Yet another reinstalled version of the blog reflecting a change in web hosting. To say the transition was easy would be a lie. But I appear to have it down now though I am missing some later posts as my backup was a couple of years old.
It may take me a while to reinstate some older posts that were not in the back up. Plus there will be a bunch of more recent stuff to add that has been finished during the 3 year hiatus of this blog.
The results on that occasion were less “Wow” and more “Nae Bad” (Scot dialect for okay). Subsequently Vinyl printing at Pixartprinting came around again so I thought I’d have another run at it.
Aside from a couple of standard “roll ’em out and use ’em” mats (images below) I thought I’d try something a bit more ‘flexible’ as well this time. Gaming tiles.
Not a new idea by any means – I’ve made many homespun ones before as will many of you. They work well but the print quality is always going to be restricted by the quality of your printer. Likewise durability by the stock you can print on to. I used to have a great colour laser which was great for this type of printing but it died a few years ago. The inkjet that replaced it, while a good machine, wasn’t so suitable for this purpose. Add to that, some stock that I used wasn’t totally ‘official’ and colour fade to a pinkish hue not long after printing (and all the work involved with trimming and mounting on to foamcore). Imagine how annoying the same result had on carefully built card building models! Grrr.
So, a few of the images below will at first appearance look odd. Big vinyl sheets with randomly dotted terrain on it (see the coastal set). These were laid out in Photoshop before going off to print to minimise the amount of cutting required and to get as much bang for your buck (i.e. you don’t send off thirty 12″x12″ bits of art to print but one big sheet).
For example. here’s a screenshot of the artwork that went off to print for the City tiles. One big file. One big sheet.
With the coastal one I was looking to get from the big sheet a 3’x3′ plain ‘water’ mat (hence the appearance of pirate and viking ships!). The actual coastal areas and land areas were to be sliced into individual tiles to be used either in conjunction with the ‘water’ or in their own right.
Worked out well.
The City banner, whilst it ‘looks’ like a laid out ready-to-use mat, was always intended for slicing. Which you can see in the later pics. The reason for that was – if the slicing proved problematic then I’d at least be left with a City mat that could be used. The cutting and subsequent mounting was not a problem though.
Who doesn’t like dwarfs?
Who doesn’t like a lot of dwarfs?
Okay, maybe plenty of orcs and elves now that I come to think about it. That aside, I’m posting these vertically challenged fellows to show off, once again, the superb dwarfs that can be had from Ral Partha Europe and their Demonworld range. (I note that they are pluralising Dwarf in to Dwarves rather than Dwarfs. I believe the former is Tolken’s doing and the latter is ‘correct’ if you asked the Queen. I’ll flip and flop between them because you’ll all know what I’m talking about anyway.)
Another reason for this post was to show some rather promising results from home-made, home-printed, decals (transfers in the Queen’s language). This particular batch of dwar-ves-fs contained no less than 4 banners so I thought it worth the effort (which was much and nowhere near what it would of taken to freehand these – if I could!).
My gut told me these were the same. After sending a couple of question to Black Gate regards scale Barry offered to send me a few early test casts to prove/illustrate the usefulness of these particular models with other 15mm miniatures on the market today. They have arrived, and I can happily say that I WAS RIGHT! (That feels quite good).
As a small return for a few free minis, I thought I’d post a few comparative scale shots with other manufactures in the market so that you lot can see for yourself.
First off, the casts sent to me, by themselves, tacked to washers that I normally use on 15s so that their height is adjusted accordingly when next to others.
I’m not going to bother posting any pictures of ‘lead’ as you can see the details here if you wish – but I will add that Jo and Michael packaged their figures up very well indeed using a couple of plastic boxes which in themselves will be useful for other things! Hurrah!
However, once the dust had settled on that little escapade the next few were a breeze and delight to paint and I’m well pleased with how they have turned out. I also completed a couple of dwarves which I will post about another time.
My first and second efforts were not happy – and I appealed to the wider community for some input which I received many a useful comment and link to online tutorials. I did have another run at the sword in particular (and I was sure I’d taken pictures but for the life of me cannot find them right now). It remained “okay” but I didn’t get that “finished!” feeling we all look for when painting something up.
I had Haggis propped in a prime eye-ball position and mulled over what to do for a good number of weeks. Try again or go metal? Well the other day I said enough is enough and went with the latter. I laugh at myself now but within a minute or two of applying the base coat a great sense of relief came over me – “that was more like it!” I thought to myself.
Miniature figure collector and painter (in that order) and solo wargamer whose opponent has lost his gaming mojo
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