Friday, May 28, 2010

Enfilade Super Deals!

I've only been to one to one convention before the recent terrific NHMGS convention ENFILADE!, but I'll try never to miss another. There were so many beautiful examples of games with absolutely amazing terrain and unbelievably well painted miniatures. I am pissed at myself for not attending earlier.

One of my hoarder highlights was the swap tables. I bought an amazing amount of lead that I didn't need.

At the dealer tables, I bought some resin terrain pieces I didn't need; I couldn't resist because I couldn't resist the cheap prices.

Entry fees: for only $30 you get 3 days of entry and a t-shirt.

Overall for only $90 I picked up all mostly 25-30mm scale):

3 days of gaming opportunity
43 Ottoman Turks and assorted Arab types
133 Swiss/mercenaries pike men and other troops
1 resin machine gun nest
28 resin barricade sections
4 resin dug out graves
2 resin graveyard sections
1 trebuchet, RAFM
1 small siege tower, RAFM
1 manlet, RAFM
2 siege ladders
2 covered battering rams
1 huge artillery manlet
1 sort of dwarf steam powered rolling cannon thing
2 organ guns
2 chariots
1 fantasy trebuchet on wheels
1 catapult
1 siege flame thrower
1 set of stocks
1 guillatine
33 dwarves
2 torture racks
87 goblin orc things
22 assorted monsters
4 GW 40K models: elf, ork, 2 imperial guard
2 horses
47 various historical and fantasy medieval fighting men
3 wizards
4 hobbits
1 evil looking idol/statue
1 Columbus looking guy standing next to a globe
5 medieval/ren casualty models
3 space ship things
1 coffin
5 French? WWI troops
3 tiny gyrocopters
26 tiny scale tanks and APCs
7 tiny scale trucks and flat beds
2 tiny scale helicopters
27 aliens called centaurs, promotecs, gorgons
and about 8 creatures I simply can't identify.

I only played a few games; I had family things to do that prevented me from fully embracing the available games.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick & Easy Sci-Fi Buildings

I collect assorted packing material.

The collected garbage normally ends up in the garbage or recycling after a few months, but recently I've turned garbage into jun
k. The pressed paperish shapes that sometimes are used as packing material instead of styrofoam for things like coffee pots, toasters, or assorted household tools has always fascinated me because they might make good housing for my toy army men.

I had eight pieces of this formed material; two were destroyed during painting preparation, but four actually made it to the painting process. I cut off unusable edges, primed three black, dry brushed them gray. I tried painting one gray first then washing it with black stain (fail). I used varying degrees of dry brushing to determine the best method and the lightest gray one came out the best.

I may paint the other two up in various browns. They'll look more li
ke the buildings in the first Star Wars Mos Eisling (spelling? the desert place where Han Solo kills the fish guy) buildings.

Over two days, it took about five minutes to spray paint them, twenty minutes to dry brush them, another 30 minutes to cut out little doors and windows (once again I tried different methods to see what looked best), and finally another fifteen minutes to paint and attach the doors.

It took me another three days to finally paint up six Doctor Who models to go with the buildings. I for some reason only included five of the models during the quick photo shoot. The models are ones I bought in 1986?. They have a unique history as they were a joint project by RAFM and Citadel. Citadel released models in the UK and RAFM in the US (and probably Canada). Most of the models are mediocre sculpts, but the pictured Ice Warriors (green guys) and Cybermen painted up incredibly easy.

The pictures show the 6 that I didn't get angry with and throw away, as well as the difference in appearances I came up with.

Next time, I'll post pics of some Perry Napoleonic riflemen I painted, which I fo
rgot to photograph. Hopefully I'll have some British line troops and and a six pounder cannon done as well.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Minor Trench Table Progress

I'm nearing 60% completion on placing shoring on one half of the trench sides. The other sides may not get done. Gluing wood sticks to styrofoam is not nearly as fun as it sounds.

I also don't know how to stain the wood to make it look more realistic or even if I should.

The shoring method I picked was poles or logs as opposed to superior planks I've seen on other boards or old photographs of really happy clean British plank shoring trenches (must be propaganda or training areas).

The second pic is a sample of my overly pitted ground between trenches. I will add vegetation and dirty water to the crater bottoms when I finish the miserable burdensome all work and no play task of shoring.
The out of period soldier models are painted craptacularily by me and appear at least digitally to be extremely glossy.

- Bacon

Friday, May 14, 2010

First Victrix British Artillery Crew Painted

I've painted up my first Victrix British Foot Artillery Crew. I'm not use to so much detail on such little models. The three different colored sets of straps to hold bags, boxes, and canteens all over their shirts was a nightmare. In fact I'm not sure the sculptor didn't screw up the straps, there was a missing strap on one and an extra on another.

I also blew off the yellow piping on their red collars. I would have to pop off their heads to get it on there; there wasn't room to get my smallest brushes in there without splashing yellow everywhere. The eyes were unpaintable on several of them as I couldn't get up under the hats. As I was getting more and more frustrated I quit, not highlighting anything but the pants and jackets, not the skin. I used black wash, because I imagined artillery crew would be dirty. The officer is cleaner with lighter pants, as I imagine a gentlemen would have less shit on him.

As to the models, the paint doesn't seem to stick as well as some other plastics I've painted. I washed them, primed them the same way I do every model. But occasionally the base or feet would have the paint wiped off. Perhaps I wasn't waiting long enough between coats.

The models themselves are a little flimsy. The sword on the officer's hip broke in half and I don't know how the artillery shovel thing on on of the guys broke off.

I think the less detailed Perry infantry models I recently bought will be easier.

Here's a bad picture of a mediocre paint job.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Victrix British Artillery, Perry British plastics, Black Powder Rules

I've been avoiding Napoleonics for years out of both fear of painting the models correctly and complexity of the rules.

When I heard Rick Priestley and Jervis Johnson wrote some Nappy rules I was curious. Rick Priestly wrote the original version of Rogue Trader Warhammer 40,000. As a youngster, there was no book I enjoyed more. I subscribe to the terrific Meeples and Miniatures podcast and they did a great review of the Black Powder rules. The podcast made the decision to buy the rules final and I went to the Warlord Games website to order it.

I needed some troops to push around, so I ordered the new Victrix British foot artillery box set and two boxes of Perry British Line Infantry. Black Powder is really a large battle game, so I will have to buy many more models.
The Victrix box has carriages and limbers for three artillery pieces. There are pieces to make up to three short 6 pounder guns, three long 6 pounder guns, three 9 pounder guns, and/or three howitzers. The 15 accompanying crew have optional heads for Waterloo and the Peninsular war. The only thing I don't like about the crew is that there are three officer bodies. I really only wanted one with 15 crew. The arms are numerous and you could possibly make 15 different models. A number of the arms have flash in the fingers making clean up and assembly an onerous task.
I assembled one guns and I started to wish I had spent more and bought metal models. The guns are amazingly detailed and some of the parts are quite fiddly. In particular the chain instructions were ambiguous and hard to attach. I probably did the chains wrong. The worst part was the fiddly little tiny lever thing that is used to raise and lower the barrel for trajectory. I may not attach the latter to the rest of the guns.

There are artillery rules for March of Eagles included, if anyone actually plays those.

The Perry boxes had far less flash and what seems to be slightly better sculpting and tougher plastic. The good thing is that Perry and Victrix match up very well is size and proportionality. Each Perry box has 40 models including 5 command models: two standard bearers, an officer, a sergeant, and a drummer boy. There are four riflemen and 31 line men. You can make up to 8 with the shoulder wings to designate flank troop grenadiers and/or light infantry. There are enough heads to either make all the models either Waterloo or Peninsular war. There is also a little sheet inside with painting guide for various regiments.

I've only started to read the Black Powder rules but so far they are well written and the book itself is beautiful. It's 186 pages, hard bound, and full of eye candy.

The rules seem easy, but I've starting painting the artillery crew and that isn't going so well. I'll post pictures of them when some are complete.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weapons of the Imperial Guard

I prefer historical miniatures over fantasy and sci-fi, but I have a very soft spot for Game Workshop's 40K Imperial Guard. I've been buying the little guys for over twenty years and have hordes of them.

I am posting pictures to show the evolution of Guard weaponry. You'll quickly see the technology is decreasing as the weapons are getting bigger, but you'll also notice the factories are making at least a better looking product.

First is heavy bolter. I have found eight versions of this weapon. Left to right: 1. this ancient little heavy bolter dates back from the days of the Imperial Army; 2. a metal heavy bolter, anti-grav technology allows a regular human to carry these large weapons; 3. slightly different plastic version; 4. an early Cadian heavy bolter, the grav technology is lost and now they have to have wheels to move these beasts; 5. Unless you're strong as a marine like this Last Chancer; 6. the new Cadian plastic, I don't know how two guys are supposed to carry it around; 7. a newer Vostroyan one with drummed ammo; 8. a tarantula with really large heavy bolters, I think they really belong on servitors.
Autocannons are not as common throughout the ages and I only have two pictures for you: 1. old metal Cadian; 2. new plastic Cadian.

Only two regular mortars and a mole mortar here. 1. metal; 2. newer plastic; 3. lost technology from a silly weapon called the mole mortar manned by plastic squats. The round would travel underground to the target. I glued a regular mortar to one of them so I could called it a "counts as" mortar.
Missile launchers. 1. Plastic launcher stolen from a plastic beakie marine; 2. actually a GW Rogue Trooper; 3. I'm only pretty sure this is a GW launcher; 4. Catachan with lighter launcher and stand; 5. Mordian version without face plate and stand; 6. Steel Legion version that looks more like what all these weapons really are, rocket grenades or just plain rockets; 7. plastic Cadian.
Flamers. 1. ancient model titled "ex-tech" whatever that means; 2. a beakie with flamer (none of my Guard with stolen weapons are painted); 3. Mordian; 4. plastic Catachan; 5. Cadian plastic; 6. Vostroyan version.
Plasma guns. 1. first metal version; 2. stolen plastic plasma gun from an unknown kit; 3. Catachan metal; 4. Cadian metal
Meltaguns. 1. Squat with early version; 2. Mordian; 3. Cadian
Demo Charges. 1. Catachan; 2. Last Chancer
Grenade launchers. 1. Really big Imperial Army version; 2. smaller RT version; 3. Mordian; 4. stubby little Steel Legion version; 5. plastic Cadian.

Lascannons. 1. Original metal; 2. original plastic; 3. a different (horribly painted) plastic on a tarantula; 4. metal Cadian; 5. metal Steel Legion; 6. longer plastic Cadian with converted wiring system.
Ripper guns. 1. older; 2. newer
Sentinels. 1. RT egg shaped walker; 2. Metal Cadian (modified for support role); 3. plastic with metal armor
Long lost Human Bomb. Politically incorrect suicide bombers of the Emperor.
Heavy Stubber and Hunter Killer. GW never made us proper man portable versions of these weapons, so I made my own. 1. Actually a Renegade Miniatures WW1 Vickers machine gun with IG bits; 2. Hunter-killer simply planted on a heavy weapons tripod.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Trench Table is Brown Now

I found some time and made more progress on my trench terrain. First, I covered the playing surfaces in a 2/1 ratio of plain glue/water. After that I sprinkled, tossed, poured, threw, and dumped paving sand on top of the glue/water mix.

I let the sand glue mess dry overnight, but the next day it hadn't all dried. The wet parts were mostly crater bottoms which came off when I tried shop vacuuming up the loose sand. Other sand came off flat surfaces of the boards where I hadn't placed enough glue. Worst of all the sand was extremely fragile and came off the boards with the slightest touch.

I had some extra cans of unwanted wood stain; I thought I might save some cash and use these to stick the sand to the board and then I could spray on paint quickly. My plans failed quickly. The first can I tried wasn't water based and started melting the styrofoam! The second quart was water based and looked great after it dried but didn't do the job; and the sandless patches shined through obnoxiously.

Stain was a failure so I went to Lowes and bought some flat latex 1 one gallon paint tubs (cheap as possible). I bought a dark brown and a lighter brown. I'm in the middle of applying them in that order. Completely cover in dark and dry brush in light. Then I will will stain with an Onyx Minwax non styrofoam melting water based stain and another light dry brushing.

After the painting, I'll start adding shoring to most of the trench sides. I'm going to use bamboo on the first try. My back up plans for this are wooden match stick and popsicle sticks. I cut the heads off several thousand matches and ate about 300 popsicles. Popsicles help stave off the minor thirst/hunger for human blood/flesh I acquired after cutting myself working on zombie models.

The picture shows several steps along the way. Left to right: failed cocoa wood stain, brown paint, dry brushed two tone brown paint.
Hopefully I won't be to busy after family with work and stupid school to get some more terrain work done soon.

very respectfully,
Brainsfat.....I mean Baconfat