Saturday, April 29, 2017

More Conan Foes, more MSc Woes....

Such are the delays on the blog, that I have games and painting from the last two months I've yet to put to the record.  Of course I blame - and no surprise for you regulars - the Masters degree; but I only have two weeks left, and 99% of the work is now done, so the end is in sight and soon the most writing I'll need to do outside of work will be on this very blog!

Therefore, here's another batch of Conan figures I blasted out in basically a week, as an aside to my study.  Probably too intense an effort, rather like the bad old days when every spare moment seemed to involve painting!

So basically this lot also serve as yet another Dragon Rampant Game, and unlock a couple of scenarios from the Conan game as well.  Two units of Light Undead, two of Elite Mummies (no undead rule) and a Summoner Light infantry unit (the demon is a 10 hit element!).  Nothing any different here painting wise, the 50/50 wash-varnish does all the hard work and covers a lot of artistic sins.

Quantity has a quality all it's own as they say (I hope the same is true of the 30,000 words in my dissertation), and thinking back to the old days of the pledge, I've managed to paint over a hundred mini's this year, yet only bought five.  Good odds.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sold Wargames Armies are like Ex's

Sure they may have made you angry.

They may have betrayed you more than once.

They might have been a bit mad, and/or inappropriate at times.

You may look back on them know and wonder what attracted you to them at the time.

They may not seem so attractive in retrospect.

They may have cost you a fortune, and been a drain on your resources you could rationalise any better than any other of their potentially innumerable faults.

Heck, you may never have so much as played with them (ahem).

But you still miss them, sometimes.

They might be the other side of the world now, or just around the corner with a 'friend'.  But you'll see them out, or in photo's, on someone's feed, or somebody will just mention them in passing; and you'll think of them.

'Man, we had some good times'.

Even if really, there weren't.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pre-Industrial Mediterranean Buildings

I picked up some more goodies from Warbases a few weeks ago, with a view to solving a couple of gaming problems.  One was some movement trays for Kings of War, the other a club scenery need (well, for me and my opponents anyway!).

I picked up some items from their new modular buildings range, a selection of simple structures that are basic but represent great value.  The simplest buildings I passed on as they would be easy to replicate; but that still left several pieces of great interest to tackle.  Enough to build a Greek style farm:

Additional parts are pretty obvious here

That stepped roof and the gate and portico would've been tedious to build in Foamcore, and doubtless not strong enough to hold together in the long term.  I can only recommend the Warbases range, given how cheap these simple models are they return on the investment whole heartedly.

I did nevertheless expand the set up to a walled enclosure, and a false front on the house to provide a little more imposing luxury.  The enclosure is large enough for a typical regiment of troops to occupy, whilst the walls are tall enough to ensure their privacy.  Also I carried out the zen task (view it that way, it makes it much easier) of tiling the roofs with thin card cut up into roughly equal squares.

To go with this I also threw together two more modest buildings, large huts; one with an attached pig sty.  Just reinforced foamcore with card doors and wooden roofs covered in card tiling.

Finished, plus two other small homes

The painting is my usual simple building style, though as befits some buildings of the period, the larger farm has indulged in a coat or two of lime wash to the the lower half of the walls.  These are the buildings I wanted the GW terrain effect paint for so the basing isn't what I hoped, but it'll look fine for the club.

Finished I think though designed with ancient Greece in mind, they wouldn't look out of place in Italy, Sicily, Spain or similar regions anywhere up to around 1850 or so.

Hopefully these will see plenty of action, but not too much damage at the hands of careless gamers!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review - Citadel Texture Paints

I picked up one of the new range of Citadel Texture paints to try, on a whim really.  A weird whim as I rarely use their products, though I do have a set of their old washes I find useful for certain jobs.  In general I find their product good, but far too expensive.  However if it will tackle a specific problem nothing else will do conveniently I'll take the hit.

The texture range look like they might be such a product, and appear good value too, until you realise the posts cost £4.55 each!  yikes!

Another issue for me was sloppy storage of the pots on the shelves - kids!.  I wanted a cracked, sun baked earth finish, which in the range is offered as Agrellan Earth (or the much redder Martian Ironearth).  But I ended up with a pot of Agrellan Badland.  And didn't notice the difference until opening it.  Ah well, let's press on.

Know what you're buying before you part with the cash!
 Now the advice for these is to paint it generously onto a prepared surface, whose base colour will show through.  For that I applied a thin skim of filler and coated it a cheap burnt umber.  As you can see in the picture above; up to this point I was still thinking I'd be getting some nice hard packed Mediterranean clay.  Not so.  the Agrellan Badland is a gritty paint; basically with micro crystals filling it in various sizes.  The advice is less to bush on as to splat it on in lumps and move it around - stipple it - to get an uneven coverage.  In fairness this it did well, and once dry the coverage wasn't too bad.

You can see the texture
 At this stage I was curious as to what might be in the paint.  A quick finger test of a small amount revealed that the acrylic carrier was full of, well, grit.  Thankfully it doesn't appear to be microbeads, rather something organic.  So that at least is a good thing.  The size of the particles varied and they would further break down between the finger tips.

Any how, now it was time to apply some highlights to bring out the texture.  I started from a desert sand and worked up in my usual fashion.

Finished, other than static grass
The look?  Well it's pretty good, the combined effect is better than filler alone, but not as textured as fine sand.  It's less uniform which may well appeal to some.  However, and this is a big but, this is a long and expensive way of going about getting the same effect you could have got with either coloured fillers, basetex type products, or just sand and paint.  I'm not convinced this particular product is worth it. Not least as I used about a third of a pot on about the equivalent of a 10x20cm area.  around £1.50's worth.  The filler, sand and acrylic paint for that amount of space might add up to five or ten pence I guess!

But I will get a pot of the correct crackle effect paint when I next have a project it would suit, and try that instead.  If that works as it should I cant think of an easy way of replicating the effect and it could be more completely recommended!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

An ordinary tale of Derpabury folk

Fitting around my busiest period in years, painting has very much taken a back seat.  I feel like I say this a lot, but for anyone who is considering a Masters Degree whilst working; this is what it does to your life!  Free time is a luxury.

With a little luxury time I have managed some of the more simple projects open to me, no regiments of Napoleonic troops at present.  Rather I've set to diversifying my Lion Rampant force with some potential additional models to allow it to multitask in Dragon Rampant.

To begin with, a find in 'The Range' led to ideas of providing them with a mighty war beast.  I'll admit at first I had doubts I could do much with this; but it was only a pound:

But in fact with a decent paint-job and basing to match the historical elements of the force, it looked at least 50% less awful.

Added to that I rummaged around for a few bits to add a Wizardling and a grittier beasty.  This is a Reaper Bones Toad Demon with a repurposed Perry Miniatures Monk as a wizard.  They are joined by a limited edition Mantic Games minstrel and a Reaper Bones dog; alongside established models this makes for a unit of, well, whatever one wants I suppose...
Thus my Lion Rampant English can now represent the valiant defenders of Derpabury, a fantastical land of knights, wizards and strange beasts.

Not much to add; but it's something....