Monday 31 December 2012

Happy Birthday and Prize Draw!

Here's your chance to win a free miniature painted by some bloke in Sweden!

Today my humble blog is one year old – happy birthday to A Conflict of Interests! My, how time flies. To celebrate this joyous event I have decided to have a prize draw were one lucky winner will be sent the miniature pictured below.

The miniature is a Gripping Beast Anglo-Saxon warrior from one the command packs, painted by yours truly. You could use it as a starting point for a new warband in Saga or perhaps as a Champion in your Dux Viking Age games, or maybe to throw at your opponent when he or she can't stop bickering about some detail in the rules; the choice is yours.

The rules for the prize draw are very simple, just the way I like it:
  1. To enter you must be a follower of this blog (just use the Google gadget somewhere on the right if you're not already hooked up).
  2. You must post a comment below.
  3. And that's it!
I will then randomly draw a winner and let you know who it is in a new post on the blog.

The deadline for participating is a week from now: Monday January 7th 2013 at 12:00 am GMT

Good luck everyone!

Saturday 29 December 2012

2012 in Retrospect

In just a couple of days, 2012 will be over and it's time to look back and try to sum the year up, hobby-wise. It's now almost exactly one year since I started this blog. My aim was to use it as a log for my different projects with the ulterior motive that posting about them on the Internet would force me to finish what I started. To this end I also made a list of projects that I wanted to finish during the year. Looking over the list I'm quite happy that I managed to accomplish most of what I set out to do. The only exception being the Wars of the Roses project for Basic Impetus in 6 mm (let's not talk about that one ... or the "bonus projects"), but on the other hand I did paint a lot of other stuff I didn't put on the list so it's all right I guess.

In total I managed to paint 171 28 mm miniatures this year, 8 of which where cavalry. I know there are some very fast and producive painters out there, but for me, 171 miniatures in one year is a lot! Unfortunately I bought more miniatures than I painted, so in the end the dreaded lead pile did grow rather than shrink.

As I said, my thinking behind this blog was primarily to force myself to finish projects as during 2011 I accomplished very little (though I think becoming a father for the first time is a valid excuse for this). In retrospect I do think that the blog worked out as planned but in the end there were probably three other factors that had a more profound impact on my productivity.

The first of these factors was my paternity leave, especially after the summer when my boy and I got into a good rythm of me getting some hobby time when he was napping most days. It's amazing how productive you can get with one or two hours regular painting time each day. Alas, all good things must come to an end and as I will be getting back to work in the beginning of January, my productivity will drop considerably. However, I'm determined to get at least some hobby time each day – be it just 15 or 20 minutes – just to keep the momentum up.

The second factor was the simple fact that I finally found a way to achieve a "table top standard" I'm satisfied with and which don't take too much time. I've always been a slow painter, and so last year I started experimenting with the Army Painter dip to try to speed things up. While the results were generally OK to my eyes, the process was a little too messy and fiddly for my taste. After some more experimenting I finally settled on the tried and tested "basecoats, washes, highlights with basecoats"-technique. I'm really happy with this way of painting, as it produces "good-enough" looking miniatures with a minimal of hassle. I've yet to try the technique with anything other than Dark Ages miniatures though, and perhaps I will have to adjust my approach slightly for other periods (then again, maybe not!).

The third and probaby most important factor, was me getting in contact with a gaming club and getting a regular opponent. By the summer I was actually on the verge of quitting the hobby altogether, as I couldn't see the point in spending money and time on something I'd play once or twice and then never use again. I decided a change was demanded or I would put my miniatures and paints away – for a while at least. More on a whim than anything else I shot off an e-mail to Dalauppror as I knew he was also living in Stockholm, was also into Dark Ages stuff at the moment, seemed like a really nice guy and was a member of an active club. Well, not only did it turn out that he was even nicer in real life than on his blog, I also started to hang out at his club regulary and played some really great games, such as the Dux Viking Age campaign, Saga, Hail Caesar and Dux Suecia.

Getting some regular gaming really did boost my painting morale, not at least because I got some strict deadlines due to booked games. A tight deadline apparently works wonders – who would have thought?

It's a funny (or sad, depending on how you look at it) fact that since late August I actually have played more games than since I took up the hobby again in 2008. Every year, my goal was to have at least a game a month, but it always fell apart after a couple of months. This year I have played 16 games in total (15 of those since late August). Next year I'm aiming for another 10, for 26 in total (or one game every two weeks, or twice a month) which shouldn't be too hard. But we will see!

Speaking of goals for 2013, I've been thinking about the blog for a while: I think A Conflict of Interests, its purpose and topics, is working as it is so no need to change any of those for the next year. My ambition during 2012 was to update the blog at least once a week, which I most definately did not manage during the first 7-8 months, but since after the summer I think I pretty much nailed it. An update once a week shouldn't been too hard, and thus the goal will stay for the next year.

Looking back at 2012 it was an excellent year hobby-wise and I'm very much looking forward to 2013. It promises to be another great year with a couple of really nice projects lined up (one of which I've already started), and possibly another one also on the horizon (time permitting of course).

I'd like to thank all you readers and followers, especially those of you who have commented on my posts, for your kind words and support during the past year, it really means a lot to me. Let me wish you all a Happy new year – I hope it's a good one, hobby- and otherwise!

Monday 24 December 2012

God jul – Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone – or as we say in Sweden "God jul"! I hope you have a happy holiday wherever you are, and however you celebrate it.

I will be back in a couple of days with some thoughts about the soon-to-be-over 2012.

Until then, take care and I hope Santa brings you lots of hobby-related goodies ...

Friday 21 December 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 10

Well, here it is – the final batch of models to be finished for the Dark Ages Welsh project. These are eight Teulus/elites, the Welsh lord's or king's personal companions. To be honest, when painting the first unit I was lazy, leaving out some details to save time. However, this time I was willing to put in a little extra effort and have at least a couple of these new Teulus with tartan patterns. I think they turned out pretty good and so it was definitely worth the extra time it took to finish them. (Hm, maybe I will go back and add some patterns on the finished characters at least?)

On Tuesday, I fortunately received the order from Little Big Men Studios I put in last week, which meant I didn't have to wait until January to finish off the last details like flags. This in turn means this project is now completed – woho!

I really struggled with photographing these models, as I'm depending on natural light and there aren't much of that here in Sweden at the moment (it being the winter solstice and all). But eventually I managed to take some OK close-ups:

The miniatures are all from Gripping Beast, and the shield transfers as well as the flag are from Little Big Men Studios.

I'm very pleased to finally have such a big (for me anyway) project finished, and within my deadline of the end of the year too. Now I need to arrange to take some pictures of the whole assembled force, but this will have to wait until January when I'm back from my Christmas holiday.

Of course, I have already started on my next project but won't tell you what it is for a while yet, not until I have some miniatures to show. For now, the only clue I'll give you is that it's something like 1300 years between the Arthurian era and the era for this new project ...

Last of all I'd like to say a warm welcome to Phil and wish you all a great weekend!

Friday 14 December 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 9

The penultimate unit in the Dark Ages Welsh project to be finished is the mounted Combrogi. Not much to say except that painting cavalry took more time than I expected (since you're really painting two miniatures at once). Also, as I wanted to make sure the riders didn't fall off their horses, I decided to pin them in place. But oh, how I hate pinning! I just can't seem to drill the holes straight and so the riders tilt in all directions making them look like quite drunk. Which is only appropriate for a bunch of Dark Ages warriors I guess ...

Anyway, here are some pictures of the finished cavalry:

I went with very dark horse colours to set the riders off and experimented a bit with different markings to not make the mounts too uniform. Overall I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.

As usual, the miniatures are all Gripping Beast and the shield transfers are from Little Big Men Studios.

As you can see the standard bearer is missing his flag. I thought I had some suitable transfers in my stash but obviously not. A mistake that's now been rectified by a new order from LBMS. As I probably won't get these transfers before Christmas, I will have to wait until January to finish off those last details on the project. I'm also in the process of making some custom movement trays to use in Dux Bellorum. These should be finished in the beginning of January as well.

It's pretty close now! Just eight more miniatures and this whole thing is done. (Well, except for the banners and the movement trays that is.)

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday 7 December 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 8

With the Vikings out of the way it is time to return to the last stage of the dark ages Welsh project. As usual I find it hard to keep my focus during the final parts of a largish project such as this, and inevitably start dabbling with my next one (or worse – start thinking up a whole new project!). But this time I'm determined to see it through to the end and not lose my focus.

To get going I decided to start with the final 8 archers. As I've already done the first 4 to use in my Anglo-Saxon force in the Dux Viking Age campaign, I kind of "knew" the miniatures and found them easier to paint.  The only hiccup occured during varnishing when I accidentally dropped one of the models. Of course his bow broke, and I had to attach a new one and then paint it and repaint the hand holding the bow. Still, it was a fairly quick repair job and it could have been worse I guess.

That's enough waffling for now, here is a picture of the finished models (as usual, click for a close-up).

The miniatures are all from Gripping Beast.

And with "the first of the last" finished it's on to the second – the cavalry.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday 4 December 2012


Here are the finished Vikings for Saga I began a while ago. Actually they've been finished for a week or so, but today I finally managed to get some shots of them. As my previous photos on this blog haven't been very good (to say the least) I've been experimenting a bit and hopefully found a way to take better pictures. The only downside is now you can see all the mistakes much easier. Oh well ...

First off we have the hirdmen:

They are all from Crusader Miniatures and the shields are LBMS transfers.

Next up are the bondi:

These are all Artizan Designs models. I think maybe I should have glued the shields on a bit different for some of the miniatures, but I'm too lazy to go back and redo them.

Now all that remains is to get gaming with them.

Finally I'd like to say a big welcome to danmer. I hope you will like the blog!