Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 Retrospective: CY6! Jet age. Falklands

I've been trolling through my photo archives, which I tend to separate by month and year and was trying to figure out how much I've actually painted this year. Funnily enough, I didn't take pictures of a lot of what I worked on (which is unusual), but I do find hints of what I was working and interested in at various times in the year.

Beginning of last year I had just finished up a batch of jets for check your six! (CY6!). I chose to do the falklands war purely based on the limited number of planes needed, and the couple of scenarios available. After hunting for various pics of 'correct' paint jobs, and getting confused (as there was changes through the quite short war), I painted up these fellows.

mirage 3 (i think)

Daggers are slightly smaller than the mirage 3 to the topleft and the right
These are all 1:600 tumbling dice figures. They include harriers, mirage 3's, 14 skyhawk, and IAI daggers (which are almost indistinguishable from the mirages...and I think they are perhaps an earlier model).

 Harriers in the two group colorations. They are noticeably smaller than most of the opposition.

 A4 skyhawks which are wee little planes compared to the mirage's and daggers.

Despite finishing these in Jan/Feb I haven't gotten around to playing yet. I have sourced a hex mat, but I'm still facing sound challenges with how I want to do the bases.

Ideally they will change height, and show the speed on them. The planes have a small ball bearing located on the bottom in order to pitch/roll/yaw on the magnet on the stand.

I originally toyed with the idea of having the ball bearing on the stem, and only placing a magnet inside the plan. The end result was wildly unstable and the nose or tail (depending on where I placed the magnet) would instantly track downwards. I then managed to embed some magnets within the base stem, and attached the ballbearing to the plane. This is improved....but they still yaw a bit too easy. I may just stick some 'blue stuff' inside the stem to increase the friction.  I'm hoping the whole basing scheme isn't kaput.

Meanwhile, I still need to decide how to represent plane speed. A dice and frame arrangement vs a arrow/dial/pointer thing. Decisions, decisions.....

I'm going to wait till I'm more inspired to fight with these problems.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

6MMRPC: Week 16 Legio Heroica Musselmen Wild Card

These actually arrived last week, but I didn't get around to working on them till this week. This is the first set of figs I bought since the challenge started (16 weeks ago!). There was a sale on and a few of my friends are starting Saga Crescent and Cross. It set me back about 40$ with shipping, which I figure is the cost of a box of plastic for many games so I'm going to call this one wild card.

Spears on the top above the metal tray
I went with a variety of arab/bedoin flowing robes with head coverings. Basically every melee fig is armed with a spear, which I thought was a bit annoying, but I couldn't do much about it. The casting are actually quite nice, though they are noticeably beefier than some other manufacturers (including Khurasan).

One of the few successful glue jobs
The spears are actually sharpened steel spikes on the foot troopers (lead on the cavalry), which is pretty fantastic, but they've been driving me nuts trying to glue them. One of my friends suggested CA glue accelerator, which I'll probably have to try, as using blue tac to hold the spear while it sets didn't work out so hot (lots of scraping to remove).

Christmas, of course, is taking up much of the free time, so overall not a lot was accomplished this week, and probably even less for the following week.

 I have 16 bowmen, 16 spear in robes, 8 spear in chainmail, and 11 cavalry. Hopefully I can bang these guys out quickly so 1/. I can get some games in and 2/. so I don't set back the lead mountain reduction project by much.

Happy Solstice everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2014

6MMRPC:Week 15 Russian Infantry Complete!

I'm late with the posting, as this is actually the start of week 16, but I wanted to finish the last few steps this earlier this evening so I wouldn't stretch these guys out another week. I'm finally completed all the Russian infantry figs I received right before starting the challenge. Considering October was completely taken up by zombies, that means it took about 10 weeks to finish. Pretty bad actually, although I was distracted by various other items and a second job (taking me over full time).

I noticed as I was laying these guys out to photograph them with the earlier figs that I went through the effort of painting the edge brown when I'm supposed to paint it black. DOH! Wasted paint AND time. Such weak-sauce.

These are the contents of 1 box of plastic russians, 1 artillery pack (licorne), and 2 metals packs (jaegers skirmishing & grenadier command advancing).

I still need to paint up some command figs for these guys, but it's nice to be mostly done.

A bit of background here....Doug from Dots of Paint blog, convinced a number of us to all paint Russians to set up for a big borodino game. He posted the OOB broken down into the required bases. I took Tuchkov's 3rd corp, which only requires 2 grenadier, 1 line, 1 jaeger, and 1 artillery. I've overshot by 1 line and 1 jaeger. If I can finish my cavalry requirements in a prompt fashion, and the other members aren't overally productive, I may claim another corp to work on.
Of course, there is the reduced hobby activity related to the holidays. At least a few nights have been taken up with decorating, having a party, and christmas cards.

My wife has some degu's as pets (they are dessert rodents from South America). She makes clever holiday pictures to print on the cards and send out. Considering these beasties chew everything and can't tolerate sugar (being naturally diabetic) it's actually quite tricky to pull off. I have been drafted (willingly) to assist for the last two years.

Hope you are all having a good (and productive) holiday season. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

6MMRPC: Week 14 Russian Napoleonic Grenadiers

Lest anyone be mistaken that I was extra productive this week, I'll admit that these guys were probably half done prior to zombtober, and I just recently picked them up having finished the jaegers. The first post of December is quite exciting as it marks the beginning of the second half of the 6MMRPC challenge. Only 3 months until I can start buying things again and undue all my hard work. Oh joy.

Back to the figs, theses are (again) perry plastics. The box can be set up to make jaegers, fusilier, or grenadier (the only differences are the hats and some subtle colour changes). I also have a few leads in here (also Perry). The grenadier command pack I wanted to use to try and add some extra variety into my stands. The clue to recognizing them is that they don't have the musket parked on their shoulder.

I think the jaegers I finished last week are slightly better done (as they are, functionally, the last set I painted fully from beginning to end), and I like the extra variety in hats and poses they had (and the sharp looking yellow). I haven't done much looking at the Russians, and maybe I'm missing out on all sorts of facing (collar/cuff) colours I could be using, but it seems to me the French have better variety.

Nice photo to the right showing some of the red turnbacks. Most of the fig poses you can't even see them. 

I like the start of the drummers saw tooth pattern on the drum edge. This will be cleaned up when I paint with some white. 

One stick is fully completed. The other three still have the red and white to do, which is what finally makes them pop. It's amazing what final touches of colour can do for figs.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

6MMRPC: Week 13 Napoleonic Russian Jaegers

Just a quick post, as I'm trying to beat the end of the week deadline, and I'd like to go to bed soon.
I pulled a bit of  late night in order to 'finish' these guys. I still need to get them on their bases (2 large bases), but I was excited to have the painting done before posting on my blog.

These are perry miniatures, plastics (with the forage caps) and metals (with the shakos). As far as I can tell, the major difference from the line troops is a slightly lighter green and the black webbing/harness rather than white. I used a fair amount of grey highlighting, as I'm not a fan of just black. The jaeger groups also have yellow ribbons with white tassel on their swords, yellow shoulder boards, and pom on their hats. A nice little splash of colour.

I'm actually rather happy with the outcome. The green loooked a bit splotchy earlier, but with the full colour palete it's less obvious. Beyond the unkind camera eye showing off the clay faces, they look pretty sharp in my mind.

I played another game of General du Corp (unpublished playtesting) on Thursday which was fun. It was a scenario we reset numerous times to try and get the scenario correct, but also tweaking the town fighting rules. I'll post up my thoughts and pics later this week, but you can check out Dougs posting here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blast from the past: Marauder Venators (Confrontation/Necromunda)

A post on Google+ caught my eye the other day with a picture of an old GW/Marauder/Citadel figure (here). These venerable old figs were for a predecessor to the necromunda rules. Crazy that back in the day GW would be making figures for a incomplete essentially unplayable system. I remember collecting White Dwarf magazines with fractions of these rules hoping to play, and even trying to make a gang (essentially unplayable due to the entirely random gear).

The figs themselves were quite characterful however, and numerous people picked them up, and eventually used them as human defence forces, or chaos cultists. I managed to get 3 of these guys in a trade, or cash purchase. I was playing necromunda (the spiritual successor to the confrontation rules) a lot at the time, and these guys fit well with my cawdor gang (masked religious nutters), the crimson zealots. The GW painted cawdor team was blue with a bit of red. I didn't want to copy exactly, but lacking a big sense of what colours might work well just inverted the scheme. I was happy enough with the results. 

Jean-Baptiste asked me for some pics of my figs, hence this post. Looking at these I wince a bit at the poor job done with the metallics and the masks. The colour choice is a bit too uniform as well. It's nice to see that in the 10 years since I painted them, I've achieved a bit of an improvement (in colour choice if not skill).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

6MMRPC: Week 12 - 15mm XCOM (snakemen and thin men)

Having a full blown case of hobby ADD, I've failed to make any progress on the multiple projects under 'progress'. I suspect this is why challenges are typically so hard to do.....many gamers want to flit like gadflies from project to project. I've probably mentioned it before, but I am appreciating more and more that painting whatever possesses you is probably more productive (in volume) than locking yourself into a project and timelines. The latter sounds a lot like work.

I worked on some 15mm figs I've had lurking in the drawers for a while. The snakemen are from critical mass mercenaries range, while the agents/thin men are from 'thesceneuk' authorities range (incidentally, thesceneuk has some create 'not-predator' special forces.

I shamelessly ripped off the snakemen paint job from another blog and obviously I'm not the first to like his idea (here).

I mentioned many moons ago the idea of xcom as a small scale game (also ripped off of the blogsphere). Probably very easy to do with programmed aliens for solo play as well. I think this is a reoccuring thought, as the computer game franchise remakes xcom and/or clones come out. I was, in fact, inspired to do these this week (and not much more) as a result of picking up an xcom clone called Xenonauts. Definitely an improved blast from the past of my highschool days.

The snakemen have only 5 poses. I wanted to do for a glowing energy weapon aesthetic. The green also pops quite well compared to the yellow/orange palette.

The re-release of xcom (which came out 1-2 years ago and is *very* good) had 'thin men'. These are disturbing human like infiltrator aliens that are vaguely reptilian with their movements, very agile/flexible bodies, and eye. 

The look like creepy bankers, or men in black. I decided to try for the banker (navy) blue rather than black.

I'm not super happy with my pictures right now. They tend to look better in hand than in the light box, but obviously there was some movement/blur.

I'm not sure if it's the popsicle stick positioning causing photo composition issues, or if I need to look at a better camera where I can control some of the variables.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

6MMRPC: Week 11 - WIP Ion age Hovercraft + GW ogre

Fall hibernation has been hitting me hard lately with a serious decrease in enthusiasm for most activities. I have made some small amount of progress with the painting however.

First up, the Ion age Adders. After priming black (last week), I managed to have another go with the air brush laying down a green base coat. This is, for those familiar with GW paint bottles some colour from the mists of time (as evidence by the paint bottle in the pic with no label on it). I don't even know what it's called, but it's probably from the basic or monster paint sets.

I'm attempting to paint match to the siler tank (from Khurasan) that I picked up from chief lackey richard (off of tmp). He paints some great stuff (seen here). I think after weathering the colour will be close enough.

I thin my paints with windex (generic windex at that) and have been trying to figure out the correct ratios. I have discovered it's better to start with windex and add paint, or you are likely to struggle with clogging until the thinned paint gets to the bottom/displaces the thick whole paint. It was a bit of a gong show struggling to get paint to blow through the brush and then suddenly it works and I have massive blasts of nicely thinned green paint overspraying. Obviously this is the right fig/application to be experimenting, rather than something that actually requires 'staying in the lines'.

I then hit the skirts/plenum with a near black grey camo thing (vallejo), and the gun barrels with my current favorite a grey/green. It has almsot no green as far as I can tell.

 To distract myself, I've been putting on licks of paint on the Mordheim ogre. He was at risk of turning very brown, so I've thrown in the blue. I'm currently considering doing his loose shirt as a tan/yellow thing. It might be worth splitting the colour on his cap with some of the red oxide as per his knee patch.

Opinions gratefully accepted.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

6MMRPC: Week 10 - Five (incomplete) items for your perusal

It's been a strange work week, and illness has been skirmishing with the household. As a result, I've been a remiss in my efforts to actually get paint on some miniatures, although I have been active in other parts of hobby-ing. I managed to cut up and deflash a number of figs. Many are  assembled, and I even partially primed stuff. This is the type of easy thing I tend to work on when I can't summon up the verve to get on with paint.

1 - First up is the Russian 28mm Naps. These are more of the Perry's figs I received shortly before the challenge began. To the left are some lead jaegers. I've decided my plastic jaegers will have the forage cap. To be honest, the russian infantry all looks VERY similar. The jaegers do have a lighter green coat (I may be going too light with this, we'll see), and black harnesses. As opposed to dark green and white harnesses.

2- I managed to clean and prime these "Adder" hovercraft from the ion age. Run by Gavin Syme of the range has been very cool. I have a fair amount of their stuff. There are some things that haven't really grabbed me, but most have.

I intend on adding this to my NAC force (from GZG) which got some play time with Gruntz (which will mean MORE green painting). I figure these will make some nice fast and small troop transports.

3 - These folks are the freebies I got back in September. The chainmail figs (orc shaman and trooper on the left, and 2 dwarves) are very clean castings. I was very impressed.

Two human 'diggers' from GW's gorkamorka are in the back. I'll paint them as random post apocalypse/necromunda gang type figures. Should be easy.

The mordheim Ogre, as noted by some commentators, is a great characterful model. It would appear he has a victim in his wicker backpack as well. The kislevite female archer/scout I'm less enthralled with. She is FAR too busty. Also her sword arm will probably need to be pinned as it doesn't want to stay attached.

The last fig is a beastman centaur. I like it....sorta. The head is a bit silly with a skull helmet over a fairly diabolic face with a braided goatee and horns. Not a fan. The super dumb part is his weapon. I suppose a club with multiple spikey bits is on par for technology, but the frickin thing is taller than a human. Also, it probably doubles the height of the fig which is rearing and pointing his weapon straight into the air. I'll definitely be making a conversion with this.

4 - This is the modular refiner set from pegasus games. It's been around for a long time, and I finally picked one up probably even within the last year. It's truly tedious to clip out and clean the flash though. I'm hoping it won't be utterly confusion to assemble. I do see numerous picks on the web of these things lurking in the backgrounds as scatter terrain, so I'm hopeful of the final product.

5 - A non-hobby item; The fall forest bounty. I went mushroom picking last weekend with a friend who does it regularly. This was the haul between the two of us for just under three hours. Chanteralls (yellow), hawks wings (top brown/grey), some oysters, and some other stuff I forgot. It was a tasty week to be dining here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

6MMRPC: Week 9 (Zombtomber week 4.5) - The horde complete!

Happy Halloween! Appropriately timing the completion of my zombie throng to terrorize survivors and government troops. I really rather happy to be finished this particular paint challenge. I've recently found that I am more productive when I can jump between projects as the whim possesses me. Focusing on things that have definite dead lines (pun intended) is a bit of a stress. Combined with my lack of inspiration for painting zombies currently it was pretty lucky I got this all done.

Lets look at what was finished:

12 hazmat troopers,
6 survivors
51 zombies (including 6 dogs)

I have a whole lot of picture below so you can have a better look at the rebel mini poses and my paint jobs. Note that rebel minis has about 3 extra zombie packs now for increased selection. If I want more I'd probably add one of each pack in the future.

The cruel eye of the camera lens makes me less happy with the results, but there are some learning items here.

Blood. I started with a red/brown, and then added the brown (more clotted blood). In hindsight, the brown should have gone first, larger, then the red. This would look like more like fresh blood spilling over older stuff, rather than clotting from the middle out. I contemplated some black, but with the size, and already some darkness to the figs I left it alone.

To the right we can spot the problem to a certain degree. I also like this pic as it shows my RCMP (Canadian federal police) uniforms. I had at least 4 of each pose, so it was tough at times differentiating them.

Skin. I tried 4 different recipes. A fair number didn't port well to the smaller scale.
1- Blobs of yellow ink on blue look far too big, and would have a big problem keeping smaller (or wouldn't be noticeable).You can see this on the RCMP zombie above. Yellow spots far too big.

2- The pale grey with touches of blue ink. This looked similar to the blue base, but better. Again, the blue should have been smaller, but tended to pool and make dark, relatively large, spots.

3- Green. This actually looked pretty decent, with the highlighting via a lighter green. I have to say, I'm not a big fan of green zombies, I can't really imagine why you'd turn green rather than a lot of other shades, unless it's a zombie lichen taking you over. So while it looks better, it's not my favorite shade. This can be seen on the secretary with the red jacked and purple skirt.

4 - I think my favorite coloration was a black/red mix.

It pops quite well and really helps highlight the sculpt/body parts. The drawback to this one is it can look too life like. I actually cut the recipe down, as I trailed it with a fat lady fig early in the month, and the later washes of black and/or flesh made it too dark (probably be fine at 28mm).

Once you splash red and brown blood around it starts taking away from the colour as well. This is, perhaps, why green zombies are popular.....the strong contrast with red blood.

A decent look of some of the various skin colours side by side.

Another couple of close ups of some of the sculpts I like.
I realize I missed painting the handlebar mustache on the firemen.

I don't get to paint orange much, so the bright colours of the chainsaw, and some of the splash was good times. I can't imagine that a chainsaw would be a wise tool to use, as presumably the infection is blood borne, and a saw is NOISY. But hey, great for pulp and cinema.

Some more questionable survivor weapons. I mean, it will probably be handy to have a character with a shoulder launched missile in another game, but zombie hunting? Impractical.

The big ladies on the same strip as the fast food workers. Is the outbreak related to improper food handling and pink slime? Is it a coincidence?  YOU BE THE JUDGE!
The business men mostly differed in their ties. I think that's probably accurate. Grey, brown, navy and black suits.

The disco divas have an eyeball that is popped out, as well as a bony stump on their right arm. 

Creepy children with their teddy bears. 

For some reason I quite like the slobby skate boarders looks. I probably should have spent some time on painting icons, or at least grinding damage, onto the bottom of their boards.

A bridge too far I suppose. I did manage to paint the exposed upper underwear edge a different colour from their hanging too low shorts though. 

 I am undecided if the ladies are wearing bikinis or just knickers.