Friday 23 December 2016

Happy Christmas one and all!

Yes, I know this is a tad early, but I am unlikely to get much time at the computer over the next couple of days.  I just wanted to wish all visitors to '28mm victorian Warfare' a very Happy Christmas.  I must thank all of you that have visited and followed but in particular a huge thank you to those of you that take the the time to leave comments.  The encouragement  this engenders is immeasurable and not only maintains the enjoyment but helps to build the sense of community that has been a wonderful by-product of 'blogging'.

Happy Christmas

Tuesday 13 December 2016

I'm still here...


More a proof of life post than anything else, I just wanted to apologise for not being as prolific with my comments around the Blogosphere as I would have liked.  I know that I have missed a great many posts from the splendid blogs that I like to follow, but with the long Michaelmas Term finally drawing to a close tomorrow, I am hoping to start to redress this.  

There has been nothing too sinister to report other than a mountain of reports and all the festivities that come with the run up to Christmas, but with one thing or other my hobby time seems to have evaporated somewhat of late.  

'Dinovember' ground to a rather sudden halt, but looking back at the group photograph of all that was managed, I wasn't too disappointed with the output.  Another birthday has come and gone and I was fortunate enough to be gifted some additions to the lead pile and what with the arrival of a couple of Kickstarters, eagle eyed readers with have noticed that the '28mm Victorian Warfare' tally counter is perilously close to being in the red.

Speaking of eyes, I have also got round to getting some new glasses, including a pair of readers for close work - something that has been long overdue.  It baffles me that I managed to neglect something that is so precious to me for so long.
Finally, then, I feel it only right and proper to acknowledge the impending hobby juggernaut that is the 'VII Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge'.  I have once again thrown my hat into the ring with no fewer than ninety nine other painters and look forward to seeing what wonders will be produced over the winter period.  Prepping is underway, but one of the elements I am most looking forward to is the 'entry fee' that will see me collaborating with two of my fellow contributors to see what we can come up with as a team.
So once again it is time to hoist the Christmas banner atop the front page as I look forward to spending some time with family and friends.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

The Iron Mole!

Having completed my recent batch of ‘Antediluvian Miniatures’, it was inevitable that the next thing to hit the painting table was the Iron Mole.  I have wanted one of these splendid pieces from ‘Ironclad Miniatures’ for such a long time and with the release of the ‘not’ At the Earth’s Core Adventurers, I decided that the time had finally come to raid the piggy bank and purchase one.
As I was scrutinising the ‘Ironclad Miniatures’ website, I noticed that they do a version on tracks, but went for the one triumphantly emerging from the ground.  It is a large chunk of resin or more correctly three large chunks of resin that I glued and pinned together for added strength. 
Having primed the Iron Mole some time ago, I have been studiously ignoring it, worrying about how I was going to paint it.  Finally, when procrastination was no longer an option, I called upon the trusty airbrush and blocked in the metal and wood sections.  Buoyed with a renewed enthusiasm for the project, I employed a fair bit of dry brushing using successively lighter colours to achieve the desired effect.  With the addition of some weathering and detailing the job was done and I have to say that I’m rather pleased with the final result.
Looking at the paint table, I see this is likely to be the last entry for ‘Dinovember 2016’, what with news that the ‘VII Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’ is due to commence next month my attention will undoubtedly turn to prepping and planning.  Once again it has been great fun to indulge predilection for all things prehistoric and I thank all those that offered kind words of encouragement along the way.

Sunday 20 November 2016

At the earth's core

These latest additions to the collection are more from the curiously addictive ‘Antediluvian Miniatures’.  The adventures can actually be purchased across two different packs and are wonderfully named Shug McClure, Professor Peter Cushion and Caroline, I believe all sculpted by the talented Matthew Bickley*.
*Do let me know if this is not the case.
Now it is probably worth mentioning at this juncture the celluloid inspiration for these fabulous miniatures.  At the Earth's Core is one of those films that instantly stirs waves of nostalgia, but curiously is a film that I have not watched as often as I thought.  I revisited it not too recently and whist the steaming jungles and steamier Dia** were as I remembered them I seem to have erased from memory the giant, telepathic prehistoric birds!  I think on reflection that this might have been one of those occasions where young Master Awdry, having watched the film, had scurried off to consult the species in his vast library of dinosaur related material only to discover that they were an imaginary creature and therefore of no real importance.  Petulant at best, and I can but apologise for the Young Master’s intolerance, but it seems that these curious beasts still lack something today, that said the wrestling, bipedal, warthog like ‘dinosaurs’ are just superb! 
**Amply played by hugely talented Caroline Monroe.
Anyway I digress, instantly recognisable as having been inspired by the film, these were ‘must have’ sculpts and when it came to painting I decided not to be overly imaginative with the palette, taking I reference directly from the company’s website and of course the costume design worn in film.
What with these and the previously completed, ‘Raquel Scotch’, ‘Dinovember’ is starting to reawaken a Lost World vibe that I had previously suppressed.  Whilst not sure where this will ultimately lead, I know that my ‘Iron Mole’ has to be next!

Sunday 13 November 2016


I had hoped to have had this post to you somewhat earlier in the week, but a combination of the ever demanding day job and the lure of my armchair of an evening has meant that it has waited until now.  It seems almost incredulous to have 'Dinovember' without dinosaurs so allow me to present the imaginatively named Steggie.  Always one of my favourite dinosaurs, the Stegosaurus manages to combine attack and defensive qualities in equal measure, after all just look at that thagomizer!  
This fine specimen was kindly donated by that most splendid of gentlemen, Jeremy Winstanley Esq. of the 'Carrion Crow's Buffet' who had tracked down and captured the beastie in one of his earlier expeditions.  It was, in fact,  shipped with a companion, a mighty fine Iguanodon, something to look forward to next year perhaps?
Now I have to say that I am not overly keen on brightly coloured dinosaurs, Young Master Awdry  liked to keep things simple, Tyrannosaurus Rex was green, Triceratops was brown and Diplodocus was a daring shade of grey, that was pretty much your lot and quite frankly what more could a chap want?  It was no surprise then that I was immediately taken by Steggie's light tan plastic, but more and more recently I have been made aware of the radical thinking that these fabulous beasts might have been adorned with all manner of spurious and brightly coloured designs.  In fact I have some rather lovely 'Schleich' dinosaur toys proudly disporting their livery and so it seemed to make sense to match Steggie to my existing models, after all the only thing better than having a dinosaur is having a herd of them!
So having affixed the beast on a 'Warbases' MDF pill shaped base, I coaxed the trusty airbrush into life and set about laying down the colours that I felt best matched the larger model.  Although not completely confident in handling this piece of specialist equipment, the outcome was satisfactory and ultimately only needed a few hand painted additions to complete the job.  
Seeing them together, I have to say that I am rather pleased with the result looking, as they do, like a young family so all that remains is to thank Jez for his generous gift and to apologise for taking so long to paint it.

Sunday 6 November 2016

One Million Years BC!

This is a story of long, long ago; when the world was just beginning.
Welcome to this, the first post of 'Dinovember 2016'.  This is the month that I indulge in my love of all things Prehistoric, or at least things connected to that bygone age, no matter how tenuously!  My first offering is an adventurer from 'Antediluvian Miniatures' and one that is rather amusing titled, Raquel Scotch.  This delightful sculpt, as far as I am concerned, is a wonderful homage to Loana the fair, one of the central protagonists in Don Chaffey's One Million Years B.C.
Now I would like to tell you that this was one of Young Master Awdry's favourite films, but sadly this was not the case.  When I first saw it, I remember being decidedly unimpressed by the Dinosaur quotient even though they had been ably brought to life by the fine work of Ray Harryhausen.  Over time this disappointment gave way to the appreciation of the outstanding costume design, how Miss Welch's outfit was not oscar nominated still remains a mystery?
Now purely, in the interests of research, I decided to revisit this celluloid spectacular whilst painting the miniature and can report that I may have been a little hasty in my original analysis.  Yes there was still a sense of disappointment that the Dinosaurs didn't feature as much as I would have liked, but there were plenty more stand out performances that the ten year critic had missed; Martine Beswick's portrayal of Nupondi being an obvious one!  Still, I think that it is fair to say the special effects haven't aged well, but the whole adventure had a reassuringly nostalgic feel to it.
Returning to the miniature and I was happy to recreate the look of the film with the colour palette, not that there was a lot of outfit to paint!  Raquel actually came in a pack with a couple of adventurer types and I am hoping to share those with you over the coming month; for the time being let me leave you with one of the film's more memorable exchanges:

Loana: [pointing to Ahot] Ahot.
Ahot: [pointing to himself] Ahot.
Tumak: Ahot.
Loana: [pointing to Ahot] Ahot.
[pointing to herself] Loana.
[pointing to Tumak] Nnn?
Tumak: [misunderstanding] Ahot.
Loana: [pointing to Ahot] Ahot.
[pointing to herself] Loana.
[pointing to Tumak]
Tumak: Tumak.

I'm sure the scriptwriter had many a sleepless night coming up with that!  Hopefully a dinosaur up next if I manage to get the airbrush working this afternoon.

Monday 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween!

Although my official entries for this year’s ‘Zomtober’ have been completed, I was keen to get one more post done this month to celebrate all Hallows Eve.  The inspiration for this came to me whilst setting about a large squash, with a ridiculously sharp knife!  Having removed all evidence of the pumpkin flesh from the kitchen sink, and checked to see that the requisite number of fingers and thumbs were still in place, I went in search of what I thought would be the perfect offering, a pumpkin headed scarecrow!    
As with my previous effort, ‘If I only had a brain’ this lovely piece of resin is produced by ‘Ristul’s Extraordinary Market’ and is available in the United Kingdom through the wonderful ‘Bad Squiddo Games’.
I followed the exact same process as before, cutting a piece of coir matting to form the field with the addition of another Ristul scenic element in the shape of the pumpkin.  All of this was fixed to a 30mm ‘Warbases’ MDF disc and given a suitably sombre paint job.
So having put away my Walking Dead toys for the moment, it seemed like a good opportunity to post a group photograph of my ‘Zomtober’ offerings and once again offer my congratulations to all my fellow contributors for making this another memorable year.

Sunday 30 October 2016

The Walking Dead: All Out War

I wasn't planning on doing a post today, but then the postman arrived with a rather splendid box of plastic goodness!  Mantic's, The Walking Dead: All Out War was yet another Kickstarter and one that proved too irritable to resist.  As huge fan of the television programme, I have recently been enjoying the comics and when it was announced that antic had secured the rights to the comic book franchise, I knew this was going to a 'must have'.
Having backed Mantic's Mars Attacks, I was more than a little worried about the miniatures themselves and what they would be made of.  These worries soon evaporated when I exposed the first tier of the special Kickstarter edition box to reveal really good, hard plastic sculpts - phew! 
The second tier contained the cards, dice, some rather lovely vehicles and useful terrain pieces.  There was a handy, almost idiot proof, tutorial which I have run through this afternoon and I am confident that I should be able to get the hang of it.  There would appear to be plenty of scope for using it as a solo play venture, but I imagine the real fun would be playing one faction off against another in a two or more player game.  I like the threat level indicator that slowly rises through each turn making life that little be more difficult for the survivors, not unlike the experience bar in Zombicide.  Another thing to take into account is the outnumbering mechanic for the Walkers, which sees the dice they use for melee multiple alarmingly as their numbers rise - avoid being  swamped at all costs!
The sculpts themselves are pretty good and those who have enjoyed the comic books will really get a kick out of seeing the characters transferred from the page to the table.  So my first thoughts are positive, I'm not sure that it will replace the playability of Zombicide, but it seems to want to bridge a gap between wargame and boardgame and as such could be really enjoyable.  I have no doubt that those who play 7ombieTV or ATZ, will probably not see the need for another such game, but it might just be just what I need to get my zombie hoard on to the table top.

I suppose I should briefly mention the other Kickstarter that arrived before the half term break, Conan!  After backing this back in February 2015, this massive game finally arrived and I have to be honest that I was completely stunned by it.  The sheer scale of the game and the amazing amount of stretch goals meant that there was a little more than the usual raised eyebrow when the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' spied me trying to sneak this into the house!  Having had a good look, I have decided to pack this up and have a look after Christmas when I hopefully have a little more time.

A quick comparison shot with some Zombicide miniatures.


Friday 28 October 2016

Mir Ghouls

Zomtober 2016 - post#6
This is my last scheduled post for 'Zomtober 2016' and I must start by thanking all my fellow contributors for their mutual support and appreciation.  It has been another great year and wonderful to see so many undead miniatures shuffling of their respective painting tables.  A special mention should, of course, go to Leon, Rob and Simon whose original collaboration and coordination has made the event what it is - thank you!    
These unusual offerings are hapless zombie Cosmonauts from the Mir Space Station and were bought from 'Black Army Productions'.  One of those, 'Oh go on then', purchases as I was actually trying to track down a suitable Solomon Kane miniature for my 'Moon of Skulls' project when I came across them.  Never one to leave a shopping basket half empty they were added on a whim and have subsequently sat and waited for their turn on the table.
Having now finished them, I'm wondering if I missed a trick with these and perhaps they should have been based as if they were still abound the Space Station, destined to spend their time as zero gravity zombies - Zeds in Space perhaps?
So that's me done for another year, but I hope to have a sneaky Halloween post for Monday and a group shot of this year's miniatures if all goes to plan, but I shall need to tackle a couple more chores from the 'to do' list before the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' grants me some more hobby time! 

Sunday 23 October 2016

And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Zomtober 2016 - post#5
Having finally made it to the half term break it has been wonderful to find the time just to sit down and put the finishing touches to this latest 'Zomtober' post.  With The Walking Dead due to return to our television screens tomorrow* it seemed appropriate to mark the occasion with a couple of 'not' characters from 'Studio Miniatures'.  These, then, are Andy and Chandler and could perhaps pass for a certain father and son, as portrayed in the hit television series.
*I shall need to avoid the internet chatter in the morning as the programme with have already aired in America!

I am a big fan of the 'Studio Miniatures' range and have backed far too many of their Kickstarters, the most recent, Monster Madness, finishing only last week.  These latest examples mark a move away from the comic book characters and have taken a more rugged, survivor feel, perhaps more akin to the television characters.  
I couldn't resist digging out the earlier versions of the same characters that I painted back in 2013, under the title, 'A Post Apocalyptic Family'.  Again from 'Studio Miniatures' you can see what I mean about having a more comic book feel to them, especially the 'not' Carl Grimes.  Of course it, hopefully, won't be too long before I have another version of America's favourite post-zombie apocalypse father and son team to paint when my pledge for 'Mantic Games' The Walking Dead:All Out War game arrives!

Thursday 20 October 2016

Book Review#22. - Phil Watts, Zombie Killer

A very brief post today just to log the most recent addition to the ‘Awdry Towers’ library of frivolous and ridiculous literature.  David Allen's 'Phil Watts, Zombie Killer' is an appropriate title given that we are in 'Zomtober', but this is really only to be read by those with an unhealthy interest in all things undead.  

Quoting from the official blurb:

Imagine one day you are a paramedic trying to bring people back from the dead, and the next day they are coming back from the dead by themselves, then trying to bite you. This is what has happened to Phil Watts. Now he is holed up in a looted superstore, besieged by thousands of zombies. Knowing he is probably going to die Phil writes his Last Will and Testament although the only possessions he has are the clothes he is wearing, a Glock pistol with two rounds of ammunition and two blow up sex dolls he has promised to rescue.

This is a mercifully short edition, but it does have some genuinely funny moments particularly if, like me, you have any prior knowledge of Plymouth.*  The unusual premise of contacting the emergency services, in Phil Watt’s case the Ambulance Service, to dispatch any shambling, undead menace in your neighbourhood is novel, but the situation gets decidedly more complicated for our hero as events unfold in an often brutal and bloody manner.  Silly, cheap and quick to read.
*I spent a thoroughly enjoyable year there in my dim and distant past.

Sunday 16 October 2016

if a job's worth Dylan!

Zomtober 2016 - post#4
It's been another one of those weeks at work and there is now a real sense that winter is drawing in with shorter days and a noticeable drop in the temperature.*  So as the nights draw in and thoughts start to turn to 'The Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' there is still the small matter of completing 'Zomtober 2016'.  To that end allow me to present my latest offerings who are, one in the same, Dylan the Handywoman.  
*Thank you to all my Antipodean Blogging friends that have been posting pictures of BBQs and even parrots in the garden!
Dylan is a Zombicide, Paolo Parente, Special Guest Expansion Pack and comes in both Survivor and Zombivor, a zombified survivor, variants.  This was another one of those 'moment of weakness' purchases and has been idly gathering dust since the pledge arrived.  It was a fun exercise trying to keep a sense that these two were, in fact, the same person and in the end it was just a simple matter of painting each corresponding area using the same colours across the two miniatures.  As with all Zombicide characters, Dylan comes with a back story and hers, lifted directly from the 'Guillotine Games' official site, reads as follows:
“Measure twice, cut once!”
Dylan was working as the on-stage assistant for a popular home improvement show sponsored by a major power-tool company. Mainly on the set for eye-candy, she was, in fact, handier than both the star and his bearded assistant. When the zombie apocalypse hit, she was on stage, watching the star do his usual grunting comedy routine while trying to keep him from losing a finger by mishandling a circular saw. By the end of the first day of zombie apocalypse, she discovered fighting off coworkers’ grabby-hands with power-tools had been perfect training for battling against groping undead hordes. Now she roams the streets using her construction skills to help other survivors. She is still always thrilled to meet a fan, provided they keep their hands to themselves!
Taking inspiration for the colour palette from the original character cards all was progressing nicely until it came to the checked shirt, which I'm afraid I bottled; the eyes and the unsteady hands were just not up to the job on this occasion.
The Zombivor version is just ridiculously good fun and in this putrid state, Dylan has ditched her cordless drill for something a whole lot more industrial!  Once again favouring the decaying green skin option the pair were completed with a little addition to the bases to give that 'oh so apocalyptic' feel.  
So two more additions to the good and with half term, thankfully, looming into sight we are hopeful that we might safely negotiate to end of another themed month.  More zombies next week and then a couple of survivors to see out the challenge.
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