Friday, February 26, 2016

Quelle catastrophe!

A slightly dusty legion

I entered a small painting challenge with some friends a few weeks ago.  My commitment was to a small group of partisans for my London Calling project, which I managed to paint. 

Except for the one that I missed, but we'll get to him. 

I also added a 1/32 scale Prince August Black Watch Colour Party as part of my painting challenge commitment.  

And that is why, with time running low on the clock, I have painted fourteen Egyptian artillerymen while the Scotsmen kick their heels in the painting queue. I was very pleased with these fellas, as I will be adding them to my Crimean Turkish army (albeit without their Krupp guns).   It would appear that Kinch's favourite thing to paint is whatever he shouldn't be painting right now. 

Unfortunately, shortly after finishing them, I decided to varnish them out in the shed. I reached for the varnish and brought it and the figures outside. I then put the figures down, moved some rubbish and picked up the spray can and varnished away. 

Sadly, I had reached for the wrong can and had picked up a can of brown spray.  I am normally a relatively polite man, Mrs. Kinch being a theatrical type is the infinitely more swear-y of the two of us, but some choice words were uttered soon after this.  Fortunately I realised my mistake almost immediately and the figures got nothing worse then a dusting of brown, but still it made a frightful mess of their nice clean paintjobs. 

Just dirty. 

The damage wasn't too bad and truth be told, I've already fixed four or five of them by repainting - but even so, it was a bit of a kick in the morale. 

"Muhammed, did you see the camera flash?"
"I'm not sure, keep still, I don't want this to look weird in our passport."

Fortunately, two very nice things happened today which took the bad taste out of my mouth.  Firstly, Steve the Wargamer who is a bit of an authority on the Sudan in the late 19th century answered a question of mine about his library. Rather than just answering a comment, Steve went above and beyond and wrote a post giving capsule reviews of his entire Sudanese library. 

If you are interested in the subject or have a mind to dip a toe in colonial wargaming, I would recommend giving it a look. 

Some Peter Gilder figures I believe. 

I often have my elders shaking their heads and asking themselves questions, usually questions like "What is the world coming to?" or "What shall I tell the children?" But not on this occasion. Apparently my near total ignorance of Peter Gilder spurred Robbie Roddis to some deep thoughts. 

As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, put it in the Hound of the Baskervilles, 

""Really, Watson, you excel yourself," said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigarette. "I am bound to say that in all the accounts which you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt.""

I am a Watson to his Holmes.  Robbie is considering trying to put a book together about Peter Gilder, but I think you should head over to his blog and have a look for yourself. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Popping smoke II

Having painted one set of two green smoke plumes, I've started on a second set of red smoke plumes.  The first lot were painted goblin green and then highlighted with pure yellow. However I'm not entirely sure what I can use to highlight this without turning it pink. 

These things will probably be used for objective markers and signalling in Black Ops games. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Turkish General

A commander of fellahin

One of the regrettable realities of life as a shift worker is that circadian rythmn is something that happens to other people. Strange periods of wakefulness come and go. A certain amount of time is spent staring at the ceiling while Mrs. Kinch snoozes in a demure and ladylike fashion and the cat snores at the foot of bed like a small cement mixed filled with pebbles. 

Not the neatest job in the world

It was during one of these periods of wakeness that I knocked this chap together.  My Turkish forces for the Crimea require a mounted general and I thought he would probably do for an Egyptian officer of the 1880s as well. I must confess that this conversion was not prompted by any really careful consideration, but more by the fact that I had left a biscuit tin lid on the bedside table. My basing box was on the lid and I'd forgotten that I'd chucked some figures in the box.  The fez came from a Waterloo 1815 Egyptian infantryman who was waving a clubbed rifle. The figure is from an Italeri Confederate cavalry set.  I think he might be supposed to be Jeb Stuart, but he has defected to the Ottomans now. 

Note the tassel at the rear

I trimmed the fez from the first figure and then sliced off the top of General Stuarts head. A dab of superglue and the conversion such as it is, was done.  I have added a green stuff tassel to the fez and filled a few gaps. 

Not too shabby for half an hours work and all without waking the slumbering Mrs Kinch or the cat. We shall see how it takes paint.

Popping smoke


Despite Mrs. Kinchs best efforts she has not managed to ban toy soldiers from the bedroom entirely.  I nodded off during dinner this evening - so Mrs Kinch declared an early night and very right she was too. 

Before I nodded off again, I did a job on two resin smoke plumes. These will be used as markers in Black Ops games. A coat of goblin green highlighted with pure yellow did the trick. 

Having reflected in it - I think making more Indian lancers would be an unnecessary diversion of effort.  Definitely no more of those. An unnecessary frippery that would only serve as a distraction to a serious minded fellow like myself. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

La Resistance

Now with added Sterlings

Living in Ireland is generally lovely, I like the architecture and the company is excellent, which will almost certainly distract you from the weather. However, it does have some drawbacks; one of which is that figures can occassionally be difficult to get your paws on.  This can occasionally be a concern even in these days of the internet. Fortunately, my good buddy Mike picked these up for me at a UK show and got them to me, proving that he is as able a smuggler as ever did the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs. 

The figures themselves are Liberation miniatures from their Urban Meltdown range which arose out of the Winter of '79 blog by Mark and the boys, which I have written about before.   I should note that they have just published a new ruleset.  These are 1970s partisans/civilians armed with era appropriate British army kit. During our last Black Ops game, I had to use some VBCW chaps in flat caps and such to bulk out the Resistance.  That shamed me into painting a few more of these fellas. 

The top two are armed with Sterling Submachineguns, I'm particularly pleased with the fella in the yellow plastic mac.  

Footage of the Sterling from 1955

GPMG gunner

The second two additions are a chap in head to two denim, which always reminds me of the 1970s as I remember it from television, and a GPMG gunner. Because of the size of the weapon, I painted this slightly differently, painting it black, then adding highlights of grey and then pure white. The figure itself is in jeans and one of the those West German jackets with a hood that older brother used to wear when I was small. 

Silent, but deadly

Last amongst the figures is this lethal gentleman, a sniper in a ghillie suit. It occurs to me looking at the figure that I've painted the figure incorrectly.  The ghillie suit was painted in Vallejo Reflective Green and then highlighted with the same colour fixed with increasing amounts of yellow. 

 The rifle however, should be an L42, an adaption of the famous Lee Enfield. But, I was actually painting these in bed and didn't bother consulting my sources, so the rifle is painted like an L96 that I got my hands on briefly while but a callow youth. The bright green plastic of the stock stuck very strongly in my memory. 


Lastly, I met this chap out and about the other day. This is Rashers, a distinguished looking older gentledog of fourteen.  His mother was a black labrador and his father was an extremely persuasive basset hound. 

For an older dog he moves around quite a bit and this was the only picture I was able to get when he wasn't a blur of movement, 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Indian lancer

The Finished Product

I finally finished this chap a little while ago after adding a green stuff beard.  I am sickeningly pleased with him.  The finish is deliberately simple to fit with the toy soldier aesthetic. 

A work in progress shot

One thing I learned while painting this chap is that with large scale figures, one needs to take ones time and do two coats. The coverage can be quite patchy otherwise. 

A certain amount of tongue poking was required to paint the lines on the turban, which took two goes. The bamboo lines on the lance took a little bit of work to get right too.  

The beard doesn't look too bad though.

I had to be quite careful with the varnish on this chap, as it tended to pool rather spectacularly and I had to quickly dab the excess varnish away.  I'm very happy with the results. 

This chap is patrolling the book shelves in the library and keeping the peace between modern fiction and Cold War history.