perjantai 31. tammikuuta 2014

Winter War table part 2

We got some additional work done on the winter war table on wednesday. Fairly quick job of just covering the whole surface with filler. Now all the hills and crevases are smoothed out and hopefully seamless, and the surface has a bit of texture added to make it look more natural.

Real "hand-made" feel as the surface was made by basically pressing it with our palms. Forgetting paint rollers at home didn't matter that much after all.

In the other room there was also a great looking Muskets & Tomahawks terrain set up for a scenario where a group of British regulars are ambushed on their way back to their fortifications.

keskiviikko 29. tammikuuta 2014

Painting Challenge entry 9: Finnish automatic rifle squad and platoon command

Next up another squad of Baker Companys Winter War Finns. This time an automatic rifle team with a captured Russian DP-28 'Emma' light machinegun. I also painted up the platoon leader and an NCO figure to act as the command team.

I simplified the paintscheme a bit by removing the darkest shadows that were barely visible and skipped the final highlight of pure white. Speeds up the process a bit and at least I can't really spot the difference especially with the added mud. I'm now halfway through the pile of Finns and should hopefully have them all done within a few weeks so I can get started on the Ruskies (and all the other darn half finished projects).

The officer is actually quite a nice mini with surprisingly good proportions! His gear is maybe a bit too nice for a lowly 2nd Lieutenant, but I guess he can easily stand for a company commander while the guy on the left could be used for a platoon leader.

I was quite surprised how much faster the painting was with the new brushes too. I used to have an issue with my older synthetic brushes with paint drying really fast on the brush. With the same paint mixtures I can paint the whole snow suit with one color for even 2-3 minis without having to "refill" the brush. I guess the amount of paint the brush is holding helps keep it all moist and working. And the nice sharp tip and the good spring of the brush really helps in having better control.

The poses are pretty good here too. The guy on the left is missing the clip and trigger are of his gun. I don't know if this was a miscast or something that was forgotten during sculpting.

I did the dirt by first stipling a light brown colour on the knees, elbows and helm of the jacket followed by a darker brown on the areas which would touch the ground most to simulate more recent dirt or mud accumulating there. Loosely copied from Burkhard at his great blog, but I just switched the colours around. Have to try his way sometime to see if it yields any better results. These were pretty much the first minies that I "muddied" up outside armor so there's still some learning left to do.

The 'Emma' gunner has a slightly Elvish look to him

 Mr. Monkeyface has an identical brother joining him at the frontlines.

 These poses are also quite nice. The face on the prone guy is horribly malformed, but luckily it isn't very visible.

tiistai 28. tammikuuta 2014

Paint table and Loki's giveaway!

After finishing a bunch of Winter War Finns during the weekend I based and primed the next set of minis for the Painting Challenge. I've got a set of Lead Adventures VSF Ottoman's to use as a Janissary Company in In Her Majesty's Name. I'd been eyeing these guys since I first saw last spring and of course I had to get them after spending the summer in Turkey. I've only got their faces started. Slightly darker base than I normally use for skin colors. I'm probably gonna vary the skin color a bit more along the group than normal to show the huge variety of ethnical backgrounds in the Ottoman empire. Still not 100% decided on the final paint scheme yet, but I guess I'm gonna go with the 1850's Janissary look with red pants and blue jackets.

I also got started on the next fortnight challenge with this weeks theme being "hero". I'm still waiting for the minis I originally wanted to paint for this, but apparently a month isn't always enough for Royal Fail/Mail to deliver abroad. Luckily I had the Forgotten & Glorious free sample WWI Frenchie that goes on nicely to the theme that I originally wanted to portray. I've finished the face and got started on his helmet and uniform.

On another note I've been loving the Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes. Used them on the Finns and now on the lone Poilu. The amount of control they allow is just unbelievable. The only thing I'm regretting is not buying them before this!

And finally Loki over at Loki's Great Hall is having a giveaway to celebrate 100,000 hits. Be sure to go check his blog for great posts and a chance to win something. It's definately been one of my must reads lately (even without the nice female specimen he likes to post occasionally).

maanantai 27. tammikuuta 2014

Painting Challenge entry 8: More Norse-Gaels

Next up is the second half of the Gripping Beast Norse Gael starter box with an extra dane axe wielding warlord. I've now got 7 points done with the plastic models so I shouldn't have to resort to borrowing stuff anymore :) I actually finished these guys last thursday already, but didn't want to put them here before Curt had time to put them up on his blog.

I used some Battle Flag shield decals on these guys. They look great, but I had some minor problems. These are meant for the plastic Vikings which apparently have different sized shields so I had to cut them up a bit to make them fit. They are also quite thick to make the colors vibrant, but it does have a downside that they don't work well with curved shields. Ended up using them on the straight ones and just hand painted some basic shapes onto the curved shields.

These guys seem far more peaceful than their Dane Axe weilding brethren, but I guess that comes from the fact that they've managed to keep their shoes and haven't had to resort to selling them to get better weapons. I added a Warlord Games Celt casualty on the warlords base to spice it up a bit. Blood effect with GW's "Blood for the Blood God" paint.

Looking at the images now I've noticed that there's a bit of the white undercoat of the warlord shield showing from next to the shield boss, so I'll still have to fix that up. Damn close ups...

The Ostmen

8 Bonnachts with various weapons (counts as Javelins)

torstai 23. tammikuuta 2014

Winter War gaming table

Yesterday we got started on the table for our clubs Winter War project. Ended up going for a 'Motti' theme with a road going across the table and wooded hills surrounding it. Should make for a more interesting display and demo piece than a trench area. It's still made from 120x60cm pieces though so the setup can be quite easily changed and additional pieces can bring variety. There's also some room for adding buildings and other extras to spice up the terrain for normal gaming.

The first project day saw us create all the basic shapes of the terrain and gluing all the pieces in place. Looks a bit crude, but everything is going to get covered with filler to make the terrain flow smoother and to cover any gaps.

Basic shape of the center road section with ditches. There are two points for smaller roads to diverge to the sides

 Blood was spilled during our Winter War too

'Strawberry yoghurt' being applied

Adding a small depression on the ground to add a bit of variety onto the otherwise large empty surface

 The most important terrain making tool of all time

tiistai 21. tammikuuta 2014

Painting Challenge entry 7: Grenadier Guards Armor

Finished these guys late on a saturday just in time for the vehicle Fortnight challenge. Definately not the most imaginative choice compared to some of the others, but I needed to get these done to get some support for my US Airborne troops.

The minis are the Shermans (and Fireflys) from the Open Fire box that I got about a year ago. Finally gotten most of them done, with only a platoon of Germans and 2 Pak's left. These were a bit of a pain to build up to be honest and there are a lot of seams that probably should have been filled, but I was lazy :)

Painted (or decalled) them up as Grenadier Guards. Decalling took a lot longer than I anticipated as there are alltogether around 70 decals on the 8 tanks. And I did skip adding a few recognition stars... Not 100% sure about the positioning of them, as most of the reference pics show all the unit insignia etc. in different places. Paintwise I decided to take a bit of artistic liberty and paint all the tracks etc. rust colored just to add some variety and color to the paint job. In reality a tanks tracks don't really rust when it's in constant use, but it just looks better than black with metal chipping.

I went for a heavily weathered look with a lot of chipping, oil washes and dirt added to make them look like they've been through hell. Probably not the most realistic look as I have a feeling that muddy and beat up looking tanks wouldn't be tolerated, especially within the Grenadier Guards. Turned out quite nicely, eventhough I think adding oil streaks etc. at this scale didn't work out as nicely as I had expected. Thin lines don't show and thick ones look out-of-scale. I only went with one coat of dirt on them as I was getting too tired after fridays partying :) Laziness taking over as they aren't meant for showcase anyway.


My next entry is nearing the finish line. The final part of my Norse Gaels just needs some decals, a few washes and tufts on the bases to be ready to go. Next couple of evenings booked for other things though, so might end up being weekend before I get them sent to Curt.

perjantai 17. tammikuuta 2014

It's all messed up!

Some more progress on the Shermans. All decaled up and with the first layers of weathering done. I went with quite heavy weathering as the green paintjob can look a bit boring and I wanted to bring some color to the minis. Paint chips done with a sponge and some german grey paint and finally a bit of mahogany added on the areas with most chipping to show some rust. After that I went in with two oil washes, black and dark brown to highlight all the nooks and crannies and to make them look dirty. After few hours of drying time I wiped most of the oils away from all raised surfaces. I still need to paint in some dirt and rust streaks and add mud to the tracks and lower hull.

Had a minor mishap too as I was maybe a bit too vigorous when wiping away the oil wash with cotton buds as I managed to remove all the paint in one tanks tracks. Luckily it only took a few minutes to fix so not a big problem.

I've also gotten started on the last part of my Norse Gaels with all of them based and basecoated and all metal parts painted. These guys are all carrying a shield so I can try out the Battle-Flag shield decals I got.

I'm a bit anxious about the next fortnight challenge as I ordered Warlords skiing Finns to be my "Hero" characters. I wanted to have them present Kaukopartio troops where my grandfather served during the Continuation War. No confirmation of shipping or anything yet, so I'm slightly anxious about it arriving on time. Well fingers crossed. At least I have the mini I originally planned to paint for this theme so if all goes south I have a back-up plan.

tiistai 14. tammikuuta 2014

Tanks a lot!

Well not so many, but still! I finally managed to get to painting the Shermans from the FoW Open Fire box that I got a year ago. Basic colors and decals done. Weathering and mud still left to do to get them ready for the next Fortnight Challenge with the theme Vehicles. Applying the decals was bit of a pain as there were just so darn many of them. Adding 8-9 decals to each tank to even longer than painting them up. And I already decided to skip a few Allied stars as it was getting a bit late.

I was a bit lazy with the clean up last spring when I actually put them together and there are plenty of mould lines evident and a few of them actually had split from their seams when the glue gave up. I'll try to cover that up with mud so that it's not that evident. Not the best designed tanks if you consider putting them together and I had a lot of issues especially with the side

sunnuntai 12. tammikuuta 2014

Painting Challenge entry 6: Winter War Finns

Here is the first batch of my Finns from the Baker Company Kickstarter. I'll write up a review about them later when I've painted more, but I'll have to rant a bit now too :)

Judging from the quality of these minis it really seems that the guys at Baker Company are a victim of their own success. Some of the sculpts just seem extremely rushed and the quality differences between them are massive. There are actually a few sculpts that are something that you would call medium quality minis. Not nearly as good as something for the Perry Bros for example, but still reasonable proportioned and with good detail. Then there are some with proportions that are totally off, with really skinny ankles being the biggest problem. Looks weird and makes the minis quite fragile.

This might be a bit  finicky, but seriously nearly all of the boots are totally off. Nearly all of them look like modern military boots with their laces etc. and they are too narrow compared to the legs. The proportions kind of make it look even worse. If the boots were actually bigger then it wouldn't looks as funny.

And finally the casting quality was really bad on some of the minis in my batch. I guess I spent about 2 hours removing all the mould lines, ingates and overflow areas. I hope this is just because Gavin has to cast these in a hurry to fulfill all the pledges and the final product will be done better.

Anyway now that I've got that out of my system here's a bit about the painting too :P I started the snowsuit from Khaki and worked through 5 layers finishing with highlights of pure white. I tried to go for a slightly yellowish dirtier looking unit, but I guess I went a bit overboard with the offwhite and white highlights so in the end they look quite clean. Decided against adding mud on the legs and elbows too, so maybe they can just represent a unit at the beginning of the war.

The snow is from Noch and it's a combination of their snow paste and snow flock. Looks good on the minis, but it actually shrunk quite a bit overnight leaving weird holes in some of the bases. I guess I have to fix those and next time remember to apply a smaller layer of it so that it won't happen again.

These are some of the better sculpts from the batch. Nice faces, didn't have much flash and they have nice poses too.

Mr. Monkey Face and the Running Man. Seriously are these two even sculpted by the same guy?

perjantai 10. tammikuuta 2014

Winter strikes back and a fellow bloggers blog giveaway

Winter is finally coming to Finland too after a few lousy months of rain and darkness. I think it was around 2007 that we had a black Christmas the last time and even then the weather wasn't as bad (or then I'm just forgetting all the bad stuff ).

Going with the theme I managed to base my Winter War Finns and they are now waiting to get posted on Curt's blog so I can put them up here too! A completely new snow product in use as I didn't realize in the store that Noch apparently makes a few different snow flocks and of course I managed to pick the one I hadn't tried before.

I also finally decided to upgrade brushes and ordered a set of Winsor & Newton Series 7. Hopefully they live up to all the hype. Still anything is better than the synthetic brushes that I've used. The seem to curl up at the tip after 1-2 uses and only last me a few weeks of painting. I guess paying 10 euros a piece for brushes that are supposed to last years compared to 3 euros for ones that last two weeks is going to be a good deal.

And finally a fellow Scandinavian Joakim is holding a 50K giveaway at his blog. So go there to all the great stuff he's writing about and get your chance to grab some prizes

torstai 9. tammikuuta 2014

Painting Challenge entry 5: 6mm ACW Union Brigade

Up next my first contribution to our clubs Gettysburg project. A brigade of Union infantry with skirmishers and a few command stands to go with them. As I mentioned earlier this is my first foray into 6mm minis so still some learning left. Anyhow they are a pleasure to paint and it's really nice to see that a few evenings effort yields this many finished minis.

I basecoated them with my airbrush using the indigo color that would be the main uniform color. Then just quick block painting followed by a wash to bring out the details. For the next batch I'll have to add a basecoat under the indigo as I had some trouble with the paint coming of from some of the guys when I accidentally touched them before applying varnish. Not sure if I had some grease from my hands or the moulds on the minis or if it's just that Vallejo paint that are causing the issue. I've previously just primed them straight with a normal color without issues, but it might be the paint as some Vallejo blues have some coverage issues.

I really need to practice my photography with these guys too. It's really darn hard to get a decent shot when they are just so tiny. And the dark Union colors don't exactly help either. It's a bit hard to make out any detail on the black webbing when the whole jacket is already so dark.

Next up some Finns in snow suits. I've got a squad pretty much finished except for the guns and some mittens so hopefully I'll get them done soon. Lot of work to finish up today so that'll unfortunately take all my painting time away