Sunday, January 31, 2016

January painting

January was a busy month but we also had a holiday and a snow day, so I managed to get my 10 model goal done, and then a few more for good measure!

I am happy to have finally finished these guys:

There is a lot of lace here! And those mitre caps.... grr....

But, at least they are done. I'm happy to be able to add some Grenadiers to my Muskets & Tomahawks army for the Brits - the French have had some for a while! I actually have another pack of these so I might paint 4 more and take them up to the max unit size of 12, but not any time soon. Fortunately I took notes on how I painted them so hopefully the others will match.

I used a red primer on them, followed by a black wash all over, then highlighted this a couple of times. Mostly Reaper paints.

Also got some fantasy stuff done for Frostgrave. I got excited about doing some Undead after I got my copy of the Thaw of the Liche Lord... although I am upset that I have to paint up troops for a whole new encounter table! I had not even finished the one from the first book. Oh well...

These guys will be Ghosts or Spectres maybe. Gotta check the rules and see which one is tougher, and I'll use the guy on the bigger base to represent that one.

And a Ranger model. I already have a Ranger painted, but this model has been sitting unpainted on my desk for many months! I really like him, but I wish I would have painted the metal version instead of the Bones model so it would have captured more of the detail in the sculpt.

As I mentioned I hadn't finished painting the creatures for the encounter table in the original Frostgrave book. To that end, here is a lioness to be used as a "snow leopard." Eventually I want to do a full set of these creatures in their actual "snow" theme! But for now just going to keep going with the standard basing and paint schemes to match my existing terrain.

With the two models I painted on New Year's Day weekend, that makes 14 total for this month. Woo Hoo! 4 ahead of schedule. It's a good thing, too, because I am going to have a busy February and I had a feeling I would miss my quota. Here's a group shot for January:

I'm happy that even if I am not having an "exclusive" relationship with my French & Indian War stuff, at least I have not dumped them completely! Really would like to finish painting these some day. From the time I started collecting miniatures at 12 years old, I have never completed a painting project!!! I was hoping these guys would be the first. We'll see.

It's only going to get harder now that I've added the Pike & Shotte side project! On top of random fantasy models I've got at least a couple of months worth of Scots to paint. As long as I can keep up painting at least SOME French & Indian War stuff every month I'll consider a success.

Pike & Shotte

I am definitely a wargaming butterfly! Fluttering around and having a hard time sticking to any one project.

The most recent addition to my "to do" list for this year is a small English Civil war painting project to try out the rules Donnybrook, En Garde, and Flashing Steel. Eventually I want to expand my painted armies to play some big battle games like Pike & Shotte, Warhammer ECW, Forlorn Hope, or 1644, but for now it's all about skirmishes.

The first step was to dig out the "pike & shotte" portion of my lean pile and dig through the models to pick what I wanted to paint... Ooohhh Fun!

While I had it all laid out on the table I figured I might as well catalog it, which was a good idea! At one point I was able to keep up with all of the Warlord releases, but more recently I stopped buying all of their ECW stuff and needed to get a handle one which sets I was missing. I also had no idea which Foundry or Perry packs I had, since I bought those so long ago.

In the end I decided to pick a few Perry Scots to paint up. It was a good choice since I only owned 5 codes so it would keep the project limited in scope! Of course even after laying out hundreds of models and stressing over when I'll ever have time to paint them all, I've started thinking about which Perry packs I should buy to add to this force. It's a disease, really.

So anyway - along with a few of my local gaming buddies we are going to each paint up some pike & shotte troops and have committed to finishing our armies in time to try out these rule sets this year!

Here are my Scots all ready to go:

I am very worries about whether those pikes are going to stay attached to the models! Time will tell. Can anyone spot the one non-Perry model in the bunch?

I added a Preacher by Warlord from their "Fire and Brimstone" set. I was going to use him as the special "Preacher" character in a Covenanter army, but after a closer look at the rules I think I am going to play these guys as the "Army" faction instead of as "Covenanters" in Donnybrook.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

First models of the new year!

I love New Year's Day. You don't have to buy gifts for anyone. You don't have to decorate. You don't have to go anywhere.

I usually like to spend New Year's Day hanging out at home painting! This year was great because it was a 4-day weekend.

So I used it to get a start on some projects...

Here is my first mini of the new year. He is the alternate Magua sculpt from Warlord/Conquest. He is probably meant by the sculptor to be shouting something at the British, but I imagine him yelling at me defiantly, telling me that I need to keep painting French & Indian War troops!

I definitely got sidetracked with Fantasy models in the second half of the year! Part of the reason was that I was behind on my painting goals and Reaper Bones fantasy models are quicker to paint than 18th century troops... But part of the reason was also that I got totally excited about Frostgrave. 

Here's the other model I painted this weekend... A "Grick," to be used in the Worms scenario for Frostgrave. His twin was painted last year... 3 down, 3 to go! The 3 I have left are all bigger and more imposing...

Those are the only minis I got done, because I also spent a lot of time on terrain. I bought a bunch of these cast foam terrain pieces at a convention a few months ago. I figured they would be easy to get on the table because they did not require any assembly and they are not super detailed like the intimidating TableTop World pieces I love to collect. 

That didn't stop me from putting them on the back burner for a while, but a few months from purchase to table ready is actually lightning fast for me!

Here they were in their original state when I bought them:

One of them primed gray, one brown, and one with a simple pre-paint job. 

You can see from the Pathfinder 28mm fighter that they are nice big pieces! My original plan when I bought them was to use them for Frostgrave ruins and cover them in snow. I've been playing the game so far using Mordheim and random Fantasy terrain pieces, but I really wanted to do a dedicated Frostgrave snow board at some point.

However, I chickened out at the last minute. I worked on them for a while and got them to the point where I was ready to cover them in snow, but couldn't decide on a method. I looked into paint, spackle, grout, baking soda, flock, and even resin filled with glass microbubbles! But I wasn't too sure about any of them, and wanted to get the pieces done by the end of the weekend. So... out came the old tried n' true Woodland Scenics flock bags!

I also tried something new - I had seen a lot of pictures of people using rubberised horsehair for bushes on other sites. I couldn't find a good source to buy it though - so I used some sisal fiber to add weeds and creeping vines. It could use some refining, but I think it might work!

So here they are... first minis of the new year, on one of the first terrain pieces of the new year!

2015... the year in review

Well after going back to look over the numbers - I definitely managed to reach my goal of 120 models for the year! I actually came out slightly ahead with 123. Two of those were given away as gifts though so I'm just 1 model over my goal!

September and October were tough months and I didn't get much painted, but then the flurry of quick Reaper Bones paint jobs started in November. This was enough to get me out of my deficit.

I also got a bunch of terrain done last year. I finished a good amount of deciduous and coniferous forest pieces (since all of my woods up until 2014 were Jungle pieces!), and also a bunch of cabins, a couple of houses, and a church for the French & India War.

I spent waaay too much money in 2015! For the first time I actually took a tally of what I was buying throughout the year. When I added up the numbers, it turns out I spend more on miniatures than my car payment. This was lumpy though, there was a lot of money spend at Historicon in the summer, and then a huge increase in December with all of the Christmas sales!

I think one of the things I want to change in 2016 is to keep track on the blog of items as they come in and get added to the lead pile. One of the original goals of starting the blog was to catalog things as they get painted so I could document the REDUCTION in size of the lead pile. However, even though I reached my painting goals, the lead pile begins 2016 much larger than it was in 2015. I was only documenting one half of the equation!

Lead Purchased - Lead Painted = Lead Pile

So in 2016 I will post about it whenever I get new stuff. Maybe it will shame me into not spending so much!

As far as painting goals... I will stick with the 10 models a month plan this year. Let's see if I can do two years in a row... I am also going to add a terrain goal! I want to finish at least 12 terrain pieces. It's going to be a busy year!

December gaming

Life got in the way so was not able to get together with my local gaming buddies last month.

I DID get the annual big game of WHFB in against my son though! Vampire Counts vs. Lizardmen. He whooped me as always with the Lizardmen. If it's ever close I just conveniently forget a few magic phases etc. hehe!

He was happy he got to bring out his Carnosaur, which ate my Terrorgheist.

We don't bother with points values, the whole display case gets emptied onto the table!

This was the set up. We usually leave the table pretty bare because the game takes so long to complete as it is! It looked too barren though so we added a big Lizardmen temple... unfortunately I forgot to take pics after we placed it.

I did win this combat!

His Saurus Warriors were munching through everything else though...

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

The first year of this blog is now in the books!

Before opining on the year as a whole, I want to get up some pics of my December minis.

I had to throw in some more quickie Bones models for Frostgrave at the end of the year to boost the numbers.

A pair of spiders ("Frost" spiders? I guess).

A pair of Giant Rats. These are REALLY big rats! Bigger than the model I was using as a wolf!


A Werewolf.

A Fire Elemental. I was planning on using this as a minor demon if my Elementalist can cast Summon Demon and get something better than an Imp.

This model I was planning on using as the Lich Lord for the Thaw of the Lich Lord scenarios... now I'm not so sure though. Oh well, some type of undead character.

And this guy. Not sure what he is. I guess he can be a Vampire in bat form, or a Minor Demon maybe.