Sunday 28 August 2011

Dwarfs getting a new book in 2012?

With the Ogre Kingdoms book on advance order, it's time to think about the next book to be released. Isn't that always the way with wargamers?

There is plenty of speculation and rumour on the next book, but the most reliable guesses seem to be one of three contenders - Bretonnia, Dwarfs or Wood Elves. I have no idea if these are the only contenders, they are the ones most often cropping up in internet forums, but only a handful of GW employees know for sure. It would be nice if all three of these were released in 2012, more than a year into the new version and only two books released with a third around the corner is not the best support to my mind.

I have a small collection of wood elves, currently on hold until I get some idea of how they will develop in the next book. I have a much larger collection of dwarfs, pretty much one of every unit, more than half of them painted too. So it's the dwarfs that get most of my attention at the moment. I have recently painted up a unit of the new Avatars of War berserkers and am currently working on a unit of dwarf rangers. Once these are completed I will have around 2500 points of painted units, with enough bare metal/plastic to add at least another 1000 points. That's a lot of beards.

When the new book is released I do not intend to shelve any of these models. I don't play in tournaments so I don't have to optimise my choices. I usually play in narrative style campaigns/games, where the unfolding story and spectacle of battle is more important than the outcome. Thus I fully expect to continue fielding the same units and characters I have been building up over the past few years.

I have to confess that I have not been overly impressed with some elements of 8th edition. The move to mass casualties, devastating magic, laser guided artillery and the like are the main areas that concern me. The game seems to have changed from a considered tactical challenge to a more hectic, random dice fest. That's not to say I don't enjoy 8th edition, because I do (mostly), it's just different now.  I wonder how dwarfs will fit into this fast paced, blood soaked, magic infused universe without making major changes to the classic dwarf character.  In fact, I am slightly worried about what effect a new book might have on the dwarfs.

A further move toward a steampunk image will not be good for me. I am concerned about rumours of mechanical statues/constructs. These smack too much of chaos or magic devices to my mind. A steam tank might be feasible, but that has already been done by the Empire and is very close to what's happening with the new chaos dwarf range. A zeppelin/flying machine has also been mentioned, but again this would overlap with the gyrocopter and seems to duplicate rather than innovate. A new artillery piece might be an option, but it's difficult to think how it could be much different to the current collection.

Maybe none of these will come to pass and the dwarfs will stubbornly cling on to the old ways, but somehow I doubt it. Whichever way the dwarfs are taken in the next book, I really hope that GW consider their older customers and avoid the wow-awesome-cool-massive-model syndrome of recent releases. Ask any dwarf and they will tell you - bigger is not always better.

Thursday 25 August 2011

New plastic Nurgle figure

I spotted this photo on one of the forums. It's rumoured to be a plastic Nurgle Lord. I sincerely hope that it is plastic, because I will definitely buy one and hack it around to make it more lordly. At the moment, I would say it is merely aspiring champion or even unit champion. It needs a little bit more to make it a lord.

The new plastic characters that have been released recently are nice enough but come as they are in the picture, with no extra bits or options. Of course, plastic is easy enough to hack around so that's not a major problem if you have plenty of bits.

I am jumping the gun here a bit as I am trying to stick to painting dwarfs, the rangers are only just started and I still need to finish the berserkers. I also have a large pile of plastics to assemble for my next army, which I hope to start in September. So the Nurgle items will have to wait a while, probably November is the month of Nurgle for me. I have a few more models that I will be painting for my Chaos army, some of them much more interesting than this guy. It's going to be a busy autumn.

Sunday 21 August 2011

Dwarf rangers started

The berserkers are not yet finished but they are tabletop ready, so I have moved on to the next dwarf unit, 24 rangers. These will be much easier to paint as they are mostly armour and beard. They are a mix of plastics, mostly current version, with a few axes hefted on the shoulder from the previous plastics set. There's also a couple of metals in the unit, including one of my favourite dwarf minis of all the time, the champion with eye patch and wooden leg.

Today I primed the unit, most with metallic paint, some with a white primer then painted on the metal areas. The next step is a wash, when I apply this I will also use it on the weapons of the berserker unit. When I paint the beards of this unit, I will also touch up the beards of the berserker unit. This makes me feel like I am making good progress, even though I am going back to a previously painted unit. It's a little technique I use to keep up impetus on an army - get one unit to a reasonable level, then just work on it in little sessions here and there to bring it up to scratch. It makes painting a difficult unit seem less of a chore.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Table Top Fix

I have recently been looking more and more into non-GW hobby materials, be they games or miniatures. There is a lot of stuff out there, but some of it is hard to find. So a site like Table Top Fix is a nice shortcut, it updates practically every day on new miniatures, games, etc. Take a look, maybe even put their banner on your own blog as I have done, you might win a prize.

Click on the image to learn more.

Monday 15 August 2011

Berserkers causing problems

I really wanted this post to be a picture of the completed regiment of berserkers. However, they are causing me some headaches to paint them to a decent standard.

Several years ago I painted in a fairly conventional manner - a base coat, a wash, then highlights (or layers as some call them). More recently, I have been experimenting with cutting out the highlight stages, as these are the most time consuming to perform. I thought I had made good progress with some of my recent efforts and was hoping I could do the same on these dwarfs.

Here are the two "cheat" bases to show how they look at the moment. They are a decent tabletop standard, but I like to get above this level. Trying to achieve it without using highlights is proving a challenge. On these figures, I might have to throw in the towel and admit defeat. Some highlighting is perhaps inevitable. There is certainly more work required on the weapons, the skin and the hairy bits ie just about all the model. I guess you just can't rush a dwarf!

Sunday 7 August 2011

Death Guard Rhino

The chaos marines are proving surprisingly quick to paint up. I suppose being basically one colour helps! This is proving to be one of the most relaxing armies I have painted. Adding a unit or vehicle once per month is a nice pace to tick along to.

I tried the hairspray technique on this vehicle, having already experimented a little on the squad. Each time I do it I learn something new. The patches of flaked paint are still a little bit too large to be realistic, but I am getting there. I have two more to do, hopefully I will be hitting the nail on the head by the time I get to them.

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