Friday, 10 April 2020

Norman Army III

Just a quick update for today. I managed to get a spare half-hour this morning and put a little more paint onto the Norman spearmen. I got all of the men-at-arms to the same stage - their armour and over-garments have now been completed...


I am aware that showing each stage of painting is probably a little boring for readers, but I am using it as an aide de memoir as to how I painted these troops. With the next units, I will not be showing every stage, just the most important/different ones from these.

I will also list the paints used once these are completed so I have a permanent reminder of which colours I used and in which order I applied them. That way, when/if these units are ever added to to make up numbers for a particular rules set, then the menu is already here for ease of reference.

I will be taking a break from painting these for a week or two now as the kids are away but I may try to get on with something else gaming wise. I have been invited to join a D&D online game - I have created my account, and now I am working through the rest of the emails I have been sent to get fully set up in order to play in the next week or two. I will try to keep you updated on how this all works.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Norman Army II

Well, I was true to my word and managed to get an hour's worth of painting in today whilst I had the light. I put three more colours onto the Normans, which has brought them to life quite a bit now. Littlun is very pleased with the results so far and is already relishing getting them into action on the gaming table.

The second "colour" to go on was a dark flesh, This really tested my eyesight; I was trying to paint onto a black canvas, where my eyes could hardly make out any detail. I think I have gone over the lines a few times here but, again, I will try to tidy as I go along with each successive layer...


These photos are a little harsher in contrast today as I decided to use the flash on my phone camera as yesterday's photos were quite dark and not a lot of detail could be made out. My main camera is put away somewhere around the house and I no longer have any form of permanent set-up for photo taking, so I am reduced to camera phone snap shots for a while.

The third colour really started to bring the figures to life and will be the colour that ties all of the men-at-arms in this small army together...


Finally, for today anyway, I painted the leg wear...


Not a bad bit of work looking back at it - about 4 hours in total so far (glueing, undercoating and 4 stages of colour on one unit).

I am not sure what games system these will be used for yet, but he can decide what he wants to play as and when the army is completed (and hopefully some baddies to go up against).

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Nick's (fantasy) Norman Army

This year, so far, has seen very little time for me to get any work done on my gaming hobby. I have managed to play a few games of D&D 5e, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, but I have just been so busy that anything miniatures-wise has been firmly put on the back-burner...Until now!

I have only had one day off so far this year, and the current pandemic has seen me busier than ever with work (even though working from home), so I am feeling very tired and in need of a bit of a break. Luckily, I had booked up a few days off for the Easter period to look after the kids and today was the first of them.

I got a few errands and odd jobs out of the way this morning and then asked the kids what they wanted to do today (bearing in mind we are in locked down and cannot go to the park etc. for recreational purposes in groups of more than two). The girls just wanted to carry on doing what they were already doing - some internet You-Tube type stuff and some baking, my eldest said he was happy on his X-box, but my youngest, however, said he wanted me to stick the heads and arms on his Norman soldiers!

So, that is exactly what I did...


As luck would have it, he had enough pieces to make up 6 spearmen, 6 swordsmen, 6 cavalry (including their leader and banner bearer), 4 archers and what he calls a berserker with a two-handed Dane-axe. They were promptly glued up and left to dry whilst I hunted down my sprays, paints and brushes in the garage.

After the glue had had time to dry, it was the turn of the black spray undercoat. It was such a lovely day outside it would have been a shame to waste it by not getting this stage completed too...


Whilst I was doing the spraying, I asked littlun if he had any more Normans we could spray. After a quick rummage through his figures collection he found a dead Norman Knight on his dead charger, so we added that to the army too.

I had, by now, got into the groove and wanted to get started on some painting. We spoke about it and he said he wanted me to start them off for him and he might do his old Ebay LotR orc miniatures in between times. So, I got out the metal paint and did the first bit of brushwork I have done in a long time. It took a while to get my eye in (my eyesight has deteriorated even more since I last painted a figure), but I only went over the lines a few times (this can be tidied up at a later stage)...


When I asked him which unit he wanted done first, he decided upon the spearmen. I have only got the one "colour" on so far, but I am hoping to do a few more tomorrow to bring the miniatures a little more to life. Once these are done, I am hoping to get him to work on his first unit of 6 orcs. Unfortunately, the kids are only with me for one more day until they go to their mum's (with joint custody, we are allowed to take the kids between households according to the governmental guidelines). When they get back in a couple of weeks' time, I will finish these off with him.

Hopefully, there will be another update tomorrow with our progress on the Norman spearmen.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Happy New Year

I would like to wish my readers a happy and prosperous New Year for 2020. I can only apologise for the lack of updates recently.


I have not been able to get to the computer in quite a while to update what is happening in my little gaming world. Work has been extremely busy and my life has gone off in several great new directions. After the awful last few years, things are finally looking up for me and I cannot grumble at my lot at this present moment.

Gaming has been sparse though due to the lack of time I have available to spend on it. I have managed to get in a few D&D 5e games with my little (now 10th level) Gnome Wizard. This has kept me ticking over slowly but surely and I am hoping to get a few more games in with him (and possibly some new characters?) later this year.

I am also eyeing up the summer for a little more miniature painting time and perhaps checking over what I have in my collection to see what games I can use them for. Objectives and goals change all the time, and mine have done too.

There have been several sets of rules and mountains of new figures released over the last year or two that I may look into this year. The blogs and forums I used to read have been neglected of late, as have the three main wargames magazines - not bought one in years now. As a result, I feel that I am being left behind a little at the moment. This year I will catch up a bit with the background stuff in the hope I can develop my gaming habits later on.

So, what will 2020 bring? To be honest, I really don't know, but for the first time in a long while I feel positive about the future. I hope this confident spirit is also there for you to match your aspirations for this year too.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

A Brief Pause in Production

You may have noticed that my gaming output, and therefore my blogging, has dropped off a little over the last couple of weeks. There are a few reasons for this, but I will only be discussing one of them here today. This is a good news/bad news post that will explain why the drop off occurred.

Good news because, finally, after almost exactly a year, I landed myself a new job. I will hopefully be able to stop struggling to pay the bills and actually gain a new purpose in life. So far, it has been a good first three weeks or so on the whole, although, like with all new jobs, there have been moments of self doubt as my skillset hasn't matched what might be required. This will come in time and I am looking forward to applying myself to improving my lot in life.

The bad news is that my painting and hobby stuff will probably have to go on hold for a little while as I adjust to my new lifestyle. I will be working quite a few weekends over the coming months in addition to my normal working week as there is a massive project rolling out. For me, this will involve lots of foreign travel to our offices overseas. This is a new experience for me and will amount to quite a challenge as I try to arrange cover for the kids whilst I am away.

I don't have much more to add to this post other than that I am slowly moving forward with my life after so many kicks in the teeth over the last few years. Things are so much better than a year ago; there have been a few downers recently that I won't go into here but overall I think things are beginning to look better for me at the moment. Hopefully the momentum will continue and I can look forward to a happier and more secure life at least for the next few years.

Unfortunately my hobby will suffer for a little while, but hopefully that will pick up a little in time too. I have a few gaming invites coming up (D&D and Pendragon with my usual Wednesday Nighters), so have a few things to look forward to.