November 30, 2011

Domination Rocks

So I have been playing around with some rocky terrain before as you will have seen here. Now that the Domination release scenario is out I thought I would get busy and make some of the boulders for it. The scenario demands three boulders based on large 50mm bases. So I got busy and cut some old cards up. I didn't like the idea of actually using Hordes bases for them so I used one as a template. I drew onto some old bank cards and then cut around them. Its not 100% perfect but it is fine.

Onto this I put some cut down pieces of cork. These are the exact same as the ones I used in my previous rock terrain but much much smaller. They overhang a little but not so much as to effect gameplay. I used some cheap modelling clay to blend the base into the bottom of the cork. The bottom of the cork is usually really rough so after I had glued the pieces down there were large gaps. I just filled these as best I could with the modelling clay and then left them to dry. This has the added benefit of giving some weight to the pieces, stopping them from being too idly knocked over on the table. It also helps to stop the base warping when painting and flocking.

Once everything was dry I simply sprayed them grey with my airbrush. It really is the only way to paint terrain otherwise it takes an age even with a large brush. I got some new propellant from Faller and it is far more awesome than the GW stuff plus it comes in much larger qunatities for a much cheaper price. Then to finish the pieces I just drybrushed them with progressively lighter shades of grey until the final dybrush with white. Basing was simple too and I tried to keep it close to my standard colours. Someday when I make a table I will use this on it too and tie everything together.

So now I have a nice large out crop thats nearly 5" in diameter and three smaller ones of 50mm. All of these would count as obstructions. A few more would make for a really nice board that offers some tough tactical play. I would like to do some hills next with rock faces to match. I would make them fairly massive though and then storage starts to become an issue. I also have a few other projects that need finishing first, such as my Circle Orboros reinforcements. If you want to check out the Domination scenario you can find it here. I also created it for Vassal and you can find that here. In case you are interested in further pictures of how I made these pieces you can check out their big brother and how I made him here.

November 29, 2011

Baldur's Stone Wall

I am still working on my Tharn Wolf Riders. I have three finished so only two to go. While doing them I distracted myself by doing yesterdays Wall of Fire and Baldur's Stone Wall. Its taking an age to get these Tharn done and they are slowly driving me insane. So doing small easy side projects helps break up the monotony.

I made it from cork as usual but this time it was a placemat. I broke it up into four pieces and glued them together. I then just glued it to the base and plucked out pieces of it. This is pretty simple but it is important to try to break up the lines where the cork pieces join.

The texture of the cork is perfect for rocks and it was simple to paint. A black undercoat does most of the hard work! Just drybrushing in progresively lighter shades of grey picks out all the detail. I washed it in places with some green to break up the colour a little.

November 28, 2011

Feora's Wall of Fire

As I often use Feora I thought that I should finally make a decent Wall of Fire. Normally I just use a bunch of dice to mark out the area. Thats not really great as they tend to get mixed up with other dice on the table.

So rather than a massive flaming wall I thought I would go for something smaller. The wall does't provide cover so I went for some burning coals. I sculpted some flames on a spare piece of plasticard. I did it like this as it is easier than doing it on the rocks. Once they were cured I could take them off the card and then place them on the rocks.

Once I had the flames on the rocks I sculpted some more just to join up the pieces. I also had to get them to look like they were coming out of the rocks rather than floating above. I am not great at sculpting the flames but well it is a start! I will try a little more and see if I can refine the shapes. I think it would be pretty cool to be able to add flames to wizards hands or along weapon blades.

Painting was easy enough. I just painted everything orange. Then I overbrushed the stones in progressively darker colours eventually getting to black. All I wanted to do was leave the cracks between the rocks showing the heat while the rocks themselves were coated in soot.
I then concentrated on the flames darkening them along their height. Finally I washed them in yellow around the bases and the rocks so that it gave a better glowing effect. Sadly the varnish I coverd it in afterwards really killed the yellow so it isn't that visible.

I was thinking that this could actually make a nice terrain piece for a future project. A large area of burning coals would look awesome and be terrible to cross during the game, easily be dangerous in WFB or causing fire in Warmachine. Anyway today between painting Tharn Wolfriders I intend doing a rock wall for Epic Baldur.

November 25, 2011

Friday Showcase - Lord of the Feast

Wow I managed to take a silly photograph of this model. I only realised now that I managed to cover his face up with the raven! The Lord of the Feast is one of my all time favourite models. It really has an unearthly feel to it. He is already quite tall but I raised him up a little more with some modelling clay to emphasise the height. He really towers over the rest of the circle infantry. He was a little annoying to put together as I pinned him. The surface area for the pins is really small. I did manage to get pins in everywhere though. I am a little worried about him breaking all the same so he rarely gets used in a game. With his inclusion in epic Baldur's theme list I think I will start using him. I just need to get Megalith first. So I can't comment about the Lord's use on the battlefield as I have never used him. I actually have never played Circl in MKII outside of Vassal. My cards should arrive soon so I can finally use them for a game, hopefully at the club on Sunday. I only wish that there were a few more devourer inspired models in the Circle Orboros to choose from as this single guy is awesome!

November 23, 2011

Domination Release Event Scenario

So I created the Domination Release Event scenario for Vassal. It wasn't too difficult. You can download the scenario here. I hosted it on mediafire so it should be quick to download. All you have to do then is load it into Vassal and find an opponent. Please note that the centerline is as it should be on the 23" line so one side is closer than another. This is set out already in the lay out so watch for it when determining who goes first and which deployment zone they then have to use!

If you notice any problems or have any other feedback please let me know in the comments section.

November 22, 2011

Snake Eyes, Again?

I had an interesting Mangled Metal tournament at the weekend. There are sadly not enough tournaments for Warmachine here in Hamburg so it was nice to have one finally. I decided to bring Kreoss along backed up by a Reckoner and two Redeemers. I was hoping that a nicely placed knockdown would enable my Redemeers to cause havoc. It didn't really work out as I had expected. The game format was four players per table deploying in the corners. Between the deployment zones and the centre there was rough terrain or a forest. In game one I played cautiously and only managed to take out a Leviathan. I had everything still alive and directly in the centre of the board by the end of the prescribed six turns. So for all my cautiousness I mananged to score only ten points. On the other table people were already on forty to fifty points.

So the second game came around and we mixed the players up. I was still on the same table but in joint last place overall. So Mulg and Doomshaper came directly towards me in turn one. I obliged him and moved up feating. Nicely enough I mananged to catch Doomshaper and knocked him down. The eckoner then got him with the Consecrator, setting him on fire and causing flare. So thats Def 5 for the round. Six redeemer rockets came in next needing only a 4+ to hit and well only two hit. Still they were effective and managed to leave Doomshaper in bad bad shape! However this was a sign of things to come and depite my best efforts I managed to leave both Mortenebra and Kromac on fire and with only a few hitpoints left.

So while it was great fun and I guess will eventually become one of those stories that is oft repeated amongst the gaming crowd here, I came last. Over the entire tournament the Leviathan was the only model I killed. So I am hoping that the Domination event that is coming up will be fun but slightly more succesful for me!

November 21, 2011

Wolf Riders WIP

These models take ages to paint. Here is what I have managed since last week. The wolves are done but the riders are not. It took me an hour on each wolf to do the skin tones. Each one has a different colour so this didn't help. They came out nicely though and whilethe tones are all different there are only two that are strongly varied. The grey wolf was an experiment and he came out okay. I shaded him with brown rather than darker grey. While it isn't perfect I can see now how it can work. So if I come to paint grey like this again I will know how I should do it.

I am not going to have much time this week but I am still hoping I can get these done. I have to get my Chariot done for the Tale of Three Gamers. It is just getting undercoated now. I finally finished the sculpting last night. I hope I can manage to get both done!

November 18, 2011

Friday Showcase - Baldur the Stonecleaver

With all the Wolds on the blog this week I thought I would put up Baldur the Stonecleaver as the Friday Showcase. He is most definitely my favourite 'lock and he is a great miniature too. While he is very static he is nicely detailed, not too detailed though. He has a nice balance of everything. I painted him in my usual Circle colours though the jacket was highlighted differently than I normally would do it. It is Scorched Brown highlighted with Snakebite Leather. That makes a really nice colour and is one I have used a lot since. Once again, like last weeks Tharn, I did a really strange skintone. Its most noticable on the hands as the face is barely visible. This tone has really made for problems as I really don't want to copy it and I am going really different, well normal skintones for humans, on my Tharn Wolfriders.

I also really liked the colours on the robe under the jacket. That was some of GW's foundation paints. I think Khemri Brown highlighted with Denheb Stone. I used the same colour on panel on the hood. I am looking forward to the new Baldur the Soulstone model. Having heard the Lost Hemisphere preview from Domination he really sounds great! I wish that my copy of Domination would be here a little bit quicker. Sadly there are no new Wolds coming out, at least that I am aware of. Though the new Griffon is excellent, I can't wait to see the model.

November 17, 2011

A Tale of Three Gamers - Week Three

I am on a solo run this week again! Gar managed to fall in work and hurt his wrist badly. So he has been ordered not to paint for a few weeks. Al is once again off on holidays, this time to New York. It is good for some eh? So its just lonely old me for the third week of the Tale of Three Gamers. Hopefully this won't be a continuous problem, but I suppose nobody can stay motivated all the time. I think Skyrim is very much a reason for these delays too!

So this is the beginning of the chariot. Pretty much everything has been sculpted on. I wanted to add some detail to the plain body of the chariot. So I added a pelt on one side and a shield on the other. I felt that the quiver of arrows would suit so I put that on too. That makes the model look much better. I didn't do much of a conversion to the riders, a simple weapon swap for the Ungor is all. The hounds got some of my standard treatment. You can see finished versions at this link. I think I will keep their paint scheme the same.I just need to attach the chains to the hounds so it looks like they are pulling the chariot and I am all set to go.

Month's Targets:
Al: Five Tzeentchian Chaos Knights
Phil: A Giant and a Chariot
Gar: Twenty Five Dwarven Clansmen


Tale of Three Gamers:

Test Colours
The Beginning
Week One
Week Two

November 16, 2011

All Singing, All Dancing Wolds!

So here is my Wold Dance Ensemble! I inadvertently collected three of these guys since they came out. The first was a must for my Baldur list when Hordes first came out. The second I picked up as I had nothing to paint once and it was the only Circle Orboros model in the local game stre at the time. The third I picked up and painted recently. It was part of a second hand bundle. I really like the model so its not a problem having three. I did try to make an effort to have each in a different pose. When I lined them up for the shot my girlfriend was wondering why they were dancing. Since that comment I haven't been able to take the Wolds quite as seriously!

These models are fairly easy to paint which is great. While it is still a six or so hour job to get them done its better than with the other beasts. The stone I keep warm by highlighting it with bleached bone rather than white. I gives it a more natural stone colour as white makes the highlight really stark. Its a painting theme I kept throughout the Circle force. Keeping everything highlighted with bleached bone keeps the tones on the various colours united across the whole varied army. I am tempted in the future to use a different colour on a different force to really see what other effects can be made.

So I have almost finished the base coats on the Tharn Wolfriders. Its really time consuming, especially as I did each wolf in a different colour. That really cuts down on the amount of brown shades I have for other things such as the cloth on the riders. I am hoping that the mix of colours makes the unit look a little better. I will wash them tonight so that they are dry and ready for more paint tomorrow.

November 15, 2011

Can't see the Wood for the Wolds

Pokemon is a terrible game. I have been playing it instead of painting... damn but I have to catch them all! So yesterday I made no progress on my Wolfriders. I had intended to start with them but I was so close to catching Pikachu I couldn't put the DS down. So here is the Wold Guardian I finished on Sunday. He came out nicely in the end. I finally had my old Wolds here in Germany so I could copy the scheme from them. With some hours to kill and some Lost Hemisphere in the background I was able to get him done in one session. I was also doing a Wold Warden at the same time but I will put some pictures of him up tomorrow. Today I will be working on the Wolfriders and I will be adding some details to a beastman chariot too. I am eager to get the base coat on at least but with five large models I am guessing thats going to take a little longer than I would like. Hopefully I won't get tempted by the DS too much!

November 13, 2011

Whats next?

I managed to get some decent painting done this weekend, unexpectedly! I picked up a Woldwarden and Woldgaurdian a few weks ago. I decided to sit and get both done. They are very similar so it saved time. I will pop some pictures up tomorrow.

I want to get some of my backlog finished. I guess all of us have some of those units or models that just sit there unpainted. I have Tharn Wolf Riders and Farrow Bone Grinders sitting awaiting paint. I really don't want to paint either as I know both will take ages. Thats one of the biggest problems I have with painting, committing to a time consuming project. The second I commit to it I lose interest and find everything else wonderful. The Tharn will take all my hobby time up while the Farrow are the quickest to get done. I also have loads of other stuff I want to keep doing such as terrain. I have a nice trench piece built and I would like to actually make a cast of it so I don't have to make loads of them. Its either Farrow and some terrain pieces or the Tharn Wolfriders. So what would you do?

November 11, 2011

Friday Showcase - Tharn Ravagers

These were painted quite a while ago and it shows. Looking closely at them now I see how bad the skin came out. Its practically purple, not really what I had been aiming for. These were one of the first units I painted for the army and I transfered what I had learned from the beasts to these. The skin should have been far more lighter in tone.
Now the problem I have is that I need to do another five Ravagers to have a 'complete' unit. Thats the White Mane, Shaman and Chieftan plus two more to bring them up to a full compliment. I have ordered them but I don't want to do them in the old horrible skin tone. That means I should strip these and redo them but I really don't want to do that either! I guess I can match them in... lets see!

November 10, 2011

A Tale of Three Gamers - Week Two

So I am doing well so far! I managed to get the giant done. I thought he would take a little longer than he did but with the time off I have at the moment I was able to get him done pretty quickly.
The photograph is not the best. Once again I managed to over expose the model and wash out the detail. I kept him in the same scheme as the test model. It ties him in better with the army but I am worried he might blend in a little too much. However I guess that the size of the model will single him out especially as I don't at this point intend using any minotaurs. The new models are just too horrible. I haven't seen them in the flesh so to speak so I might yet change my mind. So hopefully my chariot arrives soon so I can get started with that and hit the target!

Al managed to get the basecoat on his riders this week while Gar only got the silver done on the Dwarves!

Month's Targets:
Al: Five Tzeentchian Chaos Knights
Phil: A Giant and a Chariot
Gar: Twenty Five Dwarven Clansmen


Tale of Three Gamers:

Test Colours
The Beginning
Week One

November 9, 2011

Wood: Done!

Here is a quick post to show what I managed to do yesterday. I have an apple pie baking in the oven and I don't want to get distracted and burn it as I seem to do with most cooking duties. I am a good cook but I get easily distracted! So I managed to slog through painting the Mannikins. Actually they were not half as bad as I thought they would be in the end. Certainly more fun than the Totem Hunter! I think they came out a little red. I think the VJ Beastly Brown is redder than the GW Bestial Brown. So when highlighting it it maintains the red tone rather than fading into a more orange tone. Thankfully the unit is done and that leaves me with only two units in the backlog to do! Okay I ordered quite a few new things revently but I don't have to yorry about them until they arrive. So Tharn Wolf Riders or Bone Grinders next?

November 8, 2011

Hunting for Totems!

I have a nice game of Hordes to look forward to tonight. Most of my gaming these days is done via Vassal. It does manage to keep me motivated to paint however! I managed to finish the Totem Hunter over the last few days. I went with a very different colour scheme from my Circle Force for him. The blue on the armour is a little more subtle in real life. The photo really strengthened it. I wanted an almost black and gold colour scheme. The blue just gives it something more visually interesting. The armour was a pain to paint. My gold is fairly old and it doesn't really give good coverage anymore. Getting new paint meant going out and so lazy me just tried as best as I could with the old gold. Anyway I finally managed to get it to come out nice. I highlighted it with silver to break up the strong yellow tone. I think it worked out fairly well.

One big problem is I bought this model in MKI and I have no new cards for him. I can't get cards either as they are not available as a deck. If I want to play him I think I would have to buy the Minions book. Thats not really what I want to do. So Privateer Press please hurry up and bring out the cards I need!

November 7, 2011

Season One Finished

So I finally managed to finish a roleplaying campaign. Last week we had the seventh and final session in our Hunter: The Vigil game. Its a pretty big milestone for me as I haven't finished a game before. I don't think any of my players finished one before either! I have started loads of campaigns with massive plots and world shaking events. This time I didn't do that. The game went really well and everybody is eager for more. I am attributing this to the shortness of the game and the fact that it had a clearly defined story. I took on the idea of using seasons for the game with each season being a contained story.

With Christmas looming on the horizon I think it is best to take a break and to begin again in the new year. Otherwise we would end up having around a four week break in the middle of a story and that wuld just result in killing the game. Even I wouldn't be able to remember the more subtle facts and happenings and that would make for a really bad game. The story arc I was going for was able to be brought to an end, maybe not a satisfactory one for my players, and using a seasonal approach it fitted perfectly as the end of a season. The players know that there is the possibility for more and that despite the fact they got their revenge they didn't get satisfaction. This can fuel season two a little and with the correct seeds planted season two doesn't end up as a monster of the week style game.

I have been listening to the THAC0 podcast a lot recently and they have covered approaching roleplaying games in the same sense as a TV series. I think this is a really excellent way to approach things. You can set up a story with a good view to an end and then play towards that. As long as you keep it a resonably achievable story it can finish in under ten sessions allowing the players to take a break. This gives you a season and as long as everyone is willing to keep going it is possible to continue playing, in my opinion, for much longer than games normally last.

November 4, 2011

Friday Showcase - Swamp Gobbers

These guys are great. Firstly there are only two of them so its not going to take long to paint them. Secondly they are so characterful they are fun to paint and finally they are also great in the game so thats motivation to get them done. These were one of the first units for my Circle force that I painted. I tested out some different colours and while I think they worked out fairly well they were not done perfectly. Yellow skin is pretty weird but I wanted to avoid green. It is far to strong in a visual sense and I didn't want these to take away from my rule of no green for the army. Well I use green but only for armour or gems. It is a pity that there are not more models in the range as characterful as these. Swamp Gobbers would make for an awesome faction!

November 3, 2011

A Tale of Three Gamers - Targets Set

PhotobucketSo it is week one, the challenge has begun. All three of us have set their targets and only Gar was ambitious. I am setting myself a modest target of a Giant and a chariot. Al is aiming for five Chaos Knights and Gar is going for thirty Dwarves! I am being lazy. I have time at the moment to make a good dent in some of the core requirements but I don't want to commit deeply and lose motivation. I hate painting big regiments as forty or so models really take a long time to make progress on.
Here is what I have managed to get done on the giant so far this week. Just a base coat nothing special. I am keeping him in the warm brown tones that the test Ungor had. I am not sure if that is really going to work out for the flesh but hopefully it does! I was going to use him, with some conversions, as a Ghorgon but really I can't justify it. I don't think I would be able to convert him enough. Adding horns and weapons really wouldn't cut it I think. For the chariot I do plan some conversions. I hate the boars that are pulling the chariot and I think I would be able to use some Chaos Hounds instead. They are almost as big and they are much nicer models. I wouldn't have to do much either to add them under the yoke, just chopping and resculpting some of the fur on their napes. Lets just hope my eBay source is prompt in sending the chariot out to me.

Here is Gar's test model. He already has a few regiments done for this army but he is using this challenge to add more to the army. First up is some great weapon armed clansmen, a regiment I really am not looking forward to facing on the battlefield. Gar has used a nice contrasting dark blue and bright silver scheme for the Dwarves. The shields on the clansmen is done with GW Ice Blue to make them stand out a little stronger. Getting these done within a month is going to be tough.I always lose my motivation on bigger regiments. Especially when they reach above about fifteen models. I usually try to paint them in batches of five or six so that I don't have an endless line of thirty or so to do. When it takes a few hours to get something like the silver done thats when I really start to get annoyed. That is one of the benefits of Wwarmachine maximum units sizes are ten so you feel like you are making progress much more often.

Al is going to be holidaying this month (lucky him) so he is committing to a small regiment. So while we are slaving away for our corporate masters he is having cocktails on the beach. I still think it is a push to get these done as cavalry take a lot of time. There is a large surface area on those horses and painting them takes longer than expected. You can see here clearly a greek theme with hoplon shields and corinthian helmets. I have no idea on what the colour scheme is going to be yet, hopefully Al will make some WIP shots so that they can be put up here next week or so. I intend putting a post up every Thursday showing or at least discussing the progress made by each of us. I guess that will include quite often a lack of progress too! At the start of each month we will all present what we intend to do. It is going to be around 300pts in total though it will vary a little depending on what we select. The hope is that we will get 2400pts completed within eight months or so. We might even manage to get some terrain done along the way!


Month's Targets:
Al: Five Tzeentchian Chaos Knights
Phil: A Giant and a Chariot
Gar: Twenty Five Dwarven Clansmen


Tale of Three Gamers:

Test Colours
The Beginning

November 2, 2011

I hate painting wood

Okay so I hate Mannikins, I really hate them. I am painting the Sentry Stone at the moment. The Sentry Stone itself is really nice to paint. Its got nice flate well defined surfaces. It is pretty easy to spot the details and where the highlights should go. However the Mannikins are a different story altogether. They are nice models despite the fact that they are not really that different from each other. I really don't like the wood grain, well I like the grain I jut don't like having to paint it. It takes ages and often doesn't look that good. I can manage the odd decent weapon haft but usually I don't put that much effort into them. On the Wolds there really isn't enough smooth surfaces to the wood so that avois the problem. However I really can't manage to get the Mannikins to look right. Tomorrow I am popping up the progress on the Beastmen so I expect it will be Monday before I have the Mannikins on here. I hope I can get them looking good!

November 1, 2011

A progress report

So it is the start of a new month and I thought I would take some time to check my progress over the last while. I posted about this before here and it is interesting to compare what I have managed since, well at least for me! Its exactly six months ago that I updated this last and there are some big differences. First up is the fact that my Khador collection has almost tripled in size and is still totally unpainted. I had better make a start on them soon! I have made a lot of progress on my menites. Thirteen more models bought and yet I managed to get them to 91% done. I really need to sit and finish them off too. It would be really nice to have them at 100% done. Aat least then I have a good excuse to buy some more. My mercenaries have also tripled in size but at least they have also been painted with 97% of them done. I also managed to avoid buying more Circle models and to paint some of the backlog. It would be really awesome to get these close to 100% but there are just too many nice models and I will be investing more in them over the coming months, especially considering the arrival of Domination. Minions have stayed the same so thats good!

So all this boils down to the fact that I bought fifty nine new models just for Warmachine and Hordes over the last six months. I also managed to increase the average number of completed models from 60% to 66%. That is a pretty decent increase in my mind as I have continued to buy miniatures, especially Mercs and Khador. Also interesting to note is the fact that I have managed to start a new system, Dystopian Wars. I have a small fleet thats close to being completed. I have only seven models to paint and they shouldn't take long. The problems is that nobody here really plays the game and so I have no motivation to paint them.

I am wondering a little what is going to happen over the next six months. I have started a Beastman army for warhammer Fantasy. Thats going to be over a hundred miniatures I am guessing. I am intending to paint them to a high enough standard so thats really going to effect the amount of time I have to spend on Warmachine and Hordes. I still want to make progress with them but I have to resign myself to doing single models rather than units. Thats okay as I do have my eyes on a few solos. I do think that Dystopian Wars will get squeezed out. There is only so much time and I can't dedicate that to a system I am just not playing. Its a pity but I really don't see any hope for my Prussians.
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