Saturday, March 18, 2017

Meanwhile - In The Elven Woodland Realms 3

Here are some more 28mm fantasy miniatures  by UK Heresy Miniatures for my collection, useful either as personality figures for LOTR gaming or in my growing Dragon Rampant armies.  These figures fit the matriarchal nature of the elven force I’ve been working on.

I recommend Heresy for their fine customer service and for the quality of their sculpts.  These figures all have a willowy grace that I like, even if the brushwork sometimes has to find at facial features rather than simply draw attention to the sculptor’s work.

Elf Queem / mage / Galadriel stunt double.   When she’s not scrying the future in that palantir, she’s bowling ninepin strikes with it.

Druidess/wizardling/hippy chick, and perhaps my favourite one of this lot.

 Not sure what spell she is casting, exactly, but it looks rude.

Captain of Rangers and Mistress of Bows.

 

Mistress of Swords and leader of the elven SOF unit, “Galadriel’s Grrrrls”.

 

 

Finally, not really an elf, but when I placed a recent order for some Reaper figures, I added this Reaper Bones lady barbarian, as I figured that Kevin the Barbarian needed a girlfriend.  Here they are, as if they’ve stepped out of a 1970s fantasy calendar by Vallejo.  With her armour monokini she is a little embarrassing, and I trust that if my Bishop is reading this, he understands.

Thank you for looking and blessings to your brushes!

These figures bring my 2017 totals to:

15mm: Vehicles: 3, Foot Figures: 4, Scenic Pieces: 7

20mm: Foot figures: 18

28mm:  Foot Figures: 62;  Mounted Figures: 2; Terrain Pieces: 17

 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

For You, Secret Santa

Just after Christmas, I reported on an amazingly kind gift that my Secret Santa had sent me as part of the gift exchange run by the estimable Ian and Cath Willey.   I received two Games Workshop kits suitable to my LOTR project, a battering ram wielded by fearsome Isengard Uruks, and a bolt thrower, the pride of Saruman's artillery.

I said at the time,  "I guess I had better start making something for them to batter."


Well, Secret Santa, I hope this makes you proud of me.





What are those orcs knocking on, you may ask?

This.




Back in November, about the time that Kay went into hospital for her long stay, I was going through some GW rule books for their LOTR Strategy Battle Game rules, and found a simple recipe to build your own castle sections.   I duly bought a couple of sheets of foamcore from the local art supply store and started at it.  I would do a small piece at a time, usually at night after visiting the hospital, while I was still too wired to go to bed.  It was very therapeutic.




With three wall sections and four towers, the pieces measure almost three feet in length when laid out together.  I am still waiting for Mordor to agree to pay for it.






I am not the most talented chap when it comes to scratchbuilding.  As Ross M put it recently, I find the art of drawing lines using a ruler, cutting, and finding that things line up evenly is nothng short of sorcery.  If you look at it up close, the joins are quite rough and the whole thing is rather dodgy, but from a small distance it looks ok.    Once the components were glued together, I sprayed them with a gray art paint by Liquitex.  It tended to obscure the scoring I had done in some sections to suggest the stonework, so I have to go over everything again with a craft knife to make sure the stonework comes through.

I got enough of this done to provide me with an entry for the "scene from a book or film" contest on this year's Painting Challenge.  When I started the project, I thought I would have time to use the wall for a scene from the siege of Gondor in the Return of the King.  However, I didn't have enough Gondorians completed for that, so decided that I could call this Helm's Deep and be done with it.


Bad chaps roll up to the wall.




Elves and men desperately defend themselves.




This project amused me and gave me the chance to acquire some lessons learned about scratchbuilding fortifications.   Thirty bucks for two sheets of foamcore and a can of gray spray paint was a lot less expensive than buying a resin model from the likes of Hudson and Allen.  


When the spirit moves me I may add a few more sections, enough for a game simulating an assault on one portion of a fortress, where the attacker wins by getting up and over in strength.   There are siege rules in the GW LOTR rules, and there may be some homebrew siege rules for Dragon Rampant, I shall have to see.


At any rate, Secret Santa, my orcs have something to shoot at and batter down.  They are happy, as am I.  Thank you for the inspiration.



Monday, March 6, 2017

Troops For The Elven Realm

Middle Earth, I find, is rather like Napoleonics, in that after a while, you start to want to do all the armies.    Well, maybe not all of them, but I do have some unpainted 6mm Bavarians and I am not sure how that idea started.

While my Elven force has been decidedly, well, matriarchal thus far, some years ago I acquired some of the GW lead sculpts of elves as seen in the (infamous to book purists) Helm’s Deep sequence from Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers.  I also had some sprues of the GW plastic elves from the Warriors of the First Age set, the chaps seen in the prelude to the first Jackson film, where Sauron is walking around all “OOO, look at me and my shiny ring on my vulnerable finger, bet you can’t cut THAT off, hahahaha … bugger, that hurt!”.  

I had enough figures to do two 12 strength units for Dragon Rampant, if I augmented the archers with some other figures.   Besides, my good friend James has been knocking it out of the park since November with his amazing progress on the Vendel fantasy sculpts we chipped in on, as you can see here.  His hand painted banners are a thing of beauty, and he’s been doing some terrific BIG solo battles using Dragon Rampant, such as this one, which is accompanied by some lovely writing.  I figured that the next time we get together, we can combine forces, and I can augment his elves with these chaps.

 These will probably be fielded as Light Foot in DR terms, using the upgrades cleverly thought through by Iron Mitten/Secundus here. Chaps with the silver skirts in the centre of the unit are lead figures, which now appear to be OOP.

 

Unit of eight archers, also from the plastic Warriors of the First Age set.  I had a bit of a disaster priming these with black spray paint, as the paint got all thick and nubbly on some sides of some figures and hid a lot of detail, so they don’t look terrific up close.  However, in their bright blues, violet and gold, they look sharp enough from a distance.   Getting another sprue just for the 4 archer figures is annoying but probably cheaper and more useful than buying these chaps, as the plastic sprue will give me enough figures to make up a 12 figure unit of men of the First Age that can pass as Gondorians.

 

Finally, a close up shot of the command group.  I gave the boss a white cape, and tried a new technique for me, starting it out as brown, and then layering it up with three successive colours, ending in titanium white.   You can see it better in the first shot, not sure I like it.  I got the nerve to try the flag thanks to James’ good examples.

So, a force to keep the orcs on their toes, I hope.  If you haven’t seen these figures yet on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, they appeared there with another project which I will show off separately here another time.

Blessings to your brushes!

These figures bring my 2017 totals to:

15mm: Vehicles: 3, Foot Figures: 4, Scenic Pieces: 7

20mm: Foot figures: 18

28mm:  Foot Figures: 57;  Mounted Figures: 2; Terrain Pieces: 10

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Landscaping the Elven Realm 2

Here are the terrain stands I was embarking on last month.  I am pleased at how they turned out, and have learned a healthy respect for hot glue guns in the process.

Elves shooting from the foliage.   They look at home, I think.

I think that mixed with some proper tree models, they will make a very convincing representation of Fangorn or Mirkwood, or some other fantasy setting for Dragon Rampant.  May not work for the bocage of Normandy, however.   I have enough plastic foliage left to make another ten stands, when the spirit moves me to do so.  

Blessings to your gardens!

MP+

These figures bring my 2017 totals to:

15mm: Vehicles: 3, Foot Figures: 4, Scenic Pieces: 7

20mm: Foot figures: 18

28mm:  Foot Figures: 36;  Mounted Figures: 2; Terrain Pieces: 10

Friday, March 3, 2017

Some Pulp Heroes Willing to Dare (and Bare) All

Here are five 28mm figures painted for my ongoing Weird War Two project.  I posted them a few weeks ago on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge site, and am only just posting them here.  The first four L to R are from Pulp Figures, sculpted by Canada’s two-fisted Bob Murch.  The one on the right is by Reaper.

Major Paul “Puncher” McPhail, Chief of Staff of Project Alice, a top-secret British counter-intelligence and dark ops organization tasked with monitoring and thwarting Nazi investigations into the occult

Murch absolutely nailed British mess kit. This is almost exactly what hangs in my closet, and which strangely gets tighter every year.   This was the first bald figure I’ve ever painted.

The Major’s niece, Fiona Harmer, sometime of St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, an ace researcher and crack shot.

I tried to add some colour and texture to the hair to offset the drab clothing.

Sandy McGonigle was Major McPhail’s batman, and now his gamekeeper and bodyguard.   Don’t send me emails about the tartan, I just made it up.   I spent way too much time working on this figure, but enjoyed every minute of it.

 

Mimi LaRocque of the Resistance, a ginger with an attitude.   I love her outfit, which seems almost military, but I decided on a civilian colour scheme, to suggest a student, perhaps.  Who can resist a girl with a gun in a hat and tie?

 

 

Reaper’s Naughty French Maid.  Code name Bijou, she will do inside work collecting intelligence from senior German leaders, especially those with a fondness for the flying helmet, the limp piece of celery, and the feather duster.  The sculpt is by Wener Klocke, and I certainly did not do it justice, though I am happy with the hand painted tile floor.

 

I’m kinda hoping my Bishop doesn’t follow this blog …..

 

These figures bring my 2017 totals to:15mm: Vehicles: 3, Foot Figures: 4, Scenic Pieces: 720mm: Foot figures: 1828mm:  Foot Figures: 36;  Mounted Figures: 2

Blessings to your brushes!

These figures bring my 2017 totals to:

15mm: Vehicles: 3, Foot Figures: 4, Scenic Pieces: 7

20mm: Foot figures: 18

28mm:  Foot Figures: 36;  Mounted Figures: 2

Friday, February 24, 2017

Home Away From Rome: Secret Santa Obligations Finally Fulfilled

I am grateful to Cath Willey and to my Santa recipient, Chris Stoesen, for giving me extra time to  fulfil my Santa obligations after Kay got sick before Christmas and my spare time vanished.

Chris’ wish list included a camp scene from Baudea for his Romans.  Baudea make some lovely kit, quite detailed little resin models that were easy to pain.   These items finally on the way to Chris, I hope they will bring some rest and hot grub for his tired legionnaires.   15mm ancients aren’t really my thing, but if they were, I would invest in this kit.

 

 

 

These figures bring my 2017 totals to:

15mm: Vehicles: 3, Foot Figures: 4, Scenic Pieces: 7

20mm: Foot figures: 18

28mm:  Foot Figures: 31;  Mounted Figures: 2


Friday, February 17, 2017

What Monster Have I Created?

My learning this week is that I shouldn’t have offered to give this game away.

If you are an old school board war gamer, you will remember that Avalon Hill did a card game based on its popular WW2 game of infantry combat, Squad Leader.   It was notorious for the ridiculously handsome, almost angelic SS guy on the cover.  I’m surprised that image has not been resurrected by the Alt-RIght.    The bits below, including AH’s Pacific War expansion, Banzai!, was gifted to me by an Army friend of mine.  I tried playing it a few times solitaire, and it didn’t really seem that much fun.

This week I offered the game up on a Facebook group called Wargamer Pay It Forward.  The deal is that members can place dibs on games they want, and if they win one, they have to offer a game in return.  It’s a great system.  I had won a copy of GMT’s Labyrinth, a game on the US War on Terror against international jihadism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.   It seems like a good trade to me, as I like contemporary games and am a fan of the thoughtful work done by Ruhnke and his sometime collaborator,  Brian Train.

However, I wasn’t prepared for the 90+ claimants that have put in their dibs for Upfront!  I am fully expecting the number of entrants will top one hundred by the deadline of noon tomorrow.  Yikes.  I think I’ve found a robust random number generator that will do the job, but it will be a big job.  I suppose I could write the names on slips of papers and let Stanley the Cat draw one.  I’ve done it here before.

Blessings!

MP+

 

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