Monday, 28 December 2015

2015 Review, A Look Ahead to 2016

The last year has been quite a good one for me. I'll come to the hobby side in a minute, but generally; my daughter has started school and is thriving, I passed a promotion exam at work, and of course, I have a new son! All good.

Hobby wise has also been very good to me. I end the year with two Bolt Action armies on the go (one a pretty decent size), and dents made in several other projects. I have also started to try different games, made some good friends and got started in some other projects.

Painting wise, I decided to score myself using the Analogue Hobbbys scoring system. Because I am quite sad, I track what I paint and here is what I managed over the year:

28mm Infantry: 113 @ 5 pts each
28mm Vehicles: 4 @ 15pts each
6mm Infantry: 30 @ 0.5 pts each.

Grand total:

I like to think that is not too bad a year for me. As a slow painter, I think that is quite good. Certainly, it took me nearly 6 years to paint 200 Imperial Guard, so having done over 100 28mm minis this year is quite a feat. Overall I am pleased with progress made. 

So what will 2016 bring?

Too many projects no doubt! Here are a list of things I have been thinking about in the past few days to aim for. Some are quite specific, some more general:

- In terms of points using the above scoring system, I am going to aim for over 1000 points of painted minis.

- To complete at least two full 28mm Napoleonic battalions (so that's 48 miniatures done.)

- I have my shelves of doom (full of unpainted minis, mainly dead projects that I refuse to sell) in my painting, taunting me from the corner. The total currently stands at 93 minis, so I shall aim to reduce this to under 60 miniatures by years end.

- General 28mm wise, I want to progress my two Bolt Actions armies, and move into at least one Ancients force alongside my napoleonics. I'd like at least two complete units for this ancients project.

- I want to start to gather 20mm forces for battlegroup games. No real targets on this, just want to see me making siginificant progress here.

- 6mm wise I have two rough targets. In Epic terms, to buy no more until what I have outstanding is small enough to fit in to one box. Second, to move into historical 6mm. I know it's not for everyone, but it's a scale I have always had a soft spot for. It should also be fairly quick and easy to get armies together.

- Finally, bring my gaming table into action that I have in the garage. I've had this a few years and still not used it.

You can see I have set myself very few "hard targets" as I find these demotivating and unrealistic. I shall review where I am at the halfway point in the year, but I think it's a good framework to work to. In all honesty I will get distracted by something soon and it will all fall apart.

So here's to a great 2016. May your dice roll 6's and your painting hand be steady.

Christmas 2015

Little bit late, due to family festivites, drinking and general merriment but here is my Christmas haul.

First up I have some Bolt Action reinforcements:

For the Germans we have some artillery (a 10.5cm gun no less), a Flakvierling and a heavy mortar whilst the Brits get a 25 pounder gun.

For my naps I got a box set of Perry Miniatures Brits. This should give me enough to field three batalions if I use the leftover Warlord guys and get some more command minis:

Next up was these:

That should give me a good start to get a Dacian army going for Hail Caeser. Going to need a lot more though.

The big one:

Been wanting this for a while, ever since I had a couple of games a while ago. Was great fun and might even be a game I can get the wife involved in!

Now this little gift seems insignificant:

It's a chargable daylight lamp. It should allow me to set up a collapsible paint station down stairs. These means I can paint more often as well as keeping the wife company. Win! 

The only down side to all these gifts is I now have an unapinted mini pile bigger than ever before - going to be busy.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Free Partizan Mini

Painted up this guy this guy a few days ago. It was the free miniature that came with my visit to Partizan. I think that it is supposed to be a local actor (who's name escapes me), portraying Lawrence of Arabia. However, I painted it up to represent a second world war officer as I thought it would just about be suitable for a objective in games of Bolt Action. I imagine it being some old officer who's gone of on a hair brained one man mission behind German lines to relive his glory days and now needs rescuing.

As an aside, lovely little mini to paint, very well sculpted and I enjoyed putting in a little more effort than normal.

First Completed British Napoleonics

I have now managed to finish the first 8 of my British Napoleonics. I got some pretty positive feedback from a Black Powder facebook group on the first test mini, and I am reasonably pleased with how they have come out. I have gone with basing 4 each on a 4x4 base. My normal size infantry battalions will be 24 men, which will give me 6 bases per batallion. Since I like to batch paint between 5-10 models at the same time, I divided them into 8 men groups, meaning three batches per battalion.

Enough of a waffle from me, here's some pictures.

First company featuring a pioneer. 

Second company, with an NCO.

And various views of the two companies together.

Overall, I am quite pleased with how these turned out. The facings are green as these guys will be the 45th Foot, a Nottinghashire regiment. True, the trousers should be white for the Penninsular war, but I found grey quicker and easier to do, so I went with them. However, my main aim was quality and speed, both of which I think I achieved. I reckon these took ten hours, including basing. That was unfortunatley spread over about 2 weeks, but if I can ever get some solid hobby time these will be quick enough to churn out. I suspect I can get the total time down to an average of 1 hour per man.

When I get back around to more of these, it will be two more companies featuring the flank elements as well. 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Taliban Painted

Following on from my review of the Empress miniatures Taliban a few weeks ago, they got put in the paint queue fairly quickly. I originally intended to only do 4 of the eight I had before moving onto something else, but they turned out to be quick and simple to paint so I cracked on and got all eight done.

Here are the pictures. Please bear in mind that the last four are awaiting their bases in the photos (since done).

The blue was something I stole from a picture on the web. I wasn't sure on it initially but once based I think it works quite well. I tried to keep the look a bit rag tag, as I feel befits such a thrown together bunch of fighters operating in civilian clothing. Having recently watched the Koregal valley documentary, which features Taliban shot footage, I also feel I will be justified in mixing some of the Empress minis more general insurgent lines. These are more traditional terrorists with balacalavas and the like but I feel a few would mix in well, helping to represent Chechyen fighters and the like.

In terms of my modern project, the next phase will be the 8 man British section I have, also from Empress mini's. Not sure when they'll get to the front of the painting queue though. The good news is they are cleaned up and awaiting their undercoat though.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

WiP British Peninsular Napoleonics

In amongst my many, many projects has been a long held dream to start a Napoleonics army. What is there not to like about stalwart lines of British redcoats, dashing cavalry, batteries of cannons and sneaky riflemen? 

I've finally started what will no doubt be a never-completed project, since you need huge numbers of stuff for even a small game. Anyway, just as a little offering for all, here is the first 8 guts. Roughly half way: 

Trying to keep it quick and easy although in a few places I've gone a it more than needed for table top. However, the photo represents about 4 hours work which I don't think is too bad. 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Epic Imperial Guard Platoon

Epic was always my favourite of the Games Workshop games, back in the day when it was one of the three main systems. I have dabbled on and off with getting back into it via NetEpic, so have quite a lot to paint, nearly all Imperial Guard with some Titans.

I recently got the bug to paint some, and pulled this small infantry platoon off the shelf. There are 30 men, all organised into groups of five, one of which is marked as the platoon command by the dude with the little banner. You probably can't see it but they are marked as white platoon. Here they are:

And a close up:

And finally with their transports, which I painted an age ago:

They follow a red and bone scheme, which matches my 40k guard, and translates quite well into 6mm. I enjoyed doing these, they are quick, and I can see more getting done soon, at the very least I need to paint the other two thirds of the comapny.