maanantai 30. kesäkuuta 2014

Perry Brothers quitting GW

Well the rumours that have been circulating the net for a few days now seem to have been confirmed by the brothers themselves on their facebook page. After 36 years of sculpting for Games Workshop the brothers have decided to quit and focus solely on their own company from now on. Good news for all of us historical gamers, but sad news for anyone playing GW games or collecting those miniatures.

The Bros have really made a long career at GW and as far as I know they were the sculptors who had been working there for the longest time. They've been responsible for many amazing sculpts that have come out of there and I'd reckon that they've had quite an influence on the GW style over the years. It's bit of a shame that they are quitting now as I've loved a lot of the stuff they did there, but then again if this means more sculpts for their Napoleonic ranges etc. I guess I'll still stay on the winning side :)

Time will show what will come out of this, but I'm optimistic and can't wait to see what they start pumping out now that they focus full time on just historicals!

maanantai 23. kesäkuuta 2014

Problems with Vallejo primers

Well I've been reading about the problems that people have had with Vallejo primers, but I've been thinking it can't be that bad as I haven't had any problems previously. Well now I've hit this issue big time when paint started peeling away from the tracks of my Tetrarch that I was removing excess wash from. Not a nice ending as I was just starting to get finished and ready for adding mud before finishing the model.

To add insult to injury the bare surface doesn't seem to take paint very well. The tracks on the Tetrarch are a bit strange as the material is quite soft and rubbery even if it's supposed to be resin. The paint just glides on top and won't stick on at all. I didn't have any of these issues when first basecoating the mini originally, but apparently the surface wasn't clean enough before and some grease has seeped from the material to the surface again. I guess I have to try mask the mini of as good as I can and just spray on a car primer in the hopes that it sticks better. Back to square one again.

On another hand Blogger also seems to be somewhat broken as the new posts feed on my blog reader only shows the newest text. Makes following other blogs nigh impossible.

Well at least my soccer bets are going in the right direction if otherwise the day is turning out to be extremely frustrating...

sunnuntai 22. kesäkuuta 2014

Red Devils Recon Jeeps

Well the recon jeeps are finally finished. I painted the base colours on already in April, but then these guys have just been sitting on my desk after that for quite a while. I picked them up again this week in an effort to finish them up and just got them varnished and photographed now. Very nice minis, but there are a lot of air bubbles in the resin Jeeps. Luckily most are on the underside so there wasn't that much of fixing to do. The only problem I have with them are the machine guns which are mounted on very thin metal parts that are bound to break during gaming.

For the Jeep I went with a two dark green basecoat applied with an airbrush followed by highlighting with dark yellow again using an airbrush. I wanted the minis to look like they've taken quite a beating already so I decided to weather them quite heavily. I added quite a bit of chipping using a sponge and dark grey and brown paints to make a base layer for the wash and streaking effects.

After a gloss coat the minis Jeeps were covered with a brown enamel wash from Ammo of Mig that was allowed to dry for a few hours. After that I scrubbed most of it away using cotton buds and thinner. I tried to keep the motion of the cotton buds going downwards to leave an uneven surface and allow more of the wash to stay on the bottom portions of the cars. After this was dry I painted on some streaks with oily, brown and rust coloured enamels, which were again blended to the surface using cotton buds and thinners. Finally I added in some light dust pigments, which might have been bit of a mistake as I'm not 100 percent happy with that result. Anyway overall the weathering gave quite a nice effect and really adds some interest to otherwise monotone green colour.

For some reason when I applied the final coats of matt varnish, the beret toting soldier turned greyish. I don't know if he received too much varnish or was the paint surface a bit dusty. Quite frustrating as I need to figure out some way to fix it now.

lauantai 21. kesäkuuta 2014

Back to painting

Well I've managed to get back to painting again. Somehow I just couldn't get myself to paint any moderns and those have been pushed to the back of the painting table. Instead I've taken out the final squad of Paras out as well as the two half finished recon Jeeps that I had for them. I've also gotten started on a few Oldhammer Chaos Warriors.

The Jeeps have had a few enamel washes applied and grime streaks and mud added that is now drying before I can put the final varnish layers on. This was the first time I used the new "Ammo of Mig" products that Mig Jimenez brought out after his business partner at AK Interactive screwed him over. Seem to be pretty much the same as the AK Interactive stuff so works nicely together with the ones I had before. I think these are pretty much the same as the original plant that made the stuff for AK Interactive have stopped supplying them and do these for Ammo of Mig now.

On the Chaos warriors I've been trying to stick to more oldschool methods of using heavy drybrushing and washes to bring out detail and shade the minis. Worked out quite nicely with the Slaanesh warrior with the purple armor. On another hand the red armor on the Khorne warrior didn't work out that well and I might have to paint most of the Khornite warriors straight red without using any washes. I'll have to see how these start to come out. Progress is a bit slow as the minis are sort of "palate cleansers" to add a layer or two on while gathering motivation for other stuff.

Also I finally bought a new Airbrush as I've been growing a bit fed up with my Badger 105. It seems to clog up a lot and judging from what I've read from the web it's a "feature" on this particular airbrush. This is really annoying especially when painting small details. So I forked out some cash for a Harder & Steenbeck Evolution Silverline, which is pretty much the Porsche of airbrushes. I haven't had much practice with it yet other than trying to paint thin lines and shapes on a paper, but already it seems to be quite a beast compared to the old one. Precise detail seems a lot easier to achieve. There's still some things to learn as I need to change my paint and air pressure settings a bit as paint doesn't seem to go through as easily. Thinner paint and slightly higher air pressure should do the trick, but a bit of testing is still required.

perjantai 13. kesäkuuta 2014

My ventures into Oldhammer

Still not much going on on the painting front as I have really big problems finding motivation to paint the last moderns on my table. Might have to switch subjects for a while as these things just don't seem to go forward at all. At least now I've managed to sort of get back on track with reading other blogs and forums so I'm sort of getting back on track with hobby stuff.

Meanwhile I have been a bit busy shopping on Ebay. Not much else to do in a hotel room, which can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. My credit card got put through it's paces and now one of my longer projects of gathering an Oldhammer unit for my Chaos forces took a giant leap forward. I previously had 8 old castings from the 80s that were just begging for reinforcements that have now arrived during the last two weeks with the final bunch arriving today!

This puts me at 26 castings that are probably all older than I am :) There are still a few duplicates so I might have to buy a couple more to make a unit where no single miniature is the same, but still quite a nice collection that actually ended up costing less than I feared. Nearly all of them are from Citadel, but at least the command team is from Marauder Miniatures which was later acquired by Citadel/Games Workshop. There are also some pretty old castings with the oldest ones having stamps from 1974. Surprisingly good condition too and not much paint stuck in the crevases. I'm still waiting for bases for most of them, but at least I've got the first 6 washed and ready for primer so I should have some updates soon!

As a final addition I had to get myself one of the most random sculpts Citadel ever produced. One of the sellers also had a Chaos Toilet model up for auction so of course I had to go and bid on that bugger too. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but it was just so epic that I couldn't pass on the chance to acquire it. Might make for a nice objective piece or something. Now I just have to find the other toilet series miniatures :)

(c) Stuart Thomas. Picture from Stuff of Legends.

tiistai 3. kesäkuuta 2014

Review: Perry Bros: Master's in Miniature

Well I haven't been able to paint too much recently and this week won't be any different as I'm writing this from a hotel room thanks to work commitments. However being stuck here isn't always so bad as I had some evening reading with me!

Recently the Perry Brothers came out with a new project called "Master's in Miniature" which is essentially a book chronicling their work. Being a huge fan of the Perrys I immediately ordered a copy, especially when I found out that they sold a limited amount of autographed versions through their own webstore.

The book is a quite large with around 160 pages and being formatted more as a coffee table art book rather than a "real" book. Inside you will find massive amounts of pictures (400+ they claim) of all the ranges that the brothers have designed for their own label. Every era and subject is detailed with roughly a page worth of text that gives some background explaining why they decided to sculpt minis for the period etc. Not much text in addition to these short pieces and then the short text pieces under most pictures.

The main interest in the book are of course the miniatures and the paintwork that has been applied on them. There are huge amounts of close ups and different vignettes and dioramas that have been staged up for the photo shoots. All of the miniatures apparently come from the Perry's personal collections and are the same ones that you might have seen on recent Warlord rules books for example. Amazing sscenery is naturally used in all pictures and there are some pretty convincing battle scenes played out.

Then to the bad parts. Even though the book offers a lot of eye candy and some inspirational miniatures, I still came out with a bad taste in my mouth. The book comes across as a flashy catalogue detailing the miniatures that the Perry Bros sell through own brand. Every era that they make is presented with pretty much every possible figure shown painted. None of their previous work for other companies is given any room and there isn't much content outside of the pretty pictures. It would have been interesting to have some more text detailing the ranges or the working processes that the brothers employ. Pretty much anything to make it look more like a true book rather than just a catalogue of their own products.

Still I wouldn't say it's a waste of your money, especially if you are a fan of their work. There are plenty of amazing miniatures to be seen and to draw inspiration from. It's maybe a bit pricy for what it is at 30 pounds, but then again the production values are very high with excellent print quality and very high quality gloss paper being used.

sunnuntai 1. kesäkuuta 2014

Bolt Action AAR: Red Devils and British infantry vs. Fallschirmjäger

I had another game of Bolt Action again this week. More or less an improvised game with whatever people had with them. This time we had a small Red Devils detachment played by me holding onto a crossroads against a larger force of Fallschirmjägers. Reinforcements were coming later in the form of a platoon of British infantry fresh off the beaches of Normandy.

- HQ
- Medic
- 3 Squads
- Mortar
- 37cm Flak

- 2 x HQ (Airborne and regular)
- Medic
- Forward observer
- 2 Squads of Airborne
- 1 Vickers MMG
- 3 Regular infantry squads

The table had quite a lot of heavy cover in the form of Bocage and some buildings. In the background you can see another table that had a game of Chain of Command between Soviets and Germans going on.

Most of the British Airborne were in position in the Bocage surrounding the crucial crossroads.

Some very lucky dice rolling on my part managed to bring in an artillery strike on turn two straight on top of the majority of the Fallshirmjäger force causing large amounts of pins which slowed their attack down.

One squad of Fallshirmjägers makes it to a house overlooking the crossroads, but starts taking casualties from British fire and quickly becomes fairly ineffective due to large numbers of Pins and losing their MG's.

Shooting intensifies across the road and the British start taking casualties. The sergeant of this squad managed to evade death 3 times in a row thanks to the Medic being close by. Still he succumbed finally when the German Flak arrived and started shooting 37mm HE ammo at the Bocage.

Things are starting to look a bit bad for the Airborne as one squad has already lost over half it's men and the commanding sergeant and the rest are taking pins.

Luckily the relief force starts to arrive and quickly makes its way towards to crossroads.

One Fallshirmjäger squad moves to their flank to discourage any attempts at attacking through there. They eventually shoot up one of the relief squads, before moving back towards the rest of their force.

The Flak team has been harassing the British flanks for quite a while already so I deem it is time to put it out of action for good. The final Airborne squad moves out of their position to attack and destroy the gun. Success, but at the loss of 3 men.

The Germans are getting desperate and assault across the road against the British regulars wiping one squad out. However their victory doesn't last long as the remaining Tommys blast away killing most of them and the rest break off after failing a morale test.

In the last moments of the battle the final regular infantry squad still left standing assaults across the roads to destroy the last German squad. They are successful in the task, but lose most of their own men.

Victory for the British again, though with a much closer fought battle. In the end the Germans had their HQ team, medic and mortar still left standing while the Brits had the remnants of two Airborne Squads, a MMG, their HQ and medical section and some regulars. My lucky artillery strike really slowed the Germans down and gave more time for the reinforcements to arrive. By the time they arrived my right flank was pretty badly mauled and would probably not have lasted for another turn. However reinforcements forced the Germans to split up more and they couldn't concentrate their fire too well.