Forgotten Heroes 2021

It was with more than a little bit of panic as June began passing by, and the model I ordered for the 2021 Forgotten Heroes languished between me and RAFM Miniatures. Which, I had forgotten (much like the heroes in the challenge) was in Canada. Even in normal times, shipping from the Great White North is a crap shoot on speed of delivery. Some items seem to take an appropriate amount of time, while others disappear for weeks before suddenly appearing in the post. With C19 here, all bets are off. Things just vanish into the ether and sometimes stay there. I have avoided trades and purchases from Canada for over a year after a much-delayed package took three months to arrive.

With Jez’s challenge over at Carrion Crow’s Buffet rapidly approaching, and me without a model to convert/paint, I was in a bit of a rush and ordered from Canada by mistake. I didn’t actually pay attention to the originating location until it had been three weeks with no mini. Many of the minis I order are from the UK, and I often get parcels in about a week. Once two weeks had passed, I checked, and to my dismay realized the mini I needed was probably not arriving in time. And because of the delay I might be out of the challenge.

Another model I ordered that had a connection to two previous Forgotten Heroes challenges did arrive, though it wasn’t a mini so I wasn’t sure if it would count, though I was willing to try. The model was an actual plastic model of a Grumman Goose from Lindberg.  Before I had a chance to build the Goose the RAFM model showed up. Stoked. Chuffed. Excited. This model would be a key ally to a pulp model I painted a couple years ago, and now I can get to business.

(goose model, box from rafm, and open model)

Of course, my model bench is completely covered with parts from a project right now. So, despite having the model, I wasn’t able to immediately start the minor conversion work I needed. I’m the middle of more Dark Angels builds and painting for my son’s Warhammer 40K army, and models, parts, DA paint colors, decals, and bases are everywhere…

My entry for the year is Sallah from the Indiana Jones movies. I have a really cool Indy model painted and lording over my workbench, but no Sallah. There hasn’t been a rush to paint a model for this import ally since I haven’t been laying many games lately. The Forgotten Heroes challenge was perfect to get him done.

This image is what I had in mind when I think of Sallah, the faithful Egyptian ally to the famed archeologist. Of course, I started sculpting without looking at an image, and went for a full beard. Thicker and more full than this image, Typical of me. I really do need to make sure I print source photos and have them sitting in front of me BEFORE I start working. Ah, well, I guess my Sallah is a bit younger and less likely to trim the beard. I also realized I failed to take a pic with green stuff on metal, before priming. The rush.

I added a beard to a mustachioed Turk cultist from RAFM Minis. And sorta a tie like in this photo. The stock mini has a buttoned-up coat and there isn’t much space for a tie. The right arm is at an angle the meant I couldn’t do the heavy carving I did last year on Corky. No way I would try to recreate a perfectly good arm. Its hard to see the little blobby tie, but I know I tried, and that’s good enough.

Burred pic to give a idea of his beard. I need to experiment with cranking up the resolution of my phone camera for closeups. That might help with the cropped pics. All I k now is i do not have the ok to buy an expensive camera just for pictures of “your stupid miniatures”, so poor pics it is for a while longer.

Jez has a good writeup on the challenge here: FH 2021. This is the third time I have participated, creating Jake Cutter and Jack, and Corky in previous challenges. FH Pt1, Finished, 2020. I don’t sculpt my own minis like some of the gang do. I do a bit of conversion with green stuff, and then paint them to match the character.

That’s it. The Dark Angels project is ongoing. I’ll probably do a blog post on it at some point. A quick tease. I built ten models while I was on my last deployment. I had anticipated getting some painting down as well, but mandatory sixth work days meant I barely recovered from a grueling schedule enough to just get the models built. Then returning home meant a month’s worth of catchup work on the house and yard. The flyers are done finally, and the bases for the four flyers are partially complete. This is one project I really can’t wait to be done with!

The only other models I squeezed in this month were the crew for a great cannon for my Empire army for WFB. This time, in the livery of the Imperial Gunnery School of Nuln.

And nothing like getting this done at the end of the month. Matte coated in the wee hours of this morning. Blog post finished just before lunch. All still in June, though!

BG out

Catching up

My last couple posts were more general hobby musings. I didn’t have much to say about what exactly what I have been up to besides 3d printing. And that post was mostly full of unpainted prints. Which is fair, because 90% of all the prints ARE unpainted… Yup. I found a new way to increase the Boxes of Shame at a much cheaper price point. Genius? Or madness? The jury is out.

I’ve touched on my lack of general progress on the painting front. I get into a hobby funk and and don’t care to paint, often for months at a time. I’ll read, and putter with conversions, and sometimes build terrain, but the downs tend to be pretty unproductive. My hobby desks (I have two, one for painting and corralling of supplies, the other for terrain) are both in total disarray. Maybe that is part of the problem. I have to move and shuffle things to have space to work. Too many half finished projects right now. My painting area is covered with finished models lacking proper storage, Black Series figures (come on Ikea, will you restock that stupid display cabinet already??), several swarms bases for my Vampire counts WFB army, some random Reaper models, High Elf and Bretonnian heroes (shamefully in primer after five plus years) and a smattering of other pieces.

Despite my hobby failings, I have managed to finish a couple slow burn terrain projects. I teased them a couple posts ago, all pink foam and wood strips. Then just this week due to being in quarantine for C19 exposure, I managed to paint 10 archers/huntsmen for my Middenheim WFB army. Mostly I watched 10 James Bond movies, but I did put paint to model as well.

Sometime in late 2019 I watched a video on Eric’s Hobby Workshop about building medieval rowhouses. Its seemed like a cool build, and I had been wanting to build some Mordheim terrain for a while. Plus, I had a box full of foam bricks and stones I had cut on my Proxxon Thermocut hotwire tool. I watched the video a couple times, then had it playing while I started the build. I varied from Eric’s base material and used a floor tile from Lowes.

The tile cuts easily, and is fairly rigid, though it will sag over time. Not an issue if used for terrain or stored flat, and the tiles are cheap. I think I paid .89 USD per tile. The tiles have an adhesive backing, which is a pain to deal with. Or just leave the paper on it like I have started doing. The first couple times I used these tiles I peeled the paper off and tried to wash off the adhesive, unsuccessfully. I tried coating it with PVA to take away the stickiness, Which sorta worked after 3 coats or so. Leaving the paper on is easiest.

With a rough sketch, I cut a piece of time and then started hot gluing “stones” on. I went for a corner set of houses, and laid out stone first floors. Once that was done, I started in with basswood and foam core board. I didn’t plan well, and ended up with some tricky sports to paint and add in the floor remnants. There were difficulties and unpleasant moments, but I finally got this one done.

Except for the windows. Windows. Not my favorite part of a terrain build. If I go easy, they don’t look very good. If I make them detailed, they suck to build. Windows were one of the reasons I started looking at resin printers. If I could print them versus building them, I could save a fair amount of time. This build had, I think, 29 windows. Each window was constructed from nine parts. Eight pieces of craft strip, plus the “glazing” from sculptor’s aluminum mesh. I used a strip wood chopper from Micro-Mark. You can find it here. Like a true genius, the windows were of various sizes, so I had to adjust the Chop It over and over. With all the wood cut, I started gluing the parts together. Then painted the subassemblies. Then more glue and clamps. And of course, I don’t have enough clamps, and could only glue a couple frames at a time. Eventually they were all finished and installed.

All in all, I am happy with the build. Less so with my pictures of it, but I still haven’t taken the plunge to buy a decent camera. If you look closely at the last pic, you will see the ruins of 5 buildings, and a tunnel between the left house and the middle house. It has a fair amount of play potential for skirmish gaming. There are a couple places that getting figures in and out of will be fun, but I traded realism for playability. I need to add some rubble and litter to the model, but I am holding off, and will do the whole planned table at once to tie them all together in color and tone.

With that building done, I attacked another. I found a picture on Facebook of a build someone had done. I can’t find the saved page though, to credit it properly. It was another medieval building, this time a solo, five story building. Here is a pic of it, and if someone recognizes the original builder, please let me know so I can credit his work.

A beautiful, fabulous build. Mine isn’t quite as nice, and got away from me size-wize, but this build inspired my next terrain piece.

I started with another piece of floor time, and the pile of foam “stones”. Much nonsense ensured as I did some nifty carpentry to make the second floor beams interlock, a fact no one ever will see. Such silliness, But I have to admit it was kind of calming to slowly make all those cuts and fit the wood together.

I built this terrain piece intact, so no shortcuts of missing walls. I decided early on It needed to be completely playable, and each level is separate, plus there are interior walls and floor details. Since I was eyeballing the dimensions off a couple pics from FB, mine grew and grew. The second and third levels are fairly big. Even the fourth floor is decent sized. The fifth floor is more of an attic, but it has a removable roof.

I laid countless floor boards. Made some mistakes. Built what felt like 1000 windows, and slowly made progress. This was really a slow burn. I would work for an hour here and there. Then skip a whole week. It never seemed like I was going to finish, and that was before cutting hundreds of roof tiles. Finally, It was done and ready for paint. Which I won’t lie, was a daunting task. I am still not happy with the stone on the first floor, despite watching too many YouTube videos. But for now, it is done. Oh yeah, it needed fireplaces, right? So I built some of those too. I thought I had measured and cut right so everything fit, but alas, I failed. Since this is a terrain piece for me, I let it be. I added a flickering LED to one fireplace just for fun. Here is a link to it on my YouTube channel. Looks cool. I magnetized the fireplace to the wall so I turn it on and off or replace the battery.

I don’t feel like I have gotten much done over the last six months or so, but looking back on these two builds, I see that I wasn’t completely lazy. And that pic with the fire effect just made my month. So cool.

Now to build like 20 more of these and the Mordheim table will be done!

I did spend some time with other projects. I found this video on Azarek’s Miniatures and Gaming Terrain. Its of an old skull he made to use in his DnD campaign. Well, I needed one of those! I saw it after Halloween, of course, so my Amazon skull arrived via raft from the PRC. I have mine with the ‘skin’ on it now, and need to finish this soon.

A little gross, a lot cool.

I also need to give IRO over at Imperial Rebel Ork a quick shout. He challenged his blog followers to show off some of their favorite t-shirts. So here are a couple of mine. I am a shirt hoarder. I have 100+ in my closet, and two plastic bins in the basement of shirts i refuse to part with. I keep saying I am going to have them made into a quilt. I keep not doing it. These are couple of my favs.

The last bit. I actually painted some models this week. Last week I remembered some used models I had tossed in a Simple Green bath to take the old, crappy paint off. I frequently buy old, OOP GW models for my various WFB armies. Some are decently built models and need a quick scrub and repaint. Some have been painted in industrial paints of unknow origins and take a bit of work to clean them up before repainting. Some are a total disaster and make me question my sanity for buying used models. This batch of 12 was one of the later.

I couldn’t find any presoak pics, but trust me, they were terrible. The paint was globbed on, and of various types. Some were definitely acrylic, and the paint came off ok. The flesh color is still an unknown. After two months in Simple Green and another week in LA’s Totally awesome, it still didn’t come off clean, sticking in between fingers and in eye sockets and ears. One model never did come clean, and stayed black. Although I am not sure it isn’t a resin print/copy of original GW design. I cant decide, and since the black “paint” would not budge, I am leaning to a copy. One model STILL hasn’t shed its colors. Still in LA’s Totally Awesome. I might try a bath in 99% iso next. Good thing it was a standard bearer I didn’t need for this unit. The last model was a one piece archer cast in red plastic on a slotta base. I imagine it is from Hero Quest, though I haven’t bothered to check.

Once the paint was off, I debated binning the lot. Bows and arrows broke, there were mold lines everywhere. One right hand is actually a left hand. They were a mess. Good thing they cost less than a dollar a model… I took them to my work bench to clean up and reassemble and fix. Except for the left hand. The model is holding a big wooden stake in attack position, so despite the anatomical issues, I kept it in place. Once they were all repaired and cleaned up, they got another bath before priming. And then I put paint to brush,. Slowly. And with al the great ability I lack. Here is the newest unit of Middenheimers. Or Middenlanders. I can never keep the color schemes straight. Doesn’t matter, they are Empire troops and Ulric-worshippers, so that’s the important part.

I’m happy with them. Just a quick blast of dullcoat and off to hang out with the rest of thei comrades.

I did print some new models this week. And these might have me happier than any model I have printed yet.

These are multipart models I got from Reptilian Overlords, a small company that makes printable files to fit in with GW products. I bought a set called Mercenaries and Militia STL Set 1. Awesome parts, and plenty of them. I only printed out a couple pieces to test, and I am thrilled. I can build up a unit of lightly armored troops, all with similar breastplates and helmets for a unit I have been trying to build. Now the try part is done, I can make this happen! Stoked. Thrilled. Excited. 3d printing has made this unit a reality. To me, these prints are just as good a quality as any plastics out there, and allow me to print exactly the pieces I want to build these troops. The printer is gonna be busy!

And one last pic before I go. Remember how I told you my Black Series figures are out of the package? This is why. Can’t have this happen if they are trapped in card and plastic.

Until the next.

BG out

Fandoms 2.0

When I wrote my article last week, I had intended to write a bit on one other aspect that people use to enjoy and share their fandoms. In a moment of forgetfulness, or maybe eagerness to get a post out, I failed to mention podcasts. As a quick primer for anyone living in a cave or pulling a Luddite response to the interwebs, here is the dictionary definition.

podcast[ˈpädˌkast]

NOUN a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.

synonyms: program · show · production · presentation · performance · transmission · telecast · videocast · live stream · screening · prog

VERB make (a digital audio file) available as a podcast.

synonyms: transmit · relay · air · beam · send/put out · put on the air/airwaves · show · screen · televise · telecast · videocast · live-stream

I am not sure when I discovered podcasts. Maybe it was back when I was still listening to Coast to Coast AM and George Nory or Art Bell talked about listening to older episodes on a podcast. I was still barely texting at the time, my phone was pretty old by the standards of the day, so I didn’t have instant internet access to look and see what a podcast was. When I finally did check, I decided to give them a try. At first I would download them and load them on my Sansa Fuse mp3 player to listen to at work. Most of the first ones I can recall listening to were gaming related. One of the first was the WWPD News From the Front cast. I was still playing a lot of Flames of War at the time, so it was perfect. Met the hosts once at Fall In! in Lancaster, PA, USA a few years back, and kinda wished we all lived closer. They were really cool guys.

That first dive led to a couple of Dungeons and Dragons casts. One was the very popular Drunks and Dragons. Great games and fun episodes. Some of their episodes are not kid-friendly. You have been warned. There is, of course, the incredible Critical Role. I haven’t listened to this all the way through, but what I have listened to is unbelievably good. I listened to Tabletop Champions for several seasons. There was another set in a very dark world suffering from a blood plague. Not for the faint-hearted, it was pretty good, but I cannot remember the name of that one, or find a bookmark. Maybe one of my readers remembers listening to that one. I haven’t started on the MCDM The Chain, but I am a big fan of Matt Colville’s videos on running DnD games, and will listen to this cast in the future. One last one, that’s short enough to finish quickly, is one a friend does with her DnD group, Bunch O’ Nerds.

Then I discovered that one of my good friends, Justin, was a podcaster. He had a show he hosted with his brother-in-law Marc, and they chatted about all things nerdy. These two have some pretty intense nerd cred. They have been to a bunch of Comic Cons, including the big ones like San Diego and New York, as well as several Star Wars Celebrations. Into books, movies, comic books and more, they discuss may aspects of fandom. A couple years ago they asked me to be a guest on their podcast to discuss table top gaming. Both were interested in it, but didn’t know much about it. so I joined them to discuss the games I played, and especially the games related to Star Wars. Here is a link to that first time I ever appeared on a podcast. And you can check out the Credible Nerds here.

Podcasts allow fans to share their thoughts on nearly any aspect of a fandom. Book and movie reviews, criticisms, re-watch thoughts and more. I find them a great way to hear the thoughts and ideas about my fandoms from other fans. we don’t all have someone to sit down and talk about our favorite movies, books, or games. Some of us live nearly in a gaming vacuum at times, and a podcast is the only link beyond painting miniatures, reading or watching our favorite movies. With my son not living at home anymore, and my daughter too busy to stop and enjoy a game very often, I’m one of those folk. I build and paint and plan and shop, but mostly alone. I do take a few minutes to chat gaming and models and RPGs when I am in my FLGS, but that is the extent of my human contact.

Forums are great, but the delay in response and not hearing the voice of the others there leaves a little to be desired. On a podcast you can hear the excitement and enthusiasm for something whatever they are talking about. Or, hear the bitter tears of disappointment if something doesn’t match expectations. For my fandom, podcasts are an important part. There are a nearly limitless amount of podcasts addressing all angles of fandom, allowing everyone to find something to enjoy.

If you read my last post, you are probably asking, so podcasts yeah, but what about Star Wars podcasts? To be honest, I only listen to two currently. While I know there are tons of offerings out there, I only recently started listening to these two. The first is Rebel Force Radio. One of the longest running Star Wars casts, it might also be the best. come on, they’ve had Dave Filoni as a guest! The other is Aggressive Negotiations, part of the Nerd Party collection of podcasts.

I can be honest, I am behind on all the rest of the podcasts I usually listen to. That’s because last year I discovered Owl Post, a Harry Potter podcast where the hosts go through the books chapter by chapter. Once I found it, it was the only podcast I listened to. Now that I am caught up, I have to wait a for new episodes to post. And I have time to listen to my other favorites.

Along with podcasts, I spend an awful lot of time on YouTube with some video playing. Most of my subscriptions are to gaming and hobby channels. I wonder what the first channel I subscribed to was? I have 93 subscriptions now, and still, most of them are hobby-related.

Crafting channels get a fair bit of watching time. From Black Magic Craft, to Real Terrain Hobbies, Geek Gaming Scenics, Eric’s Hobby Workshop, Luke Towan, The Terrain Tutor, Bard’s Craft and Wyloch’s Armory I watch a bunch. I’ve learned so many techniques and tips from these crafting masters. I wouldn’t have even attempted a terrain piece without their help.

DnD channels occupy more of my watching time. Dungeon Dudes might be my favorite. Kelly and Monty rank, rate, explain and give tips on all aspects of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. Being a first time Dungeon Master, I find their explanations extremely helpful. I also enjoy Dael’s interesting take on rules and game play at Monarch’s Factory She has some cool ideas about how to play that don’t actually change the rules. I think the only other one I watch regularly is WASD20. There are several others that I’ll watch when I have a particular question, but I find those with YouTube searches versus subscribing.

There you have it, two more parts of the vast world of fandom. What podcasts and YouTube channels do you find interesting or helpful? Let me know in the comments, because obviously i need more to listen to and watch!

PS: While searching for a link in the deep pit of unorganized bookmarks i have, I found this link. I had forgotten about this little bit of fan fiction and Calvin and Hobbes, and figured someone might enjoy it. Tissues ready. It’s that good.

Calvin and Hobbes: at the end

BG out