Sunday, December 27, 2009

Army Painter to the Rescue

Once more unto the breach... or "How to do it right the first time".  Gus came by today and dropped off my Army Painter order.  $122 for the two cans of Quick Shade and a can of Anti Shine is a little more than I would have liked to pay but if they live up to the hype then it will be money well spent.

I've seen some of the Wargods Basti that Gus had done with the strong tone and they looked fantastic, I could not tell that they were dipped at all.  I'll go with the soft tone for my Heru, after I've tested a non critical miniature first.

Photos of the results to come.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Painting? Not so much...

Been pretty quiet on the painting front, lots of work going on in the backyard have left me absolutely buggered the last couple nights so Daddy's quiet painting time has been cut short by my bodies desire for sleep. I'm hoping that things will pick up next week but there's a lot of pavers that, unfortunatley, won't lay themselves.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

It burns ussssss.....

Good News: The delivery guy was late so rather than building a retaining wall I managed to get a bit of painting done. Two units of Anubi warriors are base coated and ready for detailing. Got a fewote characters to an "almost finished" stage.

The Bad News: Moving 50 sleepers from the front yard to the back yard seems like an easy enough job. And I got through the first 30 or so with little trouble. It all went down hill fast from there though.

Here's a picture just to give you an idea of the scope of my pain :)

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grand Plans

Ok so I'm on three weeks leave, take away Christmas, a retaining wall I need to build and some special time with the Xbox/PS3 and what do I have?  Well hopefully enough time to paint some miniatures.  I won't list everything that needs painting but what I've got here are the miniatures I'm likely to actually use if finished:

  • 10 Heru Archers - pretty much done.
  • 20 Heru Swordsmen - some base coat.
  • 10 Heru Spearmen - based but still silver.
  • 10 Anubi Archers - based but still silver.
  • 10 Anubi Swordsmen - based but still silver.
  • 10 Heru/Anubi Characters - big mixture here, some are pretty much done (Heru Harbinger) while others are simply undercoated (all the Anubi stuff).
Bag the Hun
  • Around 50 mixed aircraft - mostly silver but these shouldn't take too long, epecially when/if the Army Painter stuff turns up and it works as avertised.
Wild West
  • Around 20 miniatures in mixed states from undercoated to almost done.  I really want to get these done before next Badga.
  • A squad or two of German Wehrmacht infantry.
  • A platoon worth of German Fallschirmjager.
  • A platoon of US Paras with a few support squads.
  • A squad or two of British Infantry.
  • 5 artillery pieces/guns/anti aircraft.
  • 7 1/48 model kits in various states from unopened kits to "just paint me".
Hmmm glad this is just the "short" list.  Honestly I won't get through even a quarter of this but I would like to put a nice dent in it.  I think the big factor will be the Army Painter stuff.  If it gets here in time and I can make it work then I'm sure it will be the incentive to keep going.  The theory is that if I can do a decent job on the mini with moderate shading and highlighting then the Army Painter stuff should help bring out all the details I just couldn't be bothered painting.

Anyway we'll see how well I go in three weeks.

I know I'm getting both Uncharted 2 and Fallout 3 for Xmas so there is a teeny tiny chance that I'll spend a little more time in front of the PS3 than originally anticipated.

More Grand Fleets and some Nuts!

After reading through the rulebook for Grand Fleets I decided to pick up the first supplement King and Kaiser

For a 64 page supplement it's a little light on the scenarios, only having 6, but it does have around 10 pages of introductory material before all the scenarios that would allow players to expand on the scenarios presented.  To be fair though most scenarios are quite large with anything from 20-60 ships on the table so most scenarios will take up an evening.  So around 6 evenings worth of play for $11AUS is pretty good value if you ask me.  The rest of the book is 26 pages of ship data cards which makes the scenarios easier to just print and play.

I'm pretty happy with what I got.  Production quality is right where you want it with a pdf, nice layout and photos where needed but nothing that will hurt your printer.

My second purchase (third actually as I haven't got More Drums and Shakos in my inbox yet) was the Nuts! supplement The Big Hurt.

For $14US you get around 47 pages (the pdf comes with the maps in a seperate file) and contains 21 linked scenarios.  The book is intended for you to play the US forces and use the Nuts! system to manage the Germans.  However it does make note of how to play both sides if you so wish.  The book follows an unnamed US squad from September 1944 through to February 1945 during their attempt to take and secure the Hϋrtgen forest.  The layout is pretty much what you'd expect from any of the newer Two Hour Wargames publications, the books look sparse and the lack of artwork does make the book a bit of a drudge to read.  But!  The the important thing to remember here is that it's a scenario book.  You read it once and refer to it often.  More importantly is that it's printer friendly.

As for the scenarios themselves they are friendly to 28mm gamers with most scenarios only requiring a few squads aside.  The ctach here though is the reinforcements and the fact that most if not all of the German forces are determined randomly.  My only concern here is that I don't own a lot of vehicles and in the US case alone there is a 50% chance of a vehicle being rolled when determining reinforcements.  I can see a lot of proxies being used in these games.

The maps are probably where this scenario book improves over many of the books I've seen.  They're laid out on a grid and the terrain is labeled... thank you Darby, thank you.  There is nothing more frustrating than having to flip back to a map legend to work out what "white circles on a black background" represents on a map.

Another great Nuts! supplement that I'll be playing for sure.  Well... as soon as I finish my terrain, and finish painting the Germans... and start painting the US troops.  OK it'll probably be a while before I get this on the table.  But if you do have the miniatures painted then I'd recommend you pick this up.  Especially if you're a solo wargamer.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Grand Fleets Second Edition

Wargame Vault is having a bit of a sale at the moment and I decided to splash out and get another naval miniatures game.  This time is was Majestic XII's Grand Fleets Second Edition

It basically came down to this or Mongoose Publishing's Victory at Sea: Age of Dreadnoughts.  Grand Fleets won out for a few reasons:
  1. Hexes: Grand Fleets can be played using hexes or not.  Hexes make for a fast game with little to no... shall we say "discussions" over rules or ranges.
  2. Flexability: It has a lot of optional rules covering things such as flotillas (one miniature representing multiple ships), simultanious or turn based movement and so on.
  3. Price: At only $11AUS what was I going to lose in picking up a copy?
I'm looking at possibly getting some Navwar 1:3000 scale ships, they should go nicely with the 5" Hotz Matt... if I get around to ordering it that is.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

iPhone Test

This is just a test entry sent from my iPhone, well it's not mine being that it's a work phone. But when I'm not working I can now blog from anywhere!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Do Not Dip!

I repeat: DO NOT DIP.  Or this may happen:

Now I'm willing to accept that I:
  1. bought the wrong stuff.
  2. did it wrong.
  3. both of the above.
I have a feeling that it's going to be point 3.  Anyway I have a sticky mess of a miniature that I'm too upset to think about how to fix right now.  Turps bath for a week most likely.

Anyway after I had a bit of silent reflection (ie crack the s**ts) I decided to just do it the old way, you know base colour, ink wash and then shade and highlight.  I'm pretty happy with the results and I managed to get quite a bit done.

I finished the rest of the archer unit by hand, didn't take any photos though so I'll put some up next time.  However I did manage to get a few of the characters done or close to done.

Starting with one of the Harbringers.  The Anubi hand hanging from this guys belt is a great touch to the mini.  The main reason I haven't painted many of these (apart from being lazy and easily distracted) is that I hadn't decided on a colour scheme.  I eventually went with my firts idea to use the atypical gold and blue.  I like the look, very Egyptian and very easy to paint.  Most the cloth will be white or light greys and I'll try to introduce one more colour for each of the character miniatures to make them unique.

The miniature below came out way better than I had hoped and the cloak just looks great, shading looks superb in real life.  Now if I could just figure out how I did it and do it again.

This was my first real attempt at feathers and I'm still not sold on the look.  I like the colours used but something isn't right, I'll leave it and come back another day with a fresh pair of eyes.  What is the deal with the Asar women going topless?  I know Egypt is a hot place but even if we put aside the issue of sunburn they are going into battle... just doesn't make sense.

I tried to do something different with this guys wings and do them like a pair of phoenix wings.. or something.  Again they look good but something just doesn't gel.  I'll finish the rest of him off and how it looks then.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To Dip or Not To Dip

I've been toying with the idea of picking up a can or two of the Army Painter Quickshade product for a while now and after seeing the results that Gus achieved with his Wargods miniatures I was sold on the idea.  As it turned out everyone I spoke too could get it in or have had it in but noone actually had any in stock.  After doing a bit of research with my good buddy Google it seems that a lot of people are using this approach but the majority of them are using something like this:

I don't know how close this stuff is to the Army Painter product but price wise there's no comparison.  Army Painter Quick Shade seems to run around $40 plus postage whereas the Wattyl is a cool $16 and a trip to Bunnings.

I know the two product aren't the same but I figure I'll give it a go.  I've been pretty happy with the results of my Tamiya Smoke/Thinners mix but the stuff is pretty rough to put on and if you brush it on you have to be really-really-gentle or it tears the paint off.  I'll go for the brush applied approach to help control the flow.  Besides I'm not too keen on cleaning up required after the dip and flick approach.

I'll try to get some miniatures painted tonight and I'll give this a go tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Roman Seas

This is my latest distraction.

A great set of naval rules that can be played either as a boardgame using 1" hexes or as a miniatures game using 5" hexes.  Eric even produces a range of 6mm scale cardstock ships for use with the game.  Don't let the scale fool you, these boats are big, I'm talking around 12cm long for the smaller ships such as the Hemoila and 22cm long for the bigger ships such as the Hexeres.  And I havent even seen any of the flagships let alone anything from Marc Anthony's fleet.  The rules look pretty good, nothing complex and the hex based system makes for a fast game with none of those "discussions" over ranges or movement.

The suggested build time for a ship is around the hour mark although the first one took me around two hours as I took my time trying to work out the best way to cut all the fiddly curves without bending the card too much.  The ships come together quite easily and look great for a cardstock ship.  The price is around $10 for a navy set and most of the ships come with multiple colour variations and optional parts.  I don't even want to try and guess how much a resin ship would cost in this scale, let alone a metal one.  So the great thing here is that your navy is only limited by the number your print and build.  And they come pre painted!

I'll need to purchase another game mat for this one, probably get a double sided one with 5" hexes one side and 1.5" hexes on the other (Bag the Hun).  Won't get too many 5" hexes on a 6x4 mat so I may end up ordering two and I'll leave the other side of the second one blank in case I uhhh... *checks to make sure his wife isn't in the room* buy any other games that doesn't need hexes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again

I was hunting through the back shed the other day looking for something non wargaming related when I stumbled across a couple boxes hiding under an old ratty looking bean bag.  One of those said boxes was a collection of trees, foam hills and flock covered rocks.  Yes... rocks covered with flock.  I don't know why I did it, they look really really crap.  Anyway the great find in the box was the trees.  Pretty standard fare and a lot of them had flattened out in storage, but they were trees none the less.

So I turned to dynamic duo of wargamer terrain: MDF and white glue. 

My first thought was to base the trees the same as I did these ones.  I went for the cluster/group option seen below for two reasons.  Firstly I wouldn't have had enough of the mdf discs and I didn't feel like getting all handyman and making some more.  Secondly I thought that by putting a few on a base I could use them as 'dense' terrain.  I'll still use the terrain boards or felt to mark the area of a woods but I can now differentiate between light and heavy woods.

I'll put some more photos up once I've got the bases painted and flocked.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hotz Game Mats - It's Here!

I came home to find my Western Town Hotz Mat had arrived.  Wow that was quick!  As expected it came folded but from laying it out on the table I can tell that it will only take a light iron to get it nice and smooth.  The mat feels nice and light so it's not going to be a pain to carry around or roll up but it feels heavy enough to stay on the table when you lat it down.  It looks a bit rough in the photos below because I didn't take the place mats and a few magazines off the table before I laid the mat down.

This photo shows the side with just the rock scatter pattern. 

Here's a shot of the western town side.  The flash makes the streets look a lots less defined than they are in person.

The rock scatter pattern is a little bigger than I thought it would be and at first glance I thought it wouldn't look very nice but the effect looks nice over the whole table.

I can't wait to get this onto a table this weekend.  I think this is just the kind of inducement I need to pull my finger out and get the Wargods stuff painted, oh yeah and the western stuff too.

Seeing how good this mat is I think I'll look at getting one of the european hex mats for Bag the Hun, possibly a plain blue one for Bag the Hun or any naval games I may... um buy, in the not... um too... distant in the future :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wargods of Aegyptus - The Rest of the Order

First up I want to say sorry for the lack up updates recently.  It's not entirely my fault.  You see a little while a go my Xbox broke and I had to send it off to get fixed.  Microsoft ended up replacing the console for me (yay) but in the meantime we bought a new 50" plasma TV.  The roll on effect of this meant we could move the old 42" into the family room.  So now I have a nive big plasma TV in a room where I can play Xbox any time I want.  Even now I can hear it calling: play me... plaaaaaaay meeeee.  Needless to say the painting has taken a hit.  So now back to the wargaming.

I picked up the rest of my Wargods order las night, a unit of Heru Spearmen and a Heru Harbinger with a great sword, a unit each of Anubi swordsmen and archers with an Anubi Hero.

This guy has one of those ball-and-socket type joints.  I hate them, glue is never enough and so will require pinning.

Metal shields, man that really takes me back to the 80's.  What I really like about these miniatures is the variation in poses you get.  There seems to be about 4-5 different poses all up so even in a unit of 10 men you don't see a lot of repetition.

The Anubi hero.  The detail in this guy's expression is just fantastic, the angry snarl and the way the ears lean forward really gives the impression of an angry dog just about to pounce.

More archers, from what I've been hearing and seeing archers play a pretty important role in Wargods.  Like in most games you have to protect them but if handled well the shooty stuff can win games.

Anubi swordsmen, these miniatures look awesome!  I'm very tempted to start painting these guys today but I should get the Heru I've already started finished first.  Besides it would be so unlike me to leave something half done and start something else... right :)

I picked these minis up from Badga last night and it was great to see half a dozen guys huddled around the Wargods table rolling dice and pushing metal.  Most were playing with Gus's various armies but we've all got a good mix of races between us and some talk of a campaign was going on so all looks good on the Wargods front.

With a bit of luck I'll have my Hotz Mats western mat in a few weeks and if I can refrain from picking up a controller I'll have most (if not all) of my army painted.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hotz Game Mats

I recently placed an order for a felt game mat from Hotz Mats, the same folks who also produce the fine Whitewash City cardstock buildings.  I've gone for one of their Small Town Western Mats.

It's approximatley 72 x 45 inches (183 x 114 cm) and I've gone for the double sided option with the other side having only the rock scatter pattern.  This will be fantastic for Gutshot, Six Gun Sound and Wargods of Aegyptus.  It will also be quite useful for WWII games if I ever get some Afrika Korps sorted.  It's still a good 3 weeks away so I'll post some photos once it arrives.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wargods of Aegyptus - Heru and Asar Update

I've managed to get all of the Heru and Asar undercoated, based and all the flesh areas base coated.  Which from the photo doesn't look all that much, and it would be if it wasn't for the fact that I did it in one session.  Sleep and food breaks none-withstanding that is.  The goal now is to get a unit of 10 of these to tabletop standard per night over the next 3-4 nights and then get 3-4 of the characters done with whatever time I have left.

What the photo doesn't show very well here is that most of the shading has been done one the flesh, a little highlighting here and there and a targetted ink wash wouldn't go astray but I think I'll get the rest of the minis dones before I start getting bogged down in the nuances and details.  I will not allow myself to be tempted to spend just a little extra time to make this mini look just right or give that mini the paintjob it deserves and so on.

My primary goal here is to have a painted army on the table this Saturday night.

Should be possible... right, heh?  I mean who needs sleep anyway?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wargods of Aegyptus - More Heru, Some Asar and the First Anubi

I started painting my Heru for Wargods of Aegyptus.  Very nice casting with only minimal cleanup required.  The quality of the sculpts is just amazing and the detail just pops out at you when you start to put the paint on, these are going to be a pleasure to paint... which is good because I have so many to paint (with more to come).

Another Heru Swordmen unit and the Asar Warhawks starter.  Initially I was only going to get a Warhawk Unit pack but the cool characters made this pack a must have.  The only qualm I have with a couple of the characters is that I find the sculptors desire to make most of the female characters topless just a tad juvenile.  The Basti range of miniatures turned me away for this exact reason.

The Swordsmen and Warhawks based and ready for undercoating.  Airbrush this time me-thinks.

The characters from the Asar Warhawks starter... except for the one second from the left, he's the Master of Words from the Heru Starter.

The two Harbingers from the Warhawks and Heru starters respectivley.  I have another one on order which is probably one (or two) too many but I'm planning on not having to buy any more of these for quite a while.

All the accessories that came with the characters: gongs, idols, books, jars... you name it.  I don't think these play a part in the game, at least not from what I've read of the rulebook.  Oh I got the rulebook too.  Very glossy and professional, up there with the stuff GW put out and even laid out in a similar fashion too now that I thnk about it.

The start of my Anubi forces, Harbinger, priest and embalmer.  I have 3 units of warriors on order, along with another unit of Heru.  These guys are really just add-ons for the Heru army but I may expand these later into an army of their own.

Same guys from above but based and waiting for an undercoat.

That's all for now.  I'm planning on doing a lot of painting tomorrow so I'll post photos when there's something to look at.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Terrain - Hedges & Forests Part 6


I should have seen this coming but the Tamiya paint, well moreso the Tamiya Thinners, reacted strangley to the craft paint I initially sprayed on the hedges. Not in a bad way mind you, but weird none the less. Almost a day after I splrayed the Tamiya paint on the hedges the paint still hadn't dried. What I had was a tacky, almost rubbery goo on the surface. After three days now it has dried and hardened up but for a while there I was worried that the hedges were ruined.  So the moral of my tale here is don't mix your paint manufacturers, or better still: test and test again.
So back to the hedges....  I've managed to mostly flock two pieces of the hedges using different methods. 

The hedge below is using Model Scenics Foliage and comes out like a fluffy gauze. I cut out strips and glued them on with MDF glue (it's slow to dry but the fumes won't stink out the house and I have heaps of it). It's the easier of the two to put together and I think it will survive being handled fairly well.  The few places where the foam shows through is pretty clear in the photo ut you really don't notice it on the table.  The only thing I don't like about this one is that the colours are pretty one dimensional.  Also I think I'll get maybe 4-5 of these done from a $14 pack, these could get costly.

The hedge below was made up using a combination of Model Scenics Bushes and some offcuts of the Model Scenics Foliage.  The hedge looks fuller in both depth and colour variation but I'm worried it could suffer from too much handling.  The coverage needs to be fuller using this method as the flat areas of the foam show up against the undulations of the flock.  Once this is done I might even give it a light spray with some spray adhesive to help hold it together.  The process of flocking sothing usig this method is quite slow as you can only do small areas at a time and only one side of the hedge until the other side dries.  I could use the scenics glue as it dries faster, I'll have to investigate this I think.  Again I think I'll get maybe 4-5 of these out of a $14 pack so I need to get down to the game shop and see if they sell bigger/cheaper bags.

I think I'll continue flocking using both methods.  Mainly because I want to use the stuff I already have and secondly I don't want to have all my hedges looking the same.

So far I'm pretty happy with the results of both methods.  The cost is starting to convern me a little but hedges are a common terrain element in just about any wargame so it might be a worthwhile investment.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Terrain - Hedges & Forests Part 5

If you look really carefully at the photo you'll notice millions of tiny little cuts all over my hand... no?  Can't see them?  Well the thinners in the paint did, not immediatley.. oh no it waited, it waited for me to completely coat my hands with the stuff.  Almost got finished and then a tingle... tingle turned to a pins and needles feeling and finally the pins and needles just fricken' hurt.  Luckily all I needed was some warm soapy water and a hug from my youngest.

Hmmm oh yeah I did some more work on the terrain too.  The tree bases below will need a little brush work to bring out some of the details, possibly a bit of flock here and there.

I tried the paint (Tamiya) on a small piece of spare foam and I really expected it to shrivel up, but it didn't so I gave all the hedges a spray of green on the foliage which helped hide almost all of the silver/white bits that were left.

You can see here the coverage is quite good.

Lastly I got the forest bases painted, everything here took almost 5 complete pots of the Tamoya paints but the colours looks great. 

I'll let the paint dry overnight and I'll have a go at flocking the hedges tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wargods of Aegyptus

I've resisted the themptation of WarGods for what seems like forever now, but today that resolve failed me and I bought some.  The scale of the game sits somewhere in between Mordheim and Warhammer Fantasy, which suits me just fine.  The miniatures look fantastic and the Egyption mythology aspect if just freaking awesome.

Should get these in the next week or two, I'll post photos when they arrive.