2016 Been there, done it

14 01 2017

This was started on New Year’s Day and then it got put down and buried under stuff.

I am sat here feeling slightly obfuscated, mostly due to schnapps, brandy and presecco seeing out the old year.
2016 was a year that a lot of interesting and clever people shuffled of this mortal coil. The way East/West politics are moving 2017 could be the year that everyone dies.
I didn’t paint much, far less than I wanted to. The Dragon was prevaricated on. It seemed that every time I picked it up I was asked for help with something else so there was no “Zone” achieved.
But there shouldn’t be too much beating myself up. My workshop is set up and I can airbrush to my hearts content. One project for this year is to make a spray booth with PC cooling fans (from the recycling center) to extract spray. The hobby room is done, bar one small speaker shelf. So I have my space for painting and gaming. And I have been working on the garden making a path and building a wall. This involves going to the farm with a wheelbarrow and taking a rock and wheeling it back, so quite time consuming.

Financially the laser cutting has not been a success this year. Etsy resulted in zero sales. Handing out my business card at Salute resulted in a huge spike in blog views the following day, but zero sales.
What I find frustrating in my target audience is that they will happily fork out thirty or forty quid for one figure they owned as a teenager but will balk at paying twenty for scenery to grace their collection. There was a thread I was following where collectors were boasting about the prices they had paid for a metal Thunderhawk Gunship. It was jaw dropping.

I am going to continue with making laser cut scenery, if only for myself. But getting some money for it would be nice. The last year has seen a readjustment in family finances. I have gone from having a huge disposable income a couple of years ago to having none. My Wife stopped working at the beginning of last year and despite having no income we’ve lived comfortably. Having no rent or mortgage helps tremendously and visiting fleamarkets for clothes and entertainment makes what we do have go along way.
I have backed a few Kickstarters this year, not as many as I would have liked. Ten Minute Heist and Dwarves in Trouble are two board games that look like fun to play with the Boys. Then came the addiction, miniatures. Space Raiders, scifi orcs sculpted by Kevin Adams. Greenskin Wars, goblins sculpted by Kevin Adams. Goblins and Sea Demons, sea goblins sculpted by Kevin Adams. Return to Colony 87, scifi civilians. Kev White does Matt Dixon, female fantasy miniatures. And finally Ramshackle Games’s Jetbikes.

The product of the year for me has been Foundrys Sable Mix General Detail Brush. I was going to replace it at the beginning of the year but it kept on going for “one more paint job”. In fact it is still going strong, so I might not replace it just yet.

Although I’m not very good with my predictions I’m going to say that 2017 will be the year of NMMs. Non Metallic Metallics, where you paint something to look shiny and metallic without using any metallic paint. For those of you who don’t quite get what I’m on about, think about a photograph of a shiny teapot. You don’t have metallic inks when you print a photograph. What you see are whites, greys and whatever background colours are being reflected. So the object is to try and replicate this without metallic paint. G’Dub is already putting painting guides out with this technique with some of their new products.

Talking about G’Dub, I have liked watching their Warhammer TV on Youtube. It has been very instructive and has kept my Boys entertained. Just remember kids, always thin your paints.

Something I got as a Christmas present was a copy of Osprey’s Rogue Stars ruleset. It is a bit dry, mostly tables of equipment, physical traits and very little fluff. From reading of reviews apparently one gets the hang of it very easily. The advantage, as I see it, of having very little fluff is that you can create your own universe in the flavour you want. Magrathea anyone?
I’d like to make a go of this and try and run a demo game at the Austrian Salute this year.
The game is figure light, four to six figures a side and the playspace is three foot by three foot.
So I have approximately ten weeks to learn the rules. I’ve taken the step of joining the Austrian gaming forum, diefestung, to find opponents. Then painting the figures and making a terrain board which will showcase my laser cut work.
Oh, and make sure I have enough stock to sell.
Speaking of stock I must really extract my digit and design more big objects. The ideal solution would be one big thing a month.

This year I must be more focused on my painting. First jobs are to finish off any jobs that haven’t been completed. Then I need to decide which army to concentrate on and finish it. A prime candidate would be my Roman army, just a fortified camp and two commanders.





Salute 2016

15 05 2016

Apologies for the delay, but as you’ll read on I’m sure you’ll forgive me.
This was something I’d been planning for for ages. I have been going to Salute annually for about ten years before moving to Austria. Then I had a two year gap. I was hesitant but it was my Wife who encouraged me to go as I hadn’t been back to England since the move.
Salute, for those of you who don’t know, is one of the largest wargaming shows in Europe. Here you get a chance to see a whole load of traders and get to see their merchandise in the flesh. It is also a chance to look at a huge range of games that had been lovingly prepared over the last year. There is also the painting contest. This is drawing in some of the best painters from around Europe, so I didn’t stand much of a chance, but nothing ventured etc. I wanted to enter the Salute figure contest. Every year in your goodie bag is a free figure which can be entered into next year’s contest. Now as I hadn’t been for a couple of years I didn’t have the figure. A quick request on the Oldhammer Facebook group soon dealt with this problem. Many thanks to Mr. David Wood, more of which later.
Painting competition
Once the list of traders was announced on the Salute website I spent a fair amount of time visiting every single traders website and working out a wish-list. Then came the job of prioritising what I wanted to buy. In theory I had an unlimited budget but I was also aware that my lead mountain was vast (about 15 years worth of painting) so I tried to narrow the list down to what I actually needed and within a reasonable budget. I allowed a bit of wiggle-room as there was Kevin Adams, The Goblin Master, and no real prices or stock on the website.
Once I had drawn up my shopping list I printed out the Salute site map. Armed with my shopping list and site map I worked out a hit list in my notebook going up and down the traders in the most time efficient manner.
Plan
Notebook
As I said this was my first visit for a couple of years and my first from abroad, so no home base as I was previously used to. The cheapest ticket option was to stay for five days. So a bit of Facebook posting got me some sofas to surf on. The first two nights was to be spent at my old gaming buddy Seb’s house.
Two days before flying I was struck with severe abdominal pains which lasted almost twenty four hours. I was worried that I would have to go to hospital and miss Salute. A further worry was that if it returned whilst in England I would have to visit and English hospital. After Austrian hospitals any trip to an English hospital would be like a trip to the third world.
Thankfully the pains vanished the day before flying, much to my relief.
I managed to squeeze everything into my little holdall, just grams under my ten kilo allowance. For the return journey I had booked a suitcase which was to be donated by a friend. I had also bought a lot of bits and pieces on Fleabay and had them sent to my Daughter’s place. Also in preparation I had some business cards printed up along with a promotional t-shirt.
Business cardBusiness card back
These I had sent to Seb’s. The first delivery was left in the rain by the courier company so the printing company promptly sent another batch. Seb opened the first package and the contents were fine. I now had a couple of hundred cards to distribute in the queue to enter Salute.
The flight was uneventful but getting a connecting bus to Stratford was chaotic. The bus was grimy and I was reluctant to sit on the seats.
National Disgrace
Such a contrast to Austria.
It chucked it down when I arrived in Stratford, everything was grey and miserable and the pavements seemed clogged with fag butts. A mad dash to get some shopping done, Tea and hitting the Poundshops (I do miss them) for epoxy glue, superglue and plug adapters. Then back to Seb’s. We had a pleasant evening and I played Lords of War (http://lords-of-war.com/) for the first time. This was a Kickstarter I had backed with the bonus that the cards were illustrated by Steve Cox (http://stevecox.prosite.com/) who was two years above me when I went to college.
Saturday, Salute day! It was up early to get a good place in the queue.
I had a minor problem with my ticket, which was swiftly resolved when I showed the email correspondence I’d had with one of the event organisers.
The queue
This gave me a chance to hand out my business cards. At the time of writing there has been zero interest in my tawdry offerings. I met Mr. David Wood, my Oldhammer Facebook friend who I’d never met in real life before and we spent the hour before the doors opened chatting away.
Then at ten o’clock the doors opened and in we went.
The day was a blur, not helped by my abdominal pains returning, and my carefully planned route didn’t happen.
Here are some of the highlights, that I can remember.
Meeting Annie from Bad Squiddo Games (https://thedicebaglady.net/) and showing her one of her figures I had painted.

This photo has been shamelessly lifted from https://mugodice.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/my-salute-2016/

This photo has been shamelessly lifted from https://mugodice.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/my-salute-2016/


The Oldhammer meet-up at the Foundry stand. This was sparsely attended but it was nice to meet some of the people I know from Facebook and blogs.
I dropped off my “Souvenir” to Mantic, see previous posting.
A rather cool Mad Max game, apologies as I can’t remember who did it.
Mad Max
Picking up my copy of Open Combat, another Kickstarter I’d backed.
Carl Brown
https://www.secondthunder.com/
A bonus was that I met Gav Thorpe there, he writes for GeeDubs Black Library and I regretted I didn’t bring along one of his books that I had brought for the trip.
I met Alan and Michael Perry, Paul Thompson and Chris Cound all old White Company compatriots.
At Heresy (http://www.heresyminiatures.com/shop/) I was humbled to meet Andy Foster and showed him that the Dragon is on this years painting list. Apparently most are still in their boxes. Mine will not be, July to be precise, when my airbrush corner is set up in the workshop.
I entered a Heavier Metal speed painting contest and won that round, and a Salute goody bag, and got to keep the figure which was cool because it was on my shopping list.
In the prize goody bag was another Salute freebie figure which I gave to Mr. David Wood who then promptly gave me some of his own figures.
http://deartonyblair.blogspot.co.at/2014/03/dtb-minis-now-available.html
He made me promise that I would paint them. So I had better do that.
I left the show in a haze of discomfort and can’t really remember much else about the show. Luckily I’d scribbled some notes down otherwise it would have been quite a slim posting.
All the loot
The freebies
The next day I went to hospital. They would have sent me away with a packet of paracetamol had I not mentioned that I would not be able to see a GP for a few days as I was visiting and I was concerned that my urine was a rich teak colour.
I got admitted immediately and was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. I ended up staying four days in hospital and missed my flight.
Don’t talk to me about the food, I refused to touch it. Not even the head of catering could provide a full ingredients listing.
Anyway I’m back in Austria. I had my gallbladder removed as it was full of large gallstones. You can talk to me about the food here, beef-steak with fresh asparagus, stuffed chicken breast with pesto mini dumplings.





So what have I been up to during radio silence?

10 03 2016

Well I haven’t been painting prolifically as I have been mostly working on the house.
I joined a Facebook group called 1houranight which sets monthly targets and this has been keeping me motivated.
Anyway here is a selection of work. Apologies for the variable quality of photos, one of this year’s targets is to set up a little photo set-up so I can take decent photos.
Moonraker Miniatures
The Adventurer, his Concubine, his Accountant and his Bodyguard.
These are from Moonraker Miniatures and are part of my Rouge Trader collection.
Mirleton
This was a Christmas present.
It’s from Mirleton. I was disappointed to find out that there is only one pose of this as I wanted a small unit of Skaven cavalry.
Bad Squiddo
Another Christmas present a Female Orc from The Dice Bag Lady aka Bad Squiddo Games.
mine4
This is from Scibor and I bought it because a friend of mine is really into Dwarves. Seriously into them. And the thought of one of his little men consorting with one of the hated enemies will drive him to dispair.
Spellcrow?
This one is from Spellcrow I think.
Ozzy
This is Ozzy. He was a giveaway from Casting Room Miniatures. An offshoot of Foundry. Sculpted by none other than Kevin Adams. This plus a sale and free postage was too good an offer to pass up.
Ogryn
This is a test paint for my Imperial Guard Ogryn unit.
Dirty tracks!
Some armour for my Imperial Guard. I think I may have gone over the top with dust and mud.
mine2
This is from Kromlech. They are doing some very characterful Orks and Goblins. I have my eye on some more Goblin Pirates.
Anyway that is a round up of most of what I’ve painted. That I can remember. Sometimes I am getting a bit “Senior”.





A bit more detail about the “Fun”

7 05 2015

April saw me not terribly motivated and to try and get out of the rut I decided to paint some single figures that were started or primed but not finished. Just for fun.
albgen
First off was this figure: General Sir Eddard Sharp. He was a promo model for the Arcworlde Kickstarter Sculpted by Alex Huntley, basically Mister Arcworlde. Alex’s sculpting is not polished, he is very talented and his style is very characterful and great to paint. Very like the Battleforge Halflings that I painted a while ago. He deserves our support, he’s only twenty and if he is putting stuff out there like this now imagine what amazing stuff he’s going to be producing in ten years time when he’s hit his stride.
fgobboss
Second off was this fellow. Again sculpted by Alex, this is The Big Chief of the Jungle Gremlins of Chaq-Itza.
snot2

snot1
Then it was my beloved Snotlings.
robot
This guy was a cheap plastic robot that I picked up from a charity shop. He’ll be joining a few others in my “Not” Imperial Guard Army.
orcp2

orcp1
Finishing off with this from Puppets War. A proxy Deth Kopter in my 40K Ork Army.
They all need a coat of matt varnish just to seal them.





Splashing paint for fun. The results

2 05 2015

image
This is what I achieved this month, some new and some finished off. They now need a coat of matt varnish then I’ll post better pictures and some descriptions of what they are.





Kevin “Goblinmaster” goodness

12 11 2014

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aFKbo1Iqql8

What Kevin is upto. This may be a Kickstarter next year.
Can’t wait.





June’s finished work

7 07 2014
Jason Wiebe's Gangnam Goblins

Jason Wiebe’s Gangnam Goblins

Snotling Pump Wagon

snot1

A snotling base. Only another twenty odd to go for my Snotling army.








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