Tuesday 28 August 2012

20 Questions

...better late than never!

Fearing that the weather was going to be against us as we embarked on our restorative Bank Holiday weekend, I decided to take along Fran & Ray's 20 questions as a bit of fun.  It has to be said that there have already been some rather wonderful submissions from other erstwhile bloggers, but for what it worth here are mine.  Deliberately lighthearted and most definitely not to be taken too seriously.

1.   Favourite Wargaming period and why?
The Victorian Era - a rich tapestry of derring-do that has been woven into the psyche of every red-blooded Englishman! 

2.   Next period, money no object?
Regular readers to '28mm Victorian Warfare' will know that I can be distracted by the merest hint of something new and shiny and will therefore not be surprised to hear that I have had my eye on several other eras that include, in no particular order:
A very British Civil War
First Word War 

3.   Favourite 5 films?
A choice of five - impossible!  That said here are few that forced their way to the top when I started to think about it!
Kelly's Heroes
Star Wars
A Matter of Life and Death

4.   Favourite 5 TV series?
The Professionals
Fawlty Towers
The Man from Atlantis
Blackadder Goes Forth 

"Millions have died, but our troops have advanced no further than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping. "
Captain Blackadder

5.   Favourite book and author?

6.   Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
Joan of Arc; perhaps not the most tactically astute military leader, but at seventeen years of age she is the youngest person in history to command the armies of a nation, a shame then that she was fighting for the enemy!

7.   Favourite Wargames rules?
Tricky one this seeing that I've not yet managed to roll a die in anger.  I've bought numerous rules over the past twelve months including Black Powder, 2Hours Wargames, Triumph & Tragedy and Tooth & Claw.  I'll just have to hold off deciding until I actually play one!

8.   Favourite Sport and team?
Cricket has always been a passion; I used to love to play,  knowing all the shots, the only problem was that I used to execute them in the wrong order! As for a team, it is hard to top England's Rugby World Cup winning side of 2003.

'This is the one. He drops for World Cup glory ... It's up! It's over! He's done it! Jonny Wilkinson is England's hero yet again'
Ian Robertson on Radio 5 Live

9.   If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
Now there is a question; is it a oneway time machine?  Can I get back?  I've read some tremendous answers for this elsewhere, but mine would be a little more mundane.  May1895, Bristol; a county cricket match between Gloucestershire and Somerset.  A certain W. G. Grace would go on to complete his hundredth century.  

10.   Last meal on Death Row?
My thoughts for this were immediately drawn to childhood favourites; a last meal on Death Row just seemed a bad time to experiment with culinary tastes - imagine if you didn't like something!  So my last meal consisted of a classic '1970s Prawn Cocktail', my Mother's 'Best End of Lamb' and 'Brandy Snaps' filled with cream.

11.   Fantasy relationship and why?
My darling wife, the Saintly Mrs. Awdry; the most loving, supportive and loyal person in my life.

"My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me."
Winston Churchill

12.   If your life were a movie, who would play you?
A whole plethora of quintessentially British actors spring to mind including the likes of David Niven,  Sir John Gielgud, Sir Alec Guinness, I'd even consider Daniel Craig at a push, but realistically speaking it will most likely fall to Matt Lucas!

13.   Favourite Comic  Superhero?
Not technically a superhero but Rouge trooper from 2000AD was always a favourite.

14.   Favourite Military quote?
'Broadsword calling Danny Boy, Broadsword calling Danny Boy!' 
(yes I know 'Where Eagles Dare' is not real!)

15.   Historical destination to visit?
One day I hope to visit the First World War cemeteries in France and Belgium.

16.   Biggest Wargaming regret?
Not starting this most wholesome of hobbies sooner!

17.   Favourite Fantasy job?
Professional miniature painter; the only problem is that as I paint so slowly we would probably starve!

18.   Favourite Song, Top 5?
Five, really?  Well in no particular order;
The Fly - U2
Wish you were here - Pink Floyd
Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack
When you were young - The Killers
Daydream Believer - The Monkees

19.   Favourite Wargaming Moment?
Another of those tricky wargaming questions that are difficult to answer, but in a loosely related way meeting up with fellow enthusiasts and bloggers at this years' 'Salute' was certainly a highlight.

20.   The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
Snapping a shoe lace!
Missing items in a takeaway delivery!
Delayed trains and subsequent missed connections!

Saturday 25 August 2012

Retaking Burma...

one base at a time.

Just the briefest of posts as 'Team Awdry' braces itself for what promises to be a rather soggy Bank Holiday break.  Not new, per se, but certainly recently reworked (the original post can be found here.) as I face up to the grim reality that the original lipped bases need to be replaced.  They just seem unwieldy compared to the delicate frames of these Burmese warriors; a base that is as wide as the miniature is tall is, on reflection, a little bit of overkill!  

Whilst tinkering with these I've discovered the standard bearers that need to be done and some British troops to balance the sides! 

The Jingal team was also rebased using a 40mm MDF base from the wonderful 'Warbases'.

I will need to catch up with your posts and comments after the weekend.

Friday 24 August 2012

Terror-cotta Warrior Zombie Command

More of the wonderful 'Terror-cotta Warrior Zombies!!' by 'John Jenkins Designs UK', this time the command group.  A little more macabre, particularly the improvised drums hanging around the musician's next.  Painted in exactly the same way as the earlier post ('Terror-cotta Warrior Zombies!!') with the possessed, fiery red eyes lifted shamelessly from Paul's amazing 'Terracotta Terrors'.

These chaps did allow for a little indulgence in the gore stakes, which I duly lapped up!  Now we just need to discover who is controlling these ceramic cadavers,  

the fires of hell  burning in the belly of these ancient zombies, whose flickering and flaming eyes bring instant fear and paralysis to all who dare gaze upon their kiln hardened bodies. 
(thank you Jay!)

Just how will Holmes, Shaggy and Baskerville cope?

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Terror-cotta Warrior Zombies!!

From the files of the 'secret project' come these fabulous zombies by 'John Jenkins Designs UK'.  I had originally seen these as part of an inspirational Blood Bowl team 'Terracotta Terrors' by Paul from 'the Man Cave' and around the same time my good friend, the 'Provost Marshal' sent me the link to the company; he really does excel at finding things to spend my pocket money on!  I just had to have them, but it wasn't going to be as easy as all that.  It transpires that the chaps at JJDUK no longer have a manufacturer and have subsequently run out of stock.  Because I had ordered online, before the website had been updated, they honoured the purchase by shipping in the missing parts of my order from John Jenkins' private stash in Hong Kong - now that is customer service!

Great fun to paint, just dry brushing really and picking out a few details here and there, it is such a shame I can't get anymore of these, but onto more important matters as in how to shoehorn them into the 'secret project'!

The Qin leader, Qin Shihuang, conquered the warring states, united China and became known as The First Emperor.  In his tomb at Xian lies a terrifiying secret; one of the occult wonders of the ancient world. Over 6000 warriors were slain and preserved by a hideous ancestoral ritual, cursed to serve their master and protect him... for eternity.  (courtesy of JJDUK website)  

For all eternity that is until the figures, dating from 3rd century BC, were discovered in 1874 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province.  What followed was the wholesale plunder of these ancient artefacts on an industrial scale.  A unscrupulous bunch of grave robbers set about the transportation to Europe and the New World smuggling the artefacts in with legitimate goods, normally tea or silk.  Finding their way into private collections around the world the splintered army was to remain an impotent totem of a long lost civilisation, but then the unspeakable would happen; the curse would be awoken!  

Monday 20 August 2012

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

...farewell to Ryle and the Hunter.

I have been fighting the urge to do Ray and Fran's '20 Questions' over the weekend in a bid to get some more work done on the challenge and so here we are, what might prove to be my last post for 'A Tale of 3 Painters' and I have to confess that I have rather mixed feelings about the whole thing.  

Buoyed with the success of the metallic work on the Hunter model I approached it very much in the same manner here, using 'Tin Bitz' as a base and reaching for the 'Vallejo Matt Medium' to help with building up of the washes.  Blue has become the colour of choice for all power circuits and has remained so on Ryle's huge metallic hand and helmet.  Once again in a bid to paint something other than metal his knee support was done as a leather and canvas contraption.  Final touches included a wooden handle on the crank operated gatling gun and blood stains on the bandages (a mix of magenta ink and sepia wash).

As my contribution to 'A Tale of 3 Painters' comes to an end I can honestly say that it has been a wonderful experience as well as a steep learning curve!  There have been times of self doubt  along the way, but although we have all been woking on different miniatures it has felt very much a collaboration; without the hints and tips that I picked up from both Andy and Mike I would never have been able to have completed these two to the standard that I have achieved.   

Having invested a considerable amount of time into both Ryle and the Hunter, I feel loathed to hand them back, but return them I must and I hope to have them packed and shipped by the end of the week.  What happens next is very much up to YOU.  Mike 'The Dark Templar' has been woking tirelessly behind the scenes, promoting the project but also amassing a considerable amount of goodies from some very prominent, not to mention generous, companies.  If you are interested in getting your hands on this bundle of joy, then keep following the progress of Andy and Mike, who will be releasing more details on the project as it progresses to its inevitable climax - the auction.

I would just like to thank you all for your continued support and especially those that posted such encouraging comments, it really did help to keep me going.


As always don't forget to keep up to date with the others, Andy Walker at 'The Lair of the Breviks' and  'The Dark Templar' himself, Mike Reynolds.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Here, Kitty Kitty...

a 'Tale of 3 Painters' update.

For someone whose use of metallic paint is normally restricted to the cold, steel tip of a bayonet or the occasional flashing sabre of a cavalry officer, to suddenly be faced with a miniature that is completely made up of metal elements was a tad overwhelming.  I have to confess that on more than one occasion I started to think that I was well and truly out of my depth with this beastie.   

Then along came the revelation that was, Vallejo Matt Medium; Mike, 'The Dark Templar' Reynolds had made reference to this wonderproduct in his earlier post 'A Tale of 3 Painters… Week 1 Summary'.  What it allowed me to do was to successfully add washes without them being repelled by the shiny, metallic surface that I had laid down; I can't tell you what a boon this was to someone with limited experience in this area!  

The concept of repeatedly layering on washes, building the depth of the paint was another technique that I don't tend to use on a regular basis, but when I saw the breathtaking work done by Andy Walker over at his 'Lair of the Breviks' I knew I had to raise my game a little; the metalwork on the Watcher  miniature that he is currently working on really has been an inspiration.  

With this in mind I excavated some aged Games Workshop 'Tin Bitz', which helped to create the tabby cat stripes that I was looking to achieve, then set about layering black ink, then a lighter tone of paint and then another wash of 'Devlan Mud'.  Trying to incorporate 'Guild' red into the miniature I painted a shoulder plate on either side of the Hunter, (think, "these aren't the droids we're looking for" Stormtroopers) these armbands with a liberal scattering of red autumnal leaves should give a subtle nod to the 'Guild'.

Mike had suggested that he was going to be using greys for his base so it seemed to make sense to do the same, picking out he odd cobble here and there and then washing with 'Devlan Mud'.  Aping Mike again, blue was used for the power source and the tube linking the neck to the head was painted to replicate rubberised canvas, any excuse to avoid painting metal!

I'm sure that I could continue to work up areas and there may yet be an opportunity to tidy up one or two mistakes, but overall I'm pretty pleased with what I've achieved to date.


As always don't forget to keep up to date with the others, Andy Walker at 'The Lair of the Breviks' and  'The Dark Templar' himself, Mike Reynolds.

Monday 6 August 2012

A Tale of 3 Painters... an update

The glorious British summer deemed fit to make a brief appearance this weekend on the 'Sunshine Coast', at least long enough to finally get a undercoat on my allotted miniatures for 'A Tale of 3 Painters'.  Slowly but surely I am starting to get my head around the crazy, mixed up alternative world that is Malifaux and more importantly the characters that I have to paint.

To say I have been apprehensive about the challenge would be an understatement, especially given the exulted company that I find myself in, but in the end I have taken Mike 'The Dark Templar' Reynolds' words to heart and just paint as I would normally.

The obvious place to start seemed to be the skin on the Ryle character and I've just used my normal palette that I employ on my standard 28mm miniatures.  The usual 'Pseudo-Impressionistic' style had to be tidied up a bit on this slightly larger miniature, but we got there in the end.  

One of the only restrictions was that we had to include 'Guild' red somewhere on the characters and I had been racking my brain as to how to do this.  The obvious thing to do was to paint the trousers red, but I thought that would be too dominating a colour for the rest of the miniature and in the end created the striped effect on his trousers softening the glare of the red with an ochre; well I was told to interpret the miniatures as I saw fit!  

I've yet to start the 'Hunter' character, but I'm considering building this stipe motif into that miniature; a sort of terrifying, techno tabby!  Who knows where this will end up!

As always don't forget to keep up to date with the others, Andy Walker at 'The Lair of the Breviks' and  'The Dark Templar' himself, Mike Reynolds.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

And we're off...

The Tale of 3 Painters begins.

Just the briefest of posts to 'kick off' my leg of 'A Tale of 3 Painters' charity challenge.  Yesterday I received my allocated miniatures in the post form 'The Dark Templar', the evil mastermind behind the project!  Already assembled and based by Mike, all I need to do is clean up a few lines and get on and paint the beasties!

So what did I get?  

Ryle and a Hunter!  This means almost nothing to me, so before I get much further I need to get my head around what exactly the 'Malifaux' universe is all about.  

Based in an alternate Earth, Malifaux uses gothic, steampunk, Victorian horror with a dose of the wild west to inject fun and depth into the magical lawlessness of a world rife with monsters, necropunks, man-machine hybrids, gunslingers, and power-hungry politicos. Actively using character-driven stories to define the world of Malifaux, seek your fortune in this fast-paced and brutal 32mm tabletop miniature skirmish game. Assemble your crew and stake your claim! 
The Malifaux Record 

Well that all sounds encouraging enough and includes a few themes that I'm familiar with and plenty more that I will thoroughly enjoy researching into, but who on earth are Ryle and the Hunter?

Ryle is Hoffman's brother, (Hoffman heads up the new 'Flesh-Construct Grafting Illegality Division'; keep up everybody!) and has gone through some severe changes since arriving in Malifaux.  Ryle, desperate for a treatment for his polio, was left helpless when Breach Psychosis grabbed hold and ravaged his body. Only through the quick intervention of Dr. Viktor Ramos did Ryle survive - but as more machine than man, armed with a Gatling Gun to vaporise the enemy, peachy! 

"The Hunter stalks its prey like a feline predator from the wilds. It has a penchant to wait in ambush and pounce on its unwary prey. With a vicious chain spear, it can pull its reluctant targets into its eager, flurrying claws."  That is one cat you don't want to meet in a dark alley then!

Mike has given us a free reign to interpret the miniatures as we see fit (he may live to regret that decision!) with the only consideration that we try and incorporate 'Guild' red, but who on earth were the Guild again?  The idea is that we try to post progress reports to keep the momentum rolling so please continue to lend your support to the project.  Don't forget to keep up to date with the others as well, Andy Walker at 'The Lair of the Breviks' and of course 'The Dark Templar' himself, Mike Reynolds.

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