Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 finished, on to 2010!

2009 was exceedingly busy, what with buying a house, packing, moving, unpacking, and of course 101 home projects sucking up every bit of hobby time. Then the in-laws moved in to complicate things.

While I did not get the game table this year, I did get a ton more hobby space, and was able to work on some projects here and there within the moving and house work. I even painted a bit, although not too much this year.

2010 promises to be busy as well, with our first child arriving around the same time we moved into the house in 2009. So work on the nursery and child proofing will have to be added to the list. Fortunately we do not need to do much in that regard.

So, with this upcoming impact to our lives, I am trying to think of a good project for the first quarter of 2010. Something like finishing an army or a similar project which can be started and finished in 3 months.

Current contenders are:
Paint/upgrade/finish 2000 points of Marines
Paint/finish 2500 points of Empire
Paint/upgrade/finish 2000 points of Imperial Guard
Build and paint a small army from my stockpile, such as Dwarfs, Eldar, or Tau
Buy, Build and paint some new project, such as a Baneblade, or similar.
or paint random regiments/squads

Hmm, basically could be anything at this point.

Any ideas?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Painting Desk

Here is my painting desk, now slightly more organized.

The desk was my great-grandfather's, and originally had a paper sorter in the middle. With some effort, I was able to remove that, and got a spice step shelf to sort out my paint.

The desk is not perfect, because it is slightly hard to store my in progress figures in, but the familial connection makes it special.

Now I just need to paint more... as always. With the cooler weather and with winding down most of the larger projects around the house finishing up, hopefully I will do so.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Festive Sales

As usual, the various smaller miniatures companies are having Christmas time sales to tempt me to spend money. For example, Copplestone is having a 15% off sale this weekend (code word xmas), which would be excellent for someone who wanted to pick up a few packs of, say, Neo-Soviets, or the 10mm Fantasy range. The pound is not quite as low as it was this time last year, but still well below two years ago.

Fortunately, I am pretty resolute in my not spending more money. At least until the FLGS has some sort of sale, then I am snapping a few things up.

In other news, I was able to find a new shelf to fit into my painting desk, so spent some time rearranging the paint and other contents. This, of course, replaced me actually painting. I did take a picture of the desk, so at some point I could post about it. Thinking ahead, see?

Monday, November 2, 2009


I have nearly finished reading the Ravenor Omnibus, which I read while on vacation (long plane flights are ideal for light reading). Lots of interesting ideas there for an inquisitor's retinue, as well as various PDF/guard/criminal/scum sorts. Ideas include a gun slinger reaching for a pistol, as well as gun servitors.

While on vacation I also saw lots of inspiring architecture, which will hopefully figure into my future terrain. NYC and Yale in particular had inspiring buildings, which will fit into the pulp or 40k milleu.

No model progress lately, mostly due to being gone and prior to that busy finishing up the bathroom. I hope to get the "Delaque" gang done, and then paint it fairly quickly. Of course, lately, "fairly quickly" has meant months, so we will see.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I have been painting quite a bit lately, but nearly all of it seems to be walls... I did manage to paint the pants and shoes for the remainder of the French Battalion, so at least there is some progress. Were I to be painting more constantly, I think I might be able to manage a battalion a month or two, which makes the "reinforced division" army more achievable in a reasonable time span.

In more positive news, I have been working on a few converted figures for Necromunda, using of all things, the new Empire Archers. This boxed set, when mixed with a liberal amount of items from my ancient bitz box will yield a gang of Delaque. Pictures soon. This whole project has sent my mind racing down other paths for Necromunda/Inqusitor/Dark Heresy type groups which can be made from my existing bitz.

In semi-hobby related news, my wife is getting a digital SLR soon, and I expect to be able to borrow it from time to time to take pictures of miniatures. So expect some giant photos of my painting foibles soon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Space Hulk

One of the GW games I have always wanted to play is Space Hulk. This is a classic game of man v.s. alien, with 5-10 Space Marines in Terminator Armor against unending hordes of Genestealers, a xenos breed clearly inspired by the Aliens films.

This game is being re-released as a 20th anniversary edition as reported here on Bell of Lost Souls. This new edition has 35 miniatures (11 Marines, the rest Genestealers), plastic objectives, two books, and piles and piles of lovely cardstock. Unfortunately it is both limited edition and $99. S0 I probably will not be able to get it. Maybe for the 30th anniversary in 2019.

In other news, still working on the house, so not much work on miniatures has occurred. I have rearranged the modeling space to better accommodate our changed situation, so I should be able to get some models built soon, and painting will resume as soon as this current project is finished. Updates and pictures as they occur.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wagram 1809

From Miniatures

From Miniatures
Well, not a whole battalion, but I was able to get the grenadier company painted. They are meant to be from the 19th Line regiment, which had three battalions at Wagram, under Bernadotte. 1/42 of all companies needed to represent this Division.

These are AB figures, bought from Eureka USA. Very quick shipping, and reasonable prices, albeit a bit high for 15mm (18mm) figures. Not very much flash or other cleaning needed, and fairly well cast. The only major flaw was that the saber hand guards were miscast, but since they are about half a millimeter in size, we can forgive that.

The paint job is not quite as bad as seen here, which is about twice life size, and with a flash too boot. Painting these guys was something of a learning experience, as I had to refer to my handy Osprey as I went, and as they have as much detail as some 25mm figures. In any case, the next few companies will be easier to paint.

The base is something of a work in progress (note the lack of blackened rim), and it needs some static grass.

200th anniversary today, so that is something. The rest of the battalion is primed, so I will be working on them as I have time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

1809 Danube Campaign

As a way of shaping my planing for a future 15mm Napoleonic army, I have decided to focus on the 1809 Danube Campaign. This meets several criteria: Imperial period, Pre-1812 uniforms, involves Saxon allies, fights the Austrians (a possible future army), six company battalions, and post bicorn hats for the French. The goal, as always, is an infantry division with a few supporting units.

I think that I first became interested in the Saxons after reading Swords Around A Throne, which describes them as the most loyal of the various German Allies. (indeed they support Napoleon from 1806-1813, only deserting at Leipzig) Correspondingly, I looked for pre-1812 battles which featured them, and fell upon Wagram. Wagram is part of the 1809 campaign, so there we have it.

The eventual goal would be the 3rd Infantry division of Bernadotte's IX corps, which included the 5th French light infantry (2 battalions), and the 19th line infantry (3 battalions), as well as a battalion of converged Saxon grenadiers, and a battalion of converged Saxon Schutzen. This would be supported by a few squadrons of Saxon cavalry, and a couple of batteries of Saxon 8pdr cannon.

At an approximate ratio of 1:10-15 for my forces, that would mean 7 battalions, with approximately 420 figures. A pretty hefty count! So we will see how that goes. This force would be fairly versatile, and could be added to fairly easily to build an all French force (French cannon, cavalry, and another line regiment), as well as a possible all Saxon force. (just a few regiments of Saxon infantry)

Since Wagram was fought on July 5-6 1809, that means that the 200th anniversary is this year. Unfortunately, I have little time to plan, buy, and paint any figures (particularly with house work to do), so I would be able to complete a battalion at best. We will see.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Still not much going on due to the move and refitting the house to make it

However the wife and I agreed that we could set up a new game table in the rumpus room.

Here is an example of a digital enabled table, using a wiimote and a video projector to run a virtual tabletop for DnD or similar games. This would be awesome for games, as it allows the DM/GM/Storyteller to create pretty much on the fly, and for dungeon crawl type games it may be perfect.

I think we will probably go with something more traditional, but golly, this thing has potential...

Friday, April 3, 2009


Not too much going on right now, as we are in the midst of fixing up the new house and preparing to move. I have been doing plenty of painting... of walls and ceilings. I packed up my painting desk on Wednesday, and rediscovered the projects lurking within. I did not manage to get the neo-soviets or the empire spear regiment painted before all painting effectively halted, but they will be first in the queue in the new setup!

In other new house news, there will be room for a hobby room, as well as a game table at the new house. Due to space issues, the game table will have to be folding, but provided the basic plan works out, it will be 6 foot by 6 foot, which should be adequate for 40k and WHFB, and great for smaller games. More on those topics as we get to them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dirtside II armies

For Christmas my wife gave me a portable photo booth, and I finally got around to setting it up. It folds up in to a portfolio bag, and seems like it will be really useful. She also gave me two 250 watt halogen lights to blast the miniatures with photons. Unfortunately, they have 6" cords, so I was only able to use one this time. I will have to get a short extension cord to use both.

Set up pictured here:

Using this set up, I was able to take some new pictures of two Dirtside II forces. The first is the "Asiatic Combine" army, a high tech force using mostly grav tanks and with stealth upgrades.
Pictured are an artillery battery, battalion command platoon, two tank platoons, and a company of mobile infantry. Well, their AFVs anyway, the infantry are still not painted. The miniatures are various Brigade Miniatures, which I really like... after cleaning them up a bit.

I also took pictures of my Germanic force, which features more primitive vehicles, this time from CnC and GHQ. Pictured are an assault gun platoon, a tank platoon, and a command platoon.

The camo here is an assault camo from WWII, which I think ties these tanks in with the dunklegelb of the other units. I still have another platoon of tanks to paint, and a platoon of heavy tanks as well.

Next to paint are my Americana forces, which are air cushion tanks. I think those are going to wait until after the move though, as I am currently trying to finish off the Neo-Soviets and spearman regiment cluttering up my desk before packing everything up.

So it will be a while, but more DSII in the future!

Friday, February 13, 2009

GB-17 "Kрыса"

Inspired by this excellent conversion at Fawcett Avenue Conscripts, I have been contemplating a similar conversion to support my own Neo-Soviets.

My plan is to produce a similar vehicle from a 1/48 Testors Gee Bee model, which is quite cheap here in the US ($7 or so). By removing the engine, rudder, landing gear, and adding a rocket nozzle, turbine intake and gun ports, it should be an excellent little ground attack fighter for defending the motherland. I would cut back the under tail portion of the model to accommodate the nozzle, and extend the tail with a sensor mast. I believe that it should be equipped with an under wing rack of rockets like a WWII Corsair, which may have to be created instead of sourced from another kit. Adding modern triangular antenna projections should also help to make the model look "new" vs. just a rocket powered turbine plane.

Colors would be grey blue under with a green upper, stepped when they contact in the tail, and of course, red stars on the side and tail. A suitably patriotic slogan would be great too, something about "crush the Germans" or similar. No stars on the wings, as apparently the VVS did not do that.

So another future project, this one for which I have no models... excellent!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A small update

A slight slowdown in my miniatures work lately due to various non-hobby related business. I have painted all of my Asian Combine DSII forces, pictures of which I hope to take and post soon.

I have also puttered around a bit with the Neo-Soviets I got from Copplestone Castings in January. I am trying to figure out how to do a winter camo scheme on their jacket, and will probably attempt a snow base for the first time as well. Pictures of that will be forthcoming as well.

Here is a comparison picture of the Neo-Soviets with a number of GW figures.

From right to left: IG steel Legion, IG Valhallan, Copplestone Neo-Soviet, plastic Cadian, and a plastic Catachan. As you can see the Neo-Soviet matches well in size and heft with the GW metals, particularly if the integral base is removed. Wish they were slottas.

On the plus side, in a few months I should have a game room and miniatures room as well, so expect some posts about the new space, and planning for a proper games table.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Long weekend

As our US readers are no doubt aware, this upcoming weekend is extra long, due to the MLK day holiday on Monday. To compound the painting and hobby potential of this weekend, my wife will be out of town visiting her grandmother, so I will have an inordinate amount of time to paint/hobby etc. I believe that I should have plenty of time to work on current or special projects. I may be able to finish the company of 6mm tanks I have been painting for DSII, or I may make use of that new photo set up I got for Christmas. Then again I may just sleep…
Yesterday I picked up a packet from my parents’ house, where most of my mail currently goes, and was delighted to see that it was from Copplestone Castings. I ended up ordering three packs of 10mm Horse Lords to serve as Rohirim in my eventual LotR forces, a pack of Bolshevik heroines, and a pack of Neo-soviets. As you might expect, the miniatures were well cast and sculpted, and should serve their appointed purposes well. In addition, the packet came in less than 10 days from the UK, and Copplestone has switched to a more “eco-friendly” packing material as well.
I have been pondering a Neo-soviet force for StarGrunt II, and seeing the figures painted for the Hammers Slammers demo game has not helped things. I figure that a platoon of figures, with a support weapons squad, a squad of Revolutionary Guard, and a power armor squad should be a good grouping to have. The basic platoon is easy to figure out, just use the Copplestone figures, 2 squads of line figures, command squad, and an inductee squad using the partisan figures. Revolutionary guard would be the same as the regular figures, but with heavier armor, and a commo helmet. For power armor, I was thinking that an amalgam of Tau Stealth suits and space marine legs should work to give a Ma.K look. Have to check out the sizes though. Old Crow looks as if it will be able to supply any vehicles needed, again as shown in the HS demo game shots.
The only part I have trouble with is the heavy weapons squad, and other supporting figures (medic, radio man etc) since the Neo-soviet figures are lacking in those areas. I have been looking around for suitable WWII Russians to use, since the Neo-soviets are not too “modern” looking aside from their rifle, but so far nothing really matches the Copplestone look. I may have to go with Russian civil war figures and a head swap, which at a current price of around $2.32 a figure, is somewhat expensive. Another option is using the West Wind Separate Head System to my advantage, and getting a pack of their helmeted heads. Either way, I also need more modern guns for the loader types to carry around, and probably will go with either TAG AK-47s or plastic 1/35 AK variants. PPSs may be a good option too, with “modernized” furniture.