Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kara Sloan Artwork

Sean came across a forum post on the PP site earlier in the week where a Hungarian group used some of the images from my blog to make a piece if artwork to promote a tournament. The piece of artwork is outstanding and I am pretty flattered that they used my stuff to create something so cool! I just need to paint up my Squire so that I can field this force.

Original Privateer Press Forum Post


Friday, March 22, 2013


Took a few photos of the Thunderhead and Journeyman Warcaster that I painted up for Ides of March. I decided to paint the Thunderhead in a bit of a reverse scheme (white with blue accents) to try and make it stand out as something different. When I paint up my Squire I might do the same thing. As for the Journeyman I tried to make her look as much like Kara Sloan as possible - maybe she is a young Kara?

Journeyman Warcaster and Thunderhead

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Photography 101

I have been working at Battlefront for almost five years and despite the fact that we have a bunch of talented graphic designers all of whom know how to take great photos, as well Wayne and Pete who are also pretty handy with the camera (Pete did a lot of the early book photography way back in the day), I know very little about using the DSLRs at work. When I first started Casey gave me the Dummies Guide to White Table Photography lesson, but since the cameras are already set up it is pretty easy to take decent photos (except when you forget to turn on a side light!). 

Last year I picked up a Canon 650D DSLR so that I could take some nice shots of my son instead of relying on my the camera in my phone or a point and click digital. I also wanted to be able to get some nice "first" videos (another reason to get the DSLR). Playing around with the camera at a few gaming events and at home I realised very quickly that going from a point and click to a DSLR is a reasonably big step, and then moving up from using the preset functions to manual mode is a huge step, so I decided to head out for half a day and take a practical "Photography Basics" course aimed at people who had just bought their first DSLR and wanted to get more out of it.

The course took a look at the three basic functions you need to get to grips with if you want to use your camera in manual mode where you control how you take photos, rather than letting the camera decide.
1. ISO - basically the sensitivity to light (one of my photography memories as a child back in the '80s is going to the pharmacy and watching my mum or dad buying film, deciding on the ISO rating they should chose - my dad was a very keen photographer).
2. Aperture (or F Stop) - this determines the depth of field, small number means that only the thing you are focused on is in focus, big number means that more things are in focus, so for table shots at a gaming convention you need to use the larger aperture.
3. Shutter Speed - faster means less blurring (so if you want to take a photo of a moving baby or water flying through the air) whereas slower can give you a nice blurring effect but you should invest in a tripod. Great for fireworks or Christmas lights.

The other thing you need to take into account is that as you change these three settings you change the amount of light coming in, so you need to balance the three depending on what effect you want, and what the light conditions are - this was something I had real issues with during the day.

The class was fantastic, I managed to get my head around a few basic concepts that I was struggling with (despite the camera coming with an outstanding manual) as well as getting a better understanding to help me dive into a few of the photography websites out there and not feel completely out of my depth. The next trick is to go out and actually take a few photos and try to bed down this new info before my internal reset button kicks in and I forget everything (normally this happens somewhere between Saturday morning and Sunday night). The other benefit was that I managed to take a few nice photos, none of which were of little toy soldiers for once!

Flowers and plants in Albert Park
Some more flowers...
And this time plants.
Did anyone tell the juggler?
Park bench - nice drybrushing!
Moss growing...
No moss growing on these trees
Fountain/skylight in the Britomart Train Station...

that I walk under most days on the way to work...
And have always wanted to stop under and stare through.
Class photo.

Friday, March 15, 2013

T-34 Battalion

Over February much of my painting time was taken up by a project for work. I volunteered to paint up a T-34 Battalion over the course of a month - sounds easy doesn't it....

Turns out I bit off a little more than I could chew as I had a number of competing painting projects all due around the same time. Luckily for me I have a very supportive wife (I had to say that as she occasionally reads this blog) who let me duck out for a few extra painting sessions with the boys from work. 

I was actually really happy with how the army came together in the end and whilst I am definitely biased I think the new plastic accessory sprue is great. I don't think it saved me much time with assembly, however the pieces look better and the new tracks are fantastic. I'll be getting some more sprues when I start painting up some SU-100s and SU-85s for the list!

You can follow my progress on the army here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

Not sure when I will get around to adding to the army, as you can tell I am a deadline painter so I will need to find a tournament that will force me to focus on one project for a few weeks and get some more support platoons painted up.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ides of March 2013

After much slacking around on my part, I have finally organised a write up for Ides of March 2013...

Ides was one of the biggest events on the Warmachine calender this year, with around 36 attendees coming from all over NZ. It took me until a week before the event to finally work out what I would be taking as my painting time was jam packed thanks to a T-34 battalion that I was painting for a series of articles for work. Taking the easy route I dusted of Kara Sloan and her Hunters, adding in a Thunderhead and Journeyman Warcaster. Rather than a pile of words about the event, here is a pile of photos!

We were split across three gaming rooms - "The Freezer"
"The Frying Pan" (was waiting for Mr Schuster to appear all weekend!)
"The Fire"
Round 1 vs Reid (Makeda) - an old mate of mine who is converting from Warhammer
Pop Feat, blow away the army, leave a gap for Molik... game over!
Round 2 vs Scott (Fiona the Black) - hmmm what is one of the best players in NZ doing playing me....?
Kara almost Kill Boxes herself... whilst Fiona takes the objective and wins.
Round 3 vs Peter (Morvahna) - Blood Trackers + Regrowth! Hate it when you leave one model in the unit! I played badly, Peter definitely played better... no guessing who won!
Round 4 vs Damien (eButcher) - Damien is another old mate of mine. This was one of those games where you pop Feat, shoot everyone, and it actually works!
Painting Competition!

Saturday evening fun at Chris B's place
Men need sausages not salad!

Thunderdome - the highlight of the evening was a match up from round 4 with about 20 of us watching
Can you tell which one is the master and which one is the apprentice?
Under pressure.....
There is always time for a quick game of X-Wing!
Round 5 vs Graeme (eCaine) - Pop feat, shoot everything, move up Thunderhead, pulse and then shoot Caine some more!
Round 6 vs Mike (Vindictus) - Rinse and repeat... although this time the Thunderhead had to weather a lot of free strikes as he walked out of combat to pulse.
Round 7 vs Matt (eSorsha) - Pop feat, kill Conquest in one turn, watch eSorsha pop her feat and a WG Mortar rolls double 6's to land on Sloan's head! Couple of bullets from the WG Rifle Corps and game over...!
The trophies
One of these two people is Victor, can you tell which one?
Overall, a great weekend, plenty of fun. 7 good games, I even played well in a couple of them... that balances a couple where I played really badly right? Looking forward to next years event - maybe I should start painting now?