Tuesday, 26 July 2016

LAF's Army Painter 2016

Well, I foolishly decided to enter the painting competition. I don't know what possessed me to but I'm in so I might as well try and get 'er done.


Had some ups and downs this month.


Finally found "cheap" washers (about $0.12/each) to base my troops on. Want them magnetized or I would have gone with some plastic or MDF circular bases.


Placed an order from J&M Miniatures for 3 brushes and a can of Army Painter (AP) Uniform Grey spray paint. Hadn't heard anything for a while (what I felt was longer then usual) and no package at the door. Then I received an email refunding me a portion of the order with out any explanation why or what was being refunded.


I was panicked as getting AP Spray is a full day affair and I didn't really have the time available.


My package came a few days later and as I suspected it only contained brushes.


What to do? What to do?


On a whim I tried a much closer local hobby shop. Lo and behold, they had AP spray. BUT they were out of Uniform Grey...and would only place an order once their remaining AP stock was gone. FAIL! But they did have Wolf Grey which is slightly Bluer, more blue, whatever. Executive decision! Wolf Grey it is.


I rushed home semi-victoriously and primed 20 figures. Boo yah. Progress.


I managed to find some time and got a test figure part painted. I used a brown (some GW brand colour) wash on the  now AP Wolf Grey cloth. Looked weird. Dirty almost. I then decided I would dry brush some lighter Wolf Grey highlights to tidy it all up. SO off to GW for some paint. I also decided to wash the Wolf Grey with a blue wash and subsequent figures. Probably will look better.


Then I based it with the new GW texture paint and some brown dry brushing (3 colours, whew!) and I was done. Typically this is all I ever do but what the heck, I'm feeling adventurous (Aaaand, the GW texture paint didn't hide the integral base as well as I had hoped) so I applied an Army Painter tuft of grass.


Boom! Done. I do believe that this is my first very first FULLY painted AND based figure ever! In almost 19 years of miniature war gaming (pathetic, I know).










Anyways, excuse the terrible photos. iPhones aren't the greatest and my camera skills suck.
Am I going to win any prizes? Nope. Do I care? Nope (well, maybe a little). Am I comfortable fielding a full force of these guys? Yep. Can I paint a full force of these guys? Probably.


And I have 5 more days to paint 4 figures to hit the bare minimum for LAF.


Wish me luck.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Oh boy

Where has the time gone? I added the blogger app to my "Smartphone" which added my defunct blog and not this one and I could not for the life of me figure out how to add a second blog or delete the first one, so I gave up...for a bit.


Needless to say lots has happened.


1) Zombicide Black Plague and Wolfsburg expansion with all the Kickstarter exclusives have arrived and I've managed to get several games in with friends.


Pros: New scenarios, weapons and characters in a medieval setting


Cons: Same old zombicide mechanics...starting to get a tad boring.


Also picked up a micro game called Roll With It. Fantastic!


2) Purchased a whack of Copplestone Back of Beyond Chinese when Northstar acquired distribution rights and had nice discount going.








3) My Art Club painted some Reaper Bones Orcs and Skeletons and build rivers and medieval cottages. Some real talent among the group. I've learned that working with youth is both extremely rewarding but can be frustrating too. They don't all have the communication skills to say, I have an exam to study for, I can't make it today.


4) I've painted seven (7) figures since the last post. I'm elated! I have not painted a total of seven figures over the last 3 years.


5) Related to purchasing of item #2 and results of item #4, I've entered an Army Painter "competition". Basically, I'm required to paint 5-30 figures per month for 6 months to complete an army. What am I thinking?


6) I picked up some triangular shaped Army Painter brushes from Meeple Mart and REALLY seem to like the grip better then the usual round ones. Maybe that has helped me stay motivated?


Hopefully I can stay more regular and keep updating this blog especially with my Army Painter project underway.

Oh boy

Where has the time gone? I added the blogger app to my "Smartphone" which added my defunct blog and not this one and I could not for the life of me figure out how to add a second blog or delete the first one, so I gave up...for a bit.


Needless to say lots has happened.


1) Zombicide Black Plague and Wolfsburg expansion with all the Kickstarter exclusives have arrived and I've managed to get several games in with friends.


Pros: New scenarios, weapons and characters in a medieval setting


Cons: Same old zombicide mechanics...starting to get a tad boring.


Also picked up a micro game called Roll With It. Fantastic!


2) Purchased a whack of Copplestone Back of Beyond Chinese when Northstar acquired distribution rights and had nice discount going.








3) My Art Club painted some Reaper Bones Orcs and Skeletons and build rivers and medieval cottages. Some real talent among the group. I've learned that working with youth is both extremely rewarding but can be frustrating too. They don't all have the communication skills to say, I have an exam to study for, I can't make it today.


4) I've painted seven (7) figures since the last post. I'm elated! I have not painted a total of seven figures over the last 3 years.


5) Related to purchasing of item #2 and results of item #4, I've entered an Army Painter "competition". Basically, I'm required to paint 5-30 figures per month for 6 months to complete an army. What am I thinking?


6) I picked up some triangular shaped Army Painter brushes from Meeple Mart and REALLY seem to like the grip better then the usual round ones. Maybe that has helped me stay motivated?


Hopefully I can stay more regular and keep updating this blog especially with my Army Painter project underway.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Hotlead 2016 - Part 1

On Friday March 18th, 2016, I drove out to Stratford, ON, for Hotlead, the largest war gaming convention in Southern Ontario.


Typically, I only go on the Saturday morning but convinced the wife that if she came with me, we could go Friday night and she could have a night of relaxation away from the kids and do her own thing on the Saturday in Stratford. She agreed and grandma and grandpa stepped in to babysit.


I ended up taking loads of photos on my camera but haven't uploaded them yet, so I'm hoping to have a second post in the next few days showing the various games tables.


We checked into the hotel and then went out to dinner. We were back at approximately 6:00pm and I quickly scoped out the room.


I quickly found three contenders despite being a 28mm guy:


Chasing the Tiger: Inter-War 1924 China, a 20mm inter-war game using Osprey’s “A World Aflame” rules presented by Patrick Mooney.


The Bomb Factory, a 20mm modern skirmish game presented by Hotlead organizer, James Manto.


Dux Britaniannrum, a 28mm Arthurian era game from Too Fat Lardies presented by Cain Carter and Frank Kailik.


I've played games hosted by Frank in the past. He is a fantastic game-master, presenting rules clearly and modifying them appropriately for convention demonstrations. That and his terrain and miniatures are simply fantastic.


James'The Bomb Factory has beautiful terrain, I've been following it on his blog. http://rabbitsinmybasement.blogspot.ca/


I love the interwar setting and Patrick's terrain was also fantastic.


I decided to sign up for Chasing the Tiger.


The scenario was this:


Rescue the Western Sailors taken captive by Chang Tso-Lin's Fengtien forces during the Second Chihli-Fengtien War in the Port City of Dongling.Can you lead international alliance made up of French Marines, FFL and American Naval landing forces? Or... can you successfully defend the port city of Dongling from the imperialist Western powers?


I joined the Fengtian forces and was "awarded" by having my troops guarding the dock. I was effectively just a speed bump the French and American alliance have to slow down for.


Anyway, on to the pictures:


\
The view of the table. Port city in bottom left. Small village, top left and the water on the right.


The water with two allied landing ships and a fixed freighter.

My unit's starting position. I had 14 troops. 1 Officer, 1 grenadier, 1 SMG, and 11 rifles.


My unit's vitals. Just an average group of troops.

The first group of French land and some hand to hand fighting occurred. Despite rolling a natural 1, I held off the invaders as they rolled natural 1's as well. Not a great start.

 
More and more American and French troops land. I am alone and outnumbered, help is on the way but will it arrive in time?
 
 
I decide it won't and redeploy part of my force into a building leaving those in hand to hand to fend for themselves.
 
 

A unit of Chinese troops and Dare-To-Die fanatics have barricaded the lanes and are hampering the advance. My troops in the building were under attack and despite killing several allies eventually surrendered.
 
 
The allies push forward. 



They over-run a second unit of Chinese troops, causing them to fall back and regroup.
At this point, the game was essentially finished. The allies had not achieved their objective and were running short on men. The Chinese units had slowed them down but at a severe cost. But we decided to fight to the death as the Chinese had 2 full units making their way from the village.
 


A great game and I went to purchase the rules, Osprey’s “A World Aflame” but one of my opponent's had purchased the only copy brought for sale to the convention.

I chatted with some friends (Chairface and Sterling Moose) from http://www.lead-adventure.de/ 
and was in bed by 11:30pm.

I awoke early (5:15am) and was in line by 8:30am to register for the 9:30 game. I also had some wares for sale to drop off at the Bring & Buy.


Unfortunately, the line was ridiculously long at 8:30. I chatted with the fellow in line beside me and we both agreed we wanted to play Dark of the Sun, a 28mm skirmish game set in the Belgian Congo using game-master Danger Dan Hutter's own rules.

I played his African set Imagination game last year and was looking forward to playing Dark of the Sun. However, when I got to the head of the line, there was only one spot for Dark of the Sun. I let the fellow beside me take the spot and I signed up for Dux Britaniannrum instead.

My starting forces. Archers and skirmishers up front, two units of infantry, a command stand and cavalry unit to round it out. Each player (there were 6 of us) had similar forces. My side was Romano-British and we were facing off against Saxons. The Saxons were trying to plunder our supply cart and sack our watch tower. If either side's morale fell to 0, the game was over.
We started with 7 while the Saxon's had 8 morale.



Advanced my infantry, archers and cavalry and quickly lost 2 cavalry to archers on a hill. The dice God was very BIASED against the Romano-British for the ENTIRE game.

Those pesky Saxon archers and infantry hiding in the woods.
 
I moved my skirmishers into the town as Saxon skirmishers advanced. The Saxon light cavalry are on the hill.
 

My 2 man cavalry unit was charged by the 4 man Saxon cavalry. While we each suffered a fatality, my lone horseman turned tail and fled through my archers, shocking them.


There's the supply cart in the foreground. My allies can be seen between the field and the fort and on the far side of the fort.
 
The Saxon middle advances.
 

The Romano-British advance on the right to meet the Saxon left, but are crushed and flee the field.
Somewhere at this point we are down to 2 morale points remaining while the Saxons are at 7.

I whittle down the cavalry with arrows.

Skirmishers advance and both sides throw spears with no fatalities. But those Saxon infantry are getting close.



The red caped cavalry are heavy cavalry and just waded through 2 units of Saxon light horse. The tables start to turn.

The Saxon cavalry are eliminated and the infantry form a shield wall.

My skirmishers fall back against superior numbers.

The Saxon middle is charged by the heavy cavalry and elite infantry. Battle is fierce with the Romano-British causing severe casualties to the Saxons dropping them to 3 morale points.




The remaining troops locked in deadly combat. However, the Romano-British fell to 0 morale and the game was called.

All in all, a fun set of rules played with great figures on great terrain.

Another successful Hotlead!!



Thursday, 31 December 2015

Zombicide Black Plague

A couple of weeks ago, Cool Mini or Not (CMoN) announced they would ship the core box of Zombicide: Black Plague ahead of the exclusive/add-ons/expansion. The expected delivery date was "before Christmas".

A shipping label was created December 23rd for my package with the expected delivery date of December 29th. Which was a surprise. As each time CMoN sent me a shipping label, I had already receive the packages. 

December 29th came and went. So did December 30th. Despite the fact Canada Post had the package since December 24th. Obviously, with the Christmas rush, they were busy.

Nevertheless, I was starting to get a little frustrated. Everything is accessible at my fingertips instantly, my ability to wait has diminished. So I checked the Canada Post tracking number I had, and lo and behold, it was on a truck to me! 

Great success! My wife had a small series of chores she wanted me to go out to do! Nope! Had to wait for the package.

And three hours later, I heard a noise outside. Inquisitively, I poked my head out the door, and was met
With a wonderful sight. The Canada Post truck was outside.

Here is it. Being unboxed. At this time, my iPhone informed me I had no more space for pictures so this will have to do for now.


My 4 year old and I sat down to the intro level. He seemed to enjoy it. Success! I'm reading the rules now though as there are some differences between Black Plague and the modern series.

I have a "real" game scheduled for January 2nd, with some friends. Hopefully it lives up to the hype.

That's all for now. Catch you next year...

Happy New Year!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Western Town Redux

A few months ago, I broke out the start of my yet-unnamed Western Town built by the talented Colin Rush, some newly acquired painted Foundry figures and the Legends of The Old West rules for a quick game.

Well, my passion for all things cowboy was re-ignited and I decided to treat myself to some new buildings to expand my set-up.

Below is the second of my three purchases. Detailed posts of each will follow shortly. I plan to post pictures of the other buildings as well.

I ordered the Schmidt General Store. It is truly a beautiful building loaded with detail. When it came to the door, I noticed the box was a little crushed. 
I also had to pay $30.00 for handling. 

I opened the box to find extensive damage to the General Store. Luckily by super glue skills are above par and I fixed all of the damage.

I've included before and after pictures.

Two 2nd floor deck supports are broken.
 
And fixed. Just look at the detail!


The balcony rails have been pushed in and come apart.


And fixed. So much room for figures. And a close up of the flags.

 
A roof strut broke and the framing on the top of the building cracked in three pieces.


Fixed. This was the least of the damage. Maybe a touch of paint to hide the cracks?


Lastly, the stairs to the second level. Thankfully the stairs were pretty solid and just detached from the wall and posts.


That's a long drop down. And the fixed photo below!


Excuse the photos. The lighting in my hobby corner sucks. Anywho, all the damage is repaired. It only took 5-10 minutes.

And I do not blame Colin at all. He packs the boxes very well, stuffing styrofoam popcorn in every crevice, under porches and stairs to ensure minimal movement. Somewhere someone put a much heavier box on mine and crushed it, or kicked it down a hallway. 

Thanks for sticking with me. See you soon!

Friday, 31 July 2015

What I've been up to...

Since my last post I've been super busy. I've meant to post several times but you know what they say about good intentions. I'll split the 'news' up into 2 posts so I don't fall further behind.

For starters I had to redo the floors on my  1st floor. The guy that I bought this house from (over 4 years ago now) like taking shortcuts. I've trying to fix them one by one. I'm pretty handy so I don't like paying hard earned money for things I can do well myself. So I installed some new hardwood and trim. The laminate that preceded it was buckling in places and there were some critical errors so it was time to go. That and the 3-1/2 yer old ripped up a piece in the middle of the floor! D'oh!
 The floor all ripped up. Just over 300 square feet. I went to Lumber Liquidators and snagged some 3/8x5" "Hand scraped" Log Cabin Birch for $2.69sqft.


That first piece was a true bastard. It took over 1 hour to get it in. The tiles + grout (inside the doorway) were about about 1" tall. The hardwood is only 3/8 tall. I shimmed under the piece to get it level with the tiles but it sits on an angle. It was the best solution without laying new plywood down to build up the subfloor. It looks good but odd at the same time.



The floor took just under 2 days to lay. The living/dining room had the baseboard installed by me approximately 2 weeks later. The hallway is still waiting (eek) nearly 5 weeks later.

The trim I went with:


 I scored some unpainted poplar from my aunt at a local building store for a huge discount! But I had to paint it! That took 2 days.

I coped the inside corners instead of cutting 45 degree bevels. I hate coping. I truly do, but it looks neater in the end.


The finished room:

Unfortunately the door casing was mangled at the bottom (again previous owner taking short cuts). So to salvage them, I had to put plinth blocks on the bottom. I feel it really classes the joint up.


Unfortunately sometime during the installation of the floor(hammering) I loosened the anchors holding a shelf in the basement. This came crashing down resulting in 5 broken beer glasses and chips/cracks in my conflix terrain. I haven't fixed it yet. I'm still too upset.

Hold The Line Convention 
June 20th, 2015.

I was supposed to attend and play some games with my dad but my 3-1/2 year old didn't want me to leave. So instead of not going, I brought him along. 

The convention was a lot busier then next year. It may seem early but it shows the promise of growth.

I wasn't able to play but I got some cool loot. 

Renedra bases and mealie bags and some 4ground Saxon houses for my ongoing SAGA project.

The true find was a vendor with Copplestone Back of Beyond figures. It was a shame (or a blessing on my wallet) that he only accepted cash.

I picked up Chinese Leaders, buglers/flag bearers and infantry. I also got an Austin for my RCW Russians and a motorbike with sidecar for my Chinese bandits. The army/aliens tube was a game given for free to my some from a nice vendor.
 
Well that's all for now.