Monday, 27 February 2012

New Dwarf Regiment - part seven

After a shaky start The Pledge is back on track and the first group of miniatures is complete; based, varnished and flocked.

Photo One - The finished group of eight Flintloque Dwarves led by a bossy she-Dwarf (a modified Forgemaiden from Warlord/Reaper - Valana, 14524).

Photos Two, Three and Four show the miniatures prior to varnishing. I am particularly proud of the Tomato Puree Flag and Battenburg Cake pole decoration.

Photo Five - The command group, a Standard Bearer, Musician and the Female Dwarf.

Photo Six - The five troopers.

I have called them Battenburger's after the flag design and some comments on this Blog. The main point is that regiment/group one was finished on time. Now for the second group, but you will have to wait until March for full details.


Sunday, 26 February 2012

A weekend in Swansea

Sue and I had a weekend down in Swansea, visiting family and attending my cousins engagement party. On Sunday morning I popped along to a small Toy & Train fayre held at Bishop Gore School, Swansea. Being an Olchfa pupil (a rival school about two miles away) this was the first time I had even set foot over the school threshold!

After paying £1.50 for entry I picked up a variety of bits 'n' pieces.

Photo One - This Airfix Magazine Guide 16 Modelling Jet Fighters by Bryan Philpott for just £1.00, I thought it was worth this for the read alone.

Photo Two - A diecast armoured car. Although in a poor state, I thought it would work well with 28mm figures and all the way back I've been imagining it painted in UNIT (Dr. Who) colours with some UNIT troops in a small diorama. At just £2.00 another bargain.

Photo Three - four tall populars which should work equally well as trees for my Flintloque terrain or for my 40mm Typhon (Greek Mythology) terrain. All four cost less than £2.00.

Photo Four - Three plastic figures, each one standing 30/35mm tall and ideal as ghosts in my Flintloque/Deadloque undead army. Each figure - just 50p each.

Can anyone help by identify them?

Photos Five and Six - Later we went for a walk along the cliffs near Pennard on The Gower Peninsular and while we were having a cappuccino this AEC double decker pulled into the carpark. The bus was on an excursion from Swansea City centre to Pennard and then back again.

It was in pristine condition and I couldn't resist taking these snaps.

Photo Seven - As well as seeing a number of helicopters and small aircraft I spotted this Gyrocopter buzzing overhead and switching the camera to 'sports' mode I managed to catch this image.

Photo Eight - Almost full-circle, I started with a book on modelling Jet Fighters and now end with this image of a Hunter T8 two seater spotted at Swansea Airport.

The weather was a bit hit and miss, but I have to say that I really enjoyed the weekend.


Friday, 24 February 2012

TRASH BASH 2012 - part four

This morning I e-mailed my entry to the Trash Bash 2012 modelling competition, see; this link for full details.The competition rules state that work-in-progress shots can be posted, but I feel that this would spoil the surprise! I have however included this single teaser showing two Juicy Drop Pop sweet containers which are the basis of the main hull design and construction.

Further posts will detail the modelling, painting and history of Le Louis Daguerre after the deadline for competition entries has passed. Until then you will just have to wait.


Thursday, 23 February 2012

New Dwarf Regiment - part six

This week has seen the weather improve and my time at my painting desk increased. In fact some of the highest temperatures in the country have been recorded just 30 miles away. The Pledge is back on track!

Images One and Two - progress so far. The musician has had his beard repainted a glowing Orange and the Dwarf Muskets painted. The stocks have been painted in a Scorched Brown/Snakebite Leather mix, while the metalwork is all GW metallics. Some of the very best metallic paints available.

Photo Three - The Battenburgers. A name inspired by the flag colours, the famous Battenburg cake and comments on this Blog. The flag is a section of tomato puree tube superglued to a metal rod flag pole and topped by a small square or cube of plastic card.

The standards colours are painted over Stonewall Grey from Vallejo and are a mix of Badmoon Yellow/Skull White and Blood Red/Skull White. The highlighting is done by adding more Skull White while the border is Snakebite Leather.  The standard decoration/motif is from a German WW2 transfer sheet that I had spare and applied over Johnson Klear (Future in the US) and then sealed with Klear.

Photos Four and Five - additional images of the standard bearer and the Battenburg flag design. The design was painted on a flat flag and when fully dry the foil was folded into the shape you see. Any cracks, there are always some, were touched up with pink and yellow.

I am pleased with the progress so far, there was a period when the snow began to fall again, that I was wondering if The Pledge was in serious doubt. I hope that you enjoy the On-Line Build to date and that you can also see the humour in this particular regiment of Finklestein Dwarves.

Not much more to say except "I don't like Battenburg Cake - too much marzipan" - the base painting will be next and then on to the varnishing.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

TRASH BASH 2012 - part three

The French Imperial Aeronef Le Louis Daguerre
Urgent Message

The following telegraph message was intercepted and translated by HMAS Intrepid on February 6th at 0600.

+LD 317 on routine patrol attacked by three uHCs STOP+
+No fatalities STOP seven injuries STOP+
+Damage to P Chem 3 STOP+
+Ret to LMons STOP+
+ Permission to arm LD 317 STOP+

Further enquiries by British agents has confirmed that three Unidentified Martian Hullcutters encountered the Le Louis Daguerre (LD 317) on or before the 4th February in the Le Mons sector (S345/E468) and after a brief exchange both sides retreated and returned to safety.

Workers at the main Aeronef Port, Le Mons collaborate the initial telegraph message and add that one of the chemical containers has been replaced.

It is also believed that two Hotchkiss revolving cannons and one 90mm breach loading cannon have been fitted to the Le Louis Daguerre.

Martian Pirates are continuing to harass all Colonial Aeronefs with the increased success having the effect that single craft patrols and merchant Aeronef's are rare.

More to follow. See Trash Bash 2012.


Monday, 20 February 2012

New Dwarf Regiment - part five

At long last progress has moved forward. The slightly warmer weather has allowed me to spend a little more time down the shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden and painting has moved on apace. 

Photo One - Shows the Bottle Green uniforms painted. I used a mix of Turquoise, Midnight Blue and Woodland Green  to get the basic colour and highlighted with pure Forest Green from Foundry.

Photo Two - The next step was the Blood Red trousers and Busby pouch which were highlighted with Blood Red from Vallejo over Red Gore from GW. The yellow or gold trim is Badmoon Yellow over Snakebite Leather and at this stage the pompom is just basecoated Stonewall Grey from Vallejo.

The Busby is Scorched Brown, drybrushed over the sculpted detail.

Photo Three - The pompoms has been highlighted with Skull White and I have tidied up both the flesh areas and the Black boots.

Photo Four - Each of the miniatures has some sort of backpack or sack sculpted onto the back of the figure and to give some variety to the group, I have painted these in different colours.

After a (very) slow start, I now feel that this first Pledge is back on track and without tempting fate, I see no reason why the group should not be finished by the end of February.

I have decided to repaint the hair and beard of the horn-blower as I think the yellow hair looks a little to pale.

Once again I have approached the painting in a haphazard manner wanting to get the bulk of the sculpts painted quickly. My plan is to have this week tidying up the details and varnish by the coming weekend. Obviously all of this is dependant on the weather as I do not like to varnish in the cold or damp.

As a small group they are already very colourful and once the metallic paint goes on this will increase the illusion.


Saturday, 18 February 2012

TRASH BASH 2012 - part two

The French Imperial Aeronef Le Loius Daguerre
A short history

Part two;
The French inventor Loise Daguerre was instrumental in the discovery and development of what is today called photography. The Daguerreotype was a process of capturing black and white images on silver coated glass screens after being exposed and later processed. The drawback was that the early screens were fragile and if clumsily handled were prone to breaking. The image was displayed in a number of ways - firstly re-exposed and processed onto light sensitive paper, or projected through a 'magic lantern' onto cinema style screens. There was also the dual or 'realistic' view which had two similar images situated side-by-side and viewed through a spectacle type apparatus called a Not-Kermode which gives the illusions of a 3d image.

The French military establishment were keen to see if this process could have any military uses and Daguerreotype artists were embedded with existing (or traditional) artists to capture for posterity the images of war. These embedded units were successful in recording both the horrors and heroism of war and in illustrating war journals. But I digress.

The growing conflict on Mars and the inability of the French Foreign Legion to quell and maintain order in their newly formed city-states led to a number of military suggestions as to how best to proceed. One suggestion was to properly map the different areas of the Le Mons area of Mars - The French Sector and the new Daguerreotype process was seen as the perfect solution. Developments in faster exposure times and  lighter glass plates also added to the race to develop an Aeronef-based imaging facility, hence the commissioning of Le Loius Daguerre (named after the inventor of the process).

Operational issues demanded a huge Aeronef, the largest ever built by the colonising powers on Mars to both hold the huge amounts of chemicals needed for the development process and to house the largest Daguerre camera ever built.  The camera was housed in the nose or bow of the 'Nef' and pointed both downwards and rearwards for taking images and replacing the huge glass screens. These screens were 500mm x 500mm and required a number of trained operators to position and replace, however the success of the first mapping expedition quelled all fears as beautifully detailed images were sent back to HQ. The real bonus (and one that was kept secret for many years) was that when these images were taken at fist light or sunset, they highlighted a number of topographic irregularities which when explored yielded sites of special and scientific interest, some of which later produced finds like the Golden Sun which now resides in the Paris Collection.

The process of taking these huge images required a great deal of very specialised men who would painstakingly site Le Loius Daguerre over the area to be photographed and then when all power and services had been turned off (this was required to stop camera-wobble) would expose the glass plate. Processing required a second group of engineers who would 'fix' the images and then safely store them for later examination.

Of special note was the interest (and lack of interest) shown by the other colonising countries. Germany in particular were intent on capturing the Aeronef and examining the camera and chemicals used, while Great Britain showed nothing more than a passing interest - which was due in the main to the fact that they were experimenting with a similar process - The Fox-Talbot camera and plates on board the Aeronef HMAS Canary.

More to follow.


Friday, 17 February 2012

The Black Claw - a short story

Barking Irons Online Has just uploaded my latest White Liar short story The Black Claw The story was written some time ago and so it is all the better for seeing it in print - well on-line anyway. I hope that you enjoy reading it.

The White Liar Short Stories are a great way to publish simple scenario threads and I would recommend to everyone that they look at producing a similar short story. The White Liar story threads use the tried and tested technique of starting each short story with the same opening paragraph, but allow the written free-reign as to what they write.


Thursday, 16 February 2012


I just couldn't resist it!  With all the part painted miniatures and half-way completed projects on my workbench I have decided that I just have to enter the Roebeast TRASH BASH competition to build a 'Scratch-Built' model from a Sweet or Candy container.

The rules state that I can show images of work-in-progress but I am going to wait until the 1st March (the entry date) before I post any. However there is no reason why I cannot tease you;

The French Imperial Aeronef Le Louis Daguerre
An Observation and Survey Nef currently serving at Le Mons, Mars (French Sector)

Part One;
Ten years after the first human set foot on Mars the Colonial Land-Grab is in full swing with Great Britain, Germany, The United Stated of America and the Belgian Republique leading the assault. Japan and France came late to the table and have never achieved the victories of the earlier states. This is all about to change with the French Government finally agreeing to build both the largest Astronef - Le Gloire and now Le Louis Daguerre an observation and survey Nef to explore and map the Le Mons area of Mars.

The Loius Daguerre is one of the largest Nef's ever constructed on Mars and was built to house the newly developed Daguerreotype Camera which uses huge half-metre square silver coated glass plates to take images of the Martian landscape and 'map' the built up areas.  The process needs huge reserves of dangerous chemicals which are housed in two large and two smaller containers built into the main hull. Early experiments have proven than an area of five square kilometres can be successfully mapped in less than three days, thereby cutting down on man-hours and the risk of being assaulted by rival States or marauding Martians.

The new technology of image capture is causing quite a stir amongst the other Earth-Bourne Governments and Le Louis Daguerre is now accompanied by at least one French Aeronef when ever out on operation's. It is rumoured that The Kaiser has raised a bounty of one thousand gold crowns for the capture of the Loius Daguerre - a rumour that is having quite an effect on the fleets of Martian Pirates.

More to follow.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

New Dwarf Regiment - part four

The Pledge has hit something of a dead-end as the bitter cold weather has forced me to abandon my shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden and snuggle down in front of the TV.  As the snow melts away and the mornings and evening are becoming lighter I have finally got around to undercoating the miniatures. Using a mixture of cheap black spray paint and some black craft paint all eight Dwarves are now fully covered and ready for some colour.

The first 'real' Painting was the flesh areas and in my usual manner I have built up the Dwarf skin tones from a GW's Snakebite Leather base with subsequent layers a mix of Snakebite and Skull White. The final layer a wash of  the old GW Flesh Wash (the blue topped pot which I have had for some time).

For this image I have tidied up the Chaos Black areas. Checking these images - I think I might have painted the flesh a little too pale and will look at adding some pink/red to the noses and cheeks.

I am not fully decided on the Regimental name, but The Battenburgers is currently favourite. As detailed in previous posts I am planning on painting the Dwarves in a Bottle Green uniform colour with Blood Red trousers and Busby pouch and Gold trim. they should be quite a colourful unit when finished.

As I look out of the window, I can see that the snow has finally gone, the temperature is up to a 'tropical' 6 to 7 degrees and I would expect to spend this evening catching up on my painting. Two Weeks in to The Pledge and I know I have much to do if I am going to achieve the first months goal.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

New Brushes from Rosemary & Co - part two

A quick update from my earlier post, after the brushes had been used, washed and allowed to dry naturally. The brushes are (from left to right) WHS Nylon/Acrylic No. 1, Citadel Standard Brush (the orange tipped handle), Winsor & Newton Series 7, No. 1, Rosemary & Co Series 401, No. 2 and No. 1.

The first thing I noticed was that the Citadel brush had not retained its point anywhere near as well as the others and that my 'much-used' W&N Series 7 ferrule could do with a good clean! In fairness the Citadel Brush has been well used and returned to a fine point after a simple dip in tap water. I will have to see about cleaning up the W&N ferrule before returning it to it's own plastic storage tube.

Not a very scientific survey, but I thought is was worth the update.

You can click on this image for a larger view.

I have found, that as a 'messy' figure painter and someone who will freely admit to serious brush abuse, that I have always felt a little intimidated by the Winsor & Newton Sable Brushes. Because of this I have in the past always reached for either a Citadel Standard Brush or a cheaper nylon/acrylic brush (as the WHS Blue Handled series) first. I would hope that I will now be a little more careful in the care and use of my new brushes, but only time will tell.

Once the weather warms up, I will write a more detailed post of how I find my new purchases.


Friday, 10 February 2012

New Brushes from Rosemary & Co.

Earlier this week I was reading on The Lead Adventure Forum about Rosemary & Co brushes, see;

I decided that I would pick up a couple to test and after reading the forum posts decided on a couple of Sable Mix brushes Series 401 which are a mixture of Sable and Nylon.

I ordered the a No 1 and a No 2, both with the optional long handles on Monday evening and they were delivered on Wednesday morning beautifully packaged in a plastic sleeve inside a strengthened and padded envelope - superb service.

Last night had the opportunity to quickly test them against a Windsor & Newton No 7 Sable, a Citadel Standard Brush (my preferred or usual tool of choice) and a WHS Nylon No 2 (of which I have a batch of about six, which I tend to use for terrain painting).  My first impressions are favourable however they really need a good painting session and some time before I can give a full and detailed review.

I also asked for a Rosemary & Co 2011/2012 Catalogue which came in the same package and it is full of hundreds of brush choices, a really substantial catalogue and beautifully illustrated. The catalogue was so detailed that it actually causes confusion as there are so many types, styles, handle choices and quality to choose from. I am very pleased with my Series 401's, but would recommend that the long handles are a little superfluous for figure or miniature painters and I will stick with the standard length on future orders.

For full details of the range go to this link

Finally any comments concerning these or other brushes are very welcome. I for one would welcome any recommendations for style (Series or No.) or quality of future brushes from Rosemary & Co.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Well, Spring and Trough - a modelling Masterclass

The latest Modelling Masterclass featured on Barking Irons Online is a scratch-built village well. for full details of the planning, construction and painting go to this link

The characterful structure was based on an internet/Google image I came across when researching the earlier and simpler stone and wooden troughs and once I saw it I knew that I had to model it.

I have used a number of modelling techniques to reproduce it and hope that by passing on these skills I will inspire others to build their own terrain pieces.

Photo One - The finished Well, Spring and Trough.

Photo Two - The same model shown alongside the wooden and stone water troughs that have featured in earlier posts on this Blog.

Photo Three - A view of the rear of the stone building. Showing both the water pump detail and the simple wooden door.

As stated earlier, a characterful model which could adorn a wide range of wargaming tables, periods and genres.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Favourite Army in Flintloque?

Bill, The Editor of The Miniatures Page (TMP) has asked the question; "What is your favorite Army or Faction in Flintloque?"  See;

I'm having some difficulty in choosing one!  The truth is I think it has to be the Dwarves (Both Krautian and Finklestein) however I do like the Orcs and my collection of Undead has been steadily growing, then there's the Rats of Joccia.  Help me out, place your choice on TMP now.

I do know that I've never been a Ferach supporter, evil 'point-ears' and the Todoroni of Nepolise are such characterful miniatures. Oh S**t, I still not sure I can pick just one army.


Monday, 6 February 2012

New Dwarf Regiment - part three

Following on from the earlier post. This is the uniform colour scheme I am going to attempt for my latest Dwarf Regiment. Bottle Green or Blue/Green uniform, Blood Red trousers, Gold trim and Dark Brown Busby.

This image was copied and cropped from a larger image found on The Armchair General Forum and depicts a scene from the painting The Relief of the Light Brigade.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

New Dwarf Regiment - part two

Not much to report this time around - the cold weather and snow has meant that I am not venturing down to the-shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden to do any modelling or painting.

One step forward is that I think I have decided on a colour scheme.  I had initially thought of a dark Uniform possible even Black, however I am now coming around to a Bottle Green jacket with Blood Red trousers and Busby sack. Cuffs and details are still to be agreed upon while the Busby will be Dark Brown, but I am liking the Blue/Green or Bottle Green colour uniform.

If I get a chance I will undercoat Black over the next few days - but with such low temperatures and still the threat of snow, spray paint will not cure properly.

Although I have loads of time - it is after all only the 5th of February, the first month of my Pledge is looking a little shaky.


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Architecture of the Russian North - part two

I have been asked to supply a few more images from this book, see earlier post here 

Photo One - Church of St. John the Precursor

Photo Two - Church of the Deposition of the Robe

Photo Three - Church of the Prophet Elijah on Tsipina Hill

Photo Four - Chapel of St. George, Ust-Yandoma

Photo Five - Pershlakhta Village


Friday, 3 February 2012

Wooden Barn Flyford Flavell, Worcs.

Following a recent visit to the small village of Flyford Flavell, Worcestershire. I returned earlier today with my camera to record this characterful wooden barn.

Built from what I have been told is Yew, the aged wooden slats just cry out to be modelled.

Of special interest is the solid stone block foundations and the noticeable dip in the roof line above the main doors. I have been told (although I had no way to prove it) that the door/doors to the other side of the barn are approximately 1 metre lower than the main or featured doors. This is so full wagons can enter from the road and empty wagons can exit to the rear.

I would estimate the barn to be between 150 and 180 years old, however there were no markings or datable artefact to be found on the road facing side.

The building is currently in a state of dilapidation and from what I could see is empty. These images should act as a record should the building ever be removed.

Although I would not expect to produce a model of this actual barn, I can see a number of features of the building being incorporated into future terrain pieces.