Monday 27 May 2013

Another bank holiday, more modelling and painting

This has been a really busy week from a hobby stand point all told, so there's a lot to get through!

I recently discovered that a lot of  Games Workshop product is now going "Direct Only". One of the many things affected are the Catachan Imperial Guard - who I'd been planning to use the arms from in order to put together my Imperial Guard Beastmen.

From a practical point of view, this means that I can no longer get them for a 20% - 25% discount, and instead can only get a 5% discount from any of the independent retailers. My original plan of buying a Battalion box and throwing the rest into my bits box now became completely inefficient.

So, having only just received an order from Bitz Box for some unrelated bits and bobs, I ended up putting in another massive one to get the arms I need to put together two squads of the blighters.

Then I had the realisation that Arcane Scenery and Models, who we'd skipped seeing at Salute, stocked Tamiya paints, and my wife has been looking for their Clear Red for ages. So off went another order...

Then, having today decided not to go out to dinner and to drop in to the 4D model shop, I had another moment of weakness and ordered a whole bunch of bases and so on from Dark Sphere, mostly from Micro Art Studio. This will give me my much needed scrap tokens for Malifaux, plus some bases for the Arcworlde models I picked up at Salute.

Fortunately, this was all covered by the ebaying of a whole bunch of my now abandoned Skaven, so I am not dirt poor. I've also been working like crazy to ensure that my "score" doesn't go down following my purchase of the Redeemer earlier this month to grab what I could before Specialist Games shut down entirely.

Ironically, I've been working on so many things I've not stopped to take photographs of all of them! I finished basing five Ratlings and ten Storm Troopers who are already back in their boxes unphotographed to make room for the next work in the assembly line!

Well, erm, that isn't very inspiring, is it? The next job for my Guard is another two squads of infantry. I'm not playing at Dark Sphere this week, so I'm hoping that in a fortnight they'll be battle ready and rocking the 41st Millennium.

He finally has four hands! Collodi has been my nemesis for a not inconsiderable length of time. However, I finally manned up and did it shortly before my wife finally got fed up of me saying I needed her Dremel without actually ever using it. The Dremel is now away on an adventure, which does slightly defer the infamous Herald of Tzeentch (another nemesis of shame).

I am also super pleased with my green stuff work on his arms. Not all of them lined up exactly how I wanted to once I'd pinned them, and I had caused a bit of damage to one arm with a botched drilling job, so green stuff came in and saved the day.

Finally, you may recognise his chap from many, many blog posts. After a lot of consultation, his feather has now been re-based in white for another attempt. I'm trying to get him done for the painting competition at Grumpy Old Wargamers Con, which is only a week and a half away now. Hopefully, I'll get him done in time...

Monday 20 May 2013

Imperial Guard officers done!

It seems like deadlines are the way to get me to complete things...

The two kit bashed Imperial Guard officers I showed off as assembled last week are now done!

You'll also notice that I've improved my photography set up just a little - there is now, at least, terrain around the model to hide newspaper and bits of my house in the background. I've used the Tablescape scenery as the backdrop, and the piece of Amera stone sheet I got for a mix of this purpose and airbrush practice

I have spotted that the younger chap's eyes are a little odd as the wash hasn't quite sat right around them. I may pop back and detail them in a while should I have the inclination. I think the hardest thing on this one, though, was getting the shoulder pads to sit right, as the arms I was using did not come with shoulder pads.

This chap really is my favourite of the two, though. He's a lot more of a kitbash than the first, with the Handgunner legs on the Imperial Guard torso. The reliquary is also a nice touch - a Grey Knight part traded from ClauseIV1918 during a bits trade a few months ago.

I found that the torso was quite a lot wider than the legs, and while I managed to file it down a little to look like it was a voluminous shirt being pulled in by a belt, there was going to be one spot where that just wasn't going to cut it - so the pouch and grenade were added to hide that particular sin.

So - what do people think? Both of the kit bashing and paint jobs, but also of the new photography set up. I'm happy to hear constructive criticism or ideas for improvement.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Imperial Guard vs Ravenwing and Mephiston Battle Report

A week or two ago, I managed to get back into going down to Dark Sphere to get some 40K going again. Our local Ravenwing player was (as far as I remember) basically undefeated at this point, so I decided to see how bad it was.

The slow grow was up to 1,000 points at this point. His list consisted of Sammael, a Ravenwing Command Squad with the banner of giving bolters Salvo, a few Ravenwing squads, and an allied contingent of Mephiston and five Blood Angels assault marines with practically no kit.

We got the fortress board for our game, which was build for an apocalypse game at Dark Sphere. It is wired for its street lights to turn on, but we decided that was a bit much. Since the apocalypse game, a few more walkways and stairs have been added to improve the ability to move about it, although these are still in need of painting. We also added a bit more scatter terrain of barricades and similar.

We got diagonal deployment and two objectives, one in each deployment zone. You may just be able to pick out mine in the first photo, if you look above the weapon team next to the Chimera.

My list was a lightly equipped command squad, basic infantry platoon with the command squad in a Chimera, the Demo-Vets, a Hydra, a Demolisher and my Hellhound proxying at being a Bane Wolf to see how well that does against Space Marines. I held a few Storm Troopers in reserve.

The battle opened with the Ravenwing gunning my commander down to get First Blood and Slay the Warlord. In response, I helpfully threw a demolition charge at Sammael, along with an assortment of other pie plates and brutal shooting.

This caused significantly more casualties than expected, and hilariously led to some of the Ravenwing breaking and running due to my opponent's inability to roll anything under 11.

Unfortunately the counter attack was brutal. Mephiston charged across the bridge to slaughter the Veterans.

While a Ravenwing squad charged the troops in the underpass.

The slaughter was massive, as they broke, run, and were cut down.

The Storm Troopers arrived, and, to their credit, gunned down a Ravenwing squad in revenge.

Although they were rather exposed due to their deep strike scatter.

The Bane Wolf demonstrated to the Blood Angels why hiding in a line behind cover doesn't work when people have AP3 template weapons that ignore cover...

And then gleefully ran over Mephiston in a tank shock as my opponent, now sure of victory, decided that it was worth trying to go for Death or Glory for the amusement value if nothing else.

The rest of the Ravenwing had retreated back out of line of sight due to the brutal firepower of the Guard tanks, but without me having any infantry left (the Chimera in that shot is wrecked, and the command squad cut down by Sammael), I could claim no objectives.

We called it at this point after a couple more rounds of me shooting Sammael, as the Ravenwing had 2 Victory points already, I could only get 1 for Slay the Warlord, and in end game he'd be able to move Ravenwing up onto his objective and weather a bit of fire from the tanks.

Learning Experiences

  • Don't deploy your Warlord anywhere that your opponent can comfortably gain two victory points from you in the first turn
  • Ravenwing are really, really fast. Don't deploy in such a way that they can pick you off a unit at a time.
  • Guard can't do close combat. That does mean that if your opponent can he will try and get into close combat. Plan for that, and don't look surprised when you get assaulted.
  • Sammael tanking for a Ravenwing squad is a valid tactic and does work. Either limit his movement through board denial, and concentrate on the other squads, or find some firepower that will murder him dead.
A lot of this does sound pretty basic, but I've not been playing in over a month, so clearly I needed to start at those basics and work up...

(And yes, Mephiston and Sammael in a buddy-cop army list is horrific, but the player did have an alternative, softer list and I did say I didn't mind him going for this option. Don't internet hate him too much...)

Tuesday 14 May 2013

100th post!

It appears I've reached a milestone!

Yes, this is the 100th post on this blog. It has been just over a year since my first post, and things have certainly come along well.

Following my crushing defeat at the hands of the Sammael and Mephiston buddy cop list, I decided to kit bash a couple of Guard officers without Bolters to trim those few extra points into my list.

Yeah, they were pretty brutal...
I still owe y'all a write up of that battle, which will hopefully come up this week.

Still, I've now got two officers assembled and just needing a lick of paint.

Here's the first chap - he's got a nice old fashioned feel to him, and I get the impression he's got a deep religious faith in the Emperor. He's probably from a noble family, perhaps with some hereditary service in a PDF or something similar?

This second chap, however, is younger and more militaristic. Fresh out of some elitist officer training academy, he's bellowing orders like he's still on the parade ground.

I hope to get these two all ready for game on Wednesday, where the slow grow is up to 1,250 points. I'm not sure if I will, though, as I'm writing this on Sunday night and tomorrow is my wedding anniversary, and as such, I am likely to be the teensiest bit busy!

Sunday 12 May 2013

Salute 2013: Just Shut Up Already: The Final Salute Post

I know, I know. I've been going on about Salute a lot. But there was a huge ton of stuff I saw, and there's just not been enough time to type it all up.

For the last bit of gossip, Mike McVey told me that a site redesign for Studio McVey is in progress, and it will no longer include Flash. Given that I keep on trying to show people Studio McVey stuff on the iPad and end up getting nothing, this will make me really rather happy.

The business card and flyer rundown

I did not loot as many business cards as I usually do! I already knew a lot of the companies there, so didn't think take every bit of cardboard and paper that wasn't nailed down.

First up, we have JoeK Minis, who are a part of British Indie. He has a bunch of nice models, including a range of creepy Wizard of Oz inspired stuff.

I was not as impressed with Urban Construct as I remember being. Don't get me wrong, the scale of their stuff is impressive, and they have a good range. Yet despite this, I am not a fan of their rough and ready approach, but it seems pretty affordable for what it is.

Dark World Creations are at the other end of the scale. This stuff is breath-takingly pretty, and highly detailed. They are putting together 70mm models, with a 2000AD license, the odd bust, and a lovely post apocalyptic zombie range. Their upgrade kits for cars and trucks are particularly impressive. One of the display models looked familiar, until I remembered that I'd seen it being worked on at a Platoon Britannica painting day...

My final flyer is from Battleboards, who do a few bits of terrain but really specialise in boards - and in particular, remarkably affordable custom made boards to order. If only I was swimming in money...

A few more people I like

These are a few more stalls I like where I managed to take photos. There are a ton more companies I love and adore, but didn't manage to get photos for whatever reason. Not being mentioned here doesn't mean I hate you - just that I failed utterly in taking any nice photos.

Hold on, I hear you cry - that stuff looks familiar. Yes, it is familiar because I bought a massive bag of it. These are the lovely people from Tablescape. They do a wide range of pre-painted pieces of terrain in a pretty robust foam, and its great to go straight from the box and onto the table.

While being able to buy terrain that doesn't add to my massive painting backlog is already a massive plus, what really endears them to me is the thoughtfulness of their designs. I had a rather hilarious moment in 2012 when they were saying terrible, terrible things about what 40K players were like before they found out I was one. It would have hurt less if my wife hasn't been agreeing with them so much. ;-)

The reason behind the anecdote is because all of their walls and scatter terrain are carefully designed to either be at 28mm chest height or obscure a model completely. They've been careful not to put in too many designs where it wouldn't be clear whether or not a model had line of sight - thus cutting down the arguments between those terribly competitive gamers who are often so associated with the 40K scene.

Next, we have the people who will be getting all of my money at next year's Salute: Warmill. They are another laser cut terrain manufacturer, similar to Sarissa, but they focus almost entirely on the Sci Fi end of things.

They have a nice coherent range, with much of the different pieces being part of this crazy little comedic dystopian sci fi setting they've come up with. Their fortresses and barricades are modular, compatible with other bits, and have upgrades which change in clever ways what they do.

They've also accessorised their smaller shop pieces nicely, so there are different brands of food retailer, or, should you feel brave, a cosmetic surgery booth!

This is, for example, the noodle booth. The plastic signs are the bits you can vary with your order to make different franchises.

All the buildings I saw had removable roofs so you can open them up to place models inside.

Their modular "Portable Utility Pod" had some nice demonstrations as to how you could use them differently - you'll see in the first picture a wonderful set of them in white with surrounding walkways that look very civilian, while in this picture, they dirty grimy yellow looks very much like some industrial or construction building.

They've also started a massive modular set which could be easily used for Zone Mortalis in 40K, or even Space Hulk or similar. It could be an underground lab, a space ship, or who knows what.

There's some lovely detail pieces, like these industrial waste bins. They're nestled in between some of their road terrain and one of their compound pieces.

This is an awesome elevated roadway, which can either sit close to the ground, or really raise up into a high flying piece.

This is one of the other PUP scenery pieces with the roof removed. Notice the alternatively painted PUP on the right, and the little watch tower and security fence at the bottom of the shot.

Here are the accessories - I love the communication towers and the process unit in the middle (I didn't get a good zoomed in shot of it). The barricades are all "quick deploy" fold up barricades, which is a nice touch. They also have an assortment of strange little portal things you can get.

A company that got a lot of the wife's money was Zinge Industries. They are a company with tons of awesome little ideas which are really cool.

Zinge do an amazing array of bits and bobs. Their tires and tracks are definitely useful, but nothing that gets me really excited. Unfortunately, I got no good pictures of their really clever stuff - flexible resin with an embedded wire that means you can carefully pose your chains, power cables and ammunition belts.

They've just released their first model, a tank bike. It's kind of adorable, but I don't really have much use for it.

They also had some lovely examples of what you could do with their stuff - this demon prince was a nice example of showing off what LEDs could do.

This is, of course, the money shot - showing that you can get a glowing light in behind a terminator helmet or head.

There's also scenery options, too - like this light up option for a command and control display.

Arcworlde is a new game being worked on by Warploque Miniatures. They are planning a Kickstarter (who isn't), and are currently beta testing their rules.

They have some lovely detailed models already available, and I picked up a couple of them at Salute.

There is an entire Halfling faction, which should keep people happy.

He had a whole ton of his greens on display to show people what was coming in the Kickstarter in August.

And now, the final company who impressed me, who are Model Mates. You can't buy this stuff direct from their website - they only sell direct at shows. But go and have a look at their website, as it lists the people who stock it.

They have a range of different sprays and brush on rust effects - some see through, some opaque. The metal plate is all effect - it genuinely looks like real rush in person, as well as in the pictures, but every bit of it is the stuff off the brush and out of the can.

They had quite a few examples of what you can do with it, from tanks to model railway cars to rusting to scenery.

They were also very proud of their verdigris...

Sim did get herself a few bottles of this stuff, although I am unsure if I will have any chance of getting any of it off her...