Saturday, 25 January 2014

And so it begins...

I think my elves are beginning to wonder why they are always the next thing I'm going to paint instead of the thing I'm actually painting.

This morning I finished my first 12 (I need 48 eventually) Moria Goblins for Lord Of The Rings.  As anticipated they were pretty quick and easy to paint so I should hopefully be able to crank out another 12 or so at some point this week.

If all goes according to plan (does it ever?)  I should also finish my last 12 Wood Elf warriors tonight.


Friday, 24 January 2014

This old house

I've been bouncing from project to project lately but one of the things I've realised I need some more of is fairly generic fantasy scenery.

I have a fair bit of undead and horror themed scenery but I need some good solid regular buildings and woods.

The set pictured below is one of two Osgiliath Ruins sets I painted up this week.  This set is specifically for Games Workshop's Lord Of The Rings game but I feel it will work well for any fantasy game setting.

My only regret (you were right Stan) is that I should have bought a third set.


Sunday, 19 January 2014


I decided to take a quick side-step tonight and do a re-paint on an old Heroclix figure I've been coveting for a long time that a friend of mine recently sent to me (thanks Mark!); Bane.

Bane has been one of my favourite Batman villains since the Knightfall series and although I did enjoy his new depiction in the Christopher Nolan movies "classic" Bane is still the version that will appear in my DC Adventures game if I ever get around to it.  He's also yet another member of my favourite super-team The Secret Six.

I'd also like to point out that one of the factors that influenced me to get Bane finished is that I have settled on a game system for Zoe and I to play some games with so I need to get started on some new superhero figs this week.  After weighing my options I've decided to use some of the Goalsystem games starting with SuperSystem.  I've already rounded up three heroines for Zoe to paint and play some games with and then after that we will be taking her two previously painted models and trying out Chaos In Carpathia.

Guess that means I've pushed my sci-fi reveal back a few days....


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Oh captain my captain!

I didn't have a lot of time to paint today so rather than struggle my way through some portion of a sprue of Moria Goblins I decided to take on the reasonably unique looking metal models and do him up as a captain.

In largely unrelated news it looks like I've figured out which 25-30mm sci-fi skirmish game I'm going to start the year off with and it won't be Warzone or 40K, more on this this weekend!


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

I have the attention span of the dog from Up.....SQUIRREL!

.....I feel like I should be standing up in front of a group called "Miniatures Anonymous" admitting I don't know why I keep passing out and waking up in piles of hobby projects.....

So the other day I was playing a very enjoyable game of Lord Of The Rings (which continues to be my all time favourite GW game), with my work-in-progress Elves facing off against a force of dwarves.  It was good fun and reminded me that I should play more Lord Of The Rings this year instead of constantly hoping from fantasy skirmish system to fantasy skirmish system.
and this is how my troubles always start...
My opponent mentioned early on during our game that he had collected his dwarf force with the intention of gaming his way through the Shadow And Flame scenario pack but had never found a goblin player to play against.  I immediately said "if you don't mind me using goblins from The Hobbit instead of Moria goblins I'm sure I can make the bad guy force".
and this is how my troubles always start...
A few minutes later I realised 'oh, but I don't have a Cave Troll', luckily my friend had an unpainted Cave Troll he was willing to give me.
A few more minutes go by and I realise 'oh, the goblins from The Hobbit don't have bows or shields', that's okay he's got 5 sprues of Moria Goblins I can have too.

So somehow I had gone from a plan to paint 48 miniatures I already owned and could get out of my backlog to getting 60 new miniatures I was going to paint to play 4 games.  I realise the only real hitch was I was still going to need Durburz, Goblin Shamen and a Goblin Drum.  I had also offered to give my friend any unpainted LOTR dwarves I had in return so when I got home I opened a figure case I had with 'LOTR Dwarves' written on it and this is what I found inside....

So I guess the point of my story is; my name is Jay and I think I may have a problem.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Zoe's World: Miss Kitty

After two more daddy-daughter painting session Zoe has produced her next masterpiece; Miss Kitty.

Miss Kitty is a Black Scorpion miniature from their line for old west gaming.  She looks like she would also be a good fit for Malifaux or possibly for a character in any Gothic or Victorian setting.

Miss Kitty was based using Zoe's favourite model paint Citadel Xereus Purple, which is the same colour that was used on the cape of her previous fey princess.  Again I provided very little help just doing a few touch-ups on the dress in the area around the bows.

Thanks to everybody who either here or on Facebook made suggestions for games and/or miniatures for Zoe.  She's actually staying away from the cartoony stuff (for now anyway) so I ended up ordering her a couple of the Reaper Bones figures to work on and she's got a super heroine primed up on my painting desk now.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Thunderwicket and the new Technical Paints

I finished up my antiquated, poorly-maintained Warjack last night and while I was at it I experimented with two of the new Citadel Technical Paints.

First up Thunderwicket itself.  If I end up needing it in my game Thunderwicket is an old out-of-date and poorly kept up Warjack that has been retrieved from an unsavoury part of the city of Corvis.  I started off by painting Thunderwicket in basic Cygnar colours and then went back over it to weather and distress it.

So let me give you my two-cents on the two Citadel Technical paints I tried out while painting this model:
NIHILAKH OXIDE; I liked the effect I got from the Oxide paint but to be perfectly honest I was still a little underwhelmed.  Years ago while doing a big table for Games Day I got an almost identical effect from watering down Hawk Turquoise.  So even  though it works fairly well  I just didn't find it really represented anything 'new' under the sun.  I would also recommend anyone using it dilute it before applying because I found it a bit thick for what I wanted, though to be fair that could just be me.
TYPHUS CORROSION; My experience with this was the exact opposite to the oxide paint.  WOW!  This stuff is absolutely fantastic, my only failure with this model is that I used too much, but that's a learning for me not a short-coming with the product.  The colour and density is great and the grit in the paint/wash really gives the model a terrific corroded texture as opposed to just looking dirty.  I can't recommend this paint highly enough!


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Pathfinder: Goblin Pyros

My final four 'basic' goblins are done for my upcoming Witchfire game.

These are the goblin pyros for Pathfinder.  Not surprisingly I went with the same colour scheme as the previous four goblins but as I speculated in my previous post the addition of the torches does add a splash of colour.

I'm working my way through the Citadel Technical paints tonight so Thunderwicket should be done tomorrow and then I'm going to try to speed paint my way through those dozen Elves for Lord Of The Rings.  Oh, and Zoe's almost done her second figure as well, this time she went with an old west figure.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Oh Rackham, why didn't I appreciate you more when you were here?

I put together and painted another NPC for my Witchfire Trilogy game and once again dipped into my now dwindling pile of Confrontation miniatures.

Before I get to the fig itself I have to say I feel like I've  missed a huge opportunity.  When Confrontation first came out I bought some figures but I really didn't like the game play so I didn't stick with it.  I still bought the occasional cool looking miniature but without the focus of a game to play them with my purchases were a little scatter shot.  Now that I'm looking at gaming a fantasy/steampunky setting I wish I'd bought all the Confrontation figures I could have laid my hands on.  What a great well sculpted range with tons of character, and as a bonus their proportions mean they fit relatively well anywhere between 25 and 30mm.

Today's figure is noteworthy because he was originally released (to the best of my recollection) as an exclusive limited edition French language only sneak-peek into what the Hybrid line on miniatures was going to look like.  For my purposes he's a stern looking guy in a heavy leather coat with an over sized sword and a cool tri-barrel pistol.

It's interesting to me that my campaign is shaping up to have a mix of retro-styled (Otherworld) and next gen (Rackham, Privateer Press) miniatures and they all feel right together.


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Pathfinder: First Four Goblins Done!

I'm in the home stretch!  Four more goblins after this and I'm completely ready for my first Witchfire Trilogy game!

This is the basic pack of Pathfinder Goblins from Reaper Miniatures.  The ones I have painted here are metal but they also now offer these figures in their "Bones" line which is a soft plastic at a much lower price point.  As I mentioned before Goblins are really the iconic Pathfinder monsters and these are exceptionally good figures.  My first use of them in gaming will be as fairly standard low-level baddies/vermin but I also have the supplement and module from Paizo featuring them as a PC race.

I went with largely the same colour combo I used on my pig-faced-orcs which in hindsight feels like it might be a bit too dark.  The next four goblins are the Pyros and they all have torches so that should add a splash of colour.


Zoe's World: Faerie Princess

Last night's daddy-daughter painting session was a huge success! 

My 7 year old daughter Zoe got her first model completely painted in just about an hour and had such a great time doing it that as soon as it was done she asked me when she could do her next one.  I am super-impressed because as any of you with kids or who work with kids may know at 7 sometimes patience and focus are not where they need to be to do something like this.  First up lets take a look at Zoe's model.  She will be using this figure to play in a stripped down D20 game because she also mentioned she wanted to try one of daddy's games.

So let me start by answering the obvious question which is; how much did I help/do?  I got the paint on the neck, I touched up a few spots where the purple got onto the red and the red got onto the purple, I painted the dagger...and that's it, the rest is all her. 

This all got started because Zoe wants to participate in some of the things I do with my leisure time and she loves little figures (she has a ton of my surplus Heroclix on her dresser).  I'm also really excited to using gaming to help her with her basic math skills and sneak in a little teaching on the side.

Here's a question for me to throw back out to the rest of you; can you recommend figures that meet the following criteria to help grow and build Zoe's collection?
-no overly fine pieces that stick out
-"appropriate" for a 7 year old
-any genre

That does it for me for right now, but painting with her I was able to get another one of my projects done so that will shoe up here later today.


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hobby Grab Bag: Now with 100% less theme!

I'm all over the map this week...and this stuff doesn't even include the Lord Of The Rings Elves I'm trying to finish....

First up I've made a little bit of progress on my Pathfinder Goblins.  I'm contacting my players tonight about picking a date to play so I need to get serious and get these guys finished.

Next a friend of mine recently let me look through his Warzone Resurrection rules so I'm eager to play!  I've got a Capitol army list I can use and the Imperial rules aren't out yet but a new version of a game feels like it calls for a new army so I've decided to start a Bauhaus army.  To be 100% honest I always knew I was going to end up painting a Bauhaus army when I started painting my 'space fascists'  but now I've got an actual structure to apply it to.  I'm going to start off with 600 points and I'm kicking that off by painting 2 squads of Hussars.  These should fit in with the Wargames Factory Greatcoats I painted awhile back so more to come on this shortly.

This next project is less motivated by short term need or game use and is more about trying some new products out.  I need an unarmed Steamjack for my Witchfire Trilogy game (eventually) but when I was at my local comic shop last weekend they had the new Citadel Technical Paints in.  I want to try out the Nihilakh Oxide and the Typhus Corrosion and this fig will let me do both!  The figure itself is a Cygnar Heavy Jack from the Grind game.

The last figure I want to call attention to is extra special.  My 7 year old daughter has decided she wants to paint her first miniature to play a game with and after deciding that a magical fey princess is the perfect character for her try out a stripped down version of D20 with we picked out this Ex Illis model from their core game.  She'll be getting painted up tonight in our first daddy-daughter painting session!

Hopefully I'll have some finished models to show off before the week is out.


Friday, 3 January 2014

"Iconic" Fighters

Back when Wizards Of The Coast first launched their (at the time) new D20 version of Dungeons & Dragons one of the somewhat subtle concepts they introduced was the branding of "iconic" characters.  Basically the idea was that anytime an illustration or a game play example called for a human fighter they would use the same human fighter thus creating a sense of continuity over a broad range of relatively unconnected material.  This idea has since been ported over to Pathfinder where the same 4 characters can be seen over and over again and are now the 4 starting PCs in the awesome Pathfinder Beginner Box.

First up let me just say I really like this idea.  It's not a game play mechanic and it's not a real world-building sort of thing but it almost creates an unspoken narrative and I like the fact that it feels like a throwback to 1st edition D&D when Gary Gygax's original PCs all got featured in the Rogues Gallery supplement.

As I close in on my first Pathfinder game for 2014 (just have to set a date) I realised that I would have to get a male human fighter miniature ready for one of my players to use.  I immediately got out the fantastic Valeros Iconic Human Fighter figure Reaper did for Pathfinder.  The player in question actually played Valeros about a year ago when we played through the Beginner Box but at the time we used the Pathfinder pre-painted miniature.

Valeros is a great miniature armed with two melee weapons and a bow as well as wearing a fairly generic set of medium/heavy armour.  I went with a fairly earthy colour pallet as Valeros doesn't really seem like a flashy kind of adventurer. 

Painting up Valeros and reflecting on the "iconic" character idea got me thinking back to D&D and I got out my old figs to re-base and touch up Regdar the "iconic" human fighter of D&D 3rd edition.  Regdar has a pretty special place in my miniature collection as he has been re-based four times now and represented five different characters.  He's just a great generic fighter figure who none-the-less has some fantastic detailing and character about him.

Looking at the two figures together it made me feel like I've got the male human fighter angle covered without having a massive assortment of figures.  It also made me think that every player and GM should have two figures like this in their collection.

Which do you like better?  Sword & shield or two-weapons and bow?


Thursday, 2 January 2014

2013 - The Year In Review

It's that time again to look back at my hobby and blogging time and look at what worked well, what didn't and lay out some thoughts on plans for the new year.

In spite of a couple of extended periods without posting the blog looks relatively healthy.  We're closing in on 12,000 hits which to my mind isn't bad for somebody's personal project log, I would like to figure out how to get more followers so we can get more hobby talk going on in the comments section, any thoughts?
I got a decent amount of painting done this year.  My Cryx force is now close to 100 points and I got a ton of figures done for virtually every RPG that I play.  My particular point of pride is that I can now run a Pathfinder game on short notice without having to resort to 90% of the monsters being horror themed.
I learned a little bit more about publishing (more on this shortly) and have a better handle on my next step forward to putting some stuff out into the world.

Although I painted a lot I didn't game nearly as much as I did last year.  A big part of this was a change in jobs that resulted in me working some irregular hours but c'est la vie.
I stalled/false-started/failed to launch/whatever on publishing an actual game AGAIN this year.  I've re-examined what I want to do (more on this shortly) and have totally changed my plan.
I didn't come anywhere near my goal of 365 posts this year.

I've set some specific gaming goals for this year.  I'm going to play Pathfinder at least a half-dozen times with at least two different groups.  I'm going to play some 25-30mm sci-fi games this year (last year might represent the first time in over 20 years I've gone a whole year without playing a game in that genre and scale), the two leading candidates right now are 40K and Warzone.  I'm going to self-publish a game product this year, I'm taking a step back from a full game launch (it's just not working) and instead I'm going to go smaller and produce an OGL print product this year.  I'm going to raise the quality and quantity of material on the blog this year, I've got some ideas for how to expand the amount of material accompanying hobby posts and I'm also looking into file-sharing some free gaming resources.

I hope all of you had a great 2013 and I look forward to sharing more with everybody in 2014.