Friday, December 28, 2018

Team Undead for HeroQuest

Next up I have the undead figures for my HeroQuest project, including a custom Chaos Sorcerer sculpted by James Sherriff. These were a lot of fun to paint and turned out quite nice.

It was my first time trying to do zombie skin with some blue and purple tones and I really like how it turned out. I have a bunch of old ghouls in my pile that I'll probably do using the same technique when I get around to doing them. If I can remember the recipe for that skin at that.. wait, I can't remember how I did that NOW. Oh, well.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

"Are we there yet" with 3D printing?

Well, take a look at this one:

I started a Heroquest campaign with my kids and my daughter (3 yrs) just wants to play the elf all the time. I thought it'd be neat for her to have a female elf figure to play with. I looked through the usual companies and found a couple of suitable models that weren't all ass and tits but would have had to order them from the US. Luckily I've just bought a 3D printer!

It's an Anycubic Photon resin printer and you can get one delivered to your door for well less than 400 euros these days. I've been waiting for a printer to come along that would be accurate enough for miniatures and consumer grade PLA printers haven't quite been accurate enough yet. Then I saw one gamer in a Finnish miniatures group post some models he had printed using a resin printer and I knew the time was ripe for me to jump on the 3D printing bandwagon too.

The printer after finishing up its first model, a test piece.
I won't start blabbing on about what a resin printer is and how it works, you can find that stuff easily online. Suffice to say, It takes a bit of calibrating, messing about with toxic chemicals and being smart when posing your 3D models for printing but it isn't anything people can't handle. The prints I've done have turned out really good and the problems I've had so far are nothing a bit of calibration and a good workflow can't fix. The quality of the prints when successful is quite enough for Epic scale tanks, but nooot quite there for the infantry figures I tested.

A Battletech Atlas was my first "proper" print and it turned out excellent on the front. On the back, some of the details were muddled by something more experienced printers call "light bleed", where the resin bits that are printed first might have additional curing of the resin because of the UV light spilling through the resin. 
So, coming back to that elf, here's a company that takes the concept of 3D printing miniatures yourself and builds a great business case for it instead of crying about piracy:

On that site you can easily design your own figures, choose their appearance, clothing, gear, poses and even facial expressions. You can then either have them print and ship those models for you or you can buy a printable 3d file for yourself. That's what I did with the elf:

A slight printing error on the hair, probably due to insufficient supports below it.

My printer can't quite capture all the nuance of the expression on the 3D model but I'd say it's pretty damn good! I painted the figure using colours chosen by my daughter and she can enter the dungeon with her own custom elf next time! I really hope we'll be seeing some big manufacturers get onboard with this business idea. How about getting to customize and print your own, licenced 40K figures? Heroforge sells their digital models for ten dollars each, which is a bit expensive for more than a one-off hero every now and then, but I hope the prices will come down. They do have sales every now and then and for example on Black Friday you could get a model for four dollars. That would be low enough to buy some more often, especially as their design engine gets better.

I still have a lot to learn using this new printer but I'm really happy I got one! You'll definitely be seeing more 3D printed stuff from me in the future!

ADDENDUM: Here's a Stug model from a guy on thingiverse scaled down to 1/300.Needless to say I'm happy with the quality!

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Gargoyle" Bloodthirster

My kids have now grown old enough (ripe old age of 3 and 6) to play Heroquest with me. I want to play with a painted set, but the original figures might not be a joy to paint. Luckily there are plenty of old Warhammer figures to use! Here's the gargoyle. Better pack your brodesode!

I tried to do a "glowing hot iron" effect on the horns. Works for an oldhammer figure.

The figure is based on a 25mm base so I can still put it on a Heroquest board. I was afraid that the small base would make the figure unsteady but it's surprisingly stable. I think the center of gravity is pretty close to the center of the base.

Scale creep *sigh*

Friday, November 9, 2018

Goblin Wolf Riders

A bunch of old Goblin wolf riders off my oldhammer pile. Nothing inspirational but I think they'll complement Grom and his chariots nicely to form the fast attack force of the army.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A couple of titan maniples for Epic and Adeptus Titanicus

Games Workshop did a new edition of Adeptus Titanicus and while the models make me drool they do cost a lot and are a bit too big to be used in epic. The fact that I had a bunch of old titans unpainted in my lead pile and that you can buy the rules for Adeptus Titanicus without the models led me to the obvious conclusion.

Overall, I aimed to do models that can be used as both loyalistts and traitors for maximum flexibility. That's why there isn't much iconography or faction specific colours on them. The Warlords are the only ones to "show their allegiance".

Team Purple:

These are my traitors and they share the colour scheme of my epic chaos army.

Team Blue:

And here are my loyalists. Their colours don't match with any imperial forces I have, but I painted the Reaver blue this summer so I kept with the theme.

Now I think I just need some knights to complete the set for AT. For Team Purple I have some Slaanesh Knights already painted up, but I need to find a couple of knight models for Team Blue before I can do them.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The swedes stage a false flag attack against Russia!

Ok, that was clickbait. This news is 230 years old, but it makes for an interesting and largely forgotten story.

In the 1780's, Gustav III of Sweden wasn't happy. His ancestors were great warrior kings and he wanted to be one too, but the geopolitical position of Sweden did not offer any good opportunities for a would-be lion of the North. The days of Sweden being a European great power had been numbered since Poltava. He needed a good war but Swedish law did not allow the king to declare an offensive war by himself. His cousin, Catherine the Great of Russia was busy fighting a war against the Turks. Maaaybe there would be a chance to capitalize on that. He just needed a casus belli. A great lover of the theater, Gustav hatched a plan..

It is not conclusively proven that the incident at Vuolteensalmi strait near Puumala was staged, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest it was. In the spring of 1788, the King was already making plans for an offensive war and making secret preparations. He had also commissioned some Russian uniforms to be made and held talks with the commander of the Savolax Brigade. In June, there were reports of Russian troops violating the border near Vuolteensalmi and some men of the Savonian infantry regiment were sent to investigate. At Vuolteensalmi strait they encountered what seemed to be a Russian force, and a firefight at a distance ensued. After an hour or so, the encounter ended. The Savonians reported having shot only twice and the Russians had failed to kill or wound anyone. Enraged, the king declared war on the aggressors and he had a legal right to do so as this was obviously a defensive war!

The summer cabin of my wifes' family is in Puumala, only ten kilometers from Vuolteensalmi so I took my family there today under the pretense of picking some mushrooms in the forest.

The strait on a period map. The strait is narrow and shallow and there was a small bridge across.
The bridge is long gone and the road hasn't been used for a long time.
The foundations of the road can still be seen. The Savonian infantry took cover in the woods on this side from the "Russians" firing at them from the other side.
The strait would have been easily fordable this time of year.

No monuments or plaques for this historical event.
Sweden went into war ill-prepared and Russia wasn't as distracted by the Turks as the king had hoped. If cousin Gustaf wanted a fight, Catherine was happy to oblige. By summers end, the Swedes and Finns were on the defensive and the Finnish officers who had seen through Gustaf's ruse were plotting to mutiny because of the unjust war. The situation would only get worse in 1789 and only the victory at the Battle of Svensksund in 1790 would scrape up enough "war score" for Gustaf so that he could sue for peace. Gustav ended up being assassinated by his own nobility that same year.

Also, we found some mushrooms on the site, too!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Grom the Paunch and friends

Here are Grom and his mates. I took advantage of my airbrush while doing the wolves which made the project a bit easier to tackle, but this still took me some effort as there's quite a lot of surface to paint, shade and highlight. 

A unit of three chariots can be used in Kings of war. I never used light chariots in Warhammer Fantasy itself, thinking they were too flimsy.

"Witness me!" I got a bit of a Immortan Joe vibe from Grom so I made one of the goblins give him a salute.

The backs of the wolves have been airbrushed with a couple of layers of grey on top of white. I then gave them some sepia wash as well as Nuln Oil. The end result is quite acceptable for the quick paintjob.

I found an old Goblin banner from my bits box. It was in rough shape but ended up fitting quite well!

The skin on these goblins ended up a bit darker than I planned.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

A bunch of microarmor stuff

Not much to see but I'll log it here nonetheless. I did a small bunch of WW2 german tanks on my airbrush as well as those village bases from total battle miniatures. I've had difficulty with my airbrush clogging while doing those tank camos but it looks like flow improver does the trick and I should enjoy airbrushing a bit more from now on. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Epic Reaver Titan

There's a lot of hype going on for the upcoming new edition of Adeptus Titanicus (and it looks great!) so I gathered up the motivation to finish this Reaver I've been working on. I had to take the pic outside to get the colour on that base right.

I did the blue carapace with my airbrush. I'm having difficulties keeping a consistent stream of paint going, it tends to clog up no matter how clean I keep the brush or how much I thin the paint. The result is ok, but using the airbrush is really frustrating right now.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

One hundred years ago my great-great uncle was killed at the Battle of Viipuri

A few years ago before my grandmother died I was entrusted with an old family bible she had. It had originally belonged to my great-grandfather and since I am the only history junkie in the family, she decided the book should go to me. Anyway, looking at the events recorded on it, I noticed something interesting:

"Lejanter Asikainen died 28/4 1918"
What's interesting about the date is that on spring 1918 Finland, which had just gained independence from Russia, was engaged in a bloody civil war. It's a pitch black stain on our history with atrocities, concentration camps, ethnic cleansing and all that. You can read about it here, but suffice to say it was a war between the "whites" led by the German backed bourgeuoisie hoping to build a republic against the "reds" consisting of Russian backed working class looking to form a socialist government and join the Soviet Union. It ended up going very badly for the reds, but let's focus on my great-great uncle.

There was no oral tradition passed on to me on whether he died in the war or not, but there's a pretty good digital archive on the people who died in the war of 1918. I put a search for Lejanter in there and found a record of him! He had fought for the whites and had died at the Battle of Viipuri a day before the reds surrendered the city. I asked my grandmother about it and she confirmed that Lejanter had fought in the war and added some spice saying that he was killed by a girl from his own village. So there was some family history passed down after all, but my family aren't exactly chatterboxes when it comes to our part in wars.

Soldiers of the white guard. No picture of Lejanter exists that I know of.

I let the matter rest and some time later my grandmother died, taking the rest of the unspoken history of our family to the grave.

This week, remembering the centennial, I started to write this blog post with the intention of speaking about the importance of passing on family history and how little there is to know about this man who died a century ago. And then I bumped into a treasure. I was reading on how the information on the database I found Lejanter's record from was built and noticed a lot of it had originated from one book: "Sankarien muisto" by a Henrik Johannes Boström. In the 1920's, Boström had recognized the need to collate names and stories of the whites who had died in the war and spent years writing to the relatives of the deceased asking for information to put in the book, published in 1927. Feeling lucky, I procured a copy and lucky I was!

Here's a translation:

Asikainen, Leander. Kaavi. Labourer. Born in the house of Asikainen in the village of Viitaniemi, Kaavi in 10/2 1890. Parents: farmer Matti Asikainen (b. 13/7 1842, d. 24/9 1891) and Selma Maria Tirkkonen (b. 27/2 1861). Was an auction child after the death of his father. Went to school for only one year, after which worked as a mixed labourer. Worked for seven years as a logger in northern Finland and Karelia, where learned a bit of Russian. Approximately 6 months before the war of liberation he worked the forests near his home territory. Had been a member of the workers union for two months when he was drafted into the white guard and stationed into the 3rd regiment of the 2nd Jäger regiment. Participated in the battles of Tampere and Viipuri. During the Battle of Viipuri  on 28/4 1918 at Kolikkoinmäki, Asikainen was shot by a sniper from a basement. The sanitary bound his wound immediately but as there was no chance to get to a hospital, he gave his life in a shed near Kolikkoinmäki. Was buried on 20/5 to a memorial grave at the old cemetery in Kaavi. A wreath from the council of Viipuri was laid on his grave. Awarded a Freedom cross, class 4 and a memorial medal. Unmarried.


I definitely didn't expect to find such a detailed account on his life, much less such an interesting one! The story paints a vivid picture of his life and opens up plenty of questions about my family's past. Obviously the family fell on hard times after the death of Matti Asikainen if Leander was sold at a child auction. It was a primitive form of social care back in the day. People would bid at an auction to take a child into foster care and the one who would bid the lowest, would receive that sum from the government and agree to take care of the child. Leander's mother was still alive and no mother would give away her child unless times were truly tough. Leander would grow up to be a possibly illiterate man working as a lumberjack. He was drafted into the white guard and I doubt he went into war with a burning sense of duty and a love for his country. After all, he had more in common with the working class red guard than the well educated, high classed jägers giving him orders. The battle for Tampere began right after he was drafted and he is said to have taken part, so I guess they threw him in without any training, too. With his worker's union background and Russian speaking skills, he might have seemed suspicious in the ranks of the whites as well. 

Leander didn't have any luck in his life. He died on the last day of fighting in Viipuri a hundred years ago. Had he survived the attack on Kolikkoinmäki, he would have survived the war. After the reds surrendered in Viipuri on the 29th, there was only mopping up to do. What a waste.

The ruins of Kolikkoinmäki in Viipuri, May 1918.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Some 6mm tanks for the Eastern Front

Not much to say about these except they're effortless to paint and should yield a nice game at some point.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Grotfang the orc warlord

I was supposed to start painting something else than orcs for a change but I had old Grotfang here already basecoated so what can I do?

This model was the general of my first wargaming army in the late 90's so it's the second time I painted him. I do hope there's been some development in my painting! I tried a new skintone on him to get a break from the Goblin Green monotony I've devolved into. This time around I did a base of citadel foundation orkhide shade and built that up to Vallejo Camo Green and I'm pretty happy with it. The shield is not original to the model but I found it in my bits box and thought it gives Grotfang a nice, oldhammery feel.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Some 90's Savage Orcs

And the quest to reduce my mound of unpainted old GW stuff continues! The shaman I've done a few years ago, but now I painted him some company so he won't feel lonely.

It's a mixed weapon unit for the games that allow them to be used as such (Dragon Rampant, for example). I can imagine the savage orcs being skirmishers rather than rank and file, acting as scouts for the army and launching kunnin' ambushes in the woods. I also swapped the basic round shields the melee figures had into something more tribal. I never sculpt anything so doing those shields from green stuff is a roaring success for me :)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Orc reinforcements

My pile of unpainted old/middlehammer orcs&goblins has grown worryingly so I suppose I have to do something about that too.

The boar boyz and big 'uns have been nearly complete for almost a year now. First I needed to wait for those original paper banners. Then I tried to find some shield decals and then.. I just hate doing shields sometimes so I kept them on the shelf instead of finishing them. Now that I painted Ruglug's Armored Orcs I finally completed the whole batch. Doing those shield decals freehand on the big 'uns and boar boyz was no fun but I console myself with the thought that orcs aren't exactly artists themselves so quick and crude shield symbols will do.

The original Ruglug's Armored orcs are probably some of the worse orc sculpts for Warhammer but I've had a bunch for probably a decade now so I had to give them some love eventually. In contrast, the Big 'Uns are some of the best orc sculpts Citadel ever made in my opinion!

The boar boyz are ok. The boars are of course pretty dull but at least now I have some orcish cavalry where there used to be none.