Monday, 5 October 2015

Nothing finished, but plenty going on

 Some of you may be asking "Hey, TRO, why haven't we heard from you about all the cool things you've painted recently?"

You should stop asking that. It shows that you're new in these parts.

Those of you who've been here longer (I'm so, so sorry) are more likely to be asking questions like "Hey, TRO, you haven't whined about not getting anything painted recently, what's up with that?"

 Well, the thing is that there's plenty going on. Just not much getting finished. The other weekend my darling wife helped me assembled some of my Infinity figures by using her Dremel. Assembled, unpainted figures aren't all that interesting, but here's one I took a photo of to post excitedly to Twitter about. She still needs her brass fire arc marker adding, as do a whole bunch of other ones.

I did get sat down the other day to do a little painting. It's not much, but the base and wash is in on the markers I'm going to use for Strategies in Malifaux. This won't be a complicated paint job - a few dry brushes and a little tidying up, and they'll be done.

Jumping on from that will be the rest of my "starter crew" which is using the models I already have to get up to 50 soul stones. I understand that's the standard game size. That means just two models - my Teddy, and a Convict Gunslinger (an old metal ltd edition "Miss"), although I do need to find a card for her.

I'm not sure what to do next from there - most of the other Malifaux I have is various limited edition bits and bobs I got with the Through the Breach Kickstarter or Black Friday bundles and stuff like that. I do have a University of Transmortis set, but I seem to remember I can't do the single player version of that without a Henchman to lead the crew (I need to find the rules booklet for it as I took it out to read and it's somewhere around here).

What I'm likely to do is get a model that makes a model useable / useful. For example, I have a Performer - once I get a Coryphee or two, she becomes useful in the Collodi crew as a Mercenary.

Getting other people to paint stuff for me is definitely worthwhile. Here's a quick snap of a Valkyrie painted for me by Vidpui. You should hire them. They're pretty great. I'm already planning on sending them another one!

I'm really not too worried about the lack of finished stuff I've painted in September - plenty of stuff is progressing nicely, it was just mostly on the assembly side of things. October is pretty busy too, with the Warhammer 40,000 Open Day and some painting lessons already booked in.

Also, a lot of the lack of progress has been down to me making the conscious decision to spend some of the energy tidying up my house and throwing out junk instead. I'm at peace with that because I'm generally happier as a result - and I think happier than I would have been if I'd painted instead of tidying. This blog isn't UYH so I'm not going to be posting "before" and "after" pictures of me tidying the dining table...

I'm planning on getting a Widow Weaver for the Collodi crew, and I decided to hunt out some tokens for her web markers. They need to be 30mm, and I went with these markers from Litko. I was worried about buying her and getting her finished before they came from the US, which is another spectacular example of my terrible over-estimation of how much painting I'll get done.

The webs themselves are some webbed markers, I'm guessing for D&D, but they are smaller than 30mm, which is what Malifaux needs. So, I also bought some thin clear 30mm discs from Litko to glue the webs to. Really pleased with how these have turned out.

Also, the other day I got a very pleasant surprise when The Miniatures Apprentice sent me some free stuff! I bought the "Mantis Warrior" from them a while ago, and while it's still in the box looking a bit intimidating, I was very impressed with the quality for first forays into the world of miniature production.

This chap is a mecha-dragon. He carries the halberd type thing underneath him as he flies. I reckon he's going to look pretty rocking when assembled up and painted.

Here's a mecha-wasp. (It's not all mecha, though!) Looking at TMA's shop, I haven't quite laid him out how you should assemble him. He'll work quite well in weird pulp games, a xenos antagonist for an INQ28 game, or possibly even as an alternative for some Necron thingummies, should one be so inclined.

Here's a chap who might be of interest to the adventuring types, and probably some of the Oldhammer folks as well. He's a dwarf warrior, looking really mobile and keen to engage with his enemies.

I really wasn't expecting to be sent a parcel of really quite gorgeous miniatures out of the blue, so thank you hugely to The Miniatures Apprentice! It has certainly laid on the guilt about my not having assembled and painted the Mantis Warriors I got before they went out of stock...

For the Oldhammer inclined, I've just spotted a new demon on the TMA webstore. I think he'll appeal to that sort of crowd! I kind of want one myself, but I really need to assemble and paint the stuff I've already got!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Relics Britanan Commission from Siege Studios

Once again, I've been super busy working at the day job which has been getting in the way of Actually Painting Models.

So, once again, I've been paying other people to paint my models. For this commission, I've used Siege Studios.

In a "Responsible One" blog first, there's a video of my models! Obviously, this is courtesy of Siege Studios, as I do not have the camera skills to produce something like this.

Photo courtesy of Siege Studios.

I paid for the "Bronze Level" with these models, and I'm really happy with how they've turned out.

Photo courtesy of Siege Studios.
Sadly, this wasn't a completely pain free commission. There were some delays, due to perfectly understandable reasons - and I have no problem with those delays, as there was no rush on these models getting done.

Photo courtesy of Siege Studios.
Unfortunately, the communication around those delays was not very good at all. Given this was the first time I'd used Siege Studios, this made me rather nervous! Several times, I needed to chase for an update. I'm more understanding with one man band operations being a bit lax about e-mails, but I expect a bit of a higher standard a studio with a slick website and a stall at Salute.

Photo courtesy of Siege Studios.
That said, this feels like teething troubles from expansion rather than anything fundamentally wrong. The prices are reasonable, the quality for what you pay for excellent.

Photo courtesy of Siege Studios.

I mean, just look at the freehand banner on the Britanan Colour Party here! It is really clean and neat. I did a little happy dance when I unwrapped this chap, and I'm sad I don't currently have anyone to play against until my wife assembles and paints her force.

Photo courtesy of Siege Studios.

Here's the whole force together. Don't they look awesome?

All in all, I don't regret sending these chaps to Siege Studios. While the communication delays were stress inducing and infuriating, the end product is excellent.

In particular, I will be giving them another chance in the future, when budget allows. That's probably the best indicator for any painting service!

If you're interested in using Siege Studios yourself, their website is here.

If you like the Britanan models, you can get them from Tor Gaming here, though your local store may also stock them.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Follow this man!

Herein follows a short commercial break for the blog "The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted".

Dai posts regularly, with a good number of painted models which puts my lackadaisical progress to shame. There's a good bit of Oldhammer on there, which is one of the things which draws me to it.

Of course, my promoting his blog wouldn't be anything to do with some competition or other. I'm not the sort of person to make a blog post solely for a second entry into a prize draw! This must be purely chance, or something.

{shifty look around}

Anyway, go look at the nice man's blog. Follow him, and maybe even comment on his prize draw post...

Monday, 21 September 2015

A productive weekend not painting

I should really go and paint some models this weekend . . . oh dear lord!

The dining room table, on which I paint, clearly needed a bit of a purge. Possibly with fire.

There we go, that's much better.

This is, quite terrifyingly, all the miniatures that were lying around under other things on the table. At my darling wife's request, the plan is now to get out all the stuff I own which isn't painted to get a bit of a visual idea of how much of it there is.

There is probably an awful lot. I've already decided to try and cut down on the hoarding by getting rid of an assortment of bits and pieces I'm not really going to use in the foreseeable future.

My wife and I also went to a Magic Beginner's Night at Dark Sphere, and inevitably, a couple of small purchases happened. There is, however, going to be a "no boosters" rule. Casual Magic is actually really quite good fun, and I loved the mental challenge of working out how some of the decks were supposed to work.

Also, I don't have to paint anything.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Learning Malifaux: A first game with Collodi

As I've finally finished painting the Collodi starter box, I thought it was time to give Malifaux 2e a try. I arranged to pop down to Dark Sphere on a Tuesday night, where there's a thriving Malifaux community. It's also where you might be able to find some of the AbnorMALifaux crew, should you know the fell arts necessary to summon them.

So, I can scrap together a 30 soul stone crew with every model I have painted and assembled. We draw Squatter's Rights (capture at least two of five markers for a number of turns) as the Strategy. You get to pick two Schemes from a randomly generated list of five. I choose "Frame for Murder" and "Assassinate". This means I've sewn someone important up inside the Wicked Doll on the far right flank so if the Gremlins kill it, the Guild will come down hard on the green scum - and meanwhile, I'm trying to put a bunch of holes in Somer Tooth Jones. Clearly he made a nasty comment that shows he didn't appreciate the culture of puppet shows...

NOTE: Assassinate was a terrible decision from a tactical point of view. I should totally have picked a different option.

The coloured tokens you see are to keep track of which model is which, kindly loaned to me by my opponent. Here is my force of Wicked Dolls on the left flank.

A learning point: My opponent had some old metals too, and he'd taped replacement pictures over the relevant cards for his models. I may have to follow his lead...

I start off running the Wicked Doll for "Frame for Murder" off on his own, making it look like he's aiming to take control of a Strategy marker on the weak side of the board.

Meanwhile the Wicked Dolls potter up the left flank. Malifaux has you take it in turns to move a model (with a few exceptions, written on the cards themselves). There are beautifully painted Gremlins moving in response to these moves, but I didn't take enough photos...

While Collodi and his Marionettes head up the centre. I'm already realising that Collodi has all sorts of clever "activate stuff in this order" nonsense which I don't yet understand. My hope of victory in this game is pretty slim.

A giant mosquito buzzes over to cause trouble - I need to kill it because it has a nasty trick that turns off "triggers" - a type of power that you get with a really good card draw, that Collodi and his crew seem to have a lot of.

One of the Wicked Dolls claims one of the Squatter's Rights scheme markers.

Mosquito dead, objective claimed in the centre, and Wicked Doll swung right out to the left to claim me some more markers.

A Gremlin helpfully shoots the Wicked Doll into a pile of scrap, is Framed For Murder, but claims the Squatter's Rights Scheme Marker back.

If yo look closely up towards the top you'll see a Gremlin in a fight with a Marionette, while I claim the two left hand Scheme markers.

A Mosquito kills my puppet, and activates a trigger to make a new giant Mosquito. Nooo!!!

In revenge, I take the scrap pieces from the dead Marionette, and sew them up into a Wicked Doll.

A piglet charges into a Wicked Doll on the left and reduces it to Scrap. Collodi is shot up by Gremlin shotguns and is running out of puppets to toss in the way.

Eventually, I'm left cowering in the corner and a shotgun blast takes out everyone in a final shot.

Interestingly, the game doesn't finish at this point! You keep playing, and I'd scored quite a few points. My opponent was successful in scoring more than me to win the game, but it's interesting that you can lose all your models and still have a convincing win, as long as you have the right Schemes and Strategies.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Inquisition: Progress with Pawns

An Inquisitorial Warband is growing, slowly. Here stands one of the inner circle of the band, a Lexmechanic - perhaps now a little isolated from his machine cult brethren, and more loyal to his master, who bears an ancient seal of authority.

I tried the new Balthasar Gold paint on his scroll case, and was very impressed. It was easy to use with good coverage - much better than previous Games Workshop gold paints.

Meanwhile, here is a work in progress - two mutants - called "twists" by some low born. These expendable unfortunates have been drawn to the Inquisitor's service. It is unlikely they will live long, but perhaps they will gain some solace from their service.

It is unlikely that they will.

Monday, 31 August 2015

More work by other people: Leman Russ Executioner

Here's the latest completed model I have to show off. Once again, it wasn't me who painted it. This time it's a friend of my wife's, who she commissioned to paint a case worth of my stuff to help get my unmanageable painting backlog under control.

I will say, it is working! There's now a queue for stuff to go out for commissions, a queue of stuff for me to paint, and I'm a lot happier and feeling less pressured by it all.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

And the winner is...

The winner of the competition to win one of my old kit bashes is:

Chico Danks!

Be sure to check out his blog at Oldhammer on a Budget.

See, Chico - I said I'd look into a post about how awesome you were...

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Marionettes Painted - Collodi Crew Complete!

I've finally finished painting the metal Marionettes from the Collodi starter box that my wife bought me for my birthday in 2012!

Here they are in all their glory - the combination of tricky metal assembly and over-ambitious use of water effects has meant that the progress on this crew has been glacial!

Here they are with their master, Collodi - I played a couple of games with them unpainted in the last edition of Malifaux, but I'm looking forward to trying out the new edition.

Here's the whole crew. I'd be looking to try them out this week, but the tube strikes have me nervous about getting home from the FLGS sensibly, so I'm deferring that until next week.