The Blog of Michael T. Murphy and his lifelong obsession with "little army men" and their imaginary glory, miniature wargaming, and other things...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

End of year and December 2016 update...

 Greetings dear readers for perhaps the last time for the Year 2016.
I'm not sure how I missed November, (actually, now that I think of it, I am pretty sure that I know why and how I missed November, but that is another story), and so we are onto the last month of the year, and all that goes with it.

So to wind up the month, (as well as the year), here's the December update!


So a few months ago, I talked to my best friend Dan, about making a weekend road trip in December up to Wisconsin, (Milwaukee area), to check out an old game store and do some Christmas shopping,),
Unfortunately the weather wasn't so accommodating as a wintry slush rain/ice/sleet storm had turned I-65 North into a skating rink.
That Friday night the Interstate was shut down as there were over 200 slide offs and people were stuck 5-6 hours.
On Saturday morning we decided to brave it by moving down alternate routes before being able to get onto 65.
The trip went relatively well, even though, when we were back on 65, the evidence of the ice on the road and what had happened was pretty plain to see.

Ouch! An ISP, (Indiana State Police) cruiser that had it's rear end kissed by an 18 wheeler. The truck was about 100 feet further down the road....
But eventually we were able to get through it and then through Chicago, and even had a balmy 3 degrees weather in Kenosha as we zipped past on our way to our destination!

Nice! Break out the shorts and flip-flops!

But eventually we got to our destination and started with the shopping.
Part of the joy is looking through boxes, and boxes, and boxes, AND boxes of old figures, and finding those that make you go "OOOOOH!!!" there's some treasure in there....

But it is also an exercise in patience as there is just "so much".

But eventually I did get down to some purchases: 

A nice cleric figure for my wonderful wife (Gawd bless her!)...

And a "Not Disney Evil Queen Stepmother" Type...

And a female pirate. If you look at the front of the figure you can see the initial discoloration of initial lead rot beginning.

I'll be honest with you, when I saw these figures the first thing I said aloud was "Oooooh...Collateral Damage!"  And then I was ashamed because that is how I viewed them...

And some evil things for future fantasy game scenarios....

I was also able to pick up some RAFM fantasy stuff, like these Demonic Servitors:

Yeps, just the thing to summon on those long, dark, nights...

And another "Witch" to my collection:

"Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble"...

But I made one big purchase while there.
It was something I had had my eye on for a while, and since it was OOP, I decided, "It must be mine!"
Plus it's my first MBA purchase, so I decided "Go big or go home."
So I "Went big"...and then I went home...

Just the setting for an adventure don't you think?...I could name it "The Slaughtered Lamb"...

Make no mistake, this is a BIG BOX...It is definitely the largest, (and most expensive) piece of scenery/terrain I have ever gotten.
But it looks so worth it...

And so we headed back home on Sunday, passing numerous vehicles on 65 that were still there from Friday nights mishaps; in this case an 18 wheeler laying on it's side...


So yesterday I sat down at my painting table for the first time since Mid-October.
It was like coming back to a long, lost, friend, that has been waiting patiently for you.
October was supposed to be my "Halloween month", as evidenced by the figures I had on my painting queue.

Witches, vampires, and all sorts of figures include Pirates, Arabs, Pulp, Angry Grandmothers, Damsels in distress, and whores....always more whores...

Plus I was working on some scenery pieces; in this case, wood piles for campfires, and two rows of barrels that could be used as supplies:

I'm a bit irritated that the months of October and November went by with me not finishing what I had planned but this thing called "real life" intruded and so once again I am behind. There is no way that I will be able to finish out the year 2016 how I wanted to, (with approx 60 odd figures finished), but in retrospect, seeing how 2016 seemed to be a suck year for everyone, this should be expected.
I am hoping that 2017 will see more figures painted, and more importantly....MORE GAMES!

Here's wishing you and your's a happy holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Friday, October 28, 2016

October Halloweeny Greetings and Update!

Time for another End of Month Update:
For this it's the end of the October season and my favorite month is almost gone...
My standard planned schedule for October was going to be: "Paint lots of figures and run a Halloween themed game on the last Saturday night."

What I didn't plan was having company and having to go to Houston the week before.
But while there, I made a stop at a local game store and grabbed up some goodies. 
In this case, Reaper Chronoscope and Savage Worlds.

First up:
The Deadlands Noir: Femme Fatale.
From what I can see of her, she has a nice 40'ish skirt and heels. I'm thinking dark brown hair and a red skirt. This dame could be trouble.

Next up is #2: Nurse Anne Foster.
I'm not sure yet if she is a "Good Nurse", or a "Bad Nurse", or a "Naaaaaasssssty Nurse".  I'm just hoping that the thermometer that she is using to take oral temperatures isn't the rectal thermometer.

#3: "Into the woods"....
Another of the twisted versions of stories from Reaper and Chronoscope.
Right now I think that this is my favorite recent purchase.

(I'm looking forward to getting paint on these...(Note grandmas head behind BB Wolfs back)...Oh dear...)

#4: "Wocka-Tocka"
What's an action hero without an action heroine?
And in this day of funk and fight, only one hot lady can keep up with Action Jackson, and that is the ultra mod and hip Mizz Ebony Foxx...
Or as in the words of the late, great James Brown...."HE'P ME!!!"

And finally for #5: I needed something "interesting", I guess. 
This figure of an undead Fuehrer called out to me.
I guess the "Hitler is alive!" stories were true...sorta...

Meanwhile back on the set.
Back last December, I had a nice Reaper purchase come in.
Two of the figures, I pulled out, and decided to try to get ready in time for Halloween.
Not only this, but I thought I would try to do a "This is how I painted them." Step-by-step", to show well..."how I do it".

First up is Reapers Ghost Bride":

I've always been fascinated by the "Bridal Ghost/Lady in White" ghost stories that you always hear about and when I found out that Reaper has this figure, it was a "must have".
It's a beautiful figures with lots of detail, and can be used for a "living bride" as well as "a restless sprit seeking final vows from beyond the grave"

Flash removal was minimal, and was mounted to the base after a primer coat of black.

The first initial coat was a runny wash of Reaper Pro-Paint: Slate (which gave it the nice dark blue base appearance over the black that I wanted.)

The slate blue wash over the black to pick out the details. This is indeed a very nice figure.

And a close up. (Better pics to come. I promise!)...

I then did a light runny wash of Vallejo Deep Sky Blue to help highlight some of the detail and help the Slate to become a shadow color. So far it seems to be coming out well, don't you think?

I then followed up with a repeat very light wash of Vallejo Sky Blue.
This gives her the basic blue-ish tint to start out with. I added some black (not pictured), to her hair and to the bouquet and the flowers around her waist. They will be highlighted with another lighter wash and dry-brush.
this is how she looks currently:

So far I am quite pleased. Next stop, more highlighting and the beginning of the detail work...

And then for #2:

The Second one is also a Reaper figure: 
The Classic Horror "Dracula".
This was another "must have" for me, and tbh, I do like the figure for it's classic appeal, as the detail is not a high as the Ghost Bride that is previously posted.

Here's what he looks like in the blister:

Like the Ghostly Bride previously mentioned, the good Count, also received a primer of black and then a base:

 First initial colors on his is a Satin Deep Scarlet for the initial basing of his cape.
More colors will be added to him soon, as he should be a pretty easy figure to paint up.

"Good eeeeeeeeevening....."

So that is how they are right now. 
I have more figures in the final finish up stages but I wanted to get these out for the spirit of Halloween.

More to come!
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October's gray skies....

September has passed and October is here.
Recently I had to go back up to Kenosha to do some work at one of my sites.
While there, the weather turned cool and the skies changed into the "cloudy gray skies" that I find so enchanting (yeah I know I am weird that way).

Here's a pic of the skies changing as I am walking down Sixth Street in Kenosha:

And the drive home, the next day you could see the storm front hanging right above:

The best part was that I was able to pick up some figures after a quick stop at the game store that I call "The Tombs",
Since October is on it's way I am in kind of a Halloweeny mode and decided on some figures with a theme or at least "a look":
First up, "Sallah - Arabian Hero":  A very "Sindbad-ish" style figure.

A really nice figures. I am kind of wishing that I had two of him, because the second one would become a statue...

Last year, I painted up the eerie scarecrow "Gauntfield", and liked him, so I decided I needed a "new" Halloween Horror.
And enter stage right comes "Freddie" - The Pumpkin Horror:

"Fresh from the unblessed soil of the unholy pumpkin patch, "Freddie" wanders the night seeking revenge and vengeance upon those spoiled fat children that disembowel and mutilate his defenseless pumpkin friends and family with ghoulish glee..."

And to top it off, I was able to pick up a nice Black Tree Designs (BTD) "Witch Burning Set", This was the old former "Ackland Accessories Set", which was acquired by BTD when Ackland went out of business.

This set is a little rougher in casting than the rest, (almost a mid-late 80's- early 90's casting feel and look to it), and I am going to need to add some bases and perhaps some "embellishments" for it. 
So here's hoping I can get some paint on these in time for "The Season"....

More to come, as always...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sept. Update: Scoring on Storage and other things...

 Well, the burning days of Summer 2016 seem to be behind us and Fall 2016 is here in all of it's wonderful glory, and with that, it also usually means "SALES" at stores!
So for the past two weekends I have been journeying to Hobby Lobby and Michael's in search of "Stuff".
And stuff I have found.


One of the biggest issues of miniature gamers and us multip project doers is that over the years, (actually not even that long), we seem to collect a lot of "Stuff".  Whether it be extra parts from models, or the misc. figure here and there, or some odd groundwork, etc. We start amassing collections of "stuff".
And as our figures, scenics, etc. in this hobby grows, we need places to keep this "Stuff".
And like many others I was having storage issues.
And then Hobby Lobby and Michael's had sales...

And here was my first major purchase...

The first item is an IRIS scrapbook case. Advertised at 12" X 12" but in reality is: "14 5/16th X 14 1/8th X 3 1/8th. I took along a 28mm fig on a base to check to see if it would fit.
Yes it did.
So I bought six of them, and now I have eight total.

Nice description on them....

Easily stackable...

28mm Figures and some terrain pieces/scenics will fit quite nicely into the

Yeps...they stack pretty easy. 

Next up was a couple of larger containers:
Essentially a 14.5 qt container with removable tray and latches for security.
Nice for those bigger pieces, and hobby construction items, or bulk stuff, etc...
I grabbed two of these.


Not bad if I do say so myself, and the tray is a welcome added bonues.

Next up was something I wanted to check out and since they were cheap, it was easy to get some.
The are called "Memory Boxes", and they are essentially heavy duty boxes with a black lining to protect pictures, etc from light, and a name care holder on the front. They are pretty sturdy and can hold a variety of small items.

So this was my total storage container haul:


MY NEW GM's/DM's Box...

As a GM/DM; one of the things I always seem to need is a box to carry around the essential GM/DM stuff, (Pencils, dice, tape measure, note cards, Anti-Acids, etc..)
What nicer way to do it than having your very own GM/DM box?

So I picked this little "Treasure Chest" up for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.

To be honest, I've had my eyes on it for quite a while, and due to the price, I just didn't get around to getting it. Now it's mine!!! muah-hah-hah...
Plus I am sucker for these types of things...

Also at Michael's, they were having a sale on Foamboard/Foamcore. One 30" X 20" X 3/16th for $1.00 each, (regularly 3.00).
I grabbed six.

Plus I grabbed some magnetic adhesive sheeting to see if it will work to hold figures in the cases. I'll let you know how this goes when I try it.

And a replacement Bell/Mason Jar for my paint jar that broke recently. $1.99 for this little baby...

And finally checking out the clearance area, I came across some paints listed for 2.99 (the special glass gloss paints) and marked down. Some to 1.49, and a couple to .79 cents.
Some more colors for me to experiment and work with.

All in all, a great haul!  Now to start using these containers and organizing the mess a bit more (and better)...
And then back to painting figures!


More to come!