Squad: March – Personal Round-Up.

I haven’t posted in a few days. I needed a break after a month of daily posts. So now I’m back, and here’s my own personal Squad: March round-up. I managed to complete five squads, based on needing to finish various numbers of models. I had another squad almost finished, but getting sick put the kibosh on that, as well as another that I’d hoped to finish, as well as two others I did a little bit of work on. I guess I’ll have plenty to work on for the next Squad Month in June.

Shagrat, Mordor Black Uruk Commander, Mordor Black Uruk-Hai Banner, Mordor Uruk-Hai - Lord of the Rings: SBG

Space Ork Boyz Mob

Uruk-Hai Berserkers of Isengard - Lord of the Rings: SBG

Flesh Tearers Space Marines Assault Squad

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus, Reaper Bones 80001 Ape-X

Space Ork Boyz Mob

In the end, the squads I ended up painting being almost a case of squad-based neglected models as well. A bunch of the ones I’m hoping to knock out next Squad-month also fit that bill.

I’ll post up a Squad:March community round-up with everyone else’s models shortly. Hopefully I don’t forget anyone’s stuff. 😮

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen & Marcus (Squad: March ’18)

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus

Yesterday, in my Ape-X post, I mentioned that I had been painting some Gorillas for DUST. These were actually started quite some time ago. Following on from the successful speedpainting of 30 Axis Zombies from DUST in January 2014, I rolled straight into the boxes of Axis Gorillas that I had sitting around. After all – the zombies were easy to do, so how could gorillas (almost entirely furred) be anything different? Fur’s easy to paint, after all!

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen

Alas, It didn’t work out. I got a mental block on two of the aspects of these models – gorilla skin and the “silverbacks”. So they sat there, then got pushed to the side, and eventually ended up in a tub of half-painted models, forgotten forever.

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen

Until this month’s challenge, obviously. They’ve not been a priority to get out and paint at any stage in the interim, since DUST isn’t a game that has gotten much gameplay here, despite it looking like fun. While I’ve been aware that they’re sitting there, even to the point of naming them in the “things I should try to get done this year” post from January, I’d even forgotten about that. So yeah, while rooting around in the tubs, I saw them, and basically had one of those “fuck it, I’m getting these done so I can get them out of here” moments.

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus

At some point, I’d also cracked open the Operation “SeeLöwe” box and added the Kampfaffen hero, Marcus to the horde, as well as Reaper’s Ape-X, which I’d gotten in one of their Bones Kickstarters. Because why not? Marcus isn’t technically part of the squad, but I think he fits in just fine with the overall post as he’s supposed to be used with the grunts. Ape-X just makes for a thematic extra, though he obviously doesn’t have any rules in DUST (there’s probably some homebrew ones out there, though!)

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus

Anyhow, I did my usual thing of checking some photo references for animal skin and hides and then just made myself do what was needed to finish them off. It wasn’t a lot of fun, but it wasn’t that hard. Now they’re done, and if I ever need a cohort of cyber-gorillas for anything, they’re right there and waiting. Marcus had a little bit of extra detailing, so I tried to make him a little more visually interesting by picking them out with some colour in what is otherwise a very drab set of figures.

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus, Reaper Bones 80001 Ape-X

To finish up, I thought I’d throw in a shot of all the DUST Kampfaffen  Gorillas with their buddy, Ape-X thrown in for good measure. 🙂

Reaper Bones 80001: Ape-X (Monster March ’18)

Reaper Bones 80001: Ape-X

Here’s a figure that at first seems to be an odd entry. It’s a model that came with one of the Bones Kickstarters that I’ve backed, and is now available at retail as Ape-X over on Reaper’s webstore. As with many of the models released in Bones, Ape-X is a reworking of one of their previous models, in this case, Ape-X: Supervillan from their Chronoscope line. Original, metal Ape-X also has a drill attachment for his right arm as well as the gatling gun. I think I may actually have the metal version around somewhere in a tub filled with Reaper models.

Reaper Bones 80001: Ape-X

In any case, this model has been part-painted for a couple of years now – and when I started trying to get some other, similar figures completed for Squad: March, I decided to work on him at the same time in the hopes of also getting him painted to completion. He’s far from my most awesome paintwork, but Bones isn’t the world’s best material to work with (look at the “straight” lines on the power pack on his back!) and so it’s certainly good enough for tabletop – and I’m happy to leave it at that!

Reaper Bones 80001: Ape-X, Necromunda Escher.

He’s not gigantic, but at least Troll or Ogre-sized. That counts, right?

Since he’s a big guy, I thought I’d throw him in here as a small, extra entry for Monster March as well. I’m still fully intending to try and get the proper big guys done (though this weekend was wiped out since I’ve had a throat infection that just killed my painting off) – but think of this guy as something like a Stretch Goal. Just upfront rather than later.

Dust Tactics Supply Drop Boxes

No wanker jokes, please…

Since this became a thing last week (along with a roof leak that has had half of the house lights out of action only the night before), I haven’t been doing much proper painting, and typing has been limited to pecking at the keys with one hand. So neither painting nor blogging have been all that much of a thing, and my cleaning up of the paint desk got halfway done (underneath) but I only got as far as cleaning up the Old Citadel/Coat D’Arms/P3 style pots that were scattered about. I’d been wanting to write up a post about the second squad of Minotaurs Space marines I finished recently, but my mood hasn’t been great enough to concentrate on it, so I’m doing this one instead on the scenery I’ve just finished up with this weekend.

Minotaurs Space Marines

Allied DUST Tactics Supply drop crates.

I have done a little bit of painting of sorts though – more simple scatter scenery. These crates come from the various DUST Tactics boxed sets I’ve accumulated over the years. Like so much in my collection, they sat around unused for ages before I got them out and primed them with PSC US Armour and Dunkelgelb Warspray cans. I did that several months ago, before winter set in and made spraying in any form very difficult. Since I could do very little else with my wrist as it is, I got Marouda to help me out over the weekend and tried out the Plastic Soldier Company spray stains that I purchased several years ago but have avoided using on my models in favour of more controlled washes and so forth applied by brush. I didn’t really enjoy using them, but they did the job – especially once I went over them with a drybrush afterwards (and a little dark spot wash on the US ones). I completed them with a gloss polyurethane varnish afterwards for hardiness, followed by Testor’s Dullcote to give them a nice matt finish.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

Axis DUST Tactics Supply drop crates.

The Axis crates were painted in the same manner as the US ones, though painting them and even looking at them now brings huge annoyance, as the assembly line workers in China seem to have mis-assembled several of the crates, as they have three different types of end-cap mixed across two different types of chassis. Still, if I don’t look too hard, I’ll be able to get past it.

Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger

Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger

Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger

This style of supply drop canister is loosely based on the Abwurfbehälter that were used by the Fallschirmjäger during WWII. The real ones went through several iterations – beginning as wood and finally ending up in a metal style that was the most common and well known. In WWII the Abwurfbehälter had specific markings that denoted their contents, though in the case of these Dust ones, I’ve decided to keep mine entirely without markings – so as to be more generic to work more easily across more games – From DUST (if I ever play it) to Konflict ’47 to 30&40k, various 28mm Star Wars games and hell, even moderns or Bolt Action.

More Fast Scenery – Confrontation Walls, DUST Dragon’s Teeth

Continuing the drive I’ve been on in knocking over fast-ish scenery projects recently, here’s a couple more things I’ve completed in the past week or so.

First up are some stone walls from the Confrontation starter set – which is also the place that the recent Hill Ruins came from. This time, I remembered to add a figure for scale. I like these walls a lot. They’re just the thing (along with the hill) that whoever owns the current rights to should be churning out en masse as cheap and great-looking scenery in hard plastic.

Because I’ve got two starter sets, I’ve ended up with 4 of each piece (the set comes with 2 of each piece, plus the hill, figures, dice, tape measure, rules, etc. Just the usual as far as painting goes on these – base coat, drybrush, wash, drybrush again, weathering powders.

Small Confrontation walls, with Elf for Scale.

Large Confrontation walls, with Elf still for scale.

Confrontation walls again, alongside Italieri Fountain

When I first showed off the Italieri fountain, awhile back, I got asked quite a reasonable question about scale. So this time I’m showing the figure to demonstrate both the scale, and also how well these ruined wall sections fit in with other scenery to create a space that could fit in anywhere from a Fantasy world to WWII to the 41st Millennium. Take away the fountain and the walls will work just as perfectly in an Ancients setting.

Confrontation walls combine nicely to make a ruined building. Call Time Team!

 

I also started and finished a second batch of 6 Dragon’s Teeth/Tank Traps from DUST Tactics sets. I started with 6 of them, from various starter sets and so forth, painted them at least a year ago, then they sat around. In the last year or so, I’ve discovered another 6 of them, gleaned from various DUST expansion sets, and so the lot of them sat around taking up space in my painting area, until last week when I finally pulled my fist out and painted the new ones. Which predictably took just a couple of hours in a day that I was also busy doing all sorts of other things in. So – probably not worth the delay in getting ’round to them, then.

DUST Dragon’s Teeth Tank Traps

Nothing amazing. Painted with a base of Woodland Scenics’ Concrete, then some washes, drybrushing and Tamiya weathering stuff. They look decent and suitably grubby with a realistic enough look on the table top.

DUST Dragon’s Teeth – Area Denial!

With 12 of them now finished, there’s enough of them to provide a fair bit of Area Denial to enemy armour. Again, suitable for battlefields anywhere from WWII through to the far future. Though I have admittedly just realised that there’s no scale shot with a vehicle for size context. I’ll get that sorted shortly.

 

 

 

Review – DUST Airfield Accessory Pack – Quonset Huts

I’ve looked at these in the past, when I got some of these models as part of one of the DUST campaign sets – Operation Icarus. Basically, I liked the models so much that I bought a standalone set as well. While playing a game of KoW recently against Marouda, I decided to open and assemble the set while I waited for her to make her agonisingly slow move. This is the result.

DUST – Airfield Accessory Pack – Quonset Huts

While they’re sized for DUST to take up a terrain square each, they can easily be butted up against one another for more realistic, longer huts.

They come stacked up in the box.

Unlike the ones that come with Operation Icarus, these ones do not come assembled.

End-Walls

They do come separated from the sprue though, and pretty nicely clean – making assembly a doddle.

Slide the two walls in and you’re assembled!

With a bit of plastic cement, I went from opening the box to having them all assembled inside 10 minutes.

 

Just after taking the last shots, I went outside with a rattle can of Rust-Oleum spray in Nutmeg and had them all base coated. When the weather fines up for a little while at a time I can spray again (like, when I’m not at work!) I’ll give them a second light coat. Then I’ll spray on a bit of olive green and such. What I’m getting at is that they’re as easy to paint up as they are to assemble. And if I weren’t so anal-retentive at times they’d already be “good enough”. (Gotta do the window frames and such before I can call them “finished”, you see!)

As an inexpensive box of easily-assembled and easily painted terrain, I can’t recommend them highly enough. I’ll show them again once they’re 100% finished, which is more down to the current winter weather here in Melbourne making spraying difficult and proper photography a depressing proposition. I’ll (probably) get around to using them for DUST at some stage, but I like them because they’re flexible enough to be used anywhere in games set from WWII right up to modern times and beyond. Since my vision of that 41st Millenium that’s so popular encompasses architecture beyond the current aesthetic of incredibly gaudy pieces, or Eagle Turrets with Penis Cannons, I’m very happy to include terrain pieces like these on my personal 40k battlefields as well.

Recommended!

 

 

Inconsequential Things

As I get older, I come to the realisation about many things in my life. I’ll probably never get around to watching all the TV shows I’d like to. Likewise with movies. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to playing all of the board and miniature games I’ve bought – and I know I’ll never finish all of the PC, 360 and PS3 games I’ve bought. I also realise that I’ll probably never get around to painting all of the models I own – yet, as with all of these things – I continue to collect and accumulate more and more of them – on a weekly basis.

So what does this mean for painting? Well, there are two main roads I can go down. Either I can try to paint better, and spend all my time trying to learn new techniques, increase my skills, and improve all elements of my game. My friend Cash Wiley is one such painter, who has come along incredibly in terms of skill in the last two or so years. However, Cash only finishes a relative few figures per year – albeit to a high standard that is increasing all of the time. My (failed) target last year was 365, and I’m on my second attempt for 365 this year. The other path is that of simply getting shit finished and onto the table. Because you know what? “Good enough” is actually good enough from four feet away when each individual in a block of 10 or 20 or 40 really isn’t all that important and doesn’t need to be anywhere near your best work. I’ve been reading the Bolt Action and Hail Caesar rulebooks over the past few evenings, and almost all of the sumptuous models in those books, in the evocative and atmospheric photos simply don’t pass muster as display models. Yet, ranked up or walking through hedgerows in the close-up photos in those books, they still manage to look fucking amazing.

So what for me? I won a few painting comps in my youth – my best and most amusing being equal first with myself (they couldn’t choose which of my two figures they liked the best) at CanCon back in 1992. I should photograph and post those guys sometime, too. But with father time and my own inevitable demise starting to make themselves felt, I’ve decided that every model can’t be my best model. As readers would have seen with the recent speedpaints of Zombies and, erm, more Zombies, and the Treeman and the Bolt Throwers, I’ve been going for speed lately. I think really though, my path as a painter needs to go down the middle. I need to finish stuff. Now more than ever really, especially with my games table now being a thing that exists. I also need to take time out from mass production and speed-blasting through stuff from time to time to work on individual figures with details and freehand, for the soul of it all.

This post, aside from reading a bit like a teenage girl’s diary or a man in midlife crisis (neither of which is totally accurate :p), is mostly a chance to show off a bunch of stuff I’ve gotten done this year. Nothing amazing or outstanding. Inconsequential things really. Much of it is scenery, and in the scheme of it all, none of it is really important. But it’s a bunch of stuff that got done, and in that, it’s good enough. The plan is to photograph everything that I finish this year, and eventually to photograph everything that’s painted in my collection. That last part might take some time.

Mid-90’s GW Dryads.

These guys are some Dryads that I was either given or sold quite cheap by a friend back in the mid-90s. I’m not sure why I wanted them, so they must have been cheap or free. I think they may actually be recasts, given how malformed some of them are. Anyway, I found them in the bottom of a box of figures recently, and since I was able to finish the Bones Ent/Spirit of the Forest in a day recently, I thought I’d try and knock these up quickly as well in a similar manner. While they’re no works of art up close, they’ll look fine from across the table in KoW or in a game of Pathfinder, etc. A good example of “good enough”!

DUST Quonset Huts

Dust Quonset Huts

The Quonset huts I previewed a few posts ago when I cracked open some of the DUST Tactice expansion boxes. These painted up pretty quickly. I went with a worn desert scheme since my main mat is a desert mat. It also seems to be the most appropriate colour for moderns, and of course works just fine for WWII and 40k. I need to buy another couple of packs of these – they’re pretty great as well as inexpensive.

DUST Quonset Hut with Space Marine for scale.

Dark Angel Marine charges out of the Quonset Hut doorway.

I also took a couple of pics featuring a GW Space Marine, since they’re so ubiquitous that they’re very useful for establishing scale for this sort of thing. I’m sure the Dark Angels have some fights around these huts in their future!

Aged statues.

Here we have four statues made from random miniatures, some short resin columns that were no doubt in a bargain bin, and some plaques made from card. These were all originally made about 8-10 or so years ago. The writing is all painted freehand, and comes from an English-Greek dictionary, and an English-Russian dictionary. Naturally, I can’t recall what they actually say so many years later. This year’s work on them has been to “dirty them up” as they were way too clean – hence the dirt and wear on the stone, and the verdigris on the statues – which was my first play with the new Citadel Technical Paint “Nihilakh Oxide”. Verdict: It’s okay.

Resin wooden barrels.

Resin wooden barrels. Chronopia figures for scale.

These barrels were started years and years ago. When? Who can remember. The important thing is that they’re finished now. I had a bit of fun (back when I started them) freehanding the cans on the two smaller sets. I’ve included the second pic with the Chronopia figures for scale – the barrels are a good size for both roleplaying as well as various types of wargaming. Sadly, I found several more of them in a box this evening. So.. more to come, more to go. After a bit of Internet Detective work, (and using my memory) I found the barrels, which are still available, over at Scotia Grendel Miniatures.

Battle for Macragge Power Pylons

Power Pylon things from the 4th Edition 40k starter set: Battle for Macragge. I just added the tufts to these this year, and that’s too little for me to count them as part of this year’s tally (they were only finished last year). They were sitting next to a bunch of the other stuff I grabbed to photograph tonight, so they got a pic taken as well, since they fit the theme of this post, and as stated, I want to eventually photograph and post everything.

Trapdoors and Grates.

More random resin stuff from my dark past. Dungeon scenery stuff this time, along with two trapdoors from the GW Lord of the Rings Mines of Moria boxed set. The usual drybrushing and so forth, of course, but with the addition of oil-based MIG rust washes added. An example of wanting to knock stuff over but also using simple, inconsequential  things as an opportunity to play with new materials and techniques. – Like the statues above and Nihilakh Oxide. And I’ve just found them. The Grills pack from Grendel – though my pack  back in the day only came with three, not the six they now come with. The last piece of that set is on my “stuff that’s been started and put aside” shelf right now.

Resin Graves

More resin gravestones.

Once again, more resin randomness from my past. At one point, back when I started these in the noughties – I planned to base them on and make a single large scenery piece of a graveyard that I could plonk down on a table. At some point back then after startting the large base I changed my mind and decided to leave these as standalone pieces, which I think was and remains a better idea. Much more flexible this way, and I can still make an actual graveyard piece if I want to use the various tombstones that have been part of various GW (and others’) skeleton kits over the years. While these are more fantasy themed, but these could also work well for WWII or Zombiepocalypse gaming quite easily. And yep, it turns out that the graveyard set is also a Grendel Set. I suspect that a huge percentage of my resin scenery will turn out to be these kits. I bought a hell of a lot of them back in the day.

Secret Weapon Scrap Yard Barricade Truck.

Secret Weapon Scrap Yard Barricade Truck.

Secret Weapon Scrap Yard Barricade Truck.

Secret Weapon Scrap Yard Barricade Truck.

One of the real highlights of my Secret Weapon Miniatures Bag(s) ‘o’ Crap that I picked up in December – along with the Hesco and Jersey barriers shown previously was this overturned Half-track Ute (or truck) from the Secret Weapon Miniatures Scrap Yard Barricades set. I had quite a lot of fun painting this, with layers of washes and drybrushing and mediums and edging and applying effects with foam and so forth. Obviously this thing works best for Sci-Fi/40k/GorkaMorka/Post-apocalyptic stuff, but if you squint, it could also work for moderns in Afghanistan or the like.

Secret Weapon Destroyed Tank Turret.

Secret Weapon Destroyed Tank Turret

Secret Weapon Destroyed Tank Turret.

Secret Weapon Destroyed Tank Turret.

Another nice surprise in my Bag(s) ‘o’ Crap was this turret. Part of the Secret Weapon Miniatures Scrap Yard Destroyed Tank set. A pretty nice piece, though Holy 3-d print lines, Batman! Still, for the price I paid for it, and even full RRP ($20 for a whole tank) it’s pretty nifty. It’s just occurred to me that I should have taken a scale shot with that Dark Angel next to the Truck and this Turret, but rest assured that both are well taller than The Emporer’s Finest, and I’ll take a couple of scale shots as an append to one of my next blog posts. Again, with a little squinting, this thing will work well in games set in any year from 1940-41,000.

And that, my friends, is that.

A not insubstantial update, but as I noted at the start, made of many of the sort of things that hardly justify an update in their own right. I’m up to 81 miniatures finished so far this year on Day 60. I’m ahead of schedule, though only because my criteria is so loose. Still, shit’s getting done. Which can only be a good thing. I hope to soon finish a few of the things blocking me from a couple of “fun” figures that I’m really looking forward to.