Friday, 31 January 2020

A few different things on the go!

I'm still getting used to the grey skies and the rain, that and the first bout of flu for over two years has left me feeling somewhat low this week. I still managed to get some painting done and I'm excited about the box of 20mm figures that John C has sent to me for painting. They are mostly WSS and GNW vintage castings and first up on the table are six lovely old Minifigs Polish Winged Hussars, surely one of the most spectacular heavy cavalry types ever to grace a battlefield, I'm going to enjoy painting them. I'm not great on vintage figure details so if I get anything wrong I'm sure John will correct me here, not sure of make of the horses for example.

The last 4 Royal Marines are underway, I realised that I was one loading figure short for the rear rank - I have a couple of leftover firing poses - so I have had to draft in a sergeant of line infantry with marine head added. He does look a tad more chunky but will be fine. The Marines of course are from the Sash & sabre 'War of 1812' range.

This morning a parcel arrived from Graham C containing 12 resin 3D prints, 7 of which will be used for my rocket battery. The prints are great quality, if I have one reservation it is with the file for the open handed rocketeer, the hands are very close to the body and I will have to see if the rocket can be fitted down between in a convincing way. This is of course nothing to do with the printing but rather the conversion file. The alternative is to wait for the main crew to be cast in metal and convert the figure with upright sponge/rammer. I really like the alternative officer pose, hand on hip. These were resized to 37mm foot to eye so the previous pointing officer is very slightly taller but still usable as a six footer! It is great to finally have some of these resins in my hands and now I just need to be patient until Ian Smith gets the main gun crews to Griffin for moulding and casting but I have plenty to keep myself occupied meantime.

Finally for this week, more Goblins for James 'For Joshua' charity project. I'm getting into my stride now with these and it's fun painting them. I just need to paint another 18 archers and then it's on to the High Elves.

Wolf riding Goblins!

Goblin command pack.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Goblins, Marine progress & BA houses.

I received my order from Pendraken Miniatures within a few days of ordering and I must say that the 12mm scale castings are excellent. This was to be my first attempt at painting Fantasy subjects in over 40 years of figure painting so I was a bit concerned about how t approach it. I decided to start with one of the Goblin packs with assorted weapons, 24 figures, which I undercoated my usual black. I then just went with my instinct and worked through the unit until I ended up with what you see below, A few highlights to make them pop a bit here and there and overall I am happy with the result. Next up is a 24 figure Goblin archer unit, followed by the command pack and a Goblin wolf rider unit! Then it's on to the High Elves. This will be my contribution towards James' charity project 'For Joshua'.

I hope they look right!

The 40mm Marines are coming along well, 16 down now with 8 to go. The satin varnish really lifts them. The unit should be completed by the end of next week and after that I should be in a position to make a start on the RHA rocket battery crew which Graham C is kindly printing for me.

Note: Drum detail needs correcting to red edges.

Finally this week I added some of the excellent Noch leaf to the cheap MDF buildings I bought for Bolt Action. I find it makes a big difference and helps to disguise some of the pegs used in construction.  Next job is to add a few vintage French posters here and there, simply resized in Word and printed before finishing the edges of the bases. I still have one more building to construct which is a ruin.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

First 6 marines painted.

It's taken me a few weeks to get back into my full painting mode but the first six of the Royal Marines battalion are now done and I'm well into the next six. I'm really impressed with the castings and the poses and think they have turned out well, as usual with the Sash & sabre figures they have lots of character and wonderful faces. I might yet brighten up the trousers but not sure, I'll see how they look when more are painted.

With plenty of time on my hands now that we are settled back in I have ordered some figures from Pendraken 12mm ranges as my contribution towards James' 'For Joshua' project. Should be here with me tomorrow so looking forward to getting started on them. I'll be doing Goblin spearmen and wolf riding cavalry and some 'Goodies' - High Elven archers and horsemen. As this represents my first attempt at Fantasy I'm keen to see what I can do with them.

I'm also going to be painting more figures for 'Old John', 20mm Les Higgins WSS. It's been a few years since I last painted for John and profits will be ploughed back into my own projects so I'm delighted to have the opportunity again.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Big ideas!

This morning I got the first chance to take a proper good look in the boxes at my 40mm figures following their long - and at times rather bumpy - car journey back from Spain. Not so much as a bent or broken bayonet, every base remains glued down to the bottom of the boxes and the next job will be to gently remove them and give the bottom of each base a rub down with sandpaper to remove any remaining dried glue. I used PVA glue and only a single small blob per base so that they could be removed without damage.

I think that it has done me good to have them packed away for a while because peering into those boxes again reminded me of how much I value the big chunky figures. The Royal Marines are now back on the painting table and I reckon it will take me about another three weeks to complete the 24 figure unit.

I have quite a few ideas buzzing around my head at the moment with regards as to how I could get a small game up and running on a 6 x 4 table, I'm waiting to see how the new terrain ordered from Simon at S&A scenics will measure up, given that many 28mm figures these days stand at around 30mm and that my S&S/Perry 40's are closer to 37mm foot to eye level I have a feeling that it might work. The buildings featured in the previous post also given me an idea, but I'll get to that in a later post.

RHA Rocket battery.
I'm giving a lot of thought now to the building of the rocket launchers for my RHA base. This will be a scratch building project and as such I'm going for a the simpler type of launcher rather than the wheeled frame with ladder. I did consider milk bottles, as suggested by Tony (of course!) but think I need launchers. I saw a clever image recently featuring a rocket leaving the launcher, in mid flight, what appeared to be a pipe cleaner formed the swirling smoke trail and supported the rocket, very good indeed and something I will look into further for my base. Graham now has the files and and it won't be long before my modest ambition to add RHA to my collection becomes a reality. Next step is to get some brass rod in various sizes ordered up along with a tube of Green Stuff. First time I have actually seen one of the 3D files and I'm still amazed at the technology, I have been revolving the images to view from different angles whilst chuckling like a deranged person to myself, it's quite mad. Screenshots of the revised officer pose and gunner loading rocket.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Buildings in 6mm / 28mm and other matters.

Following on from my last post here I ordered three cheap MDF kits via ebay for Bolt Action. When I say cheap I mean that they are quite basic with no interior detail and cut from 3mm sheet so no double thickness walls. They cost just £9.00 per kit and each included a small outbuilding, which is very good value. I certainly don't plan to buy any more, the three will suffice for what I have in mind here which are infantry platoon sized games, just a few squads per side with support weapons and command team. I do have a couple of vehicles per side but certainly have no intention of taking things any further, having learned that once you start adding in tanks, artillery, aircraft etc Bolt Action loses much of it's appeal, for me at least it's best enjoyed as an infantry based tactical game. I now have all that I need save for some trees that are being made for me by Simon at S&A Scenics and I have treated to myself to a dozen of his 'more realistic' trees which are rather smart.

A squad of SS infantry to illustrate scale of these buildings. Painting not finished yet, more windows to paint.
Some of Simon's lovely 'Deluxe trees' from his S&A scenics website, I do like nice model trees!

And so I can now focus upon the 6mm project and blog and to this end I have received some really nice buildings from Steve Clay at Battlescale. I'll get these up on the blog once painted and based as I plan to use them but meantime here are a couple of shots of the unpainted product. I especially like the church and the larger farm bases.

I have also stocked up on scenic materials again, flocks of various shades, 2mm static grasses, tufts, stone etc.

Been doing a lot of thinking about the 40mm's and for the forseeable future they will be put on the back burner, they remain packed away for now. I now have the STL files for the RHA rocket battery conversions from Dan at digitsculpts and Graham has kindly agreed to print them for me as I'll only need a couple of each figure. The gun crews are being put into moulds by Ian. I will certainly complete the RHA guns and rockets, but beyond that I might well call it a day, the decision to invest in both 28mm and 6mm terrain means investing in 40mm is somewhat prohibitive at the moment and I am hoping that the new 6mm project plus Bolt Action will allow me to enjoy some actual wargaming now.

I'm going to Cavalier next month at Tonbridge where I plan to meet up with David Crook and hopefully Bob Cordery. I'm pretty excited to be able to attend a show again after several years absence so looking forward to it.

Stuff for sale.
Finally I have a few bits that will be going on ebay shortly but thought I would offer them on here first. Just need to get rid to save storage space.

Warlord Russians 28mm, a dozen plastic winter infantry, some painted, a metal HMG team painted and mortar pack unpainted, plus a nice little command jeep with officer and driver - painted. FREE to a good home, just pay a bit of postage.

Winter Germans, 3 squads of 8 plastic figures plus metal command pack - all painted and winter based.

2 x warlord Winterised Tiger 1's

2 x as above Panthers.

Open to any offers, just want to clear. I'll put them on ebay next week if no takers here. Please contact me via comments if interested (I won't publish).

Winter German infantry and armour.

Free Soviets!

There are actually 2 each of these Tigers and Panthers to go.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Looking back at Bolt Action.

The one thing I regret about this blog is that I failed to set up labels so that it is relatively easy to dig up long buried posts. I was talking about Bolt Action recently with somebody who has expressed a strong interest in playing the game which led me to looking back into my early experiences with the game around early 2016. Whilst I did sell off the majority of the collection a couple of years later I did retain enough figures for two 1500 point armies, German and American, which have not seen the light of day since! I think at the time I just went completely OTT buying everything I could get my hands on as I became sucked into the Warlord Games marketing strategy, you started with a cheap plastic box set and then a whole world of wonderful metal figures and resin vehicles was opened up to you. The armies became huge, the vehicle collection grew beyond anything I would ever fit on a table and of course I then moved onto a vast Soviet army and then Berlin and the Hitler Youth and on and on it went.

A short time ago I tried to get into a Winter themed project for Tank Wars, but quickly tired of it once I tried assembling the plastic box set of Winter Soviet infantry, most of which ended up in the bin. Yesterday I unpacked what's left of the Bolt Action stuff, mostly plastic infantry and tanks, and felt that tingle of enthusiasm, enough to make me seriously think about giving it another shot with the prospect of an opponent keen to learn the game.

Don't be at all surprised if you see Late War Bolt Action battle posted soon and in the meantime here are some shots from back then featuring my OTT collection in action for those who have not seen them before.