Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Year In Review

Heck yeah, time for looking back on all stuff I said I was going to do this year and discover how far off I was. Of course, maybe I wasn't too far off. All will be revealed momentarily as I look back on the year that was 2014!

What I Said I Planned To Do

Ah, plans and good intentions. I start the year with my head full of these, crap like losing weight and using my exercise bike for something as other than a clothes hanger. Fortunately this is a gaming blog and I don't fave to fess up to those disasters. (Seems I just did.... moving along.) If I look back to this post and compare to actual, here's what it looks like.

Miniatures Games
Bolt Action: I did succeed in this venture. I played about 15 - 18 games this year, but haven't touched it since July.

Other WW2 Rules: I gave Chain of Command about 3-4 walk-through games. I enjoyed it but the problem is I'll forget the rules between games and no one else is playing it. Anyway, the mission was to try it out and I did. Never got to Battlegroup Kursk, and the big fat rule book glares down on me from the bookshelf whenever I'm painting my figures. I'm still calling this a success.

Campaign Games: I played a campaign using Platoon Forward which was based on Operation Cobra and lasted seven games. I also did Operation Bagration this summer. So success here. I'm on a roll! 

Air Combat: We're moving into "mixed bag" territory here. I assembled and completed both US and Japanese squadrons for a Guadalcanal campaign, but beyond a few games I never got anywhere with this. I'm going to have to call it a defeat on the "plan to actual" scoreboard. Wings of Glory is a fantastic game that gathers dust at an alarming rate. Just never worked it into the rotation. And that Bag the Hun / Squadron Forward combo never happened. I did add Angels 20 to the list, and played several games before resigning myself to it being a game to play once every other year. I guess air combat never really got off the ground in 2014. (But I have increased my frequency of lame puns.)

Naval Combat: I'm going to try to slip this past you, so here goes. I played a game of Axis and Allies War at Sea.  I purchased a bunch of ships, threw them in a bag, and now watch them take up space in my hobby room. Does that fulfill my intentions for 2014? I'm going to say no, as I really intended to do more with this. War at Sea is solid, so maybe I'll revisit next year.

15mm Fantasy: This one's a cinch --never crossed my mind again after writing my blog and a few idea exchanges with friends. Fail.

Samurai Action: OK, I can redeem myself here by noting I completed assembly of the base set of Command & Colors Samurai Battles. It wasn't what I was thinking about when I set this goal, but I played a few games of it and it really scratches that Samurai itch. I'd like to actually paint these figures one day, but that's for another post. I'm going to call this a success.

Figure Scales: Yes! But in the opposite direction of what I planned.  At the time I was thinking 10mm WW2 for company sized battles or expanding my 6mm collection. Instead I took on 20mm WW2. The project lost steam for me, as I can only paint the same damn models so many times before burnout. I still have work to do on this in 2015.

Other Games: Fail. Neither Malifaux nor Savage Worlds made an appearance in my gaming this year.

Board Games
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Massive success. I've been playing in a regular group biweekly and we're almost done with the first adventure path. We're going to tackle the next one in the upcoming year. Additionally, I've played on and off solo with my own set throughout the year. This was probably my favorite game of the 2014.

Combat Commander Series: Fail. Never touched them and forgot how they play. Too bad as I was high on these for a while. I'll get them back into some sort of rotation again.

Descent 2: I finished that campaign in the early part of the year and realized it's not such a great game after all.  Success, but in a sad sort of way. Don't have much interest in this any more.

Elder Sign: Never touched it. Great game though. Fail.

DVG "Leader" series games: Success, but not as much as I'd have liked. I played another campaign of Phantom leader, and one test game of Thunderbolt Apache Leader. These games are incredible. I did the Kickstarter for Tiger Leader this year. I should play them more often than I do.

Living Card Games: Mega Fail. In fact, I've divested myself of these games except Warhammer Invasion. So I went the opposite way. I realized financially I can't keep up and that the "cycle" problem means you're playing with half a card pool most times. I just backed out completely and didn't even jump on the 40K version of Conquest when it came out.

Surprises for 2014

I went off in unexpected directions this year. It's not that I'm rigid about these New Year plans that I put in place, so I generally don't care what I'm doing as long as I have fun. Hence the sudden swing into 20mm WW2, etc.  Beyond what I already mentioned, here are a few other things I hadn't foreseen.

28mm Horror: I started collecting zombies and zombie survivors with the intention of playing a modern zombie apocalypse game. Where did this thought come from? Not sure. I started reading the Walking Dead comics, so that probably did it.

Zombicide: I just love this game. Hell, I even painted the board pieces. Again, came from nowhere but I'm glad for it. I got in about a 8-10 games this year and introduced it to some friends.

Judge Dredd: Though I've not actually played Warlord's Judge Dredd game, I decided the campaign system looked so awesome that I bought the starter box and painted the forces. Now I've got to get them on the table!

Warlord: You'd think being a Reaper fanboy that I'd have tried this earlier. I've now got a complete army for the game. Again, just have to find time to play it. I gave the rules a walk-through and found them enjoyable with some weird parts. Overall, I think I'll love it.

Prehistoric Games: I actually started on cavemen and Neanderthal tribes this year. I intended to get prehistoric mammals for them to hunt or fight, but didn't follow through. This may be revived again, as I think it's an interesting idea.

Hail Caesar in 15mm: You may be wondering about this one since there're no blog updates around it. However, right now a crap-ton of 15mm Imperial Romans are on my painting desk. I read the rules late in the year and started gathering forces to be able to field Romans vs either Germanic tribes or Britons. I've been working most of this month on the Roman infantry and will have an update soon.

WH40K: I was talking about selling my 40K armies. Instead I got the new rules, finished painting the Tau I have, and will soon be getting my Codices updated and adding more models. So the about-face was a shock for me, but I realized how much I love this game. There's really little else like it.

Star Wars X-Wing: I forgot about this and had to go back to edit my post to include it. Of course, this turned out to be a big hit for me and just about everyone else I know. I have multiples of most popular ships and even invested in a KR Multicase to keep my ships ready for gaming. I played the game a number of times, including several with my son and one large group game with friends. I had dawdled about buying into this, but once I took the plunge I've never been happier with a game.

Thunderstone Advance: This deck-builder game is great solo and with others. I had been eying it for a while, then went all in to get the base game and expansions. I'm still not caught up yet!  It's a fantastic game, though the most complex deck builder I've seen. I probably played 6-8 games this year, so it's not the biggest hit of the year. However, I definitely made a financial commitment to it that I was not expecting! Anyway, I highly recommend it for fans of deck builder for both the crunch and the fantasy theme.  I'll be enjoying this one for a long time to come.

Well, by now you're probably sick of hearing about my year. I know I am.  Overall, I had a good year for gaming. I wish all my four blog readers a very happy and safe New Year!  See you in 2015!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1/72 PSC US Heavy Weapons

That alphabet soup title is interpreted as 1/72 scale Plastic Soldier Company's US Heavy Weapons teams for World War II.  I just figured the abbreviations fit better into feed readers. So, onto the update.  You know what it's about.

Here's a picture. Click for a much larger picture with details.

I didn't assemble everything in the box, as I don't need multiple chemical mortars or even multiple .50 cal MGs for the games I will play.  I have the sprues so I'm ready to add them as I need.

What I do have are plenty of machine guns: three M1919 .30 cal MG teams, two M1917 MG teams (got lazy and didn't do the third one), and one .50 cal MG. I love the size of that .50cal M2 Browning! Though I don't really need the other two right away, I plan to make those teams at some point.

The other essentials are the three bazooka teams. Seems like every US list has bazookas in abundance, particularly late war.  So I wish I had a few more but three's enough.  Then come the mortar teams. Again, three of each mortar is overkill though multiples of the 60mm mortar might be sensible. I've got a 60mm, 81mm, and a 4.2in chemical mortar. That's more than enough firepower for a single platoon!

Lastly you will see five BAR gunners hanging around the back corner of the photo. I had mistakenly assembled these a while back thinking them to be rifles. I was rushing and didn't pay attention to what I was doing. So I left them primed and sitting on my table. Since I had the paints out for US infantry I finished them.

That rounds out all my infantry in 20mm, though I have plenty left over for extra squads of both US and German soldiers. The next phase will be to complete some vehicles so these anti tank weapons have some purpose!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tau Time Again

This represents the final installment in my Tau project for now. I think I have a bit more than 1,000 points of Tau all painted and ready for action. From here on out, I'll add units and models to expand my options and to get me up to 1,500 points total.

Without further ado, here are two Piranha skimmers.

So that's a bit underwhelming, I know. The largest challenge was painting the crew, and that wasn't exactly hard to do.  The drones are detachable and have magnetized flight stands. These skimmers were easy to paint, particularly when doing them in one solid color.

With the Tau done for the time being, next I'm going to touch up gaps in my 20mm US WW2 platoons. After that, we'll see where I go.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tau Hammerhead Gunship

Work on the Tau continues this week. The largest model I have for this force is the Hammerhead gunship.  I don't have enough Graveyard Earth paint left to cover something of this size, so I used Plastic Soldier Company's US Infantry spray paint. It's not the same but it blends well with the Tau color scheme I selected. 

Here are the results. Click for a larger picture.

Not much to write home about, but it is a nice model. The main weapon is on a rare earth magnet and can be swapped out.  I don't recall what this other gun is, but it's nice to have options.  Here's a shot of the ship with the other gun.

Overall I'm pleased with the way this model turned out.  The drones also detach and have separate stands that I prepared.  I also painted five more gun drones and stands this week. I didn't bother with pictures as the drones aren't all that interesting.

I'll be working on the two Piranha skimmers this week and that will complete the Tau project for now.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Return of the Tau

It's a rather grand title for this week's post, considering I'm only introducing a unit of Fire Warriors. Anyway, I've decided to complete all my unpainted Tau from a few years ago and probably introduce a few more units and vehicles to bring the force up to speed.

Here's the Fire Warrior unit. Click for a larger picture.

I was able to keep their paint scheme consistent with the other two units of Fire Warriors I had painted a few years ago. As I mentioned in my last post, I bought a pot of Graveyard Earth paint once GW decided to take it out of production. The so-called equivalent today is not the same.

These models have already been assembled. I love painting models but hate putting them together, and GW kits grow more complex every year. So back when the project was active I had Saguaro Painting Service put them together. Tim had some leftover parts and threw together a quick conversion for me.  Here it is.

This guy is made from "tank commander" and Fire Warrior bits. Though he doesn't actually fit into any of the units I think he makes a great objective marker or special model. I imagine him as a Battlesuit Commander who has lost his suit. Anyway, I'm sure I'll find a reason to use him at some point.

Next I'll polish off my vehicles and some drones for the Fire Warrior teams. I won't have enough Graveyard Earth to cover the surface areas of the vehicles. I'll be looking for something similar to that color that I can also spray.  I don't want to be brush painting that Hammerhead railgun ship!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Shape of Things to Come

Not a lot of painting got done this week. The fourth-quarter scramble at work has loaded me up with too much to do, and I'm close to finishing the first draft of book five in my viking series. There's just not enough time to paint.

However, I have set my eyes on making an old project new again. I'm going to assume the following pictures will give you an idea of what it is. This is the only model I painted this week.

 Yes, time to resurrect my Tau project from a few years ago. I bought a bunch of Tau around the time most of my game group was getting out of 40K. My interest in 40K also waned at the same time, and so I left a lot of these models unpainted. I came close to selling my Tau collection, but I hardly ever sell my games.  I'm glad I kept them.

So I've got one Crisis Battlesuit done. Of units that I've yet to paint, I have a unit of Fire Warriors, two Piranha skimmers, a Hammerhead rail gunship, and a bunch of drones. I probably need to add in a few more models to get enough points to play a game. I'd like to get around 1,000 points ready.

I chose a difficult paint scheme for these guys. It takes three coats to get solid coverage. To make it even more challenging, GW discontinued my base color (graveyard earth). Fortunately, I sagely saved a fresh pot of it when they announced this. So I can probably get most of my models done in the same color. At some point, things won't match any more. Well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

This is a lot of words for a single model. Up next will be the Fire Warrior team.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

More Necropolis & Zombie Survivors

I finished up all but the skeletons for my Warlord Necropolis force. This week I painted the Bones versions of Necropolis gargoyles. Besides being inexpensive these models were completely assembled. The only issue was their wings had been compressed to fit into the blister. A quick dip in hot water reset them to original condition.

Though lightweight, the wings make their balance precarious. It's no big deal for a plastic model to topple, but still is aggravating. I ended up putting a small nail through the base bottoms to keep the gargoyles from falling off the base while the glue set. It ended up balancing them as well.

These were easy to paint. Basically prime black, then dry brush warm grays, wash with black, then highlights. I'd considered paint splattering them for extra texture but I don't think these are going to see a lot of play time. So the effort would be not worth the time and mess. I like how they turned out.

Last week I took some horrendous pictures of the other Necropolis models. One that I think people would have an interest in is the translucent plastic ghost model.  I took a better picture of it this week.

Lots of people don't know how to approach painting this model. I've seen people who just prime it and paint like any other model, and those who just fill the recesses with a dark wash.  I opted to paint directly on it without priming in order to preserve the translucent parts. Overall, I think it came out okay. The picture is still not as good as the model appears in person. The translucent effect is lost here, but I think you get the idea. It does look ghostly to me, and that's what makes this model unique.

I had a few models sitting on my desk as I pondered my next project. These are modern / zombie survivor type of models all from the Bones Kickstarter. I gave them all a quick paint job so they'd be ready when I might need them. My favorite is the zombie hunter with chainsaw. I liked the hand clinging her to pant leg!

Anyone who paints as many Reaper models as I do will eventually realize these models have their quirks. One that consistently aggravates me is clothing. Reaper models exist in a bizarre dimension where sleeves appear inexplicably from nowhere, or one side of a hand appears to wear a glove and the other side of the same hand does not. All sorts or extra-dimensional clothing exists in Reaper's world and can be a frustration when painting, particularly where layers of clothing appear and disappear on a whim.

However, no figure is more of a disaster than one I found in my Bones collection. I was looking forward to painting this guy, since he appeared like a thug with a sawed-off shotgun. What a unique model, I thought.

Well, unique is right. Check this out.
What the hell is going on with this guy's jacket? That's not a torn sleeve. One sleeve is full-length and the other is short. Model ruined. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. What is the logic here? The short sleeve is so defined that even a paint-over won't cure it. They modeled a flippin' wristwatch to drive the point home. Besides, I can't stop seeing this now that I know it's there. So I left the model mostly in primer black, quickly painted some large areas, and am now undecided if I toss it in the trash or keep it in case mix-n-match sleeve lengths ever becomes a fashion.

So that's this week's update. I've got a few new ideas brewing, including a few larger projects. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Warlord: Necropolis

I've been on an undead kick these days, though this particular project had been planned far in advance of "zombie fever."  I'm just getting to it.

This is the start of my Necropolis army for Reaper's fantasy miniatures game, Warlord. Thanks to the collections of models I have from the Bones Kickstarter I have a solid base for most of the factions. Unfortunately I put most of these on round bases and Warlord is particular about its base sizes.  That may actually put me off the game, since most of the Bones models don't fit on the base sizes they're assigned.

Well, this force is all Vampires with supporting undead staples like zombies and skeletons. The undead must've possessed my camera as all the pictures came out like total crap. I'll have to retake them, but here are a few examples.

First the overall force and the only halfway decent picture.

I took detailed shots of each unit but most were out of focus.  Here are the few OK pictures to give you an idea of what some of these units look like.

Judas Bloodspire is the warlord leader and wearing the red cloak. The other is a hero, Malek the Hated.
More vampire heroes, Naomi Mistress of Wings (Bones variant), a Bones proxy for Sir Gauren the Wrathful, and Elsabeth Briarkiss. She is the only non-Bones character in the army.
Every other picture I took was way out of focus.  I have units of 8 zombies, 3 burrowing zombies, 3 chattel (humans that the vampires can eat to regain health), a bat swarm, a ghoul captain, and a ghost. I'll have to retake those pictures when I finish up this army.  I still have gargoyles and skeletons to assemble and paint.  I'm out of 25mm square bases, so I've got to order them before I can continue.

Not sure what I'll be working on next. I'm a little burnt-out on painting minis. Maybe time for a break!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Zombicide Season 1: Zombie Hordes!

I've completed my monochrome paint scheme for all the zombies in Zombicide's season one. I saw this paint scheme on this blog, and decided I'd try it for myself. I really like the results!

Witness the hordes of walking dead! (Click for a much larger picture)

These models appear to glow when grouped together, creating a wonderfully eerie feeling that I did not expect. I did these with a "damp brush" treatment and tried to vary tones for contrast. I picked out details but wasn't too careful with my paint job. Neatness was a "nice to have" rather than a requirement of this paint job.

Here are a few close ups of the horde. If you enlarge the pictures you'll see how rough the paint is.

 Totally all these models took about 8 hours to complete. Overall that's not bad when you consider there are 55 walkers, 24 runners, and 11 fatties. It's not often I can paint at speeds greater than 10 MPH (models per hour -- Doh!). I should also note that I added to the base set with the first "Walk of the Dead" addition. This basically gives you more of all the base set models.

Here's a line up of all the unique poses for all the figure types, in case you were wondering how much repetition is in this pile of models. (Again click for a larger picture)

I'm really pleased with the results. I think I'm burned out on painting zombies for now! I had hoped to get these Zombicide models to the gaming table but work interfered. When I do, I may take some pictures of them on the gaming table to post up here. I'm curious how these look against the full color games boards.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Zombicide Season One Survivors

I guess I could've left this post's subject heading as the entire post. It pretty much says it all.  I've recently got the Zombicide Season One base game and like it enough to paint the figures. These survivors can be used outside of the Zombicide game too, since they scale nicely with other models. So it gave me an extra incentive to paint.

Here they are. Click for a larger picture.

For those familiar with the game, I painted them exactly as they appeared on their stat cards. So no great innovation.  I did take some detail pictures but the focus was all off. I think I accidentally changed some settings. Well, this picture gives enough details.

I decided to paint the Abomination, since I consider him a zombie character. While painting him, I noticed he had a camera over his neck, like he's a tourist or something similar. Detail like that gets lost if you don't paint the models.

These figures are really nice with a good level of detail. As I said, they can be survivors for other games like All Things Zombie, which I plan to check out soon.

Next it's on to the actual zombies, starting with the walkers. I plan to do these in a gray scale. I saw this paint style on a blog, which you can see here.  I'm in no way as good a painter as this guy, but I like the idea and will give it a shot.  Besides, I have over 50 walkers alone, and I don't want to spend the rest of the year painting zombies! His way of painting seems very fast. I've already got ten completed, and they look nice.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens

Wow, that took a while.  Twenty days later, I'm finally able to post the finished results for my Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens. I didn't even build the whole box! Well, I've been busy with other things and my recent binge-watching of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix has contributed to dereliction at the painting table. There's only so much time each night for leisure activities.

While calling them vixens is a bit of a stretch, here's the mob of undead gals. Click for a larger picture.

 The box gives a lot of different options and is quite an improvement over the Zombie Horde box, which is male zombies only. Here you have head options, two arm options, and accessories. Why zombie women need so many handbags is beyond me. I added one, just for laughs. Maybe she died holding it and never let go.  Anyway, my only complaint is the models don't have any good join points, which means those spindly arms fall off and the necks don't align with the torsos.  I had to constantly repair while painting, since some arms have only the barest of contact surface with the torso.  Still, overall I'm satisfied with these additions.

Here's my zombie horde with both men and women, forty models strong right now.

You can see that the female boxed set provided bases, but the male set did not. That was unfortunate, as I had matching bases but didn't realize it until too late. So their bases and corresponding heights are mismatched. Not a big deal, since most of my collection don't match bases. My fantasy stuff has both square and round bases, so I shouldn't really care about this minor difference with my zombies.

This is a nice start to a zombie apocalypse theme. I will need more survivors, and I have the boxed sets of survivor men and women from Wargames Factory. However, for now I think I'll paint and use the survivors from the Zombicide game. They'll get double duty that way.  Also, they will be done faster and give me a chance to do something else!

In the meantime, let the zombie madness begin!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Zombie Chow!

What good is a zombie horde without a bunch of hapless victims? I asked the same question, and my answer was "not much good at all."  Therefore, I broke open the piggy bank and sent some cash to Reaper Miniatures. They sent back some blisters full of modern figures suitable for zombie gaming.

Here's the batch, representing "citizens", criminals, and police.  These are all Reaper Chronoscope line models. Click for a larger view.

I'll work down the rows to explain what I've got. First row is a single blister of Townsfolk: Ladies of the Night. Reaper has several of these townsfolk blisters, which are a good value for the price. These girls will fit with an urban area, and can be used in other modern scenarios other than zombies. I guess if I ever find a good prostitution game these figures will be handy.
Next row is Townsfolk: Jock, Chick, Nerd. I bet you can tell who's who. Again, this is a single blister and is a good value. They represent the classic triumvirate of teen slasher movies. I will have to buy Reaper's serial killer model just to go with these kids.

My favorite of the bunch are the bikers. These had to be purchased individually.  You have Noel the biker boss in his duster and shotgun, Peaches the old lady, and Stubs the Biker. I made sure Stubs was a full patched member of his club. From the rockers on his back, you can tell he's with the Cthulhu Riders of R'yleh.

Lastly we have some law enforcement. With all these prostitutes and bikers running around, you need some police. One officer is a Bones model, which you can tell from the non-matching base. The other is a Chronoscope sheriff. The girl is actually a "Sci-fi Heroine" but I figure she can be a professional zombie hunter. Seems to fit.

There you have it. I'll be adding way more to my modern zombie collection. I'm currently working on female zombies, then I've got hordes of modern "armed civilians" to complete. This has turned out to be a seriously involved project, but I'm enjoying it.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wargames Factory Zombie Horde

Is it strange that I keep hearing "The Monkees" theme song whenever I look at my newly created zombie horde? Substituting "zombies" for "Monkees" in they lyrics really works. You should try it some time. Or not. Anyway....

Behold the start of the zombie apocalypse at my house! Here are twenty male zombies from Wargames Factory. Click for a bigger picture.

I've grown tired of my standard rotation of WW2 and Fantasy models, and decided it was time to do something modern. Zombies fit the bill. I'll be filling in this startling gap in my collection by creating a small horde of about 40 zombies. Then I'll move on to survivors, police, criminals, and plain ol' innocent bystanders. When done, I'll have the foundations of a modern zombie game that I can then expand as I want.

These Wargames Factory models really allow for lots of variation. According to their website, you can make 1,800 unique combinations out of one box. That's pretty cool, though I think the variations are fairly minor and you are stuck with some obvious repetition, like the doctor / raincoat guy and the guy holding a severed foot.  Still, it's a remarkable value even at full retail cost (which you can get cheaper if you look around online).

Here are just a few detailed shots of some of the zombies. Due to their pale flesh, I overexposed the pictures slightly. Still, you get the idea.

I went a little crazy with the GW blood effects paint. Also, I went heavy with brown washes to make them appear dirty and rotting. I think zombies benefit from a rough paint job. Overall, I'm pleased with the detail of the models, though some of it was very shallow and therefore obliterated beneath primer and paint. Take a lighter hand than I do and you should be fine.

My only complaint with these models is they are small compared to my other 28mm figures.  I guess I can excuse this as maybe being dead means they've lost some mass. I was hoping to mix these with other models, but I fear they might not mix too well when it comes to size.

Of course, having only zombie men is unrealistic (which is a weird thing to say when we're talking about the living dead). I also got the box of female zombies. I wince at calling them Vixens, as what could possibly be attractive in a pile of rotting, wounded flesh? Still, I will populate my horde with both genders for equal opportunities at undeath.

I didn't do the whole contents of the box (20 out of 30 models) just to save time. The models need assembly and each one is an individual model for painting purposes. No uniforms to make batch painting speed up things. Once all is done, if I need more zombies I'll finish out the boxes.

So up next will be some survivors and citizens, along with cops and bad guys to add some variety to my games.  These are from the Reaper Chronoscope line, and are a little bit bigger than these models. Still, I think they can match up. I'll have a comparison next time.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Clearing Out More Reaper Metals

It has been a busy week for me and I've not done much on my various projects. What I have been doing is cleaning out a bag of Reaper metal fantasy models that have been hanging around for a while. Not much to write home about, but here they are.

These are "vampire thralls" or something similar. Not a lot of detail on these models but they look suitably undead and evil. They come two to a pack.

Then I had a couple of crossbowmen, a model type not represented in my fantasy collection. So I put them on the painting table this week. These are much more detailed. The female is a Werner Klocke scuplt, and like all of his stuff it looks great. I'm not sure my paint job did it justice.

So there you have it. I also painted a giant snake but forgot to take a picture. It's really nothing to speak of anyway.

Up next are modern zombies, a whole new genre for me!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Copplestone Castings Cavemen

In my last update I mused about adding Copplestone Casting's Cavemen range to my tiny collection of prehistoric miniatures. I got inspired and placed an order. I was surprised at how fast the delivery was from the UK to the US, and it really wasn't all that expensive. I'll be ordering more from Copplestone from now on!

So here's the whole tribe. Click for a larger picture.

I decided that they were a little under-dressed to represent northern climates during the Ice Age. So, I painted them to look more "equatorial" or at least like people from a southern climate. I was thinking of going crazy with tribal tattoos, but decided I had neither talent nor patience for the effort.

The full range comes in four packages. Some of the models don't have their weapons attached, and so you can decided what goes where. For the most part, the poses dictated their weapons. Still, if I ordered more I could create a bit of variety by switching a weapon. The weapons were over-sized for the models' hands and have a tenuous bond with the models. One drop and the weapons will break off. That's my only complaint.

Here are details of the packages.

These are the Caveman Characters pack. They make suitable leaders or shamans. One is equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, a bow! They're all single cast models.

For the unobservant, these are Cavewomen. They look a little too pretty for me, but at least they are solidly built. I really didn't think the bikini tops were necessary, but I guess it gives the models a pulp flavor with a nod toward modesty. Anyway, they're good models with interchangeable weapons.

Here we have the Cavemen pack. These guys remind me of some people I knew in high school. They all have swappable weapons, but I think in this case it's obvious what weapon should go with a model. This package provides the tribe with its hunters, so an extra pack might be worth it.

Lastly we have the More Cavemen pack. This is a cool pack because it give two more adult hunters, but also a range of ages. There's one about 18 - 20 years, one 14 -16 years, and a boy about 8 - 10 years who is throwing a rock.  That's a cool touch, and rounds out a "tribe" theme where everyone contributes.

So that's all of the cavemen I'm going to paint for now. These models don't all have to be from the same tribe, obviously. Combined with the Neanderthal types I painted last time, I'd have a good mix of prehistoric clans for some small skirmishes.

As a bonus, I dug into my bag or Reaper metals and found a large flightless bird I had once planned to use for my aborted World of Warcraft conversions. This was going to be a Plainstrider (WoW has tons of these large, flightless birds in the game). So I painted this up to go with my prehistoric stuff.

I don't know what it represents, but it looks stone age to me! Combined with the sabertooth tiger I have plus some wolves, bears, and a giant snake I need to finish, I have some animal enemies for my cavemen to hunt, too.

Not sure where I'll take this now, but I'm glad I scratched this itch. The models look great and can serve a lot of different purposes.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Here are two blisters of Reaper Miniatures Cavemen. These are really nice models with a lot of character.  Click for a larger picture.

These figures have a lot of utility. They can be used in nearly any genre to serve as any type of primitive humanoid. I'm not sure what I'll do with these yet, but I can see a few applications. In fact, some prehistoric games might be a nice change of pace. I've had my eye on some of those very nice prehistoric models at Acheson Creations. Maybe it's time for a mastodon hunt!

You can readily see the contents of the blister, as I've got two of every model represented except the female. I wasn't too big of a fan of some of the workmanship shown on the handle of her staff/club thing. It takes away from the primitive feeling of it. Also, since she's so distinctive I only painted one of her. I guess I could convert the extra model's staff and "magic bag" into something else. Not sure it's worth the effort at this point.

So now I'm thinking of expanding my cavemen collection. Copplestone Castings has some nice cavemen as part of their Lost Worlds range that are worth looking at, and I may have to get them now that I've got this idea in my head. Stay tuned!