dispatches from terra incognita

Tag: 25-28mm Page 1 of 5

Painting Progress

Here are my latest figures to go into the “completed” column:

An admittedly odd pair — a Blitz Bowl / Blood Bowl orc and a 3D-printed owlbear-skin rug from Fat Dragon Games.

Continuing with fantasy, we have two well-armed lasses from my horde of Reaper Bones.

And then I circled back to my goblin fetish, with two GW Night Goblin netters. I felt pretty good about adding them to the swelling ranks of my army:

Until I recalled that this is what remains to be painted:

The photo doesn’t do them justice, but these aged Reaper Bones turned out better than I expected. On the left is the iconic Deadlands cover boy by Brom; the skeletal fellow on the right had been a cavalryman, I decided.

“Blondie” was one of those metal figures I was too intimidated to paint for years. I don’t recall who made him. Flanking him are two Reaper Bones who turned out ok. I’m ever shocked that one can paint craft acrylics right on Bones plastic without primer.

And finally, to some 54mm denizens of my imagi-nation, Ascaria. First up are Zafrarian artillery. They came with both mortar and howitzer — I assume they wouldn’t man them both simultaneously.

… And their Ascodali counterparts. I’m getting in almost two hours of hobby time a day, which pleases me to no end. Alas, I’m soon to return to remote teaching, so I’ll likely have to forego one of the daily hobbying hours …

Mountains of the Moon

As promised, here are group vignettes of my Wargames Foundry “Mountain of the Moon Collection,” purchased about 20 years ago and only recently more-or-less completed.

The painting is passable at best, and the lighting was horrid, but I just wanted to create a record of the accomplishment. This band of souls intimidated me for about 18 years, with only a handful painted (Tarzan and Jane were two of the first, of all things). I’ve steadily knocked out the rest over the past two years.

Some of them got their eyes retroactively, as I’ve only felt comfortable painting them in the last couple years. As I notice on “the big screen,” it is clear I occasionally rushed. I’m still not 100% convinced that 28mm figures need eyes, but so many painters do it so well, I feel compelled to try.

DA1/1 “Eccentric Explorers,” now DA011 – Men of Substance
DA1/2 “Ardent Adventurers,” now DA012 – A League of Exceptional Gentleman. Note that Wilbur Vanhuysman (in dark glasses) has transformed into Teddy Roosevelt!
DA 1/3 “Askari Characters,” now DA013 – Askari Command
DA 1/4 “Askari Command,” now DA014 – Askari Characters
DA 1/5 “Heavily-Armed Askaris,” still (!) DA015 – Heavily Armed Askaris
DA 1/6 “Daughters of the Empire,” now DA016 – Deadlier than the Male
DA 1/7 “European Traders & Travellers,” now DA017 – Traders and Travellers
DA 1/8 “European Ladies,” now DA018 – Roses of the Empire
“Askari Rebels,” which I don’t find to be currently available …

“It was 20 Years Ago Today…”

Well, not exactly, but ’round about. Aflame with inspiration from The Major General Tremorden Rederring, I fired up my internet machine and sent off to the Wargames Foundry in Old Blighty for The Mountains of the Moon Collection. In 2000, it set me back the princely sum of $125 US, shipped gratis.

The Whole Lot

It has taken me, lo these 20 years to get them all painted. I’ll share vignettes of each group presently, though the painting hardly merits it. I’ve written previously how some miniatures — these in particular — intimidated me. John Hanning Speke’s checked shirt alone seemed beyond my meager skills.

Helpful, but intimidating …

Plodding along, mostly during the past year, and mostly pre-“sheltering in place,” I completed the set. Checking the Foundry website, it seems they no longer sell these collections — just the individual groups of 7 or 8 figures. And they’ve changed some of the names of the groups. Apparently, even 20 years ago they had regrouped them, as I received the extra figures as well.

We’ll return to them later; for next post I have some Big News!

Another Set Complete: Cars

About 1,000,000 years ago, in a beloved but now defunct chain hobby store called Hungates, I purchased two small boxes with plastic scale models in them. Unlike the semi trucks, 1950’s hot rods in 1:25, or WWII ship models I had ham-fistedly assembled as a child, these were early 20th century automobiles, roughly in scale with 28mm miniatures.

Glencoe Models still exists and these kits are listed. (I can’t find a direct explanation of how one might order them — there is a physical address to write to, and more of this modern age, an email address. So I imagine if one worked at it, he, too, could acquire these kits).

I completed the Pierce-Arrow and Stanley Steamer several years ago, photographing them with the intention to blog, but not following through, apparently. These models embody the term “fiddly” and I was intimidated by the other two for years.

It would seem I have become more adept and confident, and thus these two have finally rolled of the production line.

And so, I can move my Glencoe Models automobiles to the “complete” column. All due to the fact that I no longer have to use my own automobile for a daily commute.

A Complete Set

An undisciplined approach to painting finds me swirling like an indiscriminate cyclone through the lead pile, whisking up whatever figure catches my eye. One hour of painting might involve a 54mm Napoleonic imagination figure, then to 28mm Darkest Africa, and finally landing in 6mm post-apocalyptic. As such, none of my myriad projects ever creep that much closer to completion. Well, owing no doubt to it being petite, I can finally say I have finished something!

Back in the days of 2017, I backed a little Kickstarter for a new miniatures game called Street Wars NYC by Funky Skull Games. I was lured in, I think, mostly by the terrain set-ups they created for advertising (using commercially available buildings, I believe).

Picture copyright belongs to Funky Skull Games.

For £60, I got the rules in paperback and two eight-member gangs in 28mm, and one free figure. I seem to recall they delivered more or less on time in 2018. And the newly-cast fellows promptly joined the long line of figures awaiting paint.

One sticking point was that they had that “tang” on the bottom for slot-bases, which I don’t do. I excruciatingly-excised those last year and epoxied the gents to washers. Towards the front of the line, but still in line.

The Devil’s Outcasts

Motivated by the fact that I really could finish something, they left to the painting desk. I did the motley bunch called the Devil’s Outcasts first, more or less following the colors feature in the rulebook. The trickiest bit for me was the biker fellow with pickelhaube, on whose vest I applied a decal of a Hell’s Angels logo. I won’t show you as it didn’t turn out that well…

The Black Cobras

Looking more closely at the Kickstarter page, I see the colors for these chaps were intended to be blue and yellow; I read it as purple in the literature and was initially put off. I was going to change it, but then realized it had a Minnesota Vikings vibe (my favorite American football team, owing to the circumstances of my birth), and I was all-in. I envisioned a Street Wars Twin Cities-type deal.

The Complete Set, facing off.

Funky Skull Games seems to have paused trading due to sheltering in place, but have a continued presence on Facebook. They have done a subsequent Kickstarter for a third gang — The Mollies — which appear to be on sale on their website, and which I shall endeavor to acquire.

I have the beginnings of an urban set-up, mostly Matakishi-inspired cork buildings reinforced with some more recent mdf acquisitions. I suppose I should reward these fellows by letting them have at it…

Closer to Skull Pass

I have made satisfying progress in painting my Battle of Skull Pass night goblins. The infantry is complete, I’ve done the musician and standard bearer for the archers, and the troll as well. Four of the spider-riders (cavalry, I suppose) are nearly complete, though camera shy just yet.

Goblin leadership

Archer musician and standard bearer, along with a troll; poorly lit, alas…

One unit of infantry…

… and the other

I also fancied up the bases of some older-than-Skull-Pass GW skeletons I had packed away. I’m rifling through my mound of unpainted Reaper Bones for an appropriate necromancer to lead them.

Progress at Skull Pass

I mentioned in my previous ramblings that I had dug out my now-a-teenager Battle at Skull Pass box set. During the two minutes it held my interest back in 2006, I primed most of the night goblin infantry and painted their skin and spears. Then they went back into the box and I went onto other things.

Well, I have shown uncharacteristic persistence over the past couple weeks, and here is the result:

Night Goblins and a troll.


These fellows are finished, save for a bit of flock and a spritz of varnish. The troll got a bit more paint after I took the picture, but I still need to do his base.

Goblin leadership

And yet, still much more to be done… Fourteen (I believe) more of the spearman and then on to the archers. I primed first batch in black, which makes sense as their robes are predominantly that color. I did the archers in gray, which is my preference now, but I may re-spray them black as well to hurry things along. In general, I can see details better in gray than black.

There are spider-mounted cavalry as well, and then of course, all the dwarfs. I’m finding that the simple sculpts are an encouragement to process, so I may actually finish this one in a reasonable amount of time! Sadly, though, my brief summer interlude from teaching ends on Monday, so hobbying time once again becomes a precious commodity.

Chinatown

A chance mention on The Miniatures Page led me to a new (to me) Australian manufacturer of mdf terrain: Knights of Dice. The sci-fi stuff — which is what was referenced in the TMP post — is fabulous. The pulp/modern stuff is what hooked me, though.

Chinatown? An amusement park? I hadn’t even realized my absolute ache to have this stuff!

A little digging uncovered the delight that Noble Knight Games carries a bunch of the stuff in the US. I ordered last Wednesday morning and by noon on Friday I had my first three bits of Sentry City. I decided to start small, with Chinatown.

IMG_6395First up, a simple plaza. This one reminded me of street plazas on the Lower East Side / Chinatown in New York City. The only ding I’ll give the kit (and my sole criticism of Knights of Dice thus far) is that the website photo shows a table and chairs in the plaza — which are sold separately — but not included with this kit. I fully realize that when they pose miniatures in photos they won’t come with the terrain; I just kinda thought they might include the tables to dress up the plaza. In NYC, I recall they had chessboards, so I may scratch build some of those instead.

IMG_6396Next up, we have a lovely brace of street food Hawker’s Stands. Check out the details on the image on the KoD website — stove grates, cutting board, pan, cleaver. Amazing!

IMG_6394

Finally, a smallish restaurant / food stand — Little Ramen. The detail inside the kitchen rivals the street carts. I haven’t begun to search for suitable miniatures to staff them…

I’ve just begun to dry fit some of this together, and everything fits neatly and tight — they should be a joy to build. Noble Knight has a lot, but not everything, that KoD sells, so I will likely be doing some direct ordering from Down Under.

At any rate, I foresee many, many more purchases from Knights of Dice.

Outer Order, Inner Calm

The titular incantation is frequently chanted in my house whilst we scurry, returning errant objects to rightful positions. The house, I suppose, is thus generally experienced as a calm and ordered space. My Hobby Shack … not so much.

The desk, in particular, teeters towards chaos. Behold the entire ensemble —the middle bit is where work gets done and the peripheries serve as storage. Miniatures from 6mm to 54mm cohabitate in various states completion, a menagerie found nowhere in nature.

Prominent are 54mm plains Indian warriors from San Diego Toy Company. Nearby you find 20-year-old Old Glory pirates (28mm), 15mm Death’s Head hussars (possibly Old Glory 15s), Chinese civilians, and mounted British command (both Irregular Miniatures). There are 2 remaining mercenaries from the Mordheim boxed set and two sets of Reaper Bones goblins. Looking on from the green hillock in the background are Foundry Victorians and Old West, my oldest miniatures.

Nestled amongst the lead are some 3D printed arcade game cabinets and mdf ladders. A 15mm 3D printed tripod from Fast Dragon Games cries out to be completed. MDF “sprue” from TT Combat and Game Craft Miniatures buildings resists the garbage can because I’m certain I could do something with all the wood left in them.

It goes on…

Yet completion yields no comfort. The storage shelves alongside have already been partially redivided and are still nearing capacity.
Progress is marked as a slow spiral, I imagine, ticking off little bits of my many projects. I customarily console myself that I am preparing for my retirement (still 10-15 years away) when I will finally enjoy the harvest of my current toil.

 

And now for something completely different …

Plodding along as I do with my various projects, I am frequently struck by novel inspiration as work becomes tedious. Thus, while immersed in painting my 54mm artillery, I suddenly became quite certain that it was the perfect moment for me to finally try Blood Bowl. Now, as with everything Games Workshop, those box games run a little pricey. Alas, inspiration had not chosen a pecuniarily prudent moment to appear …

However, I’m usually pretty skilled at converting lemons to -ade. I had simultaneously been hankering to try some of Matt “GrayMouser65” Kirkhart’s 28mm fantasy wooden craftees, as featured on Dale Hurtt’s blog Wooden Warriors.

Now inspiration had foundation — I could craft as many Blood Bowl teams as I like using little wooden bits. I had to scour Matt’s posts to determine what he used and where he got ’em. I then had to find a source for everything — both Michael’s and AC Moore seem to have cut back on many of these items. I relied on the internet and patience.

I elected to do goblins first, being particularly tickled by Matt’s latest “hunchback” brutes. Construction followed his guidelines, with tile spacer feet (barely visible here), spool torso, half spool for the shoulders, half bead for the head, and tile spacers again for ears and arms. A few chaps got adornments, such as toothpick spikes, and one poor fellow had a hook hand. Another got a “saw” hand, fashioned from a bead. I sanded the torso spool of my two running backs to give them a feeling of motion, despite their feet being together.

I’m not at all familiar with the Blood Bowl rules. After making my team, I was dismayed to discover that, apparently, the goblins don’t have quarterback or receiver types. I may be adapting the rules, or else using the Monsters of the Midway fantasy football rules from Dragon Magazine #65. For example, I may use Heroscape hexes for the playing field rather than a squared grid.

The final step will be to paint numbers on the boyz. I’ll be using the “classic” system from the 70s, with 1-20 reserved for the quarterbacks (and kickers, I suppose) and wide receivers wearing numbers in the 80s, as is right and good. 

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