Monday 27 January 2014

409 GW, White Dwarf and Representation of Minorities (or) "Dear Jervis..."

And now for something a wee bit different...
...So whilst having a clear-out I found this: a photocopy of a letter I handwrote to Jervis back in 2008. I thought I'd share it with you lot, on the offchance that someone might want to see what I had to sy back then. Amongst my ramblings I cover such ground as
  • stuff I like
  • stuff I don't like so much
  • representation of 'race' (?) in 40K
  • representation of gender in 40K and
  • different adjectival versions of 'elf'.
It's a fun read. Honest. And no: I don't pretend that it's some super-academic post-feminist treatise on the state of the world today: it's just a rambling letter:
If, perchance, there's anyone who's genuinely interested in the contents but can't be bothered to read it, then just drop me a line, and I'll see if I can type it up.


- Drax.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

408 - 15mm Bolt Action British 'Reinforced Platoon' Finished and Based

Well now.
A break in the weather meant I could varnish, which officially makes my 15mm British (early war) core platoon the fastest I've ever completed a project. Less than a month, start to finish!
Back to 40k next, but just in case the Wonderful Dai is still wondering, yes - I have made some progress on my Matilda (bottom left):
It's further down the painting queue now though...

- Drax.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

407 Bolt Action - Presenting My Core 'Reinforced Platoon'...

And here they are (less varnish and static grass):
HQ Section; Platoon 2" Mortar Team; Boys A/T Rifle Team; 1 and 2 Sections:
I may or may not have given the Subaltern a sneaky wee early-war 'tache.
Astute readers may perhaps notice that some of the second platoon (which I've just got to) haven't had their boots blacked yet. Rats! Oh well, there's time enough before bed. This is without doubt the fastest I've ever painted a platoon - even a small one: for me at least it's officially waaaaay faster to paint single 15mm figures than Flames of War stands. I guess it's just far less fiddly.

Right then. I'm off to do some boot-blacking.

Stay well,

- Drax.

Sunday 12 January 2014

406 Ups and Downs...and Stupidity in Paint Nomenclature

Hullo, All.

As always the weather's absolutely dreadful, so the photo I snapped yesterday with my mobile phone - mid-basecoating - is about all I can muster in terms of proof(!) but since then I've done a lot...with mixed results. With green being 'good' and red 'less so', I've now...
  1. ...more-or-less devoured the Bolt Action rules. I'm not one for writing reviews, but I like how refreshingly open and explicitly simplistic they are. The book is lovely inded (helped by the Osprey illustrations) and it has a delightfully tongue-in-cheek tone throughout. An index would be helpful, but it's really very readable indeed.
  2. ...basecoated my Matilda II. Now if you're not aware of this, please note that I have absolutely no understanding of colour. I'm not colour-blind, but I quite literally cannot see the image of a colour on a painting guide and recreate it. At all. And trust me - if you're like me with this, the names and code numbers that companies (like Vallejo and GW) assign to their colours REALLY don't help: for example (trying to paint my Matilda II) the colour Brown-Violet is neither brown nor violet and is in appearance a kind of dirty bluey-grey. I do not have a snowball's chance in hell here...
  3. the fivepence bases sorted for my reinforced 15mm Bolt Action rulebook: £1.75's worth in total. I stuck them, built them up them with filler and spray-basecoated them, along with some outstanding FoW sniper bases...and ONLY THEN did I realise I'd forgotten to texture them with sand. Doing so and painting over it cost me another hour.
    Based? - YES!   Sprayed? - YES!  Textured? - Oh, bugger.
  4. ...painted the thress base colours onto my platoon HQ, 1 and 2 sections, the 2" mortar team and the Boys Rifle team...and here's where I hit trouble. The wonderful Dai was right: my troops (as it says on the back of BBX04) are indeed supposed to be in Italy. No problem,' thought I... until I realised that unlike any picture I can find of the BEF in 1940 they've all got their bloody sleeves rolled up. Downside of 15mm, eh? Bugger.
Still, the upside of 15mm at least is that having decided to sod it and paint them up in olive drab anyway I breezed through them at pace, and another two-hour session should enable me to finish the all of the paint on those core troops noted above (the remainder comprise 3 section, a sniper team and my artillery FOO's team). If by some chance I develop a sudden and uncharacteristic urge to play some Italian theate battles...well, then I guess maybe they're fresh reinforcements from England without their lighter battledress.

Experimental BA army lists to follow later this week.

...and don't worry: I aven't forgotten other projects. The Emperor keeps his watch over me yet...

- Drax.

Friday 3 January 2014

404 - Day 14/14 - Finished! ...But Why Do I Never Learn?

I made it!

Fourteen consecutive days of actively pursuing my hobbies (all three systems, as it happens!) and posting daily about them...despite lightning strikes, travel, babysitting duties and fear of discovery...thanks for following along with me.

As you've possibly already seen from the photos, tonight finds me - once again, sitting on the landing to get some hobbying done - in this case, getting some filler onto my (now full-strength, thanks to another ten penceworth of change) BEF platoon's bases.

Only this time it's my own landing.

My own sodding landing.

Which is tiny: about 2'x4'6''.

"Why?" you may well wonder.

The reasons are many and varied but essentially involve me looking after the baby again but the baby monitor doesn't work and she needs darkness to sleep. Our cottage is pretty damned small (especially for my poor American wife whose Mid-West friends all have veritable palaces by comparison), and the 1840s stone construction renders it pretty damned soundproof vertically. I have to be within earshot of the baby (who's in our room) but the only other room on this floor is the small, damp, cold bathroom, which is a no-go for hobby, despite having the best lighting in the house.

So it's the landing again...


...What a predictably ignominious end!

Still, I've REALLY enjoyed the challenge as well as your comments and support and it's quite evidently been the most fecund period for my hobbying in a long, long time.


There'll be a short hiatus now whilst I actually get some work done for a few days, but I'm hoping to think of some inventive way to celebrate my 400th post properly.

Stay tuned, and thanks again,

- Admiral Drax.

Thursday 2 January 2014

403 - Day 13/14 - Behold! The Makings of a BEF Rifle Platoon (Bolt Action)

Hullo, all.

The village shop was open again today, and although they didn't have any milk, they did at least manage to find me a quid's worth of shiny five pence I've been able to base (almost all of) my BEF platoon! Yay! My ongoing thanks to The Inner Geek, by the way, for donating the minis...

At the moment I could use a couple more coins to give my Lieutenant his HQ section (never forgetting, of course, his batman!) but otherwise that's my platoon, ready for some new filler around the bases and then a lick of paint! Here they be:
I'm grateful for the very helpful notes here and here, and I've no doubt that this FoW diagram will soon come in useful too:
Today's modelling, by the way, is a prime example of what I was discussing yesterday: I knew I had a pocketful of coins and only 25 minutes of hobby time before our friend came round to watch 'Sherlock' on the iplayer, so this was the ideal task to set to. Now I'm typing this in the dark on babysitting duties, whilst we're finally trying to get No 2 Daughter to sleep through the night. Tonight Mrs. Drax gets a break.

One day more. Then I'll really need to get some work done!

Thanks for swinging by,

- D.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

402 - Day 12/14 - More Progress Progresses

Hullo All, and Happy New Year (and yes, I appreciate it is in fact 2014 now: thanks for the pointers!)

I was a big brave boy yesterday. I was sorely tempted to do an extra post just to tip the balance to 56 posts in 2013 - one up on 2012 - but I didn't. I guess I quite liked the parity.

Today I decided to work on my Flames of War 11AD Rifle Company's 3rd Platoon - just two phases of production-line painting which really went uncharacteristically swiftly for me:

If you're wondering why I have so many things up in the air at the moment, it's mostly due to the fragmentary and ephemeral nature of my whole hobby experience: because I don't have anything permanently set up it's tricky for me to stick with something.

I also have a low engagement threshold when it comes to painting. If these things were left set out on my untouchable hobby desk from one day to the next it'd be different, but when I'm snatching 45 minutes here-and-there it really does need to grab my interest. Naturally these snatches of hobby time also preclude getting into anything which will take longer, like the painting of vehicles, which is why (despite being a tread-head at heart) I often leave vehicles ignored for months on end.

Luckily, I know that many of my faithful readers suffer similarly, so you know whereof I speak.

Being weak-willed, I'm not one for resolutions, and as for an end-of-year-wrap-up-cum-look-forward post, well, I kind of did that here (for 40K) and here (for FoW)...and the only change since is that I'm now dipping a toe into Bolt Action.

Hmmm...I may or may not have purchased the Bolt Action rulebook today on ebay. Likewise I may or may not have deliberately opted for the slower postage in the vain hope that it'll arrive AFTER I'm back at school, thereby leaving me free beforehand to work through the massive bloody stack of marking I have.

Because that's going to hppen, right?

Take care, All,

- Drax.