Wednesday 23 December 2009

Photogenic Basing - "part deux"

Hello all,
after using my December-evenings painting walls instead of miniatures I finally got some time to work on the "photo-studio". The object is to highten the quality of the pictures I snap of my minis.
BTW, I really loved the comment about the snow - no it wasnt meant to look like snow (although the paste did indeed look a bit wintery - but hopefully the following pictures should make it clear what Im trying to do; a couple of quick pictures taking today. I still need to find a better background and some better lighting and mess a bit more with the settings on the camera.

With minis - and bad lighting .-)

Anyways, a merry christmas to you all,

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Wild Bunch II - Saxon Fyrd

Hello all - another week and another warband done. That painting rack is a great help as I can always grap it and paint for half an hour or any amount of time available in between crying children and making food etc.
This time its a Saxon Fyrd from Magister Militium, I believe - another ebay'ed unit so not entirely sure. If anyone knows the precise type I would greatly appreciate any information about it. The green/white colourscheme is the same as for the rest of the more unruly elements of my armies, and the unit should be useable as both a carthagenian, celtic or viking warband.

I really like how the standard bearer looks like a huge fellow - the command stand might be from a different pack as they seem a bit more viking-like.

The miniatures themselves were okay - not great and not crap. A bit too many of the same type but that does help them look more like a "unit". I used a dark blue for the trousers this time, which seems better than another white as I did for the last unit.

Update: Thanks to a kind reader named Gareth (thanks!) most of these have been identified as Magister Militium Sarmatian Medium Infantry (SRM4) with a few Viking command figures (a weird mix, but hey, its 10mm!).

Monday 16 November 2009

New errata for Warmaster Ancients!

Just saw that theres a new errata for Warmaster Ancients available....

Photogenic Basing - a new photo "studio"

Hello all!
Well I must admit to not being happy with the way my minis look in the photos I take of them. The camera is not the best and the same goes for the lighting source. Both are issues that I at the moment cannot do anything about.
What I can do something about is to try and present them better and for which I've made the following base:

The idea is that the empty space at the front will be where the finished units stand when photographed. The hills and trees will provide a suitable background which will be combined with a background as seen below.

This should both present the units much better than a boring white background and should also allow me to save some time editing out the background and / or fiddling with the sizes.

The trees were ebayed and are apprently some of Games Workshops, they are very nice, and the trunks are much better detailed than any of my other trees which was why I choose them for this base. The base is made from light wood and a generous helping of "wall-filling".
The bakground used here was from Times (a piece on the Governator) and could be alright, although it is a bit "glossy" - might need a more mat finish.

When not in use as a photostudio, the piece will be used as terrain as it fits into my regular "terrain bases". I might make a special terrain piece for the unit space - maybe a ruined building or something like that.

The finished piece should be up in two weeks (going to a convention in Louisiana, US during the next week).

Wild Bunch - Romano British Spearmen

Hello all!
I managed to get a few more minis painted - another part of the more "undisciplined" part of my army. They are to be used as everything from Warband-type celts, vikings etc to skirmishing light infantry. The green/white colourscheme is to tie them in with the rest of the "wild" bunch army elements.

I'm not sure what type and brand these are as they were bought on Ebay but I believe ther Kallistra's Romano British Spearmen - definately not their best models but still a pleasure to paint.

Not sure about the red/green combination - it looks alright from afar and the shields are fine but the banner needs a little something, and they could have used a different colour for their trousers - oh well, maybe next time :-).

Thursday 5 November 2009

Free Models and New Bases

Hello all - well in a moment's weekness I decided that free minis does not increase my feeling of guilt when looking at the piles of unpainted models. A company that I was unfamiliar with (15mm) where offering a free bag of their new Orc Command pack and all I had to do was pay for the shipping.
So I now own my first 15mm models and although they are fine and all that I must say that it proves that 15mm just isnt for me. It seems they have the detail of the new 10mm but are more expensive while loosing that "Grand Sclae" feeling that I like about 10mm.
The pack itself consists of 16 models that are well sculpted and full of character - would make great "disciplined" Ogres for those still trapped in Warmaster Ancients.
I guess I might get around to painting them at some time but until then they will be far down the que.

The company's own pictures show all the detail well
- I especially like the old wizard orc

while the boar mounted leader (a two part model)
reminds me of some of the early GW orcs.

The unpainted lot, which is the way they will stay for a long time (probably) :-).

I also took the oppurtunity to purchase some of the company's bases which seemed a great deal at 12 for 1£ and I am very satisfied with them - they are ultra thin, maybe a single mm each and seem sturdy enough. Only thing is that they seem to display an uneven length where some are a tiny bit longer than others - wont be a problem once the banners are flying but I wonder why they would be cut unevenly. Anyways, still a great price.

Best regards,

Monday 2 November 2009

Mystery unit painted

Hello all - I finally got some free time to paint a new unit - wuhuu :-).
I'm not entirely sure what kind of models these are as they are part of an email-purchase a month back but I believe the maker is Magister Militium (Apparently they are Pendraken - late Romans) and they seem to belong somewhere between first and fifth century CE. I chose to paint them fairly generic so they can stand in for as many roles as possible in as many armies as possible. To my eyes they look like late roman auxiliaries and I tried to paint them to emphasize this aspect.

The shields was a new endeavour for me - they are transfers from Little Big Men Studios. I must admit I think they look perfect although they could be a bit brighter which would improve their visibility from afar. The procedure was a pain - at first. But after a few tries (and two crumpled transfers) I got the hang of it and although a lenghty procedure (took more than an hour for 20) it was a lot easier than painting anything remotely similar to the detailed pattern of the transfers. I recommend trying the transfers, if you have either Magister Militium or Pendraken units of the appropriate period.
Unfortunately there are only 24 of each transfer on a sheet, so due to the mishaps and having thirty models in a unit I'll have to order a new set soon so I can finish the last rank of models.

For their dragon banner I tried to stay "roman" while also playing a bit on their green celtian ties, which should make them fit into both armies.

Hope you enjoyed them and if you know the make and type I would appreciate the information!

Monday 19 October 2009

More ebayed minis... and vallejo paint info

Well once again I fell for the temptation of Ebay and bought some new minis. 31 to be precise.
They are Kallistra's Romano British Horse Archers and seem to be very nicely sculpted and free of any sculpting-errors. As is always, I'm tempted to say, the case with Kallistra - by far my favorite company as their models always ooze of character.

They retail at 10£ from the shop plus shipping, but they were only 4£ including postage on Ebay, so under half price - sweet.

(The Romanoes, there are ten of each pose)

Only thing is that I now have even more unpainted lead staring at me when I open the closet of horrors....

Oh btw; my favourite paint surplyer; SnM Stuff has opened an online store (instead of ebay), so now the vallejo paints are even cheaper. I really recommend buying from this guy; low price and instant shipping.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

DIY scaling ladders

These outlaws have indeed a daring captain; but without machines, scaling ladders, and experienced leaders, my castle may defy them.

Hello, in the hope that we will some day get to fight a siege - the holy grail of all gamers - I had been pondering how to make cheap scaling ladders (me being too scroungy with my money to actually buy some..).
And a possible solution struck me while we were moving stuff around the other day as I found some leftover material that I had refused to throw out in the hopes of being able to use it one day. The material is used for strenghthening walls before finishing them with glasfelt (which is a direct translation from the Danish word as I was unable to find an equivalent) and is available in all (Danish) toolshops and DIY for next to nothing.

When cut to the right size and after a quick brown paintjob they do look like scaling ladders and one can do a dozen in as many minutes.

(A pair of scaling ladders carried by some German infantry,
anxious to get over the walls of a Roman fort)

Anyways, they'll suit our purposes nicely and now there's one thing less on the list of to-dos before a siege is possible.

Unfortunately they don't resemble this example of a "high"-tech medieval Chinese example of a scaling ladder:

Very nice!
Anyways, have fun and let me know if you could use the tip for anything.

German Warband (better pictures...)

Hopefully these pictures are a more appropriate size... Please enjoy.

(Oh well, I give up - at least the second picture is large enough to see all the terible detail and mistakes that I cannot see with my eyes. Photos this magnified is a terrible thing to do to oneself, but it keeps the Hybris at bay :-) ).

Best regards,

Friday 9 October 2009

German Warband

Finally! At long last I managed to get some minis painted to a finished state (and I've even managed to get half way through another unit).

The finished models consist of three stands of nine minis each and the models are 10mm Early German Warband from Steve Barber Models (who btw has just launched a line of 10mm Zulu's that look great). The models are all amazingly detailed and without any miscasting - very high quality. Actually there are more details than I could pick out and they receive a high grade from me.

They are painted to stand in for generic horde-army types of infantry and as such should be usable for both Carthagian warbands as well as celtic infantry, therefore I chose to refrain from any wode-tattoes and other "country-specific" markings.
They will be part of my green-brigade which are all the more untrained infantry, which hopefully at some time will constitute an army in their own right. The white is to tie them into my main army (black and white colourscheme).

Anyways, here are the barbarians - ready to wreck havoc:

(Sorry for the small size (not of the minis but the pictures), I'll upload some larger ones monday)

Thursday 1 October 2009

The Eagle Series and The Saxon Stories

Hello - just some quick book reviews and recommendation. I just finished the first three books in the Eagle series by Simon Scarrow and heartily enjoyed them.

For those who have not read them or heard about the series it is a "historic" tale of a centurion and his optio in the second Roman legion, beginning in Germania and moving to Britain in the next two books. It is really well written and a great read, the pages seem to evaporate very quickly. As one of my friends said "it's Barbara Cartland for men" :-).
The stories are split between a micro and macro storyline and in my view the micro (following the two troopers' troubled campaigning) is much better than the macro which follows the tribunes tribulations.
The series gets my fullest recommendation and I already ordered the rest of the series from Amazon (as thebookdepository has decided not to do their otherwise wonderful frees hipping to Denmark anymore).

I also recently finished the first three in another similar series; The Saxon Stories.

These follow the wars between Anglo-saxons and vikings in Britain during the 9th century. Although they are enjoyable and eacily read they do seem to lack a certain something; maybe it's because the hero is superhuman and a wee bit to unrealistic or maybe its because he chooses to fight against the danes (which I naturally as a Dane think is wrong :-)) and as such is not as gooda s the other series. Although I would still recommend it.

Have fun reading,

Tuesday 29 September 2009

My DIY painting rack

Hello all!
Had some fun last week figuring out how to make a painting rack and finishing the project.
I was getting tired of having brushes, paints and half painted minis all over the place and wanted a rack that could hold the paints I use most frequently along with the odd brushes and so on.
It should also look nice (uncluttered and "presentable") while fitting inside my "gaming" closet.

So after a lot of thinking, drawing and measuring I decided on what type I wanted and began.

The material used is masonite (a pleasure working with and the carpenter working in the kitchen above ours left me a big bag of the stuff, so the entire rack was essential free..) which was cut to size, holes drilled and then glued. Nothing to it actually, after the calculations were done.

The finished result; brushes to the left, water in the middle, room for 23 pots of paint/glue in the middle. A small shelve for current painting projects while the back is for larger stuff such as glue and mixingplate.
Oh and thats my son, Frej, who took great interest in the project.

The best laid plans of men and mice...

Almost done...

First paintjob of a billion (four), shows the shelves that the paint stands on.

Inside the closet, nice fit - with room for extracting it.

All in all I think I used three evenings (1,5 hours each) on the project, with the most timeconsuming part being painting and waiting for the paint to dry. The cost was minimal, mainly the paint, which I was using for our doors and other woodwork inside and used less than a centimeter.
I'm very pleased with it and cant wait to "use" it for the first time - been a while since I got any minis painted.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Blood and Heroes

Well - as written earlier life seems to make painting minis and terrain impossible at the moment. Luckily there are other options :-).
At a recent fleamarket I managed to buy a copy of the old game Heroquest. I played this 15 years or something ago in the gaming club I attended back then (memory-flashback!) and remembered it fondly.
So it was with great joy I found a copy lying among used toys and clothes and managed to get the price haggled down to 1.5£ for the entire box. That's about 30-40 minis (of surprisingly quality for old plastic minis) and the board as well as all the cardboard stuff. Only thing missing is one of the attackdice but we will manage.

Once we got home my son (aged five) was all worked up and we had a quick game (the rules are simple and intuitive enough to get us started within five minutes) and he had a blast - he was enjoying it immensely and has since been pestering me for another go at it. It did help that he won easily (i might have tweeked the rules a bit .-)) and never knew how much he was learning while playing - it is actually great for counting and getting to think about what consequences his actions have. Actually we both had a brilliant hour with the game and my wife has decided to try it as well so this friday we're going to have a gamenight in the family. Wuhuu!
An added bonus is that my son has been asking to try and paint some minis and now he can paint these and even game with them - the perfect combination, and all for under 2£.

Apart from that I bought a new computer game recently; a remake of that old and superb boardgame Bloodbowl, made by a french company called Cyanide.

The game is a faithful remake - all the rules are in and most of the races as well and it feels very much like the boardgame which I always enjoyed playing. I'm about thirty mathces into the campaing with my Chaos team and they are great fun - most having mutations and are well skilled by now.
Last game saw my Mino (str6, block and claw - nasty) injure four trolls (one twice as he was apothecaried and the other was the starplayer Ripper who got a broken back in the first block of the game), the fun of the game is so bloody great I look forward to each game immensely.
The only downside is that the AI is incredibly stupid - truly horrendous to see a troll try and dodge while skinks try to form ballcages. This might be annoying (I have lost only one game so far - bloody woodelves) but the game is so enjoyable that I forgive the AI and just laugh at it when it tries something stupid.
And the thing I always liked best about the game was the campaign part of getting skilled players and designing them for specific roles and this game is perfect for this - all the games you wish for and the models are instantly recognizable with their mutations and the like showing up when they get them.
Most enjoyable and highly recommended - there is a massive online part where one can play everyone else but I have not tried that yet as my gaming time is very sporadic at the moment.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Bugged down...

Greetings - just a quick note to explain why this blog might be silent for a while. I'm in the middle of moving all our stuff into a new apartment and the painting (of walls and not minis unfortunately) et al that goes with this is what my evenings are spent on. Last night I removed 800+ nails from our kitchen floor - just to give an example of the weird stuff I use my spare time on. The rest of my days are spent trying to finish a chapter of my ph.d.-dissertation which is slow going as well. So unfortunately no painted dinosaurs in the near future - merde!
Hope you all enjoy the psots that are here already.
Best regards,

Tuesday 1 September 2009

More Dinosaurs....

Alright I admit it - this is getting silly but we (my son and I) found some more small scale dinosaurs and I painted yet another one of them... Enjoy, and if anyone knows of a good ruleset for dinosaurs in roughly 10mm scale, please let me know so they might see some action :-).
For this I was very much in doubt as to how the huge eyes should be painted - I opted to ignore most of the space and paint a fake eye on the surface. Worked alright but it does look a wee bit like the small cartoon dog "Droopy" - but judge for yourself.
The before shot (and this might actually be a chameleon and not a dino):

And after the beauty treatment - spot the treeclimbing beast:

And the next two in line for a repaint:

Ebay acquisitions

Hi all - I bought some more minis at Ebay:
60 Gothic Infantry from Magister Militium
60 Early Saxon Infantry from Magister Militum
30 Late Roman Infantry from Pendraken
21 foot and 13 mounted command figures teutonic from Kallistra
16 Mounted Teutonic knights from Kalliostra.
Retail: 35,2£ - Ebay: 22,91£ (with Shipping) - Saving: 12,29£
That's pretty neat - I needed more "primitive" infantry for my warband contingents and with the right colours I am not concerned if their shields might be the wrong size for a given era - its 10mm!
The Teutonics I might keep or pass on to Uffe (who insists on using them, even though we all now they are "broken" in their current armylist... :-)).

So that's at least five new infantry units for 16£ averaging around 3£ each - not the greatest savings ever, but all right for my taste.

Pictural evidence:

Kallistra Teutonic Knights
Kallistra Teutonic Foot Command
Teutonic Mounted Command
Magister Militum; think these are the early saxons? The detailing is actually quite good (better than it looks on this picture) and they look like a "fun" paintjob - which is the most important factor for me. there are some nice command models as well.
Pendraken - not my taste (the face of number two is horrid as are some of the detailing on the others).

Now to get painting.....

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Terrain as an artform?

I wouldn't have thought it possible but after viewing the pages of one Thomas Doyle I am stunned! His skills and imagination is unsurpassed by anything I've ever seen. Very impressive.
Here's a sample and I really recommend you all drop by his homepage to see the many other artworks exhibited there.

You might also find this interesting:

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