Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Misaki/Kabuki Doll

I have long been eyeing up the Malifaux miniatures. They are beautiful creations, and there are a couple of factions that I could easily buy into. The game itself seems to hit all the right buttons, in that it's easy to pick up, and is skirmish based. That being said, I have restrained. Until my gaming time increases, there's no reason to buy into a new game. I will keep repeating this mantra, until I start to believe it.

I finally gave in, in a way, buy buying the beautiful Misaki miniature from my FLGS. My excuse is that she can easily double for a Kabuki Doll from the Triad faction in Metropolis, by Urban Mammoth. Therefore, I haven't yet bought into Malifaux. Yet.

Urban War Kabuki Doll
The only slight issue may be that Wyrd say all their miniatures are 32mm Heroic, and Urban War/Metropolis is technically 28mm, but I'm always very wary of what these companies say. I think there's little difference in most (at least fantasy) 28mm miniatures and 32mm heroic. Historical miniatures on the other hand, tend to be much closer in scale to what real 25mm/28mm actually is.

Either way, she promises to be a very demanding model to paint. I hope the result will reward the effort. First thing first, get her out of the box, and built. I have to say, I am rather unimpressed by the amount of flash on this model, especially on the handle of her weapon, the shaft of which is horribly bendy. If it weren't for all the bits and bobs attached to the shaft, I'd be tempted to exchange it for a brass rod. I may still do so.

Look at that kinky shaft!

Ménage du printemps: Wrap-up

What a month! Certainly the most blog posts per month in my short 6 month run. The first time I have completed a full unit (possibly for any game ever, and that's a long time gaming).

Ok, so Plan A started well, with a simple line-up of 5 figures to be painted over 31 days (29 actually, since the photos were to be posted on the yesterday). 5 figures form various ranges, to help with painting fatigue. Sounds good yes? Well, the best laid plans of mice and men, aft gang agley. I would like to have completed Strakov, as I have bought a whole bunch of Assault Kommandos for his theme force, and I really like the mini for Saxon Orrik, even if he's unlikely to see play (he's one of the few figures for WM/H that I bought just to paint), but I was left with little inspiration as to the colour scheme to use. Particularly for Strakov, as what ever I go with will have to be repeated throughout his theme force. Hence Plan B.

Things I have learned:

  • Still Water is clear, like really clear. Unless you put something in the still water before placement, it's completely see-through. If I had to do this again, I would have added some tint to the still water, maybe some Devlan Mud, or Ochre, to make it more bog-like. Bog's don't have water that clear. At least none that I've ever had the pleasure to walk through.
  • Perseverance is all it takes to finish a unit. Maybe 10-15 hours work in total was all these guys took, over several evenings. Okay, maybe that is a lot. Perseverance and motivation is all it takes to finish a unit. Perseverance, motivation and inspiration...
    I'm going to stop myself there before this becomes a Monty Python skit.

It would have been nice to have completed the Eliminators, as they are such nice models, and are sure to see the table, but it was not to be. At least I have time to give their scheme proper, unhurried consideration.

So, the final standings, let's start with those that did not get finished.

Kommander Strakov

 I love this miniature. When I'm inspired, he will be finished to the best of my ability. Until then, back to the cupboard. At least the mud and boards got a base coat.

Saxon Orrik

 Another great mini consigned to the shelves till I decide how to finish him.

Mad Scientist

The Savage Worlds miniature almost made it. Base coated and inked, he is nearing completion, but alas, missed out on that final coat when the Bog Trogs made their appearance.

 Sascha DuBois

The first of the completed models. Still not 100% happy with the face, and from what I picked up highlighting the Bog Trogs, very simplistic in its finish, but, we live and learn. I do like the hair colour, and the highlights on the back of the coat.

Dr Malcolm Ecclescake

I like the simplicity of the finish, and subtlety of the highlights. I don't like the eyes. Given time, I may redo these.

Bog Trogs

The eventual stars of the show. Very happy with them, for all the reasons mentioned above. I learned a lot doing these guys.  More of the finished work here.

Onwards and upwards!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ménage du printemps: X Bog Trogs

Almost there. One final push, and I've made it to the end of the month. And so, without further ceremony, I present the finished article.

One thing you may note is the double pupil. This was a happy accident, where I was trying to redo one of the pupils I painted out of place. I liked the effect, so went on to put it on the rest of the minis. I think it adds a little welcome alien-ness to the group.

 The swamp bases. Yeah, certainly not the best picture, but I'm happy with the way they turned out. I know the next time to tint the water, as that stuff is clkear as a bell when it dries. Not the aim for a bog.

More pictures and close-ups after the cut.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ménage du printemps: IX Bog Trogs

Penultimate WIP posting here, all done but for the wrap-up, and sending off of the pictures before thedue date of the 29th. These guys are now finished but for the basing and tidying up. I'm really pleased with the rust-red tint to the underbellies and feelers. They really set the minis off, making them a little more 3-D, if that makes sense (see the last 3 pics for a closer view of this.

Anyway, on to the pics...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ménage du printemps: VIII Bog Trogs

Almost there. 2 layers of highlights, which i think is the most I've ever done. So much for these guys being a quick paint job, I seem to be taking my time with them. I think what's making me go slow with them is the fact that I can't varnish them after I put down the water effects, as a blast of matt varnish will ruin the clear water. Thus I have to go at them all in the right order, knowing I can't go back and do touch-ups later (post varnish).

Still, a few details to add, and they're ready to be entered into the competition.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ménage du printemps: VII Bog Trogs

Basecoat finished and ink done. In total, a 3 hour painting stint last night. I recieved a heads-up that there was only a week to go for the painting challenge, which focused my mind on the task. I think that's the longest I've stuck to painting one unit. I made sure to stay focused by not taking any of the others minis that may distract me out of the gaming cupboard.
I'm happy with the results, although by the end of the evening I was making quite a few slips with the highlighting due to tired eyes. That can all be fixed with the highlighting on the scales and detailing, which I will try to do this evening.

Pics after the cut.

Ménage du printemps: VI Bog Trogs

Phase 2. Undercoat done. The easy part, although I should have given a coat of watered down PVA to all the wood and lichen that I added to the bases, as they started to flake when I gave them a coat of paint. No matter.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ménage du printemps: V Bog Trogs

 I suffer from shinybloodyitis. It's a common condition for us miniature gamers. There are more nice models out there than we have time to devote to them, so, we start one project, and are distracted by another before we finish the first. This means that instead of finishing the Deadlands miniature I had started, when I sat down at the table yesterday I pulled out some Bog Trogs I had, who weren't even put together. The reason is two fold. Firstly, I have been planning to use these guys for some speed painting I want to try out, they should work really well if I get it right, with a light undercoat, some very watered down paints and ink layers. With them being scaly, it should turn out well. The second reason is that I bought some Vallejo Still Water, and am itching to try it out, of course, to do so on some swamp bases means I have to first paint the minis, so last night I prepped these guys. I had planned to undercoat them too, but I had to wait till the white glue on the bases has dried.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Other freebies.

Some few of the miniatures I was given do not belong to the Italian wars army. As the gentleman told me, there were indeed some 25mm Saxons, and one solitary 15mm figure. There was also the intriguing gentleman shown to the left. My instinct is to suggest he is of Eastern extraction, but further than that I am loathe to call. Any ideas?

The Saxons may well be a start for a warband for Saga.

Renaissance Army: Personalities

Some of the miniatures were obviously command types. Like the guy to the left, he's surely the general. the others are there to add moral support, or just to bring the music.

Renaissance Army: Mounted

 Mounted figures. Mostly landsknechts I assume. I'm impressed by the painting of the barding. Each is individual.

Renaissance Army: Infantry II

The pikemen.  Lots of.

Renaissance army: Infantry I

Here's a picture of the box (click to enlarge), as it was handed to me. I went through it all last night, trying to put it into some kind of order, and figure out what went with what. It was mostly in order in terms of units, with some small number of individual figures left at the end that I'm unsure where to put. Thankfully, these have the look of leader types, and drummers/standard bearers, so I don't think it'll be too hard to put them somewhere useful.

Like I said, I went through them photographing what I have gained, and will stick them up here for 2 reasons. Firstly, that those in the know may tell me what I have got my grubby hands on (in terms of the units they represent, and possibly even the manufacturer), and secondly that I myself may have a record (as these have all been re boxed and put away at the back of the cupboard till I find a rule set, and more importantly, an opponent.

In general, they were all in good condition. Only a few pikes had fallen off, and from what I can tell only one or two are missing (and these are the smaller ones from the mounted javeliners). The painting was well done, for the most part to good tabletop standard, with a couple of flourishes here and there which raise the bar. The consistency of the painting, especially the stripes impressed me. I doubt I'll ever finish an army to this standard for sure.

Anyway, on to the pictures, the first batch at least (as always, click for larger pics).

Monday, May 14, 2012

25mm Renaissance Army

Here I have some more info, from the kind gentleman who gave me the minis, in response to some questions I sent him (links my own addition):
  "The army represents a European army of about 1525. This was the time of the Italian wars of which the Battle of Pavia is perhaps the best known engagement.
    The army consists of Spanish Tercios, which is basically pike blocks with sword and buckler infantry and some crossbow men or arquebusiers (early muskets). There are small mercenary units particularly Swiss pikemen and Landsknechts similar to the well known 'Black Band'. There are also some Italian state infantry.
    In the cavalry there are of course heavy knights and some special light Spanish cavalry carrying javelins.
    The War Games Research Group, Tercio rules were what I used to use but this was many years ago. I have not used them or played wargames for many years so I'm not much use for any contacts.
    The figures are all made of some kind of metal alloy. It's not lead it may in fact be some sort of pewter. I think you will find some odd Saxon figures in the box and even a couple of 15mm size figures. Oh and there is a mounted Bishop who used to go to battle particularly with Italian troops giving them a morale boost when nearby."

I can find no reference online to the Wargames Research Group 'Tercio' rules. As it is, their web presence is minimal (not a modern setup by any means). This means I may have to look into getting a copy of Pike & Shotte to run these guys with, as this seems to fall under the wars of the Tudors, which looks like the start of the period covered by these rules.

Quite a trove all in all.

(Links and pictures courtesy of Wikipedia)

Free 25mm Army/Armee 25mm a Donner

I got a message on a local forum a couple of weeks ago, asking if I was interested in a free 25mm army. I said yes, and was put in touch with a nice English chap, who had a 25mm renaissance army to give away. I jumped at the chance and after some to-ing and fro-ing about collecting them, I went over this afternoon to get them. I haven't had the chance to de-box them yet, but what I saw looked good.
The minor inconveniences of lack of space and time to play, lack of opponents, no previous knowledge of renaissance gaming (except for once having an Imperial army for warhammer Fantasy) will not be again mentioned.

Pics to follow, as I intend to give the box a good rummage this evening once the kids are abed.

All those with knowledge of the era, be ready to tell me what it is I have gotten into.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ménage du printemps: IV Savage Worlds

I swithered with the name for this post. Is this for Savage Worlds, Deadlands, Weird West or for something else or should I just call him a mad scientist (aren't we all) and leave it there. In the end, it doesn't really matter. he's a nice mini, but if and when I finally get round to using him in a game, who knows when or what that will be.

Block colours done. Basic tan duster, with blue for the shirt and trousers. I decided in the end to go with a form of old Union uniform, which may look a little bright just now, but I plan on dirtying him up with the later stages of paint.

Ménage du printemps: III Time travellers

Eyes are hard. I've been lucky in my last few projects not to have to paint eyes. My Napoleonics are not so detailled (not the minis as such, but my choice of finish) so i don't paint eyes. My Viridians are all wearing masks, and the Syntha are mechs, so again, no eyes (even the Biomech is wearing shades). So when it came to finishing these two, I was left with the faces, trying to find the smallest brush I had, or even a pin whith which to do the final black spots. Fopr a distace, these two look good, but the camers reveals a host of blemishes that I will have to go back and redo. I I had to redo the face on Sacsha so many times she looks like she's had too much botox. Hopefully a wash will get rid of most of the blemishes.

Dr Ecclescake is still looking a little shiny, but i have some matt varnish that should get rid of the worst of that. So, first two models, completed. They're unlikely to win any prizes, but they are for the most part done.

Pics after the cut.

Sneak Peak: Kayazy Eliminators

I am a fan of the idea and play style of the Kayazy Assassins, but I have never been able to bring myself to buy them, as I think the sculpts are butt-ugly. The Kayazy Eliminators on the other hand, tick all the boxes. They are a very elegant pair of models. I may have to buy another unit (hardly a unit at 2 members).

The action pose of this model was just crying out to be based leaping off some scenery. If I get round to buying a second unit, I have some rock bases with a similar slope that shopuld allow the same kind of pose.

It did take me a while to figure out that I was trying to glue the leaper's arms on upside down.

I'm not 100% sure the Iron Kingdoms has invented bricks yet, but I'm going to go with it. They are certainly shown in an urban environment in their artwork.

More pics after the cut.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to display your minis...

With infinite space and cash, then this would be absolutely amazing for all those display minis we all have just 'kicking around'.

Very cool.

Actually, the little hanging light tubes should be really managable.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ménage du printemps: II Time travellers

The first two minis for the may challenge were started last night (I may have put a lick or two of paint on some of the others while I had the paints out). I went with the pair of time travellers to begin. For Dr Malcolm Ecclescake, I chose the studio colours. His outfit seems only to vary in the colour of T-shirt he wears. His leather jacket is as far as i can make out, black. I decided that this would be too much, what with the black trousers (that, and black is a real pain in the ass to get right) so I went with a dark brown (P3 ochre), with a black wash. It may not come out too well in the pics, as the black was is too shiny, but it looks the real deal IRL.

Base Coat


Sacsha Dubois does not suffer from the same monochromatism. I decided she was much more in the vein of Captain Jack, not afraid to add a bit of colour. I'm not yet sure as to what colour I'll settle on for the trousers and top, especially the cog motif, but I'm happy enough with the base. Combat ready, but yet fashionable.

Base Coat


Highlights and detailling to follow. Then I'll have to decide on how I want to paint the rest.

Urban War: Syntha III

Final group shots, with the bases of the Androsynths finally painted. I think I may go back and give the Pointman and Biomech bases another ink, as they're a little too plain as is.  Click for larger images. Below the cut there is the paint scheme I used. Again, this is mostly as a point of reference for me, if I want to paint up some more minis in the same scheme.

Paint scheme below the cut

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Urban War: Syntha II

 Almost, almost done with the Syntha Strike Team. Just an ink wash on the bases, and some blue round the rim of the base to keep them all looking uniform, but they're finished enough to be posted. I'm happy with the way they came out, although i kinda rushed the guns in the end, they might get another coat before I'm through, but I'd happily put them on the table as is.