Thursday 27 July 2023

Final Few Posts Of July 2023 Posted On Wix Website

The final few postings of July 2023 are now up on the Wix website which replaced this blog a couple of years ago. These include a handful more 28mm "Doctor Who" monster figures by "Black Tree Design", another strip of 15mm ACW plastic Confederate infantry from "Warlord Games" Epic Battles range, and another 28mm Sons of Horus tactical Space Marine from my "Games Workshop Horus Heresy boxed set.

Furthermore, I'm continuing to grow my 10mm "Pendraken Miniatures" Early War project with an Axis Panzer III tank. I'm planning on featuring period of the Second World War in a Battle Report soon, along with another focusing upon my ongoing Battle of the Bulge campaign.

Lastly, I've even completed a bit of scenery for a future game of second edition "Frostgrave" by "Osprey Publishing". Please click the link below to pay me a visit and see all the updates for yourself.

Saturday 10 December 2022

"So, What Do You Think Got To My Tractor?"

"Something the commies built? Some kind of monster? Something from outer space?"
This 28mm scale Giant Robot is produced by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", and can be bought as SKU: MINI 688 from their Science Fiction range. Sculpted by Andrew May, the multi-piece resin kit comes with a choice of two hands (claw or death ray), and stands approximately 90mm in height. Due to my wanting this 'towering war machine' to be fielded alongside my previously-pigmented Killbots and Spybots, it was undercoated with a double helping of "Vallejo" Heavy Grey before being drenched in "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

I then applied a dry-brush of "Vallejo" Gunmetal to the entire miniature, making sure to especially 'hit' the edges of its head and numerous rivets, and shaded it further with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. To build upon this illusion of the automaton being significantly weathered I later drenched it in "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade and meticulously dabbed each head with a splodge of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash. Once this time-consuming process was completed, I attempted to blend everything together with a dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Grey.

CC27 Studio WIPs - Lazer Face and Namaste Haiku primed with the "Duncan Rhodes Two Thin Coats" range
This technique was rather patiently done as I wanted to ensure that some of the previously-used "Vallejo" Gunmetal still shone through so as to the pair a slight metallic sheen. Once finished, the Giant Robot's cyclopean eye and chest laser were subsequently spotted with a combination of "Scalecolor" Speed Metal and the "Citadel" Contrast colour Flesh Tearers Red. Finally, I applied some fifteen year old American military decals to the deadly machine, feeling that the transfers rather faded, bleached look would suit a towering droid which was still stalking a post-apocalyptic battlefield.

In addition to the Giant Robot, I have also been busy testing out a number of paints from "Duncan Rhodes Two Thin Coats" range. These were very kindly sent out by Peter Buxton of "Trans Atlantis Games" and, whilst I've only so far tried out a handful of the colours generously posted to me, they have already become my favourite pigments within just a day.

C27 Studio WIPs - Alien Soldier, I Know Kung-Fu, and Duck-tective
I've been using them on some of the 40mm scale STL (Standard Triangle Language) files by "C27 Studio" I've recently created using "Elegoo" Water Washable Resin on a Mars 3 Pro 3D Printer, as I wanted to see how well they covered the super-heroic figures with a single application. Being just a tabletop standard painter I'm always keen to try to 'miss a step' in the painting process by priming my miniatures in their main colour, so this experiment provided me with an opportunity to try out the mainstays White Star and Doom Death Black, as well as Emerald Green and Sir Coates Silver.

The dropper bottles all come with agitators inside of them, so a simple shake of each pot certainly seems to mix up their contents good enough for my uses. Furthermore, I've been pleased with how smooth-flowing each colour's consistency is straight from the nozzle, with only White Star (perhaps unsurprisingly) being a bit 'goopier' than its peers. All of them though have provided me with a solid foundation for future layers, with Sir Coates Silver arguably being the most impressive (over an undercoat of "Citadel" Abaddon Black) and I'm now looking forward to getting some further washes/other pigments from "Duncan Rhodes Two Thin Coats" range onto the models over the next few hobby sessions...

Wednesday 7 December 2022

3D Printing - Day Five - Trying To Replicate 3D Printing Services

"Splunjohnny" WIPs - Barnabas Collins, a Cyberman and a Judoon
These miniatures were created using "Elegoo" Water Washable Resin on a Mars 3 Pro 3D Printer and are available as unsupported STL (Standard Triangle Language) files from Splunjohnny on "Cults". These sculpts are clearly inspired by various famous television and film franchises and are all created in 100mm scale.

This range is actually one of the main motivators for my purchasing a machine as I had previously been using a 3D Printing Service to produce the models for my tabletop gaming, and up until quite recently I had been extremely happy with their "high resolution" figures. However, much of this satisfaction stemmed from me believing several myths concerning home printing, such as the nauseating smell given off by resin, the nastiness of Isopropyl Alcohol, the financial outlay for a 3D printer, and the enormous effort required to calibrate a device so you can actually achieve a successful print (e.g. exposure settings, curing times and supports).

"Chitubox" Basic easily provides the rafts and supports for all the figures on the build plate
Having invested some hours watching numerous videos on "YouTube" I soon discovered that whilst "Elegoo" Water Washable Resin has a strong, pungent odour, as long as you're wearing a face mask in a well-ventilated area, its effects are minimal. Indeed, my initial thoughts around potentially needing some sort of thermo-nuclear chemical suit swiftly evaporated. Furthermore, there is plenty of advice out there to help a novice get the best from their printer's settings, with "Chitubox" Basic arguably doing the vast percentage of this heavy lifting with just a few clicks of the mouse - at least for me.

Furthermore, despite the definite monetary commitment needed upfront, I quickly realised that no matter how pleased I was with the end result, paying a tenner for each "4k resolution" (plus postage) would quickly add up and surpass the cost of a lower-end 3D printer like the Mars 3 Pro (as well as an "Elegoo" Mercury Plus 2.0 Wash and Curing Machine). True, at the time I also thought I was getting additional value as the service was (in my mind at least) employing some serious time-consuming witchcraft by adding numerous intricate supports to the miniatures and slicing them, as well as reducing their size to 40mm scale.

A size comparison between a 40mm scale 4D Printer Service Terminator (Orange) and mine (Grey)
Disconcertingly however, I have encountered one sticking point since stopping using a 3D printing service, and that has been trying to perfectly match the reduction size they employed whilst shrinking my STL files down from 100mm t0 40mm. Initially, I had simply expected the miniatures to have shrunk by 60%, but that is most definitely not the case.

Indeed, the actual figure appears to be around the 48% mark, with the heights of some previously printed models requiring a little more or less according to my ham-fisted measurements. This difference is debatably not noticeable from a distance on the tabletop, yet it does grate upon my obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) somewhat when I want to add reinforcements to already pigmented forces. Resultantly, I might 'ramp up' future prints to the 48.20% bar to see how that pans out...

This posting and many others can now be viewed on the main "Fantorical" website.

Monday 5 December 2022

"Alright. You Know The Drill."

"We neutralise the threat and bring out Carmack's team."
This 28mm scale model of a Corporate Security Force operative is produced by "Anvil Industry" and can be downloaded for free as part of their Corporate Security Security Force bundle of STL (Standard Triangle Language) files from the "Anvil Digital Forge" "Patreon" subscription service. Consisting of a multi-shelled male body standing to attention armed with a shotgun close to the chest, with standard Regiments neck joint and closed visors male helmeted head, the miniature was produced using "Elegoo" Water Washable Resin on a Mars 3 Pro 3D Printer.

Initally primed using a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Stormy Blue and shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, all of the figure's boots, body armour, firearm and visor were later base-coated with Abaddon Black. The policeman's footwear and protective plates were then dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and shaded with a splash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

"They have been attacking the Human Resistance for 600 years."
So as to add some colour to the distinctly dark-looking model, I applied a combination of "Vallejo" Gunmetal and "Citadel" Nuln Oil to the operative's shotgun and parts of his helmet. In addition, I used some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade on his belt, as well as "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson on two large cartridges positioned at the back of the lawman's belt.

To be honest this miniature has been close to being binned a number of times as I've really struggled to find a palette I liked for him. At one point I had actually 'picked out' a number of the model's armour plates in "Vallejo" Gunmetal, "Citadel" Nuln Oil and the Contrast paint Skeleton Horde. But I didn't think this looked right so eventually went with the tried and tested dark blue/black uniform worn by the majority of modern-day Police specialist riot teams.

"Big Mr Tong" WIPs - Three Village Militia primed in "Citadel" Abaddon Black
Alongside the first of several planned Corporate Security Force operatives by "Anvil Industry" I have also completed another 28mm scale metal SpyBot by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio". This tentacled mechanoid can be bought individually as SKU: MINI 649 or as part of the four-figure deal - DEAL 193.  The single-cast model was predominantly pigmented using "Vallejo" Heavy Grey, "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, "Vallejo" Gunmetal, "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade and "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash so as to tie them in with my previously painted automatons.

Lastly, I've been busy printing and prepping many of the "Big Mr Tong". miniatures I want to get tabletop ready during the forthcoming Thirteenth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (AHPC). As I plan on ignoring all the event's side-quests this time around, I plan to work on several of the prolific sculptor's ten-figure ranges, including a wonderful troop of Village Militia who remind me of Terry Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork City Watch...

This posting and many others can now be viewed on the main "Fantorical" website.

Thursday 1 December 2022

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge” December 2022

"Shortly after the Interex campaign the Luna Wolves became the Sons of Horus."

This month's optimistic intention to reduce my ‘peak of potential’ will be marvellously molded by Curt Campbell’s Thirteenth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (AHPC), or rather my mad dash to clear my painting desk before the event starts on December 21st. First up will be the remaining Sons of Horus space marines I need to finish so I can field a 500-points traitor legion for "The Horus Heresy" by "Games Workshop".

Fortunately, I've already built, painted and even flocked a large proportion of these multi-part plastic figures. But over the next few weeks I still need to quite heavily focus upon the thirty-one-model force's third tactical contingent comprising of ten Blackshields - warriors who have entirely denounced their parent Legion,

"Big Mr Tong" WIPs - A Sardaukar, Cyberman, member of the Village Militia and Dalek

To mix things up, I'm using several old "Forge World" resin kits I've had lying around since I last visited the Nottingham-based dedicated specialist's booth at "Salute" several years ago, alongside the pieces found inside the Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness boxed set. So, each member of this pariah formation will contain elements taken from various armour variants (e.g. helmets, insignia-marked shoulder-pads etc), as well as extra equipment and weaponry.

In conjunction with this aim, I'll also be prepping many of the numerous miniatures I want to pigment during the forthcoming AHPC. I'm actually planning on ignoring all its side-quests this year, and simply focusing on completing approximately one hundred 28mm figures instead. A good portion of these models will be 3D printed sculpts taken from my "Patreon" subscription of "Big Mr Tong". But I also have plans for a contingent of Golemmar Gnomes by "Artisan Guild", which I hope to use (as Halflings) for "One Page Rules" Age Of Fantasy: Skirmish ruleset.

November 2022 - A renewed interest in "Doctor Who" has seen "Warlord Games" gain some ground

As far as the past four weeks' progress is concerned, I have enjoyed my most productive November since I first started recording my output some nine years ago. Indeed, I’ve now almost painted as much during the past eleven months as I did the entirety of last year. Much of this success has undoubtedly been due to my fascination with 3D printing the 28mm figures of “Big Mr Tong”. But I’ve also surprisingly rekindled my interest in the “Doctor Who” range of metal miniatures produced by “Warlord Games” due to the Nottingham-based manufacturer announcing the line’s imminent end, and resultantly offering a myriad of free exclusive models whenever an online order attains a certain price point.

With the AHPC starting in approximately three weeks’ time I have little doubt that even more science fiction sculpts by “Big Mr Tong” will be ready for the tabletop, and hopefully they should be accompanied by an equally impressive number of “Games Workshop” Sons of Horus Space Marines for “The Horus Heresy”, as well as the remaining 15mm “Battlefront Miniatures” German Panzergrenadiers I need to complete for my “Flames Of War” force. I am though, still busy perusing all the fascinating miniatures available via the various companies on “Patreon”, so wouldn’t be at all surprised if another one of those didn’t suddenly catch my eye…

This posting and many others can now be viewed on the main "Fantorical" website.

Monday 21 March 2022

First Few Posts Of March 2022 Posted On Wix Website

The first few postings of March 2022 are now up on the Wix website which replaced this blog just over a year ago. These include the start of a "Brigade Models" 2mm British Land Ironclads force, some more 15mm ACW plastic infantry strips by "Warlord Games", taken from their "Epic Battles: American Civil War" game for Black Powder, and plenty of Weird War Two walkers using the Battletech models produced by "Catalyst Game Labs."

In addition, I'm continuing to grow my "Flames Of War" German Beach Defence Company with a platoon of sMG34 Machine-gun teams. These'll be following by more Panzergrenadiers, a pair of 7.5cm Tank-Hunter teams and a handful of Panzer IVs…

Lastly, I've finished porting across both the January-May 2019 postings from this blog over to the new Wix website. Please click the link below to pay me a visit and see all the changes for yourself.

Tuesday 13 April 2021

"So Much Death."

"What can men do against such reckless hate?"
This pair of 28mm scale metal Uruk-hai were manufactured by "Games Workshop", and could be bought as part of their Uruk-hai Command and Uruk-hai Warriors randomly populated blisters respectively. Disappointingly, neither figure now appears to be available as part of the Nottingham-based company's current "The Lord Of The Rings" range for the Forces of Isengard, and were actually purchased in various states of disrepair second-hand at a gaming show or two many moons ago.

In order to eradicate its previous partial paint-job the Uruk-hai Captain was first treated to a couple of layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before being given a coat of "Scale 75" Decayed Metal. This "Metal N' Alchemy" water-based acrylic was then dry-brushed with "Scale 75" Thrash Metal, shaded with plenty of "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and given a second, much lighter dry-brush of (more) "Scale 75" Thrash Metal.

"The Uruk-hai are too many."
Having reasonably replicated the old OOP "Citadel" Tin Bitz colour scheme I used on my decade-old, modestly-sized Forces of Isengard army I attempted something similar with the brutal warrior's flesh by applying a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to his arms, legs, and chin. I also 'picked' out the soldier's loincloth, hair and gloves with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and (more) "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

The Uruk-hai Warrior was painted in a very similar way, albeit I had apparently already painted the Isengarder's armour, sword and shield ten years ago. However, as this particular minion of Saruman was actually going to be a Uruk-hai Scout Captain in my army for the "Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game", I free-handed a rough replica of the White Wizard's emblem upon his shield in "Vallejo" White, and then weathered it with a quick dry-brush of "Scale 75" Thrash Metal.

"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - The Treant is ready for detailing
In addition, it appears that I probably bought this model without its metal tab, and had resultantly propped the figure up on its circular base using the odd piece of plastic sprue and some metal shavings. I therefore pigmented these parts to resemble stone, courtesy of a "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey undercoat, a splash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and a careful dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey.

Sticking with J.R.R. Tolkein's Middle Earth, but moving across to "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", I have also found the time to do some groundwork on their recently-released Treant miniature. This multi-part resin kin has been assembled, pinned, primed, shaded and repeatedly dry-brushed in preparation for the 72mm tall model's leafy detail to all be 'picked out'...

This posting and many others can now be viewed on the main "Fantorical" website.