Tuesday, 11 November 2014

4Ground Hotel in 15mm

Whilst my blog entries state otherwise I feel I've achieved quite a lot recently. One problem has been the inaccessibility of my computer and another being my physical state. Even with my wife's super expensive digital SLR I have been too shaky recently to take a decent photograph.

I have however managed to increase my 4Ground scenery collection by building the hotel I bought with my eBay profits.

It is, as you would expect from 4Ground, a brilliant kit with lots of details. It is composed of 4 main parts: The Hotel, the cookhouse, coaching barn and the courtyard. It comes neatly boxed with each individual part bagged up, labelled and with instructions. It also comes with a bag of elastic bands and clothes pegs. I really like this, it shows a great level of customer service (4Ground are an excellent company to deal with) and forward thinking.

It's a large and impressive building that will be a great OP or field headquarters for some of my chaps.
Lots of windows fire ports for defenders to utilise.

It has a porch with 3 different signs to choose from.

Separate back steps that fit into holes in the courtyard.

And front steps too.
Three floors with plenty of room for chaps and a tunnel leading to the courtyard and coaching barn.
The separate courtyard allows you to place the buildings as intended or just ignore and set out how you like.
Small cookhouse as an extension onto the main building.

Not exactly roomy but a good number of windows.

Coaching stable with enough room for a coach and some horses.

With the pictures being so big you can see all the places I got my PVA covered hands, most of it not noticeable when gaming. I'd forced myself to build this as I wasn't capable of painting yet didn't want a break from my hobby. The kit is one of the higher 4Ground difficulty levels but as seen it can be achieved by even the shakiest, twitchiest of modelers. I can't wait to get them onto the table.

I can't rate 4Grounds stuff enough and I'm really looking forward to a Manor House, Windmill, Water mill or whatever they bring out next.

Hopefully the rain/wind/gloom will clear at some point and I'll be able to post some pictures of my 15mm germans, a few bits of 28mm and my growing Full Thrust fleet (including some classic starforce ships and a scratch built one too).

Thanks for taking the time,


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday - Lest we forget

It is hard to write anything that truly expresses the gratitude we feel for all those who went before us, those who sacrificed themselves to protect and preserve our daily existence, so that we may be free. And to all those that follow, may you return home to your loved ones soon, safe and unharmed.

Thank you.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Greetings. Whilst "blog wise" October seems to have been a non-event; the hobby, as ever, continued quietly. In the background, whilst hectic home and work shenanigans try to disrupt the daily grind, my lead mountain sits and waits. Mountains are patient.

After the first eBay purge and consequent shopping trip I felt more focused, and as if my hobby was gaining some momentum. I tried to feel excited about 40K for a while, but beautiful models can only do so much. Each time I play, and hopefully enjoy, a game I often feel the renewed impetus and drive necessary to assail the hobby mountain once more and attempt to move my collection forward. I have seen the mythical foothills of my personal 40k mountain and frankly, at the moment, I'd rather paint tiny germans. Not a good situation but hopefully this may change.

After the arrival of Tank War the next big thing in BA is the Battleground: Europe book (20th of November). This should provide players with better, more accurate force guides for the theatre/region, special rules and scenario's. I have heard some initial chatter about it and so far it's all good.

I've bought most of the armoured support for my British and Americans (Just need some M4A3's and an E2 or some E8's). I've also made my Hotel complex and the moment the sun appears in south wales I'll put up some pictures (Easiest promise I know I'll never have to keep).

As part of my ongoing purge I partook in a table sale at my FLGS. I met some great gamers, caught up with others I knew but had lost touch with (See the post title!) and sold some of my stockpile to people who really appreciated it. It also helped by making me organise my stash (which will make future eBaying easier) so more miniature detritus can make it's way to eBayers around the world.

I believe my favourite opponent has finally started his blog and has also set up a forum for his gaming group. Soon I will start to electronically goad him. Excellent.

Thank you for taking the time, actual hobby stuff will be posted soon,


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The spoils of war (or rather eBay)

With my first lot of eBayed miniatures sold and sent out; shockingly my thoughts turned to new, shiny toys. After paying some bills and treating my wife (she never asks for anything so the chance to buy her something she wanted was too good to miss. Suffice to say her hair  is now very straight!) I started doing some mental online shopping. The original plan was to buy a heap of KR Multicases to stash all my miniatures in. In the end I bought 3 cases so I could see what the trays were like and then buy more in the future. Also Peter Pig was having a sale due to the sad loss of colours this year (one of the best shows IMHO). So now I have all my British infantry (possibly more than I need if that's possible) waiting patiently in my hobby queue (we are good at queuing after all).

I also picked up a few things from 4Ground. I purchased the lovely Hotel complex, The Cafe Gondree and the cobblestone road kit. so far I've made the cafe and, if the rain holds off, I'm going to play with the cobblestone kit after this.

The Cafe Gondree in all it's splendour, the detailing is fantastic but only time will tell concerning it's durability.

It's a lovely kit with a lot of detail. It was easy to assemble and is going to look great with the rest of my buildings. One thing to note though is that the detail came at a price for me. Small, delicate brick corners whilst looking great, delaminated easily and that has left some patches to repair. They are hardly noticeable and certainly won't take away from my enjoyment of it on the table. I should probably take some of the blame as I wasn't particularly well whilst building it and was quite shaky (thus why I didn't tackle the hotel straight away). I've now spray varnished it in the hope that it will increase it's lifespan somewhat.
The shutters are a nice touch and I've propped some slightly away from the wall using excess from the sprue.

Not the most exciting view but it does mean that with no windows on one side any troops occupying it will have a rather large blind-spot for the enemy to approach in. Also if you look closely you can see the de-laminating of the brick pieces at the corners.

Like all $Ground stuff the roof and upper storey is removable. The roofing is more delicate than previous buildings and this may have an effect on it's durability. But for £20 you can't complain.
As well as making the cafe I've also based a few more german options for CoC, hacked up some Space Wolves and made a character for my WHFB 3rd ed. Goblin force.

WH40K is currently leaving me cold. I admit that I haven't played 7th but what I read of the codices didn't inspire me to take the quite considerable financial plunge. For 5th and 6th I had my Squats as Guard and Grey Knight Henchmen and some Space Wolves too. I really liked the previous space wolf codex as the sagas allowed you to make your own characters effectively, now all the bits I liked are gone and I'm just not motivated to do anything with the models I have left.

I stupidly sold all my carefully customised wolves to a friend of a friend, who assured me he'd pay me when his wages cleared. Sadly he didn't and I was left without models or cash. Luckily my friend managed to do some damage limitation and return my scouts, wolf priest and a terminator lone wolf. I was still missing ten termies and some grey hunters. After repairing the damage to them (how did he break them?) and reading the new codex I realised I wouldn't be playing 40K anytime soon and certainly not as the wolves. So they are being re-invented as a gang for confrontation, I see them as bounty hunters or some kind of wilderness guides.

As for the Guard codex I'm upset by the loss of artillery options (I know I can spend more and buy the relevant IA book but it's just more expenses) but it's still my best bet to field my Squats so I'll probably end up purchasing it. The division of the Grey Knights into them and Inquisitorial troops also means that my lovely Squat dreadnought will probably never see the table (as I'd have to buy it a separate codex and more models if I want them to have Objective Secured). At the moment CoC and BA are just more fun.

The vulture is from the Ogre Stonehorn kit, the horse it's stood on a dwarven pony from warmaster,  everything else is pro-create with a wire bow and arrow.
For WHFB I took the vulture from the leftovers of an ogre stonehorn commission and built a saddle and Goblin character out of Pro-create. I've got to re-familiarise myself with 3rd and work out what he can represent. The little green chap was done (or at least attempted) to match in with the Mongol styled Warmaster goblin wolf riders.

Add caption

I carefully painted the horse as a grey and then totally hid it with the vulture. not my best bit of forward planning.

That's all for now, thank you for taking the time,

Thursday, 11 September 2014

For the love of plastic.

So due to inexorable and boring life stuff our gaming weekend got cancelled and has had to be postponed for a couple of weeks. As I had tidied away my BA 15mm painting station (looks like a mini motorpool now) I decided to have a poke at a different scale and material. First of all whilst shoring and propping my lead mountain after a mammoth eBay purge (only part 1 and still doesn't seem to have reduced much) I found my ogres.

My four ogres for WHFB Realms of Chaos; One lord or character and three general hench ogres. I want them to be usable as much as possible from empire mercenaries to chaos.

I knocked these up last year in order to play in the Realms of Chaos game at The Foundry in Nottingham. The force I'd generated had a chaos dwarf, an ogre chaos lord/champion, 3 more ogres (his retinue) some wolves and a chaos warrior. Unfortunately shortly after starting on the ogres I realised I wouldn't be able to attend due to conflicting dates for work. So back they went, until now.

The only model to get anywhere near finished. My ogre lord, there's still some bits to do but not much.

It's a toss up between a ogre sized crossbow and the tied up human from the stone horn kit, to fit across his back, may investigate a magnetic solution.

You can just see the brass wrings I made and added to the converted sword. As there traditional use in martial arts they are distracting to the opponent and will blunt or damage weaker weapons.

The Hench ogres need some more armour and straps to finish them.
Plates from the stone horn kit give them a TMNT feel.

They're made up of spares and excess bits from a commission and anything else I could scrounge together. None of them are quite done but I managed to get the feel I wanted after an evening of cutting and gluing. The next evening I did the sculpting on the ogre lord. And that was their 15 minutes of fame.

I don't know what I'll use them for but I'm sure I'll think of something.

This is a creature for skirmish games made the other night, from a gaunt and a gargoyle and another set of tyranid claws (want to say genestealer rending claws). I've got enough parts to make 10 of these little beasties and they remind me of the Rogue Trader Tyranid picture (but with added wings).

Last but not least my wife bought something of her choice (from a range of stuff I fancied but never felt justified enough myself to impulse buy) for my 40K Squat force: some Ogryns. I do have some originals and I was reticent about the look of the new ones. I have never sworn so much at 3 plastic models.

I incorrectly attached the wrong left arm to the first ogryn and it has welded itself together perfectly by the time I noticed. Every other arm was a hassle from hear onwards. I didn't make the box standard ones either as I'm not a fan of the look. Whether this had anything to do with the calamitous build I don't really know. The instructions are plentiful I just strayed inadvertently and the verbal abuse began.

Luckily I like what I came out with: two troopers and a bonehead/Nork Deddog stand in. Just need another couple (nearly £30!) and I'll have a nice characterful unit to shield my stunties.

Thank you for taking the time,


Friday, 5 September 2014

Trucks, a Stug, a Wirbelwind and lots of eBaying

Nice and brief. Below are some more catch up photos of what I've been doing recently.

The Germans were famous in WW2 for formation driving (Not a real fact)

I wish I knew how I'd managed to get one a different tone to the others, must have missed a step. But that's OK because it's just another of the 50 shades of Dunkelgelb.
I may have gone overboard with the mud but it was interesting to see what was possible. If I decide I don't really like them they'll be sent to the Eastern Front.
The mud on the trucks and other vehicles is my attempt to add weathering thats visible at a gaming distance. Certainly Piers Brand has little to fear from me! The mud is GW Astrogranite Texture paint, then dabbed with a Badab Black/Devlan Mud wash and some touches of Typhus Corrosion. They were then sealed with Army Painter Matt Varnish and had a highlight of Terminatus Stone. The rust is Model Mates Rust effect.

Behold! I even had the patience to put the original Balkenkreutz on behind the Schurzen.

My original FoW Stug III had a terminal accident and so was replaced with this lovely PSC one. 
 The good thing about WW2 vehicles is they were varied in tones and colours and few colour pictures exist, leaving the less grognardy of us a bit of lee way to our final schemes. The Camouflage was done using PSC Dunkelgelb spray, masked with Blu Tac and then sprayed with Army Painters Army Green.

I made the crewmen from the terribly miscast gunner of the original stug. I re-sculpted his body and gave him a Peter Pig head. The commander is just Procreate and another head (including a tiny sculpted headset and binoculars).

Doesn't look like a fun place to be.

Putting hi-res pics of your miniatures on the net is a sure way to drive yourself crazy with painting OCD. Luckily everything looks acceptable to me (when not 2x the size on my mac) from a gaming distance.
 Wirbelwinds: the name is enough for me to buy it. Now if I could get a wirbelwind with a nerbelwerfer I'd be happy.

As part of my ongoing hobby purge I'm trying to streamline my collection. There are now a considerable number of items on eBay from my lead mountain. They can be found here.

If you do bid on my items and actually read this poorly updated thing then send me a message after winning and I'll try and give you an even better postal discount or maybe something for free.

Thanks for taking the time,


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Trapped by my hobby stockpile

After the last entry I made a tragic mistake, having heard a rumbling sound on the east face of Mt. Lead (and instead of running for safety) I stupidly investigated. As the hobbylanche descended upon my pitiful frame I realised my time had come and a strange peace settled upon me. Waking up some hours later in the pitch black I was shocked to be alive. Wasting no time I started tunneling in what I thought was the right direction, stopping only to snack on some clump foliage and flock found growing in subterranean depths. Over a month later I emerged dazed, weak and determined that it wouldn't happen again. With the expert help of a team of entirely imaginary dwarfs I started to excavate the spoil heaps left behind. Days of imaginary back breaking toil later there is a clear route to my desk and computer and more importantly I have a massive load of stuff for eBay.

It's not that I ever really stop my hobby love (although it has come close a couple of times recently) and even though I haven't blogged about my armies of little men; things have progressed.

As a quick round up there are a few pics below of some of what I've been working on with more to come. My regular opponent is coming up this weekend for an epic (3000pts) game of Bolt Action and hopefully this will inspire me to progress and share more hobby stuff.

A set of Dragons Teeth tank traps for CoC.

Barbwire for CoC

A destroyed section of barbed wire
This is a selection of terrain features I've started for CoC (and BA if they add rules for them). The Barbed wire is made from a Flames of War medium base and cocktail sticks. The wire is Gale Force 9 15mm barbed wire. Brilliantly CoC use Barbed wire in 6" by 2" areas which is almost exactly the same size as three bases side by side. I also made two destroyed sections for engineers to cut through or a tracked vehicle to roll over. They've actually had more grass/flock added since this picture. Not pictured is a set of 6 barbed wire on spanish riders (each on a small FoW base) that cover the same standard area. The dragons teeth are just foam cut roughly to size and then surfaced using vallejo pumice.

My three Zvesda trucks to transport my small germans.

The bench arrangement seems impractical (if not dangerous) but it was the set up most likely to be seen in this truck, although the two parallel benches of other models seems more sensible.
I decided to have a poke at my trucks as they were only £2.75 each and the canvas back they come with was a bit too regular and angular for my tastes. After an evenings fiddling I made three variations using procreate, wire and coffee stirrers. I'm quite pleased with the result, I should mention that although cheap, the kits can be fiddly and delicate, needing patience and sometimes a little blind faith to assemble.

With a mega game on the horizon I'm going to attack some of my german motor pool and see what I can get done for the weekend.

Thank you for taking the time,


Monday, 21 July 2014

Advanced Heroquest and old lead.

Nice and short: some Island of Blood box set Skaven for AHQ and some old citadel lead adventurers and heroes to face them.

My WIP Warpfire Thrower.
I don't have an original Warpfire thrower and the IoB one is really ugly and flat. It looks like Hasbro had already taken over. But with some Skaven cunning, bits of an awful rat ogre and some procreate I set about making it mine. Needs a little work but I looking forward to OSL'ing it if I can.

My skaven Warlord. Hopefully his armour colour and fur will make him recognisable in a horde.

Some of the Skaven, including a severely directionally challenged champion.

Aenur Sword of Twilight (Mordheim not vampires) The Moon Duke and a Thug (My Witch-finder's man of persuasive means)

A dwarf scout, a human scout and a templar all early Citadel.

Possibly my favourite dwarf model. Not too GW and nicely Tolkien. This chap is what I think of when I think "fantasy". And he's packing lots of weaponry.

Human Scout and Chaos Dwarf both repaired.
Both of these models have been in my collection for years (childhood) but have always been broken and clogged with some old, manky paint. Biostrip sorted them right out and with the addition of a bow for the ranger/scout and a mace head for the dwarf they were reborn. The mace is from a spare Rackham Confrontation Goblin Ashigaru and fits in perfectly. The bow is made out of finecast sprue and was FOE's excellent idea. A lot of people don't like Finecast but I discovered that it's really useful, and can be carved easily, and I will be keeping it for any future projects.

A small selection of my adventurers.
A range of suitable heroes I dug out from a couple of roses tins. There is more somewhere........ seem to have a dwarf fetish.
 So more 15mm to do (scenery and figures), Rats to base and then some 28mm to paint, My warlord marines need their final gear check and a couple of bits of procreate'ing I'd missed and they'll be ready to paint. Much to do but I'm actually feeling like I'm getting somewhere.

Thank you for taking the time,