Monday, 20 February 2017

a big thank you

Hi all

a couple of "thank yous" today, just to get back into the swing of things.

Firstly, thank you for all the kind wishes and thoughts from those of you in the blogging world following my recent bereavement.  The very sudden loss of my mother was a shock to me and my family and the support I've received from friends, colleagues and fellow bloggers has been both humbling and much needed, I truly thank you all.

Secondly, I recently commented on another blog written by the awesome Lord Siwoc from Brains and Guts regarding my favourite of all films (even more than Mad Max 2) the most excellent - The Warriors.

Image result for The Warriors

The 1979 classic was one of the first films I ever saw on VHS video! and a film I watch at least 3 or 4 times a year.  Anyway onto the thank you, Clint from ANYTHING BUT A 1 saw my comment and informed me that he had a copy of the original book, not the one of the film but the one that inspired the film.  Not only that but he would send the copy to me for me to borrow - What a gent!  So thanks a million Clint, I'm enjoying it immensely :-)

With that in mind I'm now looking for 28mm miniatures of the Warriors.  There was a kickstarter a while back that never came to fruition by Ghetto Miniatures, I think there was an issue with copyright or something.  However they did come up with these beauts!

Image result for the warriors boppers miniatures

I need these......or something like them.  Any ideas gratefully received.

Lastly not a thank you but a link to my latest YouTube video, the 4th battle from "The Starter Set Wars" a series of Bushido games charting mine and Damon's mini tournament, you can thank ME later ;-P

hope you enjoy

Monday, 13 February 2017

A brief intermission

hi all

No hobby post from me today, as last night I had to say goodbye to my mum.  It was all very sudden and came out of the blue, no illness or decline in health, just one minute she was here and the next she wasn't.  This has obviously left me and my family in a state of shock and with a lot to process. So this post really has a few purposes.

firstly is to explain why I might not be commenting on my favourite blogs for a bit - it's not that I'm not reading them but...

Secondly to ask you to bear with me as there will be a pause on posts from me for a bit as although I have already prewritten some posts I feel that I want to take a week or so and process. 

Thirdly the NHS in the U.K. is one of the most amazing institutions ever created and staffed by this country's (and many others) finest, kindest and most caring people, it is a credit to this country and must never be taken for granted - EVER!

Lastly and most importantly, don't take it for granted that your loved ones know how you feel about them. Tell them often and always, hold them close and treat them well as you literally have no idea when it may be the last opportunity you have to do so.

Take care

Friday, 10 February 2017

Control Zones and other terrain pieces.

Hi all

Some background first, so missus Gobbo got some fancy chocolate mints over xmas she scoffed said chocs (with the help of a certain rotund Gobbo) and then took a long critical look at the packaging, without blinking an eye she hands it to me and said "that'll make something interesting for your funny little men stuff".  Having gotten used to the terminology that my better half has for our hobby, I shrugged off the "funny little men" comment and looked at what she handed me and by jove she was right!  This is what she gave me....

Right away I thought pond or portal!  Measuring the width of the piece the diameter of the wall is 4" from just inside the wall.  This is perfect as a zone of control in Bushido - so Koi pond it is!  Now I already have a Koi pond that I made some months ago for my Temple board but it really is a decorative piece only, I wanted this to have function, plus I had received some plastic Koi from Master-Crafted Miniatures for xmas (among other things by Ben).  First up it needed a base as the plastic is very thin and flimsy.  To that end I found a piece of 3mm MDF that had been part of a broken laptray and marked out a shape.  I liked the octagonal shape of the piece so replicated that for my base.

I then liberally covered the piece in homemade textured paint (PVA/Filler/paint/fine sand), idea courtesy of Luke Fellows of  Luke's APS.

With that done I then used filler on the base to create flagstones and gave the whole model another generous coat of textured paint to strengthen the plastic.

I then gave it a couple of washes with some homemade black ink.

Then drybrushed to achieve the stone look I wanted.  Then I made up some vines/creepers out of Lichen, flock and watered PVA and applied it to the model as well as some reeds made out of an old scrubbing brush and hotglued to the base, adding a Koi to the bottom hiding among the reeds.

To get this...

The next step was to fill the pond.  Now I could have used clear water effects to fill the pond but I wanted a slightly stagnant look to the water, no electric water pumps and filters here... So I used the cheap resin from Poundland to fill the pond adding 3 more Koi as I layered up the water.  I have to confess to rushing this bit as dinner was nearly ready so there are bubbles in the water but they don't look too out of place.

What I din't bank on was the plastic slightly melting in the heat of the reaction of the resin so I had o rebuild the wall a bit but this is the finished product.  Weirdly the models will fight across the top of the pond as they have to be in the zone to control it, but I like the idea of the fighters splashing through the serene pond in an effort to get at their foes, plus I like the look of it - so there!

Of course the scenarios in Bushido demand three such 4" zones so I had to put my thinking cap on. Yup I always had my circular disc cutter that my son had bought me for xmas and that I'd attempted to use before attached to a power drill resulting in the scars I'm currently sporting on my left hand...

Not quite back to the drawing board but a little revision to the earlier plan was required.  Attaching the cutter to a hand powered drill and switching the clear acrylic for 3mm MDF and I came up with a nifty little idea.  I wanted to have faction specific control zones to mark each as friendly, neutral and enemy.  What I mean by that is a zone that is marked up with that factions symbol so as to easily identify which is which.  This should look visually pleasing and give an idea to a third party watching the game where the action is.  Now rather than make up 8 zones (or more when the range increases) I thought I would make three zones (I added a third in case I couldn't fit the Koi pond, which would be neutral, in to the available space) that could be adapted each game.  Rather than a slow, picture by picture tutorial on how I did it, I actually recorded me making the last one and have posted it to my YouTube channel the link to which is here.

Now each faction can have their symbol in the middle of their zone, simple and effective I think.

Lastly, while i was in the terrain making zone (sorry) I picked up some pieces from the Pet's at Home aquarium section as they are on special 3 for 2.  With a little bit of tweaking they make very acceptable Bushido terrain pieces.

MDF base

homemade creepers

bamboo cage and Rabbits! (from warbases)

I had to fill in the openings for the statue as I wanted it to look solid

I think that it's hard to tell my additional brickwork once the home made creepers are added

Master Ekusa contemplates the meaning of existence in front of the statue

Yumi and Kenko spar in front of the Warrior

that's it for this very long post

Hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The most magnificent Buzenbo

Hi all

I'm so excited about this post, but lets do this properly and in line with the way I've been presenting my Bushido miniatures in recent times.

Buzenbo is an awesome model both on and off the tabletop so I was determined to do my very best with his paintjob as I can see me using him in every game that the Tengu fight in.  Here is his official blurb...

The rarest and largest of the Tengu, the Kurama are the leaders of the Tengu people. Buzenbo like all of his caste is a formidable warrior with both sword and bow. Standing ten foot tall and with a wing span three times that, the Kurama are a majestic sight on the battlefield. Soaring down and scattering the enemy with a thunderous beat of muscled wing before unleashing volley after volley of steel tipped arrows the length of a man. Even the bravest will tremble at the screech heard shortly before the shadow of Fujin’s wrath falls upon them.  

So usage of the "Big Man", firstly he is so quick with movement 5 and fly he is able to swiftly deploy and redeploy bringing that huge bow to bear where it is most needed.  Talking about the bow with an awesome range of 18" played an a 24" board there really is no where to hide, Buzenbo throws 3 dice in ranged and can boost that with Ki so has a good chance of hitting the target with a reasonably high success level, combined with +2 damage and ignoring armour - most targets are going to feel the pain. His Ki feat "Quick reload" means that he can launch a hail of steel at the critical moment.

He's no slouch in melee either, although he has an average 3 melee dice, he can boost that with Ki to a max of 6.  With "fear (4)" there is a good chance that his opponent will lose a dice in melee and "Martial Prowess" he'll be rerolling missed attack or defence dice.  Armour (3) and a long health track means he's gonna stay in the fight for a while.  If it looks like he's in trouble he can always use his Ki feat "Wing Buffet" to clear the way.

At 13 rice he's so expensive but totally worth it and will fulfill whatever role he's given. So to the painting....

So the official paint scheme is to portray Buzenbo as a Bald Eagle, which is a magnificent bird BUT it is an American bird, I wanted a Asian eagle so went with the most awesome eagle (in my opinion) - the Golden Eagle.

Image result for golden eagle

So the palette had to be mostly browns with yellows.  My faction colours are already yellow and black so it will be quite a limited palate, but I prefer that anyway.

base colours, sorry about the lighting

a generous covering of Army Painter Strong Tone


you can just see the threads of golden yellow  in the wings

just to give you a sense of how big this model is, I thought I would line him up against some of the other birds.  From left to right we have Zenkibo - sezume caste (smaller sized tengu), next up is Kotenbo - a Haiatake caste (medium sized Tengu) and finally Buzenbo - a Kurama caste

He is magnificent and by far my favourite sculpt in an outstanding range of figures.

hope you enjoy

Monday, 6 February 2017

Thunderbolts and Lightning, very, very frightning

Hi all

To return then to my review of my Tengu and onto the support section of the faction available to me.  There are a few excellent models that were available to me but Sanjakubo had to be purchased first, his lightning ranged attack is just so good.  To his official blurb then...

If the Koroko are the soul and heart of the Tengu then the Karasu are the mind. In the Chamber of the Sun the Karasu study the texts written in an age immemorial, learning the secrets of the Kami and how to command them. This has led to a tense relationship with the Koroko who see the use of this knowledge as dangerous. Sanjakubo is an adept Shugenja able to invoke and harness Raijin’s fury against the enemy, or through the use of ancient lore curse 

In my warband Sanjakubo will provide a support role mainly, with his "Strong Mind" trait he can make good use of the Ki feat "Curse Fate" making it harder for enemy models to win melees or further opposed Ki tests.  His ranged attack dishes out a stunned marker each time it hits and with "Raijin's Rage" this could be up to 4 per turn!  

base colours


With the painting of the mini, due to my faction colour scheme choices he was always going to be a bit dark, I suppose I could have used the Bright Yellow as the base colour for his robes but the sinister and monastic look to them almost demanded that they get painted black.  The yellow would come when I painted the "fetishes" that are randomly laid over the hood and down his back.  I also painted his wings in a series of greys to indicate age (I'm not sure that's how it works in birds but it worked in my head!!).

hope you enjoy

Friday, 3 February 2017

clearing up the paint table

Hi all

**Edit**This post has been postponed so many times because of others jumping the queue, so I thought after this week where I have posted every single day I would just push it out there and start again next week.  Now to crack on with those essays.....

Before xmas and with the imminent arrival of new Bushido models I decided to paint up some minis that had been sitting on the paint table and in the background of some of my photos for some time.   It has taken me some time to post this as other posts have reared their heads.

So I grabbed a random selection of minis to paint, starting with some Ancient Britons for Hail Caesar - an on/off project that I've been painting for over the last couple of years, some BA Germans and a partisan from Wargames Foundry, some MiB type special agents for ATZ, and my daughter's Wood Elf Sorceress.

Sometimes it's necessary to just bang out some of the lead mountain and clear the way for the new arrivals...

hope you enjoy