Thursday, February 24, 2011

Regimental Fire and Fury

Regimental Fire and Fury was released last year and I've just got around to ordering it do to first trying to clear my project loads, but have given in and decided to order it. I was going to wait until next year, but I really can't! I'll talk more about the game, but first I want to give some background on this period and what it means to me.
If some of you were curious as to what is my favourite period in history is, then the answer is the American Civil War. It's the period I've studied and read the most about in my life.
I was first introduced to the American Civil War when I was about 12 years old perusing a friend of my Fathers home library while visiting, who just happened to be a history teacher btw and grabbed the nearest book out of boredom. As fate would have it, I happened to take arguably the single greatest volume written on the subject by the greatest Civil War historian ever in my opinion for it's broad appeal. The book was The American Heritage Picture History of The Civil War by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Bruce Catton.

I remember I was fascinated by the fantastic map pictures of battles in action and the massive wealth of wonderful pictures. This caused me to be curious what this was all about. Now comes the brilliance of the author in that he was able to write in manner that was both understandable for a youth and to capture his interest while at the same time provide an overview that satisfies an adult reader as well.
I read the book several times and continued to read other books on the subject from time to time.

The next event was when I was about 20+ years ago when I saw Ken Burns documentary The Civil War and that just blew me away.

Not only is this the greatest film documentary ever made on the American Civil War I personally think it was greatest film documentary ever made period with The World in Flames coming in a close second. Let's just say at this point I couldn't get enough of this period and began reading other works from Catton(more in depth works of his) and also Foote another fantastic historian who btw was featured in this very film.

It was at this point I first started Military wargaming using rules. My first set of rules was using Fire and Fury in 15mm using old glory miniatures. They revolutionized wargaming colour book formatting and had me drooling over it. The rules themselves are and still are best ever written for this period.

I've been playing the game ever since. Some of you may be asking why haven't we seen your mini's for this? The truth is I painted these miniatures so long ago that the painting is just awful and needs to be redone and really not worth posting. Also, I'm not that keen on painting 15mm any more as 25/28mm is my preferred scale and where I'm most happy these days. True, I do still do some 15mm, but on a much reduced miniature count and nothing like the vast amounts you need to play Brigade level F&F and so I'll just keep using my old stuff.

Now that you know some background you will understand why I'm so excited Regimental Fire & Fury has been released.......I can now use my favourite rules in 25/28mm!!Yes!!!! I know other rule sets have been released for this scale, but I wanted F & F which I knew was being play tested. I plan on using Perry and the older Foundry range. Expect to see in the future quite a bit of ACW coming up on this blog! I still intend to do most of my planned projects, but ACW could very well slip in this year at some point and no question feature regularly in the following years.
I'll discuss more about the rules themselves in another post. Until then keep your powder dry and thanks for reading.:-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Palin (Zombie Survivor)

GRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....Vroooooom.....Yes! It's still got gas in it!
I really like this figure as I do most all of Hasselfree miniatures. A kid with a chainsaw..... Oh dear is what comes to us parents minds, but still admittedly funny on a fantasy only basis and a must have figure. When I first looked at the miniature what came to mind was a kid in hunting clothes even if that wasn't what the designer had in mind. I've always thought it amusing when hunters put on camouflage clothes and then bright orange jackets and caps defeating the whole purpose in one go. I understand why they have the bright orange stuff is to avoid being shot by other hunters, but what I don't understand is the camouflage clothes. Maybe, it's just for their mind set.

The other thing you may have noticed is a lack of gore that would obviously come from using this shredder on zombies, but truth be told while I do think a kid with a chainsaw is a fun model and cool, I'm personally not comfortable covering children in blood and so no blood. For me the image I have is he was being chased by zombies and found this in the back of a truck just in time and happy it works as he starts the chainsaw in exultation.

More zombie stuff to follow and thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Hasselfree Miniatures

Monday, February 14, 2011

Zombies #1 and #2

This is my first crack at painting post apocalyptic zombies or modern zombies. These guys have been an experiment in several ways, this being painting zombie flesh and blood which I have little experience and last is full up painting without using any black lining. For anyone who hasn't painted blood, it's much more difficult then one would think I've discovered. Like I mentioned, blood is a tricky one to paint and I needed to do some research in how to go about it. The thing with blood is colour and amount to be applied is very much a judgement thing and so trial and error are the order of the day. Another thing I found difficult when painting blood is a psychological one in that applying it over areas you just carefully painted is nerve racking as you really don't want to mess up!
The first few zombies will be the Hasselfree generic zombies as I work out flesh tones and blood, before moving on to their character zombies with the idea being if I mess these up I won't be too disappointed.
This first zombie above is a pretty nice sculpt for a generic zombie and looks as if he has been well and truly chewed on before becoming a zombie and so he is pretty bloody. I don't like to put on as much blood as possible on a model, but rather only as much as the model demands to make it convincing. The result on this guy went pretty well for a first time I think and so I'm happy, but still more to learn of course.
In regards to flesh tones I first wanted to start with a greenish flesh and later  try some blueish ones on another set. I don't like the zombies with flesh tones so green they look more like green aliens then dead flesh and resolved to take it easy on the green. However, I think his flesh came out a bit too "healthy" and so on the next zombie coming up I added a bit more green.

No black lining works for this period I think and so I'll continue that method for the rest of the zombie project.

This next zombie above isn't a very good sculpt which is not normally the case for Hasselfree miniatures as they usually have excellent sculpts,that said  this model is still worth owning. One thing I noticed was that blood doesn't look as effective on darker clothing as it's more difficult to show the transitions in colour blood undertakes. In the future I'll use more light colours when appropriate.
I added a bit more green to this ones flesh, but still noticed I need to a little more and so on the next "green" zombie as I've come to identify them in type I'll add more.
The bases are asphalt street colour with some grass/weeds growing through the cracks. I'll leave the more detailed bases for zombie survivors.
Thanks for viewing !
Miniature Company- Hasselfree Miniatures

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Let's talk about paint bottles

I was going through my paints yesterday evening(I have over 400+bottles of Vallejo,Foundry GW etc.) and confirmed my long standing suspicion of the quality of the GW bottles as progressively worse for the most part except their foundation paints. I must have threw away about 30 bottles of paint in which many were never used as they were all dried up! Needless to say I was less then pleased as I did pay for them at some point after all.
Nowadays, I use Vallejo more often as my paint of choice as well as Foundry, but I also do still use GW paints as well and this is why I'm doing a little rant on them. I know they often have complaints heaped on them, but they usually deserve it with their prices on their products and paint bottle quality.
This has prompted me to talk about the quality of the paint bottles I have and give an opinion on them.I'm not talking too much about the paints themselves, but will add some comments on it, however the focus will be the bottles. I as always welcome all other thoughts on this and will modify the post when things are brought up I didn't think of. :-)

The above first generation GW in the soft plastic bottles and lids. The pigment is a bit too thin and getting the tops off is a bit of a pain and not user friendly. Also, if you didn't watch out you could knock over the bottle and watch your paint run, but on the plus side the paint will last for years and years. Most of these bottles I've had since the early to mid 90's! Since I'll gladly give up user friendly for my paints not drying up these get a  thumbs up.

Second Generation GW paints in a slightly harder bottle and soft lid. Same analysis as the first generation and so a thumbs up overall.

Third Generation GW paints and probably the worst ever over all . Ok, here they did improve the pigmentation, but that's it folks. The top was a royal pain to open after excess paint would eventually dry it shut. The paint in the bottle dried up soon after opening and eventually would dry up even if you didn't open the bottle! Being messy and knocking them over also something to deal with. Frustration and loss of money on this.These type of bottles made you think GW bottled them in these just so you would have to continue buying more on a regular basis. Two very big thumbs down!

Forth Generation GW paints.Not much better then the third.Only better because the lid doesn't dry shut, but even that's not much better, because it drips down onto the lid when you open it ruining what little seal you do get from these bottles. So, almost a carbon copy of the 3rd generation giving it a two big thumbs down.

These GW Foundation bottles are a big improvement over the others with very nice pigmentation and user friendly. They went back to the soft bottle and lid which no doubt has prolonged the shelf life of these quite a bit, but for some reason still not as long as the original bottles, but diffidently a substantial improvement.. Why they don't put the standard colours into these bottles as well is anybody's guess.Still need to be careful not to knock them over. These do rate a nice thumbs up though.


These Armoury paints are nice with good pigmentation and quite a bit of paint for your money which is a real bonus. However, the bottle isn't very nice. The lid can be a real bastard to open when the paint dries around the rim and the glass bottle can give you an ugly accident if it breaks making you nervous when using and storing. Easy to knock over do to being too long and tall which is not good. Because of the bottle it gets a thumbs down. I haven't purchased paints from them in quite awhile and so they may have changed the bottles since then.

Ral Partha makes a very nice paint with good pigmentation, a healthy amount of paint for your money and the bottles are in a nice soft plastic. The problem is the lid in that when it dries these can be super hard to open and will give you a few choice words when trying to open it. Also, like many must be careful not to knock over. Still, overall a thumbs up.

Tamiya paints are a real pain in the behind and I wouldn't use them if for not the fact that they can give some really awesome results on some things. These paints really are for modellers and not wargamers as they are very unfriendly paints. Some of the positive in these paints is the excellent shelf life,plenty of paint for money and some super realistic results be can achieved with these, and is resistant to being knocked over due to a wide base. Now for the negative........they smell terrible, dry quickly out of the bottle and the lid can be a pain to open when paint dries on the seal , in addition the glass bottle can be nasty if it breaks. Also, your brushes must be thoroughly cleaned after using these paints or they will be destroyed.  Based on the bottle and the difficulty in using the paints  it  receives an over all thumbs down. Basically, I use these for very specific things and that's it.

Howard Hues paints have nice pigmentation and have some great colours for the American Civil War period. Wide base gives resistance to being knocked over as well. The problem is the lid can be difficult to open when the paint dries on the rim. They also switched from glass to plastic which I like as it reduces breakage. These deserve a thumbs up.

These are some really super paints with outstanding shelf life and superb pigmentation(at least the older releases). One of the few times I don't mind paying a lot of money for the paint.One bottle will stretch a very long time making any investment well worth it.The lid can be a bit inconvenient,but only a very little and soft bottle and top is super convenient in terms of prolonging the paint,storage and virtually shatter proof.Do need to mind being knocked over though. I use this paint a great deal and is only rivalled by the next entry coming.Two very,very big thumbs up!

Vallejo paints are in my opinion the best on the market and the brand I use progressively more and more where I can see it may become my exclusive choice of paints.The pigmentation is nothing less then superb and gives an unrivalled tonal quality. The bottle comes in the best type which is a soft plastic making it almost accident proof and offers outstanding shelf life .Another fantastic feature of these paints is the nozzle on it which allows for controlled amount of paints used and best of all the paint in the bottle is exposed to very little air when the lid is off extending the paints life even longer. Also,another huge plus for these is knocking over these babies is no sweat as the paint stays in the bottle thanks to the nozzle. I prefer the nozzle, but Vallejo also made it so you can remove the nozzles if you so desire which is thinking of all painters taste. This makes the bottle the best on the market as well. If I had to say anything negative is that once the paint is out of the bottle it tends to dry quickly and so keeping the paints on semi damp surface is needed, but this is more then off set by all the positive factors.Two thumbs way up and I mean way up folks!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mean Green Machine

I just finished painting up these Orcs for a friend of mine at the club for those curious to see what I've been up to. It's part of some of the miniatures I sold to him of my painted stuff and the rest is going on e-bay as I already have too many fantasy armies(6 still) and decided I wanted to reduce the armies to a more manageable amount and get a few coins for my hobby room renovation.
The first one is a Orc Warboss on the classic Wyvern which I think is much better model then the new one. The second one is a Orc Boar Boyz unit.Both were painted up to table top standards and my friend was happy with the result which is what counts.
A note on Fantasy battle 8th edition in that I think it's the best version since the 3rd edition.The 3rd edition was great because it was still geared primarily for adults with army composition needing to be built up requiring work on the part of the player, but allowed lots of flexibility.Any ways, back to the 8th edition. After the 7th edition I was fed up and ready to throw in the towel as I was weary of the character,magic and skirmish dominated tactics.The 8th edition now places the emphasis on units and blocks of troops with magic still being deadly,but manageable and even allows players a decent chance to win with no mages which was very unlikely in the old system unless you were Dwarf player which is self explanatory.Close combat also is much more fun with both players now getting a chance to get their punches in with a real feel for massed combat( I like to roll dice which helps too! ). But, the true strength of the 8th edition is game flow with just runs very smooth.It has it's broken parts still of course namely war machines being too strong and terrain being over simplified, but the positive IMHO out weighs the negative.
Now they just need to update the army books to work within the new system as some armies are very powerful and others hurting. Hopefully,they support this version with proper army books and not screw them up.Also, wasn't smart of GW  in letting Rick go, but now he's free for historical games which is even better! While I do like the new 8th edition WHFB, I still prefer historical wargaming if given a choice. 
Ohh, another thing in that I'm happy I already own the armies I need and so won't have to worry about buying anything from GW( shudders at the price which is still ludicrously high ) and since I don't play tournaments if I do want model or two I'll buy something similar from another company.
Ahh, now I can get back to painting my planned projects, but I might do some of my personal fantasy stuff if the mood takes me here and there.
Impetus fantasy also looks interesting, but that's only food for thought with no plans yet for it, never knows. :-)
Miniature Company- Games Workshop

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Researching and updated blog with some new gadgets

Hi everyone, just letting you know the reason for a pause in regular posting (excuse list that is).Currently I'm doing some research for a painting project where I'm trying to work out the best colour options and method of application(zombie flesh and blood) . Also,I will try an alternative painting technique on just a few miniatures to see how it goes (full painting with no black lining). Surprisingly,the research consumed more time then I thought.In addition,I've been painting up a few miniatures for a friend.
Soon, regular posting will resume with some AWI, Chaos in Cairo and Zombie material followed by more El Cid.

I've added a few more gadgets to my blog.

Blog list-For some reason of an mental brain drop I failed to add a list of the blogs I follow and this has now been corrected. I went with 10 showing to keep it user friendly,but you can just hit list all button to see all of them. The listing shown will always be by the latest updates.When viewing the complete blog list you can see it's quite a hefty amount,but I really do enjoy reading and viewing what other's are doing. :-)

Top 10 member-I thought this would be a nice way of me giving recognition to readers who currently read my blog the most. Please don't worry  if your not in there as I won't feel slighted in the least as it's just a fun gadget for interest and not to be taken overly serious. Gadjets are fun after all! :-)  Also, you have to sign in to get on the listing and this allows for persons still wanting to view my blog anonymously or unrecorded to continue to do so.When signing in just use the normal account you use for the blogging and you won't double follow,but even if you do it's not important, but just passing on the tip.

Popular Posts- Thought I'd throw that in there for those curious to see what folks are viewing the most on my blog.

Thanks for reading!