BoB: Colourful White Russians Project – 0 (and a moan about weather)

As many people will have seen, the weather in the UK continues in its usual pattern – rain, followed by more rain. A month’s rainfall in two days. Something climate change deniers have a problem with, as in they can’t account for yet another extreme weather event.

On the one hand it means I am forced to stay indoors and paint my Copplestone BoB/RCW White Russian troops, but on the other hand, I cannot photograph them due to my pathetic digital camera.

In addition, Clawed still has his collar on, and I can’t let him out. He’s becoming a bit cranky about this. And does his ‘pseudo lappage’ at every opportunity. Pseudo lappage is basically siting on my newspaper, book, computer keyboard or any of my arms I leave on the table for more than 30 seconds, and generally sitting between me and what I want to do.
(NB: He went to the vets on Thursday, and they said they’d take the stitches out next Tuesday as he was healing up well, so it is good news)

Whilst waiting around for my new figures to dry, I surfed the ‘net including Mark Plant’s excellent website Pygmy Wars. Drilling through a few links I came across this image:

Hmm, black breeches, white gymnastroika, blue lapels..seems very much like the allohistorical unit I’m painting.

More tomorrow, unless there is a clamour for agonisingly slow part painted figures…
(Yes I am taking the pictures of each stage)

I also indulged in some postal orders from Copplestone, Foundry and Military History Books.

And deleted 25 SPAM messages !

WHFB: The Cursed Company

One of the 1990’s Regiments of Renown or Dogs of War units, The Cursed COmpany is led by an Undead Hating Skeleton. I got the unit not because at that point was I playing WHFB, but because of the models themselves. Skeleton Dwarves, Lizardmen, Orcs and Skeven along with the command which were a human skeleton, Elf skeleton and Goblin skeleton.

They make quite a difference to the usual undead figures.

But of course, I had to go one step further, and make a Beastman skeleton:

I used the old[1] plastic skeleton sprue to create this, it came with a horse/goats head and two sets of horns. Perfect !

[1] Relatively Old, I have the original mid ’80’s plastic skeletons inc chariot. 😛

AVBCW: Ruined Church & Movement Trays (again)

I bought Hovels’ Church and Ruined Church sometime ago and never got around to the ruined church, that is until Byakhee Gavin H mortared the church, since when it has been half painted.

I finished it off yesterday:

Hovels do a good range of buildings, but some of the older ones are true 25mm scale and look small 9esp doors) when compared to 28mm figures.

There’s even room for a single figure in the tower – a sniper ? Surely only Nazis and BUF would do that ?? 😉

Finally, my movement tray prohject, here’s the 5×2, half inch apart skirmish tray from Sarissa, with the extra large holes for bases:

Looks about right !
The only further tweak I’ll explore is to make the top half of the tray (the bit with the holes in) thinner, its obviously more designed for slotta bases which are thicker than the washers/plastic bases most historical figures are based on.

BoB: Colourful White Russians Project – 1

Rooting around in my boxes to show you pictures of my colourfull White Russians I realised I was missing a few components for the force. I was therefore compelled to order some more shiney stuff from Copplestone (oh woe is me).

It arrived today:

3 x Bolshevik Lewis Gunners
1 x Bolshevik Mounted Commanders
1 x White Officers
1 x White Artillery gun

Obviously the Bolshevik troops will be subject to conversion – mostly the shoulder boards for the Lewis Gunners and mounted commanders.

Rather than simply consign them to the boxes and eventual rediscovery by archaeologists in the late 22nd century I’ve decided to get them all painted straight away, so here’s the first of my pictorial history from bare metal to finished models

The figures are built and based:

I’ve added a standard bearer or two as well that I already had – they were simply based already, and I added a steel pin for the standard. IU’ll be adding some infantry standard bearers as well shortly.

As a result, I have some Bolshevik Lewis Gunners for sale, along with a mounted Bolshevik Commander – please contact me if interested.

Of Cats & Pizzas, an Existential post ?

No, not cat pizza – I think they’d be too stringy and probably full of worms !

Clawed is bumping round the house, he hasn’t got used to his new collar and there’s a constant faint thunking as he moves round the house knocking into things. In particular, when he comes down the stairs he keeps knocking into the bannisters. Thunk…Thunk…Thunk…Still, he’s back to the vets tomorrow for a checkup and I think he’s going to be ok.

His pain is felt by many Cats.

Henri, La Chat Noir goes to the vet.

They hang pictures of their victims on the wall.

But I liked the end comment:

Merde !

Now at the w/e, Byakhee Jim came round. I’d been to Waitrose (an upmarket supermarket for non-UK viewers) shopping on Friday to stock up on pizza (their own brand) and ingredients. I presented him wuth the options of:

  • Salami & Prosciutto Cotto Pizza
  • Chicken Arrabiata
  • Pollo
  • Spinach & Ricotta
  • Margherita

The final one, I said I’d do my normal effort to beef up…guess which ones he chose, yes the Margherita with me adding tuna and sweetcorn (plus tomato, herb and mozzarella topping), and the spinach and ricotta. Funny that. The only left overs were the spinach and ricotta…

Well obviously I’m not the only person aiming for healthier pizzas and better toppings:

A Scottish nutritionist has helped to produce what he says are the first ‘nutritionally balanced’ pizzas in the UK.

They contain not only the right amount of calories, but all the vitamins and minerals you need in one meal.

Now I would be also adding seaweed, but I’ve also checked my local butchers Legges can get Rabbit and Squirrel, and so far the Byakhees have indicated a willingness to eat said toppings.

Rabbit won’t be available until September due to the ferrets going after the young rabbits underground and not coming out, and squirrels are a bit hit and miss, literally, depending on when the local lads have gone shooting according to the owner of Legges. So watch this topping ! 😉

Laserburn: Critical Mass Games’ buildings – 2

The CMG buildings are finished – I didn’t do anything with the interior of the research building though. And I also added the k-Rails to the villa as well.

The Unobtanium[1] storage tank

And from above.

The research lab

And finally the villa with the k-rails added to its base.

[1] Unobtanium is the mysterious element that Denier’s require to prove AGW is wrong and that the observed rise in CO2 and the observed rise in temperature are unrelated.

WHFB: Realm of Battle boards

As you will have noticed in the games reports I’ve got several sets of boards for gaming on, the most frequently used is the WHFB realm of Battle set. Here’s something I wrote after doing them up a couple of years ago:

Ok what we have here is a high density and very sturdy modular game board. In a big comfy bag (or so my cats tell me). Snip the board clips off and put them in the handy Velcro bag attached to the bag lid straight off, so they don’t go AWOL.(Now contained in my Box of tricks, more of which later)

Then assess the acres of surface you have to paint. After finishing fondling the shiney plastic and overcoming doubts about how much you’ve splashed out, now is the time to reach for the wallet once more. There’s no point in now skimping on paint and scenery materials.

Get at least one pack of the Citadel scenery painting pack, plus at least one bottle of:

  • Citadel Foundation Adeptus Battlegrey,
  • Codex Grey,
  • Bleached bone,
  • Skull White,
  • and a brown ink wash.

Also make sure you have a wide range of large brushes (buy a cheap set from your DIY store) and get a tub of PVA glue from a DIY store. If you want a very vibrant green surface, go and buy some extra tubs of spring/glade grass as well. Buy at least one can of Purity Seal or similar varnish/sealant.

Then go and buy the Staurday or Sunday editions of a broadsheet newspaper like the Daily Telegraph or FT – yes the really big ones that are so thick you can barely lift them ! Why will become obvious later. Ensure you have a dust pan and brush as well and know how to use a vacuum cleaner, and have got several rolls of kitchen roll.

Next you need to plan your painting of the board. Even with a large kitchen, I struggled for room – you need a flat area larger than 6×4.

Negotiate with parents/spouses/partners/flat mates/cats beforehand. You will take over one if not two rooms over several days. A garage is handy, but they are of less use if the weather is cold – paint, glue and varnish will all take longer to dry. You will also need to promise to clear up the mess afterwards – this is not like painting some figures at your painting desk/paint station.

Cover your table with newspaper, several layers thick. This will protect the table, and allow you to wipe off excess paint from your brush. Have an additional set of newspaper a couple of pages thick to hand. This will be used to collect excess flock/static grass.

Do not attempt to paint all the boards in one go – four at max !

Start with the base coat – use the large brush in the scenery pack and slap on the brown paint all over the boards including the cliffs and stone areas. Leave to dry. Then using the Ochre, drybrush the flat areas except the stone bits (unless you plan to cover them over). As you have several layers of paper, you can use the newspaper to wipe off the initial excess paint. As you will be using a wide brush, vary the direction of your brush strokes, use waves and even stippling to ensure you don’t get rigid directional lines of drybrushing. Avoid the skull pits. Then leave to dry.

Using the bleached bone paint the skull pits and the various bones on the boards – generally try for an effect between block painting and drybrushing. Leave to dry.

In the meantime, paint the cliffs and stone areas with the foundation paint. Then, return to the bones and especially the skull pits and soak in the brown wash, lots of it for the pits. This will then allow more detail to show through.

Drybrush the cliffs/stone with the Codex Grey, you can be quire free with the paint unless you are a perfectionist. Leave to dry overnight. Similarly dry brush the skulls with bleached bone or a mix with skull white.

Next up, the PVA glue and static grass. Plan which areas of the board will be covered by which type of static grass – NB: ensure that your “basic” static grass, is present at all edges of every board to ensure that the boards all match up and there’s no sudden changes at the edges. For the skull pits and near stone areas, I also used dead grass, and of course you can graduate in the different colours if you want.

Now, cover up to a quarter of the board with PVA glue, and then pour on the static grass – pile it up. You will notice in the scneryn packs that the static grass has a tendency to clump together in dense balls – don’t worry ! Once the glue is covered, raise the board at an angle over the extra sheaf of newspaper you have and slowly tap the back of the board firmly so the flock slides down slowly. When all the excess is removed, lay the board flat and pour the excess back into a tub.

On the GW website, the advice to pat down the static grass is spot on. At this point you will notice the lumpy balls of static grass – leave them be. Continue untiul the entire board is done. Leave for several hours/overnight.

When completely dry, tilt the board over the spare sheaf of newspaper again, and with your hand brush off the bobbles and excess static grass. The bobbles should break up, leaving the board covered in static grass. You may then need to go back over the area again with more PVA and static grass.

Do this for each type of static grass you are using so you don’t mix the types – yes there will be some mixing but not too much with this method.

Ensure the boards and PVA have totally dried. Then use purity seal or a similar matt varnish/sealant. If there are any bobbles, or overhangs on the edges remove them. Even though it might be only a mm or two over the edge, the angle multiplied over several feet can mean the boards then become difficult to clip together.

I sprayed around the edges first, then in stripes the centre pieces. I did two coats, and then an additional one around the edges again. Don’t skimp this as otherwise you will have balding game boards soon enough.

Mission Impossible – Three Impossible Tasks

No, nothing to do with Tom Cruise’s divorce or films, but here’s three impossible things:

  • Keep a cat indoors against its will for three days, whilst having two other cats to let in/out.
  • Keep a conical collar on a cat for three days, even though it removed said collar within hours of its operation whilst still at the vets and under observation by trained vetinary nurses.
  • Maintain said Cat’s “Cool” status.

Yeah, Spades & Clawed went to the vets’ this morning. Spades got off lightly with a worming tablet. Clawed had an operation under anaesthetic, which as pet owners know is a big deal for cats. Well I collected him late afternoon, and other than some vomitting in the car he seems ok.

The first two Mission Impossibles, are for me to achieve. The third is for him.

You can see his operation was done just below his tail and he has three stitches.

So he has to wear a collar, and as a fashion statement, it just doesn’t cut it.

Clawed: Brilliant, I can’t get out, AND I am made to wear this stupid collar !

More gruesome photos here.

Spades meanwhile made light of his ordeal, and brought home a bird and a rodent this afternoon. 😦

Still, whilst waiting to collect him, I did manage to progress the CMG buildings to half way complete with their weathering/highlighting, K-rails, and finished off the Laserburn figure. Light levels permitting, they should be done tomorrow and photographed.

Laserburn: Critical Mass Games’ buildings – 1

July, and the british weather continues to be gloomy and dismal. So having done a lot of WHFB stuff last week, I decided to finish off some Critical Mass Games buildings I started a couple of years ago:

The K rails I’m doing for the villa are shown, as is a Laserburn figure – the buildings are quite substantial.

They are made out of sturdy resin which I undercoated black, and then used Citadel Foundation paints to prep. I have stuck to a set pattern of colours for the buildings with doors being done in a dark metal green. The smaller building is yellow – its the Research Facility – so I thought it ought to be marked out as something different and possibly dangerous !

As you can see the roofs come off, and there is (some) interior detail. This will prove a challenge to get in and paint.

I’ll also be basing the Laserburn figure as a ‘quick win’ as it has a paint job I did back when I was ~15 which is ok still. The K rails are also a quick win.

AGW Deniers – Pretty Vacant

It’s the same time and again, when directly challenged for their Evidence(TM) that the science cited (or not) is wrong, when asked for their own scientific peer reviewed papers for Evidence(TM) to support their own suspect dodgy assertions AGW Deniers sink in to a predictable pattern of behaviour:

  • slink off onto the next CiF thread to avoid answering,
  • post links to blog rolls that don’t actually answer or support their assertions
  • change the goal posts, often asking off topic questions to distract the average viewer
  • become passive aggressive
  • become victim bullies (victim bullies use accusations as weapons, and ramp up the accusations over time) – the scientists are lying- its a big scam for our taxes – its all a plot for world government – Al Gore is fat…
  • or wait a few hours before returning hoping that we collectively have short term memories.

For example, fossil fuel agent 00TT posted an assertion on one CiF thread, but when asked for their Evidence(TM), went AWOL but was able to post on another CiF Environment thread, thus avoiding the issue that their assertions were suspect.

There’s no point in asking
You’ll get no reply
Oh just remember a don’t decide
I got no reason it’s all too much
You’ll always find us out to lunch

Oh we’re so pretty
Oh so pretty we’re vacant
Oh we’re so pretty
Oh so pretty
A vacant

Don’t ask us to attend
‘cos we’re not all there
Oh don’t pretend ‘cos i don’t care
I don’t believe illusions
‘cos too much is real
So stop your cheap comment
‘cos we know what we feel

Oh we’re so pretty
Oh so pretty we’re vacant
Oh we’re so pretty
Oh so pretty we’re vacant
Ah but now and we don’t care

There’s no point in asking
You’ll get no reply
Oh just remember a don’t decide
I got no reason it’s all too much
You’ll always find me out to lunch
We’re out on lunch

Oh we’re so pretty
Oh so pretty we’re vacant
Oh we’re so pretty
Oh so pretty we’re vacant
Oh we’re so pretty
Oh so pretty ah
But now and we don’t care
We’re pretty
A pretty vacant
We’re pretty
A pretty vacant
We’re pretty
A pretty vacant
We’re pretty
A pretty vacant