Monday, 20 April 2015

Dark Ages fun with Gripping Beast-greenstuff

OK so carrying over from the last post we have a 2nd hand army of Gripping Beast Saxons that I will restore and re brand, to what, I have yet to decide. The possibilities are plentiful, Anglo Saxon, Anglo Danes, Danish or Norwegian Vikings and so it goes. I'll be basing them for Impetus (with dual use for SAGA) so naturally I'll be looking through their army lists.

Now I say Gripping Beast although I'm not 100% certain, certainly some of the figures are and they all seem to be of the same type as far as height, heft and style are concerned so I think it is a reasonable call, if someone out there knows different please share. The figures are quite reasonably painted albeit in a dip or black was style which quite frankly, although serviceable, doesn't float my boat, so I'm up for a small amount of repainting and while I'm at it a select few can act as volunteers for some green stuff conversion.

Now in Impetus you can have units on what they call opportunity ie waiting for the right moment to launch an attack, either by melee or with missile fire. A marker is required to denote a unit is on opportunity and as with most gamers and rules I'm going use a miniature for my marker. There are a few figures in my hoard, which for the life of me, I am unable to determine their function or posing these are my volunteers for a bit of green stuff and opportunity markers.

Good little set of rules, get the basic rules for free plus plenty of army lists at their website and go to you-tube for some excellent training vids on how to play basic Impetus

As you can see the figure seem to be looking around as if he is expecting the number 26 to Űpförgrāb High street to be coming round the bend at any moment. Seems sensible to re skill them to be on the look out for something a little more war-gamey, like an opportunity, an opportunity to deal the enemy a stick it up 'em attack.

 The conversion  will consist of a cloak, a popular piece of clothing and quite reasonable to expect the soldiery of higher status to be wearing. First job is to take down the figure a little where I expect the cloak to sit. I've learnt from experience that placing the putty straight over the figure looks far too bulky and unrealistic so I Dremel a mil or two of material from where I think the putty will sit over the shoulders, it is much easier to add some more putty if needed than find you have  to file off a bit of metal later on to get the right look .

I should also point out that a small quantity of material was removed from the back of the shoulders this allows the putty to give appearance of fitting neatly between the body and the shield.  Otherwise viewed from the rear no further work is required. I checked there was sufficient gap at the base of the shield to place the green stuff, from there the cloak would expand out so no need to take any material off of the mail and tunic. 

I start by placing a small blob of putty on the left shoulder and working it around to the right shoulder, I then try to get a general idea of the shape of the cloak and how it will hang. I followed this with another small blob on the left arm and shaped the putty around the hand to make it appear as though he has hold of the material, from here I went back and worked in the folds and clasp on the front which took up the working time of the putty (never try to do too much at once even this small amount was pushing it for me). Once I was satisfied with the folds on the front I mixed up another small blob and fitted it around the base of the shield down to the bottom of the chain mail no folds this time. I now let the putty harden over night, this will act as underpinning for the next round working in the folds and final shape to the back of the cloak.

With the second figure I became a bit bolder and went for a bear skin over the cloak. Looking at figures where skins are used I realised I would need a reasonable layer of putty to get the right look, I grabbed my trusty Dremel and completely ground off about 3 mil of the shield, as luck would have it that seemed to work out pretty well.

So there we have it, a couple of chaps, a bit leader-ish (it's a word.... well it is now) with a nose for an opportunity and new cloaks to boot. I'll have a bit more conversion work next time and some notes on painting and shields.

thanks for looking

Sunday, 12 April 2015

AWI Plastics on SD forum

I'm not a convert of plastics, particularly because 3D rendered/sculpted figures lack a  "jenny say quoits"  and have a sameyness (it's a word.... now) as opposed to putty sculpted figures. All the same this is probably worth a look plus some nicely controlled dipping as well.

Check out the thread

The Return, non triumphant

And so I write once more, not because I have anything pithy or amusing to chronicle or indeed because I have done anything remotely game worthy (not strictly true .....about 99% true), the fact is I followed a link to a rather bonza blog and being in the blogger space I decided to drop by and see if "Slowly Over A Low Flame" still existed.

I cant for the life of me understand why dormant blogs, forums, email accounts, wiki's and the like don't get ritually cleansed (say bi annually) from the interwebs, I picture this great enormous mass of digital garbage swirling around... similar to the ones documented floating around in the worlds major oceans. Like weeds in the garden they should be pulled regularly to make way for new and exciting weeds to grow. Anyway, yes, it is still here unaffected by my neglect or my imaginary interweb garbage men.

My poor neglected blog

The long story short in 2012 &13 my health problems came to a head, diet, medication and some wee surgery seem to put things back into a satisfactory orbit. As 2014 fell upon us I thought all is good a bit of painting, a bit of gaming, try my hand at sculpting and maybe take a crack at making some figures, more or less looking rosy. Unfortunately a sick relative put paid to that and without going into the boring details I have become a full time carer, my Grandmother now lives with me and I'm in the middle of building a granny pad for her. My house is in pieces and my hobby gear is either in a storage complex or buried within a small mountain of boxes somewhere around the house, there is an awful lot of boxes, how did we accumulate so much junk? Reminds me of those garbage piles floating around the worlds oceans.

The making of the Gran cave, renovations = stress ++

Now as fate would have it, whilst reorganising the mountain ie shifting it from point A to point B, I happened across a particularly heavy box, putting two and two together I thought it might be worth taking a peek inside, suspecting it may contain part of my pile of shame, it was a Eureka moment.  Being a glass half full sort of chap I wondered if the adjacent boxes might contain more of the same and lo a box nearby offered up some paints, brushes and putty. I then set to work burrowing out a few square metres of floor space in the shed ie stacked box upon box to unimaginable heights! It's like those garbage piles floating around the worlds oceans....... but different.

Of course just to prove that laying low on the gaming front does not mean one is not susceptible to outrageous and not very bright impulse buys I blew a heap of much needed cash on a couple of armies, a  painted Saxon (well probably Anglo Saxon) and an unpainted Norman. In my defence I should point out that the only money I spent in 2014 was on the book "Marlborough soldier and diplomat", m'lud. Of course the counter argument is "why buy more when the pile of shame is already at breaking point", no war gamer worth his or her salt can attempt to answer this rationally, I'm certainly not going to try, it would be like trying to explain the great gobs of trash floating around in the worlds oceans

My sexy Saxons, nice purple

I see some repainting, not much shields and a spruce up

Must be a mix of brands, the quality is varied

 So a few square metres of hobby space plus a few paints, brushes and sundries plus some newly acquired miniatures adds up to....... me sneaking out to the shed at night to muck around. Check back I shall endeavour to keep you updated on the progress.