September 28, 2012

Friday Showcase - Grotz

I love Grotz. I guess all Ork players do. Maybe I should say collectors do as I have never seen Grotz played. I was suprised by how cheap they were, I think €10 for ten. I picked up three boxes a long time ago and painted them really quickly. I imagine they might become more popular especially if mysterious objectives are used. They are the perfect troop choice to send up to find out what a particular objective does. Who cares if the Grotz get killed, that is what they are there for! I have always been tempted to pick up some Grot artillery as they look great, I think Kromlech.eu produces the best I have seen.

September 27, 2012

The Shadowhorn Satyr

I wanted this guy for a while. I am assuming the Shadowhorn and Gnarlhorn Satyrs will be going plastic when Gargantuans is released. I don't like the new plastic models that much for the Warpwolves and so I thought I had better get the Satyr while I could. I never liked the model until I saw it on the table. It is actually quite taller than all the other Warbeasts, even without the horns. He dwarfs the old metal Feral Warpwolf and even the Gnarlhorn Satyr. Putting him together was easy though he didn't want to stay on the base. I pinned him on of course but with such a tall metal model there is a lot of force on the join with the base. Some greenstuff firmed this up nicely and stopped him from rocking his way off as I painted him. I had this problem with the Warpborn Skinwalkers before and I wish I had done this. They were heavy enough that they began to rock slightly as I moved them while painting. This eventually caused two of them to come free of he base in a shower of curses!

I went with a two brush blend on the skin of the Satyr. It worked out fairly well but muscle tone is a little bit more difficult than metal plates. I also didn't go for enough of a contrast. I find I am generally really conservative with my contrast. In future I really have to actively go for it all out. Still the skin came out fine and he fits in with the other Satyr. I went with darker horns similar to the stock model and these came out well. I only highlighted the ridges on the horns. I think they look good. As far as I understand he is a relatively underused beast in Circle. He sits between a heavy and a light in terms of cost and abilities. He isn't that strong are well protected. At seven points though he is cheap. His animus is useful but I prefer the Gnarlhorn's Bounding animus. The Shadowhorn has Vitality which allows a free power attack and some extra movement on slams and throws. What is interesting is his leap ability allowing him to get into places that the opponent doesn't expect and also sometimes getting himself out of trouble! Tramples are generally better than leap as they at least have the possibility of killing some models during the movement but leap is free and allows you to jump over medium and large bases. It is very rarely going to get you into a position to assassinate but it can often help in taking out some key solos. I still have to figure out a good Warlock to use him with.

Tharn Ravager Archers

It is not often that I post twice in one day. These lovely Tharn Archers were previewed by Matt Wilson on Twitter and I felt I had to share. I have been playing a lot with the Tharn recently and I am slowly coming around to just how good they can be. I am really excited to se what the archers will bring to the mix. Hopefully something good...The original link the the picture is here. I just can't wait!

September 26, 2012

Hitting a Brick Wall

Linear Obstacles in Warmachine seem to be a rather popular piece of terrain and I thought I would try out making one. I wanted to do a quick mock up to see what could be achieved and this here is the result. I wanted it to tie in fairly well with the other terrain pieces I have so I went with bricks. Using bricks allowed me to thicken the wall a little bit more than if I used some other materials. I wanted the wall to emulate the template provided for these in the rule book. So it should be three quarters of an inch thick. This prevents models without reach from attacking over it for instance. The length was determined by the piece of plasticard I had left. It is about four and a half inches long.

I capped the piece with metal as this again ties in really well with the other terrain pieces. My rust technique didn't really work here as I had to be much more careful than normal. The foam I make the walls from dissovles if the turpentine I use for the pigments hits them. I wasn't able to slather on the washes as I usually would. I think I will tone down the rust for the finished pieces when I get around to making them. I have a few other projects I want to do first. The biggest one of them is getting the railroad pieces done. I finally ordered the sand I need to complete them and once it arrives is will be getting back to them.

One thing that does annoy me a little is random wall syndrome. I like a realistic battlefield. Randome walls have no place on one. They make no sense even though they are fine for the game. If I do more pieces I am thinking I will make them as some sort of a fixed size enclosure. It would represent a storage yard or the like. I think walls like the above shown one might be a little too much for agricultural purposes! I haven't decided yet but I think a terrain piece like this can work.

September 24, 2012

Iron Kingdoms RPG

I am happy to talk about some roleplaying here again. It is an oft neglected part of my hobby. I was really excited to get my hands on a copy of the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game on Friday. I haven't managed to spend quite as much time digesting it as I would have liked the weekend once again proved bizarrely hectic. The book cost €59 which is a little pricey, especially in comparison to the dollar price. I guess I will be ordering the supplements from the States. The quality of the book is top notch, though the artwork is repeated in places something that always feels a bit cheap to me.

I am a little dissapointed I have to say. There are going to be a lot of fanboy reviews popping up soon I guess but overall I think the ball was fumbled somewhat with this product. I am going to enjoy playing this but I think for what I paid I could have been given a higher quality product. The game is a wonderful transposition of the wargame onto a roleplaying game framework. The mechanics are solid but seem very restrictive in certain ways. I am saying this without having played so maybe I am completely incorrect. The statistical values of all the starting characters fall within a very predictable range. Having checked through the levelling mechanics, which in themselves are good, there is relatively little increase in these statistics over the course of a campaign. This works excellently in keeping the system balanced, something I applaud in the wargame. It does make your character seem a little bit similar to everyone elses though. The differentiation comes in skills and abilities. These add small but significant modifiers in places that you want your character to specialise. Interestingly a change of a point or two towards the positive has a much bigger effect on probabilities in the 2d6 system than in a d20 system. So maybe I am being unfair. Looking at the raw stats alone and their slow development over time makes characters seem very similar. I hope that the abilities however really allow some specific specialisation. I look forward to proving myself incorrect as I get to play.

The background and setting material is also a little lacklustre. Everything needed to play in the world is provided but maybe that is the point. We are presented with a little bit of everything rather than some specifics. I haven't come across a decent map yet, the book only contains one and its detail is sparse. Khador for instance has seventeen locations named within it. For one of the major kingdoms in the setting seventeen locations isn't much to go on. There are better maps available online but I can't see why new maps weren't produced. I think for a lot of players maps are one of the most attractive parts of an RPG. They spark the imagination in ways that text and pictures can't. I always hated Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for not providing decent maps in the expansion books. A lot of the 4e Dungeons and Dragons expansions failed to provide decent maps. Moving on the bestiary section provides maybe twenty creatures. Aagain I find that this is poor fare. I can excuse the magic spells having no description, I have often found pages of descriptions for things like that boring and pointless. Some of those saved pages should have been dedicated to good creature descriptions and more detailed location descriptions. I have to assume that a Monsternomicon and some setting books will be available soon. Going on the monsters presented in No Quarter I am really happy with the presentation. The boring presentation in the Core Rules reminds me a lot of what I hated most about 4e. The No Quarter presentation provides a lot more information

Overall I feel that we have been presented with a 'Players Handbook' and we are left waiting for numerous supplements to fill in the rest. I suppose the fact that core rules is printed rather boldly on the cover should have given a lot of this away. It wuld have been nice to have been presented with a Monsternomicon and Setting book along with the core rules. At least then the contents could have been shared better between the three allowing some expansion in certain places. I guess the two supplements a year it is a fine model to make the game viable over an extended period of time. If each year two expansions are published it may keep interest in the game up. The book does leave me hungry for more but I wonder how long that will last.

September 21, 2012

Friday Showcase - Ork Nobz

I must resist painting Orks! The more of these showcases I do the worse the temptation becomes. Goff 'Ardboyz are the current flavour. These would of course come with a Battlewagon transport as they need to arrive in style. The worst thing is I wouldn't have to buy anything as it already resises in my collection. Lets see if I can resist. My Warmachine and Hordes stockpile is defintely in decline so eventually I have to paint something else. This week I have some Bad Moon Nobz, with a Waaaaagh Banner. I cut this from some Fantasy Battles terrain and it is almost the correct scale. It is a little unwieldy I guess but thats in true Orky style. I want to add eventually a few trophies and a flag but for now it serves its purpose. I never painted more of these guys as I wanted to give them Power Klaws, reasoning that they would be more effective in the game ths way. Seeing as I don't play this doesn't matter and I should top them off with the missing three squad members sometime soon.

September 19, 2012

Fly, my pretties fly!

I picked up the Scarsfell Griffon last week. It is a great model and the plastic doesn't suck too much. He was much easier to clean than the Man O' War's I had to do. Hopefully more of the plastics are like this. The arms on the griffon can be posed a little differently and I guess with some sclading hot water the wings could be bent a little. That would allow for some variety which is nice. I am somewhat tempted to get a second one as I think they could be really awesome, especially with pKaya. Their extended control range and the ability to teleport them right back to her makes for some interesting hit and run tactics at extreme range. I lost fairly badly last week with this but I wasn't playing Spirit Door properly. My opponent, Owen from Farfaraway.org, showed me the last line of that spell and from then on it was game over. I do still think there is some potential there but it would be an uphill battle!

I don't really like painting wings. They are hard to get looking convincing and they are often really detailed. I checked a few places online for inspiration and I came up with this picture. I wasn't brave enough to copy it exactly but I took a good few elements from it. As is usual I am unhappy with how the painting of the Griffon went. I guess I am never happy or maybe satisfied with my painting. I over did the dark grey/brown on the underside. It is fine on the outer feathers but it is too intense I think when it gets closer to the body of the griffon. Next time I would have kept it to mybe two rows of feathers and then I would have darkened the inner rows more in keeping with the picture here.

I am a good bit happier with the back of the wings. They are a little dark despite what I felt was an extremely light highlight. The orange pieces break up the monotomy of the wings a lot and there isn't much I would change overall. Lightening up the feathers towards the head of the 'beast light have been better but the feathers there are so small and lack a lot of definition and I thought that changing the colour of them might make them look like fur. Anyway he is done now and can be put onto the display shelf with the rest of the Circle army. I just need to paint a Winter Aargus and that is all the light warbeasts done for the army. Incidently the griffon is the 100th model painted for Circle by be.

September 18, 2012

Painting Fail

Sometimes despite all the best inspiration and techniques painting just goes wrong. I painted this Feralgeist twice now and both times it has come out terribly. The standard scheme is nice but I wanted to go for something a little different. I started off with a blue scheme and it came out really bad. I am not sure why but I guess I started with too dark a base coat. It made the ghost seem too solid. I didn't learn from this however and I think I have repeated the same thing here. The red purple base colour here is just too solid looking. I highlighted it in reverse much like painting flame. I brought it down to a yellow white in the deepest crevasses. It just doesn't look right to me. I won' be changing him however, done is done. I have too many other models calling for attention at the moment. I may revisit him at a later date. Aat least for now he is a lesson to pay a little bit more attention to the planning stages of painting!

September 17, 2012

Steamroller Flags finished

I managed to get these done over the weekend despite aching muscles. Moving furniture is not something I do eagerly or particularly well. I think the flags came out fairly well although the colour of the internal wood isn't exactly as I had intended. I sculpted a few more little details such as Dryad's Saddles onto them to break up the surface of the wood. The colour scheme fits in nicely with the rest of my Circle Orboros army and I think these will be a nice addition to scenario play. I just need to think of what appropriate objectives I can make now. I think larger stumps wouldn't be quite right!

I am still tempted to make up some more of the stumps to use as a terrain piece. It is a lot of effort for some terrain but I could cast them up to save some time at least. I have a few half completed terrain projects that would cast up nicely I think. The train tracks for instance would be really excellent to cast as would a trench piece I have. Maybe I will research it and see.

September 14, 2012

Friday Showcase - Ork Painboy

This week has been really busy for me and while I managed to get some painting done I didn't get anything finished. Hopefully the weekend will provide me with a few hours to get some projects completed. At least I can put up something, the friday showcase. This week I have an Ork Painboy. Orks are a great army full of character. The Mad Dok's have been around for a while and I have always thought that they were really cool. I picked one up for my Nobz squad as a 4+ save against almost everything seems fairly worthwhile for the points cost. I just wish I could get a few of these for my other squads. The model isn't particularly well painted just like the rest of the army. These were an exercise in getting something done quickly without too much of an investment of effort. Aas stated before I wasn't very interested in playing 40k much I just wanted to have some Orks. Now that I have begun showing them here however I am tempted to paint some more. I have far too many in boxes and they deserve some paint.

September 7, 2012

Friday Showcase - Ork Warboss

I painted this Warboss when the last edition of 40k launched. I picked up three or four sets of Orks fairly cheaply at the time and I have a pretty large Ork force now. I wanted him to be a Bad Moon boss hence the large symbol. It comes from some Night Goblins for Fantasy and it works pretty well. I kept the painting fairly simple just to get him done. I started to experiment towards the end of the model and you can see this in the check design on a small part of the Klaw. I should have used the design in a few more places on the model as the armour painted as I did it is boring. It when combined with the gun makes for a very metallic model which is boring.

I have been tempted a number of times to take out some of the other Warboss models I have and to paint them with a little bit more attention to detail. I wouldn't ind doing a Death Skulls or Goff boss just to try out something a little different. Maybe I will do this over the coming weeks. It is too bad that Knarloc Green isn't available anymore as it was the colour I used for all of my Orks. I hope there is an equivalent in the new range. Although looking at it now it is fairly similar to the green I use for my Khador army. I just need to think of a decent yet simple conversion for this guy.

September 6, 2012

Everyones Favourite - Kossites

Following on from yesterdays solo syndrome I have a different painting disease to discuss: regiment rot. I hate painting units. These guys have been on my desk for well over a week. Only the rare alignment of a productive weekend happened and I managed to make good progress on these. I bought the Kossites as they were on offer and I assumed they were good. This was before I really got back into Warmachine. I have as yet never used them but I doubt they can be as bad as everyone says... right? I hope they will get a unit attachment soon to bolster them a little. Painting these was a little bit annoying. The detail is a little strange, a symptom of early Warmachine models. I kept the colours neutral. They don't fit the colours of the rest of the army but as they are an irregular unit I don't think it matters. They will still look cool on the battlefield.

September 5, 2012

Witchdoctor

I think it is impossible to paint this miniature without singing the damned Witchdoctor song. It was stuck in my head for the entire day after I finished. That song is a most infectious earworm. I loved this model the second I saw it. It is quite subtle which I think but that is good. I guess this model could easily have competed with the factions Warlocks if designed poorly. Despite having seen the artwork ages ago I thought that he might come with a mask. This would have been too similar to Calaban. Too much robes would have been similar to Barnabas. The model is really nicely detailed. The skull level is acceptable. I hate models that are really bedecked in skulls. I guess a Wwitchdoctor can be expected to have a few.

Painting this model was fun, much more than expected. I guess this is due to solo syndrome. As I have stated all to often I love painting solos. It is one model and it feels like I make a lot of progress quickly. I followed the brown scheme I used for the rest of my Gatormen. This presented a problem as my other gators don't have clothes. I didn't want the brown on the clothes to blend too much in so I went for a colder brown than I usually would. I think it contrasts nicely. I have seen on the PP fora a nicely painted Barnabas model with a green tinge to the robes. I was tempted to copy it but maybe I will keep it for one of the Warlocks.

I have used the model in a game and he was fairly useful. He would have been much more useful if I had understood how sacrifical strike works. I used him with a Posse in an eBaldur list. Adding tough to a unit benefitting from Baldur's feat bonus means these guys are not going anywhere soon.

September 3, 2012

Circle Flags

I have been wanting to make some 'flags' for my Circle army for a while. I wasn't sure what to do as flags aren't really defined except for their rules. In Steamroller they are pieces that need to be captured generally to win the game. The Circle isn't really an organised military force and has really low technology. I wasn't sure what I could make to represent an objective/flag. I have been playing a lot recently with Gallows Groves and they get killed in every game. The thought came to me that the stumps would make cool flag markers. I had been thinking of using some corpses on bases but I wasn't too inspired by this. It could really represent any army. Using some form of flag or standard isn't really that interesting either.

The stumps were easy enough to sculpt. I built the body out of normal modelling clay and then I made the top. It was just a small lump of greenstuff smoothed out and then I carved small rings into it. A few cracks were added to make it look a little decayed. Once all this was dry I added the sides. The sides were quite uneven as I wasn't too careful about shaping the base lump of clay. This is good as it stops the stump from being too regular. I still want to add a few small details like fungi. I have already added a few skulls to tie the stumps in with the Gallows Grove.

I think these came out fairly well and I am actually considering making some more to use as terrrain. I think they could easily be used to represent a harvested forest. Basically it would just be an interesting piece visually on the board but would otherwise count as a forest. I still have quite a few terrain projects to finish first though...
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