Thursday, 18 January 2018

Getting started again

Hello everyone once again! 

As I mentioned last time, I'm still trying to reduce the lead pile, and so far 2018 is going better than 2017.

First of all, I'm incredibly generous, and overall just a great person, so I gave Kieron 23 models. Admittedly they were models that he'd already given to me, but I based some of them on pennies ages ago so he's made something like 14p out of the deal. See? I'm really something. I've decided that this counts as the opposite of "acquiring" models, so that's going to do the score some good.

Second, I received my order from Warlord, which had a much smaller model count than last year. This was going to be just five models, but Warlord made a bit of a boo-boo and sent me the wrong tank platoon - Japanese Chi-has instead of French Char 1 Bis. Because they have great customer service, once I contacted them they both sent the correct box very quickly but also let me keep the one they sent by mistake, so I've ended up with 8 new models on the pile. Can't really complain there!

Finally, but most importantly, I've done some painting!


These are Senegalese Tirailleurs that I got from Pete a couple of years ago as a secret santa gift. I've decided that my failure to paint several years' worth of Christmas presents has become embarrassing, so I've given myself a mini-project of working through it all. So keep an eye out for more of that going on.


I struggled a bit with painting these - black skin isn't something I have a good method for, and I think I also put too much ink on the uniforms. But overall I think these came out ok, and they didn't take a huge amount of time. In Bolt Action they count as tough fighters, gaining a bonus in close combat. So that's nice.


You might have noticed that I've given these guys slightly inconsistent headgear. This is because they're all wearing their fezzes (fezi?) despite carrying helmets and clearly being in combat. By rights, they should all have a khaki cover over the fez, since bright red isn't a great battlefield colour unless you're intending to be shot. I would therefore like them to be khaki-coloured, to preserve some amount of sense. However, I know for an absolute certainty that if I field this unit without anyone in bullet-magnet red I'll never hear the end of it, so I've compromised and done 6 out of 10 in red fezzes.

This is of course a complete waste of time, and I'll still never hear the end of it.

Right, that was short and sweet, let's get to the first scores of 2018...

Acquired: -15 (due to incredible generosity that I'm too modest to go on about)
Painted: 10

So I'm 25 up! Not a bad start at all. 




Saturday, 30 December 2017

The end of the year show

With 2017 coming to an end, it's time to think about how my hobby year has gone and whether I managed to achieve my overambitious goals for the year.

But first, I've got one more painted model to show for the year...

Woo! purple shooty thing again!

It's yet another Shaltari model! I can't really picture anyone caring too much, but this is a second Jaguar warstrider. I've had a single Jaguar for a while and it's probably the only Dropzone unit I have that doesn't consistently explode. That's not a high bar to clear, but I'll take success where I can find it, so I've added a second one. Presumably this will encourage my opponents to find effective counters to these, meaning that they can explode regularly too. So that's something to look forward to.

Anyway, returning briefly to the point. My goals for the year were to paint more models than I gained, and to avoid starting any new projects that needed me to buy new stuff.

Looking back over the year I can see that I've painted:

Lots of Dropfleet Commander Shaltari spaceships
Not so many Dropzone Commander Shaltari ground units
Some 6mm American Civil War units and terrain
Some modern frogmen, which have yet to reach a table anywhere
A selection of Terminator Genisys machines and resistance, also yet to see a table
A handful of zombies and survivors (ditto)
A post-apocalyptic caravan outpost thing (ditto again)
Some Bolt Action Germans (ditto once more).

That's a lot of text, so here's the caravan again.

This all amounts to 182 painted models. That doesn't sound too shabby, although some of the models would almost pass through the eye of a needle.

However, I also bought, and was given... too much stuff to go through again here.

I will say that I stuck to the goal of not buying anything to start a new project... but then I didn't need to given the diverse array of projects I already had.

It's particularly telling that my two biggest bouts of "getting new stuff" (spending a warlord voucher I got at Christmas and my first ever trip to Salute) netted me something like 70 models... none of which have been painted since.

I've also been given another 19 models today, what with secret Santa and the usual generosity of Kieron coming into play.

Totalling everything up, I've acquired 181 models over the course of the year. This also includes the Ainsty castings school bus thing that I've wanted for ages and got for Christmas.

So, if I compare the models I've acquired to the number I've painted, I get this:

Painted: 182
Acquired: 181

I've done it! However, it's by the smallest margin possible. This doesn't really tie in brilliantly with my bold statements a year ago about "making a worthwhile dent in the lead mountain".

A Shaltari ship, for more texty-breaky-uppy help

I'm going to take another crack at it though. I do find the large pile of unpainted stuff that I have lying around... annoying, more than anything. It all represents ideas that I've been really keen on at one point or another, but have then never managed to turn into anything real. Bah.

So here we go. Once again, my goal for the new year is to paint more models than I get, so that the pile of unpainted stuff gets smaller instead of bigger.

I've got a bit of a better chance this year because:

A) I've spent this year's traditional Christmas voucher from the mother-in-law already, and I've gone for 5 models that I think I'll actually paint, rather than 57 models from all over the place like I did last time.
B) I don't have a huge Kickstarter pledge on the way to dump loads of extra stuff on the heap again.

Right, that's lots of words and now I'm bored. I might post something soon about some of the projects I'm planning to go at soon... but then again I might not. So there.

Happy New Year everyone!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Starting something new

This isn't entirely new really, but it is a change from what I've been doing.

Every year at Christmas I tend to get vouchers, which normally results in adding a extra pile of varied things to the enormous trembling heap of unpainted stuff I already have. A while ago (can't remember if it was last year or the year before) I decided I'd like a "proper" German army for Bolt Action so I ended up with a big bunch of grenadier sprues.

Of course, I immediately set about ignoring them completely.

But then! All of a sudden I decided to start painting some of them. As always when starting new I tried to do far too many in a single batch so they took me ages, but I'm pretty happy with the results and I think in smaller groups they wouldn't take me too long to add to.

Of course, I've immediately got distracted and will start something else.

But anyway, let's have a look at what I've produced...

A little squad with an NCO


An officer with entirely fair assault rifle

Another little squad with NCO

Although it's clearly two many models to have painted in one go, I deliberately did these as an officer and two minimum-sized squads, so that I get a legal force (if not an especially sensible one) straight away and can then begin adding to it.

Since I already have a couple of vehicles, this means that I can make 888 points of wehrmacht now if I make everything veteran - and I also have volkssturm troops that I could add to that. So that's nice.

I'd also like to point out that giving them all assault rifles is entirely fair and not something that anyone should complain about. In fact, to get him to hold the assault rifle and binoculars I had to do a minor conversion on the officer which worked out ok.

So that's it! I might manage to get these to a table at some point, so that would be nice. What's next?

Oh yeah, numbers...

Painted: 181
Acquired: 161

I'm now twenty points ahead. This does of course mean that one of my ever-so-helpful gaming colleagues will have found something to get me for secret santa that adds more than 20 models to the pile, so I need to try to get something more done before that happens...

Sunday, 19 November 2017

A Barrier to Progress

This should be a quick one.

Another hangover from Zomtober managed to linger around on the painting table long enough to acquire some paint, so here we go:

From our new "urban monochrome" selection

There you are, half a dozen jersey barriers. I've got to be honest, these weren't the most challenging paint job ever.

They did make it to the table as part of the Necromunda resurgence with Kieron last weekend, so that was nice. 

There we go, as promised, short and sweet. Short and grey, anyway.

Right! Scores!

Painted: 170
Acquired: 161

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Progress going down the toilet

Sometimes these blog post titles just don't make a lot of sense.

Anyway. I reached the end of Zomtober, and found I didn't really know what to do next. So I've been somewhat aimless in my painting for the last week or so, really just slapping some paint on anything that was ready to be done.

So, that's led me to this:

"Flushed with success" might have worked better.
Never mind.
A second portaloo! Obviously this will have loads of uses.

I followed this up with...
That's supposed to be a Make America Great Again hat, but
you can't really see it here..
Further zombies! These were sitting on my painting station so they just sort of fell under the brush.

Also, last weekend we took a trip to Fiasco at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. This was decent enough, but I was able to resist almost all purchases, coming away with a Reaper minis “not Arnie” for the princely sum of £1.89.

So, what’s that done to the scores?

Painted: 164
Acquired: 161

There you go, I’m motoring away now!


Friday, 27 October 2017

Zomtober Part 5 - the Big Reveal

Well here we are, the end of October, and with it the fifth and final week of this year’s Zomtober.

This means that, first of all, I need to post a zombie or survivor for the week. Here we go:

Muuuuuuuurrrrrr...andatory

It’s another zombie, one that I’ll admit I rushed, but it’s good to get a model off the enormous pile of unpainted models I own. The photo hasn’t come out very well for some reason, but he’s lost all the skin from his face, which is a nice gory detail for a zombie.

Anyway, with that out of the way I can move on to the main event, my somewhat over-hyped secret project. It turns out that it’s this:

Home sweet home

 A post-apocalyptic outpost, made from a toy caravan!

 I’d been planning to do something with the toy caravan for a while, and the idea hit me that might it would make a nice post-apoc terrain piece. I’ve tried to be fairly agnostic about what type of apocalypse this fits into, so hopefully I could use this for Terminator as well as zombie games.

Ideal for the young professional wanting to start out on their own and avoid being dragged off by cannibals.

So, some details. The inspiration for this is kind of a combination of a location in Fallout: New Vegas (a ranger station made of caravans) and the image of Andrea standing guard on top of Dale’s RV in the Walking Dead.

 My thinking is that this is someone’s hideout. They’ve wheeled it into position amongst some jersey barriers for some extra protection, and welded on whatever bits of junk they can find to block the windows and make things a bit less exposed.

Rusty corrugated iron always adds a touch of class

On the roof, there’s a sniper nest - a chair, a table (which I’m particularly pleased with - it’s a warhammer goblin shield with some legs made from offcuts of MDF and looks a lot like rattan garden furniture) and a bucket (from an old model train kit I’ve had for decades) for... sanitary purposes. There’s also a mattress in case things get bad enough that the roof is a better option than sleeping inside.

Great facilities for al fresco dining

The roof is accessed by a fencing section propped up as a ladder, and protected with barbed wire, which was a bugger to paint.




Overall I’m pleased with the result here, and I might be tempted to add a few more bits to it in the future. I think it’s versatile enough that it might make it to the table more than once, too.

All that said, I think it can sensibly only count as one model for accounting purposes, so doesn’t have a massive impact on my totals...

Painted: 161
Acquired: 160

Woo hoo! I’m back to a positive score! Admittedly I could have painted one model on the first of January to get to the same point, but still!

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Zomtober goes 4th

I've had a bit of a trickier time of it this week. I've not had a much time with the paintbrushes as I'd have liked, so I had to quickly knock out a survivor so I could keep up with the rules. Here he is then...


I've got a gun! And I'm not really sure how to use it!
I'm not particularly thrilled with this model, to be honest. The pose came out kind of weird, for one thing (this is the only angle to photo it from that doesn't look odd) and I was rushing it so the it's not the best paint job I've ever done. 

Still, it meets the rules, and it's good enough for the tabletop, so that'll do!

Next, I've now established a tradition of showing infuriatingly uninformative pictures of my work-in-progress secret project, so here's one for this week.

It's the aesthetic appeal that really draws readers to this blog.

If you can't work out what I'm doing by now, I don't really think I can help you.

Right then, I've painted another model, so the counter ticks inexorably on...

Painted: 159
Acquired: 160

Oooh, but it's tense.