Saturday, 11 August 2012

Zombies, clutter and "that dreadful decision"

Hi Folks, (What follows may be some waffle, so apologies now) Zombies  
Well, yesterday we actually had some sunshine. Infact today is not too bad either.
So, having had a very crap day yesterday, I decided that I would spend some time in the afternoon, about 30 minutes to be precise, and take advantage of the sunshine to undercoat some figures.
I usually spray undercoat figures, in batches of around 20 to 30, using my spray booth. Thought the booth is designed to do this, the over spray quickly clogs up the filter and the fan hasn't quite got the umph needed to draw all the over spray away, so I still tend to wear a filter mask.

So, given the fact the sun was out. I nipped out side, and began operation zombie spray!
The net effort being to get all my remaining zombie 28mm figures undercoated. This was slightly delayed by the necessity to actually dust the miniatures as they had been sat on the shelf far too long and got covered in dust.
Once that was done, I quickly went through what was left of can of white GW primer out side on the drive. Thankfully there was a constant wind, so was actually able to stand up wind and spray in safety. Fine particulates and lungs do not mix well.. so spraying, sanding (resin and MDF in particular) etc are best done with a mask or out side in a well ventilated area.
Anyhow.. zombies done! Well undercoated. I shall now start the speed painting of these to get them onto the table. They have been a stalled project for far too long. And as they are ready, based and only needed painting I have decided they are the first to knock off on the list. Also gives me a ready to go game once done.
Whilst I was digging out the large stash of zombies, I was marvelling at the huge piles of clutter in my painting room. Infact, too much! Correction.. waaaaaay, too blooming much! Excuse my french.
Quite seriously, its now gotten to a rediculous level of clutter. If it is not piles of paper work (I accumulate those with speed, due to other hobby activities and pastimes), its parts of projects or RPG books. That influx rate, coupled with my gaming horder gene = clutter!

So, I had a bit of clear up for an hour or two today and barely scratched the surface! So this is another operation that shall need to be returned too. Whilst I was doing it thought, I started to look at my collection of minis and thinks of some of the un-finished or unstarted projects sitting in the wings waiting their turn!

"That dreadful decision"

All miniature wargamers are hoarders. I have yet to meet one who isn't. If you don't think you are a hoarder, just ask your self how many miniature periods/scale/rule sets you have, and how many are "waiting to be finished" or " nearly finished" or even waiting to be started.. ??

Be honest now.. !!

Anyhow, for me I have a few to say the least, I was going to list them, but then decided that frankly it would have only depressed me further. But the realisation dawned.
I game once a week (though occasionally at a weekend, now and then through the year). You can only play one game at a time. And I have far too many figures sitting waiting to be painted.
Something has to give! Yes, its time to rationalise i have to admit. Not just that I have too many projects, but the fact I am running out of space. Part of the clutter issue has been the boxes for this and that, that related to other projects sitting in places they shouldn't due to a lack of space.

So yes, I am going to have to sort the clutter out. And that may mean some figures being sold. I get great ideas in my head about what periods/battles/systems I was play and then tend to hunt down figures etc, then something else comesa long and the "oh shiny" syndrome kicks in with avengance and so other projects fall by the way side.

So yes it is time to be cruel and cut back! I cannot actually believe I am saying that, but then the reality is, I could barely move in my painting room, infact I coldn't actually paint due to the piles of things kicking around.

I am starting to admire that rare breed of gamer who only plays 2 or 3 systems and thats it. How do they do it?

So, yes, its time to review the troops and apply some cut backs! So wish me luck!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

How miniatures are born! Video guide.

Spotted this on you tube.

A video guide covering the basics of pewter miniature making and casting.

Stephen Oates who runs "The Baggage Train" is a club member and has often explained some of the difficulties of making and casting figures. But it was nice to see the process in motion and the way at least this chap goes about it.

And here is a guide on how he makes the actual moulds..

Its good to see how it all happes. And how our nice shiny figures are made! :)

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Tutorial: Mixing your own washes.. APJ Guide.

I spotted this guide on the net, done by the talented Mr Lester Bursley, of Awsome Paint Job, Commission painting service. He has a fair few videos up on his you tube page and guides to painting space marines of various chapters.

In addition he also has a few guides.. one on cleaning brushes and its nice to see, he like me uses The Masters Brush Soap.

Any.. given the rising costs of washes, the fact that GW are now charging silly money and keep changing their washes, I decided it was time to look at getting better results from my washes and getting some consistency.

So was pleased to see this guide there is more info and photos of various ink effects;

Well worth a look.

I have in the past, just used artist ink mixed with de-ionized water (prevents minerals  that you can get in tap water, changing the colour when dry) and a tiny drop of washing up liquid to thin it. The result is ok. But it tends to be quite shiny, and you run the risk of bubbling and bubble marks with the detergent.

So having see the how Lesley does, I am going to keep an eye out for some of the Acrylic Medium and give it a try. As I still have a fair few zombies in my horde to paint, they are good test subjects for a few wash shades.. so time to experiment. I will try and update you on how it turns out and if it is a cost effective solution here in the UK.. I think the acrylic medium is a fair bit cheaper over in the USA.. so will be interesting to see.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Gauntlet 2012 - Show Report & Photos 7th - 8th July

Well here they are at last.. sorry for the slight delay..

Some photos from gauntlet.
The show was busy on both days and we had a good attendance. A wide variety of games, traders and the usual tournaments. Again the WRG was well attended and went very well. This year we also had a 40k tournament on the sunday. The one day format being popular.

The winners were;
WRG 1st Place: (just waiting confirmation)
WRG 2nd Place: (just waiting confirmation)
WRG 3rd Place: (just waiting confirmation)
40K 1st Place: Gareth Jones – 41pts
40K 2nd Place: Owen Bass – 36pts
40K 3rd Place: Ian Sturrock – 35pts

In addition, to the tournament, we had demonstration and participation games by The Gentlemen Pensioners group. The Society of Twentieth Century Wargames (SOTCW), club members, including yours truly.. which included, Napoleonics, 1980s cold war game, WW2 stalingrad game and Dystopian Wars games but to name a few.

So here are some photos from the weekend. I will do my best to annotate them, but be warned, there are a lot of photos..

My game was the Dwarven Forge, simple D&D dungeon bash game. I used a simplified version of 3rd edition D&D. The layout was an immense 18' layout that took most of my sets to build.
The show setup start was delayed on the friday till after 9pm, so I was still setting up at 12.00am. I got out the hall and let security lock up at 12.15am.

So here are the photos;

My game the saturday morning after at 8am, after only 6hours sleep.

The start of my game. The players started in the room with the circle, having teleported into the dungeon.

The dungeon is slowly revealed.

The cloth kept prying eyes from sneaking a peak.

The log trap nearly saw to the end of one character!

The brave party, decided not to enter the room. And saved them selves a nast fight, but also some treasure.

Fantasy skirmish game by club members

SOTCW Saturday Game of Vietnam.

There is a convoy out there somewhere!
SOTCW Sat game. Firebase.

The birds in the air see nothing!

The convoy makes its slow progress!

Fire errupts all over the place.

Meanwhile in the dunegon, the palyers come to a rather large room having taken the central path.
Peaking round the corner is seems very quiet.

But there is treasure!

Big larva fountains, but no heat.. how strange!

Ooops.. it was an ambush afterall!
Run, flee! Brave heroes.. try to escape, catching a glimpse of the one they have come to rescue! But the way out is bared.

After some frantic dodges and some vandalism of magic gems the party escape with their cloak tails on fire!

The WRG tournament kicking off.

Always popular, nice to see many of our regulars back.

Rust monsters.. alas the sneaky party managed to avoid them, with diligent use of a barrel of oil!
Treasure, and someones been sleeping here!

A large unerground lake, with central island. When the players rafts enter, the water a sand timer counts down.

A strong current then appears when the timer runs out.
Several near drownings, the players work out the trap and plan their escape.

Having briefly explored the far side, they realise they need the other exit, but are attacked.
Crossing safely and with care they find the correct exit.

How does a monk cross cavern when there are two dwarves in the part? Walk on their heads!

Lair of the lizard men.. dwarves falling in the water, and much carnage!

The fighting was brutal and skull totems were quickly destroyed..
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One dwarf nearly drowns.

Club members playing a naps micro scale game if memory serves!
Dystopian 4 way game.. slightly chaotic but apparently good fun for all!

Frontline Games. New traders this year and interested in running a Hordes or Warmachine Tournament next year. Look foward to them coming back.

Naps micro scale game.

Some of the traders stalls.
Orcs putting their big boots in!

The Baggage Train - Trader - WW2 bunkers nice!

More bits, by The Baggage Train.
Really like the Arnhiem bridge. Wish it was in 28mm though!  Need the sports hall to fit it in, mind.

The trade stands and paving resin pieces, caught me eye. Some future projects in mind for those.

One of the 40k Tournament games, setting up for the kick off!

The 40k tournament went well and some nice armies.

Tau, readying for deployment.
The practicle approach to army transport between tournament games.

Space marines.

Arh, 5th edition rules, and still flyers were popular! Next year it will be 6th Edition.

The scouring system, was done on a mix of self scoring of opponents playing, painting and victory points.

Some of the games were very close, others were a very decisive.
Shiny landraider, though I prefer the MK1..

SOTCW Vietnam game on sunday.

The choppers eye view!

The tournaments in full swing. WRG centre and right, 40k to the right.
Will and Petes, and SOTCW Sunday nam game. Hue city..

Not sure who won.. but it looked fun. I was rather have liked to played this one.

Micro scale ww2 volgar crossing game.

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Warmachine demo game.
Warmachine figures from Frontline Games.

Hmmm not sure where this shot came from.. lol

Len, our illustrious leader and chairman, looking very sus! :) The bring and buy, which is free, worked very well again!

The Borodino Game, run by the Gentlemen Pensoiners.
Lovely figures and nice table.

Nice info board.

The game was interestign and popular.

40k.. drop pods in the tournament..
Space marines take the objective! But not for long!

Nrcrons on the move!

Kroot holding their own.

The 40k Tournament in full swing on the sunday.

WRG tables, on sunday.
More fo the WRG 6th Edition tables in play.

Borodino still going strong! Martin, leading on the divisions.

The info tags were a nice touch.

The historical markers and place names, helped keep the game in perspective.

Not a period I play yet, but its once I could.
All round the figures were very nicely painted.
The SOTCW game sunday, the marines battle back into Hue..

Intense fighting around the plaza whilst the pink team covers from above!

The canal.. the marines approach under fire!

Long shot of the table.
My desert cloths, borrowed by Little-Si for his rather nice FOW desert raid game.

Nice german air craft lined up for SAS.. so obliging these germans.

Airbase entrance and guard post.
German garrison.

LRDG force. Very nicely painted. I have a few jeeps in 28mm.. for a future projects.

Germans sneakily deployed mortor on the high bluff.

HMG at the airbase entrance.
Coldwar commander game.

Coldwar commander game on sunday.

Marines, tracks pushing through the brush toward the city.

The pink team, watching carefully..

Massed ranks of ancients.. in prep for a game on sunday.
Long shot of the LRDG FOW Game.

Stunning painting by Stephen Oates of the baggage train. 10mm figures.

40K latter games in play!

Orc fighter on the prowl!
Nicely done.
Loved the road markings on the base. Nice touch!

The orc defkopters assaulting some marines!
Sunday late, WRG being hotly contested.

WRG in full flow.

Some of the games appeared to my untrained eye to be quite close. I stand to be corrected!

My game.. in the latter stages.
From the other end!

Into the caves.. the party go!

Lots of choices on routes.
e-Collectica Games, a reular and some of our club members, playing board games.

Hmmm I see a rom ahead..
Glad those pesky lizards are dead.. said the dwarf!

I wonder what is in here!

The spirit actually turned out the be a friendly.. the ghost of the good knight. His brother was the evil one, and was in tomb right near the start which the party handily avoided!

Giant lizards to kill. The monk leads the way!
And moments later the dwarf falls in the water again!

Treasure.. where would gaming conventions be without sugary sweets?
Are the lizardmens lair.. and more treasure! But not the chap they came to find!

Arh.. a dead end! Dough!

Dystopian wars on sunday.

Undead horde to be destroyed the dwarves pile in!
Just then realising these are dwarf skeletons!

No time for remorse.

More board games being played. Several of our club members have some seriously large collections!
The marnes inch closer to the canal.

The RPG nearly kills a tank, and the marines duck fo cover!

I think poor Will was running out of ruins in his collection so Hue city got a bit thinner toward the rear.. lol.
Like the backdrop. Nice touch!

Borodino day two..

The regiments on the move.
The LRDG on the move!

Tight fighting errupts in the village!

The british raiders shooting up the german trucks.
Airbase defenders.

The wire and mines were no barrier for the LRDG

Onwards toward the planes!
MI transports in coldwar commander game.

Heli supported troops deploying.

My camera was not liking the macro function at this point.

Soviet troops on the move.

Street fighting with the LRDG.

Push through, push through.. and they did!
A brutal hit and run..

Shame, this was blured.. lovely painted figures.

Warmachine demo.
Marines started to loose a few trucks.

The streets of Hue City..

Loved the flags.
Close and personal fighting in the compounds of Hue.

The baggage train demo game on sunday.

Some nice figures and lovely painted oh and scenery too!
The party come across a large group of savage orcs and a Ogre!

The party fight for their lives.
Out numbered, and in desperate stakes the party swap places in the line, holding off the orcs.

The monk desperately dispatches one orc before laying into another.

Looking dicy.
The sorcery, comes to the dwarfs aid with a volley of magic missiles.

The ogre advances.

In the background a strange and mysterious orc lurks.
The savage orc horde a whittle down, but the party is badly wounded and desperate efforst are needed by the Cleric.

Valiantly the Monk and Dwarf cleric storm forward to bring down the Orgre.

Despite some evil magics cast by the orc at the back, the monk and dwarf cleric, finnish off the Ogre!

As they do, the mysterious orc dives into pool and never surfaces!

Onwards through the caves they travel until they reach the a stone built section.

40K tournament the final games.

The participation games.

WW2 6mm game by club members.

Len's teaches a new member who to play dystopian wars. What gauntlet was all about. Playing new games and learning new things. Next year I shall have to try it. lol

Our chairman is the master of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, yet with Dystopian wars he seems immune!
Cold war game.. Mike and his son, contemplating how to bring grief to Ians forces.

Oil yards..

The FOW LRDG games as the LRDG beat a hasty retreat, the air field ablaze!

The last jeeps run for it.

The fighting never let up.

The air field, smoke rising from the ruined air craft.
Those jerries won't be flying anytime soon!

LRDG casaulties..

Having found a room, the part decide to enter, strangley the door is not locked, like so many before. The sorcer kicks in the door, rather than merely open it. Giving the orc lurking behind a headache!

And onwards into the dungeon they find, their master. The goal of their search is at an end. trapped in a cell buried in the floor! A beholder in a glass tube, that is starting to descend, appears to have been left behind as some sort of watchdog, by the dungeons master!

Ignoreing the piles of treasure, and gems and magic items the party attempts to free the their master! The dwarf fighters squares up to the beholder, awaiting for the glass tube to lower..

Desperate attempts to break the lock on the cell fail at first, but then the mage is freed!
Quick run!

With their master in tow, the party begint o withdraw..

What followed, was the Beholder became free and pursued the party. They jumpted into the transporting pools that the ork has used. The dice gods randombly spat them out, at one of the four of the circles and several attempts later, then finally roll the 4 they needed and appeared in the circle whence they entered. The sorcer then activate the circle, and with the last roll of the game got a natural '20'! What a way to end!  The chase through the dungeon back to their start point by the beholder was rather tense. Unfortunately no photos sorry.

The dungeon in its enterity.. 18' of Dwarven Forge!
As you can make out, if you look carefully.. three main routes down the far end!

The following shots are just some of the various encounters i didn't have time to fully write about.

The part never found the secret room next to the tomb. It held a serious piece of treasure and the gems to allow them to activate the circles, but they got those later of the mysterious orc. A fun game, and two days of laughs.. worth the effort in the end! Thanks to my players!
The final games in flow on the 40k.

The final games, were interesting and it did come down to points earnt here to split the first three places up!

Well thats it.. if you have read through this thread this far, I applaud you and your internets connection. I took a seriously large amount of photos.

Gauntlet is a gaming show. We run it as a club, for people to come and play. The take down, went well and the hall was cleared by 7pm on the sunday. We hope to keep the show going and to keep trying new things and to continue in the vain, that it was originally setup in, to promote and encourage gaming. So a BIG thank you to the tournament players, those visitors and club members who helped setup and take down and those who came to see us.

The planning for Gauntlet 2013.. will start sometime around christmas no doudt! Next year, I am just going to turn up and play!.. 30 sets of dwarven forge is lot of haul around.. I must have been mad!