Round Two of the ten-week Lead Painters League over on Lead Adventure Forum didn’t go so well for me, but at least the Blood Bowl dwarf team my reporters lost to was full of unique figures well painted!
The 7th Lead Painters League contest continues for another eight weeks over on LAF. It’s a fantastic contest on a great forum; I compete to force myself to push my painting up a notch and get stuff painted and finished! My Round Three entry is in already and will go up over on LAF Sunday morning; Rounds Four and Six are done except for basework and photography; Round Five is going to take most of the time before it’s deadline to complete, as it’s a bonus round with a big crowd of figures to finish off! Beyond that I have enough figures in progress to cover Rounds Seven through Ten, although I’m still debating what to do for bonus points and a spectacular finish in Round Ten… wish me luck!
Much activity on my workbench this week, with a frankly intimidating number of figures under the paintbrush, along with some other stuff like a set of the luggage I got a while back.
However, given that I’ve committed to the Lead Painter’s League 7 contest for the next eight weeks or so, you’ll have to forgive the line of paint jars obscuring most of the really interesting stuff on the bench! The dragon, cave men and captive have been lurking in the back of my bench for ages, so I moved them to the front to show them off a bit! The dragon is from Reaper and probably mostly done, unless I decide it’s entirely too blue and head back to the drawing board. The cave dudes are Copplestone; their captive is from Pulp Figures. The figures in behind are from… mostly Pulp Figures, actually. You’ll have to follow my progress in the LPL over on LAF to see them sooner than here!
So Round One of Lead Adventure Forum’s Lead Painters League 7 (LPL7) painting contest has wrapped up. The (non-mandatory) bonus theme for this opening round was “Headquarters”, so I touched up some of my Russian Civil War White Russian figures from Brigade Games.
By the time this is posted the Whites will have won their round against a rather nice Second World War company HQ of French goumiers – North African colonial troops – and Round Two will have opened. You can check out the whole contest over on LAF. LPL7 is ten rounds long, so ten weeks. I’ve got Rounds One, Two & Three done and entered, but things are going to continue to be fairly quiet around here as I’m neck-deep in painting up Rounds Four through Ten!
Martin, an long-time friend who now lives in Vancouver, has been slowly posting his photos from the recent Trumpeter Salute gaming convention. As I mentioned in my writeup, he’s got a significantly fancier camera than mine, a fairly recent Canon DSLR, and he also hauled a lightweight tripod to the show, so many of his photos are really excellent.
Another semi-random collection of links to things that have caught my eye recently!
Over at BigLee’s, a nice roundup of methods of stripping paint from miniatures. Given that product availability varies around the world, it’s nice to have a fairly comprehensive guide like this; it increases everyone’s chances of finding a stripping method that is both available in your area and works with your miniatures (you can use things on metal minis that will destroy plastic!) & chosen paint. (hat tip to MinatureWargaming.com for this link!)
Ghosts of Hefei is a Kickstarter campaign for a set of gang warfare rules set in China in the 2060s, with both 28mm & 15mm gang figures planned. I’ve done a few Kickstarters, and might well be pledging for this one too… They’ve posted some shots of very nice looking 15mm figures so far. (this one is via Dropship Horizon, which should be everyone’s first stop for 15mm SF news!)
To round out this short Links of Interest, TooFatLardies are having their “Something For The Weekend, Sir?” Sale on until the 22nd of April. 20% off everything in the store… this might mean it’s finally time to snag that copy of their recent science fiction rules, Quadrant 13…
Got a nice box from J&M Miniatures earlier this week, and even before I cut the tape on the box I could smell the future… oddly enough, the future (of wargaming scenery) smells like scorched MDF. Laser-scorched MDF.
Specifically, a whole whack of 4Ground’s wagons. Corey had ordered approximately enough wagons to provide logistics for an invasion of Russia (well, OK, six…), which he might get around to showing off here at some point, and I’d tagged a single extra General Purpose wagon onto his order. I’ve previously reviewed 4Ground’s Generic Horse Cart, so it was nice to get my paws on the cart’s larger relative, the GP Wagon.
In the ziplock, you get a single 8″x5.25″ sheet of 3mm MDF full of laser-cut wagon parts and a single double-sided sheet of illustrated instructions. That and a dab or three of white glue are all you need to turn out a very nice wagon.
The GP Wagon is a bit more involved than the Horse Cart, but everything is very precisely cut and well engineered. I’ve built injection moulded plastic kits that fit a LOT less precisely than this MDF wagon does! The only time I found the photograph-illustrated instructions less than clear was when beginning assembly of the front axle/steering assembly, but a bit of dry fitting reveals that the pieces really only go together one way, which makes it hard to really screw up.
You have the option of adding canopy hoops over the bed of the wagon for the classic covered wagon look, but I elected to leave them off this one. The next will probably have hoops, just because! The finished wagon is just over 3″ long (6″ including the pole), about 1.75″ wide across the hubs, and about 1.5″ tall. You can fit three figures on 20mm bases into the back, two if you use oversized 1″ bases. I’ll probably paint both this one and the Horse Cart eventually, but even in bare MDF they look pretty good, with the dark laser-burned cut marks providing nice contrast to the normal honey-brown MDF.
Over on my favourite wargaming forum ever, the Lead Adventure Forum (LAF), the approximately annual Lead Painters League painting contest has begun to accept participants. This is the 7th time LPL has been run, and it’s always great fun to spectate and vote, and even more fun (although also more work!) to enter the contest. I participated in LPL3 in 2009 and LPL5 in 2011, and have sent my entries in to participate in LPL7 now.
It’s a fun, friendly competition, very much in keeping with the overall spirit of LAF. Participants submit photographs of teams of five (or more) figures; they’re randomly paired with one of the other participants, and may the best team win! The use of groups of five figures – all of whom have to appear in the main photograph together – makes LPL a balance between painting skill, photography skill and presentation skill. It’s a great chance to stretch my painting abilities and my photography skills, and clear unpainted or unfinished figures out of the lead mountain.
I should be able to finish this year’s LPL, including all three bonus rounds, without buying any more figures. It helps that all three of the bonus rounds are close to areas of interest, and it’s nice to put a ten-week fifty figure dent in the unfinished figure pile!
We headed over from Victoria Friday afternoon, making good time and even seeing orca whales from the ferry, which I haven’t seen in years. Friday evening I spent flying in Rene’s perpetual World War One air combat game. I was doing fairly well until a Fokker Dr1 slipped in behind my Camel and blew me away in one savage burst!
Saturday turned out to be “Soviet Saturday” for me! I played the 30mm Dust Warfare skirmish system with Martin (an old friend) and his nephew Riley (this was Riley’s first gaming convention!) and another gamer in the morning, Weird War Germans vs Soviets over cardboard ruins Martin and I had been up until 2am assembling! It’s a fast system with some interesting features, and I want to have another bash at it at some point.
Saturday afternoon it was time for my big Russian Civil War game, with a full set of six players and loads of toys on the table – the White Russians had a SPAD XIII for air support and a field gun, while the Reds had a huge horde of cavalry, an armoured car and an armoured train! The cavalry did better this game than they have ever done before, completely shattering one wing of the defending White force by themselves.
We rounded out Saturday evening with more Russian-German action, this time a WW2 Eastern Front scenario of a scratch Soviet force trying to hold off flanking attacks by German panzers. The 15mm figures and vehicles were really well done, and the terrain was elegant. It was a close fight, with the Germans losing a fair number of tanks to Soviet infantry but being positioned by the end of the game to push their untouched reinforced infantry units into the Russian villages with their remaining tanks in support.
Sunday Martin and I played Colin’s very nice and well-run War of 1812 scenario, a re-creation of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm 200 years after it actually happened. I played the invading Americans with two other gamers, and we got our asses absolutely handed to us by the British/Canadian/Mohawk defenders. Nevertheless, we apparently did better than the Americans had actually done historically – we did manage to drive one of the two big British infantry regiments from the field, but the effort wrecked my brigade, while Canadian militia light troops and British cannon drove the rest of the Americans off!
Trumpeter Salute, the best annual miniatures convention on the west coast of Canada (sorry, Gottacon. Your relentless focus on GW turns me off) is happening again this weekend and I am again reminded of why I come to conventions: to be inspired.
This evening found both Brian and I playing aerial games, although he had considerably less success with his World War One 1/72 than I did in Leviathans, where I fairly handily destroyed a British aerial cruiser and destroyer. Our third member, recovering GW player Sean, was evolving. Or something involving tails. I didn’t ask.
And the spending has begun. I picked up some Saxons for my eventual Dux Brittanium, Sean some ECW/30 Years War and Brian also managed to spend a great deal of money. And we haven’t even hit Pulp Miniatures yet.
But now, pictures:
More photos tomorrow, including of Brian’s RCW game.
Doing final organization for my Trumpeter Salute Russian Civil War game this evening, I did something I’ve never actually done in the two years of this project — laid out every single painted, game-ready RCW figure and model I have together. The lighting in my dining room is awful, so this is a terrible photo, but it’s fun to see everything laid out for review!
On the left, the White Russians. Officers and machine gun in front, two dozen Cossack riflemen, then a couple more officers, then 32 rifles from a regular rifle regiment. All of my White Russian figures are from Brigade Games.
In the centre, the 77mm field gun (nominally Red), sixteen cavalry, one armoured car, and one protected railcar. These figures are (so far, at least) all deliberately painted without much in the way of identifying insignia, so they can and have appeared for both sides in our games.
On the right, the Bolsheviks. Officers, machine gun and banners in front, and the long column is forty ordinary Red riflemen. Far right is twenty Red Sailors and their leaders, and behind them is the Red militia of 15 rifles. The Bolsheviks all happen to be from Copplestone.
This gives me a total of 56 White rifles, 75 Bolshevik rifles, and a grand total figure count (including gun crews) of exactly 190 figures, apparently. I’ll tick over 200 fairly soon, as there’s another round of White rifles to paint up. That’ll pretty much finish off the regular infantry, although I do want another section or two of Red sailors. After that it’s off to more of the toys and quirky bits, tchankas, armoured cars and such!