Wednesday 31 October 2012

Were-Chickens of Beesdone

Another Halloween Special. Last year Barking Irons Online published the first part of the three part adventure Getting Ahead. While this year it features a very special piece of Flintloque inspired terrain; A Were-Chicken Coup including The Were-Chickens of Beesdone made famous by Rogipoos from The Notables Yahoo Group.

Full details of how this piece of terrain was built and painted can be found here.

The model is in the same vein as the earlier Gingerbread House (featured here on this Blog) and uses references and back-stories from Roger Willcox - our very own Uncle Rogipoos. Gavin (Alternative Armies), Craig (Orcs in the Webbe) and I felt that Halloween 2012 deserved something special and this is it!

The model was given as a gift to Roger, in recognition of all the times I have been entertained by his wonderful stories; Thank you Roger - I hope you enjoy it.


Saturday 27 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica - complete

The three Noman Legionnaire (Orc) test miniatures are now finished. 

I have completed the three shield designs (see earlier post) and attached them with superglue and accelerator. The miniatures have been checked over for any obvious missed areas and then varnished.

I have used Ronseal Hardcote Gloss Varnish and when fully dry, three thin coats of Galleria brush-on Matt Varnish. This is my tried-and-tested varnishing system and one that I would recommend.

The flocking has been done in two stages, first a single static grass clump to each base and then a sprinkling of ordinary static grass applied over uPVA glue.

And here they are individually photographed and in close-up.

Now that they are finished I can confirm how much fun they are to paint and although I think they might be a touch to dark, I'm pleased with the finished effect and glad that I stuck with my own unique style of painting miniatures.

Finally they are quite chunky miniatures and with the large Roman shields, very imposing.

Next month I will paint the three Halflings.

I am looking forward to the official release - due in late December/early January and even though I am not sure it will be a huge collection of figures for me, I am sure that I will get the initial box set, rules and figures. I will post details once I have them.


Thursday 25 October 2012

Figure Art by Roman Lappat & Raffaele Picca

I recently came across this plea for funding by two miniature painters - Roman Lappat and Raffaele Picca. Their plan is to produce an Art Book featuring some of their work and they are looking for funding.

Details can be found here and in even more detail - a video here.

At first glance the book looks very good and I am very tempted to contribute. I'll give it a couple of days before deciding.

I think the project deserves supporting.


Wednesday 24 October 2012

IPMS Scale Model World 2012, Telford

Billed as the World's Greatest Model Show - and who am I to disagree. Scale Model World is the largest model show that I know of, 4 halls, 170 club displays and over 170 trade stands. At just £10.00 entry it is a great day out.

As well as the trade stands - the Special Interest Groups (or SIG's) are well worth checking out - then in addition there are the competition - without doubt, some of the very best models on display anywhere.

I am not a member of the International Plastic Modellers Society (IPMS) - maybe I should join? But this will be the fifth or sixth time (in a row) that I will have attended this exhibition, for photos of what to expect check back over this Blog for reports.

My plan is to be there on the Saturday 10th November and Dave Bodley from Grand Manner has agreed to come with me, he came last year and now wants to see it all again.

Saturday 10th November and Sunday 11th November 2012
Telford International Centre, Telford, Shropshire TF3 4JH

For full details go to this link.


Tuesday 23 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica - finishing the shields

I had decided to add the remaining two Noman shields to my S.P.Q.ORC Orcs and spent some time cleaning up the bare castings. With such large shields I think it is better to paint the shields separately rather than have the aggravation of trying to paint around them. 

In an attempt to make them easier to handle, I have attached two bamboo skewers to the metal bosses. I dipped the ends of the skewers into a small dab of superglue and then pressed the skewer into the hole where the boss is on the inside of the shield. I only used a small amount of superglue - knowing that this join would have to be broken when I had finished with the painting.

The shield was first spray painted with some cheap black spray paint and then given a coat of Chaos Black to cover any bits I had missed. You can also see how easy it is to handle these shields now that they are on the bamboo handles.

As with the earlier shield I drybrushed the boss with Chaos Black and Mithril Silver, and then a second drybrush of Mithril Silver for the highlights. These two shield have been modified with some slivers of plastic rod added to the square boss area.

This image shows the first of many Blood Red layers as I was trying for a very bright Red shield colour.

At this stage I was lucky enough to be given a set of the Flags of War Pax Bochemannica Shield transfers, See this link for details.

The instructions state that the transfers should be applied over a White basecoat. I was already well advanced with these two shields and thought that a White base could be painted onto the central areas of the shield.  This I did as you can see.

Here you see the first Flags of War transfer/decal cut ready for soaking in warm water. The shield design is very well drawn and I can confirm that the dimensions are exactly the right size for the large Noman Shields.

I used a new blade in my scalpel to cut out the central boss area.

The transfer applied. As you can see the white basecoated areas have come out well, but the darker areas have shown through - I should have heeded the instructions and painted the whole shield WHITE!

As I was so advanced with my painting I decided that I would paint the two remaining designs by hand rather than re-paint the areas white and re-apply the transfers.

This I did and I am just waiting for better weather before gloss varnishing (I do not like to varnish in cold or wet weather - and at the moment I have both).

Thank you to Dave Toone who sent me these transfers to test and with the exception of having to paint the shield white (which I did not do) I was very impressed with the quality and the way that they worked.

This is the end of the painting of these three test miniatures and I am sure I will paint up more - I'm just waiting for the official launch in December/January.

The HUGE shields are quite impressive, but cover a good third of the painted minis, so in future I might not take so much care and attention when painting the details under or behind the shields.


Sunday 21 October 2012

Soapbox. "Magazines - Is there just one for me?"

Here is a subject that I have been thinking about and brooding over for some time. "Is there one - yes just one magazine for me?"  One that satisfies all of my modelling interests and needs. The prompt for writting this post is another post on another Blog; "Why I stopped Buying Wargame Magazines", for full details go to this Blog.

I know that there are many publications that I read or more accurately browse but is there just one that I could claim as MY MAGAZINE; One that I just couldn't miss out on - not even one issue.....

.....The simple answer is no, so I started to ask myself "Why not?"

As a very young boy I used to love looking through my Uncles model railway magazines - early issues of Railway Modeller,

Airfix Magazine and even The Meccano Magazine that my Grandfather would buy. All of which I have such very fond memories of.

Later I picked up Military Modelling and even Battle (the sister magazine). Some of which I still own and continue to buy - particularly the Collectors Editions.

It will come as no surprise that White Dwarf was a magazine that I would actually look out for - buying the latest edition as soon as it hit the shelves of WHSmiths and reading it from cover-to-cover. However, I fell out of love with WD some time ago and even though I have a huge collection insulating the attic, the later editions do not appeal to me.

In a similar vein I have a collection of Fine Scale Modeller, another collection stored in the attic and even though I doubt I would part with them, I rarely if ever refer to them now.

Moving on there are a number of current magazines stocked by WHSmiths. I do occasionally pick them up but I tend to be very particular as to which ones I buy and then store relevant articles, tutorial and information in one of my many sketchbooks/reference books/files.

A good example of one that is no longer published is Practical Wargamer - this always had something of interest tucked away between the covers and a Fantasy.Sci-Fi column that I miss.

Then Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated, which can sometimes yield some very good articles - but not always and I am very strict as to which issues I pick up. (See earlier posts).

As stated earlier there are a number no longer with us - Tradition, Red Giant, Fantasy Chronicles and Valkyrie. Of these past magazines the one that I used to enjoy reading the most was Harbinger - I own every paper published issue and even have some of the limited edition miniatures. At the time I was bitterly disappointed when production stopped, but looking back even this mag. has little of real interest for me today.

I even went through a period where I collected model railway magazines and have built two model railway layouts one of which has featured on this Blog.

Of these railway magazines two stick out as very good reads - Narrow Lines (the in-house magazine of the 7mm Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling Association) and an American magazine called Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. Both worth checking out, for very differing reasons.

I think the most stylish magazine I ever came across was Cry Havoc from Rackhams Miniatures, but although a beautiful publication to look at - had very little content to keep me interested apart from the odd terrain building or figure painting tutorials which I still have.

Then No Quarter from Privateer Press - a very well put-together magazine with some fantastic building and painting tutorials, however Warmachine is a game that I could never get-in-to and even this magazine lost its appeal for me.

To counter the two magazines above, both beautifully crafted and produced - there is Ragnarok - the in-house black and white A5 publication from the SFSFW Association which is crammed full from cover-to-cover with interesting articles reviews and comment. I have many that I regularly read and re-read.

However, today a browse at the shelves of WHSmiths shows little to interest me, with many magazines charging in excess of £5.00 and having less that two articles or just a couple of pages to tempt or interest me.

Even On-Line Magazines are a little lightweight - and I still enjoy handling my magazines rather than seeing them on the computer screen, tablet or phone.

So which way forward?

How about a new magazine - The production values of Cry Havoc and No Quarter, The thought provoking comments and content of Ragnarok and the wide breadth of subject of the early White Dwarf issues or even Harbinger. The eye-candy of Wargames Illustrated and the in-depth modelling articles seen in Military Modeller and Fine Scale Modeller.

Anyone know of a magazine to fulfil all these criteria? Answers on a post card to.....

Seriously I want such a magazine -  and surely there are other who do too, let us hope that a publisher is listening.


Friday 19 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica - shield test

Prior to varnishing I wanted to try out at least one hand painted shield design. I chose to copy a shield design from the Foundry Miniatures book Painting & Modelling Guide by Kevin Dallimore (page 96, 97).

The design was painted over a Black undercoat with the metal boss painted first, the red was built-up with Blood Red and Catachan Green as the base, highlighted with Blood Red.

The basic design was lightly painted on with Snakebite Leather and highlighted with Snakebite and Bad Moon Yellow, and finally a touch of Skull White for the extreme highlights. Finally the metal rim was painted Gold over a Beastial Brown Base and highlighted with Gold and Silver.

The inside was simply painted with Snakebite and washed with Sepia.

This final image gives a better view of the finished shield design, which has been washed with Sepia and Black washes around the edges.

It is an easy design, which I should be able to reproduce many, many times.

Painting the shield (which is really very big and hides a huge amount of the painted figure) was a little tricky. I mounted the shield boss (the inside boss) onto the blunt end of a bamboo skewer with a small dab of superglue. I then spray painted the shield Black and touched-up any missed spots with Chaos Black.

When the shield was finished, I simply broke the joint between the skewer and shield and superglued it in place with superglue on the miniatures left fist (remove the paint first - to get a better join) and accelerator on the internal boss.

Since painting one design - I have basecoated the other two but have been told that Maveryc Games have commissioned a  transfer shield design which should be out soon. I may wait to see what the design is like before painting any more.


Thursday 18 October 2012

SNUFF by Terry Pratchett

SNUFF by Terry Pratchett, the 39th Discworld novel. Pratchett back to his very best, with characters that are as familiar to me as my own family. Samuel Vimes, Lady Sybil and the rest of The Watch in a story that just bounds along from the first to the last page.

Having criticised Unseen Academicals as being a little 'woolly' and difficult to read this and the previous book I Shall Wear Midnight (which is apparently 'for younger readers) has restored by love of Terry Pratchett. I found myself much more at home with this story.

"Commander Samual Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasent and innocent countryside. But not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. Rather, many, many bodies - and an ancient crime more terrible than murder."

The humour is back to the-laugh-out-loud style I so much enjoy. The puns and jokes are so obvious that if they were to rise in the East and set in the West, they could not be any more clear.  Well done for a great yarn.

As I write this short review, I keep wondering if there will be any City Watch films and who will play Sam Vines - any ideas?

SNUFF by Terry Pratchett from Doubleday
ISBN 978-0-385-61926-4
Retail price £18.99


Tuesday 16 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica - back to base-its

Two sets of Photos this time. The first two show most of the painting completed. I have chosen a very Dark Brown for the base - some Charred Brown from Vallejo and Chaos Black from GW. The grey rocks are just that - Chaos Black and Skull White with a touch of brown to give them some warmth.

Other details include the last of the metal areas, sword, Pilum and decorations.

The second pair of photos show the same models with a Devan Mud wash. It's a light wash and has been diluted with water as I was unsure as to how much I wanted.

At this stage I am happy with the effect, which just blends together the whole miniature. I have given a slight highlight to the Red areas - just a dab of Blood Red on the extreme highlights and the sandals have been finished off with some Snakebite Leather.

The eyes are simple dots of off-white, while the tusks have been dabbed in.

The project has taken a little longer than expected, mainly my fault for trying to copy someone else's painting technique rather than my own. These figures are 'MY' figures painted in my style - a style that I know I can easily reproduce, time and again.Not Golden Demon standard but OK for me.

The shields have been undercoated with some cheap Black car paint and my plan is to paint them red.


Monday 15 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica - the smell of leather

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Miniature Wargames 355 - The Chapel at Rofenburg

Miniature Wargames issue 355 features an article written by me - The Chapel at Rofenburg. The model is based on an actual white-washed chapel in the Principality of Liechtenstein and was built to accompany my many Flintloque miniatures. The techniques and building tutorial will be of use to others who want to try their hand at scratch-building wargame terrain.

The image above shows the finished structure with a Flintloque Trolkin guarding the front door. Full details can be found in the November edition of Miniature Wargames (issue 355) which retails for £4.25.

Please support this great publication and look out for similar articles by me in the future. I hope you enjoy it.


This link shows the actual chapel.

Friday 12 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica - paint it red!

With the armour and flesh areas finished, it was on to the red uniform. the colour is Blood Red from GW with a basecoat of Blood Red and Catachan Green (I find that Green is the perfect counter to red. In addition I rarely highlight more than one or two times when I paint RED).

When I had taken these images I found that I had missed a couple of areas of red, particularly around the shoulder areas. These have now been touched up.

These miniatures almost paint themselves. I can't wait until the official release and see ALL the minis in the first box set.


Thursday 11 October 2012

Waterloo Medal 1815

This 1815 Waterloo Medal will be auctioned later this month - the estimate is £1800 - £2500.

The medal was awarded to Archibald Clark of the 1st Battalion, 92nd Regiment of Highlanders. Archibald Clark was born in the parish of Kilminver, Oban, County Argyle. Clark by trade a labourer enlisted in 1807 at the age of 21 with the 92nd regiment of Highland Infantry, Captain Dougald Campbell's Company. On the 11th of October 1816, aged 30 Clark was rendered unfit for service due to a wound received through the right knee from a musket ball in action with the enemy at Quatre Bras on the 16th June 1815.

Full details can be found here; Fellows Auctioneers, Birmingham B18 6JA or or here

I found this article in the lifestyle magazine Live24/7 for October 2012.


Wednesday 10 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica - fleshing out

Last night, I painted in the flesh areas. Starting with a Bestial Brown base, I added some Catachan Green as a first highlight. Then Snakebite Leather and some Pale Flesh from Vallejo. Finally I have used pure Skull White as an extreme highlight.

I think the flesh colour is a little pale, but I can always give it a Sepia or Flesh wash later on.

Next will be the red uniform and then the leather work.

I had intended painting these miniatures in a style similar to that shown in my earlier post and painted by Rob Alderman. However my own painting style has developed over many years and I actually find it difficult to change it.

I now think it is better to go with a style that I know I can reproduce and feel comfortable with.

I have already stated how much I like the sculpting on these miniatures - very aggressive and full of character.  I am looking forward to the official launch in December but in the mean time you may want to check out this link.


Tuesday 9 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica - some progress (at last)

There is a lot going on with this little project - most either Top Secret or awaiting publication on the official Pax Bochemannica Web pages. So I have not been idle, it is just that what has been done is still in the pipeline.

However I eventually got around to adding some paint to these fantastic miniatures. Contrary to my usual style I did not start with the flesh areas but instead I painted the armour first.

The metal areas are Boltgum Metal base with a Badab Black wash, highlighted with a Boltgun/Mithril Silver mid coat and a highlight of pure Mithril Silver.  The Gold areas were built up over Dwarf Bronze, a mid coat of Shining Gold and a highlight of Burnished Gold with a watered down wash of Gryphonne Sepia.

There are still some bits of tidying-up to do, but I'm pleased so far.....

These really are fantastic sculpts - Dave Toone has done a marvellous job on capturing the classic Roman armour and giving each figure a real personality. Now that I have them back on my workbench (after such a long time working on other models and projects) I am confident that these Nomans will be finished very soon.


Friday 5 October 2012

28mm Gravestones - a Barking Irons Online Masterclass

Craig Andrews at Barking Irons Online has just uploaded the Masterclass article for October 2012 - Grave stones - a 28mm Terrain Article. For full details go to this post.

The ten gravestones on six bases were bought for a different project that never materialized, but rather than leave them go to waste, I have mounted them on either singular bases or multiple stands to be used alongside some other scratch-built graveyard furniture.

I have over the years experimented with mounting my graveyard headstones singularly, and in multiples of two and even three. I think that a mixture of these bases is better than all singularly. With Halloween just around the corner, both Craig and I are hoping that this short tutorial will be of use to others and inspire you to use up your spare headstones in time for 'All Hallows Eve'.


Wednesday 3 October 2012

S.P.Q.ORC - Pax Bochemannica

Rob Alderman has posted some images of his S.P.Q.ORC miniatures on The Lead Adventure Forum, for full details go to this link. I am hoping that this post will inspire me to get my own miniatures painted up.

Well done Rob, they look great and I think Hannah has done a great job in editing the images.

Miniature painted by Rob Alderman and image taken from Lead Adventure Forum.

More of my minis to follow - very soon.