Friday, 30 June 2017

What a smile

And with another tournament coming up (Alitibash IV tomorrow!) I have been spurred into painting something. This time round it is an Avatars of War vampire that I got as part of the job lot of undead in January. The paint job looks better in person as the highlights on the purple look rubbish in the photo.

I've also started work on a colour scheme tester for the skeletons I got as the same batch. So far it is looking good so I might well try and paint up a load of skeletons next.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Rotten dragon

I've been slowly chipping away at things and I have now completed one of the two dragons I have been working on for my undead army. I bought this dragon new back in the 1980s from my local model shop. It was originally sold as a Grenadier Chaos Dragon when it was released in 1985. I remember it coming with AD&D stats in the box which would have made it a truly lethal opponent. You can see some photos over on Miniatures Workshop of the original packaging and so on.

I did try and paint it when I first bought it (and one or two times since) but never managed to finish the job. I recall that teenage me could never get the dragon's wings to stay attached but all I had back then was the really slow acting araldite. In the 1990s I tried pinning the wings and attaching them with super glue with a bit more success but the wire I had back then was way to thin. Recently I stripped the dragon and re-attached the wings with some decent wire and got it ready for another attempt at painting.

Using the techniques I have been using on the mantic zombies I have finally managed to finish the job - it only took me about 30 years! Hear that lead pile? There's hope for you guys yet!

The washer on the base allows a "rider" to be added as shown on one of the photos. The base of the Mantic vampire is magnetised so she can be easily attached to or removed from the base as required.

I'm still working on the LOTR Nazgul on winged beast - that one seems to be taking a little longer to finish.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Endless zombies

I think I might finally be back in the swing of things or getting there at least. After much prodding by Dan I signed up for a Kings of War Tournament in Leigh, Lancashire. At the moment I only have my elves and my undead armies out of storage and decided to go with the undead for the event.

My KoW undead were bought and planned under first edition KoW and weren't really optimal for the current meta. I had already purchased some additions to the list to try and make them more competitive. The zombie legion is the first of them that I have completed. It is a massive tar pit and should hold parts of the enemy army up long enough for me to line up some decent charges with my hammer units.

I think it has turned out pretty well and it matches the older zombie units that I did a while back.

I have two dragons for the undead army in progress - they were meant to be finished for the event yesterday but the zombies took longer to complete than I had expected. I got them presentable enough for the event but they still need some more work before I will declare them finished.

The event itself was great fun and I ended up placing 4th with my only defeat being to Tom who went on to win the event.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Splinter Cell

My hobby mojo has been really stuttering this year whilst I deal with other more important issues. Back in late March I had a quick flurry of enthusiasm and bought myself a Black Scorpion Miniatures Treeman to act as a Forest Warden in my Kings of War Elf army. It is a miniature I had admired for some years but had been put off by the postage cost (£14.40 for the miniature and £4.20 postage!). This time around I decided to go for it regardless and see if that inspired me to pick up my paintbrushes again.

It is a nice miniature but it still took me about 6 weeks to get him finished. Still I'd say that slow progress is better than no progress.

 And here is is with some of his woodland chums -Mantic Forest Shamblers and a GW LOTR Treeman as a Tree Herder.

Elsewhere I got a bit of a surprise when clearing out the study when I turned up another 10 Mantic Elf Kindred Gladestalkers (Scouts) assembled and primed ready for painting. I had thought that I was done painting up elf infantry but it looks like I have a little more work left to do on that front.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The best laid plans of mice and men

I thought I had this year's hobby projects figured out but everything went completely out of the window when my personal life hit the skids at the end of January. Since then I have had much more important things to deal with than painting miniatures. Life will continue to be difficult here for the foreseeable future but I am finally feeling like doing some hobby stuff to escape from it a bit.

I've not felt like picking up a paint brush for ages but I did have a quick blast in early February. Having committed to running the demo of Carnage City Chronicles at ROBIN I decided to paint up a few extra bits to take with me.

Firstly some extra fire power for the CCPD in the shape of officers with assault rifles.

These are from Crooked Dice and they fir in pretty well with my existing CCPD force which is mainly West Wind with a couple of Hasslefree thrown in. If I was starting from scratch I would probably go for the Crooked Dice cops for the bulk of my force as they are really nice miniatures.

I also painted up some subway entrances for my Carnage City boards. These acted as exit points for the scenario I was running.

These first two are from Slow Death Games and in the spirit of full disclosure I have to point out that they were sent to me free by the chap who runs SDG who is a top bloke. This is a nice simple kit and goes together rally quickly and easily.

 The next two are from TTCombat - I placed the order for them before hearing from SDG so I ended up with four subway entrances for my board.

This is a more fancy kit and provides a bit more cover on the table top but fulfils the same purpose on the board. There is a more gothic feel to the TTC ones whilst the SDG kit looks more modern.

The image I used for the stairs is one I found on the internet and edited a bit. It can be downloaded from here if you want to use it yourself.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A shift in my priorities

I had been planning to be deep into painting the elf cavalry at this point but I've switched to painting stuff for Carnage City Chronicles instead as Dan and I are due to run a CCC participation game at ROBIN in Nottingham next month. ROBIN is a new war games show and details can be found here:-

First on the workbench is the Harmonic Theatre kit from Knights of Dice that I bought back in 2015. It has been sitting around unfinished for ages as I ran out of steam/inspiration part way through the base coating stage. I have now completed the base coat and I have started applying washes. This is still a WIP and is far from finished.

Once that is out of the way I have a few more miniatures to complete and that will be all I need for ROBIN. Or will it ... I placed an order with TTCombat for a few more items yesterday and they would be good to take with me as well (they should be pretty quick to paint up too.

In other news I took my goblins to Altibash 3 on Saturday. Alitibash is a Kings of War tournament run by the nice chaps over at Altrincham Games Club. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it so my preparations for the event were quite limited. I took the same army as I used at the tournament in Stockport back in September.

Game 1: Michael Roberts (Kingdoms of Men with Varangur allies) - Invade
Michael had a very nice Kingdoms of Men army and added in a couple of units from his Varangur army to round things out. The army was largely based around hordes and was mostly infantry. I think this may have been a bit of a bad match up for him as my troll hordes made a bit of a mess of some of his units. I also had some lucky rolls and ended up killing everything apart from one wizard (who refused to run away).

Result: Win

Game 2: Andy Ransome (Goblins) - Loot
Andy's orange goblins are probably familiar to many people of the KoW tournament scene but this was the first time we had actually played each other IIRC. At this point in the event goblins were placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th! I made some silly mistakes during this game which I can probably put down to being out of practice and this together with some disappointing dice rolls gave Andy the upper hand. At the end of the game I thought I had lost but it turned out I had misunderstood the scenario rules and a last gasp overrun from my trolls had captured a vital loot token giving me a lucky draw. If memory serves Andy was ahead on attrition by some margin so I was pleased to come away with a draw after a very hard fought game.

Result: Draw

Game 3: Sam Barker (Orcs) - Control
Sam set up an intimidating wall of orcs in one corner of the table. Luckily I guessed his deployment plan and set up accordingly. Unfortunately being a little out of practice I still ended up with my trolls slogging across the table and attacking in an uncoordinated fashion. Elsewhere I had some early game luck with wavering some of Sam's units slowing his advance a little and giving myself a tactical advantage with my choice of charge moves. Sam's Krudger on slasher could have been very nasty indeed but ended up only routing a sacrificial mawbeast troop before being war tromboned and lightning bolted to death over the course of the next few turns. As the game drew to a close my dice started to play up and I found I could only manage to waver his units rather than routing them which was frustrating. The final result was a draw but had been so close to being a win. In retrospect I should have shot up his war drum when I had the chance as this would have made a difference to those key rout rolls.

Result: Draw

Game 4: Andrew Sharp (Goblins) - Dominate
Goblins for the second time in the event fielded by another Andrew! By this time I was seriously flagging and needed a coffee to revive myself - it was been ages since I have played so many games in one day. This was to be a game dominated by errors. First to blunder was Andrew who overreacted to my troll regiment gambit (which hadn't worked in the game against Andy R) and advanced his troll hordes into my charge range. I dully pounced and the game became dominated by a big scrum in the centre. This didn't seem to bother Andrew too much as his war trombones and wizzes were positioned to provide support and poured wounds on to my trolls and giants. Elsewhere it was my turn to blunder and I made some very dubious decisions meaning I stalled my own advance trying for turn after turn to rout a pesky mincer which was blocking my path. With some slightly less stupid play I would have had a good chance to roll up that entire flank. When the game ended on turn 6 I was surprised to find that I had one. My army had been pulverised but the legacy of the initial scrum in the centre was that I still had enough points remaining there to win the scenario whilst Andrew's surviving units were more to the flanks.

Result: Win

When the final standings were announced I was pleased to find that I had ended up in 3rd place overall (tied for tournament points with the chap who came 2nd). It was a fantastically well run event and I had 4 fun and challenging games. Well done to Altrincham Games Club.

There are more photos from the event here:-

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Lets get this party started

I am pleased to present my first painted models of 2017. Some of these were started back in November but my enforced painting hiatus prevented me from finishing them. Over the last few days I have been doing the last few steps to finish them all off, final highlights, painting the bases, adding the decals and painting the movement trays. For some reason I thought those would be relatively quick tasks but for one reason or another they really seemed to drag this time and it took way longer than anticipated. But that doesn't matter now - they're done, and what's more those are the very last of the elf infantry for my elf army. Just the cavalry to go and the army will be 100%  complete.

So starting off the year with a big fat 40 in the painted column would be a great start for the pledge if I hadn't already fallen off the wagon and made some purchases. I skilfully avoided buying anything in the January sales but met my match at Warboot (a war games bring and buy sale) at the Northwest Gaming Centre on Sunday. In my own defence I got a serious bargain.

That's 120 or so Mantic undead (with some GW and Avatars of War characters) which I got for the grand total of £15! There were even some random Vikings loitering in the box too. I also picked up a copy of Project Z for £15 (another 41 miniatures) and 4 Bretonnian knights for the Brotherhood project for a mere £5. All of which means I am already about 119 miniatures behind on the pledge, oops. I might sell on some of the bits I don't need from my Warboot haul which will straighten things out a little but I think I need to do a whole lot of painting to catch up.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Scale of the Problem (2017 edition)

As is tradition, here is a glimpse of what still remains in the lead pile

28mm Scale Projects

System: KoW
Status: Lots of figures painted, many more in the lead pile
Comments: One small unit painted during 2016, no purchases.

System: KoW
Status: Lots of figures painted, the lead pile is now considerably diminished
Comments: 2016 saw another expansion to my goblin army. The lead pile remains at about 60-80 miniatures strong
Kingdoms of Men/Basileans
System: KoW
Status: 18 knights started, about 100+ more models unpainted.
Comments: Minor additions made to the army late 2016 ready to make a big push on this project for 2017.

System: KoW
Status: 80% unpainted, about 150-250 models in total.
Comments: No progress during 2016.

High Elves
System: KoW
Status: Mostly painted
Comments: A big push saw this army almost completed during 2016 with many units painted. The remaining models should be completed early 2017.

System: KoW
Status: Mostly painted
Comments: Two Lykanis added during 2016 about 40 zombies and 5 cavalry left to do.

System: KoW
Status: 40% done
Comments: Two giants added during 2016 but plenty more still to do.

Blood Angels
System: Warhammer 40K
Status: Mostly finished.
Comments: Over 2500 points + options available for use. Gathering dust.

DreadBall Teams
System: DreadBall
Status: 8 teams painted out of 12
Comments: No progress during 2016.

Dead Zone
System: Dead Zone
Status: 1 faction starter done
Comments: Enforcer faction painted during 2016.

SWAT teams and Criminals
System: Officer Down!
Status: Completed (well almost).
Comments: 17 miniatures left to do.

RPG miniatures
System: D&D etc
Status: Lots painted - lots still to do.
Comments: I've been chipping away at these over the course of 2016 - and adding a few unpainted ones as well.

10/15mm Scale Projects

High Elves, Undead, Dark Elves, Mongols, Later Muslim Indian, Later Achmeneid Persian
Systems: DBA, HOTT etc
Status: No progress during 2016.

Monday, 2 January 2017

2016 Is it over yet?

Unfortunately my planned push to complete the elves before the end of 2016 didn't happen. I had been painting away merrily and looking like I would meet the target but I hadn't bargained on being the victim of an assault in early December (it certainly wasn't on my to do list). Fortunately I escaped with mostly cuts and bruises but it put paid to any more painting for a few weeks. I managed to pick up my paint brushes yesterday for the first time since the incident and I will have to keep my painting sessions brief until I am fully recovered from my injuries. At least I have a load of painted and part painted elves from November and early December which I will now be completing in 2017 to give myself a bit of a head start.

So how did I do with the pledge in 2016?

Total Painted 170 (138)
Total Bought 90
Balance 80

Meaning that 2016 was a WIN for the wargamers pledge for the third year in a row.

What about my other hobby objectives for the year?
  • Paint more than 300 miniatures: Fail - Without sustaining injuries I might have made it but we will never know.
  • Don't start any new projects: Pass - No new armies, systems or scales, yay!
  • 2016 the year of completing things: Fail - I got very close to finishing my elf army but didn't actually finish off any projects.
On the bright side my movement disorder seems to be behaving itself at the moment so if things continue 2017 might be a bumper year for painting. I can at least hope that it will be anyway.