Friday, 30 December 2011

IPMS Scale Model World - a photo report, part seven

Part seven is a 'hotch-potch' of various water based models ranging from the Fantastical Russian Caspian Sea Monsters to the Roman Trireme of Antiquity.

I thought that these two images may need some additional notes. Imagine a German attempt to conquer parts of Central Africa at the height of WW2 and the need for a shallow-draft enforcer. This cross between a German E-Boot and the Airfix Great Western paddle steamer may have been the answer. The attention to detail  and authenticity of this imagineered gun boat was quite staggering and I enjoyed discussing the idea behind the model with its constructor.



Monday, 26 December 2011

Miniature Figure Painting Guides

This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive two miniature painting guides, the first How to Paint Fantasy Miniatures by Andreas Press was a gift from my Mother-in-Law and bought via e-bay while the second Eavy Metal Masterclass by Games Workshop was a gift from my Wife and bought from the local GW store in Worcester.

I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast the two in this quick review.  Firstly How to Paint Fantasy Miniatures by Andreas Press.

The 64 page guide was new to me, even though it was first published in 2006!  My immediate reaction was that it was a little 'lightweight' but beautifully produced, as you would expect from Andreas Press.  On closer examination I found the contents and tutorials to be a bit disappointing. I could go into great detail about why I felt this way, but rather than being too negative on what was a Christmas present, I would prefer to concentrate on more positive points.

The tutorials are well illustrated with numbered points relating to coloured images. The content is broken into Introduction, Basic Techniques, Advanced Techniques and Master Pieces with each of these chapters being stylishly illustrated.  The problem seems to be that the translated text has not been proof read and there are many terms and comments that are both confusing and difficult to follow.  In addition the text is a little to sparse and could easily have been expanded - after all, this is a painting guide and I prefer too much information and description rather than too little.  I also found the predominantly black pages and white text a little difficult to follow.  This point was further exasperated when looking through the Gallery pages - again black background and very small images.

Overall a painting guide that I wanted to like was let down by simple mistakes and 'corner cutting'. Could do better and I am finding it difficult to award the guide any better than 5 out of 10.  The guide is available in various languages and from Andreas Miniatures or retailers with prices ranging from £11 - £16.

The second Christmas Painting Guide was the new Eavy Metal Masterclass from Games Workshop.  Most modellers and figure painters will be very familiar with both Eavy Metal and the 'glossy style' of this 98 page guide as it follows the tried and proved Eavy Metal painting articles featured in every White Dwarf.

I found the book a lot easier to follow. This maybe because of the familiarity of the in-house White Dwarf/Games Workshop style. I also found the greater amount of text made the techniques easier to follow and also bring the painting 'to life'.

The contents were set out in 13 in-depth painting articles each featuring a different core figure and covering Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40K and Lord of the Rings. The techniques discussed were very similar to the Andreas Press guide but in every example the tutorial and comments in the GW guide was better illustrated and better explained. In addition there were many more colour images to illustrate these techniques.

As far as I am aware the tutorials are all new - in other words not just a re-hash of painting guides from White Dwarf (although - not being a religious follower of White Dwarf, I maybe mistaken). However once again I found the tutorials a little light weight.  Therefore I would award the guide no better than 8 out of 10.

For some years I have been thinking of getting rid of my White Dwarf magazines.  One of the main reasons that I have not, is that I enjoy these figure painting articles. I have even thought about cutting up my White Dwarf magazines and producing my own Painting Guide by re-binding the Eavy Metal tutorials. This book goes some way to doing exactly this and I have no hesitation in recommending this Guide to regular followers of White Dwarf as well as modellers and figure painters wishing to improve their painting skills.

The Masterclass Guide is available via Games Workshop for £18.00.

In the case of both painting guides I was ultimately disappoint with the content and as both were much appreciated gifts I feel a little uneasy in criticising either - I am never-the-less very concious that others will be wanting honest and detailed reviews.  I feel that the Kevin Dallimore's Painting Guide and Masterclass books are a much better read and directory of painting styles and techniques than either of these. Even so both are set to become regular reads and much-thumbed study books in my attempt to improve my painting skills.

Both images have been taken from the internet (without permission) and are only included in this Blog post to illustrate this review.


Friday, 23 December 2011

IPMS Scale Model World - a photo report, part six

Part Six shows a variety of Sci-Fi models.

This final image illustrates some of the huge choices available to the Sci-Fi modeller, and this was just a fraction of what was hidden away on the stand.


Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Great Rabbit Hunt - on Orcs in the Webbe

Orcs in the Webbe have uploaded day 21 of this years Advent Calendar - The Great Rabbit Hunt which was written by me and introduces Big Fat Leighty or (BFL) a huge Orc cook who leads a group of retrogrades on a special mission for Wogan.  The original story was initially written as a White Liar short story, but developed into this slightly longer tale when it was included in the Advent Calendar.

This miniature is a converted Obidiah from the Flintloque Deserter box set and was modelled as the snaggle-tooth chef from Gormengast.

Craig Andrews (Editor - Orcs in the Webbe) promised that this years Advent Calendar would be a beauty and with just three days to go he has really delivered. For anyone not familiar with the Advent Calendar, OITW produce a Christmas gift of a piece of fiction, an interview or a gaming article for each of the advent days from 1 - 24 so keep coming back to see what is on offer.



Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Shoggoth's Old Peculiar by Neil Gaiman

I recently read a story by Neil Gaiman called Shoggoth's Old Peculiar. The short story (just 12 pages long) is written in the style of Terry Pratchett with a H P Lovecraft theme and is well worth checking out. It had me laughing out loud at some of the 'cthulhu in-jokes'.

The story can be found in the Gaiman compilation Smoke and Mirrors published by Headline Book Publishing.

Just a short post - but highly recommended.


Monday, 19 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.


Saturday, 17 December 2011

IPMS Scale Model World - a photo report, part five

In part five I have added images of what I think are some of the most entertaining models - the 'What-if's' or Fantastical Aircraft that were on display. They range from actual aircraft with alternative colour schemes or markings to Luft 46 'paper planes' and even a couple of film stars or film props.  I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do. My favourite part of visiting the IPMS show is seeing such models.

A German Jaguar with experimental tilt wing.

The Indian Jones Flying Wing.

A couple of aircraft from Porco Rosso.

Not sure about this one - it could be a What-if, or an actual aircraft.

TSR2's One of my all-time favourite aircraft and I make no apologies for it being included in various colour schemes.

These two aircraft were on the British Secret Project Display which was crammed packed with gorgeous models.

I would normally think twice before including an aircraft with such a blatant Nazi insignia, however this model was on the Acrobatic Display Team stand and I feel the modeller had done a great job of visualising what the Horten Flying Wing would have looked like if Germany had a Post-War Flying Display Team.

This was not a What-if but displayed as an actual aircraft!

I have no idea of the historical accuracy of this flying test bed, but it does look fantastic.

This Gloster Meteor has Turbo-prop engines and Israeli markings.  The actual aircraft did exist as a test bed, although not in these spectacular markings or as an operational fighter/bomber.

Finally a Russian Flying Sub, that was actually seen as a viable project.

Regular followers will know that I regularly include images of 'What-if' and fantastic Aircraft on my Blog I feel they offer the modeller much greater scope than actual aircraft and loads more fun.