Friday, September 5, 2014

No Hobby Time...

Just a quick update today, since I don't have anything all that interesting to share. I haven't been able to get in any painting time the past week-plus, too much real life stuff going on. The closest I've gotten to any hobby-related stuff is finally printing out my Mutant Future PDF and reading through it, then spending a little time with Wizardawn's various generators to put together a world map and a few adventure locations. With any luck we'll get a game in this weekend, and if it's a hit I'll have a whole new area of mini painting to explore!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First of the Celts

Just a quick update today, as I've not had much painting time yesterday or today, and it's unlikely I'll have any more hobby time before tomorrow. I did squeeze in enough time at the painting desk to make progress on one of the mythic Celt figures - still some highlighting left to do here and there, but the skin is done and with this guy that's the majority of the figure. Of course, the base still needs seeing to, and he's not varnished, so try to ignore any shiny bits. Comments, constructive criticism and suggestions are all welcome!

I'll post colors, technique, and such next time around - hopefully I'll have the rest of the group done by the end of the weekend...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mythic Celts Warband

I got started on the minis from my last post. I superglued them to fender washers, undercoated with black craft paint, and slopped Durham's water putty onto the bases to even things out between the washer and the integral base. Fleshtones are a mix of Reaper MSP Tanned Flesh and Coat d'Arms Suntanned Flesh, thinned with my general purpose thinner and wash base, a blend of Liquitex airbrush thinner, distilled water, flow aid and drying retarder. Some of them, like the skyclad fellow with the axe, are nearly pure Reaper, while the female is nearly pure CdA, the others being a mix. I don't know how well the difference will come across after shading and highlighting, but I do like to vary skin tones whenever I think of it.

Half the group are going to be redheads. They got a base of CdA Rat Brown, a match for the old Citadel Colour Bestial Brown. The black haired fellow used MSP Armor Grey (an incredibly useful color), the brown is CdA Leather Brown, and the blonde warrior has a base of CdA Festering Brown.

I started roughing out some highlights and shadows on one of the models, but I can already see these guys are going to take more time than I originally bargained for. Finding out they're supposed to be mythic Celts has me thinking they all need tattoos, woad and plaid trousers...
That's where I left them last night, although I did go back before bed to fiddle around with eyes and some shading and highlighting on Blondie. Most of today will likely be taken up with actual work, but I ought to be able to squeeze in a little painting time. If so, I'll post another update tonight or tomorrow morning. I'll have to dig through the lead pile and find some opponents for these guys too...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Upcoming projects

I've been sorting through boxes of old miniatures and trying to decide what to focus on... My brother Steven will be around in less than two weeks, and we like to get a game in when we can. I've got a couple sets of fantasy skirmish rules to try out, so I'm thinking I'll paint a few warbands, starting with these guys...

One of these is marked "Andy Cooper 1991" on the base, and the rest "AC 91" or something similar, so maybe West Wind? (ETA: Nope, they're Mythic Celts from Alternative Armies. Thanks to Wachaza on TMP for the ID!) I got 'em in a big lot of random minis from eBay 5 or 6 years ago, and they've been kicking around in a box ever since.

I've glued 'em to fender washers since taking the photos, and I'll probably start getting paint on 'em tomorrow. Updates to come!

Other upcoming projects? I'll be painting a full set of Heroquest minis some time soon. I've got two copies of the game, and I'm thinking of selling one on eBay with all the minis painted to at least a high tabletop quality. They're not the greatest sculpts, but the game has a huge nostalgia factor for a lot of folks, and I remember the White Dwarf pics of the minis painted by the 'Eavy Metal team back when it came out.

Spiders and trees

It's been a long time since I've posted anything to this blog, thanks to a whole lot of Real Life Events over the past year and change. I'll spare you the details, as they're really not germane to the blog, nor are they particularly interesting of themselves. Suffice to say things are finally settling down, I'm in a much better place (mentally, emotionally and geographically) than I was, and I'm finally able to get back into doing some hobby-stuff.

These Reaper Bones spiders are the first figures I've painted in quite a while, so they're a get-back-into-it sort of project. My original plans involved finding reference photos of real-life spiders and painting them to match, but I realized that if I went that route I'd probably never paint them, so I just went for grubby dungeon monster instead of realistic animal look.

These guys got a basecoat of Reaper walnut brown, then a heavy drybrushing of old Citadel Colour bilious brown. The eyes were dotted in with old scorpion green and the fangs are Reaper nightmare black, which is more of a deep blue, with a glaze of old Citadel Expert blue ink. They're varnished with Liquitex matte brush-on, and Citadel 'ardcoat on the fangs. I usually use Future for gloss varnish, but the Citadel was handy and the Future was still packed away.

They are what they are – Not gonna win any awards, but they work well enough for the game table. Now I just have to get a game scheduled...

Next up are some trees, made out of toy plastic trunks from some unknown kid's toy, so I'll gloss over making the trunks. After fixing them to scrap wood bases, I made roots out of epoxy putty and let them dry, then went over the whole thing with a thick mixture of Durham's water putty, stippling it onto the trunks to get a rough bark finish.

I painted them with craft paints, sticking to the grey tones, washed with black and brown paint, then glazed liberally with thin green ink. The foliage is a mix of Woodland Scenics clump foliage, lichen, and various grades of flock, crushed herbs and dried tobacco, finished off with ridiculous amounts of Krylon matte spray varnish. The bases were detailed with the same scatter plus static grass in clumps, with some putty fungi on one tree and a strip of lichen creeper on another.

I'll be making more trees soon, I think, without the crutch of toy trunks, so I'll probably do a more in-depth tutorial then. Halfway through making these, I got a copy of Osprey's “Terrain Modeling” from the library, so I was torn between going overboard detailing the trees and keeping them simple for gaming purposes... I highly recommend the book; it's full of useful techniques and inspiring photographs. Just bear in mind that it's geared towards display dioramas, not wargame terrain. Gamers need to keep things simpler in the interest of both durability and usefulness. I'll do an in-depth review of the book soon.

So, I'm back, and hopefully I'll be posting regularly again. Hope you get a kick out of it!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ral Partha's Galactic Grenadiers, 1980

Here are some photos of the Galactic Grenadiers 15mm figures from Ral Partha's 1980 game, painted and based on US pennies. In my humble opinion, these over thirty-year-old sculpts are still some of the finest 15mm SF miniatures out there, and they have some stiff competition! I've had these guys since the mid-eighties, and I recently bought a second set on eBay which I haven't painted yet.

While I love the figures, I remember the game they were made for as being pretty crap. This is based solely on memories of the few times we tried playing it 25+ years ago, so I might dust off the rules and try a solo game to refresh my memory.

Ral Partha made additional miniatures for the 15mm Galactic Grenadiers line, and I'd be interested in acquiring more of these models. If anyone out there has any to sell, trade, or donate, let me know in the comments or via email!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm back!

Unlocks door, turns on lights, looks around...

Well, it's been a long time since I've been here. Which is a shame, as the last post, way back in September, was the first I actually promoted to some forums and thus the most views I ever got on the blog... Life got in the way, mostly an extremely busy time at work, which ended with your narrator getting laid off once the bulk of the work was done. C'est la vie.

Anyway, I find myself with lots of free time on my hands all of a sudden, so it's time to start posting again. When I was last here, I was working on my self-imposed challenge to paint 300 figures from the lead pile before the Reaper Bones Kickstarter loot arrives. I've fallen way behind, due to the same craziness that kept me from blogging, but here's what I did accomplish... 

I don't know where the orc came from, but it's a figure I've owned since the mid-eighties or earlier. The sorceress is from Reaper.

Reaper Bones dwarf and ogre – I figured it would be a good idea to paint some Bones figures before all the loot arrives, and the process wasn't any different from what I do with metal or plastic figures. I cut off the dwarf's chunky integral base and glued him to a US nickel, while the ogre is on a 40mm Citadel base.

More orcs – from left to right we have Grandpa, Aunt Peg, Gramma, and Cousin Louie... Various manufacturers.

The goblin on the left is from Der Kriegspielers/Custom Cast, from 1975 or so, and the other three are my own sculpts in an attempt to mimic the style.

Women warriors! I'm not sure about the blonde on the left, but the other three are Ral Partha from 1988-1990. I think this shot illustrates why I like mixing my own flesh tones – instead of all of these figures having identical skin tones, there's a realistic variation.

The fellow on the left is from Mega Miniatures, I think the knight in the center is Grenadier, and the blue wizard is from RAFM. I'm not thrilled with the paint job on the wizard, but I don't find the sculpt very inspiring either, so it's not worth repainting him.

The SF gal is from Mega Miniatures, the demon and zombie are eighties Grenadier.

Custom Cast hobbits from the 1970s. These guys will join the six I posted last year as a small (12 figures) warband in a “Defend the Shire” scenario I'm thinking about.

Finally, Ral Partha's superb Galactic Grenadiers 15mm figures. I've got the rest of the figures from the set painted as well, but haven't taken photos yet. So that's 37 figures (The set came with 38, but one of the grenadiers has gone missing), plus the 28 detailed in this post. I've also got four Reaper kobolds painted that I'll be posting once I finish up their bases and take photos.

I'll likely post more details about some of these figures in the future, but for now they're just getting added to the challenge total. Total: 90 figures painted, 210 to go...

I doubt I'm going to make it to 300 figures before the Reaper stuff gets here, but I'm still going to give it a shot. I have some small units of various figures that I'm going to try speed-painting assembly-line style to bring the number of completed models up.