April 30, 2012

Warpborn Skinwalkers, the new Tharn?

After a long weekend of both gaming and painting, for a change, I managed to get my Warpborn Skinwalkers finished. I just need some grass on the base once they are varnished and they can commence playing. I don't see much synergy with these guys really in Circle. They are a little slow and relatively heavily armoured. The speed can't easily be changed but the armour can be buffed a little. I think these guys could be very good on eBaldur's feat turn as a tarpit. Run them forward and engage the enemy. With the feat and the bonus from unyielding they are armour 21. They also can't be moved or placed so there is not much thats really going to effect them. To dislodge all five is going to take a lot of effort on behalf of the opponent.

I did use the Tharn a little more last week after pronouncing them relegated to the display cabinet and in a fine display of irony they won me the next game I played. The local game store has decent terrain. The forests are generally 6" x 6" so can fit the Ravagers in with ease and still leave me with some room to position. My opponent put with Widowmakers into the forest with Winterguard about four inches behind. On turn one I could run up to engage the Widowmakers. In turn two I charged over them into the Winterguard behind with the front three Tharn. The second line could then charge the now unengaged Widowmakers while two others managed to charge completely through the forest and into Harkevich. My opponent was fairly new to the game and didn't realise that I had Hunter and could therefore charge him. The druids pulling his 'jack wall forward helped. Even after this amazing use of the Treewalker ability I am stuffing the Tharn back onto the shelf. In all the games I have played that is the first time I ever managed to use the ability.

April 25, 2012

Medium Infantry, Yes or No?

I picked up the Warpborn Skinwalkers recently on a bit of a whim. Medium Infantry are something I haven't used much and I don't know how effective they really are, except for Trolls. I want to have some options instead of my Tharn as I really don't see how I can get them to work! These little warpwolves to me look like they can act as a good tarpit especially with eBaldur. Their armour goes up to 21 on the feat turn meaning a damage roll of 29 to destroy one of them completely. That would seem to be an effective tarpit to me!

The more I think about my Tharn the more annoyed I get. They really don't cut the mustard and from what I remember in MKI they didn't do it there either. I don't know if it is something genreally inherent in the fact that they are medium infantry. The Ravagers can charge forward and with their charging buffs definitely kill a single target. This rewards them with a corpse token they can use to boost an attack or damage roll or buy another attack. With a standard maximum unit being six models they have to spread out fairly far. Even with reach I struggle to effectively maximise their initial attacks against other regiments. Small based units are often, in my meta, clustered in lines. Maybe three or four are spread across the short frontage blocking access to models behind. Against something like this the Tharn can charge forward and between those that can reach generally kill the front line. Then they are effectively sitting ducks for some retaliation. The corpse token allows for a second attack which can sometimes prove useful if their targets really are packed together. I often find that I am left with a lot of the tokens and then my Tharn get ravaged.

Stacking a Shaman onto the unit supposedly helps with anti-infantry duty. However I find that the Shaman can't assault as my medium based infantry have to be packed close together, much more closely than their small based targets. The Electro Leap hits the nearest model, generally mine in most cases and so I endanger one of my own models. That is the only ability he offers and it is sub par in every situation I have so far used him in. The problem may be that I have quickly dropped him using the two points on much more effective models. Therefore I don't have much experience.

A Chieftain would seem to be the answer to this units problem. He boosts their damage output giving them a POW that threatens other medium based models. Instantly I thought that this would solve some of the problems allowing me to effectively threaten a larger range of targets. He also provides Advance Deployment pushing me further up the field and allowing me a more responsive deployment as it comes after my opponents main deployment. I have come to find however that this is a trap.

Aadvance Depoloyment offers the chance to get aggressive really early with the Ravagers. That to me has always meant they get killed quickly. I often try to get them up into a forest to threaten a zone. This then results in a hail of fire that smashes this glass hammer to bits. I am coming to the understanding that the Tharn are best used as a second wave to respond after the enemy have committed. A light screen in front might be what is needed to absorb a charge and then bring in the Tharn afterwards?

April 24, 2012

Whitemane ready to rock

I finally sat down long enough to get my Wwhitemane done. I can safely say I have had enough Tharn for a long while! I have the full compliment of Ravagers done from Kromac to this guy. I gave him some really grey hair which I am not completely happy with. I do think that I should have made it whiter. I thought it would look really light already but by the time I was finishins the model I could see that it was far darker than I had expected.
I have been using the Tharn Ravagers for a few games now and they are under preforming, especially considering their points cost. I don't use the Shaman as he brings very little for his two points. The full unit with the Chieftain is eleven points. They are always targetted as they need to be forward to be effective. Then once they do get to charge the remnants don't manage to kill enough. I guess if lined up against other medium infantry they shine but against smal based stuff they are under par. I think I will sadly be retiring the Ravagers in favour of the Wolves of Orboros. They left over points will allow me to include the Whitemane and I think he can be really great against infantry swarms.

April 22, 2012

Scarsfell Griffon

I am really looking forward to the release of this Beast. It has been previewed at Adepticon and I have to say he looks awesome. The photo comes from Lost Hemisphere and you can check it out along with loads of other great ones here. It is not quite what I thought it would look like but that is fine. He follows the Circle 'manbeast' style rather than having a more classic Griffon shape. This aesthetic fits in with the rest of the Warbeasts. I had hoped for the classical style. The wings are lovely and hopefully allow for some reshaping. I wonder if the model is resin or metal. I hope resin as it is less likely to break while transporting and some hot water will allow me to do something nice with the wings. Shadow Shift is a fantastic animus and a lot of Circle Wwarlocks are going to benefit from it. I am thinking especially of Kromac as that is who I am playing at the moment. His leap ability really allows for some nice assassinations as he can pretty much get where he wants. The only problem with this is his initial 6" advance. During this he is subject to free strikes and a canny opponent is going to make sure that he feels some pain! Shadow Shift really cancels this threat out allowing pretty much freedom of movement for the assassination. It also allows a direct charge which is just as good but I still have to meet a player who allows me that courtesy! For every other 'lock it at least provides a get out of jail free card. There is nothing worse than being locked in combat with a dangerous heavy. Now it is possible to back out without suffering any damage at a relatively low cost. I hope the model comes out soon! I don't want to have to wait too long.

April 20, 2012

Sleeping Quarters

Thankfully the building is done. I thought this was going to be an easy project but it kept on growing as I worked on it. It takes quite a while to build something like this! Looking at tutorials online often makes it seem that these projects are relatively simple. They most defintely are not. I have decide for myself that this represents a sleeping quarters for some mine workers. I had been thinking of a barracks for the fifth border legion. I don't think it fits them too well. The roof for one thing wouldn't resist the harsh winters of the north. Using it as a quarters for mine workers lets me think more about other mine buildings. Maybe these can be a future project.

Whats next? I can't decide between a railroad inspired terrain piece or a tower. A railroad screams Iron Kingdoms to me but it isn't really as useful for other games. I suppose I can really consider that a problem as I don't really play other games. A tower would be nice as I would like to continue making some buildings. Practise makes perfect I hope!

April 18, 2012

Rusty Rooves

I got the roof painted finally. I wanted to spray it but I felt that might cause it to warp so I brushed the silver on. Three coats later I managed to get it fairly uniform. Silver is a tough paint to get a flat coat of. I painted on the side strusts too and it looks pretty nice now. I washed this down with Badab Black(GW) and Delvan Mud(GW) just to remove the stark shine. However getting a flat wash on was harder than getting a flat silver coat. The washes tend to pool a little which caused me some annoyance. I added a few more strips of plasticard on the corners of the roof as it didn't look correct without them. The biggest problem I have had with the building is the fact that it has evolved so much since I started building it. I wasn't sure how the plasticard would work and I have learned a good bit by using it for this project.

Once the washes were dry I started with some rust. I think the technical term for what I did was adding a filter. Its not really something that you can do on smaller models and I have only seen it done on tanks and railroad carriages. I mixed some red pigment with turpentine. I washed this on quickly over the entire surface. It gives a really slight rust colour across the whole surface. I repeated this about three times using a hairdryer to speed the process up. There are a few spots where it it a little thick. This is because my brush picked up a little too much of the pigment. This happens as the pigment settles quickly to the bottom of the container and if you dip the brush in and hit this layer it picks up a huge amount of pigment. It came out fine but I would have liked it to be a little more subtle.

Now I just need to let this dry a little more and then I can start basing it. It's going to be nice!

April 17, 2012

The Head Honcho

Having finally finished my Tharn last week I thought it was high time to sit and get Kromac finished! He is nominally the leader of the tribes and as such works thematically well with them. I tend to see Kromac fielded mainly with beasts and usually bereft of his tribal companions. I am really tempted by his Theme list. I would have to paint another unit of Ravagers though and thats probably why I never will manage to field the list. I would rather spend the time expanding the options I have rather than doubling up on already completed units. I only doubled up on the Druids as they came as part of an eBay bundle. Thankfully they were relatively easy to paint, especially in comparison to the Tharn.

Kromac is another wonderful Tharn model. I have his beast form painted already you can see it here. These models are packed full with detail. It is insane. Everytime I think I am finished one I look and find something else hidden, be that a pouch, some bones or an errant string, there is alsways something further to be done. I think I managed to get them all. I went for a strong yellow colour on the armour. I did this to reinforce the autumnal theme I am going for and to tie them in with the Wolfriders I did previously. Both them and the Blood Trackers have yellow shields. It's not really an aggressive masculine colour but I think it suits the scheme here. I have been accused of deviating a lot from an autumnal colour scheme so I really wanted to make this guy suit that. The problem being the use of so much green. I avoid green everywhere I can on the army but I felt I had to use it on the characteristic armour of the Circle Orboros force. Now back to course work, my studies call!

April 16, 2012

Putting a Roof on

My building is coming along nicely. I started painting it before building the roof as I wanted to detail the interior and have the roof detach. I was thinking that it might be fun to have models able to access the interior. Thinking about it thats probably a bad idea and can always be abstracted if needed. I don't see how being able to move inside small buildings like this adds to a game of Warmachine's scale. I think its probably great for Malifaux or Legends of the Old West but its just a hassle for games designed to be played on a larger scale. I was lazy and the paint didn't help me much. I didn't score the balsa very deeply and I barely worked the edges. When it came to airbrushing I mixed the paint to thinnly to stretch it a little. That has the unforseen side effect of swelling the wood a little and removing a lot of the detail I had scored in. It looks fine but should have been better. I will have to remember this next time. I painted the building in Kommando Khaki (GW) and washed it with Badab Black(GW) and Delvan Mud(GW). I drybrushed it, badly, with Kommando Khaki and Deneb Stone(GW). It is a little streaky in places but hopefully thats not going to be too noticable.

I had intended to only have the building as a wooden one with a metal roof but a really cool tool arrived and I wanted to use it as much as possible. I ordered a Rotary Leather Sewing Punch, just like the one they use for the Privateer Press hobby tutorialy. The box it came it called it a Ruber Dam Punch Pliers for some reason. Thinking about the building a little I guessed such a big metal roof might need some additional support so I cut some struts from my plasticard and proceeded to punch rivets in them. They are not that easy to get correct when you are just eyeballing it to I drew some guidelines on the card to keep them in line. I am using 1.5mm thick plasticard so there is almost no fear of punching through. The only problems so far is putting a rivet near the edge warps the plastic. I guess a thinner plastic wouldn't suffer this but beware with the thicker stuff. I added the roof then. I didn't cover it in rivets. I instead kept them to the strips I placed down the centre. If I was to redo it I think I would add some just to break up the those flat plates a little. I think a line of them along the edges would have been nice. Well too late now. However just to break up those surfaces I made a little trapdoor to give access to the rooftop. It is a nice embellishment for what is a rather plain building. Now I have to decide how to paint this. A coat of silver and a wash just won't cut it and I need to add a base I think.

April 15, 2012

Weird Barbarians on the Horizon

Here are my Tharn fully finished (okay not based). I am delighted to have these done as I can move on to something else now. I hate getting stuck painting something. I suppose like most people I need to feel like I am making progress and to have new things to do. I know thats one hundred percent of the reason as to why I have so much unpainted lead in my cabinet. At least I am making progress though! The Tharn would look great in a Warhammer army. The scale is a little odd as they are not quite big enough to be monsters like the Ogres or Minotaurs and they are far to bulky to be anything like a Chaos Warrior or Orc. I really think they could make a great unit but of what?

April 14, 2012

A Ripping Good Yarn

I have been revisiting some of the books of my childhood recently. I read Magician years ago, probably about seventeen years ago or so. I loved it then and I read everything that was available from Feist at that time. I guess I wasn't as critical then as I am now so I thought it would be good to rejudge what I thought was an excellent book. Having read the book again I can say that I like Magician and I think the author describes why best: "it is a ripping good yarn". It isn't amazingly well written. The plot meanders somewhat and consists of far too much serendipity. The events are explained by the actions of Macros the Black, who is a rather vague Deus ex Machina. In later books Feist fixes this problem by providing far more details than we get here about the mysterious wizard. Looking only this book however and not knowing what happens later really reveals that Macros is a lazy character contrived simply to further the plot. The other characters are a journey through stereotypes. Orphans destined for great power, awkward boys turning to become great warriors are the meat and potatoes of the book. However there is a reason that these types of characters are stereotypes, people enjoy reading about them. Feist excels at creating a world, infact two worlds in this book. The story explores both of these and their interactions. This for me is what shines in this series and the later ones.

I would still recommend any who enjoy fantasy to read the book. A lot of what has been written by others since draws on this book for inspiration. So if you are in the mood for some light fantasy and a good story you won't go wrong wih this one.

April 13, 2012

Angry Chief

I have had the Tharn Chieftain on my desk for quite a while. I often find that I leave a model half done for a while before I can build up the determination to complete them. I find that it comes down to how long it will take me to do a single element. The problem here was the bone colour. The model is covered in bones and doing them was going to takes ages. So rather than do that I sat and arranged my paintbrushes, paperclips and such. Anything to delay having to put the effort in to complete the model. I will pull the whole unit of eight out this weekend and base the lot. Fielding the whole unit together is twelve points making them about one third of the entire standard army I field. I don't think they are that effective to be honest, it could also be the way I use them! They tend to get shot in short order once they are on the field. When they charge something they tend to kill them but the problem is that they then in turn get killed. The exchange is generally an uneven one as the Tharn are so expensive. Eight of these are twice the price of a lot of standard units. I have picked up the Warpborn Skinwalkers so maybe they can be a little more effective on the battlefield.

This is a WIP of my Tharn Whitemane. The model is really small in comparison to the others especially the Chieftain. I haven't gotten him to the table yet but he seems like he could be really effective, especially combined with Grayle the Farstrider. Again he is expensive in comparison to other solos but the ability for him to sweep through swathes of infantry if they are set up badly thats pretty awesome! The Olgunholt league begins on Monday here so maybe I can get him onto the table for a game then.

April 12, 2012


I have been promising myself the chance to do some terrain for a while and finally I managed to sit down and get some done.
Structures are probably the most impressive terrain feature you can have on a battlefield and I have been thinking for a while about what to do. What I have aimed for here is a simple barracks type building. It could be somewhere for troops to sleep near a smaller watchtower or for workers at a mine. A structure always tells a story and while making it I like to tease it out a little. Having seen the previews of the PP adepticon display I have been thinking a lot about what a mine in the Iron Kingdoms would really be like. This then influenced what this structure could represent and gave me ideas for a good few more buildings.

I started with a simple wooden frame and built up the sides from this. I kept the windows higher than normal on the walls. They are about head height for a trooper model. I think I was influenced by the prison cabins from Cool Hand Luke that were designed a little like this. I will be making the metal roof today and then putting in some girders to support it at the corners of the building. I hate making tiles from cardboard for the roof and having a metal one saves a lot of tedium. I will break up the flatness with a trapdoor and chimney. I would like to add some embellishements but maybe it is best kept simple. I intend, if I can ever find foamcard here to do a watchtower and a larger structure, maybe a mine or processing plant. I will see what happens as I progress with this project.

April 11, 2012

Baldur the Stonesoul

I have a tournament coming up in Kiel soon and I thought it high time to geteBaldur ready. I am not so sure if he is that effective a Warlock but there is only one way to find out. The tournament is an odd format, 42 points with three games of Mosh Pit. Also the armies can only include twelve models worth a maximum of twelve points that are not beasts or 'jacks. With Baldur I can make a Tier 4 list easily enough giving me some extra benefit. It's nothing to rock the battlefield with, just a slight points reduction and some useful turn one benefits. What will be good is the Roots of the Earth spell. Once I get into the zone it is almost impossible to get me out, especially on a feat turn. With some Druids along I can also push around some of my opponents models giving me an excellent chance to win via scenario. Painting Baldur was fun. I referenced my old primal version and kept the colours somewhat similar. I like the contrast between the dark robes and the lighter orange brown clothing. The orange brown is simply Bestial Brown (GW) highlighted with Bleached Bone (GW). The stone work on the sword also came out fairly well with the transition from light to dark working well in contrast to the glow of the runes. I am considering adding the glow to the runes on the Celestial Fulcrum once I get back to finishing it. I have a few more models to finish up soon, especially Megalith as I need hom for the tournament!

April 4, 2012

Druids are great

I have been listening to far too much Garage Hammer recently. It has somehow reawoken my desire to paint some Warhammer stuff. I really think I might need a twelve step program to get my away from that game. I have to admit I have lost my passion to play and collect but listening to other peoples experiences with the game relights the fire. Warhammer will always have a soft spot for me as it was my first wargame. At the moment though I don'tplay it and I think that has lead to much more money in my wallet and a loss of the desire to play. I want to get back to my Beastmen/Chaos but I just can't seem to build the passion to sit and paint those models. I can't recommend Garage Hammer highly enough. It is a great light hearted podcast.

So while I may have saved a lot of money by going cold turkey on Warhammer I certainly have made up for that with my spending on Warmachine and Hordes. I managed to sit yesterday evening and resist watching some movies. Instead I got these models finished! They do not match my older unit of druids but they are close at least. I have a photograph below of them side by side to see the differences. Matching colours painted years apart was once again a problem but I did a decent job I think. The change in skintone is a conscious choice as I don't like the super heavily shaded skin I did before. Its fine but I don't like doing it in that style now.

Along with the druids I have their solo and attachment. Having the two units painted allows me to do Moshar's tier list. I really think he can be a great Wwarlock and I am looking forward to using him during the upcoming Olgunholt league. I am, as I have said before, terrible at using Druids. They are the signature unit of the Circle Orboros but I never seem to be able to get them to function to their full potential on the battlefield. I guess the only way to gt good with them is to use them!

April 3, 2012

A Cold Dish

This is my last menite model for a while, thankfully. I have had enough of them for the moment and I am really unmotivated to do more. The Blessing of Vengeance is a complicated model and without some access to shots of completed models I don't want to think how I would have glued him together. I had no idea how the shoulders attached and I was fairly close to putting them on upside down. Sometimes instructions would be helpful! I picked up the Blessing as he was really cheap on eBay and so I could field the Tier list for Severius. I realised then that I need more models and got annoyed. Sometimes the duplication that the Tier Lists require can be a little much. So I am not going to collect the Tier list but he is still good to have especially as I use Severius a lot. He really is my go to Warcaster. The Blessing of Vengeance boosts one of his best spells, Ashes to Ashes so that has to be good, right? I actually never really use the spell much but after having some great success with it at the Irish Masters I am a convert.

 I am working on my Druids at the moment. These guys take a lot more effort than the menites do even though these are fairly simple. I have the armour almost complete now and I will start working on the skin soon. At least that means just the faces and hands so it won't be too bad. I really like painting these despite the fact they are taking what seems like ages. I am glad they are not a more detailed unit! Hopefully I cna put of some progress tomorrow or fingers crossed the completed unit!

April 2, 2012


So six months have passed and it is time to take stock. I really like to do this with my collection as it directly shows me the progress I am making. I can see that in my display cabinet but there is something even more concrete in numbers and percentages. Here is how I was faring last November. So boiling it down my menites are complete. I will buy more but at least I have cleared the backlog. So going forward anything I buy I can paint and maintain a complete faction. I guess thats just dreaming, I am an addict. I bought only fifteen models for my menoth over the last six months. I guess with buying like that I have no excuse not to finish the army! After these come the Mercs with five new models. The problem I am facing with these is that I have to strip eight old models and repaint the unit, Croe's Cutthroats, so they match my current standard. I really don't want to do that. So my Khador at least managed to maintain their zero percentage of painting. I am up to fifty models now and thats going to be a bit of a mountian to climb. I am at least picking the models up gradually and at a discount so it doesn't feel bad. If I was paying full retail for these I would be feeling guilty. Once my Circle is close to completion I will be pulling out the Big Red Machine and getting to work. Hopefully it will be before the next progress report! I am doing decently with Hordes twenty percent more painted and some more models bought. Thats good progress as this faction gets much much more time and love than my menites. One Hordes model takes as long as three menites. I took as long to paint Kromac's bestial form as I did to paint six Cleansers! Even my minions are doing well which is nice. However I have just taken some advantage of the twenty-five percent sale at Maelstrom to bulk out my circle and minion forces so I guess I will be changing a lot of these stats soon. At least it keep me busy for the next little while. I had to resist spending far to much money on that sale. The deal was nice but there are some limits to the storage I have in my apartment. I used it to pick up some of the more expensive items. I like to get solos and the like from my local store when I play there. As a quick post script I was awoken this morning my a chainsaw weilding neighbour. He must have heard my semi-complaint from last thursday as now there are far less trees in my backyard. I kind of miss them now that they are gone. I especially miss the yew I was watching. A few more years and it would have provided some nice bow staves.

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