Saturday, 4 July 2015

Paint Table Saturday#87



Well school is out for summer and the hardest decision I expect to have face over the next couple of days is what to do first?  Whilst there hasn't been much in the way of painting of late there has been some preparation and list making.* One of the first things that I would like to see done is the completion of the Penguin Crew so that I can realistically challenge Messrs. Templar and Feb to a game.  

*In fact I seem to have lists on lists at the moment!


Of course this has meant that, once again, I have had to do battle with the often over complicated casts of the Dark Knight Miniatures.  Don't get me wrong, I love the sculpts and the characters, but was it really necessary to have them cast in so many pieces?  Above is the arm of Penguin Emperor minus his electric baton that I inadvertently snapped off early on in the proceedings - not my finest moment and I certainly wasn't proud of the language that was heard ringing around the halls of 'Awdry Towers'.


To make matters worse, I was then faced with another hobby dilemma in regard to basing.  For my first members of the crew, including the Penguin himself, I had opted for some rather splendid resin bases from 'Element Games', but some of the new crew members came with pre moulded detail bases - what to do?  Eventually deciding for uniformity I ordered up some more old factory bases only to discover that the design had changed somewhat - this really was becoming tiresome!  Still with some determination, fortitude and a modicum of bad language the final crew members were drilled, pinned, filled and ultimately based - phew! 


No sooner were they assembled and on the paint table when my 'Studio Miniatures' Kickstarter dropped onto the mat and once again I am distracted -you've got to love this hobby!  I am sure in the coming weeks I will eventually get something done, but just for the moment I'm just going to sit and stare at the nice new shiny toys.


Don't forget to visit the rest of the 'Paint Table Saturday' community here.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Warlord Games Clubmen


 I've made mention in the past at just how frustrating I found these 'Warlord Games' Clubmen as the miniatures themselves are horrible to prepare. So much flash and so many mould lines, especially in what is a relatively new line of models. Still, a saving grace is the character that they manage to squeeze into them and when painted they do really look rather good.  With regards to painting, I need to add at this point that I have been hugely influenced by the tremendous work of 'Stone Cold Lead' in fact much of the colour palate that you see here is lifted directly from his versions, they really are sublime.


What I hadn't realised when assembling the team was just how many follicly challenged men were in the club! For the life of me, I can't remember if the pack came with alternative headwear or if you had to buy these as an optional extra from 'Warlord Games'* but not to worry, especially given that I sport a similar hairstyle!

*I suspect the latter

With the addition of these chaps, particularly those with muskets the band is starting to take shape, but how will there fare against the denizens of the night? Stand and fight or flee in terror? 


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Unleash the Hounds of Hell!



Those of my beloved readers that work in the education sector will appreciate just how fraught this time of year can be.  That's not to say that it things are bad, just busy and consequently I have had little time to devote to the blog.  In a bid to keep the readership entertained, I have a preprepared post for just such an occasion, but must apologise from the outset, as this is going to be a very picture heavy post!  It is with some relief that I am happy to post these completed Barguest.  What, you may ask, is a Barguest?  Well to quote directly from the 'Witchfinder Rule Book' they are,
"The feared gigantic demon dog - bred by the vampire to serve and protect.  These foulest of creations cause terror to anyone that has displeased their master.  The barguest can move at the speed of the fastest steed, its powerful jaws render limbs from a man with ease and razor sharpened back bones can disembowel a horse at the gallop."

So, the Barguest, a terrifying spectral hound, with fierce, flaming eyes and frightful table manners has cemented its place in English folklore with sightings throughout the country, but with a predominance to the bleak moors of Yorkshire Dales. In fact the legend of a monstrous black dog is believed, by some, to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.


For me these Hell Hounds brought to mind the legend of the Beast of GĂ©vaudan, where an animal of unknown origin described as having, "a big head, reddish flanks, a black stripe on its back and a thick tail", terrorised an area of France in the Margeride Mountains between 1764 and 1767. The legend has subsequently been brought to life in the oh so French, but oh so wonderful 'Brotherhood of the Wolf''. A film by Christophe Gans, this is a strange creation fitting, as it does, into a multitude of genres namely, French, historical, horror, action and even martial arts. Starring Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Emilie Dequenne, Vincent Cassel and the eminently watchable, Monica Bellucci - certainly worth a look if you not come across it before.


My Barguests are in fact Hellhounds from 'Heresy Miniatures', which seem to be my 'go to' company for the forces of evil!  You have a choice of four different poses that will require some modelling skills to put together.  Lashings of green stuff and super glue did the job for me, but what I hadn't realised when I originally picked them up at 'Salute 2014' was that there is also a choice of heads too!*

 *six to be exact! 


It wasn't until I finally sat down to work on them that I realised my oversight and although the random selection of heads that I had amassed were perfectly serviceable, I just fancied a bit more uniformity.  Fortunately for me the very splendid Andy Foster of the aforementioned 'Heresy Miniatures' was able to sort me out with a matching set of 'Evil Scoobie' heads to complete my build.


Having pinned them to some 'Warbases' MDF cavalry bases and undercoated with my favoured black spray the rest of the colour scheme rather chose itself; raven black fur - check!  Razor sharp back bones - check!  Fierce, flaming red eyes - check!


In essence the painting was all fairly straightforward, but I do finding making black look interesting a challenge.    I did take a bit of time to match their bases to those of the 'Noctelinger' that I had done earlier and, as mentioned before, the Heresy miniatures do take a bit of work, but are certainly worth the effort.  Wonderful sculpts with subtle variations in pose, not to mention all those head choices give so many options when it comes to putting a pack together.



"There is a foul stench on the air tonight, carrying with it a howl so terrifying that any would be traveller would be wise to seek the safety of their home as the Barguest was abroad. Flushed from the shadows by the guttering torch, the red eyes glowered at its intended prey. With unnatural pace and strength the beast powered forwards leaving only enough time for a single shot; the puritan levelled his pistol, composed himself and fired…"

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Paint Table Saturday#84



Flushed with the success of finally finishing my 'Penguin Crew', I set about unearthing the other Batman Miniatures that I picked up at 'Salute 2015'. Having carefully unpacked them, I tentatively shook a small file at a couple of pieces and duly stopped - I just wasn't ready to do battle with them quite yet.  Instead I set about prepping and basing a small flock of Dodos from 'Freebooter Fate' range.  I know that there was a good reason why I ended up purchasing these, but for the life of me, I'm struggling to remember! 


Some painting has happened today though with the 'Rocket Penguins' getting a little colour on them, but I'm afraid progress has been painfully slow of late. 


Don't forget to visit the rest of the 'Paint Table Saturday' community here.


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Penguin Crew


As easily distracted as I am, by popular culture crossovers or miniatures that rekindle memories from my childhood, it was perhaps inevitable that as soon as I saw the series of posts by the ‘Dark Templar’ and ‘Bullcher Feb’ charting their assembling of crews for the Batman Miniatures game that any sense of willpower or restraint evaporated. Always keen to muscle in on their gaming aspirations* I decided that I would quietly go about building my own crew, but with the Batman and the Joker already bagged who to choose?
*Both gentlemen have been incredibly accommodating in the past


As a child I remember avidly watching re-runs of the television programme staring Adam West in the title role.  Saturday mornings were spent transfixed by the comic book violence, gaudy costumes and of course that theme tune.  But it was Burgess Meredith’s portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot, a gentlemen villain of impeccable taste that young Awdry hoped to see do battle with the Caped Crusader; the Penguin it was then!


If truth be told I had had an eye on these models for a while now, but with no obvious justification nothing had happened, of course when the boys started playing that was all the excuse I needed!  There is no getting away from it, they are not cheap to buy; the price you pay for holding an official licence I presume?  Not only expensive, many of the models I have had to deal with seem unnecessarily complicated to put together.  I had been forewarned about this by reading the ‘Dark Templar’ and ‘Bullcher Feb’ posts and my experiences were certainly no different.


Given their weighty price tag, I was keen to show the models off to the best of my ability and to me this meant investing in some resin scenic bases.  Of course with this decision comes the need for further assembling and pinning.  I am always worried about this process and on more than one occasion have watched in horror as the tip of my pin vice has emerged through the ankle of the miniature of choice.  This isn’t the end of the world with a £1.50 rank and file troop but close to a major incident if it happens to a Knight Model at £7 a pop!  Of course it is not just the basing, oh no there are the arms and wrists to do, lots more potential for disaster, but when attaching the limbs there is not only is the pinning to contend with there is the alignment too!  I’m sure with practice that this gets easier but I’m struggling with it.  Again on a cheaper model I’ve been known to plug all manner of deformity with the ubiquitous green stuff, but what you don’t want is a significant monetary investment taking to the field of play to the chants of, “here comes Quasimodo” – people can be so cruel.


Anyway, I digress, as with patience and considerable good fortune the first three members of the Penguin’s crew were assembled.  Yes I know that there should have been a fourth but the less said about the Penguin Emperor’s snapped electric baton and his subsequent near launch into orbit the better.  Ultimately I was left with something that looked pretty damned special, even if I do say so myself, but that’s where it stalled suddenly as I was struck down with a paralysis of doubt and worry about what colour to paint them.


In the end I pretty much followed the packaging as a guide with the thugs wearing grey/white/silver puffer jackets and orange for the tops.  The combat trousers would also remain but for some reason I tried to replicate DPM – I still don’t know where this idea came from.  Then there was the main man; well purple just came flooding back perhaps due to the original television programme but I was also conscious that purple was very much the Joker’s colour so perhaps not too much.  In the end I went for the waistcoat and hat band and of course as soon as I had done these I saw Simon Quinton’s (Brummie’s Wargaming Blog) Penguin crew that he had linked together with the colour blue and made a mental note to myself to be less dictated to by reference and allow my own creativity to flourish.


As a final detail, I've added a smattering of snow to the bases, which covers a multitude of sins and will prove particularly useful when it comes to disguising the joins on the rocket penguins! 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Paint Table Saturday#83


A slow week hobby wise as we get back into the swing of things after the half term break.  That said, I have managed to make a little progress on the Penguin, opting for some purple as a nod to Burgess Meredith's character in the 60's television series.


Not one to let progress get in the way of a nice division, I've also managed to work up the bases of my rocket penguins!


Don't forget to visit the rest of the 'Paint Table Saturday' community here.



Saturday, 30 May 2015

Paint Table Saturday#82


After the excitement of posting my progress with the 'tea time Crimean War miniatures' earlier in the week, today marks the return to the more prosaic work in progress of 'Paint Table Saturday'.  Those eagled eyed visitors amongst you will also have noticed that '28mm Victorian Warfare' now has its own Paint Table badge not, I hasten to add, as a bid to claim ownership of the event,* but purely as an aesthetic consideration given that this seems to make up the bulk of my posts at the moment.

*Link to the rest of the 'Paint Table Saturday' community can be found at the foot of the page.

So a good week, hobby wise has seen me finally pluck up the courage to tackle the Penguin crew that have been sitting on the table for far too long.  If truth be told, I have been somewhat apprehensive about starting these hugely characterful sculpts, worried that I might not do them the justice that they deserve, but by starting with the bases I soon started to relax and have some fun with them.

Bases complete** it was on to the faces and straight away the character was born!  Feeling buoyed with confidence, I thought I would tackle the thugs' camouflage trousers but wanted them to look more like the DPM pattern that the British Army used to wear; I have no idea why, it just had to be so!  

**I'm thinking about adding some snow at the end.


Just in case anyone is interested the following palette of Vallejo Model Colour was used for the trousers:

1. Base coat with Basalt Grey 
2. Large sections, running horizontally added with Sky Grey
3. Smaller patches applied, overlapping where possible, with Silver Grey
4. Final thin and irregular lines added with Black




Hopefully I'll get some time to push them on a little this morning, but I know there is a list of 'end of holiday' chores awaiting my attention!  Don't forget to visits the rest of the 'Paint Table Saturday' community here.
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