Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Thor, the mighty God of thunder - Painting challenge bonus round "Myth"

For the next bonus theme during Curt's painting challenge I went into Nordic mythology and chose Odin’s mighty son to be my entry. Thor is one of the best known Nordic deities and has thunder and lightning at his disposal. I tried to catch a bit of his ferocity in this miniature.

The figure:
It’s a 40mm figure which was made by Wargames Foundry ages ago. Actually I wanted to have it for a Of Gods and Mortals warband but finally I mounted it on a large 60mm circular base which is probably too large to use it for playing. Anyway the figure is very well sculpted and excellently cast. There were a lot of fabulous details on it but on the other hand enough space to create freehands. I used my humble skills to try that on the cloake.

The colours:
As usual I employed Vallejo Model Coulors to paint Thor. For the choice of colours I drew my inspiration from pictures from old Marvel comics about the superhero Thor. I thought it might be a nice idea to connect the mythical figure with the modern superheroe. Anyway this time I didn’t use Armypainter Quickshade or something like that but built up every colour from three or more stages. For the coat I used five mixtures of different red tones to blend the folds smoothly. For the embroidery on the coat I used different shades of metal and non-metal colours to create an idea of ornament. Unfortunately I reached the limits of my skills there…
The base:
When I saw the figure with its blowing hair the idea of Thor standing on top of a mountain unleashing a mighty lightning storm came to my mind. Therefor I cut off the metal base just below his feet and mounted him on a pile of several pieces of slate. To accommodate all this stuff I chose a 60mm circular MDF base from the outstanding range of Warbases. After painting all the basing stuff I used a mixture of white paint and PVA glue to add corundum sand on the snowy spots. In addition I added some snowy static grass to complete the scene.

I dearly hope that you like my humble work because honestly it’s probably one of my best results so far.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Do it yourself Gaming Mat

Last year I followed several threats in different forums which covered DIY gaming mats. Really I was wondering whether it's much work and whether I would be able to create such a thing myself. Finally shortly before Christmas I went to our local hardware store and bought the missing components. I was a bit hesitant so I started with a small 50cm by 50cm test piece.

Here's the material I used:
  • a 50cm by 50cm piece of canvas on a stretcher frame
  • a tube of acrylic sealing compount
  • tinting paint in my terrain base colour
  • some sand and gravel
  • a couple of scoops and trowels
  • some static grass
  • old newspaper to cover our dinner table and prevent severe trouble with usually peaceful Mrs Monty
First of all I prepared the basic pulp for the gaming mat. Therefor I mixed the (whole) acrylic compound with tinting paint, sand, gravel and a few drops of water until it blended to a smooth paste.
Afterwards I and my little helper spread the mixture over the canvas and smoothed it slightly. With the sand and the gravel it becomes a rather rough surface. More or less the same as if you glue sand onto a wooden surface when building usual gaming tiles.

Then we spread static grass, little pebbles and some turf onto the wet pulp and pressed it into it slightly. Most of all I wanted to try which components stay in the mat when dryed and which fall of...
Finally we let the mat dry. It seemed like ages for me but probably it was one or two days really. Then I draybrushed the mat with medium brown and ivory. Just the colours I used for my other terrain tiles. The result is satisfying I think.
Lastly I cut the mat off the frame and rolled it around a piece of pipe insulation foam to store it.
After a couple of days I unrolled it again and the canvas set smoothly after a few minutes. So I think the acrylic pulp works rather well.

As you see it found first use when Viktoria set up our crip under the christmas tree:
Rather soon I'll repeat the experiment on a larger scale to create a playing area for SAGA games so roughly 1,20m by 1,20m or something like that. For this I'll try felt cover sheeting as basic fabric. It's much cheaper than canvas and more flexible.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Panzer Kaput's celebrating !

Pete from Panzer Kaput's Painted Review blog is celebrating that his excellent blog reached 300,000 hits.

Well done chap!
The attention is highly deserved !

To share his joy about that he's organzing a raffle in which Pete offers a nice drawing of a Viking. Of course he reminds me of my Saga warlord Gudmund the Dauntless...

In case that you want to have a look at his excellent work then just follow this link.

Anyway good luck further on, Pete. I'm looking forward to visiting your blog regularly further on.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Painting Challenge Round up - Week 5 - Victorian soldiers and another spreadsheet

Last saturday was deadline for the next bonus round of Curt's painting challenge:

Although the Victorian era hasn't been my cup of tea so far I didn't want to wag this bonus round. Therefor I digged out some very special single miniatures which I bought from Northstar on Crisis last year:
Both are part of their Tea Time Miniatures range and depict British soldiers having a cup of tea. As chaps from the Crimean War they fit perfectly into the Victorean age so I chose to paint them for the challenge.

The paintjob is not too special actually. As usual I used Vallejo Model Colors and built up the coulours in three stages. I'm more or less satisfied with the result although this pictures are far from good... Anyway bonus round passed and still on target for passing all of them.

Thus I'm alredy preparing my entries for the Myth round and the Hot round. Thor is nearly finished so I counted him as finshed in week 7 for the spreadsheet.
Unfortunately the workload bedides the bonus round is standing back currently. My actual plan is to prepare the bonus entries as soon as possible and then use the remaining time to paint as many other figures as possible. Main topics there will be War of the Roses, 2nd Anglo-Afghan War or First World War. All three conflicts are sideshows for me which have wonderful figures which should be rather quick to paint. Perfect for painting under time pressure...
However until now I'm pretty confidant to pass all bonus rounds and achieve my 750 point target in the last furlong.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Challenging warlords and tasty Federweißer --- A SAGA game report.

A couple of weeks- actually months - ago my friend Christian and I met to have a game of SAGA. Although it is widely known as a nice beer and pretzel game we decided to follow an old German tradition and had Federweißer (young wine) and Zwiebelkuchen (onion pie).
Federweißer is a delicious, sweetish, slightly sparkling, young wine which is available in October. It has very little alcohol and is very palatable. It's traditionally accompanied by Zwiebelkuchen which is a kinf of pie or pizza with steamed onions. For me a must have every autumn and a sure sign that winter is coming. Most of the time Mrs Monty and me combine this meal with a gathering of friends and so this time Christian showed up and brought his SAGA warband.

This time we decided to play the Challenge scenario and set up the table in cooperation rather then using the rules from the rulebook. Once more I noticed that I really have to improve my terrain stock:
Anyway the stage was set and thus both warbands entered the field. Five points each because I haven't managed to finish another unit of warriors yet.
Immidiately after the game started both warbands strove to the middle of the battlefield. First our warlords clashed in close combat and we gathered the first victory pouints. By the way we interpreted the scenario in the way that the warlords aren't removed as casualties but deliver victory points for each unsaved wound they suffer.
However Christians Anglo-Saxons rushed forward with all their power but I held back my Vikings slightly. Actually I wanted to bring the berserkers into his flank and see how much grief they could sow there.
The first units that clashed were warriors. Christian chose to field his warriors in two units of 12 men rather then three units of 8 and so they were hard nuts for my smaller units. But my boys made him pay too dear and caused more casualties then they suffered.
Only his second large unit was able to erase the remaining warriors of this unit.
During the next turns the game wobbled hither and thither. My bowmen prickled his levies and on the other flank my berserkers and my second warrior unit advanced.
Finally Christian sicked his warriors on my warlord and collected a lot of victory points. Actually I thought that might be the decision...
But I was able to strike back during the last turns of the game. First my berserkers rushed out of the woods and hit his warriors hard. Although two of my daring followers fell they were able to slay five Saxons.
Afterwards Christian slaughtered the two remaining berserkers with a warrior unit which was in the majority.
But the decision came in the very last turn of this exciting math. Christian was in the lead with one point and there was a heavily battered warrior unit of his which was in movement range of my warlord and which was wirth one and a half points (three warriors worth half a point each). Thus I staked everything on one card and let my warlord rush into melee once more. Luck was with me and so he smote all three opponents with his sword. The day was mine by an eyelash !

As for the game and the evening I must say it was gorgeous. As for the scenario I'm a but undecided. On the one hand it is a good choice for people want to come into the SAGA rules. It has no game ending conditions and you can try all the basic rules and become familiar with your battleboard. But on the other hand it was rather unusual for me to play without a real mission...

Anyway we had a great time and I'm looking forward to our next SAGA match. Maybe I'll manage to have some more terrain finished to garnish my rather empty board.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Wargames Illustrated about Russia 1812

Since a couple of days the new issue of Wargames Illustrated is available. Actually nothing too special for a monthly magazine but issue #327 has a very interesting topic: Retreats. Which called some fellows from our wargaming club into play. 
A fascinating topic which is accompanied by a couple of excellent miniatures by now. And as you have noticed during the last years some of us fellows are tied to Napeolon's Russia campaign. Thus Wayne Bollands from WI asced us a couple of months ago whether we would be interested to contribute some content to their January issue which is all about retreats.
Gladly we agreed and worked on an article and a scenario about the battle of Krasnyi which took place in November 1812. While my friend Bernhard was working out a Blackpowder scenario I wrote the article about the events and now our humble work is published.

In case that you've read it I would appreciate your feedback very much.

Anyway many thanks to our friends Heinz and Holger for taking part in playtesting the scenario and helping Bernhard to prepare the photos !

Monday, 5 January 2015

Goodbye 2014 and welcome 2015 !

2014 was a very good year. For me it was a year of hobbyistic and domestic progression. As for my blog it developed much better than I thought:

During 2014 I managed to deliver 92 posts which is 18 posts more than I wrote in 2014. An increase of about 24% which I didn't intend. It just happened when my hobby activities rose.

In 2014 my humble blog collected 77.500 visits which is more attention than it had during the two years before. I'm absolutely stunned by the support my sober work is receiving and cannot say more than "Thank you very much indeed, chaps!"

As in 2012 and 2013 my highly appreciated readers came from all around the world. Especially USA - 26%, Germany - 19%, United Kingdom - 10%, Russian Federation - 8% and France - 6%.
It's fascinating how small our hobby world became with the use of Facebook, blogging and all those other web 2.0 related features...

But what was inside Monty's Caravan last year?

Some impressions... Have a look:

So that was 2014 more or less...

To you all a very happy New Year and all the best for 2015 !
I hope you'll stay favourably inclined towards Monty's Caravan.