September 29, 2009

Waaaaagh! Battlecry Miniatures

I recieved some nice resin bases at the tournament in Gorey. A new company Battlecry Miniatures is starting up and the owner was there. He gave me a choice of bases to test and I selected two. I got one rock bae and one woodland base. I decided to paint them up and review them here. Sadly I have started basing my Warriors of Chaos army already so I won't be using them for a while! Once I start another project, maybe a Mordheim Warband or such I will pick up a selection.
The bases I selected are nice especially the rock base. The rocks are incorporated into the earth ginving a nice visual effect and highlighting the 3-d effect. It was easy to paint and didn't need to be washed before I primed it. The details were easily picked out with some careful highlights and without factoring in drying time it probably took me less than a minute to paint the base. The rocks provide a flat base for two feet, an important design consideration. It also allows for a more dynamic pose by putting one foot on the rock with the other below it on the level of the earth. The rest of this range that I saw were great. The design seemed excellent and their were no flaws.

The Woodland base I was less impressed with. While it was still good it wasn't of the same quality as the rock base. These bases I believe were the first produced and done so more as a test to see how it worked than as a production line. The tree stump was poorly sculpted. While it gave a good impression of a rotten stump it lacked some definition. It also didn't provide a surface that a standard miniature can easily be posed on. The detail of the earth and small rocks was excellent. The base took paint well and again didn't need to be washed before I began. I added some leaves to cover a tiny bare patch on the base.

Altogether the bases were excellent. These are the first resin bases I have painted. The ranges I was shown looked excellent especially the cracked earth bases. I look forward to seeing some more of these. I would recommend them but would make sure that my models are easily posed before buying!

September 28, 2009

A weekend of blood in Gorey

I have returned intact though my army hasn't arrived unscathed. Well I haven't unpacked it yet but already I know a few things are broken. At least the packaging kept it to a minimum. A few arms and heads broken are not too bad. The tournament was great. It was not what I expected and coming fifth was a suprise. Sadly my travel plans clashed with my weekly Dungeons and Dragons game so I wasn't able to take part in the first session of the newest scenario. I thought my flights were early in the day but actually they were quite late. Hopefully I can catch up! The last scenario finally finished the previous week. Lysimakos did well, surviving the zombie ambush that decimated the party. We finally got a map working and while it was not perfect it helped a lot.

As for the tournament I had a great time. It was held in Gorey, Co. Wexford. We all headed down the night before and after a good feed of pints there was plenty of hi-jinks! At least the hang-overs were not too bad. The draw paired me up against an Ogre player for the first round.

Game 1: Grimbolds Host vs. Ogre Kingdoms

My opponent, Karl, was from the 'Drogs of War' club. I had played there a few months ago with my Ogres and preformed well. Karl had got a copy of my list and based his upon it. That was a pleasent suprise. He did include a Hunter that I generally avoid but it almost proved a game winner.
I won first turn and moved forward. I needed to be weary of his Hunter placed out on the left flank. He was equipped with the Greyback Pelt which allowed him to ignore difficult terrain. Karl advanced his army to meet mine int he centre of the board. I had set up my right flank well with difficult terrain giving me a perfect position behind to set up baiting units and knights ready to intercept failed charges. On the opposite flank the hunter forced my hand. My flanking knights were vulnerable to a charge from him. I had to charge my Marauder Horsemen in to attempt to do some damage. As I wasn't paying attention the dogs accompanying the hunter took a wound each. Instead one of them should have been removed. In the end this proved important as their return attacks decided the combat. My Marauders lost and fled. I had positioned the knights so that their flank was not vulnerable anymore from the hunter.
Karl, while being an inexperienced player, did not fall for my baiting and positioned his regiments excellently to bait me! His hunter didn't charge but his dogs did. My left flank began to crumble due to gnoblar shooting and Leadbelchers taking out half of the warhounds there. The knight defeated the overrunning dogs and held their position. In my turn I was able to charge the knights into both the hunter and the Leadbelchers due to them being lined up. I slaughtered the Leadbelchers and this caused the Hunter to lose combat. While I was not happy to have my knight buried in difficult terrain for the rest of the game, I had to run down the Hunter. I thankfully managed this. My magic began to work well in this turn. The combination of Pandemonium and Hellshriek caused most of his army to panic. The spells prevented him from using any characters leadership for tests. Hellshriek forced everything within 18" of my rapidly advancing general to take a panic test. His three most dangerous regiments panicked! I was forced however to intercept his gnoblars with some marauders though and in the next turn this proved fatal as it allowed the giant to get into the marauders flank. (The marauders actually lost combat against the gnoblars!).
The giant ended up in combat and due to the fact that the gnoblars had a greater unit strength when the Marauders fled the giant thundered towards my knights. Thankfully he ended up an inch short of the knights. I was able to cast Flickering Fire twice into the giant leaving it on a single wound. I also stated mopping up regiments in the centre that had been fleeing. The Ogre magic phase finally fell apart when he miscast and killed both his Butchers. The infernal puppet is great! The giant did manage to get into the knights and slaughtered them on a jump up and down result. The single knight left did prove brave enough to take the last wound from the giant though!
The game was quickly over after this point. While his general rallied at the board edge everything else was dead or mauled. The reslt to me was a 16-4 win. Karl played a great game. While being inexperienced he was able to position his regiments perfectly a skill many generals are not able to do at all. He suffered badly from the combination of Pandemonium and Hellshriek over the course of the game. I was lucky that he gave me a chance to tet out the army. I quickly realised that I had a huge army. Terrain placement oftern forced me to crowd together too much. I also realised that the slower elements of my army formed an excellent reserve!

Game 2: Grimbolds Host vs. Dwarves
In this game I played a very small Dwarf army commanded by Padraig, another of the "Drogs of War". His army was focused on shooting but I felt it wasn't honed. He could easily have made it much nastier in my opinion. He had a small hill in his deployment zone and fell straight into a trap during his deployment. As I got to choose sides I gave him the hill. It had a wood in front but it provided a dominant view of the centre of the board. I had more regiments and deployed my more sacrifical troops to the centre. Once he was fully deployed I placed knights and marauders ready to sweep around the wood from under cover and unto the hill by the second turn. He had placed the flanks of his army against the hill and most of his shooting unto it.
Everything went to plan in the first few turns. He had placed a cannon and bolt thrower far out to his right to provide enfillading fire as I attacked his left flank. I was able to get my marauders horsemen across the board supported by the dogs to take out these machines. While that was happening I swept unto the hill taking minimal loses and destroyed his firebase. My centre advanced to keep him under presure and prevent him from turning his units to face my flanking knights. I mopped up his smaller regiments and managed to get my knights into the front of his longbeard regiment. I didn't want to charge his blocks as I felt I couldn't break them from the front. I had managed to get Treason cast on his longbeards in an earlier turn and they slaughtered themselves. This meant the knights, that I made frenzied, swept through the remainder of the regiment and over ran into the front of his Ironbreakers and Lord. In my turn I was able to charge the flank of this regiment with the knights that had swept through his firebase and I again slaughtered the regiment with the hel of frenzied knights! The game was over at this point and I scored a 20-0 massacre!
Padraig lost due to the fact that he didn't notice I had an easy route into the bulk of his army. He isolated some of his machines rather than castling fully around the hill. If he had I don't believe I would have had such an easy ride! He also made a few less than optimal choices in his army selection. His list was fine but could have benefitted from a few changes, such as Hammerers instead of Ironbreakers!

Game 3: Grimbolds Host vs. Dwarves

My two good wins saw me on table two against Lenny's Dwarves. Lenny plays with my own club the Underground Gamers so I knew him well. He also played in the 2009 ETC and did well. His Dwarves were optimised and he knew how to use them. I considered, really considered, hiding in the corner of the table behind a hill and taking a draw. I didn't want to charge into the face of his guns as I knew I would come out the worst. Thinking hard I decided that playing Warhammer was why I travelled to Gorey and I might as well have a proper game! Caution was thrown to the winds.
We both deployed deep in our alloted zones. I didn't want him to be able to take advantage of any shooting in the first turn. Thinking about it I could have gone forward much more as his twenty four inch guns wouldn't have been able to shoot in the first turn anyway.
He won the first turn and managed a few shots. He killed some knights but nothing panicked. This was his best turn of shooting for the entire game. He had anchored a flank on some woods that enabled me to move around again with my marauder horsemen. As his guns are move or fire he wasn't able to retaliate against them. I moved forward into the range of his guns. By the second turn my hounds were almost gone but the knights were still doing well. Having learned from the second game not to charge hounds into dwarven warmachines I instead mover the remnants of the regiments infront of the guns to prevent them shooting anything else due to the lack of a line of sight. I was also able to cast delusions onto his Longbeards forcing them to move infront of his organ gun restricting severly its line of sight.
By turn three I was able to charge the flanking marauders into his crossbowmens rear. My knights crashed into his Longbeards front. The foot elements of the army were getting very close to his line and I was able to use magic to the fullest extent casting Flickering Fire into his machines and decimating the crews. I wasn't able to make my knights frenzied sadly! The knight inflicted a lot of wounds unto the longbeards and while suffering none in return they fled seven inches. Thankfully the dwarves refused to follow. This proved decisive. The marauders inflicted a good few casualties against the crossbows but didn't manage to break them.
The organ gun thankfully misfired and blew intself to pieces. That proved fortuitous as the knights were then able to rally without suffering casualties right in front of the Dwarven line. By this stage the shots being taken at my line were much reduced due to the lines of sight being blocked and casualties. In my turen I rallied the knights and prepared them for a charge into the Longbeards. My Chaos Warriors and Marauders reached a threatening position and the marauder horsemen began to grind down the Crossbows. I also got delusions off on the Hammerers and General forcing them to reveal their flank to the Chaos Warriors to exploit the following turn. I finally broke the Crossbows leaving three Marauder Horsemen to ravage the back of the Dwarves.
In the fifth turn the Knights crashed into the Longbeards. This time they were frenzied and they smashed through wiping the regiment out. The Warriors charged the flank of the Hammerers and won combat easily. However the stubborn warriors passed the break test as expected. The Marauder Horsemen didn't do so well. They charged the Bolt Thrower with Master Engineer. The stand and shoot reaction wiped them out... ouch! Combat between the Warriors and Hammerers continued through to the sixth turn, the Sorcerer Lord killed the Battle Standard Bearer in a challenge in the previous turn, which I forgot entitled me to a roll on the Eye of the Gods table! The Warriors finally lost combat in the last turn due to not having a musician. This meant that the Dwarves scored 800 victory points on the strength of having a musician. This made the game a draw, but with 100vps in my favour. I almost had them!
I wasn't happy to say the least. I had eleven points spare in my list, enough to buy a musician. Well I won't leave home without it next time! The draw was a decent result in the end but defeat was really snatched from the jaws of victory during this game.

I finished the tournament in fifth place due to not scoring anything for painting. I have to say I didn't expect to do this well. I managed to avoid Daemons and Vampires on the way up which possibly helped a lot. I don't think I would have managed to get good results against those two armies, especially considering the nasty lists I noticed around the tables. The army proved it is capable of acquitting itself well on the board. The choice of Slaanesh magic for the lord really made the magic phase a challenge as I often ended up with ineffective spells. He was still capable of causing harm but I believe if my opponents had paid more attention to what I was capable of casting they would have realised that some of my spells were not worth it and they had nothing to fear from the threat of me casting them. Tzeentchian magic is amazing though. Flickering Fire is the best spell in the game plus Treason and Pandemonium makes for a great magic phase. I have noticed the combination of Pandemonium and Helshriek makes for a lot of failed panic tests. The Slaanesh spell that makes the knights cause terror is also excellent when combined with Pandemonium! For the next tournament I will have to change the army as it is under ETC restrictions. I still think it can do well and look forward to playing with it in the future. Congratulations are due to Alan Heffernan for a very impressive win with a decent Dark Elf list.

The tournament itself was excellently run. It was approached in a very professional manner. Every player was given a bag of goodies including counters and custom dice. I hope a lot of other tournaments decide to do the same, getting dice is great! While a lot of the lists were hard there was very few obviously 'cheesy' lists. I only saw two or three lists that I felt the players had gone a little too far. Thankfully I didn't have to play against them. There were a lot of Dragons flying around so I have to think about how to deal with them in the future. Looking at the newly posted rankings I am in fourth position due to the fact that painting scores are not counted (thankfully!). I wonder how this will shape up after the next tournament?

September 24, 2009

T-shirts do a good job

Okay I managed to pack the army finally. Two shoe boxes, a trousers and some T-shirts did the job fairly well. I am scared to open the boxes now to see the little broken pieces tumbling out. I should really bring a small plastic bag to collect the pieces up! Battlefoam's customer support is really useless. I have placed the order almost a week ago and they haven't bothered to get back to me at all! The big problem is that calling them is difficult as they are in Arizona and the time-zones are not really compatible. I will try to give them a call this weekend and put some fire under their asses. I have eight weeks until the next tournament and they better have it ready by then. I don't want to be using T-shirts once the army is painted.

I have ordered the 432 Pack, the one that is great for transport on planes. The problem is I have to design the foam inside myself. Therefore I need to really think as what I want to pack in. I also need it to be interchangable which is really annoying. If I combine two units into a single tray I have to be sure that I will be always bring those units together. It is a pity that they don't do half trays, as that would make them very interchangable! Also one of the problems is the cavalry tray. It is 4" high and it only takes twenty four models. That means it uses up two thirds of the case for far less than two thirds of the army.

Listening to the lists everyone is bringing to the tournament I think I am bringing a knife to a gunfight. There will be massive beasts galore backed up by hordes of wizards and batteries of warmachines. That should be enough to smash my army to pieces! The draw for the first round has already been made and I believe I will be fighting against an Ogre force. That would at least be a decent match up but not a simple game. As I have played Ogres a lot I know that they are dangerous. The magic is powerful as are the characters. With a decent game plan and some luck I should do well. I will also have to learn to play for a draw in this tournament. As I don't believe that I can deal effectively with everything that will be thrown at me I need to cut my losses and draw. While that probably make for a terrible game, it is a needed skill for ETC games.

Anyway you can look forward to some reports next week I hope... I have to go and catch the plane now!

September 21, 2009

Wrap me in a towel and carry me away!

I am having no luck with this army! I finally got the english version of the army book. When it arrived from Maelstrom it had a big crease on the back cover Not that this effects the contents but I still don't want a damaged book. I have to send it back. Hopefully the replacement arrives before I leave. Oh and Games Workshop have finally gotten back to me and have agreed to supply me with replacement bases from the Chaos Batallion box. However I have now realised I am also missing four marauders from the box. They want me to send back the entire box to get replacements. A little late considering that I have almost everything glued together.

So I have started on the general of the army! Grimbold the Blind, mighty Slaanesh Sorcerer. I have built him with components from a number of kits. Once again the Flagellant kit proved versatile! I changed the left arm extensively. The arms I was provided with in the Chaos Knights box were not really suitable at all for what I wanted. So I chopped it down into its constituent pieces and reformed it into a better position. Some green stuff in the joints reinforced the connections. The armour on the knights left arms is without any detail so I had to sculpt some. It came out well but not as I imagined. It is hard to get a sharp edge in greenstuff. I have seen some brownstuff for sale. It is supposed to be better for doing armour so I might eventually try that out.

I wanted Grimbold to be carrying a book. The more I thought about it the les I liked the idea. First of all he is charging into combat on a horse, reading would probably prove difficult. I also don't like the pose where the model is showing the book to the enemy. Instead I stuck the book on his saddle and put some flames into his hand. I intended to sculpt them myself but then I noticed a nice component of the Empire Wizards box. The flaming skull was perfect. I needed to make his hand first though. This was fun to sculpt but amazingly difficult. I now forgive Gary Morley for his many mistakes! It is tough to get the proportions to look right. While they may be anatomically correct they might not look correct in 'heroic scale'.

Having the hand open was the tough part. Sculpting fingers around a haft is pretty simple in comparison. The right arms recieved a lot less attention. I sculpted better bracer to match the other arm. I wanted to try out putting some runes on the surface of the armour. It was tough to do it and keep the surface of the greenstuff smooth. I haven't perfected ithis technique yet but I intend trying a few more times. I should be able to get it eventually! I have more sculpting to do on Grimbold but I won't be able to get more than the preparation work done before the Gorey Tournament so I haven't bothered. Once I get back I will give him the fur cloak like the rest of the army and some more details to give him the sense of being a little more shaman like, such as runestones and bone charms.

I am busily gluing together my marauder horsemen now. They are the final thing to complete before the weekend. I have given this regiment throwing axes for some reason. Everyone online says that flail are the best equipment selection. I don't like the flail models themselves so I tried to avoid using them. I will probably try to figure out a way to get flails onto the second regiment without them looking too stupid. Games Workshop really do bad flails. The Flagellants were really terrible. The flails were almost completely vertical!

This regiment again benefitted from the Flagellant sprues. The heads are much more expressive than the standard marauder ones so I swapped them. The back banner is nice and looks very well on horseback. It gives a sense of movement to the rider I hope. I wanted to get some flames into this regiment to match some of the marauders elsewhere in the army. I gave the riders to each side of the regiment flaming brands. This will give me a chance to try some light sourcing on the miniatures without having to worry how they rank up. If it works well I will carry it across the army.

The only other conversions I made with the marauders were simple weapons swaps. This rider got the flail arms but an axe head tops the shaft. I did this to stop the static look of the models when they only have a limited number of poses due to a lack of variety in the weapon arms. While it makes him look like he has a great axe I hope it won't be an issue. He is the only one carrying a weapon like this. The horses themselves are wonderful, possibly the best horses Games Workshop have produced so far. While they are still a little cartoony I think it suits them well and erves to make them look evil!

Finally you get to see what I am doing with the Flagellants. They are my marauders with flails. Once again the concensus seems to be that there is no point in arming marauders with flails anymore as it costs the same as upgrading to great weapons. Well I like the look of these models and if they end up being useless I can always swap them out! For now I want to ee how they preform in comparison to the great weapons. As they are essentially sacrifical troops I don't think that there is much of a distinction.

The conversions on these models are going to be a bit more minimal than the other marauders. Some of the arms had to be repositioned necessitating some green stuffing but nothing major. I am going to give them a lot of parchment scrolls representing their secret cult knowledge type stuff! Other than this I don't really know what else I cold do. The models are nicely detailed and I suspect will demand a very good paint job. I guess that a few interesting symbols on the robes will look nice. I also managed to find a use for the old chaos sorcerer I have had for a long time. He fits in as a champion quite well I hope. I do need to get another model to fill the regiment up to twelve so hopefully I can prevail on someones charity!

Thankfully the chaos warriors come with cloaks! At least there is one regiment that won't have to have these sculpted. They do have a nasty gap in the fur at the shoulders but I fixed that easily. I had some spare slaanesh champion heads lying around so I made sure to get them onto these models. I had intended to give them the Mark of Slaanesh anyway so this was great. I bought the heads years ago and forgot about them until I was moving here. While rummaging through some of my boxes I found them. I am short one but thats not a problem as I can just get original model they come from and steal his. As the army I am using now will not be valid under ETC restrictions I will probably use that Slaanesh model as my general in those lists. At least for now I don't have to worry about it. The next tournament in Northern Ireland will have ETC restrictions but it is in November so I have some time yet.

I did want to have a conversion of some form in the regiment. I decided that the champion looked quite like the model of Archaon on foot. In my mind he had his shield resting on the ground. I copied this idea sculpting a new hand for the champion in the process. Now that I think about it the Archaon model has his shield up in the air! I like this conversion and hope that it breaks the static warrior pose. As I won't be able to paint the models with the shields attached I will have to bring them to the tournament shieldless. I hope people won't mind this! I should probably bring a special list for people so that they can check out what everything is and what they are armed with! I can't even glue the weapons on unless I want to go for a very static pose.

I also managed to get the knights constructed, both regiments. They are fantastic models that just won't rank up. I will have to take photographs of them so that I can reference them when I need to rank the models up. I have managed to get them into ranks through painstaking gluing, breaking apart and regluing. I won't have time to start sculpting extras unto these so they will remain as they are for now. They will probably be one of the last things I paint for the army as I will want them to look well.

I will have to carry this army without the benefit of a case as my Battlefoam order has not arrived and will not arrive for a while. Its pretty much my fault as I ordered way too late. Their customer service is useless though... I will be following a suggestion from the Underground Gamers: a towel. Yep a few small soft towels with the models all wrapped up inside. I really hope that this gets the more delicate models there in one piece. I guess I should bring some super glue with me...

September 15, 2009

Turning to the dark side!

Here is one of the wizards that I am converting. I am trying to keep it more in touch with the marauders so I am going for a shaman rather than a sorceror. I began with the Empire Wizards sprue and added a few other components. The chaos star worked well to give an instantly evil look. I have also decided that the wizards will all be blind.

The extra piece come from the wonderful flagellant sprue. There are lots of little bones, skulls and symbols that can be attached anywhere. The cloak I added so that he does not look too empire. The blind flagellant head hopefully keeps him evil looking too. While evil is not a theme I really wanted to convey I need some in there. I was imagining a viking shaman. I added the little runetones around the fur cloak to reinforce that image. They were easy enough to do so I will carry them in through the rest of the army in various forms. So less than two weeks to go and I am getting there. There is no chance the army will be painted, absolutely none! I am having to temporarily abandon my workspace and I don't really know if I will be getting much more access to it before I have to leave. Hopefully so as there are a lot more marauders that need some glue!

I am really struggling with my list at the moment. The competition in Gorey is going to be high. I want to power up the list without completely going to the Dark Side! How I am going to achieve this I don't know. I really like the Warriors of Chaos list but it suffers from being well balanced! When compared to other more powerful lists there is nothing that jumps out as being great. The magic is good but costs a lot to bring to a dominating power level. I will be taking three wizards as the fourth is too expensive. I am struggling with which lores to take. I want a Slaanesh army but the lore is not fantastic considering the two armies I will need to be able to beat are immune to two thirds of the spells. The Tzeentch lore is good, well fanatstic really. I don't want to rely on a single spell: Gateway, to win my games though. It is a rather poor spell when you consider the much easier to cast Flickering Fire. I will take a mix of lores and from the games see what actually works well!

In terms of regiments I should probably focus on very hard hitting cavalry and then some cheap distractions. I have a more balanced inclusion at the moment with four decent infantry regiments of 12+ each. These could be problematic as they will need a lot of space to move around comfortly. The Chaos Warriors are almost the same points as a regiment of Chaos Knights and I really don't think they can preform anywhere nearly as good. Still as the tournament will actually be my first chance t play these I will have to go with the expectation of not doing all that well but learning some valuable lessons!

September 11, 2009

The children are complete

I have finished the Children of the Bear. The cloaks are all done and the heads are finally in place. The most extensive conversion was on the champion. I wanted the image of a haughty warrior and I think I have managed to achieve that! The conversion was a lot more simple than I imagined. The resting hand on the weapon was made a lot easier by some delicate cutting of an existing hand and then replacing what was needed. The thumb around the back was the trickiest piece to do. The fingers might be a little long but I am happy with them so no changes!

The cloaks are getting a lot easier to do. It still takes a little under an hour to do the sculpting once the frame is prepared and dry. Only thirty more to do I believe! I put together a few more models from the army and I have deicided that the Chaos Knights can do with cloak too! At least the Warriors come with them already done. The cloaks do seem a little small on the marauders though. I think I was not generous enough while sculpting them. I should probably have extended them out to the sides more while sculpting. That would give them a much more voluminous appearance. Also the addition of some more folds lengthways would have helped. At least I know this now for the rest of them!

The bases are done on these too. I didn't put much thought into the placement of the elements on the bases sadly. It does mean that they are easir to rank up but it does not look as cohesive. The Warhounds below show how cohesive basing looks great across a regiment. As I have probably said I am simply going for a woodland type base. This means rocks and branches. I have used it before on my Circle or Orboros army and it worked well. They however don't need to rank up so placement of things was not too important. I think that a scattered placement here takes away from the regiment.

These are poor models. GW don't seem to be able to do dog like models. They are at least a step up from the Dire Wolves they produced. In this picture you can se what I mean by keeping the basing cohesive! I just need to figure out a way to do this for the static element of the army. The Chaos Warriors don't really give me much scope in their poses to have them stepping over things. I will figure out something... I would like to make a symbol of Slaanesh in rocks on the bases across the regiment and see if anyone ever notices! I doubt they would.

This is a shot of one of my next marauders. These are going to represent a Cult from the south. I am not sure exactly what more I am going to do with these just yet. The addition of a few Chaos like symbols gives a good hint at their alliegiance. I will put pictures of them up here once I think about them more and then start constructing!

Here is one of my giant knights. These guys are huge. They are also fantastic models. I do believe that there is a conspiracy by GW to not allow Chaos models to rank up. I have had to break apart each model a number of times to get him to fit with his bulky neighbours. They will be getting some greentuff treatment soon!

The tournament is now less than two weeks away as I have to leave early to get there! I at least made a provisional army out last night so I have an idea of what I am goig to take. I am finding it hard to get the army together as I don't really have a good idea of what I want. The characters are proving especially difficult. While I want a Slaanesh army I can't relly rely on their magic phase as at least two armies are completely immune to the effective spells on the list. Well I still have some time to think about it. Thats half the fun with Warhammer!

September 7, 2009

Less than three weeks!

Hmmm I have just realised that I have less than three weeks to go to the tournament where I am hoping to field my Warriors of Chaos. I currently have less than two hundred points worth assembled. I do have the bulk of the army done though with thirty eight models on their bases. Sadly that means fourteen hounds and twenty four marauders! Tomorrow I will have to sort out some characters to make sure I can meet the points. I have been looking to order a mounted Deamonette on all the online retailers but it seems that they are now out of production. I will have to head to the local games store in Hamburg 'Spieleland' which is fantatic! Failing that I will once again venture into GW in the hope that nobody speaks English so that they can't haunt me while in the shop.

Spending the weekend helping reonvate a house by the sea didn't give me much time to construct more little grey men this weekend. I spent all of Sunday asaulting an unruly hedge with a chainsaw. The novelty of a heavy spinning blade wears off rather quickly. My arms are broken in pieces. I have muscles now I didn't realise I had! Stevens Eriksson's books have also proved a distraction. I am currently enjoying the seventh book Reaper's Gale. Thankfully I have spotted a few retailers of english books as I doubt if I will ever have enough mastery of german to manage a novel of that complexity! I do have to get my 'Krieger des Chaos' tomorrow to figure out what I will bring to the tournament.

The upcoming tournament is being hosted by theNorth Wexford Gamers. I guess it will be a complete cheesefest as it is the first Irish ranking tournament. I don't think I will manage to core too highly, especially as my army won't even be painted. I would like to get a feel for how my regiments are doing though so I can be prepared for the next ranking tournament, which was just announced today, the Resurgence 2009. It is being held in Ballymena, Northern Ireland by the Northern Wasters. I hope it lives up to its previous incarnations as Bloodstorm. The last one was 2004 I believe. They were great fun!

I am still waiting on getting into some gaming fun here in Hamburg. Once I get more boot on bases I will organise some games properly. I am really looking forward to seeing how Warhammer is played here!

September 3, 2009

Some real progress

Finally I am managing to make some real progress on the Sons of the Bear. Whilst hiding from the horror of the real world yesterday I managed to get into a nice sculpting rhythm. This resulted in the Maruders now being offically half done, well half constructed I suppose. The cloaks take a long while to sculpt and it is getting hard to justify doing them for what amounts to a five point model. At least the next regiment of Marauders won't have them as I am basing them on a more cultist feel. I am assuming I will have only one large regiment of Marauders of 18+. They will be a pain to put cloaks on! The mounted ones will also have a cloak so I will be at fur by the time I am finished.

The shot here shows a work in progress on the cloaks still left to do. I begin with a small sheet of green stuff attached to the back of the model in a vague cloak shape. Then once that has cured overnight I reinforce it by putting more green stuff over the shoulders. I do this because the first one I tried broke in the middle of sculpting because it was not attached strongly enough. Once all this has cured I begin to sculpt around the shoulders and chest. This gives a further reinforcement for the cloak which is always good. This is the stage I am at with the ones in the photograph. That again has tocure overnight. Then you can finish the cloak with one further sheet of green stuff pressed onto the unsculpted area and then starting to form the strands of fur.

As I am going for woodland bases I don't really want to undercoat these guys white. Painting the bases after undercoating white is annoying epecially when i comes to returning the side to black! I have found recently that undercoating in white is saving me a lot of time painting. The thing is I can water my basecoat down and put it on carefully. Generally the watered paint needs two coats over the white. If applied carefully you already have a highlighted colour as the watered paint naturally collects in the recesses. A light wash (not using the Citadel Washes) then gives some stronger definition. This is a really great technique for annoying areas that don't deserve much attention. The more prominent and important areas tend to get the traditional blended and layered highlights. Anyway more about painting once I get to doing it!
I had to find some cork tiles to make the rocks for the bases. These are wonderful for simulating rocks as they are so finely textured. After scouring the supermarket and attempting and failing to explain in german what I needed I found them. They were tucked away with the lunch boxes. When the only word you can be sure of in a sentence explaining what you want is Mug then you are probably on the wrong track! I am going for a woodland base so I have been busy collecting fallen twigs. Thankfully it is autumn so they are plentiful. Seemingly Hamburg is the 'greenest' european city so trees are everywhere. I have noticed the the leaf litter you can buy from gaming shops is pretty plentiful here too! It comes from the seeds of Elm trees and gathers nicely in little piles on the street. There must be some enterprising chap going around collecting and bagging them!

September 1, 2009

Sons of the Bear

Well I have arrived. I have simply managed to swap the wasps for mosquitoes however. I am much less merciful with these as after the feasting of the first night here. I am still covered five days later with painful bites. I have been assured that they are relatively rare but every night I have found at leat one hovering about the room!

The work I have been attempting to get done has involved doing some marauders. I saw amongst the many Warriors of Chaos Blogs someone who had made marauders with double handed weapons. I really liked the way they looked so I have copied them. The conversions are simple. The Marauders come with flails so it is just a matter of carefully removing the chain and then adding a different weapon head. As the axe blades on the sprue are already quite large, even though they are supposed to represent hand weapons, I used them as the blades for the double handed weapons. I am happy with them. The less adorned axe heads are the nicest.

I wasn't just going to leave them like that however! At the moment I am busy sculpting fur cloaks for each of the twelve models in the small regiment. I had done this before for my Ogre army and it came out quite well. It is a different matter entirely to do the same on the much smaller marauders. The level of detail in the cloak has to be much higher. Making the frame on which to build the fur is also difficult. So far the work has gone well though the learning curve has been steep. Hopefully by the end of this regiment I should have relearned the technique I used before and hopefully manage to get a sufficent level of detail.

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