Thursday, 18 February 2016

G'Day, Mate!

So with a recent run of bad weather I have acquired a rather large backlog of models awaiting undercoat, however just the other day we had some sunshine so I managed to get outside and undercoat enough models to keep me going for a few months...

In the meantime, I have set to painting anything I had that was undercoated, so have finally painted my Australian Dystopian Wars fleet.



I just love the special rule where once per game, they can "acquire" an enemy vessel...

I also made a start on the stuff I finally got undercoated, doing the first two squads of my Red Orktober Grot Revolutionary project...



Only about another 100 or so of these little guys to go... O_o

Friday, 29 January 2016

They're more like guidelines anyway...

The final army I have to showcase from my outlandish collection started life as an idea for, once again, Winds of War in Bracknell. A simple throwaway comment at my local GW that "someone should do a Dark Eldar army with pirate hats" was what triggered me this time... the person who uttered those fateful words was aware of Aliens, BSG, Star Wars, Halo... so it's quite probable he did this within my earshot on purpose.
 

So knowing my usual buddy and I were due to attend Winds of War once more, I wrote up a quick list playing on an old internet stereotype - Ninjas vs Pirates. I would have the Pirates, and he would have the Ninjas - we would choose the sides we had both traditionally supported. We also considered going in full costume. Then Winds of War changed the tournament pack from the past few years running, making our armies of wyches in raiders illegal, in an effort to combat some alleged spam. So in the end we took a list that had a flyer and 7 venoms, to prove their theory wrong, and we came fourth - although among a dwindling field of competitors, this was not surprisingly the last Winds of War that ran. And so, my squad of Pirates and their ship just sat, part completed, for months... until Ken suggested another tournament, and I pushed the list to eleven...


Naturally my list had a Jack Sparrow in it, and for those of you who are familiar with these films, keep a weather eye on the horizon, for there are plenty more references in this list. Anyway, here Jack is riding some sea turtles that he has roped, and counts as a Beastmaster on skyboard. He was accompanied by a couple of flocks of razorwings, which are pictured at the top of the entry.

 
I also had a Black Pearl, and the crew to go with her. So, wyches with shardnets and impalers (they look so nautical!) riding a raider with Dark Lance (fired by a cannon, kinda like a harpoon)
 
 
 
To bolster my wych forces, I had a second squad... modelled as the crew of the Dutchman, complete with Davy Jones himself, although as he isn't allowed on land but once a decade, he has to improvise for his movement...
 

 
And yes, completely messing around with any prospective timelines here, the final piece of the pirate puzzle is an English contingent, lead by Barbosa... he represented the Piratical Dark Eldar character with a penchant for poisons. An English Warship (Ravager) almost brings the pirate force to it's full compliment...
 

 
But wait, where would pirates be without rum? So to replace the "Power From Pain" rule, I had Power From Rum. I had a list that included the exact same rules, but with a rum based background story as to why they take effect. And to make sure everyone got plenty of rum? I made a Pain Rum Engine.
 
 
The scene just looks like something from Tortuga, the firebelly represents the breath weapon, and before anyone says about modelling for effect, the table is the correct base size, that is what I measured the area of effect weapon from... however, for being shot at or assaulted, the entire square base counted. Yes, those bottles are my "pain" tokens...
 
 
This was a real centrepiece to the army, it attracted a lot of attention and I really am quite proud of it.
 
 
So, how about the ninjas? Well I decided Mandrakes made good ninjas, both in model and in rule, so a couple full size squads of them went in. Painting these models mostly black yet with a tiny little bit of interest was tricky, but I was pleased with the minimalist approach in the end and feel it worked well.
 
 
Naturally I included the mandrake character krhhehaazzekkradakh or whatever the hell his name was...
 
 
And to round out the force, some Batman inspired scourges.
 
 
I took this list to a tournament, and I got a very bad feeling when someone was looking over the armies of us early arrivals and said "Wow, someone brought Mandrakes, they should get bonus points for bravery!" Hmm... how bad can they be? I recall thinking. Well, my first game proved it to me. They needed a rum token to be any real use, so I sent them for an easy target, a space marine scout squad they outnumbered 2-1. After several rounds of combat, causing just one casualty, they broke and fled... by which point the entire rest of my army had been destroyed and my opponent had arrayed himself in a firing line to kill me after I'd killed his scouts... my mandrakes running from his victorious scouts was an unexpected bonus for him.
 
 
I got trounced the first two tournament games, and was heading for the wooden spoon, when fate dealt me a rookie Blood Angel player. His army mostly kicked the crap outta mine, and by the end I was just running my raiders around to make sure he couldn't kill them in assault. Luckily I had built up an impressive points lead by that point by playing the mission, so by managing to avoid dying, I won, avoiding the wooden spoon! I'll take what small victories I can sometimes...
 
Anyway, shortly after this the new codex dropped, and promptly removed the every character in this army and changed how everything worked, so probably a good thing it was a one off project...
 
That is the final crazy army I have to show, although I do have one more post in this series of posts... I will write a quick rundown of my future plans, which at the moment is a couple of basic play armies, plus a couple of cool weird project armies, plus an army that is... somewhere in between? The following are a few clues about the crazier plans I have...
 





Hope that tantalises somewhat till next week...

Monday, 25 January 2016

A Gamers Game - with Master Chief

 
Once again, my trip down memory lane takes me to the Winds of War in Bracknell.
 
 
Now on our first visit, we had been told that "Best Army" was awarded based on the look of a combined army, and while my Aliens theme Guard had gone down very well, my teammate who had just brought regular tau (albeit nicely painted) hadn't really fit into my theme... and that the prize was awarded to the best unifying theme. Hence the winner that year (if I recall correctly) was a rather beautifully painted white Necron army, as there was a unifying colour across both partners forces.
 
So the following year, we worked on a joint project. The Halo Marines programme. I made a prototype Spartan using a marine, some Tau bits, and some heads from Pig-Iron Productions. Sent the specs to my friend.
 
We wrote lists. We did originally consider using the Elysian buggies to be the Warthogs (counts as Razorback) but they were a bit small... then Ken found some toy Warthogs. Quick paint job later, they work. I also converted the Ghosts as Landspeeders. I think the moment I'm proudest of was having the idea to get a couple of old broken x-boxes off ebay, strip them out and turn them into display cases. It really set the whole thing off perfectly.
 
 
I ran a Blood Angels list, which is pictured below. I split my squad into an advance section with the flamer, power sword sergeant (energy sword) and chaplain master chief. Hanging back would be the rest of the squad with rocket launcher and a sanguinary priest (elite choice at the time) The ghosts would fly around and channel our enemies to where we needed them, run interference etc.
 
 
To represent the Sanguinary Priest, I tried to model him holding an "Overshield" I'm hoping the regular Halo gamers will recognise it.
 
 
Ken ran Wolves, so a couple small squads hunters in Razorbacks, and a Long Fang squad. They usually hung near my sanguinary priest, who effected all friendly models at the time.
 
 
This army was adored by the crowd, and we did quite well with it too, coming a respectable fourth out of a field of about 20 teams.
 
 
As for our original plan of competing for Best Painted Army? Well we tied on the scoring with the best painted army (same as I had done with Aliens the year before) however this time the unifying factor seemed not to matter... the rather nicely painted sisters army won best army, the ok painted guard ally wasn't mentioned. However, we did get some recognition for the effort we put in, picking up the Fergus Award for the Gamers who clearly have too much time on their hands. An award I would later pick up for the aforementioned Star Wars Guard army, which by the way also tied for score with the best painted Army that year. I was always coming so tantalisingly close... Maybe next time.

A nice finishing touch, which I sadly can't seem to locate right now for pictures, Ken produced game inserts - our army lists written like the booklet guide you get to a game. They really helped set the whole thing off. Could do with finding those things...

Friday, 22 January 2016

Sometimes You Gotta Roll A Hard Six...

Continuing my run of showcasing old models, here are some Battlestar Galactica themed Eldar


 This was for another Winds of War in Bracknell, so 500 points combat patrol. The Viper is, well, a Viper, cos why wouldn't you? I had two of those in the list.

The Troops choice was a unit of 10 Wraithguard with Sixitseer, sorry, Spiritseer. I felt the wraithguard adequately reflected just how tough Cylon Centurions were.

This was a 5th ed, possibly 6th ed list, so taking the large unit with Spiritseer made it a Troop choice. I painted them up with the red stripe to mark them out as rebel centurions who work with the humans in the final battle. Now sure, the purists might argue that in that case Six would no longer be wearing the red dress, but it was an iconic image so I figured it was the easiest way to represent her.

 
 
And of course, they need an objective naturally...
 

Monday, 18 January 2016

A xenomorph? It's a bug hunt...

Continuing my posts showing off old models caught by a newer, better camera, we come to my very first crazy project. Aliens themed Guard.

 

It all started with Winds of War, a sadly no longer running tournament based in Bracknell. It was Combat Patrol, doubles. My friends had been the year before and encouraged me to come along with them for that one. Not being a great fan of small scale games, but deciding to give it a go, I decided to make it more interesting for myself by doing a themed force. With only 500 points I didn't need to worry about ever using it in my main army, and it spends most of it's time on a display shelf if I'm honest.

Well obviously, the most iconic image is Ripley in the power loader. So a sentinel was the first thing in the list. I did have an old sentinel power loader I'd always liked, but the arms weren't adaptable enough, it was just a single bar. Hence I came up with this conversion, which uses a set of sentinel legs to make a set of arms. Do bear in mind, this is the old sentinel kit with the one piece legs... oh to make this model again with the new multi part kit! The "hands" do spin on the ankle joint by the way, so I have some degree of flexibility for posing. The heavy flamer represents the closest thing to a weapon Ripley had on that thing.


Next up we have my objective markers. I found "Newt" on a random miniatures website, who knows where now. As for the "sample" that is a dolls house glass jar, some green stuff, genestealers fingers and sprue/plasticard.


Next up I have my Colonial Marines. I can't for the life of me remember how I painted these, despite someone asking me years later. All I can remember is that I'd heard that in the film they were normal camo uniform, but filmed under a blue light... so I tried to recreate normal camo, then ran a blue wash over it. I think it worked excellently, I just can't bloody replicate it! This did lead to me keeping a journal of all subsequent paint schemes for my armies...

I also have a transport for these guys, again from an unidentified miniature producer, but it's just a basic grey box and needs a repair so I left it out of these shots.


Running the colonial marines as Storm Troopers to bolster the cost, I was still struggling to make my 500 points from within the one movie. So, in the only time in my life I have admitted the movie existed, I looked to Alien 3. The penal colony gave me the chance to use some penal legion, which I had already converted and had a colour scheme for anyway... adding them to this force just meant putting squad markers for Fury 161 on them.

 
 
And finally, after the even I found a little orange nubbin thing... I can never decide if the model looks better with it or not. It doesn't sit quite right obviously, but if I were to adapt the model or do a new one using the new sentinel kit, should I include this? Or even better if I could wire up a flashing LED in there I guess...
 


Friday, 15 January 2016

Deffskulls - Test Models

So as I have several ongoing projects stuck at the "Need to Undercoat" stage I decided to leap forward and do some test models for a Deffskulls army I have planned. I wanted to come up with a colour scheme that is very fast, with minimal effort required (the Yellow on the Bad Moons was quite time consuming, and for a horde army that's always a bad thing) I am not too bothered about winning any best painted awards or anything, I just want something of a tabletop standard.

So here are a few shots. The group shot I'm happy with, from the close ups I can pick out flaws, but given I painted all of these in several shades of blue/green combination, then repainted them all to my favourite, in the space of two evenings, shows it is a quick scheme - just base colours, wash, then a slight picking out of blue detail. I might put a little more work in when it comes to the real army (painting the bullets in the shootas a copper colour to pick them out before applying the wash) but nothing major.




I need to do a second one like this... "Two by two... hands of blue" ;)

 
Deffskulls Mob. Also known as the Republican Party...