Monday 29 November 2021

Shasvastii Gwailo

This Gwailo has been sitting part done on my desk since before the Corvus Belli painting challenge in June. That painting challenge required you to start from unpainted models and as he was half done, I needed to pause.

I've got a few hundred points of Shasvastii painted now, which makes me really pleased. They're technically a playable force, if not massively optimised. The next few models I'll paint for them will likely be the cheaper "filler" units who provide orders and support to the main attack pieces, and the fast moving warbands who create the skirmish screen that helps them work optimally.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Work in Progress Wednesdays - Oathsworn Miniatures Heroines in Sensible Shoes

Ages back, I got a bunch of models from Oathsworn Miniatures through their Kickstarter. The concept was to do a bunch of old school style female adventurers, and they really knocked it out of the park.

On the left is a Halfling Rogue. On the right is a pregnant lady who was a freebie with the Kickstarter.

Here's a human magic user and a gnome ranger. The models are relatively "low fantasy" - I can just see them scrabbling to fight kobolds and goblins, with death a real possibility.

The human bard on the left here is a good example of the low fantasy. She's not got super flashy clothes - she's got practical armour and slightly nicer clothes. Her lute is stowed, her sword is out and she's holding up her torch to see in the dungeon.

She's joined by a human cleric with solid scale armour and a holy symbol visible. She's not very visibly different to a fighter, but you can make out some visual cues to the equipment concepts of early D&D.

The dwarf fighter looks like she will absolutely mess you up with her warhammer, held two handed - with practical, simple clothes and chain, not ornate warhammer style plate. The elf ranger peers into the dark, scimitar out, but has a short bow ready in case of an emergency . . .

Dragonborn are a much more modern concept, and I'm not sold on the giant bone. She's intended to be a sorcerer, the bone being her sorcerous focus rather than a weapon. Her ragged clothes indicate that maybe her magical talents haven't rewarded her.

Meanwhile, the Half Orc barbarian is wrapped up against the cold and will absolutely mess you up. She doesn't fall into the trap of a barbarian showing all their skin like a lot of classic fantasy illustration.

Finally, with have the rogue and the fighter - both holding up lanterns, with the rogue having lighter armour and a shorter sword, while the fighter carries a shield and wears chainmail.

I'm super keen to get a bunch of these painted. They really make me excited to try something in the old school RP style at some point.

Finally, here's an nest with some eggs that was another Kickstarter add on. I love these smaller Kickstarters where you don't get a ton of models extra, but a couple of little bits as a thank you.

It was advertised as a dragon nest, but I'm not sure if the eggs are a bit too small for a dragon, maybe? Either way, it will get painted up for use as an objective or something to investigate in a dungeon.

Monday 22 November 2021

Infinity Livestream

I spent some of my Saturday playing a game of Infinity Code One on That Mr Shy's YouTube channel. If that's your sort of thing, feel free to check it out.

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Work in Progress Wednesday: A few random models

These are the last assortment of models from this batch of metal assembly, and are things I couldn't really fit into any other category. Also, I'd finished assembling a couple of plastic models myself, so included those, too!

First up are these adorable geese by Northumbrian Tin Soldier. They produce a pretty eclectic range of quirky miniatures, and I'm a big fan. These Watch-Geese were something I just had to get and paint, I don't have a particular plan for them.

Next up are a couple of Leonx riders from the defunct Runewars game. I picked them up from the Bad Squiddo discount bin. They'll see a use in D&D or similar as big cat mounted elves is a nice unusual look that I don't think many people have done.

The plastic quality is closer to board game pieces than wargaming models, but they're fine. Particularly for D&D, and being heavily discounted, they should be a fun couple of miniatures.

The box they came in had four riders in two different poses. I've assembled two and am going to sell off the other two as I'm not a fan of duplicate poses. They were cheap enough that I don't really mind what I get for their compatriots...

Returning to metal, I'd picked up this Gnoll Chieftan from North Star Miniatures along with some other bits and bobs. I've grown to really like gnolls, both from an aesthetic stand point, and their D&D lore. In most settings, they're horrible fiend worshipping cannibals, which makes them excellent villains.

Meanwhile, in Eberron, a faction of Gnolls called the Znir Pact decided they'd had enough of the violence that being fiend worshippers brought them and swore a pact to accept no more masters, be they fiend or mortal. They work out their fiendish urges through mercenary work, and Keith Baker's Exploring Eberron has a suggestion for them as a PC species. I am really keen on playing one if I can find the right game...

Monday 15 November 2021

Salute 2021 - What I Got

After all the problems of the past couple of years, I was a little apprehensive going into Salute this past weekend. We met up with some friends the night before for the first time since the pandemic, and it felt remarkably close to normal. After some ill considered life choices regarding staying up to late and nearly missing the last DLR home, the joy of finally meeting people again after so long was drowning out the anxiety.

My beloved wife had been volunteered to help with some stand set up so vanished off at some ungodly hour. I crawled out of bed, had my cereal and a huge mug of tea, and headed over to the show a bit later than planned, doubly so when I went via Starbucks to ensure my dearly beloved was at a safe caffeination level.

I didn't take any general photos of the show itself. It was, unsurprisingly, rather quieter than usual - both with fewer exhibitors in attendance and fewer attendees. Apparently there wasn't as much of a rush at the start as usual, and it seemed like a lot of people were dropping in throughout the day. I think it was pretty variable for the traders, too - some seemed to do pretty well, others didn't.

I picked up a Rubble City set from Fenris Games. These are some very generic stone walls that could be used for anything from the Bronze Age all the way through to modern day. With limited space at home I thought they'd be super good as terrain options for all sorts of games. I also might look at using them for photo backgrounds once they're painted up.

I also grabbed some new models that Bad Squiddo had as a pre-release at the show. They don't have painted pictures on the packaging just yet, so this is the best photo I could manage for now.

As always, there was a show miniature (still packaged as the 2020 show mini, calling back to original, cancelled plans). I often sell on show models I'm not interested in, but I really rather like this boy playing with a toy plane and am tempted to paint him up.

I ended up focusing a lot of my buying onto people who were new to Salute, or at least to me. First up was Iron Gate Scenery, who print a wide range of 3D models, both of their own designs and other, licensed properties. I was really tempted by their scenery ranges, but in the end went for a couple of turtle adventurer types who will work well as Tortles in Dungeons and Dragons.

I also picked up this lovely Griffin model, again for future D&D purposes. I'm not sure who the digital sculpt is by, as there's nothing on the packaging and it's not on Iron Gate's website yet.

I've been meaning to get Glomm from Monkstone Miniatures since he came out. He's a snail man merchant who makes a guest appearance in Forbidden Psalm, the Mork Borg skirmish game.

There's a bit of assembly that will need doing on him, but he's a gorgeous sculpt I'm really looking forward to getting to paint. I was also really tempted to get one of Monkstone's pig warriors, but I was trying to stay on budget and decided to spread the funds around a little wider instead. Once Glomm is done, I'll definitely be back to get one!

Next up was Titan Wargames, where I picked up a couple of orc miniatures. Their orc monk is apparently based on a previous character of the owner / sculptor. For me, though, I feel like an orc monk is something I'd very much expect to see in Eberron, so I had to pick him up.

Titan also produce this lovely orc champion, who could work well as a D&D barbarian or Frostgrave fighter of some kind. As they were a bit smaller than Glomm, I decided I could get away with getting both!

The Cerberus Studios stall had a range of deeply pretty resin miniatures, ranging from character models to some larger models. They have ranges linked by a narrative - I'm not sure if they're intending to make a game in future or not. I picked up this "Emissary" to use as a villain in things like Frostgrave and D&D. I think there's some fun concepts to be had in home brewing villains based on a cool miniature you found.

Cerberus also produce some beautifully crisp resin bases, and I grabbed a blister of them to throw some of my fancier character models onto.

Two of the many grim-dark skirmish games that have sprung up recently are Brutal Quest and Planet 28. Their creator, Mammoth Miniatures, also 3D prints an assortment of interesting sculpts to go with that kind of aesthetic. I picked up a couple of interesting looking models to try out. I also really like their Mercenary Ogre, but he was out of stock by the time I made it around to the stall. These will have to do for now . . .

Goya Games are planning on launching a game in the future, but for now had a small stand selling a handful of models. I picked up an orc and human barbarian, and am interested to see what they come up with in the future.

Urban Construct have been Salute regulars for years and I've never quite worked out what to get from them. While I was waiting for a man from the Star Trek convention next door to finish his digital marketing pitch to the slightly bemused stall holders next to them, I spotted some lovely treasure tokens at a bargain price.

I then got to the stall I'd been aiming for, which was Tangent Miniatures. Another one of the new crop for this year, and again, focussing on the 3D printing. They had a lot of models based on old TV shows, which isn't really my thing, but had a license to print Novus Landing models, who I hadn't seen before and really quite liked. I picked up these two alien traders as I felt they were quite fun.

I also picked out this fellow riding a grumpy looking beastie, who I just adore. I sort of want to wuzz it and ask it who's the grumpiest little alien riding beastie.

I also grabbed a handful of prints from Encounter Terrain. They're all sculpted by other people but Encounter prints them out. The hag at the back was a little more than the others, and then the other three were super cheap. The detail on those three is much less crisp, but I'll just give them a basic table quality job and that's it.

I realised as I was writing this that I'd forgotten to mention Exit 23 Games and Turbo Dork paints. I'd spotted them while doing my first circuit of the show hall, then took my beloved wife over there as I knew they were her kind of thing. She got very excited and bought a lot of paints, and I kind of ended up paying for them . . . 

I also grabbed a handful myself to try out. They're all metallics, and some have colour shift effects on them. I have no idea what I'm going to use them on, but it's not like I have a shortage of models . . .

Friday 12 November 2021

Anaconda TAG

This Anaconda TAG got painted by Thunderbrush Studio a while back, but her sword scabbard got knocked off in the post. I got it reattached last week, and thought I'd get a glamour shot done. I am not sure where her pilot is, I'll have to dig her out at some point.

I managed to scratch the paint job when applying the fix, and tried to fix it. The fixing didn't go well. If anyone has some advice on how to match an airbrush paint job with hand painting, please do shout!

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Work in Progress Wednesday: Meridian Miniatures and Diehard Miniatures

I was complimenting a lovely paint job on this Amazon in a painting Facebook group, and Tim Prow of Diehard Miniatures sneakily mentioned it was a limited edition model that he had a few leftovers of, and he could sell me one. Darn it.

I also ordered Klint and his K9 unit at the same time, as I was thinking quite a bit about Stargrave. I don't have a particular colour scheme planned out for them, though.

I also sent these off for assembly as I was digging through the stash of metal models. They're "Steampunk Militia" from an old Meridian Miniatures Kickstarter. With a possibility that Starjammer might be coming back to D&D, I'm thinking that rather than use these for skirmish gaming, they might make some good baddies for either that or a homebrew campaign. Having some weird simple firearm wielding mercenaries working for the baddy is a fun aesthetic to work with.

Monday 8 November 2021

Old school robot

I picked this robot up in a Facebook trade ages back. I believe the sculpt is by Drew Williams. It was available for a short time on the "Troll Soup" shop, although sadly no longer.

I painted it up using yellow contrast paint, then dry brushed a lighter yellow over the top, before using sponge weathering and Typhus Corrosion to grime it up. I think I overdid the sponge weathering a little, but after a bit of tidying up, I'm OK with how it turned out.

He'll end up seeing service in Stargrave games when I get around to those. But for now, it's the 50th miniature I've finished painting this year. Not quite as many as I wanted to be done by this point of the year, but still plenty. It's going to be a challenge to get more done than last year now, as last year's total was 78.

Friday 5 November 2021

Malifaux Battle Report: Viktorias vs English Ivan: Turf War

Before I cancelled my ticket to the UK Malifaux Nationals I managed to get in a practice game with a friendly volunteer down at Dark Sphere. We ended up with the Turf War Strategy, a Flank Deployment, and a Scheme Pool of Spread Them Out, Research Mission, Vendetta, Bait and Switch and Claim Jump.

I was running the Viktorias while my opponent was practicing for a tournament that weekend with English Ivan. Not noticing English Ivan was a Summoner, I didn't take Taelor, but did bring a newly assembled (ish) Vanessa and a Ronin.

I deployed half my crew first, pushing the Viks up front, with the Student of Conflict and a Prospector further back. I'd forgotten that you can't make Masters Fast which is why you have practice games before you go to tournaments.

My opponent deployed everything in a little clump all together, explaining that Ivan works by pulsing out loads of Distracted markers which then act as a bonus to his crew rather than a penalty.

Johan was placed to let her move in either direction to remove conditions from people as needed, Vanessa was positioned to head for the centre line and do her magic shooty thing, and a Ronin skulked away from everyone with a job of going and getting Scheme and Strategy points.

My plan was to get Spread Them Out and Research Mission, with the former being relatively easy with the speedy Viks crew, and the latter relying on my opponent to put out too many of their weird shadow markers to be able to pull them back once they realised what my Scheme was.

The spooky shadowy dodgy people put out loads of shadowy markers, starting to build up their Distraction levels.

Near the end of my second turn, I pushed a Viktoria right up in front of  Ivan's crew. I was willing to stone for initiative and was confident he couldn't single activation kill a Master, and with Servant of Dark Powers on both Viks, they'd heal up easily by killing targets.

This had the added bonus of being intimidating as all get out and the hope was to draw models away from winning the mission to try and slow the Viks up.

I discovered that after you move away from one of the creepy Daeva minions, you've got to win a Move duel or it then places into base to base and gets a free attack. Super annoying.

Operation "Do A Murder" then happened. Twice. Closer Vik activated, pulled her sister up, then killed the Daeva who was bothering her before charging into Eva Havenhand and murdering her to death. Finishing the first Vik's turn, I then immediately activated the second Vik's turn, and had her run around some woods and obliterate Gibson De Walt.

This is the first time I've really had the Viks go into someone hard, and it was very satisfying to turn three enemy models into a fine mist in short order.

Vanessa was on the centre line, and had started getting bothered by Daeva at the end of the first turn.

Vanessa managed to fail to blow up Corvus and friends, and very quickly gained a lot of friends as she got injured and baddies got summoned into base to base with her.

Johan and the Student of Conflict joined the fray to kill the Daeva, but Rook and Mr Mordrake joined the fray from the Explorers' side.

Rook then went to prove how mean the Department of Ungentlemanly Affairs are by trying to kill the Student of Conflict. His first attempt was unsuccessful due to some very unlucky card draws.

Unfortunately, it didn't last long, and Rook added to his "ruthless baddy" tally by beating a teenager to death. What a rotter!

I noticed that the big spooky boy that had been summoned when Vanessa was attacked had an aura that stopped Demise abilities, that would mean that Big Jake would stay dead rather than popping back up again, so he legged it away as best he could.

Unfortunately, I was running out of models in the places I needed them while the DUA had been reinforced by enough summoned shadowy creatures that they still had plenty of actions, and the tide started to turn.

While I managed to deny a few points through sneaky play and violence, and we ended turn 4 on a 4-4 draw, I was just out of models, and Ivan was able to score a couple of points to earn a 6-4 win in total.

Overall, I was super happy with how this went. I definitely made some "not played this game in forever" mistakes, but Ivan is widely reputed to be one of the stronger new crews in the Explorers Society, and I kept the pressure on for a lot of the game.

Really, there's not too much specific I'd change, once you exclude "get the rules right". I'd definitely bring Taelor instead! The Ronin was excellent and I can see why people bring them. I think the rest of my lessons were around crew placement, and who needed to be near who to make the synergies in the crew work. I also want to try a few other Versatile models to see what they can add to the crew.

Plenty to think about while I work on getting more models assembled and painted . . .