Tuesday 29 December 2020

2020 winding down...

Having come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to be able to hit my target of 52 painted miniatures this year, I’ve instead turned my energy to prepping some miniatures for next year’s painting!

I’ve also dug out some miniatures for a project that I haven’t posted about yet (but have confusingly written about in an as-yet unpublished draft of a post) to prep, and have been struck by the discrepancy in size between ranges:

Now I’m not usually a stickler for scale, but these em4 chaos look positively dinky next to the old Clan War miniatures! Luckily I’ve only got a couple of them, so I think that with some careful basing they should blend in with other ‘medium’ sized ranges, just looking like the bottom and top end of the scale!

Also, Christmas happened, and my family furnished me with some miniature goodies:

Some Reaper Mushroom Men, a not Mando, and some House Stark expys, taking the Tally to:

47 vs 147 = -100

Which of nothing else is a pleasingly round number to end on...

My plan for New Years Eve is going to be prepping more minis for next year, watching the Big Fat Quiz of the Year with my wife and drinking a festive beverage, so Happy New Year to everyone in advance!

Friday 25 December 2020

You’d better not pout, you’d better not cry...

 Happy Christmas to everyone, in this strangest of years!

I’ve managed a festive paint job too to honour the occasion:

GW Sanity Claws, from 1986, the same as me! 

I’ve coveted one for a few years, but generally left it too late to get one for a reasonable price in time to paint for Christmas, and then I would inevitably forget about it until midway through the next December, and the cycle would repeat... this year though, I found one for a reasonable price on eBay from a nice seller, and here he is, joining my pulp Santa from four years ago.

He’s a lovely miniature, although when I was photographing him I did find a few awkward spots that I’d somehow missed and so frantically fixed them up by the light of my photo booth! I made a couple of mistakes when doing the snow too, such as forgetting to base coat the base white before applying the snow flock, as well as just applying it rather than making a paste to allow me to get better ‘texture’, but in my defence we realised a pipe from one of our radiators was leaking when I was basing him, so I had to hurry off to see to that midway through!

The pictures haven’t come out particularly well, disappointingly, as the red and green are much brighter than they look here, so you’ll either have to take my word for it or nip round to have a look once we’re out of Tier 4...

Painting him brings the Tally to:

47 vs 134 = -87

Or it would, if I hadn’t bought a magazine with free Halfling miniatures on the front:

(Yes, I bought a £5.99 magazine to get a £5 sprue free, what of it)

Leaving the Tally at 

47 vs 139 = -92

So I’m not going to get it back into the positive, barring some sort of temporal anomaly, but I could still hit that ‘average one miniature a week’ challenge right?

Can I paint 5 miniatures in a week? I mean, I’m furloughed, so maybe, but my children might have other thoughts about that!

Saturday 12 December 2020


(The joke in the title only really works if you read this blog post immediately after my previous one...)

Despite working longer than usual hours at work (lockdown plus Christmas makes for busy times) I’ve managed to finish another miniature, snatching twenty minutes of an evening whenever I could:

She’s a repaint of an old Dungeons & Dragons prepaint, an Elf Warlock from an old starter set I believe. The detail is a little soft, but she still came out looking quite nice!

The boob armour was a bit much, but I think with a bit of careful colour selection it looks more like a set of clothes rather than a couple of bowls strapped to her chest now! She got purple hair because... I let my wife choose. While yes it is the same as the miniature in my previous post, no I did not paint them simultaneously, despite the fact that that would have been a much more efficient use of time...

Finishing her brings me one step closer to completing the admittedly fairly sidelined Classes project:

Classes (as of 5e Player’s Handbook):
(I would have updated the links, but blogger just won’t let me on any device currently, so you’ll have to try and imagine the others I’ve finished!)

I may even expand the project out to encompass miniatures to cover all of the races featured in the Player’s Handbook too, but that might be a project for next year...

The Tally took an equal hit in the other direction too this week:

I grabbed myself a Saruman from eBay after grabbing the latest issue of White Dwarf, in order to be able to play the Wizards Duel game in it (I already have a bare metal Gandalf somewhere in the Lead Mountain). So he hops straight into the stripping pot, and takes the Tally to:

46 vs 134 = -88

Sunday 6 December 2020

A litre of what?

(Is what my wife asked us when we replied ‘Alita’ when she asked us what we were going to the cinema to see)

So, cyberpunk is cool right? There’s a video game coming out imminently that I’m probably not going to get for a while, having too much in the backlog already, but here’s a mini that would be perfect for gaming that:

When we came out of the cinema after seeing Alita, I was all fired up for cyberpunk, and kept thinking to myself ‘I want to play a game where I buy arms’, having fond nostalgic feelings for games like Syndicate on the Amiga, and then found myself scrolling through the Crooked Dice store and stumbled across this beauty!

It’s a beautiful sculpt that takes paint exceptionally well, although as previously mentioned on the blog I did sand down her nipples, as in the bare metal they were ... really something else. The arm is great, the gun is great, even her shoes look delightfully futuristic! Special shout out to the hacking desk hanging from her belt, which I painted with colourful cables and then gave it a grubby cream body like it was a piece of 80s kit (because after all, cyberpunk is the past’s view of the future, no?). I dug out a Foundry Asian flesh triad as well, as the future is multicultural.

Here’s a picture of her knee deep in rubbish:

(In hindsight, I should have had this shot lit by the light of a flickering computer monitor for proper aesthetics)

Painting her brings my total of painted miniatures for the year to 45, but as we’re at the point in the year where it becomes obvious that there’s absolutely no chance that I’m going to get the Tally back into the positive before the end of the year the postman has been with some treats:

A couple of back issues of Wargames Illustrated with free sprues - American War of Independence Militia (because we watched Hamilton months ago and apparently I have a sickness whereby everything I see or hear translates into 28mm in my head) and Samurai (or at least they were advertised as samurai on the website, but what actually came was Ashigaru with bows, less useful for what I actually wanted them for, converting into zombies for a Japanese Fantasy project that I’ll hopefully write more about in the near future) and a Giants in Miniature... miniature, Lord Callan from the recent Never Mind the Billhooks release, who will probably find new life as a Redanian Sergeant;

A Citadel Sanity Claws, as I’d been fancying painting one of these as a festive treat for years and a nice seller on eBay was able to furnish me with one, as well as a freebie Witch Aelf from Games Workshop that I got on the same day - the 24 year difference between the two models really shows!

And then today, a freebie Plague Marine from GW, when I popped in to pick up a pot of paint suitable for painting Temerian blue;

Which brings the final Tally for this post to:

45 vs 133 = -88

Tuesday 24 November 2020


 Captain Scarlet (dun dun dun dun - that May or not be how the theme tune actually goes)

So during the previous lockdown (my preferred one, if I’m being honest, as I got to stay at home, as opposed to the current lockdown, where I’m spending more time than ever at work) I found myself rewatching the original series of Captain Scarlet whilst doing the washing up, one of my favourite series from childhood. Around the same time, I saw that Crooked Dice had this lovely figure in the Bargains section of their online store, and I seem to recall that whilst idly browsing when I should have been sleeping he fell into my cart...

So he got cleaned up, undercoated, had a base coat of flesh applied and then spent the rest of the time sat on my painting tile watching me do other things. 

We’ve hit that stretch of the year now though where I realise that I need to get a wiggle on if I’m going to hit my target of 52 finished miniatures for the year, and so I focused on getting him finished rather than flirting from figure as they take my fancy as is my usual way of working!

No plans for any project in particular for this figure, although I know I could always expand out with some more Spectrum agents from Crooked Dice of the fancy takes me...

Finishing him brings the Tally to:

44 vs 115 = -71

So what’s next? The Tally sibling further into the negative, truth be told, as there may well already be more miniatures on order at this point...

Saturday 7 November 2020

Happy N7 Day!

In another out of character timed post this year, I decided to paint up a little something to celebrate N7 Day this year:

A light armour spaceman from Brother Vinni that I picked up at Salute a few years back that coincidentally makes an ideal stand-in for everyone’s favourite Shepherd:

He’s a lovely little sculpt, as is everything I’ve had from Brother Vinni, and looks quite nice in hand, even if my photography doesn’t do him much justice...

Here he is literally in hand, to get a better idea of the colours:

After taking these pictures, I went back and gave his base an additional bone drybrush, as it was looking a little bland (as the first time I painted it, I went a bit too heavy and it looked too monochrome, so I washed it back down and started again, but was perhaps too timid the second time!)

So, Shepherd is the first miniature completed for the Mass Effect project that I’ve had on the back burner for at least five years (as I think I started gathering bits for it when my wife was pregnant with our first child), and will probably never actually get used, as he’s something of a one man army, which makes it a little hard to use in a friendly game with an opponent... maybe if we start yet another Rangers of Shadow Deep project... Either way, he was a fun little mini to paint, regardless of whether he ever gets to leave the figure case again!

Painting him brings the Tally to:

43 vs 111 = -68

Nine more to hit that one a week average challenge for the year!

...or at least it would have been, if not for the timely arrival of this lovely little box of joy from Russia the day before this post was scheduled to go live:

Four miniatures that entirely coincidentally look like characters from the Witcher series, what luck!

Which leaves the Tally at 

43 vs 115 = -72

Sunday 25 October 2020

Zomtober 2020 week 4: I don’t want no scrubs

This year’s big finish for the final week of Zomtober is the cast of Scrubs as zombies, another set from Studio Miniatures:

And now, a number of pictures that mostly show that I need to give the backdrop in my light box a good dusting:

It’s JD, I think they captured his haircut quite well.

It’s Dr Cox! Another good likeness, although admittedly the proportions are a little cartoony.

It’s Bob Kelso, curmudgeonly head doctor man. This sculpt is pretty much the Dr Cox sculpt with a new head and added paunch, one of those details that once you’ve noticed it you can’t unsee it...

Carla! Normally my zombies are all the same shade of grey, but as these sculpts are based on actual people, I tried to paint them to actually reflect their actors rather than whitewash (greywash?) them. I mean, they’re still pretty grey, but you get what I’m shooting for.

Turk! Another slightly bobble headed sculpt, but I absolutely love his expression...

The Todd! This was the additional miniature gotten for purchasing the horde pack, and was an opportunity to both try out another skin tone as well as some wonky freehand (that is supposed to be flames on his bandanna)

Ted! The only two part sculpt in the bunch, his briefcase is a separate tiny part. I really like this sculpt, and it’s not just fondness for the character - I think the pose is so different from the rest that he stands out to me. I may have gone a little too heavy on the blood splat on his shirt in hindsight...

I also painted his briefcase to look like he’d been using it as a weapon, but presumably it wasn’t enough as he finds himself shambling round as a zombie now...

Eliot! Not much to say about this sculpt, other than to remark that I really enjoy grunting up zombie miniatures. I mean, a lot of the time I could probably get away with just basecoat and washing before applying weathering, skipping highlights entirely, and achieve much the same results...

The Janitor! Did he ever have a name? Again, not much to say on the sculpt other than my enjoyment painting the plunger (which reminds me, I must get round to working on my zombie rules again, and write a plunger weapon card...)

Finishing these draws this Zomtober to a close, and brings the Tally to:

42 vs 111 = -69

Also, something that I unusually haven’t done before,  Zomtober totals to date:

2020: 17 zombies, a full Studio Miniatures box set. Hospital themed, including the Scrubs personalities set.

2019: 5 survivors, no theme beyond being all survivors, as well as a belated ‘big finish’ of Alexia and the Risen for Warmachine

2018: Walking Dead themed, 18 zombies and a corpse pole spawn point

2017: 5 Wizard of Oz themed survivors, 2 zombies, and a zombie reindeer for A Song of Ice and Fire

2016: A Song of Ice and Fire themed, 3 White Walkers and 24 wights

2015: my first zomtober, 1 survivor, 4 zombies, 3 spawn points, and a horde base that had 20-something zombies on it!

Zomtober seems to have been dwindling in popularity over the last couple of years, but I pledge to do it again next year, and will continue to post about it on Instagram and Twitter too, in the hopes of encouraging people to join in!

Special shout out to Colgar6 and Miniature Mayhem who have both also been plugging away this year! Disappointingly, if you google search for Zomtober in the last month, I don’t appear in the first few pages of results, but instead several other more popular bloggers appear as they have my posts coming up in their blog rolls! Ah, c’est la vie...

So what’s next? It’s only 10 more minis to hit that one a week average for the year, so watch this space,,,

Sunday 18 October 2020

Zomtober 2020 week 3: here come the girls

Week three brings the female counterparts to last weeks crop of zeds:

Apologies for the super dark pics - they were even wonkier before I got the light box out!

The zombie on the left being clearly pregnant made me somewhat uncomfortable given the implications, so she was left entirely blood free. The other two were given the usual liberal dousing of gore though!

I went for a variety of colours for their gowns and hair just to add a little visual appeal to the horde (there’s well over a hundred painted zombies in my collection now). You might also notice that out of the over a hundred zombies, the one in the middle is the first of my ‘proper’ zombies (the Walking Dead ones don’t count, I guess?) that has grass on their base. I could claim that again it was to provide some visual appeal and break up the expanse of grey in a horde of bases, but really I spilled water on it and it turned out it wasn’t actually as dry as I thought when I started dry brushing the base, resulting in a chunk of material coming up, leaving me to cunningly disguise it with foliage rather than trying to re-sand it!

As well as completing that particular Studio Miniatures pack, finishing these three (and in a shocking twist of events, for the first time in living memory I finished the miniatures for a Zomtober post during the week rather than midnight the night before the post is due to go up) brings the Tally to:

33 vs 111 = -78

What’s next? Will there be a big finish, or more of a whimper? Tune in next week to find out (hopefully)

Sunday 11 October 2020

Zomtober 2020 week 2: the boys

 Well, to a certain degree of boys:

More hospital zombies from Studio Miniatures joining the two from last week

Tee hee, zombie butts.

I love the Studio Miniatures zombies, they’re beautiful sculpts, but they sure do love to recycle sculpts with slight details changed. I mean, I know the classic GW Nurgle Champions did the same thing, but with them at least the majority of the model was different rather than just moving the arms and adding a bandage to the head... it’s not a dealbreaker, and not something you’d notice once they’re in the horde, but something that grabs your attention when you’re looking at them in a small batch like this. 

Minor grumbling about sculpts aside, finishing these brings the Tally to:

30 vs 68 = -38

...or at least it would have done if I hadn’t won a competition on the Wargames Foundry Facebook page, where they sent me enough miniatures to destroy any hope of crossing off ‘end the year with the Tally in the positive’ from the Challenge this year:

Once these are factored in, the Tally plummets to

30 vs -81

Which means I’d need to paint (brief pause to do some quick mental maths) exactly one miniature a day for the rest of the year, which while pleasing how exactly it matches might be a tall order, having a full time job, two children, and dare I say it other hobbies too...

Even if I don’t get the Tally back into the positive, I’m still shooting for the ‘average one miniature a week’ goal, which at one miniature every three and a bit days still seems manageable!

So, what’s next? More zombies, of course, and given that I’ve painted two thirds of a pack over the first fortnight, you can probably guess what’s coming next if you’ve been on the Studio Miniatures site... after that, back to making scenery so that I can play Rangers of Shadow Deep, although that doesn’t help with the painting totals challenge... 

Sunday 4 October 2020

Zomtober 2020 week 1: bagged, tagged...

...and ready to frag:

Not that I actually talk like that, but it fit the rhyme scheme...

So, Zomtober is here, the one month of the year where I take a structured approach to my hobby and posting schedule! Sadly, it looks like Zomtober has been in decline in the community over the last few years (looking at various hashtags on Instagram and Twitter reveals... well, not a lot actually). Colgar6 from Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers has vowed to participate, so have a look over there too! Also, they have not posted in several months, so if they don’t make some sort of ‘back from the dead’ pun with their first post that’s a missed opportunity...

This week’s offerings are a couple of bodybag sporting zombies from Studio Miniatures, who were selected as they were the two in the mass of minis I prepped with the least extraneous details, and thus most likely to actually be finished in time for the first post whilst potentially giving me a head start on next week’s painting target too!

Painting these two brings the Tally to:

27 vs 68 = -41

So, over the halfway mark to the goal of finishing 52 miniatures over the course of the year (which the next couple of weeks of Zomtober should hopefully push me towards completion of), but it looks like I won’t be able to make my usual mad dash between Christmas and New Year’s to get the overall Tally score into the positive, as I’ve just won a load of miniatures from Foundry! Expect a pic of me cradling a hamper of miniatures like a newborn in the near future...