24 September 2011

Spanish Cav & More Townfolk

I've just about finished the unit of Spanish cavalry I've been working on the past... year or so. I just need to base them and make a few touch-ups. Not as detailed as I would have liked (and I'm considering repainting the standard bearer's shield) but they turned out OK.

I also finished up two more of the "townfolk" from Reaper Miniatures I had previously started. I posted three tavern workers previously.  Again, still have to finish the bases. Not certain how I want to base them though.

23 September 2011

Photo Background

It's only been... I don't know, 6 months or so since I moved into my art studio, and my figures moved along with me. It's taken that long just to put up a backdrop for photographing figures. What a difference! The puke colored wallpaper really did alter the photos drastically.

Mind you, I still haven't fixed the lighting yet. So these photos are just a change in background...

The dipped Persians from the last photo.

And some Skaven jezzails left over from the sell-off of my Skaven army.

These (Skaven) are still for sale, by the way. I'm going to be posting a list of the remaining few items soon (maybe later tonight.)

Double Dipping - Persian Tests

I thought I'd try two "dips" on some of those Persians I assembled.

The three on the left are don using regular ol' Minwax, the three on the right use my homemade "Substance D" that I've previously mentioned, and tested a few times.

Truthfully, I'm not that happy with either result. But I'm definitely more unhappy with my Substance D dip. I tried touching up the three on the right. Maybe if I give the three on the left the sametreatment they will look better.

I really don't want to (and don't have the time to) paint a hundred or so Persians. I think they are going on the back burner for a while, anyway. I just wanted to try a bit of comparative dipping. If/when I get some time, it's most likely back to the Romans & ancient Spanish.

18 September 2011


As I mentioned a little while ago, I am now happily employed again. Without getting into too much detail, I enjoy my work and feel as if I've got a stake in the work I'm doing and the organizations for whom I am doing it.

One of these organizations is an aviation museum that's just getting off the ground (I'm trying to get some mileage out of that wordplay while it lasts.)

This is me, in one of the museum's planes, a North American B-25J Mitchell Bomber, earlier this morning. Not part of my work -- I just wanted to get a chance to climb around the plane, and finally had the time. The plane was at an event at a small airport in my part of town. I also got to tour a B-17 owned by another museum.

On a gaming note... I've never had a big urge to play any wargames beyond WWI. I've always felt a bit uncomfortable making a game of wars that friends and family have served in. That's not a value judgement, and it doesn't bother me that other people do. It's just a personal preference for myself.

Blogger Woes

Actually, it's not just the photos.

But I am having troubles viewing photos on many peoples blogs with this new system. Sometimes it's horribly slow load times on the enlargements. Sometimes not all of the photos are loading at all.

Also, the new spam filter is blocking non-spam. Like my own replies on my own blog, using this same account.

Changes to the blog entry/editing interface are also buggy. I tried the new one and it was far worse, so I switched back to the old one which still isn't as solid as it was a few months ago, but it mostly works.

It seems the more blogger is "improved," the worse it gets. I do have to admit that I am glad they finally added the option for mobile-friendly output. (Now if they would get an Android app that lets me view my subscribed blogs...)

I don't suppose anyone knows anything or has any experience with the blogs at http://6sided.net/ or http://blogs.tabletopgamingnews.com/ ?

17 September 2011

(not the) Last Argument of the Consumer

I would like to order Last Argument of Kings, but it seems that Amazon is still not stocked yet. Disappointing. I'm really curious to take a look at the book.

I'm still holding off on Hail Caesar until we can try the game out a few times. I've still got a copy on loan from a friend. I need to get some painting done so I can put a game together.

15 September 2011

Winter is Coming

I finished "Achtung Schweinhund!" and enjoyed it quite a bit. The last few chapters seemed to be a bit judgmental about others in the hobby (and "related" hobbies), though I've got to admit my own biases.

I ordered "Quintus Sertorius and the Legacy of Sulla" by Philip Spann from the library, but even though it's just a transfer from the main library to my branch a few miles away, it appears to be taking forever. I was going to buy the book a while ago, but when I looked it up more recently on Amazon.com, the cheapest copy was $65.

At any rate, my wife just finished "A Game of Thrones," and recommended it. So within a short time I'm already about 1/3 through the book and have to admit it's a bit addicting already.

I realize I'm slow to come around to things, but that's just how it goes. I didn't start reading the Dark Tower series until the last one was out, and I'm like the anti-hipster of music -- I don't discover music until the bands have already come and gone.

And just because I'm still in "proud pappa" mode, a gratuitous baby pic of my Lady A.

11 September 2011

Realistic Hobby Plans?

I had a long post written about potential ideas for a new project. Since I've sold off a lot of figures recently, but the work situation has now stabilized, my mind has been on the fact that this opened up future new possibilities. I think this is typical a toy soldier/wargamer thing.

But between lack of local opponents (interested in games besides 40k & WFB), lack of space to play, and to an extent, lack of time, I'm not certain how "realistic" it is to pursue any toy soldier/wargaming plans. So I scrapped the post.

I'm wondering if I should look into the FoG computer game instead.

Or pick a new hobby altogether. :/

09 September 2011

Sculpting Link

I've been tossing around some ideas for trying my hand at sculpting again. Just for fun.


I just spotted the well timed article above, that's mostly beginning stuff I learned from others early on, but it's a good article and I thought the video was great. I've not tried soldering an armature before (well, haven't tried soldering at all!) and this really showed me that it should be pretty easy.

The way I have tried armatures in the past is to take a single length of wire bent back upon itself. the end with the bend is the neck, and I twist it to the point of the pelvis, then split the two wires for the legs. Then I will use some putty to bulk up the torso, and drill out holes for the arms later on. It hasn't worked to my satisfaction, and using putty to assemble a full armature hasn't proven strong enough for the early sculpting, so I think I will try soldering.

I'm also considering throwing out my small pile of half-started projects (except the big trees) and starting something new. I've got a set of five half finished rat-men that I just don't have the enthusiasm for any longer. I also think I can take what I learned from the work I did do on them and improve.

07 September 2011


Between the development of the game over the later parts of 7th edition (inconsistent army balance) and the changes in 8th edition (I really tried playing it for quite a while) combined with the increased focus on competitive/tournament play (and more importantly, the accompanying player attitudes), and the increasing cost of staying with "official" figures, I think WFB is more or less dead to me at this point.

It really is sad, as I am a long time player (since 3rd edition, well over two decades ago) and although it was not the first (nor last) game that caught my attention, it has certainly been the one with the longest lifespan. I've probably played more games WFB than all other miniature games combined (OK, probably not -- but the numbers are most likely in WFB's favor.)

But, to state it plainly: it's just not fun anymore.

That's not just in terms of the rules, but the atmosphere and spirit in which the games are played. Far more bitching, grumbling and anger. Much more rules-lawyering, points counting, and no one wants to play scenarios if they have nothing to do with tournaments, or any other sort of non-competitive gaming. Army list writing is far more important than making good in-game, tabletop decisions.

I've considered other fantasy games, but when I look at what's available they usually have one or more of the following faults/red-flags: they are trying to emulate WFB, or; they are focused on selling game-specific figures rather than being a more "generic" or open fantasy game, or; they are skirmish games. Some other games may seem appealing, based on the merit of the quality of their rules, but without the high-gloss, coffee-table look (and price) of GW games, or so-called "support" (which usually means a constant stream of new, expensive products to buy) most other people don't seem to have an interest. Image, it seems, sells better than content in the world of fantasy wargaming.

Yes, I'm in a mopey mood. Maybe I'm getting too old for it.  I recently sold most of my Skaven, and it seemed more like a relief than something to be sad about. I think that says as much about how I feel about the game as all my rambling above. The Skaven were my first army, some of the figures (and I did keep a few) dated back to my youth in the mid '80's.

06 September 2011

Persian Command

There's not a lot of options for command figures in the WF Persian kit previously reviewed, so this is what I'm using:

The leader with the sword is just bits from the kit, the standard is a bit of thin plasticard on a longer spear that was left over from the Amazon set. The spears in the Persan kit were too small for a standard. I probably should have done something with the point at the butt end, but I was lazy. Both figures have the same stiff left arm because of the issue with the only alternate that I mentioned in my last entry. I may see if there are some other usable arms I can borrow from some of the other kits.

Just a note... This shot and the last were taken with my phone. I notice that while it doesn't render color very well, and isn't great with large, landscapy photos, it does a decent job with detailed close ups. If you click the image above, the enlarged version is only about 1/4 the size of the original file.

04 September 2011

WF Persian Review Addendum

Two more comments about the Persians in the previous review.

My boxes had 32 figures in them. Only 24 can be armed with bows. Not a big deal, just FYI. Also, there are no slings in the set. I think I will cannibalize some of the others I may have around for some slingers. The rest of the non-bow troops will probably end up with javelins.

Second, some of the left arms are unusable. See pic:

The arm is about 2/3 the length of the others, and if mounted on the figure, his hand only extends to about the waist. It looks like everything above the elbow is missing, but there are no upper arms to use with these. I can't figure out what they're even doing in the set.

Wargames Factory Persians - First Review

 I put together a few of the Wargames Factory Persians today. I've got quite a few of them (some cavalry as well) stashed away for when I jump back into the (barely started) Macedonian/Diadochi project. At any rate, I very quickly put together a few of the archers so I could post some pictures. Here we go...

My comments are based on cleaning several boxes off their sprues and assembling just those few pictured above. I have't painted any... yet. I also haven't touched up some of the joints on the figures above, yet.

I think WF (or at least the original crew) was progressively getting better with each kit, and I think these Persians really show that. The detail is more pronounce, and the design is easy to paint. One of my biggest complaints about the Celts & Germans was the detail being too fine to easily paint on massed hordes of troops. They seem to have resolved that in this set.

I also think the faces are and improvement over some of the earlier sets. Although I am puzzled by the fact that they used two different neck joints. Some heads/bodies are flat, some are ball & socket joints. I haven't attempted to mix the two, though I suspect with a bit of work they should be OK.

As with earlier releases, there are a lot of different bits, a variety of heads and plenty of opportunity to make a huge horde of Persian levies look like it's got variety rather than a synchronized chorus line of the same three figures.

All that said, I think there are a few proportional/consistency issues that stand out on this set more than some of the past sets. The hands, for example -- the hands gripping the bows are big and meaty (almost like some of the worse GW examples) while the right hands drawing/releasing the (imagined) arrows are smaller. I realize there's some clothing & drapery there, but the upper torso of the the kneeling figure looks smaller than the lower torso and legs. The other two figures have one piece bodies, so appear more consistent.

A mix of weapons and shields are included, to build a variety of troop. But there are not enough of any one weapon to devote and entire box to one troop type. For example, if you just want a huge unit of archers, there are only enough bows for part of the box to be equipped as such. Personally, I'm going to use them as archers and javelin armed skirmishers (some conversions) so I think I will be OK.

As I said with earlier sets, if you're looking for a cheap way to bulk out units/armies, I think this is a good way to go. In fact, unlike the Germans, where I decided to stick with mainly a mix of Foundry, BTD and Crusader, I will end up putting most of my Persian stash to use, and even trying to convert a few for other purposes. Although not as flexible as their "Numidian" set, I do think that these offer some opportunities to be used as more than just Persians. (Well, "Persian" is a bit too general a term anyway, but that's a whole other discussion...)

I'll post some painted examples when I get to them. I feel bad for saying this (even considering my bumpy relationship with the new WF mangement,) but their own painted examples on their web page are really doing a disservice to these figures. But I guess that balances out with the fact that I've just given the figures a generally positive review. ;)