Monday, February 21, 2022

Frostgrave White Gorilla

Every once in a great while, and truthfully it doesn't happen very often, I actually paint a model that I'm incredibly happy with. Well, this is one of those rare models. 

I picked this model up by North Star miniatures years ago as originally I had this grandiose idea for a Jonny Quest Arctic game with several Yetis and possibly a monastery like in the old cartoon episode "Monster In The Monastery".

In my continued attempt to get through old models I grabbed this figure from a box and got him primed. Obviously it's not a difficult model to paint,  but I think that it's the subtle use of the black paint in the recessed areas of the fur that make the model pop.

I actually painted the recessed areas themselves as opposed to throwing a wash over the entire model and I think that is what is making the difference visually. 

A short quick post 🙂
Until next time, thanks for looking!

Friday, February 18, 2022

Congo 28mm Porters and Bearers

In an effort to continue to complete models that have sat in boxes for years I finally finished up this line of porters and bearers that would fit into any pulpy dark Africa scenario. 

I'm fairly certain that all the models are from Northstar, but I could be wrong. 

They just scream that old classic movie King Solomon's Mines with Stewart Granger.

Or even the more pulpy, and completely campy, Indiana Jones rip-off Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold/ King Solomon's Mines with Richard Chamberlain and a very young Sharon Stone.

I've always had this idea in my head for a game involving a long column like this being ambushed by native warriors.  

Somewhere in a box I've got a fantastic set of native models from the game Congo that could work perfectly for that.

That looks terribly uncomfortable, especially after an hour or so.

As always, thanks for looking! Until next time, when hopefully I will have sorted how I want to finish the roof upgrade of the 4ground Nanhai trading post I completed a few years ago and get those final results posted - which I'm extremely excited to show as I think I really nailed improving the kit with my upgrades. 


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Star Wars Legion Biker Scouts And Speeders

Back to the Tabletop is finally back to the blog posts. It's been a quiet few months of absence on the blog front so I thank you all for sticking with me and not hitting the "unfollow" button 😀

Obviously trying to get any kind of motivation for hobby in over the past three months or so has been difficult but I have found an apartment and have managed to get most of my gaming and hobby supplies moved in.

I think the most frustrating thing for me right now is that my mind is constantly racing with ideas (especially at work) and a real genuine "want" to sit and hobby - paint, build, work on terrain, etc.

I can see in my head a great idea or finished project, but I'm having an incredibly hard time actually doing it when I'm at home on my days off. How to change this is my million dollar question right now. 

WIPs photos are probably my biggest miss in the hobby, I never remember to take pictures of stuff when I'm in the process of building or painting, but I did manage this one as a friend had texted me over the holidays and asked what I was up to.

I have even been chipping away at a couple of things since November as these photos show and I figured why not try to complete one of my favorites units from the original Star Wars trilogy.

I absolutely love the look and design of the scout troopers - the armour, helmet, the small blaster, it's just a brilliant design all around. And this is easily my favorite pose of the entire lot. It has a real "sneaky" James Bond feel to it that is just so cool.

This is another really great pose, again very Bond like.

Overall, I think the entire group has some of the best poses of the entire Legion line.

I decided I really wanted to put the speeder bikes on a sort of gimble to give them a bit more of a movie feel and look, so I used a couple of magnets to achieve this. 

I also cut down the original plastic posts the bikes sit on as I felt they were just way too high off the ground - here is a photo of the height difference with the original post on the left. You can also see how the magnetic gimbal allows for those dramatic and "in motion" poses.

I think it's a huge improvement and will definitely be doing this to my other four speeder bikes. I especially want to get the one with the scout firing behind him completed, as it's another fantastic pose, as well as having a go at a white paint scheme for two of the speeder bikes themselves, like what we saw in the first season of The Mandalorian. So there you go, first blog post in months, fingers crossed I can take some baby steps right now and continue with at least one post a month going forward.

I want to take a moment and thank all of you who reached out through email to send your well wishes and own personal experiences with a divorce and separation. The support was honestly overwhelming and just another reason why I'm incredibly thankful to be a part of this community and hobby.

Finally, thanks to new followers thegreatwhitejb, Michael Blair, and William Stewart - appreciate you guys hitting the follow button 😀

Until next time, thanks for looking!


Thursday, August 26, 2021

4Ground Miller's Livery Stable Re-visted

In my final addition to Dave Stone's scenery challenge did another major face-lift on an old 4Ground kit of mine, this time on Miller's Livery Stable. 

By cutting the original facade of the building I completely changed the look of the building - and now it fits more in what I always picture a traditional barn looking like, not something off main street in an old west town, but something out amongst a lot of land.

I went through and painted all the individual boards of the stable with my new favorite way to enhance old west buildings and got more great results.

Not too much grazing going on here for these poor horses - I need to break out that green fields mat, not the desert mat 😁

It's these fun little details that I love to place around the building and table to help create a scene and setting.

For the roof I added an obscene amount of shingles and I think it really enhances the look and feel of the barn.

I think my favorite part of the re-visit is the weathering that I did on the two main doors. They really look the part of an old barn now.

Finally, I just want to thank everyone for following along in these past several months. I've been less active posting and can't see that changing anytime soon, so I'm going to take a bit of a break for a while and I'm going to shut down the blog for a while. My wife and I are splitting up after almost 25 years together.

Hopefully I can get everything sorted in relatively short time and fingers crossed I can get back to the hobby desk, and then... back to the tabletop 😀

*honestly, even I have to give myself a pat on the back for just how great that name is and how well it works lol*

Until next time, thanks for looking

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

4Ground Sheriff's Office Revisited

Apologies to everyone for the silence the last couple of months, I have been having major issues with my laptop and finally thought that I had it sorted a while ago but unfortunately did not - a new one looks like the realistic solution but the bank account says differently so we'll attempt to plug away using the mobile device 🤷‍♂️

I saw Dave Stone was having another hobby challenge with scenery so I decided to jump in and revisit some old 4Ground buildings of mine.

First up, I went back and re-worked the entire 4Ground Sheriff's Office.

As you can see, it really changed quite a bit from what comes straight out of the box.

I think that's what I love most about the 4Ground stuff, is that you've got a great kit to start but have that ability to enhance it if you want.

To be honest I'm not completely happy with the colour of the walls, so I'm sure that will be another re-visit in the future.

The roof and the overhang though I couldn't be happier with. I cut some old bass wood and stained them with some inks and I think I'll be trying this out on a couple other buildings as well.

Knuckleduster have a really neat office set for your town sheriff so I painted that up to add a bit of fun to the interiors.

I've talked about this before, as we really begin to edge towards making a "dollhouse" with these types of additions, but for me I'm all about the little details and that's really what I think brings a table/game to life.

Here was my prisoner, axiously awaiting his breakout.

I added a lot of little details to the table, with newspapers, wanted posters and some coffee mugs.

If there was a miss I would say it's definitely the walls. I added a few pictures to break up the monotony but changing the brightness with a wash would have improved the look - though that is much more difficult with a model that has been built probably 8 years ago or so.

The sheriff with the jail key objective marker. The Knuckleduster set comes with this key so I threw it on a clear base so it can used in game and easily moved around as an objective.

This might be my favorite photo of the lot, a couple of deputies looking over the town after a game of checkers.

Until next time, thanks for looking!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Dead Man's Hand - The Horse Soldiers

Even when you're actually being quite productive hobby-wise it can sometimes be difficult to update the blog. Such is the case currently for me, so apologies for the radio silence the past two plus months. But, as you'll see, I've been quite busy with the usual myriad of projects.

First, I had several games of Dead Man's Hand at the club with Jeff, but more importantly we're introducing the game to new players and even have plans to put on a demo table at local game store. 

A few weeks ago we introduced a club member, Lance, to the game as well and these pictures are from that game.

Something I've always wanted to get to the tabletop in some fashion is the sequence from the movie "The Horse Soldiers" where the Confederates attack Newton Station by charging out of the arriving train, and this was finally my opportunity to do that.

The narrative was that the Confederates, in disguises, would attempt to sabotage the local telegraph office.

There was a wagon near the gun shop, loaded with weapons and ammunition, that was a secondary objective.

The Union camp near the edge of town.

Milt McGuiness, owner and operator of the Red Dog Saloon.

I had a couple of Rebels "hiding" out in  the local saloon waiting for the signal to have the getaway wagon ready across the street - this basically gave Jeff, who was playing the Confederates, two deployment points. 

And of course the two models in the saloon both got Queens to start the game off.

On the very first roll of turn one my lawman got taken out of the game with a one shot kill by one of those Confederates hiding out in the Red Dog. Pretty much par for the course for my luck.

One of the things I really love about DMH is the interrupt cards - one card was played on this model by Lance and that meant he joined the side of the Union forces protecting the telegraph office.

He got right into the action and starting shooting at the Rebels jumping out of the boxcar.

He actually ended up with one kill as he took out the model across from him in this photo, who was attempting to hide behind the boxcar.

The boxcar was an area of quite a bit of action.

Lance ended up running his entire unit up from the camp into the fray headlong.

When talking after the game Jeff said that totally took him by surprise and made him readjust his initial plan for attacking the telegraph office.

 Again, you can see all the carnage in this area.

These box pieces are from the Rorke's Drift set and are pretty nice but after putting them on the table and seeing them in play I'm going to need to Dremel down those bases - they are resin so it shouldn't be too much of an issue. This was GEG Jonah Hex model hiding behind the crates.

One of Jeff's models carried a bag full of dynamite and he ended up having that model jump on a horse and make his way over to the telegraph office.

The end result of the dynamite on the telegraph office! Great game and lots of fun as usual, but the best part was we got another new player into DMH 😀

Before this last game one thing I decided to do was go back and do some more weathering and detail work on a few of my buildings.

I went over all the planks of wood with different colour washes and inks to give them a more realistic look.

I couldn't be happier with the results!

I feel the buildings actually look much more "real" now and I'm really looking forward to doing even more little touch-ups to enhance the look as well as cutting down the edges on all of bases of the buildings. 

My original plan on making the bases like this with the hard edges was that everything would be modular and that I could butt each building base up to one another creating different modular town set ups.  I think in hindsight now they will look much better with a beveled edge.

As I mentioned above I've actually been quite busy hobby-wise and very productive. I built and primed all my Zulu wars models - 120 British and 204 Zulus.

Multi-part plastics are definitely not a favorite of mine, and it took me probably close to two weeks to complete everything for each side. I will say that the quality of what you get between the Perry models and Warlord models is night and day. Had I known at the time I would have only gone with Perry but getting the Warlord stuff at super clearance prices was a no brainer.

Just to break the monotony of building plastic models for so long I painted up some figures.

I decided to do all the metal heroes in addition to a few of the rank and file models. 

I also got 60 Perry ACW Confederates done.

And some Union Zouves. 

Jeff printed out this cabin from a Kickstarter he backed and I painted it up.

I'm still sorting through the best ways to tackle painting 3D models as it's very different from everything I ever done, but overall pretty happy with the results here.

I will say you definitely get a bit spoiled by the 4Ground kits with the working doors and roofs that come off, something this models doesn't have.

I got this message in Blogger saying that if I have any followers by email that they will no longer get my posts that way. I have to dig a little deeper into this as it does say I can inform those who follow by email of the change but for now, if you do follow by email and would like to continue it looks like you'll actually have to hit the "follow" button on the top right.

On a personal note, our son graduated from the University of Cincinnati last month with a degree in architecture 😀

His final project was "incredibly ambitious" as stated from his professors.

Looks to me like there's some possibilities of designing 3D buildings for tabletop gaming if this architecture thing doesn't work out lol!

I really like how he took an idea for a five year plan to convert vacant and unused buildings into something new and unique to the area. 

Incredibly proud of all his accomplishments over these last four years and I'm certain he's off to bigger and better things in the future. 

And finally welcome to new follower Lance King, appreciate you hitting the follow button. 

Until next time, thanks for looking!