Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Monday 24 March 2014

The Challenge wind down.

The Analogue Hobbies Winter painting challenge has finally come to an end, so a little round up of how it went. But first off a big call all out to Captain Curt for keeping the ship on track (including coping with the fall out of Spidergate) and coping with running with it all. Second to the challengers for the fun and banter and votes of confidence and comments of encouragement as well as creating a huge library of eye-candy.

To Loki and Kev , who turned out a mountain of lead to a great standard to claim 1st and 2nd place - well done guys.

 My final entry was a present for Curt - "The Mountie" who will be making an appearance on the mean streets of "Serenity" along with Curt at our meet up in May at the Spring Blog Con. Will "Miss Lilly" turn him into "wet sauerkraut"? Will Stumpy be able to control himself with that shotgun?

I started the challenge with a fairly low target , going for 600 points , because I was in a bit of a painting funk, and not really sure that I would be able to deliver on. Over the last year I had moved away from painting large units to more single character figures. The lead pile was sitting taunting me.

The new man cave was set up and I started well as I knew I had until early January before work and other commitments really reduced painting time - I was able to complete some easy entries.

 The Mexican for the new town of  "Nueva Tranquilidad"- one of the upcoming summer terrain projects

A personal favourite of mine the "Wu" family - even more so as they appear to be out of production now

The U.S Cavalry

The Dalton gang

The bonus rounds were an interesting take on things for this year , I was able to get an entry into every one of them - although I felt some of my early entries were just to meet the criteria rather than any real extra effort.

Now I thought I was being cheeky submitting camels as "ships of the desert" in a "caravan" to the vehicle round - i got away with that nicely thanks to Spidergate!!

The arrival of Xmas brought some interesting 54mm cowboys which I really wanted to paint - I was enjoying painting again.

I really enjoyed doing these first 54mm - a step up in effort and skill required - a real challenge

Before I knew it my 600 point target was up - mind still beaten to it by Fran - I owe you a figure my friend!!
My mojo was well and truly back on track

Nearly two months to go and I had nothing else even remotely prepared. What to paint? well I thought what the hell lets go big! The best part of two years ago I had previously de-sprued 10 boxes of Perry Mahdists. There was a pile of Sudan lead to hand too. It was a mad week of assembly and glue fumes. Out with the airbrush, 236 figures to do.

I just stuck on some music and worked end to end - there were 7 colours used max.

 236 figures down in just over 3 weeks, now that propelled my towards to the top. Blimey i needed more figures! 

Ah hell lets do some more Mahdists 



A Mahdist army created in about 6 weeks! result.

I also continued with the 54mm goodness for bonus entries

I was particularly pleased to take top spot on the Favourite character round - trust "The Duke" to deliver the goods.

Butch and Sundance placed second in the " Last Stand" making Millsy sweat on his first place!

So overall I came in 3rd with just under 3000 points! almost 5 times my initial estimate.I have really enjoyed the winter painting season it has been really fruitful.

And it was great to end it with the first games of the year last weekend.

Time for some new projects!

Sunday 23 March 2014

A Call to Muster show

Yesterday saw the second outing of a local show "A Call to Muster" in Middlesbrough. I took the opportunity to take along the Old West collection and put on a participation game on the mean streets of Serenity - in fact my first games of the year. For simplicity I ran a few games of the 3.10 from Serenity scenario as I had not had a while load of time to work through some new ones so far this year. A couple of great games were had.

The lighting in the hall is very poor , giving a horrible yellow hue , which my limited photoshop skills can't fully correct. But here are some shots of the day

 Its all quiet in town

 The sheriff is looking our for trouble down at the miners camp
 The bounty hunter dodges the lawmen, the Pinkertons and Cowboys , and leads his prisoner down an alleyway heading for the train out of town
 But , no - It results in a 3 way ambush , the Bounty hunter , fells a Pinkerton behind him, then another wounded by him falls from the water tower - the Doctors attempt at aid only serving to send him on the way to St Peter. Another Pinkerton snuck up behind , and attempted to fill him full of lead, some shocking shooting , and out of ammo. It looked like the Bounty Hunter might get away. He heard a "click" and spun round to see the prisoners brothers hiding at the corner of a building - the gun pointed at him unleashed a hail of rounds - and down he went, A Fatal Gutshot - one of only 3 cards in the deck that the Bounty Hunters toughness could not reduce the effect of. The prisoner took the opportunity to pick up a gun and legged it away with his brother!

Interestingly there were a number of different re-enactment groups there. I took an opportunity to have a close look at the guys from the 7th Cavalry

Not much in the way of purchases tempted me. I have enough stuff to be getting on with in the lead pile. But i did pick up a new set of painted made by Scale75from Northumbrian Tin Soldier. So i will do a review when i have used them

Thursday 20 March 2014

Sudan - The Desert Column part 1

Back to the Sudan and here we have the start of the colonial forces.

  A decent amount of camels for the logistical tail

 Mostly Connoisseur

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid

So with the painting challenge.drawing to a conclusion Curt had set a special "Last Stand" (visit the GALLERY and cast your vote) bonus round. As the challenge had started with a cinematic theme I wanted to try and stick to that. I had thought of a few colonial type ideas , but kept being drawn back to the Western genre. I had thought about The Alamo as one option, but did not find 28mm figures I was happy with. Having found a rich vein of 54mm goodness while browsing I came across the Andrea Miniatures Butch & Sundance - once I saw them I knew that would be it.

They are based on individual but interlocking bases so they can be posed. They are another wonderfully sculpted and cast set. There is so much movement about them. I did find these a challenge to paint and get to standard I was happy with , so it was fun, and I am still learning something about painting 54mm. Something mounted next I think.

I still have a few more items to drop into the main challenge  to try and maintain momentum to the end.

Saturday 15 March 2014

Paint Table Saturday

Well its come around again

Its been a fairly quiet week , just clearing off some bits n bobs ready fro some new projects. I should get most of it finished tomorrow and submitted to the paint challenge

I also received these palm tress i ordered from a company in China. 20 for £7.50 free delivery, They look just the job to me and will be used in some terrain projects for the Sudan coming up 

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Consumer Affairs

I really needed a stock up of a lot of items.  My nearest real proper model shops are 50 miles away and are mainly radio control , railway , and some plastic kits , they don't carry a number of items I would buy from them if I could. I do try to support them when I can, but in reality the on-line trade now gets almost all my hobby funds with some odd purchases at shows. I wonder now how we would cope without the internet providing us swift and easy access to a whole range of suppliers , there seems to new ones appearing all the time.

I have been making a number of purchases with the "hobby" fund over the last week,so I thought I would rate the offering and "customer experience".

So I am interested in your "customer experience" Who are your favourite suppliers? and what frustrates you most about ordering on line?

Marks of 10  - 0 is p@ss poor ... 10 the dogs bollox
Website - ease of use - pictures etc
Order & Check out process
Speed of Delivery
Would use again rating

All of these orders were placed on Thursday 27th Feb

Purchased - MDF laser cut bases , sabot trays.
Website  I find it does not display properly sometimes on my tablet device with some links overlapping which makes it a little more fiddly than it could be. But in no way a show stopper   - Score 9/10
Order & Check out process - has a registration process - and I have had issues getting a password reset meaning I have two accounts. Score  7/10
Communications - on ordering and on shipping - 10/10
Packaging - Well packaged - 10/10
Speed of Delivery - given this was sent as "second class" it arrived on the 1st of March! 10/10
Would use again rating - Most definitely 10/10
Total score - 55/60

Purchased , Aerosol varnish , and paints "hazardous" substance for delivery
 Website - plenty of pictures, good range and search options - 10/10
Order & Check out process - Registration process  and shopping cart worked fine 10/10
Communications - on ordering and on shipping and from carrier with delivery time slot- 10/10
Packaging - Given the "hazardous" nature I expected a bit more than a jiffy bag - but it did the job..8/10
Speed of Delivery - Arrived on Monday the 3rd of March exactly on its notified timeslot - 10/10
Would use again rating - Most definitely 10/10
Total Score  58/60

Antenocitis Workshop
Purchased , basing material , tufts. glues.
Website - ease of use - pictures etc - I don't find it the easiest to use and the drop downs did not work at all well on the tablet which made it a bit slow. Good pictures of the products , and "In stock" label - 6/10
Order & Check out process- Registration process  and shopping cart worked fine 10/10
Communications - on ordering - but not on on dispatch  6/10
Packaging - decent cardboard box with a large "do not crush" sticker on it. 10/10
Speed of Delivery - 2nd class recorded - it arrived on Saturday 1/3 - 10/10
Would use again rating- Possibly 7/10
Total Score 49/60

Historex Agents
Purchased , 54mm figures

Website ease of use -Its certainly not the best - its seems ok just if you know what you are looking for. It does have a search option. I don't find it the easiest to use. Pictures of most products  6/10
Order & Check out process- Registration process  and shopping cart worked fine 10/10
Communications - on ordering and dispatch. 10/10
Packaging - decent jiffy bag , figures were in cardboard inside too. 10/10
Speed of Delivery - 1st class royal mail  it arrived on Friday 28th , they are incredibly good at turning orders around. - 10/10
Would use again rating- Possibly 10/10 
Total Score 56/60

Bicorne Miniatures
Purchased , 28mm figures
Website ease of use -It has to rank as one of the worst out there. You need to know what you are looking for.Pictures of limited number of  products 2/10
Order & Check out process- Registration process  and shopping cart worked fine 10/10
Communications - on ordering and dispatch.  10/10
Packaging - decent jiffy bag , figures were in bubble wrap inside too. 10/10
Speed of Delivery - 1st class royal mail  it arrived on Thursday 6th March, overall this felt really slow compared to the other others - but it was still only a week! - 8/10
Would use again rating- Possibly 7/10 
Total Score 47/60


Monday 10 March 2014

Mahdist Cavalry

I have finished up the cavalry elements for the Mahdist forces required for my 2nd El Teb battle. These are made up of 12 Baggara Cavalry and 6 more Beja Camel to add the 6 I already have.

These are all Perry figures. I must say the standard of casting was awful , with lots of worms and lines and some pitting. If I had not had some of them so long in the lead pile I would have sent them back.

On the Baggara I replaced the "chocolate fireguard" bendy spears supplied with the casting with some piano wire one that I shaped the end of into a point and then soldered them in to the riders hands.

I have also completed another leader for them as well

So that's the hard work done for the Sudan - the masses of the Mahdists. Time to move to some colonials .Now of course the 9th Bengal Lancers Hodson's horse were not at El Teb , but i fancy doing something a bit interesting as well. So i am going to be using Peter Gilder figures here - the Connoisseur range ones and doing some full on conversions on the units.

so here is a starter, the soldering iron has been out again. The one on the left is the original casting