Clearing the cobwebs

Ok, I confess, I am not a winter person. Much like the proverbial dormouse {dormouse |ˈdôrˌmous| noun an agile mouse like rodent with a hairy or bushy tail, found in Africa and Eurasia. Some kinds are noted for spending long periods in hibernation} I have been exactly the opposite of active, hobby wise, the past several months.

Now that spring is here and the weather in the UK unseasonably warm, I find myself brimming with painting enthusiasm again. I cannot say the same for the state of the workshop however, which has ridden out the storms of inactivity less favourably. In particular due to a recent outbreak of house re-decorating. Not the painting I had in mind. Fortunately, plans to whip the workshop back into shape are well under way and I hope to get in some quality brush time in the not too distant.

So what have I been up to during the intervening months, if anything? More of the same to be honest. The Land Raider Proteus discovered mud and heavy weathering, as well as some proper Chapter markings. Not quite finished but 99% there.

Having a spare set of icon doors still as the Proteus didn’t need them, I also put together a second Land Raider. The more up to date Helios added a bit more variety with it’s off-centre missile launcher.

With both of the Land Raiders I took the weathering a few stages further than I did with the other tanks. No doubt I will revisit the Rhinos to bring the level of track decor up to the same spec as that of the Raiders. That wraps up the heavies, for now.

Despite not doing much painting, I did wade into a fair pile of Lord of the Rings miniatures over the winter to get ahead on assembly, basing and priming. I see this as an investment in future hobby time for actual painting, something which will hopefully help me expand on my already sizeable force of evil-ness. Sauron hasn’t had it all his way though as I have finally started on a second Forces of Good army to give me an alternative to my taciturn Dwarves. The catalyst for this was a recent “Tale of Four Gamers” in White Dwarf, which I thought I would leverage as a gimmick for motivating me into delivering a Gondor force to an actual schedule!

The challenge hasn’t gotten off to a bad start either, as two Warbands, led by Boromir are already well under way. I can see Lord of the Rings becoming a regular theme throughout 2012, what, it being a Hobbit year and all. Games Workshop obviously feels the same way judging by the sudden relegation of War of the Ring to a ‘Specialist Game’ and new found enthusiasm for all things Strategy Battle. Can’t say I was as enthused about the release of the all new source books however. Nice though they are, value for money they are not. Nor are they particularly well-endowed in the page count department, especially when you discount the fifteen odd pages that are literally replicated in each and every one of those books. For shame!

The new miniatures are a different story however. The Watch in the Water in particular a surprise stand out miniature for me (absolutely love the foul beastie) and the Beast of Gorgoroth is also an impressive sculpt. Both I grabbed when they were released and just wish the casting quality was as good as the miniature design. Sadly it wasn’t; Finecast being a hugely frustrating issue for me. It isn’t that I dislike Finecast, I don’t. I recognise Finecast for exactly what it is; the only sensible way of getting away from metal production for large and/or lower production run miniatures. It is the erratic quality that drives me to distraction. For every mangled, mis-cast or wibbly-wobbly weapon there is a spectacularly crisp cast somewhere else.

Kamul the Easterling – Mr Blobby

Necron Lord – perfect in every way!

Watcher in the Water – slip-cast tentacles

Arjac Rockfist – Quite possibly the best cast I have ever had from GW

Beast of Gorgoroth – Don’t go there!

Amdur Master of Blades – straight and crisp, not a bubble in sight.

The list goes on…

In all of the mis-hap cases above the offending parts (or miniature altogether) were replaced by GW without any fuss, so it is hard to criticise. It must be costing them a fortune however, and that, I suspect is what the high price tag is helping to partly offset sadly.

Anyway, moving along. Cobble stones have also been on my mind of late, particularly those found on the streets of Gondor. To add a bit of variety to the aforementioned Men of Gondor I am currently working on I conducted an experiment between green-stuff and Magic-Sculpt to see which I preferred for stamping out stone bases. The latter was the winner, finer finish, less sticky and sanded nicely. The only negative is it does have a habit of lifting at the edges by comparison. But that was easily resolved with a thin line of super-glue.

The brick pattern one I rejected in favour of the curved design. Whilst waiting for the bases to cure I set about the first group of Gondor Warriors on regular textured bases. Yes, terrible photo I know, it was taken on the phone. better images to follow once the full war band is painted, detailed and base garnish added.

Nearly there!

The loft clear out also revealed a set of long-forgotten gaming boards from the ill-fated Warscape start up. These were the Realm of Battle boards before their time and were vac-formed as opposed to injection moulded. Not as detailed or resilient, they are nevertheless far from useless and now I have been re-united with them and keen to see what can be produced with a lick of paint and scatter grass. More on those after the weekend.

Finally, bringing things right up to date, it wouldn’t be right of me not to comment on the entire re-write of the Games Workshop Paint Range. After all, everyone else is, some even to dismiss them out of hand before they are even out which I find amusing. I am largely ambivalent to the new range being fairly well stocked for paint at the moment. That said I did get a chance to try out what they refer to as the Shades (washes in old parlance) and Dry (new formulation specifically designed for dry-brushing straight from the pot). I have to say initial impressions are positive and I am looking forward to experimenting with seeing what can be achieved mixing and matching across the ranges effect wise. Abusing them in other words, but all in the name of science! Overall, I am not as pre-disposed to dislike them on the basis of the logo on the label as some seem to. Seems like actually trying them out first might not be a bad idea. But maybe that’s just me.

So, I’m back and just as soon as the debris is bull-dozed back out of the workshop I may even have some painting to comment on.

Until the hopefully not too distant next time, have a great week.

Carl

« «  Fleet and M.I. don’t mix   |   No More Marines  » »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hobby happening right now
CURRENTLY OFFLINE
%d bloggers like this: