Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Not a lot going on

I've been busy finishing off a new novel these past two weeks. This weekend we're heading over to the Archon SF/Fantasy/Steampunk convention, now in its 40th year. The delightful Claudia Christian, Commander Susan Ivanova from Babylon 5 will be one of the guests of honor this year.

I had hoped to fit in an ECW game today, but my gaming table has been co-opted to host a number of potted plants while we're away. Sigh...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Earl of Essex's Lifeguard pikes.

What it says on the tin. I painted these pikemen on and off during the week, and they're now based and ready for action.

Of course they lack the 'sleeves' of musketeers that form up on either flank, but they'll serve for now. It illustrates the problem of buying multiple figures in packs - there are always figures left over after the units have been assembled. I get around this to some extent by varying the number of figures in a regiment. It gives the randomness found in unit strengths of the period where recruitment was inadequate, and losses through battle or, more often, sickness had accumulated.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Lazy Sunday

A thoroughly disturbed night means I'm feeling too out of it to do much today, although I'd hoped to run a solo ECW game featuring my new Autumn coloured woods. Instead I dug out a batch of Pendraken Miniatures 10mm armoured pikemen left over from the previous painting session and set them up on the painting block.

These chaps will form the pike companies of the Earl of Essex's lifeguard. I don't have enough musketeers to form the requisite 'sleeves' of shot at the moment, but should be able to get them when I place another order in a month or two, all being well. In any case, once painted these chaps will go to reinforce the Parliamentarian army of General Temperance and Prudence Knott, stalwart champion of Puritan values against the dastardly Royalists under Sir George Mountebank.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Teasel Trees - Finished

'tis Labor Day here in the USA, and I'm staying out of the sun after suffering rather nasty sunburn on Friday. Instead of gardening I spent time putting the finishing touches to the teasel trees I've had under construction for a week or so.

Expanding foam is extremely sticky. I used it to bulk out the teasels and provide good adhesion for the flock. As an experiment I also used it on the bases to see if it would work there too, and it came out better than I hoped.

I flattened the foam down on the bases with a wooden splint and spread it around a bit before it began to harden. The foam still expanded after I shook flock on it, and provided an unexpected benefit when some parts began to swell up and look like rounded boulders. Once all was dried/set I painted the bases, and the final results are shown below.

Overall I'm quite pleased with them. I still have another nine large trees to complete, along with fourteen smaller versions which I may make into orchards.

Once everything is done I'll trot out the ECW armies of those perpetual foes, Sir George Mountebank (Royalist) and Temperance-and-Prudence Knott (Parliament) for an Autumn encounter action. Watch this space...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Teasel trees - Experiments in Colour and Shade

A little more progress on the trees. I opted to use craft paint in the end as they give much more variety in colours and shading than spray paint. They also don't stink up the place, which is important since I have family members who are allergic to the propellants used in spray cans.

I used a variety of acrylic paint and mixed acrylic ink into some of them. A few times I wasn't too fussy about thoroughly washing the brush, so there would be some bleed-over of the previous colour into the foliage to give an extra shading effect.

The flock absorbed a certain amount of the first coats of paint, rendering them darker, but the next stage will be to wet-brush lighter shades on them to bring out the vibrant Autumn colours. The trunks and bases will be the last step.

I'm quite pleased with the overall effect, although the Woodland Scenics foam-covered versions aren't as good as I'd like. I'm going to try out a bit of acrylic inking to see if I can jazz them up.


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