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Rob Dean

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Everything posted by Rob Dean

  1. Travelling with minis

    I haven't, yet. You'd want to experiment with some cheap miniatures, because you want enough grab to immobilize it transport, but not so much that you rip the figure loose from the base (or the ankles!) in getting them out of the box.
  2. So, looking over the advice that I posted, I was leaning more toward the history of the gaming side...but... Most of the early books (1960s) spend a fair amount of time discussing the hobbying aspects of this; so War Games (Donald Featherstone, 1962) has a section on how to make a mold to cast your own figures, and both War Games and How to Play War Games in Miniature (Morschauser, 1962) list Bob Bard's Making and Collecting Military Miniatures (1959, rev. 1962) in their bibliographies. From the description (I don't hav a copy), that was likely the handbook for what you needed to know about painting and modeling at the dawn of modern wargaming history. Most of the early books also had lists of miniatures manufacturers, so you could organize the books by date and scan the lists to see when players pop up and disappear. Early sources of miniatures included Jack Scruby, SAE ("Swedish African Engineers"; sculpted by Holger Eriksson, who also sculpted the Spencer Smiths, at least the 18th century figures, and the 40mm semi flats still sold as molds by Prince August), Elastolin (plastic 40mm figures used for the earliest games that grew into D&D), Airfix 1/72 scale plastics, and various German Zinnfiguren (or "flats") manufacturers. War Games included three sample games played out in some detail, an ancients game played with Tony Bath's collection of German flats, an American Civil War game which the author helpfully notes that the figures are a mix of SAEs, Scrubys, and Spencer-Smith plastics, and a WWII game with Airfix infantry and an eclectic selection of vehicles including an Airfix kit, a plaster cast home conversion, and a Matchbox halftrack. The first officially "fantasy" line of miniatures produced was from Minifigs (Miniature Figurines, Ltd.). Their "ME" (Mythical Earth) range was introduced in 1972. http://www.miniatures-workshop.com/lostminiswiki/index.php?title=Mythical_Earth I have been painting a bunch of them lately, in a retro project revisiting my start in the hobby: Once you get to the start of fantasy (that is, once D&D took off starting in 1974), companies and sculptors were popping up all over. Tom Meier was an the powerhouse behind early Ral Partha, "Duke" Seifried had his hand in several companies, particularly Heritage (and Heritage recasts were among the earliest Reaper products, btw), which had great influence on the rest of the particularly fantasy hobby. Duke introduced a lot of what Games Workshop eventually perfected in terms of selling an integrated line of scenics, paint (some of the first acrylics I saw), miniatures, and rules. I could write 2500 words off the top of my head , but footnoting it would be the hard part...
  3. Adina “Hill Giants”

    Yes, I described them to my brother as “hill midgets” as I was working on them today...
  4. Adina “Hill Giants”

    Following the muse today, I set aside my vintage Minifigs orcs for these two Adina hill giants. I’ve had one of the rock throwers for many years, although I didn’t know what it was for a long time, but recently managed to pull this pair off of eBay. I started with the club-wielder: There isn’t a lot to them, so both are now waiting while base treatments dry. I should have them varnished by tomorrow. I’ll put Sir Forescale in the next picture. Even for 1978 these weren’t the tallest giants around...
  5. Adina “Hill Giants”

    and basically done. I added a 1976 Ral Partha figure to show that they were once giants....
  6. Ok, so basically you want Henry Hyde’s Wargaming Compendium chapter 2 and all of its footnoted bibliography. You also want Jon Peterson’s Playing at the World, Chapters 3.1.5 through 3.1.7 and all of those footnotes.
  7. Randomness XIII: Cognitive Dissonance While You Wait

    Is there already a picture of your travel set up on the boards here somewhere? I'm always interested in other painters' travel kits, since I seem to do a lot on the road myself:
  8. Getting to Know You, April 2018

    I've told the story many times of how I went around with my insurer on coverage for an ambulance ride after a bike accident in which I was unconscious. I wasn't covered because it was an out of network provider, although they never could explain how I was supposed to ensure that any good Samaritans calling for help called the right ambulance... There once was a painter found running Whose stopping was suddenly stunning Their foot is on ice Which isn't real nice But better than medical dunning ...
  9. Broadsword Rangers

    Finally varnished these guys today...as noted last weekend, they amount to a packet of Broadsword P11 and P12 each, and were acquired in a couple of different eBay purchases. Since they had some fun and interesting figures back in the day (~1980) and I didn’t have any of them, I conclude that none of my local hobby shops carried the line.
  10. Broadsword Rangers

    I think that may be the only designated ranger-bard I’ve seen...
  11. Thanks! I have been having fun with orc shields, as you can see...
  12. I expect this is going to be a long-running WIP thread. My intention is to convert this heap of vintage lead into war games armies to allow me to field forces for a variety of Tolkien situations, using only vintage Minifigs. For those who are younger than me, Minifigs produced this line of Tolkien-inspired figures starting in 1972, and, as far as we've ever been able to determine, it was the first range of specifically fantasy miniatures ever produced. They were the first that I bought as well, and I will freely admit that this is a nostalgia project. I posted a batch of finished elves this morning. Here's what I have left to do: two elf riders, an elf king to form a second command stand, 14 elf swordsmen, and 9 elf bowmen (three of whom have lost arrows and one who's been redone as a standard bearer for the command stand.) For the era of the Battle of the Five Armies, they have some dwarf allies. Here's a dozen, representing all three stock numbers that were produced. Each stock number was a strip of two. I have a batch of seven already finished and based. Minifigs did not issue any specific Lakemen, nor, for that matter, any specific Rohirrim on foot. For the Five Armies-era humans, I'll have to reach into the historical and use some figures from their NS (Norman/Saxon) range with round shields. I've got about three dozen available with which to work. They should also serve as dismounted Rohirrim when needed. Beorn and Gandalf are also available, and a token eagle... To continue with the good guys, there were two catalog numbers of actual mounted Rohirrim. I have two completed so far, and about 22 available, including a few Later Romans or similar Dark Ages figures which blend well. A few spare horses remain to be found. The Gondorians were represented by five different figures, a citadel guardsman, two rangers of Ithilien, a spearman, a swordsman, and a foot knight. I've got at least a dozen of each, plus a total of two dozen of ME53 and 54, Rangers of the North. The Dark Lord's forces can be lead by the imposing squadron of flying Nazgul, of which I have four: I have 18 wargs (plus a few already finished), but only two of the goblin riders: Large orcs came in three poses, with sword, axe or spear. I've got about 85 to be done: Smaller orcs came in four poses, a bowman, a swordsman without shield, a swordsman with shield, and a well equipped armored goblin with shield, spear and bow. Of that latter, I've only got a handful, all completed. Of the first three, I've got about seventy from a recent purchase: There is also one pose of little goblins. I finished a few of them last month. I've got more, but they are sitting in paint stripper at the moment. Sauron's human allies were represented by four poses of figures; there was a Haradrim spearman and a mounted lancer, of which I've got about 30 and 5 respectively: There was also a Southern spearman and a mounted swordsman. I only have a token 3 of the spearmen, so they won't be a unit on their own, but I do have nine of the mounted swordsmen, so they can be. Last, I have a hobbit militia of about a dozen, plus a couple of mounted hobbits. The foot hobbits came in strips of three, and one strip is much easier to find than the other... My basic plan is going to be to play these with Dragon Rampant, which generally uses units of six mounted or twelve foot figures, with provision for heroes and large monsters as exceptions. However, some of the teams will be big enough that I could use Chaos Wars (also in sixes and twelves), and I expect that an actual Battle of the Five Armies game my brother and I have been discussing will take every orc/goblin that we have painted. Edit: Ooops! Forgot the Dunlendings; there are enough of them to make a unit, and given Saruman's forces a bit of distinctiveness...
  13. My orcish warband is shaping up; if I am willing to use a couple of reduced model units, I could now put it on the table... Here’s the command element: And a few more single orcs:
  14. Randomness XIII: Cognitive Dissonance While You Wait

    A few years back I got a bill for several thousand dollars from, yes, the real IRS in my mail the way they tell you these things will happen. Having done my taxes myself by hand, I was sure that was a mistake, and, as with your experience and Crowley's, once I was actually talking to a specialist we painstakingly went over the return and found that my actual mistake was transposing two digits in an income number, and the actual amount I owed was $20 or so. What the specialist couldn't explain, and hopefully took for further investigation by the software people, was why the small real error caused the system to balk and disallow several real deductions and kick me from "head of household" into "single". Computers... But, the actual interaction with the agent was all courteous and professional.
  15. Reaper Bones 4: Enthusiasm and Commentary Thread

    Wouldn't it depend on what game you were intending to use them for? Circles for some, squares for others, group bases for still more...?
  16. Dwarven army for Dragon Rampant

    You'll have a game ready in a couple of weeks at this rate!
  17. Spaceship toys. What primer to use?

    I’ve had some success with Krylon Fusion paints as base coats on random plastic.
  18. Getting to Know You, April 2018

    I’ve done pretty well on my goal of “no regets”. Having been around for as long as I have, I’ve bought a lot of stuff for which my plans later changed, and which therefore ended up on a flea market table, but generally, no regrets. I’ve probably regretted selling more things than I’ve regretted buying; there are a few things I’ve rebought more than once.
  19. Lazylathe's painting adventures...

    Loosely speaking, highlights on faces should go on like stage makeup, for much the same reasons...
  20. Dwarven army for Dragon Rampant

    Looking good so far. 24 point war bands, or are you planning something bigger?
  21. Lazylathe's painting adventures...

    I have the Reaper brush on sealer, which seems to work well enough. I prefer to spray things after the basing, though, because it helps hold the flock in place. These days, I generally use a Krylon low odor matte finish spray, which doesn’t seem to cause any problems with Bones and is fairly tolerant to humidity. I used to use the Kyrlon 1311 but they must have changed the formulation a few years ago, becuase it started frosting on me regularly. In no particular order, I often have the same problems with washes, so I have largely gotten away from using them. When necessary (textures like furs and chainmail respond well) I generally plan to paint the highlight areas again afterwards. I certainly use magnifiers; adopting the Optivisor ten years ago brought the pleasure back to painting. Paint thinning/drying issues will improve with practice. I just started using a wet palette a couple of years ago, which helps a lot. I also have a dropper bottle of water and a bottle of drying retarder to help out. Looking at your lines, your brush control is already pretty good; more practice will continue to make things easier. As far as projects go, one of the things about painting is to know when a figure is “done”. I am usually using things in tabletop wargames, so I know from experience that a lot of what I am doing in painting isn’t really visible in a game. So I could quit earlier. If you’re planning to hand them to friends to admire with a magnifier, “done” is going to be further along. But when you are aiming at something like this, you won’t really notice that the third private from the left in the second regiment back has some extra thick black-lining to clean up his belts... So I try to work backward from the final desired effect to get to the amount if work needed for the individual figure.
  22. Lazylathe's painting adventures...

    A sale? Now you’re in trouble. I’d recommend not buying too far ahead of painting until you are ready to commit to a ‘project’, but I don’t follow that advice very well myself. You’re off to an excellent start; any questions occurring as you did the goblins?
  23. Travel Painting, Rangers versus Orcs

    And a few more orcs. They are intended to be my Misty Mountain orcs command stand.
  24. My significant other is in a songing competition this weekend, and I’m along for moral support. Knowing that I would have some quiet time, I brought my travel paint kit and some miniatures. On the left are five Broadsword rangers, and on the right three Minifigs true orcs. The orcs are part of my Mythical Earth warbands project, but the Broadsword figures are a one-off. I didn’t have any Broadsword back in the day. Apparently none of the hobby shops I visited stocked them. My first encounter with them was in larger eBay lots while fishing for other old figures. I ended up with four of these archers in a large lot early in my eBay history, and then went looking for the command/personality pack later. I painted the swordsman/captain and the ranger-bard last summer. Now that they are almost all done, I hope to get them out as a unit of scouts in a Dragon Rampant game soon.
  25. Travel Paint Kit

    It’s been nearly a year and a half since I originally posted this. The kit is still making trips with me, including this weekend. Following the discussions here, I followed up on Gadgetman’s suggestion and got the travel sized brush soap. I have started regularly using Winsor Newton Series 7 brushes at home, and, as noted by Sylverthorne, they came in fairly sturdy plastic tubes. I have put a 1 and a 000 in the stuff sack. They are my first choice for brushes, being more easily replaceable in the event of damage than the Games and Gears brushes. I haven’t had any problems with brush damage from transport using the tubes. At Gencon last year I took a class on DIY wet palettes, so I replaced the coffee lids with this wet palette built from an antibacterial sponge and a crayon box from the school/stationery aisle at Walmart. I have a stock of wet palette paper, so I’ve been cutting it up and using it,having had some serious curling issues with the baking parchment. I keep a few extra sheets tucked in my pocket notebook, since I have a duplicate palette set up at work.