Monday, 17 July 2017

Feeling a bit Mahdi....

Well, less Mahdi, and a bit...., well, mardy......

For those of you who aren't aware, 'mardy' is a dialect word used (as far as I know - and I use it), in the Midlands of England, and means 'grumpy', or out of sorts, and not in the best of moods. Perfect to sum up my current mood, as far as the hobby is concerned. It's one of those times or feelings which most wargamers get, I guess, when we just have no drive for the pastime, no energy for it, or little interest. very unusual for me, but it is a feeling that creeps up occasionally. I'm not sure why- I still love the hobby, but over the last few weeks (or months), I've been a 'meh' about things.

So what better way, to feel less 'mardy', and more 'Mahdi' - or back on track with my Sudan project, than to kickstart my blog again. It's been a while - January(!) - since I last posted, so that is a good indication of how bad things have got. So, enough of that. Time to shake off the blues, and get cracking again.

With The Other Partizan Show in Newark, UK, just under 5 weeks away, and the RAWGamers putting on a game, it's a great motivation to get back into the swing of things. My Sudan project has been ticking along, with all the pace of a slow moving camel, but at least I've been doing something.

First up, the first of my base boards has been completed, bar the paint on the edges. This is made of MDF - 2' by 4', with battening strips of timber down the edges to form a frame, then a 1" thick polystyrene sheet interior, glued inside this frame using PVA. Coated over with my trusty PVA/Sand and tallus mix, with the odd larger cat-litter stones here and there, it's turned out quite nicely. I then paint it up using the sample pots of paint I use for all my basing now (more on this another post), and it's done. Lots of dry brushing to build up 3 gradually lighter shades on top of a brown basecoat, and voila! Desert!

The board - with some scenery - an old GW hill!

Detail of the baseboard - and the cat litter clumps.

I've added the litter in small clumps, so as to not get in the way of the hills and other scenery too much, and I have a plan to create some 'rough' terrain or scrubland bases any way. This leads me nicely on to...

The hills... Many years ago, I picked up an old Games Workshop plastic hill kit, from a hobby store. It was on offer in a sale, and far below a sensible price, even for a clearance item! Safe to say, I snatched it up, and even when I questioned the low price, the assistant didn't bat an eyelid, so I was able to bag a bargain! Sadly GW don't make these hills any more, as far as I can tell, and unless I see some more on E-bay or in a car boot or bring and buy sale, I'm unlikely to get any more. Painted up with my paint combinations, and desert foliage added.

I've painted the ends, so probably won't join them together unless I need to.

Painted up and together, but not linked.

Some of the detail of the foliage - sparse and scorched.

As for figures, well, some of them have appeared on the blog before, but I've done another small group of 8 figures since then. These are once again Perry Miniatures, from their plastic Mahdists box set. They form the second group of 8 figures for my 'Skirmish Kings' project, using The Men who would be Kings rules.

The next unit for my game.

Two 'skirmish Kings' units together, or one full group of figures for the rules

I've also made some markers for the game in August - Gone to ground, Pinned and Leaderless markers. These all show the state that the units are in, and I'm making some for all the units of the table.

I've also put together some movement trays for my British infantry. These are from Warbases, and each tray represents one unit for Skirmish Kings. A bit short of figures to fill these yet, but I'm working on that, and they're all assembled and primed, so watch this space.

Close up of the first base.
Soooo, hopefully this refreshes my mind concerning the hobby, and gets me back on track. The plan over the next five weeks, is to try and update the blog on a more regular basis, and go into more detail about various aspects of the project. That will get us together nicely for late August, and The Other Partizan! See you soon!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Welcome to 2017! More Mahdists, British, and an adobe building...

It's hard to believe it's been so long since the last post, but a belated Happy Christmas and New Year, to all my followers and casual 'droppers-by'! Apologies, too, for the rather slack behaviour, when it comes to posts on this blog. Hopefully, 2017 will be different!

Slightly outnumbered!...

It seems customary on many of the wargaming blogs that I visit, to review the year's progress or to chart out the plans for the new year, and in the past I've joined in with this. At some stage in the future, I might get round to a review of the last 365 days, but not yet; although in summary, with two visits to the Partizan show in Newark, two display games featuring my ECW skirmish project, 38 figures and other bits and bobs made and painted up, and lots of laughs had by the RAWGamers, 2016 was something of a successful year.

2017 already looks exciting, with things slowly gearing up for the Partizan Show towards the end of May, where the RAWGamers are planning to put on a Sudan skirmish game, and it is to this we now turn!

Progress has been a little bit slow, but ongoing - I managed to complete my next lot of 4 figures, for my first Mahdist unit, for my 'The Men who would be Kings' colonial project, so I've now got 8 of these chaps done. Following on from some advice on the Lead Adventure Forum, I tried to darken the skin tones down on these chaps, and I think it's worked. The only problem is that this tone is normally mixed, rather than being 'out of the bottle', so with main coats and highlights simply being a bit more brown added to the base coat each time, it means that I have to paint each figure at one sitting, which does slow things down slightly. Maybe we'll experiment with other tones, but as long as I keep going with this on a consistent path, then figures will still get painted in a steady manner.

The next four Mahdists

As a Christmas treat for myself, I managed to get hold of another box of Perry Mahdists, and also a box of the plastic Sudan era British. I've painted up a couple of these as test figures, and when I complete the first unit of these, I'll post a more detailed blog about paint tones, techniques etc, with these chaps. Until then, hope you enjoy the pics! Frustratingly, It started spitting with rain, just as I got outside to photograph these chaps, hence the dodgy quality of the images, so apologies for that too! Taking pictures inside doesn't quite cut it, but hopefully people will get the idea.

A stout-hearted servant of Her Majesty!

'Give Fire!'

Finally, a few pictures of one of my Christmas presents from 'the other half'. I have a very tolerant and understanding wife, when it comes to this hobby, and she doesn't mind buying me wargaming related stuff - so here's a before and after of the first bit of real estate for this project, a rural adobe building, from Hovels. I've tried to paint it up using the same colours that I use for my bases - after all, the mud would be from the same ground that people would be walking on - rather than the seemingly immaculate whitewashed buildings that one often sees on the wargaming table. I hope you like it! There are more buildings to come.

Before....wooden base, and cat litter (unused!) stones...

...and after...all painted up!

Can I finish this first post of 2017, by saying a massive thanks to my followers and those who add comments, or drop by. I hope you enjoy what you see, and that you'll continue to be inspired by the offerings that I dish up. It's even better to see you in person, so please come and find us at Partizan, in just over 100 days, if you can......  just over100 days?! get painting! See you soon!