Saturday, 29 December 2012
I have been working away on this figure for the last week or so. He started life as two (well three if you count the horse) different figures. The top half holding the cigar is the torso of one of my favorite Artizan Design figures. A painted example of what the original figure usually looks like is below:-
Now I have painted the original figure two or three times now and have a couple of versions of him. I just love the pose and the figure to me its just so very VBCW. But for my new Scottish Covenanter army (to be completed at some point who know's when) I wanted this figure but mounted.
So I cut the original figure in half below the belt line, losing the pistol and a forearm and hand in the process.
The torso was then attached to the legs of a Mutineer miniatures cavalry figure (no idea which one, just a random as it had the right legs). I sanded the sword scabbard off the cavalry legs and attached my torso to it. I was still however missing a right forearm and hand.
Now I'm no master sculptor but I got the putty out and had a bloody good bash (if I don't say so myself) at sculpting the new forearm and hand. Now I know sculpting a hand resting on a leg is hardly the work of the century but for me it was a real step forwards in terms of sculpting skills.
I have to say I am very pleased with the results of this conversion, I am really happy with how my hand and sculpted forearm turned out. This chap is painted in grey fatigues with a blue head band to note his allegiance to the Covenanter cause. At some point in the new year I will paint up a couple of squads of scots infantry for this chap to command, but for the moment other projects are absorbing my time.
This is probably the last thing I will finish this year, and given my poor showing on the painting and modelling front this year I feel, for me I am going into the new year on a positive finish. It has also inspired me to have a crack at sculpting again, something I'm going to try and do a bit more of next year.
My hope now that I am back and working at home again is that next year will be more successful on the painting front!
Monday, 24 December 2012
Monday, 17 December 2012
Just finished painting these two figures from Hasslefree up for the wife. They were really nice to paint although there was a slight miss cast on right side of face but its not too noticeable. She liked them so that's all that matters.
I really like how these turned out, although due to a measuring fail on my part the base they are currently on will not fit in my display cabinet, so I have to now re-base them for the wife.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
I'm currently working away on a Christmas project for the wife, and she reads the blog from time to time cannot post pictures of it here. However I thought I would post up a quick review of a book I have just finished reading.
As the picture suggests the book is The Return Man by V.M.Zito, as far as I can see this is the authors first, certainly main stream, novel. Feel free to correct me on that point if you know better.
Its a Zombie apoc novel, I don't want to spoil the book but the basic plot is that the main character is living and working in the "evacuated states" with the surviving parts of america in the "Safe States" on the east coast. The main character finds the zombie version of lost loved ones and basically puts them out of their misery for surviving family members. The character is hired by a shady government type to find a former colleague and I can't really say much more than that without spoiling the plot.
I found this to be a great book, nicely written, pacy and funny. The things I have always liked most in post-apoc books is hearing about the fall of society, and what the world looks afterwards, and there is plenty of that level of explanation here. If your looking for a good and engaging Zombie apoc book I really recommend this, I couldn't put it down and thought it felt a bit different to other "escape and survive" Zombie novels.
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
I wanted to bring something to the attention of any UK based readers, which has been largely unreported. I wont lie the following may seem largely boring, and some will think irrelevant. But trust me when I say this new piece of legislation scales back workers protections to Victorian standards and removes most, if not all of the regulatory requirements on an employer to ensure YOUR workplace is safe and a health place to work. It will also have much further reaching consequences for workers and the courts.
My background as some of you may know is in the Insurance industry. I am a reasonably senior investigator for a large multinational who handles injury claims of all types for some of this, and the worlds, largest Insurers. Without meaning to blow my own trumpet I am an expert on Health and Safety law as it applies to the workplace, and insurance claims, and have investigated everything from tiny cuts to major injuries.
The current Government has modified The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to make a significant change to safety at work. Section 61 of the bill removes the Civil Liability on employers to comply with any of the current health and safety regulations unless the regulations specifically implies a civil liability for a breach of the them.
Almost none of the current regulations confer any civil liability on an employer for breaching them, as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, section 47 (2) currently confers a civil liability on employers if they breach any of the regulations made under the act. For the unaware all of the health and safety regulations employers currently have to comply with are made under the act and therefore currently a breach of them confers a civil liability for the injury on the employer.
The act currently states
"Breach of a duty imposed by health and safety regulations shall, so far as it causes damage be actionable except in so far as the regulations provide otherwise"
Section 61 of The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill will change section 47 (2) of the HSW Act 1974 to read as follows
“(2) Breach of a duty imposed by a statutory instrument containing (whether alone or with other provision) health and safety regulations shall not be actionable except to the extent that regulations under this section so provide.
(2A) Breach of a duty imposed by an existing statutory provision shall not be actionable except to the extent that regulations under this section so provide (including by modifying any of the existing statutory provisions)."
Now the real question is what does this mean in real terms if you are injured at work and think it is the employers fault?
The result is the immediate effect of removing liability on employers if they breach the regulations, for example.
Say I am 18 and new to the metal fabrication industry, I work with a large table saw all day cutting sheet metal into shapes for further fabrication. The equipment I use is a table saw, which is very sharp and could quite easily cut my fingers or hands off if used incorrectly, or if it is faulty. I am new to this role and type of work, my employer asks me if I have used the table saw before. Because I don't want my new colleagues to laugh at me, and because I think it looks easy I say yes. The employer says fine hands me some metal and tells me to crack on cutting it into stars for a client.
I don't really know what I'm doing don't set the safety guard properly and cut three of my fingers and my thumb off on my dominant hand. They are badly damaged and cannot be salvaged by a Doctor. I am no longer able to work, and there is no remedy for the loss of my fingers. I will have significantly reduced earnings and have to retrain entirely.
I sue my employer because I was not trained on how to use the equipment, and I only had a go at it because I didn't know any better and thought it would be easy.
Now when considering the claim for the above individual under current legislation the employer would, amongst other regulations, have to show compliance with the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (often referred to as PUWER98). Specific requirements, broadly speaking, are that the employer would have to show they showed the employee how to safely use the work equipment, provided him with appropriate information on the specific risks, and provided appropriate guards for the moving parts.
In the above example the employer would be liable as no training or information was given to the employee, it would be clear cut, easy to establish fault and move forwards. I should also advise that I do not believe the requirement to train an employee on dangerous equipment is a particularly onerous one on the employer. Just 30 minutes training would have been sufficient to show the employee the safe way to operate the machine and how best to avoid injury.
If the incoming regulations pass, which they almost certainly will, the situation would change significantly.
Again taking the above example, under the proposed legislation the employer simply does not have to show any compliance with the regulations All he has to do is demonstrate he acted "reasonably", and guess what a court could conceivable consider that by asking the employee "do you know how to use this machine" the employer has acted reasonably. There will no longer be the requirement to show compliance or face sanction, the protection offered by current regulations will be removed overnight.
I should say the above example is an actual case I investigated last year, the individual suffered massively debilitating injuries, and has to now come up with another career path. Yes he was stupid to say he new what he was doing, but the employer should have taken the time to train him. He was awarded several hundred thousand pounds which sounds nice, but when your missing most of one hand really is not.
Under the new legislation the young man in question may have gotten nothing. Imagine that was you.
Almost none of the primary regulations which are currently in place confer any kind of civil liability on an employer because, as I said at the start, the HSW Act 1974 currently confers that liability When this change comes in next year there will be no civil liability for breach of regulations. This will make every single claim more, not less contentions, costs for bringing claims will go up as there will be higher risk and the knock on effect could cause more cases to go to the European Courts.
The effect of this legislation will be a slackening of health and safety priorities on employers that frankly are already woefully lacking in many areas. I have heard all the arguments, "I'm trying to run a business, I'd be here all day if I risk assessed everything" and so on. To be blunt most employers that tell you the legislation is to hard to comply with simply cannot be bothered. Most of the cases I investigate could be easily defended, and the accidents probably avoided, but for want of 5 minutes of care on the part of the employer. Most of the accidents I investigate are insanely obvious issues, which were waiting to happen.
Check the legislation out, if I haven't bored you to death, just Google the name of the bill and it will come up. Part 61 is the relevant part (tucked away under an obscure unimportant sounding heading).
If you read it, and feel like I do that this is an erosion of protection, and reduction in safety, complain to your MP and ask why he is not disputing this legislation. The press are largely ignoring this, and failing to report it with the vigor which it deserves.
Sorry if this is dull, but I think its important, I promise the next post will be less legislation shouty and more model painty!
Sunday, 2 December 2012
I've been busy with work for the last week or so, but I found the time yesterday and today to put together and paint this. The figure is made up of components purchased from Victoria Miniatures a purveyor of a large selection of components to compliment GW's imperial guard range. They are however modular and I made the above figure from a pair of kilted legs, imperial torso, shotgun arms and a militia head all from Victoria Miniatres.
The parts themselves are really well sculpted and a joy to paint. I spent a lot of time working on the kilt, and skin tones (sadly the camera has washed out the figure a little) and I am very pleased with the results. I would think a lot of the parts from this company would be good for anyone doing VSF or Pulp adventures and of course 40k.
Check the site out at the link above the figures are great, and really well priced. Also service is great, the shop is in Aussi land and yet with bog standard postage the figures were in my grubby mitts in 7 days (not working days, 7 days total). At the moment I think its free postage on everything so strike while the iron is hot.
I've bought a pretty sizable selection from them so I will be slowly making and painting up some of these figures. I'm not really making them with 40k or anything in particular in mind. I just liked the bits and wanted to make and paint some kilts! But that said I find myself thinking they could be used for a characterful game of Necromunda or similar.
I have some mounted bits as well and intend to make a small diorama or something.
In other news it turns out this is my 250 post to the blog, hard to believe given I only started it as somewhere to keep track of what I had painted. If you have put up with meandering mutterings over the last couple of years, thank you. I hope next year to return to a slightly more regular painting and posting schedule now that my work has settled, and I am working at home again.
Monday, 19 November 2012
And the winner is
Well I have to say it was a genuine surprise to be given this award by my good friend Pete of PanzerKaput's Painted Review. Pete is the talented artist behind the illustrations in the VBCW source books and an equally gifted miniature painter, if you haven't checked out his blog already I urge you to pop over and have a look. The speedy sod always updates regularly and gives you a nifty sneak peak at the lovely illustrations he is preparing for future VBCW source books.
I'm also rather chuffed to have received the award and Pete's kind words as when I started my blog some 3 years ago (goodness doesn't time fly) I had no aspirations beyond keeping track of what I painted, and as a bit of self motivation to keep plugging away at the old paint pots.
The tough bits passing the award on of course
Now following the rules as laid out below I have to nominate five fellow blogger for this award. So firstly the rules:
- Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it to you.
- Pass the award to your top 5 favourite blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.
- Sit back and bask in that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that you have just made someone's day!
- There is no obligation to pass this on to anyone else but it is nice if you do.
In no particular order.
- My first choice is Jay's Miniature Enterprise I have been following Jay's blog for a while and always find him doing something interesting (flying pigs at the moment) So please take the time to check out his wonderful creations.
- My next choice is The Miniatures Man, a great mix of figures, books and other bits and bobs.
- My third choice is Land War in Asia there is a great selection of battle reports, and lovely painted figures to feast ones eyes upon, on a regular basis.
- My fourth choice is Dust, Tears & Dice there are always great looking figures, and interesting bits and bobs to read over here.
- My final choice is The Blog with No Name another great selection of wonderfully painted figures, and show/battle reports.
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Its that time again. I am selling off some figures (painted and unpainted) to gather some funds for a Diorama project I fancy having a crack at.
First lot is the above German Infantry figures which I painted earlier in the year, but which I doubt will ever make it onto a table so it seemed like a good moment to shift them. All 10 figures are on ebay for £30 painted and based.
10 German Infantry for Sale
The second lot is two unpainted squads of US Para's from Offensive Miniatures (one of the figures is painted and a picture is on the blog elsewhere). I had intended to paint these and collect up to a platoon of US para's but again Its not something I really game and have never gotten around to painting them.
They are on ebay for £20 which is 33% cheaper than bought from new.
Saturday, 3 November 2012
It was my wife and I's 5th wedding anniversary today which is apparently the wood anniversary (or so my wife informed me) We popped out to a local craft center and whilst there picked up a rather nice wooden bowl which had been carved locally to commemorate our little mile stone.
On the way back home we popped into a local shop for a cup of tea and to say hello to my sister who works their on a Saturday. Whilst there we discovered they were selling dice. I found these rather nice wooden ones which, given the occasion, it seemed only right to buy. My hope is they bring me luck and fewer 1's in my games!
Below you will now find a picture of french mounted troops which is the property of Parragon publishing and I am posting so I can re-post elsewhere to discuss the origin of the rider with a fellow wargamer.
Thursday, 1 November 2012
I've been busy as hell lately so I haven't had much time to paint. However I have had some time over the last few days to work on this. I purchased this figure many years ago and painted it in a terrible blue colour scheme. As GW do not seem to sell this figure anymore I decided to strip it back (using Dettol) and paint it again.
This is the result, I wanted a really muted tone across the figure so painted the robes brown and tried to use colours which didn't stand out to much against it. The red on the pipes and detail makes a nice contrast. Typically my pictures don't do the figure justice, which is irritating as I lavished waaaay more attention on this figure than I do usually as it was a one of paint job.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
In other news, I finally have my fav figures out of cardboard boxes and into a display cabinet! Picked this up from Amazon and it holds a good number of my figures. There are of course still boxes all over the house filled with carefully packed figures!
Thursday, 18 October 2012
I've been maxed out with work and other life dullness lately so haven't done much painting. I did however manage to paint up these four French Goumier's from Artizan Designs. Really nice figures and they made a real change from all the Khaki I seem to paint.
The Goumiers wear these big cloaks which have really colorful markings which differ depending on what tribe the soldier is from (if I understand the history correctly). I thought they would make a nice change and were a real challenge to paint what with all those stripes. I've got more of these from the Artizan range to paint and am rather looking forwards to it.
In other news, the observant (ie not blind) among you will have noticed I changed the blog to a lighter colour, I was finding the all black rather difficult to read, which says something about my eyes!
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
I've been a bit tardy painting wise of late. Lots going on life wise, but I found myself essentially putting of painting as the WW2 US Airborne on my painting table were sort of putting me off painting. What I mean is I just didn't fancy painting them, but couldn't admit it to myself so was giving myself excuses to not paint. I broke and returned the US Airborne to the lead pile, who knows perhaps I'll paint them in the future.
Now I have never painted any zombies or similar previously, but I have really liked the idea of painting up a zombie horde. This is one of Studio Miniatures WW2 German zombies. He's the tester as he's the first of my living dead horde and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy painting him or actually make a good job of it.
Personally I'm jazzed with the final result. I like how the skin etc turned out and actually really enjoyed painting the figure, one of the most relaxing painting sessions I have had in ages. I think the "dirty" look of zombies makes it more relaxing as you worry less about fine detail.
Once I've gotten some cash past the pay master general I think I might just pick up some packs from Studio Miniatures of the Zombies and more "normal" civilian zombies. Then some Survivors.
Monday, 24 September 2012
The livery is not complete yet and still needs some work. Its based on the New York City Sheriff departments livery, if any one is interested. The actual vehicles are not my models, created by various other people.
Sunday, 23 September 2012
I don't usually comment on "real life" issues within my blog as I use the blog primarily to chart and record my painting/modelling work. However my Father asked me an insurance question earlier today and I decided to share my view here as well. I should preface by saying that nothing that follows should be considered legal advice and you should not base a policy buying decision solely on what I say. Now having covered my own back I will plow on.
Those of you that know me may be aware that I occupy a reasonably senior (technically speaking) position within a large Loss Adjusting firm in the UK. Therefore my Father asked my opinion regarding a "Mechanical Breakdown" policy which the garage that he had bought his second hand car from had recommended to him.
For the uninitiated policies of this nature are sold on the basis of covering certain (unsurprisingly) Mechanical failures within your car.
However most of the policies have a number of very important clauses and wordings which are highly specific and exclude most of the items which you would probably wish to claim for. Obviously I cannot comment on every single policy of this sort, but generally speaking, in my experience, most of these policies have wordings which allow Insurers to decline cover on the basis that the Mechanical Breakdown in question has occurred due to normal "wear and tear" of the vehicle.
Additionally a large number of mechanical issues are specifically excluded within the wording, and you may not have expected them to be. This can include your engine block cracking, failure of oil seals, and other similar issues. Equally if your Clutch or Gearbox fails the Insurer can, most of the time, decline cover citing "wear and tear" as the cause of the failure.
Lately I have noticed Garages pushing these policies, which I presume they are collecting commission on, and specifically a garage incorrectly indicated to my Father that the policy covered most mechanical breakdowns.
What I say to anyone, who has bothered to read my industry rambling, is to consider these policies very carefully before buying them. Do not listen to the Garage who tell you that the policy is good and covers this or that, as they probably have next to no knowledge of the policy. Ask them to point to the specific wording and ask lots of questions. Read the, albeit boring, policy booklet cover to cover and make notes if you want to ask more questions. Make sure YOU understand that limitations of these policies.
Personally I believe these policies are not worth the paper they are printed on and provide close to no effective cover, or I should say they do not provide the cover that an average punter will expect them to.
But as I said above, I am not giving legal advice, just read the policy bloody carefully and if necessary phone an independent broker and ask them to explain the cover properly.
Right I'll stop boring you all now. Cheers.
Monday, 17 September 2012
I've had these figures left on my desk for some time (there is an earlier post or two regarding them in different colour schemes) and I still actually have one more left, who will be painted like this.
I wanted to paint them up as a creepy quarantine team wearing red bio hazard suits under webbing and tin hats. I decided to paint the hats in a take on CS95 style camo. I quite like how they turned out, and I'm going to get at least another four or so and paint them up the same way. Long term I will add some zombies and maybe even get a post-apoc game, who knows.
In other news I've started constructing the first 5 of many houses for a demo game at Partizan next year, pictures will follow when they are put together.
Another few pics of the other three figures below.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Located around the memorial there are stone inserts at floor level naming those that died whilst serving with the SAS. I took the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by the men who were listed at the site, volunteers doing daring, dangerous things. If you are ever passing the memorial located near Stirling/Dunblane in Scotland it is worth a small stop to pay your respects.
I have included some other pictures below, the last of which is the metal description plate providing a brief history of David Stirling and the SAS. I have left this last picture full size so upon opening it can be expanded and the text remains legible.
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
I had a go at painting with a black undercoat with these, as I usually undercoat in Grey which I find is a nice neutral tone. The black was troublesome (for me) to paint over, and to be honest I found it tough on my not great eyesight. I'm not convinced the finish is any better or noticeable different than my usual grey. I will therefore be continuing with my grey undercoat.
In other news there is a possibility of a new job (again) this time close to home in Aberdeen so no living in Glasgow during the week and trundling home at the weekends. Hope fully I'll find out about that in the next few days.
Re the quality of these pictures, I'm afraid its a bit poor as I'm painting in the flat in Glasgow and don't have access to Photoshop or decent lighting. Another reason why I would like to be working at home again!
Saturday, 8 September 2012
As you may work out from the title my wife and I went to see the new Total Recall film this afternoon. In a word it was wooden, and just made me want to watch the original Arnie version. The whole film seemed to have lifted the best (or most well known) bits from the original reworked them a bit, made them generally lamer (and waaaaay less gory) and chucked them in the film. Colin Farrell's performance is seriously wooden, although I think he's been crippled by a cack script. The only character/actor who works is Kate Beckinsale she seems to put in a real effort and her scenes are good. There's a fairly hocky reworking of the original plot, that in my opinion just doesn't work at all, and some pretty massive plot holes. The other stupid thing about this is there are tons of British actors/characters all talking with British accents but for some reason Bill Nighy's character speaks with a weird British/american accent for no apparent reason as america isn't in the film (ie doesn't exist any more)
Overall I give this a generous 2 out of 5 and don't recommend it, if you are thinking of going to see it I would recommend picking up the original and watching that instead. Ultimately all this film did was make me want to watch the original, oh and the 12a rating should tell you all you need to know as the original was an 18 and had some seriously gory old school scenes. I'll get off my soap box now.
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
The royalists won and are now within striking distance of Leicester itself!
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Well I didn't think I would ever finish painting this figure, which has been standing on my modeling bench for months. I started painting him a while back and painted the kilt as a red with yellow and black stripping (and actual tartan, the name escapes me). However this came out rather badly as I rushed it and in a fit of pique I stopped painting the figure.
Now I came back to him today as I needed a 2ic for the Partizan game at the weekend. I painted over the terrible red kilt which we will never speak of again, with this nice green kilt. Its a lighter tone variant on the dark green tartan I have painted previously, and I quite like it. The top was of course painted as a red coat. I'm particularly pleased with the stock on the tommy gun which I think came out rather nicely.
All in all I'm chuffed with how this turned out, given that I previously started and cocked up this figure!
In other things war games related I purchased a silver membership to the Osprey site, and have to say its the best £3 a month I have spent in a long time. The site is heaving with uniform plates similar to those usually found in the osprey books. Basically I can now go onto the site, search for a period/soldier etc and it kicks up a plate showing the requested uniform.
Personally I think this is great, you also get money of books and some other stuff I (to my shame) haven't looked into yet. But if you reference the great osprey plates often then I recommend the subscription, which at £3 a month is about as cheap as it gets.
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Its a Vauxhall Vectra SRI, 3.0 Litre V6 CDTI engine, which developes 174 BHP with a 0-60 of circa 8 seconds. Limited to 140 Mph (although I cannot imaging going that fast). This is my baby, puts out a ridicoulous amount of power and torque on acceleration, but I still get like 400 miles to a tank.
With the traction control turned off I rekon I would kill myself on the twisty back roads where I live within about 5 minutes. I've been driving just shy of 10 years and waited a long time to pick up a lovely motor like this.
Cargasam over, I just wanted to record my lovely new toy for posterity as the wife says that when this dies (hopefully far far in the future) I have to buy something sensible...............some chance (said very quietly in case she's listening.
I free handed the flag (I'm not a great free hand painter) which is a simple union jack design. The pictures are a bit dark as I cannot get into photoshop at the moment to sort out the light levels. But I like how the figure looks, should make for an interesting figure to accompany my force. Luckily the paint job fits with my forces anglo-zulu war paint scheme.
I also finished off some walls for Partizan which I built a while ago using some preprinted textures but never got round to finishing the bases for. Its all go for next week now.
Friday, 24 August 2012
Well I completed another squad of my modern red coats, and a heavy weapons team. Again these guys are all repaints and I like how they came out. Some of the faces are a bit rough as the build up of paint on them from the earlier (poorer) paint job had covered over a bit much detail. Overall though I think there good to go!
Picture quality is a bit poor as I am working away from home at the moment and don't have access to photoshop to increase the light level.
Heavy weapons team, was fiddly to repaint as its all mounted together on one base, turned out okay though.
For some reason this Artizan figure reminds me of my good friend Mr Ook from GWP, I have no clue why, and unless my memory is playing tricks on me he doesn't have a mustache. So no reason why but for some reason I think he looks like Ook. Also just looking at the picture I've realised I didn't paint the figures buttons. So need to sort that out sharpish!
Just a few more figures to paint up as the command squad and my platoon for Partizan is ready. It will also be the first time in a while I have fielded 30 troops who all look like the same unit. I'm usually distracted by shiny things before I get to the 30!
Monday, 20 August 2012
Which leads me quite nicely to the paint job quality. There a bit rough around the edges as they are re-paints of figures I painted about 2 years ago. I already had one squad of these guys but I needed another two so hence the re paints. I have another 10 and a command squad and machine gun to paint before 2nd September (no pressure right)
Anyway more to follow, and if your coming to Partizan pop by.