dinsdag 10 augustus 2010

What's this? A blog? And it's mine?

What's this hiding beneath all those cobwebs and dust? That's right, I have a blog, nearly forgot about it. Well, not really... My friend has been bugging me constantly with "I've looked at your blog but..."

Like pretty much everything else wargames related other than the occasional club night, my blog went into a belated period of hibernation. But a few weeks ago, I felt the itch coming back. And of all things it was the latest edition of Warhammer that started it all (yes, I do feel dirty...)
After running into the "Beasts of War" youtube channel and watching a feature length review (was it 90 minutes?) I felt like dusting off my High Elf army. By now, however, I started a new army...

On that youtube channel I also ran into reviews of figures produced by Mantic Games. Further investigation into the matter led me to their site and blog and I was astounded to find goodlooking and cheap fantasy figures. I liked their mission statement and communication from the word go and after a quick look on Maelstrom, I ordered a box of their skeletons.... 20 of them for less than 13 Euro!!!

I've started putting them together as a lunchtime project and have come up with this after about a week

In all stages as they roll onto the painting line, more suited for my stile of working, I just can't get started on doing 10 tunics in a row. Way to monotonous for me and I'll lose interest soon. They paint up pretty nice without spending too much time on them, just a few basic colours and some GW washes and this is what you'll get (95% finished)

I'll be doing this as a bitesize project, with Maelstrom's very low free shipping threshold, I can order just one box at a time... rather than flooding myself with an army deal (even that would be cheaper).

Oh, and did I mention that in two months they'll be releasing their own rules in two months? And that they will be free? For ever and ever? Move over EE, errm GW...
Just heard the free for ever promise made by the founder of Mantic on a Gencon special podcast.

Hope to show and tell you more in the near future,
Happy gaming!

woensdag 17 februari 2010

On the painting table

As I predicted a few weeks ago, painting would slow done significantly after last month's bmper harvest. With all the other gaming related activities (and real life) taking up most of my time I have hardly touched my brushes and have finished only three figures so far. And that was more because they were figures that I had meant to finish in January. The little bit of time I did spend painting were used on my Space Marines and my Russians for Blitzkrieg Commander.

After I built up my infantry forces I decided to focus on my vehicles. I cleaned, mounted and started on my SU122s and 152s and I hope to rebase my T34/85s to the club standard of 20 by 40mm bases before adding the finishing touches. Given my limited available time this is looking more and more ambitious every day...

The other project, my "finish 100 points of SM each month" challenge is progressing slightly better. But that is the result of looking up points values in the latest edition of the codex. I was working with my 4th edition copy to get a rough idea of what I would need to paint, but checking the latest edition I found that the costs have gone up for infantry while vehicles are now slightly cheaper.

This meant that my force commander, a lowly captain, has gone from 65 to 100 points. January goal reached! And with a five man squad jumping from 75 to 90 points all I have to do is finish the weapons and backpacks of the four troopers (the sergeant is finished) in the second row to meet this month's deadline.

All I have to do this, is next weekend and one day off work next week. And then it's off to Reihndahlen for "Action 2010"....

dinsdag 16 februari 2010

1000 Euro

Did you ever wonder what a 1000 Euro worth of GW miniatures looks like? Here is the answer!

So what happened to frugal gaming, what happened to spending less, you must be wondering? Well, there is spending less but there is also earning more... Yes, I intend to make money by selling GW miniatures that do not belong to my (extensive) private collection.

While running the bring and buy stand at "Full Tilt" I noticed one of the club members dumping quite a few shrink wrapped boxes onto the table. Later on he told me he bought them a few months ago at our local toy store. Last summer they decided to stop carrying GW and have been putting their stock on sale. I took advantage of that sale back when they started it, but even now they still have a huge stockpile of boxes and (to a lesser extent) blisters left.

So my friend went in an asked how much he would have to buy to get a 50% discount. He ended up buying 2000 Euro (at retail price) and three months later he sold the last of his stuff at my bring and buy stand. With "Action 2010" coming up in a few weeks, I decided to follow suit. And now I am the proud owner of 1000 Euro (retail) of GW's finest. Most of it is Space Marines and their Chaos colleagues, with some scenery, Necron, demons andEldar thrown in.

With all the items my fellow club members have asked me to keep aside, I have already regained more than 20% of my investment after bringing my collection along at last week's club night. I also used the opportunity to do some market research to find out what would be other good buys. Guess I'll be getting lots of Dark Eldar on a second run... to my own surprise.

Everything has been labeled, my list is ready, now I just have to wait another day or ten and then we'll find if the gamble pays off...

maandag 15 februari 2010

Things I've done, things I need to do

I've been pretty busy lately and I have lots of things to post about and I'll try to get around to it in the coming days. Look forward to:

-Last month's painting in pictures

-Current painting, very limited because of a lot of other gaming activities like

-Our club's Warhammer tournament: "Full Tilt"

-Busy club nights spent gaming and discussing...

-My Space Marines challenge

-My new life as a GW dealer

I'm aiming to get one post done every day for the next week. That way I should have caught up by this weekend...


dinsdag 2 februari 2010

Februari Forecast

I'll post a look back on Januari when I have applied the matt varnish spray, but because I have to do this at work it'll be a few days before I can take pictures... but it was a great month.

And Februari is looking good as well, full with all kind of wargames activities. This weekend my club will be hosting its annual Warhammer 40K and Fantasy tournament: Full Tilt. With well over 100 players it is one of the biggest in Belgium. I won't be taking part myself but will be running the bring and buy stand. Last year we tried this for the first time during a tournament and though it was a late addition and only few people brought stuff, it was a succes. Now it has been added to the registration process, so everyone knows about and I'm expecting lots more goods on offer.

The weekend after that we'll be running a two day playtest of our Blitzkrieg Commander game on the Battle of Hechtel. That way we'll be able to play all 15 turns for the first time ever and see what needs to be "fixed" now that the second edition has been published. At the end of the month we'll be running this game during Action 2010 in Rheindahlen (Germany), the only two day wargames event in our region that I know about, allowing us to play the game to the finish. So we need to be prepared...

Conventions, bad for the bank account and the lead pile... but then again...
I don't really have anything that I am planning to buy, no major new projects or big expansions to existing ones. I'm mainly looking to buy some scenery stuff, mostly buildings in a variety of scales. I'll be browsing for some books, most likely for the seven years war period and picking up some magazines. And maybe, just maybe I'll pick up a copy of "Black Powder". Some impulse buying might always happen, most likely at the bring and buy.

When it comes to painting there will be a slow down. With a lot of activities planned on the weekends, when I do most of my painting, I'll have less time to spend on that. I'll be giving 6mm infantry a break for now and will move to the vehicles for a while. The Space Marine project will continue and, sometime this week, my test order of Minden Miniatures will arrive. These will be cleaned and primed in no time, I'm looking forward to start painting them.

In short, it will be a busy month.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes,
happy gaming!

maandag 25 januari 2010

Club night, new project alert, painting update and the SM challenge...

Last Friday saw the first game of the year. Stef and I faced off in a game of Songs of Blades and heroes, Stef bringing along a warband of LotR Southrons and I dug up my Confrontation Griffons. Normally this games is supposed to be a quick one, but because of some crappy dice rolling we switched turns faster than statistics would predict so it took a long time before we had something resembling two battlelines forming in the center of the board.
Stef had sent a pair of archers out in front as skirmishers, always good for a quick kill, right? Not even close. I managed to get one kill in before the end of the game, on the other flank where there were no archers. A good thing, as those two archers would kill (or help killing) no less than five of my troops. The heavy infantry were looking on from a distance (and fearing job cuts in their branch of service).

At this point the game ground to a halt as a long lost member made a re-appearance after a long absence and the three of us got talking "Old School Gaming" and "Imagi-Nations". Something Stef and I have discussed as a possibility many times before, mainly based on the Wars of Faltenian Succession series in the excellent Battlegames magazine. I reread that series over the holidays as it came up in one of the "View from the veranda" podcasts, so the idea had come to the front again. Just what I need...
Later that evening I checked out Peter's blog "The Nyudrev Chronicles" (see my list of blogs) where he describes his efforts on "De Dietsche Unie", his Imagi-Nation based on the local area. I also looked at his Minden miniatures for his first infantry unit and I immediately started drooling. Great looking miniatures with a definite Old School look and reasonably priced...
Maybe I'll send for a small trial order next month, ten or so figures... But first I would have to decide on the background for my own little nation (as I was typing this bit, I came up with one of my silly, double entendre acronyms, but I'll keep it to myself for the moment).

This would bring my counter back up off course, but I'm on track to push it down again in the next couple of hours as I'll be finishing another batch of Blitzkrieg Commander infantry stands. When these are done I'm going to go back to 28mm for a bit and finish some of the odds an ends that heve been stranded on the painting table for a long time.

And now we get to the SM bit... Knowing the kind of guys that frequent blogs like this one, I am pretty sure all of you were thinking Space Marines, right? On the table was a five man SM squad and as I started slapping on a first coat of paint I started thinking (I know, nothing good ever came from that). Given the high point cost of Space Marines I should be able to finish, say 100 points of figures each month, giving me a smallish force by the end of the year.
I had painted and finished three figures as a test for the clour scheme, all I have to do is redo the base from the "Green fields of Kent" to the more realistic grey gritty bases I paint presently and finally give them back banners. That way I can claim about 100 points for this month as the figures are an officer and two sergeants. And the squad I just started will give me the points needed for February.

So in short and on the plus: played a battle, had a great club night, kept on painting and started a limited side project based on figures already owned...
Bad thing: I see something new looming on the horizon...

Happy painting and gaming!

dinsdag 19 januari 2010

Quick update

So what have I been doing since the last post? Not as much as I would have wanted, even though I'm still steadily working my way through the painting desk.

I finished a batch of infantry and mortar stands for my late Russian Blitzkrieg Commander and have prepared the next one. They're glued, washed and base coated, ready for the painting brushes. Last friday at the club the painted ones got a lot of amazed looks from the warhammer crowd... amazed that these tiny 6mm figs can have painted webbing straps and even wooden rifle butts...

Other than that I've only been working on some pieces of streetfight scenery, made by UK based "Black Cat Bases". They produce a rather nice assortment of mundane items, ranging from discarded matrasses to vending machines to trash bags etc etc... Always great stuff to fill up the alley ways and streets during your gang wars/zombie runs...

And I really shouldn't hit myself over the head about the slow pace. After all, I did finish 33 figures this year, short as it may have been untill now. That still is more than one per day. I'd be a very happy camper if I can keep that up for the rest of the year...

Wait and see!
Happy painting to you all...

donderdag 7 januari 2010

Going negative...

...and I'm not talking about the temperature. I just finished a few stands of BKC infantry, plunging my counter into negative territory. The next few stands are only slightly behind, so the counter wil drop again in a day or so. OK, I'll still have to spray them with matt varnish and flock them but that will have to wait till the temperature climbs again. And because that is only a minimum of work left on these figures, I declare them finished...

Coming back to the weather, the forecast is for lots more snow coming in over the weekend. Tomorrow after work I'll be doing my shopping and then I won't be leaving the house for a few days (took monday off as well to give road crews time to clear the roads for me ;-) So I'm looking forward to three days of painting, reading the new BKC rules, etc etc.

Hope you guys have a wargames filled weekend to look forward to as well!

dinsdag 5 januari 2010

What's up, Doc?

I seem to have reconnected with my paintbrushes over the last few days. Compared to most I'm still awfully slow but I think I should have finished the Blitzkrieg Commander stands and the first Impetus units by the end of the week. Plunging my counter solidly into negative territory (where it should be)... And no real need/urge/opportunity to buy anything new at the moment. Wierd, doesn't sound like me...

I dont know why, but it looks that GHQ 6mm infantry is by far my favoured painting job, even with all the detail that is on these microscopic men. I am considered to be quite mad by my fellow club members because I paint the webbing straps, but they are that good, they deserve it.

And finally a big welcome to the latest follower of this little blog: Tim. Almost into double digits now

zondag 3 januari 2010

Plans for 2010

But first a quick look ath the last figures from 2009. These are a pair of Minbari Torotha class escorts and a Morshin class carrier from "A Call to Arms". The pictures are that good because of the light conditions outside (the snow reflects too much light) and the models themselves only have their satin varnish coat on, it's way too cold to break out the spray can. I kept the paint scheme very basic (and close to the picture on the fleet box they came in): a bright blue basecoat drybrushed with some light grey... Simple but effective.

So, what are my plans for the new year? I will be sticking to last year's "spend less, play more, paint more" idea. I have also decided to focus on the following projects for now:

-Blitzkrieg Commander: get to grips with the new version that just came out and continue painting my late war Russians

-Impetus: at long last my Carthaginians will emerge from their cupboard onto the painting table. The first two units of Balearic slingers are already mostly finished.

-A Call to Arms/Federation Commander: more of a side project really, painting those spaceships will break the drudgery of painting loads of similar infantry.

-World at War: add the last finishing touches to my infantry and get those tanks done.

-Clearing the painting table: get rid of all the odds and ends that clutter up my table.

All in all rather limited objectives for the moment and I'm hoping to keep it that way...

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