Sunday, 31 December 2017

Dobby the ranger don’t make no resolutions...

Well.  That was 2017.  Where did it go?  Bugger.

Despite starting the year with the intention of painting, I spent the first two thirds of it prepping and building models.  I built 186 models for D&D from various ranges and primed nearly 600 for a multitude of games, most of them in one glorious five day stretch in August.  To be fair, the first half of the year was largely overtaken by a house move - preparing the old house for sale and then all the rigmarole of sorting out the new house (which still isn’t completely sorted).

In the end, I managed to paint 158 miniatures of all sizes so I’m fairly happy with that.  None of which have appeared on the blog yet.  As I said - bugger.  My intention when starting the blog was to regularly update it with my painting progress and for it to also act as a record of all my previous painting.  I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I’m all too aware that in my case the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak. Having said that, I do want to post more regularly.  I think a lot of the posts may just be a unit or model that I’ve painted in the past, but not recorded in the virtual world, and will therefore be presented without much comment.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Ed the elf.

Although I'm a huge Star Wars fan and have bought into Armada, X-Wing, Imperial Assault, and West End Game's rpg, I've come to the realisation that I'm never going to play Star Wars Legion. Is it that it's a different scale than Imperial Assault thus requiring buying duplicates of models already owned? No. Is it due to the real and present danger that every time I mooch about lookin' fer fings, I risk being being crushed under models that I have little chance of ever painting? Nope. It's solely down to the inescapable truth that I hate, haaate, painting *#@!ing stormtroopers.

I came to this realisation two weekends ago when, after spending 6 hours painstakingly layering white on two and a half storm troopers, and being somewhat miffed with how utterly shite they looked, I promptly masked off the blasters and hit them with white spray primer from above. The result looked far better than what I'd achieved by careful application of paint. Now, don't get me wrong, they're not award winning models, but from two feet away they're more than acceptable. I haven't managed to photograph them yet so I'll post another Otherworld adventurer.

This is Ed the elf. His thirst for blood almost always superceded spellcasting.  When he did cast, it was most often Shocking Grasp, which would then invariably critically fail to hit with the hilarious side effect of electrocuting one of his comrades. Usually on the helmet. No, not that one. 
After inadvertently reaching into the wrong holster, Ed menaced the Goblin King with his latest purchase from Ann Summers.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Let me axe you a question...

Following some discussion on Matthew Sullivan's excellent blog, Oldenhammer in Toronto, I feel compelled to introduce you to Axe, aka Moghul Khan.  Earlier this year I ran The Lost Mines of Phandelver for a group of first-time gamers using the pre-generated characters from the adventure.  Formerly known as Moghul Khan, and then latterly, simply known as 'Axe'.  He had a strikingly low hit rate, but when he connected he would rend things asunder in a welter of blood and gore.

An Otherworld Miniatures fighter (v2 I believe) - I have another to paint up purely for my own use although for mine I am toying with the idea of swapping the axe for a sword.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

High Plains Drifter...

Since the mid-nineties, I've been almost solely focused on the miniatures of GW, but this changed about five years ago, for a variety of reasons, none of which are particularly new or original.  Ultimately, this led to my purchase of nearly the whole Black Scorpion Tombstone range, largely due to me having grown up watching westerns. Alongside the models, I picked up Legends of the Old West, Gutshot and Dead Man's Hand.  I've yet to play a game of any of them or paint more than one model, but I do have another 11 primed and ready, and some of the lovely 4Ground buildings in storage.

It may be a while before you see any more Old West models on my blog, but here's a small preview:

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Money, money, money...

Just a quick post to log the final piece of the BDD Dungeon Adventurers set from Citadel.  This is the only piece that I kept from my original set, and is what helped prompt me to collect the set again.  Every dungeon needs loot.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

And whither then? I cannot say

It's been quite a while since I last posted, this being largely due to work being incredibly busy and a house move, which whilst now completed leaves me with lots of 1:1 scale painting.  It was during this house move, that I decided to rescind my vehemently held embargo on varnishing models.

The catalyst for the original decision was one, I'm sure, familiar to many gamers.  Picture this scene if you will - a young gamer full of the quiet satisfaction of a job well done, having spent fifty or so hours painting eight of the older metal and plastic Ellyrian Reavers from Games Workshop, picking up a new tin of Purity Seal Matt varnish with the intent of protecting the hard won paint job, and then promptly stuffing it up by giving them a lovely frosted Yuletide effect.  When I had recovered my sensibilities enough to think coherently, I vowed never to spray varnish again - I'd just be careful with my models.

This worked quite well for a number of years, but no matter how careful I was (and I'm borderline neurotic when it comes to the welfare of my collection) some of the metal models invariably ended up chipped.  I have discovered a solution that, hopefully someone might find useful - though it is more time consuming than spray varnish.  I brush on two thin coats of GW's 'Ard coat (I have some Vallejo gloss varnish - the newer formulation), followed by one (two, if necessary) coats of Vallejo matt varnish.  The coats of gloss before the matt seem to preserve the lustre of the paint job - at least to my mind.  The first batch that I varnished in this manner survived being handled by a group of teenage D&D players for six months without so much a blemish.

At some point during the move, I decided to revisit all of my painted armies and give them a coat of varnish.  As this blog was, in part, designed to catalogue my painting efforts, it'll be nice to have pictures of them somewhere.  A lot of the models date back to around 2000 and are all GW models, so over the next few months I'll be posting pictures of stuff painted long ago amongst the new stuff.

Anyway, I digress...may I present my uncle Tommy.  This is the last in the BDD Dungeon Adventurers set from Citadel back in the 80s, and I've always thought that (apart from the muscles and loincloth) he bears a striking resemblance to my uncle.  In the eighties, my uncle sported a Lemmy style moustache and sideburns, later transforming into a moustache independent of his ears, both styles of face furniture accompanied by long hair.  The last time I saw my uncle, just two years ago, he had the same haircut - classics are classics for a reason!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Where many paths and errands meet.

The next model in the D&D Adventurers boxed set that I have painted is the thief - when a thief was a thief, and not a rogue.  His pose is that of someone about to perform a most nefarious backstabbing combined with a facial expression that hints of more than mild imbecility.  I present, for your delight and delectation, Malcom.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Until it joins some larger way

I've not posted for a little while - an impending house move and work continuing to be manic have been the prime factors; that and my innate laziness.  The second elf from this set is one of my favourites.  I did a bit of freehand on his tunic and I was really happy with how his cloak came out.


Monday, 1 May 2017

Pursuing it with eager feet,

I definitely recall half painting this guy back in the 80s before giving it up as a bad job.  When I revisited him, I was conscious of trying to push the contrast on what I paint therefore the dark blue of the cloak versus the white of his robes, the glazing into shadow on the white robes, etc.  I don't think I pushed the contrast enough on the cloak, but it does look better in the flesh.

Another technique I wanted to try was object source lighting, in this instance the runes carved into his staff.  I was quite chuffed at how they turned out.  Haven't tried it since then though...

I bought this guy second hand and had to sculpt the thumb back on as well...

Sunday, 23 April 2017

And I must follow, if I can...

I think the dwarf from this set represents a quintessential dwarf - wickedly sharp axe, voluminous beard, big nose, crossbow for ranged work and a horned helm.  One of my favourites to paint as well...

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Now far ahead the road has gone...

I think that when I was 12 I tried painting this next fellow, but suffered a confidence crisis and put it to one side. Thirty odd years later, here's Frank the Elf complete with 1980s face furniture...

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Down from the door where it began...

Whilst my painting speed is reasonable, I am only able to dedicate one weekly session to it so I fully intend to eke out my supply of painted minis. I may go back at some point and photograph some of my more recent work, but with an impending house move pretty much everything is boxed up and in the attic.

The next model is probably my least favourite in the D&D adventurers boxed set, something which was was compounded by me spending the most time on it in an effort to make him look half-way decent.

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Road goes ever on and on...

The next few posts will cover the D&D Adventurers boxed set that GW released in the 1980s. I had given them away in the 1990s when clearing space, but back in 2014 after a bad case of nostalgia, I decided to scour eBay for them.  I think that I had bought a blister of skeletons before receiving this set from my Nan as a birthday present, however these rank as some of the first models I ever owned. Originally, I lacked the courage to paint them so they remained as bare metal until I gave them away.

I tried to push myself with each model although this meant that it took me the best part of two years to finish them. Without further ado, the fighter with no name...

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

I do actually paint some models...

This blog was largely set up as a means of recording my modelling and painting output; something which I've failed to do so far. My collection is somewhat varied and spans GW stuff old and new, D&D related minis (Mierce Miniatures, Red Box Games, Otherworld Miniatures), Gates of Antares, Bolt Action, Wild West (Black Scorpion miniatures), Infinity and Imperial Assault.  I've also dipped my toe deeper into historical gaming and plan to cover WWII North Africa in 15mm, Cold War (also in 15mm) and ancients (probably starting with the Punic Wars).

Anyway, enough waffle - this mini was painted on and off over the course of 18 months, starting in the summer of 2014 when two things happened to me: I wanted to push my painting ability and I also started to rediscover my miniature gaming roots, namely dungeon bashes, primarily D&D and Warhammer Quest.

I'm still trying to sort out decent photography, but it's a start...