Monthly Archives: December 2014

Warriors Brave: A Toy Soldier Christmas Tale – Part 3

Chris Palmer The last two weeks, I presented the first two parts of one of my favorite Christmas books I have in my collection. It is a vintage children’s story about toy soldiers coming to life on Christmas Eve.  Though there is no publication date, it is inscribed on the title page, “Roger Hill 1926”. One of my blog readers researched a little further, and found the publication date to probably be closer to 1910.  It is a small volume, measuring only 5” x 4.5”.
  It is interesting to note that the artist had some knowledge of the toy soldiers he drew, as many of the poses pictured are very similar to a variety of semi-round lead soldiers that were available at the time. These were often cast by small manufacturers, or Mom & Pop dime store owners, from commercially available German molds, and sold individually or in boxed sets.
    I am ran the story in three parts, with the first part two weeks ago, the second part last week, and the third part today.
You can find the first part here: Warriors Brave: Part 1
And the second part here: Warriors Brave: Part 2
So, on with the the final installment of the “Warriors Brave”.  When we left off, the Indians had launched a brazen attack on the “Blue Coats,” only to be beaten back by heavy rifle fire, and retreated back towards their camp in Part 1. After regrouping, in Part 2 a pair of Braves went in search of provisions and supplies, to keep the Indians warm in their camp, when the two Braves happened upon some “Bluecoats” and their limber…
(You can click any photo to view it larger.)

      And so concludes our exciting tale of the “Warriors Brave”.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Also, I’d like to say, “Merry Christmas!” to all my readers out there in blog-land! I hope you have a happy and safe holiday season.

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Pathfinder Goblin Warchanter: Figure 131 of 265

Chris Palmer

     This week I painted the last of the Pathfinder Goblins “We Be Goblins” set: the Warchanter.  I have put a group photo of the gang down at the end of this post.  I will now be moving on to the Elves, and am also preparing a large figure for the upcoming halfway completion mark celebration, which I’ll mark with Figure 133, (since Figure 132 would still be .5 short of halfway). So, now on to the figure…
      I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking in water with a bit of dish soap added, giving a gentle scrub with an old soft toothbrush, then rinsing and drying.  I then glued it to 7/8” fender washers with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple small dabs of Elmer’s white glue, for ease of handling during painting.

    To begin with, I painted the skin with Anita’s “Baby Blue”.  When this was dry, I gave the skin areas a wash with thinned Iron Wind Metals “Blue Ink”. (I forgot to take a photo before I started to paint the cloths, so excuse the color on her shirt!)

  When the ink wash was completely dry, I began painting the Goblin’s outfit.  I started with painting her tunic with GW “Graveyard Earth”. Then I painted her skirt with Apple Barrel “Rock Grey”.  Next, I did her “armor” plates with Accent “Mustard Seed”.  Her leggings I painted Ceramcoat “Mocha”, and the legging hangings I painted Folk Art “Burgundy”.
     Now I worked on some of the detail bits. First, I painted the hair on the Goblin with Folk Art “Medium Gray”. I painted her teeth Americana “Buttermilk”, and the skull and tusks(?) on her skirt, and the bones(?) in her hair, as well.  I painted her tongue with Americana “Wedgwood Blue”.  Next, I painted the cord around her skirt and neck with Ceramcoat “Maple Sugar Tan”.  Finally, I painted the whip with Crafters Edition “Spice Brown”, and the sword and whip grips with Americana “Asphaltum”.
    Next step was the metallics.  I painted the sword, and the balls on the whip’s end, with Ceramcoat ”Metallic Pewter”.   I then painted the ball on the whip handle, hook on the sword hilt, her bracelets, and the chest decoration, with Folk Art “Metallic Blue Sapphire”.  

     When everything had had time to dry, I went back and carefully applied GW “Agrax Earthshade” wash to all the parts that weren’t blue skin.  I was as careful as I could be not to let it run onto the blue skin, except I applied small amounts to the eye sockets and mouth.

After the wash had had time to dry, I went back and added highlights.  I began by drybrushing her hair with white paint.  Then I highlighted the skin with the original “Baby Blue”.  This allowed me to cover any mistakes where wash, or the drybrushed white had gotten onto the blue. Next, I added eyes with the “Buttermilk”, and then added black pupils. I also used the “Buttermilk” to highlight the teeth and bones.  I highlighted the tongue with  a mix of the “Wedgwood” and the “Baby Blue”. I painted the hair ties with the “Burgundy”.  I then used the original clothing/armor colors to add highlights to all she were wearing.  Lastly, I highlighted the blade of the and sword , and balls on the whip, with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”.   My final step was to paint the figure’s base and washer with white.
      I let the Goblins sit overnight, and the next morning I gave them a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  Later that afternoon I flocked their bases, using Woodland Scenics snow flocking.   With all the Christmas prep going on around here at home, I only just finished it yesterday, so wasn’t able to give it it’s final Testor’s Dullcote spray yet.  You’ll notice it’s a little shiny in the final photo below, my apologies for that.

  I like how she turned out. And, all together they make a nice little horde.

Figure 131: Complete

And let me take this opportunity to say, “Merry Christmas!” to everyone out there in blog land. 🙂

Here’s the whole gang; as they’ll look in a couple days caroling by torchlight on a snowy Christmas Eve! 🙂

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Hide the picnic lunch. The ants are coming!

Buck

The giant red army ant battlegroup

The giant red army ant battlegroup

I recently ordered some 10mm giant ants from Magister Militium for my fantasy armies.  I went back and forth on whether to make them black ants or red ants.  I decided on red.

The giant red army ants with spears

The giant red army ants with spears

I like the looks of these figures.  The giant ants are in sort of a centaur pose.

The giant red army ants with swords

The giant red army ants with swords

Giant red army ants with crossbows

Giant red army ants with crossbows

Giant red army ants alongside their praying mantis allies

Giant red army ants alongside their praying mantis allies

I thought the praying mantises looked too crowded with all six on a base and too open with just three, so I placed a couple of additional ants on the base as sort of a combined arms team.

Giant red army ants riding on giant beetles

Giant red army ants riding on giant beetles

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The Merchant’s Shop

Don
I finally got around to finishing the Merchant’s Shop building by 4Ground that I bought from Age of Glory.  As usual, I failed to take any photos during assembly.  So, you’ll just have to enjoy these instead.

The building went together quickly and easily.  This is the 5th 4Ground building I have assembled, haven’t had any problems with them so far.  This building came with a table and six benches.

I hope to get it into a game of SAGA sometime soon.

The finished shop with table and benches

An interior view

An interior view with a Viking “shopper” and some scenery bits

An exterior view with Viking patrons

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HAWKs Night

Buck

Dave sporting his fashion accessories during Chris Fischer's stomp robot play test

Dave sporting his fashion accessories during Chris Fischer’s stomp robot play test

Last night was HAWKs night.  There were two simultaneous games.  The first was Kurt Schlegel’s 1973 Arab-Israeli War game based on the battle of Quatre Bras.  Since many of the HAWKs supported the 114th Signal Battalion’s SLPD (see http://ift.tt/1xEo3of) the various game masters have taken turns running their version of the scenario at club nights.  This week was Kurt’s turn.

The second game was a play test of Kevin Fischer’s game based on a Japanese anime series.  It involved large stompy robots (actually these are more like battle mechs that have human (or human-like operators) battling each other.  We also had tanks and infantry running around.

Kurt Schlegel's 1973 Arab Israeli War game based on Quatre Bras

Kurt Schlegel’s 1973 Arab Israeli War game based on Quatre Bras

Apparently the Egyptians had a slight advantage over the Israelis when the game ended.

Another view of the Arab Israeli War game

Another view of the Arab Israeli War game

The robot game went pretty well for a first play test.  I don’t know the genre, so I don’t know if the game reflects the cartoon well.  It had a few rough edges and can use a little streamlining, but it was fun.

I hit Mike Fischer's stompy robot in the cockpit in mid leap, and it crashed.

I hit Mike Fischer’s stompy robot in the cockpit in mid leap, and it crashed.

The game only took a couple of hours, so we had a little time for a game of Red Dragon Inn.

A quick game of Red Dragon Inn

A quick game of Red Dragon Inn

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One more Bone

Rob Dean

I managed to finish off one of the easier Bones today, so my annual total will be at least a little higher than I posted earlier this week.

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Only Seven Days Until Christmas

Buck

Dr. Who says, "Merry Christmas whenever you are!"

Dr. Who says, “Merry Christmas whenever you are!”

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Anything But a Twenty

Buck

The "Anything But a Twenty"

The “Anything But a Twenty”

Greg Priebe, one of the guys in our gaming group, sent me a note about a toy available at Target stores from the Disney movie, Planes.  It is a good size for 28mm figures and looks like a C-119 cargo plane.  I’ve always liked the look of the C-119.  Before I could take action on his suggestion, I saw this blog posting:  http://ift.tt/1w0TUvz.

My pulp games involve Duke Morrison and his buddies, “Wrench” Web and “Boats” Morgan along with his love interest, Gianna Nannini, daughter of the great scientist Serafini Nannini.  Duke Morrison NEEDED a plane.  So within a few days, I had ordered one for me and one for Greg from Target.com.

Cabbie the cargo plane

Cabbie the cargo plane

My son took up the challenge of removing all the red stickers while we watched television one evening.  After a lot of elbow grease and a fair amount of Goo Gone, the plane was ready to paint.

The airplane after the decals had been removed and the plane sprayed silver

The airplane after the decals had been removed and the plane sprayed silver

I first sprayed the plane black and then with a silver paint.  This silver color was brighter than I wanted, so I gave it a third coat of paint, this time an aluminum color.  I then mixed silver and brown paint to make a metallic rust color, which I applied liberally with a wide brush.

A darker, less shiny paint job with rust added

A darker, less shiny paint job with rust added

In the picture (above), you can see the difference between the un-weathered engine cowlings compared to the rusty finish on the rest of the plane.

First coat of blue paint on the tail, engine cowlings, and nose

First coat of blue paint on the tail, engine cowlings, and nose

After the second coat of blue with the propellers painted

After the second coat of blue with the propellers painted

I decided to keep the centers of the propellors silver, but painted the tips of the propellers white.  I like that look.

Then came the challenge of coming up with a name for the plane and appropriate nose art.  After I had considered several names, including Duke’s Duchess and the Granville Gal, Chris suggested Anything But a Twenty.   Granville is the town in which most of my pulp games take place.  “Anything but a twenty” is a reference to the fact that in G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., rolls of twenty often cause bad — and usually dramatic — things to occur.

Below are candidate nose art I built from some Varga pin-up pictures I found on line, some image editing capabilities on my Mac, and a few other elements.

Duke’s Duchess didn’t remain in the running too long, but I like this image.

I really liked the original artwork with the girl in the soldier outfit.

I liked this artwork, but I was beginning to settle on Anything But a Twenty as the name of the plane

The final nose art and final airplane name

Below is a closeup of the nose of the airplane with our heroes posing in front of it.  I printed the nose art on clear, matte address labels.  The artwork didn’t have the vibrance of glossy paper.  At first I was a bit disappointed, but in retrospect, I like the washed-out look.  It seems closer to photos I’ve seen after the plane has had a lot of hard miles.  The faded look seems to fit better with the rusty appearance of the plane.

"Wrench" Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and "Boats" Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

“Wrench” Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and “Boats” Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

I chose a tail number of NC-61326.  Since “Granville Gal” lost out, I chose to use the zip code of the real Granville, IL, which is the town on which I loosely based my town for pulp games.

"Wrench" Webb inspects bullet holes in the starboard wing

“Wrench” Webb inspects bullet holes in the starboard wing

And here is one last look at the plane from a slightly more distant viewpoint than the previous close up.  The border around the nose art didn’t quite disappear, but it’s not too obvious either.

"Wrench" Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and "Boats" Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

“Wrench” Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and “Boats” Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

This was a fun project.  I rarely build or paint airplane models, as I don’t have much luck with them.  In this case, I think the end result was quite good.

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Warriors Brave: A Toy Soldier Christmas Tale – Part 2

Chris Palmer Last week, I presented the first part of one of my favorite Christmas books I have in my collection. It is this vintage childrens’ story about toy soldiers coming to life on Christmas Eve.  Though there is no publication date, it is inscribed on the title page, “Roger Hill 1926”. One of my blog readers researched a little further, and found the publication date to probably be closer to 1910.  It is a small volume, measuring only 5” x 4.5”.
  It is interesting to note that the artist had some knowledge of the toy soldiers he drew, as many of the poses pictured are very similar to a variety of semi-round lead soldiers that were available at the time. These were often cast by small manufacturers, or Mom & Pop dime store owners, from commercially available German molds, and sold individually or in boxed sets.
    I am running the story in three parts, with the first part last week, and the second part today.  The third, and final, part will be next Tuesday.
You can find the first part here: Warriors Brave: Part 1
So, on with the the second part of the Warriors Brave.  When we left off, the Indians had launched a brazen attack on the “Blue Coats,” only to be beaten back by heavy rifle fire, and retreated back towards their camp…
(You can click any photo to view it larger.)

Tune in next week, to see why the “Blue Coats are loading marbles into their limber…

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End of the Year Review

Rob Dean

With the Christmas season upon us, I have been busier with baking than with painting. While the Christmas cookies aren’t entirely done, here’s a sampling of this year’s types…

While I have a few quiet days between now and the end of the year, it’s probably close enough to have a look at this year’s numbers.

I have painted, according to my notes, 37 25/28mm figures (including some large fantasy monsters) for the fantasy skirmish project and for the Dux Bellorum Dark Ages project. I have also painted 62 1/72 foot figures and 4 1/72 scale mounted figures, almost all for the Portable Fantasy Game project.
Most of them have been blogged here over the course of the year.

I’ve been involved in running or playing 26 miniatures games (or sessions in the case of some days that saw multiple short games using the same rules back-to-back). The average of one game every two weeks isn’t bad, but I should note that the distribution isn’t anywhere near that even, due to the concentration of events during conventions. While that’s below my theoretical goal of 52 games, I might also note that I was in 21 sessions of roleplaying games this year, in a major revival of one of my other gaming interests, which has been dormant for a number of years. Added together, that would come a lot closer to the goal of a game per week.

I made it to four multiple-day game conventions this year, Cold Wars, Huzzah, Historicon, and Gencon, which is a comfortable level.

Behind the numbers, it turned out to be a bad year for Charge! and the Not Quite Seven Years War. I haven’t been in a Charge game last fall, and the attempts to schedule a Skype game with Ross have been disrupted by a variety of life events. It was also a bad year for blogging, with time beyond that devoted to actually painting and playing being a little hard to come by.

On the brighter side, it was a good year for old friends, with the convention visits being an opportunity to spend some time with them. It was also a good year for the Portable Fantasy Game project, as shown below, which got assembled to a solidly usable point before my Gencon goal.

My goals for next year, as I see them now, are to continue work on the Dux Bellorum project, get back to the NQSYW with both games and a few new units, and to decide on a path forward for the mass of fantasy figures which Kickstarter has kicked out at me the past two years…

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