Saturday 21 January 2023

Gerrr arrrggg...errr...arrrggg Gerrr?

 I've been painting zombies. These ones:

They are 1/72 scale miniatures from Dark alliance. They are pretty nice, not much flash to deal with and with a good level of detail.

 They are for another of my planned projects for this year, Osprey publishings Last Days.

 A very simple but charming set of rules with a  nice looking campaign system.

  Hence this lot. The rules say you need twenty zombies but I've done twenty two because I'm a rebel to my very core and no books going to tell me how to game. Next up is the collection of poor sods that have to deal with the shambling masses...

 'till next time...

Thursday 12 January 2023

A turnip for the books

  Would you believe it, I've only gone and finished another project from my new year to do list!. Namely these:

    My Turnip28 force I started a year ago is finally table ready (they need a gloss varnish but I'm running out of light so they are done for now).

   Turnip28 is a great setting, sort of a post apocalyptic Napoleonic/medieval mash up with roots. Lots of roots. (you can download a copy of the rules for free Here.

  It's really character full and very charming (gross but charming) so I had to have a go. Also there are no official miniatures, you can pick any parts from medieval to first world war miniatures and just go wild kitbashing whatever you want. This is what my soggy brain came up with:

The 14th East Spaffington Irregulars (aka the Spudulikes)

 The fodder, these are the basic infantry in the setting. I've gone for a seed potato theme hence the 'eyes' on each miniature.

Like this.

The forces leader (known as a toff) and his two sub commanders (toadies).

Skirmish infantry known as chaff.

The one unit I did finish last year. These are my close combat infantry known in the game as Brutes.

The forces artillery (stump gun) I've affectionately named Geoff and his crew.

Geoff again, I made him from a 1/72 Indian war elephant, a mantic dwarf cannon, some string and a ton of superglue and milliput.

 The forces cavalry known in the game as bastards. I decided the horses' caparisons should be potato sacks so I paper mached some out of kitchen paper stiffened with super glue.

  Neil would be proud!.

  I have to say they are a rough and ready lot, I have never painted an army in this scale (28mm) and although it's not a scale I would normally choose or feel that comfortable painting but I had fun with these. Right, better crack on with making them some opposition...

...'till next time...

Sunday 8 January 2023

New adventures in paint and time

  You may remember a couple of posts ago I mentioned that one of my aims for the year was to update my paint set. For those of you that weren't reading this blog back in 2019 (I mean, why would you?) when I started to dip my pinkies back into miniature painting after an almost thirty year absence I decided to make My own paint set. The reasons for this were:

1) I had only just got the painting bug so didn't want to invest too heavily into paints and equipment. 

2) Mrs Sprinks is an arty sort who already had a massive selection of acrylic paints, seemed reasonable to think I could do something with things we already had.

These sort of paints, we have a bazillion of around the gaff.

3) miniature paints are very (and I do mean very) expensive for what you get. I am lucky to be in the position to be able to pay £3 for a thimble of paint but it soon adds up and I have far better things to spend that money on.

4) playing around with chemicals is fun!.

 Now up until then I had used Mrs Sprinks' paints straight from the tube and found them a bit thick and grainy, I tried thinning them with water but that just ruined the consistency and coverage.  not ideal but after a little research and mucking about I managed to come up with a good thinner formula that even I could handle that was giving the consistency and finish I wanted.

 Basically I saw this video and thought to myself 'im nicking that'...and I did!.

   I have been using this thinner for a few years now, making up bottles of pre thinned paints as and when but because I have been on a two year learning curve some of my paints are exactly as I want them but some...err...still need work to get the results I'm after.

  So having got to the paint where I can say I almost know what I'm doing. I decided to replace my frankenpaints with a new uniformly thinned set that would always be ready to go right out of the bottle. And that's what I have been doing.

  I decided to make the new set along the Wargames foundry triad system method, you make separate base, shade and highlight tones for each shade you want so you can paint in layers. 

This, basically I saw this and thought to myself 'im nicking that'...and I did.

  I think even if I decide not to paint with this method I will still have plenty of shades to play around with. 

    So I ordered far too many 15ml dropper bottles and set to swiping Mrs Sprinks' paints and knocking up a new paint set.

This one!.

Some paint triads made by a chimp!. I have written out the 'recipe' I used to make these Here if anyone wants to give it a go.

  It took me just over a day to mix and decant them all at a fraction of the cost of your average miniature paints. If you work off of an average cost of £3 per pot this lot would have cost  almost £350! And I had lots of fun mixing them, there is something very calming about the whole process, can't wait to get some minis undercoated to give them a whirl...

...'till next time ..

Monday 2 January 2023

More pike, another block of.

    With a return to work looming I managed to get another 15mm pike block done for my Italian wars project. This time its a Swiss one:

 As with the last lot they are all 15mm Venexia miniatures with broom bristle pikes...and lots of flags.

  While I was basing them I decided to do a few extra miniature free bases as spacers to go between the pike and any victims that get in their way on the table, I mean I spent ages painting them (not really true you understand, base coat and oil wash all the way), so I don't want opposing pikes scratching it all off again.

The bases keep them just out of reach from each other while I think looking the part so as to not break the immersion for a simpleton like myself. They also gave me an excuse to get the papal pike out for some pike on pike glamour shots (oh my!). Next on the list is some hand gunners to go with each unit and some swiss halberdiers and Italian militia spears, then on to some french. ..and some landsknects...and another Swiss detachment...not to mention this rate I may get a game in next year!. Anyway...

...'till next time...

Saturday 31 December 2022


  Hello all, at this time of the year a lot of us bloggerists like to look back and review the whosums and whatnots they have completed or been a part of during the last 12 months. I would also do this but the past year was a bit of a bust hobby wise. It started ok, with pike and spud making an early appearance.

The pike (the beginning of a 15mm Italian wars project...more on this in a mo...)

And the spuds (the first part of a still in progress Turnip28 project).

   I then spent February piddling about with some tiny blocks of bumpkins:

 Some 2mm test bases for a fantasy pike and shot faff or other (note I did get 2 armies done but didn't blog about them).

 And then...

  That was about it until December, where I rebased one of the few finished units I actually completed in the year:

 New pikes, same minis, different bases.

 Ho and indeed hum. The year was not exactly a vintage one for blogging, real life well and truly got in the way and that's understating it quite a bit. However behind the scenes I have been more productive than it would seem. I have painted 2 full 2mm forces, a few 10mm forces to go along with them (2mm for mass actions and 10mm for skirmishes). I have all but finished my force for Turnip28 and built and undercoated a few more, I have also painted 2 small sci fi forces in 15mm scale for me and Sprinkling 3:the revenge to game with... I just didn't take pictures and was not in the sort of head space to want to write about it. I realise this sounds a bit like the school kid who really does have a girlfriend in a different town but can't offer any proof but I have been painting just to keep a grip on myself, the hobby time really has been a lifesaver this year.
  So that's the year that was ( that can well and truly get in the effin' sea), what's next year going to look like?

 Honestly? No flippin' clue but below is a list of projects that 1) I would like to at least do something towards, 2) will help my butterfly brain keep some kind of focus and D) be entertaining to read... possibly.

- I would like to keep on going with my 15mm Italian wars project. I almost have my 2nd pike block finished (swiss this time). I plan to paint small detachments for each force, maybe a pike block, shot unit, some artillery or cavalry etc that can be fielded together in whichever way I fancy ( such as the shifting alliances were during the period).  I intend this to be a slow burn project I can dip into as I reckon painting all those pike may well send me doolally if I do too many at a time!.

 (At least I've coloured mine in!)

- Finish my Turnip28 force and paint up the rest I have built and get them on the table.

 It's a great looking set of rules, and one I'm itching to get to grips with. Again I will probably dip in and out but hope to get enough done to get some games in by the end of the year.

- Crack on with more of my 2mm/10mm olde albilande bits so I can finally get some campaigns in my home brew setting done.

- I got given a copy of Xenos Rampant for Christmas which should be perfect for me and Sprinkling 3: the revenge to finally get some games in, this has school holiday project written all over it.

- The other rule book I got this year was the fun looking 

 A simple looking game for campaigning walking dead style ( groups of survivors competing over dwindling resources during a zombie apocalypse). This could be a great intro for the other folk in the house, I have ordered some red box 1/72 minis so we can build our own groups and use some of the boys toys for terrain into the bargain. Again this probably will be during the school hols.


These two boxes should let us build plenty of forces.

- Remake my paint set. Some of you may recall I made my own Paint set a few years ago. Well after quite some time I think I can do even better so plan to get a bit mad scientist and make a new one. This time tweeking the consistency of the paint and using a triad (base/shade/ highlight) system for each each colour or shade thereof a la Wargames foundry.

I have already ordered the dropper bottles I will need and have started to eye Mrs Sprinks paints with menaces.

 That should give me plenty to be getting on with, I'm probably missing something and will undoubtedly get distracted by umpteen new shiny things as the year progresses but you know what they say about the best laid plans...

  ...'till next time...


Monday 26 December 2022

Holiday hobby haul

  Hello all, I hope you are having a restful and pleasant holiday period so far. I don't normally do this kind of post but this year the big red bearded sack lugger out did himself, as the picture below will attest:

 Lots of great stuff! Yay!. 2 Osprey books covering major battles of the Italian wars period (Pavia and Fornovo) which sorts out my holiday reading and should help with next year's hobby plans ( more of this soon) and a couple of rule books for possible games with the Sprinklings in Last Days by Ash Barker, which is a zombie apocalypse survival game (providing rules for creating your own groups of survivors and playing campaigns raiding each others territory and avoiding zombie hoards) and the latest in the rampant series, this time a sci fi themed set. This will be great for sprinkling 3: the revenge as we painted up a couple of forces together last summer but have yet to do much with them so this will provide a nice simple set to game with. Also my sister gave us a Diplomatico rum gift set. Which is nice.

 Oh and in case your wondering

  Yes I did get some novelty underwear!..

     ...'till next time...

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Pike, one block of

  Hello all, long time no blog and all that (6 months, bloody Nora!). I couldn't let the end of the year  pass by without putting digit to screen. I've not been completely bone idle hobby wise this whole time, I will try to do a 'what I've painted while I've been away' post before the end of the year but I had some precious minutes of daylight this afternoon so had to get some snaps of my latest 'throwpaintatsomethingandhopeforthebest' effort while I had the chance.

  I was recently looking at my half finished (and in some cases half started) bits a week or so ago and came across my 15mm Italian wars stuff. I had previously painted a single pike block for it about half a lifetime ago ( well January) you can see it's original form over here. It struck me that it needed longer pikes, it was too small and needed rebasing for the rules I intend to use it for. 

 So now after rearming, reinforcing and rebasing it looks like this:

 Sorry about the dim pictures, the light was rapidly buggering off. I'm really pleased with the way they have turned out, so much so I may even paint another one!. The pikes were originally dress making pins which were 1) too small to read as pikes at 15mm scale and C) bloody deadly to anyone that tried to handle them. I saw this post and after the great brush hunt (otherwise known as a trip to Wickes) I promptly nicked all his ideas. I think it looks more like the period length of pike (3-7 meters apparently) and they are far kinder on the fingers, they even ping back into shape if knocked which is a plus. Anyway 

 To the lot of you, I hope you and yours have a great festive period and with a bit of luck I will post again within the next 6 months!...

...'till next time...