Saturday 27 June 2015

Warzone With A Difference and Other Ponderings...


Well my holidays are rapidly drawing to a close and the car is in for its MOT so we can't go out for the day, much to my frustration as it's the first sunny day this week! On the plus side, it has allowed me to get a bit of painting finished on some more Dark Legion figures that I sculpted while on the Isle of Skye:

 Undead Legionnaires and Necromutant Leader

Again they are a bunch of rather cartoony sculpts but were rather fun to put together and give me the core of a Dark Legion patrol for Warzone. Standing 20mm to the eye, they are mounted on 20mm round bases and should eventually be joined by some reinforcements as 4 legionnaires can't shoot for toffee.

I've also named them in honour of the places we visited on the Isle too!
 Necromutant Valtos

 Legionnaire Skye

 Legionnaire Portree

 Legionnaire Uig

 Legionnaire Staffin

Hopefully there will eventually be another 4-6 Legionnaires and a full squad of Necromutants led by a Centurion but they are on the backburner a bit as I have other bits and bobs that are getting me interested in 28mm at the present so I'm not sure when they, or my SD Orks will get rounded out a bit.

 Dark Legion Patrol

Here's a shot of the group with their exalted leader, Moloch the Nepharite of Algeroth:
Evil Minions!

I must admit there's a certain amount of satisfaction to seeing the group finished and painted and it reminds me of the halcyon days of university when I put together the Boar Company as I couldn't afford to buy any miniatures so sculpted my own!

Now the other big news that is roaring around the interwebs at the moment is the leaked images of the new Age of Sigmar game and it does appear to be very different from the whole Fantasy Battle aesthetic but I must admit I am a tad disappointed as GW have basically made a mash up of 40k and Fantasy battle rather than really trying something different. Still its too early to tell what the world they develop will look like so I am reserving judgement until I see the eventual release.

In my previous post, I made a great deal of waffle about having a bash at a 28mm scale fantasy army or sorts and must admit that I have had lots of ideas as to the sort of force I want to put together but the problem being is I currently can't settle on just what I want so I am going to spend today pondering over and developing a few ideas and then post them up on my blog here with a bit of a poll to see what you folks think!

Till then, all the best!

Friday 26 June 2015

Back From Holiday and Pondering the Future...


Well we are back from our sojourn up north to the Isle of Skye and had a fantastic, if soggy time of it to boot! Whilst on holiday I have been giving some serious thought into what I am going to be doing following my last post.

The gist of the post was my increasing hankering after a project that I didn't think I had it in me to complete, namely collecting and painting a fantasy army. The reason for my hesitance is that I haven't attempted anything similar for years, in fact the last full fantasy army I had was a hefty 6000 point Dwarf force that was fully painted and sadly sold off before I went off to uni.

Sadly all that remains are the few bits and bobs that I had kicking around unpainted that have eventually formed a bit of a warband:

Dwarven Warband

Every time since that I have actually sat down to think about attempting anything larger than a skirmish force, I have found myself stalling and giving up. Similarly, I have a bit of an issue with the likes of Warhammer as the background leaves me cold and generic fantasy in general just doesn't seem to inspire me at all. Looking back at the projects I've worked on down the years, just about the most fun I had warband building was this undead force that has also long since been consigned to ebay:

 Skeletal Troops

 Skeletal Giant


 Skeletal Spearmen




Skeletal Pack

While using generic enough miniatures (the vast majority came from the old Games Workshop plastic skeletons or Reaper and Ral Partha) the force was a bit different and far more dynamic than the shuffling boredom that I usually associate with the classic undead sort of army. Each unit was unique, be it with their grafted weaponry or intricate armour or even just the odd headswap.

While I applaud the folks who have the patience and skill to create massive armies with vast regiments of troops, I just don't have the time or inclination to put together something quite so grand but I am thinking that by using the traditional round base, movement trays and a bit of low cunning, a 20 figure regiment can easily be represented by 12 figures...

This is the sort of force I do want to put together with units of troops supported by terrifying monsters, destructive war engines and charismatic characters to lead them into battle! I must admit that looking at these pictures has stirred a great deal of nostalgia in me and I am sorely tempted to put together a similar force.

I don't want to spend years painting up an army, I want to create an interesting force relatively quickly and still be able to paint each figure to a standard I am happy with. Is such a feat even possible? Who knows but I don't know unless I try!

Now I have ranted and railed enough, I think its time I had a bit of a think about what sort of a force I want to put together and more excitingly, a decent back story which is vital to bringing together often disparate looking figures and combining them into a cohesive force. Who are they, where do they come from and what is their motivation? Who are their leaders? The backstory maketh the army and sets one up for good narrative games rather than the lifeless, soulless boredom that tournament type play seems to encourage. I don't want game winning units, I want interesting ones!

This is all a bit Oldhammerish in spirit, even if the rules and figures I use might not be. With my ponderings done, I think I am going to go and have a rummage through my collection and see what I can put together but I think I am going to take Chico's advice from a while back when I had painters block and buy something I have never painted before and see how I get on!

Till next time, All the best!

Sunday 21 June 2015

Pondering a Fantasy Game of Ideal Proportions...


Well its been almost two months since I posted anything on this blog due to a combination of the intrusion of Real Life and a serious case of painters block that almost had me giving up my hobby in dismay.

Fortunately, a bit of a rest followed by painting something completely different in the form of some SD Orks that I had sculpted from leftover putty seems to have got me over my painting failure (pics can be seen HERE) It also left me in a bit of a quandary as there's a new edition of Warhammer on the horizon which sounds like it could be interesting and in the process of looking up rumours, I stumbled upon some of the really amazing armies that folks have put together for Mantic Games' Kings of War:

 Nature Themed Army of Amazingness...

Now looking through these images, people may spot a couple of things that they all have in common. Firstly they are all 28mm scale and secondly, they are all multibased.

I have found the sheer spectacle of nicely painted 28mm scale figures on really beautiful bases terribly appealing and the more I look, the more tempted I am to give it a go, especially as it also allows one to not only cut back the number of figures a little, it also allows you to really make a very characterful force with each base being a vignette rather than just a small square or circle of generic basing.

Part of me still wonders if I could cheat it by simply using movement trays/sabot style bases or whatnot but I have been finding myself sorely tempted to give it a bit of a bash, and shock horror, go for a 28mm scale force!

There is a part of me that shows caution however, as I am fully aware of just how much effort would need to be put into such an endeavour, both in costs and painting time, not to mention the amount of space it would take up once complete. One option is to drop the scale a bit to something a bit more manageable, possibly 15 or even 10mm but I can't seem to get away from the visual appeal of a 28mm scale force.

I know I need to face facts and realise that such a project for me would be doomed to fail as I have no doubt the prospect of painting up dozens, if not scores of figures is just beyond me these days and mass battle games are just too much effort for me to attempt.

For a start, I would never be able to play a game! My gaming space just isn't up to it, even if by some miracle I did manage to paint so many figures! What I need is a game more akin to Warmachine with smaller numbers of figures centred around a character or two along with some nice big monsters to liven things up. This is something I think I might be able to manage.

The problem is there just doesn't seem to be any rules out there that quite cover what I want. There's lots of mass battle games like Warhammer, Kings of War and so on and there's also lots of small scale skirmish games such as Mordheim, Song of Blades and various others.

What I need is something part way between the two, a game with several small units, some individuals and monsters. To be honest, the closest to this ideal is the likes of Chronopia! Sadly, as mentioned previously, the figures are becoming increasingly difficult to source and there's set armylists, something I don't want to be constrained by.

I know that Oldhammer is a possible alternative but to be honest, I am looking for something a bit more modern and less clunky. I do think that one option would be No Quarter, a free, generic set of rules by Wargames Unlimited but if anyone could suggest other options, I would be more than willing to give them a bash and who knows, I may end up returning to the 28mm scale fold...

Anyway, enough of this navel gazing, I need to go get packed!

All the best.

Thursday 18 June 2015

Warzone With A Difference...


Just a quick post before I head out to work!

Here's another SD miniature I've put together in the form of a mighty grumpy Nepharite of Algeroth from Warzone:

Moloch The Disgruntled

Standing about 30mm to eye level, I am quite pleased with how he turned out but if I was to do him again, I suspect I would rework the bottom jaw considerably as it doesn't quite fit right. Still he does look the part for a leader of a Dark Legion force I am working on at present!

 Moloch the Disgruntled from the rear

We are off on holiday up north for a week as of the weekend so I won't be updating the blog till I get back but hopefully I will have lots of energy for sculpting and painting from all that fresh air (as long as I'm not faint from bloodloss caused by midges!)

All the best!

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Age Of Sigmar


Well I'm back from work and have just had a bit of a peruse of some of the Age of Sigmar rumours that are floating around and must say that there's some really fascinating stuff floating around the interwebs at the mo.

Now it has to be said that before the game actually gets released, one has to take all the rumours with a massive pinch of salt but I do find it all rather tempting and GW seem to have finally decided to really shake up their fantasy setting.

I suspect a lot of older gamers are going to be horrified with the changes wrought upon their beloved system but personally, I think its just what's needed, especially moving away from a Tolkienesque world into something dramatically different. It may be all a con intended to flog lots of new miniatures but I am officially tempted to get back into Warhammer for the first time in forever too which is saying something.

I will be watching developments with interest!

For those interested, take a peek at THIS ARTICLE  for a rather interesting bit of rumourmongering...

Monday 15 June 2015

Orks With A Difference...


Well it's now mid June and over the last couple of months the intrusion of real life and a fairly major dose of painters block has left me bereft of any updates for my blog and apologies to the folks who have been kept waiting!

Having looked at the miniatures I have lying around and what projects I have want to investigate, I realised that nothing was really doing it for me so last week I decided to throw caution to the winds and try something a bit different. I currently have a couple of sculpting commissions underway and have always got a little bit of putty left over that needs using before it cures so I decided to use these leftovers for something a bit more useful than junk.

The result was these fine little chaps:

Bloodaxe Mob

I must admit that they kind of appeared a bit at a time as I had been thinking that I really wanted to game 28mm as the sculpts have real personality but lacked the space so was going to settle for 15mm instead but with the best of intentions, the figures just don't have the character of the larger 28's.

Kaptain Morgor

The result of my ponderings was a bit of an oddment and a squad of rather stylised Orks. Standing 20mm tall to the eyes, I must admit that I have grown rather fond of the little chaps and quite like their quirkiness too. Better yet, they cost me absolutely nothing and combine character and small scale, something that ticks a lot of boxes for me!

Interestingly, following the painters block, these little chaps almost seemed to paint themselves and even had enough heft to them to allow me to add some small Orky details, be it Glyph plates on the Nob or graffiti on some of their gunz.

 Private Wensleydale 

 Private Fung

 Korpral Krung

Private Bovril

I have a vague plan to flesh out the mob a bit so I can have a bash at playing a campaign of Gorkamorka and in a fit of enthusiasm, have got about a dozen or so bits and bobs from various game systems under construction, including a Warzone Dark Legion patrol and the Boar Company!

Now I have no doubt that these little chaps aren't going to be to everyones taste but it's got me back into the game so to speak and actually enjoying my hobby again which has been brilliant so expect to see lots more cartoony figures soon!

All the best!