30 April 2013

2nd Blog Birthday prize draw results.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the increased interaction the competition has bought over the last month with fellow bloggers. The highlight of the month was meeting some of those fellow bloggers during my working day at Salute.

The competition had an incredible amount of entrants and many of those have a lot of entries from further comments placed during the month. I used the infamous random number generator to draw the prizes:

Would the following please use the contact me section to furnish an address for me to send your prizes.

4th : A pack of 15mm mirliton miniatures code RM3 --- Monty from twin cities gamer 

3rd : A pack of 4 x Curteys miniatures Mongol horse archers---- Dux from Dux Homunculorum

The following person had the most amazing luck and I wish I could roll dice as well as she can predict and claim a prize.

2nd : 16 unpainted gripping beast metal Vikings ----- Anne from O'Leary miniatures

1st : I will paint 10 x 25mm/28mm, 10 x 20mm or 20 x 15mm historical miniatures of your choice sent to me (or a negotiated equivalent)  --- His Most Royal Majesty, King of the Sandbaggers, Ray Rousell from Dont throw a 1 

I believe you have my email Ray or you can contact me via Google +

Now because I am nicknamed Loki you really need at this point to learn that occasionally you should expect the unexpected:
I deliberately withheld a prize, never making any mention of it, so as to ensure a degree of level playing field for all entrants that posted a link back and still got a tied result. As I dont believe in splitting a prize both of the following will be able to receive the following:
Mystery Prize : I will paint 5 x 25/28mm or 10 x 15mm historical miniatures of your choice sent to me.
Michael Peterson--- The Mad Padre
Francis Lee ---The Angry Lurker

Finally a big thank you and commiserations to everyone who joined in but on this occasion did not win.

29 April 2013

A veritable forest coming soon

This will be the last post prior to making the draw tomorrow for the big give away so good luck to you all.

Over the last week or so as you may have guessed I have not been at the painting table very much, what with family, the end of the club in the old format, and helping my friend Kelly repair his house. I have had no time or energy to sit down and paint at the end of the day.

However I have done some thing and have been working on a new batch of woodlands, one thing playing the French Indian wars has taught me is you can never have enough woods. So I have been completing a project I started earlier in the year.

I got some 3mm mdf and cut out a load of rough shapes that will loosely interlock with each other to form the basis of individual copses. Top those off with some nifty tree bases and washers and I have the basis of a wood.

Here is a close up of the washer arrangement I used.
I carefully glued the washers in place and mounted a woodland scenics tree armature to each base.
Then I mixed up some filler and spread this around the outside of the washer, allowed it 24 hours to dry sanded it down and then used PVA to stick some sieved sand on it to add some texture.
After the sand had dried out came the base coat of dark brown followed by dry brushing of two lighter brown shades to complete the bases.

Next up will be to flock the bases and foliate the canopies which I shall show in a later post.

24 April 2013

Life, that constant roulette wheel of change

I make no apologies for the length of this post, as I need to get something of my chest so to speak.

Its funny how things change as you go through the course of life, a couple of years ago, well June 2011 to be exact, a few of us decided to set up an independent gaming club. The club was in fact more an affiliated group of friends rather than a formal club and I with some help slogged away and made a batch of tables and terrain for us all to use.

Things over the two years however have not been trouble free, we initially set up in a pub using an upstairs room. It worked great for 6 months then the landlord told us the pub was closing down. We moved lock stock and barrel to another pub in the centre of town again after a period of time we were looking for another home. We eventually found a new home, however we had to change our gaming night from its regular weekday evening slot to Sunday evening. Also at this point I swore I would not move the club again as it was just a lot of trouble!! This worked well for approximately a year but in the last year most of the members circumstances have changed somewhat and that has impacted on club attendance quite severely recently.  Babies, careers and family issues e.t.c. have affected almost all of us at some point over the last year.

This has led to the three of us that formally ran the club, last night having to make the hard decision of whether to continue it or close it down. Reluctantly the latter became the only real answer. As during our three way conversations, we talked about how to reverse the clubs fortunes, the realisation that none of us actually had the time to divert resources into recruiting new members, and how in reality we were not as a group committed enough to continuing and that Sunday badly impacted our lives.

I think this is the fourth time now I have joined a club that has eventually dissolved for one reason or another and wonder if this is a regular feature of the hobby!!

Now I am partly to blame for this venture dissolving,as I have not been to the club for a couple of months. Sundays are difficult and often busy. Its my only real day off in a week and I like to spend that with my family. Gaming on a Sunday evening meant in reality, I got little family time, my boys attend church every Sunday morning, they come home, we have a family meal, I get to play with them for a couple of hours then selfishly go out gaming. Morally that is wrong.

Whilst I don't attend church myself. (being a Pagan my views are generally not accepted by Roman Catholics at all.) My wife however has her faith and is sharing that with my boys, something that I whole heartedly agree with after all knowledge and understanding of others is a virtue not to be wasted. The only thing ever gained through ignorance is contempt. So I have abstained from the club most weeks this year to devote more time to the family. The recent loss of my beloved grandmother also redefined the meaning of family most strongly to me. Others however have also been having similar issues with Sundays hence the lack of attendance. So the most logical route was to dissolve the club.

Now for me and several others this really is not a problem, as many of you readers know I have a man cave suitably equipped with gaming tables and terrain. I also have been playing weekday evenings for a long time and this has relatively no impact on family life at all. Further more I have built tables for Kelly, Craig and Kevin over the last two years as they also have gaming rooms and we do tend to play games between ourselves. However it may impact one or two of the other players who do not have such facilities, although hopefully not as they are friends and only have to ring or email me to organise a game here. But is this being selfish? is it a case of I'm ok Jack? or should I have attended more at the club lately and continued with not spending more time with my family?

I also spoke to my good buddy Kevin about this matter of gaming and he has been experiencing similar issues, and whilst we game together, Sundays also proved troublesome. The club no longer fits his gaming requirements, and to quote his own words "He is mainly a historical gamer, with his own room, table and terrain. He games most Thursdays and would rather play an additional weekday evening ( duly noted) than play on a Sunday evening." After all he too has youngish children and about to have a new wife, and they like to spend weekends together as a family. We have also come to the conclusion that perhaps we are both very set in our own gaming ways both having a preference for more historical games than anything else. Both enjoy the painting of figures and just having a relaxed game when we feel like it.

Now having said all this I still find it sad that, the club as is will no longer be there. I also feel partly to blame for its downfall but know that I am not solely responsible for this happening. So what does the future hold now for me gaming.

Well the funny thing about life is that things change constantly and we have to learn to accept that as part of the course, whether we like it or not it happens.

So going forwards well my business is about to undergo a big transformation and hopefully will grow to the next level. I will be having an all new business partner join me in this venture, something I am personally looking forward too. I will probably game a lot more as this has provoked some conversation between my regular gaming buddy Kev and me and we have decided to shove an extra game into our calendars every other Tuesday and I will be attending his regular Thursday gaming session on alternate weeks. I will of course be able to have games during the week with my new business partner, after all we have to have some R&R during the working week and as my gaming room is next to my workshop may well be too hard to resist.

Ok thats it of my chest for now!! Have any of you experienced similar issues with gaming!

23 April 2013

Battle report No 2 - 2013 - "Control, Control you must learn Control"

Last Thursday, Craig came over to give me and Kelly an initiation into the Star wars X wing game. I will let the pictures talk you through the game..

We used the two extension tables I built for Kelly. The game was very fast paced and great fun, with some inept flying from both sides. The game mechanics are simple to pick up and after Craigs inital run through of the rules both me an d Kelly were able to fly our way around the table. Looking forward to the next game!!

21 April 2013

Special Prize Draw winner

Having worked hard yesterday helping my good friend Martin at Warbases, serve the thousands at Salute 2013. I was left a cripple and today can hardly move, my feet still bleedin hurt!!!

Unfortunately the stand was so busy it meant I could not get away, for the lunch meet, my apologies to those of you I didn't meet and my thanks to everyone who found me it was good to meet you!!

I stupidly drove back to Sheffield late last night deciding that it would be better to get home rather than stop over another night and travel again today.

This means that as my little blog has officially passed 25,000 hits it special draw time.

Thor is now ready to go to a new home:
My thanks to everyone who took time to enter the draw for this figure. However there can only be one winner and that lucky person is Iannick  picked by a random number generator to ensure fairness. Would you please contact me so I may arrange posting this too you!! There is a new contact form on my page to make it easier.

19 April 2013

Painting Guides and colour theory

One of my targets for the year that I set out in January was to increase my blogging efforts and expand my readership. Of all the things that I have expanded over my years of painting is a good amount of reference material on periods of history that interest me. As someone who enjoys painting miniatures, much of that collection is based on uniforms. So what can I as a reasonable hobby painter do to achieve this target and also as a way of giving something back to the community, whilst increasing my blogging output.

Well I have decided that as I paint units up, I will document the figures. This will aid me as I will have a record that I can look back on rather than all the scribbled notes I currently have. Hopefully the information given will be of some use to readers of this blog or new readers that stumble across from a search of the Internet.

One of the things I struggled to find when I began painting was good usable painting guides and information to assist me in my painting choices. After 30 years I still have many items on my wish list of reference books but I am always happy to share what I have.

So before I go any further one of the key points when working with colours is to understand the basic principles of colour theory. If you have any formal art training this information will be old news, however if you are like me with little education but having learnt the hard way over many years, this next section will be worth the read.

The three primary colours are Red, Yellow and Blue.
The secondary colours are Orange ( Red + Yellow), Green ( Yellow + Blue), and Purple ( Blue + Red).
The tertiary colours are obtained by mixing the adjacent Primary and Secondary colours together.

Analogous colour schemes are made by using colours that run side by side on the wheel.
Complimentary schemes are those that use colours directly opposite each other.
Split complimentary schemes use one colour then use the colours either side of the one directly opposite.

To make further colours we need to add amounts of white or black to tint and shade the colours.

17 April 2013

Man's fascination with Tits - Paint Racks - Big Racks - Breasts - Boobies

I bet you came here looking for something to satisfy your desire for some female Flesh!! Being Loki though nothing is ever that straight forward, where would be the fun in that!!!

Lets be honest if you know a straight man who claims he has no interest in breasts, you know a liar. Very few blokes will pass a large busted woman without taking a quick look at her "breasts" and if they are exposed ....... the look will be a longer one.

That poses the question Why? Simply put we like them because they are there, we don't have them. Now this is not because we want to grow them ourselves, we just get an uncontrolled desire to fondle yours.

Now possibly the use of the word "uncontrolled" is an error, as in the main we can restrain ourselves enough to avoid fondling a complete  stranger's tits on sight. But damn it give us the chance and your tits will become playthings if we can get away with it.

Its Hard wired into man's brain that breasts are an important part of our survival. Most of us lived off these female wonders at some point in our lives, so it's just natural for us to carry a fondness for them as we grow older.

So that's it, ladies. We simply love breasts and many of us are blatantly honest about it. Our love of them is the same as watching a lava lamp, the jiggling is fun to watch. The urge to touch, mould and play is hard to resist. After all we all enjoy playing if given the chance.

So I present Tits:

A Painted Rack:
A Big Rack:

Some Breasts:
Not forgetting Boobies:
And Just because this is what you really came here for:

Obviously though this is just another one of my shameless attempts at increasing the number of blog hits and you would be completely right.

16 April 2013

Special Prize and a reminder

I have recently achieved another blog milestone, thanks to the giveaway!! I have obtained over 60 followers since the giveaway began  taking me past the 100 mark. So THANK YOU all for taking the time to join in.

On the subject of milestones however a significant milestone for me of 25,000 hits is fast approaching and I have decided that should be celebrated so one lucky PUBLIC FOLLOWER will be drawn from all my followers who comment on this Particular post ONLY. I will make the draw as soon as the number of hits reaches the target.

The winner will get sent the following miniature painted by me in December last year.

Click the picture to see the original posting!!

Next up a gentle reminder that if you want to take part in the birthday giveaway please click the image below and register your interest.

Finally I got some excellent news last night and will be able to get to Salute this year after all. I now have to make some arrangements at short notice to get overnight accommodation (good old parents). I have to do a tiny bit of work while I am there in exchange I get a Traders Pass for the Day :) Hopefully I will get to meet several fellow bloggers on the Big Red Dot at 1pm.

13 April 2013

My Weapons of Choice

Where would we all be without our favoured paint brushes. For me its a set of Pure Sable brushes, I find these to be versatile in the extreme and affordable. However I dont use just any old Sable brush as you get what you pay for and cheap brushes are not good for painting Miniatures or are they?

I must state clearly this review is not paid for or endorsed by the following company and is just my honest opinion of the tools I use for painting. Now I know my limitations and I paint to a reasonable standard that I am happy with after many years of experimentation and learning how to paint miniatures. The one thing that has always held true though is the fact that a workman is only as good as his tools, and over the 30 years of painting I have used many different types of brushes and found many of them to be wanting for one reason or another.

Three years ago I was only using Windsor and Newton series 7 brushes however we all know you need a mortgage for a set of these and replacements are difficult to track down.so I did a google search and like a fellow blogger Iain from The Blog with no name I found Rosemary and Co.

For the first order I used Series 33 pure Kolinsky sable and these were exceptional brushes, and I would have been happy to replace these regularly as the cost is reasonable. However two years ago they released the Series 98 Pure sable brushes and they had a triangular handle, which works well for me as my hands grip these brushes more comfortably due to the thicker handle, an added bonus is I can put the brush down when painting without it rolling straight onto the floor. Something that is a real bonus in my tiny allocated painting space.

Pictured above are some well used brushes from this range This particular set has been in use for almost a year now. The size 2 is due for replacement now as all the undercoating for the painting challenge finished it off. I realised after uploading this image that I missed the 10/0 out of the picture (superb for doing eyes).

All the brushes in this range hold their points excellently, they have good paint holding capacity allowing you to paint with precision. I use a wide range of sizes, not because I cant paint with larger brushes, but for me the finer points on smaller brushes enable easier access to some areas of miniatures thus avoiding excess paint on an area I don't want it to or that already has been painted.  Prices -  well with costs ranging from £2.25 for a 10/0 through to £4.95 for a size 6 you wont break the bank but will gain a good quality brush that should last for along time if looked after.

To look after my brushes I use Vallejo brush cleaner, this is alcohol based and widely available. After every session painting, the brushes I have used get dipped into this and rolled for a minute in the solution. It removes all traces of paint residue still trapped in the hairs even after washing in water. Now bearing in mind I have used the same brushes for almost a year and I have produced a large amount of figures in that time it must work, the amount of residue sitting in the bottom of the pot is testament to this fact.
I would recommend this in addition to a good bar of brush soap to extend any paint brushes life. Dont just take my word for it though go and buy some of these brushes and see the quality for yourselves.

11 April 2013

Battle report No1 - 2013 - Muskets and Tomahawks

First up Thank you and welcome to all the new followers, too many to name them all individually. I wish you all good luck for the competition and hope you find items of interest within my blog. I have hopefully managed to join all your blogs in return, but if I havent appeared please post a link as I may have struggled to find your blogs.

Right now back to todays post:
Sunday night saw me take a trip to Kev's Cabin for a game of Muskets &Tomahawks. We should have been playing at the club but as we wanted to have a fair amount of scenery which would have deprived other gamers at the club from using we decided to set up a table and pop over the road for a quick visit before gaming.
We set the table up ignoring the scenery generation part of the rules, and created something we liked the look of instead.
I will apologise in advance a couple of the pictures in this report are blurred. We classed all the woods and crop fields as dense cover for this game before we rolled for our objectives.

Kevins force (British)

6 Colonial rangers
6 Light Infantry
6 Light Infantry
1 Light Infantry Officer

Andrews force (French)

6 Huron Indians
6 Coureur des Bois
10 Compagnies Franches de la Marine
1 Compagnies Franches de la Marine Officer

After we rolled for objectives Kev got the scouting mission and I got protection, meaning I would have 10 hapless civilians to look after Lucky me!! .
Having laid the table before rolling for objectives really meant Kev was going to have to work hard to complete the scouting mission if I blocked the river crossings.
I wisely chose to put 5 civilians in each building and hopefully not get them in harms way, after all Kev would be busy scouting wouldn't he? I placed the 6 Hurons to the left and the Marines blocking the ford on the right, these would prove to be troublesome for Kev. I had to deploy all my forces within 4 inches of the buildings and my Coureur des bois had to remain of table as a reserve to be rolled for each turn.
Kev had the luxury of being off table at the beginning of the turn so he could bring his three units on anywhere along his table edge. He deployed a unit of Light Infantry on the road heading for the river bridge. A unit of Rangers went straight for the cover of the crop fields (sneaky buggers) whilst the remaining unit  held back Kev choosing to wait to decide which advance element would need support.
Kev got the rub of the Cards in turn one and decided to get stuck into my Hurons in hand to hand combat, a risky move as Indians fight hard in melee, but if he won he would have a clear run for the river crossing. I rolled very poorly in melee only managing two kills where as my Hurons were forced to take Flight having lost 4 in melee and the other two died making their escape rolls.
The only other real action in turn one was some inconclusive shooting from the rangers and movement from the marines into the cover of the wood.

Turn 2 was more eventful as all Kevs activation cards came out sequentially before I got a move, he let of a few rounds and moved the reserve light Infantry in front of the rangers hoping to attack the marines. It wasnt to be though as I would get 4 activations and swiftly dispatched the Light Infantry with the marines, taking minimal losses, aided by the fact that I killed 5 in one round of hand to hand combat for the loss of none.
This left me with 3 more activations and the rangers were a prime target as 3 casualties would see Kevs force Break.
The marines again victorious in melee left Kevs force broken and after 2 turns unable to complete his mission.

This was a great game and Kev went off to burn another set of dice !!! Looking forward to the next adventure in our folly's.

Here's the Northstar French wilderness force all together.

9 April 2013

2nd Blog Birthday - Giveaway

I have been steadily blogging away for 2 years today. Over the last two years I have steadily grown to find some truly inspirational blogs and increased my followers of which I am very grateful.Thanks to Phil for being the latest recruit.

So as some form of recompense for your loyalty or madness following my efforts I'm going to give away a few items. The format will be similar to some of the blog competitions already run by other bloggers whom I have blatantly pinched some ideas from.

Entry is simple and I'm going to do a bit of un-ashamed blog whoring. To qualify you need to be a public follower of this blog and comment on this post first! ( If you post a link on your blog to this competition then I will add 5 extra entries into the draw for you.)
Then from now till Tuesday 30th at 1400 hours BST any comment on my blog will give you an extra entry. So the more you comment the more chances to win.

So the prizes:
1st : I will paint 10 x 25mm/28mm, 10 x 20mm or 20 x 15mm historical miniatures of your choice sent to me (or a negotiated equivalent) 
2nd : 16 unpainted gripping beast metal Vikings
3rd : A pack of 4 x Curteys miniatures Mongol horse archers
4th : A pack of 15mm mirliton miniatures code RM3

Good Luck to you all!!

8 April 2013

The award winners are announced

Curt has announced all the award winners for the 3rd Analogue Hobbies painting challenge, please click the picture below to go visit and see the worthy winners.

I wont spoil the fun by announcing the winners here, and although I didn't win I do get an honourable mention for the "Canaries" in the People choice Award.

Congratulations to the winners, all were worthy opponents. I look forward to an invitation for the next one!!

6 April 2013

Muskets & Tomahawks - French Wilderness Force 4

First of all welcome to the 4 newest followers of my blog, Iannick, Whispering Al, StuG and Gareson.

This is the final instalment of the North Star French wilderness box set. This time its the turn of the Compagnies Franches de la Marine. These troops were in essence colonial regulars under the control of the Navy.  They were lax in drill and dress, but what they lacked in drill and discipline, was certainly made up for by their skills and ability to cross and fight in the rugged terrain.

I have painted this unit in a mix of formal dress to give it a campaigned look.

I should point out that this particular group of figures would equally serve to be painted and used as Canadian militia forces instead.

In summing up the whole box set I would thoroughly recommend a purchase of this at £31.00 for 23 figures it is not an unreasonable cost for metal figures, complete with all the bases. The clean up is minimal and the figures are a joy to paint with plenty of detail. Now I have to save up to purchase the British box set so while I do that.
Next up from me will be some Napoleonics.
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