Lead Mountain: Update 3

Only a short update, no pictures this time. I’ve been busy sorting out my app for Skirmish Sangin over most of the weekend (before being absorbed by the great joy that is Rainbow Six Seige) so didn’t have much time to sit and paint.

On the painting front, the big shift was the arrival of some new bases. That, combined with a load of sand means I’ve moved a load of figures out of the bare metal group and into the process of being painted up. I’ve also got a few extra paints ready to try out UCP style. Sadly the paint I use for all my base painting didn’t arrive so I’ll be nipping to the Dice Saloon to pick some up on the weekend.

So how is the lead mountain currently standing? Items in italics have changed since the last update.

Already painted, varnished and based – 88:

  • 38 Empress – Modern British Infantry
  • 14 Spectre – UKSF (of various types)
  • 6 Spectre – Task Force Operators (painted as SAS) + 1 Spectre Dog
  • 10 Spectre – AK armed contractors
  • 5 Spectre – Western Contractors (being used as US Special Forces)
  • 11 Spectre – Task Force Operators (being used as US Army Rangers
  • 2 Spectre – Intelligence Agents
  • 1 Spectre – African Soldier
  • 1 Empress – Armoured Troopers

In the process of being painted, varnished and based – 48 :

  • 1 Empress – Dog for Counter-IED Team – Based, needs painting
  • 1 Spectre – Dog – Based, needs washing
  • 1 Empress – Warrior IFV – Basecoated, some green painted
  • 4 Spectre – African Soldiers – partially painted
  • 14 Spectre – Insurgents – Based, some colours painted
  • 1 Evil Bear Wargames – Hardsuits – being painted in parts
  • 1 Spectre – UKSF (ghille suit with M4)
  • 5 Spectre – Western Contractors (Converted with Shemaghs)
  • 4 Empress – PLA Special Forces
  • 4 Empress – US SEAL Team 6
  • 3 Empress – Armoured Troopers
  • 9 Radio DishDash –  Taliban

Basecoated with Basing Material– 11:

  • 8 Radio DishDash –  Taliban
  • 1 Evil Bear Wargames – Hardsuits
  • 2 Spectre – Hostages

Basecoated – 54:

  • 4 Empress – US Frogmen
  • 5 Hasslefree Miniatures – Modern Troopers
  • 8 Spectre – SMG Armed Contractors
  • Spectre – 1 VIP and 3 Bodyguards
  • 6 Spectre – Intelligence Agents
  • Spectre – Female Contactor (Salute 2015 model)
  • Spectre – 1 Agitator and 1 Bodyguard
  • 15 Spectre – Task Force Contractors (To be split between UKSF and Rangers)
  • 7 Spectre – African Locals
  • 2 Spectre – Deniable Assets

Not Arrived – ~32ish:

  • Backer rewards from Radio DishDash “Day of the Ranger” Kickstarter
    • Estimated 8 Delta, 24ish Rangers

Total Models: 233

Models finished (Based, painted and varnished): 88

Percentage of collection finished: 37.8% painted

Lead Mountain: Update 2

This week wasn’t quite as productive as I would have hoped – between D&D, work, coding projects and finishing Metal Gear Solid V, I didn’t get many figures painted. The next order of bases also failed to arrive which put that plan on hold as well. However, I did do a few things. I based a few of the Spectre models ready for painting up next week,  I started on the hardsuits and got one of the Empress Armoured guys all done – painted, based and varnished.

2015-09-19 14.10.05
Armoured Guy 1 out in the green

I tried to keep a simple paint scheme based around my own airsoft gear and the FBI HRT teams. This is first time I have done drybrushing on models, with a small amount of Basalt Grey to prevent the black from looking unpainted and a fine layer of Iraqi Sand to add some dirt. I’m happy with him and looking forward to getting the rest of the set painted. As for the model, its pretty nice but not quite as good as Empress’s usual stuff. The details look a little melted compared to the crispness of the British guys I have painted. However, on the table top they will fit in just fine.

The workbench, week 2

A photo posted by Michael Charge (@seraphim2150) on

In related model news, Radio DishDash have put out some more details on their kickstarter of the Somalis they will be making available once the pledge manager goes out this week. My original plan was to get a load of Rangers to make a full platoon, but the sheer quality of the new models is making me ponder this, as well as the fact I can use the Somalis for almost any African conflict. I will probably end up getting a mix of Rangers, Delta and some Somalis to give a nice challenge.

So how is the lead mountain currently standing? Items in italics have changed since the last update.

Already painted, varnished and based – 88:

  • 38 Empress – Modern British Infantry
  • 14 Spectre – UKSF (of various types)
  • 6 Spectre – Task Force Operators (painted as SAS) + 1 Spectre Dog
  • 10 Spectre – AK armed contractors
  • 5 Spectre – Western Contractors (being used as US Special Forces)
  • 11 Spectre – Task Force Operators (being used as US Army Rangers
  • 2 Spectre – Intelligence Agents
  • 1 Spectre – African Soldier
  • 1 Empress – Armoured Troopers

In the process of being painted, varnished and based – 22 :

  • 1 Empress – Dog for Counter-IED Team – Based, needs painting
  • 1 Spectre – Dog – Based, needs washing
  • 1 Empress – Warrior IFV – Basecoated, some green painted
  • 4 Spectre – African Soldiers – partially painted
  • 14 Spectre – Insurgents – Based, some colours painted
  • 1 Evil Bear Wargames – Hardsuits – being painted in parts

Basecoated with Basing Material– 26:

  • 17 Radio DishDash –  Taliban
  • 1 Evil Bear Wargames – Hardsuits – being painted in parts
  • 2 Spectre – Hostages
  • 1 Spectre – UKSF (ghille suit with M4)
  • 5 Spectre – Western Contractors (Converted with Shemaghs)

Basecoated – 54:

  • 4 Empress – US Frogmen
  • 5 Hasslefree Miniatures – Modern Troopers
  • 8 Spectre – SMG Armed Contractors
  • Spectre – 1 VIP and 3 Bodyguards
  • 6 Spectre – Intelligence Agents
  • Spectre – Female Contactor (Salute 2015 model)
  • Spectre – 1 Agitator and 1 Bodyguard
  • 15 Spectre – Task Force Contractors (To be split between UKSF and Rangers)
  • 7 Spectre – African Locals
  • 2 Spectre – Deniable Assets

Raw Metal – 11:

  • 4 Empress – PLA Special Forces
  • 4 Empress – US SEAL Team 6
  • 3 Empress – Armoured Troopers

Not Arrived – ~32ish:

  • Backer rewards from Radio DishDash “Day of the Ranger” Kickstarter
    • Estimated 8 Delta, 24ish Rangers

Total Models: 233

Models finished (Based, painted and varnished): 88

Percentage of collection finished: 37.8% painted

Lead Mountain: Update 1

(For an explanation of Lead Mountain, see this post)

So I messed up slightly – I decided to start this challenge a week before Colours, one of the great wargames conventions that the UK is host to. I mainly went along to meet a few other Skirmish Sangin wargamers (including Tiny Terrain) but the Empress stand may have dragged me in. As someone with the eye for Operators, I left that stall with three new packs of four models. I then carried on upstairs, where Battle Studios had Evil Bear Wargames’s awesome hardsuits in stock, pefect for some near future sci fi (the sci fi twinges of Metal Gear V also played a part in my interest) and a very nice metal tin found its way into my bag.

Overall the new figures amount to:

  • Evil Bear Wargames Hardsuits – Perfect for adding some mild sci-fi to your wargaming, these hardsuits are awesome. I’m really looking forward to painting these up in an almost A10 style, complete with shark teeth and other decorations. I’m also getting excited for the prospect of sneaking them in to a scenario and seeing how Skirmish Sangin handles them.
  • Empress PLA Special Forces – To fit in with the range of African Militia I already, I decided to pick up a few of these guys to join in the conflict. They should be cool as an alternative to all the western forces when I have rescuing hostages or showing up to protect their interests in the region.
  • Empress US SEAL Team Six – I already have a large number of guys like this already but the sculpt on this set is awesome. You can spot details down to a minute level, such as the M320 in the holster of one of the guys.
  • Empress MILI02- I’m not sold on Empress’s new range. Some of the packs look like they a slight scale problems and bare headed characters look especially bad. On the other hand this pack of guys in heavy body armour look awesome. I’m especially sold due to their similarity to my airsoft loadout so a pack just had to be picked up. I’ve already green stuffed a facemask onto one of them and look forward to painting tiny white letters on his helmet.

The “Don’t Buy Models” thing starts this week. On the other hand, we get some new cool models for me to paint as well.

Current Workbench – waiting for the bases to arrive

A photo posted by Michael Charge (@seraphim2150) on

So how is the lead mountain currently standing? Items in italics have changed since the last update.

Already painted, varnished and based – 87:

  • 38 Empress – Modern British Infantry
  • 14 Spectre – UKSF (of various types)
  • 6 Spectre – Task Force Operators (painted as SAS) + 1 Spectre Dog
  • 10 Spectre – AK armed contractors
  • 5 Spectre – Western Contractors (being used as US Special Forces)
  • 11 Spectre – Task Force Operators (being used as US Army Rangers
  • 2 Spectre – Intelligence Agents
  • 1 Spectre – African Soldier

In the process of being painted, varnished and based – 21 :

  • 1 Empress – Dog for Counter-IED Team – Based, needs painting
  • 1 Spectre – Dog – Based, needs washing
  • 1 Empress – Warrior IFV – Basecoated, some green painted
  • 4 Spectre – African Soldiers – partially painted
  • 14 Spectre – Insurgents – Based, some colours painted

Basecoated with Basing Material– 22:

  • 17 Radio DishDash –  Taliban
  • 1 Empress – Armoured Troopers
  • 2 Evil Bear Wargames – Hardsuits – being painted in parts
  • 2 Spectre – Hostages

Basecoated – 60:

  • 4 Empress – US Frogmen
  • 5 Hasslefree Miniatures – Modern Troopers
  • 1 Spectre – UKSF (ghille suit with M4)
  • 5 Spectre – Western Contractors (Converted with Shemaghs)
  • 8 Spectre – SMG Armed Contractors
  • Spectre – 1 VIP and 3 Bodyguards
  • 6 Spectre – Intelligence Agents
  • Spectre – Female Contactor (Salute 2015 model)
  • Spectre – 1 Agitator and 1 Bodyguard
  • 15 Spectre – Task Force Contractors (To be split between UKSF and Rangers)
  • 7 Spectre – African Locals
  • 2 Spectre – Deniable Assets

Raw Metal – 11:

  • 4 Empress – PLA Special Forces
  • 4 Empress – US SEAL Team 6
  • 3 Empress – Armoured Troopers

Not Arrived – ~32ish:

  • Backer rewards from Radio DishDash “Day of the Ranger” Kickstarter
    • Estimated 8 Delta, 24ish Rangers

Total Models: 233

Models finished (Based, painted and varnished): 87

Percentage of collection finished: 37.3% painted

The Lead Mountain Challenge – Week 0 – Introduction

Newest additions to the lead pile - Radio DishDash's Taliban
Newest additions to the lead pile – Radio DishDash’s Taliban

As the Red Hot Chili Peppers once sang “I have a bad disease”. While it may not cause me to actually bleed, it does have the unfortunate side effect of taking my money and then running away with it. I am talking about the Lead Mountain condition common to all wargamers, where you buy more models then you need and thanks to a combination of lack of time, lack of effort and other more important things to do they never end up painted, instead dooming them to a life time of being unpainted or only base coated.

Seeing as I have been properly wargaming for only a year, for me to get a large number of unpainted models is a little bit ridiculous. So I’m setting myself a challenge. Between now and the end of January 2016, I aim to paint, base and varnish all of the 28mm models in my collection. I’ll detail the exact sets I still need to paint below but first a few other rules.

  1. I can not spend any more money on buying models until the 1st of February. This includes terrain, vehicles, models, other ranges of models etc.
  2. I CAN spend money on tools and equipment needed for painting/gaming – This includes brushes, paint, sand, counter, dice. I will have to declare what I buy on the weekly blog and explain why I need it.
  3. Each week I’ll write a blog post with my progress that week including lots of pretty pictures
  4. A model is classed as finished when it is painted (to a tabletop gaming standard), based and varnished.
  5. If I complete all the 28mm model I own by the 31st of January 2016 then I get to pick up a few models of my choosing to start a new project (something of a similar scale to the British platoon I have finished). If I don’t, then I get to be shamed and sent to the hobby gulag. And the challenge then extends even further.

So that sounds fun. Now, what’s the situation as it stands? Here are all my models from a selection of sources (about half  of the Spectre sets are from an additional order I received by accident):

Already painted, varnished and based – 87:

  • 38 Empress Modern British Infantry
  • 14 Spectre UKSF (of various types)
  • 6 Spectre Task Force Operators (painted as SAS) + 1 Spectre Dog
  • 10 Spectre AK armed contractors
  • 5 Spectre Western Contractors (being used as US Special Forces)
  • 11 Spectre Task Force Operators (being used as US Army Rangers
  • 2 Spectre Intelligence Agents
  • 1 Spectre African Soldier

In the process of being painted, varnished and based – 21 :

  • 1 Empress Dog for Counter-IED Team – Based, needs painting
  • 1 Spectre Dog – Based, needs washing
  • 1 Empress Warrior IFV – Basecoated, some green painted
  • 4 African Soldiers – partially painted
  • 14 Spectre Insurgents – Based, some colours painted

Basecoated – 62:

  • 4 Empress US Frogmen
  • 5 Hasslefree Miniatures Modern Troopers
  • 2 Spectre Hostages
  • 1 Spectre UKSF (ghille suit with M4)
  • 5 Spectre Western Contractors (Converted with Shemaghs)
  • 8 Spectre SMG Armed Contractors
  • Spectre – 1 VIP and 3 Bodyguards
  • 6 Spectre Intelligence Agents
  • 1 Spectre Female Contactor (Salute 2015 model)
  • Spectre – 1 Agitator and 1 Bodyguard
  • 15 Task Force Contractors (To be split between UKSF and Rangers)
  • 7 Spectre African Locals
  • 2 Spectre Deniable Assets

On base but not prepared – 17:

  • 17 Radio DishDash Taliban

Not Arrived – ~32ish:

  • Backer rewards from Radio DishDash “Day of the Ranger” Kickstarter
    • Estimated 8 Delta, 24ish Rangers

Total Models: 219

Models finished (Based, painted and varnished): 87

Percentage of collection finished: 39.7% painted

But that’s not all! Alongside clearing the lead mountain, I’m also going to do something fitness related (probably to counter all the time spent sat down painting). Not quite sure what I’m doing yet but it involves the gym, running, lifting large objects (such as boxes of models) and maybe trying to be able to fit into all my favourite t shirts again? Who knows! I’ll hopefully have something sorted before the week 1 post which will be on Sunday the 6th of September. Further posts will be every Sunday after that.

So that’s the plan, we shall see how it goes. See you on the 6th.