Once he was painted, I pinned him to a base I had handily prepared some years earlier - I was making some bases for The Walking Dead figures one past Zomtober, and this one came out too tall. Looking more like a typical ‘hero rock’ rather than post-apocalyptic pavement, so while it was no good for that, got stashed waiting for the right superhero to come along.


(This picture also got posted on Instagram with a caption claiming that I’d spent hours painting the invisible man, of course).

Finishing Hawkguy brings the Tally to:

43 vs 23 = +20

and also means I’ve got a half-decent spread of Avengers now:

Although you can really see the difference in sculpting styles between old and more modern Heroclix, look how giant Hawkeye looks next to the more slender Captain America! I should probably get around to painting some baddies for them to fight too, so here’s to hoping that I find some AIM or Hydra minions in a bargain bucket at a future Salute…

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

A necromancer walks into a bar…

Preparing for the project after Rangers of Shadow Deep, I’ve finished another three miniatures for my Frostgrave warband:


First, the most evil wizard I could find in my lead mountain to represent my necromancer:


Tim the Enchanter expy, bought at Salute many moons ago from Studio miniatures I believe?


A lovely little sculpt, detailed but not overly fussy, which made him a pleasure to paint.

Next is his apprentice, who is a sculpt from Heresy that I’ve had for absolutely years that I hadn’t thus far built due to option paralysis (as there’s a choice of 3 heads, and a Black Mage esque hat, any of which I’d have happily painted), but the need for an emo looking apprentice wizard expedited my choice!


You can’t really see it from this angle, but I’ve even given him a little smudge of eyeliner, as this is clearly the wannabe goth student that my necromancer has picked up from the local wizard college to do his bidding (largely lighting candles and carrying things so far, but I’m sure unleashing the mighty energies of death is just around the corner…)


I used Mephiston Red as a unifying colour across the pair - while the Necromancer has his fancy red cape and cloak (accessorised with a black tabard, for maximum gothic street cred) he’s just given his apprentice a matching capelet that he has to wear over his otherwise quite austere robes.

Proving that there’s someone on an even lower rung than the Apprentice, the final figure for this post is a zombie:


The zombie, whilst not technically a member of the warband, and will instead be summoned into play each game, on the other hand is literally just a corpse they found and have tied a matching red cloth around his waist to denote ownership:

And when we say ‘found’, it’s probably a warband member that didn’t survive until payday, and is now doing some involuntary pro bono work for the Necromancer, probably not best to ask too many questions…

The model is a plastic Frostgrave figure with a metal zombie head (from Westwind, if memory serves). I gave him a sack and a grasping hand (converted from an archer arm, I seem to recall) as I imagine him being like the butter passing robot in Rick&Morty - they reanimate him, hand him a sack, and say ‘you fetch the treasure. That’s your purpose, now go fetch some treasure’ as my plan for him is largely that (well, and being a speed bump to throw in the path of marauding monsters, but he doesn’t need to know that). I know I could have used any of the hundreds of zombies I’ve already got painted, but I wanted one that looked slightly more controlled and purposeful than the usual wobbly biter.

Tally: 

42 vs 23 = +19


Next, who knows? I had started prepping some figures that were easy wins to get my numbers up, but seeing as I’m only 10 away from my target of averaging one a week I might just dabble in whatever odd single figures take my fancy, probably including some more figures for the Frostgrave warband so that I can be ready for some solo play in the New Year! On that front, I have something of a dilemma - when I first selected my warband, I chose an Apprentice, as it’s just good sense to take one. Then I decided to play Dark Alchemy, during which you don’t get to take an Apprentice if you have one, leaving me torn between leaving the warband as-is, or taking a Captain instead and buying an Apprentice once I finish the solo campaign, which feels a little meta. I already have my Captain picked out, and have vague plans to play through one of the solo scenarios from Spellcaster magazine with the Captain, leaving me unsure which choice to make…

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Christmas, a time for… Daleks?

Work continues apace on finishing miniatures to drag my annual total up to one a week before the end of the year, but I did take a brief diversion to paint this:


My deputy at work is a big Doctor Who fan whose favourite colour is baby blue, so I thought I’d add a deputy sheriff star to a Dalek and paint it up to give it to her as a little gift. Looking at the pictures as I’m posting this, I’m wondering if I should try to add Deputy or her name to the star, but worry that it might go horribly, horribly wrong…


Dalek miniatures have 48 little globes, I discovered while painting this, which each need to be individually carefully painted and highlighted. They look a little rough in these blown up pictures, but rest assured they look fine in hand! The idea that I might one day have an army of painted Daleks took a bit of a hit after painting just the one, mind… using dark grey rather than black to shade the recesses of the metallic areas has set some wheels turning in my head though, proving that everything you do is a learning opportunity!

Tally:

39 vs 23 = +16

Next, a return to our regular scheduled programming of finishing the various odds and ends on my painting tile, and not prepping a whole load of new miniatures that now need undercoating. Oh no, certainly not, laser focus, that’s me.