Saturday, 23 July 2016

"Isn't it a blessing to get home?"

Not my usual "Well, I'm back", said Sam - a no-prize if you recognise where the subject quote is from.

Had an excellent couple of weeks in Williamsburg, as well as a trip to Historicon, more on both of which in subsequent posts. Frankly, it's been too unpleasantly hot to post since we got back, hence the delay. Work, long cold drink, TV (lots of catching up), bed has been the order of the week, although we did managed to record an interview for the next Meeples podcast on Wednesday  :D

Anyway: I'm back, and there's work to be done, figures to be sent off for painting, an office to reconfigure to fit in a 3D printer, etc etc.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Miniature wargaming - the Movie

Just finished recording the latest episode of the podcast with Neil. Very interesting chat with Joe from the above project, which is exactly what it says on the tin, namely a serious documentary about gaming. Joe is incredibly passionate about the subject, he is a gamer, and I think it's safe to say that this will not be the usual "laugh at the guys with toy soldiers" effort. 

They are running a Kickstarter, with some very nice rewards, and I commend it to you. It's here:

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

They're all at it...!

Me, I blame Jim Ibbotson.

Rich Clarke is busy tartimg up a set of Realm of Battle boards. :D

Me? I've been renewing the son's passport and fighting the ESTA site, which still looks like it was built by a not-very-good web developer in about 1999.

Monday, 27 June 2016


I'm off on holiday on Saturday morning. If the price of hotel Internet is what it's expected to be you probably won't get many posts for two weeks from June 2. [Yes, I mean July, thanks Steve!]

I am aiming to get another RoB board done by the end of the week as well as the new arrivals: some Total Battle System roads!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Colour Concepts 5: what colour is ... rock?

Seriously. Not this colour, or shaded
variants of it. Really. Even if it's the one
GW put in their terrain pack along with
that brown that isn't soil-coloured...
OK. Time for a rant.

Rock is not grey.

Specifically rock and stone, with a very very small set of exceptions. are not THIS grey that people always paint them.

This is our old friend RGB #708090 which a decent number of people consider 'pure grey'. The only rocks that come close to that colour are mostly slate and some granite, but in general? Most rocks are no more that shade of grey than most soil is a kid's crayon brown.

Don't believe me? Go Google for images of castles (you'll need to hit the image tab and mind out for Nathan Fillion!). See anything that colour? Thought not. Even Raglan Castle, which can look grey from a distance in some photos, surprisingly isn't from close up.

We also come back here to how light affects things - if you do a search for Raglan Castle, say, and look at the range of images on offer, see how much the colour varies depending on time of day, sun vs cloudy sky, etc. The guidebook actually describes it as 'yellow sandstone'!

So what colour is stone?

Guess what?

Those lovely folks from Munsell, not content with keeping archaeologists and soil scientists happy, do a series of rock colour charts too :D That aside, if you think a 200 buck colour chart is a bit much for your hobby, I suggest a bit of Googling, and trying to match. Be aware, though (and this is something we need to discuss in a later article), large expenses of colour in smaller scales look wrong unless you lighten them and de-saturate them a bit from their original shade.

I'm currently using my three stage drybrush over Sandtex Bitter Chocolate that I use for soil, and then knocking back the very pale final shade of cream/'magnolia' with a wash of Army Painter Soft Tone ink, which also has the advantage of restoring some of the surface detail if I've been a bit heavy-handed. But it's up to you - that's one specific rock colour/shade out of a wide spectrum from reddish to almost grey, and many points in between and outliers.

Granite, showing its crystalline mix.
Granite is an interesting crystalline mix, and if you WANT a granite keep (say), the reason it looks grey is that it's a mixture of white quartz crystals and other darker ones, not because it's actually a uniform colour! And some granite can be pink.

Ok. So. Anyone any suggestions for a water-based equivalent to Army Painter Soft Tone that I can buy in larger quantities than 15ml droppers? I may have a LOT of stone to paint.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

A couple more notes about the Peninsular/RoB boards

Got the second one grassed and the third undercoated tonight. Managed to achieve a sparse grass effect in two different ways: a) by sieving the grass from about a foot higher than usual (effect visible in the right hand corner of the bottom board), or b) by just stippling the PVA onto the area in question (gives a more broken effect - see front corner of board).

Two complete, four to go.

Still-wet Sandtex Bitter Chocolate... I've intentionally been a bit sloppy
in the dark recesses of the rocks.

Finished bar sealing with a  dilute PVA spray.

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