Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Meet The Cast

Today I'm going to introduce the cast for my story The Wyrm Of Connemara. For those of you who don't know, Wyrm is another word for dragon.  The story takes place in Ireland, Canada and in another dimension. The story has nothing to do with the classical Irish myths and despite there being a dragon in Connemara, it has nothing to do with Saint Patrick.

The majority of the characters in the story are being played by bloggers. Without further ado, let's meet those brave souls.

In Alphabetical Order

Angry- Fran The Dragon Slayer, Wildling Warrior.
Dan- Irish Pub Owner, general miscreant and trouble maker.
Debra- Sexy, Saucy Female Pirate Cat.
Dez The Hollywood Spy-Top Secret.
Elsie- Elfin Princess and Possessor Of Great Magic
Ian- The Man Who Knows No Fear.
Jay-Lifelong Friend to Fran The Dragonslayer
Kris- The Sheriff and the Lone Voice of the Law in the Wild Outposts of Canada.
The Laughing Ferret- Top Secret
Melanie- Seer Of Ireland
Michael Awdry- Noble Knight and Long Suffering Companion to Lord Ray
The Sainted Mrs. Awdry- Wife to Sir Michael.
Pat- The Cat God Orlin and Eternal King of Canada
Ray- Lord Ray, Keeper Of  The Wyrm
Tamisin- Noble Knight and Even Longer Suffering Companion to Lord  Ray
Thanos- Legendary Blacksmith and Forger of Magical Blades.
ME- An Undead Warrior.

There are some characters that can't be played by other bloggers such as sexy females that are "companions" for some of the male characters-No way, no how!

There's also a Wolf, a Mouse Knight, a Goblin Standard Bearer, a Very Angry Female Cook and even a Guard of Lord Ray's Privy.  There might be a few Orcs and of course there is the Dragon.

And there's terrain to build for all of this and that's a lot because many of these characters will appear in more than one scene as this is a whole story.  In order to get the next couple of installments ready to post, I'm going to have to take at least a week off blogger.

Well folks, it's Wednesday and Wednesday's are just shite, so let's pretend it's Friday and have a good time. I know I will.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Painting My First Horse-15mm Essex

I started painting about five months ago and began with 32mm, then did some 25mm and am now doing 15mm. I've enjoyed every figure I've painted, regardless of scale and it's all still brand new to me and therefor loads of fun.

This horse is one of four from Essex limber with horses BROE 3.

I don't think it was too bad for my first effort. But there are some problems. The biggest one being that the transition from light to dark is too abrupt.  And the second being that the coat doesn't look "natural" enough.

Another wash or two should take care of that though. I did ink this figure after priming in order to pre-shade it and to show me where the natural contours were.  That did help me out and it's something I'll do until I get a better handle on these guys. Really the hardest part was the photography. It's completely different from photographing a 32mm, much more difficult to have the camera 'see" what the eye sees.

I'll take any advice or critique you guys are willing to give me and apply that to the next horse. When they're all done, they will appear in a diorama with some of the Essex troops I purchased.

Tomorrow I hope to have the Cast of Characters posted for my story and after that I'm going to be taking at least a week off to get some painting and terrain building done. This story is burning a hole through me right now and it wants to be done, so I'm going to get cracking on it straight away.

I'm knackered right now, so I'm posting this and then it's off to the Land of Nod with me, but I'll be back in a few hours.

Well folks it's Tuesday and it's a long ways till Friday. So grab those reins, dig in your spurs and ride that horse till it lathers. I know I will.

Monday, September 24, 2012

First Encounters Of the Irish Kind

Today I'm going to tell the story of how I found a blogger who has become dear to my heart, my fellow Irishman, Francis Lee aka The Angry Lurker.  Now the big Irishman had to live through my meeting him, but he doesn't have a clue of what was going through my head during that "first encounter of the Irish kind."

Shortly after I began blogging,  I started following A Beer For The Shower and one day while going to leave a comment....

I saw a face, an undeniably Irish face.  Naturally, I clicked on that avi, read his profile and began my campaign to get to know him. Now you would think this would be easy, one Irish person getting to know another. Well you'd be wrong as nothing is ever easy when you're Irish.

Most people tend to be a bit cautious when approaching a big Irishman who calls himself Angry. But I'm not most people.  I'm an Irish female so I did what comes naturally.

I approached him head-on, asking him questions about himself and demanding that he answer them. I'd leave these audacious comments and then return to my blog to wait. What was I waiting for you ask. I was waiting for him to come to my page and answer my questions. I didn't expect him to answer on his blog like I would anyone else. No, he was Irish and he should just know what I expected of him. Well, he didn't respond to my questions.

It was like he'd thrown down the gauntlet and there was no way I wasn't going to pick that gauntlet up. I prepared myself for a siege, knowing this could take time. But I had plenty of time and I was determined. I'd get to know him if it killed us both.

The Hubby was well aware of my frustration as he could hear me cussing and the sound of dishes as I hurled them at the wall was hard to miss.  Being familiar with how I operate and having survived getting to know me himself, The Hubby would just shake his head and say "That poor man, I feel so sorry for him."

It took months, but finally he answered some of my questions, but one thing still remained. Those dot, dot, dots of his.  And so began what I like to call....

The Battle Of The Dot, Dot, Dots.  I tried everything. I kidded him about it, I got angry at him and I finally began to dot, dot, dot him on his page. He wouldn't budge. I dug in my heels and the game was afoot.

Now The Hubby dot, dot, dots people when he communicates in writing. When I told him of my frustration with the big Irishman he had this to say "You haven't changed me, you'll never change him. Good Luck."

Well I didn't change Fran but I did talk to him. I told him how hard it is for me living here in the States and how terribly lonely it gets. He understood and was kind to me and that has made it easier for me to live here away from my people and away from my home.

So today I'd like to say Thank You Fran, for being my friend, for tolerating me and for making my days a little brighter. Happy Birthday ya big Irishman.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Cat Who Ran Late

Sunday is one of my favorite days to blog because the place is virtually empty. I can post whatever I want, whenever I want just like I did when I first started this blog. So here's a poem for a creature so rare it's like has never been seen before.

The Cat Who Ran Late

I go to his bay
every day 
and ever
on time

But without
a care
he squats
at his 
for granted
he takes
my time.

Such excuses
he makes
for why
he is
most fetid
and foul

With swish
of the tail
a tale is
no truth
it does hold.

The Cat Who Ran Late
will lick his
forever and always

                                                                              O'Leary, Anne 09-23-12

I'm to have breakfast then it's off to Mass. I'll wander back in later today. Have a happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Free Figures From Foundry

No, I'm not giving away free miniatures! (sorry). Foundry is such a nice company that when I ordered my Orcling Outriders (baby orcs riding on dinosaurs), they sent me two free figures.

The free figures are the big Orc holding the cleaver and in the box is an Orc Musician. These are not cheap figures either, these are really nice solid sculpts.  Apparently they used to send free one-off figures done by novices with every phone order. Maybe they are going to continue with that tradition. If so, it's all to the good for us!

Many thanks to the people at Foundry for helping me grow my Lead Mountain.

In other news, I've been promoted to Sergeant on Benno's Figures  Forum!!  I'm going to be posting my first 15mm Essex horse over there later today. We'll see what people think. I'll post it here on Wednesday and compare reactions.

Have a happy Saturday. I know I will.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sculpting My Own Terrain

As many of you know I'm working on a project called The Wyrm Of Connemara where I'm writing a story and illustrating it using miniatures and scratchbuilt terrain.  One of my goals is to avoid buying any pre-made terrain in an effort to cut costs and to force me to be creative and learn new things.

Ever since I've seen Jay sculpt wings for a pig and prove once and for all that pigs can fly, I've wanted to try my hand at a little sculpting.

So, when one of the scenes in my story called for overgrown mushrooms, I drew courage from Jay's example and sculpted my own.  These are built to be used with some 15mm Dark Sword Small Dudes and are roughly 20mm. The stems need more shading, but I rushed this a bit to get it posted today and will go back and add depth to them later.

These were dead simple to do and don't really need a tutorial so I'm just posting two pictures to illustrate "how I did it"

I used green stuff to shape the stems and the caps. The caps were done by rolling out a thin circle of green stuff and then pulling it down over the top of a pencil.  I used my X-Acto knife to carve the circles in the caps.

I then glued the stems and the caps together with superglue, primed and painted them. Dead simple and loads of fun.

I'm busy painting figures and building terrain so that I can post the next two installments of my story. Next week I'm going to post a "Cast of Characters" that lists the names of the bloggers who are playing roles in the story and which characters they are playing.

I'm very excited about doing this story because it allows me to paint a wide variety of figures, build terrain, write and interact with my fellow bloggers.  Also I have communicated with Jim Ludwig, the owner of Dark Sword Miniatures and he is going to be reading the posts as they come out. This will put real pressure on me to do the best possible job when painting these figures and that will make me a better painter.

I have an appointment today so I may be late getting to some blogs. I'm generally very good about getting to people but today I'm going to be running behind so please be patient with me.

It's Wednesday folks and you know what that means. Hump Day. So grab your gear, strap it on your back and go charging over that hill into the weekend. I know I will.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Building Lead Mountain Part 1

When I began painting miniatures there were things I didn't know, things nobody told me. I wasn't prepared for the fear, the horrible fear of waking up one day and having nothing to paint. Day by day, the fear grew becoming unbearable and it was then that I knew-it was time to build my own Lead Mountain.

Today  I'd like to share with you some of what I got for my birthday Mountain of Lead celebration.

From Essex I got 26 figures consisting of Infantry and Cavalry from their European Armies collection. I also purchased a Limber with four horses.

I got 11 figures from Dark Sword Miniatures.

After that, I hit up Thunderbolt Mountain a company owned by sculptor Tom Meier. There you see 3 High Elves, 1 Wood Elf and 3 Bushwoolies.  Now I've heard the smack talk going around about High Elves being haughty, but these boys have the right to be full of themselves.  The lines on these sculpts are exquisite, perfect and graceful.

I also got this 54mm Highlander and this one forty-eighth figure Sheriff from Thunderbolt Mountain.  (the slash on my keyboard doesn't work).  The Highlander is flawless, not a mold line to be found anywhere and I got the Sheriff free.

And finally four figures from Hell Dorado by Cipher Studios. I got Anna Bogna Pavlova first and liked the figure so well that I went back and got the Damned Rank and File. These are some unique figures, lots of attitude and seriously heavy chunks of lead.

In part one I accumulated 50 new miniatures and I'm not going to reveal yet how many more I bought. If you're not a gamer or a painter you probably think that this is a lot of miniatures. You're wrong, it's not. It's merely a foothill on what I hope will turn out to be a true Mountain of Lead.

In other news, I recently joined Benno's Figures Forum and can't figure out how to load an avatar, so if one of you can help me out I'd appreciate it.  I don't plan on doing much talking (audible sigh of relief from many of you) but I do plan on learning so I can become better at the hobby I've come to love so much.

It's Monday folks and the beginning of what could be a truly horrendous week. So if you can find a moment of joy inside the madness we call life, grab hold of it.  I know I will.

Friday, September 14, 2012

On The Painting Table

When I began painting a few months ago I only worked on one figure at a time and I thought that was the way I'd always do it.  But as you go, you get advice, you learn some things and you change your approach.

Right now I have eleven figures on the table and there is plenty of variety to keep me interested. The figures are from FoundryHasslefreeDark Sword and Essex. I'm painting 15mm, 25mm and 32mm scale at the same time and doing that is improving my brush control.

I am also building terrain for these figures. I will be building and designing 9 pieces for dioramas for these figures. Currently I have three of those on the the workbench.

Also, I just finished sculpting my first four pieces. Now these are small pieces and will be used for scenery so they are not figures. They are however whimsical and fun. I will be posting those after I get them painted along with a "how I did it".

I will also be posting Part 1 of my Birthday Mountain of Lead and yes, it will take more than one post to get it all in. Once I got started, I just couldn't stop and really I blame the Ferret for a lot of it.  Those flying monkey's, I just couldn't resist them and I kept going back and buying more. It was like being in the grips of some horrible disease and I was helpless. Yes, it' was the Ferret's fault.

It's Friday folks and time that you'll never get back has passed. So make the weekend count for something. I know I will.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Wargamers Serenade-an original composition

I finished recording my drum solo last night and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I wanted to make something big, something monstrous, something loud. So when I composed this piece I imagined a savage Celtic army marching to the beating of war drums.

That's me with my kit. I had Ludwig custom make it for me many years ago. It's a five piece with a 26 inch bass, a 10 inch tom-tom and a 16 and 18 inch tom on the floor and I call it The Beast.

I recorded this in my room without miking the drum, so what you're hearing is the sound as it comes off the kit. And that is just me playing alone and nothing has been added.

When a drummer does a solo, it's a very special thing because we spend most of our time keeping a beat and comping behind the lead instrument. It's when we solo that we are allowed to emote and to express our inner selves. I am dedicating this piece to all you gamers and painters who have been of such help to me over these past months.

I have titled it A Wargamer's Serenade and have included as many of your historical periods as I could in the video.  There's a middle segment where I solo only on the toms and then it kicks back in as loud as I could make it. That, Francis Lee, is where you'll find The Big Fellow.

Please take five minutes of your time and listen as this means a great deal to me. If you have headphones, put them on and  I assure you, you will hear the sound of an army of Celts.

It's Friday folks and another work week is over. So get on out there and suck the marrow out of the bones of life. I know I will.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

W.I.P. Painting Freehand

I'm new to this but have already learned that no matter which figure I paint, thousands of people have painted that figure before me.  The question then becomes how do I make the figure I paint "mine"

In an effort to do that and to push myself to a new level as a painter, I have begun to experiment with free-hand painting onto my figures.

This is a 25mm Strumpet from Hasslefree Miniatures.  I've begun to do some free-hand scroll work on her skirt.

I've run the scroll work in a slope along the sides and down to the hem.

And I've run some down the side slit of the skirt.  There are several problems with what I've done. The lines are not "clean" enough, which shows lack of brush control. Further, the work looks "flat" because I have not put any highlights or low lights into the scrolls to give them depth.

This gent is from Foundry Miniatures. He's 25mm and is from the Victoriana Country Folk collection.  I'm trying to free-hand a plaid pattern onto his waistcoat, but I'm missing something.  I've attempted to give it depth, but it is "off" somehow. I've looked at it so much I've lost perspective. If any of you have any ideas on how to improve this, please feel free to give me some ideas.

My comments may be moderated on and off throughout the day as I've had some problems with a pernicious troll. I will not discuss the troll in the comment section of my post. Let's focus on the mini's and let the troll fester.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Just Bought My First Military Figures!

As some of you may know, it's my birthday this month and I've told the Hubby I want figures for my 50th.  So I'm buying as many figures as I can get away with and calling it My Birthday Mountain of Lead. Let's just see how high a mountain I can build!

As part of my second shopping expedition I ordered my first military figures from Essex Miniatures. Now remember I've only been painting for a few months so for me this is very exciting indeed.

I chose to buy European Army (1695-1745) Command pack: Mtd. Grenadier officer, Std. bearer, and drummer.  The quick and dirty version of why I chose these is that the figures are mounted and there's a drummer.  The long version will come when I post them.

I ordered a lot of other things when I ordered these and will begin posting pics as my orders come in. At the end of my shopping spree, I'll put my lead in a pile and photograph it.  

To all of you old-timers I ask that you bear with me. This to me, is brand new and I have no one in my life to share this with, so you are all stuck hearing about it and reading my long winded comments on your pages. Be patient and give me time to settle down.

I want to end this post by welcoming my friend Elsie back to the blogosphere after a brief absence. This is for you  Elsie.

It's Tuesday and  I know that's a bite in the arse, but let's enjoy what we can of it.  Have a good one everybody.

Monday, September 3, 2012

40,000 Pageviews and Welcome to My World

For those of you who are new to my page, I've a long standing tradition of celebrating hallmarks such as this in a particular way. And I refuse to change that just because my blog has grown. So let's have a little fun today.

Now isn't she lovely. Go ahead and admit it, you had her up on your bedroom wall when you were young. You know you did, don't lie and you wished she would just step off the poster and into your world. Well she's not real, she's a toon, so get over it.

In the past two months I have gained about 100 new followers, most of them gamer's and painter's and I greatly appreciate your presence on my page, but we still don't know each other very well. Most of you do not know that I'm a drummer before I'm anything else.

I'm currently working on a new drum solo and will post that when I get a recording I can live with. Until then here's something the Hubby and I put together a few years ago. Some of you have heard this before, but the majority of you have not.

This song was composed by the Hubby, he played guitar and keyboards. That's my niece on vocals and me, I'm on drums.

On Wednesday I'll be posting a W.I.P. that shows my efforts at free hand painting on some Foundry and  Hasselfree miniatures. It's not easy and I'll be asking for your constructive criticism.

Everyone have a great day and try to stop thinking about that rabbit at the top of the page.

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