Tuesday, May 28, 2019

40mm Commission -- Marching Union Infantry

Today I finished painting 100 Union infantry marching.  These figures took much longer than I had thought they would.  Assembly and priming took quite a lot of work, and the painting itself was much more demanding than with 28mm, but the end result is pretty spectacular.  

My patron wanted very light uniforms for his gaming table, and he also wanted a mix of shades.  Hopefully these satisfy on both counts!

Tonight I will start in on the command figures as well as firing line and advancing troops.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

40mm Commission WIP

Work continues on the large 40mm commission.  I am finding these figures tougher than 28mm, less forgiving of little fudges.

I've also had trouble with bases warping.  The last time I had this problem was over 10 years ago, and I found that by spraying large bases with an enamel paint, I could seal them against my glue wash.  This time I am pretty sure the holes for the rare earth magnets are the culprits.  I'm trying a few different adhesives to see what works.

My client found the blues on the last set looked too dark on his table, so I am trying some new shades on these 28mm figures.  They go in the mail in just a few minutes, so hopefully I'll have an answer soon!

All these 40mm figures should be finishing up in the next 4-8 weeks.  Look for a big group of photos of a big collection of big figures!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

6mm Hougoumont

This terrain piece has been almost a year in the making.  I was so impressed with Glenn Drover's giant Hougoumont model that I bought the necessary buildings from The Wargaming Company (the buildings are made by Leven Miniatures).  This is a somewhat stylized representation of the famous farm complex, but it makes for a stunning bit of terrain.

I cut a large, thin piece of plywood to serve as the base.  I sanded the edges and corners until they were all smooth and rounded.  I primed the wood with rattle can grey primer, and once it was dry, I applied a coat of Liquitex Ceramic Stucco  texture gel to the entire base.  While it was still wet, I used superglue to attach the resin buildings and fences.

Once everything had cured for a few days, I used an electric drill to make holes where I wanted trees.  I glued round cocktail toothpicks into the wood to serve as tree trunks.  Once that glue was dry, I primed the whole thing with rattle can white primer.

It is surprisingly difficult to find accurate pictures of Hougoumont.  I settled on a couple of 19th century color lithographs to help me with colors.  I had a tough time settling on the correct oranges and browns for the buildings, and months stretched by as I repeatedly experimented with different shades.  This past weekend I just decided that I should finish the model and move on.  It turned out I was agonizing over nothing, because I am quite pleased with how the colors turned out!

Two days with my bix box of flocking materials resulted in the foliage as you see it.  I painted the ground a medium tan then used a light khaki color to drybrush the texture.  The static grass is from Gale Force 9.  I added clump foliage from Woodland Scenics wherever I thought rain water would fall from the roofs.  More clump foliage went on the toothpicks to create leafy trees.  Finally the formal garden got Army Painter tufts, which I then drybrushed in bright colors to represent flowers.

All told, I probably put in about two weeks' work on this model.  I just stretched those two weeks out over 10 months!  This should be beautiful on the table.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Little Wars 2019

Last week I flew to Chicago to attend Little Wars, HMGS Midwest's gaming convention.  Glenn Drover, for whom I have painted several armies, put me up at his house.

Thursday night we went to Glenn's gaming club, Liberty Hobby Center.  There the fellows were playing a game of Gloomhaven.  We made it through the first scenario.  I don't usually play dungeon crawls, so this was a nice treat for me.

Little Wars is held at the Westin center in Lombard.  The tables spread across an enormous convention hall.  It was my impression that attendance was lower than last year, but the number and quality of games was still incredible!

Friday afternoon Glenn and I played in Skip's Crimean War skirmish game.  The rules flowed smoothly, and the figures and terrain were great.  I really enjoyed the game.

I briefly observed this Sharp Practice AWI game.  That's Der Alte Fritz in the light red shirt!  Although I kept seeing him on Friday, either he or I was always involved with something, and we never did get a chance to say hello.

After a pleasant Friday's gaming and a visit to the vendor's hall, Glenn set up his game.  The scenario was Quatre Bras using Glenn's own hex-based rules and a portion of the many 18mm Napoleonics I painted for him.  The game accomodated six players, and they all seemed to have a great time!

Scenario start: the French approach Quatre Bras

Reinforcements await their arrival

Glenn's table looks superb.  What a spectacle!

Glenn briefs the Anglo-Allied commanders.

Decisive moment: the French seize the heights!

After the game, we got the troops all organized for the next match.  Saturday morning we headed down bright and early and welcomed the players.  Two had played in the previous game and enjoyed it so much that they signed up for Saturday!  I take that as a compliment to Glenn's rules and scenario design.

After the game ended, I played in a Sharp Practice game set in the Shenandoah Valley in 1862.  The rules took a while to wrap my head around, but the fellows running the game were superb, and the other players were excellent company.

Chicago is quite a bit further south than my home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, so I was surprised to see snow on Saturday!  It snowed all day, although very little of it stuck.  Here Glenn uses his bare hands to scrape snow from his windshield.  Brr!

It was a shorter trip than last year, but I had a great time.  Little Wars seems a good enough size to experience a wide variety of games, but still small enough that a gamer keeps seeing familiar faces.

As an aside, I saw Jack Decker putting on an ACW game with his rules and liked the look of it.  I went to buy the rules only to find that they are out of print.  Does anyone have a copy they are willing to sell?