Friday, January 29, 2016

Greedy Cockroaches!

I got the next batch of baddies ready for my Mice and Mystics project.

Challenging little vermin.  They are very flat miniatures and the sculpting and molding not as nice as the rats.

I had a devil of a time figuring out how I wanted to paint them but decided to go with as high of contrast as possible.  First I searched Google for cockroach images and selected a couple as examples.  Many were surprisingly quite yellow so I went with that look.

I'm not very good with color and without some help and some cheating tools I'd be totally lost.  I probably like painting World War II figures so much because its sort of paint by numbers with all the great reference material and tutorials out there.  Lifelike or Fantasy I have to really think about it.

I have this Saga project that has been brewing for a long time that completely terrifies me with all the period appropriate fabric decisions I will need to make.  That apprehension lead me to make this some time ago.

Its a piece of sheet metal in a picture frame.  On it I have primed and painted nearly every Vallejo color I have on a small Flames of War base and put a piece of magnetic sheet on the back.  Looking at the paint bottles or an online reference sheet was not working for me so I went with this.  Now I can just grab a few bases I think would look good together and play around with them like this.

Now I can make my own triads (and more) up.

I made one for my Reaper paints as well.

If you wanted to do something similar I would recommend getting thick (3mm+) bases from Litko or the like instead of the FoW bases.   Its what I had on hand.

I also have one of these color wheels that can be found online or at any of the hobby/craft stores.

These are pretty helpful figuring out pleasing color schemes for fantasy or historical miniatures.  House of Paincakes did a whole series of posts last year on color theory that is very informative and you should check out if you are stumped by color choices like me.

So using those tools I got the roaches finished up.

In the end I messed with them too much and spent too much time on them.  I also decided that I really don't like the sculpt.  Something about how flat they are.  I think if the front leg was positioned forward they would be more appealing.  As they are, I really had to exaggerate the eyes or they looked backwards to me.  I kept looking at them thinking the tail end was the front.

Once again if you like them or hate them or have a suggestion to do them differently leave a comment.  Please add me to you feed reader and keep looking in.

Happy hobbying!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mice and Mystics Rats!

I decided to give Mice and Mystics a go.

I read a good review on WWPD which piqued my interest.  I researched the game on the manufacturers website and was pleasantly surprised to find additional content in the way of expansions.  Boardgame Geek gives it a 7.5 of 10. The final clincher for me was when one of my wargame buddies said his daughter had little interest in the game at first but once he painted up all the miniatures she loved it and can't play it enough.

Besides all that I am a lifelong fan of Ancient History, Mythology, and Fantasy.  Role-playing games were a big part of my youth.  This really speaks to me.

I've got a soon to be 7 year old so I am racing to paint up the figures by her February birthday.

Here are the first batch of baddies. Rats!

That's it for now, my short update style I talked about recently.  If you like or hate them be sure to leave a comment, add my blog to your reader, or check out the full website as I build that out.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jeep Mania!

Lone jeep in trouble
Damn jeeps on rubble
Wily's patrol the borders
Solved jeeps with mortars
Jeeps on patrol phase
Armored cars lead the way

Lone jeep in trouble

Damn jeeps on rubble

Wily's patrol the borders

Solved jeeps with mortars

Jeeps on patrol phase

Armored cars lead the way

A collection of jeeps I have been working on after I got in a couple of games of Chain of Command.

In Chain of Command you begin the game by executing the patrol phase.  A phase where your points of deployment, 'jump off points', will be established.  The patrol phase is an abstract of pre-engagement scouting and reconnaissance. In game terms any old token, dice, or figure works as a patrol marker but since it is a miniatures game I wanted to do something that fit with the terrain instead of tokens.

That got me thinking about reckless young Americans plowing across field and wood at high speeds in jeeps.  I'd bought (overbought) some jeeps from Battlefront a couple years ago to use with my Engineer Combat Company.  I'd always planned on basing them on urban rubble bases like the engineers but the project languished.  So once I got the bug about Chain of Command I decided the time was right to model the whole lot up.

The jeeps I bought were the ones without integral bases.  Oh, boy what a bother to put them together.  You have to glue the wheels and bumper on along with the other bits in the standard blister.  It took a lot of fiddling, copious amounts of superglue, and lots of time letting things dry between pieces.  There was even some thin plasti-card involved.  I had to glue the bumpers onto the card before I could get them to line up nicely with the resin hulls.

In the end I was happy with the modelling result.    It allowed me to get jeeps for the command teams of my Engineer company, the Damn Engineers!  The one with 2 stars is for the 2iC, go figure.  The painting is middling as usual.

I solved in my mind what the heck a mortar jeep was in a US Cavalry/Armored Recon Platoon.  I do not believe it was ever vehicle mounted.  The 60mm mortar was portable enough I think they set it up on spot.  I saw Steve from WWPD just glued a mortar tube in the back of his and that seemed to solve the issue of identifying it. I wanted something to more boldly delineate it.  I had the extra mortars and men so I went ahead in this fashion.

There are a couple more on integral bases that round out my Intelligence & Recon Platoon and a lone jeep for an artillery battery which was missing.  I have plenty of jeeps and would borrow from other platoons as needed but the completist in me needed to have dedicated ones.

For the Chain of Command patrol markers I wanted them on round bases so I used fender washers, added a few extra figures I had to make them tell a story, a mini diorama if you will.  I'd never painted one with a canopy so I took the opportunity to do one like that.

There are a pair of Greyhounds in there as you might notice.  I've never had those before.  An Cavlry/Armored Recon company or Task Force A for Flames of War could be in my future more easily now.

It was a long project but fun.  It really reignited my enthusiasm for the figures.  If I were to do it again I would probably use the jeeps with the integral bases by sawing them off and gluing onto round ones.  I used what I had and really needed them for the rubble bases, so C'est la vie.

I just got the Kubelwagons (from the Black Friday sale no less!) I'll use to make up the German ones.  So watch out for those later in the year.  If you love or hate them please leave a comment, follow the blog, and add me to your blog reader.

Cheers! Here are a few more pictures of the Patrol Markers.

oops, missed the bottom of his boot!

Static grass, argh!  Is that a broken nose?

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Future of Blogging, for me

I start the new year out wondering about gaming blog's and my efforts at this one.

I have mixed feelings on them.  In aggregate they are great and provide tons of inspiration, information, and entertainment for their readers.  Taken individually they are a real mixed bag.

The "good" blogs provide thoughtful commentary, interesting subject matter, and periodic postings.

Some blogs are "ok" but lack one or more of the mentioned attributes. Then there are those blogs that are just "bad".  The "bad" ones probably can't deliver any of the mentioned attributes or they just do it so poorly that I don't bother with them.  I wish the bad blogs would just quit it with their fuzzy photography and their tedious battle reports.  Seriously, if you can't tell a compelling story or take a picture in focus just hang it up!

Rating blogs can be tricky because it comes down to personal taste.  If someone is providing thoughtful commentary about historical war gaming, that probably gets my interest and I would rate the blog "good".  If it's fantasy I'm also interested, to a point.  If the fantasy talk is very specific about a game I don't play then I am probably not interested in the commentary, however it might have interesting subject matter in the form of quality photography of miniatures so I can still rate it "good".  Periodic posting is probably the least important quality but it does play into a rating.  Scattered posting is more than made up for when someone posts well constructed subject matter be it excellently painted figures, an interesting report about a campaign, or skillful terrain projects.

 I'd like to optimistically think this blog rests in the "ok" category but it's probably just "alright" or "meh".  I've definitely scaled back on the the slim content it ever delivered.  I'm not posting here in the New Year to proclaim some sort of goal or resolution, I gave that up last year.  In reality I did a lot of hobby stuff last year I just didn't bother to post much of it.

I am posting today to let you know I am changing the way I am going to blog going forward.  The blog is going to be more light with small updates, progress reports, and random thoughts or commentary.  It's going to be more similar to how some folks have successfully used Facebook as a stream for their projects.  PiersBrand's Kildare Paintworks is a favorite of mine and a great example of a when subject matter does not always align with my interests but is still compelling because of good brushwork.

You might be saying "I guess PrivateSnafu is lowering the quality of his blog."  In some ways that might be true, but I request that you please think of it differently.  The reason I ask you to give me the benefit of the doubt is that with the change in the Blog format I am making public my full Website!

Presenting Snafu's Miniature Machinations!

All the high quality efforts that I have tried to put into this blog will now go toward my website.  The website is intended to be more of an archive or portfolio of sorts.  When you visit you'll see that it is presently just an outline with the content still mostly residing here and in other locations.  As time permits I'll be migrating a lot of content there.  The website is going to allow me to explore a number of areas of interest I have, whereas this Blog has been mainly about World War II and Flames of War specifically.

I'll endeavor to keep the Blog going but not waste your time.  I might go to a Facebook style page in the future but currently I just use a personal page for close friends and family so i'll continue on with the blog, using it to notify you of content that is added to the full site, my musings, and some progress reports on some painting and terrain work.

I'd love to here your thoughts about the change and what your initial reaction is to the website format.  So please leave a comment.

Have a Merry New Year and Happy Hobbying!