Friday, 18 April 2014

Salute 2014: Miniature Companies - New Friends

If your first thought was "What in the name of sweet baby Jesus is that?" then that is the exact reaction that got us investigating this stall in the first place! This is a game called "Stalagbite" by Midlam Miniatures. Now Midlam do an excellent range of adventurers and dungeon monsters very suitable for D&D players and so on.

So, this is their giant demo version - the version they sell is much smaller, but apparently they have a lot of people mentioning they're interested in the larger version. The Stalagbite models are also extra to the game, but easily worth it for the sake of making it look more awesome. The idea is that you are dwarf adventurers, trying to mine stalagmites for gold and treasure - but some are actually nasty bitey monsters that might have you arm off!

Otherworld Miniatures had a lot of good D&D type stuff. Their giant spiders are really good, to the point where some arachnophobes in my party were giving entire cabinets a wide berth.

This is Thundercloud Miniatures, who are just getting started by the looks of things. They've also bought the rights to one of the GoblinAid miniatures, now that's winding up. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

I have never painted a bust. I now own one (actually from Infamy), but Dark Star Miniatures very nearly got me to part with some cash for one of theirs!

This adorable orc with the big tusks was the one who was tempting me into something like this, and I still absolutely intend to get one within the next couple of years.

The alien head is adorable and an awesome painting challenge. I think Sim managed to purchase one of him while I wasn't looking.

Ax Faction had a beautiful case full of miniatures, and I managed to fluff up the big group shot. Still, this was the latest release, a girl riding a giant rabbit / hare. And why not? Their women do seem to be rather lacking sensible outdoor wear, though.

Now, I've seen quite a few bits and pieces from Anvil Industry on the web before - mostly their release announcements through Tabletop Fix. I will certainly say, I'm definitely very impressed.

The dogs in this shot are brand new - and do interest me a bit. Most of the rest of what they do are definitely intended to be Space Marine alternative sculpts - and I'd really rate a lot of them alongside the Forge World Horus Heresy ones in terms of quality - but just design wise, I much prefer the Forge World ones from a personal taste point of view. They are also looking to come up with their own game soon (called Afterlife), which I will watch curiously.

This was their display table. It's a huge multi-level building / 'skyscraper'. I think it's awesome, and really want to try playing Infinity over it.

And finally, lets save the best creepy clown company in the industry until last. Mad Clown Miniatures are associated with British Indie, and one of a number of small wargaming companies which seem to be taking off at the moment.

Who did I fail to take photos of the newer people?

Well, there is Smart Max. They make Smog 1888 and Mauser Earth, which are very pretty games I'm considering taking up in the future. I seem to have done a lot better with photos of the stalls I'd not seen before.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Salute 2014 - Miniature Companies: Old Friends

I'm breaking down my Salute posts into something coherent and . . . aw, who am I kidding? This is the only way I'll get my Salute posts done at all. Aiming for coherency is just pushing my luck.

This post consists of photos I remembered to take during the day, so is rather erratic in its coverage and focus.

So first up are Heresy. They of the Dragon. In short, Heresy have been making a Dragon model for absolutely years. There have been epic number of delays, and the pre-order backlog is currently sitting at 164, with a handful actually sent out.

But they are still going, not dead, and starting to do the resin casting by hand, one by one. I have the utmost respect for that determination in the face of adversity.

This chap is the Netherlord, one of their old metal sculpts, redone in resin to help pay the bills. You may be guessing already that Sim had a teensy bit of a budget slip at Heresy. Some day she will not be painting a titan commission and hit some of her own backlog!

One of Sim's favourite purchases from last year, Troublemaker Games were there again this year. In addition to Timeline 300, they are now working on Defeat in Detail, which is a 6mm Sci Fi wargame with plastic pieces. It successfully funded on Indiegogo during the year, and there were plenty of examples available, which I'll be showing off in a later post.

There was also Taban. I was super tempted by the Puppet Master and the Escape board game, but I decided to leave that for another day.

I liked JoeK minis' stuff last year. This year I bought some! He's also planning a Kickstarter soon.

There were also a couple of miniature folk who we already know who I didn't take any photos of. Forge World unsurprisingly got a ton of my money, but didn't have any miniatures on display that I saw. Hasslefree also gleefully parted my darling wife from her money in a pretty cheerful fashion. Sphere Wars is also something I really want to get into - I'd signed up to demo games for them, but had to back out as work has gotten super busy. We also said a quick hello to Warploque Miniatures, who had a lot of the Kickstarter models for Arcworlde on display. Studio McVey remain awesome people who put out excellent stuff, although this year I didn't pick anything up - I still have to paint the one I got from them last year!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sa-lewt 2014 - The Revenge of the Shopping

How did Operation: Go Shopping fare this year?

Well, Forge World unsurprisingly got a pile of my money. I'd pre-ordered a Trojan Support Vehicle, an Ork Trukk with Enclosed Cab, and a variety of doors and hatches for an Inquisition Rhino I have in my queue. At the end of the day, I spent some of my last few pounds on one of their new T shirts.

And yeah, yeah, I know, it is a bit "Yo, that's fifty dollars for a T shirt", but it's a nice design and not overdone, so it will see some use.

The recipients of my last money at the show were Bandua Wargames. They have started to do some "Designed for Infinity" stuff. As a result, I ended up grabbing a few shipping containers to feed my habit. One in particular has a lovely tube design which I haven't seen anyone else do yet. Very cleverly done.

There was, obviously, the show only miniature and a free dice, but the rest of my money was taken up by the various folk from British Indie.

I felt I really had to pick up an Evil Clown from Mad Clown Miniatures. It will be a nice, fun, quick project to do. Infamy Miniatures are going to be doing a crowd funding campaign soon to pay for their game, but for now I picked up the Uncle John bust to paint. I've never painted a bust before, so I'm quite excited about how that will turn out.

I then picked up four miniatures from JoeK minis. Who are also planning a crowd funding campaign. I'm sensing a theme here... I picked up the strange alien chap with the staff, the demon with the ray gun and baby, and then the two evil scarecrow critters from the Oz range.

I'll be putting up a bit about the companies I saw which I didn't buy from but intend to in the future, and the general Salute experience later. There's also some thoughts in my head about the new Guard codex which I need to translate into something coherent.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Painting 9 to 5...

I had today off from work, so decided, as an experiment, to see what would happen if I tried painting "9 to 5". In the end, it was about "9:30 - 4:30, with quite a long lunch break", but that's still more painting and modelling than I've done in ages.

Collodi was still not glued to his base.

Collodi is now glued to his base and just needs water effects to finish him as a model.

I've done the skin base coat on the first nine Beastmen.

And I mocked up (with blu tac) a kit bash Mk I Power armoured character for inquisitorial type things.

I then started prepping and assembling him properly.

This really isn't a lot of progress for a 'day' of modelling and painting. But I am now getting progress where I had completely stalled without any movement. So I'll take that as a small success, and keep pushing forward.

Monday, 31 March 2014

The Kickstarter Problem

I have a Kickstarter problem.

I don't think anyone who knows me will be even mildly surprised by this statement. I've 'properly' backed five Kickstarters, with another three on behalf of my wife for various reasons. Last week, I got my first ever Kickstarter fully delivered - which has motivated me a little to have a little talk about the Kickstarters I've backed.

(I've had an Indiegogo campaign fully deliver, but this post is long enough as it is, and I've already talked about it before.)

Oh no, wait, I haven't got all that Kickstarter yet. I just went back to the site to get the information to start putting these posts together and . . . I haven't got all my rewards yet.

So, still 0 for 5 on delivery so far...

So, the Kickstarter delivery which prompted this crazy post was the download notice for "Girl Genius and the Rats of Mechanicsburg". I pledged as a minion, so I got a shiny medal, a game, and a bunch of digital art.

The digital art is the bit I just realised I don't have yet. Not sure if it was delivered and I missed it, or if it hasn't been done yet.

The game itself? The voice acting and your little avatar are lovely and very pretty, with some nice cartoon-y artwork (it is based on a webcomic, after all). The mechanics are a bit . . . awkward at times. It's the sort of thing I'd download for free or a few pence, but not get super inspired by. I'd probably not have noticed it if it wasn't for the tie in.

I probably won't back computer game projects in the future - at least, not for the computer game rewards.

Funded: December 2012
Target Release: May 2013
Actual Release: March 2014 (ish)

Through the Breach was my first Kickstarter. I was utterly broke at the time, so only pledged for the Core Set. I do wish I'd been able to afford to go in for the full monty on this one and get All The Things, but financially, it just was not an option.

I did also pledge early, which earnt me a limited edition figure. Well, it will do when it finally ships. The entire project got delayed by Malifaux 2E, which was frustrating, but Malifaux 2E is also pretty awesome, so I'm not too narked about it.

I have had a partial delivery on this one, though. Wyrd sent the backers a PDF copy of the rules (along with a lot of beta versions along the way) as soon as they were ready. I'm still waiting on the physical copies of the books and the mini, but they will be along eventually. I have, sadly, not yet found the time to run a game.

Funded: January 2013
Target Release: September 2013
Partial Release: March 2014

Maki Games Kickstarter for plastic terrain was the first full wargaming Kickstarter I backed. It is Maki who are responsible for my unhealthy interest in collecting model shipping containers. I suppose there's worse things to be interested in.

And this is what I'm waiting for. Two of the most ridiculously "blinged out" shipping container models you will ever so. They are covered in skulls, and absolutely perfect for 40K. They suffered a hefty delay with their engineer falling ill but have been up front about that with the backers, and are giving regular updates to show what's going on. I am super excited about this one, and can't wait for the final delivery.

Funded: June 2013
Target Release: November 2013
Not yet received

I have mentioned Arcworlde on the blog before. Their website is down while the Kickstarter gets sorted, but I'm sure it will all be back up again soon enough.

I got a couple of warbands and the rulebook, so I could play with my darling wife. She's gone undead pirates while I've gone with Bayou Orcs. Their original plan was to deliver in February 2014, but they are currently running a little late.

Funded: September 2013
Target Release: February 2014
Not yet delivered

T5: Tile City was a recent Kickstarter for HDF terrain. These are pretty common at the moment, because people have realised they can buy a laser for their garage and off they go - and that initial outlay is perfect Kickstarter fodder. This one was going on at the same time as the Underground Lasers terrain Kickstarter, but for the sake of sanity and available money, after a lot of thinking, I went with T5.

Ooh, they have shipping containers. That's pretty! I don't understand why everyone doesn't find a well put together shipping container model gorgeous. However, I was incredibly strong about this and did not bulk out my pledge with some shipping containers as well as the core thing I was going in to get.

This is the set I went for - not the boards underneath, but the building. I'm getting a higher detailed version of this due to stretch goals, but it's a lovely modular art deco look that no-one else I'm aware of is really doing, and is really suited to laser cut terrain.

Funded: March 2014
Due: September 2014
Not overdue yet

In summary: Kickstarter (and Indiegogo) is a cool way to support companies who might not do something otherwise, or might not release as much. Do not pledge with any delivery date in mind. These are mostly start ups, and successful campaigns will end up getting swamped. Other times, illness or rookie errors like "forgetting to book your slot with the caster" will lead to delays.

There is another big danger. Stuff does not immediately arrive. That means that you have "hidden backlog", and the act of backing the Kickstarter doesn't necessarily associate in your brain with a big box of stuff you're going to need to assemble and paint turning up on your doorstep. Sim has more Sedition Wars models than she can count due to a runaway success. And that's before you talk to anyone who pledged on the "Vampire" level of the Bones Kickstarter...

Monday, 24 March 2014

My wife is awesome

So, I've been on a training course all week that had me revising in the evening, so no painting. I then ended up wasting my free weekend and doing very little apart from wandering around gaming stores chatting to people and doing a little undercoating.

So, at least team "easy Beastmen" are undercoated.

And here are the "hard ones. Sim, goddess that she is, pinned the arms and heads, and put in a rough filler for all the arms. On Sunday, I at least managed to green stuff their necks in to hide any pins from repositioned heads. I now need to file down the filler on the arms then liquid green stuff it to make it a little smoother.

The only other thing I achieved was undercoating Sim's goblin knights riding flying sharks. I haven't taken a photo of them, though.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A busy week...

This week's post is a little late as I'm on a work training course which is taking up most of my time! I have a pile of posts I want to make, including battle reports, my Beastman painting tutorial and some thoughts about gaming things in my head - but the need for course revision is seriously knocking them for six, along with any hope of getting any painting and modelling done.

Last week, however, was pretty eventful from a hobby standpoint!

The Goblinaid figures I ordered from Ral Partha Europe while I was on holiday for my birthday arrived, along with a lovely note from them explaining the delay - they'd been completely swamped in the last week after it was announced they weren't going to be available any more.

I went to a massive Apocalypse game at Dark Sphere, which will deserve a post of its own at some point. I fielded 3,200 points of Guard, Inquisition and Assassins, and my side didn't actually lose!

My wife saw my blog post talking about my Beastman woes and decided to kick my motivation into gear by solving the problem for me... She is a wonderful woman.

She's sorted out the nine chaps who don't need cross body rifles to give me something to paint while she does the 11 difficult ones. As soon as my training course finishes, I will be right on these! They just need a little liquid green stuff and a few more grenades and pouches, then I'll be underway with the painting.

So, sorry about the silence, but it is because the world is so full of good things I've not had the time. Hope to be able to post again soon.

As a side note - who is coming to Salute this year? Would people be interested in meeting up after the show for dinner, or arranging to meet around lunch time in the venue somewhere?

Monday, 10 March 2014

Regaining the zen - putting some paint on a model

I really, really don't like to think about how long I've had my friend Becky's Tzeentch Herald. I'm a terrible, terrible person, but I'm gosh-darned going to get it finished for her eventually!

Anyhow, after my little issue earlier in the week with my Beastman Kitbashing, I decided to try and regain some of my fragile equilibrium with some actual painting, and turned back to the Herald, who has been sitting resolutely not done on my painting board for far too long!

I'm now working on getting colours other than pink onto our Herald-y friend. The blue on the feathers is a nice contrast, and the two different shades of metal seem to work quite well.  This is his back, where he has a little crop of feathers coming out from under his arm pit. Tzeentchian underarm hair / feathers does seem to be a little out of control!

Here he is from the front. I've now started up the layering and blending on the beak. My idea here is to have his pink flesh blend into a bone coloured area which is clearly harder, then through to a dark purple where you'd normally do horn / bone with a dark brown.

I'm also intending to bring the blue on his dagger back a bit - that's the first wash, and I want to put more silver metal back onto it, but I went a little too heavy on the wash, and you've got to wait for that to dry before trying to fix it, or it will All Go Wrong.

I started painting this model before my painting lesson from Tommie at Golem Painting Studio. It really has highlighted how much I've come on in terms of thinking about where to put paint on a model, let alone in the techniques to actually put it on the model, as a result of that class. He's just held a "Painting Essentials" class this weekend (I know Mr Lee went, so check out his blog for the inevitable review), but there will almost certainly be more.


No matter how far you are in your painting, from starting out all the way through to some genius with a brush, he will probably have something to teach you. I currently regard it as the best money I've ever spent in the hobby.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Oh nuts - Imperial Beastman kit bash problems with assembly

In continuance of the Hobby Progress Challenge, I got as far as adding arms to my Imperial Beastmen today.

Or rather, I didn't.

Here's a dry fit from the front, using blu tac to hold him together.

And here's the problem. The arms on the Ungor body fit on by sloping inwards - the Catachan torsos were designed to be parallel. I could get away with it when both hands aren't on the gun, but for the models where both hands are holding it - and I want some like that - this is going to be a big pain and a bunch of green stuff.

The head also needs to be raised really rather significantly to not get in the way of the gun.

At this point, I was moving my light to get another shot and knocked a pint glass full of water all over my painting area and me. That's now cleared up, but I have decided I have most definitely had enough of modelling for the evening.