27 February 2014

Challenge Day - Calling in the reserves!

Stocks were running low at the end of last week and I decided it was time to use some funds to make a few purchases for another Biblical army.

Fortunately for me a lucky find on ebay saw me find 6 boxes of figures that I would need being sold at a very attractive price and at that point I was committed. After all its very hard to pass a bargain off and even more so when it was an intended purchase.

So now I have enough figures to complete a Sea peoples army, I don't intend to get them all done during the challenge at all, they are for me to continue with afterwards as well. I want to spend the coming year getting the whole biblical era project well adavanced and this is the second of 4 armies I have planned for the period. I also spotted another box of Caeser Libyans which I am steadily collecting enough to build an army with.


25 February 2014

Sometimes it take an age for things to sink in!!!

So I have been painting for well over half my life and seen a lot of fads come and go in my time.

Now I have never been much of a follower of fashion in my life in fact the only time was back in the very late 70's early 80's but that was more anti fashion in reality in my heady days of youth as a Gothic punk.

I have seen and used oil based paints, enamels and now acrylics and each of them has their own merits and of course each has a distinct down side.

Oils are very slow drying, enamels stink and everything needs to be cleaned and thinned with spirits and Acrylics dry very fast in fact sometime too fast.

Now I have finally clocked onto a device many painters have used for ages and for the life of me I don't know why I have not done this before. Maybe I am just slow on the uptake, possibly its because I have never really considered using one and simply cast it in the fad, gimmick or just rip-off  pile. After all our hobby is riddled with these kind of items. You can pick these up from an art shop, but the costs are high for what is basically a box with replaceable inserts.

Yes I am currently trying out a wet palette, mainly because I wanted to experiment and really see if it gave any benefit to me. Due in no small part with the fact I use a lot of vallejo dropper bottles and while the paint is excellent, its too thick to use straight from the bottle and I have grown tired of ruining good brushes simply mixing the paints ready to use, only for them to dry out in next to no time ( Something to do with the wife and the record internal temperatures she insists on). So after a little surfing around I stumbled on several designs that I could experiment with.
I am currently testing wet palette version 1 which is simply wet kitchen towel with a greaseproof top layer. All appears to be going rather nicely so far and it certainly does keep the paint alive and well for a good few hours. Alas my tub has no lid so it does dry out daily, but its no problem to refill with water when required.

I will of course try a couple of other methods and let you all know how I get on.


23 February 2014

Weekly round up 23/2/2014 - French Napoleonics and The run to the finish line!

First off I am going to make a couple of apologies to you all,  Firstly because I have not been able to reply to the comments on the blog all week, I have a problem with blogger not doing things as it normally does an each time I try to comment it takes me back to the top of the page. I don't know why and its annoying as hell. If its does not correct itself soon I will try a search for the causes and possible solution until then please bear with me if a comment does not get a reply, I can assure you I do read them all! The second apology comes as a result of not having been as active visiting some regular blogs this is because the reading list on blogger is behaving like some kind of petulant teenager and refusing to load any blogs with regularity. I am now going through the motions of putting all the blogs I read onto Feedly but as I read many many blogs this could take some time as I have to input them one at a time. Blogger does not have the ability to export my reading list which would make the task simple.

Next I want to personally thank fellow blogger Jonathan Freitag of Palouse wargaming journal, if you are not following this chaps fine blog then why not pop over and see what you are missing out on. One thing is certain you can never tell what is going to pop up next but it will be worth the visit. Jonathan responded to my pleas of aid regarding a missing sabretache file and went to a lot of effort to get it to me so thank you Jonathan!!!

This week has been a good week for painting. Fully dosed with effective pain relief and the problem is finally easing off as well, those neck rotations are obviously paying off and the threat of having to attend the torture clinic certainly ensures that I do them regularly.

I started the week by basing up a fair few bit that I have been working on over the last couple of fairly unproductive weeks by my standards anyway. Well when I say basing I actually meant attaching the figures to the bases.

I then set about starting part two of a large French Indian war commission I am currently working on, which saw me occupied fully for Monday and Tuesday, before a break for a game midweek with Kev on Wednesday and finishing them on Thursday. I still have a unit of French Infantry to complete this phase but am pleased with the progress.

Friday was basing day, proper basing this time for everything, I often find it easier to make all the mess in one go rather than doing it after each unit as that way I only have to clean up the workbench once rather than several times.

So far only the Napoleonics have been posted to the challenge blog so that is all I am allowed to currently display here.
 Two battalions of infantry and three artillery pieces taking my tally so far to 2871 points.
 These are all perry guns and crews and the guns themselves were the devil to clean. so much so that I am not going to rush into purchasing any more in a hurry. They are however nice pieces to look at once finished.

 All three are in firing poses and I have given the crews campaign dress so they blend in with all my other units so far.

 Next up is a 12 figure converged Grenadier battalion, with a mix of Perry plastics and Foundry metals that I purchased at Blog con with this purpose in mind
 Once again a mix of greatcoats and campaign trousers break up the ranks of full dress to give an overall look that I am trying to achieve.
 Finally for this batch are 16 figure to make a battalion of the 2nd legere.
 Once again another mix of Foundry and Perry figures which really do sit will beside each other even with the slight differences in height.

I am pleased to have reached this point with the French as I now have a good solid foundation from which to expand upon. Having completed my first division of four battalions. Three of those have been done during this years challenge so it has given me the desired impetus I needed to get them done.

Yesterday I promised myself I would spend the day putting the finishing touches to a major project that I undertook as the bulk of my work for the challenge which as you will be aware is the Nubian army. I managed to get them advanced a little but they remain unfinished. I got side tracked again with another unit of Napoleonics. I really am my own worst enemy at times. I put it down to my artistic temperament and not being in the right frame of mind. I will get the Nubians completed during this next week, but as I have another 4 units of Napoleonic troops all at various stages of painting sat on the shelf above me, all part worked during the challenge I really should get them completed before it concludes as well.

So what's all this run to the finish line then? Well I have just passed my second target, and I can honestly say that at times I wondered if I would get there at all but I have. So I can sit back now and relax in a nice comfy chair safe in the knowledge that I have achieved a lot of the goals I wanted for this years winter push.

If you believe that last sentence you are more gullible than I thought! I have a pack closing in on me like hounds chasing a hare in open ground. Do I stand my ground, and hope they run out of legs before they reach me, or do I fire up the brushes and give it my all to ensure that I battle on until the death? Naturally the latter of course, I said it before I started the challenge this year way back in December:

"I am also taking it more seriously than previous years and have got myself organised and have planned my work out (not that it guarantees anything) in an effort to remain on track, focused and aids me to deliver my target."

So I will continue to produce as much work as possible, in these closing weeks, as I can. I will finish wherever I finish with regards to total points and position, I will not be setting another target as I really have gone beyond my expectations already. Which does prove to myself at least that I am capable to producing high volumes of figures when I need too. This bodes well for continuing to provide a painting service for the future. I do believe that I have managed to maintain a high standard of work for every entry I have submitted, something that is more important to me than any amount of points awarded or position attained.

I was due to have another prize draw this week as its the last Sunday in February. However there are some significant dates in March and April for me and the Blog so I will be holding a double draw in both to play catch up and set the record straight.

I hope you all have a good week ahead.

22 February 2014

Challenge day 70 - Paint Table Saturday 22/2/15

Blimey that came around rather quickly!!

I only have one goal for the entire weekend and that is too complete the last of the Nubian warbands. That will see me achieve a large goal of mine for the analogue winter challenge.

So late last night I set about the task of getting ready for the day ahead.

The last 3 units for the entire army ready for me to complete this weekend.

Alongside this I will attempt to complete my entry for the favourite character bonus round due next weekend, I really should have finished this before now but with granddad duties and pain have not progressed the figures in 4 weeks. So I need to pull my finger out a bit.

Well that's all for today good people.

20 February 2014

Challenge Day 68 - A nice little diversion those little Brown Feckers

No not a racist post at all but, a gamers reference to one rather annoying unit in game.

Yesterday saw me take a break from the paint table and head over to Kevs for an afternoon of much needed R & R. Working for your self has some distinct advantages at times especially when you are on target with any scheduled works, so we took the opportunity to have a little Peninsular bash.

we set up a random and fairly open table and took two forces to have us a little merriment.


C-in-C command 8
Lieutenant General Rodney Shaftington (KEV)

Lane's Brigade - command 7
3 x line battalions
1 x royal artillery battery

Hooley's Brigade - command 7
2 x line battalions
1 x highland battalion

Dingle's Brigade - command 7
one small rifle battalion
1 x light battalion
1 x Cacadores ( herein after referred too as little brown feckers)
1 x KGL hussars


C-in-C command 8

General de Division Retard d'Anal ( LOKI )

Cloisonne's Brigade - command 7
3 x line battalions
1 x light battalion
1 x foot battery

Renasrd's Brigade - command 7
2 x large line battalions
2 x light battalions
1 x foot battery

Maurice's Brigade - command 7
2 x chasseur a cheval
1 x horse battery

Turn 1. the British win the dice off!!
Though they had the first turn advantage, the British commanders spent far too much time eating cake and were unable to move very far at all, whilst  the majority of the French forces enjoyed freedom of movement.

Turn 2.
 The British start to form a battle line but again indecision in the ranks causes them to mess it up again
 Meanwhile the French commander has fully deployed and sees an opportunity to swing the weight of numbers to his advantage.
See them little feckers sneaking up monsieur!!

Turn 3.
 Yes those sneaky little brown feckers got up close with their rifles an unleashed a perfect volley causing two casualties but more important disordering the cavalry so it was a sitting target!
The French decide to work the opposite flank and make an advance.

Turn 4.
 The British flank again refuses to follow orders and the French decide to take some action and retribution on the usurpers that routed the French cavalry regiment.
 Elsewhere the British line takes a pounding from the French as they open the attack
Things appear to be going well for the French barring the loss of the cavalry regiment.

Turn 5.

The French plug the gap from the missing cavalry and both sides continue the line and artillery firing.

Turn 6.
The blood went to the crazy French commanders head and he launced several charges all of which failed spectacularly. losing another cavalry regiment and half a division of infantry in the process.

Turn 7.
Hmm sound the retreat mes amis !!!

Yes The French got hammered Kev pulled out some perfect dice at the right time whereas how do I put this I did not!!! I failed every break test I could fail and some, it was at this point although we could have played another few turns, I knew I was beaten and there is another battle to be fought another day..

A cracking bit of fun for the afternoon and it certainly enforces the playability of Blackpowder and the fact you can subtly change the rules to enhance the game.

17 February 2014

Challenge Day 65 - Indians and Coureur des bois

Today saw me dose up on pain killers first thing and set about tackling stage two of my current commission.

I have a lot to paint for this customer who is dispatching a couple of box sets from Australia this week to add to his collection. So as to stay ahead of the game, I decided to get the lead I have here worked so I can concentrate on the new troops when they arrive. So my focus for today has been on the Indians and Coureur des bois elemnets. All these miniatures are from the AW Miniatures Ranges link in the right sidebar.

As you can see they are progressing nicely and should be completed tomorrow. I have six of these too paint for now, though I will be adding to that shortly.
I have also made good headway with the Coureur des bois, and all 14 currently have been blocked out and 6  have been taken to the final stages. These should also get completed tomorrow which will leave me another 13 French regulars to complete for this stage.

My thanks to you all for the kind words yesterday, and a couple of helpful suggestions. Always good to maintain a smile in the face of adversity or I try at least.


16 February 2014

Weekly round up 16/2/2014 - Bugger and damnation !!! (with Boobs)

Funk, big time funk has set in at the Great Hall.

Its been one of those weeks, you know the sort  you have nothing planned to interrupt your week then things just happen and really throws a curve ball at you. Things had been going rather too well for me this year so it was expected that some ill fortune was long overdue

Things started really well for the first two days with several units of Napoleon's finest getting treated to some paint all at the same time, progress was being made. I should not complain too much as I have 2 battalions to base.
purposely a touch blurred due to not having appeared in the challenge yet
The rot set in Wednesday with a trip to the local witch doctor, as the problem with the neck has not receded as one hoped. After a bit of poking and putting Loki through his paces, said practitioner decided I have a nerve trapped between two vertebrate and promptly prescribed some powerful pain relief with the words take them one every four hours and they may cause you to be drowsy. The upside I take a pill and have no pain but am jiggered if I can see straight to paint. The self cure wait till the pain is unbearable then take tablet or nowt gets painted. In all seriousness though a couple of hours painting a day is all I can currently muster. Top this off with the fact that I have had too up my other medications that help me function daily and I am left like a zombie until my body adjusts, this could take up to 4 weeks.

The wife added to the frustration, by attempting to carry out sofa surgery and upgrading. She wanted to dye the sofa covers a new colour, not a problem I sorted out everything and sent her off to buy the correct amount of dye having calculated the safe load the machine could handle per packet of dye. While she was out I stripped all the covers off for her return and sorted the items into three wash loads. Later that afternoon Mrs Loki entered the paint room and muttered to me the machine was not working simply saying the drum was not turning. Ah ha I thought a broken belt, simple job I can replace that, so I opened the back of the washer to check belt intact. So then I decided to check the electrics they all appeared to be in order, it then occurred to me having spotted an unopened packet of dye, she had tried to take a short cut and had overloaded the washer and burnt the motor out!!

Thursday I decided to paint my French Hussars, it was only later in the day I realised this was going to be harder than I planned. I had sometime ago saved some sabretache designs to my computer hard drive, after all anything to make the job a little easier is welcomed. Then it dawned on me I no longer had the file, as they were on the PC that was wrecked. No matter I thought I can download them again only to discover the old links did not work bugger it now that means free handing them!!!! If any one has these saved help an old fool out please :)

Things improved again Saturday when I changed direction and did another 3 Nubian warbands. Today has been at a snails pace again due to pain but I have made a start on a small bunch of woodland Indians for a client.

So with all this bad Karma this week I am need of a bit of a pick me up and in case you are too; here are some uplifting images.

Well that's it for another week in the Great Hall, hope you all have a good one next week.

15 February 2014

Challenge day 63 - Paint Table Saturday 15/2/14

A very short and concise post from me today. I am having a break from the endless stream of fussy uniforms and getting back to some of the Nubians. I should be able to complete another 3 warbands and get the third division completed.

Once I have taken care of those I have a small modelling job for my youngest lad who is then going to paint it up for his school project.

12 February 2014

Challenge day 60 - Still plugging away

I am still working away on the Napoleonics, progress is not lightening fast as I am rather fastidious when it comes to painting these.

Work on the combined Grenadiers is going well and these should be completed tomorrow.
Here is the mounted officer as a work in progress. as you can see I have hands and faces to complete on the unit.

I have also constructed another unit of hussars today and blocked in the horses all but one who is waiting for the green stuff to dry fully in the horrible gaps that some of the plastic horses have.
I have also pulled the unit of Swiss back onto the bench that I had started and lost momentum on earlier in the challenge, My main issue with these was the yellow but that problem has been solved now.


10 February 2014

Challenge day 58 - A Table Full of Nappies

Okay so it was not a very original title at all, but it is straight to the point.

I had a pretty good weekend with a few hours spent at the paint table, and today it was back to work for me so I decided to carry on with some more Napoleonic troops. I paint Napoleonics in phases and have to be fully in the right frame of mind to sit and paint them or it gets laborious and very unproductive quickly.

However one of my targets for the challenge was to complete my French Napoleonic infantry, this of course got put on hold after a discussion with Kev and my fevered attempts at building a Nubian army which is almost complete and certainly will be before the challenge finishes.

Today started by me putting the finishing touches to a unit of legere that I had been working on at the weekend. They are a bit of a mongrel unit made from spare figures to make up the numbers from Foundry and Perry ranges.

Next to receive attention was a unit of combined grenadiers and I have made good progress on these and they should be completed tomorrow.
As the day drew to a close I resurrected the Baden hussars, I had painted the officer and trumpeter prior to the challenge, but decided to paint the other four horses and made a bit of a start, constructing the riders and getting them prepared for some paint this week hopefully.

I am hoping to knock a dent in the list of Napoleonics that I have to paint, I don't intend to complete them all during the challenge as I have other priorities for my time. but I want to be able to at least have a full brigade of 4 infantry units completed and a couple of units of cavalry to run alongside will be a welcome addition.

That concludes the post for today have a good one folks

9 February 2014

Weekly round up 9/2/2014 - Sometimes I wonder !! ( A Rant)

Welcome to the Great Hall, for another week in brief summary.

It has been a funny old week, as you have already read I have not really painted very much at all until yesterday. That turned out to be a quite productive day, finishing two units that I had started, to add to my tally when I submit them.

Yes I am still hanging on by a thread at the top of the challenge leader board with 2640 points, but I expect this lead to disappear very quickly in the coming month as the race to the finish line hots up in the coming weeks. Although I will still be beavering away in the background working with my brush to complete as many points as I can. New targets have been mentioned but in all honesty, I did not think I could push hard enough to score the points I already have done, so I wont be setting another one as I am going to sit back and watch the next few weeks unfold.

Last week saw me enter some more French Indian war figures and a few Nubians.
I agreed to paint these for Andrew at AW Miniatures to add to his display stand that several of us painted figures for in order to get the Bloggers for Charity lead. At that time he did not have the Marines sculpted or even in his list of units to do. They have been by far and away the worst figures of them all to paint so bad, that I only took one picture!! Maybe it is just me but I could not get these looking any better and it was not for want of trying, but they have left me disappointed in the finish.

Which leads me onto another point this week, which was possibly the worst game night in a very long time, Trafalgar was the game and usually although a slower game plays well, for an evenings entertainment but this week it was just bad. I cant see me playing this again for a while without some changes being made especially when one of our number spent 4 turns blatantly using his own version of movement rules and then suddenly remembering he had not been playing right then claims all the extra distance to give himself the advantage. In 3 and a half hours only 4 turns were played and the bulk of the evening was taken up with the rather tedious job of working out which boat had the wind advantage to move before another. If ever a game needs more streamlined rules of play this is high up there.

For me it has also left me wondering why I bother, after all the over zealous nature and must win attitude of one person has always been there. But as I am getting older I find I can no longer accept this attitude any more, its supposed to be a game and a good nights fun. I and most of the group have invested in the rules and figures to play these games with, selfishly I have invested to have fun and have reached the point I cant keep building armies and investing my time, money and energy for a free loader to join in. Why a free loader well despite being told to buy and read the rules for the systems we play, he does not, instead his answer is always I don't need too as you have them. Why then week after week does he challenge rules and just drag a game down and do we all continue to put up with it! I really do wonder sometimes. I know Kev feels exactly the same about this situation as we have put a lot of time and effort into building up armies for different periods. We have even discussed playing on a different evening or during the day and that may well happen yet as things can not continue as they are now.

Well that rant is offloaded, and my apologies to you all for that, but occasionally these things need venting.

The week ahead should be a good one, provided the quack can sort me out with some suitable pain relief and get to the bottom of why my fingers are still numb. I am going to plug away with a few units of Napoleonics next week in an effort to get the first Brigade of French completed.


8 February 2014

Challenge day 56 - Paint Table Saturday #14- Busy, Busy, Busy

Well after the failure to submit anything for paint table Saturday last week, I thought I would make amends this week and get the post and submission done at the beginning of the day this week.

Progress in the challenge slowed down completely since the middle of last week, and I took a couple of days to recover from the Vapnartak show. I have also been suffering with a problem in my neck and arm once again that is causing me great discomfort when I try to sit and paint. So I have only been painting for about half of the time I usually do.

However I have some time to myself today, and have decided that I need to crack on with some of my Napoleonics for the day. They wont get completed but they will at least have made some progress.

I have a battalion (16 figures) of light infantry well under-way, another (12 figures) of combined grenadiers just started and a third Gun and crew well under-way. Also in progress is another 13 French Indian War French regulars, a Camel a pile of mixed plastic and metal Napoleonics that need to be cleaned and mounted and 3 Nubian warbands which are in progress.

Hopefully I shall make good progress today and at least get the gun and crew completed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...