Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sohei we go.

Here is the other half of my Sohei Teppo contingent.  I used the same mix of black. white, yellow and 'saffron' as the Naginata and other Teppo troops.  This brings my skirmish force up to 60 total miniatures, with room to add some leader figures and possibly some cavalry.  

Overall, I am quite happy with the Perry miniature sculpts, although these guys came with some issues.  It appears the molds were not completely aligned, so rather than mold lines I could trim away, I had a massive offset laterally across three figures.  These are somewhat hard to sand/fill, so I opted to just live with the irregularity. They still pass the 2 foot test, so I suppose they will do.

I also used some of my extra decals to liven up the existing units.  For example, I used some extras from the Perry Kiyomasa sheet to put some black bars on these sashimono.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dem bones...

I decided to clean up and finish painting a batch of GW skeletons I picked up back in 2015.  These figures were in fairly rough shape, and I wanted to add them to the small 28mm Fantasy collection I use with my son from time to time.

Part of my goals for 2017 is to tackle "the shelf" next to my painting desk.

Seen here on the left in better times.
The shelf is primarily a repository for half completed miniatures and abandoned projects.  I have it organized (let's been generous with that word.)  by scale, with shelves dedicated to 28mm (x2), 20mm, 15mm, 10mm, 6mm, and the dreaded 'bottom shelf"  Some projects will flow from deep storage onto the shelf in the hopes of achieving apotheosis... or at least getting paint.  This is where a Dwarf in a bunny suit can linger unseen for the better part of two decades.  Thus, I intend to dredge out at least 2 of these projects a month, I hope.

you called?
Back to the skeletons..

Overall, I have 34 of these guys split between 24 spearmen and 10 swordsmen.  These are from GW's more recent collection (i.e. w/in the last 20 years) and thus suffer from Gigantism in both bone density and weapon heft.

I cleaned up the basic paint schemes, then repainted the weapons and shields.  I went over the shields with dark metals, followed by a black wash, and then finally a dusting of rust weathering powder.
The legs received similar treatment with AP Dark wash followed by burnt umber weathering powder.

Finally I added a mix of dark greens and dead grass to the bases to give them a finished look.  In the long term, I think I need to find a good weathering technique for the blades.  They need some rust.

Lastly, I wanted to call out this guy...

Why does he have a trumpet?  How does he sound it?  Who is being motivated by it?  so many questions!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lord willin' and the water don't rise

So, I woke up Thursday morning to find my bridge had been lifted off its moorings and the safety line I tied to it last fall was the only thing keeping it from heading to the neighbor's.

The creek that runs through my front yard usually is only about 6-18" deep for most of the year.  My little foot bridge has about 4' of clearance, except during the melt-off.  Normally this is not an issue as I have it anchored with some re-bar and put 50lb of weight on one side to keep it in place.  (Perhaps you can see where this is going....

As I pulled away from the house, the river looked at about the same height it crested last year.  Then it rained,..  hard....

I took these photos at sunset, and the creek had not yet crested.  (That would happen 2 hours later, and 6" later)

Thanks were a little better Friday morning.

Not model related, but I had the odd opportunity to see my yard become a lake.  I thought I would share.

Friday, February 17, 2017

When the going gets Tuft....

Inspired by Tamsin's posts about her ongoing experiments with the Flockbox, I opted to pick up one for myself.  I have been using Tajima's terrain tufts on my projects of late, but the cost of postage has somewhat soured the experience.  I found it on Ebay UK for 35UKP + 4.40UKP for shipping.  (about $50 USD total at the current exchange rate.)  It actually arrive back in January (shipping was < 2 weeks), but I have only now been able to try it out.  Quite honestly, Tamsin's posts are far more informative than anything you are going to get from me, so skip this and just look there....

Here is what you get:

The box includes two wires, some silicon paper and a battery pack for a 9V battery.  There are also instructions and a DVD I have yet to look at.  (The DVD, not the instructions)  The electrical leads have standard plugs which are a bit annoying as it Alligator clips would work better for most applications.  I swapped out one of my cables for a test electrode from a multi-meter that I could at least stick in my sifter to complete the circuit.

For my  1st trial I went with some simple green tufts using PVA glue.  I am still playing with methods, but I am alreadt hooked on this thing.  The grass went on quickly and the results look like what I purchased in the past.  I can vary the shapes to suit my needs, and I am exited to try directly applying static grass to the bases.  I tend to feel guilty about using too many tufts due to the cost, but I think this is going to eliminate that concern.  I have several large tubs of static grass already, which should be more than enough for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Halo color test

It's another terrain post!  Mostly.  It has been a few months since I completed most of the UNSC models from the Halo Ground Command boxed set with little forward momentum.  In order to play the game with my son, I need to complete the covenant side as well.  (I suppose we could try it with unpainted models, but what would be the point in that?)  The Covenant forces present two significant challenges for me:

  • Metallics  
  • Prodigious use of purple 

For the metallic tones, I have been using a Vallejo metal effects additive to give a metallic luster to existing paints.  I am not a big fan of enamels or non-metallic metal painting techniques, so it seems like a fair compromise.  It works well for the smaller metal plates on 15mm figures, but the larger pieces look a little wonky.

This leads to the purples.  The boxed set comes with 7 resin terrain pieces including 2 Covenant equipment pods, two UNSC gun racks and three futuristic T-walls.  I opted to try out my purple approach here rather than with the larger Ghost grav -bikes. To see if I can get a good technique.  My compressor is acting wonky, so airbrushing is off the table.

I opted to start with a black undercoat and then successive dry-brush layers of VJ Royal Purple, then mixing in AP Alien Purple and finally pure white to give some definition.  I gave the entire think a gloss-coat before hitting it with Minwax and a satin coat.  

The white came off with more chalk than I wanted, so I will need to try something more subtle for the Ghosts.

I took the opportunity to complete the rest of the terrain pieces including these walls

I tried to add some gem effect to the windows using different shades of blue and some gloss coat.

The weapon's lockers are much more basic with a Camo green coat and Grey-Black highlights on the sliding doors.

A little bit of a variation from my Japanese/Korean stuff of late, but variety is the spice of life.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Same Century Different Continent!

 A little more attention for the Renaissance collection from last month.  I managed to complete a Pike element using some armored Landsknecht from Casting Room Miniatures.  I included a Foundry sergeant and musician to complete the ensemble.  As with the handgunners, I tried to focus on mixing up the colors more, and even used the detail in the casting to create some patterns in the fabrics as well.  Given the scale and varied interests of my collection, I have found that I do not yet have the inclination to devote the time necessary to do the intricate individual patterns that Landsknecht really need.  Thus, I am still working on getting a similar effect through mass.

I haven't added any banners yet, as I still need to pick up the rest of the figures for the unit from Jon, which necessitates me actually playing a game against someone born in the same century in the near future!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Imjin War - more Teppo for Kato

Yet another holdover from the January freeze.  This guys constitute the second half of the handgunner detachment for Kata Kiyomasa's Second Division.  This gives me a total of 24 Yari and 24 Teppo in this scheme which allows for 4 units in Lion Rampant or 4 stands of Medium Infantry and 4 stands of missile troops for Impetus.

I am running short of plastic sashimono from my Wargames Factory boxed sets, so I opted to only sprinkle a few through my two handgunner units.  This is also because the Perry castings don't have plugs in them for mounting Sashimono (at least these castings....), so I needed to drill them out to give them stability.  The decals are from the Perry collection as well, and are proving to be the best of the companies I have tested.  Unlike products like Warflag, the decals are individually set rather than integrated into a single sheet.  This allows for a smooth transfer without a lot of trimming. They also lie flat on uneven surfaces without the need to slit the sides to prevent bubbling.  I just with Perry would do sets for some of the big players in Japanese history rather than just Kato Kiyomasa and Maeda Toshiie.   Sticking with the Imjin war  it would be nice to have Konishi Yukinaga's 1st division.  For the larger Sengoku period Takada and Uesegi stand out (especially as Perry's SAM1 code is Takeda Shingen, and SAM2 is Uesegi, Oda and Date)

I still have another 12 Perry castings (these with Sashimono) to go, so I am planning on trying out a radically different pattern with them.  Either some of Konishi's Christians or perhaps some Oda forces.