Thursday 30 June 2022

Continuing the Stormcast

While a huge pile of Stormcast arrived last week, I'm still processing the photos from the first half! First up we have Steelheart's Champions. They're a Warhammer Underworlds warband that have their own rules, but I'm considering just using them with a couple of spare figures to be a standard unit of Retributors.

Here's a couple of limited edition Stormcast that otherwise won't see very much table time.

Tada! Unit of five! Although I'm likely to swap out one of the two big hammers with a shield and hammer Retributor that's in the second box which I got with White Dwarf when Age of Sigmar first came out.

Stormsire's Cursebreakers. This is a character model and two Evocators...

Conveniently, there's three Sequitors from another Underworlds starter they could go with in friendly games for people who aren't too concerned about the exact models right.

And finally, we have Ironsoul's Condemnors, the Sequitors I mentioned earlier. Maybe there's some limited edition models I could dig out to round out the Evocators and Sequitors? I'll have to have a look...

Monday 27 June 2022

Fragmented but busy week

It's been a busy week hobby wise! I got a few things finished, but then I start looking at all the other things I got done in the same time and realise I've been super productive!

First up we have these MDF templates I'm going to be using for Blizzard Templates in Infinity. The current season of ITS includes some missions that require you to put down circular templates of difficult terrain where there's particularly strong blizzards. We constantly forget to do this, so I thought having my own pretty templates might mean I remember more often. I may throw up a "how I made these" post later depending on my mood.

There's also a huge positive thing here that I ordered these at the end of May, got the bits in, prepped them, added the basing material and snow effect and finished them all by the end of June. I need to have more hobby projects like this!

I finished this fantasy character holding a potion I bought from Encounter Terrain. I'd got him 80% done a few weeks back and he'd been sitting around, so I got him finished up. I've also been working through the Beastgrave Scenery Pack, of which I don't currently have pictures. They're six quite detailed bits of terrain, and I've got four of the six done. I'll show them off when they're all done.

I've also got one of the two Horus Heresy characters I have fully assembled. For a single pose model, there's a lot of bits, and an awful lot of mould line scraping! I am definitely having a lot of fun with this model so far, which means there's a good chance there will be some more Horus Heresy on the blog in the future...

The "general Combined Army" assembly batch got their basing paste added, and hopefully should get undercoated soon. With the Defiance Platinum Pledge all ready for paint, I'm now sending off the Combined Army Reinforcement Packs for assembly. I've stalled out a little on painting them, but hopefully I'll get the Nox and Cadmus currently on the table mostly done soon.

Meanwhile, a model I ordered back in February has finally arrived! It seems that there was some delay at the distributor and they didn't make it to the UK for a while. The plan is to get him assembled and painted for a review some point in July, although I have a few things I need to get finished on the paint table first...

Meanwhile, my Dungeons and Lasers Kickstarter turned up. I decided to grab the Townsfolk Starter Set. Archon Studios used to be Prodos Games, who messed up some Kickstarters very badly. They seem to now be delivering reasonably consistently, so I thought it was worth a go. In this case, it was even slightly early!

I decided to pick up the Stretch Goals for slightly less than the Townsfolk box, and it includes a lot of Stuff. This has blown my count for the year completely out of the water as I have no idea how many of these I'm going to keep and how many I'll sell, so it's all up in the air until I get them out and assemble things.

I also got a spare set of their bases, as these will be great for all sorts of Frostgrave and D&D models. The detail is really crisp and nicely done.

The sprues are packed and have a reasonable amount of variety. There's duplicate sculpts of all the town guards, which I'll be offloading as I'm not a fan of duplicate sculpts. The quality is crisp and detailed, and they look like they'll suit a wash and drybrush or Contrast approach to getting them all painted quickly.

My big critique is that there's not a huge effort done towards diversity. There's one female Knight and all the other women are either "token woman sculpt in the guards", a female version of a male sculpt (Male Dwarf, Female Dwarf) or super stereotypical roles like doing laundry. There's one obviously non white character, who is a female snake charmer. It's not bad, just a mediocre, low risk approach to get obvious figures they're confident people will want to use without making much effort to get a good range of diversity involved. I'll be supplementing these with a better, diverse range of characters, but that's effort I'm going to need to put in that I shouldn't need to.

On the Games Workshop front, I've got the Age of Sigmar and 40K seasonal updates, and the new Skaven Battletome for my still in box Skaven army, so I can decide if I'm painting it up or selling it.

On the more productive side of the Age of Sigmar hobby the rest of my Stormcast made it back from Squiggle's Studio. I've now got a pretty chunky job of photographing and putting them all away. I've got a pretty sizeable force I can game with now, once I find the time to learn how to play...

Wednesday 22 June 2022

Work in Progress Wednesday - Defiance Combined Army Part 1

I'd realised that I'd fallen a bit behind with getting assembled models ready to paint, so spent a bunch of time getting the Combined Army from Defiance ready to paint. I got half done, and the other half based and sprayed black to finish up later.

First up is the big bad for Defiance, the Charontid. You can't take one in the Shasvastii, but in Combined Army he's tough Heavy Infantry option with some nice weapon and equipment options. He'll be one of my early "big hitter" options when I move from Shasvastii to vanilla Combined.

Two more heavy hitters that I'm not so sure on - Boarding Action Sheskiin and the Gwailo - who I think has an AP Spitfire rather than a Heavy Machine Gun. Boarding Action Sheskiin gets a bit more armour, but becomes hackable - and the "normal" Sheskiin already starts with two wounds. I'm not sure whether the extra armour is worth her becoming vulnerable to hacking.

Meanwhile, the Gwailo AP Spitfire is better at dealing with armoured targets than the Heavy Machine Gun at a shorter range. With the lack of longer ranged guns in Shasvastii, and plenty of other solutions to armour, it seems a bit more niche than the Heavy Machine Gun.

The pair of Jayth Cutthroats round out the Jayth profiles, providing a Chain Rifle and Red Fury weapon load out, both of which I'm keen to try out. The Chain Rifle profile also comes with E/M Mines which helps with area control. The Red Fury profile is also the main attack gun they use, so will be central to trying to make their Haris Fireteam work.

The other two named characters in the pack other than Sheskiin are Aida Swanson and Victor Messer. I've already painted a different version of Victor and have found him a useful Hacker toolbox. Meanwhile, Aida recently received an upgrade in the recent Fireteam rules, allowing her to join Shasvastii fireteams, and counts a Nox for composition bonuses. I'm definitely curious as to how the Nox will play with her in particular.

The two Speculo Killers are particularly appreciated. I've been using the old sculpt, and I'm not a fan of the current retail Speculo Killer so these this gives me the models I need with the new quality of sculpts.

Finally, there's two Caliban armed with submachine guns. The two Caliban SMG profiles are the Engineer and the Chain of Command model. Both of those profiles are ones I use a lot, so I'm super happy to get these two ready for paint because I'm expecting to get a bunch of use out of them.

All in all, there's plenty of models I'll get a bunch of use out of, and getting them to this stage gets me excited to get them on the table. Hitting this milestone of assembly is excellent for my keen.

Monday 20 June 2022

Too hot, painter melted

The heat in the UK this week was brutal, and it was really not the weather to be trying to paint anything. I got my Infinity assembly back, and realised quite how big the Avatar is. They'll be going onto the bench to get basing paste added, then black undercoat and a zenithal to get them ready to paint.

I spent a few hours assembling a handful of orcs that Warlord Games sell. They were originally made by Wargames Factory. The quality of these models were really not great, and was a little demoralising to finish making four models that I ended up not liking.

I've also started on the Horus Heresy models I have as part of operation: do I like painting Horus Heresy models?

I was feeling super stressed on Friday night about only having a little bit done. But getting to Sunday evening as I write this, I've gotten into a bit of a better place. I've got quite a few bits done, and am now in a good place to get going next weekend, provided its a little cooler.

Thursday 16 June 2022

Starting Some Stormcast

I've been getting Squiggle's Studio to paint my Stormcast Eternals for Age of Sigmar. I'm really excited to give this game a go some time soon. First up are the models from Dominion, such as this amazing centrepiece Yndrasta.

There's also a person carrying a flag. I don't know what it's for because I haven't learned the Stormcast yet.

These Annihilators apparently explode quite a bit when they teleport onto the table.

Knight Incantor. The internet tells me they're bad. No idea if they're right or not.

And finally the spear folk. These models are really huge and take quite a lot of case space up! Still, they're really looking awesome as a big force.

Monday 13 June 2022

The long weekend - mini prep and a sorcerer

This weekend, I've been away at Empire, but in the UK, last weekend was a four day weekend to celebration our Queen ruling for a whole bunch of time. That means lots of painting, right? Not really. This Encounter Terrain dwarf sorcerer was all that got finished, despite some high aspirations.

(You may be wondering why he's got a bunch of quarrels at his hip - he's got a crossbow on his back! It turns out that low level sorcerers often end up carrying a crossbow for some reason...)

That said, it wasn't a slack weekend for hobby! With the good weather, and a huge backlog of assembled models back from my commission assembler, it was time to get a chunk of them done, as there's several stages, each of which have a long drying time.

First up, I add basing paste. Then, it's a black undercoat, which once dry, I go over with a brush and catch any bits I've missed, as fixing it later is an absolute pain. Then it's outside again for another zenithal spray. With four separate drying periods, a long weekend is absolutely perfect! I got one batch done all the way, and another batch halfway.

That is leaving a whole ton of Combined Army models assembled and ready for paint. These earlier steps have ended up happening faster than the last steps of painting and varnishing! Still, they're ready for me to grab and paint if I need something for August's tournament!

I also coated both sides of those MDF circles I got in MDF sealant and undercoated them, ready to add basing paste and snow - another bunch of jobs with a whole ton of intermediary drying times well suited to a long weekend.

Friday 10 June 2022

Assorted Fight Scenes

An elf lion rider closes the distance on some dubious cultists, as they call forth a horde of vermin to protect their ritual.

Servants of a mysterious power from the far realms face down the defenders of the forest who seek to thwart their vile schemes.

A wizard desperately reaches for his spell ingredients as the magic hating barbarian makes the mistake of pausing to monologue...

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Work in Progress Wednesday: Shasvastii and an old Morat Friend

In between my recent painting jobs, I've been finishing up models that I've sent out to be assembled so they're ready for paint. After assembly, I add basing paste and a zenithal spray to give a lot of extra shade and highlight to the contrast coats.

I recently finished this batch of Combined Army, who are mostly Shasvastii with a couple of exceptions. Lets have a look at who we've got.

First up, we have some Jayth Cuthroats. These are a weird profile that I haven't yet worked out how best to use. They're high close combat models who also shoot well, with no armour and a high BTS. They've got a Multispectral Visor L1 and Mimetism -6, and primarily short range weapons with one medium range special weapon with a high burst. They can either form a Fireteam, or have a profile who brings along a Synced Taigha. What they don't have is any way of taking more than one hit, deploying further up the field, or entering a marker state.

So, what you're left with is an absolutely brutal short ranged attack piece and deadly in close combat, but very vulnerable to direct template weapons. Most close combat pieces have a direct template weapon, and you're going to need to advance them into places where they're open to being counter-attacked in order to get their weapons into range.

So I . . . don't know? I feel like I need to spend a bunch of time getting some practice games in with them to work out where they shine. A Caliban is similar points, and gets to deploy up the field in a Camouflage state, even if it doesn't get quite as much Mimetism. I'm not convinced by the opportunity cost for Jayth, but I do need to test that assumption.

Next up, the "might as well"s. I've already painted the Haiduk in its Sapper state, but the model changes base size when not in it's Foxhole, so I got a second assembled for when he's running around. Its just to make sure I don't need to fish around for a proxy when I'm running a Haiduk and need to redeploy him.

Second up is the new Noctifer Spitfire model. I've recently painted the old one and am having similar "why would I take this" thoughts to the Jayth. He came in a box with some other models, and it wasn't worth fishing him out of the box to not assemble him. This model is much prettier than the original, though!

We then have a couple of named characters, of varying utility. On the left is Dukash, who I've used a couple of times on Tabletop Simulator. I found him pretty good but I have a number of other players singing his praises as excellent. He's pretty deadly all around, has a genuinely good anti armour gun, and can join any fireteam. He's high on my list for trying out more.

He's joined by Sargosh, the Jayth Cutthroat special character who retains all the flaws of the Jayth. While Dukash's MULTI Rifle is a +2 Damage beast that will wreck a TAG, Sargosh is just getting a pricier 16" gun that doesn't solve the issue of the best gun the Jayth have being a Red Fury. Nothing extra he gets is more than "nice to have", but he is the only Specialist Operative that Jayth can take without losing their coherency bonus. I'm going to try him, but I'm pretty suspicious of his utility.

Next up, we have the prospector from the Void Tango mission, who will be the last of the four HVTs I need for my Combined Army. I picked her out of the ones I had available because her jump suit can easily be a nice hazard orange to match one of the army spot colours, and the minimal flesh means I can hint at her being a Shasvastii infiltrator with the paint scheme.

She's joined by the Tensho Expert. This is another profile that's puzzling me, but I'm fair more interested in trying. He's a Veteran regenerating specialist who can link into Nox Fireteams without losing the composition bonuses. He's got a Journalist profile that I suspect is waiting for the campaign rules, but otherwise he's a useful button pusher to add into a Nox fireteam who's a bit tougher than normal. Of course, this involves me taking a Nox fireteam, and taking a Nox fireteam that's intending to move up the field, which is not their usual MO. So with the Tensho, it's a case of a weirdly nice profile, but he kind of requires you to make so many unusual build choices that you're kind of building a list around him in order to take him.

And finally, this is not a Shasvastii. I picked up an out of production Rasyat with Combi Rifle because as mentioned previously, I am planning on starting the move into Vanilla Combined Army over the next year. The Rasyats got a big glow up in the edition change, so he'll probably see some use when I get to that point. In the meantime, he's going away into a box until I have more Shasvastii painted and I'm starting on my wider Combined Army force...

Monday 6 June 2022

May Roundup

At the start of the month, I wrote that I should pick one job and finish it, rather than jumping around from one to the next and half finishing it. I have spectacularly failed to do that. I haven't got halfway through the Shasvastii I was planning to do by the end of June, but did get a nice assortment of gaming quality D&D models ploughed through.

I've now got an Infinity tournament in August, so the priority has moved from "painting up old Combined stuff that needs doing" to "get things I'm likely to use in a list painted". All the platinum pledge Combined Army from Defiance are getting to the point of paint ready over the long weekend the UK is having to celebrate our Queen having survived for ages. I'll be starting with things that are likely to see a bunch of list play, then as I firm up the lists I want to take, focusing in on anything I don't have painted. As we get towards the middle of July, I'll start on any specific things that I'm taking in my lists.

Also for the tournament, I've picked up some MDF circles of the right size for "blizzard templates" for a specific mission at the tournament. The plan is to MDF seal them, undercoat them, then use basing mixes and snow to make them look all winter-y.

A lot of the slowing down of painting has come from me selling a whole ton of stuff on eBay. When we moved all the boxes of stuff, we have to get our new fibre installed, it was clear we both had a ton of abandoned projects and stuff we're never going to get to.

While I've decided I'm not going to do a whole mercenary contingent of Half Orcs for Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd edition out of the Warlord Games orcs that used to be made by Wargames Factory, I decided I did have use for a couple of sprues for them as generic orcs for fantasy skirmish and D&D. I've started work on assembling them straight away so they don't just go back into a stash for years.

You may also have noticed a degree of hype around Games Workshop releasing a new edition of the Horus Heresy game, complete with a whole ton of new plastic. While it is super tempting to take the money from the clear out and quickly make the whole problem worse again, I decided instead to dig out these two Praetors a friend gifted me a while ago for a now cancelled project, and paint them up for Heresy. If the game is still appealing after that, I have time, and I like the look of the rules, then maybe I'll expand out from there a bit!

One of the missions at the August Infinity tournament has a free Motorised Bounty Hunter, so I've dug mine out to get assembled. I'm just waiting for the foot version to arrive to cover the Bounty Hunter when they dismount, then I'll be sending this lot off. It's the start of me prepping to run the Vanilla Combined Army in the future, although given how many Shasvastii I have to paint, it's still some way off!