Saturday 2 August 2008

Captain James Swallow WIP

Hoist your colours maties!

Since I was making pictures of the Cygnar mini's anyway I made some Work In Progress shots of Captain James Swallow as well. While painting I found the base to be even cooler then I thought: it had a bag of coins hidden under the flooring!

The coat, undergarments and sash are almost as good as done. I am now thinking about which colour I want the hat to be in, grey seems a good option. As said in an earlier post this figure is an anti-character to the raggedly clothed Jack Sparrow and thus he has more stylish and above all CLEAN clothing. This does mean I did not go for very bright and outlandish colours so to make sure the figure does not become too drab I will make the bird a small red and blue parrot I found a picture of on google. That should brighten things up, if I get it done decently.

here's a close up of the stash of coins hidden under the floorboards.

To the right some kind of fungi grow out of the wood and I am going to try and paint it up as some sort of water-vegetation or animal like you can see on Davy Jones's crew in PotC movies. So it's on to google for me! Shiver me fungi!



Warmachine Trenchers Unit

Now and then I do get something finished, honestly! These pictures show two figures from the Warmachine Steampunk game. They depict an infantry unit of the Cygnar faction, called "Trenchers" for obvious reasons. Work on these started during my week of gaming at my friend's where I prepared the whole unit of 6 figures plus the extension blister of 2 more mini's. Since the figures are almost 32mm they are more work then smaller mini's due to the high amount of (visible) detail. You can't smuggle like you can on smaller figures: if you do not paint a button that is clearly there the figure looks odd immediately!

Well now I have finished 2...6 more still to go.


Friday 1 August 2008

On the workbench...

Pirate Madness!

Today the weather has allowed me to do at least some prepping of figures. My workbench is currently covered in projects but more on that later. First let's talk about what we did today. Well it's Pirates again. After my last few LotHS games I really grew tired of my current Pirate Captain. The latter is a plastic Strelets French officer with map in his hands whom I have given a beard and eye-patch from greenstuff, oh and a rather dull paintjob. During campaigning with the crew I came up with an anti-character to Captain Jack Sparrow: Captain James Swallow! How this came to be is a tale too long and dreadful for these pages so I will not go there yet but save to say today I got round making a different captain figure to represent Captain Swallow.

I wanted a Captain wearing "fancy clothing" and a parrot, due to the bonuses these provide in the game. Well the fancy clothing was more or less simple: I took a Revell 7YW Austrian Grenadier officer, cut off his arms and head and replaced them with other Revell parts amongst which the head and arm of an AWI Militian and the sword arm and plume of a 30YW Imperial Officer. A raven from Busch models was included as a parrot...though I have not decided what kind of bird. A Swallow would be appropriate but not likely and besides: the model is too large for a swallow anyway.

Here are some pictures, sorry for the quality!

The base is a Micro Art Studio 20mm base which has a hole in it, so I added the cannonball responsible.

Next was a more delicate model. Since I started playing Legends of the High Seas I have been looking at different producers for Pirate models and paint schemes as inspiration and reference. One cannot escape Black scorpion and their excellent female pirate range. I obtained both packs and the Governor's daughter and this morning I finally have based the first lady on yet another Micro Art base (this time a 25mm one).

With the ever appropriate "Whiskey in a Jar" song playing on the stereo I am now going to prime these two nice mini's and then wait till the weather allows some painting!

On the Workbench

What other projects have I got lying on my workbench?

- WW1 Australian Trench raiders
- WW1 ANZAC Infantry platoon
- WW1 British Highlanders
- WW1 German EW Cuirassiers
- Several Plastic Pirate Models
- Napoleonic 1806 Prussian Musketeers
- Napoleonic 1806 Prussian Grenadiers



Thursday 31 July 2008

Thinking out loud...

No pictures this time. The last few days were far too warm to paint anything and I have done nothing more hobbywise then clean up some new mini's. Which ones? Let's say they are new HäT testshots, but I won't tell for what sets :-P

Seriously this period of non-activity has given me some time to think about the hobby in general and my opinions towards it in particular. Boldly stated I could say that there are two main area's in which one could devide the miniatures-hobby: painting ( making diorama's) and gaming.

While I have been painting form age 13 or 14 I have been gaming less long.


I think Iwas about 17 when I played my first game which was a Warhammer 40.000 (WH40K) battle in a shop in Maastricht. I really had NO clue whatsoever as to what I was supposed to do other then roll dice, but my "trusty" opponent helped me through it. Yes I lost and it made me feel very sceptical towards gaming in general. Despite this during my college years I played more games in our local games-shop and developed a certain ideology as to the fact that I mostly lost my games, I game for:

- the joy of seeing your painted figures perform (badly) on the field of battle;
- creating some background/ fluff for your army (this really is important to me, I keep logs for most of my armies and try and build some storyline for most of my units/ characters);
- having a good time.

The last two years have seen me drift away from Warhammer Fantasy and WH40K more and more due to the prices and the company ethos of Games Workshop. It is a too complicated affair to explain it all here but let's just say that apart from being expensive the mentioned games seem to be increasingly aimed at youngsters and being oversimplified of which the fluff is on the loosing side. Anyway, alternatives were already at hand. For Sci-Fi and Fantasy I have several armies/ factions for Warmachine and Classic Battletech and as far as Historical games go I have several games-systems from Warhammer Historical. The latter is at the moment my favourite. It might occur to you that Warhammer Historical is normally part of Games Workshop, the very firm I am loosing interest in but they produce products of a very different stature and content. While the Warhammer Historical games (WH for short) are based upon WHF and WH40K they have taken a different path altogether and provide a separate games-system of their own.

The main reason for my preference for WH, I guess, is twofold:

A) WH does not produce a line of figures, players can choose what miniatures they'd like to use and ergo WH does not have sales figures for miniatures to fulfil.
B) The WH books are mostly written by us: the gamer.

All this and the fact that, strange enough, most armies needed for WH games, are available in 1:72 plastic makes this my present numero uno games-system.


To me this is the soul and centre of the hobby. I like painting immensely better then gaming. I do not have a well-defined philosophy to painting but do have some guidelines ( rather like the Pirates' Code come to think of it) .

- I paint figures in 3 classes: showcase, diorama and wargaming.
- Whatever is not used for the first 2 classes will automatically fall in the last category.
- Recently I was very frustrated about not getting any projects finished as is the gamers/ painters bane. I raved and ranted that I would not start a new project until I had at least finished one of the present ones. Then the voice of reason came through, or rather my girlfriend's sane look on things: Why should I not start new projects? It is the joy of the hobby and no-one can tell me not too! And if I divide a project into smaller ones, that ARE finishable within a short timespan, I could actually get things done easier. So now that's what I adhere to.

An example of the latter: I have planned and am now executing a project for an 1806 Prussian Napoleonic Army made up of HäT sets. I have refrained from fixing up all the mini's at once and have rather made up several regiments (20 or so miniatures each) complete with full command to paint unit for unit. I have finished 2 already with 2 more in the blocks.

What was my aim with this rambling post? Don't know but I have got it off my chest. Well beddytime for me!

Cheers Sander

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Highlanders Waheee!

Tumbling Dice WW1 Figures reviewed!

Well I finally got my grubby little hands on some WW1 Highlander infantry. To be honest those same grubby hands are in possession of British Lancers and Infantry in shorts too. I recently received 3 mini-starter packs from Tumbling Dice ( and these contained the above troop types. All are at the moment unavailable in 1:72 plastic and I have had good hopes of these 20mm figures complementing my plastics. There's a very decent mix of poses in the mini starter packs and thus lot's of options. The Cavalry have both mounted and dismounted troops and the mounted troopers have peg-arms so you can decide for yourself whether you want to include a command element (pistol for officer and bugle for...eehh...well a bugler obviously) or just equip all the troopers with lances.

I started working on the Highlanders first. Let's begin with a size comparison:

The plastic figures are HäT American Doughboys. At first I was a bit thrown back by the rather large difference in size between the two examples but I decided to try and adjust this with some basing tricks.
But first here are some shots of the other 8 regular Infantry poses:
The figures looked a bit chubby, until I realised they were bristling with equipment and were wearing a kilt (they are highlanders after all!) this made them broader then they actually are.
To reduce the height difference I glued some 1 and 2 eurocent coins between the mini's and the bases.
When the glue had dried enough I used my regular basing technique of applying wall-filler to the bases:
Now I have to wait until the wall-filler has dried and I can base-coat them.
The only problem is figuring out which regiment to depict...
All in all the level of detail and quality of sculpting on these figures is really quite good. Curiously it is rather hard to find decent pictures of all Tumbling Dice products on the net and therefore I will photograph all the sets I have in possession and put them up here. I did some research on this and also discovered some posts in several mini- fora in which people complained about the Tumbling Dice website and service but I cannot say I share that view. When asking for information I was answered very fast and thoroughly so thank you Tumbling Dice!
Check this place for future updates!
Cheers Sander

Monday 28 July 2008

Legends of the High Seas Pictures Game 2!

More Pictures! Now from my game as treasure-hunter using "Captain James Swallows' crew!"

"a snake a snake!" the Non Player Crew members pictured in this photo, triggered my coral snake by checking the counter and rolling either a 2 or a 4. On a roll of 4+ they were bitten and had to roll for being wounded. The snake got 2 of them. However during this episode we discovered I had written rather poor rules for determining who actually get's bitten so I have to get back to the drawing board on that!

The boat (taken from a Ship's modellers range and just slightly the wrong scale :-( ) was used as a point to which the treasure-hunters were obligated to take the treasure and escape.

Said "Effects markers".

Legends of the High Seas Pictures Game1!


Well finally some pictures! These are of the two "X-Marks-The-Spot-games".

In the Pictures you can see that I used several markers. They are divided in 2 categories:
- "X-markers" = I made 6 different markers using washers and old Warhammer Fantasy Skull and bone shield-designs from the Orcs and Skeleton ranges to represent possible finding-places for the treasure.

- "Effect-markers" there are 3 of these i.e. my Coral Snake, a treasure (Mordheim Sprue) and a marker representing some other booty taken from several sources.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!