Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Painting the Pendraken: Day Five - Late Edition

Finally got some stands finished.  Don't look at me like that... it does happen... sometimes.

Anyway I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Next up: Shermans, lots and lots of Shermans.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Painting the Pendraken: Day Five???

Been a few days since the last update and haven't touched the paintbrush that much even though I've been on holidays since Friday.  It's not entirely my fault: real life, health and other matters have kept me away (yes Final Fantasy XIII I'm looking right at you).

I've spent most of my time putting on coat after coat of Olive Drab (XF62 onto my British vehicles.  The colour dries flat and looks wonderful on a mini but it has horrible coverage.  While I'm not painting green over green over green I've been painting the German armour.  This is slower going than I had originally hoped.  I've gone back and touched up the Tigers as I didn't like the contrast of the camo stripes, they're more subtle now and I like it so much more.  I finished the Jagdpather and I liked the mottled camo so much I started to paint the Panzer III's in the same manner.  Three down and five more to go, these ones are boy tanks (don't have skirts) so they should be quicker to paint.

I'm finding it difficult to get a supplier of 2mm plasticard that has it in stock for a reasonable price.  I can get it locally for $50 per square meter if I buy a 2440 x 1220 sheet.  That's probably a little too much for what I need.

I'll still press on though (we can use vehicles un-based if needed) and at this point I'm hopeful of getting everything done by the weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dr Wh..wuh, what? How did they get...

Imagine my surprise when I came home and found these in the mailbox...

Yep... the Dr Hugh or "not Dr Who" minis arrived from Heresy.  That's Heresy Miniatures... you know, in England.  I placed my order Thursday afternoon and they arrive in Australia that Tuesday.  I can't get service like that locally.

The figures were packed well, actually better than well.  Each miniature was placed in the now standard ziplock bag but each bag was taped to the inside of the box.  The figures themselves look great and while there is a huge temptation to start painting them I must stay focused on the Pendraken stuff (some photos coming later tonight).  But they will get done soon.

To all at Heresy Miniatures: I tip my hat to you for such great miniatures and exceptional service.

Oh and it appears that more "Dr Hugh" are on the way, hopefully some companions.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Painting the Pendraken: Day Three

Didn't get any more painting done this weekend.  I did manage to stop procrastinating on the base sizes and start cutting up the plasticard.  I ended up going with an almost standard BKC base recommendation.  The only difference is that I decided to base my specialist weapon teams on individual 25x25 bases.  That way I can use two bases side by side for BKC and individually for other games such as IABSM.  If moving them about gets too fiddly then a bit of tape on the bottom should hold them together (I don't think it'll be a problem though).

I'm really happy with how the miniatures look on the bases, they present very well.  Cutting the plasticard was an interesting experience.  Following the instructions that came with it I made a cut by running my hobby knife along a straight edge 3-4 times, no need to press to heavily as a straight cut is more important than a deep cut.  Turn the plasticard over so the cut is face down and pull up on one edge of the card while placing pressure down behind the cut.  The first couple times I tried to bend it I couldn't get it to snap.  Applying just a bit more pressure and *SNAP* I had two pieces of plasticard with very straight edges.  The only issue I had was where I had a few pieces where I needed to trim off 2-3mm, I needed to use pliers to bend and snap the plastic and in every case it left a wavy edge.  Nothing to worry about but just looks untidy compared to the rest.

So then out came the super glue and I'm left with what you see below.  The 2mm thick bases just the right size for my fingers to pick up a stand by the base and not the miniature.  I need to order some more to finish off the rest.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Painting the Pendraken: Day Two

Haven't done as much painting as I'd hoped (real life *sigh*) but I thought I'd post a few shots of where I'm at.  I started painting the British armour but the Tamiya olive drab goes on like green water.  It goes on almost perfectly if I use the airbrush but that's in the shed, and it makes a lot of noise, and I'm lazy... so multiple coats it is.  While they were drying I started on the German armour, I'm using Mr Hobby (H403) for these and that paint goes on very smooth and behaves much like the GW paints I've got.  I may have to get some more of this range.

I was intending to do a more subdued camo scheme on the Tigers but I thought the bigger tanks could handle a more striking scheme without it dominating the model.  I'm not completely happy with the one in the left of the photo but I'll hold reservation until after the army painter goes on.  The smaller tanks will have the subdued scheme.  The camo was built up with multiple layers of very watered down Red Brown (XF64) and Olive Green (XF58) and finally a thin darker more defined stripe was painted over the top of the layers.  I like the effect I just think my pattern just need more work.
Tomorrow I'll finish the camo and then go over and detail the equipment, hatches, grilles etc.  Once that's done I'll put the decals on and then make the decision if they need any more work.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Doctor? Doctor Who?

I'm not sure how I can across this blog but if you like Dr Who then you'll want to visit An Evil Giraffe.  I was admiring his handiwork on the Black Tree Dr Who minis when I noticed these fellows below.

They're part of the Heresy Miniatures "not" sci-fi range.  You know they're "not" the ninth, tenth and eleventh Doctors, they're (left to right) Malcom Ecclescake, Nerdlord & Dr Hugh McCrimmon.  They just happen to look a lot like those other guys.  Whatever, it works for me.  I have no idea what rules I'll use them with as most of the skirmish sets I have a basically combat systems and that isn't the way the Doctor rolls.  Maybe Larger than Life by Two Hour Wargames or maybe a modified version of Fear and Faith by Ganesha Games.

Well since the guys above would need some evil plans to foil I started off with none other than 'Dr Masterson', Evil Scientist... ahhh I mean: The Master.

I'll have to get as much of the Pendraken stuff painted as I can as I can't see myself waiting to paint these when they arrive (7-10 they state on their website).

This purchase does lead me back to Black Tree Designs as they seem to hold the largest license of official Dr Who minis, but I'm not sure if I can handle the probably dissapointment.  I might have to keep looking for more "not" minis.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Painting the Pendraken: Day One

Here's some shots of the first days work, nothing too special just a lot of flat colour, I'll come back and do the webbing, weapons, boots etc and when they're dry I'll give them a nice protective coat of army painter.

More tonight, should get these finished and then I'll start on the Germans.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pendraken WW2 Miniatures Arrive

Woo hooo!  The Pendraken Miniatures arrived today, as predicted by David.

I only just noticed that the date on my camera is wrong, sigh.  The two parcels I found jammed in my letter box.  They were pretty heavy and I was a little worried about what I would find inside.  Memories of my "mooshed" Black Tree orders still haunt me.  A few of the tank cannons were a little bent but they were easy to fix.  Out of the whole order only one tank had a broken cannon and that should be easy fixed with a drill and some super glue.

The contents of the first package.

The contents of the second.

The first thing I noticed is that every bag has the product code written on it.  Very helpful and it made going through my order short work.  What was very impressive was that the battle pack was labelled and so in turn was every bag within that bag.

Even Monty came in a bag of his own.

The whole order.

Everything checked and accounted for with the exception of the Australian Bren gunners.  British to the left and Germans to the right.

A few shots to show the scale of the minis.  They seem to fit well with the Warmaster minis scale wise so I feel better about making terrain now knowing that it can be used in either system.

I might even get the paint out tonight and start working on the infantry, they should paint up easily enough.  Although there is plenty of detail there if I decided I want to punish myself, the infantry have chinstraps on their helmets... at 10mm!  It's crazy and impressive all at the same time.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Back When I Had Free Time...

Free time may have just become a scarce commodity, because I now have this:
Such a visually stunning game and while a lot of the changes to combat and exploration have split fans, to me at least they seem to be for the better.  I'll know for sure when I hit the 30-40 hour mark.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Am I a... a Grognard?

I a recent article on Bob's Blog "Coffee, Vegemite and Wurst on the Z9M9Z" he askes the question: Are you a Space Grognard?

Well after looking up the meaning of the word (just to make sure I didn't make a complete fool of myself... futile effort I know) I stand before you all and state resoundingly that "Yes, yes I am a Grognard, and a Space Grognard to boot".

I was playing Traveller back in a time when I didn't even know what a role playing game was.  Traveller was just something my friend Doug pulled off his brothers book shelf one day and said "we have to play this, it's so cool".  And cool it was, we would spend entire weekends just rolling up characters.  Some were original but most were based on characters from TV shows, movies, books, you name it we rolled them up.  We only had the little black box set which came with books 1,2 and 3 but it was like there was an infinite universe stored in that box.  Whatever we could think of we could do.  Characters came and went, some lived - most died but the adventures were incredible fun.  We would recreate episodes of Star Trek in which Jim Kirk would battle Gorn or Klingons tirelessly (we only had TOS and a couple movies back then).  Later on Doug's brother got one of the JTAS books and our universe just exploded into a million multi-verses.

With all the effort we were putting into converting Traveller into Star Trek I splashed out and spent $34.95 of my hard earned pocket money on the FASA Star Trek RPG.  Now they call it the Basic Game but it came with:
  • 3 Rulebooks: Star Fleet Officer's Manual, Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook & Game Operations Manual. 
  • A couple hundred 1/2" counters representing all the races and star ships (at the time) in the Star Trek universe
  • Star Map with 1/2" hexes.
  • Complete deck plans for both the USS Enterprise and a Klingon D-7 Battlecruiser.  All in scale with the counters, around 30 double sided A3 sheets in all.
Running gun battles in the corridors of the Enterprise would become a mainstay of every adventure and since the RPG side of things used action points for everything the game really played more like a tactical strategy game.

Speaking of strategy, the starship combat system was a fantastic game in it's own right with different console sheets for each of the bridge crew positions, players had to work together to allocate power to subsystems, move the ship, power shields and fire weapons.

So much fun and not a miniature in sight.  And at the end of every game we would pack up all the counters into zip lock bags, fold up the maps and pack everything back into the box the game came in, nice and tidy.

Oh how I miss bookshelf games... *sigh*

We started to move back towards playing the Traveller board games, bigger grander scope and they interested the budding megalomaniac in us.  Unfortunately we had to move away and ever since then I could never enough people interested in Traveller.  Although I did keep myself busy with Battletech (boo yeah!) and Dungeons and Dragons (still undecided about that whole experience, I had fun but meh).

Magic the Gathering & Games Workshop derailed me for many a year until we come into the now.  And back to the point of this post (got a little side tracked there didn't I?)

Bob also stated:

But the point of my Post is that if You're a Space Grognard then you have to give something back,
  • welcome a newbie
  • let them reroll that Damage control roll
  • get those house rules you've thought a about a try 
  • or better still shared and posted on the net, 
  • organize a  game at your club  rather than turn up expecting  someone to have organized something.
Do that now, by Klono's Boranium Bollocks, so that you can play what you love in the times to come.  you mightn't get direct benefit for your efforts, but someone will and the hobby will be better for it.

I agree with every word he said but here's my dilemma, these days I'm a lot more picky about the games I play and the people I play with.  As a gaming husband and dad I find that my gaming time is precious and I tire quickly of fools and time wasters.  I matter of moments I can go from "you're funny dude" to "cranky git".  Why?  Because I see so many young and some not-so young gamers wasting their time.  They're playing with unpainted, unloved miniatures and spending more time arguing that playing.  I bet you can guess which games they're playing too.  Why bother even turning up if you aren't going to have fun?  People who aren't playing to enjoy the process of 'playing the game' ie 'not playing for the win, only the win and nothing else but the win' just shit me to tears.

I don't ask for a lot of a fellow gamer but here's my golden rules:
  • Be proud and careful of you miniatures (you've spent all that time painting them... right?) so in turn: never touch your opponents miniatures without asking.
  • Give the other guy a break, because in a moment when it's your turn you may need the same.
  • When an opponent pulls of a great move and wipes out half of your battle force with a single unit of knights (sigh yes it happened) then you congratulate them on a good move.
  • When someone asks you "what's this game?" it's usually means "can I play?" so ask them if they want to.  You will get more people accepting that not.  Even if they just want to watch then get them to roll some dice for you, explain why they're rolling and before you know it they're playing.
  • Sometimes there's a game you really want to play but you know you'll have a hard time selling it to the other guys at your club then just build two armies, forces, battle groups or whatever you need and take it along.  You will find players, some games just don't translate well until people see it in action.  Bag the Hun was like this at my club, I'd talk about it but people would just say "yeah that sounds interesting" and that would be it.  But get a nice game mat on the table and plonk down a dozen nicely painted aircraft and people got very interested very quickly.  Yes this can be expensive but if you really want to play that game...
  • Nothing you do will be new, but everything you do will be valued by someone: so share everything you do.  I have spent a ridiculous number of hours making cards and game mats for Bag the Hun, it's hard work and some people just aren't up for it.  My Bag the Hun mats have been downloaded 25 times so far and I've emailed them to a few so maybe 30 people have got a copy of it.  Even if only one or two actually get around to printing it out then that is fantastic.  They're happy and I get to feel all warm and fuzzy inside for helping out.  And people will often repay in kind.

And it's not all that hard either ... remember that cornfield scene in Field of Dreams:

Blog it and they will come.