zondag 28 december 2014

A bone to pick...

Due to being awfully busy lately, these mini's took a long time to finish...
It even got close to the point that I feared frustration over my lack of progress would lead me to abandon them for the time being.

But here they are, my skeleton spearmen:
And from the rear:
This means that, apart from three skeletal beastmen (which aren't really part of my undead warband proper), all my rank and file undead are done!
What is left to do is two skeleton minor heroes, two major heroes (the Skeleton King and his Dread Knight), two Wraiths, a Banshee and a Necromancer. All individual or semi-individual models, with a lot less bone to paint...
I do want to add some zombies to them at some point, but I'm a having a hard time finding a way to neatly get the Mantic zombies I have onto the round 20mm bases I want to use.
I'm in no hurry for the zombies anyway, as they will be random restless dead/things to get summoned by any practitioner of the Dark Arts, and are not part of "The Court of the Skeleton King", like my skeletons are.

Oh, and here is a teaser for the next model on my painting table:

See you next year!

zondag 30 november 2014

Warning, lots of words, no pictures...

Wow, has it been a month already?

So, what have I been up to? Not much really, at least not hobbywise.
I started a in new job/project last week, and with it comes an increase in hours and travel time, leaving me knackered when I get home, at least until I get used to it (and the high-speed barrage of new-job information/training slows down).
The weeks before that were mostly spent getting the job in first place. And organizing things so that those parts of the daily care for my son (he is, as they call it these days, a "special needs" kid) I normally care of are picked up by other folks when I am at work.

Less daylight also means less hobby time, as I need natural light to paint, somehow my eyes just don't adjust to artifical (day)light enough to properly discern shades of the same colour. Which causes rather ugly and abrupt highlights. Assembling and converting in the evening is no problem however, so evenings should go to waste by default.

Normally I, in situations like these I would have left the hobby by the wayside, for the time being. Often for months at a time. But I found this usually left me either feeling disconnected from the things I was working on, or having settled into a schedule/daily rhythm where there was no room left for hobby stuff. Which made it hard to get going again, so I put hobby off a bit longer, further raising the barrier, etc.
I didn't want that to happen again. So, the moment I started this job, I decided to consciously keep doing hobby stuff, and plan time for it.
All work and no play makes Modhail a dull boy and all that (not mention cranky and depressed...).

So, last Sunday and Monday evening I took the time to finish basing a few figures (the wife, kids and druid from two posts back). And today I reserved time for painting a second group of skeletons I was working on. They're far from finished (spent a lot of time waiting for washes to dry), but it's good to see progress.
Will I keep this up? Who knows... I have to be realistic here. My work hours won't magically shorten again, and December is a very busy month for our family (there's the usual holidays, and somehow about 3 friends/family celebrating their birthdays every week). There's also the lure of video games, I just got the Diablo III expansion, so that is drawing me in again, Warmachine Tactics has left the beta, and Darkest Dungeon is getting more of my attention as it draws nearer to early access.... A hiatus might still occur, but at least it won't be from me not even attempting to do something fun/hobby-related. :-)

But this is a hobby blog, not a Modhail's Real Life Stuff blog (thought the two often interact and/or intersect).  So I really should also add some hobby content to this post, beyond just quickly remarking what I've been painting today inside a wall of unrelated text.
Clearly I'm still mainly in the mood for my Dungeoneering/Generic Fantasy/Chivalry project, so we'll see where that goes.  I've been giving some thought on how to proceed with this:

-One thing that is increasingly bothering is me, is that currently my heroes are at risk of outnumbering the monsters and villains... So I really should be focusing on making and painting more opponents. It's just that heroes, being single, individual models, are more fun to paint!
Hence the slogging on with my skeletons, but also simultaneously working on a Paladin to keep my interest. Maybe this pairing up of a hero and a group of enemies as a joint painting project is the way forward. I will need to experiment. It does mean I can keep painting while paint or wash dries...

-This whole chimaera of a project has flowed from wanting to paint my wife's Warhammer Quest set for her. Guess what hasn't been on the painting table for quite some while? I really should show them some love too. It's just a shame that, as I'm exploring my own imaginary world, the Warhammer one is losing quite a bit of its appeal. GWs recent antics and pricing aren't helping my enthusiasm either.

-There is also the issue of terrain, if I want to go dungeoneering, I will need dungeons or caves. I feel I can't hide from this issue for much longer. I want to find a solution for this terrain that appeals to me, is achievable and that I'm happy with, and then stick with that choice.
This will require some thought. Especially as I will build it myself and it should ideally also serve for Warhammer Quest...
For the Generic Fantasy and Chivalry part of the project, I'll also need suitable terrain.
But before I build it, I need to find/make storage for it. I have the space reserved, but it's in an open rack in the garage, so I need to find storage boxes suited to my need. A need that also depends on the scenery I will be making. The standoff has somewhat of a Mexican flavour.

But for now, none of this need to be acted on immediately. I've still got plenty of minis to happily keep painting and fill the time until I've figured these things out.

vrijdag 31 oktober 2014

Finger Food

Hmmm, all commercial tv channels have filled the entire evening with tacky horror movies, the old cat lady across the street is pouring lines of salt across all windowsills and doorsteps while chanting and I occasionally catch myself muttering "Iä, Iä, fthaghn" under my breath...
It must be Halloween...
I'd better start my preparations!

I made zombie fingers again this year:

They're a basic shortbread recipe*, with green food colouring added and shaved and split almonds for the nails.
*: Take butter, sugar and flour in a 4-3-8 ratio. First mix the sugar and the butter and mix until creamy (at this point I added the food colouring), then gradually add in the flour. Knead into a supple ball. Form whatever cookies you want. Preheat oven to 150 degree Celcius and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Here they are, post bake:
I tend to serve them with a red sauce over the "cut" ends, usually thick cranberry sauce or a red jam.

Now, Halloween isn't really a major event around here, except for shop and pub owners. But if any kids do show up looking for free candy, I can properly give them the finger... :-D

Have fun tonight!

dinsdag 28 oktober 2014

Some stuff

Not much going on hobbywise due to a chronic, stubborn case of Real Life. But, still a little sign of life now and then is nice, isn't it?

Past weekend, a friend of ours threw an arts and crafts day/party. As we had to keep things compact this time the option of taking my miniature painting gear along (as I and a few friend had done previous times) fell by the wayside. Instead I opted to bring my dungeon basing tools along and prep some milliput discs the evening before.
To summarise the party: There was cake, lots of cake, delicious cake! It was good. Cake.... My friends were silly and hilarious, as they are wont to do in congregations above a certain size (i.e. more than one ;P ).
Oh, and I finished the milliput work on the bases for my Knights family, a minstrel, a druid and a paladin. I guess that bears mentioning as well...
This means the minstrel and paladin are effectively ready for paint. The family still needs dirt added and the druid needs erupting plantlife and dirt added before they are ready for primer.
Here they are:
(For completeness sake: the Paladin is a Privateer Press IKRPG Paladin of the Wall with a headswap and serial numbers Menoth Icons filed off, the family and minstrel are from Hasslefree Miniatures, and the druid is from the former Spyglass/Eolith range, now sold by Heresy Miniatures.)

Also some housekeeping: I intended this as a gaming/miniatures blog, but I found that I had an increasing number of medieval/re-enactment related blogs in my blogroll. I consider them relevant to this forum, as a lot of my interests in gaming are inspired by history/historical interest. But to keep things tidy and to prevent confusion, I've separated them into their own little blogroll.

Finally there is this:
An online petition to GW to change their ways and reconnect with their customer base.
A candle in the wind, I know, but I might as well spread the word. For a long time they were the reason I started, and continued, to wargame. They'll never be again who they were when I started gaming, but who knows, the new CEO might take notice? ;-P

See you next time!

zondag 12 oktober 2014

"Vade Retro!"

Introducing Father Gerhardt:

Father Gerhardt is the monk assigned as a tutor and protector to the children of my Knight (I really need to decide on a name for the guy!). As such he also does double duty as the priest of the village that forms the heart of the demesne.
The figure is Heresy Miniatures' Brother Bude. A lovely figure to paint, the only problem I had while painting was that I dropped him, bending his cross and taking the paint of his knuckles!
His base is done with my usual milliput method, I've detailed and painted it to look like the well-worn stone floor of a family chapel or catacomb. If you look closely near his left foot you'll see some familiar, but faded, heraldry...

And finally, the view most commonly seen by the undead and unholy things that sometimes invade the catacombs near the village:
I just love the determined look he has on his face!
If his faith won't stop you, his mace will...

woensdag 8 oktober 2014

Doing 'Shrooms!

Well, painting them, that is... You'll learn more below.

I've been in a bit of a hobby funk for the last few weeks.
The desire to do stuff was there, but no real drive or enthusiasm for any one project. So several things got started, but quickly abandonded again with a "meh" as enthusiasms faded as quickly as they took root. I think it's a combination of the weather/time of year and a general malaise/fatigue from a bad case of sinusitis that I just can't seem to shake. I've had Orks on my desk, Genestealers, Space Marines, I even dug out my old Hellgate London miniature conversions, but nothing got me fired up enough to actually get it finished. Quite frustrating.
Now, I know it's October, also known as "Zombtober" or "Orktober", and I have projects that could latch on to those themes, like I have in the past, but as said above, I just couldn't get excited about either. So I've declared this month to be "Do-whatever-the-hell-I-wantober"
To celebrate the start of this month, I decided to tackle this with a small, easy, manageable project, that I could get finished quickly. Hopefully getting something done would give the boost I needed.
So, I did 'Shrooms:

 "Among adventurers, there are stories about mushroom men sometimes found in the more damp sorts of dungeons and caves. Those who hear these tales for the first time, often scoff at these accounts. When you spend your days fighting the likes of Orcs, Ratmen and even worse horrors in the dark below the earth, how could you worry about something as feeble and fragile as mushrooms, they ask?
Do not begrudge them their doubts, my friend. They, unlike those who live near caverns infested in such a manner, have not spent night after night hidden in their homes as these creatures scrabble at the doors and windows, their eerie, sighing cries sounding in the night. They have not seen the fate of those who breathe their spores, lost loved ones to it.
Those who have know the truth; ancient man did not start eating mushrooms for their taste, or for nutritional value, but for revenge..."
From the accounts of Tobias Wärmduscher, widower and former Truffel-gatherer.

The models are the Agarix from the ever-wonderful Hasslefree Miniatures.
They painted up remarkably easily, using mostly Vallejo Paints and GW Washes.
I've basecoated them in Vallejo Medium Flesh and drybrushed them all over in, consecutively;Vallejo Iraqui Sand, Vallejo Pale Sand and finally Vallejo Flat Aluminium.
Then I washed them with GW Seraphim Sepia, thinned about 50% with water. While this was still wet, I added spot washes in GW Devlan Mud on their lower legs, face and the ribs under their cap. Because both washes were still wet, they blended nicely into each other.
I tinted their caps with a number of glazes with GW Ogryn Flesh wash, with an occasional layer of GW Seraphim Sepia in there as well.
Finally the eyes were dotted with Vallejo Green Sky.

The stone parts of their bases are drybrushed with GW Charandon Granite and GW Dheneb Stone, the dirt parts are painted with Vallejo Burnt Umber and drybrushed Vallejo German Camouflage Ochre.

Here they are in a neat line:

Until next time!

maandag 8 september 2014


I took the afternoon off to paint the recently finished Space Hulk corner. I just couldn't wait to get cracking on it!
After a pleasant afternoon painting in the sun, here are the results:

Though I'm calling it finished today, I may get back to it tomorrow and add some fluid leakage to the big fan, maybe grime the high wall grilles a bit as well. I'm not certain yet.

And because I can't help myself, here's a quick action shot, and an overview of all the pieces finished so far:
(7 down, 31 left... Plus 6 rooms and 5 dead ends and any extras to make it fit for 3rd edition. I'll need all the counters and markers too. Oh, dear, this will take a bit of work, won't it?)

zondag 7 september 2014

Hulking out

Remember how, in my last post,  I said I was enthusiastically working on my Orks again? Well, guess what...

I'm not.

For some reason, that single true scale Space Marine kept a prominent place on my workbench. Then he got joined by a WIP Terminator, then another, and suddenly I was working on my Space Hulk again... I've got three more Terminators assembled, ready to get plastered in bling.
As an added bonus, my son was on a sleep-over this weekend, so I could claim his play area as a workspace for two whole days! Which resulted in a new Space Hulk corridor section getting ready for paint, the first one I've done in, uh, five years or so...
Here it is:

As you can see, it's a corner which is dominated by a major outlet of the ship's air circulation system.

For some reason the corridor as it is now somehow looks barren to me, it may be the large amount of white plasticard...
I think it will paint up quite nicely though.

This is what it will be added to:
Yeah, it'll take me a bit before I get enough corridor sections for even the first mission...
But hey, I'm not in a hurry. I'd rather build it well than build it quick.

Aside from finishing off the corridor I showed at the start of this post, I also got a bit done on a second passage. It will be a part of the vessel's Ossuarium, where the bones of deceased ratings are kept. No pictures, as it's just a jumble of separate parts right now, but I can say that it features enough skulls that I could build ten corridors without a single skull and still make the GW Terrain Skull Quota. :D
Now I just have to wait until I get another chance to work on it. Oh, well, in the meantime I can continue work on the Terminators and Genestealers (and Hybrids) for the project.

vrijdag 29 augustus 2014

After Action Report.

I had a game of 40K last weekend. The first one since, well, early/mid 5th edition, which makes it roughly 5 years, I'd say?
It was with someone I've never played with before (Maarten), who had an army I've never dealt with before, Imperial Guard (or should that be Astra Militarum, these days...).
My Orks got chewed up hard! But nonetheless it was quite an enjoyable afternoon playing 40K.

So, about the game:
I don't recall exactly what we both had in our armies, we each had 1250pts of our respective forces.
I do recall that I faced an infantry platoon, a lascannon unit, a mortar section, a self propelled mortar, as well as a Leman Russ tank, a Chimaera APC, and a Valkyrie full of veterans with scary guns.
I had my 20-strong mobs, one shoota, one slugga (they rode a Battlewagon), a unit of Trukk Boys, My MegaBoss and his three MegaNob mates, some Lobba Mek Guns, 2 Skorcha trakks and my Lootas.

Here's how our deployment looked from my end:

First turn my Lootas got hit by mortar fire. Hit hard... The entire unit was obliterated in a single shooting phase!
This set the pace for the entire game, really, Maarten used his shooting phase quite effectively.

Another example is here:
The end of the Movement phase, turn two I believe. In my first turn I had rolled my vehicle phalanx up the bridge, intent on taking the objectives that were clustered around it from the imperial guard, well, ... guarding them.  As you can see a Valkyrie just swooped in...
After that shooting phase (and attendant leadership tests for losses. I'm not sure I like the new Mob rule...) the Battlewagon carrying 19 slugga boys and a Nob and the Trukk right behind it, carrying 11 boys and a Nob had evaporated, leaving only the Nobs of the two units. My Stormboys unit (on top of the bunker in front) had been halved, with the irate Nob killing off the other half trying to restore fighting order... 3 Nobs were left on the bridge, where my armoured phalanx used to be...
It was impressive to see, even it did present something of a challenge for me the next turns. ;-P

 Eventually, I managed to get what was left of my Orks into close combat. But by then they were simply too few to really turn the tide. They acquitted themselves well though.
In the end the game was a lot closer that it seemed to me. Despite having less than 10 models left on the field, I had only lost 7 victory points to 9. (Could have been closer, hadn't I prematurely discarded a certain objective card. Oh well...)

So, my first taste of 40K seventh edition, and with a skilled and pleasant opponent to boot.
So what did I think of it?
The core is still the same as before, so no surprises there.
It's nice that vehicles are nice and robust now, it really invites you to be more free and aggressive with them. Which can backfire, as I experienced in this game, but hey, you don't play Orks if you're worried about the occasional plan blowing up in your face. :)
Having had no psyker of my own in this game, I'm postponing judgement on the psychic phase until I've had a more active role in it.
I really like the new dynamic objectives! It kept us both engaged and active throughout the game and presented some interesting puzzles to solve each turn. It forced us to act and think dynamically. Very nice.
I'm sure the game could be optimized further, and no doubt there is already imbalance inherent, and will only get worse with progressive codex releases. But for a friendly game among reasonable people (who despite this still manage to like the 40K setting)  it suffices nicely.

What I took away from this game for my army:
I really have trouble cracking armour with my Orks. The people I used to play with all had fairly infantry-focused armies, myself included, so this has never been a priority for me. Oh, and flyers are dangerous, I should have more than one unit capable of dealing with them.
It was fun playing against an army that doesn't wear power armour, your attacks actually feel effective! :D

And finally, after last weeks indecision, this game put me firmly back in the green hobby wise! I've been painting on the second half of the Meganob unit, doing some converting on my Nob bikers (though the first model for the unit is yet to be completed) and have been going through my stockpile to see what armour-cracking options I already have and could paint.

Until next time!

zaterdag 23 augustus 2014

This week's activities

I played the game with my son I mentioned last post. I didn't have the time to rework IHMN/ItEN as I had planned. Instead I grabbed the Movie Marines rules (from an old White Dwarf), selected the Sergeant as my son's character and chose a corresponding amout of point's worth of Orks.
I then used whatever of the 40K rules I could remember... ;-P

Here is the set up:
Our brave Space Marine started on the little grey square on the left (right below the red cup).
His mission was to reach the large square with the checkers and Imperial Aquila, where he would be extracted by allied Imperial assets. In his way were two small squads of Orks, each led by a Nob.
They were in dispersed formation as they were searching the area for him...

Pretty soon he ran into the first Nob:
Who proved to be a fairly minor delay (Movie Marines are absolute monsters!)

Shortly after, the Orks had set up a firing line in ambush:
My son did the proper Space Marine thing, and charged right into the nearest Orks.
By charging from one gaggle to the other, he managed to systematically dismember the various greenskins.
He was nearing the extraction point, he only needed to get past the last two Orks and the second Nob. That second Nob however, had a Power Claw. This would be interesting.

The final combat was tense and fairly close fought over two or three turns. The Nob managed to knock a single wound off the Marine, before perishing himself. (Did I mention Movie Marines are very, very tough?)
Injured but undeterred the brave Marine stepped onto the landing pad for extraction.
My son won. But more importantly, we both had a lot of fun!

I've also been painting every moment I could, trying to get the Meganobs out of refurbishment for the game tomorrow. I didn't manage to get paint on the newly built ones, but I did get the three older ones finished:
Sadly I forgot to take pics of them pre-refurbishment for contrast...
But before upgrades they still had old-fashioned Goblin Green with green woodflock basing, they lacked banner poles (or in the case of the rightmost one: a trophy pile), and they were a lot less yellow. In fact, you had to look closely to see they were Bad Moons at all! The only yellow they had was on their shoulders plates, and maybe a stray armour plate elsewhere. They also only had a single shoulderpad each. Plus, during rebasing I've put 1mm plasticard shims under their feet to make them match a bit more, size-wise, to the new plastic Meganobs.
They were clearly the result of the 40K 3rd edition image of Orks, when they were mostly bare-metal scrapheap dwellers in appearance.
Since them I've come to appreciate a more colourful Ork, largely due to my growing appreciation of the old Rogue Trader and second edition Ork background and worldview. I still find the current all-yellow Meganobs, as shown in the most recent Codex, too gaudy though.
It makes them look too toylike, takes out the menace. Plus, it just seems like lazy painting to me ("Oh, Bad Moons? Just paint everything yellow, slap some black flames on.") I believe Ork models deserve a bit more thought and realism (and less uniformity!) than that.
Hence a large part of my Meganobs remains bare, dirty metal and I tried to make sure each had different armour plates picked out in yellow.
Additionally, by not going all yellow, I retain the option to make, say, my Warboss or a MegaMek stand out by using more yellow still.

Oh, and one thing I really miss on GW's recent paintjobs is the use of Orky Glyphs, apart from picking out the random ones that are molded in. I always try to add a few on each model, that express how that particular Ork sees the world or himself. For example, the middle one has the glyphs "Unki" and "Dur" on his shoulder, meaning "strong or big" and (in this context) "armour". Clearly this Ork revels in the size, power and resilience of his armour.
In contrast the rightmost one has his upper arm plate marked with the runes "Rukk" (attack. charge) and "Nar"(command, crew). He clearly values his elite shocktrooper status and elevated position in the chain of command.
Finally the leftmost one has a "Mor"( wild, feral, ancient) glyph as a banner, showing his pride in his veteran status and his viciousness. He has seen the need to paint a "Flash" (flag, banner) glyph on it, to show he is one of the Warlord's bannermen, his inner circle.
Now, who said Orks are thoughtless, uncomplicated creatures? ;-D

Here are a few more views:

So, now to sit down and finish reading the new edition of the rules for tomorrows game...

zondag 17 augustus 2014

Decisions, decisions...

So, where am I at, hobbywise?

Before my vacation, I was cheerfully focused on my Orks. During my vacation I had fun painting a character for the Iron Kingdoms RPG. A nice little palate-cleanser before returning to work on my Orks, right?  .... Wrong.
I've been back for over a week now, and my interests are so over the place, I'm getting nothing done...
The fire to work on my Orks has died down to embers. I'm looking at my stash of IKRPG-suitable figures, because I had so much fun on the one, I'd like to do more of them. And because they share a setting, I've been looking at my Khador stuff as well.
I got Space Marine last week on a Steam Sale (I've been eyeing that game since it was released but it was never for sale at a price I found acceptable. Until now.) My son saw a bit of me playing it, and thought it was very cool. But he can't play the game yet. So I am contemplating if I can throw together a tabletop skirmish game of Space Marine with him before the end of his summer holidays (So, effectively, sometime the coming week.)
Which means I'm looking at my notes for a IHMN/ItEN mash-up again. And, because of the game's graphics and character design, I've done some more on my True-scale Space Marine test model. Which is part of my Inq28/=I=Munda project. But for the marine, I need parts from my box of marines for my 40K/Space Hulk Howling Griffons. So those have been dragged out as well.
And to top it off, next weekend I've committed to a game of 40K. For which I need several miniatures I pulled apart for refurbishing before my vacation. So I really should be finishing those. Oh, and read the latest edition of the rules, as it will be my first game of 40K in over 4 years...

The sane, sensible thing to do, would be to ignore the distractions and knuckle down on those refurbishment mini's and start reading the rules.
But with all the ideas and various enthusiasms floating through my brain, I can't find the focus.
Such a fun, relaxing pastime, this hobby of ours... ;-P

See you soon, hopefully with some progress to report.

zondag 10 augustus 2014

Rosy the Riveter meets Tony Stark...

Or to use the proper terminology: A female Ironhead-Field Mechanik for the Iron Kingdoms RPG.
(Or, according to TVtropes: a "Wrench Wench"...)

Here she is, without her signature equipment:
 Just carrying her most basic toolset, nothing more...
The model is Privateer Press' Dirty Meg mercenary solo. She's unconverted, so I can still use her as such.

And here she is with her signature equipment, a.k.a. her "Field Workshop":
This is the more involved of the duo of miniatures, both painting and conversion-wise.
The body is from a Privateer Press Khador Field Mechanik Officer, with the shoulder plates replaced with those of a Rhulic heavy Warjack. I bought a second Dirty Meg from which I carefully sawed her head and the big mechanical contraption she carries on her shoulder. The latter is mounted here, on her left shoulder:
Additionally, I carefully carved the index finger from the model's right fist, and sculpted a pointing finger in it's place.

Here is a size comparison between the two versions of my Mechanik:

She doesn't have a name at the moment, as I built her mainly for the fun of it, instead of for a clearly planned character I or someone will be playing. Hopefully, someday I'll get to find out who she is. ;-)

dinsdag 15 juli 2014

Summer Slow Down

Not  much news so far...
I've stripped the old flock off my Meganobz and Warbosses bases, and have glued new basing material on. This means the regular Warbosses are ready for their paint update, they don't strictly need any additional converting. (Not that that's ever stopped me before!)
The Meganobz/Megaboss are a different story...
Prior to rebasing, the Meganobz all got 1mm plasticard shims under their feet, so that when (if?) the new plastic Meganobz arrive the old metal ones won't seem too small by comparison.
I also want to give them 2 shoulders pads, some of them already had a single one. Part because I never really liked the bare, poorly protected shoulders, but also to bulk them out a bit more (again, because of the larger plastic Meganobz).
They will also get proppa bosspoles, all of them. Scratchbuilt ones.

The biker Nobs are still on the modelling table as well, but having all six of them there at the same time seems to be somewhat overwhelming, as I've barely worked on them. Maybe if I just leave one of them there to concentrate on and put the rest away I might get more done on them?

Turning over to my painting table, maybe my efforts there will cheer me up:
The Stompa is still standing proud in his bare primer coat, and it's Grot Riggers are still only semi-painted. Wooo, progress! ....Ahem.

Actually I've been spending my hobby time on other things than building and painting, as both my Codex Orks and Red Waaagh! arrived over the last two weeks, and I'm busy reading and digesting those.
Much more pleasant sitting in the garden with a cool drink and a book than sitting in my hot hobby den bent over tiny parts slipping through sweaty fingers...
In fact, I've been selecting being outside over hobbying quite regularly lately. The "curse" of summer, I guess.

dinsdag 1 juli 2014

What is green, canned and potentially very bad for you?

Well, this little fella is!

I present to you: Kneecappa, the favorite Grot servant of Morgrub Nazblitz, da Flash Dregga, Warlord of Waaagh Nazblitz. Warlord Morgrub is so fond of Kneecappa that he has even gifted him with his own grot-sized mega armour.
He is built from plasticard, using the template originally designed by Drabber over on the-waaagh.com, and greenstuff for the grot's arms, legs, rear torso and head. As well as various bits and bobs and wires from the bits box.
I started building him before GW ever released plastic grots. If I were to build another, I'd simply use an extra plastic grot head, instead of making a greenstuff mold of a metal grot noggin.
Ruleswise, he'll count as my Warboss' Attack squig.
I know scratchbuilding and painting his was a lot of work for a simple 15pt upgrade, but the main point was the fun of the build and the silliness of having a grot in mega armour. As a bonus, he neatly explains why a mere "squig" would provide an extra power klaw attack, as well a being able to survive the amount of damage that gets thrown at a megaboss...

It's dark out now, but I should really try to get a size comparison pic with him next to an Ork Boy and a Meganob. He's only half a head taller than a normal Grot.

zaterdag 28 juni 2014

A bit of an update

So, what have I been up to?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's been more Orks...

There is a bit of a distraction due to the Warmachine Tactics beta, which has slowed down progress a bit, but here's what I did get done:

Painting Table:
-Though work on the alternate Gaze of Mork head has stalled, the Stompa itself is now primered.
-2 Meks (one with KMB, one with KFF are also primered.
-The Grot riggers for the Stompa, as well as the gun crew for my classic Lifta-Droppa are on the painting table.
-Speaking of Lifta-Droppa, it's also primered and ready for paint.
-Along with the other Grots, Kneecappa the Megagrot is also encountering brush and pigments...

This is getting cluttered, it's occupied with:
-5 Nob bikers I'm converting  and otherwise working on as/when the muse strikes.
-The stagnated Gaze of Mork stompa head build
-The last two unbuilt metal Meganobz I had in my stock.
-A half painted Meganob Bannerbearer (Which hasn't been possible rule-wise for quite some time, hence the long term half painted status) who is getting refurbished and updated.
-My painted MegaBoss, two regular Warbosses and my three Meganobz who have had their bases stripped and are awaiting refurbishment along with the previously mentioned refurb jobs.

You may be asking: "Refurbishing, what does he mean?"
Well, I started my Orks way back at the transition from 2nd to 3rd edition of 40K. As a result they still had the old school goblin green bases covered in green flock. Plus I was rather sparse with my chosen clan's signature colour, yellow.
When I started my second painting and modelling push on my green horde, in anticipation of the previous Ork codex getting released (around 2007-2008 I think?) my skills and tastes had changed.
I wanted more of the 2nd ed and Rogue trader style to my Orks, plus the tatty green bases were starting to annoy me.
So alongside building and painting new units, most of my old units also passed my workbench, to have their bases stripped and redone, the paintjob touched up (with more yellow) and small conversion added to give the lads more character (clay pipes for shroom-tobacco, bright yellow mohawk and goatee squigs, forage caps, stuff like that).
This process of updating, or refurbishing, isn't yet completely finished. I had several units still to update and upgrade. These include, from the top of my head: My Meganobs and Warbosses (who are now on the workbench), my Kommando's (the classic 2nd edition ones, I love 'em!) and I believe there are a few vehicles I still need to take a look at. Other models won't get refurbished, as they are no longer useable under the newer rules. They will remain a relic to my army as it used to be. These include my converted Weirdboy with Minders, my Snotling bases and my first 10 Gretchin, who are on Gorkamorka bases.

See you next time!

dinsdag 17 juni 2014

Pedal to the metal!

The buggy, it is finished!

Here it is with the twin Big Shoota in place:

The grot crew for the Stompa has arrived, so I can proceed on that one. I'm currently building the Gaze of Mork for the swap-out head. It'll still take some building though, before that is finished. I'm currently contemplating starting paint on the Stompa before the second head is finished and just adding it at a later date.

All this greenskin activity was spurred on by rumours of a new Ork codex and the first new releases. I'm finding the current ork releases a bit of a mixed bag though. The flash gits look really good (but are spendy, even for GW), but I'm far from convinced by the "Walkin' Fridge" or G/Morkanaut as it's officially known. I got a real kick out of seeing the old weirdo artillery return, but again the realities of high price and low utility dampened my thrill (the difference between the guns is in fact no more than the nozzle of the gun and the gubbins on it's spine. This also means that to kitbash several guns out of one kit, to mitigate the price point, you'll need to scratchbuild effectively the entire gun!).
So far the theme, for me, seems to be "Nice, but...". Especially since a codex Orks is yet to be (officially) anounced, I'm in a wait and see mode, not really capable of getting really enthousiastic.  Am I getting jaded and cynical (I mean, even more than before?), or is this release just less exciting and fun than it could be? Has GW's "slow burn" approach to this release drained the hype and excitement instead of building it? And is it affecting sales? I know I'm holding off buying any new Ork kits until I have a codex and know what all the new Ork releases will be before I choose where my money goes. And this attitude seems to be mirrored on a fair bit of the fora I visit. That could be a distorted view, caused by the usual vocal minority effect, but I'm not sure. I'm not exactly seeing the fora flood with new kit WIP threads either.

In the end, it did give me a reason to have fun modelling  and painting little green men again and I'm quite happy to be doing my own thing, regardless of GW's plans and schemes...

Anyway, here's Kneecappa the Megagrot to wave you goodbye:

(He's nice and pristine white now, but will be primer black soon...)

woensdag 11 juni 2014

Buggy tech...

I said I'd grab something from the WIP drawer while I was still working on the Stompa.
Well, this is it:
Yup, a Kustom Ork Buggy.
I got this model in a semi-finished state from a friend some years ago. It was basically just a detailed chassis and a separate gun in a box of parts. I added the wheels and their suspension/acles, the fuel tank in the back, the crew and magnetized the gun so I could swap it with the rocket launcher.
I really like the hot-rod look to it and intend to emphasize it with whitewall tyres, red hubs and perhaps some nice bright red flames painted onto the front (should be enough to give it a red paint job ruleswise).
I really like it's look and hope I can find some more classic car scale models in the future, so I can add more vehicles like this.

Work on the Stompa progresses slowly. I'm still waiting for the replacement Grot crew to arrive. And I've set myself the task of converting an Eye of Mork for it's head. I'm still collecting ideas and suitable bits for it, but I seem to be close to a final concept.
Kneecappa, the mega-armoured attack grot is done and ready for primer, but refuses to be photographed on account of being small and mainly white plasticard...

zondag 8 juni 2014

Going green (again)

A few weeks ago, a small trickle or rumours started about the Orks getting an update. Where the release of 7th edition 40K left me absolutely cold, these few rumours were enough to get me looking at my 40K stuff again. (Apparently spores are thicker than water...)

When I pulled out my Ork stockpile to see what I had again, for some reason the second hand Stompa jumped out at me, so it's now on my workbench getting a thorough once-over. It needed a fair bit of work, as it was assembled less than expertly, and moldlines didn't seem to bother the previous owner. I've fixed all the major problems, but I've still got a while to go before I get to the painting stage. Plus I'm waiting on replacement Grot crew, as they were all missing when I got the Stompa.

So, to get my Ork on until that beast is ready for paint, I looked to my Work In Progress drawer. (I actually have a WIP-file cabinet, with separate drawers for various major or long-term projects. That way I can jump right in with some prepped mini's whenever I want to switch gears and still keep things organised. Keeps my desk from drowning in little black figures too!)
In the Ork drawer, I found the second half of my 8-strong Loota mob. They had been WIP ever since they were instrumental in my latest 40K game....back in 5th edition!
High time they got ready for their place in the glass cabinet, I'd say!

Here they are, my latest Orks:
For some reason the pic is rather blue, the background is actually a white sheet of paper...

As usual with my orks, none of them are built in an off-the-rack, follow-the-manual manner. It's just been so long, I can't properly remember what I've converted about them...
Let's see what I can still recall: First, all of them have parts added or swapped in from fantasy or 40K Ork(/c) Boys, either a set of legs, a torso or their head (as the weapons and arms are a fixed assembly). The leftmost one has a Kroot rifle added to his kombi-weapon...sorry, Deffgun. I still take a lot of inspiration from the 1st and 2nd edition Ork background, so in my mind, these are still Kustom Kombi Weapons.... Anyway, on with the memory exercise; the second one from the left has a crank added to his gun, either to clear jams, or make it shoot faster, probably both. The third one has an extra looted lasgun attached to his weapon, and the final one has a scratch built lewis gun style drum mag on his gun and moon-shaped crosshairs. With him I also made a point of having all visible ejection ports throwing out a stream of casings. He likes his dakka...

Which means that, after several years, the mob is re-united at last:
They're currently lounging in the glass cabinet, drawing envious looks from the boys who have just regular sluggas and shootas...

In between work on the Stompa and painting the Lootas I've also finished the scratch building on Kneecappa Da Megagrot, my count-as Attack Squig for my Warboss. I just need to base him before I show him to the world.
But since neither the Stompa nor Kneecappa are ready yet, I'll have to return to the WIP-drawer for the next painting project... 

vrijdag 30 mei 2014

"Tha mo bhàta-foluaimein loma-làn easgannan!"

That's what he shouted at me as he staggered out of the bushes towards us, or at least, that's how it sounded to me.
Several of my men had already drawn weapons and were ready for him, or any hidden friends of his, to attack us. 
As he noticed the movements of my retainers, he twitched and fell over flat on his back. As he lay immobile, a tense second of silence stretched into several seconds, then a minute. My retinue exchanged confused glances. I quietly instructed them to keep their positions and remain alert, but not to do anything...yet. This standoff was broken by him suddenly thrusting a bottle at the sky and laughing uproariously for a full five minutes. 
Still chuckling, he stood up, but broke his bottle in the process. His face turned red and contorted in rage. My men shuffled nervously, as the goblin drew a deep breath. Before they could decide on their actions, he launched into a indecipherable roaring goggle-eyed rant, seemingly aimed at his broken bottle, the skies, the woods behind him, and anything in between. 
I believe, could it understand but a single word of it, this stream of (I assume them to be) profanities would have greyed my hair and bleached my heraldry, such vitriol was behind it! 
At some point, seemingly halfway into a sentence, he suddenly fell quiet, sighed deeply, and started to sniff. Seconds later he was sitting on the forest floor, hands limply in his lap, crying as if all the grief of the world suddenly was on his shoulders.
He cried for quite some time...
All this time me and my men stood there, astounded and confused by this strange specimen of the goblin species, and his indecipherable actions and language.
Just when we were at the point of deciding to move on and leave him be, he suddenly jerked his head upright, wiped away his tears and stood up.
He looked around until he saw me. Then he walked towards me and looked me straight in the eye. He shouted something at me, "Tha gaol agam ort!" I believe it was. At that he seemed himself to blink in confusion, and then said "Is mise cliamain" or something like it, in a more quiet voice.
Muttering under his breath, pointing at various member of my retinue or items in our baggage train, he walked to the rear of the column, and sat in the grass until we departed. When we left, he walked after us.

He has followed us ever since. At least, until 5 months later, when we met another group of traveling adventurers on the road and he apparently decided to follow them along instead. 

Sometimes we encounter him again, always with another group of heroes. Sometimes he joins us, sometimes he doesn't. We still don't know why.
Drunk or sober (rarely!), he hasn't been any more intelligible than on that first day.
He always knew to find the best loot and booze, though...

Gilbert D'Abelard, traveling knight, recounts his first meeting with the goblin adventurer known only as "Mad" McHaggis the Fighting Drunk.

The man himself, along with his three favorite things in the world: A heavy blunt instrument, whiskey and gold. He is well known to be an intemperate and enthousiastic user of all three.

This is the second miniature I got in a gift package from fellow Lead Adventure Forum member Elprez. It's Hasslefree Miniatures' Sparr.
I knew the triangular whiskey bottle is specific to a small family of brands, namely Grant's and Glenfiddich. Of the two, Glenfiddich has a green bottle, and as there would already be a fair bit of green in the model, I opted for Grant's, in their clear bottle. Specifically, he is holding a bottle of Grant's Family Reserve.
Tying in to this theme, "Mad" McHaggis is dressed in the Grant clan tartan, or at least as close an approximation as my eyesight and painting skills will allow.

Here is a shot from the behind:
 Thank you, Elprez, he was a lot of fun to paint!

The treasure chest is from the old GW Mordheim accessory sprue, and will be part of my wife's Warhammer Quest set. I painted it to look old and dirty, but still solid. It's fairly subdued in colours, so that it would set off the richness and colour of the gold. Have to make sure the riches draw the eye...

maandag 26 mei 2014

Bone of contention

Having finished the Knight and his retinue, it was time to give some attention to the opposition.
So, the next group of my dungeon's deceased denizens is done.
Here's a quick workbench snap of them:
What's still left to do is 5 spearmen skeletons, 2 Skeleton Leaders, 1 Skeletal King's Champion/Dread Knight, a Banshee, two Wraiths (In time I'd like to add a 3rd) and the Lich King and Necromancer to lead them.
I needn't get bored anytime soon, I guess...
Currently on the painting table is a belligerently drunk goblin in a kilt.

Until next time!

maandag 19 mei 2014

Tinctures and Metals, Charges and Blazons...

Or, in other words, the stuff of heraldry!

If you're painting knights you can't get around it. To make my life easier when designing heraldry for my knights, I made a little colouring-book style sheet to work out how designs for heraldry would work. Not only on the shield, but also on the horse's caparison or in the livery of a knight's retinue. I didn't want to discover halfway through painting that a certain combo or design didn't work out after all. I'd rather waste 10 minutes and some paper, than spend hours on a miniature and having to strip it...
I mentioned this sheet on the LAF and offered to scan it.
So I thought I might as well put it up here.

Here is the design sheet I use:
(Sadly, scanning it has washed out the lower right area a fair bit.)

This is the one that I used in deciding on a colour scheme for my recently painted knight and retinue:
Like I said, colouring-book style...

If you need a primer on how to design heraldry, this one seems pretty complete and thorough: www.internationalheraldry.com

vrijdag 9 mei 2014

Crestfallen knights

a.k.a. Heraldic Surgery...

What's this about? Well, let me tell you:

Somewhere in the 90's I collected a small number of GW Bretonnian miniatures. I loved the Perry sculpts and the look and feel of the army, but it never really got off the ground, due to lack of interest in WHFB in the erstwhile gaming club. The army got mothballed, but I never could let the miniatures I did collect for it go. Which is much to my advantage now, as it provided me with the knight and retinue I've shown in my recent posts. In my opinion, the new GW Bretonnians just have nothing on those classic Perry sculpts and designs.
This week I had been digging through this small stash of Chivalrous mini's again, and had a lucky break:
I knew I had the classic Grail Knight on foot twice, as well as a mounted grail knight with a sorta-kinda matchin crest. My original plan was to use one Grail Knight on foot with the mounted one as a single character, and sorta gloss over the non-matching crest. Which didn't really sit all that well with me.
In my digging, I discovered I somehow also had acquired a second one of said mounted Grail Knight!

Which led to an enthousiastic bout of sawing and glueing. Because 2 foot knights, 2 mounted knights, and 2 pairs of matching crests plus some tools and glue lead to this:
(In this pic, the unmodified models are the two closest to the centre, the two on the outside are the "swappees")
I took a jewellers saw, and one each of the mounted and foot knights. I then carefully sawed off the crests on both of them, just under the torse (the twisted cloth ribbon around the helmet). There is a natural dividing line there, and the underside for the torse creates a sharp shadow over it, making it easier to fill any gaps and hide the join.
I then simply swapped the crests around and glued them back on. I still need to fill the gaps and resculpt the knots at the rear of the torses. But once that is done, I have two more matching mounted and dismounted knights. Which means two more potential retinues for a Chivalry/Chanson de Geste game!

Sadly I don't have enough of the old GW archers and men-at-arms to provide them both with a full retinue, and certainly no squires for them. But I'm not too worried about that. The old Bretonnian infantry still pop up on Ebay and second hand markets regularly, plus the Perry twins have their lovely Agincourt to Orleans range. And I'm in no particular hurry, so I could also just wait for their recently previewed/spoilered HYW plastics to be released. And if I'm not to worried to stay in the HYW/Bretonnian/Perry style and look, there are plenty of other nice medieval mini's to choose from.
I really should be concentrating on painting suitable monsters, beasts and villains for them and dungeoneering in general at this point anyway so I have plenty of time to make my choice...
All I can say is, it is, or soon will be, a good time to be a feudal lord!

maandag 5 mei 2014

Spring cleaning and glamour shots

I've been fiddling about with the blog a little bit.
For a while now I felt the header image I am using didn't really fit the blog anymore. While I like the Crimson Skies plane, I haven't done anything Crimson Skies related for quite some time.
Since I was taking pics of my Knight and retinue anyway, and I seem to be on a fantasy streak for some time now, I thought I might as well update the header.

I also altered the title text colour on the blog to match that of the header. This one is a bit more cheerful, and higher in contrast. I found I was regularly squinting and tilting my head to read the red on gray when I was on my laptop, especially in outside light. That should be fixed now... ;-)
 Maybe I'll fiddle some more in the coming days/weeks, I'm still undecided if this is overhaul enough.

Anyway, on to the meat and bones of this post.
I took some time to set up a few proper shots of my Knight and his newly finished retinue.