Wednesday, 28 December 2011

"Arthur" - Mk IV Male Tank

As mentioned in my previous post, I've been painting a Great War Miniatures Mk IV Male Tank for my BEF. All pictures are clickable.

It was surprisngly simple to paint and I'm quite pleased with the results. Here's my recipe.

Black undercoat (make sure you cover any little gaps!)
Base coat all the green/brown areas with GW Charadon Granite.
Highlight these areas by heavily drybrushing with Foundry Drab shade. The heavier effect is best achieved by several successive lighter applications of paint.
Apply a very light second highlight (with a large, soft brush) of Foundry Drab mid.
Tidy up the remaining black areas, i.e. the tracks and exhaust, etc
Tracks and HMGs are just given a very light drybrush of GW Boltgun Metal.
The exhaust was painted using Foundry Tan shade, followed Foundry Tan mid.
The tank number and name are just painted in white. I was pleased with the 'A17' on the flanks, but a little disappointed with the lettering for the tank name - but as this would have been added by the crew I think a little untidiness is ok.

I may yet do some weathering but for now it's done. Next up will be my Signal Staff followed by the last platoon required to complete my 1918 army.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Looking back on the year

Another year whooshes past! Where do they go and why do they seem to be passing faster? It's probably my age ;o)

At the start of the year I set out my grand plans and yet again I've managed to largely ignore them. So what are my thoughts for the last year or so in terms of gaming?

First the good bits...

I've managed two this year. Penarth way back in January and then my first ever Salute in April. Thoroughly enjoyed them both and got a real gaming boost from each show. I would definitely recommend trying to get to some shows each year. Try make a list of purchases, or pre-order, to save you impulse buying all sorts of stuff.

In March, Scarab Miniatures ran a one day Great War event near Nottingham. We made it in to a family weekend away and a splendid time was had by all. The event itself was superb fun both in terms of the games, and being able to meet some fellow WW1 gaming enthusiasts. With Scarab now re-located rather closer to the South West I hope to attend more this year and perhaps even help organise something.

I was privileged to be invited to help out with the soon-to-be-published Scarab Ancients ruleset War & Conquest. Whilst I couldn't give it quite as much attention as I'd hoped, I've still been delighted to be able to playtest, suggest ideas, give comments, etc. I look forward to seeing the finished article very soon!

Good wargames need good scenery, that's my view. To that end I've managed to get most of my Dark Ages village painted, plus I've made a good start on some items for making Great War tables more interesting. Both projects require quite a lot more work, but scenery for me is one of those ongoing projects. Plus, it makes a nice change from painting miniatures.

Writing this blog and reading comments from you gives me both satisfaction and inspiration, and I'm pleased that I've managed to keep the blog rolling along even if I haven't completed quite as much stuff as I'd hoped. A big THANK YOU to all of you who keep visiting, following and commenting! I've also been delighted at reading the blogs of others, some of which I've linked on the RHS. These are another great source of inspiration and ideas.

Now the 'not-so-good' points...

When it comes to gaming projects it seems that I all too easily flit from one thing to another, often without really achieving very much on the previous project. I read plenty of books and fool myself that I'm doing "research". I really need to figure out how to fix this!?

Despite my grand plans I've made no real progress with my EIR, Celt or Napoleonic armies. To be honest this has been one of the least productive years for a long time in terms of painted miniatures. Which, considering I quite enjoy painting, is rather odd. I could come up with a list of excuses but what I really need to do is find a little more self-discipline, be a bit more organised/motivated and get stuff painted! Perhaps I should sign up for an event that requires me to finish an existing project?

This year I've played a handful of W&C games, four or five games of TGW, plus a few other bits and pieces. Barely one game a month. By George, this isn't good enough!! Maybe more gaming will inspire more painting? Bristol Big'uns meet at Iron Acton (near Bristol) which is just more than an hour away. Whilst this means that the Sunday evening sessions finish a bit too late for me, they do seem to have fairly regular all day events.

Rather than make plans for painting 'this' or playing 'that', etc, the only plan I shall make is simply to try to do more of everything (time and money permitting). In fact, apart from a few bits and pieces (like shield transfers, bases, etc) I could probably finish some projects without really needing to buy very much! What you get out of a hobby in terms of fun and satisfaction is in direct proportion to the amount of effort you put in. I need to do more painting, playing and going to events/shows.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Saga Update - plus other stuff

As you can see from the photo below, all of the block painting has been completed for the rest of my Saxon warband, but I've still got to get them dipped and matt varnished (and based!). However, the weather has been so cold and wet recently that I've been unwilling to risk the dip/varnish going cloudy. So, they'll have to wait for some better weather.

In the meantime I shall be turning my attention to this.

I picked up this Mk IV up at the Great War gaming day earlier this year so it's high time it was built and painted. I think it will make a nice holiday season project. This year we're not planning the usual mad dash around the relatives. Instead we'll be spending most of the hols at home. I also hope to slop a bit more paint on these fellows.

I may also look at making some barrage blasts similar, perhaps, to those splendid models made by Orange Dave (see earlier post). His top tip was to use CD's as they're round, probably free and almost the correct size.

Best wishes for a splendid Yuletide season.