zondag 31 januari 2016

43rd Mechanised at Varpalota Challenge excercise - photo report by Hille Hillinga

Dutch Armed Forces photographer Hille Hillinga made some stunning pictures at the excercise in Hungary of our 43rd Meechanised Brigade.
















La Maisontaal - progress - almost ready to rubble

While the girls were napping I took the time to add some more tiling and filling up of sides and corners so I can use less rubble. Also added windown sills on most locations using left over ends from Sateh sticks which happen to fit perfectly. Had to do some filling up with small bits, but once sanded and coated with filler I doubt you will see any joins.

Just 2 more windows need a sill, the inside of the tower needs rubble too (made a quick one, looks good enough to me) and I need to make my mind up about the top floor for the crypt area....either lay down wood, tile it with thin tiles, or leave it bare and full of dust and rubble. Also cut all of the sides, trim the edges so the walls slide up and get some thin beams from the attic that will become the spars for the roof....or what is left of it.

Plenty of work to do, but progress is good. I'll never be able to do this for a living though, just too slow for it. But the occasioanl building, why not, if it funds the hobby.

zaterdag 30 januari 2016

Trying out something new - La Maisontaal wooden floor

While building the foamboard ruin I noticed after making such a cool looking piece that I could not reach everywhere easily with a brush (which is the reason why it stands on my desk semi painted right now) and I do not want to repeat that mistake again.

So, tonight I spent some time on making a wooden, seperate floor for the bigger of the 2 Maisontaal ruins. Seperate, because I can reach the floor space easier with all of the tiling, and because I want to stain the wood with a wood stain to give it some colour instead of basecoating it black and then having to paint it. Well, that is the general idea anyway. I've never really done this before.
All sateh sticks for breams and swirrel sticks for flooring, superglued together for strenght and the 2 colums in the front have been notched so it slides in. Also did all of the remaining tiling. Will do the same next week with the smaller building.

Tomorrownight will be about glueing stuff for Frostgrave and a small comission for Post Apocalyptic purposes.

vrijdag 29 januari 2016

Fickle winds of magic - Friday night games night

Well, that was another cracking game of Frostgrave! I'ne never had to use so much life to succesfully cast spells, but managed to roll a 20 in seperate combats, one of which had my Infantryman slaying Eriks Wizard in hand to hand 8 inches from his table edge (it was a long walk). I changed my tactic to a more offensive one, changing only 1 spell but keeping the rest. I used enchant weapon on my archer and infantryman and Fleet of feet on my Tracker, making him move 9 inches and keeping up with the warhound. That one is turning out to be a bit of a bust, I use it to tie up his runners but in 2 games it just died in a single round of combat. I did manage to raise a zombie, who actually held treasure in the last turn 5 inches off a table edge.I even managed to cast Bones of the earth on a wild boar that showed up in the ruins, managing to at least slow him down a bit. This means I will make a counter for that too. I losta Warhound and a tief but managed to kill Eriks Wizard AND Apprentice....nasty. Eriks telekinisis spell was particularly annoying, managing to drag 2 treasures  away from under my nose. In the end I claimed 2 treasures to Erik just one. This game took 6 turns and was concluded in 90 minutes. Sadly Erik arrived a tad late so no second game could be played (he was really tired anyway, he's got as much stress as I have)

Wandering creatures that I need to paint:
1x Zombie (in stash, already based)
1x Boar (need to trade)
1x Giant Rat (in stash, already based)
1x Armoured Skeleton (in stash)

I'd also like to try and paint up to 2 members of the warband, either the tracker or the 2 archers.

Some shots of the table:
My opening move - spread out everything! (not the smartest thing to do....)
 Lots of places to hide, took me 3 turns to spot one of his team hiding in the thick of a tree!
The enemy wizard moments before feeling the power of a natural 20.

I based all of the crypts so this week I can fine sand the edges and base them and maybe even get some primer on them. I'm using them a lot as they give good cover, so they deserve to be painted. The ruin on the table edge in the middle works quite well as wandering creatures appear from it. It feels more....natural.

Now I'm beat. But happy :) ANd I have 2 weeks to paint the monsters and maybe some of my troops, as next weekend is Poldercon, and I'm sooo looking forward to that :) :) :)

donderdag 28 januari 2016

Did you think things could not get any worse?

Did you think things could not get any worse?

My chef told me I had a meeting at 10. How odd, I had received no email? At the meeting room was HRM, my manager and his manager. Nothing unusual, just like the last meeting about my recovery.

"In light of the circumstances we will not be renewing your contract on March the 7th. Any questions?"

BAM! Out of the blue. Instant knockout, they had me literally gasping for breath. No, no questions, I was too shocked. HRM then asked if I was making improvements with my health. I said I did.

And that was it. Went back to my desk, told my chef I just got laid off, and he just said I could have seen it coming. This after the last warning I had 8 months ago, and then improving my productionspeed with 25-30%. Hardly ever internetting anymore, so not taking a small break every 30-60 minutes meant my nervers were getting frayed at work. So WTF I should have seen it coming?! I said I was leaving, he would tell HRM and my manager that I would go home and I just left, I didn't want to be there anymore, that place.

On the way home, I felt sad and relieved at the same time. Let's be honest, the job was incredibly mind numbing, everybody there seems to make a living complaining about everything (even more so then the typical Dutch) and the entire management couldn't find their way out of a paper bag cause they are so damn clueless/ignorant/aloof to the everyday problems over and over again. Honestly, who gives away free managerspositions here? Apply only if you are Asian and completely retarded and your life long dream is to shaft your fellow managers and staff?

So no real loss :)

The lack of income however is a problem, so I know have the dubious honour of applying for welfare, again, and choosing a quick job just to pay the bills or live with less for a while and retrain myself and look for a job that suits my particular skills and enthusiasm and company loyalty (mine flew out the moment they told me I have no more job)

This, however, is a problem to tackle during daylight hours, now is hobby time.

So, I'm now working on a model of the Abbey La Maisontaal from Warhammer fame. (Why? Because I can and I wanted some stuff for Mordheim and Frostgrave to try out). I've looked long and hard at the only picture from the White Dwarf that I have, plus the excellent WIP version seen on the LAF, and freehanded most of it. Here is where I am now, and in red I painted what I still need to do (some walls, gate, towerruin).
 Made the one with the crypt as a non accessible crypt, the front door is barred from the inside and I will pile rubble against the door in the back. Saves me from making a take out floor and roof. The other large building I made a full on ruin. And I just realised I have reversed it in the picture, the intact wall should be facing the courtyard....doh! Will build the tower and the gate somewhere during the weekend to get the basic shell done, and then I can start adding all of the card stones on the sides and widow-/doorframes. Here are some more shots as it stands now.




The tiling I made from thick card I got at work from the bin. It is a big piece (well, several really) that will last me for some time but I only really need for this project as it is too thick to be useful for other things. Still, looks neat, and needs some additional tiling in the hallway. Might even do the part on the right side.

Something different

Today, I had early fysio, so only worked the second half of the day. When I arrived, the parkinglot was full so I had to park a bit down the road. While walking to work, I passed by a loading dock and noticed the steel edges of the concreted road had a new coat of fine rust.

So I took a few shots.


Catchy, innit?

dinsdag 26 januari 2016

A tale of wolves, skeletons and landmines

Hmm, might make a great movie.

My fever seems to be gone so I finished what I had on the table. First up:

2 Old Plastic Games Workshop wolves that have been in my bitsbox since about the time I started doing GW games back in 1998. Rebased to smaller (and flatter) 45mmx20mm Renedra bases that seem to do them more justice. Didn't bother with greenstuff to hide the head-body join, these were quick paints to see if I could still paint figures (instead of all of the objects you have seen me paint). Grey basecoat, black wash, grey drybrush top down on most of the body and a grey+white drybrush over just the tops. Bone teeth, white and black dot for the eyes. Sure, the newer GW Wolves are much nicer, they also cost money and I had them in my bits box. Use and be happy with what you have. And these will work perfect for Frostgrave. And Mordheim. And whatever game they can appear in.

Second:
2 Armoured skeletons, the left being the newer Games Workshop skeleton, the right a mix of parts from the same Games Workshop sprue on a Frostgrave body. I can't remember having painted undead since at least when Mordheim came out, so I just looked at a few videos to get ideas and went from there. Bone spray, Deval Mud wash for the base, Vallejo Dark Sand overall, Vallejo Pale Sand highlight, done for a skeleton....I don't like the bleached skull look. The only ones I ever saw like that were the ones my fellow students bleached for their own collections, the sand colour is more natural. I've always used red a binding colour for my undead and I don't see why I should change that now. Red with a Devlan Mud wash to make it grimy. Undead don't wear shiny clothes. Undead being....dead and I doubt they give a damn... Weapons and armour went through a few trials untill I settled on just washing it all over with a brighter orange mix and calling it done. I'll go over that particular process again with the next lot, and do it better. Or different. Or the same, who knows. The weathering on the shields worked particularly well I think. Other then a few speedpainting mistakes and general sloppyness, I'm moderately happy with them. I know what look GW tried to create with the left ones skull but my painting makes him loook stoopid. Oh well.  Hey look, 2 armoured skeletons for Frostgave. And Warhammer Quest. Done.

Third:

15 landmines. Not much to say about these, I started them back in It's a Trap! (October!? Time flies!)
Army-ish green, Deval Mud wash, red trigger, normal basing style dusted on the ends of the mines. Mines themselves are Oyumaru moulding copies from the launchers op top of the Furioso Dreadnaught....I thought they would make great mines. Sue me :) Added some small tufts to a few, and newspaper bits to two more, and left the rest bare. They are going straight into my counters box. Will work fine for Inquisitor, TNT, Necromunda. 15mm round 2mm plywood bases that are sadly no longer available from Fenris Games. Damn, I like these. Might have to go 2mm MDF now.

Right, now all I need to finish is the 3 Cars cars I'm working on, and then I can put some primer on new bits and get working on those. And repeat. I have a game of Frostgrave scheduled for thursday evening, so I'm looking forward to rolling up new monsters. Or more of the same. I don't mind painting the same stuff again.

No progress on the Wasteland Ruin. Right now I will finish painting the inside grey with a sponge too, and then call it a day, maybe paint the doors and tiles etc, and just game with it. And start the other bits for the square, and do all of the additional weathering atc at the end, with a broad brush. I've been staring the damned thing to death for the last week so it is better if I take some time off that particular ruin and get started on a new ruin. Something more suitable for Mordheim. Or dare I say, Frostgrave?  Yes, that sounds like a good idea.

zondag 24 januari 2016

Ga'Hoole statue for Frostgrave

Not much to report I'm afraid. Been working halve days all week, pain seems to increase every day, it is just not letting up. Knee is ok if I lay off it, back seems to take the worst of it, Fysio just keeps talking how my boss should change this and that and I keep explaining it don't work like that in real life on a temporary contract. So, more pain? Yes, me and the girls have been sick all weekend, fevers on all 3 of us, coughing, generally feeling pretty miserable. Little Emma even threw up a few hours ago, and we took her sister to the doctors station at the hospital on saturday as she had been crying for most of the night before that, only to be told she was constipated....or not, and that she had a fever. So away you go with laxatives that must be consumed orally in liquid form, for a girl that really drinks way to little to begin with. (they don't teach this when you want to become a father...but having a small child sobbing, coughing, and with a fever on your chest drifiting in and out of sleep breaks you as a man as you are utterly helpless other then to give comfort).

And I'm going back to work tomorrow. If I cough the place up and it becomes unbearable, then I'll choose to take sickleave. But I'm under docs orders to take painkillers again and take pills against the coughing so my ribs get some much needed rest. So hey, I'll be fine, right?

Like I said, not much to report, hobby wise. Just this 35 cent owl figurine, I think it is made of herculite or something, picked up at the thrift store when I got back hoem from work last week and I needed a small detour to clear my mind.
One of the 2 armoured skeletons posing for size reference, but those are not finished yet.
Just a base, new paintjob, some tufts and foliage and it gets a new lease of life as a Ga'Hoole statue for Frostgrave (from the movie Legend of the Guardians me and Kim watched a few weeks ago, very nice animation about ....well, tribal owl warfare with sorta magic and owls with helmets and claw blades stuff....if you like owl I think you will like the movie if you have not seen it, it was very original to us - but very heavy on the Australian background).

Also metal note, just cause you are happy with your new pot of varnish doesn't mean you don't have to shake and stir it vigorously, old bean. Shaking it a few times doesn't cover it....as, to my regret, I noticed halfway through varnishing stuff, again. Donkeys. rocks, twice, yada yada.

dinsdag 19 januari 2016

Wasteland ruin - making it lighter so I can go darker

Decided to sponge over the entire thing with Vallejo Air Grey Primer, scrubbing it on so I now have a lighter basecoat. This gives me a better pallet to work with so I can use various washes to change the tone and colour and make it even more patchy.

Left is old, right is new. There is a immense difference, this is under daylight bulbs. If I take it downstairs to the kitchen table (my gaming table for now) the left one looks almost black and the right one a mid tone grey. Since the latter is what I will see the most, and will be for cons etc, I think it is the way to go.
 

I will however make a scrap piece of foamboard and paint it exactly like this, and use that as a trial plate for the various filters and washes that I have. You know, being sensible :)

Watseland ruin - too dark?


Too dark, right?

Basecoat of cheap "black" acrylic paint (more of a Dark Grey) drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey.

Opinions?

zondag 17 januari 2016

Wasteland ruin, bad tiling job

After some discussion, decided to tile part of the ruin to dress it up a bit, but only on the lower level because tiling sheet is 10 euro per sheet and I can't spare that right now so will have to make due with half a sheet that I have.
Lined them all up, and scattered some loose ones in between. Next time I need to remeber to raise the doors somewhat so the tiles can fit underneath. I need to coat the rubble with a thin layer of thinned down filler now, and a bit in between the tiles, and then let it all dry. And that is it really, I think? I've noticed the thinned down filler gives enough fine surface detail that I don't need to cover all the bare plastic in sand as well, so that skips another step. I think I'll be able to paint the base dark grey all over tonight at this speed.

zaterdag 16 januari 2016

Wasteland ruin progress and Frostgrave

Increased the spectacular factor of the ruin by adding bright orange rocks and pink big grains of sand all over for rubble, making sure to leave places clear where I want to put miniatures or stuff.

I did the borders as well. I can always make rubble piles to slide up against the walls later.

Also, played my first game of Frostgrave since November I think? I'd been guiding games at my house, which is fun, but playing is more fun. My Necromancer did rather well till he got mauled by a couple of marauding wolves that bit him for 13 hitpoints. With 1 life and 1 action he managed to Leap to the top of a tower, and my opponent instantly attempted to Push him off (but failed, even when I rolled a 1!). Erik, you bastard.

Anyway, I made myself a promise that for the time being, each game I play, I will try and paint all of the monsters that show up (if they are in my inventory or if I can trade them with other people). So for this time I'm supposed to paint up 2 armoured skeletons, 2 wolves and 1 ice toad. Skeletons no problem, I traded a second hand mostly basecoated and on the sprue undead army a while back, and I found some old Games Workshop wolves in my stash. I'm stumped on the Icetoad though, I know of a few nice ones but can't afford them at the moment. Maybe when Erik buys some more, I'll order some with him, if I can sell more Epic that is. Currently 12 euros in my Paypal left as I had to go out and buy new Matte varnish, as the pot is getting way old and it is almost impossible to stir properly. I'll also need to replace some Vallejo paints that I use a lot, notably Flat Brown that I use for all of my basing.

Anyway, here is a shot of the skellies and the wolves in their unprimed goodness.
I based them all on thin flat bases, I don't like the GW plinths. 1 of the armoured skeletons has the body from the Frostgrave soldiers sprue and this works very well with the newer GW Undead. When the glue and basing stuff has dried (meaning tomorrow) I'll sculpt some tatters on the shoulders of the soldier conversion to blend the arms in, and then they will head for the painting line next week. There's no particular reason I went with squares btw, but I can't find the round 20mm bases I have *somewhere* and aquare fits just as nicely with Warhammer Quest so no problem there.

I've also taken up a comission of sorts to trade a lot of Post Apocalyptic miniatures for 2 painted 40mm objective bases for a "Mad Max styled game". I'm thinking water and gas canisters, maybe a Raider idol/marker, not sure yet, I'll cobble up a few things and see what he thinks of it. Will be fun to do, and a good investment to get models to go with Fallout as the entire lot seems to be made up of Raiders.

vrijdag 15 januari 2016

Wasteland ruin - WIP test 2

Feck me, I have not held my concentration like this in a long while. This is a good thing.

I've stuccoed the ruin all over(well, except the ceilings I just noticed) and started rubbling them up a bit.
 Problem is that I ran out of rubble almost straight after I started. I only have a kilogram box of normal basing sand with some coarser elements, but nothing like big grain and small chunks of rock. A quick check of the online stores pulled up tabs around 15 euros including shiping for just a single bag of stuff, and at the second hand Marktplaats they still charged me 6 euros for small rough gravel, 100 grams, shipping included. Well, that dog don't hunt, so I set the building aside.

I had to report at work this morning, to discuss getting back in the saddle (starting again on monday, 4 hours a day - funny thing, my boss is on crutches cause he broke his leg 4 weeks ago....and he is coming to work every day) and after that I decided to park up in the city to have my walking excercise there. I ran into a discount shop full of, well, crap, but in the back was a big table with discounted stuff and Buy 2 get 1 free. And what do I spy with my spectacled eye?

My wife tells me they use this for adding to potted plants and candles to make it look rustic...something? Whatever, I just bagged 3 pots for a total of 1 kilo of grit and coarse bits of ghastly coloured rock. I'll paint them over anyway so who cares. Grand total, 1,70 euro. Happy camper, problem solved.

A few weeks ago I put out a request to the kit trading post for surplus 1:35 scale ammo cans, and found the replies to be most unhelpful ("Go buy aftermarket resin stuff" was the main comment) but 1 chap offered me 2 sets of 1:35 Italeri Modern Battle Gear for a tenner or a 2 engined bomber. Well, better then nothing I thought. So I got two sets of these:
Next to 8 useful ammo cans, there are also a load of boxes and cans of various types, and 1 oild can, on its side and with a circle added in the middle is a dead ringer for a Fallout safe so yes, very happy with these. The 1:35 tank shells I'll try and trade to a 40K IG player. The gas canisters are nice too.
 While making a feeble attempt to clear my desk (failed that) I found my mines again, so I glued tose to my painting sticks and basecoated them.
 Also made some more progress on some Cars cars.
 Final highlight of the week was trading these online for some Cars cars that I had spare.
I just need 1, so 2 of them I'll offer up for trade. Not sure if I wil do that before or after giving them new Nuka Cola labels. They are about 8 cm's tall and will work perfectly standing in front of a building I think. They are actually glass and 2 of them contain liquid!

That's it for today, I'm off to fysio for some knee work.