About Me

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London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break and haven't looked back since. I must admit that I seem to be more of a painter/collector than a gamer, but do hope to correct that at some point in the near future. My gaming interests span the ages, from the "Biblical" era all the way through to the far future. I enjoy games of all sizes, from a handful of figures up to major battles (see my megalomaniacally sized Choson Korean and Russian Seven Years War armies).

Saturday, 31 December 2016

AHPC7 - Challenge Day 12

Despite being out until early afternoon today, I have made excellent progress on the Nubians. I've finished painting the command figures and made a good start on the next batch of figures:

With a bit of luck, I should be able to finish the second batch and also take the third batch (which is slightly larger) through to completion tomorrow, leaving just the three batches of bowmen and the slaves to do. I think I'll be able to get at least two batches of bowmen finished on Monday.

Sadly, I'm back at work on Tuesday which only leaves evenings free for painting. I should be able to manage the rest by Wednesday, then it's onto basing and flocking [reminder to self - need to make up the static grass mix]. And then I can finish up the grav vehicles before moving onto the next batch of figures - maybe something big for the "East" bonus theme round?

Friday, 30 December 2016

AHPC7 - Challenge Day 11

I've had quite a busy and productive day working on the Nubians. This morning I painted the hair colours:

Most got a basecoat of 1:1 Dark Greyblue/Black, but a few got Red Leather or Ochre Brown to represent warriors who'd rubbed clay into their hair. It looks a bit bright in the pics above, but the wash would dull that down.

Then applied the wash - I went with a 3:1 mix of Black and Burnt Umber. Those two steps took me the best part of 3 hours, but there were 224 figures to do.

With those two steps out of the way, it was time to split them into smaller groups for painting, mostly by figure pose or type:

Command and slaves; some archers

The rest of the archers

Melee troops
I decided to make a start on the command figures and have managed to get a decent way through them - they should be finished tomorrow:

Thursday, 29 December 2016

AHPC7 - Challenge Day 10

I've actually been back home since Tuesday, but didn't have anything to post until today. Since last Friday, I have been busy prepping the figures that arrived just in time for Christmas and I'm almost done with them now - just 72 left to finish off and wash.

Today I actually did some painting. The grav tanks and APCs got touched up, then given two coats of Klear to protect the camo before the rest of the painting and to make washes flow better into the recesses. I also primed the Nubians that I prepped over the break.

So, here's what's on the table right now:

Yup, I've decided it's time to do the Nubians - that should be a tidy little points bomb. Before making a start on them, I decided to do a little test on the slave figures for the baggage camp as the first step will be washes to darken the flesh:

Vallejo Burnt Umber; no wash; Vallejo Black

Vallejo Burnt Umber/Black (1:1); my brown wash; my brown/black washes (3:1)
The best results overall seem to be from the Vallejo Black and my brown/black washes, with the mix of Vallejo Burnt Umber and Black not far behind. I think I'll stick with the Vallejo Black wash for simplicity's sake. The plan is to base coat the hair and then do the washes tomorrow morning then play it by ear for the rest of the painting.

Friday, 23 December 2016

AHPC7 - Challenge Day 4

I forgot to mention in my last post that my first entry to this year's Challenge is up. Only 15 points, but it got me on the table.

You can view it here (click "here" or the sample piccy above).

I've also received some goodies in the post - one package yesterday, the other this morning (I had to collect both from the Royal Mail depot).

Static grasses from War World Scenics (scorched, dead and patch in 2mm and 4mm):

The rest of my order of Old Glory 15s from Timecast:

As I don't actually have any painting projects that are easily transportable this year, I can't take any of those down to my dad's for working on while I'm away. So, I might as well take those shinies down with me to prep during quieter moments. The Nubians will take priority, then the Sea Peoples.

Anyway, I'll be heading off shortly. Merry Xmas/Saturnalia/Yule/Winterval/(insert winter religious festival of choice)!!

AHPC7 - Challenge Day 3

Today I have been suffering from the after effects of yesterday's team Xmas lunch - very tired, no energy and somewhat achey. Which means that I didn't manage to get as much done as I'd hoped. However, I still managed to get the camo basecoats and highlights airbrushed onto the 15mm grav tanks and APCs that wil be my entry for the "armour" bonus theme round. Oh, and I've dry-brushed the bases that they will be going on.

I do still need to do some touch-ups where paint either lifted along with the stencils or where it got chipped/scratched. And some detailing before airbrushing a coat of Klear on followed by a shading wash, a second coat of Klear and then a coat of matt varnish. I also need to flock the bases.

All that will have to wait until next week though as I'm heading down to Sussex tomorrow for Christmas.

So, here's wishing you all a merry Christmas and may Santa bring you all the shinies you've asked for :)

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

AHPC7 - Challenge Day 1

And so it has begun. Some folks were able to get cracking on as soon as it started, and a few entries have already been posted. I had to wait until I got home from work (boo! hiss!). However, I have managed to finish and submit my first entry and learnt a valuable lesson - don't use the FlockBox with figures mounted on steel washers!

No pics today as I haven't got any WIPs and can't post pics of entries until they've been up on the Challenge blog for 24 hours.

Thursday will be my next painting session and I should get that entry finished on the day. Unfortunately you won't see that entry until January 8th as it's for the Armour bonus theme round.

Monday, 19 December 2016

'Twas The Night Before Challenge...

In just over 9 hours time, 100 painters from around the world will be able to start work on their Challenge entries. For those of us in the UK, that will be 6am. I don't propose getting up early just to get part-way through painting something only to have to go to work, so my efforts will have to wait until I get home in the evening. However, I have got myself set up and ready to go with my first entries. I've also rearranged the painting desk so that I can take my laptop in there for paint-and-chat sessions.

First up will be a small entry, just to get some points on the table:

On Wednesday my team at work are heading out for a Xmas meal (followed by drinks), so I probably won't be up to painting when I get home. Which leaves me with Thursday for painting before I head down to Sussex for the Christmas weekend (I've booked Thursday and Friday as annual leave). There's only one project I can really get done in a single day - the SF grav tanks and APCs for the "Armour" bonus theme round:

I've also been thinking about my 2600 points target. Looking back, my totals for the last 4 years were:

2012/13 - 1970 points (13 weeks) = 151.5 points/week
2013/14 - 1959 points (14 weeks) = 139.9 points/week
2014/15 - 2522 points (15 weeks) = 168.1 points/week
2015/16 - 1787 points (13 weeks) = 137.5 points/week

Hmmmmm! 2600 points in 13 weeks would require a 20% improvement on my best year's output, a 33% increase over my 4-year average and a 45% increase over last (my worst!) year. Somehow, I feel I may have set myself up for a massive fall...Yoiks!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

750K and FlockBox Experiments Pt2

Gosh! It seems that the rogue Russian and US webcrawlers have pushed me through the 750k page view threshold even sooner than expected. If bots could be thanked, I would do so. Well, perhaps not as it does rather distort the true viewing figures for this blog and those of others.

Anyway, back to the FlockBox experiments. The new ones haven't arrived yet, so yesterday I did some experiments to test different backing materials. It turned out that I didn't need to buy a 12V adaptor - the one for my spray booth was the right type. So I cracked on with the tests.

1. Silicone paper (sample strip that came with the FlockBox)
2. Sticker/label backing
3. Plastic from a "punched pocket"
4. Plastic from a document cover
5. Foil-backed siliconised parchment (paper side)
6. Foil-backed siliconised parchment (foil side)

i) For some reason, the tacky glue grabbed really strongly onto the plastic and foil such that the tufts couldn't be removed. I may have to do some tests with other glues (PVA, Copydex) to see if the same happens with them. The sticker/label backing also grabbed a bit and the larger tufts were difficult to remove without tearing.
2.The silicone paper and the siliconised parchment were equally good for tuft removal without any tearing of the larger pieces.
3. The two plastic pieces must have developed quite a good static charge - the next two photos show them after letting the glue dry them blowing and brushing the excess off - it was almost as deep as the tufts!

I then did a test using 4mm and 6.5mm static grass to see if the switch from 9V battery to 12V adapter improved things. It worked a treat, although the longer grass takes more effort than the shorter grass.

I did make a bit of a booboo - I should have done them on separate pieces. the result was that the green 6.5mm grass managed to find bits of glue in the 4mm tufts to get stuck to. Mind you, it created quite a nice vari-coloured effect.

The Curtgeld figures got prepped and washed last night. I've glued them on bases today and will be adding basing sand later on. I need to wait a bit before priming them as one figure was missing its weapon (Dave has found it and will send it on).

Saturday, 17 December 2016

The Figures What I Prepped

Well, 'tis the season (for repeats of family favourite TV shows) and most of my UK readers should recognise my homage to the late Ernie Wise in this post's title. But enough blather, this post is to show off everything that has been prepped and primed so far in readiness for the Challenge.


6mm ACW:

Mostly cavalry, some artillery and generals, plus casualties and gabions.

28mm stuff (and some 15mm):

Some WW2 Soviet women, some sheep, a whole bunch of gangs and civvies for Salutesville and some of the Raging Heroes "Jailbirds". Not to forget a trio of 15mm grav tanks and a trio of grav APCs.

15mm SYW Russian cavalry, generals and wagons:

15mm SYW Russian infantry and artillery, plus Three Musketeers, friends, enemies and collateral damage civvies:

Sorry for the blurry pic - red are Russians, black are Three Musketeers

15mm Nubians:

I'ms till waiting for another 48 bowmen to arrive.

15mm Choson Korean regular and irregular troops:

15mm Mongols:

This last pics is of a box containing the first of my 15mm sea Peoples to arrive (all prepped) and some figures received today from DaveD for our Curtgeld submission - I'll prep those tonight.

Phew! What a lot of stuff to paint! And what a variety! I haven't done a points count of them, but it should be over 3000 points worth with the Sea Peoples when they arrive, more if any get entered for bonus rounds. I don't expect to paint them all and at the end I will take pics to show what has been painted and what remains.

In terms of my personal priorities (but not necessarily painting order - the Bonus Theme rounds could mean stuff gets painted earlier):

1. Nubians or Sea Peoples
2. Sea Peoples or Nubians
3. 15mm SYW Russians
4. Mongols
5. Raging Heroes
6. Soviet women
7. 6mm ACW
8. 15mm SF armour
9. 28mm pulp
10. The Curtgeld group

If I excel my expectations by a huge margin and all this gets painted, I do have lots of other lead, plastic and resin in the pile that can be prepped, primed & painted.

Wish me luck!

Friday, 16 December 2016

FlockBox Experiments Pt1

I was feeling better this morning - still a bit tired, achey and weak - and tried to go into work. However, after walking a couple of hundred yards, my legs started to go so I found somewhere to sit down and after a rest headed home.

Last night I'd come up with a plan for what to do this weekend - give the FlockBox a proper test for making tufts. So, with being off work for another day I decided to get some prepwork (cutting siliconised baking paper to size) done for the tests and to do some initial tests using a metal sieve to distribute the static grass and with the sheets on a baking tray rather than the FlockBox. And here are the results:

2, 4 and 6.5mm static grass - yes, I did make the first strip too close to the larger tufts

2 & 4mm tufts

2 & 4mm tfuts, strips and patches

6.5, 4 & 2mm tufts
2 & 4mm patches

All of these were done using carpet tackifier glue. I found that it takes this glue at least 3 hours to cure to the point where the tufts can be lifted.

Other findings:

1. Works fantasticulously for the 2mm static grass, OKish with the 4mm grass and poorly with the 6.5mm grass.

2. The 4mm and 6.5mm grass has a tendency to clump together in the sieve which makes it more difficult to shake out onto the sheets.

3. The 6.5mm grass also tends to form a mat over the glued grass which blocks any more getting to the glue.

4. Decanting the excess back into the bags is awkward - I think I might have to transfer my various grasses into tubs.

I think that the problem with the longer grass is that I was running the unit off a 9V battery - I'm going to buy a 12V adapter to see if that works better.

I'm also wondering if I might have got better effect attaching the green crocodile clip directly to the sheets rather than to the baking tray. I'll have to do a test of that tomorrow to see if that helps with the problems I was having with the 4mm and 6.5mm grass.

I've ordered some more colours of static grass from War World Scenics as the ones I've got at the moment are all too green for my Nubians (I'm after a scorched/dried look for any grass on their bases). If those arrive tomorrow (they were shipped today) I will have a play with those as well, trying different mixes of colour and length for tufts and in patches on bases..

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Sickness Benefits

I've been struck down by a virus. Yesterday was hellish - all over aches, weakness and extreme tiredness during the day and general grottiness, but I did pick up a bit in the evening and managed to do a bit of prep work. This morning I was feeling a bit better, but still too weak, achey and drained for work so a second day at home. With nothing else to do, I got a few bits done - the benefits of being sick!

For a start, I managed to prime all of this lot with the airbrush:

These may or may not get painted up for two of the Bonus Theme rounds in this year's Challenge. I expect that the grave tanks and APCs will get done; I'm less certain of the Three Musketeers mob being fitted in. Well, maybe some of that lot might get done...

And then I finished off the scatter terrain pieces:

Gunmental dry-brush, sponging with hull red and light rust then dabbing with natural steel. Topped off with a patchy application of static grass. I think they've come out quite well.