December 30, 2015

2015 Year in review and 2016 Resoloutions

Well it's that time when every blogger goes and looks at what the said they wanted to do at the end of the year and measures it up against how things turned out.  I know at the start of 2015 i was in a bit of a funk i hadn't blogged much and the first few months remained the same as i changed jobs and ended up working way more hours than id intended.  The last half (Well 4 months) of 2015 haven't been great but rather dwelling on the negative i want to look at the positives.  I got back into blogging in a much bigger way and reconnected with many other great bloggers. I started a YouTube channel and restarted my painting business. Most of all i found my love of painting rekindled in a way that it haven't been for at least 12 months.

Now first of all lets look at what i wrote a year ago:

"Resolutions for 2015 - I hate doing this part as it invariably never goes to plan. I have few goals for this year. I want to do some work on the house and redo our back year and add a Pagola so we can sit outside in summer and still game. I want to work on my Asian themed terrain and do up some nice gaming boards as well as paint up 2 more forces and get the lads playing legends of the rising sun and Ronin (as i love the period) - this may happen through Japanese SAGA. Other than that i will continue to work on my Republican Romans for the big April game of Hail Caesar that is planned (who knows if i can get enough done in 4 months!!!). That's about it. No interest in adding in more games to the mix (ive said this before, but i really don't need new games. I just want to focus on playing what we have already.) But im sure new forces for existing games will be part of the year to come.     I have been using Facebook more and more for posting pictures of my work as it is some much easier than blogging. I need to see if there is a way to blog easier so there is more stuff for you guys to look at."


- So my Japanese project didn't go very far. I still want to do it and i have done up for Japanese themed figures.maybe 2016 will be the year.
- The House redo didn't happen due to lack of money.
- The Republican Roman project was a fizzle - but i intend to try and do them as part of the Painting challenge.
- As for no new game - I added Pike and Shotte - something i dont regret at all and its become a personal favorite.

So safe to say 2015 didn't go as planned on any level. I believe this picture of a red panda face palming sums it up well.

Image result for embarrassed face

So that's what didn't happen what did i achieve. Well I improved my tools. I added a Light box setup and got a new DSLR camera so 2016 should see much improved looking content.

I got a new Kitten to mend the hole left in my heart when my very old friend Jake had to be put down. - this in retrospect was a mistake as Poppy is a fricken nightmare. The least friendliest cat ive ever owned. She has her charms and i cant help but love my fuzzy buddy but she hasn't healed the hole like i wanted.

I painted about 700 points of a Royalist English Civil War Army for Pike and Shotte.

I Started working on a American Civil war Force and rediscovered my love of this period and even started a Blog dedicated to it.

Image result for 2016 resolutions

1. Continue to work on my Pike and Shotte Royalist army. I've enjoyed this project so much i just want to keep adding units to the army.

2. I want to start building a bit of a YouTube following if i can. To do this i need to improve my production values from start to finish. 2016 is the year for it to happen.

3. I really want my painting business to become a full time thing. This may not happen in 2016 but id like it too - time will tell.

4. Now i have a DSLR camera i want to get a couple of extra lenses and go out with Will, Rob Lee and Mark and take lots of cool photos of lots of different subjects.

5. Continue to work on my ACW Confederate force.

6. Get rid of my bad back and leg pain so i can function like a normal human being again.

That's it!! Not to much to ask

So in closing:

December 28, 2015

KCS New Camera Test 28/12/15

Boxing day Loot

As is often the case i generally take advantage of the boxing day sales and get myself something nice. With this year being a rather rough one i was in need of some retail therapy.

 Normally i save a little each month for half the year and then go out first thing boxing day morning and hit the sales before the shopping masses hit the malls. Unfortunately not working for the last 4 months made this plan slightly flawed. however thanks to a few good painting contracts i still had a little put aside towards what ive been wanting for a couple of years a DSLR camera.  Now that im trying to focus on my miniature painting business i really wanted to be able to take superior pictures of my work as well as doing YouTube videos aimed towards the gaming community.  

Now i fell short cash wise of the model i was thinking of getting the Canon 70D.  I did however manage to have enough (Thanks to a healthy 20% boxing day discount) to get the 750D (Also known in the American market as the 6ti). For all intense purposes the 750D is a consumer based version of the 70D (which is a semi professional camera) but actually has an improved sensor.  Based on all the reviews ive looked at it should do everything i want once i get a external mic and a macro lens.

As im still not on my feet yet i had to order it online and get it shipped. I was most surprised when it arrived the next day. Im hoping to get to try it out with my light booth next week but for now ill just have to be content playing with settings and getting to know all the features. 


December 27, 2015

New Bolt Action Tank

Hi Guys

So anyone following the 6th Analogue Hobbies Challenge will have seen my first entry but i want to get the pics up on the blog as well.  I wasn't sure i was even going to have a first entry as i have had a pile of trouble trying to paint for more than 5 minutes at a time. None the less i did finish one project a new tank for my small but slowly growing DAK force for Bolt Action.

Here's a few pics of the sides and front of the tank and then below there are a couple of close up shots. (there is no division marking as im yet to decide which division my force will be representing).

I've found a process that i really like for painting DAK vehicles. Here's a quick overview:

After building the model i give it a spray of Vallejo Surface Primer VP605 Ger. Red Brown.

Once this is set i then spray the vehicle with Vallejo Chipping Medium VP214.

After about a minute of drying time i spray the whole vehicle (apart from the tracks) with Vallejo Surface Primer VP613 Desert Tan.

Now this is where the fun bit begins, taking a tooth pick and wetting the end with water i drag it along the edges in a random fashion - the chipping medium comes away reviling the base colour beneath.

Once this is done i use a watered down wash of Vallejo Model Wash VP513 Marron Brown which i apply randomly over the tank in areas where i want to adjust the colour of the vehicle. Once applied i use a brush loaded with water to pull and push the wash into the areas i want and to dilute it more so the effect you get is a very gentle stain to the original colour. Multiple layers are slowly applied (it took a couple of hours for this part). At the same time i also mix up a very watered down rust effect using Vallejo Panzer Aces VP301 Light Rust and run this down any area where there has been chipping then i use the same technique as before (again this takes a while). You need to keep it very subtle otherwise it just looks wrong.

After that its just boring work painting the tracks and tools etc which i wont bother going into detail here.  

I may do a step by step video on the process which people may find more useful.

Here's  A few in progress shots that i took along the way:

The Base coat.

After the chipping medium and with the main colour applied.

The beginnings of the chipping.

The first of the staining effects (this bit takes a while)

Finally 3 hours of streaking effects and washes and i think ive achieved a fairly realistic effect for a desert tank,  What do you guys think?

Sorry about the poor pictures. My light booth and digital camera decided to play up so i took these off my trusty Nokia Lumia 930 cell phone.

So that's 15 points out of my 2000 for the challenge, now to figure out what to do next.

December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Well its that time of the year again. Kids (and big kids) everywhere are getting excited as its just one sleep till we get to see what the jolly fat man has chucked under the tree for you.

Im finding this particular Christmas kinda hard this year what with being laid up and all but i find myself thinking of all the things i still have to be thankful for. I have a roof over my head, food in the pantry. We have a Christmas tree up with presents under it (Less than normal but there are still some). Even though i cant work im lucky enough to be in a country where we have a healthcare system that looks after us for the most part and this has allowed me to still give my family a Christmas that wont be terrible. Things could be a whole lot worse.

To all of my friends and followers out there in blog land.  I hope Your Christmas is a lot of fun and you get spoiled rotten with lots of geeky toys. And when you are ripping into those presents lets all spare a thought for the people less fortunate than ourselves.

Merry Christmas Everyone, I look forward to seeing what your all working on in the new year.


December 20, 2015

Some more models for the Painting Challenge

With the Painting Challenge only a few hours (Or less) away i decided to get some more models undercoated.

Also got a pile of FOW, and Bolt Action to add as well as a tonne of Confederate infantry.

Hoping my back will let me put in at least a couple of hours each day for painting or my lofty goal of 2000 points for the challenge (About 400 28mm models) isn't going to happen.


December 18, 2015

PaintSplatter Intro for KCS Utube Video take 2

Cant paint so i thought id try my hand at another couple of intros for my Youtube videos.  What do you guys think?

December 17, 2015

Health Update

Hey guys, For anyone who's followed my blog over the last 3 months or so will know ive been off work for a fair while now and have been getting poked and prodded by specialists trying to work out why im having chronic back and debilitating leg pain. they finally worked out whats wrong and today i started my treatment.  A couple of quick shots of cortisone in my lower back this morning has messed me up a bit. (lost most of the feeling in my left leg and my back is actually worse than it was). This made painting impossible today so no nice painted figures for you my watchers -  Hopefully it's only for a couple of days but I'm not sure at this stage. I do have a few projects near completion so hopefully ill get them done soon.  lying in bed i did a little bit of a work on an improved video intro for my youtube vids but it will be a while till i get it done.

hoping im sorted to some extent by the 20th or my start to the 6th Analogue painting challenge will be a non event.

December 12, 2015

8 1/2 hours to go!!

So in roughly 8 1/2 hours it will be the End of Year Club Meeting for the South Auckland Club.  As our Final game of the year we will be doing a massive ECW game using Warlord Games Pike and Shotte Rules.

I've been working on my army for a while and although not fully finished it is starting to look pretty sweet.

This week i had some last minute reinforcements arrive. I had no time to get anything more than an undercoat on them but they will be the first models i start on the 20th for the 6th Analogue painting challenge.

Ill be taking lots of pictures to post up.  Hopefully some of the lads will have painting some of their toys.

Time for some sleep before the big game.

December 04, 2015

The 6th Annual Painting Challenge

I've signed myself up to a painting challenge which has been running for the past 5 years.  With 87 people signed up for it it's looking like its going to be a pile of fun.

I've set myself a mammoth painting task of 2000 points.  You get a certain amount of points for each miniature you paint.  I may not achieve it but im certainly going to try.

Anyone interested in this should take a look at LINK

Obviously i will be posting picks of my progress.  On top of this challenge i will of course be doing contract work for Rob and several other people who have contacted me.

Watch this Space!


December 02, 2015

Contract work - Federal Zouaves and Artillery

I wanted to post here some of the work im doing for my good mate Rob.  These pics are posted on my other blog but as this is becoming my painting site i thought it was important to have contract work here.

Pretty happy with these only 12-13 hours of painting - Only the skin and a bit of work on the rifles to go. 

Also just to break up task i started work on Robs first box of artillery.

Really getting into the flow of painting Union troops. Hopefully Rob will have a couple more boxes ready for me to start work on this weekend.

A couple of other lads from the club have also expressed interest in my painting their confederate and union troops (At this rate our huge game we have planned for April next year will be 80% painted by me).  That's a scary thought as at last count the total amount of regiments that will be on the field will be around 45!!!  That's a lot of painting on my part  - Still i love a good challenge.:)

November 29, 2015

Union regiment finished

Hey Guys

I just finished up Robs first Union unit.

You can check it out on my American civil war blog:


November 27, 2015

KCS Unboxing - Warlord Games Dragoons

Hi Guys tried out a few things today and thought id give an unboxing a go.  The video is better this time as i have a tripod and mount for my phone now and it makes a big difference.  I think i have too much light(??) and im not sure how good the sound is - trying to figure out how to make my voice a tad louder without annoying my family when im recording something.

As always i really want your feedback. its a massive learning curve for me and although im a painter im not a graphics or sound guy so the intro start is pretty rough till i learn how to improve it.

Hope the unboxing info is slightly interesting. now its time to go back to what im good at painting.

P.S a quick thank you to all the new people who have joined my blog in the last couple of days. And also a big thank you to the people who have already inquired about my painting service. With your help im going to be able to start doing what i love and hopefully start bringing more and more content to you guys.

Till next time.



November 26, 2015

New Blog Designs

Playing around with a few new blog designs - so if you check and things look weird don't worry ill have it all sorted in a few hours.

Thank you for your patience.

November 25, 2015

Welcome new followers and its competition time.

Hi Guys

Just wanted to say a quick welcome to the new people who have joined this blog. Great to have you here.

Now those of  you that have been following me for a while have seen a few changes recently. the blog went from infrequent posts to no posts to suddenly lots of posts. the look and style has changed a couple of times and has now gone back to something very similar to how it looks right back in the very beginning.  The reason for this is im about to start up my miniature painting service again. The changes to the blog are to make it simpler to look at as well as being more functional for people wanting to look at my work and request painting quotes etc. 

 I've started a YouTube channel as well as a store on eBay and also have a Facebook page (which went from 60 hits all of last week to over 3000 hits in the last 48 hours!!!).  These will be used to advertise and sell my work as well as hopefully produce some useful videos like unboxings and painting tips etc.  I have a ways to go but hopefully once i get the hang of it the videos will improve a lot form the tests ones i put up during the day.  All of the feed back you guys have given me here plus the feed back ive received from my Facebook followers and the groups i post in have given me the confidence to start up this business and hopefully the dream of working from home and spending more time with my family will become a reality in a short period of time.  

Anyways on to the competition!

I want to get more people looking at my content so i figured a small competition might be a nice way to attract some more followers.

So onto the details: what im going to do to coincide with the relaunch of my miniature painting service is paint up a single figure on a small diorama like base to the very best standard i can. The level i would do if entering a Golden Daemon or other well known painting comp. The miniature may have upwards of 20 hours spent on it (if not more!!). Once done it will be nicely packaged in a box for safety.  I'm going to give it to one of my blog followers including shipping it to them track and trace anywhere in the world at my own expense as a thank you for watching my blog and also as a way to show what im capable of producing. 

Whats the catch - there isn't one! (well there sort of is).  There wont be a winner announced until this blog gets to at least 120 followers - After all its the point of the competition right. :).

Now im going to run a similar competition on my other blog as well so if your signed up on both you have a chance to win two miniatures (and they will be totally different subjects). For this blog i haven't decided on the subject matter - i may let you guys vote on it!

Now what do you need to do - not much, just help spread the word about the competition, my blog and painting business. Once that Blogger followers counter hits 120, i'll randomly generate a number for each follower and get the computer to pick who is going to win the model. Simple right.

Now it might happen quickly, it might take a while - or it might never happen. no matter what the case is im still going to paint the model and will blog about it and possibly use it as a subject matter for YouTube videos.

Anyways, welcome once again to my new followers and id love to hear what you guys think about the competition. 

Till next time, hope you all have a great week.


November 24, 2015

More Historical goodness

Next up on the new Photos of old work is my Crescent and the Cross Militant Orders army.

I had a blast painting this force last year. I love the colours, i love the subject mater - it was just a great project to work on start to finish. The models are all Fireforge Games Plastics.  Its a shame it hasn't had more gaming time as i really like the Saga system. This may be an army the goes up for sale soon simply because its not a game the other lads like to play at the moment.

On to the pictures,

First up the Knights!

The Army General.

Men at arms - unit 1

Men at arms - unit 2

Men at arms - unit 3

Crossbow Unit.

The whole force together.  Overall i think this may have been the nicest force i painted in 2014.

As always guys love to hear your thoughts etc.

November 23, 2015

New Updated Photos

Hey Guys

So today i broke out my camera and my new Light Box and started going crazy taking photos.

I decided i would start with my Bolt Action British.

This is an army which i really like. I painted it over the course of 2-3 months near the end of 2014 and most of that was waiting for stuff to be delivered and finding time to do some painting. it was cheap to assemble fast to paint (once i got started), i think it looks great on the table and it plays well too. All in all a total win :)

The models are all Warlord Games except for the Staghound which was from mmm i cant remember - that's embarrassing!. (ill update once i can remember) - now on to the photos.

(Apoligies for the paper lines - i still need to locate a nice clean white surface the right size to use as a backdrop).

The Cromwell - i love the design of this tank. Looking at these photos i realize i still need to do some transfers to finish it off. - welcome to suggestions for unit marking etc. etc...


 The Staghound - as with the Cromwell this one needs unit markings. Love the Staghound, one of the coolest armored cars of the war.

An infantry Squad.

HMG team.

Piat team.

The whole force assembled together.

Tomorrow ill put up some pictures of my SAGA force.

Painting contracts/Followers and youtube videos.

This is one of those posts that asks you my followers some questions:

I'm looking at having a total lifestyle change for my health and sanity.  I want to look at getting my miniatures painting business (The original reason i started this blog many years ago) up and running again with the intention of going full time as quickly as possible.

So to facilitate this change i need work obviously.  My first step towards this is getting more followers and getting my work out into the world more so people know me and what i do.

My first question to you my followers is:  how can i attract more followers to my Blog?  I have noticed that since google + came along people don't seem to follow blogs as much anymore as posts are now shared through google. i think this is great but it does mean you have no idea of how many people are seeing what your posting.

One thing ive been thinking about for a while is adding painting videos.  I'm not sure of a format or what people would like to see - but is this something you guys would like me to do? and if so what would you like to see?

Id love to hear everyone's thoughts and am interested to know if anyone out there is looking for a contract painter at the moment of in the near future. Or if you know someone who is looking for a painter get them to check out the Blog.

Anyways watch this space im going to add up pricing structures in the next few days.

Time to go and try out a few test videos and see what i can do.

November 20, 2015

ECW Reinforcements

A nice order of foundry miniatures has turned up on my door - did i say in my last post that the army was almost finished - hahahaha as if!!  not content with 700 odd point i wanted to make sure i could do a solid 1000 point for the big club game next month.

So i have 2 large units of commanded shot

and 2 units of muskets

and finally a unit of pike to go with the musket units.

Going to be tight to get these done in 3 weeks but ill give it a go.

November 18, 2015

On to the last bits for my ECW army

So im onto the command stands which means the basic army is close to completion.

I have a pike unit to base and another Cavalry unit to base and these command stands to complete and then the army is finished.

I love it when your so close to having an army done that you can taste the success !!!

Casualty Markers for Black powder/Hail Caesar/Pike & Shotte

Over the last couple of months that ive been playing Pike & Shotte ive been using glass beads as my stamina markers Whilst this system works its a little clunky and means that every time you move the unit you have to move all the separate markers along with the unit.

I decided there had to be a better system.  Some people use dice, some people use dials, some use counters/ markers of one type or another. They all have there good and bad points. I decided i wanted something that was easy for both me and my opponent to look at and know how the unit was looking.

After a decent search on the internet i discovered a company called Counter Attack Bases.  They do a whole range of different items and one i found was a product called Fantasy Battle games Wound Post and Rings.  You get 10 wound posts and a bunch of rings - some white and some red for 9 Quid. The idea being that every time you take a wound you place a ring over the post. White for a single wound and red for 5 wounds. A simple system that looks ok on the table.  The shipping was a bit of a killer to NZ at 9 quid and is a bit of a rip when you consider the weight and size of the package but that's one of the crappy things about being a war gamer in a small country at the arse end of the world.  I have emailed them to see if the shipping charge was a mistake as the price on the envelope was only 3.30.  (Edit i received a reply a few days later and they refunded the difference in shipping -great customer service!!)

Anyways the product itself is great and im sure they will get back to me about the shipping price.

Onto the pictures!!!

There is a small amount of assembly required - a bit of PVA glue and some drying time and your done.

I wanted to make mine look a little better on the table so i based them in the same way im doing my models, i think they have turned out quite good.

Here's a final shot of a finished Wound post behind a stand of pike.

I think on the table they are going to work very well - ill find out tomorrow night when i have a game against Kevin's Scots.

There are a couple of additions im going to make. In the Black Powder series of games you need to be able to show not only the wounds a unit has taken but also when the unit is Shaken, Disordered and when a unit is Broken. I'm thinking a great way to do this is to introduce a few extra counter colours to the mix. Due to the type of plastic the counters are made of i doubt i can repaint some of the white ones so im thinking of looking around some $2 shops and seeing what counters and beads they have that might do the job (Although once i hear back about the shipping im going to inquire if the do some different colored rings). (Edit: unfortunately they cant get different coloured rings )

Anyways that's a long enough post for today.  No mater what game you play id be keen to hear of what type of wound markers you use in your games.

Overall these are a great product and i recommend them as something a little different from the dial based markers (which Counter Attack Bases also does).   Go check them out. Speedy service and great customer service. :)