Friday 29 January 2021

Feature Friday: Wheelchair Adventurers

I also recently got these back from one of my assembly guys, but I'd had them undercoated black with the intention of doing their zenithal spray myself. Now that's done and you can actually see them, I'm super excited to share them.

These are the "Dungeons and Diversity" range from Strata Miniatures. I've picked up the first wave and once I've got these painted up I'll definitely grab the second wave.

They've been working with Sara Thompson, a disabled GM who has been trying to address accessibility issues in tabletop RPGs for a while now. 

One of the things she's put together is a combat wheelchair for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons that enables players who want to play a character who uses a wheelchair to do so easily. It's an excellent way of removing obstacles for people who want to see themselves represented in the escapist games they play.

This dwarf miniature has been used as the basis for Matt Mercer to use as Dagen Underthorn, one of the NPCs in Critical Role.

In any event, these are absolutely delightful miniatures that I completely adore, and I'm really keen to paint them up!

Wednesday 27 January 2021

WIP Wednesday - A weird little assortment of assembled metal

First up, we have the "Original Space Raider" by Knightmare Miniatures. He's a fun tribute to some old sci fi art I quite like, and I've been meaning to get him done for a while.

Here's two sculpts from even smaller companies. On the left is "Sir Justin de Coutange" by Khadrin's Miniatures. Khadrin's Miniatures mostly make 15 mm fantasy (though they have some 20 and 28mm on their site too). This rare model is a tribute to a friend of the owner who died young, and I decided to pick up a copy.

On the right is a female landsknecht from Red Goblin Terrain. I think she's the only model they make, but she was nice enough I decided to pick one up.

Onto a more familiar supplier, and here's some models from Bad Squiddo. I can't recall when I picked up these Jesters and "Hooty McOwlFace". Was it a random impulse buy? Was it a Salute? I'm pretty sure it was Salute.

On the other hand, these historical figures were through one of Annie's Kickstarters. I'm not normally a historicals guy, but I thought these models were nice and worth supporting. They're all particular figures from WWII with their own real histories. I'll likely post more about them when I get them painted.

Monday 25 January 2021

Painted Foxes from Mantic

Just a quick bit of painting from last week finished here. I painted up the two foxes that came with the Mantic Northman sprue I won at the HATE 2019 Christmas raffle. The sculpts are a bit shallow and lacking in detail, so I kept it tabletop quality.

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Work in Progress Wednesday - Starmada

When N4 came out, I picked up the "Starmada Action Pack", as it was on my 'to buy' list anyway, and getting it in a bundle got me an extra miniature for free. Starmada are a sub-faction of O-12. They're an odd mix of units all told, missing mid-field camouflage which is a major tool for a lot of forces. I'm not sure if I'll play Starmada much, but I can also play their units in O-12.

The Lawkeeper is an awesome looking bike unit and a big motivator towards getting the box. I mean, basically it looks really cool, right?

Then we have three special weapons options for the Kappa units. The Sniper and HMG are the heavy weapons options you'll want in a fireteam, and the Hacker is a good cheap hacking option.

The Crushers are a naval demolition team. You can either take them as drop troops or a forward deploying unit, and the box comes with one of each option. They're all Forward Observers, meaning they count as specialists for missions, while also being quite shooty.

The Bluecoats are Naval Security units. They're good at spotting hidden units, are hard to surprise, and they get an interesting selection of weapons. In Starmada, they also get to join in with Kappas.

The Bronzes are a new heavy infantry option, and I'm just not quite sure what they're for? They're incredibly tough, tanky units, but simply don't have particularly powerful guns. You'd normally expect Heavy Machine Guns and so on, but it's mostly shotguns and rifles, with one light support weapon option.

Finally, Saladin can be taken by O-12 as well as Haqqislam. He's a machine intelligence grown to try and recreate Saladin's skills and personalities by an AI, installed into a cloned body. He's an excellent command option, but a bit obvious so could be open to assassination runs. He looks like he'll be a lovely model to paint, too.

Monday 18 January 2021

Remembering how to use paints that aren't Contrast

On Sunday afternoon I was determined to break my painting block, so grabbed a couple of my Wizkid's "pre-undercoated" models and sat down to paint them. They took a couple of hours, including the break in the middle for paint to dry.

Because the pre-undercoating was a little patchy, I decided to do some block base coats rather than the contrast I've been using for a while. I was definitely super nervous at this stage! It felt like a huge step backwards.

However, I needn't have worried. Agrax Earthshade added a lot of depth, and I did a little highlighting and dry brushing just to brighten the model up a little bit.

I was particularly pleased with the male guard's face, although it works best under slightly gentler lights than I've used here. I dropped in some Kislev Flesh Air highlights, brought it back down with some Guilliman Flesh Contrast, then did another quick Kislev Flesh highlight. In particular, the trick of using air paints for glazing in brighter highlights is one I plan to continue!

So, a couple of models painted, and the block is cleared. I'm feeling keen and enthused about painting again. Sometimes I just need an easy success before sitting down to a long and complex paint job. 

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Work in Progress Wednesday - Knowing When To Quit

I spent a while getting these War World Renegades assembled . . . and I've fallen out of love with them.

The backpack fins were super difficult to glue on, and then I pinged one across the room and lost them so didn't add the rest. And the lad at the front on the right I accidentally cut some of his arm off, mistaking it for flash. So he has a weird short arm.

I don't have a plan for them, so rather than paint them up, I'm going to put them up for sale so someone can get some use out of them.

I have plenty of stuff to be painting, so its important for me to keep track of what I'm enthused by and what I have time for.

Monday 11 January 2021

Buying painted

I had a bit of a motivation failure this weekend and didn't paint anything myself. Conveniently, a painted model I'd bought turned up in the post last week, so you still get to see a painted thing.

I bought this from Berlin Tuesday's etsy shop. I understand he does commissions as well. I just fell in love with the neat clean paint job on this small and simple figure.

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Work in Progress Wednesday: An Infinity Assortment


Oktavia Grimsdottir is a limited edition Infinity figure I got with the recent edition. She's armed with a Missile Launcher and can be taken by the generic armies along with Shasvastii. I'm not really sure how useful she actually is in practice, but I will give her a try at some point.

Shona Carano was the other limited edition figure from the N4 release. She can be taken by O-12 and Starmada. As you might guess from the model, she's pretty stabby.

Liang Kai is also for O-12, and pretty stabby as well. Another one for the paint queue!

This is the generic Morat Spec Ops model. Nothing I'm planning to use any time soon, but he's assembled and ready to go.

Ko Dali is an absolutely terrifying Combined Army drop troop, and this was a pre-order miniature with the recent graphic novel Betrayal. Something for when I give vanilla Combined Army a go when I want a break from Shasvastii.

Corvus Belli kindly give us warning of when models are going to go out of print, so I grabbed this Skiavoros, a powerful command unit for Combined Army, rather than try and hunt one down later after it's out of production.

Monday 4 January 2021

Black Crab Signposts

I had a quiet few days over the New Year, mostly resting up and watching trashy television. I did sell a few miniatures I wasn't using any more, and also parcelled up all of the Sisters of Battle I could find and sent them off to a commission painter in the hope of getting a dent in the painting backlog early.

I did settle down to a little painting, though - I got these two creepy signposts by Black Crab Miniatures finished up. They're mostly contrast, but I used the Nighthaunt paints on the weird ghost lady.

Friday 1 January 2021

Looking forward to the New Year

Well, it's been A Year, hasn't it? It all got a bit fraught at times. Still, I've gotten some stuff done, which I'll take. Getting anything done is plenty.

The first goal I set myself for the year was to paint more than I bought.

While my commission painters did well here, painting 49 for the 33 I bought, I did less well. I got 78 models done, but purchased a staggering 651. Whoops.

One of my big problems here was that the moment I went "over" I kind of gave up and everything became terrible forever. So, how can I get that more under control?

I'm going to review how it goes, but my plan for January to March is to try and assemble anything I bought in the previous month. (Metal stuff is still going to someone else due to allergies in the flat.) If that doesn't happen in a month, it's time to lay off the purchases. The idea here is that I stress less about picking up something limited edition or short run, as I immediately turn the excitement of buying it into productivity of getting it assembled and ready to paint.

The next goal was to paint 60 models. All good here. I counted a few little jobs that didn't involve painting, including some pre-painted scenery and some prep for the EIC, but even without those, I still got 60 Actual Figures painted.

However, in terms of "projects" - armies and games - I got very little done indeed. Almost all my time ended up going on the small pieces I paint in between those bigger jobs.

Is that a bad thing? Kind of. I'm keen to get more progress on "projects" this year. This isn't going to be a hard and fast rule, though. More something to consider when I'm picking what to paint.

I need to avoid any "quick wins" that are in fact hellish time consuming things that take forever and put me off painting. I'm looking at you, beautiful but fiddly Aenor Trolls. The job of the "quick wins" is to get me things finished quickly so I feel motivated and accomplished.

First up, I need to finish what I've got "in progress" at the moment. On the paint station, that's the Aenor Trolls and one of the Malifaux Viktorias. In assembly land, that's the Skaven Gnawholes. Oh, and my contribution to the club's Battlemasters project is a must do!

I think I've also got my Shasvastii painting scheme down pat now, so I may grab one or two of those as my "relaxing miniature" when my project piece is something that's different to them.

In terms of volume, I'm going to step up from this year's total and try and build on it. Can I get a hundred miniatures painted this year? It's a fun goal to set myself.

For January to March, I'm going to focus on three projects. Firstly, Finishing The Existing Stuff, that I mentioned above. Secondly, a new and exciting project: Some Warhammer Underworlds. And finally, getting some solid progress on my Shasvastii.

I'm also going to try and pay closer attention to my "Work in Progress" limits. I've separated stuff out now into "Projects" and "Fun Paints". As before, there shouldn't be more than a year's worth of stuff assembled and ready to paint, and there shouldn't be more than a year's worth of stuff piled up untouched.

The Project Situation is not going to get fixed this year, so we can stop that getting worse by getting stuff assembled as soon as it gets in. With almost nothing done project wise last year, if I get some solid progress this year I can take a good hard look at how many outstanding projects I have at the end of the year. I've already sent my Sisters of Battle off to a commission painter to reduce the number of unstarted projects.

The idea will be to have a rolling set of three projects, ideally over three months. So I get some project progress in a month, then park that and move onto something new that I'm enthused about. Twelve significant project progresses in a year would be great.

Meanwhile, on the "Fun things" front - I want both the "Ready to Paint" and "To Do" piles comfortably under a year's worth of paints. This is kind of super easy. I've got 99 things in these two columns at the moment, so if over the next year I paint 33 things and buy nothing, all would be peaceful and well.

Obviously, I have a few bits and pieces here and there already ordered that will Not Help on this front. But three of these a month Plus Whatever I Buy is still pretty achievable.

Other projects I'm keen about getting done this year are my Malifaux crew, my O-12, Finally Deciding On My Nomads Paint Scheme, Arcworlde and a dive into Warhammer Quest... I'm going to be continuing to sell off a lot of abandoned projects, and overhauling my "projects" pages as a result.