Saturday 22 February 2014

415 - Great News from the Plastic Soldier Company!


I emailed them months ago to ask about this, and they said it was on its way, but it's great to know that in the pipeline for us Brits is nothing other than...
15mm Universal Carriers!

Plus, of course, a bunch of other stuff for other, more fashionable armies, like 88mm guns with tractors and Panzergrendiers.
That's right, those brilliant, brilliant folks over at the Plastic Soldier Company have decided to make cheaply available one of the most pleasingly ubiquitous of all WW2 fact, one could quite reasonably call it 'universal'!

Here's to recce fun in all theatres, eh?

- Drax

Tuesday 18 February 2014

414 Drax and the Infantile Colour Wheel

Hullo! For those of you who've never met me, please trust me when I say I am genuinely rubbish with colour. Truly.

Luckily I now have technology on my side: this morning, Mrs Drax was showing No.1 Daughter (aged 4) a basic colour wheel:

No.1 Daughter (aged 4) now has a far better understanding than me.


Three three-hour painting sessions mean that I've now finished all but two of Zzzzzzz's chaos minion! Huzzah! Half term with luck should prove sufficient for me to finish the whole lot of 'em...then my delayed gratification reward will beckon!

Watch this space.


Breaking News that broke three days ago and a beach that's no longer a beach.



- D.

Friday 14 February 2014

413 - PAW 2014 - Wargaming Convention

Yup, this is just the promised brief snapshot of Plymouth's excellent PAW 2014 (1st-2nd Feb '14). Phone pics first:
Detail from a GORGEOUS Bolt Action Demo Game - I'm afraid I really don't know whose (any claimants?)
Another detail from the same game
And again. Just lovely minis - Bolt Action's just so evocative when well presented!
Long shot of a wide-ranging more modern game - 1:72? Still no idea whose game this was, I'm afraid...
Ditto (detail)
And just inside the main hall - who else but our very own Kirton Games!
I went only for an hour or so, as I had No.2 Daughter with me (my bargaining chip for being allowed out) and for once, I actually bought something. Two things in fact: I bought my new KR Multicase and I bought a pot of the new GW curiously-not-quite-Dark-Angels-Green paint from the ever-pleasant Col. Gravis, who was there with Kirton Games. Yay!
Gravis is the pensive-looking one at the stall at the back...
Now, rather impressively, the PAW event takes up two very large sports halls, and this year it included (I believe) six tournaments too - including 40K and Flames of War. Next year I might just take a Flames army along...

It's hosted by the excellent Plymouth Association of Wargamers, and I've been very struck a number of times by how friendly it is. Talking of which, if anyone can point me towards any owners of the models in the shots above I'd be much obliged...

Who knows - if I keep this up then maybe one day I might even emerge from my gamer's closet...?!

Keep well,

- Drax.

PS: It's half-term now, so weather, family and sleep notwithstanding I might just be able to get a wee bit more painting done...

Sunday 9 February 2014

412 "Achtung - Jabo!" - Hawker Typhoon for Flames of War

In an unprecedented two (that's right - just two!) painting sessions I'm delighted to note that I've finished up my (1:144 Revell) Hawker Typhoon for my 11AD Flames of War force! And I love Hawker aircraft...
Pics first, then bumf:
The Revell kit cost only £1.99 from my lovely local toyshop and was evidently designed for either very young children or people without thumbs. Or children without thumbs. Or maybe it was designed for goldfish. I don't really know, but what I DO know is that my low expectations for the low-budget price tag were decidedly met. To avoid my usual longwindedness, here's the breakdown:
Good points:
  • Dirt cheap. In fact, I'm thinking of buying a Spitfire kit just for the decals...
  • It has the right armament;
  • It does at least look like a Tiffie;
  • The decals are actually quite high quality, and
  • I've recycled them now, but I seem to recall the instructions were passable.
Bad points:
  • Rather thin plastic with loads of flash in that actually-quite-awkward-to-get-rid-of-very-well kind of a way: the prop blades in particular were terrible;
  • The clear plastic (canopy and base) is quite cheaply engineered;
  • It came with NO OPTION FOR A RAISED UNDERCARRIAGE, and the wheel covers were modelled in such a way that you couldn't even re-jig them. I ended up scrapping the undercarriage entirely and using Plasticine (I couldn't find my ancient green-stuff) to fill and re-sculpt the wheels as raised. A pity this, and rather an odd choice when you consider (a) the flight stand, (b) the simplicity of the build and the finished product otherwise and (c) the fact that invasion stripes are hard enough to paint without trying to make a thumb-less goldfish paint them separately onto the lowered wheel covers;
  • Lots of the bits are pretty misaligned - even the wingtips are problematic;
  • The moving prop was very poorly engineered, and
  • The underslung RP racks were very fiddly.
Luckily, I'm not an inexperienced modeller, so I managed to bodge it together in the end. I'm pretty proud of the invasion stripes, to be honest, as well as the alacrity with which I finished it. I sat down last night to base-coat some of Zzzzzz's models (the gun and the centaur - more of which soon-ish) and just thought, 'actually, I feel like painting something fiddly but achievable tonight.' So I did.

Paints are all Citadel (although I base-coated the green camo (as seen in Post 411) with Vallejo Russian Uniform): Astronomican Grey for the canopy and belly, and the camouflage is Catachan Green with Codex Grey. For the first time in a loooooong time I even experimented with watering down my paints to help me paint the straight lines of the invasion stipes!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ought to point out that I was one of those who built scores of WWII planes through my childhood (all 1:72; mostly Airfix) so it did bring back a wave of pleasant nostalgia, but I only ever painted one. Ever. Out of almost a hundred planes that I had painstakingly built, I only ever painted the Dambusters(Gibson's) Lancaster. This was mostly because I hated painting, but also because I hated Humbrol emulsion paints. Yuck. By the time I built that Lanc I had enough Citadel paints knocking around to make a go of it.

So there we go. Happy Drax!

See you soon,

- D.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

411 How On Earth Did This Happen?

Someone recently noted that they'd like to see my collection of Flames of War minis all gathered together for a group hug. The weather's filthy, so I've gathered them all together in the only place with decent light in my dim, damp cave of a cottage - the kitchen - in their brand new KR multicase foam!

Apparently I've somehow amassed more than I realised:
Everything painted. Details below in no particular order...
4 25pdrs, their staff team and a half-dozen 3" mortars
Shermans and Firefly VCs
4.2" mortars and 25pdr bases
Scratch-Built Austin AOP and misc. command bases
 1 and 2 rifle platoons' squads and a 4-gun 6pdr platoon. There are two more of these foam trays as yet unfilled too!
I will get a full picture soon, honest...
And here's an extra bonus: something I did some work on in a half-arsed way t'other day - a 1/144 Typhoon I picked up for £2 and knocked together - the painting is, of course, W-i-P:
We're getting there, y'know. Slowly maybe, but we are getting there.

Next up: fun and games and Gravis at 'PAW 2014' in Plymouh last weekend...

- Drax.

Sunday 2 February 2014

410 Chaos Incursion!

Yup, more Chaos.
On the painting desk once more are Zzzzzz's renegade nasties (pic below) but what's FAR more disturbing is the appearance of this mark of Chaos in No.1 Daughter's new toy:

This is a set of Rory's Story Cubes, a very kind gift from my dad. The set is nicely presented in a gorgeous little box and an absolutely brilliant idea for engendering storytelling and imagination, but it's also hideously overpriced in that very gratingly-aspirational-middle-class-y-kinda way, with a set of the basic nine dice costing about a tenner.

Mind you, as they point out, statistically alone each set affords over 10 million combination for storytelling, so one can't really be surprised that the taint of the Ruinous Powers inevitably got involved somehow...!
I'm plugging away...

- Drax.