01 October 2017

Painting table, October 2017

Seems just yesterday was the middle of June... time flies!  Here is a pic of what is occupying my table at the moment:

Infinity Nomads are slowly being assembled, still; the first group of Huaxtec are getting closer to completion with some basic shield work; an old project has been dusted off - Claymore Castings Scots; some Crann Tara 18th century figures; a 1/1200 Langton Anglo-Dutch vessel along with a 1/1200 Thoroughbred Figures CSS Arkansas; and a bit more progress on the Renault FT tanks for my SCW Republicans.

On a different note:

Fifteen years ago this past September 29 was the first time I met my lovely wife in person.  I took a bit of time to revisit those memories - first at a local Starbucks, then a walk up and down Alki Beach here in Seattle; here is a pic of the area:

This is the view from the western end of the beach, looking east.  Downtown Seattle, with the exception of the Space Needle, is hidden behind Duwamish Head (the green bit on the right).  The tide is in, just as it was fifteen years ago, but the weather was not this nice then.


11 June 2017

SCW tanks, part 4

Here is a quick pic of the table at the moment:

Two Panzer 1a light tanks are assembled, with a third on the way.  Three FT's in various states of completion, with the first only needing a clear coat to finish it off.

And, the usual assortment of projects!


29 May 2017

SCW tanks, part 3

The kit building continues!

Here is the next FT-17:

Sorry for the poor pic, but black plastic does not photograph very well.  Here is a test fit for FT #2, along with the next FT's tracks for some reason.  I have cut out the turret doors so I can place a TC figure in the turret.  

The TC will come from one of the fine selection of 20mm tanks crews from Eureka:

French AFV crewmembers

Early war German tank crew

Soviet AFV crew

Soviet AFV crew pack #2

For the French-built tanks for my Republican forces, I will be using the French crew figures, and Soviet figures for the Soviet-supplied tanks.  I have no definite proof, but it makes sense, to me at least, to use the same nationality crew for the tank.  Uniforms might not be exactly the same colors, especially for the FT-17 crews, but the headgear should be similar.

Now that the first set of FT-17's are being worked upon, I started the first of my Nationalist tanks:

One sprue has all of the parts on these simplified kits.  Two turrets are included, one for the standard twin-MG Panzer 1 and one for the field-modified turret with a 20mm cannon.

Here is a quick shot of the tank park now:

Three FT-17's in various stages of completion, and one Panzer 1a.  The panzer is completely assembled, although the turret is not glued down, and I might add some details before painting.  The second FT shows how the TC will be added to the tank - I just need to make some new doors.  The third FT is awaiting some more attention although the hull is done.  As a significant amount of the hull is covered by the tracks on the FT-17, I am leaving final assembly until painting is nearly complete.


23 May 2017

SCW tanks, part 2

Well now, a line has been drawn in the sand...  Over at his fine blog  20mm and then some, Gunbird has declared a month of kit building, aiming for a kit a day until June 21.  And, I wandered into his trap!  Now, getting 30 kits done in a month seems to be out of reach for me, but it is a nice dose of impetus to finally get myself into gear after the recent slump.

Right off the bat, I worked on that first 1/72 Minairons FT-17 that was half-finished so long ago:

Here it is now, with some weathering and track detail.  The tracks are not yet finished, with some more rust to be added.  The weathering was an experiment using Golden High-Flow acrylics.  The paints are just fine, but I mixed them with an airbrush extender that was glossy (and sticky even after more than 24 hrs).  I expect that the little guy will look much better after some dull coat.

One last test fit:

It is not quite finished - the exhaust needs some work, and I want to add some slogans to the hull or turret.  Those should have been painted on before weathering (decals also), but it is a learning curve and it will be all right in the end.

And moving along:

Two more FT-17's have been started.  Actual time for completion - might be some time as I have some ideas that I want to try with the turrets, but the hull will make progress.


21 May 2017

Infinity, part 2

Hot on the heels of the planning discussions with my sons, I placed a couple of orders for some more Infinity goodness.  The first of those packages arrived a week or so ago, and here are the contents:

After looking at faction troop lists, and hearing my sons discuss their own factions, I decided that some reinforcements were needed.  Zoe is a hacker, which seems to be very important in Infinity, as hackers are, in a fashion, the ECM/ECCM units of the game.  Intruders are a type of medium infantry - a bit more armor and firepower than the usual troops.  And 'Fat Yuan Yuan' is a special character, a mercenary weapon of mass consumption.  He is infatuated with getting his next meal from Lo Pan's Noodle Hut!  And yes, the box he comes in is shaped like a Asian take-out container...

One more box was in this group:

This Support Pack contains a medic (Daktari) and an Engineer (another hacker) along with their helper bots.

At this point, I think that I have plenty of figures to start.  I have seen some interesting special characters and units that I might try to get, but after that I should be set for a long time.  My force is not quite balanced, but I am not concerned with that as I am just going to play as I can with my crazy set-up.

The second package - some goodies from Antenociti's Workshop - has yet to arrive, stuck in Customs I suspect.

To go with all of these figures, I had to purchase some more of this:

The last tube I had went thick and not-very-sticky in the long period of time since I needed it.


22 April 2017

Infinity - another project!

A few weeks ago, my oldest son was telling me about one of his new gaming projects.  He and some of his friends had taken a shining to Infinity by Corvus Belli, a game of high-tech futuristic skirmishes.  He asked if I might be interested, and I replied "perhaps."

Next time I see him, he brings me this:

Could there be some miniatures in there?

Oh yes.  He had purchased a starter set for Infinity, and this is the half of the miniatures he did not want.  Infinity miniatures are lovely, finely sculpted and cast in 28mm. 

And a few more.  The pack on the left was included in the starter set as some sort of exclusive, and I purchased the ones on the right and center.  These are very definitely premium miniatures, with a premium price tag.  It is a good thing that it is only a skirmish game!

So, a new project begins.  This is the first project that we - my sons and I - have collaborated on since our 40K days.  And now that my youngest has been transferred from Kentucky to JBLM, we will have some gaming time together, at least until he is sent overseas again.


14 April 2017

1/72 Zvezda Soviets for SCW

With an eye towards having more variety for my Spanish Civil War Republican forces, I purchased these:

I had never owned a kit from Zvezda before, but at roughly $4 a box I thought that the risk was minimal.

Inside the box of Militia, one finds:

Two sprues of figures, an instruction sheet for assembly, and a data card for Zvezda's own WW2 game, Art of Tactic.  Right off the bat, I was struck by two things:  first, there are only five figures in the box; and second, the production values are quite high.  The figures are free of flash and mold lines, and the weapons are right to scale.  Unfortunately, this makes the rifles, and the bayonets especially, quite fragile as they are very slender.

Still, they are a useful purchase and look like they will fit right in with my Minairons figures.  Conversions are already being planned.  The female figure has a PPsh SMG, but I think that I might leave it as is.  One of the male figures (on the left-most sprue) appears to have a Molotov cocktail, but he is holding it by the neck of the bottle and upside down.  He might be converted to a dinamitero, or the bottle will just be rearranged in his hand.

In the second box:

Two identical sprues, two data cards, and instructions.  Each sprue has a two-man MMG crew and their Maxim MMG.  The figures and MMG are beautifully made, and will be quite useful for the Republican cause.  I do plan to make head swaps with them, as the Soviet helmet will not look quite right and I have a selection of Minairons heads for the job.


08 April 2017

Painting table, April 2017

Life goes on.  Although there are still a myriad of details to oversee, I put a bit of time into getting the hobby table straightened out.

A while ago, it looked like this:

This photo was taken in mid October of last year, just before my lovely wife made her first visit to hospital.  Lots of stuff going on there, and my then-new Vallejo paint set for tank details is out front.

Hobby space is now storage space as I prepped for a homecoming that never happened.  Everything is crammed together, but you can see a couple of additions - new lights and paint storage racks that were very cheaply sourced from Amazon.

The clean slate.

And, how the table looks now, ready and waiting.

Besides getting back to painting, I have set myself a couple of goals.  One is to get back to reading and commenting on other blogs.  I use Feedly to keep track of blogs, but with thousands of posts from the blogs I follow I just deleted them over the past few months; it was just a bit overwhelming.  But, I am trying to fix that.  Second is to post more often, weekly perhaps.  This might include non-gaming content - if you are not interested in that sort of thing please just skip past it.  Also included will be notice of posts on my other blogs, like this one:   Threwdish Ways


Let's try again

After quite some time, I have found myself a copy of this:

This is the fourth (or maybe fifth) book set in the Monster Blood Tattoo setting.  Not easily available in the US, I found one for a reasonable price on Abebooks.

Perhaps this will be a catalyst for this old project!

04 April 2017


It is a continuing process, but I am getting to the point of being able to do some hobby work again, other than dreaming up new projects...

Pics later on!


14 March 2017


Thank you for all of the comments on my previous post.  They are a great comfort to us.

Hopefully, I can get to some sort of hobby output in the near future!


07 March 2017

Slings and arrows

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

Ah, one of the great passages from The Great Bard, and my lovely wife's favorite.  For the longest time, we had lived in a way that dodged all, or at least most, of those missiles of ill will.  But, sometimes one can not always dodge misfortune...

Just over a week ago, my lovely wife breathed her last.

In October of last year, she was stricken by waves of small but terrifyingly debilitating strokes.  These infarcts left her unable to stand or to walk or to talk.  Communication was only possible by blinking answers to questions that could be answered in 'yes' or 'no'.  She was still able to hear and to see.

And in the months that followed, she put up a valiant defense.  Progress, however slight, was seen as therapists worked with her and she started to regain some small control over her jaw, tongue, neck, and lips.  In a memorable moment, she ever so gently laughed at me.  

But, her opponent was relentless.  More strokes followed, along with a severe pressure ulcer in her sacral area.  And, just before New Years, she was sent back to hospital with pneumonia, a two week stay which left her in a weakened state.

Even allies turned their backs.  In December, I received letters that no American wants nor deserves - our insurance had started to deny claims.  Fortunately, Medicaid stepped in at last.

February commenced with her opponent's final assault.  Outpatient treatment of the pressure sore failed, and surgical debridement of the area showed an insidious infection - MRSA.  A second procedure and large doses of antibiotics kept the infection in check, but her previously weakened condition left her with no reserves with which to recover.  Her daughter and I gently but repeatedly asked her if she wanted to come home, and what exactly that would entail, and she answered yes to all variants of the proposal.  But, she never made it to home hospice care.

She was a woman of tremendous talent and secret fears.  She was a wife, mother, sister, USAF veteran, artist, activist, and gamer.

She was my best friend, and I miss her terribly.