Tuesday, 24 January 2017

New Glasses - New Vision

A couple of weeks ago I popped into my local opticians for my regular two-yearly eye test. It was good news all round as my eyesight has not deteriorated over the last two years, so my prescription is still the same and I did not need to purchase any new reading glasses thus saving me a bit of money this month. This meant that I could spend some of it on doing something hobby related with. I decided to pick up a pair of close-work reading glasses with a focal length of about 25cms. These would take a week or so to make for me.

I picked up my new glasses at the beginning of this week and I have been trying them out. They certainly make up-close stuff more easy to focus on and I can now see my miniatures reasonably well. I have been busy working these last two days on my Gondorian army again; cutting minis from the sprues, glueing them together and generally re-thinking what I want to do with this army. I can also now focus quite well on the small details on my LotR minis when they are bare metal, undercoated black and when painted - a vast improvement on my normal vision and indeed over my reading glasses (which allow me to see the figures well at arms length but, alas, not close enough to see the detail well enough to paint). Proof is in the pudding as they say, so I will attempt to get some painting done later this week when I have finished with the modelling side of things.

First up though, I thought I would show off a few of the miniatures I cut off the sprues and cleaned up in readiness for undercoating (which may have to wait until the spring and the better weather it brings).

Here are some Warlord Games Pike & Shotte plastic horses that work well for putting metal mounted minis on without the usual leg breakage that occurs with the official Minas Tirith mounts. I got this idea from joe5mc's blog here at The Renaissance Troll.

I have a couple of broken painted horses in my collection due to the undue stress that a metal miniature puts onto just one point of contact with the base, so I will need to try to salvage them if I can. Plastic horses can work fine in this scenario but they need a minimum of two points of contact to spread the weight of the metal bearing down on it, especially when being handled during games sessions. Plastic figures on plastic horses present no problem at all due to their lack of mass.

The second problem I have come across (noticed this today) is the lack of variety of the horses in the new Knights of Minas Tirith set. It is wonderful that you get six unique left sides with the heads attached but only two right sides are available.

I have two sets of these to make up and slot in with the set I already glued and undercoated last year, so variety would be most useful. I will try some swapping around of parts, but I fear that some "silly" poses will come of this and as a result I would rather have duplicate poses than unrealistic ones. I will see what I can do later on today when I get onto them.

This is my first post back in rather a long time. The sudden death of my father really put the kibosh on my hobby and pretty much a lot of other things too for a while. Add to this a very busy contract up until the Christmas break and I have had little time for much more than the occasional trip to the pub with a few friends. I have, however, been posting on my other blog, The Taplow Horn, which logs my forays into pubs and ales of distinction.

I am hoping to get my hobby mojo back by actually doing something other than reading rule books and other peoples' blogs (good though they are). I am currently out of contract and looking for a new role, so in between looking for a new job and sorting out the kids for school I am hoping to get an hour or two per day to indulge in my hobby. So far I have de-sprued and glued up a stack of Gondorian troops in readiness for a Spring attack. Once these are all cleaned up, I will get back to the archers I left mid-painting last year. These will have a simple paint job so that they are tabletop ready and thus available as soon as possible to get a few games in.