Wednesday, 28 October 2015


I've been taking a break from dwarfs at the minute and get cracking into some orcs.  My painting momentum seems to be fading at the minute though!

I thought I'd get started on a few of my orc heroes, I've a ton of these models lying around. More than I will ever be able to field. For some reason with the orcs I went a bit Nutters and picked up a lot of the limited edition metal miniatures, either from army boxes or games day's. the models were lovely to paint and the skin turned out very well with various camouflage green costs of paint and washes. I also had a go at dirtying up Commander Warspite from my tau hunter cadre.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Ruined castle

Always on the hunt for new scenery I stumbled across this on ebay last week. It cost 15 pounds with postage and will nicely fill out a 12" square terrain board (pictured). It comes fully painted but could possibly do with a coat of varnish. There's a fourth turret to go with it but my little boy ran off with that as I took the photo! It'll do nicely as a small ruined keep once I get the board fleshed out a bit.

Painting Challenge 2015 Part III - Reaper miniatures

At the start of this year I set myself the target of getting 200pts of miniatures painted. Part I of the painting challenge detailed how I would score this and Part II talked more about how I was managing to get so many miniatures painted in one go. The wonder of Quickshade! So far this year I've managed to get 130pts worth of miniatures finished. That's probably more than I've painted in the last 3-4 years combined and has been great as motivation. I find you go ages without painting a single model and then all of a sudden you get into that painting groove and can't seem to stop! My only problem is sticking with painting a single system to completion, rather than bouncing from one army to the next. I'm too easily distracted!

In the last month I got the Dwarf battle standard bearer, two slayers, four miners, ten longbeards, ten wild west cowgirls & eight civilians and the Norman church finished. Yesterday I finished my Runelord. Today I thought I'd talk about something slightly different, Reaper Miniatures. Their dwarf range has some brilliant models in it. Earlier in the year I got the mounted dwarf lord from there painted up and I have a small number of their other miniatures for other dwarf character types.

The models in general are more dynamically posed than GW characters. That's not to say I don't like GW dwarfs. The 1990s and early 2000s metal models are some of my favourite miniatures. It's just that adding a few Reaper models adds flavour to the army and brings models to the table that few seem to buy. They are slightly bigger than GW miniatures, but that just makes your heroes stand out even more!

As a bonus the Reaper miniatures are cheap in comparison, usually coming in at about $6. They have a huge range of other models and while some are a bit meh its easy to pick and choose from their nicer ones. Many of them can also be found on the UK and Irish eBay site.

Unfortunately not my work....

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Dwarf battle standard bearer

After years of this model sitting in a box I've finally gotten him painted!

How the west was won

Continuing the wild west theme this week is some civilians from black scorpion.

These are the first resin miniatures from this manufacturer that I've painted. All my other models are the older metal ones. Having an inherent dislike for resin I've been presently surprised at the quality of these. Unlike other resin miniatures, such as finecast, these models had no air bubbles and were reasonably robust. They were also free of useless embellishments (skulls anyone) which meant a pretty quick painting time.

I didn't spend a huge amount of time (maybe 3 hours total) on these models as they are backdrop rather than gaming figures. But they turned out nice all the same

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Lovely Ladies from louisiana

Finally got my cowgirl posse painted up for Warhammer Old West. All of the models are Black Scorpion. While they are slightly larger than other Old West minis they are lovely. Especially the lovely ladies! They will be pitted against my Lawmen and Panzermonkey's Mexicans and Commanches. Sorry about the picture quality. The light was terrible!

A gaming mat far far away....

The other week Pixelartprinting had a 20% sale on their banners so I decided to splash out on a new gaming mat. 

During sale time this meant that for 17.99euro I got a 180cm x 120cm 500gsm pvc banner printed with a picture of my choosing. I simply googled an image and adjusted it to the correct size in photoshop. This price included delivery to Ireland by TNT in a cardboard tube. Not too shabby if I must say so. Here is a picture of the mat.

As you can see the image quality is lovely. The picture was taken as it came straight out of the tube and those lines have come out since I rolled it a different way. Bear in mind that this cost under 20euro with delivery. The standard price for this is only 23.74 with VAT. You get the cheaper price by waiting a week for delivery and smaller mats, such as 90cm x 90cm for X-wing are even cheaper. I've shown it to various people and everyone agrees that for the price its an amazing gaming mat. It's going to get used from now on for Star Wars Armada, Epic scale X-wing games and may even see the BFG Imperial Fleet getting dusted off!

28mm European Church

After seeing the 4 part post over at Shed Wars I felt inspired to embark on a similar, if smaller scale, project of my own. I haven't bought MDF scenery before and wanted something small to get stuck in to. Rather than going for the large awe inspiring petite properties church I decided to go for something that wouldn't quite overpower our gaming table. 

After searching the net I found a nice little MDF church on ebay for the paltry sum of 15 pounds, a bit cheaper than the 50 pound monstrosity over at PP. That's not to say the large church isn't a lovely model, it's amazing. The smaller one is much more affordable and manageable as a starting project at  10" long and 4 1/2" wide, excluding the doorway. Plenty big enough for small-medium sized table games and could easily be used to represent a Saxon or Norman church, or even be used up to WW2.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Bolt Action Waffen SS vs Americans

Myself and Justjohn have decided to take part in a bolt action 1000pt league run by our local gaming store, The Gathering. I kicked off the league with a game against one of the local historical gamers, Simon. Most people seem to be taking part in the league to give people a better grounding in the rules, test out their shiny toys and to motivate everyone to paint up their models, rather than being a truly competitive league.

I play Waffen SS in bolt action, I love the warlord metal miniatures and have a good sized force. All I need is the extra little bits and pieces to round off my collection.

For this game I took
Leutnant w/SMG + veteran rifleman
2x 6 man squads with PF, 3x AR, 2x rifle and NCO w/SMG
8 man squad - 5x rifle Infantry, PF, 2x LMG, NCO w/SMG
8 man squad - 5x rifle infantry, 2xPF, 2x AR, NCO w/SMG
Veteran MMG
Regular mortar team w/spotter
Veteran sniper
Regular Puma armoured car
Regular Hanomag
10 order dice

I'm not sure on exactly what Simon had but roughly his force consisted of
1 1st Lt with 2 riflemen
12x regular infantry
12x veteran infantry
Medium mortar
Forward air observer
Armoured car
M36 tank destroyer
7 order dice

I was attacking and the objective was to get off the American table edge. 1VP for each of his units killed, 2VPs for every unit in his deployment zone at game end and 3VPs for every unit that leaves off his table edge. The US objective was to stop the German forces, 2VPs per kill.

Simon deployed all his units on the table with an infantry unit and vehicle on each side, support units in the middle and HQ on the left. I then set up my sniper and mortar observer for good LoS. The Hanomag with 2 6 man infantry squads onboard and the Puma both outflanked to the left.

The Germans forgot to wait for their preparatory bombardment and advanced on to the table into the waiting fire of the Americans (i pulled all my dice first) who began to quickly stick pin markers on the German infantry units before they had chance to react. The German sniper took out the US mortar and the M36 managed a lucky hit (3 6's in a row), taking out the German MMG team.

Turn 2
The Americans had the initiative early on (Simon pulled all 6 of his dice before any of my 9!), their air support came on to the table inflicting pins on the rifle/AR unit and sniper and the ground attack fighter mowed down 5 infantrymen caught in the open, despite them hitting the dirt (10 hits for Simon, halved for me being down. All 5 wounded the veterans!). The US infantry and armour opened fire while advancing, pinning both German infantry units down and reducing the recently strafed unit to just the NCO. The Germans in return managed to snipe a sergeant out of one of the US units but otherwise hit the dirt.

The US airstrike catches a unit in the open

Turn 3
The Americans, sensing they had the caught the Germans on the back foot advanced allowing the German mobile outflanking units to come in behind them on the left. Firstly the Puma closed to point blank with the American armoured car but failed to penetrate and then the Hanomag arrived, infantry clambering out the kill the US Lt and his accompanying riflemen. The US forces poured more fire into the German infantry, laying on pins but not killing many.

Turn 4
The 2 infantry units got back in their transport, while the rest of the Germans provided covering fire. The puma failed to penetrate again and sought cover behind woods after being targeted by the large M36. The veteran US infantry closed on the single surviving NCO, opening fire but failing to wound. The lone sergeant managed to pull himself together and rally while the German infantry unit on the left hunkered down after taking fire from the armoured car and the nearby US infantry took cover after the sniper killed the BAR carrier.

Turn 5
The Hanomag swiftly departed behind the US lines, too fast for the M36 to stop. Unfortunately the puma wasn't so lucky, getting stunned in the US deployment zone as it tried to retreat. The surviving NCO ran into cover to hide while the German and US infantry units on the left exchanged fire to little effect. The game ended there due to time constraints. 13-2 win for the SS forces, mainly due to getting 3 units of the table in the final turn, which gave 9VPs and the puma being in the US deployment zone. It was a lucky gamble hoping to get the first dice of the turn for the Hanomag but with 9-5 dice in my favour I had good odds and it paid off.

The M36 ambushes the retreating Puma

The NCO seeks cover from the veteran US troops

All in all a good first game for the league!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

To Dip or not Dip? Painting Dwarfs. Painting challenge 2015 Part II

With the equivalent of nearly 70 models painted in the last 6-8 weeks I've been flying through the dwarfs. That's more models than I've painted in 2-3 years! It also means I have my one large dwarf Hail Caesar division finished for our big 4 a side game later in the year

It's mainly thanks to using the Citadel painting station in the evenings. It means I can sit next to the wife and chat away, rather than me sitting painting in my nerd shed. Firstly it means I can get a small amount done every evening. Secondly, and more importantly, it doesn't leave my wife feeling neglected (and then annoyed) as I spend days on end in the shed, a win for both of us.

The other main contributor to my painting speed is Army Painter Quick Shade, namely the dark tone. This has enabled me to concentrate on only base coats for the majority of models, rather than spending a large amount of time washing and highlighting rank and file models. It's worked out very nice on the dwarfs and I've even gone back over a large number of models I painted years ago. These have been touched up where I neglected areas (all their weapon handles and boots were left black out of sheer laziness) and I've also gone back over nearly every shield to brighten them up. I've also painted two character models, but these were painted using the 'old fashioned' method of painting, washing and highlighting. 

Regarding the quickshade. I don't 'dip' the models but rather paint it on using an old brush. I then go back over the model about 5 minutes later and remove a lot of the dip where it has pooled in places I don't want it too. I find otherwise it can go on a bit thick, even with shaking off excess. It also means less waste and your tub lasts longer. I then leave the models a minimum of 48 hours before applying Army Painter Anti-Shine matt varnish.

I've learnt from experience that it has to be warm when you spray the matt varnish to prevent clouding, don't do it in cold conditions. I've a fan heater in the shed I turn on for 10 minutes before I spray models to warm it up a bit. I also do only one side at a time and then leave them for 5-10 minutes between coats, otherwise I sometimes find that the varnish wrinkles as it's applied. While you can sometimes repair the clouding by subsequent varnishing (I paint on GW ardcoat and then spray matt varnish again. This seems to remove most of the clouding. Thanks to JustJohn for the tip!) you can't repair the wrinkling so be careful and, unlike me sometimes, patient.

Here's some sample pictures of what I've finished in the last few weeks. I've still got to go back and base all the miniatures with GW Mourn Mountain Snow and Army Painter Tundra tufts.

These miniatures are dwarf troll slayers that I have painted and dipped. The hair did get an orange drybrush over the red basecoat though to make it stand out. Also the skin got minor highlights to prevent it looking flat due to the large amount of it!

These 4 dwarfs are ones I painted about 6 years ago and are much brighter than the dipped ones. 

The one on the left is an older miniature, while the one on the right is the one recently painted and dipped. The older ones will be getting a dip coat later today!

A selection of the dwarf rangers. I've ten finished in total and ten to do

Some of the dwarf warriors. There are currently 65 finished and 50 left to do

15 out of the 20 hammerers were painted years ago using the older painting method, but have since been touched up and dipped. 5 have been just base-coated and dipped. There's 20 Ironbreakers finished too that need varnishing.

The one on the left is base coated and dipped while the one on the right is base-coated, washed and highlighted (and now dipped!). Up close you can see the difference but when in units they look pretty much the same. The main difference is the face.

One of 2 dwarf organ guns finished along with their crews

The recently painted dwarf characters. These were painted, washed and highlighted. The lord on the bear did get an additional coat of dip for protection as he's a bit top heavy.

Only about 100 more dwarfs to go until finished!