Saturday, 22 February 2020

Frostgrave Plastics - A Necromancer and their Apprentice

The Northstar Military Figures plastic kits for Frostgrave are simply superb.  I love the sprue options and the creative abilities they present.  I recently received both boxes of the Plastic Wizards for Frostgrave.  The first box is for Male Wizards and the second box is for female Wizards.

I created a Necromancer and his apprentice from the stock parts on the included sprues without using any other options from the many boxsets that exist for Frostgrave.

I will be using the Necromancer as the villain in a solo campaign I am currently developing.

For painting the black robes I did something different.  I primed them black, drybrushed them white then washed them with Citadel Contrast Paint Black Templar.  It was too dark so I drybrushed them again white then used Contrast Baslicanum Grey and gave a much better effect.

Frostgrave Plastic Wizard
A Frostgrave Wizard's Apprentice and the Wizard - Necromancer

Frostgrave female wizard

Frostgrave Necromancer
The Necromancer

Frostgrave Apprentice Wizard
The Necromancer's Apprentice


Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Scaling It Down - Part 4 - A Squad of AB Figures Brits

I have just finished painting a squad of 10 AB Figures 20mm British for Normandy and beyond.  I am most impressed with the detail AB Figures manages to get into such small miniatures.  These guys will be used for Battlegroup, Chain of Command and a relatively new ruleset I really really want to try called Ultracombat Normandy.  They are painted as Riflemen as part of the British 7th Armoured Division.

AB Figures British
A squad of AB Figures British

AB Figures British WW2


20mm WW2 British Infantry

1/72 British Infantry


Friday, 7 February 2020

A different way of using Citadel Contrast Paints

It has been over six months since Games Workshop released their Contrast Paints range.  The hype was too real with the claim that "one thick coat" can help you paint your miniatures fast with a satisfactory finish.

I won't discuss this too much however I am not the biggest fan of the "one thick coat" as I think it works for some colours and some colours just look saturated and flooded.  Saying this, Contrast Paints might be the savior for many a painter. 

I have been experimenting quite a bit with the contrast paints and overall I wasn't satisfied with applying them directly over the recommended primer.  However, I have found an excellent use for them, that is as a glaze or a wash over a colour similar to the contrast paint. 

My contrast paints on a 3D Printed Paint Rack
My suggestion is give it a go.  For example, my Frostgrave Plastic Wizard and his apprentice were based with, Citadel Regal Blue, followed by bold highlights of Ultramarines Blue, Lightning Bolt Blue and some white was added at the end.  Once dry I thinned down Citadel Contrast Paints Talassar Blue with the Contrast medium at a ratio of about 50/50.

contrast paints as a glaze
Using Contrast Paints as a glaze

Frostgrave Plastic Wizard Conversion
The Robes came out really vivid and blended in the layers using Contrast Paints as a glaze

When I painted the red, I simply went Vallejo Dark Red followed by Vallejo Scarlet and washed it with Contrast Paints Blood Angels Red straight from the pot.  I think it looks rather nice.

contrast paints as a wash
Using Contrast Paints as a wash

Frostgrave Plastic Wizard
Using Contrast Paints as a wash gave a very rich and deep red
Prior to this I painted the flesh of a giant using the same principal.  I applied my flesh colours then thinned down Contrast Paints Guilliman Flesh and used it as a glaze over his flesh and the results I believe are excellent.

alternative different use for contrast paints
The Giant on the right used Contrast Paint Guilliman Flesh as a glaze

So get painting and do some experimenting with Contrast Paints.  I think they are one of the most over-hyped products by Games Workshop but they do have their use depending on your skill level and patience.  I am far from finished with them!


Thursday, 30 January 2020

Scaling It Down - Part 3 - A look at 20mm Panzer Lehr Miniatures

It has been nearly 2 and a half years since I did anything with my 20mm, 1/72 WW2 Project.  Please click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2 of this project.  It has certainly been a long time between drinks.  During this time I have painted hundreds of miniatures and I continue to lose the battle of effective storage solutions.  I am not leaving 28mm WW2 I am just going to cut back on terrain options for 28mm and focus more on the benefits of 20mm.  I will continue to paint 28mm WW2!  Some of you may recall I have basically all but ended my relationship with MDF and am mostly looking at 3D printing as a means of producing terrain.

I have written an article for Paint All the Minis addressing why 3D Printed Terrain is so great.  Comparing my Knights of Dice 28mm Normandy Terrace to a 3D Printed Normandy Terrace in 20mm is significant.  The 3D Prints in 20mm are almost a quarter of the size as a Knights of Dice Normandy Terrace.  Storing multiple Knights of Dice Terraces was going to be problematic to me. 20mm 3d Printed Terraces... no problem!  Moving on, this article will be discussing the options for the German Panzer Lehr Division in 20mm.


There are three main options for doing Panzer Lehr in 20mm being:

I have previously written articles for Adler and Wartime.  I will write my thoughts on the ranges here.

Wartime Miniatures - now Simon's Soldiers

These Australian manufactured miniatures have a broad range of options covering the Panzer Lehr.  They have enough options to create a platoon with plenty of variety and support weapons, specifically a medium mortar, panzerschreck, LMG and MMG options.  Wartime Miniatures gives you a terrific option for a HQ with some Officers Reading Maps, a radio operator and some NCOs.  

My main criticism with Wartime's sculpts is they are slightly on the smaller size when compared to AB Figures, Adler Miniatures and Elhiem Figures.  At this scale it doesn't matter too much and doesn't bother me however it may be a contributing factor for other hobbyists. Saying this given the variety of the range you can almost exclusively use the figures for whatever ruleset you wish to play.  Cost wise, they are by far the cheapest however postage will vary depending where in the world you are.   

In terms of variety Wartime sticks out from the rest as there is some really characterful sculpts.

Wartime Miniatures offer a nice variety of poses






Officer Options for Wartime Miniatures

NCOs and a Radio Operator 

Medium Mortar

Panzerschreck Team

Adler Miniatures

Adler Miniatures produce a very nice 20mm WW2 range.  Their German Infantry range is not specifically for the Panzer Lehr and it focuses on the Panzer Wrap aka Panzerjacke. This is what the Panzer Lehr was kitted out with so essentially these figures are perfect for the Panzer Lehr.

The thing I love about the Adler Range is the sculpting.  The proportions are more realistic and on par with AB Figures and Elhiem Figures.  Although there is not as much variety as Wartime, I tend to prefer Adler.  They are more expensive than Wartime and the website is dated however saying this they are very responsive for when you order.  Don't let the website put you off the miniatures as the quality of the sculpts certainly makes up for it.

Adler also produce decals for collar tabs.  I initially used these however they are so small and fiddly I prefer just painting the collar tabs on.  Adler is expanding into the 20mm WW2 market and I am excited to see what they produce - spoiler - their Panzer Lehr isn't the only range of theirs I have in 20mm.

Adler Miniatures have some terrific well proportioned sculpts




My most recently Painted Adler Panzer Lehr - MG42 Teams

Adler 20mm Panzer Lehr Miniatures
I love the advancing poses of the Adler MG42 teams

Elhiem Figures

Elhiem specialises in 20mm Miniatures.  They have a fantastic range covering many periods throughout the 20th century and beyond.  Their Panzer Lehr was some of their first sculpts and has been discontinued and is due for replacement.  This is great news as the early sculpts are no reflection on what they are currently producing now.  Do a google image search for their Panzer Lehr and you will see what I am talking about.  

The range did start to get replaced from what I can gather however was stalled.  Elhiem offered a type of crowd funding for some of their projects and I have essentially funded the Panzer Lehr range to be priorities.  It only cost me 25 GBP but I think it was 25 pounds well spent to support a great product.  Elhiem tell me the range is due soon.  I am hoping they are released in 2020 but once they release I am certain to grab them although I currently have enough painted Panzer Lehr to fulfill a basic force for multiple rulesets.  

Cost wise Elhiem are terrific value for money and postage from the UK to Australia is very reasonable and almost cheaper than buying locally.  

Elhiem currently has about 7 sculpts available for the Panzer Lehr.  I am hoping Elhiem will produce a full range that will rival Wartime's range.  The 7 sculpts I have are really nice and are very well proportioned.  I am confident that Elhiem will produce the "go to" range for 20mm Panzer Lehr and will be the best sculpts out there.

A preview of what is to come from Elhiem Figures.



Miniature Comparison

As stated, Adler and Elhiem go really well together whilst Wartime is slightly smaller.  Again I will stress at this scale it doesn't matter too much.  If this is an issue I would recommend people go with Wartime until we see what Elhiem releases and I am confident the release will be worth the wait. 

Comparison of 20mm Panzer Lehr Miniatures Left to Right - Wartime aka Simon's Soldiers, Adler, Elhiem

Elhiem are the largest but are a really nice match with Adler and gives you lots of variety

20mm Panzer Lehr Comparison Adler Miniatures Wartime Miniatures Elhiem Figures



Conclusion

Unlike 28mm, we are rather spoiled for choice in 20mm for the Panzer Lehr and it is only going to get better with Elhiem replacing their range.  Let's hope that Adler expands on theirs.  Each manufacturer has their merits and I can highly recommend them all.  You can have a very unique and aesthetically pleasing Panzer Lehr force in 20mm by simply mixing the ranges.  







Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Twenty Twenty - Blog update and Ramble

It has been almost six months since I last posted.  I haven't been active on this blog however saying this I have still been doing hobby.  I feel at times that blogging takes some effort and I really should pull my finger out and post some more! I felt really burnt out after finishing the La Haye Sainte Box Set.  It really was an epic achievement, a 100% completed project, and it will be featured in an upcoming unannounced book release. 

I have given the blog a slight overhaul, I have removed some irrelevant labels and added some of my more popular labels as a type of menu at the top of the blog.

Contact Front Ruleset


Speaking of books, a big highlight for me was being a contributing artist to Gods Eye Games Contact Front.  This is a Modern Warfare Ruleset by the talented Carl Titterington.  Check it out here .
For more information about the ruleset listen to a podcast here about it.  I have played the ruleset and it is terrific fun! I did a professional shoot with Bryan Cook and we achieved some terrific results.  Bryan and I also did a most impressive photo shoot for the La Haye Sainte Box set.

Contact Front Rules Set
The Photo shoot with Bryan for Contact Front

Contact Front Rules Set
A professional touch

La Haye Sainte Collector's Edition Professional Photo Shoot

Fantasy 


I have been painting loads of fantasy, some highlights would be the TTCombat Halflings from their kickstarter and some Wargames Atlantic Hard Plastic multi-part halflings.  I have also been painting some other random fantasy figures.  

ttcombat Halflings
A small warband of TTCombat Halflings for Rangers of Shadow Deep

TTCombat Halfling Building
A TTCombat Halfling Building for Rangers of Shadow Deep

zombie giant, ttcombat halflings, massive darkness orc
Zombicide, Zombie Giant, Giant, TTCombat Halfling and a Massive Darkness Orc

Wargames Atlantic Halflings, Plastic Halflings
Wargames Atlantic Multi-part Plastic Halflings

A return to 20mm WW2 and some 20mm Moderns


Although the majority of my miniatures are 28mm I have really warmed to 20mm again.  The main attraction is storage! I can store so much more and pack so much more in.  All of my moderns are in 20mm and the Elhiem miniatures range for moderns is simply fantastic.  I will be painting up some more for the Contact Front Special Forces supplement.  Another note on why 20mm is really nice is that I can 3D Print so much for it in a fraction of the time.

Elhiem Miniatures Australian SAS
Some Elhiem 20mm Australian SAS 
I have blown the dust off my 20mm WW2 Normandy Project.  After my frustrations and disappointment with MDF kits, mainly due to mold and being ridiculously over-sized, I have sold off what I have and will only stick to 3D prints.  There is an overwhelming size difference between a 28mm and a 20mm Normandy terrace for example.  Check out my post here.  Also that MDF terrace has been thrown out sadly due to mold growing!  It was also a pain to store.  Stay tuned for some 20mm WW2 goodness.  

Solo Wargaming

I really haven't played many games recently with others.  I have felt a little bit withdrawn socially lately.  To be fair its got nothing to do with others, its just something I have been trying to deal with myself.  I am more open to playing with people I know in a nice private environment as opposed to being at a Games Club for example.  I really want to reconnect with the regulars I game with this year.  This aside, to keep that feeling of rolling dice, I have been playing lots of solo games, whether its card games, board games or wargames.

I have been playing Rangers of Shadow Deep which is a brilliant fantasy ruleset where you take a warband on adventures for one or co-operative with a friend. I have only played it solo and I love it.  I will keep adding to my ever growing fantasy collection for this game.

With the release of the Frostgrave Solo Supplement, Perilous Dark, I have been playing lots of Frostgrave Solo which has got me thinking.  I am currently in the process of writing my own Solo Campaign for Frostgrave and currently play testing it, I like the direction it is taking, it will take me a while but I will invite others for some play testing soon.  

Writing

I would like to improve my writing skills and I have been keeping a notebook of ideas.  My priority is to get out my Frostgrave Solo campaign which will be a PDF for all to download, but I also have some ideas for Rangers of Shadow Deep, Bolt Action Solo mechanics and my own unique ruleset for a Solo Sci-Fi Skirmish game.  I got so many ideas, I just need to commit them to something!  This will take me some time but its something I would really like to do.

The Way Forward

I am not really going to set hobby goals for this year but what I can tell you is that I will be working on 20mm WW2 and Moderns, loads of Fantasy, 28mm Sci-Fi, Old/Middlehammer, Napoleonics or whatever I feel like! I like having the freedom of not having to paint up an army with a deadline for a tournament or something.  Whatever I fancy goes!

I tweet regularly about what I am up to and working on. https://twitter.com/LefthandedPanzr 

Thanks

Dave