Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Change of Pace - Prepping Amazon Archers from Crocodile Games

I needed a break from working on the "Steady Lads" diorama last night so I dipped into the box I received from the Crocodile Games Wargods of Olympus Kickstarter. I usual need something else to work on when I'm painting competition pieces, the distraction from not having to be perfect is usually quite relaxing. I have quite the horde of Amazons at this point but I didn't want to start with one of the core phalanx units so I pulled out the archers. Like 90% of the Croc line these are sculpted by Chris Fitzpatrick and they are beautiful minis. 

There are three poses plus a command miniature. All of these have very light mold lines and the castings are near perfect which makes them very easy to work on. However, because of the pose itself that mold line goes right across the face of the minis (through the right eye, no less, on two and down the middle on the third). These are the types of mold lines that I really hate and in this case its worse because I'm dealing with a beautifully sculpted face.

I went in with one of my lighter edged files so I would leave as few scratches as possible. I followed that up by trying to buff it smooth with steel wool but I found it hard to get it into some of the crevices on these because of the poses. I pulled out one of my blue sanding sticks instead and I was able to buff out any scratches with this tool without a problem.

I'm definitely looking forward to painting these but progress is likely to be slow. I'm going to take some time and see if I can find some 20mm square resin bases for them that will push the Greek motif a bit more (I know Amazons, while part of Greek Mythology, are not themselves from Greece). There is some archaeological evidence that there may be a kernel of truth to the Amazon myth from graves found near Pokrovka, Russia (near the Kazakhstan border). While certainly not the Amazons of the Greek Myths it lends some credence to the concept of warrior women. I'm going to paint based around colors that might have been used by the Sarmations and Scythians. There is an Amazon Cavalry unit coming in the second wave but they still need to deliver the Athenians and Corinthians before the second wave gets started.

Here is what I managed last night:

11 Amazon Archers and an Amazon unit leader

Monday, January 26, 2015

Miniature Rules - A Little Reading Material

I acquired an Amazon gift certificate over the holidays so I used it and with my free two day shipping it was here last Friday. Unfortunately I was not, having left before the package arrived. That means when I arrived back at home at 6am this morning before going into the office I had to wake up my youngest son to figure out where he had put said package. Apparently under his bed was a good place for it rather than say, my desk. I think he deserved the early morning wake up call.

In the package was: Land of the Free for the AWI (my first rule set for this period), On the Seven Seas (time to finish my two frigates and pull out the pirate miniatures) and Lion Rampant, simply because everyone seems to be playing it lately.

I haven't had a chance to peruse them yet except to look at the pretty pictures.

I have some FIW minis that should give me enough minis to play with and see if I like these rules

Everyone seems to be playing them and maybe I'll get my Normans finished.

Time to get my frigates finished, rigged and ready for some boarding actions

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Diorama - Overall progress

I'm finally at the point where its difficult to show progress on certain pieces without showing the whole. The base itself is closing in on being finished. I need to finish the roof cap piece, which I cut down to get a closer fit, so now it needs a little more work instead of being done. The building shell is done as is are the cobblestones. There is still paintwork to be done on it but that needs to wait till the miniatures are finished enough to actually be mounted in place. There is some OSL that can't be done till everything else is pretty much in place.

I finished the two rats, one of which is coming out of the wall and the other will be somewhere on the street. Haven't quite decided where but he will create a line leading into the scene. I have a Reaper villager on order to go in the window, she is perfect. Its almost to bad that she is a decidedly secondary element.

The Aliens are started and I made good progress on them today. There is still plenty of work to do but its nice to finally get them started. They should come together quicker than the soldiers which still need some attention.

Overall good progress was made this weekend.

Here are the aliens, I have stripped and re-did my prepping on these. But quite frankly the sculpts leave a little to be desired.

Total loss for how to paint them so I decided to lay out my colors on a grid to get a since of what I should be mixing together

The skintones I was considering on the top two lines the final colors on the 3rd.

Did the same with the oranges.

Final colors on the last row although I'm not sure I'm happy with the highlights

Skintones in place, a little washed out in this shot

Orange uniforms in progress, still a ways to go here. I want to introduce some trim colors. The orange suit really makes the skintones pop though.

One of the rats. This one will be on the street somewhere. Got the reflective dot in the eyes on the first try!

Checking out the street scene

The adjusted cap in place. There is gap between it and the corner brickwork that will need to be fixed. I didn't bring the light post with me so I wouldn't damage it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Diorama - The Supporting Cast II

Well progress continues on the base. The bricks have been neaten up a bit and the cobblestones are basically done. I also took the time to paint the interior and the windows in black. At this point I'm really happen with the way this is coming together now. I need to get heads down on the minis now; finish up the Riflemen and get started on the Aliens.

Let's get some color on those cobblestones

Pigment washes and black lining

Where I was at last night, still drying

Closer to finished now. I might let it sit for a couple of days at this point

Those are going together quite nicely now

Building is now black on the interior, lamp post temporarily stuck in place. Yea, its definitely coming together now

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Terrain Book Sale at Dampf's Modelling

I noticed this sale before but I ignored since I have both of Tony's books already. Then I thought that was very selfish of me and I should continue to promote Tony's books otherwise he might not do another one and that would be a shame. So if you don't own these already, and you should, now is a good time to buy them before he runs out.