Blog discription

What will you find here? Ramblings from an aging gamer-miniature painter. When I first started out in this hobby computers were in their infancy and finding other gamers could only be done by going to conventions or as in my case bumping into somebody who happened to see me reading "Panzer Leader" on the school bus. Look how far we have come! The internet has allowed our small community to be able to connect on a level I never dreamed of when I was but a small lad. What I do hope you will find here is something interesting from one wargamer/miniature painter to another. I paint miniatures somewhat decently, so I will be posting some pictures of my work, and perhaps a review or two of games and/or miniatures. Most of all this is just about having fun and anything I post here is meant to be for that reason.

Friday, April 20, 2018

SWAT team and Commissioner Gordon (The Batman Miniatures Game)

Well I finally finished up three more good guys for Batman. Three SWAT members, though I am still working on Gordon. Man I am chomping on the bit to get enough figures and buildings done so I can finally sit down and play the game.

I sprayed Krylon's Crystal Clear on first. This is a gloss varnish type, and when dry, I used Testor's Dulcote to take off some of the gloss so there is just a bit of sheen to it. I was going to hit it again with Dulcote but decided against it for now. One thing I have been doing lately is not letting the dulcote get on the base of the figure so it is glossy. I like the look.

You'll note I painted SWAT on the back of their bullet proof vests. It's the best my shakey hands could do. I was going to paint big block SWAT letters on front of shield one was carrying but it came up so crappy I gave up and wiped it off and painted over it. Sigh. I'll need to get some decals or make a template. I will do this, but it will be another day.

Last picture is of my work in progress with Gordon himself.

Alpha SWAT member 





Bravo SWAT member






Delta SWAT member





Batman's right hand man, Commissioner Gordon


Thanks for looking
Cheers
Kevin

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Semper Fi... R. Lee Ermey

Another one of my hero's passed away today. His name was R. Lee Ermey. I think like a lot of people I was taken by storm in his performance as drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket".


We lost him today (April 15th, 2018) due to complications from pneumonia. He was 74.

Before he got into the acting business, he actually served as a Marine. I pulled the following from his wikipedia page.

U.S. Marine Corps

In 1961, at age 17, Ermey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in San Diego, California. For his first few years, he served in the aviation support field before becoming a drill instructor in India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he was assigned from 1965 to 1967.

Ermey then served in Marine Wing Support Group 17 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. In 1968, he was ordered to Vietnam with MWSG-17, and spent 14 months in country. The remainder of his service was on Okinawa where he was advanced to staff sergeant (E-6). He was medically discharged in 1972 because of several injuries incurred during his service. On May 17, 2002, he received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant (E-7) by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones.

Not only did I love him in "Full Metal Jacket", another little known movie he was in that I enjoyed was called "The Siege of Firebase Gloria". Lastly he was well known on History Channel show entitled Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey, which discussed the history of various weapons used by militaries of today.

He will be missed. Rest in peace Gunney.




Friday, April 13, 2018

WIP: Commissioner Gordon and SWAT team and Harley Quinn Thug (The Batman Miniatures Game)

Work coming along on another Harley Quinn Thug for her crew, and I put together Commissioner Gordon and SWAT team set. For the SWAT member with shield and Pistol I decided to pin the arms. While not hard putting these together it was still not easy. The arms on the other two SWAT and Commissioner Gordon were molded as a set and you had to glue them onto the miniature. While at first I thought this was a good idea, it ended up not. The metal is pretty stiff so once you slipped the arms over the body it was a bitch to pinch them together to fit properly on shoulders. But I managed it and I must say I like the Gordon set. Good poses and nice sculpts. Knights Models has released their new resin line, but I have to say I like metal better.

Here's where I am at the moment.



Cheers
Kevin

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Harley Quinn Thugs crew (The Batman Miniatures game)

Got a chance to paint up a couple more Batman miniatures. I completed two thugs for Harley's crew and have two more to paint. Then I will work on Commissioner Gordon set that has some SWAT dudes in it. This will give me enough models to play a game with a buddy. That's the plan anyways. I got a couple of 3 X 3 mats from Mars and am pretty pleased with them. Now all I need to do is build a few of those MDF buildings I've been collecting.

First dude up is a muscle man carrying a Jackhammer. When I first got the mini I had no idea what it was. I thought it was some sort of missile launcher. Hmmm, to my surprise that was not the case. Hopefully it's painted in such a way that you will recognize that is what it is.


The next one here I really like and I posed him holding up his double barrel shotgun. Though I wish they had put a little more beef into it to make it look more like it.

Well that's it for now.

Cheers
Kevin

Monday, April 2, 2018

Harley Quinn (The Batman Miniatures game)

Today I gave myself a migraine. How did I give myself a migraine? Easy, I pushed my painting skill level beyond my current ability. Now I know I paint pretty good, and I've been doing it a long time, and the thing is you don't get better unless you paint... a lot. 

On Harley I know what I wanted to achieve. I could visualize it in my head. My problem with doing that was I simply didn't know how. I never really painted faces but on these 35mm models you kind of have to if you want to give them some character from the comic books. These last few years I have picked up my game quite a bit, with glazing, blending, etc. But I know I have a long way to go. I spent most of yesterday preparing her, and all of today just trying to get the face right without screwing it up. 

In the end I am happy with it. It will look beautiful on the gaming table, and I can't wait to see what kind of tricks she can pull off facing Batman.

I painted her face up to look like she had that white pasty clown makeup on. I need to get a lot better at making stuff look more translucent. But I will say I am happy with what I did do, and in the end that's all that matters.

I am finding that I like pushing myself a bit more when it comes to painting, and enjoying it just as much if not more than actually gaming.

Here she is in all her glory, and I hope you like what I created. 





Cheers
Kevin

Friday, March 23, 2018

Showcase: Infinity: Nomad..... RIOT GRRLS

"Don't call me babe"

Infinity is a science fiction skirmish level game loaded with all kinds of interesting models/figures and all the fluff to read to back them up.

One of my favorite figures, of Corvus Belli's Infinity world, are the Riot Grrls.

"These girls come from the marginal neighborhoods of the Human Sphere, well accustomed to street fights and everyday urban survival. Problem girls who, when leaving the module for Bakunin's common spaces, are constant sources of trouble and are old acquaintances of the Moderator Corps' cells."

Above paragraph is a quote straight from the fluff. Basically you have hardcore punk philosophy, feminist movement type girls who don't take crap from nobody. My kind of soldiers to mess with my friends evil empire of Pan-O.

Well I finished up this particular figure I am about to show you, that is armed with a boarding shotgun and stun grenades along with her little TinBot B deflector unit.

So enjoy the pics.

[Below Riot Grrl with boarding shotgun]



[Below TinBot B deflector unit]



[Below both of them together]


Well that's it for now.

Cheers
Kevin


Monday, March 19, 2018

Battlefields 2018... A Pro or Con club convention

Well our club (Pro of Con) put on it's first one day convention (of two the club runs) of the year, and we had pretty good turn out considering it was St. Patrick's Day, Cold Wars (a big convention), and Hotlead (a Canadian convention, which our club usually attends but I think we were stuck with date conflicts) all happening on this same day.

We used a internet company called TableTop events for the first time, to help facilitate some of the administrative work, and I have to tell you I think it was a MAJOR improvement for our little convention in the ability to preregister for the day and be able to sign up for a game you would like to play without having to rush to a table to put your name on a sign up sheet. I believe Game master's being able to book their games this way was a big improvement.

Also behind the scenes, I would like to send out a special thanks to the Circus Master Rob Gendron, who I believe makes this event run like a Swiss clock.

At the convention I saw the usual acquaintances and a few new ones, and more importantly I saw a gentlemen named Ron Carson who I haven't seen in like 25 years. Memories flooded back of some excellent ECW games etc. This got me to thinking. Being at the end of the baby boomer generation I realized our (or should I say my community of peeps) isn't getting any younger. I've always wondered whether I would continue gaming as I grow older or retire from gaming. My vision isn't what it was when I first started painting for instance, and through the magic of reading glasses etc. I have been able to extend that love. But would I still have the desire to game later in my life. I think, sadly, as we lose friends and our lives change around us that seeing some of the older gentlemen still carrying on my answer is yes. I may do it differently, gaming less, or focusing on a few special events a year to bring out my toys, but there is a future, and I can relax a little seeing that the wonder of life only ceases when we draw our last breath.

Enough of me psychoanalyzing and on to the cool part of what went down at the convention.

The first game I played was put on by the infamous John Thull who is an awesome scratch building fool, who is handy with a brush as well (Click here and scroll down to see the stages of how he built the Fort). He put on an eye popping game called "Siege of Castillo de San Marcos". Using the rules Pikemen's Lament, he claims (and I believe rightly so) that this is the largest game of Pikemen's Lament to hit a convention. He allowed me to have first choice of forces, and this probably because he owes me a large sum of money (just kidding of course). I picked the British and I had a blast. One player had to be the Fortress commander who had to crawl under the table and come up through the Fort to command the Spanish. He tried to talk me into to it, but we (yes, me in the royal sense) don't do that. I had fun and the Fort was really impressive to see in person.





My assault parties made it to the top of the wall, but the Indians on the otherside of the Fort where routed, and the Pirates attacking the town in front of the Fort where replused. With all eyes on me, and the impending counter attack coming, it was all she wrote. Still I MADE IT TO THE TOP OF THE WALLS my peeps!!!

While this game was being set up I was able to take a picture of a couple of other interesting games that were being set up.

First up was a game called "Roman Circus Chariot Racing". Game was hosted by Michael Konwinski and was a work of passion that rivaled Mr. Thull's Seige game. What was impressive to me was the fact he painted hundreds if not thousands of little tiny spectators which really gave you the feel of being in the movie "Night at the Museum". Really, you could just hear the roar of little people.







Amazing! Yes?

Second was a cool looking game called "Death Rides the Sky: A Pulp Alley Adventure". One day I will sit down and play one of these games. Oh, and the game was hosted by Michael O'Brien (Why he was not at a St. Patty's day celebration somewhere shows you how hardcore a gamer he is). The premise being you had to fend off waves of Pterosaurs and cavemen to find a hidden treasure. Indiana Jones like.




The above games were all going on in the morning session. The afternoon session that started at 2 PM had me playing in my second and final game of the day.

The game was run by a well known author of rule sets like "Age of Reason", Age of Discovery", etc., Tod Kershner. He is writing a rule set now called "Go Strong into the Desert", which coincidentally was the name of the game he was hosting. It's about the British during the Victorian age, and their campaign going into the Sudan. A really good book that he highly recommends and where I believe why he named his game so, is also called "Go Strong into the Desert: The Mahdist Uprising in Sudan 1881 - 84", by Lt. Col Mike Snook. I looked over his copy at the convention and when I arrived home immeaditly ordered a copy. Yes it was that interesting and has some awesome color plates.

We had six players playing in the game, and it was a good age mix. The young fellows brought their youthful exuberance to the table and it was fun seeing them get into it. It made my gaming experience that much better.

Basically what we have going on in the pictures below are two large British squares, supporting each other with gatling guns, and cannon on the corners trying their best not to be over run by the Mahdist Fuzzy-Wuzzy (a term used by British colonial soldiers for the 19th century Beja warriors supporting the Sudanese Mahdi) players. I think you'll find that Tod did an excellent job in painting all these figures and put on a good looking game.





Tod used an oval based, home made, clicker counter to track causalities. While I am not convinced there is not a better way, they were unique in my opinion and did the job quite well.

Of course I had to be one of the Fuzzy-Wuzzy players. Who doesn't like an underdog? We ended up breaking both squares so our team walked away with a victory. More importantly fun was had by all.

My conclusion about this convention and all that happened during the day.... I went home with a smile on my face.

Cheers
Kevin