Thursday, 12 January 2017

One, Two... Five!

I should really begin by apologising to my fellow contributors of the ‘VII Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’ as I am rather stretching this topic out to a second post, but I have a few more photographs and there did seem like a justifiable break in proceedings.  So to compliment my brave Grail Knights* it seemed only fitting that they were given some mystical enlightenment to aid them on their quest.  To that end another ‘Studio Miniatures’ Medieval Mayhem character was dusted off and prepared.   Another cracking sculpt, ‘not’ Tim was a fairly straight forward paint job, with the palette lifted straight from the film, but all the while that I was painting him I was troubled by the Enchanter's immortal words, "Well, that's no ordinary rabbit, that's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!" 
*and those dastardly, taunting French!
Try as I might, I could dislodge the thought that I needed to represent the Beast of Caerbannog, but how do you create a rabbit that’s got a vicious streak a mile wide?  Fortunately the original Kickstarter exclusive miniature, awarded to all backers, was a set of three leaping rabbits, so with the initial idea set it was away to the bits box to track down the requisite paraphernalia required to complete the scene. 
Now I need, at this point, to give credit to Snitchy of 'Snitchy the Dog' fame whose original idea for a casualty counter has heavily inspired this reincarnation.  His wonderful blog even let slip where I was to find that most precious of ordnance and with the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch ordered up from 'Zinge Industries' I threw all manner of ‘bits and bobs’ at a 'Warbases' MDF disc and et voilĂ !
This was, of course, a totally unnecessary addition, but hugely enjoyable fun to put together.  I still have designs for a shrubbery to contemplate, but these will have to wait for another time, in the interim I am trying to resist the temptation to order up a set of the new monks and perhaps a witch.

Armaments, chapter two, verses nine through twenty-one:

"O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

"I am Arthur, King of the Britons."

Never one to be tied down by convention or the obvious* I thought that I would stretch the interpretation of this year's 'Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' opening bonus round entry.  Armour had instantly conjured up squadrons of tanks and whilst I had been looking for an excuse to purchase 'Warlord Games' fabulous version of Oddball's Sherman, I resisted and went in search of a suitable alternative from the lead pile.
*who am I trying to kid, I was wracked with guilt every time I considered an alternative to a side parting, I still am and that is after the parting has long since departed!
Having given the matter a little more thought, I decided that Knights in Armour would work, but not any old knights, this called for Grail knights!  'Studio Miniatures' wonderful 'not' Monty Python homage proved another irresistible Kickstarter** and just the ticket for my opening gambit in the Challenge.  Having made all manner of protestations that I wouldn't get caught up with the Bonus Rounds this year it would appear that I have fallen at the first, becoming so focussed on this entry that I have singularly failed to complete anything else.
**Of which there have far too many of late.
Once again great sculpts from 'Studio Miniatures' that really were a joy to paint although I stopped short of depicting their respective heraldic devices on the surcoats, simply running out of time.  I did, however have a go at using some water slide transfers from 'Flags of War'.  These were going rather well until I rushed the final coat of varnish resulting in a crumpling effect, which I then exacerbated by trying to smooth them out, perhaps something that I will need to revisit in due course. 
With the Grail Knights completed, I turned my attention to the cavalry or at least one of them in the shape of trusty servant, Patsy.  Once again fabulous detail, but requiring a little filling here and there. It was at this point that I let things rather spiralled out of control and before I knew what was happening I succumbed to the foul taunting of the French Knights, this time mounted on some rather useful 'Sally 4th' MDF Flagstone bases.  Once completed a little voice in my head kept saying, "Now go away or I will taunt you a second time."  Try as I might I couldn't get off this rollercoaster of a ride and before I knew what was happening I was painting a tower for my Knights to shout down from.
Sadly there are no points for terrain pieces in the challenge, but this was one of those distractions that just needed to be done to complete the entry.  Of course the scene would not be complete without the infamous Trojan Rabbit.  Again part of the Kickstarter, I get the feeling that this was one of those additions that was added late on in the campaign without necessarily giving much thought as to how it would be constructed.  In the end it was a multi-part resin kit, but the body of which was so badly cast that I couldn't bring myself to do anything with it when it first arrived.  Now buoyed with the enthusiasm that came as a result of finishing the Knights, I revisited the project and set about the troublesome areas with filler.  A base coat and some liberal dry brushing and the piece was complete and  unlike the tower eligible for a few additional points.
As with last year the bonus rounds have really caught the imagination of my fellow challengers and I urge you, if you can, to pay a visit to the main page and perhaps cast a vote for your favourites.  Just follow the link here.
"I fart in your general direction!"

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2016, a year in review...

...and new targets for 2017.
My inevitable reflection on 2016 as a hobby year is once again somewhat late and I do hope that the kind, gentle folk who take the time to peruse my inane drivel haven't tired of such reviews as I appreciate that there has been a veritable glut of these of late, but I do enjoy a review of the year and I promise that I will keep this brief.
Whilst the world seems to have released a collective sigh of relief at the passing of such a difficult year, I have to say that '28mm Victorian Warfare' rather enjoyed 2016.  Having stopped worrying about posting and only doing what I can, I have rejuvenated my love for Blogging.  I still try to get around and comment on the many Blogs that I follow, but sometimes this has proved just too much when work is at its most demanding.  I still have concerns that my reading list is not necessarily as up to date as I would like and if you are in any way concerned that I have not visited you then do drop me a comment to let me know.  

Once again, I participated in the hugely enjoyable theme months of 'Zomtober' and 'Dinovember' with 'Forgotten Heroes' being added in 2016.  These, along with the juggernaut that is the 'Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge', rather dominate my hobby year and I have been mulling over whether or not to continue with all of them every year.  Whilst all help to generate some of my more creative work, I wonder if they have started to dictate what gets painted rather than allowing me to focus a specific project.

The lure of the crowd funding platform that is Kickstarter, saw me once again pledge far too much of my pocket money, but it remains something that I like to get involved in and I seem a little more measured in my approach to it.  An unexpected hobby avenue was the introduction of a Tabletop Gaming Club at school.  This has had a modest uptake, but it has meant that 2016 saw me play more games than in previous years with Bushido proving particularly popular. 

So on to the review of last year's targets:
1 Play more games! Target Met! Just as last year my gaming exploits were predominately board games, although 2016 saw Zombicide: Black Plague, Zombicide: Rue Morgue, Witchfinder General, Rum & Bones, Bushido and Space Cadets: Away Missions all played.

2 Maintain a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year.  I do not want to be prescriptive on this but will certainly look to maintain the interest in '28mm Victorian Warfare' by looking to post between 5 – 10 posts per month (a minimum of 60 posts for the year).  Target Met! 70 posts made in 2016 and again down on 2015, but I think this level of posting reflects a much more realistic and manageable target.

3 Attend at least one convention/exhibition/expo this year.  Target Met! Salute 2016, EuroMilitaire 2016 both attended this year and fabulous fun they were too.

4 I would like to try to curb the additional expenditure on miniatures this year, or at least try to bring it into line with output.  A simple tally score will suffice, hopefully something that will 'shame' me into being a little more restraint when it comes to all things hobby related.  Target Met! Painted 185 - 173 Bought = +12 in credit!  A credit score, but only just.  According to my tally counter the numbers are as follows*:

All miniatures are 28mm scale unless otherwise stated; tally for the year currently stands at:
Painted/constructed: 185
Bought: 173
Balance: +12
Detailed breakdown:
Foot: 110
Mounted: 1
Artillery: 1
Vehicles: 2
Buildings/Terrain pieces: 30
Livestock: 41

*All miniatures are 28mm scale unless otherwise stated

So to the future and what has 2017 in store for '28mm Victorian Warfare'? Well simply put, more of the same. That said there are a few possible distractions on the horizon.  With Bushido proving to be popular at school it seems inevitable that a small force of my own will need to be assembled and I have a hankering to build a mischievous Savage Wave faction.  I still feel that Post Apocalyptic gaming would be fun and having backed Across the Dead Earth and more recently received my pledge for This is Not a Test the genre has distinct possibilities and then of course there is Congo!  So time to reset that 'Tally Counter', take down the Christmas banner and present, in a roughly chronological order of creation, my efforts from 2016!

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