Friday, 30 August 2013
The good thing is that I can now cross another item off my 2013 painted list - it's over on the left of the screen if you have never noticed it before. I find keeping a list like this quite a decent motivational technique. I add an item to the list when it's prepped and primed, then cross it off when it's fully finished and photographed. In theory, the shame of having several half-finished items on the list forces me to complete them. And it works too, I hate seeing something lingering on the list for too long. I have got steadily better in the past three years at finishing half-painted items.
Monday, 26 August 2013
The bats are the Riesenfledarmaus set from masq-mini. As I mentioned in my last post, I reckon these are the best models for fell bats currently available. They are pretty accurate to life sculpts of real vampire bats, they even have the little fingers on the wings to help them cling to their prey. The poses are superb, one soaring through the sky, one coming in to land and one crawling along the ground, covering the last few yards to it's prey.
The quality of the casting was very good, there was a slight miscast on the wing of the left model, which I scraped away and then repaired with a little green stuff. There was no flash at all and almost zero mold lines, something pretty unusual on metal models. The fit of the components was very good too, there was a small gap to fill on the join between wing and body on the landing pose. All other joins were good, I have given them a coat of liquid green stuff just to be on the safe side.
Mad Puppet miniatures. Again, it's a lovely sculpt with accurate anatomical details. The quality of the casting was not quite as good as the bats - there was a good amount of flash on the sword and hand. Luckily, this is a fairly old school metal cast, in that it was quite soft and easy to scrape away with my craft knife. Mold lines were visible but very fine and easy to remove. I decided to add the flying bats at this stage, this might make painting a little more difficult but I cannot imagine how I would have painted such small bits separately. Again, it was not really necessary but I gave a few areas a wash of liquid green stuff to cover any joins and flaws.
Friday, 23 August 2013
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
The colour scheme is from the province of Ostermark, which is purple and white or yellow. I went for more of a burgundy shade with an off-white contrast, not being a massive fan of purple or yellow. Most of the painting is purely a base coat and a wash, though some areas got extra shading and/or highlighting. The idea was to get them completed quickly, Empire armies can be big on numbers so a quick and effective technique is paramount.
Having put this unit together as a tester for a possible Empire type force, I am unsure of the future. I like the colour scheme and the models are nice enough. I have more gunners I could paint, enough for another two units of this size. There's about 20 militia I painted a few years ago that I could rebase in this way, trebling the number of painted troops at a stroke. I also have some unpainted Perry plastics I could employ as halberdiers. Only time will tell if they can draw me away from my other projects.
Sunday, 18 August 2013
A few weeks ago I went round to Matt's for a game of Napoleonics, the first time I have ever played the period. We were using some of his old 1/72 (20mm) figures, the sort you used to see in Airfix boxes when you were a nipper. They were some of the first toy soldiers he collected, in fact he recently found the old boxes stashed away somewhere and has now framed them and hung them in his gaming room - one of them he bought from Woolworths for the grand sum of 22p. There's a little bit of geek history attached to them.
The game was really enjoyable and I spent some time afterwards pondering why I don't have any 1/72 in my collection. After a most interesting few hours trawling the web, I discovered that things have certainly moved on since the days of Airfix 22p boxes. There are so many more manufacturers now, selling figures from pretty much any age you can think of. I started to dream of building armies at low cost to game in the periods I have never dared to consider before, ancients in particular. If you want to learn more about 1/72, then Plastic Soldier Review is your starting point. The sculpts vary in quality of course, though you can say that of all of the standard (i.e. 25mm/28mm) historical ranges - I have been tearing my hair out trying to find semi-decent viking figures, but that's another story.
on sale on the Osprey site, an absolute steal at just £11 plus postage. I have only had a preliminary flick through, I have it lined up as one of the things to do in the long, cold winter evenings - no point in rushing these things, Rome wasn't built in a day (sorry, could not resist that one).
Fast forward a few weeks to the current day. I am looking to buy a new laptop because the existing one is nearly dead, battery will not charge and it overheats all the time - it's buzzing away now as I type in this on blogger, hardly a hard task to complete I would have thought. So I start looking at deals online. Then I start to wonder if there are any games around that I might want to play, and Total War Rome II pops up. I played the original back in the day, when computers were big beige boxes the size of a small car stuffed under your table, and laptops were the preserve of rock stars, footballers and other filthy rich folk. When laptops finally came down in price and my old pc died I made the transition and happily settled in to a new life with my screen on my lap, though with reduced power and thus no gaming. It's been a good few years since I played a computer game, only Skyrim on my son's Xbox has distracted me from the joys that can be had with little lumps of metal and plastic.
Truly, the planets have aligned, the portents have been read, the gods have decreed it. My fate is clear to see. I must buy a new laptop, a copy of Total War Rome II and spend hundreds of hours playing it. It is my destiny. Although, apparently, others can buy it too, if so inclined.
Monday, 12 August 2013
|The armies line up|
Rolling for first turn, I lost again, and the vampires surged toward my gibbering horde. Dire wolves raced ahead, but were quickly dispatched by screamers and a Nurgle beast. Zombies scrabbled out of the ground at an alarming rate. A necromancer lord on a corpse cart was a surprise choice that my level 1 herald and horrors found difficult to compete with. A flank charge by a small pack of zombies held up my nurglings for the whole game, they were unable to combat reform as they lost every round of combat and do not have a musician. Though I stalled one unit of ghouls with screamers, the rest of the army advanced at a rapid pace. This was another surprise for me, two units of 15 ghouls whereas I expected one bigger block. Most worrying was a varghulf and a banshee hurtling down my left flank, I feared for the safety of my Daemon Prince so moved him over to the right.
|Chaos surge my arse!|
The game was lost, but I wanted to try one last chance for glory. The prince charged into the centre of the grave guard, hunting down the vampire general. It was a suicide mission, but it could just claw back some respect from his chaos partrons. Tom accepted the challenge for fun, in a serious game he pointed out that the grave guard champion would have stepped up. The vampire had quick reflexes and struck first, caused 3 or 4 wounds, none of which I could save (the chaos gods had by now withdrawn their blessings and my ward save was just 6+). Down went the prince in the dirt at the feet of the victorious bloodsuckers. A late double charge by a Nurgle beast and the herald on disc into the corpse cart ended in another fiasco and I conceded the game.
|MVP - varghulf, snacking at the after battle buffet|
Saturday, 10 August 2013
I added up my painted daemons and it came to around 1600 points, so I scribbled down a similar sized list of my painted greenskins. I went for fairly easy-going armies - each had a lord to lead them, and small magic support. The daemons had a Tzeentch herald on a disc plus two units of horrors, while the greenskins had an orc shaman and a night goblin shaman.
The picture above shows the scene just before it all went horribly wrong for the greenskins. The trolls are just about to be surrounded and destroyed, while the orcs are about to be flanked by the Daemon Prince. His three kills and a good round from the daemonettes saw the orcs destroyed (despite my forgetting his thunderstomp rule), the daemonettes then pursuing into the black orcs. Things might not have been that bad if the orc warlord had survived. He was engulfed by blue fire of Tzeentch, I had overlooked the horrors lurking by the ruins, the single wound from the spell augmented by the warpflame toughness test was too much for the poor orc to endure. Adding insult to injury, the daemonettes then easily defeated the black orcs in combat and ran them down. We fought one last combat between the herald of Tzeentch with his super-charged wand of whimsy and the orc shaman with his glowing green fists of gork, but it was a bad day to be green and the orc shaman was killed. With just half a unit of goblin spearmen and a depleted herd of squigs remaining, I conceded defeat.
|The dead daemons, all 6 of them|
A final note. We were playing a slightly modified version of 8th edition rules, in case you are bemused by the small size of the regiments. I took out the supporting attack rule and I also allowed just the front rank to fire missiles. The result is slightly less carnage in shooting and combat, but otherwise the game plays pretty much the same as the full-on version, only without the need for regiments the size of house bricks. Much easier on the eye, in my view.
Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Ostermark lies in the east of the Empire, with the old province of Sylvania on the border. Ostensibly this has been annexed by the Empire, but of course in reality it is still in the grip of the vampire counts. I don't normally bother with narrative background when I am collecting armies, I tend to go with aesthetics. But for some reason I have started to develop a little back story, complete with characters and small scenarios. I guess it's the Oldhammer effect! I do also want to grow the army by playing out skirmish games to determine how the army progresses, that kind of thing, so a more story-driven approach for me this time around.
Friday, 2 August 2013
I added the zombies/corpses for a little foreground interest. In my mind's eye, the varghulf is such a powerful force of undeath that it attracts corpses to the surface, like worms after a rain shower.
The dripping blood from the mouth was a last minute thing. I tried to add it using UHU glue but it just didn't work out for me, I need to try that again some time. In the end I snipped a hair from one of my big terrain brushes, glued it into the mouth, painted it red then added a couple of drops of super glue to the end. Then I added more red paint and some satin varnish. It's not perfect but it's good enough for gaming.
Enough chatter, here's more pictures of this fine beast.