Monday, 27 February 2012

Odds and Ends - NYR update and...another project

I took some photos several days ago for this blog and I have been looking through them to see what I have left to post. I've found that I only have the dribs and drabs of works in progress so I thought I'd stick up a couple of pictures to show you what has been happening on my painting desk recently.

These are the last of my Man'O'War ships for my Dwarf fleet. I always find it such a relief when I can see the end of a painting project looming. Like the light at the end of a tunnel. The one already half painted is the Dreadnought which I finished yesterday and the other three are Ironclads who now have their first basecoat of gold on them. I'm hoping to have these guys all wrapped up by the end of the week.

The next photos will need a bit more explaining. With the release of the new Lord of the Rings army books the game has recently taken on a new life amongst some of my friends. I've mentioned previously that one of my goals this year (and the main reason for me focusing on finishing projects) is to get more into gaming with fully painted armies, and it struck me that I wasn't too far off a fully painted Lord of the Rings army with what I currently had. Below are the photos of a 750 point army I believe I could build that requires me to paint only four models.

Here's my army boss - Durburz and the lads. All painted and ready to go. Warband 1 gets the big tick.

Warband 2 requires a little more work. I need to paint the Shaman, the Drum and one of the Drummers.

Warband 3 - Druzhag's lads will require the most work. I have a Troll to paint and I am also left with about 30 points. I'll throw in a couple of goblins for now but I would like to get some more beasts painted of some description.

That's me for another few days. If any of you play Lord of the Rings please leave a comment letting me know what would be a good idea to add to the army. What I have here will do as a starting point but considering the last time I played Lord of the Rings was about five years ago it's safe to say I have no idea what I'm doing. If you've got advice I'm very keen to get painting some different models  : )

Friday, 24 February 2012

Stillwater Stiffs 1-0-1

The Stiffs played their second game of the season last night and came out with a hard fought draw to retain the Spike trophy...for now...

I of course forgot to take my camera so have no photos to show you. Not all is lost however as I have done a bit of a write up on the team history for those of you who believe a picture doesn't actually speak a thousand words. First of all I'll give you a quick run down of how the team came about. Blood Bowl has always been my favourite game and as you've probably realised from previous posts I'm a fanatical collector but not so good at finishing my painting projects. So before I started bringing a little common sense into my collecting and selling off most of the miniatures I wasn't doing anything with, I had pretty much every Blood Bowl team you could buy...and I had played about 1.5 games with each of them. Coming up with creative names for all of these teams was becoming a little mentally taxing so I had reverted to using street names from the suburb where I lived in Dunedin. A small street called Selwyn Street ran next to my flat so my Undead team was christened the Selwyn Stiffs.

When I moved to Christchurch and started selling off most of my models I reasoned that the Undead team would be the best to keep because they are a solid team for tournament gaming and because I could expand on the original boxed set to get enough models to play either a Necromantic team or a Khemri team. Of course moving cities would indicate that the franchise has been bought up by another investor due to financial difficulties so I thought it only fitting the Stiffs would need a name change. As luck would have it I now live next to Stillwater Ave in Christchurch allowing me to keep the corny alliteration so often associated with sports team names as they were reborn the Stillwater Stiffs. So that's the true story, here's the one I made up:

The Stiffs were originally formed in the sleepy Empire town of Selwyn within the province of Stirland. A plague of Red Pox had infected most of the town and those who didn’t flee soon succumbed to the deadly contagion. A small time necromancer and avid Blood Bowl fan dwelling in the close by “Gnarled Forest” saw an opportunity. He started raising the populace back from the dead in order to establish his own Blood Bowl team. And so the Stiffs’ started their Blood Bowl life (or unlife as it were) as the Selwyn Stiffs.

The Stiffs’ first season was nothing spectacular. Being a farmer or drover in real life certainly does not make you a Blood Bowl star in unlife so the Stiffs were suffering from a severe lack of talent. Not all was lost however; a season of Blood Bowl had developed the skills of a few team members enough that they now had a half-decent running game. They just needed to find more hitting power.

The end of the first season also left the Stiffs without a training ground. While they were away at their last game of the season the remaining residents of Selwyn returned to the village and, wanting to cleanse any taint of Red Pox from the site, they burnt it to the ground. For this reason the Stiffs went on hiatus for a while to re-establish their team and a base for training.

Eventually the Stiffs found a new home in a large cemetery next to Stillwater lake in Eastern Stirland. The cemetery has remained unused for centuries because of the high amount of Undead that haunt its surrounds. This made it a perfect recruitment ground for the Stiffs who now renamed themselves the Stillwater Stiffs. They also recruited the infamous Khemrian Mummy Bubba Hotep for the new season to bring in some front line experience. Hotep has helped rebuild the Stiffs’ forward pack with a number of very promising rookies. So with a new home and a new frontline the Stiffs have entered the Ball and Chain League for their first season back and are showing a promising start that could take them all the way to the final.

The game itself was interesting. I played Sass and his Norse team "The Frosty Snowmen". Sass' team was a very different make up from Tim's who I played in my first game. 2 Ulfwereners and a Snow Troll added a lot of hitting power to his front line. A frustrating first half saw a very high number of attacker down and both down results coming up on my two dice blocks and making me very aware how frail my team can be when facing a team that almost entirely has Block as a skill. I also used my Mummies very poorly as I was distracted by the Ulfwereners and Snow Troll when I should have been focusing on putting all of Sass' other players with armour 7 off the field. When the second half came around I regained my composure a bit. I still made a couple of mistakes that could have cost me the game but for the most part managed to stick to my game plan putting half of his team off the field before scoring to tie the game. Sass managed to pull most of his guys out of the knocked out bin for the next drive after my touchdown but was still a few players down on me. There was an opportunity to run behind him and sack his ball carrier to try for a last minute touchdown but I was too scared of the consequences if it went wrong so I didn't commit enough guys to it and the game finished off as a draw. There is a silver lining however in that I now have two Mummies with Guard, a Zombie with Block and a Ghoul with Block so I am looking forward to the next game. I'll close this update with a shot of my Star Blocker "Bubba Hotep". 3 Casualties from 2 games so far, and yes I know he's not fully painted - refer to my previous blog posts about my New Year's Resolution.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

NYR - Terror from the deep

I have managed to complete the next group of models in my New Year's Resolution. These are the Sea Monsters I got with the Man'O'War game I bought over half a year ago. The paint job on them is not my greatest work but this project is all about getting things completed, not spending forever trying to create Golden Demon winning models. Here are the first three I painted:

I don't really know what these guys are. The one on the left is a Moby Dickesque whale with a unicorn horn...


...not quite sure what else to say there so we best move on. The guy in the middle is some kind of King Neptune/Poseidon dude. The one on the right I think is a Sea Dragon. They are all painted using drybrushing and washes with the exception of the sail in the back of the Sea Dragon which I did a little blending on. I painted these three together as they are all one piece models. The fourth model was two piece so took a little more construction and I finished him a bit later. This is him below:

Not quite sure what you'd call this guy. Seeing as I've painted him a deep purple I'm going to call him the purple, big teeth monster. Once again very little time spent on him with drybrushing and washes being the primary way of applying paint.

I'm happy with how they've come out. They make very good gaming standard models. Not that I'll ever use them as I don't think anyone plays Man'O'War anymore. But none the less this was a very fun exercise  : )

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A day in mourning

Most people who read this blog are from Christchurch and so will understand why Feb 22nd is an important date. For those of you that don't know; Feb 22nd 2011 was the day that Christchurch was struck by a 6.3 earthquake killing 185 people. The irony is that this quake was an aftershock from a 7.1 earthquake about 6 months previous that caused a lot of damage but thankfully no fatalities.

If you live in Christchurch at the moment (or anywhere in New Zealand for that matter) you can't help but notice the influx of memorial documentaries and general conversation around the country about the quake, which is only to be expected on the anniversary of such an event. For me I found it kind of fitting that only a few days ago I had finished repairing and cleaning up several models damaged by the Feb 22nd Earthquake. This was entirely unintentional but once the realisation hit me I actually found it quite therapeutic. I'm even considering making it a tradition as I have enough damaged models to keep me going for 3 or 4 anniversaries to come. Anyway here's what I fixed this week:

This guy is from my Pit Slave Necromunda gang. I built this gang years ago, I think possibly even a decade ago, out of spare Catachan bits and whatever else I could find. Clearly my skill in painting was not quite at the same level back then that it is now. Add to that the fact that I don't think I've ever actually won a game with these guys and it makes me wonder why I keep them. I think it's probably because this gang were the first group of miniatures I had seriously tried to convert. Until then I had always assembled and painted models in much the same way as they were displayed in pictures on the box. These guys were my first great leap into creative modelling, and because of that I don't think I'll ever get rid of them.

The second model I repaired is my Warrior Priest for my Mordheim Witchhunter gang. Once again the painting is a far cry from my current standard as he is about as old as the Pit Slave above. If I remember correctly (and I may not as I am getting quite long in the tooth now) I built this Mordheim gang after the Pit Slave gang, kind of springboarding off a new found confidence in modelling. They are all modelled very loosely off the American Pilgrim style fashion from the 17th century. Once again I have grown very attached to this gang and in contrast to the Pit Slaves I have had  lot of success with them in gaming terms.

Anyway that's enough for now. It's 10:00am here and I need to get cleaned up and head into work to manage all the memorial events today. I hope today provides some comfort or solace to all of you through reflection on events past and if you have the chance, remember to put a flower in a road cone  ; )

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Menoth - The Crusade begins...

It's been a while since my last post but rest assured I haven't been idle...well ok maybe I have been, but I haven't been completely unproductive. I've actually finished a number of different models so instead of putting up a massive post I'll stagger them through out the week. Tomorrow in respect of the Feb 22nd Earthquake Anniversary I'll post up some of my earthquake damaged models that have risen from the dead. I'll have to hold you in suspense for that one though because today's shots are of my first completed Jack for my Menoth army.

I'm very happy with how this guy turned out. The focus was on getting an effective paint job done quickly and to a gaming standard which I believe I've achieved. The intent was to contrast the black and dark metal against the sand colour of the base and the bone white of the Menoth symbol. Where models have flame I'll also paint that as a bright yellow similar to the eyes on this model which will create another good contrast.

So that's me for now. I'll post up a couple more models tomorrow and then later in the week I've got some further progress on the NYR and the Vostroyans, so keep checking in.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Vostroyans - The Next Step

I fired off a few photos before heading into work this morning. They're not great quality as I didn't have time to set up the light tent but I wanted something to give you an idea of where I'm heading next with the Vostroyans. I've dragged a large handful of models out of the box to work on over the next couple of months. There's two reasons for this, the first is that I'm painting squads so I want to organise a small production line painting regime, the second is that I had a visit from one of the organisers of Brute Force (see posts back in November 2011) advising me that they are pushing ahead with the tournament for April so I'm trying to get the Vostroyans painted in time for this. Here's what I've pulled out of the big box'o'Vostroyans:

The three plastic bags at the top are three squads of guardsmen with plasmaguns and heavy bolters. In total I have six squads of guardsmen to paint so this will be a good chunk of my bulk troops painted if I can get them all done by April. The models below the plastic bags are further models for the command squad who I will take a bit more time with. Photos of these guys left to right are below:

This Empire engineer, with a little bit of greenstuffing, will become my Master of Ordnance. He already fits the archaic Russian style of Vostroyans pretty well, my only additions will be changing his leggings into boots and sculpting some gold trim onto his jacket.

This guy is pretty obvious. He's a vox controller. I actually have no desire to use him in game as yet but I love the model so am going to get him painted to at least use as a veteran in the command squad.

Lastly we have a veteran to be added to the command squad. I picked this guy because he has a staunch no-nonsense look about him so I think he will fit in well as the hard-ass sergeant of the command squad.

That's me for now. I'm away in Hanmer for the weekend so I hope to begin cleaning and basing before I head off but we'll see how time goes. In the mean time if I manage to get the light tent set up I'll get some photos of the Man'O'War Sea Monsters and the Vostroyan Conscripts who I have now finished.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

NYR - Salamander Command Squad

It's about time I put a post up about painting models rather than the general happenings of my geek world. The NYR above refers to New Year's Resolution as I'm getting sick of typing the whole thing out so this post is an update on progress of my half started projects. I've completed another handful of models; the Salamander Command Squad I started about 6 months ago is finally finished. So I snapped a quick photo before packing them away in the cupboard.

I've also progressed on another couple of projects. This one got added to the pile when I was stripping some models for a friend. I had left these guys in a coffee mug to strip the paint off at a later date and figured I may as well get them all done in one go. I don't want to create any more half started projects so I have begun painting them and hope to have them finished by the end of next week.

Lastly I have an update on the Vostroyans. My Napoleonic Old Guard are getting closer to completion. At this stage I'm a little unsure where to go next. I don't think they'll work as Guardsmen but should be good as conscripts. I would need to add a little armour such as shoulder guards and various Aquila symbols etc. to their great coats, also I would need to remove their moustaches which seems like a lot of hard work. It would all be good sculpting practice for me which I desperately need. I suppose I'll get them finished first and make a decision from there.

That's all my updates so far. I'll put in another big painting week next week and try to get some photos of completed models posted.

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Ugly Truth

After a lot of gluing and pinning and scraping of mould lines I can finally reveal the models that broke my New Years Resolution for the second time. I could also reveal the model that broke my New Years Resolution the first time but there's no story to that. It was just me being weak and buying a cheap Valkyrie for the now I've built up a little tension with that rather short and sad narrative allow me to wax lyrically for a moment about the sequel.

A friend and I happened to be down at Comics Compulsion one day pouring over countless beautifully sculpted models we would never find the time to paint when one of the shop people wandered in with a new boxed set. When we saw the contents of this boxed set we came over all giddy with a wave of awesomeness. It's hard to explain in words the feeling of awesomeness a geek can get from a box of man barbies so I will let the picture below explain for me.

Moving on with the story now, we were told by the shop people at Comics Compulsion that this particular boxed set had already been sold and that due to high demand it was unlikely they would be getting another one in the near future. My heart sank...I almost broke down and cried at the shop counter. "NOOOOOOO!!!" I wanted to wail. How could someone possibly build your hopes and expectations so high only to smash them to pieces and then drop trour and squeeze a Cleveland Steamer over your shattered dreams. But alas this was the ugly truth. I swallowed this bitter pill and consoled myself for the following month with the fact that this would help me better adhere to my New Year's Resolution. At the end of this month I felt I was finally coming to terms with this particular crisis in my life and could almost drag myself from my bed and venture out into public again. It was then that the second most traumatising event in my life took place.

Word on the street reached my ear that Comics Compulsion had received another shipment and that this particular boxed set was back on the market. I tried not to listen, I tried to block it out but I was too weak to do it by myself. I looked for support from my friends but they only asked that I cut them in on a share of the box contents for the right price. This would have to be the lowest point in my nerdily existence. Being turned into some Geek Dealer pimping out toy soldiers to plastic, metal or resin crack whores. So with no support from my friends and no will or discipline of my own I caved and purchased the latest Warmachine Starter Box...

I may have embellished the story a little but the core of it remains the same; I made a promise to a friend late last year that I would go halves with him in this box set when they got another one in. Given that they said they would not be getting one in for a while I thought I would be safe. But they got one in very quickly and I was forced to pick between breaking a promise to a friend or breaking my New Year's Resolution again. So I chose the later. Yeah, my story was much better I know.

I've cleaned up the jacks and the Caster now and glued them all together so I am all prepped for painting. Just need an undercoat.

Given that I still want to keep to my plan of clearing out half started projects I need to find a very quick way to get these guys painted. So I have decided on a crusading Menoth force with a black and metal colour scheme very similar to the Knights Hospitaller. Something like this:

A dark metal and black base will provide a good contrast to the fiery yellow flames, sandy desert bases and off-white insignia. I think they will turn out really good and it will mostly be drybrushing which will make it very quick.

I better get to painting them as I've typed more than enough for a while. I'll get some more pictures up of my progress over the next month or so.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Stillwater Stiffs 1-0-0

This post is a little lacking in photos I'm sorry as I didn't take any, but I'm really excited about getting back into Blood Bowl so just wanted to rant a little.

Last year I was not gaming much at my local club so this year I wanted to change that. I have been getting down for games far more regularly and last week I saw a mate playing Blood Bowl and thought "I haven't played that in aaaages. I should get back into it." So I asked him if he wanted a game the following week.

I was so excited to play again I went hunting for my old Undead team that night and got them all ready for the following week, and before you know it, it's Thursday again and I'm driving down to the gaming club for my re-introduction to the game of Blood Bowl.

Tim had brought his Norse team who already had one game under their belts and had earned a few skills. So we set up and rolled on the first kick-off. Cut a long story short Tim rolled terribly and I rolled very well so when the full-time whistle blew I was 2 touchdowns up on him and the casualty count was 6 to 1 in my favour. To add insult to injury I had killed one of his throwers and resurrected him into my own team.

Tim has got to be one of the greatest sportsmen I've ever played and he never stopped smiling the whole game. It meant despite being a very one sided affair it is possibly the most enjoyable game I've ever played and has given me a real urge to get back into Blood Bowl. So it seems I have yet another bunch of models to get painted asap, but hey whats another 12 odd models huh?

I'll sign off there and get back to painting. I'll be sure to grab some photos of models or games where I can as soon as I can squeeze in another game.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

WarCOW 2012

Warclouds is over for another year and it was a great tournament. I had very little idea what I was doing for most of our games but I really enjoyed them and at the end of it all I've developed an irrepressible urge to start building an Orc army...both for Fantasy and 40k.


I made a promise to finish projects and this year I'm determined to keep that promise. So the Orcs will have to wait a little while.

I only got a few pictures of games and they were on my phone so they're not of the highest quality. This was our second game which was against Clinton and Brad who were also playing Vampire Counts and Orcs. This was probably the most visually interesting game that played out as we were both keen to get stuck in to combat. Below is the first turn:

Playing against Undead was extremely interesting. Throughout the tournament I played against Undead twice and I found that Orcs had to really mince them in the first round of combat otherwise they would get dragged down and pulled limb from limb. Here's a photo of the 2nd turn. At least I think it was the 2nd turn...or 3rd...or maybe the 3rd or the other.

That was about where I stopped taking photos because when we finished the game this happened:

Then on Sunday morning after I had relieved myself of the Steak dinner I had paid $40 for the night previous and stumbled my way into the second day of the tournament I was in no mood for taking pictures. That said, the opponents we faced really made my day. They were fantastic sportspeople and very understanding of my situation. I wish I could say the same for those screaming kids someone brought along.

That's it for now. I've mostly finished the Napoleonic Vostroyans and am putting the finishing touches on the last model in the Salamanders Command Squad so it won't be too long till the next post.

Friday, 3 February 2012

New Year's Resolution - We're on a roll.

I've finished the Commander, now I've finished the Dwarf Lord. We're getting there slowly but surely. The largest work is yet to come with 10 Clan Rats and 25 Dwarf Miners still on the production line but it's nice to see the pile of models on my desk becoming smaller for once rather than the opposite.

All has not gone to plan however. Promises I made last year have led me to break my New Year's resolution of "No new models" yet again, but that's a story for another time.

In the meantime I'm going to focus on some successes. Here are some pictures for the Dwarf Lord: