Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Euro Militaire Roadtrip and Man Flu!

Soooooo last week was a complete write off for me.. and most of it is due to that scary looking guy in the photo above.. no not me on the right, but the other scary looking guy to the left! And I thought this photo would be fitting considering that it is reflects most of our beverages ( quantity if not quality ) during our trip!

And the man flu that hit afterwards had nothing to do with it apparently!

But yeah.. Road Trip with Burak "Da Dude from Izmir" Something-or-another-last-name.

He took a plane to come and see me ( and the convention ) in UK for a week! Dude.. I thought I was the only one that crazy to fly to an event! But yeah he did it ( and the photo above is potentially the plane he came on.. though I don't see anyone screaming and running away from him in horror... ).

And of course he is not here even 6 hrs, and already has a beer in his hand. And a Hobgoblin one at that! Oh! How the dwarfs would shriek at him back home for this!

But it was a quick rest ( a day out in London for him ) before we set off to Folkstone! And the why? Well to compete and see all the entries of the UK's painting competition under the name of Euro Militaire!

Time to get this party started here.. and no the car was not moving while I had the cell out! If nothing else, my recent spat with the UK driving theory tests have proven that to me! But it did hold the address, and this would be put into the all fallible GPS system that would cause us no end of troubles as we drive to the end destination!

And the hotel that can only be described as the place where seniors go to pass away. Seriously.. I think most of the people visiting here ( aside from us ) had been here when it was originally opened way back in the time where everything was written on walls. Ancient, old, and gritty come to mind while looking at this place. Not surprised that we got a "deal" for staying there. Ugh.. need to re-investigate better places for next year!

At least the views from the place were decent..

Um.. yeah.. Ok then. Not the best views either.. at least not when the fog is rolling in, and the tide is out. Which was a majority of our trip actually! Though it would burn off near the afternoon and return only in time for when we came out of the pubs!

At least there is cool art to inspire us before the big event.. right? Seriously.. what the frak are these supposed to be? Aside from good references for rust and bamboo..

Oh well. Onwards to the show.. or at least to figure out where we need to go.. and our trusty GPS settings on our cell phones would lead us on quite a journey before having to resort to Facebook to find the entrance!

I mean.. we found it.. but how the heck do we get in? We contemplated asking the guy camping out under the balcony there.. but he didn't see up to answering too many questions...

Eventually we would find our way to the door.. just we didn't know it was the side door... :D Whoops.. But we were in.. which apparently we may or may not have been allowed actually.. but this photo above was a shot of us on the balcony from the other photo ( but this time on it ) looking out ot France. Which.. obviously.. you can't see cause France is a myth. Right?

While in though, I have to admit.. I had a bit of a mini-heart attack.

It has nothing to do with Tony's scratch built piece that has been around and worked on for 19 yrs.. no it was due to the fact that our convention tickets. The ones that I pre-ordered. The ones that I placed on my shelf for safe keeping. The ones sitting on the shelf above my model transport case so that I would remember them. Were still sitting there! And so we would be without tickets! Insert heart attack and mass panic now..

Thankfully.. Tony is not just a great modeller, but is also one of the coordinators of the show! And he knows all the big names like the other coordinators that would eventually hook us up with replacement tickets ( after I made them see that I had a receipt.. they believed me without it, but damn if I was going to take something without showing proof! ). Though.. the tickets they gave us were not the advance order, get in before the buyers of tickets tickets... no. He didn't have any of those.. instead we got the Club Member tickets allowing us to enter well before the rest, alongside the traders and club event members! Booyah!

This was pretty awesome for us as it allowed us to get in, get our models entered, and then go and stalk out the traders for some of the event only pieces! Like the Origen Arts newest release.. and pick up a "few" :D

And also the early start on the traders allowed us to scope out some of the bargin bins to pick up some nice extras at a bit of a discount! Such as the JMD pieces in the bottom left corner. But mostly it allowed me to pick up the busts for Massive Voodoo crew in the plastic bag ( which I will need them to remind me to pack for SMC! ). But the above made for a nice haul on the first day... second day pieces and purchases are hidden to protect the innocent ( aka me ) from those who might wish to do me harm ( aka the Mrs ). Just saying :)

The event itself I will put into a separate post here, but suffice it to say it was a good one. Lots of great chats, many good drinks, a piss poor sleep in the hotel that would double as a horror film setting, and a decent drive up to Nottingham to visit a few other locals.

Such as..

Yeah.. a quick behind the scenes tour of their facilities.. and getting to chat to some of the guys doing a lot of the heavy lifting ( literally ) that allow us to have some of our armies for Bolt Action.

Oh and this other place as well..

Where the beer was cold ( though we didn't drink too much ) and the prices were normal ( for someone in the UK living in a nice area with a posh pub around ;) ).

Unfortunately, we didn't check about the Miniature Museum, and the fact that it was closed for renovations at the time we showed up. :( But at least we could pick up a few things from the main store ( Forgeworld! ) and also have a look around the place. Plus add +1 ( or several ) to Burak's hatred from others back home in Turkey :)

Heck.. even I got into the mood and did a few poses while there with some of the bigger pieces..

Though this got old quick for me.. and considering that we had quite a drive to go still I was not feeling up to being the most photogenic near the end. Just saying..

But the trip was pretty cool.. and we did see some great pieces all around. Both at Folkstone at even at Nottingham ( though less in the latter than the former ).

Was a great trip.. really happy to see Burak once more.. and looking forward to our next adventures!

Even if he creeps me out at times... :D

Next up.. the competition and entries at the event!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Garganthar is coming!

Yes.. my rival.. my friend.. my partner in singing O Canada is coming to UK! Above you can see one of our more larger games of Fantasy held at one of the conventions in Ankara, Turkey.

Burak "You did what?" Garganthar is coming to the UK to spend some holiday time with me as we pull off a slightly less epic, but still pretty cool roadtrip around parts unknown in the UK. Parts unknown being Folkstone for the Euro Militaire show, and then Nottingham; home of the Geek HQ known as Games Workshop.

Heck.. he is even finally bringing me my birthday present for 2013!!!!! We have a tradition that we exchange a painted model ( as the former tradition was unpainted and it stays unpainted unfortunately ). So for last year I had gifted him with the Dwarf Berzerker bust from Scibor that I painted with Massive Voodoo at their last BAM classes.

Finally after a lot of life changes on his side, he has finally gotten around to finishing up his piece for me.. the all mighty Odin!!!

This thing is quite large standing in at 30cms tall! There once was a shot of them all together showing the scale differences.. but I guess I will have to redo that photo when we have a chance this week!

In the meantime.. it is time for me to pick him up from the Airport... and then for us to prep our livers for the remaining trip here. Will be curious to see how well they stand up to normal Izmir/Turkey styled debauchery but with English Ale instead! Expect some interesting write ups on this next week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ronin 1650.. Redux...

So here is a piece that I have been working on in different times over the past months.

The original WIP post was back in May when I was super pumped to get to work on it directly after the Duke of Bavaria.

Since I stopped working on it though I have had the chance to take it to a few classes with me and get some advice on how to improve it.

The first of a long string of advice was from Rafa "Volomir" and his class in Cambridge. Especially with his "challenge" to paint more in primary colors. Adding color to a piece without fear that it will ruin it, but also to just focus on the primaries and see what could happen.

It was not something that I took overnight though, but something that I began to slowly work into my painting style with each piece. Not always succeeding here, but at least moving forward. Forward to a different style, and one that would be playing a little bit more in the saturated colors instead of de-saturated colors that I was living.

But it was also advice from a good friend of mine that suggested that I age/dirty up the piece. And to make some marks on the staff to make it worn/used a bit further as well.

And the last updates and advice I received while attending Roman's Basing workshop in Augsburg over the summer. Although I was satisfied with the base, after attending his class and seeing all the aspects of moss.. I just had to add some to my base as well! And I think here, it again added some much needed color to an otherwise uncolorful basing!

I have to say that it is something that I am really grateful of. To have so many chances to go out and meet other artists and learn from them. But also o then have them help and influence my pieces and works in such positive ways!

Thinking on this.. and looking back on my roadtrip to where I am today for painting and how I got here.. I think another series of articles of looking back at the teachers that I have learned from, and what aspects of their painting style have influenced my painting of today is in order. At the very least it will be very reflective of how I am painting and where some of the techniques and styles have been adopted from.

Anyways.. this guy is also up on Putty&Paint at the moment. I hope he does better than the Crusader though! More photos below.. hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Scottish Crusader?

So I have finally had a chance, and motivation, to sit down and finish off this bust. A very unique piece for me as I am still getting to grips with the historical pieces these days. And this was no exception.

You might remember this piece from the Fernando Ruiz class I did back in Blumberg. This was our test piece for the class.

Fernando had asked if I was going to any shows like Stresa or Euro Militaire, and when I said yes to Euro, he said then I MUST get this finished for that show! Since that show is next weekend ( Yikes! ) I guess my motivation is uber last minute styled :D

We did receive another socket from CrazyWenky, but I felt it was too large for this piece. And besides it is a really good socket, so I need to find a proper piece for it that will fit on it better than this. This tiny bust will get dwarfed by it.

So here he is. All finished up for me at the moment. Could he use more, maybe. Do I have time or energy to do it, not really. Am I OK and satisfied with the outcome of him, yeah sure why not :)

I have another historical piece that has been sitting around for a while ( Facebook users will have seen a shot of him last night ) and I hope to get him finished before the end of the week! Let's see if that happens!

You can see it on Putty&Paint, though I don't suspect it to do very well with the above photos.

More to come this week, I hope! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Imperial Japan vs Italians! Bolt Action Battle Report

So in a quiet town within Europe, the dreaded Japanese Empire strikes again! This time against the Italians.

I have been bugging this opponent to play against me for a while now as I wanted to see how they were and how the Japanese would face up against them.

For this game though I took a slightly different list from my normal horde though. Normally I throw in several units of 15 Militia to soak up damage while my mains run around killing things. This time though I tried a pre-Tank War list. Everything came in motorized! And very very veteran as well!

My list was as follows:

  • 2nd Lieutenant with Trooper - Veteran
  • 2x13 Veteran Infantry
  • 1x11 Veteran Infantry
  • 3 General Trucks - Regular
  • Ho-Ni III Tank Destroyer - Regular
  • Prime Mover - Regular
  • Type 2 Twin AA Gun
  • Type 92 Tankette
My Opponent had something like this:
  • 2nd Lieutenants with extra trooper
  • 3x11 infantry units
  • 2x5 veterans with SMGs
  • super tiny flame tank
  • medium howitzer
  • heavy howitzer
There might have been more, but not much more I think. Considering that this was only 1000 point game!

We rolled for missions and got Top Secret. Which was that an objective was placed in the center of the table, and each army was to capture it, and take it off their side of the board. 

Immediately I asked if we should re-roll the mission as I had 3 trucks full of troops, and would hold the advantage of getting up to the objective faster. But, being the good sport that my opponent is, he kept with the mission. Only because he knew that it was his fault not to include a truck of troops. But we pressed on!

My photo for the first turn didn't turn out it seems.. but it mainly was me setting up my trucks, unloading the troops, and setting up to capture the objectives. One of my trucks however failed to come on the board, and my Ho-ni failed to hit his flame tank. His troops also set up, and his 2 howitzers showed up with direct lines of fire upon the main objective marker. 

By Turn 2 we were all set up to see how this game would go down. And it would play out with regards to how the center of the table went and how his firing abilities would tackle the objective. 

Immediately I made a bee-line for the objective to pick it up into my unit, but also putting them out in the open. 

His first howitzer fired upon them, but missed due to being behind hard cover, and giving me some advantages there. 

At this point an idea came to me, to use my Trucks as screens for the unit on the objective. So one goes screaming up one side to block against the central force, and the other pops around to the other road and blocks his other howitzer! To say that the Italian player was not happy with this result is an understatement! But considering that losing troops means nothing to the objective ( and they are captured US Trucks anyways :D ) it is nothing to see them get blown up and turned into wrecks soon afterwards! Providing me now with more hard cover in both directions and making his job quite a bit more difficult. 

The Ho-Ni finally took a pot shot, and easily 2 pens against it. Giving it a second pin marker ( the first being the shot itself! ) and also setting it afire. To which he failed his morale, and immediately abandoned all hope with it!

His guys did make both trucks into wrecks though, and then promptly missed the central unit once more. The the cover was not needed for him to miss the unit though :) 

Turn 3 was a complete upset. We had a 3rd party draw the first dice, which went to my Japanese. So the unit ran behind the building and handed the objective off to the 2nd Lieutenant there. 

He attempted to fire at them with the howitzer once more, but couldn't hit. Another dice for me where the Lieutenant unit ran and jumped into the truck. Italians got another dice and tried to charge into one of my Veteran units, but were shot down fully in the charge! The first time I have ever killed a unit ( even if it was 5 guys at 4 men strong ) with shooting! 

But when I got the next dice, the truck took off on my side of the board, and the game was called. Japanese win on turn 3, and we think back on how this could have been played out differently. Honestly.. dunno if it could have.. other than if this was a different scenario, where he was the defender and I was the attacker. Then maybe it would have been a different ( and longer ) game. 

The unit above was what killed his suicide unit at the end. You can see how the trucks are lined up to create cover for the unit that is now behind the building. Inside the building is another unit of Veterans though. So I had the center pretty much covered with amble troops to support them there. 

We also did a small comparison of some of the vehicles on the board. from left to right.. 

Warlords US Truck; Warlords IJA Ho-Ni; Unknown maker IJA Type 92 Tankette; Warlords Brit Bren Carrier; Unknown Italian Flame Tank. Was interesting to see the differences in scale being used here!

No game next week as I am in a conference in London unfortunately. But I have a game set up for the week after! But with a twist... I will attempt to play as the British, and let my opponent try out my horde Japanese forces instead! See how it is to be on the receiving end of the army! That should be a cracking game though!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Final hours for the 5th-dimension Painting Contest!

Hurry hurry.. the hours are counting down for the first 5th-dimension painting contest! There is still time to get that project on your table finalized and entered!

Contest ends at midnight ( GMT UK time ) tonight! Expect myself and the rest of the crew to be up late seeing all the entries, and replying to all the mails! 

You can send your entries to 

Hope to see more entries, already lots in there, but always room for more!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Adventures in Cambridge

On Sunday, and Saturday actually, Alfonso had descended upon UK thanks again to The Weekend Workshop once more to impart his knowledge of colors and painting upon us unsuspecting people! Quite the cast and crew appeared once more for this class, many familiar faces from previous classes appeared!

However, due to the family returning from Turkey on the Saturday I was unable to attend.... the whole thing that is!

I dragged Junior along with me for a day out to see the painters and do some bonding time before school begins once more. We even brought some of junior's Lizardmen models, and he had a crack at them over the day..

Working hard at it, and trying to make sure that we got a consistent coverage!

Which lasted all of 30 minutes before he switched over to legos, or coloring, or more legos, or back to painting or, or, or.. yeah.. you get the picture.. but considering that he was there for the whole day he was quite well behaved ( told by others, not just his old man here! ).

Which as you can see was important as the store began to fill up with painters for both Alfonso's class, and also John's fundamentals class.

See.. painting and coloring quietly while taking in all the inspiration around him!

But the main purpose of the trip was to see the 2 main guys do their thing, and see what kind of information I could glean off of them.

As you can see from the huddle here, the techniques being taught were highly secretive! And thus held in great esteem and close attention by the attendees there... except Peter. Seems he didn't sleep much and thus was yawning the entire day.

Luckily I was able to sneak a shot of the test piece, and some of the instructions laid out from Alfonso here in the class... the rough sketch of light and shadows was the main focus for the NMM aspects.. and how to break a model into parts was also clear from random paintings on the white paper..

Craziness as always in a painting class.. but with all the teachings, you can see how the students got right down to work here.

Of course Mike was there again, and as always the only thing I could understand from him was his tattoo..

Or maybe not...

Though while all this was going on, John was also running a beginners class on the fundamentals of painting on a separate table. One that Sam sat on as well, and was looking on with fascination..

Quite the group appeared here to learn how to make paint flow better, where to put highlights and shadows, and general painting theory. Was a unique little class structure that also included a figure ( Hordes Troll ) and 3 Army Painter brushes. Plus John explaining things to you in proper scouse fashion.

No idea how or why John had blue and white paint on his lips, or the black smudge on his face, but junior couldn't stop pointing at it and asking if he should stop painting maybe to clean up.

Though jokes aside, the group learned quite a lot from John, and I think we can see some great looking gaming pieces coming from them soon! Watch out tournaments and local clubs as these guys are aiming for the Best Looking Army awards!

At the end of the event though, we all said our goodbyes. Thanked the teachers. Thanked the owner of the store for letting us take it over for the weekend. And picked up our loot from the weekend of shopping ( I mean we are in a gaming store.. who can resist that temptation? ).

Alfonso also graced the Lee Family with his presence after the workshop and spent some time around the Lee Studio giving some advice on composition for a few pieces. Thanks again for the time spent, and the good chats after what can only be described as a long tiring but successful weekend of teaching!

And I am smiling.. just have too much epic beard to show it properly! Until the next encounter and adventures in painting! Enjoy the day before the end of the week...
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