It’s happening again…

Just when I think I’m out…Is there any interest beyond my immediate contacts to restart this defunct blog?!  I’m getting some pressure from friends and associates to begin again-and there is plenty to discuss with the success and further involvement with the CODEx gaming club-and growing interest and promotion of other board and wargamish type games.  I’ll have to mull it over-streamline content and prep time, but if there is interest-I am happy to talk all things Dreadball, Deadzone, Warhammer, X-Wing, EotD and a handful of indie-games titles-time to sleep on it and decide this weekend!  Take it easy all!


Empire and Dreadball Coming – but not before the creation of a gaming club to fit them!

How long has it been since I last blogged?  How long?  Ok, so aside from holidays I have been a little busy, and ironically enough – with gaming and organising!  So busy that free time from gaming and organising really is not writing about it or reporting on it!  I have been on overload for about two months now – just ask my beautifuly and so very, very patient wife about it – and have truly been putting Trojan work into the establishment of a Games club in the school where I work.  It has taken off like you wouldn’t believe.

I began it as a single day video-gaming lunchtime activity for some interested kids during the winter months, but suggested that we build a community with it – broadened it to giving them a webpage and blog each, and a means of keeping track of scores and recording Tournament/League winners.  From here, we tried running it twice a week (losing one more lunch time, but what the feck, right?), which quickly spiraled out of control regarding both attendance and participation.  At this juncture, I proposed at the weekly team meeting (the students run it, I’m just facilitating and supervising for the school) – that we go unplugged for a fortnight and see what other games we could break into.  We had the following and interest, now was the time to focus our efforts on broadening the community. Lo and behold – doubt and dubious looks askance gave way to unbelievable delight as board, miniature and card games not only took hold, but sustainable hold over many of the lads involved.  Now the xbox is set to digital Thursday and every other day of the week is unplugged!

What is yet more interesting is that part of the appeal lies in the fact that many students don’t have the option of sitting down to game with family and friends anymore.  Not even ‘anymore’- it was never truly part of the current youth culture to begin with!  They play video-games, not boards or cards – and multiplayer to them usually means they’re alone and playing online, so the novelty of sitting opposite an opponent was relatively unique!  It piqued their interest enough to bring them in, and the inherent enjoyment led them to returning and establishing leagues and exhibition plays!  I got the school to give us something from the budget and cajoled a local art and hobby shop into spotting us a few bits and pieces towards the cause – including an old Realm of Battle gameboard, Big Red Rulebook and a few starter sets from GW.  I gave some of my own bits and pieces to flesh out options and painted models to go by, along with some multiples of paints I’ve had here from the older GW sets and terrain.  Gamer’s World in Dublin gave us some amazing deals on minis and Magic: The Gathering Cards too.   The biggest success story of the entire lot was West Wind’s Empire of the Dead, though.


I invested in this series as soon as it hit Dublin in Gamer’s World.  I picked up the book for a review, and fell in love with the simple rules and fast skirmish play.  As a fan of Malifaux, but not finding opponents easy to come by or ready to play too often, I felt that this new offering from West Wind was worth a look, and my it certainly is!  I like the atmosphere of Victorian cyber-punkesque Zombie-London.  I enjoy the weaving in of the popular fictional characters based from this celebrated period of British history and most of all, I like fast skirmish gameplay that concludes for lunchtime league play for the lads.  I picked up a box of each faction for the school and set about copying and laminating markers and statlines.  (I’ll leave the formal review of the game for another post, as it really does deserve a thorough guide  before I endorse it for everyone!  Suffice to say that it is really appealing for a lot of reasons, but the game really does stand up to gamer scrutiny in the broader sense too)

That was before Christmas, now in January, I have ten students who’ve bought at least one faction each, and another two dozen looking to play with the school sets to break into the game.  In the middle of all this, I’m still awaiting Dreadball which was lost in transit before Christmas.  I have some very psyched  students already naming their various teams in anticipation of the league to come!

As a club, it is moving from strength to strength – we have the numbers growing by the week here, and the amazing Gamer’s World has generously given members a great discount towards purchases and we’re constantly exploring different systems.  The big challenge of how to moderate the growing number of interests is something I’ll need to focus on and soon, but for the moment everything is working out well for the lads, and I’m delighted for the corner of the school they’re making their own – run by them, for them.

So…it has been how long since I last posted?  Now you see!  Getting this thing under control and expanding it towards others is a pretty big task for me at the moment.  Games by and large have passed me by while I’ve been the platform for others to game these past weeks.  After four gaming days a week, lunchtimes lost and preparation of new systems for the following set of days, blogging about games doesn’t come as natural as I’d like!  I can’t sound like I’m belly-achingtoo loudly though, as I am a happy victim of success here, and hope to complain about a lot more in the term to come!

Orc on Orc action…wait, let me rephrase…

So this week so another battle of Warhammer Fantasy – My own bright green thuderboyz versus a really well-rounded clan from Kilkenny!  This was another first for me – a game within the narrative of the Big Red Book – Bugman’s Ale chase!  While this scenario could easily have been terribly frustrating, it became one of the most fun games I’ve had in a while!

The loose premise, for those of you not familiar with the generic scenarios, is that there is a Dwarf Brewery/Tavern with the most saught-after Bugman’s brew ever made, and a loose number of barrels on the back of a driverless pony and cart fleeing (quite literally) every time a player’s model gets within an actionable distance of it.  Victory is points based on who holds what at the end of the game.  (There – I’ve spoken GW intellectual property without undermining potential purchases of the book!)

This has the potential for mayhem, and it in our game it truly delivered.  We limited ourselves to 700 points each, no war machines and more or less matched each other in troop choice.  The only terrain was a regular wood area and the brewery itself, modeled ably by a recently painted Warhammer Church.

The real hilarity came after we had set up for a serious race to the brewery andall but one single unit each failed the animosity test!  Orcs are really a gambler’s army at the heart of it, but these rolls were beating the odds and making mincemeat of our own forces before we’d made it eight inches from deployment!  We both ran straight for the alehouse – Kilkenny with his single unit of boyz with his black orc boss, and me with my black orc regiment.  When the animosity rolls allowed it, we both commited a unit of fast cav to net the pony – my spider riders versus his wolves, and began a “to-me-to-you” back and forth with the weakest units on the board mauling each other, then pursuing again!  The fight that occurred in front of the alehouse was just as interesting, as the forces that actually joined battle were severely diminished by their own squabbling on the way – I only made headway to get to the building first as I had been forced to charge and failed to meet anyone!
While I can claim to win the game by so small a margin as to make it ridiculous – I have to say it was a real cluster-f***, but one that we both loved every minute of playing!  The early and familiar recognition of the orc animosity soon gave way to hilarity and genuine disbelief as they continued to screw-up and maul one another.  We ended up, in such a low-scoring game, doing much more damage to ourselves than to the other – so much so that we spent a good deal of our time simply trying to catch that cart to see what our own forces would end up doing!

What did I take from this little game?  Fun – plain and simple.  I do think that a rematch would play differently – we had a hard time outfitting 700 points and keeping things legal – but it certainly made for an enjoyable run.  Real problem – or cause of the zany antics was due to army choices – Orcs by two.  I could not see this game being too pleasing for the orc player if he were to roll as we did against any other army.  The mayhem wasn’t helped by the size of the table as a result of these race choices either.  We should have reduced the area not just on the basis of points, but also because of the races here again – we just had too much ground to mess up!  I would definitely recommend this scenario to people, but only if you’ve really measured the possibilites of each force a little more carefully before launch!

On another note – there is incredibe support going for the Mantic Dreadball Kickstarter since my last post – I’d post a link to the various podcasts, models, rules and announement, but it’d be much more informative for anyone interested in this exciting new project to check it out at the source – Dreadball Kickstarter website.  As of the time of writing, they have accumulated $233,109 of a $20,000 goal!  The feedback and comments are overwhelming in their support, and Mantic’s own management of this tremendous runaway success is truly admirable.  I also think that it is great that they are listening to the fans in order to direct their product line – my own request (echoed by hundreds-or was I an echo too?) was for Grey Aliens themed players – and they’ve only gone and announced it for the next stretch goal!  Overall – I am glad to back this product and company, even if I am dubious of many kickstarter enterprises in general.  They really have gone above and beyond in fan-interaction, and are producing a game for the people as much as it is from the people – well worth a check if you haven’t been there already!


Ok, that’s it for this week – have a long week ahead here in work, but hope to get a more involving game that this one in over the next few days – but to be honest, if it is half as fun, I will still consider it a success!  Take care, all!

Some painting and no games – but lots of Works in Progress!

Heya all! Pretty light on gaming this week, but can take the chance to post a few pics of side-projects that keep me invested – along with the Azhag and Manglers from the previous post.  I didn’t get a game this week for a very simple reason – the heat of the GW shop was nigh unbearable – it is what is stopping me heading over this evening too!  I have played there twice when it hits the 29 degree mark and it becomes a sauna with just a handful of players and painters, so was not interested in spending the evening quite like that today!  Will be having a game on Saturday at a more local club, so looking forward to seeing how my reconstituted Orcs fare out against a new opponent!

In the mean time, here are a few shots of my current WIPs!

This Spear Chukka was the Finecast version and neatly went together after some slight hair-dryer action on the base pieces.  I more or less copied box-art for the scheme as I really shot through this model and crew in jig time.  I like it – although from the army book, I don’t see an effective run even if it is cheap, it is just one of those models that I’d like to have one of – not as an obsessive compulsive completionist, but just because I like the screwy and cartoony style that Goblins bring to the table-reminds me not to take this game too seriously and just enjoy the animosity!  No real complaints, but am curious if anyone ever really got their Gobbo carrying the upright arrow to actually keep that arrow without it breaking at least once?  It seems like a flaw in at least this model of finecast, but it is far too thin and spindly for its own length.  Apart from that-all I have to do is base the models and they are all set for zany fun!

These two are the compliment to my Manglers from a previous post.  They are still in the processing point where I’m not quite sure of colour.  I thought I’d fashion a really subterranean appearance for these two – so got me some new paints and washes…sorry; shades – and went with some Violet and Blue/Gray squiggy goodness.  The Finecast models here were simply terrible.  Perhaps the dark photography hides the distorted crumbling aspects of the model’s features – a good thing.  No amount of Green Stuff could fix the supporting leg of the blue fella, who toppled from his perch and broke apart for the umpteenth time seconds before this photo was taken – you can see one of the new chips by his left eye there!  I’m going to have to change the laws of physics to get him to stay on the other lad when they’re done as there is literally NOTHING to hold him in place.  I thought the other mangler was an odd mould, but this one was much more awkward…still a cool piece though!

And this is Azhag the Slaughterer.  I LOVE this model – so much so that I am afraid to photograph any closer to draw attention to the p-poor effort I did in painting this guy way too fast.  I have A LOT of touch-ups to do on the fella later, but like many big models or even complicated terrain pieces – you get tired of the same thing over the length of time it takes!  So I am taking a break from Azhag for a bit.  I liked how his wings worked out, and the final skin tone is about right.  I  had tried it with Orchide Shade as a base, but it wouldn’t cooperate so needed to raise it to a very Orcy blend – but the brown wingspan help break that up plenty – I may go even lighter with it.  Not that this model was without faults.  Assembly was a pain – even now in order to get the most of it on the base, you’ll notice that the rock in his left claw is clear of the base proper.  This was the only way I could get it to fit together evenly, even after a great deal of manipulation.  I used half a pot of Liquid Green Stuff and it still has areas that I’d sooner ignore than fix, but regardless it is a great model – positively bursting with detail everywhere.  It was worth the wait for the mail order (The first one came with two right legs and had to be returned.  The replacement came super slo-mo, but was a much better kit.  Even with the tricky and lengthy assembly, it fit more keenly together).

And finally – a Chapel that I am rescuing.  I had to really respray the crap out of this old thing in order to start from scratch.  I didn’t try to strip it at all, but went with a Chaos Black total cover and worked up.  I liked the effect of  the brickwork.  I used a mix of Dheneb Stone and Khemri Brown to build a base, heavily soaked in Gryphonne Sepia and Agrax Earthshade (two seperate layers) before a liberal drybrush with Dheneb Stone.  I used some Astronomicon Gray and Dheneb Stone stippling on the plasterwork to tone it into the bricks and am happy that it worked together well.  the roof is a blend of Shadow Gray and Enchanted Blue.  I washed it with Badb Black before a light Scar White drybrush.  The Statues are the go-to for tarnished brass – undercoated in Scorched Brown with a little Tin Bitz in (2:1 mix should o it) followed by a drybrush of Shining Gold and very light drybrush of Hawk Turquoise in the weather-beaten areas.  The rest is detail that I’m still working on.

So that is all I am up to for the moment, although I keep threatening to break away to try something different for a break from Warhammer Fantasy.  I keep getting pulled back into the Orcs and Goblins gig in order to perfect the army and build a better, more competitive list!  Someday, I’ll get to Malifaux again – even Lord of the Rings seems interesting at this point.  There are plenty of Rangers and Mordor in the attic still unpainted!  As always – any and all comments and criticisms are welcome!  Especially regarding scenery and Terrain, as I know many people hate breaking to do them – colour suggestions and alternatives are constructive to me as I try to break away from the cookie-cutter boxart!  Take it easy all, and catch up with a battle report soon!

Night Goblins are coming…very slowly!

I love the newer Night Goblin models – and they’re going to form the core of a very fluffy spider and squig-themed army in time, so they are very much a labour of love for the most part – but they are tiny when trying to dress up their detail somewhat!

As you can see from the above shot, they are a work in progress – but then what of mine isn’t?!  Ignore the bases and the unhighlighted banner, but for the most part, this is the theme I am running with black cloaks with grey and light blue hoods.   This ties in with the fanatics that I posted a fortnight ago, but unlike those, I realised that painting a horde means speed and repetition before madness sets in, and I’ve rushed the hood design slightly (please don’t look too closely at the paint job, as the brush strokes are pretty poor!)

The breakdown is as follows: Primed in Chaos Black and then the hood was layered with Shadow Grey.  The skin was Knarloc Green as a base, washed in Thraka Green and layered with Goblin Green.  The eyes were based in Merchite red and the eye ball was a tip of Blood Red.  The hoods were  given some Ice Blue design flare, but really this was just an easy design to repeat – and I advise doing it before assembling arms, as they do get in the  way slightly.  If you look closely at my ones above, I only used one layer of Ice blue and need to touch up with a second coat to mask the brush strokes on the Shadow Grey beneath.  The skin was highlighted with a little Snot Green, and the entire model was very lightly dry-brushed with Codex Grey on extreme highlights to give a dirty or weathered affect to the cloth.  The boots were Calthan Brown based and Scorched Brown layered before receiving the same Codex drybrushing.

Options: Shields were Chaos Black based and Boltgun metal rims.  The Moon decal was based in Tausept Ochre and layered twce with Golden Yellow before getting a Devlan Mud Wash.  The musician was given a bestial brown staff with some Dwarf Bronze on the Gong.  The same moon decal as the shield was given, but I elected to mix the Golden Yellow with some Skull White to reduce the clash on the model.  The Mushrooms were Scab Red with Skull White and Bleached Bone spots added.  The striker was simply Chaos Black for the handle and Chainmail for the hlaf-moon headpiece.  The Netters were just Chaos Black and dry-brushed with Astronomicon Grey.  The half-moon weights were a mix of Tin Bitz and Dwarf Bronze (1:1ish).  The other options were just variations of timbers for arrows and clubs really – my go-to of Scorched Brown with Bestial Brown highlights mostly, but really I like it when there is more than just a couple of these varieties in an army, as it especially lends itself to a barely uniform race to begin with.

Anything learned from the Green horde? Yes!  Take breaks!  I have the Island of Blood and some Black Orcs that I’m dipping in and out of to break from green and black – and I did take a jump with some River Trolls last week – no matter how many cool podcasts you can listen to as you paint, there is a limit and once you reach a point where it stops being enjoyable; you need to take time for yourself!  I really think that when painting up a large force of similar models, you need to have a healthy perspective towards the slow progress you’re making – dedicated time and ample breaks to maintain sanity are a must!  That said, I have a lead on getting a few more Night Gobbos – leftovers from the previous starter set (Battle for Skull Pass) and might just find a place for them in the ranks!  What do you guys think of the hoods I’ve just used here?  Should I use the same scheme for the entire army, or should I give each regiment a different colour?  I kind of like the premise of many tribes united for a Waagh, but not sure if it’d be a mistake – so any and all advice welcome!

Trolls and Negative Warhammer!

Ok – this was an eventful week in hobbying!  I had a break from Night Goblins to paint some Trolls I had been ignoring for a while – truth is that these were a very early Warhammer purchase before I began gaming, and I had only painted one and based the others before losing interest and moving on to others.  This week, I gave myself the treat of finishing them to a gaming standard as a reward for a nearly complete 40 Night Gobbo regiment.  The real test was remembering the paints I used for the first Troll before continuing with the other two and polishing the first one properly.

The Trolls were primed in Chaos Black spray, with two layers of Knarloc Green as a base.  I mixed in a hint of Golden Yellow into the second  layer, as I wanted the Trolls to have a different appearence to the regular greenskins.  The stomachs were given a two layers of Tausept Ochre, again with a touch of Golden Yellow mixed into both (3:1 was about right).  The fist coat doesn’t cover well, but don’t worry – the later wash coat taskes away the worst of the thin layer.  I wetbrushed some Camo Green and Tausept Ochre 1:1 mix over the raised highlights of knuckles and biceps etc,  and the entire model received a wash of Thraka Green – this was a heavy wash, so maybe two coats to really get into the recesses is a good idea.

I gave the claws a straight Chaos Black, with minimal extreme highlighting in Dheneb Stone.  I used some Skull White to the eyes so that I could put on a nice layer of Sunburst Yellow when it dried, followed by some Bloodletter Glaze (my first effort with the new range, but Baal Red would do the job nicely too).  The wash was just for the cat’s eye section, and I took as much off of the yellow in the eyeball as possible so that the red filled the curve and iris clearly.

The Scales were based first in Orchide Shade, then in a mix of Hawk Turquoise and Ice Blue 1:1 mix.  Following this, I layerd a mix of Mithril Silver and Turquoise 2:1 to the tips and highlights.  This I had difficulty with, but rather than blame the tool entirely, I will say that the combination of my skill and a very frayed brush was not entirely successful.  When this was finished, I touched up the scales with some ‘ardcoat Gloss for the slick affect. I did much the same with the fish that one of the models is holding, but heavily washed with Devlan Mud. The weeds and vines sticking to the trolls were covered in Calthan Brown, highlighted in Snot Green and then washed heavily in Badb Black or Devlan Mud.  I didn’t give these a gloss finish, but it could be done too to continue the slick appearence.  The spines were given a highlight of Hawk Turquoise too, and the tips of the ears received the same, but again – less is more. I also liked the extreme drybrushing of Tentacle Pink to the noses, as it gave the impression of blush or cold to a face that is largely a monotonous mix of greens and dirt.  I put some Bleached Bone to the teeth and that was the head finished but for some Skull White and Knarlock Green 1:2 extreme highlighting.

The vomit was based in Iyanden Darksun, layered with Golden Yellow and washed in Bloodletter Glaze/Baal Red.  The fishbones were dry-brushed with Bleached Bone and the model got some ‘ardcoat Gloss finish for some liquid appearence.  The weapons were given a Scorched Brown base, followed by some Besital Brown highlighting on the clubs.  The stoneheads were based with Adeptus Battlegrey and dry-brushed with Dheneb stone, with some Vomit Brown on the rope holding them together.

I like the Troll Models, but I have yet to field them in a game.  I’m told I need six to run an effective strategy, so that is something to consider – but I don’t really want these models twice, so am thinking of using the Fimir Warriors from Forgeworld – Fimir are my all-time favourite units back from the old Heroquest game as a child, so I really don’t need too much of an excuse to invest in some great models, and those look to share the same size base too.  I wonder would most players find them acceptable substitutes?

Ok – the game element of Warhammer this week was pretty mixed – managed to get two games in, despite expecting none at all, but really it was my first encounter with a negative player.  Again, I won’t name my opponent as it would be unfair to publicly denounce him in a forum where he cannot defend or represent himself – but he was beyond competitive and made the experience something I’d really rather not repeat.  His annoyance was immediately obvious as I fielded Wurrzag as my general, not realising that some players prefer not to play characters.  I offered to revise my list and just use a shaman, but he insisted on playing on, and he fielded a character of his own – Throt – to lead his Skaven against my Orcs.  I liked the look of this army, and like the greenskins, there were a lot of models for a 2000 point game.  The problem was skill and luck.  I blundered through some pretty great dice and successfully got off Foot of Gork and a double reroll bang into Throt’s unit, and playing on a smaller than standard board, was able to charge my thirty odd-strong Black Orc Horde on my turn…right into Throt’s unit…and it made mincemeat of them, killing his general outright in the process.  The poor guy didn’t get a chance to reform before I was able to Hand of Gork the Black Orc unit into the rear of his Night Runners and forced them to flee into Wurrzag’s Savage regiment.

This isn’t to say I was a master tactician at all – I got lucky and he had made some small mistakes in committing his units within an easy charge range twice.  I lost my Arachnarok, all of my Spider Riders and my Boar Chariot along one flank through some pesky gutter-runners and a Warp-Lightning Cannon that eventually turned on its own men.  He was making a serious dent up until the Hand of Gork allowed a sequence of hard-hitting that won it out.  Now, you may be reading this thinking that it was a great victory, but it was far from a washout, and it was not at all satisfactory in the way my opponent hopped on every dice roll or kept questioning the fairness of the Orc army rules-especially the big spider which really didn’t do a blessed thing in battle.  I felt the need to concede every possible revision in order to maintain peace along with a modicum of restraint when my opponent delighted and capitulated in the success of his own units.  I swear; this guy had to be an arachnophobe conquering his phobia with the smug comments he proclaimed at the death of the Forest Riders and Arachnarok itself!  It drew the attention of the gamers waiting to take the board after us.  His confrontational attitude and arrogance in victory was pretty unbearable, and I had to wonder how magnanimous he would have been had he won the thing outright – there were some dice rolls that I was willing to lose just for an easier game.  Funny how my more regular luck deserted me in the face of such odds!

I finished the game and shook his hand, which in fairness he received without issue, but all throughout the tidy-up reminded me of my lucky magic rolls (it was really his unlucky poor dispelling pool that let him down – he couldn’t stop but one of the Big Waaghs going off).  I was pretty peeved with the entire affair, and it left me with a dull feeling, that I have had enough of this game for a little bit.  I had arranged for a second game the next day, and this one I lost.  It was a Night Goblin themed army and my opponent properly took care of business.  I got pasted, but enjoyed that game much more for the loss than the previous victory.  I am still in two minds about gaming again soon, even though I understand that logically there are always some people that take things a little too seriously.  I genuinely hope that this guy was one of the exceptions rather than the rule itself.

A strange thing…can I…should I game? PLUS – my very first Finecast model!

Last week, while recovering from a severe bout of vertigo, I discovered that I couldn’t watch TV, game or even read for more than minutes at a time, and for the record, it was rarely worth the price of admission – but as the virus began to fade, I began to paint a bit more – and it was someting of an eye-opener for me as I began to sift through the models I had previously forgotten about.

As a painter first and foremost, and I make no bones about being Johnny Average here, I would rarely paint a full unit.  I was drawn to the rare and special sections from many armies at a time, but never collected with an eye to building an army – after all I didn’t play Warhammer or know many who did.  I’d paint some of the warriors/soldiers in a pack and get distracted by the big gribblys and seldom found my way back except in times like these – times where you are forced to sit down and got through what you have to find something you want to have a run at. What I found, as I sifted through the storage units I kept my bitz and finished items in, was Goblins, and a few Orcs…and here’s a partly assembled Giant…and the trolls I only painted one of…I began to wonder – do I have an army here?  I had no idea how to play Warhammer, just a general idea, but here, unbeknownst to myself, I’d managed to collect more O&G than any other type…true they were in shambles & needed a lick of more than primer, but they were a start.  I began to think I should learn this game.

When mobile again, I called around to GW and Gamer’s World in Dublin and showed them my roster, asking if it was a force or not.  What I was told, gently enough, was that it was a great battleforce, but shy on core units.  I’d been collecting a*s-backwards for appearence, and not for strategy.  I didn’t have the core infantry strength to table more than 750 points legally, and didn’t have a shaman of note, so picked up the army book, Wurrzag and a Rock Lobba for good measure.  I made arrangements fora tutorial game this week, and have been working hard to prepare the units I have with the some level of complete finish, although I am sure to embarass myself with play, I want to at least look the part of a ready gamer.

I realise I still need a way to transport my troops to Dublin, but seeing as they are a small force, this is not a big deal, but will definitely need to get something to carry them as I get through their paint jobs (Any suggestions for affordable carry cases are very welcome!).  I could also benefit from some tactical advice too from anyone who plays Orcs and Goblins – what units I should aquire or field in a game.  Maybe I’m approaching this too simplistically, but I really do want to give this a real shot.

This week, I completed both the Lobber and Wurrzag (Sort of).  I was first very upset upon opening the box to discover the incredible warping of the pieces – especially the base part.  I was ripe with rage until I figured I’d give the ole hairdryer method a whirl for ten seconds, and the plastic drooped like a noodle.  I carefully teased the part into shape using the other fitted parts and it worked a treat in seconds.  My advise to anyone first purchasing Finecast is to open it in the shop to be sure of your bitz.  Mine was ok, but needed some delicate DIY to manipulate into place.  The detail is what makes the cost of this one piece a real delight. I would have enjoyed painting this in parts, but the repair made it impossible.

I primed with Chaos Black, and mixed up some Bestial Brown and Scorched Earth in a 1:1 for half the timber, Scorched Brown and Bestial Brown pure in places sparingly, and some Vomit Brown and Tausept Ochre 2:1 mix for the end pieces of the cut timber.  This was all lightly doused with Ogryn Flesh, as I thought Devlan Mud would darken all of the tones too much like Scorched Brown entirely.

The Metal was a simply Boltgun washed with Badb Black and a few spots of Tin Bitz to break up the metallic overkill.

Ropes were Tausept Ochre layered with Desert Yellow.

The stone I threw together with my go-to formula for rockwork – any gray followed by a liberal drybrush of Dheneb Stone.

The crew and bully were typical O&G fare.  I like to serperate the breeds of O&G with skin tones.  Gretchins get Camo Green over a foundation of Knarloc, Goblins get based with Knarloc but get a layer of Goblin Green, and Orcs I usally shade heavier with an Orchide or Knarloc base followed by Dark Angel’s green.  This time, I acutally went with a mix of Dark-Angels and Goblin Green for the Bully, as the model was dark enough as it was.  I gave the hood some Shadow Gray and a light wash of Badb black, the rest of the models aren’t really that eventful, and I still have to properly finish one crew member toting ammo.

I have Wurrzag to do tonight – will post pics on Friday of both the Rock Lobber and shaman then too – plus my first ever battle report (if it is worth posting only!  I expect a battering!).  Wish me luck in the game tomorrow and take care all!

Imperium Terrain

This was an impulse purchase – I am lucky to have a nearby hobby shop that is finished with GW, and as such is getting rid of a lot of their stock cheaply (It does mean that my nearest GW/Miniature shop is approx. 50 miles away now, though!) – Anyway, I’ve picked up some of their Fantasy and 40K clobber at a steal, and fully intend to showcase here later!  Unfortunately, they are older models, so there will be nothing revelatory or “I was the first ever to cover this model” stuff, in fairness, this was never what the site was about – but I thought it’d be fun to run through some of these pieces.

This was my first peice of terrain for 40K – Honoured Imperium.  I liked the statue immediately – was easy to assemble and looked well when it overshadows the smaller miniatures.  I’d imagine that as a piece of gaming terrain it is pretty useless though.

The stages for this one were simple.  I toyed around with the concept of a stone-effect statue, but decided that my Fantasy terrain was replete with Fortress-Styles and bare hills, so thought I would try to replicate something that I did with Dreadstone Blight (Will post pics later) a year ago.  The plaques and wall-art of Dreadstone Blight I picked out in a tarnished brass effect.  I have always liked the verdigris on the Skaven metals, and this was a logical inclusion to any colour scheme where bright metal was exposed to external atmosphere.  I thought this would be a nice – if predictable and speedy way to kick out this piece in jig time.

So – the stages:

  • Primed with Chaos Black.  Don’t use black as a prime coat often, but for 40K, as I start painting them, it seems more appropriate for the inkier tones than Fantasy, LOTR or Dreadfleet.
  • The Pedastal base was my go-to formula for sontework – Chardon Granite with a medium-heavy drybrush of Dheneb Stone.  Some might want to add Rotting Flesh in a mix with the Dheneb Stone (1:1ish), but I like the even coat that foundations like Dheneb Stone give cut surfaces.  If it were rocks, I’d approach it differently.
  • The basecoat was Tin Bitz and Vermin Brown mixed to about 2:1.  I hate when bases are metals, so always try to include a neater colour.
  • I added some liquid Green Stuff to the head and leg seams to reduce the obvious split, but then had a ‘good’ idea to use it sparingly to smudge up one side of the model to account for atmospheric wear.  I decided to go against making battle-damage effects to the piece, as one type of degradation would suffice.  What have I learned?  Liquid Green Stuff has limited applications, and is best suited to hairline gaps – I really had to plough on the stuff to make a difference in the cloak piece and leg seams, and even then it may not have been worth the errand.  You be the judge!

  • Wetbrushed with Shining Gold.  Heavy enough dose to cover all of the basecoat except the interior shade pieces.
  • Drybrushed sparingly with Burnished Gold.  This is a metallic that I hate more than the rest, and is only useful for putting on top of Singing Gold.  Even then, I would shake it to the last the get the correct pigment evenly dispersed as I find it really wants to settle quite fast. I used this coat on flats and top showing parts of the model mainly, and the old maxim that less is more rang true,
  • This penultimate step was the verdigris.  I used Hawk Turquoise as a cheat, really watered down.  The first time I tried this, I was mixing all kinds of dwarf bronze and scally green to get a proper copper-sulphately looking mixture, but really Hawk Turquoise will fit the bill and is far less messy!  I applied it to logical weathered areas, and again, sparingly.  The instinct is to layer it on, but isolated drybrush strokes do the job better.
  • Finally, a slight highlight to the odd sharp edge of Chainmail or something like Mythril Silver if desired finish off the piece well.

The finish has to be touched up in spots – I overdabbed the Burnished Gold over the shield, and the banner on the shield needs to be inked with a name, but as I’m new to 40K, I don’t know who it should or might be yet! Overall though, I was pleased enough with the final draft.  It was a pretty easy piece to do up quickly, but I enjoyed the extended break from the Dreadfleet!  I may yet go longer!  I fit this one in amidst models from Dark Reach boxset and it was a welcome break during that run –  I have the other two pieces of terrain that came with the Honoured Imperium to complete yet, and they will be similarly used as link-breaks.

The model colour scheme may not be everyone’s cup of joe, but I think that the effect is strikingly different from game models while being suitable for the 40k universe.  I’d be interested to know what anyone else might think or suggest otherwise!

Good for a break – Lord of the Rings revisited

I thought that my painting of the Dreadfllet series was becoming that mid-army lull where you get awfully tired and let more mistakes to pass uncorrected, or “forget” to attend that touch up you thought you needed but couldn’t be bothered to follow up on.  To give me some respite and keep me interested, I decided to put together group of figures for the War of the Ring – specifically the Riders of Rohan cavalry units.

I love the War of the Ring models, even if the figures are a small bit less detailed than the Fantasy Battle figures – I like that GW took on the series and worked to build up another universe besides their flagship duo.  I think that anyone could have produced this series, but only GW could do so in the quanity and cost they have managed, and dare I say it, more reasonably than their other product lines.  I realise only after saying this that the recent Finecast models are quite a bit more expensive, but I refer to the base army units.  They’re a joy to paint passably, and fast to the table to boot.

As I set up this blog initially as a repository for Dreadfleet as a niche interest, I don’t plan on detailing how these were painted – even the ultra-impressive bases!  They really are GW cookie-cutter with the exception of the horses at any rate, so my best advice for anyone who wanted to emulate my pretty average paint jobs to follow their guidelines too.  The bases I rarely dress up more than this as I am not a big believer in such detailing for game purposes, but maybe later I’ll revisit – even by my standards they need a better flocking.

I need to apologise for the poor lighting too, as this is on the game table in the shed, which has rather poor lighting. This probably does the models a favour, really! There will need to be a few touchups later, especially around the faces – but that is something I don’t mind because when the mood strikes, it is nice not to have to prep an entire model from scratch and enjoy the finer touches to complete.

To be very honest, it is the horses that presented the most challenge and enjoyment – I’ve painted a few of the Warriors of Rohan in the past, and as with all base units, it can be a bit repetitive.  There were two different types of model here, so had time to experiment, correct  then perfect in each case.  For “perfect”, read “improve or make slightly less gaudy mistakes”! The colour patterns I used from…well seeing real life horses as opposed to anything from suggestion or prescribed formula, so that may account for some cartoonish effort, but I’m personally quite satisfied with them.

So there it is, Riders done in a fast forward.  I’ve been working on an Ent too, so will post that in the coming week, but for the moment, I wonder if thse would pass muster?  I have wondered whether or not to gloss varnish game pieces like these.  I will need to experiment with some more LOTR pieces, but to be fair, I’m not really sure I like the shine on the finish, no matter how protected they are when finished – does Purity Seal have a similar effect?  I’d appreciate advice from anybody in the know!  Even as I type this up, I’m not sure if many people still play the LOTR Strategy Battles anymore – probably about as many as play Dreadfleet really!  Ok – take it easy all and will post again soon!