You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

42mm samurai: Working on the peasant's house

I guess the building itch hit me early, and just at the right time (I had three hours of free time), so I got most of it finished. I still need to work on the roof (not sure if I'll use toweling or fake fur for the thatch- or maybe even sculpey??) I had originally intended to do the roof later; Usually when I build, I do everything all at once, and since the roof comes last, I tend to build it in a rush. Since I'm saving this roof for later, I hope to do a better job of it.

The construction of the main structure here was pretty easy. I drew up some plans, and glued together some modular walls (as seen below.) This time around, I actually calculated how much wood I would need (and only had about 6 inches of wood left over after finishing.) I decided not to recreate any teahouses or specific architecture, instead going for a generic "Japanese" look.

I built the raised floor as a separate piece, giving me a solid base on which I could glue the wall sections. Before gluing the walls to the base, I painted everything (to make it easy to get the brush where it needed to be.) I added a couple layers of framing around the top of the walls to give the roof an even base to work with, and to give the structure more strength- And it's strong; I wouldn't stand on it, but this house just feels more robust than any of my card buildings. Anyway- here's some photos!

Friday, December 30, 2011

42mm samurai: Standing with yari (and lumber)

" ... And lumber?"
Sure, it sounded like some of you wanted me to post stages of my work. Well, "stage 1" is lumber :)
Ok, it's going to be a small peasant's house- nothing spectacularly designed, but it will still incorporate mostly wood (instead of card.)

The samurai has a first layer of brown to serve as an undercoat to the red armor he will be wearing. This sculpt is one of a couple of the newer figures offered in Steve Barber's 42mm samurai range (the other being the ikko-ikki monk posted earlier in this blog.)

Next weekend, I'll finally have (after six months) more than 2 consecutive days off work (3 days!) So I think I'll try to build my little peasant house then (or finish it then, if I get the itch to start building during the week.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

42mm samurai: Kneeling ashigaru

Another easier figure to paint; I may have rushed it a touch, but it still turned out ok. The sashimono is a bit large (I was in a rush at that phase,) but it won't matter too much since these figures are just for skirmishing.

I've been thinking about getting a few more ashigaru to put together a small battleline (and give me an excuse to get a banner man or two.) But that's just a thought; I still have one more samurai to paint from this current batch, as well as a teahouse/house/small temple to build ... maybe. (I need to get up the gumption to buy a bunch of wood and take the time to lay it one plank at a time- If I do this building, I want to do it right.)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

42mm samurai: Some new Japanese goods (and some old)

I had a few minutes here and there yesterday, so I threw these new (on the three GW cavalry bases in front) accessories together. Each individual pack and jar was actually already made (from Sculpey) when I originally started with this range; I've just mounted them on the bases and painted them up finally.

To help nudge me toward building a small Japanese house/shed, I've based these latest accessories to be placed indoors.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

42mm samurai: Samurai charging with yari

This one didn't turn out as good as I hoped, but it still turned out nice. I wanted the lacing to be a bit brighter, but I think I dig the all-around darker look.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

42mm Samurai: First colors on charging samurai

This sculpt is probably my least favorite to paint (yet still one of my favorite poses of the range.) The sculpting is good, but it requires a gentle hand to pick out the fine lacing on the armor. Later, I'll try a couple washes to see if I further define the lacing. I think some very fine blacklining between each color will help also, if the washes don't take. As my art teacher always says: "You have to massage the art."

I was unsure about what colors to use on this sculpt, knowing that the fine lacing would require some good quality paints, but the colors turned out nice; I just needed to put a few light layers on, building up the color.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

42mm Samurai: Ikko ikki finished

Wow, that took no time at all (in actual painting time- probably about 35 minutes total) a testament to how paintable these sculpts are.
For armor and lacing, I kept it simple and humble - black armor (with just a touch of dark brown,) and light brown lacings.
And I think I'm getting better at hammering out my katanas. For those who don't know my method of making swords, you can see a tutorial here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

42mm samurai: A little Ikko ikki work

Well, my desire to paint has definitely returned. Now, I just need to find the energy after the still- (ever) busy work day. I won't do a step-by-step of postings, per se, but I will post pictures after each evening that I manage to get any significant painting finished.

This evening, I managed to get a couple colors thrown onto my ikko ikki monk. I knew I wanted to paint his pants white, and his shirt some off-white or drab, but I'm not quite sure what color to do his armor. Any suggestions?

I think, so far, of all Steve's samurai, this one is my favorite. I don't know why; he just is. Once I get the colors chosen for the armor and lacings, I think this figure should paint up rather quickly.

Sorry, I didn't keep an eye on what specific colors I used; I just grabbed offhand what jars looked good to me. My oriental flesh recipe is the same as my caucasian; I simply used a different base color (I think it was Foundry Dusky Flesh light (6C), mixing it with each subsequent highlight from my base recipe.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

42mm Samurai: First paint applied

I don't normally post such a small step, but since it's been almost two months since I last put paint to something, I figured I'd celebrate the tiny achievement with a post. It's been years since I went more than a month without painting something.

I chose to do the flesh first (I usually do it last) so as to make the figures come "alive." This way, they will beckon me to finish the job each time I walk past the painting table.

I like Steve Barber's samurai sculpts; they look good and paint up easy! I wish he would do more, but understand that sculptors, like painters, get a yearning to do different things along the way. Steve, if you're reading this, if you ever do more samurai, I'd like some unarmored fighting samurai so I can play Kurosawa-type games.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Priming under way (and here's more envelope art)

Samurai are sitting in their first coat of primer. In the mean time, here's another piece of envelope art for your enjoyment:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

42mm Samurai: Weapons made

Nothing major going on; I just hammered out a few weapons for my latest batch of samurai. This photo does, however, show what the Ikko Ikki monk (far left) and Samurai standing with yari (second from left) look like.

I don't plan on any major conversion work on these other than the weapons and the back banners that I'll add later. Still waiting for bases; they've been ordered and have been shipped. I hope to at least get these primed by this weekend.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Samurai arrived but...

...It's been so long (relatively) since I last painted that I hadn't realized I was out of bases. So this evening, I ordered some 40mm lipped bases (what I base my 42mm samurai on.) Ah- it just hit me: I hadn't ordered any bases lately because I've been basing my large-scale figures on poker chips. I think my samurai would also work on the poker chips, but they're already based on the lipped bases. Oh well.

Anyway, these (Steve Barber) samurai look nice. One of them is an Ikko-ikki monk which looks better than I expected. When the bases arrive and stuff gets assembled, I'll post some pics. The other poses I have are a samurai standing with a yari, samurai attacking with yari and an ashigaru kneeling (wearing helmet) with a yari.

While we wait for bases, I'll just keep posting my art from letters (and elsewhere.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I also enjoy drawing on envelopes

I draw on just about every envelope I send through the mail. Unfortunately, I don't have many scans of them because the envelope art is the last step before I drop the letter off. But I scanned this one (addresses left off for privacy, of course):

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Still waiting for samurai; Here's a squirrel

That's right: I can paint giant robots, AND cute little squirrels. It's also meant as a piece of incidental art for  my letter-writing (hence, all the white space.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick piece of Giant Robot art

Of all the things I've drawn, I can't remember the last time I've drawn a giant robot. So here's a quick one. It started off as a doodle, and went from there. (In case anyone is interested, it's watercolor pencil, ink, brush and pen on paper.) Since it's on regular old paper, I'm gonna write a letter on it to a couple cousins with kids who like this kind of thing. (And yes, the robot is saying, "Petoo, petoo," as he devastates his enemies with his plasma eye disintegrator rays.

In the meantime, I've had a piece of old masonite for a while trying to think of something to paint on it; I think I'll try a giant robot in acrylics (complete with background sky in ominous, cliche reds.)

Also- 42mm Samurai are on their way, so hopefully miniatures will be returning here, soon!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Reruns: Caveman Attack!

Sort of a sequel to my popular Waiteri Scouts photo (seen here.) This is the whole tribe.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reruns: D&D

Here are a few of my D&D figures as requested. Also- I think my painting drought is soon to come to an end; Taking pics of my samurai led to me ordering a few more of the zen warriors. Not much -- an ashigaru, a couple samurai, and an ikko ikki monk -- but still enough that might snap me out of this funk.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reruns: 42mm samurai

As requested, here are my 42mm samurai (by Steve Barber models). I use these to play a "reskinned" Red Sands Blue Sky. For those familiar with the ruleset (by Two Hour Wargames), my samurai version is less of a skirmish and more a a duel. (I do one or two samurai with a couple supporting ashigaru per side.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eyecandy reruns

Just so that my blog doesn't get too stale while I'm on a painting hiatus, here are a couple new photos ("eyecandy") of stuff I've painted in the past ("reruns.")

If you want to see new photos of anything you've seen here before, just drop a comment, and I'll take the photos. At least I'll get a touch of photo practice if not painting practice.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Couple more cartoons from my letters

Still no figure painting. I'm more comfortable with it, now, and I think that will actually help me get back into painting later. In the meantime, here are a couple more cartoons from letters I've written. One letter was about my chess prowess (guess how good I am,) and the other letter was about how I've donated 5 gallons worth of blood in the past few years.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another painting drought

I'm pretty sure the busy weeks at work are killing my drive to paint minis. We've been understaffed since August, working 50-hour weeks (which isn't all bad when you get paid overtime). I'm sure many have worse work-weeks; mine are just busy enough to dampen  my verve to paint minis.
Though, I think the lack of a large project  may also be keeping my drive and inspiration down. But if I start a new project, I need to unload some minis. Probably would be my old Foundry Gladiators, AWI, and maybe my War Rocket fleet (great game, just never took off with my group.)

I've been looking at Trident Design's 40mm Robin Hood stuff, as well as 40mm Flash Gordon from Monolith; it all looks fun to paint. I'm also trying to think about what other custom projects I could put together. Maybe some 54mm post-apoc civilians to push the limits of my sculpting skills (and as spectators for my apocalators)?

I also haven't been playing a lot of minis games lately, so I have to ask myself why I should paint new figures. Maybe I could take something from one of the old collections and throw it all into a vat of Simple Green and start anew? Street Corner does provide a little outlet, letting me add one or two figures at a time. Maybe it's time to add another fruit stand or street vendor? Or more figure conversions? Tramp steamer crew? Personal questions abound, but I simply haven't been in the mood to paint minis, lately.

What have I been doing in the meantime?
I've been keeping artistically occupied. For fun, I've been writing letters to friends and family (actual HAND-written letters; no email, Twitter or Facebook for these communiques). It also allows me a chance to draw/paint something nice (but mostly silly) on the paper (such as Hanslore Krusher from my previous post, or the "flying dog/baby" combo shown here.) But I do paint some nice stuff once in a while. So, I'll try to post a few of those pieces of art at this blog until I get back into the mood for minis; Here are a few to get you started

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hanslor Krusher Day

My friends and I are usually stuck in town for Christmas, so we celebrate Hanslor Krusher Day instead (a name made up by one of my friends.) And I draw a picture of Hanslor and give it to a friend or family member. That is all. We don't do anything special, except maybe go eat at Perkins. HANSLOR KRUSHER!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

New game on Kickstarter

Flashpoint; Fire Rescue will soon be shipping; that was my first venture with becoming a backer on Kickstarter. Such a fantastic way of discovering (and helping to fruition) cottage industry board games.

Anyway, the new game I've backed is called Mutant Meeples. It's much like Ricochet Robots except each meeple (which take the places of the robots) has a special power modifying his movement. Also, once you've reached the target location, you can no longer use the meeple with which you reached the target. This gives players who are behind an advantage to those who are ahead.

There are 8 (supersized) meeples, as well as an expansion adding two new meeples and some tiles to modify the board.

That's the incomplete gist of it; head over to Mutant Meeples' Kickstarter page and check it out for yourselves. (The video is cute, too) :

Information at Boardgamegeek (Not a lot there yet):

Note: Bezier Games (who created Mutant Meeples) didn't pay me for any advertising. In fact, no company I mention ever pays me to solicit for them. I just enjoy posting about things and games I like, or, in this case, new games I think are good to support.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

For those who hate their jobs

Sometimes a folk hero emerges to give inspiration to the workers. Thought I'd share some good medicine:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Street Corner: Spade

The last figures of the Sleuths pack are done -- Sam Spade and the dog, Milou. There was no conversion work for these two figures, nor was there much I could convert. I'm sure I'll think of something now that they're both painted.

That does it for the Sleuths pack. I actually enjoyed taking this long to paint one pack of figures. It's definitely a lot easier on the wallet. It's also nice to feel unhurried without a ton of packs sitting on the workbench looking at me, waiting for their turn.

I've been thinking of other things I could add to Street Corner -- Lovecraft, Weird Menace, 193X SciFi. I was even thinking to myself a couple nights ago, "What about Post-Apocalyptic, but if the apocalypse happened in 1929?"

These are all just brainstorms and whimsies; I'm sure I'll go back to add a couple small things to the tramp steamer, or maybe make another piece of scenery for the Street Corner itself, before I branch out too far.

Oh, and here's a quick comparison shot of my figures and the originals. When you shop for figures, don't just shop for what you see, shop for what could be possible.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dressed up like a $2 trouper

I enjoyed this figure; every town, no matter the genre you're painting, needs a bum. This is the last conversion I did from Copplestone's Sleuths pack. Again, it was simply replacing his gun for some other item, which, in this case, is a bottle.

I knew all the colors on this figure would be muted and washed out, so I put him on a base with brick to bring a little color to the whole thing. To wash out (and blend somewhat) the colors even more, I did a light drybrushing of Foundry Rawhide.

That does it for the Sleuth's pack conversions. Sam Spade and the dog still need to be painted.
I actually have a couple other figures on deck ready to go -- (both by Foundry), a little boy and an old west civilian (which will work as an Italian immigrant, I think.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dress up like a million dollar trouper

This was an easy conversion: file away the gun, bend down the arm, and add a brass wire cane. Now I have a fellow who's ready to put on the ritz. He also could double as a mob boss dressed for his alibi.

By the way, this was another figure from the Sleuth's pack in Copplestone Casting's Gangsters line.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Street Corner: From the times of the single wing offense

The painting bug finally bit me, and I was ready to paint. So I finally painted my football player and in one sitting. These are the colors of my fictional college team, the Assyria Tech Charioteers (from my Arcadia rpg.)

This figure, as you may recall, was from the Sleuth's pack from Copplestone Casting's Gangsters line. To complete the conversion (summarizing previous posts), I detached the slotta and bent his left leg back into a running position. The gun hand was clipped off and the arm bent down in preparation to carry the ball. Next, I sawed the top of his head flat, and used the top of another figure's pith helmet to form the top of this figure's leather helmet. I used some greenstuff to form the ear covers on the helmet as well as to form up some shoulder pads. The last item was the ball. I used a metal ball that I got from Impact! Miniatures, and I used greenstuff to sculpt a hand onto the ball. Unfortunately, the hand came out too large, and is a bit misshapen. But I'm still happy with the figure as a whole. This small ball-hand assembly, I pinned to my figure. Paint and based, the figure is done! My first figure in a few weeks.

I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with this figure, now. I reckon' I need to make 21 other players. That'll take forever unless I make a few lucky finds, or my mind just clicks right for conversion ideas ... or I learn to sculpt a whole figure myself. In the meantime, I'm happy with another successful conversion.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not that I haven't been doing anything

Holy smokes, it's been almost two weeks since my last post. Work has been hell.
Well, yesterday, I cleaned up my workbench to get ready to paint. I have a few Street Corner figures assembled, primed and ready to go; I just have to put brush to paint.

Besides work, I've taken  up chess (yep, I suck at it), reading (Maltese Falcon), a new roleplaying game (Fiasco), and doing small paintings of the new bar and grill in town (I've Picassoed my way to a bunch of free lunches there.) And the weather has been warmer than usual, so I've also been out taking long walks (to de-stress from work.)

But I won't leave you high and dry; here are a couple pieces of art from the new bar: