Saturday, 31 March 2012

Game one: Oops!

'Clash of Warlords' ended abruptly with a charge by 8 Norman Knights led by my opponent's warlord.
I'm going for the careless/stupid Warlord award, clearly.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Saga day in Enfield, London

All well I've been frantically finishing another couple of points for my Saga Warband. No rest for the wicked, eh?

Reason being is I'm going to play some games of Saga at a campaign day tomorrow in Enfield, North London. Details here. It sounds like a good day actually, plenty going on including demos and Gripping Beast guys there showing off Northern Fury. I'll post some photos of my war band in action.

Happily I finished my fifth and sixth points of Vikings. Distressingly though, I spray varnished them with GW purity seal and they misted up a little. Not as badly as last time, but definitely a duff can. I'll have to put a little work into fxing them up again, pretty annoying But not before I've taken the can back!

As a result, I've resolved to move away from GW products. They are very convenient to get hold of but this is the third or four can of spray I've had problems of various sorts with. And with the paint overhaul, im thinking it is time to bite the bullet and start buying vallejo.

Gateful if anyone can recommend a brand of spray undercoats and matt varnish? I hear dullcote is good for the latter...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Challenge: Wrap up

I took this snap of everything I painted during the Analogue Hobbies Winter painting challenge. So this is my total painting output between 20 December and 20 March. Definitely good going for me, it feels like a long time since I have put out so much.
I hit the heady heights of 519 points, nearly 5% over my target. Scoring was 5 points for a 28mm miniature, 10 for cavalry and I worked through 80-something miniatures. My 500 wasn't even close to the leaders, who reached nearly 5000 points!
Looking over my entries and harking back to what I had on my painting table at the start, there is quite a difference. I started with a lot of Napoleonics to do, in particular 20- something cavalry. But have worked on my Naps for a couple of years, I'm feeling a bit burned out so my output was less, and primarily focused on finishing units off rather than starting new ones. With these done I'm thinking a break and some new projects is in order.
I did an unexpected amount of 1930s (ish) Pulp miniatures, which are always fun but were mostly bought once we'd begun. The driver for this comes from my brother's renewed interest in Pulp gaming. In fact, quite a few of these (and others I have prepped) are a gift for his birthday next month. This fashionable lady was the last of these, a shameless bid for Sarah's Choice and a delight to paint.

Manufacturers-wise, plenty of Perry and a bit for Victrix, Gripping Beast, Artizan, Pulp Figures. All excellent models and some of my favourite manufacturers. What else did I learn? Well plenty about the friendliness of our hobby, with a lot of camaraderie and encouragement from challengers and visitors alike. I learned about all facets of the hobby: modelling techniques, manufacturers, photography so forth. i saw some fantastic miniatures come off our collective painting tables, in all scales. I was impressed in particular with a lot of the 15mm work, a scale I've always avoided. Choosing my entry for the Challenger's Choice winner was tough, I can tell you.
So, many thanks to Curt for running it, it looked like a lot of work but I think we all appreciated it a lot. Thanks to everyone who entered, visited, commented and blogged about it, you are all true gentlemen and I found real sense of community in it. So, until next year: Curt has challenged me to 1000 points. Could I do it?

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Two quick questions

After a few days off I'm ploughing back into the painting to keep that Challenge momentum up. Expect more updates.

But in the meantime I was wondering if any of my readers has:

-any spare round plastic shields for Vikings. Wargames Factory ones would be great (anyone assemble theirs with double-handed axes or bows?) Gripping Beast plastics would probably also suit. I need just four or six if anyone has any sitting around in their bits box. I can trade other plastic bits if you need anything.

-an unwanted copy of Blitzkrieg Commander V2 they would like to sell to me? I fancy trying it out with 10mm WWII but am feeling a bit cheap to fork out £20 for a new copy just before Salute. Not helped that WWII probably won't get played often at the moment so I'd prefer not to lay out a lot on rules. I reckon someone has an unwanted copy gathering dust somewhere.

In other news, I dipped my toe into Kickstarter yesterday with a pledge to Blackwater Gulch. Seems like a great project and cowboys are cool, right? Kickstarter seems to be a developing into quite a thing for both the wargaming and board gaming communities. Hopefully it will continue the diversification of both, without putting too many poor products out there. We shall see! I don't intend to get too into Kickstarter though - it could end up using a lot of my hobby budget.

Quick! Stock up on Devlan mud!

I don't follow GW news, but I still use their paints. Apparently, they are being overhauled:

I've already had to develop a new skin method after they ditched bronzed flesh - not a disaster as I prefer my new one, but was a pain for matching. They also changed graveyard earth i think, which I use buckets of. But my main concern is whether Devlan Mud will survive. They wouldn't change it... Would they?

Even more tempted to move to Vallejo, now.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Free? Really?!

To the board gamers out there, I learned from a recent Dice Tower Podcast that there is a free App for Dominion available on i-devices (not sure about Android). Although not official, its continuing existence on the App store suggests it is sanctioned in some way. But's free. Pretty good deal, huh? I've stayed away from App versions of Board Games I own because I'm very reluctant to pay for something twice.

Having tried the App out today it plays just like core set Dominion, with decent computer AI opponents and an option for online play. Unlike the free web version which also exists, it actually uses the official Dominion artwork, which makes it much more appealing visually. Downsides are that the interface could do with a polish and I have had it crash mid-game. But heck, its free.

Although popular, Dominion does take a little picking up due to the variety of ways of winning and the dramatic differences from game to game caused by the different setups available. So although there is a tutorial I do imagine the App will be pretty baffling to the newcomer. But if you're a board gamer and enjoy card or Euro games, you may well enjoy this medieval-themed combination if the two, which focuses on players each constructing themselves a deck of cards which represents their kingdom. It really is a clever game and well worth a look. And of course, buying the core set rather than just getting the App means you reward the creators of this fine game.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Happy Birthday!

I totally failed to notice that the first anniversary of my first blog post has been and gone, being on 13 March.

Here is a little celebration of that, in a year where my my painting output has been higher than for a long time, yet my summer was affected by a turbulent personal and professional life.

So, in this moment of reflection, I bid goodwill to bloggers everywhere!


Saturday, 17 March 2012

A little bit of history

Living in London means there is an incredible choice of museums, galleries and other attractions to see.

Crossed another off the list today - the small but interesting Household Cavalry museum on Horse Guards Parade.

Much of the museum was detailing the odd blend of ceremonial and active combat duties that the Household Cavalry perform, as well as the daily duties of the Regiment. Apparently on
Ceremonial duties they spend 10 hours cleaning and polishing both their and their horse's kit each day. A really nice touch was passing through part of the stables, most of which is still in use. So you could see some of the horses and squaddies going about their daily business.

Plenty of relics on show too: their Squadron Standard (you can see the Peninsula and Waterloo battle honours in this snap) for the Napoleonic enthusiast there was also a copy(!) of the French Eagle of the 105th that they captured at Waterloo, Uxbridge's false leg after he lost his at Waterloo and plenty of original sabres, helmets and kit. Smaller displays touched on duties quelling the Jacobite rebellion, in South Africa and changes in warfare into the 20th Century, World Wars and present day.

All in all a great little museum at a fair price so well worth a trip.

Challenge entries: summary

Before I start, I realise I've not written much other than about the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge for months. So apologies if you aren't interested in that at all (or follow Curt's blog yourself). Well, the Challenge closes on Tuesday, so there won't be much more to say about it. I would say normal service will resume, but As I go in fits and starts of Blogging I'm not sure what normal service looks like. 

Anyway, here is a summary of my latest Challenge entries, with just a few bits left to finish off before Tuesday. 

First, some converted 28mm Napoleonic Spanish Guerillas. A bit of a random project but they will feature in scenarios for Sharpe Practice. They are based on Perry plastic ACW cavalry, but use plastic bits from a plethora of the recent plastic sets from Perry and Victrix. They came out pretty well and each of them is a little bit individual.

Next up, some Viking Levy for Saga. These follow the paint scheme for my warband ( where the hearthguard are quite standard in colours of red/beige/black, Bondi tend to have more browns and greens and these, the Levy are more bland again - exclusively green, grey, brown and beige. They are Gripping Bast castings. 

Finally a few British Napoleonic infantry to bulk out my current units. A mixture of Perry and Victrix. Now these are done, I'm taking a well overdue break from Napoleonics! 

Have a good weekend all. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Hobby time by candlelight

I was hoping to finish off some Vikings tonight, but a power cut plunged my place into darkness literally a few minutes before I sat down.
Did I let that stop me? Did I hell! Can you tell why my final job was?
Now, if the power came back I could get on with some more substantial work...

Friday, 9 March 2012

Blitzkrieg Commander at SLW

So, went to South London Warlords again on Monday and got a demo of Blitzkrieg Commander. Using 10mm early war French and Germans borrowed from the hosts. All in all, i thought it was a light, quick and fun ruleset. It reminded me of the bastard love-child of Warmaster and Epic, with a dash of historical accuracy. Not necessarily a bad thing!

It seemed to work smoothly with minimal rules-consulting, all information in one table and seemed to have relatively good balance. Those German tanks aren't invincible - especially after a battering from my pair of Char B's!

Play time was about 2.5 hours including setup which is pretty much the top end of an ideal time to my mind. We played with quite a few house rules, though not having played the core rules I couldn't recount what they were. I did have some ideas for further streamlining of the system, by trimming the number of phases. Pity I struggle to play a ruleset without thinking of how I can 'personalise' it - especially given I've only played one game through!

All in all a great visit out to SLW and really good to get a game in - now to look at how to tweak (read: expand) my 10mm late war British without having access to the BKC rule book!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Challenge Countdown

Well, the Analogue Hobbies Challenge has flown by. It's been real fun but the entrants are into the last two weeks and I'm getting panicky that I won't reach my self-imposed target. With just 12 days to go, I've hit 409 points, so need another 91 to make the magic 500, that's nineteen 28mm miniatures. Given my pace, this is a daunting task.
Now, I've a group of Vikings on the workbench, perhaps halfway finished. Will hopefully wrap them up over the weekend - despite being away at a Stag do for much of it!
That still leaves me needing to do one big or two small batches in a week - eep! I've some Redcoats nearly finished but I know from experience the finishing off takes an age. I've another Pulp female to do to take another punt at Sarah's prize. After that...more Vikings?
Wish me luck!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Challenge entries: bumper edition and Cavalier

Many apologies for not posting recently, been a bit busy with work, socialising and even some frantic painting!
Here are my last few entries to the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge. Some Pulp nazis, one Anglo-Dane Warlord for Saga (a gift for my brother), a van for Pulp and some Indian peasants, also for pulp.
I also made it to Cavalier 2012 in Tonbridge the other week. A small show but was good to get on the show circuit before Salute in April, mostly to scout out what I might fancy buying at Salute. I only grabbed a Crooked Dice scary angel (I like Doctor Who, and fancied it as a little jokey piece of terrain) and some bargain bucket half price Copplestone gangster-era civilians which I think will be useful for Pulp gaming.