Thursday, 19 April 2018

Hail fellow Hobby Zoners!

I have a small update for you all. I started painting running lights on my UCMF ships. It requires a very steady hand and a smaller brush. I was happy with the dots, I opted for white rather than a colour. Also painted the PDW (Point Defence Weapons) on some of the ships too. 
Will need to have a think about the designs of warpaint on the various ships before I get them roughed out and painted. Then I think I will call them finished.

Progress so far...

UCMS Beijing

UCMS Atlantis

UCMS Kyoto

And lastly a pair of St.Petersburgs

Well that is all for now. Stay tuned as I will have more updates in the week. Wish you well my fellow Hobby Zoners!


Sunday, 15 April 2018

Salute Part 3

Dear Hobby Zoners! I was remiss... I failed to relate my all too brief chat with the Founder of Anvil Industry. We had a quick chat about their range of Infantry which I had picked up again on an order direct from their website a little while back. 

I mentioned my little conversion (dual wield Crisis SMGs that were part of a Javelin MPAT Squad) which they commented on at the time on the Anvil Industry Facebook page so they knew who I was, and said I was working on some more of their models currently. 

If I recall I think I mentioned that their Kalarchi 17th Airborne are my favourite models in that particular range. They also have options for Ops Core helmets and loads of other cool goodies like anti-material sniper rifles. *grins*

Anvil Industry FB Page

Yet I forgot to wish them Luck with their new Burning Rose Kickstarter! It really was an all too brief conversation, however I shall drop them a message on their Facebook Page this weekend.

Lastly I would like to mention one of my favourite sculptors these days Kev White from Hasslefree Miniatures. Kev recently had a whole new range released through Kickstarter and it was available at Salute 2018. Truly beautiful miniatures with Kev's usual design genius.

Kev is someone who I have known for a number of years and a great guy to talk to.
Please check out the Hasslefree FB page to see some of the latest releases.

Hasslefree FB Page

And on this note I will leave you, please enjoy the rest of your weekend and I hope some of you get to game or indulge in some hobby time.

Till my next update farewell!

Salute 2018 Part 2

So that was the deal of the Century part of my post out of the way! My buddy Will mentioned about a Company called White Dragon Miniatures. So I had a look at their range and spoke to some of the crew including the miniature designer. I have to say their range was some of the best, cleanest sculpts in resin, with the sharpest detail with basically no flash or defects, I have ever seen. So I picked up a sample to show my fellow Hobby Zoners and the Peeps at my local Club (First Founding Gaming)

White Dragon Miniatures FB Page

Will and myself met up with many old wargaming friends throughout the day. Wandering around I was trying to take a few photos with my good camera (a Panasonic GF1) blissfully unaware that it was not setup correctly for the day. So I had no idea most of my shots would be unusable till I was home much later going through my High-Speed SD Card.

But that aside I had an opportunity to meet another good mate Steve Perry who was the guy behind Dark Ops terrain (made famous by Dropzone Commander no less! Steve now is the UK side to the Rubicon Plastic Kit Company and is super busy. But I caught him at a quiet time and we chatted for a bit. Steve won 1st place in the Historical Diorama category at Salute 2018. 

Rubicon Models FB Page

So later in the day I popped over to see some of the guys at TTCombat, Jason was around who some of you may know is one of the two Social Media Chaps from TTCombat who also help Admin both the Facebook Community Groups for Dropzone (DZC) and Dropfleet (DFC) with Jamie and the rest of the Admin Teams.

Emily was also demoing games with Version 2.4 of the DZC Beta Rules. Shes an awesome woman and someone with a real passion for the DZC/DFC Universe.

Managed to find Dave Lewis who designs both games and previously was the owner and Director of Hawk Wargames. He is an awesome guy and someone I consider a friend. 
Glad to see he is really busy designing some amazing new and shiny toys for the Dropzone/Dropfleet Universe. 

Also want to mention Dan from TTC who is a really nice guy and now the General Manager with Troll Trader Group. 

Lastly I would also like to mention the owner of the Company Louis Simpson who I was able to have a chat with when things were a little quiet. Thoroughly lovely guy and no trace of ego at all. 

TTCombat FB Page

Was so good to see the TTCombat/Hawk stand with crowds of people wanting to buy bits and pieces. I honestly feel both games are in good hands and things are looking good for the future.

I also met up with an old friend, one of the guys behind Wartorn Games, Jonathan Corps. Jon was demoing his new game Meeple-Force. So let me take a moment to explain.

Meeple-Force is a tabletop game that does not use rulers or dice. The models are meeples with sticker artwork front and back. They are on special bases that allow you to "flick" them to facilitate their actual move on the board. Some units can cause damage when they make direct contact with an enemy meeple. Also some units have a shooting characteristic.

This was neatly executed by means of flicking a "shoot" token at an enemy unit. If you hit you then do damage according to the characteristics on your character cards.

I need to mention the cards. The artwork is sheer genius! Think of 80s cartoons, Kung Fury, and 80s Movie Posters. And you will get an idea for how they look.

Turn sequence is an alternate activation type which suits the game well. Everything you need to know is actually clearly explained on each character card. There are card tokens to mark wounds. And also resin tokens to mark Medi-Packs, Special Weapons and Items like Homing Missiles and Ninja Throwing Knives. I am sure there will be other interesting tokens available.

The game is utter jokes and so much fun. Keep an eye out on Kickstarter for it later in the year and have a think about backing it, I will be for sure!

Wartorn Games FB Page

I could write alot more but I just want to leave one amazing thing that happened in the morning at Salute.

Will, Scott and myself were walking towards the Traders entrance for Salute as we all had early access. Then Will said you just walked past Paolo Parente! So I ran back and chatted briefly to another of my Hobby Heroes in person. That was AMAZING as I have been a fan of his DUST Universe for a long time.

I could have written pages and pages but instead I opted for a brief write-up of the highlights.

Till our next meeting I wish you well Fellow Hobby Zoners! :]

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Salute Part 1

Welcome again to the Hobby Zone, so I have returned from Salute 2018. There was much to see, so many new Systems being showcased, new models that I was not even aware of on my hobby radar. 

We had early access to Salute and we managed to find a retailer offloading all of his Dropzone/Dropfleet Commander stock in a firesale. Will Holder my buddy for the Salute 2018 trip and myself made a beeline to the Simple Miniatures Games Trade stand before we went anywhere else to find a whole section of Dropzone stock heavily discounted. 

Suffice to say it was a hard choice what to select given what was on offer as we both had set limits on our finances for the day.

I was also purchasing some stuff for a friend, as we had prior notice that the stock would be heavily discounted.

Simple Miniatures Games FB Page

Here is my haul from SMG, basically without throwing numbers around we paid around 3/4 or a 2/3 less what it costs retail for those items roughly.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Hello my fellow Hobby Zoners.

This evening I have some progress to show you all. As some of you are aware I am heading to Salute 2018 this coming Saturday. I had thought to pick up some items from Anvil Industry on the day. However I could not wait till the weekend so I made an order directly on their website using some of my funds ear marked for Salute. 

The order arrived promptly today. There was in fact a slight hiccup. Anvil notified me that the moulds for the Ops Core helmets which were part of my order were damaged, they told me there will be a slight delay with delivery while they sorted things out . I did not mind at all as my order qualified for free shipping anyway so another day would not affect me at all.

The quality of the resin is just unreal. There are basically zero issues with mould slippage or miscasts. They really are gorgeous sculpts and the parts always are incredibly detailed and the layout on the frames is always logical. 

In fact I have to say so far with working with Anvil Industry resin I am finding very little in the way of mould lines as well. I also need to mention the resin does not require washing before assembly and painting but you can if you want to. And the material itself is of a hard nature almost like plastic but has a little bounce to it. The detail on the casts is incredibly sharp and well defined.

The parts are also a joy to assemble. (I used ZAP superglue) The fit is excellent and there are usually never any gaps. I have never needed to use green stuff or anything to fix these whatsoever.

so here are my Anvil Industry Kalarchi 17th Airbourne (which I will be using in a few different Systems including Warhammer 40K as Scions or Astra Militarum Veterans)

I do have a recipe to paint these Spec Ops Troopers, involving Army Painter acrylic paints and some Games Workshop Washes.

Here are the basic colours I will use for the majority of the Troopers. And yes you may see a trend, I do like the colour green very much! :]

My formula is to spray undercoat the base colour which in this case is a dark green. So I will use Army Painter (AP) Angel Green spray. Then I will wash using Games Workshop (GW) Biel Tan Green wash, then I mix Angel Green with a little Green Skin and dry brush very lightly all over the model. 

(It is easier painting models in batches of 5-10 as once you have worked your way through and drybrushed the last model in the batch, the first model should be dry enough to work on again). 

So then mixing some more Angel Green and Green Skin but this time with a higher ratio of Green Skin I work through and drybrush the models again. Lastly I will mix the same ratio of the same paints but now adding a touch of Daemonic Yellow to the mix. This is my last dry brush stage, depending on how this looks I may then use very thinned Biel Tan Green just to add more depth and shade to the recesses. 

This 4 colour method works with anything. Say you want to paint something blue, you look for the darkest shade, then find a mid tone, then a lighter tone, then you need to find a bright tone or a brighter tone of another colour that you can mix to get the extreme light shade for the final dry brushing.

I prefer to mix my paints, but you can simply select the approariate colours and use them directly. Call me old fashioned if you must... haha!

I will always paint the largest areas of a model first, be it cloth, metallics, skin tones, or another material. It is easier to work like this for me but you may prefer another approach.

I will go into more detail with painting guides and methods in another article but I just wanted to at least talk about colour choice and such briefly.

So till next time my fellow Hobby Zoners!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

And lastly for Shaltari Tribes, I have the Enterprise S, which was made purely from random bits left over from the Shaltari Tribes Fleet boxset.

Shaltari Tribes Enterprise S aka The Doom Bringer (Prototype Experimental Heavy Cruiser)

Welcome Hobby Zoners, I was remiss as I failed to show photos of my most recent Dropfleet  ship conversions.

So here is The UCMS Kyushu (an Experimental Tactical Assault Cruiser

So Hobby Zoners I thought I would take a moment to discuss hobby tools. What is your preference for tools? Do you have a brand that you choose above others? how long have you been using your tools? Are you unsure what sort of tools that you may need for your hobby?

I hope I can provide some answers. For me the most basic tools are a good knife, a set of clippers and some files. After that some precision pliers, a razor saw and a pin vice with a selection of drill bits. I find a set of precision hobby tweezers very useful for fitting smaller parts.

For me the brands I prefer are various. I own quite a few Tamiya tools as the quality is excellent. Some of mine have been in use for over ten years without any degradation in quality or performance. 

Meng Tools are also very good. My favourite and most reliable hobby knife is a Swann Morton one and the 10A blades can be purchased easily from art shops or online. 

The Swann Morton blades are surgical grade so extremely sharp so please use extreme caution when using them and do not use too much pressure while cutting to avoid snapping the blade.

A pinging blade flying at near light speed at at face level is no laughing matter!

I think alot of tools can be bought cheaply without having to resort to buying poorer quality items. Electricians tools are often fit for purpose and made to a very high standard so perfectly suited for our hobby needs.

On a side note adhesives are very important. Without them it all falls apart... quite literally.
I only use a few types these days, I tend to stick with the ZAP A Gap Superglue, it is a thicker formula so you can use it for gap filling. It sets fast even without activator and is very very strong. I often use this on plastic kit assembly as it facilitates faster building.

I also trust Tamiya Extra Thin Cement for any plastic assembly. It comes with a very fine brush and sets pretty fast for a liquid cement.

Lastly for any big jobs where strength is paramount I will use Araldite 2 part epoxy glue. It takes a long time to set (i usually leave the parts overnight) but once set it is ridiculously strong and can be filed and drilled too. In addition I use electricians 1mm copper wire for pinning. 

One thing I will say is this. Look after your tools. Respect them and care for them and they should last you many years. There is no point in buying expensive tools if you cant manage those two simple things.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

So my fellow Hobby Zoners I also have a few Experimental Ships to show you.

These were made using various bits and I did also need to use a Tamiya razor saw at one point too.

Part of the fun of building models for any game for me is creating custom units.
Things that never existed but ones that I am able to create based on my own background to fit whatever situation. This aspect of the process brings me alot of joy. 

The UCMS Kyushu Experimental Tactical Cruiser

Here are the rest of my modest UCMF ships.

The UCMS Beijing (Main Battleship)

The UCMS Kyoto (which is a custom ship design based on the Avalon) 
(Experimental Battlecruiser)

A pair of UCMS St. Petersburgs (Heavy Cruisers)

Another custom ship design, The UCMS New London Assault Carrier (based on the Seattle)
(Heavy Assault Carrier)

UCMS Moscow (Heavy Cruiser)

A pair of UCMS Berlins (Standard Cruisers)

Another custom chip design, The UCMS Penang (Experimental Heavy Cruiser)

Hail fellow Hobby Zoners. This evening I am sharing with you some of my Work In Progress, 
I have some beautiful models from Hawk Wargames/TTCombat. These are various Cruisers from the United Colonies of Mankind Fleet (UCMF).

They are modular multipart plastic ships (with some optional resin stuff) that have really gorgeous design language. 

David Lewis is the creator and designer of all of the ships in the Dropfleet Commander Universe as well as everything in its sister game Dropzone Commander (DZC).

He created many unique and ingenious designs for the four main Factions in Dropfleet Commander (DFC), each Faction has its own look and feel and personality but for me the UCMF ships appealed to me the most.

I have been painting them for a little while now using Army Painter acrylic spray/paints and shades and Games Workshop washes. 

Here is my fist ship and one that is nearing completion.

The UCMS Atlantis (Experimental Battlecruiser)

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Welcome aboard... please strap in and prepare for a wild ride my fellow Hobby Zoners...

So this marks my very first foray into writing a Hobby Blog. I do write alot of posts and things on Facebook but my actual creative writing has been lacking of late. Also after seeing a few of my close friends starting Hobby Blogs with great success it made me want to join the party.

Here I will discuss a multitude of Hobby topics, and I will cover many differing gaming systems. Of the many games I play a few stand out. These few games I will give more focus to over the coming months.
Both traditional tabletop, board games and card games will appear in future posts.

However before I go into greater detail I would like to remind all of you that the largest Tabletop Gaming Expo is currently on in Central London at the ExCel Centre next Saturday  (14th April).
Salute 2018 as many of you may know is where Hobby Companies and Retailers come together to show their latest products and demo new games to an eager Public.

At the show many vendors will have products that they are either launching that weekend or showcasing before they hit the retail market.

It is a place where there are a multitude of new and shiny toys for the Tabletop Gaming Fan.
I know some friends from Wartorn Games will be showcasing their new Exoskeleton/Mech called the Broadsword. Without revealing too much so as to avoid spoiling the surprise this is a fantastic multipart kit with a large degree of pose-ability in 32mm scale for Wartorns Infernal Sci-Fi/Horror skirmish game system.

Look out for them at the show and tell them Kanan sent you!