Friday 30 March 2018

A Wobble of Ostriches

These three fine, long, legged birds formed my entry to the opening bonus round of the recent 'VIII Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge'.  The round, simple titled Flight, and subsequently retitled Flightless by yours truly,was an unashamed points grab, but in my defence what started out as a quick win developed into something much more involved as I wrestled with achieving the desired effect on the neck and legs.
One of my personal hobby highlights of last year was hosting a game of ‘Congo’ using the rules of the same name by Studio Tomahawk.  That encounter was set in the steaming jungles, but there are several scenarios set on the Savannah and what better way to start the preparations that with a…
...a flock of ostriches?  A pride of ostriches?  Apparently both are acceptable, but another favourite was a wobble of ostriches although I can’t help think that given the original bonus round theme a flight of ostriches would be best!
These splendid specimens are from North Star Miniature’s Africa range and are good solid one piece sculpts and I hope will look resplendent on the Savannah in due course.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Pygmy Archers

More additions to the Forest Tribes of the Congo, these Pygmy Archers are again from 'Wargames Foundry' Darkest Africa range. Delightful sculpts that I painted in the same way as the previous members of Chief Mbuti’s tribe, which can be found here.
As with the last batch these were again based on 20mm metal washers to help convey their diminutive scale.  The Pygmy Archers are unique in the game insomuch as although classed as one unit, there are played as two distinct groups allowing you the opportunity of harrying an opponent from all sides.  Add in the 'poison' and 'tiny' rules and these tenacious chaps can be a real thorn in the side of any expedition.
Although small, and painted to tie together as a unit,  something I tend to find difficult due to my butterfly brain, I have to confess that I really enjoyed painting these and couldn't resist a group shot at the end.  Although I just didn't have the patience to string those bows! 

Monday 26 March 2018


There is something about the name Ruga Ruga that tells you everything you need to know about these fearsome warriors.  Banded together from disparate backgrounds or tribes the Ruga Ruga were, in effect, mercenaries often in the employ of Western powers to bolster the ranks, fighting alongside the trained Askari.  
Legends abound of unspeakable acts carried out by the often flamboyantly dressed troops and as a result,  I wanted my unit to really stand out on the table.  As luck would have it, 'North Star Miniatures' had recently released some wonderful character packs and I couldn’t help but pick up a couple and selected the most interesting of the sculpts to paint.
With their masks and elaborate headdresses, I had so much fun painting these.  They did, however, take me a ridiculous amount of time due to the sheer variety of colours used.  Armed with muskets these elite troops were often likely to scare their enemies away with the noise and plumes of smoke emitted from their unreliable firearms.
Of course all this cherry picking means that there are a fair few miniatures lying around that I need to get around to painting at some point, but for the time being, I am more than happy with the ones that I have completed.  Although maintaining a fearsome reputation when you have a Hornbill strapped to your head is a tough act to pull off!

Saturday 24 March 2018

Paint Table Saturday#229 Challenge.
It seems like an age since I posted on a Paint Table Saturday, and I had to check to see what number we had actually reached!  This morning, I was sorting out photographs for a couple of upcoming posts and happened across a series of images detailing my progress through the recent ‘VIII Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’. Nothing hugely earth shattering, but a sneaky peak at possible future posts, here at ‘28mm Victorian Warfare’ so I thought that I would share them here.
I had gone from not entering this year’s challenge to taking on Minion duties in what seemed like a blink of an eye, but nonetheless it was great fun as usual.  I had deliberately set myself a low par score this year, but was, once again, was lured in by the prospect of easy points by entering each of the bonus rounds.  Where possible, I tried to use miniatures that I already, although I confess that there were a couple of purchases over the three months of the challenge.
Pre-Challenge tidy.
One of the reasons for the more restraint showing this year was a combination of a particularly busy time at work and the commencement of some much needed refurbishment here at ‘Awdry Towers’.  The work took all of January and was ongoing into February meaning that the painting table had to be re-sited to the spare room, along with everything else that had to find a new home – lets’ just say that it was a tad cramped!
During the Challenge, even more plastic and lead arrived with the fulfilment of my pledges to Smog: Rise of Moloch and the Hasslefree's  most recent Kickstarter.  Both of which have been safely stashed in the wardrobe of shame, until I manage to sort out the spare room.
I was also fortunate to win one of the bonus rounds in the challenge and to my absolute joy discovered that this had, in turn, been sponsored by 'Mr. Lee's Minis'.  I have had the pleasure of meeting Kyle a couple of times at various trade shows and have always found him to be one of the most enthusiastic and generous bloggers out there.  This generosity extended to a veritable horde of resin goodness that dropped on to my doormat and I can't tell you just how thrilled I am, thank you so much Kyle.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Creepy Crawlies

I had enjoyed the humour that had crept into the creation of the ‘totems and tokens and traps’ and very much wanted to continue in this vein when looking for suitable models to represent the creepy crawlies that inhabit the jungles of the Congo. A visit to the local Poundland unearthed a wonderful pack of joke bugs for, well a £ naturally, and the first to be used was the large plastic spider. It was given a quick paint job and added to a themed base, but on reflection, I wonder if I should have used some sort of web effect!
The ants came in variety of colours, but I wanted mine to be fiery red and set about spraying them with the airbrush before adding a little sepia wash to bring out the different segments of the body.  Of course every self respecting ant needs a hill to protect and before long I was ordering up some of the ‘Warlord Games’ termite mounds that were originally created as part of the Sci-Fi game, Beyond the Gates of Antares.  
I had seen these on Lee Brady’s splendid weblog, ‘Harold’s Revenge’ and they proved just too tempting to resist.  Although perfect for the job and very easy to paint, I have to say I was a little disappointed when I finally got them in my hand; they felt a little rushed with the sculptor’s fingerprints still actually visible.  They certainly saved me some time, but again, I wonder if the same effect could have been achieved with some Milliput and a couple of MDF disks?
Finally, then the infamous Tsetse fly.  Young Master Awdry would often be found with his nose in an encyclopaedia greedily absorbing facts and figures and marvelling at pictures of animals from the far flung corners of the world.   Strangely the blood sucking carrier of sleeping sickness*, the Tsetse fly would always send a shiver down my spine, the thought of something so small having such a devastating effect clearly upset me.
*African trypanosomiasis
Looking at the remnants of my Poundland buy, I felt that the handful of houseflies that remained just didn’t look menacing enough, a drastic plan was called for!  In a feverish bout of madness, akin to a Victorian Lepidopterist or brattish schoolboy, I started to remove the clear plastic wings from the flies.  In a bid to represent the forward projecting, piercing, proboscis on the head, I drilled each one and inserted a small length of fuse wire.
Now attached by double sided tape, I sprayed them a base colour before adding a few details, here and there.  The wings were then carefully replaced and a dollop of fresh ‘blood’ added.  
In a bid to try and create a swarm effect, I stuck the individual beasties to a clear Perspex disk and attached a flight stand so they could swarm, annoyingly, at head height.  I always enjoy projects like this, where you just let your imagination run riot.  A hugely entertaining and rewarding process.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Happy Blogday '28mm Victorian Warfare'...

...7 today
Today marks the seventh anniversary of the creation of this humble weblog, something that I still find quite staggering given my complete inability to focus on anything for any given period of time.
Looking back at this time last year I was acknowledging the ever increasing series of avenues that this most wholesome of hobbies was opening up for me.  There seems, however, to have been somewhat of a watershed particularly given the success that was Congo.  Finally sitting down and planning a game, collecting and painting the miniatures and then inviting a couple of would be victims volunteers proved to be such a boon.  I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the adventure and still have a number of posts to make, logging the various components that went into making the day so successful.  It was as if a penny had finally dropped and I started to see the hobby for what it was.  I had always imagined that the collection would eventually lead to the tabletop, but I never envisaged that I would take so long.
What I did find though was that I was enjoying the thinking and planning about games just as much as I was the painting of the miniatures, this was the first time that there has been this discernible shift and it had a direct result on the status of the blog.  I think it would be fair to say that this has been a bit of a perfect storm as the epiphany has coincided with an incredibly busy upturn at work.  As I have mentioned before there is nothing sinister in this, just simply more to do and so less time for hobby related projects meant that some difficult choices had to be made.

So where does that leave this humble weblog and what thoughts are there for the future?  The joy of working towards a definitive outcome is clearly a goal that I would like to repeat and plans are afoot to host a similar day, but this time returning to the Witchfinder project.  Board games have played a huge part in my gaming development and it is unlikely that these will go away.  There is simply too much fun to be had with the likes of Zombicide:Black Plague.  In fact there are a number of avenues about to open up with the imminent arrival of Resident Evil, Smog and Green Horde.

Throw into the mix Imperial Assault and I have more plastic than I will ever paint and yet I have no doubt that something else will catch my eye over the coming months.  That said the continued collection of new titles is starting to trouble me.  As patient as the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' is there is a finite amount of space here at 'Awdry Towers' and questions are beginning to be asked!  This grim realisation that I don’t actually have to back everything will hopefully see a down turn on pledges and an increase in gaming.

I expect that there will continue to be the odd playful dalliance here and there, but I hope there will be less justification and a little more honesty in my approach.  “Yes, I am supposed to be painting lions, but that Tiger 101 was just far too tempting!”  So it is that I tentatively remove the dust sheets that have idled here at '28mm Victorian Warfare' for far too long and hope that I can find a way back to more regular posting habits.  Thank you for your patience. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...