31 March 2013

A Huge Thank you to James

I returned from my Grandmothers funeral to find the postman had delivered a huge box while I was away.
With everything that was going on I had forgotten this was on its way.
Fellow blogger and all round good egg James Brewerton (Exiles wargames painter) had a little clear out and wanted to send my boys some goodies for playing Flames of war.
They wanted me to personally thank him and chose the image below.
I wont embrass him too much but his generosity actually overwhelmed me, and my boys have plenty of troops to keep dad painting for a long time. Proof if needed there are still some genuinely nice people left on this planet.
So from me James a big THANK YOU, everything is appreciated and will be well played with.

25 March 2013

Muskets & Tomahawks - French wilderness force 3

I having been slowly working away on the second element of the North Star Miniatures French wilderness force by painting the 6 Huron Indians.

Hurons were the scourge of the Anglo frontier, their  allegiance was clearly with France and their long hatred of the Iroquois made the Huron a perfect symbol of wild savagery.  They were rarely tattooed favouring war-paint in geometric patterns to face and body. The favoured colours were red,black,green and violet. Garment were mainly animal hide,  however extensive trading with Europeans saw items replaced with woven cloth.  They had a preference for black walnut dyed buckskin especially for pouches and moccasins. 

I have chosen to use a bright palette again for these figures to represent the extensive trading with Europeans giving them access to glass beads and colour dyes, with the war-paint I have tried to incorporate a wide range of colours but kept the schemes fairly simple based of internet research.

Next up will be the compagnie Franches de Marine and their officer.

22 March 2013

Muskets & Tomahawks - French wilderness force 2

First up welcome to my newest follower JonasM I hope you find something of interest in my blog.

Work on the Coureur des bois has been continued steadily through the week. Now the Challenge is over I don't have to speed continuously from one stage to the next without a break.

Coureur des bois ( Runners of the woods) were French Canadian woodsman who travelled in New France and North America. They explored the vast woodlands to trade Various European goods for furs (mainly Beaver). Along the way they learned the practices of the Natives who lived there. They became skilled hunters and canoeists and fought against the English.

Here I present my Courer des bois element of the North Star box set, 6 figures in all. I have used a fairly wide pallet of colours to represent the wide variety of items and clothing they would have worn through there trading experiences.

 I have experimented with some alternative basing materials in an attempt at a more woodland floor look.

 Next up I will be working on the 6 figure Huron Indian element of the force.

20 March 2013

painting Challenge - post 28 - the end

After 3 months of hard work for all 47 Ronin the Analogue hobbies Challenge concluded in the wee hours last night. Curt (Ronin 48) managed excellently to juggle the constant stream of submissions during the competition and without him at the helm a lesser man would have failed under the volume of submissions.
Thanks Curt it was an honour to take part....

So where did I finish, I placed 11th after a last minute sandbagging of 15 points relegating me from 10th. However I met my target of 1000 points and in fact managed to exceed my expected total by compiling 1274 points over the three months. More importantly I got to see many excellent submissions and hopefully made a few friends along the way. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and helped me complete several outstanding projects. I hope to be lucky enough to take part next year.

my last submission was 21 rangers for Muskets and Tomahawks and 6 Neuchatel skirmishers for General de Brigade.

19 March 2013

Muskets & Tomahawks - French wilderness force 1

With the recent completion of the second batch of Colonial Rangers I am off and running with a minimum 400 point rangers force. In line with my aims for 2013 I now will concentrate on the opposite forces.
Recently it was my birthday and one of the presents was the North Star boxed set of a French Wilderness Force.
The force comprises:
6 Coureur des Bois
6 Huron Indians
10 Compagnies Franches de la Marine
1 Compagnies Franches de la Marine officer

These are very well sculpted miniatures with many details and should be a great paint. The figures do have some mould lines, some of which run through the face and need some careful cleaning. There are a lot of run off's too, in my book easy to remove and clean and show the mould has been meticulously prepared. I will be painting these in batches now the challenge is over.
 I am looking forward to painting these over the coming weeks the sculpts will suit my painting style, and I hope I can do them justice. I will be starting with the Coureur des Bois.

18 March 2013

Painting Challenge - post 27

I have been busy over the last week and a bit. This morning saw me submit my final challenge entry to Curt, having managed to meet my target late last week, I got some spare painting time and threw some extras in at the last minute. I have work in progress but wont be able to complete them before the close of play.

The entries that completed my points target were:
Now I really must say of all the figures I have painted for the challenge this one was by far the hardest. Painting in grey-scale is a much more difficult task than the name suggests and I really should have a visit from the men in white coats.
The First 6 Tigers for my eldest son Callum, I will document these more fully in a later post.
Finally 26 Colonial British for our adapted version of Muskets and Tomahawks. Empress miniatures figures.

14 March 2013

Painting Challenge - post 26 - Tinged with sadness

This week is a week I always dread, normally in the 7 days running up to my birthday I get struck by bad luck. This has happened annually for the last 25 years since the un-timely passing of my Grandfather on my 21st birthday. Last year, saw my laptop go poof at the most inappropriate moment and could not be restored. I had hoped that the 25 year streak of foul happenings had concluded, but alas this year has proven no different.
On Tuesday morning I had the shattering news that my Grandmother had passed away, now nan was a big influence on my life and helped raise me as my parents worked in order to keep a roof over our heads. I decided to get some head time to deal with this, and went shopping for groceries and to post a few bits and as if things couldnt get worse the F**king car packed in completely leaving me stranded in the middle of a busy road and needing a tow truck. I have spent the rest of the week indoors painting in order to take my mind off things and stay out of harms way.
The positive from all this is that I have completed a few outstanding figures and should be able to submit them to Curt tomorrow.
some new bits for the workbench
This has allowed me to put a few extras on my workbench, although doubtful I will get these complete before the challenge ends I will try. The 6 skirmishers for my Canaries and 21 colonial rangers for muskets and tomahawks

9 March 2013

Painting Challenge - post 25

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the 4 new followers I have gained this last month, before I update you all on progress.

well with only 10 days left before the Challenge finishes I have my work cut out to get to my 1000 point target. My painting time has been severely limited over the last few weeks as work and family life have left little no time to paint. Still stuck on my work bench are 6 half painted Tigers and a batch of other figures. I have scratched the idea of trying to get the fallschirmjager completed before the challenge ends. With a combination of tropical uniforms, camouflage and 27 scenic bases this became an unrealistic target.

I very much doubt I will hit my objective of a top ten spot now, though I will keep trying. I should at least get the 6 Tigers done, and am also trying to complete my British for the Anglo - Zulu game that myself, Kevin and Kelly have been developing based on muskets & tomahawks. (these 2 elements should at least get me to my target points)

It also does not help that Curt's project in grey scale has had me drooling and wanting to try this on a Viking, and any little fragment of painting time has seen me trying to work out how the hell I get it looking right. I'm not satisfied with my results so far, and trying striped trousers in grey scale is not at all as easy as I thought it would be, in fact painting using this technique is very hard to get right. But as they say practise makes perfect.

Right that about wraps up this quick update, as there is a load of rubbish on TV tonight, the kids are quiet so I'm going for a few hours painting time.

8 March 2013

A last Hurrah, and for posterity

As you may be aware I had been forced to commit my Saxon Corp to Ebay in order to make some urgent household purchases. I realised once they have gone I would not have a record of these so have decided to save it here for posterity. The entire Corp is composed of 18mm AB miniatures.
Corp commander VII corp 
 Infantry brigade command stands
Cavalry Brigade command
Guard grenadiers

 1st and 2nd battalions Prinz Fredrich August
combined grenadier regt Von Liebenau
light infantry battalion

 1st and 2nd battalion Regt Von Low

 1st and 2nd regt Prinz Anton

Combined grenadier regt Von Anger
zastrow curassiers

saxon hussars

Von Polenz cheveaux leger
Foot artillery battery

Horse artillery battery (conversions)
A total of 10 infantry battalions, 3 cavalry regiments and 2 artillery batteries.

7 March 2013

Terrain work for Kelly - 1

I finally found some time a couple of weeks ago to complete the two 6ft x 4ft gaming tables for Kelly by putting the flock on them, so now he could play a game on them properly. Heres a snap of one drying.
I had been continuing some terrain work, a large amount of bocage has been my recent flavour. This has severely restricted the amount of challenge painting time hence the lack of updates for that.
With half of the bocage nearing completion I then had my work schedule thrown completely out of the window. Kelly popped over last week for three days as he was off work and wanted the opportunity to use me in assisting him to tackle some terrain projects he had in mind for his newly completed tables. This resulted in me losing three days working time, as Kelly is a novice when it comes to terrain and is extremely dangerous when he has a scalpel in hand. He has some excellent concepts and can describe a finished project well though, so with my assistance he wanted to turn one concept into a reality.

His first major plan was to create a large multi layered hill, with size being his major concern as he wanted it to be a free standing affair. We set about the initial design by him describing to me what he wanted as I drew the basic design out on a sheet of blank MDF and foam. Then came the very messy stage, hence needing to use my workshop, shaving the MDF and foam to the plan. The final stage was to then glue the basic hill to the MDF weigh it down and leave to dry for at least 24 hours.

The overall dimensions for this beast are 4ft x 2ft  and about 3 inches high. With both rocky and steep sides but remaining largely accessible via some well placed slopes etc. Once this basic stage was completed between us we came up with a concept of being able to add other terrain to the plateau areas on top of the hill. So I had to make some templates for future additions. The first addition is the blue foam piece you can see in the picture above, this is another level for the hill. Kelly also has taken a template away in which to work on a project at home.

Now the one thing you can rely on Kelly for is his ability to get you doing extra things for him. He also wanted me to create a 4ft x 2ft extension piece for his existing tables, from some spare MDF he had in order to have an area to put gaming related crap while playing without it adorning the actual table. Simple enough or so I thought, this quickly turned into a much larger project, as I stupidly suggested that he build two of these so he could have one at each side when playing on a larger table as he had the spare MDF to do it. However he did only require me to frame the timber up before he painted it black and it would then bolt to the side of his new tables.

Now if only it had turned out to be that simple in reality, as he the realised that if he was able to bolt the two sections together he would have a 4ft x 4ft table to play smaller games on in addition to table extensions. This new gaming table needed to serve a different purpose though, and be usable for a couple of games that required alternative terrain namely Warpath and Star Wars ( now you see I have been trying to resist the forceand not buy into this game, but this may be a game changer)
What we ended up with is the following:
Two tables with a finish that hopefully should be suitable for table extensions and both of these games. All that remains is for me to seal the top surfaces to scratch proof them and they will be good to go.
The top surface certainly has a look of a galaxy far far away.

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