A New Camera

I finally got round to buying my first DSLR camera. Nothing expensive as it’ll only get used for miniatures (and probably ‘borrowed’ by my lad for his youtube vlogs). I’ve never had anything other than cheap point and click camera or mobile phones before, so I have a massive learning curve ahead. I know I need a better lighting set up, but I think I’ve about mastered getting the minis in better focus, so both the front and back of the mini are in focus at the same time – that was the main hope for the new camera. If you’re interested it’s a Canon EOS 1300D. A small 6″ tripod with a ball socket on top and settings of 0″5 shutter, ISO 100, f/22 works a treat.

Canon EOS 1300D

The only problem with getting a new shiney camera, is that it takes pictures that really do show up the fact that I’m an old half-blind sausage-fingered shakey-handed painter. The advantage of bad eyesight though is that the minis look fine on the table top.

As Wayne  and Garth would say… “Extreme Close-Up”. It’s good to finally be able to take a photo where the front and back of the photo (in this case the 2 wing fins) are both in focus at the same time.

closeup

Here’s the Silent Death Sunrunners I’ve been working on. All looking like they’ve had a few battles too many. If I ever get my Antares models all finished, these can count as the Boromites in that distinct yellow colour.

Single Thunder Bird front and back first of all…

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Then the 2 I’ve done together.

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The force so far – I have a Catastrophe, 2 Havoks and 2 Avengers coming from the SD webstore to add to these soon. 🙂

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And these are the type of things I’m using for satellites in Silent Death. They’re the smaller parts of the Dropfleet Commander modular space station. They’re really for a much smaller scale, but as satellites, I prefer them to the single SD model.
On the Left, an Atlatl (missile launcher on it) and on the right, a Taurus with torp launcher and a meld laser. Sunrunner flying between them for scale.

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On the paint table next are a few additions for my Algoryn force. Back to painting red 🙂

And when I can afford it, something better than 2 old desktop lamps with standard bright bulbs for lighting.

Silent Death

Well, although I was only going to play/paint two main games this year. I’ve extended that (in a way).
I was searching for a couple of cheap plastic ships to use as counters for our Traveller CCG game. I came across some old Silent Death ships on eBay and got those. It was actually a plastic sprue of 12 ships for a few pounds. Anyway, I decided to have a look at the rules – and found a copy of the Silent Death The Next Millenium box set on eBay for twenty five pounds. 48 Ships, all the missile counters etc. Not bad for a game that came out in the 90’s – everything still in great condition and all models still on sprues. Having read through the rules and had a trial game, it seems to be a far more fun game than X-Wing for us.
Also, having read through the Gates of Antares first campaign, there was a lot of ship battles at the start. So we decided that we can alternate ship battles and Gates of Antares battles and link them into campaigns. The ships can fight over a planet then the forces can battle it out. Or any combination or battle scenario we fancied.

So, I grouped the ship types into ones I thought might look like the Antares factions, and tried to keep them fairly balanced. We now play Silent Death, with forces set up to be Antares factions.
Here’s what I’ve painted this Easter.

As usual, apologies as I only have an old (really old) camera and a couple of table lights, so apologies again for the poor photos, and the thing I notice the most, the poor colour representation – I sooooo need a decent set up.

Anyway, To link in with my games of ‘Beyond the Gates of Antares’, firstly are the Algoryn. In my SD Universe, these will be my Espan.

Conestoga

Conestoga and 2 Teal Hawks

2 Teal Hawks

3 Pit Vipers

3 Blizzards

The Whole Espan (Algoryn) Force (so far)

Still linking in with my games of ‘Beyond the Gates of Antares’, these are the Ghar
In my SD Universe, these will be House Colos

Drakkar

2 Night Hawks

Drakkar and 2 Night Hawks

2 Kosmos Ships

4 Spirit Riders

The Whole House Colos (Ghar) Force (so far)

These are the Concord. In my SD Universe, these will be the Kashmere Commonwealth.

Predator

2 Salamanders

2 Hell Benders

3 Thunder Birds

The Whole Kashmere Commonwealth (Concord) Force (so far)

For ‘Beyond the Gates of Antares’, these are the Isorian. In my SD Universe, these will be the Unkulunkulu.

Star Raven

2 Lance Electra

Talon (1 of 2 painted)

4 Darts

The Whole Unkulunkulu (Isorian) Force (so far)

I’ve also decided to collect a couple of dedicated SD forces. Sunrunners and Night Brood.
I’ve trialled a paint job for first Sunrunner Blizzard.

I decided that although the Sunrunners were Mercenaries, and were also busy fighting the grubs, their ships were fighting a lot and were going to be a little beaten up looking. This was my first trial of the paint job. I tried a free hand black circle with the 4 strokes of sunlight coming out, but the orange barely shows on the yellow in the photos.

If and when I buy any more Antares armies, I’ll use these with the yellow scheme as the Borites.

Trial paint scheme for a Sunrunner Blizzard

Also below are some of the Asteroids I’ve been painting. The first batch were cast from a white plaster for X-Wing by a company I found selling on eBay. Although they’ve painted up nicely, they are very heavy.

The second, less impressive batch, I made from some 2 different sizes of polystyrene craft balls, sprayed with Black car paint (to purposefully melt them). I had made some in the past from chunks of polystyrene but I based these onto some X-Wing templates. These ones turned out less well as the ‘hexes’ of polystyrene the balls were made of were really large and still visibile. The advantage, they weight virtually nothing.

Finally, I decided to make a ‘Black Hole’. I used a gloss black paint, then a couple of layers of the two tone metallic paints from Green Stuff world. As you turn it, the purple shines to blue, but overall, it has a black look. It’ll make some interesting games.

Now, I need to go and photograph the Antares models I’ve painted up and add them to the blog.

Thanks for looking.

Starting 2018 with some paint

After the massive job of putting together 3 armies for Beyond the Gates of Antares, it was about time to test out some paint schemes. Nothing very original, but as always, they had to match my main objective of… can I paint them quickly.

First I had to let my fingers recover. 1600 points (roughly) of Ghar, Algoryn and Concord left my fingertips a little bereft of feeling as they were suffering from green stuff and superglue melded into my fingerprints. The plastics are well made and didn’t require as much mold line removal as GW plastic, or indeed Mantic Restic. Although I’m going to have a break from building now and get some painting done.

What got me wanting to play Antares initially was the cool looking scheme done on the great Algoryn models, along with the similarity to Bolt Action rules. So, I had to use a scheme similar to Warlord’s for the Algoryn. My wife who’s decided to adopt the Concord as her army, liked the bone/green standard so I stuck with that. As I wanted all 3 armies to look different, I didn’t want to have the Ghar in a grey/white that was similar to the Concord bone, so I tried out the Crystal Blue colour I’d used on my Deadzone Forgefathers. Although it looked ok, they were too similar to the Forgefathers. So in the end, I decided, to go with a really easy to paint metal scheme. All 3 different enough to see clearly on the table.

Sorry for the poor lighting on these photos…

Trial Algoryn Paint jobs

GoA-Algoryn-Trial

GoA-Algoryn-Trial2

Trial Concord Paint jobs

GoA-Concord-Trial

GoA-Concord-Trial2

 

Trial Ghar Paint jobs

Although I say “trial”. I’ve actually got a full unit of 3 of these painted now.

GoA-Ghar-Trial

 

Game On

As the armies were all built, we decided to try a small game out. Just 500 points of Ghar vs Concord. This was mainly to try out the rules, and for me,  to hope my wife found it as easy to play as Bolt Action.

Ghar Empire (497 points)

  • 2 Army Options: Block, Extra Shot
  • 5 Ghar Battle Squad (1 Leader, 4 troops)
  • 3 Ghar Battle Squad (1 Leader, 2 troops)

Concord (498 points)

  • 1 Army Options: Block
  • C3 Strike Command Squad (1 Leader, 4 Troops) with Spotter Drone
  • C3 Strike Squad (1 Leader, 3 Troops, 1 Troop with Plasma Lance) with Spotter Drone
  • C3 Strike Squad (1 Leader, 3 Troops, 1 Troop with Plasma Lance) with Spotter Drone
  • C3D1 Light Support Drone with Batter Drone

A great game with some real learning highlights. At one point the Concord managed to get a lucky shot on the large battle squad with 2 other hits. My wife put the lucky shot on my leader, not knowing he’d get a re-roll. He rolled a 10, and a 10 on the re-roll. Plasma explosion! One of the other Ghar died to the shot he took, and 2 others also died to plasma explosions. I feel my dice were rigged to get 10’s. All fun though and quite devastating to see a unit of 5 Ghar Battle troops drop to 1 in a single round of shots from the Concord. Hopefully, the gribbly little Ghar won’t see bad luck like that when we start the Battle for Xilos campaign games.

Poor lighting again, but we played mainly at the nearside of this setup. Next table will have to be a jungle table for the Battle of Xilos.

Game-GoA1

 

One thing I decided to do after the game was to knock up some cards to use for the Army Options. That way, we could have the cards on the table and discard them when they were used. All the info is on the cards, so no looking anything up.

I made 3 sets, which you get the idea of their looks from the pictures below.

Cards-Ghar

Cards-Concord

Cards-Algoryn

Below should be a link to a pdf with each of the files of 7 cards for the 3 factions shown. They are all sized to fit in standard card sleeves. I’ve printed mine on card and put them in Ultra-Pro card sleeves so they’re pretty solid things now.

GoA Ghar Army Cards

GoA Concord Army Cards

GoA Algoryn Army Cards

Till next update… Enjoy.

End of 2017

It’s been a pretty lousy year overall. Serious illness and loss of a job puts a block on all sorts of things. I’ve also bought about 4 times more models than I’ve managed to paint. However, the year’s ended pretty well. Illness under control and improving, a new job at a fantastic place, even if it is only till next summer.

How’s the hobbying and painting going then… well, I’m going to make a New Years’ Resolution this year. Although I’m still going to try to play the massive assortment of games I have, I’ll stick to a painting focus on just 2 games.

Game One

Beyond the Gates of Antares. Although I’ve always wanted to give this a try – after all, my main opponent – my wife only really enjoys Bolt Action. I’d overlooked Antares for too long. The rules are basically Bolt Action, but with stats added in for differences in aliens. The models are now coming out in plastic for the main troops as well and the larger models are in well crafted resin with a few metal pieces. In the Warlord sale, along with a voucher, I started the set off with:

Antares

With a few more additions since, I’ve taken it to having 3 average sized 1500 point armies. Ghar, Algoryn and Concord. As there’s three of us in the house, that means we can choose an army each to play with.

Game Two

Kings of War. I bought enough Ogres to field a 2000 point army. Why Ogres? Well, I’ve always loved the pics in the KoW rulebook of the red ogres with the white paint on their faces – kind of LotR’y. Also, 3/6 models per unit rather than 10/20 should speed up the painting process to get an entire army completed. I tried one out, and although the mobile photo isn’t brill, it came out fairly well – certainly at arm’s length with my dodgy eyesight. Ogres are also Neutral. So I can align these with the few Lizardmen or painted Dwarves I have to make a large enough army to take on the Undead or Orc/Goblin alliance. Although there’s a general hatred of Restic on the internet, these models were a breeze to clean up and put together.

Ogre Trial

I’m certainly not going to forget the other games I play, which is a rather long list now.  There’s some fantastic stuff coming out for Maelstrom’s Edge. I’ve never seen such well made resin models as well as the new plastic Broken they’ve made. Mantic has just released most of the vehicles for Warpath. I’ve even (shock) bought some new GW stuff – 40k Death Guard and Dark Angel Primaris models, along with the new version of Necromunda. All built to play, but unpainted. Dracula’s America is also a great game to play with fun rules. I’ve got my Tombstone kickstarter arriving any week now, so that will also get some action. Lots of models to paint, even if it is only the odd one to break up the Ogres or Antares painting.

Hope you all have a great New Year!

Forge Father Hultr

Here’s a quick turnaround of updates after the long gap. After building the Veer-Myn Tunnellers, I stuck with the Deadzone/Warpath Universe and decided to paint up the Forge Father Hultr I built a week or so ago.

Although I’m not doing any awesome paint jobs for my Deadzone/Warpath, I’m just trying to get them table ready, and also, in colours to make all the armies look different.

I’d previously been doing the Forge Fathers in AP’s Crystal Blue with a GW blue wash, and a quick drybrush of crystal blue followed by shining silver. I had to keep the Hultr in the same scheme. Although I did add a slight beaten up look to it.

Here’s a couple of pics (sorry – mobile phone shots in poor light), with the 2 weapon systems it has. And you guessed it, magnetised. 🙂 One of the pics has a selection of previously painted FF models to show how they fit in the colour scheme.

FF Hultr 01FF Hultr 02

And then I got distracted and bought some Kings of War Ogres to paint. I keep seeing images of those red skinned ogres with the white face paint and wanted to do a few myself. If I do a few units, I can add ally them to the Lizardman army I was painting so there’s enough to take on my Orcs/Goblins or Undead armies.

Hopefully, I’ll have an ogre to post next time. I’ve built some, it’s just playing around with colours now till I get a scheme I’m happy with – and hopefully can be painted quickly.

Veer-Myn Tunnellers

It’s been a long while since my last update. Ill health, losing my job, spending all waking hours trying to find a new job… takes as much time as working.

Anyway, part of my Warpath Kickstarter arrived last week to cheer me up. The Veer-myn Tunneller battlegroup. It consists of 3 Veer-myn (space skaven) transport/tanks with an extra wagon for more transport. I originally bought these to be just bits of industrial scenery. I was even going to carve one up and make it look like it was coming out of the ground. However, the Warpath Firefight rules seem really good, so I’m going to use them as part of an army.

I couldn’t decide which weapon choices, or whether I wanted the long transport or a short one, so I did my usual… Magnet time!

I magnetised the transport vehicle so the back wagon can attach or it can stay as a short vehicle. I then built the other 2 as tanks, but magnetised the weapons so both tanks can have the same weapon types, or 1 of each.

They worked out fantastic. They are also really, really big.

Kudos to Mantic on these, they are made of only a few parts, so no need spending hours and hours building them. They also have very few mold lines, so little clean up was necessary. Brilliant.

All I have to do now, is find a job so I can afford the massive amount of paint these beasts are going to require.

Veer-myn Transporter (10 or 20 rats)

Tunneller 01Tunneller 02Tunneller 03

 

Veer-myn Tank (2 identically made models with weapons options)

Tunneller 04Tunneller 05Tunneller 06

Photobucket… #sigh

Well, I was storing all my photos in neat folders on Photobucket.

Photobucket allowed me to use <img> tags to point this blog at them. I do pay for Photobuckets use, just as I pay for this blog. I don’t believe in freeloading and would often rather pay a small sum to be ad-free on most of the sites I use.

However, Photobucket changed their policy. There is no linking or embedding photos stored on photobucket unless you pay for their top package – which is $399.99 per year.

As a a part time blogger, mainly just wanting to put some more photo’s out there for the world, this is way too much. I only use 0.2Gb of my 10Gb space and my bandwidth use is maybe a dozen pics seen a day.

Pretty soon the pictures will vanish as web caches empty. Putting the photos elsewhere wouldn’t be a problem, but re-coding every page to point at the location of the newly placed images would be much more time consuming.

I guess it’s goodbye blog – unless Photobucket see the error of their ways. Businesses can probably afford $400 a year. But, like Adobe’s high annual fee software packages, small time non commercial folks can’t.

If I don’t post again, take care folks.

Ghost Town?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been putting together terrain pieces to make a Wild West board. Most of it is finished now. All I need to do is paint up the figures I have and await the arrival of the Tombstone Kickstarter.

I’ve also put together a few other terrain oddments, all seen randomly in the photo below as I brought them up to the games room to pack away.

There are; 3 snowy trees to use in Frostgrave, an old pub to use in Pirate or fantasy games, 3 different ponds – one for an oasis in a desert, one for a mix of fantasy gaming or Saga and another I’m still working on for an industrial wasteland. Just caught at the edge of the camera are really the only models I’ve done anything on, a T-34 Soviet tank and just out of shot, 2 German Tiger tanks (all in 15mm). The ponds all have 3 inserts with a variety of pieces I can put on such as rocks, trees, palm trees, foliage (and when I finish the industrial one; a pipe system). The ponds are painted and coated with “Still Water”. A kind of thick setting varnish – I had to use this, my wife banned me from using resin in the house.

Here’s a few pics of the Wild West board coming together.

And the 3′ by 3′ Gaming board for Wild West games from above…

I do love the 4Ground mdf models. The only problem is the time they take to put together. The 2 story buildings are at least half a day to build. Some are a real nightmare to glue together too. Yes, I’m talking to you Stagecoach. (Horses and figures still awaiting mould removal and painting). I also sanded and painted the bases on all the fence pieces as well.

Now, let’s see if I can get some actual figure painting done for next time…

Greys, Tyranids and Raptorz?

I know that I’ve started recovering from my lengthy illness as I’ve started to get some painting mojo back, although I’ve probably done more building of models than painting in the past few months.

Having discovered the simplicity of a post apocalyptic game called ‘Mutants and Death Ray Guns’ by Ganesha Games – finding that it’s a game my wife enjoys and we can play a game in under an hour – I’ve been putting some pieces together for it.

I know I’m late to the party with this, but Ganesha Games do quite a bunch of variants for different eras, so we’ve also taken to playing Flashing Steel (a piratey/swashbuckling variant) and Song of Blades and Heroes (a fantasy version which I think was the first set of these rules). Now I’m hoping they’ll hurry up and translate the Italian Wild West version as well.

With the Kickstarter for Tombstone , I’ve been inspired to also build a Wild West themed board – some of which you’ll be able to see in the background of the photo’s below.

I still have a backlog of models to take photos of, but as I had the case of figures open to put some MDRG away, I popped them on the table and took some photos. The light was bad and I used the flash a few times, so apologies for the quality. I need to stop buying plastic/metal/resin/mdf models and save for a decent camera and light box.

Here’s the first Western figure I tried painting next to the Sheriff’s Office.

Although for our first games of MDRG, we used Mutants (using Deadzone figures) and Humans (using GW Chaos Cultist figures), the first band I painted up were some ‘Greys’. The ship is just a piece of themed terrain for the game and isn’t used as such.

After that, I had the urge to paint some GW Tyranids. I never wanted to collect an army of these ever, but always fancied trying out that red/bone colour I see so many photos on the net. These are going to be used as Xeno-Parasites in MDRG.

Finally, a couple of pictures of my MDRG gang of Raptorz. It took an age to find some models to use for these, in the end, the ones I liked the best were from Ral Partha. 2 sets of 3 make a perfect sized pure band of 6 for MDRG. I saw some painted in a tiger-like scheme and that was it, my mind was made up. Base coated Bone, an airbrush of yellow towards the middle to top, then an airbrush of orange on the top. Washed with soft tone, then add stripes, claws and eyes and these things were painted rather rapidly. Good enough for my ageing eyes and shaking hands anyway.


I think we can see who’s going to win this fight…

Anyway, I’ve built 6 different 4Ground Wild West buildings and a fantasy inn for the Pirate games… It’s time to peel off my 2nd skin of PVA and get some painting done.

A ‘giant’ update

Pun intended.

I’ve been looking on and off for a good giant model for my Orc and Goblin army for quite a few years now. I was never impressed with the Games Workshop giant,  it looked far to gormless, flabby and non-menacing. The Forge World model was larger, but still didn’t impress me, and obviously nor did it’s 3 figure price tag.

I’d looked into other manufacturers, but most of these were older metal models and the giants weren’t usually much bigger than trolls.

Anyway, after searching for that Fire Elemental (The D&D collector’s series Fire Myrmidon in my last update) I realised they did a few limited edition giants. The Storm Giant looked a little too ‘ancient greek’ and the Fire Giant had molten armour on (although it’s a fantastic model). I opted for this Frost Giant. I won’t be painting it with blue skin like a D&D frost giant. It will get human coloured flesh with an assortment of leather patched armours. It was only a 7 piece resin model and didn’t need much cleaning up either.

The photo shows the size compared to an orc and a troll. Perfectly huge, but it fits on a 50mm square base. A excellent addition to the Orc and Goblin armies I’m (still) painting for Kings of War.