keskiviikko 30. maaliskuuta 2016

Challenge recap and future plans

With about a week and a half gone since the end the dust is finally settling after a mad rush to the finish line. Not much has been happening on the hobby front as I've been away from home for the easter holidays and concentrated on other pastimes. Starting of slow with a Challenge recap seems in order.

For me the challenge really is a great opportunity to get stuff done as the friendly competition and peer pressure really helps with cranking out minis at a good pace. It's fun to see everyone's entries and to be honest it's probably the only time I actually set any painting goals every year. Having a certain pace that I need to follow really does help in getting things done.

This year I got around to 1096 points so fairly safely over my 1000 point goal. And all that without taking part in any bonus rounds. If you don't count the bonus points from there I think this is my personal best in points over the four editions of the Painting Challenge that I've taken part in. I had a bit of a slow start with the holidays interfering, but managed to pick up pace after that. I final rush in the end put me over the target with a few days to spare still! Pretty decent effort after all.

The numbers this year were the following:

  • 28mm infantry: 51
  • 28mm guns: 2
  • 15mm infantry: 162
  • 15mm guns: 3
  • 15mm cavalry: 9
  • 15mm vehicles: 10
  • 6mm infantry: 95
  • 6mm vehicles. 9

With this done it's back to the paint desk then. I'm not sure what I'm going to be painting next. The Saxons are definitely on the table and with the last game in our Russia 1812 campaign next weekend I'm thinking there will be a sudden motivational boost to paint even more of them. A couple of random US vehicles for Flames of War still need some paint and then it's probably time for a new FoW army as I've been playing the yanks for quite a few years already and have figures available for most Company types. Something totally different is needed and I've been thinking about Soviet heavy tanks. I actually have had some stuff on order for two months now, but knowing Battlefront it might be a year before I receive anything. 

There'll also be action on my preferred scale of 28mm as well with a Frostgrave campaign starting at our club and a renaissance themed force being put together for that. 28mm Napoleonics have been on hold for a few years now as everyone else has abandoned them at my club, but I'd really love to paint some of them as well. And I guess I really need to start painting some 40k stuff as well. I've been kitbashing 40k minis for a few years now just for fun, but haven't really painted any. Might be the time to get some done for usage in skirmish games.

And with the summer closing in the arrival of Dropfleet Commander miniatures is getting closer. The original planned date was June, but as it is a Kickstarter project I'm a bit pessimistic about the schedule. Still the shots until now have looked amazing and the gameplay seems pretty solid, so I'm pretty psyched about that as well. I have a couple of starter fleets coming in and will try to get them done as soon as they arrive.

lauantai 26. maaliskuuta 2016

Painting Challenge entries 14-16: Teddy Bear Romans, Saxons and Commandos

Phew! It's been another hectic three months with the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge going on. The last week saw me rushing to finish all projects that were still underway.

The first to finish was my Curtgeld entry. Being a product development engineer I did what I do best and that is copy others and improve :) No time for ingenuity with managerial pressures on your back and a need to get things done! So I went ahead and copied our challenge overlord Curt's first entry of Caesar crossing the Rubicon. I'd actually been struggling to think about what kind of a risk taker I should do, but when I saw the Teddy Bear Romans sculpted by Mike Broadbent I knew that was the thing to do. With them being manufactured by Eureka it was simple enough to add a few to my Saxon reinforcement order.

Next up were yet more Saxons with two more battalions from Regiment von Steindel. With these done I have all the line infantry finished from the first Division and about a third of all the infantry done. As Fighting 15s still hasn't got new moulds for light infantry and grenadiers I'll have to stick to painting line infantry for a while still. Slightly annoyingly the distribution of poses in my last batch was horrible with over 80% consisting of only two poses, and only a couple of examples of one of them. I threw in a mounted officer and a casualty to account for the issue, but I have a feeling in the future I need to start doing some conversions as well. Even with an even distribution of poses there's still only 4 different ones so probably some minor conversions to French figures are in place.

And lastly my Secret Santa gift from the exchange organized by Ian of The Blog With No Name fame and his wife Catherine. I received a blister with a Warlord Games Commando Mortar team. A bit underwhelming as I don't really have any Commandos and it came in an amazon package, but nevertheless it's fun to receive unexpected hobby gifts! These were really a breeze to paint as there's basically just two main colours covering most of the minis. So base shades and a few highlights later they are ready for battle. I've given them to a clubmate who has Commandos so they did find a good home quite fast!

torstai 17. maaliskuuta 2016

Painting Challenge entry 13: Wehrmacht reinforcements

Yet more Wehrmacht forces with the last of the Germans that I had bought and based somewhere around 2013-14 when we first got into Bolt Action at my club. Like the previous batch, I stumpled upon them when cleaning some cabinets and figured it was high time to get everything painted up. My clubs Bolt Action game day and my Market Garden scenario needed some troops which provided the perfect excuse to slab some paint on them. Considering how fast it was to get them done it's almost shameful how long it took for me to get started on them :)

Red Devils digging in around the town of Oosterbeek ready to repel the dastardly Germans.

5 teams altogether with a Forward Observer, a 81mm mortar, HMG, Panzershrek and a flamethrower team. All of them are Warlord offerings. They are bit of a mixed bag with some very nice poses that can be used to create small diorama bases, but then again at least on some of them the sculpting is chunky and looks dated and I had some problems with massive flash and deformed details especially on the flamethrower team. Still even with their issues Warlord minis are definitely on the plus side for me. Some variation between product lines as especially the Red Devils were of far better quality than the Wehrmacht minis that I have done now.

After the last effort I decided to try improve the camouflage that I've done on them. Nick of Moiterei's bunte Welt fame has an excellent camouflage tutorial that I took some tips from. I decided to simplify things a bit and left out the rain drop pattern as I hadn't done it before on any mini and I figured you wouldn't see it on the game table anyways. Looking back at them some areas do look a bit bare so I think I might just have to go through all my Germans and update them as in the end it's a rather simple task and shouldn't take too long.

I also dabbled with Object Source Lighting or OSL effects on the flamethrower team after painting the flames with an airbrush. It ended up looking horrible so in the end I painted the miniature in my normal way again. But OSL is definitely an effect that I need to learn as it would definitely add a lot to miniatures like these.

There's only a couple of days left in the challenge and I've been busy finishing up different projects that have been half finished on the desk for a while. They should see me comfortably reaching my 1000 point goal and even go past it a bit. Two more Saxon regiments should finally get based today and my Curtgeld entry is in a similar state as well. I've also gotten started on my Secret Santa gift and it has all the base colours on now and is waiting for a wash before I start highlighting things.  That should keep me busy for the next few days.

perjantai 11. maaliskuuta 2016

Painting Challenge entry 12: Adeptus Arbites

I'm really having trouble keeping up with the challenge posts here on my own blog :) Oh well, it's all over soon so no need to worry about that in the future :) At least until the next edition of the challenge...

If there is anyone in the Imperium with as large steel ball as an Imperial Guardsman it has got to be an Adeptus Arbites officer. Going up against alien scum might be bad, but at least you have some heavy back up. An Arbites enforcer will have to go down into the bowels of a hive city with little else than his weapon and badge to bring order into the world of gangers and mutants. So with the introduction done these are 5 of the 7 Adeptus Arbites sculpts from the early 90's. Still missing the last two, so if you happen to have them sitting unused I'm more than happy to give them a new home.

Arbites are at least for me some of the most iconic 40k models. Might have something to do with seeing the Stallone Judge Dredd film at a very impressionable age and getting my hands on some of the comics soon after. Beefed up cops with trigger discipline that would make US cops look like girl scouts somehow just seems to work brilliantly. With the same kind of characters in my favorite miniature universe I was instantly sold on the Arbites enforcers when I saw some in Necromunda. Now looking back at some of these older Citadel sculpts and how a lot of the aesthetics is completely copied from somewhere else, it's a bit funny that now they are going after everyone and their cousin for even the smallest IPR infringements.

I wanted the bases to be urban themed to show them battling in the depths of hive worlds with some corrugated steel, rubble and rusty barbed wire thrown in. For the colour scheme I chose the traditional black and red that features quite often on the older artwork and some studio miniatures of the time. It was bit of a tricky combination as I find both red and black quite hard to highlight as red easily tends to turn into orange and black into gray. In the end I ended up just doing a dark gray edge highlight on the black areas and a bit of layering on the red. Turned out rather nicely, though the black is a bit hard to see in the pictures. Taking photos of black minis against a black background wasn't too easy either. I might have to try get some other suitable background sheets for these occasions when the miniature colours are too close to the photography booths background.

With these done I guess it's time to play Necromunda again! I think the last time I played a game was in the early 00's with my old gang, that has sadly been sold with most of my other old minis when I quit the hobby for a few years in my late teens. Still it's never too late to get back in as it's a great game system. And what would be better than bashing in a few ganger skulls while dishing out the Emperor's justice.

Painting has slowed down a bit lately with a very busy schedule at work due to some unexpected visits from a customer. And when I've been painting I've seemed to have had a series of mishaps constantly. My air compressor is acting up with apparently the power button broken so I might have to pull that apart in an attempt to fix the issue or buy a new one. I've also been extremely clumsy as of late and have managed to bump things over on my desk multiple times. As a consequence a few minis have attempted to end their life by jumping on to the floor and I've managed to spill my brush rinsing water cup onto the table a couple of times over the last week. It wouldn't have mattered too much, but on both times I spilled it right on top of some half-finished minis that had their MDF bases soaked up. A couple of them were on sabot bases with cardboard bottoms that started to swell up very badly and were a bit of a pain to fix up.

keskiviikko 2. maaliskuuta 2016

Painting Challenge Entry 11: Epic 40k

Another week and another wholly different subject! This time back to even smaller scale than before with some Epic 40k minis!

I've always loved the idea of Epic as at least for me it represents what the battlefields of 40k should look like. Massed forces with tens if not hundreds of vehicles per side all going at it over the battlefield. Regular 40k has lost quite of it's appeal with the additions of larger and larger vehicles that just seem out of place. They do look cool as miniatures, but the scale just seems odd when you throw in a few Imperial Knights to battle against some other big monsters. However as a kid I never really got into Epic as most of my mates weren't interested in it and with a limited youths hobby budget I couldn't really get into multiple different rules and scales! I still bought some Epic minis like Gargants, but never really anything even close to resembling an army.

Luckily with a looming 30s crisis and a much improved financial situation I've been able to indulge on many a miniature that I was drooling over 10-20 years ago. Not very surprisingly one of the subjects that I've been drooling over was Epic. Like a lot of my Oldhammer acquisitions my Epic failure/adventure started by being bored on a business trip and wandering into eBay. Spotting a good deal on an Imperial Guard force is what got me started, which lead me to acquire some Orks to bolster the couple of gargants that I found in my stash of old models bought when I was a teenager. I'd been planning to build the IG and Ork forces, but then I ran into a good deal selling an unpainted and unassembled Space Marine force for roughly the price of a single 40k tank. It would already yield me nearly a full army and with a few additional tanks later I came into possession of yet another force.

The Guard and Ork forces have been a bit of a more daunting task as there's a lot of paint stripping required as well as clipping minis off their bases and basing them again. So it would be the men in power armor that would get paint on first! I'd already decided to paint the Guard as Steel Legion and Orks as Kult of Speed and Goffs, so sand, red and black were taken. Add to that my hatred of yellow and those blue smurfs being boring as hell. So I didn't have too many colour choices left. Going through the Armageddon campaign forces there weren't many chapters with suitably simple colour schemes that would fit the bill. Luckily one of my favorites, the Salamanders, were very active in the campaign so the choice was rather easy in the end! I mean who can resist the purifying flames of justice!

This entry represents the first half of the army with a solid core of 3 tactical marine units representing roughly a full company of Marines with their Rhinos. There's also stands for the Supreme Commander, a Librarian and a Chaplain. Miniatures wise this will be roughly half the army, but points wise only a small portion. There will be a few Terminator units coming, as well as heavy support in the form of Predators, Dreadnoughts, Devastators and a mighty titan! But those will have to wait for another time.

I haven't painted 6mm in a while again so there was bit of a learning curve again. The minis were still very nice to paint as they are quite nicely and clearly detailed especially considering that these are the plastics from '91 or '92 if I recall correctly. I went for a basic green and picked out some details. To make them look like Salamanders I decided to paint some flame effects on their shoulder pads as well. Worked out quite nicely, but as the missus pointed out some of them do tend to look a bit like German flags :) Basing was a bit tricky as my normal flocks were far too long for this scale and in the end I used a few different model railroad turfs products as well as some saw dust to represent burnt grass.

With these done I'm sitting at 751 points out of my 1000 point goal. So still a bit behind schedule, but with about two and a half weeks to go it's still achievable. So with that done it's back to the brushes in a mad rush to the finish line!