maandag 30 november 2015

Some conversions in progress

With the stormy weather, the light isn't decent enough to paint ( I did manage to paint some chickens for the village on saturday, but I won't show these yet as I want to show them with the accompanying villager, and she's not finished yet.). So I decided to build some figures instead. The results are below:

vrijdag 27 november 2015

Hop to it!

A while ago, I backed the "Warts and Wings" Kickstarter from Toad King Castings. Today a little packet arrived, containing this:
For some reason, I got the boozy stirge instead of Terence the pipe-smoking toad as stretch goal perk, but seeing how it's effectively a free mini, and the stirge is cute as a button (the misses took an instant liking to him), I don't mind at all.

During the kickstarter the greens of the toads already looked impressive, but having the casts in hand now, I'm just blown away! The sculpting is immaculate, not a tool-mark to be seen and the texture on the toads skin is just wonderful. The casting is absolutely top notch as well, not an air bubble or molding mark to be seen anywhere. A quick rinse (and maybe a slight sanding of the bottoms, if one is picky about perfect flatness) should suffice to get these models ready for paint.
I'm genuinely impressed by the quality of these models.
The only thing I regret about this Kickstarter is that I didn't have the spare cash at the time to add some of the barrels, crates and the mimic to my pledge as well.
Hopefully Toad King Castings will get a webstore set up soon, once the Kickstarter is fulfilled, so I and others can get their hands on (more of) these fine figures.

It looks like my painting queue may be reshuffled even further...
I guess I'll be staring at pictures of toads this weekend. :)

See you next time!

donderdag 26 november 2015

Porkchop express

Last weekend I painted the pigs and started on the swineherd, part of the medieval village populace I bought at Crisis this year. Today I had the time for a little sitdown with brushes and paint and finished the swineherd.
Here they are:
The pigs are from War-bases. They're Iron Age pigs, whereas I'm basing my fantasy village in the 14th century, but as livestock wasn't systematically improved and bred until Victorian times, I guess I'm good.  I tried to make them look like Tamworths.
The swineherd is from one of Foundry's medieval villagers packs. I chose the running one, as the various "period" Farm shows on Auntie Beeb the past years have taught me that herding swine involves a great deal of chasing...
As they're essentially to be used as terrain, I kept the paint job fairly basic.

I'm trying to match villagers to animals in sets, to make painting a bit more enjoyable and aid me in setting up a believable living village. Next in line: chickens and a maid. Unless a certain rooster-toad offspring pushes it's way to the front of the line. It is after all, the time of year for monsters...

zaterdag 21 november 2015

Finding Felstad.

I played a test game of Frostgrave yesterday with a few mates, one of them acting as a "wizarding instructor" of sorts (a.k.a. he explained the rules to us).
I won't do a full write up, if you want, you can read more about the game on Gunbirds blog. Suffice to say that I'm sold, this game is fun!
We both opted for a "loot and scoot" approach, instead of trying to take out the enemy warband, so we ended the game with only 3 casualties (and a near dead apprentice, due to failed castings...).

So, I'll definitely be doing more with this game, I'll just have to see how to fit this into the greater Questing/Chivalry/Dungeoneering project(s). I won't be building a full set of snowed-in ruined city terrain, as I've more than enough scenery projects to build/complete for my fantasy gaming as is, especially now that I have a village worth of civvies and livestock. (There's dungeon terrain, a dread forest, a medieval/fantasy village, maybe some caves and a castle... the snowball keeps rolling. Step one is a storage solution, though, no use building it if I can't store it safely.)
I had already decided that my, loosely defined, setting would incorporate a dark mysterious forest (a classic chanson de geste/chivalry romance trope) and a "Coast of Lost Cities": A long stretch of deserted coastline filled with ancient, ruined, cyclopean cities that extend into/below the waters of the sea. Probably millennia old and riddled with subterranean catacombs, no-one knows what race built these cities and if they are partially submerged due to the rising of the seas or by original design.
Oppressive and inhabited by all sorts of monsters and creatures, people avoid living close, but at the same time the hidden treasures and promise of ancient knowledge attract adventurers and fortune-seekers by the droves.
Either would make a good alternate setting for Frostgrave games. So, for me, depending on what I build scenery for first, I will be playing either "Waldgrave" or "Ruingrave".
Plus, wizards could have many reasons to clash in other locations as well. Maybe they need rare ingredients, leading them to raid a Griffon breeding ground, or they raid a village for youths with magical talent, they may both want to recharge an item in an ancient henge... Or they're just feuding over a border town between their respective territories. Or one wizard raiding another's supply caravan. Plenty of reasons for a magical showdown without needing to loot some dilapidated old place. :)
I need more wizards, though.

zondag 8 november 2015

Catching up (Aka Loot-tober)

So, what have I been up to the last couple of weeks?

Well, reading, as my copy of Badab War arrived:
I've wanted these books ever since they came out, but just couldn't justify the price tag. But recently, as I was browsing the Forgeworld site, I saw that the price had come way down, I guess because the rules inside are now several editions out of date. As I mainly wanted it for the background and decidedly less for the rules this doesn't bother me, so I struck.

A while ago my son expressed interest in painting a mini. The past two weekends we spent an afternoon painting together, teaching him the basics of basecoat, drybrushing and washes.
As I didn't want to paint anything involved while doing this I started on some Deathwing terminators from Dark Vengeance (Yeah, I know, the fact that I don't consider Deathwing terminators involved panting-wise should worry me).
I don't have a Dark Angels army, nor an interest in starting one, but they are useable in Space Hulk and I could put them down whenever I needed to help out or advise my son while painting.
For him I prepped a few spare miniatures (a Chaos warrior, Space Marine, Lizardman and an Ork), being an 11 year-old boy, he chose the Space Marine... :D
He actually impressed me with the focus, attention and calm he was painting with (especially as he has ADHD) and the result is quite nice for a first mini:
A proud parent am I....
After this first taste, he seems to be interested in doing more. Not going to push him on it, we'll see where it goes.

Also, my Gwent decks from the Witcher 3 expansion arrived:
For those that don't know. the Witcher 3 is an open-world fantasy RPG for the PC based on the world/setting of Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher novels. Unsurprisingly it is the third part of the series of games...
Gwent is a (mini-)game within the game, that has become quite loved and popular (with people making emulators to play it outside of the Witcher game and even some making physical cards to play it in real life).
It's quite a fun game, each player builds a deck, of which he draws ten cards for a game. Each card has a value, you play over three rounds, the highest total score when both players pass wins the round, the first player to win two rounds wins the game. You don't replenish cards between the rounds so there is a fair bit of strategy to determine what cards to play, which to hold in reserve for a next round and when to pass. Certain cards mess can influence your strategy even more by either modifying the value of cards or removing/recycling cards from your or your opponents hand. This man on youtube can give you a beginners tutorial.
 The collector's edition of the game contained two of the four decks (I didn't get it, it was too expensive for me at the time of release), but the first expansion allowed one to order the other two decks. I'm hoping the second expansion will allow me a second chance to get the first two decks as well and complete the set.
I'm looking forward to playing this with a real live human.

Yesterday I went to Crisis, a Belgian wargaming show hosted by the Tin Soldiers Of Antwerp. A great show, especially now that they seem to have settled into their new venue quite comfortably.
As usual lots of great and good-looking demos and participation games, nice and friendly traders with a good mix and diversity of products and ranges and a well-run bring and buy. (Though I couldn't buy much at her stand, due to previously reserved funds, I especially enjoyed the visit to the Dice Bag Lady. Cheerful and friendly service and I quite appreciate her intention and effort to find and promote miniatures of women that are sensibly equipped/dressed and capable. While I enjoy the occasional cheesecake, I have set myself  a goal of making my collection of Dungeoneering/Fantasy heroes as gender-equal as possible and found myself surprised at how difficult that actually turns out to be.)
The bring and buy, while always good, had an unexpected treat for me this year, as I managed to snag a very good condition copy of the Realm of Chaos- Slaves to Darkness hardcover for a mere €25, whereas it usually goes for a princely sum on Ebay. Now I can only hope to have similar luck someday with the companion book, the Lost and the Damned, which usually goes for even sillier money online...
On the miniatures end of Crisis, I acquired a wizard and apprentice from Frostgrave (Sigilist as I like the minis, not sure if I'll actually use them in Frostgrave or for something else entirely. I'm somewhat eyeing an Elementalist for Frostgrave with regards to spell selection) as well as the populations and livestock for a medieval/fantasy village through Foundry and Warbases:
So now I'll have to (re)research appropriate colours for medieval livestock and village buildings before I build and paint them. Maybe I'll even have to rewatch Tales from the Green Valley again...
Ah, the toils of knowledge... ;P

I kept a little bit of cash set aside for things that I wanted to get, but weren't available at the show itself, which I've now ordered online.
Even though it's in November, the visit to Crisis wonderfully concluded what I've come to think of as Loot-tober this year as, in addition to the above, this month also saw the Heresy monsters Kickstarter delivered, along with the last set of coins from a coin Kickstarter. :D
It also effectively concludes my hobby purchases for this year, aside from a little bit of currency reserved for a Kickstarter I know is coming in december (Late 14th/early 15th century styled armoured halflings, I just can't resist!), I'll talk more about that when it starts.

See you next time!