Sunday, 25 October 2015

Off the Painting Table (Oct 2015); part 2

My experiments using the Kings of War rules forced me to rediscover a box of old fantasy figures that I had acquired second–hand over the years, that has lain unloved and forgotten in the attic. The good news was that they are largely unpainted and therefore my painting stocks were suddenly increased. I had previously thought my stock of unpainted lead was very low, but I was not inspired about what to buy next. If I don’t have a painting project on the go, I tend to become restless and make foolish purchasing decisions!


After completing the intricate uniforms of my Napoleonic British Hussars, I needed something light-hearted to paint, so Goblins seemed a good choice. Normally I paint 28mm figures in small batches of 1-2 dozen figures, but for some reason I decided to paint all 60+ Night Goblins as a single batch! Also, contrary to my opinion that fantasy figures can use any colour palette, I decided to stick with the ‘traditional’ GW palette (just in case I wish to sell these figures on).


I am happy with the final results, and must admit to enjoying painting these characterful, cartoonish figures. The black cloaks were a pain to paint: Black cloth is always problematic, the Wargames Foundry 3-tone scheme for black comes out too grey, so I used a panzer grey on a black undercoat. This gives the right dark appearance whilst the ragged nature of the cloth is still clear. The strange thing with these figures is that they only come ‘alive’ once the red eyes and white teeth are painted in, up until this point they looked rather bland. Also painting the bases really helps because these dark figures need the contrast with a lighter base. The only thing I’m disappointed about is the dark blue used on the banner, a brighter mid-blue would have been better.
I think the next figures to be painted will be some more Goblins, this time riding giant spiders! It is strange because I’m still not ‘convinced’ about the fantasy genera, but I will ride with it until a new historical bug bites!

Boardgame session: 22Oct2015 visited my sister to help with half-term, and this gave us an opportunity to play RoboRally, which I gave Erin for her birthday. I was a bit nervous about this game because it seems that players either like or hate it. I think the key is a person’s special awareness skills, and we predicted that my brother-in-law, Paul, would be good at the game. Erin, Elaine and I played a 3-player game in the afternoon, primarily to learn the rules, which are fairly simple. In the evening we played a 5-player game, and sure enough Paul excelled by reaching the 2nd marker first. He did this even after having to power-down for repairs, only to be shunted into a laser beam which totally nullified his strategy and wasted a couple of turns. The game plays fast due to the timer, which prevents analysis-paralysis, but takes a surprisingly long time to complete. Paul had to retire to bed at this point, but the rest of us carried on. I finally reached the second marker and then rapidly moved to the 3rd winning marker. Erin was hot on my heels whilst Elaine seemed to be stuck in her own world unable to progress even to the 1st marker but judging from the laughter she was enjoying herself. At the end of the game we were all buzzing and agreed that it was a lot of fun. This is a game that needs to be light-hearted and the competitive nature of players needs to be muted. The more players the better because this increases the interaction element, and the course needs to be short with potential bottle-necks. The final verdict was “Hit”, and we can see this being played again over the Christmas period particularly after a few glasses of wine!

Erin and I also played a 2-player game of Forbidden Island. I was surprised how difficult the game becomes with only 2 players! Your hand limit means that you can only effectively target 2 of the 4 objectives initially, and therefore, you need to work your way through the deck twice to succeed. Meanwhile your limited manpower restricts your ability to prevent the island sinking. We played the ‘normal’ level game, and had only collected 2 objectives before the island sank (actually Fools Landing sank) which lost us the game. I certainly think the restriction on the number of cards in a players hand needs to be lifted is playing with only 2 players.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Off the Painting Table (Oct 2015)

Last month I painted some Perry French Napoleonic Dragoons to use in games of Sharp Practice. I now needed to paint their British counterparts, the Hussars.

I have not painted Hussars for many years and had forgotten how flamboyant their uniforms are, so much lace, piping and cords! I have not painted anything so intricate since the large Perry samurai armies I purchased a decade ago. This time I had only 14 figures to do rather than the 100’s of samurai, which left me drained by the end. I have not wanted to paint another Japanese figure since!

I choose to paint these figures as the 15th Hussars purely on the basis of the red shakos which are so distinctive.


The sculpting on the figures is so good that every loop detail is so clear that it has to be picked out and highlighted. I must admit that I’m very pleased with the results and cannot wait to get them on the table (where they will face disaster like all my newly painted units do!).


I think my Sharp Practice forces are now nearly complete. I am tempted to add some Spanish and Portuguese units, but these can wait.