Friday, June 26, 2015

Objective Complete: Desk Cleared!

I had wanted to get this posted early last Friday, as I knew that if I didn't, it would be at least a week before I could - and here we are :) . Unfortunately I just couldn't find the time as my wife and I were preparing for our son's 16th birthday - preparation Friday, a celebration with family on Saturday and what was his gift, four days in New York City, from Sunday (4am departure) to Wednesday. After seven excruciating hours at LaGuardia Airport due to delay after delay, we finally arrived home at 3am Thursday morning.

So. Finally cleared the desk of all miscellaneous figures last week! The last group was some Old West figures, a few animals, and Slimer from Ghostbusters.

The first of the Old West figures were the stagecoach set from Great Escape Games. Two passengers and two drivers. I still have another 4Ground stagecoach to build, so until then these guys will just hang about the 4Ground wagons.


The last of the Old West figures are from the updated version of "True Grit" by Gorgon Studios. These figures are absolutely fantastic - Rooster, Lucky Ned, and Lebouef. They also make Matty and Tom Chaney, and honestly I'm kicking myself for not purchasing them as well at the time. All the figures are also available mounted, which is a really nice option, and I did purchase mounted versions of all three, though those must be in my Old West box somewhere, as they weren't on the desk.  The sculpts are really nice and I love the details on Ned's sheep skin chaps!

I actually like this version of Rooster a little better than the Great Escape Games version. Here is a side by side of the two figures. The GEG Rooster is on the left.

As to what's next, I'm really not sure. I had a lot of fun painting up the Zulus from a week ago, but I absolutely HATE building plastic figures. I'm enjoying following Pulp Alley AAR's on The Lead Adventure Forum, so I could easily see myself getting into my pulp figures. But then again, there is the main reason behind my joining the challenge, all my American Civil War figures.

Decisions... As always, thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


As a kid growing up obsessed with little toy soldiers there couldn't possibly have been two more important movies than "Zulu" and "Zulu Dawn". The classic British uniforms, the absolute masses of Zulu Warriors, simply amazing.


This is a project I've wanted to do for a long time now. Last year at Historicon I got a great deal on both a British starter set and the Zulu starter set - more than half off of retail for each. How could I possibly pass that up?


I'll be completely honest and say that I'm doing this project because I think it's fun and it reminds me of my childhood. I'm not going to research actual regiments that fought at Rorke's Drift or Isandlwana, or worry about differentiating married and unmarried warriors. Shame on me as historical gamer I guess, but again this one is for fun.

Army Painter Quick Shade Applied

The figures are from Warlord Games and Empress Miniatures. The starter box is just massive! You get 60 married and 60 unmarried Zulu Warriors, along with 1 mounted InDuna, 1 Zulu runner, and 1 Witch Doctor. 123 total figures!? The only thing I don't care for is that the figures are plastic. I'm a metal guy - insert the heavy metal horns here. Besides, it's a fact that metal figures fight better than plastic. Google it.

A mother beautiful box

Not a whole lot to say about this first group, really simple painting and basing, except I made a complete meal out of 7 figures because I stupidly tried to spray dull coat outside today when it was 80 degrees and humid. In the photo below it's hard to tell, but these guys look liked they rolled around in flour. Every one had a white haze all over them. Luckily all I had to do was throw some Vallejo Sepia Wash on them and they were back to presentable.

20 down and only 103 to go. Seems reasonable that they should be finished sometime in 2020 based on my current pace with them. That's exciting.

As always, thanks for looking!


Monday, June 8, 2015

DMH James Gang/Bushwackers

The James Gang and Younger Gang. Heroes or villain's, pretty interesting stories regardless of what side you fall on. Besides, who wouldn't want to have a game with a train or bank robbery with these masked characters as your main opponent!

I found these figures on the Brigade Games web site. Lon Weiss, who runs Brigade, is a super nice guy and I've made many purchases from him over the years and always say "hi" at Historicon. Brigade also have a lot of really neat figures that no else makes - if you are into the Old West, namely the not "Deadwood" sets. I've got all of these as well and they are definitely high on my "to do list" here in the future. There is a great figure of Al Swearengen holding a cup of coffee that is just brilliant!

One thing I need to get better at is taking more WIP photos, so apologies to the 6MMRPC. I already had these guys primed and they had been sitting on the top shelf of the desk for too long. I had some time on Sunday so I was able to get them all painted and varnished. This morning I finished off the basing and got them sprayed with some Army Painter Anti-Shine.

I primarily use Vallejo paints and that is what these figures have on them. I started to use cat litter for my bases and I really like it, plus is super cheap because I just steal some from the new bags that arrive from the grocery store!

I also use Army painter tuffs. Recently these have gotten thrown to the back burner with a lot of blogs I follow, but I'm still a fan - mostly because of the wide variety of sizes each package gives. For me, I'd much rather have different sizes, from tiny to large, as opposed to only one size in the whole package. Another thing I do on all my figures is magnetize their bases. Both the base and magnet are from Litko. Definitely helps during transport.

One thing I dropped the ball on was, and I realized this as I was doing my bases, I really should have went back into my existing figures and tried to match up the figures outfits as close as I could to these guys so I could basically have a "normal" figure and then one in "disguise" before I started to paint. Oh, well. Which also made me think why don't we have more multiple poses of one figure? Maybe four poses? Say, shooting, walking, running, wounded? Is that something skirmish players would be into? I know I certainly would, but clearly I already have a problem with buying figures, so maybe I'm the wrong person to ask.

As always, thanks for looking!


Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Irish Brigade

I felt for the painting challenge I would clean up the figures around the desk area first. I have some Old West figures, about a dozen Zulu warriors, some horses and cows (in a non-living state), Slimer from Ghostbusters, The Texas Brigade, and what you see here - The Irish Brigade.

It's one of those iconic brigades and one I knew I wanted to try to model when this madness started years ago. Overall though I think I am more fascinated by the flags of the civil war. Both visually and just what it represents as an icon. It's amazing what the flag meant to these men. Moving forward in the civil war project, I know I will be first drawn to a flag and then model that particular unit.

What I absolutely need to figure out is how to improve my flags (some are from Signifer and some are off of free sites online). There isn't a lot of "life" to them, and a truly great looking flag has a lot of "life" to it.

It's probably because every year I'm blown away by Rick O'Brien's flags - better known as The Flag Dude - down at Historicon. If you are a black powder modeler and have never seen Rick's work, I highly recommend looking them up. Simply amazing!

I always prime in gray, but I absolutely hate painting straps (on any era figure!). So why not try to cheat a bit and prime in black. This was my first attempt at this and it did help with the strap issue, but I felt it was harder for me to pick out details. Probably because I wasn't used to it.

One thing that I've started to do that is completely opposite to what I've done my whole life is to paint my initial coat of flesh on first. I absolutely know this is the unconventional way to paint figures, but for me this is another one of those "trick yourself" things - by painting the flesh first I can see the figure as a "person" straight away and it's helped me immensely over the past year.

Truth be told on the Old Glory figures, they label this pack of 30 figures as The Irish Brigade, but they are no different than any other right shoulder marching figures, EXCEPT for these super cool little sprigs of boxwood leaf on the figures hats! Apologies for my awful camera, it's kind of hard to see but they are there and they are a brilliant little addition!

As always, thanks for looking!

Monday, June 1, 2015

6 Month Mountain Reduction and Painting Challenge!

I saw this challenge on The Spider Web of History blog, and thought that seeing other's who suffer from the same "hoarder" mentality that I clearly have with miniatures, would help motivate me to get painting!

There are about 36 other participants signed up for this challenge and it's amazing how diverse the group is in what they like. It seems like looking at everyone's blogs we're hitting all the possible time periods and scales, it's really neat to see!

For this first post I really just wanted to take one day and really inventory EXACTY what I have and then what I realistically think I can get completed. This is my gift to the guys and girls in the challenge - think of these photos as validation that what you think you have is bad, really isn't!

I initially wanted to inventory each box, but quickly realized that if I went ahead and did that, first I'd probably just throw up, but more importantly I would quickly get depressed at the realization that I'm never going to build and paint everything in these boxes. Trust me though when I say each and every box you will see is full.

I Love pirates, who doesn't right!? The good thing, one of the smaller boxes. The bad thing, probably never will get touched. The other box is 28mm Old Glory American War of Independence figures. I enjoy this time period, but never enough to buy figures - until I got like 40 bags from FRP Games at 75% off. It was only like $7 - $8 per bag of 30 metal figures. How could I possibly pass that deal up? Chalk another one up to the probably never will get touched pile.

 I have so much Old Glory 28mm American Civil War figures it's absolutely insane. This box is bursting and probably weighs in close to 30 pounds.

I got sucked into Flames of War three or four years ago and this is one small box of figures that are at least based. A 15mm metal American Civil War box sits underneath - got this off of Ebay a few years ago, again, another deal too good to pass up.

As a kid growing up who wasn't fascinated by Zulu and Zulu Dawn?! Stanley Baker, Michael Caine, Burt Lancaster... brilliant! I'd always wanted to game this battle and got a great deal on these sets last year at Historicon. This is one I'd really love to complete, but let's be serious, look how much more you have to scroll down.

This a full box of West Wind Games Secrets of the Third Reich. Hey look, I spelled "reich" wrong on the box. Anyway, I was always kind of fascinated by the idea of an alternative post 1945 world and again, another steal deal both on Ebay and at FRP Games.

 This is the box I hope to really get into -  the Old West and Pulp I mean. The Lord of the Rings, from Games Workshop, as brilliant as the films were, these should probably get sold. The Old West, Dead Man's Hand rules set by Great Escape Games, and the Pulp Era, Pulp Alley rules set by David and Mila Phipps, are the two games I'm really focused on right on. Fingers crossed I make some headway here.

Damn you Shawn Morris - The Terrain Guy on You Tube - his videos sucked me right into the Flames of War game four years ago, plus the vehicles are super cool. Seriously though, Shawn's videos and tables are just amazing and if you have never seen them I highly recommend them, even if you aren't into the game you'll be inspired by his work.

The white boxes in the middle are all the really big 4Ground kits that need built - the ones to the left have been built, yeah me! - all WWII era. I think converting and upgrading the 4Ground buildings is really what I'm good at and hope to get to a couple of these before December.

Oh Bolt Action, how I wish you were all painted and I knew how to play. This box is full of US Rangers, US Airborne support teams, British Airborne and support teams, various German troops, and probably 10 or so vehicles from both the allies and axis.

Almost to the end! The bottom left box is full, and I do mean full, of more 4Ground kits. Mostly 28mm, but there are some 15mm in there (intended for FOW).  Lots of row houses, both bombed out and normal versions, some Age of Black Powder buildings, fences, and for sure another stagecoach. Above that in the white box is more Old West. Who the hell knows what's in the box below it, I couldn't even bring myself to look.

Now we get to the part where you get to see why I joined. Despite what you've seen above, I'm really not an idiot (ok, debatable), and I know I'm never going to get all of this painted, but I really hope to make a dent here. This is more 28mm Old Glory ACW figures, all in various states of chaos. Again, a large portion of this collection was purchased second hand in what I'll term the "Deal of the Century". The problem is the various states of chaos - some are completely untouched, some are primed, some are painted horrifically (even for me!) and need stripped, some are broken, some are partially painted, etc.

The goal here for me is to clean up and finish all the figured that have been primed or have already started to be painted. There is a ton. You can already see the ones primed and started on popsicle sticks, but the plastic containers with the red tops are full of figures that are also primed. Ridiculous. I need more friends with an interest in historical miniatures so I can start a club and have "Painting Night" once a week!

More ACW figures along with some primed Brigade Games and Bob Murch pulp figures.

Here is my start at the Bolt Action figures. I felt I was moving along quite nicely, not sure what derailed me. Squirrel. The US Airborne are probably 90% done, the British Airborne 70%, the Waffen SS 70%, the late war Germans are at least based. There are some of the Zulu Warriors in there as well, bases need finished.

More ACW figured along with some primed Old West figures both from Brigade Games - the "not" Deadwood figures - and Blue Moon's citizens.

So, ACW clean up, Old West and Pulp. That is my focus for thi - oh look, another sale at FRP Games