Sunday, 20 December 2015

Miners from Sloppy Jalopy Painting Log, Part Two

Well what with work, lucky enough to be temporary promoted to team leader, Mrs PK trying her best to fill every second of the day with going here and there I have managed to progress these Miners along a wee bit. What we are going to see is the stages on how I painted the fresh tones. Now I am no expert painter, no matter how I kid myself, but I have found, possibly the longer way to paint skin ever and you will see what I mean.

The Finished Skin
Now as I have said I am no expert when it comes to painting and I paint figures rather like I paint my illustrations which means you can see the brush strokes of the paint that I have laid down. Also I do water/thin down my paints a fair bit which allows me to layer paint on top of other to try and give it a more natural feel, not really sure that it is worth the enough though.


First off I applied a thin coat of Vallejo's Model Colour, Hull Red as the base for the skin as I want the feel of tough, hard working men with that weathered, ruddy look to the skin. I have found this to be a great colour as it keeps the luminosity of the layer that are laid down on top of it within making the other paints fight and jar against it.

Next a mixed Vallejo Game Colour, Tan, I use this colour as I cannot find a suitable colour close to tan in the Model Colour range, with the Hull Red that I used previously, and painted that over most of the skin leaving the recesses between the fingers, the eras, around the nose, the mouth in the darker base colour so to forum shadows. After this I painted the next layer using the Tan colour again on the top must areas so building the skin tone up.

The next layer I painted using Vallejo's Model Colour, Sunny Skin, mixed with a little tan and applied this to the nose, chin, cheek bones, the eye brows, ears, basically all the areas where light would hit it and then I washed the whole skin area down using Vallejo's Model Colour, Burnt Cadmium Red, to basically use the skin that glow that skin has.I have to admit I love the Burnt Cadmium Red colour as it is great for this as it gives a slight glaze to the figure.

After this I paint another layer of Sunny Skin mixed with a little Tan on top of this along the nose, cheek bones, eye brows, ears, all the areas where light hits the skin and then I highlight where pure Sunny Skin on all the above again but it lesser amounts. Once this is all done I simply paint the lips in Tan to finish off the figure.

I am not totally sure it is worth all the effort to paint the skin this way but I think that is gives a good naturally feel to the skin and in my opinion it is the part of the model that you should work the hardest on as it is the part most people look at first.

Well I hope you like that next with the painting of the clothes before I go onto the weapons and all the other bits and pieces.

Have a nice day.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Miners from Sloppy Jalopy Painting Log, Part One

I have never done one of these before so please bare with me on this as I am not totally sure how this will work out. Its might actually be a little boring but hopefully not and it will be of interest to someone. So without further to do the painting log for Sloppy Jalopy's new Very British Civil War miners.

The figures as I have said before in the previous post are very nicely done and sculpted by Mr Matt Bickley and Mr Bill Thornhill. The casting is very sharp and clean with few mold lines which can be easily files away. The actually figures are now that I have had a good old chance to look at them up close and personally are very nice, well detailed and have a very naturally posed. 

The nice thing about them, besides the look of them and there versatility is the fact that they have separate heads. Now I know that some of you will think that separate heads is a pain and figures look better with the heads sculpted with them on but these are actually very good and actually work very well. There is a nice range of different heads from Miners Hats, naturally, wouldn't be miners without Miners Hats, but also bowlers, bare heads and flat caps. I know that Sloppy Jalopy with be doing other heads including helmets, straw hats and other head wear which means that you can have a good number of variations with these and if Sloppy do other militia types, like urban wear and rural wear militias, you could have a wonderful range.

All I have done with these chaps is to pose the heads and place them on the bodies, cleaned up the old mold line or two and then glues that to bases, in my case 2 pence pieces, I love them as they have the right height and add a little weight, especially to plastic miniatures. Then I added the mixed gravelly sand mix and undercoated them in matt black spray paint, I used Wilko's BBQ and Woodstove spray paint, which is quite cheap but it does give a good finish if when you first spray it it looks to thick and all the detail has been covered and lost but once it is dried in looks rather neat.

Well thats enough of me rambling and hopefully I will have the next step, painting the skin shortly.

Have a nice day.


Friday, 11 December 2015

New Miners from Sloppy Japoly

Hi chaps

New Miner chaps from Sloppy Jalopy and actually a bit of my thoughts on them. Firstly I would like to say a big thanks to Sloppy Jalopy for these as they are rather special and something that the world of VBCW has been looking for a wee while, a set of decent, militia types that can be used for a number of different worker and non worker types, let me explain. 


Yes these militiamen have been designed to be miners, with miners helmets and lamps but there also as separate heads which means that with a little bit thought and very little conversion, actually none, just head swaps, these chaps can double up as a Local Defence Militia or a Workers Defence Committee to a regular, generic civilian militia to a trade union militia. In fact they can be used for about just anything you can imagine for VBCW and also other civilian unit for different periods like a Home Guard unit for WW2 or a workers militia for SCW to a civilian unit for RCW or the German Civil War not to mention being used for more modern periods and Spy-Fi.

The actual pack has a good mix of poses and is very characterful.There are eleven figures in the pack which includes a commander holding a Miner's Lamp, a lewis gunner and number two, two banner bearers for those large union banners or you could have two banner bearers, and a mix of six rifle and shotgun armed men, one throwing some dynamite, all wearing civilian clothing, suits, jacket and trousers, jumpers or shirts. Added to the mix of bodies are the mix of different heads where you get bowler hats, flat caps, bare heads and of course miner's hats. I am told by Sloppy Jalopy that they will be doing the head separately as well as other types of heads in the future which means that you can get even more from this unit, straw hats anyone?

Now you would of thought that all this would cost you at least the same price of Empress or Footsore but you would be wrong as they only cost £15.00 for eleven figures, thats a real bargain, so pop over to Sloppy Jalopy and arm yourself with these, thats what I say.

Have a nice day


Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Finished Frostgrave Spell Cards

Hi chaps and Chapettes

I have re looked at the cards again as I like them but I wanted something that was a little more dramatic so I have re-jigged them and now I think they are better. I have played about with the background, lightening the blue in the frosty work to make it look more frosty and playing about with the text boxes so you can see more of the image. I think I have done what I wanted to do and I am very happy with the results, so without further ado here they are. Also there is a link so you can download the images which are in PDF format and simply download and print. You will need to print the backs or fronts first and then turn the paper/card around and print on the other side to get the full effect. I hope you like them and find them of use.

Back Cover of the Spell Cards

Elementalists Spell Cards

Enchanter Spell Cards

Illusionist Spell Cards

Nercomancer Spell Cards

Sigilist Spell Cards

Soothsayer Spell Cards

Summoner Spell Cards

Thaumaturge Spell Cards

Witch Spell Cards

I hope you all like them and find them of use.

Have a nice day


Monday, 2 November 2015

Frostgrave Getting into the game.

What a great, fun game Frostgrave is and it ticks so many boxes, on so many different levels it might see me adventuring into fantasy again. I am not going into the rule and how amazing it looks or the mechanics as there are better reviews out there than I could even do. Instead I am going to talk spell cards.

The one thing I dislike with Frostgrave was the lack of imagination when it came to the cards in the books and no sell deck to buy either. So I decided to rectify that by coming up with my own spell card deck. I based it on Trading Card games and I think that they have can out rather nicely.

These cards are for my personal use only, there is no intention of sell these but it would be nice to get your worthy opinions folks and what you think of them.

Well thats all for today so have a nice day.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

More from the Leicester People's Assault Column, The Leicester Irish

Yes indeed another unit has been added to the Leicester People's Assault Column and this unit is a unique even within the ranks of the Leicester PAC as every member of the unit is Irish or their have Irish heritage, but more of this shortly. But firstly, why Irish? Well the answer for this quite simple, firstly Leicester has a large Irish community and secondly, I'm Irish too.

The Leicester Irish Workers, is the latest unit recruited of the Leicester PAC, being recruited from the Irish workers of Leicester, the steel workers from Corby as well volunteers from both the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. The one thing is common with all the members of this unit, which is evident from the flag, is that they are all members of either the Independent Labour Party, if living in Britain or the Irish Republican Socialist Party, if from Ireland. Also there is rumours that members of this unit are also members of the IRA, but whether this is true or not is not known.

The commander of the Leicester Irish Workers, is James "Red Paddy" Walsh was an active and some say militant, trade union leader of the Transport and General Workers Union in Leicester before the start of the civil war. He is a very charismatic leader, a great orator and a driven, hard working man who came over to Britain during the mid 20s, shorter after the end of the Irish Civil War. Not a lot is known why Red Paddy came to Britain after the civil war and James Walsh has never stated why, but there is some evidence that maybe he was a member of the IRA during the Irish War of Independence and the civil war.

Walsh since coming to Leicester has worked for workers rights and getting a better deal and standard for all workers which has meant that his has drifted to the left and has also meant that once the Civil War brought in Britain he was very quick to help in the forming of workers militias based around the factories and the branch. Red Paddy was the leader who raised the workers to stop the boots consignment from being delivered to the British Union of Fascists at the start of the war and was instrumental in Leicester aligning with the Socialist League and actively fighting the King's Government and particularly the BUF.

All this meant that Walsh came to attention of the PAC Commander Corbain, who after a private meeting agree to raise an unit for the Irish workers in the area, who are members of the ILP, LP and IRSP. This meant that these soldiers are hard fighters, especially in hand to hand, and have a espirit de corp based on their shared backgrounds and political belief.

The uniforms of the Leicester Irish Workers is based upon the uniforms of the Irish Free State, with the Mauser rifles actually being supplied by the Free State because of the Irish link. The actually uniform and the equipment is made by the city's textile industry in the Socialist Green that Corbain insists all PAC forces in Leicester wear.

The figures that I have used are the Polish, 10th Motorised Brigade from Wargame Lord games, actually this is the unit that I won from Templars Crusade You Tube Channel as these chaps fit the Irish Free State uniform look that I was looking for. By the way I can recommend that you should check Templars Crusade channel, especially if you like Bolt Action or Warhammer 40K.

Have a nice day


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Running a Forum and the fun and "fun" that it is

I'm sure a few of you know besides my many things I do, like painting figures, terrain building, illustrations, helping edit Wargame Bloggers Quarterly, etc, I also run and manage a forum about the interwar period in general and specifically 1938 A Very British Civil War called A Very British Civil Forum, sorry for the shameless plug there.

Now I have been running this forum with the help of a couple of friends for the last four plus years and it has been a lot of fun and I have met some lovely and interesting people, some of which I am happy to call friends. But if you asked me four years ago if you thought that you would be running the forum now I have to admit I didnt. Also if you asked me how much time and effort this forum would take up I think I would of answered "well not a lot of time". Well I am glad to say it is still hear but it dont half take up a lot of my time, by the way I am not moaning about that as I love running it.

Now are forums important for games and players of the games or will players naturally arrange stuff for themselves on various platforms? Now I guess this should of been the question I should of asked myself four years ago when me and friend decided to open the forum. I guess we actually did in a way as A Very British Civil Forum was born as we had a very good forum previously called Gentlemen's Wargames Parlour, which is still about and was the home of VBCW for a number of years but a number of problems with the forum, mainly that the forum was down more often than not, led to us opening up your one. If you like your forums I can recommend GWP3 as a good forum that cover a number of historical topics and periods.

So wide eyed we opened up the new forum and it took about a year to get the format correct and in fact I am always adding new stuff and taking down old stuff to make it better and fresher. Now this is one of the things about running a forum, you might of come up with the idea, you might be the driving force behind it and you might feel that you are the one doing everything for everyone, but the forum is not YOUR forum, it is the users forum and you should listen to what they say. After all the members are the one ones that use it, comment, start discussions, etc, all you have done is provided a place for them to do so.

In my case, VBCF, is easy to have and do because it is linked to a wargaming period and a niche at that, with no competition from other forums and fully backed for the authors of the game, which helps. I can imagine that a forum about general wargaming would be much harder to do, get members, need more work put in, etc, as the competition with other forums and alike. Just look at Lead Adventure Forum and see just how many different topics there is and the number of moderators too. But all of this is rewarding, knowing that you have helped bring people from around the world together and build a community around it.

But there is a down, darker side to running a forum and that when things are not going so well. Recently VBCF servers went down for a few days, along with the support forums from the hosts. This is a nightmare, no forum and no-one to contact about it. Usually when there is a outage, the support forum as still up and running so you can contact them and also it only last 24 hours at the most. Now this outage lasted a few days, three days and then a couple days after to get it up and running correctly. Now the first time I usually find out that the forum is not want in when I start receiving emails from members asking what is wrong with the forum, and in my case on Facebook on the VBCW page, through Facebook messenger, texts, you name it, I received it, okay I didnt get a carrier pigeon or a brick through the window, but you get the picture. Now you can do is answer the correspondences raised and contact the forum providers for updates. I have to say I with lucky as the forum hosts,, had a Facebook page and had gone to the trouble of setting up a support forum on another hosts so we could find information, report problems and read the updates and progress of the fix. Now this is important so you can them relay this information back to your members so they know what it happening, because it is easy to loose members to a forum not being available, thinking that it is closed for good or I dont care.

But it is all back, running and everything is fine. So what is the point of this post, well it is a bit of information really about running a forum and what fun it is but it is hard work. If you every would to take up a similar challenge and create a forum yourself, my advise is have a long, hard think about it, as it is a lot my work than you think but it is rewarding. Its something that you should find like minded people to give you a hand with the running of it and gosh the internet does half make that part easier, people will offer there help anyway after a while so the help is always there. But go for it and see if it works and if it does fine and if not again it is not a big loss.

I hope you find this of some use.

Have a nice day.

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