Saturday, 31 July 2010

A Foundry Visit My Initial Response..... Things That Make You Go Hmm

This was going to be a posting on the TMP site (18thC discussion) until I gave it some consideration and decided not to chide the manufacturer on Bill's site but post it here instead. I would welcome correcting if I have misrepresented but believe it is a well considered post and is my personal opinion only.

Hello TMPer's

John Clements wrote in an earlier post......

"You also mentioned Russians and obviously won't be interested in Foundry,"

Well it struck me I have never been to the Foundry site, seen plenty of them in the early and mid norties in WI (ad nauseous) so I'm not an innocent by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought one should take a look, eh what?

My initial response

What in the name of bleep'n 'ell, 2 points, fit for purpose and value for money neither of which seem to be high on the foundry agenda. First let me background my visit, ok so this is going slightly off topic as far as SYW Russians are concerned but I noticed they produced some Victorianna figures which may suit my other project (steampunk). 

Let me start with value for money 1 x Queen Victoria 3 quid and 60 new pence! For a stumpy dwarf? I'll gladly lay down that sort of dosh at Freebooter or Darksword, but not for that..... thing. Honestly if it wasn't for some quality painting it wouldn't rate for the price, at first or second glance, I found this to be the case with a number of figures.

However if I was to buy three Queen Victoria's I can get 'em for the knock down price of 9 pounds and 72 shiney new pence but what do I do with the two doppelgangers,  there is no reasoning to the special deal at all and is simply not a fit offer. As for the sculpt, I understand that wargames companies tend to like their figures a little chunky but what the? OK she was a big lass but it wasn't the only figure I looked at with this problem.

The 'Sherlock and Dr Watson", the same applies 19.44 for three sets saves me 2.16! What to do with the other two sets? At least the sculpting was quite tolerable on these chaps. Then there was the '8 Jack the ripper's' set, it confused the hell out of me...... Maybe I have incorrect end of shtick Victor, but a specialty figure range should have some specialty figure range quality to go with the price, I dunno, maybe it's just me.

Now I did spend some more time trawling around their wares but am yet to be convinced that it is worth a second look, which is sad because I had been under the impression (maybe the WI hype) that there was real quality and ergo value for money to be had. Unfortunately all I could find was small high detail boutique manufacturer prices for 'gaming quality' figures. Perhaps they'll do a boxing day sale and I can refill my stocking?

I guess I now understand what you meant John.


As I mentioned at the outset of this post I'm happy to be corrected if there is something I've missed but from where I was sitting purchasing their figures seems to be an expensive exercise.

EDIT: I has occurred to me that I'm looking at the foundry thing all wrong, maybe I should view it from a business perspective and as such I probably am not the target market Foundry are aiming for. I grew up on Charles Grant and pittance wages as a 15yo apprentice, not Warhammer, instant gratification and shoosh pocket money ;-)  

(yes that is an attempt at old fart humour and not to be taken seriously, bet someone bites)

Friday, 30 July 2010

The postman always rings twice, oooer its Luftpost!

Apparently Nina has drifted past Chez Pig in one of those red balloons today.
Oh goodness me, 
oh me oh my, 
is that a clockwork fairy
in the bag I spy?

I wonder what else is in this bag of tricks, 
hang on........
theres not one clockwork fairy, 
well bugger me, 
there's six
You cant have clockwork fairies just fliting about
Here's the boss
A steampunk fairy, 
to take control 
and give em a clout

Dont know why 
I order those skulls and things
but heres a nice shot
Of the steampunk fairies

wait for it.........

Steam powered wings

Thursday, 29 July 2010

A Roman army by post

Well the first order from the night (knight*) of credit card irresponsibility has arrived and it's a bewdy!
The Roman starter (starter! I'll need a bigger house if this is the starter) army has arrived. I'll have to admit to being a little shocked at the size of it. I just went back to the Warlord Games web store to check up on how much was in the box, oooer!
I cant be bothered checking it's all there just now (having shocking headaches and very blurry vision for a week, very annoying) just being content with the mass of contents will suffice, my enthusiasm is being somewhat curbed by a dull throbbing. A trip to the doctor and dentist should have it sorted soon enough
If your ever thought about buying one and wondered about the size of the starter armies this shot would provide you with some scale, that is a 27" monitor in the background and my special paint pig "pig'n tea break" (guess - one of my all time favourite tv shows) super mug along side.
Numbers of figures are easy to get your head around the volume with sprues and so on is the surprise. Excellent value at around forty seven quid, no vat tax for OS customers and no postage for July. That is what I call gentlemanly behaviour, eh, what do you say Miss Lizzy?

*Hmm, the Royal Order of the Knights of Retail Philanthropy, Has a ring to it ..... or is that just the ringing in my ears?

Friday, 23 July 2010

one for the bird lovers

and a reward for letting  me bore you all to tears with the last post, if only the little blighters were quieter.
Perhaps I should stop feeding them, they'll only make more noise if I do....

A tale of too much, way too much .......and probably too long, but it has clockwork fairies!

This is a short tale of woe about the internet, pay-pale, wargamers and too much sugar and caffeine

I have recently been banging on on about my Mindens SYW Miniatures and painting, and this, and that, and probably the other as well (yes a deliberate use of commas). This week I had promised myself a few days to knock over some of the backlog of AB Napoleonic figures (which one should do if they have such a backlog). Occasionally while I was waiting for paint to dry on the AB's I would spend a bit of time on my white undercoat painting, trying things out as it were. Come Wednesday painting Napoleonic French was starting to get on my tits and I was thoroughly sick of the site of the sight of them, at the same time I was quite happy with the way the white undercoat painting had progressed on some Frontrank SYW Frenchy test pieces. far all pretty standard paint bench stuff, huh?

Well they say a change is as good as a rest, and taking into account the details described so far the Minden SYW figures looked as fair a proposition as anything waiting in the painting queue to offer a break from Napoleon lads, and before you could say S-car-go under the brush they went. It was hard going at first but as She who must be restrained says "take your time" :-/  Well it wasn't long and I got into a bit of a rhythm (nothing to do with Mrs PP we are back onto painting now) and things were progressing nicely, so nicely I thought I would get the next order in.

.....but first what do we know about wargamers?

I have learned from bitter experience that wargamers will usually purchase approximately 356.8% (seasonally adjusted) more figures than they need, or can really paint before they lose interest for a bit (a bit = 8 days to 10 years on the trade weighted wargamer average), but not me, I'm disciplined (yeah right).  I have a rule see, knowing that I have the attention span of a gnatt I try to limit myself to only buying what I could reasonably expect to paint before another shiny object appears. Vague yes, but when adhered to very effective, remember I have the attention span of a small insect. where was I, uh mmbl umm, got it, ok.

So having decided that this first batch of French SYW chappies would just about be ready steady finished by the time a new batch arrived I duly jumped onto the compubulator and internetted the next battalion.  See, only buying one battalion at a time, there's no chance of me adding to the lead mine when interest starts to wane, except (oh ohh, here we go Jungo) I was starting to get a little annoyed with painting white (or a colour near enough to it) so I ordered some Prussians (a battalions worth) as well, some nice blue Prussian uniforms would make for a welcome break. Sure it sounds innocent enough but that was the start of a very slippery slope. Fortified by extra sweet, extra strong coffee. I thought I might stay up and browse a while longer.

.........oops time for another quick aside and coffee.

Some years ago now I purchased a novel of what is now known as the steampunk genre (it was sci fi when I bought it) by China Mievelle entitled Perdido Street Station. It was full of impossible yet commonplace contraptions and people. I had often thought this book and the two follow ups would be a fantastic source for wargame miniatures and machines.

.......back to my tale, "pass the coffee pot, need more beans"

I had been rereading this Perdido book just recently and while out there serf-ing the miniature manufacturers I thought I might goggle (steampunk pun) Steampunk and Wargames to see what could be found miniature wise. Well one thing led to another as it does and before I knew it I found I had ordered, seriously, some clockwork fairies, yep that's right, clockwork fairies have a look for yourselves (link), and one or two other things from Freebooter. Now what started out innocently enough as another of my well disciplined shopping expeditions for some SYW French was now, some how, becoming derailed.

But did it stop there, surely just the name clockwork fairies is enough to snap anyone out of their internet spending mania, normal people maybe, but not those doped up to the eyeballs with sugar, caffeine and the rush of retail therapy.  With coffee strong enough to melt the your Nan's shiny PVC catsuit  in one hand and a credit card cursed by the retail devil herself in the other I dove headlong in an out of control online spending frenzy. Hey I really liked that hard plastic roman legionary I wonder what else Warlord Games has. I'm now the proud owner of a Roman army, not a set, an army! Then there is the.... no I don't think I should mention anything about errr or eeek or..... lets just leave it there shall we.

So what happened, where did I go wrong? Do I blame pay-pale, a clean credit card, surely I'm not to blame (ahem). The court room media reports tell us daily that we no longer have to be responsible for our own actions, blame someone else and sue them, but deep down we all know that's bullshit. It was  none of those things, I simply needed a responsible adult to hold my hand ;-) while I was shopping on line as obviously none were present at the time.

There you have it, years of retail discipline shattered in only a few hours. I'm not even certain of what will turn up over the next week or two. Oh cheer up Paintpig at least there will be some nice surprises in store for you (gulp) and she who must be restrained. This little piggies going to pay when Mrs Paintpig catches wind of my night of excess and turns a whiter shade of pale........ we skipped the light fandango..... oops! 

On the brighter side It's going to be like Christmas, sure there will be the slight sting of "yes darling right away darling" for a while, but I can deal. 

Bet you don't have any beautiful clockwork fairies, hehehe. Next I need an steam powered air ship, a unit of foot guard in busbies on armoured bicycles........blah ......blah ......blah

If only I could get to sleep 8-]

Thursday, 22 July 2010

French SYW: Piemont

I've found that I can get a better view of how the painting is progressing by using the camera and then reviewing on the computer, it has the added advantage of giving the eyes a break. Here a few samples of some of today's efforts. 

Officer from first battalion IR#4 Piemont
The French didn't as a rule powder the hair but my officers have a strict dress code and have to look as smart as when marching to certain ......glory.

Officer coats are as near to white as possible to indicate the better quality cloth with some nice gold edging to the  tricorne and buttons

Just about Finished, the officers still have red waistcoats in my Piemont Regiment. The officers and NCO's had just traded them in for the white/grey by the SYW but I think these fellows can keep theirs.

Nasty flash line down the back and up the leading leg in the first picture. I thought I had got it off on the front of the figure, it followed the hand up to the chin which it looks like I have managed to clean up, flash is one of those things, part of the hobby. The flash or slight misalignment was very minor the major problem you have with this white undercoat and painting with washes lark is it damn well shows up the slightest thing, DC warned us in his painting guide. The line on the back is ok, no one will see it, the men of pig are valiant and don't run away, ....much. Haw haw haw sacred bloo!

Infantry of the line with a well proportioned musket.

Bad luck 'ol boy, no gold hat lace for you, yellow tape will do.

These line chaps aren't going to get fine white cloth for their uniforms.
I'll build up his coat with another one or two washes of very light grey then some ivory, I think, to finish off.

Plenty of trial and error still to go but I think I have just about finished making the "that works" list,  the "oop's, don't do that again" list of course never ends.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


A big hello to our first visitor from Sweden, I see the Dutch (bad luck about the football) and Italians (dont mention the football) as well. Hello to all! It can only get better. I promise ;-)

Perhaps I'll have to upsize the flag display

Flag counter now upsized and relocated, I am surprised I needed to.

Monday, 19 July 2010

SYW French: roughing in

Some pictures of the lovely minden miniatures syw french Regiment Piemont (two battalions) I'm painting, progress is ticking over, slowly.

I've decided that this is the white/grey I'll be settling on for coats and small clothes (when required for small clothes of course). There is no need to rush these as I'm using the white undercoat method which is still pretty new to me so a few more practice pieces will fall under the brush first.  It is what I have termed my up-armoured toy soldier look, whatever that means.

I foolishly changed the buff tone I had originally mixed for the cross belts without success so I'll go back to the original. The rest of the colours are just roughed in for the time being as far as the pack, cartridge case, timber work etc. are concerned these are just some base colours which I will either wash over or highlight as required. Getting the right grey (one that I like) was what I was really looking for. Once again the photo's aren't the best, as was the case with the acw reb previously posted, it was a quick photo op with just a bit too much light quickly thrown around the paint bench.

I'll let him be now until I have finished mucking around with my practice pieces and made a few notes on colours etc. I'll crack on with the grenadiers and the officer once I'm confident I have my sheet together, oink!

The grenadier company waiting patiently for kick off

I had been quite keen to get to grips with the drummer, until I inked the little blighter, are my eyes up to that lacework?

White undercoat update and noisy neighbours return.....?

In between times today I quickly finished up (for the most part) the white undercoat sample acw reb. and took a couple of quickies. Lighting isn't the best and there are one or two little details that I can now see (cameras show up everything on the big screen) need attending to, but other than that he is due for a shiny finish tomorrow.

I'll post my thoughts and so on about painting him when I have the finished miniature (minus flag) ready for posting. Would someone like to nominate a Regiment for the standard, preferably one I don't have to paint myself. Shop bought or down loadable.

In the mean time the noise mob have made a return from their 8 week winter holiday, it's starting to warm up a bit now (think it touch on about 23C today) and my little friends have come home and were screaming for their food.

The amount of ear splitting screeching parrots can do is directly proportional to the awww factor, and these little monsters can set up one hell of a screech! (rainbow lorikeets)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

A gallery has been added

For those of you who had noticed and was wondering what the "and pigs might fly" tab on the menu bar was all about, it is a .......da daahhhhhh a gallery page. Yes, yet another means of boaring (oink) you all stoopid. :-)

Friday, 16 July 2010

nothing at all to do with wargaming, a lot to do with AC/DC

My firstest everest song bookest....... song book. Full of acka dacka rude boy humour as well.
Purchased for the princely sum of $3.25, but priceless to me.....

Painting painting painting

I lifted this from figvfig as it was no longer relevant after I inadvertently sent through a much larger wrecking ball than intended, my first attempt with comic life on the imac. Very relevant to me this week!

The Troops Are Getting Restless 

Thursday, 15 July 2010

25mm Dixon ACW : white undercoat

Before I crack on with those AB Nap's I had a quick (long) play around with some white undercoat painting. The test piece is a Dixon 25 Reb standard bearer, well actually he could just as easily be a Union type of chap (depending on theatre and campaign), however I painted him as a Rebellious type!

I have used acrylics, from the vellajo and citadel ranges, for this paint project and some artist acrylic which I prefer for washes. The gamer acrylics have been hard to control there is no working them, they pretty much dry fairly quickly and that is that. With the artists acrylics they are designed to be worked (as an alternatives for oils) after the initial application.

The hat is that funny colour (not the finished colour) because I washed the miniature with panes grey before commencing, I needed that to pick out the detail so I had some reference points to start working with (I'm new to this game). I've given the canteen an extra coat of panes grey and I'll leave that be

Before adding the butternut to the trews, I was happy to keep the brown colour you can see here which is brown-black artist acrylic un-thinned. I applied it, then with an old brush rubbed away excess  paint from the high points. I was happy with this and would have kept it if I hadn't wanted to trial the buttenut, you probably noticed that I have started applying a butternut finish on the rear.

These last two shots are pretty similar, in the second I just wanted to get a look from slightly below (no I'm not up skirting/shirting, in fact I've never even heard of the term before). Obviously he isn't finished but I am for now, I'll ponder (bit like pudle-ing only slightly larger) for a bit before coming back to it.

Feel free to criticize/observe/advise, I certainly have and I'll write them all up once the job is complete. For now however I'll keep the self criticism just that.

Oooer, before I forget. big thanks to Andrew Copestake, Douglas Crowther and John Reece thanks for the tips guys, I'll get there..... E-ven-tew-arlie.... hmmmm?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

15mm AB French line

Getting there, tried not to let myself get too sidetracked today with other painting projects, just a bit sidetraked

Drummers drumming......

Officers officiating........

Voltigeur voltigeuring!

....and the line infantry types are getting closer to infanry-ing.
Sorry no partridges in pear trees.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

further notes on will power: painting Minden Miniatures

I still don't have any!

Investigating a direction or style for these little gems I asked for some guidance through a yahoo group "old  school wargaming". I'm pleased to report a couple of amiable chaps have pointed me in the right direction, one must be more than amiable as he declares a liking for Irish Whiskey (who we all know invented the stuff) in his profile, and I must confess a drop of Bushmills finest has been known to pass my lips on special occasions (eg getting up off the lounge, washing the dishes, getting the dishes dirty etc. etc.).

however rewind to earlier a few days back.............

Taking Deans advice from the 'plastic legionary post' the other day I toddled of down to the local auto pimp'n shop and bought a can of grey primer and black primer to spray my undercoats. So when the bug bit and I could not resist holding off on one of those Minden figures any longer I thought I would give the spray primer undercoat a run.

fast forward to today............

I left the spray cans in the sun for a couple of minutes to warm (winter in the Antipodes) and thin the paint then test sprayed a couple of passes on the compost bin (it'll be fine as long as she who must be restrained doesn't notice), the paint was spraying perfectly, very fine finish. I then sprayed the miniature with multiple quick passes from above below and side-on and I have to say it looked very good, none of the detail was lost, the finish was smooth and the car primer seems very effective. I had left the figure outside for a while to harden the paint (primers are quite soft even when they look hard, designed to be rubbed back) and then I bought it inside I gave it a wash of 'pains'  ;-) grey (using artist acrylic).

She who must be restrained and a Jordanian Bedouin officer, they look like two snakes eyeing off a fat pigeon (or a handsome piggy) and neither is going to back down! 
Just for interest in case I was getting to "boaring" ...oink

Now the thing to note here, and basically the guts of the tale, is that if the grey of the car primer had been lighter (white-grey) the little chaps coat, breaches and stockings were done, finished. It really did look that good. I'm off to see if they make a white primer and pick up a can of white touch up paint (but that will be glossy?) and give this another run.............. see no will power, ............will those AB's ever get finished?

I remember my old mate Mal Wright in Adelaide sometimes painted his Austrian -was, syw & naps with white spray paint, a dab of facing colour, some flesh on the face and black for the hat.... Mal didn't muck around when re-enforcements were needed fast!

This is what he was guarding, the tomb known as the Treasury at Petra.

no will power: minden miniatures

I couldn't help myself, instead of concentrating on knocking over the AB naps and playing with the nellyphants and dixon 15's I let myself be seduced be the minden syw french. So here's a quick look so far and then I'll put it away and get back to the other stuff.

At least I was able to keep it down to one figure, the rest are still waiting nervously in their packs.... I'm thinking about using a white undercoat and a shaded toy soldier style paint job if I can work out how to do it, off to but some humbrol and testors enamels, plastic paint (acrylic) wont cut it for that style of painting I think.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Indie war elephant

Maybe a bit too indie for it's own good, this is a much poorer casting than the Sassanid elephant and it is taking a bit more time to get it to come up to a reasonable quality.

On the plus side the smiley face has been scratched into both sides of the howdah. so at least there is some consistency :-)

As I mentioned in a previous post I cant find a reference to ancient Indian war elephants equipped with a howdah, they show blankets only with some really interesting patterns. I'm guessing the hatch pattern shown (the same as on the Indian war chariot) denotes a weaved wickerwork. References in one of the WRG books suggests the wickerwork on the chariot would have been covered with leather, hence the tan paint job?

So far I have opted out of putting any patterns on the blanket other that the blue and gold trim which I copied onto his way cool pajamy cords ;-) and have opted for natural red leather tethers and accoutrement, plenty of time to embellish and highlight later.

Side by side view, I hadn't noticed that the Indian elephant was considerably bigger casting than the Sassanid, in my ignorance of the period I had assumed that the Persians probably used Indian elephants. I guess the castings are suggesting they used the now extinct North African elephant.

So there you go that is my little repaint effort, I'm sure by the time they're finished and bases (40mm frontage as per the DBX rules) flocked up they will get a pass, and then I think mr ebay can have 'em seeing I don't have any ancients. I did have a good idea about the Indian elephant which could easily pass for a later period (right up to the Raj just about) of putting a tiger hunting crew in the howdah. Two separate crews so's to speak. Yeah that's the ticket, multi task that nelly

It will be good to get em finished and move onto the two successor elephants which I personally think are a better casting.

sassy war elephants

So far with the Sassanid elephant, this is the better casting of these two

Im toying with the idea of painting the howdah, I say gawd-damn, they must be Na'avi (Zzzzzzz) arrows. They look as big (long) as the figure that rides in the thing.........

This one has a fair bit of promise, the casting isn't too bad really and at least I can find historical references that fit.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

something borrowed.... nellypants

Many years ago I got lumbered with these war elephants, I don't remember exactly how now, but I did seem to be the base level to which all this sort of stuff trickled.  When the big search for the lost armies of pig got into full swing earlier this year these war elephants were unearthed to absolutely no acclaim what-so-ever. There are 4 all up, 2 x Successor, 1 x Sassanid and 1 x Indian (it's a Indian generals ride mind you) plus an Indian light war chariot. They are minifig 15's and have been identified in the catalogue ( yes I still have the glossy covered one with the photo's-antique!)

This is one of the Sassanid nellies which I had a bit of a play paint with just to see if I could paint something a bit decent over top of the old paint job. 
I gave the blanky a wash of red+brown to fill in the detail around the quilting, then picked out the high points with some red and a highlight with orange, pretty standard stuff, then repeated the process with the green edging at the base of the quilted blanket, but with green of course. I even dry brushed the snout (known in the trade as a trunk, hehehe) and ears with a bit of light grey. It didn't turn out too bad so I figured I would be better off stripping 'em back and having a decent crack at them.

This is what was waiting for me (mind you I've already cleaned up the really bad stuff before the photo) on the Indian nelly, look some one has even carved a smiley face into the howdah! I love a challenge.

The Sassanid war beast was a little better, I don't mind the howdah not being perfectly regular because I feel it looks a little more battle weary/realistic. A bit of quick research into war elephants of the period provided me with some painting information, likely colours and patterns etc. except for one thing. I cant for the life of me find any Indian war elephants from the era with a Howdah, plenty of images etc for later periods but nothing from the Macedonian/successor period it appears they went bare back (with blankets), so if any of you can steer me towards something resembling this beastie I would be very grateful, not looking at anyone specifically Dean :-) .....but?

Apparently this chap rides in the Indian chariot or the elephant......and....

.....this one definitely does, my what a fine reminder of the days when it was all about the game not the painting, bit of the Indian light chariot in the background. I wonder if this is the Indian general or one of his elephant riding attendants? Oh yeah, before I forget the cattle-dog shows an umbrella/parasol present, any clues/ideas? Trending cocktail umbrella, well at least I get a drink out of it.

I have started painting on these and I'll put those pics up tomorrow, want to watch Mark Webber win the English F1 Grand Prix and the cloggies beat the boys from the Costa del Fish n Chips in the World Cup tonight.