Saturday, 8 December 2018

Flanel Fields

I hate the boring green gaming mat I sometimes use. The plain desert mats are okay. The fake grass from Lidl are also decent, although can still be quite boring. Unless I absolutely throw down with scatter terrain, there is just so much blank green. So my search to shake things up a bit led me to watch this video. It inspired me to go to Tesco and spend £1 on two tan coloured face washing cloths (my mum raised me calling these "flannels"). I cut out some squares and painted them up as follows:

I much prefer how the green one came out. Although I watered the green paint down to really soak into the cloth. The brown one had neat paint, which I think was a mistake, although it isn't that bad. I might dry brush a few other brighter colours on it to be fair. 

All in all I am pretty happy with these. The only problem is that they are thicker than I was expecting, and I have no idea what kind of wash cloth the guy in the YouTube tutorial used because that one appears much thinner. The ends also curl up a little, but that isn't too bad. 

For the cost, they are fine. The most time consuming thing is getting the green paint on. 

Friday, 7 December 2018

Imperial Assault Miniatures - Rebels, Wookiees, Stormie

Very pleased with how these turned out. Terrible shame I won't be keeping them as they are my brother's. Painting these miniatures makes me want to get into large miniature skirmish gaming...but space and money...

Colonial Marines and Xenomorphs

Two nights in a row I have managed to find the desire to paint some miniatures. Now I feel like I have my groove back.

Below are my attempts at painting an ultimate bad-ass and his team of ultimate bad-asses. No pointy sticks though. I am not sure if I am happy with the colour scheme though. Luckily I only painted up 4 of them.

Here we see the Xenos. They are looking good. I used two different base colours, but can't really tell the difference. Happy with how they turned out I will be able to bash out a whole bunch more of them quite quickly.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Imminent Paternity Leave

So back in February 2017 I had my two weeks of paternity leave. We had just moved house and I had recently managed to get my gaming computer up and running again. During those two weeks, in the evenings once all were in bed, I almost completed the campaign of X-Com: Enemy Unknown, messed around with Skyrim and also a little Starcraft 2. It took until a few weeks ago to actually get round to finishing X-Com, and my gaming rig has since been sold.

My next child is due to arrive within the next four weeks, and I am wondering what I can do during those paternity evenings. No more X-Com to play. My laptop can't handle Skyrim. I honestly don't feel like competitive online gaming, which rules Starcraft 2 out, as I have finished the campaign. I had originally thought to play Galactic Civilizations III, but my laptop can't handle that. I tried to play Galactic Civilizations II the other day and just wasn't into it. As such I am at a loss. It may just be the case that I devote those evenings to model making, figure painting, terrain building, and wargaming. I reckon I can bash out a few games in those evenings.

So, unless anyone has any fairly non-graphics heavy computer game that I can sink my teeth into for two weeks, I think there may be an explosion of productivity regarding this hobby.

The following things need to be completed:

6mm Xenomorphs
6mm Colonial marines + APC
6mm US anti tank guns

Imperial Assult miniatures for my brother

6mm hedgerows/bocage
6mm roads
6mm fields

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Youbos - Vector Art

I've been having a bit more fun with my vector art. Youbos - a dustball with colonies for reasons that make no sense. The software I used is Vectr. It took me a while to work out how to create a silhouette but I managed. 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Normandy Progress: A closer look at the hedges.

I brought my felt mat back from school to see how the hedges and roads look on a green backdrop. My kain take away from this is that I really don't like the felt mat. It is too uniform. I much prefer the Lidl mats I bought this summer. I also need more by way of fields and things to break up the green.

A German ambush lies in wait. I mean it looks fine, but the road is curling up which annoys me. I have found other methods for road creation, so hopefully I can experiment with those soon.

The GIs advance. Hoping to hold the road junction. It all feels very cramped. Not sure how happy I am with that. I feel very much like "that'll do" but want more. I want to wow myself with my terrain making prowess. Back to the ideas phase I think for roads. Hedges I am pleased with. I just need more.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Welcome to Tedrion III

I have been browsing Pintrest a lot lately, and have stumbled across "Vector Art" or "Flat Design/Art". Now colour me inspired, but I decided to give it a go and perhaps bring life to the worlds of Tranquil Stars. 

Above you can see my first attempt at creating a poster for Tedrion III.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

More Hedges: Normandy Progress

I managed to complete some hedges for my WW2 project. The trees are from a different bag of trees, and are quite frankly hideous. The foliage is fine, and I applied it with neat PVA glue this time. I will see tonight how well it has solidified as it will have been left for 24 hours. 

As it stands though, I think they are promising. A good stop gap until I find a better method perhaps.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Some Bench Items

As happens each year, when school starts back up, time disappears. This weekend is the first time I have felt alive enough to want to get the paints out. 

Lolly sticks ready to be turned into hedges/bocage.

I painted up the crew for my two 57mm AT guns. I am already not happy with the fact I stuck the cannon down. I am not sure how exactly to go about painting and basing artillery stands, but that just means I can have a bit of fun researching. I may have already found some information, which will require the purchase of some flock powders.

Khurasan Miniatures not-aliens and not-colonial marines primed and ready. I will be making some Starport Scum stats for these guys. I might also be making some Flying Lead stats seeing as I have some range sticks and feel like using them.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Roads and Bocage: Normandy Progress

Two terrain projects are about to finish. I am not sure how happy I am with both.


I had made an experiment a couple of months ago by mixing foliage with PVA glue and squashing that onto lolly sticks. It looked okay, but my goodness it was difficult to paint the lolly sticks afterwards. Therefore, I gave up and began again.

The process: texture the lolly sticks. Paint them brown. Dry brush them. I then used green stuff to attach some trees to most of sticks. Some of the trees I trimmed down to be shorter. So far, so good. Simple, effective, nice looking. The next step was where the problems began.

 I needed to attach the foliage. To do this, I mixed PVA glue with water, then mixed the foliage in and began applying it to the lolly sticks. The picture below shows that they look good. However, it took multiple attempts to get the correct ratio of water to glue to make the foliage stick really solidly to the lolly sticks. As it happens the best ratio is: almost pure glue. 

Next up: roads.

Having read a few blog posts and websites it looked like you could make roads by using window frame sealant. If I used brown, then that would cut down one layer of paint as well! What could go wrong?

The tutorial said to use wax paper or grease proof paper, then create brown strips of window sealant. This means you can peel it off? Not sure. So that is what I did. It looks fine so far. I left it two days to properly dry...

I cut them off and tried to peel the paper off the back. It wouldn't all come off. It also became clear that the sealant had contracted and curled inwards. I was worried it would be problematic and the roads wouldn't lie flat.

I was right. They curl a little. I am not sure how I feel about that. My next batch I will initially make on a glass pane...see if that stops it shrinking in on itself and curling up.

Luckily, once drybrushed and flocked, they don't look too bad.

And when placed with bocage, it doesn't matter too much. The main job will now to be to create more bocage and roads. I need feet and feet of them!!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Activities Day write up over on The Players' Aid

Here can be found my write up of activities week, my gaming extravaganza. I wrote a guest article for the website The Players' Aid. It is run by my bother, his brother in law and another friend. I highly recommend their other content if you are into wagames that are contained in a single box.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Operation Build a Village...almost done. Imperial Assault...

I love these MDF buildings from HACME, available over on Rapier Miniatures. They are a delight to put together and turn into terrain. I purchased two packets of the Normandy farm buildings at Colours 2016, and only now, nearly two years later are some of them pretty much table ready. I have two more stands not as ready as these, but I am confident that I will be setting up a WW2 game before the end of the year. They just needed a little bit of grass to make them pop. I now have dreams of making a small well and other random crap out of Green Stuff.

A few weeks ago my brother asked if I could paint some of his Imperial Assault miniatures from Fantasy Flight Games. I agreed as he gave me no time frame other than "take as long as you want". He also didn't offer to pay, nor did I ask him to. I love Star Wars and love painting. This will give me the chance to improve my 28mm (ish) skills with the benefit that I don't have to store them anywhere long term.

I am pleased with the stormtrooper so far. I need to highlight him. The rebel commando in the front also just needs a few highlights. The Wookiees and other rebels need to be washed then highlighted. Almost this convinces me to fork out cash for this game... or to just dust off my large collection of Reaper Bones miniatures, such as the dragon in the background which has been sitting around nearly finished for three or four years. Tonight I scraped off the cat litter from the base and textured it differently. The dragon will be finished next week and I keep threatening my wife to display it in our new display shelves in the lounge. More likely it will end up in my classroom.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Hedges and Normandy progress.

Tonight I painted the hedges on my Normandy dwellings to the point where I am happy with them. I also framed the windows and doors on these two buildings. I like the light contrast to the grey. 

I also based up 18 Colonial Marines to go bug hunting. Naturally they needed bugs to hunt so I based them also.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Rock and Roll

Tonight, I decided to rewatch Fast and Furious 5, even though I watched it the other day. While watching, however, I had a productive time finishing off these eight rock formations, and painting the hedges of my WW2 buildings. Those will just need a highlight and hopefully will be ready to use soon. I feel like I have neglected my WW2 project for a while and want to jump back on that as soon as I can.

Tedrion III part 3: The Airfield

See parts one and two for more information.

Tedrion City is besieged. The roads are locked down by PAC forces, the jungle too impassable for large scale escape. The troops of the Western Alliance are faced with defending to the last man, starving to death, or attempting to break out. The Alliance commanders have promised a supply drop to an airfield near the PAC lines. If it can be secured, supplies and reinforcements may be able to be dropped in to surprise the PAC attackers. It falls to a unit of Alliance regulars to attempt to secure this airfield.

 The control tower of the airfield on the right is an objective. Another objective is the backup generator over on the left.

 The airfield with it's four landing pads that needs to be secured.

 The Alliance mech fires on the advancing PAC mech dealing severe damage to its armour. First blood in this engagement is drawn.

 Further engagements around the generator. The fighting on the left flank is getting heavier and drawing in more of the Alliance mecha and tanks.

 Alliance infantry and armour advance on the airfield, setting up a battle line to wait for their mecha to clean up at the generator.

 More heavy fighting at the generator leads to the destruction of the PAC mech, blowing to pieces and damaging the generator.

 Advancing up the central road, a PAC tank falls under heavy fire from Alliance armour. The fighting over the generator is heating up and draws more armour from the Alliance in, leaving the infantry heavy battle line to go on the defensive.

Unfortunately for the Alliance, some PAC mecha advance along their flank and begin rolling it up, shattering dug in infantry and destroying armour. The remaining units retreat across the road towards the generator where the Alliance mecha and armour have mauled the PAC attackers.

Exhausted from the fighting each side begins digging in on opposite sides of the road to await reinforcements. If they come.

This is the second game of Horizon Wars I have ever played against an adult human. It was great fun, although I found it difficult to stick to the rules entirely as I am used to fudging things to help the narrative of the battle when I play solo.

I played my brother who is visiting from the States and he had been interested in trying my 6mm sci fi wargaming. It was a success and hopefully a seed has been planted.

I didn't take as many photos as normal because it seemed like a faff interrupting the game.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Discover: Lands Unknown

Today I saw a Reddit thread talking about the trailer from this new game by FFG. Discover: Unknown Lands. The idea is that no game box is the same so your copy will contain different cards from mine.  This mechanic seems interesting, but I am more interested in the premise: you wake up in a random wilderness and have to figure out why you are there and how to get home.

I will be following this closely.

Image from FFG website.

Link to website.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Reinforcements - completed some armour and a little terrain.

Having pocketed some bark from the park, I didn't want it to hang around in my house for over a year again so got cracking last night. It is now ready to be primed black, then have a few layers of drybrushing and a flocking. So simple, but great LOS blockers.

The following vehicles simply received one colour, some grey and then a highlight. I don't know who they belong to. I just wanted to get them off the painting bench.

These will likely match up with either the Western Alliance or the UCS. They are a similar camouflage pattern as the other three vehicles of this type.

My Angry Birds McDonalds Happymeal launchers. Now they are planetary defense cannons, built into rocks. They are capable of shooting down orbiting craft. I figured they will be useful objectives and campaign mcguffins. 

I will now be house sitting for my inlaws for the next two weeks. I hope to make use of the extra space to create things that can dry outside or in a spare bedroom. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Projects for the Summer Holidays

With the completion of activities week, it appears I have some kind of hobby burn out. Not surprising as I rushed to get a lot done for that week. However, a few projects are finding their way into my mind, and a few ideas are forming.

1. Complete some more 6mm WW2 terrain. I need roads. I have ideas. I just need to make them.

2. Order and paint some WW2 armoured vehicles. I have enough infantry to field a platoon. I just need more armour options.

3. Build more bark rock formations - I found myself at a play area yesterday and filled my pockets with bark. They will get formed ASAP.

4. Paint some Imperial Assault miniatures from my brother. He will be giving me some guys to paint and I will do my best.

5. Customize some old WOTC Star Wars Miniatures. I would like to make characters from the new trilogy.

I guess watch this space.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Star Wars Miniatures revisit

I shall be introducing the kids at school to the old OOP Wizards of the Coast game of Star Wars Miniatures. Discontinued in 2010, I had been collecting for just over a year, but was completely hooked. I carried on collecting and playing. I even play-tested characters for the first few community produced V-Sets until my studies and desire to play Starcraft 2 took over. After a pause, I put in a few months of training so I could compete in the 2012 Gencon tournament over in the USA, won 3 games, lost 3 games and have pretty much not touched the game since except to play a few Hoth games with my giant AT-AT. 

During my year abroad in Germany, 2010 - 2011 I got into customizing the miniatures so I could have more accurate representations of new community created characters for which there weren't existing miniatures. 

In preparation for tomorrow's introduction, I dusted off the miniatures and had a rifle through them. Here are a couple of my customizations, and early examples of my painting. I had not discovered washes at this point.

Behold the Tonnika sisters and some droids.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

GZG Birthday Present.

I made an order from GZG to arrive and open this morning. It arrived very quickly, well packaged as normal.

I ordered a set of mecha, 4 vehicles, and five packs of infantry. I love the description of their 6mm infantry packs, where it claims there are "30+" figures. My very first order contained about 87 infantry in one single pack, which was amazing. Since then I have always had, perhaps overly, high expectations.

Here we have the ESU naval infantry. 61 infantry. This will be enough to increase the size of my New Charon Militia, have some single based figures for skirmishing, and also perhaps mix them in to create some Rebels for possible Star Wars projects.

 I think these are the FSE infantry, but can't remember. I will edit this when home. 56 infantry. Some of these may be put in my Star Wars project, others will be turned into militia. These guys are more likely to be used for skirmish gaming.

The following two factions have 60 figures each. Plenty for both Horizon Wars and skirmish gaming. They are the Islamic Federation and the Corporate Japanese factions? I am not sure what my plan for these figures is though. I think one lot will be the Second Caliphate, but the others, I have no clue. I just want a stash of figures.

New Israeli. 59 infantry. Reinforcements for The Pan Asian Combine, plus some single based for skirmishing.