Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Why do you build me up, Buttercup, just to let me down and mess me around.


Today I re-organised my painting table to focus on figures that I'm going to find most useful in the coming weeks. I've got a bit of a mini-project on to get more obviously fantastical steampunk figures on the table instead of entirely historical looking Victorians. To that end I have a third tranche of figures incoming, even though I haven't made much of an impact on Tranche 2 (the Russians, Fenians and Evil Genius armies).

Although I hadn't planned it, Black Pyramid's special offer of a free Tea Wars figure set with each landship left me with the beginnings of a unit of their troops Although by default they come with tropical pith helmets, they also produce separate head sprues, one design of which is a spiked helmet with a gasmask (I keep pestering them for spiked Home Service helmets with normal faces), which gave me the idea of reproducing a Steampunk version of the iconic image of the SAS at the Libyan Embassy Siege in 1984
This was a massively powerful image in my childhood, so although I've shied away from Gasmasked figure for my VSF (poison gas on the battlefield just feels a little too World War One and not quite cricket) I felt I could make an exception for the Special Aether Service.

So I ordered the bits necessary to make up the figures I had into a ten man SAS team. I went for the Aether weapons packs as I wanted them to have a recognisably "weird science" gun, and bought enough spiked helmet heads for all ten figures. The unit consists of an officer/standard bearer (because that's all Ruperts are good for, standing there and drawing attention while the rest of the lads do the work) a sergeant/sniper and two fireteams of four troopers.

So when the small packet arrived with the rest of the bits this morning, I thought it would be the work of mere minutes to assemble them read for undercoating. I mean they're only four parts - legs, body & arms, Head and Weapon. How hard can it be?

Dear god, how little I knew! I think I've spent more time this afternoon crawling around on the floor looking for dropped heads and weapons than I have working at the table. Parts that fit together snugly when dry suddenly seem hyper-lubricated once the superglue is applied. I can see how the weapons fit into the hands of the figure but once a couple of drops of superglue are introduced, it just won't seem to fit anymore. Fingers that start out fairly fumbly and useless are soon coated in a liberal film of dried superglue, rendering the fingertips totally insensible and not at all suited to picking up 28mm scale heads and maneuvering them closely. Two and a half hours later my afternoon is gone but I have ten beefy looking chaps sat on the table ready to rumble.

The Tea Wars infantry are fairly chunky figures, similar in proportion to Games Workshop I would say. But overall they don't look too out of place alongside Renegade, Redoubt and Ironclad miniatures. The figures' feet are fitted with pegs to slot into holes drilled in decorated bases, though they should be usable with standard slottabases. I use pennies for basing my 28mm VSF figs, so these had to be cut and the boots glued direct to the pennies. Paintwise I'm thinking of going for a very dark green rather than all-out black, similar to a Rifles uniform. Army Painter Angel Green base, black gasmask, webbing, gear and boots, navy blue weapon (drybrushed silver) and a gold helmet spike, all treated with Darktone Quickshade, ought to give that "black on a black background" effect while actually having some different colours in there. I'm unlikely to be able to get these guys done for the planned game on Sunday, so for now they'll go to the side table with the other new steampunky figures to await initial base filling.

The one other thing I did manage to get done today was to Quickshade the first unit of Scotties, who followers of the blog may remember me starting sometime back in 1864. They've come out really nicely - photos to follow once the bases are textured. Lets hope 2nd platoon doesn't take quite so long to paint, so I can get onto the long delayed Fenians.

I'm trying to work out when I can fight the 2nd game in the Novembre campaign - Saturday is looking the most likely candidate which means I'll have to fight the third game on Monday to meet the one round a week deadline. It's sods law that this solo thing would start on the one week that I have a face-to-face game scheduled as well.

1 comment:

  1. I can sympethise with your frustration at multipart models - I am part way through assembling a box of WF zulus, and am finding it quite horrible, unnecassarily complicated (too much unnecessary variation), and producing a fairly poor result... some of the bits are actually unuseable with any of the poses!