Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Crowdfunding season (and some titillation)

OK, well it seems that my Facebook feed is crammed to the gills with current and upcoming crowdfunding projects, so I thought that I would do a little summary of the ones that have caught my eye (or pocket) in the last few weeks. A couple of these will have finished by the time that you read this, but I've included them either for additional exposure and future reference, or just because I like them! ^_^

First of all, Kingdom Death:Monster...

Yeah, I know, it "should" have been fulfilled by now if original estimates had worked out, but never in his wildest dreams did Adam Poots expect to go from selling 50-100 resin minis to fund the next casting run or sculpt, to fulfilling the wishes of some 5500 backers, and cramming about 11 expansions into the original game! Dealing with the new expectation has led to sourcing hard plastic moulding of the minis from China and who knows how much else in terms of card stock, dice and artwork.
The anticipation of this as a table top game, method of miniature construction and as a slick looking art piece is huge now and each update on Kickstarter has me salivating happily.
I've been lucky enough in the past to have had a few of the models from the game in their prototype resin forms, and they are stupendous.

I painted the starting survivors for the game almost as soon as I received them, and they may end up in the final rulebook.
More views in my CMON and P&P galleries - HERE and HERE

The recent release of the Pinups of Death has shown us what to expect from the game's plastic models and, from what I've seen so far, the people are going to be very happy with them. More on this another time though ;)
The reason that I mentioned (other than the self pimping, lol) is that the pledge manager for KD:M has been reopened for existing backers to add to their pledge if they wish. Personally I feel that around 100 minis in a box is plenty to be getting on with, but I know that there are a few completionists that want to "catch them all" ^_^

Next, Hangar 18's Modern Pinups

This was a re-issue of a KS scheme that went wonky a few months back. It has just finished and has funded quite nicely, but backers are currently awaiting the pledge manager. 
he new sculpts are all done in the style of Andrew Bawidamann's pinup art, which itself is greatly influenced by Gil Evren's bomber nose art from the Second World War. Some are a bit marmite, but some look like they will be absolutely great. It is unusual to have
The link up with Hasslefree with regards to EU backer postage was a benefit, along with the innovative add-ons, like mouse mats and photo back drops, but in the end it was one particular sculpt that tipped me over the edge and got me "in" on the scheme...

I ended up paying in for 2 other girls and a bust too, but this one was definitely my favourite. ^_^

Next... RPG Fantasy Miniatures by Minx Studio


 As I write this Kickstarter has 15 days to run and looks like a really interesting project. I like the slightly different take on things that the guys running this have taken. The models so far are kind of "generic" fantasy, making them suitable for a variety of RPGs and tabletop games as character models. There is no plan at this stage to create a game system associated, which could be a drawback to some, but it has never stopped the likes of Hasslefree succeeding in the past... ;)
What makes this scheme note worthy? Well, aside from the guys enthusiasm and good looking models, you can pledge to receive display level models by some very well known painters including Aaron Lovejoy, Emuse Studio, Minx Studio themselves, oh, and some bloke called Scott Hockley!! lol
So, what are you waiting for? Back it! NOW! haha! ^.^


This scheme still has just under a day to run as I write and is something really useful for almost everyone modeller. Run by Ben Jarvis, a UK Slayer Sword winner, this is all about brass etch accessories to customise your models. I've seen the early sheets in hand, and the detail is great! Brass etch isn't cheap to produce, but this works out quite reasonable and will definitely be something that I shall make good use of!

Drakerys, the game

This is a new Kickstarter from the guys behind Eden (Taban Miniatures), but also largely from Rackham in the dim and distant (often lamented) past.
Lots of good looking minis with what looks like an innovative method of building rank and file models too. Some of the concepts for the stretch goals look really impressive too. I shall be keeping an eye on this with a view to some late mini scalping, I reckon ;)


I forgot a Kickstarter that a friend is running and I feel pretty bad for not mentioning too (I've probably forgotten others cos I've got a sieve for a brain at times. So this is one I missed!

The Trolls of Trudvang by JoeK Minis

Joe Karame is one of the Brindie Gang, and the third of the bunch to go full scale with a bit of crowdfunding (Infamy did a short one recently too but has a bigger one in the pipeline, and Warploque did the successful Arcworlde one a few months back too). As I write, it has 12 days to run and the scheme is based around a piece of Paul Bonner art that Joe got licensed to reproduce in mini form. The KS started with funding the big troll in the artwork itself, and then subsquent stretch goals have unlocked the sculpting and production of the remaining protagonists in the scene. Well worth a look and I am glad to say that it has funded successfully already, plus you can get additional discounts from the JoeK range by backing the scheme too. ^_^

Fallen Frontiers

This one is eagerly anticipated from the Scale 75 guys. They are currently awaiting the green light for their Kickstarter to actually begin, but this one looks like it will have some of the best sci-fi minis around judging by early images. Keep your eyes peeled...

Another upcoming one is going to be The Others from Studio McVey and Guillotine Games. So far there has only been a couple of teasers, including the following vid, but I consider my interest piqued... ^_^


OK. Enough pimping from me, and happy shopping!

Getting back to what I've been up to in terms of painting, aside from committing to painting minis for the Minx KS, I am still in the midst of a nice commission which I can't show yet, but I also took a bit of time out to start painting a Kingdom Death Pinup that is due for release with the Monster game soon (we hope).
This is the Phoenix Dancer...

The colours of the skin are still being worked on at this stage (and the colour balance of the photos was really off!), but I really like the sculpt and the pose makes for quite easy painting too, with only a couple of head feather left off the sculpt to be added a bit later.
I hope to have her finished this week if all goes well, although I'm in two minds about a base at the moment, so I'll post up more progress soon.

Until then, enjoy Crowdfunding season, even if your wife/husband/significant other and wallet won't! ^_^

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

It's a funny old game...

Someone doesn't like me apparently.
I know, I know. Where's the surprise there then? lol
Well, something happened to me (on line) this week that I have seen or heard happen to some others before, and it did cause a bit of a raised eyebrow.

I was going to write a bit of a diatribe about the practice of score sniping on Coolminiornot, but I think that it will only do a couple of things:
a) Rehash a debate about the imperfections of the voting system of the site's gallery feature.
b) Give credence to the particular individual who took an hour out of their day over the weekend to torpedo my mini anonymously.

I must insist that I love Coolmini as a resource and gallery, and have been a member there since 2007. I have met and got to know a great many of my hobby friends directly or indirectly via the site, and have the greatest respect for the guys that run it. The site isn't perfect, and it would appear that there are a few trolls around, but I think that it is as good as it can be to serve the purposes that it does.

Instead, I am going to shrug my shoulders, safe in the knowledge that much better painters and sculptors than I have had the same or much worse happen to them. Most of them are still around to tell the tale and/or impart the benefits of their wisdom too, so it can hardly be the end of the world.
The score isn't important (the comments are though! :) ), just like winning at events isn't important in the grand scheme of things. It is good to do the best that you can and have people recognise that - similarly it is just as good to do the best that you can at any given moment and then be told how you might improve next time when amongst your peers and friends - but it definitely isn't the be-all-and-end-all.

What is important is to enjoy your hobby and do it for that enjoyment first and foremost. Be it for the sense of achievement when a piece is finished, be it that it gives you the chance to socialise with like minded folks, be it just that lovely centred feeling that you can get when it is just you with some music, a paintbrush, a model and some paint. Whatever it is that makes you head off to your cave to tinker with toy soldiers for a few hours, make sure it is because you want to do it.

Anyway. Not so cryptic intro dealt with, I'll get on with today's post...

First, the Architect commission piece and article both seem to have been well received.
The Coolmini entry (HERE) is featured in their best of the week page - LINKY - and, at last count, the painting guide has had nearly 7500 hits (HERE). All in all I'm pleased, and I have lots of exciting (for me) Kingdom Death stuff in the pipeline that I am trying to squeeze in around the commission that I'm working on at the moment.

A piece that I've been meaning to get around to taking final photos of is the Soda Pop vignette that I finished before Salute last month, and I did take some shots at the weekend which are below.


I'm not sure that the white background shows this piece in its best light, but I'm also not sure that the piece as a whole is easy to photograph anyway... :/
I enjoyed aspects of this vignette, and learned a few new things, but I think that I was struggling with a casting that wasn't great, and became more apparent as painting progressed. I felt that I wasn't going to fix these issues to a level that I was going to be happy with, so there ended up being a few things within the whole of the piece that I'm not so keen on. 
I also now think that mechs aren't my "thing". Despite the fact that there were two girl models on the scene, it wasn't really enough to get me to push on and make it quite what it perhaps could have been.
I made a promise to myself a couple of years ago that I wouldn't paint models that I didn't like/enjoy, and in the end this was maybe a bit close to breaking that promise.
I don't know whether I'll add this one to my galleries, maybe I'll have another go at photos with a more suitable background soon. :)

Other than this, I am forging ahead with a lovely commission that I hope to be able to show in a few months, and scribbling down ideas for what I plan to do next for myself. I may have some pics up next post of one or two models that I am tinkering with. We'll see...

Oh, and our little boy is 2 years old this Thursday (the 15th). I can't believe how the time has flown, and it reminded me that I painted a mini for Sally & Kev of Hasslefree pretty much while my wife was in labour! In fact it was mostly while she slept waiting to go into hospital, or go back to hospital as it took 5 days for him to decide that he was ready to make an appearance!!
The piece in question was Kalee...

More pics are HERE, HERE and HERE

It is frightening how fast time has gone, but this is a quirky reminder of the time and those first few weeks of abject terror when you are placed in charge of your first born!! lol

Happy days... I think! ^_^

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Holiday Happiness!

Well, just got back today from our first family holiday with the little one in Cyprus. It was great and most importantly our little man loved it, spending his days alternately charming all of the girls or being in charge of his pirate ship!! (Long story...)

But while I was away, Kingdom Death published an article that I wrote a while back to accompany a commission piece that I did for them. This is the article - LINKY - and this is the model itself...

 If you think that it looks familiar, it is because this is the "original" version of the same model that I featured in my FIRST POST
This version though was to be assembled and painted as close to the original concept art by Lokman Lam as possible. It was a bit of a departure from my usual more colourful stuff, but I really enjoyed the challenge of tweaking my style to suit, and I'm pleased with the outcome too (as is the client, more importantly! ^_^).

The guide itself, though a little time consuming, was a great chance to look into what I do when I'm painting and prepping models, and surprised me how much goes into getting from the original, unassembled kit in the box to finished article.

I shall now be able to use the framework of this first article to help explain how I put together future pieces too.

Anyway, I hope that you like her and feel free to pop by and vote on Coolmini and/or Putty & Paint