Saturday, November 7, 2015

Community Spirit - At Work!

Hi everyone,

I know it has been sometime since my last post, but I was kicked out of my stupor after finding out that one of my favourite miniature companies was under severe financial duress.  I am talking about Heresy Miniatures.

I have bought from Heresy Miniatures several times during the years, mostly the barbarians and fantasy football stuff, and I cannot claim to be a regular customer, but yesterday I decided to make another order after reading Andy's blog entry.

I have always dreamed of making a living by opening up my own miniatures company - something small like Heresy,  but I never had the courage to take that leap.  So it saddens me to no end to hear that someone who has tried,  is now in financial troubles after 10 years of business and excellent service.

To make matters worse, Andy posted an entry on his blog about how difficult his situation is.  I will not even try to explain, since I have never been in his financial position, so I will let the chap speak for himself.

Constant, permanent begging.

What I hate most about my situation is the begging. I’ve just put in another 87 hour week, on top of two identical weeks before that and yet this is my situation:
Today is Tuesday, the 3rd of November. Sunday night’s dinner was egg and chips. Last night’s dinner was just chips cos we ran out of eggs. Tonight is our 14th wedding/21st together anniversary. We’re having chips again. Tomorrow we’ll probably have rice because we’ll have run out of potatoes. Basically I have zero money. Zero. Nothing. nada. no hyperbole, literally can’t buy food. September and October have been utterly dire in terms of orders, for various reasons, all of which I’m well aware of. One bad month is enough to end a business by itself, but two in a row is disastrous. I have to find £1500 in the next 3 weeks or HSBC are going to stop my overdraft facility and send the bailiffs round or something, presumably. I haven’t paid myself for the last two months because of bills that needed paying. This does not do good things to your bank account.
There are 1593 of you on my Facebook ‘friends’ list. If just 100 of them/you spent £30, I can pay the rent, pay Dan his wages that I owe him and buy some groceries. Much as I’m humbled by your ‘keep going, you do good stuff’ messages, and I truly am, what I need more than thoughts and prayers, is money.
If just one of you could spend £10, I’ll buy some sausages on the way home.

I have taken the liberty to post this from the Heresy Blog, and I apologize for not asking permission, but I did it for one purpose and only one.

To urge the gaming and miniature modelling community to help one of our own! 

So if you have some cash to spare go to Heresy Miniatures and buy something small or buy a lot.  Let us help keep this company afloat. If you want a tip, take a look at Heresy's ghouls - they are little gems!

That is all for now.  I hope you find it in your hearts and pockets to help Andy and his great little company out.

Until then farewell and good health - to you especially Andy!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Wolf King is Coming - About time

Hi everyone,

Finally, after several years of waiting, the Space Wolves get another novel in the Horus Heresy series.  Now this fills me up with joy and dread at the same time.

If any of you have ever read my post about Prospero Burns, you will know that I have very mixed feelings about the book. I consider the book a lost opportunity. You can read my review HERE.

Now I don't want to stir up another hornet's nest with this.  The topic of Prospero Burns created a lot of heated debate, especially on the Bolter and Chainsword forums. Suffice to say that the book should have been called the Adventures of Kasper Hawser!

Also, for a book about the Space Wolves of the 30K, there is very little about Leman Russ himself.  He only appears for a very short time.  In fact, we learn more about Russ from other books than we learn from Prospero Burns!

I honestly hope this is an opportunity to bring out and flesh out Leman Russ' character in a more three dimensional way.  All the other Primarch's characters have been delved into, even Corax has had more written about him than Leman Russ - this has to change.

So I am hoping the guys at Black Library don't screw this one up!  The Space Wolves deserve better and they deserve more.

I only hope the book is written by Chris Wright.  I find that he does a good job of capturing the nature of the Wolves. His past books have been good especially the novel Battle of the Fang. and he is currently one of the best writers they have.

So we will have to wait and see, hope and pray and wish for the best.

Farewell and good health.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Mantic KOW Kickstarter

Hi everyone,

I have just come back from my holiday in the Italian Dolomites, and guess what I find in the post box? - My first Kickstarter!  This is the new 2nd edition of one of my favorite fantasy battle systems - KINGS OF WAR.

Those who have followed this blog in the past know that I am a big fan of this game and I enjoy playing this with 10mm and 15mm scaled miniatures.   I have also posted an article about how to adapt the game to these smaller scales.

Now that I have the book in hand I will update the article in a new post in the future.  For now I just want to show off what arrived.  As you can see I only opted for the basic entry level, because I only needed the book.  The rest was extra. Also, I am not interested in building another 28mm army, so I kept it simple and cheap.
Overall, I am very happy with the quality and presentation of the books.  To be honest, I am not interested much in the background of Mantica world, but I find the army lists down to earth and utilitarian.  So much so, that they can be adapted to many different game systems and worlds.
I really like the Gamer's edition of the book.  I will be using this the most and I will leave the hardbound volume on the shelf.  I also got a card of the hard bound volume, but no map!  I will have to contact them about this.

The counters are simple but nice and very useful.  I would have preferred if they were acrylic, simply because I prefer the feel of acrylic, but plastic is OK as well.

My favorite piece has to be the Ronaldo the Bard.  This is another freebie from this popular and successful Kickstarter. I honestly do not know what to use him for - maybe a diorama - but for now he will be stored until inspiration strikes.
The Tyrant King Blaine on Gramakh will be arriving separately later on.  I will post up some pictures when it arrives.  This is by far the best freebie from this Kickstarter.

Now that I am back, I hope to start posting regularly again, especially  since the weather is cooling down. So until next time farewell and good health from your friendly neighborhood modeler - Nightrunner.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 4

Hi everyone,

So August has come and gone - and thank God for that!  I swear that with all the heat and humidity, I did not do anything hobby-wise, nor did I have the energy to do so. I was simply living in a lethargy bubble; oblivious off everything and everyone. 

Now that the heatwave has subsided I have started to regain my initiative and the will to create is slowly coming back!

Well, it is always good to start with small steps, so today I will just do a simple review of a product I bought for my Merkava diorama. 

I bought some products from Model-Miniature, a french company that sells 1/72 scale products that are mostly in resin.

The first product I bought were some 1/72 Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers.  Since this project is a diorama, it needs the human element to imbue it with life and scope.

The figures themselves are slightly on the larger side of 1/72, and are not chronologically accurate, but they are the best I could find.  The figures are made from resin and are well cast.  The arms need to be attached and care must be taken when cutting them from the sprue.  I especially like the dog - I admit that the canine sealed the deal when the time came to choose.
The other product I bought were some 'Hamas' propaganda posters at the same scale.  I intended to attach them to the buildings to add that sense of danger and realism to the scene.
Overall, I was not that impressed with this purchase.  They are simply scaled down printouts on normal paper.  The quality of the printouts are not that high either.  There are two identical copies of each printout, but there are only two.  What annoyed me the most was that the printouts were cut with a pair of scissors which makes the product seem very amateurish. 
You also get an A4 explanation of the product in french, which to be honest is not that helpful or needed. Nonetheless I will still use them, since I did fork out the money for them.
Well, that is all for today.  I will be back after the 10th of September.  I am going to the Veneto region in Italy for a walking holiday over the Dolomites! Yeah!  So things will still be slow around here for a while until I come back.

Until I come back, farewell and good health.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 3

Hi everyone,

Just came back from my break, and believe it or not, I feel even more tired than before - especially with this heat wave we're living through.

Despite the sweltering heat and the unbearable humidity, I have managed to overcome my lethargy and sit down and paint. I had left the Merkava tank off at the highlights.  It was now time to continue with adding some interest to the model.

So the next step was to add the washes and filters followed by the panel lining.  I will quickly explain the difference between a wash and a filter for those of you that do not know.  Basically a filter and a wash are the same thing, except for the concentration of pigment.  A filter usually contains 5% to 10% pigment and a wash has 15% to 25% pigment.  These values may differ according to brand or user.

I use filters and washes to add chromatic diversity and richness to a more or less monotone and boring colour scheme. This is done by adding the washes and filters to different panels on the tank, thus altering the colour slightly.

When the washes have dried properly, I use a dark brown enamel wash to panel-line the tank. Capillary action does most of the work for you, but if some of the paint slips, then just use a cotton swab with some enamel spirits to clean it up.
The next step is to add the decals.  I wont go into detail on this, as there are thousands of tutorials on the subject, but I strong recommend using decal setting fluid.

All the decals went on without a problem, but the decals of the turret were a bit tricky and required a heavy dose of patience. When the decals have dried, give them a coat of gloss varnish followed by a coat of matt varnish to blend them in.

After the decals where ready, I continued to add more chromatic diversity by oil-paint staining.  In this technique, one basically adds dots of oil paint over areas of the model then gently wipes it away with mineral spirits until a see-through patina is left.  I recommend leaving the oil paint on some cardboard in order to absorb the oil.  I used mostly white, burnt and natural sienna and burnt sienna.

The last step was portraying the wear and tear and the adding of pigments. This is by far the most entertaining part, but also the step that can make or break the model.  I admit my enthusiasm brought me close to ruining the model.  For now I only worked on the hull of the tank.

After adding the scatches, using a very light shade and hull red, I applied first some pigments on the tracks.  To add volume to this, I mixed the pigments with some plaster of paris.

I then went ahead and added different pigments to different areas of the body, in order to maximize on the chromatic diversity pigments offer. A unique aspect of the Merkava is the engine grills and exhausts on the sides.  I used black pigment to stimulate the effect of exhaust. I over did it a bit on the side panels, but I will fix this latter on with the use of some water and mineral spirits.

A new technique that I tried out today was that of oil and engine spills. I used a product from the Mig series called Engine and Oil Stains. I used the paint in 3 stages.  In the first stage, I thinned the paint down by adding a large amount of thinner and laid down a foundation.  I subsequently added another layer with less thinner and the final layer straight out of the bottle. The effect are very pleasurable and help to diversify the monotone colour scheme of the Merkava.
One again, that is all for today.  Until next time farewell and good health.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

10mm High Elf Army - The troops

Hi everyone,

Another short post this week, as I am on holiday - not only from work, but from my life in general.

Today I would like to show off my new additions to my 10mm High Elves. The last time I showed the basic troops - one or two years ago - I had 3 units of Spears and 2 units of archers.

I also mentioned the fact that I had the intention of doubling the rank and file.  Well here are the first steps in fulfilling that intention.

During the month of June I worked on the rank and file and I did nearly double them.  As you can see, I now have 5 units of spears and 3 units off archers.

I have to admit I can spend hours just looking at this army when it is in rank & file.  I love the look of armies painted up and placed in formations in my cabinet. Now I just need another spear unit and another archer unit and I will have reached my goal of doubling them.

That is all for now.  See you all in seven days.  Until then farewell and good health.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 3

Hi everyone,

A short one this week since I am off for a pre-summer holiday.  Since I work in the hospitality industry, summer is off limits as far as holidays are concerned.

Well, I have continued with the Merkava diorama, but due to my tight schedule I ended up taking shitty pictures.  So I apologize in advance.

The first picture shows the tank undercoated - first with black, then with white on top.  The picture, as I have mentioned above is not very clear, since they were taken near sunlight - but I did not notice at the time
The next step was the basic colour - in this case IDF Sand.  The parts in white were already much lighter than those which were black.  This technique offers a good first colour gradient.
The next several steps were the highlights and shading, also done with an airbrush, as well as a lot of masking.  The effects are not very clear in the picture below due to the over-saturation from the daylight.
I stopped there with the tank, as the next several steps will be done with my trusty paint brush.  Since I still had the airbrush out I did some work on the base.

After putting the scene together, I filled in the gaps with putty and a fine gavel & sand solution mixed with PVA glue to blend the parts together.  At this stage, I did not fix in the smaller building, as it would have caused difficulties in airbrushing later on.  I had left the thing to dry overnight.
The next step was to prime it in black and add some basic colours to the scene. Unfortunately the camera moved without me noticing.  I was in such a hurry that I did not even bother to check the picture!!  Sorry about this, but by the time I found out, this stage had gone!
The last step before getting into the scene with the paint brush, was to add some detailing and shades with the airbrush. My first step was to paint up the rubble.  Then I masked off the rubble areas and airbrushed in the road.  The next step was adding masks in order to paint in the zebra crossing and road line. This was definitely the fun part.

When the lines were done, I added highlights to the road.  After which, I blended the road and rubble areas together with several layers of dusting - everything done by airbrush for now.
The last step was to work on the tall building.  Living in a Mediterranean island, I know how taxing the sun can be on buildings, so I wanted a blanched look.  Hence the several layers o highlights.  I will tone this done with some washes later on.

That is all for this week.  Next week I want to show some more of my 10mm High Elf Army I have finished painting up.

Until then farewell and good health.



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