Monday, April 27, 2020


So... yeah, it has been a while.  I have not blogged for three months, and I have not even been keeping up with your lovely blogs for the last month plus. 

List of excuses in no particular order:
   Inefficiency of work from home
   Complicated work project sucking up all my energy
   Unexpected death of my Father-in-Law
   Trying to educate two kids in the six week absence of their teachers (thanks unions and school district!)
   Spring slow down as yard-work ramps up
   Desire to have some separation between work/home

and of course the cause for most of the above, what else but the Corona Virus. 

Excuses for why I have not been blogging are many, but I have been doing hobby stuff, just not had the time/energy to share it. Here are a few things:
   3d sculpted a miniature by request. Picture of the miniature in game
   Terrain mat, nearly finished, looking quite good.  Pictures taken
   Painting miniatures with the kids. Pictures taken
   Painting 15mm Germans.
   Converting and painting a figure straightaway. Pictures taken
   Scratch-building a pair of engines for a space ship. Many pictures taken
   Playing 40k with my kid, using the starter set he painted (he must get that from his mom)

Still not sure when I can get back to blogging proper (and more importantly reading your blogs) , but hopefully soon. 

Hope you are all well, and staying healthy. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Terrain Mat part Three

Part Three you say?  I previously posted a Part One, and then Part Two was buried in my Christmas/New Years post.

To recap, my wife found an old Ikea painting for free, and after quite a while I got the go-ahead to make it into a terrain mat.  In Part One my children helped with the initial smearing of caulk and spreading of flocks and static grasses.

In part two, I fixed some areas where the caulk had come off, and spread the caulk+ coffee for the road, and the caulk for the river, and then scattered some model railroad ballast.

In Part Three I worked on the mat by myself, as everyone else was doing their own outside art projects.

I first got out some green ink and future, and made  up a wash for the river bed.  This used up a lot of paint, and I think it turned out to be too green, but it should be fine under the clear caulk.

Second, I painted over all the bare portions of the mat.  Some of them came from places that the flock did not stick to the caulk, but rather more were where the caulk itself did not stick.  Very concerning.

Anyway, the paint seems a bit light to me, so I might go back and hit those with a brown wash, or alternatively plant some tufts there.

After that I got out an old spray bottle head, and a Starbucks coffee cup and made a rather cheap spray bottle for applying watered down PVA to the flock.  I had to make up a bunch of loads of the mix, so hopefully it helps keep the flock on.

Terrain mat as it looked on Sunday
Next time I expect to apply the clear caulk, and maybe get a cheap can of mat sealer for the flock issue.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Happy Christmas/New Year

Happy Christmas and Happy New year to you all.

I hope Santa/Krampus/Your Paypal account brought you what you wanted this year.

I have been rather busy for the last month, with a conference in Chicago, being sick for a week, and then taking nearly two weeks off from work to be with the kids.

For Christmas this year, I, er Santa, got everyone in the household miniatures from Reaper for their stocking.  Reaper, as is usual for the season, was running a few promotions, so I got a few extra things too:
Reaper Christmas 2019
Specifically, in addition to free shipping, I got a free miniature of the month (Genie coming out of a lamp), a free pack of holiday figures (I selected the Christmas familiars because my wife loves polar bears), and a Christmas Sampler pack.
Candy and miniatures (plus paint and an ornament)
The sampler pack I, er, we got had a Santa miniature, an ornament, two paints, three bones figures, and some candy!

For Christmas, I did unexpectedly well, and got the D&D Essentials set from my sister, and some X-wing stuff from my Wife.  She also got me a subscription to White Dwarf, although that will not show up for a while.  Santa also got a number of Reaper figures to stuff into my stocking.

Somewhat unexpectedly, my son got First Strike, the miniature starter for 8th edition Warhammer 40k from his grandmother, so there has been a lot of talk about Warhammer in the house lately!  He has already read the books, and Christmas morning clipped the figures out and put them together.  Finishing the miniature assembly and playing through the starter missions are in our near future.
Pleased as punch
Boxing day I had a hour or so to work on the terrain mat with my daughter, and we got the roads done, the river bottom painted with its first couple coats, and some rocks added to the ford.
It is really coming along nicely now, and I anticipating it being done with a couple more sessions.  Mainly, I want to glaze some green on the river, and then layer in some clear caulk. Unfortunately the flock is not sticking to the canvas/caulk quite as much as I anticipated, so I am going to have to paint it with a coat of watered down PVA.  In the picture above the regular flock clumps you can see in the lower left are where I was adding another layer of caulk/flock to try and fill in some empty areas where the flock had rubbed off. 

We got away to my Wife's cousins' house for New Years, and in addition to playing a ton of Code Names and In the Bag, we managed another game of Risk Legacy. Unusually, I nearly won, and was back stabbed by those that encouraged me to make some board spanning moves.  Such is Risk!

Finally, at the cousins' house I finally got the chance to use the D&D miniatures that I gave the kids in 2017, and then had to contend with them begging me to play more D&D for the rest of the trip. (and they even were trying to figure out how to play together over facetime!)  First session they asked if they could fight each other, and then split the party after the first encounter...  The kids seemed to have a great time, and it was one of the only things that could drag them away from the Switch they got.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Terrain Mat part One

Earlier in November, my family was away for the weekend, and I got little done while they were gone, instead spending time with my sister and playing video games. (Classic XCOM).

When they got home late on that Sunday afternoon, my wife encouraged me to involve the kids in a project that I have been wanting to do for quite some time.

In the spring, a neighbor moved out, and for a few days had a bunch of random wall "art" out in front of their house to give away. My wife picked up the last piece with the idea that she would repaint it with the kids, as she has done with other canvases in the past. However, like many projects, no progress was made for a while, and the painting lived in the garage.

After several months, we pulled out the painting, and put it in the backyard where kid painting occurs. The paint was basically falling off, and we began to peel it off as we were doing other things.

After a few weeks of it sitting around, I got serious about peeling off the paint, and realized that it was sticky on one side... was it glued?  A quick soak with the garden hose proved that it was, and everything came off much more quickly after that.

So now we have a 91x119 cm blank canvas, and my idea was to make it into a play mat.

The kids were enthusiastic once they got into the idea, and they wanted to make a design with a road and a river (the maps of the battle of five armies and the battle of the Hornburg I had showed them may have influenced this a bit).

With a pen, they sketched out a plan on the canvas, and then I had my son measure the road segments so that they would be approximately 40mm wide (suitable for a 15mm dirt road or a Warmaster base)

After that we gloved up, and started mixing caulk and paint and smearing it on.  After slapping on a section of caulk, we then sprinkled a relatively heavy coat of the primary flock, followed by dustings of other flocks, static grass etc.  I then crudely rolled it in with an empty caulk tube, although this was not very successful due to the canvas still being on the frame.  Unfortunately no pictures of this phase, my hands were too dirty, and my wife was busy.

After less an an hour (and one change of clothes for the kids), we got to this stage:

You can see here that there are quite a number of colors, and some texture imparted by the caulk.  The roads and river are currently unfinished. After this dried for a few hours, I carefully dumped it off onto newspaper, and put it in the garage to await the next step. The flock and such dumped off was recovered, and equaled about 60% of what went on in the first place, more because of all the other flocks added than because it all fell off!

Tools used:
Paint stirring sticks
plastic tub from the recycling bin

Supplies used:
Two cans of paint, matched to GW Scorched Brown, and Vallejo Earth
Two tubes of flexible paintable caulk
One bag of flock
Various other flocks, static grasses, and herbs

Next step: have enough time to do the road and river sections.

Friday, November 15, 2019

WH:TOW - All Aboard the Hype Train

Next Stop Wish List City.

So this is apparently something that the GW design team is really working on... for a far future release.

Wish-listing? Plastic Warmaster scaled Warhammer. Far more suited to the scale that GW wants Warhammer to be, plus visually gorgeous.

More realistic?  Cynical way to rope in the grognards by bringing out a $75 $100 hardback rulebook with all the characters they love and miss.  If it plays like 6th edition, but incorporates 8th edition units, they will have my money!

So we will see.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Painting Tiny Germans

I have started painting the infantry (and support guns) mentioned in my prior post.

It has been something like 10 years (!) since I have painted any 15mm figures, so I decided to do a test figure, see how I liked the colors and such before I really got into it.

Keep in mind that the figure is based on a 19mm disk, so you can see that this is blown up a bit, but I think that the painting is not terrible... but hang on, why does it look sandy?
Did not roll the figure around in sand before painting

Under magnification it appeared that the figure was covered in fuzz from the white primer (which did fail after this use).  Review of the other figures revealed that some others were similarly afflicted, so under magnification, I scraped each of the figures with my finger nail, and used a file for smaller bits.

Now smoothed, I touched up the paint a bit, and ended up with the following:
Still not perfect, but getting closer to where I want to be, and I have pressed on with painting the rest of the platoon and infantry supports.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Night Goblins - Nearing completion

Before you start a new project, you should finish you old project... is advice that I clearly never follow, as a glance around my blog, or house, or office would clearly tell you. 

However, I am nearly done with these night goblins, and while I was getting them ready for various basing work, I took a few hasty pictures.

The lighting is not great at night, but I think you can make out what is needed here. 
First up is a picture of all the goblins I painted in this round, which include 30 spear goblins, six fanatics (all old metal so they scale better), and four converted "heroes".  I started these in January, so not the fastest painting progress, although in terms of time spent it was not so bad. 

Here is my converted battle standard bearer and the figure it was built on. The standard is comprised of three different parts, and the left arm comes from a beastman (with some sculpted robes)

All of my figures have come from the old WHFB 7th edition starter box called "the Battle at Skull Pass" or some such, and as with all GW starter boxes, the included figures are relatively cheap on Ebay for a few years after release.  Consequently, I was able to buy a bunch of the figures (which is where the various regiments come from), and had a ton of heroes for conversion.  The center guy in this picture is the big boss from the box, and I converted two more of that same figure in to the guy on the left and the right. 

Since I had a surplus body from the battle standard bearer, I converted him to a boss with a great weapon.  Pretty minimal sculpting was needed, which I always appreciate. (As I recall the original regiments were much smaller than the 30-40 size I am building them as, so I have a lot of spare command figures)
Last, we have three generations of regimental champions, with the oldest on the left, 2013 edition in the middle, and newest on the right.  I think there are about 11-12 years between them. 

Since I took these pictures I managed to flock the bases for all these fellows, as well as another, older regiment of spear goblins that I painted a while back.  I was intending to also do the static grass, but looking at 70 of their little faces the energy left me, and they got put back into a box while I played Civ V.  Not exactly an ideal result, but they are so close now... just the static grass and matte coating and they will be finished. In the future I have another 40 spear goblins, 40 or so archers, the rest of the night goblin wolf riders to convert, a few more trolls, and a spear thrower... sounds pretty daunting when you think about it.

Next should be 15mm Germans, but you never know.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

15mm Skirmish Plans

I moved my desk again recently, which gave me the chance to tidy up a bit and photograph  my 15mm skirmish force that I previewed in the last post. 

Shown are a German Panzergrenadier platoon (Battlefront metal figures) and support assets (nearly all Old Glory cast Command Decision).

The three squads of the platoon are based on what I will euphemistically call "19mm copper clad zinc disks", with larger versions of the disks for the machine gun teams.  The best part about this basing is that it cost mere pennies. Then I increased the cost by buying self-adhesive magnetic disks, which you can see to the right of the picture.  PzG platoons are small and thus brittle, but very shooty with all those machine guns. (and I had them on hand)

Additional Company/Battalion/Regimental/Divisional assets:
Under officer, panzerfausts, sniper, MMG squad, LeIg 74, PAK 40, Stug III (with gun variations), Panzer IV H, Panther, SdKfz 222, a standard SdKfz 251 and a 251/10 commander's vehicle (with 37mm gun), and a couple of kubelwagens.

I clearly like all of the additional assets!  Happily, everything here except the MMG squad was drawn from my reserves of miniatures, since 13 years ago or so I had the idea that I would like to play Flames of War and bought a couple of kilograms of metal to that end. The grey painted Panzer IV and the SdKfz 251 have been on my painting desk since then...

What I do not have are on board mortars, forward observers, medic, or any panzerschreck teams.  Or terrain, rules, or an opposing force...

Thursday, August 22, 2019

So it has been a while...

Hello blog followers.  Sorry that it has been so long since the last post.  I would give excuses about being busy with this, that, and the other, but really I was just not doing a lot of hobby, and for whatever reason did not want to blog about other things. 

I have been painting those Night Goblins from my prior post, and have them nearly finished.  Then again they have been nearly finished for a couple of months, so we will see how long it takes me to actually get them done done.

Even though I have not been hobbying that much, I have (as one does) been on Ebay, which is pretty dangerous.  I managed to lose a bunch of bids, which is good, if frustrating, but did win this WHFB dwarf lot...

 That is an old Marauder organ gun, a mostly complete bolt thrower, a steam 'coptor, a mess of crew dwarves, and some random warmachine pieces.  Plus eight monopose plastic dwarves and three newer dwarves that fit in with my army.  And Burlock Damminson.

Once I had bought something, it was easier for something else to fall into the cart...
 In this case a 210x150cm "tapestry" that will work very nicely as a play mat for space games, as seen in the next picture.

And finally, if various projects are stymied by having a lack of time, and you just unexpectedly bought some new miniatures for an old army, then naturally you should be starting a different and completely incompatible project...

I.e.  15mm WWII skirmish gaming.

So that is where I am at.  What about you?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Night Goblin Conversions

I managed to do a little sculpting last week to move these Night Goblins along.  I am trying to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, before I inevitably drift into thinking about other projects.

Converted Boss, Banner Boss, Shaman, and another Boss
Since I took this picture I finished prepping a 30 member regiment of spear gobbos, and now I am just waiting for a warmer weekend afternoon to get to priming.

Of course, given the time of year I may be waiting a while (and I spent the last one doing work on the house).