22 December 2014

We're off to see the Wizard - no not that one!

I am catching up on the reducing pile of promises rather well, and this is the first figure for Edwins collection. I knew he would hit me with some rather different figures and it did not disappoint when they arrived.

So here is a Chinese Wizard floating on a cloud of flames. Rather good fun to paint the figure is from the ranges at Black Hat miniatures.

That is the last post from me this year, as I am having a break to be with the family so just to show i have some really bad taste I will leave you with another rather bad Wizzard.
I don't recommend clicking play but hey its your ears whatever you do over the next few days and however you celebrate have a good one.


17 December 2014

Ice Berg Ahead

I have been chilling out this is my last week on the brushes before I take a proper holiday and spend 2 weeks, getting things in order that have been languishing in my to do list but almost certainly get forgotten about. So time to sort the paperwork etc out and get straightend out.

This last couple of weeks I have been working on a few projects, at the same time, So their will be a few more posts to come. Currently I have a lot of Napoleonics on my bench, being my favourite period to paint its all good for me.

This week I give you another Battalion from Berg, this time round its the 2nd battalion of the 1st regiment circa 1809- 1810. I am not fully happy with the pictures, I really struggle to photograph white uniformed figures for some reason.

 Right folks, see you soon with some more additions to Mr Daves Serenity project.


9 December 2014

This years Nemesis is completed - Winter War rejects

Earlier this year I received a large pile of crap from a customer that had been unfortunate enough to have invested into the Baker Company Winter War kickstarter. I unwittingly agreed to paint them up before seeing the actual products, a hard lesson learnt there and one that will not be repeated.

I wont say too much more, only that I am ecstatically happy to have these completed with the assistance of Kevin for the final few bits after I lost the will to continue painting these feckers. If you own any you are going to need a pot of miracle dust, plenty of pins for the one legged spindly ankle freaks they just snap if you touch them, multiple diamond bits for a dremel to actually clean the miscast lumps, mould lines and detritus. Oh and a final note these were sculpted by someone who has no clue as to the anatomy of the human body at all with plenty of poses that are physically impossible for a normally jointed human.

 Tank and riders were done by Kev, he informs me despite cleaning the tank very well it would not accept a normal undercoat and he had to resort to an ancient technique to prepare it for paint, also the resin it is made from does not like superglue and he had to resort to contact adhesive to construct it (see it gave him grief as well) the fenders are very flimsy and split away from the body with any kind of pressure so they also had to be repaired :(

The Russian Infantry in a good mix of great coat colours and some unhealthy poses for a fair few but they painted to a wargames standard if only the fact it took three times the work to get that finish as normal

 The Finnish Infantry, not much better or worse than the Russians to paint and clean.

Try as I might to get good pictures my camera was being temperamental today perhaps it was the 100+ ugly mugs that I was trying to photograph that made the lens go into self preservation mode or the curse of these damn figures affected it. Either way this was the best I could manage and they will have to suffice. I really wont be sorry to see these leave the Great Hall at all. 


7 December 2014

Let there be Light

Or more specifically, I have at long last equipped the paint station with a souped up lamp for the illumination of my toy soldiers whilst painting.

I have been steadily putting small amounts away over the last year in an effort to purchase one of these lamps as they retail in the UK at around £120.00, to some that is not a lot of cash but to my dear wife that is a lot out of the household budget on a fancy light bulb!

Now I have visited several blogs over the years and those that have these particular lights had nothing but praise for them and I wanted better light in the Great Hall. Not that the Hall has poor lighting in fact quite the opposite just at this time of the year the sun is so low in the sky I have to have the blinds closed or I cant see a damned thing.

Now I have used my trusty old lamp for several years it was adequate in that it gave a small pool of light from which I could apply my craft. But this lamp Ladies and Gentlemen is something else.

As you can see I have some daylight in the room and the lamp is installed and ready to light things up.

and that's the lamp switched on in a high position and it lights up the whole 4 feet wide section of the desk without any problem.

But lowered into my working position it is great and the extra clean light is a real bonus, and I don't suffer any shadow areas as I work now.

Okay so surely this thing costs a fortune to run, that will be a no! its got energy saving tubes in it 3 of them rated to 14w each the equivalent output of running a traditional 250w bulb for a fraction of the cost. Of course being a Daylight lamp its also handy to keep down the winter blues while I work as well.

I got this from Amazon while looking for something completely different but it had 30% discount applied bringing it down to £80.00 and I had saved up that much already so it became an instant purchase, I have been using this now for 1 month and already it is proving to be a great asset to me. I have not suffered as many headaches as I am not straining to see parts of figures anymore and the boost of light is helping with my moods too. Above all that I do believe it is helping me paint much better figures as I can see clearly the smaller details on them. I am also impressed with the solid construction of the lamp, and its flexibility, it can be put into many different positions and as a real added bonus it is superb for using to light my figures when taking pictures.

toodle pip for now

25 November 2014

Wargames Fashion Police A.K.A. you need to get a life buddy! ( RANT WARNING )

Right I know this is going to cause a bit of a do but I have had it with this type of wandering goon.

Last night I completed a couple of fellas I had been working on for some good friends in the Blogging community. I took some snaps and sent them direct to the manufacturer and he was over the moon with the images so much so that he immediately asked if they could be used. I had no objections in fact quite the opposite (See I am learning to accept praise and credit). However it went completely 'Pete Tong' for me about half an hour later when one of these fashion police types came on and said "The skins didn't wear a belgic Shako at Waterloo" well strike me down with a feather another idiot on a social network is there no feckin escape.

The first thoughts into my mind were un-printable as I don't paint from my imagination unless I am doing a fantasy piece and then anything goes. I have spent most of my life researching the whole Napoleonic period and have a reference library to back that up along with images and god knows what stored on various electronic storage devices. But with a mind like mine doubt creeps in and so off I went to double check my sources just in case I made a mistake.

Guess what? I had not made an error and had located enough information and uniform plates etc to back this up. I was buggered if I was not going to defend my self though, as another new gamer was painting the same unit in Belgic Shako and became concerned he had the wrong uniform as well. (You see how these numpty's cause issues). I gave the information to prove my point, and to his credit numpty apologised stating  "I always get these two units mixed up". I wanted to reply " Its feckin twats like you that open your gobs without checking stuff that are the worlds biggest pain in the arse" or words to that effect, but I don't do the whole flame war, Internet troll thing and besides I was right.

Now this is not just a one off event it regularly features at shows, and myself and Kev often discuss these types of people in fact I am sure I have a complete twat radar built in. More often than not they are less than hygienic and can be smelt from a good hundred paces far less if the wind is in the wrong direction. This is the full on frontal assault, and is designed to catch you off guard, as you baulk from the fumes. They then open with a verbal barrage as they cogitate and tell you exactly what mistake you have made and they have found a rare manuscript written in some unread ancient text that proves their point. Telling you that to get the correct shade of scarlet for your British line you needed the juice of three extinct lava beetles, the anus of newt and to mix that with 5% pixie dust and you would have got it bamg on right! That is not the only tactic these so called experts have though. They have a far more sneaky tactic and that is the KAMKAZE RUCKSACK. Approaching like Kung FU Panda they blunder about knocking items off displays, smacking people in the face and walking in a care free attitude reminding you, that the rucksack and lack of bath are a fatal combination and should be avoided. That is their sole intention it is their space maker and they want you to get out of the way. So they make a beeline to the display and rip holes in the smallest of incorrect details in an effort to make them feel more important and deride your efforts.

I remember one incident very well several years ago after having painted lots of Dutch and Belgian troops for a display game, and this rather offensive character walked up to the display and started picking my figures up and sticking them as close to his nasal cavity as possible, to inspect them before randomly re assigning them to the table. He did this several times having broken two figures in the process. Finally I did the unthinkable I asked if he was alright " Yeah just checking the paint job" came the reply. I remained polite but was part of a team demonstrating so had to then he quipped " Your Orange is a bit bright" I lost it at that point and almost retorted "well if you continue to pick my figures up by the bayonets and slap em down like that you're going to need some dental work." Thank fully my buddies pulled me away and said idiot was dispatched in short order. The point here is they are toys and they get played with, we paint them to what we have available regardless of it being the exact shade etc. Why Oh Why do these people not just get a life and find another hobby!!!

So to every member of the anally retentive collective A.K.A the " Wargames Fashion Police" I Salute You

These wonderful miniatures are from the Westfalia miniatures range and are labelled as a couple of Brits holidaying in Belgium. I choose to paint these as soldiers of the 27th Inniskilling regiment, and the strawberry blond is just right.


22 November 2014

Napoleonic Peacocks, Popinjays and Dandies (part 5) The finished vignette

For those that have not been following this through the week, if you want to see the individual figures before they got to this stage please see the previous posts this week. click the page tab at the bottom of this post.

Right onto the finished vignette, I wont say anything about this as I have covered that during this past week and hopefully the images will convey the theme.

This will be listed on Ebay tomorrow at around 7pm for anyone interested, hopefully it will generate me some funds to allow me to purchase some shiney new 15's for my own collections. Of course if anyone reading this wants to jump the queue before it goes to ebay, then contact me directly through the blog.


21 November 2014

Taking the rough with the smooth

Well good readers I can confirm that I am definitely on my way back up, the black dog has for now apparently finished hungrily dining on my mind. instead it is more of light snacks, which are much easier to deal with. Until next time of course, but that is life, it cycles and so we must also learn to deal with all the challenges presented and find our own way of dealing with them.

This time the journey has been a long one, but I have rowed hard against the current and have reached calmer waters at long last. Sure things are not all plain sailing from here on in, but I am at last feeling happier and wanting to paint and get on with daily life again.

This week has been a great help. I decided that I would do some of the items that were always going to be pieces that just looked pretty on the table. They will end up being sold, as my move back to 15mm means these are surplus to my needs and any cash raised will buy me some shiney new lead which is always welcomed. That does not mean I have rushed them, indeed the opposite these have taken me as long to complete as a full battalion of rank and file figures would and I shall reveal the completed Vignette tomorrow, things are still drying.

It has been a bit of a revelation for me whilst working on these pieces this week. I can damned well paint you know!!!! I have always doubted my abilities, but over this last week something has engaged in my confused mind and although I am not one of the great figure painters in my opinion, I certainly am not bad with a brush. This thought pattern has come from all the comments you have left for me and it dawned on me that you see my work in a different light to me. While I focus on the attention to detail and striving for perfection, you see what I clearly forget and that is the finished figures. Yes I will come out and say it here and now like a lot of people I am probably my own worst critic, sometimes that is good as it drives the desire to get better, but failing to see you are getting better and produce good work is counter productive. So from me personally to each and every one of you Thank you. Now thats enough of the sentimental stuff I have the reputation of a stoic Viking to maintain and talk like that could get me ridiculed.

So what am I left working on at the moment.

Well from left to right, we have a Perry mounted officer, Part of the Perry Young Guard command in relaxed poses, this will be another vignette, and a couple of very nice Westfalia miniatures giving Boney a warm welcome in traditional British Fashion.

Yesterday as the vignette was receiving multiple coats of varnish and in the beginning stage of being based I decided to work on another odd figure in the lead mountain.

Once again this figure was inspired by a plate from the Knotel series and is an Adjutant of the French 1st Hussars. The sabretache is a bit of freehand.

That is my offering for today folks I am off to get the vignette base completed.


20 November 2014

Napoleonic Peacocks, Popinjays and Dandies (part 4)

Today I present the last two figures that are ready to join the vignette.

First up is a Neapolitan ADC, sourced from the information in one of my new PDF's from the History bookman. Link on the right.

I apologise for the picture quality, it seems the blue of the figure is interrupting things with the background for my camera.

Last but not least is an ADC based on this plate:
I have used a little of my own artistic licence but not too much.

Thats all the figures completed, now they are off for a nice bath in some gloss varnish and then a couple of coats of Matt varnish to finish them off before basing.

Hopefully in the next and final installment we will see the completed vignette.

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