Tuesday 28 March 2017

The Command Stand

As part of the ongoing Spring Clean, and by way of marking the recent BlogDay anniversary, I have added another page to this humble weblog. ‘The Command Stand’ is just an opportunity to showcase, in one place, those flights of fancy that I have indulged in over the last six years. Small collections of miniatures or scenic bases that were created, often for no other reason than I fancied doing something a little bit different.

The ‘Command Stand’ was going to be the name of a bespoke painting service that myself and the Provost Marshal were considering, the idea being to focus on smaller units or command stands and give them a little more attention  than perhaps you might the rank and file.  Sadly our respective day jobs and the fact that I seem incapable of focussing on one thing for any length of time have put paid to that idea, at least for the present.

More recently these ‘distractions’ have proved the mainstay of my entries in the ‘Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’ but even without this impetus there always seems to be time for fun and I hope to update the page as and when a new piece is created with a link back to the original post.

Saturday 25 March 2017

Good Bye old friend…

… A Spring clean.

I’ve always enjoyed a Spring Clean, a rifle through the collected detritus of life, rediscovering long lost treasures.  A chance to organise, evaluate and possibly discard those items that inexplicably accumulate around the periphery of oneself.

With regards to this humble weblog, I had considered redesigning the d├ęcor, perhaps even updating one’s avatar, but over the last six years, ‘28mm Victorian Warfare’ has proved such an invaluable escape that I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Instead I resigned myself to checking and updating the hyperlinks, returning my library books and generally titivating the front page.  It was during this time that my tired eyes fell upon the banner for the Gentlemens Wargames Parlour and I felt a pang of sorrow stab my hardened heart.  The Parlour was my first foray into the often troublesome world of online forums.  I had been lurking around its hallowed corridors for a while, before finally applying for membership, and was heartened by what I saw.  The quality of posting, the use of language and general good natured comments made by the members were all in stark contrast to other notable forums who were suffering from the curse of banter at that time. 

Having made my introductions in the Duke of Wellington Bar, I would be found, more often than not, in the Rudyard Kipling Suite, which whilst not as busy as say the Edward VIII Cocktail Bar still attracted enough passing trade to allow this novice contributor a real boost form the positive comments and general helpfulness of the members.  In short, I could not have been happier I had found a window for my creativity and was starting to consider the enlightened members as friends, many of whom are still with me today as we continue to pass comments on our respective blogs.

I can’t tell you exactly why and how the Parlour started to decline, many theories abound, but it did seem to happen very quickly.  I suppose the simple truth was that it didn’t have the numbers to sustain the interest, but whatever the reason, the end was inevitable.  Ultimately I followed the lead of many other respected Gentleman and commissioned my own blog, ‘28mm Victorian Warfare’ with a clear mandate to replicate the enthusiasm, kindness and jolly good manners that I had come to expect from the Parlour.

Every so often, I venture back, dust the cobwebs from one of the virtual armchairs and make a polite enquiry as to the whereabouts of the chaps, but these comments seem to dissipate down the now silent corridors.  My last post in March 2016 was simply not acknowledged, there was nobody there.
So the unescapable truth is that the Gentlemens Wargames Parlour is no more and I am resigned to take down the banner, fold it neatly and place it the virtual drawer marked ‘gone, but not forgotten’.  If I could beg your indulgence just a little longer then I would ask you all to charge your virtual glasses and raise them in one final toast,

Goodbye old friend.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Post Challenge Round Up

So there we have it, the conclusion of the ‘VII Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’.  Spring has finally sprung and the hugely successful hobby juggernaut, so masterfully steered by Curtis Campbell and his merry band of minions can, once again, be parked up for another year.  This then is the obligatory personal review and more importantly an opportunity to thank those involved in the running of the event for their collective efforts.  Over the course of the challenge I took a series of work bench shots that I will publish here by way of accompaniment to my rather dry narrative.
I feel as if I have been a bit of a spectator this year, not able to find the time to comment on the challenge blog as much as I would have liked. Instead I have tried to show my support to my fellow challengers by commenting, where I can, on their personal blogs.  This has left me feeling slightly uncomfortable about the whole process as I’m not sure that it is really in the spirt of such a collaborative event.
The bonus rounds continue to prove to be a wonderful addition to the format.  After initially declaring that I wasn’t getting involved in them this year, I completely disregarded my own decree and set about planning something for each and every one.  In my defence, I did consciously scale down my ambition for a couple of the rounds, but the remaining three sapped a huge amount of time and effort, but were great fun nevertheless.
As for my own personal goals and tallies?  Well this year, I failed to reach my target score of a 1000 points. (892points 30/96) I had hoped that my cunning plan of priming larger (larger for me anyway) units in coloured undercoat, inspired by the likes of the ever productive Tamsin, would help to speed things along, but instead it would appear to have had the opposite effect.  I found that as I glanced over at the massed ranks of Guards, Cuirassiers and Mutineers that I would do anything rather than add to the already colourful start I had made to them, I even caught myself taking out new, unprimed miniatures and started to prepare them for next year - madness I tell you.
As the challenge went on, I soon realised that not sticking to my plan, no matter how convoluted, was going to leave me well short of my target.  After initially getting myself in a bit of a tizzy about this, I soon realised that the easiest solution was to stop, pack away anything that was proving to be of a distraction and concentrate on having fun – after all, when your hobby starts to become a chore, then it stops being a hobby!
Whilst I may have struggled to paint enough miniatures in the time permitted to reach my target score, others didn’t.  Some challengers went on to exceed their own expectations and the quality and sheer quantity of what has been produced this year is truly staggering, yes Dave Docherty, I am thinking of you.  A particular highlight for me was a collaborative project with Sander and Stefan, which proved not only successful, but a ringing endorsement of all that I have come to cherish from most wholesome of hobbies - thank you Gentlemen. 
I would just like to take this opportunity to congratulate all my fellow challengers for their often Herculean efforts over the winter months and to once again thank Curt for his tireless enthusiasm in continuing to run this event.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Happy Blogday '28mm Victorian Warfare'...

...6 today
Today marks the sixth anniversary of the creation of this humble weblog, something that I find quite staggering given my complete inability to focus on anything for any given period of time. This has become particularly evident in the wide range of projects often started, but then callously abandoned. There have even been suggestions that the title banner be torn down and a new one proclaiming something along the lines of ‘28mm Whatever’ be hoisted up instead. 
The fact of the matter is that there are just too many shiny temptations out there for me to resist. There are signs that, I am starting to have more of an idea as to where my hobby time is headed and I was heartened by the fact that when I sat down to consider what I might want to look for at ‘Salute’ this year there were very few surprises. ‘Congo’ is certainly on the wish list as this fits loosely into the tales of derring-do of the late Victorian era, but of the surprises, I am still intrigued by Black Ops and have been considering possible scenarios based around this. In addition there has been the playful exploration of the Ghostbusters world and the possibility of looking to expand this to include Mystery Inc. doing battle with various Hollywood monsters. I have to confess that I have no idea how this might work, but I do so enjoy the fun of it all.
So another year done and there would appear to be life in the old weblog yet! I think part of the reason that I have stuck with the idea of posting my progress has been the level of support and genuine comradery that has been a most welcome by-product of the process. I am very fortunate to have met some of the more persistent commentators and often humbled by their generosity of spirit with regards to all things ‘hobby’.

So once again I need to thank all of you that stop by ‘28mm Victorian Warfare’, but particularly those that leave the odd comment; your encouragement greatly appreciated.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Who ya gonna call?

So here we are, the final bonus round of the 'VII Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge', where did the time go?  'Character(s) and/or Scene from a Movie, TV Program or Piece of Music' is perhaps a little more descriptive than some of the previous titles this year, think East and West for example, but nevertheless it was going to require a modicum of thought.  Now fortunately for me, I am a sucker for a movie or TV tie-in and have a whole plethora of miniatures that could have been used for this round, but in this instance I need to thank Jeremy 'Jez' Winstanley Esq. of the 'Carrion Crow's Buffet' for the inspiration behind my choice.  In fact what you are about to see would not have been possible without the truly inspirational work by the likes of Jez, Carmen's Fun Painty Time and Rogue428* - thank you all!
*whose work I discovered on DeviantArt
If there's something strange
in your neighborhood
It was Jez's playful exploration of all things Ghostbusting that saw me quietly squirrel away some of 'Crooked Dice's' Paranormal Exterminators, never quite knowing what I was going to do with them, that is until now!  So Ghostbusters it was and of course this project came with the added advantage of  meeting both film and music objectives of the challenge, but sadly that doesn't warrant any additional points for doing so.  
Who ya gonna call?
In the past, I would have looked to create a single vignette for the round, but the ideas were growing by the day and in the end decided that I would paint the miniatures and then dress the set accordingly, all the time considering how it might work.  The miniatures, as already mentioned, are mainly from 'Crooked Dice' with a couple of Ectoplasmic Entities (or Slimers) and a pack of Harbingers added to complete the range.  
If there's something weird
and it don't look good
Additional spooks were recruited in the shape of a 'Reaper Bones' spirit; this is a clear plastic miniature, but I decided I wanted a little more variety.  To that end I swapped out the skulls for a couple found on a 'Wargames Factory' sprue and then each was given some additional toning with Tamiya Clear Green before highlights were picked out with a florescent paint.  This lime green fluorescent paint was also added to the Slimers, but more of that later.
Who ya gonna call?
Finally a simple bed sheet ghost form 'Ristul's Extraordinary Market' - available in this county through 'Bad Squid Games' and a Hellbeast to represent Zuul from 'Hersey Miniatures'.  This was a multipart resin piece and needed a bit of fixing and filling, but certainly worth the effort.  I decided to remove the rather fetching skull she had dangling from the chain around her neck, possibly a detail too far for this scenario.
I ain't afraid of no ghosts
With the addition of a pre-painted Mr. Stay Puft money box that I won on a well known online action site the cast was assembled and so to the set, which in this case was predominately made up from my 'Battle Systems' Urban Apocalypse card stock, the centre piece of which was going to be the City Fire Station.  Although this does take a while to put together the quality of the stock, and its versatility, more than make up for the time invested in the construction.  With the set dressed and ready to go, it was time for the secret weapon - ectoplasm!
I ain't afraid of no ghosts  
I had picked up a child's tub of the wondrous Ghostbusters Goo along with which came a 3D Ghostbusters plastic logo, now seen proudly atop the Fire Station and this goo was then liberally draped around the place and took on a life of its own.  So to the photography and all is as it seems, there is no photoshopping here, just the addition of a UV torch.  This of course had the effect of highlighting the fluorescent paint, ectoplasm and the plastic rubber cord used to simulate the proton packs energy stream.  
If you're seeing things
running through your head
And so you have it my homage to one of the biggest grossing comedies of all times and still a film that I thoroughly enjoy revisiting whenever I can.  With the most recent celluloid incarnation breathing life back into the franchise, who knows where this will lead, but for me I now need to get to grips with the 7TV rule set in order to justify yet another fabulous diversion!  
Who can ya call?
An invisible man
sleeping in your bed
Who ya gonna call?


'Battle Systems' Urban Apocalypse card stock terrain,  held together by simple plastic clips that allow such a great variety of possible outcomes and set ups.
Lights! Camera! Action!
I have included a couple of additional photographs that were taken just using the house lights.  It was interesting seeing what effect the UV light had on some colours or not as the case may be.  I had a couple of sheets of A2 black mount board behind the buildings to create a box set.
So It's "Goodnight" from me, and it's "Goodnight" from him.  The two 'not' Slimers, painted with the addition of florescent paint that isn't obviously noticeable under normal light.  For variation, I created a smaller flight stand for one and fashioned a slime trail but mixing Vallejo water effects with florescent paint.
So for the last time, I urge to head over to the Bonus Round pages and cast a vote for your favourite entry here.

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