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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

First game of Infinity played!

After having collected Infinity miniatures over the past eight years and having done nothing with them, suddenly, I painted up a few because of a friends recent interest. I guess it always helps ones motivation when a friend goes "oh wow, those are cool" then immeaditly dives into it. Not only did this friend go and buy some stuff but he painted up three models quickly which had me painting up some so we could play the first game of Operation: Icestorm. Last Friday evening we got a chance to get together and play a few games of the first scenario in the book called "Mission 1: Perimeter Control. First game took us about 40 minutes because we were rechecking what we thought we knew about the rules. Once we had a firm grip on the rules after playing the first game we played two more in less than 30 minutes.

It's just the basics, learning how to move and shoot etc. but our overall impression of the system was positive and we are both excited to continue painting up these beautiful models. Not only was it a success but two more friends have since bought stuff and are motivated to start playing this system.

Wow! After eight years of having these things and having resigned myself to having to paint up a bunch of factions so as to get my friends to play, magic happens and suddenly I can paint the factions I have for myself as I have a grass roots interest movement happening among my friends. So it is a win win situation for me.

Here are a few photos from our first game, the buildings and mat are paper products, but they are nice. With a low investment we were able to paint up a few models set up some of the terrain that came with the game and figure out if we wanted to invest further and buy model buildings and more figures.

A game system that I highly recommend trying as you don't have to paint a lot of figures to start playing right away.

Cheers
Kevin

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Infinity: Nomads... Alguaciles from Operation: Icestorm set

I've had Operation: Icestorm set for a little while now and this past week I got the Art book from one of the painters I admire very much "Angel Giraldez". He works for Corvus Belli which produces "Infinity" figures and is head of their painting department. He also does work for the painting company "Vallejo" and tests their products and arranges painting sets etc.

Though he is only one of the several painters I follow, Angel has a special place in my heart. He basically stumbled onto the painting scene in 2002 or 3 and this from watching an ad on TV! I've been painting for quite a bit longer than that and to see him just pick up a brush and go like he does is just amazing to me. He is the "Tom Brady" of the painting world.

I probably will never be as good as Angel is but one thing he does for me is make me want to try. So these last couple of days I looked at the art book and a few online pictures as well and gave it a go at painting up three grunts for a game I will be partaking in this Friday. It's a learning scenario from Operation: Icestorm and the rules are a read to here stop play a game type, then next scenario adds a bit more and so on until you've learned the basic system.

My first foot soldier I have painted here for your viewing pleasure is a black soldier fighting with the Alguaciles. I was very excited to try as it was my first attempt and I really enjoyed doing so. I still have a bit to learn in getting the colors just right and blending. Here are a few photos of my first soldier.
 I went with a more orange-ish red than what Angel describes doing, and I did all the work by brush as I don't have my new airbrush yet. Though that's another story.

My second soldier looks like a hard case punk rocker and I just dig his hair cut. This guy was a blast to paint as well. It's not often I get to go off the beaten path of historical's and paint crazy hair. Here are a couple of shots of my second soldier.

My last soldier is a woman. Infinity, understand, is an anime based science fiction story line and with that you have, well, women that are all anime looking, for lack of a better word. I had fun painting up her hair as well, and though I am still working on the basics of doing faces well, thought I did a pretty decent job on hers. The last photo I tried to show a closer look.


It's a simple color scheme but lots of subtlety and I still have a ways to go in learning proper blending (and patience), but they are gaming figures and I am not trying to win a competition, though I am finding painting now a days is just as fun to me as gaming.

Thanks for looking as always
Cheers
Kevin

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Infinity: Yu Jing... Yaokong on the street

You may remember a while back that I was working on this little fella and totally botched it. This led me having to ask my friend about his trick of soaking it in pine-sol to strip it. I gave it over to him and it worked beautifully thus saving the little guy from being thrown in the trash and saving me a few bucks as Infinity figures are not cheap.

Well I finally got around to finishing it and am happy to present it here to you now with a little better paint job than I did at first. Hope you like it.


Cheers
Kevin

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Infinity: Yu Jing.... Shang Ji

Haven't had a chance to sit for very long and paint, so I tried just painting one figure all the way to get my fix. Grand daughters have been dominating time of late. This adds one more figure to my Infinity collection for the Yu Jing, I only need to paint two more figures to have my starter box set done. Infinity is a science fiction slash Japanese Anime based skirmish game set somewhere in the far future where you only need around ten figures to play.

My Shang Ji is a medium type armored troop that I hope will cause a little grief to my opponent. Here are a few shots. Still practicing trying to get the colors right and the blending but it's good enough for the table top.

Cheers
Kevin

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Infinity: Yu Jing.... Zhanshi

I've had this thing for the Infinity figures and fluff for years (really since the first edition came out and I have never played and now it's up to 3rd Edition). I've collected some figures here or there with the thought that only having to paint up a handful of figures for this Science Fiction skirmish game would be fun, but this never came to fruition. I do love the figures because of their Japanese Anime look. Very colorful, and anatomically correct in proportions (which is a small pain after painting Heroic size figures, something to get used to).

Well an opportunity presented itself these past couple days, why with finishing my first unit of Highlanders for my Jacobite '45, I thought I'd do a few Infinity figures before I dove back in to my Jacobite stuff to finish my second unit I've started.

I like the Infinity line, especially Yu Jing faction. Why? At first it was the attraction to this line of figures TAGs (Tactical Armored Gear) which remind me a lot about Robotech, Appleseed, etc. As to the Yu Jing being a favorite, it's because of the Orange Yellow official color look of this faction. I've followed Ángel Giráldez paint formula (well mostly) and really like how he combines colors to get this orange-ish yellow look. Other than that I've pretty much went with the Box art and went mercenary on some color choices.

I've finished my first 3 figures (waiting on finishing the bases until I know more of what theme I want to go with, so raw for now) which come with the Starter Pack that I've had for years (back in 2008 I believe). These figures are the light troops and are called Zhanshi. I'll have three more to paint to finish the box, and probably won't have to do more than a dozen to have a faction to game with. But the rest will have to wait for now as I must finish my 2nd Highlander unit. Hope you like the pictures.

[Click on the pictures for larger view]

Cheers
Kevin

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Jacobite '45 first unit completed

I've been quite busy of late and only just now have a quiet moment to post my first generic Highlander Clan for my Jacobite '45 project. I would have posted this a little bit sooner but realized I had painted 5 figures too many of the sword bearing type and forgot I needed these for my second unit I am working on. The good news is I have five less to paint for the second unit.

I've realized that this may not quite be my cup of tea when it comes to my painting style. I can't paint thin straight lines for crap, but I gave it my best shot and hope that most looking at the figures on the gaming table won't notice from afar. Sigh, oh well, it was still fun and that's all that counts.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy what I have done as I return back to the painting table... ahem... I mean real life projects I must attend to.

Cheers
Kevin

(The above is the paper flag I tried making for first time, worked out pretty good I think)
(up close of some of the boys)
(All the lads together)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Jacobite '45 flags

So I am nearing completion (okay 60 percent) of my first highlander unit and my 40mm X 40mm bases arrive the other day and I start getting excited about how I am going to mount them when It dawns on me that all my dudes are empty handed (doh!). I kept the weapons, and Targes seperate so I would have an easier time painting the nooks and crannies on figure. But more importantly the command stand had no flags made yet. Ugh, more work to do! I've normally done Flags, when I've done them at all, using decal transfers onto tin foil. This time around my subject matter seems to only have paper flags available.

I ordered one flag to test out how I liked it from Flags of War , actually I got it through Crann Tara as he stocks them for his range of figures. I didn't want to just glue then together and have this straight flat square of a flag making my paint job look bad (if flags are done right people don't notice the figures as much) so I started searching around the internet when I popped across a blog with a how to type post. It's a post back from 2009 but still applies today here is the link Wargaming in 28mm .

I had to go out and purchase a Glue Stick and once I had that in hand I was able to sit down and start trimming out the flags. I will stress how important it is to have clean hands and laying down a clean piece of paper as your work mat, as well as some patience. Once I cut out the flags and pre-folded them I used glue stick on both sides, placed it on pole then laid it down right where I had worked on placing glue on them to get a good crease around the pole while laying flat on table. I went to flip it over and to my horror glue was on the back. I was able to lick my finger and get it off with no damage but lesson learned, FIND ANOTHER CLEAN SPOT on your paper mat to do crease, not where you slopped on the glue.

The next step was laying them in a bowl of water for 30 seconds and then removing them and carefully crinkle them up into a position you think looks good to your own tastes. My second learning mistake was I placed both in water instead of one at a time. The first one I worked on I had no problem in shaping and able to set it aside to work on 2nd one (which I had pulled from the water and set aside). One of two things happened, first either sitting there for a minute or two longer while I worked on the other one the water soaked in more and started to dry out, or two I needed to wait a little longer to let the glue set before I immerse it in water. What happened is the paper started coming apart unlike the first one. To fix it I grab my trusty bottle of Elmer's glue put a little on my finger and worked it into flag on both sides. Then crinkled it again. It seemed to hold but I'll let you all know after tomorrow (your supposed to let them dry overnight) how it turns out. Note that I do not place any glue on the staff. The reason is that the staff or pole I am using is just to hold the flag for drying purposes. The flag will slide right off the pole and you will note in following picture they have slid to bottom of staff. I will remove them tomorrow, paint up a pole, add a very small touch of super glue and affix them to the painted staff. Then I will match the color and paint the edges to make the white disappear.
[one on left was first one, the one on right is the one I let sit to long]

Well that's it for now, I hope this helps you in future if you don't already know how to do this yourself. If all turns out well, this may well be the only way I go in future for flags.

Cheers
Kevin

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Jacobite '45

It's amazing what can inspire one to take up that paint brush and begin a new journey down a road you never thought you would.

It began a few months ago. My family and I are of Scottish decent, 5th generation as a matter of fact, and anything to do with the Scottish culture is always of great interest to us. My Sister discovered the book series of "Outlander", and when it became a TV series she was all over it. She had an advantage in that she knew what it was about already and tried to convince me to watch it, which I didn't until just a few months ago. I thought it was one of those romance, bla, bla, bla series and wasn't overly excited but she couldn't really tell me about it without spoiling it. So I ignored her sage advice and did nothing about it thinking she was crackers. A few months ago Itunes had the 1st season on sale and with Game of Thrones over and a few other series I like to watch done, I had nothing to lose so I downloaded it.

Man was I a turd for not listening to her. I was blown away. Mind you I almost turned off the very first episode after it was about half over with all the mushy stuff going on, and then it happened. The Heroine finally touched the bloody stone..... okay I won't spoil it for you either, but I have to tell you that they nailed it when it came to customs, costumes, and script (other than the mushy stuff;))!!! When the redcoats where chasing Highlanders through the woods I was suddenly sitting upright on the edge of my seat.

Okay it was all I needed to dive back into the world of the Jacobite '45. Suddenly I had ordered a few history books, scoured the internet for 28mm Jacobite figures, found color plates for reference etc. I was hooked!

The Jacobite '45 has through the centuries held a romantic feel to it and it has not changed to this day. New information has been coming forward from archaeology digs and this has pushed several authors to reconsider the period in question. An exciting time to learn for the first time or re discover new facts about an interesting time in history.

Some how I was able to talk a very good friend into joining me in this project and he has agreed to paint the English. We discussed a bit about what each company that makes 28mm for the period and what they brought to the table. My friend agreed to follow me in selecting a company called "Crann Tara" because I like the more anatomically correct looking features.

I received my first order a few day ago and have already mounted, primed, and put the beginning basic coats on. So far I am pleased with the fact that they aren't to busy which will be a relief as I figure out how to paint what will feel like a ba-zillon tartans.

My approach to painting all these tartans will be to give an artistic impression that you are looking at tartans, meaning I am not going to try and paint all those bloody lines, which will also have the added benefit of speeding up painting. Hopefully my approach will work. I have also discovered that during this period there was not a family/Clan tartan, that the tartans where regionally made and it didn't really indicate a clan as much as the region they came from. Also looking at paintings of battles and other references I see I am going to have to mix them up a bit. I've decided to mix the units by picking three basic colors and paint a third of each unit so.

Well that's enough talk for now and I'll leave you with a few pictures of the project start.



Cheers
Kevin

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Emperor's Children Contemptor Dreadnought

Wow I have touched this model since July 4th! But that's okay, I've been doodling in other stuff in the meantime and that's all that counts. Do what makes you happy (as long as it doesn't get you arrested that is). New units for my Emperor's Children did not materialize like I hoped in August, but I did get some Infinity stuff that made me do a skip and a hop in excitement. But that's another story. Today for some reason my Contemptor Dreadnought caught my eye and I had an urge to try and push on with it. Probably because I've been painting my Tau animated robots of late and the Purple scheme of the Emperor's Children drew me away from the Tau white.

Today wasn't a painting day but instead was magnetizing the arms so my very expensive model could be used in more than one configuration. I took a few photos with my trusty Ipad camera so they may not be the best but you get the picture (while actually four pictures, yuck, yuck, yuck). Tomorrow I hope to prime the pieces and get this bad boy out of my to do paint pile very soon.

Here are the four pics showing this one armed with a Twin linked Heavy Bolter and a Conversion Beamer (I armed him with this just because the name was so cool, conversion beamer, right out of the 1960's scifi comic books!)


Cheers
Kevin

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Scarecrow...

Hello Ladies & Gents,

I know this blog is supposed to be my work etc. But every now and then I come across something really amazing, and seeing Jim Mckenzie's work is a must see. A true artist and perfectionist. I can do a little bit of drawing, and can do a decent job of painting, but I think I would lose my mind scuplting as well. This project started out in 2014 from drawings from what I can tell and simply amazes me at time involved. I hope you enjoy this 6 minute video as much as I did. He even wrote the music for the presentation.


Permission was given to show this as long as credit was given. So I have cut and pasted below.

Film By: Jim McKenzie
Music Written By: Jim McKenzie, Tomi Ervi
Orchestration By: Tomi Ervi
Gallery Footage: Dave Yeaman
Resin Caster: Christopher Dumbos 
Cake maker: Dante Nuno of Fire And Icing
Paint Assistant: Kenneth Christian 
Publicist: Melissa Ximena Golebiowski of Lost Literati PR (melissa@lostliteratipr.com)

Special Thanks to:
Aardman Nathan Love
Erica Miller & Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery
Trust Collective

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mice and Mystics: Meet Collin

"Prince Collin is King Andon's only son and therefore heir to the throne."

So begins the description of Collin, warrior, a true leader, and perfect fit for my granddaughter. Collin is the second character of six that I have just finished painting (base coats done by granddaughter), and I like how he turned out. I painted a few things different as compared to the card to spruce him up a bit. Being wealthy born I figured he'd at least have a fancy belt and not a plain one;)

I hope you enjoy the pictures.


As always thanks for looking.

Cheers
Kevin

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mice and Mystics: Everyone meet Lily

I purchased this game (Mice and Mystics by Plaid Hat games) several years ago thinking how grand it would be to play with my granddaughters. I would quickly paint up the miniatures, introduce my little angels to the world of role playing fun. Ah, visions of the old days of me being a small lad and playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends on a piece of graph paper. The days where our imaginations drove our desire to play. But I digress, Mice and Mystics is a fun quick game but I learned quickly that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Age 7 plus, means just that, age 7 plus.

So I put the game on the shelf and waited until this past week when I had them over. I got out the game and tried to read the rules as we went while interruptions of Papa I'm hungry (I had just fed them), and Papa can I go do this (whatever it was we had just sat down). It was a disaster to say the least, but I kept my patience like only a Papa can and quickly saved the situation by getting out Yo Gabba Gabba bingo, and also a very simplified game of Formula De (they liked it because I painted up little metal cars for it).So in the end they had a grand time and that is what really matters anyways.

But my interest had been peeked and with a discussion with my Wife I decided that I would learn the game without the grand kids around, teach my Wife, and then be well armed to introduce my 7 year old and 4 year old to the grand world of role playing (I know Age 7 plus, but I have a plan on how to keep the 4 year old engaged) with the helpful hand and patience of my Wife.

So this week while I have been studying the rules a bit closer, I've also decided to make a big push to paint their favorite characters. First up is Lily the archer, and a brave mouse she will be for my 4 year old. Both of them (as well as my Son's 8 year old daughter) have helped me start painting the figures. Only the basic coats, but I figured it would help them get into it with an investment of their creativity. I must say it was fun talking to them about colors and why we where choosing this color and that. Also everyone knows give a kid a crayon or chalk (but be very careful with paint or your house could get redecorated really quickly) and they will never fail to amaze you with their vision of how colorful the world is.

I must say that every time I get grumpy or am having a bad day (or think I am) I think of them and how blessed I am to have them. They have helped me see through a child's eyes once more and it has been a glorious journey so far that I have had with them.

So without further yammering from me I present Lily, the first of six characters that I have added the finishing touches to what they started.


Here are a couple of shots of Lily being displayed by my beautiful hand model (my Wife's hand, not mine:)) to give you some perspective of size.
They are soft plastic models that came with the game and have soft detail, but still they painted up nicely. As always thanks for looking and I hope you've enjoyed the telling of my tale (or is it tail?).

Cheers
Kevin

Monday, July 25, 2016

Showcase: XV25 Stealth Battlesuits

Trying to catch up and finish some me projects. These are my Stealth battlesuits I stopped working on a while back. Last couple of days I've put the finishing touches on them. I tried a new chip effect technique with a little piece of foam dipped in a brown paint and wiping off as much as I could before dabbing on figure in certain locations for that wear look. Got carried away in some spots, but I think it came out alright.

Thanks for looking as always.

Cheers
Kevin

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Reenactor armed with a wand

Now this little tid bit isn't exactly hobby related, but at the same time it is. After all painting up historical, science fiction, or even fantasy figures is just letting out the little boy, or girl, in us out to play for a bit. So today I took it a step further. My daughter invited my Wife and I to my granddaughters "Mingle with the Muggles seventh birthday party" several weeks ago. So I say to myself, "self you are a very artistic person, and I know you can make this event something special with your artistic talents". Well I won't tell you what I said back (cause then you'll just think I am crazy for having a conversation with myself) but that statement made a lot of sense. So off to the races my imagination went.

First to set this story on the right path I have to explain that my six year old granddaughter (now seven) has been reading by herself the Harry Potter series. A month ago we started reading together "The Sorcerers stone". I would read a chapter and then she would. When my turn came to read a chapter there have been several times when she's had me hold up to correct me when I have mispronounced a word. This truly amazes me and I always get a good chuckle out of it. We are now reading "Chamber of Secrets". But this time she reads along with me while I read it out loud. I think she likes me doing this because I make all the different voices and she gets a good chuckle out of that. Anyway on to the where and why my imagination went in the direction it did.

My granddaughter likes the characters Harry, Ron, and of course Hermione. While my favorite characters are Dumbledore, Hagrid, Snape, etc. Though Professor Snape has to be my favorite as he is such a complex character. So now you know where I am going with this.

Over the weeks I collected the clothes (costume) I would need and came up with several ideas for makeup etc. I needed to do something special that would pull off the illusion that I was in fact Professor Snape and not Papa. My family has never seen me without a beard, nor have they seen me hairless. The easy part here of course is shaving all that stuff off except for one problem, I am a blue eyed, fair skin, red head and something would need to be done about that.

All I needed to do was put on a couple of coats of paint, do a bit of layering, and then an easy dry brush to touch it off. Except that is in the painting world. So I turned to my Wife and had a discussion with her about makeup ideas. I must say without her help I probably would not have been able to pull this one off.

Now the last thing I needed was black hair. Obviously I don't have black hair so I started to browse that evil Amazon market place to look for something that wasn't too expensive and yet would pass to make me look similar to Professor Snape. Some were too short where others would make me look to Gothic. In the end I settled on (would you believe it) a Micheal Jackson wig. It was just a tad short on the actual length needed but I think you'll agree when you see the pictures below it was pretty close.

So after weeks of prepping, making sure I didn't accidentally say anything or leave anything lying about the house for them to see and ruin the surprise, I successfully pulled off the Professor Snape impersonation today. So well in fact I will leave you with this:

As I walked into the party I spotted my granddaughter with her friends and stopped just short of all the partyers. Waiting until I was noticed and hushed whispers started to float around the group I knew the time was right to approach my granddaughter. With a nervous giggle, she slowly backed up toward her mother who also had a look of awe on her face. As my granddaughter bumped into her mother and could go no further I slowly approached closer and her nervous laugh continued. I started to lean a little closer and that's when she looked into my eyes and at that moment recognized those unmistakable blue eyes of her Papa and shouted out Papa and embraced me with a giant hug. It was at that precious moment that she shouted out Papa that her mother actually spit out her food she had stopped eating and said Oh My God, with a laugh and was beside herself in disbelief.

This is exactly the reaction I had hoped for. Mission accomplished. If you've read this far thanks for doing so and enjoy the pictures;)


....and below the wizards test their abilities!

Cheers
Kevin

PS
I almost forgot, to complete my authentic recreation of Professor Snape where would I be without his Deatheater tattoo as well!