Tuesday 27 September 2016

Rounding Off the Garden Project...

...at least for now. Autumn seems to start this week (according to the forecasts), and I do not think that it will make any sense to order another batch of cobblestones until spring. There is some chance that summer may return next week, but I shall need to see the forecasts next weekend before deciding whether to  try laying down more of the lawn edge.

I placed the rest of the regular cobbles in the trench running past the trees today, and after taking this photo I also managed to get them stomped in and covered in sand.

I more or less only short of doing the left edge of the lawn (along the concrete slates) - but, of course, I shall also make edges around trees, bushes, and the round bed in the middle of the lawn where the flagpole used to be (it broke in a storm some years ago).

Monday 26 September 2016

Plastic WIP

This evening, I cleaned up another Gondorian archer, and got him glued to a washer.

Afterwards, I put arms on the designated standard bearer for the men-at-arms unit. As you may be able to see, again I could not get a proper fit for the right arm.

My initial enthusiasm for these models has cooled a bit, as I find it fiddly and often not very rewarding to fit the two-handed arms sets, and I shall have to do quite a bit of work with the greenstuff before I can get any paint on these.

Well, at least I do not have to do all the units right away as I have other armies to use on the table - although it would be nice if I could make a tad faster progress on these, but time and the garden project (and painting some Zulu warriors) does not leave me more than a couple of hours in the evenings for scraping plastic.

USUTHU! Painting Zulus

It is moving forward, but not at a very fast pace. The garden still takes up most of my time, but as it rained this morning (for the second time during the last couple of months), I seized the opportunity for slabbing some more paint on my first four Zulu warriors. I try to vary the skin tones a bit, but I am still learning to paint African skin, and I think I shall have to get a few more dark brown Foundry paint triads for more variation.

Goblets and Cane

As mentioned in the post about Egeskov Market, I made a couple of purchases that day,

First, I fell in love with this walking cane, well suited for using with a waistcoat and a top hat.

The handle can be replaced (if the replacement fits the thread in the cane), but I think something would have to go completely wrong for me to want to do that.

And, no, it has no concealed blade, and as that would be against Danish law, it is probably just as well.

Late in the afternoon I stumbled on these goblets at a booth that was closing down - and I was given an offer I really could not refuse, as I like stuff like this a lot. If only there was six of the larger ones as well, but, well, you just cannot have it all.

Sunday 25 September 2016

The Summer That Would not End

Another weekend spent in the garden instead of painting little angry men...

After employing chainsaw, fire, axe, hatchet, and sledge hammer, I finally managed to remove the roots that blocked my trench for the cobblestones, and I have filled the trench with slate sand well past the second tree. I am now, finally, all set for putting the remaining cobbles from the second batch into the trench,

I also finished putting concrete slates at the edge of the trench along the left side of the lawn (which looks 'right' in the first photo, as it was taken from the far end of the lawn).

I put the slates in, because the ground is declining away from the lawn, and rain and general corrosion would probably mean that the cobblestone row would get disorganized rather quickly if nothing supported it.

I got the slates for free a couple of years ago, and they were always meant to be used for this edge - plans just got upgraded  with the cobblestones which provide a broader and nicer edge for the lawn.

I think I shall have to adjust a couple of the slates a bit, as the top edge could be a bit more straight, but all in all I am very pleased with this progress, which I had not expected to be able to make until spring next year (but the summer just keeps staying, and I may as well keep making good use of the warm dry weather, which may come to an end this week).

Saturday 24 September 2016

Lord of the Rings Repairs and Rebasing

I have been working on some old LotR models in between toiling in the garden and prepping some Perry plastics.

These Uruk-Hai were from a secondhand lot - and although their former owner started painting them, they have not been cleaned up very well, and I shall definitely have to remove mold lines and re-prime them sparsely before painting them up from start. Well, at least they are on washers, now, only need some filler on the bases after the clean-up.

The Dol Amroth Knight painted as a member of the Order of the Black Swan (my own invention for a kind of 'penal' order for Knights who failed in their sworn duty, used when playing Battle Companies years ago) had to be repaired (shield came off when I toppled a crate with mini boxes in it) - and on closer inspection, I think I shall have to repaint at least his sword.

Lurtz is nearing the stage where I can varnish him (I think I shall remove some of the flock from around his feet, though, and the bowman was another secondhand model that needed a repair, and got rebased as well.

My fiddling with LotR models is a bit all over the place at the moment - I just repair and rebase models to get them off my prepping station when not working on the Perry HYW God of Battles Dol Amroth Men-at-Arms project, and I shall have a lot more space when I have finished all these small side-projects (and I think I shall very soon have to devote a full day off to getting some more of these finished and moved on).

Perry Plastics on the Run

I now have a full contingent of 16 advancing bodies cleaned up and based, although a few of them still have no heads. Sorry for the awful photo - my camera decided to focus on the mini furthest away, it seems.

I actually have more bodies assembled (with heads), but they are going to be part of the second unit of spearmen, as they are all standing (as you can see, I also decided to make some advancing command models instead of the more passive ones shown earlier)

Friday 23 September 2016

Egeskov Market 2016

First purchase of ride tickets.
As always, we attended the annual Egeskov Market on the 3rd Wednesday of September (as of next year, on the weekend before the 3rd Wednesday of September!). And as always, the fun fair was the biggest attraction for the kids.

The fun fair has a ticket system where you have to go to a central booth to buy tickets that are valid for all the rides. Guess it has something to do with the management wanting to know how much cash flows in...

I did make a couple of purchases, a black cane with a wolf head handle, and a set of pewter wine and port goblets, but more about those in a later post.
The fun fair is not that impressive in full sunlight

Ferris Wheel

Getting ready for a ride

Another ride - nobody gets me into one of those!

Bumper cars - more fun than last year

After supper, we went to the fair once more

This time, we went up on the Ferris wheel in the dark

Anna can look a little spooky at times

Some of Lea's classmates joined the fun

The 'Body Rock' omce more

There is something about a fun fair at night

The girls contemplating their next move
That was all from this year's market - although I may post some pics of my market finds one of the next days...

Sunday 18 September 2016

Trouble With Tree Roots

Although the temperature has dropped a bit, the weather is still nice and dry, and my garden project continued yesterday.

The first pine tree I have to lead the cobblestone row past has some rather massive roots just beneath the surface, and I have to remove at least part of them to make space for the lawn edging (and hope that it will not mean that the tree falls at the first moment with heavy winds).

In the bottom right corner, you can see my attempt on burning one of the roots away, using barbeque coal.

Today showed that the fire had not been very effective, and I pulled my chainsaw out and churned away at some of the roots. I do not have any pics of that, but I have employed fire once more, to burn away some of the chopped up roots. Tomorrow I am going to put the chainsaw to use once more, and hopefully get the trench fully cleared for the cobbles.

Friday 16 September 2016

Putting the Last Days of Summer to Use

I woke up to another day of warm, sunny weather, and I thought I should better seize the opportunity to finish clearing the shrubbery away from the last part of the corner bed.

Quite a load of garden waste resulted from the process. I think my wife is moving the stuff away from the lawn as I write this (at least I hope so).

Tuesday evening, we planted the first raspberry bushes - these three were bought, and we have some more behind the house, but they should not be moved until mid October, when they all have to be cut down. We may end up with two separate rows, but I need to see how much space the bushes are actually going to occupy before deciding on that.

Thursday 15 September 2016

Pimping Perry Plastics

Well, maybe not so much pimping, as making some plain builds from the parts provided.

Made some progress with the Perry plastic Frenchies today, though. The trumpeter came out very defiant! He is not quite finished, by the way, as I am going to add a sheathed sword to his left hip. The leader (without arms), will be sporting a sword, so will have to have a scabbard added, and the standard bearer also needs a sword to defend the colours.

I am not quite sure what I did wrong on the first spear/pikeman, but I did not seem to be able to get a good fit for the arms, so a little greenstuff work will be needed before he gets prepped with the rest of the unit.

I can see that I shall also need to give all the minis a good brush-down with the acrylic leather brush to remove plastic dust and the likes, before that so important coat of primer.

I am not sure if I shall have time for further builds today, as I am going to sleep most of the day after working this night, and then am picking up Anna from school on bicycle, to teach her the route from her school in Ringe to Kværndrup - and we might go to the beach for a dip, as Thursday and Friday seem to be the last days of summer this time around.

USUTHU! Slow but Steady Progress.

As stated yesterday, I have slapped some filler on the Zulu warriors' bases, and they now only need a final touch, before I can prime them. I also put filler on the bases of a couple of LotR minis, but they will be shown elsewhere at another time.

I think I forgot some mold lines on the rightmost mini's shield extensions (spear and shield top) - I need to remind myself to get those removed before I spray them with primer...

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Cork Holder - Blatant Theft of a Good Idea!

I made this today - a piece of extra sturdy card, twenty thumb-tacks, and som Loc-Tite Power Glue gel.

I stole the idea from Hammers at the Lead Adventure Forum, as I use corks as painting handles, and when painting batches, I always need more space to hold the minis I am not holding and painting.

Not any more, thanks to this invention, which should let me place up to twenty minis on handles safely upright by sticking the cork handles onto the thumbtacks.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Second Hand Lurtz Rebased

A long time ago, I got this Lurtz as part of a second hand batch, and he has been sitting on my newly re-instituted prepping station ever since.

Now, I have re-based him onto a washer, and I plan to give him a coat of matt varnish when I have finished his base, and then he can be enrolled in my Blood Eagle Uruk-Hai warband (and my Isengard God of Battles Orc army).

The paintjob is not fantastic, but it will do for tabletop standard, until I can paint up my own NIB version of this sculpt (I am pretty sure, I also have the sculpt of him shooting his bow (at Boromir), and I may want to get that one coloured in, first).

This was the last hobby-related task I managed to get done today - I plan to do some repair and/or re-basing on one mini each day, so that I can get some of the clutter away from my prepping station little by little, without just hiding it away in some box.

Lurtz will get some filler on the base tomorrow along with the four Zulu warriors I have assembled over the last couple of days.

Perry Agincourt French -> Dol Amroth Men-at-Arms

In my second hobby session today, I cleaned up these four Perry bodies. They are very good castings, and mold lines are almost non-existing, so they clean up quite quickly, and it bodes well for this project which should optimally yield four 16-man spear/pike Dol Amroth men-at-arms units for my Gondor God of Battles army.

In addition, I should be able to to construct the odd Fiefdom Warrior unit, such as Axemen of Lossarnach (with actual axes instead of the halberds carried by the 'official' GW miniatures), and maybe some Clansmen of Lamedon. I shall have to re-read the passage from Return of the King where the Fiefdom companies are seen arrive to Minas Tirith by Pippin and Bergil to see if I can proxy even more Fiefdom Warriors from this set (I may need to get some Perry English Longbowmen to represent the Bowmen of Morthond).

USUTHU! First Sprue Completed

VERY hot today, and I spent some hours inside, away from the sun, working on several hobby projects.

First, I completed building the second pair of unmarried Zulus, and I shall put filler on the bases first thing tomorrow (I have not gotten my act together and made some gloop for basing, yet).

I had to use a shield from an unmarried sprue, as the married sprue contains only three arms with the large isihlangu shields (there is an extra one on the sprue, but no left arm to  hold it, go figure!).

Monday 12 September 2016

Building Zulus

It is too hot, today, and I opted to stay inside the house and do a little hobby-work, instead of knocking cobblestones into the ground outside.

Apart from doing some repairs, I continued work on the first Married Zulu sprue:

And when the post(wo)man arrived, I got my first box of Unmarried Zulus with my Wayland order:

As the box contains a metal Induna (although a bit diminutive), I can now make a full Impi for In Her Majesty's Name without making further purchases (although I would prefer having an Inyanga right away, but he can be added later).

I think I am going to mix and match parts from married and Unmarried sprues to have a wider range of variation (and to heck with historical accuracy - some of my Unmarried Zulus will be in full regalia, anyway, so...).

Now, I have to get outside and continue working on my cobblestone lawn edges. I expect to finish building the last two Married Zulus from the first sprue tomorrow, and then get some filler on the bases, so they are ready for spray primer.