Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Magnir's Crag

Hey all,

Been thinking about scenery the last few days as my shiny new Realm of Battle gaming board turned up last week. Whilst browsing through the GW website, I hit upon this article.... a little out of my league at the moment, but completely awesome!

The board has been undercoated (two cans of Army Painter Leather Brown just covered it.... JUST!) and I'll get some pics sorted when I've gotten a bit further with it.

Enjoy :)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Little lead heroes

Hi guys, just a quick post to recommend a fellow gamers blog. 

Head on over to for some nicely painted stuff. I picked up this site whilst trawling the tubes looking for some inspiration for my own Deathwatch Kill Team. Here are a couple of pics to whet the appetite...

Laters, have good weekends all

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Random thoughts...

Hey all, thought I'd put up a few random thoughts today to clear my hobby head a little.

After experimenting with the Citadel Spraygun and exploring the tubes for inspiration, I've found a site stocking some inexpensive airburshing kit which I'm pretty interested in. When I first got into the hobby all those years ago (man I'm getting old) my folks bought me an airbrush and compressor as a birthday gift, with the intention of using it for basecoating figures. However, having talked at some length with the guy in the store we got it from, he sold us completely the wrong stuff and, ultimately, it found it's way to the attic. This time around, I've done way more research and reckon it's worth another crack.

There's no doubt that spray basecoats is the way to go and this method is opening up all sorts of opportunities to use colours I've always avoided. Case in point are these shots of several of my bro Olly's Covenant ships from Dystopian Wars. After applying a Chaos Black undercoat, all the vessels had two thin coats of Shadow Grey, followed by two thin layers of Ice Blue, sprayed on through Blu Tac masking to create an icy camo pattern.

The turrets and other details can then be re-undercoated and painted up by brush. Using this method drastically cut painting time and gave a really effective result.

In a complete change of tack, I thought I'd post this pic. This guy is the Space Marine Captain from the Black Reach set, with an experimental colour scheme I toyed with a while back. However, I'm thinking of revisiting and updating it, as I'm planning to raid the bits box and put together a Deathwatch Kill Team. I had thought of adding these to my 'Ripper Swarm' collection for my Tyranid force, but after reading a recent post on the GW site about the Kill Team scenario in the Battle Missions book, I think I'll build them as standard what-you-see-is-what-you-get marines and try and get a few small games in, to get back into the 40k scene.

Also on the back burner are the huge number of metal figures I recently reclaimed and paint-stripped. I've been working on the classic Legion of the Damned figures, updating them a little, and have also acquired some of the new Dark Angels chapter pieces to kit out the old veteran models.

The only other thing to add is that Black Scorpion Miniatures are clearing out their metal overstocks for £1 per figure, so head over and check out the site.

Well, that's it for now, laters all

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Quick draw... er... paint?

Hey folks, thought I'd head back to the Old West for today's post, with a couple of shots of my Outlaw posse from Black Scorpion Miniatures, that I put together a week-or-so back. 

I've been experimenting with various ways of speeding up my painting time and have been using the Citadel Spraygun quite a bit recently. For the money, it's reasonable at putting down a decent basecoat once your figures have been undercoated (I normally use Citadel Chaos Black for this).

These guys were basecoated with Charadon Granite from the Citadel Foundation range and gave me a solid layer to build on. I prefer using this to Chaos Black as it gives a more realsitic dark grey/black finish. The metal areas were painted with Tin Bitz before all the figures were washed with Badab Black, to darken down the base colours and give some really dark shaded areas in the recesses. The metal areas were then drybrushed Boltgun Metal to highlight.

I used Tallarn Flesh for the hands and faces, Vermin Brown for the rifle butts and holsters, Dheneb Stone for the shirts and used Iyanden Darksun to basecoat the yellow highlights. These areas were then washed with Ogryn Flesh before re-applying those colours to the raised sections and leaving the recesses shaded.

The reason I opted for yellow spot colours on the outlaws, was that I mirrored the predominantly-yellow of the 'soiled dove' associated with the gang (basecoated Iyanden Darksun with the spraygun). 

Even in these lawless lands, there's a code of conduct and a lady will never be targeted in a fight (unless she fires on you with her 'saturday night special', which is a small firearm concealed about her person, then she's fair game!). You can use this to your advantage and really play in the spirit of the outlaws by using her as a human shield, then opening fire when the time is right.

The bases were finished with Scorched Brown, overbrushed with Dheneb Stone on top, with Galeforce 9 scorched grass and Army Painter highland tufts used to add extra detail.

In total, I was probably painting for around 6 hours and I'm pretty happy with the finish of the final pieces.

That's all for now, catch you later

Monday, 5 March 2012

Measure twice, cut once

Ladies and gents, I wanted to change it up a bit on today’s post. This one’s for my Grandad, on what would have been his 85th birthday. He was a larger than life guy who was right at the heart of the family. I am the oldest of his five Grandchildren and had a real creative connection with him. He was a big inspiration to me in my younger years and continues to influence my approach to my hobbies and other practical work.

He was a highly skilled carpenter by trade, but could turn his hand to literally anything. Grandad spent a lot of his time in his workshop in the back garden, tinkering with all kinds of things. He would do whatever he could for you and was always making up all kinds of bits for us. He was equally talented with a pencil and a paintbrush and I’ve got a lot of fond memories of sitting with him drawing and painting all kinds of things.

A particular piece of advice of his that always in my mind, is ‘Measure twice, cut once’. Simple advice, but advice that I’ve been glad to have heeded on a great number of occasions and something that I’ll be passing on my kids for sure.

I could reminisce forever, but wanted to round it out by saying he’s always in my thoughts and I miss him.

Peace guys.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Bitzbox dispute

Hey all, for today's post, I wanted to update you all on a recent dispute I've had with plastic components supplier, . Having recently recommended them on here and placed two orders on the site myself, I've received an unfavourable response to issues raised with them and subsequent feedback I was invited to leave on company ratings site, .

The background to it is that the second of my recent orders was imcomplete, with the packing slip signed off as fulfilled and nothing from Paypal regarding a partial refund for the missing pieces. I raised this with Bitzbox, (during normal working hours on a Monday!) but having received no recognition (automated or otherwise) of the issue or my contact within 24hrs, I raised it formally through Paypal. Bitzbox have sent incomplete orders in the past with no resolution or response to my subsequent enquiries. As such, I felt it necessary to escalate this, in case my corporate email address had been filtered into their spam folder.

Although I have now received the pieces, the contacts from the seller have been completely unsatisfatory, and as such, would recommend anyone to search for parts vendors elsewhere. I have already located several other via ebay which appear to provide a good service.

For those interested in the published commentary, I've pasted it in below.

Cheers all, more soon.

Review - Good.... but not awesome....
(P) I have used Bitzbox on a number of occasions, but you need to be lucky to get exactly what you're after, as stock levels are hit and miss.

On this particular occasion my order was missing parts and so I emailed the company. As I'd not received any acknowledgement whatsoever within 24hrs (not even an automated response to manage expectations), I raised a dispute on Paypal, believing that the corporate domain attached to my email may have caused it to filter into their junk folder. I received quite an abrupt emailed response almost immediately and I explained the reason for my action as I have had part-orders with no response or resolution before.

I also raised concerns around an apparent fault with the shopping cart on the site, but the response was largely unsympathetic, even though it is ultimately costing them custom. In this instance, my spend reduced by more than half, after having to start the order from scratch when the shopping cart emptied itself.

Having worked in a highly customer-experience-orientated business for nearly a decade, perhaps my expectations of others are too high, but I resent being made to feel as though I am in the wrong when raising a complaint, even though the company is at fault.

I have now received the missing pieces from this order.

Being able to order specific components is extremely useful, but there are alternative sellers offering this function and I will seriously consider them next time around.


(BB) I appreciate your concerns regarding the software but please be aware that I didn't design it, I didn't code it and I sure as hell can't do anything about it nor would I dare try in case the whole thing stopped working. I'm sorry I'm not a highly skilled web developer.

It's also quite ridiculous to open up a paypal dispute after one day. Am I not allowed to take a single day off work in case an impatient customer such as yourself emails with a question that I must answer otherwise they will open up a paypal dispute?

Maybe your expectations are too high. I never made you feel like you were in the wrong either and I also sent you the parts that were missing from your order swiftly.

I would prefer it if you use another website in future. We have many satisfied customers who use our service and I would much rather that the most sought after bits went to them.


(P) Once again, having openly explained the situation and the reason for the action taken, you (the vendor) have responded in a confrontational manner. Surely the point of using this feedback tool, is to help evolve the business and attract new customers? Maybe you should remove your site from trustpilot and cherry pick customer testimonials on your own web page instead?

No, you do not need to be a web designer; perhaps contact the person who built the site for you? Does it not concern you that you may be losing out on business? I didn't have to say anything, just thought I'd point it out; it's no odds to me if you lose profit or not.

Also, I have explained the reason for raising the complaint via Paypal, because of concerns over my corporate email domain and the fact that you have carelessly sent me incomplete orders in the past and never bothered to resolve those issues. Perhaps setting up an auto-attendent to manage customer expectations would be something you should investigate?

Do not tell me how I feel. I have perceived your responses as abrupt, surly and sarcastic and maybe you should address that. I note from reading some of the other reviews about your service that I am not the only one who has experienced these issues recently either.

Having recently referred the increasing number of readers of my blog page to your site, I will be posting an update to recommend they also seek an alternative.