November 30, 2010

Dreadstone Blight arrives

Dreadstone Blight... well it arrived in the post yesterday and I was rather shocked. I was expecting a rather complicated piece of kit. However what I received was really simple. I am guessing but this kit seems to have about twelve parts! The walls are three interlocking sections on the bottom level with two extra bits. These fit onto the really super thick plastic base. The stairs just glues in under the floor pieces. Putting this together would only take about ten minutes, maybe with another ten involved in cleaning the mould lines. The piece comes alredy removed from the sprue. The levels are individually wrapped in a bag. Really this kit has barely any work needed! The picture comes from here. I spotted it this morning and I am astounded at how quickly it was painted to such quality. I want to duplicate the result so I will be ordering some of the vajello weathering powders soon. I am assuming this is what was used to get the wonderful effects on the stonework. The brown on the base for instance.

I have slowly been gathering up terrain pieces for Warhammer with a thought to getting a really high quality board created. The only problem with this is the table itself. While my apartment isn't that small it is still hard to store a 6" x 4" table somewhere. If I went with my previous solution of a board that folds in half along the centre then I have to deal with the problems it had. You still need a large table to balance the board on as otherwise it could fold over during the battle. The one I made, and still have back in Ireland, was really heavy which minimised the possibility to fold. I commissioned these from a carpenter and he put the hinges on the underside! This time I will try to go with half inch MDF with the hinges some how on the top. It should be possible to 'bury' then into the table so that they are not obvious during the battle... I would texture the table of course but again this leads to more problems as generally this causes warping. Reinforcing the boards to prevent this makes them annoying to store and to lay down on a table.

What I really want though is a modular set up. A number of 2" x 2" sections should be enough, maybe eight? However storing these things is next to impossible too. Nowhere have I ever seen a shelving system (with doors) that would allow these to be stored out of sight! Again warping would be a problem, probably even more so as you don't have the weight of the boards themselves acting somewhat as a counter balance.

Having looked around the internet for some inspiration I really haven't found any. The only things of interest were basically premanent set-ups and that doesn't suit me at all. What I need must be packed away after use... Anyway I hopefully will come up with something soon or at least find someone elses idea I can steal!

November 17, 2010

Wood... uuuugh

Slowly my marauders are coming together! This is once again a very work in progress shot. I have a good bit more to do with the shields, basically all the detail work there. On the marauders themselves I only have a small few details to do. The weapons especially need some attention. Thankfully this is half the regiment nearly done. While they are boring and time consuming to do, doubly so when you consider that they are only worth about five point each! Still these have been a massive annoyance to me for a long time. The two big blocks have been sitting on my desk sapping my will to continue. Now that I see some good progress being made my motivation is slowly returning.

Its strange how just looking at a block of miniatures awaiting some paint can really take away your motivation to continue. With the amount I have done now over half the marauders are finished. I still have sixteen to construct ans sculpt cloaks for but I am finally enthusiastic about doing it. I am under no illusions though that the army is nearing completion. I am assuming I have about another forty warrior models to paint... at least these are not constructed and therefore sitting on my desk begging for paint.

I hope the beastman shields work work out on the marauders. I really didn't want to suddenly put brightly painted shields on these. However the beastman shields could be a little dark? I can't judge the effect over the entire regiment just yet but hopefully the pale skin can still make them stand out. Painting the wood is not fun. I start with a basecoat of scorched brown and work it up with a mix of snakebite leather. It keeps the colour muted and stops it from blending into the other browns I have used on the model. Building up those layers can take a while though. I have kindly been donated enough shields to finish the regiment, thanks Lenny!

November 9, 2010

Back to the grindstone

I have gotten something done. Well truthfully I have gotten something started! My big marauder block is underway finally. These six are still pretty much work in progress pieces but at least some parts of them are finished. I am probably going to scale it down from forty models to more like twenty five. That means only another seven cloaks to sculpt but thats not too bad. Getting the heads together,thats going to be a problem. While painting these was a little bit of a chore is was nice to make such progress within a day practically. I had some of the basecoating done from a long time ago and that always helps. At this pace I might get the regiment done within a month... sounds long but with only some all too small windows of opportunity within which to paint it is at least realistic!

PhotobucketThis is a shot from the back showing the cloaks. I have improved somewhat since I started but these are still rather annoying to have to paint. As I haven't the talents of a real sculptor I make the strands sometimes almost impossible to paint. Altogether they look good. The next thing to do for these guys is to get the shields prepared. I am thinking about using the old beastman shields. The ones that are completely wooden. I am not sure if the current models have the same shields as I will probably need to beg, borrow or steal to get all the ones I will need. I have some lying around and I can use them as a test. If I don't like them I can always intersperse them into the regiment to break up monotony of the marauders standard shields.

November 5, 2010

Finally some inspiration

Well as you may notice from the abscence of any new posts here I haven't been painting that much recently. Getting everything ready in a rush for the tournament in Gorey(Ireland) and then trying to get more stuff ready for the tournament in Bad Odelsoe(Germany) really killed my desire to paint. This week I got a number of things in the post that really got me hungry to paint again! It all came in a big box courtesy of Maelstrom Games. I bought Warhammer: Invasion. While it is a card game, generally something I avoid, I was tempted by how much I had enjoyed Dominion. Having played exactly two games of it I found myself quickly thinking about collecting Orcs and Goblins again. I had been playing that deck. It was nice to see the artwork as some of it is from the old box covers. Coupled with playing the game was the other contents of the box: enough pieces to add two more trolls to the army, some more warriors and finally some terrain.

Having been delighted with the quality of the 40k terrain that Games Workshop have produced I decided to see what the fantasy stuff was like. I picked up the chapel. While I haven't even unboxed it yet it looks great. I had seen it at a few tournaments before but as the tournament terrain is usually all glued together in a hurry and then simply airbrushed a few appropriate colours, I had never payed the chapel much attention. As soon as I find an appropriate base I will glue it together and get it painted. Sadly the nice high stone wally you get with the manor kit are only available there and even then you don't get many. I had hoped to put a high wall around the chapel but unless GW release them separately thats not going to ahppen. I guess it just doesn't look right with the lower walls. I also bought some of the fences. I will make a small few fields which generally look nice and add a nice tactical feel to the battlefield. In seventh edition they were just a nuisance. However now with the general -1 to hit for shooting and combat for being behind them, coupled with the fact they don't impede movement for infantry makes them pretty good. As long as they are big and can easily contain a regiment of up to forty that should be fine. A nice blog I found on terrain can be seen here. Hopefully I will get everything togther soon so I can post some pictures of my terrain on here.

So hopefully I can get some painting done this weekend. I am going to try and focus on the marauders as getting the two regiments of them finished would really take the bul out of the army and allow me to concentrate on the fun stuff!

October 25, 2010

Playing something a little different

So this week I haven't even looked at a miniature. Despite the fact I have a tournament coming on the 30th I really wasn't inspired. Getting everything ready for the Gorey tournament took a bit of the desire to paint out of me! I have a few long beards that need to be painted but they can be substituted with a few Clansmen or Hammerers. I doubt anyone will notice. Instead I have pulled out a few board games, grabbed a few beers and called some friends over. Smallworld is the game we have been playing. I think I played four games of it alone this week. Its fantastic. If you have any interest in boardgames this is really one to pick up. Its pretty tactical but gives a really good illusion of being simple. Turns move around really quickly after the first game and nobody is stuck for ages waiting until their turn comes up. Its also pretty friendly for the whole family. The artwork is quite comical and so is the theme... especially when you consider you can have Flying Giants fighting Seafaring Trolls! I have managed to lose each game I played and come last everytime. I am not sure what I am doing wrong but I am definitely doing something badly.

Dominion is another game I have been playing recently though not this week. I picked up a german copy of the game and while that presents some difficulties I think it proves the strength of the game that I can still play it and enjoy it! This games is a pretty simple card game where constructing the deck itself is the mechanic by which you play the game. Essentially you need to score the most points before the card stacks you are selecting (buying) from become exhausted. The game comes with twenty five stacks of which ten are used. That means you get a hell of a lot of replayability! At least my winning record is good here. I have won the last three games I played.

So I have to have a three thousand point list created for the Dwarves for this weekend. I have no idea what to spend the points on! Its six hundred more than the Gorey tournament and I struggled a little to even fill that army list with effective selections. I am considering putting in a regiment of Hammerers but getting twenty of them in the points allotment for special will be tough with twenty five miners and two runed-up stone throwers in there already! I can of course bulk out on characters but I am not sure if that would really bring me much. I will keep you posted on how the list construction goes over the week.

October 16, 2010

Almost a horde

October really is the month of Dwarves for me! I have been trying to get some regiments finished. I have had Dwarves for so long that the regiments I built conform to a lot of different editions. My plan is to try to make sure that the 'bits' of regiments I have are eighth compatible. I would love to have a mega game with them eventually and as such I need to have them at least function someway! To that end I lined up everything and tried to match together what I could. I then assembled a lot of spares I had to fill the gaps.

PhotobucketI realised that with all the miners I have I am almost at forty! Actually I think I am just two models short. However in the interests of diversity and the fact there are no real special slots anymore it would probably be better to have two regiments of twenty. So I am painting up a spare command group at the moment. The unit filler adding eight models really bulked these out and I will be adding as many as possible to other regiments. Looking through the spares that I have I think I will be able to add four. One is already in the Long Beards and I think I will add the others to Clansmen regiments to bring them quickly up to forty and twenty five. I have been considering what unit fillers I need for the Chaos. I hadn't intended using any but they would speed my progress up a huge amount!

I have to remain disciplinde however. I really need to get back to the Chaos soon. This months break will hopefully reinvigorate me. The marauder blocks are going to be a nightmare. Once they are done however thats it! The army will finally be useable in a painted state. It will also hopefully coincide with the Warhammer Forge releases. The preview stuff I have seen are fantastic and I can see my self investing all too heavily! The plague toads will probably be first and assuming that they fit on the correct base sizes I will use them as Dragon Ogres eventually. The Trolls and Ogres I haven't got a good look at so I don't know if they will suit. Its great the see alternative, albeit expensive, miniatures coming out for Warhammer. Its a pity they couldn't have had it more in line with the release schedule of eighth. I also hope that these options will make it into the army books in some fashion as it would be a turn off to have these models as optional only.

October 12, 2010

4th to 8th - Dwarves

Interestingly I have been playing Dwarves for quite a long time. They are the army I have had the longest and their career stretches back to the very beginning of fourth edition. As you can imagine the lists and models have changed quite a bit since then. Still some of those models still feature in my army but most of them have entered retirement. Having finally used the Dwarves in eighth edition at the Gorey tournament I think I am back in love with this army. In seventh edition I found the Dwarves pretty boring. They were forced to play very defensively and the games were always the same. My opponents generally complained and I can see why. I gave them up for Ogres and Chaos.

Comparing what I took for the tournament in comparison to older army books there is a huge difference. The twenty Clansmen have changed from 242 points including a champion in fourth edition to 205 points in eighth, in fouth they only had light armour however. Better yet the thirty Longbeards have gone from 505 points in fouth to 475 points in sixth and finally to 440 points in eighth. In fourth they had no options for great weapons! Curious to see the general changes in points between the editions I made out the army list in each of them. In fourth I would have paid 3053 points for an approximation of the list. There were no Rangers in this edition so I just paid for Crossboxmen. If there were rangers I am sure there would be a few more points to add to the total. In sixth the list begins to look very similar but comes in at 2580 points. The eighth edition points are 2498.

It was very interesting to go back to fourth edition to try to make out a list. I had forgotten how annoying it was. Champions are a separate option within the characters section. They really are not much more than champions are currently but they are almost twice as expensive. They could take magic items at least. Command group members cost twice that of a standard trooper. This makes them in general a little cheaper than within the current list. Other interesting features was the expensive warmachines. Stone throwers were more expensive and the rune of accuracy came in at fifty points rather than twenty five. This makes fitting these machines in much more of a challenge.

The general trend from fourth to now is that everything is getting cheaper. As the new Tomb Kings and Orc books loom on the horizon I wonder will the trend continue? I can't see why not as it forces us to buy a little more each time to keep the armies current.

October 6, 2010

Speed painting!

I got them done! Thankfully I will be fielding a fully painted Dwarf army for the tournament this weekend at Gorey. Thats far better than last year at least where I used my newly constructed Chaos army. I don't think there was a single painted miniature on the table, at least on my side. The only thing I have to consider is that I am not 100% sure what I have back in Ireland and hopefully I will have enough models from my previous Dwarf army to fill up the regiments I a using in eight. I have a regiment with thirty great weapons. I have twenty three models and no command. I think I have enough to fill the gaps. Fingers crossed eh?

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I at least know I have enough miners to bulk this regiment out. I am nervous about my list selection for eighth. I have put in both Rangers and Miners to compensate for some of the demands of the scenarios. The miners offer a threat along the board edges enabling me to get into a flank easily enough or behind an artillery battery. The sheer threat value of the regiment often causes the opponent to make a mistake due to the fact that they don't often react to this type of threat. The rangers allow to get into a nice position early. With the abundance of terrain, well hopefully at this event, I should be able to get them into a nice position early. As they have crossbows they can then easily threaten a large area of the board. They should be within short range and at least get two rounds of shooting before they are forced to reform for combat.

So for less than a weeks painting I have managed to get my army ready for eight edition. I am sure that there will be a few adjustments needed along the way but its done. Let the gaming begin!

October 5, 2010

Basecoating

It has to be the most boring task of a painter - basecoating. It is especially boring the more models you have to do! With these Dwarves I am going crazy! They at least don't have too many large spaces that need paint such as horses. The Beards cover most of them. Getting an even coat on the flesh is tough despite using the foundation paints. I find that they get really thick soon after you use them for the first time and you quickly need to begin watering them down pretty heavily which as you would expect breaks their coverage. I am still not convinced about these paints. However as I somehow have to Dwarf Flesh I needed to use Tallarn Flesh as the closest equivalent. I am coing around more and more to adopting a different paint set. I think I will pick up some of the Privateer Press paints to try again. I might also cehck some Coat d'Arms also. Not sure yet...


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The colour scheme is one I have used for most of the regiments I have already painted that are residing in Ireland for now. I am hoping they match up fairly closely. I went through all my photo albums in the hope I had documented my painting of the dwarves. Other than a few random shots I am working from memory. Not only did I paint this army years ago but I also last gamed with them years ago! I really only know I used red, green and gold. So hopefully I can guess correctly exactly which shades. Otherwise I am going to have a fairly motely army! So now I am getting back to shading these guys. Thankfully the GW washes are available now!

October 4, 2010

Getting started

So work has begun! I have the dwarves assembled and undercoated. I forgot how annoying that the 'new' dwarf models are to put together. They really suck. I am not sure why the designers went for ths style against the previous one. The older one consists of legs and head being separate from the body. Now the back and the legs are one piece with the chest and head being a second piece. They fit together poorly and make a big gap if done incorrectly. Well they are assembled now so thankfully no need to do any more of that!

PhotobucketI had to make a few regiment fillers. The number of Dwarves I needed to get ready was far to much to expect to get done this week. The fillers take the space of eight dwarves and involve about the same effort in painting terms as three dwarves. I have some carts spare from a few copies of Battle for Skull Pass. That means I can continue the theme across some of the other regiments and hopefully bulk them out to fit in eighth edition better. I will hopefully get all these guys base coated soon...

October 1, 2010

The Long March Begins

Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold!I have a week and fifty Dwaves to paint... Can it be done? I have no idea. I hope so as I need them for a tournament in Gorey, Ireland. Its 2500pts and my first eighth edition tournament! I have a huge amount of Dwarves but still I had to change the army so that it would function best in this edition. Forinstance I never had any Longbeards before. Now I need to add thirty to the army and they have to have great weapons. So I can't really just use something I had from before and simply call them longbeards! I also need to buy and paint a Grudge Thrower as they seem to be great in the new edition. I don't like the current model in comparison to the old one. The all metal version just doesn't seem right to me!

Miners are really looking attractive as a regiment now. I will be fielding a large regiment of them. The ability to come on and move give them a really good board control effect. If my opponent gets too close to the board edge I can come on get up close and with the help of the Anvil hopefully smash into their flank. The only problem I see is that there are only eleven attacks coming from this regiment meaning a maximum in average terms of six kills against standard infantry. Still they cancel ranks and with a combined charge they could be very effective.

Longbeards are looking much better to. They are expensive in comparison to a Clansman but hopefully worth it. The boost in Weapon Skill and Strength really make them better. I would prefer to have Iron Breakers but they quickly eat into your special points allotment. I have armed mine with great weapons because if you are going last you had better hit hard! The immune to panic at least saves you having to roll but passing along a re-roll to others isn't so important.

September 26, 2010

Foot Sloggers!

I painted these guys to get back into marauder painting. I am not sure why I should have practised on the command group but they were to hand and I did. Thankfully they match almost perfectly with the ones I painted a year ago. I don't have the standard painted yet. I am not sure what to do. I will I think use a khornate symbol as I want these to be part of the great weapon regiment. I would like to have as many attacks as possible and doubling those from the front rank would be good. The more I look at the rules the better frenzy seems to be. As re-roll from the battle standard bearer makes it a safe enough ability I can't see a massive downside. Generally if I am charging with them it will be because I want to. Now that I have these done I am eager to get into the big blocks. I have fourteen Marauders done at least.

I have been considering the same thing about my Chaos Knights. Khorne is the only option for them! That would make for a huge number of attacks coming out of just six models. The Blood Knights seem to be a very common component of the vampire army and Khorne Knights should be as effective. Its a big investment of points that could be used easily elsewhere but I have them painted so they will end up in the list. Anyway I won't be getting much done on the Chaos over the coming month as I need to prepare the Dwarves! It would seem that October is going to be a month of Dwarves.

I have been reading the Rogue Trader roleplaying rulebook from Fantasy Flight. So far I am dissapointed! I really don't get the feeling that it was well concieved. I am not yet sure why but it doesn't inspire me. The rules are based on a similar model to Warhammer Fantasy roleplay which I really like. The ship rules seem half done and very unexciting. I also can't see how a party would be formed. It reminds me of an episode of Star Trek where the most important members of the crew are always the ones leading away missions. That makes no sense in reality and just as little in this fantasy! The Dark Heresy parties seem to make it work better. All in all I am not interested in running it but I might play just to test it.

September 20, 2010

Inspiration

I am re-reading Elric of Melnibone at the moment. I read this book a long long time ago! I think I must have been around twelve when I bought it. I remember it being tiny, the book couldn't have been more than two hundred pages. It was the only book I could find at the time about Elric and I yearned to read more. Finally I remembered these books a few weeks ago. I am not sure why. I have vague memories of seeing them for sale second hand recently but not buying them because they were an incomplete set. This edition is number eight despite the fact that it starts with the first book in the series. I haven't quite figured it out but I suspect it is due to prequels. The prose isn't great. I have only read the first book completely and it was generally fine. The second book, Fortress of the Pearl, is terrible. I am not sure if it is a style issue or if it is actually bad. I guess it is style as the books have been popular. I am trying to get through the second book in the hope that the third is better. Now while the prose is bad the story is good and remarkable for having been written in the sixties(?). It is only recently that fantasy for me has matured as a genre and yet within this book I find wonderful ideas.

This book is one of the main inspirations for Games Workshop during the creation of the Warhammer Universe as far as I remember. The high elves are easiest on some levels to identify. Melnibone, home of Elric, is very similar to Ulthuan. The Dragon Princes are a direct idea taken. The gods of law and chaos were once a feature of Warhammer but the gods of law such as Soltan have more or less been ignored. I remember only one reference in recent books. The fifth god of Chaos Malal appeared somewhere in the Elric saga and was removed from the GW pantheon due to copyright issues. A lot of the seminal ideas of Chaos stem from these books and even John Blanche derived a lot of inspirations from the word within. I look forward to reading more and hopefully finding the hidden gems!

September 17, 2010

Ich möchte Chaosbrut

Yeah German is great... It is always entertaing to walk into the local GW here in Hamburg in search of something and then try to figure out what it is called. It is interesting that direct translations generally don't work. For instance the Hellcannon translates as the Deathbringer, Zerfleischer is Bloodletter but actually translates as Flesh Tearer. My attempt at the Hellcannon was Höllekannonen. At least some of the guys in the shop can figure out my terrible approximations of the names and I generally get what I am after, Its better than I managed in work when I needed to get a door for a cupboard and they ordered a goalpost. I really don't get how that happened still but at least everyone had a good laugh.

Anyway as you can see I managed to finish my spawn(Chaosbrut)! He is a nice model better than I imagined could be constructed from the kit. I thought the kit would force me to go the terrible tentacle route but their are some more decent options there. I have another kit on its way and I will see if I can keep with the theme to use these guys as Trolls. Once they are done I will be painting my Corpse Cart... ah I mean Warshrine. I still don't understand why GW haven't released the Warshrine. Well at least the Corpse Cart makes for an interesting alternative. I am having mine pulled by a team of hounds. I am not sure if it will look that good yet but thats the plan! As for anything else I have no idea just yet. Its tough to make one and not have it look like a chariot.

September 15, 2010

Kniggets

So I got the shields done. Funny how it goes... I had a whole weekend and yet I still couldn't get the Knights done! Okay the shields are done. The armour is done. The cloak needs to be finished and the details on the horses done too. So what are the chances that I get them done this weekend? Seriously it will have been more than a month... I would really like to see some more progress with theis army. I have been painting them for a year now and I don't even seem to have one regiment complete. Eighth edition came along and destroyed the plan I had for them. Basically every regiment I had planned needed to be doubled in size. Its annoying. Anyway the shields came out well. The picture is poor but I couldn't get a sharp focus with my camera. I am resisting buying a new one but maybe its time to start looking. The only problem I have with the shields is the complete split between the flesh covered ones and the standard ones. The shields seem to each have a power in mind when being sculpted. Well I can recognise Tzeentch and Nurgle but I guess Slannesh and Khorne are in there too. It is a pity as it breaks up the style of the regiment in my eyes. Now it does mean that I don't have a complete armoured wall done in one style which is nice but the flesh maybe contrasts a little too much? Anyway I will try to get some shots up soon and you can see for yourself.

I have ordered some new Dwarves however. I have to order them now to make sure that I can have them prepared for the two tournaments in August. I have memories, vague ones, thatDwarves are somewhat faster to paint than Chaos. Now I am not sure why I am thinking that but hopefully they prove to be! I don't want to have too many late nights just before the tournaments. I want to increase the number of Rangers and Miners I have. If my analysis of this edition is correct then I can see these types of troops playing a major role in Dwarven armies. I have twenty miners done already ad I would like to increase them to thirty. I would also like to have a similar number of great weapon armed Clansmen. So you should be seeing some of the short bearded guys appearing here soon. Don't worry I will be continuing with the Chaos still...

September 10, 2010

I love Spawn

I love Spawn. I don't know why but I have always had a soft spot for them. I even liked the previous metal ones which looking back at now were really terrible. As you can see I have constructed another. I wanted this guy to look more like a mutated warrior whereas the previous guy is a mutated marauder. This is simply achieved with the addition of the helmet, shoulder pad and axe. He should look like Sláine than a great tentacled beast. I also tried to model him so that he is slightly higher than normal and leaning forward. It looks a little more menacing than the standard pose. It involved chopping a leg off and green stuffing it back on but with these guys conversions are pretty simple. They are hopefully really easy to paint too.. the last fellow was dispite the problems with the washes.

I don't know if Spawn are that effective anymore though? I really see them struggling to hold up infantry as the sheer volume of attacks coming at them should on average kill the spawn in a single round. That means they are pretty unreliable for holding things up. A good charge will always smash them. Against less proficent foes I could imagine them doing well, for instance Skaven. A number of Spawn could pin a large regiment in place by charging one at a time effectively removing its threat from the game.I will have to play a few games with them as a test to seewhat they really are capable of. Hopefully they won't be relegated to rather random warmachine hunters!

Actually I have been thinking of using some of the less mutated Spawn I intend creating as Trolls. I can't see why not as they are similar enough in size and appearance. Especially if I don't overly mutate them. It's cheaper than the metal alternatives and they look far better. It also gives me quite a lot of spare pieces that can be used for a number of things. I haven't decided if this is the route I will take yet. Tournaments already seem to be out with the blanket bans for comp and that means no double rare so I am stuck with only two spawn as a maximum. Thats a pity as I really would like to field lots of them!

September 8, 2010

Beards... for a while!

I noticed that the tournament season is now here... and there is no hope that I will get my Chaos finished despite painting as much as possible. So while I will continue to paint them and hopefully get them finished within the year... well playable within the year, I will be using the Dwarves in play. Dwarves were almost the first army I collected. I say almost because it is hard to define when I finished collecting my goblins and when I finished collecting Dwarves. I wonder do we ever really stop collecting an army? I have never managed to have that first goblin army in a really playable state. Its gone through three iterations now and I really wonder if there will be a fourth! I have a huge box of goblins sitting under my painting desk and every now and then I get tempted to pull them out. This is the second attempt at Dwarves. I was much more succesful at painting these as I have a fully useable army with the older models and a useable army with the current ones. Sadly I went for completely diferent colour schemes so combining the two wouldn't look very nice!

Photobucket These are warriors from the Battle for Skull Pass. I painted them quite a while ago and it shows a little. The interesting thing about these guys is that they are really really quick to paint. At least I can expand the regiments quickly I hope. I have most of the classic metal regiments too so I should actually consider buying a few more models to expand them before they are replaced with plastic alternatives. I think that Hammerers and Iron Breakers are more viable when around twenty five models with Clansmen being best around thirty. Miners would be another regiment that I consider best around thirty.

One of the things that has always found bad about the Dwarves is the low strength. As a combat army I would love to see them being a bit more combat orientated. While the high weapon skill is good the fact that a lot or armies have access to weapon skill four kind of cancels the benefit. Then in combination with a strengh of three is means that toe to toe you really are not getting much of a benefit over other combat troops such as Orcs and Elves. The armour helps for sure but still... I feel that Dwarves should be able to go up against Chaos Warriors pretty evenly though then the shooting would be a little too powerful! I am really stuck as to what direction to take the army for tournamwent play. The Anvil seems to be a must as not only does it bring some dispelling power to the table but it allows for the Dwarves to really threaten with their extra movement in the shooting phase. The elite infantry looks a little less attrractive due to the fact that their saves are now lowered. The better weapon skill and strengh though seems good and I really think I need to get some of the Iron Breakers in. I always loved those miniatures. They remind me of the Squat Hearthguard that were fantastic.

Photobucket This is the Lord from the same boxed set. I am not sure why I put him on a rock. Maybe it looks better in person but in the shot it really looks terrible. I am not sure if I meant it to be an oathstone or something... I am currently designing a list without knowing exactly what I have in terms of models. The army is sitting at home on a shelf in Ireland and I really can't be one hundred percent sure whats in it. I was hoping that some of my old photographs might enlighten me but they rally are not much of a help! Anyway some educated guesswork should see me with a list I can use... though for some sneaky reason I do think most of my Clansmen are armed with great weapons... I hope not!

August 29, 2010

The last horses for a while!

Horses... that has been the last few weeks of my hobby time. At least finally today I managed to get started with the riders. I have, as you have seen, been busy on my Chaos Steeds. I have finally finished the armour on them and as a break I started the riders today thankfully getting them basecoated. The Chaos Steeds are actually quite nice to paint and being pretty much covered from head to hoof in armour fairly simple. It still takes time though. There is very little flesh to paint. The small amount there is is heavily muscled and doesn't need much work to look nice. These models are really lovely and I would be tempted to paint a lot more of them if they still proved to be effective in this edition. I think I have a total of five boxes of them... bought before I had effectively planned out even my seventh edition army nevermind eighth!

PhotobucketA good eveing or two this week should see the knights finished! It will be nice to get something finished for a change. I find that is one of my main motivations in painting... getting things actually finished. It always then gives me a big boost to do more. I haven't finished my marauder horsemen at all and as such the last few weeks have seemed to be a chore. Seeing these knighzt relatively quickly coming together has been great. As the knights are base coated and pretty much armoured all over I have two surfaces to work on. The first being the cloak. These are pretty big but fairly easy to paint. I don't think they will take me too long. I made some mistakes while base coating them. Well actually the wash made some mistakes. When I applied the wash it once again went white in places. I am still not sure why as this is a brand new pot of Badab Black. I have an idea that because I was using some foundation paints before hand I contaminated the wash when I watered it down. I will experiment with this a little on a spare model. The effect was really interesting this time and it could really help me out on a future project I have been mulling over if I am able to replicate it fairly exactly.

PhotobucketThe armour is pretty straight forward at this stage for me thankfully. It will take some time but once it is done then there is not much further detail to do for these guys. The large flat plates on the shoulders and the helmets are the only areas I have to be really careful on as these are going to be the main sufaces that you will be able to see. I do wonder what the effect of having the exact same armour on the rider as on the steed is going to be like. It might be a bit much? I suppose the shields are the only thing to work on then. I wish there was a little bit more of a selection on shields. I would have prefered some more plain ones, a little like the foot warriors. The ones they have are pretty busy affairs and seem to be themed towards certain gods. I have eough knights whereby I could give them all the same shield I think but that wouldn't be nice either! Anyway I am sure I will figure something out.

As to what to paint after these I don't really know. I would like to start on one of the marauder regiments but I know that is going to be a slog. I have some time off in October where I intend to sit and finish one of those regiments, hopefully in time for the tournaments that month!

August 23, 2010

Progress... whats that!

I spend far too much time listening to Podcasts. I started off with the now defunkt Fell Calls podcast. I believe this was the first gaming podcast and in many ways it is still one of the best. I listen to them while I am painting and it really helps pass the time. Painting is pretty boring when you get down to it. It really can become tedious and to help prevent this it is great to have something else to occupy your attention. I used to have a painting table where I could see my computer screen and I watch TV series while painting. In fact I think I watched the first three series of Battle Star Galactica this way. I found that this was really distracting though and I switched to Podcasts and audio books pretty quickly. Audio books are great especially as they are free from the local libraries. The best I have listened to so far has been Patrick O'Brians Master and Commander. Sadly its next to impossible to get the second and subsequent audio books... That would be a dream come true. Those books were made to be read aloud! Anyway with the profussion of Podcasts out there I thought I would list a few I like and let you know why.

Thaco Podcast
This is easily my favorite podcast. I have been listening to these guys for a few years now as they were the original makers of Fell Calls. This podcast is about a lot of things and most of them have nothing to do with Warhammer. It is mentioned occasionally though. I think Thaco originally was envisaged as a DnD podcast but it quickly evolved into a general gaming an geekdom one. There are even a few early episodes that feature some recorded play from one of their campaigns. It was really great to listen to and sadly they dropped the campaign. The podcast is humourous andas you never know what you are going to get it is always a pleasure to listen to. The presenters have real personality and it comes through. I recommend this one highly! There is no premium content at all for this podcast.

Podhammer
This was the second podcast I listened to. It was pretty strange for the first few episodes but Jeff really improve the quality. It does provide a lot more than just gaming, in fact it is pretty much like a soap opera. Still it has improved a lot over the last few episodes and I am once again a regular listener. The army reviews are a mixed bunch and there is almost no hobby discussion beyond what the guys are doing themselves. It does provide some interesting insights into what seems to be a vibrant tournament scene though. Its currently the best podcast for eight edition content though they admit that in six months a lot of it could be completely wrong.

Heelan Hammer
This is another quality podcast. It started off as more of a hobby style 'cast but it has changed somewhat. The hobby tips seem to again revolve around what the guys are doing with their own projects rather than anything actually informative. Sometimes it feels like Dan is just listing off his games during the previous week and then having a ramble about what GW are up to. Don't get me wrong its good to listen to but it gets repetitive. As it has gone to a two week schedule I don't find that I have the same habit for listening. If I have to hear them talking about dipping again... aaaaagh. That rally drives me nuts. I can't quote directly but those of you that have listened should be familiar enough with it!

So I always wonder about the premium content of these podcasts. I am curious as to what you actually get for your euros... I work in an industry based on a very similar premium model and its a pretty hard thing to get to grips with. I always found that you should cater for all players and not just those that pay but the more and more I get to understand things I have realised that you really should cater for the people that are paying. They really deserve the attention and I don't think this is what is done by podcasts out there. If I thought that there really was some golden content available I would sign up without a worry. I wonder is this because it is treated as a hobby project and not as a business? Anyway just my thoughts on some of the Podcasts I listen to regularly.

As for my army I am making slow progress. I figured out how to mount the cavalry riders so that I can paint them while not attached to the horses. At least I can get started on them soon. I am painting up more of the Chaos Steeds at the moment. The weekend was hectic and I only got one to a decent standard. The others are base coated washed and ready for detailing so I think this week may see them done. The weather will help as it is a usual grey day outside. I have signed up for two tournaments in October but the more I think about it I know I won't have my Chaos ready for then. I will pull out my Dwarves I think. They shouldn't need much of an update to be playable in eighth edition as I have pretty much everything in duplicate. Anyway I am trying to not think about it and get on with the painting. ho knows the Chaos could be ready...

August 15, 2010

Back to burning

As I have been busily sculpting fur for my knights I decided to do a test model today. I wanted to see if I was still able to do the burning armour I have done elsewhere in the army. I was concerned that it would not be that nice on the horses of the knights and if not I really wasn't sure what else I would do. So I tested it and it came out okay. I have more details to do and I have the horses flesh to attend to also. The model has come out quite dark which is a little annoying. I really don't want to have such a dark army but hopefully the rest of the army can provide some more light. The marauders especially as they are mainly flesh and I have been painting it fairly light.

PhotobucketI finished the cloaks yesterday despite my hangover. Friday was a nice night out with the guys. I wasn't really in a painting mood the following morning and sculpting was enough to occupy me. I listened to some of the Podcasts especially Podhammer. Somehow they managed to get two episodes out without me noticing. Sadly the review of eight edition and Chaos in particular got me pretty annoyed! I have twenty cavalry models in my army and on my painting desk. Well according to them and a few other Wwarhammer broadcasters cavalry might as well be thrown out the window! So do I continue or not? Well of course as they are generally easier models to paint than infantry at the moment. I will at least have the army finished that littel bit more quickly even if it loses some effectivness.

PhotobucketI have also been reading the Skaven book again recently. Having seen the wonderful contents of Island of Blood I am tempted to try out dipping. The skaven should be handy enough to do in this method and maybe I would get a quick and nice army done. I will wait until after the Chaos are playable at least and then consider my options. However blocks of sixty Clan Rats should really great and with some nice options to back them up I think they could be pretty formidable. Aanyway thats something fo the future.

August 11, 2010

A theme of fur

I am thinking that I must mention fur in every post in this blog. This one therefore will be no different. I have once again being sculpting and yes once again it is fur. Looking at my lists and the quickly approaching Irish tournament scene I have decided that six Chaos Knights are equal in points to twenty Chaos Warriors. Hence I pulled the knights out of storage and began to put cloaks on them. I am really annoyed with the ones I have done on the mounted marauders. Looking at them now I see that I have made them way to small! If the marauders were standing the cloaks would only reach to the back of their knees. With the knights I may have over compensated. The cloaks here would really drag on the ground if the knight was walking.

PhotobucketThey look pretty impressive in my opinion at least. With the over sized cloaks on them they really are much more bulky. I am also able to sculpt better on the larger surface and the fur has much more of a direction. When sculpting large cloaks it can really begin to look boring if you don't add layers to the fur. On a smaller area you don't have to worry as much as people looking won't pay the same attention. With the knights this cloak is easily the largest surface on them so it needs something. Once painted I am hoping it looks decent.

This is an excellent photograph that illustrates exactly what you are trying to sculpt when you do fur. There is not a hope in hell that I could sculpt each hair. I don't think it would be worthwhile and look good anyway. What is needed is an impression of the fur. Here you can see that the fur is capable of movement and has a direction. You can also see that there is in some places a feeling of depth while in others is pretty flat and uniform. If you look at a picture of long hair you will also notice that it forms long tufts. The combination of these is what I attempt to achieve when I sculpt. There are quite a few others that are equally valid but for me that is the easiest.

I still haven't finished the marauder horses. I haven't had the patience to sit down and build the highluights on the skin. Its pretty easy to become demotivated about a task. I will get to them one of the evenings this week though. Then onto the riders who I am also not looking forward to... oh well just one of those painting chores we all have to get through. Reading the Dresden Files (two books more since last I posted) has given me the idea that running Hunter: The Vigil would be good. So far I haven't put pen to paper as it would eat a lot of my time. Hopefully I can continue to resist!

Some extra shots:

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August 9, 2010

White Horses....

Three days.... twelve horses.... not finished! Like I said before I don't know how it is possible to spend so much time on horses. I now have twelve in total almost finished. The spray painting doesn't take so long, laying the basecoat over the white does take some time, some highlights and mettalics.. whooosh three days vanished. I have them to a stage wherew I just need to finish the skin. The shading is finished and hopefully subtle. I need to build up some highlights which with white is never easy. I will have the horses at least finished this week and my schedule is pretty much free in the evenings. Painting white is something I have tried a few times. My first model that was fully in white was a Warp Wolf from Privateer Press:

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PhotobucketIts not an easy colour to paint. I really haven't figured out a decent way to do it. I often find that the pigments in white paint seem to leave a very chalky effect once you build up highlights. They even do it if you are using white in a wash to lughten the colours. I have heard of a white ink which I intend looking up but I haven't found anywhere in Hamburg that sells Windsor and Newton Inks yet. I am not really sure what white ink consists of but it sounds like it should do the job. In fact the art shops here in Hamburg are pretty poor. Maybe it is an unfavourable comparison with Dublin where I have ten years of experience in rooting out the best art suppliers! I am not looking forward to having to find jewellery chain for my Warshrine thats for sure. It was tough enough to find that in Dublin despite the shope almost being beside the Games Workshop store! I haven't really started work on the Warshrine yet. I would like to have it pulled by hounds but I am not sure if they are convincingly large yet. I have a box ordered so once I get them I can line them all up together and then I will see.

Currently with white I lay down as solid a white spray as possible. It is much easier,in general, to lay down white evenly in a spray. It depends on the angles of the models. For my horses for instance the underbelly was impossible to reach with a spray. Painting on white as a base coat leaves streaks. With a solid base coat down I generally paint on a light coating of white. Its important to not water this down too much as it will pool and leave really strange vibrant white spots in the recesses of the miniatures! A grey wash over this provides a lot of definition. Then its simple enough to go back and highlight the white. Well sort of White is tricky and if it was as simple as above then everyone would do it. A couple of hints though:

1. Clean Water! Your water really cant be clean enough for white paint. Any time you wash your brush and there is a colour in the paint you will end up with it on the model. Get a clean water jar and dedicate that to cleaning your brushes when using white
2. Clean Brushes! Notice a theme? Your brushes need to be clean just as much. I have a few times managed to apint a model obeying rule one and when I come back I notuice the model is an odd light shade of pink. A lot of paint can build up in your brush and it usually waits until you are doing a nice white model before leaking out just a little. Some painters use separate brushes for white. I don't but I make sure that the shampoo comes out before I begin.
3. Patience! You really need to take your time with the highlights on white. A wrong streak somewhere and your model is literally ruined. Its easier with other colours to hide the mistakes but with this one it shows straight up. Water down your white until it is aptly like milk and apply a few thin coats.... most definitely do not apply a strong undiluted white except to the highest and most defined areas. It really stands out and ruins a natural look!

Meanwhile I have been busy with Fool Moon and Summer Knight. These are books two and three of the Dresden files. They are warming up! I like Harry Dresden. He is an interesting character and the books are funny. Make no mistake it is light entertainment here but fun. Check them out! I also finally picked up Name of the Wind but it will be a while before I get to read it. Once I do I will pop a note up here.

July 31, 2010

From paws to hooves

Horses take ages. Three evenings of painting with only some minor distraction have resulted in six horses barely half done. I really don't know what I did with the time. I had thought I would have been well finished with them by now and onto the second six. It would seem that I may be painting these guys for a while yet. The white hasn't had much work done on it as you will see in the photograph. The reslt is pretty much finished.

PhotobucketI made a huge mistake while undercoating these models. I don't know if it was that the white spray was a little old or I held the can too far from the model. Anyway before I noticed three of the horses had some nasty lumps of paint misted across them. I tried in vain to remove this. So now I do have some messed up horses. As I don't have any replacements currently I have pushed on with them and painted them up. For now they will sit in the back rank of the cvalry regiment. This regiment at least sounds like it can do something! The vanguard move pretty much gets them in position to shoot their hand axes on turn one hopefully meaning one less warmachine. If I have to go second I could even charge which would be much better. I am unsure as to what other equipment to give them. Aa banner would be nice but I am not sure if it is that benefical for the role they will be playing.

Photobucket Painting these has really reintroduced me to the colours for the army. The leather mix I had been using on my warriors I have been able to copy here. I made a few errors in the application as I wasn't paying attention but with the cloaks on the riders hopefully it won't be that noticeable! I won't be startingt the riders until I have all of the twelve horses done. So that could be a while away. Paintballing tomorrow takes a day away from the army and I will be hopefully spending a few days at the ETC next weekend seeing what that is like. As I will most likely be crippled from all the action tomorrow I will have a good excuse out of house work at least!

July 28, 2010

Coffee keeps you going

The hounds are done! I sat and finished them yesterday. Thankfully they turned out to match the original ones closely enough. Hopefully you can't spot the difference. I looked in my foam cases today. I found another six that have been base coated. I doubt if I will paint them to soon. Thinking about the big regiment I can't see the use at all. I do remember people talking about having a large regiment with a character in the front. It would have been used in tournaments in 6th edition. I can't see that helping now with the stand up tule. The attacks coming back at the dogs would devastate them. It would be a useful flanking regiment as it is fast and relatively cheap. Twenty come in just over one hundred points.

I finally got the rulebook. Its huge. I know I had heard everyone say that but I was stiull suprised. I can actually see the size being counter productive. What twelve year old new player is not goin to bew intimidated by that? It is cool though. I haven't had a chance to read it in depth yet as I am trying to finish Fool Moon, the next book in the Dresden Files. The colour section is amazing. I just went through some of the army spreads and they give some good inspiration. The examples in the book seem comprehensive. The rules well written but not being too direct. There is still some sense of fun to them. I look forward to getting through the meat of the book over the coming days. Wwhat has struck me as weird is the FAQ pdf's. I would seem to need to check them every few weeks to check what has been updated. I can really see them becoming unwieldy quickly. Its hard enough to keep up with the changes in two or three armies but having to check each pdf once a month gets to be arduous! Anyway we shall see if they are able to keep the pressure up and actually actively update these documents.

Tonight I poured three cups of coffee into me! Well it kept me awake long enough to get the base colours done on six marauder steeds. It is suprising how long three colours can take to get on these cavalry models. The horses are fantastic though! The really got a nice sense of movement in them. I will e following a similar scheme to the slaanesh horses in the army book - white. It might be a little strong and garish in the army. Hopefully the riders can tie them in. I will have some pictures up over the weekend hopefully. I have paintballing on Sunday so I will be losing a painting day.
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