Sunday, 15 March 2015

Finecast and why it's awesome. And Samurai.

     Yes I actually wrote that. Finecast is awesome. This will make (what the internet tends to portray as at least ) a large group of people angry. It's ok though, listen to my reasons. I'm not talking about whether it's a suitable material for G'dub to use, whether it deforms or bends over time or in heat (I live in South Wales. It's a temperate rainforest at best except for the odd week of summer) or whether the casting quality is unsatisfactorily poor (not something I've personally experienced - everything I've dealt with has been minor cosmetic stuff). I mean as a sculptable resource.

     My AHQ peasant/poacher had been in a box of random scrap for a good 20+ years until half an hour with some finecast sprue furnished him anew with a mighty bow. It was simple and easy.

Poacher and (Chaos) Dwarf with new weapons and a new sense of purpose :)

     Here's an Empire Greatsword champion I picked up for 50p. His Flamberge was not only ridiculous to start with, it was bent all over the place. Quick snip, suitable bit of finecast sprue and half an hour and he was better than new. I know the blade is daft and a little oversized but it's the equivalent of the original and feels right. I may decide to reduce it further but it's unlikely. Nothing in Warhammer should be sensible in my mind. GW started to lose me when they moved away from the humour and tongue in cheek style of the Oldhammer I grew up with. Pictures aren't great as they are smart phone snaps but they are enough to get the idea.

A ridiculously big, almost spatulate blade just screams Warhammer and AHQ to me. Wondering monster of unknown make.

     Next up are a couple of 28mm samurai from Northstar's Ronin range and Perry miniatures. Once again the original blade or weapon was removed, a piece of finecast sprue cut to size roughly using clippers. I then drill a small hole (usually 0.8mm) into the centre of the piece and insert and glue in suitable brass rod. I then use file and a scalpel (in a scraping motion) to shape the piece. It takes a little time but is a therapeutic past time like whittling. I'm not totally sure about Finecast health issues regarding sanding (Forgeworld's is nasty) but always recommend doing it in an open, well ventilated space.

A Perry samurai who suffered in the great stairs incident of 2014. Perry's Katanas are much smaller than Northstar (often rightly so) so I increased it slightly to aid mixing.
A Northstar bandit who originally wielded a Kama (sickle). I removed it and used the handle of a Perry katana with a finecast blade to make him a little more fearsome.

     It's an easy and effective method for replacing damaged blades. With the addition of the the super glue and rod they are more resistant to bending and seem to be stronger overall (haven't broken them yet) than the original and it allows you to add some new weapons into the mix if your feeling creative.

     My 28mm samurai are all Perry or Northstar and I intend to use them just for skirmishes on a couple of small, purpose built boards. I have 25 armed and based chaps from traditional non-armoured (hakama wearing) retainers, various swordsmen, peasants, bandits (various states of dress and armour) and a few more waiting to be fettled. I replaced a few other weapons to add a bit of variety. I also wanted some Yari wielding miniatures so bought my first ever lot of wire spears from Perry miniatures (like an initiation ceremony into 'proper' wargaming). Brilliantly simple to fit and solid things. Good enough to draw blood at least and no bending, then re-bending ad infinitum. A Northstar bandit lost his Teppo (I don't want guns in my Japan) and gained a simply crafted Tetsubo (Big club) made of carved sprue and pro-create putty.
Fearsome and Yari appropriate wire spears and miniatures from Perry.

Out with the high tech Teppo in with the big bit of wood with iron rings. A truly deadly, crushing weapon that would need great coordinated skill (dai-sabake) to use.

A (perry) monk like fellow with a Bo staff. If you think a stick isn't much threat, think again. In trained and practiced hands it's a lethal and infinitely controllable weapon with an astounding reach.

     That's it really, the others are based but just as they come and so not interesting yet. They'll get packed in the move as I want to tackle some other 28mm painting first as a painting refresher, as traditional patterns are often complicated and I suspect will need patience. I'm going to check out the available 28mm appropriate scenery from Sarissa and 4Ground at Salute in April. Thank you for taking the time,


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