April 30, 2011

Dreadstone Blight - fail

I don't know what the problem is these last few weeks. My many years of modelling have failed me a second time. I don't know what the deal is with Dreadstone Blight. Try as I might I can't get it to go together. I shaved the pieces back so far that there are gaps visible between them. Glueing them to the base piece just doesn't work. The pieces seem warped somewhat. This causes the curve to be off a little and due to this the walls are not perfectly circular. Well at least circular enough for the floor pieces to fit in. I actually got so annoyed I through everything back in the box for another day. Maybe I will try this out again over the weekend.... though it has been so frustrating I really am struggling to find motivation for this. It should be simple... It looks simple.

Has anyone else had the same problems? I am scouring the net at the moment for a guide on assembling the piece but there doesn't seem to be one. Maybe I should do one if I can get the damned thing together at all. I really am dreading when I have to deal with the Witchfate Tor... thats going to be hell.

April 29, 2011

Friday Showcase - Thane

I have to admit this isn't one of my best models, not by a long shot. I painted this guy just to say I had done him. I have maybe three of these models lying around and eventually I decided to do one. Some of the Battle for Skull Pass models are terrible and this guy is almost the worst. I can fogive the rank and file Dwarves some bad sculpts but this Thane and the Troll Slayer are just terrible. I also decided to put him on a massive, massive rock. He dwarves the other Dwarves around him! I did try out putting some designs on the rocks in an attempt to make it look more like an oathstone. It came out okay... I never attempted it again. I find a lot of models can benefit from the 'standing on rock' pose. However Dwarves don't. It really unbalances the model and puts them in general far to high up for it to be worth it. The same holds true for goblins I have noticed. I think I will reserve that pose for my Chaos Warriors. They at least are in scale enough that they don't look out of place on the rock.

Photobucket As for the painting it was pretty basic. The highlights haven't really been picked up by the camera but then again they are nothing special either. The red for the cloak was a test for some red I was planning on my Quarrelers. The free hand I did on the sleeve isn't anything special either. This model doesn't see much game time at all and resides premanently on my shelf.

April 28, 2011

It begins anew

This is Warmachine, but not as you know it! I am about to embark on another annihilation campaign via VASSAL with Owen from farfaraway.org. This will be the third and biggest we will attempt. Owen and myslef wanted to play a few 'set-up' games for this campaign so that there would be a little more story to draw from. Also it would change the format a little from thestandard games we have been playing up until now. We came up with the idea of using a Journeyman Warcaster for our games rather than a fully fledged Warcaster. You can find these rules on the farfaraway.org blog or by clicking the previous link. Having these Warcasters presented a lot of challenges. It really changed the game around a lot and forced us to play completely differently. In general the 'jacks we used had the potential to be as powerful as normal as they could still get full focus. However a weaker Warcaster forces you hold back and really try to remain out of the way of any incoming damage. Theseguys are decidedly weak and can't take a bashing. While I wasn't able to play this weeek next week will see the menites attempting the abduction of a khadoran garrison kommander!

Annihalation Campaign: Death on the Border
Battle One:The Opening Shot
Battle Two:Conversion and Corruption
Battle Three:Battle at the Farm
Battle Four:The Wrath of Severius

Annihilation Campaign Two: The Battle of Orosk
Battle One: A chance encounter at Orosk
Battle Two:Noon at Orosk
Battle Three: Slaughter at Orosk

Prime: complete!

So now I have all the models from Prime done. Its only been six years in the doing. These Paladins I have to admit were done without much inspiration. I really couldn't be bothered to paint them but I wanted to make sure to hit the deadline of the end of April for the Prime Challenge. Painting white does finally get horribly boring. I had decided to not go with too much gold on these guys, a big mistake. I should have really done more. Gold is easy enough to do and is far more visually interesting than the way I do white. So I will try to get a group photgraph done of the army soon and get it put up here.

As for the Paladins these are interesting models. The first sculpt, the one on the left,is by far the nicest. The armour is much more nicely done even though it is similar to the other guy. This is especially apparent in the legs. The shield is great on both of them but it has a bad connection point and I am hoping that these will stay glued on. The interesting thing about the original sculpt is that the cloak is separate. I had to paint part of it while it was separate. However I did the highlights wrongly due to this and my vain attempts to fix it wasn't enough. I wasn't too inspired either so I didn't try to hard... at least they are done now.

April 27, 2011

The Avatar sucks

This is the worst model I have had to deal with for a long long time. I have been modelling for many the year and this was probably the biggest failure ever. I am not completely sure if it is my fault or the models. I want to blame the model. I had cleaned the model up easily as the mould lines were not so bad. I noticed the bad connection on the legs and the hips. I decided to pin that together to make it stronger. With that done I proceeded and within ten minutes I had the model glued together. Then I noticed the armoured skirt. I hadn't glued it to the model at all. Well I then tried to glue it in place. It didn't fit of course. Despite the best I could manage the piece would not go in. After many many curses I had to break the model apart. Well I only had to break the legs apart... So once I got the legs apart I carefully laid down the body and arms. Of course the arms then decided to break off too. Then the sword... more cursing ensued. Once I had all the pins extracted and cleaned I glued the model back together with the armoured skirt this time.

So sitting back to look at my work I noticed it looked terrible. I had glued the body on at an angle so that the Avatar leande back. It was the only way to get the legs on behind the skirt. So once again I broke the legs apart, managing to keep the arms on this time. Pins were once again extracted and cleaned. I dry fitted the pieces to check and well they don't fit together. I don't know if it is a complete brain failure on my part but it just doesn't go together. I had to put the legs into the joints at an angle so that the skirt could go between the legs and so the body could be at the correct angle.

So now the Avatar is glued together. I am not at all confident that the model will stay together despite the pins. Having pulled it apart far too much the joint has to be weaker. Normally Privateer Press models stay together quite well, far better than I would have expected for their weight. I will begin painting it soon, I guess the rough handling during that process will show if it can stand up to some punishment.

April 26, 2011

Less than a week until Prime is finished!

I have the Deliverers done. These are the last unit from Prime that I have to paint and I can really say that it is nice to have them done finally. I sadly could only get my hands on six of them. The supply shortage from Privateer Press still continues it seems. These are nice to paint up. Thankfully they are not bedecked in detail. The sculpt is simple and nice to paint. I tried to match them in with my zealots. I hate the white coats on these guys. It not only sucks to paint but looks stupid. Brown is so simple to paint too so it speeds up the whole process.

So now I just need to finish my Paladin of the Wall. I managed to pick up the standard and the alternative sculpt and with some luck I will get both of them painted this week I managed some of the basecoating already so it should be possible. I wasn't able to get my Revenger and Kreoss sent over from Ireland so they will be missing from the photograph of the army. Thats annoying! I can still show a photo of them but I would prefer to have them all together. I am not sure what I will paint after the Prime models are finished... may be I should get all my Escalation models done...

April 22, 2011

Friday Showcase - Organ Gun

So I missed last week due to being ill. Sorry for that! Anyway here is one of my warmachines, an oft neglected part of my army. As I was pulling this out for a photograph I noticed I am missing crew for nearly every machine in the army. I seem to cobble crews together from various sources as needed! These guys come from an old metal organ gun, an old metal cannon and the Battle for Skull Pass. I really need to sit down sometime and get the crews for the ten or more warmachines I have completed.

The only thing of note with this warmachine is the fact that the organ gun piece can be removed and replaced by the cannon piece from the same kit. I clipped the top of the holders off and now I can, with a little difficulty, change the warmachine around. I guess there is a much more slick way to do this via a magnet but I wasn't bothered researching at the time of construction.

April 19, 2011

Night Goblin Temptation

I am really getting tempted by the recent Orc and Goblins book from GW. I haven't read the book at all but listening to the recent slew of reviews of the book has really got me interested. I have a mountain of models, from I think four sets of Battle for Skull Pass so I won't be going short on Night Goblins anytime soon. I also have about twenty squigs, if not more, so one of my elite slots is well used up there. I also have quite a few Trolls that could be salvaged from the terrible paint jobs of yore. It would be a nice project for over the summer, 200 or so models would keep me busy. Maybe if I could get my menites to a point where I am happy to leave them down for a while I could consider this.

I am worried if an all, and I mean all, night goblin army is viable? I started the hobby seriously with a decently preforming army of night goblins in fourth edition. While I played a few games previous to that I had never owned an army before. It would be great to attemtp to recreate the army of those days. Maybe I just need to weather the storm of my nostalgia!

April 18, 2011

Getting there with Prime

So finally I am not sick. The last two weeks have seen me stuck in bed or lying on my couch feeling bad! This weekend I was fine again and able to get back on with my plans to complete everything from Prime. I managed to make great progress by finishing these Templeguard. As everything it seems I have had these for a while. Six of them were painted long ago but I had no impetus to get the rest of them done. Even the shields hadn't been painted or glued on. I did have one annoying task... I had to strip the shields. The first time I painted them I went for a full red colour scheme. I glazed these with a red ink. When I finally decided that these then looked like crap I tried to paint over them in white. I had forgotten that red ink will bleed through pretty much any colour painted over it. Despite numerous coats of various colours in an attempt to cover the red/pink bleed I ended up just having to strip the paint. At least I found that nail varnish remover it an excellent paint stripper!

Now that I am getting some regular games in again I really wanted to get these guys done. They are some of my favourite models in the menite range. They remind me a lot of the Imperial Guard Stormtroopers. They also ground the game in a more fantasy setting for me, something at least when I got into the game first that was important. They really are the epitome of menite grunts. In most games they tend to get shot, trampled or generally destroyed! The are a unit I would definitely be interested in having a duplicate of, though that fact that you can only have one attached Officer and Standard per Warcaster means the second unit doesn't have the same visual feel.

So with these done it leaves me with not too many Prime models to finish before the end of the month. Basically I would need to get a Paladin of the Wall done and a unit of Deliverers. I would like to get a Revenger done and the alternative Paladin of the Wall also done. We shall see how much hobby time I can manage. One of the annoying things in the way is the fact that I can't order blisters of Deliverers here. Germany seem to be suffering a little from a shortage of supply on behalf of Privateer Press. Most of the shops can't get in units anymore and I managed to pick up the last box of Deliverers in the local area.

April 9, 2011

Witches, Ghouls and inspiration

I picked up two books this week to help out with the campaign preparations. I haven't finished either of them, I guess that happens when you try to read both at once! Ghouls being one of the main antagonists in the campaign, at least in the beginning phases, need some meat! While I have discussed them before I wanted to nail down some rules for them. I thought that the sourcebook for them would be enough but actually it isn't. It is very Vampire centric which I should have suspected really. It deals very much with using Ghouls in a Vampire setting rather than just in a World of Darkness setting. Witchfinders has been great. It has detailed Witches pretty much as I wanted them too. The book is about twice as big as the Ghouls book and it contains everything relevant for a Hunter campaign. What it doesn't do though is present the horror of the setting well. It attempts to portray horror by the repeated assertion that Witches are just humans. To me that engenders a feeling of paranoia rather than horror. I guess that injecting the horror into the campaign is the problem of the games master and relying on supplements to do this isn't going to be satisfactory for anyone involved. The examples given in both books are fine and have sparked my imagination. I hope I can lift some examples directly and place them in my city while others with some simple modifications should also be easy to use.

I have slowly come to the realisation that I need a vampire. This guy will be the season finale. The players won't know it but defeating him is the reason they are playing. The Ghouls are indirectly linked to him and the Witch Coven have no links at all. I am thinking a Nosferatu as it gives a good chance for a dungeon crawl. Exploring the sewers underneath the city gives plenty of scope to bring in various elements of the World of Darkness. Also cramped confined spaces with an ugly as hell Vampire in them will be pretty nasty. The Ghouls will be subservient to him but will be clannish and look after themselves. The Ghoul book provides information on families and the inhabitants of St. Casamirs will be represented by one of these, most likely the Angustri. These are essentially gypsies though in my world east european is close enough. This demands a Mekhet Vampire regnant but I will have to read up more about them to see if that is better than the Nosferatu.




Character Sheets

April 8, 2011

Friday Showcase - Hammerers

Rather than just showing you characters I thought a nice regiment would be good! Here are the centre of every Dwarven line: the Hammerers. These guys are a relatively recent addition to my army. I couldn't really afford them when I started collecting the Dwarves but I managed to pick them up second hand eventually. If you look closely enough you will see that I only have seventeen models but I stretched them out to twenty with some creative basing. I will have to go back now and add a few more models to the regiment as eighth edition requires it. Getting them up to between twenty five and thirty would be the maximum though as they still are expensive. I guess they will eventually be replaced by plastics but I like the metal models. They were released I think around 1994 but they are quite nice considering some of the other miniatures that came out around then. The pose is a little 'samey' but what can you really do with great weapon armed dwarves? Having them all standing around just holding onto their weapons wouldn't have been very nice either.

April 5, 2011

Tomb Kings have arrived

I just got a hold of these nice photos. The Sphinx, Necrosphinx(?) looks interesting. The sheer bulk of the model is lovely and the details are nice too. There are two versions. The picture below shows them. As to exactly what this beast is an does I have no idea. It does show that GW are really going a route of having some massive beasts in each of the armies. I wonder what they will do for the less fantastical armies of Empire, Dwarves and Bretonnians? A dwarven zepplin I could imagine but a giant iron golem wouldn't be my cup of tea!

It seems like the old plastic Tomb King Skeletons won't be changing. This is really annoying. They are completely out of scale in general and when compared to the wonderful Vampire Counts skeletons they look terrible. I really wished they had updated these. The horses that the Tomb Kings use I would guess are the oldest plastic models still in production. I remember the exact same horses from my Skeletal Horde back in the eighties!

PhotobucketI really dont know what to think of these guys. The Tomb Knights are just plain stupid! The Skeletons must be glued into place otherwise there is not a chance they can stay on. The concept for the model is cool, a skeleton riding an undead snake but the execution is horrible. It really reminds me of the Warhawk riders that went from decent if boring models to crazy sky surfers. There is someone in the GW staff thats got crazy ideas about how to stay on the back of a beast. Slow unreactive skeletons won't be on the back of giant snakes for long.PhotobucketWithout the riders the snakemen are fine and I would be tempted to get them for a number of projects. If the bases are as big as they look then these guys are large. They could easily be converted to Dragon Ogres in a Tzeentch theme for instance. Anyway I will reserve judgement until I see this new stuff in the flesh. There are at least new Tomb Guard though knowing GW's wisdom they will not be in scale wit the rest of the army but modelled on the Vampire Counts stuff!

Decorative Swamp Bases: First Try

I was bored last night. Sometimes when I have some sadly all to rare hobby time I just can't motivate myself. I wanted to paint but picking up the brushes just didn't feel right. Generally I find myself switching projects when this happens. I might pick out some Dwarves for a change of pace or even some Orks. However this time I decided to experiment with some bases. Not really exciting stuff but something I had been meaning to do for a while. I have two light 'jacks that are duplicates. In an effort to differentiate them I will not only alter the pose somewhat but I will change the bases. The first though I had was to do a jetty.

As you will have seen on the blog I have gone for swamp bases. A jetty is a nice easy architectural feature to add that is still characterful. A few minutes with some balsa wood turned out this. I would have prefered it to be more raised from the water but I didn't want it to look like my Revenger is on a platform. A lot of the decorative bases are carried a little too far and actually separate the model from the tabletop too much. I could have raised this a little more as the water will be pretty high once I fill the base. I will reserve judgement until I have the 'jack on this.

PhotobucketThis second base isn't really swamp themed. I saw some thing similar to this on a Behemoth that was used to bring his second leg into contact with the base. With the larger area to work with it came out quite effectively. It looked as if the Behemoth was stepping over some trenchworks. I wanted this one to look like a retaining partition on the edge of the swamp. However when it came to painting this I realised that I had already filled the water area with grit. So unpreturbed I just painted it up.PhotobucketHopefully I will be able to use this to remove the silly running pose the Devout has. One leg can sit on top of the wood while the other is pinned into the base. Having done these I am pretty happy with how they came out and I would like to do some more. However swamp theme bases seem to just mean a bit of water in general and I can't come up with many more ideas. With often less than 50mm to work with it gets hard to put something effective on such a small surface. So I am not sure what I will do with the rest!

April 4, 2011

I Reckon you are in Trouble

I got the finishing touches done on this guy last night. I had a nice busy weekend with Owen of the Far Far Away blog. He was visiting Hamburg and amidst the tours and drinks we squeezed in a mini campaign of Memoir '44. I inadvertently previewed the Reckoner here last week when I stuck a photgraph of him amongst my Castigator shots. Nobody seemed to notice! Getting this guy done completes my new chassis menite 'jacks. I am guessing that the release of Wrath will see another of these machines and an eventual plastic kit for the three options. I am not too concerned as I managed to get the Castigator and Reckoner together for €30. Not amazingly cheap but still a decent discount. The Templar is the only non-character heavy warjack still for me to do. Despite the fact that I think he is an awesome warack he will have to wait for me to get my original Prime stuff done.

PhotobucketHere is a side shot of the Reckoner. That club is massive and as far as I remember it doesn't have reach... thats a pity as 'jacks with reach are awesome. I was able to get the weathering a little better again on this guy with the white chipping quite well. Sometimes I have found that instead of flaking it tends to come off as a damp 'lump'. I am not really sure how to describe it effectively! I am hoping this is due to the overly expensive hairspray I have access to. I will have to stop stealing my girlfriends and invest in some generic cheap stuff. Now with the chips working out I feel that I don't need to weather as heavily. The smaller chips give a good effect already and don't need much modification.

Photobucket Here is a better shot of the club. This was really easily painted and yet has a nice effect. I used GW boltgun metal as a base. Two washes of GW badab black then darkened this a lot. Over this I applied two different rust pigments. These were taken straight from the bottle and liberally dabbed on. It was easily done but looks nice and realistic. I am tempted to turn this technique into few regiments of Chaos Warriors. As it is so easy to do it would mean a really quick army getting done! I need to resist these thoughts however... really I do!

So my break from Prime is over. I have still to paint:
  • Ten Templeguard
  • Ten Deliverers
  • Revenger
  • Paladin of the Wall

Added to this I have Severius and Kreoss. While I have both of these guys done already they are sitting in a cupboard a few hundred miles away. So if I get everything from the above list done in time then I will happily get both of the 'casters done. So the Prime Challenge continues. Its going to be a lot of pressure to be honest as my weekends are slowly starting to fill up with outdoor activities. Next weekend will see me getting bashed and bruised while paintballing. Still this week should see some headway made...

April 2, 2011

Witches

I have decided pretty much on what I want my Ghouls to be. However I need more! The second spoke in my triumvirate of evil shall be Witches. A full coven to be exact. While the Ghouls represent a direct threat to the party the witches won't. These will be secondary enemies and as such be the next step on the road into the true Wolrd of Darkness. They will be the main adversaries of the residents of St. Casimirs and by investigating the Ghouls the Hunters will learn about the coven. The interesting theory of the triple goddess is one I will borrow from. I wasn't really aware of this except from Terry Pratchetts books so a little bit of research was needed to really figure out what it was about. The fact that it is a modern creation applied to Witches is not something I had realised at all. However for me it is a model that suits the size of coven I want to play with. I have three strong character types described and a good link between them. Basically it can be boiled down to:
  • The Maiden represents enchantment, inception, expansion, the promise of new beginnings, birth, youth and youthful enthusiasm, represented by the waxing moon.
  • The Mother represents ripeness, fertility, sexuality, fulfillment, stability, power and life represented by the full moon.
  • The Crone represents wisdom, repose, death, and endings represented by the waning moon.


Using the three models above I have constructed an imaginary street where the three ladies in question have businesses. Hekation Street is a busy street located just to the west of St. Casimirs. It has a number of boutiques and cafes. The alley leading off from it also contains a homeless shelter. When creating the abode of Witches it is important to consider how they generate their power. The Witchfinders book describes this power as 'Source' and it details how it is generated. In each of the settings below I have mentioned at the end the primary source from which the Witch gains power.

The Maidenhead Club: This club is located on the corner of the street. It is frequented by a very youthful crowd generally older teenagers and college kids. Its a large venue on two levels. The basement houses a rock club that is only about half the size of the club above. The rest of the area is given over to storage and offices. This part of the club is open every night of the week and it gets a slightly older audience. The upstairs portion is the main club area. Here there is a huge dancefloor and equally huge bar and a small VIP area. It is open from Thursday late until pretty much Sunday morning. The music varies according to the different nights. The owner of the club Marian Voist is there most evenings until late. She is also very young, in her early twenties. Marian generates source from Passion.

Coner Health and Beauty Spa:
This instituition has been here since the sixties. Run by the now quite old Pamela Coner this lavish spa provides all the luxuries a person could want. It operates on three levels. Its slogan is:
At the Coner health and Beauty Spa, we provide the best Spa Products and Treatments available. Our dedicated, fully trained staff are committed to providing superior service in our beautiful Spa environment. Whether you visit the Spa for a day or an hour, our services will rejuvenate your body and enhance your personal well being.
The Spa is open everyday except on Sundays. Appointments are needed for any of the treatments as this really is the most sought after Spa in the city. Pamela generates source from health.

Mother Stanlovs Shelter for the Homeless:
Down a rather decrepit alley way just off Hekation Street lies the Shleter. It caters for men only and generally provides a maximum of six months stay. It also houses a small treatment centre for any sick men that might be staying there. It is infact one of the only places to treat the homeless other than the public hospital and it proves very popular. The men residing here are encouraged not to loiter around during day time especially at the Hekation end of the alley way. Instead they are encouraged to enter the alley from the Parkway entrance opposite Hekation Street. The men refer to Natascha Stanlov as mother and they are all very devoted to her. She has a small staff that help her out. She is a trained nurse. Natascha generates source from disease and nature. She is the most powerful of the three Witches.

So now I have three locations more. I need to detail the personalities and motivations of the owners a little better. Ideas so far have been pretty simple. One being the generation of more and more source by Natascha has lead to the blighting of part of St. Casimirs. The Ghoulds noticing this and having their business disrupted by it have decided to investigate what is happening. With some magical resources on their side they could easy find what has created the blight. The Homeless here are also acting as the foot soldiers of the Witches. The Ghouls and the Homeless are waging a silent battle each night and the Hunters are picking up on this. Te nightclub also offers a lot of potential as it can easily become the target of a clandestine take over by a Vampire. It would be a rich hunting ground. So there are plenty of options here to move forward.

April 1, 2011

Friday Showcase - Runesmith

Here again is another picture from the Grudge of Drong. This Runesmith came out at a similar time to Helga and has been in my army for ust as long. He is pretty much a staple of the army as he appears in it everytime it takes to the field. The base shows just how much he has been used! These guys have always been useful in a Dwarf army. The bonus dispel dice are great. They are also able to admirable serve in the front rank of a regiment without them easily being killed. I always rune up this guy to make him really survivable. He can then absorb a lot of enemy attacks and to kill him a lot of resources have to be dedicated his way. This has taken a lot of pressure off my regiment giving me time to bring in some reinforcements.

Photobucket Again this model was painted a long long time ago and then given an update in around 2008. He would have been in the blue and white colour scheme of my older army which I changed ust with red on the cloak. As you can see I also attempted some simple freehand. It worked out suprisingly fine and with some highlights it would look pretty decent! Again he preserves the silver armour but thats fine. I don't think gold would have suited him too much anyway. I also experimented a little with the gems for this guy. I hate gems. I hate painting them. I hate the fat that Dwarves are bedecked in them. At least this guy's came out fine. Normally when I paint them they come out terrible.
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