Thursday 16 December 2021

Chaos Guard

   One of the biggest changes in 40k fiction of recent years is how Chaos armies are portrayed. There was a point where a chaos army was just a 1st founding traitor company with spikes on and a bunch of cultist cannon fodder to show they are bad guys, and if traitor guard existed it was generally portrayed that a regiment had just gone evil for some reason. Now we are seeing desperate, mixed armies of fanatical cultists, multiple different marine legions and later recruits, plus other factions, none of which have all the equipment they need. Then if traitor guard are shown, they are much more nuanced with a variety of sources of recruitment, not all being voluntary, and units generally being made of recruits from multiple sources.

   This is all a long way of saying my Chaos Marine army needed a Guard component. I've wanted to do a chaos guard army for years but could never get a build that I liked, however, in 2019 I bought some bits from Anvil Industries to test out an idea, liked it, but then got stuck on the colour scheme. In the end I've gone for a bland colour scheme that I don't think would look too out of place in a regular guard army, with the equipment mostly showing that these aren't of the Emperor fearing variety. They are mostly Cadian bits (from the Genestealer sets as it's weirdly cheaper) and Anvil Industries upgrades to stop them looking too uniform.

   Below is my first squad for this project:

Chaos Imperial Guard Traitor 40k

Thanks for reading

Monday 13 December 2021

Werewolves But Smaller

    I'm trying to have a bit of a tidy up in my man cave and one of the things that is taking up space is presticked (figures glued to lolly sticks) models sitting in neat rows on top of boxes. I'm still aiming to get some of the real projects moving and getting some of those figures finished, put onto proper bases and put away, but in the meantime I picked a more interesting set of sticks and started painting. 

   I think I bought the werewolves from Blue Moon via Old Glory UK in one of my Napoleonic orders as a bit of curiosity. They are a tad big compared to regular 15mm figures, but they are also fantasy monsters, so do we really know how big they should be? I have absolutely no plans to do a werewolf army, but with element bases as a unit I can get away with a lot more variety in units, I don't need to explain why 7 models have 6 or 12 wounds, it's enough to know the base is taken off once the threshold is hit, so I plan to do a few different bases of unaligned hordes that can be used to boost other collections. These werewolves can either be used in my Undead army, or in my Roman or Goth army in a fantasy game.

   The werewolves themselves are painted as a mix of wolf species just to make them more interesting using my timber wolf and coyote (seemed similar enough to a red wolf) recipes with a few slightly plainer colours added in*. I figured the overly large wolf should be jet black to stand out.

*and a fox but we don't need to go into that

Thanks for reading

Saturday 11 December 2021

Last Few Bits - Winter

    With the realisation of how little I had left to paint for my Winter WW2 Germans, I decided to just crack on (with the bits that I knew where I'd put them). A second MMG just because and some infantry from the sprues I had left over. I'd built my last 3 squads to match what a German squad should be on paper for late war, 2x smg, lmg and a panzerfaust, so I used the opportunity to add more options which meant 3 more panzerfaust and rifles, then 9 assault rifles (3 with panzerfausts).

   Its been really nice being able to just sneak 5 or 10 minutes of painting in at a time and just getting figures moving again. I've still got a kuberwagon for this project somewhere but it's got to turn up before I can paint it, otherwise I'm done for the time being.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Marder III

    Completely unintentionally I've made two posts in a row on the same project, nobody is more shocked than I am. Painting the Howitzer from the last post turned out to be motivating enough, that the next day I sat and built the tank I have picked up to go with the project and then went on to paint it the day after that.

   It's a Warlord Games plastic Marder III with a couple of crew head swaps and a metal winter figure to replace the plastic commander, I just felt like someone in the tank needed slightly more heavy duty winter clothing. I'm pretty sure I picked this tank up instead of my normal Panzer III or IV as it was about as close a tank to the Soviet SU-76 that the Germans used, and I do enjoy playing with my SU-76's.

   The kit is by far the most fiddly tank I've ever put together, not helped by the fact the sprues don't have part numbers on them so you have to constant flick back to the first page of the instructions where each part on the sprue is labelled*

*It took me far longer than I am proud about before I realised I should tear the first page out and use it as a reference.

Thank for reading

Thursday 2 December 2021

Medium Howitzer

    The first new non-new project post for a while, but there are more coming I suspect. The other thing that got our juices flowing at Salute were not new releases at all, my brother talked himself into buying both Necromunda and Bolt Action, both rules I would recommend trying. While Necromunda initially worked onto my desk first, a unit for Bolt Action beat it to being finished and that's a medium howitzer for my late war winter German army. It was built and sprayed ready, but had just fallen behind the new shiny, which made it a great candidate for jumping the queue.

   As you can probably tell, I've added the front of a Rubicon Models WW2 horse and cart set as a horse drawn limber for it. I've just got it into my head that I want my Germans to be a tad less mechanised than they are usually gamed as and once I saw the Rubicon kit I had ideas straight away. I probably need some kind of ammo wagon, though.

Thanks for reading

Monday 29 November 2021

Eldar/Aeldari Guardians

    The very first army I ever bought for the purpose of wargaming was an Eldar army. My colour scheme was bright yellow, white face plates and bone guns, so they blurred into a mess of bright. I used the army for years until the Daemon Hunters codex came out and became popular at my club at which point my Eldar army started getting tabled really quickly every game and I swapped to a Chaos army.

   My Eldar have been repainted and restarted so many times over the years but I've never been happy with the colour schemes I've tried. The recently I had an idea on how to modernise the old yellow scheme. The guns would need to go black to give the model some real contrast and this might have been enough, but I had the idea of making the uniform shift tone from yellow to orange. The yellow is just Iyaden yellow Contrast over Wraithbone and the orange is 2 layers of wash, one starting at the elbows and waist going down, then the second starting at the knees and wrists, also going down, to give the impression that it gets darker as you go down.

   In hindsight, I think the weapon platform needs something on the big flat yellow area, but otherwise I'm really happy with the project.

Thanks for reading 

Friday 26 November 2021

What, More Romans?

    I've said it before this year and I'll say it again, smaller scales are starting to fascinate me. The idea of playing those big famous battles basically one for one and seeing how the tactics worked (or didn't) just feels like an area of the hobby I don't see enough. I've basically fallen in love with 15mm but have hit a bit of a painting block on it as you really need to finish a unit in a sitting or at least be able to leave stuff out between sessions. Then I saw Mark Backhouse was writing a 2mm game, which inspired a few companies to start doing blocks of 2mm armies, while I'm unlikely to buy his rules, the figures do interest me.

   At Salute I picked up 2 bases worth of Roman Legions and an Alae of Roman Cavalry* (although I bought the wrong base size for the cavalry) and decided to give the idea a test.

*and some buildings but that's another story

  I also wanted to test some of the terrain ideas that Mark has been using and the cheapest and quickest was forests made from bath mats. Actually really impressed with it.

I'm not sure how quickly this project will progress, I need to do a bit Warbases order before I can carry on but I've been really impressed. With very little work I can get two massive armies on the table to try out ideas.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Awakening The Tomb

   I am pretty confident that the next few posts will all be the first units of a series of different new(ish) projects instead of me actually getting on with something useful in my limited hobby time. The first of these new projects is a Necron army for 40k. I've said before and I'll keep saying it, while I don't play 40k a huge amount - normally a small game or two a year with someone who is thinking about getting back into it, the universe has a grip in my head that I'll never get rid of and I like the idea of having armies ready in case I ever fall into a group that does play it regularly.

   But why Necrons? Honestly, cheapness and speed to paint. I've got so many projects where units take ages to paint, and I like the idea of one where I don't need to think a whole lot while I'm painting. Plus I can box them up when done and due the cost of the figures (mostly the other halves of other people's starter sets and magazine freebies) I'm not going to cry about how much money is stored in those boxes if/when I don't use them for years.

   The first finished batches are a unit of Necron Warriors - although I think my basic unit will be boosted up to 20, a Necron Spyder (the only thing I've bought in separately from GW) and 5 packs worth of Necron Scarabs. There is nothing too special about the colour scheme, as I have gone for a dirty version of the classic metal and black, however, I've been using the technical paint Tesseract Glow for the green bits and that pot is what's making this project work.

Next time, something completely different.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Adventures in 3D Printing

    A bit of a mixed post and its not how I planned to blog about these vehicles but as I finished them at the same time, I thought I could make a point of them.

   The 15mm WW2 British vehicles (2x Matilda and a Daimler Dingo) are from Butler's Printed Models and my first thought when they turned up still attached to all the supports was that I had completely wasted my money. There was no way I would get the supports off without ruining the models, so I dumped the box in a pile of other stuff, leaving the decision of when I would just call it a bad job and throw them out to another day. It took a few months before I decided to just take a pair of cutters to them figuring they would probably end up in the bin anyway, so I couldn't really do any damage, but to my surprise the supports came off fairly cleanly if you just pulled them.

   I'm pretty pleased with the end paint job although the next lot I do will have more of the blue and grey camo to them.

   The next thing was a bit of an experiment. I've got a new-ish project that's been floating about in my head, but one of the main criteria for it was cheapness. The project is a 40k traitor guard army but I wanted to use as few STL Imperial vehicles as possible, and make those I was using look captured but this meant I needed a source of alternative 40k vehicles that weren't going to blow the bank. I found a shop on Etsy called Culverin Models which looked like they fitted the bill, so a quick test order placed and I was away.
   This vehicle is called a Boar troop carrier and it seems to be a 40k version of a Universal Carrier, in my case I plan to use it as a command Salamander. I chaos-ed it up a little bit to hide some of the printed lines and got painting. I'm fairly pleased with the end result but it is obvious that it's 3d printed.

Culverin Models Boar Troop Carrier 40k Salamander

   Thanks for reading

Friday 24 September 2021

Where I claim painted models that were mostly painted months ago

    I've not done much painting for a couple of months now, and its starting to show with my backlog. As a shark has to keep swimming to stop itself drowning, so wargamers have to keep painting to stop themselves drowning in their backlogs. Therefore, I have been working on getting my 3rd century Roman project one step closer to the table with a few units of Auxiliaries whenever I can sneak a few minutes of painting time - although if we are being honest, the vast bulk of these were done in times when painting was easier. 

   Nothing hugely special here. Two of the units were from my kickstarter haul from a few years back and the other is from my top up order when I decided to make sure I had enough to split the army in two for civil war games and have been given a pretty basic paint job. Historically accurate or not, I want to make sure my Legionnaires and Auxiliaries look different at a glance on the table, so the tunics being white or red should be an easy thing to spot quickly.

   Again, in an attempt just to get figures off my painting table quickly, this skeleton crossbow unit was next and as there is little on the models bar bone, they were a quick paint job.

I've still got an unhappy amount of units left to paint in the project, so I had better find some time to get on with it.

Thanks for reading

Thursday 5 August 2021

The Kingdom Rises

    Painting has been a bit of a struggle recently with an increasingly active little terror but I'm finding the odd moments of time to keep projects moving. I have 4 or 5 projects that I have marked as priority projects that I want to focus on getting finished so I can get figures on the table, hopefully, this year - so it come as no surprise that this post is about another new(ish) project.

   Late 2020 when I was building up a painting pile ready to be broke for the next year or so, I got it into my head that I wanted a small, self contained ancient army that wouldn't end up sprawling into an endless project and I had half an eye on an Egyptian army. I'd priced up an army using Warlord Games figures, but as you buy box sets I was either going to end up with extra units to round numbers out or wasted figures, plus the army got really expensive. Then I discovered Newline Designs and their ranges. I placed an order for a Celtic chariot so I could test the size of the figures and see if I liked them - I can't remember if it made it onto the blog or if it became the last unit of chariots waiting to be built - and deciding I was pleased with the casting, I bought myself a New Kingdom Egyptian army after carefully checking my planned figures would fit in a single 4 litre Really Useful Box.

   However, with my fluttering interests moving around and currently focussing on 15mm stuff, the army fell way down my backlog list to the point where I considered selling it on. In the end, I decided that as long as I started it asap, it wasn't going to take up much space, it would make for an interesting game and as it isn't that many figures, it should be a fairly quick job. I have no doubt other armies will be mixed into between units, but I aim to get this army done before the autumn . . .

   The first unit was a unit of infantry. I wanted to test colours - esp skin tone - on something easy before hitting the more complicated stuff - I'm looking at you chariots. I've take a few assumptions with the painting, for one, I've seen claims that Egyptians of the period was darker skinned than their wall art and that lightening their skin was a way of showing that they were different to those black skinned savages in Numida, despite being similar tones. I've also seen it claimed that the art is darker than their real tone due to the paint they had at hand. So I've gone for something darker than I would paint someone from the middle east, but lighter than I plan to paint the Numidians - so that I'm probably wrong in both ways.

Newline designs new kingdom egyptians 28mm

Thanks for reading

Thursday 29 July 2021

Tying together

    Following on from my trip to Warhammer World I decided to carry on painting my 40k projects and as they were the newest, it made sense to get on with one of my (limited) purchases from the day. As my games at WHW were thematically the same force - Sons of Horus, Daemons to show the corruption and then my Chaos Marines which are the warband my SoH become, I thought it made sense to add some jump troops to my Chaos.

   I've painted them in the same palette I used 7 or so years ago, starting with a dark brown before moving onto reds and I'm pleased with how they have come out. I've always joked that squads armed with plasma guns and jump packs would be brilliant in 30k, so when I realised raptor squads can have 2 plasma guns in 5 men, I had to do it. Then the power sword is my first attempt at making a weapon look like it has energy flowing through it.

   While I painting the red armour, I decided to finish off some more strays that I ran out of time to paint in the run up to the Warhammer World trip, the second Hellbrute and some more Khorne Daemons. The hellbrute was from the Dark Vengeance boxset from years back and has been sitting in a box for just about as long, while the daemons are much newer and were the sacrifice to get my armies painted to the deadline - even building the last few unnecessary ones would have meant I failed the time pressure - but now mean I have 38 bloodletters and a herald.

   I suspect I need a second squad of raptors to complete the theme, but that can wait as I have a couple of better ideas first.

Thanks for reading

Monday 12 July 2021

A beast of a post - the trip to Warhammer World

   Like the title says, this is going to be a beast of a post, so strap in. . .

   At the start of 2020 my podcast mates and me were discussing a dedicated trip to Warhammer World where we would book a big scenic table and play a massive themed game - we were thinking one player with 4-5k of Space Wolves vs 2 players with the equivalent points in Thousand Sons and Tzeench Daemons, to just play the sort of game that you talk about for years afterwards. Then Covid hit and WHW was closed for the year. Then with 2021 and the world starting to open up, we modified the plan but kept chatting about it.

   The end result is a day booked off in early July, we figured we should have been past the end of restrictions (although we go that one wrong) but before the school holidays (we go that one right). The big scenic tables have been taken out of the hall, so they weren't an option and as it is only 2 people per table, we limited our plans. But then we got chatting even more, if we weren't planning on playing a single game that would take up most of the day, why don't we use the day to test out multiple ideas, its a long way to drag models but if the day is going to be fun anyway, why not use new lists and try ideas out in quick succession - this is where the length of this post start to come in.

   First up, the guy I spent the day with (Keith) is currently a 30k player and, although, he used to be a 40k gamer, he only plays one ruleset at a time and really focusses his energies on it in a way that I will never understand. So this trip is predominately 30k, I did manage to sneak in some 40k.

Sons of Horus

   The first army I had a look at was my Sons of Horus as they are my go to legion for 30k games at the moment. When Keith said that he wanted to play a smaller size game it gave me the idea of trying the sort of list I'd love to play in full size games, but, without winning the lottery, would never be able to afford. Full jump pack armies have always excited me but the sheer cost has put me off, even in plastic the old assault marine packs were too expensive for me to have more than a single squad and in Forge World resin, the fact I have as many as I do is simple due to how old this army now is, and the vast bulk of them in this list are sub optimal in load out but too expensive to do anything about.

   The list is a Centurion with Lightning Claws - how I always used to love characters with a pair of these, 2x apothecaries, 2x 14 man assault squads with a power fist, power axe and power sword (and melta bombs), a 10 man reaver squad with 2x power swords and a power fist and a 10 man destroyer squad with power sword and 2x missile launcher.

  Despite the reavers being one of the Elite SoH units, they are actually a tad worse than regular assault marines and I've never actually made destroyers do half the damage that people think they should do.

  The only new model in this list is the Centurion himself, which was interesting to paint as I had to look up my SoH painting recipe, something I never thought I would have to do.

30k Daemons

   Daemons was the next thing that jumped into my head. I've made noises about doing a daemon army for years now as a single box of figures can be an army for 3 different game systems (plus sub-games like Warcry and Kill Team) without needing any modifications - proper value for money.

   When the new Slaanesh daemons were released 3 or 4 years ago, GW sold a starter box that had a few units of Slaanesh vs a few units of Khorne and when I was offered the Khorne half of a box, I said yes. Then I was offered the Khorne half of a second box and said yes again. Without any real plan, I then bought an old metal Blood Thirster that I was offered, put everything away in a box and got on with my life.

   Mucking about with a vague idea to try AOS's Warcry as a playing in the back garden in the summertime game and writing lists for that meant I had daemons on my mind already, then the chance of a low points 30k list pushed this idea up a few notches. I realised for the cost of a Start Collecting box (already fantastic value), I had a full army and I just needed a quick paint job.

   The list is a Blood Thirster, a 6 daemon unit of Blood Crushers, 2x 5 Flesh Hounds, and 4x 8 daemon units of Blood Letters - again not an optimal list but it looked good on the table. This isn't everything I've bought for this army, but its everything I painted to directly get on the table at Warhammer World.

The Sacrificed Sons - Chaos Space Marines

   Lastly, we have been talking for a while now about putting our toes back into the 40k waters again, again, it was going to be a game we would sprinkle in last summer, but C19 put a stop to that. As we had a table booked for a whole day, so there was no point playing a game or two and heading home, we decided that for the sake of another box of figures plus a rulebook, it would be nice to play a really small game of 40k to top the day off. I have a fair few 40k armies in varying states of completion, but I knew my mate would be bringing his Primaris Space Marines, so I thought I should avoid bringing my ones, then it dawned on me what army I should be packing - my Chaos Space Marines.

   My Chaos Space Marines jumped out at me for three reasons; 1, they were mostly painted but I had a couple of units that were half done and just had no motivation to finish. 2, I'd been meaning to remove their sculpted resin bases and replace them with my normal bases for a few years now and as with point 1, it was just lacking a reason why they should jump the queue. 3, it kept a narrative theme through all my armies on the day . . .

   The paint jobs aren't the best in the world, but with no time to deal with that, I added the bare minimum of fixes to bring them up a little bit - black on the (I assume) rubberised joints on the back of the legs (a small difference but looks much better), repainted a single shoulder pad black and painted the backpack vents metal. In my head cannon, my Chaos army is my SoH but 10,000 years later, so I wanted small details to tie the armies together a bit more, plus it breaks the red up a bit more.

   The units that needed to be finished was the Hellbrute, one of the Forgefiends and the Spawn, who I did in my Daemon colour scheme to tie in as well.


   I'm not going to go into too much detail on the games themselves as they were generally short affairs where I took the majority of the figures off the table. My Sons of Horus list was completely outclassed, it was up against a planned tournament list and was countered at every turn. The first turn looked to be going well but when I lost a whole squad in the first combat phase to the leviathon dreadnought and I then had Abbadon appear behind my lines at the start of turn 2, the writing was on the wall.

   The Daemon game ran a lot closer. I've never used or played Daemons of the Ruinstorm in 30k before but I've heard broken things about them. I'm pretty confident that after playing a game, I know how people make broken lists with these guys but my list was not one of them. Daemons take forever to kill and throw out a lot of attack dice, but lacking anything that can just ignore armour means marines just take their saving throws all day long. While I killed off two of his squads, the characters and the bogged down nature of the combats swung against me after a few turns.

   Lastly, the game of 40k. I've played 4 games of 40k since 8th edition came out a few years back and my mate hasn't played one, so we were rusty as anything, but the rules are easy enough that we muddled through and got a game out of it. Honestly, I think this was my game to lose. I had complete control until the last combat phase where my last heavy hitter were mopped up and it went from a close, but easy victory to me, to a total wipe out of my troops.

Thanks for reading

Monday 14 June 2021

Yes, the Dead ride behind. They have been summoned

    As I mentioned in my last post, painting time and motivation has gone off the cliff at the moment but I've not stopped thinking about projects. One thing I keep thinking about with my 15mm Undead army is how to include a unit of ghosts/spirits to my ranks of risen mortal remains. A few companies do the classic sheet shaped ghosts, which I think look brilliant in small units like DBA/HOTT but ranked up I'm not sure they would work as well.

   My next thought was to buy some normal troops and paint them as ghosts, so as I am reading a series set in the late Roman republic, I decided that would be a good era to buy figures from. The figures are from Essex and are a mix of their Marian troops including a pack of cavalry for variety. I painted the figures in my normal ghost colour scheme and spread them across 3 bases in what I hoped was a fairly even manner. 

Essex Miniatures Marian Romans 15mm Ghosts

   I could easily have just done a single base to test the idea out but there is always something about doing 3 units of any standalone project that I like and now they are done and based up, it has got me thinking about whether a whole army would be cool, but that is a project for another day.

I really could do with getting the necromancers done for this army now . . .

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Essex Regiment of Foote Pt2

  I've called this the Essex Regiment of Foote pt2 as its basically a rehash of a project from last year, so let's start at the beginning. Last year, I finally managed to get my ECW project moving and once the momentum had started, I found I really enjoyed it. It was a pity it only got onto the table twice, but with everything that happened last year, twice is actually really good going.

   However, with my head currently thinking in terms of 15mm armies, ECW was one of the projects where it dawned on me that 15mm would make a huge difference. A regular infantry company of pikemen and musketeer wings takes up a lot of space and as I'd like both sides to have at least two of these blocks, 28mm on a 6/4 board looks cramped very quickly. So on a recent trip to Essex Miniatures (I was only going to have a quick look) I saw the ECW figures in the display cabinet and decided to sate my curiosity.

   As this is the second time I've painted this unit, I decided to match both the officer's uniform and the flag to the 28mm version of the unit. I'm not planning on getting rid of the 28mm stuff any time soon, but if my idea is right, I think the 15mm might see more table time. Size wise, I've double the figure count from 28-15, so that I think the pike block looks more dangerous and less like a minor annoyance with 20 pikes vs only 8, while the full length of the unit is about half of what it is in the bigger scale.

I really do need to focus on a single project again now, though.

Thanks for reading

Thursday 27 May 2021

The Battle of Wattling Street (ish)

    I've had a few weeks off from painting now, but I've managed to get one of my lockdown projects onto the table and I thought it was worth blogging about. As of (I think) Saturday 22rnd May, Wayland Games has reopened it's gaming side of the business to those who prebook a table, so on the first Wednesday after that, my club arranged our first proper club night since the start of March last year. In the end we booked 2 tables and had 5 members turn up, with one of the games being my attempt at a small version of the Battle of Wattling Street with Boudica vs Gaius Suetonius, with only the Roman occupation of Britannia at stake.

   We used a modified version of Lion Rampant that I had found online and got playing. About turn 3 we noticed that there was something wrong with the modifications made and it was only on the drive home that it dawned on us what it was. The author had modified the test rolls to match Rebels and Patriots (so 1 ability score rather than separate ones for Move, Attack, Shoot and Courage) but left the morale rules the same as base Lion Rampant. While not major, this meant if a Ancient British unit lost 3 guys to the Roman shooting (pilums) they needed a 10+ on 2 dice or else they got a Battered marker. In Lion Rampant a Battered marker means the unit can do nothing the following turn but Rally, so the next turn they would be shot at again. If they lost 2 more guys they now needed a 12+ to pass, with anything below a 7 removing the unit from the table. As you can imagine, this got brutal quickly, so that the Ancient Britons only got to the Roman lines to actually attack on one occasion.

   Suffice to say the game did not go well to the Brits, although the chariot unit did manage to wipe out a unit of Legionnaires with hit and run shooting attacks. We have some modifications to make to the ruleset for next time, but it was still a really fun game and it was great to see real people at a gaming venue to chat about games, plus who doesn't like seeing projects get onto the table for their first outing?

Battle of Wattling Street warlord games boudica boudicca SEEMS wargames club essex gaming gamers

   While I haven't managed to get any painting done, I did have a few bits for this project that were waiting on a varnish, so I thought this was the perfect time to add them to the bottom of a post too. They are from a few different ranges, the first wagon is from Fenris and I think has been on this blog in a different form a few years back, the Ancient Britons are Warlord Games and the Roman Wagon is from Warbases.

Thanks for reading