Thursday, 31 May 2012

A simple Modelling Masterclass - a Wicker Fence

Barking Irons Online has just uploaded my latest Modelling Masterclass - a simple Wicker Fence. This simpler terrain building article is one of a short series that was written in reply to some comments by Gavin and Craig (Alternative Armies and Barking Irons Online), asking for a couple of shorter or easier terrain building projects. At first I was surprised by the request but after writing three shorter articles, I find that I have really enjoyed these simpler modelling interludes.

The article, written some time ago is actually the third, the earlier two will no doubt be featuring on BIO very soon and should be inter-spaced with some more detailed or in-depth pieces. The crow model comes from the Dreamblade collectable gaming miniature Ravencloak Visionary, details of which can be seen on previous posts. I have picked up three of these 40mm tall models with a view to modelling/painting characters for Flash Gordon and/or Typhon games.

It is also possible to model the upright posts closer together or thinner and have the wicker weaved tighter to produce a different style of fence/barrier. It will be interesting to see how these shorter terrain building articles are received. Should any reader or follower have any ideas or requests for similar articles, please contact me via this Blog.

For full details of how this piece was modelled and painted please go to this link.


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

To Publish or Not - a book on terrain modelling

Some time ago I was approached to see if I was interested in writing an article for a book on building terrain - wargaming terrain. I have actually produced three articles, two of which are currently being cast in resin and the third, a 15mm building is sitting on my computer desk, completely finished and looking a little forlorn, although the book idea seems to have 'hit the buffers'.

In addition there is a fourth article/model which was originally made as an experiment in seeing just how much detail I could cram into a small model - a small Pigsty in fact. However due to some comments and discussions I have started to think about producing a book of my own showing how I make wargame terrain; the inspiration, the construction and finally the painting

At this moment, I think I would like a traditional full-colour book - either hard bound or soft, similar in style and set out to many that have gone before but as new technologies come on-line there is always the option on an e-book or Web-based publication.

At this stage it is still a 'pipe-dream', but one that I hope will come to fruition.

Regular readers and followers will know that I committed to producing an article a month for Barking Irons Online and this continues. Actually there are a number written and awaiting publication, I am sure that Craig is on the case.

This is not an attempt to get-rich-quick, but more an attempt to pass on some of my hints and tips in a more traditional format, and if I'm honest to see my name in print. As things stand at this moment I am still modelling and writing - I just want to see ALL of my articles in a format that is a little more tactile than just the Web.

So, what do you think? Is there really a marked for such a publication? Or am I just being foolish?

Comments as always are very welcome and should anything change, I will of course post details here.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Games Expo 2012

Back home after a busy time at Games Expo 2012. My immediate reaction after entering the main hall was that the lighting was so much better than previous years as well as being better organised and laid out. On the negative side, there was the usual issues with parking and later as I was walking back to my car, I realised that there was very little new or substantially different from previous years.

I had produced a list of WANTS prior to leaving the house and top of the list was some pots of the old style GW paints, particularly Snakebite Leather - a paint that I use loads of. I had targeted some GW Devlan Mud wash, but just couldn't find any so settled for one pot of Gryphonne Sepia. At £1.00/£1.50 a pot these were a real bargain.

Most of my miniature purchases came from some 'rummage bins' on the Tritex Games stand - 50p or £1.00 each.

These first four are all 40mm (or taller) and should be ideal for my 40mm Flash Gordon collection - particularly the Weird Alien in the purple dress (far right).

I also picked up a collection of Dream Blade miniatures. My intention is to converted some Flintloque Orcs with these 'Green Man' heads as a special Albion force. I picked up three of these plastic miniatures.

I thought this Owlman Preacher (Firebrand) was a spectacular model and although I have no idea how I am going to use him - the sculpt alone was well worth £1.00.

Similarly this Ravencloak Visionary miniature offers both 40mm Flash Gordon and 40mm Typhon possibilities. Even if I just use the raven model on her left arm!

EXODUS - A new company (well new to me anyway) was showing these 40mm lizard Aliens. there are a number of variants - but I picked up just one to test if it could work with my 40mm Flash Gordon figures. If it does I can see a full force being added to the collection.

Another Dream Blades miniature, a Sightless Eunuch which I imagined as part of an Otharian force for Flintloque/Slaughterloo. Change the base add some facial features and a new sword and 'Bobs-your-Uncle'.

Finally for this post - the bargain of the day.  A 54mm resin model of a Dwarf Hero for just £3.00 from the bring-and-buy stall. I can simply use him as a Dwarf statue or if I'm feeling adventurous, a fully painted display model.

Next year Games Expo moves from The Clarendon Suite to The Metropole Hotel (near the NEC). I can understand the reasoning behind this as the parking is a problem at the current venue, however there is  also a certain 'warmth' about this building that a major hotel on the huge NEC site could never mirror.

Will I be going next year?  Not sure at this moment, but more than likely yes.


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Glasgee Lowland Rats - part five

My fourth group of finished miniatures this year - the Glasgee Lowland Rats from Alternative Armies and my latest contribution to The Pledge

Since the last post, the miniatures have been gloss varnished, the flag added and then the white areas touched up (I find that Ronseal Gloss Varnish can discolour white). Finally I have matt varnished and flocked the bases.

Photo One - The finished group of eight Lowland Rats based on 2p coins.  The miniatures were picked up from e-bay some time ago as unpainted castings and have waited patiently on my to-do list for some time. I mention this as there has been some discussion on modelling/wargaming Forums about Bloggers contacting miniature companies asking for figures to be reviewed. As you may know I regularly sculpt for AA and do have samples of my sculpts sent to me free of charge, I have never asked for figures to review on my Blog.

Photo Two - The three command figures, a drummer, the standard bearer (with hand painted flag) and the sword armed officer pointing the way forward..

Photo Three - The remaining five troopers.

Photo Four - All eight finished Rats. They make a very colourful regiment; The Thistles!

Round four of the Pledge, my attempt to paint some of my Lead Mountain has gone well, and ahead of schedule. details of round five will be posted soon. And this is one that should please a certain Rob Alderman!

As always, if you want to see more - just click on any of the images.


Monday, 21 May 2012

Salute 2012, My Thoughts - part four

Part four of my photo diary from Salute 2012 is full of images of superbly painted miniatures. These were models that caught my eye and looking back over them earlier today brought back to me just how special Salute was.

I hope you enjoy them as much.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Hellboy and Captain Alatriste

Earlier this week I finished the Hellboy novel The Ice Wolves by Mark Chadbourn and have just started The Captain Alatriste book The Sun over Breda.

I found the Hellboy book slow going at first but it developed into a fine story, typically Hellboy but with some interesting twists. I would recommend it as a simple horror/fun read - not too taxing but one that moves along at a fair pace. Without giving away to much of the story, it does flit around a bit.

The Sun over Breda is book three of the Captain Alatriste series by Arturo Perez-Reverte following on from Captain Alatriste and Purity of Blood. Each of the previous books have been jolly good yarns - or typical Boys Own Adventures. Great summer reads. I'm looking forward to completing The Sun over Breda.

Full details are;
Hellboy - the Ice Wolves by Mark Chadbourn
Published by Dark Horse Books
ISBN 978 1- 59582-205-5
List price $12.95, but picked up for 99p (buy1 get 1 free from The Works)

The Sun over Breda - Captain Alatriste Adventure
Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN 978 0 297 84864 6
List price £9.99 (hardback) but bought for just £1.00 in a remainders book store


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Glasgee Lowland Rats - part four

A real quicky. Here is the painted banner for the Glasgee Lowland Rats. Painted on to sticky labels paper and drawn in pencil before being painted in acrylics.

The design is loosely based on a similar flag painted by Fog Soldiers, with the background of the flag of St Andrew. The two Scottish thistles are a little bit of artistic licence while the central scull motif is from a GW Tank transfer sheet highlighter with acrylic paint.

I have no idea what to write as a legend so have just added some rough letters/markings.

The flag will be cut to size before glueing to the standard pole and a thin sheet of tomato purée tube will be sandwiched in between the two images to give the flag some body.

The flag will be added once the miniatures are gloss varnished.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Glasgee Lowland Rats - part three

Progress on my latest Pledge, the Glasgee Lowland Rats is moving forward, with most of the painting now completed.

Photos One and Two - The fur has been drybrushed with Charred Brown mixed with a little Snakebite Leather and Bloody Red. The eyes are Red Gore with a pinprick of Bloody Red, while the muzzles and teeth are Snakebite Leather highlighted with Skull White.

Photos Three and Four - Show the tartan, which was built-up over a dark green base, stripped with blue and then criss-crossed with grey (not white as this would have been too bright) and finally the gaps were touched-in with red.

The small areas of red tunic were painted Bloody Red over Red Gore. There isn't that much red uniform to see on this group.

Photo Five - The white areas (there are a lot) are first painted grey - Stonewall Grey from Vallejo.

Photos Six and Seven - The White areas are now painted Skull White, leaving some of the Stonewall Grey to show through. I have also painted the drum body Blue and added some detail to the bonnet bands.

Photos Eight and Nine - More detailing. The gaiters were painted Stonewall Grey and then highlighted with Skull White. The stocking tops were painted Red Gore and then Bloody Red and the tartan detailing (and bonnet feather) - Stonewall Grey highlighted with Skull White.

As stated earlier the whole group is moving forward very quickly. I think this is down to the fact that these models are such fantastic sculpts and because of this have a huge amount of character making the miniatures a joy to paint.

More to follow.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Salute 2012, My Thoughts - part three

Part three has photos of a number of Victorian Science Fiction games and models. I enjoy building similar models to a scale of 1/300th or 6mm and am always on the look-out for suitable inspiration. The Japanese on Mars game was full of fantastic scratch-built and converted models. This little Japanese flyer/nef is just what I mean.