Wednesday 30 May 2012

Monthly Mini Porn Issue 5

This month's issue is dedicated to just one manufacturer. These figures have been wowing me for the past few weeks, since they were unveiled at the Salute show in London. They are from a new company called Hawk Wargames, designed for an upcoming 10mm sc-fi game called Dropzone Commander. 

There are four factions, these are sample vehicles from the United Colonies of Mankind. I am getting a real Thunderbirds vibe from these figures!

The next race is the Post-Human Republic, presumably an offshoot/progression from the humans. The angular lines are gone and replaced by smooth curves. Now I am thinking Captain Scarlett!

The Scourge are an alien race, presumably with a name like that they are the bad guys. There's a real nice organic/sea creature feel to these models. Is the designer a Gerry Anderson fan I wonder, this being a nod to Stingray?

Finally there's the mysterious Shaltari Tribes. An insectoid race of aliens? 

Remember, these are 10mm scale. The level of detail is astonishing. And they have been designed to actually fit together if you want them to, like this picture shows. Quite incredible!

If you want to see all the pictures released to date then visit the Hawk Wargames facebook page. I am eagerly awaiting more details on the game, prices and the like. This is one set of mini porn that I reckon will be impossible for me to resist. My main difficulty is choosing a faction, they all have different appeals. 

Sunday 27 May 2012

Avatars of War plastic Dwarfs!

Would you believe it? After the post yesterday about Sedition Wars, comes more stunning news about possible upcoming miniatures. Avatars of War are making a plastic dwarf army! Go visit the indiegogo page  for all the details, including a list of all the units, characters and war machines they want to produce, given the funding comes through. Even if you are not that interested in dwarfs, just go take a look at the concept sketches (and then weep at your own pathetic army).

There's a comprehensive list of all the units that they already have planned, and those they will be able to extend to if the funding is raised. Already planned are warriors with shields, warriors with pistols, elite armoured warriors with shields and elite armoured warriors with great weapons. So far, so Warhammer. But also planned are a living ancestor stone statue, a master builder and a mortar with crew. All these will be released whatever happens with the funding.

Now the extras that will be possible if funds allow, in order of targets reached:-

  • champion multi part model
  • crossbow regiment
  • veterans regiment
  • treasure hunters
  • bear warriors (dwarfs in bear disguises!)
  • dwarf king on bear
  • dwarf bear lord
  • dwarf pathfinders
  • dwarf cavalry (bear riders)
  • war bears
  • valkyries (female dwarf warriors)
  • cannon
  • light cannon
  • geologist
  • sniper

That's far too much excitement for me for one weekend. I need a lie down and a cool beer to recover from all this anticipation (not to mention wallet strain). 

Saturday 26 May 2012

Sedition Wars

Sedition Wars, by Studio McVey, is available for pre-orders on the kickstarter site. Go check it out, if you haven't already! For those who have never heard of kickstarter, it's a communal pledge website to help small companies raise money to fund projects. Customers pledge an amount (in US dollars) and if the target amount is reached by the cutoff date, the product is financed. Then the company gets to work to produce the product and ships out in a few months' time.

It's a beautiful little system. No marketing, no middle men, no big company price gouging. Just a fine product being developed for discerning customers, if the target amount is reached. Of course, there was never any doubt about this product given the McVey connection! The target amount was reached within 6 hours, so now there are further targets set to improve the package (more variety in the miniatures, etc).

Even if you are not that interested in the boardgame, the minis are well worth looking at. I would enjoy painting these minis without a doubt, even if I never played the game. There's little detail on the actual gameplay, so by pledging you are taking a leap in the dark, but with the figures this good I reckon it's a good deal. For US gamers it's especially good, they get the game for just $80. Anyone outside the US has to fork out an extra $25 for shipping. Still, at current exchange rates that's £67, which compares favourably with big box miniature games.

So, so tempting for me. There is another big release coming up soon which is also making my wallet twitch. I need to raise some hobby cash to pay for all this goodness. I wonder if anybody would buy my dreadfleet from me?

Thursday 24 May 2012

New plastic goblin shaman

Now this is a little surprise, a sneaky little goblin shaman sneaking into the latest set of GW releases. Very sneaky indeed! As I am in the middle of painting up some goblins it caught my attention over on the Warhammer Forum (originally posted on Warseer).

It's a nice enough figure for sure, well proportioned hands on a plastic goblin is a welcome improvement. It's a nice pose too, a bit more considered than the usual manic waving of staff in the air. The head/face is a little underwhelming, not that different to any of the rank and file. For me, it's a candidate for an army standard bearer rather than a shaman, reasonable conversion fodder. A boxed regiment of this style of goblin would have been very exciting about a year ago, when the new army book was released.

Will I buy it? Probably not. I tend to use night goblin shamans for mushroom shenanigans and already have 2 or 3 of those in my army. Similarly I don't need an army standard bearer as I already have one. Maybe I might buy one to paint up just for the fun of it! I can decide in a couple of weeks' time.

Monday 14 May 2012

Goblin Warlord painted

As promised in the previous post, here are the pictures of the painted goblin warlord, ready to lead his pathetic troops to almost certain defeat.



Sunday 13 May 2012

Painting a Goblin Warlord

Here's a nice little weekend project, painting up a nice little goblin warlord. It's the Avatars of War model of course, a fine model to lead my goblin army into action.

Stage 1 : Preparation

In this first picture the model has been cleaned and assembled and glued to a piece of cork, very handy for simple rocks on bases. I primed it with Halfords white car primer (a UK brand). When the primer was fully dry (check the can for drying times), I applied a thinned wash of a dark brown all over the model, so that I can see the detail better. It looks more like grey on this shot, it doesn't matter that much, it's just a guide for where to put the subsequent layers of paint. Finally for the prep stage, I glued some sand on the base.

Stage 2 : Basic colours

The least inspiring phase of any painting. It's just a question of applying your chosen colours as carefully and neatly as possible. The wash from the first stage should be a help here, acting as guide lines. The picture shows the basic palette I have used. It's pretty muted, that's the way I like my figures, and I can always add some spot colour later on if I really want to. Note also that the figure is attached to a cotton reel using some white tac. This makes it much easier to hold.

Stage 3 : Shading

In this stage I shaded nearly all the basic colours. In the past I have used GW washes for this, or a mix of Tamiya and inks. These days I tend to use matte medium (available in any art supplies shop). I just mix it up with my chosen colour and apply it thinly, concentrating on the deeper recesses and/or areas I want to be dark. It should "rest" in these areas quite nicely. If it flows all over the surface, like a glaze, you need to add more medium. If it's very gloopy and sticks to your brush, you need to add a little water. I am pretty sure that this is how GW washes are made, paint and medium, it's much cheaper and more flexible to make your own.

In this stage I have also painted the rock. It started a light grey (see previous picture), I stippled on a few areas of browns and greens to add a little texture. Then I simply drybrushed the raise areas of the cork, making it lighter on the sharper edges. Finally I toned it all down a little with a brown wash, which was also applied to the sand.

Stage 4: More Shading, Some Details

In this stage there's more shading done, some with simple GW washes such as the gold areas on the axe (that's gryphone sepia over the chainmail). I have also shaded the skin more deeply with a purple glaze (not to be confused with the classic Jimi Hendrix song). It looks a bit much in this shot but will be toned down in the next stage. There are some highlights on the cloth areas, difficult to see in this pretty poor snap.

Stage 5 : Finishing Touches

More highlighting and shading as required in this step, mostly refining the skin and other prominent areas. Much of the work was done on the back of the model which you can't actually see in this photo! Not to worry, it's not been a full step by step article, more a general overview of my workflow.

The colour balance in the pictures is poor, I am using a pocket camera and the light from the window. I will get some better photos posted in the next few days.

Monday 7 May 2012

Goblins WIP

It's the May Day bank holiday in the UK and so predictably it's cold and rainy and feeling more like February. The perfect excuse to avoid any gardening and stay wrapped up nice and warm inside, just a pair of cutters, a sharp knife and some plastic glue to keep up the spirits. And lots of little gobliny bits.

I want my goblins to look a bit sneaky of course, but also a downtrodden, vicious-if-cornered mob. Here's a sneak peak of progress to date, I have most of this unit of forty goblins constructed now. I have also built a general and his bodyguard, to be speed painted next weekend. Waaaargh!

Saturday 5 May 2012

Feeling Green

Recently, after a short break from the game, I have been playing Warhammer again. There are plenty of things I don't like about 8th edition, but I still love the setting and the world (the fluff) and just can't stop liking the figures. It's the mass carnage that turns me off the game, it just doesn't seem right to me that, for example, a unit of 25 dwarf warriors can be reduced to nothing in a turn or two. So after playing a couple of games with the bearded ones, and not really enjoying them too much, I decided to look for something else.

Theoretically I should have turned to the Vampire Counts. It doesn't matter if I have to remove handfuls of zombies and skeletons each turn, because a) they will probably come back to life in the magic phase and b) they are already dead! I flicked through the army book a couple of times, but the old magic that it used to have for me, just seems to have drained away. For the time being at least.

In the end I turned to the army that I had originally started to build purely because I had a few models from the Battle for Skull Pass set. The Orcs and Goblins were always intended as a "spare" army, to be collected cheaply from ebay and to give me an opponent for my Dwarfs. Somehow they have slowly evolved into my biggest army, there are about 2000 points painted with at least that much again in boxes waiting for assembly/paint. Whenever I play them, I don't mind if I lose them in droves and I generally have fun, especially since the new book removed the frustration of the old animosity rule (there's still animosity of course, but it's not as likely to completely cripple your battle plan like the old system did).

Reading the army book I was drawn to the sneaky side, the filthy little goblinses. I need to boost my night goblin regiment a little, from 30 to about 40. And I also should really finish the Goblin Gizmos I started around this time last year. But in true hobbyist fashion, I decided to start a completely new regiment. One thing led to another and the whole thing has ballooned into an idea for an all goblin army. More details in the next few posts.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Dwarf Engineer painted

I finished the Dwarf Engineer. I am quite happy with the metals and the leather apron, but there are a few niggling problems with the rest of it. The cloth bits are a bit glossy and no matter how much matte varnish I use it seems to make no difference. The hair is blonder than I wanted, I had it a nice pale colour but then glazed it with too much yellow. The skin is okay, but I had a lot of problems with the eyes, which were virtually non-existent on the model. In fact, the quality of the cast overall was quite low, with a few areas miscast and the model in general being "soft" on detail. I hope Avatars of War eventually make the move to resin, as long as it's not finecast resin. Blimey, all this exposure to the dwarf has turned me into an old grumbler!
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