Sunday, 25 September 2011

TARDIS needed…

Anyone know of a good way to get more time in the day?  Or make weekends longer?  It’s late on Sunday and I have no idea where the weekend has gone or how I’m going to get everything done next week – at work and at home!

I actually managed to get some painting done this week though.  A friend I’ve worked with for over 10 years has moved on to pastures new - he’s gone to University to pursue the career he was meant to have, the lucky swine.  He’s a massive Doctor Who fan, so my contribution to his leaving present was this little beauty from Ainsty Castings:


He was over the moon with it (thankfully!) and it got quite a few admiring glances from other people (one person asked if I did commissions!).  The wife has also demanded one – I’m not sure how I feel about batch painting TARDIS’s…

Painting “Police Box” four times was torture.

Work on “The New Lair” continues – the fireplace is still a gaping hole, but I’ve got a base-coat on 3/4 of the walls now, and probably 3/4 of the woodwork is primed.  I’m doing things in stages as I have to shift some furniture around, all good fun!  But at least I’m doing something constructive, and with the Polycell basecoat on the walls (and a lot of woodwork now white), I’m getting more of a feel of how the room is going to look.

I don’t usually get excited about DIY, so this is about as close as I’m going to get.  To be honest I’m more than a little impatient and wish it was all done already…

Bikou hasn’t progressed at all, and I was right in worrying about the pin being long enough (it wasn’t) so deeper holes have been drilled.  Lord only knows when I’m going to get some paint on her.

This post has been brought to you by the wonders of Microsoft Live Writer – I think I prefer it to Google’s in browser offering and a couple of other clients I’ve tried.  I haven’t clicked “Publish” yet though, so we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway onwards and upwards (and probably sideways and backwards at times)!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Bikou, a base, and bugger all else...

Due to work pressures (24 hours overtime this weekend - rather unhealthy Andy at the moment), not much has been done since the last post, lair or painting wise.  In the new lair I'm currently trying to clear up the mess from the work done recently (how much dust?!), lots of sanding, and repairing plaster.  The actual plastering of the fireplace I'm building myself up to - everyone keeps giving me funny looks when I talk about doing it myself...

Painting/modelling wise, I've got Bikou glued to a base (seriously, this is about as much as I've got done in 2 weeks):

One of the really great things about the Bushido miniatures is the quality of the casting (I mentioned this in the Ancible article) - very little in the way of flash or mold lines (certainly no hedgehogification), and the limited amount there is there is easily removed with a file and/or knife. 

The base is from Dark Templar's Malcontent bamboo range - very appropriate for the Samurai/Ninja theme, and really looks the part.  Aside from using a "base topper" from GW's 40K basing kit (used on Pedro Kantor), this is the first time I've used a proper resin base - tonight I was outside with a camping light, wearing a face mask, busy sanding away - if anyone looked into our back garden they must have wondered what the hell was going on.  The base has sanded up well, the casting is detailed and crisp and there are no bubbles/flaws that I could see.  Having a small amount of the bamboo decking next to a large amount of dirt means the tree trunk doesn't look too out of place/weird.

Worryingly, I may not have used a long enough pin into the base, so I may have to change that - we'll see how well the glue holds first.  I'll also need to glue a little basing material where the trunk meets the base, just so there's no gap, and so the dead(?) tree looks like it's coming out of the ground.  I'm tempted to use some of my new "autumnal grass with fallen leaves" basing material, or maybe get some of the grass with blossom, for a "cherry blossom" effect.

Picard was not impressed with Andy's attempt at basing...

GCT studios have got a painting competition closing at the end of the month - can I get Bikou done in time?

Probably not...

I've been playing around with the blog itself.  You'll notice I've got a new little widget for the Ancible articles, but I'm also wondering about a whole new template, as this one's a bit busy - any opinions? 

I'm not a big fan of writing my blog posts in the current blogger web interface, it feels a bit clunky, and I don't feel like I've got a lot of control (I work in IT so I like to fiddle with this stuff).  I've tried using ScribeFire, in both Firefox and Chrome, but I can't upload images in Firefox (where the interface is nicer), and in Chrome there appears to be no preview functionality, so this may be a no-go. Does anyone use Windows Live Writer?  I've noticed this has a Picasa plug-in which may be useful, although this is sat on "determining disk space requirements" now I'm trying to install it - marvellous.

I wouldn't mind so much, but I have to deal with enough rubbish software at work, I could do with something that works properly at home.

Anyway, I'll hopefully have something decent to show for my efforts at the end of the week.  If I don't have anything, feel free to complain to the management... ;-)

Friday, 16 September 2011

The Ancible Issue 11

It's come around again, the latest issue of The Ancible is out!

Issue Contents:
  • Bushido the Game
  • Watching Paint Dry (my article, I got to paint some lovely Samurai)
  • Descent
  • 7TV
  • Claustrophobia
  • Aeronef Battle Report
  • Warcanto
The Samurai I got to paint for this issue are some lovely miniatures, and I'm going to be buying myself the other factions to paint too - I have to say it's nice to see some Japanese themed stuff that's not Anime-ish.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Colours 2011

As I mentioned yesterday, I attended Colours 2011 today at Newbury race course with some of the Ancible team.  Loads and loads of good stuff around and got to meet some really cool people.  This was my small haul of loot from the show (I could have bought so much more...):

Not the best of pictures, so a brief run down:
There was a lot of other stuff I could have bought too - both Warlord Games and Perry Miniatures have so much to tempt me, but I already have too much to paint...

Friday, 9 September 2011

A New Lair (Phase 2a)

Feast your eyes on this bad boy:

This isn't a Chaos Weapon, or a medieval torture device, this is the Perforator (imagine movie trailer voice man saying it for added effect).  It's sole purpose in life is to get rolled across walls and poke holes in thick wallpaper so the steam can get in and "unstick" (technical term).

Without this weapon I would have still been stripping the damn wall paper off today, even with an industrial strength wallpaper stripper steam machine thing.  As it was, stripping the wallpaper was hard work, especially as the steam machine turns the room into a sauna...

It was all worth it though as Phase 2a is complete!  All the destructive tasks have been completed, but in doing so we've uncovered a bit of a nightmare in the fireplace.

So my next task is to build a false wall across the fireplace opening and plaster across it.  I've never tried plastering before so it should be interesting!  I figured if I don't get it right the first time it's not that much hassle to start again if necessary.  The other slight problem is the gaps in the ceiling board either side, they'll have to be filled too.

On the positive side, my estimating of how much the chimney breast had been extended by has turned out to be a little conservative:

As you can see in the photo the gap is nearly double the size now.  So I might be having a rethink about what I do desk and shelf-wise in that corner.  As you can see the walls are in a bit of a state, but they've been recovered using Polycell Smooth-over paint - which is awesome.  I don't get excited about DIY products that much, but that stuff is the business.  The corner in the picture above is pretty much all white now, and I've started repairing the plaster further up the chimney breast.

Unsurprisingly there's been no painting done for a couple of weeks, but my latest article and photos have been sent off to the Ancible, and the next issue should be out soon.

I'm off to Colours 2011 in Newbury with some of the Ancible team tomorrow, really looking forward to that, and I might just spend some money there...

Hopefully another update this time next week!

As always comments and criticism welcome...