Thursday, 28 November 2013

Planning for Christmas

Phew!  Well, that's another assignment submitted for good or ill.  So, I haven't been particularly active on the old hobby front lately.  However, I don't like to post on the blog without putting up something nice to look at, so here's a few things I prepared earlier:

This is Conan v1.0, my original attempt at depicting the famous barbarian.  He's a berserker from the Demonworld Empire range.  Still got a bit of a soft spot for this model.  Sure, the proportions are a bit cartoony compared to the Copplestone Barbarians, but I like him.  He'll probably still get used in games of Crom or SBH, for a bit of variety.

Next up, we have Pulp Citizen to blame for this:

Comissioner James Gordon for 15mm Batan games.  After I saw PulpCitzen's Riddler from the Knight Models range, I had to scratch my Batman itch a little.  So, after a rummage, I got out the green stuff and converted one of Rebel's Irish hitmen.  Seems like more work on paper than it was in practice.  I just lengthened the coat, and added lapels, a shirt collar, tie, glasses, moustache and that odd belt that often dangles unused on the back of the raincoat.  Just finished painting him today.  I'm considering adding a little something to the base to brighten things up.  Part of a chalk outline, or a piece of police tape blowing past his feet, perhaps?

There's one last Irish hitman remaining, so maybe I'll go for a conversion with a bit more panache and try a Joker conversion on that model.

Other than that, I'm building up a stock of cleaned and primed models ready to paint over Xmas right now, so I can enjoy a festive painting binge.

Kim and I are also planning some games to play, since this is one of the years when we spend Christmas at home, rather than travelling.  So far, we're looking at Kim's favourite game, Mighty Monsters, followed by her second favourite, Mighty Armies.  I fancy a bit of Crom, and some sci-fi gaming, so possibly a bit of 5150 or Dead Walk Again (who knows, maybe both?), and we'll be trying out the Pulp City rules in anticipation of the kickstarter coming up at the end of January.

So, as you might guess, we won't be watching the re-runs of Harry Potter or the Great Escape on telly this year!  Anyone else making hobby or gaming plans for the festive season, or do you just look forward to a break and a post-turkey nap?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Clearing the Decks

It's almost the deadline for my next assignment, so I have been working on finishing a few models to remove temptation from my desk while I write up my notes over the next few days.  So here's a few of my now-completed models to look at while I absent myself from Blogger for a week or so:

The finished Conan conversion.  I used an arrow from an old GW skeleton sprue to make the broken spear.  For some reason, I think it looks massively out of scale in this photo, but in real life, it looks fine ~shrug~.

A Cthulu statue.  Bought a pair of resin Cthulu idols at Albanich way back in March.  Only recently did I think of making use of them, while I was painting Conan.  The idol has been mounted on a 20mm plastic square base, which has then been mounted on a 25mm plastic square base.  Glowing green eyes were added for a bit of colour, and because summoning demons/eldritch beasties is something that can happen quite a bit in the Crom rules.

Last, but not least, another purchase from Albanich, a Stalacbite from Midlam Miniatures.  It's been hanging around the desk for ages.  Don't know why I took so long getting round to painting it, really.  There's a whole lot of them, and they're fun models.

See you next week!



Monday, 18 November 2013

Cheeky Chappie

I painted the first of my goblin unit fillers over the weekend, probably galvanised into action following my first trial game of Mighty Armies with the missus (it was very basic, so no AAR this time, but it was great.  How great?  We'll be playing again, and Kim is building herself a wood elf army.  So AAR next time, for sure).

Here he is next to one of his metal mates to show how he scales up.  Strangely, he looks fine in real life, but when I look at the photo everything looks really rough about the paint job, so he'll be back under the brushes again later for some tidying up.  Digital photography is a harsh mistress, but she does drive improvement in my painting.

Also, my first package of goodies arrived through the post.  Took advantage of the recent Copplestone Castings 10% off sale to buy some 15mm barbarians.  When they arrived, I couldn't resist doing some minor conversion work to make a Conan figure.  Still a little work to do on his eye (his left side, our right: He looks cross-eyed at the moment, as I can't seem to get the white of his eye to cover the area I'm aiming for) and base (I'm currently rummaging through my collection for a donor model with a suitable sword or helmet to sit at the bottom of the stairs, for starters).  Here's the almost-finished Conan:

 By Crom! Finish painting me, or I sup ale from thy freshly cloven skull this night!
I thought the cloak painted up well.  So well, in fact, I thought it deserved a picture to itself.

See you soon!



Thursday, 14 November 2013

Goblin Unit Fillers

I found a Mantic Orc sprue in my cupboard with this pair of orclings attached.  figured that with a little GS work, they would work well alongside the leftover 15mm Demonworld Goblins that I'll be using in my Mighy Armies Orc force.

Basically, I needed to change the areas around the nose and ears, as it looks like the original models are meant to be something like baby orcs.  I also didn't like the eyes on the prone model, so I built up the cheeks and brows a bit and added smaller eyes.  Don't know if he's supposed to be tired/lazy or a casualty.  The green bases were added so that they would match height-wise with their Demonworld mates, who are sculpted with integral bases.

Haven't dared set about these with the primer yet.  I'll let the GS set overnight and deal with final clean-up and painting tomorrow.

In other news from the paint station, I will be using transfers to complete the shield on my Libyan spearman.  Once my order arrives, I will have a unit of spearmen and an elephant completed and ready to go for my Ancients force.  Pictures, of course, when they are properly finished, based and varnished.

Although I will need plenty more units of spearmen, I'm looking forward to painting up some Libyan skirmishers with javelins next.  They will add a touch of the exotic to my painting queue, since they are equipped with ostrich-feather shields.  Plus, I reckon they should only need 2-3 to a base, so they will be quick to complete.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Painting for Work

What?  Two posts in quick succession?  Surely not!

Just thought I'd show off this Liby-Phoenician spearman that I painted.  He will be part of the box art for our new Xyston Carthaginian army pack.  I know - More 15mm models.  What can I say?  I like the scale, which is handy, since painting/sculpting 15mm models is in the job description.

I've left the shield blank for now, as I would really like to use one of the excellent Little Big Man transfers for the design and avoid using freehand.  But as this will be used on our packaging, I will need to a) get permission from Steve at LBM, and b) get Robbie to agree to me using a transfer.

One the shield design is complete, and fancy photograhs taken, he'll be based as part of a unit for either Warmaster Ancients (as opposition for my Republican Romans), or Mighty Armies Ancients (if that game takes off with the regular gaming group).

If you have strong feelings regarding the shield design (transfer vs freehand, or suggestions for the design: quick note, I would like to use something other than the symbol of Tanit), by all means let me know in the comments.  I will consider all suggestions of a serious nature.  So no "Hello Kitty" shields, or the like!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ominous Silence? New Project?

With real-life events (mainly my birthday) pushing me around a bit lately, it has been difficult to get back to blogging.  Now I'm back, and this time, there's not a zombie in sight.

So, what's this about a new project?  I know.  This is supposed to be about not flitting from one unfinished project to another like a butterfly.  But, surely it's okay if I'm just using bits that I have already, isn't it? ... I'll take that as a yes.

The culprit is Mighty Armies.  I'd heard about this game in the past, but after reading a number of reviews, I decided to get hold of the rules on pdf and check them out.  They did not disappoint on my first read-through.  Haven't played a game yet, but they have the twin virtues of simplicity and character.  I guess they could be described as HOTT melded with SBH.

Not one to let a small detail like never having played a set of rules deter me from building an army for them, I've been rooting around in my storage boxes.  Out came the remnants of my Demonworld 15mm Orc packs, originally bought for dungeon crawl games.  I've got enough to make a unit or two of Orcs and Goblins.  Huzzah!  Not a whole army's worth, but enough to keep me out of trouble for a while, at least.  Pick of the bunch has to be this guy, though.  He will be my general.

Mounted Orc Hero.  I wasn't planning to do any conversion work.  Then I decided to add some banner poles...
...So then I had to add a cloak to strengthen/hide the join.  Then I thought I may as well add shoulder pads to hide the shoulders of the cloak.  Then things started to get more involved...
Originally, I was going to add a musician and standard bearer, but I figured he looked pretty impressive on his own.  Next, it looked like the wolf's head stood too far proud of the base edge to line up nicely for hand to hand combat.  Bit by bit, the conversion level increased until he ended up looking like this:

Pretty dramatic, huh?  Putting the model on a slope got rid of the wolf head overhang issue.
Gratuitous shot of the right side.  Well, all the other sides got a photograph to themselves.  It's only fair.

Bah.  You can't see it here, but I even painted wood grain/planks on the back of the shield.

The freehand shield design came out well, I reckon.  The shield itself is a Xyston Hoplite shield, by the way.  It's quite a nice fit, isn't it?
Seen at many times normal size, I notice all the little imperfections on details like the banners that I'll have to go back and sort out.  Also, I didn't get a great angle of the rider's face, which is a shame.  Maybe I'll get a better shot later on, when I'm taking group photos.

I'm hoping to get a whole army's worth of Orcs painted up, and a display base made so I can enter them in the Albanich painting competition in March next year.

Well, that's my painting binge over for now.  There'll be more to come, but the painting will be a bit slower, since I'm not a big fan of painting units of models.

See you soon!