Friday, 18 March 2022

Plodding Along

I would say its  a shame that I haven't had much time to paint of late but I have to say that is mostly not true. Things have been pretty good of late. Aside from work at least. There is some fun stuff and I have done more gaming in the last couple of months than I have done in the last couple of year and I am having a lot of fun being a parent.

All if that said, this is work in progress, but that's progress right?

Still I found some time  today. Whilst I am feeling the urge to move towards Stargrave or Sludge, I still have a load of the little fold on the work bench. Many of my recent painting goals have revolved around humanoid races. For the Viking game I have done enough black elves leaving me with the white elves left to do. I also have some gaps in what I wanted for the character figures for the dwarves, specifically some more obscure character classes and female dwarves. Then the race I have been putting of, the halflings, mainly as they don't feel they fit with the Viking game, I just wanted to do them.

So a few of the white elves have made it though. I am not altogether happy with them. I am not sure I can really make them any better without stripping them, As I don't see that happening I guess this is where they will stop.

The halflings look a little better. There are a few conversions in here that seem to have been worth it. I wanted some more classes than the original figures allowed and of course there are never enough female characters.

Lastly are the dwarves. I have a batch of the old grenadier dwarves I did a few years ago. Again, as most figures are geared towards building armies, there are relatively few female figures, So I have a few more here. The figure with the bird is supposed to be a magic user. As I have a few of those, this would either do as a senior mage in the Viking game or a druid.


Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Hexagonal Tiles - Rather a Lot of Them

When Covid started, I began almost a month off work. Time to get some hobby stuff done whilst I was stuck in. I spent a lot of money on gear and minis with big plans. Whilst I didn't finish anything I learned a lot.

Having pontificated about some terrain boards/tiles for a while, that was definitely the time. so I dove into a hexagonal terrain project. One of my mates was after some new terrain and I had the tools, skills and time. 

So now I am looking at the project again. Partly with the idea of doing myself a set and partly considering if I could do this commercially. When I recently was able to get ready access to my shed again I decided this was the time. Currently hating my job so anything I can do to get out of it right?

Having raided the shed I found enough bits to more than fill a 35l Really Useful Box. So quite a few. The plan is to give me a base set but also to have a play about with the idea and see what I can actually achieve. Various sets have been planned but I am starting with fantasy in mind and maybe even a bit of Sludge.

My personal plan is to stick to tables around 3' by 3' or 1m by 1m. Not that bothered which. When I originally looked at the idea, I didn't have the right tools so  looked to buy them premade. Getting hold of hexagons at 100mm was a lot easier than 4" and in the round, the stuff that was out there was already 100mm. One thing I new was that I was going to need a lot of them. At least hundreds.

My original thoughts were just to use the bare mdf but having thought that something a bit more three dimensional so quickly developed the idea that adding some blue foam to the top surface. I am now thinking that it might be better to use a cnc milling machine rather than a laser. It would be easier to get repetition with fewer steps in the construction process.

Here we are though and I am reasonably happy.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Money is Getting Out if Hand

One the things I spent money on yesterday was Star Wars Legion. This is a game I wasn't going to play because of the scale creep. It's not 28mm so I didn't want to know. There is enough crap out there and is enough out there taking up my time.

Then I started playing in a Star Wars RPG. They two guys who run the game use the WOTC figures. The old collectable figures are amongst my pet hates. Setting aside the collectable issue, some of the miniatures look like they were designed by a blind, one handed concussed chimpanzee.

So I went out and got some of the Legion figures. They are after all very nice figures. Sadly there are a little over priced so I wasn't going to get into buying the stuff in numbers. Well I thought they were overpriced.

Three people at the show yesterday told me the price was going up by forty percent. This would put them at around £5 for a soldier and up to £20 for a character figure. 

This is partly down to the changeover of ownership but it's got more to do with inflation and probably most importantly the cost of shipping. Still not sure it represents the need to put up prices by forty percent.  It feels right to put the price up (well, ish) but this feels like price gouging. It feels like a GW kind of stunt. That said, this puts the price up beyond most GW levels. Whilst I hope this isn't going to be the future, it kind of looks like it is. Not just for Legion and Warhammer, but across the board 

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Time is Getting out of Hand

Christmas is coming. Who knew? Yes I know it's still October but work is already a little crazy. Christmas crazy. So time, which is already at a premium is about to be in even shorter supply. Already doing my job and half of two other people's. Fun, fun, fun.

So I received some bits if scenery for my birthday.  It seemed the right thing to do to prime them. And everything else that was hanging around. Most of this was Stargrave stuff. The original stuff and the metal figures I also got hold of. So the grey legion continues to grow.

For some reason I am not finishing stuff off.  I found a load of figures that I hadn't quite finished. These are now on the table and there is almost no space to move. Would like to finish them off when I get a chance.

On the plus side Sunday was my first wargames show in two years. Literally two years. Where did that time go? Caught up with a few people. Spent some money. Can't thing of many figures I wanted but looked for some terrain. Found some items. Not the easiest show to buy stuff at as it's a little on the small side. A good day nine the less.

 want to buy so I suspect it's going to be terrain.

Speaking of terrain, I am feeling the urge to finish off another terrain project. I started making hexes as a wargaming board. One if my friends has boxes if geohex. This seemed like an amazing bit of kit at the time. Not quite what I want but an excellent inspiratiin

Monday, 13 September 2021

Progression and Prevarication

After having a binge doing 15mm miniatures  I am now reasonably happy with my 28mm miniature painting skills. The way I have been painting for the last couple of years, where I generally stick with one project but have a range figures on the go at any one time.

The Paint Table

So last week I finished a load of figures, about twenty, which is a lot for me at the moment. This has included two super hero miniatures, three  modern, a Victorian gent, a couple of sci-fi figures, some dark age troops (mostly Vikings unsurprisingly, another couple of poor unfortunate survivors of the apocalypse and about half a dozen fantasy figures.

Another advantage to this is that I am getting through some multi-decade old miniatures. At least two of these were purchased from a Virgin Megastore almost thirty years ago (my paint queue really is moving at a glacial pace).  A good chunk date to around the time I started blogging.

The techniques I am using and the effects I am using are slightly different every time. Rather than grinding stuff out, there is variety of minis to keep me interested. I suppose the final thing is that, lazy as I am, I tend to use the same colour palette when I am painting so this is swapped around a half dozen genres rather than one unit.

Right now I am feeling the urge to buy some more figures. Stargrave was going to be the big thing for me but Sludge has made into my list from nowhere. Also feeling the urge for Fallout again. I am trying to resist. 

I like the idea if Stargrave and more importantly I like the figures. Conversion projects seem endless with this. When Frostgrave came out I really brought into it but never got to play it much. If I have the figures I might turn my attention to something else like Five Parsecs.

Going through looking for a mix of figures for the next batch has reminded me how many primed lead and plastic  minis there already is in the queue and that does not take into account the unprimed stuff and what I assume is going to be about sixty or Sludge figures. Conversion projects, on a limited scale, appeal to me right now.

My ideal would be to get through five hundred figures each year with a more realistic target of 250. That's ten or five figures per week. Right now with the kids and work I would settle for five a month. If this continues then I already have enough stuff to keep me going for about five years.

Like most of you I plot and scheme when it comes to buying figures. I now have more than enough dark age fantasy humans but I still keep looking. I have plenty of apocalyptic humans and more modern zombies than I could ever possibly need. So I am looking elsewhere.

It would be nice to do a super hero project. I started this a few years ago. Still trying to source some figures though. Not really wanting to spend money right now as I have other plans for it. Mainly to do with a twenty month old project.

Also looking at a weird wild west project. Another sort of failed project but one I feel a lot for. One of the people I game with a lot has a real interest in Deadlands.

At the time I started the Vikings project it was a toss up between that and doing a Samurai version of Journey to the West. As this is a start from scratch project I am guessing it's not happening. 

For some reason pirates has added itself to the list. Wouldn't just be pirates as it would morph into something more like Solomon Kane. 

Not to mention Star Wars, which is getting be the seasonal event special this year for the third year running. Still not feeling the urge for too much socialisation so maybe think about this another time.

Which leads me back to the one with the most pull. Weird War II. I have a lot do here not least if which is the bad guys. It's a time travel thing I have in mind. Lots of alternate history layered onto our time line. This looks like it might be a possible project. There is enough painted and in the queue that I could actually start this fairly quickly.

The thing is, each idea becomes a project then a hard slog.  Vikings was supposed to be a short project and eight years later I am still filling in gaps, at least four hundred figures later. Not to mention the generic fantasy figures involved. 

Each of the new projects it one to two hundred figures. So at the current rate maybe five years down the line before I finish. Three projects and I will be retired. Well maybe four. Or five.

After all that, I might have another plan.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

The Grey (Well Mostly Grey) Legion

After my last post I got to thinking. It's almost a road to Damascus moment for me. Over the last year I have probably primed and based hundreds of figures. It made me think about how many I had left. My gut told me that there would be quite a few.

I was surprised when I dug them all out. Surprise may be a bit if an understatement. When I looked at the part finished terrain and eventually chose not to look at the part finished figures.

So this was the first picture.

If you think about it, if you have a picture like this then you have probably got ten or twenty times the amount as unpainted minis.

This isn't individually but then look at the panorama shot.

Then there was a second panorama shot.

From here I moved onto terrain but maybe more of that another day. This was no less of an uplifting exercise. Maybe this was a call to arms for me.

The truth is this isn't even all of it. Some of it is so far buried I couldn't even lay my hands on it. It makes me sad. Perhaps the most saddening thing is that I haven't really got many of the projects actually finished.

I have been sat here much less regularly over the last two years. For a good, now 18 month year old reason. So with what little time I do have, I am going to use it a bit more wisely. Maybe finish some projects and banish the grey from my tabletop.

From where I am sat this has been a worth while project. Maybe you should do the same. So I am calling you all out. Bloggers or not. It is time to look at your unfinished projects and start making a dent in the backlog.   

Saturday, 15 May 2021


My bench is currently full. It's mostly full of paint and part finished projects. There is a fair amount of space dedicated to what I call the grey legion. These are figures that have taken the time to prep, glue to a base, cover the base with sand, prime and allow to be covered with dust.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty that have made it as far as work in progress. I found some old figures that I thought I could upgrades little with all that I have learnt over the years, so technically they have been WIP for thirty five years. Still they are mostly at the stage where they still look a bit crap.

So the perfect thing to do was start to paint even more figures. So being geared up for Stargrave I decided to go back to the post-apocalypse. I think you can use robots in Stargrave too, but I didn't find that out until after I'd finished them.

Copplestone castings is one of my favourite miniature makers. I recall adding a few things in to make a price point. One of which was a pack of robots which were quite like Terminators. Rather than pairing them as shiny death machine I thought an aged look would fit my post-apocalypse better.

So here we are. A quick and dirty paint job. Looks fine to me. A few more bits to do, washes, varnish and a bit more debris on the base and they are done