Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Monday, May 6, 2019
I love starting new projects, and always have too many on the go, but sometimes it’s good to revisit some older figures that just need some love. This weekend, while Joy was in the states visiting her daughter and granddaughter, I had the place to myself and found that what I got done wasn’t at all what I had thought I would do.
Here are some GW LOTR plastic orcs that a friend gave me - he found a bag of about 30 figures, very roughly painted, jumbled in a zip-lock bag. I had my doubts about remediating the paintwork, but I pulled out a handful and decided to see what I could do with them. I’d say I repainted about half of each figure and tried to give them scary-face shields, though I think my surrogate granddaughter could have done scarier faces.
I also gave them my usual bad-guy base treatment - scrubby, mostly barren ground, evocative of Mordor, Dead Marshes, etc.
I liked how these fellows turned out - they fit nicely into my growing evil LOTR models. I will probably salvage handful in the near future.
Also underway is a significant basing project for my Isengard collection. About ten years ago, when my son was a teen and living with me, we played a LOT of the original GW LOTR Strategy Battle Game. To get some figures on the table quickly I cut a lot of corners, such as leaving the bases still in their original black undercoat and nothing more. Currently I have about 30 of these figures in the basing shop, and a few of them marched out ready for action this weekend, including this Uruk-Hai captain.
These 6 Uruk-Hai crossbowmen were only 60% painted, and required a fair bit of brushwork to get them ready. Repainted and with some proper basing, they look ok. I would like to get a full unit of 12, but they were pricey buggers ten years ago back when GW sold LOTR metal models in blisters of 3. Perhaps I can find some more on Ebay or the like. In Dragon Rampant terms, I would rate these as heavy missiles.
Between the stray basing material and my cat deciding that the light box makes a good place for a nap, these pictures are rather messy.
I did also finish painting some new figures and got them based. These are 8 orc arches from Vendel miniatures. My friend James and I are very fond of the Vendel fantasy range, and there are some great examples on his blog. They’re fairly simple figures but they have a pleasing, old-school look and feel to them with tons of facial expression.
The Vendel moulds got sold recently so all this range is sadly OOP at the moment. When I was at Hot Lead this March, I was talking to an American fellow who knew the chap who bought the moulds, so I have hopes that they will be back in production soon.
I only have 8 of these archers, so I decided when I was ordering some bits from North Star recently, that I would splash out on a box of their Oathmark goblins, to see if I could build this unit up a bit.
Each sprue comes with five torsos that can be built out in several ways. I decided to build four of them as archers. They have a hunched, furtive look, making them look sneaky and fierce, but they look suitably Mordor-ish. It took me about ten minutes to assemble five figures, with a minimum of hacking and cutting.
Side by side comparison with the Vendel figures. I think they’ll work together.
‘So a mixed bag of thoroughly bad hats, with a variety of worthwhile ways to use spare time - painting, salvaging, basing, cutting and gluing. I’m pleased with the results, though I had better get some reinforcements for Rohan and Gondor into the field soon. And speaking of the field … I should use these figures in a game - what a crazy thought!
Blessings to your brushes!
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Revisiting my never-ending Lord of the Rings interest here and a brief return to Rohan, where housing starts are up.
This is the 4Ground Viking Trader’s Shop which will make a splendid addition to the Rohan village I have been working on for the last few years. I suspect it will attract some Uruk-Has raiders in search of plunder, and will need to be stoutly defended. And I know just the chaps for the job.
Also on the painting bench are some aspiring Riders of Rohan. These are Goth Heavy Cavalry from Footsore Miniatures.
Pros: The figures are metal, and so are the horses, so I won’t have the problem I have with the blasted Games Workshop plastic horses breaking off at the legs when clumsily handled on the table. Also, they look suitably Rohanish with their long hair, beards and moustaches, and generally simple accoutrements. They don’t match perfectly with the GW Riders figures, but I have long since decided to build LOTR forces with figures from whatever range I please, so nyah boo to you, GW.
Cons: These figures came with a considerable amount of flash, which involved laborious scraping and filing of men and horses. Also, while they came with round shields (not shown), I forgot to order weapons, so I ordered a pack of javelins from Northstar. Also their gripping hands were solid, so I had to carefully drill them out so the javelins will fit. Finally, they don’t have capes or bows, as the GW Rider models all do, and while I could model them with green stuff, I’m not currently so inclined, so they will serve the Riddermark as they are.
Bottom line: while I was quite excited to order some Footsore minis, and will no doubt order more, I give these figures between a B+ and an A- at best.
I have a quiet weekend ahead, so I am hoping to get a push on and ride these fellows off the table soon.
Blessings to your brushes!
Friday, April 26, 2019
Staying with the 15mm SF theme a little longer, here are some more forces that I finished over the winter for my Kzinti-themed feline army.
Two drones for initial recce and probe missions. I can’t recall who I got these from, I suspect they are Ground Zero Games but I can’t recall the product code. The models have some shooty things, so depending on how my opponent James and I agree to rate them, they might pack a little punch. Useful for forcing the enemy to reveal himself.
Two skimmers for Close Air Support. The models are from Ground Zero Games. They carry a big and wicked looking gun of some sort, and two missile pods, so they should prove useful. I painted them in the same scheme as my ground armour units.
Being metal, and quite chunky, the stands didn’t work at first. I had to drill out the hole in the bottom of the model quite a bit until it was deep and wide enough to keep the model on the socket of the base.
I coated them with what I thought was Testor’s Dullcote, but in fact it was semi-gloss, so they are a tad shinier than I would like, but none the worse for it, I suppose.
And here they are with their big brother, a previously completed 15mm Khurasan model, to complete the air wing. That should keep the hoomanz’ heads down!
I have a few squads of Khurasan infantry to complete for my Kzinti force, and by then hopefully James and I will be able to schedule a scrap by then. At some point I would consider getting some human figures of my own, high tech enough to match these cats and do something from the Larry Niven inspired Man-Kzin Wars, but that is a project for down the road, and would entail looking at some rules sets, possibly the classic Star Grunt or maybe the Quadrant 13 SF rules from Too Fat Lardies by Robert Avery.
Blessings to your thrusters!
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
A quick post to show off with some rather dark photos to show off some more figures in my 15mm SF project. They are Khurasan Tigrids on jet bikes, because while cats (well, at least my cats) are notoriously slothful, until that moment at 3 in the morning they get up to zoom around the house on jet bikes. It’s like harassing fire, it leaves the hoomans tired and irritable and ill-equipped to defend against them. Or the hoomans just capitulate and feed them at 5am, like I do.
I painted these fellows over the winter months, using the same Citadel Khorne Red that is the signature for my Kzinti-inspired army, with colour coding on the shoulder plates to tell the various sections apart. I have three sections of three of these fellows, enough for a recon in force or quick raiding and general hell-raising, following the general idea that a Kzinti-type force would specialize in fast, aggressive (if not always well thought out) tactics.
Fairly simple paint job over a black base coat to convey the armour segments on the troops and the various parts of the bikes, with a splash of colour for the engines. I like the blue of the jet engines.
With a mix of missiles for the leaders and Tesla-type guns for their wingcats, these troops are ready to take on my friend James’ hoomans when we finally get our SF armies together.
Marshall Luigi, my resident Kzin, doesn’t seem that interested in having a jetbike.
Blessings to your kitties!
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
For years I have admired the Napoleonic battle reports posted on Joy and Forgetfulness, the blog of the mysterious and erudite author and wargamer, Conrad Kinch. Between elegantly presented tables, port and cheeseboards, and the witty and dashing cast of characters brought to life there, wargaming has seldom looked so genteel and appealing as it does on young Kinch’s blog. Last week I finally had the chance to make it over the sea to Ireland. I had planned to go to Dublin two years ago for the baptism of the young Kinch twins, but sadly that never worked out, so it was a delight to finally arrive there, where CK and his lovely wife Lizzy showered us with warmth and hospitality. Minutes after entering their house, my fiancee Joy was snuggling with the young and handsome Master Kinch.
After four days in the West of Ireland, we returned to Dublin, where Kinch had arranged a refight of Waterloo. After dinner, the gentlemen withdrew to Kinch’s war-games room, a place of wonders - and silly hats.
The splendid table. Note the wine glass used as an objective marker. “Why do you have to refight Waterloo?” asked Joy, innocently. “I mean, you know what happened, why redo it?” Some things will have to be explained over time in this relationship.
As you can see from the dice, we were playing Command and Colours Napoleonics, with 20mm figures. Very posh.
Some of the Dublin gaming brain trust assembled. I couldn’t have wanted to have enjoyed better company. Marshall DeGourmand, second from right, tries to persuade the English team that they should just give up now.
Since I am something of a Bonapartist, I volunteered for the French side, commanding the French right flank. As I recall, DeGourmand is saying something like “Go and die there. There, sir!” His order were shockingly simple and to the point, though slurred somewhat by the fearful amounts of drink (note the bottle on the table).
With furrowed brow, I watched as my brave chaps threw themselves on Plancenoit, drawing the entire English left into a vicious meat grinder. As you can see, I am propping myself unsteadily on the table, praying that I can get this done before my troops all die and before the Prussians arrive, but it wasn’t looking good.
They weren’t giving up Plancenoit without a fight.
Bantering with my opposite number, General Oisin, who seems confident that the Prussian sausage-munchers will arrive and bail him out of his predicament (they did).
Sadly we called it a night when the port ran out and the English had managed to fend off our fine French fellows, thus making Joy’s question, “Why bother”, uncomfortably acute.
Also sadly, I don’t have a photo of CK himself, but he was a grand host and it was a gaming night for the books, though I’m blessed if I know how I walked back to my hotel.
Thanks, old chap, for a splendid time of it.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
I was saddened recently to learn that Forgotten and Glorious miniatures will soon be no more. They are (soon were) a French-based manufacturer of 28mm figures, and had a small but lovely range of 28mm ACWs. As their website says, they will be out of business in 5 days, on April 15, and their figures will no longer be available. I have no idea why they are closing - perhaps it is because their figures were never cheap - a command group of 6 foot sold for 15 euros, and the postage from Europe probably didn't help.
Here are some of their figures from my collection, and some more here.
They are lovely and full of detail and great fun to paint.
I have really agonized on ordering some more before they're gone, but I think I am going to resist pulling the trigger on this one. I have a goodly number of ACW figures to paint, including two boxes of Perry plastics, and a regiment of Renegade figures that have languished, half painted, for two years now - and that's just the ACW part of my lead and plastic mountain!
However, if 28mm ACW is your thing, I would encourage you to have a look at their website before these figures are gone.
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