Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Christmas Break and new Terrain.

Christmas has happened. I received some money which will be put to good use over the course of the coming weeks. I will need to get some modelling supplies. At the moment, I am having some fun making my 6mm terrain. I look at bits of rubbish and see what I can make from them. Christmas is a goldmine for gathering bits and bobs. All packaging has gone through me first before it hits the bin, all baby food containers are taken apart and washed before they hit the bin. You can see how this goes...

The following pictures are a few WIPs for my Sci Fi table:

The simple yogurt pot. I based it on some card to give it more strength, and have some little bits of things to stick onto it tomorrow. It is going to be a power station or part of a terra-forming complex I think.

Matchsticks cut up to be piles of timber. I figure any table can use some scatter terrain like this. They are useful to be used as objective markers, or just as some light cover. The other two are funnels/chimneys/power generators/moisture vaporators. They can be used to add something to structures, or I can also see them just sticking out in the desert. I want them to just break up the monotony of any barren planets.

This was on a plug of a glue gun or something. I took it off, put it on some MDF and covered the bottom. I want this to be some sort of alien artifact, but could also see it being some kind of power supply/moisture vaporator.

This is what I am excited about. It is the lid of super glue stuck onto the lid of some tomato puree. I just took an MDF base, covered it in wall filler, then built it up around the nose. This will probably end up being an escape pod. It could also be an alien crash site, or just debris from a larger crashed ship.

Two more dwellings, but on smaller bases this time. In total I have enough dwellings to be getting on with for now (10-15). I need to make more vegetation now.

Monday, 16 November 2015

6mm Sci Fi Infantry part 1

I finally got around to photographing my painted 6mm infantry. I am really pleased with how they came out. It took me 2 hours to paint 15 of them. I have another 15 primed and waiting to be finished. You can see I attempted to make squad leaders identifiable by their shoulder pads, but from the distance I will be looking at them from, they can't be seen. As such, some of my primed troops are based on pennies, making them easily visible from wargaming distance.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sci Fi Dwellings rolling off the bench.

Work has begun on my 6mm sci fi project. I have found the time this week to have three modelling sessions. This post will showcase some of the fruits of those sessions.

Below are three dwellings. I was inspired by the Lars homestead on Tatooine, but did not want to commit to a desert planet. The buildings are just the screw caps of baby food pouches, separated and made to look like living quarters and a chimney of some kind. I think the chimney will actually be a kind of solar power generator or something. Also to keep things generic I based them on grey rock. I feel like they need more details, like doors and such, but that can come later. I would happily put these on a table as they are.

My aquarium plants are giant trees. I am basing them on various bases that I got in my Reaper Bones kickstarter. I can probably use these with other scales too. You can also just see some of my infantry. Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery before I could take pictures of them. I will charge it tonight and take some shots tomorrow.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Painted Reaper Miniatures

Here are a couple of pictures of a few Reaper Miniatures that I have almost finished. They need to be sprayed matt and flocked, but that will have to wait, I imagine as the spray would probably do my daughter some serious damage.

The barbarian looks a lot like my barbarian in Diablo III, whereas the ranger looks like my old Skyrim character.

Here I have a tavern wench and a blacksmith, ready to populate any village I may use in any fantasy skirmish/RPG setting.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Ground Zero Games Infantry Review of sorts...

Point 1: Sorry for the photo quality. It is night time, I am half watching the apprentice and the ladies are in bed, exhausted, and I don't want to disturb them by setting up a daylight lamp.

As mentioned last post, I purchased a set of UNSC Marines, NAC (I think) infantry and a set of Predator/Aliens. The descriptions of the infantry were something along the lines of "30+ infantry in various poses, including heavy weapons". I ordered them on Monday night, I think, and they arrived Wednesday. So delivery was amazing. 

Below are the UNSC Marines. There are 57 of them, which is somewhat more than I would expect from a pack of "30+" infantry. You can see some flash, but at this scale, that should be easily removable by even a craft knife.

Below are the firing/heavy weapons poses. Above, on the left are troops standing, unfortunately all in the same pose. This is one tiny gripe, that can easily be forgiven considering the price, promptness, and quality of the figures.

This next set are the aliens. There were suppost to be 10 of each, I think, and I have 13 of each. The aliens are my favourite. The predators are okay, but I am not too hot on their pose. That won't stop them tearing my commandos to shreds though.

Everything being said, and my general level of pleasedness being considered, it was the NAC infantry who blew my mind. I began counting them out, and my "30+" packet contained somewhere around 85 miniatures in four different poses. There were three grunt weapons and then a rocket launcher. I am amazed at how

I cannot wait to paint these guys up. The bonus being, I can prime them black, paint them another colour, then paint their guns, and visors. I am looking forward to some very quick painting sessions.

The only problem with the miniatures was that some of them were malformed. By some, I mean maybe three or four. I seem to have a set of legs, and a headless rocket man. But when you consider that I have almost 90 of them (which must surely be a packaging mistake) then what is a few casualties before hitting the painting tray?

In conclusion, I would give these miniatures a high score. I don't score things right now, and don't want to set the bar too high, so will wait until my other infantry arrive from another company. I think they are "Solar Empire" Marines or something, but I paid in dollars, so they are likely coming from the USA.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Speaking of Sci-Fi

For the past few days I have been saving these from going in the bin. They are the screw tops for small pouches of baby food. Every time I feed my baby, I think about what I can use them for. 

My feelings at the moment tell me they would make good exhaust ports or ventilation fans. I worry about painting them, as they are very shiny, but hopefully I can do it. With infantry on the way, I need to quickly put together some things for them to fight over, so these might be good representing an underground base.

Does anyone else have any ideas about this too? Anything obvious I have not thought about?

I took the plunge!

I did it. I opted for  Ground Zero Games 6mm miniatures for my foray into Sci Fi miniature wargaming. Having looked extensively at their 15mm range, and having decided to build up a force of NAC and USMC infantry, I just plumped for the 6mm versions of these guys. It cost me £12 to order a 30 odd NAC infantry, 30 odd USMC infantry and 20 aliens that are meant to be Xenomorphs and possibly Predators too.

A purchase was also made of a bunch of 15mm diameter MDF circular bases, as I want these guys on individual bases for now. That might change, if my rule set preference changes.

I hope to be able to bash these guys out by Christmas so that I can start a wargaming/boardgaming after school club. The only unfortunate thing about that may be the safeguarding implications of posting AARs on this here blog.

More to come.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Clash on the Fringe, first thoughts.

Clash on the Fringe is a PDF Sci Fi rule set that is more of a space adventure game like Star Wars, than hard core wargaming.

I picked up the PDF and have been slowly working my way through it. I don't, however, have any 15mm miniatures, so that is probably what I will start collecting. I would love to do fights on other planets, and have found Khurasan Miniatures who will provide me with my xenomorphs and colonial marines. Time is all I need. Time and money that is.

I haven't touched a miniature since school began, which saddens me greatly. We do, however, have half term this next week, and I intend to paint up a few knights and possibly orcs. I want to get back into my hobby. Last winter, I started building a Normandy house that I never finished, and probably won't finish any time soon, but that project gives me hope that I will be able to spend a few Saturday evenings over the winter painting.

Friday, 21 August 2015

100th Post!

I am not sure how I envisioned my 100th post. Was it goingto be special? Was it just going to come and go unnoticed with pictures of various projects? I don't know. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this blog, and all those who have inspired me to post and create my own.

This summer, after qualifying as a languages teacher, I was able to relax. I thought I would have time to dust off some projects and get some painting done. I have a bunch of Reaper Minis half done, and also picked up a box of Perry Miniatures 1450-1480 Foot Knights to give myself some generic armoured men to play with. Other events, however, have taken over and I have managed to one quick painting session with my young brother in law (hoping to convert him) and put together one sprue of Foot Knights who remain unpainted.

Do I have photos of this? No.

I also do not see myself getting much else done before term starts in a week and a half. I find this unfortunate as I miss painting. Doubly unfortunate because I have been browsing Ground Zero Games 15mm sci fi miniatures. I feel myself being drawn to them more and more, but again don't have anyone to play with. I have a vision to start a club at school, but don't know how viable that is in terms of trusting them with my miniatures and being able to provide enough terrain.

And so goes my 100th post. The hobby is alive in my heart, but not alive in my actions.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Bones 3: The Search for Mr Bones Kickstarter!!!

Click here to find the newest Reaper Bones kickstarter. For us Brits there is usually an extra $50 for shipping, and then £20 for customs tax, but I have found it to be worth it the first two times.

Funds are low this year, with Mathilde going on Maternity leave, and then us having a beautiful baby to take care of. I have 17 days to decide and get Mathilde on board if possible. Just not sure about it. I will watch it carefully.

I cannot recommend this enough though. The miniatures are decent quality and can be used in all kinds of settings. My Song of Blades and Heroes project is being made mostly with these guys.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Dad time.

With the end of my teacher training in sight, I am getting more and more excited for the summer, in which I should be able to find time to finish a few projects. That, of course, is all dependant upon how well my new daughter is sleeping, and letting me sleep.

That is right, my half term holiday painting plans have been dashed by the wonderful arrival of my beautiful daughter, Adelaide. I find myself getting lost in her eyes, and just watching her, not achieving anything.

Well, here is my new family;

Saturday, 9 May 2015

I will probably be reposting this.

I have finally finished my skeletons. It has only taken a few months to get them painted and based. Up coming is a dragon and some heroes to fight the skeletons.

My only regret is using a gloss scarlet colour.

I think the two characters below are my favourites. I like that one has an axe, and one has rotting clothes.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

In lieu of attending Salute...

I discovered Salute in 2013 and attended. It was amazing. I also went last year with my then fiance and introduced her to my hobby. It was an important moment for us.

Unfortunately, with deadlines and generally being overworked, I can't attend this year. I will miss out on the PSC deals, as well as investigating various fantasy avenues and possibly picking up some SAGA type miniatures to make some warbands. I also would love to have some Fellowship of the Rings miniatures.

To make myself feel better, while running some errands this morning I popped into the 99p Store. I do not regret it. I saw this garden ornament and thought it would make a good monument or something. It is a little broken on top, but that doesn't matter to me. I might stick some foliage on it or something to make it seem a bit forgotten.

I also popped into The Range and looked at the fishtank decorations. I was looking for plastic plants to chop up, but think I might get that online instead. What I did find, though, was this ruined section of building. It was £2.59 so I went for it. Cheap, easy, and ready to go.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

On the Bench.

I had planned on priming a whole bunch of my Reaper miniatures so I could just pick them up and paint them every now and then. The idea was to nip over to my parents' house and do this, as my flat is small and my wife is pretty much constantly sick with the pregnancy. However, she has been taken into hospital for a couple of days to sort some stuff out and replenish fluids, and I found myself with an opportunity to prime outside of visiting hours.

The skeletons were primed white, and then i just went ahead and washed the white parts to see what would happen. I like it. I also painted the steel parts. I have, however, realised I need more colours.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The trouble with washing. (StuGs part 4)

Today the sun is out. It has been out all week, but today I am allowing myself a day of no work. No marking, no lesson planning, no essay preparation. Nothing. I even decided to bust out my paints and make some progress on the StuGs.

I dusted off my German Camo Brown and got to work, however, after a while I decided I would take the plunge and wash one of them. I didn't want to pin-wash, because efforts in that regard have been dismally disappointing. I just thought, I would paint the entire StuG with my Citadel "Weird named Oil" wash. I am not sure what to make of my results.

Something about it just seems off. It doesn't look, to me, like the wash has really pooled around the details. There seem to be large swathes of dried darkness. I will grant that it looks grubby. I just don't know what I was expecting. Maybe it is fine, and I am just over-thinking it. 

What do you guys think?

Saturday, 28 March 2015

StuGs Part 3.

I started work on these just after Salute 2014. They have been looking like this for almost a year now, but with my lack of modelling and time, I haven't shown how they look. I plan, over the Easter holidays, to devote a little time to doing some painting. During this time the StuGs might get some extra camouflage and dirt. I will also be priming a bunch of Reaper Minis so I can have some small projects to get on with in any down time I may find.  

Friday, 13 March 2015

Operation build a village part 4.

So this is what the house looks like so far. I painted the windows, which need some work. I added a cross frame made from tile separators. The walls have been dry brushed. But progress has long since stopped.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Clones go into battle.

I was looking through some pictures of my Star Wars Miniatures the other day and found this one. These clones are so awesome. I also have a Transformer AT-TE that is completely out of scale, but is fun for scenarios. 

I may have piqued the interest of my younger brother in law regarding SWM, which means I may be showing their outings here. So I guess this is a "watch this space" sort of post.

I feel it in my bones!

I returned home yesterday evening after having a pretty intense week at school. I feel my teaching is improving, I have a job interview for a position in September, and I am very tired.

Waiting for me on the floor was a note from the postman saying I owed customs money (which I was expecting) and I had to go down to the distribution office to collect the package. Looking at my watch, I saw it was 16.50...Distrubution office closes at 19.00, it is next to a bridge that is partially closed, and is a vital commuter route in and out of the city, and right now it is rush hour. 

The decision was made to eat my dinner, and just before 18.00 I left, phone almost dead, note and wallet in hand to go and pay the money. Unfortunately I have never had to go to this particular place. I knew it was just before the bridge into town, so upon seeing the bridge, I turned right. There were too many houses for this to be an industrial estate. I pulled over, turned the GPS on on my dying phone to find out I had turned off for the wrong bridge: one over the railway, before the one into town. 

Upon completing a 20 point turn I returned to the main road to find I couldn't turn back onto it. Panicking a little, I crossed the main road, and turned around at the first opportunity. Back on the main road, I went over the railway, silently cursing my stupidity. Nervous, I saw the bridge (the real one) approaching and turned right again...into a cul-de-sac of trendy waterfront apartments. Turning around, again, I made my way to the main road, and took the next right turning...again another turning too early! Frustrated, I parked my car and walked around the corner into the industrial estate, only to find that the distribution office is right at the end.

Eventually, at 18.30 I walked in, pulled out my wallet and card, only to be told "we only accept cash. There is a cash machine at the garage over the bridge". Running to my car, I realised how unfit I am. Sweating, I pulled away, made my way across the bridge and found the garage. Card inserted. Buttons pushed. A strange timer. "We were unable to process your request". More curses. Another attempt. Same result. It is 18.40. Where is there a cash machine? Bitterne, just up the road. Fighting through the bridge traffic, I headed over to Bitterne, pulled in behind the gym, ran to the bank, withdrew some cash and got back in my car. Then it hit me, I can't get back onto the main road from where I am. I decided to just head in the general direction and hope for the best. Well the best happened and I ended up on the same road where I had to turn around earlier.

I walked in the doors at 18.58 and picket up my package. The staff had their coats on and were about to leave. 

The box seems smaller than Bones 1, but I love it. Lots of lovely miniatures to start painting. With my time being very limited, I think I will be spending any spare model time painting these guys. I can't wait to start.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New year, new ideas.

2014 has been a great year. The best of my life. I successfully applied to begin teacher training, I gathered useful experience in schools, I moved to Bristol for 3 months to improve my French, I began my teacher training, and most important of all, I got married and also discovered that I am going to be a dad this spring. 

Much of this got in the way of my model making and wargaming goals for the year. I only managed to play Bolt Action once, and that was with myself. I didn't take Flying Lead for a spin until December, but that was thoroughly enjoyable. I suppose I played more than in 2013. Thanks to Flying Lead, I imagine I will be playing more wargames in 2015.

In terms of model making, I had a good start to the year, but from May onwards it was a struggle to find the time or space. I hope to keep a steady trickle of projects on the go during the course of 2015, but I do not expect to get much done. The final half of my training, having a baby, and beginning (hopefully) a new job in a school will really take over most of my time. 

I think the purpose of this blog will become more diverse this year: I am very muh enjoying more boardgames recently, I am LOVING Marvel Dice Masters, and I have recently rekindled my love for Star Wars Miniatures and Pirates of the Spanish Main too. I think there may be battle reports of these games finding there way here, and possible pictures of some of my miniature customisations. 

I hope to see you around this year. Keep on modelling and inspiring me.