keskiviikko 21. maaliskuuta 2018

Saxon reinforcements aka the final Painting Challenge entries

With the painting challenge over it's time wrap up with my final entries. In the last few weeks I focused more or less solely on painting some Saxons. Our 1813 campaign is rolling forward and they will all be needed soon. And it doesn't hurt that they yield quite a few points while still being relative fast to paint ;)

All of these units are from the second Saxon Division. I've almost completely finished the first one, it's just missing the Leib Grenadier battalion which will need some green stuff work as their uniform differed slightly from the normal grenadier uniform. And after these I'm only missing 3 more infantry battalions from the second division and then that's completely finished as well! However they might have to wait a bit longer as I'm actually missing some line infantry miniatures and will have to wait for reinforcements. I have enough figures for one more battalion and if I use casualty figures on the bases then for maybe another one after that. I was going to order the missing Hussars and command figures and the final two batteries of artillery so it isn't that big of a deal.

First up combined grenadiers of battalion von Sperl.

Then we have Regiment Niesemeuschel in their red facings as well as a casualty base. I really need to crank out more casualty bases as well. I've only done this and all the light infantry ones until now so there will be quite a few to paint up!


And finally the two batteries of 6 pounder guns  that were attached to the second division. I still need to paint two batteries of horse artillery and two foot artillery batteries that were in the Corps reserve. Quite a lot of firepower with 8 batteries in total for two divisions and their attached cavalry.

And finally some rats! These were actually painted in late December, but were without bases as they were waiting for the rest of the unit to be painted. I never got around to it during the challenge so in the last evening I figured I'd just make some quick bases for them to get the finished. As paint test minis their main point was to see which would please my eye more, fur or skin shade, on the arms and legs. The clothing is also fairly dull and not the bright bluish green of Clan Mange that I'm going for. But I think I'll reserve that shade for just small details on the basic rats and use it more on characters and units like Stormvermin.

The bases are super simple as there will be far over a 100 of them so I need something that can be done fast and in bulk. The bases were just covered with dark brown Vallejo pumice, an assortment of pigments and then mostly covered with fallen leaves that I made with an assortment of different Green Stuff World leaf cutters. I'll also probably be adding different tufts and maybe some still water on some of the bases, but to be honest I didn't have the time on these guys. The PVA wasn't actually 100% dried when I was taking the images and it was already getting fairly late.

torstai 8. maaliskuuta 2018

Painting Potpourri

I've been pretty lazy on the blogging front as of late and have amassed quite a backlog of unpublished miniatures that I've painted during the painting challenge. I haven't been very active in following other blogs or hobby forums either. To confess, I've usually actually done that at work, but since switching to a new place my workload has been way up as has been my motivation so workdays are usually actually spent working and when I get home I don't really feel like sitting on a computer anymore.

Still I've been painting fairly actively whenever I've had free time as it really helps me wind down after a hectic work day. I'm nowhere near the numbers some people are able to produce in the challenge, but I'm pretty happy with my output.

First up some Fantasy additions. I started on my Skaven army with some of the bigger machines in the form of a Doomwheel and the original old school Screaming Bell. Points wise I already have nearly half of the points of my initial army done with these guys finished. Now there's just the small matter of painting 100+ Clanrats...


I also painted some sideline support for my Blood Bowl team with the sportscasting team and a Bloodweiser babe. I'm pretty happy how they turned out, especially the five o'clock shade on the Ogre, Bob. And as a final Fantasy entry there's my contribution to the Monstrous theme with a Reaper Eldritch Daemon. It was a nice test bed for slightly different painting techniques. Most of it was done with a zenithal highlight basecoat and washes all through my airbrush. Then I just picked out some of the details by brush and it was done.

I also added some more tiny tanks to my early war German force that I painted for Flames of War a few years back. Until now the force has been mostly just mechanized or infantry with little armored support outside of light tanks. I've been planning to expand the army with some armor, but never really got around to it until now. There's been rising interest in playing Early and Mid War games at my club and when I saw that my local store had a box of PSC Pz38's in stock I immediately grabbed it. But as 5 tanks just isn't enough I also ended up ordering another box to have enough tanks to field a full company.

As the original army was painted already some years ago and to a fairly basic tournament standard (I did it to play at the European Team Championships) it was actually pretty refreshing to do a similar quick paint job on these guys. Basecoat of Panzergrau, highlight of lighter grey and an Ammo of Mig enamel wash meant for panzergray. It's nice to finish a unit of tanks in about one day with only the long drying time of enamels limiting the speed I can go through them.


And finally some more Napoleonic Saxons. This time a combined grenadier battalion of the 1st Division. They should probably have some with yellow facings as well as it should include some men from the battalions with yellow facings in the division, but for clarity's sake I decided to stick with just greens as about 2/3 of the manpower would have had that facing colour anyway.

With these out of the way, it's time to try focus on pushing towards my goal of 1000 points in the challenge. It's going to be tough, but with careful selection of subject it should be doable. Blogging wise I don't know if I'll be any more active than this. I'm a bit tired of the whole platform and find forums and facebook groups much more interactive and interesting nowadays. This would probably be better as a platform for longer texts and tutorials and the like. But as a place for just posting pictures of painted units like I've been doing lately, it's not that great. It all comes down to effort I guess. Either I need to spend some more time on this for it to have any meaningful use, or then just focus on something else.

tiistai 30. tammikuuta 2018

Saxon Light Infantry

After painting a bunch of rats I got back on track with a project that I started during the sixth edition of the Painting Challenge, the whole Saxon Corps for the 1813 campaign in Germany. I'd originally planned to have the whole Corps painted up by the autumn of 2016 when we were going to start our campaign, but life has a curious way of disturbing even the best plans. One gaming companion got deployed overseas while another moved to the states for a little over a year so our Napoleonic gaming got put on hold for a while. That coupled with my general lack of painting mojo lead to the whole project being tucked away in a storage box for a while. With the 205 year anniversary of the campaign coming up and the whole crew back in the same country we are finally moving on with the campaign so it was high time I dug up my Napoleonics project box and got painting.

Until now I've done a bit over half the Line infantry as well as heavy cavalry and artillery. To be honest painting all that white on the infantry is bit of a drag so I figured the next in line should be something at least a bit different. Luckily the Saxon's outfitted their light infantry with green uniform and equipment that had black leather straps! I can say that this was pure joy compared to the white uniforms with white strapping that all the line infantry and grenadiers had for the Saxons. Considering that I really don't like painting white, I still don't really understand how I ended up deciding to paint a whole Corps of them.

AB minis as are all of my other Saxons (nobody else seems to make them at this scale). Great sculpts, but they are hindered a bit by the fact that there are only 3 different poses for them. Luckily it's not too bad as they were mostly used in a skirmishing role so I just based them two minis to a base instead of my normal three. Spread out a bit on the table it shouldn't look too bad. I also had 4 minis left over as I hadn't taken into account officers in the units, but as we are using small dice as tokens to indicate different fatigue levels and other effects in game they offered a great way to spice up my dice trays for the units.

The two great coat wearing officers have a small conversion on their shako. They normally had small pompoms, but I thought they would look a bit funny with everyone else having a tall plume so I quickly rolled some suitable plume shaped rolls from green stuff. They ended up a bit too tall, but from a distance look quite nice.

Painting wise I cheated a bit compared to how I normally paint my 15mm Napoleonics. For all the brighter colours I've tended to paint all the colours, add a dark brown or black wash and then highlight the minis, but with these guys I just skipped the whole highlight step and left them at it. The only addition I did was the red piping on their uniforms to make them stand out a bit.

perjantai 26. tammikuuta 2018

Roquefort Rodents

For 2018 I have a few main projects and themes, with plenty of Skaven, 40k and Napoleonics in the pipeline. I decided to start off with a soft start to my Age of Sigmar Skaven by painting up my Willy Miniatures Skaven Blood Bowl team that I had gotten late last summer from their Kickstarter.

These guys represent the first half of my team with all the core players and a few special linemen to represent players who've already picked up some skills. I still have all the star players, plenty of different mutations and all the supporting staff to paint up, but they'll have to wait for sometime while I get other projects going forward as well. Considering that a team can have a maximum of 16 players it could be said that I might have gone a bit over the top as the final player and support staff count will come up closer to 30...

These Willy Miniatures sculpts are quite nice, but the casting quality did let the minis down a bit with massive flash and some slipped mould lines on them. And the sculpts are clearly done by at least two different sculptors with the style changing quite a bit between different minis. The difference is already quite clear between the normal linemen and the special ones like the kicker and fat rat, but with the star players and mutated players it's even more pronounced.

I actually had the miniatures themselves painted up in the first week of the year, but ended up trying to do some water effects on the bases in the form of puddles, which caused some issues and a bust schedule. I'd bought a bottle of AK Interactive Still Water that I decided to use on these guys. And to be honest the product was quite a disappointment. The end result was quite nice, but to get there required way too much effort to be really worthwhile if doing large batches of miniatures. It's supposed to be usable with layer thickness of up to 3mm, but even with 1-2mm thickness shrinkage was a major issue already on puddles as small as the ones I have on the bases. All the liquid would pull to the sides and I'd have a massive hole in the middle.

In the end I ended up doing 5 layers of the stuff on the worst bases and 3 on even shallowest one to get the whole thing even. And with long drying times this whole process took ages to go through and I only managed to get them completely finished on Friday evening.

Another new product I used on them was Warcolours paints. I've had them for a while, but never really used them too much. There's bit of a learning curve to them as they don't exactly work like other acrylics, but rather have much longer drying times, are a bit gel like before thinning and are extremely translucent. But for doing smooth highlights and blending different paint layers they are just amazing!

My photography doesn't really show things well enough, but even with my skills achieving really clean highlights and semi-borderless colour transitions was easy to achieve. The paints definitely aren't that great for painting large armies, but I can definitely see use for them with heroes and some more special minis.