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Posts Tagged ‘15mm’

Insult to Injury

November 3rd, 2013 No comments

I’m not going to name the company here.  It wouldn’t do any good.  But here’s my tale.

I was accumulating a 15mm army as a gift.  A large army.  As such it’s generally not something you can do at one time.

By the time it was about 2/3 complete there was no longer a reason to have it, since I wasn’t going to be giving it as a gift.  I won’t get into that either.

The company says I need receipts to return them.  Um, who keeps receipts for extended purchases?  A pack here and a pack there add up over time but I can’t see who would keep all the receipts.

I was willing to pay the 20% restocking fee even though I tend to disagree with restocking fees when I know they just put them back in the bins.  It was worth it to me to get back the 80% of the cost I would recover.

I received an insulting reply insinuating that I may not be the rightful owner of the minis, that without receipts they can’t prove that I deserve a refund, and that I should try eBay.

I did reply with affront but I think I’ll be out the shipping cost and end up with a box full of minis I never wanted to see again much less go through all the headache of trying to sell online.  I’ll be lucky if they don’t try to charge me return shipping.

I won’t be buying from them again.  Ever.  Their customer service has shown me that they don’t really care about the customers that aren’t known, repeat customers.  This is appalling.

If I were vindictive I would make this far more public and be a lot harsher.  Since I don’t plan on patronizing them again I would be burning a bridge I never planned to cross again.  But I know it’s useless since their loyal customers won’t change and there’s no benefit in making a public fuss.  Well, any more of a public fuss than this.

Categories: 15mm, Minis Tags: , ,

15mm Ready to Rebase

March 17th, 2013 1 comment

I made ~ahem~ a few mistakes when I started basing my 15mm for Lasalle.  The first mistake was basing for Lasalle.  I’m going to be basing for Napoleon’s Battles – a classic set of rules with basing that will work with most other rule sets.  The second mistake was not sealing the wooden bases before gluing on the minis.  With wood glue.  These were the causes for the problems that made rebasing a necessity.

I live in a semi-arid climate.  I’m still not used to this on many levels.  Because the bases weren’t sealed they absorbed a lot of the water from the glue causing some interesting but unwanted effects with the flock.  I ended up with a stripe all around the edge with no flock.  The other problem was the the whole reason for doing a glue base on top of the main base is so that if the base gets dropped there’s a good chance the entire set of minis will pop off with the glue and cause less damage.  This does not work when the wood glue adheres wonderfully to the base.

Removing them was a chore, to say the least.  These are AB minis and have tiny little ankles.  One of the ones waiting to be based is already broken off at the ankles and will be reattached soon enough.  I’m quite proud to say that I removed all 64 minis without breaking any or breaking off the bayonets.  There’s some bent bayonets but I won’t straighten them out until they’re on their final base.

Yes it looks like the terrible aftermath of a battle and in some ways that’s what it was.  The pile of wooden pieces to the right are what’s left of the original bases.  I couldn’t soak them well enough to pry them off the bases without the real potential for damage so I started breaking and peeling the bases from the bottom to pull the support away from them.  I did soak them a few times and the glue did soften up the in the process.  I will give lots of good press for Litko plywood bases.  They didn’t want to be destroyed and it took some effort to do so.  I also couldn’t use the attached figures as a grip so it was an interesting project for the evening.

I need to get a can of black spray paint to seal the new wooden bases and hope to do that today.  I think I’ve got enough finished minis for at least 30 infantry bases.  I also need to pick up some storage for them.  Since I need containers that are around 2 inches tall it will be easy enough – that’s a standard depth on a lot of them.  I can pick them up in stages since I’m going to get larger containers for these.  I also need to make movement trays and that will help keep them from sliding around in the containers.

As you can tell I’m getting ready to start painting these again.  The goal is to get all the infantry done before changing over to another project.  Mixing it up keeps things interesting.

Quick updates, no pictures

August 9th, 2011 No comments

Sorry – no pictures right now.  Nothing really picture-worthy at this point.

I did base up some of the 15mm so they would be safe and take up less room.  Unfortunately the basing glue and flock shrank oddly so now I have to figure out how to fix it.  I’m still trying to figure that out since I’ll need to make sure the rest of the army matches.  And there’s no way to remove the minis from the base and start over.

I have over 100 minis prepped for my revised dungeon crawl but none of them are painted.  I canceled my games and my classes for the convention over Labor Day.  With everything going on there was no way for me to be ready enough to give value to the people who signed up.  So I’ll bow out this time and try to get things going for the convention in February.

I feel bad about canceling my painting classes because the only other person teaching a number of classes also had to bow out for work.  There’s a slim chance he can make it but he’s not counting on it.  A few people have offered to pick up his classes.  The coordinator is thinking of not having any painting classes this year because of the two of us canceling.

Why did I back out of everything? Honestly, no time or inclination to prep.  I did build the additional wall sections for the dungeon but haven’t painted them.  I prepped almost all the minis I could (missing bits and pieces for 8 of them) and they’re ready to be painted.  I just have zero motivation to sit down and paint them.

I haven’t worked up the new rules, the new tables, the new treasures or anything else for the dungeon crawl.  I certainly haven’t play tested it.

I’m pushing the reason off on work since that really is taking up more of my time but I think there’s more to it than that.  I don’t plan on going to the con at all, honestly.  I have no reason to go.  When the only thing I do is run games and teach classes then go home it’s hard to look forward to it.

Otherwise not too much happening in the hobby world for me. Our local game store was seized by the state for back taxes so we have no home.  A group of people is trying to get the capital and business plan together to open a new store with a new name in the same location.  But that’s not certain and there’s no dates.  What little interaction I had with the game club is going to be much more difficult as they move around the game stores for different days.

My gaming group hasn’t met since April.  I don’t miss it all that much. I didn’t get the time to try and fit it plus this was a group that has been playing together for about a decade.  Very difficult to mesh.  That and trying to get used to how the GM runs his game made things hard for me to relax and enjoy.

The 40K hasn’t interested me at all.  I think the pressure of wanting to get the dungeon crawl minis done killed a lot of motivation to paint at all.  They’re off to the side so I don’t need to see them.  Except for the ones still in the process of being assembled or waiting for parts.  I cleaned off the paint table pretty well.  That started when my friend came over to paint one evening and I needed to make room.  Then as part of a “tidy up” mood I worked on cleaning off more and generally cleaning up the hobby area.  It’s pretty bare now.

I still have 15mm to paint but the problem with basing the ones I did have painted has discouraged me.  I know I’ll figure out how to make it better but expecting 6 nicely finished stands of minis and getting what I got didn’t help the entire situation.

So yes. Things are going on but there’s not a lot of progress to show.  Maybe I’ll post some pics when I have something to show.

Stupid weather…

July 16th, 2011 No comments

I’ve been saying that for about a week now.  Rainy season, it seems.  That means spraying isn’t possible.

The weather finally cooperated this morning and I got all my painted 15mm varnished.  I’m going to let them set up until tomorrow and then I can actually put them on bases!  My very first ones.  That will make room on the paint table for the next set but also brings up the question of army storage.

Also, I got most of the dungeon crawl minis cleaned, based and primed.  I still have to finish the ones that require assembly and in the hectic world that is Reaper boneyard shopping not everything was correct.  So I’ll be sending an email to them so I can get the last ones ready.

I have a lot of painting to do and the dungeon crawl takes priority over the 15mm.  Sadly.  But it has to be done.  Luckily they just need to be tabletop quality and it looks like I’m going to have more free evenings than I had planned for.

Finally I bought a plastic storage container/shelves that should hold all my paint and a fair amount of my commonly used basing supplies.  Since my paints don’t need to be portable any more I wanted to take them out of the plastic shoe boxes and put them into something more suitable for my paint area.  And it turns out they will still be portable since this particular item has separate plastic bins instead of drawers.  Of course the space where I want to put it is about 1/2 inch too short so I need to move the storage units out just a little bit.  Go figure.

15mm Napoleonics – Continued

June 26th, 2011 No comments

Now that I’m more involved with painting these things and how they’re based (Thanks John!) I’m sorting out the sticks so that I know just what I have to do.

The regiments have 4 stands each:

  1. 4 grenadiers and 4 fusiliers with green poms
  2. 4 fusiliers with blue poms and 4 fusiliers with orange poms
  3. Command stand  – 1 mounted commander (2 spaces), standard bearer, drummer, 4 fusiliers with red poms
  4. 4 voltiguers and 4 fusiliers with purple poms

Turns out the way I have them set up to be painted will work for painting parts of regiments at a time.  I’m a big fan of painting the same kind of minis in batches.  The only difference in the fusiliers is the color of the pom so I can paint 32 at a time (8 regiments of 4) at a time and then paint the poms to make a base.

I was going back and forth about mixing up the marching poses on the stands and decided on keeping the same pose per regiment.  With one exception – advancing fusiliers.

I have enough advancing fusiliers to make up 2 regiments with them in the front of the line.  That makes the configuration slightly different but not much.  Again, pom color makes the difference.

So here’s the sticks of fusiliers.  This is 5 regiments of fusiliers, as listed above.

Command figures – line commanders, drummers and fusiliers.  The standard bearers are carefully tucked away so they can get converted to holding their standards.

3 regiments of fusiliers are also on this flat.

Finally the skirmishers, grenadiers and voltigeurs.

I have stands left over from my original counts and prepping.  But I think that had a lot to do with me not completely understanding the way the game works.

You can see that some of these actually have paint on them.  The way I’m working I should have 6 of stand 1 (see above) ready to be based in the somewhat near future.  The other 2 need the advancing fusiliers that haven’t been painted.

Regardless with some work I can actually have MINIS ON BASES.  Yes, that’s an accomplishment.

My friend Brian gave me some great hints on how to do the basing but I need to get some flock first.  I do plan on getting the flock in the next day or five but I also have to finish painting the minis (damn straps) and then varnish them before basing.  So I have time.

I’ll post Brian’s basing method on the main website once I figure it out and get pictures of all the steps of the process.

Paints are here, excuses are out the window

August 15th, 2010 No comments

My paints for the uniforms are here so now I have no real excuse not to buckle down and get cranking on them.  I'm not even trying to make excuses.

In the meantime I've been working on the command horses even if I can't work on the command figures. I actually think they're done except for a bit of silver on the bridles if I want to get fancy.  I just finished the touchups tonight.

My friend is ever so kindly doing the work so I can replace the noodly eagle bearer standards with something more sturdy and even make them removable so I can use eagles, standards or both.  Depending on my mood.

No bases yet, which is annoying but not a problem.  I don't have anything ready to base yet and if I did I had some here already.

Sunday I start on uniforms so I should have some pictures of them at least partially painted to show progress.  I'm hoping that the painting goes relatively quickly.  Even the futzy stuff doesn't seem as difficult as in the beginning.  I've been asking the experienced painters for advice on that kind of thing.

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Infantry skin and hair done

August 8th, 2010 No comments

I got the hair and skin painted on all of the infantry!  I decided to try for some variety in the ranks by using 3 different hair colors and 4 different skin colors.  It wasn't that much more work to do that since after a few sticks I had to refresh the paint anyway.

I used the new Reaper washes to, well, wash the skin and hair.  The flesh wash was too red and the brown wash was too cold.  But a 2:1 mix of flesh to brown seemed to work quite well on everything.  One of the painters thought the Reaper washes were too thin but they seemed to work very well for putting in the shadows without me having to go back and hit the highlights.  Which is great.

They're not the best pictures, as shown by the yellow tint, but they kind of show the colors.  After the wash all the skin tones seem to even out about the same as does the two shades of brown.  What I feel looks best is the brightest pink skin tone and the blond hair.  The wash tones them down to some nice colors.  I was worried that the blond wouldn't work well and now I find it's the one I like best.  Second would be the more red brown hair but the skin is all going to be that bright pink.  There just wasn't enough variety to justify working with more colors.

I won't bother to take pictures of the painted rank and file since they look just like the primed ones with brown blotches where the hair and skin are unless I take close up shots.

I'm waiting on the paints for the uniforms.  My local store can't get them from their distributor so I'll be ordering directly from Reaper so I can try to get them painted.  I'm going for the bright colors to really be seen on the table so that means a single layer of paint and no washes on 99% of the uniform.  That makes for much quicker painting.  And the conquest French uniforms are the same regardless of regiment so no worries about changing up colors.

Until those paints come in I'm going to work on the commanders' horses.  I have the paints for those.  These horses can be different colors unlike in the cavalry units where they tried for similar colors in the battalions.  I can experiment with how to paint them quickly and well.

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Prepping is done

July 30th, 2010 No comments

Dedication is a wonderful thing.  A number of army painters will recommend against doing what I just did, because it can be discouraging to see the overwhelming number of minis to be painted.  I wanted to get all this out of the way.  I plan on painting them in batches and then being able to mix up my battalions because of that.

I know, I know.  At this scale the variety really isn't that visible.  But it is to me and that's all that matters.

Here's how it works.  I need 8 battalions.  Each stick holds 8 minis.  So I can paint each 8 the same except for the battalion designation.  Those will go one per mini per stick.  I can do the bulk of the army painting the regular style then just do the battalion designations across sticks.  Poms and plumes are quick paints.

On to pictures.

This is the command figures and the skirmishers.  Total of 24 skirmishers, 8 eagle bearers, 8 drummers, and 3 sub-commanders.  I had to break up some of the organization to make it fit on the bookcase.

More command figures.  6 mounted generals, 8 mounted commanders, 8 aides de camp (I think), and 64 grenadiers.

Regular infantry. 104 advancing fusiliers.

More regular infantry.  96 fusiliers.

So that brings the minis so far to 329 and that's just the core infantry.  I think I've got too many of the fusiliers but I'd rather have too many than not enough.  The mounted generals were just because I had them, I was prepping and priming minis and they might be a fun break to paint.

My paints are on order yet.  I'm using Reaper Pro Paints for the bulk of these.  The paints are vinyl based so they cover very well in one coat.  Very important in painting this many minis.  And I'm planning on painting in what I call "cartoon style" so the colors are very vivid and stand out well on the table.  With so many of them bunched up together the subtle stuff gets lost.  One of the club guys has his painted that way and I really liked it.

While waiting for the uniform color paints I'm going to work on skin and hair this Saturday.  That is easy enough – base coat and wash.  I don't even know if I'm going to do the highlight since I'm going to try moving away from the dark brown wash to the lighter, more reddish flesh wash.  I'm also going to be just a little OCD and paint each stick with a different color of hair.  That also gets a simple wash.  I know it shouldn't show much from a distance but I'll know and when someone picks up a stand of minis it will look like I made a lot more effort than I did.

The next shots should show paint on the minis.  Primer is not a color!

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Prepping an army

July 29th, 2010 1 comment

Like I don't have enough armies.  Previously I showed some 15mm I was painting.  Now I've got most of the rest of the army and have been prepping like crazy while I've got some time and the need to do repetitive tasks.  I'm still waiting on the paints I want but I've got painting I can do until they come in.  French Conquest is pretty easy – red, white and blue.

Here's slightly less than half of my line infantry.

Each stick holds 8 minis and there's 12 sticks.  It should have been 11 sticks but I had enough for one more and I would rather have too many prepped than not enough.  I still need to do at least 10 more sticks of regular infantry.  Yes, I need a total of 232 minis for my battalions.

Here's a combination of my Grendadiers (need more), drummers and eagle bearers.  The drummers and eagle bearers all belong to the command unit – there's enough of those.  Yes, I have 8 battalions to do.

And finally the skirmishers (done) and the horses for the commanders and possibly sub-commanders.  I'm not sure if I'm using those horses or if I have other ones for the sub-commanders.  I need to dig through the unprepped stuff and see what's there.

Hrm.  The last stick of skirmishers at the bottom didn't seem to be in the picture.

Let's total up.

  • Line Infantry – 96
  • Grenadiers – 24
  • Drummers – 8
  • Eagle bearers – 8
  • Skirmishers – 32
  • Commanders and Sub-Commanders (we'll count as half since the riders aren't attached) – 12

Grand total – 180 prepped minis.

Next up is the remaining line infantry.  So that's another 88 or 96 minis, depending on how many I prep.  Or maybe 80.  I'm hoping there's more Grenadiers in that set since I need another 40 to fill out the battalions.

For those who don't know the Lasalle rules a battalion consists of 4 stands, 8 minis each for 32 minis per battalion.  With one exception.  There's 3 stands of 8 infantry and 1 command stand of a mounted commander (counts as 2 minis), a drummer, an eagle bearer and 4 infantry.  Mixed in with the 28 infantry are 8 Grenadiers.

I need a total of 8 battalions since I'm playing French.  We get 2 additional battalions when we attack.  This is before the French turned into cheese eating surrender monkeys.  Along with a regimental battery (artillery – 3 cannons and 1 howitzer) that makes up my core force.  Of course the artillery needs to be modeled and painted as both limbered (hitched to horses) and unlimbered (unhitched and about to cause havoc) so essentially it needs to be painted twice.

Let's do more math for a total core division.

6 Veteran Infantry – 20 line infantry, 8 Grenadiers, 4 Skirmishers 1 drummer, 1 eagle bearer, 1 commander, 1 horse
1 Regimental Battery – 3 cannons, 1 howitzer (unlimbered with 12 crew); 3 cannons and 1 howitzer (limbered with 6 horses and 3 riders/drivers)
2 Veteran Infantry (attacking only) – 20 line infantry, 8 Grenadiers, 4 Skirmishers 1 drummer, 1 eagle bearer, 1 commander

Now this is where I start sobbing.

6 Veteran Infantry – 120 line infantry, 48 Grenadiers, 24 Skirmishers 6 drummers, 6 eagle bearers, 6 commanders, 6 horses
1 Regimental Battery – 6 cannons, 2 howitzers, 12 crew, 6 horses, 3 riders/drivers
2 Veteran Infantry – 40 line infantry, 16 Grenadiers, 8 Skirmishers 2 drummers, 2 eagle bearers, 2 commanders, 2 horses

Grand total of minis for the core division:

  • Line infantry – 180
  • Grenadiers – 64
  • Skirmishers – 32
  • Drummers – 8
  • Eagle bearers – 8
  • Commanders – 8 on horses
  • Cannons – 6
  • Howitzers – 2
  • Artillery crew – 12
  • Limbered horses – 6
  • Limber drivers/riders – 3

Total of minis for the division.  I'm counting the commanders and horses as separate minis for painting purposes even though they create a single mini.

Total – 337

Sound bad enough?  There's 2 different support divisions as well.  Cavalry and artillery.  Light cavalry is 32 mounted figures and artillery.  Dragoons are 32 mounted minis and artillery.

Oh yeah – I need a commander and 3 sub-commanders.  So that's another 5 mounted minis.

Grand total is around 445 miniatures and if I want to do casualty disruption markers I'll need 15 of those as well.  I can use dice for that but it's not nearly as cool.

This is why you don't count up the number of minis in a historical game.

On the plus side I've got them on the sticks so that I can paint up the 99% that's the same on every one.  The last 1% is the color of the pom/plume to designate the different battalions.  I plan on breaking an army painting rule and not do the same color pom/plume on each stick.  I'm hoping to do some variation in hair and skin color per stick so making each stick one of each battalion will spread those around.  I like a little variety on the battlefield.

Let's hope the weather holds and I can get these primed.  I'm going to prime white since so much of the uniform is white and I want the bright colors for the uniforms. That and my grey primer has been hijacked.

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Little tiny metal men

April 3rd, 2010 1 comment

The game club got me into historicals by offering me a free brigade (aka – the "Bag o' Crack") so I had something in hand.  Yeah.  I bought the Lasalle rulebook already and found out I need to get a LOT more minis to make up my army.  ~sigh~  Like I didn't see that coming.

Luckily these guys have painted a lot of 15mm minis so they're more than willing to provide reference material and help.  It's a bit funny to see half a dozen people sitting around a large table, each of them with 50 to 200 figures being painted at the same time.  That's a lot of little tiny metal men.

They're glued to the jumbo craft sticks, which are about tongue depressor size.  That might give you an idea of scale.

They're based mostly in 8 models per infantry base and then differing numbers depending on what else they are.  I don't have any artillery yet.  Those get even more interesting since you have one set that are limbered (hooked up to the horses and can move) and unlimbered (shooting at things).  It doesn't seem to end.

Tomorrow my goal is to get the coats done on everyone, including the facings.  Those are going to be red.  The rest of the uniforms are white.  Tell me, who puts armies in the field wearing mostly white??  Oh yeah, Napoleon.

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