Thursday 29 January 2015

485 - Bolt Action British - First XV

Well done Warlord Games! 

These figures are really, really characterful: an absolute joy to behold - I can hardly wait to see them painted up!

Yes, I've been enjoying expanding into 28mm Bolt Action (I already have some 15mm BA bits...)

They were fiddly, though. Cutting down their spines and backpacks in order to insert an equally-trimmed-down spade haft is not a job for new modellers, and one of the tiny Webley service revolvers has irretrievably pinged-off I don't know where, but these models really are smashing!

Here's my first fifteen, with annotations and mildly differing camera angles:
- Drax.

PS: "More on the way"? - Who said that? I never said there was more on the way...

...did I?

Sunday 25 January 2015

484 - Sad But Inevitable: Ebay Time

Yup - money's tight and space is at a premium, so the peripheral hobby stuff is having to go. I had a wee cull a fortnight ago, but Mrs Drax said I should at least tell you lot that it's happening, so here it is. All of the following are up for sale, amongst some other bits and bobs *sniff*:
Err...Cadian Rough Riders?
Oh well - more (and more streamlined) toys for Chris, maybe...?

(Plus the family not starving, of course.)

- D.

Monday 19 January 2015

483 - X-Wing Moonbase Painting Progress

Hullo All,

Thanks for the tips a couple of posts ago: I've now drybrushed the rock, softened? warmed? changed the grey of all the man-made structures and then repainted all of the shadow and some edge highllights, with varying degrees of success. I reckon it looks smashing!
Not amused.
Amused far less.
Sadly, spot colours just didn't work at all: the scale's all wrong. If I had subtlety enough with my painting, I'd paint it in a muted palette like the underside of the GR-70 Reel Transport...but I don't. So I won't.

It still needs a bit more tidying, and I'll follow some of  Mordian 7th's advice and deepen the well-like structures, but it's that Lambda shuttle that's frustrating me: I just cannot make it look right and the more paint I put on it the clunkier it becomes. Any thoughts for more free help, please?

Pretty please?

- D.

Friday 16 January 2015

482 - "Hang on a minute lads - I've got a great idea..."

I've had what I think is a good hobbying idea.
That's right: from the mind that brought you 'Drax's Painting Charts', I now present 'Drax's Hobby Purchase Priority Matrix'.

Okay, so the name might take some work, but I think this is a goer. Please have a look, mull it over, and - if you like the idea - use it, adapt it, improve it and spread the word!

I got the idea from a health and safety audit I had to help with at my daughter's pre-school: Put simply, you rate the cost of a hobby purchase and how much you 'need' it, then multiply the two in order to generate a priority. It's a real eye-opener!

Here's a typed-up version of what mine looks like:

...and you simply multiply the two values!

Some examples:

  • I consider the command miniatures an 'essential' for my nascent Bolt Action force (1) and they cost under a tenner (1). 1x1=1, so naturally this means that if I get any spendable cash(!) this will be priority 1 at the top of my 'to buy' list.
  • I'd also quite like the quintessentially British Vickers MG team. It's less essential, but still cheap: 2x1=2 - slightly lower priority.
  • I'll need some heavier Bolt Action-y firepower too, and I have my eyes on the surprisingly cheap Cromwell tank. 2x2=4. Bingo! I can see where it stands on the shortlist!
  • SAGA rulebook: 3x2=6;
  • SAGA starter force: 3x3=9.
...And honestly, that's about it!

Simple stuff, yes, but it's been a real eye-opener for me!

I know it's not a perfect idea, but do please let me know any thoughts you might have, including for a more catchy name (even if only for my own titillation).  


- Drax.

PS: I've actually been painting, too: the moonbase [link], after your excellent tips!

Saturday 10 January 2015

481 - Okay, so I have this thing...HOW DO I PAINT IT? HELP?

Thanks to many of you for the kind words about the X-Wing moonbase I made over Christmas.
What follows are a few other pics I took, but mostly a pleas for advice on how to paint it. 

You see, it's constructed from assorted bits and pieces on a lump of soft, slatey rock from the beach near here, and when I spray undercoated it black I absolutely loved the brief moment of directional shadow I got from all the relief detail, so I practised on a few old sprues and gave it a go when I spray-primed it grey. Can you see it in any of these pics?
Well, here are my questions for you:
  1. Should I pretty much leave it as it is but maybe add some highlights and a bit of shading in the 'illuminated' bits? This seems to be the best option...
  2. Should I try to tidy up the directional light/shadow to make it 'pop' more? I worry that I won't match the colour of the primer and I'd just make it look rubbish.
  3. Should I just paint it?
  4. Should I paint just the 'illuminated' parts?
  5. If  do paint it, I'd quite like to use a muted palette, in keeping with both the Star Wars aesthetic and the 'moonshine'-style illumination...if so, how the heck do I achieve this? I'm rubbish with colour.
Finally, regardless of each and all of the above, how should I paint that dinky wee Lambda Shuttle?

Please offer any ideas you can think of if you'd be so kind - painting really is not my forté!

Yours in hope,

- Drax.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

480 - Field Marshal Montgomery - A Pompey Fan?


One out of the blue today.

I was back in my home town of Portsmouth last week, and - whilst in a print shop getting some photos - I noticed this wee gem:

That's right - it appears that Monty himself was the President of Pompey Football Club during their post-war heyday!

I love the contrast between the keeper ('BUTLER, E') and the club pres ('FIELD MARSHAL THE VISCOUNT MONTGOMERY OF ALAMEIN KG, GCB, DSO').


In my head, they had Monty running round the pitch before the matches like a novelty mascot to whip the crowd into a frenzy.

- Drax.

PS: Did you know Pompey once held the FA CUp uncontested for six whole years? - That's right: they won it in 1939! [link here].

Friday 2 January 2015

479 - Oh, Brave New World. Big News!

Hullo All, and Happy New Year!
That sratch-built Lamba shuttle on the pad will give you an idea of scale: it's 7mm long. 
I might yet do one of those 'Year in Review' posts but for now, I thought I'd make some announcements. Minor, perhaps, but big news for me. I shall endeavour to keep things uncharacteristically brief, so stand by for a numbered list:

  1. I'm not giving up on 40K. Despite all of GW's subtle attempts to - ahem - alienate me, I'm going to try to follow Zzzzzz's example and play 40K occasionally, and for fun, with whatever passes for a vague approximation of the rules. I'm not even going to bother trying to keep abreast of the changes. This will probably mean a longer-term storage for the IG, which will make my minimal storage space far more manageable.
  2. I'm entering an X-Wing tournament. Genuinely. I plan to take a themed, rather than particularly competitive squadron, but that doesn't really matter nearly so much in X-Wing. Rather pleasingly, it's hosted by the wonderful Col. Gravis! 
  3. I've started expanding into Bolt Action at 28mm. I just couldn't resist, despite my misgivings about painting historicals at that scale. Late-War British Army, naturellement. Some folks have also been kind enough to steer me towards other rules sets for which I can hopefully use the same minis. Watch this space for developments, folks...
  4. I've made a moon-base as an objective for X-Wing. Yup. See pic, above. Details in a post soon.
  5. I'm ebay-ing some more stuff. Gotta happen sometime, right?
  6. I've made some modular hills! A wee Christmas holiday project, above. In case you're not a follower of The Terrain Guy on youtube (link here), well...he's none other than Mel of 'Col. Corbane' fame - another old-skool blogger, and his youtube clips are brilliantly useful! Following his advice I fairly swiftly planned, organised and made fifteen hills, ten of which are fully modular and interchangeable (the ones with red on the top). It made a fair bit of mess, but it brought me a heck of a lot of joy...and recycled a Christmas present box. Yay.
Planning notes and templates for the above.
A maturation, then, for Drax. Here's to what will - hopefully - be a great hobby year for us all, right?

- Chris.