Sunday, June 30, 2013

Armies On Parade: The In-store Edition

Well, as I announced, the North American Armies On Parade in-store event was yesterday, and  attended White Marsh, my closest GW store (and the store I've competed at the last two years). 

Above you can see my army on its display board, haloed by the searing sunlight just beyond the store doors. It's a tall display, which certainly drew quite a bit of attention ; ) With the height on the store tables it also elevated the bridge deck (and therefore the army) to roughly eye level for 95% of the attendees.

As with the previous events, I had only one competitor. This time it was Roz Mario (left) and his Orks. Here I am with Roz, our "medals" tucked inside GW lanyards ; )

Roz brought along a ramshackle horde of predominantly Ork vehicles (there were a couple of Big Meks and Grotz). He had certainly put a ton of work into some pretty cool conversions. His Stompa had no less than three Deffkoptas circling it, and one poor Grot had been given spotter duty at the top of the most rickety crow's nest you've ever seen.

Roz's Bomma included an homage to Star Wars, with on Orky R2 unit poking out behind the pilot.

Dredds, Kans, and buggies were the order of the day, however, and they all looked very Orky. I swear that had the buggies driven too fast, their (former) Land Speeder canopies would have been torn off!

During our pack up time, Roz asked if he could snap a shot of his Stompa marching across the bridge. I was only too happy to oblige, noting that it could have passed under the arch (as long as it didn't mind losing the lookout Grot! I also couldn't help snapping a photo of Roz snapping his shot.

So, there it was. a fun day to end a busy (and at times stressful) run at the 1st prize. Thankfully I made it on to the next stage - Games Day in Memphis in four weeks time. Now I just have to work out the best way to ship the display ; )


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Getting There...

I've been working pretty hard on completing my display board for the Armies on Parade event this weekend.

I invite you all to come along to Games Workshop White Marsh this Saturday, June 29, between 4pm and 5pm. Come along and vote for the best army on display.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Wargames Illustrated presents the HISTORICON Painting Competition!

This is to tell/remind/point out to you that Wargames Illustrated (the wonderful magazine I work for) will be running the Painting Competition at HISTORICON 2013 (and into the future, should things go well).

That's right, Heather Blush and the wonderful team of the HMGS Hobby University have welcomed us on board to put some extra weight behind this potentially great event. We'll be taking entries at the Battlefront/Flames Of War booth in the dealer hall on the Saturday of the show (July 20), judging, awards, and collection of models will all be done on the same day.

There are quite a few formats for painting competitions out there, but we decided to stick with the simple "podium" format (three prizes per category - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd). Categories have been worked out with the help of the HMGS (Historical Miniatures Gaming Society) board to cover as many aspects of wargaming as we can (with an obviously historical bias).

Details for everything can be found HERE on our Wargames Illustrated site.

For prizes we'll be handing our custom-created medals we've had specially made for the event. As soon as I have one of the medals in my hand I'll make sure I post it for all to see.

In addition to these custom medals, we'll also be providing custom plaques for three additional prizes:

• Best of Show - the best painted entry into the competition will win this prize.
• Best of Theme - Each year Historicon has a particular theme (this year it's The American Civil War - 1863: The Year of Decision), and this prize will go to the entry that best exemplifies the theme.
• The Iron Cross - sponsored by Battlefront, this will go to the best Flames Of War entry at the competition.

I know many of you aren't likely to be at the show, but those of you who are I strongly urge you to bring along your best minis to put on display.

My goal for this first year is to get 120 entries over the 10 categories. Obviously this can only happen with your help : )


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Another teaser post

Just a quick post to show you there has been more progress on the display board for my Armies On Parade project. Here are a couple of lovely golden statues to stand atop the... ahem, never mind.

Please excuse the flash from my phone.

And here are the first eight Bridge Guard painted and standing on part of their... ahem, never mind. ; )


Monday, June 17, 2013

Bridge Guard - Now with 5% more paint!

And by 5% more, I mean that I have one out of 20 painted.

This past weekend was a very busy one, with it being Father's Day here in the US (and other countries too I hear). My two lovely daughters and my wife took me strawberry picking for the day! We managed to pick almost 20 pounds of strawberries in about an hour and spent the rest of the time running around, playing on slides, and having a leisurely lunch. When the girls were napping I had a chance to work on my display board, getting some of the details in place, but I still have a TON (or TONNE depending on where you are) of work to go on it. Photos of the board will be revealed after the in-store Armies On Parade event.

Anyway, I finished up this guy late last night. I hope you like him : )

Here are the other 19, all on their "painting bases" ready for their primer coat. The greenstuff on their gauntlets is to correct my atrocious sculpting on their hands. Next time the hands will be better, I promise!

And as a little added extra, I've put a few different pieces of kit on their backs. Some are plain, some get grenades, some canteens, others pouches etc.

Anyway, I must get back to it!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Bridge Guard have arrived!

Some of you may remember this post from April about my first sculpted figure... The Bridge Guard?

Well, today a package arrived from my friend Chris Borer (famed Slayer Sword winner and the guy behind Full Borer Miniatures). After he did such a great job on my casting last year, I managed to cajole Chris into casting up my dude for this year's Armies On Parade project : )


Once again Chris managed to replicate all the flaws in my sculpting perfectly ; ) The brownstuff seen on the figure below is primarily to correct problems with my sculpting for the hands, a pretty crappy job really, but it's all about learning, right?

Anyway, I now have 20 of these to assemble and get primed.

Time is ticking!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Volsinii Imperator - complete

Well, it took a little longer than I originally expected, but asking advice from various folks (you, my kind readers, included) have made for a piece all the better for it.

When last we spoke, I was uncertain about the "face" of the Knight and was contemplating an icon of some kind. Over the weekend I was in Austin for WarGamesCon and spoke with Mondel "GAR" Garcia, who sent me down a different track. We chatted about brightening up the front of the plate, and deepening the shadows to make it pop more. While most of the shading was done with thinned brown, black, and green, GAR suggested adding in some blue (the complimentary color of the "orange" brass). It certainly worked well and I'm pleased with the final results.

I hope you like them too. Enjoy the rest of the photos of Volsinii Imperator.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Smooth lines and interesting textures

A little change of pace for you all today. I've never really been a "car guy". I mean, I appreciate them, but I've never felt the need to get an old car and spend hours tinkering away in a back shed somewhere. I have toy soldiers for that ; )

Having said all of that, my dad and my father-in-law are "car guys", so when my parents' visit from Australia intersected with the National Street Rod Association show in York, PA, last weekend, I tagged along to admire the conversion work that many enthusiastic "hobbyists" (yep, just like we toy soldier hobbyists) had put into their treasured cars.

Here are a bunch of photos I took of cars I liked the look of (or at least an element of), and some interesting paint jobs.

Above: I really liked the subtle color scheme of this old Ford

Above: I loved the solid lines of this great car.

Above and Below: Such a great way to preserve the paint in the state it was uncovered in a barn.


Above and Below: We also made a trip to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Annex, where I got to take a close up look at the Space Shuttle Discovery. I was amazed by the interesting texture on the shuttle itself. We're so used to seeing long distance shots of the shuttle, or smooth plastic kits, but the real shuttle is incredibly rough and "patchworked" in appearance. Very cool.

Above: And finally, here's an almost Orky hotrod with two V8s in series. Apparently you can run it with one engine, 
or engage both with some tricky engineering. Of course, with both running it chews through the gasoline!


Monday, June 3, 2013

More WIP on the Knight

Here's the current state of play on my Knight. The brassy bronze is finished, the silver metallics are almost complete, and a number of the details are complete too.

While at Kublacon, I asked the opinion of a few painter friends and the answer to the "dark or bright" question was, not truly surprisingly, "Both". I've approached it all as another, slightly zenithal, thing. Imagining a stronger light source from above, my upwards-facing surfaces are bright silver, while the shadows are quite dark/matte. As you gone further down the model, the metallics become less bright, perhaps with only a thin, glinting edge here and there.

These last two shots show that idea a little more, but also show the soot-blackened exhaust pipes and the rivets picked out in shiny silver.

Back to the grind ; )


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tutorial - Brassy Bronze

With my last WIP of my Knight, a couple of you were interested in how I'd done the brassy bronzey armor plates. Well, here's a quick recipe to get you started on your own tarnished/burnished combo.

Step 1: I used Vallejo's Tinny Tin as the base coat.

Step 2: Highlight with a mix of Tinny Tin and Vallejo Brassy Brass.

Step 3: Highlight with Brassy Brass.

Step 4: Begin shading with thinned wash of Vallejo Charred Brown mixed with a little Black.

Step 5: Continue shading by adding more Black.

Step 6: Once you are satisfied with the depth of your shading, take it one step further with a thin glaze mixed from two Secret Weapon washes - Storm Cloud and Algae.

Some of this may be a little tough to see in the color swatches above, but it works pretty much in that progression. Of course, feel free to add a few more "in between" steps if you feel the need.

I hope you have fun with it!

And I wasn't sure if I'd shown you the updated insectoid-walker for my army. It has previously sported green armor plates and has been used as a Defiler : )