Thursday 29 September 2011

Pulled it out of the bag!

You see what you've done to me? I'm so keen to meet targets now that I actually took the afternoon off work to get these finished!

Well, I had some hours built up and needed to use them. But it's nearly the same!

I have to confess I suffered some "target drift" as I went through the month. Basically, I realised I actually have 12 SWAT (instead of 11 like the target post says, so that's a bonus, extra points please) and instead of mucking about with the Mini I made 3 shipping containers to use as terrain.

Here we go:

Here's everything all together in a lovely pose...
I'm very pleased with the results I've got here, apart from on the Caucasian flesh I haven't used any inks, it's all highlighted up. This is very unusual for me, it's really the first time I've tried it so it's not perfect but I'm really happy. It's definitely more time consuming than using ink but the results are much much nicer.

The criminals, with the shadow of my lens because I'm a brilliant photographer
 As you can see, I haven't based these. Basically, this is because nothing I've tried seems to work, so I'm going back to the drawing board. They'll be based when I come up with something that works!

The SWAT team, slightly out of focus and with lens shadow (I really do rock at photography)

Check out my freehand work! If I never have to write the word "POLICE" again it'll be too soon

The criminals give a curtain call

Close up on the big boss fella (who has a Luger for some reason)

Nice focus work there, genius

And there's a bit of freehand work. I'm pleased with that too - it looks better in the flesh than on these blown up photos, and it's definitely something I'll try more of in future. So, you know, look out for that. Or don't, I suppose.

Monday 26 September 2011

Time running out!

As I said in the last update, things are really not looking good for me getting all the models in the target done in time.

So, to get somewhere this month, I decided to try to get all the models (except the mini!) in my target at least base coated so that I've got some progress.

Here's the pile:

As you can see, the base coats are mainly done, I do need to cover a couple of areas on the criminals and the grey bits (the vests and webbing) on the 4 SWAT models at the back.

These 5 models are done, they just need basing:

For the bases, I'm planning to create tiled floors using card. I was also thinking of trying to make litter by printing out shrunk down newspapers etc. - watch this space to see whether that works...

Tuesday 20 September 2011


Ugh, I'm really not getting a lot of time for painting this much - too many "real life" things are gettting in the way!

That said, I have done 4 SWAT and 1 criminal to "almost ready" status, and another 4 SWATs and 3 criminals are "underway". So there's still some hope, but I'm going to have next to no time this week and not much next week either...

At least I've done something...

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Secret Weapon!

That's the old "exciting title" trick deployed then.

In reality, my secret weapon isn't too exciting, it's one of these:

It's my new laptop paint station dooberry from Warlord Games. The idea is that I can sit downstairs and get some painting done, as opposed to only using the times I can sneak into the spare room. I gave this a trial run tonight and it sort of works. Using the desk is better, but I can do things like base coating, and basing, and the other more repetitive bits. 

Anyway, I've made a bit of progress towards the month's goal. I took a leaf out of Andy's book and got one of the SWAT models almost completed to check out the colour scheme. I've gone for a different painting style to the one I used on the Romans. This is mainly because these models have less detail than the Romans so I've had to do more highlighting and haven't relied on inks (in fact I've only used ink on the faces so far). 

I've done 3-4 levels of highlighting on the test model, and it came out pretty well I thought - so I've done another the same way. I've also done the first coat on one of the criminals, I think base coating those will be a job for a "laptop" session.

Oh, and I tried my hand at freehand to paint the "POLICE" logo onto the back of the first two SWAT models...

One thing though - at the moment I have no idea how to base these as I want them to look like they're indoors but don't know how to do it. I'll have a think about that one.

Saturday 3 September 2011

A Change of Plan

The results of August's marking left me marked down for not having a very high model count, which is fair enough. So, I'm revising my target for September upwards, even though I'm not sure I'll get much time.

This picture is my main goal:

The primary target - 11 SWAT, 9 suited bad guys, and a Mini. Oh, and that photo in the background is from my third year prom at uni, but unfortunately I'm behind the stapler so you can't see my 21 year old self in a tuxedo. Sorry about that.
There are 11 SWAT guys altogether, although 7 have been started (the uniforms are painted blue but they've got chipped and need redoing).

There's another 9 models in suits - these are the criminals.

Then there's a 1:43 scale Mini. I picked this up for £2.49 today, and it is already painted, but it looks far too clean for me, so I'm going to see what I can do to take the shine off it. This is going to be terrain for Flashbang.

This photo is the backup - if I run out of time I'll move on to these:
The "if there's time" pile - 4 redneck criminals and 4 hostages
These are 4 redneck criminals, and 4 hostages - again, these are for Flashbang (which you might remember is a game I'm writing).

I've decided to ignore the furniture for this month. I think I'm going to quite enjoy doing it, but I want more time to plan and I think the models need doing first.

Finally a battle report

Since I got enough painted to make a 500 point army for Impetus, I played a game against JP's imperial Romans.

Unfortunately, JP demonstrated in short order why the Marian reforms were a good idea for the Roman army - he trounced me completely, losing only a single base of his own in the process!

I deployed in three commands - a block of two legions in the middle, then a legion with supporting cavalry on each flank.In the centre I had the principes behind the hastati to allow for line relief (the two can swap places during the game if they are one in front of the other). On the flanks I had them in line to cover more ground. The triarii were to the rear and I intended to use them to plug gaps.

JP also deployed in three commands - a single, very long line of legionaries in the middle with a small group of auxiliaries covering his left flank, a group of barbarians and all of his cavalry on the right.

I advanced the infantry on mass, moving them slowly to avoid them becoming disordered. JP came towards me more quickly, but was able to reorder his lines before we closed.

Then it all went wrong for me - JP's cavalry outmaneuvered my infantry on the left and kept up a hail of javelins that I couldn't do much about. Because he had brought his barbarians in close as well I couldn't turn to face one without being flanked by the other, and my left flank started to crumble.

On the right, I sent two bases of cavalry against the two auxiliaries, and caused some damage with javelins. However, I'd chosen the moment to attack poorly and charged between two hills - so I couldn't bring in any infantry in support and after the initial shock the auxiliaries got their act together and saw off the cavalry.

This left my two legions in the centre, with the remains of the right flank command. JP was now able to throw in his legions, as cavalry and more auxiliaries started to turn my flank. It was only a matter of time before I beaten (although this was helped out by some shocking dice rolls on my part). To add insult to injury, I'd kept the second wave too close to the first, so as the first waves fell back they disordered the rear and caused more casualties.

All in all a very poor showing, but I learnt a few things:
  • I need to remember that units fall back when they take damage in combat and plan accordingly (that just came from my not having played Impetus in a while and forgetting the rule)
  • A flank attack is a good idea, but it needs space to harrass the enemy and needs to be it's own command that works together. Crucially I need to not mind losing this group - Roman cavalry is pretty fragile. I think I'm going to add more of it to give some more survivability.
  • I need to have a plan and stick to it! My original plan was to sit back and wait for JP to come to me - which I think he might have done in bits and pieces if I'd lured him with a feint somewhere. Instead I abandoned that and moved forward, getting in my own way.
  • If I'm going to use triarii as a reserve (not a bad idea as they can move obliquely without automatically disordering themselves), I need to allow them space to move up without blocking the advance of other units.
So, some things for me to try next time there at least...