Friday, 20 May 2016

Projects: Update

So, as usually happens I make plans and then get sidetracked by life and/or shiny things...

To try to regain some focus, I am going to do a blogpost updating current progress on current/future projects.

So, first off, let's start with some good news. The Orktober Revolution, the rebel grots army, has made excellent progress. The infantry is done! That's over 100 of these little buggers...


That leaves just 6 vehicles to complete... 3 of these (currently assembled and basecoated)


And 3 of these...


Of the latter, only the prototype is constructed. I decided I wanted to do all the vehicles in one batch to ensure a consistent colour scheme, and there is where the delay came in... I don't like to be wasteful, so I've been like the kid watching the fairy liquid bottle for the past couple months waiting for two cans of deodorant to be used up... and believe me, I tried my hardest! I'd leave a bathroom smelling like a high school locker room, but still that stuff lasted and lasted. Part of me is impressed with the value for money of something I'd never really paid attention to before, but the inner ten year old was just screaming "I wanna build a god-damn rocket ship!"

I am pleased to report the second can is now empty, so with the finding of a few more random bits I should get this ball rolling again pretty soon.

Of far less progress has been the scenery project to accompany the Bad Moons... the scenery for the Ork Occupied refinery world was built, but that is as far as it has got. But this world, that I have still yet to name, oh my the rich and diverse history of it has most definitely been explored...

This as yet unnamed world was host to a mechanicum refinery when the orks fell upon it, and was swiftly overwhelmed. The garrison forces of the planet, seeing the writing on the wall, chose instead to stay hidden away in their subterranean garrisons. Rather than squander their forces on a lost cause, they would hunker down and call for the cavalry. Then they would rise up in conjunction with returning Imperial forces. But then the situation on the ground changed. The grot rebellion sparked a civil war amongst the greenskins. With their occupiers divided, the garrisoning skitarii saw the opportunity to engage in guerrilla warfare, using their tunnel bores to move quickly and secretly to where they were needed to secure their objectives, before disappearing again beneath the sands before an effective counter attack could be mustered.


These were to be my "pop pods" worked exactly like drop pods but they didn't drop in, they popped up. They had the same footprint, and if they weren't leaning would be just as tall. I felt it worked well enough for a cool thematic list.

Of course, I ordered half a dozen of these things and had just started to put paint on them when the FAQ came out saying battle brothers can't ride in each others transports any more. Ah.

That, admittedly, has taken the wind out of my sails a little for that project. My friend Ken has said he will allow me to play a couple test games with them under the old rules, but if I want the skitarii to be a viable army for more than just a couple of retro games, I'm gonna need to figure out something else on that one. So project needs some refinement before continuing.

On the flipside, my Deathskulls army received a boost, with the release of a flyer that seems destined for that army... so many guns! So I have built a Wazzbom Blastajet and that is the only Ork vehicle I intend to use in that project. Everything else will be a stolen/converted/looted vehicle from another race. This army wasn't so much planned out as resigned to, as I realised that of the vast amounts of unpainted orks, I had a large collection of lootas, burnas, tankbustas and some flash gitz, plus a few shock attack guns... it seemed inevitable the conclusion I would draw. All I had to do was pick up some more shoota boys to fill out the troops choices and I was ready to go. And ironically since then a friend has given me a box of orks he didn't want... yup, more flash gitz! Dakka dakka everywhere!

I have done some test models for this army, and managed to get half the infantry undercoated the other day (the interesting half with the big guns) still have some converting LOOTING work to do though, but with a few landraiders in my bitz box I think I'll have plenty of battlewagons soon enough.


Longer term goals, we move on to Project Bedrock. A snakebite tribe themed on the Flintstones, lead by Warboss Fred (he doesn't Waagh he Yabbadabbadoos) and Big Mek Barney - Barney shall be the focal point for the story of this army, as the most useless Mek ever. He's not even a Mek, he just wants to be, but without the genetic understanding common to most meks he just sort of bodges things together and doesn't understand why they don't work. Hence anything remotely like transportation will be represented by the kind of thing you saw on the Flintstones. So naturally my list maximises this, including a battlewagon, couple trucks, 10 warbuggies and 20 stormboyz. Plus half a dozen meganobz. I had some vague conversion ideas in mind for the meganobz, but then GW released these...
 
That's one thing sorted! I am however, not quite ready to start this project, with all the other works ongoing. It does leave me in the precarious position of keeping a close eye on the "Last Chance to Buy" part of GWs website, in case they decide to discontinue something I may want from the fantasy range. I think I'm fairly safe on the Stonehorn for a while, and likewise the lizardmen (seraphon?) dinosaurs seem to be safe, but I did pick up a couple of sabretooths as being finecast, I figured they would not be too long for this world... so dribs and drabs in purchasing for that one I guess.

Finally, looking FAR ahead now, was my guard penal legion idea. This is staying purely at the drawing board stage for the moment, as while I have written a list and I like it, there are rumours of an impending 8th edition and potential for a new guard codex... yes I know not SOON soon, but soon enough with all the above to contend with. So that shall stay as an idea for now, who knows they may bring penal legion squads back in to the codex next time they redo guard, which would be very nice from a rules perspective for my army. We can but dream.

Anyway, with all of the above... I really should step away from the pc and grab a paintbrush I guess...


Friday, 13 May 2016

Death From The Skies - Vindication

Well, it's taken almost four years, but finally GW has listened to me...

Back in August 2012 I posted a blogpost complaining that Air Superiority fighters were useless, given that any and all aircraft could choose to have skyfire. Well, Death from the Skies closes that annoying loophole.



It also closes the loophole of a zooming flyer claiming cover from intervening models or terrain... sorry buddy, your only save now is a jink save, you're technically supposed to be above us, out of reach, unassaultable... so claiming cover by hiding behind a knight is a little bit off. I can just imagine the knight looking at you in frustration, as shots pelt off it's hide from friendly fire, "If only you were low enough for me to cut you in half with this massive chainsword that you are currently flying level with..."

The new flyer rules give each flyer a role. The formations then provide bonuses based on the role for which they are designed. I like this, it makes sense to me. It also makes sense that fighters are better at dogfights (although the dogfight mechanism itself seems a bit rock/paper/scissors and needs space on the side to play) and hopefully this improvement will see fighters actually have a place in army lists. The nimble elder fighters are beautiful models, or at least I believe so... I've seen pictures on the website, but have never seen one in real life. Maybe now I will.

Finally, I also picked up a Wazbomwhatsisfacethingy... Have built it and think it is a beautiful, beastly model. I know it's only a few upgrades onto the old kit, but it works well, and any ork player always likes to get more bitz to play with, as when it comes to ork vehicles the instruction manual is more like guidelines anyway...

Anyway, just wanted to do a quick post to try to get back into the swing of blogging, my early part of the year best intentions got knocked off track by a hospital stay and subsequent recovery time leaving me limited ability to engage in the hobby... unable to sit upright for extended periods of painting, painful to stand at a wargaming table for extended periods... happily starting to get back in the swing of things now, so hopefully further updates won't be too far behind.

Oh, and the GW FAQs, whilst I am pleased that the removal of using allies dedicated transports from deployment will eliminate some of the more beardy things I have seen, it does somewhat scupper my themed sktarii force I had just started to put some paint on... so I bought myself an ork flyer to paint instead to make myself feel better!

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...