Thursday, 20 November 2014

Coach Awdry!

Forged in the heat of the most fearsome of battles true warriors emerge. Men and creatures that command the respect of those around them, talismans with the ability to lead teams from the brink of destruction to triumph against all the odds, legends bestowed with arcane knowledge and experience – and then there was Coach Awdry! 

Although I’ve only played a couple of games of Blood Bowl, I was keen to find a suitable miniature to represent Coach Awdry, screaming his team plays from the side lines and constantly wondering why he picked the lumbering Kroxigor that was once again heading the wrong way up the pitch – for the love of Lustria!  Fortunately for me the 'Comixininos' site had a couple of suggestions and so it wasn’t long before I was the proud owner of a Saurav Geet from the Hell Dorado universe.

I had toyed with the idea of simply putting him together and slapping a bit of paint on, but it just felt that a little something else was needed to sell this as a Blood Bowl coach. To that end I carefully removed the fearsome looking dagger and in its place a clipboard was added. I imagined him frantically waving and screaming at his players who, once again, had misunderstood the play! I’m afraid these photographs, taken at night under artificial light and have washed the colours out a bit, but you should be able to see the wonderful details on this model – far too good for me. That said I loved the idea that he was wearing the remnants of some rusty old body armour and a tattered cloak giving him that ‘all the gear, but no idea’ look*

Finally with the addition of the ball at his feet** Coach Awdry is ready to lead his team out onto the field of battle, provided of course he can persuade them to follow him!

*This sums up my Blood Bowl experience to date!
**This can be removed for game play.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Long Legged Bird!

My apologies for the shamelessly provocative title and teaser picture, it was just too good an opportunity to miss - although I might get some disappointed, casual visitors and as a result.

'Dinovember' continues apace as I try to clear the painting table of prehistoric prowlers ahead of the commencement of the 'Vth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' - now with its own weblog!  This then a Terrorbird from the mighty 'Wargames Foundry'.  I forget when I picked up this particular long legged bird up* , the memory not being what it was, but just a cursory look on the Foundry site would suggest that they no longer cast them, a pity as this was a splendid chunk of metal and a delight to work on. 
*certainly not a phrase to be uttered in the presence of the Saintly Mrs. Awdry!

Requiring very little in the way of preparation, something I am always grateful for, this apparently flightless creature stands tall and proud, not dissimilar in appearance to an ostrich, but with a frighteningly large beak!  Some web based research saw a working palette discerned and before long the Phorusrhacos, another denizen of the 'Lost World', was complete. 

Just as a brief aside, I had another play with the Vallejo Mica flake gel on the base to create the impression of leaf litter on the jungle floor.  Having based the Terrorbird on a 'Warbases' 40mm disc, the usual rock, pebbles and pumice were applied, but when dry I added the Mica flakes, this time teasing it out a little more so that the shapes of the substance were clearly defined.  Once dry it is simply primed and painted as any other product.  Still some more experimenting to be done before I'm completely satisfied that I know what I'm doing with it, but it is certainly showing promise.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A Brace of Protoceratops.

Just the briefest of posts as proof of life!  As is often the way, even with the best laid plans, real life has a habit of throwing the proverbial spanner in the works.  That said, I did manage to find some time this weekend to finish off these rather charming dinosaurs - a brace of Protoceratops.

This rather diminutive pair are from the splendid 'Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company' and fortunately didn't require much in the way of preparation.  I couldn't resist giving them a colourful beak and frill bone, but worried I've made them look a little too friendly.  There are still are few prehistoric beasties stalking around the painting table that need to be completed before one's attention turns towards all things 'Challenge' related', but more on that in due course.  

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A Year to Remember.

Today of all days, the act of remembrance seems perhaps more poignant particularly as this year marks the centenary of the commencement of hostilities in the Great War of 1914. Like a good many myself and Mrs. Awdry made a point of travelling to London to experience the phenomena that was the 'Poppies at the Tower'. 

The 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British fatality in the First World War, form an evolving installation entitled, 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red', marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, they were set by stage designer Tom Piper and progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat.

I thought this to be a uniquely British concept and one that clearly caught the public's imagination with record breaking crowds swarming to see them before the scheduled dismantling of the installation on the 12th November; it is certainly something, I will long remember.

We Will Remember Them.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Martians have invaded!

…we interrupt proceedings to report that a sleepy village in East Sussex has been overrun by a Martian horde, its sole intent - the destruction of the human race!

Just shy of a year ago to the day, I pledged an exorbitant amount of money* to help fund the 'Mars Attacks' Kickstarter that was launched by 'Mantic Games'.  A bizarre series of circumstances combined to see me totally absorbed by the Kickstarter phenomenon and before I knew it, I was being swept away by the excitement of it all.  Already a fan of the imagery produced by the Topps trading card company, 'Mars Attacks' appealed to my childish sensibilities and the idea of it becoming a board game that I might be able to persuade my non-wargaming friends to get involved with seemed like too good an opportunity to miss out on.  
*certainly more than I'm willing to disclose here!

Very excited!
This was my first experience of Kickstarter and as the campaign progressed my lack of experience started to show.  As stretchgoals were unlocked, I became gripped with desire to become a completist, I couldn't miss out on anything!  This wasn't helped by the fact that everything looked 'so darn cool'!  When the minutes finally ticked down and the time came to pay up, my wallet and I winced at the realisation of what I had done.  Having made brief reference to my indiscretion to the Saintly Mrs. Awdry, the matter was forgotten and I have had a year to recoup my expenditure and expunge the guilt!  

 Whilst the time lapsed between funding and distribution has been good for my soul, it did somewhat dampen my enthusiasm for the project; after all a year here at '28mm Victorian Warfare' can see a myriad of projects come and go!  This feeling of apathy gave way to one of frustration when news that the game was being shipped.  I read, more and more about it on many of the splendid weblogs that I enjoy, but still no sign of my pledge!  

Vehicles and 'Stompy' robots!
That was until earlier this week when I received an email from UPS saying that they were going to deliver my 6.5kg package on Friday.  Euphoria soon turned to dread as I realised that we would be at work and so what was to happen to my invading force of Martians?  

There was no obvious way of contacting UPS to arrange an alternate date or address for delivery and so I was resolved to wait for the inevitable email alerting me to the fact that "your parcel was unable to be delivered", but it never came.  It wasn't until we opened the door on our return from work that I discovered why - yes they had been, but had now taken my goodies away again.  

The good guys.
Fortunately  for me they had not gone too far and I was able to track down the abortive Martian invasion at, of all places, a Brantano Footwear store on the local industrial estate - I know not why!  With the parcel safely ensconced back at 'Awdry Towers' and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' appeased with a large mug of tea, I quietly got on with preparing a light supper, all the time my thoughts drifting to the large package discretely positioned at my corner of the dining room table - all thoughts of indifference, vanished!  After supper, as the 'Square of Despair' droned on in the background, I surreptitiously opened the box - I was like a child in a sweetshop, a magical moment indeed.  

The Martian horde.
After a cursory look at all the plastic loveliness and brushing off a comment of, 'We're going to need a bigger house" with a suitably contrite reply, I decided it was best to wait for the morning before having a closer look.  So as the Lady of the house is currently charging up and down the hockey pitch, yours truly is now knee deep in plastic Martians.  The enormity of what I have done is starting to dawn to me.  This was supposed to be a small investment in a skirmish level game to encourage a few friends round for a 'beer and pretzel' type evening, but oh no, not anymore!  I seem to have enough gaming mats to cover the entire ground floor of 'Awdry Towers', more buildings** to give 'Barrett Homes' a run for their money and a plastic population explosion to match a small developing country!  
**in various states of repair

The hapless ground forces. 
So where does this leave me, hobby wise, you might ask?  Well apart from being as giddy as a kipper, the painting table has an unholy combination of Martians and Dinosaurs roaming about it, but this will have to be a tempory aberration.  I think what is required is a quick stocktake and a healthy dose of common sense.  After a brief interlude playing with the large 'stompy' robot and flying saucer this morning, I shall have to pack up all but the core game and see if I can't fathom out how to use the 'A.I. solo game cards' to at least justify the purchase, after all everyone knows that to leave a Dinosaur unattented for too long is to court disaster - that and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' is due home soon!

The rules.

Ack! Ack! Ack!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Blood Bowl Apothecary

I do love this time of year, simply because I can indulge in so many wonderfully obscure miniatures under the banner of 'Dinovember'!  So with this post, I'm pleased to reveal my latest edition to  the 'South Coast Saurus' bench - the surgeon!    I soon discovered, that Blood Bowl is a bruising game and what better way to give the team the chance to run off those niggling sprains than with their very own Apothecary. 

Once again from 'Comixininos' and again a little assembly was required with the tail and saw arm needing to be attached.  He has this wonderfully maniacal look to him and I couldn't resist giving him heavy duty rubber gloves and a rusty old saw to instil confidence in the rest of the team!  A little smaller in stature than the Bloodweiser Babe, but none the less enjoyable to paint - now to find a miniature to represent Coach Awdry! 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Bloodweiser Babe

Having safely negotiated 'Zomtober' it is time to indulge in the frivolity that is 'Dinovember'! I think that it is important to state from the outset that this is purely for my own enjoyment, a self-indulgent whim that gives me the excuse to paint anything vaguely dinosaur related. That said if anyone else cares to join in, please feel free - the more the merrier!

So to kickstart this nonsense off, I bring you an addition to my Lizardman Blood Bowl team, my very own Bloodweiser Babe. Now regular readers of this humble weblog will remember that I had been gifted an exquisite set of bespoke Lizardmen players courtesy of the mischievous 'Loki' and had even managed to get them on the field of play! So when I discovered this wonderful miniature on the 'Comixininos' site, I knew that I just had to have it to add to the team.

You purchase a keg of extra-special Bloodweiser magic ale for 50,000 gold pieces, and get a lovely lady to serve players before going out for each drive. The combination of the ale and the young lady serving it means that for each purchase of this inducement, players on the team gain a +1 modifier to recover from KO’d for this match.
This tactic had served me well in my first game, so I am more than happy to have a Bloodweiser Babe of my own to travel with the team.  The miniature required a little construction, but nothing too taxing and was hugely enjoyable to work on.  I am afraid that when it  came to a colour palette, I shamelessly 'borrowed' from the 'Comixininos' site, but with the addition of a cave girl style chamois outfit and the creation of a touchline, using an off cut piece of plastic strip, I was able to give it my own personal twist.  


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