Painting this week…Wurrzag and Rock Lobber

So, as promised, although a day late in the posting – My pics of the new Finecase Rock Lobber and my Wurrzag WIP!

The Lobber was pretty easy, but as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, it was the Finecast that was both a strength and a weakness.  The plastic needed major cleaning, especially the thinner pieces and character models.  Also, the model was warped out of packet, and needed the 15 seconds of High-Power hairdryer to manipulate into shape again.  The benefit was this entire piece has incredible detail that more than compensates when the other issues can be fixed.  I am  not deterred from purchasing Finecast into the future, but this is not a green light for GW to rack up the prices unfairly!

Rather than go through the colour choices, I’ll say this much for the lobber.  As a model, it is really nice, but as a unit in strategic gameplay,I’ve used it once and have not been over-awed.  I think I may need to invest in either a Doom Diver or a Snotling Pump Wagon (Advice welcomed!) down the road for a competitive replacement.

Wurrzag is a great model.  This is metal, and I layered the bejeebus out of it to the point that I was afraid I’d lose some detail, but am pretty happy with this work in progress overall.

As you might see, I’ve started to apply the base for some tattoos, and there is a bit left to do with stitching and rope pieces, along with a touch up on the weapon and staff, but this was a fun model to paint, and I’m now going to start looking for Wurrzag on Boar, because he will be just the tonic after painting a few Savage Orcs and Boyz!  A little treat at the end of the tunnel!  As for the next project-have a BSB to assemble and dress up, and have been making a new lazy susan for the new paint range.  My old paints occupy every available nook and an unsued toolbox, but this should solve the storage problem before it grows bigger!  I’ll post later on progress!

Take it easy all!



My very first game of Warhammer (with Battle Report)


So my very first Warhammer game proper…well, a tutorial game in GW Dublin at any rate.  My opponent was mercifully kind and a great teacher of the game – and, well I loved it!

I know it was a cheap victory, and not really a legal game, as I was pushing for to try out all types of units – Giant, Rock Lobber etc., and had more Special than Core units on the table, but my Orcs and Goblin force destroyed his Empire pretty easily.  He wasn’t playing very tactically except as his units dwindled, and it wouldn’t be fair to post a formal battle report for move by move, and I’ll leave my esteemed opponent unnamed as I didn’t ask him for permission to use his in this blog – but I’ll try to do some justice to the event proper.

My opponent fielded his Empire in a horde of Halberdiers, 5 Mounted Pistoliers, a Great Cannon, a unit of Greatswords and a unit of Archers.  I threw together an overkill of 20 Black Orcs, 14 Boyz, 20 Goblins, Lobber, Giant and two units of Spider Riders at 4 per unit.  We both had a bog-standard general and a level 2 wizard.  Please don’t do the math!  The table had just two pieces of terrain – a noxious forest and a hill.

After deploying, he took the first move and pushed his cav to the east flank and sent his horde dead centre.  I pushed a unit of spider riders to each flank and sent the black orcs hurtling at the halberdiers.  The Lobber took the highground and the goblins stayed in the rear with the shaman.  I attached the black orc general to the boyz and sent them to meet the Cav.  In the west, the greatswords and archers went to meet the giant and my other unit of spider riders.  Shots wise, he took out some of my black orcs with his cannon, but all archers missed.  His magic reduced the speed of the giant on my turn, but those western spiders made it into the forest and I sat them still.  In the mean time, both the eastern boyz and spider riders successfully charged the mounted pistoliers.  The Black Orcs made more headway towards the halberdiers, but no charging was attempted.  The Golbins stayed right behind the giant as he hobbled towards the greatswords and halberdiers.  I wanted to get him in sooner, but my opponents attention needed something, and those Black Orcs were the distraction.  My magic saw the foot of Gork connect and squish some halberdiers – the biggest unit as target was just as well.  I connected with Foot of Gork three times in the game, doing untold damage, but always well-missing the intended target!  Shooting the lobber was successful, but the result was a miss.  The combat resulted in my spider riders in the woods taking only a few archers out, but in the east the combined charge of the boyz and spider poison resulted in completely destroying four of the five pistoliers, and catching the final one in pursuit of him fleeing.

Skipping through the highlights of the remaining two turns – I discovered the need to get Orcs into the fray asap, as his cannon was obnoxiously good, and the first loss of cavalry made him more competitive as a player and teacher – he really took me to school with his shooting on my boyz mob.  My giant was peppered with shots down to a single wound that made me think about what a liability this guy can potentially be!  My own comeback was the awesomeness of the spider riders bows and poison to route his archers and dent the great swords from the flank – too busy with the black orcs to match the cav speeding down the side of the board.

The foot of Gork hit the halberdiers enough to thin some ranks out, and when it became even numbers with my remaining black orcs, it was downhill for him from there.  What I was very impressed with was his use of the greatswords to rip through the giant, goblins and still take out the remaining spiders on that flank before the numbers game beat them.  Great manouvering and tactics on his part to keep the game moving and forcing my decision to either head west, or take out the cannon.  I decided to take the blasted cannon, as it was hitting everything it wanted to and panicing my riders no end, after a rally, my remaining spider riders unit took them while the boyz charged the flank of halberdiers.  My Rock Lobber wasn’ in the game at all, and the Giant only got one turn on the halberdiers to take out a grand total of one on attack and one on Thunderstomp before biting the dust on two black orcs.  At the end of turn three, my opponent called it as lost, and we shook hands on a great training game.


What I took from this game: Very simply, he let me win and I threw some very lucky rolls to avoid animosity and hit Gork as often and successfully as I did.  Orcs have to join the battle as fast as possible, and tactics are set in motion early and committed to sooner, as Orcs are tough to change on the fly.  The worst rolls I had was in attempting to adjust.  I also learned that I love my spider riders much more than I thought I would, but need the beef to draw attention from them in order to make them effective.  I really, really like this game, and I don’t mind saying that I’m surprised by that statement.  I went into the game itself with some misgiving, but loved the atmosphere, the strategy, the planning to execution of the battles and the sheer tongue in cheek attitude of my lil O&G force!  The staff in Dublin GW were absolutely fantastic.  I have just ordered the Warboss on Gigantic Spider to pick up next week and will play my second game there then too.  I met some pretty cool players there, and saw some armies that put mine to shame, and that is not simply being self-effacing.  It highlighted that this blog of painting progress really is just for me, as real painters are well beyond my ability or advise!  Units behaved as I had hoped with the exception that both rare units are limited – I was thoroughly impressed with Waaagh! magic, and that may decide what to put on my Arachnarok for the next game.


So that’s it!  A day late in posting, but a really, really great time – I think I may be bitten here, so hope to find some players in Ireland, specifically the south-east for a local game, as Dublin is a schlep every week.  I can see what the fuss is about, and am already trying to figure my next steps to create a decent list for a competitive game-any and all advice welcome!

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!

A long unwanted break! Back in action with LOTR

So I was sick for the past fortnight, and as a result of some undesired acute vertigo could not watch TV or read, much less paint models!  So over the past couple of days I’ve pushed the boat out with a few models from different ranges – here is a few pics of an Ent from the Lord of the Rings series.  This was a tricky assembly, but I have to say I love this model.  The painting was very much a case of less is more, and I kept the finish to a mute understatement so that it looked as close to my old GW forest terrain.  The choice of weapon I went with was the single rock, and the pose I wanted was something reminiscent of the classic bigfoot footage!

What have I learned?  I used an old twig as my touchstone for colour here, and beyond doubt Graveyard earth is more useful here than any other brown.  I would just mess about with darkening and lightening Graveyard Earth and maybe mix in more Vomit Brown than any of the darker or more striking tones.  It just hits the balance as “real” timber more.

Below is a base I’m working on for this model – just inking the dead log up a nooch, as I want the draw to be the difference between scenery and Ent.  I love sparse bases – most of my own are little more than sand and flocking, if that, but this is a really nice model and I want the entire display to represent that.  I’d love to see an army of these guys – I could go for splitting the differences between foliage and timbers.  With a bit of crude modding, you could easily break heights and really make the forest come alive!  GW probably think so too, as the retail on these things make them prohibitive for larger collections.  I’ll make do with my one for now!  Let me know what you think, as I think this series (LOTR), as much as this model can be divisive – never mind my paint job, but is this a good model or not?  I like GW’s effort to make it close to the films and to trees as this character gets without it just being “scenery”, but I’d love your thoughts!  Take it easy and the next post will be up sooner than this one took!  Have a few to get through this week!


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!

Pirate Alliance: Flaming Scimitar

Ok, so this one is even more involved than I first suspected!  It is a really nice piece – tough to assemble quickly, but worth it for the detail!  It takes less time on the more dynamic aspects, but the majority of my time was taken on the hull and of course – the feckin’ sails!  As of this post, the sails are incomplete, and I am making a promise to myself to revisit later, but felt that this post was late enough without perfecting the one element that I really am finding great difficulty with when painting this set – so here goes!

  • I painted the model entirely in all the constituent pieces.  The water base was done as usual along GW guidelines – listed on the terrain section of this site, but while doing this, don’t forget the water spirits/elementals supporting the ship’s hull too.
  • Primed all parts in Skull White.
  • The hull was Liche Purple, while the deck and Masts were based in Calthan Brown.I washed the hull with Leviathan Purple before a smaller highlight of the same Liche Purple.
  • All gold areas – and this is painter’s choice I based with Scorched Brown.  I originally tried a Skull White – especially on the Hull detail – but the difference was too stark, and close to the whiteheads in the water so I decided to go with the gold.  Once the Scorched Brown was dry, I went over it all with Shining Gold.  This is a bit more time-consuming than you might imagine too, so I advise patience, coffee and a fine detail brush!  The dome to the rear and the statue to the front of the model were both fitted with the same gold finish, but I went with Dwarf Bronze for the sword of the statue, which I think worked out quite well with the brown undercoat toning the shine down slightly.
  • The Deck was next washed in Devlan Mud, and later highlighted with a 1:1 mix of Scorched Brown and Calthan Brown.  I coated the cannon in Boltgun Metal with a Chainmail silver highlight.
  • The Air djinn I based in Astronomicon Grey before washing in avery watery Shadow Grey,  Following plenty of time to dry, I decided to follow up with a mix of Bleached Bone and Deneb Stone (1:1) again for light dry brushing.  After this I tipped the extreme highlights with Skull White.  This was a good finish, the picture below does it no justice!
  • The Fire Efreet I based in Solar Orange – but Blazing Orange would do the trick too for a more vibrant under-colour.  I followed this up with a Desert Yellow light drybrush, then a wash of Baal Red before a drybrush with some a more yellowy yellow – Sunburst was the one I went with, I think, making sure to get the tips of the dual blades too.  Again, as with the air dude, went with Skull White for the extreme highlighting, but was more sparing with the fire spirit as the bright yellow would be too toned back including the white.  My best advise when doing both the spirits was to remember to get the tower at the rear of the ship too, as the air djinn cicles the building, and the fire guy spills out from his window too.  I didn’t remember and had to do some minor backtracking, but as always, better to get it all in when going at it first – gives the rest a chance to dry between coats too.
  • The Sails in this set…anyway –  as seen in the above poorly lit pic, they are only based, but I’ll tell you how I got this far at least.  Undercoat in Bleached Bone, followed by a second layer of Bleached Bone and Desert Yellow mix – 1:1.  GW prescibed Bubonic Brown in the mix instead of the Desert Yellow, but I found this too dark.  The swords on the sails I gave a light coat of Tin Bitz and Scorched Brown mix 1:1ish should do it.  The Flames were picked out in Sunburst Yellow – if the tone is too close to the sail, then throw in some Bad Moon for the luminesence.  I touched it up with some Blazing Orange.  The water effect was just Icy Blue with  Skull White on the highlighting – the air was Astonomicon Grey with yet more Skull White extreme highlighting.  I still need to go back to the sails, and I really wanted to make a better go of the main areas with  a larger flat brush for better cover without overworking the layers – but nearly there!

Final thoughts on this model  to date – I like it for the detail, and raw character that exudes from the ship.  The masts are a tight fit to the deck, but other than that, it goes together well after painting without rubbing thre finish at all.  I put completing  this model off a few times this week as I have just started a few Lord of the Rings cavalry models as a break, and I may give the Dreadfleet to the back-burner for a little bit longer.  I feel my interest waning, and don’t want the remaining paint jobs to suffer for that.  I’ll post my LotR bits soon, and I’ve recently found a reduced to clear Assault on Black Reach – my first 40K set ever, so might just run at that too before returning to the high seas.

Dreadfleet: Curse of Zandri

Now this one was positively straightforward, but definitely my least favourite piece so far.  In my on-going effort to avoid revisiting the Swordfysh or finish touching up other models, I figured why not do this one!  I thought I could paint it as a solid unit, but the area behind the pyramid is precarious without pulling the deck out first, and the area is open and visible enough that you do need to get some level of detail in there.

Ok, so to the stages –

  • Primed with Skull White
  • Water base is as GW guidelines – exception was of course for the floating bones.  I based them in Bleached Bone before adding Asurman Blue wash to pick out the detail between the ribs etc.  I then drybrushed with another layer of Bleached Bone when thoroughly dry to take the blue off the bones.  I was pretty happy with the result, but it wasn’t rocket science so there was no victory laps of the room (The what? you say, but trust me, it did happen later with the one thing I found…trying in this model!)
  • Ok – the Hull was Calthan Brown based before adding some Gravveyard Earth wetbrush.  When dry, I added some Gryphonne Sepia Wash followed by a final and subtle Dheneb Stone drybrush to pick out the wickerwork effect.  If feeling the laze on this one, just check on what needs detail as the oars obscure some of this section.
  • The Hull proper was simple Chaos Black based, followed by either 2 layers of Shining Gold or a layer of Tin Bitz or even Dwarf Bronze followed by the Shining Gold on the raised detail and sculpt.  Took my time with this, but worked out well.  I even used the same paints on the hull bands towards the front of the ship.  I like this colour scheme as the gold on black is pretty striking and works well for the theme of Tomb Kings.
  • The statue guys I coated in Chaos Black before giving a very light drybrush with Hawk Turquoise, then going over with a highlight with Shining Gold on the hoods. The Staffs I decided could do with something different, so the heads were Burnished Gold with some Shining Gold Highlight, with Necron Abyss on the handles.

  • The stone held in scorpion style over the ship I based in Dark Angels Green, highlighted in Snot Green and edged with Scorpion Green.  There was room for light sourcing, and I may return to attempt this, but I ran through this one pretty fast and didn’t stop to try it just yet.  The only easy thing about light sourcing that I find is that it can be done at a later time without too much touch-up.

  • The deck was based in more Calthan brown and washed in Devlan Mud to keep it simple.  The deck catapults were dressed in Tin Bitz with some Boltgun Metal highlighting.  The Pyramid was pretty basic too – just a few layers of Shining Gold with some minimal Mythril Silver highlighting in the edges and sculpt.  The problem I find with all gold metalics is that they always require multiple applications to get the “shine” effect, so knowing this the first layer is always light so that the subsequent layer(s) don’t blot out details.
  • Ok – on to the most hated part of this bad boy – the triangle strips on the hull.  This was a test to be sure – get yourself some decent and tiny detail brush.  GW don’t do a small enough brush, so I go for a Windsor and Newton size 0000, and I still think it is too big!  Sometimes I blame my tools but sometimes I blame myself!  This time, it was a toss up, but went with a yellow and blue split originally.  Immediately regretted this, as no yellow was distinct enough from the gold – I don’t think that brown would work either, and there was enough purple in the fleets already that I just went with the GW recommendation – red and blue.  This was slow progress, with a LOT of touching up, thinking I’m done and then finding another strip yet to do!  When I was finally done with this part, I did one of thiose shoulder-stretches that painting too long requires before a small dance with the dog (who wasn’t as into the celebration as I was, but was game enough not to complain)
  • Finally, I assembled the model fully before painting the final parts – the oars were Bestial Brown and Devlan Mud wash., not forgetting the pieces on the base.  The area above the oars I covered in Shadow Grey.  The reason for doing this part last was because of the assembly of the model proper scrapes the paint from these sections if done beforehand.

There, another one down, but I have just managed to get my hands on a half-price copy of Assault on Black Reach (my first 40K modela ever – never been too interested in the 40K universe, but painting is painting and new models are always more attractive than sets half done!) – the temptation to attempt something new is pretty powerful, but I’ll try to stay the course long enough to get something Dreadfleet done next week!