Sunday 27 December 2009

End of another year

It's that time of year again. Switch on the TV and you will get news review of the year, hits of the year, gossip of the year, etc. So time for a not-very-original review of the year.


I started in January by making three main resolutions. The first was to play a game with a fully painted 2000 point dwarf army. This one I managed to achieve, just about, the banners are still blank, but otherwise it's fully painted. It's not the 2000 point army I would prefer, so there's still plenty of work to be done. I have 2 or 3 units I would like to add to it, banners to finish, plus some character models I would like to get my brush on. Overall though, I would give myself a B+ for progress this year.

Chaos Warriors

My second resolution was to make a good start on the chaos warrior army, I was hoping to paint 1000 points. I made a good start, painting a unit of marauders, chaos warriors and hounds, a spawn and a couple of sorcerors. But then I got distracted by a new project and have not touched the chaos army since. A good start that ran out of steam. I think a C+ (could do better) is a fair assessment of that effort.


My third resolution was to paint the ork models bought in 2008, which included a trukk, tankbustas and other bits. Not only did I fail to do this, but I added more unpainted units to the army. A definite grade F (fail) for that army.


This was the reason for the slow progress on the chaos army. I suddenly discovered that I wanted to play elves again, after them sitting in my cabinet for several years. Not one to make things easy for myself, I decided to start a completely new army that could, in part, double as both Wood Elves and High Elves. Progress has been quite rapid, both armies are about 500 points each and I think the Wood Elves will expand very quickly.

For early 2010, I intend to concentrate on the Wood Elves, hopefully having a complete 2000 point army painted by Easter. After that, I will take stock, possibly continuing with the High Elves or maybe switching to the Chaos Warriors. There are also possibly some new ork models to be released, so maybe I will even switch back to them. Only time will tell.

Saturday 12 December 2009

Elves progressing nicely II

I don't seem to be able to post more than one picture in a single post, so here's another entry to show the progress so far on the high elves. As you can see, there are archers, shadow warriors, a bolt thrower, a lion chariot and a mage. Compare this with the previous post to see which models are being used in both armies.

Elves progressing nicely I

I am making good progress with the elves, despite suffering a bad cold which knocked me out for over a week! The dryads were really quick and easy to paint up - I will get together a tutorial when I paint the next regiment, probably next month. Here's a picture of the army to date, showing dryads, glade guard, wardancers and waywatchers/scouts. I will probably concentrate on the wood aspects of the army for the next few weeks, so more dryads, a branchwraith and a treeman to come.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Speed painted dryads (preview)

Here's a fairly bad photograph of a dryad, one of ten I painted in the last couple of days. They are so easy to paint up quickly and to a decent standard. I am hoping to construct and paint another ten in the coming week. I also have some wardancers that I think would be fairly easy to complete. If I can get twenty dryads and a dozen wardancers painted in the next few weeks, it will be a solid start to the Wood Elf only section of the elf army.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

White Lion Chariot

This month's addition to the Elf army is a white lion chariot. I painted it fairly quickly, using a base coat and a glaze or wash for much of the work. It speeds up the army painting process and gives a decent finish in a relatively short time. I also made a start on a bolt thrower and crew at the same time, got about half way through then got distracted by the new skaven figures.

I will probably switch to some wood elf models for the next batch, a regiment of dryads should be easy enough to fit in.

Wednesday 14 October 2009


I am keen to start gaming with the Wood Elves part of the HighWood army, but I need a fair number of troops before I can start. So this week I have started to tackle the units of dryads. There will be 3 units of 10 each, lead into battle by this branchwraith. I have also assembled one of the units, just another 20 dryads to go. Once these are built, I can add them to the Elves already painted, plus a few proxies, to get in a first game with the tree-huggers.

Saturday 10 October 2009

Elves phase 1

Here's the first instalment of my latest army, the Elves of Highwood. The idea is to paint elves that can be used as either High Elves or Wood Elves. The background for the High Elf army is that it is based in or around Avelorn, where the elves are similar in appearance to their sylvan cousins. When I play them as High Elves, these are 10 archers, 5 shadow warriors and a mage. When I eventually have enough models to make a Wood Elf army, they will be 10 glade guard and 5 scouts (the mage is a High Elf only model, I have a purely wood elf model as her counterpart still to be painted).

The next phase will be High Elf only models as I am currently playing them in a Mighty Empires campaign. I am using some of my older models, supplemented by these new Avelorn troops, alongside some Chrace special troops. I am hoping to get one or two units like these painted up each month.

Monday 5 October 2009

Some old friends return

One of the busiest hobby weekends for a long time. On Friday night my orks played the marines, on Saturday afternoon my dwarfs took on the Orcs, and on Sunday I built a little unit to place into the painting pending pile.

The game on Friday was a good one, with 3 objectives to battle over. My orks managed to wrestle one from the marines, just a handful of ard boyz emerging from the wreck of an exploding trukk to beat some nearby assault marines into a pulp. With the help of burna boyz, they managed to clear the marines and hold the objective. One squad of boyz was obliterated in bolter fire, but the warboss and a lone deffkopta remained to contest a second objective. The third objective was held by a small unit of gretchin, a late landspeeder dash to contest it was foiled by a lucky big shoota bullet sending it spiralling into the dirt.

The Saturday afternoon game was a historic one for me - the first use of my new gameboard. I managed to get a couple of half-painted models finished in the morning, so it was a fully painted 2000 point dwarf army I was fielding. I felt bad placing four pieces of artillery on the board, but my opponent did the same and more. His army contained four magic users which completely overwhelmed my single runesmith. The dwarfs suffered a lot of casualties to magic and artillery, the rock lobba being particularly accurate and accounting for many an ironbreaker. In contrast, my own artillery had one decent turn, then misfired or missed. In turn 2 I misfired the cannon, rerolled for the rune of forging, which misfired again, then rolled a 2, taking the cannon out of action for two turns. The flame cannon then misfired and I rolled a 1 - boom went my freshly painted model! Things looked grim for the bearded folk. But when combat was eventually joined the dwarfs weathered the charge, as they so often do, then beat the orcs in the next turn and chased them away. The longbeard unit managed to flank charge a unit of savage orcs (which had been lured out of position by a depleted but brave unit of thunderers). They ran them down, but then braced themselves for a charge from a unit of boarboys. The greenskins failed their animosity test and the longbeards were able to get a second charge in, a very rare occurrence for me as a dwarf player. Not only that, they beat them, and then managed to run them down too! I think that's a first for my dwarfs, catching a fleeing unit of cavalry. The captured banners swung the game my way and I was able to record a minor victory in this historic encounter.

I was so fired up by the return of the beards that the very next day I unearthed my dwarf collection and cobbled together some rangers. I have always wanted to include the metal ranger champion model, one of my favourite dwarf models of all time. I really wanted to make a unit of grizzled veterans in the same vein, but I can't find enough models for that, so I have settled on the plastics as shown in the photo. There's a couple of the older style dwarfs in the regiment, with the newer hands they look quite reasonable. I have no idea when I will get my first game with the rangers, let alone paint them, but I just had the itch and had to scratch it.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Red Letter Day!

What an exciting day - and it's still only lunchtime! I went for a walk with this morning up a small local, wooded hill. I have been dozens of times, it's nice to get up off my painter's arse every once in a while, get some fresh air and exercise, all that kind of thing. Walking through the trees a pair of birds came straight at us, I thought they were woodpigeons but no, it was a pair of sparrowhawks. Magnificent sight! A bit further along I spotted a movement up ahead - it was a roe deer. I have walked this path for about 8 years and it's the first one I have ever seen. It's kind of magical when you see them in the wild, rather than on TV. And the wildlife hat-trick was my walking buddy pointing out that the bird calling in the distance was a whimbrel, a curlew like bird, migrating to distant lands. Okay, not quite as exciting as being buzzed by sparrowhawks or tracking a deer, but they are quite a rarity I am informed by my bird buddy.

What's all this to do with gaming? Nothing really, though there is a tenuous connection. My Realm of Battle gameboard arrived today and I put it together as soon as I returned from the hike. I had some elven archers near at hand and tested them on the board, they do not slip down the slope, which was one of my fears. The picture shows them and the next few elves that will join them. These are the first units of the HE-WE army - an army that will be playable as either High Elves or Wood Elves. Or the Elves of Highwood. And that's the circle complete, the walk in the wood, the wildlife, the battle board, the elf army. Sometimes, these things come just seem to come together like this. Maybe next time I go for my walk, I will see a dryad or a white lion.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Nurgle marine

Here's a Nurgle marine I have had lying around for some time. I wanted to try out some techniques for rusted armour before I painted the chaos knights and this was the perfect subject. It's a metal model so easier to strip if things go wrong. But they seem to have gone quite right, so I will probably paint the knights in a similar way. It also encourages me to have a play with the plastic chaos marines, I have a fair number of them in the unpainted pile of plastics. I could knock out a couple of squads of these in the same time it takes to paint up one squad of orks, so it's a possible extra 40k army if ever I fancy a change of pace at painting. Definitely on the back burner at the moment as I have other things to do.

EDIT Just noticed that's my 66th post, though I guess for it to be really spooky it would have to be the 77th!

Monday 21 September 2009

Problem solved

The auctions went well for a second week, so I have ordered a realm of battle gaming board, plus a few bits of scenery and landscaping materials to hopefully really do it justice. Just have to wait for it to arrive now. It will be a big job getting it painted, watch this space.....

Thursday 17 September 2009

A pleasant problem

After buying the Mighty Empires set a couple of weeks ago, I was searching through my cupboard for two free tiles that had been attached to a White Dwarf issue - they were given away when the new set was re-released. I came across an old copy of the game, not complete but with enough bits to use with the current set. More than enough bits. I decided to try my luck on ebay, so on went some of the older Mighty Empires components, plus some Heroquest bits and pieces that had lain hidden for so long (probably about 15 years or more). A week later, they had sold for nearly £90!

That leaves me with a cosy conundrum, a pleasant problem, a cordial quandary (yes, I am running out of alliterations). What do I spend the proceeds on? My first thought was yet more miniatures. I could easily pad out some chaos marines with a rhino, maybe terminators and a defiler, to get an instant "free" army. Then there's the upcoming Space Wolves, they look very tempting, and £90 would get me a codex, a battleforce and more. Again, potentially a good starter army for free!

On the other hand, I could spend the money on something I have pondered for a while - a Realm of Battle gameboard. I have gamed for years on my dining room table, using an old piece of green cloth that I must have bought twenty years ago. Along with a couple of home-made hills and some trees, and a random assortment of buildings bought at gaming shows many years ago, these old stalwarts have seen me through a couple of decades of gaming. Practical and long-lived they are, but maybe it's time to move up to something much more in keeping with my paintstakingly painted armies.

Obviously the £90 windfall doesn't quite stretch to the cost of the gameboard, but I do have some more auctions underway (more discoveries in the hobby cupboard that I had forgotten about). Hopefully they will increase the pot significantly. Maybe next week I will buying a gameboard and a new army! Though, I never did find those two Mighty Empires tiles......

Monday 7 September 2009

Mighty Empires

I received a copy of Mighty Empires on Saturday morning and immediately clipped off all the hexes and started building maps. After a couple of test maps I decided on this one, a regular rectangle fits into an old Battle Masters box, making it easier to store away.

I decided not to paint each piece individually but to paint it while constructed. I didn't bother to clean up the hex edges, they fit together very tightly but that helps to maintain the map rigidity. A few mould lines around the edges are not important to me.

I sprayed both sides with GW white primer. Then I sprayed the upper side with a brown, using my airbrush. I then did some basic drybrushing to bring out the textures of the tiles. Wilderness areas are mostly brown, the forest areas are painted green and there's a bit of clump foliage on them too. The mounains and tundra are grey, topped with white, and a little snow flock. The cultivated areas I painted the fields in dull yellows (wheat fields) and added some green flock. I spent about 4 hours in total, over three sessions and am really pleased with the end result.

Not so pleased with the markers that come with the set. The city, fortress and mine markers are very small and indistinct. Luckily, I still have some of the plastic bits from the original game and these are far bigger and better. Instead of flags I think we might use shields to mark territory. While they would not slot into the board, a blob of blu-tac will do the job. I might even suggest that players might want to make their own city markers, at least for their capital. Or maybe each player could mark their capital territory with an army banner.

Sunday 30 August 2009

Three sorcerors

I finished the Nurgle sorceror and re-based a Tzeentch sorceror to give me a few options in army selection. I sometimes use Slaanesh magic, in which case I take this Rackham model. Eventually I will paint another GW model to replace this one, which will also have the option of riding a magnetised chariot. That will be sometime in the future though.

I generally take two sorcerors in a 2000 point army, the Tzeentch sorceror takes a power familiar to help with the high casting level of his spells, while the Nurgle sorceror tends to take a spell familiar to give me a little extra choice.

Next on the agenda will be some mounted troops, either marauder horsemen or some Nurgle knights.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Nurgle sorceror

I was going to paint the exalted hero on the daemonic steed next, but after the Khorne warriors dragging on I wanted something a bit quicker to achieve. I have been using an old plaguebearer model as a proxy for my Nurgle sorceror, so I searched through my lead mountain for something more suitable. This old chaos champion, with a few plastic bits (mainly dryad branches), is the result. I even found a little familiar to use. This is a test model in a way, if the end result is good I will be doing something similar on the chaos knights.

The inspiration for the antlers comes from the original concept work for Nurgle afflictions. Antlers and horns were freely handed out by Nurgle back in the 1980's, as you can see here.

When this model is painted up I will have three sorcerors on foot, but more on that next time.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Khorne warriors finished

The Khorne warriors are finally finished, though they took a bit longer than I anticipated. I am just glad to have them finished, I might at a future date decorate the banner with a few more heads. I also need to dust the movement tray with a bit of snow.

The cloaks were the biggest problem, I couldn't decide if they should be red, black or brown. In the end I thought a polar bear (off white) fur helped to lift the model a little, a dark brown against dark red might have been too dark. The fur also helps tie in with the snow theme. There's a little snow and blood at the bottom of the cloaks, as the warriors have waded through the blood of their enemies, but it's hard to see on this picture. I will get some close-ups taken in the next few days.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Exalted Hero

Here's my chaos army general, an exalted hero on daemon steed. The head is from the Lord on Juggernaut set, while the plastic bits are from the knights set - the shield will obviously be attached to the arm when it's painted. These minor changes help to improve the already impressive Archaon model. I will probably paint him up after the Khorne warriors, which are progressing well. The spawn I had planned to paint in this phase of three has been pushed back to the next phase.

My rough plan for painting is:-

  • 12 warriors of Khorne (underway)
  • Hero on deamonic mount
  • 5 marauder horsemen

  • 5 chaos knights
  • Spawn
  • 4 Nurgle ogres or 4 dragon ogres

That last trio breaks my rule of infantry-special-fast per phase, but it fits my current army. Suprisingly, I don't seem too far away from having a 2000 point fully painted army! I do have ideas for more characters, more units, but for the time being I will be happy to have these as a starting point.

Not only is the painting go well, but the gaming seems to be pretty decent too. From my first frustrations with the army I now seem to handle the problems of speed better and am having some surprising victories - my dwarfs never seem to beat lizardmen or vampire counts, my last two vanquished foe. The lack of chaos warriors in the army does concern me a little, it doesn't seem quite right to have just one unit of chaos warriors and one unit of knights, but I'm enjoying the games so can live with that little problem.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Before the red paint

Just a quick update post to show the little bit of work I did today. The unit was completed a few months ago, just the banner top remained to do. I was in two minds about whether I should tie the unit to Khorne or leave it unmarked. In the end I realised I could use a small magnet to hold the the banner in place, thus allowing me to use a different configuration if I feel the urge to change in the future. The removable top also makes it a bit easier to transport.

Monday 3 August 2009

Chaos warband marches on

The chaos warband at the start of the month of August. Not bad considering I started painting it only a few weeks ago (and I have just had a week's holiday which included no hobby time at all). It's around 250 points, but that will be easily doubled when I add the next unit, chaos warriors are very expensive points wise.

My plan is to paint the army in groups of three, each group comprising an infantry unit, a special or rare model and a fast unit of some description. So, phase 1 is complete with the Slaanesh marauders (infantry), the Nurgle spawn (special) and the hounds (fast). Phase 2 will comprise a unit of chaos warriors, another spawn and some marauder horsemen. I also have a couple of sorcerors that I have already painted to add to the army, I just need to re-base them. I might also make a pair of familiars to go with them.

Still feeling good about the army and keen to get it painted, which is unusual for me. I just hope the enthusiasm remains before the next distraction comes along.

Saturday 18 July 2009

Nurgle spawn finished

The repaint of the Nurgle spawn went reasonably well. It's still a little bit darker than I really wanted, a couple of glazes too many, but I am sticking with this version.

Fully expecting it to be destroyed before it could slither halfway across the board, last night's debut game was almost a success for the Thing. It managed to survive a charge from a unit of Empire knights, then sent them fleeing (with help from some nearby ogres). It then chased and destroyed the knights and was just settling down to a well-deserved nibble on a knight leg, when a last-ditch (turn 6) volley of lead from a unit of handgunners finished it off. Pretty good for a newly painted model, maybe the fresh paint curse is being lifted from my models.

Not that I expect the next painted unit to do well. Up next are some chaos hounds, which tend to follow the exact same destiny in every game. Advance, screening troops. Get shot. Lose some (or all) models. Panic. Re-roll panic test. Fail again. Flee, never to rally. I can't remember the last time my hounds tasted blood. For this reason, I will not be spending too long on painting the pathetic little beasts.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Messed Up

Bah, I spent a couple of hours today painting the Nurgle spawn, but messed it up. So it will have to be re-primed and re-painted. I think the problem was I only had a vague idea of colours before I started, then kept tinkering until it looked like a vomited rainbow.

Not to worry, sometimes these things happen. I have executed my tried and tested plan B - look through some Clint Langley artwork for inspiration. The man is a genius. And I did find the perfect picture to inspire me.

I have also been thinking about Space Wolves recently. Space Marines are the biggest thing in the Games Workshop universe, by a long chalk, but I have always struggled to see the appeal. Lots of little robots in Early Learning Centre colours, doesn't really do it for me. So I have had this vague idea to design my own chapter for a while. But the whispers about the Space Wolves I am liking the sound of, maybe I will go that way instead. It will give me a project to keep me busy in winter.

Sunday 12 July 2009

Marauders finished

I finished painting the marauders today. The technique is very simple, starting with a white primer. The base colours are applied quite thinned down, to give a slight highlight on the raised areas. Then a glaze/wash is applied to add a little shading. A few small areas are picked out for a little extra detail. It's quick and effective and means I can get the unit painted to a good standard with a minimum of fuss.

I am really fired up about the chaos troops at the moment. Next up is the chaos spawn and some chaos hounds. That will be three items, two units and a "special" reward model (a reward for painting the rank and file). I was going to switch to another army, to paint three items from that, then another of my armies, to paint three from that one - thus painting three armies three units at a time. But I may well stick to the chaos troops for a while longer. Marauder horse and Khorne warriors are already assembled, plus I could then reward myself with a real big prize - the Khorne lord on juggernaut.

Thursday 9 July 2009

Nurgle Spawn

After yesterday's abandoned Slaanesh spawn, I decided to have a bash at a Nurgle marked beast instead. This was a far easier proposition, as I had an old metal spawn model and plenty of tentacles to play with. And here it is, just waiting for the greenstuff to dry before I prime it. I am pretty pleased with it! I wanted to ensure that the model showed that it was, at one time, a human and by sculpting a fairly basic torso onto the metal I think that has been achieved.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Wasted Time?

I spent a couple of hours yesterday putting together a spawn for the chaos army. I wanted it to be possibly marked by Slaanesh, so I used fairly slim and "fast" looking parts, including a flying tyranid minus the wings. When I had finished it, I looked at it and thought about it, and looked at it again and again. Finally, I decided I didn't really like what I saw. So it will probably be tossed aside and I will have a sort through my bits to come up with something else. Better to cut my losses now rather than paint it up and then decide it's not for me.

The good news is that the maruaders are coming along nicely. I just need to put a few final details on the unit and decide on what to do with the bases. I am leaning toward a tundra look, if I can work out how to do that.

Sunday 21 June 2009

Marauders work in progress

Work on the marauders is going well. I am painting over a white undercoat to minimise the time spent on them. A thin coat of a colour over a white base can give the hint of a highlight and shade. A further glaze or wash can add to the shading. For example, the flesh has a base coat and two glazes and looks reasonable. Still to do are the base colours for the remaining leather areas and the metals and weapon handles. Once these are done I will glaze with a grey, hopefully getting a good enough finish to call them virtually done. I may embellish with some front rank highlighting, even tattoos on the skin, depending on how long has been spent. So far, so good.

One interesting thing to note is the difference between the metal and plastic models. All of the unit is being painted en masse, so each model gets exactly the same treatment - the same paint mix and consistency. Yet the glaze seems to adhere better to the plastic models. Look closely at the skin areas of the models to see the difference between how the glaze takes to the metal and plastic models.

Sunday 14 June 2009


After some deliberation (and some good advice from various sources, thanks guys), I have decided to concentrate my efforts on three armies this year. As the picture shows, one of these is the chaos army; a unit of Slaanesh marauders in the making. I originally intended to dedicate the whole army to Khorne, but I decided that they didn't really look Khornate enough, so I have started to swap a few heads, losing the hairy/beardy viking style and using more of the bald/smooth helmets. There's also a couple of daemonette heads, but I think they look a bit silly so will probably snap those off and replace them with dark elf heads. I also have a fair number of the older metal marauders, some will be used in this regiment, others will be used in a Khorne unit, armed with great weapons.

Over the next few weeks and months I will get plenty of practise with the army as it will be used in a small series of linked games. This should give me plenty of opportunity to try out different options before I commit to painting too much. I will tackle mostly core units (marauders and warriors), then move on to knights and chosen. I would like to include ogres and dragon ogres, but will have to wait for plastics of these models because I think the metal versions are not quite up to the standard of the core troops.

My original idea was to make most of the units dedicated to Khorne, but I have switched now to a multi god approach. The idea of mutated marauders of Tzeentch that could double up as Forsaken is appealing. I could also attempt a unit of four chaos ogres, one for each of the gods, though that would push my limited modelling skills to the limit. The long term idea is to have enough models to choose an army based on any one of the gods, or to mix and match.

Friday 5 June 2009

Taking Stock

Mmm. I seem to have a LOT of projects on the go at the moment. I need to write them down in a list and assess progress and prospects. Here goes:-

  • Dwarfs - a good 1500 points painted, not much more effort required to take it to 2,000 points.
  • Orcs and goblins - a fair number painted (around 1000 points), with at least the same amount unpainted.
  • High Elves - one of my oldest armies, several units painted over ten years ago. A new Avelorn/Chrace army just started.
  • Wood Elves - A joint project with the Avelorn troops - no progress otherwise.
  • Empire - a couple of detachments speed painted, otherwise all still grey plastic.
  • Chaos - another of my older armies, I have a Tzeentch army in an almost complete state (though a couple of units are daemon, the rest are warriors). A large contingent of unpainted plastics and metals (earmarked as Khorne).
  • Ogre Kingdoms - mostly grey plastic, some half-painted units.
That's just the fantasy armies. I also have:-

  • Orks - a couple of squads fully painted, plus lots of troops and a handful of vehicles in unpainted state. This is my main 40k army.
  • Marines - just the bits from Black Reach and most of the bits from Macragge, plus a few metal models, all unassembled. I do think that this would be an ideal candidate for the new airbrush and would like to develop my own chapter.
  • Chaos Marines - a few squads of Iron Warriors from an old painting job, plus a fair few bits of Death Guard/marines I was tinkering with.
  • Minas Tirith sprues - a dozen painted troops, two dozen unpainted and sundry metal characters and hobbits. Oh, and a painted ent.
Sheesh, that's a lot of unpainted models. I play once a week on average, so if I alternated between each of these, I would get to use an army about 5 times a year. I really need to thin them down somewhat. But where should the axe swing? I do tend to come back to armies, even after a several year break, just as I recently developed an urge to get back into the elf gaming. Variety is good for me, I'm not really a one army kind of guy, I like to ring the changes. But this lot is probably too much choice. Either that, or make a commitment to painting all this stuff before I buy anything new. Which is about as likely as Gordon Brown winning the next election!

Sunday 17 May 2009

Elf archers

The first unit of my new HE-WE army (that's High Elf Wood Elf for those confused by the abbreviation). This unit is mainly HE legs and torsos with WE arms and heads. It gives a fairly nice generic feel that could be related to either army.

More units to be completed include another archer regiment, possibly in this same style, a regiment of shadow warriors that will double as scouts - these will have hooded heads and cloaks to differentiate them from standard archers. I also intend to make a unit of spearmen, which will double as eternal guard. I am still pondering how best to tackle mounted troops, but it should be relatively easy to put together a unit of glade riders that can double as reavers. I do have about a dozen or so metal Silver Helms from about ten years back, so maybe they could be used at some point, though I was thinking they might fit better into another army.

I am itching to get some paint on these figures, because I want to try out some techniques. But first I have to buy a compressor to power an airbrush. I have wanted to try one for a while so decided this would be as good a time as any to start. My warhammer hobby drought has definitely ended.

Saturday 16 May 2009

More thoughts on the elves

I have been thinking more and more about the multi elf army. In fact, I have started to stick together some prototypes, made from high elf and wood elf parts. And very nice they look too. I am hoping to get a test model painted soon.

I also tried them out in a small battle last night. The defenders of Avelorn (with a small Chrace contingent) attempted to defend their woodland realm against a marauding beastmen army. Despite losing the game in the sixth turn, I really enjoyed playing. It was a completely different propostition from the heavily armoured, tough dwarfs, or the heavily armoured, brutal chaos warriors. It calls for a completely different outlook on tactics. And that is what I was looking for, a change to the usual game of stand back, take it on the chin, then dish it out/grind them down. With the elf army, I felt as though I had to be more mentally agile, more tactical. It was a very promising start and I am keener than ever to get stuck into the army.

Monday 11 May 2009

Gondor army started

I picked up a Gondor sprue from ebay for under a fiver, just to assess the painting speed. The models are smaller than fantasy but with less detail, so should be easy enough to get painted in a short time. In fact, I painted the whole dozen of them within a couple of days of them arriving! I just need some more to make up enough to fill a few bases. But it's nice that collecting an army does not fill me with the dread that it will take years to complete. An afternoon to paint 12 infantry is an encouraging omen. Bring on a whole box!

Wednesday 6 May 2009

War of the Ring

I have read a few favourable reports about the War of the Ring, so over the weekend I managed to get a quick demo of the game in the local Games Workshop. And quick it was, the game seems pretty straight forward and the turns seem to rattle by. I don't think it could ever replace WHFB as my favourite game, but it impressed me enough to scan the pages of ebay for some cheap troops. A Gondor force and some orcs (both Isengard and Mordor) will no doubt be added to the mountain of unpainted plastics.

Friday 1 May 2009

Sap rising

Yesterday I happened to be in Glasgow and visited the KelvinHall Museum. One of the galleries contained some of the work by the Macdonald sisters, artists based in Glasgow at the turn of the twentieth century. In particular, there was a painting titled "Oh ye that walk in Willow Wood" that really caught my eye. There's a link here, though the on screen colours can not hope to match the subtelty of the original.

My thoughts turned to how I could use those lovely colours in my own models. The obvious candidates would be elves, epsecially wood elves. Searching through my piles of plastics bits I found some glade guard and dryads, a solid start to an army. I also have a few bits of plastic high elves, which I could mix in with the wood elves. My idea is to build an army that can be used as wood elves, but also could be used as High Elves from the sylvan realms of Avelorn and Chrace. I could build the archers and spears to be inter-changeable across the two armies. I could also use glade riders/ellyrion reavers in a similar fashion, maybe even silver helms too at a push. If I could get together a half dozen units in this way, it would be a solid start to two armies for the price of one. Result!

When it comes to special units the inter-changeability would be more difficult, so I would probably stick to army specific units such as wardancers and White Lions. Having said that, a unit or two of shadow warriors could easily double as waywatchers.

For characters, the idea of restricting them to female mages is appealing. I have a couple of metals that spring to mind immediately. There's also the mouth-watering prospect of modelling a female elf on a unicorn or an eagle, maybe even a stag.

I need to think about the idea a bit more, to see if it crystallises as a more definite plan, or just another of those pipe dreams.

Saturday 14 March 2009

Another quickie unit

The second militia detachment I painted in a slightly different way to the first. I started with a black undercoat, then roughly drybrushed dark brown, then a mid brown. This was my basic starting colour, rather than a black undercoat. I then blocked in all the base colours, then washed with devlan mud. I did paint a couple of layers on the book pages on the psuedo banner, but otherwise no embellishments were made. The advantage of starting with the brown drybrushing is a two-fold. It gives a more natural look to the fabrics, but even better it means I can ignore most of the bags, pouches, belts - these are the things I least like to paint.

In time-honoured fashion, the unit's game debut in fully painted form ended in tears, as a beast shaman blasted them from a captured building rooftop, completely obliterating them with a couple of death magic spells. Well, it is dangerous to play with fire.

Sunday 15 February 2009

Out of the blocks

Another army started! But this one is a departure for me, as it will be speed painted, with mass effect on the tabletop more important than the paint work on individual models.

This first detachment is a case in point. It's sprayed black, a base colour applied and then washed with devlan mud. No additional highlighting required.

If I can stick to my plan, I should be able to add a small detachment or a half a unit of state troops every fortnight or so. Of course, I will no doubt break off at times to work on other armies, but if I dedicated all my hobby time to this one army I could have the whole army painted in about a year. That's about four or five times quicker than my other armies.

Thursday 5 February 2009

A change is as good as a rest?

I am officially really bad at choosing armies. And sticking to resolutions. It's just a month since I declared I would be concentrating on chaos and dwarfs as my main fantasy armies, but I have painted just one figure in that time, this rather nice classic Tzeentch sorceror. The colours were loosely based on the picture in the army book, though with more metallic tints rather than pastel colours. In that month I have played four games with the new list and am struggling to find enjoyment doing so, just frustration. I feel that warriors are a must inclusion in the army, yet they are hard to get the best use from, being so slow and easy to avoid. Supporting troops are obviously key to playing the army, the secret of which I have yet to unlock. So rather than continue to bash my head againt the proverbial brick wall, I am going to play a different army for a few weeks.

The army that has been most in my thoughts in the past week is not even one I own. I have a few figures from a previously abandoned project, just about enough to make up a Mordheim warband, not an army. I have always passed them by in favour of more exotica, but I think I might have to finally give into my instincts. So my next project may well be to collect the most average, ordinary army in the game - Empire.

My motley collection of bits is a few militia and some flagellents, which were going to be converted into a Witch Hunter warband. But I have recently come round to the idea of making several small bands of troops, such as a witch hunter band, a band of brigands and cut throats, maybe some trappers/hunters, that kind of thing. Each band could have some kind of unifying theme and make a discrete painting/modelling project, then be used as a detachment or small regiment in a complete army. Over time (a considerable period of time it has to be said), the bands would coalesce into a complete army, possibly with a Sigmarite theme. My opponents often plays beasts and chaos, ocassionally vampire counts, which also fits the theme. The more I mull it over, the more it makes sense.

Sunday 4 January 2009

New Year Resolutions

This is my painted dwarf army as it stands at the moment. There is a unit of 20 warriors, 10 miners, 16 thunderers and 15 longbeards. There are 3 war machines - a cannon, bolt thrower and organ gun. There's also a partially painted flame cannon. Characters are a couple of thanes, a runesmith and an army standard bearer. It's the army I am most likely to get painted this year, so I am posting it as an incentive to get it finished. If I get to the end of the year and it's not expanded to a fully painted 2000 points, I have failed in one of my resolutions.

Here's the full list of resolutions:-

  1. Field a fully painted (dwarf) 2000 point army in a battle
  2. Make a good start on painting my chaos warrior army (around 1000 points)
  3. Paint the orks I bought last year (2 trukks, 6 deff koptas, tankbustas, burna boyz and lootas)

That's my main three goals for the year, adding any more will just muddy the water. I will be adding to my other armies too, but these are the Big Three for 2009. They are not ordered in any way, in fact I will be working on my chaos army in the next few weeks as I assemble enough troops to try them out in battle for the first time. That will give me a few ideas on how to progress, but already I am thinking about adding a converted war altar to the basic plastics I already have. More on that in a future post.
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