2016 is almost over, time for the traditional look back at the painting and gaming highs and lows. In terms of quantity of figures painted, this year has been the lowest since I started the blog. The main reason for this has been a desire to paint up a dwarf warband to my highest level. It takes a lot of time. Coupled with this fact has been a dip in motivation, especially over the summer months, when I painted and gamed virtually nothing. But that's the lows seen off, on to the highs for the year.
pair of kans and make some terrain (here and here).
Spring came around and I started on the slow, steady slog of painting dwarf slayers, a task that was to last through several months. To break up the task, I also slotted in a dwarf runesmith, a strong candidate for my favourite paint job of the year.
In the summer I took a break from sweating over beards, and switched to painting Anglo-Danes for Saga (which technically also have beards, just not as luxuriant as their dwarf counterparts)! It was a real pleasure to blast through a starter warband in a relatively short time, for the first time this year I really felt like I was getting results. I also had my first exciting encounter with shield transfers.
steampunk collection and a lone Blood Rage wolfman figure.
twin guard before festive activities ate up my time. So less than two dozen dwarfs painted throughout the year. Well I did say that it was a project to take my time over, and there's certainly no rushing a dwarf. Hopefully next year will be an improvement, I already have a couple of units assembled and heading up the 2017 painting list. And I am starting to think about some gaming opportunities. Let's hope for a better new year.
Friday, 30 December 2016
Mierce Miniatures trolls for such a long time, I thought it was about time they came out of the box to see the light of day. They immediately turned to stone - sorry, bad joke. They were pretty easy to put together, resin models with no air bubbles and few mould lines to scrape away. The joins are good too, I will probably run a coat of liquid green stuff over them just to be sure, but you could probably get away with priming from this point. Lovely models they are too, highly recommended. There is a brief sale on the website, get on there now and enter the discount code NEW-YEAR-2017. Be quick - the sale only lasts until January 2nd. I have ordered a couple more trolls to add to this little force, which I see rampaging through viking settlements and beyond some time in the new year. Much more in the same vein to come in the new year.
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
I love looking through art books, you can learn so much about colours and setting a mood. The subject matter in this case just happens to be fantasy, but more general art books can also be very inspiring. The Tolkien art book is one for the real Tolkien nerds - full of sketches of maps and line drawings, most of them very basic in fact, showing that all art starts with basic lines on a bit of paper (let's not get into a digital discourse). The Paul Bonner book is the opposite end of the spectrum, full of gorgeous fully rendered paintings of intricate detail and superlative technique.
Finally, the sketch pad and pencils. Strictly speaking I have had these for about a month, but I class them as a present to myself so lump them in here. I am trying to teach myself how to sketch/draw. After reading a few online tutorials I decided just to jump in and start scribbling. The Paul Bonner book contains lots of preliminary sketches, so I am getting started by simply copying them. This gives me a chance to get accustomed to the pencils and start on the lowest slopes of the learning curve. As you can see on this dwarf, I messed up the eye and need a decent eraser to fix it. But hey ho, Rome was not built in a day.
Friday, 16 December 2016
Such was the case many years ago in the dwarf hold of Oakenhammer, deep in the Grey Mountains. Their birth coincided with the Midfest - the festival of midwinter. At this time a huge and ancient oak is felled and dragged into the great hall, the trunk fuels the Midfest fire. The feast lasts as long as the trunk gives off heat, typically for twelve days and twelve nights. When Hurgin and Durgin were born, the fire was built from two huge oaks, the festival continued for almost a month. Among the gifts received by the twins were a pair of oakenhammers, fabled weapons after which the hold is named. The weapon shafts are crafted from the branches of the felled oak. Almost as tough as iron, but far lighter, they are highly prized and usually reserved for the most vererable Longbeards or honoured Hammerers. Great things were expected of the younglings.
Tuesday, 13 December 2016
When you have finished, your mini is pretty clean. Another buff with the nylon brush to remove any flakes and it's ready for priming. I have had a good success rate with this method. It's quick and easy, it's non-toxic and it's reasonably priced.
Thursday, 1 December 2016
in this post.
The twelfth gunner is a filler, a resin terrain piece from Scibor. The original ten gunners from a box of irondrakes, plus a metal character, left me one short from the number needed for a unit in Dragon Rampant gaming. Rather than use a metal musician I went for this rocky dwarf face. It will double up as a bit of scatter terrain, or an objective marker, in other games.