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:

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Mountain that Rides...

My journey through my painting queue continues, venturing to a miniature that has been about 80% finished for several years, Ser Gregor Clegane:


I'd had the metals and the yellows done for a time, but the dogs detail was putting me off. I bit the bullet and grabbed a tiny brush to bring him to the finish line! The sculpted detail is lovely, but a little shallow, so I had to improvise a bit. Squint a bit and it looks great!


I also went over the armour with a ton of dings and scratches to make it look like he lives for nothing but combat. Rules wise, I think I'll use adapted troll stats - he should be able to tear through a horde of regular troops! 

Also, whilst discussing trolls, he's a pretty big lad:

[Caption: Stark Bannermen and the very bad, terrible, awful day]

The Dark Sword A Song of Ice and Fire figures are a larger scale than everything else I'm using, but The Mountain is meant to tower over his foes, so I think it works in this case... Which is a bit of a shame, as there are some lovely figures in that range, but they'd just look out of place with my Perry troops!

I have a scenario percolating in my head involving the Mountain and some of his brigands trying to burn down a house (so I should probably get around to building and painting the Perry House I have tucked away somewhere) in the period where they rampaged around Westeros during the War of Five Kings, so who knows, maybe I'll make some more Stark troops next year..

Tally:

37 vs -46 = +83

So, fifteen more minis before the end of the year to hit my Challenge target, what next? I've got a few bits currently on my painting tile, but then again there's an entire Blood Bowl team in the painting queue, choices choices...

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Freak on a Lich

Another random mini plucked from the painting queue:


He's a Mage Knight figure originally I think, so the detail is a little funky, but I quite like his imperious pose. He's been in the painting queue for so long that that's actually a GW base he's on, so he was prepared before I started buying bases specially for miniatures rather than just scavenging them from Warhammer kits.


I originally had ideas of trying to speckle a starry design on his robe, but the pressing need to finish an average of about two miniatures a week to hit my total of 52 for the year put paid to that! I added a little extra detail to his tabard though, to jazz it up a little. Also, carefully applied some guyliner.

He'll probably be a Lich (a word that should rhyme which 'itch', but I tend to pronounce 'leash' when I'm tired, much to the chagrin of my D&D group) in the generic fantasy project, or can get added to the box of miniatures that can be used to menace Conan. Which reminds me, I should get around to painting some more companions for Conan!

Tally:

36 vs -46 = +82

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Dammit Carl!

Work on my Zomtober remnants continues, as earlier this week I finished Carl:


He was actually finished Tuesday night, but life happened a bunch (Rolo Tomassi at Scala last night was fun) and so I'm only getting round to taking pictures and posting today. We were going to pick up a mini lightbox from Flying Tiger this afternoon after seeing one on a Gunpla Facebook group, but our local one didn't have it in stock, so these pictures were taken with my photo board balanced on an airer in the bathroom instead...



I'm fairly fond of Carl, unlike the majority of the internet it seems. I didn't follow the TV series for very long, which might have something to do with it...


This sculpt is absolutely lovely. Much kudos to Mantic for the quality! I painted his lower half as being incredibly grubby, but I liked how his hoody had come out so much that I couldn't bring myself to cover it up with a layer of dust!

Tally:

35 vs -46 = +81

What next? I'm down to two miniatures remaining from the batch that I had prepped for Zomtober, as well as a few half finished odds and ends that I've pulled out of the painting queue in an attempt to hit the 'have finished 52 miniatures by the end of the year' challenge I set myself way back when, but at the same time gee that Blackstone Fortress box game that GW are currently previewing sure does look apealling...

Monday, 5 November 2018

America! Fuck Yeah!

"Comin' again to save the motherfuckin' day, yeah"



A bit of a random one, this. It's something plucked half finished out of the painting queue that I worked on here and there whilst waiting for washes to dry on other things, mostly. He's a repainted Heroclix figure, so the facial detail is almost non-existant, but I'm passably satisfied with how the shield turned out, so there's that. After much deliberation, I went for a reddish leather effect on his gloves and boots, as a sort of halfway-house compromise between the movie style and the classic comic costume.

Finishing him means I now have a bevy of finished Avengers - but no one for them to punch... I do have a classic style Hawkeye eyeing me from my painting desk awaiting undercoat though, so who knows, you might see some more Avengin' types in the near future...

Tally:
34 vs -46 = +80