Sunday, 16 January 2022

Spanish Trastámara Italian Wars Ordinance- Army of Gonzalo de Córdoba, "El Gran Capitán"

Apologies for the slightly serious nature of this post. I've been a very difficult 21 months with having to deal with isolating during the pandemic; I'm sure many of you are experiencing something akin to this to one extent or another. 

Due to a serious medical condition I have been shielding since March 20th 2022. Unable to see in person another human being except when I went to get my three vaccines. Suffice to say the isolation has been emotionally devastating digging deep into my psyche. It has definitely taken a heavy toll on my mental health. I was so ill/hyper anxious last year I was unable to take part in the AHPC. Although I have lived with quite a high background level of anxiety most of my adult life, this was something very new, much more intense and crippling than anything I had experienced before. I just couldn't find the strength to go about my daily routine never mind paint. 

Gradually over the months things have improved for me. With the help of some serious therapeutic interventions I was able to drag myself forward. I'm very far from being where I want to be and there have been many times when I have really struggled and painting has felt impossible which I usually find quite meditative activity ergo helpful for anxiety related issues. I made a promise to myself that I would take part in The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge this time around after missing last year's challenge. Starting in 2021 would be a perfect time to challenge myself, but more than just putting the brush to a miniature; to challenge myself psychologically too, to challenge the hyper anxiety. I am constantly experiencing. The sense of companionship, humour and sense of community that the challenge always provides will hopefully be enough to keep me going. Community is everything; we are social animals.

Soooooo, I started prepping miniatures for a Late Roman army way back in early November of last year  struggling a little through some quite rough castings, mostly pitted, lovingly cleaning them up and filled in the many gaps with ProCreate putty. Then primed. I had all the units ready for the go come December 21st and made a good start with the brush. Starved of the varnish I use all the time during the "Great Windsor and Newton Professional Matt Varnish Drought" I did some shopping around and was assured that a certain matt varnish spray was a "dead flat matt" by the vendor. That is where my troubles started. To cut a long story short, the varnish was far from matt and after spending two weeks painting up my first unit of Cataphracts, ready to make a "bang" with my first post, the final layer of varnish penetrated not only the solid brush on DIY Enamel Humbrol Gloss coat (left a week to fully cure which has never let me down) but down into the paint, blistering and cracking the finish. The result was extreme frosting with the paint cracked, then flaked and all my hard work went down the pan. Devastated does not even begin to describe my feelings. With the first unit of the project now ruined, and only large units to paint, I had no time to paint anything else up to reach the deadline so opted to box up all the Late Romans and save it for another year when I can face stripping the Cataphracts down to the metal. 

A couple of pics of the varnishing disaster can be found at the bottom of my post. Curt suggested to me that I might include a few as a precautionary tale! I am not going to mention any names but the results are plain to see. I have never had such a varnishing disaster anywhere near as bad as this and I'm just shy of painting for three decades.

The composition of of the gun, crew and accoutrements were all worked out in the picture below. I wanted to emphasise the discussion between the Leonardo da Vinci miniature and the chap with the linstock as if discussing the maths of the matter at hand! I think that this was largely achieved. 

Now to the heart of the matter and the pictures of the gun and crew in action:

(Argh! I've just noticed that I've splashed some of the basing colour on one of the sleeves of the guy holding then linstock.  I just want to get my fist entry underway at present so that error will be fixed tonight.)

And the varnishing disaster of almost losing faith.....

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Varnishing Disaster! Help Urgently Needed Please?

Warning,- I'm going to name names in this article. I'm at once both distraught and furious! I have never had a varnishing disaster like this before in all my decades of experience.

Help! In order to preserve my dwindling supplies of the superb Winsor and Newton Professional Matt Varnish I ordered some Minibits Deluxe Matt Varnish from Pendraken Miniatures. Five cans in fact. I used this over my normal Humbrol Gloss coat and the results were very satin! A far cry from what I am used to which is a very flat matt I get with the Winsor and Newton Professional Matt Varnish.

I then tried to brush on some matt varnish and it just ran off the model like I was pouring water on! 

I had one can of Colourforge Matt Varnish, which  I was going to try out on some terrain, and applied it over the Minibits Deluxe Matt Varnish. What you see below is the result! Not only has there been extreme frosting but the varnish has actuelly cracked on the models!

I am absolutely distraught. As I have said, I have never had such a terrible result with any varnish in all of my painting days which amounts to over two decades- longer if I include my youth!

Normally, if I get a bit of frosting I would re gloss then repeat with the Winsor and Newton Professional Matt Varnish

If anyone has a solution to this please, please contact me and let me know.

Here's the mess:

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Lard Magazine 2021 Out Now! Hurrah!

In the event that you're not a member of any Lard Groups on social media; the Lard Magazine 2021 is not available from HERE.

Whether or not you play any of the "Lardie" games systems the mag is always full of great scenario ideas, the how to of planning games, modelling ideas, and previews of up and coming TooFatLardies publications, and easily adapted to whatever rules system you prefer to play.

For me personally, I'm looking forward to reading Sidney Roundwood's ideas on modelling the urban environment of 17th century Paris, a preview of Mark Backhouse's Strength and Honour 2mm Ancients rules. I have it open on my laptop now and i'm about to dive in. might I be so bold as to suggest that you do so too? You would be mad to to, right?

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

A Huge Thank You!

I have not got any eye candy to show but  as I've been very busy cracking away at prepping my Late Romans for the The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge as well as slowly managing to do a few bits and bobs 
on my latest Early Byzantine Kavallaroi (I'm pretty sure I've just made up a Greek word here!)

I thought I would take this opportunity to thank the people who got in touch with me, who offered me kindness and understanding when I was really struggling earlier this year.

I want you to know that you made a real difference. It was at once very humbling and a huge morale boost. Although my physical circumstances have not changed your kindness (along with some very high quality therapy) have allowed me to keep slowly chipping away and moving forward again. I might not be here without you guys- you know who you are- so just know that your efforts were deeply appreciated. 

Oops! I nearly forgot! Have a lovely holiday, be you religious, agnostic or an atheist.