Monday 29 December 2008

Gaming and Resolve

I had my first taste of the new Warriors of Chaos list last night, though I was facing against it with my High Elves. Years ago, my High Elf infantry horde would have really struggled against a chaos army, but now that elves strike first it should make the army concept more viable. In a 2.5k army I fielded 2 blocks of spearmen, 2 blocks of Swordmasters, 2 small units of Silver Helms (using them as "hard" fast cavalry rather than shock troops so no upgrades), 2 small units of shadow warriors, 2 bolt throwers, 2 eagles, 2 characters (a prince and a noble army standard) and 2 mages - both level 2 of course. And just to spoil all that symettry, one unit of archers.

The chaos army contained 3 blocks of warriors, one unit of chosen. These lined up roughly opposite my four infantry units. Down my left flank came a unit of knights, while my right flank was threatened by a unit of marauder horsemen and 3 dragon ogres. Taking centre stage was a giant, and there was a hero on a steed, a hero on foot and a sorceror dotted about various units. There was also some meat shields in a unit of marauders and a couple of units of hounds.

Sometimes when I design an army list I play out an ideal result in my head. Everything goes according to the theory and the army does exactly as is hoped. 99% of the time the theory goes straight of the window within a turn or two, due to a canny opponent, dice rolls, awkward terrain, whatever. But this game was one of those 1% of games where everything goes exactly as planned. The eagles made it to the rear of the chaos army and slowed it down, allowing the elves to shoot/magic with impunity. The giant was eliminated as a threat early on, mostly due to bolt thrower fire and the Curse of Arrow Attraction spell. The fast and powerful units were slowed/harried by Silver Helms and Shadow warriors, while the archers and bolt throwers removed most of the light/fast units. By turn 4 the chaos army was considerably weakened - the giant was dead, the knights and dragon ogres were ineffective on the flanks, while the central infantry units were doggedly trudging forward under a hail of missiles.

By turn 6 the combat started, with the chaos units all considerably weakened while the elf units were still at full strength. The Elven Prince and Noble made short work of the chaos champions, the swordmasters despatched two units of chaos warriors, only the spearmen stumbled against the chosen, but still held their ground. Complete humiliation for the chaos general, a perfectly executed plan by the High Elves. A nice end to a good year of gaming. And a valuable lesson to me as a chaos general in waiting - warriors need lots of support troops to help them butcher the enemy. I am thinking that each unit of warriors needs an accompanying unit of hounds to screen them and/or drive away march blockers, maybe a unit of marauders to lend some numbers, and a chariot to help keep cavalry/fast units at bay and add extra punch in combat.

Thursday 18 December 2008

Wolf Riders Go Looting

These wolf riders have been sitting unpainted on my shelf for about a year, so when we started to try out the loot and pillage scenarios from a recent White Dwarf, it was an ideal excuse to get them painted. They were painted quickly, with very little attention to detail, just a bit of care on the faces.

I have a theory that freshly painted models seem to fare pretty badly. It seems to me that as soon as you unfurl your latest painted unit on the battlefield, you can guarantee a swift demise for them. So how did this lot get on? There are actually two units here, both with musicians. One unit failed an animosity test with a 6, resulting in them charging a unit of Empire Greatswords. They were soundly beaten and fled the field of battle. The other unit did better, harrying a unit of Empire Knights, until eventually they were shot to pieces by handgunners and pistoliers. That's probably par for the course for wolf riders, so my theory is unproven as yet. The star turn in the game was a unit of spider riders, who scaled the walls of a watchtower, despite the damage from a well-aimed fireball, then clambered over the top to kill two Helblaster crewmen - the surviving member was so traumatised he ran for his life, flinging himself from the parapets!

Sunday 30 November 2008

The Horde assembles

It's been a fairly lean month for hobby time, but I have managed to start assembling a new Warriors of Chaos army. As I normally do with new armies, I have started on core units and hope to have around 1000 points to play with before I start any serious painting. It's just a grey horde at the moment, but I am thinking it will probably be a Khorne army, so plenty of red and brass in the warriors, with the marauders more generalised (unmarked).

The new marauder horse boxset is a lovely piece of kit. The horses are possibly the best I have seen. There are seventeen marauder heads, many of which I have used on the older plastic marauder infantry to improve their appearance. The only (minor) fly in the ointment is that the rider's torso and legs are one complete piece, so there's no scope for twisting in the saddle dynamics. Still, I like the kit and will probably get another one at some time, if only for the extra heads. You can see some of them in the background of the pic, on the plastic marauders with flails.

The chaos warriors are armed with great weapons. These are reasonably easy to convert from the weapons in the box, joining two hand weapons into one. I chose great weapons as I want the army to reflect the Khorne aspect of maximum carnage. This unit will be deployed six wide and with the mark of Khorne will have 19 S6 attacks if they get the charge. I think I need to practise my blood painting skills.

Saturday 8 November 2008

The Lure of Chaos

I knew this would happen! As soon as the new chaos figures were released I caved in and ordered some of the new plastics along with the new book. They are supposedly a Christmas present to me, but I have had a couple of sneaky peeks at the book and the contents of the Marauder horsemen box. I know, what a naughty boy I am!

I already have 3 or 4 boxes of chaos warriors, one virtually painted up, plus 20 - 30 plastic marauders and around 15 of the older metal marauders, so I have plenty of raw material to build some core regiments. I was also thinking of adding daemons as special choices (my opponent is happy for me to do this strictly illegal act), but having leafed through the book I think ogres and trolls would be better choices, so I will await their release in plastic form.

I will probably concentrate on non-specific models to start with, or I might just dedicate my core to Khorne, I can't quite decide. I suppose I should be able to do both by using a replaceable command group. I definitely want the Lord on Juggernaut model and have been dropping some pretty heavy hints for my Christmas list.

I also have a few regiments I painted about 3 or 4 years ago, in a Tzeentch scheme. I could finish that off and have a 1000+ pointer ready to go with little effort. Perhaps I could get together a unit of marauders from the plastics, with a few plastic spawn mutations. Even though the new book allows mix and match gifts and marks, I will probably stick with the god-specific armies, for most games at least. My ultimate aim would be to have 1500 points dedicated to each of the pantheon, but that's a 5 year project. Although, I usually get distracted after a couple of months, so maybe it's a 10 year plan.

Friday 31 October 2008

'Ard Boyz

A mob of 12 'ard boyz just about painted before the end of Orktober. I will probably have to re-shoot the pictures as they seem a bit over-exposed.

I'm afraid it all turned out to be a bit of a damp squib in the end, this Orktober lark. I have made a start on the warboss, but the trukk remains un-primed. The lure of chaos proved too strong and my mind is back on fantasy for a while. So 40k will be on the back burner for a few weeks, but I'm hoping to get the bug again soon.

Monday 20 October 2008

Let's Paint Some Ork - part 5

The rust on the guns and armour is a wash using MIG pigments, heavily diluted with water. I have used an earth colour and standard rust. The yellow paint starts as Coat D'arms leather brown stippled on with an old brush - despite the name this is actually more of a yellow colour. Then a second stippling with some horse roan added, finally scratches picked out quite carefully with boltgun metal. The whole area is then washed with Citadel washes, sepia and mud.

Pick out any remaining details that you feel are necessary. The teeth and nails are a good candidate for a quick highlight with horse roan. Similarly, tidy up any areas of fur with a quick highlight with horse roan.

Monday 13 October 2008

Shoota mob done

Here's a picture of the shoota mob fully painted. The final section of the painting guide will be posted in the next few days.

Let's Paint Some Ork - part 4

In the last section I applied the basic colours and a wash, resulting in a useable but murky figure. In this stage I bring back some colour and detail. It's a simple stage, simply highlight any areas that need it! The most obvious area is the skin, so it is highlighted with Coat D'arms (CDA) Olive, with a little yellow added for the final highlight. The lips and nose get a quick highlight with CDA Beige Brown. The clothing is also re-highlighted with the appropriate base colour - tunic with CDA Field Grey, trousers with CDA Green Grey, etc. The straps are also worth touching up in this way. Dot in the eye with a red and yellow highlight and the figure is ready for the final stage.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Trukkin' along

I spent the weekend assembling the ork trukk. It is an amazing model, far more detailed than any other plastic kit I have worked on. It reminded me of the old Airfix kits I used to put together as a youngster, only now I manage to do it without using a whole tube of glue.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Whooosh, boom, it's Orktober!

I'm not the first to use the term "Orktober" and I'm sure I won't be the last, but I really want to make a big push this month with them. After a reasonable start, I seem to be struggling to find the time for them recently. I have over 50 assembled, 15 completely painted and the final 5 of the shootas mob partially painted. Once they are finished, I would like to tackle the ard boyz mob and their trukk. That would give me 2 troops selections fully painted. Add to it a HQ in the shape of the Black Reach warboss and that would be a decent start to the army. If I could get more than that in the month I would be very happy.

Here's the rokkit launcha conversion from the shoota boyz, though I am starting to think that 2 big shootas would be a better option for this squad, as they tend to take on infantry rather than vehicles. Cracking armour is a problem for the army, so I do need some rokkits somewhere, but maybe a squad of tankbustas is a better place for him.

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Big Mek

Painting of the boys continues at a slow pace as I have had a few household chores to perform this week. Though I did manage to make a start on Kwikfit, my big mek with kustom force field and burna. Also in this picture are the ard boyz, a small unit of just 12 (no prizes for guessing why).

Wednesday 17 September 2008

One month old

The ork army is about a month old today. And it's just like a newborn - very demanding, sometimes tiring, sometimes even keeps me awake at night! But always a joy when I look at it. Sniff.

Here's three of the first ten shoota boyz, I will probably save the rest to be photographed en masse when the whole mob of twenty is painted. The trophy rack on the left is a little joke for my regular Tau opponent. You can just about see the German military colours on the trousers and vest, which I thought was a bit cool (colour wise) even with the green skin, so I wanted to warm up the look and plumped for a grimey yellow. I think it works really well. But it's causing me a headache - should I stick with a Bad Moons look for the whole army, or should I go with the mixed tribes look, such as Goff bikers, Evil Sunz trukks, etc.?

Monday 15 September 2008

Looted wagon and shootas

I started work on building a looted wagon over the weekend. Apologies for the pic, but hopefully you can see that it's a chimera chassis (on which I had practised and tested some painting). Most of the Imperial Guard bits have been removed or disguised and the orky improvements have been started. The transport carrier is just one option for the vehicle so I am making this as a separate component which will be held in place by magnets. In future, I will build a boom gun turret to use in the odd game.

The shoota boyz have had a bit of attention too, I have ten of them just about finished. I will post how they were painted in a few days, when I am reasonably confident they are really finished. This mob are probably affiliated to the Bad Moon tribe in some way, though I am not using the yellow throughout the army, just on this squad I think. There's still a bit of weathering to do here, which will dull the yellow down a little. I am still getting to grips with the MIG pigments, so each session is an experiment in what can (or cannot) be done with them.

Saturday 13 September 2008

More orky musing

It's surprising how much I learned just from that first game the other night. Being a long time fantasy player I suppose helps, in that I can learn the rules fast (they are not that different) and pick up on tactical implications. So I have a better idea of how to develop the ork army. The core of the force will be the orc warboss and mob of 20 slugga boyz from Black Reach, plus the 20 shoota boyz I have already started to paint. Against my regular opponent's Tau force these poor guys are extremely vulnerable to shooting and woefully slow, so I definitely need some speed and some covering fire. Fortunately, I happen have to a box of lootas/burnas and a truk, so they will be called into action at some stage. And I also have the deffkoptas, so I will be trying those too (after missing several times with my rokkit launchers in the game, I am tempted to convert the koptas to carry big shootas, or a couple of them at any rate). Another idea is to incorporate a big mek with kustom force field, to advance with the 2 big mobs and give them some cover even out in the open.

Of course, I am also itching to get some conversion and painting work done, so I have an idea to convert a Chimera into a looted trukk. It's an old model I picked up on ebay to practise painting, but now it can be put to even better use. I like the idea of it being armed with a skorcha and carrying the burna boyz to the frontline. That will make the Tau fire warriors wish they had never picked that name! So many ideas, so little time.

The army, then, is shaping up in my mind like this:-

Warboss (from Black Reach, cool model)
Big Mek (conversion?)
20 slugga boyz, nob with boss pole
20 shoota boyz, nob with boss pole
12 ard boyz in truk (exact equipment to be decided after a few test games)
12 burna boyz (love these models and they were one of the main reasons I started the army)
10 lootas (I need long range support and will have the bits from the burnas left over)
5 or 10 nobz (these I am least sure about how to use, maybe in a transport, a painboy would be useful and is a cool model)
looted Chimera
3-5 deffkoptas
10 ish Tankbustas (already have the metal models, these are longer term)
Orky terrain (need that cover)

I have most of the bits already for this lot, so I just have to get down to making and painting them. If I can hold off the lure of chaos warriors, I should have it all done by Christmas. I am also dropping hints about Santa bringing me some biker boyz.

Friday 12 September 2008

First game with the orks

Played my first game of 40k last night (well, I'm discounting a 40 minute demo game in the local shop). As we are both novices to the game, we decided to keep the forces infantry-based, so we could get to grips with the basics. It was certainly different to fantasy, more fluid and decisive I thought. We did have to leaf through certain sections, but it seemed reasonably straight-forward and intuitive. Shooting (by Tau at least) can be devastating, wiping out swathes of troops in one phase. I quickly learned to advance under cover if at all possible. Similarly, combats rarely last more than one turn, at least that's what happened when the boyz got stuck in. They are brutal! Next game, we will include more troop types, so I will be fielding the koptas and possibly a truk.

Sunday 7 September 2008

Assembling fatigue

I have spent much of the weekend assembling the orks from the Black Reach set. The mob of slugga boyz, including a nob to lead them, plus the massive warboss are all cleaned, glued and re-posed in some instances. The remaining Nobz and deffkoptas are just snapped together until I can summon up the willpower to tackle them.

Along with the squad of 20 shoota boyz, that gives me a reasonable small force to start gaming with. I just need to do a bit of homework on the rules before the first game later this week.

Saturday 6 September 2008

Short break, ruins and Black Reach

After a few days break on the coast, I have arrived back to a modelling heaven. In the post I received some more terrain to build, a DVD about MIG pigments and the new Assault on Black Reach set. I don't know where to start. While I try to decide, here's the latest on the ruins. A simple wash/stipple followed by a quick dusting of pigments and already it is shaping up nicely. I am really pleased with the cobble flooring, which is the bottom of a plastic meat container. There's more to be done still, but I think I need to assemble some orks first.

Monday 1 September 2008


Work on the orks has come to a brief pause, while I get together some ruins to scatter on the battlefield. Most of them are quite boring old-style gothic ruins, but I did manage to cobble together a more interesting building from some of the newer style sprues that I picked up at a Gamesday terrain making session.

After assembling, it was glued on to a hardboard base, rubble and sand added, then sprayed black. The first coat of colour is from an emulsion tester pot, watered down it covers just fine and is a cheap way of covering large pieces like this one. There's still a fair bit of work to do on it, but I am intending just slapping on a few washes and pigments for a speedy result. Best of all, it's just the right size for 20 ork boyz to hide in when the enemy fire gets too much.

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Let's Paint Some Ork - part 3

A nice easy stage this, washing the whole mob in a brown murky colour. You could use Citadel washes, though I find my own version adheres better. It's a mix of black and chestnut wash (Coat d'arms of course), plus some Tamiya clear orange, plus glaze and matt medium. Mix the whole lot to the consistency of an ink (or the Citadel wash is a good guide to thickness). Then slap it on all over. Try to avoid putting on too much, or you might get pooling in some areas, but otherwise it's a fairly slap-dash phase.

I suppose this is similar to dipping the figures, a bit more controlled but the same principle. These boyz could easily be based, matte varnished and charge on to the battlefield. But I like to go back and highlight some of the main areas, plus add more weathering, little details, etc.

Monday 25 August 2008

Let's Paint Some Ork - part 2

The base coating step is completed. The skin is Coat d'arms (CDA) Olive, belts and straps are CDA Dark Leather, the gloves CDA Chestnut. The bindings and fur trims are Foundation Khemri Brown, the teeth are Dheneb Stone. The boots are a dark grey (mixed from black and cream).

And so ends the most boring and (depressingly) the least productive stage visually - all the colours are now there but there is no shading, no depth. That comes in the next stage.

Thursday 21 August 2008

Let's Paint Some Ork - part 1

In my best Viggo Mortensen voice, "Let's paint some ork." After spraying them black, it's base coating stage, the most boring phase of painting a model. I tend to get the biggest feasible brush for the job, put on some music and grit my teeth. Painting along to an hour of music on a CD makes it slightly more bearable.

First thing I did was paint all the metal areas Boltgun Metal. Then I painted the trousers with Coat d'arms Green Grey, followed by the vests in Field Grey. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I was getting a German World War 2 vibe when I was constructing the boyz, so I am going with that for the uniform. When the browns and greens are added, it will warm up the palette. I hope!

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Shootas assembled

The squad of shootas is now fully assembled. I have added the bases - a few bits from the urban basing kit and sand, nothing too elaborate as the orks are big boyz and cover most of the base anyway. I have also sealed the bases with a mix of pva, water, black paint and a tiny spot of washing up liquid (I have a jar of this mixed up for all my basing work). I don't usually apply this until after I have painted the model, but it makes sense to do it first as it's a messy stage.

Most of these are assembled from the sprue with little modification, though I did try to get the boys to be more upright, shooting with a purpose, rather than hunched over. Some of them have a foot up on a rock to achieve this. The most elaborate conversion is the rokkit launcher, or rather his launcher arm, made from a pistol, a chopped-up fantasy axe, metal stikk bomb and various other plastic gubbinz.

Monday 18 August 2008


I spent a fair amount of the weekend assembling my first squad of my first ever 40k army; a twenty strong mob of ork shoota boyz, with nob, big shoota and rokkit launcher. I used the bits from an ork mob sprue, some older ork stikkbombers and some fantasy orc parts too.

I am toying with the idea of painting them in a World War 2 German palette, with mostly grey uniforms, with splashes of red armour here and there. It sounds drab, but the green skin would certainly lift the scheme and possibly stand out more on a neutral backdrop. Or I might just go with a Goff scheme (mostly blacks, with very little bright colour), since I can't help thinking of Motorhead whenever I look at the warbiker models. Whatever I choose, I want to try some new weathering techniques on them, especially when it comes to painting the vehicles.

Saturday 16 August 2008

The future's bright, the future's green

I have started building my first ork mob. Using the ork boyz sprues and some old stikk bombers I picked up on ebay, a squad of 20 shootas is slowly taking shape. I decided on shootas as the upcoming Black Reach mob is armed with sluggas and choppas, so it seemed sensible to take advantage of the shootas on the sprues (not that I have a clue about what performs well or otherwise, I just like variety in my armies). I spent about an hour today putting together a rokkit launcher boy, converted from various bits, including some odd parts from the orc fantasy sprue. There's also a big shoota in the mob, a very easy conversion achieved by adding an extra barrel to the gun. Just four more boyz to put together (and 20 bases), then I get painting.

The main problem is deciding on a decent skin colour. I don't like the very dark green in the codex, nor do I like very bright green. It has to be something that is quick and easy but also quite realistic (if green skin can ever be realistic)!

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Old Grumblers

These dwarf longbeards have been sitting partially painted in my glass cabinet for too long, so last week I decided to finish them off. They were painted quite quickly, less than an hour per figure, so there are some short cuts. By concentrating most of the effort on the skin and beards, the unit looks good for relatively little effort.

There's a couple of mail order only minis in the front rank, which could equally be used as stand alone heroes. The rest are metal longbeards, with a few plastic weapons swapped to make the unit look a little more varied.

Edit: The curse of the newly painted unit strikes again! Maybe it just happens to me, but it seems that whenever I field a newly painted unit in a battle, it invariably suffers a horrible fate. The first time I used a freshly painted organ gun, it exploded in turn 1. The first time I used a painted hero, he was cut down like a young beardling. And the first game for the painted longbeards ended in similar fashion, driven from the field by a unit of Bretonnian knights of the realm. In previous (unpainted) games, they had never once flinched. Bah, grumble, grumble.

Friday 8 August 2008

Black Reach

Tom and I wandered into my local GW shop yesterday, to have a look at the Assault on Black Reach boxset. The guy behind the counter was really enthusiastic about it and got the figures out of the cabinet to show us. The models are very impressive, very detailed and very easy to assemble - most are one-piece or just a couple of snap together operations. The orks in particular caught my eye, the koptas and warboss look really good, I could feel my painting senses tingling.

After impressing us, he then talked us through a demo game of marines vs tyranids. It was fast and furious and good fun. I was almost tempted to order a set then and there, but with a month to go before release I decided to order online and save a bit of cash.

After seeing the contents of the boxset and seeing the models up close, I am most excited about the orks. Even though I already have fantasy orcs and had previously discounted them, I have decided they have far more character and painting potential than the tyranids. So I will start my 40k career with orks and marines. I have painted plenty of greenskins in the past and know a few short cuts that should help me get them on the table fairly quickly. The marines will be a whole new ball game for me, but I am itching to try out some new techniques on them and have a few ideas floating around my head.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Second Thoughts........

First impressions of the Tyranid codex? Thin. I always thought that 40k was big on background, but even with a few pages of fluff the book seems to compare poorly with my fantasy army books. Even so, there is a surprising amount of options available to virtually each troop. I was intending on starting with the battleforce, the contents of Battle for Macragge and some old models rescued from an old copy of Tyranid Attack. I even did a fair bit of research online, looking for inspiration for colour schemes. But for some reason, I am just not fired up about the project.

My original choice of Space Marines seems much more interesting. I had discarded the idea because of other players choosing this army, but I'm not sure that's a valid way to make a decision. What to do next?

Sunday 13 July 2008

Introducing.....the night goblins

As this blog develops, I will slowly be posting pictures and ramblings on all my armies (there's about six or seven of them, last time I counted at least). Here's one of the smallest and most pathetic of the bunch, the night goblins. Well, here's the latest addition to the "horde", the army standard bearer. There's more pictures of the army on my website.

The army started out as an obvious opponent to my dwarf army and was originally based around the contents from the Battle for Skull Pass box set. It's expanded as time has gone by, as these projects tend to grow organically and in fits and starts, depending on what I feel like painting at any one time (and which models I can pick up cheaply on ebay). There's a good 500 points of painted night goblins, with another couple of units based and ready for paint. It will make a nice little 1000 point army at some stage, or as support units in a bigger greenskin army.

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Pink what?

A new project is slowly forming in my ever expanding to do list. Definitely a first for me, it's a pink army!

I had mixed feelings about the new daemon book. As a long standing chaos player I have always enjoyed the freedom of choice by mixing mortals and daemons and even the odd beast regiment into my armies. Officially, those days are over (though I suspect in my gaming group we will continue to allow daemons into mortal armies, etc). So I was wondering what to do with my few daemon regiments, even contemplating putting them up on ebay. In the end, however, I was rescued from this miserable prospect by a most unlikely person. My wife!

She really likes the new daemonette models and has always had a soft spot for the little guys in the game (snotlings, gnoblars, nurglings and the like). It was her idea that I paint a small daemon army for her, comprising all the lovely pink and lilac models in the army book. That's daemonettes, fiends and nurglings. Nurglings? They should be green shouldn't they? Not any more. I will also be able to add my already painted horrors and screamers, and I should be able to make something out of my old school fiends. Throw in a suitable herald of Slaanesh and a pink and blue army is born. It will be roughly 1000 points, but I can add some Khorne troops to it if I want to use it for my usual 1500 point games. In fact, I might even be tempted to add a Keeper of Secrets for the occasional 2000 pointer. I just need to find some space in my glass cabinet.

EDIT: Project cancelled!

Norse team photo

The Norse team is well and truly finished. In the end I decided that the shoulder pads definitely needed the injection of the colour, hence the check design. Apart from that, the painting has been very basic and speedy (recipe coming soon).

The players are designed to be easily distinguishable, even if at first glance they are all marauders with no axes! The thrower has a glove, the runner is stripped of his armour to improve his speed. The two berserkers have orange hair and masks over their eyes (to keep them relatively calm). The ulfenwerer are the oldest, most experienced players and thus have grey beards and the best helmets. The rest are linemen. Hopefully they will be enough for the season, though I can always add 2 or 3 more at a later stage, if need be.

Monday 30 June 2008

Norse team ready for action

After a busy weekend I have just about finished the Norse team. This is two of the five linemen. I have also painted a thrower, a runner, two berserkers and two ulfenwerer. They are Eriks United, named after the team sponsor, Erik Eriksson.

I will be taking and posting better pictures later in the week, after I have finished off another paint job. Before then, I might paint the shoulder pads in a blue and cream check pattern, the team colours of Eriks United.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Norse work in progress

Slow but steady progress on the Norse team. I have painted most of the base colours and applied washes. The shot shows the result is not spectacular but not too shoddy either. Certainly this could be based and used in a game and is a good standard for a speed painted figure. I will probably apply a simple highlight to the face and knuckles to draw attention to these main areas. I might also add a check design to the shoulder pad and maybe some colour to the helmet. Whatever I finally do will be documented in a step-by-step painting recipe.

Tuesday 24 June 2008

And the winner is......

Tyranids! It was no contest really. I looked at the battleforce for both Necrons and Tyranids and found that the latter contained far more variety, but best of all, the impressive carnifex model. I cannot wait to get my brushes on that.

Speaking of painting, I have started to research possible colour schemes. My first instinct is to go with the Alien vibe and attempt a grey/silver/chrome look. This would be fairly easy to do, though it could look a little dull on the battlefield - they might end up looking like unpainted grey plastic! So to inject a little colour there would be some glazing of the skin (probably a chestnut/red/pink) and the carapace (green/purple/brown). Another nice touch would be to colour code any bio upgrades, such as a sickly green for venom bits. Having not read the codex yet this is just a vague idea.

I am also starting to mull over ideas for themed terrain. Egg pods are an obvious idea which should be easy enough. More ambitious would be terrain that has been appropriated by the tyranids - the crashed ship from the Macragge set might be a suitable starting point for this, but I have no idea how to make it look as though it has been "infested" by the Tyranids.

Monday 23 June 2008

Being the Bad Guy

Been thinking more about 40K. Now that I have decided to take the plunge with a starter force, it's time to pick an army. First things first, narrow down the options by discarding those armies I would never collect, for whatever reason. These are Eldar (I just don't like the concept or the models), Chaos Marines (decent enough background but the models are a bit too much Marines with spikes for me), Daemons (too much like a fantasy army) and for a similar reason, Orks (I have a fantasy greenskin army).

Of the remainder, my first choice would probably be Marines or Imperial Guard, all those tanks take me back to my childhood days of Airfix models and I just like the concept of armoured divisions. But, as one of the gaming group have already picked Marines and the Imperial Guard are due an update next year, those two will have to go on the back burner for now. Another of my gaming group has declared an allegiance to Tau, so I guess it falls on me to be the bad guy. It's a toss-up between Necrons and Tyranids.

Sunday 22 June 2008

40K on my mind

Most of the time, I play fantasy battle. What do I mean most of the time? I have played two trial games of Blood Bowl, half a trial game of Lord of the Rings, and the rest of my 15+ years of gaming has been fantasy battle! But suddenly, the lure of starting 40K is strong. I'm not sure why there is a sudden urge to start this game, with four or five partially complete fantasy armies and a Blood Bowl team to complete, it would seem silly to take on yet another army or two. But I guess that's part of the joy of the hobby - continually coming up with new ideas for an army, new themes, new colour schemes and the prospect of some new terrain.

So, how best to get started? With a new rulebook just around the corner, it would seem idiotic to be looking at the existing starter set, the Battle for Macragge. I must be an idiot then, because I bought a copy of it just last week. There's a couple of marines missing and a few other bits and bobs, but it's mostly still on sprue and in perfect condition. And I got it for just over £13 on ebay. A squad of marines, two squads of tyranids, plus some lovely scenery, all for a baker's dozen!

My original plan was to design and paint my own marine chapter, with an eye on buying the new starter set in the autumn as a painting project, with no real intent to game. I happened to mention this to my regular gaming buddy, we had a brief chat about the armies (with our limited knowledge gleaned from White Dwarf mainly) and which armies we liked and disliked, then got on with our usual game of fantasy battle. The next week I turn up, he whips out a Tau codex and explains that he has a battleforce ordered. And his son has grand plans for a Space Marine army. Game on!

Funny how these things get started. This could well be the start of a another 15 year phase.

Thursday 19 June 2008

The Norse are Coming!

After a couple of trial runs at the game, I have decided to cobble together a Norse Blood Bowl team from a few spare chaos marauder sprues. My aim is to get a team painted at maximum speed, minimum cost. So far, the team is assembled and undercoated and I have started to paint on the basic colours. As soon as it gets a bit more interesting I will post a work in progress pic.
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