Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Your Mission.... should you choose to accept it!

So 2016, the year of celebrity mortality is dead and buried. Who of the following list has done more for social justice in the world than Mohammed Ali? (oh yeah, he did  some boxing as well). We lost David Bowie, George Michael and Prince, Pete Burns who spins us right round baby! Gene Wilder (sob), Richard Adams (of Watership Down (loved Captain Campion) and The Plague Dogs (loved Snitter) fame), Rick Parfitt kicked it, Zsa Zsa Gabor finally gave up the ghost, Peter Vaughan (and if you dont recognise this bad ass, look up the name and you will recognise him from everywhere!), Ronnie Corbett finally joined Ronnie Barker, Andrew Sachs (Fawlty Towers), Kenny Baker (R2D2). Alan Rickman, what a loss to the British acting pantheon... and perhaps most crushing of all to any of us who were growing boys (oooh errr) in 1983 we waved good bye at the last gasp to Princess Leia, and then to add icing to this bitter cake her mother Debbie Reynolds within a day of her passing, followed her. A very very sad year.

Me in Krakow, drinking in what can only be described as a Communist Fan Club!

Its OK though guys, I made it! I'm still here...although Im sure there are a few of you who will be cursing 2016 for not finishing the job! :D

However, in this year my painting went into overdrive and I managed to knock out quite a bit of stuff that I am quite chuffed with. I think that 2016 was my most productive artistic year of my whole life to date (turns out that loathing some of the people you are forced to spend your time with in the day is one of the best incentives to use painting and modelling as a destress agent!)... however it isn't a cross I think I want to carry any longer. I don't think my significant other would survive it :D So with this thought at the forefront of my mind I think its best that I pick a limited number of projects and concentrate on them.

With 2017 promising to be a most excellent of years (I wonder how much of that is because I am now surrounded by stand up people who don't have an inbuilt need to turn a daily routine into a circus sideshow? Hmmm may have to think more on that one) I said to myself 'Self, we need to set some targets!'

So here is what I am going to aim to do (modelling and painting wise) in 2017... and this is obviously in no particular order.

i) The Polish 10th Motorised Brigade (i.e the Black Brigade) for Flames of War. I have been itching to do these bad-asses for ages but a lack of appropriate miniatures has held me back. This year Im going to make sure that a lack of vehicles will no longer be a problem

Colonel Stanislaw Maczek (wearing beret on right), commander of the 10th Bk accompanied by his chief of staff (Beret on left) Major Skibinski. There are mountains of misconceptions surrounding the 10Bk... but studying military records and photographic evidence is half the fun of modelling military projects right?

ii) Finish off a sizeable proportion of my PHR for Dropzone Commander... just because I love looking at my Tron-esque miniatures and my UCM need an opponent.

Some 10mm PHR goodness! 

... and of course some more 10mm PHR goodness... more where these came from!

iii) Start turning out scenery for my Dropzone Commander games.  Being more of an aesthete gamer, bad scenery REALLY turns me off playing a game and the cardboard box buildings that are provided with Dropzone Commander has done just that. (I know JD! Don't shoot me yet!). I have decided that 2017 is the year where I start churning out scenery which will demonstrate why I want to game on attractive tables.

A Dropzone Commander table... NO!!!!

Another Dropzone Commander table... YES!

iv) Gruntz! I have two armies for Gruntz. One straight out of a Khurasan Miniatures box set which should be relatively quick and easy to paint, I just have to settle on a scheme and another which is a project I have wanted to attack for at least a couple of years; a 15mm Genestealer Cult Army! The cult army requires a lot of sculpting and casting BUT this is the year to start it. I wont finish it this year BUT I will make some attractive progress I think.

Has there ever been a better picture showing just what a Genestealer Cult actually is?

v) Another Corp for Archduke Charles Austrians... I just need to keep chipping away at this behemoth of an army or I will never see the end of it... and they are just SOOOOOOOOO pretty when they are done! I think I was a Magpie in a former life! :D

Loads of bayonets here! 

vi) A Napoleonic French Naval Squadron. My Napoleonic ships created a stir when they were revealed at my local club BUT all of the ships were painted between 10 and 22 years ago. I want to take a stab at another squadron for the Warhammer Historical game 'Trafalgar' just so I can see where my skills lay currently when compared with Ye Olde Dayes

Turns out 'England expects... quite a bit!'

vii) A Zulu War army in 10mm. These guys have been pulling at the back of my mind for years, and I do mean YEARS! It was the very first period of history I chose to wargame myself back at the dawn of time (which contrary to popular belief was actually after 1879) when I was 13 and after leaving them behind so many years ago I have finally decided to do this period in 10mm. I can get large armies and store then in relatively small spaces. I'm going to start with the Zulus who it turns out, were a hell of a lot more organised than a pack of natives charging with spears. Small wonder they whooped the redcoats THREE times in as many months!

Shit is about to get real. Not a single redcoated soldier escaped the field of Isandlwana in 1879. Underestimate the Zulu war machine at your peril!

viii) Learn how to become more refined in my sculpting techniques. My Black Brigade, which will be my signal project in 2017 has an abject lack of vehicles produced for it by anybody, and those that are, are deplorable. I find myself needing to produce these vehicles myself... and with that in mind I will need to sculpt them. You will already have seen the Vickers E tank that I have done. Not so bad if I dont say so myself, but there are a LOT of softskins that need to be done as well... I aim to complete them ALL by years end!

Yup... this one!

ix) Learn how to cast miniatures. I already own a brand spanking new vacuum pump and I know the theories and (I hope) most of the pitfalls of casting but there is no teacher like failure and experience. This year Im going to nail casting to the point that I will feel comfortable selling the casts that I make! These will cover mainly Polish vehicles, Armoured Trains and Riverine Monitors that were used by Poland initially and then by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union... really, I just want to stack out my own collection with weird and wonderful stuff!

The Polish Riverine Monitor 'Horodyszcze' in 1939

x) Learn how to Photo Etch Brass. The more detailed my modelling becomes the more I am finding the need to provide myself with custom made elements to bring my pieces to life... and one of the things that I have seen somewhere is small ships of the Napoleonic era (1/1200 scale) with CREW on the decks. Yes ladies and gentlemen; CREW! The most tiny of tiny people populating the decks of these wooden walled monstrosities, each one only 1.5mm tall... I just cannot sleep knowing that I didn't bother trying this out... that and of course my scenery kick this year for Dropzone Commander will need to have details added. After all the devil is in the detail and I love the idea of producing my own ornate iron fencing for buildings and such like :D

This... but much MUCH smaller! Oh yeah baby!!!!

So there you have it. That is my whole year laid out! I think one day somebody is going to have to sit me down and explain just exactly what a lighter workload actually is! :D

Fix Bayonets!

Me looking all debonair and shit in Istanbul

1 comment:

  1. Hey, a shoutout! And you posted this on my birthday, too! Awesome!

    That is still a pretty packed and ambitious schedule, Lee, so hats off to you, and keep us posted. How do I sign up to get notifications of new posts here, anyways?

    In the meantime, I'd be happy to find the time to build the four Raven A's I need to replace the ones I gave to a friend so he could jump back into Dropzone Commander in time to play in his first tournament back in January, so I can Be Like Mike and start winning even more games with my much-maligned UCM. But with my wife losing most of the vision in her left eye due to a stroke in her optic nerve (this occurring whilst I was at the LVO, and she didn't tell me how bad it was when I texted her to tell her I'd won the DZC tournament (again!)), my hobby time has taken a jump all the way into the "way back" of the station wagon (great movie, BTW), and is looking out the rear window backwards as we continue down this dusty road of 2017, which started out OK, until... Stroke!

    Anyway, you go, guy! Best of luck with all of the projects, but don't ignore your lady! 8^D