Friday, 8 June 2018

Games Workshop Renaissance


I've been pondering some of the rather exciting news coming out about the new edition of Age of Sigmar and am really enjoying a seeming renaissance from Games Workshop.

I must admit that my interest in all things GW more or less died the death following the end of 2nd edition 40k and the closing down of specialist games and while I hung on for a bit with Fantasy battle, even playing the odd game of 6th edition, my hobby interests moved on seemingly never to return.

However in the last couple of years, following the announcement that the Warhammer world was blown up and a new setting was making an appearance in the form of Age of Sigmar, I have slowly found myself with increasing regularity perusing the news sites and even peeking at the GW webstore.

I'm not sure if it's the realisation of the GW management team that they needed to move into the 21st century and engage with their customers on social media or the reappearance of classics like Necromunda and Titan Legions, not to mention the relatively low entry level that newer games seem to be giving prospective players, but I'm once again drawn to Games Workshop.

In years gone by, you'd expect to pay £50-£70+ for a starter set for 40k, but now there's First Strike for £25 which gives you basic rules, a decent haul of miniatures, battle mat and even a bit of scenery, thanks to the cunning use of the box.
While many may point out the fact that this is just the basic rules and not got a decent sized force, it is brilliant for folks wanting to test the waters as it gives you some big chunky Primaris Marines and some evil Mutants and villains to maim. It's especially of interest to me as I seriously doubt I will ever have the patience to collect and paint a full army but a few small skirmish warbands, well just maybe...

Next up, there's Storm of Sigmar for just £20. It gives you two decent skirmish warbands and the rules to get you going.

I actually picked this up when it was first released and found it to be great value for money and while most of the miniatures have been languishing, unpainted and still on their sprues, I've recently begun painting my way through them and rather enjoying the experience!

I'm also rather liking the scalability of both of GW's core games as you can actually play a decent game with only a handful of miniatures and build your forces over time. Looking at Storm of Sigmar for example, you get two warbands which are ample to play Age of Sigmar Skirmish and with the additions of some of the other Easy Build kits, you're well on your way to having a decent campaign!

Similarly, the rules of both games have been pretty much gutted. Much as I loved playing 2nd edition 40k, it took forever to play a decent sized game and Fantasy Battle required quite a bit of flicking through tomes to find rules. Here the rules are about 4 pages long, the unit abilities are on cards and there's not a table in sight!

While lots of folks bemoaned the simplicity of these new sets, I really like it, especially as my previous favorite game, Epic 40k was just a streamlined and was brilliant fun. I'm hoping to be able to complete my Fyreslayer mini project over the course of the next couple of weeks before moving onto something 40k related which is saying something.

It's not all good news though, as I am finding the release schedule of GW is bewildering with set after set of new plastics rolling out each month and Battletomes, Codexes and supplements arriving every month. I must admit that I am struggling to keep up with it all. It's also bad for the Ooh Shiny Syndrome where there's just so much choice that one finds themselves frozen in indecision as to what, if anything to pick up.

I've also noted the use of terms like Synergy and Meta bandied about when folks discuss army building. I find the need to build superawesomeamazing armies with megakilldeath combinations of abilities a bit meh to say the least and would far prefer to just collect a force that looks interesting and characterful and don't really care if it isn't competitive. 

Saying that, GW has been pushing the Narrative Play element to their games which provides a haven of scenario driven tranquility from the more rabid tournament mindset which I quite like so it does seem that GW is listening and trying to strike a balance between both sides of the hobby.

As someone who was quite a big fan of the principles of Oldhammer, I am keen to use the mindset of collecting a force for fun and to enjoy painting it and play some entertaining, scenario based games and wonder whether I can take these principles and use them in enjoying my hobby using new miniatures...

Either which way, I hope that GW keeps up the good work and keeps engaging with its customers and bringing out more goodies for us to froth at.

Perhaps I'll even finish a project this year so hurrah!

In the meantime, apologies for waffling on for so long and all the best!

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Project Fyreslayer Part 3


Well after a bit of pondering, I've finally finished a second Fyreslayer!

Angry Dwarf

I've speeded up the flesh tones but added some scarring, shading and some hints of hair on his forearms (I can't imagine Dwarves, even Slayers shaving their arms!) and I'm quite pleased with the results as he looks a bit grubbier and less orange. I also used a different metallic for the helmet and like the smoother finish when compared to his brethren.


I do like the athletic pose this little guy has as he's hurtling forward as fast as his stubby legs can carry him! I also converted the figure a tiny bit giving him a brace of throwing axes as well as a single battleaxe as the Vulcite Berzerkers do indeed come equipped with them.

Eat My Axe

Although the somewhat iffy photo doesn't really show it, I did give him grubby feet as berzerk raging and sometimes on fire Dwarves tend not to wipe their feet very often.

And then there were two

Here's the two I've done thus far and I quite like the way the little warband is starting to come together. Hopefully I'll get another one done over the course of this week which will mean I will pass the halfway stage of the initial batch!

Azyr Fireslayers

I need to come up with a lodge for them to belong to and am leaning towards the Band of the Blessed, led by none other than Brian the Bellicose, a winged Dwarf capable of destroying any foe with his mighty bellowing!

One thing I have noticed with the new Age of Sigmar miniatures is the size difference between them and older Citadel ranges. The Dwarves are mounted on 25mm bases and are pretty big, especially with their massive crests but I still think they are great fun and have been feverishly rummaging my bits box to add some NPCs to the mix, not to mention some allies and foes for the Band of Brian!

A Bloodbound warrior has a bad day...

Hopefully more stuff will follow soon so watch this space!

All the best!

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Project Fyreslayer Part 2


Well I seem to have managed to paint some stuff!

I'd ordered five Vulcite Berzerkers off ebay last week for under a tenner and they arrived safely on Tuesday. Instead of plunging straight in, I took a bit of time to test the waters with a Khornite chap that I had picked up in the Age of Sigmar small starter set a couple of years back.

Angry Man!

Now I've never been too much of a fan of the whole Grimdark Chaos of Warhammer past but this guy oozes character and as I am using my own re-imagined version of Age of Sigmar, I'll be including him and a couple of friends as the magictech driven followers of a wargod from one of the city states I'm pondering!

Armed with a large axe and rather unpleasant looking punch-dagger/buckler, I spent a lot of time getting him done but the extra effort has been worth it. I have noticed that the newer and more detailed plastics GW has produced of late require a bit more work to get looking right and I ended up using quite a few washes and glazes to get the finish I wanted.

Bloodbound Warrior Detail

With some new found confidence, I moved onto my first Fyreslayer!

Vuclite Berzerker

Armed with a pair of axes (one of which has a small brazier in it) and a large crest, I really enjoyed painting the little guy. As with the previous miniature, I put on lots of washes and glazes to get him looking right and do like the finish I got on him.

Eat My Blazing Axe!

I ended up painting him with his head separately as his mighty beard got in the way of painting the rest of the details but with a bit of superglue, he turned out fine.

 Dwarven Detail

I've tried to move away from my more usual bright colours and have taken a bit of inspiration from some of the brilliant blogs out there and will be using this project as an opportunity to try out some different techniques than I usually would. It's more time consuming but I like the results!

Axe versus Axe!

Handily, I've just spotted that GW is releasing Easy to Build kits for several of the factions available in Age of Sigmar and wouldn't mind picking up the odd one or two to give them a bash!

Hopefully I'll get another Berzerker done in the course of the weekend before I head back to work but I'm cautiously optimistic that I've regained my interest in my hobby so Huzzah!

All the best!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Project Fyreslayer Part 1


Well I'm now officially on holiday for a week and have spent the last few days thinking about what I want to do about re-engaging with my hobby and as I mentioned in my previous post, I've gone for Age of Sigmar Skirmish!

I quite liked the idea of the assorted realms of the setting and will be adding my own spin on it in the coming week to give me somewhere to set the action but first things first, what force to go for?


After a bit of perusal, I settled on Fyrselayers as I really like the concept of furious stunties wielding axes while sporting fine headgear and a quick peek at Ebay snagged me five Vulcite Berzerkers for under a tenner.

Hopefully they will arrive in the next few days and I'm quite looking forward to putting them together and starting painting, which in itself is quite a promising sign! Looking at my paints, I think I need to invest in some new metallics, not to mention some more ruddy flesh tones but we'll see what we can do!

 Eat My Axe!

The plan is to paint these five and if all goes well, expand the warband to ten or so models and then move onto another warband and once I have two small forces, start playing out a mini campaign of interlinked skirmishes and see where it takes me.

I've spotted a few suitable miniatures from other ranges to add character to the warband and we shall see how things go!

 Paul Bonner Artwork!

Setting wise, I plan on using Stormburg as the main base of the campaign. Back in the day, Future Publishing produced a hobby related magazine called Arcane which had a monthly encounter supplement which gave you a setting, characters and plot hooks and Stormburg was always a favourite of mine (Arcane died the death as so many others before and after as it was neither fish nor fowl and tried to cover Miniatures, RPG, Cardgames and even Boardgames)

Stormburg, City of Storms

I always liked the setting and even painted up a fair amount of Stormburg militia back in the day and rather like the idea of re-exploring the City of Storms, especially as it's tendency to move between the realms is brilliant for Age of Sigmar.

Coupled with the need to trade, intriguing from the ruling council and sinister cultists, Stormburg will make for a good starting point for my project and we shall see how things develop going forward, especially as it will allow me to incorporate elements of magitech into my games as Stormburg flits between many worlds and time periods!

Over the next week, I hope to detail Stormburg and get the first five Fyreslayers painted up and who knows, I may even be inspired to paint something from my rather neglected leadpile!

In the meantime, All the best!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Sigmar Skirmish?


I've been having a bit of a ponder about how best to restart my hobby mojo which, as previously mentioned, has been sadly lacking of late.

Whilst looking around for inspiration, I've found myself rather drawn to the re-imagined Warhammer setting, Age of Sigmar. I know that a lot of the traditional Fantasy Battle fans ignore, distain or despise it, but the setting is growing on me and some of the range is looking rather spiffy.

There's something rather appealing about the looseness of the setting and big, chunky characters with over the top armour which I can't help but feel could lend itself to a bit of hobby inspiration.

Now I have no intention of putting together a full scale army, but I do find myself wondering about the possibility of a small foray into skirmishing in the setting with small warbands pottering around the realms causing mayhem or searching for lost treasure or ancient artifacts from another age.

I can easily imagine small bands of Stormcast Eternals on a quest or rampaging Orruks out on a slave raid or any one of numerous different plot hooks, scenarios and shifty characters that could make for both a varied and interesting sort of mini project...

There's also plenty of opportunity for random encounters with a warband bumping into D6 Ghouls or being hired by a settlement to defend them from some nameless monstrosity!

Now I am not sure how such a project will pan out, but with the release of 2nd edition of Age of Sigmar next month, I may be tempted to pick up a box of bits and see what I can do. The downside to a purely skirmish project in Age of Sigmar is the box set with most units only being available in boxes of 5-10 of the same type but I will see if I can't work something out.

Any such project I set myself will need some sort of challenge or target to aim for and enough variety to keep me from the doldrums and I will need to spend a few days looking at the options to see where to start.

If nothing else, I am skirting about the edges of something hobby related and the coming weeks will hopefully see me shuffling forward in a somewhat sensible direction but in the meantime, All the best!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Loss of Mojo


Well it's been a while since I updated my blog and I must admit that most of it is down to me having utterly lost my hobby mojo over the last few months.

I've repeatedly picked up and put down my brushes and tried different scales, settings and ranges from my collection and found myself utterly uninspired.

Looking back on my blog, it's become a bit of a dumping ground for failed projects and I hate to admit it but I've lost all interest in 6mm as well as 15mm scale for no good reason. Equally frustratingly, I don't seem to have much passion for 28mm either at present and while part of me is finding the loss of mojo most distressing, I'm surprisingly unbothered about the whole thing.

Maybe it's because I'm finding myself increasingly busy at work or the frustration that all the games I loved are out of production and even getting the miniatures I fondly remember requires far more of a budget than I have or maybe it's just my interests have moved on (gosh, I really hope not!).

I have a sneaking suspicion that it may also have something to do with my current lead pile as it consists of the dregs of my great clearout and it's pretty uninspiring dross to be honest which doesn't really make me want to pick something out and paint it.

Another issue I'm finding is that I just don't have the space for much of a gaming board so even small scale skirmishes are a bit of a challenge...

Whatever the reason, I'm going to go back to the drawing board and spend my weeks holiday later in the month doing a bit of navel gazing and see if I can't figure out just what I want to do about the situation.

Hopefully I'll be back to some semblance of hobby related shenanigans in the coming months so apologies for the waffling and lack of anything interesting to update but in the meantime, All the best!


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Still Alive!


Well I've not posted any updates for some time but I have actually had a rather productive few weeks hobby wise as I've had a much needed two whole weeks holiday from work!

With Christmas, New Year sales, Harry Potter nights and all sorts of work related excitement, I must admit that the last two weeks have been bliss and a much needed chance to recharge my batteries, relax and paint some stuff!

I've been sorting through our spare room (or library!) which has been chock full of stuff since we moved last year and it's starting to look habitable but more importantly, it's given me an excuse to sort my unpainted miniature stashes into one relatively small pile and I've found picking up and painting the odd bits and bobs that I have collected over the last few decades rather rewarding.

First up, here's some simple scenics I put together for my upcoming Rogue Trader demo at Waterstones:

 Ultramarines investigate some ruins

While they are nothing too exciting, I had a general lack of ruins for my 15mm scale guys to fight over so put this stuff together over the course of an hour or so using cork tile and sand with a little bit of polyfilla to add texture and quite like how they turned out. I need to make another dozen or so for the demo but it shouldn't take too long to do now I have the process sorted.

Next up, I reworked my Ultramarines to be non metallic in-keeping with how my painting style seems to have developed and even managed to finish the missile launcher trooper which has sat primed but unloved in a box since I was at university!

Heavy Weapon

Better yet, I painted up some thuggish sorts with pistols to represent The Riot Squad, one of the local street gangs on Farpoint as well as a random old lady (who looks like she may have stepped out of Monty Python).
Thugs look askance at a shifty old lady

I really like the expression on her face and although the sculpting is rather chunky, she looks the part (ironically she's supposed to be a small child but looks far better as an old cantankerous lady). The gangers are rather fun, although their guns are a bit oversized and have lots of character.

I've also finally found time to paint up my SD adventuring party for Somewhere on the Border!

Bold Adventurers

These are all original sculpts by myself and painting them has got my fingers literally itching to make some more as I really enjoyed painting them!

But there's more! I also finished a Dwarf Technomancer and her robotic minion!

 Shoot him in the face Clyde!

I've also got a sinister rusty rogue robot finished!

Dakka Dakka Dakka!

He's going to be seeing use in several games in the not too distant future, both as an Ork dreadnought in 15mm scale and as a rogue Golem in Somewhere on the Border.

There's more! I've been humming and hahing about trying to put together a 28mm scale fantasy army for some time which got me thinking about my old Leviathan project which got me rummaging for bits which resulted in me painting up some stalwart Dwarves!


Yes, Leviathan is getting a bit of a fresh look at and I'm just going to concentrate on painting stuff and enjoying the retro charm of the classic and characterful sculpts.

Finally, I've got some Aeronef painted for a bit of a random side project that's been rattling around in my head for quite some time too.

Imperial Patrol Nef

It's a bit of a random one that I suspect will be a slow one to develop but has thus far been rather fun to paint my way through.

Kahuna Island Nef

You may notice that I have four different projects all on the go at once but it seems that is just how I roll and it's stopping me getting bored with any one project and I must admit that I've surprised myself with just how much stuff I have managed to paint my way through in the ongoing challenge to clear my unpainted leadpile.

With this in mind, I suspect that I will be flitting around in a similar style for the rest of the year but it's keeping me working at painting and enjoying my hobby and that's the main thing!

All the best!