Half Way There!

We have just passed half way through the year, with June already disappearing into the distance. I’m about to go away on a fortnights holiday. Like many people, I haven’t been able to get away for three years now and it’s been even longer since I’ve had more than a week away. So it’s a good time to press the reset button and take a long break from everything- business and hobby.

Just before I jet off to a cooler climate (Mexico isn’t quite as warm as the UK at the moment!), I thought that I would do a quick round up of some of the projects that I have been working on and give a ‘halfway score’ on just how much I have painted so far this year. So, in no particular order here are some of the models that I have completed recently that haven’t made the blog.

My Flag ship, or ‘great ship’ for ‘Never Mind the Boat Hooks’.

The biggest project that I have been working on is a scratch built Great ship, based roughly on King Henry Vths Gracedieu. Quite why I haven’t written about this project escapes me. I think that for a few weeks it just totally absorbed my attention. I was too busy modelling and researching to write the blog! Here’s a few pictures of her under construction and I will do an article with a bit more detail in the future.

The great ship was built for a demo game of ‘Boat Hooks’ at Partizan in Newark. Here is a picture of just some of the action.

Never Mind The Boat Hooks demo game at Partizan

Talking of Partizan, I picked up the free miniature of Stephen Le Blois and he has been painted and now joins my collection of these miniatures. I dont have all of the Partizan figures but I have resolved now that when ever I pick one of the show figures up, I will get it painted rather than chucking it into the lead pile!

Stephen Le Blois – Partizan 2022 free figure.

Continuing with the Partizan theme, I committed to ensuring that what ever I buy at a wargames show, I will paint it before the next show. I have just about stuck to my commitment by finishing a nice Perry Miniature wicker wagon that I had bought back in Octobers Partizan 2. I am building a nice collection of the Perry Wagons and I have a reasonable baggage train now.

Perry Minatures Wicker Wagon

As reported in my previous blog, I’ve also now completed my Irish Kern that were also bought at Partizan. This almost completes my Irish Army for now.

Changing the subject, I have also managed to make a bit of progress with my LOTR project. I am just about to finish basing twelve orcs from issue 24 of the Magazine.

I must confess that I didn’t enjoy painting these figures. The molding of detail is a bit ‘soft’ to say the least but thanks to a good wash with Army painter strong tone ink, they look OK!

My gaming has been curtailed just recently. I have been busy with family and social events as have my gaming buddies, Pete and Andy, so the opportunity to meet has been limited. Wargaming tends to be a winter activity! However, one game that we did play caught my imagination. It was a refight of Islandawanda. The troops are actually made from Hair Curlers by Andy Callan! I dont think that I will be going down that route but I am always impressed by such ingenuity! The game was good fun as well!

Well that is just a flavour of some of the projects that have gone across my work bench. I forgot to mention that as well as building the great ship, I made and painted the crew – another 20 or so figures. Which brings me to my total for the year so far:

152 Infantry figures;

8 Personalities

5 Medieval ships

1 Bren carrier

1 Deezee Elasmotherium

1 cart and horse

Lets hope that the rest of the year is as productive once I have re charged my batteries!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop but remember that I am away until the end of July!

ARCANE SCENERY

We also have a category devoted to Never Mind the Bill Hooks:

NEVER MIND THE BILL HOOKS!

To see our range of Naval accessories, click here:

NAVAL ACCESSORIES

To see our range of glues, click here:

ADHESIVES AND GLUES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!

The Death of Nelson

Whilst I am still very much involved with producing my own Medieval Naval force, It’s good to have a break in between projects. For me, this involves painting something from the ‘Lead pile’. Regular readers will know that I am somewhat obsessed with reducing the number of unpainted figures in the ‘heap’ and the one minor benefit of the recent lock downs has been that I have made some progress.

The Death of Nelson – he certainly doesn’t look well….

So whilst I was in a nautical mood, I decided to have a go at painting a small diorama that I had acquired years ago. It is the Moments in Miniature model of the Death of Nelson issued by Wargames Illustrated Magazine. It’s a lovely piece, well sculpted and includes a nice resin base. A deep dive into my back issues of Wargames Illustrated and I found the original article that accompanied the release of this piece. I simply copied the pictures that accompanied the article. Well, up to a point. The article was by the master painter, Matt Parkes and showed how to paint the model as though it was illuminated by yellow lantern light. That was too fancy for me. I just wanted to paint the piece for my cabinet!

I’m fairly pleased with the result, although I have received a number of comments regarding how ill Nelson looks. I guess the clue is in the name. Poor Nelson is not going to recover from his wounds!

Men of Gondor!

I have also been steadily working through the Battlegames in Middle Earth magazine figures and I have now reached issue 23, having completed the Men of Gondor and Gimli, the Dwarf.

Gimli

Which brings me back to the lead pile. I have decided that my lead pile consists of three categories of models.

  1. Models that I have acquired from friends who didn’t want them or through the business. They might come in useful one day but I had no real reason for having them other than I didn’t want to throw them away and I was too greedy/polite to refuse them.
  2. Models that are just excess to requirements. You know, you buy a box of 60 Infantry and only use 24 of them for a particular project and the rest go onto the pile.
  3. Models that I really liked and wanted to paint but didn’t fit into the particular project that I was working on at the time. Perhaps one day I would sit down and paint them.
The Fellowship of the Ring is gradually taking shape!

Well, my focus now is on Category three. I’m not going to worry about category one any more, other than to sort them and either get rid of them or put them into deep storage. As for category two, it’s just an inevitable part of the hobby. You will always have spares and bits. They are now sorted by category and if I need a type of figure for a project, I’ll check my stash before I buy but I’m not going to worry about painting these until I need them.

So, Category three will get my attention. That is in between the painting and modelling that I need to do to complete my latest project. And when it comes to my latest project, I have resolved only to buy what I need and can paint in a reasonable time scale. In other words rather than buy a whole army that then sits there whilst I summon up the energy to get on with it, I’m just buying one or two units at a time and painting them before buying anything else.

The fleet grows!

Meanwhile, as you can see, my Medieval fleet is still growing, I’m going to add at least one more cog and some smaller row boats for support.

We need a bigger boat!

Which reminds me, I might just scratch build a great ship to lead my fleet in action…

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:

ARCANE SCENERY

Happy Modelling!

Workbench Round up – first of the New Year!

My output continues at a steady pace, with my new war room and hobby station making my hobby life easier. The only issue is that there is no over arching theme to my modelling output. I continue to follow the threads from last year. So I have completed a unit of WOTR Pikemen, two characters from the Lord of the Rings collection and a Bren Carrier!

Another unit to add to the army!

The Pikemen were kindly given to me already assembled and primed ( thank you Jaz!), so painting them was straight forward. I used a white and green livery, for no other reason than I liked the combination. This Livery is mostly associated with the Welsh Tudors, although there were plenty of other Welsh houses who sided with the Yorkist cause and indeed, quite a few minor houses in England that had white and green as their colours. I’m not too concerned that my units should represent a particular faction. I’m happy to play fictional battles and scenarios rather than re-fight actual battles. So don’t be surprised if you see this unit marching with Sir Harry Hotspur!

Foundry Pikemen from Duncan’s collection

I’ve also re-based and re-touched another unit of pikemen that came from Duncan Mcfarlanes collection. I still need to add the pikes as the originals have been lost but I have replacements ready. I think that they are Foundry figures and I hope that they will continue to do battle in Duncans memory.

Ugluk of the Uruk-Hai
Grishnakh – basing not quite completed in this photo

I’ve continued with my ‘Battle Games in Middle Earth’ project, painting another three character figures. Ugluk, Grishnakh and mounted Eomer are now completed and in the cabinet. Of the three, I found Eomer the most challenging. Painting his armour was quite difficult as it is fairly intricate and his horse is also a strange grey – dark grey at the back and light grey up front! I’m not entirely happy with this model but he will do for now! I’ve now reached issue 18 of the Magazine and as issue 19 came with paints rather than a figure, I am about 20% of the way through the collection. When I complete the figures with issue 20 ( more Goblins), I’ll have a round up of my progress.

Eomer – basing to be finished

The bren carrier was the next on the work bench and was bit of a trial for no other reason than my airbrush seems to have developed a fault in the compressor. I just about managed to get the basic colours on the Carrier before the compressor gave up. The model is from Curteys 1st Corps and although not as precise as, say , the Tamiya 1/48th kit, it builds into a nice replica and of course is ideal for the wargames table. The markings, as with all of my WW2 armour are conjectural and not based on an actual vehicle. I have hand painted them, apart from the vehicle serial number.

Bren Carrier

Whilst purists might not like the idea of making up markings, it’s my way of ensuring that I get models finished rather than endlessly researching them to get every detail exactly correct. For me, the models are simply a representation of their type rather than an exact replica. Whilst I have total admiration for those modellers that are able to produce museum quality replica’s, exact in every detail, I have very little time for those in the hobby who seem to know everything but produce nothing – their hobby is different to mine!

Bren Carrier side view

To be fair, it’s this attitude that allows me to get my projects off of the work bench and onto the gaming table. I have been largely cured of my desire to seek perfection by my wargaming buddies, who favour practical solutions over fancy models! A great example of this is the latest game that we are playing – Never Mind The Boat Hooks – Billhooks on the sea! Andy Callan has very cleverly adapted his rule set and produced some Medieval Cogs from wood and corrugated card board. This meant that we were play testing and having fun rather than still thinking about how to make the models.

Never Mind The Boat Hooks…coming soon… early play test

Here’s a sneak peak but in my next blog I hope to show you a bit more progress!

The Sarissa Precision Cog on my work bench.

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:

ARCANE SCENERY

Happy Modelling!

Boromir and Gandalf

A much shorter blog this week. As I have already noted, work on the upgrade to my new wargames den is progressing well but I am still relegated to painting at the desk in my office. So rather than buying any new models or starting any new projects, I have continued to work through my lead pile.

Boromir was the ‘free’ figure from issue 11 of the ‘Battle Games in Middle Earth’ magazine series that I am working my way through. I actually painted him just before I lost the use of the garage but he hasn’t featured in my blog so I thought I would include him for continuity. As usual, I used the magazine as a reference as well as Youtube. I quite like the Planetmithril youtube channel and there is a wealth of painting advise and step by step tutorials to be found. There’s a link to the planetmithril web site below, if you would like more information.

Boromir in black!

I dont follow the guides exactly but use them as a help, particularly if I am not sure what colour to use. With Boromiir, I went for a much darker finish than the one in the video but this suited my style of painting.

Gandalf on the paint station

The next figure was Gandalf the Grey from issue 12 of the magazine. Again, the magazine and the you tube channel gave me all the help that I needed and again, I went for a darker look than the videos seem to show. The paint pallet was fairly limited – Gandalf the Grey is predominately , well, grey…

Gandalf, based and ready for action!

As these are fantasy figures, I feel that there is no need to slavishly follow a particular colour scheme. So long as the figure looks about right, it’s good enough for me. I have to confess to never having finished reading the ‘Lord of the Rings’. That’s probably heresy as far as Tolkien fans are concerned but for what ever reason, the book never caught my imagination. Quite the opposite, after 600 pages of second breakfasts, singing nonsense songs and endless descriptions of characters that seemed to do nothing, I gave up on the book. I think that I had come to LOTR too late in life and had been spoilt by watching the Peter Jackson films. Mind you, in the last of the films, the bum numbing rendition of ‘The Return of the King’ I was crying out for Bilbo to get on the fecking boat with the Elves at the end so I could go for a pint with the missus…It’s fair to say that whilst I did enjoy the films, I am not by any means an enthusiast of LOTR in particular and fantasy in general.

I digress slightly, I do like the painting the figures and they make a nice change from historical subjects. Perhaps when I have a large enough collection, I will try out the game. For now it’s back to the lead pile to choose my next subject.

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can find plenty of links to the paining videos as well as painting tips on the Planet Mythril site here:

PLANET MITHRIL

Happy Modelling!

Workbench update 06 May 2021

Having completed the Landsknechts, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to start as my next project. I took the easy option and resorted to my Lord of the Rings collection moving onto the next issue of the Magazine ‘Battle Games in Middle Earth’. Somewhere back in April, I found the time to complete Legolas, the figure that came with issue 8. As I was absorbed in my Bombard project, I neglected to take any photos other than the one below of the finished figure, before basing was completed.

Legolas, basing still to complete

The next issue of ‘Battlegames in Middle Earth’, issue 9, came with an Uruk-Hai Scout. Issue 10 came with another sprue of 10 Uruk-Hai Warriors, so it made sense to paint all 11 figures as one batch. I cleaned up and assembled the figures and then primed them with a black undercoat. I then dry brushed them with gun metal to pick out the armour, painted the flesh using Vallejo Game Colour Dark Flesh and then the various straps and leather ‘kilts’ in either Leather brown or flat earth. The hair and spear staffs were painted in German Cam. Black brown. I then inked the armour with Dark tone and the rest of the colours with strong tone.

Uruk-Hai in progress as a batch paint job.

I went back over the colours and highlighted them using a lighter shade or simply the original colour, tidying up any obvious errors. I added the teeth and eye’s to the scout captain and based the figures with Vallejo textured paste and sand. The bases were painted with my usual emulsion paint ‘Delhi Bazaar’, and highlighted with progressive mixes of this mixed with Iraqi sand. The final touch was the Gamers Grass beige tufts.

Uruk-Hai based and ready for action!

So another 11 LOTR figures are added to my collection – next up is Boromir. Just 81 magazines to go to complete the collection!

Cromwell basic colours applied – weathering and markings to add.

As well as the Uruk-Hai, I also have been working on a Blitzkrieg miniatures Cromwell tank. Here’s the progress so far. I’ll perhaps cover the stages of this project in my next blog. I now have four British tanks in my collection and I am quite pleased with the results. I have taken the view that these are going to be used as wargaming models which has liberated me from being too picky about the details. The result is that instead of getting bogged down and never finishing anything, I am making progress. The result should be a nice collection to go in the cabinet that shows off British tank development in World War Two – and of course, should I ever get around to it, I will have a nice selection for my war gaming!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the Blitzkrieg range of both 1/48th and 1/56th scale tanks here:

BLITZKRIEG MODELS

You can see our selection of Gamers grass here:

GAMERS GRASS – ARCANE Scenery and Models

Happy Modelling!

Battle Games in Middle Earth Issue 7 – Lord of the Rings

In between painting and expanding my Historical collection, I have continued to paint the miniatures that I had stashed away with this magazine. I have now completed issue 7 and the 12 warriors of Rohan that came with the magazine. As I have said before, the magazine has painting instructions for the models and I use these as a guide but put my own spin when it comes to colours.

Battle Games in Middle Earth issue 7

The models come in a sprue of 12 comprising of 4 bowmen, 4 spearmen and 4 swordsmen. It made sense to paint them in batches of four. This also made it easier to add a bit of variation in the clothes. So for the clothing under the armour,  I used pastel blue for the bowmen, German Camo Beige for the Spearmen and Burnt red for the Swordsmen. Some of the figures were painted with plate mail, some with leather armour, as the mood took me! This gives a slightly non uniform feel to the figures as suggested by the painting guide in the magazine. The other reference that I used was of course the tutorials on youtube. I only these as a general guide rather than specifically copying on this occasion.

Warriors of Rohan Spearmen


Warriors of Rohan Bowmen


Warriors of Rohan Swordsmen

Another twelve models are added to my collection and the next issue is issue 8 with the model being Legolas. So just another 84 issues to go to complete the project. I suspect that I might be working on this for a while but it is a welcome distraction from Historical modelling.

Warriors of Rohan – the full unit.

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Happy Modelling!

From WOTR to LOTR and back…

Lord of The rings Battle Games in Middle Earth

Lord of The rings Battle Games in Middle Earth

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I ‘rediscovered’ my collection of Lord of the Rings Battle Magazines. These were published back in about 2001, I think, and each magazine came with a free sprue of plastic figures or a metal character figure. The magazine was published by Deagostini in close cooperation with Games Workshop. Incidentally, the editor was Graeme Davey who now runs the Grey for now Games Wargames company that produces the ‘Test of Honour’ game. Graeme is now based in the same building as Arcane Scenery!

goblins from the mines of Moria. Issue 1

goblins from the mines of Moria. Issue 1

When I started collecting the magazine, I firmly intended to paint all of the models each fortnight to build my collection. I didn’t manage any until about issue 68, when I painted the Warg riders and then a few of the personality figures. I collected the complete set of 91 issues as well as a couple of specials and then stored them all safely away in my wardrobe, with the figures, never to see the light of day – until now!

Elves and Men of Gondor. Issue 2

Elves and Men of Gondor. Issue 2

Having found the stash, I thought that I would work my way through each magazine and paint the figures as originally intended. At this stage I dont have any plans to play the game but who knows – that may well change once we are out of lock down! In the meantime, it has been an interesting distraction. As well as following the painting instrucions in the magazine, I have also used YouTube as a reference to see how other painters have gone about painting their minis. There is a wealth of info on YouTube, as no doubt you are already aware and I now will often check this source before embarking on any new project. You can pretty much guarantee that somebody has painted or built what ever model you are working on!

Frodo Baggins - issue 3

Frodo Baggins – issue 3

I was also surprised how useful it was to be taken through, step by step, how to paint a figure. The magazine is very good at starting with the basics and building up techniques so that your painting style will improve and evolve. Looking back, I now realise that there is much to admire in this magazine, other than the pictures from the movies and the models!

Uruk-Hai - issue 4

Uruk-Hai – issue 4

The magazine breaks down into four broad areas, A guide to Middle Earth,  How to play the LOTR battle Game, complete with a battle report, How to paint your miniatures and how to make the scenery. Having started with the figures, I think that I may well go back and work through the scenery articles!

Lurtz - Uruk-Hai Captain. Issue 5

Lurtz – Uruk-Hai Captain. Issue 5

I have now reached issue 6 with my painting, as you can see from the photos, my collection is building! I’ll be taking a break from painting LOTR and returning to WOTR – I have a unit of Archers that I need to complete and some more artillery. These units will complete Lord Callan’s retinue and will feature in a later blog!

Aragorn! Issue 6. Basing not quite finished!

Aragorn! Issue 6. Basing not quite finished!

It seems that the lockdown has allowed me to work on projects that I had long forgotten and if my wargaming has been curtailed, my painting has thrived. Without the pressure to produce another unit for our next game, I have been able to dig into my lead pile and paint some of the miniatures that I had dreamed of adding to my collection.

My LOTR collection in front of my WOTR collection!

My LOTR collection in front of my WOTR collection!

It might seem strange for a retailer to be giving this advice, but rather than buy more stuff, what have you got in your lead pile that you would like to complete? I don’t think that there will be a better time to do so!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Happy Modelling!