“A Bit of How’s Your Father’s!”

Back to plastic this week prompted by the eventual arrival of “Dead Zone” by Mantic Games (we ordered this before Christmas!). Now I’ve been after getting my hands on this game for a while as it came with a good recommendation by my eldest son (who also has a copy) and the idea is that my youngest and I have a few games to get familiar with the rules then when the eldest can finally come to visit again we will all be familiar with the rules and play together. So on first opening the box we discovered a large amount of plastic, including some figures of a couple of the main protagonists (the Forge Fathers and Enforcers/Pathfinders) and some of Mantic’s “box like” scenery, there was also the latest supplement (Escalation) for the Dead Zone rules, but what was obvious in its absence was the actual “Dead Zone” rulebook! Apparently you now have to download a “virtual” copy of this and a code is provided to do so. Now call me old fashioned but I do like to have a physical copy of any rule set I’m using, and this though I can see is a cost saving and Dead Zone is quite a lot cheaper than “Kill Team” (GW’s similar game), I have to say I was more than a little disappointed. This appears to be a new thing (probably with the introduction of “Escalation” as my eldest got a copy of the rulebook in his version, and the addition of a “sticker” over the original contents list on the box all points to this.

Anyway he was at least able to email through the assembly instructions (which are in the main rulebook), along with the advice that the best thing to do was just assemble the figures needed for the opening scenario (4 to 5 figures a side), see how you get on with them and then build the others later with whatever weapons you think appropriate.

So I thought I’d start with the “Forge Fathers” (Space Dwarves to you and me!) mainly as I had a general idea as to the colours I was going to use on them. So after they were glued together, which was still a right pain in the bum, but strangely not quite as bad as the “Blood Bowl” figures seemed perhaps I’m getting used to it! (Time to stop I think!), they are glued down to their 25mm round bases, I did consider basing them on two pence pieces as is my norm, but as I planned on “topping” the bases differently to usual I thought I’d use the ones provided. Now this is the first time I’ve used my basing sand (as recommended by Roy Williamson!), on 28mmm figures so I built up several layers, one across the whole base then just blobbing the glue “willy, nilly” about the place, I also stuck a few “kitty litter” rocks here and there to add a little interest. Then it was out for a spraying with some matt black, and after they were touched up with a brush, the painting could begin proper.

I began as usual by dry-brushing the guns (and hammer) with chainmail, then all of their armour was painted in German field grey, and highlighted with dark turquoise. The bits of under clothing that can be seen were then undercoated with dark grey, and I had meant to highlight this with blue grey, but after doing the first figure, I decided I didn’t like this at all, so recoated the dark grey before mixing up a light grey from black and white and using this to highlight said areas. The gloves, belts and the odd other area were then painted in chocolate brown before being highlighted with leather.

I then added the eyes on their helmets these were done in light green before I added a dot or pupil with some “Fluorescent” light green. I also added lights with these colours to their weapons. Lastly I added some accoutrements to their armour with a little bronze with copper highlights.

As usual I them gave them a coat of “Quickshade” (Strongtone) before setting to work on the bases. Even though I’d used sand instead of filler, I still used my old faithful trio of chocolate brown, khaki and coffee here, I did however forgo the patches of scenic green and the hairy grass (even though I did go back and forth, in my mind over whether to or not). I rather like the finished figs, I think they have quite a mean look to them, and better still even the youngest, who never compliments or gets excited about anything, said “They were nicely painted” praise indeed!!!

Now Luke (IRO) is running a bit of a challenge this month, but rather than figures, it’s to post pictures of your favourite T-shirts so lastly this week, here is the first of mine, bought from an independent seller at a comicon the year before last, well you’ve got to own at least one T-shirt with some polyhedral die on, even if I haven’t roleplayed for years!

So till next week, stay safe and cheers Roger.

Posted in 28mm sci-fi, sci-fi | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

“One Little, Two Little, Three Little….”

“Sometimes men just can’t help acting on impulse”, as the old commercial used to say and that is very much what happened to me the other week, scrolling down the “Miniatures Page” website I came across a news story that “Lancashire Games” were having a 20% off sale, and it was coming to an end that very night. So not really looking for anything but just being nosey, I clicked the link…Long story short I talked myself into six “wild west frontier” wagons, some settlers and twenty four mounted Indian Braves in 10mm. The justification in my mind being that I could quickly paint these up and do a little solo gaming with some really simple homebrew rules. Anyway they arrived a couple of weeks back (just as I was finishing my Blood Bowl Team) and after their three day “quarantine period” in the garage were put in readiness, so I could I set to work on the little chaps as soon as “Elvira” was finished.

Now the trouble with 10 (and 15mm) figures I have found is though they are smaller so need less detailed paintjobs, and of course you get more for your money, they do need as much (if not more) “cleaning up” of the castings than 28mm figures, and as I said you also have more of the little buggers! So that was the next job (Booo!!), I also discovered that I didn’t have any appropriate sized bases, so I sorted out this problem, by ordering some from “Minibits”, they thankfully arrived swiftly so we were off again. Next problem was the inconsistency of the thickness of the cast bases on the figures, now I know a lot of people wouldn’t care or even notice this on figures this small, but it bugged me no end, so what to do, either spend eternity sanding down the bottoms of the Indians horses bases or build up the ones on the settlers? Well out came my paper guillotine and some 10mm squares were cut from thick card and sandwiched between the settlers and the new MDF 15mm square bases. The Indians were also glued onto their new 20x15mm bases, the wagons however would have to wait for now, as I felt I had more than enough to keep me going.

Next I had to “fill” around the bases of all of them, I went back and forth over whether to use “Tetrion” filler or my basing sand, in the end I went with the filler (still not sure that was the right decision), then it was out for a spray coat of matt black, and BANG as I was picking up the board I spray my figures on, I dropped it! (These figures do seem cursed!) Luckily I was going to touch them up with a brush after this anyway so not a major disaster. I thought I’d split them up into groups, starting with the twenty four mounted Indians (more batch painting hooray!!). So about half the horses were painted chocolate brown then highlighted with chestnut, and the other half were painted coffee and highlighted with cream. I then added splodges of the opposite colours (chocolate and chestnut or coffee and cream) over this along with a few in black and dark grey over the coffee/cream ones to create some American painted horses.

Turning to the “Redskins” themselves next there are six different poses (three with bow and three with rifles), So I took my pot of conveniently named “red Indian flesh” (honestly it is check the paint list at the top of the page if you don’t believe me!), and after painting all the exposed flesh areas with this I then gave them a wash with skin wash ink, and finally another highlight with some more red Indian flesh. Clothing came next, so a base of chocolate brown was applied over these (and some other) areas and then Khaki was highlighted over the clothing areas, with leather brown used over the (you guessed it!) leather ones. I deliberately left a little black showing around the edges, to better define the colours, with them being smaller figures I thought this would help. Next I added the bow’s these were once again undercoated in chocolate brown this time highlighted (heavily) with butternut, I also added the couple of rifle stocks and lower barrels you could see in this too. Talking of the rifles I next added chainmail over the barrels, I know this is probably (well definitely) a lot shinier than they should be but again I thought it would make them easier to identify in game terms.

I dug the coffee and cream back out next to do the feathers in their hair along with their breastplates and the fights on their arrows. Finally to add a splash colour I painted some of their loin cloths in porcelain blue and others along with some of their accoutrements in bright red. It was at this point that I discovered an extra figure that I had somehow managed to miss after the black spray coat (see cursed!!), I’ll have to do him once I start on my settlers. My customary coat of “Quickshade” Strong tone followed and once dry the bases were first painted with Musket Brown, before being given dry-brushes with sand and then coffee. I still have the settlers and wagon’s to paint, but at least it’s a start.

A couple of weeks back “Pete” over at “SP Projects Blog” (check out the link at the bottom of the page), posted some very lovely winter war WW2 Finn’s in 20mm, I mentioned that I had some 20mm Sci/Fi figures painted in winter colours, and Pete asked if I could post a couple of pictures of them. Well never one to disappoint (not what my wife says!). Here they are, I seem to think they are by “RH Models”. Do you know what, I’d forgotten just how nice these figures are, thanks Pete 😉.

So till next time, stay safe and cheers Roger.



Posted in 10mm wild west, 20mm sci-fi, Cowboys, sci-fi | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

“Tash” (2004-2021)

I never thought I’d be writing another one of these posts so soon after the one about Penny two weeks ago, but sadly we have now also lost one of our precious “old girls” when the kidney disease that has been a constant threat to beloved “Tash” for many years finally took her from us yesterday exactly two weeks almost to the hour that we lost Penny. She had been going downhill for a while but recently had lost a lot of weight, and most of the use of her back legs, after a fall. A return trip to the vets confirmed that her kidneys had given up and so we had to make the decision to have her put to sleep.

We first got Tash (short for “moustache” for obvious reasons) after I saw an advert in the local paper for half Siamese kittens, My oldest son was still devastated by the loss of our little black and white girl “Pippin” a little while before and with my wife a lifelong fan of Siamese one of these seemed like the perfect new family member, so I rang up and we went down to see the two the lady had left, We picked the friendlier one of the too a Black and White “Felix” lookalike and we brought her home calling her “Poppy”, however the other little girl, was still in our minds and the next day I rang back to see if she was still there (not that I was really bothered, of course!), she said she was but someone was coming to look at her later, We immediately jumped in the car and rushed down to get her bringing her home. We placed the cat carrying case down expecting a bit of a “spat” between the sisters as they had been apart for a night, only for Poppy to walk over poke in her nose, as if to say “Oh it’s you” climb in and settle down to sleep with “Tash”. The pair have been inseparable ever since, often backing each other up when they were small, though they were not above falling out now and again.

Though it took a little while to bring “Tash” out of herself she grew into a lovely affectionate girl, with the typical demanding Siamese voice, something often to be heard in later years as she and “Amy” one of our later additions and also rather “noisy” would have full blown conversations (not always happy ones!). Another of her little foibles was to insist on drinking from the kitchen tap! Often sitting in the sink and shouting till you turned it on for her. She was a lovely little girl who liked nothing better than sitting on you especially if you were laying down, how such a small cat could be so heavy we’ll never know.

I know we will miss her immensely. Goodbye old girl, Dad.

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“Unpleasant Dreams” (Fembruary & More)

You may (or may not) remember back in November of last year I sculpted this “chibi” caricature version of “The mistress of the dark” herself Elvira as a bit of a personal challenge, well since then she has now become eligible for two more “challenges”, Dave Stones “Paint what you already have Challenge” and “Leadballoony’s, Fembruary Challenge”. (See links at the bottom of this post).

Dave’s challenge is pretty self-explanatory (and I have had her since November) , but Alex’s Fembruary I thought I better explain, basically in the month of February you have to paint up one or more female figures in honor of “International Womens Day” and miniature ladies in general. So after asking if I could take part and receiving a “yes” from Alex, I’ve thrown my hat into the ring and decided to paint Eliva as my submission for this fun little challenge too. It’s not too late to join in the fun either just let Alex know via the link and let him know you are interested.

So as I’d now promised two people I’d get her finished I thought I’d better give her a good licking (with paint that is!), so as usual she was begun with a spray undercoat of matt black, and then I touched her up (I’m not doing this on purpose. You know!), with a brush and some more black paint, well she is predominantly black after all. One of the few areas that isn’t though is her fleshy bits so I turned to them next, and taking, dwarf skin, dark fleshtone,and pale flesh from my “Vallejo collection” and my other pale flesh by “Miniature paints”, I mixed these together till I had a tone that looked about right and used this as a base before adding her eyes in cream, lining around them and adding the pupils in black. Next I took my Elfic flesh and as I thought it was a little too pale, added a touch the pale flesh again and highlighted with this, while this was still wet I took some fusia and added a little rouge to her cheeks and above her eyes. After undercoating her lips in dark red I highlighted them in bright red, and added her beauty spot just below her left eye with a dot of black.

Her dress as you can see is black (stating the bloody obvious!), now I usually just highlight black with some dark grey but as I planned on doing this for her hair I thought I’d better come up with something else here, so…I highlighted it with dark grey (What! wait a minute. You said you weren’t going to do that! I hear you cry), well yes, but once this was dry I then mixed up a glaze of royal purple and painted this all over her dress, tinting it slightly.

Now her exposed leg had been painted flesh along with the rest of the “fleshy bits”, but it was now time to add her stocking, so I nixed up some dark grey and chocolate brown and thinned this down to a glaze and applied a couple of coats of this to her “pin”. Her shoes were touched up then with some more black and then these and her hair were highlighted with yet more dark grey. That just left her “dagger” belt buckle to do in chainmail for the blade and bronze highlighted with bright gold for the hilt, a dot of metallic red for the jewel at the hilts top finished this off, and I was calling her done.

I knew I wanted to “Quickshade” her (I always do), but I didn’t want her as dark as usual so I went for the Soft tone instead of my usual Strong tone, and I painted her base in my usual method of, chocolate brown with subsequent dry-brushes of khaki and coffee. Then splodges of scenic green and hairy flock were added here and there and she was ready for a quick “blow over” with some matt varnish. Really done!

I’m reasonably happy with the end result, I don’t know if the lady herself would be, but as I stated back at the start of her sculpting….”Women are difficult! (But lovely with it!)

I’ll leave you with this that was actually on one of my birthday cards from last month. As “The Imperfect Modeler” would say….

“Well it made me laugh….”

Till next time, stay safe, cheers Roger.



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