Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Organising the models

I was in Aldi on Tuesday and spotted a nice little rack system for £8.99 and thought "Hmm. That would be handy to put the millions of GW bitz I've picked up over the years, instead of leaving them on sprues in a box".
So I picked it up and spent a bit of time yesterday snipping bits off sprues to add to the trays.

Admittedly it will need labelling but I've found the exercise handy as its revealed exactly how much crap I've hoarded over the years. I've even thrown some Orc spear arms away (as I can't imagine I'll ever need more than the 20 I kept).

In other news I appear to have gotten a cracked or bruised rib from coughing last week, so moving, sleeping and generally existing seem to be a bit painful at the moment. This has taken a toll on the painting as I don't really feel in the mood a lot of the time. Hopefully this will pass soon.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

WD387 - oh No no nooooo

Got my subscribed copy of White Dwarf this morning. Now I know WD has always been a balancing act to get all the 2 (then 3) major games covered, but the latest issue is so full of fail I can't think where to start.

Ok Im slightly biased and I'm more about Warhammer Fantasy than the other games these days but I can still find some of the articles interesting.

First off then, theres the new Space Wolves. I think its a bad thing if my first reaction is "Oh No no nooooo". Marines, riding wolves? Seriously? Ok Warhammer 40K is the big one these days (as previously stated apparently its the popularity in the US that we have to blame for this) and Space Wolves are possibly the most popular Space Marine chapter, but riding wolves?
Ok the models look ok-ish but I think in terms of the feel of a futuristic game that they're WAAAY off and look ridiculous! Ok have some wolf like attachments to armour and have fur on them or something but not an actual wolf.

Meh maybe I just don't get Space Wolves. I know an old work colleague collects them religiously (to the point where he has masses of boxed sets stored somewhere) but c'mon GW.

Anyway back to the rest of WD387. A large chunk of the mag is dedicated to Space Wolves and the new Tyranids (that look ok but very samey) and as they don't really float my boat I skipped them... It turned out this didn't leave much to the rest of the mag. There was part 3 of their Warhammer civil war expansion which still didn't deal with any army I own so I skipped over it; Standard Bearer where Jervis answered some commonly asked questions (the answers to which seemed to be the same for 3 of the questions, leading to the feeling that this was a bit of a space filler) and a bit on Lord of the Rings gaming (again not really into that so skipped that).

In fact the only vaguely fascinating part of this mag was a 5 page section on some Golden Daemon winners entries. Either way not an impressive issue. It reminded me of when I used to work for Forgeworld. When the new WD came out we were all given a free copy, and the joke was that someone would say "oh the new toilet roll has arrived". I kind of felt like that today. After 20 mins of skimming through it, it went back on the shelf.
Ah well.

If you want more info on the Space Wolves look here. And more on WD387 here.

[EDIT - 2 days later]
On hindsight the Space Wolf models are growing on me. The wolves themselves have cyber implants which are quite nice... interesting initial reaction tho.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Flesh painting issues

Well work continued today on the State troops, however I appear to have made a schoolboy error with painting the faces. As previously noted I was having trouble painting them in the first place but I think I've gotten over the actual painting. The trouble I now have is my choice of colour use.

I started out by painting the face with Tallarn Flesh, then in a rather hasty manoeuvre I went and highlighted straight away with a Vallejio Sunny Skin paint on 3 models. This just looks wrong.
I appear to have forgotten what I knew about painting flesh (which annoyingly came back to me after I'd done this), which was to wash at this stage then build up by mixing paints rather than trying to cheat and use paints from the bottle.

As a consequence 3 models have shocking skin. I may even be forced to paint over this and hope I don't loose the detail.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Army Builder Quickshade

Oh one more thing before I retire for the evening. I was having a look at this Quickshade stuff that Army Builder make. From my limited exposure to Wargaming over the last couple of years I'm lead to understand that this has taken the wargaming world by storm, meaning that relatively quick and poor paint jobs can be made to look good by simply dipping the model in this stuff.

While I'm all for speeding up painting and making things look good, I have to wonder whether this is a good or a bad thing for the hobby. In the past a good paint job received positive feedback from fellow gamers and this acted as reward for putting in the effort in the first place (not to mention the resale value was always higher). With this quick and simple way of shading a model, you have have to look harder to spot a model that has had more effort put into it, therefore making people less likely to bother looking in the first place.

I guess if you're in this hobby for the back patting you're unlikely to play the games much as the painting would take up most of your time and you'd be aiming for one of the many painting competitions around, but its just a thought.

Personally I'm not sure if I'd use it, not because I think its a cheat, but I'm unsure that giving everything a brownish tint is a good idea or not. I suspect a better effect can be achieved by carefully applying GW washes to specific parts of a model but we will have to see about that.

Anyway just my 2p worth...

More colour, less accuracy

Something appears to have happened since I last painted miniatures... either I wasn't as good as I thought I was or my painting skill has deteriorated over time.
Now I always thought I was a good painter; not Golden Daemon standard (although I thought I could if I bothered to really apply myself) but above average and way better than a newbie. However when painting these models I find that my fine motor skills aren't behaving as they once did. I was able to paint Warhamster (Warmaster) models with fine detail that used to astound my co workers at Forgeworld, however today I was having trouble putting base colours on a normal Warhammer miniature.

Now this could be down to two things: 1.) I have a terrible memory and my skill is just the same as it was. 2.) my painting position, light level or simply my skill level just isn't right.

I suspect its more option 2 than one as I have pictures of my previous work to look at. This is the first time I've painted without a dedicated painting table. Previously I've always had a desk to work at and a decent light source. Since I got married and moved I've found that these things are hard to come by in our flat, hence the Paintstation+ thats in the pics. It means I can sit with my wife and paint etc without her feeling that I'm abandoning her to my hobby or something. We also don't really have the space for a desk so I can't do that. As for light level I'm forced to use an LED headlamp to get enough light for painting but this doesn't work so well as the light cone is quite small at arms length and I find myself bobbing my head to keep a miniature lit as I paint.

So I hope to try and find a lamp of some description tomorrow with a super bright bulb.

Also here's todays painting. I've basecoated the metal, leather and flesh parts of the halberdiers as well as painting the shafts of the halberds. Painting the faces is proving to be a pain in the arse as the halberds are at such an angle as to block half the face. On hindsight I should have painted the faces first before doing the uniform: a lesson to learn for the next 10.
I'm also going to experiment with GWs new washes. I was suitably impressed with their black which was a departure from their old stuff (put it this way, I was still using my old round pot of black wash I bought in 1992 as all the re-releases seemed to be the same). More when I actually do it :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Painting white

Well I finally began painting the other day. I've not done any miniature painting in about 2 years and haven't painted white since about 2002 so I'm kinda really discovering the process.
For this attempt I'm putting a base coat of Astronomican Grey down before painting thin layers of white over this.
Now that I've done it I'm not 100% happy with the results. My thinking is that its harder to paint as I'm currently undercoating the models with black spray paint and maybe I'd be better off undercoating in white.
I will continue to paint these miniatures as they are but might use white undercoat for the next 10.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Goodies have arrived

My order finally arrived the other day so I'm now able to continue painting. This is somewhat hampered by a cough / cold I've had for about 2 weeks now so not likely to get a lot done.
My wife is also going to start on her Bretonnian Men at Arms this arvo as well. Will see of she enjoys her first attempt at wargames modelling :)

Monday, 13 February 2012

A little painting

Still waiting for new paints but decided to start painting the 10 State Troops I already have undercoated.
I simply painted the sanded base in Bestial Brown and drybrushed with Iyanden Darksun. It still looked a little light so I washed it with Delvan Mud.

I'm still unsure how I want to finish the bases. I may snow base them but that depends how the uniform turns out. Either way I'm waiting for the Astronomican Grey to base the white on.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

40K Anniversary miniature thoughts

As you may (or may not) be aware, Warhammer 40,000 is currently having its 25th anniversary. Firstly this makes me feel very old as I remember Rogue Trader very well and even (sometimes) miss the old targeting templates.

Games Workshop are currently offering this finecast miniature based on the artwork to the cover of that first 40k rulebook. Now I'm one for nostalgia and I'd even pick up another copy of Rogue Trader (1st Edition of 40K) if I came across one, but I'm a little hesitant of spending £20 on what is essentially a desktop model. Ok apparently you can use this as a fieldable miniature but I'm not a great fan of Crimson Fists (the chapter of Space Marines portrayed) so I'm not that fussed. Apparently GW is selling out of them fast. I don't find this surprising as 40k has a massive fan base in the US (far more than Fantasy.. I can only assume the yanks like big guns more). Besides I suspect a large number of these limited edition miniatures will end up on eBay in a months time with the priced hiked up by opportunists.

Anyway if you want to have a gander check at their website here : http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat440160a&prodId=prod1460169a

Basing Frenzy

Well almost anyway. Decided to try an experiment. Years ago I got hold of some BaseTex basing material from a wargames show. It was essentially a large jar of brown paint with sand mixed in. It was exceptionally handy for quickly basing miniatures. I tried finding it online recently but Irregular Miniatures (who I believe made it) have an irregular way of selling (ie you can only call them 2 days a week) plus the shipping price was off putting so I decided to make my own with some Bestial Brown paint and sand in a spare pot I had.

 I decided to test in on the base for my Mortar before I'd glued the model to it.  The results weren't as great as I'd hoped and I'm not convinced this is a better way to base models. (see right)

So I went ahead and based nearly all the other miniatures the old fashioned way (ie PVA glue and sand). I also used a few small rocks I found outside to add a bit more flavour to some of the bases.
Now previously after adding the sand to the glue I have added a watered down PVA mix to the top of the sand to really glue it down, but recently I've come to doubt if this step is necessary so this time I'm going to see if the initial PVA layer plus the undercoat spray holds it.
Yeah I know I own a Paintstation +. Meh It means I can paint while sitting with my wife in front of the TV :)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Quick reorder

Annoyingly curvy!
Well after waiting over a week for my wife's miniatures to arrive, I discovered that the order had changed from "processing" to "awaiting stock". Highly annoying as I'd picked this one retailer as their website said the item was in stock.
Anyway have now cancelled that order and reordered with Gifts for Geeks so we will see.
I'm kind of stuck at the moment as I'm awaiting a new hobby drill. I've had an old citadel one for nearly 14 years now but I managed to loose the drill bit holder while moving a few months ago so figured it was time to get one of citadels new rubberised ones. I need the drill as the empire knights I've got are made of slightly softer plastic. As a result the lances are a little droopy so I'm going to drill them out and refit the with some scale steel pikes I got years ago from Perry miniatures.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The State of Play

So following on from the last post here's where we're at so far.
Rulesets Currently owned : Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer Ancients : Trafalgar, DBM (no idea what version), misc other rules

Given my current penchant for fantasy settings we're going to go with Warhammer Fantasy. I've also made a start on a new Empire Army. This is a little break from the norm for me as I previously have played Orcs (and indeed still have a small number and a lot of goblins for some reason) so I began with the regiment boxed set (acquired cheaply off eBay). My current goal is to get to 1000pts worth of models and then actually play some one. By my calculations, with this boxed set and another state troops box, all I need to top out to 1000pts is a general of some description, another cannon and a wizard.

Now here is where I've gone wrong in the past. Previously I've bought all the models I could possibly need then get bogged down with the actual making and painting meaning it takes years to get it all together. This time I'm restraining myself... Well actually finances are restraining me too so I guess it all works out.
So at time of writing I have pretty much made up all of the models I have (which means scraping off the mold lines and glueing them together). I have still to make up the knights in the boxed set but have put the horses together. Next I will need to base the models (sand and glue) and then undercoat them to begin painting.

I have decided to go with an Ostland themed army. This was partly down to the fictional history of them and partly down the colour scheme. They are usually painted in a black and white pattern and while I would have liked to try some colour with them I couldn't find an army with a history and location I liked in the warhammer world  - Ostland is in the north east where they have to contend with Orcs and the like. Painting white is going to be a pain (I have experience when painting a Tau squad many years ago) but I'm led to believe that GW's new foundation paints may ease the pain a little. We will see.

In a surprising but very pleasant move my wife has become interested in making some models. Actually the way she phrased it was "Do you have any models I could have a go at?" It may sound callous but in these days of expensive models I was reluctant to give her some of the ones I had nearly finished cleaning, so I suggested we look at the Warhammer rule book together and she could pick one that she liked the look of. In the end she went for Bretonnians so I have bought her a box of Men-at-arms in order to see what she makes of it. I have left it up to her if she wants to continue after them and she is happy to try it and see.

I shall report on both our progress in due course. 

New blog, old habits

Greetings, welcome and hello to my new blog.
I've been on the internet now since 1996 and to be honest I've never stuck with blogging. Its something I've started, forgotten about, restarted, given up, really gone for it and then got distracted by something else.

This is only the second time I've used Blogger for this. The last few attempts have been via using my own URLS and Wordpress sites. The trouble with this is that I end up spending far too much time farting around with how the site looks and the behind the scenes technical stuff rather than actually updating the content.

The aim of this blog? Well as the title suggests I'm and Intermittent Wargamer. I've been playing wargames since I was a teenager (started back in 1989 with HeroQuest) and have even worked for Games Workshop on several occasions but I haven't actually played a wargame itself since 2003. This was when I was working for Forgeworld at the GW HQ. It was a great job, hard work coupled with time to paint and play games in breaks.

Anyway fast forward 9 years and I'm now married and (currently) unemployed finding a lot of time on my hands so I've been attempting to get back into wargaming.

Now you might say with all that experience under my belt I should have a shed load of models. Well the answer is both yes and no. Yes I have a number of models BUT over the years I have sold off any that were worth anything in order to pay for .. life really. As such this time I've started from scratch.

In my next post I'll let you know where I'm currently at and where the future lies.