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Wargames miniature painting- Disaster on the Aventine

They do say that it’s better not to compare yourself with others. Rather, compare yourself to how you were last week, last month or last year even. I’ve been painting figures for best part of forty years and I had fallen in love with Aventine miniatures. Witness the hundreds of amazing miniatures in the hands of master brush men. I needed Bactrian light horsemen, the Huns I’d previously bought worked out fine and Steve Dean gave me a colour scheme on a Facebook post. What could possibly go wrong?

The first thing was a slight memory lapse. I had left off all the extra kit on afore mentioned Huns and the shield off the general above stayed in the barracks. I use Gorilla glue and it has never let me down I thought. Then a glance down at the painting table reminded me why I threw out two quite expensive Aventine elephants. The bodies wouldn’t adhere, then the head fell off and then the crew needed to be drilled. It wasn’t pretty, I was out of my depth. The answer was to revert to plan B i.e. Strip the figures of everything that could not be glued on- and that was quivers, javelin holders, shields and baggage. This joined the Hun spares box which is now quite weighty.

The keen eyed will notice the lack of ammo for these light horse bow experts. Perhaps just one shot would be enough. After I had drilled the legs to the horse, and then drilled the legs to the torso, I’d had my fill of premium quality models. Give me single piece castings everytime.

I did have some success though. After Jack’s post last week I delved into the paints box and dug out the new GW paints. Red and yellow have always been a pain to get right on a black undercoat but not anymore. The “base” paint is a good cover that didn’t need two coats. The “layer” paints brought the solid shade that I wanted.

Just as a final issue, two of the horses broke off at the legs when I took them off the painting bases. Gripping Beast came to the rescue. A spray of Contrast white and a GW wash and they were ready. So full marks to Games Workshop and a note to future self- I’m a wargamer who models and definately not the reverse!

The final straw! Bonus points to Gripping Beast- although I think this particular Bactrian has stolen a stallion!

Have a great weekend all



  1. Very nice minis! 🙂 I like the range of colours you’ve got onto them!

    Know what you mean about some minis that need assembling! I bought some of the Zvezda 1/72 WW1 Russians, which look impressive painted up, but they were a nightmare to assemble! In the end I stuck together one sprue’s worth and then gave up and bought a box of the cheaper HaT figures!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haven’t done much with plastics but at least the adhesive actually melts the bonds together. I notice that Aventine have switched to plastic elephants so perhaps it isn’t just me. In one game in Clevedon one competitors elephants fell to pieces mid game! The worse I’ve had is the trunks falling off my Vendic Indian elephants at Reading comp two years ago. My opponent thought I should be penalised!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ann

        I’d agree with your opponent: Similar to, “If your dice fall off the table when you roll them they should be auto-misses because if you can’t even hit the table what hope do your soldiers have?” … “If your Vendic Indian elephants can’t keep their trunks on, what hope do they have using them (or anything else!) on the enemy?” 🙂 🙂

        Nicely painted and good basing too. From what I’ve seen of your stuff you are more than a “wargamer who models.” I obviously can’t speak to your wargaming but I think you are talented at the painting end of things.

        Liked by 2 people

      • You are a tough lady! An old friend of me thought similarly: a figure who fell over was lost to an act of God!
        Thanks for the kind words about painting! Believe me, I play simple games badly!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ann

        Haha, well, you know, we have to keep up standards. Your friend’s thinking is very sound. If the figure can’t stand up, what chance does it have in battle? My metal, 2.7 metric ton ork nob with a Waaagh! banner was like that. He was really tall and top heavy and came with a 25mm base so he was prone to falling over. One day he fell over on my husband’s rhino and managed to break a piece of it off. We ruled that the nob died, much like your friend’s thinking, but we also ruled that the rhino took a penetrating hit with a +1 on the damage table (this was 5th ed. 40K back around 2013). The vehicle “blew up” and murdered most of a squad of orks and a bunch of space marines too. Was a good game.

        Well, then, if you “play simple games badly,” then perhaps you are a modeler with good talent, who also happens to be a wargamer? 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ork suicide troops- you’ve discovered a new type! Quite expensive though if they only die once. Can suicide troops even have more than one successful mission?😳

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Nicely painted minis Mike. I do like single castings but a couple of parts on a metal figure I can generally cope with but plastic is another story. I get glue eveywhere and without fail something breaks. I know this is down to me but it is why I avoid plastic and resin like the plague.

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    • Thanks mate! I think sometimes You just get a bad vibe about some projects. I forgot to mention that for some reason about half of this lot have a hole drilled in the back of their heads! Christ knows why?
      Have you tried that Humbrol adhesive that comes with a long needle like applicator!??

      Liked by 2 people

      • Intreagued by the holes in the head, very odd. Not sure if it was Humbrol but I have tried the long needle type thing. It was better but the problem is 100% me. For some reason I can ccontrol a brush but glue no chance. I think it has become a phobia which doesn’t help much. At least with dioramas I get to cover the glue up!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Well the quality of your models hasn’t suffered any! I did think to put Greenstuff feathers in the holes but to be honest the minis were painted by then and I couldn’t be bothered!
        Back to 15mm now!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Loctite super glue, the one with a long nozel. I’ve found it works very well and I seem to be able to cope with it better than anything else. That said I nearly always end up sticking my fingers together! It is cheaper on ebay usually too.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks very much old boy! Paint I can understand but drilling and larger models leave me cold. I am hopefully going to finish three ships this week and I’ve really enjoyed them.

      Liked by 1 person

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