Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Sunday 29 March 2015

In Soviet Russia, Bounty Hunts You

Here's the finished T-34 Firespray, complete with oil streaks, over washing for grime and chipped paint: 

Doing this has reawakened my love of X-Wing so you can expect to see some of the other miniatures pop up on here. 

Even better, this was bought last year so it's a plus for the Pledge!

Saturday 28 March 2015

A Long Time Ago In A People's Republic Far Away...

Look, I realise this is something that everyone knew ages ago but please don't mock me. 

Today I realised I could very easily paint over the prepainted finish of my X Wing miniatures. 

First Up: the T-34 Firespray. 

With some glazed highlights:

And with red highlighting: 

Just needs shading and weathering and she's done. Frankly a lot better than the Boba Fett paintjob, but your mileage might vary. 

The next question: Vader's TIE Advanced - to pimp or not to pimp?

Saturday 21 March 2015

Das Boot

You know how it goes. You've just gone through another rough Ofsted and you're hip deep in a painting project that you can't see the end of. You want an easy win.

As part of the recovered stuff from Grandad Er Indoors loft, I found this:

A starter set. Perfect. Something I could build and paint in one evening as an antidote to the stress and  hassle of the week. Here, then, in my record of my relaxing build of  Das Boot.

The kit itself looks ok. Indeed, construction of the hull and flying bridge goes quite smoothly.  Then we come to the propellor and planes assembly. 

Yeesh. Well, it's not too bad - I can sort of reason out in which order I'll have to do things so that I don't get in my own way. But what's this? Oh yes - the parts are TINY. 

Scalpel blade for scale against the propellor blades at the top of the sprue there. 

I end up having to utilise blue tack to create stands 

Then we come to putting in the deck guns. All you have to do is stick the pegs into the hull on the deck... Oh. 

Good job I had a drill, right? 

Finally we end up with a completed construction which, to be fair, looks pretty bloody good:

It's about at this point I notice this on the box and start laughing hollowly:

I believe the correct response is 'skill level one my ARSE'. 

Anyhoo, quick trip to the garage to undercoat and then painting. A very simple job of basecoat


 And then blended highlights. 

The supplied decals finish it off nicely:

Total time from cracking the box to finishing the decals for about 4 episodes of MASH on the TV, so call it 2 hours. Most of that was the bloody rear assembly:

So, batteries recharged and time to start on the rest of the Wars of the Roses chaps. 

Thanks as always for your kind attention. And remember - when it comes to Skill Levels Airfix speak with forked tongue. 

Thursday 19 March 2015

Eek (and a treat)

Ofsted are back so all hobby related activities have ground to a halt until I survive - or not.

In the meantime, may I interest you in shots from the model shop on Blade Runner?

Saturday 14 March 2015


This might be a record. When we were expecting our first child, the Good Lady Er Indoors spent a lot of time upstairs in bed; I spent my evenings downstairs watching Deadwood. Not only did this lead to the name of our eldest son, but it led to me buying a miniature of the purveyor of fine drinks and female companionship, Mister A Swearengen. 

It was base-coated and shaded but then the little bundle of joy arrived and all the painting gear was put away. 

As related in my last post, I found some things thought lost in the move amongst which was the unfinished Al: 

So, as a little break from my wars of the roses chaps, tonight's little project was to finish him. Better photos will follow but here he is in all his pinstriped and mud-spattered glory:

A paint job three years in the making!

Thursday 12 March 2015

Good News, Everyone!

I'm actually happier than I can say; earlier this week I had to pop to the Good Lady Er Indoors' grandad's to procure some coats that we'd left in his loft before the house move. What should I notice, then, but a bit bag that was curiously unmarked.

A quick peer within revealed a treasure trove of all the miniatures and model kits I thought lost a year or more ago. It'll take a while to sort through but the two most immediate finds were:

Gobboes from a long ago army - netters, doom divers and squig herders

A mighty Marauder war machine.- it looks to be complete and with two crews for some reason:

That's a nice little find. But the single best thing? My Bloodbowl team, bought with the release of 5th edition:

This team will be my reward for finishing the Lion Rampant. Shortly followed by the construction of a new pitch.

Now, if  you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch some Robin of Sherwood.

Sunday 8 March 2015

Storm of Arrows Redux

So I've finally got the unit of Neville archers done.

I went with a slightly more uniform look for these. The character that seems to be forming between the two retinues as I paint them is that the Percys are more rough and ready whereas the Nevilles are more organised. Now that I've recognised this, I'll try and carry it through into the respective units of billmen which are the next stop.

Putting the two retinues side by side shows me that the plan of contrasting livery is working again at making them look quite distinct, even though they are made from the same component parts.

The billmen will be constructed from the remains of the Perry Infantry box and the Foot Knights. This will give 24 miniatures that could double as Foot Serjeants or Foot Yeomen as they'll have a mix of armour and normal livery. It also makes a virtue of the fact that the infantry box itself doesn't give me enough to make both units.

Before that, though, I think I've earned a break; a palette cleanser, if you will. I'll post that this week.

The 2015 Pledge so far:

Bought: 189
Painted: 54

Saturday 7 March 2015

Cold Blood vs Old Bones

I ventured out to a chum's place for a quick game of WFB last night. We both work in the same school and, as a result, are both knackered: as such we cracked out the beers, ordered some pizzas and knocked together some army lists.

As my Dark Elves are still Missing In Action a year after the house move I used his Lizardmen. Given that I started with 3rd editon and he quite like the End Times rules, we decided to bin off the force composition requirements and both ploughed a huge number of points into our respective generals*.

So here are my forces arrayed for battle. I love his painting style - much more blocked colour than mine but so vivid and it requires a huge amount of brush control and precision.

As time was short we just went for a straight scrap (I normally prefer scenario based play but we were both rushing to beat the onset of yawning).

My basic plan was to launch my heavy hitters (Saurus Warriors and cold one riders) down the centre while flanking with my skinks down the right (they're so generally useless that the best way to deploy them is to use them to attack an already engaged unit to boost combat resolution). The Flying Cicus of the Terradons would be used to hold up the Hexwraiths who I regard as one of the most deadly units the undead can field; I regarded that as sacrifice similar to a chess move - I didn't dare allow those ghost riders in the sky to reach my army core. My general, mounted on a humongous dinosaur is the same Skink Priest that destroyed my whole army with one spell last time we played.

Turn one, and the undead summoned a whopping great block of skeletons in the centre of the field. This is one of those fascinating pivot points as it ended up bogging down the core of the army. I started with a Cold One charge into these after the cold ones survived a nasty cloud of death spell. 

I have a long history with Cold ones. Who doesn't love do dinosaur cavalry? In my dark elf army I spent ages scouring ebay to find the right riders and the right out of production cold ones to create a unit round which to build my army. I played them half a dozen times and not once - not once - did they ever do anything useful. Instead they always failed their stupidity tests and ended up gazing in awe and wonder at a daisy on the battlefield.

Guess what happened here?

Yes, it must have been a very lovely daisy. 

Stubbornly unattacked skeletons blocking the movement of my hardest hitting unit. 

(I've always had bad luck with dice rolls and bizarrely seems I operate as a good luck charm for my opponents. As an example on the cloud spell mentioned earlier, the rules informed us it would inflict 3d6 hits. This is what he rolled:

Thankfully my big Flappyosaurs did their job and pinned down the Hexwraiths:

And then the huge Engine of the Gods on the back of the Stegodon let rip. This is a very nice bit of kit and, were I a lizardman player, I'd probably field two. In one shot it took out half the skeletons, half the ghouls and seriously wounded the Vargulf. 

In the next round the vicious undead Necromancer, scourge of the living and defiler of the dead, totally forgot his magic phase. 

He instead launched his general and Vargulf at my general. And started hacking at the dinosaur - the brute!

The noble steed could not withstand this assault and fell over leaving my opponent crowing like a cut price Legolas. I charged in my Saurus Warriors for a flanking attack while the Cold Ones - finally! - smashed into the side of the Vargulf. 

A alas, at this point it was pushing 11 and, aware that the Small People would be waking me at around 4, I called it a night at this point. Aside from anything else, even though I had wiped out quite a few of his units the points value of the Stegadin meant he had easily won

Another fun game. The current edition of WFB has its faults - most of the structural in the way armies are organised and designed - but at around 1000pts it does run quite fast and smoothly for a mass battle game. 

I think we'll be having another WFB next week and then it'll be either LOTR or - if I can get the retinues finished - some Lio Rampant. 

Til then, dear readers, farewell. 

*I recall a 3rd edition Chaos army I had where over half the points total was in my general and standard bearer. Built with the Realms of Chaos books, that one chap took out a 2000pt Skaven army single handedly. 

Thursday 5 March 2015

Lion Stirring

Having finished the course of antibiotics - marvellous things except the damnable restriction on scotch - and sundry other items provided by the apothecary I was able to resume work on the wee chaps.

As you can see, this is the Neville Longbowmen with all basecoats and shading. Still left to do is highlighting and then the white which is, of course, the last thing to be done. 

After this will be a short break - either a wee blast of Victoriana or possibly some Vikingr. Good manly hirsute fun in either case. 

A new arrival was the storage solution for my retinues - and more besides. I have a couple of KR Multicases containing a variety of half finished armies about the place and I really can't recommend them enough. For around £27 we have here a single case that will hold both Lion Rampant retinues, two SAGA war bands and two INHN companies. That's great value and convenience by anyone's standard. 

Hopefully an update at the weekend to show a finished unit. In the meantime, I leave my fellow history fans with this little gem:

Chin up chaps.