sunnuntai 31. tammikuuta 2016

Painting challenge entry 5: Regiment Rechten

Back to the Saxons with another Line Infantry Regiment. This time the 2nd battalion of Regiment Rechten. It seems that only the second battalion took part in the 1813 campaigns with the rest of the Saxon army so I have chosen to only paint that up for this project.

Nothing special to say about the paint job. Pretty much the same as the previous Saxon infantry, albeit this time with my least favorite colour to paint, yellow. White and yellow both cover other shades horribly so I tried to be a bit tidier during the block painting sessions than normal. Quite fast to paint up and finished over last weekend with a few hours of painting done on both days between other obligations. The Saxon army is growing at a slow, but steady pace.

I've used a new flock for these minis as I ran out of the old one when doing the armored rifles. I couldn't find the same mix I've used previously so I picked a few different bags of model railway flock. This is the brighter one with some colourful strands mixed in to represent small flowers. Looks quite nice, but maybe a tad bit too light for my taste. I'll have to try mixing in some darker green to tone it down a bit. Though it does make the whole unit look a lot more colourful.

I've now also received another care package from Fighting 15s containing some much needed reinforcements. My initial order only included a few Regiments and some cavalry to see what the minis looked like. I had been planning to buy the rest of the first Saxon Division, but unfortunately Fighting 15s can't deliver Grenadiers or Light Infantry until sometime in March, so I had to settle with just ordering more line infantry. I now have enough for most of the normal line battalions I need to paint up. Would have been nice to paint the green uniformed light infantry in between all the white uniforms, but those will now have to wait.

Now I'll be taking a few days off from all hobby related activities. This weekends Flames of War tournament did take it's toll and I don't really feel like gaming or painting at the moment. Still a rather good weekend with 4 wins out of 5 and one point from the first place. I ended up tied for third. The second place player had the same points as me, but had won 5 of his games. So after all 4 players with only one point difference between them. Pretty close and it all really hang in balance until the end.

keskiviikko 27. tammikuuta 2016

Painting Challenge entry 4: Armored Rifles

After a short hiatus in entries I was back on the boards again with some more Flames of War infantry. And boy were they a pain in the ass to paint. Everything except the light anti-tank guns are the newish Battlefront plastic US infantry.

The US infantry sprues were some of the first plastics that Battlefront did and it does show quite a bit. Many of the poses are a bit odd and there are a lot of distorted areas that couldn't be done properly with injection moulding. In addition to the lost detail the sprue actually contains multiple duplicate poses, which seems a bit lazy design wise. Now there is a lot more repetition in bases that could have been avoided had Battlefront decided to just do a few more sculpts so that each sculpt in the sprue was unique. Same goes to the design of the miniatures as slightly different poses could have allowed for better moulding and less lost detail. Probably with more design experience they will start producing better plastics, but for the moment these are far below the level of their metals, and even those are at best just average in quality when comparing to other 15mm manufacturers.

It took quite a while to get them done as frankly the painting felt more like a chore than anything else. Still I resolved not to paint anything else in between as that would probably have pushed them to the back of the queue and it would probably have taken me months to gather up the motivation to touch them again. Finally after about two weeks of painting them on a rather loose pace they are ready for gaming. Luckily not much in the form of infantry left in my US project anymore so I'm finally getting done with all that Olive Drab.

With these done my excel sheet is starting to look rather green already! At the moment I have all the remaining half-tracks on the painting table and they should be done within a week. After that a short pause with the yanks again before painting the last missing vehicles. I also still need to buy the dismounted mortars and some 50 cal and 30 cal teams if I ever want to dismount them during game. But for now I can just proxy them with equivalent Para teams that I already have. This project actually took quite a bit longer than I expected, but then again I haven't really been painting near as much as I used to before. Painting mojo is still somewhat missing, but at least it seems to be coming back slowly but surely.

perjantai 15. tammikuuta 2016

Looking back at last year

With a new year coming along it's time for yet another review of 2015.

The year was actually quite productive in the end at least when numbers are concerned with altogether 529 miniatures painted. Though most were in 15mm it was still quite a decent number with two full armies painted one for Flames of War and one for Napoleonic gaming, as well as expanding another existing Flames of War army. 43 vehicles, 406 infantry and 9 mounted models was is quite a decent tally for 15mm, but it did cause quite a bit of painting fatigue as most of the Napoleonics were painted within a 2 month frame and the Flames of War stuff was done in short bursts as well. For this year I'll really have to try put in some more varied passion projects between the monotonous army painting. I'm not really looking forward to the feeling that I just don't want to paint anything for a while.

Excellent Secret Santa gift that proved to be one of my favorite projects of 2015

Gaming wise it was a very active year with 46 games played. And that is not counting the multiple games of X-Wing and Zombicide that I've played with the missus and some mates throughout the year. Most of the gaming has unsurprisingly been Flames of War related with 31 games played. Though I feel it's actually surprisingly low considering that tournaments have accounted for 11 games straight away and there have been multiple days where I've played more than one game at the club. So might be that I've just forgot to mark some games down. Still the first two months of 2015 saw me play more games than the whole of 2014 combined. A lot of fun has been had, but it has also unfortunately taken quite a bit of the hobby time that could have been used for painting. Funny enough originally I got back into the hobby just to relax by painting, but it's been transforming more and more into a gaming hobby lately. It's something that I have to be wary of though as originally I quite the whole hobby in the mid 00's when I just got totally fed up with the tournament scene etc. and just couldn't find any joy in gaming.

Trip to the Waterloo 200 year reenactment was one of the high points of the year

The Swiss Division did give me quite a painting burnout, but it was really nice to paint up a whole Napoleonic force from start to finish in only a couple of months.

Daily life has also changed quite a bit last year with the addition of our little (not so little anymore) war hound to the family. 2-3 hours of being outdoors with him every day has really changed schedules a lot, and probably not for the worse. In addition to that the missus has ended up buying a horse, instead of paying someone else to ride. So the family has doubled in size with all the additional time consuming activities coming with it. Luckily no kids still so at least I don't have to share my toys with anyone yet :) I switched jobs as well with far less business travel required anymore, which has been quite nice.

Trip to the European Championships was great fun, even though we didn't do that well in the tournament. Got to play against what seemed like half the commonwealth that was there with opponents from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Wales.

Looking back into the goals I set for 2015 it seems there have been some successes as well as some epic failures. So here's a little recap of last years goals!

Goal 1 - Paint up a 15mm Early War German force for Flames of War
Done in the beginning of the year. I actually ended up painting over 2000 points worth of them instead of just the required 1550 point army for the European Team Championship. And there's still a few minis unpainted as I ended up cutting two platoons out of the list. Should have playtested more before buying minis that I though would work nicely. But it won't be the last time that I buy too much before thinking it through :)

Goal 2 - Finish the forces for Waterloo
Epic fail. I only painted 4 battalions of Middle Guard in 28mm and after that I didn't even touch a single 28mm Napoleonic miniature. One major reason is that nearly all of the players at my club have moved to 15mm and the last 28mm game has been played in 2013 if I recall correctly. It's a shame as especially the Perry miniatures are lovely sculpts. I think I'll just have to resort to painting them up as display pieces in the future.

Goal 3 -Reduce the pile of unpainted lead
Sort of successful with all my ancients miniatures sold of and only a couple of new 28mm acquisitions made. All in all I have over 200 fewer 28mm miniatures than I started the year with. In 15mm and 6mm I haven't been as successful. I bought the Swiss Napoleonics as battalions of 24, but our club standard is 18 men per battalion so a lot of them remained unpainted. So even with the massive amount of 15mm painted I still ended up with roughly 100 more 15mm minis than I started with. Still not that bad as I don't really have any new needs for Flames of War and the only new 15mm minis that I'm buying this year are Saxons. So hopefully that pile will be greatly reduced as well. My 6mm failure is of epic proportions and will be covered later on :)

Goal 4 - Sell of old projects
As said before I sold of all my ancients, and have been trying to get rid of other minis as well. It's still an ongoing project as it's surprisingly hard to get rid of old minis especially here in Finland where the scene is quite small. Success, but not as big of a success as I would have wished.

Goal 5 - Get started on 15mm Prussians for Leipzig
Didn't do anything else than put them up for sale. One clubmate ended up speed painting a whole Prussian Corps for our Waterloo game, so I figured there's no point in painting any more of them as they aren't really needed that much. Instead I decided to get rid of them and paint something that will be needed for our next campaign, namely the Saxons.

Goal 6 - Sculpt something
Sort of successful as I more or less learned to use ZBrush for digital sculpting, but it didn't really get far from a few busts and some test Sci-Fi sculpts that I did. My new job has taken me back to product development from excel wizardry and frankly after a long day of 3D design and all the work around it, I just didn't want to do anything like that at home so I've decided to just skip that. Instead I've focused more on the traditional sculpting and green stuff has seen a lot of use though with multiple conversions etc. built, but I still haven't felt confident enough to try a whole miniature.

Goal 7 - No more new projects
Fail of epic proportions, literally. Being bored in a hotel room an a business trip has never lead to anything good and after some ebay browsing I am currently the proud owner of a few Epic Armageddon armies. Probably the best game GW ever did and I already had an army from before. Well after buying a few job lots of ebay, and reinforcing those units with some extra additions I now have 2 new armies and the start of a third. Funny enough even if they are out production they are still far cheaper than buying a real 40k army. My 4000 points of Epic Space Marines cost less than a 100 euros. when a proper 40k army will probably be 4-5 times as much.

Speaking of 40k I also bought some more plastic crack from GW. Still quite minor as I only really wanted something cool to tinker with and kitbash some units. I've been slowly building renegade imperial guard and chaos marines as pass time when watching TV etc. And to be honest kitbashing those units has been some of the most fun I've had in the hobby for quite some time even if they are never going to be painted. Surpisingly therapeutic stuff.

Goal 8 - Build a scale model
Semi successful once again as I've been building a few naval models on and off throughout the year. I have a 1/125 Revell U-99 U-boat model nearly ready for paint and a Dragon 1/700 model of a US WW2 destroyer being built. Especially the 1/700 destroyer has proven to be quite time consuming as there are hundreds of parts and photoetch pieces, and most of them are less than a millimeter at their largest dimension. Still another fun therapeutic project that will slowly go forward without any real stress of actually having to reach conclusion.

maanantai 11. tammikuuta 2016

Painting Challenge entry 3: Zastrow Kürassiere

My next entry to the challenge continues on the same lines as the previous one. This time some Saxon heavy cavalry in the form of the Zastrow Cuirassiers. The second heavy cavalry regiment during the 1813 campaign in addition to the Leib Kürassiere Garde it was virtually annihilated during the Russian campaign, but reraised in time for the 1813 campaign to fight alongside the Leib Kürassiere Garde, which had stayed in Saxony. The unit fought with distinction throughout the campaign and was one of the last to defect with the rest of the heavy cavalry and the guard.

Once again AB minis. Very nice sculpts, but once again the poses could have been a bit more varied. Luckily the horses are separate on all but one sculpt so they can be used to add a bit of variety. I find horses very tricky to paint as too much contrast makes them look blocky and just plain weird, but then too little just makes them look bland when looked at an arms length. I tried to put in a bit more contrast than usual, but I think I still should have gone further with it. Still turned out quite nicely and will hopefully make a striking appearance on the battlefield.

Next up back to Flames of War with the final infantry unit in my project. After that I think I'll need some quick interlude at another scale than 15mm. I love the smaller models for gaming, but they are no where near as fun to paint as 28mm and larger.

maanantai 4. tammikuuta 2016

Back in business

With Christmas and New Year over it's time to finally get back to painting. Quite a busy holiday season this year around as I had to be at the office before New Year as well. So the few off days included much driving, visiting relatives and a pretty decent final hunting trip of the year which saw us finally get the two final moose that were part of our quota.

Not much in the shape of hobby related presents as I didn't get myself anything this year. Luckily there was Secret Santa and I got a Bolt Action British Commando Mortar team for my collection. I'm not sure if I should paint it up as an airborne mortar team instead as the uniform is quite the same as the airborne had or if I should stick to the Commandos. It would be the perfect excuse to start up another army though :) We'll see!

Painting wise I've had a bit over a week long break since the start of the challenge and only found a bit of time last friday and sunday. A small unit this time with only 8 cavalry for the Saxons. Painting is done now with basing coming up when the super glue around their bases has completely dried. Not sure what I'm going to paint next as I realized I haven't prepared anything else. I have a few Flames of War tanks prepped, but they need an undercoat from a spray can to last the weathering. However the weather here took a rapid turn towards the icy hell that Finland can sometimes be with -20 degrees Celsius outside (and colder in store) which pretty much rules spray cans out of the question until the weather warms up at least a little bit. So I guess it's prepping time for the next few days then to get something ready that can be primed with an airbrush.