Monday, 31 December 2012

346 Sly Marbo says,"Happy New Year!"

Thanks for another great year, Gentle Readers!

To celebrate, and because I'm miles away from the hardware or enough poxy bandwidth to get any new pics up, here's an old and irrelevant image from my blog chosen from the paltry selection blogger offered me: it's Marbo!
...and here's an almost-just-as-random link to my second ever post - from May '08 - in which I note my current OrBat. Not that much different, infantry-wise, to what I field today!  

Here's to 2013, eh?

- Chris.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

345 Christmas Floods and (Swimming) Shermans

Hullo All, and Merry Christmas!

Necessity requires me to keep this brief: floods in the village have severely limited our intenet access and our phones are down: that's right - this year Clan Drax is spending Christmas in an isolated village 19th-Century style!

Seriously: I spent an hour yesterday morning clearing a rockfall from the road 10 yards down from my cottage. It's WET down here.

On the plus side, work having finished and houseguests being unable to reach us have contrived to enable me to finish one platoon of my Flames Shermans and will have finished the other by the end of tonight! Sadly, there's no chance in hell of uploading any photos at the moment.

So here instead is a picture of a 'duplex-drive' swimming Sherman...which seems apt:
I'm afraid I can't guarantee that I'll be able to either view your blogs or read them over the next few days, guys and gals, so in advance of the Season, please accept the very very best of my wishes, and thanks as ever for reading.

Merry Christmas, one-and-all!

Your humble servant,

- Drax.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

344 'Real Life' Fluff...and Why I Love Colonel Ackland

Here's why:

That's what you get from a top class blogger like Col. Ackland when - quite unbidden - he decides to send you a freebie classic mini...from Australia...just to help you out.


- Drax.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

343 Flames: Britsh 4.2" Mortar Platoon

Hullo All,

I finally got these puppies finished. The shells were buggers to paint, but I enjoyed posing the same figues in different vignettes at least! I'm actually rather happy with these...:
More 40K stuff very soon...

- Drax.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

342 Devos IV Detachment: Work-in-Progress and a question.


Well, Col Scipio over at Palladian Guard has posted his, and as the demands of my newly-expanded family actually eased enough for me to get a bit of painting done last night, please find herewith my CURRENTLY VERY WORK-IN-PROGRESS efforts for the Devos IV Liaison Team from B Coy, 2/24th Cadian light Infantry:
Obviously, so far I've just blocked-out the colours, and there are assorted bits as yet separate or temporarily blu-tacked on, but I trust you get the idea. Their officer is Brevet-Major Tiberius W. Hammett...and I'm delighted to note that Mrs Drax has also now officially named the new Regimental Corgi, too...but that'll be unveiled when he's finished.

Further details and modelling decisions will be expained once the unit's finished.

Oh, here's the question:
I plan to get some liquid greenstuff to finish up the corgi sculpt and fill his joins(!), but does anyone know if there's any easy way of scultping some suggestion of a fur texture into his surfaces, without needing either money or skill (neither of which I have much of)?

Thanks in hopeful advance,

- Drax.

Friday, 30 November 2012

341 Re-Sculpting a Legend

Here's a post for my more established readers; many of whom will be familiar with my Regimental Mascot: 'After the War'. Here he is in his original guise (made and painted by Mrs. Drax, years ago):
...and here he is in his current incarnation.
THIS post is about his W-i-P successor:
He's being made - with love - to accompany my new Standard Bearer who'll be part of the regimental liaison team I'm putting together for Zzzzzz over at Devos IV.
So far I've just blocked him out; that very distinctive corgi shape (much like a lopsided Ottoman stool with ears) is made from Fimo modelling clay, simply because I had some lying around and because it always reminds me of my ol' mum.
He's based on our ANCIENT AND VENERABLE pet corgi, Cadfael, who turned sixteen last month and who grew up in Chicago before moving to the UK. He rocks, but he's pretty slow and increasingly lumpy these days. Here he is when in his prime:
Here he is last week at the beach (that is sand, honest!):
And here he is tonight, as he looked on distainfully at my attempts at photography. You can see in this pic his main lump on his chest:
Poor old thing.

Love that dog; love him.

Thanks, All.

Take care,

- Drax.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

340 Thanksgiving Progress and Conversion Report

Hi All,

...and Happy Thanksgiving! Or - as we call it here in the UK - "Thursday".

I'm only just managing to stand up now, after my visiting Chicagoan Mother-in-Law cooked a turkey the size of Luxembourg!

And for once I've got a 40K update for you: part of a liaison team from the 2/24th Cadian that I'm putting together for the marvellous Zzzzzz over at Devos IV:
On the left, my B Coy Liaison Officer - a simple headswap with one of the brilliant new heroic 'beret' heads by Steve at Mad Robot Miniatures... but on the right a FW figure with all sorts of 'pack-rat' bits and a converted left hand - carefully ignoring his wounds and the battle around him in order to ensure The Boss's tea is just as he likes it. He's clearer in the expanded view.

Interested to hear your thoughts, everyone, if you'd be so kind.


- D.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

339 Reinforcements have Arrived!

Born at home in cottage, 9th November 2012, 8lbs, 6oz: a second baby daughter!
Both mum and new arrival are very, very well (not least after a good night's sleep!) and Drax is a very, very proud daddy.


- Chris.

PS: No name yet, so although Mrs Drax will almost certainly veto any blog suggestions...have at it!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

338 Sadoukadi Greatcoats - Reviewed!

Hullo All,

Here at last is my (informal and entirely subjective) review of the Sadoukadi Greatcoats Infantry Squad from Mad Robot Miniatures.
[No.1 Daughter helps Daddy pose his toys]
Steve at Mad Robot very kindly sent me this kit in order for me to have a look over it with a possible view to me airing my thoughts, so after the fashion of other bloggers' reviews I shall mark the kit out of 5 for presentation and packaging, sculpt quality, options/ease of assembly and overall impressions.

As usual, due to light, technology and trying-to-take-them-in-the-morning-before-Mrs-Drax-arises, the photos are of an abysmal quality. Sorry.

1) Presentation and Packaging

This I cannot rate highly enough. The models come in assorted sealing bags (I believe they're called 'baggies' Stateside) sandwiched between light foam in...a VHS cassette box. A personalised and informative VHS cassette box.
This brought me utter, utter joy - so much so in fact that I immediately went out to a local charity shop and denuded them of four of their tackiest videos in order to transport my slowly growing Flames of War forces. Nice work, Mad Robot!

5 out of 5.

2) Sculpt Quality

I was absolutely blown out of the water by how well these models are sculpted (and cast). Quite apart from the stonkingly fine details (each tiny rivet is lovingly realised, as are the treads on boots which are only ever goign to be stuck to bases!) they are very well proportioned (more 'human' than 'Cadian') and there was hardly any flash at all. These were without doubt amongst the cleanest metal miniatures I've handled in some 20 years of modelling. Seriously.
The alignment was pretty much perfect too - so much so that in some cases I was wondering where the join was! Actually, that's indicative of the quality of the sculpts: unlike so many GW minis, these seemed to have been designed to take the join into account. Great!
The only drawbacks were as follows: firstly, it seems an unnecessary shame to have the right arms attached to the sprue by the shoulder pad, rather than the less detailed upper arm, and secondly, the bases were disappointing. Notwithstanding the odd (and slightly traitorous?) feeling of handling non-GW bases, the ten bases provided loose had not been cleanly removed from their sprues, and were therefore unnecessarily damaged at the rim.
I simply cannot lower the score by an entire half-mark, so we'll call it 4-and-three-quarters out of 5.

3) Options and Ease of Assembly

These models went together really well. The left hands which support the rifles are not only exquisitely detailed and proportioned - they also fit well in the appropriate place - which is a new experience after years of GW Guardsmen! Naturally, the cleanness of the casting really helped the ease of assembly too, so thumbs-up there. Well done, Mad Robot.

[the apparent gap behind the left arm is just a trick of the (lack of) light]
There was also a smashing choice of fifteen heads - 5 with goggles, 5 with goggles up on the helmet and 5 without goggles - and a couple of different arm and weapon choices...although I was disappointed not to receive the promised 'grenade launcher' option (maybe what Steve sent gratis was a promo set). I don't know if the missing bit would've also included an arm for using with that weapon and the flamethrower (which I did get) but I didn't fancy trying to convert a right arm, as I don't have a saw at the moment, so I stuck with the rifles other than for the squad leader.
For the record I should note that Steve apologised for the omission of bits.

If I'm honest I would've liked some more options for kit and equipment - I know that greatcoats lend themselves to a slimline appearance, but the poor chaps do seem a little lacking in personal load-carrying equpment...or simply spare ammo!

4 out of 5 (on account of minimal options)

4) Overall Impressions
These models look a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y  f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c! Seriously, they look brilliant. The poses are natural, there ar no unsightly gaps or awkward limbs, and the level of detail is astounding! Naturally, they have a slightly Germanic look to them, but I'm fine with that. After all, those Germans always did have a way of making their uniforms natty and smart!
I was wondering whether I could use them (or bits of them) in my Guard army, but I've decided against it as (a) they appear too well proportioned, and therefore they'd look a little out of place against the stockiness of Cadians, and (b) I'm too much of a GW purist to use whole non-GW models. This is great news, though, becuase I'm now looking forward to painting them up for fun - maybe to try some new techniques, maybe for use in another game in the future, or maybe even as a pressie for a friend. We'll see. Either way, it'll be perfect the next time GW burn-out sets in!

4.5 out of 5

[No.1 Daughter helps Daddy pack away before Mummy gets up]

 Overall then, I'd say that this is an absolutely cracking squad of models to buy, and I cannot praise the quality and beauty of these models highly enough. If you fancy a change, why not try Mad Robot?

- Drax.