Monday, February 25, 2019

The Beastie Boys - #Squaduary2019

The Boys are all here

So Squaduary is over and I’m half pleased with how I did.  I got the Nega Volt Cultists done and the beastmen, but completely failed to tackle the two 1/32 scale dioramas.  This was due to a combination of factors - a change at work, some Kinchlet illness and the discovery that both sets had problems that I had completely missed while assembling and undercoating them.  They can be fixed with green stuff,  but I didn’t take the time. 

Standing on one leg is so on trend 

These turned out rather well I thought. The only thing that I found a bit peculiar was painting their eyes.  Cows, sheep and goats have black eyes which I copied by running some black ink into their eye sockets.  That seemed to do the trick, but it looked odd.  I may try one with human eyes before I varnish them. 

Quite pleased with how these turned out 

The chap in the middle is a little unsteady on his base.  I’ll have to see if I can fix that. 

My high tech photo studio 

I decided to focus on Blackstone Fortress figures because it’s the game we’re actually playing at the moment. 

Really excellent stuff 

I’ve been relying on these videos for painting instructions.  This chap is painting all the models in the game with only fourteen paints, two washes and three brushes. It’s an ideal way for a beginner to learn, but myself I just enjoy following along.   It’s the very thing to clear the mind after a days work. 

This is actually really handy

While previously I had just chucked all the figures in the box and away we went,  I found that things were getting bashed and there were some breakages. This was frustrating as they’re nice figures and I was painting them.  I came across this solution on the Blackstone Fortress Facebook group - it’s a custom insert for the game box made by Feldherr.  It fits in the box very snuggly and I haven’t had a breakage since.  Each figure has its own particular billet cut to size so it keeps everything straight. I’m not sure it’s a great solution for most figure storage problems, but it’s just the ticket for this.

In the pale floral blue of space no-one can hear you set someone on fire 

Work continues 

The current output is a collection of fourteen baddies and they are taking a while to be honest.  I’m not sure if it’s because painting fourteen figures at the same time is too many or if I just don’t get very much time these days. 

The latest addition to the War Room

The latest addition to the War Room is from Mrs Kinchs sister.  She was clearing out an old store room and found this chest.  It’s surprisingly light and quite strong. I’m not sure what will live in it just yet - terrain perhaps? 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Decisions, decisions.

I’m torn about these two.  I’ve got two sections of seven lads each and I need some way of distinguishing them.  I was thinking about helmet colour, but I’ve seen them in white and didn’t care for it. 

Red maybe? Any thoughts gentlemen? 

Of course I should be doing something with my #Squaduary2019 pledge and therefore I should be working on my 1/32 scale diorama. However, we’re actually playing this game at the moment and I’d like to be able to play with a fully painted set before we finish. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Latest update - #Squaduary2019

Games Workshop Negavolt Cultists

I finished these guys on Friday and they were a complete pain in the neck. Awkward, fiddly and completely unsatisfying to paint. However, they are finished and that is the main thing. I really like Blackstone Fortress and I love the idea of being able to play with a complete set of painted figures, so they just had to be done. These were painted as part of #Squaduary2019, which is a month long project by some wargamers to get some stuff done. There's actually been quite a bit of work done and you can see the results here.

I think I might have to paint a proper 1/32 scale toy soldier next though, just to get the taste out of my mouth.


Savage and I have been discussing what our wargaming project will be this year and we've settled on Stalingrad.  Having looked at the available scenarios,  it has come to my attention that there are about half a dozen Overlord* Stalingrad scenarios that are roughly balanced (i.e. have a win/loss ratio of no more than 60/40). 

What we’re proposing is an ambitious plan to play the battle of Stalingrad in its entirety, over 5-6 overlord games over two days. This would be two days of three games each, probably two successive Saturdays during the summer.

Savage has volunteered to create bespoke terrain covering key Stalingrad landmarks like Pavlov’s house, the Grain Silo and the Tractor Factory. We would build two boards, one for the battles in Autumn and a second one covering Winter battles. Savage hopes to be able to produce specific winter terrain for the later battles, so the whole thing should look pretty impressive.

For figures we’ll be using my existing collection of 1/72 figures with some new stuff for the winter battles.

Barmaley Fountain

This is the Barmaley Fountain in Stalingrad and I've been trying to find someone who makes it in something like 15mm or 20mm.  Any ideas? It's such an iconic image of the city that it would be odd to leave it out of the game. Also, click on the link above to read the story of Barmaley, which is a bit peculiar. 

Does anyone know of a commercially produced one? 

*6-8 player team games. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

#Squaduary 2019

I haven't done much painting over the last few months, which is a shame as it is something that I quite enjoy.  Having precious little free time that isn't already spoken for these days with work, family and writing commitments is a factor, but also just not making time for things.   Mrs Kinch is very much of the opinion that I am nicer to be around when I have a project and something to work towards.  I think that's what she said, it was hard to tell through the haze of tobacco smoke and gin. 
My pal Rory over at the Stepping between Games blog has come up with Squaduary.  The idea being to build and paint a squad of figures over the month of February.  I started late and didn't quite realise that I wasn't meant to have started some of the figures already, but better late than never.  We shall see if this keeps me motivated. 

I will be posting updates here when I can and on twitter (@aquestingvole) and facebook (Conrad Kinch). 

 1/32 diorama 

These are Prince August casts that I got off a very nice chap on eBay called John Parslow.  I had always intended to pick up the moulds, but his prices were so reasonable and the quality of his casts so good that it seemed silly to wait.  Unfortunately, while undercoating these, I managed to drop them rather spectacularly, hence the breakage.  

The diorama is of two French cavalryman sharing a cup of wine during a quiet moment.  I will do them in shiny toy soldier style and see how we get on. 

Nega-volt Cultists & Beastmen

Black Stone Fortress has been a revelation - quite probably my game of 2018. I started painting the figures for it and most of them are very nice.  However, I had intended to get the Nega-volt cultists (pictured at the back) finished in January and they have proven to be nothing but a thorn in my side.  They are fiddly and unpleasant and just awful to paint. I just want to see the back of them - hopefully #Squaduary will give me the kick in the pants that I need.   The second group are Beastmen which I'm actually looking forward to tackling. They can't possibly be as much of a pain in the neck as the Nega-volt cultists.

I shall hope to do my next update here on the 9th.  Wish me luck!