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Friday, October 28, 2011

Campaign Update: More Map Tiles Completed

With time rapidly running out until the Norsca in Flames campaign begins, I’ve been pulling out all the stops in order to get the map painted in time.  Considering the relative simplicity of these tiles, they are the perfect to work on while watching TV; especially since the pallet is limited to three major colours and a Badab Black wash.  Snot green is used for fields, Dark Angels Green for Forests and Deneb Stone for the edges.  A small amount of Scorched Brown is used for the Fields, Macharius Orange for the farm houses and a combination of Enchanted and Regal Blue is used for the water features.  All in all it’s a case of Drybrushing the fields and layering paint on the rest before washing the entire surface of the time with Badab Black.  Once dried, the fields a given another coat of Snot Green and the tile is done.  At this point I need to tip my hat to Mark from Project Circle as he was a great help earlier this week, helping me get the map another step closer to being finished.  Thanks to him all the rivers have been painted blue and are ready for a highlight.  

As can be seen in the picture below, the fully painted sections of map are looking quite spectacular.  At this point, I’ve gotten about half the map finished, with only a couple of days left to go before the campaign starts.  While the map won’t be finished before the start date, it will only take another week or two to finish the rest of the tiles.  Until that time however, I’ve still got my army banner to create.  

Catch you all later


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pack your Spears and Grab Your Rears – We’re going to Norsca!

It’s said that change is as good as a holiday. If that’s the case, then sending my army to holiday in Sunny Norsca must be as good as a change.  As a way to shake things up a bit, I’ve decided to run a Warhammer Fantasy Campaign for my Local Gaming Group the Kingaroy Wargamers (which now has a new site by the way) that has a bit of a twist.  I’ve decided to move away from the stock standard ‘Chaos Invades the Empire’ routine and have the Empire invade the North. 

I’m hoping that Starkey, our gaming club’s resident speed-painter and premiere Empire General will spearhead this invasion, forcing my Chaos Army to defend against such an uncharacteristically aggressive move; fighting to push back not only the forces of the Empire, but also those races who are also drawn to the conflict either in search of riches and glory or purely for the fun of waging war.  Thus far, I’m confident there will be at least one Ogre player interested in playing the campaign, which is exciting as I’m yet to face the new Ogre book and have harboured a secret love for those hulking monstrous infantry.  So much so, that with the release of their new kits, I’ll be looking into ways of incorporating them into my Warriors of Chaos Army.  I’ve got a couple of ideas involving the new Thundertusk, Mournfang Cav and the Cannon of the Sky Titan kits and once I have some cash put together, I’ll work on making those ideas a reality.  

The mechanics of this campaign will centre around a map created using the ‘Mighty Empires’ tiles (WIP Pic included above) and a campaign pack that I’ve written using ideas and components pulled from the ‘Generals Compendium’.  As a resource goes, this is invaluable for players that are really into creating and running campaigns as it provides you with ideas and concepts that make your event as simple or as complex as you want.  Rules for scouting, baggage trains, running sieges and sacking cities; these are but a minute sample of what can be achieved when using the ‘Generals Compendium’.  My campaign will be using the resource system that is detailed in the book, providing players with the means to expand their Empire, strengthen their armies and generally reinforce tiles that have already been captured.  All in all, this is shaping up to be a very fun event, should we get a decent number of players involved.  I’d personally like to see at least two other players apart from myself involved as this will provide a bit of variety, while encouraging more terrain building for things such as fortresses, towns etc.   

If I’m lucky, this event will be just the thing I need to break the back of my 2000 point army.  In its current form, I’ll need to finish my Marauders; a unit of Khorne Warriors, some Marauder Horsemen and another unit of Hounds and the entire army will be fully painted.  Having a fully painted 2000 point army was one of the goals I made at the beginning of the year and if I’m able to reach that goal, then I’ll be a very happy man.  I’ll be sure to provide updates at the campaign draws nearer and miniatures are completed.  The other upside is that a campaign such as this will provide a perfect opportunity for my army’s fluff to develop as Romulus Ironwolf once again musters for war.  Alliances will be made and broken and the favour of the Northern Gods will be bestowed upon all those who please them (whether they want it or not). 

Catch you all later


Friday, October 21, 2011

Finding Painting time in your Life: The #brushtime Protocol

Recently there has appeared a new tend on the twitter feeds of gamers everywhere.  It’s called #brushtime.  The concept is amazingly simple – every week, participants attempt to reach the goal of at 10 hours worth of painting, making sure to track their progress on Twitter. 

This is a very innovative concept, as it encourages hobbyists everywhere to make time for their painting as opposed to wondering how all that spare time during the week disappeared.  For example – With the impending release of Skyrim November, I’ve begun playing Oblivion (again) in an attempt to finally complete entire storyline (and expansion) while achieving as many of the in-game goals as I possibly can. 

To that end, I’ve got an entire evening’s worth of free time in which I can dedicate getting another couple of quests completed and possibly levelling up my Norse Fighter once or twice.  The only problem is I’ve still got another 2 hours left to go before I have reached by 10 hour #brushtime goal this week and I know that I won’t get any time to do that during the weekend.  So I’m forced to make a choice – Do I play Oblivion and not paint? Or do I smash out a painting session to get those last couple of hours up and reach my goal?  Alternatively, I can make a compromise where I spend an hour (or two) painting before moving on to play Oblivion.

For those people who do have a more demanding lifestyle than I, the question arises, where can I find the time to paint / convert / play?  Dave Taylor's Article 'Finding Time' provides a great article regarding this topic and I encourage you all to follow the link I’ve provided above to his site and give his article a read.  While you’re there, make sure you bookmark the page so you can revisit and read the plethora of other articles that are present there complete with amazingly painted models and conversions.  But I digress. 

The important thing to take from all this is that there are countless opportunities available throughout everybody’s day to squeeze in a little brushtime.  A few minutes before work, while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, while watching TV, even while you’re waiting for your Xbox to load Oblivion!  Every minute you spend putting paint on a model now, is a minute closer to getting those models finished and onto the table.  You don’t need massive great chunks of free time to quickly spray-undercoat a miniature (you need plenty of sun and ample breeze, but this is about time management not weather control.  More on that in a later article).  All you need is a little preparation and a willingness to lean how to work efficiently with the time you have available to you. 

Give the #brushtime Protocol a go and let me know how you do.  Also if you’re on Twitter, feel free to follow me @Risk_Dude and keep up with my painting progress or any other aspect of the hobby that hits my Twitter feed.

Catch you all later


Thursday, October 20, 2011

WoC Update: More Tzeentch Marauders

In what seems like an endless struggle, I’ve also been working on my ever-present unit of Tzeentch Marauders, slowly adding blue to each and every one of the 20 already-painted models while also continuing to paint the 16 undercoated models that refuse to leave my painting area and move into the area of my hobby desk that is reserved for half-completed projects like my Marauder Horsemen.  While achingly slow, progress is being made, with  all of the older models repainted and another couple of models completed, and added to the rearmost ranks.  Below I've included pics of both the Marauders that I’ve recently finished painting and the unit’s current state of completion as a whole.

As always, C&C is welcome.

Catch you all later


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goblin Bowmen and Metal Marines – Trading with Mates is Fun

The other Sunday during my gaming group’s fortnightly games day, Master Goodchild arrived with a sizable box of goodies obtained by a friend for reasons unknown (not because he didn’t say, but more because I wasn’t really listening properly :-s ). While sorting through the contents, it seemed that he had items for everybody’s army, including enough marines for me to start a Chaos Space Marine Army should I so choose (not sure as yet, but I can’t say no to free miniatures, and certainly can’t refuse classic metal minis). In trade for this veritable bounty, it was agreed by all that we would help get his Goblin army up and running for this year’s Master’s Tournament.

Three goblins into the unit armed with bows, I quickly learned that painting a metric crap-tonne of Goblins requires a level of competency in batch-painting that I as yet do not possess. I got a good deal of practice however, as we set up a bit of a production line between myself and Mark, author of Project Circle. I was studiously painting Goblin skin while he smashed out the orange robes in short order. When it comes to batch painting base colours, I have to admit that GW’s ‘Basecoat Brush’ is ideally suited for the job. As the name suggests, I was able to neatly apply Snot Green over a swathe of area and in very short order. That said I did take me the entire night to get the skin of the 25-odd goblins painted to a standard that I could live with.

I've also learned that when it comes to painting other peoples miniatures, I’m not as critical of my work as I am with my own, at least when they tell me that they’re not after the same level of detail as I usually use on my own minis. It was pleasantly refreshing to paint a model to basic table-top quality again (even if the sheer number of mould lines present on each of the models will ruin the effect once the Devlan Mud wash is applied). Thankfully, Mark is much more experienced with the whole batch-painting process and not only was able to smash out the orange robes, but also touched up the hafts of the bows and repainted the quivers on each of the little blighters.

By the end of the night we had finished applying all the base colours to the entire unit in preparation for washing next week. After quickly tallying up the points for the unit, I will never complain about the low cost of Marauder infantry ever again. 2 points a pop is a stupidly low number when you’re basing your painting progress on the amount of points that you have managed to paint over a period of time. Being that one of my Marauders is worth 2.5 Goblins when given a weapon option, makes me thankful that they’re not any cheaper. Anyway, I’ve included some pics of the progress that was made during the first paint night, as always C&C is very welcome.

Catch you all later


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Terrain Update: Construction sites still present in war ravaged Cities of Death (CoD)

Continuing with my diabolical application of aerosols, I’ve attempted to basecoat and highlight the buildings I based last fortnight.  Turns out the colours I chose for the basecoat and the highlight were too close together shade-wise so the highlight is extremely difficult to see.  No matter, by giving both buildings a heavy drybrush of Codex Grey followed by Fortress Grey before applying a generous wash of Badab Black and Devlan Mud, I can get the highlight and shading necessary to make the buildings look quite good.  While doing this I’ve become acutely aware of the sheer amount of detail that can be found on the CoD buildings (legions of builders must have gone insane chiselling away all those skulls) and decided that if I ever wanted to have this building completed; I would need to find someone who can paint much faster than I.  To this end I passed the torch onto my local gaming group’s speed painter Starkey to handle all those little details (so many skulls and spikes!).  True to his reputation, his work was completed in a single night, and the results of his efforts are stunning indeed. 

If the CoD building was not enough, I spent some time this week getting the Command Bunker I built earlier this year (or was it last year?) painted and ready for the tabletop.  Using the same methods as the building above, I washed the surfaces with both Badab Black and Devlan Mud, after giving all the detailed surfaces a coat of Boltgun Metal and highlighted with Chainmail.  The resulting effect has a very dirty, gritty feel that I think will fit right in with my Cityfight board.

Finally, while I was doing the bases for the buildings, I spent a bit of time working on the crashed Speeder.  As there is precious little concrete / rock present on the miniature, I thought it best to paint it by hand, rather than risk obscuring the details.  On the whole, I think the piece came out just fine and now I have a terrain piece that is very thematic that can double as an objective if the need arise. 

Hope you like the buildings.  As always C&C is very welcome, as are any ideas for terrain projects that you might have.  I’m always looking for new ideas for terrain, especially if it’s Empire and / or Chaos related (bonus points if there is a tutorial online ;-p).  That said, I’m not about to turn anything away so give me everything you’ve got!

Catch you later


Monday, October 10, 2011

Mini’s and Modelling Desks – This Month in Review

As a counter-part to the smaller articles that I’ve been publishing lately (not as many as I’d hoped, but some nonetheless), I’ve decided to run a monthly review as a means of bringing together all the progress that’s been made during the month.  While longer than the other articles that will be posted during the month, it won’t be a repeat of the articles that have come before it.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to provide some additional thoughts / experiences I’ve come across between the original articles and the monthly review.  Anyway, with the prelude out of the way, let’s dive right in. 

For the most part, September has been a pretty slow month for hobby-related projects.  With the release of Space Marine in early September and Gears of War 3 shortly after, I’ve spent a good chunk of time in front of my 360 rather than painting.  Understandably this has meant that I’m a little behind on some of the goals that I set for myself this month but no matter, it will all get done eventually.  Playing Space Marine has however, rekindled my love for 40K; prompting me to finish off some of the older projects I’ve had on the books for some time now (which is always good).  Ever since the 4th Edition Space Marine Codex came out that allowed you to create your own Space Marine Chapter, I’ve had approximately 30-odd Deathwatch Marines sitting on my display shelf undercoated and waiting to be painted.  As this may represent a significant portion of the entire Ordo Xenos’ warrior elite, it has come to my attention that the Imperium of Man may be better served if these noble warriors were out there blowing apart alien scum rather than on my painting desk waiting to have the Chrome Detailing finished on their armour. 

To this end, I’ve been working on expanding the small unit that I started painting a couple of years back; boosting their numbers to a strength that will make them a viable choice on the battlefield.  Originally the unit consisted of a Librarian and four battle brothers, all hailing from a different Chapter (including the Legion of the Damned and the Relictors), however I’m hoping to expand on this number, building up the force as a whole while also adding a couple of battle-brothers that have left the service of the Ordo Xenos and rejoined the Salamanders Chapter.  

On the Warhammer Fantasy frontier, my Khorne Warriors continue to come together as a unit, the Bronze Spray proving to be possibly the greatest painting advantage I have in my arsenal.  Unfortunately my interest in painting rank and file infantry is waning; like the desert Sheik of ages past who is losing interest is his latest concubine.  However like the Sheik’s supply of women, my interests are many and it should take little effort to find another favourite housed within my expansive hobby-harem.  Still until that interest has disappeared completely, I’ve managed to paint a couple of warriors between posts.  My total Chaos Warrior painting effort is included below.

I’ve been painting Marauders as well, using the GW base-coating brush to great effect.  Thus far I’ve managed to get all the base colours for the skin and leggings done for all my undercoated Marauders bar my unit filler which remains black for now.  Like the warriors, I’m struggling to get these guys finished as they’re just not grabbing my interest in any major way.  Hopefully it’s only a temporary problem and will pass in short order as I’m not keen on dragging out this unit.  No doubt I’ll force myself to paint them just so they’re done within the next month or so. 

The final item I’ve been working on for my Chaos Army is a new unit of Nurgle Warriors.  This was a unit that I’ve been toying with for a long time now, trying to decide how I wanted to build it while also struggling to make the unit competitive.  I’ve had my eye on a particular combination of magical items for a long time now and never had the opportunity to try it out. Midway through the month however, my gaming group held a 5000pt team game (2500 a player) which meant that I was able to give the unit a run.  For the most part, the Nurgle unit played only a small part in the battle, copping abuse from the Dwarven Grudge Throwers for a good portion of the game.  While the Mark of Nurgle (MoN) seems to do well when it comes to ballistic skill-based shooting, against war machines their 30 point mark means nothing.  That said I really like the magical items connected with the unit as I’m able to force toughness tests for everyone within base-to-base contact with both my Exalted Hero and the standard bearer of the unit.  Equipped with shields and Halberds, they seem to be capable of dealing a decent amount of damage to the enemies they get a hold of.

With the unit a success, all I need to do is build it.  I’m not a big fan of the bloated pustulous look that GW embraces for the stereotypical Nurgle worshipper.  Instead I’ve decided to build them as I normally would using Warrior and Marauder parts but paint them in such a way as to give a more tarnished / sickly look that will be applied to the skin and armour of the warriors.  With the look of the unit firmly fixed in my mind, I quickly got stuck in and built a couple of test models, using the Bestigor  After building 5, let it be said, that while not impossible, attempting to manipulate a kit without first knowing what the heck you’re up to really makes things difficult.  Out of the 5 built, I’m sure all but 1 will require some GS work to fill in gaps that have appeared between the arms and torsos.  Depending on how well these guys go, I may use the same theory when building my unit of Khorne Warriors with Halberds.

And that’s this month’s hobby progress!  With all the progress I’ve been making this month, it’s hard not to be encouraged to greater effort over the next month.  Perhaps I shall spend some time getting my Legion of Everblight painted.  If I’m honest, there’s not that much there to paint.  The minor warbeasts are to paint and the most effort will come from painting the Blighted Archers, ensuring I can get their armour and clothing right.  You can be sure I’ll let you know how I go.  But until then, here are my updated gaming stats:

Number of Warhammer Fantasy Units Completed: 6
Number of Warhammer 40K Units completed: 9
Number of Hordes Units Completed: 1
Number of Points painted this fortnight:  244. 

Catch you all later