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Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas! God Bless us Everyone!

 Merry Christmas to all!

The Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Ornaments of Christmas Pass


Here are some traditional German pewter tree ornaments that I painted for my mother that my mom left for me when she died.


Friday, December 23, 2022

Figures of Christmas Past: Father Christmas

 This was my mom's favorite: A Victorian Father Christmas from Wargames Foundry:

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Figures of Christmas Past: Viking Santa


Ho, Ho, Ho!

Since my wife's family is Norwegian, what better way to acknowledge them and my wife with the Wargames Foundry Viking Santa Clause. 

 I painted a festive wreath for his shield.

Don't get on this jolly ole' elf's naughty list!

Guarding the entrance to the Toy Shop.

Okay, time for hot chocolate and marshmallows!

Monday, December 19, 2022

Figures of Christmas Past: Reaper Miniatures Santa Claus

One of the ranges of Reaper Miniatures is Chronoscope; a collection of "generic" miniatures for many Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Wild West, Steampunk and other genres.  There is nothing generic about them.  They are clean sculpts that have nice animation.  One of them is Santa Claus and this is my favorite Santa figure I painted for my mom.

Santa comes with a slotta base and was a joy to paint.  Ho, Ho, Ho.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Figures of Christmas Past: Pulp Santa

 Don't mess with this jolly ole' elf. Not surprising, with my recent interest in the Pulp Genre, I present North Star's Pulp era Santa.  You better not be on his naughty list or trying to stop him from delivering presents! My mom loved the retro look of this Santa.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Ghosts of Christmas Past

  Front L to R: Scrooge, The Ghost of Christmas Past, and the Ghost of Christmas Future. In the back is the Ghost of Christmas Present.

The big downer 2 years ago for me was that my NUMBER ONE Toy Soldier fan, my Mom, passed away. The same woman that said I could not purchase anymore toy soldiers when I was eleven, was the one that encouraged me the most in my hobby (critical thinking, leadership, manual dexterity, staying out of fights with my brothers, etc.). What was equally disheartening, was, since I was in a high risk job (I have since retired), I could not be there. Fortunately my brothers were able to be there when she passed away and be their for my Dad.

A recent photo of my mom; or as the grandchildren referred to her: Gramzilla!

 At Christmas time I would paint miniatures or tree decorations or pewter for her as her gift. She asked me, when I saw her in February before she died, that she wanted me to share some of her favorites on my blog. So that is what I am doing.

The Ghost of Christmas Past. I took some liberties with the painting as opposed to the description by Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol 
My mom started out her professional career as a Physical Education Teacher (I wonder why all of her boys ran, wrestled, played baseball, etc.?) and then moved on to English Literature. I never knew anyone who knew so much about Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, and with the exception of Daughter-in-Law #1 (The Doctor), Shakespeare.
Scrooge then made bold to inquire what business brought it there. “Your welfare!” said the ghost. Scrooge expressed himself much obliged, but could not help thinking that a night of unbroken rest would have been more conducive to that end. The Spirit must have heard him thinking, for it said immediately: “Your reclamation, then. Take heed!” 

It was clothed in one simple deep green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur. This garment hung so loosely upon the figure that its capacious breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice…. Its dark brown curls were long and free; free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanor, and its joyful air.… “You have never seen the like of me before?” exclaimed the Spirit.
The Spirit pointed from the grave to him, and back again. “No, Spirit! Oh, no, no!” The finger was still there. “Spirit!” he cried, tight clutching at his robe, “hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse! Why show me this, if I am past all hope!” For the first time the hand appeared to shake.

If you never have read A Christmas Carol, please do. I recently re-read it for this posting and it is a beautiful story of redemption and sacrifice. Plus that Mr. Dickens could write!

This just shows that what the enemy meant for evil, God can turn it around for good! If He did it before, He can do it again.

If we look at what is happening around us with this pandemic, it has done nothing but spread fear, anxiety, restlessness, and hopelessness. Though it may look like darkness is all around, Christ's light will shine brighter in this time. We have the victory in Jesus' name. We can call upon the name of the Lord for healing. We can plea the blood of Jesus over our families, friends, our nation and the nations around the world affected by this virus. For there is power in the blood of Jesus; there is power in His name. I believe it, do you?
Next: More figures!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Favorite Units I painted in 2022, Part 2

 Continuing on from Part 1 and as before there are links to the full posts on the units:

Here is my interpretation of the 10th (The Duke of Cambridge's) Bengal Lancers (Hodson's Horse) of the latter part of the 19th Century and early 20th Century for The Men Who Would be Kings. All figures are from Perry Miniatures.

This was the first unit I used GW Contrast paints for some of the items (I did a lot of experimenting first!). I also added extra trailing scarfs to the pagari (turbans) and a sash to the officer from the Perry Plastic Afghan box. If you are going to have lancers, they need to look dashing.

The Queen's Own Guides, Infantry, Punjab Frontier Force with figures from Artizan Designs to join my Indian Army. Another unit for The Men Who Would be Kings; are we starting to see a pattern? With this unit, about 1/2 of the colors are GW Contrast paints.

Except for the bases, these GW Space Marines were the first figures I painted completely with Contrast Paints. You have to adapt to a different painting style, but the results are worth it. The will be used for Xenos Rampant.

This is the start of my second of three Irregular Infantry for the game The Men Who Would be Kings which I am still painting as Pashtuns from the Afridi tribe. Though the unit is not "technically" finished (the other 6 figures to finish are packed up) I still think I did a great job modelling the figures from the Perry Plastics and having fun with the bases.

Next unit up for my Indian Army for The Men Who Would be Kings is the 20th (Punjab) Regiment with all figures from Artizan Designs (UK/EU link and US Link). I felt I had my "speed painting" method down so except for the bases, this is the first historical unit I painted using only GW Contrast paint. As you can see above, for this unit I went with the alternative basing of "3", "2", "1". Of course they can be used for other popular Colonial rules.

To finish up the year (sooner than I thought as the magic painting machine and figures had to be packed!), I discovered Star Wars: Legion figures which I'm going to use for Xenos Rampant and who knows? Maybe I'll give Star Wars: Legion a try. All of the figures were painted using Contrast Paints. This is the Rebel Troopers expansion pack.

Here are the Rebel Commandoes. I can't believe I don't have a team shot for the class reunion.

I guess not everybody from Mon Calamari joined the Rebel fleet. Pretty cool marksman/sniper.

And last but not least, the Rebel Pathfinders from Rogue: One. Plus they have a left handed figure!

Until me and my Beautiful Bride get settled - good painting and good gaming!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Favorite Units I painted in 2022, Part 1

I'm continuing with my end of year wrap-up without a lot of commentary as my Beautiful Bride and myself are in the middle of a move. There are more details on the units that can be found by clicking on the links of the unit names which will take you to the original post.

My second unit of Mohegan Indians for the French and Indian War. In reality they could represent just about any tribe on the East Coast during the Colonial period through the end of the 18th Century.

I mounted them for Rebels and Patriots using the "3", "2", "1" method of basing which allows the creation of mini-vignettes. The above was fun to make and only took removing the base and bending the figure just a little to give it the impression of jumping over the log.  These great figures are from North Star's Muskets and Tomahawk range of figures. This pack is Indian Warriors 2 and can be found at this link on North Star's Website or if you are in the United States you can get them from Brigade Games.

High Elf General and Bodyguard for Dragon Rampant. These are the old metal GW Phoenix Guard figures which once again shows the versatility of the "Rampant" series of games. These were painted for Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher). The figure with the axe and sword became an accidental conversion when I broke the figures halberd. Keep those bits!

Okay, if I actually ranked them D Squadron, of the 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry would be in the top three. These are from Artizan Designs and are mounted for The Men Who Would be Kings.

If you haven't discovered WoFun Miniatures, you are in for a treat. I wanted to get back into Napoleonic gaming but did not want to buy the metal, put the plastic together or spend the time painting so I could have big battles again. WoFun miniatures are printed, color, flat plexiglass figures and I love them. I had an extra Dutch unit and easily converted them into the Confederation of the Rhine Battalion Number 3 (Frankfurt).

Here is my first force of Irregular Infantry for the game The Men Who Would be Kings which I painted as Pashtuns from the Afridi tribe though in reality they could be any tribal unit on the Northwest Frontier. They are Perry Plastics.

Speaking of Pashtuns, a major focus for me this year is the Northwest Frontier Uprising of 1897 - 98 and for my core Afghan Tribal force I am building 2 units of Tribal Infantry and 3 units of Irregular Infantry. In The Men Who Would be Kings the Tribal Infantry are primarily the "up close and personal warriors" while the Irregular Infantry focus more on shooting. Above is my first Tribal force and again they are Perry Plastics.

Sure it looks ridiculously large. Sure it's the size of a siege gun or fortress gun - but it looks cool! As soon as I saw the Large Cannon from WizKids at a local hobby store, it did not take long for the US $9.80 to exchange hands as I knew it would be part of my The Men Who Would be Kings Tribal Force to give the army of the British Raj trouble. The crew is from Artizan designs except the officer who is pointing which is another Perry Plastic.

Next: Part 2.