woensdag 23 december 2015

Merry Christmas to you all

Merry Christmas from me and my little family (Kim, Emma and Nikki) and I wish you the best of luck in 2016. (If you would happen to have some spare, send me some?)

I'm aiming to get 1 or 2 reviews up during the holiday season, but I'm sticking to 30 minute PC intervals atm to help me rest enough. Current prognosis is another 2-3 weeks of physical pain and limited mobility. Mental health they can't tell me, but I've been quite mad for years, thank you ;)

Best wishes!

zondag 20 december 2015


This weekend I'm trying 2 things. Less painkillers and speedpainting/weathering an item I received fridayevening by mail. In between family life and visiting friends so time is short.

Teaser pic:

donderdag 3 december 2015

Old Crow order review

My Old Crow order arrived yesterday. But....you would not buy any more stuff? Well, I haven't....much. But not this order. I made a inquiry for items suitable for 20mm Sci-Fi back in July 2nd 2015, and then.....silence.

Lots and lots of silence.

Then October 13th a general Old Crow email arrives, aimed at (what I assume) was everyone who emailed him for the last 6 months or so, with apolagies and a offer for free postage. I got a reply on my more expanded request on the 15th of October and I made my order on the 21st using Crisis funds, with a confirmation and final quote on the 22nd. I was then told that his current workload it would take him about 2 weeks to get everything cast and ready to ship out.

But alas, it would take a bit more time then that, but on the 25th I got a reply that everything was ready to ship, I made my payment, and waited. But not for long :) Yesterday on the 2nd the small box arrived. I ha to wait till tonight to open it, so just made a group pic and did a head count. Uh oh, something doesn't add up.....

First, the overall shot:
Brilliant as always, with all that resin there is only 1 bubble on the underside of a base. So, that's like perfect :) The metal parts have some minor mouldlines but nothing that can't be fixed, the only problem I see is that 2 from the 3 twin gun miniturrets have 1 of their barrels miscast (only half ot it cast). I can snip em and drill in a new bit of brass rod no problem though. They are very delicate and that might even be smarter, brass rod is much more durable.

Anyway, I'm missing stuff.

My order:
25mm Fixed Turret Base; 4 Pounds x2 = 8 Pounds Check, ok
25mm Point Defence Turret; 4 Pounds x2 = 8 Pounds Check, ok
25mm Support Turret; 4,50 each x2 9 Pounds Check, ok
25mm Gun Barrels (30mm) pack of 6; 2,50 Pounds - I can't find any other then the 4 that go with the Support turrets? These are the ones I need for my tank conversion

15mm White metal laser turret on the Outrider and Glaive, I'd like 3 please. Price? Just the laser one was good enough, but I like the missile variant too, excellent.

6mm Small Double Barrel Gun Turret (10mm) pack of 6; 2 pounds Check, but there are only 3 and 2 have 1 of the guns miscast, around half length is missing?

And there is a small bag with 6 triple barrel mini turrets?


I see no real problems though. Jez is a stand up guy (if a very busy one) and people make mistakes, so I have emailed him and let him now what is the issue. The 25mm gun barrels are not even the biggest problem as I could use the ones from the Support Turret to get a head start on the tank conversion as I don't think I'll start any of the turret systems anytime soon.

But still, I'm having terrible luck with orders and trades lately.  The LE pre order starter model from the Antares game that was a gift from Portugal? Lost in the mail. The 2 Cars cars I overpaid for? Way damaged. The bottle of paint I managed to lose in an hour time? Ugh.
Anyway, I'll update this post as soon as Jez gets back to me.

Edit: Jez got back to me lastnight. Barrels will be sorted asap, miniturrets were his last remaining stock so he sent all, miscasts and everything, plus the 3 gun turrets as replacements for the incomplete 2 barrel ones. Grand service I say.

woensdag 2 december 2015

Not so easy rider, part 2

Added the 4th bike, even if it has no wheels, it will make great filler. Speaking of which, I added and opened 3 of the 4 filler caps just for fun. I think the bikes could use some more work, I'm just not quite sure what. As soon as my head is a bit clearer (change in medication, taking them in the evening cause I was getting drowsy after taking them in the morning....driving and work not a good combo make....but now I'm bobbing my head like crazy.....<yawn>) I'll give them a rethink. Maybe some GS work.
Also in the mail today, I picked up a set of 2nd hand Dora DVD's for the girls, and as the seller had some cars from Cars I picked up 2 of those as well. Auction stated zgan (as good as new) and she asked 7,50 a piece for them but in the pics I could see some chipping so I talked it down to 5 euro a car. Shipped, loose, in a huge box (so more chipping) and when I got them out, 3 of the 4 axles are bent and the bottom of the car is toutching the floor. Also way more damage then was first apparent. If I had bought these for the girls I would have been really pissed, now I'm just slightly miffed cause I overpaid, 2,50 would have been enough for the condition they are in. Great for Fallout.

I like em. When based, they will fit in better. Just wondering how to get rid of the eyes....anyone have any ideas?

Finally, just finished matte varnishing the space junk. I can see I missed a few spots but I will let this lot dry and redo those parts tomorrow evening so I can finish them off on thursday and be done with it. And then on with the next lot, either the bikes or more Frostgrave scenery.

Speaking of which, I bought a really big scenic item you will  love. But more of that in the future.

vrijdag 27 november 2015

Between a rock and a even bigger rock. And some paint.

Finally, fridayevening! Miserable week at work, I'm happy it's weekend, and some new stuff arrived just in time, jay.

First up, a collection of Playmobil rocks
Seller took over a week to reply and baffled me by asking half the amount I was willing to pay for it, and even included free shipping. But when they arrived I noticed half of them won't stay upright on their own so they will need bases and some filler, so I put these in the to do pile. Still happy with them though.

Kim sent me out to get a gift for her nephew, something I needed to pick up at the local Action (a chain of discount stores, they sell Matt Black spraypaint for 2 or 3 euro a can, great for scenery). 15 minutes later, no toy (sold out) but did pick up this set for 80 cents.
One half will be for my future 20mm mosque, the other 1 and a half bit will be come planets for space games. I might even pick up some more, these are less then half price what the hobby store asks for them.
Picked up these 2 from a seller at the LAF, really nice bits for my Inquisimunda box. When I chucked them in I spotted another cherub with book, oops!
I was waiting for these. A new varnish to try out, a new bottle of Pale Sand that I use for drybrushing my dirt bases as the old one was really spent, a red primer to try out, and plenty of Ammo stuff. I'll be using the green slimes on rocks, buildings and the fountains, looking forward to that. I will play a bit with the rusts too.

Other then work on the sci-fi junk I only based up 6 rats that I got off some Skaven sprues I got for free a while back. Sure, they are not giant rats, but good enough for me, and free.
Mouldine cleaning, sand on the base and a quick paintjob. Can't remember ever painting rats though, will have to look into that.
Slow progress on the Inca temple base, filled in the holes (needs a bit os fine sanding) and covered the hole with a plate so I can use still water effects to create a shallow pond (well, I'll paint it pretty dark, so maybe not that shallow).

Also made a few printouts of a Fallout 3 building that I want to copy for my foamboard try outs soon. I noticed a similarity between the Terrain Tutors foam building build tutorial here >
And this building:
...so I will use that as a reference to copy it as my first building for TNT.

I'll be darting between 28mm Sci-fi and 28mm Fantasy for a bit now. Get more games in. 20mm can come later, no worries.

Now, to score some more Space Marine bikes for scenery conversions and rust painting skill enhancement. Already traded some wolves for 2, and I just got offered 6 more so out come the bits boxes or in this case the promise of a scratch built building or 2 for free! (and thats enough, thank you, these will be for scatter scenery.)

dinsdag 24 november 2015

Our King visits the 13th Light Brigade

Not something you are used of me, but next to wargaming I take great interest in our Dutch army (and our King...yes, I'm a Royalist), in particular the unit stationed at the Army base Oirschot, only a few miles from here. After years of neglect we are now in the position we can no longer train regularly with live ammunition due to costs after excessive cutbacks (like selling off ALL of our tanks....) <sigh> (Oddly enough I have 3 favorite units, 1 each from each of the branches of the armed forces. Navy - Anything named De Ruyter, Air Force - 322 Polly Grey Squadron and Army - 13th Light Brigade)

I modelled my 20mm Cold War army after a lot of pics taken there back then, and when there is a open Army day, once every 4 years I think it is, I make sure to visit (or do a wargames demo when I can). The 13th is currently transitioning from a Mechanised unit to a Motorised unit, and his Majesty came to inspect the troops and check up on the progress.

Now, while he is wearing a uniform he's no longer a soldier. He served, but after a 2013 change in our consitution members of the government cannot serve in our military at the same time, and he's head of the government. He has no rank, but a special Royal badge denoting his status. It's him on the right btw.

The Brigade "new style" falls in between the 11th Airmobile Brigade and the 43rd Mechanised Brigade, and being wheeled is faster and better able to respond in built up areas and over large distances. (and cheaper to run!) The CV90's will be replaced by Bushmasters, Mercedes Benz 280 CDI and a range of Boxers. They already have the Fennek and the Fuchs.

It will be interesting to see how these new changes will work out.

maandag 23 november 2015

Space is a valuable commodity.

Currently, 1 half cupboard (40cm) is completely filled with paint and paint parafanalia, plus 1 shelf of a 80cm cupboard is filled with old GW paints dating back to pre 2000 ones.. Since I will be losing 2 cabinets worth of space when I move I had a small brainwave today while checking a server rack at work. Why not build paint racks in the same way?

Here's why. I paint by the numbers.
No, not like that :)

I've got a small book in which I note down my paint formulas for things that I have painted, so I can just grab the right numbers and repeat what I did the last time. Or one year ago. I hardly ever paint by grabbing paint from the shelf cause the colour looks right. Even when I had them all in front of me, I just don't work that way.

So, server rack? Well, a server rack crams all of the neccesities in the smallest, conveniest (well, mostly) amount of space times as many as need to fit in the widt of the thing. My current paintrack is one from Germany and holds 100 bottles of Vallejo in roughy a 27 deep, 36 wide and 33 tall space (all in cm's). If I put that on my table I lose almost half my table depth. So I put them in the half cabinet. So, how can I manage to halve the needed space and still have the paints (and future paints) that I need? Well, by doing it this way.
1 standard rack, custom made to fit my cabinet, will hold 30 pots of Vallejo. Each level has 11 cm's worth of space so I can get the pots out easily, 3 levels per rack, enough width for 10 pots of paint and a 2cm bar in front of the pots for labelling and holding them in place. I can fit in 11 racks with space left over because the door has a hinge portruding on the inside (Billy cabinet, Ikea). In total that would be 330 pots of paint. I've asked a few friends, who have acces to lasercutters, to draw me up one plus to give me an idea for the costs per rack for 8 normal ones and 2 wider ones to hold my weathering powders and filters (seeing I bought another 7 bottles the other night). If you are still clueless how this will look, think of it as a encycopledia of several books, each book being a rack with paint.

I've discussed this with Kim, explained her why I want this, that I will have the idea examined first, that I will sell off the paints I no longer need  as well as the current paint racks to fund this, and that I have my budget fixed at 50 euros. And she agreed. :)

Now, back to painting.

Edit: Not half bad this. But I thinkl I can do better.

Scrap on the painting table

Stupid me. Asked Modhail to pick up a bottle of the GW Niksomething Oxide, he passes it to me on friday before the game and.....now it´s gone. Not in my boxes or bags. So goodbye weekendplans of finishing the statues and making even more of them. No sir.

So I grabbed the nearest box and out came )some of' my sci/fi scrap. Black basecoat didn´t go on too well, looks to be a combo of almost empty can doing funny things and maybe a bit of mould release agent on some of them, but another blast of grey primer sorted them.

Going for fast and simple in combination with learning more about filters. I ordered a couple of new ones lastnight, they should arrive by the end of the week, but till then I´ll keep my focus on using the streaky grime and learning what it can and what it can´t do. Less is better, for a much lighter tone.

Anyway, pics talk better then I can.
4 on the right have a not-so-matte varnish applied and are almost dry, the one on the right I had prepared earlier so I went with that. Just streaky grime, applied a bit too heavy I think but not a bad result. I will tone it down on the others. Decided not to paint the base first this time as I wasn't sure how much of the washes and filters would pool. Turns out I did not need to worry, but keeping that stage for last isn't such a bad idea anyway. Some well placed tufts will cover any unsightly holes underneath the scrap.

zaterdag 21 november 2015

First game of Frostgrave without a mentor

Some errors were made during this battle. No egos were harmed. Lots of fun was had, and 2 more are enthusiastic about the game.

I brought almost my entire scenery collection tonight, plus a selection of miniatures, playsheets etc. All 3 of us had the book, but me, guiding the other two, was the only one using it.
I created lots of cover points and managed to fill the enttire 120x80 table. The guys played a very tactical game, hiding as much as possible, and casting leap tons of times (too much in fact, they used it on each others teams too to drag the treasure carrier back from the edge. Great fun, but not allowed! Oops!) Also a great favorite of Henri was casting wall, I think he succesfully cast 4 or 5 of the things.
And it worked perfectly for him, screening his force from being attacked by Modhail. We used the variable game length mod and the treasure not off the table and in your hands - 50% chance you have it - mod. Also, no XP for wizards killing stuff. They did not really need it, Henri had in 7 turns 13 succesful castings and Modhail had 9. And not just on the easy spells either, even 14's to cast were on target. They did not go for kills either, purely to get the treasure and get out again asap.

Bringing the counter with troll poo cause an interesting result. Two turns in a row, they managed to activate a Snow Troll, each time at the exact same starting point. Some impressive shooting managed to kill one, and after some sacrificially cast Imps to delay the other he was blocked by a wall or 2. Other then that about half a dozen skeletons showed up. In the end, only 3 henchmen were killed (and 2 imps) and the game ended with 1 chest on the table in Henri's hands and the rest off table (3 for Modhail, 2 for Henri. Modhail had a great action, leaping one of his mercenaries to the top of the tower, grabbing the treasure in the next turn and then being leaped right back off the tower again. We laughed a lot at the results of some of the spells and their effects on our little men.

They both seriously enjoyed it. Henri is the most likely one to have an entire band painted within 2 weeks time, Modhail won't be too far behind finishing it this year I think. I've decided to focus on finishing as much scenery as possible before the years end, and then spend time on painting my warband. We'll meet up again in 2 weeks time, probably at my place so I want to have more finished.

Also nice, the local independent shopkeeper has decided to stock the Frostgrave rulebook and the mini's as well, so it looks like there will be some thursday night gaming in the future for me.  Another reason to have painted stuff, it attracts more people.

I'm nackered now. The guys played from 20:30 to 23:30, picking up the rules very quickly, correcting some mistakes we made soon enough and like I said before, really enjoyed ourselves. And that is the best thing.

This weekend - Saturday night is the new gaming night with my wife - boardgames, and maybe some painting sundaynight.

Now: bed.

donderdag 19 november 2015

1/35 Italeri Village Fountain - it begins

Saw this model in a Mordheim Youtube battle report by Guerillia Miniature Games and recognised it straight away from the Italeri catalogues of my youth. 5 minute deal on a kit swapping FB page, 3 week wait (he had it in his stash....somewhere....then his wife was supposed to post it but she misplaced it....) and 10 minute build. Only replaced the water spout with a more durable brass tube one. Suitable for Frostgrave and Mordheim (and Warhammer, and Moderns, and WW2 etc...)
(1/35 Italeri Village Fountain....an ancient piece of plastic)

Trial runs of Frostgrave tomorrow, so I'll basecoat this one in the evening or maybe saturday, paint sundayevening or somewhere next week, then weathering. I hope to get her done really soon.


EDIT: Finally finished 6 years later!  Mordheim Water Pump

Chinese scout drone (based on GZG Hornet drone)

Tried to paint tonight, but could not get into it, so packed all of the trade and sales stuff instead, labelled them and put them on the kitchen table. I want to get out tomorrow, so a great time to mail them. Small fortune in shipping costs, will be nice when the next paycheck comes in. It also reminds me I need to sell more. Anyway, Kim was pleased to see so much leave the house, bless her :)

Anyway, finished, I was shifting bags of bits left to right on my desk and I grabbed the GZG bag from the lot. The engines will have to wait as the vehicles are not here yet, but the drones I could start with. Well, 1 anyway. I removed what mouldlines it had, pinned all of the part together with fine wire and used a thicker rod for the stand. I reused the flight base by glueing it to a 20mm plastic base and sanding the edges. As Jon intended the model to be more in a fly (as the insect I mean) like position it has a hole in the chest for a flightstand. I wanted this one to be more upright in a attack position, like it just spotted something and it is facing a threat or target with his tri barrel laser, so I pinned it in the tail with a brass rod and repositioned it. I based it as just above a standard 20mm figure and the laser at headheight of a 28mm figure. (I know this makes it a bigger target but esthetically (?) it looks better and more imposing. I filled the hole with a Zinge Industries small socket from their socket set I picked up for some Adeptus Mechanicus conversions..
(Elhiem 20mm sniper for comparison)

This guy and the next will be in Chinese colours, so monocolour green with highlights and Chinese national markings on the head and numerals on the fans. I will filter that and add some light damage to them as I intend to use these for Post Apoc 28mm as well. 1 black, 1 red and 1 green or gold eye (representing the various camera types).

For 20mm I see them as PDF spotters and scouts, able to defend themselves with a carbine sized laser weapon. For 28mm I see them purely as scouts operating behind enemy lines while sending back data and being able to defend themself with a pepperpot laser pistol sized weapon, but nothing more then that. Now for 15mm... wait, I don't do that :)

Haven't got the foggiest what to name them though. They are a bit big for gnats, and I suspect they have a supressed but audible at short range buzzing sound from the duct fans. Can't have much armour, but speedy so not that easy to kill. I'll figure something out for it. Well, John calls them Hornet Drone so Giant Asian Hornet (Vespa Mandarina) is something to Google. Those things are big, so quite apt. One of the nick names is Yak-killer. I think I will stick to that, would be nice to have a Russian foe :)

woensdag 18 november 2015

OOP Forgeworld Sewer Hatches/Entrances

I picked up these Forgeworld Sewer Entrances for 17 euros I believe at the local FB Wargamers market, unpainted, new in the bag (still counts as 2nd hand) back in March 2015. They look rather nice, with the hatches being numbered 1 till 6 in Roman numerals. They are long OOP like most of the good Forgeworld stuff. They are not all perfectly round as FW has a habit of taking things out of the mould too soon, but at first glance that is not very obvious. They do use a ton of releasing agent, mine were actually shiney from it. Several good scrubs managed to take that off. A bit more effort later removed all of the casting stalks too.

I based them on hexes as a the time I did not have suitable round bases and the hatches come with a circle of sculpted on crap that I did not want to remove. And a hex stands out to me like a round base does not. As these will be used as objectives or scenario specific encounter locations, I prefer it that way.

Originally these were painted with a mix of black metal and flat brown, but you can't see any of it after some stippling, washes and a bit of filter. After 2 coats of flat I went over them lightly with a pencil and rubbed it around a bit to get the current effect. A good healthy dose of tufts later and voila.

My idea beind these are the sewer hatches you see in Fallout 3, leading to underground areas.
(Necromunda model for scale (not painted by me))

I'm rather happy with them and will come in handy for games of Zombies, Pulp, Necromunda, Inquisitor/Munda, Modern and Horror as well as being more then suitable for Mordheim.

Pity they are OOP.

zondag 15 november 2015

Going to try some new things (for me anyway) tomorrow.

Instead of my usual method of doing all scratches and marks by hand, I tried the foam method tonight. Doesn't always do what I want, but can't beat the time won doing it like this, it is fast!

Did some extremely heavy weathering on these canisters, but I like it. The hatches I repainted with a mix of black steel and flat brown for that high manganese kind of look. Want them to be as generic as possible.

I just finished coating them all with gloss varnish cause I want to try something new (for me) tomorrownight. Got 2 bottles of Ammo MIG, Streaking Grime and Fuel Stains. I've never done this and I'm curious to what the results will be on the canisters. I've also got a bottle of AK Interactive Earth Effects that I want to use on the hatch covers, but if that doesn't work out I will experiment on them with weathering powders, I'm dying to try a few of those out as well (as I should as I have had quite a few of them for years now!).

Also, I repainted the statues according to some I saw on the Frostgrave FB page.
Loved the way they looked, so asked for the recipe. Turns out Shining Gold, Agrax Earthshade aka Brown Wash and then yada yada oxide (I just can't remember those dreadful names) is all I need to do. Repainted them with Vallejo Model Air Gold (well, more of a heavy drybrush) followed by a good wash with an old pot of Devlan Mud. And it did the trick. Painting bronze by painting them gold first. Huh, who figured that one?

I've asked Modhail for his rock colour mix so I can use it on the big statues, already finished their bases today. Sticking to Flat Brown base, Dark Sand drybrush and Pale Sand drybrush for now, looks good and almost the same as most of my previous work so it all ties in.

And gosh, look at the time. 2:30 in the morning. Good thing it's the weekend :)

vrijdag 13 november 2015

First painted things in 18 months

Hey, it is not much, but I'm happy with it :)

4 Frostgrave treasuremarkers ready for gloss varnish. From 1 tot 4, all customs, 1. Pile of gold, 2. Medallion, 3. Statue and 4. Piece of Troll dung (that's my story and I'm sticking to it...since they ain't picky eaters you are bound to find magical rings and money in it :D )

Now I hope I don't muck up the varnish bit.

woensdag 11 november 2015

KISS (statues for Frostgrave)

So I've been looking at other peoples ideas for statues for the museum scenario for Frostgrave, and they either cost too much or they cost too much :)

So I diverted my attention to cleaning (nothing much else I can do now that I'm sick) as the cabinet with all of my spraypaints is hidden behind a mound of crap. So, while digging out box after box I find these chaps.
Had not seen these for a while. Old Heroquest figures, got about a dozen of these plus some sprues of early Skaven. Well, they are quite static in their pose, and I have enough, so why not keep it simple, stupid (KISS). Perfect statues at zero cost :)

Snipped off their tabs, sanded the feet flat and just glued them to 20mm round bases. These will look the part once painted bronze/copper with patina....that is when I get that new GW Technical paint
Yayyada Oxide something (stupid names). I might be able to pick up a pot next friday before going to Modhail.

vrijdag 30 oktober 2015

Droid Slavers

" Right after the great war, with most production facilities in ruins, and most people no longer trusting them, robots and droids were rare. But there was still a need for cheap and efficient labour and servants, and this is where the robot slavers stepped in. Robots salvaging, repairing and in some cases hunting down other robots for sale to humans who would pay the price. In some cases various factions of robots would sell captured robots unsuited for them to the slavers, and they in turn to us.

You see, pre war robots function on a different level then current day examples. Scared that they would revolt again, we now have dumbed down models., with the exception of some higher end (military) models. So they are sought after, now that the great war is long behind us. Like a commodity they are sold on, mindwiped again and again, from party to party who is willing to pay the price.

As long as we buy them, Droid Slavers will exists. And that is why B85M-D3V comes to town once a month, to sell out his kind for a profit. And we keep a very close watch on what he does."

Constable Gu Lee, New Xi'an, 11th Province, CCM-23

donderdag 29 oktober 2015

Natural 20

  A natural 20 is a deadly thing in Frostgrave as it does double damage. As Jan-Willems apprentice found out when I cast Elemental Ball against her and she rolled very, very low (30+ damage in one go). He jokingly said that all what was left of her were smoking boots.

Well, why not make some boots :)

20mm base, boots off a ruined dwarf model from the trash box. Need to clean it, base it, and drill the openings and give it a quick paintjob.

Just for fun when someone dies violently I suppose.....

dinsdag 20 oktober 2015

Disapointment and change on the hobby front

3 weeks to go till Crisis, I've checked the figures and the finances, gone over the pre orders with a fine tooth comb to make sure I stay within the budget and spent last night up to 2 o'clock sending them all (but 1) out, and except Foundry they all replied already! Magister Militum will have to come tonight as Evin hadn't replied yet to my question about his part of the order.

But then....

Fenris Games - not coming. :(
Renedra - not coming. :(

The Dice Bag Lady is willing to take orders for Fenris, but as I had been in doubt whether to go for Fenris Games or Thomarillion. I just edited the order and sent it to Thomarillion, to pick up all of their crypts except the small chapel and a few other small bits for the graveyard. Bye 60 euros.

Renedra....I must have misread a previous traderslist or something? Have an order for even more gravestones, bases and I wanted the church for AWI/pulp (and because it is a great deal), 33 pounds in total. Their reply was a bit short (one sentence) telling me they are not coming, and they didn't even ask what I wanted to do with the order. I'll have a rethink now about dropping the order entirely just because of the reply, it's like they don't want my business? (That's how it feels to me anyway)

The replies from Ainsty (more Crypts and graveyard bits and a big Mausoleum, total for another 25 Pounds) and Thomarillion were pretty quick (Thomarillion replied at 5:30 in the morning....mental!) and those items will be ready for me at Crisis.

No reply yet to the 32 Pound Foundry order (just 3 packs, pricey stuff), added in a last minute prehistoric killer bird for Frostgrave as a stand in Worm for the Worm Hunt. Looking forward to painting that.

For the rest I'm doing some swaps with fellow gamers, I will be getting quite a few skeletons on the sprue, new and old, as well as a Vampire and a Necromancer, plus some Flaggelants and some more Pulp African Explorers. I'll be trading some money and some 20mm items for that. I hope my current sales will sell before next week, if not, I'll do some additional discounting to push them, if not for Crisis, then just to boost my bank account.

I'm avoiding the Crisis Traders list like the plague now. I don't want to get any more ideas and what I have selected should be more then sufficient to last me till next year. I have a small amount of money set aside for impulse buys, plus another 50 from sales to take Kim out to dinner as a thank you for taking care of the kids all day while I'm having fun and her oncoming birthday.

Finally, I managed to win a large lot of LotR scenery on Ebay, too much in fact, so I will be selling off some of the bits and pieces when it arrives and just keeping what I need for Frostgrave. What I now need to look at is finding either premade Mordheim scenery or do it myself. Both should not be impossible.

My replacement parts order from 3D Horizons has been delayed, US Customs sent it back to the seller for some reason, but that is ok. I'm still working on the sketches for the towers anyway. Need to buy another roll of lead to stuff their bases with, don't want them to topple. Fortunately the local DIY send me a 5 euro discount birthday coupon I can use for that. Always trying to save money :)

donderdag 15 oktober 2015

CHI-76a Medium Laser Tank " Mazha "

Somewhere in the future, man will colonise other planets and war will break out. With this idea I have been on again and off again penning down notes and ideas about what vehicles to make, looking at modifications and making plans for the future, as I want to do this in 20mm and as some of you may know, 20mm is not a (popular) Sci-fi scale. 15mm you can buy everthing plus the kitchen sink, 28mm just a tad less, 20mm hardly anything.

First off, my sci-fi universe is a mix of various ideas (and shows/movies). It is a period after man colonized many worlds, discovered many alien species, battled a omnipotent AI and came out battered but unbroken (minor win in gaming terms), only to rise up again, start fighting amongst themselves and remnant robot forces and the odd alien. Mechs are available but rare, anti-grav is possible and anything goes worlds wise. Alien ships are common. CHI stands for China Heavy Industries - I tend to focus a lot on China as a colonising power and almost all of my builds will be for this nation as well as looking at various robots cause I always need more reasons to paint robots

The CHI-76a is a general medium tank chassis used for a variety of tasks, of simple build as to keep the costs down, for 2nd line and garission units. I'll be focusing on one PDF (Planetary Defence Force) in particular on a as yet unnamed world, CCM-23 is known for its large copper deposits and earth like climate (well, a bit hotter). No other details currently available.

This PDF uses the Mazha's (Chinese for Grasshopper/Locust depending on which translator you use. (My Chinese colleagues actually got into a argument with each other if this word or something I can't pronounce is correct, but in Dutch a Grasshopper and a Locust are the same thing so I'll leave it at that. You get the idea)) as their main battle tank. This tank is built around defense. It carries 2 main guns, medium to heavy lasers depending on the setting, that can be fired simultaneously or alternating, good for 3000 shots until ithey need to be overhauled. The laser is of a very rugged Indian design, copied by the Chinese. Very durable and low maintenance, the only odd feature is that each discharge is accompanied by a loud chirp, not unlike a grasshopper, due to the way the baffles work to vent the heated air. That and the preferred Chinese tactic of attacking/defending in larger groups while moving from location to location brought about the name, the original factory name long since forgotten.

For maximum survivability, the crew of 3 sits inline in the middle of the vehicle in armoured cocoon front to back (Driver, gunner, commander). For extra defence the vehicle comes with a twin MG turret on top, a small anti missile laser on the rear deck and optional additional ceramic ablative armour on the sides. The vehicle is tracked as that is still the most economical way to get around in most areas. A anti grav version is available, but due to the greater drain on the engine this tends to draw too much power and increases reload time for the lasers. No AI unit is available for this type of tank, but most droids/robots can take the place of the various crew if needed. As it is very noseheavy, no blower version exists. The front roadwheels and suspension wears out at an excessive rate and are rated at 1500 km's max. The engine is either a multifuel type or a small fusion reactor (not for export). Armour is low to average on the sides, but the front armour should be able to withstand hits up to 125mm....in theory. It does not carry a shield generator. Depending on the location and training of the crew, the tank is used as a sniper, lying in ambush, or as a assault tank, supporting infantry.

The chassis is used for various roles, of which later more.

I have a donor chassis selected from my stash, I ordered new barrels for the conversion and I plan to make 3 units of this particular model. Total cost per tank should not exceed 12,50 euro including all of the parts and scratchbuilding. I hope to start these in December/January, though I will base the hulls before that time.

More fiction of me in the future to go with my 20mm sci-fi project :)

I'll leave you with a link to my gaming buddy's Blog, Modhails Meanderings who just finished a beautiful True Scale Howling Griffons Space Marine and photographed in his beautiful 3D Space Hulk sections. He wants a whole unit for them in Inquisimunda. The nutter.

dinsdag 6 oktober 2015

Buy N Large

After a rather devastating friday evening at the club, in which I showed 0 interest for modelling of any kind, I did manage to walk away with some extra cash in hand and a brand new box of Kastelan robots (finally) that I traded for some plastic Cadian sentinels and troops. I will treasure it, and I won't unpack it untill my skills have improved. The Cadians won't be missed.

The weekend was a bust as well, Kim and the kids were sick, our Netflix account got hacked by some guy in Brasil and I think I blinked twice before it was sunday evening :(

During our weekly chat this evening, I informed Kim that I had donated money to charity and won a Rapid Fire book that way, and that I had bought something for my sci-fi scratchbuilding. Her reply, that since I had money, I should give her the same amount as I had just spent. Wait....what? What about Crisis then? I plan to spend about a 100 there or more, saving around 50 (or more) on shipping alone. Well, I'm to hand over the savings in shipping as well.

Well, that went from 0 to full in under 5 seconds. I'll spare you the rest of the argument, but I sit here now telling myself it is all because she's not well yet, she is being irrational but does not know it. Maybe I'm just telling me things but at least it prevents me from being agry at her.

So, any bright spots?

Well, yes, thank you for asking. While browsing the LAF I discovered a topi that has been running for a few months now, called "Elbowtech" link   Years back I was a huge Battletech fan, I have one case with practically every book ever published and another case with what must be around 400 mechs in blister alone, with a couple of 100 based and some even painted. Don't think I ever played more then 5 games in my life with it because it is so dreadfully slow :P Even back then I managed to go overboard. Anyway, Elbowtech. A fans work to make the game run much quicker with less bookkeeping so that you can play a game in an hour. I'm all for that, cause it still does not require a lot of figures to play a game, or use tons of scenery. Better yet, his version is hexless. Since I have not seen my cases of stuff for some time I will keep my eye on his topic, but it sure fired up my reactor. Good memories.

Also, the pre order list for Crisis is almost finished, and I'm still under budget after scratching off a few more things. As it stands now I'm looking at getting the following:

Four Legged Friends GPR022 - 4 animals - 16,20 euro 
One horse cart - GPR013 - 12 Pounds 

Magister Militum 
Pair of Ducks - AM13 - 0.50 Pounds x 8 = 4 Pounds 
Merchants (Hansa Teutonica) - BRU50 - 7,50 Pounds 
Assasin - BRU68 - 4,20 Pounds 

Ainsty Castings 
Mixed Memorials x4 - 2003 - 4 Pounds 
Chest Tomb x2 - 2005 - 3,50 Pounds 

Crooked Dice 
Repair Drone Deal (2pcs) - 4 Pounds 
Scary Statues set - 13 Pounds 

Fenris Games 
Dice Plinth - FGARC28 - 3 Pounds x3 
Chtullu Grave Markers - SKU00421 - 3,75 Pounds 
Lost Shores Ornamental Pool - SKU02213 - 6 Pounds 

Graveyard sprue - 8 Pounds

Sorted by project, Medieval Merchant and Graveyard, with just 1 Sci-Fi item because it is a robot to add to my collection :)

Things that could be axed to save money are the 12 pound cart, the 4 Pounds mixed memorials and 3.50 Pounds chest tombs, and the 4 pound assasin, though I feel that figure makes a excellent thief for Frostgate.

At the show I'm just looking for Vallejo Air metals, some kits from PSC and anything that peaks my interest at the Bring and Buy in the 1 hour break window that I have.

Anything under 200 euro spent will be a good day I think. Not so much that I can't make it back selling stuff, and not too little in new buys for my plans. Though this year, less is better :) (gosh, never thought I would hear myself say that)

donderdag 17 september 2015

Welcome to the wonderful (and expensive) world of 28mm AWI CANCELLED

Well, that is it then.

After a year of selling off stuff, slowly building back to be able to paint and game again, and making plans, Kim (after much pushing of her best mate) put her foot down last night and proclaimed the attic must be cleared of all excess stuff pronto and I'm not allowed to buy anything anymore for quite some time. Else there would be consequences for our relationship. Her friend had gotten pretty mad at me for...well, various reasons, and pushed her into acting, for our mutual benefit.

Where I come from this is called emotional blackmail, she said it was in my best interest.

Always trying to avoid problems, I cancelled all trades planned for this and other projects, but spent a lot of time and today thinking about this. Is this really fair? Ok, I have a lot of stuff, and stuff needs to be sold, but I have sold over 2K of stuff in the last year. Does this show? No, of course not, it is all about miniatures...small things. I have a steady rythem of selling and a good thought process if I want to buy things (only current projects, only if I start them within a year, only from funds from sold items). I've made vast improvements to my hobby room. I'm actually looking forward to painting and playing again. It was Kim who told me I should get out more, which is what shows and the AWI project are all about. Or maybe I'm just being dense here, but being told to sell 3/4 of my stuff feels to me like a random figure of someone who has no grasp to what this hobby really is.

Collecting, painting and gaming.

As far as anyone I know or talk to, they all have quite a bit of space, shelving or attic devoted to the storage of their hobby. And it is not like having to sell 3/4's of it will me stop me wanting to buy new things, or go to cons, or learn new games and have evenings of fun with likeminded individuals. At least I hope not.

For some reason or other telling her this hobby is a big part of me and is the one last thing (next to my girls) that keeps me sane and gives me a good reason to get out of bed each day seems to be falling on deaf ears. It actually does with 9/10 of our combined family. Back in college many people were amazed I had the patience to paint such small things, now all I hear are things like "waste of money", "childish" and more comments like that. Not being helped by the fact the room is messy, and the attic does have a lot of stuff in it, and all my painted stuff that people used to wow about is stored in drawers cause I want to keep them safe. So you dont see what is going on in this room.

But threatening to do something about our relationship while we have 2 kids to raise made me snap somewhere in the middle of the night. To have the balls to say something tells me how detatched she is from our mutual reality. Or as Piers said, i should help her pack her things so she can leave. Nobody messes with my hobby. I never tolerated it from previous girlfriends, why would I tolerate it now? Well, because we have kids, and I go out of my way to avoid problems really, I've been bending over backwards for a solid year not to get on her bad side.

Having said that, I say, fuck it. Sales are good at the moment and I will list much more in the coming month. I'll grab a nice share of that for Crisis and have fun one last time this year, and buy what is on the list and maybe a few thinsg that fancy me, and put the rest back into my account for another day. I'll keep clearing stuff at my speed. I work all do, come home to cook and do chores, and have a few hours a night to myself. if I can't even have that, then what's the point?

So, no big group project for me. I can live with that.
No more purchases for some time. Fine, so be it.
No more hobby? Over my dead body.

maandag 14 september 2015

Welcome to the wonderful (and expensive) world of 28mm AWI

Now that I have gone and joined the Dutch 2016 AWI project, and selected Colonial Militia, I'm for a world of hurt. Not only do I have to brush up my AWI knowledge (currently just hovering over 0), but I also need to find, base and paint enough miltia to fit a scenario of my choosing. And learn how to play the game. And not break the bank!

Yeah, no pressure!

Fortunately, because I can focus on Militia, I've now been told I can mix and match uniformed and ununiformed in the same unit. And because I will have no fixed paint scheme, it may not be as fast but there should be enough variation for me to keep going for a while (my aim will be a base a week, anything else is a bonus. If that base will be 4 figures (as Piers does) or 6 figures ( as the locals do) is yet to be decided). Fortunately, I have a lot of time till the game is started in August or September. I've already scouted a fine chap in Portugal who has 60 Militia and Continentals lying spare, so that would be a great start.

Planning this lead me to ponder what to do for Crisis this year. Sgts Mess won't be there this year so no impulse binging on little 20mm WW2 parts. Sofar I've got 50 pounds in my Paypal for pre orders and 110 euros spending cash (which inlcudes the 10 euro entry fee). I thought I would need to double that for all of my wants. So, I did the smart thing and made a list. And some terms to focus on.

Graveyard which technically falls under Mordheim/Frostgate, and 20mm Sci-Fi. So, 2-3 terms.

Just shopwise, that narrows it down to Brother Vinni, Crooked Dice, Fenris Games, Ainsty Castings and Magisters Militium. When I added up the list I was pleasantly surprised. 75 Pounds for mostly graveyard stuff, plus some merchants for Mordheim/Frostgate and some Robots. Even less if I'm honest cause I already have quite a few Brother Vinni stuff lying unpainted, so I'm looking at about 60 Pounds. Add to that some paint, some PSC 20mm armour boxes, a bag of bases and I'm up to 100 pounds.

The last time I pre ordered from Foundry, there was only a 1 figure bonus, so the only saving you really have is on shipping. Having said that, there are some AWI packs I'm interested in. As always, do I buy them now or do I wait when the lot is painted. Decisions, decisions. Not helped by the fact the Dutch AWI group is planning a group buy from Perry.

Thing is, I'm going over each and every possible purchase with a fine tooth comb. Will I build it within a year? Can it wait another year? What are the chances of this item showing up second hand coming year? Where will I find the money? How can I save money?

Well, the last things should not be a problem. I have a big box of Epic stuff that I will be selling soon, and also a lot of other GW boxes that I really have no need for (What do I need a 40K Predator tank for if all I do is skimrish? What do I look like, a Bolt Action player?). And I'm saving money by my decision not to buy premade 3rd World slums (at 4-5 Pounds a hut) I've been holding off for over a year now but by just buying a 10 sheet pack of fine wave cardboard for 2,50 euro and making my own. I want a dozens of buildings so I just went and saved myself more then a 100 Pounds. The items I did pick will be for this year, barring the PSC stuff that I buy for my German army, that is for next year. And you never know what the Bring and Buy will bring. Always a dangerous one, that Bring and Buy.

At least one thing will be free, Jasper from the WSS magazine has some Steel Master magazines for free that I will gladly take off his hands. I love reading those, with my high school French :) Pretty pictures too.

So, did I mention painting? A lot of painting? Thank the Lord for Christy.

zondag 30 augustus 2015

End of times or a new beginning?

We had a lovely week, great weather, visits to the pool, the zoo and a fabulous bird of prey show (now I finally know what Johnny Rook means, as I had one race between my legs!) and are now calming down :) 1 more week with chores in and around the house and trying to grab some time for myself. Well, I can try :)

On a different but related event, just before we left, we received word that City Council will help with  daycare for the twins. Great news as we can't otherwise afford it and Kim needs the downtime badly. It does mean we lose all spending money, period. All money left over after the basics like rent, food, gas and insurance goes to the council.

What does this mean?

Well, no money for at least a year, for starters.

Is that a bad thing? Well, as long as the car and other expensive things don't break down, we have little savings and family willing to help out.

Sounds bad, but it isn't. (eternal optimist speaking)

A. Good for the kids, as they get to spend time with other kids their age and they can learn from them
B. Good for Kim, as she gets time off to help herself and as soon as therapy starts, get more help.
C. Good for me. Really? Yes, really.

Let's face it, one of my hobby problems is that I have too much stuff. Way too much. My other problem is that I spend too easily. Yes, I've cut down a lot in the last year, but still. So, lets turn this into something beneficial. I mean, no money means no soda or snacks, and that can only be good! I even ate a apple today :)

I can still sell stuff, and will continue to do so. Proceeds can only go 2 ways, either in my Paypal or straight to my bank account. Since I'm in the red, bank account is good. Paypal will only be used after  agreement with Kim for items that can fill out current and active projects only. Seems simple enough.

So, with that in mind, how does it go from now?

Well, there is plenty of stuff to do. While I was on holiday I received several packages. 1 was a bag of second hand Liberation miniatures (US Army Rangers) from Rob at the Guild that will be perfect for  for my Black Hawk Down project (I did buy them for that) after I finish the Delta's. I also received 2 motivators, a Ssh40 Russian helmet from the fifties for when I start the WW2 Russians that went for way less then militaria sites charge you, and it is practically brand new. I also received a Dutch Royal Navy sailors cap from the Eighties (not that they have changed) from a former Dutch sailor as a motivation  for my 1/3000 naval stuff.

I have enough projects to cover me for a year, so I don't see any problems, and my wife and kids will be better for it :) What is not to like? ;)

I just means that conquering the lead mountain challenge has become indefinite.

zondag 23 augustus 2015

Project management and a brief holiday

I'll be leaving for a short holiday tomorrow with the wife and kids to get away from it all. It will be nice to be a week without internet and just a good book in the evening. Can't wait.

Meanwhile, at home..... I had a brainwave earlier this week in that the boxes I use to send out stuff actually make good project boxes. A bit on the big side (a bit bigger then A4 size) but very suitable, as as I can get them from work for free (we only get these from one customer who packs all of his motherboards in the same standard box, and we don't use them for shipping as they are single layer cardboard, so we just throw them out) I have a unlimited supply.

So, 5 minutes with my trusty labelwriter gives me this:

All of my current projects, (not so) neatly stacked and labelled. I plan to repack my older projects in the same manner and store them in the attic for now. Anything on my desk now (that does not belong into any of the Ikea sorting boxes I have) should be put in bags and boxes asap and stored in the attic.

Of the 7 projects you see (3x 20mm and 4x 28mm) the Bandit Buntai box is a future one cause I feel my skills are not up to that task yet. The EW Germans have the problem that with half the army missing in the post, and not sufficient funds to buy replacements, this has stalled before it has started. The other 5 I can work on now.

In other depressing news, the manager of the local GW and a dear friend of mine got fired. As a result, I will no longer be using the friday night hobby club at the GW (and many more people with me) as we all support the manager (and not GW for this insane move).

As my wife does like to see me go out once a week to preserve my sanity, I've contacted my old gaming buddy Modhail to do a weekly/bi-weekly friday night hobby and/or gaming session. In a few weeks time this will start and we'll see how it will work. One week at his place, one week at mine seems to be the idea. And mutually motivating to get things done, I like that :) Even his wife approves! Just brilliant :)