With the year coming to a close, it's fun to look both look back and take stock of the year's work and also to look ahead to the upcoming year and make some plans and some goals. I'll take care of the latter in another post, but will start here by casting my eye back over my work from 2016.
My two most recent pieces are a bit different than what I usually paint for a couple of reasons. The first is the subject matter: both the Green Arrow by Knight Models and Rey & BB-8 are pretty well recognized characters. The minis I usually paint would only really be recognizable to others who play that particular game or who paint miniatures and may have seen certain sculpts before. The other big difference for me is that these are the first miniatures I've begun painting with the use of an airbrush. Both of these differences presented some unique challenges for me.
There were a lot of things that first attracted me to the game Bushido, and a lot of things that keep me playing. However, if I had to say the one thing that really jumped out at me, it was the minis in the Silvermoon Syndicate. Unlike a lot of other games where every combatant is a muscle clad superman or warrior woman, the Silvermoon starter included the big "buto", Manu and haughty Harukichi clutching not a weapon of any sort, but a bowl of rice! These were not the comic book physiques that were at the core of every other game I'd looked at. These miniatures had real character and it made me instantly want to learn more.
One of my favorite things about this hobby is the constant ability to learn something new. As a child, that's taken for granted as you're always encountering new facts, figures and concepts both in school and in the world in general. Sometimes, as a "grown-up" (if that's a term that can apply to someone who still plays with "toy soldiers"!) there's not always the opportunity to learn something new. In this hobby, however, there are myriad avenues to teach yourself something new and feel like you're able to constantly learn. With this miniature, a steampunk version of Florence Nightingale, I set myself a few challenges.
The Maghariba Guard is one of those "miniatures" (quotes required due to the size of the thing!) that I'd lusted after as soon as I saw the first concept art back in August of 2014. Not only would it be a T.A.G. I'd be able to pick up for my Haqqislam army, but it was vicious and very unique looking. Fast forward to this year and as soon as I saw it available to pre-order I jumped at the chance.
The magpie has a reputation as being a thieving bird, collecting shiny objects to adorn his nest. Neither is he reputed to be particularly nice, attacking the nests of other defenseless birds. As it turns out, while the Magpie is indeed a savage predator and will eat the eggs and young of songbirds, his reputation as a thief is less deserved and apparently springs from a 19th century French play. Nevertheless, while painting Sumothay, it still seemed a particularly apt nickname for this grizzled mercenary, decked out in a variety of bits of armor plucked from remains of numerous battles.
This past Saturday, our growing community of local Bushido players headed down to Atomic Empire for our first tournament: Shunki Kōreisai Kyōsō, described as a "rivalry on the day when feudal samurai would venerate past emperors at shrines around the time of the Vernal Equinox." Warbands were to be 50 rice and the scenarios were Keii, The Messenger and "Shingon" an excellent custom made scenario by our Tournament Organizer, Karl-Christian (FatherKnowsBest on the forums). A few local players were unfortunately unable to make it, but with 6 of us in attendance, we were able to enjoy a great day of quality Bushido rivalries.
Sorry to disappoint the diminutive car enthusiast (enthusiast of diminutive cars?) but this post is not about the automobiles. Instead, I thought I'd write a little about...
While work, sickness, life, etc. have conspired to keep me away from the painting table for much of the year so far, I did have the opportunity to travel down to meet a friend for a fun weekend of family, food, fun, board games... and a nice healthy dose of Bushido. We met up in South Carolina, which meant packing up my little metal men for the long car trip. This was the perfect opportunity to put my new Tablewar Mini Case to the test.
Before the year quite comes to a close, I'd thought it'd be time well spent to take a look back at my hobbying and gaming for the past 12 months...
The autumn is really a wonderful time for settling in in the evenings, hunkering down and getting a good lot of hobbying done. Unfortunately, that's quite the opposite of what my past couple of months have looked like! Between work, a family trip to Disney World and what seems to have just felt like a hectic existence, my painting time has fallen off a bit... my blogging even more. So, it's high time for a bit of of a catch up post.
As I wrote in an earlier post, like many others, I generally prefer to mount, pin, or otherwise affix my minis to a cork when painting. My first small improvement to this was to glue a washer to the bottom for added stability. With my newest round of miniatures (my new Tengu warband for Bushido... soon to be blogged about) I found I needed to do a bit more...
Slowly but surely I'm building out my gallery here on the site. The next two miniatures to join the diminutive parade are Fitiaumua and Old Zo. These complete my full 50 point Bushido list for my Silvermoon Syndicate. They've yet to take the field as a painted unit, but I'm looking forward to it.
It's been a little while since I've been able to post. Summer vacation and trips have kept me from making a ton of painting progress and (obviously) I've done even less here on my blog. However, after a busy July, I'm back into the swing of things now and thought I'd post a little in-progress work with some freehand tattoos for Fitiaumua.
It took too long, but I finally got the whole gang to sit together for a group shot. I've had a lot of fun painting the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate starter set and am looking forward to getting some paint on Fitiaumua and Old Zo so they can join the crew.
I'm going to have to work a bit harder in future months to get these out a bit earlier in the month... if I wait to long then I'm already collecting favorites for the next month! Anyway, here are my favorites from May...
The Kum Biker from my Haqqislam Infinity army and Senpu from my Bushido Silvermoon Trade Syndicate warband make for a very interesting contrast. Both are great miniatures to paint but I think they're very representative of their individual lines and each provides a unique challenge.
Recently I have a few people ask me about the cobblestone bases on my small (but growing!) Bushido warband. As I was just to the point of basing Senpu, I thought I'd take some photos and lay out what my process of creating and painting these bases.
In a move that is unabashedly stolen borrowed from Volomir's Blog I thought it would be fun to collect my favorite links and articles from each month into a blog post. These aren't necessarily "don't miss" but are links that I found to be inspiring paint jobs, sculpts or just something interesting and worth checking out.
This past Saturday my local game store, Atomic Empire, hosted the largest Infinity tournament I've had the pleasure of competing in: Shooting the Bull, a Dire States event. Not only was this the biggest infinity tournament I've played in but it was also the first with the 3rd edition rules. I've played a few N3 games, but they've mostly all been simple annihilation matches. I was greatly looking forward to testing my my Haqqislam troops in these new scenarios while enjoying the great company of our local meta here in Durham NC and meeting more folks who were traveling to attend.
I'm always impressed at the skill of some miniature painters who are able to paint a mini that's fully glued on the base. Angel Giraldez, in particular comes to mind... and with the amazing level of quality he's able to achieve, basing a mini before painting is clearly a workable approach for some painters. But for me, I need a bit more flexibility to get my brush in tight areas and so have always mounted my minis on a cork while painting.
Like a lot of people, most of my daylight hours are taken up with work, family and other various activities that occur at a scale larger than 28 - 54mm. As a result my painting occurs almost exclusively at night under a daylight bulb. While a daylight bulb is a great source of light for painting (and something I use even on those occasions I am able to paint before sundown), it still can't quite compare with real daylight.