Rack'em, Stack'em

So the other day I was tempted into picking up a shiny new minis case. I really don't NEED more.... but at the same time - there is no such thing as too much storage. This particular case is a monster, 6 layers of 80 minis - a total of 480 figures stored in protective foam. I decided it would be nice to load all my Blood Bowl minis into a single case as they have been spread across 3 cases for a while meaning I'm guaranteed to have to look in three different places to find any given figure I'm looking for. So what does 480ish Blood Bowl minis in a big box look like? Well I'm glad you asked:

Of course, this isn't every team. I am still working on that... but it's some good progress. Now all I have to do is get all the blighters painted! ... and buy the rest.

- Raggy, signing out

Ronin on the loose!

Test of Honour has really grabbed my attention and enthusiasm recently. I still haven't gotten a game in, but it has caused me to get back to painting the mountain of plastic Ashigaru and Samurai I had. As I am the only person I know with the game, I am trying to paint two factions but in a way that they can also be used as a single faction or a single army for another game system if I want. My solution to this is slightly distinctive samurai and 'unit' Sashimono (back banners) all this is somewhat historically accurate (if you squint and turn your head sideways and wish really hard). This allows all the troops to be in uniform green armor and still be identified.

As a reward for making a solid start on the Ashigaru, I painted up Tadashi, the Ronin hero character. I am pretty pleased with the result. He needs a little more highlight and shade in the hair but it is a tabletop figure so good enough.

The rightmost dude was from my first fifteen speed painted guys. The rest h…

Miniature Monthly prize!

It never ceases to amaze me how photographs are actually MORE forgiving of my painting efforts than real life. The reality is that this is rather more Impressionist than the picture indicates. I will come back with some glazing to try and address this. So how did I get here?

Well the first coat of paint left me with something like a Son'a (Star Trek: Insurrection reference folks!):

I then followed (rather timidly) the Miniature Monthly video, using my highlighting and shading to get a pretty reasonable finish:

And this is where I got to off the back of the Male Face Painting videos. I got some great feedback from Aaron and Liz (push the highlights and play with some other colours in the mix)... and then... then I won an hour 1:1 lesson with Aaron! He took me through some amazing tips using photoshop showing me exactly what to do on my model and explaining the reasoning, how light plays across the skin, what happens below the skin (hair growth and blood flow) impact the colours in…

Miragliano Union

Well that pesky thing 'real life' has been seriously interfering with my painting recently. In combination with my A.D.D. with these guys, there's been slow progress. Fortunately last week, I got the base colors on so they can be fielded, the rest of it is grinding through a ton of Non-Metallic Metal...

I'm still not super happy with my NMM skills at the moment, silver is going ok but gold is a real struggle. I think the tough part is getting the color transition in wide spectrum in a small space. Luckily I won an hour painting tutorial with Aaron Lovejoy! I am going to ask him for some more advice on getting those transitions smoother. If you want a chance to win an hour session with Aaron (or Liz Beckley) then you should sign up for Miniature Monthly... actually you should sign up anyway. The videos are excellent and there are some great prizes to be had. $10/month is well worth it for the content they have.

- Raggy, signing out

Test of Honour

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, will know that I have more Samurai figures than I know what to do with... I went a little gaga over the old Wargames Factory figures back when they were still available. I don't really know why as nobody I knew ever expressed interest in a mass combat Samurai game. A while ago I decided to use them as an experimentation of army speed painting. That effort was rather abortive as I got distracted by the next Blood Bowl team and moved on. Recently a new game was announced by Warlord Games and it turns out the Wargames Factory miniatures form the basis of the new figures! Using some new head sculpts to change things up a little... well it's given me some motivation to get back to my Samurai and painting them up:

I am going to try some lighter green zenithal for these guys as a bit of an experiment in speed highlighting. The contents of my preorder arrived while this post has been sitting in draft so I thought I would also …

Bubblegum Crisis at 30

For those of you who are not familiar with Bubblegum Crisis, it was an Anime, first made in 1987 and remade a few times in the years since. It is arguably a great example of female empowerment where a group of women put on powered armor suits and fight crime. They aren't doing this to catch the eye of some guy (mostly) and frankly make most of the male characters in the show look like incompetent idiots.

At the meta level there are still some things that could be done to make the show a little more gender equal (either stop applying fan service / skin requirements or apply them to men and women equally) but I still think it was a pretty solid show for demonstrating women can also kick ass.

Bubblegum Crisis was also one of the first anime shows I ever watched and when I found out Ground Zero Games had a range of figures from the show I rushed out and bought them... at a Salute... about 10 years ago... and they joined the ignominy of my lead mountain. I unearthed them a few weeks ag…

Tint your Tribe r/minipainting contest - Pratchett

People may wonder why an Englishman, living in America, chose to paint a reading Orangutan to represent his 'tribe' in a painting contest. Is it a statement about British education? A statement that we are all once species sharing a planet and should all get along? An outright protest? Well not really. It is a celebration of a great author from Buckinghamshire who passed away far too soon. This is for Terry Pratchett, author, satirist and role model:

The full album of photos, including the work in progress and a nifty animated rotation can be found in this Google Photos Album.

- Raggy, signing out

Work slows play

Hey folks,

Updates have been getting a little thinner on the ground as I am currently preparing for an exam and workload is piling up a little. The pro elves have been progressing by inches but there has been some decent progress on our favorite Orangutan:

After substantial angst over how to paint the flooring, I opted for a silvery/grey wood effect using:

Unfortunately for those trying to reproduce, I have no idea what that grey paint is. I bought it from The TreeFellas from a UK game show. They don't have a web presence but their paints are great.
Of course, having settled on the base, I needed to tint the wood, get the shading in place. I tried 4 washes:

I then drybrushed the Minitaire Mummy to bring it back to a more wood color. I drilled through the middle of the board and added it under the Librarian to allow for direct juxtaposition.

In the end I settled on the Dark Tone to remove any of the red hues, keeping them on the Librarian himself.

I also did a little experimentati…

The Librarian

For those of you that are new readers to my blog, you should know that for the last year or so, my painting focus has been Blood Bowl. The drive for this has come from my local League that runs short seasons giving me just enough time to paint up a new team for the next season. The results have been pretty solid. I have played in four seasons and two tournaments with a new team each time that has really gotten me through the list of Blood Bowl teams in need of painting.

Why am I talking about all this Blood Bowl nonsense when there is clearly an Orangutan reading pictured below? Well in order to avoid burn out, I will switch up my focus every so often and pick up something else. Recently a lot of my friends have been gearing up for painting contests (Our local convention KublaCon and some for the Crystal Brush at Adepticon), with all the new skills I have picked up recently thanks to CK Studios and Miniature Monthly (See previous blogs here and here) I figured I should put my skills t…


For those of you not familiar with the universe of Terry Pratchett's Discworld, it is a fantasy universe that had a major part in making me the person I am today... it has a range of miniatures sculpted for it by the awesome Micro Arts Studios. Discworld features, among other wonderful characters, 'The Librarian': He is the Librarian at the Unseen University Library and was turned into an Orangutan through an ill explained, and by now barely remembered, magical accident.

He is my favorite character for many many reasons: his love of books, regard of them over and above people, philosophical thoughts and ability to kick ass when required. So why am I rambling on about all this? Well I bought a large collection of the Discworld miniatures, promising myself that I would paint them once I felt that I was talented enough. In my latest attempt to procrastinate in painting up my Pro Elf Blood Bowl team... I noticed a cool little painting competition on reddit and with Miniature M…