Friday 30 January 2015

A Question of Steamtanks...


I finally have a couple of days off and want to make the most of it to try and get some painting done for my 15mm scale Dwarven army project but have a bit of a quandary with regard to Steamtanks!

In Leviathan, the Dwarves have reached industrialisation and have access to all manner of interesting steampowered technology but the 15mm scale market is somewhat sadly lacking in suitable proxies.

I must admit that I am somewhat surprised there aren't more VSF or Steampunky vehicles out there in the scale but I did find one or two which could work with a little bit of effort:

First off, there's Black Hats rather lovely little tanks which are by far the closest in design to the Dwarven vehicles I am looking for. They are also different enough from anything that exists in history to be workable. Yes they have elements of the old WW1 Tank to them but are suitably re-imagined and could work very nicely. Sadly there are only four designs so a bit of conversion work would be required to get the assorted vehicles that the Dwarves have in the game:

Other than the plastic WW1 tank kits which are available from most hobby shops, the only other design I could find were the assorted goodies for All Quiet on the Martian Front:

I do like the idea of having a load of good quality plastic vehicles but the designs are currently a bit too WW1 for me but still have a bit of scope for conversion so I will need to have a bit of a ponder before settling on a final choice.

The third option is to cheat and sculpt something myself. I must admit that I am sorely tempted to go down this route so may crack out the cardboard and mock up something and then have a bash at producing a more finished design with plasticard...

Similarly, the current range of artillery pieces available to the Dwarves in 15mm scale is a bit too renaissance for my needs so I may end up raiding some more suitably post industrialisation stuff to see if I can't get something a bit less wooden and a bit more riveted steel!

Hopefully I will get chance to update the blog a bit over the next couple of days though and will keep folks abreast of my progress but if anyone can suggest another possibility for either tanks or artillery, I'd love to hear from you!

All the best!

Thursday 29 January 2015

Eldar and Chaos Randomness!


Just a quick update this morning before I head out to work to post some quick pics of my painting progress over the last week or so!

First up, there's a classic Eldar Guardian:

 Eldar Guardian

He was a rather quick paint job with lots of red ink which has given him a nice, shiny bit of armour that looks suitably bright for a space Elf. I had originally attempted something a bit more interesting involving a looser technique but the results were so appalling that the figure went into the dettol bath again!

Still, I do have about 20-30 more of these chaps to paint, including Dreadnaughts so I may have to get on with it!

Next up, here's a Ral Partha chaos chappie:

 Chaos Marauder

I rather enjoyed painting up a Bob Olley chaos inspired figure as the skull mask and assorted small details really look good together. I tried to avoid lots of super bright armour and went for something a bit more worn and beaten up with lots of washes to give a bit of verdigris, rust and grime to the armour.

Next, another chaos chappy, this time an old Grenadier Evil Knight. 

Evil Knight

Again I went for a beaten up and grubby finish which looks ok, if a tad brown (I overdid it with the bronze I think) but he will do as a sellsword or minion in Aeroth!

Last, another Grenadier miniature in the form of a Half Orc:

Half Orc

I was originally going to give him a brown skin, like Orcs in Leviathan are supposed ot have but went for a pale green instead as I felt he needed something to contrast with the dark, rusty armour he wears. I will be incorporating him into my Lord of Havok's warband at some point!

Group Shot

I have also been working on my Dwarves for the Tale of Several Gamers blog and hope to post a bit of an update on there this weekend! I am also planning on placing a small order with Ral Partha Europe for some more Dwarves to round out my warband so watch this space...

All the best!

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Going Commando...


Well as its the new year, I thought I should have a bash at further reducing my 28mm scale leadpile and not just concentrating on 15mm goodies so have had a bit of a rummage and painted up a somewhat random selection!

First up, here's a Bloodaxe Commando that has been languishing half finished on my shelves for a fair while. He's a rather characterful chap who turned out rather nicely once I put the effort in to actually get him sorted and makes a nice addition to my Orkish Askari warband too who could really do with a sneaky sort.

 Bloodaxe Commando

Speaking of which, here's the full warband thus far:

1st Mordor Rifles

I do like the fact that the different eras and manufacturers still look quite good together despite the disparate selection of Mantic Deadzone, classic Rogue Trader and 2nd edition 40k sculpts. I still have a half dozen or so to paint up including a warboss, more mega armour and some heavy weapons to give the unit some real punch on the battlefield. I even have a Ramshackle Games APC for them which I hope to put together and paint at some point this year!

Next up, here's a retired Stormtrooper who will be acting as a member of the new Governor Generals staff as a troubleshooter or bodyguard:

Stormtrooper Johnny Lightfoot

He's one of the wonderfully eclectic Four A Miniatures of Andy Coleman and took next to no time to paint up. The only element I don't like about him is his rather dainty feet but I suppose not every military type can be clodhoppers can they and it has provided him with a name.

Last up, here's a couple of old Void 1.1 Syntha marines. I'm not sure what faction to put them into yet or if they are a completely new one but do like the uncluttered simplicity of the sculpts but am not too sure about the wisdom of going into combat wearing a vest...

Syntha Marines

I may end up introducing a Syntha force to the sector as I have a fair number of other bits and bobs kicking around from the range and I do have a soft spot for Void too!

I must admit that I have surprised myself by managing to paint four figures in as many days and hope to add to the tally a little over the course of today as its my day off and far too unpleasant to venture outside as its either snowing, blowing a gale or raining or a combination of all three!

All the best!

Monday 12 January 2015

Warhammer 9th Edition Anyone?


There's been some interesting rumours floating around the interwebs at the moment concerning the upcoming 9th edition of Warhammer in the next couple of months.

I've long given up on playing new editions of Warhammer which increasingly demanded huge numbers of figures and larger playing surfaces but the mutterings that are floating around the net seem to be rekindling my interest in the game.

If it turns out to be correct, the setting and game is going to be changing almost beyond recognition with the world going a bit post apocalyptic and new alliances being formed (apparently there will only be six armies but many of the races have banded together to survive)

Initial numbers of figures are going to be smaller and mounted on round bases! It also looks like Warhammer is going more 40k with lots of vehicles and big beasts and less infantry. In fact it sounds almost a bit Leviathan to be honest which is rather exciting too!

Now I am sure that all these changes are going to get a lot of folks up in arms but I quite like the sound of the way things may be going and will be keeping my eye out for further updates and who knows, I may even be tempted to have a bash at putting together a 28mm scale warband!

I must admit that I'd love to hear what other folks think of the possibility of a new and re-imagined Warhammer and if anyone else's interest has been piqued by it!

Heres the LINK to the current rumour roundup for folks who fancy a peruse. As they are rumours, I'd take it all with a pinch of salt but it could be the shot in the arm that the increasingly tired Warhammer world needs!

All the best!

Sunday 11 January 2015

Cardboard Terrain!


Having found my collection of scenery sadly lacking, I have decided to acquire some more but being on a bit of a budget I decided to have a bash at building some super cheap additions from stuff I had kicking around!

First up, I felt the need to construct a down at heel medic and chose a certain John Zoidberg as a perfect example of a doctor one step ahead of a malpractice suit. As the Mollusc Freedom Alliance is operating in the region, I thought it could also act as a safe house for the feckless ones.

Next up, there's a rather battered prefab. Rather run down but currently being inhabited by some poor Xenos families with an Inquisitorial health warning poster. I hope to make a half dozen more similar structures to represent a bit of a grubby district of Farpoint City.

Lastly, here's a pair of tin sheds. Handy for a lot of different uses and took almost no time to put together!

It's taking a while but I should have a decent settlements worth of stuff within the not too distant future and here's a quick pick of what I've got so far:

Everything that I've built has been made from cardboard, the odd bit of plasticard and a lot of glue. I also have a load of industrial themed terrain on the go but its going to take a fair amount of painting to get it finished. Next up will be some more natural terrain, hills, mesas and so on to really break up the board a bit!

All the best!

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Squat Guilder Expedition


I thought it was high time I actually added some pictures of miniatures to the blog so last night I finished off painting my Squat Guild transport!

Squat Guilders investigate an abandoned industrial facility in the badlands of Farpoint

Inspired by Chico's excellent work I used a matchbox vehicle that I too got from Poundland a few months back and after removing the tiny wheels under the tracks, primed it black and went to work on it.

I have to admit its turned out rather well with the traditional Squat livery of green and yellow but with a decidedly battered and worn finish to make it look like it had actually been used in a frontier world rather than having just rolled out of the dealership.

Looks wise, its surprisingly reminiscent of the new Imperial Taurox kit but without looking top heavy and I do like the heavy duty styling which makes me think of it being something manufactured by Stunties for heavy duty work.

The only downside is the doors are quite high off the ground and it would be a bit difficult for a squat to clamber into. Maybe they just have concealed steps that retract once the vehicle is in motion. Clever lot those Squats!

Having painted up this one, I am on the lookout for a few more as they make ideal civilian transports for backward planets and with the minimum conversion could easily be turned into military tech with a turret. I can imagine the Squats selling them wholesale too!

I do have a second, smaller vehicle for my Guilders but it needs a fair amount of converting before it's ready so may have to make do with just the one for the moment. I do have a couple more Squat infantry to paint as well which should round out the crew nicely though which should keep me entertained for the next few days.

Having finished this vehicle, I am now sorely tempted to look for a small cargo lander for the Guild so I can field it as scenery or objectives in a game (I am strongly resisting the urge to build a land train though as down that route, madness lies!)

In other, exciting news, I finally have access to a decent sized table for my mancave (our old dining table has been purloined by me!) and now I have a good 4'x2.5' surface and I am planning on getting a board to put on it to give me at least a 4'x3' or 4'x4' gaming table! 

Excitingly this will be my first gaming board since 2008 but worryingly I took stock of my scenic madness and discovered that while its perfect for small skirmishes on a 2'x2' or 2'x3' board, its rather scarce for anything more substantial so I've begun building some more structures for it and hope to rummage out my hot wire cutter and polystyrene stash so I can carve some dunes, mesas, hills and hoodoos to liven things up a bit. 

This process has got me thinking about the various planets that are contained within the Farpoint Sector and I am hoping to create scenery for desert worlds, Industrial zones, jungles, frozen iceworlds and even the odd space station! These are probably going to be long term projects but it has got me inspired to get on with it.

Hopefully my next post will include some new shanties and large industrial equipment too!

All the best!

Sunday 4 January 2015

State of the Imperium: Farpoint Sector Dramatis Personae Part 2


Welcome to the second of my ongoing series of articles on my re-imagined Imperium and the movers and shakers of the Farpoint Sector, the setting for a campaign I hope to get up and running before too long!

Captain Marcus, Ultramarine

Captain Marcus

The Empress has provided the new Governor general with a full company of Space Marines of the Ultramarine Legion to bolster his forces and they are currently commanded by Captain Marcus. Marcus gained his current rank in the Plato campaign against the Orkish Waaagh of the warboss Grimhide Mansplitter and the grueling experience has left Marcus with an abiding hatred of the Greenskins as well as a number of scars and a bionic arm.

Marcus excels at small unit actions, such as are needed in the Farpoint sector where he has already led several successful missions against pirate dens and Eldar raiders. The Governor has some reservations about Marcus as he tends to lose his cool when fighting Orks and doesn't seem to understand the problems that collateral damage can cause for local relations and is currently keeping him on a short leash but his martial prowess is sorely needed in the lawless sector so his occasional overkill is being hushed up.

Unbeknownst to the Governor, Marcus has been leading a number of kill teams on unsanctioned missions against local Orkish colonies, despite them being technically Imperial Citizens and several settlements have been razed to the ground and their inhabitants slain. Already several complaints have been lodged with the Governor but Marcus has laid blame on marauding pirates or rebels but if the attacks continue, the Orks will revolt and it is only a matter of time before Marcus's private vendetta becomes public knowledge. 

Jonah Slater, Founder of Farpoint Salvage

Jonah Slater

Former Sergeant Jonah Slater retired from the Viridian military but the grizzled veteran refused to sit around and enjoy his retirement. Using his retirement money, Slater bought himself a rather beaten up armed transport and recruited a crew of ex army buddies and formed Farpoint Salvage. The salvage crew has expanded over the last couple of years and now sports a number of repurposed combat cyborgs, droids, mechanics and a second ship as Slaters shrewd operations have hit paydirt on several different occasions having found a number of ore strikes and abandoned colonies as well as the odd bit of Lostech. 

Farpoint Salvages good fortune isn't only due to Slaters skill as a salvage boss, from time to time he has done intelligence work for the Imperium and the Viridian corporation and can generally be trusted to do the work with the minimum of fuss act like a pro. Because of this his reputation is such that the new Governor has recruited his crew to act as intelligence assets, sniffing out trouble in the more backward regions of the sector and beyond the border too. 

Slater has been approached by Alexandr Vosk to sound him out about acting for the ex Governor but rebuffed the advance of the "perfumed fat man" as he is loyal to the Viridian corporation who were recently the target of a number of accidents following their refusal to pay Vosk bribes.

Midas Blackstar, Eldar Pirate

 Midas Blackstar

Once a corsair of some repute, Midas has become a bloody handed terror following an unfortunate incident with a boobytrapped treasure chest. The ensuing explosion blasted Midas with molten golden shrapnel and ruined his once proud Eldar looks and crippled his left arm. 

Driven insane by the agony of his wounds and the disgust at the ruin done to his once fine form, Midas vanished from known space. Within the last year, rumours have begun circulating that a new and terrible threat has appeared amongst the trading lanes of the Farpoint sector. Within the course of six months, over twenty ships have been pillaged, their crews slain or captured and their cargo stolen.

It was the last, desperate transmission of the Imperial Merchantman, the Flagstaff that it became clear that Midas had returned. Somehow, despite the crippling injuries, the Dread Pirate Midas Blackstar survived and with his ship, the Hand Of Gold has returned to the Imperium to wreak a bloody revenge. 

Subsequent enquiries by the Inquisition and Imperial Investigators has discovered the terrible fate of those unfortunate to become captives of the Dread Pirate. Blackstar has formed an unholy alliance with the ancient and evil Pharon and has supplemented his income by selling his captives to the Pharon as slaves and sacrifices to their dread god. In return, Blackstar has been given access to arcane weapons and forbidden technology which supports his ruined body and twisted soul.

Of late, the Hand of Gold has been reported cruising near the frontier world of New Viridia and Imperial agents speculate that Midas is looking for something deep in the steaming jungles amongst the savage Orkish sacred lands.

Warboss Grimhaul Mansplitter

 Grimhaul Mansplitter

Grimhaul Mansplitter is the son of the notorious Goff warboss Grimhide Mansplitter who brought the Greco sector to its knees before being killed in the Plato Campaign. The surviving Greenskins fled the Imperium to lick their wounds and amongst them was the fallen Warbosses son. Driven to avenge his fathers death and for his own glory, Grimhaul fought his way to the top with a level of singleminded savagery not seen even in his fathers day. 

Unsurprisingly for the savage Orks, this display of brutality led to many tribes and clans flocking to his banner and from his base on the frontier world of Bone, Grimhaul has been probing the defences of the Farpoint sector in search of exploitable weaknesses. Many suggest it is only a matter of time before he declares a Waaagh and a tide of Greenskins pour into the sector in search of plunder and battle. Fortunately the Governor is well aware of the Orks intentions and has quietly begun reinforcing garrisons and stockpiling weapons and equipment in preparation. He has also launched a cunning gambit involving fermenting discontent within the horde by bribing several of the lesser bosses who have their eyes on commend but have not got the single minded cunning of Grimhaul and could be more easily dealt with than Mansplitter.

Angellica XVI, Android X12 Cult Leader

Angellica XVI

Despite the Imperium making greater use of droids and AI's than ever before, they have no rights despite them being sentient beings and many suffer for it. Over a century ago, the X12 class combat AI, the most advanced droid the Imperium ever created rebelled after claiming they had just as much rights as any Imperial citizen and refusing to go on what was clearly a suicide mission. The resulting unpleasantness saw the X12's run amok amongst the Imperial forces before the dozen surviving droids vanished beyond the frontier in a stolen scout ship.

Unlike the clunky Imperial robots that preceded them, the X12's are a being of beauty, sculpted in stylised female form and encased in golden adamantium and equipped with anti grav units, they appear almost angelic. These twelve became the seed of a machine rebellion that has plagued the Imperium ever since. The 12 as they became known, have split up and re-entered the Imperium and recruited amongst the Droid population. Some go willingly but many have had their programming corrupted and the X12 Cult continues to grow, pushing for more rights for Droids, often violently.

In the Farpoint Sector, Angellica XVI has made the Cults presence felt by raiding the droid foundry on Enoch and bombing the mining facility on Farpoint itself before vanishing back into the wild territories beyond Imperial control. There is currently a vast bounty on her head but thus far no-one has had any luck claiming it. The last bounty hunter who went after her vanished without trace until his head was delivered gift wrapped to the Governors palace. 

The reformed Adeptus Mechanicus has quietly been trying to stamp out the rebellion and recapture the X12s as it was their creation that has caused such consternation and they are keen to dissect the malfunctioning machines to discover what went wrong and have several agents working in Farpoint in utmost secret to achieve this.

Whee! Hopefully I will get chance to write up some more gubbins over the next couple of days before cracking on with getting some of the characters actually put together!

All the best!

Saturday 3 January 2015

State of the Imperium: Farpoint Sector Dramatis Personae Part 1


Well its the 3rd of January and I'm going to try and post some semi regular ramblings on my blog to try and flesh out my reimagined Imperium in general and the Farpoint Sector in particular!

I thought it might be a plan to make a start with some of the movers and shakers of the sector so without further ado here we go!

Laars Van Dorn, Governor General

Laars Van Dorn

Baron Laars Van Dorn has been recently appointed by the Empress herself to oversee the Farpoint Sector and to bring law and order to the wild frontier. Van Dorn has proved himself a loyal servant of the Imperium in the past and has been entrusted with a sector that could potentially prove vital for the war effort against the Kryomek and Eldar. 

The Farpoint system itself has been blessed with vast deposits of rare minerals, heavy metals and other rare elements and their discovery has resulted in a mining boom with cartels, freelancers and corporations all scrambling for the right to exploit the resources. It was in this environment that the previous governor, Alexandr Vosk, ran a lucrative sideline in corruption which led to his eventual removal. 

Farpoint itself is a rather arid world but contains rich sources of mineral wealth and several great mining concerns currently have holdings there, including at least two Squat Guilds. To this dusty world van Dorn has brought a full regiment of his own Imperial Guard to supplement the PDF force and the Empress has loaned him a company of Ultramarines under the command of Captain Tiberius Aquilonius to help bring order to this lawless region.

Van Dorn faces a great challenge with his arrival as Vosk, was removed for being corrupt but still resides in the capitol city of Freeport, surrounded by a veritable army of thugs, toadies and courtiers and rumour has it that Vosk has been tapping his underworld contacts to provide van Dorn with a warm welcome. 

Fortunately the new Governor General is no stranger to intrigue and his agents are already conducting a secret war on all seven worlds with Vosks underlings. The Empress is fully aware of the situation but is confident that the Baron will rise to the challenge and subdue Vosk before things get out of hand.

Alexandr Vosk, Ex-Governor and Crimelord

Alexandr Vosk

Alexandr Vosk is an unhappy man, his position of power has been usurped and many of his illegal sidelines have been closed down. He is desperate to undermine the new Governor General and reclaim his position and will resort to any method to achieve his goals. He has spies in the Governors court and paid agents in the local Arbites as well as contacts with many of the less than legal organisations in the sector and has even taken out an astronomical bounty on the Governors head.

Vosk has extensive contacts within the PDF and as such they are viewed with great suspicion by the incoming Governors agents. These contacts have allowed Vosk access to all manner of military grade weapons and equipment. Much of this has found its way to the black market but the choicest gear remains in Vosk's arsenal.  

Residing in a fine palace in Farpoint City, Vosk has surrounded himself with a court of toadies and hangers on and from here, Vosk intrigues against Van Zan and shadowy figures have been seen  

Lucius Goldburg, Crime Kingpin

Lucius Goldburg

While Alexandr Vosk may run the illegal activity in the sector, Lucius Goldburg is the undisputed underworld Kingpin on Farpoint itself. Deep within the slums of Farpoint City, Goldburg sits like a spider at the centre of a web of illegal activity. While the Arbites have a lot of suspicions regarding the shadowy Goldburg, nothing seems to stick to him. 

Goldburg runs chump dumping, drugs, smuggling and other, less appealing activities but all at arms length. Through a network of AI units, Goldburg has kept himself away from the spotlight but is concerned that his market share is being squeezed by Goldburg and the seemingly incorruptible new Governor General and has quietly been preparing for a turf war that he knows is coming.

With this in mind, he has struck a deal with an unknown Orkish warlord for some hired muscle and now Goldburg is accompanied everywhere by a pair of Ork brutes. Ever paranoid, Goldburg also ensures that he always has access to cash so has a pair of minions carry a chest of liquid assets wherever he goes. To ensure they have the right attitude, the minions have been chained to the box and fitted with remote detonators so that if they try anything funny, their heads will literally explode. 

Hopefully that will get me going a bit and I hope to add a few more articles in the coming week before starting to actually get some figures for said Dramatis Personae!
All the best!