Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Viva Tezcatlipoca! Viva Mexico!

After the fiasco with my lovingly done Greyjoys the other week, I was a little down on wargaming, and decided that what I needed was something that would perk me up and remind me how enjoyable painting is!

So, I rummaged through the file boxes into which I had placed all my models following our office move, and dug out the largest army I have ever completed - my VSF Mexicans.

I painted these guys about 5 years ago, for the simple reason that I like Mexican history, love the Wargames Foundry 'South of the Border' range, and I wanted to. They've never taken the field, though the release of The Men Who Would Be Kings may well change that (though Dragon Rampant would probably be more sensible).

Two units of Infantry.





One unit of Peons.
One unit of elite San Patricios. These guys are also Foundry figures, but from the later Mexican Adventure range, so they're a good bit bigger than the Mexican troops. Clearly strapping sons of Erin, one and all.
One unit of Apache scouts.
One unit of Cavalry. Perry Miniatures (ACW plastics), put to good use!
One Cannon. Both crewmen are converted from Foundry Peons - one is clutching a telescope, while the other has a sponge/rammer made from brass rod and green stuff.
One Siege Mortar. Completely unnecessary for a field force, but I really wanted the model! The shells are ball bearings that fit the gun barrel perfectly. One of the crew is converted with another sponge/rammer, and is displaying far more arm strength than common sense!
One Command Squad. Colonel, standards, and musicians. The standard bearer with the Tezcatlipoca banner (which I really wish I'd taken a better picture of) and the drummer (I think) are Crusader ACW miniatures.

At this point, history takes a decided back seat, and the weirdness creeps in. Rather than go full-on steampunk for my army, with mechs and walkers and whatnot, I decided to skew towards Deadlands and throw Aztec/Mayan mythology into the mix, with a blatant disregard for cultural distinctions and consistency. If it was cool, it was in.

One unit of Spawn of Cipactli. Sounds very Cthulhu-esque, and not unreasonably so. Cipactli could well be Cthulhu by any other name. No idea where I got these little critters from!
Two Balam. Jaguar demons. I think these are D&D prepaints.
One Son of Cabrakan. Because every weird army needs a 'big guy'. This one (clearly) descended from the Mayan god Cabrakan. Another D&D prepaint.
One Coatl. Because you can't have an Aztec-themed army without one! Yet another D&D prepaint. I was worried that the red and blue feathers (done to tie it more to the colour scheme of the human troops) would end up looking daft, but I'm kind of fond of it.
The real commanders! A random collection of Aztec minis. The priest can be removed from the sacrifice vignette base to act as an independent character if desired.
The full army in all its glory.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Angry Kraken

Angry Kraken is angry.
Now, I know about GW's Purity Seal, and its propensity to frost on miniatures if the temperature is too high. Or too low. Or if the humidity is too high. Or if the spray is too far from the miniatures. Or too low. Or if it's high tide. Or if it's the year after one in which the World Series was won in a National League stadium...

Because it's easy and convenient to get hold of, I choose to run these risks. I've run afoul of it in the past, but only once to the point where a model is unusable. Not bad for more than a decade of using it. Generally, a second light spray fixes it; in extreme cases, a small amount of touching up is required. Or so I thought...

Left: A Greyjoy. Right: A Grey Greyjoy.
Having finished the second half of my first Greyjoy unit, I gave it the usual light spray of Purity Seal. This time, however, I was less than amused to discover that, rather than providing the satin varnish it is supposed to, or even frosting in the familiar manner, it coated the six figures in a light grey shade.

Anyway. The Greyjoy project is on hold until I get some motivation to repaint these guys, or (as I suspect is more likely) build six new models. In the meantime, I'm open to suggestions for alternate varnishes. I've heard good things about Testors Dullcote and mixed things about Vallejo varnishes of various types.