Thursday, March 05, 2015

Jeeves and Mortimer - Gents with Shotguns for Empire of the Dead.


To break up the slog that has been finishing 12 Riders of Rohan (nearly done now), I have been slipping the odd EotD figure into the painting queue... sometimes you just want to paint something different for a mo'...

So I have managed to get another couple of Empire of the Dead Gentlemen to add to my Sons of Empire Faction; the Pall Mall Patrons... I give you, Jeeves and Mortimer... seemed good names for a duo...

Here they are guarding the entrance to the Cemetery, with shotguns loaded..., one double barrel, the other pump action?

Shotguns are useful in the game as they ignore the terrain cover modifiers for shooting... oh, you're hiding behind that hedge? Boom! Ha Ha!

I only have two more Gents to paint up now... both with volleyguns :)

But they may have to wait... as I have just taken delivery of another shipment of 54mm Gallipoli figures on Friday, and I have recently been reminded, the deadline for completion is actually the end of March! Eek!!

Back to Jeeves and Mortimer, and hopefully these two figure may see me reach my 600pt target for the AHPC, earlier than expected, thanks to the bonus points for the Bonus theme rounds... so I suppose I better add to my target... there's still points to come for the Comedic bonus round, and I hope (or need!) to get 20 more 54mm figures done for end of March, so lets bump the target up to 900pts and see if I can get near it!

Fingers crossed!




Keeping an eye on the various painting deadlines I have at the mo';... 20th March for AHPC, and end of March for Gallipoli stuff... I have decided to try and get my outstanding 12 Riders of Rohan finished off. Finished the paintjobs on Tuesday night and got them all varnished last night. Just basing to do now which I'll hopefully finish tonight. I'm also halfway through doing my 'Curtgeld' AntiHero due by Saturday, so will hopefully finish that off over next couple of days too.

After that, its probably Turks all the way till the end of March... though I may slip the odd thing in, in between... if I have time and inclination!

Friday, February 27, 2015

More Turks!

Just got my hands on some more Turks for the Gallipoli Diorama project...

10 troopers with two types of head gear, and 10 dead ones. The troopers are metal again, the dead ones are resin.



Time to start trimming and filing, and hopefully a blast of undercoating basecoat spray by end of weekend...

Mustering the Troops



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Radagast the Brown, on sleigh.

Radagast the Brown, one of the five Istari, and a wonderfully characterful friend and ally to Gandalf the Grey.

This was my entry for the "Comedic" Bonus theme round of the Painting Challenge...



Radagast's portrayal by Sylvestor McCoy was simply inspired I thought. Certainly not how I first imagined him, but a brilliant rendition none the less.



He brought drama, and also a slight comic relief, to the grim tale of the dwarves of the Company of Thorin Oakenshield in their Quest for the Lonely Mountain, in The Hobbit.

Seeing him scampering about on foot was wonderful... but then to see his transport, was a bewilderment!



When I first heard the rumors before the movies release, I shook my head in disbelief... but as soon as I saw it in the movie... it just worked! Hilarious, fun, inspired, novel. Great stuff...

It quickly became one of those must have models upon its release... not that I envisage using it in every LOTR game I play, even if it is remarkably effective on the table top!



The model itself is a 28mm scale multipart Finecast resin kit, from GW, and took some trimming, and greenstuffing to have it ready to paint. I decided to paint the component parts, then assemble the the whole and base it at the end. It would have been just too awkward to do otherwise.

The minor niggle I have is that some of the rabbits have the void between them and the next rabbit in the line, filled... I trimmed away as much of this as I could, but for a couple of the connections it was just a necessity to leave them as is, as with just the sides reigns joining otherwise, they would not have been strong enough to support the model. But if you can see past these minor effects its a great model :)



It is mounted on a large oval base, that lends itself to a little diorama work in its own right, and the kit includes two small side features; broken tree stumps, one with a small spider at the base, the other with a bird, looking startled into flight as Radagast zooms past, to add to the overall effect.



The bird I decided to simply paint black with a little dark grey drybrush to represent a Raven as these birds are mentioned throughout the tale, so it seemed appropriate to use. The thrush is also in the tale, but the bird on the model looked far too big to be a thrush.



So there you have it...my Comedic bonus round entry... if a nutty old wizard riding a sleigh through the woods pulled by giant rabbits doesn't make you grin, nothing will!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Turks Finished

Happy to say I finished my first batch of Turks for the WWI diorama project...


Having had my planned figure schedule for the Painting Challenge somewhat interrupted, by a very worthwhile cause, I have soldiered on as best as I could, and managed to get these assembled and painted in 10 days... Which is about as quick as I can manage - I don't feel my bum, has had a spare moment off the painting chair! So now I can't feel my bum! ;-)

But its all for a great cause, so [Queue - Windsor Davies accent] "Chest out, stomach in, stand up straight!"

More information here if you have not come across this great undertaking already... Mustering the troops

Slightly different camera position produced differing apparent lighting effect

They are specially commissioned, by Sir Peter Jackson, 54mm scale metal figures from the Perrys, with a proposed painting guide to follow by Aly Morrison. The instructions specifically stated to not paint the eyes, just to allow the shade wash to fill the eye socket...

So I have followed the guide as best as I was able with a mix of GW, Foundry and Vallejo paints that I had on hand. I finally managed to source the elusive GW Ushabti, in time to use it to dry brush the weathering on the boots...

With not having exactly the right specified colours on hand, I followed the pictorial guide, and use the rightmost tunic pictured below as my colour reference, as the ammo pouch belt matched that on the sculpted figures. I then went with the more drab/brown trouser 2nd from left...


Turk Uniforms



We were also specifically told not to remove the mounting peg, and obviously not to individually base them as they are destined to be mounted on a huge 10m long diorama board, representing the battle of Chunuk Bair. The diorama board is to be made by the crew at Weta, and will be on display at the Wellington Museum until 2018.

Unfortunately I am unable to say this blog post is the debut of the figures as I submitted the picture to the Mustering the Troops blog manager; Roly Hermans, for approval, who immediately posted them to the main blog...

So while I waited arrival of the next dispatch of figures (Hopefully due today!)I've been pressing on with my own figures that were left half done, and have managed to finish Radagast on Sleigh just in time for the Comedic Bonus round of the Painting Challenge, and have been slowly nearing completion of my warband of 12 Riders of Rohan...

Back to the poject; and I include this little summary as previously commented, on the Challenge blog post:

The project is quite an undertaking indeed. The initial proposal was to recruit 100 painters from New Zealand to paint the required 4000 figures for the Diorama... yes 4000! So that’s 40 figures per painter... The deadline for the work is Anzac Day here in the end of March... so that’s not very far off, and doesn’t give us much time... Thankfully 130 Kiwi painters have answered the call, though some are currently overseas so may not actively get involved due to logistics of getting figures distributed... talking of which the figures have been arriving in batches from the Perrys in the UK, and the figures I painted here were part of the 2nd batch I believe, sadly the 3rd batch got held up in customs and wont get to the painters before Monday... which has meant, for me, a week lost painting time on this project, though the bonus being it allowed me to return to my own figures, and get the Comedic bonus theme round finished just in time! :-)
With the 3rd just being released (hopefully), the 4th batch will arrive hot on its heels so I'm going to be a very busy boy shortly!
Incidentally, there was a lot of interest and comment from other folks wanting to get involved, in particular the Aussies who were of course part of the ANZACs... but PJ wanted to depict the specific battle of Chunuk Bair which was largely a New Zealand action and thus the decision to keep the painters Kiwis, and with it being displayed here in NZ...
By all accounts the diorama is being made true to scale with terrain layout made using accurate maps and topography information and indeed the actual trenchlines as they would have been... the idea behind the diorama is to capture a specific moment in time in the battle, and whilst many of the figures are typical of wargaming soldiers in their poses, many are very specific ones offs ... have a look here for what I mean...http://anzacdiorama.blogspot.co.nz/2015/02/preview-of-latest-figures-from-perrys.html …some great stuff coming from the Perrys!

So its really going to be an amazing sight to behold once finished and I am quite proud to be involved, even though I am not a Kiwi! But from what I have been told there were some Brits involved in the action , which I was not aware of, so that makes me feel a little closer to the events of the time!

Finally, oddly enough, with PJ's, the Perry's and Weta's past LOTR works, I can't help wonder if someone else who fought at that time, is looking on...


Tolkien, of course, served in WWI also..., though in a different theater of operations...Odd sometimes how things have a habit of connecting up...

Lets hope the painters have enough Strength of Spirit to press on with this and get it done in time!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

It's Friday the 13th - Prefect day for a Gothic Horror Game... Empire of the Dead - Rescue the Prisoner!

Our first campaign game saw Pauls Lycaons; the Bad Dogs, largely chew up my Gentlemen of The Pall Mall Patrons. After which they slinked back to their woodland lair to spend their ill gotten gains, and plan and scheme for the future...

Perhaps what they weren't expecting is to return home to find one of their associates captured, and held by a foul Nosferatu coven... Lucifer's Beloved!

-----o0o-----

I had decided to add another faction to our gaming, my Nosferatu. I'll admit, I didn't really fancy my chances in this game as the Lycaons are similar to the Nosferatu; some big beasties in combat as leaders backed by some shooty stuff and animals. But I reckon the Beastlord is more dangerous than the Graf..., and the Graf could be penalised if its a daylight game... still, I could take some firearms, which the wolfskins couldn't... so I could win out in the early stages with a bit luck if shooting could be effective...?

Paul hosted the game and set up a woodland scene with large areas of area terrain and clumps of woods, trees and bushes dotted about...

We rolled off missions and got Prisoner, so Paul grabbed his Desdurova figure and then we rolled off to see who would be attacker or defender. I won the roll and chose to defend; holding the prisoner in the board centre. Paul would have to come to me...

We rolled again for Day/Night and again I won the roll, and selected Night so my Graf would be of some use. It would restrict the shooting of my thralls to 18" with their rifles but that should be plenty from the centre of the board outwards and the Lycaons would have to close with me anyway...

Pauls take on the game is an enjoyable read here.

-----o0o-----

Deployment; My Graf, Victor Constantin, and his loyal thrall, Dimitrie secure the captive in the centre of the wooded table. Two more thralls with Hunting rifles, Ivan and Marius flank their positions... The Guardian, Vasile is forward, and behind is a swirling swarm of bats...


Victor and Dimitrie...


The Lycaons come at me from two sides... and get first turn to act. They advance and let off some arrows and crossbow bolts to no effect.





Return fire from the assorted Hunting rifles and Heavy Pistols kills one wolfskin to the flank and Downs the Packmaster!


The next turn sees the Nosferatu get priority, and now that the Lycaons are closer and I have had time to take Aim... more shooting finds its mark...


Killing another wolfskin on the flank and Downing a wolf!


With two downed enemies nearby I sense a chance to finish them off and the Graf commands the batswarm to the attack... though this does leave a hole in my lines which lets the Lycaons in... and Ivan the thrall is killed by a wolfskin... Dimitrie is charged by the Beastlord but holds his nerve and fights it off wounding it in the process!



To stop the bats swarm having free reign to take out the downed Packmaster and wolf, a wolfskin runs out from the woods to engage it...


With things hotting up in the centre the Graf leads the captive away... Vasile runs forward to aid the bats against the wolfskin... Dimitrie is still fighting off the Beastlord and Marius finds himself facing a wolfskin with claws of the wulfen... no shooting this turn its all getting tied up in melee...


Dimitire is Downed by the Beastlord but Marius holds off the wolfskin...


Vasilie and the Bats manage to slay the wolfskin, freeing up the bats to head off next turn and do their mischief...

Another wolf comes round the woods to try and lend a paw to its comrades...


Next turn the bats do their dirty work taking out the Downed Packmaster who has refused to heal up over 3 recovery rounds...


Amazingly Dimitrie shrugged off the Downed injury getting back to his feet, realising it was nothing but a flesh wound, .. only to be torn asunder by a now very vexed and frustrated Beastlord... this damned thrall had tied it up for several turns!


But the loss of the Packmaster puts the Lycaons on 50% and a pack break test is required... The Beastlord will pass a Bravado test on a 4+ on a D10, keeping his whole pack in the game... but Paul obligingly rolls a 2 and the Pack withdraws!

WOW!

What a game for the Nosferatu... its seemed fortune was certainly smiling on Lucifers Beloved this day as they seemed almost unable to put a foot wrong... wheres the Lycaons seemed to stumble from one round to the next... the dice gods can be fickle to say the least!

The Lycaons woes were not over yet... the post game sequence had to be worked out...

I had started as the underdog in Standing, so got a bonus for my win... topping out at 63 Shillings for the game!

My two Injury rolls came out as Stern stuff for Ivan, so complete recovery, and Dimitrie became Unhinged - not surprising considering his fight with the Beastlord!

Paul on the other hand, managed to roll a DEAD result for one of his wolfskin, and the Packmaster was Arrested by the Peelers! Someone must have been hiding in the bushes!...

I arrest you in the name of the law!
Paul pondered the effects of this 'Arrest'... and rather than risk another scenario to rescue him and potentially lose more men, decided to leave him to the courts... a dice roll later and Paul finally rolls a 10...when he didn't want to... the Packlord is found guilty as charged and Deported!

That's two Faction members lost in one game!

The fates were certainly fixed one way this day, and I couldn't help glancing round the room we were playing in... Pauls partner Tina is a bit of a Gothic Horror nut and the bookcase behind me was filled with such literary gems as these...



...and standing on the mantelpiece watching the game was this fine fellow and family group...


I couldn't have been in better surroundings!

Paul sportingly took it on the chin, though was obviously somewhat frustrated... but an overall view still has Pauls Lycaons in a good place for the campaign on the whole, with money enough to replace the Packmaster for next game...

I managed to add a Consort, another Batswarm and a Thrall with Volleygun to my Nosferatu... so looking good for next game... but Daylight is always a concern... and any game with dice can thwart the best laid plans... till next time gentle reader... keep the doors and windows locked and the garlic near!




Friday, February 13, 2015

Turks Progressing - WIP

Managed to get the figures tidied up, and then shade washes on last night...


A quick picture above, varied lighting causing differing shading appearance left to right...

The flesh was washed with Reikland fleshtone wash

The tunic and puttees and waterbottle, with a 50/50 mix of GW Agrax Earthshade/Vallejo Sepia

The trousers, hat, boots, strapping and rifle with Agrax Earthshade.

The painting guides suggest 2-3 coats of the this for the boots, rifle and strapping , so I'll give those another layer of that at the weekend... busy tonight, another game of Empire of the Dead scheduled with Paul... :-)

Highlights, then to follow to finish off, oh, and hair and mustaches to paint black!

Just heard from Roly, we've got ~130 painters signed up thus far, great to see this level of active involvement in Kiwi painters, and that means less figures having to be painted by each painter, down from 40 to ~30! Must admit that's a bit of a relief!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Turkish Progress...

One week later and I have the 10 figures assembled and based coat painted...

I would have been a bit further on but wasted a couple of days trying to decide on paint colours to use...

Whilst there was a prescribed paint scheme to follow I couldn't source some of the colours; Ushabti Bone being the most difficult to find...

The local Toyworld recently closed down and that had been my goto place for GW paints... Wellington is next nearest option for GW , but its 50kms away and I don't honestly get down there that often... I don't work in the big city and actually commute the opposite way each day to work...

So that left mail order... sadly GW now has absolute rip off pricing for mail order delivery; $20 for delivery - ridiculous! To put that in perspective I just ordered a pot of vallejo paint for another project, from the UK, and that was supplied airmail for £2.15 ... So I wasn't going with the GW Mail order option...

The next options were mail order companies here in NZ with MightyApe and LiveWire and a couple of others I looked at,... but they either didn't stock the colour, or it was a specialist order item and would take 2-3 weeks to arrive, or was only available as part of a boxed set of paints...

When this project was first proposed I did worry that paint supply would be an issue (100 painters all in NZ, all ordering the same colours at the same time) ... oh well, best foot forward now...

So in the end I decided to just press on with the colours I had from my mix of GW, Foundry and Vallejo paints...

And thus, rather than slavishly following the prescribed colours I went with this picture from the Mustering the Troops blog header as my colour guide...


So here's what I have managed so far...



The colours I have used are:
GW Cadian Fleshtone
GW Mournfang Brown for Boots,Belts, Straps and Rifle Straps
GW Boltgun for Rifle Barrels and metallics
Foundry 12B Drab for Trousers and Hats
Foundry 7B Leather for Tunics, Puttees (lower leg strapping), and Water Bottles.
Foundry 14B Tan for Rifle Wood

They still need a little tidying up, then shade washing, and highlights...
I do have the required shade washes of Agrax Earthshade, and Reikland brown wash... so that should all work out OK...

So a few more days work should see them finished off over the weekend I hope, then ready for the next batch...
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