Sunday, May 14, 2017

First of the Boxers plus a bit more terrain

After a tumultuous couple of weeks at work, followed by a bout of illness things have returned to something approaching normal this last week. I'm still not that well but have only two days left on the project before having a good break from work starting Wednesday.

This weekend I decided I'd had enough of the cork and for a change painted up my first unit of Boxers as something of a test. Overall I'm not unhappy with them and they are simple enough to paint. En masse and with some flags they will be a bit more impressive I'm sure.

This first mob is a proper rag-tag mix of clothing but for the next couple (already prepped) I'm going to go with something more consistent in terms of colour across each group.

Last week I also managed to snaffle a couple of statues from the local Reject Shop. Once the LED lighting was removed and the holes covered up these we repainted and have come up quite well. Just the basing and a few creepers or moss to do now. My intention is to use these as part of the Palace of Prince Su a.k.a. the Su Wang Fu.

Hopefully I'll find a bit of time on my impending hols to push on and get to a point which I might have enough stuff complete for a test scenario or two.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ANZAC Day 2017

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, that special day of the year when we honour the men and women who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces. It is also a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you all for your service and for putting others before yourselves that we might all live in a safer and happier community.

The Roll of Honour, courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Map of Peking Games Table

I thought it was about time I worked out some rough dimensions and locations for the various legations, canal, roads and other important features on the table.

I've decided to go with three of my folding tables in parallel giving me a total gaming area of approximately 6' x 7.5'. Anything smaller and the various buildings just seemed to small for a 28mm skirmish game. Having decided on the overall gaming area I set to working out a rough map so I've got some idea of how much ground individual items should cover.

This is by no means set in stone and individual items will undoubtedly be slightly larger or smaller as they get built, driven as much by storage requirements as anything. My storage boxes are approximately 12" x 16" meaning the British Legation would fill one entirely and fill approximately 2/3 of another.

While this was germinating away I was also "building" some ruined buildings. I've assembled the basis of a total of four of those but unfortunately experienced my first modelling accident in the process. I secure the cork walls with steel sewing pins until the glue dries and whilst pushing one of them home the head split in two, meaning all the force was transferred to the finger immediately behind. The upshot was the pin itself was driven clean through the core of my right index finger and out the other side. Not too much blood and very little to see but it's as sore as h3ll and I can't do much including use the mouse, draw or even type very well at present. Oh how we suffer for our art :-)

I also popped into the local $2 shop today and managed to find myself a statue of Bhudda for somewhere on the table. Not sure whether that will form part of the Palace of Prince Su or a temple area. Either way it's another bit of colour...


Friday, April 21, 2017

Peking in a Box - Terrain Part 4 - Mongol Market

I found a few minutes here and there over the last few evenings to continue with the terrain for 55 Days at Peking.

Adjacent to the British and Russian Legations was an area known as the Mongol Market which I've not managed to find much information or imagery on unfortunately. Undeterred, I've decided to represent this as a rather rough and ready marketplace with a number of stalls of various sizes and construction methods.

Some dowel, canvas squares, bamboo matting and a pile of cork off-cuts have subsequently been turned into four quite serviceable market stalls with removable roofs.

A number of online vendors produce some quite reasonably priced and comprehensive market goods collections which combined with some crates and barrels should give me a quite convincing representation I think.

Next up? Some ruined housing destroyed by Chinese shelling...


Monday, April 17, 2017

Peking in a Box - Terrain Part 3 - Small Shrine

I'm on something of a roll at the moment with the 55 Days at Peking terrain. Every time I think I've had enough for a day or three something pops into my head and I can't help finding myself back at the modelling desk cutting, gluing and pinning for my life.

With Box One nearly full I've moved onto Box Two and this time I've been building a small shrine. Unlike the houses I built earlier this week, the shrine uses a couple of cheap fleaBay finds in the form of a pine tree and a statue. I also raised SWMBO's craft cupboard for some beads.

The roof of the shrine "deliberately" (OK maybe I accidentally cut the roof too long [ahem]) projects out over the statue to keep the weather off.

There's a path running down the middle of the courtyard to the statue which I will border with gardens composed of rocks, gravel and some plants.

The pine tree is growing out of a raised bank and is removable for ease of storage.

To door or not to door? Part of me wants this kept simple...

Of all the buildings so far I've enjoyed this one the most. I didn't plan it much at all and just let it evolve as I worked on it.

I'm glad I started work with the simple building as despite the fact I've done a lot of cork scratch building over the years I am noticing a clear improvement in skills in just a few days. Things like the joins at roof peaks and mitre cuts have all neatened up significantly. This means the bigger ticket items like the legations should look the best and as they are the centrepiece of the table there will be less obvious issues to distract the eye.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Peking in a Box - Terrain Part 2

Solid progress today has seen the first four buildings 99% finished from a build perspective. All have roofs now of varying types and a few other items like remaining doors have been added.

Thanks to Dave Docherty who helped me with the clay tile sheets. Couldn't find them for love or money down here in Australia but Dave came up trumps the minute I mentioned I has struggling!
They're dead easy to cut and fix and really look the business.

I decided the larger house needed a decent sized main gate which is both more appropriate for the size of the building but also allows for miniatures to move through the structure instead of having to go around every time.

I'm going to hold off painting these I think so I can do a big batch paint at some point. Saves cleaning up all the time and means I can have a bit more of a think about colour schemes.

I'm already feeling the temptation to start work on one of the legation compounds. Must resist that until I've got another box of other buildings squared away!


Peking in a Box - Terrain Part 1

Over the last month or so I've gradually been accumulating all the necessary items to start constructing some buildings for my 55 Days at Peking project. The list includes cork tiles, bamboo, wooden dowel, wooden coffee stirrers, cardboard in various thicknesses and other sundry items for decoration. The growing pile has been slowly nagging at me, growing louder as the pile of accumulated items increased in size so I figured it was about time I started some construction.

Rather than start with the legation quarter I decided to do some of the less interesting but still important buildings, specifically the housing that constitute part of the playing area and from which a lot of the bands of Boxers will inevitably spring. It'll refine mi skills and leave the more interesting work to the end when I'm flagging a bit at the thought of cutting up yet more cork tiles...

I started out my working out rough building sizes and types and then mapped them into a storage box to ensure they would fit. Once I was happy that everything would fit neatly I was ready to start. Box One will eventually contain three medium sized houses, one large house and either one small house or a small shrine or other character type piece. As you see things fit well...

The outer shells of all but the small item were cut from cork tile and assembled last night, along with detailing like window and door timber work and some additional character on the large house.

This morning I cracked on with the first of the roofs. I don't normally do removable roofs because they require extra effort and the buildings lose some of their structural strength without the roof glued to the walls. Given this is a (large) skirmish project though it's important that miniatures can enter / exit from and hide in buildings so I've bitten the bullet.

I'm going with a variety of roofing styles to mix things up including timber (as above) and clay tile in various colours (still to come on some of the remaining buildings in this box).

All up I think it will cost something in the region of $6-12 per medium sized building and take approximately 2 hours to build each one. It won't break the bank spread over the time it will take to complete the project but it will take a number of months to get enough built for a decent sized table.

I suspect I will need another box of housing to make a convincing sized area and then I can start thinking about legations...


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Warhammer Empire Flagellants

Hi All,

It's been some time since I've had any free time at all hence the deafening silence here on the blog. Yesterday was in fact my first day off work in 12. So you can imagine I was quite pleased to be able to see an exhibition of Egyptian Mummies from the BNM, have a brilliant Brazilian BBQ lunch and then get these chaps finished off. I almost feel human!

The Empire of the Warhammer world is full of all sorts of interesting fluff and the Flagellants are right up there in those terms. These jokers are the gaming equivalent of the nutter at the street corner with the "End is Nigh" placard. According to the Warhammer Fantasy Wikia...
"Flagellants are the names given to those that have lost all hope for a dying world, and now wander the lands in marauding hordes, preaching the end is nigh and fighting the darkness with a fervor that borders unto insanity."
23 of the 24 are the original "classic" models, sporting blow-dried hair. I somehow ended up with one of the second edition metal models so he got a "promotion" as the unit leader a.k.a. Prophet of Dooooommmm.... That's him front and centre face-palming and wondering how he ended up here when all he wanted to do was thump the Book of Sigmar and give himself a d@mn good thrashing in his cell after dark. Whatever floats your boat and all that.

I'm pretty pleased with the ragged, grubby look I achieved with these without them looking too mono-tonal and uninteresting. You'd never know there are 12 different coloured tunics but there you go.

And before I go a quick net-gloat about by latest fleaBay snaffle. I've been after a unit of the Order of the Knights of the Blazing Sun for absolutely yonks and they've proven to be like the proverbial chook's choppers. Yesterday, however, Sigmar turned his blessed gaze upon my efforts and the following appeared (then near instantly disappeared) from said flea market.

How good is that? A full ten of them including command and in MINT condition. And it only cost me ONE limb! :-) Added to my Reiksguard, Knights Panther and Knights of the White Wolf and that gives me a complete set of all the knightly orders that were produced in metal. Happy days...

That's it for now.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Warhammer Empire Reiksguard Mounted Knights

Just time for a quick post tonight before I toddle off to bed...

This week saw me finish another unit for my Warhammer Fantasy Empire army - a unit of 10
mounted Reiksguard Knights. Here's some pictures for your viewing pleasure :-)

There's a unit of 12 Archers on the painting desk now which should be finished by the weekend.

Stay tuned...


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Still here, honestly I am!

Things have been pretty quiet on the blog of late for a number of reasons. A few technical hitches at work have meant a fair few extra hours for starters [sigh!].

On top of that (and MUCH more fun!) I've been finishing off another layout and design commission for the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare, this time a supplement for In Her Majesty's Name entitled Gothic. As you can imagine it is suitably dark and will be guaranteed to float the funeral barge of those inclined in that direction...

As with all material put together by Charles and Craig it is a carefully crafted tome, packed full of interesting background material, a huge number of factions and some wonderfully dark imagery.
I've assimilated a fair bit of the content over the journey and I can attest it won't disappoint!

In other news I've been beavering away on my long-in-the-planning-and-collecting stage Warhammer Fantasy Empire project. As usual this is a 6th/7th "Oldhammer" effort and contains a load of glorious renaissance style figures. To date I've managed to complete some artillery and a handgunners from the city of Nuln, home of all things black powder.

Apologies for the rubbish photos of the hand gunners. Best I could manage at the time and I promise better ones will follow.

I've currently got a unit of 10 mounted Reiksguard Knights in the works which should make an appearance on the Challenge blog next weekend I hope.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge VII - Day 49 (or is it 52?), or The Hot Zone

Day 49 (OK Tamsin, Day 52, thank you so very much) of the Challenge, and I'm sorry to say that I'm not exactly setting the world on fire. But that's OK, because the weather is doing a splendid job of that on its own here in Sydney. We've had a succession of heatwaves, and we're gearing up for another one this weekend.

So painting has been a slow grind. Productivity hasn't been all it might be, but I have managed to put a couple of pieces together to gradually build my points total.

First up was this chappie;

A Scibor Miniatures Orc Chieftain, a superb sculpt which repays the effort to paint it. I wanted to go for a colder colour scheme than the usual Goblin Green, as the figure is so imposing and really calls for a darker, less warm tone. Wet palette work came in handy for the blending of the skin hues up from the dark blue-green base through to the turquoise final highlights.

Next up was another figure for Frostgrave, a repurposed Plague Apothecary from Foundry's Casting Room Miniatures.

He's been given the sickly shades of an old bruise, with a mask the colour of bone. He strikes me as a creepy and morally ambiguous medical practitioner, as ready to kill as to cure.

Last of all was my entry in the terrain Bonus Round, 'Home', a scratch-built mausoleum for Frostgrave. And yes, it's 'Home' for assorted zombies and ghouls, so it counts!

I was very happy with how this one turned out, especially as I was trying out some marbled paint effects for the first time, and the decaying stucco exposing the brickwork beneath turned out pretty well too. It's colourful for a mausoleum, but if you've ever seen the exuberantly-painted Etruscan tombs, you'll understand the effect I was going for.

That's all for now - probably going to be a quiet weekend for the paint bench, since the weather is a great demotivator, but there's always more prep and assembly to do.

Stay tuned!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Boxes for Boxers... and some prep

Motivation is at a premium at the moment unfortunately. Work is taking it's toll as is the seemingly relentless heat and humidity which makes any kind of painting a chore. On top of that I'm nearing completion of my latest commission design work. So, loads of excuses not to paint!

I'm still waiting for pretty much everything I've ordered for the 55 Days at Peking project to arrive in the post which isn't helping. One thing I have managed to do is score some boxes for storage of the various terrain items as and when they get built. Each is roughly 18" x 12" x 6" which is a great size to allow for up to two-story buildings and more than capable of accommodating various taller items like gates and trees.

In Challenge-related news a number of projects have been sitting stalled on the workbench for some time now so today I cleaned up, put unfinished stuff away and looked for something I was genuinely interested in working on to try and recapture my elusive mojo. It turns out starting my long planned Warhammer Empire project might be just what I'm looking for.

Today I've cleaned, prepped and based up a 24 man unit of halberdiers and a pair of artillery pieces and crew. I might even get a little paint on them tonight.

So... back on track. Hopefully.


Sunday, January 29, 2017


Just got back from the annual road trip to the nation's capital Canberra for a weekend of gaming related shenanigans. The weekend followed a well established pattern of drive, shop, natter, eat, natter, sleep, eat, shop, drive and was in general a most satisfactory outing.

Highlights of the weekend included the second instalment of the CANCON wargame blogger's meet-up. Unfortunately this year with the public holiday falling on the Thursday there was a noticeable drop off in people able to make it. Still, I was able to say g'day to a number of fellow bloggers. Cheers to Reilly and Paul O'G for the pic.

I managed to pick up a few bargains at the second hand stall including 8 assorted Warhammer army books for $37 total, a unit of High Elf cavalry for $15 and approximately $85 worth of Firestorm Armada ships for $34. Very happy with that haul! I won't be venturing into the Firestorm Armada space, buying the ships for use with more generic small scale rules like A Sky Full of Ships.

I also picked up a couple of new games to play with the family:

Dinner was entertaining with Kaptain Kobold, Barks and the War and Peace boys as well as a healthy showing from our mob. The Duck's Nuts pub is a pretty good venue and the food was up to scratch too. Conversation ranged over a number of topics including the general loathing of a certain well-known wargames forum. I never cease to be amazed by the number of people who have been offended by the content and/or a proportion of the community on there, myself included.

The only real disappointment of the weekend was the lack of variety amongst the traders. Everyone seemed to be selling the same thing and I wasn't able to pick up any of the terrain items I had hoped for the 55 Days at Peking project. I guess that's a missed opportunity for the traders and the money will go to online vendors instead now. Unfortunately that means postage will have to be paid but I can't help that.

That's pretty much it. Only 364 days till the next one!

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