Thursday, 8 September 2016

small but perfectly formed

okay, so this post comes two months after the last one......must remember to do this more regularly.

previously in about June time a group of us got together to try an paint some armies like the old days. Sadly the old days were back in the past and real life adult duties like work, family, holidays and children got in the way.........and so did having a beer down the pub too!

The best laid plans ....(wasnt that the title of an old battle report?) ......were very well well  laid down that we couldnt stand them back up and get them moving in the right direction!  As a result I had a 'pfftttt' moment and bought some space marines on ebay.

now these space marines......they were something else. they were simple fun miniatures that could be painted quickly to a good effect.  So I got painting them.

soon these ten marines became twenty and I was thinking 'i could make an army here'

So as it stood i had twenty beaky marines painted and a family holiday to go on. Plus i had some spare cash. As it turned out my holiday was all inclusive i had nothing really to spend it on i decided to get some more marines!

Well, waiting at home for me after my holiday were some new toys and a massive bottle of dettol. 

Things were on a roll........i was enjoying my hobby again and preparing for when the kids would go back to school and i would get some evening time free again.

knowing that i still had limited hobby time  i decided to paint a warm up figure:

You see i like to break things up every now and then and paint something different. There is nothing worse than slogging on for weeks on a project and getting disheartened and eventually giving up. I have the most fun painting things that interest me.
It turned out that despite not liking painting horses some people on the internet thought i did a good job. result!

anyway back to the marines.....this one is being hunted by a bottle of ketchup (just think Indiana Jones)!
  another ten marines were finished this very evening to bring the total to thirty  and giving me 750 points worth of models and the back bone of my army.  Say hi to the new guys below everyone.

everyone has a name....this is rogue trader after all 

and in case you wanted to see what my painting set up looks like.....feast your eyes!

So to bring to conclusion my very rambley post;

The army project seems to be back on track. I have completed my unit for July, August and September now and i'm not finding it too demanding or restrictive.  It turns out the empire knight showed me that i can still turn out a single miniature quickly (it was done over two evenings) and i can enjoy the more creative side too. I have a metal devastator squad lined up soon alongside a rhino and dreadnought possibly as the task for next month...who knows?

Oh and an almost last remember the  space marine tiger from the last post? it was what some people call a palette breaker, something to change up the flow ( i had been painting a bazillion bretonnians after all!)  Give it a try every once in a while, surprise yourself!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

A change is as good as a rest

Hi everyone,  this time i'm going to update you on something we all know too well........getting sidetracked.

if you can remember my last posting,  myself and a few colleagues were getting together to paint our lead mountain and turn it into a painted army.......well  this is about as far as i had got:

i was struggling with my unit of chaos thugs. To put it mildly lots was going on at the time that was distracting me from painting;  the football was on, we had just voted to leave europe, work was challenging.....and my kids were playing up......not condusive to a relaxing evening of painting!

I was flinking through some old white dwarfs for inspiration and came accross these chaps. They were ironically the first two citadel miniatures i ever purchsed back in what must have been spring 1991.

i think they cost me £1.50 for the pack of two models at the time.  Well anyway i began the challenge to see if i could get a copy of each and lo an behold someone popped up on the oldhammer trading page (on facebook) and sold them to me for a very reasonable price.  Very soon they were looking like this and the memories were coming back

the truth is i wanted something fun to paint that was not too tricky or fiddly. I like the good old one piece metals and they easily fit into my relaxed way of painting. 

First and foremost miniatures should be fun. Whether you game or paint (or are lucky enough to do both) it is your leisure time and it should not be work to you. I have the golden rule that: if i am painting a single figure it should not take me more than 2 evenings to finish. It should also not be painted with anything smaller than a GW small base brush.  The reason behind this is simple:  it stops me getting sucked into micro details and losing motivation.
At the end of a very short evening one they looked like this:

pretty much all neat and blocked in. Shading and highlight would be next.

oh and he needed a shield too.  So at the end of the two evenings this chap was looking all dandy like this:

i finally felt good and re-energised to have another crack at those thugs. It really goes to show that the old saying 'a change is as good as a rest' can really i have a vermin lord to show off!

oh and just in case you thought i was done......heres a bonus space marine on tiger for reading this far!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

a tale of four...six...eight...erm, several gamers.......i've lost count now!

many moons ago, back when white dwarfs were under the £2 mark, the grass was green and snickers were called marathons there was a series called "a tale of four gamers"

for those not around at the time or late to this party it was a group of mates who decided each to collect an army and update it each month with the aim of completing them at the same time and getting a few games in too.

Anyone worth their salt in this oldhammer community usually has a small mountain of unpainted lead. Its often true that we spend more time stripping paint than applying it to our toy soldiers these days.

Disposable income + adult responsibilities divided by limited hobby time = a big pile of lead !

So, after taking stock of the fact i have a large unpainted wood elf army, an almost painted bretonnian army, an upainted eldar army and significant number of spacemarines and rogue trader orks....and that these were all higher up in the painting queue than the realm of chaos army i originally wanted to collect. I therefore put out feelers within our little community whether anyone would be up for the challenge of turning their lead mountain into a mountain of painted warriors, month by month.

Surprisingly there were a few brave souls with the same problem and we all thought best to club together and support each other during this scary and difficult time. Best to deal with the pain in a collective way and draw strength from larger numbers....the skaven way.......err should i get some of them now......hmmmm!

The aim of the group is to get a large chunk of our unpainted metal into a usuable army. We're shooting for a 2000 point force or so and with a target of 1 unit of warriors per month.

Anyhoo, without further ado, here are the band of brothers stepping up to the plate along with a brief idea of the unpainted predicament they are in!

Frederick J Rose :I'm from the Midwest of the USA. I've been painting, gaming and collecting off and on for 35 years. About 13 years ago I sold half my painted collection to help finance a move, however I kept a sizable force and continue to collect heavily with an eye towards rebuilding said armies even grander than before. This is my Orcs and Goblins army. The photo is far from all of them but it's a size able chunk. 300-400 mostly metal models from '87-mid '90s

Bodie FosterHi everyone, I am doing Brett's
I have a small selection and as the painting goes I will be hoping to acquire some more so if you have or know of some please let me know. 
Here is my starting force.

Michael Schczyk: I'm from Germany and after having stopped gaming roughly ten years ago I always felt the itch to tackle another army. I´m a bit hardheaded these days when it comes to the overall look I expect from an army and want somethimg that looks symmetrical and regimental as a whole. So out come the roughly 70 nightmare legion skelingtons I amassed over the years.

Ross Whitehorn: a fellow southerner form the UK with an unloved horde of undeath that needs breathing new life into.

Adam Aurelian Rush : the rogue 40k player....(they're all accepted here!) aiming to get his marines into a presentable shape for inspection by the emperor.

Mick ClarkHere they are then, in total I think I've got about 3000+pts, there are still some regiments I want to get, but they'll have to wait till the cash flow improves
I'll also be replacing all pikes with brass rod, the test run on the Alcatani guy went farely well, and I think I settled on around 90mm for the finished pikes
I think my first regiment will be Midas and the Paychest as he's been looking like this for quite some time now

Jerome Franklin-Ryan : I live in Hastings East Sussex UK. Been collecting since 1992. This is my project, (amongst others) My Skaven Army. This will be my 6th army when it is painted. Of my other five, three (Empire,Wood Elves and Dwarves) are 'complete' though I will add to them from time to time. I am just topping up units in the 4th (Dark Elves) and the 5th (Orcs and Goblins) is about 3/4 done. obviously for this project I wont be painting all of them but it will get me started!

Niki Oliver : I'm from Durham, UK. Here's my pile, collected these wood elves as they are the first army I used as a child visiting games workshop some 20 years ago. Ahhh memories

Thomas Riley I'm doing chaos! My idea is based around the Chaos hordes in Moorcock's Elric stories. Throngs of dehumanized shapes and twisted warriors reaping and maiming on the doomed humans of the Young Kingdoms

Stuart Harrison : myself! I'm from South London, UK and have some citadel and marauder chaos that needs paint badly. A true mish-mash of chaosy randomness and some tasty greater daemons that will probably never see a game!

Pope Forbes Den Ustabile :Names Tristan, I'm in Bath UK. My dwarf army is my largest as its the one I started on at age 13 (20 years ago lol) couse Dwarves are awesome!

Peter Rodway : hailing from Brighton, England and with a whole bunch of shiny marauder chaos

if you're reading this, well make some tea and start painting!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

getting some games in...and inspiring the next generation

So its been a while and i have since acquired a shed load (well, maybe drawer full) of new old miniatures.

The age old problem of new shiny things syndrome led to the surprise purchase of a starter bretonnian  army at the end of april. (yes it was a surprise to my bank account too)

This spurred me into a flurry of activity with the brush and of course made me forget about this blog.....whoops!

However it did have the eventual knock on effect of having some painted figures to play a wargame with. Now, not being sure i could explain 3rd edition fantasy battle to an over excited 9 year old, i thought what was the best child friendly solution out there........Age of Sigmar of course!  Read into that what you will, but it really is a good little way to get yourself and a less experienced gamer pushing some toy soldiers around a table.

Chaos versus Bretonnia it was then.  Getting out my trusty felt cloth and turning the dining table into a lush field of impending bloodshed.

The rules were skimmed over and data cards downloaded onto my mobile phone for quick reference. The models were lined up across the battle field and then we both went for it.

The experience lasted all of about 45 minutes and this included a break to sacrifice a few biscuits to the tea god and pick up the models that were knocked off the table in the excitement of the battle.

the Chaos battle line ready to cut down some manling

the valliant defenders of Bretonnia prepare for the onslaught

 battle commences, halberds come crashing down on goats, whilst horns gore through flimsy chainmail.

and this was the last picture before they all legged it home.

Im pretty sure that my son enjoyed the game with me ask he asked me shortly afterwards when we would be doing it again. I enjoyed it immensely as rather than sit in a carry case the models were actually out and being played with. It gave me a good feeling to be playing again, after all this is how i got started in the first pace.  I honestly believe that playing with painted figures enhances the game no end, but the most important is actually giving it a go. I think i just might have planted the seed in his imigination.......

hopefully in the next instalment i will have completed the bretonnians, at counting i have 12 knights to paint and 8 spearment to touch up and a handful of characters.  Maybe then i'll start to introduce some 3rd edition and see how we go.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

painting miniatures part 1

Hello again!

So as my first post dealt with the type of brush i am most commonly using based on my current circumstances i thought it would be best to talk about what paintbrushes should really be used for.......miniature painting.

The biggest challenge that any toy soldier collector, wargamer or miniature painter faces is getting the bloomin' things clothed with paint. This is because:
 A its part of the hobby and B its more fun playing with painted soldiers (unless you play cyclons or some other silver armoured warriors!)

Painting miniatures is by no means super easy. It requires concentration and practice but on the whole most of us can get the hang of it.  Think of your handwriting, if you take it slowly it's nice and neat and if you rush it goes everywhere.  The more you do it the quicker and neater it becomes.

Now, as this is mainly an oldhammer blog i wanted to deal with how to paint in an older style.
Games Workshop when they produced their monthly white dwarf would regularly put out posters with painted examples of figures. this was to make them look pretty and also inspire us into painting our own stuff just like it.....or doing our own thing.  but the main constant was that these models have to have a certain 'pop' to them to stand out.

take this chaos terminator for example

with the resurgence of oldhammer this style of painting has come back  and a few things are worth noting. 
sometimes you might hear the phrase "bases and faces"  and it particularly applies here. The central feature is the skull and the base completes the miniature.
Many painters get bogged down with making their figures too busy. In reality a base coat, single shading and one-two highlights are more than enough.

The modern obsession for endless highlights come from black undercoats and the need to lighten the base colour constantly.  As you can probably tell from my miniature here i use a white undercoat as i find it easier

this guy was painted in simple base colours which were in turn shaded and highlighted simply. the finished result is below:

Nothing on either two miniatures is super flashy, they are both neat and completed miniatures and this is what we are trying to aim for.

It used to be said that these guys should be viewed as arms length (which they will be at if you're gaming with them). Try to remember that and forget the obsession with super zoomed in pictures and highlighted eyeballs that nobody can see.

back when i was 12 or so i was on the right track......despite knowing nothing about shading as seen here:

but the main elements were there. it has a base of sorts, the miniature didn't have a visible face so a pattern was painted on its clothes.....and most was harlequins should be!

The joy of this hobby is that you can take it in a variety of directions. You might be an army builder and the mass effect is more desired. if this is the case then maybe do away with the highlight stage altogether. Just base coat and simple shading only. You'd be surprised how far you can get with this but the crucial thing to remember is this:

make your base coat as close to the final colour you want the model to be.

this chap has a purple base and has been shaded with it + a small amount of black. The face was done the same way. Thin paint and a white undercoat gives you instant highlights and shading.

Try putting away the black undercoat for a while and just play about with shading instead. You might find that your colours get brighter and your miniatures neater. the next miniature's clothes were painted with just a tiny amount of scorched brown added to the white.

once again....bases and faces! and this miniature whilst not oldhammer is from a wonderful company called Hasslefree Miniatures  and you can get her here : Dionne

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Which brush do you most commonly use?

hi there,  I've decided to get in on the act and start blogging.
Ever since joining various Oldhammer groups it has been actively encouraged and I'm hoping to soon see why......anyway back into my first posting.........brushes!

I paint toy soldiers, ones about an inch high or so, and have done since I was 10 when I first was introduced to this hobby. I do it to relax and used to do it because it was part of the wargaming hobby and everyone preferred to play with painted figures rather than the shiny (or dull) metal state that they came in.

I painted and wargamed throughout secondary school only stopping for the inevitable beer and women that suddenly became more important, oh and that 'real life and responsibility' thing too.

I picked up the hobby again in my twenties and started to get good at painting and won quite a few competitions along the way and even bagged a job painting for a small company for a while. Real life stepped in again and it wasn't until my mid thirties that I came back again. I was bitten by the Oldhammer bug, the nostalgia , the soft metal miniatures, the brightly coloured illustrations and the relative absence of skulls or spikes on everything.

I started to get a small collection of old models via eBay and things started to snowball once I joined a trading page on Facebook.
All kind of metal started rolling in via the post end and my wife's eyebrows repositioned themselves slowly and a mental note was made, to be brought up in future arguments, but I digress.

I was desperate to start slapping paint on, when it hit me that I needed a new type of brush. The thing was, these models were covered in 20-30 year old paint, often daubed on in a  gloopy consistency.  My new brush was going to have to be a toothbrush, that's right I had to get scrubbing!

So right here is my weapon of choice. A trusty firm wilkinsons toothbrush and some figures  bathing in some oven cleaner.  These were an eBay steal that would have looked good to a 13 year old me but now just don't cut the mustard it has been solidly used on upwards of a hundred figures so definitely my most used brush this year.


I'm guessing these are common tools for any Oldhammer fanatic . However I was never prepared for how much scrubbing was involved or just how far little flecks of paint could fly when being vigorously scrubbed from said model.