Thursday, May 31, 2018

Charlemagne: A Color Test Figure

I know that people always have a bit of a chuckle at my preference for all things in the Early War period, which was the case in both Flames of War and Bolt Action.  Part of this had to do with my introduction to those games while being "nominated" to be the French player!

While I painted away at all the various units, I did a lot of research, not only of the Second World War, but as far back as the Napoleanic era and beyond.  I was more interested in the cultural and political situations that created the seeds for conflict than the conflicts themselves.

The Interwar Period was rife with all kinds of crazy weapon systems, from turreted fighters that would only hunt bombers to multi turreted tanks.  Nobody knew what would really happen with these once the shooting started.

This is the long winded way to say that all of my armies have focused on early war Battle of France and Operation Barbarossa.  That will continue as I move to the desert, but I am actually working on some mid to late war forces!

The Charlemagne Division was another political/cultural story that fascinated me, so I had to add that into the mix.  Not only did they fight on the Eastern Front, they actually fought their way back into Berlin during the final days of the siege. 

They also represent my first opportunity to attempt some of the camo pattern associated with the German forces... splinter, pea dot, oak leaf, etc. When I found some reference images, I had to paint the first color test figure to match this.

I have a great many figures to paint in the various schemes, as my army for the Operation Sting tournament is a Monte Cassino Fallschirmjager army!  I will have a lot of fun creating the bases for them, and I am planning on doing some of that in YouTube videos.

Also, I want to try and create some tutorials on how I painted these camo schemes for the blog and YouTube, since I see that question asked so many times on the Bolt Action Facebook pages.

I am hoping to use these guys in the next Barbarossa fight... we shall see if they are a match for Comrade Royamanov.  Eventually I would like to create an entire 'army' in the Charlemagne theme.

Stay tuned, and if you can support the Patreon Page in any way, that will be of great help, as all the editing and rendering takes many many hours!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Chaos Reigns

This is the largest scale piece that I have done so far, as 72mm.  I have done a few other figures in this scale, but they are not mounted on a giant steed!

This one is covered in freehand, as each of the 4 chaos gods are represented.  It is pretty obvious which one is featured in these views!

He is also on ebay at the moment:

On this side, you have the Slannesh and Tzeentch markings.  I have to say, it was nice to be able to do this kind of freehand on a much larger surface than the usual 28mm!  I felt like people would actually see all the subtle designs.

The penny gives you a sense of just how massive this is!

The entire base was scratch sculpted using Apoxy Sculpt, one of my favorite materials.  I did a number of base sculpting videos using that as part of the Painting Pyramid project.  There's forest basing, swamp, rocks, and more!

It has all of the advantages of milliput and green stuff, but none of the disadvantages.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Here's another Clan Escher painted in oils!  Once again, a link to the original live session:

Now that I have the new set of Mig Ammo OilBrushers, I will be able to do even more finely detailed aspects of the figures.  Since I made this video, I have learned a lot about using the oils in various ways.  Now I can paint the entire figure in oils, which is very cool!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Lest we Forget

Today is obviously a day for remembrance, and a chance to talk about one of the reasons that I have delved so deeply into things such as Bolt Action.

My Dad was in the Marine Corps in the later years of WW2, stationed in New Zealand training for the final assaults which did not occur.  On my Mom's side, they participated in the North Africa campaigns, into Italy, etc.

In fact, we still have a coin that he turned into a ring. You can still see "New Zealand 1942" on the inner portion of the ring.

I used to do some Civil War reenacting myself, with an artillery unit that is still based in Rockford.

The more research I do, the more things I discover... campaigns which you hear nothing about, or information that is now available due to lifting of secret designations, etc.  Also, the people who were a part of it are telling their stories more often before they become lost forever, which would be very tragic.

As far as the miniatures go, these are from Black Tree, and part of something new that I will be adding to my battle reports.  In addition to all the other very interesting character and infantry figures that Black Tree makes for games such as Bolt Action, they also make "casualty" figures.

I have been slowly acquiring these, and they are something that I will place during games to mark (as often as is possible) where casualties have occurred.

Aside from the visual reminder of the costs of fighting, I have in the past used a variety of those markers with other systems.  This has helped a lot with post game analysis, as they really show where the action happened, and how you might have misdirected your troops, etc.

This was also one of my first opportunities to use the new homemade shrubs and flower tufts!

Here's a link to the article in which these grass, shrub and flower tufts were created, starting with part one:

And now for part two, and a thank to to all who have served, are serving, and will serve in the future:

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Gangs of Rome

Here's another round of gladiators from Gangs of Rome.  Just as I did with the mobs, I painted the mosaic tile patterns onto the bases.  In that case of this guy, I matched the design from one of those larger multibases, so they would appear as if they were walking on the same floor.

These are the original bases, with the little cut outs for the wound counters and the identification numbers. I had a bit of fun with the shield design, playing the colors off the blueish grays of the mosaic tile floor.

I have a step by step guide to the mosaic tile painting here:

Friday, May 25, 2018

Absolutely Fabulous!

Between my desire to create my own version of the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers and find a better way to store paint than the dreaded dropper bottles, I ended up with this...

During a recent Models Workshop podcast, we did some on air Amazon searches, and determined that nail polish containers might suit the requirements.  That is, a solid container with a brush inside the twist top lid.

Lo and behold, we found this gem for $15!!

Inside were 20 jars, perfectly shaped to not tip over, sitting inside a soft foam strip that kept them firmly in place... so cool!

Better yet, there were stainless steel agitators and even small funnels!  The brush was perfect, since it reached down to the bottom of the container.  It is also very soft, which means it will be easy to brush out the paint onto a palette.  A harder brush might have caused the paint to fly around a bit.

Here is what I am trying to emulate.  I love my Mig Ammo Oilbrushers, since the paint consistency is just like acrylic paint, nice and thin.  Regular oil paint comes out of the tube like peanut butter, and has to be thinned.

It's not a big deal, but I do so much at once, that does start to take extra time.  It would be great to have my own favorite colors in a similar container as well.

Here you have it... some of the new, more intense oil colors along with the original set, and the  high quality White Spirits.  The idea is to mix in the white spirits and get that same miniature paint consistency.

Here you can see what the consistency of the oil paint is out of the tube.  While it is possible to paint the initial layers of a miniature with paint this thick, you would have to work them around the surface, etc., to spread them out.

As you work in those white spirits, you can see how the texture changes, becoming smoother and easier to spread around.

I wasn't really sure just how useful the funnels would be for this part of the experiment, but they did actually work!  Very cool!

They will be even more efficient when I take my favorite dropper bottle paints and transfer them into these.  No more T shaped pins for unclogging the bottles from then on!  Yay!

I put the stainless steel agitator into the bottle, shook it up, and poof!  Instant deep purple OilBrusher bottle.  Speaking of which, a new set of 20 bright colors has arrived, and here is a live session where they were tested out!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Blood At Arras

Here we go!  Battle report number three from the Early War series, this time covering the Battle of Arras.  You can see that one on my YouTube channel here:

It was a bit different from my first couple of reports, with changes in the terrain, and in the armies as well.  I really enjoyed being able to incorporate my scratch built objective markers as terrain pieces!

I also used those new terrain sets that I have shown in recent how to posts.  The roads worked perfectly, and I was even able to use the telephone poles from another step by step guide!

There will be an upcoming blog post with images of the completed 88mm flak gun.  As per the historical scenario, it played quite a role during the battle, especially with Rommel's nearby presence!

This was also the first battle report in which the British appeared.  Their rules are quite different from the French, so that was an interesting twist.  I think I will try to film one more report where they go up against the German forces alone.

Hans Deitrich led his squad in a desperate attempt to cut the communication lines to the French forces... would another hero be created in this battle?

As you can see, this board was much flatter and open than the previous Ardennes terrain set ups.  This was done to represent that flatter more open territory in northern France.

The Luftwaffe makes another appearance in this report, but very late in the game.  Would it turn the tide for good against the Allies?  Check out the latest report and find out!  

Stay tuned, because more is on the way!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Call your Shot

While I have been showing you the completed images of the mobs from Gangs of Rome, there are other figures central to the game.  This would be the gladiators and fighters themselves!

Again, I have not played the game at this point, but I do know that these numbers you see on the red pieces are meant to identify the character and keep track of wounds.

I think you can equip each of your fighters how you wish, and then you keep track of them with a 'roster', matching them up to the number on the left.  The bases have these cutouts already, and the little counters are included in the blister, as well as the cards, dice, and so on.

As I show these various fighters, you will see small portions of those larger mosaics which I profiled in the step by step articles!

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Li'l Red

Here's another example of a Necromunda Clan Escher figure painted mostly with oil paints,  As usual, I did some finishing details with acrylics once that was dried.  This was especially the case where I needed to establish some glowing parts on the figures.

I wanted to use my Vallejo fluorescent paints like I normally do for such things.  Thus far, I don't think anyone makes fluorescent oil paints!

Once again, here is the link for the Facebook Live episode where I painted part of the squad: