Posts Tagged ‘Empress Miniatures’

Troops Out… for the lads

August 20, 2012

It’s been a productive week on the Jihadistan front, bolstering the good guys with quite a selection of manufacturers and starting with this HMG from Brooks Miniatures. A very sweet support team which I don’t think my photography does justice to.

Again I’ve mounted them on a 40mm Fenris Games laser-cut ply base with various stones and tufts.

The Assault Group figures have become my favourite range for Modern Brits with a wide range even if I only use the helmeted ones. Four more have joined my ranks.

This is their prone pack with a SAW, an HMG, a bog standard SA80/L85 and a very neat sniper.

These have been painted but not based (awaiting bases) but you get the idea.

These will be finished off with the usual stones, sand and tufts.

blahHere’s the Empress Javelin Team which I’ve had unpainted for too long and it’s a handy addition to the forces.

Sadly these chaps come without weapons so I’ve added a couple of Hasslefree guns. Otherwise I’d worry about their personal safety.

The spare Javelin is a nice touch. This team comes with two other figures…

…this chap with a shotgun and a slung SA80 and another sniper. There’s something about snipers which I adore. I have far too many for a proper OoB but so what? They’re fun.

Finally a pack of Brooks Miniatures via Old Glory UK. I wanted a few more plain and simple squaddies with just SA80s to fill out the sections and these suit perfectly. I’ve painted these all in the new MTP camo, I’m not sure how accurate I’m doing it but it looks right to me and I’ve got it down to quite a rapid paint technique. Missing the big military shows over the last couple of years I’ve not had a good look at it, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Here’s a comparison shot of individual figures, TAG, Empress, Brooks, LAM German Marine, Eureka German Bundeswehr.

And one of support teams; Empress, Brooks and TAG.

Eureka Moment

March 12, 2012

Oh okay I’ve yet to add the finishing facial details but yet again old-boyish enthusiasm has overtaken completion and the resulting photos are here already. Over the past weekend I’ve tucked into a grand twenty-one Taliban figures, mainly those from the Eureka range pack of fifteen Armed Afghans bought via Ian at Fighting15s.  The five above will form the leading charactors in an upcoming campaign.

These figures are quite stunning sculpts, great variety in poses and uniform, and packed with charactor making them a joy to paint but not without hoping how you might have done them justice with your humble brush skills.

I have another couple of Eureka pieces to make, namely the rocket launcher and the mortar team, I’m looking forward to them. Until then I’m working on a plan to tow Australia a little closer so we might bask in more Eureka loveliness and not have to have their figures shipped all the way around the world.

Not content with one brand of neat figures I also got half a dozen Empress figures done, some of which I used before on a technical. My favourite being the sniper which’ll keep the opposition on their toes.

Jihad Enough?

December 23, 2010

As the year draws to an end grown men and juveniles eagerly wait to see what, if any, lumps of  metal they might get as Christmas presents. Dining room tables have to be cleared and as a result the hobby slows down as gamers and collectors twiddle their thumbs looking back at the previous gaming year. At 6mil mansions the boy Slug and are have reached a couple of major stages of ongoing projects. This is the Jihadistan project where we’ve put the final touches to the fundamental forces, Terry Taliban, Harry Haji, Micky Mujahadeen etc.

First up is this wonderful captured BTR. It’s a bit more 80’s Afghanistan than the ultra-modern this project is all about, but it shall play it’s part. I can’t claim any credit for this is any way, it’s part of a purchase I made from Uncle Crouchie.

It’s a lovely piece and beautifully painted in a peacock pattern by the man himself.

The whole thing was based on a photo from the conflict and Uncle Crouchie has replicated it perfectly. Originally I couldn’t find a copy of the photo to show you the connection, so thanks to Lowtardog who shared it with me via LAF.

I’m thrilled with this and reckon it’s the best vehicle in my entire collection, but of course you can’t just have a stolen BTR.

Here’s my second Technical but lucky for us all the photos are better than they were when I finished the first one way back in September.

These feature several Stan Johansen miniatures, the driver and the gunner and loader. The latter pair which have been slightly modified so they don’t appear as the same figures on different models.  The sitting RPGer is by Empress.  The one thing I will avoid in future is keeping the windscreen. It’s a severe discomfort in the posterior which I could have well done without. Vehicles look fine without it.

The vehicle is a boot fair find, costing a whopping 25 pence, and is a pullback and go. There has been a temptation to do this, typically from the Slug, but I have a vision of the thing shooting across the table and smashing into the wall and showering to the floor as a few hundred pieces. So we still don’t know what it might look like.

This picture gives you an idea of the detail in the back, since taking it I’ve gone back and put spent .50 cal shells on the floor to the right of the gun in the space. It looks much better but I doubt I’ll take another photo of it, so you’ll either have to take my word for it or use your imagination.

Here’s the third and final Technical, again using an diecast toy which has to be taken apart to be worked and painted, as well as having a few pieces discarded. The driver and spotter are both Stan Johansen, the other two Empress.

This one is a mortar carrier, the mortar coming from a 1/76th spares box.

It’s worked well and taken a fair amount of detail without getting too crowded.

The driver piece is average, but the addition of an AK on the passenger seat and a book on the dashboard helps to lift it. It’s interesting to see how some pieces, when photographed and blown up larger than the reality look really rough, like the driver.

You need a few miniatures as well, and here’s the bulk of our hoarde. A mix of TAG, Empress and Johansen, totalling just over sixty pieces. About half of them painted by either me or the Slug, and the other half painted by Uncle Crouchie and bought from him. A most welcome boost to the forces.

Here’s a few more who didn’t make the first photo, combines they’ll be imposing daft religious laws on a table near me soon.

The only other thing I figured we needed where some civilians, these all being Johansen.

So that’s the Jihadist done and dusted, although there are some goats still in the pipeline, but aside from that there’s not another single figure to paint for this project unless I get some for Christmas.

Snipe shape and bristol fashion

November 20, 2010

I’ve been e-chatting with one of the chaps who’s fortunate enough to be the partner of one of the domestic godesses behind Empress Miniatures and I was looking for my post on their snipers to share with him only to realise how I’d painted them but not got around to sharing them on here despite having spewed forth on the other modern snipers I was working on at the same time. Their sniper team comes in two parts, an eagle-eyed spotter and the man behind the trigger. Now many folk base this pair together, but I chose to base them seperately, so I can use the spotter seperately as a forward observer. I’ve based him tucked behind a slight hill with grass upon it as these chaps have a habit of not making themselves stick out.

The sniper is in the lesser-known sitting position for snipers and comes with a drag bag for his weapon. Both are great fun to paint but beware, Empress Miniatures are the Uber-Miniatures when it comes to detail- and this can slow painting for two basic reasons; one is the natural desire to make the best of something – so if someone is generous enough to provide an incredible level of detail you tend to feel a need to equal that with the best paint job poss. The second is how that detail can be so sharp that it becomes difficult to paint, don’t mistake this comment for criticism, but for example the cocking levers on their figures with AK47s take the paint well, but any handling of a non-varnished figure tends to remove that very paint. This is more a comment on my rough handling than anything else but don’t expect painting them to be incredibly easy. Fun? Yes! Easy? Unlikely!

These figures do re-enforce a very positive development though, the production of top-notch miniatures to a high quality for a decent price from independent vendors. Empress is a very young company who has equalled the brilliance of Eureka, Bolt-Action, Artizan, BEF Miniatures et al much to the gamers benefit. Ain’t life great?

Come Mr Taliban

November 18, 2010

My ultra-modern project plods along like an Arab thief doing a handstand often leaving me stumped, but plod on we must and every now and again something actually gets finished. I’ve been working on a few technicals using two makes of miniatures and toy diecast vehicles, the by-product of which has been a few more finished miniatures. These beauties are from the ever fragrant Empress Miniatures range, very nice they are too even if I’ve only managed to take one decent picture out of the three of them.

Shoody camerawork aside there’s something quite special about Empress. The Slug and I did plan to have a look at their goods at Salute 2010, but we literally couldn’t get near the stand. So we settled for mail order and have been really impressed, the level of detail walks a thin line between the divine and the insane. This is difficult to spot from the photos I conceed but bleeding ‘ell how many miniatures do you know of where the AK47s have cocking handles?

Another thing about Empress is how regular their releases have become across all of their ranges, so between getting my last order and having them painted more brilliant looking figures have been released. This reduces me to a dribbling credit-card waving fool each abd every time they announce a new release. Pavlov barely managed to scrape the surface of conditioned behaviour in comparison.