Friday, 31 July 2015

The Kelly Gang

I recently painted up a a bunch of "Dead Man's Hand Down Under" miniatures for a customer. The figures are 28mm from Great Escape Games. First up I present the Kelly Gang - I don't know which one is meant to be Ned, perhaps someone will spot the difference in his armour or something?
Although they are all dressed in a similar fashion, I have endeavoured to paint their long coats and trousers in different colours/tones. I'm pleased with how they turned out, and they were fun to paint.
More Bushrangers and State Troopers will follow in future posts.








Saturday, 18 July 2015

More Moderns & Two Games in One Day

A bunch more 28mm Moderns that I painted as part of my commission work:

 








Two Games in One Day

I can't remember the last time I played two wargames in one day - usually I only get in about three tabletop wargames in an entire year!
During the week I visited my friend James and we did a test drive of Neil Thomas's "One Hour Wargames". It really does do what it says on the cover - a fast play wargame. Now if anyone is looking for a simulation style wargame, this is probably not for you, but if you enjoy a fast and  furious scenario based wargame, then this could be something you'd enjoy.
Our first game was a WW2 game using 1/72 figures and AFVs on a round dining table that was about 4' x 4'. The rules give a game that plays with a high level of abstraction, is simple to pick up, and definitely gives a result. That's another thing actually- so many of the games I've played over the years never seem to run to the "end", we usually run out of time. This scenario I played as the British in a defensive game, having to hold onto two objectives.
The second game James & I broke out our 15mm Napoleonics for a delaying action scenario. This was a very near run thing, coming down to final dice rolls and my British just managing to hold on in the town. Again, the rules were nice and simple, and we even used the random force generators found in the book.
Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera, so I have no pictures for you - James took a bunch of pictures which hopefully he will be posting on his blog in due course.
To my mind, the strengths of "One Hour Wargames" are the very simple rules which are great for "pick-up" games, and the many scenarios that come with the book.

UPDATE.....
James has now done battle reports and further review here: https://wargamespavilion.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/one-hour-wargames-double-feature-aar/

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Being friends with painting "Failures" & getting inspiration

Well this blog is called Jacksarge's Wargames Ramblings , but I don't tend to do much "rambling", mostly I stick up pictures of completed work. Today, I thought I would have a brief ramble about painting related stuff - painting & aesthetics are two of the biggest interests I have in this hobby after all.

I recently read a cool forum post on the Reaper Forum that linked to this excellent illustrated rambling HERE.
This is really aimed at creative stuff but can easily be applied to all sorts of endeavours in life.
Basically it's encouraging people to "have a go", try something new, and don't beat yourself up because it doesn't look "right" first time - or maybe not for a long time :-)

I think it's great to develop your own techniques for painting miniatures, building models, stuff like that. Sometimes we can get hung up on being a painting clone of someone else like Kevin Dallimore, Steve Dean, James Wappell....insert name of painter whose work you admire. I have tried to learn new stuff from these guys, and have tried those things out with varying levels of "success". This sort of stuff has helped to morph my painting from where it was in the 70's when Military Modelling Magazine was my only source of inspiration, to where it is now as a codger in his late 40's.

I find that it's not only looking at the wonderful work of others on the internet, magazines & books which helps stoke the creative fires, but also the materials. I do get excited by materials, I have to curb my paint purchasing habit- I really like paint, all those little bottles and pots lined up in their colours groupings or perhaps triads.....Brushes are something that I like to have a lot of too, in a variety of shapes sizes & materials. I recently purchased a few filbert brushes after listening to & watching videos of James Wappell in action with them- a very handy tool to have in the arsenal.
The point is, that these new materials have made me want to try out new things, or re-visit old things that I may have bungled previously.

A Snapshot of my painting area

More Paint! These are my Reaper cases.

Brushes and stuff...

I find that inspiration for painting miniatures doesn't just have to come from Wargames Illustrated, WSS, or MW- I get it from all sorts of places. It pays to cast your net a bit wider than the usual historical miniature wargames forums & media. I've found lots of inspiration from the studio painters who paint insanely beautiful display pieces like seen in this type of magazine: http://www.figurepaintermagazine.co.uk/
The scale modelling community, the model railway community, fine art - all have given me ideas.
Friends also have given me nudges in certain directions- an old wargaming mate of mine, James, many years ago introduced me to the ideas behind glazing as used by the old masters in 2D art.
Having a little bit of fine art training in my background has also helped me to realise that I don't need to buy all my materials from The Army Painter etc., there's actually a lot of really cool & useful stuff at the art & craft shop.

I think that I have a lot more to say about this subject- and as my friends can attest, I can drift into lengthy monologues if I don't check myself :-)
So what do you folk think, has "failure been your friend" in this hobby? Where do you get your inspiration for painting & creating stuff? Does seeing the amazing work of others sometimes paralyse you like a rabbit caught in the headlights?
It would be great to hear what you have to say.

All the very best,
John.
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