Proof of Life and Selected Highlights

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.

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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.

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Tsuba Miniatures (Available from Empress) Spartacists. Lovely figures with more to come along with Freikorps

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Empress Miniatures Vietnam US Marine (for Hue). Painted for an Article I’ve written for Wargames illustrated

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Entries (or what I’ve done in 2018 so far)

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 …

OBHFootsore Miniatures Late Roman / Aurthurian
MoNCopplestone Miniatures 15mm BarbariansKeith_Manchurian_Expedition_New_Round3_USECopplestone Miniatures ‘Back of Beyond’ Warlord Chinese with Empress Minaitures FT17
Keith_GoToYourGuns_Round4Perry Miniatures Sudan Naval Brigade heavy weapons
Keith_DareToDie_Round5.jpgCopplestone ‘Dare To Die’ Warlord Chinese with HLBSC Schneider tank
VichyPerry Miniatures 28mm Vichy French
Keith_LandingPartyAtArms_Round7Copplestone Castings British Naval Brigade
Keith_Uncharted_Round8Foundry/Copplestone Darkets Africa
Keith_Vale_Round9Foundry Caesarian Romans (Copplestone sculpts)

Necromancer Pt.2

So, he’s finished for now. Had a terrible time trying to get photos this evening and sort of gave up when I managed to get anything remotely useable. Sometimes these things just don’t work out.

The base is cork and grit built up in a flat-topped mound. I then used one of the excellent Greenstuff World rollers to get the stone floor pattern. This was fiddled a bit with to make the edges a little more logical and add some sharper cracks etc. Whole lot painted to match the figure, pinned and glued.

So, for now, some sketchy pictures. I’m hoping to takeadvantage of a friend to help out with some better pictures of the whoe group (henchmen a well) in future.

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Wizard WIPery and Overthinking Things

I love this figure and wanted it for ages. I think it’s from the old Masquerade Miniatures range and has now found a happy home at Otherword Miniatures. Looks like a Stefan Nieheus sculpt. He’s actually been a little trickier to paint than I expected – the sculpting is really energetic and exuberant, but a little loose in places (particularly the back of the cloak). This has led to there being more texture and even a bit of lumpiness here and there which needs to be minimised wherever possible. What I couldn’t clear away with knife and file I’ve obscured with paint. He’s a few hours from finished here.

I’ve posted this WIP partly because it marks a bit of a change in the way I’m looking at painting and particularly fantasy subjects. I’ve been following Ben Komets on Patreon (highly recommended by the way) recently, watched Painting Buddha videos etc. for quite a while, obviously read Massive Voodoo avidly for years and following the work of folk like Banshee. These guys are unfeasably good and represent a very deep level of understanding, analysis and exploration in the field of miniature painting. I would highly recommend a visit to the above painters sites, along with regular trips to Putty & Paint etc. whenever you need some inspiration (or even just to see how far most of us have to go). I’m happily aware that my painting falls into the realm of ‘wargames figure’ level and a million miles from the art that the above names achieve. However (and with some formal art training behind me) some of the ideas raised by these folk can’t help rub off. I’m not ready to commit weeks to a single figure, but am intrigued at the prospect of incorporating more considered colour theory etc. into what I do.

So, to cut a long story short, I’ve begun to consider setting, lighting and atmosphere more (or at least tried). I realise this all sounds very pretentious but it’s my blog so please indulge me …

With this wizard I’ve tried to imply depth and scene by adding some ‘infernal’ warm up-lighting and attempted to offset this with a more silvery blue ‘moonlight’. The upshot is the use of reds and browns in the blue tones, and conversely blues and purples in the reds. There’s even some green and other unlikely colours scattered in there at times. I’ve also begun to use ‘day-glo’ fluorescent paints to add strength to some of my colours which has been interesting. This is still a gaming miniature, and also early days for me, so I’ve not pushed this theme anywhere near as far as it could be – I still wanted a blue and red wizard after all, but I think this looks more interesting and has more depth compared to the Copplestone wizard further down the page which was done a few months back. This necromancer is also going to get a silly over-designed base along with two skeleton minions.

Anyway, a huge amount of text for a single picture … sorry about that. I’ll try to make it the other way around next time 🙂

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