Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Last Stand of the Thursday Minion

Hello, hello from sweltering Sydney where it hasn't rained in living memory and the lizards are flat out drinking. Although our long hot summer continues some things simply must come to an end, including my stewardship of the Antipodean Crew. Parting is such, etc. etc. etc. Yada, yada, yada. You know the drill.

When Curt asked us for help in herding this merry brand of cats I was only too happy to help. However, the poor misguided chap seems to think I did it from the goodness of my heart when in fact Limp Bizkit knew the truth all along...

My motivations aside I simply can't tell you how excited I am at the prospect of today's offerings. Already in the queue we have carefully crafted wonders from The Kiwi, Dux, Barks and EvanH. Who know what other goodies await? Not me for starters and I'm supposedly all over it. Oh well, you get what you pay for after all.

So in closing my final Minion Missive I'd like to thank all the Antipodeans for their patience, forbearance and suffering through my excessive use of the term "mate". You're solid gold champions to a man and I've enjoyed every minute.

Whoops, I nearly forgot. As a special reward for Miles, our resident staunch monarchist and stats jockey I've dug out this little gem...

Rock on.


From Curt - 10mm English Civil War Pikemen and Cavalry (54 points)

In the continued push to get a few more projects off my desk before our deadline, here are a couple bases of 10mm English Civil War figures.

These figures were acquired many years ago at Cold Wars from AIM Miniatures. I think they are now available from Miniature Figurines/Matchlock Miniatures in the UK.

These castings are technically listed as 10mm, but they are actually closer to 12mm. It's a bit annoying as they really don't mix well with other 10s. Nevertheless, since they are such nice figures, and I do have a good few of the little blighters, I'll probably stick to my guns and build my two armies around them.

Due to my irrational aversion of al dente spaghetti spears, I've clipped off the soft metal pikes and replaced them with florist wire. It's quite a fiddly process, but I think the figures look better for it.  

While the cavalry has Parliamentary orange sashes I've tried keep this collection 'neutral' in their colours and banners so they could stand in for either side.

There was a lot of hand-wringing over how to base these (I know, First World Problems), but in the end I decided to go with larger single bases, as I like the chunky look and they are easier to handle on the tabletop.

I had hoped to get a couple 'sleeves' of shot done for this submission, but they are still half-done on the desk (sigh). They'll have to catch up with their mates sometime in the summer. 

In total there are 16 horse and 22 foot which should give me 54 points. 

For the King! / For God and Parliament!

Ha - the Snowlord joins us once more - Hi Curt! . Hmmm "irrational aversion of al dente spaghetti spears" i so get that - and i know mr Willey gets it - there brushes in house without nad bristles left!  . I would have awarded more minion points , but you forgot to solder them in place.. tsk tsk...  The no banners is grand idea to by the way. Overall a good job !

And with that I hand I hand in my Minion duties.. and its over to Millsy... 

From AaronH - Theoden, King of the Riddermark (5 points)

This entry is King Theoden of Rohan from Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings game.

The king.
Theoden is a very nice metal model. The face is a striking resemblance to the actor from the movies. My son, Rhys, slipped this into my painting queue some weeks ago. He's made slow progress since then, finally getting completed with the Romans in my other entry for this week.

That's a large tuft of grass.
The long grass was done by rolling some long grass in plastic wrap. Before I rolled it I soaked the center in super glue. The glue holds the grass together but doesn't stick to the plastic. Once it was dry I unrolled it and cut it in half through the center of the super glue. After that it was just a matter of trimming it to a pleasing shape and gluing it on. I then put some normal tufts around the bottom to hid the clean cut.

Another fine entry Aaron - and a neat solution for the long grass - duly noted!

ByronM - Black and White Zombies and Samurai for Curt (125 points)

This entry is more black and white figures for Zombicide and my "entry fee" for the challenge for Curt.

First up are more Zombies for Zombicide.  I keep thinking that I am getting close to having enough zombies, and then keep running out of painted figures while playing games.  Two weekends ago I had some other Fawcett crew members (Kevin, David, Mike and their spouses) over for a game and even after the previous entry this year and last, we still ran out.  I have therefore started many more.  Here is the next batch of them.

This batch contains 14 walkers, a fattie, and 5 runners.  Mainly Zombicide season 1 versions but a few season 2 mixed in. In progress still are a pile of season 3, and a few test versions for berserker (done in shades of red) and toxic (done in shades of green) zombies to add to the mix.

My entry fee for Curt, and I use entry fee as a more appropriate term as I have never liked the made up term Curtgeld.  Oh well, to each their own.  Anyway, I struggled with what to do as the figure for Curt this year, and just could not come up with anything.  Then while doing some black and white zombies I thought of trying to do a better quality black and white as a show piece and if it was the right figure it could be a double hit for the "risk taker" theme.

What I came up with for the figure is Kyuzo of the Seven Samurai. The double risk taker to me is that obviously as a Samurai he is a risk taker, putting his life at risk in every fight, and for me even attempting a good quality black and white after seeing Curt's amazing WW1 figures.

I am used to doing fast and dirty B&W for Zombicide, and this was going to be something different altogether.  I approached it differently from the start.  With the Zombicide stuff I use multiple different paints in shades of grey, all or which have a different hue or base tint (you can see bits of green, blue, brown in most greys) but this figure is done purely with 2 colours a flat black and a flat white.  Added to that a satin finish, a glaze medium, and a washable flat black and flat white.  All coming from an excellent set I picked up from Mig products that is a B&W colour set.

The overall painting was really easy with the flats and glaze medium and I am very happy with how almost everything came out.  I say almost everything as I painted the face about 5x and am still not happy with it, and will probably adjust it again before handing it off to Curt (either that or I expect Curt to touch it up as he obviously has more skill in getting the flesh to look right in B&W).

It either looked to dark or too light, and I just can not seem to get it to look perfectly smooth.  I could get the clothing and the sword the way I wanted, but nothing seemed to work for the face.

I guess the second risk taker part (me doing quality B&W) failed, but hey that's how it goes sometimes...  Sorry Curt, and hope that you can touch up that face a bit if I don't get it quite right before handing it off.  The thought was there, even if the execution was a bit off.

The 20 Zombies should add 100 points to my total and the modern challenge, and extra points for the "Curtgeld" samurai.

Well , this rounds off a busy day Byron, well done. A fine zombie top up the look of it - can you recycle zombies? As for Curtgeld  looks just fine to me!

EricMc- Senegalese Tirailleurs (95 points)

Sorry for the long delay between posts.  We have been working on terrain boards for the Cold Wars Game.

I was able to squeeze in a few Senegalese Triailleurs.  The figures are from Gripping Beast.  Really nice castings.  They come with a standard body but are provided with separate heads that include Senegalese, Regular Poilu and Foreign  Legion.  I really like the concept.

In the front right and in the back left you can see a special figure they make with a trooper wielding a coup coup knife. Sorry for the photography, I really have to talk to that guy.

19-28mm figures

There were some requests for pictures of all the French together.   Here are a couple with the new terrain boards.


More real beauties to add to your growing hordes Eric. These make a pleasant change of colour. But oh my the full shots - now they look the business

From AaronH - 19 Early Imperial Romans from Warlord Games (95 points)

This entry is nineteen Early Imperial Roman legionaries from Warlord Games.

These are a combination of the regular legionaries and the veterans, both plastic sets. I really like these models a lot. They look the part and are easy to build and fun to paint. I find the rank and file are just fine but the command models do tend to get a little bit samey after a couple of units.

The signifer and cornicen are both from the veterans box. They are wearing lion skins instead of wolf skins.

These will mostly be filling out holes in my existing cohorts. These are also the last of the single based models for this army. The rest will be on unit bases.

There is just something about rankss of Romans , and  these are a fine additon. - Nice one Centurian..

From KeithS: A Gaggle of Goblins (115 points)

I spent the weekend at Gary Con doing much gaming (including some great minis gaming), but I did manage to finish up a project that I'd started before I left.  This is a group of 23 goblins from the first Reaper Kickstarter a few years ago (#24 is MIA).  They're more or less scaled for 28mm, but I think they'll work well as 25mm Orcs.  They came based for dungeon crawling, so I stuck with that, only adding metal washer bases for magnetic storage.  They'll be my first foes for the dungeon adventurers I did recently.

Here's the obligatory group shot.  There are three types -- spearmen, mace, and archers.

The mace (or Morningstar) up close.  I missed up their tunics colors some, but stuck with Gygaxian ideas of rust and blood.

The archers.  A dark and evil lot.

From the rear.  You can see a lot of bend in some spears.  I thought I'd fixed that prior to priming, but they have slowly settled back.  Oh well, normally I'd get all OCD about it, but for some reason I'm OK with these -- must be because they're twisted Goblins!

Spearmen from the back side.

Archery line.  They had a fair amount of little detail to the figures. 

Overall a simple, straightforward project that will give me some foes if I get a chance to use them in a D&D game.  These will be my last entry, save for the special event one for this weekend, which I will endeavor to avoid forgetting to post!

As a p.s. I was in two miniatures games at Gary Con.  The first was "Light the Beacons:  The Kin Strife of Gondor" a civil war in Gondor several centuries before the events of Lord of the Rings.  I was Castamir the usurper.  It did not end well (I was so busy I took only a few pics, plus the lighting was awful).

Next up was Orc's Drift.  I was a mere subordinate in this one, in command of the rifle section on the left flank (bottom) and the rear defense (lower right, mostly off screen; the very first die roll of the game saw that poor rifleman  on the right to take a fatal arrow to the head).  Our small band of men faced many, many times our number of Orcish attackers.  Thank goodness for the Martini-Henry rifle!
The first defensive line is overrun, but most surviving soldiers make it back to the second line!
While we had rifles and they did not, many of them wore chainmail and carried shields, an advantage over bayonets with just guts behind them!  A really, really fun game, and the reason I've got into this hobby! (for the record, the British held, with 5 of 24 KIA and many wounded; three Victoria Crosses were awarded by the judge).

Orcs drift.. classic..but can they sing...and you have been gaming - what a week! I agree the archers do look particularly nasty..

ByronM - 28mm WW1 tanks and vehicles from Trenchworx and AQotMF (130 points)

This post is for several 28mm WW1 tanks that I picked up from a Kickstarter last year from Trenchworx and one 18mm tank from the All Quiet on the Martian Front.

Starting with the WW1 tanks and vehicles, here is a group picture of the lot of 7 vehicles that I got from Trenchworxs.  There are 3 British tanks (2 MKV's and 1 MKIV), a German A7V, a French FT, a Crossley tender, and a Rolls Royce armoured car.

I have been wanting to get to these for a long while now, but have been waiting on some paints from Mig that I ordered long ago but somehow got misplaced and sent back to them.  I think I may have had Greg's postman that week, since I was around and I never got a notice or a knock on the door.  Anyway, the paint set got to me the second time it shipped out, and I have to say I am very impressed with the paints.

I have used Mig's weathering products before, but never their paints.  I tried these paints as they had a complete set of the 6 primary colours used by all nations for WW1 vehicles.  I figured it would be the best way to ensure getting the right shades.  Wow, excellent stuff.  They come in eye droppers, same size as Vallejo, but also come with ceramic mixing balls in the bottle and are the right consistency to put straight into an airbrush, which I did.  All of these vehicles were airbrushed (colour of chips, chipping solution, tank colours), then weathered, all with Mig products. 

Here are the three British tanks.  They were done by airbrushing dark grey and black, then a chipping solution, then the paint colours (including the front stripes that were done with simple masking tape and airbrushing while at the base colour stage), then actually chipping them, clear coat, inks for weathering and streaking, clear coat, then muddying them up, and done.  Here is a closer view of one of the tanks.

I know the process sounds complicated, especially to Greg as I think as soon as I say airbrush all he hears is the Charley Brown teacher waw waw waw sound, but it really isn't. Painting all of these vehicles to the point where I could start chipping off paint and weathering was less than 2 hours of work (for all 8 vehicles in this post). Chipping took about 2-3 hours for the lot, then the same for streaking, dust, and mud, and then they were done.  So overall time, probably less than 8 hours for 7 vehicles, and while they are certainly not show piece quality, they are a very good table top quality and are pieces that I am quite proud of for small amount of time invested.  

One great thing about these tanks is that Trenchworx did the sides in a modular fashion, complete with magnet holes (and included the magnets in the kit!).  This means that any tank can be a male, female, or hermaphrodite version for any game.  As shown above I painted all the extra side sponson sections at the same time so that they all look the same. One tricky part about this was the weathering.  While I wanted to really muddy them up, I had to keep it down to a lower level so that nothing would come up onto the sponson sections otherwise they would not be able to change over.

Next up is the German A7V, or as I like to call it the Lunchbox.  Probably one of the ugliest and least successful tanks ever built.  I am pretty sure the Germans used more captured British tanks than they ever used of their own in WW1.  The learned from that for WWII though!

Here is the ungainly A7V in all its glory.  The camo was painted by once again starting with a dark grey for the chips, the chipping solution, then the base colour (beige), then blue tac to cover sections, then the mossy green, then more blue tac, then the brown.  Once that was all done I peeled the blue tac off and got to work with an old brush and water to chip it up.  After that, it was a clear coat, inks and dirt and all done.

Next up was the French FT tankette.  While very small next to the German and British tanks of the time, it was an extremely useful vehicle that was essentially an armoured and mobile machine gun nest.

This tank was done in the same method as the German one, using blue tac to mask the camo pattern. Again, this vehicle came with gun options and magnets to ensure you can change them up ant any time.

Last of the Trenchworx vehicles that I had picked up are the Crossley Tender truck and the Rolls Royce armoured car.  Both were done in my normal method.

The only issue I have with this pair of vehicles is that it would have been nice to have a driver available for the Crossley and potentially some cargo options as well.  Other than that though these two vehicles are really nice options to have for a game.
I especially like the Rolls Royce, after all who would not want to ride in style like that!

On top of raving about the Mig products use to paint these vehicles, I have to rave about the vehicles themselves.  All of the Trenchworx vehicles are amazing quality. When I ordered them, I knew they looked good, but online picture only tell half the story, especially when some of the pictures were renders of the 3D models.  When I actually got these vehicles in though, I was blown away!

They came with almost no visible mold lines (the only place I actually saw any were on the wheels of the car and truck), no marks, no bubbles, no flaws of any kind!  They were the cleanest, crispest, resin models I have ever seen. Every rivet and seam is there perfectly, in fact almost too perfectly, its scary.

They are some of the best kits I have seen, and were extremely well priced for that quality.  If there is one knock on them, I find them a bit small.  They are advertised as 28mm, and by measuring them, they are, however, when was the last time a 28mm figure was sold to scale.  They look like they would fit in better with 25mm figures and look OK next to even 20mm figures (for the tanks not the car and truck).  Next to my WW1 figures from Musketeer, Great War, and Renegade (the last being admittedly very large figures) the tanks look too small by about 15%.  I would have rather seen all of these scaled up to fit with the normal heroic 28mm (closer to 30 or 32mm) scale that is prevalent.  Even if these are perfectly correct scale compared to a 28mm infantry man, once you put that figure on a 3mm thick base they look too tall to the vehicle.  Many companies purposely make their vehicles over sized for exactly that reason, and I wish Trenchworx would have as well.

Again though, that is a personal thing (kind of like my comments about true scale weapons looking too small) and not a knock against the product.  They are stunning in their detail and quality and would suggest them to anyone!

Next up, and in the complete opposite direction of my scale issue, is a 18mm (no really!) tank for All Quiet on the Martian Front.  In theory it is an 18mm tank, but that is a 40mm base next to it, and the tank is almost 4.5 inches long and 3 inches wide and tall!

The stand is put in for scale purposes only, not for points, and is an AQotMF machine gun team.  The game is in theory an HO (18mm) scale game, but look at the size of this beast!  It is supposed to be that size to help deal with the Martian threat and sports a huge number of 18 pounder guns in addition to its main cannon.  Almost every tank in AQotMF is over sized like that to accommodate the large boilers that the Americans use to power these steam driven monstrosities.

That takes this post to 7 WW1 vehicles and 1 AQotMF vehicle.  Due to the size of the AQotMF I counted it as a 28mm vehicle, but that may not be correct so change it if required.  I am also not sure on the extra sponsons, so that could just count towards the 18mm to 28mm upgrade.

Just marvellous Byron - that is a wonderful collection of armour. There is something about quantity and quality as well  . I have added in some extra minion bomus points for the AQotmf vehicle as well. Good to hear about the Mig set too , got my eye on those as well at the moment.

ByronM - 28mm Modern Operatives (20 points)

Today I have a few posts going up as I have been working on several different things over the last week and a bit, since I had some time off from work that I had to use before the end of March (end of fiscal year).

First up is a small unit of modern 28mm Operators.  These are from Spectre Miniatures and are part of the Kickstarter I back a year or so ago.

 As commented on before, the Spectre Miniatures are really good with excellent detail.  The only issue with them is the true scale of their weapons, which while correct makes them a little flimsy and appearing too small even though they are correct. 

These Operators were painted up in a very generic colour scheme so that they can be used for almost any nations forces.  They could also be used as deniable operatives or private military contractors (mercenaries). 

This small unit of 4 guys should give me 20 points to my total and to the modern challenge.

Also completed this week was a trip to Ikea to finally (after 5 years of debating over what to do for display in my painting room) put in some cabinets for display of painted figures and storage or terrain.

Here is what I came up with, half display and half storage.  Cabinets were easy to build (10 minutes each) but the lighting was the complicated part.  While simple in theory (drill hole and wire) doing it in a clean organized way took a while, probably an hour per cabinet, meaning 6x longer than building the actual cabinet itself.  Then a few minutes to put the doors on.

I am still in process of filling the cabinets, and will already be out of room, as I have way too many armies in storage to actually put them all out, but wanted to put a picture up to show what I have been up to.

I posted pictures last year of my work space, but while working on the new cabinets, I decided to change it up again.  I got a bigger counter top for my work area, split up my home made storage drawer system and moved the paints between them.  Sorry, its messy as this was taken as a last minute thing while taking pictures of everything else this week, but it shows the space pretty well.  The table is 5' wide and 2' deep giving me lots of space to work.

I really must check out the Spectre minatures, you have tempted me with these cracking chaps. Your cabinet area looks ace - all painters desks should be messy - its compulsory...