Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Japanese riding from Perth to Cairns arrive in Warrnambool, Victoria

Its been a busy couple of weeks here with our house move and the resulting re organising. No time for miniatures and a lack of high speed Internet access has reduced my net time as well. Some more Space Hulk figures turned up in the mail courtesy of Under The Couch with the excellent Tyranid Broodlord being one of them.

The most entertaining thing that's happened today was when I was looking out the back window and noticed two heavily laden cyclists pulling off to the side of the highway. Watching the pantomime brought a smile to my face as the second cyclist pulled a tiny pump from his panniers. As B1 and B2 were getting a bit stir crazy and I thought the guys might appreciate the offer of a bigger pump off we went through the vacant block to the side of the road with our track pump. It turns out they are riding from Perth to Cairns and are 2 ½ months into their trip. Which they were calling a holiday.

That's just mad.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My first game of Space Hulk

Well it's out. The eagerly awaited re release from Games Workshop, Space Hulk.

 I got the chance to play three games today on the GOB's set. thanks again to him for bringing it round and running through the game. 

 My first impressions are that there is a lot of stuff in the box, the board sections are to my eye a little cluttered and this may be what other internetsi have been talking about when they have mentioned the board pieces are shiny. If you look at them from the side you  can't see what's going on. It's just a little distracting.

The marine and genestealer pieces are good especially the marines with fine chain and scroll work. Although we were using some painted genestealers from a previous generation. We played the first mission on either side then played one of the more complicated missions.

The marines needed to flame the room on top left, the librarian one move from completing the mission. 

Working out how the terminators need to divide as they go along helps too.

The first mission played with me as the genestealers, the flame template took out one at the far end of the section and the 'stealer took two steps and flattened the flamer marine. Game over.

The second mission we played introduced the assault cannon. Note to self : don't assault up a long corridor onto the assault cannon. It got close with the Terminator having to reload but chewed up half a dozen 'stealers and allowed the marines to seal all the entry points.

We didn't end up using the sand timer as both of us had no problem keeping things moving. i imagine it would make a difference in a competitive game.

The bitz people are hard at it as well. One of the guys i've bought from before is Under The Couch and i notice he's still got a few pieces from the Space Hulk box although the Space Marines seem to have gone pretty quickly.
 Note he has been restocking and adjusting his prices a bit so well worth a look (3/11/09)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Mr. Miyagi moment

I had a Mr Miyagi moment when B1 decided to help me with some Games Workshop miniatures that had been having their paint dissolved in the tub of Simple Green.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Skaven progress and a metal rat ogre

A metal Bloodbowl Ratogre that has had the head from the old Headsplitter miniature added to it. The only thing i don't like about this miniature is the silly tail club. Coming along nicely.

The Clan rats get their basing material. Sand and PVA.

Skaven clan rats make it to the painting table

I bought these clan rats many years ago (10?) at Mind Games in Geelong to enter in a painting competition. I managed to get them together and there the project stalled. Two of the regimental bases make them a lot easier to handle. I was struck by how as i was painting the toes ( figures on the left) they really appeared to take a leap in how finished they were. It really seemed to define them.
These are older plastic figures from Games Workshop and when you handle them you can see how they lack detail on one side especially their feet. These are from the days when there were metal pieces included for the command group. Over the years they've fallen off as i didn't pin them at the time so now i'll have to track down the bits or find some plastic substitutes.
In the background are two rat ogres from GW, Headsplitter and a Bloodbowl player.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mr Bean

B1 thought this was pretty funny and needed to be on the blog. Rowan Atkinson's character is pure genius and the animated version captures him pretty well too.
The gif is normally animated but doesn't seem to work here which is a shame.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On the painting line

Having packed away the painting table for B1 to have his own room again and now packing to move to a new house I'm reduced to a couple of boards that i can stash in the cupboard.
I tend to paint in batches and with multiple batches running at the same time to reduce boredom.
Just before i took this photo i realised that i was one DA short. What i've done is started on the Ultramarines and used one of the undercoated DA's in that count. DOH!
Above you can see three squads of Games Workshop Space Marines from the Dark Angels and Ultramarines chapters, a Bloodbowl Rat Ogre, some Gnoblars (a small goblin), Dave the Fu!uk Orc and a base of Tyranid Rippers.

Most of the Marine figures are secondhand plastic miniatures some of which have been stripped with Simple Green. Others had reasonably sound black undercoat so i've just painted over that. Above are three of the bare headed DA Marines, the figure on the right still has his basing material unpainted.

This is a classic Goblin Ballista miniature that has languished partly painted in my cupboard for a long time. I'm almost happy with it, perhaps a bit more highlighting and some green bits on the base and she's done. The figures to go with it are painted I just have to track them down.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dave the Fu!uk Orc

Dave the orc finally gets his armour put on after being bought from the frothers unite site so long ago. He really is an ugly so and so. Sculpting wise he's fantastic except for the breastplate which seems to have been a bit neglected for detail. I'm going for a more traditional brown or "black " orc skin rather than lurid green and the grey is the base for a bit of subtle NMM painting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Valiant GI's based up

I put these Valiant American Infantry together a couple of weeks ago but hadn't got around to posting the photo yet. You can see the 16 figures after they've been mounted on small washers with the .30 cal gunner sitting on his bum. There was a fair bit of thought involved in getting some special poses out of the set. To me there just weren't enough firing figures so the kneeling firing figure in the back of shot is a bit of a kitbash to get an extra firing pose and i've tried to get as much movement as I can out of the rest of the multi part figures.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Broken Again

Well i've managed to "fall" off a ladder at work during last week. One of those moments when you think why is the ground coming to me? Result one broken shoulder, not as Humerus as you might think and a nasty bruise that goes from the front of my shin under my ankle and out the other side. But on the bright side i can still paint although i cramp up so only two or three at a time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Valiant WWII GI's on the cutting table

All in all i think Valiant have done pretty well, the company have now got four sets of these figures at the same scale specifically designed for Rapid Fire. Could the Russians be next?

The figures i've picked up from Wargames Illustrated have been mentioned in the internet press as being big for 1:72 or 20mm. In my opinion after seeing them they are more like "heroic" 1:72 or 25mm figures. The 16 figures per sprue are similar in height, being 25mm to the eye, to the Revell Panzergrenadiers set which are some of the tallest 1:72 figures i've used but the Valiant's are much bulkier.

The Garand rifles and heads seem to be oversized (for 1:72) while the other weapons seem pretty good apart from the BAR which is on the skinny side. The mortar and belt fed .30 cal MG are awesome sculpts with a wealth of fine detail. Minor complaints would be that some of the hands firing weapons aren't quite realised as well as they could have been and there seem to be too many SMG's and not enough crew figures (with pistol holsters or M1's) or arms carrying stuff. Not enough crouching firing figures either.

One thought I had was if they did another sprue to complement the set what could go on it? The current sprue has six spare heads but only one headless body. So you could put one to five headless bodies. What about pairs of arms, perhaps covering ears (mortar number 2), setting mortar fuse, carrying more ammo boxes, crates of grenades? throwing grenade? Some more crouching figures would be nice. A BAR fired from the shoulder (without the bipod) and a more realistic operator for the MG. He looks like he's on the firing range the way he's sitting with head sticking up. Trenchcoat or poncho equipped figures could be handy too. An 81 mm mortar?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wargames Illustrated in Australia

I've not long ago received some copies of Wargames Illustrated with the complimentary miniatures on the cover. The 1:72 WWII figures from Valiant and the 28mm Naps from the Perry Brothers. I have to keep reminding myself that i really don't need another period to collect so i'll pass the Naps on shortly. I was interested to get the Valiant figures as i had read reports they were out of scale and didn't want to spend the money on a complete box (and postage) to find out.

Its interesting to see the different route that they've taken with the two sprues. The Perry Brothers sprues are made by RENEDRA which is run by a veteran/s in the plastic manufacture biz. The plastic they use looks similar if not identical to what GW uses. It carves well and bends, a little, before it snaps. And will bounce when it hits the ground.
Valiant have used a much stiffer material more similar to the older Hasegawa or Prieser figures. They are able to make really fine pieces with this material it seems. You only have to look at the shovel handles on the backpacks or the mortar assembly to see what they've achieved. The drawback is it's brittle, for example i lost the muzzle off the standing Thompson gunners smg when i dropped him on the table during construction and the mortar bipods leg broke in half as i was cutting it from the sprue. Plastic Soldier Review have an interesting article on these figures as well.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wargames Table installed

The table made from scrap has made it to Toyworld Warrnambool and had two or three games played on it. The paint on the surface has suffered under dice and scraping miniatures so a retouch and varnish ( I'll do the sides at the same time) will be in order soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I was putting some decals on the shoulders of these Dark Angels Space Marines and i'm really having trouble getting them to sit properly. It drove me that nuts i attempted painting the squad symbols on some of them and then ordered some DA shoulder pads from Horde of Bits in the States. I've found a couple of tutorials on decals at Bell of Lost Souls and Cento Industries.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Big Red turns into Big Green : wargames table construction

The edges go on the wargame table, i actually had to buy two long bits of timber for this :). A bit of putty in the screw holes and some builders sealant in the edges and joins to neaten things up.

A bit of pink primer on the surface and the inside edges. Obviously at this point i threw out the idea of leaving two red strips at either end.

A cover of light green (Folk Art 644 Grass Green) then some squiggles with a darker colour (Folk Art 726 Green Meadow) and a few smudges of Kaiser Colour "Mud Puddle" which is very similar to GW Graveyard Earth.

I used a small roller and blended the three colours together.

The almost finished result. The bottom of the table is reinforced to prevent twisting. The edges now need to be finished.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cleanish Painting Table and Big Red

I cleaned up! It'll never last though.

And for project of the night... Big Red. Recycled timber and screws, designed to sit on two square tables that are at Warnnambool Toyworld. I had to use new glue though. The tape measure is extended out to 6' and its just shy of four foot wide. You can just see the 28 mm figure on the table. The timber came painted, the plan is to leave two strips of red on either end for reserves/dead figures to reside. I will have to buy two strips of timber for the edge tomorrow. Then the painting begins.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The chaos that is my workspace.

nycjadie on TMP asked about painting areas so here goes. Calling this a workspace is probably stretching things. More of a .. meditation chamber. Note knives and paints are on top of the cupboard because the three year old fancies himself as an artist.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

WIP Goblin

A little plastic goblin followed me home from work so onto the painting table he goes. Love the little squig.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Simple Green Test - White Metal

Having finally found some of this cleaning compound I rushed out to the vault and found some volunteers to be cleaned. There was a foaming applicator included as you can see above, not really useful for what i'm doing but the sides are marked for mixing ratios so i may use it in future if i decide to go with a weaker solution.

The simple green was applied neat without any water. My next attempt will use a 1:1 mix with water. A small plastic container with lid was used, with in this case marines dropped in and it was left with the lid on for 6 hours before i checked it.

The volunteers, Legion of the Damned Space Marines with a nasty coat of paint, worth almost nothing in this state.

The results after six hours and a gentle brush below.

Results after 12 hours and a vigorous brush, the interesting thing is that the Simple Green hasn't broken the glue joints on a chaos arm that was thrown in as well. The missile launcher body has also not been stripped where the glue has covered the undercoat. The two smaller pieces have not been dipped to show just how much paint came off.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Simple Green miniature stripper

Well that title should up the hits a bit.

I've long heard about Simple Green and its ability to strip paint from toy soldiers but until now i haven't been able to get my hands on any.

I have been using spray on oven cleaner which is pretty nasty stuff.

My first test has resulted in paint coming off when brushed with a nail brush after only six hours. Near complete paint removal has been had overnight. I'm really impressed with this stuff and will attempt plastics with the next batch to go in the soak.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New year new courses

Its been a busy week with a Bike ed. course run by Wilcare on monday and tuesday and another session of the Cert. IV in Training and Assessment run by Warrnambool TAFE on wednesday. In my travels for work i've attended a lot of TAFE's and have always been fascinated at how they work. Sometimes things run well and sometimes the frustration level builds when parts of a course just don't seem to run smoothly.

Posting a PDF that is unwritable for students to complete an assignment then altering it to a Word format that may cause issues for students without the latest software would be a good one. A lack of clarity on how and when an assignment is to be submitted is another.

note: shooting my mouth off before i think something through seems to be this week's speciality.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Netbook Computers for schools

b1's government primary school is in warrnambool, victoria. Our school has opted to take part in a trial program to enable all students to have access to notebook computers. Sounds good.

But i have some thoughts. Just looking at the spin from the government and the company supplying the note books here it makes me wonder what they think the kids are going to do with the computers that they aren't doing already with the technology available to them. It might be a case of the adults being behind the ball again.

Previously there were 4 computers per classroom (although being networked there was often one that was having some time out) which required teachers to manage the access to make sure everyone had a chance to have a go at what they were using the computers for. One thing we have noticed is our son's interest in playing the computer games that were available through the internet at school in their "free time". He does have access to the internet and plays pc games on our computer. It's more fun when you have some little boy energy going on in a classroom.

One of the problems they have had at our school is chewing through the allocated internet hours when the kids play games (especially those that use Flash) and were download hungry (note that's just with 4 computers per class). Is there going to be a monitor on the system to identify the computers that are using up the hours? (Each computer can be identified on the network)

Noone i've spoken to seems to have noticed that the government is now asking us to pay directly for computers although not in full. Its cheap if you were looking at buying a notebook but we weren't. A retail price of $900 has been talked about but here we seem to have the real price of $468. An awesome saving for the government. We already have one computer at home. The kids at our son's level (grade 3) don't currently do homework but there was much talk of what could be done at home? Those without internet connections might feel they have to pay up or have their child left behind. Parents who aren't techno savvy are going to have problems understanding just what is needed.

We've already had the discussion along the lines of when the notebook comes home it goes into the loungeroom along with the other pc until you get allowed access to it the same as our current pc.

I'll add some more to this as i think of stuff.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Website working

I've just about finished transferring the old Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club website over to Joomla ( Quick and easy. My only peeve would be the clunky interface for uploading bulk images.
Otherwise awesome. Now back to some paid work.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Every now and then

You come a cross a figure in the boxes and you think where did that come from?

The top one is a Citadel wood elf mage but which one?

The lower figure looks like a Citadel sculpt but the scale is out, so it may be from a boardgame of some sort.

And it is, thanks to TMP member Jake B, it's an Ogre piece from the game Darkworld. ?? How did that get in the figure boxes.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gangers work in progress

Gangers and juves with a imperial guard/militia feel.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bloodbowl match tie

The Australia day bloodbowl match ended in a tie with 1 TD each. I was pretty happy with this as every time I've played against these dwarves I've been beaten to a pulp.

Have a look at where the ball is. Top right hand corner, on the TD line.

The next dwarf to touch it pushed it into the crowd causing it to bounce most of the way back to the center.