So, it’s been (more than) a little while since I updated my blog here. I’ve not been completely dormant during this time but the lack of updates here are mostly the result of my focus being more towards Facebook, Instagram and the last of the great forums that I still visit (Lead Adventure).
I’ve not been completely idle since I last posted here, however, and could probably be best described as a mildly-productive hobby butterfly over the last year or so. I’ve put quite a bit of effort inot levelling up my painting a bit, particularly for 28mm vehicles.
To reduce the spam and effort required I thought it might be a good idea to use this post to show some ‘selected highlights’ from the last year with a brief comment on each.
Empress Miniatures ‘Jazz Age’ Highlander suitable for WW1 Palestine to Inter-War Northwest Frontier etc. Love the period and this range is one of my favourite in the Empress portfolio. My most recent figure and already more in progress.
Tsuba Miniatures (Available from Empress) Spartacists. Lovely figures with more to come along with Freikorps
Empress Miniatures Vietnam US Marine (for Hue). Painted for an Article I’ve written for Wargames illustrated
Wargames Foundry English Civil War characters. I love this range despite it’s age and these things tend to pretty much paint themselves with very little effort. I’ve plans for a little skirmishing with these – possibly something based around the so called Battle of Burford (where I used to live once upon a time)
Rubicon Models Sdkfz 250/9 Neu. Huge fan of these kits (especially the newer ones). I’ve upgraded my airbrush setup and am really getting stuck-in to quite a few of these at the moment. Simple to build but lots of potential for upgrading if you like. Otherwise a really nice platform to focus on painting and finishing. I’ve tried to give the impression of pigments on this while only using enamels and acrylics.
A work-in-progress Rubicon Models Jagdpanther G2. I’m pretty pleased with how this is going so far. I’ve made a few modifications to convert this to a more correct G2 spec, with all of the tools repositioned, along with the jack-bock and tow-cable mounts etc. This is already a bit further progressed but still not 100% finished yet.
Empress Miniatures late war Volksgrenadier painted as a test for Sumpfmuster and Splittermuster camoflage patterns. More of an orientation exercise really but more of these to come eventually.
Great War Miniatures late war German with MP18. Always like these figures (just wish there were more) and very easy to paint. Again, a test for colours.
Bit of a change of tack now, so here’s a Genestealer Magus and friends. Part of a small force painted a while back. The aim was to do these quite quickly and getting a few games in.
More Games Workshop shenanigans! Of course over the last year Contrast Paint had it’s hot five minutes and I decided to see what all of the fuss is about. Actually quite impressed with them and these were my first test – painted (along with another 10 nearly complete) in one afternoon. A few highlights and things added for definition and ready to rock. I think these paints are particularly good if you pick a good subject and the right material. they respond well to the smoothness of plastic surfaces. I’ve also used them as filters on vehicles etc. becuase the storng pigment can be watered down so mch.
Badly photographed Citadel Dark Elf dating from 1983. I’ve had this figurer since the year I discovered D&D and fantasy in general. Still absolutely love this range and have quite a few of them. Sometimes revisting your first love isn’t so bad :-). I tried to keep a slightly old-school vibe with this including the base.
A random Frostgrave figure from Northstar. Who doesn’t need a skulking Elven thief? I like the simplicity of a lot of this range. Fantasy figures that don’t demand several weeks of painting withfar more of a ‘wargamers’ sensibility. In some ways quite old-school and all the better for it.
So, that’s quite a randm selection of ‘stuff’ I have going on currently. I’ve decided to embrace the lack of opponents here in Germany by tacking a pretty relaxed approach to what I paint and when. There are plently more things knicking around my shelves currently and I’ll try to do a better job showing some of them here.
The Lead Painters League is an annual competition run by the fine folk on the Lead Adventure Forum. I’ve long admired the dedication and quality of the entries for this (which has now been running for something like 13 years) and many of my favourite painters have been competitors in the past. It’s been a ‘bucket-list’ thing for years – I even had an abortive attempt a few years back but that was sabotaged by a house-move.
This time I prepared a little in advance and was genuinely suprised and delighted to come second against some wonderful competition. I feel like a bit of a fraud to have placed so highly in all honesty and need to work on my story-telling aspects next time.
It’s quite a tough challenge for a painter with such inconsistent focus as me. Nine teams of at least 5 figures each over nine weeks, ideally in some sort of scenic setting. In my case the final result is a pretty good summary of my current projects although I must confess I’m a little burnt-out by the end and fancy painting something very different. Perhaps some SciFi would be a nice change …
Footsore Miniatures Late Roman / Aurthurian
Copplestone Miniatures 15mm BarbariansCopplestone Miniatures ‘Back of Beyond’ Warlord Chinese with Empress Minaitures FT17
Perry Miniatures Sudan Naval Brigade heavy weapons
Copplestone ‘Dare To Die’ Warlord Chinese with HLBSC Schneider tank
I have absolutely no use for this but have wanted to make one for years. I also like to encourage manufacturers to keep producing oddities like this. Perry Miniatures SdKfz 254.
I added width indicators and replaced the aerial with something a little closer to the real thing. Crew is from the Perry DAK tank crew set which looks a little more appropriate.
I’ve been unable to post for a while because we’ve been preparing for, and undertaking, a move to Germany. Maybe it’s the change of scene but I’ve found myself sliding back towards Games Workshop’s IP over the last few weeks – some sort of comfort zone thing perhaps. It doesn’t help that they are making it particularly easy with a pretty stellar launch of 8th Ed 40k and the guys in my local GW store here in Karlsruhe being very chilled and helpful. I had an English copy of the new starter box delivered and I’ve been raiding other bits and pieces since.
So, this is the first output after the move. Feels like a bit of a milestone to be painting again even if I have a much-reduced paint and brish selection right now. I used GW paints more than usual on this. Partly to test them (they are mostly very good) and also to maintain colour consistency as I go forward (I can get them close to work).
Always liked the concept of Space Wolves … largely disliked the figures which usually just looked a bit silly. This is closer to my vision of space vikings.
(… or the importance of doing your research properly)
I’ve not posted for a while but I am doing things over the last few week. Most recently I’ve been working on more of the Perry Miniatures Vichy French for North Africa and Madagascar. For a change of pace I picked up this 75mm gun and crew which had actually been started last year.
The gun itself went together easily enough but it’s a pretty simple model and, for logical enough reasons, misses out a lot of the detail behind the gun shield. I set about adding some of the more prominent parts and in about 15 minutes the whole thing looked busier and a bit closer to the real thing. I was dead pleased with myself for doing this so quickly only to find far better reference for what should be behind there (hint – pictures of restored guns are perhaps not the best reference). So alas I couldn’t leave it that way and some of that was stripped away and more detail added. The ‘metal’ photos below show the earlier version before this was done.
The crew needed to be wrangled slightly to make them fit around the new struts and things (I actually left a strut out on the gunners side so he could fit OK). Really there’s only the basing left to do and some minor painting corrections. The satchel bag worn by one of the gunners, and by the infantry generally, should have proper satchel leather reinforcement and leather buckle straps. I assumed this was plain canvas like the earlier ones, but again better reference prevails.
I’m going for quite a heavy-lined look for these figures. The whole army is relatively quickly painted (more examples in previous post) and I want them to pop nicely on the table. I felt that for an army that I’ll be using with my kids this more ‘graphic’ look is appropriate.
One of my favourite poses this time – a really tense ‘advance to contact’ look. This figure is still from the first wave of Late War Americans, but I have the second wave (and some extra goodies) due in the post any day.
Sorry but lots of poses with this one. All sorts of additional kit makes this quite an interesting task to paint.
Paul has also shared early pics of the Kreigsmarine crew for the Empress U-Boat this weekend. Suddenly I find myself gripped by a strong urge to watch Das Boot again …
Another Empress 28mm GI complete, this time my first squad NCO. Pretty standard stuff but this time with British-supplied brown trousers (no joke intended). Looking at a lot of colour footage from 1945 shows a lot of these still knocking around and it gives some nice variety to a squad. Also a handy way of making the NCO stand out on the table in this case.
I’ve got the second wave of these due to arrive in the post at any second, along with initial casts of the new 1/50th Willys Jeep. Very excited to get my hands on those and will get to painting them as soon as I can. There are some great new patrolling poses in the second release along with heavier weapons. The theme of this first squad will be an alert patrol, with subsequent squads being either contact or gone to ground. I like to theme squads and sections this way and have a group of figures reacting logically as a group.
I’ve also suffered a slight 20mm distraction while waiting for other things to arrive. The result is this Dragon 1/72 StugIV. It’s only just had base-coat, pin-lining and light streaking at this point with all the fun stuff still to come.
When I decided to start this blog I picked WordPress mainly because almost the entire ecosystem at work uses Google products (which Blogger is a part) and I’m usually logged into those with ‘work’ credentials. That’s a different world and things there stay there.
I had one or two friends using WordPress and it seems decent enough. The main downer seems to be that a large number of the blogs that I follow are on the Blogger platform … pretty much the majority. Following them in a browser is easy enough – they are all bookmarked, but it does make it a little harder to share these because I don’t seem to be able to add them to the blog-roll on my home-page. On the plus side I’ve found some hidden gems on WordPress, on the minus it’s harder for visitors to find some of my favourites.
With this in mind I’ve listed below five blogs which I consider absolutely essential for various reasons. All utterly compelling in my opinion, and each an overload of inspiration and content. I could only aspire to produce something even close …
I won’t describe each one, but I can’t recommend enough that anyone (of the dozens :-)) who spends two minutes here spend considerably longer on these.