Sunday, 20 October 2019

Night Lords Raptor squad

Here's the latest bunch of murder-hobos for my Night Lords army.

They're a mash-up of kits using the 40K Raptor as the 'chassis'. The arms are largely plain old MkVII Marine pieces, with the Forge World upgrades for the heads and pad with the icon. They've therefore got a Heresy vibe to them and I think they'll play happily with my 30K squads.

The big news here (a generous term, I know) is that I changed the way I did the metallic blue. In the olden days I airbrushed metallic blue as a base. But my airbrush is now dead and I've not got easy access to a booth. So I experimented a bit with Citadel's wonderful new Contrast paints and found a recipe that successfully approximates the older blue:

  1. Spray Leadbelcher
  2. Drybrush with silver
  3. Liberally coat with Ultramarines Blue Contrast working up to Talassar Blue Contrast on the upper surfaces
  4. Add a second coat of Talassar Contrast Blue with a hint of green and thinned, all with Contrast Medium
  5. Wash with Drakenhof Nightshade Shade
  6. Chip and weather with black then silver
 Everything else is pretty much as-was.

Next up some Heresy Terminators for a very exciting group project that we're aiming to complete by early 2020.


Thursday, 17 October 2019

Oldhammer warband (finally) complete!

As the title suggests, I've finally finished my Oldhammer warband. Lovely family photo of the little blighters below.

They have already had a couple of successful outings using the Warcry rules. I also want to do a few Krawl photo shoots with them on my vintage floorplans.

I'm pleased with the way the 'trademark' grey-green ties them together, while allowing each to feel like an individual. I think some of my own armies have suffered a bit from having too-harmonious colour schemes which just ends up as a bit of a sea of monotony.

I'm nearly finished with my next cassette gaming aid box so hope to post that very soon.

Photos of the individual critters below...

Sunday, 13 October 2019

None shall pass! Steelheart's Stormtonnians

It's fair to say the next installment to my Stormtonnian army has taken a while. Sorry about that. I began them in January 2018 and (like a lot of other stuff) they languished in my Box of Shame.

They involved somewhat more conversion that their brethren. The addition of shields was a small challenge, while Angharad involved a major swap as I reversed which hand she uses to grip her melee weapon.

Painting was no different from what has gone before. Basically silver washed with the wonderful Gloss Nuln Oil (even over the golds). The main change is the heraldry. I've moved away from the very 'real world' schemes of my previous two units, which largely adhered to the Rules of Tincture. Having watched Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen (which I've blogged about here) I wanted to go more abstract. I free-handed Angharad's shield and decided that was far too much work for the OK result I achieved. So I made a custom decal sheet with large sections of Nibelungen-inspired patterns in various colours.

This worked a treat and saved me lots of time. I cut a segment of decal which was bigger than shield, applied it, and when it was dry used a new blade to carefully razor off the excess. Expect to see more of this in the future.

I used the airbrush-blasted blood effect that I'm now very fond of. It produces micro-splatters which you really can't achieve any other way. They give a real sense of scale. The blood and cracks serve to mask any imperfections in the shields.

I'm not sure what's next for the army. Either a converted mounted Vandus Hammerhand. Or some really rusty, dirty Questing Knights who will be inspired by the chaps in John Boorman's Excalibur when they are ragged and filthy from their search for the Grail.

Individual studio shots below, followed by a few WIPs.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Oldhammer resurrection

After I callously abandoned my idea for an Oldhammer Mordheim gang I've had to endure the guilt of looking at a bunch of forlorn miniatures in my Box of Shame. So I decided to chuck them into the fray that surrounds the Allpoints. I've been proxying them as Legions of Nagash in Warcry.

Here's the crew so far...

And at the foot of this post are the studio shots of them. I've got more to finish with the next being the Epic version of Mortarion. Here he is, almost done, on my painting table.

My longtime opponent Mr T and I had a game of Warcry a week or so ago and it was the most fun I've had for a while. The system is slick, satisfying and both players are constantly engaged at all times (no waiting around to watch someone decimate your army). I highly recommend it and it's motivated me to paint even more.

I'm also making another tape-case gaming box for their accessories. A friend has kindly 3D printed a couple more inserts for me which I need to clean up.

 Expect more on this in the near future.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Speed-painted Avatar of Khaine

I set myself the challenge of painting this fellow in a weekend, and pretty much succeeded.

The challenge to myself was part of my drive to achieve a better balance of effort-to-reward, hopefully resulting in painting more, faster. Citadel's new Contrast Paints are a godsend for this, allowing me to block in forms very quickly and needing only minimal touch-up and highlighting when done.

This fellow is actually a bit more impressive in the flesh, when you are instantly stuck by his huge mane of green hair, which vibrates against the red of his body. I also like his Kubuki-like face. Plus his gory hand with its string of blood achieved by gluing a bit of clear nylon to his finger before applying the gore.

Painting more, faster will let me finish projects quicker and so avoid the doldrums of wallowing in a box of half-painted minis. I literally have such a box, which I dub the Box of Shame. It's currently getting emptied as a satisfying rate.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Retro Space Hulk game

After our 40k game Sho3 and I were up for more retro action. So we waited like a blip lurking in a dark corridor for our turn on Nico's recently completed Space Hulk board. We were joined by comrade Pat making us a trio to be reckoned with.

Now, this wasn't just any old Space Hulk board. Oh no, sir. This was probably the best Space Hulk board I've seen. Ever. Nico had done an amazing job of fitting the modular board into carry cases so neatly it looked like a commercially-designed product. You can see the thing in all its glory below and read about it here.

Nico had painted fantastic collection of original lead Termis and 'Stealers (yes, lead 'Stealers!) to fight across this marvellous hellscape. But had even gone a step further. He'd created more profiles for other Oldhammer Chaos ner-do-wells so they could join in the action. Each of these was accompanied by a stat card designed to look like the original Citadel Combat Cards. It was a fine mash up!

Pat, Sho3 and I decided to use our own vintage Termis. After all, they had travelled from afar and hadn't been used in 20 years so we figured they deserved an outing. Here are my lot. Forgive the awful painting. I seemed to think no highlighting and gloss varnish was the way to go back in the 90s.

We deployed (actually we were allowed a total of10 Termis, so each used a subset of what we had brought) and Nico took control of the Hulk's denizens. This is when I remembered what a good game Space Hulk is. Really tight. Fantastic tactical play. Lots of pressure right from Turn 1. Good job on this GW.

Our aim was to defend a control panel. After some um-ing and ah-ing we arrayed one guy each in front of the panel to put up a good fight if any gribbly got close enough to twiddle the dials. Hey kids! Don't touch those dials!

Things started pretty badly for the heroic explorers (AKA fascist invaders). We'd done an OK job with the setup but made some rookie errors. We lost a few good Termis as Nico's lads bore down on us with teeth, claws and lots of saliva. Mainly saliva. As Nico delved into his custom blip pile more and more of the Chaos weirdo's crawled out of the pipework.  Suddenly crazy *&*%^£" started showing up. Which, frankly, terrified us all. I think at one point Pat had to lie down. Pretty sure Sho3 had to run to the loo.

However, we got our act together and started to pull things back. Mr Banner Man did a good job of repeatedly shredding anything which poked its nose down one fire corridor. Mr Flamer Guy suppressed Nico nearby, repeatedly wiping out anything that came into view.

Then @#*$ got real when a disco dancin' Slaanesh Champion rocked up. We all sang Stayin' Alive when his blip was converted. It was the nerves.

Things got tense and the Slaaneshi deviant took out Banner Man. But he pushed his luck too far and Flamer Guy toasted him. Take that, you naughty pink menace!

At this point it went down hill for Nico. His blips were depleted and his minions struggled to get close to the objective room. He put up a good fight though! In the end we agreed a narrow Marine victory and Pat and Sho3 retired for a mid-strength beer (I was driving). I say 'agreed' as we'd had two hours of excellent gaming and Nico needed to clear the board for the next session.  Much fun was had and I really have to take my hat off to Nico who ran a slick game on one of the best boards ever made.

Kudos, Nico! And may your blips avoid being involuntarily revealed!

Monday, 5 August 2019

Oldhammer battle report

I dusted off some Oldhammer minis this weekend and packed myself off to BOYL.

As preparation I painted this little fellow to lead my Eldar. He's a conscious attempt to make my collection less dull and grey. There'll be more colourful chaps like him in the future I hope. I dug out a couple of vintage paints too including Warlock Purple and Leviathan Purple which worked wonders on his robe. They really vibrate against his yellow helm so I'm pretty pleased.

Without further ado, here's a light-hearted report of the first battle on the fateful day...

In the morning I faced off against top-hobbyist Sho3box in our long-planned game of 2nd edition 40K. We both brought 'broken' armies. My Eldar are properly bent in that edition. Turns out his Necrons are as well. But while Jes Goodwin's original Eldar sculpts remain stunning miniatures to this day, Sho3 bravely chose to use the clunky first editions of the Necron minis. Back-handed complements like 'charming', 'endearing' and 'characterful' all describe these rivet-laden bad boys. Also 'telephone booths'.

Here's what happened:

My brave and beautiful children of Asuryan arrayed themselves ready for action. The bulk of the force are the Guardian militia. If they ever need to teach enemies how to do breaststroke, repair a broken pot or crochet a scarf, these lads have got it covered.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! What do you mean Scarabs are Toughness 8???

Sho3 did an incredible job on painting all the terrain including these vintage pieces. We mimicked on of the first Necron battle reports in White Dwarf where players fight over an archaeological dig site. Kind of like Indiana Jones, but with a goofy story involving aliens. I mean, they would never make a movie that god-awful about Indy, right? Right?

My Eldar pranced into action. The Warlock kindly asked the Scorpions if they can stop revving their chainswords for, like, two seconds because he needed to think.

One Guardian squad hung back to ensure no one stole the hot yoga pod the Eldar had seen fit to pack. 'Glad we've got it, but did you also bring the extra ammo?' asked the Warlock? 'No' they replied, 'but we did bring all the essential oils.'

Despite looking (and sounding) like an industrial lawnmower this little rascal buzzed down one of my flanks. My stalwart weapon platform swung into action and slotted this chap good an' proper. The detailed (some might say 'overly detailed') 2nd edition vehicle rules lumbered into action. After half an hour of dice rolling and chart consultation, the result was that the deadly grounds maintenance vehicle exploded and scattered off the table. Ha ha! Take that, lawnmower!

The forward squad of Guardian performed admirably as a meat shield for the Scorpions. Their skills in clock mending, dog grooming and cat neutering will be sadly missed. But more importantly the Scorpions got to cross (chain)swords with the Necron Warriors. At this point Sho3 revealed that Necrons have dastardly rules which diminish the use of any mechanical kit. So my Aspect Warriors were forced to smack the Warriors repeatedly in their stupid faces with the butts of their shuriken pistols. Unsurprisingly this meant the two squads were locked in combat for the rest of the game.

After a nice session in the hot yoga pod, the second Guardian unit ran in to claim the objective. They discovered a Necron cat, called... Nefer-kitty. Groan. Well, she was worth 5 VPs so I took that one on the chin.

My Warlock spent much of the game trying to shake off a bunch of randy Scarabs from his (shapely) legs. No matter how much he swatted them with his Witchblade, they just kept coming at him. It was like a nightmarish version of Whack-a-Mole. Later he used the essential oils on his scratches, but didn't admit this to the Guardians in case they 'told him so'.

In the denouement of the game (AKA Turn 4), three cheeky Spiders materialised next to the Necron Lord to 'stick it up 'im' with their death spinners. Above you can see a photo of Sho3 after he managed to dodge or save his Lord from all three attacks. What I don't have a photo of is Sho3's expression a moment later, when my trusty Lascannon platform successfully unloaded into the Lord's face, melting his head and reducing him to a twitching pile of slag. Ha ha ha ha!

Turns out I won. Nefer-kitty was taken back to the Eldar camp where she acted like she owned the place, turned her nose up at all the food offered to her and, every time they tried to take her photo she would turn around and raise her tail giving them a fine view of her...

Sho3 was an excellent opponent and really pulled out the stops with the terrain. I'm sure we'll face off again. I just hope he can find more hilarious miniatures next time. In a subsequent (possibly next) post I'll do a report on an epic Space Hulk battle on what must be one of the best boards ever seen.