Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday.. Portal Paint off Round 3 piece

Yup.. it is back! Although March/April was kinda quiet for the contest, it was mostly due to real life issues with the judges, and waiting for the results.

Seems that I won the last round with top marks ( huzzah! ) and thus need to continue with round 3... which I have mixed feelings about due to the technical aspect of the contest. This round is all about the OSL.. Object Source Lighting. Thankfully Volomir put up a great article about it, and refreshed it for us to review once more. So will be going back to that at some point.

But for now, needing to get the rest of the project off the ground.

The theme this time is Steampunk. Seeing a lot of that these days.
The base was originally Interior Design Victorian.. but we contestants complained about that not being the easiest basing theme to take on ( read that as I complained until the rest agreed with me :) ).
And the technique is as stated. OSL.
Oh and the Title, which I think I have missed the plot of once more, is "The way they live then"... you will see what I mean by missing the plot on that one this round, but whatevs right?

Now previously to starting this round, I had chatted with James from Infamy, and he had sent me one of the new Mole miniatures to use. Hence why I was not so happy when I found out the basing parts.. Why would the mole be inside??? Like really???

But that became a moot point when I ran into him again at Salute the past weekend. I had the chance to pick up the Black Market Infamy Tote bag. And inside there were plenty of great pieces available to use for this project! So many in fact that I decided on 2 of them!

New problem exists from this however. You will notice that they fit quite well size wise. I mean, really well! Too bad the robot is actually meant to be for the 28mm scale, and Sargent Crookes there is actually in 54mm scale :) Minor details though as I pressed on.

But immediately upon seeing them together I get this old victorian styled Bonnie/Clyde feeling from them. Be they good, or bad.. or just misunderstood here. They are a team of gun wielding lunnies out for a good time ;) Just as they were back in the day right? ;)

So from there, I built up a fairly simple alleyway styled base for them to stand on overall.

The plastic sections were the ones that I picked up at the local Railroad convention not too long ago there.

Simple and easy to cut up ( sorta ) and mixed together they gave a decent enough scene to me. Though I didn't just want a straight back section for it, so angled the back wall a bit outwards. Not sure if it was a smart idea, but seemed like it at the time. And gave the scene a little something extra :)

I then began to add some gubbins to the wall and flooring. The cogs on the floor to keep the steampunk feel ( cause everyone knows that cogs equate to steampunk.. duh.. ).. and then a grate, some pipes, and a sign. I even attempted to make it look like there is some exposed wooden beam on the wall.. not sure it came out as well as I had hoped though, and was not the best when it came to painting.

Quick shot of the base at the initial stages. I had attempted to discolor some of the bricks in the back to break up the monotony that existed within it. But when posting it on Facebook, I received a comment to do it. So obviously it was not enough! I have done more to it since then, but you will see it in the background of one of the photos below.. Metals, and wood sections were done. But the sign is still not touched. I am trying to think of a street that they might be on to write up on it.

Started in on Sargent Crookes here though of the 2 models. Mostly cause I was able to get the original artwork from James on what he was supposed to look like.

Pretty dark looking here, which is fine considering how far the base etc are heading already.

Immediately I began the primer job on them, and worked up a 2-4 layers of different greys as a base. I made a slight mistake on the back by not washing the model at all. And I think some mold release agent was stuck on the back jacket and behind his right knee. Both spots had problems holding the paint, and on the jacket gave an interesting texture. Something that I can work with, so not a problem, and also it will be partially hidden anyways once put together.. so I should be OK.

Color wise I began from the middle. Pulling out the entire blue range of Scale75 colors, and some white/purples to wet blend, scrape, etc on the police jumpsuit he has going there. It does seem to be missing something at this point, so I am going to have a look at it further later on, but I do like the direction of it, and I think it comes close to the artwork.

I am feeling a bit better of the model at this point though. With the addition of the dark browns on the boots and jacket there the bright jumpsuit is not so bad anymore ( though it helps I added some inks to the shadows like blue and purple again ).

Still lots of work to do on it, and roughing up of the jacket. Lots of nics and scratches need to be added here. More glazes and washes. Blah blah blah...

And finally a shot of what he looks like near the base. With the face begun to get roughed in a bit as well. And a slightly blurry sight of the base further, and how the bricks have been hit a bit harder with more colors to bring them out more. Hopefully I will get more progress on him further this week. And if possible even to have him finished by end of day Friday! But that might be a long shot as well..

Hope you like the progress so far.. and let me know if you had the chance to pick him up yet or not also? And if his helps or hinders your thoughts on how to tackle him :D

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review Tuesday.. Ax Faction!

I have a lot of pieces to put up here, but I want to start with Ax Faction. Why? Well.. because I got a photo of me standing in front of it with Paul. And having a nice little chat on how it is going with them, how the models are shaping up, and talking about the painters that they work with ( like Maggie! ).

So while there, and talking shop, I did also pick up a few pieces. These I have seen at a number of events in the past, but due to the crowds, or timing, or lack of funds I just never had a chance to pick some up. But with the crowd still outside ( mwuhahahaha.. sukkas! :P ) I was able to have a closer look and pick some out.

Victorian Darling was an immediate pick for me as I love the model look so much. But after taking it home I have to rethink it.. as it is soooo smallllllll... I have now the fear that I will break it while painting it with my massive Canadian bear hands... You might think I am joking but poor Alice suffered a few times while creating her..

Those are 1 inch squares behind her for scale btw. You can see how thin and tiny she be.

The pieces as a whole are also quite fine. There are some casting vents on the pieces, but it looks to be very well thought out here. Most are in spots that will not cause too much problems to remove, or show too much once assembled.

It is going to be a very intense little piece to paint up, and a bit of a challenge. But since it has the same feel as Alice ( which also was in Resin ) then I think we have another winner! Though I won't lie and say that I am scared of that cape!

My only question to myself at the moment is whether or not I use the base that comes with it, or attempt to try something different and make it into a small vignette... mmmm.. possibilities are endless with this one :D

Next up is a the Northfjorder on Brown Bear. Paul asked if I wanted him or the Guardian lady. But one look at the model ( pictured below ) and I could see him rampaging through a Canadian wilderness chasing down some rude Americans or something :)

Again this is a clean cast, and even the small skulls for the bear's necklace are well done, and the vents on spots that are not full of details. So they will clean off easily and quickly here.

The last model I grabbed from them was the Orc. Jack the Hack.

I am going to start off with saying that I am not as happy with this piece as the other 2 unfortunately. Immediately the first thing that I can see is that the resin is different. This one is more plastic/resin hybrid than the others. Am going to have to reach out to Paul to ask as to why the switch here.

The main reason I am not as happy with it this way is due in part to the fact that the face didn't come out as nicely as it could have in this material.

Now that being said, I do like the sculpt. Large volumes for painting the skin, and getting to play around with light/shadow potential. The sculpture reminds me heavily of Heresy's Boris pieces like the one I painted recently. Though this have a bit more of an aggressive pose going for it. Will be a good exercise in wet blending to happen on it as well. Am looking forward to that!

But the big things is for me to get back to showcase painting, and these will be nice pieces to work on. I hope to begin them at some point and especially on the Northfjorder and Bear! So much possibilities there!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Post Salute Hangover in effect...

Salute 2015 is over, and what a ride it was this year!

Huge difference right off the bat in that instead of being just a visitor, buyer, spectator admiring all the riches laid within, I got to be on the Trader list instead! Which meant that I got to skip that entire line behind me up top there, and wander around before everyone entered the hall!

But honestly, that was not needed because this year the hall was even bigger, and thus it didn't fell so much like a sardine can as it was last year. Plus, with the e-ticket sheets, entering the hall apparently was also easier ( though much like a stampede as well from what I heard! ).

So why as a trader this year? Is Mr Lee selling something finally? Well.. no.. not yet.. but one of the big backers of Mr Lee was, and I was helping him out! Alan from Modelmates was in full effect once more so I headed over to his booth to help him out. But I was not expecting to see such large close ups of some of my pieces as examples! Wowzers! Lookie lookie.. I be famous :P

It was really cool to have some of my work up there, and to be able to reference it in the large photos while also showing off my models themselves. As this show I had brought with me models to explain how and where I had used the weathering liquids, and to what effect.

It was not the most glamorous of set ups, and it didn't show off everything, but it did do the job. And although it was close to the bottles, nothing got knocked over throughout the entire show! I call that a success!!!!

In the end as well, all my stickers and cards were given out. So hopefully we will see some new followers in the weeks to follow ( or at least new likes on the Facebook page? ).

Throughout the day though the booth was swamped. Many visitors came over to get a live demo from Alan and his team, or came over to me to ask for examples and how to use it in a particular model or 2.

Am really happy to have bought the Skitari robots and painted them up quickly as they were great to give quick explanations about how to use the products, and see different techniques with a single bottle.

Plenty of friends popped by as well, and some we even managed to get some selfies in with! Huzzah!

Thanks again to all of that! Was great to put names to faces ( and some I can even remember! ) and being able to catch up in person with others.

Was also able to get out and catch up with a couple of traders as things were still setting up. Some also did photos with me!

Great to see Infamy and Ax Faction set up and looking as sharp as ever! Would have tried for shots with Armored Syndicate and Guild Ball but both were swamped with buyers and I had to get back to the booth to help out. Next time for sure!

Oh and yeah.. some on Facebook have already seen it, but for those not.. here was the swap list... compulsory public shaming of myself it seems...

A quick breakdown of things that stand out and I remember buying deliberately instead of impulse were..

  • 3 full teams, mascots, and rulebook for Guildball!
  • A full restock of the Modelmates product line ( including some of the newly released dropper bottles! )
  • Infamy Black Market tote bag complete with goodies ( sans Jo bust.. to come later though ;) )
  • Maria from Armoured Syndicate game by Megaton Games
  • Japanese Dice bag and more Bolt Action dice from Warlord
  • 4 Engima 54mm models from Troll Traders bargin bin
  • A Deepsea diver metal monster in 54mm from Troll Trader bargin bin again
  • 5 Weird War British Robot soldiers from a stand near Warlords.. ( saw them painted, and complete impulse buy! )
  • pack of 4 Zombie Christmas models.. no idea where from, complete impulse buy
  • Medieval Merchant bust from MDP on sale
  • Medieval Lord 54mm figure from Figone
  • Kyle Reese Terminator LE piece for a club mate locally
So expect the next several weeks to have some reviews of everything.. some more in depth than others.. but it was a great day and plenty of things to now run off and do! Including actually working on a proper showcase painting project! Let's see if I can make that real and keep the momentum going with it!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

LvL Up - Bolt Action 1 day Tournament...

So last Saturday I headed down to the city of Bournemouth to play a 1 day tournament of Bolt Action. Some might remember the battle reports from last year where my Japanese took over the local gaming club in a sweep of fire and bloody hand to hand combat.

I can honestly say that this account of actions will not be anything like that as it seems that some elite players, and Bob, arrived to the tournament to spice things up :) And handed me my rear end time and time again :) Oh and it seems that my dice completely abandoned me throughout the first 2 games to the point of me going WTF?!?!?!!??!!

My first opponent is also a sculptor and miniature wargames manufacturer. Young Mad Bob, from Mad Bob Miniatures.

He brought a very nasty list of Russians that consisted of more flamers and mmgs than one should have at 750 points. Really.. I mean this.. how the heck someone can get this into this list is beyond me.. but it was a strong tournament list. Heck.. he came second with it ( which begs the question of how hard the first place list was ;) ).

Our scenario was Secret Mission, and the mission crate was just off center from the mega hotel building sitting int he middle of the table. With his truck filled with 2 units of 5 veteran engineers in body armor, and flamethrower each, vs my truck filled with inexperienced militia.. it was an interesting set up for that objective location. And of course my Ho-Ro, which is the bane of all armies.. decides that he doesn't like killing anything anymore and fails to do anything at all. Even with only a -1 to hit ( so needing 4s ) which normally is not a problem. Ah dice games.. and how they taunt us so!

As you can see, my truck didn't last too long, whereas the shooting from my side did sweet nothign against him. But most of my troops and units were on the table at this time at least. Now with another truck with another 2 units of the same engineers bearing down on me, and the inexp free troops setting up for charges as well. I do believe that I was able to kill one of the units in close combat here, but there were still 3 more kicking around to cause me havoc.

Turn 3 sees me capturing the objective, and running down towards my side of the table with it, but also seeing my lose 3 of my units, another truck, and have the objective contested with his last 2 engineers. Though the rest are now fully dead, but he still has a huge unit of free troops, and 2 trucks, and his 2 trucks with quad mmgs running around. Cause my Ho-Ro can only pin and cause fear to one of them instead of blowing it up like he should do!

Turns 4-6 are pretty easy to see what happened. I lost the first dice, and thus lost my unit, and he then proceeds to set up on how to take the goods away. My Ho-Ro doing very little, if anything, to stop them with their abysmal rolls.

So I lose my first game to Mad Bob.. and he doesn't look too surprised.. does he?

I think when I began to puff up my chest at him this face was made.. but I can't be sure.. was a good learning experience though, and there were a few things I could have done differently to turn the game around. Not that Bob would make any comments on what those were, or give me advice throughout the game, but that is another thing..

In the end I got 3 VPs vs the 8 I gave Bob.. not a good start...

Game 2 was against a great guy whose name I have forgotten. I think it was Tom.. I can't be sure. But he had an epic beard that my camera refused to capture properly due to how epic it truly was.

This time I was up against the Brits, with their free arty observer. Normally not scared of them as they typically misfire back onto their own troops.. let's see if that happened here..

Scenario here was Annihilation. So kill the enemy, and gain points doing so. I figured a good en-mass approach would do wonders against him.. WTF was I thinking here???!?!?!! though all came on nicely, and the trucks were intimidating to him to say the least. And the ho-ro on the other side did kill 3 guys on his side immediately, but did very few pins in the end.

Still no arty here yet, but only cause the guy just came on second turn. Meanwhile I am locking up some pins on my units from small arms fire, no biggie. And my ho-ro begins to regret coming out it seems. So he forgets about how to fire..

BOOOOOM.. WTF???!? So the artillery comes down, as planned, and takes out both trucks! His only 6s he rolls.. expect when he wants to place pins on my units! Pretty much screwed here, and the shooting on them makes them worse. Oh and at this point the ho-ro gets put under with pins from small arms fire ( go open topped vehicles! ).

I begin to regret even more taking the trucks, and not having more troops...

Again basically at Turn 4.. things go downhill for me. Everything is pinned to the point that I cannot do anything, and he plays smart enough not to get into my charge range ( though earlier in Turn 2 I had forewarned him about how bad of a choice that would be..

Only highlight is that my Lieutenant is a sniper. Taking off a man from the right most unit each round until the end.. only failing to wound even though he was needing 6s for a while there to hit! Everyone else will be standing trial for how badly they did, and then put to rest I believe!

So another major loss for me.. I think I killed 2 units total here. 2.. and he got 6.. Not doing great on VPs either atm..

Game 3... again can't remember his name, but it was a hilarious game in the end.

Many things died in the first turn.. and the objective this time was Demolition.. so get to the enemy Vodka, touch it, and be touching it at the end of a turn. Neither one of us stuck around our objectives to defend it, and instead got stuck in the middle here to beat each other with sticks.

I honestly do not remember what happened each turn as most of the memory of the turns was spent on making fun of each other, and calling each other names in silly accents. Great fun! More so when near the end he only had his quad MMG truck ( need to find one of those!!! ) which was running around the table killing me. With his fully loaded truck of doom failing to arrive even though it only needed a 8 or lower to come on! Probably didn't help that I kept calling out numbers higher than 8, then him rolling them, and cursing me from speaking again. As he began to roll whatever I called out for their reserve roll :)

Only game I won, and honestly at this point I shouldn't have! Since if I had lost it I could have gotten last place, the coveted Wooden Spoon award, but alas the objective was right there and taking that away from him would have been too much.

So in the end I got 5th out of 6 places. But I did have at least 2 great games ( Bob looking at you for that first game.. grrr... :) ). But a major piece of insight came out from playing in the tournament.. I am not a tournament player. Would prefer to have fun, throw some dice, have a laugh, and teach or learn how the game is played more than worrying about if I win/lose or draw. Sad that another player in the tournament ( not Bob.. though.. with his list... ;) ) did not understand this concept and forgot that it was just a game. Oh well.. good luck to them in the future.

Though seeing the gaming store ( LVL Up in Bournemouth, UK ), I hope to be able to head down there every so often for another game or 2 against some of the locals ( or store owner ) to catch up and get in some laughs! Now to get back to painting this force to make them look nicer.. and see how that goes!
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