Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eve of Departure

We are almost ready and should be hitting the road by midday. Wish me luck! I really don't know what to expect but I think it would be fun to post some updates along the way. Despite my earlier consideration I will not be taking any painting stuff with me... it just doesn't seem worth the effort now that I've seen just how much other stuff I will be having to pack. I don't even know if I'm going to take my back-up book, the less I have to carry the better! Hmm... as a new dad, I suspect that will make an excellent motto for me over the next twenty or so years.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time Away

It's been I think a week since I've done any significant painting, something about which I am now disappointed. I do feel however that there weren't many missed opportunities in which I could have been painting. As much as enjoy my hobby, spending time with my family and then sleep are both more important to me so I was reluctant to trade either for more time with the brush. Maybe I'll paint some tomorrow but I'm not sure as we are getting ready to leave on our trip and still have a lot to get done before we can actually depart. I have finally decided against taking any painting stuff with me as I had been considering for some time. I don't want to try to paint any of the HYW figures as I'm worried that the conditions might not be conducive to quality work. I had thought initially about taking some Andalusians with me to paint but now that I have this growing interest in them and the Dark Ages in general, I have thus grown reluctant to treat them as a side-project. Lacking anything else that I feel like painting right now, it seems I will just have to trust that such a long time away from painting will not too greatly atrophy my abilities.

Then again, maybe I'll just grab some of the Ancient Hawaiians and see what happens. We could be away for two weeks or more, I just don't know. Better safe than sorry, right?

Friday, June 26, 2009

So Many Cats

Good news! My cat's surgery went really well and she appears to be recovering nicely. She started hanging out with us late yesterday, previously having spent most of her time resting in the closet, and seems to have returned to her usual behavior and personality. I'm very relieved and know for sure that she will feel significantly better than she did before her operation. That should be the last of the immediate pet-related situations to be resolved, although the still remains the issue of what to do about the 9+ marsh kitties living on our property. We plan on trapping them and getting them all fixed but right now that seems like a logistical nightmare. It's really a ticking clock scenario as we certainly don't want to wait too long and then have another generation of marsh kitties with which to contend. Things already feel out of control as it is now!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And The Winner Is...

I believe I have finally settled on the book that I will take on my road trip. Rather than go with any of the ones I was considering earlier, I have instead chosen The History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours (539AD-594AD). Tonight I started reading the Penguin Classics edition translated by Lewis Thorpe and right away knew that this would be the best pick. I had been really tempted to go with The Book of Contemplation but I didn't feel as if I had enough of a contextual understanding of the times to get as much out of the book as I would want. Nor am I planning on painting anything from the Crusades period for the foreseeable future so I therefore don't really feel like diving into that period just yet. I do like the idea though of reading some original source material though instead of one of my contemporary's analysis so that Gregory's work nicely fits that criterion.

After I move on from the Hundred Years War portion of the medieval period, I am pretty sure I want to next focus my attention on the so-called European Dark Ages and in particular the wars fought between the Franks and the Arabs for control of Spain. (Makes sense considering the number of Carolingians and Andalusians I purchased in the last couple of weeks.) As I said before, though, I am only very superficially familiar with not just this period but also much of the time preceding it as well. I believe therefore that Gregory's history should be a good reference for that transitional period from the end of effective Roman control to the later portion of Merovingian rule. Even though this is earlier than time in which I have expressed my main interest, it should nonetheless provide an excellent foundation for my understanding of the later Carolingian renaissance. Also it serves to keep the other books I have fresh for when I am actually ready to start painting the relevant armies.

So much thought and consideration has gone into the choice, I really hope the good Bishop does not let me down. But just in case I'm take Longitude as a back up.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not Just Slacking, I Promise

It's been two days now since I've done any painting and it is frustrating me a bit. I've been really busy this week though so I don't feel too bad about it. Along with getting ready for our trip next week, my wife and I have also been dealing with a number of health issues concerning our pets. This culminates in surgery tomorrow for my kitty cat Isabel to remove a bladder stone. I hope to soon be back to regularly painting and blogging every day but for now I can't afford to stress over it as it is still just a fun hobby for me. So please bear with me and understand that this streak of "Off Topic" days will at some point come to an end. Thanks for sticking with me through this period, I appreciate my hypothetical readers very much.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Must sleep... will write at some point tomorrow... uggghhhhh.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nothing to Declare

First let me say hello to anyone from the FTC who is forced to read this blog because of their job. I apologize if you find it terribly boring, but then again, what did you expect when you became a federal bureaucrat? Now then, what's this all about? It would appear that the Federal Trade Commission has taken it upon itself to begin monitoring blogs of all types for unfair and/or sneaky business practices. Their goal is to identify those writers who present their blogs as unbiased opinion but who in fact are receiving some form of compensation from the companies they review or discuss. They seem to be worried that people are being tricked and unduly influenced when they voluntarily seek out and read a blog, then afterwards engage in commerce of their own free will. (The horror!) I would have considered it a matter of free expression, and thus protected by the First Amendment, to say or write whatever one wants regardless of financial motivation, but of course I'm also a fan of those antiquated concepts of personal liberty and intellectual freedom.

I still do not understand how the FTC plans on carrying out this new directive, nor is it clear to me what type of punishments or censorship they intend to impose on suspected violators of this type of commercialism. I personally am in favor of bloggers disclosing any relationships they have with the businesses they write about, but I believe this should be left up to the individual writers to do and not mandated by some unelected agency. Ultimately I believe people should be responsible for themselves and their own decisions... Caveat emptor, you know? I thought at this point in time most people are savvy enough to understand that anything on the internet should be approached with some skepticism, yet once again I see that our government thinks less of us.

Due to the nature of my blog here at diceRolla, with quasi product reviews and a list of links to manufacturers and retailers, I suspect at some point this humble site could draw the attention of just such an agency review. As I certainly never want to run afoul of our Federal government, I am therefore prepared to preemptively comply with any new or future FTC blog-censorship guidelines with the following disclosure:

I am the sole author of this blog and the opinions expressed are 100% mine and mine alone. I have no commercial or financial type of relationship with any of the businesses mentioned on this website, nor with any of the manufacturers of products discussed on this website either. This is all done entirely for my own enjoyment and as a way of expanding the scope of my hobbies and interests. If any company should ever approach me with the intent of having me write about them or their products, I will be completely transparent and honest about any such arrangements and the form of compensation offered. I think it would be cool if my blog was to be considered to have that much influence so you can bet that I would want to brag about it.

Hopefully that disclosure will be sufficient for anyone whom our Big Brother assigns to keep tabs on diceRolla. Who knows, maybe that lucky bureaucrat will end up liking what he or she reads and start paint miniatures too!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out and about in the world today. Well, the ones who deserve it at any rate... not you bad dads. But to the rest, Happy Father's Day!

I have had the most fun today. It's been a wonderful Father's Day for me, my first as a dad no less. I can't express how joyful I am in my life. I am exceptionally grateful to my beautiful wife and I love her so much!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Not Feeling The Dirt

Unfortunately I'm so far struggling to get into a happy rhythm of reading my book about dirt. As my wife said, "Reading about dirt not interesting, who would have guessed?" I'm glad I started this process of choosing a book early as I would have been disappointed if I had taken this one with me on my trip to western New York. I still think this could have been a good topic of interest, I just wish this one by William Bryant Logan was more in depth in its approach. Instead of a real thorough scientific and historical exploration of dirt it is instead a series of short chapters usually no longer than three pages each. This is hindering my effort to enjoy the book as there seems to be no flow or rhythm established in the writing. Nor even can I discern any real system of organization with regards to the chapters either as they seem not to relate to each other or follow from one to the next. I'm not going to say that I'll never pick up this one again, but it will certainly be some time before I'm ready to give it another shot.

And so that means I need to pick out another book to start reading. Here then are the ones I am considering:

Longitude by David Sobel
The Book of Contemplation by Usama ibn Munqidh
A Short History of Byzantium by John Julius Norwich
The Last Pagan by Adrian Murdoch

I plan over the next couple of days to read a little of each of these and see which grabs my attention the most. Also there's still the possibility that some of my Amazon books will arrive in time in which case I may need to expand the field of contenders... in that order after all is a book called Nero's Killing Machine which sounds plenty exciting to me!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Return of the Dark Ages

This morning after rolling out the trash I checked the mailbox and inside was a box of miniatures. Sweet! The package contained my recent order of Old Glory 15mm Franks and Berbers. After some initial research I decided that my Andalusian army needed some Berber javelinmen to go along with the Arab infantry. With the pack that arrived I now have all the miniatures that I want to use for an all-option III/34ab Andalusian DBA army. Along with the packs of Carolingian Franks that I ordered, I'm now set for putting together my first matched pair of Dark Ages armies. I'm excited about delving into a new time period as I have never really spent much time studying and learning about the Dark Ages. I've always been such a fan of the classical period that anything after the fall of Rome held little interest for me until arriving at the later medieval era (Hastings was usually my point of return). Two years ago I read a book about the four years surrounding Charlemagne's coronation by the Pope, but otherwise I have read almost nothing about this tumultuous time in human history. I appreciate the way my interest in history and wargaming nourish each other in that way. I have thus found this aspect of historical wargaming so much more satisfying than fantasy or sci-fi miniatures and games.

Today I was able to make good progress on the billmen as I finished the cloth areas including the two helmet covers. I'm overall pleased with the covers but I had some trouble getting the red part smooth on one of them though. If you look closely it appears a little clumpy but I don't think it's too bad to worry over. I might try to straighten the separation of the colors a bit but I'm satisfied to leave them alone for now. I also painted their shoes which means I can't delay any longer returning to their padded armor suits. I'm far enough along with these guys that I can now start to see the direction they're taking. And so far I think they look pretty good! Maybe with it being Fathers Day weekend I might even be able to finish them up this weekend. Maybe, just maybe....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Road Paved with Books

New books!!!! Yay! I made a trip to the book store today and got a stack of new books to read. For the last several months I've been stuck on pretty low quality fiction, but last night I finally snapped out of it. I've got a road trip coming up in a couple of weeks and I realized I needed to find a good book to take with me. I certainly don't want to squander this occasion on some crap novel and so have set out to pick the perfect read. Last night I placed an order with Amazon but I don't know what will arrive in time, and thus I went to Barnes and Noble today. As a former owner of a small independent book store this was its own special form of torture, but they have the best selection of the stores in my area, especially if one is looking for history.

Despite my online search the evening before and a thorough exploration of the mega-store this afternoon, I couldn't find anything concerning the Hundred Years War that interested me. So I then was mainly looking for books related to the history of any of the armies I want to paint in the near future, although I also ended up picking out a number of science books as well. I couldn't find anything on Andalusia in particular but I did get a biography of Charlemagne which should be quite useful. I would however prefer to save such reading for a time closer to when I'd actually be painting the related miniature forces. Last summer when I first started my current project I was reading everything I could find on the Hundred Years War, but now I'm in the position of running out of source material and inspiration. Therefore, as I am not ready to jump into any of these histories, I have chosen to begin with something quite a bit different. I am starting with a natural history of dirt, appropriately titled "Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth," by William Bryant Logan. A book about dirt, now that's interesting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Late Nights

Last night I painted for about ten minutes just before midnight. I had just made bottles for the night and as I was walking past my station little decided to put in some time with the brush before going to sleep. Even though it was less than fifteen minutes, my minimum daily goal, it was still productive time for me. I switched the base colors for one of the billmen's stockings and added the next layer of color to the red areas. It wasn't much but I'm happy that I didn't succumb to yesterday's funk and instead managed to find a way.

Concerning the aforementioned areas of red clothing, I am in fact a bit frustrated. I can't tell if they're brighter than when I painted the spearmen and crossbowmen. I have this nagging feeling that previously I had mixed some of the mid-color into the highlight rather than using the highlight color straight out of the paint pot. This is yet another reminder to myself as to why I need to not drift away from project. It is a timely warning too as I have found myself recently starting to think more and more about other armies which I want to paint. Don't get me wrong, I am thoroughly enjoying my HYW: English. It's just that my interests have shifted a bit since I first started them a year ago (and even longer than that since I first started researching them). Of course the cure for that would be a nice new book on the Hundred Years War to reignite my imagination a bit. As I am never one to scorn such prospects, I believe I have hit upon the right course.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Odd Times

Something unusual is going on. It has been kind of a weird day and I'm in a weird mood this evening. I haven't done any painting today as well. Maybe I'll still do some tonight but who knows. Whatever, I'm taking it easy right now and not stressing it. I've got one more chapter to go in the FoG book and think I have a good understanding of how the overall game functions. Field of Glory has a lot of novel ideas and mechanisms that I haven't seen before in other games. Knowing myself, I believe that at some point I'll probably start collecting and painting figures for such an army but for now I think I will be happy sticking with DBA. I don't really foresee that many opportunities to play FoG, but then again it's not like I play a lot of games of DBA either. There's no point in worrying about it now as I've got at least another five or six armies for DBA already purchased and which I am excited about painting. As unlikely as it may seem, I'm actually showing quite a bit of restraint in not getting even further ahead of myself!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Question of Color

I wasn't sure how much time I would have to paint tonight so I decided to focus on the cloth areas of the billmen. I thought it would be more fun to do something colorful rather than trying to paint thin black lines and muttering to myself in frustration. I ended up painting for thirty or forty minutes and am probably more than half done with them. I'm still trying to decide if I want to give cloth coverings to the two guys with the black helmets or if I should just make them metal colored. I'd go with metal if it weren't for the fact that I already painted some of the Gascon Brigans (1x3Sp) with covered helmets. It seems like it might look weird or out of place if that was the only base with brightly colored heads but I'm not yet entirely settled on it.

I've already simplified their color scheme as I had initially planned on painting the cloth areas in a more elaborate halved or quartered pattern. Instead I decided to just use solid colors but to at least vary them from section to section. For example, one guy now has one red stocking and one blue stocking rather than each stocking have both red and blue. Most likely I'll wait on making up my mind until the last possible moment so that I can get a better sense of how they'd look with or without the colorful hats. Right now though I feel like it would be a mistake to pass on colorful hats no matter the situation!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


It's been a really long day and I'm exhausted so this will have to be a brief update. I started painting the billmen's padded armor this afternoon but I slipped up in a few areas and will have to blacken some of the recessed fold lines. Because of the tight space involved this means that I will then need to go back and repaint the base color of the armor again. Therefore this type of armor is kind of a pain in the butt for me to paint. I suspect that the next big batch of twenty four archers, all whom I believe are wearing this same sort of armor, could be a real challenge. Hopefully while working on these guys I will find a comfortable technique that makes it go a little quicker. Otherwise I'll just keep at it as I am now.

That's it. I'm going to sleep.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Billmen WIP and OG 15s

Painting is well underway with the English billmen as seen in the above photo. I overlooked the back half of two hilts but otherwise all the metal areas are done. This evening I spent time going back over the non-metal parts with black to clean things up for tomorrow's painting. Even though it can be a bit tedious, I feel that taking this extra step is really helping me achieve a much more defined look and crisper colors.

Yesterday my packs of Old Glory 15s arrived and it's been fun examining them. I've got to say that I am pretty darn impressed with them. I still think Corvus Belli and Xyston make better looking miniatures, but the Old Glory ones are certainly nothing at which to sneer. Most impressive so far is the variety of figures in each pack. Of the Andalusian Arabs that I ordered I've so far opened the Command and Arab Spearmen packs. The command bag has four different leaders and four different standard bearers, each consisting of two mounted figures and two on foot. There's even greater variety in the pack of spearmen which has nine different sculptures!

I'm confident that the Old Glory 15s are definitely good enough to justify purchasing an opposing set of Carolingian Franks which I am now planning out. Even though it's sort of impractical to assemble DBA armies with Old Glory packs, since you are likely to end up with a bunch of extra figures, it seems to me that they would be an excellent choice for other games like Big Battle DBA and FoG. Big Battle DBA for the Dark Ages sounds like it could be quite fun, not to mention a good use for my sixteen leftover Andalusian Arab Spearmen. But when I think about having to paint eighteen stands of Frankish knights, a total of fifty four men and the same number of horses as well, I still feel that normal sized DBA armies would keep me happy and content for this time period.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Wrestler... Meh.

After watching the movie "The Wrestler" tonight, my wife and I were not impressed by it at all. In particular the shaky-cam work and lack of a score really annoyed her, whilst I just thought it was a sad story about some very sad people. There was some nostalgic appeal for me as I was a fan of pro wrestling during the Golden Age of the WWF (Andre the Giant, Hulkamania, etc.), but even that added an extra level of gloom as I wondered how many of the people for whom I used to cheer ended up in such a pain-filled and lonely life. Oh well, not every movie can be a Big Lebowski. Strikes and gutters, you know?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Thunder

There's a strong thunderstorm heading for me so I might not be able to get all of this posted tonight should it knock out our power or internet. Therefore please forgive me if I have to finish this up tomorrow morning. I'm writing on my laptop so I'll be able to keep this up for as long as my battery lasts, I just don't know if I'll be able to post it right away.

Today I finally decided it was time to glue the group of archers to their base. For some reason I've really enjoyed just looking at them individually and, now that I'm painiting before gluing, I get a little nervous that I'm not going to get the arrangement right and therefore hesitate. My curiosity as to how they would look together became too strong however and I went ahead and took the plunge. Below is a photo of the archers, or 'Welsh bowmen' as I have decided to refer to them in order to distinguish them from the large block of archers that I still have to paint. Despite my worries, I continue to be very happy with how this element of the HYW English army is turning out.

As for painting, I was able to get most of the metal areas finished yesterday and will do the final highlight of silver today. I've noticed some areas of junk on the blades of their weapons that I believe to be due to poor conditions when I sprayed them with the black primer. Using spray paint has been a challange me for as long as I have been using it for applying the primer coat to my miniatures. I've lived almost my entire life in areas of high humidity and I've never seemed to work out through trial and error the best time to use spray paint. There has been improvement over the years but I still worry everytime I go to prime figures that I'm going to ruin them. If I ever figure it out I'll be sure to pass along any information or tips that I manage to gather, but until then I'm certainly open to advice.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beach Day

My wife and I took our baby to the beach for the first time today. It was a lot of fun but I'm now exhausted and did not paint at all. I was up early with the little one this morning and it's been a very full day since then. Prior to this, from the time when my current painting reinaissance began a couple weeks ago to now, I had not gone a day without painting a minimum of fifteen minutes. It was inevitable that I would miss a day at some point so I don't feel bad about it happening under these circumstances. I'm so tired that I might have even done more harm than good. Right now I just want to recharge with some sleep, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to make up for being a bit slack on this occassion.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Old Glory Experiment

I didn't read as much of the FoG book as I had wanted to today, but I did take a four hour nap right in the middle of the day which was nice. I've been working my way through the movement and maneuver rules which at first have come across as a bit cumbersome to me. I do see however the potential for these rules to feel comfortable and intuitive with some practice and experience. I've never been happy with the way Roman Republican armies of the Punic Wars are represented in DBA so right now I think maybe collecting them and a Carthaginian army would be a good idea for my foray into FoG. The armies of Alexander and Darius are also really appealing to me but I'm generally satisfied with how they work in DBA.

The number of figures required for FoG has tempted me into trying out Old Glory miniatures. Their prices are good but not quite the great deal that I had associated with them. Perhaps as long ago as a decade or more I ordered a few bags of 15mm guys from them and at the time I think they were packaging them at 50 per bag. I really don't remember much about Old Glory from back then but I must not have been that impressed if it's been this many years since I last purchased from them. That might be though because of the extra expense involved in using their miniatures for DBA. It's frustrating to have to buy 24 slingers when you only need two!

Despite this I decided yesterday that I would give them another look and ordered five bags from their Dark Ages range of Andalusian Arabs. I'm going to start off using them to make an all-option DBA army (III/34ab). If they're decent enough figures, I will most likely place an order for some Carolingian Franks so that I could put together a historically matched pair of armies. After that, because of the number of miniatures in each bag, I would only need a few more in order to be able to put together Big Battle DBA versions of the army. But considering the rate at which I am currently painting, I think such plans would be pretty far off. Especially since my initial purpose was to just get a sample of Old Glory's stuff. It would even be satisfying for me to finally have a couple of armies from Book Three of DBA's army lists. Anything more than that might be asking too much of this painter.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It Could Be Good

Today I read the first 50 pages of the Field of Glory rulebook. So far I'm surprised by how much more I'm enjoying the book this time around and the rules system is genuinely intriguing. Although I haven't gotten to the combat mechanics, it seems to me that FoG may be the game that I had wanted DBM to be. I think it could be a lot of fun but I'm still not sure if I would want to commit myself to collecting these sized armies. However I can see how the collecting and army lists aspects of the game appeal to that area of wargaming that has so occupied me in the past with Warhammer and WH40K. If FoG helps permanently wean me off of Games Workshop then I think that would be a significant net positive.

I was on duty as parent for much of the day and the baby was intent on having lots of fun time with daddy. There's not much painting to report although I did get the base skin tone completed on the billmen. If I have extra time tomorrow I'd rather read more of the FoG book so I don't expect to do much painting, but of course I never seem to know.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Possible FoG Warning

I've become increasingly interested in the game Field of Glory since it's release a year or two ago. I bought a copy of the rules a year ago but set them aside in fairly short order. I couldn't bring myself to read through the book and that was it for some time. Since then I have noticed more and more references to it and decided to give the game another look. I've spent some time now looking through the various companion books that I've purchased and I feel like I should really make an effort to read the rules. I realized today that I've become so accustomed to the simplicty of DBA that the FoG book itself was a turn off. But then it occured to me that I should instead try to think about it as more like Warhammer or Warhammer Ancients rather than comparing it to DBA or even DBM, despite their shared basing conventions.

It has a chunky and somewhat lavish feel and is a very well illustrated rulebook, it is an Osprey product afterall, with a bunch of related period-themed army books. The army lists used are based on a point value system and they seem to allow for a decent amount of flexibility in the compostion and organization of one's chosen army. So given that adjustment to my thinking, I am once again going to see if there's enough there to sustain my interest over the amount of time I know it would take me to paint even just one army. Even though I think it could be a lot of fun and the usage of battle groups reminds me of the old Armati rules, I am just not sure if it would be worth it since one FoG starter army uses the same number of figures as five or six armies for DBA. To justify that, it seems like it had better be a very fun game.

As for the here and now, today I finished painting the 25mm knight and glued him to his base. I am no however planning on completing the base until I'm working on the bases of the archers and billmen as well. This afternoon I sprayed the primer coat of paint onto the billmen and mounted them on their temporary stands. I'm excited about being ready to begin painting them as they are some of my favorite miniatures in this range. It's too late for me to get started on them tonight but I'm content to wait until tomorrow as I can in the meantime start reading the FoG book. Hopefully it will be good enough that I have something positive to report.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Two Weeks In

Today is diceRolla's two week anniversary... salut! Even though it's a pretty early milestone to be celebrating, I'm still pretty pleased with how things have gone so far. I've painted every day and feel like I've done a decent job with the blog updates. So hoo-ray for me!

As for the hobby part of the day, I didn't do quite as much as I had thought possible but oh well. The billmen are now all cleaned of their mold lines and will be primed tomorrow. Also the 25mm guy is virtually done. I still need to touch up some areas around his belt and do a little more with his sword's hilt and pommel, but otherwise everything else is complete. I'll post a picture once the marker is finished since the WIP shot was already close to being fully painted.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Barker Marker WIP

Despite what I wrote yesterday, I went back to painting the 25mm figure for use as a Barker (Z.O.C.) Marker. I didn't make any progress on the billmen so when I had time to paint, it was again the only thing ready. And besides, I thought, why not give it another go? Even though I painted for only about a half hour tonight, I'm starting to feel better about him. I think at this point I might as well finish painting him and stick with my original plan and complete the Barker Marker. Tomorrow promises to be a good one for getting in some quality painting time and I'm hopeful that I can do the rest of the painting on this project, and perhaps even get the base done!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My New Approach

This morning I was able to paint for what seemed like quite a long time uninterrupted, maybe around two hours or so. All that time I spent putting more color on the 25mm guy, but I now don’t think I’m going to continue with it any longer. I’m really not feeling the paint scheme and some of the detailed areas appear to be disappearing under too much paint. I still want to make a Barker Marker for my HYW army but I have decided that I can come up with something better than this.

As for the HYW English, I started work on those mold lines earlier tonight and was able to clean two of the four billmen before dinner. I imagine I should be able to get the other two prepped without too much trouble and (weather permitting) spray on the primer as well. In the past I think one of the things that kept me from being able to paint as much as I would have liked was preparation fatigue. My custom was to do all preparation work that I could for an entire army of figures in one go before I would be willing to start painting them. By the time I was finally ready to paint, far too often I was already burned out on the whole project. It was all that time cleaning off the mold lines… Agghhh!!! MOLD LINES!!!

Whoa, sorry about that. I’m alright now.

Okay, so I just wanted to say that I’m trying a different approach with this current army that I’m painting. I’m not doing any prep work on the figures until I am ready to paint them. I like the results so far as I’m getting to paint without sacrificing anymore of my sanity in the process by spending days on end scraping and filing. Also I don’t know if this will make it easier or not to dabble in side projects but I’m hopeful about that too. Whatever the case may be, I’m painting now and having fun so I must be doing something right.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Noting the Z.O.C.

I'm still trying to paint every day, but once I sat down this evening I realized that I didn't have anything new prepared for painting. Fortunately, just before I rationalized taking the day off, I remembered that I had started late last summer work on a 25mm Hundred Years War miniature from the Perry brother's Agincourt range. My plan was to mount it on a 40mm square base so that I could use it as a Zone Of Control marker for use in De Bellis Antiquitatis. I already have a Z.O.C. marker, or Barker Marker as it is more commonly refered amongst DBA players, which I had made about four years ago to use with my classical period armies. I thought it would be nice to make a new Barker Marker to accompany my HYW: English army, as well as whatever other medieval armies with which I end up.

Once painted and mounted the larger scale figure should be functional as a marker since it will be easy to handle and use during a game, but also still looking good and fitting in visually with this part of my collection. So for about an hour tonight I went back to painting the big fellow. It's a nice change of pace but I want to resume painting my 15mm English as soon as I can... I just don't want to have to scrape off all the mold lines. Ugh, lousy mold lines.

Pre-Historical Wargaming?

I must attend to parenting duties... this post will have to wait a bit.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tired And Burned

The baby was very cooperative and took a nice long nap in the middle of the day, but instead of painting I went swimming again. Now I've got a nice pink burn and I've got that dazed, tired feeling you get from being in the sun. However I did squeeze in some painting this morning and a few extra minutes this evening. Not quite there but oh well. I still need to finish the belts and add one more highlight to the metal areas. After that I'll tidy things up and then be done. I might use a wash on the metals but I don't recall if I had been doing that on the earlier pieces, but I'll deal with that tomorrow.

In the photo below you can see an example of a finished (i.e., fully painted and based) element for the 15mm Hundred Years War - English army, the single unit of spearmen included in the army's list. I'm not sure exactly when I painted it but I believe it was around last October. A few days ago I decided I had to fix that stripe running down the guy on the right's helmet, but otherwise I haven't done anything else to them since I took this picture. I'm a lot happier with the corrected paint job as the stripe was supposed to just help delineate the separation of colors, but instead it seemed to me to assert itself and became a focal point. I'll take new photos of all the finished elements and I think the improvement should be pretty obvious.

Gascon Brigans

I'm really pleased with how well the bases have turned out so far. In particular I'm happy that it looks like their standing on the ground instead of each of them perched on their own little boulder. I've tried a lot of different ways to disguise the metal base that 15mm figures come on and this is the first one that has actually worked. Personally I think these guys look pretty sweet, but of course I am biased.

That's it, I'm tired and my body hurts. I'm going to sleep.