Sunday, June 18, 2017

Got one done!

Just after I said I probably wouldn't get a single model done this month!

Well, I've gotten exactly one done. Had some time on this Father's Day to sit and paint even though I have a million other things I should be doing! I wanted to get this guy done as he's a gift for someone. A friend of mine is a big Star Wars fan and I know that Lando Calrissian in particular is a favorite character... so I looked into it and tried to find a Lando miniature. I found this guy for the Star Wars: Imperial Assault game (which is a game I've heard good things about and have been tempted to buy...).

Figured I'd take a shot on it. I painted him up pretty quickly and tried to distinguish between the gloss finish on the shiny leather of his shoes and belt versus the rest of the model. The gloss came out OK, but I never get a matte enough finish when I varnish things! Dullcote is the best I've tried, but even that is lacking sometimes.

Anyway - here he is. Took a few shots outside since that had the best lighting.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

May & June... a lost cause!

Well there was no update for May because I got 0 models painted, and it's looking like June is going to be the same. Been a busy couple of months in "real life" so nothing getting done in lead pile land!

I'm hoping I can recover from this in the second half of the year. I should have some more time to paint during the week after this month so we'll see. Maybe I can still get to an average of 10 models painted each month, even after losing 2 months!

Whenever I did have a spare moment recently, I was working on putting together some paper terrain test models from Dave Graffam Models. I downloaded the pdf's from Wargame Vault and put them together on some black foam core, instead of building them from cardstock.

They are not as awe-inspiring as, say, a fully painted resin building from Tabletop World would be, but they are a heck of a lot cheaper, easier to get, and quicker to finish than those are as well! I started considering these after my friend Bill was raving about flat-packed MDF scenery. I've always hated that stuff because they look too "2D" to me; there is no texture on the stonework, etc.

But after they are all built and on the table, they don't look too bad. Here is a post showing how they look on a fully set up table:

Terrain: The seach for cool terrain that wont break the bank and is easy to set up.

The Dave Graffam models are the same idea - 3D buildings, but with no "relief" texture if you know what I mean. I've always been a fan of the artwork though, and after seeing Bill's 4Ground buildings I figured I would give them a shot.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased! They will never be as nice as fully painted 3D models, but they have a bunch of advantages over those too. In addition to being cheap, quick, and easy - they are lightweight and easy to duplicate! Once you own the pdf's, you can print them as many times as you want.

This is great for me, since some of my best gaming buddies are spread all over the country. I am usually the one responsible for providing the miniatures and terrain though (I have a lot of gamer friends, but not many who want to be bothered with buying and painting models and terrain!). We can easily keep a set of these buildings at everyone's houses; throw them down on a game mat (one of my other new favorite things), and we're good to go for a game of Mordheim anywhere!

I'm not at the point yet where I can prove it, but I think a table full of these on a cobblestone gaming mat would look pretty cool for Mordheim. I've seen a few other people's attempts on various web sites and they look pretty good. And the whole table costs less than the price of one resin building!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

April painting

April was a tough month because I couldn't use my arm for most of the month! After having shoulder surgery I had to take a few weeks off from painting.

Fortunately I got a few things done before the surgery, and managed to put the finishing touches on one more model today.

This is an old model from Reaper. I've been ordering from them every month so far this year, as they're doing a different limited edition model free with your order every month to celebrate their 25th anniversary. I'm a sucker for "limited" stuff (as Jerry Seinfeld would say... what are they limited to, the amount that they can sell?!).

Anyway - tried something different with this guy. Usually, I buy models and they sit and wait to be painted for weeks, months, years... and yes, sadly - decades in some cases!

So with this guy, I cracked him out of his blister pack the day the box arrived in the mail. He was cleaned up, glued to a base, and primed the same day, and painted the next day. All done within 24 hours! I thought he was a good choice to try this on, since he's a simple model without too much extraneous detail.

Even though I painted him quickly, I wouldn't really consider him "speed painted." I highlighted everything with layering and didn't just throw a wash on him. Ta da! I didn't even notice the little gremlins peeking out from his robe until I had already started painting him...

Got some more of the models done for Dungeon Saga too. These are the zombies and another wraith.

As I press on with that project, I'm really wishing I had focused on getting Zombicide painted instead of Dungeon Saga for my first board game. I know there are more models to paint for that game, but the difference is that I really want to PLAY that game! Plus, the heroes can get used for double duty once Massive Darkness arrives. Anyway, more then half done with these so hopefully I will stick with it just to get them done.

Here are a few ECW cavalry models I painted too. I only got 3 done, but I've got another 3 almost done so they'll probably be the first models I finish off in May.

I can use 3 as a unit of elite cavalry in Donnybrook, or all 6 as a unit of gallopers in Pikeman's Lament.

I also got the ECW supplement for Warlord's Pike & Shotte rules this month... they look great, but I know I will be retired before I ever paint armies that size!

For some reason, I really, really, hate painting cavalry. I can't even remember the last time I painted any mounted troops - I think it was knights for my Bretonnian Warhammer army about 15 years ago!

In fact - it's one of the things I really liked about the French & Indian War setting - not a unit of cavalry anywhere to be found (actually that's not true, there was one small unit of cavalry involved in the Quebec campaign on the French side... but I digress, you get the point)! Speaking of which, I have to get back to my FIW troops at some point this year... but not this month.

Finally, here is Thak, the man-ape from the Conan story "Rogues in the House." He's wearing his signature red cape of course! This is the model of him from the Conan board game by Monolith.


That's it then, 10 models and April's done!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

March Terrain

I got my Frostgrave terrain for the second scenario in the Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign done last month. Well, not really "done," but done enough to play a game on! The only problem with that is once I get a game in with it, I rarely go back and put more detail on it, hehe.

I had hoped to show some WIP shots but I guess I forgot to take any! In any case, the platforms I used to line the river bank were just made from 2" Pink Foam, covered in these:

I did manage to find a few shots I took of the Playmobil boats, prior to working on them:

And the GW LoTR/Hobbit boat, which comes with the Laketown House set:

This boat is a bit small, but still fits a couple of models inside. I tested it out with some French Marines... I see some French & Indian War scenarios using these boats in the future! I deliberatly cut up some of the Playmobil boats to make them double sided like traditional French Canadian "Bateaux."

Speaking of the Laketown house set, I was so excited that GW finally had them in stock I ordered a few!

And the boats after painting:

Also got some more Mats last month! Just what I needed. As insane as it sounds, there are still plenty more designs that I want...

This was the TableWar / Frontline design Grassy Plains.

I was upset when this was no longer available from Frontline as I thought I had missed out on it. I actually got my copy (and the other mats I got this month) from Noble Knight games, which specializes in selling out of print stuff.

As it turns out, they are actually still available from TableWar's web site. I guess the two companies are no long co-branding these, and Frontline now has a bunch of new designs up on their own site.

I really wanted this one for nostalgia, as it kind of reminds of the old Warcraft 2 computer game! Come on, tell me these orange paths through the green grass don't look like this to you:

One advantage of ordering a "Tablewar" version instead of ordering from Frontline is that it had one less logo on it! Score!

I also got a 6x4 Alpine mat. I can use this for big games of Frostgrave, or if I wanted to refight the famous "Battle on Snowshoes" with my French & Indian War troops... Of course, I'll have to paint up Rogers' Rangers first if I plan to do that!

Finally, I ordered a couple of licensed Privateer Press mats, because they looked like cool designs and came in an unusual size, 30" square. I felt like this was just barely big enough for a good up close & personal game of Frostgrave, Mordheim, Song of Blades & Heroes, etc. I know some games have suggested playing on a table as small as 2x2, but that looks too small to me if using 28mm models.

I am bit annoyed by the amount of logos on here, which is amplified because of the small size of the mat. Also, I hadn't realized that there are small "steampunk" elements all over the place (which makes sense I guess, since Warmachine is a Steampunk game! D'oh!).

Lots of logos, and the size of the paving stones are huge in 28mm scale!

Also got these trees last month; they are artificial Bonsai trees. Not too cheap but nice and big, and don't have to worry about flock falling off them. Plus they just need to be based and will be ready to use (gotta love that).

And finally.... drum roll please....... my order from Escenorama arrived last month! Last year, I ordered a "village" worth of their ruined buildings for Mordheim. I was happy with them but it was not quite enough to really fill out a table, and I had a vision of doing an entire table in their buildings so the aesthetic style would match for all of the ruins. I like scratchbuilt stuff, tabletop world, escenorama, and a whole bunch of different manufacturers, but I really like it when everything looks like it "goes" together rather than just random terrain from a lifetime of collecting thrown together haphazardly on the table.

So... this year around Christmas time I ordered a bunch more of their buildings on the Black Friday sale. It took months but finally arrived... and packed much nicer than the first lot! Can't wait to get all of this stuff built and painted. I magnetized the first set to be completely modular, but I think I will glue a bunch of these together to save time.

The buildings came individually wrapped in bubble wrap this time... a huge improvement on the giant box of loose resin I got last time! Couldn't help but take them out and start to get an idea of how much real estate they can cover... lots of goodies here!