Wednesday, 23 March 2016

2016 - III - More Relics minis and the next batch of projects.

It have been a couple of busy 'real life' weeks, but it's time to get back to what really matters: toy soldiers ;-)

In all seriousness in between work and massive ISP issues I haven't had much time or opportunity to blog, something I'll be correcting over the next couple of weeks. Plenty of cool goodies to share, models to paints and products to have a closer look at. For this update I'll be focusing on recently and, hopefully, soon to be finished models.

First up some more lovely Relics goodies, where I indeed opted to go with the Britanans for the multi-month challenge running in the game's Facebook group. Over the course of five months several community members will be building up squads, either as part of their existing armies or starting a new one. Personally I figured I'd be the perfect time to finally finish a full Britanan army and maybe use the last month to add some new Ridend. All in time for the new 2.0 release of the game, you'd think the Tor Gaming team is planning this thing out.

The first, finished models, a hunting pack and two heavily converted, count as characters

And this month's batch, a trooper company with colour party and two Puppeteers. The left one is converted from an old Thunder Mountain Napoleonic model (link):

Then there’s my crowdfunding addiction and issue of an ever growing mountain of unfinished models, so no more backing miniatures Kickstarters unless I can cross off an outstanding project. So in order to be able to support the newest faction for the lovely game of World of Twilight (link), I’ll be painting up a Nobles of Gar Loren force. Thinking these will be quite fun to paint, with lots of bright colours to fit the overall, fantastical feel of the setting.
Finally, there’s a fairly heavily converted DeepWars warband, another game raising funds for an expansion and a ruleset update (link). AntiMatter Games has an amazing range of models in the overall ShadowSea setting, which includes regular, land-based models for stuff like lizardmen, human mercenaries etc, but also has the very unique, underwater DeepWars game.
DeepWars is pretty much my favorite miniatures line out there, especially when it comes to wonderfully dynamic, movement suggesting poses and integrated base toppers. That and I’ve felt intimidated by that huge Anglerfish for way too long, you’re going down big guy! Same goes for you, Dire Fish-Lizard, with all your insane detailing!
And once some of these are done I'll also have the opportunity to finish some articles on model and tool reviews. Including this bunch of interesting goodies:

Thursday, 11 February 2016

2016 - II - Ridend project done!

And they're all done, finished, completed.
Though I had hoped to finish them by the end of the Cthu faction Kickstarter, last Tuesday, they just took a bit longer than expected. It was worth it though, really happy with the end result
Definitely underestimated how much work there was on these models, especially all the tiny bits and bobs all over the Archers. Having spent most of the last two years or so working on single models or units definitely had an impact. It takes a bit of a mindset shift and better planning when tackling a full project.

Think I had to go back to various models over a dozen times to do stuff I could have done for the entire batch in a single go. Bit of a learning process to get back to Specialist Games-level of army/warband size! The Tor Gaming team (link) has done quite a stunning job on this faction, a great example of how 3D sculpted models can still lead to very organic and lively models!
The Dragon Tower model was probably the most fun model in the entire war band, there was just a ton of opportunity for contrast and little details on there. The fur and feather textures, in particular, were lovely to work on. This is also a very fun model on the tabletop where it's all about spotting and marking units, not fighting them. Though I am certain we'll be seeing a more combat-oriented variant somewhere down the line.

My favorite models of the batch have to be the Ladies of the Court though, really hadn't expected they'd be so much fun to figure colour schemes out for. There's certainly some Disney influences in there, though it's really the poses that push the models to the front of the pack. They just ooze character!


With these done it's time to move on to the next projects and there's some interest stuff on the horizon. First off I'm joining a Relics monthly challenge where I hope to build up another faction, roughly the same size as the Ridend, over the course of about five months. A unit and character a month should be quite doable, especially since half of them are already built or partially converted. Viscount Alard and Lawrence the butler, are finally going to see paint!

Was a tough choice between the Britanans or the Nuem, especially given their latest batch of models. Still, puppet redcoats first!

Secondly there's Thunderchild Miniatures' (link) Wasteman Kickstarter goodies that arrived last week. I'll be putting these together this week, so keep an eye out for a 'Closer look at...'-article. Really fell in love with the hand-sculpted style of the models and Jason definitely delivered on the Kickstarter promises. There's still some big models and the special bases the models can be slotted into to follow. but there's a wonderful range of models to get going on. Thinking I'll just 'have to' start painting up the Lunar Coalition models as well.

Finally there's been word of the upcoming DeepWars expansion from Antimatter Games (webpage, Facebook). Now I'm trying to put extra effort into actually finishing projects this year, while also limited the amount of models added to the metal/resin/plastic mountain. So if I want to support this one, I'll have to add another big, balancing project to the list. Cue this year's second big project, the Ancients of Atalan. Think that should keep me busy for the next 6-7 weeks!
And that does it for this post, thanks for reading and have a great hobby week everybody!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

2016 - I - What, a new year already............?!

Well the last couple of weeks have definitely flown by at an incredible speed. Haven't had too much time to do much blog work, aside from some Star Wars related musing over on the Garage Gamers blog (I, II & III).

That's not to say I haven't been busy with the hobby, quite the contrary actually, spent more time on minis these last two weeks than the full month before. There are even a few finished models to show off, starting with Alucard (Infamy Miniatures). Part of the Big Smoke range/game, I had an absolute blast with this guy. There's an absolute ton of tiny details all over this finely-cast and rather menacing-looking, resin model. He can't possibly be up to anything good with all that gear.

The Big Smoke world promises to be a rather bleak, dark and alternative view of early 20th century London with automatons, legendary monsters, half-robotic monkeys, an evil Homes and Watson and Tesla himself trying to stem the tide. A setting that challenged me to go back a few years to a painting style I've drifted away from further and further - 40K / John Blanche's grimdark approach. Been mostly painting more light-hearted pulp and scifi models these last two years, which generally invites brighter color schemes. Going back to something dark, mixing all your colors from scratch and using about a dozen different shades of brown was quite a nice throwback and something I will stick with once I get around to the other Infamy models on my to do-list!
Now Alucard isn't the only finished model, though the Barrow Wight (Warploque Miniatures) is most definitely an entirely different beast. Certainly no less detail, the sculpting style on this one almost pulls a 180. While Infamy's range is more and more becoming a 3D render-centric product, demonstrating just how wonderful printed models/masters can be, Warploque's Alex does all his sculpting by hand. This has lead to some extremely distinct, characterful and much more organic models, which naturally lend themselves (or force the painter) to a different approach.
There's a lot more blending and free flowing brushwork possible on these models, something I think may very well end up influencing my general painting style. I do not believe this model has had a general release yet, though that may very well change in the near future. In fact, for anybody interested in the Arcworlde models and game there will be a big starter set coming later this/next month:

Thirdly, there's a 'get them painted already'-project from my long, long to do-list on the hobby table at the moment: Relics' Ridend faction (from Tor Gaming). About time these lovely, little models got some attention, there's even some quite challenging stuff in there. The Dragon Tower promises to be quite the challenge, with all those tight spots.
Amusingly enough the simply undercoating process made me change my mind completely on my favorite models in the group. Really like mounts and dragon models, but now the Ladies of the Court have jump to the head of the pack. Really charmed by all the small details, the posing and just how many layers there are to their dresses.........guess I like princesses then ;-)
And yes, yes, part of the reason for my sudden motivation for these is down to the Kickstarter for the newest C'thu faction for Relics (link). Hey, at the very least it will mean more models painted than added to the pile ;-)

Regardless, it's been quite a productive year. Hope everybody out there is having a great new year, both real life and hobby-related, as well!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Little Heroes for Little Heroes charity is live!

Just wanted to post a quick, little update on the charity project. Those interested in superhero models, some limited edition releases and various other bits and bobs, while supporting the Down Syndrome Association head over to the Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher blog and have a look

There's some lovely goodies from various community members in there, including a few painted models and leftover, limited edition models by yours truly. Was a lot of fun to work on these, hope this will do well for the charity and rather looking forward to taking part in another round in a couple of months!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

2015 - XIV - Infamous distractions

Bit late on this week's update, real life and some hobby goodies got in the way of spending too much time behind the pc. That said, the Howling Horde warband for Norsgard is nearly ready for real paint. All the prep work for the ice effects is sorted out, the actual effect is going to take quite a lot of time to fully dry. So might as well sort out the general basing work first and paint the actual models afterwards while the crackle medium sets over the course of a day or two. Now I just need to figure out how I used to make model snow and we're set for a few evenings' worth of fun painting times!

Now for the actual big distraction that threw a steam-punk-themed spanner into the painting cue. Infamy's Kickstarter delivery. That's right, another pile of amazing quality, resin models added to the pile. Said pile is really getting out of control, but there was just no way I could pass up on these models or the opportunity to support the range!

Now these are definitely not models for beginners or people who dislike working with fiddly bits. And I don't mean that in a Forgeworld-induced sense of elitism, there's a quite a bit of delicate, fragile resin here. A model like Sherlock or Watson is a casting piece of art that will need to be handled with extreme care on the tabletop. A few of the models in the range are probably 'fragile' enough to give half of the players out there a heart attack when bringing it to the club or even undercoating ;-)

This is luckily something that mostly applies to the older models of the range, pretty much all the new stuff is much more sensibly designed without cutting into the detailing and style of the setting's look. The combination of a different, slightly softer resin for human scaled figures, the old, hard mix for the bigger models and generally very smart part separation really pushes the range to an even higher level. Still quite daunting stuff, especially when it comes to painting. So much freaking detail and different types of textures all over the place. That's a 30mm diameter base for reference!
 About time somebody put Tesla squarely on the table, kicking butt with science!
Now a big portion of the models in the Infamy range is based on 3D rendered designs, which can have quite an advantage if one'd be interested in adding extra bits, changing poses or scale of a model. Futura is a great example here, with the back left model being the original model. Mini Futura was a Kickstarter exclusive, while the other two versions were part of a limited release. Now we're bound to see these two configurations returns next year, but in entirely different poses of course. Automatons for everybody!
One of my favorite pieces in the range has to be Pigeon though, who doesn't love an automated tea dispenser. The Mk1 Defence Bot, at a whopping 52mm to the top of his hat, is definitely willing to fight for his place in the cue.
Haven't gotten around to building the chimps yet, but these blighters are probably going to be the most fun of the range. There's an entire collection of these, including a very big gorilla and a boss who is 'programming' the brain of one of the chimp soldiers.
I'll have more on these models in the near future, but from what I understand most of these will be available for regular buyers somewhere early next year. That said Infamy did have plans for a special release in December with their first fantasy mini, a Goblin Rider, 25% of the sales going to charity and putting any leftover models from the Kickstarter up before the next casting session. Well worth to keep an eye out for I'd say, which is the easiest done by following their Facebook page HERE.
Righto, back to gathering bits and bobs for basing all these Infamy minis........and those December Pulp City plans......and painting Norsgard......and.......and.........and if only there were more hours in the day!