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.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ashigaru Teppo unit for TSUCHIYA MASATSUGU

Well I am on a roll. Painted more figures in this last month than I have for the whole year. That's not saying much, but at least I am painting. I am not sure which is harder, Highlanders or Samurai. Tartans drive me crazy, and Samurai are so busy. I think I prefer Samurai over Highlanders, but in either case they take me a loooonnnnggg time to paint. But I am having fun with the Samurai right now and that's all that matters.

I've got three complete units for my Saga Warband. I have started in on painting a unit of Cavalry, and my Warlord. If I get those done I will have a 4 point and very playable Warband. My goal is to paint two more units (at least) so I can have a 6 point unit to face my nemesis from the South, the dreaded Torok the Terrible, in September. I think I just might have enough gas to see it through. We will see.

Here are a few snaps of my latest unit, an Ashigaru Teppo (Arquebus) unit flying Masatsugu colors.



....and below the unit together, ready on the firing line!!!

Thanks for looking...

Cheers
Kevin


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DATE MASAMUNE Promo figure disaster....

Had a nervous breakdown yesterday. Got a promo figure with a magazine of Date Masamune. I was excited. Then.....

As I was mounting the nice little fellow an ankle broke off. No problem I says to myself, I'll glue ankle to base then Warlord onto that. It worked but....

As I assembled a banner man to put on the Warlord base, Date kept bending this way and that, waaaayyyy to easily. I kept saying to myself this is going to work, but as I struggled to get banner man on base it dawned on me that somebody would pick up my figure, innocently, and after all the time I spent painting it, it would break off. Soooo...... 

I ripped the cheap piece of crap off the base, made with too much lead in it (or whatever), and threw it away. I was steamed to say the least! I then tried to make my own plastic one (from Wargames Factory plastic set), became frustrated, and so gave up for the day. So I dug out the POS out of garbage to maybe one day make a fishing lure out of it (also because I felt really guilty about doing such a thing). 

[Exhibit A, POS material, but nice sculpt]

Then today happened.....

Good night sleep, a tasty breakfast, and I was off to the hobby room to see if I could make this right. Digging through my wargames factory plastic samurai kit I slowly started pulling out pieces I was going to use to assemble my new Date figure. Here is a picture of what his helmet looks like.

So with this in mind, I grabbed some plastic strut and glued on a very small piece to the front of the helmet I had chosen. When it had dried I carefully sanded it down a bit and then glued on the very cool half crescent of whatever that big ole thing is supposed to be. I used the lead piece that came with the promo figure as the plastic kit has nothing like this in it. 

I am very happy with how it turned out, and I have him in a much more dynamic action pose. "Forward you rogues! Do you want to live forever!".... oh wait I think that was Fredrick the Great that said that... anyways here is what I came up with. Hope you like it.

Cheers
Kevin

Sunday, July 2, 2017

TSUCHIYA MASATSUGU Ashigaru unit for Saga

OMG! I can't believe I have not done anything with my Samurai since fall of 2015. Man do the wheels spin around.

Well after awhile away from painting anything Samurai, I started reading this book called "The Imjin War: Japan's Sixteenth - Century Invasion of Korea and Attempt to Conquer China" by Samuel Hawley. I have to say that it's completely wicked and awesome! Which you can figure out is why I am probably painting Samurai again. A really good read so far, and I highly recommend for those who are unfamiliar with the period to get Stephen Turnbull's book "Samurai Invasion: Japan's Korean War 1592 - 1598". A good compliment to the aforementioned book.

So I've finished up another unit, and it's another Clan from Takeda's 24 generals. Easy to research, for me anyways, banners and such. The Clan I chose to paint this time was Tsuchiya Masatsugu. White mon on black banner. The earlier Clan I did was Yamagata Masakage. Both these generals or family Warlords where killed at the battle of Nagashino 1575. My plan is to paint a unit of arquebusiers for each family and then to paint up some cool full armor Samurai dudes. Will see where my spinning wheel ends up cause as anyone has figured out who follows my blog, next week I could paint up Scifi, or Romans, or mice, or.... well you get the picture. So first two photos are ones I did two years ago, after that are pictures of my newly painted Masatsugu Ashigaru unit. Oh and you can click on the pictures to see larger ones if you don't know this already.

[Above I did almost two years ago]




[above first new group of 4]

[above 2nd new group of 4]

[and finally them all together]

As always thanks for looking.

Cheers
Kevin

Monday, June 26, 2017

So true it hurts!

Been super busy with grand kids, etc. We all as hobbiest know when to put down the brush and pay attention to family, and that can be a hard thing to do (must... not... reach... for... that... brush... ahhhh). But a few days ago a good friend sent me a picture and as he said, sooo painfully true, and I agree so I thought I'd share it with you.

So here is that picture and I do have something in the pipe I will be posting soon.

Cheers
Kevin




Thursday, June 1, 2017

Saga: "Saxons" from the supplement Aetius & Arthur

Finished my first unit for my new Saga warband. It's from the Saxon list of Aetius & Arthur and it's all foot, which means lots and lots of painting still to be done. Here are some pictures of my first Warrior class unit, a Geoguth based unit (which means youth or the younger lads still learning the trade). They would mostly be armed with a buckler for raids, used as an offensive weapon and would only use larger shields later. Spear would be their primary weapon with a knife or short short for their backup. Mostly would have no armor and be mostly helmet-less but for some reason Gripping beast packed these. I mostly like the figures other than I have no idea why the pose with the dude charging with his knife drawn has not taken the time to think, "Oh yeah I have a perfectly good sword still sheathed, why am I doing this again?". Anyways I need every figure so he got painted up.

Remember to click on the photos to see a larger view.
 Above 4 including command figures

...and the rest of the dudes who make the bulk of the army

As always thanks for looking.

Cheers
Kevin



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Skirmish Sangin: Part 2

Continuing on from my previous posting I present my US Infantry painted by Steve Dake, with the bases done by me. The models are 28mm Empress Miniatures. They have a lot going for them pose wise. Lot's of motion and that is something I really dig in my miniatures, no stiff posing and yet at the same time a realistic pose. Of course no pose is a good pose unless you give it the right paint job and Steve was spot on again with my US lads. I have all kinds of ideas for more troops, but first I am busy painting up some terrain (mostly buildings) for the Afghanistan area (that I purchased from Phalanx Consortium) so I can have a few games before deciding what direction I want to go with this.

But in the meantime here are the photo's. Remember to click on them to see larger size.

The above figures are US1 On Patrol from Empress
Above are US2 In Firefight from Empress
Above are US3 from Empress
Above are US4 command group, includes radioman and medic

Well that's it for today hope you enjoyed the photos.

Cheers
Kevin






Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Skirmish Sangin: Part 1

Last year (2016) I attended CincyCon for the first time down in Southern Ohio, I came across a new (to me) miniature rules set called "Skirmish Sangin", which as the name insinuates is a skirmish level game. Meant to play with around 40 figures at most, but probably around 30 is more likely what I am thinking. This because it's based on table size and a few other things. I don't plan on running anything more than a 4 foot by 4 foot table.

While at this convention Chris (the proprietor) of "The Phalanx Consortium" (who is the US distributor for Skirmish Sangin products) was running demo games, and his beautiful table and nicely done figures caught this ex army man's interest. I tried out a game with a friend while Chris game mastered and helped keep the game flowing well. I'll let the following sentence tell you if I enjoyed the game or not. After the game I went to his booth and promptly bought the rules, a supplement, and a bunch of Afgans, and US Rangers. My friend bought some of his buildings which I purchased off of him a few months later after much pleading and imploring. The game really rocked me. It's a campaign that I didn't know too much about (because of the much more reported goings on in Iraq) and I wanted to learn more about why, where, how, etc.

Well as most miniaturists other projects took up my time and I kept meaning to start them up and one year later still hadn't done anything with it (other than collect, which is something all of us miniaturists are very good at;)). So another CincyCon came (2017 March) and has gone and while there I again stopped by Phalanx Consortium booth and bought some more troops and scenery items. I had also supplemented my Skirmish Sagin figures with the also wonderful line from Empress Miniatures. When I came home I literally had to sit myself down and ask myself, with so many projects going on, when was I going to get around to painting these guys so I could get playing at the table?

Solution? Maybe it was time to farm this out to another painter. But who? There was a certain style and character I was looking for, and I had in the back of my mind who that person was going to be. This was because I had been following his work on the internet over the years from blog postings to his work for miniature companies for their displays. His style over the years has gotten better and better, and I have to say my most vivid memory was his beautifully painted French Cuirassier's for the Franco Prussian war, which I had the pleasure of pushing around in a game many many years ago. His name is Steve Dake and the pictures I will show you below, I am sure, will have you agree with me how lovely they are.

The first batch I am showing you here are the Afghanistan or Taliban figures I sent him. When they arrived they were what I expected and more. Now I think I am a decent painter, but there is no way I could have copied Steve's work. The character he gives the models with his paint brush is just amazing to me. The only thing that I had to do was flock and paint the bases in a style that I wanted. But first I sprayed them all with Krylon's "Crystal Clear (1303)". This is a permanent, protective gloss finish that allowed me to handle the figures (and protect my investment) while I worked on the bases. When finished with bases I then gave the figure and base a coat of Testor's Dulcote (mat finish). What's really great about Crystal Clear is it does not yellow over the years like a previous product I had.

Okay, lets get to the pictures now, ladies and gentlemen I present my Afghanistan's by Steve Dake!

[remember clicking on picture makes them larger]
[above Sniper from Skirmish Sangin]

[above Mortar Crew from Empress]

[above are some of my favorite figures from the two different lines. The one on the left is Empress with an Afgan holding a cellphone close to his ear, the center and one on the right are Skirmish Sangin. The center figure I love because Steve made this character come alive with a pair of running pants, the figure on the right because of his pose with an AK47 slung over his shoulder and carrying an RPG}

[group one mix of Empress and Skirmish Sangin]

[group 2 of all Skirmish Sangin I believe]

[and finally group 3 of Empress and Skirmish Sangin]

I am super happy with these figures and now I am thinking I need to add another 20, but that will be for another day. As always thanks for looking, and a special shout out to Steve for his great work.

Cheers
Kevin

















Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Infinity: Nomads | Tunguska Interventors

Added a few more figures to my Nomad collection. I have one more Nomad figure to paint and then I am going to start on my Yu Jing collection.

The Tunguska Interventors are some really cool sculpts. Rich in movement and character. I'd like to get some plastic disks with a print on them showing them doing their hacking thing. One day, but not now. In meantime I hope you enjoy these figures.




Cheers
Kevin

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Infinity: Terrain review "Antenocitis Workshop's" Asian Garden sets 1 & 2

Painting miniatures is only half of our work, the other half is collecting nice terrain pieces that help enhance the aesthetic value of our miniatures.

So as my Infinity forces slowly grow it was time for me to start the process of collecting said items. Now one can scratch build their own (I don't have the motivation nor the time to put into this though there are many talented people out there you could probably hire as mercenaries to do this for you.), buy pre-painted buildings (expensive), buy pre-painted MDF (cheaper, but painted stuff can still be up there in price, AND some of this still has to be put together), or you can buy MDF kits that you have to assemble and paint yourself. My choice lies somewhere in the middle, and having a new airbrush will certainly help me in this (I hope). 

Couple of kits I picked up are from Antenocitis Workshop, called Asian Garden Set 1, and Asian Garden Set 2. Both come pre-painted, but when you really think about it, is one color considered pre-painted? Any ways these were nice little kits. Assembly was not hard, just tedious. Also some of the parts are delicate so require care in removing from sprues (sharp razor knife) and handling. 

Set 1 comes with 4 small planters, 2 large planters, 1 Tori planter, and 4 light booths. It also comes with some flocking to help you make the planters, well, look like planters. Lastly it comes with white paper for you to cut out and use on your light booths/boxes. I recommend using a glue stick to adhere the paper to the light boxes as it's less messy and you won't have the paper absorbing the glue. 

Set 2 comes with 4 table & bench sets, plus 4 separate benches. These were easy to assemble as well but just remember the bit about razor knife and removing from sprue. As I was gluing the support structure between the legs I added just a bit to much pressure squeezing them together and it snapped. Fortunately I was able to mend it, and lesson learned. 

I still have three bloody light booths to put together, but I ran out of patience and decided to paint some figures instead. I'll return to them on another day.

Here is a shot of everything and the Planter boxes done.


In summary I recommend these little bits of scatter terrain and I think they will do nicely not only in my Infinity games but also will find use in my Samurai games.

Cheers
Kevin