Mangler Squig Number 1!

This week I have just finished the first of my pair of Manglers after much layering – I went with the traditional darker orange for the first set.  I love this model, but the Finecast was a pain in the rear.  I needed a ridiculous amount of green stuff and liquid greenstuff to rebuild a degraded side – I couldn’t quit fix the right eye area of the uppermost squig, but got it to an acceptable finish.

This was an exciting model to paint, even with the imperfections of the mould.  I had played with the Squig as a loan twice, and really loved the idea, the fluff and the cost to field such a unit-even a pair of them on each flank while the core advanced in the centre.  They may never get into combat, but they could possibly run as Rare chaff and take some heat off of the mainstay of the army.  Like the Fanatics, I think the possibilities with these guys run from the hilarious to the awe-inspiring – right through to the unfortunate blow-back into friendly units.  I’ll post the final version of this guy when I get through the second pair too.  For now – here it is!

The painting was really hit and miss.  I didn’t use any kind of template, but wanted to create a darker version of the boxart sample.  The model was given a Chaos Black prime spraycoat and a 2-coat base of Jokaero Orange from the new paint range.  I gave the entire model some Fuegan Orange shade wash and began to layer up with Squig Orange. This proved too light, so messed about with combination of Agrax Earthshade (Devlan Mud) before a drybrush of Blazing Orange and final light coat of Bloodletter Glaze to raise the finish back from the darker tone of the brown wash. Ipicked out some fine highlighting of Blazing Orange on raised areas.

The eyes were Averland Sunset base with some Golden Yellow layering.  The darker areas I dound too large for simply a Nuln Oil/Badb Black wash, so used a small amount of watered down Chaos Black in conjunction with a later Nuln Oil shade wash to add some depth to the area.  In hindsight, successive layers of Nuln Oil might have been a more effective as  a subtle finish.

The teeth were based with Calthan brown, before receiving a Bleached Bone drybrushing and Skull white extreme highlighting.  The entire mouth received a Nuln Oil shade…don’t know about you guys, but am not delighted with Nuln oil or Arax Earthshade just yet.  They’ll “do”, but not near as complete as Badb or Devlan Mud.  The chain links were easily done with Boltgun Metal lightly washed in Nuln Oil.  The rope was based in Calthan Brown and highlighted in Bestial Brown – but next time might go with something lighter still-maybe even Dheneb Stone.

The Night Goblin Models were painted the same as previous Night Gobbos listed on this site – but the Chaos Black did NOT want to adhere to the resin.  It took a LOT of paint for the pigment not to want to run and pool.

Ok – so my Malifaux arrived with Azhag the Slaughterer this week…mixed results.  I had to return by mail the Azhag model as it arrived with two right legs.  It was a shame as the overall finecast model was really well moulded and fit neatly together – but the entire model needed to go back.  The Ramos Box set that I got for Malifaux is absolutely fantastic – will have a go at Ramos himself this evening if I get the chance.  I love the style and mould of the Malifaux range – but I gather that nobody in Ireland plays this game, so it may be down to me to spread the word.  I really hope not-I’m hoping there is a thriving community out there that I am unaware of ready to teach me the rules, as opposed to me having to do the hard slog of learning solo!  I like having a skirmish game that gives me a break from greenskins now and again.  They are neat models and require a bit of stretching after getting used to the Orc pallette.  Will post an update on these guys soon!

Advertisements

Book Review – World War Z – Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book! It is definitely a niche interest, but planted in the mainstream by a successful zombie-afficionado who knows how to grab commercial appeal.
The novel is a documentary style collection of incident reports from the great Zombie apocolypse. When the zombies begin to take over the world, world agencies act to curb, prevent and destroy the menace using both kind and questionable means.
What I genuinely enjoyed despite myself, was the collection of reports accumulated by the narrator as an excuse to act out the “what if?” scenarios we have all talked about over beer. What would you do in the event of a zombie plague? Would you do like documented report F did, or would you be quarantined like documented survivor 118 was – or maybe you’d capitalise on the woe like such and such a person did? This is the premise for Brook’s text. He gives you multiple accounts from varied sources on government actions and public reactions. He lets the fictional survivors tell their story, the one you thought would save your life should the unthinkable happen – and then he lets the reader have the gory details of failure time and time again.
As a schlock novel, it works really well, and is a fast read. I got through this one mighty fast, and that is a good thing as it really did drag me in despite myself! I like the clean, impressionable style of the narrator, a hint of innocence lost as the accounts begin to build up. The persona of each survivor are vivid enough that you buy into their experiences easily, and what they leave unsaid is as loud as their words. Brooks certainly knows how to handle suspense in this format, but waits until just the right time before teeing up the more emotional and terrifying histories recorded with varying degrees of passion, loss and numbed anger.
After getting through the text, a friend gave me the audiotext version of the book. I’m not a huge fan of such audiobooks on the whole, but the production values and actors hired for each persona and character was through the roof! I would easily reccomend this for people who enjoy the audio version of books, but I would caution that the delivery is less thrilling than the direct read itself. World War Z works well on both mediums, but there is a sense of something lost in the recorded delivery compared to the eerie feeling you get scanning through the transcripts of the novel directly.
I think that this is one definitely worthy of a brief read if you have just a casual interest in the world of zombie hordes and post-apocolyptic turmoil, but if you have more than a passing interest, you’d be hard put to find anyone with a better knowledge of the source material, or the ability to tell a ripping good yarn.

View all my reviews

Gaming news…nothing this week!  Due to other commitments, this and next week are not going to be gaming weeks – and maybe that is a good thing, as I have just received my first ever Forge World purchase in the post!  My lovely Fimir are going to need some TLC in the coming week or two to get ready for the table – and they are really gorgeous models!  I only hope my paint job will do them justice!  I usually go from GW blueprints or follow the fluff to get a predictable colour scheme, so these completely new and unspecific models force me to figure out what to do myself.  To boot, I’ve received my long awaited Mangler Squigs.  I played with a loan of a unit a few weeks back and was rightly impressed with their potential.  True, they’ll get shot down before they get too far, but that at least takes pressure off of my movment 4 troops – and – in the event that they make it to the enemy…I love the squigs, so help me they are so unpredictable, the really make the game interesting!  Speaking of which, today’s Forgeworld newsletter has just alerted me to the preorder of this little beaut – http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/New_Stuff/COLOSSAL_SQUIG.html – the Colossal Squig from the Monstrous Arcanum.  I’m looking forward to some day fielding this fellow for a giggle, but for now, I’ve plenty to be busy with and not a lot of funds left to worry about spending more!  Take it easy all, and talk soon!

shane

An army of spiders begins – plus third game overview

This week, I had a go at assembling and starting to paint what is no doubt a horrible gamepiece, but wonderful model – the Goblin Warboss on Gigantic Spider.  This was ordered a fortnight ago with the idea that it would lead my unfinished Arachnarok with about fifty Forest Goblin Spider Riders a core for a fast army alternative to the typical mix of hitty Orcs and Gobbo grenades.  The model was what drew my eye – as is clear from such a ridiculous army list, it isn’t a competitive force but a fun army to design and display.  I like the idea of an all-Goblin army, and even creating the fluff of such a themed force.  It is probably a laughable enterprise, but it’s fun to me! I also went with the garish bright colours of a poisonous spider – as this is one of the creature’s base skills in combat.  I toned it down from my other WIP – Arachnarok, but still went with a lively red finish.

The model was a disaster to assemble.  It is still in metal, and for such a  body weight to rest on essentially two thin leg pieces that are not directly beneath the central core, it is a real challenge to glue together and hold in place.  The assembly was complicated by poor instructions or labelling (i.e. none) and really is a two-person job ideally to glue and then hold while drying  – two legs need to be attached at a time in order to work out the central gravity that will be needed to hold the thing in place!  The very nicely detailed base piece has one place for a single leg to stand, but for anyone thinking of getting this model – be patient and PAINT THE BASE FIRST!  I didn’t, and now will be painting sideways and under the body because when the spider is finally in a position that it can (a) stay together, (b) stand on the base fully and (c) hold the pose you want for it – there is no taking any part off.  As it was, one of the front legs broke in assembly – terribly weak break joint coupled with my own desire to glue it all in one sitting – but with patience and a lot of glue – it holds.

The painting was a dream – primed in Chaos Black – then based the spider in Merchite Red, Washed in a mix of Baal Red and Leviathan Purpler (2:1) and allowed to dry fully. 

I then layered on some Scab Red before a wetbrush of Red Gore.  The Spikes on the carapace I highlighted in Blood Red, along with some edge highlighting on the legs with the same.  The tips of the legs I ran in a drybrush of Chaos Black; followed by a drybrush of Dheneb Stone and Fortress Grey mix (1:1).   I gave a final highlight to the wee spikes with some Blazing Orange, but in hindsight, would rethink a touch darker.

Eyes were first picked out i Orchide Shade, before getting a dab of Scorpion Green and a dot of Skull White.  The tissue between the leg joints I used some Tausept Ochre and washed with a light Ogryn Flesh. The mandibles were Codex Grey with a drybrush of Dhenb Stone.  For the mouth, mostly obscured, I chose a simple Chaos Black.

The seat and Warboss were primed with same Chaod Black, and the Forest Goblin was given a typical (for me) Foresty Goblin bright shading.  I based in Knarloc Green, then layered in Goblin Green with a wetbrush of Snot green and a highlight of thin Scorpion Green on raised points.  The mask and assorted bones were solid Bleached Bone washed in Devlan Mud, while the the clothing got a mix of Dheneb Stone and Snakebite Leather (2:1) – again, heavily washed in Devlan Mud.  The staff was Scorched Brown tipped with a spearhead of Warlock Purple, drybrushed with Codex Grey.

The seat was primarily Bestial Brown, with plenty of Fortress Grey drybrush webbing.  The ends of the cut logs were desert yellow and washed with Badb Black – Devlan would work just as well.  Feathers were painter’s choice – for these dinky guys I go with wild and varied.  I used some old Tentacle Pink and Hawk Turquoise – alog with plenty of variations on yellow and blue to compliment my other themed Spider Riders that I’m still building.

It is still a work in progress, but it is getting there!  I really like it, and it looks pretty good on a board flanked by two fast cav spider riders and running the vanguard of an arachnarok Spider Shrine!

But can it play?  I used it in my third ever game this week, and it had varied results.  This game was against Lizardmen, and a very worthy opponent who was not out to teach me, but to play competitively with a seasoned army.  He was an absolute gent, and I learned a lot from him – I had to admire his patience with me stalling to look at the army book for the zillionth time as he tore me apart methodically!  He easily won the game, and my own boyz just didn’t get into the close combat soon enough before my Boar Chariot, Goblin Spearmen and Spider Riders bought it against sneaky Skinks and Salamanders.  My Warboss fled the battle on the third turn – his MVP Stegadon was running riot on my left flank.  Before he went, the Warboss managed to take down a tower of Skinks, and one wound on the Stegadon, but ultimately not enough to prevent a rattling that saw me run 11″ on the 8″ side of play.  My esteemed oponement easily knocked me for six, and I left feeling pretty low – but also good too.  I had learned about a new enemy – Lizardmen who worked with a practiced general to wear down from afar while rolling through the weaker units to turn the game away from the natural orc tactic.  I also realise I need to horde up mighty quick and paint some more Boyz and Black Orcs to be any real threat in the centre.  I’m still painting some Night Goblins on the side that I want to finish first, but if I want to not stink so badly in real games – there really is only one way to go!

This was my first real game without stabalisers – and I really do love it.  It wouldn’t be unfair or defensive to say I had spectacular poor luck with the dice in the last game – but with no excuses, I was making mistakes and unwise decisions all over the battlefield.  If I saw a single weakness that needs an answer fast, it’d be in the Shooting Stage.  I gots nothing for this.  Whatever about poor rolls, without something in the shooting phase, magic and combat don’t count for much.  If anyone has any idea what an Orc and Goblin army or player might do to improve this – please let me know!  I could use the help!  Anyway – am engaged to a doubles game next week, where at least the odds rise in my favour a little!  It will be my own army, but I’ll have an Empire Player coaching some plays too – so should prove interesting!

Painty Lazy Susan and my second ever Warhammer game

Ok – this last week I’ve been working on a couple of things – first and foremost, and in honour of the new Citadel paint range, I wanted to future-proof my painting area while tidying it up a nooch.  I’ve long been trying to find a better way to display my paints, which are largely the citadel range, and my trusty ole toolbox had pretty much run its course as a hold all when I discovered the renaming and new paints about to flood the market.  I decided it was time to actually put something worthwhile together, and came to the conclusion that a carousel would be the best way to store and access by type.

To that end, I knocked together this lazy susan idea in MDF.  I’m a teacher, so the woodwork room always has some scrap timber lying about, and this wasn’t a major project, more an idea with little time required to complete in a few lunch breaks.  It was never meant for aesthetic appeal, and really only as an experiment to see if it did work, but I’m happy to report I’m mighty happy with it as of now!  I won’t patronise readers by going through dimensions and specs, as I’m sure anyone worth their salt could easily improve on this rudimentary design, but here’s a few pics to show the process in simple format.

The first step was marking out, then drilling the width of the average Citadel container.  I then made a rough cut with the bandsaw to make it round, before sanding to get a more rounded shape.  I have no problem admiting that it is not perfectly round, but close enough that a man on a galloping horse couldn’t see the difference.

The base I’ve shaped differently, as I intend to make a small area to hold a waterpot, brush stand and maybe a tissue/paper towel holder on one end.  That will have to wait til later, as I was getting impatient to post something this week, and really this has been the sum of my week’s effort on the hobby.  The method for turning the lazy susan was not my inspiration.  I got this from YouTube, and I wish I could remember the DIY Gamer/Painter to give him credit – it is a small channel cut into the base with the ring bearing from a microwave set into the groove.  Another channel is dug into the base of the first shelf and it turns perfectly.

The struts/supports for the unit I just made at rough height so that my hand could reach to the back paints, and set them in varying directions to better hold the weight and integrity of the overall unit.

And here is the finished product – not pretty, but perfect function over form – suits me to the ground, but I know that it can be made better.  I’ve included enough holding for about 150 pots, but really I can’t see ever getting that many paints at once, so hopefully it is future-proofed for a little bit!

I also had my second game of Warhammer this week-different opponent/teacher and very different army (it was my ramshackle Orcs and Gobbos vs. Ogres).  I was taught a lesson in more ways than one.

As a beginner, I fully expected an easy intro, kind of like the first game; but this was a true baptism by fire!  We had agreed to focus on the magic phase of this game before play, as it was a part I had difficulty in realising in the first one.  I had therefore loaded up on the shiny stuff and had a Gobin Great Shaman on Spidershrine, two level 2 Goblin Shamen, and a savage Orc Shaman to boot.  I was well prepared with potential for spells and pooling, but man oh man did the dice treat me poor for these phases!  Such raw potential reduced to pewtering and spluttering misfire!

I won’t break down a battle report proper here – I don’t think anyone is really interested at any rate, but as my second ever tutorial effort, I had a really good time, and it was a fun loss. In fact, we were pushed for time so we never really finished the game, but I saw which way the wind was blowing, and Ogres are tough hombres.  It took too much concentrated reserves to take out his wonderful Thundertusk model, which inevitably allowed his Bulls to charge my Black Orcs, and his Mournfang Cav to engage with my Boyz.  I was getting pulverised with head-on tactics, so learned very quickly to set up a charge-chain to draw them into a position with some waek Goblin units that I could flank them with my boarboyz and warboss on boar.  This made a serious dent, but the dust was just about to settle on my other poor decisions about the board.  A good teacher and a stern lesson was had here.

What I learned from this game: Wolf Riders are not that great, spiders remain awesome when they’re the charging party, Ogres cannot be allowed to charge EVER, and magic cannot be banked upon, no matter how great the odds are raised.  I need to come up with some sort of masterplan for my army – namely a good list with what I have, or what I might need to get.  Anyhelp with this would be very welcome!  I had a chance to play with a loan of a Mangler Squig which was great fun, if unpredictable.  It ruined my opponent’s cannon before it could fire, and decimated the bulls on the random way back into play-that might be a future purchase, when I can reach on it.  Overall, I was a happy loser, but now need to put some serious ink to paper to find an answer to ogres, if not all armies!

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!